On Sat, 9 Oct 1999, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Natasha Vita-More wrote:
> > Very interesting Robert, but I cannnot agree with you. Sounds like you are
> > waiting for the future to happen rather than being a part of it.
> To me it sounds like a perfectly valid observation, along the lines of
> the fact that the first Cro-Magnon, no matter how great his historical
> significance, probably couldn't hold a candle to the twentieth-century
> person on the street. Causal effect is not the same as leading an
> interesting life.
I think Eliezer (in this post and the previous[?] one) has correctly interpreted the point I was trying to make.
However Natasha's point is valid as well.
On a good day, when I learn about protein inteins & exteins (protein splicing along the lines of RNA splicing ["Making the Cut", Science News Oct. 2, 1999, pgs 222-223] and an organism like Synechocystis that has to do protein splicing of two different "half"-genes to get a functional DNA Polymerase (necessary for replication), I think ***wow*** this is really cool, I don't want to miss any of this.
On a bad day, when I Obi Wan Burch tries to beat into my head how formidable the Genetic Luddites are and I spend most of the day wrestling with Perl regular expression parsing and backtracking trying to understand how it really works (in contrast to the impressions that the documentation or manuals would lead you to believe); I wonder whether it is really worth all the trouble.
As Natasha points out (indirectly), it would be so much easier to simply freeze myself and wait until it all turns out. If Robin is right, and I put myself on the short list for reanimation I might come out at the head of the pack. If I don't then presumably there will be someone more prudent behind me. In either case this strategy has the advantage of avoiding the luddite wars and endless amounts of frustration associated with learning new command & control languages.
The problem is that I really don't know what to do when the "good" days and the "bad" days *are* the *same* day.
As you can probably tell, its been a long day. Robert