Re: Stewart Brand's The Clock of the Long Now

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 22:52:42 MST

At 07:50 PM 01/16/2001 -0800, Stewart Brand wrote:

>At 9:07 PM -0500 1/16/01, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
>> > >Translation: "It doesn't matter whether your body is stable at 22, if
>> > >your mind is a thousand years old."
>> >
>> > ...if your mind has a thousand years experience.
>>Of course.
>>Silly me.
>>"I'm not a thousand years old; I'm a thousand years young!"
>More like a thousand years weary, jaded, tired, bored, suicidal.

Weary? Bored? Suicidal? I can't see any basis for concluding that such
feelings would be the norm for 1000-year-old people. How do you figure
this? I haven't found that life becomes any less exciting as I age. In
fact, since I've gained some skills and knowledge along the way, I'm
finding life even more interesting now than it was when I was younger.

>It's not even interesting being pretty and strong if everybody is pretty
>and strong.

What a strange idea! I've found my strength to be of greater use to me when
I'm alone in the woods than when I'm in the company of other people. And
the pleasure of doing things with a well-functioning body, even simple
things like harvesting lettuce from the garden, is quite as wonderful when
there's no one around to notice or be compared to. Being pretty? Well, one
doesn't often look at one's own face, but I confess I've admired the sight
of my sturdy, sandal-clad feet, and I doubt my admiration would be any less
if everyone in the world had feet as lovely.

>A thousand years wise might mean something.

In the past there have been so few really intelligent people alive at any
one time. Many of the geniuses of the past speak to us now through their
writings. I wonder what the world would be like if they weren't dead now,
if we could chat with them on the Internet or sit by the river and talk to


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