Re: An Extropian Nation ??!

Kennita Watson (
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 12:09:34 -0400 (EDT)

>I agree that many people are often risk-averse. However this is still a
>function of imperfect information. Why does one choose not to invest in
>a new software firm? Because he doesn't know that the firm will
>eventually be Microsoft. In the same way, a person who decides not to
>risk a drive to the beach because it may rain, only wishes he knew more
>about weather systems when it turns out to be a beautiful day. IMO,
>people are inherently self-aggrandizing (as I have offered before on
>this list), and if they *KNOW* they will be increased by a certain
>change in situation, skill, or whatever, they *WILL* accept the change,
>and quite often, pursue it for themselves.

Careful. People *KNOW* many things that are false, and it is not
possible to know the future with 100% certainty. The main thing that
people seem not to know is how probability and statistics and risk
work, and what they most seem to aggrandize is what they will lose on
a given down side. Surveys show that many (most?) people are more
afraid of public speaking than of death.
>> I hazard a guess that most
>> participants in this list are atypical in this regard.
>I don't know if this is true, but if it is, that means that the people
>on this list probably have, or firmly believe they have, more
>information than the rest of humanity.

A given person can be an optimist in the face of scanty information,
or a pessimist in the face of extensive information. I think most
people tend towards pessimism, and others towards optimism. I tell
some people everything I know about cryonics and they say "What if
it doesn't work?". My reply: "Maybe it won't, but then nothing's
changed. The point is, what if it _does_?".
>Boat drinks,

I like that farewell,

Kennita Watson | The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,| but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do
| members of the same family grow up under the same roof.
| -- Richard Bach, _Illusions_