RE: Resentment

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat Jul 07 2001 - 22:42:25 MDT

Harvey, Samantha, and Russell all report that poverty was never
a motivator for them. That seems to be the usual explanation in
Silicon Valley, too. I don't know about Spike, but poverty was
definitely my motivator. With just a small guaranteed annual
income, I would have never abandoned playing chess, reading SF,
and carousing around with my friends discussing philosophy and
mathematics---which is mostly all I did in my twenties. Spike
is right for at least some people when he writes

> How many of us would ever have bothered to learn programming
> if not to advance our careers? ... Think of poverty as a drill
> sergeant: in your face for sure, but he ultimately
> benefits you by teaching you to get with the program.

We are all guilty, of course, of projecting our own motivations
and psychology onto too many others. But it's pretty clear that
over the past several decades the hard work, creativity, and
economic contributions of a lot of people (even within something
as esoteric as computer programming) would have been lost without
the grim task master. And this is probably true of even more
people than those willing to admit it.

So I would suggest that *at the present time* a substantial
guaranteed income would have both serious economic consequences
and also deleterious psychological and educational consequences
for many people.


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