Re: effing the ineffable

From: Chris Hibbert (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 10:35:52 MDT said:
> I am trying to understand what you mean, but it's difficult to see any
> kind of rationality here. Do you consider climbing to be some kind of
> spiritual experience, or is the thrill physically addicting or what?

I wouldn't say either of these. I enjoy the exercise, being outdoors, the
challenges (physical and mental), and being with friends among other
things. I brought it up in this context, not because I think of it as
spiritual, but because I don't see it as rationally defendable. Like
choosing vanilla over chocolate. I also see some parallels in the
arational enjoyment of it with what some of the people defending
spirituality are saying. I hope you don't restrict yourself to things you
can defend rationality.

> I don't see a good reason to put yourself into that kind of lethal
> situation when we are this close to the Singularity.

It's less likely to be lethal than you think, given good practices, and I'm
not willing to put enjoyment on hold for twenty or thirty years waiting for
a singularity. I consider myself more at risk when I drive from Silicon
Valley to LA on highway 5. The consequences are potentially lethal in the
same vein as demonstrated by the local hiker who dragged himself out of the
Sierras this week after being given up for dead by more than a hundred
searchers. Climbing with a group whose safety practices I respect is much
safer than hiking alone. There are risks, which is why I mentioned
"potentially lethal consequences".

> If I had no hope
> for the future, and was convinced I was eventually going to be worm
> food no matter what then yeah I could see doing stuff like this. But
> anyway...

I'm signed up for Alcor because I like living and want it to go on.
( I'm not willing
to stop living because of the possibility of a really long life. The
evidence isn't in yet that we're going to make it past 150 years. Progress
in medicine and nanotech are slow and steady at this point, there's no
revolutionary yet.


 Chris Hibbert
 650 941 8224

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