Re: I've got a speech...comments?

From: Miriam English (
Date: Sun Jul 15 2001 - 05:13:08 MDT

Very nice!

I enjoyed it unreservedly. Nicely optimistic.

While Reason may be right that many look down on science fiction, only a
science fiction enthusiast would be very likely to know who Frank Herbert
is. I would leave it in. I feel a little odd saying that, as I gotta say I
love the way Reason writes.

Good luck, and I hope you light stars in people's eyes,

         - Miriam

At 11:02 PM 14/07/2001 -0500, Michael B. Hubbard wrote:
>Hello all!
>I've got speech for my local toastmasters group, and was wondering if
>anyone would care to critique it. It's more in the style of a motivational
>speech than anything really technical. I'm using the TM group as a
>test-bed for some ideas on how to spread the extropian meme through
>public-speaking, and would welcome any observations the list might have.
>Live well,
>Awakening the Sleeper
>An anonymous Internet pundit once wrote, "The world is so fast that there
>are days when the person who says it can't be done is interrupted by the
>person who is doing it." It doesn't take much looking around these days to
>see that world is changing on multiple fronts at breakneck speed. The
>Human Genome has been mapped. Computers are becoming more powerful,
>smaller, and omnipresent. On the societal front the change is no less
>dizzying. The nations of Europe have become the European Union. China has
>broken out of its formerly third-world status to become a real potential
>rival to the United States. We hear of protests and revolutions all over
>the world on what seems to be a daily basis. In the financial world we
>move from being in the longest sustained boom of the twentieth century to
>the troubled market we now see each night on CNBC. The one constant of our
>times, it seems, is change. And frankly, more and greater changes are
>approaching than we could have formerly even conceived.
>So how do we, as human beings living in the age of change, cope with the
>constant barrage of new information, and the constantly shifting state of
>the world? My answer is that we ourselves must change, even transform, to
>face the challenges of our day. As Frank Herbert wrote in his epic novel
>Dune, ""Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.
>The sleeper must awaken." I believe that we must awaken the sleeping
>giants within ourselves to survive and thrive in this dawning age of
>change. But what changes must we face?
>First we have to be prepared to live longer. In 1990 there were just over
>3 million people in the United States age 85 or older. In the past ten
>years that number has risen by nearly a million and a half. The numbers
>for 75 to 84 have increased by two million. We as a nation are living
>longer, and living fuller and more productive lives as we age, than we
>have in any point in history. Medical technology has advanced enough, even
>assuming no further growth in knowledge, that it is very likely that most
>if not all of the people in this room could live to see one hundred years
>or better.
>Next, be prepared for a more prosperous world. Over the next thirty years
>there will be an unprecedented boom in production worldwide, ensuring a
>worldwide standard of living and relative comfort never before possible.
>As a result, our energies will be turned to creating and exploring on a
>level not seen since the European renaissance. As the cost of travel
>across the globe decreases and the flow of information increases, there
>will be more opportunity for those who wish to travel to do so, and more
>contact with people from different cultures both face to face and on the
>Finally, be prepared for more choice in nearly every aspect of life.
>Already choices of lifestyle and occupation are more diverse than ever
>before, and the byproduct is an ever-increasing tolerance of those
>choices. As productivity increases the trend toward more free time and
>more money to spend on that time will only increase correspondingly.
>So how do we prepare ourselves for these changes? First, take care of your
>body, and try to expand your physical capabilities. While replacement
>parts are becoming more common, my personal belief is that it is better to
>have the original factory equipment until something truly better arrives.
>Secondly, take care of your mind, and expand it whenever possible. Learn
>languages, take courses, follow whatever interests you may have, but
>continue to learn and expand your brainpower. In a world dominated by
>change and possibility a flexible and well-trained mind is one of the best
>tools you can have. Finally, strive for self-direction in every aspect of
>your own life. Make goals, make decisions, seek out freedom and openness.
>I can't tell you exactly how you should individually each prepare for and
>cope with the coming changes in our world, as Franklin Roosevelt said,
>"There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing
>still." What I can tell you, though, is to strive to improve and expand
>yourself in any way you feel is right for you. Challenge yourself to learn
>and grow. Awaken your sleeper.

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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