Re: Extropianis (Protestants in Disguise?)

Mark Grant (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 23:16:34 +0000

On Thu, 11 Sep 1997, Paul Hughes wrote:

> Since when did Extropianism become so
> downright puritanical? Holly's post, although lacking a few salient
> points, drew out all sorts of self-righteous puritanical types.

Who's puritanical around here? I hope to retire at 35, live in a hut on a
tropical island and only do the things I want to for the rest of my life. Of
course many others share that dream, the only difference is that with some
luck I may actually achieve it.

> I had
> no idea how much value and *virtue* people on this list have put on
> *hard* work.

Personally I much prefer to slack off and pursue my own goals, and one of
the benefits of planning my life carefully and working hard is that I can
*do* these things. But the older I get and the more of my dreams I bring
to fruition through my own hard work the more annoyed I am by people who
wander through life expecting the world handed to them on a plate, or,
worse, expect me to pay for them. These people had every opportunity that
I had, but chose to 'have fun' rather than take them, because the
alternative was 'hard work'.

Last year I took six months off and backpacked around the world, which
took a lot of hard work, both in raising the money and organising the
trip; and climbing Mt Fuji was much harder work than any day I've spent in
a factory or office. That was the value I gained from that hard work, and
the virtue is that I actually achieved my dream rather than complain that
it was just 'too hard'.

> I would have thought, being
> extropians you would have the wisdom to see the value and
> *limitations* of hard work have.

Yeeeeesssss... but I can see even more clearly the limitations of sitting
on my ass and whining. I want to *do* things with my life rather than
spend it watching TV or perpetually talking about the great things that
I'll do *one day* if it's not too hard; that's *my* idea of fun. Hard work
is the price I pay for following my dreams through.

> I would much rather spend my time transforming my self,
> creating art and having fun.

Hmm, I'm currently starting to put my first feature film together; do you
imagine that I can do that without working hard? The only show I watch on
TV these days is 'Babylon 5', which is only on our screens because of the
many years of hard work the writer spent getting it there; should he have
given up and 'had fun' instead? Should Dostoyevsky, Kafka or Orwell have
just 'lightened up' rather than writing all those depressing novels?
Would the world be a better place if Van Gogh spent his days 'watching
TV, having sex and smoking pot' rather than destroying himself for his

Can you point out *one* great work of art that didn't require a great deal
of hard work?


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