Re: Help! Leisure or Extro-Holocaust?

Geoff Smith (
Sat, 13 Sep 1997 13:30:23 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 13 Sep 1997, Holly Pearson wrote:

> Dear Extropians,
> I am on of you. I am intelligent, hard working and in my deepest=20
> yearnings an extropian to the core. Despite this I am falling behind. I=
> dying (slowly). Despite my best efforts at maintaining a healthy body,=
> quick mind, balanced diet, and adequate regiment of exercise,=20
> anti-ozidants and smart drugs - I AM BURNING OUT. I am hitting, like a b=
> wall, the limits of my biology and psychology/neurology. I can no longer=
> keep up with the demands the free-market is placing on me. At the rate=
> everything is accelerating, things can only get worse for me. I will be=
> lucky to be alive in 5 years - I will run out of energy far sooner.
> Despite working over 50 hours per week and spending another 10 keeping=20
> up with science & technology trends, I am still falling behind=20
> economically. I expect the skills I have now will be obsolete by the end=
of 98.=20
> I no longer have the time nor energy to gain new skills at the rate=20
> required by today=92s free-market. I will probably be obsolete within 2=
> years and dead with 5 unless something very *fundamental* changes from th=
> free-market hell which is killing me.

Obviously, you are an intelligent person. More intelligent, lets say,
than the average Joe and Jane. Yet average Joes and Janes are adapting to
changing work conditions right now! Look at your country's unemployment
rate-- people are working at every point in the spectrum. How old are you
that you can no longer adapt? I hope I never reach this age.
=09As for your skills becoming obsolete in 2 years, this seems like a
blessing to me. The rapidly-changing workplace is providing incentive for
workers to continually educate themselves.
What event gave you this pessimistic attitude about your own
abilities? Instead of wasting time asking "why is the free market so hard
to keep up with?", why don't you ask "where can I find the educational
resources to make myself marketable?" Right now, there is a MASSIVE
shortage of computer programmers. Do you think you could learn this

I find pessimism to be a waste of valuable time. If you think you only
have 5 years to live, why spend it being miserable?
> Now this is pretty sad when I share your extropian dreams of a better=20
> future while at the same time being increasingly being denied=20
> opportunity from achieving them. I am a human being and I am an extropia=

I don't think being a human being and an extropian give you any special
privileges. I think they are a privilege in themselves.
> ...and so does every other human on this planet who wants to live and=20
> have a better future.
> Look, I want to evolve as much as the next person - but I should have=20
> the right to grow at *my* pace. Don=92t you get it? I am evolving as=20
> fast as I can! But the free-market (an autoevolutionary and human=20
> invention if there ever was one - and one which almost everyone on this l=
> praises) doesn=92t give a DAMN about *my* pace. EITHER I ADAPT TO *ITS* =
> OR DIE! As the Bionomics Institute as so poignantly pointed out =91The=
> free-market follows the dictates of biological evolution where the=20
> strongest, smartest and fittest survive=92(end quote). Now if that is no=
t a=20
> Fascist dictate what the fuck is?!

The Bionomics Institute has made an observation, not a mandate. Sometimes
survival means be in alliance or even leaching off of someone who is
strong and fit. Parasites and symbiotes are an important part of
evoltion. I wouldn't say viruses are very smart, yet they seem to be
doing fairly well.
Yet, you have stated that you are intelligent, and are working, so maybe
some smart parasites should be leaching off you.
> Again, help - I want to live! I want to live in the amazing future=20
> that is unfolding. Shouldn=92t everyone get an *EQUAL* chance to live we=
> in the future?=20

It would be nice, but I cannot see how we can guarantee it without
hindering the very progress that has increasing the standard of living.
As someone said on another thread "the poor are richer"

If you have the same quibble as Nadia, which was "how can the poor be
rich?", I say: the same way my hand can be big and small. My hand is big
compared to my fingers, and small compard to my arm. The poor are poor
compared to the rich, but rich compared to the poor of yesterday. These
are relative terms. By saying people are poor, you are making a
normative statement. Remember, the poverty line rises faster than
inflation. =20
> Otherwise aren=92t extropians nazi=92s - either by choice or by default?

The free market isn't a THING OUT TO GET YOU. It's a word we use to
describe a *lack* of THINGS OUT TO GET YOU.

I find your nazi analogy completely ridiculous.
> Sincerely,
> Holly Pearson

Holly, I have assumed your are from the US because of the at the
end of your e-mail address. Was this a correct assumption?