Re: Get (a life/out more/laid/real/outta town)

Anders Sandberg (
27 Oct 1997 14:36:16 +0100

Damien Broderick <> writes:

> Kennita's generic hint that some of us would be well advised to touch each
> other more often and smell the roses (mine have just come into bloom, big
> and yellow)

[Ouch, that hurt! Winter is arriving here in sub-arctic Sweden :-(]

> instead of cowering in front of computer monitors (I've just
> got home from a long sunny walk by the creek) is not necessarily insulting.
> It could even be a salutory reminder that there's a complex world beyond
> the screen.

I agree. It is important for personal development to experience the
sensual side of life. We are sensual beings, and most of our mental
architecture is based on that. Even if we autoevolve a lot, I would be
surprised if we would loose this aspect, it is very deeply ingrained
in our fundamental structure. Of course, we might gain new senses and
ways of experiencing the wonders of the world, some of which may today
be regarded as distinctly non-sensual such as internet traffic or the
radio spectrum.

> (Do I personally - for what such reflections are worth - *get out more*?
> Do I myself have a life? A rather more stifled life than I'd wish,
> certainly, more constricted than I'd like it to be. I live alone these
> days, but I'm not persuaded that reading a lot and writing books and
> talking with you cyberspace folks, sharing my conjectures and reading and
> puns, is an *alternative* to reality. It's part of reality, perhaps a
> redemptive and expansive part. I don't find many compatible people out
> there in the street, or even in the university when I occasionally pedal
> over to the campus. But doesn't the literal narrowness of the e-channel,
> its asynchronous theatricality, factor into the appeal of living part of my
> life on-line? Of course. Does this mean my original reaction to Wax's
> cliched jibe was transparently self-defensive? Gosh, I *never thought of
> that*. [Get a life, Sigmund.])

:-) Most conventional people would definitely say that I haven't got a
life. I spend most of my waking time reading, working at a computer or
talking with people. I rarely go to movies, I never go out for dancing
and I don't drink alcohol. Instead I play roleplaying games, lecture
at the young scientist association or a local highschool and discuss
with my friends. I'm almost the archetypal nerd.

But I'm profoundly happy too. The rather cerebral world I inhabit is
filled with wonders, ranging from the grand beauty of dynamical
systems theory and neural networks to the fun of developing new ideas
to see how well they float. I learn things all the time, I discover
things about myself and the world every day. My email discussion
channels may be serial, in black and white, with no body language or
other non-verbal clues, but they still manage what I regard as the
most precious things in the universe: ideas, communication and

Do I really need to "get out more"? Obviously, it is a good idea to
experience new things, to open up new areas of skill and possibility,
but I don't see any reason why it is more valuable to move in the
physical or social world than in the intellectual world. Balance
doesn't mean that one should devote exactly one third of one's time to
each of these worlds, it means that one should find the right ratios
to achieve personal satisfaction and development.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y