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

Anders Sandberg (
27 Oct 1997 17:46:05 +0100

Kennita Watson <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > 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....
> Well put. You didn't mention in your message how you take care of that
> side of yourself. Vigorous exercise, music, taking time to enjoy food
> rather than just eating, ...?

I train ninjutsu, which is both excellent excercise and mentally and
physically useful, and also take long walks when I can (usually I
refrain from taking the bus or train, and simply walk).

When it comes to music, I try to mix the styles I listen to: most is
classical, some is techno or synth, and some is from various cultures
such as sufi or gregorian chants and japanese drumming. It takes a
while to learn to enjoy new kinds of music, but it is worth it.

As for food, most of the time I'm fairly conventional, but I really
enjoy trying new kinds of food, and our transhumanist group here
visits one national restaurant each month (I think we are planning to
try Basque food this time; we have already tried the American,
Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian and Kurd kitchen).

Another thing I do is to try to perceive things more. There are
wonders everywhere if you look at the tiny details - the textures of
marble, the intricate structure of plants, the patterns formed by
autumn leaves or snow blowing in the wind, the scent trails of fellow
humans or the nuances of sound in a coin falling.

> >...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.
> IMHO, roleplaying can offer many valuable vicarious experiences (and
> social/emotional interactions as well). You can bet my characters
> don't spend all their time nerding! There are kidnapped heirs to be
> saved -- castles to be built -- demons to be slain! And it has to be
> done in cooperation with others, and it has to be _done_, not just
> argued about (I've lost characters, and entire parties, to being
> ambushed, poisoned, buried, etc., because there was too much squabbling
> about the next step to take -- remembering this has stood me in good
> stead in real life).

Yes, roleplaying is useful, creative and fun! Actually, transhumanist
ideas are much more acceptable to roleplayers, since they are used to
looking at new (possibly imaginary) ideas and trying to see how they
would work. It may turn out that the roleplayers will in the long run
affect our culture more than we expect.

Yesterday we finished a hard science fiction game. We spent over 6
hours developing a linguistic code with which to communicate with an
alien race, and in the end managed to reach contact and cultural
exchange. My players argued about how to tailor communications to fit
the sensory structure of the aliens, trying to find common ground and
the delicate diplomatic questions of allowing telepresence devices
onboard. It was great fun, and in the end they succeeded in learning
about the alien culture and opening up real human-alien contact (at
the small price of nearly wiping out both species).

Imagine getting people to seriously think about how sensory
experiences shape our language and philosophy, having a lot of fun!
I'm starting to think this could be used in higher education...

> > But I'm profoundly happy too....
> >
> Now *that* is what I like to hear. I think there are too many bright
> (even brilliant) people out there who are angry, bitter, depressed, etc.
> (and who may not realize at a level they can work with that if they
> don't like feeling that way, they can change it).

That was one realization that really changed my life and made me the
one who I am today. Of course, it is one thing to realize it, and
another thing to actually manage to live by it, but it is possible.

> > 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.
> I would add: and recognize what the ratios are, and not denigrate those
> who have chosen different ratios, and acknowledge the value in the
> quadrants that one has decided to devote less personal attention to,
> and not let any of them get *too* close to zero, lest the (dynamic)
> balance be overtipped.

Some good heuristics there.

The ratios may change over time; up until this year I did practically
no physical activity voluntarily and believed that I *was* weak, slow
and clumsy. Now I have stepped up my physical side quite a bit, with
noticeable bodily changes and improvements on almost all
aspects. Self-transformation can be very fun!

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