Re: Extropians > 40

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Tue, 29 Dec 1998 04:28:01 -0500

I just turned 39, and after some thinking about this age business decided that age is largely irrelevant.
It all depends on what you have been doing all these years. Like, you don't start asking people "how long have you been studying/working?" First, you ask them what they have been doing. So what have you been doing for those years? Having fun? Nursing your ego? Drinking and watching TV or dieting and exercising? Trying to liberate yourself and changing your perception of self and goals in life every few years, or pushing forward the same, increasingly obsolete project?

I have been watching my Russian colleagues who came here, like me (?), searching for freedom and knowledge, but now are, with rarest exceptions, sitting in their suburban homes, gaining weight, and finding solace in some combination of mundane pleasures and religious rituals. They were much closer to my current interests when they were young. On that age scale, I am definitely going backwards. Sure, some biological processes are still going in the same direction - but that biology doesn't determine ones identity.

Unfortunately, it seems quite typical for people to lose curiosity and interests with age, as well as life energy. It's hard to find a person over 40 who can be your partner in both Java project and an exotic dancing performance (not that there are any young people who can do both either :-( ). But then, often the simplistic ego drive that makes people study and implement things, with time turns into a more creative and complex motivational structure. - But these are all typical problems, extropian issues seem to begin where these end.

So what are the issues typical for a maturing extropian? How do you define maturity? Do you get more serious or more playful with years? More independent or more social? More determined or more relaxed? Weaker or stronger?

I'll turn 40 right before the year 2000, so I better collect some advice now to avoid my own Y2K problem...

Alexander Chislenko <> <> <>