X-Message-Number: 17908
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: illusory abundance
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 12:41:12 -0800

In Message #17879, Mike Darwin discussed the new diagnostic options 
available to people who can afford it, with the implication that the costs 
of the best healthcare are getting beyond the reach of more and more people.

This ties in with the thought I've had recently that our society is good at 
creating the illusion of "abundance," but not the substance.  The economic 
environment is "abundant" if you value junk food, Britney Spears CD's, "Left 
Behind" novels and similar forms of cultural pollution.

But it's definitely not "abundant" if it lacks the things you NEED, when 
you're thinking rationally about your priorities, like affordable 
healthcare, aggressive programs to conquer aging and death and progress in 
reversible biostasis.

It's also not "abundant" when it comes to maintaining conditions for nonstop 
economic progress so that more and more people can attain financial 
independence efficiently, though the system does seem rigged in favor of 
certain strategically placed people who continue to make money no matter 

These "Supersurvival" needs take priority not only over tangible economic 
hedonism, but also over touchy-feely fantasies about "happiness," 
"self-esteem," "finding one's soul-mate" and so forth.  I think Abraham 
Maslow's postulation of a "hierarchy of needs" is generally on target, 
though I would redefine the two lowest level-needs "Physiological" as 
"financial independence" and "Security" as "freedom from aging, degenerative 
diseases and death; abiolysis; immorbidity."  Once you've secured this base 
of the needs pyramid, all the higher-level needs can then be entertained.

For some interpretations of Maslow's hierarchy ((I'm not necessarily 
vouching for their validity), link to:





Mark Plus

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