X-Message-Number: 17928
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: John Adams on the hierarchy of needs
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 07:21:21 -0800

Recently I read David McCullough's biography of John Adams, founding father 
and second president of the U.S.

I was struck by something Adams wrote in one of his letters which indicates 
that he intuited a kind of cross-generational hierarchy of needs:

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study 
mathematics and philosophy.  My sons ought to study mathematics and 
philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, 
commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study 
paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

We should keep this in mind as the temporal window is rapidly closing on us 
all.  We must "study," which in its 18th Century meaning also imcluded the 
idea of "practice," wealth-building, anti-aging, reversible biostasis, etc., 
NOW, so that we'll have the temporal freedom to study cosmic dust, building 
"friendly AI's," conspiracy theories, how to behave in simulations and other 
currently IRRELEVANT obsessions I've noticed among some people who should 
know better.


Mark Plus

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