X-Message-Number: 17944
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2001 21:21:19 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Re: Hierarchy of Needs

Mark Plus says:
>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.

This makes it sound like an either-or proposition, as if pursuing certain 
"irrelevant" topics will unduly divert attention from the more immediate or 
relevant ones. My feeling is that this need not be so, and in fact, what 
one should seek is the right balance of both. Both are actually important. 
What seems irrelevant today is (often, at least) important for the larger 
issues of what we hope to find in the future we so earnestly seek, why life 
is important enough to radically extend, what does it really mean to extend 
"your" life anyway, and so on. A certain amount of attention to these 
topics creates motivation that would otherwise be lacking in the pursuit of 
the more immediate issues such as antiaging and cryopreservation. One 
should not go overboard in focusing too narrowly, either on the immediate 
or the longterm issues, but, as in many other pursuits, seek a happy medium.

Mike Perry

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