X-Message-Number: 18081
From: "Mark Plus" <>
Subject: Wrong-headed futurology about "progress'
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 13:20:33 -0800

After re-reading Clarke's technological forecasts for the new century, I'm 
reminded of how wrong-headed so much popular futurology seems to me.

Hypersonic air travel, full-immersion virtualities, robotic pets and other 
such science-fictional cliches won't do us any good in the long run if we 
continue to age, deteriorate and die.  And what is the problem that Dean 
Kamen's "Segway" scooter is supposed to solve?  I can't imagine ever needing 
such a gadget.

I could live perfectly content without such things as long as I can make 
progress towards financial independence, which I call my "Survival I" goal; 
and can find ways to stop and reverse the destructive processes in my body, 
which I call my "Survival II" goal.  Getting obsessed with these 
technological side issues seems to conflict with an immortalist's rational 
hierarchy of needs, unless you can find ways to make money with them in 
service of becoming wealthy and attaining superlongevity.

In fact, about the only truly useful sort of new product I've seen lately 
are those garments which can allegedly telemonitor your vital signs and can 
sound a warning or signal for help if something goes wrong.


Mark Plus

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