X-Message-Number: 18092
From: "john grigg" <>
Subject: Re: Wrong-headed futurology about "progress'
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 06:27:08 

Mark Plus wrote:
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 have loved reading Arthur C. Clarke's various forecasts over the years.  
"Profiles of the Future" is one of my favorite books!  But, I agree all 
these neat devices are not quite as cool as indefinite lifespan.  It will 
make for fun gizmos to play with as we are on our deathbeds awaiting the 
arrival of the grim reaper(not wearing a black cloak, but instead an Alcor 
suspension get-up!).

Mark, when do people really NEED anything(like a Segway scooter)??  I admit 
to being enthralled with Kamen's brainchild.  I just think a bicycle in many 
ways eclipses it! lol  And the pricetag at three grand is way too high for 
the very people who might need it most.  We will see the initial consumer 
models as toys for yuppies to put under the Christmas tree. lol

you continue:
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.

The way you break down your immortalist goals reminds me of Rick Potvin's 
system.  Have you read his ideas on this?  I agree people can get 
sidetracked with the "flashy" side of science and technology which is very 
cool, but is not always crucial to improving both quality and quantity of 
biological life.  And remember Mark, should you become exremely wealthy do 
not forget cryonics! lol  Alcor would just love a ten million dollar 
donation from you. :)

you continue:
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.

This product really impressed me too!  I look forward to hearing about the 
first signed up cryonicist who puts one on to wear at all times.  I've read 
there is also a "wristwatch" type design which does basically the same 
thing.  When we have nanobots monitoring our flesh and doing any necessary 
repairs, we will really have it made.  But, even they will need the ability 
to send an SOS should things go beyond what they can handle.

best wishes,


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