X-Message-Number: 33194
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 11:53:18 -0700
Subject: The arrival of Gunther Stent's "golden age"?
From: MARK PLUS <>

Cryonicists can't take "progress" for granted. Randall Parker
complains about how "Selfish People Take Lower Paying Jobs" for
lifestyle reasons:

Selfish People Take Lower Paying Jobs

Molecular biologist Gunther Stent wrote about this possibility years ago:


> Stent's prognosis for the future was an odd mixture of optimism and pessimism.
He predicted that science, before it ends, might help to solve many of 
civilization's most pressing problems. It would eliminate disease and poverty 
and provide society with cheap, pollution-free energy, perhaps through the 
harnessing of fusion reactions. As we gain more dominion over nature, however, 
we may lose what Neitzsche called our "will to power ; we may become less 
motivated to pursue further research-especially if such research has little 
chance of yielding tangible benefits.

> As society becomes more affluent and comfortable, fewer young people may 
choose the increasingly difficult path of science or even of the arts. Many may 
turn to more hedonistic pursuits, perhaps even abandoning the "real world  for 
fantasies induced by drugs or electronic devices feeding directly into the 
brain. Sooner or later, Stent concluded, progress would "stop dead in its 
tracks,  leaving the world in a largely static condition that he called "the new
Polynesia.  The advent of beatniks and hippies, he surmised, signaled the 
beginning of the end of progress and the dawn of the new Polynesia. He closed 
his book with the sardonic comment that "millennia of doing arts and science 
will finally transform the tragicomedy of life into a happening. 

You have to wonder what Stent would have said about all the time
wasted on social media transmitted through our "electronic devices" in
our mysterious, far-future year 2011.

Mark Plus

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