[extropy-chat] Re Fight for Evolution?

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Fri Mar 3 19:10:16 UTC 2006

Pete Bertine pkbertine at hotmail.com :
>I knew you'd get me on the last paragraph.  It was late and I was
>trying to sleep after an exciting www.svn.org meeting.  I concede the
>point to you, I am an obnoxious little prick sometimes and in the end
>a person's worth isn't decided by their knowledge of cell phone
>technology or automotive experience but by how much money they make.

I don't think highly of that measure either.

Most of the world is not as "rich" (which begs a definition) as the
U.S. and so to compare incomes you must factor in living expenses and
incomes. For that reason, The Economist publishes periodically their
Big Mac Index, in order to more easily compare prices between


2006 Big Mac Index

Moreover, you are placing your highest life value on money, which is a
shaky value. We've talked about that too,


 From The Economist article: The Quality of Life Index

"The role of income
The aim is to supplement not supplant real GDP. We find that GDP per
person explains more than 50% of  the inter-country variation in life
satisfaction, and the  estimated relationship is linear. Surveys show
that even  in rich countries people with higher incomes are more
satisfied with life than those with lower incomes. In 24  out of 28
countries surveyed by Eurobarometer, material wellbeing is identified
as the most important criterion  for life satisfaction.

However, over several decades there has been only  a very modest
upward trend in average life-satisfaction  scores in developed
nations, whereas average income has  grown substantially. There is no
evidence for an explanation sometimes proffered for the apparent
paradox of  increasing incomes and stagnant life-satisfaction scores:
the idea that an increase in someone's income causes  envy and reduces
the welfare and satisfaction of others.  In our estimates, the level
of income inequality had no  impact on levels of life satisfaction.
Life satisfaction is  primarily determined by absolute, rather than
relative,  status (related to states of mind and aspirations).

The explanation is that there are factors associated with
modernisation that, in part, offset its positive impact. A concomitant
breakdown of traditional institutions is manifested in the decline of
religiosity and of  trade unions; a marked rise in various social
pathologies  (crime, and drug and alcohol addiction); a decline in
political participation and of trust in public authority;  and the
erosion of the institutions of family and marriage. In personal terms,
this has also been manifested  in increased general uncertainty and an
obsession with  personal risk. These phenomena have accompanied rising
incomes and expanded individual choice (both  of which are highly
valued). However, stable family life  and community are also highly
valued and these have  undergone a severe erosion."

BTW, My income falls way below poverty level by US standards. By your
measure, then, I would be an inferior person. That still sounds obnxious,
and I maintain that you won't sell ideas to people by insulting them.

>So, in a very real sense, I am Transhuman.  I'm certainly heavily
>augmented by science and technology.  300 mg of Depakote, 75 mg of
>Effexor, 40 mg of Geodon, 1mg of Proscar, up to 3 mg of clonazepam
>(usually only 1mg) for anxiety, some wine and a beer every now and
>again... and with the help of my doctor I manage to stay in a steady
>state just below hypomania.  This incredible cocktail has taken an
>enormous amount of *trying* and time.

OK, I'm convinced about your trying. The word 'aptitude' is more often
in colloquial usage for a fitness related to a willingness to try,
rather than a physical fitness. I can understand that math is
difficult for you from a physical fitness sense.

>I have changed the environment of my mind so that I can successfully
>control the environment around me.

Sorry, control is an allusion. There are some things that humans can
do, even more things if they try. But to successfully "control the
environment" is impossible.

>I see around me multitudes who have no idea how the artificial and
>natural environment around them works.  I have no patience for them.
>*They* aren't trying.

Do you *know* "the multitudes" ? Why should anyone have patience for
you, when you have no patience "for the multitudes" ?



Amara Graps, PhD             email: amara at amara.com
Computational Physics        vita:  ftp://ftp.amara.com/pub/resume.txt
Multiplex Answers            URL:   http://www.amara.com/
"Treat people as if they are what they ought to be, and you will help
them become what they are capable of being.   --Ashleigh Brilliant

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list