[extropy-chat] Procrastination

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 10:16:54 UTC 2007

On 4/13/07, Keith Henson wrote:
> In a group this large, you can be sure that *some* of them are
> procrastinators.  I agree that there are people who call themselves
> "transhumanists" who will not sign up for cryonics for one reason or
> another.  I don't take them very seriously and suspect they will be less
> represented in the post human future than those who do sign up, especially
> if they are older than say 50.

I've been meaning to write this for a while, but never quite got round to it.

You would think that if procrastination was such a universal human
evil, denounced by many people in authority, that there would be a lot
of research on this subject. But there isn't much. A few studies have
been completed, usually many years behind schedule.

Some links for further study: (you can check these out tomorrow).
Procrastination Central:

The people giving orders consider procrastination to be very bad
behaviour. In effect Keith is telling you that you have issues of
anxiety, low sense of self-worth and a self-defeating mentality. And
now he is piling a guilt trip on you as well.

But the thing to remember is that procrastination is not always a bad thing.
It may be bad from the POV of the governor, but from *your* POV there
are a million other things you could be doing. It depends on what you
value that decides what you do.
You could do nothing, something less important or something more important.

Deferred gratification is generally regarded as good and an aid to
planning your life. The opposite is instant gratification, leading to
poor impulse control.

EP tells us that if procrastination was bad we wouldn't have evolved
with such a strong tendency to be afflicted by it. For example, if
early humans rushed into battle too quickly, before they were ready,
they would probably have been killed. If procrastination is planned
preparation it is a good thing.

Another benefit of procrastination, which applies to cryonics and any
bleeding-edge technology, is that it will be better in ten years time.

Why set off to Alpha Centauri now? After ten years your spaceship is
likely to be overtaken by newer, faster spaceships.

Why buy the latest computer now? Next years' model will be better.

I'd organise a support group for procrastinators, but I'm a bit busy just now.
Maybe tomorrow.


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