[extropy-chat] Re Fight for Evolution?

Alan Baltis Alan_Baltis at progressive.com
Fri Mar 3 20:50:14 UTC 2006


I saw the smiley face that wasn't there. I thought it was hilarious!

I nonetheless did enjoy the links and reference Amara supplied- I'd seen
the Quality of Life Index before, but not the Big Mac one. Very interesting
to see what real value income or wealth have in different parts of the
world. I have several friends that have investigated retiring or emigrating
to non-USA locations because "their money will last longer," but their
evidence seemed largely anecdotal or focused on a single country (e.g.
Costa Rica) rather than surveying the globe.

- Al

Another Pithy Nugget O' Wisdom from Al's Quote-A-Matic:

"The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths
imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. He is not
actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and
intolerably lonely. Liberty is not a thing for the great masses of men. It
is the exclusive possession of a small and disreputable minority, like
knowledge, courage and honor. It takes a special sort of man to understand
and enjoy liberty--- and he is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.
It is, indeed, only the exceptional man who can even stand it. The average
man doesn't want to be free. He simply wants to be safe . . . . What the
average man wants in this world is the simplest and most ignominious sort
of peace--- the peace of a trusty in a humane penitentiary, of a hog in a
comfortable sty."

- H.L. Mencken

             "Pete Bertine"                                                
             <pkbertine at hotmai                                             
             l.com>                                                     To 
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                                       Re: [extropy-chat] Re Fight for     
             03/03/2006 02:31          Evolution?                          
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Hold on!  Hold !  On !  I hate smiley faces but there was a big tongue in
cheek smiley face.  I'm sorry it fell flat.  A person's worth is based upon
the effort they put into bettering themselves and those around them.  It is
in no way based upon money.  Sorry. My bad joke.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Amara Graps
> Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 2:10 PM
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: [extropy-chat] Re Fight for Evolution?
> 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
> countries.
> http://www.economist.com/markets/Bigmac/index.cfm
> 2006 Big Mac Index
> http://www.economist.com/markets/bigmac/displayStory.cfm?story_id=5389856
> Moreover, you are placing your highest life value on money, which is a
> shaky value. We've talked about that too,
> http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/2006-February/025028.html
>  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
> --
> ***********************************************************************
> 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
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