Re: More Courtney, extrapolations...

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 07:39:02 PDT

> Remember that the ONLY base commodity ... is HUMAN ATTENTION.

Yep. Money isn't scarce. One can always borrow it, or lend it
out, and (for the megalomaniac[0]) command over the entire global
productive capacity is a pretty remote upper limit for personal

On the other hand, what attention one has to spend on things is a
perishable good. Beyond a certain point, it's very difficult to
either trade or invest time, and that puts a limit on liquidity
of direct attention.

> Someday I'll have to get over my lack of desire to build a company
> and just go do it so people will listen.

Why bother? Unless you care to build a company based around your
dives or visits to hot springs, it sounds like a regression. (Even
were you to do so, it sounds like the amount of attention needed to
build a business would conflict horribly with the attention you have
to enjoy the experiences.)

As the mythological mexican fisherman points out, if you already
have leisure, there's not much point in knocking yourself out to
obtain the means with which to acquire it. (see also [2])


William Morris, from "The Lesser Arts of Life":
(more on topic for the start of this thread, but see last phrase)
> For I have said that there are some rejecters of the arts who are
> corrupters of civilisation. Indeed, they do not altogether reject
> them; they will eat them and drink them and wear them, and use them as
> lackeys to eke out their grandeur, and as nets to catch money with,
> but nothing will they learn or care about them. They will push them to
> the utmost as far as the satisfying of their material needs go, they
> will increase the labour infinitely that produces material comfort,
> but they will reach no helping hand to that which makes labour
> tolerable; and they themselves are but a part of the crowd that toils
> without an aim...

[0] By their early thirties, both Octavian[1] and Alexander[2] were
    within small constants of this goal.

[1] Octavian overcame the Roman Republic's traditional love of
    liberty to establish the empire. Comparing the old and new
    designs for the US quarter dollar, it seems the US mint is
    no longer as fond of liberty as it once was :-)

[2] a probably apocryphal exchange has been reported as follows:
    (A., not yet Magnus, visits D. and finds him catching some rays)
    Alexander: Is there anything I can do for you?
    Diogenes: Yes. Stand elsewhere; you're blocking the sun.

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