bill & ted & tom / glad to be a beta / azeciousity

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From: Dave Long (
Date: Wed Oct 11 2000 - 11:21:22 PDT

|> So you see, its not a schism between self-indulgence and self-denial. One
|> can both party on and be excellent to others, unless they hogging all the
|> beer or something.
|> That would be most bogus, henioulsy so. It wouldl not be exceleent to be
|> weezing on the juiceyjuice whilst someone went dry.

Found another parallel recently, in Tom Jennings' rules for Fido:
        - don't be excessively annoying (be excellent to each other)
        - don't be excessively annoyed (party on)

Generally, though, someone always is hogging much beer. I prefer
to stick with the null hypothesis, and say that this is the outcome
of random processes (anyone care to show why existing distributions
of resources can't be modelled this way?) than to assign credit or
blame, but I understand WofO is largely ignored in this area. Expect
to see a zipflike pattern in juiceyjuice ownership. Weezing may have
more of a normal distribution (too much of a right tail, though), but
that's because (a) everyone gets thirsty, and (b) one doesn't always
feel like shotgunning, even with a full funnel (and kegs to back it).

> Expansion is rooted in the Consumers' Manifesto: Conspicuous consumption is
> its own reward. Is expansion threatened if collective consciousness reverses
> ... and urges us to consume less?

For those of us who are fortunate and live on the fruits of others'
consumption, that might be a worrying thought. Fortunately, the
collective unconscious is stronger than the conscious, and we are
not far from the brave new world. (We've come a long way in only
sixty years -- I suppose it's that last 10% that'll take the other
        I do love flying, I do love having new clothes,
        but old clothes are beastly. We always throw
        away old clothes. Ending is better than mending;
        the more stitches, the less riches. Now -- such
        is progress -- the old men work, the old men
        copulate, the old men have no time, no leisure
        from pleasure (scampering from feely to feely, from
        girl to pneumatic girl, from Electromagnetic Golf
        course...), not a moment to sit down and think --
        or if ever by some unlucky chance such a crevice
        of time should yawn in the solid substance of
        their distractions, there is always soma...

|> Zealots are spurned, always, eventually. Too bad.
|> A nation of people who think like this can only hope to get the leesor of
|> two evils.
|> It would be funny save for the fact my family and I have to live and work
|> with people of this mindset.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with zealots in charge. It's very
important they be listened to, but along with poets and horses, they
should be fed, not over-fed.

Giving money and power to politicians and expecting leadership is
about as rational as giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys and
expecting leadership.

In my more cynical moments, I think the strategy of avoiding the
evil of two lessers has a great deal to recommend it: as long as the
federal government is ineffectual, it gives the population a chance
to actually get the work done. (Note: this cynicism fails miserably
in many areas. Where would segregation be if everyone had been as
cynical back in the day? Or does this concern merely reflect my
pinko-commie liberal bias?)

> Anyway, I'm with you: less tangible quality-of-life issues are VERY important
> - though many of this list have argued that money is access to/guarantor of
> even those issues.

This is an important argument to pursue, at least for each of us to
resolve for ourselves. If one decides "there's no such thing as
infinite money", and fails to think further, it's a bit of a cop-out.

To keep things shorter, I'm going to call "less tangible quality of
life issues" "utility". Now, if money is a guaranteer of those
issues, we should always have a large positive d(utility)/d(money),
and hence if making money is relatively easy, it behooves us to
spend all our time making money to increase utility. On the other
hand, if we discover there are many things for which, at the margin,
d(utility)/d(money) is negligible compared to other inputs, then that
strategy is clearly suboptimal. $Ka-ching!, or /eu zen/?

Of course, on the gripping hand, if one doesn't care enough about
utility to bother thinking it through (life is what happens while
you're making other plans), then all strategies are equally good.


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