mike mlietzow at ucla.edu
Tue May 19 14:25:45 EST 1998

Marc Andelman wrote...
This is in response to your 05/18/98 post that my news server has for some
reason already deleted.
I only had time to skim your post but I hope this covers the gist of it.  My
responses are in no particular order.

1.  Yes, I was being snotty.  My appologies.

2.  No, I do not think technology is worthless.  I AM using a computer,  I
use very advanced instrumentation to answer scientific questions, and I
enjoy a high quality audio sytem in my home.

3.  Yes, I think that people deserve to be rewarded for good ideas and the
sweat and toil required to bring those ideas to fruition.  I believe many
products of technology to be of valid use and beneficial to society.
Unfortunately, many products are quite destructive to society or the
ecosystem.  Ours is a fragile species with many environmetal requirements.
If we continue to take our ecosystem for granted, we will surely suffer the

4.  No, I am not optimistic about the "free enterprise" system. I don't need
to remind you of the nasty "sweat shops" resulting from complete laissez
faire policies.  Our present "use once and throw away" lifestyle is selfish
to the point of being idiotic.  The tools, materials, and incentives that
perpetuate this lifestyle are the product  businesses that stand to make
more profit from it.  Yes, of course the consumers have "the power of the
purse" but the majority are too busy chasing some silver screen idea of
success that is perpetuated in New York and Hollywood.  I have little faith
in their desire to transcend this lifestyle since many are content letting
others think for them and don't realize that they are just perpetuating
their own misery.

5.  No, I don't care about patents for myself.  If I come up with an idea or
product that will improve society or ease someone's suffering, I want it to
be used.  The satisfaction of a positive contribution to society is reward

6.  Yes, I am a hopeless idealist.  Objectively, I know this to be nonsense
since greed is programmed into our evolutionary paths.  Most of the rhetoric
claiming a "non-animal" status for the human species comes from those who
have failed most miserably in transcending their animal instincts to become
enlightened humans.  Because this is reality, I seek solace in nature.  I
prefer to feed my mind with an understanding of our natural world rather
than feeding my ego with trendy trinkets.  This may offend some but that's

7.  Yes, I do want to be an academic for the rest of my life.  The "grubbing
for grants" is your perspective.  I will agree that the current dispersement
of government funds has many serious problems.  Incompetent people are often
funded while some good and creative scientists are not.  This is not a
unique position for academicians.  Plenty of well thought out business
ventures fail while other seemingly silly ventures are quite successful.
Unless you live completely off the land, you're always at the mercy of the
unpredictable nature of society.

8.  Yes, I suppose I am a hippie.  If that means wanting peace for all
peoples and respect for the environment , then I will wear that designation
with honor.


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