The Individual Human is the most important thing

Jim said that physicists who do what he wants [to do] burn out after 10 years or less of nano research, but this is so interesting he wants to do it (he won’t burn out because he’s a chemist, not physicist).

In some ways, I feel like I’m already burned out—on science, anyway. I can’t live by precepts of “faster, better, more.” Not that I want specific goals either, but I don’t see business or science as that important. I simply don’t.

This is my point: I think that the Individual Human is the most important thing, more than Sum of Human Knowledge or Society or Politics. I see contentment and happiness as the highest aim. And while science has led to more knowledge about matter, and technology has made human work easier, neither of them has ever made us happier (possible exception of medicine, but that can be abused too). Knowledge, simple factual data, has never made us happy, never inspired real joy to be alive. I don’t condemn science in itself (although I do actively disagree with some precepts and directions and gods of science), but I simply don’t think it’s as important or valuable as a lot of people think it is.

[7 April 1994, Journal 006, page 261-2]

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