2012-01-30

The Healthy Workaholic's Manifesto

Whereas, global food and water shortages, the dwindling supply of non-renewable resources, and the possibility of a nuclear war all imminently threaten to cause the collapse of society, if not human extinction;

And whereas, the only cause for optimism that such threats are humanly surmountable is the phenomenon of technological acceleration, and the revolutions it is expected to trigger in nanorobotics, biotechnology, cognitive neuroscience, and artificial intelligence;

And whereas, research shows that people who tend to be the most dedicated to their work, to the detriment of our immediate health, also tend to be the most logical, analytical, creative, disciplined, self-confident, optimistic, and future-oriented;

And whereas, such people, if we work in engineering or scientific research, are therefore an indispensable asset in humanity's race against time to solve social, environmental, and economic crises technologically before they destroy us;


And whereas, both scholarly and popular discourse nevertheless derisively call us "workaholics", depict us in fiction only as evil (or at best unsympathetic) Mad Scientists, and label our heroic self-sacrifice -- or, depending on life expectancy, our sensible long-term investment -- as a symptom of a mental illness;

Resolved, therefore, that workaholism is among human nature's few redeeming virtues, and that it is to be encouraged and celebrated in all people who:
  • Work as, or are students training to become, scientists, engineers or professional philanthropists to help develop emerging technologies.
  • Maximize our actual contribution to our field worldwide -- and not just our time spent at work, our reputation among colleagues or managers, or our value to only one particular company's shareholders or one particular government's taxpayers.
  • Are concerned about the scientific and technological achievements of humanity as a whole more than about our own individually, so that we are motivated to cooperate rather than to compete.
  • Commit to resisting the corruptive influence of our power.
  • Accept that our lifestyle reduces our capacity to fulfill social and family commitments, and limit such commitments accordingly.
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