DownsizeDC.org
July 2, 2005
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Perry Willis
Life! On July 4th, 1776 the Declaration of American Independence was officially proclaimed. And in that document the inalienable rights of all human beings to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were asserted. The first of those rights, life, is the absence of death, and nothing has done more to push back the scourge of death than scientists working in a state of freedom. Antibiotics were not invented by government, but by private scientists working in private laboratories with private funding. The same is true of the first vaccines, as well as the most famous ones, like the polio vaccine. It has been observed that if government had led the fight against polio we would today be blessed with the world's best and most expensive . . . Iron lungs! But instead, freedom gave us a solution for polio that has virtually eradicated that horrible, crippling disease. But even this great achievement will be as nothing compared to what free people seem likely to offer us in the near future. Private scientists and private funding are seeking the ultimate blessing to life in the form of the ultimate earthly counter to death – the restoration of youth and the indefinite postponement of dying from old age. And the key to this exciting development may be something called “The M Prize.” If you do not know about the “M Prize,” then you should. The “M” stands for Methuselah Mouse. The M Prize will be given to the research team that develops the longest living mouse. You can learn more about “The M Prize,” as well as how to support it, at www.mprize.org. Does this idea conjure images of extremely aged, decrepit mice, rolling around in wheel chairs with oxygen bottles, or creeping along with mouse sized walkers? Well, that's not the idea at all. The ultimate aim of the “M Prize” is to facilitate research that not only prolongs life, but restores youth! Is this really possible? Is it really a good idea? We believe the answer is yes, and many of the best arguments to support this answer can be found here: http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/just7.htm Liberty! Could there be any greater feeling of liberty than “to slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the sky?” Human freedom has made this ancient dream a reality, and promises even more in the near future. While the government funded effort to build a flying machine was crashing its “good enough for government work” contraptions into the Potomac river, the Wright Brothers, working alone, with only their own resources, and no taxpayer funding, solved key technical problems and fulfilled humankind's ages-old dream of flight. They did what the government could not. Recently, other private entrepreneurs working without taxpayer funding, did the same thing for the dream of space flight for private citizens. As with the “M Prize,” these visionaries were also partly motivated by the opportunity to win a privately funded reward. But as with the great deeds of so many in the past, these innovators were even more motivated by their sense of possibility. A dream they were thankfully free to make reality. And Space Ship One roared into space, and returned safely to the Earth. We would be remiss not to note that government has a success of its own to boast in this area. The taxpayer funded landings on the moon were a truly great achievement. But they were also costly, and perhaps premature. We went there, yes, but we didn't stay there, and we haven't been back in 30 years. Would a private effort take the same approach? We think not. The truly visionary and beneficial approach would be to go there, and stay there, and expand outward. And this is an innovation that freedom will soon make possible without spending a single involuntary penny. While the government is busy spending billions to fly an unsafe Space Shuttle to an almost useless space station, private visionaries are working to give us both space, and the planets – at a price everyone will be able to afford. They are planning to build an elevator to space. Does this sound crazy? Does it sound like something only government could fund? Well it isn't. Check it out here: http://www.liftport.com/faq.php And the Pursuit of Happiness! The “More-with-less Revolution” promises to solve many long standing human problems. And there are few problems older or more intractable than the persistent spread of the middle-aged gut and the tenacious sagging of elderly muscles. Would it make you “happy” to have a rock hard body with the investment of very little time or exercise? We suggest you consult government recommendations for nutrition and physical fitness. Just kidding. There's actually a private solution that really works. And it also provides evidence that the “more-with-less revolution” also produces miracles in small ways as well as large. You can pursue the happiness of more physical fitness with less exercise at this site: http://www.precisiontraining.com/ebook.cfm?source=LPM-BLZ This site sells an inexpensive e-book, and we haven’t arranged to get a piece of the action, but we think the ideas presented at this site are so valuable that we highly recommend it.
Filed under Quality of Life
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