Monday, June 28, 2004

I found the article somewhat offending, although I liked it.

See, the guy distinguishes himself repeatedly from the "rest of society", and then congratulates himself for it. I'm sure that his sense of adventure is something to be proud of, but it's not fair to
compare people who don't have a sense of adventure to his dog. I mean, the dog part is really, really insulting. There's people out there who find a bunch of positive characteristics in themselves, and then judge everyone who doesn't have those characteristics as somehow inferior.

There's nothing wrong with wanting security. In fact, given some of the statements in his article, it's even natural for most humans to seek security. He admits, at one point, that America is "growing" more protective. Well isn't that a natural process then? I'm sure I could prove this a number of ways.

One thing I heard recently was that people who don't have a lot of property--say, students, or third-world citizens--are more likely to be willing to share. In other words, if you speak politically, people with little property tend to lean to the left. As a contrast, people who have accumulated a lot of property tend to want to protect it. And thus, politically, they lean to the right.

This may be just a bit of sensational overstatement, but I maintain that I can't find immediate fault with somebody who wants to protect their property. I think wanting to protect one's property must be somehow instinctive, no?

On the other hand, if you are able to fight your instinct to greedily hoard all your wealth and keep it out of the hands of the needy, if you are able to overcome that natural instinct, then I think you are on your way to being quite a good person.

But there's a difference between lacking the instinct for security, and overcoming the instinct for security. I think that although the second position is more commendable, it is unreasonable to demand people to take it.

Finally, if I may permit myself to step out another degree from my argument, I believe in a broader principle: that, in each category of personality you can imagine, we can divide the world into two types of people. In this particular case, there are the secure, and there are the adventurous, the world needs both, and the world needs more of the former than of the latter.

And here I conclude. But I have one more by the way for you: I agree that Europe is less adventurous than America. I see that every day. But I don't agree that we can link that back to men crossing oceans in rickety ships and deserts in covered wagons. I see plenty of Europeans here who have the entrepreneurial spirit that would be much better nurtured in America, and I have met many Americans who would feel much more comfortable in the security of Europe. Nothing to do with the land: it's just one random switch on some gene that exists in everyone.