[extropy-chat] limits of computer feeling

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 13:00:18 UTC 2007

On 3/12/07, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not really that different now, is it? People impulsively make all sorts
> of bad decisions. At least with self-modification you will likely choose a
> more salubrious goal. How often have you thought, "gee, I wish I were
> suicidal/ a smack addict/ a serial killer"? Even the basest types generally
> pay lip service to noble supergoals, and if the effort towards achieving
> these supergoals can easily be made more rewarding than doing nothing or
> doing something destructive, why would anyone choose to choose doing nothing
> or doing something destructive? There are no guarantees where free agents
> are concerned, but I feel that in general a world where everyone has chosen
> what sort of person they are will be a more moral and more productive world
> than the present one.

You are an optimist.  I doubt anybody chooses deliberately to be at
the bottom, they end up there by circumstances that are either beyond
their ability to control (or are perceived to be beyond their control)

If radical self-modification is literally as easy as turning a knob,
don't you think marketers will have perfected the tactics for
influencing which direction it gets turned?  "You think Brand X is
good, just wait until you experience ecstatic bliss for Brand Y*
[bliss not guaranteed until you relinquish control of your
BlissControl(tm) to the parent company of Brand Y]

As if meme's were not already potentially dangerous enough mind
viruses, enable actual manipulation of a population's motivational
goal systems.  We are going to need to learn more effective
anti-mind-virus and mind-firewalls techniques to manage this potential

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