[ExI] A dispassionate examination of being an upload.

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 00:02:58 UTC 2010

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 2:23 AM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 4:29 AM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2010/9/21 John Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>:
> snip
>> You need not limit your happiness, only your path to happiness. If you
>> enjoy smoking cigarettes but think it's bad for you you could modify
>> yourself so that you no longer desire to smoke cigarettes even though
>> you know you would like it if you did; after all, people manage to do
>> this all the time today without benefit of direct access to their
>> mind. Or, you could modify yourself so that you are disgusted at the
>> thought of cigarettes and associate the cigarette-like pleasure with
>> an activity that you find unpleasant but intrinsically worthwhile,
>> such as exercising.
> Or you could modify yourself so that smoking was not bad for you.  Or
> you could modify yourself to get the internal state from smoking
> without using tobacco.  Where this leads is scary.  Minsky talked
> about the dangers of easy modifications to internal states in Society
> of Mind decades ago.

Even today most people manage to limit pleasurable activities to which
they have easy access because they see excessive indulgence as
undesirable for some reason. This is usually without access to mind
modification, although there are some treatments available that could
be considered a crude form of this. For example, there are drugs such
as buproprion and varenicline for smoking. People take these drugs in
order to modify their desire to smoke. This is a second order desire:
a desire about a desire. If mind modification were easily available we
would have to take into account the higher order desires. You could
turn yourself into the sort of person you ideally want to be, and if
you don't want to be a drug addict or a wirehead, you don't have to

Stathis Papaioannou

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