[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 19:22:56 UTC 2012


On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM, Tara Maya <tara at taramayastales.com> wrote:
> I agree. Less hate would be nice.

But not NO hate. Sometimes hate is useful. I hate Obama's policies,
which gets me off my ass long enough to vote a (hopefully) better guy
in... It provides incentive to activity. It probably has other uses
too.

> But I'm not sure less suffering, as such, is possible.

That's also my argument. Look at what we're doing today... we're
drugging many of our children into oblivion with Ritalin and such
because they can't sit still for government indoctrination disguised
as education. We're spending millions on anti-depressants and other
mental modifiers like caffeine and alcohol. Not to mention illegal as
well as illicit drugs. There is a basic human desire to get away from
suffering as much as possible. Perhaps it is to our detriment. For
example, if you have been unemployed for three years, have run out of
unemployment insurance, and medicare is treating you for depression...
then probably there is something wrong with the system. If you're
unemployed you should be depressed. That emotion is what gets you off
the couch and into the nearest Walmart applying for a job.*

(* I really do love my new found inner curmudgeon. Getting older does
have benefits.)

So, as always, when we look into the future... we find we're already
on the road to it.

> Indeed, I believe that we humans (presently) suffer in ways that other
> animals cannot. We suffer in anticipation of pain, not just from pain itself,
> for instance.

Thank you neo-cortex.

> We suffer from subtle emotions like jealousy, guilt, and heartbreak. Emotional
> pain can be so intense that humans will hurt themselves physically to distract
> themselves from it.

Although most commonly, this is a side effect of a personality disorder... :-)

> If transhumans are capable of even subtler and deeper
> emotions, will they not also be vulnerable to subtler and deeper anguish?

Yes. Absolutely!!! And that will lead to more good art and literature
that we probably wouldn't even understand.

> Or perhaps cognitions that now leave us cold will be even more entwined
> with emotion (rather than less, as many seem to assume). Perhaps a
> transhuman will contemplate an unsolved math problem and weep; and
> upon solving it, feel ecstasy.

People (admittedly, somewhat weird people) have ecstasy upon solving
math problems now. I know I feel joy when I get a particularly nasty
piece of programming to work.

-Kelly


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