[ExI] taxonomy for fermi paradox fans:

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 03:34:10 UTC 2015

On Mon, Feb 2, 2015  Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> >You could always turn the knob that makes you seek out hard work and good
> deeds and makes you avoid the mindless happiness knob.

Hard work by itself could be as useless as the happiness knob, you could
end up digging holes and then immediately filling them up again. Your hard
work needs to be part of achieving something important, but achieving
important things is rare and so your related pleasure reward would be rare
too, no match for just turning the old happiness knob.

> and good deeds

It's the same problem. Curing cancer would be a good deed but its hard and
doing something that great is rare. On the other hand performing bad deeds
is easy and common, and I hate to think where that might lead.

But maybe there is a way out.It's a cliche to say you should know yourself
but that could be the fundamental problem, if you don't understand yourself
really well you won't have access to your emotional control panel. So maybe
in a population of Asteroid Brains I would try to understand you so well
enough that I could upgrade you and make you smarter, and you would try to
understand me so well that you could upgrade me and make me smarter. That
way neither of us understands ourselves well enough to gain access to our
own emotional control panel and gets caught in a positive feedback loop.

> > Having said that, however, I can think of worse things that eternal
> bliss.

Well yeah, it beats getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

 John K Clark
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