[extropy-chat] What Human Minds Will Eventually Do

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Fri Jun 30 05:58:41 UTC 2006

On 6/30/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com> wrote:
> That's right. Consider boredom, for example. First, recall that it
> is not a "passive" phenomenon, but rather was specifically built-in
> to generate a certain kind of uneasiness in an organism. I think
> that the point of such has been a warning that its ancestors
> through trial and error found that lack of certain kinds of
> stimulation did not lead to sufficient procreation of viable
> offspring.

*nods* Or as I like to put it: fatigue warns you to conserve energy, boredom
warns you to conserve time.

Now just *who* should be deciding things like that about me?
> Me or my goddamn genes?  Vaguely reminds me of the government...

*grin* Well I'm not going to stand in your way!

Well... yes, if there were a /greatest possible happiness/. But
> there isn't. It must be an ongoing research project of how I
> may pass through humanly possible states of greater and greater
> joy, ecstasy, contentment, satisfaction, and pleasure (and every
> other pleasant state we can fabricate, such as Eugen's "<wr54334543>"
> (Extropian post on 6/26).

So you'd program yourself to be maximally happy no matter what you were
doing, and then also program yourself to spend all your time studying
science in order to make sure you would in fact do that even though you were
no happier with it than with staring at a wall? (Not a rhetorical question,
want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly.)

If so, well okay, though I'm not sure I see the point in thus reinventing
the wheel - why not leave things the way they are, and be happy studying
science using the existing emotional mechanisms, which seem quite adequate
for the purpose? Granted there are times when I'd like to be able to flip a
switch and turn off the emotional content of exhaustion and despair, but the
scenario you postulate would seem to be one where the causes of such
negative feelings are generally avoidable?
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