[extropy-chat] The Limits of "Property"

Mike Dougherty msd001 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 13:19:49 UTC 2006

  Aside from the mechanics of chemistry in the brain, I believe the purpose
of emotions is to represent a complex cascade of thoughts that we otherwise
are unable to "think" in cost-effective time.  Our hardware may just not be
good enough to stepwise compute:  there is a thing, it appears to fill a
large percentage of the field of view, the percentage of field of view is
increasing, increasing at a high rate, there is a sound, it is getting
louder, this thing is a lion and the sound is growling and now I am lunch.
It is more efficient for a primal fear to cause an immediate reaction -
without "rational" thought.
  Perhaps we have evolved a way to compile a series of thoughts into an
emotion for the purpose of encapsulating and reusing that process more
effectively.  I come to this observation from personal experience.  My
normal 'baseline' self is emotionally stable, with a tendency for
equilibrium to generate stress.  That stress builds until there is
sufficient energy to destabilize the baseline state.  During an emotional
reaction, thoughts are just too slow to do anything more than observe or
record.  After the reaction, I can assess how I feel in the new state of
mind.  I think this is healthy.  Without this process, i doubt there would
be any productive growth at all.

You only feel that way about the Borg because you are on the outside looking
at the drone.  From inside that distributed computing cluster, each
individual consciousness may be experiencing their heart's desire - or have
aligned their concerns with the greater good of the hive mind.  We seem to
have a natural reaction to be repulsed by the Borg archetype, though I
believe it is a matter of perspective.  I think we need to seriously examine
the implications here before we can start uploading ourselves into
computronium cubes.

On 9/13/06, A B <austriaaugust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Yes, that may be true to a limited extent. But IMO, something like
> compassion (or emotions in general) do not lose value simply because they
> are ancient or naturally evolved. I still cherish my emotions even if they
> are an artifact of my imperfect ancestors. Sorry for waxing poetic for a
> moment but... Aren't our evolved emotions the whole source of
> our interest and fascination with life? Aren't they the reason that we
> generally believe that existence is preferable to nonexistence?
> Personally, I'd rather not be a drone in the Borg collective,
> dispassionately collecting data.
> Maybe emotions aren't so worthless after all  ;-)
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