[ExI] The Old Dope Peddler

udend05 at aol.com udend05 at aol.com
Wed Jun 23 19:43:41 UTC 2010

Hmmm. Lest anyone should think I am an advocate of such a technology, I want to reiterate here that I am only interested in the potential desirability of replacing talking therapies with some from of advanced technology that could wipe away a person's problems (cognitive, emotional, psychological) and make them more effective in terms of their aspirations and their ability to lead successful lives (however they may be defined). I see it as a branch of the abolitionist project - which is also something I am not entirely decided upon.

But I am certainly not advocating for 'dope' as a way of making people happy. Indeed, I'm not really talking about making people happy at all - not in the sense of 'Hey, I'm so high I couldn't give a flying...'. What I am suggesting is a process that could reverse-engineer, for instance, a person's life in order to understand where lines of thought were tainted with irrational (to use the language of Albert Ellis, the pioneer of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) elements. Such a technology might enable a person to access buried memories, repressed feelings, forgotten relationships or experiences. Think mind uploading and then reviewing the data, to give a very basic example.

To liken these ideas to the use of crude neuropharmaceuticals or psychostimulants is an irrelevance at best. The crux of my issue is whether there is some inherent value in working through a set of problems within a therapeutic setting, or whether that struggle for understanding is an unecessary by-product of the procedure. That needs a great deal of working out.

Damian U.

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
Sent: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:11
Subject: [ExI] The Old Dope Peddler

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 7:36 PM,  udend05 at aol.com wrote:


> My background is in philosophy and I am currently working towards being a 
professional counsellor with a view to doing postgrad' research into the link 
between the talking therapies and emerging technologies - I am particularly 
interested in the question of whether it would be desirable to do the work of 
counselling/psychotherapy with a pill. In other words, if you could swallow a 
pill (where pill=some form of as yet undreamed-of but technologically-based 
therapy) and have all your problems disappear,


Old technology.

When the shades of night are falling,
Comes a fellow ev'ryone knows,
It's the old dope peddler,
Spreading joy wherever he goes.
Ev'ry evening you will find him,
Around our neighborhood.
It's the old dope peddler
Doing well by doing good.

He gives the kids free samples,
Because he knows full well
That today's young innocent faces
Will be tomorrow's clientele.
Here's a cure for all your troubles,
Here's an end to all distress.
It's the old dope peddler
With his powdered ha-happiness.


Keith  :-)

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