[ExI] An old skeleton tumbles out of the list closet

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Nov 13 00:47:13 UTC 2012

On 12/11/2012 23:57, Charlie Stross wrote:
> Perhaps what we're looking for is something like Stoicism, but updated to take account of what we now know of cognitive psychology?

I'm more of an Epicurean, myself. Stoics might have got the psychology 
part roughly right (it is interesting to compare it to findings in 
happiness studies), but they did not seem to have that much fun. I think 
we can have a far more hedonistic tranquillity.

The problem with Stoicism and Epicureanism is that they still don't bind 
together people much. Sure, they are not against human fellowship, but 
it is not the main focus.

Maybe the solution is just to tweak the social distance system with 
neurotech and artificially enlarge the empathic circle of concern to 
cover most of humanity. Some interesting free rider issues, but I 
suspect the reciprocal altruism network effects could outweigh those - 
and there are few things scarier than billions of caring people. Which 
of course shows the problem with this approach.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Faculty of Philosophy
Oxford University

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