[ExI] too much of a good thing

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue May 6 20:09:28 UTC 2014

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 6/5/2014 8:25 PM:
In my book:  the hypothalamus has a biological clock which affects the pituitary, which sends messages to the gonads, which turn testosterone on at 7 p.m. and off at 11.  An endocrinologist I asked thought this was entirely possible.
As a neuroscientist, I also believe in it. The SCN (superior chiasmatic nucleus) already modulates the pineal gland and indirectly (largely via hormones) the pituitary; a few extra connections to the posterior pituitary and one could totally have this effect. 

How many millions of men and boys have been killed preceded by "Watch this!"?  How many millions of women have been raped because, basically, of too much testosterone?  How many fights between men have gone too far?  You likely can think of other situations.
One could even attempt to answer this with a number by looking at mortality curves. Besides the infant mortality and old age increase, there is a noticeable "adolescent bump", largely for males. 

We no longer need a high level of need for fat, salt, and, I argue, testosterone.
Testosterone is useful when you want to shift into a risk-taking mode: if the environment is such that risks are low, then it does not matter - and in fact, one might want a bit more cognitive diversity. 

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