[ExI] fermi paradox again, was: addiction

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Apr 5 17:14:07 UTC 2015


​>>…Long ago psychologists established that if you inserted a stimulator in a lab animal's pleasure centers, (in fact the studies that established the existence of them), the animal would make a response to get the stimulation until it fell over …  BillW


>…Evolution has not had long enough to act on addiction, which is a maladaptive hijacking of a physiological system.-- Stathis Papaioannou



I haven’t looked at that list of possible explanations for the Fermi paradox to see if this is among them, but some massive nearly universal addiction could do it.  


Consider that we know a number of addictive substances, nearly all of them discovered recently in human history.  Is it perfectly conceivable that the very most universally addictive substance is yet to be synthesized.  Then once it is, a very large fraction of the population gets into it before a general alarm is sounded.  Even after that alarm, it is reasonable to envision that plenty of people become addicted to it after they already know it is a one-way street, because everyone they know or care about in this world are already addicted.


We have chemicals that do various things, opiates for instance, well-known addictive substances.  Nearly everyone here will relate to this feeling: being in love.  Nearly everyone everywhere has had an unreasonable and unexplainable crush on another person, where you completely overlook or accept the other person’s faults, you see only beauty in that person.  (Well, ya have, haven’t ya?  I don’t even need to ask; you know who I am talking about.  


I have had that feeling too.  I am one of the fortunate ones, married to that feeling for 31 years.)  You mostly lost interest in other matters; she was your interest.  You close your eyes, but she is still there.  The radiance of her smile outshines the noonday sun (…etc etc etc…)  There are plenty of rock and roll songs about that feeling.


Imagine we discover a chemical which does that: creates that feeling for people in general, a real Love Potion Number 9.  It caused the addicted person to be still functional, not stoned as one on opium but definitely high.  Suppose it causes the addicted one to be kind, generous, good, charitable, optimistic, happy, that spectrum of euphoric emotions one feels when in love.  If such a thing is discovered, that could cause a society and even a technology-enabled species to lose interest in anything but having that potion.  Result: cosmic silence.



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