[ExI] fermi paradox again, was: addiction

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 19:53:15 UTC 2015

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 6, 2015 Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','anders at aleph.se');>> wrote:
> > You need 100% addiction, not 95% (and in humans, most things that are
>> addictive only for about 5%).
> Yes but none of those humans had complete control of their emotional
> control panel, if they did the results might be a positive feedback loop,
> if so that would mean the end of human advancement. Glueing the happiness
> knob to a 10 would obviously lead to stagnation, and if you rigged it to
> give you a short blast of a 10 only when you discovered something as
> important as General Relativity you'd be happy so rarely you'd eventually
> change the settings. But maybe you could program it to give you almost as
> much pleasure in seeking new knowledge as actually finding it, then
> although a little short of a 10 you'd be very happy all the time and
> maximally happy some of the time.  Maybe then you'd be able to resist
> temptation and not fiddle around with that control panel anymore.

You're ignoring other psychological factors. Some people - very many in
fact - don't use drugs to a harmful degree not because they don't like them
but because they don't want to. They're afraid of addiction, physical
problems, distraction from more productive activities. They resist despite
temptation, and sometimes it's very difficult. But if they could reprogram
their brains it would be much easier. In fact, they could reprogram their
brains to make themselves do something unpleasant which they consider
worthwhile, like hard work or exercise.

Stathis Papaioannou
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