TSD: Emotion vs. Intellect [was: wee-little question ...]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 06:23:26 MDT

TSD: "The Significant Debate"....
("Significant" because your survival may depend upon it....)

On Thu, 27 Apr 2000, Spike Jones wrote:

> Spudboy100@aol.com wrote:
> > Well, if Roboto minds are developable in a massively, intelligent and
> > super-capable sense over the eons, does that preclude emotion?
> I sure hope not. Emotions are fun. Even the negative ones, I wouldnt
> want to give up, but I dont think we would need to. Humans have
> greater intelligence than bugs, and also more emotion.

I believe most neuroanatomists would contend that emotions are a product
of the "reptilian" brain. They are a result of having to transfer
hard-wired drives from hardware into software. As situations involving
survival, mating, collaborative behaviors, etc. become increasingly
complex, the hardwired answers no longer work. You have to transfer
the motivations and behaviors into adaptations that can vary over
a lifetime. For example, I have heard it said that both birds
and humans become better parents as they accumulate experience
with emotional tradeoffs in "child"-rearing. [These would range
from such things as when to toss an offspring out of the nest to
balancing rewards vs. punishments in humans.]

> By extrapolation, superhuman intelligence begets superhuman emotion.

Spike, I have to disagree with this. Intelligence and emotion
are two entirely different realms. I would say that the more
intelligent you are, the more capable you may be of managing
or balancing "conflicting" emotions. For example, emotions may
be very short-term reward based. It takes intelligence to translate
that into a long term risk-benefit tradeoff analysis.

> Those of you who have been madly in love will find this easy to
> understand: wouldnt it be cool to take *that* emotion and pump
> it up several orders of magnitude? {8-] spike

I believe there was a comment in Egan's "Distress" (unfortunately
my copy is in Moscow) related to this. It had to do with an a-sex
individual explaining to a "male" who was attracted to "ver", how
silly it is to be controlled by the release of a bunch of neurotransmitters
driven by ancient reproductive needs. Several months ago Damien
and I had a brief crossing of swords regarding the difficulties
we will face by individuals who can "dial" their emotional
sensitivities. It becomes far, far worse than that since
the "selecting" of a "sociopath" emotiostate becomes "easy" if
one views it to your "self-interest". The libertarian/Randian
self-interest perspective is going to have to have to wrestle head-on
with the Burchain supra-morality perspective if we are to have *any*
hope of long term survival because once the historical programming
becomes "editable", all bets are off. The Hansonian argument of
the mostest to the firstest argues that it is going to be very messy.

Regarding being "in love" -- there is a fairly strong argument from
a genetic diversity standpoint explaining why you are "in love" for
a number of years (long enough to raise children to a probable survival
maturity) followed by partner switching to increase the number of combinations
of "selfish genes". So by "pumping up" the emotion, do you want to
increase the rate of partner switching? Or do you want to simply
increase the "self-delusion" that you have never before been "happier"
realizing that with the increased intelligence goes the increased
awareness that "happiness" is an entirely biochemical state?

"Get ready for me love coz I'm a comin'
 I'm simply gotta march, my heart's a drummin'
 Don't bring around the cloud
 To rain on my parade"....

Ref: http://www.jennifer-too.com/tides/songparade.html

I think that some of Eliezer's work on how to define motivational
agendas and goal oriented selection vs. simple "emotions" may provide
a path out of this pit. But Spike's comments (no offense Spike!)
provide an example of exactly how difficult it will be for people
to consider how to self-evolve themselves to a level undictated
by millions of years of evolution of selfish genes.

We will face a question in the future if the "survival instincts"
of the cur-humans bear consideration or preservation in the light
of the consiously constructed and directed instincts of the neo-humans,
particularly in view of the probability that the archeo-instincts could
motivate or drive one to destructive (i.e. un-extropic) behaviors.


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