Re: A world without Pain

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 01:33:08 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker (I believe) wrote:
> In a world where everyone is a trillionaire, the guy with ten trillion
> still gets the girl, the better spaceship, the asteroid in the better
> neighborhood, more friends, and more opportunities.

Silly Lee, tricks are for kids. In a world where individuals are
trillionaires, guys&girls, design and manufacture better girls&guys
who satisfy their every whim and craving. The whole "competition"
thing for mates becomes irrelevant. On the other hand mergers &
acquisitions of partners likely to create synergistic offspring
becomes an important factor.

> The very concept of "enough" is ridiculous, with no place in Extropian
> thought. It is at odds with conservation of mass-energy and the desire
> to expand.

Horse puckies. The concept of "enough" always has validity because the
required investment at the margin yields diminishing returns. As I've
said with regard to computing & interstellar colonization, it becomes
questionable whether "neverending" expansion has any merit because you
may be doomed to only "matching" that which has already been achieved.
In that situation, computation and longevity at the limits imposed by
physical laws (& the longevity of the universe), *is* "enough". At
that point it becomes "rationally" extropian to expand (grow) only
in different (non-physical) realms.

Perhaps John Grigg wrote:
> Keeping up with the Jones' could really get rediculous!
Precisely, you might match them, but you can never exceed them
(without creating a superior universe tuned for your optimization).

> I recently saw a show on PBS where a researcher who focuses on baboon
> social life said that these animals suffer from heart disease and other
> ailments due to the terrible emotional pressures they experience living
> in their troops. There is not much physical violence but the mere threat
> of attack and further loss of social standing eats away at them
> constantly(especially the animals with the lesser social standing).

But of course, this is all programmed in at a low level of brain wiring
that can be edited by trans-persons.

> This reminds me of the Hedonics Imperative website of Donald Pierce
> (a favorite of mine). I would love to live in the world you describe.
> I am personally very tired of my own emotional suffering over failed
> romantic relationships and failure to reach certain goals in my life.
> The negative thoughts and pain stay with me and is very debilitating.
> They strike at me like a red hot needle to the head.

Aha, but imagine a situation in which you sat down with a person and
for hours on hours recounted stories of successful relationships,
business activities, interesting inventions, etc., etc., where you
are literally "The Golden Child". The question is what drives you
to get out of bed in the morning to go off to yet another day of
success and godliness?

> I realize you are not advocating people becoming "lotus eaters" but
> instead having an extremely resilient emotional makeup so they can
> move on, be happy and achieve their goals.
The emotional makeup is *irrelevant*. What is relevant is is
intellectual seniority (aka enlightenment) vis-a-vis the presence
of emotions. Fundamentally it is the difference between you having
emotions and emotions having you.

> Eliezer, again I must say I look forward to living in that world.
> I have a feeling that adversity and pain may not be as easy to escape
> as you think though.

Suffering and to a lesser degree pain, are to a large degree under self
control (ask anyone who has lived through being tortured and declined
to "give up the goods"). Adversity, even that generated by others,
can be viewed as a disincentive, the way of the world or a learning
opportunity (again at the viewer's choice).

> I'm experiencing some serious pain right now! Missing the Alcor Life
> Extension Conference makes me feel sick to the core. I only have half
> the money I needed to attend saved up. It would have cost me one grand
> and I have half that in the bank. I try to tell myself there will be
> other conferences but I feel sick about it still. The transcripts/videos
> of these conferences never seem to be made available to the public either.

Really, John, that seems silly. There have to be millions of opportunities
for various things that you miss each day and it hardly seems healthy
to worry about that. The Alcor conference is a nice opportunity to
schmooze with people who have your perspective (and is therefore
emotionally useful), but you would gain more real insight by spending
an equivalant amount of time reading related journal articles.
Perhaps from the perspective of someone who has not had the
opportunities to attend such forums, it seems like a great loss.
>From the perspective of someone who has attended 50 or more
similar conferences in the last 10 years, I can say they do
get old. (For various reasons, primarily related to time
constraints I will not be at the Alcor conference.)

Fundamentally, one has to separate the desirable stuff from the
essential stuff. With regard to cryonics, that comes down to the
simple fact of whether or not you are signed up for suspension.


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