Re: Antidepressants: Happiness is only a drug?

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 05:13:44 MST writes:

> People seem happier with the ability and capability of choice. Though, for
> many, overchoice is a problem.

I think this is partially an attribution problem - many think that
choice = anxiety, which doesn't really have to hold (give Sartre some
prozac :-). It is also a problem of limited mental resources: if I
have a million possible choices, I cannot evaluate them all or even
run through the hundred most likely to be good. In such a situation we
have to rely more on heuristics and what others tell us.

> Can machines be happy? Can we build digital
> analogs of neurons, the hypocampus, the hippopotamus, whatever; to determine
> if happiness is a mammalian kind of thing?

We'll see. I am thinking of directing my research more towards the
neuroscience of emotion and motivation, doing some modeling work of
just the limbic system. But I am not sure how much people will believe
that the little agent running around on my screen is happy or not
given a diagram of which neurons get activated. A smiling face would
convince a lot better, but could lie much more.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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