Re: Abuse of future neuroscience applied technologies

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 13:34:50 MDT

From: <>
> The original point of what I was trying to say is that somebody needs to
consider what's going to happen and try to take preventative measures to
prevent or at least hinder the abuse of "btl" or whatever negative effects
neuroscience technologies would have.>>

Don't know if you've noticed it or not, but "btl" doesn't make sense, because
if something is "better than life" then there's no reason not to go with it,
and if there's reason *not* to go with it, then it's not "better than life."

> I am not trying to equate all neuroscience technology with drug use. I
believe alot of it would be very positive. There are many occasions when I
wish I had a math processor integrated into my brain, for example. It'd be
much nicer than having to do extended and time-consuming mental math or
punching in things on a calculator. >>

That depends on if it would make you a highly-paid math whiz who loves the job
you do, or a high-priced bio-computer that employers treat as a piece of
office equipment.

> I really don't buy the idea that Social support nets create the very
problems that try to stop. Those problems were already there, it's just that
nobody was paying attention to them, they were ignored or brushed under the
carpet. Yes, it's true that everybody and thier dog will jump on somethig
like that, to make money off it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's
something that needs to be dealt with. We live in a commerical culture,
everythign has become commercialized, even science. >>

Right, that's why (private) commercial drug-rehabilitation facilities do well
in the US. And that's also why we don't need yet another layer of bueaucrat
ineptitude fouling things up. IMO, too much government is precisely what
drives many people to drugs and alcohol to begin with. Note that.

> I think that trying to apply Darwinian logic to things *other* than
biological evolution is a dangerous thing. Apply it to social and cultural
themes, and you get results like Hitler, for example. Apply it to ideas, like
you've done, and some people will buy into the notion that because an idea is
popular, and stays that way longer, that it's a better idea. This isn't the
case at all, it just means that it's a thought that requires little effort and
appeals to a majority of people. >>

I think that the application of Darwinian logic to evolvable machines is
entirely appropriate (in fact, indispensable) and even more so when it comes
to understanding (and creating) non-biological complex adaptive systems.
Evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics are two very productive fields
of science. Using Hitler to vilify a branch of science is precisely the kind
of technique that "requires little effort and appeals to a majority of

So, what do you think about memetics?


--J. R.

Useless hypotheses:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

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