Random tampering by prescription, was Re: Fast-acting 5-HTP supplementation for accute despair

From: Michael M. Butler (butler@comp-lib.org)
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 14:59:58 MDT

OK, now you appear to have conflated "random tampering" with your
(presumably prescribed) Prozac use. And this is meaningful:

Eliezer, at this stage, getting results from any psychopharmaceutical is
a bit like doing brain surgery while wearing boxing gloves. That far, I
agree with you.

But I know people, for example, who might trade three putative IQ points
for an alternative to sleeping 18 hours a day. Some of those people are
stuck in loops of self-criticism, not exactly the highest thing there

Apology: I was misinterpreting you to be meaning neurotransmitter
systems in general. There are a lot of them in there, and many "SSRIs,"
so-called, affect them, too.

Besides, arsenic is good for the complexion.

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> "Michael M. Butler" wrote:
> >
> > So, I really want to understand this...
> >
> > You appear to be saying: tampering with the serotenergic system(s) is
> > not OK, but sticking with the dice that were/are rolled by your genes,
> > your perinatal circumstances, your diet... this is somehow guaranteed to
> > be Extropic.
> >
> > Am I reading this correctly? It sounds really odd to me.
> Random tampering is hardly "guaranteed to be extropic" either. I don't
> exactly spend all day worrying about whether I'm being sufficiently
> "extropic", but I should rather say the spirit of Extropy is
> *improvement*, not mere *change*. "Immortality is Extropic, so drinking
> ancient Chinese arsenic-based immortality potions must also be
> Extropic." Non sequitur.
> Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, meaning that
> serotonin released by serotonergic axons hangs around the synapses
> longer. This may produce a stronger on/off qualitative signal, but it
> seems likely to me to blur the transmissions of any information-carrying
> synapses. Since serotonin is implicated in self-evaluation
> ("self-esteem"), and this is thought to be the therapeutic pathway of
> SSRIs, it seems that the likely result would be walking around in a
> pleasant fog of lowered self-awareness. This corresponds fairly well to
> my own experience, except for the "pleasant" part.
> --
> sentience@pobox.com Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
> http://singinst.org/beyond.html

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