Re: Emotion Selection

Anders Sandberg (
12 Jul 1999 16:38:44 +0200

KPJ <> writes:

> FEAR is the little mind-killer.
> I prefer to have FEAR under rational control.
> ``Improved'' FEAR (FEAR-2) would then not be identical to the FEAR version.

Not in the sense of behaving in the same way, but from a functionalist point of view I don't see if it will become qualitatively different when experienced. You would still feel fear, it would just be a more manageable emotion.

> BTW, who has shown that the Kluver-Bucy syndrome exists in humans?

ARGH! I of course meant the Urbach-Wiethe Disease! I have been mis-thinking the name for several days. The disease does not produce the full Kluver-Bucy syndrome, just a very weak fear response.

> Naturally, if one removed this override function, one would also want to
> increase one's processing speed to handle any emergency situations which
> required _immediate_ response.

I think this is the important part, but the problem is designing it so that attention doesn't jump and stick to the obvious danger, making it impossible to deal with the real danger. A bit like user interfaces where a problem causes pop-up warnings making fixing the problem impossible.

> [Anders:]
> |I think it is important to make a distinction between the desire for
> |having something good that somebody else possess and the desire to
> |remove the thing from his possession. The first state can be
> |stimulating to achieve more ("KPJ has a wearable! Great idea! I must
> |get one too!"), but in zero-sum situations it easily leads to the
> |second, destructive state. So we better refine envy and make sure the
> |world is positive-sum.
> |
> |(Hmm, what are the proper english words for these two states? In
> |Swedish it is likely "avund" and "missunsamhet" - trust the Swedes to
> |have subtle nuances for envy :-)
> I believe your concept division lacks support in common usage.

Common usage tends to identify the two divisions, which is bad because then all forms of this emotion are lumped together as bad, and the alternative is to be non-envious which usually is meant to mean "doesn't want anything anybody else has" - a perfect altruist subject for robbers and kings.

> E.g. in the list of "seven death sins"
> English: pride, envy, wrath, sloth, lust, greed, and gluttony.
> ^^^^
> Swedish: högmod, avund, vrede, lättja, vällust, girighet och frosseri.

We are giving the list a micro-course in Swedish, containing all the important words :-)

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