Re: Personal goal system was: IA vs. AI

Paul Hughes (
Sun, 08 Aug 1999 12:24:45 -0700

Edwin Evans wrote:
"But egoism is more than this. It is the realization by the individual that he is above all institutions and all formulas; that they exist only so far as he chooses to make them his own by accepting them. " Lets go ahead and ignore how silly that sounds.

Please lets not. I agreed with your post, unless I misunderstood you in some way, except for your dismissal of the above point of view. This is a point I come back to time and again. Here is a quote I'm quite fond of:

"In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true, either is true or
becomes true in one's mind, within limits to be determined by experience and experiment. These limits are beliefs to be further transcended."
- John C. Lilly

Applying this attitude in conjunction with the above quote, it becomes easier to conclude that the Robinson's quote does have merit. Since our experience and experimental data is inherently limited, it is better to _operate_ within a system that accepts no limits until those limits impose themselves anyway. And even then, perhaps those limits are created through your own limited belief system. This has all sorts of practical outcomes, least of which is the realization that most of the time you can achieve states of freedom or extropy that you thought were not possible because of misapplied belief based on your limited understanding of the facts.

For example, there is a lot of evidence that our notion of free will is an illusion. If we decided (a pun) to operate within that belief, then it becomes increasingly likely that we will not 'decide' to do a whole assortment of things, even things that may benefit us a great deal; and in this case deciding not to decide would become a complete cop-out. Therefore, I choose to belief that I do have a free will and I increasingly take responsibility for more of my actions, states of mind, mood and emotional states. Because I believe I can change my brain, I have become increasingly adept and achieving my goals and increasing my overall happiness and freedom. Equations and formula's be damned! :-)

Paul Hughes