sex (was The Extropian Principles)

Eugene Leitl (
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 12:48:03 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 21 Aug 1996 wrote:

> In a message dated 96-08-21 16:06:19 EDT, Eric( i think) wrote:
> <<
> > Sex is just one of those difficult issues: no matter what stance you
> > adopt toward it, you're sure to offend someone.
> >>
> In that case, we should be busy developing new memes rapidly as possible -
> but honestly has anyone here ever gotten offended by discussing sex? I can't
> imagine that is really true. Raise your hand if you find tallking about it
> offensive.

I think the only (and unintended at that) offense you might raise is that
of keeping (potentially embryonic >H) people from discussing more technical
questions. Our mental resources ain't that plentiful to allow us
squandering 'em. I am quite astonished as to the low percentile
transhumanist technology discussion scores in the extropians mailing list.
I know these things are highly nonlinear in time, yet it still unsettles me

> I observe that, like emotions, people will tend to view Sex as noncognitive,
> or "not an issue" with brain developement ( strange because most primates I
> know spend a high perecentage of their brain energy trying to find it or
> thinking about it) - A friend of mine returned from a week long conference on

There is nothing strange about this obsession with sex: all organisms are
evolutionary artefacted. No mate, no copulation, no offspring. The higher
the organization stage, the longer the childhood, the longer the need for
offspring protection. Hence a means to constructively bind two otherwise
highly incooperative organisms to each other is required. (Admittedly, in
some higher primates (bonobos?) sex has become a means of social
organisation at clan scale, but this does not render the main argument

In fact, the hardwired "propagate, propagate, propagate" programme does
often inhibit other functions, in humans mostly ratio. An (otherwise
quite boring) physical act aquires a certain glorious aura, this also
happens to the perception of mate/offspring. Remember the last endorphin
high you rode when enamoured? Peek-a-boo -- ain't that one cute little

> consciousness and cognition and I asked about the topic, what people said
> about sex and what the latest developements were in this arena - I laughed
> as it dawned on us that there was not one lecture or booth or comment on it -
> apparently this function of the brain is to "low brow" to explore! It was

The function itself is certainly ancient. Bacteria fuck (E.coli S+/-),
polypes copulate, insects do it, too. The only thing of interest sex has
to it is the highly selective methods the evolutionary older brain
regions utilizes to manipulate the younger reagions. Neat trick, that.
This topics is interesting indeed, and should not be banned. Importance
of supressed olfactory data (MHC fragments) to mate selection & the
influence of oral contraceptiva upon it. Heard about that one? Neato.

> deleted(or avoided) by the whole contingency. Same with most intellectual
> forums including this list- since i have been on board - til lately. I had
> seen PLEASURE 101 on the mail list and mistaken it for a thread on >H memes
> about sex.. but when i opened the files- it was endless equations about A
> not A! What a surprise! math equating >H pleasure - now *that* is integrity
> to higher functions of mind/brain. haha !

As Anders has once said: why not wiring the reward centre to some other,
constructive tasks? I hope I am not preaching askesis here, but devoting
an unnecessary amount of bandwidth + giving the subject much too much
glamour (highest bandwidth communication? Only as mb/s transfer rate
is involved. The same 4 mbases every time, with negligeable alterations.

> Sarah had some really interesting ( but not too racey) views on >H
> sexuality but then we dropped the thread! But cheers to her for doing it!
> Oh well - guess it's one of those "primate functions " of the body - and we
> will evolve out of it anyway -
> Hmm - I hope not! : (

Replication in a limited environment (solid state mind ecosphere) is
bound to be limited (orelse we have to contemplate upon admitting the
Reaper in again, which imo is a Bad Idea), and, if not de novo would
create a chimaeric structure from several contributors. You can wire your
reward centre to it, but why bothering?

> Nadia
> >>> up and out
> >>>
> >>>