Re: Hedonism

Ira Brodsky (
Sat, 5 Oct 1996 18:18:03 -0600

E. Shaun Russell wrote:

>No offense
>intended, Ira, but would you truly like to be intellect and nothing else?
>You most certainly would not be alive. Conciousness is another matter. I
>seriously can't grok the concept that an extropian would want to forfeit
>their life for eternal existance --such a huge line between existance and
>life. I can understand that being pure intellect is "better than nothing",
>but personally (and I believe I am speaking for most extropian types) I
>would rather be more than that. If I could copy my conciousness as well as
>my intellect, that would be almost ideal. I rather like being able to
>access my information, as opposed to just having it there...stranded. Like
>a person with short-term amnesia: has the memory, just can't access it. I
>don't anything hedonistic about that, just optimistic objectivism.

Don't worry, I don't take offense that easily.

OK, in my original post I was playing agent provocateur. (I hope that's
permitted here -- I didn't see anything in the FAQ that prohibits it.)

So I agree, I would want to have both intellectual and physical existence.
But I'm still not at all convinced I would want to simulate or mimic animal

While evolution may have required pleasure as a response to sustenance and
sex, I would think transhumanists would want to link pleasure to learning
and creating.

Another (related) small project I'm working on is the meaning of life. <g>
Until we can prove the universe is going to reach a steady-state and is
eternal, it seems to me we should assume that it is dying. Therefore, the
purpose of life is to acquire the knowledge and means to prevent it from
happening. This is one of the things that attracted me to extropianism --
most people do not seem sufficiently anxious about this, because they do
not believe immortality is possible. The ultimate tragedy would be if
intelligent life fell just one hour short of conquering nature...

Ira Brodsky
Datacomm Research Company
Wilmette, Illinois