Re: Memetics: The 10 Suggestions

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 00:43:57 MST

Anders Sandberg wrote:

> "Ross A. Finlayson" <> writes:
> > If you've never felt pain you wouldn't know what pleasure is.
> > Perhaps this is not quite so, ie, there is a difference between
> > pleasure and ambiguity, but it is along the same lines as yin/yang,
> > perhaps even Jungianism.
> I disagree. Pain is very different from pleasure (one is IMHO a
> somatosensory alerting system, the other a motivation regulation
> system) and not comensurable even if they tend to inhibit each
> other. People with no pain sensitivity are able to be happy. I wonder
> if there are any people lacking *mental* distress? Probably even more
> handicapping than lacking pain sensors, but I don't see any reason why
> they would be unable to feel pleasure (hmm, let's see... a lesion to
> the amygdala, perhaps some to the periaqueductal grey, definitely one
> in the anterior cingulum... any takers? :-)

Well said. It is so that those without pain receptors might be happy on
some scale of emotional well-being. Yet, perhaps those happy people
without pain receptors would not be aware of how good their pain-free state
was compared to one with pain.

I am glad not to experience very much pain, and would not choose to
experience pain, unless it were to have some higher purpose.

So, we might say pain is not necessarily the opposite of pleasure, and that
pain vs. lack of pain are opposites, with House of Pain being a defunct rap
group. So, I would say that to experience pain, pleasure, and a variety of
other emotions, and recognize them as such, and relate them to each other,
it is necssary to have experienced them.

> Am I getting too neuroscientifically narrowminded again? I have a flu,
> so my stupidity-inhibiting subsystems are not performing as well as
> they usually do. :-)

Well, it is certainly so that brain physiology plays a large role in mental
function, although the question of how much of a role ventures into "nature
vs. nurture" development theory.

Ha ha, "stupidity-inhibiting subsytems". Separately, get well soon.

> > Side note: political correctness is political correctness.
> >
> > I appear to have drifted, the subject of this e-mail is about
> > memetics thus memes. Visually, the word "memes" looks like it could
> > be pronounced "mee mees" when it is pronounced "meems." The mass
> > media is its own meme.
> I always think of the word as shouting "Me! Me!". They are small
> self-referential critters, those memes.

I only did as I wrote the above, and a few times before that, yet not
within six months of first ever reading it, and more times since reading it
as written above.

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

I know not too much about pain, never having third degree burns or bearing
children or more fictionally a Gesserit rite. Not knowing much about it
besides having been born, childbirth is a painful experience with often
pleasant outcome, babies.


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