Infinite anticipation

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Mon Jan 07 2002 - 12:10:24 MST

Adrian Tymes wrote (6.1.2002/15:48) :
> Jacques Du Pasquier wrote:
> > Adrian Tymes wrote (5.1.2002/21:32) :
> > > Jacques Du Pasquier wrote:
> > > > Anders Sandberg wrote (1.1.2002/21:36) :
> > > > > The excitement of creativity and watching our projects unfold is only
> > > > > matched by the the delicious feeling of anticipation just before
> > > > > springing into action.
> > > >
> > > > If this is true, couldn't one rationnally prefer to remain in this
> > > > delicious anticipation, indefinitely delaying the springing into
> > > > action ?
> > >
> > > Unfortunately, no, for the joy from anticipation only comes because one
> > > believes the action will be soon. If one believes - and espeically if
> > > one causes to be - that the action will be indefinitely (or even
> > > finitely but significantly) delayed, the anticipation is reduced.
> >
> > You can keep ready for springing into action at the next second all
> > the time. (Of course I don't say you SHOULD do that. I just... well,
> > never mind.)
> True. But, if the only reason one doesn't spring is self-imposed
> reluctance,

No, the reason would be to prolong *just a little bit more* :-) the
pleasure of contemplating the possibilities.

> rationality eventually make plain that the action will never
> happen, and the anticipation goes away.

OK, first the belief adapts over time : at noon you believe you'll
start at half past noon, then at half past noon, that you'll start at
one pm, etc. At each point you rejoice at the idea that your are going
to go, and "now" just ranges over time.

Then through some meta thinking you come to see some pattern in this
(hopefully !) and conclude that you are not going to start ever. So
this time you change your mind and you decide to start for good. But
guess what... you look at the snow, and you wait just a little more,
choosing to start in the next minute. Etc. After all, you were decided
"for good" all the way long.

Actually what I described happens on a life level when people keep
dreams/projects that cheer them up and then never act on them. But in
life you reach a point when you think it is too late to realize the
project, or to realize it as fully as you would have by starting
earlier, and then you have the "bad trip" : life is ending and I
haven't done what I wanted to do. Awful. But what if you're in a
situation in which there is no such time limit ? (reminds you of
something ?)

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