Emotions, Sex & Survey [was you upverted generate!/Normal vs. Weird]

From: Robert J. Bradbury (bradbury@aeiveos.com)
Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 17:24:44 MDT

On Sun, 7 May 2000, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:

> Spike Jones wrote:
> >
> > Thats not a problem, thats a solution. {8^D Thanks John.
> > I guess an upvert would be a person who wished to have
> > sexual relations with any enhanced post-human entity. Since
> > the only one of those I know of is 7 of 9, im waaaay upverted.

No, no, no, since sex in a post-human world will be entirely
meme exchange based, an upvert is one who wanted to resort to
attempt a meme transmission using nanobots carriers delivered by
actual physical coupling. I mean really, what is the bandwidth for
that operation!

> Death to 7 of 9, the Borg, Data, and Spock, proud upholders of the
> frickin' *stupid* tradition that intelligent people are supposed to be
> unable to understand emotions.

I disagree. 7 of 9 understands emotions quite well, but views them
as useless or counterproductive. The Borg as a collective has no
"evolved" center to generate emotions and the emotions of the individuals
are subsumed into the purposes of the collective (its like asking a
"city" to have emotions). Data, I think understood the motivations
behind emotions, he just couldn't produce them himself (again no
evolved emotion center). Presumably, "duty" and "logic" provided
emotions for Data since you have to have something to "motivate"
any activity. So Data simply had different emotions. Now, Spock
on the other hand, did in some circumstances have emotions, but
was trained in many respects to suppress them as undesirable,
in a way not too dissimilar from 7 of 9. Its a different mindset,
altering the context of emotions so they are like "mosquitos" sitting
on your arm sucking blood, with neural responses signaling that a
response may be desired. In Spock or 7 of 9, you simply notice
the mosquito, make a decision as to whether it is likely to represent
a hazard (from a health standpoint) that would warrent the expenditure
of effort to kill it and go to sick bay for a bioscan. Somewhat different
from the standard human response of "kill the damn sucker".

So, the management of emotions has a variety of subtle aspects
in the history of Star Trek, and I would not denigrate them quite
so easily.

Now, back to "upverting" (clearly an illicit act in a future context).
My curiosity is aroused, given the nature of this community [overintellectual,
potentially stay-at-homes, but with very active imaginations...] as to
what the frequency of "unusual acts or observations" among the group.
Assuming a standard of "acts that contemporary individuals would be
'shocked' by" *or* "acts that would merit serious consideration for
Penthouse Letters" *or* something that might merit a serious discussion
with a representative of the "law", what is your personal frequency
of occurence?

I'm not looking for details here, I'm simply looking for frequency:
(1/day, 1/month, 1/year, 1/decade, 1/century, etc.). Note, you
personally do not have to be directly involved, you may be an
intentional or unintentional observer. (Just not "I heard ..." stories).


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