Re: Definitions for Transhumanism

Anders Sandberg (
11 Apr 1998 14:31:27 +0200

Eugene Leitl <> writes:

> On Thu, 9 Apr 1998, Randy Smith wrote:
> > I like it, Scott, and that's not to disparage the other definitions
> > others may have offered, but it kind of ties in with a Randy-Smith
> > truism: many, if not most, humans are, in some fundamental way,
> > unhappy. That ultimate state of self-actualization would seemingly
> If we were not unhappy, there would be zero impetus to change. No impetus
> to change in an coevolutionary context guarantees failure before long.

Very odd. I feel very happy, and I feel a big impetus to change. Would
I feel an even more intense impetus if I was unhappy? I doubt it; the
times I have felt unhabppy haven't motivated me as much as when I have
been happy to do something. I think the basic idea "unhappiness: lots
of action to get happier, happiness: satiety, no action" doesn't hold
well. There is a difference between the overall happiness level and
the amount of motivation; remember the separate "wanting" and "liking"
systems in the brain - you can want things even when you don't like
them, and vice versa (even if there often is a correlation).

Of course, I might be unrepresentative of humanity but I hope it isn't

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