Re: Definitions for Transhumanism

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 12:46:01 -0400

den Otter wrote:

> ----------
> > From: Anders Sandberg <>
> > 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 must second that; I'm a *lot* more productive and looking for improvement
> when I feel happy than when I'm depressed.

IN this case, I would suggest that we differentiate 'happiness' from
'satisfaction', or merely as a subset of it. One can be both depressed and
satisfied (if thats what makes you happy). Depression is a clinical condition,
not a state of happiness. While people that are at least marginally happy seem
to be the most motivated to want MORE happiness (which is why IMHO a free market
system tends to outperform socialist systems economically, because people who
acheive even a marginal level of satisfaction or happiness typcially decide that
they want more of it, and work to get it, while a socialist system, as far as I
can tell, assumes that everyone has identical and fixed maximum happiness and
satisfaction levels, that cannot be changed, and anything greater than those
politically correct levels is nothing but greedy hedonism and sloth.) people who
are totally blissful and satisfied without cost tend to be even less motivated
than a severely depressed mental patient.

In a free market system, each individual is free to determine their own levels of
marginal utility for a given product, service, etc. and the price per unit of
happiness or satisfaction the individual derives from a given product or service,
not only the first unit, but each successive unit as a curve of diminishing
returns. A free market system does not automatically assume that everybody has
identical curves of diminishing returns for every product and service, as a
socialist system does, nor does anything but the individual try to dictate to the
individual what that curve may be for them.

A mercantilist type system, as we currently have, more or less, here in the US,
does recognise that people have different curves of diminishing returns, but they
also try to influence and manipulate those curves via tax policies, regulations,
and marketing/advertising violating the individuals privacy. While this is less
onerous and tyrranical than a socialist system, it does have its own limitations
that I find distasteful.

> > Of course, I might be unrepresentative of humanity
> Of course, I *know* I'm unrepresentative of humanity, so... ;-)

As Mr. den Otter has previously said is such a rude manner, I am rather extreme
myself, although I personally take pride in that, since being average is to me as
good as being dead. However, I hope here I have accurately described conditions
for most people...

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?