Re: Psychotherapy in science-fiction

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Tue, 18 May 1999 03:57:29 -0500

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 02:50 AM 18/05/99 -0500, Eli wrote:
> >Greg Egan and _Quarantine_ would be the best SF.
> >Evolutionary psychology is the best we've got now.
> Highly doubtful. It's potentially the best *explanatory* system, in the
> broad. But it offers very little of practical benefit, as yet.
> Transmitter-modulators and cognitive/emotional discursive methods are not
> incredibly effective, but they are the coal-face for intervention.
> Speculations about life in the Pleistocene, however engaing and brilliant,
> don't help a depressive get out of the trough.

I suppose it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Remember, I don't give a damn about stopping depression. Quite the opposite. *All* I care about is raising intelligence - in this case, that aspect of intelligence known as self-awareness. For that, you want to be able to sort out which parts of your thinking are really *you* and which parts are some script that hasn't been valid in 10,000 years. I find evolutionary psychology to be extraordinarily useful in keeping a clean mind.

--          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.