Re: EMOTIONAL IQ: (Transhumans: Anger management vs. Guns)

Brian Atkins (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 13:56:19 -0400

Just remember, stress kills. Better I think to distance yourself from anger, and substitute a good sense of perspective. It is quite possible to get the salesclerk off the phone without getting angry at all. I can't remember the last time I got really pulsatingly mad... it just isn't worth the trouble. wrote:
> writes:
> > Instead of focusing on guns, bows and arrows, or mud sticks (any one read
> > R.A.W.'s Schoedinger's Cat: about Alpha Males need to fling poop?), I am
> > curious what kinds of anger management transhumans would implement.
> >
> > Anyone half trained in logic can see that:
> > Our human race learning to deal with it's own anger and rage could have saved
> > more lives than banning guns. The Emotional IQ of people who shoot each other
> > is far more intersting to me than how many of them do it, or which ones were
> > "right". Emotions here on the list in fact are of great interest to me. The
> > anger and aggresion mounts daily!
> Anger has many meanings. In speaking of "counting to 10" and mediation,
> you seem to be looking at the relatively short-lived emotional response:
> the flaring nostrils, rush of adrenalin, heavy breathing, blind sense
> of rage which occasionally we all feel.
> You are no doubt right that much violence occurs in the throes of this
> kind of short lived anger. But I would guess that most violent attacks
> and deaths do not occur in such a state.
> First, you have the entire area of deaths by warfare and genocide.
> In this century alone we have seen Hitler's holocaust, Stalin's purges,
> the killing fields of Cambodia, and many other instances of mass murder.
> These number in the tens of millions and surely far outnumber individual
> murders. Most of the people involved were not commiting these acts in
> a burst of passionate anger.
> Even among murders and attacks, only a fraction occur in the throes of an
> outburst of temper such as you are describing as anger. Others are the
> result of long-simmering resentments, or even cold blooded calculation
> of advantage.
> And anger is not always bad. Meek and mild people are often taken
> advantage of. The angry person speaks up and complains to the management.
> She makes the sales clerk deal with the customers in line rather than
> answering the phone. He forces his associate to follow through on a
> business commitment rather than backing off when difficulties arise.
> Anger has arisen and been maintained through evolution because it
> serves a purpose. Anger can give people strength and courage to break
> through social and natural barriers that they could not normally manage.
> Anger blinds us, yes; but sometimes we have needed to be blinded, so that
> our actions are not constrained and we can act with necessary intensity
> and speed.
> Of course, ultimately, all of our emotions, anger, love, fear, hope, are
> a rather crude form of motivation and guidance. If we didn't have fear
> or love, we might not need anger. Perhaps as transhumans we will be able
> to substitute rationality for all our emotions. We will be the Vulcans
> of Star Trek, always logical and rational. Does this sound desirable?
> Or, as long as we're fantasizing, let's pretend that we can only get
> rid of the "bad" emotions and keep the "good" ones. We'll keep love
> and discard hate, keep happiness and discard sadness. We'll become
> Teletubbies. What a marvelous future this will be.
> I am torn between the desire to control my emotions, and the desire
> to feel my emotions. Should I fight anger, or should I glory in it?
> Philosophers have different views on this. Some say we are alienated from
> our emotions and need to stop trying to suppress and control our deeper
> selves. Others advocate a path of calmness and serenity, without strife
> or, for that matter, striving. No one answer is fully satisfying to me.
> Hal

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