Re: Madison Ave.Love (was) True love may just be all in your head

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 18:35:20 MDT writes:

> In a message dated 7/7/2000 2:55:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> > The body functions were measured after each picture was viewed. Do
> > you know which group of men found their significant other to be more
> > attractive?!!! So much for "love". Or are extropian men "different"? I
> > hope so!
> >
> Oh, I doubt it. Read on...
> Did they mention women, were they measured too? I bet the same
> model/porny-pics turn them on more than ones of their computer
> programmer sweethearts. Personally I find images of unknown women
> much more erotic than pictures of normal guys ( or girls). I am not
> sure a candid photo of my guy would arouse me as much a a good
> airbrushed penthouse pic - (depending on the pic) - and I am not a
> lesbian.

In psychophysics they are called supernormal stimuli, a signal that is
stronger than it usually is. More secondary sexual characteristics,
more extreme measurements - and more average faces. The fun thing is
that while arousal likely increases when you beef up relevant parts of
the anatomy (to a certain limit), people tend to regard symmetric
faces as close to the human average face as possible as the most
beautiful. I think it shows that our brains have several subsystems
looking for mates, and not necessarily working in the same
direction. Add smell and things turn even more complex.

Another factor is of course that a realist photo of a person you know
will have a lot of realistic associations, while one of the airbrush
people will be pure sex so to say. In their case the fantasies will be
more idealised, and possibly easier to enter (c.f. Scott McCloud's
wonderful "Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art", where he
discusses this in cartoons).

Wow, sex, psychophysics and cartoons in the same post! :-)

So the next questions would be: how do we re-engineer our libidos? In
what directions? The idea of linking orgasms to one's stock portfolio
is old (on this list at least), can we do it with romantic love? Are
there even odder ideas? Can we amplify romantic love into something
different? How to make one's libido tamper resistant?

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:34:09 MDT