Re: Skitzoid

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 19:08:40 +0200 (MET DST)

On Wed, 6 Aug 1997 wrote:

> How much of the brain does it take to support the personality? Surely the
> Visual Cortex is not required for that function...nor are the areas of the
> brain relating to the other senses (smell, taste, hearing, touch etc) nor
> that which is required to support the metabolism. (keep the heart pumping ,
> liver, kidney...etc)...ignore all of that and what have we left? What per
> centage of the brain relative to it's size?

Hard to tell; my guess would be that roughly half of the cortex isn't
directly sensor or motor areas. But it would be a mistake to say that
personality isn't a part of them, there are likely big individual
differences even there, and a small perceptual difference (say, red
is more strongly linked to emotion than usual) can affect personality
a lot. In fact, I see personality as a property of the whole system,
including aspects of the endocrine system and the rest of the body.

> Now look at it from a different perspective. How many personalities occupy
> that space?
> My understanding of the "Society of Mind" and other works is that there are a
> bunch. Operating sequentially and simultaneously. Split Brain studies
> suggest this as well. In a well integrated "psyche" there appears to be only
> one personality....not true....there are many personalities....each coming
> "on line" as the situation warrants...and going dormant when not needed. All
> thinking it is the only one.

Yes, it is unclear how many there are. We do not have a good
definition of personality (IMHO), and they seem to be quite blurred.
I'm usually happy, does that mean I have a happy personality or is
the happiness independent of personality? One could make a case for
both, but I think it is largely fruitless (I didn't really like
personality psychology, I'm more of a cognitive/neuro psychology

> Walter Jon Williams and Louis McMaster Bujold's works speculate as to what
> would happen were this not the case. Suppose you had multiple personalities,
> a well integrated "team" of personalities. I REALLY wish I did....have a
> personallity who didn't find lifting weights to be unutterably I
> could do something interesting while he was exercising the body.

Why not try developing one? Maybe imagine "Muscle Mick" or something
similar, a version of yourself that really likes weightlifting, and
then letting him do the training. At first you would have to
participate, but in time you will be free to think of other things as
Muscle Mick did his workout.

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