Re: singleton and memetics

Anders Sandberg (
20 Nov 1998 00:58:44 +0100

"J. Maxwell Legg" <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > people with mental problems today have less mental flexibility than
> > normal people - their repertoire of thinking and acting has been
> > limited due to their illness, and they often get stuck in nasty
> > attractor states (like in depression or paranoia).
> >
> Mainly because they have been unsuccessful in bucking social pressure
> against their activities.

No. Take a look at most major mental disorders and the lack of flexibility becomes obvious, even without any social context. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is obviously inflexible, as is paranoid delusions. Depressives cannot easily shift out of their black mood, borderline personalities seem to be unable to comfort themselves and need others to do it, frontal lobe damage limits the ability to switch strategies, schizophreniacs exhibit a whole range of stereotypal behaviors and lack of metacognitive control, and so on.

It is easy to play games with the definition of mental illness, but these states are out there and have certain properties, whether you regard them as illnesses or not.

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