Re: extropians-digest V3 #175

Anders Sandberg (
14 Dec 1998 16:24:19 +0100

Cynthia Allingham <> writes:

> > Personally I disagree with the view that more intelligen people have
> > higher ups and downs - it smacks of the romantic notion of the
> > tormented genius. Psychological studies seem to suggest that gifted
> > people tends to be more social and have fewer psychological problems
> > than normal people.
> It smacks to you of the notion of the tormented genius. But just because someone experiences higher highs and lower lows,
> doesn't means that they are in a wildly vacillating mental state.

I didn't claim that. But the myth seems to claim that, and I disagree with the myth.

> Being able to achieve higher highs, also means being more able to
> enjoy simple things, such as watching a sunset or listening to a
> beautiful melody. Whereas an average person would need to do
> something more drastic to experience a high.

Yes. The big questions here are of course how to 1) become better able to experience great experiences, including the "universe in a handfull of dust", and 2) how to spread it to the average people so they don't have to be average anymore :-)

> Being able to experience lower lows, also means that you learn from
> negative experiences, and you therefore are able to avoid them in
> the future.

Only when these downs can be handled well. Most depressive people, for example, do not learn much from their awful experiences (at best they learn to cope with them). Being able to view negative experiences as learning experiences tends to transform them; they are no longer perceived as negative, and in general people who can do it consistently show a positive mood.

> Unimpaired ability to experience emotions is GOOD.

Exactly. But it can be made better.

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