Re: sex (was The Extropian Principles)
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 19:46:22 -0400

In a message dated 96-08-22 06:49:03 EDT, ' gene was seen to write:

I think the only (and unintended at that) offense you might raise is that
of keeping (potentially embryonic >H) people from discussing more technical

Ok fellow embryo! ; - )

How can intermittent interest in one subject *keep* one from talking
about another? It just provides another channel. Even sex isnt that
fascinating that we would drop everything else and only debate *it*.
Ok, sex is distracting - even stops productive minds -at least
sometimes. For some this is a welcome recreational break.But artists have
notoriuosly high libidos, so maybe hardscience minds dont really need
it....but I find lack of sex far more distracting.

>> Our mental resources ain't that plentiful to allow us squandering 'em.

Hey! : - ) Speak for yourself re: resources, mental or otherwise! : - )

>>I am quite astonished as to the low percentile transhumanist technology
discussion scores in the extropians mailing list. I know these things are
highly nonlinear in time, yet it still unsettles me somewhat...

If discussion of issues untechnical unsettles you, you could make a special,

hitech, >Htech list. People have suggested specific lists for
specific-topics-only views.

> I observe that, like emotions, people will tend to view Sex as
> or "not an issue" with brain developement ( strange because most primates
> know spend a high perecentage of their brain energy trying to find it or
> thinking about it) - A friend of mine returned from a week long conference

( 'gene)
>> There is nothing strange about this obsession with sex: all organisms are
evolutionary artefacted.

NO NO - you missed my point, of course I meant it is strange that a
whole conference on consciousness ignored it's existence.

>>>In fact, the hardwired "propagate, propagate, propagate" programme does
often inhibit other functions, in humans mostly ratio. An (otherwise
quite boring)

( : - 0 You think sex is boring? Wow.sheesh, i have absolutely NO
reference point for that one.

>>physical act aquires a certain glorious aura, this also
happens to the perception of mate/offspring. Remember the last endorphin
high you rode when enamoured? Peek-a-boo -- ain't that one cute little

Hmmm....... I do not get the jist of the metaphor here. Our
experiential referencing is too disparate. However I will point out that,
seeing Transhumanists as immortalists, sex for the means of propogation is
not the phenomenon I am referring to of course, but consciousness pleasure-
including but not limited to -the endorphins, yes.
[and as Eric pointed out the experiental factor - interaction between two
beings on a very lovely level)
So, obviously sex expedites <H evolution but that is not what we are
discussing here - I for one, see my own >H future as being highly
pleasurable as WELL as productive.
I want to soar in ecstasy as well as knowledge and creativity.

>> The function itself is certainly ancient. Bacteria fuck (E.coli S+/-),

EEEK !!!!!! bacteria do WHAT? oh....ok, thats one way to put it (blush)
But do they enjoy it on a conscious level? Is that highly relative to
cognitive functions of the human brain?

>> polypes copulate, insects do it, too. The only thing of interest sex has
to it is the highly selective methods the evolutionary older brain
regions utilizes to manipulate the younger reagions. Neat trick, that.
This topics is interesting indeed, and should not be banned. Importance
of supressed olfactory data (MHC fragments) to mate selection & the
influence of oral contraceptiva upon it. Heard about that one? Neato.

No. Do tell! Olfactory means smells, the quckest way to the old brain, yes?
You must tell me more...

>> As Anders has once said: why not wiring the reward centre to some other,
>constructive tasks? I hope I am not preaching askesis here, but devoting
>an unnecessary amount of bandwidth + giving the subject much too much
>glamour (highest bandwidth communication? Only as mb/s transfer rate
> is involved. The same 4 mbases every time, with negligeable alterations.

You find it boring? And the same each time? ( scratching head) Well< i had
to ask for this megabyte bit to be translated out of technospeak, but I get
your jist - sex won't get us to the moon. Ok, so that is the reason why we
would not want to spend every minute of our lives on it

Dont equate the glamour aspect with the pleasure aspect, or the marketing
value of sex with the actual function of it - not really purely biological,
but a happy addition to optimal lives ( since we are still talkng about human
consciousness). Yes, it would be nice if " A not A " did give me a rosy
endorphin high, I would have probably spent a lot more time in calculus.
However I think you are still underestimating the brain by giving it limits
on "bandwidth" that come anywhere NEAR to making it neccessary to eliminate
sexual thought or pleasure stimuli in order to concentrate on technical
advances ( this would also mean we have to quit vacationing and whole lot of
wonderful and creative adventures).

>>> Replication in a limited environment (solid state mind ecosphere) is
bound to be limited (orelse we have to contemplate upon admitting the
Reaper in again, which imo is a Bad Idea), and, if not de novo would
create a chimaeric structure from several contributors. You can wire your
reward centre to it,

This lat was over my head, 'gene - What do you mean by replicating? AI
self-propogation? Your technospeak baffles me. Why must we then bring the
reaper in? Bandwidth again? What is a chimaeric structure?? Do you think in
terms of hardware orgasms? BTW The reason age French used to call the orgasm
" le petit mort" ..."the little death"... refering to that state of
consciousness of pure bliss, which gave one a temporary sense of
"nothingness" - a sense of losing the self...which in humans probably
facilitates that famous release from the tension - mental and physical, and
is one of the best effects of sex itself ..if one assumes the reward center
of AI would not need a break from it's busy calculations, nor be attuned to a
set of neural and muscular prompts - this could be seen as a strictly
wetware debate perhaps. Hard to imagine uploads having ANY sex or gender

> but why bothering?

That brings up the "fundamental differences" topic again. Why indeed? ( BTW
If one doesnt *enjoy* sex, finds it boring or whatever then certainly one
shouldnt do it). But more to the point: What is one's reason for being a
transhumanist? If it is to enhance one's own existnce, then perhaps playing
about with ways of enhanced pleasure, stimulation ie: rewards ( as in the
rewiring of pleasure to say, enhanced productivity - faster learning or
whatever) will be desirable. Similarly if you only want to spend your time
and energy on technology and productivity,then it is a waste of time.
If one's goal is to bring on the Singularity, or to become an AI,
or simply think current humans won't actually be transhuman but should strive
and sacrifice this life to the common good then pleasure and good feeling may
be indeed pointless!
>>> up and out