Re: Emotions "vestigial"? was Re: On being Extropian

Steve Witham (
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 15:03:39 -0400

>From: "Michael Butler" <>
>Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 13:13:31 PST
>Subject: META: Emotions "vestigial"? was Re: On being Extropian ( was Eag

(Btw, what was the "META" about?)

>Chris said:
>...Why deny the fact that emotion is
>[vestigial] and only for mere entertainment now that we have logic?

"Cut out my spleen, I want to live free!" This is, like, the sentiment
that wants to be put out of its own misery as soon as we have the tools.
"Dr. Kevorkian to the uploading room. Dr. Kevorkian to the uploading room."

Mike's answers are good, but I wanted to add:

Emotion is the logic of values, your internal economics. It's how you
decide what to do, both outside of yourself (physical action) and inside
(directing attention, or as AI people say, "directing search"). With logic
alone you can calculate outcomes from premises, but not prefer one outcome
to another. Not even have a concept of "interesting" versus "boring"
theorems. There would be no desire for "mere entertainment" without
emotions. Once you have preferences and ways to apply them, you're
starting to simulate the reptilian and mammalian brains all over again.
Don't be too quick to dismiss their sophistication.

Logic is, and by rights ought to be, slave to the emotions.
--Bertrand Russell

I shall not go your way, O despisers of the body!
You are no bridge to the overman!


"See, you think you're on a cruise ship but someone's moving the ocean."
--Patricia S. Sullivan