From: Yan King Yin (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jan 10 2004 - 00:58:13 MST
Hello metaqualia et al,
Here are some thoughts re your positive qualia idea =)
Positive Qualia Maximization
1.1 Human beings are not always hedonists because we have
emotions other than pleasure (such as guilt when commiting
adultery). Therefore it's not correct to characterize
humans as hedone maximizers.
1.2. However if we broaden this perspective then we can say
humans are maximizers of "positive" qualia. Which is somewhat
2.1. The "qualia structure" (QS) in our brain determines
what we desire. For example men tend to desire women with
nice teeth, hip:waist ratio, etc etc.
2.2. There is individual variability in qualia structures
in the population. Some of this variability may be genetic.
2.3. Over time, the evolutionary process winnows out desires
(QS's) that are detrimental. For example, desire of drugs
leads to addiction leads to no offsprings. Detrimental here
means "not conducive to _continuation_of_the_lineage_".
3.1. The pursuit of positive qualia led human beings to evolve
agriculture, industrialization, and technological progress.
3.2. As a by-product of this, the environment is changed by
technologies. This in turn enables new traits to be successful,
eg the emergence of nerds in modern society. Thus the selective
pressure may change.
4.1. In some cases it is possible for an organism to *modify*
itself. Eg wearing clothes, wearing glasses. In general humans
do this for no other reason than positive-qualia maximization.
4.2. But in some of the above cases, the qualia structure of
the individual is *also* modified. Eg genital miltilation,
recreational drug use, etc.
4.3. The paradoxical thing about "qualia structure self-mod"
is that after modification, the individual will go off a
different trajectory than other members.
4.4. The intriguing thing about the post-upload world is
that virtually limitless self-mod of our qualia structure will
5.1. We have also argued (elsewhere) that competition of
limited resource will likely continue after the singularity.
5.2. Also, technology likely will *not* eliminate variability
of qualia structures in the population.
5.3. Thus, the winnowing out of detrimental desires will
6.1. Everyone, if they want lineage continuation, will
have to delete detrimental desires. If we don't do this
soon, we'll have to do it later. [Robin Henson's point]
6.2. Question: will the elimination of detrimental
desires occur extremely rapidly after the advent of
6.3. We're in a situation similar to the prisoner's
dilemma, where rapid self-mod of qualia structure is the
"nasty" move (given our aversion to rapid changes, we'll
not be happy to make such moves unless compelled to).
6.4. But as long as there is variability in the population,
competition, and changes in the enviroment, this process
may not reach stagnation. Despite rapid self-mod.
Well, these are my thoughts so far... can't go further
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