Re: The Meaning That Immortality Gives to Life

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 22:14:56 MDT

On 21/10/2007, Bryan Bishop <> wrote:
> On Tuesday 16 October 2007 23:53, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:
> > You can't consider boredom without also considering the emotional
> > aspect of it. Everyone puts a lot of effort into repeating pleasant
> > experiences expecting that they will be pleasant all over again.
> I think that my message to which you wrote your response was talking
> even of the future where mental revision has allowed us to do away with
> emotions or do away with our weak control/understanding of emotions. I
> suspect that 'boredom' or 'redundant mental cycles' will still be very
> much a reality.

Then you're talking about repetition versus novelty, not boredom
versus fun. If I had eternity to look forward to, I'd rather
experience pleasure staring at the wall than pain doing new things.
Even 10 units of pleasure staring at the wall would be better (by
definition) than 9 units of pleasure in novelty. I think when people
say novelty is better than empty pleasure what they mean is that
novelty has a certain je ne sais quoi which is *more pleasant* than
mere empty pleasure. But this extra dimension of pleasure in novelty,
whatever else it may be, would still be an emotion that could be had
for free if we had complete understanding of and control over our

This is quite separate from the question of whether it would be better
for the world if we took pleasure in novelty, so that we wouldn't be
tempted to spend eternity doing nothing.

Stathis Papaioannou

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