Re: Hacking your own motivational and emotional systems, how dangerous?

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Thu Oct 25 2007 - 19:22:32 MDT

On 26/10/2007, Byrne Hobart <> wrote:
> On 10/25/07, Matt Mahoney <> wrote:
> > If an agent could change its motivational system, it would figure out a way to
> > directly stimulate its reward system and go into a degenerate state. Animals
> > evolved to make this impossible for good reason.
> Maybe. Or perhaps they'd become driven discoverers and reproducers,
> and wipe out whatever reward system-stimulators were left. There's a
> difference between 'pleasure' and 'happiness' -- if there weren't,
> your vision would be a reality. Drugs are cheap, and they stimulate
> reward systems, so under a purely pleasure-seeking, pain-avoiding
> system, we'd all be buying enough smack to overdose and die pleased.

Drugs are a very blunt instrument compared to what would be possible
if you had direct access to the source code of your mind. Why would
stay home and shoot up heroin if you could arrange it so that going to
work (or whatever activity you consider intrinsically worthwhile) was
just as enjoyable?

Stathis Papaioannou

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