Re: Complexity, Ethics, Esthetics

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Wed Dec 04 2002 - 19:19:08 MST

On Wednesday, December 4, 2002, at 09:55 PM, Michael Roy Ames wrote:

> Ahh. The scenario of 'looking at part of my brain' is familiar. To
> me it is part of considering different points of view, or modelling
> different mind-states. Indeed I do it all the time. However, if
> someone were to ask me: "Do you consider X beautiful" I can usually
> give them a truthful answer in short order. I do not have to 'hedge'
> by saying: "Well part of me thinks X is a bit too yellow, and another
> part of me loves the yellowness of it".

This is all part of how the brain works. You won't notice it until you
are watching it and something funny happens. When I look at a picture,
I can judge the quality of the composition in a second or less. That's
all the longer it takes. I will immediately get an #ugly or #pretty
from my brain. You don't have to actively reason; your brain will do
it for you.

>> Also, if you really truly do not have anything in your
>> brain saying that puppies or babies are cute, then
>> your brain may be broken in that respect.
> One being's break may be another beings advantage.

All being said, it's broken from a normative human standpoint. Also,
be careful in judging when your brain is broken. Often it's just you
lying to yourself.

>> As far as your brain is concerned, it's anything that you
>> like to sense and might seek out to sense.
> Oh, I agree with that: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Actually, that's not really what I meant. Literally, yes, beauty is
what your brain says is beautiful, but there is still common ground in
beauty panhumanisticly.

>> On the other hand, not many people will refuse members of
>> their kin group food (note that there is some cultural
>> influence as to how large you actively consider your kin
>> group, but it's usually several levels out, even in
>> America). Also, there are ethics concerning how much
>> sharing you'll permit, even with kin groups. The
>> degree of support hinges on the degree of relatedness.
>> If a person is related too little, you might even refuse
>> support.
> I have heard this argument before, and have observed that it closely
> corresponds to how humans behave *generally speaking*. However, this
> behaviour may change for individuals who understand EP and take it to
> heart. Such a person might say to themselves: "I am genetically
> programmed to decide this way... but is it in my best interest? Does
> it still make sense?" Sometimes I ask these questions to myself, and
> find that the answer is: No - not in my best interest, and doesn't
> make sense. Does that mean my mind is broken? I think not. Newly
> 'patched' perhaps. ;)

Some parts of your brain don't hold up well to tampering of any form,
depending on the particulars of your goal system (EP will not have the
same effect on everyone that it has had on you). Some parts of your
brain are neigh impossible to tamper with, though, so don't get
disappointed if your stuck with some bit of irrationality when all is
said and done before the Singularity.

Gordon Worley                          "Man will become better when                 you show him what he is like."                                --Anton Chekhov
PGP:  0xBBD3B003

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