Re: Unbounded happiness. (was Re: Property rights)

From: Stuart Armstrong (
Date: Tue Apr 22 2008 - 09:48:44 MDT

> The AI can replace the entire human race for that matter. But never
> mind, and forget about gray goo, I believe unbounded happiness will be
> the biggest threat our decedents face and the only thing that might
> prevent our mind children from becoming Gods; it may even be the
> explanation for the Fermi Paradox. If you could be the happiest
> (uploaded of course) man alive just by editing the value of one integer
> in your source code you might be strongly tempted to do so, I know I
> would be.
> I'll just change the mean happiness quotient in my code from a 5 to a 6,
> oh yes that's much better, I wonder what a 7 would feel like, wow that
> was even better than I expected, 8 is really not that much greater than
> 7 so it couldn't hurt to….
> The trouble is if you're perfectly happy right now then you have no
> incentive to do anything because things are perfect already so any
> change you make will only make things worse. Best to just put your hands
> in your pockets and do nothing except enjoy the ride. The Universe may
> be full of intelligent civilizations but they're all lotus eaters and
> hence invisible. I hope I'm wrong, although I can imagine more horrible
> fates.

We have other urges in us beyond the pursuit of happiness; are you
really so confident that they will get sidelined? The happy people I
know are more likely to do a lot of interesting and otherwise
stimulating stuff, and it does seem that the happiness is a cause, not
a consequence of that.

We could instruct our "happy box" to make us deliriously happy while
AT THE SAME TIME we do a lot of other, productive things... Especially
as we don't need to waste time worrying about happiness.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:02 MDT