On Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Kim Jones <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Admittedly a bit off-topic but hey - there are some great minds on this list
> and it could give birth to something relevant. There! ;-D

I was going to intro myself eventually but because this is interesting
to me, I wanted to respond now.  :)  For now I'll just say I have a
background in psychology and computer science engineering.

Emotions are primarily useful as an adaptive decision-making
heuristic.  If you had to act only on rational information, you could
take forever to make a decision, and have difficulty committing to it
firmly.  You also might not have motivation to do important things
like eat (or know what you should eat more eagerly) and have sex.
Emotions are also vital to social species like humans, because they
can automatically and instinctively reinforce social contracts like
reciprocity and protection of family.  We call people who lack these
emotions sociopaths.  Emotions like sadness and fear are protective
because they tell us what to do more quickly than logic can, and
prevent us from social missteps and physical harm.


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