On 23 Jun 2011, at 18:27, Rex Allen wrote:

On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM, Pilar Morales
<pilarmorales...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Rex, thank you for generating this tread. Nice subject title. My
comments below

On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:

Even something that IS good for us will cause less happiness if its easily available, because there's no real harm in not being highly motivated to get it - since you'll get it even if you're relatively indifferent to it. Also, even good things can become detrimental if over-indulged in. So, over time entropy will eat away at the structure that underlies the desire for that
thing.

That is such a predominant masculine trait :)   not to say that it is
exclusively for males. Some people have a hard time valuing something that was easily obtained, for them, reciprocate love at first sight is probably
out of the question. Our ancestors had to fight for desirable things,
desirable lands, desirable women, desirable outcomes.

Right!

So I think there were two main points to my original post:

1)  The "hedonic treadmill" operates at the level of the species as
well as at the level of the individual, though for different reasons
and by different mechanisms.

2)  Any aspect of a species that doesn't contribute to increasing
reproductive fitness (and isn't a spandrel), will eventually be
"mutated" away.  This includes happiness, pleasure, pain, what have
you.

And then, there's a further point:

It seems unlikely that we'll ever escape this treadmill, since even if
we've overcome all other challenges we'll still have each other to
compete with.

I think the term evolution is vague. The development of the brain has already mess up with non brain based evolution, as many other things. I mean evolution leads to competing meta-evolution, and new big cycles are created. An example: the invention of spectacles makes possible the survival of impaired genes related to the eyesight. This, like the handling of a piece of wood, and seen in geological time, is just a tiny part of the beginning of transforming ourselves into machines. In most futures we will be virtual in different kind of universal emulation with the available material, just for economical reason. That will be a sort of jump out of the O2-CO2 based evolution. It can take some millennia, or be quicker. Evolution will pursue and take unimaginable shapes. But we (with we = the humans) might destroy ourselves in the process, in which case we will try again later (with "we" = the löbian vertebrates and invertebrates). We have to not miss that things too often before the collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda, though. Some knowledge in black hole quantum computing can be handy.

Bruno


http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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