On 6/23/2011 9:27 AM, Rex Allen wrote:
On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 2:06 PM, Pilar Morales
Hello Rex, thank you for generating this tread. Nice subject title. My
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
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.
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
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
And in fact for a long time we've mainly had each other to compete
with. I suspect that un-natural selection was responsible for the rapid
development of language and symbolic thought...and lying.
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