On 23 Jun 2011, at 20:25, meekerdb wrote:

On 6/23/2011 9:27 AM, 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.


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.

Lying is of the type Bf, like errors, dreams and perhaps death. But it is more general than "asserting a falsity", it might be "acting and behaving in a way such that others will have a wrong belief". With that definition in mind, the following spider is already lying, because she behaves in a way which generates a wrong belief in the mind of birds:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pgs_-Lckno

This illustrates that lying might be an older trick than language and symbolic thought.

This raises the question: since when nature lies? Since the big bang? Or is it even deeper?

About happiness, it is plausibly of the type ~Bf, that is Dt. It means: never let anyone decide for you what it is or what it isn't.

Bruno


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



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