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
Hello Rex, thank you for generating this tread. Nice subject
On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 3:04 PM, Rex
Even something that IS good for us will cause less happiness if
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
even good things can become detrimental if over-indulged in. So,
entropy will eat away at the structure that underlies the desire
That is such a predominant masculine trait :) not to say that it
exclusively for males. Some people have a hard time valuing
was easily obtained, for them, reciprocate love at first sight is
out of the question. Our ancestors had to fight for desirable
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
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.
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:
This illustrates that lying might be an older trick than language and
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.
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