Caroline

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Eliezer, are you asking if we think universal boredom is a worse fate than world suffering? ;) How terribly emo of you.

Also, you seem to be describe pleasure and pain as a sliding scale- moving towards pleasure means moving away from pain. But there are already humans where that isn't the case, where pain bleeds into pleasure. People whose humiliation makes them proud, whose submission gives them control. Do they sound bored to you? (That brief foray into BDSM was incredibly simplistic. Naughty boy.)

Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans)

@lake My point is that a species or group or individual can acquire many traits that are simply non-maladaptive rather than adaptive. Once the revolutionary power cycle blip shows up, as long as it confers no disadvantages, it probably won't get worked out of the system.

I heard a story once about a girl and a chicken. She was training the chicken to play a song by giving it a treat every time it pecked the right notes in the right order. During this process, the chicken started wiggling it's neck before pecking each note. Since it was still hitting the correct notes, the girl still rewarded it; so the chicken started wiggling each time. As far as the chicken comprehended, the wiggle was just as necessary for a treat as the peck was, but really, it was completely neutral. It could have stopped wiggling at any time without any negative consequences, or continued to wiggle without any negative consequences.

If this were how the revolutionary power cycle entered the human repertoire, then speculating on how exactly it confers evolutionary advantages would be a blind alley.

Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans)

Why must the power structure cycle be adaptive? I mean, couldn't it simply be non-maladaptive?

Because if the net effect on human fitness is zero, then perhaps it's just a quirk. I'm not sure how this affects your argument otherwise, I'm just curious as to why you think it was an adaptive pattern and not just a pattern that didn't kill us at too high a rate.