All of spamham's Comments + Replies

Are wireheads happy?

Kevin means this I suppose?

I do know that it is possible for me to mechanically activate the motivation to perform these tasks (and I am on medication that is supposed to help, but I get the feeling it isn't)

1Kevin12yYes, thank you.
3MatthewB12yAh... That... Yes... from the previous post... I am referring mostly to anti-depressants and Drugs to control ADD, which ironically, are very much like Amphetamines (Provigil, Adderall or Ritalin, probably Provigil or Ritalin). I did a two weeks on Provigil, and I will be doing 2 weeks on Ritalin to compare the two. It is unlikely that my Dr would prescribe Adderall, but she said it isn't totally out of the question depending upon how I respond to the others (and the fact that I haven't shown any signs that I would be likely to abuse it at this point). The current medications I am on work to a degree. I can tell when I am off my anti-depressants, for instance, yet my anti-anxiety drugs do absolutely nothing. The drugs to control ADD are kinda a fudge by the Dr. as I have not been diagnosed explicitly as having ADD (it is something that she suspects, yet for which I haven't displayed many of the more common symptoms. If my mother had not been a Christian Scientist when I was a kid, we might have clinical records that could help out in this case a bit more), yet she feels that they will help out with some of the motivational and concentration problems I have been having with school (and life).
Circular Altruism

With all due respect, but this post reminds me of why I find the expectation-calculation kind of rationality dangerous.

IMO examples such as the first, with known probabilities and a straightforward way to calculate utility, are a total red herring.

In more realistic examples, you'll have to do many judgment calls such as the choice of model, and your best estimate of the basic probabilities and utilities, which will ultimately be grounded on the fuzzy, biased intuitive level.

I think you might reply that this isn't a specific fault with your approach, and th... (read more)

0Vladimir_Nesov12yTo add to orthonormal's link (see also the other posts around these two in the list of all posts []): * Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans) []
1orthonormal12yI understand your point, and I believe Eliezer isn't as naive as you might think. Compare Ethical Injunctions [] (which starts out looking irrelevant to this, but comes around by the end)...
Are wireheads happy?

Sorry to hear about the drug problems, but how can you be sure they "destroyed" your dopamine neurons? Not all drugs that increase these neurons' activity kill them. Psychological changes might be a simpler explanation IMHO (but I don't know you, so that might be far off the mark).

[...] knock out the wanting to do drugs part of their brain...

Sounds draconian. That part isn't just there for drugs...

5MatthewB12yI don't think that they destroyed the Dopamine neurons, just destroyed their ability to function properly. From the various scans that have been done of my brain; not only do I have a decreased production of Dopamine, but I have an increase in the number of receptor sites (I cannot recall from which area they sampled ). Thus, I have a major portion of dopamine sites that are demanding dopamine, and a shortage of dopamine to go around to satisfy the demand. I've been in so many MRI and NMR machines that I no longer even get claustrophobic. As for the studies about creating lesions on the brain (knocking out the part of their brain that demands to do drugs)... Obviously it isn't there to want to do drugs. It is there because it controls various aspects of our survival drives, yet they have been hijacked and malfunction due to the use/abuse (differentiation between the two) of various chemicals. The study is about the human trials of a procedure that was first done on rats and monkeys (Macaques I think) where they ablated a portion of the Amygdala and Thalamus (I cannot recall how they located it, as it was in the days before high resolution ƒMRI or NMRi), and the Rats and Monkeys went from being junkies (with either single or poly-substance dependence) to being relatively normal rats and monkeys. In the human trials, they found the same things as in the rat/monkey study, but with changes in some other behaviors in some of the participants (altered motivational drives, for instance). I know that one of the doctors is hoping to begin using this method on Sexual Predators, and also hopes to create a chemical method for altering the location of the brain that is ablated or abraided. Anyway, I have made it through about six months of posts, and I am pretty sure that it was this year that I posted the link (in another forum... I could have sworn that I bookmarked it as well, but that might have been on my old laptop - I have a new laptop that was for "Christmas" even th
Are wireheads happy?

Seems like a pretty large leap from certain simple behaviours of rats to the natural-language meaning of "wanting" and "liking". Far-reaching claims such as this one should have strong evidence. Why not give humans drugs selective for either system and ask them? (Incidentally, at least with the dopamine system, this has been done millions of times ;) The opioids are a bit trickier because activating mu receptors (e.g. by means of opiates) will in turn cause a dopamine surge, too)

(Yes, I should just read the paper for their rationale, but can't be bothered right now...)