Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Sebastian_Hagen comments on Are wireheads happy? - Less Wrong

108 Post author: Yvain 01 January 2010 04:41PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (95)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Sebastian_Hagen 04 January 2010 03:18:14PM *  9 points [-]

The first category, "things you do even though you don't like them very much" sounds like many drug addictions.

It's not limited to drugs or even similar physical stimuli like tasty food; according to my personal experience you can get the same effect with computer games. There's games that can be plenty of fun in the beginning (while you're learning what works), but stop being so once you abstract from that to a simple set of rules by which you can (usually) win, but nevertheless stay quite addictive in the latter phase. Whenever I play Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup for more than a few hours, I inevitably end up at a point where I don't even need to verbally think about what I'm doing for 95%+ of the wall-clock time spent playing, but that doesn't make it much easier to quit.

Popular vocabulary suggests that this is a fairly common effect.

Comment author: k3nt 05 January 2010 05:21:48AM 4 points [-]

Agree 100%. I just played a flash game last night and then again this morning, because I "just wanted to finish it." The challenge was gone, I had it all figured out, and there was nothing left but the mopping up ... which took three hours of my life. At the end of it, I told myself, "Well, that was a waste of time." But I was also glad to have completed the task.

It's probably a very good thing that I've never tried any drug stronger than alcohol.