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Edward comments on Serious Stories - Less Wrong

39 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 08 January 2009 11:49PM

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Comment author: Edward 09 January 2009 06:55:19AM 0 points [-]

A lot of this post hinges on storytelling, which as we all seem to agree is different than actually living life. Perhaps the reason people are interested in tragic stories and news is related to Prospect Theory. We are more interested in curing and preventing tragedy than increasing from 10,000 to 20,000 hedons.

Of course people to this day read all sorts of self-help books even if they don't have much tragedy in their lives. They just don't read them as you would a "masterpiece." I suppose people in the future may do the same, hoping to glean some information on how to increase their hedonic level, but it wont have a sort of urgent feel to it.

I'm sure the intense emotions and catharsis we feel from some of the great Shakespearean tragedies can be felt even more profoundly in the world Pearce describes simply by, say, listening to music.

We will find creative solutions to creating more majestic subjective experiences if our species can pull through long enough to do so. I'm more interested in mitigating risk and suffering in the here and now, mainly through the intelligent use of decentralized technology.