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PJ_Eby comments on Serious Stories - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: PJ_Eby 10 January 2009 12:35:25AM 3 points [-]

It is important to note that while emotions are *triggered* by relative perceptions, they are not themselves relative -- and what they are triggered *by* can be changed.

Tony Robbins tells an interesting story of how a class he was teaching kept being interrupted by a train thundering past (this was before he made enough money to be booked in nicer venues). After he and the class had been annoyed by it for a while, he announced a new rule: when the train passes, it's time to celebrate!

They then proceeded to cheer and whoop and jump up and down like crazy people every time the train passed... and everybody smiled and laughed and had a good time.

Not all emotional engineering is this trivial, I'll admit -- but it hardly requires a transhuman Power to do.

Physical pain and torture, I'll agree with you on: let's get that stuff out of the genome right quick. But emotional pain is something we already have the tools to get rid of. Really, status-quo bias is the only thing keeping us from virtually wiping out emotional suffering within a single generation.

Comment author: pnrjulius 07 June 2012 12:19:04AM 0 points [-]

Really? You think we can get rid of, say, the pain of a broken heart, in one generation?