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Aurini comments on Serious Stories - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: Aurini 10 January 2009 08:31:01AM 2 points [-]

Yudkowski, I'm going to have to disagree with you on the intensity of pleasure. Done properly, orgasms can sometimes be so intense that you lose track of your personal narrative for a moment - though I'm no expert on experiencing torture, I'd wager that our capacities our comparable on the pleasure/pain scales.

The big difference between the two is duration - our pleasure centres naturally revert to boredom, while pain is unceasing. Perhaps a modification that made pain as brief as an orgasm, before subsiding into throbbing? Then you'd know that you just smacked your toe while running up the concrete steps, but you wouldn't be stuck rolling around on the floor for ten minutes afterwards.

Also, I'd suggest that trying to prevent torture isn't the same as modifying pain. Even if the torturers can't somehow re-modify you to experience pain (like that robot Vader used on Leia), they could find some other way to hurt you, emotionally (torture a puppy) or existentially (burn the last copy of Shakespeare).