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Error comments on Seduced by Imagination - Less Wrong

23 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 16 January 2009 03:10AM

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Comment author: Error 02 October 2012 02:34:18PM 7 points [-]

"monkey with a million bananas"

Has anyone done this experiment? Actually put a monkey in an environment with the equivelant of a million bananas (unlimited food, uncontested mates, whatever puzzles we can think of to make life interesting in the absense of pain and conflict, etc.) and watched how it acted over a period of years for signs of boredom and despair?

Might be useful information about the real effects of certain kinds of "Utopias." Also might be horribly unethical, depending on how you feel about primate experimentation.

Comment author: thomblake 02 October 2012 02:58:23PM 0 points [-]

If giving a monkey some bananas is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Comment author: Error 02 October 2012 03:17:56PM 0 points [-]

I meant that in the context of the Fun Theory sequence, which I'm currently reading through. It seems to me to implicitly predict that a monkey given unlimited bananas, mates, etc., ought to turn out surprisingly unhappy, at least to the extent that its psych is not-too-dissimilar from humans. It would be interesting to see if that prediction is correct.