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> Abolitionism, Abolishment of all suffering through future biotech
Tone
post Mar 02, 2006, 06:15 PM
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Abolitionism

Abolitionism is the premise of abolishing suffering in all sentient life through the use of future biotechnology. Understand that neural architecture and chemistry ultimately governs over state of consciousness. That is why one can take euphoriants such as heroin and instantly experience a profound sense of well-being that most likely no drug-naive human in history can even imagine. That is why wireheaded rats press a lever to stimulate the final pleasure pathways of their brains until death from starvation.

Imagine a state of profound motivation, clear-mindedness, empathy and well-being, completely free of side effects and maintained as a constant. This is what future biotechnology shall endow sentient life with via modification of brain metabolic pathways such as the dopaminergic final pleasure pathways, serotogenic pathways and other brain mechanisms which govern over state of consciousness.

Because state of consciousness is a blank slate which shall be whatever its hardware instructs it to be, no objections to abolitionism can exist. if one raises any objections, e.g. "we would all become lazy as perfectly euphoric beings" or similar, it is simply a visualization of something other than the goal of abolitionism and thus irrelevant. its all merely a question of feasibility and working out the bugs.

Furthermore, because of the fact that no matter what path one takes in life, be it lofty and spiritual of some sort, or simple and down to earth; no matter what experiences one has in life; no matter what thoughts or emotions one has, all humans ultimately exist within a same and constant end result: a state of consciousness with X amount of pain, Y amount of pleasure and thus Z amount of well-being. Therefore there is no other logical purpose to life other than Abolitionism, be achieved through future technology turned inward, or any other conceivable method and this too is irrefutable.

Tone

---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

Interested in abolitionism? Visit http://www.abolitionist-society.com/ The Abolitionist Society

or

http://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/tabconhi.htm The Hedonistic Imperative

Abstract:

QUOTE
"The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life.

The abolitionist project is hugely ambitious but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and morally urgent. The metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved because they served the fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. They will be replaced by a different sort of neural architecture - a motivational system based on heritable gradients of bliss. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. It is predicted that the world's last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event."


---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----

<b>Abolitionism Discussion Excerpts From Other Forums:</b>

Dr. Quest: "Just joined this interesting group. I wanted to kick in here and say that it is very possible that suffering is an essential part of the human condition. There is something about the dualistic nature of the universe and "reality" which predicates that if there is pleasure, there must be pain. The gnostic concept of pleroma defines it well for me. In essence, reality is comprised of the tension between pairs of opposites."

TONE: "So in other words, "Happiness exists because of its contrast to sadness". I disagree that contrast is necessary for the existence of seemingly opposite polarities themselves, but rather its just needed for language in order to label something.

The first thing that comes to my mind is the existence of people with depression. These people remain depressed for many years or even all their lives while someone next door may be the opposite, a person who is slightly happier than typical, highly functional and successful as well. These are two separate persons, living in completely different realities. To which one do we call an example of the above response you've just made? Besides, why doesn't the depressive just get better since lack of happiness is not contrasting with his/her daily agony? There are different people with different states of consciousness, vastly different levels of functioning and well-being. Imagine the world's most highly functioning and well person. Is this person breaking the universal law of contrast and dualities? who's to say that the mechanisms by which this person exists in the state he/she is in cannot be farther improved upon? In fact it looks like the opposite is true. On the other hand, the world's worse depressives who have either committed suicide or have been in and out of hospitals and stuck in a rut so deep they are far from normal functioning exist as well. Could they be an example of this duality broken?

Secondly, Humans long have experienced 'alien' states of consciousness through the use of plants and drugs. There must be an infinite amount of states of consciousness possible. Knowing this, how can we take a tiny portion of possible states that most humans experience on a day to day basis and consider it a universal duality and balance. Im not sure about you but this just doesn't make sense to me.

I also think of wireheading. Rodents and humans who had the final common pathway of pleasure in their brains wireheaded to be stimulated via mild electronic shock never, ever get tolerant to the effects. This is simply because the mechanisms by which tolerance to drugs exist, receptor down regulation in particular, do not apply to electric stimulus.

I simply view our states of well-being a brain function and being in analogous to intelligence. Apes may sometimes use sticks, sometimes not and that is their normal narrow range of intelligence, but they have no idea of the intellectual reality of a human which occurred through evolution. Why would states of consciousness be any different? Maybe current humans cannot fathom a higher state of consciousness through abolitionist directive."

BrewmeisterPAIN: What is amusing to me is the notion that pain is negative. Next time you pull your hand away from a hot stove why not meditate on how pain is a total burden and you should be allowed the opportunity to burn your hand with out any hardship. One quick question: In the wire-headed world who will wipe my ass?

TONE: in the end, a wireheaded world is not envisioned, but rather specific modifications of specific brain areas and pathways mainly via genetic engineering. For instance one area to look at is the final common pathway of pleasure, operated by dopamine neurons.. there are only about 30 - 40 thousand dopamine neurons in the human brain compared to a trillion others .. abolitionism in this specific area would look at vastly increasing the number of neurons and receptor density of this pathway, and engineer it to always be highly active in a healthy way .. with all bugs worked out it is feasible that the result is humans capable of much more pleasure and motivation, much more enjoyment than we can possibly imagine. the closest analog we have today is the cocaine or opioid high, only the modifications would be only the good (and much better), without the side effects.

in an abolitionist world, you not only will happily wipe the sh*t out of your a*shole, but be motivated to do so much more, and every moment of it will be sublime. if you are envisoning a lazy stoned high, lack of motivation and functioning where you dont even wipe your ass like some kind of shitty brave new world with soma, then you are not inline with the vision of abolitionism. anything is possible, the hardware just has to be designed to spec.

as far as pain being a tool or a way to learn something, or a contrast to keep pleasure truly pleasurable, i don't think so. pain just interferes with the experience of pleasure. what exactly are you trying to learn or aid in with pain as a tool? whatever it is, im sure its some goal or path that has an impact on well-being anyway, like anything does. By the time you are physical pain free, your hand will be able to be regenerated.

for those interested in learning more about abolitionism, visit www.abolitionist-society.com and for the manifesto of abolitionism see:

http://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/tabconhi.htm

----

Martin: My argument is not that improving the race is impossible, just that it is very unlikely that it could actually be achieved as a feat of medical engineering, due to the vast ammount of knowledge it would require. To be entirely clear, it is not necissarily the feat of engineering that would require the vast ammount of knowledge, that knowledge would be needed in order to accurately state that any change made actually constituted an improvement. WIthout virtually omnicient knowledge of ourselves, we could not know whether any changes were really improvements or not.

TONE: I think it will be possible, just from the fact that hard drugs and wireheading of today shows that certain states are possible. Even if you have a state that's 1 minute long, in theory its possible to be that way all of the time if all the factors are reproduced and maintained. Id hypothesize it could be farther tweaked from there to be improved even more.

if you think about it, really the only thing that makes drugs lose their magic are the mechanisms of tolerance and adaptive change. those two are merely biological mechanisms and not some abstract 'getting bored with it'

what i see is that it is feasible that altering key areas of the brain, such as oxytocin levels, the final pleasure pathway of dopamine, certain serotonin pathways, that you could at the very least vastly improve a human's baseline state of consciousness. i mean there are already vast difference between humans, severe depressives and highly relatively happy and successful people as well. we can build from that as we gain more knowledge of the human central nervous system

----

Hangman: "This has lost all scientific relavancy. If a man were to do as such, controlling pain and pleasure in a controlled state, then he would become something else all together. We arent talking about men at this point, we are talking about something sinister.

TONE: "Thus the term transhumanism or posthumanism, but we are not talking about something sinister here. What is sinister is the aversive malaise, pain, depressions, and other mechanisms of limitation we are essentially imprisoned with by the platform of which we evolved, one that is dominated by negative feedback mechanisms which I do not believe are essential to life, in fact they hinder it. Abolitionism is a vision of a higher state of consciousness that not only just includes a higher capacity to experience pleasure and a better everyday baseline state of consciousness and concept of mental health, but also a vision of increased intelligence and motivation. in essence, very high functioning super well-being, functioning is actually enhanced not hindered. From a wider perspective, pleasure and pain is already controlled, by our default DNA."

----

NANO-NATION: "You say everything can be classified as positive or negative. Not everything is black and white. There are shades of grey and color in life."

TONE: "Alas, the shades of gray are still composed of black and white. We experience things outside of ourselves, think of any example you'd like.. we respond to those experiences with thoughts and emotions, with states. Our external experiences, be whatever, coupled with our internal neural architecture make up the causality that is our thoughts, emotions, states of being. With external experience and internal processing, in the end what do we have? a sentient conscious being experiencing a state of consciousness. Made up of good and bad feelings, this state has a particular level of net well-being. Abolitionism aims to be the most direct route to raise this well-being by modifying the internal neural architecture that is so vital. other future technologies will have the potential to enhance our external environment."

----

NANO-NATION: "Taking "painful experiences" takes away from the color of life.... I don't believe that this belief system, the belief that we all should be happy and stay happy is a healthy one. Not now or ever in human society. It would prevent us from doing the most elemental function in life. And that is Experiencing it."

TONE: "Im not sure where you are coming from entirely but pain and depression does nothing but dull my colors and interfere with my pleasure and well-being. When I am in my most pain-free state, my life has the most color. pain only serves to dull everything for me. Ever taken LSD? Albeit imperfect and often with side effects, It sure does add a lot of color to life, and this happens merely through a biological mechanism. This shows us that the vigor and color in life can be biological in basis as neural pathways govern over our perceptions. The brain is the hardware and the hardware will do anything its designed to do. On the grounds of comparing my own experiences lower pain VS higher pain and the fact that various drugs have temporarily animated the lives of many with 'color' and vigor, I hypothesize that under a sound abolitionist directive, specific modifications to specific brain pathways will both reduce pain AND color life more than we've ever experienced before and can imagine, and this will result in a norm of mental health and highly functional baseline state that is much improved over crude fixed chemical compounds that have captured our imaginations."

----

NANO-NATION: "The very name of this movement if I am not mistaken is "The Hedonstic Imperative". Tell me that is not a statement of philosophy. And what is Hedonism? An ethical system that evaluates the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good. That's a philosophy."

TONE: "It is philosophy. H.I. is argued on utilitarian grounds, mostly a feel of negative utilitarianism, that is that abolishment of pain is the prime directive. Abolitionism's philosophy is that overall pleasure - pain = well-being and well-being=value. I think its a sound purpose to life, considering that no matter what path we take in life, our lives ultimately consist of a sentient being with a state of consciousness that has X amount of pain, Y amount of pleasure and thus Z amount of well-being."

----

NANO-NATION: "Humans have evolved with the sensations of pain, suffering, loss or all of the other "bad" emotions that are in our lives. To rid ourselves from those experiences would in essence stop mankind from evolving."

TONE: "Technology is growing an exponential rate, and If we are going to enhance our brains, we should see to it that we are amplifying our mechanism of drive and motivation. Science has learned that their are neurotransmitters (dopamine and noradrenaline in particular) and pathways that govern over how driven and motivated we are. These mechanisms enhanced will lead to higher functioning and thus more progress. Many people who have used 'speed' *at first* become more driven and get more done than ever before, but then the mechanisms of tolerance and neuro-adaptive change take hold. A limbic system properly enhanced will result in us getting more done than ever before. Under the ideal abolitionist directive, progress will continue, it will speed up."

----

NANO-NATION: "In what I have read so far, this movement is trying to use chemicals to prevent the brain from recognizing sorrow, pain, remorse etc. Have you ever met anyone who can't experience pain? Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis, or CIPA. How many children in the world would suffer without knowing it before anythhing comes from it. I think that this movement, although interesting should consider what people who have this disorder and see if it has stopped them from suffering"

TONE: "This does pose an interesting point and problem. For now i will remain focused on mental pain. even if we allowed physical pain to remained but instilled the significant reduction or abolition of mental pain through enhancing perception and baseline state of consciousness, life would be come a heaven on earth in comparison to our current state

Besides motivation and well-being, abolitionism seeks to enhance the way we operate socially. Capacity for empathy and other enhancements of those mechanisms which influence the way we behave socially should be enhanced as well."

KDAWG: "current mental states, the increase in depression is caused by the reformation of social bonds and social institutions. for most of our existence, homo sapiens has existed in small close-tie groups, we are wired for tribal life. it has been postulated, and I am in agreement, that present day malaise (although how do we measure present day malaise in contrast to an ancestral environment?) is a result of the break down of the small close-tie group. because of weak ties that exist potentially between every human on earth, the information processing capability of humans has increased a thousand fold in the last five hundred years but at the detriment to our individual existence. are we happier than we have ever been? this is difficult to say because the human brain is wired to look for danger in the midst of an ice age which could yield a fatalist view in the first place (the gods must be crazy). again, i believe the demise of small socially entrenched groups, with the benefit of increased data processing, has been to our detriment. our state, however you define it, is most likely in a period of drastic change. i dont know if the result will be this so-called H.I. of the previous post but posthumanism, the rise of something that is not human in the classic homo sapiens sense, is inevitable save for a worldwide extinction event. the forces of evolution will be wielded by humans, or whatever comes after, to reshape his/her genome and all other life on the planet. at some point it is highly plausible that people rewire their heads to process data (through the senses) in drastically different manners. i've thought that a reduction in emotional response would be logical but people might crave the highs and lows of stimulation. arfiticial wombs are already being tested (a la 'the Island') and if it weren't for the love of sex I'd consider different genders as on the cutting block for the distant future since it is reasonably possible that humans will take the reproductive process completely over."

TONE: "thanks for your reply, this is the second post of yours i read.. i read the other long one, i enjoy your posts. you brought something to my attention that i was not previously aware of. i never would have thought of humans being wired to experience more aversiveness in an ice-age. that is an interesting hypothesis. either way drugs have made people feel very good, have sharpened perceptions and animated lives, have increased empathy and sociability they have brought about extraordinary states of consciousness, albeit side effect ridden and subject to tolerance & some of them dependence wireheading of the final common pathway of pleasure has created intense pleasure in both rats and humans to which NO tolerance ever develops if a fixed and crude chemical compound or a wireheading can do these things, this tells me that enhanced humans though other means are possible and probably beyond our imagination."

SlightlyFlawed: "Pain and suffering have their uses."

TONE: "The uses of pain & suffering seem to be: lowering productivity and motivation, interfering socially, lowering ability to get enjoyment or pleasure out of anything, making life less worth living.

a moderate amount example would be: someone who's working OK, but has a lot of mood swings, has social difficulties, is under stress, quality of life is low

A severe amount example would be: a depressive who's unable to work, has been in and out of hospitals, possible suicide attempts or suicide, unable to function, too weak and in too much mental pain to do common functions such as chores, cleaning, etc., feels miserable all of the time."
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Tone
post Mar 05, 2006, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE
My initial reaction to that idea is that it is wrong. It does sound like what Buddhism and Hinduism ultimately strive for. I like both religions, but I was never down with the fact that someone would want to be in a constant state of bliss. I've said it before, and so does my philosophy teacher:

"I want to taste sugar, not be sugar."

Feeling makes me feel alive, and I wouldn't change it for infinate bliss.



Abolitionism and Buddhist philosophy both focus on the end result goal of abolishment of suffering, but Buddhism asserts this is done through eliminating desire. Abolitionists think this would be another dead end as sure as chasing after external things. Human beings tend to be set in a baseline amount of happiness to which they most often live in, and always return to regardless of anything new. This is like running a hedonic treadmill, but always staying in the same spot. Though, how would shutting off the treadmill (Buddhist detachment from desire) bring anymore happiness? No matter what we do or have, we tend to simply exist in a state of consciousness that varies relatively little after basic needs are met. Evidence, ever increasing, shows this fixed happiness baseline to be neurophysiological in basis. Consciousness altering substances and technologies of today such as euphoriants, empathogens, entheogens and electric wireheading, though imperfect, show that vastly different states of being are both possible and neurophysiological in basis. Abolitionists argue that eventually with enough knowledge and bioengineering capabilities, these states can be improved upon and endowed in mankind (and then all sentient life) as its norm of mental health. Abolitionist directive foresees not only an increase for the capacity to experience pleasure and a sense of well-being, but also in drive, motivation and empathy. This is a vision of high-functioning well-being. In fact, higher functioning than our current state, we would be empowered. We very well can feel more 'alive' than ever imagined rather than the images of a Brave New World-ish dystopia, dulled and stoned on soma, or a bliss that leaves us detached and unfeeling. It just all depends on the hardware (brain) and how it is designed to operate.

Tone
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Shawn
post Mar 05, 2006, 01:17 AM
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Tone, I have questions concerning the clarity of abolitionist goals and details regarding the paths to reach those goals. Such questions cannot be answered in a thread or even series of threads. Seems like an Abolitionist Wiki is needed to amass and possibly organize this information. Hedweb has been around for many years. What has superceded it in terms of communicating and laying out the details of the Abolitionist program?


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Tone
post Mar 05, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Hedweb is ahead of its time and what is layed out in it is all that is really to be said right now. =( It is also updated with things like news stories of new discoveries in neuroscience, new objections to H.I., new abstracts of studies in the references section and stuff

thats the only response i have to this, in the meantime, i hope discussion of this idea/ideal continues to instill awareness of it upon more consciousness and new stuff comes out to combat pain and depression =(
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Neurosail
post Mar 07, 2006, 12:15 AM
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I hate to be off topic, or maybe I don't understand this correctly. If the goal is to abolish all pain and suffering, then won't this also eliminate creativity?
Vincent van Gogh entered an asylum with periods of clarity and intense artistic activity alternated with spells of depression and inertia. He even cut off his ear in one such bout and then later he committed suicide. Could his work be just as creative if he didn't suffer so much pain?
I also suffer on a coaster ride, (nowhere near as bad as van Gogh!), some days I start crying for no reason and other days, I'm so exultant and I don't understand why. If I took some pills such as lithium, then would that also kill the drive in me to be creative? I need my roller coaster ride!
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Tone
post Mar 07, 2006, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE(Neurosail @ Mar 07, 02:15 AM) *

I hate to be off topic, or maybe I don't understand this correctly. If the goal is to abolish all pain and suffering, then won't this also eliminate creativity?
Vincent van Gogh entered an asylum with periods of clarity and intense artistic activity alternated with spells of depression and inertia. He even cut off his ear in one such bout and then later he committed suicide. Could his work be just as creative if he didn't suffer so much pain?
I also suffer on a coaster ride, (nowhere near as bad as van Gogh!), some days I start crying for no reason and other days, I'm so exultant and I don't understand why. If I took some pills such as lithium, then would that also kill the drive in me to be creative? I need my roller coaster ride!


im tired right now and anyway im not so smart at arguing against certain objections, i mean trying to word it.

i like how David responds to this kind of objection, check this out, read 4.14

http://www.hedweb.com/hedethic/hedon4.htm#beethoven

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Tone
post Mar 07, 2006, 01:34 AM
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i hate lithium too. the drugs of today suck. many side effects. this is a vision of high functioning well being
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Neurosail
post Mar 07, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Thanks for the link, I will study it closely! Since I'm in cryonics and want to see the future, I not against improving the human condition. If fact I'm All for it. I was worried that if I didn't know the negative side of life as well as the positive side then I wouldn't have the balance I need to survive in today's and the future world's to come.

I agree, today's drugs suck big time. I can't wait for nanotech drugs to come on the market. wink.gif
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Tone
post Mar 07, 2006, 12:45 PM
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if anyone has ever taken a drug that did them some good, even if the good was during one part of the drug like the onset or a few minutes of the peak, then they can imagine feeling that way all of the time. lets say that drug is someone's first use of modest dose amphetamine and lets say the person responded well to it. lets say she concluded it was 75% good, 25% bad, and good was increased motivation concentration, and increased sense of well being in the first part of it. the 25% bad was a little bit of agitation, increased anxiety, not really a perfect feeling. the 25% bad is simply from the fact that this is a fixed chemical compound, in this case one who's mechanism is the unselective force of release of noradraline and dopamine. what if it were more selective to be selectively dopaminergic, and slightly noradrenalergic, both at just the right pathways for the least side effects?

ok now its perfected but theres still maybe 10% bad because all the good pathways might still have some downside the being in a state of higher activity. what if we found other pathways to enhance that has a synergestic effect with minimizing the still 10% bad effects of the now selective and perfected drug. it gets even better then.

so what if we gained enough knowledge to have all the right pathways that need to be excited enhanced, and all the ones that need to be inhibited controlled? and it was then made permanent instead of through a drug that has a half-life and is subject to tolerance?.......

I dont want to be a slave anymore to a set-point of consciousness that is determined with my devolopment and birth. i want a custom engineered state of being thats better. i should have been born in the future. i suppose for people already born it requires very selective pharmas , maybe some future tech like nano, gene therapy, etc
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Rick
post Mar 07, 2006, 03:21 PM
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Suppose we could genetically engineer our future selves to have brains that could change states by will and not need drugs?
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maximus242
post Mar 07, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Actually you can already change states at will, it requires practice, other external methods exist as well such as breathing patterns developed by a psychologist (forgot the name) but through meditation you can change your brain states as well. Last but not least you can change your brain states through concentration using a EEG, simply observe your EEG and play around with it, trying to alter the frequency until you can change your brains state smile.gif once you get used to it you remember how you did it and vowala brain states at will, although I think this is also possible with halucogenic type ones my guess is you would have to see what your EEG is at when undergoing a halluconation and then trying to replicate it..
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post Mar 07, 2006, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Mar 07, 03:21 PM) *

Suppose we could genetically engineer our future selves to have brains that could change states by will and not need drugs?


right, you can say one of the ultimate goals of the abolitionist project is a drug-free future
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Tone
post Mar 07, 2006, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 07, 05:31 PM) *

Actually you can already change states at will, it requires practice, other external methods exist as well such as breathing patterns developed by a psychologist (forgot the name) but through meditation you can change your brain states as well. Last but not least you can change your brain states through concentration using a EEG, simply observe your EEG and play around with it, trying to alter the frequency until you can change your brains state smile.gif once you get used to it you remember how you did it and vowala brain states at will, although I think this is also possible with halucogenic type ones my guess is you would have to see what your EEG is at when undergoing a halluconation and then trying to replicate it..


The guest above was me, i forgot to log in.

Ive practice meditation for ten years now. ive even had out of body experiences, one of them was quite vivid where i found myself floating above my own body in a pale blue astral body. through meditation on the heart center i have actually reached states of highten empathy and sense of love, perhaps somewhat MDMA-like. but much of the time the meditation ends up increasing my anxiety for some reason. i have always had a terrible time concentrating too.

ive also used self hypnosis tapes, subliminals, brainwave entertainment technologies

but right now i must confess i took extra tramadol today and none of the above is as good as how i feel now, in my experience. i know this can sound sad in a way =(
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post Mar 07, 2006, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 02, 06:15 PM) *

It is predicted that the world's last unpleasant experience will be a precisely dateable event


Ok. So we are talking hera about one POSSIBLE FUTURE, aren't we? Because I still don't see how you fit external factors into this equation. Abolistionism so far sounds to me like la-la land for some priviledged ones, if lucky enough to get to that point in the future before a more dramatic (catastrophic maybe) event takes place. At the physiological level, our physical bodies are pre-programed to eventually cease to work someday. At the social level, there are people in this world who eat dirt to survive from one day to the next, who don't even get fed, just because they are not a priority (the poorest Africans, for instance). They die of curable diseases on the daily basis while the drugs to save them are stockepiled somewhere in a warehouse in some rich country untill the company stocks hit the right price on Wall Street. And even then, these drugs never get to the one who need them if they don't have the money to buy them. And at the species level, a meteorite could just hit earth in thirty minutes from the time you are reading this post and obliterate life as we know it, or send it on a backwards spin that could last centuries to recover from. What good is this permanent pleasure state going to bring about that may override these external factors? And what about the human traits that are elementary to our fabric as humans? How are they going to equate into this scenario? For example, greed, creativity, ambition, love. Are they supposed to subside as the pleasure factor reaches maximum state?
The thing that puzzles me about your post is how you draw comparisons between rats and humans as easily as comparing apples to apples. You say that rats push the pleasure button to the point of death. Well, death is a concept known only to highly intelligent species: humans and maybe elephants. We have a choice. Rats don't. They push the button because they had no choice but to follow their instincts.
I don't know what a permanent state of bliss would be like at all. On the other hand, I can recall the exact moment when I had the most pleasure I've ever had. I can only imagine what it would be like to have this moment on a permanent basis. I just can't fathem how everything else that makes me who I am, incluiding this body I'm stuck in, incluiding this reality I percieve through my senses can just go along for the ride.
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Neurosail
post Mar 07, 2006, 11:28 PM
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What good is this permanent pleasure state going to bring about that may override these external factors? And what about the human traits that are elementary to our fabric as humans? How are they going to equate into this scenario? For example, greed, creativity, ambition, love. Are they supposed to subside as the pleasure factor reaches maximum state?

That is what I meant by saying:
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I was worried that if I didn't know the negative side of life as well as the positive side then I wouldn't have the balance I need to survive in today's and the future world's to come.

You said it better than I could. Thanks.

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And at the species level, a meteorite could just hit earth in thirty minutes from the time you are reading this post and obliterate life as we know it, or send it on a backwards spin that could last centuries to recover from.

26 Oct. 2028

PS I Loved Max Headroom when it was on the tube.
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Neural
post Mar 07, 2006, 11:59 PM
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Abolitionism does seem a bit airy fairy. What hard evidence suggests there is a trend leading up to it?


Besides, pain is good in that it reminds you that you are alive.
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Tone
post Mar 08, 2006, 12:06 AM
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And what about the human traits that are elementary to our fabric as humans? How are they going to equate into this scenario? For example, greed, creativity, ambition, love. Are they supposed to subside as the pleasure factor reaches maximum state?


greed decreases

ambition, creatiivity and love increases, as well as empathy

All these things are bio. the abolitionist vision is not one of a selfish high or a stoned high, but rather a high functioning well-being where things like motivation and empathy are also enhanced. so what a comet might hit, should we stop every other project too? im sick of being a slave to a consciousness set point thats created and governed by factors which i have no control over, arent you? its a moral urgency we clean up the poor excuse for an existance with a better reality if we gain the power to do so!!

you say you can remember the most blissful moment of your life? well the only reason why it didnt last for ever was because whatever mechanism was causing it was temporary. if it was with a drug, drugs wear off plus the brain adapts to them by changing receptors and stuff. i wonder if you can imagine that state you are in being a starting point and improved upon even more from there!?
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Tone
post Mar 08, 2006, 12:13 AM
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QUOTE(Neural @ Mar 08, 01:59 AM) *

Abolitionism does seem a bit airy fairy. What hard evidence suggests there is a trend leading up to it?


ever read science news? psych journals? there is always a new gene being discovered to be responsible for some disorder or mental attribute. ever read about nanotech? ever take a drug? ever read about other peoples experiences with drugs?


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Besides, pain is good in that it reminds you that you are alive.


yea, it seems to be real good at making life worse in every possible way. decrease functioning, decrease enjoyment of anything, decrease concentration on anything, decrease motivation, makes you feel like life is less worth living. i feel most alive when my pain is the least amount. so does anyone whos ever gotten a good high on a drug and also had their mental pain reduced by it. besides, its not difficult to hypothesize that if you alter the brain in just the right way it will result in both profound wellbeing along with things that make you feel more alive like deeper perception, more empathy and creativity and the like
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post Mar 08, 2006, 05:56 AM
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QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 08, 12:06 AM) *

QUOTE
And what about the human traits that are elementary to our fabric as humans? How are they going to equate into this scenario? For example, greed, creativity, ambition, love. Are they supposed to subside as the pleasure factor reaches maximum state?


im sick of being a slave to a consciousness set point thats created and governed by factors which i have no control over, arent you?


Totally! Which is why I asked the question. What kind of control over these factors would a permanent state of bliss bring about? And how? Isn't your point leading precisely to that which you are sick of? A new reality still governed by outside factors? And won't I still be a casualty of circumstances (the meteorite example)?
QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 08, 12:06 AM) *

you say you can remember the most blissful moment of your life? well the only reason why it didnt last for ever was because whatever mechanism was causing it was temporary


And just for the purpose of this discussion I'll share my moment of highest bliss that I've ever had. It wasn't drug induced at all and it wasn't even intentional. It was simply an orgasmic experience product of a vivid dream while in a Delta wave frequency state, which lasted long enough to carry the intensity over onto the Beta state where it ended suddendly, but not abruptly. Therefore, I remember it vividly.
I've never taken heroin, nor I ever will, probably. But I've always been currious about how users describe the high off of it: Pain-free is a frequetly used term. Because of this experience I had, I've always wondered about the possibilities; a state of mind in permanent bliss is definetely something desirable. Just how we are going to get to that point your way is what puzzles me. Thanks for the links. I am definetely going to read all about them. And get back to you with more questions.

PS Yea! Max ruled back in the days when the boob-tube was king and I was my father's remote control. Thankfully there was only two tv channels at the time. Or am I going back too far? :-) Thank you Neurosail for the comment, though.
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mayonaise
post Mar 08, 2006, 09:37 AM
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One nano-enthuasist suggested replacing the reward-system with something that would have intelligence as it's highest goal, not secondary (because with the current system it would require self-discipline in the future not to indulge in wireheading).

Regarding bipolar disorder or whatever it's called clinically, I don't think it's necessary for creativity. Bipolar people often say that they would not give away the manic phase for a lot of money. I can't argue because I haven't been there, but I wonder if it has some negative consequences, like it's drug-like in that also induces tunnel-vision besides the energy and euphoria.

I believe it's possible even with today's tools to get rid of both the depression and the tunnel-vision, yet retain creativity, high intellect and good spirits.
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post Mar 08, 2006, 12:29 PM
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mania is a good thing. It only compromises judgement if the manic does not know how to wield the power properly.
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post Mar 08, 2006, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(mayonaise @ Mar 08, 11:37 AM) *

One nano-enthuasist suggested replacing the reward-system with something that would have intelligence as it's highest goal, not secondary (because with the current system it would require self-discipline in the future not to indulge in wireheading).


who, shawn? he would love that. now THAT sounds like losing feeling, not abolitionist project. though, what exactly did this nano enthuasist mean?, i dont quite understand. a goal has to be reinforced some how. maybe the nano-enthuasist meant that the link we have between learning and reward from learning should be strenthened? because i cant image anything else.
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mayonaise
post Mar 10, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Not necessarily, I think that by the time such transformation would be possible, the consciousness of these new beings would begin to be incomprehensible to us. They might experience the world in a way that the concepts of emotion would be obselete.

Unfortunately the original message is now gone and the above is my speculation - the original had more meat to it and was different. Sorry.
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post Mar 10, 2006, 09:34 AM
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QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 08, 01:14 PM) *

because i cant image anything else.


Just a tad off the subject here, Tone, but very much in relation to the goals of Abolitionism. Have you checked the threads in this website related to Consciousness Singularity? And if so, how does Consciousness Singularity's ultimate goal differ from that of Abolitionism in your opinion? They seem to me very closely related, and differ widely only in their means to the goal.
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Tone
post Mar 10, 2006, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Mar 10, 11:34 AM) *

QUOTE(Tone @ Mar 08, 01:14 PM) *

because i cant image anything else.


Just a tad off the subject here, Tone, but very much in relation to the goals of Abolitionism. Have you checked the threads in this website related to Consciousness Singularity? And if so, how does Consciousness Singularity's ultimate goal differ from that of Abolitionism in your opinion? They seem to me very closely related, and differ widely only in their means to the goal.


that thread's original post and abolitionist project are similar in the sense that both involve something we cant imagine, like a monkey suddenly having the consciousness of a human, but shawn does not believe in increasing well-being as the prime center of it all. its more about expanding consciousness which is an ambigous and hard thing to describe other than to use that phrase. the abolitionist project envisions sense of well-being being prime thing to enhance, ALONG* with things like motivation an empathy. it doesnt limit to that though , we could be made to have sharper perceptions and awareness while remaining well at the same time. for instance, to use a drug that involves both as an example, there has been bad LSD trips and good LSD trips. in good LSD trips someone has a sense deeper perceptions and expanded awareness, but at the same time is feeling pretty good! Some people who have used DMT and were lucky entered what they call a state of bliss!!

how do we know bad trips or bad experiences from other means such as meditation arent just from a negative synergy with other brain pathways? It seems like its possible to make it so we can expand consciousness and feel well at the same time.
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