Artificial Pleasure: A Cognitive Miracle
We clever humans have figured out how to artificially activate our pleasure circuits.
Humans have a complex relationship to pleasure. We want to feel pleasure, so we eat food, drink water and have sex and thereby survive and get out genes into the next generation. But also, we clever humans have figured out how to artificially activate our pleasure circuits.
So rather than naturally activating with food or sex, we can artificially activate them with things like heroin or nicotine or alcohol or amphetamines or cannabis. And in so doing, we can divorce pleasure from its evolutionary origins.
In addition, a cognitive miracle has happened. And the cognitive miracle is this. When you take the evolutionarily ancient pleasure circuit and you interconnect with regions of the brain that are involved in things like emotion and planning and social cognition and decision-making, what you get is that utterly arbitrary things can then be pleasurable. Mere ideas can be pleasurable.
So for example, a mouse and a human can get pleasure from eating food or having sex. But only a human can get pleasure from abstaining from sex or fasting if they have a particular set of cultural or religious or political beliefs that underlie that.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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