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Thread: Ignorance is bliss?

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    Utisz's Avatar
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    Ignorance is bliss?

    What lengths would you go to in the "pursuit of happiness" ...

    If the technology existed, are there memories you would delete to make yourself happier?

    If there was a dumb–happy pill that would induce a chemical-state of increased happiness and generally take the edge off, would you take it?

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    What lengths would you go to in the "pursuit of happiness" ...

    If the technology existed, are there memories you would delete to make yourself happier?
    Not me. I think happiness is relative, and only through experiencing pain and loss can you really appreciate happiness. I wouldn't delete or remove anything. In fact, I wish I could retain my memories better, because there are things in my life I've selectively forgotten, and I wish I hadn't.

    If there was a dumb–happy pill that would induce a chemical-state of increased happiness and generally take the edge off, would you take it?
    In some sense, benzos and antidepressants have this effect on me. So it's a trade off I evaluate all the time. But I never abuse the benzos, which basically slow my mind down just enough for the anxiety to turn down in volume from 11 to 8 until they put me to sleep. And I always wind up going off the antidepressants, because I think they compromise my intelligence a little.

    There have been many times in my life where I've felt like my intelligence was directly correlated with my unhappiness. But it is what it is, I am who I am, and the mixed bag I received in life is a combination of intelligence and massive anxiety and OCD. I accept it. I wouldn't give up who I am, because I've tied my identity to it too much. I can only try to work on my issues, improve, and be a better person. But chemically induced happiness would be reality destroying for me.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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    Member Hexchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    If the technology existed, are there memories you would delete to make yourself happier?
    Assuming I considered the technology precise and completely failsafe, yes. I'd completely erase the memories of playing the System Shock series, the Thief series, the Half-Life series and the Portal series (EDIT: And Outcast. And the original Unreal. Eh, I'll stop adding stuff now). And not just once.

    I'd be a little tempted to remove the worst of my bad memories as well, but I think I'd easily convince myself not to.


    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    If there was a dumb–happy pill that would induce a chemical-state of increased happiness and generally take the edge off, would you take it?
    No.

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    Merry Christmas Dot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    If the technology existed, are there memories you would delete to make yourself happier?
    Yes, I have some memories that are clogging/stuck in my digestive system and it would probably be beneficial to just vomit them, even if that requires sacrificing their nutrients. I wouldn't delete all of my unhappy memories, just the ones that aren't nutritional/digestible.

    If there was a dumb–happy pill that would induce a chemical-state of increased happiness and generally take the edge off, would you take it?
    Would this pill make your body (besides your brain) "happy" as well? for example, would you be able to feel physical pain/discomfort, or would that conflict with the happy effects? I'm just wondering because I can picture a futuristic society in which workers are grinning/acting euphoric while their limbs fall off from overwork and they die of sleep deprivation

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    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Nothing that is impacting my happiness has to do with memories of experiences past. So no, I would erase nothing.

    I might try the happy pill though. It would have to work better than alcohol, which I find already induces a chemical state of increased happiness and takes the edge off.

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    No, but I answer from ignorance. I do not know if any memories which seems bad are actually useful, either to accentuate the state of happiness or make me act more wisely. I also don't have any particularly horrific memories, perhaps I'm lucky or they're repressed. For someone suffering for PTSD due to combat or accident or whatever, this would seem to be an easy decision.

    Memory sculpting and tampering would be (will be?) as reasonable as garbage collection in a computer programs if it was as well understood. There is certainly many more good sci fi books in that because it may be possible someday. Bring on the brain in a jar.

    Now, a pill that makes you happy? We have so very many of those already. Haven't they legalized one in two states? The desire to be happy seems more useful than being happy as long as you are trying to go somewhere, it's a real motivator. I distrust short cuts.

    Besides, look at the horrifying results - a happy Spock?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    If there was a dumb–happy pill that would induce a chemical-state of increased happiness and generally take the edge off, would you take it?
    That's pretty much what sex is and I take it all the time.

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    Utisz's Avatar
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    I guess with respect to the dumb–happy pill, it needs a bit more clarification: I'm think of something more permanent, either as a once off plan or a regular prescription that will keep the state induced indefinitely.

    For me the answer is no to both. But then again, I'm reluctant even to take aspirin for a headache.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polemarch View Post
    In some sense, benzos and antidepressants have this effect on me. So it's a trade off I evaluate all the time. But I never abuse the benzos, which basically slow my mind down just enough for the anxiety to turn down in volume from 11 to 8 until they put me to sleep. And I always wind up going off the antidepressants, because I think they compromise my intelligence a little.

    There have been many times in my life where I've felt like my intelligence was directly correlated with my unhappiness. But it is what it is, I am who I am, and the mixed bag I received in life is a combination of intelligence and massive anxiety and OCD. I accept it. I wouldn't give up who I am, because I've tied my identity to it too much. I can only try to work on my issues, improve, and be a better person. But chemically induced happiness would be reality destroying for me.
    Yes, I think antidepressants are very much along the lines I was thinking. I would not consider myself depressed in the sense of needing remedial medication but even if I did, I would have similar reluctance to go down that path.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexchild View Post
    Assuming I considered the technology precise and completely failsafe, yes. I'd completely erase the memories of playing the System Shock series, the Thief series, the Half-Life series and the Portal series (EDIT: And Outcast. And the original Unreal. Eh, I'll stop adding stuff now). And not just once.
    Heh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Senseye View Post
    Nothing that is impacting my happiness has to do with memories of experiences past. So no, I would erase nothing.

    I might try the happy pill though. It would have to work better than alcohol, which I find already induces a chemical state of increased happiness and takes the edge off.
    Yup, I too am a big fan of alcohol but thinking more along the lines of a path towards a permanently-induced state.

    Quote Originally Posted by chobani View Post
    Would this pill make your body (besides your brain) "happy" as well? for example, would you be able to feel physical pain/discomfort, or would that conflict with the happy effects? I'm just wondering because I can picture a futuristic society in which workers are grinning/acting euphoric while their limbs fall off from overwork and they die of sleep deprivation


    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    No, but I answer from ignorance. I do not know if any memories which seems bad are actually useful, either to accentuate the state of happiness or make me act more wisely. I also don't have any particularly horrific memories, perhaps I'm lucky or they're repressed. For someone suffering for PTSD due to combat or accident or whatever, this would seem to be an easy decision.

    Memory sculpting and tampering would be (will be?) as reasonable as garbage collection in a computer programs if it was as well understood. There is certainly many more good sci fi books in that because it may be possible someday. Bring on the brain in a jar.

    Now, a pill that makes you happy? We have so very many of those already. Haven't they legalized one in two states? The desire to be happy seems more useful than being happy as long as you are trying to go somewhere, it's a real motivator. I distrust short cuts.

    Besides, look at the horrifying results - a happy Spock?
    That video makes me sad. Mainly 'cos it's only available in the US and I wish people wouldn't do that online. :/

    But yep, memory sculpting: scary shit though, no? I know you say it would be like a recycle bin if correctly understood but for me, it would be like fucking around in the registry.

    Quote Originally Posted by starla View Post
    That's pretty much what sex is and I take it all the time.
    Lucky you!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    That video makes me sad. Mainly 'cos it's only available in the US and I wish people wouldn't do that online. :/
    Is there anyway to tell which video is available where*? I wouldn't bother posting if there was. And f'ck whoever made these restrictions.

    *Video is posted by CBS on youtube but at the bottom of page it says 'worldwide'. Utisz, are you phoning in from Mars? Could CBS be lying to me? The horror.

  10. #10
    Utisz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    Is there anyway to tell which video is available where? I wouldn't bother posting if there was. And f'ck whoever made these restrictions.
    Ask me I guess. Other than that, no idea!

    But yep, regional restrictions on the interwebs suck donkey balls. So much for net neutrality.

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