Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Redefine Attraction

Redefine the root of Attraction <-> Repulsion
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(+2, -4)
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One of the problems with all of the problems facing us is that they’re all governed by what we want to do versus what should ideally occur.

Overpopulation — caused by people having sex. Why do people have sex? It is pleasurable, we want to do it, we gravitate toward doing it or thinking about it or arranging things so that it is more likely to occur.

Obesity — caused by people overeating. Why do people overeat? It is pleasurable, we want to do it, etc.

Obsession with wealth — caused by a few people making too much money. Why do people seek wealth? It feels bad to be poor and in debt. The repulsion is very strong and for some people, seeing how they grew up in poverty causes them to swing to the other extreme and spend all their life bothered about earning excessive amounts of wealth, far beyond optimum or necessity or comfort.

And probably lots more things beginning with O.

Anyway, all of this comes down to a fairly simple bit of biological programming. Why do we go TOWARD what we are attracted to, and AWAY from what we are repelled by? Why do we find a thing attractive, and another thing repulsive? Why do we like the attractive, and dislike the repulsive?

What if we simply change or alter or modify the response. A stimulus occurs, we evaluate it. The result is that we may be motivated toward it because we’ve labelled it ‘attractive’. Why? Where did this come from? Were there, back in the history of prehistory, earliest single cell lifeforms that had it the other way round, and evaluated a sensory input as attractive and went away from it, or conversely evaluated as dangerous or bad, and went toward it? What happened to them? Maybe they all died out for some reason, and some time after they all died out, maybe they stopped procreating, for some other reason. Who knows — it’s all hypothesis at this stage.

What we need is a thing such as a pill or a drink or phone app that can modify our root level linkage between positive evaluation of a stimulus and then taking action upon that evaluation as ‘attractive’ by motivating toward it.

Ian Tindale, Dec 13 2015

Implementation https://upload.wiki...94/Clockwork'71.jpg
[mitxela, Dec 13 2015]

Re: Dog Shit https://www.youtube...watch?v=hgbaUqZTdRY
[LimpNotes, Dec 16 2015]


       //a thing such as a pill or a drink or phone app// This is an extremely cogent and precisely specified invention. I'm surprised that manufacturers are not already calling you up, I would say there is enough detailed specifications to take this straight to production.
pocmloc, Dec 13 2015

       Well, on my blueprints here, it’s a combined pill, unction, cocktail drink, hat and Android app. It’s nearly finished — there’s only one remaining technical difficulty I’m having, and that is explaining it.
Ian Tindale, Dec 13 2015

       [marked-for-deletion] magic. Sorry
Voice, Dec 13 2015

       I don't get it Ian, this just describes most of childhood where you are made to feel guilt rather than attraction for your play, or daydreaming, or gluttony, or sexuality... pretty much in that order.
Doesn't really work on strong wills.

       //pill// given the context, a suppository, shirley ?
FlyingToaster, Dec 13 2015

       Are you taking about giving women drugs so they'll have sex with ugly guys? I think they're called roofies.
doctorremulac3, Dec 13 2015

       The only problem I can see with this idea is that it's bollocks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2015

       That comment seems to lack your usual prescience and insight, [MB]. You are correct, but that's far from the only problem with the proposal.
8th of 7, Dec 13 2015

       The other problem is that as soon as anyone finds this idea attractive...
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2015

       That pill or drink is called culture. Otherwise I would have probably tried to have sex about 15 times today, driven my car straight across the park to the parking lot (instead of circluing around; grrr) and I would have eaten the entire cake and the coconut cream pie I have in the kitchen.   

       That pie still might have to go.
bungston, Dec 13 2015

       I'll take that cake if you'll send it to me.
Voice, Dec 13 2015

       I was reading some philosophy and there is some work in the area of 'attention' in phenomenology, 'valence' in psychology, and even the motion of the eye in artwork. There's really a lot to consider in this area. The stimulus-response of behavioral determinism and conditioning is only part of it. For example I have been troubled by the habit of glancing towards the buttocks, and I'm not sure the force of nature that is sexual attraction can be so easily undermined by conditioning. However, if both baring the buttocks and looking at them are both roundly discouraged there is an element of conditioning in that.
guncandy, Dec 13 2015

       This species has developed the technology to abstract the factors which suggest something is likely to confer a selective advantage from the things which actually do so. Self-limiting doesn't work as well in circumstances where that has happened. That's too teleological but you know what I mean.
nineteenthly, Dec 14 2015

       //This species has developed the technology to abstract the factors which suggest something is likely to confer a selective advantage from the things which actually do so.//   

       Yeah, but it works, doesn't it? What, for example, have aardvarks developed, apart from additional unnecessary aardvarks that are substantially similar to the earlier aardvarks?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 14 2015

       I think you’ll find they invented the telephone directory.
Ian Tindale, Dec 14 2015

       I don't think so, though they were in at the beginning.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 14 2015

       I think apps to amplify any scanned object's illusory quality already exist. Don't pillory me for saying so, as I know f* all about apps and can't just visit my local appwright for advice, but by patience, through observation and reflection, and in training one can master some discrimination among qualities by self imposed abstraction, as per nineteenthly.   



       ... where ever you are ...
reensure, Dec 15 2015

       Ah, yes, but that’s at a higher and more analytical level of abstraction.   

       What I’m asking is: why do we prefer pleasure and not displeasure? Why do we consider good things to be good and not not good? Why are we attracted to experiences that stimulate our pleasure, rather than simply ignore it? Why do we interpret pleasure as good? Why do we go toward what we interpret as good? Why is good good?   

       At its basis, it must surely be a matter of evaluation, then action? What if action were disconnected from any evaluation?
Ian Tindale, Dec 15 2015

       I am wistfully remembering a time when the esteemed creator of this site would at this point suggest that such musings be moved to Overbaked.
bungston, Dec 15 2015

       I can't help thinking this is a suspiciously philosophical-sounding idea.
nineteenthly, Dec 16 2015

       I can't help thinking this is a suspiciously bollocks-sounding idea.
hippo, Dec 16 2015

       Speaking of bullocks. It occurs to me that I was once shown something called "scrotum stapling". I never investigated the phenomenon further, but from the picture I was shown it is exactly what it sounds like. Masochism would definitely fall in here somewhere. And then I think of that guy (another story I heard but verified out of curiosity) who volunteered to be eaten by Armin Meiwes. So I would say this type of displeasure seems avoided for mere self-preservation, and those who act contrary to it are disturbed.

But when it comes to personal growth and responsibilities, there are certain displeasures that seem desirable. A fighter who wants to test his skill against another better fighter. A fireman who rushes into a burning building at some personal risk. A speaker who wants to overcome stage-fright. Engaging in the 9-5 grind to avoid the pain of hunger and exposure. I hope [Ian] is concerning himself with displeasures in this category and not the former.
LimpNotes, Dec 16 2015

       Indeed. It’s nice to sleep in bed, especially on a cold winter’s day. It’s nice to sleep until midday. When we’re students, studying to achieve heights in the real world, students sleep until late because we can. Later we have to get up at stupid o’clock and get on our way out, hardly conscious. The notion of delayed gratification takes hold with theory of mind and an abstraction across time which suggests there’s some great reward.   

       We instinctively realise that shit smells unpleasant. We respond to the unpleasantness by avoiding the shit. We even learn not to step in dogshit even though we can’t necessarily smell it yet. We don’t even like the look of it. We don’t like the look of a lot of things — maggots, intestines, phlegm, etc. In almost all of these stimuluses, the resultant action exists, and it is to retreat or avoid, not to go toward. We don’t see dogshit on the ground and pick it up and eat it and exclaim that it’s not nice, and carry on anyway.   

       Where’s the boundary between not sleeping all day and not eating dogshit? Who knows? Which evaluations should we attend to? Are we hungry? Should this be ignored or should action be taken? A tooth in pain – take action, or no action? A cough — a really tickly cough that has to be responded to — can it be simply ignored? Flirting with someone else — where’s the boundary? Spending money — when does pleasure turn into pain? Should the pain of debt be responded to? Should the attraction of spending money and playing with shiny new products be responded to?   

       The trick is to not be fooled into looking at the bit after evaluation and before it become action, but rather, and more fundamentally, the earlier bit between perception and evaluation. Why do we evaluate things the way we do? If we didn’t automatically evaluate the stimulus of smelling dogshit the same way each time, it wouldn’t lead to the same action of repulsion each time. How do we know we like “good” and dislike the opposite?
Ian Tindale, Dec 16 2015

       //We don’t see dogshit on the ground and pick it up and eat it and exclaim that it’s not nice, and carry on anyway.//


I think there is a natural programming that sets the foundation of pain and pleasure, and then experience teaches us things beyond that, and familial and social pressure even more things. Compiling these lessons would be called wisdom, and one who acted according to wisdom would be called prudent or wise. A trade-off of immediate gratification for generally accepted long-term benefit, with no guarantee either way.
LimpNotes, Dec 16 2015

       Experimentally, what this needs is a protozoon with some post-it notes.
pertinax, Dec 16 2015

       I have heard that puppies brought up never having experienced pain or witnessing others doing so will merely interpret being burnt as an interesting experience. For example, they will stick their noses right into flames and sniff to investigate this interesting new sensation. To that extent there is a bit of a mystery, if that's true of course.
nineteenthly, Dec 16 2015

       It's popular to argue that human nature can be manipulated at will. But it's been argued, for example, that fear of snakes is so ingrained that tribes which have never encountered one will start climbing walls to get out of the zoo. Self-preservation trumps a lot of misguided innovation.
4and20, Dec 16 2015

       //But it's been argued, for example, that fear of snakes is so ingrained that tribes which have never encountered one will start climbing walls to get out of the zoo.//   

       Actually that's bollocks too.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2015

       Nobody should be learning anything from this website.
guncandy, Dec 16 2015

       Marked for complete bollocks.
RayfordSteele, Dec 16 2015

       // Actually that's bollocks too. //   

       That story comes from Desmond Morris, who ran the London Zoo. I didn't use his name because he now calls himself an interpretive artists.
4and20, Dec 17 2015


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