Arquivo da categoria: Ética

10 Razões pelas quais estou indo embora

Ao longo dos últimos anos, milhões de pessoas imigraram para os EUA, pelas mais diversas razões. Algumas delas são Einstein, Schwarzenegger, Freud, Pelé, Elon Musk, Rodrigo Santoro, Anthony Hopkins, Max Tegmark, Edir Macedo, Steve Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Aubrey de Grey, Bob Marley, John Lehnnon, Ang Lee, Isabel Allende, Ironicamente Levi-Strauss, Chaplin,  Yao Ming,  e Yo-Yo Ma.

Tomemos o exemplo de Elon Musk, o verdadeiro homem de ferro, gênio, bilionário, playboy, filântropo, pai de 5.  Originalmente Sul-Africano.  Because when children like Elon Musk attain the kind of self-awareness that leads to questions about environment—Where in the world can I go for the license and the room to do what I must do? Where in the world are my peers?—they always, and still, come to the same conclusion.

Elon Musk knew when he was a child. A remarkable conviction for a child to have, and all the more so because there was no specific dream attached to it. There was no “to build rocket ships” or “to make millions” or “to design computer software.” Instead, Elon (pronounced ee-lon) had this thought, consciously, literally, and at the age of 10: America is where people like me need to go. That is where people like me have always gone. A place that was the photographic negative of apartheid South Africa, a place less encumbered than any in the world, ever, by fear.

“It is as true now as it has always been,” says Elon Musk, the man who is endeavoring—as preposterously as he is credibly—to give the human race its biggest upgrade since the advent of consciousness. “Funny how people seem to have forgotten that. But almost all innovation in the world takes place in the United States.”

Não sou nem de longe inteligente como o Elon, e por isso, o que ele percebeu aos 10, eu percebi aos 26. Mas em verdade, minhas razões positivas para ir para os EUA são fáceis de encontrar. Qualquer imigrante pode dizê-las. Vou concentrar-me aqui em lhe contar as 10 razões negativas pelas quais vou-me embora. As razões pelas quais preciso, e quase todos precisamos sair daqui.

Digo quase todos porque creio que essa afirmação seja mais válida para quem tem score alto no big 5 personality traits em Conscientiousness, Openness to experience e Extroversion.   Para vocês, minhas razões pelas quais “Nessa terra a dor é grande a ambição pequena, Carnaval e Futebol”, cada uma divida em 5 partes; O que é? ; Exemplo Prático; Porque é Importante? ; Como tranformar sua vida nessa direção; O que você ganha com isso?

1) Dever Ser e a Falácia Naturalista

O que é?

Dever não é Ser, Bom não é Verdadeiro. (E a Falácia Naturalista)

 O raciocínio, ao ser utilizado para pensar a maneira que o mundo funciona deveria funcionar de uma maneira não enviesada, e isso significa basicamente uma das coisas mais difíceis de se aceitar para algumas pessoas, que é que o mundo não tem maior probabilidade de se comportar da maneira que você deseja somente porque você assim deseja, o mundo funciona como funciona, e ele não leva em consideração nem o que você considera moralmente bom, nem como você crê que ele deveria ser. Suponha que astrônomos descubram que não haverá um eclipse na terra pelos próximos oitenta anos, e que por alguma razão a mídia mundial divulgasse a notícia como chocante, com o seguinte título: “Toda Uma Geração Humana Ficará Sem Poder Ver Eclipses.” Bem, se as notícias fossem suficientemente convictas, provavelmente haveria uma grande quantidade de pessoas que fortemente desejariam que houvesse um eclipse em suas vidas, do fundo do coração. Mas não é bem provável que alguém começasse a realmente acreditar que haveria um, independentemente de quantas pessoas concordassem que o mundo seria um lugar melhor se houvesse. Isso é facilmente compreensível para qualquer um, mas o mesmo raciocínio não se aplica, por exemplo, à maneira que as pessoas tendem a pensar sobre a natureza humana. Se mostramos a alguém um estudo que diz que algumas pessoas são mais inteligentes que outras biologicamente, ou que homens têm maior probabilidade de estuprar porque nossa espécie é neotênica, a maioria das pessoas diria: “Blasfêmia! Você está tentando justificar terríveis comportamentos baseado na natureza e portanto sua concepção de natureza não pode ser verdadeira. ” “Justificar” é uma palavra bastante ambígua e traquinas, já que pode significar tanto justificar eticamente como logicamente, o que são significados bastante distintos. Nos dois casos considerados, a pessoa que mostra o artigo está de fato tentando justificar logicamente uma razão pela qual algumas pessoas são mais inteligentes e também a razão pela qual algumas pessoas tem tendência a estuprar. Esse tipo de justificativa significa que ele está tentando dar uma explicação, uma maneira de ver, de porque as coisas são como são, de quais fatos do mundo, juntos, geram alguns fenômenos como inteligência diferencial e estupro. Dizer que esses fenômenos são altamente determinados por predisposições biológicas para uma arquitetura cerebral escrita no código genético não é em nenhum sentido possível concordar que essas coisas sejam boas, não é senão concordar que elas são reais, ou muito provavelmente reais.

Por outro lado, a pessoa mostrando os estudos não está tentando mostrar que o mundo deveria ser assim, a maneira como o mundo deveria ser não é o estudo da ciência, nem da filosofia analítica, é o estudo da política, filosofia moral e ética, religião, tecnologia etc…

A compreensão do fato de que a natureza não justifica eticamente nada, ela apenas justifica logicamente, é um importante aprendizado para qualquer um que queira discutir a respeito das coisas do mundo sem um viés ético. O viés ético vem da falácia naturalista, como G. E. Moore chamou esse tipo de desentendimento, ou da confusão entre dever ser. A falácia naturalista e o problema da confusão do que é com o que deveria ser, são, na minha opinião, os fatores dirigentes por trás do relativismo que estupidifica e massacra a possibilidade de aprendizado. São a principal força que opera contra a possibilidade de aprender em nível individual, grupal e institucional. São a desculpa perfeita para manter seus preconceitos e seu nível de conhecimento atual, e fingir para si mesmo que se está justificado.

Exemplo Prático.

Disse um sábio chinês: A morte dá sentido a vida.
Respondeu Ivain: Qualquer idiota pode lhe dizer porque a morte é horrível, mas é necessário um tipo muito particular de idiota para acreditar que a morte seja boa.     

Porque é Importante.

Fiz meu melhor ao longo de anos para convencer as mais inteligentes mentes dessa ideia simples, obviamente verdadeira, mas a falácia foi mais forte. É necessário partir para onde ela já foi eliminada. Um lugar onde não confundimos “Coisas totalmente absurdas proferidas por figuras de autoridade de maneira misteriosa e sem explicação” com “sabedoria”.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Nunca deixe um argumento pronto que ouviu há anos dominar sua capacidade de raciocinar sozinho, e procure investigar se sua crença não foi causada por um fator ambiental tal, que se você tivesse nascido na situação oposta, teria  a opinião oposta. Se vivesse num universo em que todos os seres humanos tem vidas parecidas com as nossas, salvo que são imortais, você inventaria a morte? Você defenderia a morte? Você lutaria não só pelo direito, mas pela obrigação de morrer, de maneira lenta, angustiante e imprevisível?

O que você ganha com isso?

A capacidade de pensar fora da caixa dos preconceitos que a sociedade lhe impôs. A chance de viver uma vida melhor do que a que o sistema programou para você.

2) Não se importe com o que os outros pensam. Eles não pensam.

O que é?

Não há uma maneira agradável de dizer isso. Mas ninguém ao seu redor faz ideia de absolutamente nada. Somos uma espécie jovem que apenas agora atingiu um estado mínimo de globalização e compartilhamento de conhecimento. Peter Thiel, o primeiro investidor do Facebook, filósofo bilionário e criador do Paypal sumariza bem ao falar de como ninguém sabe o que fazer com dinheiro:
Acho que isso realmente é o que acontece em grande medida: Você começa um  negócio bem sucedido, você vende a compania ou ações. Você ganha algum dinheiro. Questão: O que você faz com o dinheiro? Você não tem ideia, porque… ninguém sabe o que fazer com nada. Então você dá o dinheiro para um grande banco lhe ajudar a fazer algo. O que o banco faz? Ele não tem ideia, então ele dá o dinheiro a um portfolio de investidores institucionais, e o que eles fazem? Eles não tem ideia. Então colocam o dinehiro num portfolio de ações. Não numa ação específica, porque isso sugere que você tem opiniões, ou ideias, e isso é perigoso porque sugere que você não participa [da ideia prevalente de um futuro indeterminado mas otimista]. E então o que as companias fazem com o dinheiro? Disseram para eles que eles devem gerar free cash flows (fluxos de caixa livres) porque se eles fossem investir o dinheiro em coisas específicas, o que é um problema porque sugere que você tem ideias, e essa é uma das piores coisas nessa visão de mundo de um futuro indeterminado, aleatório mas otimista que domina a sociedade atualmente.

Exemplo Prático.

É muito comum as pessoas fazerem as principais escolhas de suas vidas confundindo razões instrumentais (como o dinheiro) com razões finais (como “nadar numa piscina morna 2 vezes por semana com amigos comendo churrasco). O exemplo mais comum é fazer um curso de graduação. A pergunta que fazemos as crianças e adolescentes sempre é “o que você quer fazer de faculdade?” quando evidentemente deveria ser “Que problemas você gostaria de resolver?” “Como você pretende ajudar os outros?” ou algo similar. Não é de se admirar que todos se sintam perdidos na faculdade, afinal, até chegar nela, lhes foi dito que a faculdade era o objetivo. O mesmo vale para empregos.

Porque é Importante.

Absolutamente nada do que você faz deveria ser sem propósito. E a cadeia de “Por que?”, a qual qualquer criança é capaz de proferir para seus pais tem necessariamente que se encerrar em um de seus objetivos finais. Se ela não está fazendo isso, você não deveria estar tomando essa ação. 

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Para cada ação que leve mais de 10 minutos, imagine uma criança adorável lhe perguntando por que você vai fazer aquilo. Assim que você chega numa razão final, ela sorri, lhe dá um chocolate e lhe abraça. ex:

  •  Procurando imagens para o TCC -> Ter um bom TCC -> Ser aprovado na universidade -> ter um curriculo interessante a empresas  no Rio de Janeiro -> Viver no Rio de Janeiro -> adoraria poder ver o mar pela manhã e caminhar na lagoa aos sábados.
  •  Dançar forró -> Dançar forró
  • Fuçar o facebook de fulano -> fulano tem ideias interessantes -> ler ideias interessantes
  • Ser promovido -> ganhar mais dinheiro -> enriquecer -> ser rico -> XXXXX

No último caso a cadeia de raciocínio não se encerra num valor final, e a criança esperneia e chora até você abandonar aquela ação.

A parte mais fundamental é descobrir o que de fato são seus objetivos finais, sobre o que falarei mais a frente.

O que você ganha com isso?

Não passar pelo problema apontado lindamente por Lehnnon: Life is what happens while you are planning the future. Isto é, não viver uma vida em busca de objetivos instrumentais.

What we are doing is we are bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living… in order that, er, that they would-may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same things so it’s all retch and no vomit — it never gets there. (Alan Watts)

3) Seu recurso mais valioso é o que você ignora consistentemente

O que é

Você sente isso  na aceleração da internet, nas maneiras cada vez mais viciantes de se manter um usuário conectado a um site, nos balões vermelhos lhe avisando de cada nova atualização do Facebook. Você sente isso quando vê que cada dia mais tem menos tempo para os amigos, para as leituras, para meditar, para estar só. Mas não é imediato perceber o que é o problema. O problema é que o mundo está acelerando a capacidade de invadir seu espaço psicológico e dominar sua mente. Sua atenção está sendo sequestrada por gangues cada vez mais eficientes. E se você não lidar com esse problema de maneira atenta e tomando a perspectiva de terceira pessoa, vai se tornar um marionete de um sistema que evoluiu exponencialmente rápido para extrair seu tempo, recurso, motivação e dinheiro, e está cada vez lhe arrancando mais, até que sua alma se dissolva completamente num autômato desajeitado.

Exemplo Prático.

Existem pessoas que não usam ADblock, pessoas que pagam pelo farmville, pessoas que pagam por cartas cada vez mais caras e raras de Magic (como eu), carreiras cada vez mais concentradas de pasta base de cocaína, músicas cada vez mais proeminentes em seu apelo aos instintos básicos, como o funk carioca. Existem pessoas que se perderam para sempre dissolvidas em séries americanas cada vez mais incrivelmente cativantes. Milhões de brasileiros assistem novela. E se você se sente superior por assistir Breaking Bed, Lost, Friends, How I met your mother, ou jogar GTA V, Civilization IV ou passar horas por dia checando sua caixa de Email e Facebook, pense de novo. Obrigado por fumar:

Porque é Importante.

Quando ligam na sua casa para vender um seguro de bla bla blá as oito da noite, você se revolta. O mesmo deveria acontecer quando a Folha, o Estado, a Veja, a Men’s health, ou qualquer informação sobre os afazeres da Jennifer Anniston ou a Miley Cyrus penetram sua retina e se alojam confortavelmente em seu cérebro. É absolutamente evidente que é a seguradora quem lucra com aquela ligação e não você, se não eles não ligariam. Você sabe disso. O que você esquece é do contrário. As grandes coisas da vida. Aquilo que mais lhe interessa, seus objetivos mais caros, profundos e finais nunca vão ligar em sua casa para perguntar se você os deseja. Raramente uma pessoa se dá ao trabalho de contar grandes experiências e com o advento da internet, isso ajudou-nos a descobrir coisas interessantes. Mas todas as coisas da vida que estão na intersecção “se você soubesse que é uma possibilidade, ia ser espetacular, incrível, uma grande oportunidade, e divertidíssima para você” e “não é lucrativo nem particularmente desejado por outras pessoas” estão no lado escuro da lua.  Ninguém virá falar sobre elas, e encontrá-las deveria ser um esforço seu, afinal, são as coisas que você mais valoriza, por definição.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Elimine a informação que é arremessada contra seu crânio pela mídia, destrua seu Newsfeed do Face com o app Newsfeed Eradicator. Instale o ADblock, pare de fumar e se pergunte, toda vez que você clicar num hiperlink “esse seria um bom momento para desconectar o cabo da internet por 20 minutos, para ter certeza que eu não entre numa cadeia interminável de hiperlinks?
Precisamos sair daqui porque da mesma maneira que aqui se confunde misticismo misterioso arcaico com sabedoria, aqui se confunde “dieta de pouca informação” com “neurose”. É um estado de calamidade pública e privada.

O que você ganha com isso?

A oportunidade de descobrir quem você é e o que você quer. Tempo para pensar, criar, dançar e sentir. E um estado mais relaxado e menos taquicárdico diante da vida.

4) Tome a perspectiva de terceira pessoa sobre si mesmo semanalmente

O que é

Lembrar-se de pensar tanto na desimportância global da sua ação e suas preocupações, como da importância que você espera que essas coisas tenham em diferentes fases da vida. O que realmente interessa quando você olhar para trás no futuro, ou  quando você olhou para frente no passado.

Exemplo Prático.

Conjectura de Caleiro: Ao olhar a vida na direção inversa, partindo do dia em que morremos, a incerteza sobre quantos anos temos nos faz muito mais tranquilos e menos competitivos com relação a pessoas que, na contagem normal, tem nossa idade, mas parecem estar mais “avançadas” em alguma coisa do que nós. Se você não sabe se tem 25, 35 ou 50 anos, faz muito menos diferença ser o CEO ou não da companhia, estar dando aulas de inglês ou morar com seus pais.

Porque é Importante.

Acredito que 80% das pessoas parariam de se preocupar com 80% de suas preocupações cotidianas se pensassem assim. E provavelmente deixariam de fazer muita coisa desnecessária, e finalmente teriam coragem de tomar aquela iniciativa que a tanto vem postergando.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Passe cinco minutos perguntando a si mesmo se ao olhar para trás, em 20 anos, ou aos mais românticos, em seu leito de morte, você se arrependeria mais de tomar essa ação ou de não tomá-la. Aja para satisfazer aquele sujeito que não está tão mesquinha, egoista e pequenamente imbuído no seu contexto específico e suas circunstâncias atuais. Pense no que você recomendaria a outra pessoa nessa situação.

O que você ganha com isso?

A garantia de poder olhar para trás e cantar My Way ao fim de sua vida. Esse sim é um objetivo final que vale a pena ter.

5) O triângulo das 3 vidas possíveis (Experiencial, Otimizadora e Altruista) e descobrindo onde você se encontra nele.

rgb-triangle

O que é

Até onde compreendi, existem apenas três direções para guiar nossas ações e vida que fazem sentido. Todos os pontos do plano contidos nesse triangulo são logicamente sustentáveis, e possivelmente defensáveis como forma de vida, como distribuição de alocação de recursos psicológicos. Qualquer ponto fora do triângulo, dentro ou fora de seu plano, é um erro e deve ser corrigido. A descrição das extremidades dá o limite máximo de uma característica. o baricentro portanto seria alguém que age igualmente nas três direções possíveis. Isso pode ser feito tanto mesclando numa só ação dois tipos de objetivos, como também distribuindo seu tempo entre ações distintas na proporção em que o seu ponto dista de cada extremidade (quanto mais próximo, mais tempo dedicado aqula atividade).

  • Uma pessoa vermelha deseja mudar um aspecto do mundo de uma maneira específica: Gaudí construiu estruturas específicas com um determinado design, e optimizou o mundo para que ele tivesse mais dessas estruturas. A palavra chave é otimizar, é o pensamento cibernético, é maximizar a probabilidade de que algum elemento do mundo seja de uma determinada maneira, é Rockfeller, estabelecendo como Nova York será, é uma criança construindo um barco de lego. É definir um conjunto de objetivos e encontrar o conjunto mínimo de ações que garante que aquelas modificação serão feitas. É o que liga o engenheiro e o artista.
  • Uma pessoa verde é um altruísta. Não existe altruísmo ineficaz exceto como falha cognitiva. O altruísmo é querer maximizar o benefício aos outros independente de quem eles sejam (um altruismo puramente intra-familiar por contraste seria uma pessoa vermelha, ela deseja um mundo com uma propriedade específica para um grupo específico). Um altruísta eficaz tem seu modelo de vida em Peter Singer e Paul Cristiano, e no momento, dado nosso nível de desconhecimento dos problemas do mundo, se ocupa de compreender melhor quais são as tarefas mais importantes fora a única que sabemos até o momento, evitar riscos existenciais, que cortem permanentemente o potencial futuro humano. Bostrom pode ter encontrado a única certeza ética que temos até o momento, e Elon Musk pode estar tentando alucinadamente resolver esse problema. Mas qualquer outro altruísta só poderia estar procurando novas certezas, ajudando Musk a nos colocar em Marte, ou financiando uma dessas duas tarefas. Qualquer outra atividade, de visitar centros espíritas à distribuir o sopão, de promover o software livre a melhorar a educação brasileira, de doar tempo para o movimento muda mundo, é ou um erro epistêmico (um desconhecimento a respeito de algum aspecto do mundo) ou uma forma atravessada de misturar uma sensação quentinha no peito (causada ou por aspectos vermelhos os azuis) com imaginar a si mesmo como um altruísta. É um auto-engano ou um equivoco. E as únicas pessoas que sabem isso e vivem isso estão lá e não aqui.
  • Uma pessoa azul é um experiencialista, o foco de seus desejos e objetivos não está num objeto descritível fisicamente, mas num conjunto de experiências, ou tipos de experiências. Ao invés de querer mudar a cidade de São Paulo, ele deseja saborear as melhores lasanhas de São Paulo. Ao invés de querer aumentar uma quantidade objetiva de vidas de infindável diversão que alguém viverá no futuro distante caso a terra não seja destruida e atinjámos a maturidade tecnológica, ele quer sentir o prazer de resolver uma determinada equação que, por acaso, levará a humanidade a conquistar o espaço. Ou até mesmo ele quer a experiência de ter feito um ato genuinamente altruista, de ter visitado a extremidade verde por um dia. Mas na sua cadeia de porquês, o ato de altruísmo não está sublinhado, a sensação de executar o ato de altruismo é o último elemento da cadeia. O mesmo vale para um grande projeto vermelho, como escrever um livro. Um experiencialista que escreve um livro almeja não um mundo que contenha aquele livro, mas a sensação de escrevê-lo, a sensação de ser lido, a sensação de ser reconhecido como um autor e assim por diante. Um verde ou um vermelho poucas razões têm para usar drogas que comprometam sua habilidade de mobilizar a matéria, um azul não padece do mesmo tipo de desconforto. Não há problema em viver numa tribo por meses, passar um dia no parque, ou até assitir uma série viciante, porque a própria experiência tem valor.

Exemplo Prático.

Você doa seu tempo num sábado para a campanha do agasalho, mas acha que está fazendo uma ação verde. No entanto, sua ação é claramente vermelha. Você acha que quer escrever um livro para que ele exista (vermelho) mas na verdade, o que você deseja é tornar-se atraente (azul). Você acha que fuma maconha porque isso lhe dá boas ideias (vermelho), mas fuma pela experiência (azul) ou por vício (fora do triângulo, já que não é justificado).

Porque é Importante.

É fundamental se situar nesse triângulo. Na medida em que houver qualquer verde em você, é fundamental saber que há pouquíssimas ações legitimamente verdes. A cada ação, é interessante saber se sua razão é azul, vermelha ou verde. E ao longo do processo, compreender onde se está na escala do roxo (que liga o azul e o vermelho) serve para orientar e reformar seus objetivos de curto médio e longo prazo. E para distribuir seu tempo.
Precisamos sair daqui porque menos de 100 pessoas dentre as 7 bilhões vivas e as 70 bilhões que já existiram compreendem plenamente a extremidade verde. E por isso mesmo ela é de extrema importância. Todos os atos verdes feitos no passado foram feitos, por assim dizer, por acaso. Mas agora isso não é mais necessário. Lá há mais vermelho que aqui. Lá, existe verde. Eu gostaria de dizer que aqui somos azul-arroxeados, como provavelmente sua intuição está lhe fazendo pensar agora. Mas na verdade, aqui somos apenas confusos. Ninguém sabe o que fazer como nada, lembrando as palavras de Thiel, um dos 100.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Localize seu ponto no triangulo. Toque-o, pense nele consistentemente. Verifique até que ponto suas ações estão deixando uma extremidade valiosa de lado. Você é um azul, mas achava que era vermelho? Corrija isso.

O que você ganha com isso?

Para cada ação, você saberá que deve tentar encontrar sua “projeção” mais próxima no triângulo, já que nenhuma ação fora do triângulo é justificada (se eu estiver correto). Essa simples heurística irá regular muito melhor seu tempo e pensamento sobre como viver.

6) O diagrama de Venn que decide o próximo projeto.

O que é

Diagrama Venn Ações  vida

Exemplo Prático de um erro:

As poucas pessoas que procuraram um pensamento diagrâmico chegaram a uma péssima conclusão, de diagrama de venn para a vida.   Eles acreditam que a vitória está na intersecção de

O que você amaO que você pode ser pago para fazer, Coisas nas quais você é bom. 

Um problema desse diagrama é que ele confunde dinheiro com valor. O que é valioso para você não necessariamente, mas possivelmente envolve dinheiro. A bolha correta diria “o que produz valor para você”.   Outro problema é que ele mistura valor (vermelho) com amor/tesão (azul) sem deixar isso claro, e muitas vezes, dividir o tempo é melhor do que tentar fazer um multitasking colorido interatividades, misturar todas as corres leva a um marrom opaco e feio, dividi-las em sua pintura pode gerar uma linda composição. Um outro problema, muito mais grave, é que ele não leva em conta contrafactuais, o que aconteceria se você não fizesse aquilo. Para objetivos azuis, experienciais, todo o valor é perdido quando você não faz aquilo, mas no caso dos objetivos verdes ou vermelhos, a situação é muito diferente. Nesse caso é necessário se perguntar o que aconteceria, exatamente, se eu não executasse aquela ação. Alguma outra pessoa ou agente faria a mesma coisa? Se sim, o valor verde ou vermelho gerado seria o mesmo. E vale a pena partir para outra atividade.

Porque é Importante.

O diagrama que decide os projetos que valem a pena executar (a intersecção amarela, entre o verde e o vermelho) só tem valor para o verde e o vermelho, que tem objetivos no mundo. Mas para objetivos fora do campo da experiencia, fora do azul, só as ações e projetos amarelos são justificados. Não faz sentido, em objetivos finais vermelhos ou verdes executar qualquer ação fora do amarelo.  Apenas objetivos azuis ou objetivos instrumentais devem permitir-nos sair do campo do amarelo.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Use o diagrama, nunca faça nada vermelho ou verde que não esteja na intersecção amarela.

O que você ganha com isso?

Seus objetivos de fato vão acontecer, e você não precisará se resignar a fingir o feng-shui da sua casa está ampliando a harmonia cósmica, que rezar é eficaz, que astrologia diz algo fundamental sobre a realidade. Você estará de fato agindo no mundo, e não se enganando a respeito. Suas ações terão consequências de verdade. Ao invés de inventar desculpas para porque você falhou, você estará sempre em busca de como conseguir de verdade. Dá medo né? Esse medo impediu muita gente de ir pra lá, então por um efeito de seleção, é lá que estão aqueles que ultrapassaram o medo.

7) Esvaziamento da mente e libertação da criatividade

O que é

Usar um sistema Getting Things Done para liberar espaço psicológico e motivacional. Um sistema Getting Things Done é um esquema desenvolvido por David Allen, que uma vez implementado, faz com que cada pensamento só tenha que passar por sua cabeça uma vez. A mente é para ter ideias, não para retê-las, ou re-têlas.

Exemplo Prático.

Não faz a menor diferença quanto você pensa hoje sobre a conta que só pode pagar amanhã, quanto pensa no ônibus sobre  a proposta que só pode escrever no computador, e quanto lembra que precisa de leite quando não está no supermercado. Se seu sistema para lembras as coisas é o cérebro, ele não foi feito para isso, e está sobrecarregado. É necessário externalizar as ações que tem que ser feitas por seu eu futuro. E estar sempre com a mente livre para criar. A única coisa que você precisará se lembrar é checar seu GTD diariamente. Melhor do que todas as perturbações que estão na sua cabeça sobre o que tem que fazer na próxima semana, não?

Porque é Importante.

Tempo, stress, habilidade de manejo.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

https://thepiratebay.se/search/getting%20things%20done/0/7/0

O que você ganha com isso?

Paz mental interior.

8) Você é resultado do ambiente ao seu redor. Modifique-o de acordo.

O que é

Você é a média das cinco pessoas com quem passa mais tempo. – Jim Rohn.
Elon Musk decidiu onde estar aos 10 anos. Eu aprendi aos 26. Tim Ferriss considera esse o melhor conselho que ele já recebeu. Cito Milton Friendman: I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Eu estou indo embora para mudar a mecânica de incentivos que me circunda. Para ser parabenizado por pensar e não ter de ouvir a pergunta: “Você não cansa de pensar?” Para odiar a morte e não ser recebido com desdém e desaprovação, para poder querer mudar o mundo e não precisar explicar porque não estou ocupando minha vida com valores familiares, para falar sobre equações e gerar sorrisos, para escrever longos textos e não ser considerado entediante. Estou indo cercar-me de “5 pessoas” muito melhores do que eu, às quais eu admirarei e com as quais aprenderei, e como um primata social que sou, serei paulatinamente adestrado a ser awesome, sem conflitos internos causados por incentivos externos.

Exemplo Prático.

Como a criogenia é mais tabu do que a bondade, quando passei a falar mais de altruismo eficaz, eu esperava receber mais aprovação e menos olhares e comentários normativos – isto é, olhares cuja função é que um terceiro, que veja o olhador e o olhado, considere que o padrão de um grupo é a opinião do olhador – Menos repreensão social. Infelizmente não é o caso. Querer ser congelado para talvez viver centenas de milhares de anos incomoda a moral das pessoas exatamente o mesmo tanto que tentar ser quantitativamente bondoso, tentar, de fato, fazer o bem, e não ter a experiência azul fingindo que ela seja verde. O verde incomoda tanto quanto o desejo de viver.  Como é possível que essas coisas incomodem é algo que só tomando a perpectiva de terceira pessoa, bem distante, eu consigo aceitar sobre as pessoas. Que alguém realmente se sinta na necessidade de justificar o não altruismo, e também de defender a morte, é algo que só pode ser aceito depois de muito respirar fundo e aceitar a medíocre condição de espécie levemente mais inteligente que as lesmas. Me deixa confuso, me dá asco como um pedaço de carne esburacado repleto de baratas, e me lembra que para onde vou não há baratas, ou melhor dizendo, é possível ignorar baratas com uma dieta de informação adequada e factível.

Porque é Importante.

First, they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then, you win – Mahatma Ghandi
É importante porque pula as fases dois e três.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Responda 100 perguntas sobre você no ok cupid, vá no algorítmo de busca de  Friend Match, e Love Match, e anote as cidades onde mais tem gente que pensa como você. Mude-se para lá.

O que você ganha com isso?

Nunca mais ter de ouvir sua tia explicando como o papa é uma pessoa pura e importante cujas opiniões são particularmente sábias logo após voltar do Future of Humanity Institute em Oxford.

9) Tome a perspectiva Meta sobre si mesmo

O que é

Quando estiver numa conversa, não pense apenas no discurso que está de fato sendo falado, mas nos discursos subliminares. Primeiramente, é claro, nas intenções que aquela pessoa tem com aquela conversa, e naquilo que você quer extrair daquela conversa. Depois em quais instintos podem estar causando seu padrão de fala e gesto. E ainda no que consciente ou insconcientemente está sendo sinalizado ali.

Exemplo Prático.

Frequentemente eu me encontro em conversas sobre relacionamentos pessoais de outras pessoas. Em particular relacionamentos românticos. No entanto eu efusivamente prefiro os universos em que é impossível conversar sobre relacionamentos amorosos, presentes passados ou futuros, com terceiros. Eu só lembro disso quando tomo a perspectiva Meta e percebo que de alguma maneira ou o meu instinto, ou a vontade da outra pessoa dominou o curso da conversa, e estamos fazendo fofoca como um chimpanzé faria catação de piolhos. Isso abre a possibilidade de dizer que não gosto de falar sobre isso e sugerir outra conversa, de transformar a conversa numa intersecção desejável (por exemplo falar sobre relacionamentos em geral, o que me diverte muito), ou de dar o máximo do que suponho que a outra pessoa queira extrarir da conversa o mais rápido possível e sumir dali para falar com alguém que queira salvar o mundo, discutir o cortex visual, ou dançar contato improvisação.

Outro bom exemplo é fazer atividades de cortejo na web. Cortejar alguém de outra cidade por exemplo é extremamente ineficaz, e só no nível Meta é possível perceber que a razão (instinto + vontade de estabelecer um relacionamento pessoal envolvendo toque) pela qual você está subconcientemente fazendo aquela atividade não é justificada, e mudar de ação.

Porque é Importante.

Principalmente para combater nossos vieses instintivos. A tendencia humana é fazer fofoca, falar sobre autoridades e celebridades, falar sobre a vida sexual e moral de amigos em comum, e falar sobre os eventos recentes (por exemplo o último episódio de uma série ou um terremoto no japão, ou a nova ministra da educação). Todos esses assuntos são 90% dos casos irrelevantes (não se encontram na intersecção amarela, e não são azuis). Assim sendo 90% do tempo fofocado deveria ser gasto em outras coisas.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Não tenho certeza. Como o instinto está em você como está em mim, é difícil contê-lo. É bom estar atento. Com pessoas mais abertas, estabelecer explicitamente a regra de não fofocar – e não falar sobre como seu porre foi homérico etc…   Uma ideia boa que nunca consegui testar é imprimir numa camiseta uma lista de coisas que você não quer conversar a respeito e de coisas que quer, de modo que você pode apenas culpar a camiseta por não querer fofocar, e ao mesmo tempo fornecer de pronto uma lista de tópicos para que seu interlocutor escolha aquele que mais interessa.

O que você ganha com isso?

Não saber o nome da mulher que casou com o príncipe inglês. Falar frequentemente do que realmente lhe interessa. Ser considerado um bom ouvidor por procurar saber o que realmente o outro quer da conversa. Manter uma conversa por mais tempo trocando de tópico toda vez que a outra pessoa pareça menos interessada. Não ser um chato que só fala de si mesmo.

10) Leve a vida a sério

O que é?

Levar a vida a sério é pensar, sentir, viver e ondular da maneira como pensa esse texto. Não é escrever textos, não é analisar tudo minuciosamente, é levar as coisas a sério. Você só tem essa vida, eu também. Viva cada dia da sua vida como se daqui a quatro anos você fosse morrer. Se vai jogar, Jogue. “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well” – Dennett.  Levar a vida a sério não é cuidar bem dos móveis da sua casa. É poder cantar my Way no seu leito de morte. É poder ser o autor do livro “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”, é ser um jogador da NBA, se aposentar e escrever um livro de costura para homens. É jogar volei com um gatorade e chamar 40 pessoas por telefone para um piquenique (nos tempos pré Facebook). É criar uma copia perfeita do falcão negro. É usar drogas como Timothy Leary. É deixar de ser CEO da Mycrosoft para acabar com a doença que mais mata pobres no mundo. É roubar um selinho na quarta série. É só começar projetos que você realmente levará a cabo. É abraçar homens sem dar tapinhas nas costas. É penetrar e ser penetrada no melhor sexo da sua vida. É levantar 150 kg do chão. É correr um triatlon. É escapar do “its all retched and no vomit”.

Exemplo Prático.

Eu costumava brincar de dividir alguns amigos da classe alta paulistana em aristocracia decadente e aristocracia triunfante. A aristocracia triunfante é o processo bem sucedido da geração dos pais de vender seus medos e suas morais aos filhos, impedindo que eles vivam de maneira autêntica e própria e tornando-os, portanto, cidadãos de bem. A aristocracia decadente, evidentemente superior, é a geração de filhos que foi por caminhos alternativos àqueles oferecidos por seus pais e pela família Marinho e acabaram-se tornando, em alguma medida, anomalias da estrutura social da alta sociedade. E Paul Graham explica bem esse problema em Why Nerds Are Unpopular. Basicamente o custo de sinalização de se tornar aquilo que a sociedade espera de você é tão alto, que não sobre tempo para ser obcecado com alguma coisa (nerd). E também em How to do what you love:  “The advice of parents will tend to err on the side of money. It seems safe to say there are more undergrads who want to be novelists and whose parents want them to be doctors than who want to be doctors and whose parents want them to be novelists. The kids think their parents are “materialistic.” Not necessarily. All parents tend to be more conservative for their kids than they would for themselves, simply because, as parents, they share risks more than rewards. If your eight year old son decides to climb a tall tree, or your teenage daughter decides to date the local bad boy, you won’t get a share in the excitement, but if your son falls, or your daughter gets pregnant, you’ll have to deal with the consequences.”

Porque é Importante.

Porque leu na veja, azar o seu. Assim como o papa, Nietzche e tantas outras figuras célebres, lembrem-se que as pessoas que construiram a sociedade são apenas macacos. E seus pais também. Seu pai. Sua mãe.

Como transformar sua vida nessa direção

Vale o mesmo que no caso da falácia naturalista. Se imagine na situação inversa. Você é uma outra pessoa muito diferente. Você alternativa se modificaria para tornar-se mais parecida consigo? Se não, então você deveria se modificar naquela direção alternativa. Elimine o Status Quo bias.

O que você ganha com isso?

Em uma palavra?  Tudo.

Two Discussions About Spreading Vegetarianism as a Cost Effective Meme to Make The World a Better Place

Pablo Stafforini: It is really, really hard to produce a convincing argument against same-sex marriage–almost as hard as coming up with a credible defense of meat consumption.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Pablo, as a long time follower of thy’s anarcotranshumanism I would expect you to accept eating meat on the basis of increasing the total ammount of conscious animals in the universe. If it were not for our meat consumption, there would be far fewer cow brains hanging around…..

Pablo Stafforini::Diego, there are three problems with this argument. First, it assumes that non-human animals raised for food have on average lives with a preponderance of happiness over suffering. This assumption is highly questionable in light of the ap…palling conditions present in modern factory farms. Secondly, it ignores that other sentient beings would likely exist if the land and resources currently allocated to factory farms was given a different use as a result of diminishing demand for animal products. Finally, it neglects the effects of vegetarianism in raising public awareness of the significance of non-human animal suffering. Because most people are not utilitarians and subscribe instead to a common-sense morality that regards edibles as things devoid of moral status, the interests of non-human animals currently raised for food are not going to be taken seriously until humans stop eating such animals altogether.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Though smart, I think those are insufficient reasons for anti-consumptionists. First, most

http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=125


countries that produce meat do not have particularly bad coditions for cattle’s life, at least no…t in Brazil, the main exporter. I would be shocked if Nozickian cows in Brazil would rather die… On the second, if there was no cattle, only a few tropical territories would comport other sentient beings, most grass farms would just be dedicated to agriculture. On the third, I think non-vegetarians build up a strong tribal hatred against vegetarians when they are confronted with the fanatical ones. People would be more friendly to primates if they didn’t connect that with having to abstain from their favorite chicken wing. Sure your arguments shifted my probability density distribution for “Against X For (meat-consumption)” but I do not think their strenght has tipped the balance.

Jonatas Müller Your second problem goes the opposite way for me: wild animals should in general have lives which, if not bad in average (they probably are), have some extremely bad parts, so I’d see their existence as a negative (and their destruction a g…ood/neutral side of cattle farming). Beef seems to be one of the least objectionable types (along with fish), while chickens and pigs have it much worse (both live in bad conditions, pigs may have more sentience and chickens more suffering per kg of meat). Raising public awareness to animal well-being seems to be the most important effect in avoiding meat.

Pablo Stafforini: The state of cattle is not representative of that of animals generally, since cows suffer less on average than do members of all the other major species raised for food:

http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-per-kg.html

On the second ob…jection, I refer you to the detailed investigation of Gaverick Matheny and Kai Chan:

http://research.ires.ubc.ca/kaichan/articles/Matheny_and_Chan_2005_JAEE.pdf

I’m not persuaded by your reasoning regarding the final objection. Do you really think it’s possible for the man on the street –as distinct from the sophisticated utilitarian– to take the interests of all animals seriously while he continues to eat some of them?

Jonatas, I fully agree with your final point: I am myself a vegetarian primarily because of the effects that public advocacy of this diet has on other human beings (though I didn’t originally stop eating meat for that reason). Concerning t…he second objection, it is unclear to me whether the sort of animals that would exist if factory farms disappeared would on the whole suffer more or less than factory-farmed animals currently do. (See the paper cited above for further discussion.) Of course, things become quite complicated if we treat vegetarianism as part of a package deal including a general commitment to minimising suffering, since such a commitment would also require us to alleviate the pain of animals in the wild.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Nice paper. “However, if chickens were made to have lives of reasonable worth, then as long as they had lives that were perhaps 10% as pleasant or valuable as the lives of wild animals, then chicken meat and egg purchases could increase the… net amount of moral value in the world.”
It tipped the balance against pork. I’m unpersuaded with chicken’s given their tiny brains, and if my position on consciousness were not based on this

http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/content/abstract/215/3/216

maybe I’d be willing to tip it for industrial chicken.
So bye bye pork, and let’s go for wild chicken…

Thor Ribeiro: I can even see the cow wondering in proper Elisabethan english, “Would it have been better, had I not lived at all?”

Leah McKelvie: Assuming that the Jonatas and Pablo are talking about lacto ovo vegetarianism and not a vegan diet, I disagree. The interests of nonhuman animals who are raised for food are not going to be taken seriously by people who merely give up eating their… flesh. In fact, that’s an indication that they don’t take their interests seriously at all.

Promoting something that reinforces speciesism is not only a bad idea in the long run, it doesn’t even make sense in the short run. It sends the false message that vegetarianism makes a significant difference in actual animal suffering. It often doesn’t. It can even increase it, if someone goes from eating beef to loading up on eggs and dairy, or goes semi-vegetarian and starts eating chickens or fishes instead of beef.

Jonatas Müller It may also be an intermediary step which may increase the chance for taking further steps. Though what you said applies to the acts of eating or not some meat, there are also the close acts of talking to people about it, making publicity, …eventually convincing legislators to make animal conditions better (with support from other “semi-vegetarians” or whatever they are called), discouraging use of animal furs, inventing in vitro meat or other meat alternatives, etc. These are all hard to quantify individually, but I think that together the people who take these actions can have a considerable result.

This may be even more powerful than being completely vegan, because if a vegan person has a non-vegan child, then all the efforts are in vain in a global sense.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Let me disagree with Jonatian hypothesis here. As natural selection taught us, it is NOT always the case that the intermediate incremental steps towards a value-peak are better than their immediate neighbours. This is true meme-wise as wel…l. Just like the best order of ammount of appendix to have is (best) none (Intermediate) small (worst) very small, the best order of how much animal originated stuff could be (best) 0 (medium) current standards minus pork and industrial chicken and (worst) vegetarian that eats dairy and eggs.

We all carry an appendix because evolution sucks as a designer, maybe utilitarians ought to consider the possibility that we should all maitain a meat-eating life even though there are better lives in an ideal world.

In any case, both issues will be corrected by transhumanist technologies, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology, in the unlikely event that we survive the 21st century.

There is WAY more value at stake in terms of catastrophic risks f…rom human technology and natural causes than there is for vegetarianism. We just feel like discussing vegetarianism because feeding habits occupy large space of our savannah brains (take Kosher and muslim anti-pork as tribe determining examples)
I’ve delved into the discussion because it was intelligent and with someone I admired for long (Stafforini), that is, for fun.
But a real utilitarian should know better than trying to argue people out of their feeding habits and work avoiding actual cataclysm that could destroy 80% of earth’s biodiversity

 

Two Years Later, another Discussion Unfolds…

G Diego Vichutilitarian How about we are a social species, therefore we’d better share eating rituals. Evil meme-clusters have always thrived through making their members unable to eat things that other groups eat. I would not like Effective Altruism community to do the same. What do you guys think about private vegetarianism?

Here’s a simple choice: eat some meat (at the very least, thereby consume about 10 times its weight in plant matter – that which it took to produce it [and don’t forget the water consumption that went into its production], require a sentien

t being to experience suffering for almost its entire life [factory farmed meat], and pollute the earth with excrement the animal produced while it was alive) or eat some non-animal-based food.

You make this choice EVERY TIME you eat.

Lukas Gloor 

  • That strikes me as a very weak argument, Diego, as the reasons for veganis(his)m aren’t arbitrary dogma but instead about the very thing Effective Altruism is about.

    Jenna Gatto 

How much plant matter does a person need to eat over its life time to get all of the nutrients it needs, especially when you cut meat out of the diet? And if you think about it that way, if for every ounce of meat you eat does that mean you

 need to eat 10 times that amount of plant matter to get the same nutrients, and what type of resources went into that before it got to your kitchen table?
Not all animals we eat have suffered, and I know I’m “lucky” that a large majority of my diet comes from animals either I, my father, or my family hunts and fishes for me to eat, but is that still not a question of economic stability to be able to afford those products in the grocery store that are not factory farmed.
Human and pet excrement can not be composted for organic farming due to the amount of chemicals that we eat on a regular basis. If it is not composted it goes into a sewer somewhere. And while in NJ we are lucky enough to have systems that have been updated since the 1970s, I now live in a place where combined sewer outflows still predominately exist and therefore flow into local waterbodies. So if people cannot eat organically, which is still something that has a lot to do with education and social standpoint, we too are polluting the earth regardless of whether or not we eat meat.
Essentially you need to give up anything that has gone through a factory, and eat only things you can grow and hunt yourself to be able to live in a way that can live up to the statement you have made. And while I too wish this was possible for everyone, this is a much bigger step then the choices people can make at a grocery store, especially if they are not financially able.

Adriano Mannino ‎”Private vegetarianism”? WTF. From a utilitarian point of view, it’s very clear that we must promote *public veganis(his)m*. If you can convince just two people to go vegan, this already has *twice* the impact of your own private veganism. So influencing others (in order to establish/via establishing social norms) is much more important than your private consumption.

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

  • Okay, I’ll try one last controversial idea, then I’m done: People have very strong opinions (not at all rational) about eating, and sharing food. Those, it seems to me, are inscribed in one’s head at some point in life, just like swear words. We allocate prejudices in an emotional part of us. This is why swearing in other languages doesn’t feel weird.

My guess is that being vegan is sufficiently disconforting for you and people around you that 1)You lose more influence in other Effective Altruist goals than you gain by eventually causing vegetarians 2) This one I claim strongly (90% conf

idence): You spend a lot of cognitive energy on finding food, and specially on discussing food. If this energy was spent on charity evaluation, donatable work, or technology research, it would benefit all sentient beings much more.

3) This is also true if it was used just to donate/develop in vitro meat, which fosters the same goals. I think it doesn’t feel the same because eating rituals, like swearing and politics, have highjacked part of our moral brain (safer for

 memes to be there). *META: this discussion is going to my old blog, if you’d like me to take off your name, please tell me now* 4) The timing doesn’t seem right to help farm animals yet. Too many humans suffering from Malaria, Schistosomosis, Tuberculosis, Ageing.

5) This one I claim mildly (50%): It seems to me that people who end up promoting eating rituals got stuck in the same way some atheists stop their intelectual life once they can forever battle against those who are not yet atheists. Sure 

you can spend a life vociferating against God, and sure, there is no God, but as Luke Muehlhauser said: “Atheism is just the beggining”. Becoming a vegan is awesome, it means you understand sooo much… but it seems to me to be just the

Adriano Mannino 

Diego, what’s your point? Opinions can be strong *and* absolutely rational and justified.
Do you have an argument against anti-speciesism? The issue has been debated for 40 years now and not a single halfway rational arg

ument in favor of speciesism has been produced.
Do you have an argument against consequentialism?
If not, then it’s obvious that “private vegetarianism” is utter nonsense.

Ah, now you’ve added a second and third comment. I’m afraid you are wrong. We are utilitarian anti-speciesists/vegans and not stupid. It’s totally false that we spend a lot of energy finding and discussing food. We don’t.

We do, of course, support in-vitro meat. But we believe that anti-speciesist meme-spreading has the greater marginal effect. And for psychosocial reasons, it’s very important to combine it with the spread of veg commitments. (Your “eating ritual” talk is totally misleading.) So long as people have no problem with continuing to eat food that causes unnecessary suffering to non-human animals, we have not succeeded in spreading anti-speciesism.

Read this: http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/veg-ads.html and this http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-nature.html, for instance.

And this:
http://masalladelaespecie.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/questions_priority_interspecies.pdf

<<8. CONCLUSIONS
We have seen that there is a wide difference between the number of humans and the
number of those nonhumans who are harmed due to their use by humans. Of course some of
the figures and estimations that have been considered here are obviously approximate, but
they are based on real data and seem to be reasonable ones. Figures concerning well-being are
more speculative: obviously so, since we lack any data which could actually make
experiences accessible. However, they are plausible enough to allow us to consider the
question in a fairly realistic way. Given this, it seems we can draw some conclusions from the
line of reasoning presented above.
By now, the main one is likely to be expected. No human activity directly affects
negatively a so high number of individuals as humans’ consumption of nonhumans does. And
we all can make a change here. Hence, in as much as we accept any of the different normative
criteria mentioned above (maximization, additive equality, maximin, sufficiency concerning
outcomes, as well as responsibility and equality of means or lack of oppression) we will have
to give up the consumption nonhuman animals.
In fact, the reason why this practice harms
so many animals is simply that each of us as individuals contributes to it. And, as it has been
argued above, the gains we obtain out of that practice do not compensate the harm nonhumans
suffer. There is a huge asymmetry between the enjoyment humans get from being able to
experience some tastes and the harm that nonhuman animals suffer due to it at an individual
level. This can be assessed in a very simple way. Consider the life of a trout in some fish
factory. Suppose someone eats that trout in one meal. Two things must be weighted against
each other here: (a) The cost of the difference between the enjoyment that the one who eats
this trout gets from that meal and the enjoyment he could get from eating a meal without
animal products. (b) The suffering and the deprivation of enjoyment which death implies that
has been inflicted on that fish. Suppose, for instance, that the meal lasts twenty minutes (that
is, 1200 seconds) and that the animal has spent close to twenty months in the fish-farm (let us
say 600 days). Suppose, also, that this trout which could have lived for some six or seven
years. According to an intrinsic potential account, this means that this animal suffers a
deprivation of five years of life. This means that the difference between a minute of the
eater’s enjoyment of that meal and a minute of his possible enjoyment had he chosen a nonanimal meal is equal to almost one month of suffering for the fish, plus a deprivation of three
months of life (assuming the intrinsic potential account). Or, that such a difference during a
couple of seconds of tasting is equivalent to a day of suffering plus the deprivation of more
than three days of life for the fish. Of course, if we assume an account of the harm of death in
relation to the maximum level of happiness the results are still more asymmetric. Similar
equations can be considered for other animals and other meals.
But there is an even more significant consequence that is suggested by what we have
seen thus far, which may affect us not just as potential consumers of nonhuman animals but
also as agents with the ability to transform our surrounding reality. We may think that we not
only have negative duties not to engage in unjust practices. We may also accept that we
should do something to stop them. If so, we should note that the conclusions presented above
entail that spreading an animal-free lifestyle is a far more efficient way of improving the
world than working to improve the situation in which humans are. This conclusion seems at
first paradoxical. But it is far from being some odd consequence which we can infer from
some peculiar theory. Quite the opposite, it follows from a wide range of positions that are
commonly held. In fact, it seems to follow quite naturally once we set aside our speciesist assumptions. This also suggests that challenging speciesism might be the most useful task we
can assume if we want to make the world a better place.>>

Adriano Mannino 

Speciesism is false. If we accept that, and given the enormous amount of domesticated and especially also wild animal suffering there is in the world, it follows quite trivially that anti-speciesist meme-spreading is more important than the..

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

1) ($6000)/(917+238) = $5.19 to create a new vegetarian. *Terrible calculation which does not factor work-hours of the gigantic veg-crowd, and most important, opportunity cost due to disconfort caused (which I admit is not measurable)* 2)

 The paper you indicated has the same issue….. Also , it calculates based on obviously false assumptions, like that the life of a trout is one of suffering. Or that farm cows (which when a child I took care of often) are suffering all the time. They may suffer when dying, when being vaccinated (so do we), when being separated from children-cow (so do we). 3) We agree that factory farming sucks, and I don’t eat pigs on that basis (unless in discorforting situations) 4) Paper also uses “deprivation of years” as indicator of suffering, but clearly an animal does not suffer if it does not exist anymore, for this one, the Logic of the Larder argument works. 5) I’d suggest, as life advice not related to Veg, that one link is maximum one can send per discussion and expect being read, though I made an exception here 6) I am also in favor of being a vegetarian, say, twice a week, something which preserves some animals, does not activate neuro-triggers of morality, and spreads the word, without causing unconfortable discussions in which people feel attacked, and assassins, which sometimes happens with non-vegans in discussions. 7) You argue a good case, and if the facts you pointed out were true (if the paper was mostly true) I would follow to your conclusion. I suggest we agree on opinions of the form “If XYZ is the case, the world should do WFP” we are disagreeing over XYZ being or not the case. 🙂

Adriano Mannino 

Ad 1): The crucial figure, calculated in the above link, is this: We can prevent about 100d of suffering on a factory farm by donating a single dollar (!) to the Humane League or to Vegan Outreach (the actual number may be several times hig

her). Which human-related cause trumps this? Please tell me.
1.1) Most suffering (by *far*, see 
http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-nature.html) occurs in nature. That’s why anti-speciesist meme-spreading is likely to be extremely effective in the long run. Animal farming seems doomed anyway (in-vitro meat is just around the corner). But we have to hurry up and put anti-speciesist memes in place in order to ensure that we will abolish wild animal suffering when we have the technology to do so (this is an argument for targeting powerful people too). If we also factor in the urgent need to prevent future (Darwinian) panspermia and terraforming, we’ve got a good candidate for the title of the most important ethical issue.

Ad 2): The paper is not based on these assumptions. It does say that any kind of animal farming is based on/reinforces speciesism (which is true and which provides a strong reason to oppose it). Also, it’s a fact that *the vast majority* of farm animals are factory farmed and have terrible lives.

Ad 4): Whether we accept Logic of the Larder reasoning or not, animal farming should be abolished. Speciesism must go and we can’t credibly argue against it if we support slaughtering non-humans for trivial purposes because people wouldn’t even dream of subjecting humans to this kind of treatment. If we focus on suffering, then the Logic of the Larder does not apply; if, on the other hand, our focus is a happiness/suffering balance, then it does apply but the conclusion that we should abolish factory farming still stands: Opportunity costs. With the resources that go into animal farming we could be creating many more (and happier) sentient beings. And as I said, we absolutely need anti-speciesism in order to save the gazillions of animals that are suffering in nature. But we can’t promote it if we accept practices that people would never accept and would in fact consider most serious crimes (!) if done to mentally equivalent humans (“human farming”).

Ad 6): Why should we shy away from activating morality-triggers? Anti-speciesism is a very basic moral meme and it’s important that more and more people understand and accept it as that – and more and more people do, there’s some data suggesting that the number of vegans has been increasing exponentially. (By the way, if for whatever curious reason you’re not ready to join the cause, *at least* abstain from hurting it by describing what we’re about in terms of “eating rituals” etc.) An ethically similar historical struggle was anti-racism. Would you have suggested not activating morality-triggers there as well? And I hope you realize that it’s simply unavoidable that there will be uncomfortable discussions and that (some) people will feel attacked. I totally agree that we should try to minimize negative emotions, though, and my tone of voice is usually different from the one I’ve chosen here. But you’re a fellow rationalist and I was – quite frankly – shocked by the “private vegetarianism” proposal, which strikes me as extremely irrational and harmful (given utilitarianism, which, I take it, is a shared premise).

Ad 7): As far as I can see, you should follow to the conclusions. Or you should provide better arguments to block them and prove us wrong.

The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering www.utilitarian-essays.com

Adriano Mannino 

Addendum to 1.1): Anti-speciesist meme-spreading is important for in-vitro meat as well. We shouldn’t underestimate the challenge of getting society to accept this “unnatural” product (compare the tragic fate of genetically modified food in

 Europe). If people accept that species-membership is no reason for discriminating against sentient beings and to consider their well-being less important, they will be much more willing to switch to in-vitro meat and promote it structurally. It’s extremely important to speed this process up.

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

1) On Wild-Suffering. Sure, wild suffering is awful, and I hope for less of it ASAP. I don’t think the best avenue for getting anti-speciesism is to start by changing to veto-this-food people’s eating habits, because I think that is pretty

 fucking hard. There must be lower hanging fruit out there. 2)If there is one thing I can claim being really immensely good at, it is dodging lone-bystander bias. I am the first transhumanist,immortalist, cryonicist, and perhaps singularitarian in my country (185 000 000 people), and I fought against accusations of crazyness and social stigma from a very early age.You should consider VERY INFORMATIVE *that means, a lot of bits, or the equivalent of a large N study* that despite having done all that, I have not managed to establish dietary restrictions under socially constraining situations (going out with friends, visiting girlfriends family etc…) This is not only non-pork or non-redmeat situations, but also trying to implement a kurzweil slow-carb diet. It is just massively, massively hard to summon the energy of fighting this battle every meal out. And I am, along with the science of positive psychology, and Shawn Achor, of the opinion that we have a single candle of willpower. When we burn it, it burns for all things we may need willpower to, and we are short of that amount. We have to learn to divide the candle wisely, for if it burns up we enter “what the hell mode” and if it doesn’t, there is only limited quantitites of it.

Adriano Mannino 

So that’s Brazil? What about the “gigantic veg-crowd” that you mentioned above? It should make veg life quite easy. I know some Brazilian vegetarians and vegans and they seem to be doing OK. 😉
Actually, there’s been a big debate within the

 animal rights movement about whether there is lower hanging fruit. One might think there is – but I have come to accept the conclusion that there is not. Animal welfare reforms are very costly and don’t do too much in the end (and my country – Switzerland – is the paradigm example). I don’t think we can avoid promoting veg eating (and an expansion of veg agriculture and the veg supply) if we are to promote anti-speciesism. (Incidentally, animal farming is also one of the primary causes of global warming, which might increase global catastrophic risks. And it probably also increases the planetary biomass and thus the amount of wild animal suffering – which might well be the main reason to fight it. Furthermore, animal farming is co-responsible for world-hunger: 1kg of meat = up to 10kg of soy and other plant food that could be eaten directly.) As I said, people who get the anti-speciesist meme *will want* to avoid products based on animal exploitation. Also, you shouldn’t underestimate the positive psychological and social effects of behavioral veg commitments – they greatly assist meme-spreading. Last but not least, veganism has become *very easy* to practise in many countries. In Switzerland it’s basically a matter of which shelf you go to in the store (and you can get veg food in every restaurant). As for social difficulties, I think there are easy ways to minimize them and to even make being veg a fun experience. For one thing, there is a growing consensus among young and rational people (i.e. within most of my social circles) that there’s an ethical imperative to go veg. Many of them can be converted very easily – and if you’re not the only one doing it, it’s fun (and psychologically positive!), you can try out new stuff, offer to cook for non-veg people etc. And I think it’s possible to talk about it in a friendly and non-antagonizing way to non-veg people. So is it really a “battle” that needs to be fought out every meal again? Not in my experience. And if you encounter people who don’t respect your dietary choices (!), why don’t you tell them that they should go fuck themselves? OK, let’s make an exception for the girlfriend’s family. But otherwise there’s really no reason to waste time with stupid people. (That’s bad quite independently of the veg question anyway.) And if you spend time with the right folks (namely young and intelligent people), the veg thing should be no problem and you should find many great and low-cost (in fact, almost free) anti-speciesist influencing opportunities.

I congratulate you on standing up for transhumanism etc. I agree with all those causes (though in part only for instrumental reasons, e.g. I don’t think that death per se is a problem, I think the abolition of suffering should be our focus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism_(bioethics)http://www.hedweb.com/abolitionist-project/reprogramming-predators.html – so I’m with the Pearcean brand of transhumanism/transanimalism, not with Bostrom or the Singularitarians), but I believe that spreading anti-speciesist memes as fast as possible and making sure that technology will be used to abolish (wild) animal suffering too (which might well be the dominant factor in the utilitarian calculation!) is *even more important*.

I agree about willpower and the candle analogy. But as I said, it’s quite difficult for me to believe that it’s “so fucking hard”, socially. Also, I’m not sure whether you have granted the issue enough priority. We might disagree about what the most important thing is, overall, but I don’t think utilitarians can reasonably disagree on the fact that anti-speciesist/veg meme spreading and donating to animal charities is very important and cost-effective indeed. *At the very least*, I believe, one must admit that anti-speciesist meme-spreading is more important than the poverty-related causes that www.givingwhatwecan.org promotes. I wonder whether your assessment of how hard it is to be veg would be different if you had granted the issue higher priority? And if it does deserve higher priority, then it also has a greater claim to the willpower-candle.

Abolitionism (bioethics) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abolitionism is the bioethical school and movement that endorses the use of biot…See More

Adriano Mannino 

One last point. You write: “Steering Transhumanists and Singularitarians as close as possible to their dreams…”
Unfortunately, there are many transhumanists who are speciesists or even egoists (they’re especially numerous among immortali

sts and cryonicists, a bit less so among singularitarians, but still to an alarming degree – see the irrational reactions of the Less Wrong crowd when confronted with anti-speciesist arguments or considerations in the philosophy of personal identity that undermine egoism). I’m not saying you are one of them, but the quote could certainly have been made by them: It’s about achieving “our dreams” etc. I am *deeply morally opposed* to those guys. It’s not about “our dreams”. It’s primarily (if not exclusively) about abolishing suffering in an impartial and objective way. So let me be frank: I wonder whether your opposition to prioritizing anti-speciesist/veg meme-spreading had anything to do with an understanding of “what it’s all about” in terms of “our/my dreams” rather than in terms of the best possible impartial minimization of suffering (and, maybe, the maximization of happiness).

David Pearce 

When are we ethically entitled to harm another sentient being? The Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009)
http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-declaration/
boldly expresses our commitment to the well-being of all sentience. Payi

ng for nonhuman animals to be factory-farmed, exploited and killed so we can eat their flesh is impossible to reconcile with such a commitment.

Of course we’re all prey to weakness of will. But does giving up meat and animal products really call for heroic self-sacrifice? Humans are not obligate carnivores. Our only excuse is not just lame but weak-minded: “But I like the taste!”

Transhumanist Declaration

humanityplus.org

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

I suggest we have a fundamental disagreement over what should be preserved. I think our values should be preserved. Values that can only be states in language, thus only formulatable by a species that commands language. I think that the values that should be preserved are some mix of Yudkwosky’s CEV: “That in which we would agree if we grew smarter and stronger togheter.” and David Lewis’s dispositional theory: “Lewis offers that X is a value to you (roughly) if and only if you would desire to desire X if you were perfectly acquainted with X and you were thinking and deliberating as clearly as possible about X.” I am doing a masters on what that would be. I do not think that negative utilitarianism is the best form of it. Personally,emotionally, I am a positive utilitarian, increasing positive feeling as I go about. I think some form of simple utilitarianism is probably the best pragmatic approach (for it maintains agreement among those fighting for the worlds good, without in-group out-group bias and stupid minor disagreements unworth fighting over). If new persons would arise whose commant of emotions, intelligence, cooperation, friendliness, and love are greater then our own (augmented humans, aliens, computers) I would gladly ascribe them the task of determining which values we would like to preserve. While this does not happen, I’ll do my best to understand things that we value, summarize them, and improve quality of CEV, or reduce the existential risk of permanently curtailing our values. Yudkwosky’s Fun Theory is very bad (probably his life lacked fun), Bostrom noticing that Flamboyant displays are great is very good. Richardson and Boyd noticing Double Inheritance in culture is very good, and Seligman and the Positive Psychology crowd have been assessing a lot of useful info, with PERMA being the summit of values we currently have. I’ll try to build on the shoulders of those giants, and output a serious well build, wide list of which values we should preserve, and why. Wish me luck! Thanks for the discussion. You too David!

 

Para Onde Vamos? Concebendo o Design do Paraíso

Para Onde Vamos?

Concebendo o design do paraíso

 

    Os humanos tem sido péssimos designers de paraísos, utopias, e demais cenários em que há o máximo do que há de bom e o mínimo do que há de ruim. Em algumas fontes a respeito de transhumanismo, bem como nesse texto, começamos a resolver esse problema.

    As sociedades humanas até hoje podem ser distintas entre aquelas que colocaram o paraíso como um tempo ancestral, passado e aquelas que enchergam o paraíso num momento distante e futuro, senso o simbolismo mais comum a ascenção aos céus na vida após a morte. Antes de fazermos uma análise mais racional sobre o encaminhamento futuro do destino dos humanos atuais, faremos uma incursão nas intuições que regaram os desejos de paraíso de diversas sociedades. Compreender como diferentes sociedades e religiões pensaram suas ideias sobre paraísos é a melhor maneira de compreendermos quais erros poderiam ser acometidos numa tentativa real de chegarmos a um bom local fazendo uso das tecnologias vindouras. Examinemos por tanto essas concepções desde a antiguidade.

    (A) O mais antigo paraíso do qual temos notícia (De masi 2002), encontrado numa tábua em escrita cuneiforme é chamado de Dilmun, e descrito como um lugar sem doenças e sem violência, isto é determinado por ausências de alguns males que assolavam à época os seres humanos. (B) O termo “paraíso” significava parque, jardim, ou pomar, termos que usamos para designar locais em geral seguros, repletos de alimentos, e capazes de nos deixar em um estado de tranquilidade. (C) Uma das descrições do paraíso do povo de israel tratra dos mortos em conflitos políticos, religiosos e etnicos, celebra Isaías “Reviverão teus Mortos”[…]”Os meus caídos resssurgirão, despertarão e exultarão aqueles que habitavam no pó”.

    Eventualmente o paraíso se torna (D) o máximo de eficiência dentro do contexto social vivido pelos hebreus, pensa-se aí em magníficas produções agrícolas prescindindo quase inteiramente de trabalho, em TALMUD, Ketuboth IIIb “O Santo […] soprará sobre as espigas e fará com que caiam os grãos. Então os homens andarão pelos campos e colherão um punhado com o qual se nutrirão a si e a suas famílias… […] neste mundo é preciso colher e espremer com esforço [mas naquele] bastará arrancar um galho da videira, carregá-lo numa carroça ou num barco e colocálo num canto da casa e ele fornecerá (vinho) a vontade, como se fosse um grande barril.”

    Os paraísos até aqui tratados preenchem uma ausência, recuperam uma perda, e no caso (D) aceleram e maximizam a produção sem esforço, isto é aumentam a eficiência da produção do valor social mais contundente à época (o valor agrícola). Continuaremos agora examinando outros povos e sociedades que também encontram em seus paraísos retratos escrachados, por vezes pitorescos e afirmativamente ridículos, que refletem aquilo que em suas sociedades mais faltava, ou o que mais determinava Status em seu tempo. (E) No paraíso cristão prevalece o ócio, o próprio corpo humano ascende, em sua forma carnal, mas segundo Agostinho, “respousaremos e veremos, veremos e amaremos, amaremos e louvaremos no fim e sem fim.” Tudo isso acontecerá em versões atléticas de nossos corpos de trinta anos a idade consagrada do cristo.

    Dos paraísos mais interessantes de se examinar está (F) Aquele de Irineu de Lyon que diz que nascerão vinhedos com com dez mil videiras, cada qual com dez mil vinhas, cada qual com dez mil latadas que cada latada terá dez mil ramos e que cada ramo terá dez mil cachos. Cada cacho possuirá dez mil bagos de uva e cada cacho espremido dará 25 metretas de vinho. Ou seja, haverá aproximadamente 2,5 x1030 metretas de vinho de cada videira, ou mais do que o número de átomos num corpo humano médio.

    (G) Também o paraíso muçulmano nos traz perspectiva interessante: Possuidor de “Nádegas de uma milha e orgasmos de um século” cumpre o papel de inversão da vida terrena já visto anteriormente em âmbito sexual/relacional. No paraíso islâmico, reverte-se o deserto, um infinito jardim, sempre regado de boas chuvas, frequentes, clima ameno e, como já de costume nos paraísos, rios e lagos de vinho, e também mel e leite. Os habitantes serão cobertos de pedras e pérolas e assistirão em tela plana o sofrimento e a angústia dos demais (schadenfreüd). As Huri, mulheres do paraíso que cortejam os homens que ascendem são eternas virgens, readquirindo a virgindade perdida a cada vez que a perdem num eterno retorno de gozos sultânicos e triunfais. Rege parte da lenda que simplesmente por olhar um fruto você poderá saboreá-lho, e se este não mais lhe aprouver, não há problema, pois o sabor transforma-se sozinho em sua boca, sem necessidade de nenhum esforço. Como em quase todos os casos anteriores, aqui o trabalho está erradicado. (H) No paraíso luterano, diz-se que até as mais desprezíveis criaturas, como as vespas e as baratas, terão maravilhosa fragrância, e serão de delicioso sabor. (I) O paraíso Calvinista é praticamente a realização de um comunismo utopico fraternal, não haverá leis, distinções de classe, governo, diferença entre servo e patrão, todos serão iguais.

    (J) O paraíso da era industrial também é industrializado, quando deixa de ser ideal do Homem passar a eternidade deitado numa nuvem, tocando harpas celestes de maneira tonal e em harmonia simples. Dentro da época protestante, o labor se mantem nos céus, com a diferença de que é garantido que todo esforço ou trabalho é uma alegria. Famosamente a ética protestante retira a condição anti-terrena que viemos vendo aqui nos paraísos de diversas civilizações. Enquanto nos paraísos anteriores a totalidade do modo de vida dos indivíduos é modificado para seu contrário ao ingressar no paraíso, agora teremos uma concepção de mais do mesmo, porém com um signo positivo associado a esse mesmo. Encontraremos nos escritos de Isaac Taylor por exemplo uma exaltação do trabalho como glorioso, um prazer, e o céu sendo praticamente um posto cívico que interage e auxilia as pessoas que se mantem na esfera terrena.

    Contra a versão formal dos paraísos acima descritos, todos emprestando suas características de desejos de curto e médio prazo correlatos a dinâmica social e abundância de recursos de seus construtores, teremos que buscar um paraíso cujas metáforas não se baseiem tanto em nuances de época, características menores, e carências simplísticas que moveram a criação de todos os paraísos acima descritos. Para começarmos a pensar a respeito disso, vejamos o entendimento de paraíso de um dos mais imponentes transhumanistas de nossa geração, Eliezer Yudkowsky falando sobre a possibilidade de que acabemos num bom lugar para se viver, numa eutopia:

    “Nenhum autor parece ter sido bem sucedido em construir uma utopia que o valha. Quando estão tentando construir a imagem de quão maravilhoso e fascinante o mundo poderia ser, se ao menos nós pudessemos ser todos Marxistsa, ou Randianos, ou deixar os filósofos serem reis… eles tentam descrever o resultado como reconfortante e seguro .

[…]Pode-se considerar, em particular, a observação de Timothy Ferris:

    ‘Qual é o oposto de felicidade? Tristeza? Não. Assim como amor e ódio são dois lados da mesma moeda, também o são a felicidade e a tristeza. Chorar de felicidade é uma ilustração perfeita disso. O oposto de amor é a indiferença, e o oposto da felicidade – cá esta o truque – é o tédio.

    A questão que você deveria estar se perguntanto não é “O que eu quero?” ou “Quais são meus objetivos” mas “O que me excitaria”

    Lembre-se – Tédio é o inimigo, não uma “falha” abstrata.’

A Utopia é segura, sem surpresas e boba.

A Eutopia é assustadora.

    Não estou falando aqui de usar meios maléficos para um bom fim, estou falando dos resultados eles mesmos. Essa é a relação adequada entre Futuro e Passado quando as coisas saíram bem, como nós saberiamos pela história se realmente tivessemo-la vivido, ao invés de olhar para trás com o benefício do olhar retrospectivo. “ – Less Wrong Eutopia is Scary

    Para Yudkowsky, assim como o mundo atual, com tudo o que possui de melhor do que o mundo de Benjamin Franklin, ainda assim assustaria Benjamin, e da mesma maneira devemos pensar nossa Eutopia, sua proposta é pensar um mundo que fosse tão chocante para nós quanto o mundo atual parece a Benjamin Frankin, em que seja possível reconhecer a melhora, mas que seja assustador, um mundo que não foi feito a partir de nós, indivíduos particulares, não foi feito para encaixar-se em nós, como os paraísos que até hoje foram pensados, e com os quais nos defrontamos no início desse texto.

    Ao contrário, ele se propõe a pensar um paraíso no qual ele se sinta fora do lugar, fora de sua zona de conforto, mas que ainda assim seja um lugar melhor do que o mundo em que vivemos:

    “E então, quando eu podia pensar numa boa ideia que ofendesse minhas sensibilidade, eu a adicionava. O objetivo sendo- sem jamais deliberadamente fazer o futuro pior – fazê-lo um lugar no qual eu pudesse estar o mais chocado que aquela era afinal a forma que as coisas tomaram.

 

Livrar-se de livros texto por exemplo – postular que falar sobre ciência em público é socialmente inaceitável, pela mesma razão que você não diz para alguém vendo um filme que o vilão morre no final. Um mundo que rejeitasse minhas concepções da ciência como um bem público da humanidade.

    Então eu adicionei essas ideias desconfortáveis umas as outras…

    …. e ao menos na minha imaginação, ele funcionava melhor do que qualquer tentativa que eu fizera de visualizar uma proposta séria.

        Minhas propostas sérias haviam todas sido sóbrias e seguras e sãs, tudo voluntário, com placas de saída devidamente sinalizadas, e todo tipo de controle de volume para prevenir que qualquer coisa se tornasse muito alta e acordar os vizinhos. Nada muito absurdo, propostas que não assustariam os nervosos, contendo o mínimo possível de algo que causasse que alguém fizesse uma bagunça.

    Esse mundo era ridícuo, e ia acordar os vizinhos.” – Yudkowsky opus cit.

 

    Seja através de tecnologias transhumantas, que modificam o corpo e a mente, seja através do uso de uma inteligência artificial generalista, temos de ter um mínimo de concepção de qual é o futuro para o qual queremos nos dirigir se vamos tentar esforços nessa direção, e até aqui estamos tento uma lição sobre que tipos de pensamento não devem ser usados na concepção de um bom lugar para se viver, de um bom resultado dos esforços humanos.

    Nosso entendimento do paraíso vai progredindo conforme compreendemos como o paraíso não deve ser. Vimos até aqui que ele não deve ser o inverso evolutivo da realidade terrena de seus criadores, como o paraíso de diversas religiões e crenças. Também vimos que não deve ser pautado nos desejos de um indivíduo, em como ele se sentiria bem, como no exemplo de Benjamin Franklin.

    Temos então duas lições de moral até agora sobre nosso paraíso planejado, o futuro possível para o qual devemos mover nossos esforços: Realidade invertida não é paraíso, e paraíso não é um lugar onde me sentiria quentinho e confortável, mas um lugar que ia assustar por suas virtudes.

    Quanta diversão há de haver no paraíso? Certamente muita diversão, incontavelmente mais do que a que um humano atual teria exercitando os hábitos de tocar harpas eternamente. Devemos estabelecer um limiar minimo de diversão que vale a pena ser considerado: um palácio dentro de uma nebulosa habitado por todos aqueles que amamos, retirado-lhes todos defeitos que nos incomodam, onde ninguém envelhece ou adoce da mente ou do corpo e todos podem instantaneamente tomar a forma que desejarem por 10 minutos.

    Nossas três lições até aqui foram: Realidade invertida não é paraíso, e paraíso não é um lugar onde me sentiria quentinho e confortável, mas um lugar que ia assustar por suas virtudes, se uma ideia não for ao menos tão desejável quando um palácio dentro de uma nebulosa, não vale a pena considerá-la como lugar para o qual dirigirmos nossos esforços.

    Agora estamos armados para começar a pensar numa teoria da felicidade, que vai lançar as bases a partir das quais poderemos pensar os tipos de futuros desejáveis para os quais podemos nos dirigir, e como encontrá-los. Esses temas já foram pensados, parcialmente por David Pearce, Nick Bostrom e Eliezer Yudkowsoky, e em breve teremos traduções/reflexões sobre o mundo que quisermos criar aqui tambem.

How I Think About My Life at 24

How I Think About My Life at 24:

A brainstorm attempt of getting myself in a generally desirable path

Choosing is complicated.

I remember a long time ago when I decided that life was to be lived in praise of past generations, while enjoying what they have given us. It was our duty, I believed then and I believe now, to fulfill past generation’s desires, and the freedoms they fought for.

This can be though of as a justification for enjoying the pleasures of being among the richest of the world without being socially concerned. Maybe it was. My actual reasoning was more like: There is no privilege for this moment in time, we live in here by chance, given future generations will live in a better world, I ought to enjoy what I can from mine, and instead of considering me one of the lucky ones because I am the happiest out of every 500 current humans, I should consider my-self way below threshold and average for the whole of civilization, which, so I hope, will mostly be composed of awesome transhumans, posthumans, and machines that will experience gradients of bliss while composing a world that Walt Disney’s wildest dreams wouldn’t dare to dream themselves.

The Hardest Choice of All: Should I Stay or Should I Go

If you are born after 1930 and you are a very smart ape, you realize that awesomeness happens mostly in the United States. From “The Best American Science Writings 2010”:

[Elon Musk is founder of Space X, came from South Africa, has memorized and read facts for hours a day since birth, and successfully founded many start-ups, owning millions of dollars which he intends to use to colonize space, to extend Life’s Lifespan. He’s been ignoring “you can’t do that” for 37 years now. Once, though, he was a 10 year old in apartheid’s South Africa]

“Because when children like Elon Musk attain the kind of self-awareness that leads to questions about environment – where in the world can I go for the license and room to do what I must do? Where in the world are my peers? – They always, and Still, come to the same conclusion.

Elon Musk knew when he was a child. […] Elon has had this thought, consciously, literally, at the age of ten: America is where people like me need to go. That is where people like me have always gone. “

During last year, I’ve met a fair share of geniuses in my time at the Singulrity Insitute, another place trying to extend Life’s Lifespan by a few million awesome years. I myself realized that stuff happens in the USA when I was about sixteen. The first of this autobiographical series is my first attempt at writing in English, and I was right. Been a transhumanist before everyone around me, and I was right. Mostly, choose my own paths, and I was right.

But then came along the hardest choice of all, ¿should I trust globalization and my standard of living in Brazil? , ¿ should I trust the Latino fever for social life despite the huge red sign saying “AWESOMENESS IS IN THE USA, IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN”? ¿should I trust the promise of a flat world?

Life was too great, attachments were too strong, friends were well chosen, and so I stayed.

Every day, I see a smile in the mirror. It is Happiness thanking me for having chosen to stay. Oh goodness how much better is it to live here than there, specially when you were born here.

Every day, Knowledge punches me in the face and yells at me: “What Have you done! ¿Do you have any idea of what we could have achieved together? We could be Nanotech immortals with a sapphire castle on the Moon by now.

He has a point.

The choice between happiness and knowledge maps in my model of stuff very well as a choice between the mindsets of the two founders of the transhumanist movement. Knowledge is Bostrom, Happiness is David Pearce. Bostrom’s work is of far more impact, Pearce’s life is of far less Stress.

I have decided to Pearce, I decided to Brazil, I decided to Stay.

It will be long before I fathom the consequences of that choice, but it is my choice, and I’ll only rethink it when I’m thirty five.

The Most Important Things

Social life remains awesome, happiness remains striking, reading remains vicious, magic still plays perfect, girlfriend still is (good) madness and passion, the park still shines on, the smiles and friends are still the engulfing hugs of that which ought to be preserved, what is worth fighting for, and what give meaning to all the rest.

¿Has globalization worked? ¿It is possible to Stay and Do?

To some extent, yes. Networking made easier, been to one o the most important places on earth, the Singularity Institute, will work for them from time to time. Met my peers. Many and great they are. Joined a great team for making the world a better place.

For some reason ended up involved with efficient charity, not only efficient future-improvement, will try to understand this next year (¿greater likelihood of visualizing effects? Hardly what makes me tickle).

Am setting a group of efficient doers in Brazil. High impact on important issues, with both future oriented efficiency, and present oriented efficiency, are the most salient emerging goals. Have grown from 2, to 3, to five, to six without even being official yet. High hopes in the horizon.

So what has been keeping me low profile lately is…

Having made my choice of not only staying, but staying and living into happiness even if this costs the goals that younger me’s wanted to achieve, goal-achieving starts to slow down a bit. Or so it seems, only next semester will tell.

Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man’s world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man’s world
Aha-ahaaa
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It’s a rich man’s world

When I was in Syria last year this song would play (yes, in Syria) while I rejoiced the comfort of my friend’s very fancy car in the company of smart, young beautiful western ladies that only the wealthiest Arabs can ever think of interacting with. Syria, as well as Saudi, are rich man’s countries.

All my projects will require money, so has reminded me my girlfriend recently. All the money will require effort not necessarily worth it, has reminded my great friend and favorite psychologist recently. All the food, shelter, trips, health, my parents remind me. It’s a lottery to try, so say many successful start-up people, as well as sociologists of the economy.

If you can postpone getting the money, or making research while working to create institutions for the greater good of all future generations, it is worth it to give it at least one year, has convinced me a brilliant, well intended, motivated PHD and university teacher. So has said my best friend, who happens to be in France, working her way through medicine and tolerating minuscule apartment-hood in a rainy cold university city.

But oh, how hard it is to believe. Oh the lack of assurance. Oh the testosterone hitting, the male-ish desire to hold control of one’s income, of one’s life, of everything. And the obvious impossibility of controlling the uncontrollable as my psychologist friend reminds me.

Walking through the streets of San Francisco, I was convinced that to give it one year without worrying about money that much was the way to go. It seems impossible. 8 hours a week at least will go into that, or madness will interfere into the core of institution creation. After the promised Year’s end, that is when next considerations will take part again.

The Most Important Things, a Repetition in Service of Proportionality

Social life remains awesome, happiness remains striking, reading remains vicious, magic still plays perfect, girlfriend still is (good) madness and passion, the park still shines on, the smiles and friends are still the engulfing hugs of that which ought to be preserved, what is worth fighting for, and what give meaning to all the rest.

Nietzsche’s Amor Fatti, on love, the future, and trusting philosophical authorities

It has been proposed by one of the most important persons of the 21st century, the philosopher David Pearce, that people reflect on Nietzsche’s Amor Fatti:

from Wikipedia:

Amor fati is a Latin phrase coined by Nietzsche loosely translating to “love of fate” or “love of one’s fate”. It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events or situations that occur in one’s life.

The phrase is used repeatedly in Nietzsche’s writings and is representative of the general outlook on life he articulates in section 276 of The Gay Science, which reads,

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

Quote from “Why I Am So Clever” in Ecce Homo, section 10[1]:

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it.¨

Here is the respose I choose to give:

Being, according to a large N research questionnaire http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx among the 0,5% Happiest people in the world, I must say three things:

The first is that I can understand and feel my relative well-being, and for this, I am very glad. I wish there was something to thank, and since there isn’t, I help future people by being and working as a transhumanist.

The second is that if it is true that 99,5% of people suffer more than I do, and achieve fewer moments of ecstasy and bliss, the universe, and evolution, are morally wicked indeed, and it is my only hope that we continue to combat nature’s lack of caress.

The third is that people, like Nietzsche, who think ¨death is good, aging is good, uglyness is good, non-intelligence is good¨ and think as well that other design ethical malfunctionings of the human condition are good must be faced with compassion and a smile for their defeatism. These people should be instructed without prejudice. They ought to be impowered with the right ethical tools, and if this is done well, their acceptance of defeat will dilute, and a new strength will be born, a strength able to colossally increase our chances of escaping the wickedness of our current nature, and plunging into a paradise only rarely sought in any prophecy hitherto declared possible by any society, or by any authority.

To respect authority is a mistake. This has been pointed out before, in concise and brilliant manner, by Bertrand Russell in his Liberal Decalogue:

¨

Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.

When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.¨

A less concise yet brilliant way in which to think of the excessive respect we have for some people is by showing how their positions can be reached, and only seem to be at the worlds summit due to some presentation constraints imposed by our misleading though essential desire to know the final product, but not the complete build-up:

¨Were it possible to trace the succession of ideas in the mind of Sir Isaac Newton, during the time that he made his greatest discoveries, I make no doubt but our amazement at the extent of his genius would a little subside. But if, when a man publishes his discoveries, he either through a design, or through habit, omit the intermediary steps by which he himself arrived at them, it is no wonder that his speculations confound them, and that the generality of mankind stand amazed at his reach of thought. If a man ascend to the top of a building by the help of a common ladder, but cut away most of the steps after he has done with them, leaving only every ninth of tenth step, the view of the ladder, in the condition which he has pleased to exhibit it, gives us a prodigious, but unjust view of the man who could have made use of it. But if he had intended that any body should follow him, he should have left the ladder as he constructed it, or perhaps as he found it, for it might have been a mere accident that threw it in his way… I think that the interests of science have suffered by the excessive admiration and wonder with which several first rate philosophers are considered, and that an opinion of the greater equality of mankind, in point of genius, and power of understanding, would be of real service in the present age.” – Joseph Priestly, The History and present State of Electricity

To one who starts to ponder, at this point, if Amor Fatti or Amor Autoritti are reasonable ways it is about time to read this texts continuation

Altruistic Awesomeness, Your Challenge

So you woke up in this universe, containing not only yourself, but a planet in which you live, a few billion galaxies, religious grandmothers, cookies, weekends and downloadable series which you can watch any time. Eventually you noticed people are way more intentional than cookies, people always want something. Everyone told you, also, that you happen to be a person.

Then you asked the obvious question:  ¿What do I want?

Let us assume you are a very intelligent person (we know you are ¿right?)

Not just that, you have a deep grasp on biological evolution, and what life is.

You understand intelligence better than average, and you know the difference between a soul and an evolutionarily designed gadget whose function is tangential to being an optimization program which optimizes for some rough guidelines brought forth by genes and memes in a silent purposeless universe.

You know human thinking works mainly through analogies, and that the best way to explain how the mind works involves some way of dividing what it does into simpler steps that can be accomplished by less intelligent systems. That is, you realize the explanation of intelligence amounts to explaining it without using “intelligence” as part of your explanation.

You know that only a fool would think emotions are opposite to reason, and that our emotions are engineered by evolution to work in a fluid and peaceful coalition with reason, not only as best friends, but as a symbiotic system.

You have perused through the underlying laws of physics, and not only you found out schröedinger’s equation, but you understood that it implies a counter-intuitive series of things, such as: There are many-worlds splitting all the time into even more worlds, and I am splitting just like everything within this model. In fact, there is a tree of greater and greater amounts of branches, so I can always trace my self back, but there are too many selves forward. You wonder if you are all of them, or just one, and which.

Everett branches of a person, splitting into the future

You basically have intelligence enough (which probably would correlate with some nice IQ measurement, on the 125+ range…. but NEVER worry about IQ, that number is just a symbol to remind you that you are smarter than most of your teachers, your village elders, etc… and give you motivation to actually DO the stuff you’ve been considering doing all this time, IQ is, basically, a symbolic statement that you can disrespect authority)

Then you thought: Wow, it turns out I feel very good being Nice to other people. I am a natural altruist.

How can I put my intelligence to work for a better world, without being sucked into the void of EVIL-DARKNESS [your choiche of master-evil here, be it capitalism, common sense, politics, religion, stupidity, non-utilitarian charity etc…]

Since you grasp evolution, you do know that there is no ultimate-morality. There is no one great principle, just in the same way as there is no one great god.

On the other hand, it seems that happiness is great, and the best parts of life, both for you, and for your friends, are those parts which are Awesome, amazing, fantastic, delicious, unbearably happy, unimaginably joyful. This of course, opposed to those parts which are miserable, unfortunate, sad, ennui, so awful you want to cry.

So you decided you want to have a life that is 1) Awesome 2) Altruistic.

Now, you ask the second question:

¿What should I do?

Then all your intelligence was put to work on that, and you started finding out what the other Awesome Altruists were doing lately. You stopped reading Vogue and Newspapers, and read about people who loved mankind and tried to do stuff. Ghandi, Mandela, Russell, Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie, Frederic II, Nick Bostrom, Bono, Bentham, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Bakunin, Ettinger, Mother Theresa, Marx, among a  few others.

“Let us understand, once and for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.”
— T. H. Huxley (“Darwin’s bulldog”, early advocate of evolutionary theory)

You have started to analyse their actions counterfactually. You learned that the right question, to figure out what really matters is: ¿What is the difference between our world in which X did what he did, and our world in case X had not done that?

You noticed people have a blind spot relating to this question, and they always forget to ask “¿Would someone else have done that, had X not done that?” and you have stored a special cozy place in your brain that cintilates a huge neon sign saying “If YES, then X work does not make a difference” every time you ponder the issue.

So you noticed how the most important altruistic acts are not just those that have greater impact, and stronger effect. You realized that the fewer people are working on something of impact and effect, the more difference each one makes. There is no point in doing what will be done by others anyway, so what should be done is that which, if you did not do it, would not get done at all.

Applying this reasoning, you have excluded most of your awesome altruists of people it would be great to be like.

Some remain. You notice that from those, it turns out they are all either very powerful (moneywise) or tranhumanists. You begin to think about that…..

¿Why is it, you ask, that everyone who stands a chance of creating a much much better universe is concerned with these topics?

1) Promoting the enhancement and improvement of the human condition through use of technology

2) Reducing the odds of catastrophic events that could destroy the lives of, say, more than 50 million people at once.

3) Creating a world through extended use of technology in which some of our big unsolved problems do not exist anymore. (Ageing, unhappiness, depression, akrasia, ennui, suffering, idiocy, starvation, disease, impossibility of creating a back up of one self in case of car crash, not having a very, very delicious life, bureocracy and Death, to name a few problems)

It is now that you begin to realize that just like science is common sense, applied over and over again at itself, Just like science is iterated common sense, transhumanism is iterated altruistic awesomeness.

Sometimes, something that comes from science seems absurd for our savannah minds (splitting quantum worlds, remote controllable beetles, mindless algorithms that create mindful creatures). But then you realize that if you take everything you grasp as common sense, and apply common sense once again to it, you will get a few thing that look a little bit less commonsensical than the first ones. Then you do it again, a little more. And another time. All the steps take you only a little bit further away from what your savannah mind takes as obvious. But 100 steps later, we are talking about all the light coming from a huge exploding ball of helium very far away which disturbs space in predictable ways and that we perceive as sunlight. We call this iterated common sense Science, for short.

Now ¿what if you are a nice person, and you enjoy knowing that your action made a difference? Then you start measuring it. It seems intuitive at first that some actions will be good, saying the truth, for instance. But in further iterations, when you apply the same principles again, you find exceptions like “you are fat”. As you go through a few iterations, you notice the same emotional reaction you felt when common sense was slipping away while you learned science. You start noticing that giving for beggars is worse than for organized institutions, and that your voting does not change who is elected, you notice education pays off in long term, and you understand why states are banishing tobacco everywhere. You realize the classic “prevention is the best remedy”. Here is the point where you became a humanist. Congratulations! Very Few have gotten through here.

It turns out, though, that you happen to know science. So there are more steps to take. You notice that we are in one of the most important centuries of evolution’s course, because memes are overtaking genes, and we just found out about computers, and the size of the universe. We are aware of how diseases are transmitted, and we can take people’s bodies to the moon, and minds throughout most of the earth surface, and some other planets and galaxies. So you figure once we merge with technology, the outcome will be huge. You notice it will probably be in the time of your life, wheter you like it or not.

It will be so huge in fact, that there is probably nothing that you can do, in any other area whatsoever, that stands an awesome altruistic chance against increasing the probability that we will end up in a Nice Place to Live, and will not end up in “Terrible Distopian Scenario Number 33983783, the one in which we fail to realize that curing cancer was only worth it if it was not necessary to destroy the earth to calculate the necessary computations to perform the cure”.

Dawkins points out that there are many more ways of being dead than alive. There are more designs of unsustainable animals. Yudkwosky points out there are many more ways of failing in our quest to find a Nice Place to Live. Design space is huge, and the Distopian space is much greater than the Utopian Space. Also, they are not complementary.

So you kept your Altruistic Awesomeness reasoning with your great intelligence. Guess what, you found out that other people who do that call themselves “transhumanists”, and that they are working to either avoid global catastrophic risks, or to create a world of cognition, pleasure, and sublime amazement beyond what is currently conceivable to any earthling form.

You also found out there are so few of these people. This gave you a mixed feeling.

On the one hand, you felt a little bit worried, because no one in your tribe of friends, acquaintances, and authorities respects this kind of thinking. They want to preserve tradition, their salaries, one or another political view, the welfare state, teen-tribal values,  status quo, ecology, their grades, socialist ideals, or something to that effect. So you were worried because you identified yourself as something that is different from most who you know, and that not necessarily holds the promise of gaining status among your peers because of your ideals, which relate to the greater good of all humans and sentient life, present and future, including themselves, who simply have no clue what the hell are you talking about, and are beggining to find you a bit odd.

On the other hand, when you found out that there are few, you felt like the second shoes salesman, who went to an underdeveloped land and sent a message for the king after his friend, the first salesman, had sent another, from the northern areas of the land.

First Salesman: Situation Hopeless, they don’t wear any shoes…

Second Salesman: Glorious Opportunity, they don’t have any shoes yet!

It took you a long time, to learn all this science, and to deeply grasp morality. You have crossed through dark abysses of the human mind under which many of our greatest have failed. Yet, you made through, and your Altruistic Awesomeness was iterated, again and again, unappalled by the daunting tasks required of those who want to truly do good, as opposed to just pretending. The mere memory of all the process makes you chill. Now, with hindsight, you can look back and realize it was worth it, and that the path that lies ahead is paved, unlike hell, not with good intentions, but with good actions. It is now time to realize that if you have made it through this step, if all your memes cohered into a transhumanist self, then congratulations once again, for you are effectively part of the people on whom the fate of everything which we value lies. ¿Glorious opportunity, isn’t it?

Now take a deep breath. Insuflate the air. Think about how much all this matters, how serious it is. How awesome it it. Feel how altruistic you truly are, from the bottom of your heart. How lucky of you to be at one time so smart, so genuinely nice, and lucky to be born at a time where people who are like you are so few, but so few, that what you personally choose to do will make a huge difference. It is not only glorious opportunity, it is worth remarking as one of life’s most precious gifts. This feeling is disorienting and incandescent at the same time, but for now it must be put in a safe haven. Get back to the ground, watch your steps, breathe normally again and let us take a look at what is ahead of you.

From this day on, what matters is where you direct your efforts. ¿How are you going to guarantee a safer and plentier future for everyone? ¿Have you checked out what other people are doing? ¿Have you considered which human values do you want to preserve? ¿Are you aware of Nick Bostrom who is guiding the Future of Humanity institute at Oxford towards a deep awareness of our path ahead, and who has co-edited a book on global catastrophic risks? ¿Do you know that Eliezer Yudkowsky figured it all out at age 16 after abandoning high-school, and has been developing a friendly form of artificial intelligence, and trying to stop anyone from making the classic mistakes of assuming that a machine would behave or think as a human being would? ¿Did you already find out that Aubrey de Grey is dedicating his life to create an institution whose main goal is to end the madness of ageing, and has collected millions for a prize in case someone stops a mouse from ageing?

The issues that face us are not trivial. It is very dangerous to think that just because you know this stuff, you are already doing something useful. Beware of things that are too much fun to argue. There is actual work that needs to be done, and on this work may lie the avoidance of cataclysm, the stymie of nanotechnological destruction. The same line of work holds the promise of a world so bright that it is as conceivable to us as ours is to shrimp. A pleasure so high that the deepest shining emotions a known drug can induce are to deppressed orfan loneliness as one second of this future mental state is to a month of known drugs paradisiac peaks. To think about it won’t cut it. To talk about it won’t cut it. There is only one thing that will cut it. Work. Loads of careful, conscious, extremely intelligent, precise, awesomely altruistic, and deeply rewarding work.

There are two responsible things to be done. One, which this post is all about, is divulgating, showing the smart altruistic awesome people around that there are actual things that can be done, should be done, are decisive on a massive level, and are not overdetermined by someone else’s actions with the same effects.

The other is actually devising utopia. This has many sides to it. No skilled smart person is below threshold. No desiring altruistic awesome fellow is not required. Everyone should be trying. Coordination is crucial. To increase probability of utopia, either you decrease probability of distopia, cleaning the future space available of terrible places to live, or you accelerate and increase odds of getting to a Nice Place to Live. Even if you know everything I’ve been talking about until here, to give you a good description of what devising utopia amounts to, feels like, and intends, would take about two books, a couple dozen equations, some graphs, and at least some algorithms… (here are some links which you can take a look at after finishing this reading)

This post is centralizing. If you have arrived to this spot, and you tend to see yourself as someone who agrees with one third of what is here, you may be an awesome intelligence floating around alone, which, if connected to a system, would become an altruistic engine of powers beyond your current imagination.

I’m developing transhumanism in Latin America. No, I’m not the only one. And no, transhumanism has no borders.

Regardless, I’ll be getting any work offerings (¿got time? ¿got money? ¿Got enthusiasm? send it along) in case someone feels like it. I’ll also advise (as opposed to co-work) any newcomers who are lone riders. Lone wolfs, and people who do not like working along with others in any case.

Here, have my e-mail: diegocaleiro atsymbol gmail dotsymbol com

There is a final qualification that must be done to the “¿got time?” question. Seriously, if you are an altruist, and you are smart as we both know you are. ¿What could possibly be more worth your time than the one thing that will make you counterfactually more likely to be part of those who ended up the misery of darwinian psychological tyranny, and helped inaugurate the era of everlasting quasi-immortal happiness and vast fast aghasting intelligence which defies any conception of paradise?

If you do have a proper, more than five-lined intelligent response to the above question, please, do send it to my e-mail. After all, there is no point at which I’ll be completely convinced I arrived at the best answer. I’ve only researched for 8 years on the “¿what to do?” question. To think I did arrive at the best possible answer would be to commit the Best Impossible Fallacy, and I’m past this trivial kind of mistake.

Otherwise, in case you still agree with us two hundred that transhumanism is the most moral answer to the “¿What Should I do?” question….Then —> Please send me your wishes, profile, expertise, curriculum, or just how much time do you have to dedicate to it. This post is a centralizer. I’m trying to bring the effort together, for now you know. There are others like yourself out there. We have thought up a lot about how to make a better world, and we are now working hard towards it. We need your help. The worst that could happen to you is losing a few hours with us and then figuring out that in your conception, there are actually other things which compose a better meta-level iteration of your Altruistic Awesomeness. But don’t worry, it will not happen.

Here, have my e-mail: diegocaleiro atsymbol gmail dotsymbol com

Two others have joined already. (EDIT: After Writing this text there are already six of us already) The only required skill is intelligence (and I’m not talking about the thing IQ tests measure), being a fourteen year old is a plus, not an onus. As is having published dozens of articles on artifical intelligence. Dear Altruistic Awesome, the future is yours.

But it is only yours if you actually go there and do it.

Can a Smart Person Argue About Being Vegetarian?

EDITED: I included a posterior discussion with Adriano  at the very end of the text.

I always thought it was impossible to get any interesting information on being a vegetarian, given the fact that people who care about it are either fanatically against it, or fanatically for it. But turns out a smart guy I mentioned before, Pablo Stafforini, was up to the task, without further adue:

Pablo Stafforini: It is really, really hard to produce a convincing argument against same-sex marriage–almost as hard as coming up with a credible defense of meat consumption.Diego Coelho Caleiro: Pablo, as a long time follower of thy’s anarcotranshumanism I would expect you to accept eating meat on the basis of increasing the total ammount of conscious animals in the universe. If it were not for our meat consumption, there would be far fewer cow brains hanging around…..

Pablo Stafforini::Diego, there are three problems with this argument. First, it assumes that non-human animals raised for food have on average lives with a preponderance of happiness over suffering. This assumption is highly questionable in light of the ap…palling conditions present in modern factory farms. Secondly, it ignores that other sentient beings would likely exist if the land and resources currently allocated to factory farms was given a different use as a result of diminishing demand for animal products. Finally, it neglects the effects of vegetarianism in raising public awareness of the significance of non-human animal suffering. Because most people are not utilitarians and subscribe instead to a common-sense morality that regards edibles as things devoid of moral status, the interests of non-human animals currently raised for food are not going to be taken seriously until humans stop eating such animals altogether.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Though smart, I think those are insufficient reasons for anti-consumptionists. First, most

http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=125


countries that produce meat do not have particularly bad coditions for cattle’s life, at least no…t in Brazil, the main exporter. I would be shocked if Nozickian cows in Brazil would rather die… On the second, if there was no cattle, only a few tropical territories would comport other sentient beings, most grass farms would just be dedicated to agriculture. On the third, I think non-vegetarians build up a strong tribal hatred against vegetarians when they are confronted with the fanatical ones. People would be more friendly to primates if they didn’t connect that with having to abstain from their favorite chicken wing. Sure your arguments shifted my probability density distribution for “Against X For (meat-consumption)” but I do not think their strenght has tipped the balance.

Jonatas Müller: Your second problem goes the opposite way for me: wild animals should in general have lives which, if not bad in average (they probably are), have some extremely bad parts, so I’d see their existence as a negative (and their destruction a g…ood/neutral side of cattle farming). Beef seems to be one of the least objectionable types (along with fish), while chickens and pigs have it much worse (both live in bad conditions, pigs may have more sentience and chickens more suffering per kg of meat). Raising public awareness to animal well-being seems to be the most important effect in avoiding meat.

Pablo Stafforini: The state of cattle is not representative of that of animals generally, since cows suffer less on average than do members of all the other major species raised for food:

http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-per-kg.html

On the second ob…jection, I refer you to the detailed investigation of Gaverick Matheny and Kai Chan:

http://research.ires.ubc.ca/kaichan/articles/Matheny_and_Chan_2005_JAEE.pdf

I’m not persuaded by your reasoning regarding the final objection. Do you really think it’s possible for the man on the street –as distinct from the sophisticated utilitarian– to take the interests of all animals seriously while he continues to eat some of them?

Jonatas, I fully agree with your final point: I am myself a vegetarian primarily because of the effects that public advocacy of this diet has on other human beings (though I didn’t originally stop eating meat for that reason). Concerning t…he second objection, it is unclear to me whether the sort of animals that would exist if factory farms disappeared would on the whole suffer more or less than factory-farmed animals currently do. (See the paper cited above for further discussion.) Of course, things become quite complicated if we treat vegetarianism as part of a package deal including a general commitment to minimising suffering, since such a commitment would also require us to alleviate the pain of animals in the wild.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Nice paper. “However, if chickens were made to have lives of reasonable worth, then as long as they had lives that were perhaps 10% as pleasant or valuable as the lives of wild animals, then chicken meat and egg purchases could increase the… net amount of moral value in the world.”
It tipped the balance against pork. I’m unpersuaded with chicken’s given their tiny brains, and if my position on consciousness were not based on this

http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/content/abstract/215/3/216

maybe I’d be willing to tip it for industrial chicken.
So bye bye pork, and let’s go for wild chicken…

Thor Ribeiro: I can even see the cow wondering in proper Elisabethan english, “Would it have been better, had I not lived at all?”

Leah McKelvie: Assuming that the Jonatas and Pablo are talking about lacto ovo vegetarianism and not a vegan diet, I disagree. The interests of nonhuman animals who are raised for food are not going to be taken seriously by people who merely give up eating their… flesh. In fact, that’s an indication that they don’t take their interests seriously at all.

Promoting something that reinforces speciesism is not only a bad idea in the long run, it doesn’t even make sense in the short run. It sends the false message that vegetarianism makes a significant difference in actual animal suffering. It often doesn’t. It can even increase it, if someone goes from eating beef to loading up on eggs and dairy, or goes semi-vegetarian and starts eating chickens or fishes instead of beef.

Jonatas Müller: It may also be an intermediary step which may increase the chance for taking further steps. Though what you said applies to the acts of eating or not some meat, there are also the close acts of talking to people about it, making publicity, …eventually convincing legislators to make animal conditions better (with support from other “semi-vegetarians” or whatever they are called), discouraging use of animal furs, inventing in vitro meat or other meat alternatives, etc. These are all hard to quantify individually, but I think that together the people who take these actions can have a considerable result.

This may be even more powerful than being completely vegan, because if a vegan person has a non-vegan child, then all the efforts are in vain in a global sense.

Diego Coelho Caleiro: Let me disagree with Jonatian hypothesis here. As natural selection taught us, it is NOT always the case that the intermediate incremental steps towards a value-peak are better than their immediate neighbours. This is true meme-wise as wel…l. Just like the best order of ammount of appendix to have is (best) none (Intermediate) small (worst) very small, the best order of how much animal originated stuff could be (best) 0 (medium) current standards minus pork and industrial chicken and (worst) vegetarian that eats dairy and eggs.

We all carry an appendix because evolution sucks as a designer, maybe utilitarians ought to consider the possibility that we should all maitain a meat-eating life even though there are better lives in an ideal world.

In any case, both issues will be corrected by transhumanist technologies, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology, in the unlikely event that we survive the 21st century.

There is WAY more value at stake in terms of catastrophic risks f…rom human technology and natural causes than there is for vegetarianism. We just feel like discussing vegetarianism because feeding habits occupy large space of our savannah brains (take Kosher and muslim anti-pork as tribe determining examples)
I’ve delved into the discussion because it was intelligent and with someone I admired for long (Stafforini), that is, for fun.
But a real utilitarian should know better than trying to argue people out of their feeding habits and work avoiding actual cataclysm that could destroy 80% of earth’s biodiversity

 

Two Years later another discussion:

 

  • G Diego Vichutilitarian

  •  How about we are a social species, therefore we’d better share eating rituals. Evil meme-clusters have always thrived through making their members unable to eat things that other groups eat. I would not like Effective Altruism community to do the same. What do you guys think about private vegetarianism?

    Boris Yakubchik 

Here’s a simple choice: eat some meat (at the very least, thereby consume about 10 times its weight in plant matter – that which it took to produce it [and don’t forget the water consumption that went into its production], require a sentien

t being to experience suffering for almost its entire life [factory farmed meat], and pollute the earth with excrement the animal produced while it was alive) or eat some non-animal-based food.

You make this choice EVERY TIME you eat.

Lukas Gloor 

  • That strikes me as a very weak argument, Diego, as the reasons for veganis(his)m aren’t arbitrary dogma but instead about the very thing Effective Altruism is about.

    Jenna Gatto 

How much plant matter does a person need to eat over its life time to get all of the nutrients it needs, especially when you cut meat out of the diet? And if you think about it that way, if for every ounce of meat you eat does that mean you

 need to eat 10 times that amount of plant matter to get the same nutrients, and what type of resources went into that before it got to your kitchen table?
Not all animals we eat have suffered, and I know I’m “lucky” that a large majority of my diet comes from animals either I, my father, or my family hunts and fishes for me to eat, but is that still not a question of economic stability to be able to afford those products in the grocery store that are not factory farmed.
Human and pet excrement can not be composted for organic farming due to the amount of chemicals that we eat on a regular basis. If it is not composted it goes into a sewer somewhere. And while in NJ we are lucky enough to have systems that have been updated since the 1970s, I now live in a place where combined sewer outflows still predominately exist and therefore flow into local waterbodies. So if people cannot eat organically, which is still something that has a lot to do with education and social standpoint, we too are polluting the earth regardless of whether or not we eat meat.
Essentially you need to give up anything that has gone through a factory, and eat only things you can grow and hunt yourself to be able to live in a way that can live up to the statement you have made. And while I too wish this was possible for everyone, this is a much bigger step then the choices people can make at a grocery store, especially if they are not financially able.

Adriano Mannino ‎”Private vegetarianism”? WTF. From a utilitarian point of view, it’s very clear that we must promote *public veganis(his)m*. If you can convince just two people to go vegan, this already has *twice* the impact of your own private veganism. So influencing others (in order to establish/via establishing social norms) is much more important than your private consumption.

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

  • Okay, I’ll try one last controversial idea, then I’m done: People have very strong opinions (not at all rational) about eating, and sharing food. Those, it seems to me, are inscribed in one’s head at some point in life, just like swear words. We allocate prejudices in an emotional part of us. This is why swearing in other languages doesn’t feel weird.

My guess is that being vegan is sufficiently disconforting for you and people around you that 1)You lose more influence in other Effective Altruist goals than you gain by eventually causing vegetarians 2) This one I claim strongly (90% conf

idence): You spend a lot of cognitive energy on finding food, and specially on discussing food. If this energy was spent on charity evaluation, donatable work, or technology research, it would benefit all sentient beings much more.

3) This is also true if it was used just to donate/develop in vitro meat, which fosters the same goals. I think it doesn’t feel the same because eating rituals, like swearing and politics, have highjacked part of our moral brain (safer for

 memes to be there). *META: this discussion is going to my old blog, if you’d like me to take off your name, please tell me now* 4) The timing doesn’t seem right to help farm animals yet. Too many humans suffering from Malaria, Schistosomosis, Tuberculosis, Ageing.

5) This one I claim mildly (50%): It seems to me that people who end up promoting eating rituals got stuck in the same way some atheists stop their intelectual life once they can forever battle against those who are not yet atheists. Sure 

you can spend a life vociferating against God, and sure, there is no God, but as Luke Muehlhauser said: “Atheism is just the beggining”. Becoming a vegan is awesome, it means you understand sooo much… but it seems to me to be just the

Adriano Mannino 

Diego, what’s your point? Opinions can be strong *and* absolutely rational and justified.
Do you have an argument against anti-speciesism? The issue has been debated for 40 years now and not a single halfway rational arg

ument in favor of speciesism has been produced.
Do you have an argument against consequentialism?
If not, then it’s obvious that “private vegetarianism” is utter nonsense.

Ah, now you’ve added a second and third comment. I’m afraid you are wrong. We are utilitarian anti-speciesists/vegans and not stupid. It’s totally false that we spend a lot of energy finding and discussing food. We don’t.

We do, of course, support in-vitro meat. But we believe that anti-speciesist meme-spreading has the greater marginal effect. And for psychosocial reasons, it’s very important to combine it with the spread of veg commitments. (Your “eating ritual” talk is totally misleading.) So long as people have no problem with continuing to eat food that causes unnecessary suffering to non-human animals, we have not succeeded in spreading anti-speciesism.

Read this: http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/veg-ads.html and this http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-nature.html, for instance.

And this:
http://masalladelaespecie.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/questions_priority_interspecies.pdf

<<8. CONCLUSIONS
We have seen that there is a wide difference between the number of humans and the
number of those nonhumans who are harmed due to their use by humans. Of course some of
the figures and estimations that have been considered here are obviously approximate, but
they are based on real data and seem to be reasonable ones. Figures concerning well-being are
more speculative: obviously so, since we lack any data which could actually make
experiences accessible. However, they are plausible enough to allow us to consider the
question in a fairly realistic way. Given this, it seems we can draw some conclusions from the
line of reasoning presented above.
By now, the main one is likely to be expected. No human activity directly affects
negatively a so high number of individuals as humans’ consumption of nonhumans does. And
we all can make a change here. Hence, in as much as we accept any of the different normative
criteria mentioned above (maximization, additive equality, maximin, sufficiency concerning
outcomes, as well as responsibility and equality of means or lack of oppression) we will have
to give up the consumption nonhuman animals.
In fact, the reason why this practice harms
so many animals is simply that each of us as individuals contributes to it. And, as it has been
argued above, the gains we obtain out of that practice do not compensate the harm nonhumans
suffer. There is a huge asymmetry between the enjoyment humans get from being able to
experience some tastes and the harm that nonhuman animals suffer due to it at an individual
level. This can be assessed in a very simple way. Consider the life of a trout in some fish
factory. Suppose someone eats that trout in one meal. Two things must be weighted against
each other here: (a) The cost of the difference between the enjoyment that the one who eats
this trout gets from that meal and the enjoyment he could get from eating a meal without
animal products. (b) The suffering and the deprivation of enjoyment which death implies that
has been inflicted on that fish. Suppose, for instance, that the meal lasts twenty minutes (that
is, 1200 seconds) and that the animal has spent close to twenty months in the fish-farm (let us
say 600 days). Suppose, also, that this trout which could have lived for some six or seven
years. According to an intrinsic potential account, this means that this animal suffers a
deprivation of five years of life. This means that the difference between a minute of the
eater’s enjoyment of that meal and a minute of his possible enjoyment had he chosen a nonanimal meal is equal to almost one month of suffering for the fish, plus a deprivation of three
months of life (assuming the intrinsic potential account). Or, that such a difference during a
couple of seconds of tasting is equivalent to a day of suffering plus the deprivation of more
than three days of life for the fish. Of course, if we assume an account of the harm of death in
relation to the maximum level of happiness the results are still more asymmetric. Similar
equations can be considered for other animals and other meals.
But there is an even more significant consequence that is suggested by what we have
seen thus far, which may affect us not just as potential consumers of nonhuman animals but
also as agents with the ability to transform our surrounding reality. We may think that we not
only have negative duties not to engage in unjust practices. We may also accept that we
should do something to stop them. If so, we should note that the conclusions presented above
entail that spreading an animal-free lifestyle is a far more efficient way of improving the
world than working to improve the situation in which humans are. This conclusion seems at
first paradoxical. But it is far from being some odd consequence which we can infer from
some peculiar theory. Quite the opposite, it follows from a wide range of positions that are
commonly held. In fact, it seems to follow quite naturally once we set aside our speciesist assumptions. This also suggests that challenging speciesism might be the most useful task we
can assume if we want to make the world a better place.>>

Adriano Mannino 

Speciesism is false. If we accept that, and given the enormous amount of domesticated and especially also wild animal suffering there is in the world, it follows quite trivially that anti-speciesist meme-spreading is more important than the..

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

1) ($6000)/(917+238) = $5.19 to create a new vegetarian. *Terrible calculation which does not factor work-hours of the gigantic veg-crowd, and most important, opportunity cost due to disconfort caused (which I admit is not measurable)* 2)

 The paper you indicated has the same issue….. Also , it calculates based on obviously false assumptions, like that the life of a trout is one of suffering. Or that farm cows (which when a child I took care of often) are suffering all the time. They may suffer when dying, when being vaccinated (so do we), when being separated from children-cow (so do we). 3) We agree that factory farming sucks, and I don’t eat pigs on that basis (unless in discorforting situations) 4) Paper also uses “deprivation of years” as indicator of suffering, but clearly an animal does not suffer if it does not exist anymore, for this one, the Logic of the Larder argument works. 5) I’d suggest, as life advice not related to Veg, that one link is maximum one can send per discussion and expect being read, though I made an exception here 6) I am also in favor of being a vegetarian, say, twice a week, something which preserves some animals, does not activate neuro-triggers of morality, and spreads the word, without causing unconfortable discussions in which people feel attacked, and assassins, which sometimes happens with non-vegans in discussions. 7) You argue a good case, and if the facts you pointed out were true (if the paper was mostly true) I would follow to your conclusion. I suggest we agree on opinions of the form “If XYZ is the case, the world should do WFP” we are disagreeing over XYZ being or not the case. 🙂

Adriano Mannino 

Ad 1): The crucial figure, calculated in the above link, is this: We can prevent about 100d of suffering on a factory farm by donating a single dollar (!) to the Humane League or to Vegan Outreach (the actual number may be several times hig

her). Which human-related cause trumps this? Please tell me.
1.1) Most suffering (by *far*, see 
http://www.utilitarian-essays.com/suffering-nature.html) occurs in nature. That’s why anti-speciesist meme-spreading is likely to be extremely effective in the long run. Animal farming seems doomed anyway (in-vitro meat is just around the corner). But we have to hurry up and put anti-speciesist memes in place in order to ensure that we will abolish wild animal suffering when we have the technology to do so (this is an argument for targeting powerful people too). If we also factor in the urgent need to prevent future (Darwinian) panspermia and terraforming, we’ve got a good candidate for the title of the most important ethical issue.

Ad 2): The paper is not based on these assumptions. It does say that any kind of animal farming is based on/reinforces speciesism (which is true and which provides a strong reason to oppose it). Also, it’s a fact that *the vast majority* of farm animals are factory farmed and have terrible lives.

Ad 4): Whether we accept Logic of the Larder reasoning or not, animal farming should be abolished. Speciesism must go and we can’t credibly argue against it if we support slaughtering non-humans for trivial purposes because people wouldn’t even dream of subjecting humans to this kind of treatment. If we focus on suffering, then the Logic of the Larder does not apply; if, on the other hand, our focus is a happiness/suffering balance, then it does apply but the conclusion that we should abolish factory farming still stands: Opportunity costs. With the resources that go into animal farming we could be creating many more (and happier) sentient beings. And as I said, we absolutely need anti-speciesism in order to save the gazillions of animals that are suffering in nature. But we can’t promote it if we accept practices that people would never accept and would in fact consider most serious crimes (!) if done to mentally equivalent humans (“human farming”).

Ad 6): Why should we shy away from activating morality-triggers? Anti-speciesism is a very basic moral meme and it’s important that more and more people understand and accept it as that – and more and more people do, there’s some data suggesting that the number of vegans has been increasing exponentially. (By the way, if for whatever curious reason you’re not ready to join the cause, *at least* abstain from hurting it by describing what we’re about in terms of “eating rituals” etc.) An ethically similar historical struggle was anti-racism. Would you have suggested not activating morality-triggers there as well? And I hope you realize that it’s simply unavoidable that there will be uncomfortable discussions and that (some) people will feel attacked. I totally agree that we should try to minimize negative emotions, though, and my tone of voice is usually different from the one I’ve chosen here. But you’re a fellow rationalist and I was – quite frankly – shocked by the “private vegetarianism” proposal, which strikes me as extremely irrational and harmful (given utilitarianism, which, I take it, is a shared premise).

Ad 7): As far as I can see, you should follow to the conclusions. Or you should provide better arguments to block them and prove us wrong.

The Importance of Wild-Animal Suffering www.utilitarian-essays.com

Adriano Mannino 

Addendum to 1.1): Anti-speciesist meme-spreading is important for in-vitro meat as well. We shouldn’t underestimate the challenge of getting society to accept this “unnatural” product (compare the tragic fate of genetically modified food in

 Europe). If people accept that species-membership is no reason for discriminating against sentient beings and to consider their well-being less important, they will be much more willing to switch to in-vitro meat and promote it structurally. It’s extremely important to speed this process up.

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

1) On Wild-Suffering. Sure, wild suffering is awful, and I hope for less of it ASAP. I don’t think the best avenue for getting anti-speciesism is to start by changing to veto-this-food people’s eating habits, because I think that is pretty

 fucking hard. There must be lower hanging fruit out there. 2)If there is one thing I can claim being really immensely good at, it is dodging lone-bystander bias. I am the first transhumanist,immortalist, cryonicist, and perhaps singularitarian in my country (185 000 000 people), and I fought against accusations of crazyness and social stigma from a very early age.You should consider VERY INFORMATIVE *that means, a lot of bits, or the equivalent of a large N study* that despite having done all that, I have not managed to establish dietary restrictions under socially constraining situations (going out with friends, visiting girlfriends family etc…) This is not only non-pork or non-redmeat situations, but also trying to implement a kurzweil slow-carb diet. It is just massively, massively hard to summon the energy of fighting this battle every meal out. And I am, along with the science of positive psychology, and Shawn Achor, of the opinion that we have a single candle of willpower. When we burn it, it burns for all things we may need willpower to, and we are short of that amount. We have to learn to divide the candle wisely, for if it burns up we enter “what the hell mode” and if it doesn’t, there is only limited quantitites of it.

Adriano Mannino 

So that’s Brazil? What about the “gigantic veg-crowd” that you mentioned above? It should make veg life quite easy. I know some Brazilian vegetarians and vegans and they seem to be doing OK. 😉
Actually, there’s been a big debate within the

 animal rights movement about whether there is lower hanging fruit. One might think there is – but I have come to accept the conclusion that there is not. Animal welfare reforms are very costly and don’t do too much in the end (and my country – Switzerland – is the paradigm example). I don’t think we can avoid promoting veg eating (and an expansion of veg agriculture and the veg supply) if we are to promote anti-speciesism. (Incidentally, animal farming is also one of the primary causes of global warming, which might increase global catastrophic risks. And it probably also increases the planetary biomass and thus the amount of wild animal suffering – which might well be the main reason to fight it. Furthermore, animal farming is co-responsible for world-hunger: 1kg of meat = up to 10kg of soy and other plant food that could be eaten directly.) As I said, people who get the anti-speciesist meme *will want* to avoid products based on animal exploitation. Also, you shouldn’t underestimate the positive psychological and social effects of behavioral veg commitments – they greatly assist meme-spreading. Last but not least, veganism has become *very easy* to practise in many countries. In Switzerland it’s basically a matter of which shelf you go to in the store (and you can get veg food in every restaurant). As for social difficulties, I think there are easy ways to minimize them and to even make being veg a fun experience. For one thing, there is a growing consensus among young and rational people (i.e. within most of my social circles) that there’s an ethical imperative to go veg. Many of them can be converted very easily – and if you’re not the only one doing it, it’s fun (and psychologically positive!), you can try out new stuff, offer to cook for non-veg people etc. And I think it’s possible to talk about it in a friendly and non-antagonizing way to non-veg people. So is it really a “battle” that needs to be fought out every meal again? Not in my experience. And if you encounter people who don’t respect your dietary choices (!), why don’t you tell them that they should go fuck themselves? OK, let’s make an exception for the girlfriend’s family. But otherwise there’s really no reason to waste time with stupid people. (That’s bad quite independently of the veg question anyway.) And if you spend time with the right folks (namely young and intelligent people), the veg thing should be no problem and you should find many great and low-cost (in fact, almost free) anti-speciesist influencing opportunities.

I congratulate you on standing up for transhumanism etc. I agree with all those causes (though in part only for instrumental reasons, e.g. I don’t think that death per se is a problem, I think the abolition of suffering should be our focus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolitionism_(bioethics)http://www.hedweb.com/abolitionist-project/reprogramming-predators.html – so I’m with the Pearcean brand of transhumanism/transanimalism, not with Bostrom or the Singularitarians), but I believe that spreading anti-speciesist memes as fast as possible and making sure that technology will be used to abolish (wild) animal suffering too (which might well be the dominant factor in the utilitarian calculation!) is *even more important*.

I agree about willpower and the candle analogy. But as I said, it’s quite difficult for me to believe that it’s “so fucking hard”, socially. Also, I’m not sure whether you have granted the issue enough priority. We might disagree about what the most important thing is, overall, but I don’t think utilitarians can reasonably disagree on the fact that anti-speciesist/veg meme spreading and donating to animal charities is very important and cost-effective indeed. *At the very least*, I believe, one must admit that anti-speciesist meme-spreading is more important than the poverty-related causes that www.givingwhatwecan.org promotes. I wonder whether your assessment of how hard it is to be veg would be different if you had granted the issue higher priority? And if it does deserve higher priority, then it also has a greater claim to the willpower-candle.

Abolitionism (bioethics) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Abolitionism is the bioethical school and movement that endorses the use of biot…See More

Adriano Mannino 

One last point. You write: “Steering Transhumanists and Singularitarians as close as possible to their dreams…”
Unfortunately, there are many transhumanists who are speciesists or even egoists (they’re especially numerous among immortali

sts and cryonicists, a bit less so among singularitarians, but still to an alarming degree – see the irrational reactions of the Less Wrong crowd when confronted with anti-speciesist arguments or considerations in the philosophy of personal identity that undermine egoism). I’m not saying you are one of them, but the quote could certainly have been made by them: It’s about achieving “our dreams” etc. I am *deeply morally opposed* to those guys. It’s not about “our dreams”. It’s primarily (if not exclusively) about abolishing suffering in an impartial and objective way. So let me be frank: I wonder whether your opposition to prioritizing anti-speciesist/veg meme-spreading had anything to do with an understanding of “what it’s all about” in terms of “our/my dreams” rather than in terms of the best possible impartial minimization of suffering (and, maybe, the maximization of happiness).

David Pearce 

When are we ethically entitled to harm another sentient being? The Transhumanist Declaration (1998, 2009)
http://humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-declaration/
boldly expresses our commitment to the well-being of all sentience. Payi

ng for nonhuman animals to be factory-farmed, exploited and killed so we can eat their flesh is impossible to reconcile with such a commitment.

Of course we’re all prey to weakness of will. But does giving up meat and animal products really call for heroic self-sacrifice? Humans are not obligate carnivores. Our only excuse is not just lame but weak-minded: “But I like the taste!”

Transhumanist Declaration

humanityplus.org

G Diego Vichutilitarian 

I suggest we have a fundamental disagreement over what should be preserved. I think our values should be preserved. Values that can only be states in language, thus only formulatable by a species that commands language. I think that the values that should be preserved are some mix of Yudkwosky’s CEV: “That in which we would agree if we grew smarter and stronger togheter.” and David Lewis’s dispositional theory: “Lewis offers that X is a value to you (roughly) if and only if you would desire to desire X if you were perfectly acquainted with X and you were thinking and deliberating as clearly as possible about X.” I am doing a masters on what that would be. I do not think that negative utilitarianism is the best form of it. Personally,emotionally, I am a positive utilitarian, increasing positive feeling as I go about. I think some form of simple utilitarianism is probably the best pragmatic approach (for it maintains agreement among those fighting for the worlds good, without in-group out-group bias and stupid minor disagreements unworth fighting over). If new persons would arise whose commant of emotions, intelligence, cooperation, friendliness, and love are greater then our own (augmented humans, aliens, computers) I would gladly ascribe them the task of determining which values we would like to preserve. While this does not happen, I’ll do my best to understand things that we value, summarize them, and improve quality of CEV, or reduce the existential risk of permanently curtailing our values. Yudkwosky’s Fun Theory is very bad (probably his life lacked fun), Bostrom noticing that Flamboyant displays are great is very good. Richardson and Boyd noticing Double Inheritance in culture is very good, and Seligman and the Positive Psychology crowd have been assessing a lot of useful info, with PERMA being the summit of values we currently have. I’ll try to build on the shoulders of those giants, and output a serious well build, wide list of which values we should preserve, and why. Wish me luck! Thanks for the discussion. You too David!