133: The First Steps to the Holodeck

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Unfortunately, at least in American culture, there is no such thing as "enough." "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the most destructive thing in our society. Having more than anyone else is an idiotic ego trip triggered by our lizard brain's want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful (thus attracting mates and cohorts). Our country could have a greater quality of life, if people understood how to put a cap on their "wants" and focused more on the real "needs" of society.

Novan Leon:
And that's exactly the problem. Your assuming that humans would never consume more than 'enough' than is reasonable. If my definition of 'enough' is so much that it begins to destroy my life, such as over-eating, becoming obsessed with sex, taking out my anger on people via virtual killing, etc., the holodeck would just serve to fuel this excess.

Virtual killings will just serve to fuel an 'excess'? Sorry, but, that argument is leveled at video games *all the time* and it just doesn't hold any water. I don't see why it would be any more applicable to a holodeck than to video games.

General Ma Chao:
Unfortunately, at least in American culture, there is no such thing as "enough." "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the most destructive thing in our society. Having more than anyone else is an idiotic ego trip triggered by our lizard brain's want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful (thus attracting mates and cohorts). Our country could have a greater quality of life, if people understood how to put a cap on their "wants" and focused more on the real "needs" of society.

This kind of behavior isn't just present in American culture, American's just happen to be the most prosperous people in the world right now, so this aspect of human nature is exagerated.

General Ma Chao:
Unfortunately, at least in American culture, there is no such thing as "enough." "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the most destructive thing in our society. Having more than anyone else is an idiotic ego trip triggered by our lizard brain's want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful (thus attracting mates and cohorts). Our country could have a greater quality of life, if people understood how to put a cap on their "wants" and focused more on the real "needs" of society.

Why, is American culture responsible for our lizard brains?

It's all well and good to be a naysayer and talk about how there's no such thing as 'enough' but, if you think the these "idiotic ego trips" are triggered by something like our lizard brain, how do you propose to put a cap on our wants? If you really think we're wired to never find anything to be enough, why are you bothering to talk about the possibility of "a greater quality of life" when what you have to put a "cap" on is something just a little less basic about the human brain than breathing?

Trulock:

Robots will slowly but surely make any work that is not IP obsolete for the average person out there. Where will they spend MOST of their time? In a overcrowded world or in a alternate reality where all their desires are satisfied, including their desire to feel like a somebody. Current MMO's are pathetic, but they show a strong desire in the average person to be something they know they will never be in real life.

I don't think we can compare MMO's and Holodecks. In a Holodeck, the idea is you can yell 'Arch' and then get whatever you want. MMO's are a lot more like a Las Vegas slot machine than they are like a Holodeck. You can't just be a level 70 Night Elf Mohawk the first day you buy WoW. Instead you have to go out and do stuff to get what you want. Not only that, but the drops are variable, which has an even stronger hold on the human mind--when you can't predict how long until the next reward, when the next reward could be 100 spins/drops from now or it could come on the next roll, that sucks people in more powerfully than just a straight reward system.

So I don't think MMO's besides maybe Second Life shed any real light on the impact of a Holodeck--something like WoW is more like a slot machine.

I think the much richer indicator will be stuff like Rock Band and Guitar Hero: what impact do those games have on people forming real bands? We'll have to wait and see since they're very new, and it would be hard to untangle these games from all the other variables, but, I think whatever impact those games have will be closer to the impact of a Holodeck than any other game out there right now.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Novan Leon:
And that's exactly the problem. Your assuming that humans would never consume more than 'enough' than is reasonable. If my definition of 'enough' is so much that it begins to destroy my life, such as over-eating, becoming obsessed with sex, taking out my anger on people via virtual killing, etc., the holodeck would just serve to fuel this excess.

Virtual killings will just serve to fuel an 'excess'? Sorry, but, that argument is leveled at video games *all the time* and it just doesn't hold any water. I don't see why it would be any more applicable to a holodeck than to video games.

I just threw virtual killing in there for arguments sake. I don't believe there's enough data on either side of the aisle to have a reasonable debate on this. I would make the note that killing someone in a modern video game can hardly be compared to killing someone in a holodeck, which would be virtually the same as killing them in real life, down the last detail. Imagine being able to kill/torture/maim/rape tremendous numbers of people without fear of repercussion sheerly for entertainment. Don't you believe this would have some kind of psychological impact on a person after they leave the virtual world and return to normal life?

Novan Leon:
I don't believe there's enough data on either side of the aisle to have a reasonable debate on this.

Maybe, but, that means there's not enough data to be *either* pessimistic or optimistic about the impact of a Holodeck, at least in such a way that we can criticize a person with the opposite belief. Good for the goose, good for the gander, right?

If you truly believe that there's not enough data to have a reasonable debate on this...why are ya trying to have a reasonable debate with me about this? :-D

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Novan Leon:
I don't believe there's enough data on either side of the aisle to have a reasonable debate on this.

Maybe, but, that means there's not enough data to be *either* pessimistic or optimistic about the impact of a Holodeck, at least in such a way that we can criticize a person with the opposite belief. Good for the goose, good for the gander, right?

If you truly believe that there's not enough data to have a reasonable debate on this...why are ya trying to have a reasonable debate with me about this? :-D

There's not enough data to reasonably debate whether virtual killing influences real-life behavior or not; this says nothing about our holodeck debate. Besides, virtual killing was only a single example.

My theory about the proposed effects of the holodeck on human society is supported by simple observation of human behavior. Society is filled with people indulging in excess to the point of driving themselves to a early death or the destruction of their lives. Those that don't are those who demonstrate a certain level of self-control or self-discipline. On the other hand, I can't recall a single situation where meeting someone's desires resulted in that person having better self-control. Even if you could, I believe you would be hard pressed to demonstrate this as the norm of human behavior.

Combine these truths about human nature with a device that would give someone the virtually unlimited ability to indulge their desires and the outcome is hardly optimistic.

Novan Leon:

There's not enough data to reasonably debate whether virtual killing influences real-life behavior or not; this says nothing about our holodeck debate. Besides, virtual killing was only a single example.

Oh, I misunderstood you. Thought you were talking about the debate about the Holodeck.

edit:

My theory about the proposed effects of the holodeck on human society is supported by simple observation of human behavior.

No, I'd say it's supported by simple observation of people who are already damaged because they never developed a sense of security in a world without Holodecks. I think the problem is your data are flawed.

Society is filled with people indulging in excess to the point of driving themselves to a early death or the destruction of their lives. Those that don't are those who demonstrate a certain level of self-control or self-discipline.

I agree. What I've been saying since comment 28 is that a feeling of security is sufficient to create self-control and self-discipline in an individual. I've never denied that you can call it self-control or self-discipline; what I've been arguing is that those two things can (must?) be produced by a feeling of security. And that once people feel they have an unlimited supply of something, that creates a sense of security in a person, no matter how needy they may be.

On the other hand, I can't recall a single situation where meeting someone's desires resulted in that person having better self-control. Even if you could, I believe you would be hard pressed to demonstrate this as the norm of human behavior.

Really? You've never seen someone who was acting out because they needed unconditional love get their act together once they finally get some? When the desire to be loved being met has changed a person? I'll admit that the older a person gets the harder it gets to reverse that damage, but, I think it's pretty well established that a feeling of security is connected to people with healthy behavior, people with self-discipline and self-control.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Society is filled with people indulging in excess to the point of driving themselves to a early death or the destruction of their lives. Those that don't are those who demonstrate a certain level of self-control or self-discipline.

I agree. What I've been saying since comment 28 is that a feeling of security is sufficient to create self-control and self-discipline in an individual. I've never denied that you can call it self-control or self-discipline; what I've been arguing is that those two things can (must?) be produced by a feeling of security. And that once people feel they have an unlimited supply of something, that creates a sense of security in a person, no matter how needy they may be.

So how does security produce self-control or self-discipline exactly? I know I have a reliable source of food, so how does this give me self-control? I know I have an unlimited supply of cigarettes, how does this give me self-control?

Cheeze_Pavilion:

On the other hand, I can't recall a single situation where meeting someone's desires resulted in that person having better self-control. Even if you could, I believe you would be hard pressed to demonstrate this as the norm of human behavior.

Really? You've never seen someone who was acting out because they needed unconditional love get their act together once they finally get some? When the desire to be loved being met has changed a person? I'll admit that the older a person gets the harder it gets to reverse that damage, but, I think it's pretty well established that a feeling of security is connected to people with healthy behavior, people with self-discipline and self-control.

In this case you're talking about someone without self-control who has already fallen into excess. When people have fallen this far they eventually reach a point where they lose hope that things can change. They need love and encouragement to give them the hope necessary to keep on fighting. Hope is always necessary in every aspect on life, for without hope, everything begins to fall apart. Hope can come from many places. This is very different from the security that we're talking about.

If I'm a drug addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of drugs, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm addicted to eating and I know that I have an unlimited supply of food, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a porn addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of porn, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a lazy bum and I know that I never have to work, this does nothing to create self-control.
I would argue that giving someone an unlimited supply of something actually tests someone's self-control rather than enforcing it.

On the other hand, if I've lost all hope because I'm addicted to X, love and encouragement are always important to build hope and eventually bring myself back to the fight. Besides, how does a holodeck give someone an unlimited supply of love and hope? Hope from dying from starvation maybe, but that's about it.

EDIT: I think your reasoning is based on the assumption that excess is the result of fear, fear of lack at a later point in time. If this is correct, I can see how you're coming to the wrong conclusion.

I see a whole lot of generalization here with a focus on the obvious pleasures that many people would take advantage of. Something like that would be a huge breakthrough. Hell, a decently well created VR would bring about a huge shift in our cultures as a whole. It would however, as with anything, be down to individual choice. A great many people would embrace this tech and run with it (literally in some cases). There would be reports of some people who locked themselves in and were found dead after a 4 day marathon gaming session, or would refuse to come out just due to their inability to cope with real world situations and people, but I don't think the world as a whole would just come to a screeching halt. People would need to pay to buy this tech, to keep it running, and to get the latest software for it. Course Microsoft Office 2037 H.D. version with a fully interactive office environment would possibly make going out to the office passe. As a whole, though, people are social creatures and I don't think this would permanently replace human interaction. Well... not for most of us. I already know a good many who live only through their mouse and keyboard..
Besides, eventually, people would get all 'retro' and go hang out together at clubs... probably bringing back grunge and be all angsty...

monodiabloloco:
I see a whole lot of generalization here with a focus on the obvious pleasures that many people would take advantage of. Something like that would be a huge breakthrough. Hell, a decently well created VR would bring about a huge shift in our cultures as a whole. It would however, as with anything, be down to individual choice. A great many people would embrace this tech and run with it (literally in some cases). There would be reports of some people who locked themselves in and were found dead after a 4 day marathon gaming session, or would refuse to come out just due to their inability to cope with real world situations and people, but I don't think the world as a whole would just come to a screeching halt. People would need to pay to buy this tech, to keep it running, and to get the latest software for it. Course Microsoft Office 2037 H.D. version with a fully interactive office environment would possibly make going out to the office passe. As a whole, though, people are social creatures and I don't think this would permanently replace human interaction. Well... not for most of us. I already know a good many who live only through their mouse and keyboard..
Besides, eventually, people would get all 'retro' and go hang out together at clubs... probably bringing back grunge and be all angsty...

The question is, if computers can reach a point where they can simulate human interaction at such an advanced level as a holodeck, plus the ability to fine-tune the human interaction to your particular wants or needs, would anyone really have a reason for REAL human interaction?

But, hey! I'm all for retro movements! Bring on the disco!

"Self"-control. This is control you impose on yourself, right? How can you impose control on yourself if you don't have plenty of the thing you want?

A drug addict who is out of drugs and therefore cannot dose himself is not exhibiting self-control.

A person with only enough food to keep him or herself alive and therefore cannot overeat is not exhibiting self-control.

Only when we have plenty of something can we even begin to develop self-control.

Now, would we automatically develop self-control in a world of plenty, just cuz? No. We need a reason to do so; a reason that makes self-control more important than simply indulging ourselves. We have to have some conscious sense of what "enough" is.

A world with free and unlimited access to a holodeck would not provide this on its own. This comes from a world with challenge. First to learn to communicate, then to gain the approval (or just the attention!) of one's parents. We must not forget that our parents guide us. They don't make us who we are, but they are a major influence for good or ill. Our lizard brains tell us we need things, but it's our parents who show us how to fill these needs. If this job is not done well, people will not develop self-control in any environment.

People who are messed up need plenty of the good stuff; love, understanding, support; if they are to heal, and none of the not-so-good, addictive stuff. But which would they create for themselves if they had access to a holodeck?

We live in a society with varying degrees of messed-up and not-so-messed up people. A holodeck could be a great tool for learning who we are and what we truly want and need, and it could be a horrible vice that would help destroy us. But it would be entirely up to us as individuals and as a society to determine which it would be.

The holodeck is way different from MMO's; with a holodeck, you can create any world you wish, limited only by your imagination. In MMO's, one is limited by game mechanics, and artificial challenges are created by the game designers in order to make the game 'fun'. You know, I just realized that it's true; people play video games for the challenge, and not just any challenge. It has to be a challenge you can overcome with a reasonable amount of practice, but it can't be too easy, or it's not fun.

I can see the future; everyone has a holodeck, (because of course this technology and they power to produce and run it is automated and absolutely free; such a wild notion could only be real inside this mythical holodeck, and then you have a holodeck within a holodeck within a holodeck, all powered only by a magickal spark of conscousness) and they create virtual worlds. Each one has their own world, full of everything they can imagine. Sorcery, high adventure, unbelievable technology and they're always the main character in their world. If they wish, they can be a sculion who rises to power again and again. They can wake up each day to luxury or squalor, on a tropical island or in the wretched caves of an icy world.

Many people would be content with this. Others would seek out other humans they knew to be real, so that they could participate in conversations and power struggles that "matter", because they occur between fellow chunks of flesh. So worlds would be created MMO style, in which real people lived fake lives of this kind, and the most popular worlds would be the most imaginitive and enjoyable.

Still other people would long for the unpredictability and grittyness of the real world, a world in which no one knows if there will be a happy ending; this makes those happy endings sweeter.

Some people will vanish into the 'net. Others will stay and keep the human race alive, because people are more than animals; we understand that we need to keep going, and some people are willing to accept that responsibility. Our genes command that we survive; that's why we have hunger and lust, why sex and eating feel good. It would take a concious understanding of our places in virtual and real worlds to ensure the continuation of our species, but that's what it takes anyway, isn't it?

My last point, and then I'll shut up about this for now. Star Trek is a "utopian society" to begin with. Oh, I know, they introduced money and strife to make it interresting (TV, like video games, have to have challenge in order to be fun), but the basic human society in Star Trek is one in which people are valued and encouraged to do what will be the most fullfilling for them. A society like that could have a holodeck dropped into it without twitching much.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

General Ma Chao:
Unfortunately, at least in American culture, there is no such thing as "enough." "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the most destructive thing in our society. Having more than anyone else is an idiotic ego trip triggered by our lizard brain's want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful (thus attracting mates and cohorts). Our country could have a greater quality of life, if people understood how to put a cap on their "wants" and focused more on the real "needs" of society.

Why, is American culture responsible for our lizard brains?

It's all well and good to be a naysayer and talk about how there's no such thing as 'enough' but, if you think the these "idiotic ego trips" are triggered by something like our lizard brain, how do you propose to put a cap on our wants? If you really think we're wired to never find anything to be enough, why are you bothering to talk about the possibility of "a greater quality of life" when what you have to put a "cap" on is something just a little less basic about the human brain than breathing?

Okay, these "ego trips" are triggered by our "lizard brains want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful", not just our lizard brains. I think there are healthier ways to satisfy those wants than "keeping up with the joneses". Perhaps a way in which we can satify our wants and the needs of society at the same time? Instead of grasping at material goods to create an illusion of prosperity at the expense of others in order to make ourselves stand out, we could actually attempt to create something meaningful and good that will help people into the future. Wouldn't that make one stand out against the crowd?

I agree that our culture doesn't encourage these things, and it's a shame.

skyfire_freckles:
Instead of grasping at material goods to create an illusion of prosperity at the expense of others in order to make ourselves stand out, we could actually attempt to create something meaningful and good that will help people into the future. Wouldn't that make one stand out against the crowd?

I agree that our culture doesn't encourage these things, and it's a shame.

That actually goes to what, to my understanding, is a running debate about the origin of art. Was it just to attract mates? Or did it come from somewhere else?

skyfire_freckles:

Cheeze_Pavilion:

General Ma Chao:
Unfortunately, at least in American culture, there is no such thing as "enough." "Keeping up with the Joneses" is the most destructive thing in our society. Having more than anyone else is an idiotic ego trip triggered by our lizard brain's want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful (thus attracting mates and cohorts). Our country could have a greater quality of life, if people understood how to put a cap on their "wants" and focused more on the real "needs" of society.

Why, is American culture responsible for our lizard brains?

It's all well and good to be a naysayer and talk about how there's no such thing as 'enough' but, if you think the these "idiotic ego trips" are triggered by something like our lizard brain, how do you propose to put a cap on our wants? If you really think we're wired to never find anything to be enough, why are you bothering to talk about the possibility of "a greater quality of life" when what you have to put a "cap" on is something just a little less basic about the human brain than breathing?

Okay, these "ego trips" are triggered by our "lizard brains want to stand out from the crowd and look powerful", not just our lizard brains. I think there are healthier ways to satisfy those wants than "keeping up with the joneses". Perhaps a way in which we can satify our wants and the needs of society at the same time? Instead of grasping at material goods to create an illusion of prosperity at the expense of others in order to make ourselves stand out, we could actually attempt to create something meaningful and good that will help people into the future. Wouldn't that make one stand out against the crowd?

I agree that our culture doesn't encourage these things, and it's a shame.

America's culture isn't responsible for our lizard brains. Evolution is. And our "get ahead at all costs" culture has added to it. We're still under the impression on an instinctive level that anyone different from us is a detriment or enemy to the pack. For example, a pack of wolves will always have an omega male and female. They are usually the weakest of the wolves and will be picked on and snarled at by the rest of the pack. They will always eat last and must always be at a distance from the pack. The omegas usually have 3 options:
1) Accept their lot.
2) Fight their way to a higher position and become the very thing that oppressed them.
3) Leave and try to cope on their own.

Our ancestors had that third option, we really don't. Pretty much everything is owned by someone now. People can overindulge in it because they literally see "no way out." All because no one showed them how to become a functioning, healthy being. In conclusion, if we recognize our tendency to act like animals, the sooner we could act towards a greater sense of community. Don't alienate someone because he wants to wear all black. Does that really affect your ability to function? I doubt it.

Novan Leon:

So how does security produce self-control or self-discipline exactly? I know I have a eliable source of food, so how does this give me self-control? I know I have an unlimited supply of cigarettes, how does this give me self-control?

EDIT: I think your reasoning is based on the assumption that excess is the result of fear, fear of lack at a later point in time. If this is correct, I can see how you're coming to the wrong conclusion.

Yes--that's exactly what I'm saying. And it's what you see out in the world all the time. I was watching Family Jewels, the Gene Simmons reality show. A guy who can never have enough money. He was at a psychologist, and he mentioned how when it was just him and his mom struggling financially in his youth, he woke up in a sweat, panicked about the feeling of being powerless.

Gene Simmons cannot stop trying to make money. I see it as a product of that early experience of feeling powerless. I say he's a pretty solid example of what I'm talking about.

If I'm a drug addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of drugs, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm addicted to eating and I know that I have an unlimited supply of food, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a porn addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of porn, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a lazy bum and I know that I never have to work, this does nothing to create self-control.
I would argue that giving someone an unlimited supply of something actually tests someone's self-control rather than enforcing it.

Number one, you're only talking about damaged people there. So are you agreeing that generations raised with Holodecks around will be much less damaged than our own?

Number two, I think most people who engage in destructive behaviors like the ones you're describing do so *because* they're destructive. I don't think people get psychologically addicted to things because they lack self-control. They get addicted because they lack self-esteem, to return to an earlier point. And the only 'destructive' thing about a Holodeck I can think of is withdrawing from society. Which leads to:

Besides, how does a holodeck give someone an unlimited supply of love and hope? Hope from dying from starvation maybe, but that's about it.

Dude, people are already getting what they consider love from Real Dolls. Imagine how much more effective a Holodeck would be. I'm talking Holodeck-as-healthy-transitional-object theory here.

+++

You know, it's something implicit in what I've been saying, but, has anyone though of the incredible potential for Holodecks as a psychological tool? Imagine being able to go back and live, say, a schema-discrepant event over and over. Imagine what that could do to reverse overaccomidation. Imagine getting to say what you need to say to people no longer in your life. No, the more I think about it, the more I think a Holodeck would be a huge boon to human civilization.

+++

Also, what kind of Holodecks are we talking about here? Is a minute in the Holodeck a minute in the real world? Or a second? Wouldn't that be the most powerful Holodeck of all--the one that isn't just a glorified gumball machine, but one that extends the duration of our consciousness?

General Ma Chao:
In conclusion, if we recognize our tendency to act like animals, the sooner we could act towards a greater sense of community. Don't alienate someone because he wants to wear all black. Does that really affect your ability to function? I doubt it.

How true is that, though? If you believe something is truly hard-wired into us at the lizard brain level, how does recognizing it change anything?

My point is we should be careful before saying 'oh--it's our lizard brains' when talking about destructive tendencies. That removes the possibility of humans ever getting past such behavior unless we biologically evolve. We should be more precise when we say these things, like saying 'lizard brain+American culture=major ass suckage' If we don't have a variable in the equation we can change--like culture--well, then we're stuck with whatever we conclude unless we biologically evolve.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Novan Leon:

So how does security produce self-control or self-discipline exactly? I know I have a eliable source of food, so how does this give me self-control? I know I have an unlimited supply of cigarettes, how does this give me self-control?

EDIT: I think your reasoning is based on the assumption that excess is the result of fear, fear of lack at a later point in time. If this is correct, I can see how you're coming to the wrong conclusion.

Yes--that's exactly what I'm saying. And it's what you see out in the world all the time. I was watching Family Jewels, the Gene Simmons reality show. A guy who can never have enough money. He was at a psychologist, and he mentioned how when it was just him and his mom struggling financially in his youth, he woke up in a sweat, panicked about the feeling of being powerless.

Gene Simmons cannot stop trying to make money. I see it as a product of that early experience of feeling powerless. I say he's a pretty solid example of what I'm talking about.

This proves my point exactly.

If your theory were correct, now that Gene Simmons has tons of money, he should feel secure to stop hoarding money. Instead, his hoarding continues and no amount of money seems to satisfy, refuting your point. This would probably lead you to make the next argument: that if Gene had access to a holodeck as a child, he never would have developed these insecurities, which leads me to my next point...

Cheeze_Pavilion:

If I'm a drug addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of drugs, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm addicted to eating and I know that I have an unlimited supply of food, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a porn addict and I know that I have an unlimited supply of porn, this does nothing to create self-control.
If I'm a lazy bum and I know that I never have to work, this does nothing to create self-control.
I would argue that giving someone an unlimited supply of something actually tests someone's self-control rather than enforcing it.

Number one, you're only talking about damaged people there. So are you agreeing that generations raised with Holodecks around will be much less damaged than our own?

Um, no, it would probably be the same. If anything it may be worse.

Take a child for example. Give a child unlimited access to anything that they want and what do you think would happen? The only reason adults can handle some of the things that children can't is because they exercise better judgement and the necessary self-control to handle it. The parent's job is to exercise that self-control on behalf of the child (by setting down rules and enforcing them). While Gene Simmons might not have developed an insecurity about money, you can be assured there would be other negative side effects (such as being spoiled blind).

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Number two, I think most people who engage in destructive behaviors like the ones you're describing do so *because* they're destructive. I don't think people get psychologically addicted to things because they lack self-control. They get addicted because they lack self-esteem, to return to an earlier point. And the only 'destructive' thing about a Holodeck I can think of is withdrawing from society. Which leads to:

Three things:
1. I have a hard time believing people engage in destructive behavior just for the heck of it. People's behavior becomes destructive when they desire something more than they should, and more than what is healthy for them, both physically and psychologically.
2. As I stated in my first post, self-control and self-discipline build confidence. Hard work, one result of self-discipline, leads to accomplishment and a greater level of self-esteem. People without self-esteem (ie. without self-control) tend to fall into addiction than those with a greater level of self-esteem (greater confidence as the result of great self-control).
3. The holodeck would, theoretically, give us access to as much of anything that we want, essentially sending those without good judgement and self-control into a tailspin until they die or wake up to cold hard reality and begin exercising self-control.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Besides, how does a holodeck give someone an unlimited supply of love and hope? Hope from dying from starvation maybe, but that's about it.

Dude, people are already getting what they consider love from Real Dolls. Imagine how much more effective a Holodeck would be. I'm talking Holodeck-as-healthy-transitional-object theory here.

And you consider these people who get their 'love' from Real Dolls to be healthy individuals? Do you think a Real Doll could play the roll of a friend or loved one in helping someone out of drug addiction?

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Also, what kind of Holodecks are we talking about here? Is a minute in the Holodeck a minute in the real world? Or a second? Wouldn't that be the most powerful Holodeck of all--the one that isn't just a glorified gumball machine, but one that extends the duration of our consciousness?

I'm assuming the holodeck to be equivalent to the Star Trek: Next Generation one, space and time distortion not included.

I don't think we're ever going to see eye-to-eye on this. Our views on human nature are almost completely opposite. Your world is a very materialistic one wherein people's identity changes depending on their physical surroundings; if you can change people's physical surroundings, the people will change as well. My world is one where people's identity is tied to human nature, and remains constant regardless of their physical surroundings. People will always want more regardless of how much they have, and the only thing that can cause them to be satisfied is something changing internally such as the state of their mind. Many things change but people's core human nature remains the same.

I think we may just have to agree to disagree on this.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

General Ma Chao:
In conclusion, if we recognize our tendency to act like animals, the sooner we could act towards a greater sense of community. Don't alienate someone because he wants to wear all black. Does that really affect your ability to function? I doubt it.

How true is that, though? If you believe something is truly hard-wired into us at the lizard brain level, how does recognizing it change anything?

My point is we should be careful before saying 'oh--it's our lizard brains' when talking about destructive tendencies. That removes the possibility of humans ever getting past such behavior unless we biologically evolve. We should be more precise when we say these things, like saying 'lizard brain+American culture=major ass suckage' If we don't have a variable in the equation we can change--like culture--well, then we're stuck with whatever we conclude unless we biologically evolve.

I think the answer comes from identifying what makes American culture differ from other cultures. Key words: affluence, prosperity, power. To quote Will Smith:

"Money and success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there."

Novan Leon:

If your theory were correct, now that Gene Simmons has tons of money,

Let me stop you right there: tons does not equal infinite. To go back to something from an earlier comment, I think you keep missing the distinction between one finite number larger than another finite number, and the qualitative--not just quantitative--difference between a finite number and infinity.

The parent's job is to exercise that self-control on behalf of the child (by setting down rules and enforcing them). While Gene Simmons might not have developed an insecurity about money, you can be assured there would be other negative side effects (such as being spoiled blind).

See, I think you misunderstand human nature. Children don't get spoiled when they are assured of getting what they ask for; children get spoiled when they are assured of getting what they ask for *when accompanied by bratty behavior*. Big difference.

Let's face it--most 'rules' have to do with the resources of the parents. There's nothing inherently corrupting about giving a kid a pony if that's what he really wants. It's just that most parents can't afford a pony. That's why they have to set the 'no pony' rule--they can't afford it.

It's not that being a rich kid spoils anyone--it's that a parent who can afford to buy a pony is more willing to give into bratty behavior and just buy the damn pony than a parent who has to choose between a pony and rent. That's why more rich kids are spoiled: it's not anything to do with the *kids* being rich, but rather, the *parents* being rich and the impact of that on their resolve to resist bratty behavior.

Even a rule like 'time to go to bed' isn't a rule about the dangers of an excess of awake time--it's a rule about a deficiency of asleep time. Parents don't send their kids to bed because 'indulging' a desire to stay up will just make them want to stay up to 'excess'. They send kids to bed because they want to use the Xbox.

I mean, they want the kid to get enough sleep, not because they don't want the kid to grow up to be a wakefulness addict.

1. I have a hard time believing people engage in destructive behavior just for the heck of it.

Well, if you're really interested, look into it. I think you'll be surprised by what you find, that it plays a much larger part than you think.

2. As I stated in my first post, self-control and self-discipline build confidence. Hard work, one result of self-discipline, leads to accomplishment and a greater level of self-esteem.

What about workaholics? People addicted to exercise? Not every addict is a lazy drug-addled porn collecting glutton, you know.

3. The holodeck would, theoretically, give us access to as much of anything that we want, essentially sending those without good judgement and self-control into a tailspin until they die or wake up to cold hard reality and begin exercising self-control.

So wait--how are these people without good judgment going to start exercising self-control? You keep talking about how stuff like self-control is taught--how are these people going to 'learn' self-control from a Holodeck? How does that mesh with your statement: "My world is one where people's identity is tied to human nature, and remains constant regardless of their physical surroundings"?

And you consider these people who get their 'love' from Real Dolls to be healthy individuals?

Question isn't relevant--the question is whether Real Dolls make them healthier or sicker: like I said, "transitional" object, not "permanent" object. Remember the movie American Pie, and the speech about hitting a tennis ball against a wall? Like that.

Do you think a Real Doll could play the roll of a friend or loved one in helping someone out of drug addiction?

I think there's a chance a Holodeck one could. I also think there's an even better chance it could play the part of whoever hurt that person and sent them down that road to addiction, allowing them to work through the events that cause that psychological injury.

I don't think we're ever going to see eye-to-eye on this. Our views on human nature are almost completely opposite. Your world is a very materialistic one wherein people's identity changes depending on their physical surroundings; if you can change people's physical surroundings, the people will change as well. My world is one where people's identity is tied to human nature, and remains constant regardless of their physical surroundings. People will always want more regardless of how much they have, and the only thing that can cause them to be satisfied is something changing internally such as the state of their mind. Many things change but people's core human nature remains the same.

Let me split this Gordian knot by saying it would be more accurate to say that my world is one where a change in physical surroundings can change something internally such as the state of mind which can cause them to be satisfied. Yours is one where physical surroundings don't have that power.

I think we may just have to agree to disagree on this.

edit:
Maybe so, but, I think the more you learn about, say, psychological addictions--especially 'positive' ones like workaholism--or child psychology, the more you go beyond the quasi-puritan ideology you seem to have, the more merit you'll see in what I'm saying, I think.

Novan Leon:

I think the answer comes from identifying what makes American culture differ from other cultures. Key words: affluence, prosperity, power. To quote Will Smith:

But other key words associated with America are: hard work, simple folk, and heartland. We're supposed to be happy with an All-American life in a small town with little pink houses for you and me, but we're also supposed to be able to afford an HDTV to watch the game, and the truck we're supposed to drive costs almost as much as some luxury sedans. I think American culture is a much more complex beast than it's often characterized as.

Well there's a nice off track argument.

To the original topic, would people pay for true VR simulation? Yes. Very much yes. Keep in mind that the system would be used mainly for adult activities and living out personal fantasies, and people already pay gobs of money for either.

Won't happen though. True Star Trek holodeck technology is so far into fiction I doubt we will ever master science enough to do such a thing. Now what WILL become a possibility is more akin to the Matrix. It is easier to directly trick the brain into believing things than it is tricking the five senses.

Khell_Sennet:
Well there's a nice off track argument.

True, but it all led around to the Holodeck-to-end-all-Holodecks: the one that can simulate the passage of time.

Maybe if we're going to look to Star Trek, maybe we should be thinking less about the Arch and more about that satellite that they encounter which knocks Picard out and allows him to live a whole life in the space of just a few minutes(?) back on the Enterprise.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Let me stop you right there: tons does not equal infinite. To go back to something from an earlier comment, I think you keep missing the distinction between one finite number larger than another finite number, and the qualitative--not just quantitative--difference between a finite number and infinity.

The difference is irrelevant, all that matters is the point at which someone becomes satisfied. It doesn't matter where that point is, whether it's a finite number or infintely large, if the person of mention never reaches that point. Agreed?

Cheeze_Pavilion:

See, I think you misunderstand human nature. Children don't get spoiled when they are assured of getting what they ask for; children get spoiled when they are assured of getting what they ask for *when accompanied by bratty behavior*. Big difference.

You're partially correct. The other part is developing expectations. If my kid is allowed to have as much as he wants of anything, that is what he begins to expect. If he asks for a skateboard, next he will ask for a bike, next he will ask for a car, next a yatch (sp?), next a space shuttle... at what point is he satisfied? What what point does he have 'enough' and begin to learn self-control as you have explained, or does he continue wanting 'more' and not just 'enough' as I have proposed? If he feels like he can have or do anything he wants (the ultimate feeling of security, is it not?) what is to prevent him from stealing, killing, etc?

The third part is physical and psychological well-being. Too much candy will rot his teeth and cause early death, along with low self-esteem, etc. Bratty behavior is just part of it.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Let's face it--most 'rules' have to do with the resources of the parents. There's nothing inherently corrupting about giving a kid a pony if that's what he really wants. It's just that most parents can't afford a pony. That's why they have to set the 'no pony' rule--they can't afford it.

That's true, but rules are also necessary for the reasons I stated above.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

1. I have a hard time believing people engage in destructive behavior just for the heck of it.

Well, if you're really interested, look into it. I think you'll be surprised by what you find, that it plays a much larger part than you think.

Can you give me any real-world examples of people engaging in destructive behavior with no other motivation? The most common motivation for seemingly random destructive behavior is the desire for a feeling of power, but this is a far cry from the self-destructive tendencies that most unintentionally accompany excess.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

2. As I stated in my first post, self-control and self-discipline build confidence. Hard work, one result of self-discipline, leads to accomplishment and a greater level of self-esteem.

What about workaholics? People addicted to exercise? Not every addict is a lazy drug-addled porn collecting glutton, you know.

These are excellent examples of people without self-control, knowing when to stop working/exercising and balance themselves with other activities. I think you'll find that both these types of people actually have an underlying desire driving them, even if it's subconscious. People become workaholics because work is how they define themselves. Same for people addicted to exercise. For some of them, the feeling of accomplishment that they get from working or exercising may be the only pleasure they get in life, and thus it becomes an escape.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

3. The holodeck would, theoretically, give us access to as much of anything that we want, essentially sending those without good judgement and self-control into a tailspin until they die or wake up to cold hard reality and begin exercising self-control.

So wait--how are these people without good judgment going to start exercising self-control? You keep talking about how stuff like self-control is taught--how are these people going to 'learn' self-control from a Holodeck? How does that mesh with your statement: "My world is one where people's identity is tied to human nature, and remains constant regardless of their physical surroundings"?

If you don't have good judgement, the difference is that you probably won't even want to exercise self-control until you wake up and realize the bad position you're in (example: my addiction to MMORPGS is killing my social life, hurting my career and thus destroying my self esteem). Once you wake up one morning and realize this mistake, your motivation to change and begin exercising self-control begins to take your main focus.

I never said that people would learn self-control from the Holodeck, I said only those with strong self-control would be able to survive it's invention. (a slight exaggeration but you know what I mean)

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Let me split this Gordian knot by saying it would be more accurate to say that my world is one where a change in physical surroundings can change something internally such as the state of mind which can cause them to be satisfied. Yours is one where physical surroundings don't have that power.

I'm not saying that physical surroundings can't have an effect on a persons state of mind (otherwise the holodeck couldn't have an effect on us at all), I'm just saying that physical surroundings aren't the primary force that affects a person's state of mind. I would argue that human nature has a much more profound effect on us than our physical surroundings. This is why the holodeck is so potentially damaging... it preys upon our human nature. Physical surroundings can affect, but do not determine, who we are as humans. On the other hand, human nature does determine who we are as humans, unless self-control or self-discipline are exercised.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

I think we may just have to agree to disagree on this.

Maybe so, but, I think the more you learn about, say, psychological addictions--especially 'positive' ones like workaholism--or child psychology beyond the quasi-puritan ideology you seem to have, the more merit you'll see in what I'm saying.

I doubt it. Nothing your saying seems to hold any merit when introduced to the real world. See my remarks on your 'positive' addictions above.

You have yet to explain how self-control and self-discipline are products of feeling secure. If you feel secure, how or why exactly does one control or discipline oneself?

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Novan Leon:

I think the answer comes from identifying what makes American culture differ from other cultures. Key words: affluence, prosperity, power. To quote Will Smith:

But other key words associated with America are: hard work, simple folk, and heartland. We're supposed to be happy with an All-American life in a small town with little pink houses for you and me, but we're also supposed to be able to afford an HDTV to watch the game, and the truck we're supposed to drive costs almost as much as some luxury sedans. I think American culture is a much more complex beast than it's often characterized as.

True, but the fact is that "hard work, simple folk and heartland" can also equally apply to Japan, Switzerland and India while "affluence, prosperity and power" are more unique to America.

Novan Leon:
The difference is irrelevant, all that matters is the point at which someone becomes satisfied. It doesn't matter where that point is, whether it's a finite number or infintely large, if the person of mention never reaches that point. Agreed?

Sorry--can't agree on that. I think the difference dis-solves the problem of being unsatisfied, rather than attempting to solve the problem. Sometimes a problem that can't be solved can nevertheless be dis-solved.

If my kid is allowed to have as much as he wants of anything, that is what he begins to expect. If he asks for a skateboard, next he will ask for a bike, next he will ask for a car, next a yatch (sp?), next a space shuttle... at what point is he satisfied?

Good question. Mind answering it? Have you discovered the line that applies to all children everywhere? Is it between the bike and the car? The yacht and the space shuttle? Where is that line? You say it exists--where is it?

If he feels like he can have or do anything he wants (the ultimate feeling of security, is it not?) what is to prevent him from stealing, killing, etc?

A feeling of security. :-D

No, seriously, I saw an HBO documentary about the Iceman killer. This guy was one of the most prolific hitmen in modern history. Only regretted one of his murders, and his hit count is over the century mark. Best I can remember, the shrink interviewing him talking about how one of his traits, his disregard for his own well-being, makes people into either anti-social psychos OR it makes them into heroes like fire-fighters and cops and other people who put their life in danger for the greater good. What determines the outcome? How healthy of a childhood they have.

My point is that your model of the human psyche is too simple--you're acting as if something that comes out that's bad comes out because no one repressed it, no one directly instilled a 'brake' on that behavior. That's not how the human psyche works from what I've seen. To me, your model is one that looks at a person with a fever and concludes the infection must be what is making them hot, that the infection is trying to kill them by cooking them. What I'm saying is that the human psyche is no less complex than the human body. I think you're misidentifying symptoms as the disease.

The third part is physical and psychological well-being. Too much candy will rot his teeth and cause early death, along with low self-esteem, etc. Bratty behavior is just part of it.

Okay...but that has nothing to do with your point about instilling self-discipline. That's like my point about bedtimes. We're not in disagreement here.

Can you give me any real-world examples of people engaging in destructive behavior with no other motivation?

I think self-mutilation is a pretty good real-world example of such behavior.

People become workaholics because work is how they define themselves.

And how do those things you're talking about like self-control help a person define themselves? I don't see how they do.

(example: my addiction to MMORPGS is killing my social life, hurting my career and thus destroying my self esteem). Once you wake up one morning and realize this mistake, your motivation to change and begin exercising self-control begins to take your main focus.

Wait, I thought you said that our appetites are like a fire, that indulging them only makes them grow? That contradicts what you're talking about here.

I'm not saying that physical surroundings can't have an effect on a persons state of mind (otherwise the holodeck couldn't have an effect on us at all), I'm just saying that physical surroundings aren't the primary force that affects a person's state of mind. I would argue that human nature has a much more profound effect on us than our physical surroundings.

I would say that there's no such thing as human nature without the physical surroundings in which it is found. I think sometimes we abstract too much and that leads us to incorrect conclusions. To some extent I think you have to study the human animal in situ--something is lost when you pull it out like this.

You have yet to explain how self-control and self-discipline are products of feeling secure. If you feel secure, how or why exactly does one control or discipline oneself?

I explain it over and over: because one does not feel a need to be out of control or without discipline when one has a sense of security.

Like you said, I think we disagree on human nature. You see us as inborn with appetites that if not muzzled will become ravenous. I see us as possessing, I guess you could call them proto-appetites that are then shaped by our surroundings, that the 'appetites' we encounter in humans are not pure appetites, are not identical to those which we are born with.

Instead, our appetites are a product of the interaction between more primitive attributes and our surroundings. Just like how a feral human doesn't even act recognizably 'human' I think the 'appetites' of a human who was NOT raised as opposed to being even badly raised wouldn't resemble the ones we see in society-raised humans.

Novan Leon:
True, but the fact is that "hard work, simple folk and heartland" can also equally apply to Japan, Switzerland and India while "affluence, prosperity and power" are more unique to America.

I wouldn't say affluence or power are unique to America. In fact, I'd say power is just as identifiable with England, and affluence even more strongly identified. I'd agree that that triumvirate is, which I think is what makes America so complex: affluence isn't a comfortable bedfellow of prosperity. Prosperity is identified with being industrious, while affluence is identified with leisure.

I think the unique thing about America is how complex it is, how it seems so full of contradictions and yet spends the least time worrying about those contradictions.

AHA! Found it

Go here. Item #3.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

If my kid is allowed to have as much as he wants of anything, that is what he begins to expect. If he asks for a skateboard, next he will ask for a bike, next he will ask for a car, next a yatch (sp?), next a space shuttle... at what point is he satisfied?

Good question. Mind answering it? Have you discovered the line that applies to all children everywhere? Is it between the bike and the car? The yacht and the space shuttle? Where is that line? You say it exists--where is it?

I never said it exists, you did. You're the one that said there was a point where someone would have 'enough'.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

If he feels like he can have or do anything he wants (the ultimate feeling of security, is it not?) what is to prevent him from stealing, killing, etc?

A feeling of security. :-D

Then how much does this person need before he can feel secure? Human nature makes it quite possible that he will never be satisfied (either because his point of satisfaction is beyond his reach, or because his point of satisfaction is infinity+1, it makes no difference).

Cheeze_Pavilion:
No, seriously, I saw an HBO documentary about the Iceman killer. This guy was one of the most prolific hitmen in modern history. Only regretted one of his murders, and his hit count is over the century mark. Best I can remember, the shrink interviewing him talking about how one of his traits, his disregard for his own well-being, makes people into either anti-social psychos OR it makes them into heroes like fire-fighters and cops and other people who put their life in danger for the greater good. What determines the outcome? How healthy of a childhood they have.

Absolutely correct. We discussed earlier the importance of love and hope, not to mention self-control administered by the parents (ie. discipline). I think your assuming that a healthy childhood is purely composed of having abundant physical resources.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Can you give me any real-world examples of people engaging in destructive behavior with no other motivation?

I think self-mutilation is a pretty good real-world example of such behavior.

Self-mutilation and self-injury are always accompanied by a motive, whether it be self-hate, channeling stress, mental illness such as delusion, or following a cultural custom (such as tattooing). Self-mutilation does not happen (or VERY rarely happens) just for the sake of mutilating yourself ("Yay, mutilating myself is fun! I love mutilation!). At least not to the point where it's painful or truly harmful.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

People become workaholics because work is how they define themselves.

And how do those things you're talking about like self-control help a person define themselves? I don't see how they do.

Your confused. Your thinking that because hard work requires a certain level of self control, harder work must always be the result of more self control. It doesn't work that way. Workaholics don't work just for the sake of working, they're driven by other motives, a lot like the self-mutilation example above.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

(example: my addiction to MMORPGS is killing my social life, hurting my career and thus destroying my self esteem). Once you wake up one morning and realize this mistake, your motivation to change and begin exercising self-control begins to take your main focus.

Wait, I thought you said that our appetites are like a fire, that indulging them only makes them grow? That contradicts what you're talking about here.

Long answer: When I first began playing WoW I would restrict myself to a couple hours of play per day. Eventually I got to the point where I said 'to heck with it' and kept playing, more often than not late into the night when I should have been sleeping. The more I played the more I wanted to play (always just one more dungeon, just one more item), and as time progressed the more I neglected my other obligations. One day I woke up and realized the situation I was in, bit the bullet, and uninstalled the game (I even sold my computer and didn't have a computer for a year, that was a VERY hard thing to do). Fortunately for me, my better judgement realized the toll that my indulgence was taking on my life, I made a quick assessment of my priorities, and took the step forward to begin exercising a bit of self-control. Without the self-control I could not have quit so easily. Sometimes people wake up and just don't have the self-control to change. These are ones who have the hardest time.

Short answer: My better judgement made a cost-benefit analysis and compelled me to be exercising self-control to quench the fire. I didn't quench the fire by indulging it even more until I reached the point where I was satisfied. As a matter of fact, the more I played, the less satisfied I became.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

You have yet to explain how self-control and self-discipline are products of feeling secure. If you feel secure, how or why exactly does one control or discipline oneself?

I explain it over and over: because one does not feel a need to be out of control or without discipline when one has a sense of security.

Now I'm confused, that sentence just gave me a headache.

'because one does NOT feel a need to be OUT of control or WITHOUT discipline when one has a sense of security.'

So basicly, you're saing if I don't have enough of something, I consume until I have enough and begin to feel secure, and if I feel secure, then I will begin to control my appetite? If this were true, then I go back to the question: Why do people who have a virtually unlimited supply of food get fat from eating too much?

I think YOU are the one over-simplifying human behavior. :-P *laughs*

Another interesting device to discuss would be the Replicator. The replicator essentially creates physical objects out of energy. How would a replicator, and hence an unlimited supply of ANY OBJECT effect our society?

I think a Replicator would have more of a positive effect than a negative effect on society than the Holodeck would. I think the Holodeck, while having some positive effects, would have more of a negative impact over the long term than a simple Replicator would.

Novan Leon:

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Good question. Mind answering it? Have you discovered the line that applies to all children everywhere? Is it between the bike and the car? The yacht and the space shuttle? Where is that line? You say it exists--where is it?

I never said it exists, you did. You're the one that said there was a point where someone would have 'enough'.

Sorry--I was unclear. I meant to say where's the point where you would stop giving a kid things to produce self-discipline. You say there's one--where is it?

Then how much does this person need before he can feel secure? Human nature makes it quite possible that he will never be satisfied (either because his point of satisfaction is beyond his reach, or because his point of satisfaction is infinity+1, it makes no difference).

This is the crux of our disagreement, as big as that over human nature--you shouldn't put it in a parenthetical like that. I might have *one* more thing I can say about this to convince you--check the bottom of my response.

I think your assuming that a healthy childhood is purely composed of having abundant physical resources.

I think you're undervaluing the importance of having physical needs met. Sometimes a person needs a hug, you know? Sometimes all the loving words in the world don't add up to one physical act of affection.

Self-mutilation and self-injury are always accompanied by a motive, whether it be self-hate, channeling stress, mental illness such as delusion, or following a cultural custom (such as tattooing). Self-mutilation does not happen (or VERY rarely happens) just for the sake of mutilating yourself ("Yay, mutilating myself is fun! I love mutilation!). At least not to the point where it's painful or truly harmful.

When did I say it happens 'just for the sake' of itself? I said:

"Number two, I think most people who engage in destructive behaviors like the ones you're describing do so *because* they're destructive."

You mentioned "self-hate." You don't see a connection between self-hate and selecting destructive behavior *because* it's destructive?

Your confused. Your thinking that because hard work requires a certain level of self control, harder work must always be the result of more self control. It doesn't work that way. Workaholics don't work just for the sake of working, they're driven by other motives, a lot like the self-mutilation example above.

I'd say they're driven by the motive to be in control.

Long answer:

So why do people "wake up"? What triggers that event? Why does this "good judgment" lay dormant?

Short answer:

But you *were* indulging it even more, and you became less satisfied. I never said it had to be 'self-conscious acts of deliberate indulgence' I just said 'indulgence'.

Short answer from me: there have been times in my life where I was a lazy bum. There have been times in my life where I've worked incredibly hard. The only thing that changed were my physical surroundings and my feeling of empowerment. Nobody 'instilled' anything in me. I changed as my situation changed.

So basicly, you're saing if I don't have enough of something, I consume until I have enough and begin to feel secure, and if I feel secure, then I will begin to control my appetite? If this were true, then I go back to the question: Why do people who have a virtually unlimited supply of food get fat from eating too much?

'Virtually' unlimited isn't 'enough' for some people. 'Absolutley' unlimited would be for everyone. Same as 'getting a paycheck' is a much different psychological event than 'getting a raise' even if the change in income is equal in both events.

I go back to my initial point, which you keep trying to disprove with examples from a non-Holodeck world when I keep saying a Holodeck world invalidates those lines of logic. Problem is we need something from the real-world, otherwise we might as well be talking about whether an elf could beat up an orc, huh? Well, I think I just found one in that paragraph above.

Wouldn't you agree that there's qualitative difference in the sense of empowerment one feels when one goes from 'no paycheck' to 'paycheck' that doesn't exist when one goes from 'smaller paycheck' to 'larger paycheck'? That's what I'm saying about a Holodeck--that it's more like the first time you earn money in a real job than it is when you get a raise if we're talking about empowering people and giving them a sense of security.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Novan Leon:

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Good question. Mind answering it? Have you discovered the line that applies to all children everywhere? Is it between the bike and the car? The yacht and the space shuttle? Where is that line? You say it exists--where is it?

I never said it exists, you did. You're the one that said there was a point where someone would have 'enough'.

Sorry--I was unclear. I meant to say where's the point where you would stop giving a kid things to produce self-discipline. You say there's one--where is it?

I'm not sure what you're asking. I wouldn't give a kid things to produce self-discipline, I would simply require that he show self-control for the things that are potentially harmful, like no sleep, shirking school work, etc. This is how you teach responsbility (ie. self-discipline) and good judgement.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

I think your assuming that a healthy childhood is purely composed of having abundant physical resources.

I think you're undervaluing the importance of having physical needs met. Sometimes a person needs a hug, you know? Sometimes all the loving words in the world don't add up to one physical act of affection.

A physical act of AFFECTION. The child needs the affection, not necessarily the physical wrapping of the arms around him. A wrestler can wrap his arms around you and it hardly has the same effect. The physical act merely amplifies the emphasis on affection.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Self-mutilation and self-injury are always accompanied by a motive, whether it be self-hate, channeling stress, mental illness such as delusion, or following a cultural custom (such as tattooing). Self-mutilation does not happen (or VERY rarely happens) just for the sake of mutilating yourself ("Yay, mutilating myself is fun! I love mutilation!). At least not to the point where it's painful or truly harmful.

When did I say it happens 'just for the sake' of itself? I said:

"Number two, I think most people who engage in destructive behaviors like the ones you're describing do so *because* they're destructive."

You mentioned "self-hate." You don't see a connection between self-hate and selecting destructive behavior *because* it's destructive?

My misundestanding. I read your comments as 'being destructive for the sake of destruction'.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Your confused. Your thinking that because hard work requires a certain level of self control, harder work must always be the result of more self control. It doesn't work that way. Workaholics don't work just for the sake of working, they're driven by other motives, a lot like the self-mutilation example above.

I'd say they're driven by the motive to be in control.

That might be possible, but being in control and exercising self-control are two entirely different things. I've never heard of such a thing, but if hypothetically someone was obsessed with self-control, this itself would be a lack of self-control, since they're unable or unwilling to control thier obsession.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Long answer:

So why do people "wake up"? What triggers that event? Why does this "good judgment" lay dormant?

People usually wake up when they come to terms with thier growing insecurities, such as the guilt that comes from falling into excess and losing the 'important things' for the sake of a single indulgence. The 'important things' may include physical objects or not.

Good judgement can lay dormant for a number of reasons. You may not realize the effects that occur when you lose yourself in something like this, or you may think you can control it but can't, or you may just not care what happens as long as you get what you desire.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

Short answer:

But you *were* indulging it even more, and you became less satisfied. I never said it had to be 'self-conscious acts of deliberate indulgence' I just said 'indulgence'.

I'm not sure what you mean.

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Short answer from me: there have been times in my life where I was a lazy bum. There have been times in my life where I've worked incredibly hard. The only thing that changed were my physical surroundings and my feeling of empowerment. Nobody 'instilled' anything in me. I changed as my situation changed.

Well, I can't speak for you, but didn't your self-esteem begin to recover the moment you made the decision to get off your lazy butt and make a change? I'm sure you felt great when your physical surroundings began to improve, but I'd be willing to bet that your self-esteem began to recover as soon as you commited yourself to getting your act together, not the moment you bought your first flat-screen TV.

Cheeze_Pavilion:

So basicly, you're saing if I don't have enough of something, I consume until I have enough and begin to feel secure, and if I feel secure, then I will begin to control my appetite? If this were true, then I go back to the question: Why do people who have a virtually unlimited supply of food get fat from eating too much?

'Virtually' unlimited isn't 'enough' for some people. 'Absolutley' unlimited would be for everyone. Same as 'getting a paycheck' is a much different psychological event than 'getting a raise' even if the change in income is equal in both events.

I don't see your point. Do you seriously believe that someone that makes $500 grand a year worries about food availability?

Cheeze_Pavilion:
Wouldn't you agree that there's qualitative difference in the sense of empowerment one feels when one goes from 'no paycheck' to 'paycheck' that doesn't exist when one goes from 'smaller paycheck' to 'larger paycheck'? That's what I'm saying about a Holodeck--that it's more like the first time you earn money in a real job than it is when you get a raise if we're talking about empowering people and giving them a sense of security.

I hate to sound like I'm disagreeing just for the heck of it, but I really don't see much of a difference. As a matter of fact, thinking back, I felt much better going from a $15 an hour job to $32k a year job than I did going from no job to $15 an hour. I think this was mainly due to the feeling of accomplishment and hard work that came from working my butt off and FINALLY reaching a goal that I had been working towards for a long time. It took much less hard work to make $15 an hour than it did to get a salary position. I will admit though, the additional money didn't hurt either. However, I didn't come from a position of absolute poverty, that may play a role in it. That said, I still don't see how this makes your point.

Point being, exercising self-control in order to reach a goal is ALWAYS satisfying regardless of the monetary (ie. improving of physical surroundings) benefit.

I think the best way for you or I to prove our theory is to make a falsifiable prediction and see how it fills out. I predict that as America's prosperity continues to increase and physical conditions continue to improve, teen suicide, obesity, psychological problems and crime will continue to increase, population growth already taken into account. This is due to a growth in self-indulgence prompted by an increased access to whatever happens fill our desires, in conjunction with a consistent de-emphasis on self-control and self-discipline. Self-control has already become stereotyped as 'uncool' among the more immature segment of our culture. The Holodeck would accelerate this entire process by an incredible amount.

Novan Leon:

I'm not sure what you're asking. I wouldn't give a kid things to produce self-discipline, I would simply require that he show self-control for the things that are potentially harmful, like no sleep, shirking school work, etc. This is how you teach responsbility (ie. self-discipline) and good judgement.

But what about things that *aren't* harmful, like a bike or a car or a space shuttle? Where's the line? You say 'indulging a desire only makes it grow'. Well, where's the line? Is a bike okay but a car is an 'indulgence'? And if so, why?

A physical act of AFFECTION. The child needs the affection, not necessarily the physical wrapping of the arms around him.

Stuffed animals don't wrap their arms around you, yet kids get a lot of positive benefits from being able to hug teddy bears.

I've never heard of such a thing, but if hypothetically someone was obsessed with self-control, this itself would be a lack of self-control, since they're unable or unwilling to control thier obsession.

This is the point I'm trying to get at--when you use the word 'self-control' you're actually talking about two things: control over self AND a sense of balance and proportion.

Good judgement can lay dormant for a number of reasons. You may not realize the effects that occur when you lose yourself in something like this, or you may think you can control it but can't, or you may just not care what happens as long as you get what you desire.

Like I said above--what you're really talking about is good judgment AND caring about yourself enough to 'care what happens'. See why I was talking about how self-control and self-discipline don't necessarily lead to truly good self-esteem? How can someone without truly good self-esteem not 'care what happens'? So if someone with good judgment winds up without good self-esteem, that was my point to you that self-control isn't the linchpin of a healthy individual you think it is.

Besides, how does someone with 'good judgment' "not realize the effects that occur"? That...doesn't make any sense.

Well, I can't speak for you, but didn't your self-esteem begin to recover the moment you made the decision to get off your lazy butt and make a change? I'm sure you felt great when your physical surroundings began to improve, but I'd be willing to bet that your self-esteem began to recover as soon as you commited yourself to getting your act together, not the moment you bought your first flat-screen TV.

I *never* committed myself to getting my act together. As my physical surroundings improved and I felt empowered I just naturally became ridiculously productive. No commitment necessary.

I don't see your point. Do you seriously believe that someone that makes $500 grand a year worries about food availability?

Gene Simmons worries terribly when he loses chump change on an investment, despite his wealth, so yeah--I think anyone can worry about anything.

Point being, exercising self-control in order to reach a goal is ALWAYS satisfying regardless of the monetary (ie. improving of physical surroundings) benefit.

I totally disagree. I've reached goals through hard work and they have been totally unsatisfying.

I think the best way for you or I to prove our theory is to make a falsifiable prediction and see how it fills out. I predict that as America's prosperity continues to increase and physical conditions continue to improve, teen suicide, obesity, psychological problems and crime will continue to increase, population growth already taken into account. This is due to a growth in self-indulgence prompted by an increased access to whatever happens fill our desires, in conjunction with a consistent de-emphasis on self-control and self-discipline.

Okay--let's take women's orgasms. Technology has made it possible for women to have more regular, more frequent, stronger, and more varied orgasms. Has 'indulging that appetite' stoked it? Is the demographic of women who own sex toys doing worse than the demographic that doesn't?

Self-control has already become stereotyped as 'uncool' among the more immature segment of our culture. The Holodeck would accelerate this entire process by an incredible amount.

As one would expect. However, I say what makes them immature is not that they have stereotyped self-control as 'uncool', it's that they've done nothing to offer a better alternative.

I am. :-D

Oh, and we can leave out obesity as an indicator of anything but a public health problem. The idea that any society-wide problem with obesity is a moral failing, OR that America's prosperity has anything to do with the problem is a bunch of horsesh*t. (
(note: the Cabinet failing to tackle obesity link is broken.)

You're seriously going to tell me that:

"self-indulgence prompted by an increased access to whatever happens fill our desires, in conjunction with a consistent de-emphasis on self-control and self-discipline."

is the problem when the friggin' FRENCH are in better shape than the Germans?

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