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Author Topic: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb  (Read 990 times)

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Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« on: October 14, 2009, 10:32:29 PM »
Its true, total scientific fact that emotions are dumb. Don't believe my wildly subjective facts? Dispute my complete lack of cited evidence? Allow me to enlighten you.

Lets run through the average day at work for an emotionally detached gent/gentlewoman (pretend its you). You probably start your day off with some idle coworker chit chat. They tell you about how they spent their weekends or mention how their families are doing. You smile, but there's no need to understand how they feel. Are they happy? Sad? Who cares (hint : not you)? You can now proceed to do work knowing that if they all got canned tomorrow, or you did, then you'd be okay.

Morning meeting is up next. Your boss snubs one of your proposals which you feel to be very important. Of course you will work to make sure you get heard but you don't feel angry or dissatisfied because of what your boss did. You are satisfied with your coworker relations because you don't have em. Good times.

It's night now, you've gone home and you're watching a very sad movie. I'm going to throw out '5cm a second' because that film makes graveyard of the fireflies seems like a Danny Kaye movie. You will feel sort of empty, very empty, after finishing the movie but you won't feel sad. Now the down side is your emotional intelligence pretty much sucks so you're gonna have to vent that hollow feeling somehow (bad poetry or designing goth websites works). But on the plus side you got through a depressing movie without feeling sad. Congrats, that's pure machismo man.
~
Now, just to be perfectly clear, I don't think emotions are dumb. What they are is bothersomely unpredictable and chaotic. Emotions are beyond the control of yourself or whatever reason you aspire to. However, understanding emotions and putting your emotions out there is the only way to have a connection with another human being. Not to mention that when you ignore emotions you tend to see people as these sort of ephemeral things. You're probably not even that close to long term friends, boyfriends or girlfriends. If they moved away it would be bothersome but you could replace them easily, because there wasn't a bond to begin with.

I say all this because I definitely qualify as someone who does their best to ignore their emotions. And that's certainly hurt me in the relationship department so I am trying to work on it. Let me tell you that it ain't easy. I'd rather go ten rounds in the open weight class than try to understand what someone else is feeling, or even what I'm feeling. But I will try to be more emotional *shivers* Awww well, guess it's time to say goodbye to 'not feeling feelings'. I'll miss the stoic sense of contentedness they brought into my life. I very much hope to return to them when I'm a jaded old man and not before.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 11:06:46 PM »
Emotions are a mental summary of ourselves intended to shift our priorities, while empathy is a reflection of our mental model of others which aids in building and maintaining social connections. Emotions are not, by themselves, rationally dumb. They can lead to stupid behavior, and some emotions certainly can develop irrational behavior.

Hell, it's actually difficult to make a competent artificial general intelligence without considering some analog of emotions. This goes for triple if you want it to actually be ethical.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2009, 11:27:03 PM »
You draw a valid distinction although I might argue that the mental model empathy draws is still more or less a representation of emotion.

yeah, emotions and ethics work well together. Emotions can override pretty much every rational bone in your body that might have you otherwise do something incredibly horrible. And they are great at helping to build trust which makes for an excellent competitive advantage.

Offline Kate

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 02:04:23 AM »
Enmuro

It seem you already have what you want.

A non-emotional person wouldn't write what you did, would have no need to involve others perspectives for something internal to them.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 12:09:33 AM »
Thanks for your kind words kate. I guess I shouldn't say I ain't an emotional sort. Its just been that I've gotten in the habit of trying not to connect with other people using emotions. If someone is having a bad day for instance I would try to respond without considering what they are feeling.

Are they sad, feeling despair, homesick, embarrassed? And how do those emotions or feelings I perceive map onto my own internal ones? Those seem to be the questions I need to start asking in order to have anything more than trivial connections with others.

Offline Chevalier des Poissons

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2009, 02:46:04 PM »
Are they sad, feeling despair, homesick, embarrassed? And how do those emotions or feelings I perceive map onto my own internal ones? Those seem to be the questions I need to start asking in order to have anything more than trivial connections with others.

Don't mean to brag about anything here, but all those questions can be answered by ancient philosophy. I would write something about it, but since it would be the second time I would write using another blogger's post, I would look like I have no personality.

Unless you don't mind, of course.

Offline EnmuroTopic starter

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 11:05:33 PM »
Haha, I wouldn't mind at all at all. You'll have your work cut out for you though, 4 yrs with a philosophy roommate and 2 years with a philosophy phd coworker have given me a certain cynicism on the subject ;)

Offline Chevalier des Poissons

Re: Scientific Fact: Emotions are Dumb
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2009, 12:05:44 PM »
Haha, I wouldn't mind at all at all. You'll have your work cut out for you though, 4 yrs with a philosophy roommate and 2 years with a philosophy phd coworker have given me a certain cynicism on the subject ;)

Actually it would make easier for you, considering I am bachelor on Philosophy myself.