Okay, so say a group of us start feeling strongly for the cause of paradise engineering and want to do something about it. Where do we even begin?
When it comes to paradise engineering, I’ve always felt like a caveman trying to figure how to get to the moon. Where does he even begin? The tools and knowledge he has are unquestionably inadequate. But to get anywhere you have to start somewhere, do something. Try, try, till you succeed (probably, a few thousand years later).
However, there are a few plausible fronts on which we could work upon today.
Treatment of anxiety and depression: The treatment of depression, anxiety and mood related disorders is already a huge effort, so that’s one very direct way we can contribute to the larger effort of ‘hacking’ into the mind. Even within this arena, there are many different work fronts – pharmaceutical research is one, but also research around how these pharmaceuticals are used and what impact it has on each patient could be very helpful. Though we have a few powerful hacks already, we are incredibly poor in terms of tracking and monitoring if its actually helping the patients. There seems to be a tremendous potential for ‘fine-tuning’ the implementation process.
Deeper understanding of happiness: Fine-tuning the treatment of anxiety and depression would undoubtedly involve a deeper understanding of happiness at the neurochemical level. What if we could actually measure happiness? That would be the biggest game-changer for all of these efforts. How do these neurochemicals produce these wide array of feelings and moods? We would need to have some answers to these questions to achieving any kind of success in terms of hacking the mind.
A hint of paradise: Once we have a good understanding of what happiness is, we can start hacking into it to produce desirable moods and emotions in a measurable, predictable and safe way. This would perhaps be the first little hint of the great times to come!
Awareness: Paradise won’t be engineered by a few people sitting in some basement. It is going to need one of the greatest human efforts, akin to what we see in the field of science or medicine today. But while those fields can easily garner the attention and motivation of the general population, ‘paradise engineering’ is a bit bewildering, to say the least. How can we bring more awareness to this mission?
Of course, effort around paradise engineering per se is non-existent. So this is going to be like groping in the dark. But the idea has always been most compelling, and I have been itching to get into it head on. I intend to start a nonprofit organisation soon that can actually start taking actions on these fronts. Time will tell how far the caveman can go…