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Pleasure, Pain and Diversity.

Victor Anastasiu
4 min readJan 23, 2024


As we discover more about life and world around, we begin understand thow complex it gets. The more complicated layers of observations we put on, the more complex the world gets.

Take for example, the function of the cell. The more we go deeper into its complex mechanism the more we realise its complexity is far deeper then we thought.

James Tour, a long life researcher in chemistry says we are much further away today on deciphering cell’s processes as we were in the ’50 when we discovered the first mechanism of how DNA works. We answered less questions then we produced. Which is somehow normal when you explore fast but could also mean we are asking the wrong questions. Or not the best ones.

The search for the theory of everything stumbled into the strings theory which now has more skeptics than evangelists as it’s the kind of theory that make more sense mathematically in a mind constructed Universe, difficult to test. Michio Kaku still holds the flag on this theory defending it in different shows.

Many other theories are emerging, coming from different minds and contexts, using different language, but going in the same directions.

Free energy principle promoted by Karl Friston (15' min video here) or the Constructal Theory , proposed by Adrian Bejan, a great Romanian mechanics professor at Duke University, I had the chance to met over internet few years ago. His new book “Why time flies and beauty never dies” still travels with me in paper format, looking for a new reader.

More sophisticated ones, challenging the very fabric of space and time, inspired by works made by Roger Penrose ( here in a great conversation with Jordan Peterson ) are the ones proposed by Donald Hofmann (here in a great, and long conversation with Lex Friedman). With ongoing quantum physic studies to support them.

Or more simple theories and rules of life, coming after discussing with digital entities within altered consciousness spaces. Like Moses came back from the mountain with the 10 rules, John C Lilly came back from the mind space with 9 rules of life on Earth for humans as explained by the Earth Coincidence Control Office (E.C.C.O.). For some reason the 6th rule stick to my mind :) : “We (not you) control the long-term coincidences; you (not we) control the shorter-term coincidences by your own efforts.” It sounds like a simple and effective rule for someone simulating our Universe.

I was happy to see this great story-art in Melbourne the other day at NGV museum. It celebrates a very rare experiment done 50y ago where John C Lilly, along with a young women-professor and a baby dolphin-student co-habitated an inundated house for weeks in the search to spark human-dolphin communication. The dolphin committed suicide some years later.

If I have to find the commons of these theories and take the last one, as it’s more fun at base, I would say that the theory of what are doing here on Earth, possibly satisfies both of the bellow observations:

  1. Pursue exploration. (They/God/Aliens/but not us Humans) control the general flow. And apparently the more you flow the better. This observation is translated into human lives as: try to move. Do not stay in one place doing the same stuff. Life flows so get out, see your neighbour, read a book. Get in flow, mentally or physically. You are here to explore your unique path so do not stop and do not copy others. Explore physically or mentally but explore. Try to be original.
  2. Pursue pleasure. (Us Humans/not God/Aliens/They) control short term pleasures. Look for pleasure and get away from pain. Pleasure is a good biological indicator that you are doing good. Diversify it. Expand it. Share it.

If you just use the first one, than you are not human, you are a sort of algorithm or digital entity.

If you just use the second one, than you are too human :) … and you become addicted to a particular pleasure and forget exploring. Just doing a repetitive stuff (sex, alcohol, drugs, bacon, etc) makes you forget about other pleasures. An be aware that many pleasures like to walk disguised to appeal your natural attraction to diversity. Look under the pleasure-hood.

Of course it over simplifies life but wearing some engineer’s glasses, who assumes cows can be reduced for calculus to spheres.

Nervous systems are young organs as Damasio points out. Digital nervous systems are young on an evolutionary scale.

At adiem we use heart drive algorithms to see if you do it well at the first rule, Pursue Exploration and diversity as we can see it in the heart beat. We measure how diverse is yourheart signal. How unique is the path you explore. Not all signals are close to Pi decimals as diversity :).

We are still learning on how to measure your success on the second rule so we are now at the practical tests :). Cheers !

“Any color you like” is a generative video composition created by our friend and partner Bruce for a Pink Floyd contest.

Sometime in the future will be a companion to diversity.