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Happy Neuron Farm

February 9th, 2013
ideas, morality

How many neurons does it take to feel pain? Pleasure? Probably not that many. Say we find that it just takes a specific configuration of a hundred neurons to feel joy. We could make giant farms full of these hundred-neuron configurations getting nutrients and being happy. For $1/day you could feed 9 billion of them. [1]

If you think the joy and suffering of animals matters, how simple can the neural structure be and still matter? Is building Happy Neuron Farm one of the best things we could do?


[1] The human brain has about 100B neurons and uses about 400 calories per day. Vegetable oil is about 0.03 cents per calorie. This means $1 of vegetable oil a day will give you 3300 calories, or enough for 8B of these 100-neuron happy-structures.

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