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Dianne is sllloooowwwly getting stronger and breathing better, but i think the doctors do not yet know what her real problem is: it it infection? is it fluid retention? is it emphesema?  Both of us were so tired today that i thought we almost got into a fight over nothing, Neither seemed clearheaded.  She has lost too much sleep, my autism is working overtime.  I will go back tonight.



Jared Diamond once said that agriculture was homo sapiens sapiens greatest mistake,  Yes, we got literacy, cities, religion, and technology and we have had "interesting" lives.  We also got wars, inequality, and a really good start toward our extinction.  Since then we have made many more mistakes.  If we begin with totally erroneous premises, mistakes are unavoidable.  But i think our number two mistake was going to the moon.  Heres why.

Interviewer on NPR is talking to a scientist about artificial intelligence.  Over time. more and more of our intelligence will be provided by manufactured substances which can be implanted in our bodes and less and less of this will be biological.  Eventually we will be trillions of times more intelligent than we are now, and none of that intelligence will be biological.  Well, won't our bodies become irrelevant?  The scientist did not disagree.  Well, won't that change our very definition of humanity?  It has already been changed, we have been to the moon.

The scientist did not explain what he meant by that, but it is clear to me: human means of the earth.  If we are no longer "of the earth." no longer earthlings, then we are, by definition, no longer human.

I don't know if we can even challenge the assumptions that lead us to becoming, first, cyborgs, and then "virtual" homo sapiens sapiens.  We have been living in the illusion, living by false assumptions for so long that i don't think that there is any way that we, as a species, can shake them off.  This is especially true if our "best" and "brightest" are the major purveyors of those assumptions.  Hopefully there will be Sorokanian cultural sea change from a "sensate" to a "sacred" society while we. as a species,  are still around to witness it,

We are not the lords of the universe, or even of earth, there is nothing special about us that distinguishes us from the rest of creation.  Our future is not in our own hands unless that future is extinction.  And it may now come more quickly than anyone suspects.  According to this guy, the "virtual self" is less than 100 years away.

IMPPO

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:56 am (UTC)
First and important: Peace and healing enwrap you and Dianne.

Trivial: How do you feel about visual correction? Of course, without it many fewer would need it: so many myopics would die before reproducing.
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 03:45 am (UTC)
All "progress" has a price. Almost always, as you know, the bulk of the price is "externalized" some people benefit a great deal more than others; some suffer a great deal more than others. Animals, plants and the physical environment were and are rarely considered at all in determining what something "costs."

I have never seen a "virtual self," so i neither want to see nor be one. I have seen visual correction and am used to it. It is especially important because i like to read. If i had never heard or thought of it, i would not be interested in it or want it. Depending on my people's culture i would either be protected and nurtured by the sighted or abandoned as a burden that the community cannot afford. Either way, it would probably seem "right" to me and i would accept it. My point is that we have our "progress" at horrendous cost. Almost everything that we see that we don't like is a natural product or byproduct of the things we like. And people at the "bottom" today suffer more than people have ever suffered in sentient experience, partly because their suffering is more "subjective" and partly because it is more "real."

Edited at 2013-08-12 05:37 am (UTC)
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC)
Beloved Bobby, I wasn't intending spectacles as a refutation. I just wondered what you'd thought of them.

I certainly agree that (nearly?) everything has a cost. The cost of what wasn't is the price of what is. And I agree that the costs of every sort of human development of art have been substantial and largely unconsidered.

I don't know how to compare miseries across such vast gaps of context and time, with people whose voices were never recorded, and whose unspoken quotidianities would be hard to grasp if we had much of anything in their voices.

(Would there ever have been writing without trade?)

But I do know that I dislike the cultivation of misery, and taking it for granted even more.
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 11:28 am (UTC)
(I'm really dubious about us becoming "virtual selves," and suspect the terrible concept is part of that odd human tendency to radical mind-body dualism, and the rejection of bodies as insufficiently tidy, too mortal. But here's soemthing to shiver your timbers: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neil-harbisson/hearing-color-cyborg-tedtalk_b_3654445.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Caim%7Cdl4%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D356128 )
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
Wow!!! If i could hear color would i prefer Hitler's speeches to King's? And if so, what would be the implications of that? Is hearing color the same as seeing speech or is it different?

I heard somewhere that early increases in literacy are associated with increases in violence. First it separates the literate from the non-literate, then it substitutes codes for experiences, separating the decoder one step further away from the reality. Instead of having an experience i read your interpretation of what that experience seemed like to you, The potential for violence occurs because words on a page are substituted for interactions with persons. Because of printed words and pictures i was able to fear and hate Japanese people without ever having to meet a Japanese person. Is there a difference between storytelling and story writing, between story hearing and story reading? What is it? I don't know,

Reading descriptions of Ergaki is less satisfying than seeing photographs of Ergaki. Going to Ergaki would be much more real than looking at photographs. But my chances of ever going to Ergaki are slim to none. So i am grateful for the written words and the photographs. But had i never heard of Ergaki (which was true until a few weeks ago)i would be no worse off and more content to find beauty in my immediate surroundings.
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ah, have you ever read Octavia Butler's long short story"Speech Sounds"? Almost all humans have lost language, and those without it savagely resent and try to murder those they suspect can speak, read or write.

OTOH the mystery writer Ruth Rendell proposes, in A Judgment in Stone, that humans are more readily enabled to learn empathy through reading.

I suspect that, like all tools, reading has at least two ends, and can be used in various ways, with varying results....
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
I am certain that the relationship between literacy and violence has been inverse over the past 300 years, especially if we accept literate people's definitions of violence. This could involve empathy, but i think it is likely to be a class issue. Literate people have more formal and informal power than non-literate people, thus able to resort more to control techniques which will not be defined as violent.

The case for literacy as a cause of violence was made, by whom i unfortunately do not know though i will continue to search for it, about the earliest development of literacy on the planet. I do not know whether this theory is backed up by any good evidence or whether is is supposed to apply to specific societies.
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
Written deeds have certainly been institutionalized and used to read non-literate persons and peoples, in the most disingenuous way. And I'd call that violence.
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
I agree but i think the argument i'm looking for says more than that.
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I expect. I just brought my small offering. :D
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
If i say mind is more than brain activity and he says mind is just another word for brain am i being dualistic while he is being non-dualistic?
amaebi
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
You are certainly not being dualistic in saying that. Depending, I guess, on what you mean by "more." I'm not sure it's detectable whether the statement you propose for him is dualkistic-- the partition likely doesn't apply to either.
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 08:41 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. Yes.
(Deleted comment)
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC)
I really admire aboriginal people and try to be passionate about their efforts to retain or restore their traditional, preindustrial, preliterate, preagricultural cultures. Some would say that i bought into the "noble savage myth," and perhaps i have, but the opposite "myth of progress" has at least as many problems for me.

I would be sad also and i am even less likely to see it than you are. But increased "life expectancy" will be one of the advantages of A.I. (since we will be smart enough to stay in good health), so my as yet unborn great grandchildren will see it (if things go "according to plan")and perhaps even my grandchildren will transformed into cyborgs. The first generation of injected intelligence boosters should be ready in 2020. From then on, change will be exponential.
Dino Baptiste
Aug. 12th, 2013 03:18 am (UTC)
The virtual self is less than 100 years away
According to this guy, the "virtual self" is less than 100 years away. This might be true, but I feel that the virtual self has already manifested within the use of the internet. Now, the physical virtual self could be right around the corner, the 3D printer is the beginning of such a phenomenon. I find the idea very interesting and dangerous at the same time. Homo sapiens always misuse everything. What is created to enhance and help a situation is always misuse in a negative way to promote destruction. Our overall consciousness is what will determine in which direction we will go as a species. Our respect for the energy that we can not see will ultimately determine what happens. I feel that there is much more happening in the dimensions of the universe that we can not see than the occurrences that we can. Ultimate our virtual physical self would have to take a back seat to these discoveries..The brain is the greatest tool and the more we relinquish control to instruments the less we will use our brains. I think we are starting to look more within for answer than outward. The conversation about marijuana is interesting because it forces us to look within. But of course humans misuse everything and marijuana could create the same problem that technology would create when misused. The outward look for solutions from the result of laziness of overuse.
bobby1933
Aug. 12th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
Re: The virtual self is less than 100 years away
Thank you. Yes, i pretty much agree. It is my concern for "total consciousness" that frightens most about the new technologies that will deconstruct and reconstruct the human being. The idea the mind equals brain will really be tested by the "virtual person." I do not really believe in "God the Creator" but i do believe that whatever forces have made us what we are over the the past 14 billion + years have been drastically disrupted over the last 15 thousand, and especially in the last 300. What will happen to our "Buddha nature" if we tinker with the basic materials of which we are constructed. As long as my computer remains outside my body, i have some choice to use it and/or walk away from it. When it is implanted in my body or injected into blood stream or genetic makeup, what or who will i be then?
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