wooops sorry i think it's obvious that the post from the other thread should definitely be in this one, right?
--- of to do some surgery!
** PASTE!! **
> as far as tactics to make a Big Hollywood-Style Impact™ that WON'T end you up at b) [dead], c) [hospital], or d) [jail], i do not know
yes, that will be very hard indeed
if it's "Big Hollywood Style", Machine's gonna know it's you.
if you make a big impact trying to destroy it, Machine will not be happy.
it's not that Machine-not-being-happy *causes* b,c or d.
it's that Machine-not-being-happy is *expressed* in b,c or d.
because truly, if you think of Machine as "just" a machine, you will get mangled. it's an organism. large and powerful. if it's intelligent or smart, i think not, but this is open for debate. but one thing we do know about organisms is that they will fight for their survival.
ok i will now have a stab at LMNO's question.
i tried to touch this subject before, in my democracy-post, but it didn't really get off the ground.
Machine is an organism, in the sense that the earth is an organism (like Lovelock's Gaia theory
The complexity of life occurs on a lot of different levels. A very low level is for example a human cell (below this level are possibly mitochondria but never mind that). Go a level up and you encounter organs and the human organism. Now these levels are, like nothing ever is, of course not discrete numberable levels, they are all entangled and shit. That's what you get for biology. Anyway you go up more levels and you enter stuff like family, tribe, society, country, corporation, nation, conspiracy, etc.
They are all made up of people.
Some of these are just loose groupings of people, but others are rather more complex and transcend the notion of "group of people", just like a person or a brain transcends the notion of "group of cells".
damn, did anyone here read "Goedel Escher Bach"??? in his preface to the 20th anniversary edition Hofstadter writes it down so clearly: Intelligence/Life/Consciousness is not in the medium but in the patterns. .. can't find it on google i'll copy a bit here:
Something very strange thus emerges from the Goedelian loop [the "strange loop" phenomenon Goedel uses in his mathematical proof - 000]: the revelation of the causal power of meaning in a rule-bound but meaning-free universe. And this is where my analogy to brains and selves comes back in, suggesting that the twisted loop of selfhood trapped inside an inanimate bulb called a "brain" also has causal power - or, put it another way, that a mere pattern called "I" can shove around inanimate particles in the brain no less than inanimate particles in the brain can shove around patterns. In short, an "I" comes about - in my view, at least - via a kind of vortex whereby patterns in a brain mirror the brain's mirroring of the world, and eventually mirror themselves, whereupon the vortex of "I" becomes a real, causal entity.
When and only when such a loop arises in a brain or in any other substrate, is a person - a unique new "I" - brought into being. Moreover, the more self-referentially rich such a loop is, the more conscious is the self to which it gives rise. Yes, shocking though this might sound, consciousness is not an on/off phenomenon, but admits of degrees, grades, shades.
pfff i wish i could write my thoughts like that
anyway, i hope i kind of have given here a good indication of my reasonings why i think Machine can be called an organism of some kind. (and i draw this conclusion not only from GEB, it just happened that i read the above passage yesterday when i started re-reading the book).
i also think it's incorrect to speak about one Machine. i think it makes more sense to view them as multiple Machines, nations, corporations and societies, all competing for their place in the economic/social ecosystem that is humanity. some are good some are bad. some get destroyed by others, some get absorbed by others, some work together in order to destroy a third, etc. all this just "happens" in a "hey i just work here" kind of way, from the perspective of humans. these organisms are not smart, in my opinion, just very powerful in their ways, and they're made of humans, but just battle for their own survival. they don't care about humans, because it is not in their interest to do so. just like i could care less about the few cells in my body that die every time i sit down on my arse.
Machine(s) are made of humans, and nothing else. ?
no, wait it is even different. the pattern of life can occur in any medium. we don't mind the lifeform, what we mind is the medium! it's not that these machines are there, it's the fact that they are made of humans and treat humans like expendable body-cells that pretty much pissed us off and made us concentrate here on this board.
i dunno, so far i can see a few ideas to remedy the situation
- destroy the machines. discordian chaos/OM is a good attempt. like malfunctioning organs and uninhibited mutated cells (cancer) kills a lifeform.
- get ourselves a "good" machine, like kai wren said. it may be possible, but you have to make sure it is 1) able to defeat the other machines and 2) is intrinsically
concerned with the well-being of the humans it is made of. who knows, perhaps discordianism can become such a machine some day.
- a bit far-fetched and esoteric, but since it is the medium on which these machines are operating that bugs us, if we can just slowly transfer their patterns to another medium, nobody'd notice and we're rid of them. kind of like the machines did to the humans in the matrix, actually
LMNO, sorry this might have turned out a bit more pseudo-zen than i intended, please don't bite my lips off cause i have more to say but this post is getting so long and nobody likes to read long posts, really.