Author Topic: Hive Mind Science  (Read 869 times)

Captain Utopia

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Hive Mind Science
« on: July 31, 2009, 02:50:41 am »
http://www.hplusmagazine.com/articles/ai/ape-brain-narcissism-misses-singularity-artificial-life-view

This was on Slashdot recently, but it seems to have crossover appeal with some of the work done here. Basically he redefines intelligence, not in terms relative to humanity (the smug monkey scale), but in survival ability:
Quote
The road system of a given city may require between ten to a hundred human obstructions to shut it down. This is what it takes to cut off major arterial roadways and possibly other minor linking streets. Actually, it may take significantly more human obstructions to fully shut the system down, but these numbers give a good baseline metric of a survival intelligence of between one and two.

Legal and healthcare systems are also given as examples. Though I'm unclear why it doesn't apply to most if not all organisations. As he points out this is an area which hasn't seen much academic focus.

Quote
As passive maintaining agents of these systems, we must wonder if we need to redefine our ideas about human purpose in this context.

Anyway, I thought it was a positive story as a lot of cultural inertia seems to result from the common belief that institutions are built to serve humans and not the other way around. C.f Greenspan last year expressing surprise that agents in the free market system didn't always "do the right thing", you know, magically.

Requia ☣

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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 04:31:22 am »
Kudzu is the smartest creature on earth!
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Kai

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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2009, 11:45:18 am »
I think as a social, tool wielding lineage it's safe to say that intelligence isn't based on how well we are simply able to survive individually, but how well we can survive individually, how well we can help other's survive, and how well we can make tools to aid our survival. As Requia noted, Kudzu is ferocious in its ability to cover wide areas and eliminate all competition, but thats not how intelligence works in a human context, and we can really know intelligence in any other context. The whole thing is a slippery slope. Start saying Kudzu is intelligent and people will mistake the context. Kudzu "intelligence" isn't a good survival trait in humans.

Also, map is not the territory, especially ESPECIALLY in ecological computer modeling.
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Captain Utopia

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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 12:19:20 pm »
I wouldn't necessarily include kudzu as something in which humans act as passive agents. You could argue that we are passively enabling it by not throwing copper salts all around its roots and actively exterminating it. But then it seems likely to survive in more or less its current form if humans suddenly disappeared from the planet one day. The same could not be said for the legal system or government.

I'm not exactly thrilled by the definition either. Although I do like the idea of separating the concept of intelligence from our human-centric notions. I do think that, as a species, we're going to kill ourselves off all the sooner if we don't raise our collective intelligence and more people start seeing many of our established traditional institutions as blind robots/robot factories.

A critical point, and one which I think is misjudged by the paranoid conspiracy-theory types, is whether he starts seeing any backlash for trying to establish these mechanisms in scientific terms. Because if the legal system and government did have greater survival intelligence than one human, and if our awareness of these notions is a threat to their supremacy, then they would surely squash him flat? Unless of course, the organisations invested in principles of science are more "intelligent" than the rest. In which case, yay?

On another level you could just suppose that organisations are containers for memes, and the containers are memes in of themselves, with as much recursion as you wish. But perhaps those terms are overused to the point of meaninglessness and ridicule?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 12:20:53 pm by fictionpuss »

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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 06:40:57 am »
I wouldn't necessarily include kudzu as something in which humans act as passive agents. You could argue that we are passively enabling it by not throwing copper salts all around its roots and actively exterminating it. But then it seems likely to survive in more or less its current form if humans suddenly disappeared from the planet one day. The same could not be said for the legal system or government.

I'm not exactly thrilled by the definition either. Although I do like the idea of separating the concept of intelligence from our human-centric notions. I do think that, as a species, we're going to kill ourselves off all the sooner if we don't raise our collective intelligence and more people start seeing many of our established traditional institutions as blind robots/robot factories.

A critical point, and one which I think is misjudged by the paranoid conspiracy-theory types, is whether he starts seeing any backlash for trying to establish these mechanisms in scientific terms. Because if the legal system and government did have greater survival intelligence than one human, and if our awareness of these notions is a threat to their supremacy, then they would surely squash him flat? Unless of course, the organisations invested in principles of science are more "intelligent" than the rest. In which case, yay?

On another level you could just suppose that organisations are containers for memes, and the containers are memes in of themselves, with as much recursion as you wish. But perhaps those terms are overused to the point of meaninglessness and ridicule?

you are assuming that the legal system and government  are selfaware.
That is not neccesary for superior survival intelligence.
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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 07:35:46 am »
I think as a social, tool wielding lineage it's safe to say that intelligence isn't based on how well we are simply able to survive individually, but how well we can survive individually, how well we can help other's survive, and how well we can make tools to aid our survival. As Requia noted, Kudzu is ferocious in its ability to cover wide areas and eliminate all competition, but thats not how intelligence works in a human context, and we can really know intelligence in any other context. The whole thing is a slippery slope. Start saying Kudzu is intelligent and people will mistake the context. Kudzu "intelligence" isn't a good survival trait in humans.

Also, map is not the territory, especially ESPECIALLY in ecological computer modeling.

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Captain Utopia

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Re: Hive Mind Science
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 03:01:00 pm »
I wouldn't necessarily include kudzu as something in which humans act as passive agents. You could argue that we are passively enabling it by not throwing copper salts all around its roots and actively exterminating it. But then it seems likely to survive in more or less its current form if humans suddenly disappeared from the planet one day. The same could not be said for the legal system or government.

I'm not exactly thrilled by the definition either. Although I do like the idea of separating the concept of intelligence from our human-centric notions. I do think that, as a species, we're going to kill ourselves off all the sooner if we don't raise our collective intelligence and more people start seeing many of our established traditional institutions as blind robots/robot factories.

A critical point, and one which I think is misjudged by the paranoid conspiracy-theory types, is whether he starts seeing any backlash for trying to establish these mechanisms in scientific terms. Because if the legal system and government did have greater survival intelligence than one human, and if our awareness of these notions is a threat to their supremacy, then they would surely squash him flat? Unless of course, the organisations invested in principles of science are more "intelligent" than the rest. In which case, yay?

On another level you could just suppose that organisations are containers for memes, and the containers are memes in of themselves, with as much recursion as you wish. But perhaps those terms are overused to the point of meaninglessness and ridicule?

you are assuming that the legal system and government  are selfaware.
That is not neccesary for superior survival intelligence.
I agree with you. It's why I don't generally find conspiracy theories, of the hive mind variety, very convincing.