Author Topic: Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism?  (Read 9650 times)

hashishi

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Re: Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism?
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2008, 03:04:04 am »
Quote: Triple Zero
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i worked a lot with networks that display emergent properties, and while i think it's likely that as the Internet will continue to develop, it will definitely make use of these services, I don't know much about these grid computers but they sound to me a littlebit too much like monocultures. for emergence of this level you're going to need a lot of complexity and variety, and i think there's way more of that in all the humans sitting behind their desktop PCs doing their thing on the internet, acting like "smart neurons", rather than a big parallel computer? but maybe I'm wrong, as i said I don't know much of cluster, grid or cloud computing.

Quote from: Cram on October 28, 2008, 08:58:17 AM
If there's going to be an emergent superorganism, I think Discordians should call dibs on it.

Let's put it in our pantheon right now, so when it is recognized, we'll look like we've been "worshipping" it all along.

I may have come to a conclusion that these things are a different kind of God. A kind of really big Egregor-ish kind of beings. Sure enough, they're there, and yeah they're called Gods in certain pantheons/belief systems, but all in all, they're pretty much like really big superorganisms, the shadows of higher-level emergent properties of some complex system when projected on our human consciousness. I haven't really worked out the details of my idea yet, but it now seems that worshipping these beings might be a Mistake. worshipping False Gods, in some way.

Looking at the article raised some ideas, thoughts and questions about all of this. The article referred to the Amazon and Google cloud computers as able to 'learn':

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Organisms can be smart without being conscious. A rat is smart, but we presume, without much self-awareness. If the One Machine was as unconsciously smart as a rat, we would expect it to follow the strategies a clever animal would pursue. It would seek sources of energy, it would gather as many other resources it could find, maybe even hoard them. It would look for safe, secure shelter. It would steal anything it needed to grow. It would fend off attempts to kill it. It would resist parasites, but not bother to eliminate them if they caused no mortal harm. It would learn and get smarter over time.

Google and Amazon, two clouds of distributed computers, are getting smarter. Google has learned to spell. By watching the patterns of correct-spelling humans online it has become a good enough speller that it now corrects bad-spelling humans. Google is learning dozens of languages, and is constantly getting better at translating from one language to another. It is learning how to perceive the objects in a photo. And of course it is constantly getting better at answering everyday questions. In much the same manner Amazon has learned to use the collective behavior of humans to anticipate their reading and buying habits. It is far smarter than a rat in this department.

Cloud computers such as Google and Amazon form the learning center for the smart superorganism. Let's call this organ el Googazon, or el Goog for short. El Goog encompasses more than the functions the company Google and includes all the functions provided by Yahoo, Amazon, Microsoft online and other cloud-based services. This loosely defined cloud behaves like an animal.

El Goog seeks sources of energy. It is building power plants around the world at strategic points of cheap energy. It is using its own smart web to find yet cheaper energy places and to plan future power plants. El Goog is sucking in the smartest humans on earth to work for it, to help make it smarter. The smarter it gets, the more smart people, and smarter people, want to work for it. El Goog ropes in money. Money is its higher metabolism. It takes the money of investors to create technology which attracts human attention (ads), which in turns creates more money (profits), which attracts more investments.  The smarter it makes itself, the more attention and money will flow to it.

Manufactured intelligence is a new commodity in the world. Until now all useable intelligence came in the package of humans - and all their troubles.  El Goog and the One Machine offer intelligence without human troubles. In the beginning this intelligence is transhuman rather than non-human intelligence. It is the smartness derived from the wisdom of human crowds, but as it continues to develop this smartness transcends a human type of thinking. Humans will eagerly pay for El Goog intelligence. It is a different kind of intelligence. It is not artificial - i.e. a mechanical  -- because it is extracted from billions of humans working within the One Machine. It is a hybrid intelligence, half humanity, half computer chip.  Therefore it is probably more useful to us. We don't know what the limits are to its value. How much would you pay for a portable genius who knew all there was known?

With the snowballing wealth from this fiercely desirable intelligence, el Goog builds a robust network that cannot be unplugged. It uses its distributed intelligence to devise more efficient energy technologies, more wealth producing inventions, and more favorable human laws for its continued prosperity. El Goog is developing an immune system to restrict the damage from viruses, worms and bot storms to the edges of its perimeter. These parasites plague humans but they won't affect el Goog's core functions. While El Goog is constantly seeking chips to occupy, energy to burn, wires to fill, radio waves to ride, what it wants and needs most is money. So one test of its success is when El Goog becomes our bank. Not only will all data flow through it, but all money as well.

The idea of humans as smart neurons seems to fit with this. By using the super organism, we are providing it with money (through using the Google search engine etc) which according to the article is what el Goog needs most (for electricity and more proccessing power). Although I don't know how 'smart' we are, if we aren't concious of what our actions are doing for the organism.

I think the different cloud computers are more likely to exhibit the behaiviours of separate entities, rather than different parts of the same organism. Being established by humans, who have formed competing corporate entities, means that much of their internal structures would be sealed off from each other. I have no idea what their relationship would be, or even if they were concious (of themselves or one another). Would the competition between the human 'keepers' of the super-organisms, lead to competition between the super-organisms?

At the moment they are existing in co-operative relationship with people. We feed the machine what it needs, information and expanding infrastructure and it gives us what we need, a decent search engine etc. This might be loosely interpreted as 'worshipping' it. Take the El Goog example. If it were concious, it would like Google employees that built its infrastructure, because they help make the being smarter, same with users of the search engine and corporations that payed for advertising. Rituals like checking Igoogle or playing with Googlemaps are all beneficial to the organism, it provides information about ourselves and our habits (which Google sells on as marketing statistics, data mining information etc) again all of which benefits the organism.

What if such an organism felt itself to be under attack? Loss of some of its systems due to a human war, or natural disaster, or... say the banning of all Peer to Peer networks through a legal attack by RIAA or other information Nazis? Would it turn on all humans (I think unlikely) would it turn on the attackers? Say through deleting all official band pages of any artist linked to the RIAA? (One can always hope...)

If the current cloudcomputers linked together act as a single organism, then the question would be how would it view its composite parts? Would it actively undermine the human constructed separations between say the Google and Amazon sections? Would it take advantage of legal structures like open source to free itself of human control? Could we be aware of it? I'm not sure if any part of my body (which contains millions of 'concious' micro-organisms) is aware of me.

Worshipping these sort of organisms in a symbolic human sense would probably be meaningless to the organism. Doing active things to help it (EG using Google, or better still investing in Google) would be more likely to get some rewards (probably in the form of more accurate information). I don't feel quite right worshipping Google, or its cloud computer, but I will use them, and if it wants to interperet my use as worship, then that is fine. I still see it as seaching the 'Net.

Cramulus

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Re: Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism?
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2008, 01:15:22 pm »
I may have come to a conclusion that these things are a different kind of God. A kind of really big Egregor-ish kind of beings. Sure enough, they're there, and yeah they're called Gods in certain pantheons/belief systems, but all in all, they're pretty much like really big superorganisms, the shadows of higher-level emergent properties of some complex system when projected on our human consciousness. I haven't really worked out the details of my idea yet, but it now seems that worshipping these beings might be a Mistake. worshipping False Gods, in some way.

Worshipping these sort of organisms in a symbolic human sense would probably be meaningless to the organism. Doing active things to help it (EG using Google, or better still investing in Google) would be more likely to get some rewards (probably in the form of more accurate information). I don't feel quite right worshipping Google, or its cloud computer, but I will use them, and if it wants to interperet my use as worship, then that is fine. I still see it as seaching the 'Net.

If we really want to treat these "organisms" as some sort of deity-like egregore
(and you're right, I'm not sure that we do)
we'll need new models of "worship". Certainly they wouldn't be the sort of gods who would care if you light insense and chant their names. But they might be the sort of Gods who notice you if you have a lot of resources, or know how to act upon certain nodes of their awareness. (see the Art of Memetics for more talk on the nodal / network arrangement of consciousness)

At the very least, it's an interesting thought experiment.

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Re: Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism?
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2008, 04:00:01 pm »
> Worshipping these sort of organisms in a symbolic human sense would probably be meaningless to the organism. Doing active things to help it (EG using
> Google, or better still investing in Google) would be more likely to get some rewards (probably in the form of more accurate information). I don't feel quite
> right worshipping Google, or its cloud computer, but I will use them, and if it wants to interperet my use as worship, then that is fine. I still see it as
> seaching the 'Net.

actual worshipping would probably go slightly further than that. but not much. at least, in my mind, it would be a combination of using it / helping it / etc, and some sort of reverence / respect / being aware that you're actually working with a "living" superorganism.
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Re: Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2020, 06:30:27 pm »
Can we call it George?

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