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Conscious Ants and Human Hives
 

offline Tony Danza from Cats! on 2019-06-29 22:33 [#02581457]
Points: 1839 Status: Regular



A talk by Peter Watts


 

offline RussellDust on 2019-06-29 23:34 [#02581461]
Points: 14408 Status: Addict



I’m only ten minutes in, and made the mistake of starting
to watch this while feeling tired. Shame as it’s a
fascinating topic, and a talk I can’t wait to get back to.
Because I have the attention span of a (be careful here RD)
salad leaf, I wanted to use this post as a reminder for
myself: consciousness started off simply as a way for life
not to die (prematurely). At least to prolong that fateful
moment for as long as possible. Ok, suicide, but that’s
possibly a side effect, an anomaly. I dunno, maybe the fruit
fly just wants to have fun, but I see it (for now) as:

Consciousness = “oh, I’m alive, and oh, I don’t want
to ‘not be alive’”. You could argue that physical pain
is here for that, of course. Ah fuck it I’m gonna watch
some more before I make a total fool of myself.

Only ten minutes in...


 

offline RussellDust on 2019-06-29 23:55 [#02581465]
Points: 14408 Status: Addict



Twenty minutes in, and I’m wondering why consciousness is
associated with time spent “thinking”, as opposed to a
quick reaction. As if consciousness meant time spent on a
matter. I guess this when intuition comes in? Maybe
“thinking” can hinder consciousness? Is thinking true
consciousness? Or is consciousness also that split decision
you make, the one that ends up being correct? Is this where
time comes in and gives us false impressions? The concept of
time is a hindrance here, because I’m wondering wether
time spent thinking can steer you away from true
consciousness. That time spent thinking is where Jung and
Freud come in.

Yeah I’m shot to pieces. Don’t mock me in the morning!


 

online belb from mmmmmmhhhhzzzz!!! on 2019-06-30 00:58 [#02581473]
Points: 4647 Status: Regular



that was fascinating and frightening in equal measure.
shades of the denouement of childhood's end, in the lack of
an identity even to opt out of the hive once yr jacked in.
children dashing themselves on rocks as a whole new
macroorganism explored and grew. i mean damn, i like being
me (mostly)


 

offline w M w from London (United Kingdom) on 2019-06-30 13:43 [#02581499]
Points: 21386 Status: Regular



That was really interesting.

It could happen to silicon or human brains first. If humans
hive mind first, the orgasm centers of all the brains might
spawn off into a sickly narcissus routine. Or it could
oppositely be a giant suicidal system instead, since it's a
big unnatural ultra super computer with possibly no natural
purpose. It could just continue survival of the fittest and
start subjugating/manipulating/enslaving/eating the poor who
can't afford to be a part of it. It'll be all the
corporatocracy overlord psychopaths in there first. It could
focus on churning out endless possibly pointless art only it
fully understands, or start figuring out how to escape the
planet to find out what's beyond it. I don't see how I'll
even be allowed in it, the system is already shedding
undesirables like me, not allowing me to buy or sell, which
means no trading since I have no wealth to trade with and
it's even enforced with computer algorithms beyond that, no
votes to vote with my dollars. So it seems this thing will
be my enemy, and I'll be powerless against it, even more so
than I am against its current manifestation as an
oligarchy/technocracy.

Silicon and DNA style coding might sort of fuse, with more
adaptable forms not confined to human models, forming all
sorts of varied consciousnesses, even then it might not be
perfectly easy for one consciousness to fuse with another
similar to one using 'linux' or another using 'windows' as a
lame analogy, not sure if things can evolve faster than
evolution algorithms already did in earth's history. And
survival of the fittest seems an inescapable root algorithm
so a massive super brain will probably only manifest if it
is fit, but all sorts of crazy things can make it fit like
merely individual human desire to enter it or economic
affordability of it. It sort of seems like the final over
complexity burp of an earth ecosystem going in an
unsustainable unnatural off kilter toppling direction. Could
simply result in end of most life.


 

offline w M w from London (United Kingdom) on 2019-06-30 13:55 [#02581501]
Points: 21386 Status: Regular



If "leftists" and "alt rightists" (ctrl+alt+del?) are real
memeplexes and not just a bunch of astroturfed shit, this
hive mind might just be a giant piece of shit. What are the
chances that it'll be an interesting/creative thing like
aphex twin, it'll be a people of walmart symphony of
failure. It'll be like modern videogames, really good
graphics with no soul or substance, one giant dictator
hivemind full of hubris, turning everyone not part of it
into skid row cockroaches. Money is almost being used like
raid insecticide currently.


 

offline mohamed on 2019-06-30 16:20 [#02581502]
Points: 28979 Status: Addict | Show recordbag



good read thanks w


 

offline Tony Danza from Cats! on 2019-06-30 17:50 [#02581505]
Points: 1839 Status: Regular | Followup to RussellDust: #02581465



There's a lot of interesting side tangents to go off on but
you really must watch to the end because he has a strong
central point that ties it all together.

See, Belb gets it. Belb, read Blindsight. PDF is here.

wMw have you ever tried vipassana meditation?


 

offline mohamed on 2019-06-30 18:36 [#02581507]
Points: 28979 Status: Addict | Show recordbag



have you tried confessing


 

offline w M w from London (United Kingdom) on 2019-07-01 01:25 [#02581537]
Points: 21386 Status: Regular



they probably will make me confess for john donahoe and jeff
bezo's sins. I question the judgment of the judger if those
2 aren't judged. I never tried vipassana meditation, but
it's probably illegal since everything is illegal (for poor
people).


 

offline mohamed on 2019-07-01 08:00 [#02581562]
Points: 28979 Status: Addict | Show recordbag



i was a bit deluded the second time i did the 10 days
retirement cos at the end of it i offered the same amount
ive had to offer the first time i been there, a 50, and the
serving lady wanted more, more or less politely. i could
have given more but i still didnt know how to ration cash at
the time. i remember the people i met there up to present
day.


 

offline mohamed on 2019-07-01 20:08 [#02581576]
Points: 28979 Status: Addict | Show recordbag



'if you want me to talk, i can talk'

'nonononononononono'


 

online belb from mmmmmmhhhhzzzz!!! on 2019-08-24 04:52 [#02583932]
Points: 4647 Status: Regular | Followup to Tony Danza: #02581505



just finished this in hardcopy; what an awesome ride.
scarily, i'd probably be plugged into Heaven not joining the
Realists. and fuck out to the future if we have scramblers
to deal with just outside our peripheral vision... have
immediately ordered echopraxia and firefall, i
gotta see how this pans out


 

offline Tony Danza from Cats! on 2019-08-24 14:50 [#02583957]
Points: 1839 Status: Regular



Great! I think you over-ordered though because Firefall
refers to the two books Blindsight and Echopraxia. I hope he
writes a third one set in that world.

I had to read Blindsight several times before I felt like I
understood most of it, then I read Echopraxia and that
confidence vanished. After Echopraxia (not before!) you
should read the AMA Watts did on Reddit. It helps clarify
things.

Also check out The Island and Hot Shot (free PDFs
on his site), and then Freeze Frame Revolution, his latest
published one. They're not set in the same universe as
Firefall.

I'm not sure I fully buy his Firefall argument that
human-type self awareness and phenomenal consciousness is an
evolutionary dead end and stumbling block versus the nimble
unconscious adaptations of Rorschach and the scramblers. The
way the scramblers worked around saccades to remain
"invisible" would certainly work better autonomically than
if a big slow lumbering consciousness tried to second guess
every decision, but the big slow conscious mind seems
necessary to plan the tactic in the first place if it's not
an evolved capacity. Sort of like how we plan and program
algorithms and then let them flow efficiently. What if
Rorschach is an artifact, an artificial nanotech life form.
Just my 2 cents.


 

online belb from mmmmmmhhhhzzzz!!! on 2019-08-24 15:59 [#02583960]
Points: 4647 Status: Regular



yeah i still have some faith in human decision-making,
though the probabilistic non-interventionism of the captain
makes you wonder how much agency we really had. i see the
scramblers more as rorschach's neurons / blood cells, and
with their ATP-efficient "burst mode" punctuated by long
silences they must be old. who knows what kind of
evolutionary pressures created it? and the central question,
what is consciousness?

it's fun to speculate. and thanks for letting me know i was
over-ordering, caught the order before it shipped. looking
forward to echopraxia!


 

online Hyperflake from Wirral (United Kingdom) on 2019-08-24 16:08 [#02583961]
Points: 25733 Status: Lurker



didn't Watts say the human being is an aperture through
which the universe is observing itself?

I had the mental image of a man sticking his head up his own
arse lol


 

online belb from mmmmmmhhhhzzzz!!! on 2019-08-24 17:29 [#02583963]
Points: 4647 Status: Regular | Followup to Hyperflake: #02583961



to quote bill hicks:

today a young man on acid realized that all matter is
merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all
one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is
no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the
imagination of ourselves. here's tom with the weather


head up poopchute or not, you decide


 

online belb from mmmmmmhhhhzzzz!!! on 2019-09-11 10:32 [#02585072]
Points: 4647 Status: Regular



finished echopraxia a couple of nights back. awesomeness.
took a break to mull it over and just got into the reddit
thread... aside from interesting light being shed on his
work, the method he suggests for dealing with killer cops
using sound game theory just made him my new hero


 

offline Tony Danza from Cats! on 2019-09-11 14:18 [#02585078]
Points: 1839 Status: Regular | Followup to belb: #02585072



ahaha yes "operant conditioning" I remember being impressed
that he had the orbs to say that publicly under his own
name.

I didn't realize he'd done a second AMA! Have to read that.
Also need to re-read Echopraxia. Oh lawd I just saw that
he's working on the third Firefall volume, amazing amazing.


 


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