posted by RRRGroup at
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I.e., everybody read Faust and Frankenstein...The lesson IS an old one, Promethean, imaginably...
By Bryan Sentes, at Sunday, October 26, 2014
But Bryan,Those are mythical or fictional daemons, whereas Musk is warning about something a little more tangible, a bit more real, no?RR
By RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 26, 2014
Real?! you mean he's NOT concerned about the blind hubris of the all-too-human technological will-to-power as explored in the Faust legend and Shelley's Frankenstein?! And in what sense do his imagined, fearsome possibilities differ essentially from the imagined possibilities of Marlowe, Goethe, and Shelley? I'd say the works of drama and fiction are truer because they illuminate the drives that lead to the potentialities our man imagines!
Ah, true, but there does seem to be methods to thwart such potential human frailties the fictive genre illuminates.Whereas, Musk's demons are not subject to methods other than pulling the plug, which he seems to indicate "they" will not allow.RR
I think Musk, like too much ufological speculation, sells "intelligence" too short and inflates the threat, in a certain sense, of AI. The threat springs not so much from AI (which in principle, as things stand, is unattainable) but from some ersatz AI that we'd cede too much responsibility to! If, on the other hand, we surrender a perversely anthropomorphic imaging of intelligence, then the earth teems with intelligent life, both tool-using and otherwise. In this light, Musk's demons are perverse, retarded homunculi we give too much credence and power to, thereby leading to disaster, but that's the problem with our relation to technology in general, so, again, his worries ain't so special...
Yes, Musk is afflicted by Philip Dickian spectres.But the ghost of an "impersonal thing" endowed with intelligence operating only on logical principles is cautionary.It's grist for discussion, not in the UFO community, where doltism is rife, but in academic circles, like yours.It's a fascinating "fear" that Musk invigorates, and because it's Musk, I don't set it aside, lightly or otherwise.Nor do you I presume.RR
Musk is hardly the only one to raise this spectre. But that " 'impersonal thing' endowed with intelligence operating only on logical principles" is already with us: I'm sure you know the famous meeting between Kennedy and his generals early in the Cold War when the USSR was catching up to US nuclear capability: "Mr President, the General Staff recommend a first strike before the Reds catch up to us. We calculate we can win such a war." "What to you calculate the casualties to be?" "Well, Mr President, initial estimates are that 150,000,000 Americans will die in the first retaliatory strike [or some equally disturbing number]." "General, you're mad..."
Dr. Strangelove would agree.RR
Where ya think Kubrick got the idear?!--At any rate, Faust and Frankenstein, as I wrote, touch on what drives humankind to court the kinds of demons Musk raises before our imaginations. It's that bent in the human spirit that needs to be addressed (diagnosed!), which art, arguably, can contribute to, being indirect, and therefore not as subject to certain defences rational and otherwise, or such is my wager, anyway...
It's Thanatos, obviously, exampled currently in society by the obsession with the walking dead, zombies.Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents deals with the "problem" too.As did H.G. Wells, in War of the Worlds -- an abstract but relevant metaphor.RR
Wouldn't be too difficult to come up with a looong, multimedia bibliography (c.f. Silver Screen Saucers!). I'm more inclined to Jungian/Nietzschean/Heideggarian angles, but that list of possibilities, too, is a long one. For my part, the gambit is to explore and represent the mythos and let IT do the talkn...
The possibilities of your "thesis" is threaded or braided through everything.The angles are many, not just Freudian, Jungian, or Nietzschean et al.The "curse" permeates eveything, as Aquinas acknowledged, correcting, inadvertently, Aristotle in the process.It's the Gnostic god beneath God.The Mythos can't do the talking, all by itself.The schizophrenic patina would take over.RR
Heres the problem, the phenomenon of thought fragments experience and relies on memory of the past and consciousness is more than computations. Without going into a lengthy explanation that no one would care about anyway, the best AI could do is what the phenomenon does which is to borrow, mimic and yet gets the context wrong. It has no memory. Its consistency at best is very short term. It does not understand purpose in the same manner we do. In terms of exploration using AI, once again we are trying to do some mimicking of our own. To mimic nature from the outside looking in. One minor problem, we don’t know what consciousness is. The phenomenon represents more than robots or extraterrestrials. To my mind, thats foolish. One more thing. Thought creates time. Put that in the context of missing time which is another characteristic based on the randomness of proximity to this thing. The closer you get, sidereal time becomes contracted and time is “lost” That indicates to me a process that can manipulate intentionally or unintentionally thought and time as an equation. The issue is it has no memory, it borrows and simulates experience to override our own simulations and simultaneously uses them. The inside becomes the outside and vice versa. These are not examples of a transient psychosis or simple hallucinations. And that includes “robots.” Something much more exotic and much more strange.
By Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, October 26, 2014
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