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Blunderov
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #30 on: 2009-05-09 16:42:25 »
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Quote from: Tas6 on 2009-05-08 11:08:09   

They are energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed, merely changed.

[Blunderov] I can get meaning from Tas6' piece if I make the effort to understand it in a metaphorical sense. Leaving aside next and previous 'lives', memes, for instance, scan quite well instead of 'cells'.

In mystically inclined circles the concept of 'energy' often suffers (in my experience) from very much the same sort of semantic abuse as quantum uncertainty often does. In that context,  the sentence (for instance) "he had a very good energy", is taken to mean that someone had a pleasing personality which was well received. This usage is likely to be met with rather stony faces by persons of a scientific bent who will likely consider that the only quality ascribable to energy is quantity. Good and bad have nothing to with energy at all.

I do realise that Tas6 himself made no mention of either 'good' or 'bad' energy but I do think that perhaps he is using the word in this same (and in my view, erroneous) sense. It seems to be a powerful impulse in the mystically inclined to try to find some grounding for their many and various beliefs in science. The trouble is that it has to be pseudo-science - otherwise the mystic becomes transmuted into a plain old common or garden scientist and that would never do!

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #31 on: 2009-05-09 18:15:09 »
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Hey Tas,

Thanks for ressurrecting this thread for us. I hadn't read it in a while and I was just missing the Rhino lately so it was good to wander through some old conversations with him even in his absence. I suppose that's a bit of the immortality we reckon for in joining this cyberspace congregation.
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #32 on: 2009-05-10 15:23:23 »
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[Blunderov] I can get meaning from Tas6' piece if I make the effort to understand it in a metaphorical sense. Leaving aside next and previous 'lives', memes, for instance, scan quite well instead of 'cells'.

[Lucifer] That's a charitable interpretation. What do you think, Tas6? If we interpret your cells as memes or meme-plexes are we talking about the same thing?

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #33 on: 2009-05-13 08:48:59 »
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Very well could. like I said I put this article here as food for thought only. While I can ascribe to the general metaphor of the article I do not view as an emperical piece of science. I definitely agree that in most Magickal circles the term energy is abused and completely laughable. Personaly in my attempt to make sense of the general Dark Lily metameme, I have had to apply many neo-branches of post-modern Magickal praxis: Chaos Magick (IOT), Cyber Magick (Frater U.D. and Anton WIlson), Memmetic Magick (which seems a Hybrid of the two) and the ancient "Spirit Paradigm (like Icelandic Seidhr)" of the ancients (with its' roots in animism-Like Huna for example). As I said earlier, this was written in 1987 by members of the Society of Dark Lily an atheist branch of western magick/mysticism and not a scientific theisis (so calm down Hermit and laugh with me ).  Scientific and Magickal view points both have their own internal logic as they are the roots of each other but reflect different perspectives and "technology ( in the real sense of the word)" in application. The fact that one of the oldest branches of Magick, Shamanism (a term I hate to use because it not the word actually used by those who perscribe to culturally specific forms) is still active, very internally consistant (Read : "Way of the Shaman" and "Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy " for basics), in practice very emperical and practical (it must produce the desired result for self and community) and its' basics may be applied to any system of thought or metaphysic (if the idividual is creative and imaginative).

So yes, I feel that meme and cell are intra-changable upto a point but not exact. I do not believe in past lives or reincarnation, but the power of an idea (myth/meme) carries much weight if it can be applied. Can this be applied? Maybe but only on an individualistic level of personal praxis and after all aren't we all searching for the  mythical (memetic)"Philosophers stone?"
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #34 on: 2009-05-14 01:54:12 »
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The key to avoiding the shades of my molars coming after you in the night, never mind obtaining a smile, is, as I suspect you well know, to avoid:
  • inappropriate use of "real words" like cells.
  • suggestions of remote control in the absence of a mechanism.
  • ghosts in the machine (attempts to decouple self-awareness from our brain physiognomy and processes).
  • self- or world- contradictions.

Kind Regards
Hermit
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #35 on: 2009-05-15 09:08:42 »
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Luckily I never like to avoid confrontation if it can profit me in a good way, either through victory that leads to personal gnosis or defeat that enriches my understanding and personal gnosis  .  It is my limited understanding of what I have read of your articles here on the bbs, that you and I are aproaching the Virian Metameme from very different foundational roots (Science/Mysticism). Thus I expect we will differ greatly in opinion on certain subjects but both make use of the virtues as our frame of reference. How I love this universe.

Tas6    
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #36 on: 2009-05-19 09:28:02 »
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But I do believe in the Ghost made by the machine! If we can totally identify with our own meta-meme.

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #37 on: 2009-05-19 14:08:36 »
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Quote from: Tas6 on 2009-05-19 09:28:02   
But I do believe in the Ghost made by the machine! If we can totally identify with our own meta-meme.

Tas6


That made some sense.

In response to one of Hermit's points (excerpted from a list):

Quote:
The key to avoiding the shades of my molars coming after you in the night, never mind obtaining a smile, is, as I suspect you well know, to avoid: . . . ;
ghosts in the machine (attempts to decouple self-awareness from our brain physiognomy and processes); . . .


This isn't an uncommon topic of some difference among transhumanists . . . the ghost in the machine . . . specifically as Hermit points out as a decoupling self-awareness from brain function. I think this fits into the computer/program metaphor. Yes, when we have an abundance of platforms in the universe upon which we can easily run our "self-awareness" programs, it can become easy to think that we identify with that program rather than the (highly interchangeable) hardware it runs on.

Especially as we think in terms of immortality and transhumanism, we can easily begin fall into such habits of program identification. In re:immortality many of us discuss "uploading" ourselves, or contemplate the possibility of many genetic clones running a similar memetic package. While we never really decouple from an underlying hardware platform, in an abundance of hardware it can become quite natural to simply imply a standard platform and think more in terms of preserving the program itself rather than any specific piece of hardware it may be running on at the moment.
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #38 on: 2009-05-19 16:04:11 »
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Quote from: MoEnzyme on 2009-05-19 14:08:36   


Quote from: Tas6 on 2009-05-19 09:28:02   

But I do believe in the Ghost made by the machine! If we can totally identify with our own meta-meme.

Tas6

That made some sense.

In response to one of Hermit's points (excerpted from a list):


Quote:
The key to avoiding the shades of my molars coming after you in the night, never mind obtaining a smile, is, as I suspect you well know, to avoid: . . . ;
ghosts in the machine (attempts to decouple self-awareness from our brain physiognomy and processes); . . .

This isn't an uncommon topic of some difference among transhumanists . . . the ghost in the machine . . . specifically as Hermit points out as a decoupling self-awareness from brain function. I think this fits into the computer/program metaphor. Yes, when we have an abundance of platforms in the universe upon which we can easily run our "self-awareness" programs, it can become easy to think that we identify with that program rather than the (highly interchangeable) hardware it runs on.

Especially as we think in terms of immortality and transhumanism, we can easily begin fall into such habits of program identification. In re:immortality many of us discuss "uploading" ourselves, or contemplate the possibility of many genetic clones running a similar memetic package. While we never really decouple from an underlying hardware platform, in an abundance of hardware it can become quite natural to simply imply a standard platform and think more in terms of preserving the program itself rather than any specific piece of hardware it may be running on at the moment.


Science has not to date found any histological or functional tissue type in the brain that could even remotely qualify as the "center" of consciousness.

We can probably extrapolate from this that, as Hermit aptly puts it, there is no reason "to decouple self-awareness from our brain physiognomy and processes".

Accordingly, I would conjecture that consciousness (and self-awareness) is simply our brain physiognomy and <its> processes simply "doing what they do", and see no reason why "it and its processes" couldn't "do what they do" on any number of various substrates or platforms.

Well, maybe not Windows(TM). 


Walter
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #39 on: 2009-05-22 11:16:52 »
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Has anyone thought of the possibility of down loading into the "Gaia Brain Wave?"  Fact or fiction I feel that such thoughts are interesting, using the earth as hardware and the feild as software.  A good portion of LHP traditions look to this and similar methods for isolating and immortalizing the psyche' but while I know this maybe foolishness, it is always a possibility and is a very ancient meme.

In the germanic (notably the Old Norse) the earth was viewed as a Jolton/Etin or a named existing force of nature but not thought of a a god but far older, Jordh/Erce(Eordhe). One could harmonize oneself with their cycles but they are not human in their psyco-somatic composition but purely natural. An etin is the thing mentioned:
Earth-Erce
Death-Hel
Chaos/Fire-Loki
etc...

So Worship of Etins served no purpose save the harmonization of the individual/community with the particular concept or natural force for the survival and advancement of the particular social unit.  This is a stark difference to the Gods who were thought of in very human terms and thus influenced as humans. This is not to invalidate the effect such cultural memes have on a society. Just remember in the Old Norse tradition the universe is a natural-organic phenominom and a direct product of evolution.
Consciousness is a direct consequence of evolution from the ON tradition (spirit if you will indulge me, came from matter as systems become more complex).
Even ON reincarnation is more about the passing down of genes and personal memes. The thing that was passed on after death was called the Fylgja/Fetch which means following spirit, and was the equilivant to the metameme of the persons life.


Paraphrased from the Havama'l
(Kinsmen die, cattle die,
one day you will die,
one thing that never dies,
is the good deeds done by
a man.
They shall endure until
the mountains crumble into dust)

So if viewed from this perspective, Memetic Immortality is ancient and has endured as the mountains have not crumbled unto dust (ie. the Earths/humanities' destruction) .

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #40 on: 2009-05-22 13:43:22 »
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Quote from: Tas6 on 2009-05-22 11:16:52   
Has anyone thought of the possibility of down loading into the "Gaia Brain Wave?"


Can't say that I have.

Quote:
Fact or fiction I feel that such thoughts are interesting, using the earth as hardware and the feild as software.  A good portion of LHP traditions look to this and similar methods for isolating and immortalizing the psyche' but while I know this maybe foolishness, it is always a possibility and is a very ancient meme.


It may indeed be foolishness, but however ancient I haven't heard of it.

Quote:
In the germanic (notably the Old Norse) the earth was viewed as a Jolton/Etin or a named existing force of nature but not thought of a a god but far older, Jordh/Erce(Eordhe). One could harmonize oneself with their cycles but they are not human in their psyco-somatic composition but purely natural. An etin is the thing mentioned:
Earth-Erce
Death-Hel
Chaos/Fire-Loki
etc...


I did for a while focus on Loki as a mythological/conceptual point of change. Certainly Loki is the Nordic character who initiates Ragnarok (Armageddon, the passing of heavenly and earthly empires to a new pantheon, etc.) Of course Snorri Sturluson in the Eddas had his own Christian agenda in interpreting it, but I like to think of Ragnarok as the bridge/struggle between the mythology of the past (including Xianity), to the mythology of the future presented to us in the ideology/memetics of transhumanism.

Quote:
So Worship of Etins served no purpose save the harmonization of the individual/community with the particular concept or natural force for the survival and advancement of the particular social unit.  This is a stark difference to the Gods who were thought of in very human terms and thus influenced as humans. This is not to invalidate the effect such cultural memes have on a society. Just remember in the Old Norse tradition the universe is a natural-organic phenominom and a direct product of evolution.


I never thought of the Norse as having any greater scientific insight into evolution than any other ancient mythology. Indeed the thinkers who made significant progress on that came originally from more Christian backgrounds. Seeing that the Christian institutions fought the idea relentlessly until (and in many cases beyond) the late 20th century, I never assumed that there was anything particularly Christian about the scientifc concept of evolution unless we interpret it in some opposition to this almost overwhelming cultural rejection. I don't particularly attribute the insight to any religious tradition, which is par for the course of most scientific ideas.

Quote:
Consciousness is a direct consequence of evolution from the ON tradition (spirit if you will indulge me, came from matter as systems become more complex).
Even ON reincarnation is more about the passing down of genes and personal memes. The thing that was passed on after death was called the Fylgja/Fetch which means following spirit, and was the equilivant to the metameme of the persons life.


Paraphrased from the Havama'l
(Kinsmen die, cattle die,
one day you will die,
one thing that never dies,
is the good deeds done by
a man.
They shall endure until
the mountains crumble into dust)

So if viewed from this perspective, Memetic Immortality is ancient and has endured as the mountains have not crumbled unto dust (ie. the Earths/humanities' destruction) .

Tas6


You may like that cultural story because it flatters your prejudices. It may not even be completely wrong - it wouldn't surprise me if you can find individuals who understood it despite their religious indoctrination, but to attribute scientific evolutionary throught to any particular religious tradition is plain cultural vainity, and to do so in retrospect is revisionist on top of it all. If anything the seminal thinkers about evolution came from religious traditions that were patently hostile to the idea in the first place. It sometimes causes me to wonder if being "forbidden fruit" wasn't really the original inspriration.

Just a few thoughts,

-Mo
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #41 on: 2009-05-22 14:41:02 »
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In fact, while I react similarly to Mo on the rest of it, I found

Quote:
Kinsmen die, cattle die,
one day you will die,
one thing that never dies,
is the good deeds done by
a man.

to be almost as relevant as Monty Python's "Meaning of Life," although of course, "Meaning of Life" offered a great deal more practical advice

Quote:
Lady Presenter: [briskly] Well, that's the End of the Film, now here's the Meaning of Life.

[An envelope is handed to her. She opens it in a business-like way.]

Lady Presenter: Thank you Brigitte.
[She reads.]
Well, it's nothing special. Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy which it seems is the only way these days to get the jaded video-sated public off their fucking arses and back in the sodding cinema. Family entertainment bollocks! What they want is filth, people doing things to each other with chainsaws during tupperware parties, babysitters being stabbed with knitting needles by gay presidential candidates, vigilante groups strangling chickens, armed bands of theatre critics exterminating mutant goats - where's the fun in pictures? Oh well, there we are - here's the theme music. Goodnight.

Unfortunately,

Quote:
They shall endure until the mountains crumble into dust

is just plain wrong. "They" will endure for just so long as it takes for people to forget them, which is why writing an enduringly famous book or starting a religion remain the two best ways to get people to remember something about you. With the former there is even a (slight) chance that some facts about you will actually relate to you, at least if your book contains some biographical titbits - and gratuitous pictures of penises probably won't hurt.

That said, "Everything dies, breaks or wears out. Do the best that you can because you can" is not a bad way to choose to live. You may find [ Church of Virus BBS, General, Philosophy & Religion,Virian Ethics: The Soul in the Machine and the Question of Virian Ethics, Hermit, Blunderov, Kharin et al, 2002 ] helpful in further interpreting this.

Regards
Hermit&Co
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #42 on: 2009-05-22 15:06:41 »
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Hmm, I love the reaction

Thats cool, I respect your opinion and for the most part share it. Have you ever read the ON creation myth? Many in the Asatru' community interpret this in a similar vein (especially the Odian).  This may reveal my cultural prejudices  as it reveals the scientic prejudices  as well. I always though the science of one age is the myth of another (with notable exceptions of course). The one view of the Norse  I do like is that there is no exnilo creation but rather Fire(expansion) and Ice (contraction)reacting to create the first proto-being Ymir (whose name means the roar). This may well be my interpretation but is one hell of a meme to survive to be part of a large current revival in our world. I am not judging the meme just sorting through over 20 yrs + of Asatru before I became an Atheist.  I have learned from personal experience you can either reconfigure and express or repress and watch it resurface in an out of control memetic mutation (so I appologize for my mental musings on this subject of immortality as I attempt to resolve it for my own gnosis) .

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #43 on: 2009-05-24 21:27:19 »
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--excerpted from article below:

"That has led to no shortage of raised eyebrows among hard-nosed technologists in the engineering culture here, some of whom describe the Kurzweilian romance with supermachines as a new form of religion."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/weekinreview/24markoff.html?_r=1&hpw
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times
May 24, 2009

The Coming Superbrain

By JOHN MARKOFF

Mountain View, Calif. — It’s summertime and the Terminator is back. A sci-fi movie thrill ride, “Terminator Salvation” comes complete with a malevolent artificial intelligence dubbed Skynet, a military R.&D. project that gained self-awareness and concluded that humans were an irritant — perhaps a bit like athlete’s foot — to be dispatched forthwith.

The notion that a self-aware computing system would emerge spontaneously from the interconnections of billions of computers and computer networks goes back in science fiction at least as far as Arthur C. Clarke’s “Dial F for Frankenstein.” A prescient short story that appeared in 1961, it foretold an ever-more-interconnected telephone network that spontaneously acts like a newborn baby and leads to global chaos as it takes over financial, transportation and military systems.

Today, artificial intelligence, once the preserve of science fiction writers and eccentric computer prodigies, is back in fashion and getting serious attention from NASA and from Silicon Valley companies like Google as well as a new round of start-ups that are designing everything from next-generation search engines to machines that listen or that are capable of walking around in the world. A.I.’s new respectability is turning the spotlight back on the question of where the technology might be heading and, more ominously, perhaps, whether computer intelligence will surpass our own, and how quickly.

The concept of ultrasmart computers — machines with “greater than human intelligence” — was dubbed “The Singularity” in a 1993 paper by the computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge. He argued that the acceleration of technological progress had led to “the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth.” This thesis has long struck a chord here in Silicon Valley.

Artificial intelligence is already used to automate and replace some human functions with computer-driven machines. These machines can see and hear, respond to questions, learn, draw inferences and solve problems. But for the Singulatarians, A.I. refers to machines that will be both self-aware and superhuman in their intelligence, and capable of designing better computers and robots faster than humans can today. Such a shift, they say, would lead to a vast acceleration in technological improvements of all kinds.

The idea is not just the province of science fiction authors; a generation of computer hackers, engineers and programmers have come to believe deeply in the idea of exponential technological change as explained by Gordon Moore, a co-founder of the chip maker Intel.

In 1965, Dr. Moore first described the repeated doubling of the number transistors on silicon chips with each new technology generation, which led to an acceleration in the power of computing. Since then “Moore’s Law” — which is not a law of physics, but rather a description of the rate of industrial change — has come to personify an industry that lives on Internet time, where the Next Big Thing is always just around the corner.

Several years ago the artificial-intelligence pioneer Raymond Kurzweil took the idea one step further in his 2005 book, “The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.” He sought to expand Moore’s Law to encompass more than just processing power and to simultaneously predict with great precision the arrival of post-human evolution, which he said would occur in 2045.

In Dr. Kurzweil’s telling, rapidly increasing computing power in concert with cyborg humans would then reach a point when machine intelligence not only surpassed human intelligence but took over the process of technological invention, with unpredictable consequences.

Profiled in the documentary “Transcendent Man,” which had its premier last month at the TriBeCa Film Festival, and with his own Singularity movie due later this year, Dr. Kurzweil has become a one-man marketing machine for the concept of post-humanism. He is the co-founder of Singularity University, a school supported by Google that will open in June with a grand goal — to “assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges.”

Not content with the development of superhuman machines, Dr. Kurzweil envisions “uploading,” or the idea that the contents of our brain and thought processes can somehow be translated into a computing environment, making a form of immortality possible — within his lifetime.

That has led to no shortage of raised eyebrows among hard-nosed technologists in the engineering culture here, some of whom describe the Kurzweilian romance with supermachines as a new form of religion.

The science fiction author Ken MacLeod described the idea of the singularity as “the Rapture of the nerds.” Kevin Kelly, an editor at Wired magazine, notes, “People who predict a very utopian future always predict that it is going to happen before they die.”

However, Mr. Kelly himself has not refrained from speculating on where communications and computing technology is heading. He is at work on his own book, “The Technium,” forecasting the emergence of a global brain — the idea that the planet’s interconnected computers might someday act in a coordinated fashion and perhaps exhibit intelligence. He just isn’t certain about how soon an intelligent global brain will arrive.

Others who have observed the increasing power of computing technology are even less sanguine about the future outcome. The computer designer and venture capitalist William Joy, for example, wrote a pessimistic essay in Wired in 2000 that argued that humans are more likely to destroy themselves with their technology than create a utopia assisted by superintelligent machines.

Mr. Joy, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, still believes that. “I wasn’t saying we would be supplanted by something,” he said. “I think a catastrophe is more likely.”

Moreover, there is a hot debate here over whether such machines might be the “machines of loving grace,” of the Richard Brautigan poem, or something far darker, of the “Terminator” ilk.

“I see the debate over whether we should build these artificial intellects as becoming the dominant political question of the century,” said Hugo de Garis, an Australian artificial-intelligence researcher, who has written a book, “The Artilect War,” that argues that the debate is likely to end in global war.

Concerned about the same potential outcome, the A.I. researcher Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, an employee of the Singularity Institute, has proposed the idea of “friendly artificial intelligence,” an engineering discipline that would seek to ensure that future machines would remain our servants or equals rather than our masters.

Nevertheless, this generation of humans, at least, is perhaps unlikely to need to rush to the barricades. The artificial-intelligence industry has advanced in fits and starts over the past half-century, since the term “artificial intelligence” was coined by the Stanford University computer scientist John McCarthy in 1956. In 1964, when Mr. McCarthy established the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the researchers informed their Pentagon backers that the construction of an artificially intelligent machine would take about a decade. Two decades later, in 1984, that original optimism hit a rough patch, leading to the collapse of a crop of A.I. start-up companies in Silicon Valley, a time known as “the A.I. winter.”

Such reversals have led the veteran Silicon Valley technology forecaster Paul Saffo to proclaim: “never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

Indeed, despite this high-technology heartland’s deeply held consensus about exponential progress, the worst fate of all for the Valley’s digerati would be to be the generation before the generation that lives to see the singularity.

“Kurzweil will probably die, along with the rest of us not too long before the ‘great dawn,’ ” said Gary Bradski, a Silicon Valley roboticist. “Life’s not fair.”


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

 

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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #44 on: 2009-05-25 16:05:24 »
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Church of Virus BBS, General, Philosophy & Religion,Virian Ethics: The Soul in the Machine and the Question of Virian Ethics, Hermit, Blunderov, Kharin et al, 2002 

I read this posting
and followed one of the links:

One of the links given on this particular posting gave my Laptop a Virus that has incapacitated it until I have time to get it repaired. 
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"Funny goggles and Frankenstein, what real science should be!"
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