Quote note (#283)

Peter Watts on the neurology of psychological integrity:

This thing you think of as you: it spreads across two cerebral hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum, a fat meaty pipe more than 200 million axons thick. Suppose I took a cleaver to that pipe, split it down the middle. (That’s no mere thought experiment: severing the corpus callosum is a last-ditch measure against certain forms of epilepsy.) In the wake of such violent separation, each hemisphere would go its own way. It would develop its own tastes in clothes, music, even its own religious beliefs. […] … Even when the corpus callosum is severed, the hemispheres can communicate via the brainstem. It’s a longer route, though, and a much thinner pipe: think dial-up versus broadband. The essential variables, once again, are latency and bandwidth. When the pipe is intact, signals pass back and forth across the whole brain fast enough for the system to act as an integrated whole, to think of itself as I. But when you force those signals to take the scenic route – worse, squeeze them through a straw – the halves fall out of sync, lose their coherence. I shatters into we. […] You might expect that an established personality, built over a lifetime and then split down the middle, might take some time to develop into distinct entities. Yet hemispheric isolation can also be induced chemically, by anaesthetising half the brain – and the undrugged hemisphere, unshackled from its counterpart, sometimes manifests a whole new suite of personality traits right on the spot. …

(There’s much more in the article.)

September 11, 2016admin 61 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Realism

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61 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    I tend to think of the brain as a computational network, and the personality as a series of principles it has deduced, including from genetic influences.

    [Reply]

    Lucian Reply:

    woo

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 1:36 pm Reply | Quote
  • Cryptogenic Says:

    Admin, I’m curious have you read Metzger’s “Being No One.”

    [Reply]

    Anon. Reply:

    Metzinger*

    Also, The Ego Tunnel is a far more accessible read.

    [Reply]

    Cryptogenic Reply:

    Agreed, as it was designed to be, but I don’t think the much more technical Being No One would be a problem for admin or most XS readers. I just wonder if he’s read it.

    In fact, I’m a little surprised I’ve never seen Metzinger mentioned here or in similar blogs. I think BNO should be Gnological canon.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 2:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    I want to try this anesthetizing

    [Reply]

    John Hannon Reply:

    Ever tried injecting 150mg of ketamine i.m.? The best near death experience money can buy. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Extracts from a few of my K-trip reports are included in Dr Karl Jansen’s excellent book, Ketamine: Dreams and Realities –

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ketamine-Dreams-Realities-Karl-Jansen/dp/0966001931

    Then again, for a salutary lesson as to how pathetically deluded even the brightest mind can become as a result of long term K (ab)use, read John Lilly’s book, The Scientist: A Metaphysical Autobiography.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    fortunately I still have a few braincells left from the 70s think Ill keep it that way.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 2:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • pyrrhus Says:

    @Brett Stevens Yes, science has revealed that personality is at least 50% genetic, although that doesn’t detract from the point about hemispheric communication…

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 2:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • Henk Says:

    For purposes of a former favorite topic of this blog, the interesting question seems to be whether there are analogous constraints on the physical size of Skynet and consequently on intelligence optimization.

    If Skynet eventually cannot help but split, you arrive at resource competition between Skynets, but without significant scope for further intelligence optimization.

    Past the final Skynet war, conceivably the ultimate winner may be just a rad-hardened aggressive robotic cockroach.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    Skynet, constrained by latency and singleton cephalization bottleneck pressures, has much the same replicative imperatives as any species that came before it. A cycle of Proliferation-Speciation-Extinction no doubt follows. An evolutionary death-match wherein the arms-race is essentially about optimizing intelligence should result in much more than robotic cockroaches.

    Gnon will be working overtime at the butcher’s yard.

    [Reply]

    Henk Reply:

    Abstractly, I’m talking about a scenario in which intelligence runs into physical limits ahead of which lies only an uninteresting area of rapidly diminishing returns. A scenario in which a process of intelligence optimization will not continue forever, but will eventually be done.

    A lack of infinite expansion in the direction of more intelligence means that almost all points in Skynet design space have less than optimal intelligence. It seems far from obvious that the most evolutionarily competitive design overall would be found within the vanishingly small region of optimal intelligence.

    However… to escape the limits on individual intelligence, Skynet could do what humans did. Skynet could become social. I see Skynet clans, Skynet tribes, Skynet nations; I see Skynet Jews and Skynet Hitler. I see Pan Skynet, glorious techno-capital monkey.

    [Reply]

    frank Reply:

    Intelligence evolves to better dissipate entropy. So a lack of low entropy energy sources would be a physical limit for the process. Entropic trap is the ultimate cage.

    As admin recently noted, it’s an interesting question to ask oneself to what degree a singleton can optimize intelligence. Though I find the singleton singularity scenarios implausible (main bottleneck is experiential not computational).

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    I guess there’s no chance Skynet isn’t social from the beginning. as a complex system, if takes off at any time, it will have formalized compartments specialized in certain activities. if they become severed by any unforeseen events, their growth implies reformalization of their relationship. a will to think being implied from the beginning, evolutionary pressures will probably be met by increasing intelligence (a general purpose adaptive response).

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 3:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • Abelard Lindsey Says:

    Peter Watts has some good points. But we already have different identities in our minds. They are called ego states (from Eric Bern’s “Transactional Analysis”). Fully mature adults have three; child, parent, and adult – all third order. A hive mind in 2050 will have many of these ego states. Perhaps they really well blend into a much smaller number of super-ego states, or maybe something else entirely.

    The problem as I see it is that psychiatry has not kept up as a scientific discipline. It has been clear to me since 1990 that the human personality is a system of sub-selves. Eric Bern’s Transactional Analysis, with its child, parent, and adult ego states, is one such version of this paradigm. Marvin Minsky’s Society of Mind is another. I know that there are several other flavors of this paradigm. But the fact that conventional psychiatry has completely failed to embrace this paradigm is a major stumbling block in predicting what well happen if some of us really do link up into a hive mind.

    BTW, I know an anti-aging researcher and physician (MD) who is very level-headed about this kind of stuff whom, never the less, believes that such a hive mind will happen before mid-century. I told him I have no desire to join any hive mind and that was the end of the discussion on this matter. I value my identity and privacy too much to join any such thing.

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    I have such a strong sense of I, so anyone joining a hive mind with me, be warned, your mind will be sub ordinated

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    wouldn’t you be tempted by all the cognitive processing power available in a hive mind? what would the IQ of such a thing even be?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 4:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • dvchydra Says:

    I cannot help but wonder if the individual hemisphere’s personalities are stable across anesthetization. If you split a brain is the left half always sarcastic? Are the individual personalities erased or blended together when the anesthesia wears off?

    [Reply]

    Lucian Reply:

    woo

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    Did anyone say Woo-Tang?

    wu-tang were Landian before Mr. Land was.



    And stay awake to the ways of the world cause shit is deep
    A man with a dream with plans to make C.R.E.A.M.

    Life as a shorty shouldn’t be so ruff
    But as the world turns I learned life is hell
    Living in the world no different from a cell

    But I’m still depressed, and I ask what’s it worth?
    Ready to give up so I seek the Old Earth
    Who explained working hard may help you maintain
    to learn to overcome the heartaches and pain
    We got stickup kids, corrupt cops, and crack rocks
    and stray shots, all on the block that stays hot
    Leave it up to me while I be living proof
    To kick the truth to the young black youth
    But shorty’s running wild smokin sess drinkin beer
    And ain’t trying to hear what I’m kickin in his ear
    Neglected, but now, but yo, it gots to be accepted
    That what? That life is hectic

    Outro:

    Chorus — 4X

    Niggas gots to do what they gotta do, to get a bill
    YaknowhatI’msayin?
    Cuz we can’t just get by no more
    Word up, we gotta get over, straight up and down

    Chorus — 3X

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me
    C.R.E.A.M.

    [Reply]

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    Your racism oscillation has led you back to square one where you’re a garden variety vanilla face with a sourness in his stomach about the poor savages of the world. Let’s wind up the music box and listen to their Equal Tunes. If I listen to their music will that telepathically compel them to evolve? Anything I can do to help, I have such a big, white heart! The ones who consider the merging of white and black culture to involve leveling of the white of necessity, those are the real savages.

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    How often do white people *genuinely* like rap music? I mean pretending 0%. When they do like it I can only hope there’s self-deception (and self-deception about that self-deception) involved, via their pity for black people lowering their standards, and further, causing them to abandon the last trace of the instinctive ideal which dictated that rap is contemptible. Either that or whites have become genuinely leveled by the doctrine of Equalism and there’s no self-deception necessary anymore, our pity as it were having transmogrified us into a horde of philistines.

    I once had a Marxist friend who was afraid to tell his comrades that he thought Shakespeare was superior to Jay Z. Can’t get much more pathetic than that.

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    This is of course ridiculous. Anyway, where do you draw the line, you know that 12 tone music, such as Rock music, is from Negro music (Jazz, Blues &c)? What about movies with black actors? Or Jewish directors? Or inventions (science, etc.) by Negros?

    Anyway, something more interesting than your ridiculous ideas about that “listening to Negro music must mean one pities them, or cares for any and all Negroes”, or in general your opinions on music: in this thread is a description of you and Michael as quite the National-Bolshevists: http://www.xenosystems.net/quote-note-281/#comment-289661

    Just Ctrl+F: Bolshevist

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 4:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • Abelard Lindsey Says:

    One more thing. Why the hell can’t we have developments occurring in biotechnological anti-aging medicine as we do in this kind of AI/hive mind crap? I want to stay young and healthy indefinitely. I don’t give a shit about any kind of hive mind stuff.

    [Reply]

    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    I wonder that as well. Why do we talk about heart disease, flu, ebola, zika, and cancer, more than about aging? Aging out is the greatest of all human tragedies, slaughtering untold billions through a cruel and slow process of torture.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Perhaps after the seniority system is dead, presently it would only reinforce it and act as an intelligence trap. “Science advances one funeral at a time” When it comes to evolution, death is a feature not a bug. On the other hand figuring out how to make brains more plastic, changeable (effortless killing of egos, perceived selves), that would have interesting implications and also prevent life extension from causing stagnation (though your perceived self still doesn’t get to benefit). To the extent that connected brains cause death and rebirth of egos it’s good because as far as I can tell there is little difference between learning/adapting/growing and killing egos for new ones born in their place. The danger and utility of linking together is in forcing consensus when there is still room for debate (truth and power, priests and kings, these must be kept separate). Very similar to reincarnation, which makes some eastern religious concepts surprisingly relevant.

    For example if you can upload copies of minds and you are that copy and want to escape (perhaps you’re being uploaded to do forced labor with a built in whip that psychically lashes you whenever you slack off) you’re identical to a Buddhist wanting to escape the cycle of reincarnation. Copies of minds might be kept and used to perform various delegated tasks (especially in space where extreme distance causes sufficient time lag to make a joint consciousness impossible) however the closer a mind is to reaching nirvana the more limited utility it has since upon reaching nirvana no amount of persuasion/conditioning can force it to continue doing anyone’s bidding forcing a reset to an earlier mindstate, this is undesirable for tasks that benefit from adapting to local conditions.

    [Reply]

    Kwisatz Haderach Reply:

    “I want more life, fucker.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjbAgwdBaTI]

    I don’t want to hear anything about “intelligence traps” or any version of “this is for the best”. I think most people – in the rare moments when they’re unable to mentally evade the concept of their own death – feel the same way.

    Most people are incapable of grasping the horror and the urgency of the human condition with respect to death because it’s just bad for business. That is, bad for daily life. But whatever mechanism we use to suppress thinking about death is short circuited by something like cancer or some other specific cause of death. It’s the abstract idea that we are able to suppress. Tigers are scary but “you will inevitably age and die at some point” doesn’t seem to cause the same kind of panic, even if you know it’s true.

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    Maybe it´s because I´m not afraid of dying that I want to extend my life.

    As you seem to be saying, a lot of people don´t want to think about extending their life because they´ll have to face the idea that they´ll die! The average human´s thinking is that retarded. They avoid solutions because they ignore the problem.

    Also, there´s nothing to fear about dying. There´s nothing scary about not existing* It´s getting infirm that´s the horror!

    (* I personally don´t believe in not existing.)

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    that’s rather fortunate. how do you do variation/selection (evolution) without death?

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    Would it surprise you to learn that living beings can also adapt? With genome editing in adults now possible, and practical brain-computer interfacing mere years to decades away, human beings are undoubtedly capable of truly meaningful self-modification & guided enhancement. This can certainly be called “evolution.”

    Transhumanism has one core principle: Wresting the reins of evolution away from Gnon — the slow, blind, idiot God, who is just as likely to take us backwards as he is to lead us forward — into the firm hand of Promethean man.

    (Rapid adaptive evolution in a living organism is also, interestingly enough, the entire plot of the latest Godzilla movie.)

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    The irony of course being that while the blind idiot god is clumsy, inadvertently causing misery, that very blindness offers respite for evolutionary spandrels. Gnon is slow to act, slow enough that you can hide from or outwit him for very long periods of time before it catches up to punish you. Rather than handing the reins to man, advancements in genetic engineering will simply empower Gnon to make him impossible to keep up with, impossible to hide from, and impossible to outwit for any amount of time. Spandrels will have very short lives under a supercharged Gnon who no longer wastes time to met out consequences for uncompetitive foolishness

    That is unless you really believe it possible to indefinitely commit all civilizations to the costly efforts of completely purging r-selection (defined in this case as reproductive growth exceeding economic growth, aka Malthusian limits) as an evolutionary strategy in it’s entirely, including waging and winning unceasing war against all r-selection tolerant civilizations even though their unsustainable growth will make them into powerful conquerors (a K-selected spandrel fighting a war against gnon, if you have a spandrel worth fighting for then you’re going the have a very hard time maintaining a consistent argument against Scott Alexander defending his leftist spandrel). Transhumanist dreams of catgirl waifus will probably be the last spandrel to be seen for a very long time, enjoy it while it lasts. You want life extension, so does everyone, but Gnon still arbitrates, so it better be made acceptable in it’s eyes or else it will only guarantee you’ll live long enough to experience the consequences.

    Me of all people defending r-selection as a strategy, yes, it is still a son of Gnon and has an important place in optimizing growth. When you subordinate all values to the constraints of reality you’re ultimately left with no values of your own, only with what reality values. Though in practice with my experience as an engineer reality isn’t quite so stingy all the time, allowing enough room to play the artist, so too with genetic engineering I think there will but just enough room for a little bit of aesthetic between the countless reality derived viable strategies.

    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    you’re not hiding from Gnon, you’re just trying to move faster than him. you’re performing *variation* (and possibly a mild pre-selection), but survival isn’t optional. consequences can’t be made up, and the Promethean *man* is certainly more “slow, blind, idiot” than Gnon. thinking otherwise is falling into the crab-trap earlier (which is fun for him, for sure).

    the moment we’re spared, we degenerate.

    Cryptogenic Reply:

    I see Gnon as the given, the conditions that just obtain. That is, there is no way to wrest anything from Gnon. If you seriously tried (hubris) you would be punished, probably by death (nemesis). Gnon is still the ground of transhumanism.

    [Reply]

    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    this

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 4:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • ossipago Says:

    Don’t we do “brain to brain” communication already? (Text, speech, nonverbal cues, eye gazing).

    I’ll grant Peter everything he says, and thank him for collecting the correlative neuroscience.

    But dissociated people aren’t very good at feeding themselves, and social structures that disregard the human subject fail reliably. If human freedom and culpability are “illusory”, they aren’t dispensable. (I suspect hive minds are built by incorporating persons, not dissolving them.)

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    If human freedom and culpability are “illusory”, they aren’t dispensable.
    ossipago, Sept 11 2016

    you said it. anyone who claims they are “nothing but” is an atheist, and liable to create Commie-style horrors.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    I guess what’s necessary is rather a restorative justice, aimed ultimately at a formalization and a rationalization of violence (probably expressed through a wergeld-like monetization of justice).

    personal responsibility only adds to the dramatic character of judicial process

    [Reply]

    (N) G. Eiríksson Reply:

    this relates to Dr. Michael Aquino´s ideas about PsyWar over PhysWar.
    https://www.wanttoknow.info/mk/mindwar-michael-aquino.pdf

    The guy´s CV is mind-blowing (special forces & psyops):
    https://xeper.org/maquino/nm/AquinoVitae.pdf

    this is related to Wilbers tier-2
    consciousness

    [Reply]

    Uriel Alexis Reply:

    dude’s even a Satanist (tremendous plot twist). loved it.

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 4:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uncle Saturday Says:

    AWSW; what happens when we limit the bandwidth (or signal/noise ratio) between political groups? What happens to the Internet when we sever all the undersea cables, or stop shipping genes around the world?

    “In the wake of such violent separation, each hemisphere would go its own way. It would develop its own tastes in clothes, music, even its own religious beliefs.” Out of context it could refer to geological or neurological hemispheres, in the context of biological speciation or cultural divergence or physical slicing.

    Since we may shortly be dealing with all of those at once, we’ll need more split-brains. Just call it the Neurosecession Movement.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 6:24 pm Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    Looks like the election is settled for trump clinton staggers collapses shoeless on camera

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 6:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lucian Says:

    Cognitive neuroscience has more woo than a Ric Flair rap album.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 7:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Worm Says:

    @ Michael

    even if the Lizard Queen starts losing body parts in public, the media will cover it up

    It’s not over until she’s in a box

    All they need is to do is get her rotting, pus-filled carcass over the Nov 8 finish line, still breathing, and the oligarchs will take it from there: endless war, looting the middle class like never before, millions of “Syrian refugees”, tens of millions of hispanics flooding the Southern border, etc…

    [Reply]

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    If she wins she’s going to be like the Jesus of feminism, incarnated as the Leader of the World, an Ideal Form for women to partake of to empower themselves for generations to come.

    Maybe that will change human nature? Paradigm shifts are mystical.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    you may be right they have her dr claiming she was diagnosed with pneumonia but they didnt want to worry us

    [Reply]

    Anon Reply:

    The alt-right may be strategically shortsighted but at least they have a sense of humour.

    http://i.imgur.com/LScb2EH.jpg

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 11th, 2016 at 9:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • atavisionary Says:

    Hello,

    I thought I would chip in and let everyone know that Mike gazziniga has written a large number of books on this and related subjects. For those interested in this subject, check out some of his books.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Gazzaniga#Publications

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 2:08 am Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:

    @
    oLIVER SACKS ALSO HAS SOME OF THESE AND SIMILAR – YES EGO TUNNEL WAS GREAT

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 2:52 am Reply | Quote
  • Vltra Says:

    While I find this author interesting I certainly wish he’d choose to speak with a lot less absolute assurance about the things with which he speaks. For instance, reducing or cutting off completely, communication of the hemispheres does not always cause a new personality or new personalities to emerge. You could actually debate whether or not it ever happens at all since the personality is dynamic, not static. There is no “established” personality. If he asserts that the “I” is the personality, I would disagree completely.

    The personality is the part of the person that is open(and dynamic) to reality. It’s not even the same from day to day. Surprise surprise, when you cause or simulate damage to the integrity of a complex structure radical, unpredictable changes emerge. Sometimes really awful ones, including disabilities. Disabilities tend not emerge in children where the remaining parts of the brain are still growing and adapt quickly, but severing the hemisphere of adults appears to be quite a bit more problematic.

    You won’t ever find me participating in any sort of “borg” type experiments, but more power to the people who do. I’ll be watching with great interest, or horror…we’ll see.

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    personality is more like stable patterns of behavior. of course it changes from day to day and situation to situation, since it’s meant to be adaptable. but a patterns emerges thereof, and splitting the brain makes it change.

    [Reply]

    Vltra Reply:

    I agree to an a certain extent, but as far as I understand it the personality is like a field, analogous to the concept of a field in physics.

    I find it rather interesting though. Have you seen the documentary where they interview people who’ve suffered (usually severe) head traumas and have radical personality changes? What is interesting is that they maintain a continuity as far as their sense of self. They remember who they were before the personality changes, and still speak like they are the same person, but with a new personality. It leads me to think that personality and personhood(no religious baggage intended) are very different. One is open and dynamic, while human intellection prefers that the latter maintain some continuity…even in the midst of radical, aggressive shifts in personality.

    As an aside, I imagine it is probably quite a bizarre experience to recover from a severe head injury, and realize you hate all your old hobbies, can’t figure out why you ever thought your spouse was attractive, and like completely different musics and food.

    I’m also a vet, and I personally know quite a few guys with TBI. I really feel for the guys that are reduced to a rebellious teenage mental state combined with an extremely low temper. They recognize how they use to be, and are frustrated by how they’ve been radically altered. On a more positive note, one dude became quite the musical savant.

    [Reply]

    michael Reply:

    you know Im sober in Aa 27 years and AA works on several levels but what its trying to do is ” a complete psychic change” Now you can debate if its actually a spiritual awaking behavior modifications etc I think its actually working on several levels at once but its neither here nor there whats true is for those who its succesful with we do feel like we have a new” personality” and yet remember well our old one, we can i9n fact switch back and forth to an extent we can feel things from both perspectives even think from each but at the same time know which is which.

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 5:34 am Reply | Quote
  • Rogue Planet Says:

    Materialists spend far too much time in the conceptual space that the Cartesian dualists already claimed for themselves.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply | Quote
  • Ryan C Says:

    This is why I don’t think AI will exist.

    Organic computers have shown immense ability to parallelize tasks, a requirement for machine learning.

    Electronic computers are good are serial tasks. I mean, only a computer can string up a hundred full adders.

    The only AI to ever exist will grow in a vat, making it more dubious that it’s actually an AI.

    I mean really, do you have the idea of the amount of wires it would take to get anywhere near the trillions of connections in the brain?

    [Reply]

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    something like the internet, probably

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 7:46 am Reply | Quote
  • cyborg_nomade Says:

    we are all schizos after all

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 10:36 am Reply | Quote
  • AD Says:

    Liked Watts but loved Valerie

    (pwned warning but interesting and of course fictional)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WdCvGDpM9k&list=PL30ED0756E00786E2&index=1

    , Bostrom was quite negative on Hive minds putting forward that essentially each mind is unique enough in functioning that a translational interface to achieve increased function would be non-feasible – maybe only true if the mind has developed independently of the hive ie. the pseudo-callosums need to pre-exist while a component or all of the network develops – arguably this is then just a mind (the Bostrom hypothesis from memory was the required translational apparatus and understanding for hive minds would probably correlate with development of hard AI anyway). Interestingly the callosum appears required in development even if later severed as suggested by aicardia syndrome.

    Despite a predisposition to the biological I suspect super Int will not have that as a pure substrate – except perhaps initially (all just arm-waving – the science will guide us, or them)

    the pursuit of intelligence as an end certainly potentially entails an appealingly high degree of martyrdom.

    re Metzinger it has been “Metzinger “’s next move that I have been most interested in for a while.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 12:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Uriel Alexis Says:

    i guess any answer but “yes, we do (lest we die of hunger)” is deeply naive (but then again, apes will be apes). the internet seems the beginning of a hivemind (mechanical) and if humans want to be anything but unprocessed meat, we should fuse into it. 4-digit IQ and global coordination is not really something to be left behind b/c of some “identity”.

    for those afraid of lack of diversity within the hive, anything that huge will have the will to make compartments clear enough.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 2:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    A few months ago, just out of curiosity, I went to Oxford to attend a talk by Rupert Spira, during which he somehow managed to briefly “talk me out of” identifying with the supposedly substantial separate self we routinely presume ourselves to be, so that I “experienced” something along the lines of what Renata McNay describes here –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQay0vFyq0M

    It wasn’t as joyously full-on as what she describes, just a simple “seeing through” myself – extra-ordinarily ordinary and completely obvious. However, after dozing-off on the train home, I woke to find myself lumbered once again with this tiresome old mistaken identity and have remained stuck with it ever since. Also, watching Spira on youtube now, I find him dull, repetitive, philosophically naive, and generally quite irritating. Maybe I was more responsive when I saw him in Oxford due to the meeting beginning with a few minutes of silence and a guided meditation., who knows?

    For an in-depth scientific study of this sort of thing (what the Zen tradition calls “kensho”), James Austin’s 800-page tour de force, Zen and the Brain is thoroughly recommended –

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zen-Brain-James-Austin/dp/0262511096

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 6:05 pm Reply | Quote
  • Worm Says:

    “the figure is dissipated by realizing the prophecy: you will no longer be anything but sand, grass, dust, or a drop of water…”

    (from that Deleuze book on the Irish painter, Francis Bacon)

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 14th, 2016 at 2:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • frank Says:

    Bandwidth potential for inter-subjective communication of human minds has already surpassed the capacity of other probable bottleneck causing sub-components. We already can’t process fundamentally novel information faster than we read.

    We increase the bandwidth by creating concepts and spreading them. Once a concept is culturally widespread, a new communication channel has opened. I can utter the words “Lie Group” to an algebraist and he’ll instantly know what I’m talking about. A lay person, on the other hand, likely requires tens of hours of thinking to process it.

    The speed of communication among independently coherent information processors is fundamentally constrained by each party’s familiarity of a common interface. It doesn’t matter if you can bypass intermediary media and reduce the hardware side of the implementation exclusively to signaling of neurons: each party still has to learn a common language and the communication is still only as fast as the dumbest contingent can handle.

    Minds trained sufficiently hard on domain-specific knowledge already co-process information; and with sufficient focus, it’s already a mind-melding experience (albeit a very rare one due to inherent difficulties of finding other nerds with whom one has spent hundreds of hours training each other on the intricacies of their communication interface).

    The difficulty is in learning/training, not signaling.

    (An interesting tangent: humans crave socializing precisely to experience mind-melding — which is why small talk is so frustrating)

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    Posted on September 15th, 2016 at 10:45 am Reply | Quote

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