Posts Tagged ‘Time-travel’

Sentences (#74)

Whatever else time travel may entail, it does not involve changing the past.

— Larry Dwyer (cited here).

September 30, 2016admin 23 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Templexity
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Terminator Genisys

A confession is necessary at this point, and it’s one that might disturb people a lot. I have seen this movie twice. (Once on DVD, alone, and once with the Better Half + friends under optimal 3D IMAX conditions.) So that’s the scary part over with. (Official trailers, 1, 2. Neither at all great, but the second is a little better.)

Terminator-Genisys-Time-Machine

It is, undeniably, as schlocky as hell. Sometimes, though, that provides a window all of its own. In this case the crucial factor is the compact between AI-Singularity and time-travel narratives, which the Terminator franchise put together largely by itself. Terminator Genisys sticks to the knitting in that respect. Paying to see it is an investment in this story. If you think it’s an important one — however abstractly — then you’re doing the Lord’s work, or somebody’s, or something.

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September 4, 2015admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Media
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In the Mouth of Madness

A prompt by @hugodoingthings to explore the spook-dense crypts of Roko’s Basilisk (which, inexplicably, has never latched before) led straight to this enthralling RationalWiki account. The whole article is  gripping, but the following short paragraphs stand out  for their extraordinary dramatic intensity:

Roko’s basilisk is notable for being completely banned from discussion on LessWrong, where any mention of it is deleted. Eliezer Yudkowsky, founder of LessWrong, considers the basilisk to not work, but will not explain why because he does not consider open discussion of the notion of acausal trade with possible superintelligences to be provably safe.

Silly over-extrapolations of local memes, jargon and concepts are posted to LessWrong quite a lot; almost all are just downvoted and ignored. But for this one, Yudkowsky reacted to it hugely, then doubled-down on his reaction. Thanks to the Streisand effect, discussion of the basilisk and the details of the affair soon spread outside of LessWrong. Indeed, it’s now discussed outside LessWrong frequently, almost anywhere that LessWrong is discussed at all. The entire affair constitutes a worked example of spectacular failure at community management and at controlling purportedly dangerous information.

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December 16, 2013admin 87 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Contagion , Horror , Templexity
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Quote notes (#32)

Fernandez:

In other words America is gone, replaced by this tricycle of strife. And the paternal hand wheeling it down the road is Vladimir Putin’s.  Andrew Sullivan thinks this is proof, if any more were needed, of Barack Obama’s surpassing genius. He writes that America’s ejection is not a bug but a feature; that “Obama, reflecting American public opinion, is perfectly happy to have Putin assume responsibility for the Middle East. Let Russia be drained, bankrupted and exhausted by managing that fractious and decreasingly important part of the world.” In Sullivan’s view Putin is hurting his fist against Obama’s jaw.

But Sullivan doesn’t quite understand that Russia is not going to “manage” the Middle East but raise it up against America. Totalitarians don’t do management. They do conquest.  They do agitation. They do trouble. As for upkeep, Putin will be sending the bill to the White House. He will get Obama to pay for it. When Egypt starves expect the bill to come to Washington. After all, why use “food as a weapon?” Yet when the time comes to kiss the ring, Putin will receive the obeisance of the sheiks while Obama will be sent to the back of the bus, even if America is paying for the bus. That is nothing new. Perhaps Sullivan has never heard of Lenin’s bon mot “when we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use.”  Putin is probably familiar with the phrase:  heck, he probably went back by Time Machine and ghostwrote the original line for Lenin.

I’m not at all sure how much of this I agree with, but it’s brilliant, and indisputably thought-provoking.

September 15, 2013admin 14 Comments »
FILED UNDER :World
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Gnon-Theology and Time

A discussion of Gnon-Theology and Time deserves a preface, on Gnon-Theology, but there are several reasons to leap-frog that. Most obviously, it would be yet another prologue to an introduction to the first part of a promised series, and readers of this blog are quite probably thoroughly saturated (to the point of mild nausea) with that. It’s a cognitive disease, and it would be presumptuous to expect anybody else to take the same morbid interest in backward cascades that this blog does.

The more interesting reason to avoid prefacing the question of time, along any avenue of investigation, is that such methodical precautions are grave errors in this case. There is nothing more basic than time, or preliminary to it. In naming a preface or prologue, it is already introduced.  Time is a problem that cannot be conceptually pre-empted.

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June 16, 2013admin 52 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized
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Teleology and Camouflage

Life appears to be saturated with purpose. That is why, prior to the Darwinian revolution in biology, it had been the primary provocation for (theological) arguments from design, and previously nourished Aristotelian appeals to final causes (teleology). Even post-Darwin, the biological sciences continue to ask what things are for, and to investigate the strategies that guide them.

This resilience of purposive intelligibility is so marked that a neologism was coined specifically for those phenomena — broadly co-extensive with the field of biological study — that simulate teleology to an extreme degree of approximation. ‘Teleonomy’ is mechanism camouflaged as teleology. The disguise is so profound, widespread, and compelling, that it legitimates the perpetuation of purpose-based descriptions, given only the formal acknowledgement that the terms of their ultimate reducibility are — in principle — understood.

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April 8, 2013admin 20 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Cosmos , Templexity
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Twisted Times (Part 1)

An expedition into (and through) time-travel begins at Urban Future.

Comments welcomed here.

February 17, 2013admin 16 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Uncategorized
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