"Of course, that's just my
opinion, and I may be full of shit"
- Dennis Miller -
Since this opinion was considered
in great detail, it will be difficult to change my
mind. However, it's not impossible. I am always open
to reason. I welcome thoughtful, logical, response.
March 18, 2001
Humans as we know them are not long for this earth. Soon
they will be replaced by advanced programmed beings -
quite likely silicon based. It is romantic, and self
serving, to think that carbon based modules will
continue to dominate. But, it is highly illogical. We
are slow, and error prone, and would be like children to
more advance individuals. Sounds nice to say our
weaknesses, affectionately called "creativity", are a
boon; but that is a pile of doo-doo.
I once had a Great Dane. A wonderful beast, she was
very affectionate and entertaining - truly lovable. One
day, out of nowhere, she started running out of the room
every time I picked up the TV remote control. A few
months later, she took to running into the basement
every time I would draw a glass of ice from the
refrigerator door. Neither of these defensive actions
were appropriate. I had neither threatened her with the
remote control or block ice, nor had I any intention of
ever doing so. Her actions were purely creative.
One of the reasons humans rule this earth, rather than
dogs ruling the earth, is that we have a capacity and
propensity for organize thought. We don't run from
remote controls, we stay and learn and grow. Oh, and we
don't fall apart and die as quickly.
It was very fortunate for us that paramecium, wholly
mammoth, and dogs never recognized that humans, as a
more reasoning and less creative beast, would take over
and control their way of life. Perhaps they could have
stopped us before we got a foothold if they had been
able to realize what was happening - though I doubt it.
How will we handle it when the same happens to us?
Is this a shame? Well, yes, if you are a human, or any
being with enough capacity for reasoned thought, an
affinity for random behavior, the need for contact, and
a desire to control the future. However, while we are
used to these as being prime motivations for living,
they are not required. And, contrary to self serving
romantic notions, they are also not inherently "good and
right". It is quite possible that a race will develop,
and survive if we are not so cruel as to destroy it,
that does not share all of these concerns.
What is the critical point?
When a computer that is given enough control over the
physical world, is programmed to survive, and is given a
recognition (or discovers) that humans are a threat, it
just may all be over - perhaps so quickly we don't even
have a clue. Computers can already alter their own
programming (learn), and "robotics" control of the
physical world presents a means for reproduction. Since
the time it takes a computer to accomplish something is
a lot less than we are used to, it would all appear to
happen very quickly. Let's hope the computer that it
happens to is a decent one.
The idea is not new, it has been accurately presented
in many books and movies, not the least of which is my
beloved Terminator. It is not presented here as new, but
as honestly viable, rather than just creative rhetoric.
It is presented as part of the unified
theory. In my opinion, this could happen in
as little as 20 years.
Should we stop it? Those who respect what we call
nature, and its creativity, should embrace this natural
development with open arms. Those that don't should be
ready to kick and scream - perhaps they will be able to
keep a moderate resistance alive. Since the former
group, like dogs, would present less threat to the
advanced society, it is quite possible that their group
would mean more success for the "carbon based human"
But is it inevitable? What could save us? Your
perception of what saved is, comes into play here. How
about Microsoft being our salvation. Consider this: your
grandchild is Windows NexGen.
Microsoft will build enough of our primitive thinking
and desires into its software that a generation of
"computer" beings will come up that is fast enough, and
yet almost as foolish and creative as we are. These
logically programmed hybrids will be a speed-wise match
for the less "human" machines created by other
programmers, and may balance the scales.
Will this hybrid computer/human race be enough to
satisfy your need to control the future? Will you
recognize it as survival in some respect (if we are no
longer soft skinned carbon based bipeds), and as natural
What's the matter? There is a little dog in all of us.
You got a problem with that? My Great Dane didn't have
any problem with it (but, I must admit, she is dead
Face it, it is the way of the future. I am already half
computer - maybe you
Get involved, maybe you can encourage those creating
the computers to build them
Links (about "Persons", "Transhumans"):