mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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reading the june issue of the believer, i came across a little article on dune, stuck with the big tagline of comparing the arrakis affair (war over the limited resources water & the spice melange, religiously fundamentalist indigenous peoples) to the iraq affair (war over the limited resource oil, religiously fundamentalist indigenous peoples). anyhow, the part that really got me was footnote five (5).

"the coming war with sentient machines is such a science fiction trope that the question no longer seems to be whether computers will ever vie with humanity for control of the planet's resources, but whether the conflict will have a matrix/terminator 'we're doomed' feel to it, or a slightly more optimistic 'whew that was close! we'd better ban machines that can think' feel of herbert's butlerian jihad."

whats up, dinosaur. it just strikes me that this guy is from an obsolete point of view; that he comes from the science fiction geek cohort right before mine. the division between the organic & the inorganic is one common among people who had to adjust to computers & telecommunications. see, i got into this scene when my adolescence was kicking in- this is all as familiar to me as hair on my chest. the next breed of kids is going to take the silicon revolution for granted (thank heavens).

the sancity of the human species is, i think, the real issue. i mean, transhumanism isn't a joke. it isn't science fiction- if anything, it is science philosophy. the line between meat & machine is already blurring. not to mention that the line between live & machine is utterly contrived- na/k pumps, the krebs cycle, batteries moving ions from positive/negative- its all a system of complex chemical reactions. the soup of blood is not some sacred vitae. cyborgs, genengineered organisms, viral cocktails tailored to the individual- all this stuff is inevitable, the closer one gets to vinge's singularity. from there its jupiter brains, foglets, who knows.

sure, there is always the collapse- these "inevitable" things might never be obtained, but the cost of that is a dark age or extinction. some people might root for the former option- that don't bother me none. there are arguments that have some charm- i'll confess to a slight romanticization of the hunter/gatherer lifestyle. & post-apocalypse has appeals all of its own. these things are true. i prefer the world where things stop falling under flawed common sense. where schroedinger's cat & the monte hall logic puzzle make innate sense because they swing well on the gallows of baye's theorum.
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