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#407851 - 01/06/10 06:41 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Midnight]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
Now that Unknown's remarked stirred the thought of virtual reality or a virtual body, read this again, and pay attention in between the parentheses. What distinction is there between a virtual body and the one you are in right now?

A useful subject to read up on, I think, would be abstraction:

http : // en . wikipedia . org/wiki/Abstraction_(disambiguation)

It is quite possible that you--the body you are in right now--is just a layer of abstraction over possibly many other layers of abstraction. You could be built up of several layers of "you", so to speak, and there would be nothing to prevent you from adding additional layers of abstraction, such as the virtual body you suggested.

This would not make you any less you, of course.

Suppose you wore or had embedded in you some device that translated your spoken English to perfect Mandarin Chinese. Suppose you wore or had a device that sat as a middle man between your thoughts and your Central Nervous System, that when you attempted to write in English or type on an English keyboard, it translated your intended movements to produce Mandarin Chinese writing and typing movements. Even when you viewed it, a similar device translated the Mandarin Chinese images to their English equivalents.

As far as the rest of the world would be concerned, you spoke Mandarin Chinese, while the experience to you would be of English. Weird, perhaps, and a bit far fetched of current technology, but suppose it could be done. That would be an abstraction of you.

Take two pens and bridge them together with duct tape a some kind of dowel (maybe another pen), such that when you write with one, the other also touches paper and leaves the same marks.

Which version of the text that this double-pen-thingy produces on paper did you write? Both, right? Only, one is "your" handwriting, and the other is a sloppier version on account of the duct tape flexing and leverage of the bridge to the other pen. Same words, both your handwriting, but different.

For that matter, the brain being the most obvious place we record our memories... What distinction is there between our brains and a notepad and pen for instance? Would a journal that you kept be an extension or abstraction of you? I think so. It is just a layer of abstraction. Now the memory is stored on paper, and the brain points to where you wrote it. Your brain probably also remembers what you wrote, too, but the information retrieval is now different. Rather than all your neurons firing to produce the image and/or echo of the memory itself, they more likely fire to produce the image and/or echo of where you wrote the memory.

A memory of a memory. Abstraction.

Writing something down (creating a memory on paper) and remembering (in your brain) that "I wrote that here" is not much different than the abstraction a computer programmer performs by mapping a class's data members to their corresponding database tuples. It is just an abstraction or mapping of one layer over another. Parchment and pigment over hippocampus and amygdala.

I agree. It is a fascinating subject. smile I am eager to see what else comes of this discussion.
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#407883 - 01/06/10 11:20 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TheAbysmal]
Unknown Offline
Unknown

Registered: 03/31/05
Posts: 1649
Quote:
What distinction is there between a virtual body and the one you are in right now?


Well it all depends on what you mean exactly by "virtual body".

The virtual body would be idle without my biological body controlling it. A virtual body is a program a natural body is a biological organism. Is it possible to be alive in a virtual body and yet remain dead in a biological body? If so then would that merit that consciousness can be transferred? I think that in order to remember anything you must first be conscious. If you die and your memories are transplanted into another body then that biological organism is not the conscious entity you once were. It is an entity that has now replaced you and has identified your memories as its own.

In any event it does give a whole no meaning to the words "Here and Now". wink
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#407973 - 01/07/10 07:29 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Unknown]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
I see what you mean, Unknown. It might depend on what I mean by virtual body, too, as you state.

Depending on how you look at your body--virtual or otherwise--it might not. If it were merely a layer of abstraction over "you"--whatever that "is"--it might not be too much a stretch of the imagination that one could replace it totally.

Going back to my computer-ish example earlier, where a programmer maps the classes of a program over an underlying database... Suppose later on, that programmer decides to upgrade the application, but retain the underlying database, mapping new classes to it. From the perspective of the end users of the application, it might look like an entirely different application. Perhaps it even presents the same underlying data in entirely new and novel ways, even making the underlying data appear to be different.

Essentially, it would appear that all the data were transfered to this new application. Really, in this example, it is not the case at all. The underlying data, and the database in which it resides, is the same. It just has a new layer of abstraction over it where the old one once was, now discarded.

The more interesting part, to me, in this example is that I conveniently have a programmer that makes the connection between the classes and the database. In my earlier mad-scientist/sex-change example, there was yet an intervening third party.

When I was born, well... Who or what made that connection? I cannot conveniently point at anything now. Or, could I try?

Maybe I somehow made that connection without my knowing it. In the same way that my subconscious works now without my immediate awareness of it, it worked then, adding on top of it a layer of abstraction that my conscious accepts as "me".

I cannot say I entirely understand such a dynamic, but I can try. It is not too difficult for me to think of a single system that can also be viewed as many cooperative systems. Going with computer examples--sorry, it is what I know--hierarchical state machines come to mind.

A State Machine--also known as DFAs, NDFAs, and etc--is a programming paradigm where the "machine" that has a set of possible states, a set of possible inputs, and a set of possible outputs. From its starting state, it waits for some kind of input. Depending on the input, it will generate an output. In a DFA (deterministic), from any given state, any given input will generate any number of outputs, but change to only one possible new state (which could be the same state). Also, a State Machines output could be an input, to itself, or to another machine.

It is easy to see that these State Machines can be strung together into a larger machine, inputting and outputting between each other, the sum of these machines being also a machine that accepts inputs and produces outputs based on its collective state.

Now, I cannot find a good image on Google to help depict what I am talking about, but these can be strung together in such a way that one machine has no knowledge of another except through a controller or governor machine. "Modeling Software with Finite State Machines: A Practical Approach" by [Many Authors] (on Amazon) is among the best books I have read on the subject. Google images is littered with overly complicated diagrams and not one good one from that book. This is close to what I mean, if not overly simplistic:



There is a lot going on inside both master and slave, but slave does not know who or what is consuming its outputs. It just outputs by signaling its state. Master, on the other hand, knows what is going on, and from time to time, tells slave what to do by outputting inputs to slave.

So... I can guess it is possible that, upon birth, master (subconscious) issued an input to slave (my conscious) to say "this is your body". And, my conscious acknowledged it ever since.

Of course, it is just a guess of how it might work, analogously, not an answer. It still leaves me with questions, questions that might not even need asking! (Maybe Hollywood's "Avatar" is worth seeing? The previews looked interesting.)
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#408073 - 01/08/10 07:56 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TheAbysmal]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
Wow, basic computer engineering class all over again, finite state machines, Karnaugh Maps, and such and such.

This topic is getting a bit insane in its structure, which is neither bad nor good, just strange.
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#408084 - 01/08/10 10:13 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Discipline]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
I was debating on taking it even further with the finite state machines, too. I could not find a good diagram that tied a couple of the master/slave things together under another master. But, I realized I might need to just shut up before everything becomes computer analogies.

And, anyway, I need to take this subject in small bites, too.
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#408247 - 01/10/10 02:39 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
TECHNO Offline



Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 112
Loc: -31.955658,115.859928
While I do agree with you to an extent on the the fact that human nature will likely prevail (in so far as I am certain war and conflict will remain necessary), I was reading an article earlier today on what has been dubbed 'drone porn' and one particular phase struck me as relevant to this discussion.
The phrase used was 'the shifting paradigm of modern warfare'. What this was referring to was the increased use of unmanned drones by well equipped military forces, driven by the U.S. primarily as a way of strategically reducing the enemy's capabilities by destroying their assets and infrastructure and also creating a large body count on the enemy side while reducing 'friendly' casualties.

So... if we include all the aspects of the enlightened discussion which has gone on in this thread we could perhaps hypothesize that winning warfare (between cyber-humans at least) could become less about attrition of enemy forces and more about gaining overall strategic/political/economic/ideological dominance without the need for wholesale slaughter.

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#408257 - 01/10/10 04:59 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TECHNO]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: TECHNO
we could perhaps hypothesize that winning warfare could become less about attrition of enemy forces and more about gaining overall strategic/political/economic/ideological dominance without the need for wholesale slaughter.


That has already become reality, mostly when it comes to developed countries. But take a look at North Korea - all they had to do was to put a trade embargo on these guys. That makes economy a weapon of warfare, one that's more effective than conventional weaponry.

It would seem that standard warfare is only a necessity when the enemy has no economy and infastructure to sabotage[?]

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#408274 - 01/10/10 09:31 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Maupassant's]
Autodidact Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 3
Depends on your objective.

If all you're willing to commit to is a fourth-grade slappy-slappy fight, you can play nice.

If your goal is to take the territory, the best method is still to just kill people and put boots on the ground. (See Kuwait, 1990 - they had an economy and infrastructure)

Human nature does not change.

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#408277 - 01/10/10 09:45 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Autodidact]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
Sure, but it's not territory that's sought after nowadays - it's information and resources [and with those you just hire private companies that mine resources in undeveloped nations]. I agree that the final push is to be made by military force, but how easy it gets when the enemy is sabotaged economically.

No country can wage war if they're bankrupt, so perhaps the future goals of warfare won't be to take over the enemy, but to buy him out: Economy Wars.

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#408302 - 01/10/10 04:48 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Maupassant's]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Some of the poorest countries in the world have 7 year olds handling AK-47's right this instant.

All wars are for power.That is all it is.
It's chess with human pieces,using pawns,and waiting to see who pulls out their queen first.

Money=Power
Land=Power
A new allied country(which equates to more foreign consumers)=Power

But in truth,we'd kill each other even if there weren't a sliver of legitimate reasoning.
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#408317 - 01/10/10 06:25 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: ArtAche86]
TheAbysmal Offline


Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 1024
ArtAche86,

I do not entirely agree.

I certainly do not discredit that money can contribute to power, any more than the ownership or control of land and the installation of a acquiescent government or allies. Neither do I disagree than man would kill man over illegitimate reasoning.

What I am suggesting is that this is not power over those things, but those things having power over people in most cases.

Money, land, and allies are, of course, potentially good things to have, but these are just tools to meet ones ends. When these tools become the ends in themselves, clearly, the perceived owner is powerless in their pursuit.

Of the smart few, it crosses their minds that with much money, land, allies... any resources, they invariably attract danger to themselves that others would then seek it from them.

I think real power stems from seeing and avoiding that threshold, and/or barring that, actually having the ability to keep what one has gained.

I think ownership is nothing more than an agreement. The moment one breaks that agreement, one has laid claim upon said item, ownership is up for grabs. Maintaining the agreement that "this is mine"... That is power.

I think the trick to achieving real power is having just enough that I am comfortable and happy, but little enough that scavengers and predators look to rob the guy that has more than me. In short, be no threat where none is needed.

Wars are for power, but I think they are an error of the victors. All war does is (potentially) move the vacuum that attracts the powerless from one location to the next.

Money is a tool to barter for the things you want or need. Power is being able to get what you want or need without money.

Land and allies are a tool in the same.

If anyone thinks they own land--at least in the US--I invite you to not pay your taxes and see how long you "own" it.

That might seem like the government has "power" to take your land, but really... You never owned it. Not unless you had the power of persuasion to keep it. Guns are rather persuasive. Do you have more guns than the US government? If not, the US government is more persuasive than you.

If anyone thinks that they have allies, I invite you to consider that your interests and their's will diverge. At that point, you will be left to persuade them that your best interests are their best interests.

Persuasion is real power. Being able to convince others of what they want or need, even installing that need, is real power. What one uses in persuasion is just means.

Who is really in power in a banana republic scenario? The people that produce the bananas, the people that control the bananas, the people that want bananas, or they people that convince everyone, "You want bananas. They want bananas. They have bananas."?
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#408321 - 01/10/10 07:05 PM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: TheAbysmal]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
ArtAche86,

I of course agree that wars are waged for power, but in the economical sense they're totally meaningless: How much can the US gain, and how much did they already lose during their "war on terror"? In the long run war always means less money then you begin with.


Vitaeviternus,

This balance you're writing about, between having enough but not too much - I'd call it wisdom first, and a tool to put oneself outside the scope of political power second.

If people don't want what you have, they won't try to persuade you into anything. Also when you have enough, you won't have to persuade anyone to give you more. That's something that makes you completely autonomous, at least when it comes to power plays.

Wars are for power, but does that word have the same meaning as 70 years ago? Sure, if you win you get territory, but the information still flows freely, and which of the two is more important?

And as humans will start to progress beyond their innate limitations, be it by transhumanism or other means, information will become the biggest resource.

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#408345 - 01/11/10 01:59 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: Maupassant's]
ArtAche86 Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 380
Loc: Cthulhu's Bowels,Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Maupassant's
ArtAche86,

I of course agree that wars are waged for power, but in the economical sense they're totally meaningless: How much can the US gain, and how much did they already lose during their "war on terror"? In the long run war always means less money then you begin with.
For the country and its countrymen,yes.For the powers at be (the key players who started them),NO.

And as humans will start to progress beyond their innate limitations, be it by transhumanism or other means, information will become the biggest resource.

And we will use it to find new and exciting ways to create even more powerful weapons to kill each other with.He who holds the biggest and most effective gun,has a great deal to bargain with over another person's life.And people will give up almost ANYTHING when they value their lives.Self-preservation isn't just the number one law,it can also be used against people. . .

To Vitaeviternus

I agree with much of what you say,but those things I mentioned (money,land,fresh consumers equalling more income) are our means of power as of now.
Power will hold many faces,but these are it for the moment.Money is just paper.But having it makes someone powerful because of the means at which you can use it."Money's not everything that having it IS"




Edited by ArtAche86 (01/11/10 02:00 AM)
Edit Reason: HUMAN error
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#408351 - 01/11/10 04:56 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: ArtAche86]
Maupassant's Offline


Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 35
Originally Posted By: ArtAche86
And we will use it to find new and exciting ways to create even more powerful weapons to kill each other with.


If the whole point of human development is to create new weapons that that's not much of a transhumanism.

You are of course right about violence when it comes to the present state of affairs, but let's consider how will this change when transhumanistic ideas become reality.

Will survival in the biological sense still be an issue? With greatly extended lifespan, with no need to "live while we're still alive", no haste, and (if postgenderism ideas come true) no gender differences what would you fight for/against?

For power, one might answer. But you gain nothing by controling a nation, or a continent - unless it turns you on that you can command a "cultural revolution".

As a specie we already posses technology that outdistances our wisdom - balancing that, that would give power. The kind that one has over oneself.

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#408362 - 01/11/10 07:46 AM Re: Satanism and Transhumanism [Re: ArtAche86]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 995
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: ArtAche86

And we will use it to find new and exciting ways to create even more powerful weapons to kill each other with.


Although I realize that this wasn’t exactly what you are talking about, I just wanted to point out the often overlooked fact that war, historically, has also brought about advances in much more “positive” realms of innovation as well. Often, things such as medical science and technology related to transportation, get a major boost as a result of war. War seems to be one of the best motivations to innovate, in many areas of human endeavor.

It could be argued that without it, the human race would experience a lot more stagnation and complacency, in regards to technological advancements.
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