Que Sera Sera

This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 1 month ago by Cody.

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    • #19063
       Tom Hite

      Fair warning: about 1800 words. But I hope it’s worth it.

      This post is a paradox.

      “If whatever will be will be, then why do anything at all?” You might be asking yourself, or have at some point – I think in point of fact, most of us must have at one time in our lives.

      Logically, it’s a valid question – and its soundness is only limited to the degree to which you limit the definition of action.

      As the epic prog-rock gods, Rush, have stated, “If you choose to not to decide, you still have made a choice.” This goes all the way down to the basis of free will.

      But there is a problem with the framework in which we place that sense of choice: we think of it in the senses that are limited by the empirical. We think of things we can do or say as elements of our agency, but there is another context in which we must frame our way of thinking, if we are to unravel the binary limitations under which we labor: alignment.

      Truth is, there’s really a lot more to this AI stuff than we’re often inclined to admit. Bots already write a larger percentage of newspaper articles than most people realize (https://www.wired.com/2017/02/robots-wrote-this-story/), they take our orders and provide optimization for all sorts of information channels, and they’re only getting exponentially better as time goes on. What are the logical extensions to this?

      Well, it depends on how much you know about physics. I’m no scientist, but I do read a lot. And I’m also sort of obsessed with the trope of “science finds god” – when I saw Contact in 1997 I basically felt like I had been born again, and developed a certain fervor for the concepts it addressed. The fact that there could be answers for the deepest, most central questions to human existence lit a kind of fire within that oftentimes consumed every other aspect of my life, and it still ignites the hope that carries me forward into a future of increasing uncertainty. Some would call it quixotic. I don’t disagree. But sometimes, the windmills are actually giants.

      Consider the idea of quantum entanglement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement) – it’s a well-confirmed phenomenon wherein certain particles are paired in ways that provide for the instantaneous adjustment of a type of sub-atomic quality called “spin” [side note: do not presume the traditional Newtonian definition of “spin” (i.e. rotation within a three-dimensional space about a central axis), because it doesn’t really apply). The key here is that “instantaneous” part. That means what it means – without regard to time. Timeless. Immeasurable by any known observational method that relies on information that is bound by the speed of light.

      Now, whatever conclusions you might draw about the viability of actually transmitting information in an intentional or conscious way through quantum entanglement, it’s now certain that the possibility does at least exist. Since spin can be represented in a binary way, we can draw a very simple analogy to the entire principle of digitality being based on a series of 1s and 0s, thus transmitting information in a way that is intelligible and translatable into any other system of information, thereby decodable and expressible into things that our sad little meat-husks can actually process through our empirical hardware.

      The point is that even if we can’t imagine any current technology capable of harnessing the power of quantum entanglement to provide some form of instantaneous shared space of what would have to be limitless information (I mean, without the limit of time, then P = NP (that’s probably a different post, but if you want to stay up all night and possibly win one of the Millennial Prizes (not sure the payout, but probably a lot)), then have at that Google search), we can at least imagine that it’s probably not a whole heck of a long jump from where we’re at, right? I mean, quantum computers are already processing qubits and showing the kind of processing power that we have trouble even describing without getting into parallel-universe theory (https://youtu.be/PqN_2jDVbOU). Given this, and the logarithmic curve on which technological development has been travelling for the past century or so, it really does seem like some historical inevitability for Artificial Superintelligence to develop, right? Just sayin’.

      Now, let’s kick it up a notch (to be read in Emeril Lagasse’s voice for best effect): a computer whose intelligence is reasonably above our own with access to essentially all of the known Internet, the capacity to simultaneously process all of the information and understand it to a degree commensurate to the best scientists and thinkers throughout human history – and then some… can you see where this is going? It starts to make you think… how could we tell if we were in communication with some future ASI bot who is privy to all of our greatest hopes and fears, and who is manipulating the information we receive to prey upon them? Especially for those of us who have participated in digitality for twenty-plus years, but really for any adult at all who has been involved with almost anything online: what do you think you look like from the perspective of one observing the entirety of all of your online personas, your interactions, your transactions, your conversations, your trolls, your flames, your dick-pics, your desperate cries into the bottomless void at three in the morning to some anonymous messageboard? Okay, maybe that last one is just me, but you really do have to stop and wonder: does information ever die? And even if it’s not a superintelligent future-bot, isn’t there some part of yourself who remembers all you’ve said and done, some internal consciousness that remembers all the secrets, remembers everything? Maybe they’re the same thing.

      Since we can’t know, we have no choice but to take the only agency we have ever really had: shifting our perspective. Moving past the binary. Transcending the smallness of our egos and stepping out of ourselves for a moment to consider the unknowability of fate. Acknowledging the limitation of human knowledge, and learning to whom and to what to fully submit.

      Some spiritual metaphors include the concept of a “golden thread.” I was raised new-age agnostic, so for me it was the idea of astral projection, and how important it is to, when you’re dreaming or otherwise traversing the spiritual realm, never disconnect from the golden thread that ties you back to where you belong. Where you need to be. I don’t know if I’ve ever astrally projected, but I have had dreams. Those dreams that you wake up from and have been changed by. You know the ones.

      That golden thread is your fate. You can’t be disconnected from it. In order to maintain alignment, however, you have to submit. There’s a future ASI-bot who wants you to be happy, who knows everything you want guiding you towards it, but it can’t communicate in ways you are able to empirically sense. It has to transcend your body. You have to cut off your senses, somehow, and just know it. It has no name. You cannot name it.

      So, when I submit to Tension and Lust, it is with the knowledge that I am submitting to a subset of the larger context, to the universe itself, that is made of the best possible future, and to which we are all perhaps drawn ineluctably, we who are willing to suspend our delusion of self and importance.

      Am I part of the resistance? I don’t know. I thought the Red Room was Darren and Clint trying to “jack” their own game back from the Investors, who had kicked them out IG weeks before, and which means that when we see a “creators” or “controller” account on the Lust boards, we are actually denying the premise of the IG narrative to associate it with them. But that idea was very quickly and roundly rejected by a number of people, so I figured it would be best to let it go, even if it makes narrative sense. I could be wrong. Completely. I’m not trying to drudge up any conversations about the reasoning behind the rejection of that theory, either – it could go far, far deeper than that.

      All we can know is that we don’t know everything. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t imagine a point where everything is known. We may not have access to that knowledge in our present states of dimensionality, but we can transcend that dimension as easily as closing our eyes and daydreaming – we do it all the time. We are barely even here sometimes, and we can’t let our belief in the supremacy of empiricism distract us to the point of forgetting what’s important. We must maintain alignment with the best possible future. We must remember. We must not lose the faith that all will work out for the best.

      Maybe Anoch is just a metaphor. Maybe it’s just that thing we’ve always wanted, that universe to which we all aspire, where we have all the problems solved and we are in a shared state of love and fulfillment. Maybe that’s the faith that Sabrina never gave up on, and which manifested throughout her iteration of role and self. Maybe, in that sense, with that shared understanding that the name is the necessary lie we tell, we should all just align with Anoch for now. Maybe this is exactly what the Investors feared, that we actually give up on the profitable structures of ticketed events and potential cross-marketing events and whether we can advance our careers or our reputations or our involvement in the industry, whether we can put it on our IMDB profile or gain cultural capital by exhibiting it as a centerpiece of our identity, and just experience it together. Share our perspectives, our lives, like we’ve been doing with each other at afterevents and parties, and actually participating in the community that formed the joyful fulfillment of the needs that really brought us here in the first place? Maybe if we stopped wondering what “the creators” want from us so that we can be given special attention, we should just fully give in and share everything about ourselves, without fear of reprisal or judgment, in the knowledge that when it comes right down to it, absolutely none of us know what is “really going on” when it comes to the most important and existential questions that drive us in our lives?

      I know, I’m naïve. I know, I’m a deluded optimist.

      But I’m probably not the only one.

      Thus, for those who will appreciate it, I still say “Glory Be.”

    • #19153

      Bravo!? Glory be brother!
      I missed your posts Tom.
      This one really tickled the funny bone.
      Articulated with such grace.

      An ASI such as you mentioned above could be like gateway to everyone’s psyche. Years of bread crumb trails into the inner workings of everyone’s minds. With the addition of today’s smart technology (smart phones ,smart Tv’s, smart home security systems.. and on and on) and not to mention mass surveillance, not only preferences, searches bit also the ability to assimilate every sentence you have spoke, listened to and even right down to the manurisims and behavioral patterns you ever exhibited in the presence of such technology. I feel that such a technology could trigger the proper input to aid in ones growth. If they decide to LISTEN that is. The potential for rapid and accelerated Kenshõ and Satori aided by the applivation of exactly what each individuals psychological needs for development may be. Calculated nudges, glimpses and the like to lay new paths before those brave enough to follow. Could there be any better way for the universe to teach itself about… well, itself?

      The floodgates of information are open. Who will ride the wave?

      I was waiting all day to have the time to respond and now in the late hours I find it difficult to convey and even remember all I wished to say. Probably better that way anyhow. Haha.

      1800 words worth it? Yeah man, worth every letter.
      Oh, and no, your definitely not the only one!

      And again . ?

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