Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What if they held a Singularity, and nobody came?

Brain Injury Map: I think I took a hit to the Phonics
It's apocryphal and no doubt bullshit, but I once heard that you lose 10 IQ points every time you suffer a concussion.

Which means I am one knock on the head away from being a chipmunk. I'll be looking to squirrels and birds for advice after the next one.

This essay may actually come close to being a random walk. Not because I've suffered a concussion and can't think properly, but because I've four or five topics I want to cover and can't decide. I 'll just split this up into a number of essays. I guess that would the logical thing to do, but...

I got a big old knot right behind my left ear from slipping and falling on ice and planting my head right onto a metal stair rail.

It fucking hurt.

I mean, the kind of hurt where all you can do is just sit there and make that the spittle inhale sound and and a "AHH!" exhale, and let the entire universe revolve around that hot spot of pain. The kind of hurt where you've got to wait at least a minute before the profanity starts up. The kind of hurt where if someone asks you if you are OK, you tell them the truth. "No, I'm not OK, you stupid asshole!"

I'm guessing that big old bump is right above the superior temporal sulcus. Judging from the brain injury map, I really don't need to have this area damaged again, and I'll tell you why.

When I was in the 4th grade, I had really a bad fever. And when I came out of it and got back to school, the teacher noticed I was talking louder than normal. They brought in the hearing test guy, Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter determined that I had a hearing loss, specifically in the upper registers, from nerve damage. The damage made it difficult to understand conversation, especially with background noise. Later, after realizing I could not understand song lyrics on the radio, I suspected the nerve damage had been more than just loss of the ability to hear higher frequencies, but that I had difficulty recognizing word sounds. In other words, the damaged area wasn't the nerves in the ear, but in the brain. I've often wondered what an fMRI would reveal? A dead zone?

In any case, this, plus an ability to think only with pictures, makes me suspect that language is overrated.

But that's not what I want to talk about.

Recently, Paul Allen thinks that Ray Kurzweil is dead wrong about the Singularity. Ray Kurzweil, in turn, thinks that Paul Allen does not have the first clue, and that the Singularity is still on schedule to occur on or about 2045.

Personally, Kurzweil's personal quest for uploading suggests to me that he does not get laid often enough. Not that I think he's hopelessly wretched, but rather he lives too much up inside his head. Ray is so concerned about the mind is brain metaphor that he forgets that the mind is the body, not just the brain.

Here's the deal. For the past few months, I've changed my workouts to include a lot more core exercises. You know, working on the trunk, the abs, obliques, back and buttocks. And I must say, my core is vastly improved. So much so, that I am quite the fucking machine. Working on all those muscles down in that area have really got me in shape for that kind of activity.

Hmm, not really sure if I'm getting this across properly.

Now, that there's some fancy fucking
Let's take one back extension exercise, designed to improve the lower back, which basically sets you up to fuck a Swiss ball. Not only fucking, but, with your hands behind your head, some professional porn Olympics fancy fucking. That type of activity, where you are doing much more than just the mechanical motion, but paying close attention to the form, the experience of the form, the experience of the motion, the experience of the combination of pain and pleasure, effort, and exertion, that type of activity is what Life is all about. How Life should be lived. Aware and active. Not that Zen Buddha detached bullshit. But a whole body and mind involved experience - wallowing like a pig in mud in the world, the flesh, and all the iterated reflections thereof and thereupon.

If Kurzweil thinks he can just do a physical scan of his brain, his connectome, his chemical orchestration, and leave it that, why, I suspect he ends up a head in a jar. In other words, he is more than just his brain, he is brain  plus body, plus experiences, plus memory, plus life. And quite frankly, I suspect if you want to be able to handle experiences as esoteric and fulfilling in an uploaded computer state, you should at least completely replicate that wonderful whole body experience of fucking.

But that's not what I want to talk about.

The one assumption I've noticed about the Vingean or Kurzweillian Singularity is that they require superintelligent computers to be created for it all to go down.

I question that assumption. It strikes me as unnecessary. My current working definition of the Singularity is, quite simply: "All bets are off". In other words, you cannot predict the after from the before.

Example: Life. Before life occurred on planet Earth, you had inorganic chemical processes occurring. True, they could be complicated. True, they may or may not have had feedback loops. But the thing is, there was probably (can't say for sure, wasn't there) did not have metabolism, or balanced disequilibria, or replication, or reproduction, or any of those things that we characterize as Life. and then afterwards, however the hell it happened, you have, wow, all that amazing shit, that organic chemistry we call Life. Before, dead as hell and boring. Afterwards, trending from the before, why, not a clue, not a hint.

Didn't. See. That. Coming. No. Sir. Ree.

Ah, question. Any intelligent design involved in that? I'm betting no.

So, why the need for hyperintelligence now for the next big thing?


  1. With humanity the way it is, do you think we will ever reach this point...Or we will destroy ourselves before then...2045 is not very far away, yet it's a long time...think Soylent Green...too many people create really dumb people...

  2. on the other hand, if you can get to them during the critical two year window from birth, you can get some smart people. Not that the Chinese Wave method of getting things done is all that effective, but 9 billion properly educated people gives you 900 million geniuses. That's a... that's never been seen before.

  3. Intelligence is abundant and grossly overrated. Give me wisdom every time- now that is a rare quality.

  4. I'm of the opinion that intelligence, as such, does not exist. Rather, just as 'cold' is a lack of heat, 'intelligence' is a lack of stupidity.

    Stupidity is the default setting for the universe. (See next essay).