Re: [-empyre-] a-life intimacy / transpecies relations..
- To: soft_skinned_space <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: [-empyre-] a-life intimacy / transpecies relations..
- From: Paul Brown <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 13:26:19 +1000
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- In-reply-to: <011101c4d5e8$508c2fb0$8824083d@fluffy>
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- Reply-to: soft_skinned_space <email@example.com>
Are we scared of the possibilities of a-life and emergence and
rationalising it to distance ourselves from it..? or are we embracing it,
can we humans cope with not being the centre and/or pinnacle of life in the
It's always seemed to me that the move to alife (in a "real" sense
rather than the academic studies we make now) is a natural progression.
Just as the reformation changed the universe from a god-centred one
to human-centred one the move to new and robust forms of creative
sentiency is a component of the move from human-centred to system-
centred (for want of a better term). A part of the post-human
condition if you accept that term. Or the No-osphere if you
prefer De Chardin's Jesuit vision of a sentient universe. After all
humans won't be around for long and it's important that we find/create
inheritors of the genetic traditions that have been forged by
chance on this planet. We may be unique (though personally I doubt it).
Just imagine this vast universe, stars being forged and dying,
galaxies coalescing, the whole thing slowly running out of energy
and cooling down - without life. Spencer-brown proposed that
life was an essential component of the universe because it
enabled it to perceive itself.
I find the thought of a universe without life to be profoundly sad.
Also, on that fear question. I'm pretty convinced that the difficulty
I have had when trying to get projects funded (like "evolving"
creative behaviour) is partly if not mainly a consequence of the fear
of the assessors when they realise that what I'm proposing effectively
undermines a lot of what they hold dear to - like the superiority
of humans and human behaviour.
And one final thought (Mitchell has asked us to wrap up) - something
I meant to post before (did I and forget?) - a quote from the English
cybernetician Geoff Summerhoff. He was asked to describe freedom of
will (probably by some religious type). He replied that it was
nothing more than the response of a very simple system to a
incomprehensibly complex environment. What an exquisite response!
And this was said decades before Mandelbrot and Chaos Theory.
Thanks to all for the opportunity of getting on my soap box for this
past month. I hope I said something interesting and challenging. And
sorry if I trod on a few toes. I'm not know for my tact. My mother
never tired of telling me that ..."fools rush in where angels fear to
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