Monday, 24 April 2017

Transient Consciousness

A "sophotect" (Poul Anderson) or a "Sophotech" (John C. Wright) is an Artificial Intelligence.

"'We Sophotechs agree on certain core doctrines, including those conclusions to which any thinker not swayed by passion comes...'"

(Are there any such conclusions? Yes, in mathematics and logic, at least.)

"'...but it is the nature of living systems that differences in experience lead to differences in judgments of relative worth.'"
-John C. Wright, The Golden Age (New York, 2003), p. 195.

That is fair comment. Why are some analytic philosophers Christians and others atheists? Each of us is a unique combination of genes. Each adult organism is the present expression of a unique sequence of organism-environment interactions. Each brain has developed distinctive internal interconnections of which we are unaware. How do we manage to agree about anything? Because we are also social, cooperative, linguistic organisms.

"'Many Sophotechs only exist for a few fractions of a second, performing certain tasks, developing new arts and sciences, or exploring all the ramifications of certain chains of thought, before they merge again into the base conversation.'" (ibid.)

New arts and sciences in fractions of a second! Anderson's Didonian personalities exist only temporarily. The inorganic intelligences in Anderson's Genesis divide and re-merge.

All self-conscious organisms exist only temporarily. We emerge from a social/linguistic/cultural matrix and contribute to it before our bodies re-merge with their environment. Our condition is essentially that of the Sophotechs and the Didonians. The Sophotechs contribute more in less time.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I would point out that the AIs we see in the HARVEST OF STARS can also sometimes have human personalities downloaded into it "re-emerge" temporarily as separate personalities, for specific tasks.

Also, I don't believe our personalities or souls are snuffed out like candle flames at death. Rather, they survive their bodies deaths.