Re: From chaos to minds

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Mon Mar 05 2001 - 15:37:57 MST

At 10:30 AM -0800 3/5/01, Durant Schoon wrote:
>Here's a link to an interesting (IMHO) article by Minsky relating to
>convergent intelligences, ie. why intelligences would follow the same

This is interesting and worth the read. It explains many of the
ideas I was talking about in detail with more proof than I wanted to
deal with in e-mails. Saves me from writing a paper. :-)

One thing that it still ignores mostly is the potential for the mind
as just one genus of many intelligences. It is easy to gloss over
this idea, since any non mind intelligence will have no clear way to
communicate with us. For example, let's look at the Aspyr game Alpha
Centauri. In the game, there are these worm like creatures all over
Planet. As it turns out, these worms have collective consciousness.
The worms for clumps that can act in a meaningful way, like attacking
something threatening. When there are enough of them on Planet, the
entire planet is convered with the worms and the planet becomes
intelligent. This, however, is a not a mind, no more than a coral
reef is a mind. Signs of intelligence are shown (the simple problems
that small clumps of worms could solve can be employed when the hard
problems that the worm covered planet has to deal with), though.
Given enough time, the worms would develop complex technology and
transcend. Thus, here we have another kind of intelligent system
reaching the paragon of intelligence.

So, here is the latest version of my hypothesis. There is a paragon
mind, and we are on our way to reaching that point. Eventually,
though, we will find that there are constraints to minds and we will
have to move on to being a general intelligence. When we reach the
paragon intelligence, we will be able to look back and see minds and
realize other genuses of intelligent systems (we may be able to infer
some of the other genuses of intelligent systems, as I have done
above, before then). Due to Future Fog, we can only see so far out
right now, but when we reach paragon intelligence, we'll be able to
look out and possibly see more general areas to move into.
Hopefully, a paragon mind will be able to look beyond paragon
intelligence, if possible at all.

As a human who is still yet to transcend, I'm a rather imperfect
mind. Paragon is where I'm trying to get to now, and when I'm there
I'll worry about the next step. Actually, depending on the rate of
self enhancement, it may be possible to reach the paragon of
intelligence without realizing the stepping stone of paragon mind
except as an afterthought.

>There is also Richard Dawkin's claim (paraphrasing) that: "If life were
>to evolve on another planet, it would evolve by Darwinian evolution
>(the kind we've seen on Earth)." -- This is probably not worth
>speculating about since there aren't any really good contenders to the
>theory that I've seen, but interesting to ponder, none-the-less.

This isn't strickly SL4, but there are theories of evolution other
than Darwin's based on different facts (Spencer's comes to mind,
which developed independly). All of them focus around the same
central idea (survival of the fittest), but there are subtle
differences that have profound effects.

Gordon Worley
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