RE: The Ultimate Connection Machine.

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 18:51:21 MDT

> Gaia doesn't reproduce. Gaia is an emergent effect. How would it have
> enough complexity to engage even in homeostasis, let alone think?
> You don't
> build up complexity like that without a long, long, long period of
> evolution, on a genetic data which is precisely transmitted to the next
> generation. Emergent phenomena may have attractors, but they don't have
> complex functional organization.

Eliezer, I think I partly understand your intuition, but I'm also afraid you
may be overstating your case.

What seems more certain to me is that a Gaia-like nexus of emergent
patterns, if it DID have a complex functional organization, would have a
VERY DIFFERENT KIND of complex functional organization from that of any
system that arose via evolution by natural selection.

Similarly, as you know, I believe engineered artificial minds may have very
different complex functional organizations from humans and other minds that
arose via evolution by natural selection.

Understanding what kind of "complex functional organization" a Gaia-mind-ish
system may have, strikes me as a rather hard problem, though not an
impossible one.

Until this is understood, drawing connections between "the will of Gaia" and
the Singularity or any other human event, is pretty bloody speculative, tho
not science-fictionally uninteresting.

I think that the "mind-structure of Gaia and related systems" is an
interesting problem, but not one for me at the moment; one nearly-impossible
puzzle at a time (real AI) is enough for my measly human mind.

-- Ben

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