Re: of possible interest: interaction with autonomous agents

From: Joel Peter William Pitt (
Date: Mon Jun 27 2005 - 21:15:25 MDT

> The degree to which an entity is able to establish control over its
> environment is a signal characteristic of its level of intelligence.
> Indeed, humans are the most intelligent of Earth's present species
> as is indicated by the control that groups of humans are able to
> exert over their surroundings. On this measure, of course, people
> fail to show really exalted intelligence: were a person suddenly
> teleported to the bottom of the ocean or into deep space, he or she
> wouldn't last long. Not even that, but even under ideal conditions
> humans are done for in less than a century.

I think that the relative amounts of control exerted by organisms on
their environments are probably less to do with intelligence and more
to do with the desire to exert control. A bacterium is (assumedly)
perfectly happy controlling the environment by turning substrates into
waste products and asexually reproducing.

Besides, I think as humans we have very little control. We know we
have to make major changes to the way we are living if we are going to
remain in existance over the next century, but can we do anything
about it? We have as much control as a bacterium in a sea of other
bacteria churning through resources.

Also, if control was some indication of intelligence, then assumably
the people in the most powerful positions would be the most
intelligent? (And I *really* doubt this to be true).


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