Re: Transcension (in fiction) before Vinge's Singularity

From: Robin Lee Powell (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2007 - 13:24:03 MDT

On Sun, Sep 16, 2007 at 12:05:04AM -0700, Kevin Peterson wrote:
> On 9/15/07, Damien Broderick <> wrote:
> >
> >
> > "official story premiere". Here's one revelation to a weakly
> > posthuman, from an ad hoc alien superintelligence tool cast up by a
> > broadly unintelligent alien Swarm and its Queen, at the end of the story:
> That story stuck in my head as well, not the implication of
> transcending in the back story, rather for the queen's claim that
> "intelligence is not a survival trait".


(for the record: brain, not queen)

In fact I had forgotten about the transcend comment, but the
intelligence comment always stuck with me.

> It wasn't crucial to the story,

I thought it was, actually.

> but it is difficult to argue against. I think there is truth to
> it. In the more modern view, you could make the argument that for
> efficiency, a rational agent will only be rational when tasks
> cannot be handled by less resource hungry subsystems.

Not so much rational as sentient; the bugs were plenty rational,
they just didn't bother thinking about what they were doing. Just
*doing* it being far more useful.


-- ***
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