[sl4] Re: Transcension (in fiction) before Vinge's Singularity

From: Robin Lee Powell (rlpowell@digitalkingdom.org)
Date: Mon Oct 06 2008 - 21:12:24 MDT

On Sun, Sep 16, 2007 at 09:02:36PM -0500, Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 03:02 PM 9/16/2007 -0700, Jef wrote:
>> > >"intelligence is not a survival trait". It wasn't crucial to
>> > >the story, but it is difficult to argue against.
>> >
>> > It's displayed impressively in Peter Watts' novel BLINDSIGHT,
>> > which is strongly recommended.
>> In that story, I think it was self-awareness, rather than
>> intelligence, that was presented as non-essential to survival.
> Yer right. The intelligence, though, was distributed to such an
> extent that it looked rather as one imagines the insides of one's
> own head might seem to someone able to watch the little mindless
> Calvinesque processors at work.

I ended up reading Blindsight on the basis of this discussion; it
didn't work for me as much as the Shaper/Mechanist stuff, precisely
because in Blindsight the issue was self-awareness, as noted above.
I just wanted to mention that it was my impression that the aliens
were *individually* intelligent, but not self-aware. One of the
humans commented that it would even be possible to develop a theory
of mind without self-awareness.


Lojban Reason #17: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo
Proud Supporter of the Singularity Institute - http://intelligence.org/
http://www.digitalkingdom.org/~rlpowell/ *** http://www.lojban.org/

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