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[Bitpig] Science Fiction And The Future: So What?
Brucelewis.com ^ | 2007.10.03 | Bitpig [B-Chan]

Posted on 10/03/2007 1:31:45 AM PDT by B-Chan

Science Fiction has a lousy record of predicting the future. In the 1930s, for example, it was widely held that by 1970, toga-clad descendants of the Depression Generation would be living in giant art deco cities full of speeding Dymaxion Cars and dining on food pills. In the '50s and '60s, it was rocket belts and atomic-powered flying cars we were supposed to be enjoying by 2000. And today? In almost every extrapolation of the future I've read lately, the ultimate fate of mankind is uploading -- the transference of consciousness from biological to digital substrates. Such uploads, it is claimed, will be immortal and (within the environments they inhabit) omnipotent as well. "Ye shall become as gods," the futurists tell us, 'knowing Good and Evil... AND ye shall not surely die."

Leaving aside the soteriological results of our last gamble for that prize, one question always remains in my mind after reading the latest sci-fi scenario of our imminent apotheosis: so what?

The question seems facetious, but I'm asking in earnest: what's the point? Given unlimited power its environment and an eternity in which to shape it, the human mind is doubtless capable of creating paradises both gross and subtle. Yet, when spread over capital-E Eternity, surely even human creativity ends up as pretty thin gruel. And, when one factors in the exponential speed of thought that will supposedly be available to our uploaded selves, surely Eternity will end up being a lot longer than we might imagine. After all, eventually even the most creative of uploaded minds is going to reach the limits of its creativity, even if that creativity is expanded by collaboration with the creativity of the billions of other uploaded minds. It may take a million years, or a billion, but sooner or later every iteration of every creative idea is going to be experienced by the godlings that once were us. And then what?

(Some would argue that the AIs we're going to build will transcend our own intelligence and create godlike super-intelligences that will be "as gods", providing meaning and purpose for post-humanity. I myself don't see a market for such machines. To what purpose would people of today invest in their construction? "We're looking for investors to help us build a machine that will instantly render all human life obsolete, Mr. Bigbux. How much shall we put you down for?"

So we become immortal, all-powerful digital beings. What then? An eternity of reruns doesn't sound like much fun to me. A cosmic reset button, making us forget everything so we can start afresh? Sure, but that dooms us to an endless cycle of resets. It pains me to think that our deified, uploaded descendants may eventually decide to delete all backups and pull the plug on the whole works out of sheer ennui.

I hate to say it, but the Heaven promised us by Moore's Law sounds more like Hell to me. To my (admittedly limited) mind, a "heaven" that is limited by human ingenuity is always going to end up in a yawn. Perhaps this is why God's Heaven is described as being beyond human comprehension — to give us an eternity that goes beyond what we ourselves can create.

Don't get me wrong — I'm all for living as long as possible. I want to walk on the moon, for one thing, and I intend to stick around until I can. But living forever — as an uploaded mind or as a biological human — eventually leads to "So what?"

(And I haven't even discussed the effect of physical immortality on the human family. After all, people who live forever don't need to have offspring. I for one would not want to live forever in a universe without children.)

Nope, I don't buy it. I know that most SF writers are way smarter than I am, and I know they have Moore's Law on their side, but I've got to believe that there has to be something better as the end of existence than boredom. I may be a Luddite, but I'm hoping that the future of uploads and artificial gods that we're being promised now ends up looking as silly as the rocket-belt-and-toga future we looked forward to Way Back When


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; future; godsgravesglyphs; immortality; nihilism; sciencefiction; singularity; stringtheory; xplanets
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Those of you who have no idea what I'm yammering on about can check out this Wikipedia article to find out more.

(AI = "Artificial Intelligence")

1 posted on 10/03/2007 1:31:53 AM PDT by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan

I’m guessing the AI-worshippers haven’t taken into account the possibility of Rampancy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampancy


2 posted on 10/03/2007 1:50:47 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: B-Chan

It’s a pretty simple test. Do you want to live or die?

Nature tells us to struggle to survive. Liberals tell us to die when they choose.

I’ll go with nature on this one.

DK


3 posted on 10/03/2007 2:14:33 AM PDT by Dark Knight
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To: B-Chan

I want my flying car .


4 posted on 10/03/2007 2:31:18 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

You want a flying car, I want a rocket belt!

But, I am completely sure that an immortal man would be an insane man.


5 posted on 10/03/2007 2:38:13 AM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: B-Chan
Oddly, this is why I never argue God with non-Christians, agnostics, and athiests, although I will freely talk about the things Jesus has done in my life. You can't argue someone into heaven or believing in God because, ultimately, God cannot be discerned entirely by human reason. The god that is comprehensible to the human mind is probably not a god. Human beings arguing about what heaven is like and the nature of God limit Him to the capacity of their own reason and intellect. (That human reason and intellect is limited is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt by the fact that 52% of this country thinks it would be a good idea to elect a democrat.) It's like ants arguing about the nature of human beings.

Any heaven we can imagine will become hell in eternity--consider 72 virgins (or raisins) for eternity. Unless the law of diminishing marginal returns has been repealed in heaven, it will certainly pale after repeated experience.

Jesus even suggested this in his response to the pharisee's question on the widow who was remarried to seven brothers (e.g., Mark 12:18-27):

18Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. 20Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"

24Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'[d]? 27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"

Jesus describes heaven in non-rational terms, I suspect, because his listeners couldn't grasp the concepts or the language lacked the descriptive capacity beyond "it's heaven."

This doesn't mean that it's all hippie-based "expand your mind, I'm ok, you're ok" irrationality. God gave us reason, imagination, and free will, arguably as tools to search for understanding about God. But just like I used to mock and ridicule Christians and Christ because it seemed wholly irrational from a liberal/leftist college kid standpoint, Christianity only made sense after I got saved. Heaven will only make sense when we get there.

6 posted on 10/03/2007 3:26:05 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Beware arrogance. Consider that we are but bottom dwelling worms in a fragile air-ocean/biosphere. Astronomers see incredibly violent explosions of energy, thankfully far away. A mere cosmic twitch(an asteroid/comet hit like SL9 on Jupiter in 1994, a nearby supernova...)and we’d all be gone in an instant. Beware arrogance....


7 posted on 10/03/2007 4:11:23 AM PDT by timer (n/0=n=nx0)
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To: FateAmenableToChange
I love how all technology threads here get turned into religious threads. (Sarc...)

Look, being conservative and a scientist aren't mutually exclusive. Just like being religious isn't a prerequisite for being conservative. The reason science and religion have such a hard time getting along is because in the past, the church was the highest authority on all things, not just spiritual. Remember, things that we take for granted now (i.e. Earth is not the centre of the universe) almost got people like Galileo killed in their time because of the church.

You can attribute whatever you want in your life to Jesus and that's just fine with me. Different strokes for different folks. But generally there's a real explanation for everything. It's another reason why I never try to argue science with the religious. I was born a catholic, I consider myself agnostic. Some of the hard core Christians here on FR would call me an atheist or a heathen (and probably some other not very nice words too, whatever happened to "Love thy neighbour."?).

Unfortunately, party because of religion, some things look to be inevitable. Most people who grew up in the 60s and 70s took it for granted that we would expand our reach from this rock to the moon and Mars and even beyond. The days of Apollo. Now, look what religion has done. We're wasting money dealing with a group of fanatics (who have been told by their religious leaders that we are the enemy and are to be destroyed at all costs) rather than advancing the species. Now don't get me wrong, you've gotta do what you've gotta do, and we have to protect our way of life. But my argument is that we shouldn't have to.

I'm all about freedom of expression (and religion). That also means that I have the freedom to disbelieve in your belief.

As to your point about the limitations of human intellect, I will post only a quote by Robert A. Heinlein:

"Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion- in the long run these are the only people who count."

I think one reason that futurists are so maligned by the religious is that it would prove that either Nietzsche was right ("God is dead.") or that he/she/it never existed in the first place. Imagine what immortality would do the human psyche! Here's another one, by Ray Kuzrweil:

"Take death for example, a great deal of our effort goes into avoiding it, we make extraordinary efforts do delay it and often consider it's intrusion a tragic event. Yet we'd find it hard to live without it. Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it. If death were indefinitely put off, the human psyche would end up...well...like the gambler in the Twilight Zone episode."

Now...for posterity's sake I'll tell the story of the Twilight Zone episode that Kurzweil references. In that episode, a man is shot (after shooting a few other people) and goes to (what he presumes is) Heaven. He gambles and always wins no matter what. But he becomes bored with this "existence." He begs his "guardian angel" to send him to Hell. Then the "angel" tells him that he's in Hell.

In Kurzweil's book The Age of Spiritual Machines (recommended reading by the way) he suggests a thought experiment. Say sometime in the next 30 years, we have the technology to replace a single neuron in your brain with a microchip. It's a cure to Alzheimer's among other degenerative diseases. Great, everyone's happy. But let's let the process go a little further. As each neuron fails, we replace it. One by one, all of your brain's neurons become electronic. You don't lose any of your memories that you haven't lost, presumably your cognitive ability is even enhanced.

The question is this: At what point do you cease to be Human? It's a rhetorical question. If you take the view of most Christians that life begins at conception, then the logical follow-on is that as soon as that first microchip is implanted, you're a machine. Now assuming we have the ability to replace individual neurons, then we probably have the technology to replace other organs, lungs, livers, kidneys. Say I take a mechanical kidney implant, or a mechanical liver, at what point do I become a machine? Are patients with artificial heart valves machines? Or how about hip replacements? These are fundamental questions that I'm pretty sure scare the heck out of the religious. Because it means immortality. And I'm sorry to say it, but the basis of religion is that you will find comfort after you leave the physical world. What happens when the consciousness never LEAVES the physical world? Religion falls apart.

I'm going to leave it at that, I'm getting long-winded.

8 posted on 10/03/2007 4:39:11 AM PDT by AntiKev ("No damage. The world's still turning isn't it?" - Stereo Goes Stellar - Blow Me A Holloway)
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To: Mobile Vulgus

But you would have a flying car, a rocket belt, and, of course, a laser beam. And you’d be mad. Think of the possibilities!

This is why Kilgore Trout is my favorite science fiction author. He never pandered to popular book trends.


9 posted on 10/03/2007 4:40:38 AM PDT by sig226 (New additions to the list of democrat criminals - see my profile)
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To: B-Chan

This article, while making some valid points, blissfully ignores an entire vast Universe that’s there to explore.

That might take some time. ;-)


10 posted on 10/03/2007 5:37:56 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
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To: sig226

You do know that Kilgore Trout is a character from several Kurt Vonnegut novels, don’t you?


11 posted on 10/03/2007 5:40:57 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: AntiKev

“Say I take a mechanical kidney implant, or a mechanical liver, at what point do I become a machine? Are patients with artificial heart valves machines?”

Pacemakers! Instruments of the devil, I say! heh

Interesting question, if neural “plugs” become available to directly jack in to computers, will anyone who gets one be excommunicated in some religions? After all, its a _very_ small step between jacking in like that and having integral computer augmentation.


12 posted on 10/03/2007 5:42:39 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
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To: B-Chan
Science Fiction has a lousy record of predicting the future.

I don't know - watch "Blade Runner" again. ;)

13 posted on 10/03/2007 5:44:30 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Squawk 8888

I have it on good authority that Kurt Vonnegut was a Kilgore Trout character. If either of them was alive, you could ask him (them.)


14 posted on 10/03/2007 6:34:43 AM PDT by sig226 (New additions to the list of democrat criminals - see my profile)
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To: AntiKev

The whole replacing neurons with chips thing stands or falls based upon a single idea: that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter (brain activity, to be precise). If our essential selves are nothing more than computational processes — if the soul is northing more than software running on the computer called the brain — then there is no reason why duplicating neuronal functions wouldn’t allow us to seamlessly copy our minds into a virtual format.

However, there is as yet no scientific definition of consciousness, and no way of demonstrating that it is a side-effect of brain activity. In fact, there have been several well-documented cases of persons who were born without brains as such, yet who survived and functioned normally. This suggests that there is more to consciousness than mere electrified meat.

In every historical era, the definition of the universe and mind have borne the impression of the major technology of the day. In the clockwork era of the Enlightenment, the universe was a clockwork mechanism; in the Machine Age, the universe became a great machine. Today, in the Information Age, the dominant technology is the computer, and so the best minds all agree that the universe is a computer and the mind a piece of software. Now, it may be that we — alone of all the men who have ever lived — have reasoned our way into the discovery of the One True Nature of the universe and the mind. It may also be that we haven’t. Basing my opinion upon history, I’d tend to side with the latter.

Still and all, the philosophical question remains. If matter, energy, space, and time are all that exists, and if there is neither purpose nor meaning to our existence, we will eventually reach the cosmic So What?. Whether as biologically immortal beings or as uploaded state vectors in some ultimate version of Second Life, we will all eventually encounter the Wall of Futility at the end of the universe. The book of Ecclesiastes, rather than Revelation, may be the true apocalypse.

But I’m optimistic. No matter how fast our computers get, no matter how we manage to cheat death, the fact remains that Jesus lived and rose from the dead. That historical fact cannot be made to unhappen. Since it did happen, it follows that Jesus is God, as He said He was, and that everything else He said is true as well. With this in mind, I trust that God will preserve us somehow, and am therefore not afraid of anything technology might build or science might reveal.

And if He doesn’t? If the Universe really is a meaningless cloth of futility? Then I’ll die, and good for me. I’d rather be dead than an immortal living in a pointless eternity.

The American and European science fiction vision of the future predicts a state of being beyond the comprehension of modern-day humans. This is a very Buddhist mindset: future as Nirvana. Ironically, in Japanese science fiction, the future is basically the same as the present, a finite and comprehensible world, only with cooler toys. This is a very Western version of tomorrow. Why this inversion of futures has occurred, I can’t say, but I do know that deep down I find the Japanese vision of a future world where people still have bodies and smoke cigarettes and have limitations to be much more satisfying than the American/European future where we all become insubstantial ghosts in a great machine.

But that’s just a question of taste. My guess is that underlying sensible reality and the biological mind is an absolute Reaity and and Absolute Mind. I can’t prove it — but my gut says it’s the truth.


15 posted on 10/03/2007 8:15:15 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: FateAmenableToChange

I agree. “The Tao that can be described is not the true Tao” — Laotse


16 posted on 10/03/2007 8:18:10 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: AntiKev

Ghost in the Shell, and Stand Alone Complex worry this to death. Good SciFI tho.


17 posted on 10/03/2007 9:01:38 AM PDT by ASOC (Yeah, well, maybe - but can you *prove* it?)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Blade Runner is among my favorite films of all time. But flying cars, space colonies, and replicants by 2019? Somehow I doubt it.
18 posted on 10/03/2007 9:57:37 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: B-Chan

Maybe not, but the current state of Los Angeles is pretty close to what the movie depicted. ;)


19 posted on 10/03/2007 10:33:11 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: B-Chan
Still and all, the philosophical question remains. If matter, energy, space, and time are all that exists, and if there is neither purpose nor meaning to our existence, we will eventually reach the cosmic So What?. Whether as biologically immortal beings or as uploaded state vectors in some ultimate version of Second Life, we will all eventually encounter the Wall of Futility at the end of the universe. The book of Ecclesiastes, rather than Revelation, may be the true apocalypse.

But I’m optimistic. No matter how fast our computers get, no matter how we manage to cheat death, the fact remains that Jesus lived and rose from the dead. That historical fact cannot be made to unhappen. Since it did happen, it follows that Jesus is God, as He said He was, and that everything else He said is true as well. With this in mind, I trust that God will preserve us somehow, and am therefore not afraid of anything technology might build or science might reveal.

You're right where you say that the whole idea stands and falls based upon what consciousness is. They say that a dog isn't conscious because he knows he's in a room, but he doens't know that he knows that fact. Whereas humans are self-aware. (Although some would argue that we have no proof of either of those points and a hypothetical "higher being" would consider us to not be self-aware.) So there is a scientific idea of consciousness, but I can't say that there's a definition.

As far as the other stuff goes. My opinion tends to lean towards the fact that we are here, and the odds say that we're not alone. There are too many planets around too many stars for this one to be the only one to harbour life. I also agree with your point, and i often wonder myself, that in the past, science did not jive with what we now consider the body of scientific knowledge. But there is also a largery body of scientific knowledge now than there ever has been in history. We still don't know exactly what it is that makes up the universe and many people spend their entire lives searching for this "stuff". (M. Kaku, S. Hawking, A. Einstein, etc.)

We could also debate the events that happened around 2000 years ago. You call them fact. I accept that there is an element of truth to the story. But I wonder how much of this has been lost and misinterpreted over the ages. But then again, we each go through life with a set of beliefs. Most people get very defensive when their beliefs are challenged, think confronting a liberal with facts...same idea.

20 posted on 10/03/2007 10:51:01 AM PDT by AntiKev ("No damage. The world's still turning isn't it?" - Stereo Goes Stellar - Blow Me A Holloway)
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To: AntiKev
The reason science and religion have such a hard time getting along is because in the past, the church was the highest authority on all things, not just spiritual. Remember, things that we take for granted now (i.e. Earth is not the centre of the universe) almost got people like Galileo killed in their time because of the church.

The much-overblown conflict between science and religion is a propagandistic myth of nineteenth-century historiography. Galileo's case, a much more complex event than you let on here, happened four centuries ago. It's as about as relevant to modern religion as witchburnings.

These are fundamental questions that I'm pretty sure scare the heck out of the religious. Because it means immortality.

It doesn't mean personal immortality for us. It means a computer simulation of us will keep running until the power runs out. It's the Nerd Rapture, a poor shadow of the hope for the real thing.

And I'm sorry to say it, but the basis of religion is that you will find comfort after you leave the physical world.

Your concept of religion, like your concept of man, is adolescent and reductionist.

21 posted on 10/03/2007 12:55:53 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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To: B-Chan
The American and European science fiction vision of the future predicts a state of being beyond the comprehension of modern-day humans. This is a very Buddhist mindset: future as Nirvana. Ironically, in Japanese science fiction, the future is basically the same as the present, a finite and comprehensible world, only with cooler toys. This is a very Western version of tomorrow. Why this inversion of futures has occurred, I can’t say, but I do know that deep down I find the Japanese vision of a future world where people still have bodies and smoke cigarettes and have limitations to be much more satisfying than the American/European future where we all become insubstantial ghosts in a great machine.

And in the Japanese version of the future, maybe we finally get to find out what happens after the last episode of Cowboy Bebop.

22 posted on 10/03/2007 4:58:20 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: FateAmenableToChange

like there is any question as to what happened at the end of Bebop....


23 posted on 10/03/2007 5:41:09 PM PDT by tarawa
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To: FateAmenableToChange
OMG SPIKE DIEs!!!11!!
24 posted on 10/03/2007 7:15:36 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Dumb_Ox
The much-overblown conflict between science and religion is a propagandistic myth of nineteenth-century historiography. Galileo's case, a much more complex event than you let on here, happened four centuries ago. It's as about as relevant to modern religion as witchburnings.

Then why are the religious so afraid of science and why do they choose to ridicule it at every turn?

It doesn't mean personal immortality for us. It means a computer simulation of us will keep running until the power runs out. It's the Nerd Rapture, a poor shadow of the hope for the real thing.

I don't think you understand the thought experiment quite right. Go back and do it again until you do. The point is the line gets blurred. And your use of the derogatory term "Nerd" says to me that you just don't understand what is being proposed here. Which is fine. But at least admit it. Like I've stated above, when people's beliefs are challenged they become very defensive about their belief (right or wrong).

Your concept of religion, like your concept of man, is adolescent and reductionist.

Again, your belief system has been challenged. You choose to fight rather than discuss...that's fine, I realize why.

"History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help."

*Puts on asbestos suit.*

25 posted on 10/04/2007 9:06:10 AM PDT by AntiKev ("No damage. The world's still turning isn't it?" - Stereo Goes Stellar - Blow Me A Holloway)
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To: B-Chan; tarawa

Spike lives. No question about it. If this were a Chinese anime, no question he’d be dead — they’d have killed off every major character in the last ten minutes of the show. But a Japanese director is at least 50/50 likely to sew him back up. After all, it was only a flesh wound.

Besides, the director was dropping hints last year about reviving the series. Absolutely necessary since my youngest daughter has adopted the nickname “Radical Ed.”


26 posted on 10/04/2007 10:04:33 AM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: FateAmenableToChange

Nah, he’s dead. His star went out.


27 posted on 10/04/2007 10:33:55 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: AntiKev
Then why are the religious so afraid of science and why do they choose to ridicule it at every turn?

"Religion" is of course a weasely word, though I sometimes use it myself. It includes everyone from backwater fundies to urbane professors, Buddhists, Muslims, pagans, and Christians. Name the specific denomination of a specific religion. Name the specific people you are talking about.

Go back and do it again until you do. The point is the line gets blurred.

Until such a time as there is evidence human personality and high-level thought can be mediated in electronic implants, the question is purely hypothetical, and interesting only for speculative purposes.

Again, your belief system has been challenged.

Trust me, your weak-kneed agnosticism isn't much of a challenge.

. You choose to fight rather than discuss...that's fine, I realize why.

To discuss is to fight. You throw out caricatures and well-worn insults like religion being driven by "fear of death"(why not love of life, among many other things?) and then pretend you're above the rough-and-tumble of polemic. Don't start arguments you don't care to follow through.

"History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis.

Feh. Reason itself doesn't have a rational basis. But this statement is a falsehood. Christian theology, in its better moments, holds that reason is a participation in the Divine, indeed that Reason and Intelligence were in existence before any matter. Agnosticism and atheism generally suppose that reason and personality are epiphenomenal effects of impersonal forces of no inherent benevolence or accuracy. That is, when atheism isn't piggy-backing upon Christian presuppositions about rationality.

Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help."

Heck, all of us cannot even stand up to the known without help. We're dependent rational animals, worthy of more acceptance than egoistic pop-psychology can handle.

Your beloved transhumanists think mankind wasting their lives in infinitely-malleable VR simulations will be the best thing ever. Such men should not have the gall and hypocrisy to blame religion for building comfortable illusions for the weak-minded, when they themselves think there is nothing wrong about comfortable illusions.

28 posted on 10/04/2007 1:33:29 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox (http://kevinjjones.blogspot.com)
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To: 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BBell; BenLurkin; ...
Thanks B-Chan. This is one of those rare four-banger topics. :')
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

29 posted on 12/06/2008 11:52:05 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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To: AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; Las Vegas Dave; ...
Thanks B-Chan. This is one of those rare four-banger topics. :')

30 posted on 12/06/2008 11:53:04 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; garbageseeker; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...
Thanks B-Chan. This is one of those rare four-banger topics. :')
 
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31 posted on 12/06/2008 11:53:33 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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To: B-Chan

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
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Thanks B-Chan. This is one of those rare four-banger topics. :')

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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32 posted on 12/06/2008 11:54:11 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, December 6, 2008 !!!)
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To: B-Chan

AI is impossible in its total definition, however the bar is being lowered day by day so they already have AI, it’s as good as done. Hook up a couple rat brain neurons and Lo!


33 posted on 12/06/2008 11:57:02 AM PST by RightWhale (We were so young two years ago and the DJIA was 12,000)
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To: Mr. Jeeves; B-Chan
"I don't know - watch "Blade Runner" again. ;) "

My cell phone looks a lot like Captain Kirk's "Communicator" from 1966.

34 posted on 12/06/2008 12:02:47 PM PST by Radix (Posting cynical responses ever since...."What time is it anyhow?")
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To: Mobile Vulgus; tet68

An’ I wanna make out with hot, green alien chicks like Cap’n Kirk!


35 posted on 12/06/2008 12:07:26 PM PST by uglybiker (1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d 2 g3t l41d)
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To: Mobile Vulgus
I am completely sure that an immortal man would be an insane man.
You, a completely mortal creature, inhabiting a planet in which all creatures -- thinking and non-thinking -- are similarly mortal, declare that you are "completely sure" about the mental state of an immortal creature, one you've never met and can't really conceive of.

I'm completely sure that if biological immortality is ever achieved in humans (and that still won't preclude accidental death or murder, you know), that they will look back on your post here on this server (or the backup server it's been archived to) and smile.

(PS: For the purists reading this, I am aware that there are some single-celled organisms that are considered to be, in a certain sense, immortal.)

36 posted on 12/06/2008 12:29:49 PM PST by samtheman
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To: gary_b_UK; Truth29; NonValueAdded; MizSterious; GreenLanternCorps; Kangaroo Court; prous; ...

37 posted on 12/06/2008 12:56:19 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: Mr. Jeeves; All

You can see that Battlestar Galactica was influenced by Blade Runner..


38 posted on 12/06/2008 12:59:23 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: Mr. Jeeves; All

I see our future more like Firefly than anything else..


39 posted on 12/06/2008 1:01:19 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: KevinDavis

Me too - probably heavier on the Chinese influences and lighter on the American.


40 posted on 12/06/2008 1:05:00 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("One man's 'magic' is another man's engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word." -- Robert Heinlein)
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To: uglybiker
An’ I wanna make out with hot, green alien chicks like Cap’n Kirk!Cap'n Kirk is a hot, green chick? When did that happen?
41 posted on 12/06/2008 1:15:20 PM PST by bigheadfred (FREE Evan Vela)
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To: Mr. Jeeves; All

I agree.. That is my fear..


42 posted on 12/06/2008 1:24:01 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: KevinDavis
"I see our future more like Firefly than anything else.."

Me, too. The libertarian politics that permeated the show was fascinating.

43 posted on 12/06/2008 1:36:11 PM PST by LiberConservative
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To: B-Chan

Dude... cheer up! There’s no end of mathematical theorems that can be proven. And if there really are an infinite number of “universes,” we’ll never run out of interesting things to do! Besides which, time... eeets relative. :-)


44 posted on 12/06/2008 2:01:31 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LiberConservative; All

I agree... I would be on the Independents side than the Alliance... To authoritarian for me.


45 posted on 12/06/2008 2:20:35 PM PST by KevinDavis (Thomas Jefferson: A little rebellion now and then is a good thing)
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To: bigheadfred
An’ I wanna make out with hot, green alien chicks like Cap’n Kirk!

Cap'n Kirk is a hot, green chick? When did that happen?

I'm pretty sure that was one of those "transporter accident" episodes...

46 posted on 12/06/2008 2:52:49 PM PST by Yossarian (Everyday, somewhere on the globe, somebody is pushing the frontier of stupidity...)
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To: Yossarian

Thanks for the info. For a sec I thought it was one of those “temporal displacement” episodes where he gets stuck in a GID Clinic in Sweden.


47 posted on 12/06/2008 4:24:10 PM PST by bigheadfred (FREE Evan Vela)
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To: Dark Knight

I disagree with anyone else having the right to tell others when to die. After all, they might then decide NOW is the right time.


48 posted on 12/06/2008 4:31:16 PM PST by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell" - on amazon.com)
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To: FateAmenableToChange
Good Post btw. You are spot on there it always boils down to the free will aspect of God's creation.

As to the article itself I'm sorry but whatever AI/VR-Transhumanism comes about it can not replace actual living. It is assuming that the mind can recreate a whole living universe within it self's mainframe that can be just like the human senses of the living and actual life experience. Bottom line it is creating a human being and a planet in a machine. It is nice Sci-Fi but what type of device can hold billions of consciousness while at the same time constructing billions of universes for all these minds to live in plus if you create other humans in the mainframe to interact with then those will become actualized living beings in the construct which then will create more universes in the mainframe plus what if the constructs decide for themselves to over throw the mainframe and want to become human again in the real world. And then there is always the anarchy factor of someone planting a virus in the machine to destroy it. Then comes the problem of sorting out who rules the machine-verse and who decides the morality of the machine-verse etc. Then there is problem of a power source for this machine and also who is going to be paying the power bill for this machine while it runs. But the really big question is who will be willing to stay behind and hit the "Any-key" when the program hangs up?

We have already seen the(The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix) and several other movies that have dealt with type of subject matter so if this is the future of Sci-Fi and us as a race then we are in for a lot of reruns.

49 posted on 12/06/2008 5:16:13 PM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: samtheman

Amusing that you make the claim that I cannot possibly know what an immortal man might think... and then you go ahead and assume YOU know what an immortal man might think.

You have a serious problem with logic, doncha?


50 posted on 12/06/2008 6:24:22 PM PST by Mobile Vulgus
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