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Re: argument that the internet is becoming conscious

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2012 22:59:16 +0200
Message-ID: <CAKaEYhLB+JN0TAM=RADtUcwnVf8jwr-byBDOv3MJHcQe-cHZrg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Cc: public-philoweb@w3.org
On 25 September 2012 10:58, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net> wrote:

> On 25 Sep 2012, at 02:09, Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i9kE3Ne7as&feature=relmfu
> Can you summarise the argument?

I never studied philosophy but I take an interest, so please forgive me if
I use the incorrect terminology.

What he seemed to be saying is that there is a certain structure in nature
that gives rise to consciousness.  What he calls 'phi'.  While it's very
hard to find enough computing power to exactly calculate phi, it's possible
to approximate it.  The idea being that humans have a higher phi than a
mouse, and a mouse having a higher phi than single celled organism.

By the same rational he said that the complexity of the internet is similar
in magnitude to the number of synapses in the brain.  He seemed to suggest
that it may be possible to measure the phi of the internet resulting in a
positive consciousness measure.

I think if the intenet were to be considered conscious in either science or
philosophy it may lead to some interesting discussions.

> I think his argument can be summed up as "Technology as Mind expanding and
> that is ecstatic". On the whole this is more of preaching than philosophy.
> He seems to be playing with very christian/platonic fantasies of
> immortality and being God.

You mean humans as God, or technology as God?

I'm uncertain on that point.  However I did find it fascinating that the
so-called "God" particle in physics lead to an enormous media coverage.
The idea that the intenet could be an interfaace to talk to God may be an
interesting metaphor to some people

> He quotes Alphonse de la Martine: "Limited in his nature, infinite in his
> desire man is a fallen poet who remembers heaven" . But this is just
> Plato's story about our having seen the forms before our birth, a story he
> needed to answer Meno's paradox  "how can you be looking for something if
> you don't already know what you are looking for, since you could not know
> that you have found it if you did not know what it was". Plato argues then
> that we have known all before our birth, and we just recognise the heavenly
> forms now. In doing this in the Meno and more explicitly in the Phaedrus
> overturns ancient greek Tragic thinking, by
>  (1) placing the place where the non living are from under the ground to
> the heaven
>  (2) which impacts the idea that the memory comes from the past to one
> that is fixed in advanced
>  (3) inciting the idea that human souls are immortal, whereas ancient
> greek thinking would have had it as exactly the thing humans cannot be.
> Humans are those that are mortal.
>   But otherwise he brings a lot of ideas together from other talks that we
> have come across. On the other hand, it is important to also notice the
> dangers of what is ahead. Thinking cannot just be ecstatic thinking. It
> also has to be Bazon Brock's Apocalyptic Thinking: before leaving his cave
> primitive man had to think ahead of all the dangers that were lurking out
> there in order to avoid them. You have to be think about the worse in order
> to avoid it - so thinking cannot just be ecstatic. Thinking is
> fundamentally bi-polar.
> Henry
> [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meno
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaedrus_(dialogue)
> [3] http://www.vimeo.com/21388622
> Social Web Architect
> http://bblfish.net/
Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2012 20:59:44 UTC

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