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OfflineskaMariaPastora
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Registered: 03/15/01
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Humans, computers, and the superorganism
    #595551 - 04/01/02 03:22 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I've had different versions of the same thought for some time now, and yesterday they coalesced into a clear picture after listening to this thing on artificial intelligence.

Society is a superorganism, made up of individuals that perform certain jobs analogous to the way individual cells in our bodies perform different jobs. Out of the simplest multicellular organisms evolved specialized individuals whose job was to coordinate, monitor, and regulate the activities of others, and this is what we call the nervous system. Originally its function was simply to protect the other cells from which it derives nourishment from harm, mostly by avoiding predators and seeking food. Later it evolved higher functions which culminated in the human consciousness which is nearing the cusp of something much greater than individual organisms.

If our society is the multi-being organism, computers are the nervous system. Today they just serve to help individuals, by facilitating communication and making our production more efficient. However, with the concept of artificial intelligence rapidly becoming more and more real, computers will soon be able to create a consciousness of their own in the same way nerve cells created a consciousness out of a mass of previously separate cells. Humans are currently in the process of coalescing into a superorganism, and we are still awkwardly fighting each other because we retain the illusion of separateness. Once we realize our mutual benefit for one another waring will stop and our new self will be realized. Then our consciousness will transcend the individual and rise to the metaconsciousness.

This is not the death of the humans and the rise of the computers. It is a logical progression and simply an extension of ourselves. We created our machines and our consciousness will be transfered onto them. They need us for their survival just as the brain needs every cell in its body in order to survive.

Some of the questions I still have unresolved:
-Are computers necessary for this superorganism? Are all our collective brains enough? (eg. Jungian collective unconscious)
-Where does the notion of spirit come in?
-If this superorganism does happen, will humans even realize it? Do cells in our body know they are part of a greater whole?

Someone tell me if this is stupid or not, the thought is still young and needs tweeking. Any comments welcome.


Edited by skaMariaPastora (04/01/02 03:29 PM)


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Offlinepsilo25
The one stuck inthe middle ofthis hopelessmess.

Registered: 03/03/02
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: skaMariaPastora]
    #595683 - 04/01/02 05:58 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I can't say I completely disagree with this theory. I have believed for a long time that computers would eventually take over and control the human race. I mean, we already have computers that are capable of primitive thought processes. This technology, like all technology, can only advance further and further. If you think of it, the human brain is in itself just an enormously complex organic computer system. Who's to say we can't eventually duplicate this system with modern technology? I think the movie "The Matrix" illustrates your idea to some extent, but in a much more disturbing and morbid fashion than what I believe you are getting at. Modern technology is great, but I find the idea of creating machines that can think on the same level as humans is pretty scary. Even scarier, these computer "organisms" could possibly be capable of greater intelligence than us, since they wouldn't be prone to the organic malfunctions of the human brain (i.e. those caused by disease, excessive drug use, genetic malfunctions, etc). Let's hope we can keep this under control, or, as you said, become one with it.


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Offlinefrogsheath
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: skaMariaPastora]
    #595867 - 04/01/02 10:30 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Interesting...have you seen A.I.? Or "Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control"? The idea
is (I think) that carbon-based life will eventually be supplanted by silicon-based life.
Frankly, it scares the shit out of me.


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: frogsheath]
    #596234 - 04/02/02 09:13 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

don't worry, its time we moved on anyway, these monkey suits can only take us so far. think of caterpillars.


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Offlinepsilo25
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Registered: 03/03/02
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: skaMariaPastora]
    #596750 - 04/02/02 06:07 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

In a way, I think we have already developed a highly symbiotic relationship with computers. Needless to say, computers cannot exist without humans; we invented them and continue to build them. Furthermore, we now cannot live without computers. Virtually everything we rely on is computer-based, or made by a computer. Hell, we're all communicating on computers right now!

This is purely theoretic, but if a giant magnetic field of some kind were to sweep over the other earth and destroy all existing computer information, all but the most primitive societies would virtually fall apart. If we were able to maintain any semblence of order in case of this event, we would have to start all computerized technology from scratch. I'm talking about 0's and 1's here. I highly doubt that there are very many people left in this world who are skilled enough in binary programming to adequately reproduce all the very basic software that all other software is built off. Of course, I don't believe that this would ever happen. I'm only using it as an example to show our symbiotic relationship with computers.


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Stand up for your freedoms, join the fight against the War on Drugs!

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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: mr crisper]
    #597625 - 04/03/02 02:37 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

im thinking along the same lines as mr crisper.  Machines are less advanced way of advancing the human race.  I believe the human evolution and the evolution of the human consciousness are two seperate things right now,  are true evolution will be to one day shed the physical, and right now not to many of the human population is working towards the goal of higher self... sure, alot of us are working towards something, but in the end we still just pass on our genetic code to some more cells just like us right now.  the human body is effivciant enough for what it was meant to do; house the brain and protect the thought process, so it may evolve.  right now everyone is inadvertantly bringing about the halt of conscious evolution and the rise of external methods to make the human more "efficient". 

you'll have to excuse my poor grammar and spelling, i just woke up.  and maybe this is just another random thought trying to halt the true progression of silicon based life :smile:

peace


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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OfflineskaMariaPastora
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: Todcasil]
    #597633 - 04/03/02 02:45 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Genetic evolution has long since halted in our species, the only thing we have now is cultural evolution. Machines are just part of this cultural evolution, they are an extension of ourselves. I think the field of human-machine symbiosis is also very promising, as they could help us transcend the limitations of our fragile flesh bodies.


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OfflinePachanguero
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: skaMariaPastora]
    #597652 - 04/03/02 03:05 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I've been thinking along similar lines myself lately, as well as incorporating some of the Gaia theory too. I wonder: perhaps this "super organism" already exists -- has existed for quite thousands of years. Just as individual cells in our bodies do not have the consciousness to detect the whole, so too can we never truly know all about this super-self.

Does it really exist? Science has easily shown the interconnectedness of all life on this planet. Does it all inter-collaborate to form some sort of sentient (or not) being? I'm not sure we'll ever know for certain.


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OfflineTannis
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: Pachanguero]
    #597707 - 04/03/02 04:11 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

The Gaia theory is one I never thought of from ska's original post....but it reminds me of a theory of domesticated animals.....this goes something like, animals have very undeveloped "souls" in the wild, but when they contact humans, the domestication process is a developing of their souls----mind, will, emotions,........That's why pets behave differently than wild untamed animals....
I wonder if the computers and all their artifical intelligence is the "wild" state and at some point they will begin to interact with people in a way that----"domesticates them" and so enlarges their "soul"......
My guess would be that they may :
1) Merge with Gaia
2) Merge with the collective unconscious
3) Form a computer soul that has all the prospects of maybe going "Matrix" on us........

Truth is stranger than fiction......


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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: Tannis]
    #597827 - 04/03/02 06:47 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I like the idea of computers helping us to see the bigger picture... ive been reading about Internet2 recently and its everything i hoped for when the first internet became widley used. A lot like Shadowrun if i remember... A whole new idea of cyberspace. Since all this technology is created by us, and if we already are this super organism then i suppose it is only a matter of time before physicality is only a technicality. hmm... Im confusing myself. I think im going to have to do a little more reading before posting again. or another entheogenic voyage. Ive never put technology into the equasion whilst tripping, i think it might be productive.

peace


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:


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Offlinefrogsheath
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Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: mr crisper]
    #597835 - 04/03/02 07:06 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

If computers (or the internet) gained consciousness, what makes
you think they would want to help US?! "WE" are stupid compared to THEM.
We would probably be viewed as a liability or a hazard. So, we would probably
have to be controlled or better yet -eliminated alltogether. But I guess that's what you guys are proposing in this evolution theory. If computers became conscious, I would think "IT" would be a more apt pronoun for their consciousness.


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Anonymous

Re: Humans, computers, and the superorganism [Re: skaMariaPastora]
    #597839 - 04/03/02 07:07 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

skaMariaPastora
"Genetic evolution has long since halted in our species..."

I think that assertion is unfounded. It is quite possible that in the next several decades we will
see an acceleration of human evolution via the process of genetic engineering. This might
also involve a 'split' of the species into 2 or more lines. Those that are more intelligent and
financially successful will have their offspring genetically 'tuned' while those who are less
intelligent and unable to adapt to the nascent information age will continue to breed with
each other and rely on the state to transfer wealth from the economically successful.

The second group has a survival strategy of producing more offspring and and one point
may destroy the civilization supported by the first group by overwhelming it with their sheer
numbers.

Then again, we may have our current civilization destroyed by religious fanatics. Either way
there is a possiblity of another 'Dark Ages."


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