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#36293 - 03/13/10 12:13 AM The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX


Ray Kurzweil tells about his vision of Singularlity— a point when computers will acquire full-blown artificial intelligence and technology will infuse itself with biology. Interesting piece of calculated speculation.....

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#36325 - 03/13/10 02:01 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
felixgarnet Offline
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Registered: 10/17/09
Posts: 688
Loc: UK
Fascinating stuff, SOLERIFT, thank you.
During the early 90's I worked as PA to a blind lawyer and he used the Kurzweil Reading Machine which was cutting edge technology then. I recall there were various voices to choose from, including the annoying "Kit the Kid" which we used to read serious legal documents sometimes for a laugh.
I personally welcome nanotechnology. What Kurzweil is predicting may prove to be the breaching of the "final frontier" keeping man and machine as separate entities. When Virtual Reality was first hinted at a s a possibility I said it would enable people to perform magickal operations in cyberspace to affect their subjective reality in the physical world. It seems that this will soon be possible sans PC, lap-top and all.
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"Here's to Artifice!" - Anton Szandor LaVey.

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#36344 - 03/13/10 10:11 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

I for one would like to see the day true eternal life is achieved even if that life extension is in a virtual world. To increase the chances of humanity surviving certain steps need to be looked at and taken. I also feel that the steps to becoming H + are as important as trying to get off this rock we are on. I have followed stories on H + since first reading this in 2001.

Because technology is advancing so quickly, Hawking said, 'computers double their performance every month'. Humans, in contrast, are developing much more slowly, and so must change their DNA make-up or be left behind. 'The danger is real,' he said, 'that this [computer] intelligence will develop and take over the world.'

Hawking, author of the best-selling A Brief History Of Time and a professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, recommended 'well-aimed manipulation' of human genes. Through this humans could 'raise the complexity of... the DNA [they are born with], thereby improving people'. He conceded the road to genetic modification would be a long one but said: 'We should follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones.'

He also advocated cyber-technology - direct links between human brains and computers. 'We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it.'


I leave you a link to Mr. Kurzweil’s reply from 2001 as well… Nothing new here except a new book, I bet he makes a lot of money off the books he sells.

http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0288.html?printable=1

~T~
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We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#36645 - 03/17/10 02:26 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: ta2zz

I for one would like to see the day true eternal life is achieved even if that life extension is in a virtual world. To increase the chances of humanity surviving certain steps need to be looked at and taken.


Right on - those are my sentiments exactly. Modifying ourselves is the next logical step in our "evolution" - and if you ask me - leaving this planet without modifications to make us more impervious to our mortality could end up becoming a severe hinderance to our exploration in the long run.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz


We should follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones.'


This is probably the best argument I have heard to defend these new advancements against those who would fear them and condemn them. Yes there are dangers - and the "bugs" and "glitches" we may have to deal with might be terrifying in their possible effects - but Technology, as we continue to push it for our own convenience - will only get smarter and exponentially more efficient - therefore it would be wise of us to keep our selves updated and integrated - otherwise WE may find ourselves being obsolete.....

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#36647 - 03/17/10 02:38 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
One of the assumptions Mr Kurzweil made was in 2029(?) man should have located all regions and functions of the brain (which IMHO is a bit too positive).

He also claims that the calculating power we have in our portable phones will be available in devices not bigger as a cell. Once heard I immediatly thought of the physical limits of computers.
I am aware about Moores law that the calculating power/capacity of every new computer is doubled every 2 years (not every month as someone mentioned before). The limit of this law is the physical building of the computer. Theoretically speaking, the smallest you can get is about the size of an atom. Speaking in reality, the use of the skeletons of different diatoms (Bacillariophycae), most preferred the Centric diatoms (Coscinodiscophyceae) is about the best and smallest we can get.

Now a second remark would be the link "fusion human and machine", while it may be possible to "fuse" both of them the simple idea that machines still need to be programmed is 1 factor to more or less stop fantasizing about it.
Yet, artificial intelligence can hardly been seen as intelligence. Most modern robots, and I'm quite sure robots in the future, will not have the same capabilities as the human brain. Modern robots and other machines or programmed to calculate and notice (by calculation) certain inputs (data).
It is possible to give the impression a machine got a brain of it's own, yet it is nothing BUT a machine which reacts on pre-instructed commands and programmation.

Now, machines and computers have enhanced our lives and made some tasks more easily. But there is a certain limit to be achieved, and this limit is the physical component.
I heard the various claims of machines being fused with humans and proloning our life. I say there is a limitation to it. Our body is VERY complex and no machine is capable of calculating, directing or seeing every single biomolecular process in our entire body. The process of aging is a natural one resulting from a slowly defuncting gene replication. This process cannot be altered (you may claim in current scientific period, I give you that), the proloning of life can towards (yet again) a certain physical limit. It is in my opinion that the age of 100 is the overall maximum limit a human body can live, above it would be quite useless for all sensory organs be it mechanically modified or not.


Edited by Dimitri (03/17/10 02:47 PM)
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#36661 - 03/17/10 05:51 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
One of the assumptions Mr Kurzweil made was in 2029(?) man should have located all regions and functions of the brain (which IMHO is a bit too positive).


I agree - this "singularity" may be further off than Kurzweil thinks, but the exponential development we are seeing makes it interesting food for thought - to say the least.

In the late 19th century - the invention of telegraph and wired communication was fantastic, and the idea of wireless communication was imagined but not taken seriously - it was thought to be "past the limit" of physics, when in reality, it was simply past our knowledge and most importantly - our limits of our imagination at that time - that all changed when manipulation of radio frequencies became possible with the invention of transducers - which came only a few decades later.....

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
"Now a second remark would be the link "fusion human and machine", while it may be possible to "fuse" both of them the simple idea that machines still need to be programmed is 1 factor to more or less stop fantasizing about it. "


What is our body other than a piece of hardware that is esentially programmed by environmental stimulus and its own consciousness? Our minds can use the tools we have invented to reprogram our own genetics - and thus rewrite our own software (mind and body)

You are right - a machine WILL need to be programmed...... and??????

There is no doubt that a machine will need to be programmed - why would this be a hinderance to the "fusion" of man and machine?

Don't get me wrong - There will be HIDEOUS mistakes and abominations before this "fusion" can happen in any kind of stable way, but it is far from impossible.

The idea of nano-machines that can repair the bodies cells and keep the body immune against pathogens by interacting with ones own physical cells while receiving queues from the body itself to spring into action - is not too far fetched - it could provide a level of relative "physical immortality" previously unimaginable, but not "absolute".

The integration of said technologies can also have an effect on our intellectual faculties.

If we can modify genes - and we now know we can, despite this field being in it's relative infancy - then we may also find a way to enhance our intellectual faculties, and I would not think it unreasonable that we can create a "jump" in evolution by modifying our own genetics..... - and who knows what solutions will be invented by H+ beings who have modified their own genetics and have thus moved beyond the mental limitations that you and I cannot yet see through.....

This may sound WAAAAY crazy - but everything that was "crazy" over 100 years ago is now every day reality - so much so that most people I know have an unbelievable capacity to take our technology and how fast it has evolved for granted.

Vast quantities of human knowledge are available at our fingertips - literally, we can speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, and we can get from Paris to New York in a few hours with the right amount of cash...... all these things were considered well "past our limits" less than a century ago.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Yet, artificial intelligence can hardly been seen as intelligence. Most modern robots, and I'm quite sure robots in the future, will not have the same capabilities as the human brain. Modern robots and other machines or programmed to calculate and notice (by calculation) certain inputs (data).
It is possible to give the impression a machine got a brain of it's own, yet it is nothing BUT a machine which reacts on pre-instructed commands and programmation.


Ever seen Virtuosity? (I know - its a movie - a fiction - and not the best movie at that, granted, but Russel Crowe plays a virtual being who is able to break out of his software program and place himself in a body made of nanobots - this happens because he became self-aware because his parameters were so well written.

When you said "machines will still have to be programmed" - I assume you mean that no matter how well we program them, they are still not self-aware. True - to a degree......

Thats a very deep philosophical hole - how do we define self awareness? Most organic life is very mechanical and repetitive - if we try to define what makes a biological organism different from a machine, we will end up talking in circles - or at best referring to the vague ability to "choose" or to "know" - the ability to react to stimulus does NOT count, as that CAN be programmed - the ability to self-propagate does NOT count, as that can be programmed (at least on the level of software currently)

And to get to the point - for much of humanity - their own "choices" are programmed by the choices of others...... they are hardly - "self-aware" at all - if you mean the ability to react independent of stimulus on "desire" alone, but even "desire" is arguably programmed - our animal motivations and seemingly self-willed desires are embedded within our programming (DNA) to a certain extent.

"Self-awareness" - I posit - may happen when the functional parameters of a system get programmed so well - that it's own parameters can re-write and adapt themselves based on stimuli.....

How so? Simple, yet infinitely complex ;\) - if we create a program so advanced, with so many interlinked functions and "if/then/execute" parameters (generally speaking) as to sustain a software environment that is adaptable to external stimuli and able to re-write itself based on its own computations - we can create a subtle form of self-awareness. This "self-awareness" can exist and can advance itself well past our original parameters - all though the irony is - it was still programmed by us originally.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Now, machines and computers have enhanced our lives and made some tasks more easily. But there is a certain limit to be achieved, and this limit is the physical component.


Agreed.... but with constant revisions to the physical component, we can get closer and closer (think of division/multiplication - we can divide a number by another number infinitely, but we will never arrive at 0, even though the value of 1/202309283098230598029385098235.etc..... might as well be zero)

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I heard the various claims of machines being fused with humans and proloning our life. I say there is a limitation to it. Our body is VERY complex and no machine is capable of calculating, directing or seeing every single biomolecular process in our entire body.


Perhaps - but limitations are expected, it is in the pushing of these limits, layer by layer, that progress will be made, eventually to exceed our wildest imaginations - bodily functions have a degree of variability - but even your body, as complex as it is - is LIMITED to an extent - and to that extent - will shall find success - we cannot program a system that can adapt to infinite variability - yet - but we will be able to create something that can be able to come very close - for all intents and purposes.....

mapping the entire human genome was thought impossible once it was realized how massive it really was - but when we realized this, we did not have the computational power to consider the possibility of completing the task in one lifetime, now there are computers that can map a DNA strand in less than an hour.

[quote=Dimitri]The process of aging is a natural one resulting from a slowly defuncting gene replication. This process cannot be altered (you may claim in current scientific period, I give you that), the proloning of life can towards (yet again) a certain physical limit.
 Quote:


Indeed so.....

[quote=Dimitri]It is in my opinion that the age of 100 is the overall maximum limit a human body can live, above it would be quite useless for all sensory organs be it mechanically modified or not.


While that may be true right now - I would think that a body can live indefinitely if given the right medium to flourish. Why do you place the limit at 100 years? Is there some special significance to being a century old?

I will cite the example of plants - Many species of plants live only a few months before natural conditions kill them. But, if I remove them from "natural conditions", root them hydroponically, can give them nutrients that are engineered not to degrade, preventing salt build up on the roots, and if all things are kept in "stasis" - the plant never has to die, save for accident or neglect, it can live as long as its tended to.

I see no reason why humans cannot do the same, with the right ingenuity, technology, and will, there is literally nothing that cannot be accomplished - in time.

While the same cannot be said for animals and man; we cannot give an animal perfect environment and extend it indefinitely like we can with plants - but perhaps one day - using new science to fuse the best features of plants, animals and tech together - the barriers will broken and this will be possible for man also.

The answers to how this might be accomplished may be found in the technology that is advancing the science of "suspended animation"

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#36664 - 03/17/10 06:55 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
To put things in perspective :

This example may sound daft - but when you say things like "limitation of the physical component" - I am reminded that there is no real limit to the physical component, only the limits of our ability to conceptualize.

If I went back in time and told a Gutenburg Press publisher that one day all the books he will make in his lifetime, I will be able to fit on a chip the size of my finger - he may say - "whats the point? - the print will be so small no one can read it" - and he would be correct, only because he cannot conceptualize the medium and the in between methods/concepts that would make it possible. But never the less, today I have a 32 GB flash drive that can store every book he ever printed and still have room for more.

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#36710 - 03/18/10 02:03 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
What is our body other than a piece of hardware that is esentially programmed by environmental stimulus and its own consciousness? Our minds can use the tools we have invented to reprogram our own genetics - and thus rewrite our own software (mind and body)

You are right - a machine WILL need to be programmed...... and??????

Our body is much more complex then you put it.
If I follow your lines of our body being a piece of hardware programmed by environmental stimulus then with this same statement we actually should have the same ideas when put inside same conditions. Yet we differ and think otherwise.

Genes are not like a computer who are "programmed". Genetics is a bit more complicated as resetting pieces of code. Genes are long DNA-strings made of different organic acids. This "programming" you speak of, or some persons tend to use, is a bad wording for using a wide range of techniques to jam in a few extra chromosomes and replace a few bad ones, hoping the entire stuff works. See it as opening up your computer, cut out a compartiment you want to see replaced and put in the new part whilst only using a hammer and sheer luck.

Don't be stupid to think it is a piece of cake. There are still many secrets and mysteries in cell-regulation.

 Quote:
There is no doubt that a machine will need to be programmed - why would this be a hinderance to the "fusion" of man and machine?

Adaptation is the answer. I guess you know about organtransplantations? The person who underwent the operation is still put in quarantaine because of the risk the organ isn't approved by the body. The same goes for possible machinery. The difference between implanting a new organ and a piece of machinery is while implanting the organ, hormones can be used to increase the chances the organ WILL be approved. This is a technique which cannot be used on anorganic matter.

 Quote:
The idea of nano-machines that can repair the bodies cells and keep the body immune against pathogens by interacting with ones own physical cells while receiving queues from the body itself to spring into action - is not too far fetched - it could provide a level of relative "physical immortality" previously unimaginable, but not "absolute".

As said before, you can try to let nano-bots fix "broken cells", but the process of aging is unstoppable because no machine will ever calculate any reaction taking place in the body. Nano-technology also involves adding extra supplements to keep the bots working.

 Quote:
If we can modify genes - and we now know we can, despite this field being in it's relative infancy - then we may also find a way to enhance our intellectual faculties, and I would not think it unreasonable that we can create a "jump" in evolution by modifying our own genetics.....

Already responded on the modifying genes part with the mentioned computer and hammer to put things in perspective..

 Quote:
Vast quantities of human knowledge are available at our fingertips - literally, we can speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, and we can get from Paris to New York in a few hours with the right amount of cash...... all these things were considered well "past our limits" less than a century ago.

Also vast quantities of fairy-tales people tend to believe in are more easily spread. I wouldn't say "past our limits" a century ago. People in those days were more inclined to believe then to investigate. I wonder how long it took you to realize Santa Claus wasn't real... (or any other creature like the easter bunny and likes).

 Quote:
Thats a very deep philosophical hole - how do we define self awareness? Most organic life is very mechanical and repetitive - if we try to define what makes a biological organism different from a machine, we will end up talking in circles - or at best referring to the vague ability to "choose" or to "know" - the ability to react to stimulus does NOT count, as that CAN be programmed - the ability to self-propagate does NOT count, as that can be programmed (at least on the level of software currently)

I guess you haven't got a very good background on microbiology.
Cells are FUCKING complex. Organic life on the first sight indeed looks mechanical and very repetitive, but once taking a closer look with the microscope you'll soon start noticing how vastly awesome complex it is.

I admit I do not know how self-awareness is achieved, but I also know YOU and others do not know it either. This sole piece of information makes it for us impossible to create something with a mind of it's own. If the knowledge of knowing why and how we are self-aware is not available, why would you even talk of making something with self-awareness?

The reaction on stimulus can make a machine look like it has some kind of consciousness, but still it is a piece of costly metal junk ;oving and reacting on stimulu which were being programmed in it's CPU.

 Quote:
How so? Simple, yet infinitely complex ;\) - if we create a program so advanced, with so many interlinked functions and "if/then/execute" parameters (generally speaking) as to sustain a software environment that is adaptable to external stimuli and able to re-write itself based on its own computations - we can create a subtle form of self-awareness. This "self-awareness" can exist and can advance itself well past our original parameters - all though the irony is - it was still programmed by us originally.

You are assuming here, watch out with it.
What differs man from the possible machine/program you fantasize about, is I may program a switch to turn the super-complex into a piece of junk metal without him knowing it exists because I programmed it to do so.
What differs men from machine is our ability to choose and think. A machine only obeys orders.

 Quote:
mapping the entire human genome was thought impossible once it was realized how massive it really was - but when we realized this, we did not have the computational power to consider the possibility of completing the task in one lifetime, now there are computers that can map a DNA strand in less than an hour.

One second here, the entire human genome is not entirely known even with current calculating powers. There is research being done how every single acid of the DNA-genome works and what function it has on the entire body.

 Quote:
While that may be true right now - I would think that a body can live indefinitely if given the right medium to flourish. Why do you place the limit at 100 years? Is there some special significance to being a century old?

I could have said 90 years old but I said 100 for following reasons:
- I like round numbers
- at the age of 100 most of the sensory organs (and rest of the body) is in a very bad stade and the idea of "when shall it finally end" is quite obvious yet unspoken.

 Quote:
I will cite the example of plants - Many species of plants live only a few months before natural conditions kill them. But, if I remove them from "natural conditions", root them hydroponically, can give them nutrients that are engineered not to degrade, preventing salt build up on the roots, and if all things are kept in "stasis" - the plant never has to die, save for accident or neglect, it can live as long as its tended to.

Plants have a less complex ingestion system as we animals have.
It is a very bad idea to compare plants with animals for various biological reasons.

 Quote:
The answers to how this might be accomplished may be found in the technology that is advancing the science of "suspended animation"

Yeah right...
How fun it is to see life passing by and see everyone enjoying whilst you are just "hanging around" doing absolutely nothing.


With the physical limit I did not only ment calculating capacity of machines, but also place in 3 dimension and resources.
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#36724 - 03/18/10 07:44 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Quote:
Our body is much more complex then you put it.
If I follow your lines of our body being a piece of hardware programmed by environmental stimulus then with this same statement we actually should have the same ideas when put inside same conditions. Yet we differ and think otherwise.


I know that what I wrote was an oversimplification, but for the sake of example without consuming millions of characters, and without attempting to summarize every subject I have ever studied - I thought my example was somewhat appropriate for the length at which I can treat it.

Perhaps "hardware" was a bad generalization. Ok - think of DNA as "Firmware"....., "mind" as software, and body as "hardware".... ;\) Again - simplified, but a little better....

Yes, we "think" and "differ" in our thinking, but our thought processes are essentially made of the same building blocks, despite the varying complexity of forms which arise from our thinking - our "thoughts" are still constrained to the medium (language) and perception of that "language", coupled with pre-existing biological motive forces known as "emotion", all these blocks create "concepts" similar to "sub-routines" - but you are right, the way to make a machine truly self aware is not known, we only have the ability to imitate it with ever increasing efficiency.

 Quote:
Genes are not like a computer who are "programmed". Genetics is a bit more complicated as resetting pieces of code. Genes are long DNA-strings made of different organic acids. This "programming" you speak of, or some persons tend to use, is a bad wording for using a wide range of techniques to jam in a few extra chromosomes and replace a few bad ones, hoping the entire stuff works. See it as opening up your computer, cut out a compartiment you want to see replaced and put in the new part whilst only using a hammer and sheer luck.

Don't be stupid to think it is a piece of cake. There are still many secrets and mysteries in cell-regulation.


No doubt about their complexity in comparison to "code" - there are many mysteries that are far from being mastered..... I did not mean to imply otherwise.

Perhaps you mistake my enthusiasm for merely jumping to stupid conclusions - understood - I would be dishonest if I pretended that I am not making some assumptions, some of them very broad - but make no mistake, I do NOT think this sort of development will be a piece of cake, nor do I assume that I know the answers......

Part of what you said made me laugh - it's soooo true - most methods used today are the equivalent of taking a hammer and seeing what happens.... but it has to start somewhere, right?

Also - amino acids, like all atoms - have, for lack of a better description, a "frequency resonance" - and if we can manipulate this resonance, then we might be able to program our own genetics in a more efficient way - rather than looking at amino acids as mere "physical components".....

I could liken the advent of this tech to the development of a genetic transducer that can recombine genes into new sequences through something akin to sonic, photonic, or even magnetic manipulation.

I do realize that saying things like "genetic transducer", and "frequency resonance manipulator" - it may sound as ambiguous and vacuous as concepts like "quantum teleportation" or "radionics" - but these concepts are far from impossible, and what ever our preconceptions may be, they are bound to change with new data - but thats part of the process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

 Quote:
The difference between implanting a new organ and a piece of machinery is while implanting the organ, hormones can be used to increase the chances the organ WILL be approved. This is a technique which cannot be used on anorganic matter.


True - but in that case you are speaking of "replacement" of a body part - not the enhancement of one - allthough - similar rejections are bound to happen - irritations and inflamations occur from the presence of foreign objects in your body, I have to readily admit I have no idea how this would translate to the body with nanoscale foreign objects being introduced.

There have been experiments in "cymatics" by Dr. Hans Jenny and a few others that suggest that sonic treatments may be able to aid the body in not rejecting foreign organs by "tuning" the organ to the body over the course of a lengthy treatment.

Hormones also have a "resonance", if we can isolate or generalize them, perhaps we can assist them using machines made to amplify that resonance thus making the chances of rejection even less (I know, I know, this may sound like new age tripe, but cut putting all overly sci-fi assumptions aside, there is merit to advancing this line of research much further)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Io6lop3mk

 Quote:
As said before, you can try to let nano-bots fix "broken cells", but the process of aging is unstoppable because no machine will ever calculate any reaction taking place in the body. Nano-technology also involves adding extra supplements to keep the bots working.


True and not true - I agree that fixing broken cells can occur, and that maintenance will be needed (as with any machine) to keep them functioning as desired. I disagree that "aging" is unstoppable. Right now - with what we know about aging, it is not currently stoppable or reversable. Aging (as it is currently imagined) happens from degradation in the original blueprints over time - or rather - the loss of the integrity of transmissive abilities of DNA/RNA. Preventing this might not be a matter of "switching on" or "switching off" a gene sequence, but that does not make it impossible.

 Quote:
Also vast quantities of fairy-tales people tend to believe in are more easily spread. I wouldn't say "past our limits" a century ago. People in those days were more inclined to believe then to investigate. I wonder how long it took you to realize Santa Claus wasn't real... (or any other creature like the easter bunny and likes).


You mean Santa is not real? I need to go sit down - I feel like a fool. ;(

 Quote:
I guess you haven't got a very good background on microbiology.


From that statement, can I assume you have a background in microbiology and are possibly active in that field ?

 Quote:
Cells are FUCKING complex. Organic life on the first sight indeed looks mechanical and very repetitive, but once taking a closer look with the microscope you'll soon start noticing how vastly awesome complex it is.


Because it causes wonder and amazement due to the complexity that it displays does not mean that cells are not mechanical, repetitive and programmed. I know my statements might make it sound as if I think cells are simpletons and that I understand all about them, but there is more to it than that.

 Quote:
I admit I do not know how self-awareness is achieved, but I also know YOU and others do not know it either. This sole piece of information makes it for us impossible to create something with a mind of it's own. If the knowledge of knowing why and how we are self-aware is not available, why would you even talk of making something with self-awareness?


Touche - but perhaps I should have stated it differently - I did NOT speak about making something with self-awareness, as most think of it - that "undefinable nebulous something" - but rather a system that was programmed so well as to be almost indistinguishable from a self-aware organism - the "philosophic hole" is being able where to determine real awareness from increasingly more effiecient simulations, and in the long run, to determine if there is even a difference. (Keep in mind I am not talking about simulations as they exist NOW - but many many revisions in the future)

Who knows - some methods and ideas will prove to be less practical than they are impossible - so maybe all I have just posited will be cancelled out with a new way of looking at all the data.

 Quote:
You are assuming here, watch out with it.


Everything starts as an assumption - but - noted, I am reaching perhaps a bit much into the assumption zone.....

 Quote:
What differs man from the possible machine/program you fantasize about, is I may program a switch to turn the super-complex into a piece of junk metal without him knowing it exists because I programmed it to do so.

What differs men from machine is our ability to choose and think. A machine only obeys orders.


Again - when I said not to reference the vague ability to choose and think - it was because those ARE things that a machine can be programmed to do - and thinking can be done by any computer - its called logic and execution - and yes, YOUR LOGIC is a program - a product of conditioning and the recombinations of the subroutines you have been building upon since your first word, first steps, your first time trying to analyze an abstract concept - which you learned first by imitation - a somewhat self-created and highly adaptable form of abstract programming.

The only distinguishable factor I see between organic "self-awareness" and "artificial self-awareness" is that organic self-awareness can re-program it's own logic to varying degress. Kurzweil was talking about machines being programmed with the ability to re-write their own source code - it is logical - but as a software tech and computer science major - I know that it is WAAAAY easier said than done.

A machine will requires some input from humans - but there is no reason that it can not also be the source of some of its own input (through channels defined and programmed by US, granted)

 Quote:
One second here, the entire human genome is not entirely known even with current calculating powers. There is research being done how every single acid of the DNA-genome works and what function it has on the entire body.


When I say "mapped" - bad description - what we have would amount to a map without names or identities for the most of the places - mostly "topographical" data

 Quote:
I could have said 90 years old but I said 100 for following reasons:
- I like round numbers
- at the age of 100 most of the sensory organs (and rest of the body) is in a very bad stade and the idea of "when shall it finally end" is quite obvious yet unspoken.


That is based on the assumption that you will have aged and therefore will be in no condition to desire life any longer. If you are in the body of a 30 year old and nothing is uncomfortable with your "physical component" - then why would your senses break down? Why would you desire death if youth and vigor both mental and physical can be sustained? Perhaps I have missed something.....

We might also be talking about a lifetime where Earth does not have to be our only playground, and in the face of the vastness of space - the notion I hear from people time and time again - that "things need to die" also becomes a mute argument.

 Quote:

Plants have a less complex ingestion system as we animals have.
It is a very bad idea to compare plants with animals for various biological reasons. [/quote}

Agreed - we are vastly more complex than plants, but the principle is similar.

[quote]
Yeah right...
How fun it is to see life passing by and see everyone enjoying whilst you are just "hanging around" doing absolutely nothing.


That certainly is a narrow inference to draw about the possibilities suspended animation could offer us.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mark_roth_suspended_animation.html

That remark reminds me of exactly the example I made of the Gutenberg Press man telling me it's pointless to have all his books on a chip the size of my finger because the print would be too small.

Suspended animation can be used to hold the body in stasis and perform medical procedures otherwise impossible, among other possibilities - extending life when otherwise impossible.

When I mentioned it - I did not mean that everyone would be suspended for life and thats it - lol. But rather that some aspects of the process involved in suspended animation could be utilized for the advancement in the science of "anti-aging"

I too, would like more from life than to experience living out my remaining days like a wax sculpture.....

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#36727 - 03/18/10 09:26 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
I think the of the most overlooked points that Kurzweil illustrates is this : by the time programmed intelligence actually becomes adaptable to a level that effectively imitates human mind - the technological advances leading there will have been so many and so drawn out as to be taken for granted and thus barely a surprise at all

although expecting this to happen by 2029 - that seems rather unlikely

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#36739 - 03/19/10 03:47 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
Yes, we "think" and "differ" in our thinking, but our thought processes are essentially made of the same building blocks, despite the varying complexity of forms which arise from our thinking - our "thoughts" are still constrained to the medium (language) and perception of that "language", coupled with pre-existing biological motive forces known as "emotion", all these blocks create "concepts" similar to "sub-routines" - but you are right, the way to make a machine truly self aware is not known, we only have the ability to imitate it with ever increasing efficiency.

Correction:
The "building blocks" are more or less of the same formation (note the more or less, it is normal to notice slight variations) yet the quantities differ. The difference in quantities make us all different.

 Quote:
Also - amino acids, like all atoms - have, for lack of a better description, a "frequency resonance" - and if we can manipulate this resonance, then we might be able to program our own genetics in a more efficient way - rather than looking at amino acids as mere "physical components".....

Using resonance on amino acids.
Chances are, you manage to break the acids. Light is also a wave with a certain frequency affecting our bodies. Heat is also a wave with a frequency affecting our body, otherwise you wouldn't have those burnmarks if you touched a hot plate.

The problem with what you are saying here, is but the mere fact the amino acids will be broken down at random in their molecular chain. This makes it impossible to "restore" it, if you keep in mind that every amino acid is unique. Turning an amino acid backwards already gives it other properties.

 Quote:
I do realize that saying things like "genetic transducer", and "frequency resonance manipulator" - it may sound as ambiguous and vacuous as concepts like "quantum teleportation" or "radionics" - but these concepts are far from impossible, and what ever our preconceptions may be, they are bound to change with new data - but thats part of the process.

I do not know what you meant with the "Dr Quantum" film.
My remark on that thing is the oversimplification of wave-properties to make knowledge available to the new people in science. The interference patron is easily explained by electro-magnetic properties who become more important at atomic level.

 Quote:
Hormones also have a "resonance", if we can isolate or generalize them, perhaps we can assist them using machines made to amplify that resonance thus making the chances of rejection even less (I know, I know, this may sound like new age tripe, but cut putting all overly sci-fi assumptions aside, there is merit to advancing this line of research much further)

I think you are fantasizing a bit too much here.
Hans Jenny is someone studying waves and who is trying to produce a visual screen for sound waves. The video stating "bringin matter to life with sound" is actually a falsity. Sound waves, or waves in general, are a specific way to transmit energy. The rearranging of the matter by a certain sound is but the frequency pattern in a 3 dimensional space, captured onto something 2 dimensional. What you see there are nothing more then a few waves who interfere and travel liniary.

This is very interesting to see and investigate, but applying it for medicinal purposes is yet another step and very doubtfull in my opinion.

 Quote:
I disagree that "aging" is unstoppable. Right now - with what we know about aging, it is not currently stoppable or reversable. Aging (as it is currently imagined) happens from degradation in the original blueprints over time - or rather - the loss of the integrity of transmissive abilities of DNA/RNA. Preventing this might not be a matter of "switching on" or "switching off" a gene sequence, but that does not make it impossible.

Lets take your printer as an example.
You can take out and switch the components as much as you like to keep the darn thing working as it was new. But neverless other factors then simple "renewal" also occur. You can change the hardware as much as you want, but after a certain amount of time there will occur a total breakdown for reasons unknown (casing is too old to sustain and protect all the hardware inside, envirronmental influences,..).

Within the body there is still this thing called apoptose. It is a vital component/action in our body for cell renewal, but it also the main reason we age. Stopping apoptose can result in cancer which will ultimately lead to death, do nothing about it and aging occurs.

 Quote:

From that statement, can I assume you have a background in microbiology and are possibly active in that field ?

I studied biotechnology for 2 years, did 1 year bio-engineering and am now studying envirronmental sciences.

 Quote:

Touche - but perhaps I should have stated it differently - I did NOT speak about making something with self-awareness, as most think of it - that "undefinable nebulous something" - but rather a system that was programmed so well as to be almost indistinguishable from a self-aware organism - the "philosophic hole" is being able where to determine real awareness from increasingly more effiecient simulations, and in the long run, to determine if there is even a difference.

Thats why I remarked the "I can program an off button in a self-restoring machine without it noticing because I programmed it to do so".

 Quote:
Again - when I said not to reference the vague ability to choose and think - it was because those ARE things that a machine can be programmed to do - and thinking can be done by any computer - its called logic and execution - and yes, YOUR LOGIC is a program - a product of conditioning and the recombinations of the subroutines you have been building upon since your first word, first steps, your first time trying to analyze an abstract concept - which you learned first by imitation - a somewhat self-created and highly adaptable form of abstract programming.

Slight detail here, when I studied bio-engineering during the informatics classes it was said to us that computers DO NOT THINK. A computer is nothing more then a machine who was programmed to calculate codes by certain commands we ordered it to do. There is no intelligence within the whole damn thing. What is being written on your harddisk is nothing more then long strings of 0 and 1's in orders we commanded it to do so, and the 0 and 1's on their turns are pieces of basic language (on/off) we instructed by yet other orders. When you calculate 1+1 on your computer, it is a whole proces ordered by informatici and mechanical elements we commanded to work.

 Quote:
That is based on the assumption that you will have aged and therefore will be in no condition to desire life any longer. If you are in the body of a 30 year old and nothing is uncomfortable with your "physical component" - then why would your senses break down? Why would you desire death if youth and vigor both mental and physical can be sustained? Perhaps I have missed something.....

Yes, it is called assumption.

 Quote:
hat certainly is a narrow inference to draw about the possibilities suspended animation could offer us.

Did they also tell you about the risks this involves?
Being in suspended animation for too long could also result in massive brain-failure, muscles being too weak to work and keep your body upright,...

It's one of the remarks I have against the people at TED, they most of the time sketch an image TOO positive, and the negative sides are mostly being skipped.


Edited by Dimitri (03/19/10 03:49 AM)
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#36751 - 03/19/10 09:15 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SkaffenAmtiskaw]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Did they also tell you about the risks this involves? Being in suspended animation for too long could also result in massive brain-failure, muscles being too weak to work and keep your body upright,... It's one of the remarks I have against the people at TED, they most of the time sketch an image TOO positive, and the negative sides are mostly being skipped.


I am aware of the risks, I am not foolish enough to assume there are none, or that the risks are insignificant. To give TEDs speakers credit - are the speakers not to display enthusiasm? - This is what gets other people excited and possibly involved. Lets not forget that TED is an excellent way for people from many different fields to network and perhaps find additional funding through capitalists that are "wowed" by their presentation.

If they came out like a pharmaceutical commercial and waved every possible downfall, it might be hard to drum up sufficient enthusiasm...... Also - if you are engaged in any project whole-heartedly to the extent that it is your brainchild, you cannot help but show enthusiasm, and with that - you will share what your projected goals may be for the entire endeavor -no matter how far fetched they may be.

About apoptosis - programmed cell death. What I am thinking of when I refer to "stopping the aging process" does not involve stopping PCD - perhaps tinkering more with it, but PCD is vital.

Also - just for clarification -when I speak of "nanobots" repairing cells - I do not mean keeping every cell alive indefinitely with no division or death at the cellular level - but repairing cells and organs that have lost homeostasis.

No - if you ASSUME that I am saying we should find a way to stop PCD, that is not what I am saying at all. What I refer to is finding a way to maintain homeostasis, while supplementing that stasis with technology that can assist when it begins to fail.

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#36759 - 03/19/10 01:04 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
To give TEDs speakers credit - are the speakers not to display enthusiasm?

I always thought they were talking about their field of interest and the progressions they made, or about some discoveries they made.

Can't say enthusiasm is a bad thing, but entering the field of science it is mostly adviced to sketch the whole Universe instead a little part of it.

 Quote:
About apoptosis - programmed cell death. What I am thinking of when I refer to "stopping the aging process" does not involve stopping PCD - perhaps tinkering more with it, but PCD is vital.

In that case the process of aging is simply continiuos. After all, PCD is just that what regulates aging.

 Quote:
Also - just for clarification -when I speak of "nanobots" repairing cells - I do not mean keeping every cell alive indefinitely with no division or death at the cellular level - but repairing cells and organs that have lost homeostasis.

- Extra supplements for reparation needed
Now, cells simply work the way they have evolved to do so. If there is a cell damaged, apoptosis jumps in. PCD is just a part of the mechanism which repaires tissues and organs. (A second mechanism would be cell-division).

 Quote:
What I refer to is finding a way to maintain homeostasis, while supplementing that stasis with technology that can assist when it begins to fail.

See above.


Your body is a well-coordinated system, a COMPLEX coordinated system. There hardly is anything which needs technological replacement, unless a few faults which should have been erased by evolution (but still are current thanks to healthcare).
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#36760 - 03/19/10 01:36 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
SOLERIFT Offline
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Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri

In that case the process of aging is simply continiuos. After all, PCD is just that what regulates aging.


I guess my understanding of apoptosis is fundamentally lacking.

I understand that this cell death is part of what repairs damaged tissues by allowing them to die and be replaced, but what part of apoptosis creates the deterioration we see over time? (loss of elasticity, vigor)

Can there not be any kind of modification to our genetics that would prevent the overall bodily system from going into retrograde?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Your body is a well-coordinated system, a COMPLEX coordinated system. There hardly is anything which needs technological replacement, unless a few faults which should have been erased by evolution (but still are current thanks to healthcare).

The body is indeed a complex and well coordinated system. No matter how well-coordinated it is - it has one flaw in my eyes - it can, and will, die - if left to its own "natural" course.

I will agree that real "immortality" is one of the largest delusions of grandeur a person can entertain - but I can dream cant I?

In the words of Graucho Marx : "I intend to live forever or die trying"

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#36761 - 03/19/10 02:06 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
I understand that this cell death is part of what repairs damaged tissues by allowing them to die and be replaced, but what part of apoptosis creates the deterioration we see over time? (loss of elasticity, vigor)

That would be the flaws which occur during cell-devision.
See the copying of genes as reprinting the copy of a copy of a copy..
In the end there will be some major flaws which wll result in aging.

 Quote:
The body is indeed a complex and well coordinated system. No matter how well-coordinated it is - it has one flaw in my eyes - it can, and will, die - if left to its own "natural" course.

Everything comes to an end, just as it should be.
To die is the most natural thing to do.
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#36779 - 03/19/10 08:15 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Wijesin Offline
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Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 34
Hello, people. I can see that this debate is moving rapidly and touches on many issues ranging from reductionism and determinism, technological and logical positivism, as well as basic biological and medical concepts – including longevity, the underlying basis of ageing and apoptosis. As I am sure many – but not all – people here appreciates: ageing is a complex and multifaceted process. Some aging-related afflictions include too much apoptosis (e.g Alzheimers) or too little (cancer most famously, but also other diseases like psoriasis). Targeting, in a medical or pharmacological sense, the mechanism that control or fail to control apoptosis is a big field in science because the payoff is potentially so big. That’s payoff in the clinical and academic sense as well as the moolah sense, btw. In any case, if there is too little or too much apoptosis you tend to die. If there is just the right amount, you tend to live. The easiest way of viewing this very complex matter is that it is another type of homeostasis, i.e. the tendency of a healthy organism to maintain a steady state of, say body temperature, trans-membrane potential or blood pH. This goes for cell death, too.

One-not-unreasonable way of viewing aging is that it represents the breakdown of homeostasis mechanisms on all levels, and that this breakdown is due to a lack of selective pressure at high age. This way of thinking works for me in lieu of anything better, and explains why women generally live longer than men: they have tended to stay with not only their kids but also their grandkids and great-grandkids and invested in their well-being. Since females can be surer of their kinship than men, such behaviour pays an evolutionary dividend which in this case is a longer lifespan.

The above hypothesis is not the only one about, though. Another one, usually referred to as the disposable soma hypothesis, claims that ageing is something that can be regulated by the organism. The regulation would balance resources spent on offspring, relatives and the individual – which would live a long life if it paid dividends to the system as a whole. Such considerations are extremely important for highly cooperative social insects, such as bees, ants and termites. The disposable soma hypothesis has been tested for honey bees, and appears to be holding water (for bees – not humans, but see below). Briefly, the honey bee society will assign longevity based on hive task. If your task is risky and requires little investment (foraging outside the hive, for instance) don’t expect to live long. In fact you won’t even if you don’t age, because you’ll be eaten by a bird or hit by a drop of rain before too long, anyway. If you care for brood or are necessary for the long term survival of the colony (e.g overwintering of the hive), you may expect to live 3-5 times more or even longer. There is no overlap in the spread of the two populations, so statistically the short and long-lived bees are two separate distributions rather than one large spread. This research is of course adjusted for the stressful and dangerous life outside the hive.

Apart from actually testing the underlying hypothesis of aging, which is a nice thing to do in science, this research also identifies the molecular mechanisms that allow the hive to regulate this. By fingering the right signalling pathways, it’s possible to bring bees in the short-lived population back to springy second youth. Prior to treatment, the bees show every sign of being venerable and on the brink of death. Grey hair, Alzheimer-like symptons, loss of body mass and more. For those who wonder how bees may have Alzheimer: I said, Alzheimer-like. But the bee has a well-developed nervous system, engages in advanced communication among hive members, may learn and forget, and is in every sense a brainiac among insects.

Are these mechanisms present in humans? Very likely not. The proteins involved in this in bees serve other purposes in Homo sapiens (e.g. one distant relative of a key longevity protein shuttles lipids between the blood, the liver and adipose tissue in us). So if this protein is the fountain of youth for bees, in you and me it merely helps expanding your waistline during good times and shrinking it in bad. Tough luck for the naked ape, but at least we get to eat the honey – and expand our waistline.
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#36793 - 03/20/10 03:32 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Everything comes to an end, just as it should be.
To die is the most natural thing to do.

I’ve been keeping quiet wanting to interject here and there but waiting for that one statement that pushes me over the edge. Well here we are…

First things first we have an idea what mechanisms cause aging but the last I looked we don’t have a definite answer. Therefore anything being said as “fact” is still really open to future determination.

Now Dimitri this statement “Everything comes to an end, just as it should be. To die is the most natural thing to do.” is a pretty stagnant thought and rather depressing. Imagine if all humans thought this way about other things.

Everyone lives in a cave, just as it should be. To live in a cave is the most natural thing to do. Building a cave to our standards (dry and climate controlled) well not so natural.

It is dark at night, as it should be. To not see at night and wander around blind is most natural. Creating light in darkness very unnatural, more so when anything but fire is used.

Of course if everyone thought like this about everything, we wouldn’t be gods that bend reality to our whim. Where does it end? Cancer is natural as many diseases are, this hasn’t stopped man from working towards figuring out how we can stop these undesirable things from happening.

To me death is the ultimate fuck you to humanity and many have spent lifetimes trying to find the mystical fountain of youth. Today man has finally progressed enough to be looking at the reality of these issues having wasted so much time on the fantasy. While I know I will not see it I do think man may eventually overcome or seriously extend this end to life.

We can see this happening already with healthcare and with medicine But why I mean fuck medicine who needs it, after all it is natural to get sick and die and so unnatural to extend your life eh?

A brain in a vat of liquid, few neurons living in a communal soup, a half human half machine hybrid or perhaps just your thoughts and emotions transferred to a robotic body who can tell what reality achieving H+ may bring.

Of course we can chatter about like early man small, hunched over, covered with hair, cold and scared in our dark damp caves. Sitting trying to discuss what it will be like when we develop a razor, without the technology and understanding of future man you could just as well be having a chat with a rock on the construction and physics of a violin.

There will be those who oppose H+ with a passion those who fear the progression and those who just cannot comprehend anything too far out of the box. I prefer to open my eyes and speculate what can happen if we chose certain paths having learned that fear of the unknown is just simply fear.

There will always be dreamers as well as skeptics. Humanity will always fear the unknown no matter if this unknown is getting your first tattoo, opening your first business or death.

We are already well on the way to becoming H+ even if we are still just in the infancy of modifying our own outward appearances. The very fact that the word transhumanism or its symbol H+ exist proves this want. It seems very natural for some to want these changes, this shows humanity’s quest to become more than we are.

The fact that I am typing this on a keyboard and putting it up to communicate with someone who 10 or 20 years ago I would never have touched thoughts with proves that man is the creator. When mankind wants something done and puts enough time and effort into developing this want, if it can be made a reality it will.

~T~

READ THE SIG...
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We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#36795 - 03/20/10 04:57 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
To me death is the ultimate fuck you to humanity and many have spent lifetimes trying to find the mystical fountain of youth. Today man has finally progressed enough to be looking at the reality of these issues having wasted so much time on the fantasy. While I know I will not see it I do think man may eventually overcome or seriously extend this end to life.

Afraid of death?
Come now Ta2zz, you know well enough as I do that everything has it's limitation and ends. Besides what's with the "humanity" anyway? If I managed to pass on my genes I'm sure that would be good enough for humanity.
Humanity after all is nothing more then yet another term humans invented to distinguish itself from animals, with the background idea we are better. ( You can belief so, not immediatly going to share my viewpoint).

 Quote:
We can see this happening already with healthcare and with medicine But why I mean fuck medicine who needs it, after all it is natural to get sick and die and so unnatural to extend your life eh?

It is natural to get sick, never said or assumed I'm all against "life-extending" or healthcare. Me thinking you made a few faulty assumptions concerning that one sentence.

 Quote:
A brain in a vat of liquid, few neurons living in a communal soup, a half human half machine hybrid or perhaps just your thoughts and emotions transferred to a robotic body who can tell what reality achieving H+ may bring.

I pass for such an extended life... How in the world should I even fuck? Not to mention I like my steak..

 Quote:
There will be those who oppose H+ with a passion those who fear the progression and those who just cannot comprehend anything too far out of the box. I prefer to open my eyes and speculate what can happen if we chose certain paths having learned that fear of the unknown is just simply fear.

Funny to see how bringing down fantasies (or making the line between reality and fantasy) automatically makes you an opponent.

 Quote:
There will always be dreamers as well as skeptics. Humanity will always fear the unknown no matter if this unknown is getting your first tattoo, opening your first business or death.

There will be indeed, to dream is to wander. I prefer to see dreams just as that, dreams. Those ideas and thoughts you have who give this warm sensation in a universe you created in your mind.
Skeptics are also dreamers, (aren't we all human after all?), but they are just the people who see things as they are. Just the people who grab you at your coat and pull you back before getting lost in the never-ending maze of fantasy.

 Quote:
We are already well on the way to becoming H+ even if we are still just in the infancy of modifying our own outward appearances. The very fact that the word transhumanism or its symbol H+ exist proves this want. It seems very natural for some to want these changes, this shows humanity’s quest to become more than we are.

I am aware of this "evolution", I only stated prudent steps should be taken and not to float away on yet another fantasy cloud.
Now a few remarks;
- "The very fact the word transhumanism... proves this want".
The word god also exists...
- "This shows humanity's quest..more then we are".
More then we are what?
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#36812 - 03/20/10 07:37 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Dimitri]
ta2zz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Afraid of death? Come now Ta2zz, you know well enough as I do that everything has it's limitation and ends. Besides what's with the "humanity" anyway? If I managed to pass on my genes I'm sure that would be good enough for humanity.
Humanity after all is nothing more then yet another term humans invented to distinguish itself from animals, with the background idea we are better. ( You can belief so, not immediatly going to share my viewpoint).

Am I afraid of death, no more than any other and as much as I hate most people I do so enjoy mankind. Humanity eh the only real human I’m interested in is myself but I must hold some love for the same race that spawned me. Everything has its limitation and ends is true but that doesn’t make me have to like it or be satisfied with the results. I wax my car to prolong the inevitable as I take my daily medication to keep my body working in relative good health.

Are humans better than other animals? Come now Dimitri what other animal has risen above the others as gods? What other animal has so changed reality to fit their will? So yes while it is important to remember that man is an animal as any other. It is also important perhaps more so to never forget than man is also so much more important than any animal. Humanity invented by humans that’s actually very funny. After all the very concept of inventing is itself human as is anything ever invented.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
It is natural to get sick, never said or assumed I'm all against "life-extending" or healthcare. Me thinking you made a few faulty assumptions concerning that one sentence

No I just took what you said to its extreme. Perhaps a computer implant will someday help with those who do have trouble with comprehension.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz
A brain in a vat of liquid, few neurons living in a communal soup, a half human half machine hybrid or perhaps just your thoughts and emotions transferred to a robotic body who can tell what reality achieving H+ may bring.
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I pass for such an extended life... How in the world should I even fuck? Not to mention I like my steak.

Ah as I said, we are but cavemen talking of rocket ships (ok I said razors). I can say without a doubt that sex or fucking is important to today’s human. Although we can see that this need or want can be replaced or disappear in those who use heavy drugs. Sex is not as important as pleasure to some. These needs will be addressed as the obstacles are revealed.

Of course “Everything comes to an end, just as it should be.” to use your own words. Perhaps fucking will only be important in the first stage of life. I mean seriously many people get along well enough without it.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz
There will be those who oppose H+ with a passion those who fear the progression and those who just cannot comprehend anything too far out of the box. I prefer to open my eyes and speculate what can happen if we chose certain paths having learned that fear of the unknown is just simply fear.
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Funny to see how bringing down fantasies (or making the line between reality and fantasy) automatically makes you an opponent.

I think one thing that truly separates us from other animals is the ability to dream of future possibilities. This exercise in imagination, thinking what H+ may become is just that. As we progress more hurdles will present themselves and we will either be able to clear them or hit an impasse.

Your statement of “Everything comes to an end, just as it should be. To die is the most natural thing to do.” That very statement is what makes you appear an opponent of H+. Otherwise my statement rings true there will be many in opposition of any serious human enhancements. Simple observation shows that what is fantasy today may very well be reality tomorrow so don’t think you’re bursting my bubble.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz
There will always be dreamers as well as skeptics. Humanity will always fear the unknown no matter if this unknown is getting your first tattoo, opening your first business or death.
 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
There will be indeed, to dream is to wander. I prefer to see dreams just as that, dreams. Those ideas and thoughts you have who give this warm sensation in a universe you created in your mind.
Skeptics are also dreamers, (aren't we all human after all?), but they are just the people who see things as they are. Just the people who grab you at your coat and pull you back before getting lost in the never-ending maze of fantasy.

As you sit and type your response remember that keyboard you are using was once someone’s dream. I am also a skeptic and question everything yet I also have the ability to fantasize about future realities. Imagine I can do all this while staying true to my skeptical side by basing my fantasies in realities.

What other animal holds a candle to this?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I am aware of this "evolution", I only stated prudent steps should be taken and not to float away on yet another fantasy cloud.

I simple reacted to this statement “Everything comes to an end, just as it should be. To die is the most natural thing to do.” and never claimed anything different.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Now a few remarks;
- "The very fact the word transhumanism... proves this want". ~T
The word god also exists...

Yes man “wanted” something to explain the unknown for this he invented God. Both are wants that had words invented to describe them… Next?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
- "This shows humanity's quest..more then we are". ~T
More then we are what?

Simply that. Man wanted the ability to point at something and make it die we wanted to become more than human so to fill this want we invented weapons. But then again if you read it in context as it was posted it makes sense.

TTFN

~T~


Edited by ta2zz (03/20/10 08:02 PM)
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#36840 - 03/21/10 05:28 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
Are humans better than other animals? Come now Dimitri what other animal has risen above the others as gods? What other animal has so changed reality to fit their will?

Depends on what you call "risen above the other as gods".
Upon hearing the statement I think of those nice little bacteria.
If there are organisms which are truly gods then it will be those tiny things.

I wouldn't say humanity has risen above others, as far as I am concerned there are still many organisms we failed to controle.
Also, I quite remember that 2.6 billion years ago the appearance of 1-celled organisms producing O2 gave us the ability to live under our current conditions. The appearance of algae turning the entire process upside down is possible leaving us gasping for air (altough very unlikely yet possible).

 Quote:
After all the very concept of inventing is itself human as is anything ever invented.

Actually, we copy. Any technique used can be retraced towards certain animal behaviour.

 Quote:
I think one thing that truly separates us from other animals is the ability to dream of future possibilities.

Under the condition other animals cannot think and dream...

 Quote:
That very statement is what makes you appear an opponent of H+.

Only stating immortality is impossible and prolonging life is futile when a certain age-limit is being reached.
Not everything is black and white. And most of my opinions are classified in the large grey zone..

 Quote:
As you sit and type your response remember that keyboard you are using was once someone’s dream.

Chance keyboard by computer and I agree.
My keyboard is just a "control panel" to make things easier, not really a dream but more something handy.

 Quote:
Simply that. Man wanted the ability to point at something and make it die we wanted to become more than human so to fill this want we invented weapons. But then again if you read it in context as it was posted it makes sense.

It was a question/statement which has always intrigued me, was just asking it to see how you would fill it in.
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#36847 - 03/21/10 10:29 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
Wijesin Offline
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Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 34
Getting back to the original video post, there is a strong streak of extreme technological positivism in the position that Kurzweil takes. The way he takes a few parts of Moore’s law, add some statements that are discussable and a just a little drop of hype is a bit tiresome. I’m prepared to give him credit for saying, correctly, that technology will improve in small increments and that these small increments are being achieved faster and faster because there are more and more people working with such issues using increasingly powerful tools. This is not his idea, though, and I see absolutely no reason why (small, continuous increments, remember) 2029 should be so special. Incidentally, the sci-fi book All Tomorrow’s Parties by William Gibson deals with the removal of the border between digital and physical realities and takes place around that time. Perhaps Gibson and Kurzweil had a talk.

In any case, the accelerating accumulation of small increments, does not take into account that the technological increments are getting harder to achieve and smaller when you achieve them. This is barring fundamental breakthroughs (which may open up a new era of easy picking, so to speak), but you never know when those come and what they will do to a given field of endeavour. They might even completely stop serious investigations into some technology. A prime example here is what thermodynamics did to making perpetuum mobilum. With thermodynamics in place and understood, you can safely leave the development of such technology to crackpots. In fact, the only really unstoppable machine would be the crackpots, who never gives up their insane ideas. Come to think of it, we could probably tap their energy and wean the world off oil.

Another example is weather prediction. In the 50-60ies, serious scientists imagined huge buildings filled with armies of trained specialists working abacuses to predict weather precisely a few days before it happened. This fevered dream was linked to precise weather control. To see how this affected visions of the future, read Robert Heinlein. Exact weather prediction is today not thought possible, since the mathematics that describe the physics of the weather system demands infinite precision in the input parameters. This is the famous butterfly effect, and it completely nailed hopes of taming weather for the convenience of Sunday strollers. Today, you can sometimes make it rain on command, but the conditions has to be right and there are few absolute guaranties.

To get back to Kurzweil and Solerift: Any analysis of his predictions should also consider fundamental problems. Moore’s law is not what it used to be, and as you continue to miniaturize more and more fundamental problems will crop up. If you imagine a classical industrial production of nanorobots, think again. How do you deal with Brownian motion, for instance, when you try to stick on a component? Are you prepared to do this a gazillion times to produce a lousy microgram of robots? As I’m sure people here will appreciate, nanorobots must be made chemically, and while chemistry makes progress on this score, don’t imagine a nuts-and-bolts factory to ever produce nanorobots. For instance, I find parts of this youtube video a bit naïve.

I do believe that human and technology will interface more closely in the future. For instance it seems likely that paraplegics will get help from advanced robotics in the foreseeable future, rather than being completely cured from (as of yet non-existent) stemcell therapies. Nanotechnology will play a part in the robotics, too, but in the battery-life or sensor system of the technology.

Remember, no personal jet-pack for you and me in the 21 century. But that we’re slouching around on a forum was harder to predict but much more transformative. Don’t worry; I’m certain the future will be interesting, even without nano-robots scraping the so-called amyloid plaque off your nerve-cells. Incidentally, by the time the molecular-level plaque accumulates on Alzheimer-ridden nerve cells, it’s already too late. This knowledge is only a few years old, and I suspect Kurzweil is blissfully unaware of it. Even if he tinkered up a robot for it, it will do him no good.


Edited by Woland (03/22/10 12:45 PM)
Edit Reason: Fixed bad link.
_________________________
-- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs -- (Attributed to Sagan, Truzzi and Laplace)

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#36980 - 03/24/10 11:33 AM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: Wijesin]
SOLERIFT Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
 Originally Posted By: Wijesin

Remember, no personal jet-pack for you and me in the 21 century.

This reminds me something very important : it may be cliche, but "necessity is the mother of invention".

If humanity were faced with conditions in which it became imperative to utilize our technology to make us more impervious, then perhaps inventions we cannot yet imagine will spring forth.....

Part of the reason we do not have personal jet-packs (other than the fact that the common concept of it defies physics)) is that there are other means of conveyance more convenient, inexpensive, and safer, all of which, keep us from investigating other methods of personal conveyance using means other than rocket combustion for motion - we have no "need" for it as of yet.

When the idea of the jetpack was born, it was in a comic book - the true physics are that jet fuel = fire = fire on flesh = backside torched off - and at best, flipping around in the air with no control until you crash and are possibly dragged across the ground by your jets.

That is what would happen if you literally strapped a rocket pack to your back. Yes it has been done, it did not even lift the person, if the rocket was powerful enough to lift them, it would have been hot enough to kill them.

This is of course, assuming that you are making your rocket with traditional fuel. If the pack were designed with a propellant mechanism using no combustion, it might be more feasible - but that still does not make the physics of motion any less difficult to master - imagine G forces acting on an unshielded body - ouch.

Then some people tried rocket powered hang gliders - worse idea. Logical Answer : Cessna.

It may very well be that "nano-bots" - as conceptualized by scientific positivism - will not only prove to be inefficient to produce, but also impractical when contrasted to other possibilities.....

Nano-bots as conceptualized in many scientific american articles, are only ideas, the real thing in "production" are not "nuts and bolts", and perhaps they are not really "bots" at all, but never the less, chemical nano-mechanisms.

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#36990 - 03/24/10 05:25 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: SOLERIFT]
ta2zz Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a very true statement but we shouldn’t forget that many things are still invented out of want.

 Originally Posted By: SOLERIFT
If humanity were faced with conditions in which it became imperative to utilize our technology to make us more impervious, then perhaps inventions we cannot yet imagine will spring forth.....

This is a true statement but to go into so much detail why we don’t have jet packs? You are incorrect as we do. We have had a working jetpack since 1953. I believe they run on a hydrogen peroxide fuel but I’m just pulling this from memory. Are they practical no but they exist because someone thought them up and wanted them enough to do the research and development.


I’m sure this guy has training but it doesn’t look too hard. How much different do you think hitting the ground from that thing failing would be than hitting something going over 50 mph on a motorcycle?

Could we all own one? Seems in 2007 Popular Science reported on two different companies that were working on just that. Maybe still not practical enough to sell to average people but enough money could buy you one or you could develop your own. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/transportation/4217989.html

Now a jetpack is not extending life or becoming H+ but it does show inventions that serve nothing but a want. You mention a rocket powered hang glider and all I can think of is Yves Rossy I had posted a video of him a couple of years ago it can be seen here http://www.the600club.com/topic8395-1.html. Looks like fun if nothing else. I think I read somewhere that some nations military was looking into his device. Sometimes man does things simply because he can.

Besides all this chatter was because the jetpack statement was taken out of context. As it reads “Remember, no personal jet-pack for you and me in the 21 century. But that we’re slouching around on a forum was harder to predict but much more transformative.” ~Wijesin

This statement is about how hard it is to predict future reality not the fact that there isn’t a jetpack in every garage. People in the 50’s-60’s had no idea anything like a chat room was possible or would ever exist. This touches on what I said about us being as cavemen talking about rockets. While I have no problem defining reality I also understand that 100 years from now more likely much less, so much more should be known that any of us would appear ignorant.

Now on the singularity happening or on any specific date well as I first stated I bet this man makes a good living off of his books. Whenever I look at anything people say or do my first two questions is why and then to what end. Ray Kurzweil sells books and probably holds lectures. His goal appears to be personal recognition and wealth. Most any will say anything to obtain those two things.

The move to obtain H+ is steadily increasing the want is there so is the need, as we will see increased robotics in use for helping disabled individuals in the future. In fact this is where the BCI (brain computer interface) is seeing its most use so far.

I leave you with a couple of videos showing more of this want to overcome normal human bounds.





These objects exist due to wants primarily, not needs.

Don’t worry Demitri I didn’t forget you… Everything depicted in these videos were a thought (dream) at one point including the video itself. What other animal can do such things? Bacteria I fear were classified as Protista since 1894 yet in 1956 bacteria were given their own class. Even in its newest form the Three Domain System (circa 1990) clearly shows bacteria cannot be confused as an animal.

http://biology.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/X...hreedomains.gif

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Only stating immortality is impossible and prolonging life is futile when a certain age-limit is being reached.
Not everything is black and white. And most of my opinions are classified in the large grey zone..

There is nothing gray in that statement. A gray statement would be “at the current level of understanding of the human body and aging, immortality and prolonging life past a certain point seems to be improbable.”

That which is impossible today is highly likely tomorrow if it is wanted enough and possible. Since the mysteries of the human body are not all unlocked yet, we are clearly grasping at straws. Neither of us can say what the future will bring we can only make assumptions based on past and known reality. Man is the creator we just got confused and attributed it to someone/something else.

Wijesin I am impressed in reading what I believe was your third post here, very nice indeed.

~T~
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#36992 - 03/24/10 07:03 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
SOLERIFT Offline
stranger


Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Dallas, TX
Excellent post and videos! I can't believe I have not seen that beofre.... That hydrogen pack is very cool! It hovers that guy around effectively, and he seems to have a pretty good control of it. That thing gains pretty fast forward motion without tilting!

Seems like old footage, damn. I stand corrected. And happy to be corrected, 'cause I want one! I would also like to try the frogman stilts, I could see that being really fun too, and they are about $500!

I have to admit though, I might not actually buy the stilts, but a hydrogen rocket pack? There is one available here, but it's almost $200,000

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/transportation/4217989.html

I guess I will have to make more money so I can buy something like that -

Lets see, buy a nice medium sized house....... or a rocket pack....... I would have to be stupid to choose the house right? ;\)

One day.......

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#36995 - 03/24/10 08:18 PM Re: The Singularity of Ray Kurzweil [Re: ta2zz]
Wijesin Offline
stranger


Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 34
Yes, yes, jetpacks are technologically feasible. I had already seen a similar clip. And it does not look too hard, I agree. The jetpack statement was, as Ta2zz kindly and correctly interprets me, to show that the future doesn’t always turn out the way one thinks it will. And I love these surprises, even if you feel a bit screwed. A friend of mine has a t-shirt stating angrily “Where’s my fucking jetpack!” You could say the same thing about flying cars – and they exist, too. Incidentally, the one deeply involved inventor believes firmly in UFO-visitations from superior civilizations proving that it’s possible to be an excellent inventor without having much overall critical thinking. We must make a distinction between feasible and transformative. As I understood it, this thread was about transformative technology. Ta2zz is correct to make a distinction between need and want. The jet-pack thing might still happen on a large scale, I suppose, but more to give people another hobby. I might appeal to the same segment that paraglide. I get a lot of those around where I live, and it looks pleasant. But they don’t paraglide for commuting. I’ll admit that a jet-pack shows more promise on that score, but not much. For instance, it sort of postulates a hydrogen economy among other things. The hydrogen economy would then be the transformative thing, IMHO, not the jet-pack.

When it comes to nerve-electronics interfacing, things are happening here although I’m uncertain about the state of the art. Nerves signal by electrical impulses which might in principle be tapped and used as input into (embedded) circuitry. Conversely, circuitry might output into a nerve. One of many, many problems is that nerve-communication is chemical as well as electrical. This apparent chaos is not understood well enough. Another problem is that all implants – even if they start out as biocompatible – will over time accumulate a film consisting mostly of aggregated proteins. This in turn causes inflammation and other problems, and is one of the reasons why contact lenses must be changed frequently. Again, progress is being made, but biofilms on sensitive electronics or itty-bitty nano-bots will interfere with their function even if they don’t give the carrier trouble. A fake hip that solves a mechanical problem is one thing, particles that need to stay in solution or in a particular cellular location to function is something else.

That said, Robocop rules. Forever.

 Originally Posted By: ta2zz

Wijesin I am impressed in reading what I believe was your third post here, very nice indeed.


Thanks. I was invited to comment by Mawhrin-Skel, who did not pick me randomly.

When it comes to ageing there are many other things that may be discussed, such as teleomers, breeding of long-lived sub-species, life-span trade-offs, defense mechanisms against bad times, and medical science attitude towards ageing.
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-- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs -- (Attributed to Sagan, Truzzi and Laplace)

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#37020 - 03/25/10 12:52 PM H+ [Re: SOLERIFT]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
Don’t worry Demitri I didn’t forget you… Everything depicted in these videos were a thought (dream) at one point including the video itself. What other animal can do such things? Bacteria I fear were classified as Protista since 1894 yet in 1956 bacteria were given their own class. Even in its newest form the Three Domain System (circa 1990) clearly shows bacteria cannot be confused as an animal.

I actually understand your point of view, and would agree with it on a certain point.
Neverless there is always the possibility other animals have dreams they are trying to fulfill. Perhaps not on the same scale as ours, but a little more "natural" like finding new methods to catch that one darn bird quicker with the knowledge a cat has.
Or maybe the cat dreams on being the best puss "in town" (the alfa male/female).
Or perhaps new skills to get more food from the human it lives with..

I know humanity once was at the same level. I know our ancestors once dreamed to do other things then we dream for know.
Mankind has the possibility to adapt/change and mimic different methods and nature laws to achieve its goal. Every technique, technology and equipment you use is based on something we copied from nature.

The needle with whom you tattoo is (as far as I think) based on the biological injection a scorpion, bee, wasp... uses.

Oh BTW: biologists have more problems in classifying organisms in domains in contradiction to classify them in the lower phyla/Sub-phyla,..


Edited by Dimitri (03/25/10 12:54 PM)
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#37109 - 03/28/10 06:08 PM RE: H+ [Re: Dimitri]
ta2zz Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

I was going to leave this alone as it is a bit off from the original topic, but as it is a divergence in the thread from thoughts brought about here…

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Neverless there is always the possibility other animals have dreams they are trying to fulfill. Perhaps not on the same scale as ours, but a little more "natural" like finding new methods to catch that one darn bird quicker with the knowledge a cat has.
Or maybe the cat dreams on being the best puss "in town" (the alfa male/female).
Or perhaps new skills to get more food from the human it lives with..

I understand the language barrier between us. I suggest you view this video The Uniqueness of Humans posted by a new member, thank you Adversary.

Maybe this will help show you the reason humans are the most important animals, in any case the differences between others and us. Your examples do not address my original questions to you in any way. Nothing touches on animals that create as gods like man.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I know humanity once was at the same level. I know our ancestors once dreamed to do other things then we dream for know.

Watch the video. Let me ask you a question what do you think would happen the day chimps started talking? What in history happens when an advanced race meet a lesser race? Humanity will remain on top as long as we retain the technological advantage over other animals. I do not think Planet of the Apes was a visionary movie about the future.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Mankind has the possibility to adapt/change and mimic different methods and nature laws to achieve its goal. Every technique, technology and equipment you use is based on something we copied from nature.

In 1957 Earl Tupper patented the Tupper Seal this design was simply inverted from a standard paint can. What natural process did we copy to create a paint can seal? How about the internal combustion engine?

Since mankind comes from nature wouldn’t everything we do be natural in a way? Does this not nullify your statement or do you assume mankind as unnatural?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
The needle with whom you tattoo is (as far as I think) based on the biological injection a scorpion, bee, wasp... uses.

Interestingly enough you’re wording makes the needle sound like it has a personality or is a person instead of an object. But no you are wrong… You sir seem to be happy with talking about things like you know them, but in reality you’re just guessing without any research into what you are talking about.

This is an image of a (queen) wasps sting. If we had the technology yet to replicate something so could you imagine the cost of one needle?

Here can be seen an image of some cheap Chinese tattoo needles.

In this age where information is at your fingertips there is little excuse to blindly guess at things so. To come here with anything less than a very well thought out educated guess only harms your own credibility.

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
Oh BTW: biologists have more problems in classifying organisms in domains in contradiction to classify them in the lower phyla/Sub-phyla,..

What is your point Bacteria have not been classified in the animal kingdom since 1894? You brought up bacteria as being an animal that can become as a god. You were wrong, as bacteria are not animals. You bring up single celled animals that created oxygen which allow us to breath yet you fail miserably in comprehending that these animals did not do such things consciously. Unless of course you choose to fight for the belief that single celled organisms that may or may not have created the oxygen we breathe did so knowing they were creating oxygen for a purpose.

I try to no longer put myself into these long drawn out posts with someone who simply wants to prove they are not wrong. Please don’t hit reply unless you really have something to add, I really want to spend the time trading thoughts with others whose posts make me think more about what they are saying, not what they said.

If you would like me to clarify anything I have said here before hitting reply, please feel free to send me a PM.

~T~

Now I am off to wrap my mind around the theory of transformative technology and how it relates to Wijesin’s thought.
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#37207 - 04/01/10 03:53 AM Re: RE: H+ [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
I understand the language barrier between us. I suggest you view this video The Uniqueness of Humans posted by a new member, thank you Adversary.

Maybe this will help show you the reason humans are the most important animals, in any case the differences between others and us. Your examples do not address my original questions to you in any way. Nothing touches on animals that create as gods like man.

I know you want to view humans as "superior" and want to maintain that feeling. Reality is, it is but an idea many humans have because they only think they are when they look around.
But what with "survivalism"? If we really were superior that particular way of thinking wouldn't exist.
If we really were "superior" how come people still die/ get wounded by animals whom should fear us if we really were "superior"?

I only agree with the fact we are animals who had the ability to change the terrestical view of the planet. But we are not toppredators or the most godly creatures on the surface of this planet. There are still enough animals which can fuck us up royally.

Besides, the skeletal structure of diatoms is also quite spectacular to see and can only be created by these organisms. The shells of mussels and snails are of the most beautifull structures you can find. ( I for instance can stare for long periods of time at certain shells and think on all the processes it took for the organism to make it that way).

 Quote:
Watch the video. Let me ask you a question what do you think would happen the day chimps started talking? What in history happens when an advanced race meet a lesser race? Humanity will remain on top as long as we retain the technological advantage over other animals. I do not think Planet of the Apes was a visionary movie about the future.

Animals DO talk, but only in a language we do not understand or partly understand. ( And most of the time we are guessing about it). Apes interact with each other to plan actions against an ennemy ape who dares to invase their region (or simply raid the nearest food store which happens frequently in India). Whales produce a sound which can be heard for many miles to find a mate. Dogs bark, growl,.. for various reasons.

I might agree with the "technological advantage", but I also know when it comes to certain places in the US some insects can be quite a pain in the ass. Technological advancements or not, some just might eat a house away or make it unfit to live in.

 Quote:
In 1957 Earl Tupper patented the Tupper Seal this design was simply inverted from a standard paint can. What natural process did we copy to create a paint can seal?

Snails (the maritime specimen) have a little hard organ at the outside (not their shell). If they retreat in their shell this little organ can close their only exit air-sealed. It is easy to see the parallel with earl Silas Tuppers seal.

 Quote:
Interestingly enough you’re wording makes the needle sound like it has a personality or is a person instead of an object. But no you are wrong… You sir seem to be happy with talking about things like you know them, but in reality you’re just guessing without any research into what you are talking about.

This is an image of a (queen) wasps sting. If we had the technology yet to replicate something so could you imagine the cost of one needle?

Actually you should be quite blind to not see the parrallel.
You are using a hallow needle you "sting" people with. The little machine to which the needle is connected is but an overly sized (and rawer) version of the smaller organs/cells the queen wasp uses...

 Quote:
What is your point Bacteria have not been classified in the animal kingdom since 1894? You brought up bacteria as being an animal that can become as a god. You were wrong, as bacteria are not animals. You bring up single celled animals that created oxygen which allow us to breath yet you fail miserably in comprehending that these animals did not do such things consciously. Unless of course you choose to fight for the belief that single celled organisms that may or may not have created the oxygen we breathe did so knowing they were creating oxygen for a purpose.

I might not have stressed out I was taking a bigger view and left the classification aside. The point I was trying to show is that you are stuck with the view ONLY animals can/might have the right to act as gods or behave godly. My point is, is that you are underestimating the diversity of species and their impact on global scale. ( And with diversity of species I ment EVERY specie, from single-cell organisms to plants and multi-cellular organisms as we are).

 Quote:
I try to no longer put myself into these long drawn out posts with someone who simply wants to prove they are not wrong. Please don’t hit reply unless you really have something to add, I really want to spend the time trading thoughts with others whose posts make me think more about what they are saying, not what they said.

The same can be said about you. I know I am right and have the information and knowledge at hand to show I am. Do you have the knowledge/information at hand without trying to guess?

Now, this discussion is something where most people have problems with. The idea you have about humans being the most "superior animals" is an idea the greater mass has, but it also an idea which is false and thrives on a lack of insight of biodiversity and ecological impact of diverse species.

My point of view here is not the result of "someone told me" or "I read it in books". But it is the result of doing ecological fieldwork. The investigations I have done concerning biodiversity and adaptation and influences of a wide variety of organisms. Perhaps I should take you on such an expedition once...
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#37363 - 04/04/10 03:03 PM Re: RE: H+ [Re: Dimitri]
Wijesin Offline
stranger


Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 34
Homo sapiens? A superior animal? I suppose it is possible to make a case for it, although I find myself close to Dimitri’s camp here. In my view, there is no reason to think that Homo sapiens has any single special quality that sets it apart from other animals. Opposable thumbs or something similar? Use of tools? Ability to assess problems and make sound decisions? Abstract thinking? Manipulation of their environment to suit them? Advanced language? Cooperation? Altruism? Culture in the sense that a certain set of behaviour spreads and becomes fixed in a population, independently of genetics? All these things have been documented in at least some other species. I think Homo sapiens’ trick is to combine all these traits, and much of them, into one walloping package.

I better give some kind of sources here. Some of the statements above is discussed and properly referenced in The Animal Mind (JL Gould, Scientific American Library); this squid uses a coconut to compensate for its squishiness, or perhaps it is just curious. As for culture in primates other than humans: see this popular article , or search pubmed for Carel van Schaik for many relevant hits. I could lump a massive amount of research here to document that the difference between humans and other animals is tenuous. This will do for now, I guess.

We evolved from other organisms. And evolution works in small increments, and by co-opting established adaptions to serve new purposes. It then follows that almost all our “human” traits should be found in some form and to some degree in our relatives. And, just like the eye has evolved independently several times we should not be surprised to find “human” qualities in other animals – even strange ones like the squid.

Dimitri: You may already know this, but there exists a bacterium that has evolved to live off industrial polymers in the short span of time where such has existed (I forget which polymer. Nylon, possibly). I have, just like you, no problem seeing them rise above us. The War of the Worlds comes to mind, where the technological superior invading Martians are “brought low by the humblest of creatures, the bacteria.”
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-- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs -- (Attributed to Sagan, Truzzi and Laplace)

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#37367 - 04/04/10 08:05 PM Re: RE: H+ [Re: Dimitri]
ta2zz Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

Ok to not make this simply another I’m right you are wrong… totally at least… well at least not right away ok? Who am I kidding?

(Everyone Please remain seated, keep your seat in an upright position and your hands inside while the ride is in motion.)

I see two arguments here one stems from my thought,
”Of course if everyone thought like this about everything, we wouldn’t be gods that bend reality to our whim.” ~ta2zz

Then this,
“Are humans better than other animals? Come now Dimitri what other animal has risen above the others as gods? What other animal has so changed reality to fit their will?” ~ta2zz

Then your reply…
Depends on what you call "risen above the other as gods".
Upon hearing the statement I think of those nice little bacteria.
If there are organisms which are truly gods then it will be those tiny things. ~Dimitri


I then tried to further explain my thought by saying,
“Nothing touches on animals that create as gods like man.”~ta2zz

And then,
“You bring up single celled animals that created oxygen which allow us to breath yet you fail miserably in comprehending that these animals did not do such things consciously.” ~ta2zz

The other argument we seem to be having stems from my thought,

After all the very concept of inventing is itself human as is anything ever invented.” ~ta2zz

Then your reply…

“Actually, we copy. Any technique used can be retraced towards certain animal behaviour. ~Dimitri

If we agree we could simply end this by my asking two questions.

1. Has any other animal created or changed reality from a thought?
2. What technique and from what animals behavior did we copy the concept of inventing from?

But fuck man where is the fun in that eh?

 Originally Posted By: Dimitri
I know I am right and have the information and knowledge at hand to show I am. Do you have the knowledge/information at hand without trying to guess?

Now, this discussion is something where most people have problems with. The idea you have about humans being the most "superior animals" is an idea the greater mass has, but it also an idea which is false and thrives on a lack of insight of biodiversity and ecological impact of diverse species.

My point of view here is not the result of "someone told me" or "I read it in books". But it is the result of doing ecological fieldwork. The investigations I have done concerning biodiversity and adaptation and influences of a wide variety of organisms. Perhaps I should take you on such an expedition once...


What can I say? When I say animals you say bacteria, I show you how you are wrong you claim you were simply ignoring the classes. Yet you go on to imply I simply parrot what I’ve read and heard or I simply guess. I’m not the one selectively ignoring facts to try to get my point across! How dare you.

Let’s also bring up the fact that bacteria are an important part of a human. As such I see bacteria counting towards my question as much as a brain or heart.

The Tupper Seal as I stated was simply an inverted paint can seal. This I got as first hand knowledge having known a Tupperware lady (My mother) and having been dragged to a Tupperware “convention” I learned this first hand. I also learned that Tupperware salespersons sing “I’ve got a Tupper feeling all over me, all over me, all over me” as well and came away only slightly scarred.

I must question why you felt the need to mention a snail’s operculum without naming it. This is a funny practice for one who “knows what he is talking about” or one who at least researches enough to be able to form a coherent argument. I also find it funny that you took the question I added for humor and ignored me asking what natural process did we copy the internal combustion engine from.

You question my inability to see the similarities between a tattoo needle and a wasp’s sting. Did you not see where I told you such uneducated guessing on your part does nothing but hurt your own credibility? I think you did but you selectively ignored it.

Just as you selectively ignored my further question of what process in nature did we copy for the internal combustion engine? You can attribute many mechanical things to natural processes but to say we copy everything we invent?

A tattoo needle is “solid” like a sewing needle not hollow like a wasps sting. Nothing is pumped through each needle. Who is assuming here, who is wrong?

One can simply Google electric tattoo machine and see that the picture you have formed in your minds eye is wrong again.

“The wasp does not really carry out a 'stabbing' action when stinging. Instead, the shaft is thrust into the victim and the lancets move rapidly backwards and forwards (sliding along the stylet) in a sawing action. The lancets are barbed - that is, they have small backward-pointed hooks along their edges. As the shaft penetrates further into the victim's body, the barbs allow anchorage against the flesh until the alternate lancet moves forward and 'claws' the shaft deeper into the wound. The movement of the lancets also enables a pumping action to take place at the abdomen end of the shaft. This causes the poison sac to pump venom down through a central poison canal, between the lancets and out through the shaft tip into the wound.”

Taken from Here

I guess learning about things by reading “something someone said in a book” is somehow wrong or bad so this knowledge is simply bunk and probably shouldn’t be taken into consideration. I don’t think there would be many tattoos going on if it mimicked this process of a wasp’s sting. Imagine sticking a needle in you and shaking it back and forth to pump out ink…

Laughable nonsense

~T~

I wrote this on the first and was holding back posting it but what the hell…
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#37368 - 04/04/10 08:59 PM H++ [Re: Wijesin]
ta2zz Offline
veteran member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 1552
Loc: Connecticut

First let me clarify Dimitri likes to argue while he is intelligent he tends to sometimes lose focus of what he’s arguing. This is simply an observation nothing else we are all human after all. No one here but Dimitri is arguing that man is unfailingly/infallibly superior. Let’s not all fall down this rabbit hole shall we?

I originally wrote,
“Are humans better than other animals? Come now Dimitri what other animal has risen above the others as gods? What other animal has so changed reality to fit their will? So yes while it is important to remember that man is an animal as any other. It is also important perhaps more so to never forget than man is also so much more important than any animal. Humanity invented by humans that’s actually very funny. After all the very concept of inventing is itself human as is anything ever invented.” ~ta2zz

My previous post to Dimitri clears up what arguments I was having. Sometimes while I myself do like to quote people at times splitting up what someone says can alter the context in which it was said. This is probably truer for someone who doesn’t speak English as his or her first language.

Of course we can see primitive examples of things we humans do in other animals. If being the only animal that can bring all these attributes together to achieve what we have so far is not proof enough of importance of humanity if simply being human itself is not proof enough to the both of you, I fear we will never agree on this subject.

When I think of gods I must admit it’s the Roman and Greek gods that held the most interest for me as a growing child. These gods did things to their whim for the sake of their will alone, as man. They did not simply do things because it so happened to be a natural byproduct of their normal function, even if they adapted to said function or environment. This talk of bacteria is way off the track I’m on.

Humans seem to have a very close relationship with bacteria. Without it there would be no humans, no animals. To try to attribute intelligence to a bacteria or single celled animal is like saying the same about DNA or the atoms and molecules themselves.

No other animal that we know of has ever held the knowledge as man to manipulate things on such a level as man. From the atom to the stars no other animal comprehends such things much less sits and talks of enhancing itself with something it has constructed from a conscious thought.

That somehow brought this all back on track…

~bows~

~T~
_________________________
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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#37792 - 04/18/10 12:42 PM Re: RE: H+ [Re: ta2zz]
Dimitri Offline
stalker


Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3151
 Quote:
f we agree we could simply end this by my asking two questions.

1. Has any other animal created or changed reality from a thought?
2. What technique and from what animals behavior did we copy the concept of inventing from?

Agreed those are the main questions...
With the first one there needs to be a assumed fact, i.e the assumption animals (apart from humans) can also think and have "thoughts" and "ideas". Then conscious and unconscious thoughts should be worked out.
From what I can guess organisms have created and changed the world we live in (reason why I mentioned the bacteria). It is in my opinion and view that an idea is not always needed to change reality or the world. Natural causes like eruptions, smashing meteorites,.. are good enough.

For the second question; what, in the end, is inventing? When taken an objective view; an invention is combining different techniques into a new form to suit a certain purpose. Basing on: "no idea is unique", "new form" is actually a review of natural evolutive procedures made out of human-made materials and the combination of the known techniques to finally get the end-result.

 Quote:
I must question why you felt the need to mention a snail’s operculum without naming it. This is a funny practice for one who “knows what he is talking about” or one who at least researches enough to be able to form a coherent argument.

To be honest, I had forgotten the name and was a bit lazy to look it up. My bad.

 Quote:
You question my inability to see the similarities between a tattoo needle and a wasp’s sting. Did you not see where I told you such uneducated guessing on your part does nothing but hurt your own credibility? I think you did but you selectively ignored it.

I live to learn, and I would be inhuman if I didn't make a mistake or two, three, four,...
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Ut vivat, crescat et floreat

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