Google Blogoscoped


"We are faced with..."  (View post)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
16 years ago5,791 views

whichever way one looks at it, the human species is trying to cope with information and information overload. Everyone handles the situation different.

We are dying species – faced with extinction- the question here- is do we collectively turn to technology to seek for a solution or do we turn away from it ??

Think of the Amish and their way of life-- without oil/elec etc. They as a community seem to life longer and healthier. Is there a lesson out there for such practices ? Is the collectivity of consciousnesses a sort of superconciousness , that helps humanity live better and healthier and by that virtue alone sustain the plant ??

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Network, network, network. Social network, computer network, online social network, Web network, neural network, artificial neural network...

They are so alike.

But, where is the soul?

Satan [PersonRank 6]

16 years ago #

I like this type of post!

[put at-character here]/pd : Why do you think we are a dying species / faced with extinction? I'm not disagreeing, but I am rather curious as to why you think that.

[put at-character here]Andy Wong : What is a soul? Do you mean irrational thought and emotions (eg. love)?

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #


Good question that I should had asked. What is a soul? Human beings haven't yet understand what the soul is, before jumping to speculations about whether mind will be born from Skynet-like networks, or whether human will face with extinction.

Ljancho [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Beautiful post! Thank you for waking me in the morning with this interesting stuff.

Jaqme [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

One of you best posts!

What could think Hegel about Google?
I am sure that it could be his favourite tool (or toy).

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

==> "Why do you think we are a dying species / faced with extinction?"

1) Human Life Expectancy has dropped.
2) Sickness ratios per 1K people is higher.
3) dependence on substances that is not eco friendly

On the other hand with carbon levels (foot print) going up.. there are more and more natural disasters happening. Burma, China, drought in Spain, Excessive weather patterns in US (tornado's touching down every day). Lets not forget that there could be some sort of 'Andromeda strain' that can suddenly hit us and we have no cure for it. Think of a mutation of HIV /West NILE /SARS etc.

==>"What is a soul?"

My question is what is your belief system ?

Justin Pfister [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Well – /pd, I think you're a little off because humanity is definately living longer and can fight more sickness. You're probably correct on our dependence on substances. However, I get your main point.

What is it exactly that makes life enjoyable and exciting and worthwhile? What makes you want to wake up in the morning!? Without having an idea about what makes your life beautiful, living to be 100 seems kinda pointless. It's like having all the money in the world and nothing to buy.

Whenever I think about Google initiatives, I always try and figure out what they are saying about humanity. What does Google believe fundementally about the human species?

Phil [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I think that the cognitive philosopher Daniel Dennett clarifies a lot of what these quotes are getting at.

Consciousness is one of those animals that really needs a solid working definition. It's very easy to use words like 'soul' and 'mind' without attributing or projecting our assumptions onto them. Consciousness appears to us like some spirituous fume; but it's ultimately grounded on cranes (like tiny neurons) not skyhooks (like some transdimensional boogie-man in the sky).

Gnostic concepts like the noosphere can be nice metaphors to work with, but if they're ultimately devoid of concrete meaning, aren't we tricking ourselves with cool-sounding but misleading aphorisms?

I don't think any new metaphysical event is happening or coming. What's been happening for billions of years is just continuing. We might be getting more aware of what's going on in the universe, but the same old problems and principles are in place. An electron is still an electron. The networks they make are evolving and changing, but the fundamental game in the universe remains the same.

Dystopos [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Search engine marketing association [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I am fascinated with the human mind, so I find this post very interesting.

[] [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Thank you for posting such a wonderful article about the human mind.

Justin Pfister [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Nicely put Phil!

Satan [PersonRank 6]

16 years ago #

[put at-character here]/pd : Andromeda Strain was one of my favorite books as a kid, so that reference works well with me. :-) Yeah, I often wonder when the bird flu is coming my way!

You mention disasters and the like, but I guess I just do not have any frame of reference to compare today with the past in any meaningful manner. Are you sure life expectancy is declining? And what about natural disasters becoming more frequent: is there any empirical data to suggest that is true? I really don't know the answer to either of those questions.

You asked about my belief system. I'm an atheist. What interested me about the "soul" comment by Andy Wong is that it touches on an interesting topic for me: the nature of morality in a universe that has only laws, which in turn give in to networks and systems. The idea of a soul to me seems to embody a notion of morality and kindness to fellow man, even if it's not a palpable, rational entity.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I don't have a lot of answers..and most of it my thoughts don't have empirical data.. they are just thoughts :)- To those that have interest in such topics and subject areas. a good place to to harverst other peoples minds is the minds -eye group . Some facinating conversations happen here!!

/pd [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

==>"You asked about my belief system. I'm an atheist. "

Oh well, then this thread of topic is well suited for you :)- A snip from on of the threads---

[..atheism is a choice, a free choice, as granted us by God. I can only trust God knows what God is doing by creating such a creature. }

Brandon Werner [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Should be read with Gonzales' Gentle Threat piano music in the background.. it will make you want to jump out the window.

Ron C. de Weijze [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Teilhard de Jardin meant intersubjectivity, where subjects or people's thoughts converge or even synthesize into one workable social structure that everybody can live with. Question is how and why people start confirming each other. Usually it is a matter of power and nothing social. It should be independent confirmation (or rejection when ideas cannot be related).

Collective intelligence is usually one person repeating what somebody else said, and so on, until a whole group is 'in tune'. René Girard has studied this and shown how mimetics leads to scapegoating and is basic to Judeo Christian culture. All cultures can be compared by how long they are able to postpone aggression (fascism). So again, what you should ask yourself is whether confirmation was really independent or just policy to get the upper hand in 'democratic' voting (not when people don't think for themselves).

A global brain is just one idea that nobody can block or criticize any more. Something like political correctness or multiculturalism (no offence).

Metaman is artificially modified to receive a brain that is better than ours because it can improve on itself infinitely. That is how Gary Kasparov got beaten by Deep Blue or its successor.

A social organism is an organisation.

Mass hysteria is behavioral contagion such as the popular fainting at the beginning of the last century. It was expected that women couldn't get to grips with reality, which was the man's role, so many woman fainted when they wanted (the attention of) a particular man. Again: notice how all this is determined by 'dependent confirmation', exactly the opposite of what truth-seeking, e.g. in science and journalism but also in any regular life that wishes to avoid neuroses, psychoses or socioses (J.A. van den Berg, Dutch psychiatrist, ca. 1955).

A world brain is what the UN or the EU parliament is supposed to be. Many believe that they are just the new colonies of the upper classes or the politically correct elites.

Crowds typically do not think for themselves but only enjoy the ride they get from the power attributed to their individual members, as if they had arrived at the same conclusions about their environment and therefore concerted their actions. Nothing could be less true, usually. Instead, they agree on anything the leader says so that they can fool democracy and deconstruct it before our very eyes.

Herds are OK when they protect the weak and call for equity, but most herds have silverbacks and dominant males who use the herd for their own procreation. Like Genghis Khan who took all the wives of his slain enemies and had children with them. About half the world population now has his genes!

Swarm intelligence is what I first heard of as 'artificial life'. This goes in the right direction: at least each (pixel) knows what to do for himself, independently, "when there are two pixels on the left and one on the right then I must move three pixels up" etc.

Spontaneous collective behaviour also moves in the right direction, for the assessment that this happens spontaneously indicated individual, independent, judgment.

The best emergence philosophy I came across was central to theoretical psychology: everything from society to the human brain is functionally structured at ever higher levels historically. Jacob Bronowski (1976) called it 'stratified stability'. Make sure to take a look when this BBC series ever will have a rerun.

Groupthink typically is what happened at the Bay of Pigs incident where JFK almost started WWIII. Power invested in a few representatives of the whole group (the American people in this case), can lead to unbalanced and unchecked, at least not sufficiently, decision making. Again a case of lack of criticism and lacking critical independent confirmation or rejection from all to whom it concerns.

Smart mobs are the result of group-polarization, the most important phenomenon social psychology can study. People’s judgment is affected by the urge to be in charge or to be better than someone else in the group. Opinions of all members thereby tend to shift ('risky shift') towards an extreme, think of hyper-intellectuals at the politically extreme left (Rote Armee, political left wanting to appease Hamas etc). Extremism is one step away from terrorism. Very smart indeed.

Hope you get my drift.

Satan [PersonRank 6]

16 years ago #

That's a sweet group, /pd. Thanks!

Satan [PersonRank 6]

16 years ago #

[put at-character here]Ron C. de Weijze – Do you mean that groupthink occurred within the JFK administration (his cabinet, for example)?

Phil Baumann [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

[put at-character here]Ron C. de Weijze – Instilling Rene Girard's mimetic theory into this discussion is interesting.

Mimetic theory can be applied to almost all human activity, not just in the context of the Gospels. We all have experienced that sense of wanting something because someone else wants the same thing (boy meets girl, not interested; another boy meets girl, interested; first boy is now interested in girl). This is unique to our kind of consciousness and no small matter.

As our networks grow, Girard's observation about human desire will grow increasingly relevant. The mob is in us.

AI, however, will likely not have mimetic desire to overcome. That's probably going to be a key distinction between human and artificial intelligence. It ramifies the different kinds of moral networks we'll encounter.

Human consciousness is, well, all too human. But our most important feature of our consciousness (imitation) is perhaps our most fundamental stumbling block. I'd be interested to see if the AI we develop be able to free us from this stumbling block or enforce it even more.

ema [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

I suggest to read "Origins of the Modern Mind" of Donald Merlin (see wikipedia). It's an interesting essay on evolution of human mind,

"The externalization of memory was initially very gradual, with the invention of the first permanent external symbols. But then it accelerated, and the numbers of external prepresentational devices now available has altered how humans use their biologically given cognitive resources, what they can know, where that knowledge is stored, and what kinds of codes are needed to decipher what is stored..."

Miguel Marcos [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Via Mind Hack, there's a "feature on the 'singularity' – the supposed point when technology will outpace the human brain and we'll be catapulted into a time of intelligent machines, neurologically enhanced humans and never ending life" at IEEE Spectrum Online magazine:

milivella [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I'd add to the list
(but Averroism is not a mystical tradition...)

Forum home


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!