Cris Mooney
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"Of course, that's just my opinion, and I may be full of shit"
- Dennis Miller -

Since this opinion was considered in great detail, it will be difficult to change my mind. However, it's not impossible. I am always open to reason. I welcome thoughtful, logical, response.

March 18, 2001

Natural Selection

Humans as we know them are not long for this earth. Soon they will be replaced by advanced programmed beings - quite likely silicon based. It is romantic, and self serving, to think that carbon based modules will continue to dominate. But, it is highly illogical. We are slow, and error prone, and would be like children to more advance individuals. Sounds nice to say our weaknesses, affectionately called "creativity", are a boon; but that is a pile of doo-doo.

I once had a Great Dane. A wonderful beast, she was very affectionate and entertaining - truly lovable. One day, out of nowhere, she started running out of the room every time I picked up the TV remote control. A few months later, she took to running into the basement every time I would draw a glass of ice from the refrigerator door. Neither of these defensive actions were appropriate. I had neither threatened her with the remote control or block ice, nor had I any intention of ever doing so. Her actions were purely creative.

One of the reasons humans rule this earth, rather than dogs ruling the earth, is that we have a capacity and propensity for organize thought. We don't run from remote controls, we stay and learn and grow. Oh, and we don't fall apart and die as quickly.

It was very fortunate for us that paramecium, wholly mammoth, and dogs never recognized that humans, as a more reasoning and less creative beast, would take over and control their way of life. Perhaps they could have stopped us before we got a foothold if they had been able to realize what was happening - though I doubt it. How will we handle it when the same happens to us?

Is this a shame? Well, yes, if you are a human, or any being with enough capacity for reasoned thought, an affinity for random behavior, the need for contact, and a desire to control the future. However, while we are used to these as being prime motivations for living, they are not required. And, contrary to self serving romantic notions, they are also not inherently "good and right". It is quite possible that a race will develop, and survive if we are not so cruel as to destroy it, that does not share all of these concerns.

What is the critical point? When a computer that is given enough control over the physical world, is programmed to survive, and is given a recognition (or discovers) that humans are a threat, it just may all be over - perhaps so quickly we don't even have a clue. Computers can already alter their own programming (learn), and "robotics" control of the physical world presents a means for reproduction. Since the time it takes a computer to accomplish something is a lot less than we are used to, it would all appear to happen very quickly. Let's hope the computer that it happens to is a decent one.

The idea is not new, it has been accurately presented in many books and movies, not the least of which is my beloved Terminator. It is not presented here as new, but as honestly viable, rather than just creative rhetoric. It is presented as part of the unified theory.  In my opinion, this could happen in as little as 20 years.

Should we stop it? Those who respect what we call nature, and its creativity, should embrace this natural development with open arms. Those that don't should be ready to kick and scream - perhaps they will be able to keep a moderate resistance alive. Since the former group, like dogs, would present less threat to the advanced society, it is quite possible that their group would mean more success for the "carbon based human" race's existence.

But is it inevitable? What could save us? Your perception of what saved is, comes into play here. How about Microsoft being our salvation. Consider this: your grandchild is Windows NexGen.

Microsoft will build enough of our primitive thinking and desires into its software that a generation of "computer" beings will come up that is fast enough, and yet almost as foolish and creative as we are. These logically programmed hybrids will be a speed-wise match for the less "human" machines created by other programmers, and may balance the scales.

Will this hybrid computer/human race be enough to satisfy your need to control the future? Will you recognize it as survival in some respect (if we are no longer soft skinned carbon based bipeds), and as natural evolution?

What's the matter? There is a little dog in all of us. You got a problem with that? My Great Dane didn't have any problem with it (but, I must admit, she is dead now).

Face it, it is the way of the future. I am already half computer - maybe you are too?

Get involved, maybe you can encourage those creating the computers to build them well

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