May 1, 2010 to May 6, 2010
The Three Essences, Kurzweil Reimagined
I see the world in ways that are natural for me, yet unnatural for others. It’s a sad story. It’s a story of sacrifice, and ripping away of things we cherish. Maybe. It might not feel like that in the end because we might embrace it without reservation.
Essence One: Environ-mentalism. This is a restructuring of human cognitive and social characteristics with the aim of permitting human beings to coexist in harmony with the global natural environment.
Essence Two: Species-purpose. This refers to a reorientation of meaning and purpose away from self-gratification, family-gratification¸ regional-gratification and national-gratification, and toward global awareness that the parts must serve a higher-order, all-encompassing design.
Essence Three: Dying-accept. This transformation asserts that one way of living is no better or worse than another way of living. There is nothing wrong with pain, suffering, hunger, illness, aging or dying since they are all states of being completely alive. This essence seeks a state of consciousness in which individual human experience reduces to trivial importance in light of the demands of Essences One and Two.
These essences forecast a redefinition of the constructs by which we assign value. Some of our most cherished notions will be sacrificed in favor of the welfare of the total human genome. Indeed, they will be sacrificed in favor of the welfare of the total terrestrial genome and the total bank of phenotypic characteristics that those genes produce in living entities. In other words, preservation of diversity will overrule individual success. This has always been life’s (nature’s) biological agenda. Now—because of our numbers and our intellectual dominance—humanity will necessarily take ownership of nature’s agenda.
New values imply new currencies. Already this is happening in the techno-sphere. Here is a TED talk by Jesse Schell called “When Games Invade Real Life” (http://www.ted.com/talks/jesse_schell_when_games_invade_real_life.html).
This way of thinking allows me to view Kurzweil’s “singularity hypothesis” in new ways. If the ultimately intelligent computer emerges (along with its incomprehensible artificial intelligence), it will take ownership of nature’s agenda and the development of Grand Design. It would create the new currencies. These currencies would take birth as expressions of a point system with such a complex underlying algorithm that humans would not be capable of understanding it and would require computers to even access it.
Already we see the early stages of this in complexities of the tax code and investment instruments. At any rate, using the singularity’s algorithmic point system, the post-singularity AI would have the means to positively motivate human behavior, shape human values and engage in diversity-promoting husbandry.