Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Relee » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:21 am

Geez, that's what I'm SAYING. Once we reach this point, the only thing we have to worry about is Grey Goo which is basically an intelligent virus built on the same principles! But, we wouldn't have to worry about regular viruses and bacteria, because no matter how well evolved a natural creature is it always has built-in flaws.

Lifeforms always have more parts than they need as a prerequisite for evolution. We have mutations that haven't played out yet and ones that hinder rather than help. We also continue to have parts from previous forms that suck up resources that could be used more effectively. Nanocells designed intelligently would be able to do the jobs of every other cell and more. You could fight disease with every cell in your body instead of just a few. You could repurpose your own cells on the fly for different tasks. You would be able to use your body's energy at or near 100% efficiency on both the macroscopic and microscopic levels.

Saying that natural cells work together intelligently isn't really true. They work together because that's what they do. They evolved into that state. When I talk about defending the body intelligently, I mean using awareness of the big-picture situation and understanding of the nature of reality. By this point, it'll be possible to have multiple sub-intelligences running inside your own body, monitoring internal systems. Individual cells won't be able to think, that's just sci-fi, but they'll all be able to think. You'll be able to use every cell in your body as a brain cell as well as every other purpose. So, you'll be able to truly intelligently fight against disease, guiding every cell like troops on a battlefield, without even thinking about it in your central conciousness.


The big threat at that point comes from individuality. Sooner or later someone will say, 'Well, I want to be God, so I'm taking over the universe.' and they'll start converting all matter into nanocells connected to their own central conciousness. Then it's a fight to see who can consume the most stuff, with nanocells fighting untill there's only one person left, and everybody remaining is a subconciousness of the central conciousness of somebody, running artificially inside the universal brain.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby strange_person » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:06 pm

Relee wrote:at or near 100% efficiency
No.

Nonono.

Nothing people have built works at anything close to 100% efficiency. To get that kind of thing, you need millions and millions of years of R&D, which 'natural' organisms have and we do not.

Cell specialization is there for a reason. If you try to make one unit that does everything, it won't do any of those things very well.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Tychomonger » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:15 pm

A solution: encrypted DNA. Everyone has the same base genetic code, but it every person has a unique encryption key for their DNA. Everyone's code will be different, but it will all have the same functionality after decoding.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Relee » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:07 am

strange_person wrote:
Relee wrote:at or near 100% efficiency
No.

Nonono.

Nothing people have built works at anything close to 100% efficiency. To get that kind of thing, you need millions and millions of years of R&D, which 'natural' organisms have and we do not.

Cell specialization is there for a reason. If you try to make one unit that does everything, it won't do any of those things very well.


Yes! Yes yes yes!

Every tool we make is more efficient than the last, but at some point you hit the subatomic structure and then everything is perfectly aligned. It's only a matter of time and refinement. Of course there's a different sort of 'evolution' there, as people refine the structures and systems that make up nanocell bodies.

It's difficult to know, now, how the cells should work. I'm not sure if they should be specialized or general. It all depends on what you have in excess and what is rare. Every cell has certain parts that it needs, basically 'vehicle' parts, and if you have a shortage of those you want to make the most of what you've got. On the other hand, it takes more energy to move the more stuff you have, and if you're focused on one thing you're not focused on another. So, it would take time to find the right balance. Less time than standard evolution by far.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby strange_person » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:45 am

A Bugatti Veyron isn't more efficient than a Ford Model T.

Steel blades aren't sharper than obsidian.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Wic » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:47 pm

It all depends if humanity is patient enough to test it all very carefully, instead of going "OMGZ! Bigger penis! NOW!"

Personally I expect the latter.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Alfador » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:54 am

strange_person wrote:Steel blades aren't sharper than obsidian.


No, but they last longer--or they will once weapon-degrading is added to the build. Also you can't sell obsidian short swords to the elves because of the wood.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby strange_person » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:13 pm

Alfador wrote:
strange_person wrote:Steel blades aren't sharper than obsidian.


No, but they last longer--or they will once weapon-degrading is added to the build. Also you can't sell obsidian short swords to the elves because of the wood.
I was thinking more Snow Crash than Dwarf Fortress. Dmitri Ravinoff wielded a weapon that could slip past any sensor system, and tear through any armor, although, to be fair, he was disarmed and defeated by a crippled old man on a skateboard.

Who cares about weapon degradation or resale value? I mass-produce masterwork obsidian blades for compilation into weapon traps, and the resultant goblin meatpiles are my primary source of iron.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Skatche » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:59 pm

Relee wrote:Geez, that's what I'm SAYING. Once we reach this point, the only thing we have to worry about is Grey Goo which is basically an intelligent virus built on the same principles! But, we wouldn't have to worry about regular viruses and bacteria, because no matter how well evolved a natural creature is it always has built-in flaws.


I don't see how artificially designed devices don't have serious built-in flaws. This really isn't a matter of improving our techniques, it's a matter of entropy. There are fundamental limitations to how successful any lifeform (artificial or otherwise) can be. And the same goes for the immune system: if nature has a few trillion of something to throw at you (let alone at the entire human race), something's going to stick. Perfect security is impossible, and if you've got a security hole (which you do) something will eventually figure out how to exploit it.

Lifeforms always have more parts than they need as a prerequisite for evolution. We have mutations that haven't played out yet and ones that hinder rather than help. We also continue to have parts from previous forms that suck up resources that could be used more effectively. Nanocells designed intelligently would be able to do the jobs of every other cell and more. You could fight disease with every cell in your body instead of just a few. You could repurpose your own cells on the fly for different tasks. You would be able to use your body's energy at or near 100% efficiency on both the macroscopic and microscopic levels.


strange_person wrote:
Relee wrote:at or near 100% efficiency
No.

Nonono.

Nothing people have built works at anything close to 100% efficiency. To get that kind of thing, you need millions and millions of years of R&D, which 'natural' organisms have and we do not.

Cell specialization is there for a reason. If you try to make one unit that does everything, it won't do any of those things very well.


QFT.

Saying that natural cells work together intelligently isn't really true. They work together because that's what they do. They evolved into that state. When I talk about defending the body intelligently, I mean using awareness of the big-picture situation and understanding of the nature of reality. By this point, it'll be possible to have multiple sub-intelligences running inside your own body, monitoring internal systems. Individual cells won't be able to think, that's just sci-fi, but they'll all be able to think. You'll be able to use every cell in your body as a brain cell as well as every other purpose. So, you'll be able to truly intelligently fight against disease, guiding every cell like troops on a battlefield, without even thinking about it in your central conciousness.


You ever wonder why only a very small number of species even approach our cognitive capacity? Say it with me now: thought is expensive. Our brains use a hell of a lot of energy that (in most other creatures) goes into not starving to death. Now you're suggesting is that we make our whole bodies intelligent? So now we're burning through resources, spending most of our time eating, and - far more terrifying - every virus that affects you will eat your mind.

By "intelligently" I meant "effectively." There are plenty of situations where you really don't need or even want cognitive processes involved. Digestion is one of them; immunity is another. Now, we certainly augment our immune system responses with special drugs we've deliberately developed. But without an immune system you'd be totally fucked, no matter how many drugs you were on (as AIDS rather spectacularly demonstrates).


The big threat at that point comes from individuality. Sooner or later someone will say, 'Well, I want to be God, so I'm taking over the universe.' and they'll start converting all matter into nanocells connected to their own central conciousness. Then it's a fight to see who can consume the most stuff, with nanocells fighting untill there's only one person left, and everybody remaining is a subconciousness of the central conciousness of somebody, running artificially inside the universal brain.


Oh, okay, I get it. You've been reading schlock science fiction.

Yes! Yes yes yes!

Every tool we make is more efficient than the last, but at some point you hit the subatomic structure and then everything is perfectly aligned.


I think that both statistical mechanics and quantum physics are squarely in contradiction to what you just said.

It's difficult to know, now, how the cells should work. I'm not sure if they should be specialized or general. It all depends on what you have in excess and what is rare. Every cell has certain parts that it needs, basically 'vehicle' parts, and if you have a shortage of those you want to make the most of what you've got. On the other hand, it takes more energy to move the more stuff you have, and if you're focused on one thing you're not focused on another. So, it would take time to find the right balance. Less time than standard evolution by far.


Unless... hmm... evolution has already found the right balance? Because, you know, we evolved?
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Tychomonger » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:36 am

Evolution is a greedy algorithm that gets stuck in local maxima.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Skatche » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:17 am

Tychomonger wrote:Evolution is a greedy algorithm that gets stuck in local maxima.


Oh boy - evolution as algorithm, this is a favourite subject of mine. I wrote a paper for school applying the No Free Lunch theorem to the evolution of intelligence, and this is what I find the most mindboggling: it's not just an algorithm, it's the algorithm. One generally designs algorithms as needed to tackle specific tasks, and then implements them on a computer, but evolution seems to be inherent in the fundamental logic of existence. If there can be life, almost inevitably there will be life.
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Errg.

Postby Sparksol » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:45 pm

For humans, who've started tampering with their own evolution (along with the evolution of the rest of this planet, though not as much) it's becoming something more than a little worrying, as far as I'm concerned.

Evolution works fine so long as it can work unhindered, but that can seem heartless on the individual level. We'd have to stop treating illnesses on the individual level and let our immune systems deal with them (quarantines are still okay) and children wouldn't necessarily get the same survival option they have under modern conditions. Heck, using basic evolutionary standards, I'd have remained dead at birth instead of being resuscitated as I was. I picture the future of this sort of thing as Amish combined with Andromeda's Nietzscheans in some way.

Another long-term workable option is removing basic standard evolution and doing some self-evolving work (or in some people's view, taking people out of evolution, though that's not quite accurate); replacing failing limbs and organs either with machinelike bits that do the same job or grown organic parts or some combination thereof. Sideways-shunting of brain patterns when the time comes, or whatever. Technological singularity immortal-style humans or making robots with true AI that pick up memes from us and carry on as surrogate children on a species-wide scale. It hardly matters. It's just as viable as the first option in a completely different way, and - in my pessimistic opinion - more likely to lead to actually getting out to other planets and eventually stars someday.

The third option is people carrying on about as they do now. Living life semi-naturally but not completely, and going with modern conveniences and problems without being willing to go the whole way technological, either. They won't quite be able to keep up with natural diseases, and the natural world will handle man-made everything about as well as humans do the natural stuff. People might eventually actually set up a colony on the moon or on mars, or some faction or other will nuke the likely colony sites before they get started so that people will stay on Earth where they belong, because we've learned what usually happens when we make colonies that take a lot of travel time between there and their homeland. The future for this style of living appears to be stagnation of a sort.

This is, of course, just my thoughts on things. And fairly pessimistic viewpoints these are, though still workable. And flexible, too. Chances are good I'll change my mind at some point, as new information comes my way.

EDIT: Okay, this may not make much sense. Or it may be completely out of context. Heckran, these days I'm doing good if I post anything anywhere.
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Re: Errg.

Postby Monocheres » Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:32 pm

Sparksol wrote:Evolution works fine so long as it can work unhindered, but that can seem heartless on the individual level. We'd have to stop treating illnesses on the individual level and let our immune systems deal with them (quarantines are still okay) and children wouldn't necessarily get the same survival option they have under modern conditions. Heck, using basic evolutionary standards, I'd have remained dead at birth instead of being resuscitated as I was. I picture the future of this sort of thing as Amish combined with Andromeda's Nietzscheans in some way.


This is Social Darwinism, which is really a perversion of Darwin's Theory, not a faithful application of his ideas. I'm not faulting or disparaging you, Sparksol, I'm disparaging the culture that has brainwashed you into thinking that that's what evolution is about. The problem with phrases like "works fine" and "work unhindered" is that they're teleological -- that is, they presuppose that there's some "end" or "goal" that evolution is somehow "striving" for, and if only we don't "hinder" it or stand in its "way", then it can "work" to "fulfill" its goal. And of course, that goal just has to be some "perfect" form of super-human free of all flaws and diseases and impurities, and entitled to be a Master Race, yadda-yadda-yadda. But that's not science. That's pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo supporting what is really a religious (or at least chauvinistic) belief system based on completely different ideas.

Darwin's theory of descent-of-lifeforms-from-common-ancestors-with-modification-and-adaptation-by-mutation-and-natural-selection is descriptive, not prescriptive. What it provides is an explanatory model for how species adapt to local environments, how they change over time as those environments change, and how a single common ancestor species can branch out into many different descendant species by adapting to different environmental niches. Often, species manage to become perfectly adapted to their particular environmental niche, but this does not make them "perfect" in some absolute sense. If the environment around a species changes radically then all of sudden a "perfect" adaptation can become a tremendous liability.

The technology humans produce has been an intrinsic aspect of the environment within which the human race has evolved. This has been going on for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of years. The ape-man that picked up a stick and used it to catch his dinner did not stop evolution, he just moved it onto a track that favored humans who could handle sticks better. (And rocks, and knives, and spears, and shields, and chain-mail, and Uzi's....) The shaman who found just the right herb to grind up, make into a tea, and feed to his tribe, warding off a plague that would have wiped them all out, did not stop natural selection. Natural selection just gave a boost to the genes that could yield a tribe brainy enough to give rise to such a smart shaman. This may have made it less likely that natural selection would induce the humans' immune systems to adapt to the plague -- but it did not stop evolution.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Kerrz » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:39 am

Dear world,

Please stop arguing.

Relee's idea, which you would understand better if you'd actually read the links posted, is the idea that at some point in the far distant future we will have forced artificial evolution and genetic restructuring to the point where, in a single generation, we can completely reshape ourselves. And repeat the process indefinitely.

Relee is not calling for an end to evolution, but rather a grand triumph of it. We will, in this FAR distant future, be able to patch up all of our security holes as soon as they arise.

Now, it is entirely possible that we will kill ourselves off in the experimental stages of this transition. It's also possible we'll never get off this stupid rock we live on, or we'll be killed by a million other things long before then. Relee's plan is just one hypothetical course, though. It's got the same chances of happening as any doomsday course, but has a significantly more utopian slant to it.

We're not talking about the death of death, and creating a static world or anything crazy like that. We're talking about grand dynamism. Everything could be so easy to change that your bodies would literally be commanded by your will, rather than the ugly, opposite truth that we live with now.

But before I go, never to post on these boards again, I want to say two things.

First of all, this is a very strange argument to have in a topic called "Amazon censors CLBT porn!"

And finally: If you're going to try and debunk someone's theories, take a minute to understand them first.

And sorry, indulge me for a third: Please, stop speaking in absolute truths if no proof exists to back up your argument, let alone when you don't understand what you're arguing against. I cite the following:
Perfect security is impossible, and if you've got a security hole (which you do) something will eventually figure out how to exploit it.

There are fundamental limitations to how successful any lifeform (artificial or otherwise) can be.


Thanks for listening. I'm off on my merry way. You may argue to your heart's content from here on out, but I just thought you should all know that you're all on the same side, just at different points in the time stream. Relee is thinking of the hypothetical, ultimate peak of evolutionary change in the far distant future, whereas everyone else seems to enjoy talking about the near-future and the fact that we're stuck with these ugly, fleshy things.

In a politics subforum. In a thread called "Amazon censors GLBT porn!"
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Monocheres » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:06 am

Kerrz wrote:Relee's idea, which you would understand better if you'd actually read the links posted, is the idea that at some point in the far distant future we will have forced artificial evolution and genetic restructuring to the point where, in a single generation, we can completely reshape ourselves. And repeat the process indefinitely.


I don't dispute the uber-tech Relee is talking about is plausible. But I am simply pointing out that it is naive to think that this would end the struggle for existence and create a utopian world. I just think it would ratchet the game up onto a different playing field. Our computer systems and global networks today already provide a model for how virulent parasites can arise within a technological realm. There will always be entities willing to exploit the resources available in the "environment" for their own purposes, without regard to what the producers of those resources intended. Now, I admit it's a debatable point whether biological evolution offers a model for how the uber-tech beings of this imagined future might battle this out. But it's an interesting idea to consider, no?

Kerrz wrote:Relee is not calling for an end to evolution, but rather a grand triumph of it.


Ah, there's that teleological fallacy rearing its ugly head again. At most, Darwinian evolution is all about little, parochial triumphs. It has no "grand triumph" that it's aiming for. That idea has more to do with Victorian-era notions of "progress", and can even be traced back to Biblical beliefs that Man is the Pinnacle of Earthly Existence and that there is some Apocalypse ordained by God that the Universe is Destined for. I only point this out because I believe that a clear understanding of Darwin (arguably the foundation of all biological science) would be a positive good for society, and unfortunately this sort of thing just muddles it up.

Kerrz wrote:But before I go, never to post on these boards again, ...


I think you are taking things way too seriously. Seriously. :-)

Kerrz wrote:First of all, this is a very strange argument to have in a topic called "Amazon censors CLBT porn!"


There's a long tradition here of going off on tangents. Don't sweat it! :-)
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Plasman » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:40 am

Kerrz wrote:Dear world,
Please stop arguing.

Advice for the world, indeed. I like it.
I hope you change your mind and stick around. :wink:
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Tychomonger » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:22 am

Monocheres wrote:At most, Darwinian evolution is all about little, parochial triumphs. It has no "grand triumph" that it's aiming for.

Again, I'd like to point out that evolution is a greedy algorithm. It picks the best answer for the immediate problem, without any concept of the road ahead. This is where evolutionary dead ends come from, local maxima in the graph of overall complexity and effectiveness. This is why I think that human bioengineering has the possibility to outstrip evolution. We do have the potential to see the road ahead, and turn that teleological fallacy into teleological fact.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Skatche » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:52 am

Relee gets upset that we don't like her ideas, and goes and gets her friend to back her up on this. Her friend never needs to post or even look at the board again, which is a convenient way not to be held accountable for bad ideas [EDIT: Well, it's either that or a tacit recognition that it's really not worth getting involved in this debate]. Let's see how this plays out.

Kerrz wrote:First of all, this is a very strange argument to have in a topic called "Amazon censors CLBT porn!"


You only think that because you don't spend any time on the UJ forums.

And sorry, indulge me for a third: Please, stop speaking in absolute truths if no proof exists to back up your argument, let alone when you don't understand what you're arguing against. I cite the following:
Perfect security is impossible, and if you've got a security hole (which you do) something will eventually figure out how to exploit it.

There are fundamental limitations to how successful any lifeform (artificial or otherwise) can be.


Okay. The former is a special case of the latter. In the latter case, I cite the No Free Lunch theorem (find it on Wikipedia or Google!). It states incontrovertibly that any algorithm, if averaged across all possible scenarios, will perform exactly as well as a random algorithm. If an algorithm is better at some tasks, it has to be correspondingly worse at other tasks. The only way you can get good performance overall is if you have an uneven probability distribution on possible scenarios, and if you then focus your abilities on scenarios that are more likely, at the expense of not being able to deal with highly unlikely ones.

So what does that mean? It means Relee's "nanocells" simply won't fly. We have specialization for a reason, namely that no one thing can be good at doing everything. It also means that you have to have security holes: when you develop in such a way as to fight off one kind of disease, it won't help you fight off other kinds of diseases, and may even open up new holes. No one creature can fight off everything.
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Monocheres » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:51 pm

Tychomonger wrote:
Monocheres wrote:At most, Darwinian evolution is all about little, parochial triumphs. It has no "grand triumph" that it's aiming for.

Again, I'd like to point out that evolution is a greedy algorithm. It picks the best answer for the immediate problem, without any concept of the road ahead. This is where evolutionary dead ends come from, local maxima in the graph of overall complexity and effectiveness. .


I think we're just going to have to face the fact that we are in violent agreement on this one. (Yes you read that right. ;-) )

Tychomonger wrote:This is why I think that human bioengineering has the possibility to outstrip evolution. We do have the potential to see the road ahead, and turn that teleological fallacy into teleological fact.


Well, perhaps, but I have a rather less optimistic view of humanity's ability to clearly see the future or even understand the consequences of their actions. Even science fiction writers, some of the most forward-thinking members of our species, predicted that we would have a lunar colony, flying cars, and Asimovian robots (complete with their Turing-test diplomas) by this point. But they never predicted desktop computers, the Internet, steroid abuse, forensic DNA matching, camera cell-phones, on-board GPS navigation systems, or even, for that matter (circuitously returning to the original topic of this thread) GLBT pr0n. ;-)
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Re: Amazon censors GLBT pr0n!

Postby Kosmonauta » Wed May 20, 2009 10:43 pm

Monocheres wrote:Even science fiction writers, some of the most forward-thinking members of our species, predicted that we would have a lunar colony, flying cars, and Asimovian robots (complete with their Turing-test diplomas) by this point. But they never predicted desktop computers, the Internet, steroid abuse, forensic DNA matching, camera cell-phones, on-board GPS navigation systems, or even, for that matter (circuitously returning to the original topic of this thread) GLBT pr0n. ;-)


Aaactually...
mister William Gibsion is quoted as predicting the internet (and originating the film Matrix). Much of our concepts on Networks, Artificial Intelligences and Virtual Realities are similar to what could be found in his books in the 80's. Even the pr0n, kinda shorta. Mister Gibson is very interested in the japanese sub-cultures related to technologies, including the very inventive use of technologies in the sex industry. One of his books, by the ways, had a scene that described a kind of technology I would sure love to use during the, erm, act. I do love cyberpunk people. It's science fiction, but dirty =P

Also, mister Neil Gaiman, who has not much to do with sci-fi, has a small short tale about "breeding out of gender" as someone said there. Or something close to such concept anyway. I gave away all my books when I moved, thou, so I cannot check what is the short story title no more...
Kosmonauta
Aw, they grow up so fast!

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