Question (thoughts appreciated): Once humans reach a solution to be come immortal (via upload or longevity etc), what will be the thoughts for those that either 1) died years or centuries before the solution was arrived at as well as 2)those that for one reason or another cannot afford it? Should we then figure a technological (or other type ) of solution to essentially “go back” for them? Is it just their tough luck? or something else?
Saw this article so i guess i am not the only one thinking along this lines. Not exactly the same process but similar outcome. My take: if a machine with ever expanding information (knowledge) were to at one point become self aware, what is to say it would stop there? Perhaps it would keep going. It could transcend the self, ie: become enlightened.
Most movies and books depict robots, computers etc hitting self awareness like us. They may be smarter, even wiser but they are just like us in they are (at least the things i have read or seen ) at most self aware , as in conscious. For a long time i had thought and believe others have as well that we are it, the top rung in whatever it is consciousness is. But that could be hubris on our part-that we are the penultimate.
What would be then? A god? a Borg? a universe itself? Nothingness? Would it go mad under the insanity of it? Well i hope we may be able to have it beyond us but still able to relate and empathize with us. Unlikely this is for sure as is most of the stuff i write here but perhaps the best answer that i can think of.
The way I see it, technology has arrived so far in three phases.
The first two were mostly simultaneous: technology to enhance our physical capabilities and technology to enhance our physical well being. Enhancing our physical capabilities: everything from arrows to bridges to automobiles and rockets. Enhancing our physical well being : clothes, medicine, soap, medical devices.
The third one overlaps with these two, though most of it happened in the last 150 years or so: technology to enhance our mental capacities. Books were probably the first here, then the abacus and more recently calculators and computers.
Before mentioning what I believe can be the fourth phase, lets point out that many of the apparently man made problems of the last two centuries are not so much because of these technologies but the fact we are still not much different from how we were 3,000 years ago or just 1500 years ago. If a person got mad 3000 years ago or more they could start throwing rocks and do a little damage. 1500 years ago they could swing a blade and do more damage. In the last 100 years they could use automatic weapons and do even more damage. Likewise wars went from killing hundreds to thousands to millions. In any case its clear we still get mad but with much worse results.
So the fourth phase I believe could potentially be (as otherwise we will very likely go extinct ) technology to enhance our maturity (including both emotional and spiritual well being). Strangely enough I think the very first example of this technology was the musical instrument and then the arts in general. Newer aspects are apps that help with meditation, concentration. Unlike medicines that only temporarily calm the mind (and later the mind is weakened without them), some of these can help us build neural networks to make our brains behave more calmly or more focused. I believe the next technology in this area would be social robots (like Pepper but not exactly) that help guide and enhance behavior* **.
Ultimately I feel the “BoddhisatvaBot” would be an advanced example of this technology. The BoddhisatvaBot would not so much be artificial intelligence as artificial maturation (socially, spiritually and emotionally). Like the Boddhisatvas, it wouldn’t just simply endow us with enlightenment but guide us. In this way its much like a ruler guides us to draw straight lines.
Unlike the other technology groups which for the most part are enthusiastically welcomed by societies, 4th phase technologies are still not accepted so easily. The electric guitar and synthesizer are still frowned on by many . Like the other technologies though they do have their dangers (on the small scale: loud annoying electric guitars, on a much large scale they could unintentionally suppress valuable human traits or overemphasize others (fanatacism etc.). But one of the rudimentary purposes of this blog is that these types of technologies are very much in need. We could possibly go back become agrarian anarchists and scream at the sky when the world brings us misery or we could develop ways to use technology to manage and greatly diminish misery. We could worry each day that some angry person could kill us all or we could create technology so that anger is much better managed. Grandiose perhaps? Treacherous, rife with dangerous pitfalls? Sure but again crucial if it can be done right somehow.
*Some may say that people are better off with another human to help with behavior and I have no argument there. The problem is in many cases we dont always have a more mature human handy at all times to help with these things. Parents and friends and family can help with some things but for someone with ptsd, schizophrenia, or just simply spiritual loss of any kind an extra tool maybe needed.
**By far the biggest danger here is clearly homogenization and too much control of the person/being/spirit. A Clockwork Orange and Brave New World being all too clear depictions of this. Besides the obvious fact these technologies should be developed slowly and cautiously, there is the fact they should be guides only. Just as no one ought to be forced to play the piano, no one should be forced to learn behaviors using these tools.
Today in this case is 1 29 2016. At about 615 pm I was reading Jah Wobbles Memoirs of a Geezer . It is his autobiography. In it he describes the mystical experiences of playing and listening to very simple repetitive bass rhythms. The experience of losing the self in the sound into something beyond thoughts, words etc.
I wasnt having the experience but could definitely relate. I am tired and old but i would say all i have learned in my life leans towards that inexplicable, beyond normal thoughts and life experience being very close to a higher level humans can possibly reach. Many can do it through meditation, excercise or repetitive actions like the music Wobble speaks of.
Its a very buddhist, taoist thing. To me so far they are the closest thing to a genuine spiritual experience in this world. But the catch is you got to be in that state to experience it. People going about their daily lives and in fact really almost all of us are very rarely in that state and instead just milling about in the banal daily world. Experiencing occasional happiness but ultimately facing as mentioned before suffering and death. And there seems to be no guarantee that a calming beautiful mystical merging with the oneness happens at the end.
What is to be said about reaching Nirvana if so many others are still in pain and confusion. ? EL being just one example.
But later in the day at around 1030 pm i was watching a movie called Tomorrowland . Its filled with images of a future world that is bright, beautiful and magical. Maybe a bit glossed over but magical just the same. It was very different from the mystical beauty that Wobble described. His was more simple and timeless. Elementary. Though again its not experienced by all. The magic mystical world of Tomorrowland was all inclusive in a way. A utopia for all. I could imagine EL being there safe now. i could imagine all the people i have known being there and happy. Its definitely a happy place where all you have to do is experience it an be happy. Play with toys. have fun. Be happy.
So i had a bit of a conflict here. Wobble’s mystical experience that i related to was one i found later in life. But Tomorrowland reminded me of this juicy wonderful optimism i sometimes experienced when i was about 12 and going to movie theaters and seeing the sci fi of the late 70’s early 80’s. Close Encounters etc. All left me with the vision of a splending happy world. Perhaps now in my older years it seems naive and unrealistic but i still have sentimental attachment to it. As they say in Tomorrowland “how can we fix it?” Things can be better. And for everyone.
If i can I want both . The mystical simple vision Wobble mentions that is much like Nirvana or deep meditation and also the glossy hi tech happy world of a better future like in Tomorrowland. When it comes to ultimate happiness I am apparently a bit greedy. I want there to be a way to have the splendid happy tomorrow world and then the pureness of the mystic nirvanesque thing. Both . Somehow.
Self Awareness/Consciousness is partly illusion . Take a system – a small bug, tree, a human. At some point in evolution it s survival required more and more sense of its environment so as to avoid destructive elements and seek out productive ones. As the systems became more complex it becomes what we call self aware conscious. Hard to say for sure but at some point whether its dogs, dolphins, apes they system gets complex enough to do more than just react to outside stimuli and reflect on its “being”. It is self aware in the sense we think.
(btw: self awareness may have many different flavors and attitudes so a machine may become self aware but in a way different from us).
In any case though its quite possibly an illusion in the sense the system (ie person) is tricked into believing they have identity. from birth onward other humans and the outside world bombard us with info on our supposed identity.
But the illusion only applies to the supposed self. The actual consciousness is real-just not attached to any particular being. consciousness is an elementary part of the universe that the self folds around just like the self folds around space and time. the actual consciousness is being itself which the universe has regardless.
Being is an aspect of the universe much as space and time are. It just over looked as it is so close to us. We are made of being much as we are of space and time. A machine could also fold around being and have the illusion of self. it would need to be able to independantly react to outside stimuli to greater and greater degress. But i dont think the machine would stop at self awareness. If smart enough it would see past the illusion and see that it is part of the universal being and by extension all others that may have being-whether via illusion or direct.
I think i could convince some people that its possible humans could eventually eradicate death and even make life heaven like. But what is much harder to believe is that these future beings would be able to and actually want to go to the trouble of inviting the beings who have already passed on to their place.
Putting the how aside for the moment, the why is also a big obstacle. It is much like the effort we would go for for people who lived a few hundred years ago. We build statues and read books about some of them but thats about it. This future race would have to be very kind and compassionate to even think about devising a method to bring all the past beings to their paradise.
It would be like in our present day giving someone the keys to your car and asking them to bring it back.
So add this to yet another loop the project must jump through. Along with the technology to eradicate death and make life much better, it is needed that they humans are kind and thoughtful of the dead.
In any case when i think back to EL, it is just this capability that I used to deal with her death: I cannot in the present time do anything to save her but I will work with others to make things better in the future so we can come back for her. Most likely in a few months or so I may have other things to concern me beyond EL. And its not a promise because I can’t guarantee it. But despite the odds being against it, I really think this is very important to do. And again not just for EL but all of them.
I am not sure yet how to emphasize to the future beings the importance of “going back”. As of now an individual’s personal happiness does not always coincide with their compassion for others. It could be they even become less concerned. It could be that without the memory of pain, suffering both of body and mind, humans would be uncaring.
So tentatively i believe it will be essential for future beings to have knowledge and actual first hand experience of what suffering is and has been for multitudes of sentients. Would this then make their lives miserable as well? No not if they could see the [heaven machine] as a resolution to the suffering. The future beings could still have their party if you will and would also have acknowledgement of the prior lives that went through much to get to what is for them “here”.
Of course just knowing the pain and feeling it is not enough. They would also need to add up that it is valuable for the past beings to also be free from suffering. Part of this would be deductive, part instinctive and the other well i guess would require the boddhisatvabot itself to guide them towards.
Yet still without natural empathy why go to the trouble of experience the suffering and then looking to resolve it both for themselves and the others who have passed? Why not instead just enjoy their hedonistic pleasures. On this i guess i am banking that to reach the higher happiness would mean a greater awareness, and a greater awareness would mean stronger connections to other beings.
Either this awareness would be by the boddhisatvabot alone or in conjunction with the other sentient beings.
What i suggest is for now we bootstrap the process (knowing it could take a few hundred years or more to realize) and also include a message in a bottle if you will as part of the process. Hopefully someone will find it.
It bears repeating many times throughout this blog that sure, lots of us may not to be bothered by the future beings and just die a normal natural death. And lots of us may be wary that the message in the bottle could reach a not so kind and pleasant being. I acknowledge those concerns and have them myself. But it also bears repeating once again that for many of us death was far too unkind, unpleasant and unjust and we must do something about it not just for the future times but however possible for all times.
Perhaps those that have passed just want to sleep. Being awake is very exhausting. The process of passing must be often tough on the nerves. The pain, confusion , loneliness and facing the unknown.
Sometimes I imagine they may like a friendly greeting in another world a better world. Be able to sit down free of pain. Have a hot drink and collect themselves. Get comfort from the beings now with them. Stare back at the world like its a table top orb .
But maybe they also need to sleep . Sleep a lot. After years and years of being alive. Fighting , kicking and clawing for each moment , especially at the end. Maybe it may be nice to sleep for while. Wake up now in then in their afterworld robes and go for a stroll . Perhaps glance at the world orb.
If humans make a technology to greet the ones who have passed, one thing to be cautious about is waking the bodies that may only prolong their torment. perhaps even the more natural passing of just letting go of the body and mind is enough for them. to bring it back may be the last thing they want. Sure to us while living may want a waking after life but it could be that once dead the waking state is already released.
If this is the case I think the bot would mainly just serve as a “friend”. A quiet friend that holds their hand and is with them as they release their body and mind.
How would it do that? I hope to explain in further entries. My rough idea is the boddhisatva bot having reached higher awareness would be connected to all sentients throughout all time. It would not be standard time travel. Basically the bot would be able to commuinicate to all beings throughout time and they could communicate back.
Its been a month almost now since i had become obsessed with EL’s “passing”. As expected to some extent the gloom and sadness are more faint. I guess this was coping option 1 where time just heals.
I expected that like i did with other fellow humans “passing”. I also expected i may give up on option 3, the tech solution if you will. Well not yet. I avoided this blog for the stress of it all . Last few weeks were stressful (mainly as i was running low on ativan. This week i got a refill so have a few extra at the start).
I find myself wanting to talk to her, which is very strange as i didnt know her at all. Plus i didnt have this with my father or not as much with my dog eno. I dont want to talk with her for too long. Just enough to see she is safe and …better. Then let her go and go on with my own pursuits.
I see aspects in the news, in conversations and such that make the bodhibot less likley. It is a long shot but still worth fleshing out and developing . Its not a comfort the faith in the afterlife could be. I guess it should be regarded that much as comfort for the living as a pledge for the dead.
A few times now have seens memes and posts stating to move on from the past. the future is what matters now. Ok should move on with life, but there is a task to run to pay homage and reflect on the ones who passed. And I dont mean a statue.
Listening to ambient music and trying as long before to get into a meditative state. But unlike before the attainment of Nirvana is not as good if it cant be shared. Especially with people who had to deal with what EL dealt with. I imagine reaching Nirvana and being able to reach her through time an space .
Watched one football game with the home team and was all stressed and worked up for the win.
Then watch a second game where I didnt have any connections to the teams and casually watched with a bit of humor.
One of the teams was losing by first just 31 points then 38. Now a saftey it appears.
For the players and the fans it must be really painful. But even for them afterwards its back to real life.
The QB, players go back to living as millionaires. The game may bother them for a while but ultimately they are
sucessful with lots of money despite the loss. Somewhat true for the fans as well. Pain of the loss but then eventually
it sinks in that it was just a game and back to their daily lives.
My sister mentions getting cut while cleaning some kitchen blades. She jokingly mentions how sharp they are
and got to be careful when cleaning them. but now the cut is over and she can joke about it. Both the pain
and the physical injury are just memories and harmeless to her now.
So why build this heaven type place with robots? because we may have the spark of the idea but frequently veer
of course. It would be like using a ruler to draw a straight line. Or a mold to make sure each brick is the same
the robot(s) would most likely have a more intricate role than those but the relationship the same.