Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

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birchoff
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby birchoff » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:58 am

williatw wrote:Image

djolds1 wrote:No. That painting is from before the Butlerian Jihad. Those are the computers and robots that were turning humans into animals. That is a depiction of the Pre-Jihad lotus-eater utopia that the Bene Gesserit overthrew.


I get it...as H.G. Wells might have said the Eloi and the Morlocks. We (or future we) are the Eloi...”r” selected (or maybe at some point deliberately engineered) toward physical (& mental) helpless docility. The "Morlocks" our robotic/cyborg "servants" increasingly doing more and more serving us; and as a result pushing us toward complete imbecilic dependency. At first our wealthy elites would probably approve as most of us the unwashed masses procreation dwindled. Only unlike the Well's Morlocks the robots wouldn't ultimately need us even as food or anything else...our numbers gradually dwindling even as advanced tech causes our life expectancies to increase; pushing toward racial extinction. And that doesn't even require that they (the machines) actively do us in; the end result about the same.


Ok I see the point of the argument. But I cannot say I agree with it. Since it presupposes that if humanity is no longer forced to do everything then humanity as a whole will regress. Now I agree that there will be a sub population that would choose if allowed to let the machines do everything. But I believe people end up like that when there upbringing doesn't train them to do something with their life or they are emotionally stunted. Even then some people allowed to do anything they want eventually find something that they like doing. The worst case scenario that could potentially evolve from my perspective is a reduction beyond some critical point where we can no longer operate the technology that gave us such wide ranging control. But I personally feel that can only happen if humanity as a whole decides to stop exploring the unfathomably large universe laid out before us. So in a way space exploration is our salvation.

Also, the event depicted can only occur if Sentient Strong AI is created. Now we may end up with the ability to create a Sentient Strong AI, and do limited deployments of it. But implementing Sentient Strong AI for every task that a Weak AI robot is used for I do not believe is a forgone conclusion. Think of all the dangerous and perverse tasks humanity will make robots take part in, without any consideration or thanks. It is going to take a very very very long time for us to be comfortable with making our tools sentient, mainly because the user/tool relationship does not lend itself to the tool having a mind of its own. Personally I think if Sentient Strong AI is developed the best case would be for them to be granted person-hood. Which would entitle them to the same rights and motivations as the rest of humanity; think Data. Which means they would be leveraging the tools we created instead of being pushed into an eternity of servitude. Now that carries with it some interesting repercussions, as humanity has never known what it is like to live with its creator. So granting person-hood to a Sentient AI would force us to deal with something for which we have no experience. On its face it would be an exciting prospect and definitely something I would hope humanity would strive to figure out. But I am also aware that their will be many missteps along that path.

Edit:
The most recent sci-fi to attempt to tackle this idea is called Almost Human. It aired on fox for one truncated season before it was cancelled, like all good sci-fi. In the show there are two types of androids the MX, which are purely logic based, and are made to avoid all the unwanted qualities you get from a Sentient android being used as a tool. Then there are the DRN's; which were made to be Sentient, unfortunately like all sentient beings they have their quirks like suffering from effectively PTSD from their time dealing with crime as detectives in a post-apocalyptic city. As you have probably guessed in the timeline of the show the DRN's were made first but shelved in favor of the MX's. Though the MX's are technically a downgrade as they cannot really be detectives more like bodyguards for human detectives and replacement/filler for beat cops.

hanelyp
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby hanelyp » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:16 pm

Betruger wrote:But again that's based on unchanging paradigm of a centralized (or otherwise effectively so proximate) population. How do you conform an interstellar or galactic population this way? Even more so if that distality enables the sort of fractal divergence that technology and lack of social constraints would allow, the sort that can already be guessed at by looking at today's fringe subcultures. This very government, in the formal meaning, is exactly what helped trigger the USA's founding. How, given even more technological leeway and an astronomically large New World with no analog to Native Americans, is the future going to be even more conformist?

Already we have a non-negligible demand for e.g. seasteading.

This seems like 1950s' futurism all over again.

As I understand the Frank Herbert universe, before the Butlerian Jihad interstellar travel depended on artificial intelligence having a psionic ability to circumvent the normal bounds of spacetime. So any planet that wanted to enjoy the benefits of star travel was bound to accept the dictates of the artificial intelligence. A case of an entity having a monopoly of something very valuable having a widespread influence.

The space Guild that provided interstellar travel after the jihad also had a monopoly, but apparently had the sense to not get too pushy over local matters.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

williatw
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby williatw » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:46 pm

hanelyp wrote:
Betruger wrote:But again that's based on unchanging paradigm of a centralized (or otherwise effectively so proximate) population. How do you conform an interstellar or galactic population this way? Even more so if that distality enables the sort of fractal divergence that technology and lack of social constraints would allow, the sort that can already be guessed at by looking at today's fringe subcultures. This very government, in the formal meaning, is exactly what helped trigger the USA's founding. How, given even more technological leeway and an astronomically large New World with no analog to Native Americans, is the future going to be even more conformist?

Already we have a non-negligible demand for e.g. seasteading.

This seems like 1950s' futurism all over again.

As I understand the Frank Herbert universe, before the Butlerian Jihad interstellar travel depended on artificial intelligence having a psionic ability to circumvent the normal bounds of spacetime. So any planet that wanted to enjoy the benefits of star travel was bound to accept the dictates of the artificial intelligence. A case of an entity having a monopoly of something very valuable having a widespread influence.

The space Guild that provided interstellar travel after the jihad also had a monopoly, but apparently had the sense to not get too pushy over local matters.


My earlier post was simply trying to understand the point of the painting...namely we "served" onto obsolescence/extinction by our mechanical servants. I don't IMHO think that will be our fate however. We are now developing rapidly the ability to grow/3-D print organs tissues etc. from our own cells. Given the ability to repair/replace the ability to enhance will rapidly follow. Your new lungs/heart/kidneys/joints even eyes and ears "printed" from your own grown cells will be improved versions of the ones you were born with. Imagine new eyes with greater density of rods and cones in your retina (or even an implanted chip) to enhance vision. Your optic nerve cells & even your visual center in your brain cells eventually replaced with enhanced versions both biological and nano-tech. Respirocytes in your blood making oxygen absorption and CO2 excretion many times more efficient.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respirocyt ... nsequences

Your brain and CNS nerve cells gradually repaired/replaced with both enhanced biological versions of your original "wet ware" aided by implanted chips tech. In other words the "strong AI" would essentially be us, wouldn't so much replace us as we would "evolve" by an intelligently directly process to be the AI so to speak. We would become the cyborgs though we would probably look like idealized humans. We would still have the "dumber" robots/AI to be our mechanical servants doing the donkey work enhanced humans wouldn't want to do. But rather than degrade to extinction we should actually get better physically & mentally over time. We would be both biological as we are now but enhanced to optimum physical/mental performance as well as subtle nano-tech physical & mental augmentation; and probably driven as much by aesthetics (looks) as practical performance. Given space flight & colonization and trying to adapt ourselves to a variety of environments throughout the galaxy our directed evolution would probably be in 100 different directions.
Last edited by williatw on Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

djolds1
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby djolds1 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:13 pm

williatw wrote:
djolds1 wrote:No. That painting is from before the Butlerian Jihad. Those are the computers and robots that were turning humans into animals. That is a depiction of the Pre-Jihad lotus-eater utopia that the Bene Gesserit overthrew.
I get it...as H.G. Wells might have said the Eloi and the Morlocks. We (or future we) are the Eloi..."r" selected (or maybe at some point deliberately engineered) toward physical (& mental) helpless docility. The "Morlocks" our robotic/cyborg "servants" increasingly doing more and more serving us; and as a result pushing us toward complete imbecilic dependency.
Somewhat. The computer-mediated reproduction was interfering with the Proto-Bene-Gesserit multi-deka-millennia long breeding program to create the Kwisatz Haderach. Conspiracies across tens of millennia are apparently much easier when the semi-witch conspiratrices have access to genetic memories. :) The witches did NOT react well to having their "Breed the Universe's Super-Being!" program undercut by machines.

Also, Frank Herbert had an obsession with ecology, so themes of bad ecological management always leak through, and over the LONG term, humans survive in our own ecology.

williatw wrote:My earlier post was simply trying to understand the point of the painting...namely we "served" onto obsolescence/extinction by our mechanical servants. I don't IMHO think that will be our fate however. We are now developing rapidly the ability to grow/3-D print organs tissues etc. from our own cells. Given the ability to repair/replace the ability to enhance will rapidly follow. Your new lungs/heart/kidneys/joints even eyes and ears "printed" from your own grown cells will be improved versions of the ones you were born with. Imagine new eyes with greater density of rods and cones in your retina (or even an implanted chip) to enhance vision. Even your optic nerve cells & and even your visual center in your brain cells eventually replaced with enhanced versions both biological and nano-tech. Respirocytes in your blood making oxygen absorption and CO2 excretion many times more efficient.
Eyes with two lens separated by a variable distance controlled by muscles would be good - raptor-style spyglass eyes. Put organic crystals behind the retinas and you have feline night-vision. And modified haemoglobin with more oxygen capacity would stand in for respirocytes well.

williatw wrote:Your brain and CNS nerve cells gradually repaired/replaced with both enhanced biological versions of your original "wet ware" aided by implanted chips tech. In other words the "strong AI" would essentially be us, wouldn't so much replace us as we would "evolve" by an intelligently directly process to be the AI so to speak. We would become the cyborgs though we would probably look like idealized humans. We would still have the "dumber" robots/AI to be our mechanical servants doing the donkey work enhanced humans wouldn't want to do. But rather than degrade to extinction we should actually get better physically & mentally over time. We would be both biological as we are now but enhanced to optimum physical/mental performance as well as subtle nano-tech physical & mental augmentation; and probably driven as much by aesthetics (looks) as practical performance. Given space flight & colonization and trying to adapt ourselves to a variety of environments throughout the galaxy our directed evolution would probably be in 100 different directions.
Everyone seems to be working on Jeff Hawkins' Memory-Prediction Framework for AI now. And it looks to pay off. The model has dominated my thought on AI ever since I read "On Intelligence" a decade ago; very persuasive. Here's to hoping no one is idiotic enough to build AI with existential consequences quickly.

But such an AI will be a stand-alone being, anywhere from mouse-equivalent to superintelligence-equivalent, not grafted slowly into our wetware.
Vae Victis

Betruger
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby Betruger » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:07 pm

Really nice to have people around who can add to this conversation the pertinent gist of large structures (datasets? I can't think of right word in English) like Herbert's writings. Saves a lot of digging thru for the rest of us.
You can do anything you want with laws except make Americans obey them. | What I want to do is to look up S. . . . I call him the Schadenfreudean Man.

AcesHigh
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby AcesHigh » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:22 pm

hanelyp wrote:As I understand the Frank Herbert universe, before the Butlerian Jihad interstellar travel depended on artificial intelligence having a psionic ability to circumvent the normal bounds of spacetime.


no, no.

in Dune universe, they use a stardrive that folds space and works like a wormhole. The stardrive works by the Holtzman effect (the same effect that also makes possible those force-fields)

however, the mathematics were so complex that unless you used AIs, only 10% of the ships using the drive reappeared again (the others probably being destroyed or going to far flung corners of the universe, completely lost).

that's why the Spice Melange and the Guild of Navigators was important after the Jihad. The Spice allowed the navigators to perform the ultra complex calculations and prescience involving the quantum effects of the Holtzman Drive.

The effect is used in this case to fold space at the quantum level, allowing the Spacing Guild's heighliner ships to instantaneously travel far distances across space. However, the chaotic and seemingly non-deterministic quantum nature of "foldspace" requires at least limited prescience on the part of the human navigator; otherwise the absurdly complex mathematics involved in producing reliable physical projections of such events would only be possible with advanced computers, which are strictly prohibited because of mankind's crusade against thinking machines, the Butlerian Jihad. To this effect, the Guild produces melange-saturated Navigators who intuitively "see paths through foldspace" in this way.[2] This stumbling block is overcome several thousand years after the events of Dune when Ixian scientists develop mechanical replacements for Guild Navigators.[5]






Djolds wrote:No. That painting is from before the Butlerian Jihad. Those are the computers and robots that were turning humans into animals. That is a depiction of the Pre-Jihad lotus-eater utopia that the Bene Gesserit overthrew.
[/quote]

is that canon Dune universe? Never heard about that before.

kunkmiester
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby kunkmiester » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:22 pm

I've read some of the prequels, supposedly written based on notes found after Herbert's death--would be nice if someone found Piper's notes, I'd love to finish the Little Fuzzy series.

In them, a group of people become cyborgs to extend their lives and become more powerful tyrants, and eventually delegate enough management and such to an AI construct it has enough processing power to become sentient, and sets about enslaving the cyborgs and starts wiping out humanity in most of the inhabited galaxy.

According to the prequels I read, they didn't even have the Holtzman technology, they used sublight travel between stars. The Holtzman technology was developed at the time the humans started the Butlerian Jihad, and being able to use a fold drive and force fields was an advantage used against the machines.

Not sure how many consider those books canon, but supposedly being based on the original author's notes...
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paperburn1
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby paperburn1 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:17 pm

I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

djolds1
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby djolds1 » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:51 pm

AcesHigh wrote:
djolds wrote:No. That painting is from before the Butlerian Jihad. Those are the computers and robots that were turning humans into animals. That is a depiction of the Pre-Jihad lotus-eater utopia that the Bene Gesserit overthrew.
is that canon Dune universe? Never heard about that before.
The most canon of the canon.

kunkmiester wrote:Not sure how many consider those books canon, but supposedly being based on the original author's notes...
[Purist Mode/ON)

There are no Dune Prequel books.

And there is no 1984 Dune movie.

There are only the six books of Frank Herbert, and the authorized Dune Encyclopedia for sh*ts and giggles.

All else is abomination. Suffer not the Abomination to live.

(Purist Mode/OFF).
Vae Victis

krenshala
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby krenshala » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:16 pm

I have to agree; the supposed 1984 Dune film is right up there with that supposed third Highlander film. :roll:

paperburn1 wrote:All of pipers works are on
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/8301

Darn, its missing the second and third Fuzzy books from there. It only has Little Fuzzy, but not Fuzzy Sapiens or the post-humously published Fuzzies and Other People.

Apparently John Scalzi did a 'reboot' of the story, published in 2010. His book is entitled Fuzzy Nation. I'm not sure if I want to read it or not. Curiosity compels me to check it out, but at the same time I'm worried I'll very much dislike the changes.

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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby kunkmiester » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:42 pm

The reviews on Scalzi's book were discouraging. The other books IIRC had different authors, so there's probably limits on being able to publish them in the collection.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

krenshala
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby krenshala » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:21 pm

kunkmiester wrote:The reviews on Scalzi's book were discouraging. The other books IIRC had different authors, so there's probably limits on being able to publish them in the collection.

There are other Fuzzy books, but I only listed the three written by H Beam Piper himself. As for Scalzi's book, what I've read about it make it seem like your typical "based on the novel X!".

paperburn1
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby paperburn1 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:36 pm

Fuzzy Sapiens or the post-humously published Fuzzies and Other People are both still under the control of ACE books and TOR books respectively, but there are a couple more that were written under creative licence.
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

palladin9479
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby palladin9479 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:51 am

hanelyp wrote:The basic inputs to an economy are labor, material, energy, and information. Expanding information (aka technology) allows us to employ material and energy resources more efficiently, or resources not otherwise useful. And allows us to build machines to perform labor. Modern industry, using modern knowledge, makes effective use of many material and energy resources that would be at best useless to a cave man.

As for Star Trek, it was established in a first season TNG episode that there are some substances (in that episode a particular medicine) that can't be properly replicated. It is later established that living matter suffers molecular errors when replicated. And an element known as latinum can't be practically replicated, making it a monetary base. What we see of a market economy within the reach of the Federation in TNG and later times appears mostly focused on goods and services that replicator tech isn't practical for, stuff that can't be replicated (or loses value in replication, like antiques) or requires human labor.

By TNG era technology exists for regenerating dilithium crystals, but that tech apparently wasn't available during the original series a century earlier. Absent a means to repair that critical component, bartering with a mining facility within range for replacement crystals is realistic.

Shift to StarTrek Voyager, when the ship is isolated from the resources it would have back home and energy is at a premium. Replicator use, requiring a great deal of energy, is rationed. Other means are adopted for food preparation. Replicator rations become a defacto currency aboard Voyager, traded for an assortment of services between crew members.

Back to today, in the developed world we're technologically well past the point where someone willing and able to work need starve. But idiotic social(ist) constructs remove a large portion of the population from the work force needlessly.


If I'm a fiction author I can wave my hand and create "space magic" to do anything, which is exactly what Star Trek did. They might as well of run around using "the force" to do everything because of how inconsistent the technology was applied. Nothing is ever free, the cost is merely hidden, I can't state that hard enough. Someone mentioned the municipal well, who maintains that, who built that, where did the materials come from and who regulates it's quality and safety? Information is the only resource can be duplicated in a seamlessly infinite way, though even it has costs that are hidden. Take something like an internet search engine, the lifeblood of our society requires that we be capable of searching this vast amount of knowledge and making sense of it. This takes a ridiculous amount of computing power and data storage, neither are free and both are expensive to maintain / develope. Google / Yahoo / MS / ect.. all hide the cost by offering the services for "free" while selling the metrics to interested parties while also placing product advertisements and even "favored" results to those who wish to pay for them. I mentioned the material costs of building a starship along with the maintenance costs, neither of those can be hand waived away.

Ultimately there is no such thing as "post-scarcity", our corner of the universe is finite and so are the resources within. There will always be some form of currency, and people will always be selfish greedy assholes. That last part is where I feel most people misunderstand things. History is replete with blatant demonstrations of what human nature is, we aren't nice, don't like to share and typically screw each other over on a daily basis. Our entire mental framework operates on a "if I do A I get B" basis, often with it being hidden in our subconscious. We think we're being "nice" because "that is just what good people do" but in reality we're operating under the notion that if we are "nice" then we will receive "niceness" from another.

birchoff
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Re: Well he's not Zefram Cochrane, but...

Postby birchoff » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:05 am

Cynical much....

I am the first to agree that human nature is a problem that gets overlooked when discussing these things. But it is not a permanent wall we can never get over. Calling it such is basically saying we will never evolve. People dont share for one simple reason, it is wired in their minds that they will have to do more work to get another one of the things they just gave away. But if that thing that is not being shared was either plentiful beyond reason, or more likely ridiculously cheap to produce an exact replica. The reasons for being greedy or refusing to share goes away. Now will there be generally irrational people who still refuse to share, yes. But they will be ignored because I could go get one myself. Now while scifi writers can hand-wave away problems hanelyp's description of the star trek economy is not a situation where that is the case. The advent of replicator technology basically made a whole swath of the things that humans basically need to maintain a relatively high standard of living Effectively Free. It didnt make everything Effectively Free because some things could not be replicated. So the things that cannot be replicated revert to a currency based economic system to control supply and demand. What you missed in the discussion is that you dont need everything to be Effectively Free. you only need the things that are necessary for people to comfortably maintain a high standard of living (the relative equivalent of the US middle class) to be Effectively Free.

As for the hidden costs. Sure there are hidden costs. However there are no way near as bad in the Star Trek description as you lead on. As long as most of society depends on goods and services whose raw materials can be replicated your costs are Effectively non-existent. Why? be cause any broken part can simply be replicated and replaced. Who pays the guy replacing the broken part. No one. In the Star Trek universe the Federation citizens have all their basic needs and then some met so everyone is free to do that which interests them. So by extension across the trillions of sentient beings who belong to the Federation I am sure there is at least one person who is interested in repairing the thing that was broken, or more likely the duty of fixing the broken thing is lumped in with the more interesting things the person has to do. There are alot of ways to game human beings once you have taken care of their basic needs and provided for enough buffer where they consider the change of everything failing a remote possibility. Now I can see you calling this hand waving, but from my vantage point it is consistent with the values of the universe being depicted by the writers.


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