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sciborg3 Commoner | joined 15 April 2009 | 4 posts


why have skin spies originally? posted 25 April 2009 in The Judging Eyewhy have skin spies originally? by sciborg3, Commoner

are the consult actively at work in the world? are they searching for pieces of the No-God that are scattered through Earwa?

If not, if all they need do is repair his body in their golden fortress...why have skin spies? Why not just retreat away from the world of men until the No-God returns? It seems needlessly risky to put spies out in the first place beyond mortals you can pay off. view post


Swayal Sisterhood posted 25 April 2009 in The Judging EyeSwayal Sisterhood by sciborg3, Commoner

I figure the witches have more alchemical powers - after all they make contraceptives. Serwa herself has likely pulled together elements of the Anagogis, Gnosis, and whatever the witches do.

It makes me wonder if Khellus will show us a gnostic - or at least supped up - version of the Daimos.... view post


Losing the Argument is actually a Win? posted 29 May 2009 in NeuropathLosing the Argument is actually a Win? by sciborg3, Commoner

So I was reading Bakker's lecture on the terrifying implications of advanced neuroscience in the hands of those who would use it to preserve power or extend it via tyrannical means.

However, imagine another group of people who in fact wish to create a paradise on earth. After all, even if we are just biological robots (especially because we are) the only thing that matters is the alleviation of suffering, extending to the perceived suffering of denying choice, frustation/guilt at being an addict, remembering being molested, etc. I see things going (centuries from now) like this (if all goes well):

1. Advances in neuroscience likely precede advances in cloning. But assume we become sufficiently advanced at both.

2. We create a better (smarter, quicker, stronger BUT less "evil") race that have "better" brains either through cloning or the surgical improvement of willing individuals' minds. Some people might want more willpower, some might want to erase memories, etc.

3. This hopefully leads to a world in which, eventually, the only people who exist are those who choose to get the surgery, were cloned as part of this new improved humanity, and anyone who chooses not to do this - I predict this latter group goes extinct because of natural selection.

4. Eventually all that's left are the new humans. They can continually try being in love with each other, being gay/straight and attempting different tasks/emotions. There will likely continue to be those who choose to only have the emotions the world gives them, but I believe this meme will be selected out as well.

5. This is essentially a group of people that can edit out negative emotions so long as the agent personally chooses to do so. This preserves the morality of personal autonomy as well as allows people to remove unwanted psychological baggage.

In the end, we simply will have gifted the world to a better, more noble race than that which blind chance created. They will exist, essentially, in a Paradise of their (and thus our) making where they are free to pursue interests of their choosing and capable of reforming their minds/bodies as they desire.

Will there still be pain, loss, etc? Almost definitely, but much of suffering will be chosen because the sufferer finds it meaningful, which in essence preserves whatever autonomy there could exist in a universe where the mind is a machine because we keep the moral notion that we can't, or i can't get rid of : that people need to be able to choose the things that happen to them...even if they aren't choosing anything in reality. Why? Because there would be suffering if somehow they realized what had been done to them AND I know I would suffer if I forced someone to change against their knowledge/"will".

I don't think scenario is a likely one, far more likely we end up turned into drones for the Evil Empire, but there is cause for hope that neuroscience can forestall suffering in a meaningful way - as one poster said, what if Neil had gone around making Buddhas instead of promoting suffering.

ps. forgive my atrocious use of punctuation/spellinh. view post


Countering the Argument posted 30 May 2009 in NeuropathCountering the Argument by sciborg3, Commoner

Excellent. I also wonder how unpleasant a truth the Argument would be - it would seem to me how much regret you bore on your shoulders would decide that. Some people I know would love to believe they didn't have to take responsibility for things they have done in certain situations. Others feel like their achievements don't mean as much if they're work was an illusion or predetermined.

Others feel the deterministic structure is consistent with God's plan, and thus see the brain's cause and effect as the means in which His/Her/Its/Their will(s) manifest(s). Also as you (and Eistein) state, there is no deterministic movement across time, there is no past/present/future.

Really I'm not even convinced it makes things less meaningful as under the Argument words, love, art are just fabrications of a causal chain unfolding since the Big Bang. But that means meaning is something we as a species has created, a bottom up meaning rather than a top down meaning from the Forms or God or what have you. We may be characters in a story we can't change, but we can appreciate the story we've been written into.

It would be a Sisyphean existence, to be sure, but it would still have meaning. In fact, given that the meaning comes from us rather than some apprehension of external MEANING, it might be *more* meaningful. Depends on how you look at it, and of course trying to decide which form of meaning is *more* is like asking what is worse - slavery or the Holocaust, rape or murder, etc... view post


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