Re: life vs. non-life

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 09:56:54 MST

denis bider wrote:
> > but a major and WRONG statement - people who associate
> > different functional characteristics with "life" and "nonlife".
> Hm. Yes, you are correct. I do seem to be awfully aggressive lately. Please
> bear with me.
> Question: from an extropian point of view, is it meaningful to differentiate
> between life and non-life?
> Suppose I manage to program your Pentium so it acts as if it were alive. For
> additional artistic impression, I manage to do it so that it can be encased
> in a walking and talking human-like body. [Suppose for purposes of
> illustration that a Pentium would suffice for such AI.]
> Pentiums, as we 'know', are non-life. But a walking talking Pentium that
> even seems to think like a human being...?

We may anthropomorphize about it, but until it passes a Turing Test, its
just a fancy piece of equipment. Until you get:

a) all humans incapable of surviving unconnected to the net
b) the potential for the death of human civilization and all humans from
the elimination of all members of one area of human specialization (hey,
lets hang the lawyers and see what happens!).
c) the incapacity of individual humans to respecialize

then you won't get myself or any other intelligent individual to even
consider your ludicrous idea that 'society' is an organism.

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