Re: Borg... sounds Swedish (Review, Rants, Spoilers and Spe

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 31 May 1997 22:05:29 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sat, 31 May 1997, Dan Hook wrote:

> > The topology of the network is also important, since
> > it might cause differentiation: a group of units somewhat isolated
> > from the Collective would form a small borganism relatively loosely
> > connected with the Collective, and if the units were stringed out we
> > would get a "linear mind" (like the tine sentries in AFUTD).
> An interesting organism that I have speculated on is one that takes up the
> entire universe. If the speed of light was a barrier for such a creature
> its thought processes would be interesting indeed.

I imagine thoughts and sub-minds on different scales; after all, even our
brains contain very independent subsystems. So one might imagine
hierarchies of hinds where small, fast and less intelligent minds unite
to form larger, slower and more powerful minds which in turn form
metaminds (a bit like the planetary, stellar, galactic and universal
minds of Stapledon's _Star Maker_). I wonder if self-organized
criticality could apply to their sizes?

> Perhaps this is what is meant by "linear mind" but I have yet to read

Not really, but it is an interesting idea. A (slight) spoiler for AFUTD:
the canine pack-minds in the book communicate using ultrasound, and if the
bodies of an individual get stringed out its thoughts are similarly
"linearized", they become slow and somewhat dull but the two ends of the
line can communicate fairly quickly. This is used for perimeter sentries;
an attack is immediately relayed along the perimeter. There are mentions
of other ways they can influence their thinking through pack geometry.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y