Re: ECON: The Abolition of Work

Tony Hollick (
Mon, 4 May 98 18:51 BST-1

> >highly intelligent entities may completely lack sentience.

> I've been asking this question for years on this list but have never received
> an answer, if what you say is true what's the point of sentience?
> Intelligence has survival value, but if the two are unrelated why would
> random mutation and natural selection bother to make anything sentient?
> It seems to me it would be like a fifth wheel, and yet I know for a fact that
> evolution did bother to make at least one thing conscious.
> John K Clark

In this example, you're asking why random mutation and natural selection
don't *bother* to make anything sentient. This is to endow 'random
mutation and natural selection' with exactly that which 'evolutionary'
proponents claim they cannot have -- intentionality and purpose. For
them, it's a universe of chance -- effect, effect, effect.

John; You're here to provide superbly-phrased intelligent questions, and I
-- qua setient being -- am here to provide you with tantalizing answers
which require you to think, and to undergo a Gestalt-shift, a paradigm
change. I want you to see the role of purpose in a world of chance 9to
quote W.H. Thorpe's title).

I carefully read your messages, and (sometimes) I am *moved* to respond
to them with *carefully chosen* words which I hope you (and others)
will read, and which may give you a new perspective which will enable
you to change the way you think.

NO-ONE can explain how it is that my RAF jet pilot friend-of-a-friend,
who was outraged by the actions of 'his' government selling-out
Rhodesia, chose to fly his Hawker Hunter fighter UNDER two Thames
bridges, and to 'buzz' the Houses of Parliament... >:-}

EITHER there is a direct causal cascade of events, so that everything
is 'effect, effect, effect' in a world of matter and energy (kinetic
and potential); OR we are 'beings endowed with colititional
consciousness' capable of _intitiating_ causal chains non-randomly.

Intelligence may enable us to mediate (some) causal processes in some
way (a 'hidden mechanism' explanation).

For an interactionist dualist (a methodological, metaphysical choice)
there is a great, unsolved mystery about how _I_ will the matter in my
fingers to depress the keys on my keyboard, never mind originate the
words I type. The neurological problem gets steadily harder as we move
away from my fingers.

This quality of originating volitional consciousness we call

Art tells the truth through the medium of inspired lies.

Go see John Carpenter's magnificent film 'Christine: She's A Killer.'

The film shows the story of a murderous sentient 1958 crimson Plymouth
Fury, lovingly restored by a high-school student. The car has a
'history...' The film is infinitely superior to Stephen King's book, in
which the car is haunted by the ghost of a Vienam vet. In Carpenter's
film, the first sparks of life appear inexplicably in the car on the
production line.

The boy rebuilds the car from a ruin, and it/She gradually takes over
his life. (Some say the film is a briliant metaphor for posssessive
individualism). When envious high school kids attack and damage the
car, it/She glides out of the garage that night _all on its/Her own_
and relentlessly hunts its/Her attackers down one at a time and
destroys them. She's indestructible, so any damage she suffers
self-repairs in the course of the action. Christine isn't reacting to
an external cause in an 'intelligent' way. She's initiating a
horrifyingly powerful and focused destructiveness against people she

Theodore Sturgeon's fine story 'Killdozer!' mediates a similar theme,
of a Caterpiller D-7 bulldozer becoming sentient, in that case when
it's taken over by an entombed non-physical alien entity.

Some of the Space Shuttle pilots will tell you how they go out to the
launch-pad early in the morning, and talk quietly with the 'ships that
sing.'. I know what it's like to have high-performance vehicles act
like live things (I wouldn't be alive today if they hadn't).

If we could conclusively demonstrate telekinesis to you, would your
view be different? ( Would we do a thing like that to you? >:-} )

/ /\ \

Tony Hollick, LightSmith (LA-Agora Conference) (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation) (NorthWest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment)

PS: A friend of mine, Prof. Dwight Murphey, who wrote probably the finest
book on Classical Liberalism (University press of America), [1979],[1982],
is just now polishing his latest work, a superb study of 'The Warp-Speed
Transformation of the World Economy', and how intelligent machines will
make it impossible for Americans (or dollar-a-day latifundia peons, or
South-east Asian sweatshop workers to compete in the new 'labout' market.
He argues clolsely that if Classical Liberalism fails to take account of
this and speedily reconfigure its 'operating system', its valuses will be
lost, with horrifying consequences. He's a great writer, by the way. He
teaches Business Law at State University, Wichita.

True story...

<Henry Ford to Walter Reuther>: "One day all your members will be replaced by robots..."

<Walter Reuther to Henry Ford>: "Yes, Mr. Ford, but robots don't buy motor cars...."

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