distributed thought

Anton Sherwood (dasher@netcom.com)
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 18:46:08 -0800 (PST)

Damien Broderick wrote:
: I wonder from time to time whether memetic meta-organisms might not be
: running an entire slow, massively distributed and time-sharing kind of
: ecology inside human brains/minds

Ah, so I'm not the only one who thinks about that. ;)

Freeman Craig Presson writes:
: It's possible to view the output of any identifiable group of
: organisms, including humanity-as-a-whole, as a computation which
: is an emergent property of the group's functioning (cf. ... Douglas
: Adams ...). These computations vary in their degree of directedness
: and efficiency. Seems to me the efficiency of all but a few of them
: is ~0, especially since the "results" aren't recorded anywhere or
: recognized as such.

Except by the mice.

The market, you know, is a vast unconscious distributed device
for computing the price of soybeans.

: Surely part
: of the appeal of cyberspace (and eventually upload space) is the
: potential for raising that ~0 to a usable fraction.

I know what *I* mean by that remark (I've speculated aloud on it
more than once), but what do *you* mean by it?

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\* DASher@netcom.com