Re: Where's God?

Erik Möller (
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 23:50:16 +0200

Eric Watt Forste wrote:

> > It's not the calculating power that counts. If it was, the computers
> > of today would already rule the world. It's the information processed
> > and the external sensors that count.

> I can't see much difference between "calculating power" and
> "information processed", but what you seem to be saying is that
> communication is more important than computation. If I understand
> you correctly, I agree with you on the abstract point.

When I say it is "the information processed that counts" I don't mean
its quantity but its quality. That's the difference.

Communicating with others is not actually necessary in the sense that
THEY have to hear YOU. It's enough if you listen.

> I don't understand the part where you seem to be insisting that
> money and trade are not modes of communication. It's obvious to me
> that these are indispensable modes of communication.

Posthuman entities, if there are several ones and no collective (whereas
I consider the latter possibility as more likely) will need to talk to
each other to get results. But they will not demand money for them,
because whenever they give knowledge, they don't lose it.

When I give you an apple, I don't have the apple anymore. But when I
tell you about the principles of quantum mechanics (for instance) I
don't lose anything but I can only win (from a universal viewpoint: the
more people know about it, the more probable it is that new discoveries
will be made soon). That's why trade in the sense of "give and take"
loses its value.

> > Not infinite power, but infinite knowledge is probably the
> > purpose of any such entity.

> Can you explain to us what the difference between these two
> things is? Or are you engaging in empty rhetoric?

It's not just rhetorics. When I want to achieve power, I usually measure
my goal with what I know _now_. For example, "I want to rule the world".
And when I want to achieve power I usually don't want to possess it, but
to USE it -- against other people, other entities or whatever. This
seems entirely unlikely to me for a posthuman behaviour, for it destroys
valuable information sources.

When I want to achieve knowledge, I want to know things I don't already
know. I want to find NEW things. And I want to possess knowledge, not
for the use against others, just for the possession in itself.

Erik Moeller