Re: Conscious Machines

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Sun Nov 26 2000 - 18:57:14 MST

Hi Steve.

You wrote:

> Truth, in this context, means a realistic assessment of our ability rather
> than
> an outlook based optimism.

I agree that we should make realistic assessments, but I suppose I'm trying
to be evocative of the somewhat more fluid actuality. Our abilities are
often inextricably linked to our self-perception-- for instance, strangely,
my billiards game falls apart when I play my father. The sort of
limitations I'm talking about removing have less to do with the physical
truth of our reality, and more to do with arbitrary limits we assign
ourselves for non-rational and emotional reasons. The 'truth' of whether or
not I am capable of doing certain things is very often a function of, for
instance, my self-confidence. This might be Yoda-esque, but I am no longer
'trying' to be successful, I have 'determined' to be successful. In making
such a determination, I am choosing a greater truth for myself.

> Am not sure "talking to women" is empowerment. Is visiting a
> prostitute *empowerment?* Isn't deliberating choosing NOT to talk
> also an empowerment exercise of choice? Why not empower
> Joe by normalising his choice rather than by forcing him to act

I'm not talking about forcing Joe to do anything... hey, if he doesn't want
to talk to someone, that's fine. The far more common scenario that I'm
referencing however, is the case of an individual wanting to talk to other
people, but sabotaging their own efforts due to self-imposed doubt. BTW,
I'm not suggesting the solution is trivial-- au contraire.

> We may be acting on internal scripts learnt
> from adults in childhood that were never properly analysed ....


> Observe that there are people out there who operate
> on another level-- who understand their empowerment-- who greedily embrace
> life.
> Do you mean "self-actualisation" in the Rogerian sense?

Yes, although from the comfort of my armchair, I've come at it from the
Maslow direction.

> This is the sort of conversation I'd like to have in person.
> $50 an hour I'm afraid ..... (I jest, meet me for a drink if in Leeds).

> The whole point (I though) of this list was that participants are actively
> "trans-human" going on "post-human" .....


> > Again, this is my attempt to be ironic at your expense.
> Why?
> Just my normal conversation ... though I should remember that Americans
> don't handle irony very well, it's more of a British thing maybe.

Who said I was American? :)

> Sorry, let me rephrase for clarity: "can we imagine environments we don't
> want to imagine?"
> Nightmares are a good example of this.

Good example.


::jason.joel.thompson:: ::founder::

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