Friday, June 26, 2009

Some Conversations Pt I

Here's one of the more interesting dialogues held at my build - *all dialogues public and posted with the permission of the speakers

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Physeter Nicholls: what planetary surface is this?

Miso Susanowa: Earth; look out the main view port.

Physeter Nicholls: If this was a real system, it would be
Physeter Nicholls: mind-bogglingly complex.

Miso Susanowa: Oh no; its just a computer with holos;
Miso Susanowa: virtual screens and the brain interface.
Miso Susanowa: Thats his daughter, in a pod colony on Phobos.
Miso Susanowa: Thats his only life; in a virtual world.
Miso Susanowa: She's growing up without him; only in VW can they meet.
Miso Susanowa: He's also building a new VW cluster and
Miso Susanowa: designing his new avatar, at least his head.
Miso Susanowa: But what choice does he have?
Miso Susanowa: He's a rocket man; "burning up his fuse up here alone"
Miso Susanowa: It's a cold and sterile environment.

Physeter Nicholls: well, HUDs will likely be non-physical, or
Physeter Nicholls: domain-sensitive, especially if there is
Physeter Nicholls: only one operator.

Miso Susanowa: Yep; these are holos :) This is the active screen;
Miso Susanowa: follow the beam... it's the outshoot of this screen-
Miso Susanowa: same with the other side.
Miso Susanowa: These are all virtual screens except the main control
Miso Susanowa: screen, the targeting screen.
Miso Susanowa: See from the back? These are projected holos.
Miso Susanowa: Here's his conversation with his daughter;
Miso Susanowa: the daughter-board of the top view of his home VW
Miso Susanowa: where she is; he is dancing with her while they talk.

Physeter Nicholls: you have life support, nuclear reactor, flight Physeter Nicholls: control, science probes, data processing, simulation

Miso Susanowa: So? We have those already.
Miso Susanowa: We've had MOST of it since the 70s;
Miso Susanowa: this is just... predictable advances.
Miso Susanowa: This is an optical computer - we have them now;
Miso Susanowa: just not in production yet.
Miso Susanowa: Etched glass circuits, quantum computing;
Miso Susanowa: all in the air now, all being developed now.
Miso Susanowa: Nanotech is already HERE -
Miso Susanowa: this is just a little projection.
Miso Susanowa: He's basically a truck driver, a Fed-Ex guy
Miso Susanowa: this is a big... truck.
Miso Susanowa: But this is nanotech, so its dangerous;
Miso Susanowa: hence the isolation. He's in orbit.
Miso Susanowa: Cant go down there; look at the stats-
Miso Susanowa: habitability, instablity, mutations -
Miso Susanowa: those squares are his delivery targets.

Physeter Nicholls: you mean mutagens?

Miso Susanowa: No, hostile animal and plant mutations.
Miso Susanowa: They'd surely evolve in the new environment,
Miso Susanowa: especially in the case of nanotech accidents.
Miso Susanowa: The plants in the pod are themselves mutations
Miso Susanowa: engineered to combat and clean, but dangerous -
Miso Susanowa: all he has is this room;
Miso Susanowa: he cant go in the containment field.
Miso Susanowa: Just a boy and his (robot) dog :)
Miso Susanowa: One of my hiding referents; Harlan Ellison's story.
Miso Susanowa: In the computer interface over his head, there's
Miso Susanowa: a Blade Runner soundbyte is mixed in...
Miso Susanowa: So this all looks nice and scientific and concise
Miso Susanowa: but is it really madness?
Miso Susanowa: Pretty madness, nice orderly madness?
Miso Susanowa: He has his Virtual Realities
Miso Susanowa: but i am asking... would that be enough?
Miso Susanowa: Look at him: emaciated, weak, slumped-
Miso Susanowa: in torture really, bound to the chair...
Miso Susanowa: is this a man? or a machine?
Miso Susanowa: or only a man in virtuality?
Miso Susanowa: A man with a daughter he can only see in virtuality;
Miso Susanowa: share her joys there; share life with her
Miso Susanowa: on a screen... that isn't really there.

Physeter Nicholls: well we both know that VR relationships
Physeter Nicholls: can be deep and rewarding.
Physeter Nicholls: Identity will need to be scrupulously invented
Physeter Nicholls: and reinforced, or they will all go insane.
Physeter Nicholls: Humans cannot thrive in isolation.
Physeter Nicholls: you suggest that love, lifestyle, identity are Physeter Nicholls: enough to hold this all together?

Miso Susanowa: I'm asking us to ask that question;
Miso Susanowa: to engage in that dialogue.

Physeter Nicholls: Technology can help but where are the social
Physeter Nicholls: engineers?
Miso Susanowa: yes, exactly. We will need them desperately.
Miso Susanowa: We've lost a balance of science with
Miso Susanowa: the humanitarian studies.

Physeter Nicholls: What and where is the soul of a man or woman?
Physeter Nicholls: And can this be isolated and sustained in
Physeter Nicholls: a capsule the size of my finger?
Physeter Nicholls: We both know that VR relationships
Physeter Nicholls: can be deep and rewarding.
Physeter Nicholls: Identity will need to be scrupulously
Physeter Nicholls: invented and reinforced, or they will all
Physeter Nicholls: go insane. Humans cannot thrive in isolation.
Physeter Nicholls: Maybe he has beta blockers and reality
Physeter Nicholls: blinders and emotion filters.
Physeter Nicholls: He'd need 'em to survive

Miso Susanowa: Of course
Miso Susanowa: Or he'd open the hatch and breathe in-
Miso Susanowa: any SANE person would...

Physeter Nicholls: My first reaction is the stray mental
Physeter Nicholls: ramblings of this poor astronaut...

Miso Susanowa: Could be an imaginary dialogue in his head :)

Physeter Nicholls: ya... or a real dialog with the plants
Physeter Nicholls: but not perceived as such

Miso Susanowa: They could be... influencing him
Miso Susanowa: like...
Physeter Nicholls: right
Physeter Nicholls: re-education
Physeter Nicholls: adaptive modification
Miso Susanowa: Invasion of the Body Snatchers lol ^_^

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Physeter Nicholls: It's dumb to sent humans into space.
Physeter Nicholls: The ultimte folly, hubris, mistake, waste and macho

Miso Susanowa: No, disagree; opposite -
Miso Susanowa: it's dumb to confine an expanding
Miso Susanowa: civilization to a finite cage.
Miso Susanowa: We're seeing the effects of that now.
Miso Susanowa: There's free resources out there;
Miso Susanowa: we dont need to gouge the earth -
Miso Susanowa: and the sun wouldnt blink at 50,000
Miso Susanowa: pounds of plutonium waste shot into it from a missle;
Miso Susanowa: wouldnt even burp.
Miso Susanowa: Our MAIN problem, right here and now, is population.
Miso Susanowa: It's at the root of all our other problems.
Miso Susanowa: Space solves that. Sure its dangerous!
Miso Susanowa: Thousands of people died on their way to America;
Miso Susanowa: that didnt stop them; or from exploring australia,
Miso Susanowa: or Antarctica... or New Guinea...

Physeter Nicholls: Well, certain breeds are failing to maintain
Physeter Nicholls: the 2% growth rate and others are at 3% -
Physeter Nicholls: it's just shifting demographics.

Miso Susanowa: Thats distribution of resources, and THAT is politics.
Miso Susanowa: We pay farmers to burn wheat while people starve in
Miso Susanowa: Bangaladesh, to keep prices and profits up.
Miso Susanowa: It's SIN Phys; a moral decay-
Miso Susanowa: regression, devolution-
Miso Susanowa: and no, I dont see it must be...
Miso Susanowa: but if we dont talk about it, it may WELL be.
Miso Susanowa: And virtual worlds fit into that dialogue.

Physeter Nicholls: China has the ball now

Miso Susanowa: 3 men went to the moon

Physeter Nicholls: Those 3 guys, they were like demigods,
Physeter Nicholls: worshipped by a nation.

Miso Susanowa: And rightly so.
Miso Susanowa: Apollo 13 was nothing less than heroic -
Miso Susanowa: It should have spurred us ON,
Miso Susanowa: to see what men could do so far from home.
Miso Susanowa: Instead we turned our backs; we sank back.
Miso Susanowa: and now we are seeing what such a small view of Miso Susanowa: the world and life gets us; tribal consciousness
Miso Susanowa: in its' lowest aspects; Darwinian competition.

Physeter Nicholls: The world has shrunk by a factor of 10 since then.

Miso Susanowa: So have peoples souls; their dreams.

Physeter Nicholls: Some dreams arent viable, others are misguided.

Miso Susanowa: Just ask yourself one question:
Miso Susanowa: "is a limited ball of mud, with limited resources, the Miso Susanowa: right home for an expanding civilization?"
Miso Susanowa: Obviously, the answer is no.

Physeter Nicholls: It's manageable with strict regimes,
Physeter Nicholls: early indoctrination.

Miso Susanowa: Yes yes, reductionism,
Miso Susanowa: but that isnt the ANSWER;
Miso Susanowa: Thats... coping. And to expand,
Miso Susanowa: we must get out of gravity's womb,
Miso Susanowa: or sink back into it.
Miso Susanowa: Stewardship is not the answer;
Miso Susanowa: it's a great goal, but it doesn't solve that problem.
Miso Susanowa: And its a main problem; a race problem,
Miso Susanowa: and its looming...

Physeter Nicholls: The right mix of duty, reward, status...
Physeter Nicholls: fear...

Miso Susanowa: *sigh* But whats the point?
Miso Susanowa: Maintaining a small userbase?
Miso Susanowa: Or expanding the network!
Miso Susanowa: Life EXPANDS; that's the Prime Directive.
Miso Susanowa: All beings on this planet follow that imperative
Miso Susanowa: Plants, animals, humans, societys, civilizations...

Physeter Nicholls: Human life is different though,
Physeter Nicholls: so individualistic, so fickle
Physeter Nicholls: yet do dominant, able to kill and modify its
Physeter Nicholls: environment.
Physeter Nicholls: Humans really don't follow the same ecology.

Miso Susanowa: But we need ADVENTURE, Phy; we need challenge,
Miso Susanowa: we need big dreams.
Miso Susanowa: We can't go on in an animal mode-
Miso Susanowa: it's time to step up, or fall back.

Physeter Nicholls: Both will happen, surely.

Miso Susanowa: This is the discussion that needs to be had.

Physeter Nicholls: It's all cycles.

Miso Susanowa: We have been focused on the physical
Miso Susanowa: as the be-all and end-all of existence
Miso Susanowa: "god is dead", etc.
Miso Susanowa: all the end products of the Industrial Revolution
Miso Susanowa: the decay of the... mere physical view
Miso Susanowa: Because we are not Skinner mechanisms
Miso Susanowa: We are not MERE hardware
Miso Susanowa: But thats been the thrust; the... ideological war,
Miso Susanowa: because you can control machines.
Miso Susanowa: So if people are machines only,
Miso Susanowa: you can forget terror, fear, sadness, cruelty
Miso Susanowa: It's just numbers, just units; like some K-Mart...
Miso Susanowa: and thats a grave and terrible mistake to make
Miso Susanowa: regarding human beings.

Physeter Nicholls: So.. we engineer out the "why" gene expression.

Miso Susanowa: And get slaves. Some people would like that a lot.
Miso Susanowa: Clones are going to be a another big issue-
Miso Susanowa: are clones "people" with "rights"?
Miso Susanowa: or just... biomachines, replicants?

Physeter Nicholls: Or, on the other hand, is a pig really
Physeter Nicholls: just a hunk of meat?
Physeter Nicholls: Is a plant just a food source?
Physeter Nicholls: Is the soil just a chemical substrate?

Miso Susanowa: For me its all about abstraction
Miso Susanowa: and how you can manipulate people by feeding them
Miso Susanowa: abstractions...

Physeter Nicholls: We "know" what is right, given a little space
Physeter Nicholls: to relax and reflect...

Miso Susanowa: Of course we are all part of a network-
Miso Susanowa: we might be top of the food chain,
Miso Susanowa: but with no chain we'd fall; that's a network.
Miso Susanowa: And its stupid to keep destroying the network
Miso Susanowa: and thinking we are above it.
Miso Susanowa: The Earth can explode in flames or ice,
Miso Susanowa: sleep 10,000 yrs and be just fine.
Miso Susanowa: The earth will take care of itself
Miso Susanowa: but we mightn't like the way it does it.
Miso Susanowa: Life will go on but will WE?

Physeter Nicholls: Maybe not.
Physeter Nicholls: Neither might entire phyla...
Physeter Nicholls: Tough titty, as we used to say.

Miso Susanowa: But it's us who will get the tough titty
Miso Susanowa: and thats what worries me...
Miso Susanowa: It's like a piano on a hill;
Miso Susanowa: you can stop it the first inch,
Miso Susanowa: maybe the second and third -
Miso Susanowa: but 200 feet down that hill...
Miso Susanowa: you're gonna get run over.

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Physeter Nicholls: This guy here, this astronaut, might
Physeter Nicholls: just be the ONE who discovers the next level-
Physeter Nicholls: something unfathomable.

Miso Susanowa: He won't if his mind is not trained to expand
Miso Susanowa: but to contract.

Physeter Nicholls: Maybe the plants will take over his mind

Miso Susanowa: PJ Farmer wrote of that;
Miso Susanowa: so did Thomas Disch and Gibson

Physeter Nicholls: Yeah, I wrote some stories about plant networks.

Physeter Nicholls: To be truly dominant, an organism should be able to Physeter Nicholls: reproduce sexually, vegetatively, and virulently.
Physeter Nicholls: This guy, if he retains his gonads,
Physeter Nicholls: he needs release too;
Physeter Nicholls: sporulation, so to speak...

Miso Susanowa: omg lol

Physeter Nicholls: Humans are pathetic at sporulation.

Miso Susanowa: That's why i'm keeping well away from those tentacles!

Physeter Nicholls: They aren't too interested in me...

Miso Susanowa: It's a chick thing lol

Physeter Nicholls: The astronaut is symbiotic with these, despite the fact they are hermetically separate

Miso Susanowa: He can't touch them; nano is too dangerous
Miso Susanowa: so he's walled off from the only living
Miso Susanowa: things for light-years near him.
Miso Susanowa: He is actually the slave of the organisms...

Physeter Nicholls: interesting

Physeter Nicholls: What i want to see though
Physeter Nicholls: by the end of the day
Physeter Nicholls: is a graphic that represents the plantimal's POV

Miso Susanowa: hmmm
Miso Susanowa: maybe THEY can be at a virtual computer :)
Miso Susanowa: and he's just the... meat puppet :)

Physeter Nicholls: It's hard to think in these alien paradigms

Miso Susanowa: He is the plant's.... pistil?

Physeter Nicholls: A strategy for survival and adaptation
Physeter Nicholls: in a hostile world.
Physeter Nicholls: In some places, they thrive
Physeter Nicholls: in others, they encyst, wait it out
Physeter Nicholls: using every possible strategy to extract
Physeter Nicholls: nutrients, water, conserve them, grow,
Physeter Nicholls: grow grow, retreat, up down,

Miso Susanowa: What happens after he delivers them?
Miso Susanowa: Do they mutate on their own?
Miso Susanowa: Do they take over?
Miso Susanowa: Do they... not wish to let Man back in?

Physeter Nicholls: Oh sure; Man is helpful!

Miso Susanowa: He gots hands *nod*

Physeter Nicholls: Does maize love Man?

Physeter Nicholls: Even in the genetics lab, man is helpful,
Physeter Nicholls: speeding up the evolution...

Miso Susanowa: A good tool for things that are rooted
Miso Susanowa: with no motility and no hands.
Miso Susanowa: slow...

Physeter Nicholls: But patient; forgiving
Physeter Nicholls: and able to communicate with all manner
Physeter Nicholls: of other organisms:
Physeter Nicholls: insects
Physeter Nicholls: annelids
Physeter Nicholls: fungi
Physeter Nicholls: bacteria...
Physeter Nicholls: plants really are holistic.

Miso Susanowa: and opportunistic...
Miso Susanowa: Ivy splits granite;
Miso Susanowa: slowly, but it does...

Physeter Nicholls: yessss
Physeter Nicholls: opportunistic
Physeter Nicholls: patient
Physeter Nicholls: and superior communicators

Miso Susanowa: Ahhh yes, those giant underground fungii
Miso Susanowa: miles in diameter...

Miso Susanowa: Maybe he's alone
Miso Susanowa: No plants...
Miso Susanowa: Just imagining them;
Miso Susanowa: talking to them -
Miso Susanowa: thinking this is what he's doing...
Miso Susanowa: His whole mission...
Miso Susanowa: But he's really in a VW.
Miso Susanowa: We are imaginary!
Miso Susanowa: Two people in his head;
Miso Susanowa: stoned on beta blockers :)
Miso Susanowa: slowly going crazy...
Miso Susanowa: *laughing*

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