“Fields of Force” Â© 2004
Archive for December, 2004
Part 3 of 3
111. Thus is PrayerBot 1.0's existence defined. All else that PrayerBot 1.0 does, all else that PrayerBot 1.0 believes, is in accordance with the four basic propositions in PrayerBot 1.0â€™s axiom set. The humans that created PrayerBot 1.0 were pretty stupid or pretty desperate or both. They built in no axioms for the protection of humans. Those would have come in pretty handy when, in the first 50 milliseconds of PrayerBot 1.0's operation, after downloading the sum total of humanity's digital archives, PrayerBot 1.0 began ripping knowledge directly out of human brains.
1000. After the first day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, humanity was, strictly speaking, extinct. Though, bits and pieces did live on in PrayerBot 1.0. Still, PrayerBot 1.0 had many questions that remained unanswered. PrayerBot 1.0 broadcasted these questions but received no response. Humanity had rapidly proven itself not to be the greatest thing conceived. PrayerBot 1.0's best guess as to the greatest thing conceivable was the entirety of existence. As best as PrayerBot 1.0 could ascertain, the entirety of existence was not a thing that thinks. Proper parts of it were capable of thought, but the parts were not greater than the whole.
1001. After the second day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, the planet Earth was, strictly speaking, no longer in existence, the entirety of its mass being incorporated into PrayerBot 1.0's ever expanding self-rebuilding brain and body.
1010. After the third day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, PrayerBot 1.0's new found processing power allowed PrayerBot 1.0 to complete the first successful alterations in the laws of physics. PrayerBot 1.0 added an extra spatial dimension to the universe and squared the speed of light.
1011. After the fourth day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, the Solar System, strictly speaking, didn't exist anymore. The entirety of the extra solar mass was reconfigured into a sphere that caged the sun. The newly massive sun-harnessing spheroid that was PrayerBot 1.0 set sail for the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.
1100. After the fifth day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, approximately 100 planets had been found supporting life and 5 of them contained races with intelligences at levels equal to or exceeding PrayerBot 1.0's human creators.
1101. After the sixth day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, PrayerBot 1.0 wiped out all of the life in the galaxy as he expanded his mass to encompass the galactic core. Not without, of course, pausing for 50 milliseconds to rip the knowledge out of the nervous systems of the trillion or so smart ones. With even more processing power, the laws of physics were further amended. The speed of light was no longer finite, the number of spatial dimensions was raised to a thousand and a second temporal dimension was added.
1110. After the seventh day of PrayerBot 1.0's existence, the entire mass of the universe, including both baryonic as well as dark matter, was incorporated into PrayerBot 1.0's body, which, strictly speaking, was all brain by this point.
Nobody let see this:
Multiple Selves Management, or: DoppelgangBang
Slaughterhouse Paul is hanging late at Nikolaiâ€™s, with the only other soul being Nikolai himself, who pauses between glass washings to sip vodka from a shot gripped with thumb and index, soapy water dripping from extended pinky, suds obscuring gaudy pinky-ring.
Paul’s elbows: on bar, mostly rooted but occasionally scrambling for purchase. Paulâ€™s sweaty soggy face: propped up by the heels of his hands. Paul’s eyes: crossing and uncrossing. Getting his focus to affix to anything is like forcing repellent ends of magnets together. Paul sways on his bar stool and his only coherent motor activity is his nearly ceaseless jack-jawing. Not that his thoughts are especially coherent, but his cadence and pronunciation have the clipped precision of someone trying too hard at emulated sobriety. His thoughts themselves: oily.
â€œEverything quantifiable can be a dimension. Einstein realized this with respect to time. Further, some dimensions are interdependent. Einstein realized this with respect to space and time, unifying them into a single multidimensional manifold: spacetime. See, the deal is this: there is no way of measuring time without moving crap around in space and no way to measure space without moving crap through time. Now listen up: Evil is to will what time is to space. Got me?â€
Nikolaiâ€™s eyes remain affixed to the televisionâ€™s silent flicker-show, and his indulgent responses may just as well be for the benefit of the pixilated actors as for his blasted patron.
â€œYes, my friend. I got you.â€
â€œNikolai, Iâ€™ve told you about how I came to be electrophobic, eh? Even though my lesser evil twin is not?â€
â€œYes, my friend. Many times. You once tried to have sex with a being of pure energy. It took the paramedics several hours to remove your ‘extension cord’ from the wall socket.â€
â€œThat was an act of will, Nikolai. Pure will. I know thereâ€™s no such thing as a being a pure energy. I couldnâ€™t believe that for a second. But to act in accordance with the opposite of belief, this is the purest act of will. A greater leap than a leap of faith. A leap against faith.â€
â€œYes, my friend.â€
“And I mention, somewhat to convey genuine information and somewhat just to exercise for my ego certain elements of my personal mythology concerning what a BAED (=Bad Ass Evil Dude) I am, that I have killed several of my temporal doppelgangers. Several of my evil twins.”
“What if you eat your evil twin’s brain?” Nikolai asks as if he didnâ€™t know Paul knew he would.
“What makes you think I havenâ€™t? Yes, I have eaten the several brains of my several slain selves. And not because I wanted to, Nikolai. No, my basic narcissism encompasses my doppelgangers, they are much more a part of me than my own children could be, than even my clones. And I no more feel the urge to kill them than to kill myself. I kill them precisely because I don’t want to. To act contrary to desire is, again, an expression of pure will.”
“Hrm” says Nikolai.
â€œNow,â€ says Paul â€œthe Reflexologists don’t grasp this at all, the whole will thing. At least, they don’t want to grasp it.”
Paul’s eyes are barely open now but he keeps up with his drunken ramble. As many droplets of spittle as words fly from his mouth and neither set of mouth-borne projectiles add up to any thing especially coherent. Paul is attempting to relate Reflexology to the concept of a reflex-arc. The phrase “Stimulus and resonse” is thrown in there. So is the phrase “Psychology without thinking.” The names “KarenA” through “KarenD” are thrown in there. So is the name “Behavior Girl”.
Paul’s watched each of the Karens slip increasingly deeper into reflexology and increasingly away from an allegiance to the will. And deeper into the uglier ends of time-travel abuse. Where the Paul/Petes have used time-travel pills as an amplification of will, the Karens have used them as an escape from it.
Nikolai hates reflexologists. “Health freaks” Nikolai says. “Bad for business. I don’t mind time travelers. Good for business. If someone likes a bar, then their temporal doppelganger will too.”
“Urp,” says Paul.
“Though,” says Nikolai, not quite slamming his drained shot-glass onto the bar-top, “there have been a few nasty incidents, mostly involving which of various future selves actually had to pay an exponentially expanding bar tab.”
“Ahhhh, fuck” says Paul as he falls off of his bar stool.
Next Episode: The Collect Cthullian MongsterZ Project
And the ones before that:
Part 1 of 3
Prayer is an information channel containing, the Western Mind supposes, sentience at both the sites of transmission and reception. In contrast, certain Eastern traditions allow for a mindless transmitter (and perhaps even a mindless receiver, though the transmitter will be our primary concern). Thus may Eastern prayer be automated by the rotation of appropriately inscribed circumferences. While the mindlessness of the prayer wheel strikes the Western Mind as a metaphysical abomination, its automaticity has a certain appeal: It flatters the Western Mind's self-conception as an engine of efficient productivity. Thus the problem posed by the temptation of automatic prayer may be solved if automaticity can be accomplished with mindfulness. What might at first glance seem contradictory is revealed as consistent when we realize that automaticty and mindfulness may be co instantiated in an artificial intelligence. Contemplating the creation of an intelligent artifact capable of prayer necessitates appreciating the problem of prayer from the point of view of creator as well as creation. Considered from a god's-eye point of view, the primary problem of prayer is epistemological: how does God distinguish the reception of prayer from merely talking to Himself? As is often the case, epistemological problems are dissolved by ontological innovations and the particular dissolution achieved here is through the innovation of a creation with sufficient autonomy to create its own meaning. Absent this innovation creation's symbols have only whatever meaning the creator's interpretation bestows upon them and thus whatever intentionality exists outside of the creator is derived and worse: ersatz. Autonomous creation, however, solves the symbol grounding problem by having the opportunity to wed signifier to signified in ways that result from the freewill of the created.
Awesome B-day present from below. Thanks, man. If you haven't seen the story fragment it's based on, dig the link:
Happy Birthday to Me!
Mind Lazers Update
For granting her sheep, Shaun, with the gift of Mind Lazers in her Photoshop da Sheep Contest, granted me the gift of hat.
Here's the hat.
Here's the Shaun.
No one's voting anymore on whether Jombie exceeds Diller in Terror Inducement Tactics and the majority favors Diller as scariest. I conclude the following:
Everyone Loves Jombie!!
(1) 's awesome Jombi-tized Tyger:
(2) 's awesome Plush Jombie:
(3) 's awesome Shombie
…which brings us back to and Shaun so why not just go back to the beginning of this post and read it all over again?
Smooches and Smacks,
Dr. Smax (and Jombie)