Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Canned Combat March 9, 2010 - March 14: Hive

Regular readers of Toylit know that I am obsessed with the human-hive. Most self-other interactions involve tool-relationships. When manipulating inanimate plastic or wood, it's easy to see the tool-relationship. When befriending someone, or pledging allegiance to an organization (or even symbol), the tool relationships become more confusing. And yet, from these relationships, organizations arise. Invisible hands: entities that are comprised of humans and yet inhuman in nature. Organizations of any type can easily pass a Turing Test because they are COMPRISED of humans--bonded together by tools, systems and loyalties. Organizations, I argue, ARE AIs. The computerized AI, independent of humans, will never be as effective as a hive-AI. If anything, computerized AIs simply promise to be new components we insert into our composite-machine of a hive. So these AIs are molecules, with people--and increasingly computers--as discrete components.

A human is defined by tool-relationships, enhanced by them; and yet also constrained by them. Today's sociopathic killer was once Rome's finest General. What was once an essential white blood cell has withered away to an appendix. Times change, the hive changes. Hives compete, not only in war, but also in resource production and distribution. Banking can kill people as well as nukes can, as the Russians learned in the 90s. Ideas, like specific visions of law, can be so compelling that they become the highest allegiance an individual has, thus bypassing religion, state and sometimes even family.

I offer this thesis, that you might become unbounded by conventional visions of human and write something that scares you. If you are repelled by the thesis, then strike back with words in any form. Stab it in the heart if you can.

CombatWords! Engage.

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  1. you have the splinter
    you use to crack the case
    of the nut shell. The
    hulk of human space
    you have a view
    valid in it's rite
    you offer freedom, yes?
    As death of what is known as life.
    Will that alone Will all the lone
    to grab there mantle of might?
    to throw off ancestry
    and join party's flight

  2. Beehives

    Of the things I've learned living in a rural environment are that ripples go out from all of us--circles, vibrations--beginning with each life form, tree, bug, fish and person. They pass through us on the way to still more.

    Wavelets linger and "sensate". What we build--how we move and unfold--undulates. It's our fingerprint and common bond. The ripples spew my dog, or the cat, or the mouse and in a hurry. The hum of the plaza is in the field.

    Sensations of stress, contentment, or hunger pulse. Proximity amplifies. For the traveling ripple, the journey affects. The attentive animal reads it and the busiest tree changes hourly. After a while, we all get a gist of what's on and where the current flows, who's around and who's out of sync. I get a read on which cat's prowling, if the dog's sleeping or if there's a foreboding in the back field.

    As well, we all act upon the impulses we sense, creating a chaotic array of noise, intent, alertness, relaxation, hesitation, and intuition. Climbing in the van and turning on the radio is a fair way to get a break. I enjoy going downtown. It's a chance to get a break from the electricity of living things. The grand expanses of concrete and glass are a nice insulator. A busy intersection is almost stone dead. The human inhabitants take up so much surface area there isn't the concentration of a million lifeforms per inch. It's lonelier after a while, but a good break from the living.

  3. Oops, I forgot my point. Isn't it lonely sterile? Human isolation in the material hive with no blustery, extra genus stimuli. And no, I don't mean freak stuff.

  4. So we just have tragic concession to this point? Gaboo offers a lament and Angus (revise it), I think offers the quandary of the individual: cooperate with the machine or be nothing without it.

    Are nothing more than bees who have become self-aware of their beedom? Complicated bees, sure, but bee by metaphor regardless?

  5. There in lies the crux. As hive dwellers, are we aware? I wonder if we lost something when we broke from biological evolution into cultural evolution. The future? A bag of neurons firing in a spineless mechanical interface. Oh---aliens! The big, hairless, almond-eyed variety. I think angus insinuates the bondage of cultural dependence:

    "to throw off ancestry
    and join party's flight"

    But that's ok, I guess, because society will soon have memories in a catalog, so when I think back I can't go wrong.

    ps. how does this work, last word wins?

  6. One other thing, don't we medicate to stay in the hive? Likewise, bees send out pheromones to calm the agitated masses. But in our case it's a coping mechanism.

  7. yes exactly Gaboo.
    All the inate rules inherent in roles of the make up of the "hive" blind us to the fruits of our actions as a whole. The invisible sphere of influence we live in blind to it and horribly confused. What I was getting is this awarness has no vision, no place to go
    what's the revoulution gonna look like?

    Gaboo, you speak of the hive as a city? a nice metaphor one that I am vaugely everpresent to living in a city myself and it always carries with it a small guilt tinged with dread. Your point being that interaction with nature induces a sort of balance. I must say you have common sense which I have been told is actually quite uncommon. As a solution I think it fits well but not enough
    to errode the scocietal idea globuoles are spiked and mazed; the real teet of the omni-American mind.

    As for who wins: I think others are supposed to choose wins.

  8. Well, we can't battle if we are sitting at round table agreeing on the middle. So I'll raise stakes that whatever it takes to keep the majority of the human population glued to a screen is perhaps the saving grace of our wanton waste. Though if pole shift happens in 2012, all bets are off. I'm gettin bzy.

    Let's keep our parks and beaches clean this year, get Halo ODSP!

  9. Oh, gaboo, so like dead animals for pets and soylent green finishes for us all?

    Book I loaned and never got back: best Japanese sci fi of 199? In it, capital punishment in future Japan is done by converting people into trees.

    Fuck it. We've probably been hive beasts since language first popped up.

  10. I disagreeeeee, we are, were and will be---tribal. (Reptilian brain stem notwithstanding, that's my loner part.) The hive is so modern, 5000 years is a blip. Urbanism is a phenom, like an inflammation. How does it feel to be pus? And language popping up? Sorry, Capt. Jack, language is as old as ohm. We've been yodeling since granny to the tenth squared was picking fleas up an acacia tree.

  11. okay... here is particles of info I have picked up
    -There is a weather computer in monteray CA which acumulates all hourly weather observations from around the world, from places like airports,ships,bouys,airplanes(high altitude)not only as a warehouse but as a working model that consantly is readjusting and predicting with consistently 68% accuracy that was 9 years ago
    - Walmart has a similar set up somewhere in Idaho in the middle of farm country somewhere it tracks consumer purchases. It can as I was told by one of its data consaltants know when a womans period will be. wonder if it gets some sort of crazy tax break to share this info or something.

    Either we unintentionaly create this condition by our nature or there is a group that creates this condition. perhaps some of both probably not simple

  12. Angus, I watch the squirrels in the hazelnut trees. Their collection and storage activities have predicted accurately when I can expect mild or severe weather. They've been accurate 9 times out of ten for 11 million years. (Please excuse the emphatic conjecture, but you get the gist.)

    Btw, K, can't keep up. We win.

  13. Okay.
    Just shootin from the hip on that last one.

  14. In the end the hemispheres of my brain are split on this: one side, a modern sapient trying to reconnect with ancient, natural roots; the other, an apartment dwelling beagle lying by an electric fireplace eating bon bons. The "Survivor Hilton" complex.

  15. Rebuttal: the division of labor means the end of Ba'mbuti style hunter-gather generalization. I can't make a computer, but I think I think about it in ways the maker can't. Can't have computers without miners. Can't have miners without farmers. Can't have farmers without tools. Well you can for each of these phases, but we have to strip complexity from the social order.

    A tribe _is_ a hive. Don't apply fallacy of reverse design--that is, don't measure human accomplishment by the metric/metaphor we are using to study it. Hives don't need to resemble hives to be hives.

  16. Ok, let's agree that hives are inflammations. And nasty buggers if left untreated.

    Score one dig for g.

    Fun debate, thanks K. Thanks Angus.