domingo, 14 de dezembro de 2014

Boomerangs fly by our hands

ROLIS descent image. Link

Toward a telescopic realism


Unless machines self-replicate by their own (or by some phylogenetic determination), that is, without any human interference, men and women still are at the steering wheel. “Post-human”, though a fashionable literary figure of speech, does not describe sufficiently well the complexity we are moving to. I prefer to call extended humans to the next human generations. Extended by ever growing sophisticated tools, variable media, logic, science, technology, computation, digital networking and pills.

Notwithstanding this reiteration of the anthropic drive, that basically means that we are God’s creatures with a limited time and potential to know, not gods, we need to put in place a strong critique of ‘nominalism’ excesses and of neurotic narcissism.

The digital self, born around the mid nineties of last century, shows that some real extended human accelerations are taking place. This new computable self, as it is, manifests through variable media and pop up in as many disguises as you want. The narcissistic angst is rapidly evolving in to a more demanding representational process — cognitive but also subjectively oriented.

I wrote this text as a reading note to “The revolution is back” by Reza Negarestani.

Here it is an extended quotation:

Unlike the Copernican Revolution, the Darwinian Revolution, the Newtonian Revolution, and the Einsteinian Revolution in which we witness the consequences of the radical theoretical reorientation immediately manifesting themselves in the present world view, the site of the Turingian Revolution is always in the future. In short, the Turingian Revolution does not happen here and now, and for this reason, the conception of revolution it exercises fundamentally deviates from the trajectory of the Copernican Revolution.

The Turingian Revolution suggests that the future won’t be a varied extension of the present condition. It won’t be continuous to the present. Whatever arrives back from the future—which is in this case, both the mind implemented in a machine and a machine equipped with the mind—will be discontinuous to our historical anticipations regarding what the mind is and what the machine looks like.

But why is the Turingian Revolution in cognitive sciences and artificial intelligence the only revolution that is instantly conceived in and takes place in the future? Because what Turing proposes is a schema or a general program for a thoroughgoing reconstruction and revision of what it means to be human and by extension, the humanity as a collective and historical constellation. The underlying assumption of Turing is that the significance of human can be functionally abstracted and realized. This significance is the mind as a set of activities spanning perception, thinking, reasoning and the ability to engage in purposive action.

—in Reza Negarestani, “The revolution is back (Turing, functional realization and computational description)”, 2014
Urbanomic/ Deracinating Effect — Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind with Reason

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