Monday, June 21, 2010

Loafing and Laughing Our Way Toward the Real Singularity

Who is that motherhuckster that propagates nonsense about the "singularity," about living forever, and about recreating human minds with AI (not just the body, but the actual "person")? Kurzweil?

He is a prime example of despair masquerading as hope, of extreme materialism masquerading as transcendence, and of grandiosity masquerading as magnanimity. Not to mention abject foolishness masquerading as wisdom. No wonder he has so many honorary doctorates. Then again, one more and he gets a free carwash.

Suffice it to say -- as we have discussed before -- man is born with a religious instinct; or, as Schuon ironically expressed it, he is "condemned to transcendence." But just as our sexual instinct can become disordered, so too can our religious instinct. Indeed, this is such a truism that it hardly needs to be said. Just as there are sexual perversions (although in the polticially correct world of clinical psychology they are now called "paraphilias"), there are religious perversions (metaphilias?).

Although the list of man's sexual perversions has become shorter with his "evolution" and sophistication, the current resumé includes Exhibitionism, Fetishism, Frotteurism, Pedophilia, Sexual Masochism, Sexual Sadism, Transvestic Fetishism, Voyeurism, and attraction to Rosie O'Donnell. With further evolution, I would expect Transvestic Fetishism to soon be stricken from the list, followed by the sadomasochistic tango.

If we were to compile a list of religious perversions, what would it include? We could say obvious things such as Islamism, except that it is by no means clear whether or not the Grand Jihad that motivates the Islamists is actually normative for their religion. I don't want to say it. Or draw a picture. You do the myth.

But I don't want to get into specific cases anyway, only the more general cat- and dogmatories. To a certain extent we've already covered this ground in our recent posts about intrinsic intellectual heresies. Furthermore, acquaintance with the debates of early Christianity provides a useful education in the delicate balance required in order to avoid these various pitfalls through which one really does fall into the pit.

Let's just focus on the theological virtue of hope, along with its corollary, hopelessness. Why would hopelessness be a sin and a heresy? Indeed, our reader Anon informs us that depressed and hopeless people are actually more in touch with what he calls "reality," because a couple of the tenured said so. In his upside down world, the disease is the cure. But how do we know for sure if those two are really depressed and in touch with reality, or just faking it? Anyway, some books are written with the assistance of psychoactive drugs; this one could have been avoided with them.

According to Pieper, there are two kinds of hopelessness, despair and what we will translate as presumption. Both involve a kind of anticipation: the former is "a perverse anticipation of the nonfulfillment of hope," while the latter is "a perverse anticipation of the fulfillment of hope." And I didn't expect him to use the word "perverse," but there it is. We are on the same cosmic page.

But why are these perversions? Because man is again always on the way. You might say that just as God's essence is his being, Man's essence is his becoming. God is who he is -- his name is I AM THAT I AM -- while man is who he is to become. His orthoparadoxical name is I AM THAT I WILL BE.

Both despair and presumption therefore undercut man at the very root, since they "destroy the pilgrim character of of human existence" and are "opposed to man's true becoming" (Pieper).

Note that the substance of real hope "flows" -- can only flow -- between (•) and O. Despair is to live only in (•), while presumption is to assume the acquisition or conquest of O; it is to conflate (•) and O in such a way that (•) is expanded to O.

Man is only in the image of the Creator. He is not the Creator. While the human station uniquely allows him both to create and to know, this conceals the fact that man cannot actually create or know the essence of a single thing.

In other words, both knowledge and the limitation thereof are a result of the same ontological reality, the very structure of being. Because we are an emanation of O, we may truly know; but because we are not O, knowledge is literally inexhaustible.

The same may be said of our creativity. Although it too is inexhaustible, man clearly cannot create something from nothing, which is the true essence of creativity that only God possesses.

Now, as mentioned in the book, man is a uniquely open system, both vertically and horizontally. Therefore, in order to "grow" in either direction, he must remain an open system at disequilibrium.

Both of these are fundamental, i.e., openness and disequilibrium. For example, there is a word we use when your body has reached equilibrium: death. Likewise, there are a number of words for a system that has become closed: starvation is one that applies to the horizontal, while sin is a word that applies to the vertical (i.e., rejection of an open relationship to God).

The kind of hope being peddled by Kurzweil is really just despair mimicking hope. You might say that it recapitulates man's original creation of a closed system that excludes God, in that it elevates man to God (both Kurzweil and the serpent agree that "you shall not die").

But any way you cut it, life in a purely horizontal world is already a kind of death. Kurzweil cannot really promise life forever, only death forever, with no real reason to hope for anything. Please note that Kurzweil is full of hope. But I can guarantee him that he will soon be dead, and that his childish (not childlike) hope is entirely misplaced.

One way we maintain vertical openness is through the virtue of humility. But this can go awry in two directions, not just one. Obviously, grandiosity and presumption run counter to genuine humility.

But Pieper notes that despair can represent a kind of false humility that makes it impossible to maintain a vertically open system. He discusses this in terms of the capital sin of acedia, which has no precise translation, so that it is generally thought of as "sloth," which is quite misleading, since it has nothing to do with laziness per se.

For example, as Pieper explains, it is entirely possible -- likely even -- for a workaholic to indulge in acedia, the real meaning of which is a kind of "sadness in view of the divine good in man," and a rejection of the "God-given ennobling of human nature."

You might call it spiritual laziness, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the divine Slack required to properly contemplate and abide in O. Slack is only the true Slack if it is oriented toward its proper spiritual end. Yes, the Raccoon is not just some kind of loafer, but a gentleman loafer. Furthermore, he loafs in God's vertical bakery, where the bread is baked fresh daily.

To be continued....

60 Comments:

Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Some time ago when I (un)saw only via Ø-vision I was attracted to the sad little Pope of Materialism. There is a certain intoxicating logic in his book which ensnares men of otherwise good will and sound intellect such as Glenn Reynolds and numerous other mostly younger conservatives.

Kurzweil also wrote a book on how to stay alive long enough to be "saved" by the Singularity. To that end he gets an intravenous cocktail of vitamins and such, and works out on the $15,000 exercise bike in the above picture link.

The whole thing strikes me as much more sad/pathetic than evil/stupid or even demonic/satanic.

About the only good thing one can say about this whole Singularity nonsense is that he made some pretty specific predictions about the near future so at least some of the younger adherents should figure out that "transhumanism" is a pile of dogmapoop before they've wasted their entire lives on such silliness.

wv: begods
You seriously cannot make this stuff up. wv is spooky sometimes.

6/21/2010 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Instapundit had a link up yesterday to an article speaking against the singularity mindset. Interestingly, it came from a horizontally religious point of view.

While he has a couple of valid points, to me the arguments still don't hold much sway in the absence of vertical truth. If there's no deustination to hope for, then who cares how long one extends one's life?

Conversely, for those who are presumptively certain of the outcome, it strikes me as a twin of the fatalism so often seen in the East. If the answer is already certain, then nothing we do would really matter anyway. Or rather, it goes back to the issue of free will and amounts to saying that we don't really have it.

6/21/2010 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Amongst the hillbillies, we have some very sad cases of asphalt frotteurism -- where the rubber meets the road.

6/21/2010 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Bob: Good post. I agree that any consideration of immortality in one body would be a hopeless dead end.

However, I think all humans intuitively sense that more time than the allotted would be a good thing. Simply because of the gargantuan nature of the task at hand, which is to perfect oneself.

I would be interested in your take on reincarnation. Aurobindo, and others, don't believe the current best theory of human spiritual evolution would be tenable without assuming the existence of reincarnation. This is because nobody has near enough time to get the job done.

The soul is barely polished in the three score and ten, and then it goes off-world. For good? Or does it get repeat polishings to deliver a progressively better product on each go round?

On the other hand, if the species is at a sort of a crawl and its main purpose is to sharpen souls ina single shot for a more important afterlife event, then terrestrial evolution is moot.

Christianity favors scenario number 2.

Some say it is not important to decide the issue while alive but I disagree.

A certain patience with oneself and others, a certain ability to calm the nerves and focus, a certain ability to forgive life for its trials, is one outcome. Because of the expansion of time many-fold, maybe a millionfold. Then dreams of immortality in the body need not be entertained a la Kurwiel.

One can take it on faith, no evidence needed. Or use the intuition.

Or stick with the Crhstian formula; perhaps it is good enough to steady the nerves as is.

6/21/2010 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

Funny, I don't think much of Kurzweil, but for the opposite reason -- he's not materialist enough. All his nattering about "spiritual machines" just means he's transposing the same dumb dualities that have confused people for thousands of years into a new context. He wants to move the same old souls into new bodies made out of transistors instead of neurons. Big freaking deal.

6/21/2010 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Still flogging that horse, Grant? It's not going to come alive again, just because you keep hitting it.

What you're asking is, I would guess, beyond the ability of anyone here to answer. However, as I think has been pointed out ad nauseum, it's fairly clear that the reason you ask is because you either want or hope to have some kind of do-over.

Why wait for another life to align yourself with the Truth? All you ever really have is right now. I can't think of a better time to begin.

6/21/2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Kurzweil is a type of what Lewis once called the "materialistic magician", and the attraction of it is very much of the "ye can be as gods" type. Though he may use the term "spiritual", I suspect he means it only in a typical materialist sense. Spirit is merely the something-greater-gestalt that emerges with sufficient computing power. When the human brain or any system reaches a threshold of so many billion neural connections, something that seems to be spirit results.

6/21/2010 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Cooncur. A thoroughgoing materialism rapidly degenerates into incoherence and magic.

6/21/2010 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

he's not materialist enough

I should know better, but I am seriously perplexed, Anon. What possible interest could you have in this blog? Really? Explain once more why the hell you come back here?

At one point you said it was to "educate" us or similar. I am not exaggerating one iota when I tell you this: I learn considerably more from my dog about reality than from you, and that can never change as long as you remain the way you are. You're like some negative version of "edifying" - less than zero.

But Bob likes you here as a specimen/example, so you're welcome to stay. I just can't help wondering what you get out of it...

6/21/2010 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Furthermore, he loafs in God's vertical bakery, where the bread is baked fresh daily."

Made me smile. :) I'd come here just for the wordplay. But one is fed so very much more than that.

I've got to get this Pieper book. It sounds like something I'd love to read. What an insight, that both despair and presumption are perverse. Just as unbelief is a serious issue in God's sight (claims such as Hitchens' not being allowed by Him as an excuse), so is hopelessness or misdirected, human-centered hope. Well, I suppose unbelief and hopelessness are tied in that the latter is the result of the former?

"With further evolution, I would expect Transvestic Fetishism to soon be stricken from the list, followed by the sadomasochistic tango."

I love your irony here. Indeed, one of my left-leaning friends made clear that in her worldview, nothing between "consenting adults" could be considered a perversion of human sexuality. Only if someone non-consenting is involved (too young, or, uh, not of the human persuasion) could it be considered twisted. I've seen some of Zombie's photojournalism, however, and I must differ with her on that, to understate it a bit.

Magnus, may I quote your comment yesterday? I really liked it.

6/21/2010 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

You're like some negative version of "edifying" - less than zero.

Cool, then I'm doing my job.

There's this greek term enantiodromia which roughly means the tendency of any force to give rise to its opposite. So consider my presence here a result of the workings of this very fundamental principle of the universe.

6/21/2010 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

tendency of any force to give rise to its opposite

Well for the *vast* majority here OC is a force for good and for sanity.

If your absurdly ostentatious point is that you are here to represent the opposite, well I can't argue with you there, fella.

I guess it boils down to this: Bob is right. You're the intellectual equivalent of those horrid graphic images on the side of cigarette packages: this could be you!

Anyhoo the Christian thing to do is to pray for you, Anon. I will sincerely try to remember to do so.

6/21/2010 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

God himself found it necessary to have an adversary.

6/21/2010 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - we can always count on our trolls to demonstrate the negative concepts in the posts.

Hence Anon, portraying presumption.

6/21/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

God himself found it necessary to have an adversary.

Yes, but the Devil has some pizazz and is notoriously seductive and charming.

Anon, you're not really snappy dresser enough (and way too dumb) to compete with ol' Beelzebub. Maybe you could be an adversary for Queeg instead? Think of it as the Two Stooges of the blogosphere...

6/21/2010 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

“He is a prime example of despair masquerading as hope, of extreme materialism masquerading as transcendence, and of grandiosity masquerading as magnanimity. Not to mention abject foolishness masquerading as wisdom.”

I wonder if you could also say that there is a rational hope of moving towards the possible (it is true and attainable), and an irrational hope of moving away from the unavoidable?

Kurzweil is always seeking to escape age, disease and death, not as those rational actions which are the requirements of living, but as a way of ultimately avoiding what cannot be avoided, as attempts to avoid the requirements of being alive.

6/21/2010 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anone said "Funny, I don't think much of Kurzweil, but for the opposite reason -- he's not materialist enough."

Funny, your saying that doesn't strike me as being funny at all.

6/21/2010 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Julie:

I keep flogging the horse because it is an important horse.

How important?

Notice how the other major players among the raccoons are careful not to take a definite position for it, yay or nay. It is a political watershed.

To say nay means you are too inflexible for the rigors of the climb, and to say yay means you will have to disavow 40% of Christian doctrine.

To say nothing means you don't know; perhaps the wisest thing at this point.

But to say nothing is just timidity. Everyone has at least a secret leaning one way or the other.

I believe it separates the girls from the women, so to speak.

6/21/2010 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Grant, really it's not as important as you think. The only life that matters is the one you're living right now. To put all your eggs in the reincarnation basket is no different, really, from Kurzweil's hope for material immortality. It is to declare this life as hopeless and/ or worthless, ultimately; it is to say that what you do and who you are here and now don't really matter, because you get any number of chances to come back and do it right later.

It's bullshit, and it's just a way of making excuses to avoid the responsibility you have, right now, to align yourself to the truth you seem so desperate to avoid.

If you had an iota of wisdom, you would act as though this life is all you have, because for all any of us here know it is. I don't know if I've lived before, and I don't know if I shall again. All I know is that i am, right now. What I do with that now is the most important thing there is.

6/21/2010 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I would have to say that islam is an aberration of religion. Anyone who's familiar with the Bible, has at least tried to read the koran and is somewhat savvy about history, can see that it's a complete rip off of the Bible to make it look legitimate.

Islam is all about the grand jihad. Read the Koran - or for those who want a shorter version with a healthy dose of truth, read Robert Spencer's book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)." I read the koran and lots of history before Spencer published his book, and I'd have to agree with his conclusions, plus he gives references so you can look it up for yourself.

I've often wondered if mohamed was the anti-Christ. Because everything about his religion kills HOPE. Everything that brings joy to human life is outlawed by islam. And the only way to get to heaven and get your 72 virgins for a muslim male is by committing murder.

We can already see it in islamic cultures, that when there is no one else to persecute but themselves, they claim certain groups of people are not islamic enough. So they have an excuse to murder for their god.

Islam came about by a greedy, power hungry guy, who had a great marketing idea (by riding on the coat tails of the Jewish and Christian faith), and the will to carry it out, by force if necessary, which he did.

Allah is the name of a stone idol.

6/21/2010 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Julie re:

"The only life that matters is the one you're living right now. To put all your eggs in the reincarnation basket is no different, really, from Kurzweil's hope for material immortality. "

My take is we are traveling agents through time with responsibilities. I have said this before in regards to a third dimension with respect to the horizontal and vertical model. My concept is that we owe are predecessors and our successors the best of our efforts while living. In a weird iconic picture imagine the spear piercing Jesus' chest as the third axis of existence. Those who gave us life and those we give life are the one's we have responsibilities to. I think is a very small minded way even Darwin would agree with this proposition. As for reincarnation, I really don't know, but take your admonition to focus on the life you have versus the life you might have as correct.

wv: dayanics --- cool

6/21/2010 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

In a perfect world, we would continue to build on the discoveries of past generations, instead of thinking they have nothing to offer because we live in the modern age where it's okay to flash your crotch in public, and that's the height of liberal sophistication, as long as it gets you face time.

6/21/2010 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Tigtog,

My concept is that we owe are predecessors and our successors the best of our efforts while living.

Agreed. I like how you put that. I was thinking something of the sort while observing the baby asnooze on my lap. I have a responsibility to those who came before me and faced some truly terrible struggles to live the best life that I can, as the future whose existence they couldn't possibly have imagined but for whom they hoped. And just as truly, I have a responsibility to this little one to give him the start and the tools he needs in order to fulfill his own deustination, whatever that may be. For him I, too, hope. To treat all their lives as somehow disposable (by positing reincarnation as an opportunity for endless do-overs, thus making any particular life inconsequential) strikes me as the worst sort of hopelessness, a vile sort of sickness that simply desires to give in to the parasites, wishing for some kind of eternal reset button while ignoring the very real opportunities provided by an Absolute that cares about this life, here and now.

As far as reincarnation goes, I'll admit I do find the topic somewhat interesting in a Schroedinger's cat sort of way. I don't think there's anything wrong with spiritually normal people speculating about it, and I don't at all think it's impossible. I just know that for Grant, who has rambled on about it periodically over the years, he's looking for an escape clause from the responsibilities of the present.

6/21/2010 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I'm quite orthodox, Grant, and have no problem saying "nay." But I only speak for myself here.

The Christian faith weights every thing on *this* life, and temporal life is regarded as the precursor to "life eternal." Not as someone else, but as YOU.

As the author of Hebrews states:

"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him."

I can't see anything in Scripture that allows we are reborn as "somebody else" because not only would that not be the essential YOU, but somebody else, more seriously, it would nullify the doctrine of salvation by grace, which is the central point of Christ's incarnation. The "perfecting process" does not save us; Christ's sacrifice alone does. Our "pilgrimage" as Bob said is not to save ourselves, but to be glorious witnesses to the outworkings of HIS salvation.

Reincarnation is just another "me-centered" form of religion.

wv comments: ratiness and I take no responsibility for that...

6/21/2010 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Susannah, you are free to grab whatever you find in my comments.

As for our friend Ray Kurzweil, his predictions about the acceleration of information processing have held up pretty well. His predictions about artificial intelligence have been pushed ahead of him for as long as I can remember, but then again this happens to all who work in that field.

I can understand how he feels too. When I was young, many of my Christian friends were very focused on the Rapture coming in their lifetime. It is the same thing really.

6/21/2010 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Juile re:
"And just as truly, I have a responsibility to this little one to give him the start and the tools he needs in order to fulfill his own deustination, whatever that may be. For him I, too, hope. "

I have spent the last few days coaching 8 to 10 year old baseball. Also I have been involved with teaching my son how to pitch. It is very interesting and challenging to deal with the little one's fears and sky high expectations. One kid is caught in a miserable existence with his older (idiot) brother. A real Caine and Abel story. He is totally consumed with fear of the ball, whether pitched or hit. Another seems manic in his expectations of himself. When he hits well he is crushed that another boy excelled and caught his hit for an out. Amazing the variety of little nodes of needs and fears. I am at times overwhelmed by the information and at a loss as to how to proceed. The best I could come up with is "lighten up Francis". Not sure they understand my reference. No one works at baseball, they play baseball. Big difference. Working with the little ones has done much to improve my view of life and my gratefulness to my parents.

Traveling agents with responsibilities. The question is how best to acquit our responsibilities? Its daunting.

6/21/2010 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

:D

"Lighten up, Francis"

I have that movie memorized; it was one of the few we had on video disk when I was a kid, and my brother watched it almost compulsively.

In hindsight, Sergeant Hulka was kind of cool.

6/21/2010 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Julie, Susannah:

Yes, I see your point. From the practical viewpoint, reincarnation is of little or no use.

It is the theoretical curiosity that mulls it over. It is a concept without any use here but nonetheless all of the major hitters weigh in on it sooner or later.

I just wanted Bob to get his licks in so I can see where he fits into the canon of greats.

6/21/2010 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

*snork*

Be honest. You just wanted him to weigh in and thus validate your presence.

6/21/2010 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Reincarnation in the vulgarized new age sense is clearly daft. What good is it in any way -- morally, spiritually, educationally, or what have you, if you can't even remember your past life? What's the point of reward or punishment if you don't even know what you're being rewarded or punished for?

There are more sophisticated notions of reincarnation that have to do with the recirculation of impersonal spirit, with which I don't have a problem. But they're not popular among the new age rabble.

6/21/2010 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Julie re:

"Lighten up, Francis"

If I coach baseball this fall, I will use that scene to drive home the idea of having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Also, to reinforce the concept of forgiving yourself as well as others for screw ups. I have an idea to organize a team around some of what I have learned from Bob. Master the horizontal (skills) to enable yourself the ability to ascend the vertical (see the ball - be the ball). Thought I would use the Happy Buddha as the icon for shaking off the screw ups. Play baseball - be happy. Goes to being light of heart. I am also convinced that I can teach them how to stretch time through total conciseness. If you are prepared for what the "bullpen of possibilities" can throw at you, and focused on the ball off the bat (sight and hearing) you can slow time and execute defense flawlessly. Some call it the zone, I really think its slowing time down. I think I can create a team of cosmic bombers and they won't know what hit them until they are in their 20s. Could work.

6/21/2010 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean, I can do whatever I want in this life, but some other sap whom I don't know and who doesn't know me is going to pay the price? I suppose it's the leftist's dream -- do what we want now, and have future generations pay for it.

6/21/2010 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

No joke - talk about a cosmic injustice!

Tigtog - I like that idea. Planting the seeds, even though you'll probably not see the good fruit they bear. Sometimes, maybe that's the best sort of work, a form of the charity we give in secret.

6/21/2010 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

As far as reincarnation goes, I agreed with a friend of mine on this dicussion a long time ago. I'm hoping to get it right the first time. I don't want to come back.

6/21/2010 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Not as entertaining as reincarnation theory, but...

Re acedia:
...the real meaning of which is a kind of "sadness in view of the divine good in man," and a rejection of the "God-given ennobling of human nature."

I Googled the word and read a number of the links, and see what you mean when you say there is no specific definition of the word. 'Sloth' is a word that comes up often, but it seems to refer to more than that.

One passage I found seemed relevant to me:
No matter what we perceive it produces an "effect" -- meaning it results in some sort of reaction or condition occurring in our internal state -- and this is the work of the "self" surviving ... there is always some sort of mood or "disposition" going on; this too is an effect.

From that I gather that your "spiritual laziness," or acedia, is something we ourselves "do," not an emotion we are subject to -- an unwillingness to face reality. Like a "function" of a mind parasite, perhaps.

6/21/2010 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm pretty sure there will be more on acedia tomorrow. Can't wait to find out what I think!

6/21/2010 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Last Thursday night I awoke suddenly with a thought and a phrase in my head, "The Singularity of Babylon."

I saw the Internet as the Tower of Babel and the adoption of its presumption around the world as the Great Singularity Whore of Babylon. I realized, whether dreaming or awake, that the most thorough way of squelching the digital Singularity is to sow viruses and worms and chat-bots and AI and Nigerian scammers-- phishers of men, sowing seeds of doubt, perversions of reality and theft of language and meaning.

After having one's eternal accounts hacked, the paranoia and vulnerability brings about separation, not unity. No amount of guarantee can make one feel safe. Even the youngest Internet users have lived long enough to see every protective measure of verity defeated.

More than a mere "confounding of language" that the first Babel represented, this Babel is the confounding of Truth. It's not like one can have a translator of the overwhelming binary code. You simply may not ever be able to tell if you are speaking with a reality or a phantom. It can only result in a tribalization based on who's coding kung-fu has the best PR.

Unless one goes to the Main Server, and lets Him degousse their code with pure and Holy magnetism, aligning the polarities. . . ye must be formatted from Above. . .

I laughed and laughed and went back to sleep. No, really!

wv: propeds feet shod with the Gospel of Peace!

6/21/2010 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, it can undoubtedly foster a kind of "counterfeit communion" or "inverted body of Christ," a topic we will soon be discussing, Petey willing.

6/21/2010 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I thought to post the vision here because I know how Raccoons are: they will run off with such an idea and tear it open and find even more little morsels of fun in every byte, or they will shred it to a nothingness well-deserved if it rings false.

wv: bandaye as long as we all agree. . .

6/21/2010 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

May I beg a prayer for the Seablogger?

He came late to faith, and has been surprised to have lived much beyond his initial gloomy prognoses of a few years ago. God gave him time, and grace, to find HimSelf.

Alan's work on the psalms has been his gift in return. Now it seems he is rounding the cape of Good Hope. Please remember him in your prayers.

6/21/2010 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Re reincarnation, I like this guy because he takes it all the way.

6/21/2010 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

So at last, we see one of Anon's influences. At least Kolak is honest...

Joan, prayers are going out.

6/21/2010 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In the space of 12 hours he's gone from crackpot materialism to crackpot pseudo-mysticism. Difficult to determine which is worse. Probably the latter, because at least materialism is pretty effective in dealing with matter.

6/21/2010 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Well, they have in common that they are both more intellectually rigorous than anything you can find here, plus the added advantage of not leading one to treat Jonah Goldberg or Thomas Sowell or Dennis Prager as serious thinkers.

6/21/2010 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

True, but it's hard to know which is more rigorous, "I'm going to recreate my soul in a lab," or "it doesn't matter, because I'm already everybody."

6/21/2010 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To anon re: Cosmic Unity

Isn't Cosmic Unity just another name for the Golden Rule; do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Correct me if I am wrong, as I know you will.

6/22/2010 03:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

grant said "I would be interested in your take on reincarnation."

Sigh. We're here. Now. Attend to that.

To entertain the arbitrary, if we were here before, the one who put us back saw fit to remove any recollection of that from memory, and probably for a reason. Probably so we'd concentrate on living our lives, here, now.

Fwiw, somehow I don't think trying to peak at the teachers notes is going get you any extra credit. Might even earn you an eternals version of a whack across the knuckles with a ruler... maybe a few reincarnations as an abused slave boy.

Keep your eyes on your own paper.

6/22/2010 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Man, if I was here before, I must've really blown it previously.

Just sayin'. . .

6/22/2010 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

anone said " anon said...
God himself found it necessary to have an adversary."

Yeah. Snails & slugs too. Using Occam's razor, which is the simpler explanation for you?

No reply necessary.

6/22/2010 05:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan said "I saw the Internet as the Tower of Babel and the adoption of its presumption around the world as the Great Singularity Whore of Babylon. "

Heh... have had similar notions before, even of,

"Unless one goes to the Main Server, and lets Him degousse their code with pure and Holy magnetism, aligning the polarities. . . ye must be formatted from Above. . ."

, only I was going with accepting and applying a new "...Saved" interface, v 2.0... as I've said before, Plato and Aristotle would have LOVED computer coding.

(wait till you get to the application runtime)

:- )

6/22/2010 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

anone said "Re reincarnation, I like this guy because he takes it all the way."

from that guy: "central thesis of I Am You - that we are all the same person - is apt to strike many readers as obviously false or even absurd."

Nahhh... there's plenty of anone's out there who'll eat it up. Noted his influences,

"...centrally important work of Descartes, ... Spinoza, ... Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, Royce, James, Wittgenstein, ... Kant..."

Quite the rogues gallery. At least now I know why you get so upset over talk of reality - you're opposed to it.

Now I'm wearing my surprised face.

wv:subdolop
Excellent way of expressing that.

6/22/2010 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

anon said "Well, they have in common that they are both more intellectually rigorous than anything you can find here, plus the added advantage of not leading one to treat Jonah Goldberg or Thomas Sowell or Dennis Prager as serious thinkers."

Tee-hee. I'd love you see your bookshelf... I wonder how much room is left on it after the collected works of Shirley MacLaine....

6/22/2010 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Grant -- FYI, I only deleted your comments because of the stupid mischaracterization my ideas, not because of the usual cringeworthiness. I'll be happy to ignore your questions about reincarnation if you can ask them without distorting my views.

6/22/2010 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

Tigtog: Kolak goes quite a bit further than the Golden Rule, although that would be an easy deduction from his premises.

Note that I haven't actually read his book, which goes for close to $300. But if his thesis is true, then I've written it.

6/22/2010 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

anunce said "... I like this guy because he takes it all the way... they are both more intellectually rigorous than anything you can find here...Note that I haven't actually read his book..."

(blink)

(stare)

Whenever you may again be tempted to use the word 'reality', you should keep the immortal words of Inigo Montoya in mind,

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Thank you for playing. Move along.

6/22/2010 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

His biggest influence is actually Barney:

I am you,
You are me,
Just a cosmic potpourri,
with a great big hug,
and a kiss from me to me,
Won't you say that you're me TOO!

6/22/2010 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "His biggest influence is actually Barney"

(!)
(wipes coffee splatter off screen, desk... uh-oh... keyboard)

Haven't had an ISS (Involuntary Spastic Spewage) moment in a while, thanks.

;-)

6/22/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I guess it must be intellectually rigorous if anon's never read it.

6/22/2010 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

adversary?
'the devil' merely does god's dirtywork---all creatures are dependent on #1
[anon trolls are more like the mites on a minor demon's dingleberries]

6/22/2010 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

First, I log on and see the title for today's (Tues.) post...then the translation via Barney. Gasping with laughter!

This is why I visit OC.

6/22/2010 05:47:00 PM  

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