[ExI] Technology- When it works (A story)

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Tue Jun 10 03:33:48 UTC 2008

M1N3R m1n3r2 at hotmail.com :
>Wow. Amazing.

Well, my life seemed normal, until I described it to someone once. ;-)

>Some say only women have the strength to persevere in the most
>grave situations.

What are the choices, though? To shrivel up and die? I didn't see any
choices but to try with the life (lives) in which I found myself.

>However, I have one little comment on this...

>>  Today,
>>  humans have the fragments of a network of a global consciousness

>Internet. Collective consciousness is sort of an obsession to me (has been
>for some time). If the matter has been discussed, please let me know.
>Anyway, the internet seems to me a pseudo-collective of human (and
>artificial) minds, today an indefinite set of information but expanding very
>rapidly (and indefinitely). The internet is pretty non-deterministic, it has
>no definite size, no definite shape etc. Somewhat like our so-called mind
>(talking about individual mind here). So, the internet, as it is, ever more
>closely integrated with us,

I generally agree. What fascinates me lately are the twitter streams.
A number of platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, ...), offer a mechanism for
people to insert a 'thought of the moment' into an edit box. Humans can be
quite expressive (and exhibitionist), so many do not have difficulty to
write a brief phrase that represents their mind-state.

Now, watch the mind-states of your friends and colleagues flow past
you, and it is a little like being washed in a group consciousness.

But Salmon Rushdie knows about that....

"... the Water Genie told Haroun about the Ocean of the Streams of
Story, and even though he was full of a sense of hopelessness and
failure the magic of the Ocean began to have an effect on Haroun. He
looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand
thousand and one different currents, each one a different color, weaving
in and out of one another like a liquid tapestry of breathtaking
complexity; and [the Water Genie] explained that these were the Streams
of Story, that each colored strand represented and contained a single
tale. Different parts of Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and
as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in
the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the
Streams of Story was in the fact the biggest library in the universe.
And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the
ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with
other stories and so become yet other stories ..."

Salman Rushdie, _Haroun and the Sea of Stories_, (London, 1990),
pp. 71-72.


Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Research Scientist, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list