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Re: Singularity Revisited

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  • write3chairs
    ... What I meant was that technology and science is bearing down on us more all the time. I am reminded of a book my daughter was assigned to read in the math
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 2, 2009
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      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" wrote:

      > I don't understand what you mean by "it's happening."

      What I meant was that technology and science is bearing down on us more all the time. I am reminded of a book my daughter was assigned to read in the math and science academy she attended for her junior and senior year of high school. Prior to the first day of class, all the students were required to read ENOUGH, by Bill McKibben. They also discussed it in small groups over the summer.

      > I have a Garmin nuvi 205W GPS Navigator in my own car.
      > And it's positively not "human" or alive in any manner whatsoever. > It's no more "human" or alive than your TV set, computer,
      > refrigirator or washing machine, although all such electric
      > devices are run through the energies of ahrimanic elementals,
      > whom we humans employ as servants. It reads your navigation
      > from satellites and if you activate the voice feature, it puts
      > words together, phonetic sounds just like when you call
      > a phone number service for the date and time, or some address
      > & phone number. So someone reads in all the necessary words
      > and phonetics, and when the info from the satellites are fed
      > into the GPS computer system, it's translated into spoken
      > language this way. It's thoroughly automated and the voice
      > is therefore awful, it doesn't sound human. although the
      > phonetic sounds that have been fed into the software have
      > been recorded from a human voice. And I've tried several
      > voice options. I got tired of the Norwegian voice so I
      > switched to American English, which was terrible, I tried
      > the British english which was not quite so terrible,
      > switched back to the Norwegian, keeping it as default because
      > I drive in the Oslo area, but the voices are all mechanical
      > and awful, which doesn't mean that the device isn't useful,
      > it's fun to play with as well.
      >
      > This does not mean that artificial intelligence is evolving into
      > self-aware artificial consciousness in any shape or form.
      > Some people, including anthroposophists, have believed that
      > at least since home computers came around. Somebody had created
      > a file and called it "Ahriman," and then a message popped up
      > saying "Ahriman cannot be saved," and they thought therefore
      > that the computer, or Ahriman, was shoeing a sense of humor
      > like some kind of living being.
      >
      > Next time you're listening to your brother's GPS, consider this:
      >
      > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA010/English/GA010_c02.html
      > <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA010/English/GA010_c02.html>
      >
      > "The student has also to bestow a further care on the world
      > of sound. He must discriminate between sounds that are produced
      > by the so-called inert (lifeless) bodies, for instance, a bell,
      > or a musical instrument, or a falling mass, and those which
      > proceed from a living creature (an animal or a human being.)
      > When a bell is struck, we hear the sound and connect a pleasant
      > feeling with it; but when we hear the cry of an animal, we can,
      > besides our own feeling, detect through it the manifestation of
      > an inward experience of the animal, whether of pleasure or pain.
      > It is with the latter kind of sound that the student sets to
      > work. He must concentrate his whole attention on the fact that
      > the sound tells him of something that lies outside his own soul.
      > He must immerse himself in this foreign thing. He must closely
      > unite his own feeling with the pleasure or pain of which the
      > sound tells him. He must get beyond the point of caring whether,
      > for him, the sound is pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or
      > disagreeable, and his soul must be filled with whatever is
      > occurring in the being from which the sound proceeds.
      > Through such exercises, if systematically and deliberately
      > performed, the student will develop within himself the faculty
      > of intermingling, as it were, with the being from which the
      > sound proceeds. A person sensitive to music will find it
      > easier than one who is unmusical to cultivate his inner life
      > in this way; but no one should suppose that a mere sense for
      > music can take the place of this inner activity. The student
      > must learn to feel in this way in the face of the whole of
      > nature. This implants a new faculty in his world of thought
      > and feeling.
      > Through her resounding tones, the whole of nature begins to
      > whisper her secrets to the student. What was hitherto merely
      > incomprehensible noise to his soul becomes by this means
      > a coherent language of nature. And whereas hitherto he only
      > heard sound from the so-called inanimate objects, he now is
      > aware of a new language of the soul. Should he advance further
      > in this inner culture, he will soon learn that he can
      > hear what hitherto he did not even surmise. He begins to hear
      > with the soul."
      >
      > ( -- Rudolf Steiner: Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, II,
      > The Stages of Initiation, written in 1904, GA 10)
      >
      > Of course this challenge is far greater with high quality
      > recorded sound, but it's crucial that we learn to perceive
      > the difference between what comes from the mineral kingdom
      > and electrical energies on the one hand, and living sentient
      > beings on the other hand, which also include purely spiritual
      > (non-corporeal) beings when the threshold is crossed.
      > The confusion of these categories is part and parcel of the
      > Ahrimanic deception.
      >
      > Tarjei

      Thanks for this, Tarjei. It is enlightening. And yet music wouldn't even be possible if not for human influence. Nor would those GPS devices work if not for humans using their faculties to create the technology that makes it all possible.

      You also remind me of a conversation I had yesterday with a female friend who was describing a kind of mental and emotional torture that doesn't even come close to physical pain. A soul wound. The kind of feeling that arises when a person is treated with cruelty or even indifference, which can feel like abandonment or neglect. I learned some shocking news yesterday, from my daughter. A close friend of hers recently revealed that her father had been molesting her since (at least) she was five years old. It's continued over time, too, even as recent as a few weeks ago. I cannot comprehend the mindset of a person who could do that to his own daughter. Unconscionable barely describes it. This is also an example of the "soul wound" my friend was talking about. How does a person heal a soul wound?

      What would Rudolf do? (WWRD)

      Jenny
    • elfuncle
      ... more all the time. That s very true, but it doesn t mean singularity is happening, although it s great movie fantasy material. ... He would probably have
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 2, 2009
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        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "write3chairs" <write3chairs@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" wrote:
        >
        > > I don't understand what you mean by "it's happening."
        >
        > What I meant was that technology and science is bearing down on us more all the time.


        That's very true, but it doesn't mean singularity is happening, although it's great movie fantasy material.

        > What would Rudolf do? (WWRD)

        He would probably have checked out GPS, and now he's our mutual Facebook friend :) ; he criticized alarmists against technological developents; there were those in the 19th century who thought cattle would get nervous disorders or something because of trains passing by. And he once remarked about the novelty of riding in an automobile, although he never drove one.

        Tarjei
      • elfuncle
        On the other hand, Jennifer, we also have this: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA026/English/RSP1973/GA026_c29.html
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 2, 2009
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          On the other hand, Jennifer, we also have this:

           http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA026/English/RSP1973/GA026_c29.html 

          183. In the age of Natural Science, since about the middle of the nineteenth century, the civilised activities of mankind are gradually sliding downward, not only into the lowest regions of Nature, but even beneath Nature. Technical Science and Industry become Sub-Nature.

          184. This makes it urgent for man to find in conscious experience a knowledge of the Spirit, wherein he will rise as high above Nature as in his sub-natural technical activities he sinks beneath her. He will thus create within him the inner strength not to go under.

          185. A past conception of Nature still bore within it the Spirit with which the source of all human evolution is connected. By degrees, this Spirit vanished altogether from man's theory of Nature. The purely Ahrimanic spirit has entered in its place, and passed from theory of Nature into the technical civilisation of mankind.

          ( -- Rudolf Steiner: Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts, From Nature to Sub-Nature [1925], GA 26)

          Tarjei

          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <coolvibes@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "write3chairs"
          > write3chairs@ wrote:
          > >
          > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" wrote:
          > >
          > > > I don't understand what you mean by "it's happening."
          > >
          > > What I meant was that technology and science is bearing down on us
          > more all the time.
          >
          > That's very true, but it doesn't mean singularity is happening, although
          > it's great movie fantasy material.
          >
          > > What would Rudolf do? (WWRD)
          >
          > He would probably have checked out GPS, and now he's our mutual Facebook
          > friend [:)] ; he criticized alarmists against technological
          > developents; there were those in the 19th century who thought cattle
          > would get nervous disorders or something because of trains passing by.
          > And he once remarked about the novelty of riding in an automobile,
          > although he never drove one.
          >
          > Tarjei
          >

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