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Re: [microsound] mp3 redux

No, I don't know what you meant.  With the same right I could claim I knew where
you are coming from...

Lanier described it better than I could:

Cybernetic totalists are obsessed with Darwin, for he described the
                                              closest thing we have to an
algorithm for creativity. Darwin answers
                                              what would otherwise be a big hole
in the Dogma: How will cybernetic
                                              systems be smart and creative
enough to invent a post-human
                                              world? In order to embrace an
eschatology in which the computers
                                              become smart as they become fast,
some kind of Deus ex Machina
                                              must be invoked, and it has a

                                              Unfortunately, in the current
climate I must take a moment to state
                                              that I am not a creationist. I am
in this essay criticizing what I
                                              perceive to be intellectual
laziness; a retreat from trying to
                                              understand problems and instead
hope for software that evolves
                                              itself. I am not suggesting that
Nature required some extra element
                                              beyond natural evolution to create

                                              I also don't meant to imply that
there is a completely unified block of
                                              people opposing me, all of whom
think exactly the same thoughts.
                                              There are in fact numerous
variations of Darwinian eschatology.
                                              Some of the most dramatic
renditions have not come from scientists
                                              or engineers, but from writers
such as Kevin Kelly and Robert Wright,
                                              who have become entranced with
broadened interpretations of
                                              Darwin. In their works, reality is
perceived as a big computer
                                              program running the Darwin
algorithm, perhaps headed towards some
                                              sort of Destiny.

                                              Many of my technical colleagues
also see at least some form of a
                                              causal arrow in evolution pointing
to an ever greater degree of a
                                              hard-to-characterize something as
time passes. The words used to
                                              describe that something are
themselves hard to define; It is said to
                                              include increased complexity,
organization, and representation. To
                                              computer scientist Danny Hillis,
people seem to have more of such a
                                              thing than, say, single cell
organisms, and it is natural to wonder if
                                              perhaps there will someday be some
new creatures with even more of
                                              it than is found in people. (And
of course the future birth of the new
                                              "more so" species is usually said
to be related to computers.)
                                              Contrast this perspective with
that of Stephen Jay Gould who argues
                                              in Full House that if there's an
arrow in evolution, it's towards greater
                                              diversity over time, and we
unlikely creatures known as humans,
                                              having arisen as one tiny
manifestation of a massive, blind
                                              exploration of possible creatures,
only imagine that the whole
                                              process was designed to lead to

                                              There is no harder idea to test
than an anthropic one, or its
                                              refutation. I'll admit that I tend
to side with Gould on this one, but it
                                              is more important to point out an
epistemological conundrum that
                                              should be considered by Darwinian
eshatologists. If mankind is the
                                              measure of evolution thus far,
then we will also be the measure of
                                              successor species that might be
purported to be "more evolved"
                                              than us. We'll have to
anthropomorphize in order to perceive this
                                              "greater than human" form of life,
especially if it exists inside an
                                              information space such as the

By the way, I don't think evolution theory has been disproven, neither do I find
a sparkle of truth in creationism.  The only thing I wanted to point out was
some agreement on rules within science.



Peter McCarter wrote:

> > Whether evolution theory is proven, however, I don't know.
> well, *I* do, and it is.   :-)
> > You know where I am coming from? Hm, then you know more than I do.  I mean
> I
> > know where I was born but I've been never able to state: this is my creed,
> this
> > is where I am standing at last.  Sometimes I'd be glad to be able to say
> that.
> You know what I meant!!  ha ha
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