Functional Nature and the Posthuman
The 1337 593@K blog advises, “In case of n00bs, press ALT+F4 to eject.” Hilarious! That alone provoked me to actually read the latest post. (Oh, and Mac n00b5, go ahead and hit Command+Q right now to “Q”uickly refresh the screen). LOL!
As is so often the case, snarky humor is often followed by some fairly clueful content and in Functional Nature and the Posthuman, that trend seems to hold, despite a slightly rushed conclusion that features a fairly sweeping assumption about the efficacy of collective human agency in a post singularity world. But that’s okay, because the four additional requirements proposed for the author’s “Acutely Conscious Beings” are clearly defined and worthy of some further discussion. I hope this post steers some non-zero quantity of said dialectical energy in that general direction. To that end, here are The Four Additional Requirement of 1337 593@K, which I hope I’ve extracted and clarified more or less accurately:<blockquote><ol><li>A sentient must strive for the preservation of the individual lives of other sentients.</li><li>A sentient must possess the capacity for and motivation to quest for enlightenment.</li><li>A sentient is required to have a concept of justice (and also to behave justly, maybe?)</li><li>A sentient must engage in the pursuit of self-improvement, or betterment for the sake of betterment.</li></ol></blockquote>I hope you have a few seconds to bear with me for just one final anecdote. I remember hearing an NPR interview with Kevin Spacey just after the death of Jack Lemon, wherein Spacey explained that Lemon had repeatedly told him (at a very young and impressionable age), “If you ever make it in this business, you incur the obligation to spend an inordinate amount of time ‘sending the elevator back down’ to bring up new talent.” That mentor-issued mandate is one big reason Spacey is so vitally engage in the work he is now doing with community theater. Remembering this story has provoked me think that more of us might need to spend more time scanning the blogosphere for the express purpose of ‘sending the elevator back down’ to foster the Sentient Developments of Better Humans everywhere.
It seems to me that we’re all struggling to find some coherent signal within the cacophony of human existence, compelled to either synthesize and propagate our own consonant signals or simply and happily repeat signals that resonate with us, as we come to understand that our own individual and collective betterment will proceed thusly.
Finally, self-chastising my juvenile behavior in the opening sentences, I think that I (we) ought be somewhat careful in even accidentally making fun of sincere 9057huM4N n00b5 of all ages and all varieties because we were all n00b5 once. In fact, we are always n00b5 to the extent that we are ever pressing forward to new and uncharted territory.
So perhaps one signpost above the gateway to our most promising posthuman future could read:
“w3lc0M3 n00b5: 1337’5 m@y find 7hi5 pl@c3 b0ring b3c@u53 7h3y @lr3@dY kn0W 3v3rY7hinG”