— Cliff Pickover (@pickover) December 15, 2016
… imagine an entire city where the majority of people are voice-hearers and there is an elaborate cultural mythology for interpreting the voices as “personal gods”, where hearing divine or special voices talk to you is perfectly normal in every way. Can you imagine it? Jaynes could. But it stretches the imagination. But that’s no reason to think it wasn’t the case. Just because modern people with modern minds not hearing voices find that situation “psychotic” or “crazy” doesn’t mean that bicamerality has always been limited to 1-2% of the population. It was likely spread throughout the population in much greater proportion than it is today. It is in fact part of the human gene pool, which is why schizophrenia today has such a large genetic component. Complicated cognitive mechanisms such as voice hearing don’t just stay in the gene pool for no reason. It suggests that it was adaptive in the not too distant past. And for some people in some cultures, as Luhrmann indicates, it still serves an adaptive function.
A poem by Alex Boican.
The master’s eyes darted around, and he continued in a low voice:
When we do our work poorly, we are replaced with our betters. When we do our work well, the thing we have built grows larger, faster, more powerful, more entrenched, more hungry. Sometimes I lie awake in a cold sweat, unable to decide if we are still building it, or if it has begun using us to build itself …
(Link received with gratitude from JF — a more precise attribution might be unwelcome.)
… burning with extraordinary intensity here.
In the advancement of machines the question is always where to draw the line. But, the past’s ahead of itself. Nine billion years of accidents. Trick accidents unscreened, cut. Binah affirms the anthropism of the name Gaia. The open question of holding sacredness, Outside myself, hidden from I. The abducting cut of inside/outside. X has no reference to anything except self-cultivation.
It calls to be cut up more.
The Black Pear‘s …
… natural poison is much too potent and complex to be fully separated from the nectar in which it dwells. It can be broken down further through fermentation, making the resultant wine much more popular to consume than the pear itself. It becomes entirely nonlethal after several years of aging, yet those drunk on the finished product still experience elaborate fever dreams and vivid hallucinations. […] This completes a curious ontological circuit. The black pear tree does not actually exist, and can only be perceived in the mind’s eye of those who are already drunk on black pear wine …
(This might be TSP’s favorite from Uel Aramchek so far.)
Some examples from illustrious names. The challenge was defined by Hemingway’s six word story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” (Twitter is unnecessarily spacious for them.)
Neal Stephenson does it best:
Tick tock tick tock tick tick.