… a toy version:
The universe begins with a single input, an arbitrary numerical seed — the phone number of one of the programmers. That number is mathematically mutated into more seeds by a cascading series of algorithms — a computerized pseudo-randomness generator. The seeds will determine the characteristics of each game element. Machines, of course, are incapable of true randomness, so the numbers produced appear random only because the processes that create them are too complex for the human mind to comprehend.
Critical thoughts on hyperstition, madness, machines, and more from Germán Sierra — beginning 2016 with a paroxysm.
A networked timespace is a small piece of space-time produced by the synchronic “activation” of a discrete number of network elements by means of a particular performance. Networked timespaces are distributed (their space or size cannot be pre-determined) and they usually result in low-level disruptions within the metastable media network. Possible high-level disruptions are the result of unpredictable, undetermined events. While surface media are in a state of flux, moving in the realm of illusions, deep media … work on the basis that reality is contingent, unpredictable and ontologically multiple.
De Landa (1993):
… humans didn’t really invent machines. A hurricane is a motor in the literal sense, a motor defined as something with a heat reservoir that circulates heat through a Carnot cycle via differences of temperature. When a hurricane is born, a lot of self-organizing processes are involved that bring heat from the outside and concentrate it into a reservoir. In other words, it’s a self-assembled motor. That, to me, is a mind-blowing concept, because it took centuries before humans discovered the motor, something that self-assembles spontaneously in nature. […] So the machinic phylum is simply the notion that as soon as you let matter and energy in any form (whether it is organic or inorganic) flow in a nonlinear manner (that is, past a certain threshold of complexity) machines will tend to spontaneously self-assemble. The key word here is “nonlinear.” When you let matter and energy get far from equilibrium, spontaneously stabilized states called “attractors” emerge.
Still ahead of the culture, over two decades further on.
The Hollerith 1890 Census Tabulator.
The world’s first underground railway line opens in London.
Japan’s first written constitution came into effect (Meiji year 22).
Francis Galton inaugurates the scientific understanding of human fingerprints.
Did the world just cross a major threshold, into a vestibule of many doors?
Naturally, it would be far too hasty to describe these images as the first views of AI from the inside, but still … something’s cooking.
A fictionally embedded citation from Samuel Butler’s Erewhon:
“There is no security” — to quote his own words — “against the ultimate development of mechanical consciousness, in the fact of machines possessing little consciousness now. A mollusc has not much consciousness. Reflect upon the extraordinary advance which machines have made during the last few hundred years, and note how slowly the animal and vegetable kingdoms are advancing. The more highly organised machines are creatures not so much of yesterday, as of the last five minutes, so to speak, in comparison with past time. Assume for the sake of argument that conscious beings have existed for some twenty million years: see what strides machines have made in the last thousand! May not the world last twenty million years longer? If so, what will they not in the end become? Is it not safer to nip the mischief in the bud and to forbid them further progress?
“But who can say that the vapour engine has not a kind of consciousness? Where does consciousness begin, and where end? Who can draw the line? Who can draw any line? Is not everything interwoven with everything? Is not machinery linked with animal life in an infinite variety of ways? The shell of a hen’s egg is made of a delicate white ware and is a machine as much as an egg-cup is: the shell is a device for holding the egg, as much as the egg-cup for holding the shell: both are phases of the same function; the hen makes the shell in her inside, but it is pure pottery. She makes her nest outside of herself for convenience’ sake, but the nest is not more of a machine than the egg-shell is. A ‘machine’ is only a ‘device.'”