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Messages - Francis Buck

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16
I think I've been meaning to watch this since you posted it, lol.

And so, I have watched!

The art and animation is great, but I do agree it's way too on the nose, and kinda made the middle drag a bit. It also feels like it's not quite as smart as it seems to think it is, in general. Nonetheless the imagery was still strong enough to be compelling and the music did its job. The opening and the last few minutes were my favorite part.

17
Hmm, wake me up when we have the Subparticular Intentional Field Machine please.

I believe the correct terminology is “immersive post-material interface”.


18
Philosophy & Science / Re: Is the Cell Really a Machine?
« on: August 15, 2019, 02:52:11 am »
I think that comparing cells (and organisms in general) to a 'machine' is mostly a result of humanity, as of yet, lacking a better, more precise go-to analogy for 'the thing that a cell is like', much in the same way we often compare the human brain to a 'computer' even in spite of realizing that this is an insufficient descriptor of what a human brain actually is.

The issue, of course, is that when we start using this sort of shorthand terminology, it's bound to get people to start taking it over-literally.

This is one of the problems I have with the more recent trend of equating organisms with algorithms. It's not that the analogy isn't apt -- in fact it's startlingly effective (for those still startled by such things) -- but rather I feel it risks repeating the same reductionist perspective that leads to the issue at hand.

Barring any forthcoming breakthroughs in the appropriate scientific fields, a cell isn't anything other than a cell, and a cell -- like the human brain -- is something we just do not yet fully grasp the nature of.

19
Philosophy & Science / Re: Would an uploaded mind have value?
« on: August 10, 2019, 10:54:58 pm »
Given the malleability of value in general, I think it's fairly reasonable to assume that a successfully digitized or in any way 'uploaded' human mind and its relative value would be a highly polarizing topic of debate, made no easier by the fact that it would be impossible to know just what sort, if any, sentience such a being would possess (unless we are assuming a full-blown, reliably testable theory of consciousness also exists). I only bring up sentience because I think that would end up as the determining factor in such debates, or perhaps 'personhood' is a more likely name for the same basic idea.

Your last point is the most relevant I think, and the trickiest. While I can certainly imagine a scenario such as that, it still leaves open the question of whether the uploaded mind was capable of being enhanced, which seems very likely -- and at that point, is there really much of a difference between it and an artilect?

20
Philosophy & Science / Re: Is Physical Law an Alien Intelligence?
« on: August 10, 2019, 10:37:39 pm »
[edited for clarity]

This is my new favorite conspiracy theory. Though in all honesty, and in spite of realizing the limitations in our ability to test such things, I've long considered the lack of accounting for life or life-like systems when attempting to formulate a coherent cosmology whatsoever to be kinda...naive? Short sighted? Not sure what the right word is, likely a combination of both and more.

The issue I take with it primarily has to do with social and more importantly scientific norms, I think. The vast majority of what most would consider credible scientists are, for example, pretty forthcoming about their belief in intelligent alien life existing, in spite of a complete and total lack of evidence for such a thing whatsoever (besides, ya know, us). But comparatively little attention is given to the notion that life could potentially have -- let alone if it already has had -- a profound effect on the cosmos. Especially since that might actually be something we could test, assuming the right people take it seriously enough for that kind of work to even get started.

If you think that extra-terrestial life is a possibility, and if you also think that same life could be intelligent, than you should probably assume there is life considerably and perhaps immeasurably more intelligent than we are (lest ye be accused of anthropentricism).

And if you think all of that is within the scope of reasonable speculation, then you should also probably humor the idea that the universe has already allowed for an almost comical amount of time for such life to evolve well beyond our own cognitive and technological capacity. Considering how much humanity has altered the universe in roughly 10,000 years (albeit limited to our own planet), to then disregard the potential influence an alien lifeform might have on a more cosmic scale if they got, oh, let's just say a 1,000,000 year* head start...well, like I said, it seems just a bit short sighted not to at least entertain these ideas.

If we're going to take the idea of non-Earth life seriously at all, then it probably wouldn't hurt to at least semi-seriously consider what advanced life might do and/or have already done in terms of altering the universe to better suit its ideal environment.

P.S.

Just wanted to let you know Sci, these threads you've been posting here semi-recently are ridiculously useful for me personally, and are really interesting just in general -- hopefully some day I will have the time to actually engage in some more genuine discourse on the topics!

21
General Earwa / Re: Thought about other supports?
« on: August 07, 2019, 03:16:52 pm »
I want like, at least three different kinds of TSA video game off the top of my head:

1. Basically an RTS that combines some of the lighter elements of nation-running akin to Age of Empires, but mostly just something like Starcraft in terms of controls, with Inchoroi = Zerg, Nonmen = Protoss, and obivously Humans = Terrans. The sheer size of the armies you control -- and fight -- should be one of key elements (need something for Sranc to swarm over, and sorcerors to destroy in epic magnitude). All of this spans the history of Earwa, from the Cuno-Inchoroi the Breaking of the Gates, to the First Apocalypse and then finally the Great Ordeal (and whatever comprises the 'final battles' of the Second Apocalypse) -- not necesarily in that order.

2. Action-focused RPG with precision melee combat a la Dark Souls/Sekiro, but with an actually nuanced/fun to play version of a Sorceror.

3. Elder Scrolls-like open world RPG that basically lets you travel across all of Earwa. Character creation, only with better and more realistic combat (things like weapon vs armor choices actually reflect reality, I.E. blade weapons can't cut through heavy plate armor, etc.).

Add Zeum for DLC expansion.



(Really, you could just combine the last two for my ideal TSA action-RPG)

22
Philosophy & Science / Re: Do you know the mushroom man?
« on: August 07, 2019, 01:45:19 pm »
I like literally everything I heard about him from that article! I'll definitely have to check out the TED  talk, at the very least.

So you're itching to have your spore-infected ass fall off? Talk about being a total cuck ;-P

Any price for transcendence!

23
Philosophy & Science / Re: Do you know the mushroom man?
« on: August 07, 2019, 03:29:41 am »
I like literally everything I heard about him from that article! I'll definitely have to check out the TED  talk, at the very least.

24
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 31, 2019, 04:05:35 am »
Really like those last two, very thought provoking!

Quote
'We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all.'
 – William James


(one of these days I'm going to end up taking a quote I've saved and posting here only to realize it was from here that I got the quote in the first place)

25
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:17:10 pm »
Quote
“The Hierarchic Qualm: The sword kills. But the arm moves the sword. Is the arm to blame for murder? No. The mind moves the arm. Is the mind to blame? No. The mind has sworn an oath to duty, and that duty moves the mind, as written by the Throne. So it is that a servant of the Throne is blameless.”

― Seth Dickinson, The Traitor Baru Cormorant

26
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 04, 2019, 05:03:12 pm »
Quote
"Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dalí."

Quote
"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

-- Salvador Dalí

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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: July 03, 2019, 07:45:07 pm »
I quite like that last one, H!

Quote
"There is much talk, and I have listened, through rock and metal and time. Now I shall talk, and you shall listen."
-- Halo 2

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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:39:29 pm »
Quote
"The sand in my boots was sacred sand because it came from a beach of sacred sand. The cenobites treasured up the relics of the sannyasins because the sannyasins had approached the Pancreator. But everything had approached and even touched the Pancreator, because everything had dropped from his hand. Everything was a relic. All the world was a relic. I drew off my boots, that had traveled with me so far, and threw them into the waves that I might not walk shod on holy ground."
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe

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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:28:45 pm »
Quote
“The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning. The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.”
― Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

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General Misc. / Re: Malleus Maleficarum - Hammer of Witches,
« on: June 25, 2019, 03:20:44 pm »
Weird synchroncity, I literally was just last night watching an episode of Crash Course History specifically about witch-related trials and burnings, and this book was touched upon quite a bit!

It definitely seems to have been a major influence on the various 'traditional' ideas of witches and/or witchcraft as seen from the common, European Christian point-of-view. The book was basically a 'best seller' for its time, right after the Bible. It's pretty crazy how much influence and sway a collection of what are basically fairy tales had over this time period (and over a large geographic area, as similar cultural trends were taking place in the Americas at the same time).

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