Modern Day Times With A Dunyain

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Old Gnostic Fool

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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 10:17:41 pm »
I agree with what was mentioned previously. Kellhus or any Dunyain cannot be smarter than their creator as all their thoughts are just inputs from their creator. However, if a Dunyain were to be dropped into our world, they would no longer be constricted by the creator's vision and would likely adapt in the way AI does, to the point that it outsmarts humans.

TaoHorror

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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2018, 11:19:01 pm »
I guess it depends on where he's dropped, but if Kellhus can survive Met fairly unprepared, I think he would thrive just about anywhere excepting something extreme, like he's shows up in a building just as it's blown up in the middle of a war/battle. What is interesting speculation ( to me ) is how he would possess whatever society/organization he started in. Like what would he be if he showed up in the Vatican ( assuming he doesn't leave for something else ... ).
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MSJ

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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 12:33:38 am »
Mods delete. I have no clue why I posted this.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 03:58:31 pm by MSJ »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 11:36:37 am »
I agree with what was mentioned previously. Kellhus or any Dunyain cannot be smarter than their creator as all their thoughts are just inputs from their creator. However, if a Dunyain were to be dropped into our world, they would no longer be constricted by the creator's vision and would likely adapt in the way AI does, to the point that it outsmarts humans.
Only if the concept of the Dunyain is itself sound.

Wilshire

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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 11:40:01 am »
Only if the concept of the Dunyain is itself sound.
What's the concept?
Certain there's no question that some humans are smarter than others.
A Dunyain, in concept, would just be the smartest possible human. Seems possible?
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 12:20:41 pm »
A Dunyain, in concept, would just be the smartest possible human. Seems possible?
This is precisely what I have a problem with. Even the smartest possible human cannot learn a language in a few weeks, it's just not feasible, necessary new neural pathways will not have time to form.

The smartest possible human isn't awesomely smart, just incrementally better than their peers. Those increments, at the peak of performance, would be exceptionally hard to detect, because of how small they are at that level. That's not to mention that humans are awfully different, no two of them are identical, so comparing smarts exactly is beyond the realm of possibility. Lastly, the term "smart" is a primitive notion with all the ensuing consequences.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 12:27:20 pm by SmilerLoki »

Wilshire

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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 12:39:10 pm »
How long does it take for a neural pathway to form? Is that a specific measurement that you're aware of?

'Smart' would just be, again, the ways that Kellhus is smart and able to manipulate people because of it. How much more complex does that definition need to be for this conversation?

Incremental, but infinitely so. This is a concept, not a production line.

100% feasible to me still. I still don't see any problems.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2018, 01:00:30 pm »
I'd like to explore this further, if you don't mind. FYI, I'm not attempting to defend any particular stance and I don't have anything invested beyond curiosity. I don't understand why you belive a Dunyain can't exist and I want to know why :) .

A couple of questions I had to help me clarify, maybe.

A human generally has an easier time learning multiple languages after they learn a 2nd, right? More so if they learned multiple language as a child.

I don't know how to define 'smart' as it pertains to this. Can I call it 'Dunyain like' for clarity, or does something more rigorous need to be defined so a conversation can happen at all?

Indeed, childhood development makes all kinds of information learning easier as an adult. So we know, at least, that based on how a human develops can affect how effective they are at learning/problem solving as an adult.

So a Dunyain would basically be an adult that can form neural pathways like a child, maybe? What do you call that, brain elasticity or something?
I don't think there's a biological limitation to that, is there?

Another line of questions, is a person from, say, 10,000 years ago intellectually identical to a person today? By that I mean, with any conceivable perfect measurement or test that we could perform, is there anyway to distinguish which one is smarter - which could mean anything: problem solving, learning new skills, communication, teamwork, whatever you can come up with.
If not in 10k years, what about 100k years? A million? Or is it simply hypothetically impossible to conceive of any way to measure such a thing?
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 01:08:07 pm »
This is a concept, not a production line.

Hmm ... with the whole whale mother thing, seemed like a production line to me. I think SL's assessment is in line with ( one of ) Bakker's "points" and that is don't trust someone because you view them as smarter - not just their intentions, but they may well not be smart enough to improve your life and no smarter than yourself to improve your own life ( smart more as perspective than real ). We want people to lead us, is our folly - ergo, the criteria we use to determine who should lead is unsound. Learning to not wanting to be led will lead to having better leaders.

I know you're not talking to me in this thread, Wilshire - but I think you're arguing against yourself. You have an impressive treatise on how Kellhus wasn't all that and with luck disaster-ed his way to the top. You convinced me, just because someone is viewed as smart, doesn't validate they are and just provides license to manipulate followers.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 01:11:17 pm by TaoHorror »
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 01:13:59 pm »
If not in 10k years, what about 100k years? A million? Or is it simply hypothetically impossible to conceive of any way to measure such a thing?

Well, we can't for obvious reasons, but a team of anthropologists and psychologists could take a stab at it. But we don't know how much of our intellect is due to gang intellect for which is much more advanced than a million years ago.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 01:28:27 pm »
This is a concept, not a production line.

Hmm ... with the whole whale mother thing, seemed like a production line to me.
I think you missed the point, which was to determine if a Dunyain is possible. Certainly in the books it was a production, not a one off impossible concept (obviously its possible in Earwa :P ).

I think you're arguing against yourself. You have an impressive treatise on how Kellhus wasn't all that and with luck disaster-ed his way to the top. You convinced me, just because someone is viewed as smart, doesn't validate they are and just provides license to manipulate followers.
Heh, I can discuss or defend a topic I don't agree with. The point is the discussion itself :) .
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TaoHorror

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« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 01:49:39 pm »
Heh, I can discuss or defend a topic I don't agree with. The point is the discussion itself :) .

So you're basically saying you've been fucking with us, thanks, Wilshire!  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X9E9n6GHC8
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Wilshire

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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 02:23:49 pm »
Not at all. Every word typed is a brick in the monument and every word read is a speck of illumination in the vast darkness of my ignorance.
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 02:36:11 pm »
I'd like to explore this further, if you don't mind. FYI, I'm not attempting to defend any particular stance and I don't have anything invested beyond curiosity. I don't understand why you belive a Dunyain can't exist and I want to know why :) .
Absolutely no problem! A wall of text follows.

How long does it take for a neural pathway to form? Is that a specific measurement that you're aware of?
As far as I'm aware of new developments in the field of neuroscience, neurogenesis occurs at a certain rate (some information on the subject: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394608/). Synaptic plasticity is, too, not instant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptic_plasticity). The research is, of course, ongoing, but it corroborates the fact that learning languages takes years. We obviously don't exactly know how we learn, but there are statistical measurements of learning new languages. The timeframe doesn't vary that much. I'm of the opinion it's physiologically based. There is a rate of development for memory and learning-related biological structures, and it cannot be accelerated significantly (not by orders of magnitude, certainly, since it's already pretty efficient). Our bodies have clear-cut limits. To transcend them, another framework is needed, be it electromechanical or built on other biological principles.

Returning to language, there is also the question of practice. You very well can understand a language, but not be able to speak it correctly (a requirement of sorcery, I must note) because your muscles aren't used to making the movements necessary. So it's also about muscle memory, which is acquired by training.

I'm fairly sure Bakker is proficient only in his native language, thus lacking the experience of learning another one (or more) and then comparing your level of proficiency in it to your native one. Otherwise he would've been more realistic in his description. Basically, he not only contradicts my (layman) knowledge, he also contradicts my personal experience. For those yet unaware, English is not my native language (Russian is), and I additionally have a cursory knowledge of two more languages (French and Japanese) in the sense that with ample time and a dictionary I can understand 80% of the texts written in them.

So a Dunyain would basically be an adult that can form neural pathways like a child, maybe? What do you call that, brain elasticity or something?
I don't think there's a biological limitation to that, is there?
There very much is, and a huge one at that. But there is no way to know if it means that adults learn worse than children, instead of learning differently. For example, Bakker likes to call the processes going on in the human brain throughout adulthood neural pruning (he is aware of the limitations in question), while I think he's jumping to conclusions.

A human generally has an easier time learning multiple languages after they learn a 2nd, right? More so if they learned multiple language as a child.
Here I should make a disclaimer. It's not so much proven as implied, and there are issues with the ways the data for this conclusion was gathered. Basically, the problem is in the fact that the studies are too narrow, since a whole lot of things are important here. Like, let's say a child is not bilingual, but was exposed to a huge amount of classical literature. How would it affect their intellectual abilities? There are some studies that conclude children who were constantly intellectually engaged in their formative years are way more adept at learning than their not-so-lucky peers. Which begs the question of what's important here, the nature of engagement or the levels of engagement?

Obviously, learning a language is a complex and time-consuming task, but it's also an intuitive one for the teachers, while a more structured field like literature can easily facilitate drops in engagement that would not be evident for all involved.

Besides, knowing something would, of course, make you better at that particular something, any general intellectual benefits notwithstanding.

I can outline some examples of why knowing multiple languages will help learn others, not even necessarily related ones, but it will take some time and effort to understand them, so I'm not sure it's needed.

'Smart' would just be, again, the ways that Kellhus is smart and able to manipulate people because of it. How much more complex does that definition need to be for this conversation?
This is not at all a definition of anything, since the way Kellhus manipulates people is fictional through and through.

However well you're able to twist words, at some point you will encounter a primitive notion, a desire of the person you're trying to manipulate that would contradict your agenda. That desire is unconquerable, because of its undefinable and inherently contradictory nature. That person is not you, they want things for them and not for you, and it's more important than any words you can concoct. It comes before words.

This desire is fueled by the strength of character of the person in question, and that's another weakness of the Dunyain concept. I feel here Bakker has it both ways - the Dunyain are spiritually weak, but they impose their spirits on the world around them all the same, easily outweighing every other, more powerful spirit. That's not to mention that the problem of motivation is not even addressed. The Dunyain almost snuffed out emotion, so what makes them act? What enforces their desire? How are they motivated, when they so weakened the mechanism of motivation?

I don't know how to define 'smart' as it pertains to this. Can I call it 'Dunyain like' for clarity, or does something more rigorous need to be defined so a conversation can happen at all?
I'm not sure how I can help here, because almost everything pertaining to the fantastical nature of the Dunyain is, well, fantastic in my eyes for a variety of reasons. Their strength begs the question of biological feasibility, since our muscles are pretty much the best we can have in our particular case (not the strongest possible in nature, but extremely efficient for our specific place in it). The same goes for their reflexes, but here the conductive speed of nerves is in question, as well as the speed at which the brain processes information.

But their verbal manipulation techniques are the most fantastic of all, since that's not even how discussions work in the real world, as I've outlined above.

Incremental, but infinitely so. This is a concept, not a production line.
Is 0,0001% a difference that will play an important role or even be noticed? It's like I outlined here:
http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2257.msg41232#msg41232

Another line of questions, is a person from, say, 10,000 years ago intellectually identical to a person today?
This is actually a question that's debated ad nauseam. At this point, the answer is - we don’t know.

But there are, always, constraints and trade offs. We want brain efficiency, so we get a huge head that creates problems during birth, which has an effect on our population. We want endurance, so we sacrifice strength (many apes are way stronger than humans, but humans can go on longer and in more diverse environments). There is also always the matter of size. Sure, some neural networks can consistently beat a professional human player at chess or Go, but they have entire buildings dedicated to their operation, while a single human is relatively small and autonomous.

100% feasible to me still. I still don't see any problems.
At this point I must note that I'm obviously grossly overthinking it.

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« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 04:54:48 pm by SmilerLoki »

Wilshire

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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2018, 02:09:32 am »
Thanks for taking the time.

I can see why maybe a human couldn't be a Dunyain, physical constraints posing a problem.

The only way to look at it then would be for them to be Aliens. Differently developed, or evolved\speciated humans to such an extent thar IRL rules don't apply.

Which, I guess is implied in the books, for whatever that is worth. Trouble interbreeding, whale mother's, reflexes, mental prowess, etc. etc.

I suppose another question would be, could such a being exist? I can imagine that it could. In that event then, it's possible that on a long enough timescale a subset of humanity could become that, though probably on timescales several orders of magnitude beyond the 2000 years Bakker picked.

But then we're not really talking about anything that's real. Just speculating on timescales way beyond recogning. Science Fiction, heavy on the fiction.
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