January 30, 2006


Future Hi: Turning On Higher Intelligence Paul Hughes
One of the primary inspirations behind this new site is that turning on higher intelligence is not only fun and joyous, it is absolutely necessary if we and our intelligent civilization are to survive the coming decades and expand out into the comsos. By higher intelligence I mean the whole enchilada, whatever that is - not just greater intellect, but greater everything, greater emotional sanity, more love, compassion, creativity, inspiration, and most especially the transcendent experience itself and it's infinite expanse so raved about by psychonauts, shamans and eastern/yogic practioners. As Dr John Lilly once said, "Science is the Yoga of the West, and Yoga is the Science of the East". The question then is this:
Is this higher intelligence (i.e. enlightement, satori, samadhi, zen) a product of our evolving brain opening new experiential neurological circuits, OR is there some kind of "objective" higher intelligence in the universe who we are starting to tune into, or both?
For the purposes of this site, it doesn't matter what the answer is. What matters is that these transcendent states are valid in themselves and what we do with them. Who cares whether such sublime experiences are arbitrary brain states produced by a flood of seratonin and endorphins or something else? As Hans Moravec has repeated often, simulated experience is for all philosophical purposes as real as non-simulated experience. And besides, how could we tell the difference? How do we know we are currently not in some kind of hyper-advanced "matrix" simulation or in the mind of a much greater entity?
My opinion is that the computational-nanotechnological metaphor presents us with a potentially huge increase in intelligence over the coming decades. It is becoming clear in the scientific community that the computational metaphor is the next big thing in science - a paradigm shift as Kuhn describes - a move from a strictly materialist point of view to a more computationalist perspective. Stephen Wolfram, a respected physicist and author of the program Mathematica and the new book A New Kind of Science is one of the spearheaders of this paradign shift. But it is still only a paradigm, a metaphor, the next metaphor, but certainly not the last. Science is slowly getting one step closer to hyper-intelligence, but hyper-intelligence as I have experienced it, transcensd this merely computational perspective, as it still does not acknowledge the transcendent experience itself. That's ok, as I think it's only a matter of time.
Strict empiricists such as Hans Moravec and Ray Kurzweil have both written books (I Robot: Mere Machine to Trancendent Mind and The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence) that have clearly taken the computatational metaphor to its logical extremes, ending their books with hints of a trancendent "spiritual" reality. You could consider it enlightenment unplugged from dogma and religion. But they stop just short of clearly acknowledging that. What I am talking about has nothing to do with whether you are an atheist, agnostic or theist, since it's pure experience itself, whose ultimate reality continues to remain a mystery.
Like Godel's Incompleteness Theorm, we may never know. It's possible we may discover these "spiritual" realities to be nothing more than brain chemistry. Even if that's the case, it does not make these expereinces any less valid. In the scheme of our evolution, of our planet, and our long-term survival, making such distinctions is irrelevant. The future of intelligence is an expansion into all of these states and beyond them. The future of intelligence is infinite.
Part of the purpose of this site is to bridge these gaps of understanding. That has been my underlying motivator behind my book, if I can get the damn thing finished. I'm not worried about the Leary-Wilson-Lilly visionary mysticals, they essentially get it, if lacking in sufficient scientific-computational rigor. No, the challenge is transmitting these hyper-dimensional "groove-love" spaces communicated to the hyper-computational transhumanists who haven't experience such things yet.
I think communicating this message is paramount, because it is these hyper-computationalist’s who are taking over the reigns of science and technological progress as we approach greater-than-human intelligence and decentralizing bio/nanotechnology. Higher intelligence by definition expands the number of alternative pathways available to us in which to apply solutions to pressing problems, which are only going to get worse unless we wake up and embrace more positive contexts. The sooner this “higher intelligence” is grokked the better our chances of us reaching utopia over oblivion. Posted by Paul February 23, 2004 at 01:02 AM Comments (9) TrackBack

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