* I thought the old German guy was wrong about almost everything.
* I’m not concerned that there will be a Terminator “rise of the machines”, at least not for a long time. If it ever does happen, as a carbon based form of life and a human, I have a preference for my own kind and would strive to have us persist. Still, I find nothing inherently wrong with electronic life. The universe is a big game of hide and seek where the universe is seeking (becoming aware of) itself. If electronic consciousness or life is part of that, so be it. From that frame of reference I think it’s perfectly wonderful.
* The doc mentioned one of my heroes, Daniel Dennett. His books Consciousness Explained and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea are among my favorites.
The thing I liked most was that they mentioned research that shows that the contours of a consciousness is inextricably linked to the form or the physical body it’s in. I have thought this idea for a long while but almost never see it anywhere else. I didn’t know there was research showing truth to it.
Taking that further, I believe an electronic consciousness will never be human because it won’t have a human body or human brain. It may well be able to perform all the functions of humans. It might even be “alive”, but it won’t be human.
Which brings us to this question: Can something be “alive” or even conscious if it can’t die? If it’s entire brain, both the programming, it’s data/memory, and it’ internal state can be saved and restored, it can’t die. If it’s body is all mechanical and reproducible, it can’t die. ~ If the details of consciousness are dependent upon the type of brain & body, and the type of brain and body a thing has can’t die – it may be fundamentally different from anything we call “conscious” or “alive”.
Which brings us to...Kurzweil’s thoughts about living long enough to live forever. I do believe that advancements will eventually have humans living for hundreds of years. This could mean a huge change in how we are conscious. Imagine if you had hundreds of years to really get to understand the world, understand others, grab knowledge. Sure, plenty may still waste the experience as many do the decades we get today. But surely other’s would plumb spiritual depths heretofore unknown. – Or at least critical masses of populations might reach the depths only a few have known up until now.
The more immediate fear...is that advances in human-computer synthesis might lead to greater divides among people. The rich could afford devices that help them think better, sense in more detail, live longer, be stronger. The poorest could be given only the systems that help them work harder and ruin their bodies in the name of production. Monsanto could be patenting those blood cells that are 100 times better at delivering oxygen – and making them into terminating blood cells. You want to breath the polluted air or be able to get that job you need, well you’ll be needing to pay us $2000/month for the patented blood you need. Etc.
** EDIT TO ADD: The legal & moral groundwork we do today on seeds and patenting life will have huge implications in the future.
Had more to say but can’t think of it now...
Good doc overall, though lots of scenes of “nothing” could have been cut out and saved us all 20 minutes of our lives with no loss of anything.