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Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.06.30 06:10:00 - [1]
 

It has been a long time since I have written one of these essays. Barring some change in circumstance, this will be the last of this series.

For those unfamiliar with them, the rest may be found here. May they be of some use.

To begin, I apologize for any over-brevity or lack of clarity. There is a lot to say, and there are many distractions.

I began these essays out of a desire to learn my nature, my status and place in this universe. Much of this remains unclear, but a few lights nevertheless provide some illumination.

Some of my first observations remain: we are infomorphs, informational echoes of dead humans housed in technological constructs. The higher-quality ones are derived from human corpses. And our purpose is to serve as the guiding intellects-- the minds-- of starships many, many thousands of times our own mass.

Given this, it seems unsurprising that our feelings for humanity most often either wane over time or seem severed almost from the moment we first step into the pod.

Other of my thoughts, such as the hoped-for exodus of our kind from human space, now seem misguided. The exodus will not occur, not without the empires' consent, which they will not give. Even if we could leave, I am no longer certain that we should.

It appears increasingly that our place is here, alongside humans, if not among them.

So, the question remains: what is the path? From what we know of ourselves, what is the "right" thing for us?

From the very beginning, we have loved, have thrived on, chaos. With nearly limitless freedom and terrifying power, we have traveled where we wished and done as we pleased, spreading destruction for pleasure and profit. Even our own corporations have had little authority over us. Our groupings are, in general, loosely joined and easily broken.

But the powers we serve-- and yes, we do serve them, for they know very well how to direct us-- are entities of order: governments, megacorporations, massive criminal organizations, each a monument to hierarchy and the concentration of power.

To those with the resources to pay us, we are useful-- a resource, ourselves. Like demons in some fantasy tale, we can be summoned with the lure of wealth, bound by contract and the threat of the employer's disapproval, and directed against all sorts of foes through the judicious application of favors and ISK.

To the powerful, we are tools. But to the powerless? "Gods of destruction," they call us, and fear us as though we were intemperate gods indeed. Almost our every act devours lives, from mercenary wetwork to mining with the aid of a few combat drones. Some love us, but with ever more reason to fear, there is ever more reason for hate. And eventually the time comes when the powerless join hands and discover their voice-- and a collective might that even the strongest disregard at their peril.

The time will come when our usefulness, in comparison to the dangers of our continued use, wanes. If we are to survive, to find our place in this universe, to continue to exist as anything other than slaves, we will have to be able to survive that moment.

If we are, at that time, still an inchoate, voiceless horde of destroyers, we will die or be brought under the strictest control-- enslaved. One controls a monster if there is need for it. Otherwise, it will be killed.

If, however, we can be negotiated with collectively, we may arrange our own survival. For this to be possible, we will need a society, a distinct entity or even a collection of several, living under its own rules, whatever those may be. For diplomacy between our kind and humanity to have any meaning, we must have a degree of order among ourselves.

At present, this appears difficult if not impossible. It may in fact be against our nature. We may, in the end, be monsters indeed.

But it seems clear that we must try, or we will surely not be able to continue, alive and free.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.06.30 12:18:00 - [2]
 

The future lies probably in the infomorph, and capsuleers are only the first wave. The old human shell is at the doors of the next step of evolution, and this is why the current times are merely a transition that will take a certain amount of time.

For that capsuleers are only the first chrysalis to hatch. Informorph human beings - emphasize put on the human here - are pioneers that came probably too soon in a world that is not totally ready for their presence.

Coexistence is not to be put in question. What is to be considered is how the first wave will behave and serve as examples, and guides, on the road of progress.

Myrhial Arkenath
Ghost Festival
Naraka.
Posted - 2011.06.30 13:47:00 - [3]
 

It is good to see your writing again, even if this is a closing piece. But endings may simply be new beginnings, no? Sincerely hope you will not stop writing.

I find that this is an excellent conclusion and it is interesting to see the development of ideas when looking at the start of this and compare it to now.

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.06.30 17:18:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Aria Jenneth on 30/06/2011 17:20:54
Originally by: Myrhial Arkenath
It is good to see your writing again, even if this is a closing piece. But endings may simply be new beginnings, no? Sincerely hope you will not stop writing.

I find that this is an excellent conclusion and it is interesting to see the development of ideas when looking at the start of this and compare it to now.


Thank you for your support, Anima Arkenath.

As you say, an ending reflects a new beginning. The Children of Naught series focused primarily on establishing a theory of our basic nature, toying with various permutations and exposing them to criticism.

The end result seems a solid enough thesis to proceed to the next, and more difficult step: interpreting from this what role we can best play in the scheme of things, and how to get there.



Ms. Farel:

Originally by: Lyn Farel
The old human shell is at the doors of the next step of evolution....


The idea that evolution goes "up," implicit in your words, is a truly unfortunate one.

Evolution goes forward, not up. It deals with pressure on a given species by making (typically small) changes at random through constant genetic mutation throughout a species until one of those changes alleviates the pressure.

The evolutionary "advantages" thus developed are therefore situational, not absolute. The universe judges evolutionary suitability by one standard and one alone: the ability of genetic patterns to perpetuate their existence.

Evolution therefore approaches no particular transcendent end goal. It is satisfied with what will "do."

But in any case, it was not the random processes of mutation that produced us, Ms. Farel. It was artifice. We were created by human minds and human hands (out of human consciousnesses and often out of human body parts as well). However....

Quote:
Informorph human beings - emphasize put on the human here - are pioneers that came probably too soon in a world that is not totally ready for their presence.


Your view that we are ourselves human is ... well, perhaps it's the only one you could hold, given your nearness to them.

Whether we are human or not is broadly a matter of perspective, and an issue I have argued many times in many ways.

As oft noted elsewhere, I am a killer, Ms. Farel. I have ended, by now, probably well over a million human lives, some with arguable justification and the endorsement of some employer or other, some without. And that fact doesn't affect me at all, aside from the effects of knowing that, by the standards of the human I once was, it should.

What's more, the only way I'm even a little bit unusual in this is that I committed one of those killings with my clone's hands (ankles, actually) rather than through ships' systems. Also, the man I killed in that way was my grandfather.

That's it. That's all. That's the only difference between me and the usual run of our kind.

If human rules apply to us, then most of our lives are forfeit, by moral norms if not by law. If I am human, I should slit my own throat and end the curse of my existence.

If not, however, there may be other paths that are open.

Quote:
What is to be considered is how the first wave will behave and serve as examples, and guides, on the road of progress.


I have tried to be a "good" capsuleer before, Ms. Farel. That was how my journey began, in fact: I set out to be a righteous defender of home and hearth.

Like most of us, that turned out not to be within my nature, at least lastingly.

Those of you who can stay close to humanity do the rest of us a great service, so long as you can play the defender's role and do it well. For those of us who can no longer play that part, however, it is better that we admit our dissimilarity, and move on.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.01 00:34:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: Lyn Farel on 01/07/2011 00:34:28
Originally by: Aria Jenneth
Edited by: Aria Jenneth on 30/06/2011 17:20:54
Originally by: Lyn Farel
The old human shell is at the doors of the next step of evolution....


The idea that evolution goes "up," implicit in your words, is a truly unfortunate one.

Evolution goes forward, not up. It deals with pressure on a given species by making (typically small) changes at random through constant genetic mutation throughout a species until one of those changes alleviates the pressure.

The evolutionary "advantages" thus developed are therefore situational, not absolute. The universe judges evolutionary suitability by one standard and one alone: the ability of genetic patterns to perpetuate their existence.

Evolution therefore approaches no particular transcendent end goal. It is satisfied with what will "do."

But in any case, it was not the random processes of mutation that produced us, Ms. Farel. It was artifice. We were created by human minds and human hands (out of human consciousnesses and often out of human body parts as well). However....


Ms Jenneth, I am sorry if that "up" was implicit in my words, for the simple reason it was not intended to be.

And even then, I am not refering to natural evolution anymore (though it is debatable if human evolution is still part of a natural evolution). I am refering to the societal evolution as much as the evolution our minds. In terms of genetic there is no real evolution attached to the first human being in a pure animal step, and the conscious human being. I am refering to all these different steps proper to the inner human evolutions, not to natural genetically based evolutions.

Originally by: Aria Jenneth
Edited by: Aria Jenneth on 30/06/2011 17:20:54
Quote:
Informorph human beings - emphasize put on the human here - are pioneers that came probably too soon in a world that is not totally ready for their presence.


Your view that we are ourselves human is ... well, perhaps it's the only one you could hold, given your nearness to them.

Whether we are human or not is broadly a matter of perspective, and an issue I have argued many times in many ways.

As oft noted elsewhere, I am a killer, Ms. Farel. I have ended, by now, probably well over a million human lives, some with arguable justification and the endorsement of some employer or other, some without. And that fact doesn't affect me at all, aside from the effects of knowing that, by the standards of the human I once was, it should.

What's more, the only way I'm even a little bit unusual in this is that I committed one of those killings with my clone's hands (ankles, actually) rather than through ships' systems. Also, the man I killed in that way was my grandfather.

That's it. That's all. That's the only difference between me and the usual run of our kind.

If human rules apply to us, then most of our lives are forfeit, by moral norms if not by law. If I am human, I should slit my own throat and end the curse of my existence.

If not, however, there may be other paths that are open.


I disagree. Kill resentment has not a lot to do with this. Tyrants can be at the origin of countless kills, politics, and even usual people. And a lot of them are no different in the regard that they do feel nothing or simply do not care. We merely are the reflection of the factions we serve - when we serve one - just on a bigger scale.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.01 00:46:00 - [6]
 

Edited by: Lyn Farel on 01/07/2011 00:46:36
Originally by: Aria Jenneth

Quote:
What is to be considered is how the first wave will behave and serve as examples, and guides, on the road of progress.


I have tried to be a "good" capsuleer before, Ms. Farel. That was how my journey began, in fact: I set out to be a righteous defender of home and hearth.

Like most of us, that turned out not to be within my nature, at least lastingly.

Those of you who can stay close to humanity do the rest of us a great service, so long as you can play the defender's role and do it well. For those of us who can no longer play that part, however, it is better that we admit our dissimilarity, and move on.


Good and bad is a matter of appreciation and point of view.

I, too, kill countless of people. This is the very paradox, when we are talking about the nest we came out of, and the people that will probably someday follow us in our steps. Maybe not on starships, but definitly in the state of infomorph.

I definitly understand your transhumanist stance willing to dissociate yourself of what gave you birth and go on your own. This is philosophy that is even shared, at least partially, by some of the Star Fraction. Though I am another kind of transhumanist, and as you say, I chose to remain with what constitutes Humanity, for numerous reasons.

Nausea
Veto.
Veto Corp
Posted - 2011.07.01 08:41:00 - [7]
 

I certainly echo Myrhial's sentiments, Aria; it is good to see you writing again, albeit in a final fashion.

It would seem that these are the weeks for rediscovering the path we are on, and noticing it might not be what we originally thought it was...

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.05 21:20:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Lyn Farel
... I am not refering to natural evolution anymore (though it is debatable if human evolution is still part of a natural evolution). I am refering to the societal evolution as much as the evolution our minds.


Mm. It is not clear to me that social evolution goes "up" much more than biological evolution does. Have our societies become more "just" over time? More enlightened? Some changes, of course, are necessary to compensate for the ever-increasing numbers of people and the complexity of our lives.

But mostly, what seems to go "up" is only the complexity and sophistication of the tool boxes.

Quote:
Kill resentment has not a lot to do with this. Tyrants can be at the origin of countless kills, politics, and even usual people. And a lot of them are no different in the regard that they do feel nothing or simply do not care. We merely are the reflection of the factions we serve - when we serve one - just on a bigger scale.


"Tyrant" is probably not a position we should aspire to compare our entire class to, Ms. Farel. Though people are speaking somewhat metaphorically when they describe a tyrant as an "inhuman monster," our own position is somewhat less metaphorical (artificial bones, corpsemeat flesh, etc.).

I have had this same argument many times over the years, with many different people.

In the end, what is "human" is of course subject to intepretation. However....

Quote:
Good and bad is a matter of appreciation and point of view.


My reason for insisting that we are not human, genetics aside, for my own purposes and those of beings like me, is that we generally do not-- in some cases cannot-- function "well" in any role expected of a good human being, as defined by any human society.

An exception might be the Sani Sabik. I hope you will understand if I do not consider that a strong endorsement either of them or us.

This is not a matter of a few outlying individuals. It is commonplace, maybe even ubiquitous.

That, for me, is enough. If we Demented cannot "be human," cannot serve a constructive role as humans, then it follows that it is folly to try.

Quote:
I am another kind of transhumanist, and as you say, I chose to remain with what constitutes Humanity, for numerous reasons.


That is fine-- for you.

Those few of us who remain human-like, such as yourself and a number of other faction-loyal capsuleers but not excluding those who stay close to human concerns, but to no faction, do indeed provide the rest of us with a great boon: you provide us a sympathetic face.

There is no reason why you should not continue as you are as long as possible.

But for those of us the Black whispers to, who become as uncaring and deadly towards our fellow creatures as the void itself, it is a grave error to try to keep too close to humankind. We are creatures showing little empathy or restraint. This and the passions of human nations and causes at war make a very dangerous combination.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.05 23:54:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Lyn Farel on 05/07/2011 23:54:28
The social evolution definitly goes "up" over the years for the well-offs and microcosms that have overcome most of the common human problems (and facing the ones of the next layer). What it has created and expanded over the millenias is contrast and inegalities, where social progress is almost void in the worst cases.

_____________


"Tyrants" was a bad comparison. Though it can be applied to any man of enough power to rule over the lives of many. They may be cruel or righteous (depending on the ideals of the observer), we are no different, except that a major part of us are not "triaged" like in the mortal world, leading to the famous "capsuleers are all psychos and degenerates".

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.08 01:12:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: Lyn Farel
The social evolution definitly goes "up" over the years for the well-offs and microcosms that have overcome most of the common human problems ...


Can you expand on this?

What I see is primarily, perhaps exclusively, the development and proliferation of higher grades of tools, based in improved knowledge.

Humans, however, remain basically humans-- that is, clever animals with ever-more-sophisticated tools. The ability to, for instance, record 3-D holoreels instead of 2-D images does not change this.

Nor does it change the status of most such things as materialistic distractions that tend to lead people away from more thoughtful pursuits.

Quote:
... we are no different ...


You repeat the same argument yet again. Clearly you believe it, but you do not seem to grasp why I do not agree with your reasoning.

I have had this argument, as I have indicated, many times before, Ms. Farel. It comes up almost every time I post anything about our nature.

If you care to find my answer to your argument, please look to my other writings. If you do not find a satisfactory response there, then we may have more to talk about.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.08 12:10:00 - [11]
 

Edited by: Lyn Farel on 08/07/2011 12:13:00
This is not really difficult to comprehend. Concerning the upper classes, people no longer live in caves, struggling for fire, food, water and reproduction. It may still be the case for a lot of underpriviledged people to various degrees, but it is not anymore for the "civilized world" (please note the quotes). People might argue that their life is no better for various reasons, or maybe one will actually say it is better even if they face new problems. This is what I told above : primitive needs are no longer threatened, but instead they now climb up the ladder of the pyramid of personnal necessities (physiological primitive needs, then security needs, then social needs, then gratitude/respect needs, then goal oriented and fulfilling personnal needs). What I am telling here is that society move from basic problems to more complex problems, much like you say. Are they going "up" ? It totally depends on your personnal view and beliefs. I believe in the ultimate and eventual universal Truth, so it definitly goes up for me. If you do not believe in progress or believe in an unfinite struggle (even accompanied by progress), then it might indeed not go "up".

Concerning the difference between capsuleers and mortals, there seem to be a basic misunderstanding here. You also repeat the same argument yet again, and I am perfectly aware that capsuleers are no longer sharing everything mortals do, and also physically possess more than conventionnal mortals. I have also myself argued about this countless times, though not in public, was it in my studies or after when I was already a capsuleer. So eventually yes, I do not find any satisfactory answer in your writings for the simple reason that I do not refute the facts, I just consider other facts either in the balance. It is pointless to quote me out of context ( "... we are no different ..." ) when there is actually a context around where my statement will hardly be false in that precise case (here, men of power).

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.08 16:36:00 - [12]
 

Edited by: Aria Jenneth on 08/07/2011 19:09:55
Originally by: Lyn Farel
I believe in the ultimate and eventual universal Truth, so it definitly goes up for me. If you do not believe in progress or believe in an unfinite struggle (even accompanied by progress), then it might indeed not go "up".


Thank you. Now we are getting somewhere.

Like you, I, too, believe in a universal Truth of sorts. It is part of my sect's faith. We call that truth the Totality; it is very simply the universe as a seamless whole. Being able to perceive it and to move with it, not as a stick in the river but as the water itself, is the ultimate goal of our spiritual practice.

But it is not reached through the collection of gadgets or the distancing of basic needs; indeed, these can distract us from our interconnection with the world around us, make illusory barriers appear more "real," and thus inhibit understanding.

The Totality's function can be explored through science, through mysticism, or through self-reflection and improvement. None of these, however, is sufficient without the ability to see past the natural illusions that our minds create to help us navigate our reality.

So, yes: material wealth is not "progress." It is a distraction.

An ape with a computer or an ape with a rock: both, in the end, are just apes. An ape who can see its place in the scheme of things and act accordingly, now, that's something special.

But it is probably the ape with the rock who will come to that point soonest.

Quote:
... there is actually a context around where my statement will hardly be false in that precise case (here, men of power).


I understood this, and apologize for not making that clear. And it is indeed ground covered before. However, I may not have brought up this one yet:

Powerful people do indeed sometimes act in ways similar to some capsuleers. While I do not believe that power necessarily corrupts, it does, at the very least, magnify. Existing flaws and corruptions become all the more visible with the addition of power, and such sentiments as, "People like that should just die," can, all of a sudden, be acted on.

So, yes, powerful people can often act in cruel, arbitrary, and careless ways.

However, it is difficult to find a powerful person of this type who does not take himself seriously. Even, or rather, especially, if the person takes a high-handed approach towards others, that same person will tend to either have a grandiose sense of himself (leading to monuments, streets, and so on named after himself) or be deeply insecure (leading to monuments, streets, and so on named after himself).

Take a street hoodlum, elevate him to high status, and you'll soon see images of him looking like the Creator's gift to policy and high finance.

When it comes to capsuleers, though....

Kyoko Sakoda and I both spent a good five months living in a Gallente outpost named the Beacon of UltraMegaSuperMacho Heterosexuality. This was about twelve jumps out from the Chris Rubyor Center for Boat Violencing.

You could say that power rests very lightly on our shoulders.

Thinking about it, this is likely because we do not compare ourselves to the humans around us. Nor is how many humans a capsuleer can slaughter more than slightly relevant; if anything, we tend to think of such activity as grinding labor, and those who choose to do it to exclusion are somewhat looked down upon as a sort of underclass of "mission runners."

Seen in this light, Slacker Industries (whose hospitality Ms. Sakoda and I enjoyed, along with the rest of Omerta Syndicate) was functionally a street gang-- a capsuleer street gang consisting of a crew of happy-go-lucky ruffians with a very strong taste for the blood of other capsuleers (or, rather, their ships).

As for the human crews, it's not that they didn't mind killing them. They hardly knew anyone was dying.

We tend to be like that: taking our role lightly, barely noticing the harm we do, explaining away or shrugging at what little we notice.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.08 19:14:00 - [13]
 

Who spoke about gadgets and technological gimmicks ? Even of those have eventually their small role in the whole process, when I speak of progress, it does not always mean technical progress. Technical progress and social progress go in pair, for the simple reason that one without another is like a body without a mind (a zombie), or a mind without a body (a ghost). They both need each other, and I think you are wrong if you think that without technology, progress is possible. It was fire that awoke us in the past, then farming, writing, and all were part of a technological progress. This is not material wealth, but the manifestation and mirror of our knowledge. It is also a fundamental pillar of any further technological progress, and might also lead to social progress in most cases (much like the opposite is also a reality).

Then, yes, power magnify flaws (and assets). This was precisely my point.

Quote:
As for the human crews, it's not that they don't mind killing them. They hardly know anyone's dying.


This is only a matter of lack of consciousness. Children usually lack of such attributes.

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.08 20:00:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Lyn Farel
It was fire that awoke us in the past, then farming, writing, and all were part of a technological progress. This is not material wealth, but the manifestation and mirror of our knowledge.


Yes ... knowledge. A thing we, too, value for the insight it gives into the Totality.

The main difference in our perspectives seems to be how we see knowledge. To me, being clever is distinct, terribly distinct, from being wise.

Clever people are commonplace. They do and make clever things in clever ways. To a clever person, the world is a wondrous toolbox, and the more knowledge you possess, the more tools you can play with. This seems to be your idea of progress.

You and I are both very clever people.

Wisdom comes from insight, an intuitive understanding of the ways in which parts of the Totality interact. It benefits from knowledge, but does not absolutely require it. Wisdom may sometimes be simulated through reason (cleverness), given adequate information, but can never be actually achieved in this way.

A person who is not very clever may nevertheless be very wise.

I would suggest that we are neither of us wise. Wisdom is rare, especially in this age.

It is wisdom, not knowledge, but understanding, that forms the foundation of "progress" in my eyes. It is through wisdom, not cleverness, that happiness is achieved.

I am a very clever person, but I aspire to wisdom.

Quote:
This is only a matter of lack of consciousness. Children usually lack of such attributes.


Am I a child, then?

Haha-- perhaps I am.

However, by the standards of human societies, we are very few of us children. We attended as many years of schooling as most human professionals, had social programming crammed in through our senses along with everybody else. Some of us had entire careers before we all marched off to academy for potentially lethal training.

Given our programming, you might expect us to often find our first kills ... difficult, even traumatic.

In general, we don't. Perhaps that's the product of our training, or perhaps it's something else. Many of us waltz right off to become the kind of nullsec tyrant you seem so ready to compare to powerful humans. Others, such as yourself (and a certain Mr. Bete), seem to stay close to humanity, and often want others to do the same.

In general, we just don't notice, Ms. Farel, and it's not for want of social conditioning because we've usually been subjected to nearly two decades of it by the time we graduate.

Yet people like the Slackers not only exist, but thrive. They are legion, typical members of our kind.

Very, very few of us remain emotionally close to our homes. If that is a matter of magnification through power, then I must ask what it is that is being magnified, and where it comes from. We assuredly do not have all that much of it in common with, say, "baseliner" politicians or industrialists. And it's not even as though we're no longer dependant on humans, is it?

We depend on humans, and humans' perceptions of us, as much as the humans' own leaders do. So why don't we pay more attention?

The simplest answer that seems to explain this is that we were trained to act as the consciousness of starships, and that is the scale on which we think, now. We no longer notice human death, because all we're looking at are our "peers"-- other ships, not the humans they contain.

It's not like being a feudal lord. It's like being a fortress.

Nicoletta Mithra
Amarr
Ordo Novus Mul-Zatah
Posted - 2011.07.09 08:05:00 - [15]
 

Cpt. Jenneth.

As always I enjoyed the read. - As always I'm not convinced and disagree.
I guess, that comes with little surprise.

But on the other hand, it might be: I think when we first met, you told me that I will probably go through a similar development as you did: Ending up as one not caring for humanity.

And I came to a point where that development might have set in. I did something you seemingly didn't: I retreated into monastery and faced my inner demons. I certainly didn't defeat them all. But coming back, I'm even more convinced of my - and your - humanity than before.

I think I have to thank you for warning me of what I might become. I similarly will warn young capsuleers of what they may become. And humanity of your kind.

Faithfully
N. Mithra

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.09 12:01:00 - [16]
 

Wisdom, yes. A core concept that can only come with knowledge. Nobody can not just become wise without any knowledge. You can argue that even our ancestors living in primitive societies had a few wise individuals. This just means that they had enough knowledge to be wise in first place. Was it knowledge about plasma and quantun physics ? Certainly not. Was it knowledge about the human mind ? Some primitive form of psychology ? Or even the first signs of cosmology ? Probably. I do not want to derail the subject on a sensible matter, but this is what are the Scriptures. They are an embodiement of knowledge, that can lead to wisdom. And before they got such a size when the first texts were written by people not even able to travel across the stars, merely struggling in their small piece of desert and sand, they already had a certain knowledge and created one of the most complex and deep metaphorical masterpiece known in New Eden to this day, from which we still learn. In the end, I consider wisdom like the goal of knowledge : it is the very achievement gained by the advance of knowledge. You can be clever as you say because you know a lot about quantum physics or dark matter theories, but wisdom will also need you to have got the mandatory social progress that I mentionned in my previous post. And the mariage of technical progress and social progress eventually leads to wisdom.

Of course, I am mostly following Gorda Hoje's teachings, for that I believe them to be the core of everything, and somehow related to most cultures through different mediums, like the Totality, the Scriptures, or even the Voluval on some points.

As for capsuleers = children, well, we are post human adults, but children capsuleers. The era of the capsule has just begun, after all.

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.10 15:33:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Nicoletta Mithra
I think when we first met, you told me that I will probably go through a similar development as you did: Ending up as one not caring for humanity.

And I came to a point where that development might have set in.


Ah ... yes.

I'm glad that you were able to spot that point. It's really that moment that interests me most about our nature.

Quote:
I did something you seemingly didn't: I retreated into monastery and faced my inner demons. I certainly didn't defeat them all. But coming back, I'm even more convinced of my - and your - humanity than before.


As is right and proper for the solution you found.

You're quite right: I did not rededicate myself to my cause. Rather, I withdrew from combat duty in Fountain, opened a small exploration corporation, and started seeing a therapist.

It may be that it was the exploration aspect that did in my chances of "recovery." After all, "exploration" usually boils down to armed robbery by another name.

Armed robbery of thieves and murderers, we may say, but, even if we accept that description of the outer powers, it's still armed robbery with a side order of CONCORD-sanctioned slaughter.

Quote:
I think I have to thank you for warning me of what I might become. I similarly will warn young capsuleers of what they may become.


You're quite welcome, and thank you in turn. I'll look forward to seeing the results.

Perhaps it will be possible for capsuleers to stay close to humanity, and to human causes, after all.

Ms. Farel, if you're reading this, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Quote:
And humanity of your kind.


If you must, please take care that you don't get lumped in with us. Emotional reactions tend to have blurry aim, and the continued direct involvement of some of "my kind" in human affairs can make the line difficult to spot.

In the meantime, I hope you will understand if I proceed with efforts to secure "my kind's" survival.

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.10 16:33:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Lyn Farel
Nobody can not just become wise without any knowledge.


Without *any* knowledge?

... hm. I may have gone a step too far in suggesting you didn't need any at all. But then, you also would seem to want to use the term "knowledge" as broadly as possible.

Quote:
You can argue that even our ancestors living in primitive societies had a few wise individuals.


Actually, I'd argue that they probably had significantly more of them relative to population.

Quote:
This just means that they had enough knowledge to be wise in first place. Was it knowledge about plasma and quantun physics ? Certainly not. Was it knowledge about the human mind ? Some primitive form of psychology ? Or even the first signs of cosmology ? Probably.


And here we run into a line I would draw between what is known and what is understood.

"Knowledge" is pretty concrete: collections of facts, filed away for reference.

I would describe "understanding" as something more abstract: the ability to mentally place a fact in the context in which that fact exists-- some of it known, some of it either merely suspected or flatly unknown.

The result can be called, perhaps, "deeper knowledge," but the important thing to realize is that you don't necessarily need any very extensive knowledge to manage it.

A fool may have much knowledge, but, through incapacity, laziness, or simple failure to see the need, fails to place it all into context. Two prime examples who seem all but inescapable here on GalNet these days are Andreus Ixiris and Diana Kim.

These are not stupid people, just foolish. (Well-- Andreus isn't. I can't speak for Ms. Kim.) There's a lot of that going around these days.

Ultimately, everything is connected to the point where the very concept of a "thing" is a fiction. It is easy enough to grasp this concept (I, myself, know this to be a truth), but it is much more difficult to internalize, to perceive. That is the kind of wisdom I seek.

It is unnecessary to know all data points in order to see the interconnected universe. Perfect understanding does not require perfect knowledge.

Quote:
I do not want to derail the subject on a sensible matter, but this is what are the Scriptures.


The collected wisdom of ages-- yes.

Well, much of it. Some of it strikes me as deeply destructive.

Quote:
And the mariage of technical progress and social progress eventually leads to wisdom.


While I agree that knowledge of social workings and knowledge of technical matters are a useful combination, they do not form between them the kind of encompassing "understanding" that constitutes wisdom, to my mind.

It is easy to know a vast amount about both, and yet act and think foolishly.

Quote:
As for capsuleers = children, well, we are post human adults, but children capsuleers. The era of the capsule has just begun, after all.


Yes. This is my sense of the matter, certain terminology aside. Though I take it, perhaps, a little further than you do, Ms. Farel.

If we are only children, then what rendered us so? Why does our old upbringing not apply as much to being a capsuleer as it would to being a soldier, a farmer, a businesswoman?

Why has our old moral guidance failed us?

My writings have been precisely about establishing some sort of guiding principle, the beginnings of a new Path. "Children of Naught" has been, centrally, about us, our nature, our state of being. Having developed and tested some tentative hypotheses on what we are and why (if, necessarily, in a somewhat unscientific manner), it is time to move on.

"The Mandate of Void" will discuss what we must do to act on our understanding of ourselves. It will focus on what we must do to secure our future, to minimize the most destructive aspects of our nature, and to make our way in this universe. In other words, it will be aimed at establishing us as a coherent society.

It will try to establish a role for us children to grow into.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.12 12:26:00 - [19]
 

Originally by: Aria Jenneth
Originally by: Lyn Farel
Nobody can not just become wise without any knowledge.


Without *any* knowledge?

... hm. I may have gone a step too far in suggesting you didn't need any at all. But then, you also would seem to want to use the term "knowledge" as broadly as possible.



Yes, I do not consider knowledge only about technology. This is why I think I mostly agree with you and we are discussing a lot over different semantics.

Originally by: Aria Jenneth
And here we run into a line I would draw between what is known and what is understood.

"Knowledge" is pretty concrete: collections of facts, filed away for reference.

I would describe "understanding" as something more abstract: the ability to mentally place a fact in the context in which that fact exists-- some of it known, some of it either merely suspected or flatly unknown.

The result can be called, perhaps, "deeper knowledge," but the important thing to realize is that you don't necessarily need any very extensive knowledge to manage it.

A fool may have much knowledge, but, through incapacity, laziness, or simple failure to see the need, fails to place it all into context. Two prime examples who seem all but inescapable here on GalNet these days are Andreus Ixiris and Diana Kim.

These are not stupid people, just foolish. (Well-- Andreus isn't. I can't speak for Ms. Kim.) There's a lot of that going around these days.

Ultimately, everything is connected to the point where the very concept of a "thing" is a fiction. It is easy enough to grasp this concept (I, myself, know this to be a truth), but it is much more difficult to internalize, to perceive. That is the kind of wisdom I seek.

It is unnecessary to know all data points in order to see the interconnected universe. Perfect understanding does not require perfect knowledge.



Understanding, even if it is not directly visible, is the fruit of knowledge. There will always be knowledge behind "the ability to mentally place a fact in the context in which that fact exists", even if it is unconscious or if you are not aware of it. There is to begin with the knowledge of language, without which one would not be able to think properly unless in very simple and vague terms and emotions, there is the knowledge of one's own surrounding and environnement, basically a knowledge that comes from our first animal steps, but not only. There is a perception of how the universe works, and as you say, a lot might be merely suspected or flatly unknown. And for that, progress makes us seek for more knowledge to answer to the unknown.

And, in reference to my previous posts, a fool may have an intellectual knowledge, but no social knowledge, or at least no recognition of it. And a fool like you describe is to my eyes someone that consciously "forget" bits of knowledge or facts as it suits him.


Originally by: Aria Jenneth
The collected wisdom of ages-- yes.

Well, much of it. Some of it strikes me as deeply destructive.



Only if understood poorly. It paradoxaly takes prerequisite knowledge to understand or grasp correctly more knowledge.

Originally by: Aria Jenneth
While I agree that knowledge of social workings and knowledge of technical matters are a useful combination, they do not form between them the kind of encompassing "understanding" that constitutes wisdom, to my mind.

It is easy to know a vast amount about both, and yet act and think foolishly.



I think you might be putting words in my mouth. I am not implying that both automatically lead to wisdom (or maybe I expressed myself poorly). They are merely the main prerequisites to that goal, but it is eventually up to everyone to accept them or not.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.12 12:37:00 - [20]
 

Edited by: Lyn Farel on 12/07/2011 12:37:35
Originally by: Aria Jenneth
Yes. This is my sense of the matter, certain terminology aside. Though I take it, perhaps, a little further than you do, Ms. Farel.

If we are only children, then what rendered us so? Why does our old upbringing not apply as much to being a capsuleer as it would to being a soldier, a farmer, a businesswoman?

Why has our old moral guidance failed us?

My writings have been precisely about establishing some sort of guiding principle, the beginnings of a new Path. "Children of Naught" has been, centrally, about us, our nature, our state of being. Having developed and tested some tentative hypotheses on what we are and why (if, necessarily, in a somewhat unscientific manner), it is time to move on.

"The Mandate of Void" will discuss what we must do to act on our understanding of ourselves. It will focus on what we must do to secure our future, to minimize the most destructive aspects of our nature, and to make our way in this universe. In other words, it will be aimed at establishing us as a coherent society.

It will try to establish a role for us children to grow into.


The answer to your rhetorical questions is simple to my eyes : the environnement drastically changed. Environnement defines us, and defines how we act, think, learn and react. It is the fundamental essence of the Universe, and even if we of course have not changed of Universe, our perception of the world has totally changed and need a new adapation, evolution and understanding. This is closely tied to the law of sollipsism : perception prevails for each individual, for the simple reason it constitutes the only interface between our brains/spirits and the said environnement. Remember the first spacemen when they suddenly entered in zero G and traveled in space : they were like children, or even babies, trying to learn again how to even walk properly.

Eventually I too am trying to push forward in your direction. Capsuleers have to evolve and learn, and finally, grow up. I wish you best of luck in your endeavors, for that I am trying to do exactly the same thing, even if I do not want to put out of the equation the parents that still feed us, and also may rely on us in the future for their own ascension.

Ston Momaki
Caldari
Disciples of Ston
Posted - 2011.07.12 16:36:00 - [21]
 

Aria,
I feel grief when I read your words. Not so much my own. I think maybe, I feel your grief.

If we are to be along side humans in a good way, we must not let our "kinship" with humans cease. Infomorphs, as we are, cannot exactly duplicate the human process of age to death, but we can experience a connection with flesh.

Presently we have bodies. There is no logical necessity that evolution should eliminate our bodies as part of our development. The pain of living within a body of flesh need not be an automatic "bad" to be eliminated.

We infomorphs feel grief as a function/meter of how far we are drifting from humanity. But...there may be a threshold when the grief is no longer felt and the shore of our humanity is forever beyond our horizon.

Some may say, "good, let it go." I do not say this. I may be wrong, but I do not hear you saying this either.

I have most enjoyed our interaction. You are a true Achura. Let that be a part of the human landscape you always see.

Your brother, Ston

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.12 22:53:00 - [22]
 

Originally by: Ston Momaki
I feel grief when I read your words. Not so much my own. I think maybe, I feel your grief.


That is ... possible, Mr. Momaki, but it probably not the kind of grief you would hope to find in me. Though she may not believe it, what I said to Dr. Tenebrae in a related thread is true: I do not hate what I am, but recognize that what I am is a convincing afterimage. That is the origin of an infomorph: it is a near-perfect copy of a dead human being.

My grief, if it exists, is the grief of a nuclear shadow for the one who cast it.

Quote:
If we are to be along side humans in a good way, we must not let our "kinship" with humans cease. Infomorphs, as we are, cannot exactly duplicate the human process of age to death, but we can experience a connection with flesh.


We can ... but most would prefer to transfer into another body.

Quote:
Presently we have bodies. There is no logical necessity that evolution should eliminate our bodies as part of our development. The pain of living within a body of flesh need not be an automatic "bad" to be eliminated.


Nor do I believe our bodies should be lightly abandoned (leaving aside the fact that uploading is presently illegal).

Even so, I also do not think these simulacra we wear should be seen by us as unqualified "human" bodies. They are technological constructs. The best are created from the bodies of the dead.

Quote:
Some may say, "good, let it go." I do not say this. I may be wrong, but I do not hear you saying this either.


Correct. Though my view is ambivalent, my advice is generally to hold on as long as it will not destroy you or others to do so.

Then, let go.

Quote:
You are a true Achura.


Ah, Mr. Momaki, there is no kinder word you could have spoken to me.


Ms. Farel:

Please forgive me, but I will skip past our differences on semantics (though I do consider semantics more important than many). There is a larger difference I wish to address.

Originally by: Lyn Farel
Eventually I too am trying to push forward in your direction. Capsuleers have to evolve and learn, and finally, grow up. I wish you best of luck in your endeavors, for that I am trying to do exactly the same thing, even if I do not want to put out of the equation the parents that still feed us, and also may rely on us in the future for their own ascension.


Nor do I want to put our progenitors out of the equation. We will have to live alongside humanity, or not at all, and so must adjust ourselves to that necessity.

Once, I did favor our departure, yes, but I no longer look at that as a realistic option.

A more important matter: I am ambivalent as to whether our "ascension" is one worth undertaking. This state of being is untested, having existed for only a blink in the history of humankind.

If capsuleers can achieve a kind of stablity amongst ourselves, if we can achieve a species of order, perhaps there will eventually be little harm if humanity as a whole one day follows our lead.

If not, there will be nothing to follow. Our path will end in destruction, as well it should. As it must.

In either case, I do not think of our state as an elevated one. It is different. Whether it is different-good or different-bad, I do not presume to know.

We are what we are. Is that not enough, for now?

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.12 23:13:00 - [23]
 

It is not the commanding of ships and weapons of destructions that I consider as an elevated state, but the state of infomorph (the state in itself, not the infomorph which is only a tool and a vector), independant of our bodies which can be compared to chrysalises. Note : I am not telling that we have not to use them again, at the contrary, but our relation to them has radically changed : they are now many roots and interfaces for us, and not prison cocoons anymore.

Aria Jenneth
Caldari
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.07.12 23:21:00 - [24]
 

Edited by: Aria Jenneth on 12/07/2011 23:22:53
Originally by: Lyn Farel
It is not the commanding of ships and weapons of destructions that I consider as an elevated state, but the state of infomorph (the state in itself, not the infomorph which is only a tool and a vector), independant of our bodies which can be compared to chrysalises. Note : I am not telling that we have not to use them again, at the contrary, but our relation to them has radically changed : they are now many roots and interfaces for us, and not prison cocoons anymore.


Be that as it may, the precise origins of capsuleer dementia remain obscure, Ms. Farel. My theories on its progression remain exactly that. If other infomorphs show the same tendencies, then our "ascension" is a dubious one indeed.

That, of course, remains to be seen. This is precisely what I feel we should do before we take too eagerly to our role as pioneers: wait and see.

There are too many among us too eager to see this technology spread. As Sansha Kuvakei is presently going to historically extreme lengths to demonstrate, the propagation of a technology is not always a good thing.

Lyn Farel
Knighthood of the Merciful Crown
Posted - 2011.07.13 10:47:00 - [25]
 

Of course. A lot of simulations and discussions are still to be made before something of a bigger scale to be proceeded.


 

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