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on thoughts and files...

 
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Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: on thoughts and files... Reply with quote

ok so this is a strange one with a bit of backstory so bear with me.

I was proofreading/editing a cyberpunk short story a friend of mine was writing for a competition and it leant on a concept that we came up with together about the interaction between external information and an electronically augmented mind (cyberbrain/e-brain). We refered to this as 'chinese whispering'(like the game) and it goes a little something like this; everyone's sensory perception of the same physical stimulas is different, sometimes our minds even fill in the gaps in our perception. we see not what we see; but what we think we see.

(yes i know, but read that last sentence again a few times and it'll make more sense, promise Wink )

I look in the mirror and having a healthy self image I see a good-looking young man, (//ego reaching critical levels//) muscular farm-boy body, flowing surfer-boy hair(//EVACUATE EGO SHE'S GONNA' BLOW!!//) what I'm wearing looks equally good. When my attractive young underwear-model girlfriend (all lies) looks at me however, she sees that my teeth are yellow, my hair's a mess and my shoes don't match.(also lies)

"a mirror does not reveal the truth. instead it is a tool for concealing it" - confucious

information has no form of it's own so information entering a mind is as water being poured into a glass, it is manipulated by the form of the vessel.

This came up in the story in the form of a electronic virus that when passed from mind to mind would be changed by that mind (like a rumour in a game of chinese whispers) and thus our protaganist would have to find the first incarnation of the virus to form an antidote program, save the world and so on...

this begs the question that i would like to ask you.

Would an e-brain inhabited by a human mind 'read' a file of information without changing it in the same way a computer/pure AI would or would it 'interpret' the information according to it's own form?
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Last edited by Elmo on Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:32 am; edited 2 times in total
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Elmo



Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Posts: 219
Location: Plato's Cave Weapon of Choice: Sarcasm

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally I currently stand on the side of a cyberbrain taking information word-for-word as from a mechanistic view of the brain surely the change of information is a function to fill in the gaps in imperfect information of sensory perseption and thought(unlike a 'perfect' file). acting in much the same way as some debugging software that fills in the gaps between flawed code making it make more sense. As information coming through artificial means would be complete and in no need of such interpretation.
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base of the pillar



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: drifitng on the winds of change

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Elmo, but don't you think that the fact that the cyberbrain is based of a human brain could cause it to do the same thing a human brain does with stimulus and alter it slightly.
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Gillsing



Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 109
Location: Karlstad, Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the cyberbrain has an internal memory storage it could most likely save files perfectly, but any file that is saved after being processed by the human mind would most likely be distorted to some degree. I know that when I remember stuff I certainly don't put as much emphasis on some things compared to other people. But in order for the virus to remain a virus, it'd have to be able to survive the distortion, and that must be difficult without the cooperation of the human mind, which isn't supposed to know about the virus. Perhaps the virus would have to rely on some basic subconscious aspects of the human mind, something that is reliably similar from human to human?
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Spica



Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 132
Location: The Sleeping Universe

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way that I understand cyber brain viruses is that they affect the cyber part of the cyber brain and that cyber part then affects the organic part, thereby altering behavior and though processes. If this is true, then the virus would be able to copy perfectly in the artifical part of the cyber brain and then infect other cyber brains.

Your friend does have it right that perception is a constructive process. We take in raw sensory data and our brain tries to make sense of it, such as by filling in our our eye's blind spot. This is why optic illusions work.
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Snowman



Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Portsmouth, England

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject: SAC episode; Togusa undercover in Social Welfare Institution Reply with quote

This episode of SAC gig 1 was one of the best, real dark cyberpunk themes:
Advances in science and tecnology dont solve socioeconomic problems they just replace them.

Often I think SAC views humanity and progress with a crude irony. Although the tank voices and Majors dress are stifiling I think this remains one of the cleaversit tv productions
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cybric2686



Joined: 08 Jan 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: quickfix Reply with quote

But doesn't cyberization make those socioeconomic inequalities more bearable to the masses that are affected by them?
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Jeni Nielsen



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: quickfix Reply with quote

cybric2686 wrote:
But doesn't cyberization make those socioeconomic inequalities more bearable to the masses that are affected by them?


Well consider this. In any society cyberization is going to cost money. You'll have to pay big bucks for the latest upgrades and enhancements. So in a way, unless there were some sort of universal program for cyberization, the cybernetic age would still be one of the haves and have nots. Cyberization might put a bigger gap between the haves and the have-nots.
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Epiphany



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: quickfix Reply with quote

Jeni Nielsen wrote:
cybric2686 wrote:
But doesn't cyberization make those socioeconomic inequalities more bearable to the masses that are affected by them?


Well consider this. In any society cyberization is going to cost money. You'll have to pay big bucks for the latest upgrades and enhancements. So in a way, unless there were some sort of universal program for cyberization, the cybernetic age would still be one of the haves and have nots. Cyberization might put a bigger gap between the haves and the have-nots.


Thats very true. But the medical technology we have today does the same thing. The rich and famous get bumped to the front of the organ donar lists on a regular basis. They recieve much better medical treatment in general. The medical disparity in the US is so great that the poor can't get very much preventative care at all, having to wait til the medical problem or condition is in advanced stages before anything is done.

I don't see cybrisation being any different. People will be standing in line to get cast off parts from the rich and powerful, that have upgraded.

We have MTV Cribs now. Soon it will be MTV cyberbodies. So we can see the latest and greatest cyber parts that the rappers are getting, just so they can say they have them.

The distance between haves and have nots will grow substancially. It will probably end up starting a revolution simaler to the Russian Revolution and bring back some form of communisium.
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geckochan



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to go back to the original topic, to which my basic response was "can humans ever stop being subjective, really?"

Elmo wrote:
As information coming through artificial means would be complete and in no need of such interpretation.


It's quite possible that an artificial platform to receive the information would negate the *need* for interpretation, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't interpret anyway. It's automatic and human, I think. Besides, we take in data about concrete things - people, conversations, words - and apply them to abstract things like philosophy. Part of our own individual interpretations of data involves weaving them into a web of connections that are inexorably linked to emotions, interpretations, the ethereal - any brain, cyberized or otherwise, that took in data and exactly replicated it, I doubt could be called human.
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Epiphany



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

geckochan wrote:
I'm going to go back to the original topic, to which my basic response was "can humans ever stop being subjective, really?"

Elmo wrote:
As information coming through artificial means would be complete and in no need of such interpretation.


It's quite possible that an artificial platform to receive the information would negate the *need* for interpretation, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't interpret anyway. It's automatic and human, I think. Besides, we take in data about concrete things - people, conversations, words - and apply them to abstract things like philosophy. Part of our own individual interpretations of data involves weaving them into a web of connections that are inexorably linked to emotions, interpretations, the ethereal - any brain, cyberized or otherwise, that took in data and exactly replicated it, I doubt could be called human.


I agree with that. The human mind is prone to both over analyzing and simplifing information. We also seem to easily find ways to bend information to suit our on wants. A computer would never be a picaso because its horse would always look like a horse. We "humans" continue to ignore information. We have no trouble calling Black, White if it suits our personal mindset. Emotion plays such a huge part of our data analyzing abilities that we can never leave a "Fact" alone.
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Aoi



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Computer

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Would an e-brain inhabited by a human mind 'read' a file of information without changing it in the same way a computer/pure AI would or would it 'interpret' the information according to it's own form?"

One wonders whether an "e-brain" could even emulate the human mind in the first place. The mass of cells that make up our brains are so variable, dynamic, and incomprehensible that to be programmed into such a linear thing as a computer might be infeasible. Assuming it's possible though, you have to next ask what aspects of the human mind can be changed without changing the fact that it's a human mind. If you could consciously control every single part of your body, or consciously prune your own memories and thoughts during sleep, would you still be human, or would that destroy some sub-processes of your mind that make up your consciousness in the first place?

Suppose we take a look at GitS. Think about Motoko and Saito and their sniper battle. Instead of their unconscious simplifying out details in their vision and muscle feedback, both of them either had programs to direct their actions accurately or they could consciously analyze exactly what they saw and felt, down to every detail, proving that real stimulus information is not loss in the GitS universe. Also, Batou has specialized eyes, which probably means he has acute vision.

Then again, Togusa, when he escapes from (don't remember the group's name) in the first season, his stored memories have emotional content to them and this transfers over to Batou when he reviews them.

I think, given some presumptions about the flexibility of the human mind, we could say that an e-brain human could either record stimuli perfectly or normally, based on whim. When it comes to memories, they have thoughts and feelings within them, so the reader of memories will take on those perceptions as well. It all comes down to what the file contains, but the reader should be able to interpret it perfectly.

"But doesn't cyberization make those socioeconomic inequalities more bearable to the masses that are affected by them?"

... well, if they're unequal, how would they get cyberized in the first place? If you've seen 2nd GIG thoroughly, you should notice that the poor don't get good cyberization setups. The boy who was in drug transfers (Red Data) and many of the refugees on Dejima that Kuze was trying to save didn't have cyberbrains or bodies because of economic status.
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Saito



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 359
Location: The chopper you never saw, behind the gun you never heard, about to fire the shot you never expected

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The key element to this, at least in the sense of GitS, is the Ghost itself. Without a ghost it is supposed that a machine is simply that, a machine, capable of only machine processing and storage of information. The Ghost that is inherited and carried from the human original is the key to interpretive and perceptual analysis of the information which the cyberbrain is receiving, essentially they are still a person sat at a computer, except the relationship is vastly more intimate and transparent.

The whole purpose of cyberbrain technology in my mind is to fuse what humans are good at - lateral thinking, interpretation, improvisation and perception - with the best elements of what computers do best - facsimile, calculation, storage, retrieval display of information.

Think of it like this - people are forever forgetting stuff, I do all the time. I forget where I put my keys, forget about appointments. I'm forever setting reminders to help me stop doing that and I use computers to do that. Also people struggle to facsimile information efficiently. How many times do you suppose you would have to dead a 400-page book before you could reproduce it word for word without and mistakes? A computer need only read and facsimile the information once. Thirdly, in a tie critical moment how many times have you reached for a calculator to work out something? I do it daily at work and I'm screwed if I can't put my hand on one when I have a person on the phone. Just three potted examples of how humans and computers co-existing at a conscious level advantage the human mind.

In short, my synopsis is that human cyberisation as seen in GitS does not replace the human mind, it merely augments it and gives it a more robust mechanism to contain it, allow it's transfer, etc.

That is until you look at the Tachikoma... did they make their own ghosts? Or have they become so sophisticated in gathering and analyzing information that they become self aware? If my postulation here is true, then computers as they exist are not capable of human-like though. Maybe Shirow intimates that this is only the first step towards making a truly sentient artificial being? But are they artificial then, or just another race? All mysteries for the mind to dwell on I feel...
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