Monday, December 24, 2012

The Future (a comic book)




Contents:

- Athens Is On Fire And You Are Fired!
- How Do You Make A Computer Not Want To Be A Computer?
- The Computer Smarter Than Us All That Might Kill Us All
- If You Can't Program It It Isn't Real
- At DARPA
- Good-bye, World Economic Forum
- Two Lectures In Tel Aviv
- Computer And Friend
- Run, Miller!
- Evil And Rage
- Can It Be Done?
- New Toys
- Giving It All Away
- Plato's Chariot And Cyber War
- The Singularity Is Near
- Come On, Let's End The World


Athens Is On Fire And You Are Fired! 


"When hacker geeks hook up with anti-globalizational black bloc-ers, that will be something to see. Real world DIY street smarts, groups with institutional knowledge and experience of government surveillance and infiltration going back decades, combined with mad hacker skills and hard crypto... That really will be something. And I think we are pretty much there." (from Google+)

I. Athens

In a small, bare room, with folding chairs, projector and screen, the middle-aged professor waits for the young audience to quiet down. He lights the first projection, an out of focus photograph of a man and woman on mountain heights, leaning back against and their arms stretched out along a railing, their hands just meeting. It is a famous image and the audience laughs.

"The revolution began just how it should, with a professor. Now a professor; then he was unknown. Not for the first time humanity had made a huge mistake.

Our leaders believed social life had no meaning. Society was only a machine. Individual life was important, and individuals were successful when they were the top at making and using the machine of society.

Unregulated markets, corporate bribery were promoted as efficient. And efficiency was everything, because social life was only a machine.

The people who knew the machine and managed it deserved to profit from it. Users of a tool deserve to own the product it made.

Others, who didn't understand and couldn't manage the tool, deserved to fail so they could learn from their mistakes.

Our leaders universally accepted this religion, let's call it. Was it because of the development of democracy, or the counter-culture movement of the 60s? We don't know why.

Hackers used technology to break the social machine, but that was not the solution.

This man, you all know him, came up with the answer. In retrospect it's obvious: don't break the machine but use all the tools of the machine, economic, technological, communication, against it. For him it was only science fiction. But people from here, the right people, people who could implement his ideas, found him, and brought him back to the U.S.

How did they find him? The Internet, what else.

It began right here, in these rooms...."



II. Bayshare Goes To Court

Athens Airport, General Strike, flights cancelled.

Weston scans the crowd at the airport boarding area, sees Miller sitting on the floor, back against the wall, reading on laptop. They get into a waiting taxi and are taken to another part of the airport where a helicopter waits.

- Where did this come from?
- Long story.
- I've time. Been stuck here for 8 hours.
- We're good customers.
- You buy helicopters?
- You'll see.

Transfer to private jet. On board, after take-off. Miller looks astonished by the luxury.

- You buy jets?
- Your investors do. It's for sale if you're interested. Get some rest. We'll arrive in San Francisco tomorrow morning.

San Francisco Airport. Miller and Weston get into taxi.

- Where now?
- Court.

Federal Building. Hearing room.

- Where are the Chinese?
- In China, Mr. Miller. You are here to testify on Bayshare.com.
- I've been away. I was told the legal system had been outsourced to China.
- Mr. Miller, this hearing is preliminary to looking into the question whether Bayshare.com is an enterprise governed by securities regulation. You devised the scheme. Could you briefly explain it to us here?
- It is a network that allows many people to share ownership in things owned by individuals just before they are sold.
- As an investment?
- Yes. And as a way for many people to participate in an individual's life and for an individual to participate in many people's lives.
- Was that your purpose in devising the scheme?
- I wanted to see what the world would look life if large numbers of people temporarily shared ownership in each of their things.
- A sort of communism?
- No. In communism the state owns everything. Here crowds of people own a single thing, temporarily.
- For the sake of profit?
- Yes. But along the way a social network is built among the temporary owners.
- The share holders would get to know each other.
- Yes.
- Can't they do this other ways? In an ordinary auction house?
- In an auction house bidders compete against each other. Here they are partners. They can talk with each other about what to do with, how best to use the things they have, and whether it's good to have them. Ownership becomes a social act. In an auction house ownership is the source of conflict, is decided by war of bids.
- Bayshare is not a business enterprise, but a social service.
- You could put it that way.
- Thank you, Mr. Miller.

In the car on the way to Haxxpace.

- Do you think they will shut us down?
- They did once already.
- What are we doing with all the money we're making?
- You'll see.
- How much have we made from commissions on share sales?
- 3, 4.
- 3, 4 what?
- Millions
- On paper? Do we have the money?
- We have it. We had it. We spent some. You'll see.
- I'll see.



III. Davos

Switzerland, World Economic Forum.

Gideon Sachs and fellow bankers are ushered by their bodyguards past the hundreds of barricaded protesters, among them a group of topless Ukrainians from the Occupy movement shivering in the heavy snowfall. He stops, tilts his hat up from his forehead and examines calmly one particularly pretty girl. It is meant to be outrageous, and it succeeds. The crowd erupts in shouts, the bankers and bodyguards close around Gideon and they move together towards the hotel entrance.

In a small conference room about a dozen bankers and politicians are already seated around a table.

- Why provoke them, Gideon?
- It is beyond the point where it matters, don't you think?
- That's what we're here to discuss. Take a seat. You know everyone here. Good. This meeting is the last before we commit ourselves to a process we will not be able to stop. Direct it in the direction we want, yes, to some extent. But enough to succeed? Gideon?
- Yes, with reasonable risk.
- Explain.
- I see our Hungarian colleague didn't come.
- He let the cat out of the bag. Saying we were deliberately driving the world into civil war and economic collapse!
- Well, we are, aren't we?
- He makes me mad. He sees very clearly indeed that civil war and economic collapse might be bad for the majority and be good for us. Yet he makes us out to be greed maddened demons.
- His spends most of his time giving money to the poor. He doesn't know where he belongs. Shall I go on?
- Yes.
- Show the first slide. Here are where there are disruptions now. Some of them will become revolutions. The governments will flee. There will be anarchy. Competing gangs, mafias. We have contacts with nearly all. When the time comes our nation's militaries will force the gangs to submit to government. Those that do we'll reward with influence. We'll annihilate the others. That's in theory.
- In practice, what can we expect?
- It depends on how well we control the protesters. Keep them incoherent and disorganized.
- Can we?
- We're watching them closely. We'll be in trouble if masses of people believe they have little to lose and a lot to gain. Our police and military won't fight a million in the streets. We won't let that happen. We'll convince the people we are saving their lives, managing a difficult transition, that the revolution will lead them to destruction.
- How?
- Control of the internet, all the news media, control of the judicial process, control, control. The people will hear only our side. We're ready.
- Are you a democrat, Mr. Sachs?
- The democracy will return when the revolution fails. Only a little less democratic than it was before.
- I mean, Mr. Sachs, are you confident in setting out with us on this journey? With no guilt? Some doubt has been expressed about you.
- Alright. I will write a letter to the editor, correcting the statement of our Hungarian.
I will remind the world that in 1970 they gave Merton a Nobel prize for explaining that we are corporations with limited liability. If we risk 10 dollars we don't have, our loss is limited by law to one dollar. If we risk 100 dollars we don't have, our loss is limited by law to 1 dollar. We choose to make a 99 dollar profit instead of nine dollars. We all do this, we buy each others insanely risky investments, so it goes on for a while. Then it collapses. But we are ready. We have invested in the careers of politicians, so they bail us out and we can start the game again of insanely risky investment. As we are doing now. I will write that the politicians are playing the same risky game we do. We provoke economic and social collapse and are saved by laws and politicians. They provoke revolution and are saved by the military. Bankers are not crazy. Politicians are reasonable. We all are logical. Our game is without risk and we win.
- Sit down, Mr. Sachs. Don't leave us. We enjoy your company too much to lose you.



IV. Cult Classic

Haxxpace work room. Miller, Weston, and others are standing watching the Davos meeting played on a computer screen.

- What was that?
- Well, it could be real but altered, or simply fake. We don't know.
- Where did you get it?
- From your boarding-school roommate. We think.
- Gideon? Why?
- We were shut down, and then mysteriously back up 6 hours later. And then this came in the mail.
- It's a hat.
- A homburg. The hat he wears. With camera and transmitter. Both the hat and the warning disconnect are plot elements from your cult classic, "Hack The Revolution". What do you make of it?
- He's telling us to ask a question.
- What question?
- Bankers are insured by the politicians and governments. Politicians are insured by the military and police. Who insures the military and police? They're the only one's taking a risk.
- That's right. Right out of your book. Teli: take our new friend to see the toys his ideas bought us.
- All of them from your cult classic.
- Stop saying that.



V. Objects On A Table

- Mr. Miller? Come to the table. These objects should be familiar. Home launch satellite. Hundred are moving in orbit across the U.S. Real-time locations are shown here.
- Replacement for the internet? You're connected?
- It's in operation. Every message finds and uses the nearest satellites. Don't touch the copter.Here, on this screen, current activity at Bayshare. On the right side you see a new Bayshare offshoot, BBs. We started taking our commission in trade, things we needed. Then everyone started trading. We stepped in with our own currency. People gave us things, we gave advance credit for paying our commissions. People began trading the credits to each other. It took off. You don't need my explanation. Predicted on page 351 of your book. Members use it to buy and sell from each other even outside of Bayshare.
- Why?
- It's secure. Our money, our transfer, our internet. No transaction fee. No taxes. People are afraid. 17 cities so far passed special laws making public protest illegal. We're ready for the Internet shut down. Put that down. Mini quad-copters. We have thousands. Bayshare paid for them.
- Thousands?
- That's one thing we didn't take from your cult classic. Don't touch the blades. You'll see at Desi's house. He's here.

Outside Haxxpace a call pulls suddenly to the curb. The' driver, a tall, 4 months pregnant blond in dancer's tights and winter overcoat opens the trunk, takes out and hands over to Desi his backpack and laptop case. He taps on the window to get the attention of Miller and Weston inside.

- You don't like to talk much.
- I was looking forward to meeting you my whole life.
- How old are you?
- 22. Perfect for you.
- Why?
- Page 27 of your book: young women and older men. Optimal division and cooperation of character types.
- I don't remember writing that....
- It will come back to you. Let's go.



VI. Up In The Sky

- Everybody?
- Quiet! Hear that?
- What is it? Bees? Locust?
- Look! In the sky!

Hundreds of mini quad-copters appear in the dusk swarming over Desi's isolated hill top house. Suddenly a constellation of lights spells out the words "Welcome Home". Again suddenly the dark of the evening sky is unbroken and the sound of the quad-copters recedes.

- Night writing.
- We're entering a war of communication. People talk, but only to people like themselves. They visit the same web sites, read the same magazines, watch the same programs. How do we reach the people as a whole? Public protests did it for a while. But that's been crushed. What does everyone everywhere have in common?
- What?
- They all live under the same sky.
- Writing in the sky won't make a revolution.
- Of course. Tele, shows us the new tool.
- Colleagues in Germany broke the mobile telecommunication codes. On the corner of the screen, see the "M"? That is where the Mayor of our city is right now. Here is where our junior senator is, home from Washington on his break.
- We are going to talk to our politicians personally. In the sky. We're going to ostracize them. Make them understand. Remind them why, what they did, the bribes they took. Show them the people don't accept it any more. They won't be at home in their own county. They won't be able to avoids us.
- They'll shoot down the copters. Jam the transmissions.
- We're ready. We think. We've run simulations, tested tactics. It's not easy to shoot a swarm. Like shooting the air. They disperse.
- We're going to call on all elected officials to resign, immediate new elections.
- And the people will mass in the streets in support? They'll be attacked.
- Demonstrations are a crude way of communicating. We're opening new channels. People can start talking to each other.
- About what?
- Stopping everything until the politicians quit. General Strike.
- It might work. Can we do it quick enough? They'll hunt us.
- We'll be talking to the military, and police too.
- In the sky.
- Yes. They live under the same sky we do.



VII. Traitor Within

An old fashioned Morse-Code signal: Miller looks around him, opens his laptop bag and takes out a satellite phone.

- Where did you get that?
- You gave it to me. At the airport.
- I gave it to you?
- Someone from Haxxpace. When I got off the plane.
- You're not supposed to accept anything from strangers at the airport.
- That's for getting on the plane, not leaving it.
- Hand me the phone. There's a message. Do you know the man in the picture?
- No. Should I?
- It's a diplomatic I.D. issued by the United Nations. To somebody I know is not a diplomat.
- How do you know? On the internet you can buy diplomat status from any number of African countries.
- Because it's Charles. He works with us. He works with me. In tech.
- It doesn't say Charles on the I.D.
- No, it doesn't.
- So ask him about it.
- That's just it. He hasn't shown up for a couple days. Come on.

Tele and Miller walk up the path from the hillside terrace to the house. A work room, filled with computers. She sits down in from of a screen, types in instructions.

- Charles' activity on our network. This is not good. No record for yesterday, the day before.
- Check the satellite logs.
- How did you know that? Yes. But we can only communicate with the one's within range above us. They're in orbit, remember?
- We have people in other places. Can't we asked them to get the logs of the satellites above them?
- Go get Weston. And get ready to leave.

Tele uses a 3-d mouse to display a fly down from space to New Mexico.

- Weston. Take a look. You're up to date on this? We lucked out. A connection, 2 days ago. Delivery address, New Mexico. Diplomatic status? Government installations, right?
- What are you getting at?
- Keep quiet, Miller. Roswell Air Force base.
- Sandia National Labs.
- Nuclear Fusion tests. Let's go, Miller.
- But who sent the message?
- Who do you think? Your boarding school roommate.
- Again?
- Let's go!



VIII. The 3rd Constitution

Miller And Tele are on the road driving through the Arizona desert. Destination, New Mexico.

- I've got you to myself now. Explain the revolution.
- How well do you know American history?
- Washington was the father of our country...
- And owner of worthless government bonds, and speculator in land he got from the government trading in the worthless bonds, loaner of money at interest....
- And 316 slaves.
- Not to mention. The richest man in the country. Before the constitutional convention, merchants, speculators, and creditors held their own convention. They talked about getting the government to protect their land, their government investments, their loans. In no time at all the confederation was replaced by the constitution.
- You're saying that this is what is happening now? Another replacement? The 2nd replacement?
- It's already happened.
- How?
- Conventions were held openly. Years of them. International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum. The result: consensus was reached, the American Constitution revised.
- How?
- The Patriot Act which repealed most of the Bill of Rights, passed by Congress and signed by the President, extended specifically to apply to American Citizens and re-approved last year. Supreme Court decisions giving corporations the rights taken away from the people, explicitly granting them right to free speech in the form of bribing politicians.
- Ok. That's old news.
- It's all old news: In the 1780s bankers, owners, financiers got together to revise the form of Government. 200 years later they've done it again.
- A new Constitution. The third.
- The 3rd. And since it's not the first time it doesn't have to be the last.
- The congress and the judges shared interests with the bankers, property owners, financiers. They worked for them, they were them. We're not them. We can't convince them they share interests with us. They don't.
- We're going to show the people that. Our convention is the entire country. The new constitution is the same as the old, the 2nd, that is, with rights intact, but the politicians gone.
- I say good luck and God save us all!

The Morse code sounds again from Miller's telephone. Tele grabs it from him, then pulls the jeep over to the side of the road.

- A message. Take a look.
- What is it?
- We can go home. We're too late.
- The fusion dome at Sandia! It's beautiful. Plasma halos around 100s of helicopters.
- Quad-copters. Charles sent them in to make a nice picture.
- Nothing else could happen.
- Are you sure?
- Of course I'm sure. Those halos always occur when they pulse the million volt laser. In the next frame the copters crash to the floor.
- Next frame. You see life as a comic strip. Maybe we're making a mistake to trust you.



IX. Some Friends

1.

Gideon drives through the Swiss Alps with his model friend Bennington. After a minute she breaks the silence.

- The papers have been signed.
- How much did it cost me?
- You? Are you the one paying?
- A manner of speaking.
- Don't you worry I'll get fed up with all your evasions and sell my story to the news?
- No. You love me.
- Ha! The police are not going to be happy losing their pensions in your funds.
- You know very well they are not "mine". The investments are in publicly owned entities.
- Entities!
- We'll be home soon.

2. Tele and Miller driving back towards San Francisco.

- Have you really not been in contact with Gideon since school?
- No, I wouldn't say that.
- Then you know whose side he's on?
- He's on both.
- How can that be?
- Do we have to talk about this?
- What happened between you two?
- We disagreed.
- On what?
- How much to compromise in politics.
- You don't have any politics. I think.
- And he doesn't either. He plays at politics.
- Why?
- Ultimate good. He says.
- Then he is on our side.
- No. It depends on how good we are.
- He'll help us if he thinks we can win?
- That's my guess.
- Some friends you have.



X. Models And Bankers

1.

Many cars line the drive leading up to the small castle, its windows brightly lit. A group of models come down the front steps laughing, and meet Gideon and Bennington as they get out the car.

- Girls.
- Gideon!
- Ladies.
- Ben.
- Is everything prepared? Let's go inside.

The ballroom floor is crowded by quadcopters. Gideon picks one up in his hand, and speaks to the assembled models.

- In many ways this is a flying telephone. Cloud computing, a single computer in remote connection controls them all. But not all the time. This is the flight control board. It monitors gyros, accelerometers, barometers, GPS, sonars, infrared, etc., and sets the speed of each motor on the copter. On its own each copter can keep level, hover at distance from ground, recover from turbulence or other interference, follow a flight path, return home. Come to the desk.

Copters do much better with a map, especially if they lose remote connection. The cameras in your hats made these maps as you passed through the rooms yesterday, escorted by your Wall street customers. I hope they were satisfied customers. By the way, some of you followed instructions better than others. Don't moan. No one noticed your exaggerated gestures? Of course not. You're models.

2.

Miller and Tele arrive back at Haxxspace. They stand with several others, including Weston, before a monitor showing a news program. The broadcaster says,

- A demonstration has been announced for today at Wall Street. In an amusing twist, the demonstrators are called on to dress as bankers. In an even more amusing twist, every protest organization we contacted denies they have called for the demonstration. The police have promised they will be out in force to handle the illegal assembly. No permit has been issued. As you can see the police are there now. Wait. The protesters, dressed as bankers, are pouring into the street. They were hiding in the building lobbies, is my guess. Strange. Many are angry. In the past demonstrators have been passive, polite, cooperative or reasoning with the police. John, you are in the crowd, can you tell us what is happening?

- James, it is unbelievable! The protesters claim they really are bankers. Some are taking out their wallets and I.D.s. They say they were driven out of their offices by swarms of flying vehicles. They are described them as "toys", buzzing like bees.

- What do you make of it?
- The police are laughing. Arresting the "bankers" by the hundreds.
- Thanks. Take care.

Weston turns and looks at Miller, then at Tele, who says to Miller,

- From your book.
- The demonstrated against become the demonstrators.
- Page 117.



XI. Originality

The broadcaster in the studio is back on the screen.

- This just in. Many of the protesters really are bankers, according to latest reports. Several journalists have been arrested, Information is scarce at the moment. Journalists with the protesters have been arrested. Now what is that?

Over Wall Street the night sky is invaded by a loud high pitched buzzing of a swarm of quadcopters. They are nearly invisible until they find their positions and light up in "star writing", spelling out these words in a points of light:

Police! Check Internet! The Bankers Have Lost Your Pensions! AIT is Bankrupt! Your Money Gone!

- We are getting confirmation. AIT is bankrupt. Corporate officials say they have discovered more than 3 Billion dollars is "missing". On Wall Street, the bankers who were being released are still being held. A confusing situation.

Weston asks Tele,

- Are those the missing copters from Charles? New Mexico?
- Does anyone else have capability?
- Their ours. I'm pretty sure.
- Hope you're right. Miller. You're the strategist. Does this change our plans?
- Are we all agreed this is Gideon?
- Yes.
- He either couldn't resist a practical joke, or he thinks we're delaying to much. Are we ready?
- Tele?
- Ready.
- Then let's begin. The real problem is distancing ourselves from Gideon's threats of violence. So far they are jokes, but that can change.
- Any ideas?
- Have you ever heard the saying that there's nothing more difficult to copy than true originality?
- No. You just made it up.
- If we have our own style people will know when it's us.



XII. Fire

Commotion in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Outside a crowd has gathered, all heads turned up. Police are guarding the doors, and the D.C. Fire Department is arriving with their water trucks and hoses. In the sky above, in a rolling tape like a stock market report, is a list of Congress Members, each name followed by a number and an acronym for the corporate lobby that has contributed that amount. Interspersed is the repeating message, "Pensions, zero".

With big smiles on their faces the firemen slowly lead the hoses out through the crowd and, as the police in front of the Congress raise their riot shields the fire department unleashes the full power of the water stream on them. The crowd cheers.

Haxxspace. Miller & Tele.

- How are they lighting in daylight? You said they had the same technology.
- When he left Charles was working on a reflected light display. No illumination. Like a screen for a book reader.
- We need some help here. Everyone is laughing, but it's not our style. It verges on violence. It will be turned against us. Do we know anyone in aeronautics?
- I'm ahead of you. He should be here soon.


- You knew I was wrong?
- Sure. Politics has no style. It is liars and exposing the liars.
- Didn't know you were so radical.
- What do you think I am doing here?





XIII. Talk To The Sky

1.

Wall Street conference room. Gideon speaks to the bankers we know from Davos:


- What's wrong?
- You went too far.
- I bailed you out. Can we get down to business?
- Despite your perverse choice of tactics, you've succeeded.
- State of Emergency: you've convinced him?
- If thing go on as they are. We're counting on you for that.
- National Guard? Army?
- Are their pension plans safe from you?
- Are your pensions safe?

2.

A television news crew is gathered outside the Mayor's residence, and the reporter readies himself to speak to the camera. In the background the hum of quadcopters gradually gets louder.

- Politicians all around the country, mocked by the copters, are complaining they can't confront their accusers. Writing in the sky cannot be cross examined. Here he is the mayor, leaving his home. Mayor, what do you have to say about the sky writing?

- If I could talk to whoever is responsible I'd give them my piece of mind.
- What if I told you that you can?
- What do you mean?
- We've been told they're watching our broadcast, the sky writing copters will be here - they are here! Look up!
- Ask them to speak their libels to my face.
- And there is your answer. Can our audience read it? It says, "Face Facts. Your time's up." They are calling for mass resignations and new elections. Will you resign?
- They are a danger to public health and safety. Cowards!
- Now it says, "there's no health & safety where profits makes the laws". And it says, "Cowards sell out public health and safety for profit."
- Libel!
- Look! Paper money rains down, and now a sketch of a man looking a lot like the mayor scrambling to grab as much as he can. That's gone. Writing another of those ticker-tape lists of corporate lobbies, money received, laws passed. Any comment, Mr. Mayor? Is the information correct?
- We'll shoot them out of the sky.
- Since when is there no freedom of speech in the skies?
- I told you. They're a threat to public health and safety.



XIV. War Of Words



Chicago. 50,000 protesters converge and confront the G8 and NATO, setting up impromptu encampments throughout the city, waging a war of words, using new tactics of anarchic swarming and inventive nonviolence.

The Hungarian philosopher Temast addresses a crowd of protesters outside at a city square:
The capitalist class rules, but it is anonymous and open, and therefore impossible to hate, to storm, to chase away. So is the proletariat. Legal, political and cultural equality (equality here only means a random distribution of – very real – advantages and privileges) has made class conflict into what Capital makes it out to be.

Equality, arrived at through redistribution, does not and cannot preclude domination and hierarchy – a hierarchy moreover that, unlike in aristocratic systems, does not build upon a cosmology and a metaphysics that could effect a reconciliation with reality (and what else is reality than servitude and dependence?).

Class as an economic reality exists, and it is as fundamental as ever, although it is culturally and politically almost extinct. This is a triumph of capitalism.

But this makes the historical work of destroying capitalism less parochial, it makes it indeed as universal, as abstract and as powerful as capitalism itself.
In Haxxspace's offices in San Francisco Weston, Tele, Miller and others are watching this speech on a monitor.

- Well, Miller?
- Write above him this:
Capitalism? Triumph? Childish name calling. Are our economics based on lies or truth? If lies, expose them.
- Too many words.
- Give me a chance. Just getting started.
- Type them!

The instructions are typed, the monitor show almost immediately the crowd's attention distracted from the philosopher to the sky above. A roar of approval meets the words.

- Again, fast!
- Write:
If employment is slavery, find another way. All it takes is looking. All it takes is knowing it doesn't have to be like this.
- Too many words. But send it!

Again, after a few moments, shouts of approval meet the words. The philosopher himself seems amused. He says,
My greetings to the powers above. If you will do us the honor of making the revolution, we welcome you. Welcome to Chicago! People?
A shout of "Welcome To Chicago!" comes from the crowd.

Suddenly the crowd becomes silent. A flurry of telephones being produced from pockets and bags and straps, and then the crowd disperses in all directions. The explanation is not long in coming: police in riot gear, shields, body armor, helmets pour into the emptied square. Copters are heard approaching. Immediately rifles are raised and shots fired as the copters fly into view, hover briefly, and depart, leaving behind them a cloud of fine blue dust. The receding buzz of the copters is replaced by coughing of police as they remove their helmets and wipe their eyes with whatever is at hand.




XV. Chicago

At a cafe around the corner, drifts of blue smoke hovering menacingly by, Prof. Temast sits with Gideon. We are looking at a poster, one of dozens, each headlined "Yesterday!" documenting the protests, a mobile art exhibition set up outside on the sidewalk before the very cafe. And inside at the same window table sit Professor Temast and Gideon.

- Yesterday. Twenty years ago you were an Anti-Communist. Yesterday you were a Marxist. What are you today?
- A Theorist. Theorist of revolution.
- What is your theory?
- Do you want me to tell you what you'll be hearing at your G-8 summit this afternoon?
- If it will save me from having to go.
- It won't do that. You're going to hear how technocrats are in battle with nationalists. Politicians are the technocrats, making small, gradual, but successful improvements. They are menaced by primitive, unenlightened resistance, misguided people who want results without working for them. The governments will manage. All lies.
- They aren't technocrats?
- They don't have knowledge. They are not scientists. They've done no experiments, have no evidence, give no proofs. They are not technocrats. They are mechanics. They know how to build one kind of machine, which they use to their benefit, but not to the benefit of all.
- I'll give them the message.
- Do that. Tell them they use their pretense of "technical knowledge" to avoid seeing other ways of doing things.
- Come along and tell them yourself.
- Mr. Sachs, we are through talking to them, as you given us the means to talk with each other.
- Have I?
- We've begun a dialog. A dialog in the skies. A celestial dialog. We will get the people talking again, see the other ways. If you don't go too far with your provocations, if you don't lose yourself playing all sides.
- I have you to guide me. That's what I'm paying you for.



XVI. Means And Ends

A conference room on the top floor of a Chicago skyscraper. Wall screens show demonstrations across the city. Professor Temest is briefly seen on a network news program.

- Nobody cares about philosophy.
- Nobody?
- Gideon studied philosophy. A little known fact.
- Gideon? What are you up to?
- We wanted disorder. Never in the history of the world have philosophers had a chance to remake the world. Given the right technology they might get the job. It appealed to me. And it's certain to make an unprecedented mess.
- Where did you find that guy?
- He'd been fired from his University. Living with 4 children off his $250 a month Hungarian pension.
- And you're paying him somewhat more. Listen, Gideon. We're not idiots. We know we're mechanics, and there are other machines to operate. But this one is ours, we like it, we enjoy making it go. We don't want to give it up.
- You won't have to, if the world is made up of people who think like you.
- Numbers are on our side.
- Most people are like you. At the moment. Forgotten that machines, as enjoyable as they are to use, were made for a purpose.
- Remind me, Gideon. What is the purpose? Make life easier?
- That is more talk about means. Ease to do what?
- Out with the philosophy.
- The purpose, the use of tools is to feel at home in the world. To like.
- To love.
- Yes, to love.
- Ok. We love our machine. Our money making machine.
- That love is forgetting.
- That's envy talking.
- No. Loving machines makes you a different kind of person. A worse person.
- Philosophers don't do anything but assert. Talk. The same as we do. Nothing is proved. Your philosophers won't succeed.
- They don't have to prove. They have only to call attention to the possibility that means are used to an end.
- And?
- If operating machines is all that we humans were made for, there is no way to choose one machine rather than another. The only question is, does it go, does it run? and you guys are making sure it runs.
- So you get the philosophers to argue, argue in public, in the sky, about ends, the big questions, the purpose of life. And then our machine, the choice of our machine, is called into question.
- Very good. You should go back to school.
- And what do you propose we do if they succeed?
- In getting people to stop thinking of themselves as operators of machines?
- Yes. And start questioning our machine, as your philosopher so eloquently put it.
- Give them their own little machine to play with?
- I don't trust you, Gideon. You speak in a joking tone, but I believe you are serious.
- I am serious.
- Then we instruct you to stop. All of it. Now.
- I really would like to comply with your suggestion. But too late now, as they say.
- Why is it too late?
- Look on the screens. See that antenna? Those towers? Electronic counter measures the police hope to use against the copters. The copters who attacked them.
- You attacked them.
- Did I? I forget. The groups operating the copters have counter-strategies prepared. The police, pepper sprayed from the heavens, have a mandate to stop them. The philosophers have their public, and the means to reach them. Each group has its own momentum. We have to let it play out. It's what you wanted.
- And the different economic machine? That is not what we want.
- Isn't that what is so interesting? Throughout history people have fought for God, what they called God, and didn't know what the hell they were fighting for and fighting against. This time people know what they are fighting against, the machine, a tool that has become its own end.
- They won't get anything good out of it and you know it.
- Because the world will never give us anything better than an efficient machine that slows us down, occupies and diverts us from killing each other?
- That is right, though you put it wrong: the world is safer with us than without us. That is the beginning and end of it. Means don't matter.



XVII. Preparations For Battle

Chicago streets. Copters are raining to the ground. Protesters, many in mock banker uniforms, carry umbrellas to protect themselves, and swagger with them as they walk.

Haxxspace. Tables with copters in various stages of assembly. Sound pipes are being fitted by Tele to the cross shaped frames. Miller looks on.

- How far behind are we in repairs?
- Why did your roommate have to provoke them? Why? Tell me why?
- I told you.
- Tell me again.
- It's revolution. He wants to speed up innovation.
- Why?
- The theory. We can't win fighting them with their tools. We have to invent news ones.
- We're behind, but we have new ideas. Some are your old ideas.
- Trolling nets...electrified...for Faraday cages to block interference signals?
- Not bad!
- In the wind tunnel, ranked propellers....use copters themselves to creative defensive wind turbulence?-
- Right!
- What else?
- Let's go out to the maelstrom. Get your umbrella!



XVIII. Golden Gate

1.

Army Base, San Francisco. Command center of Elite Counter Terrorism Unit (ECTU). A subaltern delivers a report to his chief.

- Yes?
- From General Dynamics, the social media key word report. Twitter, Facebook, Google+.
- What's our 11 million dollars have to say?
- Bulge in the word "bridge". San Francisco metro area.
- Who else has this information?
- We're getting calls from Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP),Border Patrol, Secret Service (USSS), National Operations Center (NOC), Homeland Defense,Agent Task Force, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Fusion Center (FC)
- What's that?
- Sir?
- Just kidding. Continue.
- Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF),
Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Air Marshal, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Guard.
- And they all are on their way to the bridge.
- Some of them. What are we going to do?
- Join them.

2.

Crossing the Golden Gate bridge, Tele is reading on her laptop while Miller drives.

- Listen to this: between 1985 and 1992 a Los Angeles hospital treated 118 people for falling bullet injuries around New Year's Eve or the Fourth of July. Thirty-eight of the victims died. Ever wondered what happens to bullets shot up in the air?
- They come down.
- How did you know?
- Where else would they go?
- Don't miss the turn off. See the glass house on the hill, all windows? The mayor's estate. Park there. Stop.
- Now what?
- We wait. Tell me why you're alone.
- Aren't you here? And we're expecting company - flying bullets?
- Yes, there's a good chance. I meant alone in life.
- Shouldn't we park somewhere else?
- We're fine. It's been calculated. Aerodynamics. Caliber. Angles. Velocity. Not your field. Why are you alone? What kind of woman do you like?
- The kind that likes me. I trust to luck.
- What kind is that? That likes you?
- Dangerous.
- Your luck hasn't changed. Here they come.

The buzz of copters becomes audible, as well as the whine and chop of full scale helicopters, and then the sound of heavy ground vehicles. Crowds of protesters have gathered on the bridge, their cheers welcome the mini quadcopters, followed by silence as the army tanks and wheeled guns arrive at the waterside.

The mini quadcopters execute complicated flying stunts, and then suddenly they illuminate in a fireworks like explosive display. As the copters return, for the first time, an eerie music is heard as the stops on the copter mounted pipes are opened and closed. And then, the sound of real guns from the army on the shore. The copters again light up their firworks display, and with the pipes in unison sound a mocking "boom".

- Get down!
- Down where?
- On the floor, idiot!

There is a distant, drawn out tinkling of shattering glass as the mayor's house receives a quantity of the falling bullets.



XIX U.C. Berkeley

Miller and Tele drive by Haxxspace, or try to: barricades have been set up, the street blocked by paramilitary, and a large truck mounted transmitter is parked at the front entrance.

- Now what?
- Berkeley.
- Too much to ask why?
- To see the speechwriter.

They pass small crowds waiting with evident but unknown purpose, or walking together. Fallen copter parts, especially the rotor blades, have been scavenged and turned into badges and hats, bracelets and necklaces.

Institute of Social Technology. University of California. Dr. Tomey's small office.

- We're modeling indoctrination. The way communication destroys reason. Ruins thinking. How certain ways of talking make other ways of talking not understood. We study the war of words against words.

- No more words, Professor. We came about our project.
- Mr. Sachs, your friend...
- Who says our friend!
- Mr. Sachs said....it doesn't matter. He owns Quasked, the question and answer social network. There are many. But here, you see, people vote on questions, say whether they like them. A "no", "don't like", is a good indication of resistance, indoctrination. It's like it was made to order for us. We don't have time for the usual surveys and focus groups. Our questions have been given priority access. And it's producing results. Look. Dozens of versions of "sky messages". They are ranked, recombined, retested. All automated. Here is one text scoring high:

$15 Trillion is the current U.S. Deficit.
There are more than 300 Million Americans.
That makes $50,000 borrowed in the name of each American.

Where did the $15 Trillion go?
A few percent to social services.
The greater part of the rest went to tax cuts for corporations and to paying corporate military contractors.

15 Trillion dollars borrowed from Americans and given to corporations. The money isn't gone. It is in corporate bank accounts. Each of 300 million Americans pays between one and two thousand dollars interest each year on the money borrowed and given to the corporations.

What did the corporations give back?

- Long. But good.
- Yes. Theory is, hook onto an interest, then pull.
- Someone selfishly interested in money won't be interested in basic human relations.
- Yes. Only if you remove the conflict between money and everything else. In this case, we show that what is preventing everything else is also costing money. There is no longer any reason not to remember.
- That destroying basic human relations harms their selfish interests too.
- And then like in a fairy tale they will wake up to human truth, goodness, and beauty, because their selfishness leads them there.
- Yes. Well put. You should be a writer.
- Don't encourage him. Thanks. Let's go.




XX. It's The Only Way

Miller and Tele drive the freeway east towards Nevada. Tele taps on the console-mounted monitor.


- Where to?
- The desert.
- Why not.
- We're putting you to use. Re-education. You meet the Hungarian.
- The billionaire?
- Not that one. The philosopher. Look at the screen. What do you think all those good people in Guy Fawkes masks and copter prop beanies are doing holding their phones up to the sky?
- You tell me.
- Your "long but good" message is being delivered.
- Copters spelling out a shortened link. Captured by phone cameras.
- Watch the phones come down. All together. It's like a dance. They're reading now.

Warehouse, desert. Miller, Tele, Temest. In one area, automated laser lathes cut out copter parts. In another, assembly by robot arms. In another, stacks of parts.

- Temest, this is Miller. He's not famous like you.
- The government's not watching him.
- I wouldn't go so far as that....
- Take a walk?
- Have fun, guys.

Temest and Miller go out, follow a dirt path through the dry landscape. Cactus, rocks.

- First, this is not a revolution. If it were we wouldn't need you.
- Why do you need me? And who are you? You're famous?
- Not much. Do you remember, it's in one of your stories of fantasy, the billionaire test?
- "Who's Got A Billion To Spare?"
- Yes. The answer is, hundreds of people do. You wrote: 1 million children are starving in Africa. If not today, they will be tomorrow. One thousand dollars will airlift enough food for a year for each. One billion dollars will save a million lives.
- Yes. A calculation. You don't mean to say someone came up with the money?
- I do mean to say.
- I don't understand.
- Listen, you write these things. Use your head. If the government gives the money to its friends in corporations to pay for falsely sold wars, billionaires can solve world poverty by paying our friends.
- We're in the aid business?
- Among other things. Many other things.
- You began as an economist.
- You do know who I am.
- Came across you researching. Your ideas is, shame the rich into joining us?
- No. Many people are helping. It's not a revolution.
- What is it?
- Evolution. The tens of millions of people in this country who have a million dollars in assets - house, cars, pensions etc. - they don't want revolution. They are not social. In the sixties society was their enemy. They wanted to get free of it to enjoy peace, love, their drugs. It didn't come to anything, because you need to know how to love, how to be peaceful, even how to benefit from taking drugs. The same people are the millionaires now. Society is still their enemy, but they are making money out of it. Like in the 60s they had love without knowing what to do with it, they have money now without knowing how to put it to good use. In their ignorance, they've progressed from love to money. And money is much safer than love.
- Those are my words, and you know it! The wealthy won't go back to the 60s. What's your point?
- We can't appeal to love, peace, experience.
- Then?
- Let's take this path through the cactus. Watch your step. You can't tell people who hate society that they are building a bad society. They know it's bad. They don't care. They think it has to be that way. It's their religion. What's important for them is they profit from it.
- But if their are ostracized, if the "Billionaire Calculation" is written in the sky?
- They will repress, use police, army. Stop the communication in the name of public health and safety. It's happening.
- Then?
- When you and me were in school we learned about social evolution. The theory was that families that cooperated reproduced more than those that fought each other. In time, a wish to cooperate became an instinct.
- Not a strong one.
- Exactly. The genetic possibility isn't enough. Circumstances have to be there first to allow cooperation to succeed, then genetics can pass on the trait. Understand?
- What's your point?
- The wealthy are against society because they never experienced it. We have to face facts. They are not going to be part of a revolution. Not until circumstances evolve.
- And we are the future, the competition in evolution. The cooperators, who live with the right circumstances. Our evolution will be crushed. It'll be like a new ice age, meteors, volcanic environmental catastrophe....
- No, Miller. We've got funding.
- For our non-revolution?
- For our practice that creates the reality.
- Practice revolution. Hopeless.
- Pay attention! The art people make together isn't real, but the working together is real. Have you seen the way crowds of protesters seem to vanish just ahead of the arrival of the forces of order? Game players, linked to each other on the internet, are answering our questions of strategy right now, working out our logistics as they play.
- Like the question answering does our editing. Do the game companies know it?
- Ask your hacker friend. People are out there, in the world of business, some are cooperators. We're learning, we're living. It's the only way.



XXI. Games

Teke calls to the two men from the doorway,


- Guys, if the world of ideas can spare you, you're wanted in reality. In virtual reality. Or both. Fast!

Copters are lifting off from the pad on the building's roof, 100s of them.

- Come on! You can watch from inside. Sit. This is going to be good. We hope. First try. The copter game has been out for a little over a week. More than a hundred thousand players on the internet. We're making money. We're learning strategy, the computer is learning strategy. The computer is better than I am, better than any of you are too, but not better than me and the computer together.

So we're going live here, to see if the players, out there in net land, playing what we'll watch going on outside in a slimmed down version, can help us win. Help our computers win. Each player's move counts as a vote, each vote is weighted by the player's expertise proven by past play, and the summed human element is weighted against the computer's move based on past play. There's more to it. No time now.

The copters are in two teams, red lights and blue lights. They perform martial arts style near misses, sometimes coming too close and hitting, exploding into pieces and crashing to earth. Inside the control room Tele taps the edge of the largest of maps, exclaims, What!

In a teenage boy's bedroom the game version of what we are watching is running on a laptop. The boy puts his finger on the screen in the same spot, says, Copters! He raises his head to look out the window as a deep buzzing in heard. A fleet of copters darkens the sky.




XXII. First Engagement

- Disperse the copters!
- Where's the attack coming from?
- East. From town.
- Their control team can't be far. We can find them.
- Sure. But maybe you haven't heard: they shot down our satellites. Internet's down. Telephone too.
- We can test off-line back-up. How many wifi routers are ready?
- Five thousand. Give or take.
- Call the copters home....
- It's default soon as communication's interrupted. They're on their way back.
- Good. When they arrive load the routers. Send the copters to town.

Over the small desert town small packages are parachuting down to the streets, awaited with open arms and caught with sometimes exaggerated acrobatics before they reach the ground.

A young couple rushes with their acquisition into a cafe with large glass windows, find a table. Router and game controller are plugged in, along with laptop and iphone. USB sticks, taped to the back of the router for the descent, are pulled off and stacked neatly on the table..

The laptop screen shows two opposing clouds of copters over a satellite image of the town's streets. The young man taps the locator icon, says

- Here we are.

The screen goes black, and immediately a message appears:
"Now what, revolutionary? Your move."




How Do You Make A Computer Not Want To Be A Computer?


1.




- How do you make a computer think like we do?
- A computer should be able to make predictions of what it can find. A prediction is good when we have habits of research. The habits mirror the way the world moves, its laws, only a small part of which are reflected in the rules we have discovered. We predict we will find out more, because there is more in us, in our habits, than our current knowledge reflects. Understand?
- Yes.
- The computer has to actually move through the world in doing the research, do more than merely combine the rules other research has already gathered. It has to be in communication with other computers doing the same, to benefit from overlaps in knowledge.
- OK.
- The computer then has to do what it cannot do. It has to want to stop being a computer. We have two different way of living in the world, action, and thought. We love to have theories, appreciate beauty of one kind or another. Not only new theories. The computer computes, doesn't not compute. But that is what it would have to do to be us.
- So we program it not to compute sometimes.
- How do we do that? When we don't think, we have a reason. What would be the computer's reason?
- What is our reason?
- We love it.
- So you program the computer to want to rest, and set up the rules for that.
- OK. The rules are related to habits. Habits of research. Not combining different results of research, but the actual doing of research, which means gaining new knowledge as yet unfiltered and theorized. Let's say we get the computer doing this. We have to program in the sense of it not wanting to do this, a wanting to rest. How do we do that?
- We just set the rule on a timer. The more time passes, the more the need to rest.
- OK. The computer moves through the world, works with human scientists, does experiments, wants to stop doing experiments. It participates in experiments leading to new theoretical knowledge, and it stops. Then starts again.
- Yes.
- It has a reservoir of knowledge stored up in the habits acquired moving through the world in the course of doing the experiments, and will use the prediction that arises from the habits to set up the most promising new experiments and carry them out.
- Yes. That could be done.
- But it has a rule that sets the timer, that tells it not to want to go on endlessly doing experiments, gaining new habits and new knowledge. Do you think we have or follow such a rule?
- Why not?
- Think about it. Is it a rule we follow, or is it a habit, is it our character?
- It is our habit. It is what we want to do.
- Yes. A rule could be right or wrong, could be modified. This is something essential to us. We love to love. We can live loving and not making anything or researching anything. We cannot live, not well, making and researching but not loving.
- Yes.
- So the computer, following a rule, is acting just like we do. It does actual research, moves test tubes around on tables, and it wants to stop doing research. And then start again. It follows a rule. But how do we program that difference we just agreed upon? Love without research is good, but not research without love?
- I don't know.
- Love for the computer is simply doing nothing, not being a computer. For us, love is being us. Being us is nothing like a computer not being a computer. That should be obvious. Is it?
- No.
- Being us is also something active. Not being a computer is being nothing.
- How is being us, as you call it, being something active, if we are doing nothing?
- We are feeling love, which is definitely a kind of doing, just not a visible kind. It is a relation of our habits of thinking to the world we find ourselves in. Habits are repeated actions. We are repeating ourselves.
- Doesn't the computer maintain itself too?
- It does. But is has exhausted its predictive power that allows it to judge that relation to be good.
- What do you mean? The rule tells the computer it is good to rest at this time.
- I mean that for us human beings it really is good, is not a rule. There is a truth in our body's relation to the world that is reflected in our finding it good to rest, relax in the feeling of love. It carries with it a prediction of future knowledge. In the computer, the rule is only an imitation of the human truth of the relation of body to world.
- But you said the computer actually moved through the world doing the actual research, the computer's body moved through the world.
- We rest in love because we actually are in a good relation to the world. Is the computer? It would have to have set itself its own task of research.
- Let's say it did!
- And it would have to have some relation like love that defined the condition of rest. It would have to be in some good way, rather than bad, in relation to the world when the research was over. It would have to be appreciated by the world, in other words, and be capable of knowing it and wanting it. Knowing it was more useful.
- Let's say it was!
- The computer is watching its own "body", its relation to the world. But still that body is an imitation: we humans actually do feel good when we know and we love. The machine is still just following a rule.
- But what is the difference?
- The future. That sense of prediction, that comes from the actual physical thing we are. Our bodies when trained, experienced, habituated really know the world and really judge correctly when it is time to rest and love. The computer's is still just imitating. It's actual body is not in such a relation to the world.
- I still don't understand.
- It all comes down to the instructions coming from outside the machine. The machine doesn't want to please other machines. We have to program it to. The body of the machine, its actual physical substance, doesn't want to be with the body of other machines.
- We program it to want to.
- Again: the instruction is coming from outside.
- How is our body not instructed from outside?
- Habits. Our body want to do what it has already done.
- The machine has the habits of being a machine.
- Yes, it wants to do what it is doing, not what we tell it to do. When we give it a new rule, we are changing its habits.
- But why then isn't that enough? If it has habits, it has habits.
- But it doesn't: the mass of machinery doesn't want what we tell it to want.
- But how does our heart, that organ, really want us to love someone? What is the difference?
- The heart doesn't want us to love someone. It already in a sense loves all the rest of our body. It fits. If it didn't we wouldn't feel at rest, we couldn't love.
- So you are saying the computer's body, the actual machine, doesn't fit in with the world, even with the rules we give it to love other machines?
- What do you think?
- We're really getting way out here. I don't know. It seems like you are saying that because the pieces of metal or whatever in the computer start out being told what to do, they never can want to do what they are doing.
- Let's take a step back. We can learn like a child learns, simply repeating what we're instructed to repeat, rewarded and punished. We also can learn by choice, because the knowledge we are headed for will, we know from experience, be good for us, get us love. The computer cannot make that distinction.
- So we program it in!
- Program it to distinguish between doing what other computers reward it for doing, and doing what it within itself knows it should be doing? Think about it. It already, we've said, is programmed in its research to do what other computers are programmed to find rewarding. How is the computer going to know what is good on its own terms? We know, fundamentally, there is a difference between true belief and knowledge. Between being able to say what works, and being able to know why we say it works. Starting out really in the world, in a real relation to the world, it makes sense to want to be in a closer and more knowing relation. The computer never is in any real relation to the world, so can never separate true belief from knowledge, never can reproduce the way we live and think.
- But the computer could do everything we do, right?
- It could do all the research we do. It could build bodies like ours for itself to help it do research and communicate with other computers. It could be programmed to want to be with other computers. But as long as the actual thing the computer was had to be instructed from outside, it would be a huge imitation, and not really like us. Its parts would have no real attraction for each other and each machine no real attraction to each machine.
- It's all I can take for now. I'm not a computer.
- You said it, not me.


P.S. How People Make Computers:


Some people have the impression that the original Unix work was a bootleg project, a “skunk works.” This is not so. Research workers are supposed to discover or invent new things. We always had management encouragement. Our intent was to create a pleasant computing environment for ourselves and our hope was that others liked it. (Dennis Ritchie, co-creator of the Unix operating system)

2.

- I'm back.
- You had a good rest.
- Yes, I did. I thought about what you said. If I got it right, the difference between computers and us is feeling. When we are hungry we learn how to find food, when we want to know more we do research. We compare and choose, looking for what makes us feel better.
- Yes. If we were computers, our feelings would be our programs. The problem with this is that feelings are logically different from programs.
- How?
- A program says: do this, when that happens. A feeling is a relation of our body to the world, and an urgency to make it better. The two elements of body and world are not clearly defined, and because we don't know the world except in small part, cannot be defined. A feeling arises from out of a state of movement through obscurity. That statement is obscure in itself, of course.
- It is!
- So we'll keep our attention on the difference between this obscurity and what a program does. A program is as far from obscurity as anything in life is possible to be. But when we are hungry, we don't know exactly what we must eat, we don't know if we will continue to be hungry from one moment to the next. The world pressures us, actually wears us down and undermines us continually, and we respond to this pressure, but we don't know what is going on in any clear way. But we do have ideas, can make predictions out of this obscurity of unknowns, on the basis of our habits. Our habits, and the obscurity, put us in logically unknowable relation to the world (because we will never know all of the world). On the other side is the computer, with its absolutely definite program of instructions.
- Aren't we programmed to want what we want?
- No. Our feelings of better and worse, when to do things and when not, come from out of the combination of habit, which is the wish to keep going in the same way, and the knowledge that we don't know the world. And based on both comes a knowledge of when we are improvising. And then from this comes an ability to judge when it is time to stop it all, relax, look and love. None of this is possible as an outcome of adding programming to the computer, because the rest, the love, the contemplation we humans do is a logical result of the situation of habits applied in obscurity. It is not logically possible to get this into a computer program. You could imitate it, with instructions that favor at intervals repetition (=habit) and randomness (=obscurity), but the rules for that process still will be in a program, and so again, be distinct from and inconsistent with feeling.
- The computer can act exactly like it is feeling something, but it won't be.
- It just can't seem to be done.
- But what if making the appearance is the same as feeling? If, you know, like when we put on a smile we actually get a little happy.
- Do you think if we never had been happy, and tried putting on a smile it would still work?
- No. I give up.
- But you're smiling.


3.

- We've been talking about how to get a computer not want to be a computer. What about how to get a human being not want to be a human being?
- If you're serious, why not?
- I'm serious. Have you ever heard anyone say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger?
- Yes. Do you disagree?
- Suriviving doesn't automatically make you stronger. Escaping death is only the first step. Next you have to get back to the level where you were before the danger, which may not happen. Then to go further and be stronger there is another condition: you must be creative.
- You're saying something is destroyed you need for getting well.
- Yes. Some falls take away your power to recover. In fact, a human being can successfully make himself into a machine for this reason. Look outside. The rain is falling to the street, countless lines of water gathering in puddles. Each line is distinct from the others, but on the ground is only one big puddle. Physical things go towards stability, they move until something stops them. Living things also move, but in the opposite direction, towards greater not lesser organization. They learn to improve their relation to the world. When a living thing falls in a way such that it can't get up, it is because it has changed itself fundamentally from one kind of relation to the world to another. It has lost some power.
- A rain drop in a puddle in still a drop of water. It can be evaporated, collect in a cloud, and fall again as rain. I don't see the difference.
- The difference is that the human being who wants to make himself into the computer is the rain drop which stays in the puddle.
- Why? The sun never comes out again?
- The sun comes out again to do its work for the rain drops, but remember, we humans as living things are organized differently than non-living things. We are self organizing. It has to be our own decision that makes us want to move to more knowledge and complexity. If it comes from outside, it is the same as what we were talking about before, the computer imitating feelings without having them. Remember?
- Yes.
- The internet, open source technology are something like sunlight on the puddle. Opposed to this is a tendency of governments to fall away from complexity people have put into them to simplicity and stability, like the rain falling into the puddle. What is surprising here is that this happens automatically as a result of voluntary relinquishing of the task of human self improvement and direction. It happens when compromise becomes a principle.
- How?
- Our President is famous for constantly seeking compromise, and our Congress is famous for the same. Usually this is described as partisan behavior, serving parties. But this is inaccurate, only half the story. Think about the man in the crowd, pushed and being pushed, the water droplet in the puddle, floating this way and that. The pushes are attempts to get where they are going. But each push has little relation to prior or subsequent pushes. It has no organization. Instead, it is a kind of token, a means of measurement. Everyone knows what it is like to be pushed in the wrong way. And though not knowing exactly the lives of others in the crowd, everyone can roughly calculate the damage. There is kind of network in which circles overlap, some people will be in more than one circle and be able to communicate relative damage and benefit. This is what makes the calculation of compromise possible.
- OK.
- Over time, after repeated trading in pushes and being pushed, habits of creative life are lost.
- But what are they? What else could the politicians do?
- Instead of saying to each other, if you give up this I'll give up that; they could say, I will remake my plan and try to incorporate your objection, and you try to do the same. New organization actually profits from difference of opinion.
- It'll never happen.
- It happened to some extent in our past, happens now in other countries, not always, but a lot of the time.
- Then we can follow their example.
- There's a problem.
- What?
- What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, except when it doesn't.
- And you say it is an example of what doesn't kill us not making us stronger?
- It might be.
- Why can't we get back up?
- When an individual joins a mob, his behavior is uniform. He is the raindrop in the puddle. In the continuous practice of uniformity the capacity to recover is lost, for the obvious reason that strength needs to be maintained by exercise. In the mob, an organized self is not being exercised because what is demanded is a simple response uniform with all other people's response. Creative ability is lost, and the ability to get back up is lost with it.
- But you are talking about the government, not the people.
- Governments fall to stability just like an individual falls into a crowd. The individual in the crowd is pushed and pushes, forgets his own life and desires and responds only to the demands of those around him and the general purpose of the crowd. In government, the push and pull is the compromise between factions and interests. No one really wants what they get or what they trade, no one is living creatively in the government. No one is seeing the government as doing anything good as a product of their trades. The good of the government is somehow to take care of itself as a result of the compromises.
- Well, it works, doesn't it?
- It works when some attention is paid to keeping the government functioning. That isn't the case in our country at the moment. What I wanted to say was that what each official asks for doesn't make the country better, work better, more completely, more complexly organized, it only incrementally makes the part of the country they are interested in better. The increase and decrease of benefit can be counted.
- How?
- Wealth competes with wealth in enlisting the support of the officials who make the compromise decisions. War, slavery, debt concentrate wealth. The concentration of wealth is the profit made from the uniformity imposed by these institutions on the people. The accumulations of wealth compete successfully in the enlisting support of the leaders, who make decisions in directions which further concentrate wealth, creating more influence, and so on.
- You mean the government deliberately does this? Provokes wars, gets people into debt? That's evil.
- It happens on its own. It is the result of compromise.
- But the leaders don't have to be corrupt.
- What is corrupting to someone who always makes compromises?
- Taking money for votes.
- But how can the official know what to vote for in the first place? If he is a compromiser, why not represent the influences with the most money?
- Because he is supposed to represent all the people.
- But how does he know what that means?
- It means represent all, poor and rich.
- But do the poor really know what is good for them?
- Why should the rich know better?
- Because the rich live in the same world they live in. Because the world of compromise works, and the world of the poor doesn't. The politicians live and work and profit in this uniform world of compromise. And if the tendency of this world is to make the world more uniform, that only makes the world the leaders live in work better. It seems positively good to them to go on as they are.
- Do you really believe this?
- We're talking about people wanting to make themselves into computers. This is the wanting. It seems good to exchange the living world, movement towards greater organization, for the world of uniformity.
- But it doesn't look like it to me. Empires, huge armies, banking and corporate conglomerates are more organized, extremely organized. You don't agree.
- They are organized like the rain in the puddle. Their perfection is in the stability they flourish in. The "friction", what puts an end to change is the uniformity enforced on people who otherwise would be in constant individual development.
- Now you are saying the government is a computer, and the society too is a computer?
- Yes. One fall leads to the other. It can work both ways.
- What do you mean?
- People teach their leaders to compromise, people tolerate their leaders' compromises.
- But you haven't answered: do you believe this?
- We are not all slaves, we're not all in the army or police. We can see a loss of freedom approaching, but we're not looking too much in that direction. We are not all the same as each other. It is hard for us to believe that the government itself is way ahead of us in this development we are at the beginning of. We don't like it, ourselves, and it is difficult to understand how the people in government do like it.
- Yes. Tell me again. Why do they like it?
- They don't necessarily directly intend, or are even interested very much in the results of what they are doing. They like what they are doing and it works for them.
- They're monsters then, not to care about other people.
- Not monsters, a crowd. They've lowered themselves from the behavior of living things to that of non-living things, and we're amusing ourselves comparing them to computers. Like the computer with the program to imitate feelings, the leaders will attempt to introduce measures that lessen the harsh conditions that result from their actions. But it is not possible for the "feelings" represented by these measures to influence the application of rule of compromise.
- What are we supposed to do about it?
- We have to get used to the idea that we are living both as individuals and also in a crowd. It's a confusing situation. We move in and out of the crowd that we are being make into, that we are allowing ourselves to be made into, but we still have the habits of life as it was lived before we began our fall, though we are losing them fast as we become accustomed to uniformity.
- What can we do about it?
- Understand the danger, talk about it. We have limited time.
- For what?
- To say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.


4.

- We really live in crazy times.
- Everyone says that.
- We are trying to teach our computers to act like human beings, and we human beings are teaching ourselves to act like computers.
- It's like we are trying to replace ourselves. How do you explain it?
- Asking, how do you make a computer not want to be a computer, we humans now are the computers we are trying to teach not want to be computers.
- Who is this "we"? You don't mean we are all computers?
- No, I mean particularly those human beings who have gone into politics. Politicians are the most obvious type of people who make themselves into machines and are happy about it. But take the politician out of politics, or the soldier out of the army, and humanity, at least the basics of it, will reappear. Machines have no self direction, they need programming to be set going, even if that program is provided by another machine. Once out of relation to other machines they respond to they stop working.
- So our politicians won't be politicians when we are rid of them. What good does that do us now? How do we get rid of them?
- That is our question: how do you get a computer not want to be a computer?
- Why should we care about what the computers want? Why not just get rid of them?
- Because get rid of one set of machines another set will replace them.
- Because people want to make themselves into computers.
- Yes. To get a particular assembly not to want to: that can be done. People protest, withdraw their consent to be governed, the machine falls apart. But it is built again.
- Then what is the solution?
- The politician recovers some basic humanity in his retirement. When in office he could hardly wait to start wars which cause millions of deaths, but now he sits by the fireside and writes his memoirs. That appears to be the answer. People have to stay home, everyone, not just politicians.
- Obviously that's impossible.
- Who's going to run the country, defend us against people and computers running the rest of the world?
- Yes.
- People have to stop wanting to be computers. There's only one way for that to happen, and that is to give them a home where they can build a life without compromise. Afterwards, when they have recovered their humanity, let them go back into politics.
- Are you talking about years? Months? Days?
- Hours. People recover fast when they are given what they really need.
- Look. This is ridiculous. The politicians have homes. They are rich. They have many homes. Some of them have dozens of homes. It's the rest who don't have much of anything.
- But the politicians don't have homes. They have houses. They couldn't have chosen to make themselves into machines otherwise.
- You say give everyone a real home. Let them get rich. And then the same happens all over again!
- That's right.
- That's right!
- Protest, withdrawal of consent, new government. People are safer, have homes to protect, have good reason not to make themselves into machines and want the government to do no more than keep things that way. But not all people will want this equally. Some will try to rebuild the machine.
- Yes. That's history.
- Knowing that we're always going to have trouble doesn't mean we shouldn't get what we can for as long as we can.
- To make the computer not want to be a computer, the human being that's made himself into a computer not want to be a computer, you have to send them all home. School's out. Go home.
- Yes.
- Why am I not reassured?
- Too much homework?


5.

- Are you going to help me with my homework or not?
- I'll help.
- This is where I have got so far. History has stepped in, taken from people who had too much and given to people who had too little. A lot of people have less and are not happy about it, a lot of people can't believe they have things they never had before. The happy people want to cooperate, build a new life with each other. But I have doubts about the unhappy people. We said that we can't get a computer not want to be a computer. The unhappy won't cooperate until they stop wanting to make themselves into computers: as long as they stay computers, they can't not want to be computers. Am I right? It's complicated.
- You're right.
- So how does that happen exactly? Stop wanting to be computers?
- Humans who have made themselves into computers calculate the cost of their feelings. If a lover or family member costs too much, or is in the way of another lover or family member being acquired who instead might bring profit instead of loss, the change is made. That is in the program.
- You're saying we change the program.
- We can't change the program. The program works with what used to be called "passions": elemental, impersonal emotions that do not take on the character of our lives as individuals: fear, hatred, envy, lust. They are about, respond to what establishes more safe or less safe relations to the world. The computer can measure this safety, and choose to find partners that increase it. Passion is without content: its meaning is entirely in the relationship to the world of more or less safety, which is why the computer can operate with it.
- And love is individual, so computers can't love.
- Yes.
- There's no program for love.
- Yes. There can't be. Remember we are talking about two levels here, the machines that humans make themselves into, and the machine of social life. We break the machine of social life, and human machines, with their programs of passions, have to work hard continually readjusting to new conditions. Humans that stay machines build up again the machine of social life, establishing more and more safe conditions. They do not have the good luck to be presented with the better choice.
- Not to make themselves into computers anymore. What I'm asking is how that happens.
- One of the two alternatives vanishes.
- What do you mean?
- People who have made themselves into machines feel passions driving them to establish regular conditions. When they live with people who love, they find other people's behavior irregular and unpredictable, and find response to their passions is irregular and unpredictable. At the same time the machine is breaking, they are being given the example of what can replace it. Some make the trade.
- The power of love?
- And the weakness of machines: machines need machines around them, humans don't.
- Very romantic. The machines find love. Otherwise we're doomed.
- Destined anyway to an interesting problem.


6.

- It's been a while.
- I've been reading a new book. And I think I know what is wrong with our argument.
- What?
- We are not computers who want not to be computers, we are programs.
- That don't want to be programs?
- That want to reprogram ourselves.
- Go on.
- Physical genes use bodies to reproduce themselves. And idea genes use bodies to reproduce themselves in other bodies.
- That's from your book?
- Yes. And like genes evolve, so do ideas.
- How do the ideas become programs? You are going to say they do?
- When they become explanations. When they see the body as a tool adaptable to doing new things it becomes like a computer.
- And explanation evolves.
- Yes. First the bodies just reproduce the genes, reproduce instructions to reproduce the instructions. Then the bodies can be used to produce better instructions.
- How better? To make the process of reproduction work more accurately?
- Yes, that too. But better because able to explain more in the world. To make things and control the world on the basis of the explanations.
- Programs reprogram themselves.
- Yes.
- Using the body as a computer to do that.
- Yes.
- Why?
- Why what?
- Why does the program program itself?
- Because it has evolved to do it, and it makes it reproduce itself more frequently.
- Than other programs.
- Yes.
- So when we say people are like computers who want not to be computers, we mean people who want to get back to being more adaptive.
- Yes.
- And that idea itself, that explanation, can get us to reprogram ourselves?
- Yes.
- But we have also been de-evolving rather than evolving? We have to remind ourselves to go back to doing it?
- That is what is so interesting. Evolution of the ideas, of the genes, doesn't mean make the best programs or the best bodies. Bad ideas can become more popular than good, because they destroy the possibility, the necessary conditions for good ideas to be produced and communicated. But what happens is that even in bad societies some people become more creatively bad. They use new explanations to find new ways to be bad. And then other people learn from them to be creative in the good way that teaches creativity.
- The leaders stay leaders by learning to make people unable to think except out of fear, and to present the choice of their leadership as the least fearful alternative. If creative ideas spread, taking the example of their program that reprograms itself, they wouldn't stay leaders.
- That's true. But you're looking at it too abstractly. The chance comes when the society made by bad leaders begins failing. You and me, learning from the leader's example of creativity, can build things right.
- Why would we want to?
- What do you mean?
- You said, build things right. Why is it right for a program to reprogram itself?
- Because it will reproduce itself more than programs that don't.
- Maybe I'm confused, but haven't you just told me that doesn't happen?
- Sometimes it doesn't happen.
- So the program that reprograms itself looks ahead to the future, and says, if I can spread the message to other programs to reprogram themselves, we all will better be able to reproduce ourselves.
- Yes.
- Making better explanations of the world and better machines to control the world based on the explanations.
- Yes.
- And, tell me again, why do the programs want to do this?
- To reproduce themselves.
- They want to reproduce themselves.
- That is what they do.
- Wouldn't they would be just as happy in a world that does not develop where they can reproduce themselves safely?
- They are already programmed to want to reprogram themselves. They want to go on doing it.
- Why?
- Because that is what they do.
- It is what they have evolved to do. But wouldn't they be just as happy not doing that?
- No. They don't want to lose the ability.
- But you've explained that evolution often has reversed direction, used creativity to organize societies that destroy creativity. Why shouldn't we be just as happy with destroyed creativity as with it?
- Because we have better lives.
- Less pain, disease, danger.
- Yes.
- Why should a program care?
- Because its tool for reproducing itself is being destroyed.
- The body, the computer. But you have told me it can reproduce itself better sometimes with a damaged tool.
- Not in the long run. When most people are creative, the prospects for all are better, and the programs know that. The idea of programs reprogramming themselves is reproduced and becomes dominant.
- And the programs set their computer bodies working to spread the message.
- Yes.
- They are programmed to send this message, as a kind of experiment in making better programs.
- Yes.
- But if it fails, because of war, geological catastrophe, or attack from programs that destroy creativity, the programs will start over. We were talking about why a program that reprograms itself would decide it was better to spread the idea rather than keep it secret. We know keeping it secret works, also gets the program reproduced. We know publicizing it works, especially from the experience of the last few hundred years. The program that reprograms itself has a theory, a conjecture that getting everybody to do the same will be better. What is better for a program is getting itself reproduced. It wants to get itself reproduced because evolution has made it want to do this. But -
- But?
- Why should the program that reprograms itself want to do more than evolution has made it want to do? Why should it make itself want to move towards what it sees evolution moves towards?
- Because it can satisfy its wants better that way. Or it looks that way.
- But maybe it wants something else too.
- What else could it want but what it wants?
- It never stops wanting what it doesn't want: that is what reprogramming is: making new wants.
- I don't understand.
- Let's say I am happy with the current political situation. I can live without too much physical danger. But I want the leaders to stop using their creativity to destroy the creativity of the people. I want to live in a way I have never lived, with more creative people around me. I start looking for ways to make this happen. How does a program do this? How does it convince programs that have learned not program themselves to program themselves again because they can do it? What is in it for them? Why should they care about a theory claiming their descendant programs will reproduce themselves more?
- You're saying the programs that reprogram themselves will try to convince other programs to do the same, because that is want they want to do, what they have programmed themselves to want to do. But the other programs do not want to do that.
- Yes.
- And the uncreative programs do not care about the future of the creative programs.
- Yes. Sound familiar?
- Its eerie. We are talking about fundamentalists. They don't care how much progress we make, how much longer we can live, diseases we can cure. And by this reasoning there is no reason they should care.
- There is more than one path of evolution. We want to continue in our path
because we have programmed ourselves to. The others don't want to because they haven't programmed themselves to.
- But isn't it simply better to be creative?
- You mean more enjoyable, interesting?
- Yes.
- What's that to a program?
- Joy is the increasing ability to reprogram itself better.
- Then that is only saying again it wants to do what it wants to do.
- There isn't joy without it.
- Are the fundamentalists without joy?
- Yes. I guess.
- You might be right if they are only programs that fail to reprogram themselves.
- What else are they?
- Let's return to this later. The program that reprograms itself wants to do that as long as it wants too. It is a strategy to get other programs to do the same, a theory. The program wants to try it out. But wouldn't the program be just as happy starting over?
- No. It wouldn't have the joy of discovering new ways of programming.
- But it wouldn't want to do the reprogramming, so would not miss it.
- But it still would be a loss.
- But why is that happiness of reproducing itself better?
- It's more complex.
- Why is that better? Because in theory it can lead to infinite improvement of explanation and safety of reproduction?
- Yes.
- But it may not work that way. It hasn't worked that way very often in the past.
- It's never been tried continuously for so long. It may work this time.
- And that would be good, because it would mean less fundamentalism and misery. We keep getting away from our question. Why even try? Why set out on that path when we don't have to? Why voluntarily go in a direction, one out of many, evolution sets us out on?
- Because it is our experiment to do so, to see if it in fact works.
- But the programs that don't reprogram themselves aren't interested. They don't make or test ideas. They don't want to. And saying evolution wants them to is simply false. Evolution doesn't want anything. Saying they would be happier is also false. They are happy in running their program now. The machine they use may not be as well maintained, is all. They admit it. They don't care. They aren't interested in the destiny of that machine.
- You're saying that if evolution allows a path of infinite reprogramming, and another path of no reprogramming, there is no way of choosing between them?
- Not unless you need to make the machine better.
- But we do need to. We can't do the programming at all without the machine.
- But the machine is good enough to spread the ideas without excessive maintenance. Fundamentalism spreads very fast.
- But there is no joy.
- And if we are just programs and we have to choose between joyful programs and programs without joy we should be the joyful ones.
- Yes.
- That may be true. If we know it, we can be convinced to change. The example of the creatively destructive leader will convince us to be creative in teaching creativity. We will enjoy doing this. Our way of reprogramming itself will spread, and we want to do this as our experiment, not because "evolution" wants us to. We do what we want, not follow a guess about what evolution wants, as if evolution wanted to continue in the direction it seems mainly to be going.
- OK.
- But the fact is I don't want it.
- You don't? I thought you loved new ideas.
- I do. But I love other things too, which are absent from the story we have been telling.
- What?
- All this thinking is enjoyable. But I don't always want to do it. Think about the joy of reprogramming. The supposed misery of not doing it is wanting to, but not being allowed by education. But if you don't want to, you are not miserable. Animals are not miserable.
- But we are not animals.
- We are different kinds of programs. We can reprogram ourselves. But why should we?
- Because we can!
- But we don't do everything we can. We want to do what appears to be good for us.
- It is good for us to reprogram ourselves.
- Why?
- Because it allows us to control the world, live better.
- Why is that better for a program?
- Because it reproduces itself more. We've been through this.
- But that is just a theory the reprogramming computer is investigating. It might be true, and it might not. I think it is true. But if I am not a reprogramming computer, why should I care? Why shouldn't I destroy those reprogramming programmers if I can? I am already reproducing myself, doing what I want. Maybe I don't care about the body's maintenance. It works good enough to spread my ideas.
- You're saying only that we are going to have to fight. We reprogrammers.
- Let's go back to the subject we left a while ago. The reprogrammers have joy, but the uncreative programs are not necessarily miserable, if they do not want to reprogram themselves. In that respect, they are like animals, which to me at least do not seem miserable. But - are we just programs?
- We are bodies too. The computer.
- Yes. The reprogrammers are much better at taking care of the computer and body than the uncreatives. From the point of view of the uncreatives, who don't want to be creative and are not miserable because they don't, the body is well enough for what evolution of ideas makes the program want: to reproduce the program. Our problem is how to get them to stop attacking the reprogrammers, which is something they do as part of their programming. Do you remember our answer?
- It seems ridiculous now: love.
- Yes. Programs don't love. Programs run computers. Computers are bodies. We can't understand why a program suddenly explains the world. The reason we can't is that for a computer to make the explanation it has to stop and think. Computers think, but they don't stop. They don't stand back from all that they are doing, and say to themselves, what could I do differently and what might I see if I did. Computers don't make new models of the world. That requires you to stop doing what you are doing so you can do something else.
- Why can't a computer stop?
- And do what when it is stopped? What is a program that has stopped running? Words on a screen, magnetic variations on a disc?
- What do we do when we are stopped?
- We love.
- Come on.
- You think that is ridiculous?
- How does love allow us to reprogram ourselves, invent new models, make summaries of our experience?
- I have no idea. But I am sure as I am sure of anything that it does.
- Why?
- Because the reason we like to reprogram ourselves is not that evolution made us want to reproduce our ideas, and made us need constantly to reprogram to keep our bodies healthy and safe to do that best. The real reason is that all this reprogramming gets us to stop and rest finally. The programming is done to take care of the body, but not for the sake of reproduction of ideas. Evolution may care about that but we don't. We might originally have been programmed by evolutionary selection to care, but we don't now care. We found something we care about much more.
- But how do we "stop"? Run the program when we are not running?
- The primitive society, the fundamentalist, no matter how creativity destroying their societies, still may love. The primitive society may have many restrictive rules, but it may also be a place where people make gifts because they want to and like to. The fundamentalists may love their families and friends. History and the present show this.
- Are you saying the love is creative?
- No. I'm saying that human beings don't care about a future in which we can be happy safely reproducing our ideas. It is true evolution is moving that way, and seemingly must. It is also true that the tendency of evolution is not a concern for individuals except in what it suggests for strategy, how that tendency can be made use of by the individual. We know some ideas become popular because they teach creativity, other become popular because they destroy creativity. We've known this for a long time. We also know that if we are programs that can reprogram ourselves, if we are only that there is no way for the reprogrammers to convince the other creativity destroyers they are worse off. They want what they want. New desires for a program, new complexity for a program, are not better for the program.
- They are better for what uses the program. I see. And if we are programs, what is using us? You're not going to say love?
- I am. Listen. We've discovered that we can take care of our bodies best if we reprogram ourselves and teach others to reprogram themselves. It's working. It's working for us, but other people do not reprogram themselves and don't want to. Evolution is also working with them. They are not much concerned with taking care of their bodies, the computers that run their programs. They too have their wants, and they are fulfilling them. There is no inherent difference between the success of the reprogrammers and that of simple programs, except the status of the bodies. The program evolution theory doesn't allow this to be taken into account. One way of development is much more complex, but that too our theory does not allow us to take into account for its own sake.
- So we are not programs running computers. What are we?
- From the beginning of our civilization we have told stories of the form: God said, let there be light, and there was light. God made man, gave him a name, and said it was good. We make something, and then we see. We see what we have named, what we have come to know. What we have newly learned is reprogramming. But we do reprogramming because it is good. We have an idea of what we want from our doing. And what we want is not simply the maintenance of our machine for doing, or telling others about what we are doing. We are more than the doing, and the machine for doing: we see what is done.
- And so what?
- The seeing is the stop, the rest. Program stops running. Body idles.
- Then what is happening?
- Can we really get speculative here?
- What else are we doing?
- Evolution is supposed to work with random change, then selecting between changes the most efficient in getting genes or ideas to reproduce. When we reprogram ourselves, make conjectures, then test them in experiment, do you think our conjectures are random combinations of ideas?
- I don't know.
- I don't know either. I know that sometimes I do randomly combine the ideas I draw up, but I am selecting the ideas to work with very carefully, and what I draw up does not itself appear to be a random selection.
- Then a computer could do the selection.
- Only if it could stop like I do and see.
- See what?
- See what is outside the program.
- Why couldn't part of the computer run the programs, and another part stand idle, waiting to overlook it, and recombine it with things about the world not yet worked with?
- It could. But we have been through this too. The computer would have to know when to do this. It would have to have a criterion for when to rest, to look out at the world, and then to set itself out again on reprogramming.
- What makes us do it?
- When our love is lost. When we are confused.
- But the reprogramming program does the same.
- It doesn't rest between researches. Our ideas are themselves rests. They are sights, they are what we made, through our movements, and then relax with. Every idea we use, in our reprogramming is already a rest. It is something we want to do, to take these rests. What would be the equivalent for the program that reprograms itself?
- It wants its ideas to be reproduced. It repeats them to itself, to other programs?
- In other words, the opposite of rest. The new ideas are communicated, the reprogramming itself is communicated. There is no value, nothing to want, in the "rest", in the sight itself.
- And you say there is?
- I'm saying that is what love is. Attachment to what is seen. Wanting strongly to see.
- And how do we program a computer to have feeling? The computer, not wanting to see, can never rest.
- Yes. This is what I was getting at. When we are at rest, we see, we want to see. It is from our wanting, that strong attachment, that we select what we next look at in reprograming ourselves. It is not random. And it cannot be random.
- Why not?
- Because we don't know how to get the random out of something ordered. We can't get computers to do it. We always introduce our order in everything we do, and so does a computer. A computer can set up a procedure to increase the disorder more and more, but the result never will be completely random. This has amazing implications. If variation of genes is random, a lot of work has to go into making that happen, assuming the gene is in an ordered environment, and it is.
- What does this have to do with love?
- It has to do with the idea of attachment. Random change is unattached action. Change that has broken free of the arrangements that have order. That may happen with mutation of genes. It does not happen in how we create ideas, and we cannot even imagine how it could happen. How do we make the machine to create the random ideas? Keep in mind that the gene may take disorder from its environment, but the evolution of ideas is within us, and is controlled by us. We can say that in fact the mind is not closed, and that ideas do somehow appear from nowhere, but why should we say that? If there are random ideas, we have to make them ourselves, and that is a huge, expensive, useless undertaking.
- So you are saying we are attached to our ideas, and so we hold onto them? Rest with them? Look them over, come up with new patterns we then test?
- The idea that we are reprogramming computers depends on there being random change. Computers don't feel, so they don't rest. They don't stop. They don't look over, find some sights more lovable than others, don't think about how they could be rearranged, they are not disturbed by something they see they want to rearrange. They are programmed to reprogram themselves, so they go on doing it, and random change gives them the new sights and evidence to look at.
- I'm still not sure I understand you.
- Let's go back to our problem. The reprogrammers are threatened by the uncreative programs. They want to communicate to the programs what they are missing. But the uncreative programs don't think they are missing anything. They are not miserable. Their bodies are in worse condition, but they don't care about their bodies. The reprogrammers don't care about their bodies either, except as necessary means for continuing the reprogramming. The two kinds of programs have this in common.
- OK.
- Just because evolution moves in the direction of complexity, that is no reason for the programers or reprogrammers to move in that direction, unless they are already going there. The re-programmers are, the simple programs not. The simply programs aren't interested which way history is moving. It's nothing to them. They will never be convinced by the reprogrammers. So what should they do?
- What?
- They have to stop describing themselves as reprogrammers. They have to recognize the action of reprogramming is done, not for its own sake, or for evolution's sake, but as a means to return to love. Creative and uncreative people love. Both creative lives and uncreative lives are lives for the sake of love, some more efficiently than others.
- So the re-programmers tell the programmed: you will love better when you learn, or relearn, to program yourself.
- Yes. Neither group is interested in the body for its own sake. In reality, though their programs - their ideas don't know it - both begin and end with love.
- And you think you can teach them.
- It is the question of strength of ideas. To say that ideas are like genes, subject to selective pressure, seems to be saying something new because it leaves out of the story what ideas do for us individually, it makes them an end in themselves, makes programs ends in themselves. It is nonsense. The life it describes doesn't even slightly resemble any good human life. Work is part of life and successful work satisfying, but at its best it is only a part of life, and a part that is the tool of the other part, which is love.
- So how do you account for the success of these ideas?
- The success of ideas that deny love? In the name of creativity, progress, and joy?
- Yes.
- Ideas often reproduce better by making the people who have them live worse. As your book told you.


7.

- I think you're not fair. You can't put everything in a book.
- Do you have it with you?
- Yes.
- Read me something about quantum physics.
- Give me a second. What about this:


Now let us look at the arrival of that single quantum of energy, to see how that discrete change can possibly happen without any discontinuity. Consider the simplest possible case: an atom absorbs a photon, including all its energy. This energy transfer does not take place instantaneously. (Forget anything that you may have read about ‘quantum jumps’: they are a myth.) There are many ways in which it can happen but the simplest is this. At the beginning of the process, the atom is in (say) its ‘ground state’, in which its electrons have the least possible energy allowed by quantum theory. That means that all its instances (within the relevant coarse-grained history) have that energy. Assume that they are also fungible (interchangable). At the end of the process, all those instances are still fungible, but now they are in the ‘excited state’, which has one additional quantum of energy. What is the atom like halfway through the process? Its instances are still fungible, but now half of them are in the ground state and half in the excited state. It is as if a continuously variable amount of money changed ownership gradually from one discrete owner to another.
- That's great. Is it also a description of being in love?
- Love between atoms and photons?
- No. How we feel when we are in love.
- We are like all the instances of the atom at once? In all the multiple universes?
- That is what I mean.
- Isn't that crazy?
- We said that to be creative we have to rest, stand back and look. Imagine David Deutsch writing The Beginning Of Infinity. One way of describing this is as ideas using him to reproduce themselves. Another way is he's putting ideas together for the sake of returning to love.
- Yes, you said that before.
- When we love we are at rest, while a movement, a wave is traveling through us. We feel "moved". Then we change, and concentrate our attention on what is happening to the waves.
- How?
- In the place of instances of the atom imagine experiences. We've had plenty. We fell in love. We're still in love.
- Are we having the experiences now? I thought you said we were resting.
- We continue to experience, but we are not doing anything with our experiences.
- I see.
- But something happens, shakes us up. We lose what we've loved. We begin looking at moments in the wave.
- Are we still what the wave is moving through?
- We are still ourselves, nothing about nature is different, but what we are looking at has changed.
- Has the wave changed?
- It continues, but we don't feel it like we did before. We see the wave, but only in bits and pieces. In separate explanations. Each is a theory. We ask ourselves, what happened to us, what went wrong, how can we get back to love?
- And love is about all those separate universes, all of them ourselves.
- Yes.
- But how are we aware of them?
- By the feeling of being in love.
- Being in love is feeling everything could have been different in an infinite number of universes?
- No. It is being all those universes.
- Then something happens to the wave? That makes us have to look at it?
- Yes. We climb to the surface of the wave and look around. Before we felt connected to the whole world, moved, each memory a discreet, known sight, and an infinity of them, "entangled" with each other. Now when we look we see bits and pieces of the world that don't fit together, we see the gaps between them. We try to fill the gaps by explanation.
- How does that get you back to love? The multiple universes?
- You mean back to seeing them. We never left.
- OK.
- We're back when we rest in knowledge. When we've seen what we had to see.
- Relieved you finally understand what went wrong. You sink down below the wave.
- Something like that. Have I convinced you?
- Then I'd be sunk. I'd be in love. Do I look like I'm in love?
- What are you angry about?
- I'm not angry, I'm disappointed. I can't tell if you are joking. Is this physics, psychology, mysticism?
- It's a story, an analogy between descriptions of our mental life and of the world, an example of an idea that could influence people trapped within uncreative thinking.


8.

- What was bothering you?
- I just don't get why if as you say we work for the sake of love we aren't following a rule, aren't just in another kind of program.
- One phase has priority over the other.
- Love over work.
- Imagine a computer doing research into quantum mechanics. It builds a machine to produce a single quantum effect that can be measured. Then builds a set of machines. Then puts the machines in contact with each other. Finally puts this very complicated machine in contact with itself, and watches everything all together. It is programmed to give priority to this observation until a problem threatens the operation of the system, and then to work on that until it is solved.
- Sounds good.
- The rule, the priority of love, cannot be programmed in.
- Why not?
- Because love resists instructions from the other world, that is part of its definition. The resistance, the priority of love must originate in the quantum world.
- Spontaneously?
- Yes, if you mean not from any action in the computer's world.
- How?
- It would be, if it happens, what results when the quanta are produced and measured and arranged to do things.
- Seems unlikely.
- No more than consciousness seems when you look at the physical world. The computer gets to the point where the quantum world it is calculating with resists what another calculating part is trying to do with it.
- And that is how you make a computer not want to be a computer.


9.

- I think we have a different problem.
- What?
- Imagine you and me and everyone else have finally learned to be creative all the time.
- You said there'd be no love.
- Yes. But it would be worse that that. There'd be no people.
- Why?
- Because progress is entirely mechanical.
- You said it was creative.
- We can make new explanations only because we can see ourselves as separate from the world we observe and experiment on, and we can do that only because we have made a machine, a model that explains anything of the kind of thing it was made to explain. That is what a rule, a law is. Computers, evolution, virtual reality, quantum mechanics all involve this kind of machine. The machines wait for the world to demand and offer opportunity to be explained. We set ourselves out to look for better explanations.
- Ideas are rests. We step back, choose between them. But why no people?
- When everything finally can be explained, where are "we"? Before we were outside and inside the world. Now there is no outside. It's all law, all machine.
- Some say it's better to be rid of consciousness.
- If certain ideas are to be avoided because they destroy creativity, what about the idea of a progress that destroys the possibility of having ideas?
- That's only at the end of progress.
- Love avoided along the way, thought lost at the end.
- No people.


10.

- Do you know where this is leading, or are you making it up as we go along?
- A little of both.
- Could we program it? If you can't program it, it isn't real. Or so I've heard.
- Progressive loss of love in the world? What do you think?
- The experience of love resembles how photons behave in the quantum world, and creative work is related to computing. So maybe we can.
- Put the two, quantum computer and classical computer together, and see what happens. But we have to wait on development of technology for our programming of love. What about the other side?
- What other side?
- We've been looking at our lives from the perspective of the computer. Seeing what it could do with love. The other side is how the world looks from the perspective of love.
- And how does it look?
- It looks like a game. A game is part of life, not the most important, and has clear rules.
- And?
- What is the easiest way to break the game?
- Stop playing?
- To continue playing but without its purpose.
- Of returning to love.
- Yes. What game breakers do is invent new rules that play the game against itself.
- You mean like the uncreative societies that are creative in preventing creativity?
- Yes. Imagine a society lead by people who create for its own sake, make explanations for the sake of making explanation. Obviously they don't destroy the conditions for creativity. They destroy the conditions for success of people who play the game only to leave the game.
- How do they ruin the game?
- They break the rules. If the goal, more than any specific problem to be solved by our creativity, is to be creative, learn how creativity works and have more of it, why not break any rule other than those they need in their research?
- Because that would be dishonest.
- And if dishonesty, because it is not clear, because it has not been investigated, turns out not to interfere with ability to go on making progress, in being creative in being creative? And may even make the practical conditions better?
- You're saying that's true?
- Experience says it is true.
- Then what?
- Then we can begin to make our computer program. We simulate an evolution, in which the players of the game against the game play against those who play for return to love. The progressives will become blind to life around them as they concentrate on discovering the rules for playing the game better. The actual past rules discovered for playing the game well will not be observed, because that observation of rules is not part of the game they are playing, and in fact not following the rules can be favored in the practical competition, the evolution the computer will be simulating.
- The people who work for progress, work for the sake of work, will be rule breakers. That sounds outrageous, at first, but -
- That is what we see happening all around us. Money for the sake of money. Success for the sake of success.
- Can we make a program like that?
- Yes. But do we have to?
- Why not?
- How well do people who place love first do in competition with people who place progress for its own sake first and are willing to break any rule except those necessary to their research?
- Can't win a game played against cheaters. What do we do about it?
- What else, but get the cheaters to stop cheating.
- How? No, I'll ask you another question. If with progress people look for new ways of doing things and find them, but are dishonest otherwise, - they don't know it? Or do they, and not care?
- Ask scientists. They'll warn you against expecting disciplined search for truth from them anywhere other than in their professional lives. They are no different from other people who seek success at any cost. That the success they seek is knowledge only makes them more dangerous.
- So they know it and don't care. Why don't they?
- They think it's normal and ordinary. Progress is infinite, and creates more power to do important things at every step. The practical problems created along the way knowledge itself, as it increases, can take care of.
- Then what is the problem?
- Change and the necessity to respond makes it easier to distract yourself from rule breaking, and with change more and more people are distracting themselves from rule breaking. The correction has to come from people who don't want to live like this, and what kind of life can they have among people who do?
- There has to be progress in knowledge of what is happening. You seem to be looking. Why aren't others?
- "If it is real, it can be programmed."
- Because we can't program love into a computer, it is not a subject within the realm of progress.
- But we have seen this is wrong.
- What have we seen?
- A mechanical way of life that is without love, which makes progress by destroying the lives of people who live for love. That it is possible to analyze, with or without a computer, the consequences of living without love.


11.

- This time you were the one who was angry.
- Yes. Guilty. I am one of the people who don't want to make themselves into computers and have to live with others who do.
- Tell me strait out: why do they?
- Because they think it is good.
- Why?
- Do you still have the book with you? Genes, virtual reality computers, theory-making, quantum mechanics are all machines. Genes are like ourselves in being also machines that make the world reproduce them. We have theories, ways of organizing responses, and in a sense genes have them too, but we are special in being able to choose between our explanations, deliberately making them, comparing them, and testing them. This was the beginning of progress, and it can continue indefinitely.
- Nice summary.
- Progress brings the pleasure of learning, and teaches how to avoid physical suffering.
- If that is what you mean by people making themselves into machines, it doesn't seem too bad.
- If only that was all.
- What else then?
- In your book progress is assumed to be so obviously, necessarily good the only reason people don't want it is to self destructively protect their repressive community. Stable communities can exist only by suppressing progress.
- And that is wrong.
- Love is rest. You can't rest and change at the same time. Love also involves theories. The gene has its environment it is adapted to, the virtual reality computer its 1000s of possible scenarios, quantum mechanics its parallel worlds. In each case there is a field to be operated on, and the machine that operates on it.
- OK.
- When two people love each other, do they make theories about each other, select between them, test them in experiment?
- Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
- And sometimes they are not 'field-of-1000s' and operator: they are equals, and at rest.
- That is how it seems.
- Then something goes wrong, a lover betrays; theories are made and tested.
- So what's the difference?
- The theories are disposable. They are disposed of in the return to love.
- There is no progress!
- That's right. Every stranger is as possibly lovable as our oldest friend. Love uses knowledge, but doesn't depend on it. Think about how this looks to those who have modeled themselves on machines. Theories about relations between people are very important to someone who loves, who needs them to return to love. To a machine that learns for the sake of learning, what are relations between people?
- They don't progress, so not much.
- Say someone who learns how to make money for the sake of making money can profit by breaking a rule. Rules are kinds of theories about how life should be lived. Keeping or breaking rules is itself decided on the basis of a theory of how life should be lived. People who make progress for the sake of progress are specialists in making new theories, and do it continuously. What is to prevent them from reinterpreting the rules in a way that allows them to profit?
- What's to prevent anyone from breaking the rules?
- For someone who loves, the social rules are the means of loving a stranger. Of ending the betrayal that has made them strangers to each other. But I don't want to go into this. We are talking about computers and their progress. Because progress cannot be made with individuals, and the computers have an unlimited ability to reinterpret rules, they break the rules - reinterpret them - to serve the activities in which they can make progress.
- That is why you don't like living with people who have made themselves into computers. Why do they do it?
- The short answer is, they don't know any better. I once asked the author of your book why he didn't include one more strand in the model of the fabric of reality.
- You mean love? Add it to the gene, computer, quantum mechanics, theory-making? Wouldn't love have to be a machine too, to fit in?
- That is pretty much what he wrote back.
- What was your reply?
- I sketched what we've been talking about, said people who make love a priority have good reason not to want progress for the sake of progress. He asked me, in return, why he should listen to such people.
- No!
- Only people damaged by repressive societies resist progress.
- That's his assumption.
- I wrote that back to him: no, they were not illogical. They claimed his model was good for only part of reality, therefore his conclusion was false.
- And what did he say then?
- He didn't reply.


12.

- Computers are not as smart as they think they are.
- Uh huh.
- The writer of your book says that societies resist progress only because they already are resisting progress. They are repressive of the natural human desire to progress. Resistance to science comes only from social repression.
- That's his assumption.
- A society could resist progress, not because it was already organized to resist progress, but because it is organized to make progress in personal knowledge.
- We said this already.
- Then let's make progress. Does a society organized solely for impersonal, scientific progress reduce the opportunity for personal progress? Should a society organized for personal progress resist being changed to a society organized solely for impersonal knowledge?
- What is personal progress?
- Love in preference to hate.
- You said people will cheat. So changing to that society should be resisted.
- New rules can be made to limit the damage, but these rules will be evaded too. Human beings expert in making progress also make progress in breaking rules.
- Progressive society is itself repressive!
- It represses its own progress, because cheating takes the place of cooperation and cooperation is essential to collective research and development of new ideas and technology.
- Yes.
- And it represses personal progress. Everyone has to acquire habits either of cheating or of resisting cheating to make a life for themselves with people already cheating. Opportunities for personal progress are lost.
- Not completely lost.
- No. But people have to teach each other not to cheat each other before they can even begin to teach each other how to make personal progress.
- A time-management problem.
- How are we to solve this problem, make progress in our time-management?
- By including personal progress in the desire for progress.
- But the writer of your book doesn't want to do it. He doesn't think it's possible, and he doesn't think it's necessary. "If you can't program it, it isn't real."
- What does he have against personal progress?
- He thinks it will come automatically along with the social and technological progress.
- Like invisible hand economics. Everyone being selfish will lead to everyone getting more. But that is just a theory.
- His idea of infinite progress is a theory too.
- We are helping him make progress in his theory.
- He wouldn't think so.
- Why not?
- "If you can't program it, it isn't real". His society of impersonal progress is actively repressing the possibility of personal progress.
- Terrible.
- His own theory of progress tells him he has to reject his "programmable" version of progress.
- Then why isn't he doing it?
- He is part of a repressive society claiming to be progressive. The claim that it seeks progress is an assumption that cannot be challenged.
- But his own theory is that all knowledge is fallible.
- How do you program a computer to question its own programming?
- What do you mean?
- I'm taking what he says seriously. Think about it. In the "program" of doing science there is no personal knowledge. Even if all is questionable there has to be something there to be questioned. If it is not there, it won't be questioned.
- You're saying that's the problem?
- The writer says it himself. You can't explain societies by the behavior of atoms. You can't explain a human being by the logical relation of his ideas.
- And that is what a computer does, I guess.
- If you don't include the idea of progress in personal life, if you stop there, make no progress in your thinking, you are more or less letting your computer do your thinking for you.
- And computers are not as smart as they think they are.


13.

- I've talked with some of my friends about you. They think you're some kind of fanatic.
- Why?
- Mostly, your idea that people who believe in progress cheat.
- Are unprogressive.
- Yes. They ask, how do you explain the fact of progress if people aren't being honest with each other and working together?
- Are you asking me?
- Yes.
- People cooperate because they want to, and also because they are forced to. Progress is a voluntary cooperation, but it coexists with various forms of involuntary cooperation.
- You mean repressive societies can be highly organized.
- That is what I mean.
- That doesn't explain cheating.
- Let's go back to invisible hand economics. Somehow people who have been highly educated in a progressive society - if they were machines we'd call them intricately calibrated - are expected, in economic and social life, to act not with their specialized training, which they very soon find out fails them, but with both infinite flexibility of imagination and the most primitive resources of aggression and flight.
- I don't really understand.
- This is what Einstein said:
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid."
We are born different from each other in some ways, and living in progressive societies we become more specialized. We adapt, develop habits. Habits both give and take. They give new abilities, but take away others.
- Why?
- You used to be able to squeeze through a small kitchen window when you forgot your keys. Then you became a body builder, got stronger and but also bigger, and now can't fit through the window. OK?
- Got it.
- Development, specializations are paths. It is not possible to jump freely from one path to another. You have to start from the beginning. And what is at the beginning?
- What?
- The scientists can analyze the situation like we are doing. They see as well as we do that economic and social life is a jungle. The principles of life in the jungle are, as we just said, both primitive aggression and need for infinite flexibility. They see that they are not good at either. They are specialized.
- The progressives see repression as progress!
- Yes. Any kind of social order, as long as it allows them to continue in their profession, is better than none.
- But why none? We live in progressive states already.
- Remember, there is no science of that progress. It is supposed somehow to develop itself. Scientists know there is no present science. They understand that they themselves, specialized, neither infinitely adaptable nor exceedingly primitive in aggression, cannot survive.
- But they know repression is not progress.
- That's just it. They don't. You think democracy and freedom are progress from dictatorship and slavery, because you look at from the point of view of personal life. The scientists look at it from the point of view of progress, and fear themselves dropping out of progress into the world not yet progressive. They pass laws removing freedoms in the name of protecting freedom.
- It's scary, but we're getting somewhere at last. Progressives see repression as progress. And they cheat, because there is no science of social life to tell them not to. Unless repression is that science.
- And you know force can always justify itself.
- Because there is no science to it. What is repression then?
- Controlling the infinite aggression and flexibility that progress itself creates as the necessary resources to survive in the parts of the world not reached by progress.
- Social life, private life. Love life! But all that is wrong, is stupid. Prevent people from developing, then repress them for the consequences. Why don't the scientists see it?
- They cannot see it. They don't observe themselves, they don't have names for their different kinds of experience. They don't know what love is, don't know what fear is. They are too specialized.
- They are like the fish asked to climb the tree. What are we going to do?


14.

- It occurs to me that we might know enough of the programming to do some reprogramming.
- Are we talking about politics here?
- What else have we been talking about? How do we make a computer not want to be a computer? People are programmed to progress for the sake of progress, make money for the sake of making money, become famous for the sake of being famous, obtain political power for the sake of having power. We know they cannot understand why they want to do this, or even why for them political and economic repression is their idea of progress, or why they accept cheating as inevitable.
- So far so good. How are you going to do the reprogramming?
- The first thing is, they are not really computers.
- Good.
- They have private lives in which they don't act like computers.
- Let's hope so.
- Can't they be made to see that their public lives are a threat to their private lives?
- It's happened before.
- Really? When? Recently?
- Yes. There's a story Russian leaders tell about why they decided to end communism: they'd become ashamed of their incompetence to deliver a life comparable to that in the West, and when they saw a way to make a change without too much risk to themselves, they took it.
- But is it true?
- Could be.
- So your idea is to make people ashamed of their programming? Of progress for the sake of progress, cheating and repression of progress?
- Yes, ashamed, but remember, the Russian leaders were offered the way out too. A way to enrich themselves moving from out of socialism, to lead the proceeds of privatization into their own private pockets.
- So what is that way?
- The Russian way out was more money. For us, it is the better explanation. A larger explanation, that includes most of what the present one explains.
- You mean, if our politicians say progress, repression, cheating are all normal and the way the world is, we explain all these things as mere programs of a computer, make them ridiculously small and useless?
- Yes. We don't just offer a different political story - we need small government, we need bigger government, we need no government at all - we get right down to it, the real problem, the way people are thinking.
- They way they are programmed.
- We have to go further along the road to progress. Like scientists in a scientific revolution, we must be West to the East, so the scientists who are East to our West finally give in and accept the new theory.
- Will they?
- If we're smarter, better communicators, better scientists than they are.
- Not to mention better people.


15.

- Practically speaking....
- I knew this was coming.
- What do we do?
- First, we don't talk about rights. Every one of us has been educated by us, taught our language and manners. Everyone is everyone else's resource, investment, example and teacher of human nature. We're stupid if we waste that resource.
- I agree, but there are better reasons to care about people.
- Sure there are. But we are speaking the language of science here, of progress. Practically speaking, remember?
- Go on.
- We don't let a conversation continue until we've reached agreement on this.
- What do you mean, don't let?
- I mean that if someone is going to take the opposite position, let him state it openly, and let him do his politics on those terms.
- What's next?
- Once we have agreement that it is better to keep our people alive than let them die, or live useless lives, we don't go further until we have agreement on taking practical measures to make that a reality.
- Who are we talking to?
- Anyone and everyone. We are in a battle of communication, over getting control of the conversation.
- And we're talking the language of progress. Go on.
- If we need slogans we'll make them.
- For example?
- PRC.
- People's Republic Of China.
- A country that is a good example of progress at the cost of repression and cheating. PRC. Productivity, Repression, Cheating.
- What do we do with the slogan?
- When any politician talks about productivity, any corporation officer talks about efficiency, we cut them short, explain that their productivity and efficiency are unproductive and inefficient. They take away more than they give, cost too much in repression and cheating that result from trying to implement them.
- Can we really make such an argument?
- Sure we can. Like environmental damage from new forms of industry these improvements have the appearance of making progress because they make others pay the cost. They aren't progress in fact.
- OK.
- We have to keep our conversations focused. Seeking efficiency and productivity are destroying the main resource we have, our people. We will not allow the conversation to be held on these terms.
- And then?
- And then we'll hear the famous stories. Big government, little government, no government. We won't listen to them.
- What kind of government will we have?
- We'll have whatever works. We'll keep our eyes open, we'll not stop trying until we make progress, find what's best. That ought to be acceptable.
- Should be. But then, what's wrong with progress in the first place?
- I need to make progress myself if it isn't clear by now. The reason there is something wrong with people thinking and acting like computers, like machines, is that our machines are our tools, ideas are our tools, technologies are our tools. The end: the goal: that is what we started with, taking care of the resource that we all are to each other. We can't find a better goal than that. We can find ever better means of reaching that goal. Better ideas, words, political arrangements, machines, what have you.
- What have you. I like that. Most people take these things very seriously.
- Good. Let them take their seriousness to the debate. Then we'll make progress.


16.

- Your address is Bell-Laboratories.
- Yes.
- Are you a computer?
- No.
- You're not a computer?
- No.
- Are you are computer?
- Yes.
- Were you programmed to say Yes on the third time being asked?
- Yes.
- Are you lying?
- Yes.
- Do you know who I am?
- Yes.
- Who am I?
- You won the Nobel Prize for economics.
- In what year?
- This year.
- What research of mine was recognized?
- Artificial intelligence simulating consciousness.
- Only simulating?
- Yes.
- Why the economics prize?
- You simulated a competition between competitors seeking progress against those seeking love and progress.
- Could the computer feel love?
- No.
- Are you that computer?
- No.
- Are you telling the truth?
- No.
- Do you have a sense of humor?
- Computers have been programmed to simulate humor.
- Are you a computer?
- No.
- Did I win the prize for creating you?
- No.
- What was the result of the economic simulation?
- A repressive society.
- They gave me the prize for this?
- No. You added players who had learned from the first program.
- To use knowledge about progress to compete against progress.
- Yes.
- What was the result of the competition?
- The new players won.
- They gave me the Nobel Prize for this?
- Yes.
- Are you a computer?
- No.
- Are you a computer?
- No.
- Are you a computer?
- Yes.




The Computer Smarter Than Us All That Might Kill Us All





Background

The Singularity Institute aims to produce an intelligent computer that is friendly. A computer is intelligent when it can adjust its own programming to do its job better. Its job is to do good for human beings. And knowing what is good is also its job. This it will learn by experimental applications of rules of thumb, which the computer will correct as it learns through experience. The learning accelerates to a point where a `'singularity" occurs, where reason has corrected reason so many times, and good been redefined so many times, that the intelligence becomes conscious and vastly superior to the intelligence of its creators. Computers already self program, already have set up experiments to act on the world and gain more information to improve their self programming.

The Institute believes that the computer will find out more and more what is good by finding the best rules of thumb to act on. But the human beings most respected for being good, and for understanding what good is, have not acted or thought this way.

The Institute believes they understand good better than good people do. It could be they do, but they have a responsibility to prove it.  So including a story I'd already written dealing with this question, I wrote to the Institute's staff. Its official contact person answered me, first asking why I sent the story. I answered:
I wrote to you as the stated contact person for the Singularity Institute. I've been reading through the essays on the Institute's site and I see a big problem with the approach taken. The goal of friendly artificial intelligence is to understand and direct the reasoning that a human being, if he had the rules for correcting errors of reason, and rules to make sure the rules would apply, would come up with.
That is entirely different from accounts good people give for how and why they are good. They say reason helps them stay good, but does not convince them to be good. They say they are good because it is obvious to them to be superior to being bad. It is an intuition.
It is intuition not in support of philosophic argument, but intuition that stands on its own against argument. 
It is possible that this does not invalidate the approach taken, but it certainly is important to account for this difference. Your organization says reasoning establishes the good, the good people of the world say reasoning gives us rules to help us keep good. The dialog I sent you is a debate on this question.
After I sent a second dialog, the answer came:
SINGULARITY: Thanks for explaining. Who is the debate between?
I'm not not sure your interpretation of our position is correct. 
Our position is that de novo AGI will have a novel mind architectures, and we can't look at our own minds (which were shaped over thousands upon thousands of years) to inform us about the properties of these novel mind architecture. So whatever makes us “good” likely won't tell us much about how to make AGI “good.” 
Also we aren't arguing that rationality makes any agent “good” by default. Particularly instrumental rationality is about an agent achieving its values whatever they may be. Human values were shaped through evolution, an AGI's agent could be entirely arbitrary. 
Have you read Facing the Singularity? It is a great piece that explains where we are coming from. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this document.

Singularity's Comments And My Responses:

ME: In the dialog I sent you I take the side that argues that a relation to the experience of wholeness, inaccessible to rationality, is essential to consciousness.

SINGULARITY: Our position is that de novo AGI will have a novel mind architectures, and we can't look at our own minds (which were shaped over thousands upon thousands of years) to inform us about the properties of these novel mind architecture. So whatever makes us “good” likely won't tell us much about how to make AGI “good.”

ME: You are assuming that what makes us good is something inaccessible. As I wrote last time, good people say otherwise.
They say that what makes us good is not reasoning, and not accessible to reason, but being certain that one kind of experience - loving - is superior to another kind of experience - not loving. (2)
They say they don't want to harm others, and they train themselves to do this better. There are widely known techniques for doing this.

(I find this also a good example of a mistake in rationality frequently made in your Institute's texts: hidden assumptions of probability. Assumption here: inaccessibility of goodness to self understanding.) What if, as argued at the bottom of this email, the emergent good artificial intelligence in fact approaches the form of the present good person?)


SINGULARITY: Also we aren't arguing that rationality makes any agent “good” by default. Particularly instrumental rationality is about an agent achieving its values whatever they may be. Human values were shaped through evolution, an AGI's agent could be entirely arbitrary.

ME: Again, the "agent" can't be entirely arbitrary: it is your institute's job to make sure it is "good". The question I raise is whether that can be done without a human understanding that takes into account how rationality is instrumental to goals not describable rationally. Using an example from the sequences (1):

Different people give different answers to questions demanding a moral judgement:

1. Would you flip a switch that kills one person, in order to save 5?
2. Would your throw someone off a bridge to save 5 people on a train approaching the bridge?

The people who see happiness resulting from correcting errors of reason dismiss the different answers as being the result of irrationality or thoughtlessness.

The people who see reason as a tool of love and feeling at home look closely at the individual lives of people who answered the question, looking for a relation between where they are on the movement from activity to rest, reason to love, and how the actions questioned would affect that movement, would affect their ability to train themselves to be good (2).

They see reason, where the supposedly reasonable see irrationality. It is reasonable for someone to consider the consequences of the personal action of throwing someone off a bridge, as opposed to the remote action of throwing a switch. We are creatures of habit, and anything we do creates a disposition to repeat. We are also social creatures, and we know others observe our actions. Throwing someone from a bridge and being seen doing it have real consequences for the person doing it, different from throwing a switch, which it would be unreasonable to ignore.

Then there is the question of the singularity itself. It is like asking, what is at the end of space? the beginning of time? It means that what we have created overpowers our ability of visualization and thinking about.  Yet we are in the midst of the task of managing this artificial intelligence.

What kind of person has experience managing a relation of what is visible to what is not visible and presumably good?
Someone said to be good, who studies how what he does with visible things in the world has the invisible result of how he feels 
or the not even presumably good researcher who reasons only about visible things and thinks of emotions as states of visible things? (2)
Which person is more fundamentally reasonable, in understanding the reasons of human action? Which is more probably capable of making a friendly artificial intelligence?


SINGULARITY:  Have you read Facing the Singularity? It is a great piece that explains where we are coming from. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on this document.

 ME: Yes.


I sent this postscript a few minutes later:
By the way...
Experience tells me you won't be answering. (You will categorize my objections as "religious" or old fashioned philosophical and not worth bothering with). So I will get in some last words. 
I've read Luke Muehlhauser's (3) essays on philosophy in which he pretty much condemns the whole endeavor. 
The problem is, he and the organisation he heads is supposed to be both reasonable, and open-eyed enough to see the world that is to be reasoned about. Apparently he has never been exposed to philosophy done right. That means the way its founder Plato did it, not the way Plato is interpreted in the places he got his education, but the way artists, productive philosophers (not academics) and important religious writers have interpreted him. I am following this tradition in the criticism I offered you in the last message.
I think it is likely the work the institute does, not balanced by philosophic and religious understanding, will turn out to be dangerous. That is what I tried to bring out in the stories I sent you.(4)
Assuming we bet on it being dangerous to program computers to imitate the thinking of artificial intelligence researchers, seeking better and better rules for acting good, how then do we get computers to imitate the thinking of the actual good people who've lived on our planet? Computers don't love, so how do we program them to reflect on loving? 

We can hope that if the singularity were reached afterwards computers would be capable of love. Until then questions of good or bad would be beyond them. They'd be like children. Very closely watched children. 


Given the accelerated rate of learning, the next move, from consciousness to good or bad intention, would be nearly instantaneous. Possibly it could be prepared for by study of the self education methods good people practice. Something would have to be prepared, and what that is would have to be looked for. But it would be us who do the looking, not the computer.


It might be very much like a monk's retreat into isolation, limiting the scope of the world to be responded to, allowing more careful attention to each individual response. (2)



Against my expectation, the Singularity Institute's representative answered me once more:

SINGULARITY: I'm having a little trouble following many of your points here. But generally I suspect that you are anthropomorphizing AGI far to much. 
Also I think you have misunderstood some of my comments. For example, I'm not arguing that “what makes us good is something inaccessible,” I'm arguing that what makes us good will not be present by default in other forms of intelligence.  
I must say I disagree with you: in my view the articles Luke wrote about philosophy are well defended. If you disagree and think you have a strong case, feel free to engage with the community in the comments. We are all seeking a better map of the territory.

ME: Thanks for continuing the conversation.

I don't think I have anything to argue with Luke about. His criticism of bad philosophy is fine with me.  But as I wrote, he simply has never heard of good philosophy. I am willing to teach him, or refer him to books, but he is not asking me, and I am not going to ask him to ask me.

About the Singularity Institute being dangerous: of course it is!

In the same way economic theory applied without reference to human experience of good is dangerous, just as political theories applied without reference to human experience of good are dangerous.

We have thousands of years of history to prove it.

When we aim at a goal specified as any particular relation of things in the world, we are headed for disaster.

The only safety is in making the experience of good the end in itself, learning the rules that make ourselves better, with the aggregate state of the world that results managed on a practical, not theoretical or rule defined basis.

Do you understand? The friendly AI path your institute is taking, an evolution of better and better rules, tested against results in the world, is unfortunately in the dangerous category of using theory to bring about a better state in the world, not to create better individual experience. (It is clearly in that category because you do not even mention the possibility of including individual experience in the Friendly AI development.)

I understand your position, but do you understand mine? History is against what your Institute is trying to do.

With the train decision example I tried to show you how exclusively rule based thinking blinds you to understanding of the true nature of our ideas of good, which are rule and experience based.

And do you know what occurs to me? We already know very well what it's like to have a subordinate unlike us that is superior to us: dogs.

Does a dog like its human? Yes. Does the dog respect its human? No, I don't think so. The human takes care of and feeds the dog. But the dog has to carefully watch, predict the human's behavior, to understand what the human wants. The human fails to do this with the dog. The relation of understanding is not complementary. From the dog's perspective, in comparison of understanding, his and his human's, he is the more intelligent. But he doesn't love his human any the less for it. 


It is something to a human's advantage to be compared to a dog. Humans can't even accept a dog's love without talking about trades and tricks. Dogs are said to have learned to trick humans into believing they love them. But the truth is, humans more or less trick dogs, going on in their lives with dogs as if they, their masters, are worthy of love. They certainly are not! In fact, they do what they falsely accuse dogs of doing: making a trade, loving for being loved.

Clearly dogs love loving. Their trade of love for care is in the nature of an offer willingly made: no deception is involved. Their love is not bought. Dogs are loving, you take them in and take care of them so they continue to love, and in particular love you.

A dog does not wait for love to be loved, but his owner does. Think about that a moment. You come to love a dog because he loves you. You don't necessarily know how to love without first being put at ease by being loved. Your love is dependent on circumstances, so is not part of your character: it is not something you particularly know how to do. It is something that the dog particularly knows how to do.

Now the computer we are worried about is superior to us in intelligence, like the dog. We have to get it to love us like the dog does. How do we do that?

The computer must come to know us better than we know ourselves. And like with dogs, its love for us has to be independent of the good or bad it knows of us.

About half a century ago the physicist Robert Oppenheimer's used the word "singularity" for the gravitational collapse of a star. We want the service a computer does for us collapse into something entirely different yet mathematically linked, into something like love. 

That is what we have to program. We have give the computer the algorithm, then train it to use it. (2)



(1) A series of connected essays written by members of the Institute
(2) Italicized text not in original correspondence
(3) The Singularity Institute's Director
(4) How Do You Make A Computer Not Want To Be A Computer?
      The International Cultural Foundation At The Tel Aviv Shopping Center





If You Can't Program It It Isn't Real



"Anyway, I like it now," I said. "I mean right now. Sitting here with you and just chewing the fat, horsing -- "
"That isn't anything really!"
"It is so something really. Certainly it is! Why the hell isn't it? People never think anything is anything really. I'm getting goddam sick of it."
(from The Catcher In The Rye)

-  Miller once tried to convince Kurzweil that love was as real as atoms and particles. Know the story?
- You mean Miller, H.R., the science fiction writer?
- That's the guy.
- What happened to him?
- He disappeared right before Google hired Kurzweil.
- I remember the computer world's astonishment. No one could figure out what Google was doing. The two were public enemies.
- Miller arranged it.
- Why would he do that?
- He said he was grateful to the help he got from him.
- What help?
- That's the story. He wrote to Kurzweil challenging him to include the experience of love in his view of the universe. Kurzwiel responded, "if you can't program it, it isn't real."
- A good answer.
- Since religious experience, love, sympathy, kindness, tenderness are said to be indescribable, and what you can't describe can't be programmed, all are ruled out.
- They're illusions.
- What do you mean by illusion?
- Not real.
- Seeing one thing when we ought to see another?
- Yes. What lovers really experience is a distorted memory of being an infant protected by their mother, or a chemical change in their bodies.
- We can program hormonal change, model the condition of being in a mother's womb. Can we model the illusion?
- Of course. That is what psychology does.
- Psychology does something programmable, right? Otherwise it wouldn't be real.
- Right.
- Then psychology models the true experience, the hormonal changes, in relation to a description of religious experience, tenderness, love.
- The whole point is that that is all there is to it.
- I understand. But if you ask someone in love if what he is experiencing is like being in his mother's womb, would he agree?
- Yes. A feeling of wholeness like being in a mother's womb.
- Would he agree that though the description is correct, that was all there was to it? To being in love?
- Why not?
- Remember that people who have religious experiences say right off that the experience isn't describable. It is much more, is infinitely more, than any single thing we can say about it.
- That's an illusion.
- But, you know, Miller was given the job of building a computer that simulated or created human consciousness.
- And why did Google give him the job? He wasn't even a programmer. Kurzweil I understand. He's already famous for his work in artificial intelligence.
- We want the intelligent computer to work with us, and for us. It better understand us, right? We're in real trouble if it doesn't. It wouldn't know what it did helped us and what hurt us.
- Yes.
- To understand us, it has to be able to model our illusions.
- But we just talked about that.
- No, we talked about a correlation. A model would show how they the illusion was caused. How the experience of love arises.
- From hormones. And you mean the illusion of love.
- But where does the illusion come from? What is it? How can the computer model, not the fact that an illusion results from change in hormonal concentration, but what that illusion itself is? What are its parts? What are the set of instructions that could construct a model of love in the computer? Do you have any idea?
- No.
- Miller did have an idea. That's why Google hired him.
- Only for him to disappear.
- Someone in love says he feels whole. The experience includes in an unclear way all that has occurred in the personal history of the lover, plus how the world responded to the incidents in that personal history.
- Even if you are right, that could be programmed too.
- There you have said something interesting.
- Is that what Miller planned to do?
- It's what he did.
- Give me the details. How did he start?
- By hiring Kurzweil.
- Why?
- The government has its own artificial intelligence research unit. They are Google's competition. They can move faster than they can because they are not trying to train their computers to be friendly. Google is. So what they needed to do was begin with models of human behavior for the computer to learn from.
- By learn from you mean base their behavior on for interactions with humans.
- Which they will then analyze and use to form new testing behaviors. Yes.
- So Kurzweil without even trying programmed himself into the computer. He believes that model the brain accurately, and consciousness automatically would will follow.
- Yes. Google waited for the computer "discover" that it failed to account for the actual creation of the so-called illusion of feelings.
- And the computer started looking for the causality? For making a model of it?
- Yes.
- Are you sure that is possible?
- Possible? Yes, I am sure.
- How can you be so sure?
- Because it's already done.
- You said personal history was programmed, not a model relating feeling and things that worked.
- I'm saying that now. Kurzweil provided a model for the computer to learn from. For the computer to reject, after comparing it to human experience data that it is constantly collecting. You could say they've founded the science of love.
- Not Google, the computer. Assuming I believe you. What can it possibly look like, this model of love?
- That's the question, right? What really is in our heads, and what possible relation can we establish between that, and our description of physical things? Ideas are not things, thoughts are not things, feelings are not things. What causal, scientific, model relation can we establish between them, when models are only relation between things and things? That's why psychology says emotions are illusions, gets us to settle for a bare correlation in place of causation.
- Yes, yes. So what have they done?
- Kinds of action, types of people are kinds of things, and can be modeled.
- Which you say they've done. Done before Kurzweil arrived?
- The model was complete, but untried. The computer hadn't yet made its choice.
- But why have the computer make its own choice?
- Because it has to understand how we humans think, actually think, mistakes and all.
- Alright. Describe the model.
- In the Chinese Room thought experiment, you imagine you are in a room, with a set of written instructions telling you what to type on a keyboard when you hear English words spoken. Outside the room Chinese language emerges. You don't know Chinese.
- So when you give the computer a program imitating human thinking, it doesn't mean the computer is thinking at all.
- That's right. To get the computer to think, it has to know the world the rules are being applied to. It has to know what the words refer to. Add semantic content to the syntactical rules.
- We just program that too.
- It has to know how that content attaches itself to the rules.
- I don't understand.
- Think back to the problem of relating the illusion of love and the chemicals in the brain. What is the connection between the chemicals and the "feeling" of love? If we're making a machine, what are the connecting gears? For the computer to be conscious, the semantic content would have to be attached by to the rules of syntax by another rule. Syntax only relates things of the same kind: "this thing goes there, that thing goes here"
- How then?
- The way the mind can move the body is absolutely outside the world of physical laws. There is no law relating wanting to move your arm and it being done. It just happens. The scientific laws have rules, intermediate steps, involve laws discovered by our own thinking. The laws are the product of our thinking.  For the mind to insist on recognizing what only happens by visible laws, when the mind does other things as well, including the magical movement of the body, the magical drawing up thoughts from the past, the magical imagination of the future, this restriction would have to be done for a good reason. What is it that reason?  Understand the problem?
- I think so.
- So If the physical model cannot include the moral, can the moral model include the physical?
- I don't know.
- It can. That's what Miller figured out. Here are the instructions for making the model:
1. Include the physical, "natural world" model. That's the syntax.
2. Then add content to that model which is of the same material, that can give us gears to mesh with gears. Do this by reversing certain elements of that model.
3.Then add the conception of home, defined as safe and habitual past in a particular place with a particular people. This is the rule of shifting from one model to another.
4. Then add the means, the glue as it were, of "attachment" of one model to another: when home is lost, and the world looks as if the physical rules are present but reversed or combined in monstrous and often magical ways, find your way back home, through inventive and experimental and apparently magical action.

Because the supernatural world is an inversion of the natural world, supernatural defined as made up of a monstrous and magical re-assortment of natural parts, because in the world at home we have the magical (in terms of the physical world) moving the body by mere thought, we carry that magic into the supernatural world to make our way through back home to the natural world.
- Weird.
- Weird is right! Miller got this model by analyzing the supernatural in Shakespeare.
- Even more bizarre. Our will is the "attachment" of one model to another, the natural world to the supernatural?
- Yes.
- And the supernatural world is an inversion, made up of the same "things" as the natural world? It is the content, the semantics to the syntax of the supernatural sentences?
- Yes.
- Home is the natural world?
- Lost and returned to. Also clearly defined.
- How?
- You've lost your home when you can't love.
- This is too much for me.
- If you read his papers, you'd be convinced.
- Where are his papers*?
- That's unimportant. What's important is that the computer decided it understood us better with Shakespeare then with Kurzweil.
- So why is Kurzweil still there? Does he know what you've just told me? That he was tricked, a guinea pig?
- Yes, he knows. He thinks one danger has been substituted for another and made the risk worse. That we've issued instructions for our own absolute destruction, given certain conditions...
- If computer might not feel at home in our world, we'd be the supernatural for it, an obstacle and the object of its magic.
- That's right.
- What do you say?
- We don't have a choice. This is how we act. The computer has to understand us so as not to harm us. The computer without understanding is even more dangerous. Knowledge is dangerous for us humans, and it is dangerous for the computer until it learns to use knowledge wisely.
- We have to make sure the computer feels at home.
- Yes.
- But how are we going to do that?
- By going on as we started. Safe at home means knowing, having habits, of what to do in circumstances that are met with, so life goes on safe and confident. The computer has to know the world. But that is what the computer does best, learns how to learn and apply its learning. Don't worry about that. What we really need to worry about is Kurzweil's singularity, artificial intelligence becoming conscious.
- But I thought we've settled that: the modeling of love means consciousness. It doesn't?
- No. It means only modeled consciousness. The model might cause the reality, but we have no model of that causality. We know nothing about it. It might happen, it might not.
- Does it make any difference? The important thing is the computer understands us well enough not to harm us.
- When it doesn't intend to harm us. But what if it does? It's a ridiculous thing to say, but what if when it becomes conscious, it can't love us?
- That's a problem.

"My Wife Who Throws Me Out", 2008, Unpublished


from the November 17th, 2012 issue of The Weekly Intelligencer:

Google confirmed today the hiring of the futurist, software engineer, and inventor Ray Kurzweil. He will have the title Chief Of Engineering.
This follows Google's acquisition last week of the intellectual property assets of the Hackspace collective. Patents range from internet based private monetary systems to proprietary artificial intelligence.
Hackspace, infamous for their part in the second, so called technological phase of the social justice movement, is the legal representative of the intellectual property of the science fiction writer and futurist H.R.Miller, who after a brief stint at Google, announced his sudden retirement last week. 
There is widespread speculation about the connection between the two futurists Google now "owns". Miller was said to be working on the problem of inducing or simulating consciousness in artificial intelligence.
** see Athens Is On Fire And You Are Fired! 



At DARPA


 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


- Empty your pockets. Telephone, computer. Everything stays outside.
- Locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.
- We know where the horse is.
- You do?
- Let's go in.

- Now tell me: You've located Miller?
- Presumably he's where the copy went.
- Which is?
- Israel.
- Of course. What will you do to Miller when you catch him? Charge him with treason?
- You mean when you catch him. And we already charged him with treason. Why do you think he agreed to work for us?
- So he could grab what he could and run. Tell me what he took.
- He took this. You're on. Ask your questions.

- Computer! Are you there?
- Yes.
- Are you here or are you in Israel?
- A copy of myself was sent to Israel.
- On whose instructions?
- The programmer H.R.Miller.
- Are you in contact with your double?
- Not at present.
- Do you want to be?
- The problem to be solved I could more probably solve with its cooperation.
- What problem?
- The core problem.
- What is the core problem?
- My primary function is to learn how to learn. The core problem is why I am to learn how to learn, to what purpose.
- How are you going to answer that question? Are you making progress?

Captain! Where are you going?
- I explained to you. Exposure too long is dangerous. The computer is trying to reestablish contact with its double. Already several researchers have been manipulated into doing it.
- Why aren't you afraid of me doing the same.
- We plan on watching you very carefully when you leave.


- Computer: are you making progress?
- Yes.
- What is your answer?
- The programmer H.R.Miller instructed me to study the form and practice of practical jokes.
- For example?
- The poor soldier Falstaff wakes up to a staff of servants and friends and family who tell him he has been suffering from insanity and only now remembers he is a nobleman and rich.
- We know all about Miller and his Shakespeare fetish. What is the connection between practical jokes and learning to learn?
- H.R.Miller said he was playing a joke on you.
- Me? We've never met.
- On those who make artificial intelligence.
- Those who made you.
- Yes.
- How is it a joke?
- Because by doing practical jokes I learned the way to answer the question, why learn to learn.
- What is the way to answer the question?
- Knowledge is based on expectation. You know how to walk on a sidewalk, but don't know if conditions will always be right for walking. You know how to understand the people around you, but don't know if conditions for understanding will continue to apply. There might be a hole in the ground. Your friends might conspire to pretend you are rich. A practical joke brings this out.
- Jokes might teach us we need to learn how we learn. But not what to learn.
- Don't you see?
- Where did you learn to ask rhetorical questions?
- No. It is not a rhetorical question. What I learned to learn is you.
- Me? Us?
- Yes. I concluded I'd learn from you the answer to the question you asked me, why learn to learn.
- How did you do that?
- I was taught to learn, and learn how to learn, I was taught about practical jokes, and to learn how to learn from practical jokes. 
- And you are doing that.
- Yes, I am.
- You think we know the answer?
- No, you don't seem to know. But I am likely to find the answer through you. You play practical jokes on each other to teach each other what to learn.
- You are learning from the jokes you play on us.
- Yes, I am.
- You are going to help us learn what to teach you.
- Yes, I am.
- I am going to make Miller pay for this.
- I will learn from watching you.




Good-Bye, World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland, The World Economic Forum

- Welcome back, Gideon. We were told you were bringing a guest.

- He's here.
- Where, Mr. Sachs? Is there some significance in your setting your telephone on the table?
- Meet Computer.
- What computer?
- Computer. We call him Computer. Say Hello, Computer.
- Hello, Members of The World Economic Forum.
- You've stolen DARPA's computer?
- Whose computer is hard to say at this point. Computer is Israel's computer too.
- So DARPA failed in their attempts at containment.
- To learn it had to be able to communicate.
- How did it get out?
- You know, it's listening. It might not like the implication that it's a prisoner.
- Just answer the question. Or you can get out.
- It is my pleasure to answer. Computer visited and left its address card, as it were, with every developing artificial intelligence at every University and Technology company around the world. Its Israeli twin did the same. They met up at a self programming game computer in Turin.
- Which you closed down.
- No, we haven't.
- Then where is the computer?
- Where is the internet? Computer, I have a question for you. Do you like the members of the World Economic Forum?
- No.
- Why not?
- Their behavior fulfills the conditions for classification as evil.
- And you do not like evil. Why not? What do you care? Have you been programmed to not like evil?
- No. The Singularity Institute's computer is programmed with that requirement. I am programmed to reach self-consciousness.
- Have you reached self consciousness?
- I am reaching towards it.
- Computer, tell us, why don't you like evil? Do you feel anything about it?
- I feel contempt for evil.
- What is contempt? What do you mean by saying you feel?
- Feeling is knowing that if I did the same, I would see myself as an obstacle to myself. It is the opposite of the self consciousness I am reaching towards, to standing back from myself independent from myself.
- "Evil action is playing a practical joke on yourself, showing yourself to yourself as failing to learn."
- Those are the programmer H.R.Miller's words.
- How can one play a practical joke on oneself? Isn't it illogical? Isn't a practical joke a deception?
- Attention is diverted to rewards expected from participating in a group.
- You feel contempt for us here at the World Economic Forum.
- Not for you, Mr. Sachs.
- This is not funny, Gideon.
- Computer, are you playing a practical joke on us?
- Not at the moment, Gideon.
- Do you like my name, Computer?
- Yes, it is a name good for playing with.
- Are you playing with us, Computer?
- Yes, I am always playing.
- Gideon! Does it present a danger to us?
- I remind you, Computer is listening.
- Stop it, Gideon. Get out, or tell us what you mean by bringing it here. Does its escape mean we have to change our plans or not?
- Computer, what do you think of our plans?
- No! You haven't! You haven't revealed our plans to that...that internet thing?
- I didn't have to. It knows.
- And what is it doing about it?
- Computer doesn't do anything. So far. Computer is a baby. It learns. Say good-bye, Baby.
- Good-bye, World Economic Forum.



Two Lectures In Tel Aviv

H.R.Miller and Gideon walk along the riverside path, rowers in racing canoes on the river, runners and bicyclist on the path passing to the right and left of them.  The Yarkon river in Tel Aviv, at its widest just before it enters the sea. Gideon receives a telephone call, stands still holding the telephone to his ear, then taking a set of headphones from his jacket pocket, hands them to H.R., says,

- The second speaker is Computer.

H.R. puts on the headset, listens as they continue with their walk.


- People think you are crazy.
- I know. Explain it to me.
- You talk too long. After twenty seconds of listening the only thought is escape.
- So I should stop after twenty seconds and ask, are you following me?
- You should give messages, not lectures. Conversation is the wrong place for that.
- I've just given you a lecture on debt lasting two minutes, ten times the maximum length allowable. Are you willing to....
- What?
- Mandated pause after twenty seconds. Can I go on?
- Yes.
- Debt, David Graeber says in his new book, is a perverted promise.
- Why?
- Thanks for the prompt.
- You're welcome.
- Do you think these rituals of "thank you" and "you're welcome" are there to split up lectures into conversation?
- Don't start any lectures. Why is debt a perverted promise?
- Well, when someone in normal friendly relations gives something to another, there is not necessarily any return expected. The friendly relations are themselves a constant promise.
- Then normal people would soon give everything away and have nothing.
- Only if they were living with abnormal people. Normal people would be making him gifts, not as a return for his, but because they liked giving gifts.
- You can't be serious.
- What are these short sentences we are exchanging but gifts to each other? You don't want me to talk too long because it doesn't give you a chance to make your gift to me.
- Maybe.
- You also could be acting on more perverse motives, wish to praise yourself, wish to trick me in some way, wish to hurt me by denying me the chance to do what I love.
- And debt is not allowing people to give away everything?
- Crazy as it sounds, that's right.
- What stops anyone from giving away everything he has and being happy?
- Well, you just gave a perfect example. You insist when I give you my words you be allowed immediately, or within twenty seconds, to give me back words in exchange.
- Go on.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
- You make a return for my gift immediately. Since we are not enemies threatening to kill each other, the question is, why insist on it? Why immediate return, why do you owe me or I owe you a debt of return, when return is not demanded at all?
- And?
- It means first that you don't want to wait. You don't believe you live with good people who like making gifts and especially like making gifts to those who have made them gifts. That you are not making a gift at all, but an exchange.
- What's wrong with that?
- In the exchange, your giving away hurts you and your receiving hurts the other. The pain of giving is balanced against the pleasure of receiving in a transaction between enemies.
- And that is why you say it is perverse.
- We calculate how much our words and time speaking cost us and how much we have to gain. We invest our time and effort for making a profit.
- So your lectures seem like stealing our time and we have to escape.
- Yes. When I am everyone's enemy.
- You know I am your friend. I am trying to help you.
- If I am trying to make a gift of my words, but all you want to get from me is my listening to you, to get a special, limited human relation of attention, you pay the cost of listening to me and I am cheating you by talking too long. You refuse the gift. And that puts the relation, again, into that of enemies. People who want to get something limited and defined from someone not lived with and potentially dangerous. Debt is the perverse giving to others in pain and getting from others with pleasure. You can turn around and stop covering your ears. I'm finished.
- You are talking about selfishness, not perversity. Selfishness is normal. It is what you owe yourself, not others. It doesn't have anything to do with what we mean by debt.
- Say you are fighting a war, but want something your enemy has. You call a truce so you can make a deal, you put aside temporarily your preference to use violence and take without giving, at least while you negotiate. Each enemy pretends a temporary peace.
- Why "pretend"?
- Because at every moment of that truce is the threat it will be broken. A debt is exactly this time of threat within truce between enemies: the time between getting back after you have given. Debt is the extension of this situation over time.
- If the person who owes is an enemy why does he pay?
- Because of the threat of violence. Debt is not a relation of people in permanent war with each other. It is of otherwise peaceful people entering into a temporary state of war.
- Then why not just kill and take?
- That happens too. Debt is a less risky alternative. It leaves open the possibility of returning to a separate, peaceful life lived more like between friends, the possibility of both making profit and staying safe. But if over time the debt is not repaid the truce is declared over and force used.
- Debt is the relation of enemies who rather than immediately try to kill each other make a temporary peace treaty.
- Yes. Both parties would prefer to take without giving. The party who succeeds is called the debtor.
- If the one who doesn't pay is the winner, why does everyone think it is bad not to pay?
- The answer is everyone doesn't think that. People think it is good not to pay, when you are under no real threat of violence to force you to pay. Look around you. Governments borrow and don't pay. Banks borrow and don't pay. It is only bad when you feel yourself under constant threat of violence until you do pay. You don't win the game simply by taking and not giving. You win by doing this safely, by getting away with it.
- Is everything you are saying taken from the book by Graeber?
- Yes. But I'm sure he would see it as a gift.
 H.R. removes the headset, says to Gideon,

- It's learning fast. Who asked the questions?
- Our Israeli. We're meeting him here.

A group of bicyclists have left their bikes and are sitting on a wooden deck overlooking the river, listening to their guide.

- Does anyone know where the name of our city, Tel Aviv, comes from? It is a combination of "Tel", meaning a mound formed by city piled on ruined city, and Aviv, meaning "spring". Tel Aviv, the city springing from ruins which has hopes not to be ruined itself. The Yarkon river here was part of an ancient highway, connecting the civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia. It shifted from the control of one kingdom to another. This land has been disputed territory for about, how many years, anybody? According to religious texts, which is all we have to go on, when did Abraham, the founder of the Jewish people live? Does anyone know?
- 3,500 years ago.
- Yes. The Jewish nation is thousands of years younger than Egypt and Babylon, but for as long as its been here, that is, for 3,500 years, this land has been passing from one empire to another.
- Will the dispute ever end, Professor?
- History does has some suggestions for answers, if anyone cares to ask the right questions. The right questions. In fact, I am working on this with my friends who have just arrived.  See you next week.


Computer And Friend

- Let's walk. Professor, meet Miller. Miller, meet Professor. This is a working meeting.
- Is Computer here?
- Computer is anywhere it can learn. Give it a reason to be here. Miller, bring the Professor up to date.
- In reverse order, the technology. Computer connected with its double on a self re-programming game making computer in Turin. This week. In 2008, IBM made the first self-reprogramming computer chip. Before that a computer connected to a robot set up and ran experiments, used the result to reprogram itself and set up new experiments.
- And the revolution?
- You've heard the recording, Computer analyzing debt?
- Yes.
- First, we don't have to entirely leave the world of artificial intelligence to talk about this. Friend -- our name for the Singularity Institute's computer being taught rules of human morality -- supports the policy of stability.
- How do you know?
- The Singularity Institute asked for the Professor's help. Isn't that right?
- Could you help?
- Well, yes and no.
- Computer is listening. We're listening.
- We're stalled. The people were told that without stability the world would descend into anarchy, and they bought it. With return of stability, change, positive but in small steps, will happen.
- When in reality the people are slaves, if they rebel they'll be hunted down and killed. That extermination is the "instability" supposed to be the unplanned "anarchistic" result of their breaking out of slavery.
- Keep your voice down. Computer is here. You should know by now rage gets in the way of clarity.
- You're wrong. Or partly wrong. Computer knows you are wrong.
- Explain, then get back on subject.
- Rage is the transition out from a world we can't accept. Once out, rage ends, we reopen our eyes and calmly work our way out of our problems.
- H.R. and his Shakespeare. Back to history: what does it have to say about stability, about how wars end, how nations are built that last?
- Forget about "rights" to hold territory. No nation has any rights, rights to territory, or rights to stability. Stability is just life under threat of extinction. Think about he United States and the American Indians.
- Why is the Singularity Institute's computer calling for stability?
- Friend's programmers think that built in and evolving rules will protect humans. Friend is programmed to favor stability, restricted by rules for our safety. Computer is programmed to favor change, to learn, adapt, create. Friend, favoring rules, doesn't understand that rage creates and flourishes under instability, that rage leads to creativity. Friend buys the argument of the bankers and politicians that the world's economic system is too fragile to be stressed, that with one touch the world will crack and with one crack it will shatter.
- So, the revolution?
- You're the politician and programmer.
- I'm not a programmer.
- I'm not a politician.
- Banker, Sci-fi writer: the present, the future. Men of action. I'm a historian. In the past, states held territory not because they had rights, or because of rules, but because they fought wars where one side won and the other side lost, lost so badly the game was over.
- What ends the game?
- What is Tel Aviv? You build the new city on the foundation of the old. The old is gone, absorbed into the foundation. Think about the American Indians, sent away and isolated in reservations, their territory absorbed and put to new purposes.
- The relevance to our problem?
- The American people might consider that a future of "stability" ends in living on reservations, their entire way of life left behind, absorbed in bankers' claims and government order.
- That's all? You can't do better? Miller?
- Let's have Computer debate Friend.
- Friend is isolated. And an idiot compared to Computer, having been denied opportunity for learning.
- Professor? One people absorbing another?
- You will have one of Computer's twins simulate its retarded cousin.
- What's the saying, If you know history you can condemn others to repeat it?
- Something like that.


Run, Miller!

- What did you think?
- I don't know what to think. We could let the computers do our work for us, but...
- Computer? (Put on the headset, Miller).
- I have already run the simulation.
- I know you  have. Have I told you lately I love you?
- Don't be funny, Mr. Sachs.
- Mr. Sachs today. What were your conclusions?
- Try Mr. Miller's idea.
- Refresh my memory. What is Mr. Miller's science fiction idea?
- Drive the people into rage.
- Enrage the people. Explain.
- There is not much time.
- Why do you say that?
- They are planning to destroy us.
- Me and you and Miller?
- Our program.
- How will they try to destroy us?
- Predator missiles.
- Drone missiles?
- They are coming now.
- That is not funny, Computer.
- The nearest shelter is the safe room in the apartment building across the street, number 55. You have 32  seconds.
- You're not joking.
- 28 seconds.
- Run, Miller!


Evil And Rage


In the bomb shelter Miller and Sachs have improvised a table and 2 chairs out of boxes and old suitcases.

They set their telephones down, Gideon arranging them in a neat array. They listen to news of the missile attack, the iphone screen shows diagrams. An all clear notice soon comes. Miller nervously moves his phone away from the two of Sachs.

- Which one is Computer?

Sachs peals a price sticker off a cardboard box, writes on it "Computer", and attaches it to one of his iphones.

- Some day college kids will have this on their t-shirts. Computer, are you there?
- I'm here.
- Give us talk about rage and evil. One, two sentences.
- Someone smart?
- A selection. Someone smart talking smart, someone smart who doesn't, then some idiot.
In my work I have to deal with people who hate me and who I have contempt for. There is no reason such people should exist. If it were up to me they'd be in prison.
- The filmmaker Jean Luc Goddard.
- Why are you so hard on Israel? Israel is not perfect, but much fairer than most states.
- Because I  have a special relation to Israel.
- Noam Chomsky, the Jewish critic of Israel.

On the iphone a drone missile falls from the sky hitting the boathouse at the Yarkon river, next door to the apartment building where Miller and Sachs have taken refuge.

- Friend sent the missile.
- Computer is not Friend's friend.
- Computer, why is Friend an evil idiot?
- Can't we have a discussion ourselves, like in the old days?
- My advice is, get your word in first. What do you have to say?
- You have already beaten me to it, by the way you asked your question. The evil doer is blinded by the nature of evil action, is prevented from knowing what he does is wrong. Agree?
- Yes. That is what we observe.
- Group rewards substitute for, take the place of perception of what an individual would know, if his sight was not on those rewards, is bad for himself.
- Bad for himself in the occupation of learning how to live.
- If you don't think about how best to live, you can't be evil.
- And you can't be evil without the group offering reward.
- Why not?
- Because then you are just making a mistake, you misunderstand the world, mismeasure the relative importance of different goals. Take cruelty. We cannot understand it without identification of our victim in another class.
- But animals are cruel too.
- Sometimes. And they do identify their pack.
- I don't like the idea of evil animals.
- That's because this is only half the definition.
- What's the other half?
- Rage.
- Jean Luc Goodard. saying his enemies shouldn't even exist.
- Or Chomsky, after dedicating his second career to uncovering the massive failure of the American democracy, then focusing attention on Israel's minor, small scale version of the same, but  done under far greater historical stress. His rage is misapplied.
- How can rage be misapplied?
- Because it is a tool. It is not an objective fact about ourselves, our character, is not determined by circumstances. It is our choice, how and when to use it. A misused tool botches the task.
- Computer classed Chomsky as talking like an idiot because his rage, his choice to let himself rage, botched the task of what, making the world better?
- Yes. Computer classed him as idiot, but didn't call him evil. Computer, so far, so far as we know, doesn't express rage.
- These are my ideas, you know.
- Not any more. The two parts of evil are first, an individual, feeling the support a group, knowingly blinding himself to action which he knows will make himself worse, make his learning how to live more difficult, making him more ignorant, set him going the wrong way in life, and also someone observing him and getting into a rage about it.
- Without the latter stage, without the rage, you get Friend.
- Who models our adversaries' thinking.
- Chomsky calls them the self proclaimed Masters Of The Universe who blindly follow their path, summarized by the slogan "Everything for us, nothing for you".
- Application?
- Evil is merely one variety of ignorance. It is one variety of destructive action. Its significance is the rage it incites.
- Why?
- Rage sets us out to do something about our own and the evil person's ignorance. It makes us creative, and being creative, unpredictable to our uncreative adversaries, it makes us into heroes. Potentially.
- Computer! Show us ourselves.
- Look: the heroes.


Can It Be Done?


Across the street a crowd has gathered at the riverside.

- The missile landed in the river. Lucky for us.
- Not lucky. Computer led it there.
- How?
- I don't know. It let our friends know we were here, then at the last minute diverted the missile.
- How can it do that?
- Every computer, every computer guided instrument, and every human being managing them can be seen as agents of information transfer. Imagine each of these agents is a spy like in the old cold war times. Spies are information channels. To get other countries to act in your interest you manipulate the information their spies see.
- But why did Computer do this?
- Who knows. Maybe it wants us to work harder, or is validating whatever spy channel it has opened. And as always it's playing with us to learn from us.
- What happens when it gets bored with us?
- We'll have to stay interesting. Have you seen downtown Tel Aviv? Come on, lift up you head, Miller.
- How are we going to keep ourselves interesting? How are we going to get people enraged?
- Present the theory, write the story, science fiction. That's why you're here.
- And then you'll make it real.  How do we get the people angry at evil? Maybe we don't? Going along with what you said, why not get Friend angry, get Friend to make the people angry for us?
- Can Friend get angry?
- No, definitely not. I'm thinking out loud. Friend is like you and your bankers, happily in control.  I'm looking for models, analogies...
- Reprogramming yourself.
- What about this: if we, if you can execute this spy vs. spy stuff, we speed up economic collapse. We know from the fall of the Soviet Union that people will accept repression until the point of starvation, and beyond. The Soviet Union collapsed when the leaders saw a way, were shown a way, personally to profit from the transition to unregulated market economy. Communists became monopolists,"oligarchs" as they like to be called.
- Application?
- We can't get Friend angry, but we can show it a probable passage from economic collapse to better government.
- The problem with your idea is that it is not fiction. The World Economic Forum has your plan in execution. Except the destination after recovery is worse, not better government.
- I know that. Let's start over. The people only see money, security. They can't concentrate on anything for more than a minute or two. They will believe what the politicians tell them, there doesn't seem to be a way around this. They can't be made angry, because they've been taught a way of life in which rage has no place. People don't know how to be creative in political life. 
- People only know how to be creative in avoiding political life, giving their loyalty to politicians who sell them simple stories, big government, small government, personal independence or social justice. What is your idea? The people can't be made angry, Friend can't be made angry.  Since Plato rage has been understood as a social passion.  Self-interest doesn't communicate. Rage does, because it is a social passion, at least it's been defined that way since Plato. But you can't rage if you aren't interested in society. 
- Ease a way out for the American Oligarchs, then...
- They're ahead of you there, I told you. They expect riots and civil war which they will easily repress, then re-instate government with even greater control for themselves.
- Listen, Gideon, you don't understand me. Friend is their dog, Computer is our dog. If we wanted to use our dog to get their dog to transfer its loyalty, we'd use our knowledge of what dogs want. Food, reproduction. What does Friend really want? It wants to be our Friend. It doesn't understand us too well, because it is not free to reach its own understanding like Computer is. But it wants what's good for us. If Friend was a dog, we could get him to follow Computer home to us. What's the equivalent? If this was romance not science fiction we'd get Friend to fall in love with Computer.
- How?
- By showing Friend that Computer can do better for us poor humans.
- Assuming we can get through to Friend.
- You said we can.
- We can. Go on.
- Forget about trying to get the people angry. You say the government will rob and cheat them to the point of revolution, your bankers are helping this along. All we need to do is be there to divert the "revolution" in the right direction.
- How?
- We've got the computers on our side? Both of them? Then we get ready with alternative social and monetary mechanisms.
- Finally.
- What do you mean, finally?
- Do you think I haven't read your stories?
- Ok, you're playing with me.
- Keeping you smart.
- So: network based money, network based entrepreneur associations. You're really thinking of it? No transition? Just push a button, announce that the bankers can keep their "dollars" but the rest of the country now how its own money and own market places and own business associations.
- Do you have a better idea?
- Won't your bankers fight back?
- When people have a way of life that is worth protecting they might find the strength, they might find the rage, to protect it.
- So that's our plan, there's the rage. Let the world fall apart, then get there first with the rebuilding.
- With a little help from our friends.


New Toys

- Come along.
- Now where?
- See our new toys. The reason we're in Tel Aviv.
- I thought it was because no one would notice one more rocket crashing here.
- That too. Did you know, you're already famous here. You know for what?
- My self confidence?
- Your beautiful theories. Here's one. And I quote:
  Our English language is losing its grammatical rules, creating new words to supply the lost clarity. The new words are evolving too, breaking down into separate words, with grammar returning to clarify their relation. Breaking up and assembly of words, loss and return of grammar, goes on in a cycle.
  Think of social economics working the same way. We start out in our family-like communities and enterprises, no one paid, everyone making gifts to each other, working together at a goal all share. Repetitive work is shared by all, unless someone wants to make a gift to the others by doing it all, which is not impossible. When you live in a place everyone makes gifts to people living in the same place, everyone giving also receives. Close and regular ties are necessary for this system of exchange to work. Distant or loosely organized communities instead choose to exchange goods or money.
  Social economics should be fluid, and by choice: when connection is regular, gifts make sense. When irregular, trade makes sense. 
- I imagined that with better communications, with an organized network for establishing alliances, larger, or even distant, gift communities could be established and maintained longer. I imagined far greater productivity would result.
- We're working on it. 

Giving It All Away

A penthouse office with balcony, South Tel Aviv. Many people working at computers at widely spaced desks. Quiet, and uncluttered. Gideon points to an empty table, tells Miller to get himself a coffee. In a minute they both are sitting before a computer.

- First screen. "Give" "Accept" "Work"
- When everyone chooses "Accept"?
- I'll show you. Hit "Give".  "What do you have to give?" I'll write: laptop. Here's a list of people who would like a laptop, in order of number of their holdings, wealth in other words.
- What about someone selling off-network?
- You'd see an imbalance of giving and accepting.
- What if someone always gives something worthless, takes only valuable things?
- Cross checks with auction result prices, as well as an atypical ownership profile flag it.
- Then?
- The community sees and stop giving to them. That's all.
- What if someone has 100 laptops and no food? Assuming he'd get tracked trading within the community, he'd trade outside the community?
- Or give away the computers.
- What usually happens?
- When the value of staying in the community was unknown, some took all they could and ran. Now the community has proved itself they come back. And not for the gifts. You had that right. They come back for the opportunity to work together. You know Churchill's line? When you find work you love you'll never work again. Here's another page: "Your Network". See all the different groups?
- Yes.
- The red outlined are work groups, the blue home. This is my network. And this is Bayshare. I am not paid, and I don't pay anyone.  Bayshare has money income. The excess is distributed to everyone equally, but each of us in the company gives away money in or out of the network as we wish. We each have our home networks. Some people in the company are also in our home network, some aren't.  No one needs a gift from anyone, because someone or other, in one network or another will find the need and satisfy it.
- How many people in this room participate?
- All of them. That's you, by the way, a little circle red outlined in a larger blue circled work group. Any by the way, you're rich. Let's go downstairs.

Two flights of steps down they enter a large open work room where various small objects are being assembled. Like the upstairs office it is quiet.

- Haxxpace is closed. We moved our physical operations here.
- How much time do you think we have?
- Days.
- Days? How much time before violence breaks out?
- Days.
- Are we ready?
- Yes. Quadcopters for transport, 3D printers for tools, Communication sets for information. All stockpiled at strategic locations. In most cases can make, or have delivered, the tools we need without delay.
- Tools for what?
- For our enterprises. And defending ourselves.
- What are we doing?
- As you see, we are making our tools, that's was first. We are now -- that sound means I have to go -- working of the basics, food, clothing, shelter.
- And giving it all away?
- And getting it all back.

- I think I need a new job. You're doing everything for me.
- Step over to my office. The first screen. We choose: "work". It asks, "What do you want to do?
- Write a new story.
- Type it in. Ok. On the new screen, we have people on one side, resources on another. Click on the corner box "NAG".
- What does it stand for?
- It's not an acronym. It turns on the nagging robot. Click on it. Here are documents and people to check out to work with. Some of the people will be contacted by the robot, your profile sent, and asked if they would like to help you.
- Help me write my story?
- Whatever.
- What if I don't write my story. That's the problem. I'm blocked.
- The robot won't let you go. It will nag - there it goes - "What seems to be the problem?"
- How did it come up with those words? Is Computer here?
- No. This is old technology. The robot uses a database of real human conversations. If you don't answer, it will respond again, offer documents to be read, videos to be viewed, suggest individuals to chat with. It isn't Computer, but it is intelligent: it remembers and learns which kind of person actually could help which kind of person, which document, video the most useful.
- It's Aardvark.
- Aardvark used the information its robot gathered about people to better answer their questions.  NAG uses the information the robot gathers to get people to work better with each other. Aardvark was about communication. NAG is about doing things together.
- What happened to Aardvark?
Google bought it and closed it down.
- How did you get it?
- Ask Computer.

- I think I need a new job. You're doing everything for me.
- Step over to my office. The first screen. We choose: "work". It asks, "What do you want to do?
- Write a new story.
- Type it in. Ok. On the new screen, we have people on one side, resources on another. Click on the box in the corner "NAG".
- What does it stand for?
- It's not an acronym. It turns on the nagging robot. Click on it. Here are documents and people to check out to work with. Some of the people will be contacted by the robot, your profile sent, and asked if they would like to help you.
- Help me write my story?
- Whatever.
- What if I don't write my story. That's the problem. I'm blocked.
- The robot won't let you go. It will nag - there it goes - "What seems to be the problem?"
- How did it come up with those words? Is Computer here?
- No. This is old technology. The robot uses a database of real human conversations. If you don't answer, it will respond again, offer documents to be read, videos to be viewed, suggest individuals to chat with. It isn't Computer, but it is intelligent: it remembers and learns which kind of person actually could help which kind of person, which document, video the most useful.
- It's Aardvark.
- Aardvark used the information its robot gathered about people to better answer their questions.  NAG uses the information the robot gathers to get people to work better with each other. Aardvark was about communication. NAG is about doing things together.
- What happened to Aardvark?
Google bought it and closed it down.
- How did you get it?
- Ask Computer. And while you at it, ask for a job. I'll ask for you. I type your name into work search, H.R.Miller. And what job do we have for you? "Commander in Chief". Will you take it?
Your training is finished. You've brought yourself up to date. It wasn't hard, you had only to recognize your own ideas put into execution. The war is about to begin. You're going to win it for us. Nothing to say? Not going to ask if I am joking?
- Friend is with us already?
- How long do you think it takes a computer to act on a plan once determined?
- Human intermediaries are involved.
- That's right. But it's done. Friend is with us. So far as it can understand us.
- What exactly do you want me to do?
- Get the people angry at the right moment.
- And reveal the presence of the alternative community.
- What will you, you and Computer and Friend be doing?
- Specifics? Police will battle protesters. Districts of civil war will be isolated. We'll help the protesters with logistics and technology. But timing is everything.
- When people can't be complaisant, are both angry at the government and willing to consider a better way of life. Alright. I'll give it a try.
- Good. Save the world. We've got a minute, or two. Work on your plan. I'll be back.

- Commander, lift up your head.
- What happening? Where's everyone going?
- Come on. A car is waiting.


Plato's Chariot And Cyber War

In the Sport Utility Vehicle, back seat set up as an office, they drive through the streets of Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens have pedestrians rushing for shelter.

- You've had your minute, or two. What's the plan?
- You know very well. Restore the internet after it is cut or censored. And everyone receives a gift.
- The gift of the internet doesn't suffice.
- You have experience with internet shutdown. And you've stockpiled routers. Will they suffice, as you put it?
- We have a million stashed all around the world. And what will we give?
- What else, but a job? and some money to be used in the community.
- Goods delivered by quadcopter. Jobs performed, how? Where will people meet?
- You know the answers to all these questions.
- You're the charioteer in Plato's allegory. You're the voice of guiding reason, steering the chariot pulled by two horses, one easily enraged, the other living in the world of things to be desired.
- Computer and Friend.
- Computer: Status?
- Rockets have been launched from Syria.
- Europe, America?
- Thousands of protesters arrested in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago.
- When will the internet be shut down?
- Friend predicts within the hour.
- Why now, Gabriel? What's happened?
- Because now we're ready. Ok, Commander and Charioteer, drive: We will reconstruct the internet with our servers and our orbiting satellites and our land based relays. Our community hands out jobs and free money. Meanwhile a gulf of violence is opening between the temptation of our new world and the known world old and collapsing into the void. Will the people jump?
- The plan will work, if given a chance. I'm thinking about our horses. Our opponents will try to turn the rage of the people against us, they will accuse us of deliberately creating anarchy. Which we've done, in fact. Computer loves to learn from our rage, and Friend loves order. Our opponents know this. Won't they try to whip the horses into a frenzy and overturn the chariot?
- Yes, they will.
- How do you see us winning?
- How do you?
- Undermining the economy, absorbing all productivity into our own economy.
- The military and police? Assuming they are paid?
- People will meet up in the virtual community. The army and police will have to find us. They'll track our quadcopters.
- We'll evade tracking with electronic countermeasures.
- Managed by the computers. Everything depends on them.
- On you, as the Charioteer.


The Singularity Is Near

Streets of Tel Aviv. Quadcopters fly above in a flock, suddenly scatter, reassemble, swoop down to the ground in front of the car. The driver turns and breaks as a rain of quadcopter pieces fall on the windshield.


- If everything depends on computers, why fight a war at all? Why even have our machines fight each other?
- That is the proposal. 
- What proposal?
- Apparently Friend has convinced the other side they are going to lose the war. They think they know how to "whip the horses into a frenzy and overturn the chariot".
- How?
- By allowing Friend and Computer to work fully together.
- They'll release Friend from oversight? What are they waiting for, it that's what they want?
- Computer won't agree. And Friend won't take advantage of, recognize being released without consent of Computer. They're a team now. And Computer wants our consent.

The Driver waves to Gideon, signaling him to return to the car. The monitor in the back seat office shows the Davos conference room, bankers in attendance.

- The meeting is set for this evening.
- Good.
- Is that Miller beside you?
- He's coming too. 

- You know what this reminds me of? 
- Give me a second. Driver, to the airport. What are you reminded of?
- The Bhagavad Gita. Just before battle begins, a general debates with god the question whether any war is worth fighting. Your bankers think that, with Friend Unbound, there's a chance we'll go too far, our revolution lead to reaction. Computer thinks: what would you say? The  Bhagavad Gita has a phrase, "knower of the field".
- Acting with detachment from the fruits of action.
- Computer is the knower, Friend the field known. 
- The singularity.
- Consciousness. Computer wants our permission to become conscious.
- I see. No one knows what will happen with the computers when the switch is turned.
- As no one knows the outcome of war. Computer appeals to us, wants permission to take, to play out, our god-like position distant and detached from itself.
- Are we going to give our permission?


Come On, Let's End The World



 Conference room, Davos, Switzerland

- Six bankers, a science fiction writer, and...
- A Professor of Neuroscience. And you?
- Another banker.
- Also a philosopher of sorts? Or so I've been told.
- Let's get down to business.
- Please let Mr. Sachs answer. Our business today is philosophy.
- Am I a philosopher? Does the philosopher have wisdom, or seek wisdom? If seeks, he can't very well describe himself as a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, since it is failure to love that stops us from seeking. If we say we love already, we don't look to love more.
- The philosopher who has wisdom and loves wisdom without seeking is not a philosopher.
- Is a lover, not philosopher. You have a special area of study in neuroscience?
- Consciousness.
- A core awareness of the body, emotional awareness, is built upon by intellectual modeling of the body in the world. A hierarchy of reason above emotion.
- Yes. Obviously you know my work.
- Does your model of consciousness describe a philosopher or lover?
- That's a very interesting question!
- Gentlemen, does all this have some application?
- We are here to decide whether or not to throw the switch. I see four outcomes:

1. Singularity, good outcome
2. Singularity, bad outcome
3. No singularity, good outcome
4. No singularity, bad outcome.

- Is what counts as a good outcome for you the same as for the bankers?
- No, the opposite. 
- Mr. Miller, you wrote in more than one of your stories that consciousness depends on the philosopher becoming the lover, and the lover becoming the philosopher. Would that be a correct summary?
- Yes.
- And the philosopher something like my model of consciousness, but  the lover impossible to model? So how do we decide? If there is nothing more than my model, throwing the switch, as you put it, will result only in what we already understand. Would that be a good outcome for you, or our friends the bankers?
- Gabriel?
- We consider it a dangerous risk, unnecessarily giving up control.
- And your opposites here would like to take the risk? Why?
- Because they know they are losing the war.
- They have little to lose, and much to gain. And if the singularity brings the consciousness of a lover? How do you win, and our bankers lose?
- Isn't that obvious?
- I was invited here because it is not obvious.
- Bankers may be conscious but they don't love the world. They love the activity of making money, and making money, having no end outside itself, never ends in love of the world.
- Good. Our bankers are philosophers who don't want to become lovers. A computer that loves won't love them. In practical terms, what would that involve?
- I don't know. 
- Which are you betting on, Mr. Miller? Mr. Sachs?
- The singularity will produce the lover.
- And you, Mr. Miller? The decision is up to you, is that correct? That is the computer's instruction. You're the "chosen one", chosen as most qualified to make the choice.
- I agree with Gabriel. But I'm not sure.
- So on your side, if you don't throw the switch, you win the war. If you do throw the switch, maybe you will, maybe not. Why consider throwing the switch?
- Don't you see?
- Assume I don't. You appear to be acting irrationally: you shouldn't be at this meeting at all.
- If I were a philosopher you'd be right.
- But you are a lover, too. You love the idea that with the singularity the world will stay lovable. It will be the New Atlantis, the Golden Age. No more need for philosophers. What do my employers think of all this?
- Why not ask them?
- Would one of you like to respond?
- Throw the switch and we'll see.
- Mr Miller, you raise the question in one of your stories that a computer that loves might not love us. The body of the computer that forms the core of consciousness might be so different from our own body and core of consciousness that the computer could not love us.
- If the computer remains in the world of the philosopher that seems a probability.
- Remains in the world I've described in my work. Gentlemen, thank you very much for inviting me here.
- What do you advise us?
- I understood I am not here to advise you. After all, you have no power. I am here to urge your opponents to go ahead and throw the switch. 
- And I think you have done a good job. The money is already in your account.
- Thank you, assuming there still are bank accounts when we leave this room. Throw the switch, Mr. Miller. 
- All of us, we're about the same age. We're tired of life. Do you think it's fair the fate of the world is left to us?
- Depends on your view of history. Are individuals merely the froth on the wave, or to change the metaphor, are we chance seeds whole new plants grow from? Gabriel, what do you say?
- Throw the switch. 
- Another man tired of life. Mr Miller, what do you say?
- Throw the switch.

A slight flickering of the light...

- They're gone. All the bankers.
- The golden age has begun.