Archive for the ‘MONKEY BUSINESS’ Category

Azi And Born-Men

The SF writer C.J. Cherryh hypothesised that any interstellar expansion would run up against an acute labour shortage. She therefore envisaged the grunt-work being done, not by robots, but by vat-grown humans, whom she called “azi” (for Artificial Zygote Insemination). Where most authors would have left it at that, or tried to gross us out […]

Posted on April 8, 2009 at 09:50 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

Galactic Tears In The Rain

One of the points of the many-layered Blade Runner was that the “replicant” or biological robot played by Rutger Hauer shows the purportedly human protagonist how a real human being acts. Deciding that the Harrison Ford character was a replicant himself does not extract us from our predicament, namely that we operate with three quite […]

Posted on April 9, 2009 at 20:55 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

Seeing The Code

When, in the Matrix films, Neo sees the code that constitutes his world, this is a profound metaphor. It is what other cultures have called Enlightenment, which tends to be a binary thing; you don’t get it, until suddenly you get it all. Well, let us assume that our world is not in fact a […]

Posted on April 10, 2009 at 10:06 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

Cartesian Automata

My old philosophy tutor held that animals did not have human-type awareness, so that one could not say that Fido “knew” that getting the lead out meant a walk, or that he had no business lying on his master’s bed. All we could say, he claimed, was that when you showed him the lead he […]

Posted on April 11, 2009 at 09:35 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

The Natural Intelligence Boondoggle

I have heard it said that there can be no true AI, only simulation. Well, why? Is it something special about the platform? Are there ghosts only in biological machines, perhaps? Or are we saying that what we think of as sentience in ourselves does not really exist in the first place? Certainly the behaviourists […]

Posted on April 12, 2009 at 10:41 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

On The Banks Of The Main

Sometimes you flip the drawing and see something as something else, which you cannot thereafter unsee. This happened to me in the park that runs along the north bank of the river Main at Frankfurt. I suddenly started to see the pretty girls who walked and jogged here cybernetically, as sophisticated but very specialised programs. […]

Posted on April 14, 2009 at 17:01 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

In The Beginning Was The ‘Bot

They say that the leading spammers are making millions – from whom exactly is a mystery, since no one is admitting being the customer. Below these top players are the wannabes, who purchase packages they hope will make them millionaire leading spammers. But when we get to spambots that self-replicate and talk only gibberish we […]

Posted on May 4, 2009 at 08:32 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · 3 Comments
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

This Is Always Me

How often do we hear somebody justify some nonsensical assertion or some idiotic course of action with the words, “What I always say is…” or “What I always do is…”? By all means let us take it as read that this is in fact what they do always say and this is in fact what […]

Posted on May 6, 2009 at 10:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

The Bottom Line And Top Modelling

The entire animal world is perpetually engaged in economics; although a better way to express this truth might be to suggest that economists should regard their field as a special case of ecology. Every creature has to apportion its energy budget between reproduction and survival, or between reproduction and some other individual utility. From this, […]

Posted on May 10, 2009 at 09:00 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, Beings and Gentlebeings

Who-Whom

I was reading the other day about the phenomenon of the “bow shock wave”: that is, when the bossman enters the room, the way his spear-carriers deploy so as to make his entrance both secure and highly visible. It is an ancient power technique, and I found myself wondering whether new gophers were explicitly taught […]

Posted on May 21, 2009 at 09:24 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: MONKEY BUSINESS, The Monkey Agenda