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 consensual illusion run on someone else’s computers with its workings visible as scrolling lines of alphanumerics – even though it might be some other kind of consensual illusion. What then might be the equivalent of seeing the code? The testimony of the traditionally Enlightened is of no use here, because they are all quite unable to communicate their insight; how very convenient for them. A more modest aim than seeing the code of the whole cosmos might, however, be to see the code of human beings; that is, to perceive the algorithms on which human behaviour is based. For human behaviour is undoubtedly strategic in nature, which ultimately means algorithmic: if this, then that, to achieve this do that. The thought then occurs to me that there are indeed people who do as Neo; people who, when they look at a person, see not the outward phenomenon, but only the scrolling code of that person’s motivations and security holes. We call them psychopaths.

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

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  1. Written by Mick Whitehead
    on December 7, 2011 at 16:44

    They might also be called hermits. For should a man suddenly understand what really motivates his ‘fellow men’ he would be seized with horror. He would run for his version of ‘the hills,’ be it a quiet studio or an isolated lair. The ancient Hindoos believed that all human beings ideally evolve into hermits. It is for this reason we are unlikely to meet great and noble men. They don’t keep event calendars. Schopenhauer tells us that the more ‘sociable’ a man is the more intellectually poor and vulgar he will be, and this has been my experience as well. Now to a simple-minded fellow the revelation that the majority of humans are fuelled by unbridled greed and egotism will not come as a surprise. He will not find anything out of place, indeed he will intuitively know all this because of his own motivations.

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