paul on ai

via p2p foundation share on fb.. april 2023 article by paul kingsnorth (co founder of dk mtn) – The Universal – Four Questions Concerning The Internet, part one – []


Paul Kingsnorth (born 1972) is an English writer who lives in the west of Ireland. He is a former deputy-editor of The Ecologist and a co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project.

Kingsnorth’s nonfiction writing tends to address macro themes like environmentalism, globalisation, and the challenges posed to humanity by civilisation-level trends. His fiction, notably the Buckmaster Trilogy, tends to be mythological and multi-layered

Kingsnorth announced retirement from journalism in late 2007 in a blog post. In 2009, with writer and social activist Dougald Hine, Kingsnorth founded the Dark Mountain Project, “a network of writers, artists, and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself”. Since 2009 it has run a series of summer festivals and smaller events, produced bi-annual anthologies of “uncivilised” writing and art, and built up an international collection of writers and artists who aim to “offer up a challenge to the foundations of our civilisation”. One Uncivilization festival described by the New York Times in 2014 included sessions on contemporary nature writing, a panel describing criticisms of psychiatric care, a reading by Kingsnorth from his book The Wake, and a midnight ritual. The ritual involved the burning of a wicker effigy of a treeHe was one of the Project’s directors until stepping down in 2017.

dougald hine and dark mountain ness

notes/quotes from paul’s article:

So I won’t try to prove anything. Instead I will devote this essay to asking a question that has stalked me for years. It’s such a big question, in fact, that I am breaking this already long essay into two parts, and dividing the question itself into four smaller inquiries, in the hope that this way it will be more digestible, to me if no-one else

What I want to know is this: what force lies behind the screens and wires of the web in which we are now entangled like so many struggling flies, and *how we can break free of it.

*to me.. that’s the question.. how to get out.. a legit global detox/re\set

What I want to know is this: *what force lies behind the screens and wires of the web in which we are now entangled like so many struggling flies, and **how we can break free of it.

In short: What is this thing? And how should it *be faced?

to me.. shouldn’t be *faced.. like you said above.. waste of time/energy.. rather.. cancerous distraction.. we just need to **try something legit diff.. 

ie: org around a problem deep enough (aka: org around legit needs) to resonate w/8bn today.. via a mechanism simple enough (aka: tech as it could be) to be accessible/usable to 8bn today.. and an ecosystem open enough (aka: sans any form of m\a\p) to set/keep 8bn legit free

Question One: why does digital technology feel so revolutionary?

It turns out that this uneasy feeling can be explained. Something was shifting, and something was emerging: it was the birth of Artificial Intelligence. Now it is here. Now everything really changes.

nah.. makes no diff really.. what degree of voluntary complianced we are.. diff is.. if we’re in or out of sea world

hari rat park law et al.. need a way out.. not more fear mongering/analyzing/gazing

Tech guru Jaron Lanier, for example – one of a group of Silicon Valley types who have made a living both developing these toys and warning about them at the same time – likes to play this kind of talk down. He has no truck with talk of conscious AIs, or of robots going rogue. The big danger posed by AI, he says, is that humanity will ‘die by insanity’, as a result of the blurring of the boundaries between the real and the computer-generate

jaron on ai et al

Others, though, are less sanguine. Partly as a result of the Sydney debacle, over 12,000 people, including scientists, tech developers and notorious billionaires, recently issued a public statement of concern about the rapid pace of AI development. ‘Advanced AI could represent a *profound change in the history of life on Earth’, they wrote, with ‘potentially catastrophic effects on society.’ Calling for a moratorium on AI development, they proposed that ‘powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.’

nah.. haven’t had a profound change since forever.. we do need one.. but to date.. all has been just diff degrees of same song ness

Consider this one chilling fact: when polled for their opinions, over half of those involved in developing AI systems said they believe there is at least a ten percent chance that they will lead to human extinction. (then video of that talk embed)

same as here: tristan and aza on ai

And yet the two presenters do a disturbingly good job of undermining their own message. They show that while AI is very young, it is already out of control, and it is accelerating so fast in its capabilities that even those who are nominally in charge of it (the same people, remember, who fear it has a small but significant chance of causing our extinction) don’t themselves know quite what is happening or what to do about it

Raskin and Harris call these things ‘Gollem-class AIs’, after the mythical being from Jewish folklore which can be moulded from clay and sent out to do its creator’s bidding. The Gollem was one inspiration for Frankenstein’s monster in Mary Shelley’s tale, and the name is probably well-chosen, for Gollems often run riot and disobey their masters. Gollem-class AIs have developed what Harris gingerly calls ‘certain emergent capabilities’ which have come about independently of any human planning or intervention. Nobody knows how this has happened. It may not be lo

Question Two: what impulse is making this happen?

to me.. again.. waste of time/energy.. rather.. cancerous distraction.. we just need to **try something legit diff.. 

gershenfeld something else law: neil gershenfeld at 9 (of 11) min talk on edge site: []:

9 min… on pentagon trying to improve defense:

….possibly one of the best/most significant impacts of tech is not a better weapon to win a war but tech that gives people something else to do.  .. there will always be bad people that want to use best available means to shoot at each other but the roll of tech in giving everybody else something else to do – as a cost benefit trade off – may be one of the best military investments – and the generals got that.. but not clear what office in the pentagon is the office of preventive technology

freeing us – all – up to be usefully/happily preoccupied

What human capacity, then, is digital technology extending? The answer, said McLuhan, was our very consciousness itself.

to me.. rather.. our interconnectedness

imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness)

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh

marshall mcluhan et al

involves consciousness.. rather.. itch-in-the-soul.. but if we focus just on consciousness.. we get this:

Today, tech-booster ‘futurists’ like Kevin Kelly celebrate McLuhan’s ‘central nervous system’ – which we now call the Internet – not simply as an extension of human consciousness, but as potentially a new consciousness in itself.

and we start going on about training/prepping/hubris ing for knowing ness and intellect ness.. rather than just being quiet enough to see..

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature so we can org around legit needs

This is why the digital revolution feels so different: because it is. This thing – this technological nervous system, this technium, this gollem, this Machine – has a life of its own.

again.. not new/diff.. not a life.. our fear has is manifesting a life.. yeah.. all this flapping and fear mongering and whalespeak ing has nothing to do with organism as fractal ness

In an attempt to explain what is happening using the language of the culture, people like Harris and Raskin say things like ‘this is what it feels like to live in the double exponential.’ Perhaps the language of maths is supposed to be comforting. Yet at the same time, they can’t help using the language of myth. They still refer to this thing that they cannot quite grasp as a ‘gollem’ or a ‘monster.’ They even show slides of Lovecraftian tentacled beings devouring innocent screen-gazers. They talk about aliens, and make references to ‘emergence’ and ‘colonisation’. They can feel something, but they can’t quite name it. Or they won’t.

as addressed on tristan and aza on ai page.. speed has nothing to do with being legit diff..

Question Three: what if it’s not a metaphor?

Whatever is quite happening, it seems obvious to me that something is indeed being ‘ushered in’. Through our efforts and our absent-minded passions, something is crawling towards the throne. The ruction that is shaping and reshaping everything now, the earthquake born through the wires and towers of the web, through the electric pulses and the touchscreens and the headsets: these are its birth pangs. The Internet is its nervous system. Its body is coalescing in the cobalt and the silicon and in the great glass towers of the creeping yellow cities. Its mind is being built through the steady, 24-hour pouring-forth of your mind and mine and your children’s minds and your countrymen. Nobody has to consent. Nobody has to even know. It happens anyway. The great mind is being built. The world is being readied.

Something is coming.

nothing alive though.. and nothing new.. same song .. diff flavor/degrees

There is one last question to ask. I’ll be asking it next time.