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Friday, May 13, 2016

Adrian Reynolds on paying attention and not being a robot

Adrian Reynolds

Robert Anton Wilson fan (and writer,  and coach) Adrian Reynolds has a very nice essay up, "What's Up Doc?",  about about paying attention to what's around you and avoiding acting like a robot.

"For the last couple of weeks I've either been doing things to reach deadlines for projects I'm already working on, or starting to prepare for new escapades. Not much wiggle room in there for departing from a bunch of habits that I've mistaken for myself."

But he got out of it, and read how.  There's some Discordianism in his piece.

And if you like the piece, don't miss his "Press When Illuminated" video.


Drew said...

I think this relates to the idea of curiosity. Wilson was well aware, given his upbringing, of the effects of trying to stifle curiosity. I think his work is a testament to the need for curiosity. If Wilson taught me nothing else, he taught me that curiosity is one of the main driving forces of human progress and any attempt to stifle it is attempt to stifle progress.

I am reminded of the quote from George Bernard Shaw

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions which surround him. The Unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt surrounding conditions to himself...all progress depends on the unreasonable man"

I take the first sentence to apply to those without curiosity. We know we are not "robots" exactly at the times we break some habit. Robotos, not yet anyway, cannot do this.

Haha, I am not a robot.

Unknown said...

Hi, thanks Tom for posting and Drew for the feedback. And yes, I'd agree curiosity is vital here. I'm influenced by my training in NLP here, along with whatever was there already. And am exploring curiosity in new forms which I suspect will lead to further writings, and maybe workshops too.

michael said...

RAW's extension of the Copenhagen Interpretation to one's own life - Model Agnosticism - seems to me to strongly imply that my everyday thinking about "reality" is always contingent: I have my current main model for some phenomenon, but I'm aware of a few others that reasonable people hold, but which are not my main model. Maybe they have something to say?

It's an Open Universe mode of thought. There are no closed systems; why act as if my extremely limited POVs "really do" "match up" with some posited "reality" that probably doesn't exist except in various imaginations?

Bucky: "Dare to be naive!"

Anonymous said...

Although the Church of the SuperGenius considers Bugs an Adversary, I liked this.

Drew said...

Maybe we could make Wilson's view a many worlds view, by calling it Modal Model Agnosticism. I am much more partial to many worlds interpretation these days xD

Drew said...

I looked on the internet for "Modal Agnosticism" and it turns out the head of my philosophy department actually put forwards such a view. Tomorrow, I am going to go and ask him if he has heard of Wilson before.

chas said...

Thanks for this post, Tom--I also quite enjoyed the video.

I think one of the most awesome gifts of the coming "age of robots" is going to be the wake-up call when we encounter a robot "who" seems to "be" more human than we "are". Bob's Introduction to Christopher Hyatt's Undoing Yourself With Energized Meditation goes on a deep robot riff, beginning with this line: 'The facts of modern biology and psychology have demonstrated clearly and conclusively that 99 percent of the human race is in a robotic or zombi-like state 99.99999 percent of the time.

And now to prove that "I'm not a robot."