from "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

All things have a bit of soul.
Priest conducting Buddhist funerals for Sony Aibo robotic pups.

We are but whirlpools in a river of ever-flowing water. We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves.
Norbert Wiener, the "grandfather of cybernetics"

In a way we are already living the dualistic existence that Kurzweil promised. In addition to our physical bodies, there exists--somewhere in the ether--a second self that is purely informational and immaterial, a data set of our clicks, purchases, and likes that lingers not in some transcendent nirvana but rather in the shadowy dossiers of third-party aggregators. These second selves are entirely without agency or consciousness; they have no preferences, no desires, no hopes or spiritual impulses, and yet in the purely informational sphere of big data, it is they, not we, that are most valuable and real.
Meghan O'Gieblyn, "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

From too much love of living,
From hope and fear set free,
We thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
from Algernon Charles Swinburne, "The Garden of Proserpine"
(Describing the weariness of life and the relief that comes from the assurance that it cannot last forever.)
There are two types of creation myths: those where life arises out of the mud, and those where life falls from the sky.
George Dyson (in "Turing's Cathedral")

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek once made a joke to this effect. Perhaps, he mused, God got a little lazy when he was creating the universe, like the video game programmer who doesn't bother to meticulously work out the interior of a house that the player is not meant to enter. "He stopped at a subatomic level," he said, "because he thought humans would be too stupid to progress so far."
Meghan O'Gieblyn "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

The op-eds making the case for shutdown all seemed to follow the same formula, beginning with some vague appeal to the intrinsic value of human life and then quickly devolving into profitability algorithms and affordability assessments in an attempt to demonstrate that the choice made sense on both moral and economic fronts--a tactic that only confirmed, in the end, the opposing view that human life was reducible to economic logic. This trend reached its logical end in an op-ed by Paul Krugman, who flatly debunked the truism that human life was "priceless." The statistical cost of life was calculated all the time in transportation and environmental policy, he said: it was roughly $10 million.
Meghan O'Gieblyn "God, Human, Animal, Machine"

Damn, my devblog is 10 years old today!