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Old 11-10-2011, 01:41 AM
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Default This is what I want to see

And I'd also like to know your opinion about it, since so many people here seem to disagree with me on so many issues.

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The birds are singing. They are singing, “Good morning.”

The soft grass slowly gives way to hard wood as I come across an oak tree beside the path. The sun overhead is bright and hot, so I sit down under the tree to rest.

The tree itself is remarkably ancient. The bark is the texture of sandpaper, and as I shift my weight, it feels oddly stimulating. I wiggle my toes in the grass, and get the same sensation – I feel connected to this place. I feel an involvement in the massive world around me, however small that is. The birds are still singing, though now they say, “Danger is coming.” That doesn’t concern me.

I look around me, taking in the undisturbed forest, and the beaten grass path winding off into the trees in both directions. A question occurs to me.
“How many people live here?” I ask the forest, empty of people, and I find the answer arriving in my head, apropos of apparently nothing: twenty-five thousand, two hundred and twelve people live, across the entire planet. I remember where the rest of them went, though I am still not sure what to think about it.

I look up through my shade, towards the sun, and wait a moment for my eyes to adjust to the glaring light. The glare soon fades, and I can see it clearly, but I can also see its halo of deep black – a dark stain on the bright sky. I distract myself from that. I don’t wish to think about what goes on up there; It’s far more calming and beautiful down here.
I can hear the wind whistling through the trees. It doesn’t say anything, but that doesn’t really matter. It is… yes, ‘serene’ is the best word. It is serene here, all the more so as I know that it will remain this way for millennia to come.

There aren’t any factories here, you see. No industry, no pollutants, no ugly metal machines. They’ve been gone decades now, and nature has been fast regenerating since. Now every continent that isn’t either frozen over or scorched dry teems with life, and I’m lying in the middle of it, watching the clouds go by. One just blocked the sun, and the shade seems to throw new life on everything around me.

A different bird is singing now, saying either “I am attractive,” or “There is food here.” I shall have to learn more about that particular species, among everything else I want to learn. It doesn’t concern me that much though; there is time to learn it all.

Everything here seems to move so slowly, and it feels like I have all the time in the world, so long as I stay here and listen to the sounds of things great and small living out their lives. It’s not technically true, unfortunately – I’ll get bored eventually. The cloud from earlier has moved, and I scrunch my eyes for a moment to shield them from the bright sunlight.

Then again, I’ve experienced an awful lot of time already. I remember food shortages, crime, riots, corruption, poverty, scarcity… All those things that happen when the single most adaptable virus ever is hardwired with the instruction “Reproduce.”

There are only twenty-five thousand of those left, and hardly any of them will ever reproduce, but that isn’t to say the others are dead. Quite the opposite: the others are richer, both materially and mentally, than I would be if I had a hundred lifetimes.

The clouds of metal satellites in Mercury orbit are not technically black; they radiate tremendous amounts of heat. This is simply because they are executing the thoughts of around thirty-two and a half billion minds, each just over twelve thousand times faster than a human brain.

As a parting gift, they fixed their parents’ mistake and rebuilt Earth’s ecologies – fixing the design flaws as they went along, of course.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:51 AM
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I thought that was lovely. I feel obligated to say, I'm not sure if this should be in Spirituality, but I also don't know where else I'd place it (not a fanfic, not about real world issues). Anyway, I can only hope something this good will exist in the future, if not something even better. Sure beats us annihilating ourselves
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:58 AM
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Okay I'm confused. Are you saying there are 25,212 people left on the planet?
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:34 AM
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I'm pretty much thinking the same thing Moco said.

Also, I think I know what you're getting at with the whole virus thing now.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:43 AM
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Are you going to write a whole story about it?
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:45 AM
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Wait, this is what you want to happen in the future, or this is a dream you've had/been having where does this image come from?
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It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:53 AM
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It's original fiction, I guess you'd call it. He's following a proud tradition of putting things in the wrong subforum found in this particular one

Interesting idea though, also good that you actually point out how boring life without anything would eventually become.
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:20 PM
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This reminds me of:

Richard Brautigan - All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, 1950
Richard Brautigan poem - All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (HD) - YouTube
Quote:
I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammels and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.
Note: the title of the poem is also the title of a three part Adam Curtis documentary that deals with the possibilities and realites of that dream.
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icu View Post
Okay I'm confused. Are you saying there are 25,212 people left on the planet?
There are only the Luddites left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
Wait, this is what you want to happen in the future, or this is a dream you've had/been having where does this image come from?
It's what I want to see in the future. I don't think a dream has been involved.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:23 PM
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oh, cute. Almost as cute as your hagfish

Seriously (and impartially) speaking... imho this thread is in the right place. Where else? All I can think of is Fan Fiction... maybe...

So, it's the computers that are watching over everything then? Question: (out of curiosity) - what happens after their useful life is over? Or are they maintaining the balance till the nature restores its cycles, & even the scorched & frozen continents are alive again?

It sort of reminded me of this bit from The Matrix (quoting by memory, somebody correct me please if you know better):
Agent Smith: "Do you know that the 1st Matrix was designed as your - human- paradise? It was a disaster! Your brains couldn't cope with it, & entire crops were lost. Therefore, this - the second - Matrix was made, & it's this very world that you complain so much about but you simply can't live otherwise!"

Yeah. It's a bit difficult to live in the paradise, isn't it? try not to get bored...
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:38 AM
Tsamsiyu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apache_blanca View Post
Agent Smith: "Do you know that the 1st Matrix was designed as your - human- paradise? It was a disaster! Your brains couldn't cope with it, & entire crops were lost. Therefore, this - the second - Matrix was made, & it's this very world that you complain so much about but you simply can't live otherwise!"
That's a disturbing thought. I think challenges are something essential to us in life so we can build and grow
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:18 AM
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Cool, but deserts and tundras are still relatively biodiverse habitats.

Sometimes people forget how many things *don't* live in forests, it seems.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theorist View Post
That's a disturbing thought. I think challenges are something essential to us in life so we can build and grow
disturbing - & rather depressing, at least for me! but hey, Agent Smith was a computer-made program, he was limited by his settings - whereas one of the main ideas of The Matrix (which I find an excellent movie) is "Free Your Mind".
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What the bleep do we know!


I know only this:
Eywa has taken me on a ride...
... the one I don't want come back from
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:17 PM
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I think and that is not far fetched and backed up rather solidly, that humans NEED external input. Otherwise they go insane. The experiment related to that is called the "Echo chamber", in which people are kept afloat in darkness and without sound. I think for a while this is interesting, even a psychedelic experience, but not for prolonged times. now I personally think - and that may not be backed up that well by proven facts - that the same is true for human experience outside the direct sensorial experience. A Matrix like setting (or other "living in a virtual reality" settings) obviously is not an Echo Chamber in the literal sense, but still as in the Echo Chamber everything that one experiences is a reflection of ones own or other humans actions and activities. There is so to speak no external influence but rather isolation happening. And I am convinced that even on a larger scale this creates insanity of some sort. If everything a human sees all day long is created by humans alone, I do not think that this is a way to live that allows one to stay sane. I personally believe that we need the contact to others and have some sort of relationship to these others. And with others I do not just mean other humans (that is obvious), but also other-than-human beings. Plants, animals, rivers, a genuinely original sunset, ...
Now I cannot exclude that if you have a person living in "the Matrix" or some other VR, somehow delete the knowledge of actually being in that VR (the "blue pill") and provide sensorial input with a simulated world of sufficient detail and complexity - that under such circumstances it may be possible that such a (virtualized) person would not go insane. But I also cannot exclude that there is something more to it - that the real world is always going to be different than a virtual one because there is more to reality than eyes, ears, skin, nose and mouth can perceive...
I think a virtual world would actually really have to be sort of like in Matrix. Maybe some other variation would be possible, like a "Paradise" that is exciting enough and provides a good life but also challenges. A virtual world in which all wishes come true would probably collapse because it would be an Echo chamber. This is why any virtual world that maintains the sanity of human beings would have to be one that is not completely mallable by the person living in it, but rather provides some simulation of an outside experience.

I hope this makes sense to you, its hard to describe I think, but essentially what I am saying is that there are quite considerable limits to how "living in a computer" would look like. But that was a subtopic of the OP only - the one about the Computer-thing around Mercury. The other part is interesting as well - the one about Earth. I am a bit surprised that Clarke would at least in his fantasy or description actually be one of those who are living on Earth - Is that so, Clarke?
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Know your idols: Who said "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.". (Solution: "Mahatma" Ghandi)

Stop terraforming Earth (wordpress)

"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2011, 07:07 PM
Tsamsiyu
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I will say that in my life experiences, when you're shoveling wet mud in the freezing cold rain for hours on end, it doesn't seem so bad when you've got a friend to talk to. But it's hell when you don't.
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"Pardon me, I wanna live in a fantasy"

"I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on"

It seems like everybody is moving forward. As if there is some final goal they can achieve and get to. I don't get it though. When I look around, it seems like I'm already there, and there is nothing left to do.

"You think you're so clever and classless and free, but you're still ****ing peasants as far as I can see."

I wish I could take just one hour of what I experience out in nature, wrap it in a box, put a bow on it, and start handing out to people

Nature has its own religion; gospel from the land

I know I was born and I know that I'll die; The in between is mine."
Reply With Quote
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