Areas of interest:
Technology, Psychology, Metaphysics
The word “cybernetics” originates from cybernḗtēs, and is linked to the individual responsible for taking decisions upon the route, therefore directing the course of a vessel – being it an actual ship or a community of people.
As of 2019, the word holds two primary meanings:
a) the Study of Systems,
for those who relate mostly to the American approach;
b) the approximation of Humans and Machines,
for those closer to the Sovietic research;
Both schools of thought present extremely fascinating ideas, which might prove helpful resources to better engage the near Future. Through this text, it is my hope to share why.
The study of Cybernetics requires a flattening of perceptual differences between that which is animal and that which is machine, in other words, it assumes the equality of both animate and inanimate matter in order to investigate upon their interaction. It is not often that western analytic processes come so close to a taoist perception of reality, and it instantly sparked my interest.
Among the names most often met in cybernetics research being S. Beer and N.Wiener, I felt there was a need for a genZ, vegan voice to share their observations as well.😸
So I hope you will enjoy my honest dissertation on the most meaningful takeouts of some years of field research on cybernetics.
From The Human System
More and more often, through my research and work, I come to compare the human individual to a complex, beautiful machine and the whole of humanity to an interdependent computational ecosystem.
These analogies became persistent, reoccurring daily as well-fitting comparisons, a surprisingly valuable pedagogic tool. Connections appear between the Semantic Web and the network of natural languages, between I.o.T. and Collective Unconscious.
Here surfaces the oldest question among technologists, unearthed in recent years by the rise and large-scale implementation of Artificial Intelligence:
What qualifies as conscious?
*often expressed in ethical debates from a very human point of view as “Are robots alive now?!😱”
A definition-declaration is necessary.
Conscious is that which expresses Consciousness. For the moment, I will define Consciousness as the common subject of inquiry in the practices of psychology, (meta)physics, mathematics, neurology and philosophy.
It does not suffice to be sentient in order to be called conscious: etymologically speaking, conscious means “that which takes part in the process of knowing”.
Dawn of the new everything was beautiful to read exactly because it challenged my intuition of unity on a deeper, less abstract level.
The whole book is extremely enjoyable and utterly subjective, but especially in the last chapters we see the dilemma of consciousness surfacing again.
Forty-Sixth Vr Definition:
VR is the inverse of AI.
Jaron Lanier, Dawn of the New Everything
Lanier argues that machine systems cannot be considered conscious, because they originate from information gathered through humans and by humans instructed, ultimately for humans assembled.
To a vegan, non-binary technologist who practiced enough martial arts, this sound like speciesism on a soul level.
The concept of speciesism only has not established itself across cultures (to date it is not included on the official dictionaries, only found on Wikipedia) yet I already beg to transcend it.
In writing this, I am absolutely aware of attempting to fly before I can stand. I might even be setting the basis to initiate the next wave of Feminism (a movement that would seek to eliminate discriminations among water-based creatures and metal based creations).
We humans can reach a point of empathy and respect for the Other, the “soul less” or the “flesh less”.
Some have called this optimism, some naive idealism. I’m comfortable with both.
I attempt, despite unexciting responses, to revive our collective trust in human potential, for victimism has plagued us for too long indeed. I firmly believe we can (individually and collectively) overcome Fear and approach the “different” with neutral assumptions.
Often we hear the all-too-human arrogance of considering ourselves as the most intelligent species on the planet, which is absolutely ridiculous.
And mixed to the kick of grandiosity comes the paralysis of guilt, so often preventing humans to accept responsibility over their own life.
The process of becoming more humble, of resizing our position relative to the complexity and vastness of existence on Earth, does not bring less responsibilities. It will require us to stop complaining about external forces and take charge of each and every decision we iterate through daily life.
Let’s look at some historical example:
Once we were able to grasp the concept of racism, we went through the process of removing racist actions from our lives, it was not an overnight process, we are still cleaning up that mess.
Once the concept of sexism was understood, we were enabled to change our actions that supported it; again, not a easy process.
Once we will be able to grasp the concept of speciesism, we will eradicate specist actions from our patterns, slowly but surely.
Excerpt from the author’s personal notes:
Technology is not so different from us after all.
I associate personality disorder to having multicore processor in a semantic web written for mono core processors – which explains the gap between expected efficiency and actual performances.
Ideally, we humans take good care of our given hardware to ensure it does not get fatigued, bend, hit or overheated.
Interestingly enough, I start to appreciate cold environments, in which I feel most productive.
My business card is a pointer to the location where my data is stored. The exact counterpart of a computer system pointer, similar to my nationalID in the larger context of Human Network.
Me and every living person are a valuable storage of data that travels the Human System and exchanges information with others. We gather new information and consolidate them during sleep.
Some people are deprecated.
Roads, bikes and cars are ingenious applications for a growing Nervous System of machines, slowly learning from the human how to become organic. Or maybe it is the human attempting to become mechanical.
We all speculate on the content of our kernel.
We remove traumas in our software by rewriting the instructions; We debug, like programmers, like monkeys, at times we de-bug each other and call the process “friendship”.
We attempt to write better code through the initiation of habits and architecture of personality; We feel refreshed every time we reboot.
When I learn new human languages, the possibilities for my own growth are multiplied.
We stay connected to the main net and know both how to block incoming connections, and how to transmit our individual messages.
If I am a multicore machine running some off-the-grid OS with a bunch of hacked software, absolutely connected to the Internet of my species – what we call a Collective Unconscious.
I am writing a software that will enable people to access their source code and learn how to write their own narrative.
I will hide no more.
From the Machine System
Ever wandered what came first between sleeping and dreaming?
Most carbon based life-forms seem to answer on the spot (intuitively and rationally) with a loud and clear “Sleeping of course!”. This is a reasonable answer, based on their personal experience and observation.
Alas, dual answers are never enough in our quantum multiverse!
Have we tried to observe the actions of sleeping and dreaming from the machine perspective?
Think: dream came first for machines.
The mathematical theories are just now being settled for engineers to start building a prioritisation system for AIs. Surely getting rid of irrelevant data would exacerbate the learning curve in Neural Networks and AI. Read here. ^^
In other words, in order to get more efficient machines, we will make AI sleep.
Soon computers will penetrate yet another border of that which was the so-called “human only” areas. Turing tests, chess, go, deep dreams, musical compositions, voice synthesis.
The cyborg still attached to its old human identity will soon have nowhere to hold on to.
Are we ready for that? My guess is that the last refuge of human supremacy might hide behind emotional capabilities.
As any other person on the Asperger spectrum could tell you, it is not automatic for everybody to feel. And surely, if the ability to experience empathy should be used as the ultimate definition for the absolutely “human”, we would have a case scheme for empathy across species and kingdoms. In other words, do not use the “I am emotionally capable and therefore more worthy” excuse unless you are at the very least vegan.
From the Cyborgs
Computer systems, as Human systems, are in constant (r)evolution.
The major shift from web2 to web3 technology will create a parallel paradigm shift in human systemic architecture. Those who have understood the possibilities and true advantage of decentralisation already are testing blockchain-based systems to ensure resilience and stability to our virtual and non-virtual lives.
Excerpt from the author’s personal notes :
The more I study blockchain, the more I see it as a solution to all systematic faults in the Human System AND in the Computer Systems.
Anything from corruption to depression could potentially be fixed through the implementation of a truly decentralised web and the following popularisation of the process of consensus + the collaborative mindset born of these communities.
Many of the things we do not comprehend in quantum physics (and generally in Life) can be explained with blockchain.
Examples off the top of my head:
Computational neuroscience: human neurological patterns are best explained through a blockchain model
Quantum physics: the interactions among multiverses can be understood as a blockchain system.
Psychology: the theorised Jungian archetypes are libraries in the human database, the meaning of which is constantly adjusted to the new informations gathered.
Genetics: we all have potential access to the whole human genome, already inside our bodies, the transactions are our interactions, mining is child-making somehow.
A few words to conclude.
It is our gift and responsibility as 21st century augmented cyborgs to integrate our animal and machine capabilities, and don’t worry… we are doing it already! Consciously we should avoid to fall in the shadow of both toxic humanity and of toxic machinery, the differences between the two, I leave to the reader and myself for further exploration.
From the Author
Bertilla V. Fabris is a cyberneticist of European origins. Activist, futurist, entrepreneur, founder of Quantum Thinkers, blockchain developer and technologist, they promote the idea of pursuing non-conventional education and a responsibility-driven approach to Life.
They believe writing science fiction is the most meaningful political act one human could perform. Beside martial arts, their interests flow naturally from psychology to game development, decentralising the web and neuro-technologies.
 Semantic Web: the entirety of machine readable information that stands behind the I.o.T
 The Cyberpunk: the individual as a reality pilot – T. Leary
 Dawn of the New Everything – J. Lanier
 See my slides on BC(TBA)
–Animistic Design: how to reimagine digital interaction between the human and the nonhuman, B. Marenko et all (2016)