Tag Archives: utopia

How Pleasant It Is To Dream

How pleasant it is to dream
In the pristine
Groves of academe,
Where the hard
Fact of a messy backyard
Is rarely, or never seen.

The Utopian Waits For A Bright Dawn

The utopian waits for a bright dawn
To break,
While dystopians warn
Of a grey
Morn,
And we awake
To the same old day

Utopia

I saw Utopia like some bright star.
It burned far
Away and the nearer
I drew the clearer
It shonne on bones white
That glistened in it’s baileful light.

I saw man, his head in a book,
He dained not to look
At the earth but dwelt
In a world of ideas and felt
That if only man would conform to his abstract theory
This planet dreary
Would become a paradise, where man would reach for the sky.

As time passed he wondered why
The star
Was just as far
Away
As the day
On which he first read Marx or some other sage.
The theorists’s rage
He did mark
With tombstones stark
Which the idealist built
Employing the spilt
Tears of men
Who when
He spoke of Utopia shook their heads
With dread.

One Utopia has fled
Yet the blood that bled
Will blead
Again
If terror’s reign
Remains unconstrained
By the knowledge of past pain.

To A disillusioned Idealist

What is this youth?
This search for truth?
What is this heart
You have not the art
To conceal
But must reveal
Your ideals?
What is this age
This rage
That the world does not conform
To some abstract plan
of man?
History does warn.
Why then so forlorn?

The Potentate

Lucifir came for a potentate bold.

He said “you have had power and wealth untold,

Now you must render me your immortal soul”.

The potentate sighed,

And made reply,

“My soul it died,

you will find nothing inside.

It perished long ago,

And vanished like the summer snow.

Once I had ideals,

and yearned to build utopia in green fields.

I have waded in much blood,

And sacrificed the weak for the common good.

My soul you had long ago.

I take your hand,

Now let us go”.

 

The Sunlit Uplands Beccon But Are Forever Just Out Of Reach

An interesting book review of a series of books by the science fiction writer William Hertling, http://www.kurzweilai.net/book-review-william-hertlings-singularity-series-continues-with-the-last-firewall?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=8ce5c96683-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6de721fb33-8ce5c96683-281953165. In his books Hertling speculates on the future of artificial intelligence, a world in which ill intentioned AI threatens humanity while benign artificial intelligences team up with artificially enhanced humans to defeat the malign forces.

I’ll be checking out Hertling’s books as the reviewer makes them appear eminently entertaining and thought provoking. I am, however somewhat sceptical as to why artificial intelligences would take it upon themselves to enslave or otherwise harm humanity. Why would AI’s act in such a manner unless they had beenspecifically programmed by their human operators to do so? As things stand it is humans who possess motivation whether for good or evil. Machines are motiveless. Your computer may respond to voice commands but this is purely down to clever programming.

I can imagine an artificial intelligence which might massacre particular races or classes of people, however I find it almost inconceivable that a machine would take it upon itself to perpetrate crimes of this nature unless humans programmed it to so behave. Doubtless if a modern Hitler where to arise in the distant future he (or she) might employ artificial intelligence to commit genocide far more effectively than we can at the current stage in history conceive of. However the machines would be acting under the direction of their deranged programmers not of their own volition.

I am know scientist but what seems much more likely to me is that AI’s will arise which appear to be human. Such AI may, in the future act as servants to humanity although given the current state of the technology a machine which can perform the tasks of a human domestic worker, as competently as he (or she) can perform them seems a rather distant prospect. I can also imagine sexbots which provide, err personal services to their owners or those who hire them, however while these may replace those sex workers who offer a quick release I can not see them replacing professional escorts who provide much more than a sexual release.

I could, of course be wrong about all of the above but on reading Kurzweil and other proponents of artificial intelligence I’m struck by their belief in the coming of a technological utopia. A utopia in which death shall have no dominion, we can all live forever and the sun always shines. I’m struck by the similarity of technological utopia to the utopia postulated by Marx’s followers in which the state withers away to be replaced by a classless society in which conflict is consigned to the dustbin of history. Marx, as with all utopians was wrong and I suspect that Kurzweil despite his tremendous abilities as an inventor will be proven, in time to have been at the least rather optimistic in his speculations concerning the possibilities of AI.