Monday, May 7, 2007


The illustration yesterday came from this web page. I clicked on the Home and it goes to a really neat site of ancient history. Read the bit about Thermopylae.

Yesterday’s Archimedes thoughts led to reading this page, and here is something that’s a tie in with Souvenir. In Souvenir I reference the Terminator movies. The story goes in those that a computer becomes self-aware and goes to war with humans. The Terminator, Arnold, comes back from the future to try to change history, and find the moment in time where the computer can be stopped—confound Armageddon.

Now, as I mentioned, Archimedes invented war machines, like Leonardo de Vinci. He was in one sense a pure research scientist, but he applied his science for the defense of Syracuse.

And here is what Plato has to say about all this, this in Plutarch quoted from above site.


These machines he had designed and contrived, not as matters of any importance, but as mere amusements in geometry; in compliance with King Hiero's desire and request, some little time before, that he should reduce to practice some part of his admirable speculation in science, and by accommodating the theoretic truth to sensation and ordinary use, bring it more within the appreciation of the people in general.


But what with Plato's indignation at it, and his invectives against it as the mere corruption and annihilation of the one good of geometry, which was thus shamefully turning its back upon the unembodied objects of pure intelligence to recur to sensation, and to ask help (not to be obtained without base supervisions and depravation) from matter; so it was that mechanics came to be separated from geometry, and, repudiated and neglected by philosophers, took its place as a military art.


The notion that a computer takes over is often in the movies, and is in truth it seems a concern, that if the computers are improved with artificial intelligence they can take off on their own. The X-Files had one episode on this, the computer was “living” in a little house trailer, and had access to a ray gun satellite.

Artificial intelligence leads to something called “the singularity”. A point in time in the evolution of computers where they just dispense with human creation and create themselves and evolve on their own.

A less complicated notion is that technology is already evolving on it’s own, taking humanity along willy-nilly.

One wonders if we have computers, or the computers have us.

While watching Michael Douglas in Black Rain…

I dont have a cell favorite spokesperason's brand doesn't reach here...some guys have all the luck.

Tree in the Door
May 6, 2007

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