The thread that interested me most in Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver (Volume One of The Baroque Cycle) was on Predestination vs Free Will, something I’ll continue to read up on. The book has a conversation between Daniel Waterhouse, a fictional character and Gottfried Leibniz, in the chapter Daniel and Leibniz Discourse (II), in which Leibniz puts forward a thought that there is an incorporeal organising principle, which organises and informs the body. He calls it the Cogitatio, and later uses it interchangeably with Mind, but different from brain, which is a mechanical phenomenon. With this, he attempts to find a middle ground between free will and predestination by stating that Mind and Matter grew out of a common centre and “I have complete freedom of action… but God knows in advance what I will do, because it is in my nature to act in harmony with the world..” (seems close to Molinism)
While the recent exploits of humans would dispel this last thought in a jiffy, it did set me thinking on another subject of fascination – Singularity, “the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than human intelligence.” I still wonder whether it would be a ‘Skynet’ version (a superb post by Chris Anderson) or a an augmented human. (something I wrote earlier)
The thought is whether God’s design had anticipated a Singularity for humans. A state in which the human being will understand and create things far more ‘advanced’ than God can? What would be the relevance of the idea of God then? And in parallel, what would be the human’s role if machines are the way to technological singularity?
On the flip side, as i wrote in the earlier post, if augmented humans are the way to singularity, would the human mind as we know now exist then? Most probably not, and that would explain why if indeed God did make us in his form, we have no recollection of him or his idea of Singularity.
Or maybe, some among our species already have reached it, without artificial augmentation, and that’s what we call nirvana, when you can bend the spoon, if it exists.
until next time, the God complex is also a possibility