4 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2018
    1. Huxley suggests that one source for a definition of what it means to be a human being is religion. In Brave New World, religion has been abolished and Christianity is a distant memory

      In his story, religion is completely abolished and along with this, is a sense of morality, what is good and what is bad. To a degree, it may not even be religion that is the basis of being human, rather it is just spiritual and moral values overall that holds the foundation for emotion and growth to take place.

    1. But we are also hopeful that, by informing and moderating our desires, and by grasping the limits of our new powers, we can keep in mind the true meaning of our founding ideals—and thus find the means to savor the fruits of the age of biotechnology, without succumbing to its most dangerous temptations.

      This idea in the text might also largely reference the uses of drugs and medications as one means of seizing happiness---a "founding ideal". The narrator of this quote, however, emphasizes the importance in not "succumbing to its most dangerous temptations" by means of remembering the "true meaning of our founding ideals".

    1. Into the Wormhole

      This scene, as with many others, represents a crucial point in the movie. I think this also has some connection of what was discussed on the first day of class in relations to singularity. One student suggested that singularity in an astronomical context seems to be a black hole that implodes on itself. Further discussed in a linguistics context, we described how singularity shares connections with being alone or unique and individual. In the "into the wormhole" scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, all of humankind is erased except for David. Advancements in technology had reached its peak to a point where David literally enters a black hole or a worm hole, in which he lives the rest of his life alone and passes away quietly. This signifying mankind imploding on themselves and being reborn. His passage signifies the rebirth of humankind and presents the idea of the cycle of life, where technology is nonexistent and life begins again. There is a sense of reverse chronology in the movie as the ending scene is continued at the beginning of the movie where the monkeys demonstrate their journey towards intelligence once more.

    1. performance curves beginning to level off – because of our inability to automate the design work needed to support further hardware improvements. Wed end up with some very powerful hardware, but without the ability to push it further

      Addressing the question of singularity, the author takes on an interesting perspective. One rationalization or opposing view is that technology is only as informational and intelligent as the creator itself. Just as the Mores conclude, "the computational competence of single neurons may be far higher than generally believed" and that "our present computer hardware might be [] 10 orders of magnitude short [compared to] our heads". This means that AI cannot surpass human intelligence as popularly believed. Rather, the article conjectures the possibility that if singularity were to occur, further innovation and improvements could never be made. I assume this is a biological and anatomical argument. Thus, implying that the technological constraints of AI cause it to be inferior to the biological makeup of the human brain. Thus, the author suggests that singularity can never really be fully realized.