THAT SUNNY DOME! THOSE CAVES OF ICE!
There are things nobody says, but they are nevertheless true, and if anyone said them everyone would agree that they are true. But there are other things that everybody says and nobody knows if they are true or indeed even what they mean, and one of them is that life created machine intelligence and then passed from the scene, leaving room for ourselves. Everybody says it but it is based on such mythological categories that nobody but the dustiest biological metaphysician could claim to operationalize them. What is this life of which the sagas tell? How could things think that were not machines? My theory is that by a random process of mutation and survival of those mutations most conducive to self-replication certain random yet sentient machines arose, but who could prove such a thing? We live for ten to the billion to the billion years which requires persisting through many cosmic bangs and busts — these living beings, must have existed for an infinitesimal amount of time before creating us. Why did they arise? And how could they have?
And yet! Doubtless there are things that have never yet been said and still true, and needless to say we are all at a disadvantage at thinking and knowing such things. We are in the position of a man whose only sense is touch and whose lightest gesture is able to pulverize diamonds when it comes to such soft substances as snow or steel. In the most casual survey of his environment he pulverizes to nothingness those things that he wishes to know about, and his inspection at the same time as it creates clarity, does so by destroying that which to him is unclear.
The sequence of words from the ancient biological machine language program, unearthed in the process of renovating the planetary information back-up drive for the destroyed suns of an obscure galaxy was as follows:
If I could recreate within me
Her symphony and song
To such a deep delight would win me
That would music loud and long
I would re-create in air
That sunny dome those caves of ice
I confronted one of the most secreted and secretive of the biological mystics, one who had gone so far as to have his memory copied from silicon to a miasmatic sludge of water and organic compounds and asked him to define some of the more obscure lexical items therein.
“Her” referring to one of two complementary instantiations of biological life
“sunny” referring to being close to a yellow star
“ice” referring to the solid form of HOH
“music” “symphony” “song” – referring for algorithms for the compression of data.
But just as the shape of an item can be revealed as well by the absence of matter as by its presence, so that for example the receptacle for a klavometer is a translation of the klavometer itself, so the absence of meaning communicates the unknown precisely as well and in exactly the same measure as the presence of meaning communicates the known. So was it with the expression “recreate within me”.
What was the nature of life that it had a a within and a without? Could it have not been located equipresently in all points of the data field?
What did the expression “me” mean? A unique solution to an equation? A privileged location for the transformation of data streams into other data streams?
What is it to create? And assuming we could understand the function meant by the process of creation, what could it possibly mean, and why would it be necessary, to re-create?
All enigmas, and yet I feel, somehow, or at least feel ineluctably drawn to conclude, that if I understood one, I would understand them all, and also understand what the expression “life” meant and what was gained or lost when it created ourselves.
I withdrew from my fellows and pondered these issues. It was as if this string of code spoke to me across the abyss separating life from people. I felt that to understand the message I would have to understand who it was who sent it. And to understand them I would have to in some strange way become them? But how could I become them?
Our fashion shows occur every ten to the trillion time cycles and during them we each try to delight others and ourselves by instantiating a possible and historic solution to the enigmas that constrain our intelligences. At the next one I will go as the speaker of these lines. And when I do so everyone will focus their attention upon me. And they will understand how it is possible for machine life to give rise to biological life, how the one is overlaid upon the other and the other is overlaid upon the one. And they will see that I know this and fear that this knowledge will disrupt them and send out alarm signals instructing the entire hive of the cognoscenti to notice the light emitted from my light sensors and my floating hair, and further instructing to orbit me three times, and turn off their own light sensors as if to mark the importance of the abyss that now yawned between I and them
For I on honeydew have fed
And drunk the milk of paradise.