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Perfection November 27, 2010

Posted by ekarlpierson in 23) Perfection.

PARTICIPANT: What about Christ’s perfection? I know I’m not even in the ballpark! (Chuckle from participants.)

WW: The self can never gain perfection in the usual sense of the word. The ideas of the world, which are a macrocosm of self, can never gain perfection. Even when the ideas and methodology supposedly provide the desired results—so-called success—it is nonetheless faulted.

What then are we to make of this idea of perfection? Is it just another sucker-punch idea for us to chase? That would have no value at all. Non-disturbance has always been our purpose for living and it will probably always have the potential to bring us down. We’ll always have methodology with us, so how could perfection even stand a chance in that context? Maybe we can draw a little parallel of this.

Let’s suppose that you had great engineering skills and you want to send rovers to another planet for whatever reason, we don’t know, maybe just because that’s what you like to do. You decide that you would like your rovers to be semi-autonomous. In order for that to happen they will have to have volition, self-determination, which means that they will need to have the ability to learn. This unprecedented level of volition and will require an awareness function. All of these factors, including the level of freedom that the rovers will have to move about under their own volition, will require that they have an unprecedented level of responsibility for their own well-being. These are not going to be hard-wired robots.
In order for them to do all of this, they will require a sensory system to detect their surroundings and their own condition. I suppose you would want them to have video, audio, a thermal sensor, low fuel sensor…

PARTICIPANT: I would want it to have a sense of touch and smell, also a communication link to the engineer.

WW: There you go. It would need some sort of sense of smell or chemical sensor to seek out its own fuel, whatever that fuel may be. A two-way communication link. You would need to get the information from the rover and its sensors, then send unpleasant signals to it if the rover allowed its temperature to get too high or its fuel too low, among other things.

PARTICIPANT: Why would it need to be unpleasant signals?

WW: Because it wouldn’t listen to you unless it was alarmed. If an airline pilot doesn’t respond to his out of kilter gauges, an unpleasant alarm goes off. Also, you would send pleasant signals when the fuel tank is full and the temperature gets back to normal.

The only requirement of the rover would be that it sends you a sort of binary code, moment by moment. First, to determine what is true. Second, to place a value on what is true, let’s say, between zero and ten.

Okay. Our design is complete. You deploy the first of the rovers and trouble shows up right from the start. You’re a very bright engineer with a great deal of experience, so you anticipated this trouble. The rover makes its first major decision. The purpose of its existence is to avoid the unpleasant signals and to get more of the pleasant ones. It is totally unaware that it was designed to serve you. It’s totally unaware that you even exist.

When you deploy the other rovers, it begins to interact with them. The rover learns to like and dislike the various interactions with the other rovers. When things don’t work out the way it wants, it tries to control the other rovers. The awareness function has, for all practical purposes, switched itself off. The rover is running on automatic. If you recall, you gave it the ability to learn as part of its semi-autonomous package. The trouble is that it has learned all to well the methods by which to control the other rovers in its effort to be non-disturbed—it’s effort to escape the unpleasant signals. The awareness function is asleep at the switch while the methodology that it has learned runs the show.

Have you ever seen a horse swatting at flies with its tail? It’s a completely automatic reaction, very similar to the automatic reactions that have taken over the rover. The awareness function of the rover has turned over its operation to a systematic cluster of methods that are highly faulted. The whole mess is a lot like a faulted computer virus that is long past due to be cleaned out. The messages the rover is sending you are garbled and false. It sends you messages that it is being attacked when it is not being attacked. It sends messages to you that something is true when it is not true. It sends messages to you that it has found things of great value when they have little or no value.

How could any of this relate to the idea of perfection? We were talking about perfection, right? The design of rover was perfect in the sense that it had all the requirements for a machine that could be left to its own devices. Not only was the rover subject to its malfunction—its awareness malfunction—it must malfunction. It has to happen in order for the awareness to overcome the malfunction and become complete. The awareness cannot be aware unless it has something to be aware of. If the awareness were not subject to fault, it wouldn’t have the capacity of an ant that learns nothing, and doesn’t need to because it runs on a DNA program.

I can say one other thing about perfection. Although the rover has a perfect design, its functionability is imperfect, not because it has done wrong, but because one of its design features has quit working—the awareness function. If its awareness function starts working, then we could say that it is perfected, but only in the sense that its’ operational features are complete. I prefer the word, complete instead of perfect. That doesn’t mean a person will never again trip over a rock or have an inappropriate moment or an inaccurate perception, it just means that the awareness function has been made active. It means that all the design features are working.



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