The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 28 Oct 2009 09:46

redbugpest wrote:I define "thinking machine" to be an adaptive AI system. Any device that can, through the application of fuzzy logic, make decisions based on incomplete data. We are woking with this kind of system in todays world. It does not need to be conscious to be "thinking"

Conscious Robots is a step beyond the thinking machine. The way that you use the term "robot" is a bit too narrow though.

1 a : a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also : a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized b : an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically
2 : a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks
3 : a mechanism guided by automatic controls

I count Omnius in with the robots because he could do direct manipulation of his surroundings.

And this is why I count you an unconscious moron. Moron. :)
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 28 Oct 2009 10:07

Slugger wrote:I'm looking at this from a psychology perspective: you're arguing that given enough programming, a machine could begin to modify it's own base programming. This self-modification (which Omnius never really practiced) is somehow akin to free will? And, again, given enough programming, the machine can become sentient?


I think so, and I believe that FH had that in mind when he referred to "Conscious Robots"

Slugger wrote:So, let's some thing straight:
- Is sentience the same thing as awareness?


No. Awareness is being able to perceive the environment around you. The Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity have awareness. They can detect temperature, wind, and see the path ahead of them. they also are AI systems, and can make decisions bases on their awareness. They are not, however sentient or conscious.

Slugger wrote:- Are both the same thing as being cognizant?

I'm not sure. I'd like to see how you are defining Cognizant before answering.

Slugger wrote:- Intelligence is divorced from consciousness?

Again, I would want to see how you are defining these terms before answering. they are both a bit broad in scope.

Slugger wrote:- Can a machine simply become sentient through enough observation? Is there an ah-ha moment or does being "sentient" (in the human-sense) entail some higher quality?
(I'd recommend you picking up a few books on the psychological concept of mind/brain dualism. You can't dismiss the psychological aspect of this, because Frank's books contained deep psychological ideas, which undoubtedly would have been included had he written a BJ story. In fact, I think this is something I'm sure he would have approached the machines from. Remember, it's "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind", which, in psychology, carries a different meaning than "in the likeness of a man's brain".)


I've thumbed through a few books on psychology as well as a few on the nature of Artificial Intelligence over the years. I understand that FH was into the psycology of human nature, and do not think that "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind." means to mimic the working of the brain. That is why I feel that he probably did envision a time where "conscious robots" may have crossed a line in dealing with humanity. Obviously, their world view would differ from our world view.

Slugger wrote:This is argument is prefaced on that a machine would actually DESIRE to become more human, which I think is completely ridiculous. I think a better scenario would be that presented by Cavil in BSG: a machine that is furious that's he created in likeness of man due to the limitations imposed by our biology ("I want to hear gamma rays!" he says, something to that effect).


Tell that to Gene Roddenberry and Brent Spinner... :lol:

Slugger wrote:Perhaps there's another theme Frank would've addressed: the complete alieness that Machine Intelligence would possess (even starting from a human-based design, I think it would be safe to say that any self-modifying machine would quickly modify itself into some type of super-intelligence, given unlimited potential to expand. Omnius and Erasums remain virtually the same throughout 20,000 years, which is complete ridiculousness for machines.)


No, Erasums does grow intellectually, realizing in the end that it is better to find a way to coexist with the humans. It is Omnius who fails to open his mind to other possibilities (as some of us mere humans do from time to time)

Slugger wrote:Omnius and Erasumus are lousy "humans" as it is; they're endowed with human qualities yet fail to understand or realize....ahh, screw this, I'm going to bed. I have to be up for class in 5 hours.


You are right. They are lousy humans, but do not understand the human psyche or experience from a human point of view. Just like Data in STTNG. He wants to be human, but does not understand how to meet that goal. He can only try to mimic.
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Hunchback Jack » 28 Oct 2009 13:10

redbugpest wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
redbugpest wrote:That is FH telling us, through Scytales inner monologue, that machines inspitre distrust - so how could Alia feel that they could be trusted?


Becuase they are merely tools.


If that is the case, since Omnius was the Evermind, and all of the other robots were just "following their programming" as was Omnius himself, how would it be a problem for Alia to feel she could trust a robot in that scenario as well? KJA/BH clearly state that men made Omnius, and used him to dominate other men (time of Titans) until one of them gave Omnius too much discretion in his programming.


Becase Omnius et al are clearly *not* merely tools. Humanity has *every* reason to distrust machines of the Omnius variety, because they are trying to kill them all. This is the central problem. KJA/BH's potrayal of BJ machines are *not* what Frank intended, and the Alia quote demonstrates it clearly.

Had the BJ unfolded the way KJA/BH describe, Alia would have had plenty of reason to distrust a machine, regardless of what the original intention of what Omnius's programming was. The fact that Omnius could become independent and powerful would have been enough reason.

In Frank's version, machines during the Jihad were merely tools; the problem was humanity's dependence on them, not the machines themselves.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 28 Oct 2009 16:54

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:Note that Mohiam is against mentats because they are "like" computers - the Bene Gesserit share this trait. She is in no way the one to say that machines inspire distrust.
Also note that if the problem was that machines started murdering and torturing, her dislike of mentats makes no freakin' sense - mentats are not going to do that all of a sudden. Such coloring from old emotions only makes sense if you have a problem with... machine thinking, machine logic, machine-attitude.

So thanks for yet another quote to prove my point...


Not so fast. Why, if machines were just tools, and machine thinking, machine logic, and machine attitude are the real issue, would anyone feel that machines would inspire any distrust. wouldn't it be the people who aspired to be machine like that would inspire the distrust?

No, the machines themselves must have played a larger part than you give them credit for. How could you trust a machine if someone can come along and turn it against you?


This is not exactly the issue of the current discussion, but OK...

Re. your first statement, then we have only Scytale's word that there was "distrust" towards machines - according to him:
"From the days of the Butlerian Jihad when "thinking machines" had been wiped from most of the universe, computers had inspired distrust."
This can easily mean that people hate machines, dislike them, don't want to trust them, etc. It in no ways implies that machines before the Jihad (notice that the statement is about after) were not trustworthy. And it does not matter since we have Alia (and Leto, but never mind that for now) explicitly saying the opposite - and they were there!

And I can easily trust a machine, even though someone can order it to kill me. Like I can trust a gun safety when it can be turned both on and off (and can kill). Or a car that drives whenever someone depresses the speeder (and can kill). If machines had some say in when and if they would fight and kill, I could not trust them (eg. to be bodyguards, and just to do as they are told).

-

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:So you are saying that Alia did not count Omnious as a machine, because he was a sentient machine? So she is saying one can trust machine, except sentient ones?


I am saying that if Alia were to feel that way she would have to be differentiating between machine types. It's far more likely that FH was using it to highlight Alia's discomfort in having to deal with Mentats at all. As I recall, the Baron never trusted Piter as well. Alia wanted absolute control and devotion, something she did not feel she could get from Idaho or any of her advisers.


Great example of what is going wrong here!
Alia only has to be differentiating if _you have already decided KJA is right_. Reading Frank's work, there is no reason to assume she differentiates - actually, the passage is quite clear in saying she is thinking about machines, like the ones from before the Jihad. Real, real clear...

And I already agreed with you why the passage is there - why do you keep bringing that up? It is irrelevant as we are talking about the fact of the matter: "You could never distrust a machine".
Do you have any reason, from reading anything by Frank Herbert, to claim that she does not mean machines from the Jihad? Everything else is just obfuscating the issue.

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redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:I am glad you brought up "farfetched" so I won't have to. I'd even go so far to say that "You could never distrust a machine" means any machine. And she was just musing on powerful AIs, like Omnious would have been, so we have every reason to include him in the mix.
And the one reason to exclude him? So the passage will fit with KJAs writing!


Just as your argument attempts to make the Legends series not fit. It quits working unless it is an all or nothing. Even FH broke them into categories. Machines, thinking machines, and Conscious Robots. If you want to play the word game, I can just as easily say, Omnius is not a machine, he is a robot. But that would get us no where.


Frank Never broke them into categories. The only difference lies in the ways people think of them - the Bene Gesserit are pretty rabid and also more or less against mentats, Paul and Leto II are pretty much following Heidegger, and so on.
Where, from books by Frank Herbert, do you get the idea that there was a substantive differences among the machines? Other than that he used synonyms?

You also obscure the difference between argument and premise. My argument is against the Legends series, my premise is about what Frank wrote. Frank wrote: "You could never distrust a machine" (encompassing all), in a passage clearly about machines from the Jihad. I take, from this passage, the idea that in his world, machines could never be distrusted. Please tell me how this analysis is as biased as you claim.

In other words, you are the one who wants a differentiation. Why?

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redbugpest wrote:See above. even if they were doing as programmed, how could you trust that someone wouldn't change the program to turn it against you. That is untrustworthy as well.


No. It is not. That has nothing to do with trusting the machine. I has to do with trusting others. This is getting silly :-)

redbugpest wrote:Alia does not clearly state that she can trust machines completely because of OM. That is an inference that you are making based on your definition of the jihad.


If you do not get, from the fact that Alia has OM, and this statement:
"You could never distrust a machine"
Then there is nothing left to discuss. Try showing it to 7.000 third-graders and tell them what they get out of it. Or try telling me how you can read that passage to mean anything else than what I am saying it means.

-

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:
redbugpest wrote:The only rational that I can see for her statement to begin with it to think that she is not thinking of the Jihad at all, but musing over a desire to have an adviser that she can use without the worry of them judging her, and acting against her desires.


I agree completely. That is why she was thinking those thoughts. It is entirely irrelevant to the knowledge she obviously has, and which she is employing in formulating the thoughts.


I'm not sure where you were going with this statement.


I am not sure how to explain it to you then...

There are two issues here:
1) Why is the passage there, what does it say about Alia, about the Baron, about Frank's abilities as writer, etc.
2) What facts about the Dune universe can we gather from it?

You seem to retreat into irrelevancies about 1 at every turn. I try to explain that my argument is about 2. No matter motivation or anything else (1), we still know that: Alia has OM and precise knowledge of the Jihad, and that she does not think one can distrust such machines (2). I would like, please, for you to address 2. Start another thread on 1 if you wish, but stop pestering me with it. Please.

-

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:[On the Jehanna Butler story in DE]
redbugpest wrote:This is clearly a case of a Machine Intelligence acting on it's own to damage humanity for it's own benefit.


No. It really is not. It is a machine doing as programmed. No ulterior motive. But it was making an ethical decision, and that is why people rose up against them (in part).

So when Frank considered writing a Butlerian Jihad prequel with McNelly, it was because NcNelly understood that the Jihad was about machine which were making decisions better left to mankind itself.


No, the machine has risen above it's original programming. It is clearly stated that it is a self programming machine - putting out of the scope of control of it's designers, and as a consequence is doing what it feels is in the best interests of humanity. It does not have a human telling it who's baby to abort, it is making that decision on its own, using it's own developed sense of ethics.

That was the real threat. Otherwise, why wouldn't the programmers been vilified and the machine been reprogrammed? I think that my take on this is correct, and that FH subscribed to this as well.


Please reread the DE entry. I am not going to explain it to you here. Start another thread if you wish, but lets stick to the Alia argument.

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redbugpest wrote:We are on point because to understand why Alia made a comment like that in the first place we need to understand what she knew and understood about the root causes of the jihad.


No. That's off-point. 1, above. I don't care. I care how much she knew of the Jihad (basically everything, OM and all) and what she thought about the facts at hand. Not why she was thinking what at what moment.

redbugpest wrote:In regards to th third item, that you say is just plain wrong above:


How can you say that you could never distrust a machine when you are in a position of tenuous power, with many enemies that are looking to exploit any weakness to kill you. If that machine could be turned against you, than it is not trustworthy. It's possible that she was referring to the advice that a thinking machine would give her as well, though she should have said something more along the lines of "You could never distrust a machines advise". that would still be within the context of the plot, as she was distrustful of Idaho's advise.


First of all, she does say so. She believes this. And she knows this. No amount of circus acts on your part can change this. And you can certainly trust a machine, even though you cannot trust other people not to tamper with it. Just like I can trust a gun of a good brand, even though a robber could use it against me. You are obfuscating the iussue of trust, and I begin to suspect that you are doing this deliberately - you cannot be so dense as to believe there can never be any trust of any thing unless the universe is aligned so that thing can never be changed by a third party.
The machines, themselves, were trustworthy.


redbugpest wrote:As for Alia being wrong, I do think I have put forward a fair amount of evidence to suggest that she was whether you take Omnius into account or not. Again, I think the foundation of your argument is the weakness in your conclusion.


You have put forth faulty, irrelevant "evidence" and the beliefs of one Tleilaxu with OM.


Forget the above. This is where the debate is at now:

- Alia knew all about the Jihad! And she says you could never distrust a machine.
- You are trying to interpret other evidence to say that she was wrong. But you are only bringing up possible situations where machines could do something else than expected - not cases where machines betrayed anyone. Because a machine cannot, of course, betray anyone. I can only do as asked. Alia knew this. Frank Herbert knew this (he explains the title of his books on computers to mean exactly this - the machine is not a agent at all, it is only a tool: "With Me, You are Nothing").
You cling to this idea that because outside circumstance can make a computer do something else than what it's owner wants, that means the computer is untrustworthy. It does not.
Last edited by Lundse on 28 Oct 2009 18:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 28 Oct 2009 17:13

Just wanted to add something to the wonderful philosophical (not psychological, sorry) debate on consciousness.

But I did it here http://www.jacurutu.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1862&start=0, hoping to move that particular discussion there...

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Nekhrun » 28 Oct 2009 17:32

redbugpest wrote:Both KJA an BH have said in interviews that they like to write the stuff that Frank shied away from.


Yeah, like irrelevant shit; repetitive shit; shit full of adjectives and shit shit.

One of Frank's themes is for humans to rely on themselves, not heroes, not gods, NOT FUCKING MACHINES!!! (And not because they took over damn it! They can make our thinking lazy, as apparently they have done to every fan of hack writing.)

Why is it so hard for you to admit that kja and bobo have done a horse shit job at following what FH so clearly laid out? It is not even close to what FH intended.
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Freakzilla » 28 Oct 2009 17:58

Nekhrun wrote:
redbugpest wrote:Both KJA an BH have said in interviews that they like to write the stuff that Frank shied away from.


Yeah, like irrelevant shit; repetitive shit; shit full of adjectives and shit shit.

One of Frank's themes is for humans to rely on themselves, not heroes, not gods, NOT FUCKING MACHINES!!! (And not because they took over damn it! They can make our thinking lazy, as apparently they have done to every fan of hack writing.)

Why is it so hard for you to admit that kja and bobo have done a horse shit job at following what FH so clearly laid out? It is not even close to what FH intended.


Don't hold back man, tell us how you really feel. :lol:
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 29 Oct 2009 08:58

Lundse wrote:
redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:Note that Mohiam is against mentats because they are "like" computers - the Bene Gesserit share this trait. She is in no way the one to say that machines inspire distrust.
Also note that if the problem was that machines started murdering and torturing, her dislike of mentats makes no freakin' sense - mentats are not going to do that all of a sudden. Such coloring from old emotions only makes sense if you have a problem with... machine thinking, machine logic, machine-attitude.

So thanks for yet another quote to prove my point...


Not so fast. Why, if machines were just tools, and machine thinking, machine logic, and machine attitude are the real issue, would anyone feel that machines would inspire any distrust. wouldn't it be the people who aspired to be machine like that would inspire the distrust?

No, the machines themselves must have played a larger part than you give them credit for. How could you trust a machine if someone can come along and turn it against you?


This is not exactly the issue of the current discussion, but OK...

Re. your first statement, then we have only Scytale's word that there was "distrust" towards machines - according to him:
"From the days of the Butlerian Jihad when "thinking machines" had been wiped from most of the universe, computers had inspired distrust."
This can easily mean that people hate machines, dislike them, don't want to trust them, etc. It in no ways implies that machines before the Jihad (notice that the statement is about after) were not trustworthy. And it does not matter since we have Alia (and Leto, but never mind that for now) explicitly saying the opposite - and they were there!



So you are saying that because she has memories of trustworthy machines prior to the time of the Jihad she could trust them now?
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Freakzilla » 29 Oct 2009 09:06

If there is a loaded gun on a table between you and your enemy, do you distrust the gun?
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 29 Oct 2009 09:32

redbugpest wrote:
Lundse wrote:Re. your first statement, then we have only Scytale's word that there was "distrust" towards machines - according to him:
"From the days of the Butlerian Jihad when "thinking machines" had been wiped from most of the universe, computers had inspired distrust."
This can easily mean that people hate machines, dislike them, don't want to trust them, etc. It in no ways implies that machines before the Jihad (notice that the statement is about after) were not trustworthy. And it does not matter since we have Alia (and Leto, but never mind that for now) explicitly saying the opposite - and they were there!


So you are saying that because she has memories of trustworthy machines prior to the time of the Jihad she could trust them now?


She is saying you can trust all machines. Specifically those from the time of the Jihad, calling them compliant.
If we want to take her word to encompass possible current and future machines, then we would of course have to assume that such machines are/would be of a similar type.
This is all academic, of course, because future machines is something you are bringing into this debate (and which Frank Herbert only touched upon as Arafel - a more or less mindless threat on par with the Grey Goo Problem).

Alia is thinking 'if only I had one of those, from back then' - we are talking about machines in general, from the Jihad specifically. So to answer your question, of course she would trust one of the ancient machines if she had one - this is precisely why she wishes for it (as you pointed out yourself, their lack of own agendas and the total control one has over them, so different from the mentat in the room).

I am saying, as I have been for a long time, that since Alia knew all there is to know about the time of the Jihad, and she claims machines back then were not something you could distrust, and they were "compliant", she cannot have known of an evil, murderous, hell-bent-on-killing-all-humans megalomanic AI who almost brought humanity to extinction. So the Omnious story cannot be set in the same universe where Alia has OM, and thinks of machines as trustworthy and compliant entities.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Freakzilla » 29 Oct 2009 10:09

But... but... that would mean KJA and BH are writing out of their asses! :cry:
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 29 Oct 2009 10:35

Freakzilla wrote:But... but... that would mean KJA and BH are writing out of their asses! :cry:


Indeed. Consequently, there must be something wrong with Alia's facts or Frank Herbert - because that can never be considered!

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby TheDukester » 29 Oct 2009 10:51

Freakzilla wrote:But... but... that would mean KJA and BH are writing out of their asses! :cry:

I've alerted the media.

A notorious hack and a dazed zombie not having a clue? That would be a story for the ages!
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Hunchback Jack » 29 Oct 2009 17:01

Edited to add: I wrote this in response to the comment that we're "assuming that KJA/BH don't match the originals, rather than assuming they do" during these discussions. I wanted to show that we're not assuming it, we're concluding it based on an evaluation. Sorry if that isn't clear. :)

I must admit I'm staggered that this discussion has gone on this long. The whole thing seems pretty clear to me.

The central issue is whether KJA/BHs depiction of the Jihad agrees with Frank's view of it. I think we'd all agree that Frank's view takes precedence. So we should look at what we can infer about the Jihad from Frank's work, and then see how well the KJA/BH depiction matches that expectation.

Frank didn't give a lot of detail about the Jihad, but from what he did write, it seems clear that the threat of machines wasn't a direct physical threat, but one of dependence. Look at any of the previous posts in this thread for evidence; they say it better than I can. Furthermore, descriptions of the Jihad are often given by BG members, who have direct memory of it. At no time is it suggested that the causes or nature of the Jihad are unknown or obscure.

This interpretation isn't a stretch; ask any Dune reader pre-Legends about the Jihad, and they will say something like "the details are not known, but it was pro-machine people against anti-machine people".

When you read Legends, the depiction of the Jihad is significantly different. It's massive machines out to enslave and kill us all. The threat is one of physical violence and suppression. The machines themselves are the immediate threat, rather than the dependence on the machines being the problem.

Okay, so that doesn't look good for KJA and BH, but perhaps our inferences are wrong. Perhaps they have Frank's notes which describe the Jihad. Let's say they know better than us, and that Frank really did envision the Jihad as Mechwarriors meets Terminator, and we readers have just got it wrong all these years.

Well, there's a way to test that. If we go back to the original text, and read it in light of the Legends books, the Legends books should provide a *clearer* explanation of the original Dune material than what we originally inferred from it. The Legends books should explain, rather than conflict with, the statements in the originals.

Well, they don't. Rather than bringing clarity to the original statements about the Jihad, you have to do all sorts of semantic gymnastics to make the KJA/BH version fit. Statements such as Alia's, rather than being explained, have to be contorted and qualified beyond recognition for the KJA/BH depiction of the Jihad to make any sense at all. Furthermore, if the Jihad happened as KJA/BH describe, you would expect the characterization of the conflict in the original books to be *very different*, even as vague as they are.

*Can* one contort, qualify and reinterpret statements from the originals to make them fit the KJA/BH view of the Jihad? Yes. But the fact that you *have to* indicates very strongly that their depiction of the Jihad is not what Frank envisioned, and is therefore *not right*.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 30 Oct 2009 00:51

"Truth suffers from too much analysis."


I think you are over thinking the originals. Set KJA/BH aside, and I read the many negative references to machines to be more than just a crusade to stamp out machine like attitudes.

What I do see is is this:

    Alia feels she can completely trust machines
    Alia is possessed by the Baron
    The Baron had more trust in machines than mentats.
    Alia is thinking about her trust in machines while dealing with a mentat.

The other quoted and index material is generally negative (I compiled it all into one source doc to take a look at in from end to end).

Even Leto isn't willing to undo the prohibition of the jihad, though he dose have pro machine leanings, that the BG do not share.

"A well-maintained machine can be more reliable than a human servant," Leto
said. "We can trust machines not to indulge in emotional distractions."

Obviously a machine that is not well maintained is a danger, and a machine that has achieved a level of consciousness, having it's own ability to form an opinion of right and wrong may not be as trustworthy as other non sentient machines (both of which Alia would remember, if we agree that she has memories from before the jihad).

"The target of the Jihad was a machine-attitude as much as the machines," Leto said. "Humans had set those machines to usurp our sense of beauty, our necessary selfdom out of which we make living judgments. Naturally, the machines were destroyed."


So we are clear, I do understand and agree with the jihad being as much about the attitude as the machines themselves, but do clearly see that there must have been some problem beyond just the attitudes. I do not see there being such a lasting prejudice against the machines if they were just senseless tools in the conflict.

"Aren't you curious why the Tyrant never suppressed Ix?" he asked. And when
she continued to stare at him: "He only bridled them. He was fascinated by the idea of human and machine inextricably bound to each other, each testing the limits of the other."
"Cyborgs?"
"Among other things."
Didn't Idaho know the residue of revulsion left by the Butlerian Jihad even
among the Bene Gesserit? Alarming! The convergence of what each -- human and
machine -- could do. Considering machine limitations, that was a succinct
description of Ixian shortsightedness. Was Idaho saying the Tyrant subscribed
to the idea of Machine Intelligence? Foolishness!


Here again, machine intelligence being characterized as a foolish (dangerous) pursuit.

Alia was musing more about the emotional nature that mentats could not shake, and how a well maintained, coldly analytical machine would not have such problems.

I'll be back in a few days - RL is calling again...
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Hunchback Jack » 30 Oct 2009 01:50

The passages you've quoted are consistent with the idea of machine intelligence being damaging to humans through the danger of dependence, not direct violence. Note that the BG reaction to machine intelligence is *revulsion*, not *fear*, as it would be if Omnius were the danger.

(The "well-maintained" quote I think is not relevant. You suggest that "badly-maintained" machines become violent or independent as Omnius did, but that is not the sense of the passage at all. Leto stresses "well maintained" because a badly-maintained machine is not reliable - it will break down. It's their reliability that Leto is stressing, which actually supports the "machines are just tools" view.)

Don't misunderstand - just because you can't distrust a machine doesn't mean that the edict against them was misguided. The danger of machine intelligence is real, and these negative comments you quoted show that. It's just that the danger is not the simplistic one portrayed in the Legends books.

Alia knows she can trust machines because they are just tools, but her temptation to use them is not a good thing.

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 30 Oct 2009 02:57

redbugpest wrote:The other quoted and index material is generally negative (I compiled it all into one source doc to take a look at in from end to end).

And you did it while hiking to the top of a mountain, right? :)

Talk is cheap. Convert it into a webpage and put it on your site, post the link.


Um, not sure if anyone has brought this up (again?), but shouldn't any BG know that computers (=data storage & processing devices) are trustworthy as tools? I mean, after all the Bene Gesserit themselves had been using them to store their breeding program records for over 10,000 years.

Or was Archives some sort of secret, even among the ranks?


Frankly, most of this "discussion" seems a waste of time to me. Alia wants a computer, a machine that will do as she asks and execute its programming without getting distracted, unlike her current data-cruncher with its "serious drawback" of being "encased in a human body". I don't read the CoD passage as really having anything to say about sentient or conscious machines, even though all three categories were destroyed and prohibited by the Jihad.

So honestly, if this is supposed to be the "killer argument" that puts any question of the possibility of the existence of Omnius & Erasmus in the Duniverse to rest, I'm not seeing it. Rather, they—and indeed, the whole "Ancient McDuniverse" created in the Legends trilogy—fail to achieve even minimal plausibility due to the too many other inconsistencies with Frank Herbert's work that people have been pointing out for years. The "Evermind Skynet/(Independent!) Transvestite Terminator Scenario" of the Legends books is not a valid interpretation of Frank Herbert's Butlerian Jihad; there is no textual support for it whatsoever in any of the six Dune books.

(yawn)
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 30 Oct 2009 05:03

SandChigger wrote:Frankly, most of this "discussion" seems a waste of time to me. Alia wants a computer, a machine that will do as she asks and execute its programming without getting distracted, unlike her current data-cruncher with its "serious drawback" of being "encased in a human body". I don't read the CoD passage as really having anything to say about sentient or conscious machines, even though all three categories were destroyed and prohibited by the Jihad.


Personally, I do not buy such distinction. I see no reason to read from Frank Herbert's different words, that there was substantive difference between these kinds of machines. And Alia is clearly talking about "machines" - which would encompass any and all of them regardless.


SandChigger wrote:So honestly, if this is supposed to be the "killer argument" that puts any question of the possibility of the existence of Omnius & Erasmus in the Duniverse to rest, I'm not seeing it.
...
The "Evermind Skynet/(Independent!) Transvestite Terminator Scenario" of the Legends books is not a valid interpretation of Frank Herbert's Butlerian Jihad; there is no textual support for it whatsoever in any of the six Dune books.


Obviously, I agree that the Legends series take on matters do not fit with Frank's ideas. But not (only) because there is no textual support for it in Dune - my point is that there _is_ textual support in Dune which renders the silly evil-AI-scenario incompatible.

Such as a person with OM saying machines cannot be distrusted.


_That_ is why it is a "killer argument" - you cannot have a person with OM saying that, in the same universe as the Legends series occur in.

-

But I must admit that I don't find this particularly deep or insightful analysis of Dune. It branches off into interesting topics (conscious machines, Frank's beliefs about machines, philosophy of technology), but at it's core, it is really just very basic textual analysis - what can we gather from Frank's work, what can we gather from KJA's work and are those facts compatible?
Not rocket science, and not all that interesting. Except I do think we have a knock-down argument here (and elsewhere) - and inviting discussion only to see the KJA-apologists run (sometimes around in circles and eventually just away) gives the closest thing one can to proof about who is right. I don't need that proof personally, but others have already benefitted from it and I think it should be out there - and I am having fun helping to create it...

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby SandChigger » 30 Oct 2009 13:34

Lundse wrote:Personally, I do not buy such distinction. I see no reason to read from Frank Herbert's different words, that there was substantive difference between these kinds of machines. And Alia is clearly talking about "machines" - which would encompass any and all of them regardless.

So FH just added "thinking" and "conscious" into the mix for the sound? And the BG's long use of computers but not AI or robots (above the level of servoks, presumably) has no bearing? OK.

Not rocket science, and not all that interesting. Except I do think we have a knock-down argument here (and elsewhere) - and inviting discussion only to see the KJA-apologists run (sometimes around in circles and eventually just away) gives the closest thing one can to proof about who is right. I don't need that proof personally, but others have already benefitted from it and I think it should be out there - and I am having fun helping to create it...

Well, if you're enjoying it, that's the main thing, I guess. ;)

But it has occurred to me that in your eagerness to trounce yet another apologist that, in this case, you're encouraging one who has thus far repeatedly demonstrated a level of familiarity and understanding of the originals below even KJA's, giving him a seriously inflated sense of his own importance in the scheme of things.

redbugpest wrote:I'll be back in a few days - RL is calling again...

Yes, yes, fuck off again for a while, why don't you. :roll:

But do say hello to KJA for me!
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Seraphan » 30 Oct 2009 13:39

redbugpest wrote:
"Truth suffers from too much analysis."

How ironic for you to use that quotation.

People here have given their arguments in a straight and simple fashion, while you parade posts that go round and round like a dog chasing it's tail. Trying to come up with facts that confirm what KJA and the other guy did in their legends books.

But then again you're only here for the sake of appearances so i guess shouldnt really worry.
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 30 Oct 2009 15:16

SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:Personally, I do not buy such distinction. I see no reason to read from Frank Herbert's different words, that there was substantive difference between these kinds of machines. And Alia is clearly talking about "machines" - which would encompass any and all of them regardless.

So FH just added "thinking" and "conscious" into the mix for the sound? And the BG's long use of computers but not AI or robots (above the level of servoks, presumably) has no bearing? OK.


Sorry, I was being unclear. I am not saying there is no such distinctions to be made, nor that various factions within the Dune universe may not at times have made them. I am just saying those distinction were not relevant to the Jihad. All machines which simulated the mind of man were destroyed, the closest things which are allowed is apparently servoks and fencing-machines.
But I am not convinced that Frank had any clear distinctions in mind - when he wrote "computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots", I believe he was being comprehensive, not describing three distinct and precise categories of machines which in no way overlapped. And I do not think his warning against trusting tools to think and guide us is concerned with niceties such as whether the advice comes from a moving robot or a mainframe in a basement, nor whether the machine in question does only data processing, simulates human thinking or appears actually conscious. (And I don't think he believed machines could ever be conscious either, see Without Me, You're Nothing for details).


SandChigger wrote:But it has occurred to me that in your eagerness to trounce yet another apologist that, in this case, you're encouraging one who has thus far repeatedly demonstrated a level of familiarity and understanding of the originals below even KJA's, giving him a seriously inflated sense of his own importance in the scheme of things.


I am not concerned with Conway's estimation of his importance. But judging from his comments on non-inconsistency-related topics, I would tentatively presume that he has a greater respect for, and knowledge of, Dune than KJA. Which makes the whole deal even sadder...

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby Lundse » 30 Oct 2009 15:29

redbugpest wrote:
"Truth suffers from too much analysis."


So we should stop discussing the matter? Or is it only my analysis which hurts the truth? Either you are in this, or not. If you want to argue, Herbert quotation in hand, that discussion such as this one is bad, at least have the curtesy to follow your own advice. Anything else makes you a hypocrite. I will continue, presuming you did not really mean this, but thought it a cool quote to bandy about... If you want to argue that there is something wrong with my analysis, and not yours, you can either address this in the actual argumentation below, or take it to another thread.

Jeez.


The rest of your post seems confusing to me. You give examples of how people hate machines, are fearful of how they would change society, etc. I do not, and have never, dispute this. It is entirely irrelevant!

But you do, yourself, claim this to be true:
Alia feels she can completely trust machines


Why does she feel this, when she knows a machine once turned on its creators and almost annihilated mankind?

If you do not at least try to answer this question, this conversation is over. I am tired of running around corners with you. You either do not get the argument (and I do not think you arethat stupid), or you are deliberately confusing matters and avoiding the issue.


To clarify, the ad absurdum again:
1) Alia knows all about Omnious (you have agreed to this alread).
2) Omnious was not trustworthy, as he betrayed and almost killed humanity.
3) Alia believes all machines, specifically those from the time of the Jihad such as Omnious, to be trustworthy.
4) Alia believes machines to be both trustworthy and not trustworthy, which is absurd.


Now! You can either:
Disagree with the validity of the argument structure (don't, its fine).
Disagree with 1 - going back on your previous statements and claim, along with Arnoldo and other fools, that OM does not work whenever KJA says so.
Disagree with 2 - that Omnious' actions were not untrustworthy, and that slaughtering entire planets fits with "compliant" and something "you can never distrust".
Disagree with 3 - claim that Alia does not mean what she thinks. I would love to see an argument for that one.
Disagree with 4 - and claim that believing to opposite things is fine and dandy, no absurdity to see here.

Which one is it?

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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 30 Oct 2009 21:14

Lundse wrote:
redbugpest wrote:
"Truth suffers from too much analysis."


So we should stop discussing the matter? Or is it only my analysis which hurts the truth? Either you are in this, or not. If you want to argue, Herbert quotation in hand, that discussion such as this one is bad, at least have the curtesy to follow your own advice. Anything else makes you a hypocrite. I will continue, presuming you did not really mean this, but thought it a cool quote to bandy about... If you want to argue that there is something wrong with my analysis, and not yours, you can either address this in the actual argumentation below, or take it to another thread.

Jeez.


You tend to try and keep this discussion to a micro focus, when it is a maco topic. You are too focused on Alia's one statement. The answer to how she can think this is interwoven into the fabric of the story.

Now, lets look at the rest of your post...

Lundse wrote:Why does she feel this, when she knows a machine once turned on its creators and almost annihilated mankind?


We will hit this at the bottom in your flawed conclusions list.

Lundse wrote:If you do not at least try to answer this question, this conversation is over. I am tired of running around corners with you. You either do not get the argument (and I do not think you arethat stupid), or you are deliberately confusing matters and avoiding the issue.


You are just refusing to accept my viewpoint.

Lundse wrote:To clarify, the ad absurdum again:
1) Alia knows all about Omnious (you have agreed to this alread).
2) Omnious was not trustworthy, as he betrayed and almost killed humanity.


I agree with the above...
Lets explore the lat two

Lundse wrote:3) Alia believes all machines, specifically those from the time of the Jihad such as Omnious, to be trustworthy.
4) Alia believes machines to be both trustworthy and not trustworthy, which is absurd.


3 - She never says that, that is you viewing the "you can never distrust a machine" statement and extrapolating it to an extreme that validates you argument. if your argument were true, she should say something like "I have never met a machine I could not trust" or something similar that would make a more direct connection to thinking machines.

The statement she made, however, can be taken in different context to be a comparison between her desire to get her data without the emotional baggage.

4 - So, if we look at it from my point of view, understanding that, even with her OM knowledge of Omnius and the Jihad, she could conceive of a trustworthy machine. Just because she may have had knowledge of an "untrustworthy" machine does not negate the possibility of imagining a machine that can be trusted.

I think that, when looked at in it's entirety, the Jihad did include issues with untrustworthy conscious AI systems, or robots.
I think that, even though it is not canon, you have to, if you believe that McNelly is not lying, look at the story outline that he claims that FH agreed to, where part of the plot is about a self programming AI that has, on its own, been running a long campaign on tampering with the human condition through it's own selective breeding campaign.


Lundse wrote:Now! You can either:
Disagree with the validity of the argument structure (don't, its fine).
Disagree with 1 - going back on your previous statements and claim, along with Arnoldo and other fools, that OM does not work whenever KJA says so.
Disagree with 2 - that Omnious' actions were not untrustworthy, and that slaughtering entire planets fits with "compliant" and something "you can never distrust".
Disagree with 3 - claim that Alia does not mean what she thinks. I would love to see an argument for that one.
Disagree with 4 - and claim that believing to opposite things is fine and dandy, no absurdity to see here.

Which one is it?


I prefer "Disagree with the foundational premise that you argument is based on" See my previous arguments.
Or Alia does mean what she thinks, but not in the way that you think.

I know that this is an argument that I cannot win, because I realize the you will not be willing to accept that any other explanation other than Alia must see all of the Jihad machines as being 100% trustworthy because of her statement and and her ability to access OM. To do so would open the doors to possibility that you find distressful and uncomfortable (even though it would necessarily validate the Legends series as the only possibility).

The person who takes the banal and ordinary and illuminates it in a new way can terrify. We do not want our ideas changed. We feel threatened by such demands. "I already know the important things!" we say.



Uproot your questions from their ground and the dangling roots will be seen.
More questions!


If you choose to end this debate it is not because I do not understand or the argument or I am not putting forth an argument, it is because you choose not to see my arguments for what they are.

So like I said before, if your signature makes you feel better, keep it. If you do not want to continue this discussion, it will not bother me in the least, I have may other things to keep me occupied.

The ball is in your court.
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 30 Oct 2009 21:31

SandChigger wrote:
Lundse wrote:Personally, I do not buy such distinction. I see no reason to read from Frank Herbert's different words, that there was substantive difference between these kinds of machines. And Alia is clearly talking about "machines" - which would encompass any and all of them regardless.

So FH just added "thinking" and "conscious" into the mix for the sound? And the BG's long use of computers but not AI or robots (above the level of servoks, presumably) has no bearing? OK.


Of course it has bearing. Lundse is desperately trying to bake a shades of grey topic and apply black and white rules to it. Alia should have OM knowledge of the BG computers (obviously trustworthy machines), but as soon as you say "Omnius" all machines must be untrustworthy.

Sounds like a bit of machine logic.
let me say it in a more appropriate language....

01010100011010000110010100100000011001100110111101110101011011100110010001100001011101000110100101101111011011100010000001101111011001100010000001110100011010000110010100100000011000010111001001100111011101010110110101100101011011100111010000100000011010010111001100100000011001100110110001100001011101110110010101100100


*EDIT: removed meaningless inflammatory remarks.
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Re: The Jihad (and Alia), round... whatever.

Postby redbugpest » 30 Oct 2009 23:11

Seraphan wrote:
redbugpest wrote:
"Truth suffers from too much analysis."

How ironic for you to use that quotation.

People here have given their arguments in a straight and simple fashion, while you parade posts that go round and round like a dog chasing it's tail. Trying to come up with facts that confirm what KJA and the other guy did in their legends books.

But then again you're only here for the sake of appearances so i guess shouldnt really worry.


Wrong on all counts - I do not have to confirm their version, just the fact that there is the possibility for any other version than the narrowly defined one put forward here.

The interpretation put forward by Lundse is not the only one that can be inferred from the text. You are just being blinded by your preconceived notions.
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