From: Carlo Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Apr 01 2002 - 18:34:39 MST
Before posting more I'd like to give a short
introduction of myself.
I am what you could consider a typical hacker
(in the correct meaning of the word): I program
12 hours/day 7 days/week... at least, I did
until I got RSI (Repitive Stress Injury).
Because now I cannot type anymore all day, I
have been reading here and there and as such
stumbled over this transhuman stuff.
I subscribed to this mailinglist because I am
interested in the institute and would like to
know what you are doing. I expected that the
main activity is designing an AI, or at least
discuss how that needs to designed, so that we'll
be ready once the hardware is.
It is my hope that I might be able to help,
not only because I've two decades of programming
experience but mostly because of this rather unique
characteristic of me: I am aware of a great part
of my subconscious. This and other deviations
from 'normal' people haven't made my life very
easy; I've been seeing psychologists because of
all kinds of problems ever since the age of twelve,
and I am still seeing one now, at age 37.
Although it has been clear since I was still very
young that I had a very high IQ, nobody every
understood how I experienced the world - and mutually,
I never understood why others reacted as they
did. The diagnosis made when I was 20 was that
I had something "related to autism", which pretty
correct also in regard to the fact that I experience
"reality" in such a different way, that others
including the psychologist, never could comprehend
By far my strongest points are abstract comprehension
(thinking about infinite dimensions and non-lineair
associations as conceptual objects comes natural to
me) and analytic insight. It was only at the age
of 18 however that I first understood the concept of
emotions (and that other people actually used them
as part of the decision making) and made a start with
trying to analyse human relationships and social
interaction, by far the hardest problem I ever set
my mind to. In the meantime my own emotions fought
to get into balance with my rational side and I
started to study them in full, too. I didn't understand
them at that time however (that is, I didn't understand
were they came from). Unlike subconscious reasoning,
emotions come from so deep that it often isn't clear
why you feel them. Especially in that early time.
One emotion that started to especially puzzle me was
a feeling of lonelyness. It was only at the age of 26
that I finally cracked the reason behind that feeling:
then I finally realized that I was aware of 'thoughts'
that could not be expressed in words - moreover, they
took about 80% of my "perception" (for me, I discovered,
my internal thought processes were so real and _present_
that they were more important then for instance visual
perception - or better, I first realized that this was
NOT the case for other people. In other words, the
largest part of my "world" could not be communicated.
What I needed in order to liberate me from my burning
desire for contact with other human beings turned out
to be telepathy, because there was no other way to
exchange the thoughts that I was aware of. However,
that was only the start. Finally I could put my finger
on the awareness of these thoughts and start to study
them (and analyse them) in more detail. In the Netherlands
we have a saying: "Not seeing the forest through the trees"
and that was how I felt; I'd always been aware of these
(subconscious) thoughts, I just didn't SEE them because
they had been such a natural presence all my life.
For a few years I analysed my own thought processes,
trying desperately to understand myself in order to
overcome my psychological problems as well as from the
desire to communicate about it with others.
The result of all these circumstances,
1) Being more aware of my subconscious thoughts than
of my surroundings.
2) Being highly gifted (IQ in the 'genious' regions)
with analytic insight.
3) Actually being able to finally (after 8 years!)
put my finger on this special awareness, and
4) Not being TOO crazy so that I still had a chance
to figure out how to communicate about it with
makes me a rather unique specimen of humanity: I know
how humans think.
Hopefully now you will understand that when I read about
the Institute and assumed that here a real effort is
being made to simulate human thinking in a future AI,
I had the feeling I just HAD to join to see if I could
be of assistance with designing it.
-- Carlo Wood <email@example.com>
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