It can be really rewarding to find new ways to think about old things.
For example, we can consider writing and speaking to be a vital part of the human power of practical telepathy.
We translate our thoughts into a shared language, and then those thoughts can be pulled into the minds of others. This allows the incredible coordination among humans that has enabled us to dominate all life we’ve encountered. It’s a terrific advantage that, once used with purposeful coordination, propelled us forward into a vastly more capable class of creature.
More recently, with the advent of software development, humans have gained a “sister” superpower to telepathy. This power allows us to write our thoughts in a special language, and then trigger the execution of these thoughts outside of our mind. We can even transmit our thoughts to others so that they may execute them!
It’s not a big stretch to consider software to be controlled subconscious thought. The execution of a computer program is the execution of human thought without the use or limitations of our minds.
In the context of personal empowerment, this is a massive scaling of the capacity of individuals. The more that people are able to use software that empowers them, the more capable they will become.
As far as consciousness is primarily the sum of someone’s thoughts, thought-as-code is actually an expansion of consciousness. Programming is the creation and preservation of consciousness.
It’s really neat to think of software this way because when we use software, we are summoning a vast tower of meticulously choreographed human thought in order to accomplish tasks. These are bits and pieces of thousands of consciousnesses working together at an incomprehensible speed.
In the same way that living creatures can experience time differently and on different time scales (compare a housefly to a plant), the consciousness that makes up software exists in an entirely foreign realm of time than we do.
We’ve taken our thoughts and moved them into an entirely different plane of existence.
Life and Death
When we turn on a computer, a million ribbons of consciousness spring into existence. When we close a program, exit a menu, or turn off a computer, thoughts are terminated. If we never turn the computer on again, or its hardware fails, then our computer has died.
Unlike normal life, though, it’s easy to copy a computer, and nearly all software on most computers is just a copy.
The only time software really dies is if it’s not shared or used.
Normal thoughts don’t scale easily. In order to build up traditional thoughts into something greater, they have to be shared and accepted by others, and then carefully considered and fully understood before they can be built upon.
Thought-as-code is easy to build upon. We can write instructions on how to build upon the code we write. We can combine the thoughts of every human into something incomprehensibly powerful and useful. We already did, of course. But we can, too…
If programs are human thoughts, then simulations are humans collectively imagining new universes into existence.
If we can make thoughts a first-party entity in a software system, with the understanding of what thoughts are, the operations between them, their purpose, etc then we can empower people to leverage a wider gamut of thought to help themselves and others.
We can look at software development as enabling the linking of thoughts together in useful ways.
The internet is just a way for us to network our thoughts together and relate them to one-another, graphing their relationships and using it to build productive interactions of human powered machines.
To many, the “technological singularity” is when computers become smarter than humans. Because software is merely executing the thoughts of humans, and many of these humans are incredibly smart, computers are executing smart thoughts faster than any human can.
It’s arguable that the sum of the execution of all computational thought has long surpassed the sum of all human thought.
The nature of the thoughts that computers execute may at first appear to be more rigid than humans are capable, but in reality they are exactly as dynamic as genuine human thought, and in many cases dynamic in ways far beyond human capacity.
Some ways that programs execute thought impossible for humans:
- simulation iteration
- accurate reproduction
- data comparison
Updated: 7 July, 2022
Created: 11 November, 2021