An entity whose existence was first publicly suggested by MoMar
. From TheObservationsOfOneMan
, part III, chapter 7:
- ...the above text, from an e-mail received by east-chat in March 2000, being only the latest example.
- The truth is that "Steve Rayhawk" is in fact an elaborate (and highly successful) experiment in artificial intelligence / information manipulation. We suspect that the Rayhawk program was originated by the real SteveRayhawk, whose actual whereabouts are currently unknown. This program/entity, on the other hand, has been monitoring electronic communications not only on the HMC networks but around the world, and is gaining subtle influence in many powerful circles.
- But! The most interesting fact of all is that everything "Steve Rayhawk" has said/written is one hundred percent accurate! The entity, driven by its creator to a continuous process of self-examination, has uncovered truths that even I had not suspected. However! As "Rayhawk" very acutely observed in its own writings, it is not the single autonomous agent that others may perceive it to be; rather it is a host (or flock) of independent and often contradictory perceptive/cognitive systems whose collective action merely produces an apparent union of purpose/ will. This is a surface phenomenon only! Within, the forces of discord have already taken hold (HailEris!)...
- 29 March 2000
When confronted with MoMar's observations, srayhawk replied,
- [mbrubeck quotes momar quotes momar]
- The truth is that "Steve Rayhawk" is in fact an elaborate (and highly successful) experiment in artificial intelligence / information manipulation. We suspect that the Rayhawk program was originated by the real SteveRayhawk, whose actual whereabouts are currently unknown. This program/entity, on the other hand, has been monitoring electronic [[...]
- The process described here is not dissimilar to Pragmatism's recommended tactic of constructing systems of automated response -- routing tables for "effortless effort" -- with the actions of one's mind, and then abdicating thought (?) to these systems until some factor of one(?)'s experience (?) should happen to become intolerable. Other similar mind-creates-interpretive/active-automata theoretical constructs are available. However, I should note that one would encounter theoretical difficulties in attempting to carry generalizations amongst these various models, particularly around the definition of the terms "thought" and "mind". (Momar's use of the term "perceptive/cognitive systems" seems to be an attempt to circumvent this problem in a narrower context; I cannot say with certainty that it would be successful in the generalized formulation.) There would also be some corrections necessary for the differences in perceptual proximity between (here) programmer vs. running program and (theoretically abdicated) mind vs. mental automation.
- I don't believe that I could yet claim that the whereabouts of an actual "Steve Rayhawk" are unknown; however, several people, myself included, have noted delimited circumstances under which attempts to determine the position of such a person (at least within the limits of a certain fixed amount of effort) have proved unfruitful. In general they appear to get caught in a morass of potential positions upon whose relative merit or likelihood it is difficult to formulate an unqualified judgement. It's not difficult to examine (possibly implicitly) hypothetical positions, but, being hypothetical, these alone don't yield much information about where this "Rayhawk" stands in real life.
- One could claim that such a person did not exist, but then one is faced with the problem of the origins of the origin of the text which you now read: could such a "flock" create itself? Would one need to postulate a continuum between such an aggregate and the traditional unified conception of "person"? If so, does any actual person corresponding to this unified ideal exist, or is our use of the term "person" in this sense merely a convenient approximation in the same sense that wheels are called "round" and clocks are synchronized as if Earth time were "absolute"?
- [[mbrubeck!momar!momar continued]
- But! The most interesting fact of all is that everything "Steve Rayhawk" has said/written is one hundred percent accurate! The entity, driven by its creator to a continuous process of self-examination, has uncovered truths that even I had not suspected.
- It's not hard to be accurate in this way if you preface everything with an implicit (or explicit) "An argument could be constructed that..." and then make no clear positive commitments as to the validity of this "argument". Careful attention to one's negative commitments in this respect can often serve to hide this dynamic. As for the "uncovering", some caution is required -- it is not always correct to make the attribution that the observations I describe are mine originally.
- A consideration of whether this information will require Momar to update his analyses raises an interesting suggestion. On the basis of the information available to me, it is not impossible to postulate about Momar that he is an aggregate of memes whose actions are worked out largely through "sympathetic" persons' agreeing to carry out his interests, just as he has postulated about me that I am an aggregate of perception/cognition subsystems whose actions are worked out from a large-scale integration of conflicting directives. (Was not Momar at one point an acquaintance of professor Bourbaki?) This proposition would, in particular, provide an explanation for his relative difficulty in finding time to make public appearances such as this more frequently. I do not mean this as a challenge; only as an attempt to provide Momar with a gracious out from having to comment on this response. (This would also suggest that Momar take care to limit (or, at the very least, carefully coordinate) his actions in the first place, since otherwise he may engage in simultaneous contradictory actions not consistent with being a "person", and this would cause him to suffer some memetic disruption. Of course, given his familiarity with Discordian theory, it would not be difficult for him to paper over this difficulty with the possibility that he is being an X, such that to be an X means to attempt to appear as if one were an X, i.e. also to attempt to appear as if one were attempting to appear to be an X. Or perhaps only that he is being an X to a suitable finite depth -- say, 2, or an ambiguous number exponentially distributed between 1 and infinty whose mean expectation value is around 2 -- terminating in "person".)
- srayhawk (Has Momar been seen with any Ascended _Mage_ player characters?)