Human Origins

The narrative of the transition from Ape to Man is contained within one astonishing cut in the film 2001…

…but 4 Million years of history contains a lot of potential stories. I am thinking about setting my next novel (after the Singularity’s Children series) back at the Dawn of Man.

It looks like we coexisted and even bred with many other species of Hominid and some of those seem to have been pretty smart. Recent discoveries show that Neanderthals were making cave art hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Neanderthal cave art, spain.

Haplo Groups‘ markers allow us to trace humanities deep ancestry. We (Homo Sapiens) left Africa 70K years ago to spread our seed across the world, mingling and mating with the local—as we tend to do.

We eventually replaced the ‘other‘ and history started…

But I love the gaps—into which stories can be inserted!

Maybe I will set it 12,800 Years Ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas, the fall of Eden and the interment of  Goebekli Tepe.

Anyway, I think there is plenty of material for a book set at the Dawn of Man…
…what do you think? Would you read it? Or shall I go 12,000 years the other way?

 

(image: Neanderthal with face paint – Viktor Deak)

What is Consciousness?


I recently published another essay on Medium.com.

I take some ideas from my SciFi novels on the nature of Consciousness and Reality and flesh them out to make them explicit. I do touch on some of this in Book Three, but in a novel, I didn’t want to slow down the story by digressing too much into philosophy.
Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

Take a look and give me a clap or two if you enjoy it!

 

What is Consciousness?

“We have no idea what we, or YOU—the protagonists in our subjective lives—actually are.

This is not an exaggeration. Science currently has NO IDEA what Consciousness is; not even a plausible conjecture; NOTHING. This is a glaring gap in our epistemology when consciousness is the foundation of all meaning in the universe; which it must be, because without conscious experience what is ethics, hope, passion, and art? Would there be any meaning in a vast complex universe utterly devoid of anybody to experience it? Would there be any loss if such a Universe was destroyed? Or if a Billion were created and then destroyed in the blink of an eye?

 

Main Image: Kevin PhilippeAgua de Estrella

Meaningful Relationships…

I enjoyed ths wired article at lot—all the while experiencing an ominous sense of wrongness.

If you have read your Asimov, it feels like parts of humanity are heading towards Solaria.

Eventually, all traces of our base, biological behavior will have been criminalized and proscribed—purged from polite society. The only flirting or f&*king we will be doing then, will be with our robot housemaids.

 

‘Levy takes Alan Turing’s famous claim that the convincing appearance of intelligence (in AI) is proof of intelligence, and he expands that into the emotional realm:

“If a robot behaves as though it has feelings, can we reasonably argue that it does not? If a robot’s artificial emotions prompt it to say things such as ‘I love you,’ surely we should be willing to accept these statements at face value … Why, if a robot that we know to be emotionally intelligent, says, ‘I love you’ or ‘I want to make love to you,’ should we doubt it?” Human emotions, he argues, are no less “programmed” than those of an intelligent machine: “We have hormones, we have neurons, and we are ‘wired’ in a way that creates our emotions.” ‘

Taken to extremes, this is the dark Armageddon of the body snatchers. Humans are swapped out, uploading into shiny, hygienic oids, one by one. Society continues, but it has become a kabuki of raging and laughter—there is nobody home, no Cartesian observers in the cockpit, nothing going on behind cold android eyes…

…I fear we are only starting to scratch the surface of future shock