Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maya's Little Bot

Contrary to the modern perception, Frankenstein was not the monster with the big square-shaped head and the two prongs jutting out of his neck. Frankenstein was the professor. It was Frankenstein's monster that came to life with a few leftover body parts and the help of lightning (so I was told, I have never read Mary Shelly's book). In some Eastern views, that which is created can be disassembled piece by piece and put back together again, and it will function as it it did before. Life is unborn, was never created, and has always been. Therefore, when you take apart a human being, piece by piece, and put it back together again, it does not work the same as it did before it was cut apart.


Man has a fascination with tapping into this unborn world. In another sense, man begins to lose his sense of humanity amongst technology. Frankenstein's monster is this sort of beast, not of what we can create, but of what we fear we might become. Japanese anime tell of humans becoming so much machine that the human cannot be found. Even less than this, it is now evident that humanity has begun to define itself more and more through television. A little box tells us what to think. We don't need to become machines if we are controlled by one. I have read far too many reports of surveys taken in the seventies, eighties, and nineties which show the drastic effect that television suddenly has seized upon our identities. Our social groups are forming around internet chat rooms and text messages.


With all that being said, if you would like your little taste of Frankenstein's monster, you can host your own KGS Go robot. This website has all the details. Why, you ask? I cannot understand the fascination with advancing the machine in Go. There will come a day when the computer will outplay any human on the planet, but that is little worry. Go, like most Asian arts, is more than a game. In it, you can find the way, or Dao. The dao is not found just by winning, or reaching Shodan, or even by your state of mind while you play. It is beyond these things. No computer will ever reach the dao in Go, or any other art. Go is a game of war. There is nothing and then there is duality. This brings conflict. Once it is resolved, the board returns to the original state of nothingness. Two great masters understand 'the way' and would never care if they might lose to a Go robot.


Perhaps one day we will have bots of compassion to pat us on the back when we have had a bad day. Then perhaps we will have bots of tolerance which will accept our yelling and angry shouting on our bad days. Of course, the "I" in humanity is defined by the "other." We could never define ourselves by machines. Between the border of "I" and "other" we see that playing a Go robot is as empty as threats of Maya.

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1 Comments:

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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