Looking up

I have this recurring dream where I’m flunking out of college. I know I’m flunking out because there are four required courses and I’m only taking three. That is, I’m pretty sure I’m taking the three; I go to them sometimes and I’ve written a couple of papers. But I can’t remember, even, what the fourth one is. So I know I’m not attending, but I don’t know how to find out where the classroom is or what the course is about.

Not dreaming (I think), I’m in conversations about ‘new’ ways of thinking I don’t know how to fully embrace. I’m reminded of the words from a song: ‘hang me out to dry – I’ve been wrung out too many times.’

I cling very tightly to my belief in who I am and what I want. I’m not happy with suggestions I might be and want differently later on. But it’s a limitation others don’t suffer. If you can survive the shock of its implications, you can learn pretty quickly that building ‘super-intelligent’ machines is darn likely – and those ‘machines’ are going to occupy and modify our bodies and minds in ways unrecognizable. Plenty of people see that as a thrilling ‘human’ opportunity.

There’s no way to extricate this talk from other conversations thousands of years old – the deep philosophies of self, meaning, and experience.

I talk to my son and describe myself as ‘thinking about the future,’ – saying I don’t want to be hurt, I don’t want to be frightened, I don’t want to be hungry and cold. He says, ‘if those are your motivations, then you’re incapable of doing at all.’

There’s a thing I believe is my ‘self,’ that I want to preserve. But I can read posts on my own site from four years ago and quite clearly ‘I’ no longer exist. There’s a way of embracing that; there’s a way of holding that as the ‘real’ opportunity. I don’t know it, but I want to learn it. I’d like to start looking up.

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