Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

"If human beings understand that technology is almost within their reach, they will definitely get it. Isn't this an instinctive act?" Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell

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Turing's Test

"If human beings understand that technology is almost within their reach, they will definitely get it. Isn't this an instinctive act?" Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell

Hideo Kojima in this part of the dialogues is referring to something that the sciences related to the psychological field and the mind have been involved in so far. After Raiden finds Snake trapped in the Arsenal, he receives strange messages from Colonel Campbell and asks Atakan about his whereabouts, but Raiden seems to have been taking orders from an AI the whole time:

Atakan: Raiden? About the same colonel you were talking about - I found out where he is.

Raiden: Where?

Atakan: Inside the Arsenal.

Raiden: You mean...?

Atakan: I've looked into all the possibilities, but all the leads trace back to Arsenal Gear, and that's where the signal originates. And, the protocol [-e] it uses to encrypt its messages is exactly the same protocol used by Arsenal Gear's own artificial intelligence, the so-called GW.

Raiden: ... and what exactly is that supposed to mean? ?

Atakan: I think you mean, you've only been talking to an AI so far.

Raiden: That's impossible!

Atakan: You can't say that Colonel It is exactly the same as GW. GW was probably just simulating the activity of the sleeping cortical part of your brain. In this way, he had manipulated the signals of your nanomachine all this time. The colonel is actually a creation of your own mind, and the result of the expectations and experiences you had before, and now it was assembled in the form of a character named the colonel...

Raiden: It's crazy.

Atakan: But probably That's the truth. The [-virus] we uploaded is affecting GW's artificial intelligence, and that's why the colonel is acting and speaking strangely.

Raiden: Was this all an illusion? All the things I've ever done...?

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

The main problem with defining the intelligence of such a machine is that we are not creatures that can check everything objectively. So we cannot trust our feelings and intuition to define whether an object is alive or dead. Humans generally give life to inanimate objects and attribute human traits to them, and it doesn't matter if it's a computer or an animal. It is enough to see some "signs". However, we are not sure whether what one understands as the inner process of one's mind is as similar to the "intelligence" that one attributes to other things in the world.

What is read here is the same. The discussion of the Turing test refers; A test that if a machine comes out of it proudly, we can conclude that maybe the machine also has the power of thinking, and is somehow intelligent. The main problem with defining the intelligence of such a machine is that we are not creatures that can check everything objectively. So we cannot trust our feelings and intuition to define whether an object is alive or dead. Humans generally give life to inanimate objects and attribute human traits to them, and it doesn't matter if it's a computer or an animal. It is enough to see some "signs". However, we are not sure whether what one perceives as the internal processes of one's own mind is as similar to the "intelligence" one attributes to other things in the world. Terrel Miedaner explores this very well in his novel "The Ghost of Anna Klein". Alan Turing (1954-1912) came up with a game in this regard: "The Imitation Game", whose explanation is very readable and clear, and it is highly recommended to take a look at it and its opposing views. In the imitation game you have three participants: a man, a woman and an interrogator whose gender does not matter. All of them are in separate rooms and can only communicate with each other with a teletype. The female player tries to convince the interrogator that she is a woman. Meanwhile, the male player must try his best to prove that he is not a man at all. The interrogator is also free to ask any questions: about their personality, their math, their desires, their physical appearance, etc.

Now suppose we remove the male player and replace him with a car. So now in the game we have a car, a human and an interrogator. The machine tries to prove to the interrogator that it is human, and the human player tries to prove that it is the real human and not another player. The point here is, in Turing's own words, "Would the interrogator make as many mistakes in determining which of them are cars as if he had tried to determine which of them were men or women in the previous game?"

As you can see in the conversation above, the characters Colonel and Rose [who are AIs or machines] triumphantly emerged from this test and tricked Raiden [the human player] into thinking that they are not machines but humans. Although this is not the first time that the "conscious machine" is in one of the Kojima's games can be seen (Metal Gear MK II in the snares and the snares themselves if we factor in). Of course, according to the information that the game itself gives, it is not correct to consider them literally a machine or artificial intelligence. But the main question is: what makes such complex systems? By simply interacting with the environment, having a model of reality, editing it, and continuing to survive?

Biological evolution (GENE)

Puppetmaster: as a type Hayat Houshman, I declare right now that I am requesting political asylum. Aramaki: What is this? Some kind of joke? Nakamura: It's ridiculous! This is programmed for self-preservation only! Poppetmaster: One could say that DNA itself is nothing more than a program, designed to protect itself only

Ghost in the Shell

The first version of Metal Gear Solid with this question He struggled: "To what extent is a human being defined by his genes?" Naturally, the theme of the second issue also asks the same question: "To what extent is a human being defined by information?" To understand where these questions lead us, we must first look at the process of "evolution". In the following paragraphs, I will try to explain my view of [Darwinian] evolution, which is influenced by the study of "Genetic Algorithms", neural networks, and other sources that I read.

We are a process. We have learned about what is called "natural selection," a process that decides that those who show the most strength and adaptability will survive the longest. Nature uses this method and organisms use their arm strength to explore in all directions to see which method best fits them to the environment. An animal species and its DNA structure does not require change. So a new component is needed to implement this change: mutation. In some events, information from the DNA is mutated and edited, resulting in an organism that has changed in a particular part. This creature is now different from the previous creatures [and is not a copy of the original of its parents]. This change is neither good nor bad, but let's assume that this change makes the creature superior to others, or allows it to survive longer in that environment. This condition increases her chances of having a child, and this so-called "error" that was accidentally created in her gene will be passed on to her children. But sometimes this mutation is not for the benefit of the organism, but worse, it lowers its chances for adaptation and survival, and subsequently, the chances of this gene reaching the next generation will also decrease. If we look at this process, not only at the individual scale, but at the entire animal species, over time these mutations will become more and more at the species level. Finally, the results of all these mutations are combined and we arrive at DNA as it is today.

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

In some events, information from the DNA is mutated and edited, resulting in an organism that has changed in a particular part. This creature is now different from the previous creatures [and is not a copy of the original of its parents]. This change is neither good nor bad, but let's assume that this change makes the creature superior to others, or allows it to survive longer in that environment. This condition increases her chances of having a child, and this so-called "error" that was accidentally created in her gene will be passed on to her children. But sometimes this mutation is not for the benefit of the organism, but worse, it lowers its chances for adaptation and survival, and subsequently, the chance of this gene reaching the next generation decreases.

Richard Dawkins in his book "The Selfish Gene" It brilliantly explains the process since the "initial soup" [i.e., the seas]. In this book, he invented a word that is used repeatedly in the next section. This theory says that the conditions that provided the distribution of amino acids will subsequently form more stable molecules. Over time, a molecule reaches a stage where it can "replicate" itself, making copies of itself. Due to this feature, this molecule disperses itself everywhere with great speed. But, we can't say that these copies are perfect, because eventually mutations will occur in them. From here we can see why these simple organisms gave rise to the complex organisms we have today. They become pre-skilled. But, what exactly is this process refined and polished? The work of this information is not only to build the body of the organism, but also to provide simple instructions that we call instinct. It is with this instinct that the organism can react quickly to different conditions. But where did these instincts come from? Well, some of them developed a nervous system, and like any other organ, the organisms with the best instincts coded into them survived longer and were able to reproduce more. One thing to remember is that this system doesn't consciously decide what its next step is, or look for progress, it just happens. It falls because stability and self-proliferation is its ultimate goal. How can this process be made more advanced than it is? If an organism can model an environment, it can prepare for situations that cannot be resolved instinctively. Therefore, organisms evolved that could simulate their environment. What does this mean? If it is a model of the present environment, then a model of the organism itself is also needed. Thus, such an organism can be said to have attained "self-awareness".

This new tool would be of no use if the organism could not learn to upgrade that model. The environment outside the model constantly affects the modeled environment and allows to expand the information that was used for modeling. Curiosity is an important component here, and without it, the organism would not have found the necessary motivation to explore more of the world, so it would not have found the necessary and more information to model its environment. Creativity is also born from curiosity, and now that the data is more become, more hypotheses are built into the internal model, and it provides more possibilities for the organism. With self-awareness, the organism's abilities have increased and now it can see its reflection in others. In this situation, when a conscious person sees similarities between himself and others, then he projects his characteristics onto others and imagines that other beings are like him. The central core of the Turing test is also summed up in this sameness. It is impossible to determine whether another person feels or thinks just like us (or any other internal and mental process) because we ourselves are in the position of a subject who cannot examine the object objectively [and that is why it was written at the beginning of the article that feelings and Our inclinations cannot be trusted]. We can only generalize our assumptions about how to understand and perceive to other beings.

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

With self-awareness, the organism's abilities have increased and now it can see its reflection in others. In this situation, when a conscious person sees similarities between himself and others, then he projects his characteristics onto others and imagines that other beings are like him. The central core of the Turing test is also summed up in this sameness. It is impossible to know whether another person feels or thinks (or any other internal mental process) as we do, because we ourselves are in the position of a subject who cannot examine the object objectively. We can only generalize our assumptions about how to understand and perceive to other beings.

Nakamura: It's ridiculous! There is no reason to show that you are an intelligent and alive type of life.

Puppet Master: And surely you can come up with such a reason for your existence? How can you, when neither modern science nor philosophy can define life? The ghost inside the shell

Let's go back to the main topic. By assuming that those others who are like us think and feel like us, mutual feelings are created. Before we go any further, wrestle with this idea: What if a particular species of organism decided to save as many of its fellows as possible from a natural death, such as disease or weakness? Imagine what would happen to the genetic treasure pool when individuals unfit for survival artificially survived and reproduced? Also, here any mutations that create people with unusual traits are disregarded as defective creatures. It's cold and cruel logic, but it's worth pondering... Now what's the way for that creature to evolve?

Colonel: A small percentage of the entire pool of [information recorded by humans] is selected and then passed on to the next generation. became. It's not much different from the way genes are distributed.

Rose: That's what history is, Jack.

Colonel: But in our current, digital world, trivial information piles up every second. And with all the vulgarity that is being maintained. It never goes away, it's always available.

Rose: Rumors about random things, misinterpretations, slanders...

Colonel: All this useless information is in a free state, without any filter. It has not passed, and it is growing dangerously.

Rose: As a result, the progress of society and the acceleration of evolution slow down.

Information Evolution (MEME)

Everything It is summarized in "Information". Even a simulated experience or a dream; Reality and fantasy are parallel to each other. From any angle you look at it, the information that a person accumulates during his life is just a drop in the ocean. Bato, Ghost in the Shell

Now we get into the main theme of those conversations and this quest: Who are the Colonel and Rose? It should be clear by now that the Ghost in the Shell manga and Metal Gear Solid 2 share a common origin, so I quote the following from Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, written in 1976:

Finally, what exactly makes genes so special? The answer is that genes are self-replicating. It is assumed that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe and as far as it is accessible. But is there a principle in biology that is so universal and can be considered true throughout the universe? When astronauts travel to other planets in search of life they can expect to see creatures so strange and unearthly that it is difficult for us to imagine. But is the principle the same for all forms of life, wherever they are found and whatever their chemical basis? If there are life forms that are silicon instead of carbon, or ammonia instead of water; If creatures are discovered that boil and die in minus one hundred degrees; If a form of life is found that is not based on a chemical formula but based on electronic circuits; Is it possible to reach a general and universal principle in the definition of life? Obviously, I don't know the answer, but if I could bet, I would bet all my money on this fundamental principle of life: the law that all forms of life are self-replicating entities [ie something like genes] that can survive under different conditions. Continue and evolve. This gene, the DNA molecule, is the self-replicating entity that has dominated our planet. Maybe there are other similar entities. If they are, and the conditions are especially favorable, there is almost no doubt that they will enter the evolutionary process.

But must we go to distant and unknown planets to find other types of self-replicators, and therefore other types of evolution? I think that a new type of self-replicators has already formed on our planet. Staring directly at us. It's still in its infancy, but it's floundering in the initial soup, but it's already evolving at such a rate that it's leaving the gene gasping for breath.

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

Isn't this similar to what Colonel Campbell said earlier?

Colonel: First of all, I must say that we What you named, we are not human. Over the past two hundred years, a kind of consciousnesslayeredhas been seen in the White House. It was not much different from the formation of life itself four billion years ago in the oceans. The White House was our initial soup that found the necessary platform for evolution. We have no form. We are the same discipline and moral principles arising from the desires of Americans. How can anyone hope to destroy us? As long as this nation exists, so do we.

Although I don't like this idea of "primary soup" very much, they both refer to exactly the same thing: that information, like genes, enters an evolutionary process. have became. Of course, Kojima takes it further than what Dawkins was directly saying (not that he didn't think of it himself). This idea was used before in "Ghost in the Shell", but the implications, results and what caused it were completely different. In both works, we see a new kind of life born from the flow of information [not based on genes, but Memes]. In the ghost inside the shell, this creature seeks wholeness and builds diversity. In Metal Gear Solid 2, this creature also seeks "common good" for the society. But we know that what is good for "society" is not necessarily good for "individual". This matter will be discussed more later.

This new soup is the soup of human culture. We need a new name for this new self-replicator, a name that contains the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit meaning imitation. We have the word Mimeme, which has a related Greek root [like most other basic words in the Western vocabulary], but I'm looking more for a monosyllabic word similar to the pronunciation of gene itself. I hope my classicist friends [Latin and Greek experts] will accept my apology as I shorten Mimeme to meme. And I hope it's comforting to say that this word can be related to the same word memory, or the French word mme (should be pronounced as cream).

Memes are, for example, echoes, ideas. , famous sayings, fashions and clothes, methods of making pots or bows. As genes jump from one body to another and spread themselves with sperm or eggs in the gene pool; Memes also propagate themselves in the meme pool by jumping from one brain to another in a process that can, broadly speaking, be called mimicry. If a scientist reads or hears about a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues or students. Or maybe in his articles and speeches. If the receivers consider the idea suitable, then that information reproduces like a gene and goes from one brain to another. My colleague N.K. Humphrey, who read an early version of this chapter, summed it up astutely: memes can be thought of as living structures, not metaphorically but technically. When you plant a fertile meme in my brain, you literally put a parasite into my mind, and my brain simply becomes a carrier for that meme to spread; Just as a virus may disturb the genetic mechanism of the host cell like a parasite. It's not just in words, and we've seen it in action the "believe in the world after death" meme has actually happened millions of times in a physical and literal sense. how about in the form of a neural structure that he created in the brains of people all over the world and planted in their minds. (1)

The word "meme" that Dawkins used in This text was invented by Masume Shirow and was later used in the Ghost in the Shell manga. In Metal Gear Solid, however, what exactly does that mean?

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

Masamune Shirou, who published his manga with lengthy notes about the various pages and many explanations regarding his sources of inspiration, is not impressed with the manga's ending, which is not unlike Metal Gear Solid 2's concern with life and evolution. From the book Recursive Universe by William Poundstone, he knows about the complexity of the universe and the limitations of acquiring scientific knowledge. In the title of that book, the meaning of life is expressed by examining Von Neumann's opinions, and why it is not just self-replication, but carrying information that is one of the important signs of a thing being alive. That your interests are served - and not ours - arranged? The drawing of the human genome was completed at the beginning of this century. As a result, the evolutionary record of our species is ready in front of us.

Rose: First we started with genetic engineering, and finally, we were able to digitize life itself.

Colonel: But there are things inside It is not genetic information. Human memories, ideas, culture, history...

Rose: Genes do not have information about human history.

Colonel: Is there anything that should not be transmitted? Should we leave the information to nature?

Rose: We are always recording the information of our life. With words, images, symbols... from stone inscriptions to books... but all this information was not inherited by the next generation.

Colonel and Rose, two artificial intelligences, say about the S3 program to the person of the story, Raiden:

Colonel: This is our responsibility as rulers. Just like in genetics, we pass the unnecessary information and memories through the filter so that the evolution of life species can be engineered.

Raiden: And do you think you are worthy enough to determine what is necessary and what is unnecessary?

Rose: The meaning of building a Bastar means that.

Raiden: I decide for myself what to believe and what to pass on to the next generation.

Colonel: Are you sure this idea is yours?

Rose: Or maybe Snake taught you?

Colonel: This is proof of your incompetence. You don't have the necessary quality to have free will.

Raiden: It's not true! I'm right

Rose: Is there something like a 'self' inside you?

Colonel: What you called 'self' is nothing but a mask to hide your existence. .

Rose: In this era full of ready-made facts for consumption, "self" is a dummy, just to protect the feelings that come to you from time to time.

Colonel: Another possibility is that you chose "yourself" with this logic that somehow gives you power.

Raiden: Ridiculous!

Colonel: How is that? Would you prefer someone else to tell you? all right. Tell him.

Rose: Jack, you're the best! And everything you achieved was with your own efforts!

Colonel: [] What a deliberate violation. Although "self" is a concept that you created for yourself, every time a mistake happens, you blame it on others.

Rose: It's not my fault. It's not your fault.

Colonel: By denying, you're looking for someone else, a "truth" to make you feel better.

Rose: ... you wink at him, so to speak. You are throwing away the "truth" that you believed in before.

Colonel: Is such a person qualified to determine "what is the truth"?

Rose: Is such a person qualified to have the right to choose at all. Should he?

Colonel: You have done nothing but abuse your freedom.

Rose: You do not deserve to be free.

Colonel: The one who owns the world. It's not us, it's you.

Rose: It is assumed that a person is weak. But he is by no means powerless - one person is enough to destroy the world.

Colonel: And the age of digital information has given this person more power. An extraordinary power for a species of life that has not yet reached maturity and has not been trained for it.

Rose: Leaving a legacy means understanding what is needed, and what is the way to achieve those goals. You have been struggling with this all this time. Now it's our turn to think for you.

Colonel: After all, we are your guards.

Raiden: So you want to control human thoughts? And his behavior?

Colonel: Of course. Everything is measurable these days. This program [Big Shell events] also proved it.

Rose: [] We are the ruler of a nation. What good is a soldier, no matter how powerful he is?

Colonel: The S3 program does not stand for Solid Snake Simulation. S3 stands for "Selection for Societal Sanity". S3 is a system to control human will and consciousness. S3 is not you and has nothing to do with training a soldier in Solid Snake's image. It's a method a protocol, that provides an environment for you to become what you are.

So. S3 or "social health selection" can be seen as a process similar to "natural selection", which promotes not biological evolution (Gene) but informational evolution (Meme). Perhaps it can be called "cultural choice". The only difference is that this time the process will be engineered. It is strange that a species of life that itself arose and evolved because of [genetic] information, now wants to direct that same information. However, as a species of life, we are hard at work understanding and controlling genetic information to our advantage; By genetic manipulation, improving the body, treating and preventing diseases. Similarly, we are engineering the flow of information that caused life in the first place to prevent future disasters; The disaster of "the world ends like this, not with an explosion, but with a drop" [TS Eliot's famous poem] means the disaster of having a gene pool that is full of information; It means keeping people alive who were supposed to die in the process of natural selection. This can also be seen as a kind of genetic manipulation and an attempt to subjugate our genes for our own benefit [and not for the benefit of the gene itself]. He blames Raiden and the masses he tries to control. It protects itself selfishly, and acquits itself in the name of defending the common good. However, when life reaches intelligence and awareness, it will suffer inherent errors. Something that is intelligent does not have access to the underlying layers of what made it intelligent. Neither you nor I have access to the neurons that fire right now when reading/writing these texts. We cannot activate them or use them in any other way by our will. Our consciousness is above these layers. Just as, for example, if a computer became conscious, it still could not learn math unless we re-taught it the same way we teach it to a child (even though the binary operations [0 and 1] define it). It will also not be error free. You are probably asking why...

The answer is beyond what this essay wants to address, but I suggest reading these two books: "Godel, Escher, and Bach" (Godel, Escher, and Bach) by Douglas Hofstadter and "The Mind's I" by the same author and Daniel C. Dent These two books go deep into the subject, and were my primary inspiration for writing this essay. But I don't want to leave this question open and unanswered. Kurt Godel (Kurt Godel) showed that any model, no matter how tight it is, cannot express all the truths it wants and/or the contradictions inside it. But this is not a reason to stop using it or believing in it, because we ourselves are modeled in the same way. This is completely normal.

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

In the book "Void "A Perfect Vaccum" by Stanislav Lem I found a review of a book called Pericalypsis that never exists Its general idea was in line with what Kojima made. That criticism stated that great works in art, knowledge and salvation have been written even now, but they are "lost under a layer of rubbish" because civilization is "milking the goddesses of art and science like a mechanical device".

The main argument here is that the information is spread in the information store without control and is not allowed to evolve like genes, because nothing like "natural selection" has been created for this information yet. The resulting situation is the result of digital communication that has allowed people to preserve their truths (their memes) in this vault: there is no contradiction and no limit to its constant access. The usual process, as stated above, is that good ideas are passed from person to person. Now the information has been transferred from the individual to a medium and a platform where it will always be protected [i.e. digital communication and the Internet] that future generations can access. These are the consequences that make Kojima's main idea and based on that he builds and expands his game. In Stanislav Lem's A Perfect Vaccum I found a review of a book called Pericalypsis that never existed [A Perfect Vaccum itself is a collection of reviews of books that don't exist]. Its general idea was in line with what Kojima made. That criticism stated that great works in art, knowledge and salvation have been written even now, but they are "lost under a layer of rubbish" because civilization is "milking the goddesses of art and science like a mechanical device". The author's solution is creative: create a fund (the Save the Human Race Foundation) that pays "creators, researchers, engineers, painters, writers, poets, playwrights, philosophers and designers" as follows: "He who writes nothing, Designing nothing, drawing nothing, patenting nothing, and proposing nothing, he receives an impressive salary of thirty-six thousand dollars a year for the rest of his life. But those who do the mentioned works, a lesser amount will receive." There are a series of other mechanisms in this method, such as keeping the identity of the creators anonymous. I highly recommend this book, although some of the early "critiques" are not very thought-provoking.

Both in that book and in this game, the main theme is that the human race is creating a flow of information that is out of control. They are not, and this is to the detriment of the human species. The important question is "Does man affect the process of collective human evolution by protecting the individual and his ideas?" The answer to that is not so simple, because it is for the benefit of the society, not necessarily for the benefit of the individual(2). The problem, as usual, is how to strike a balance between the two.

Freedom breeds isolation. This is the lesson of human history. It's an equality that has no outcome other than one's death.

The Apple Seed Manga [another manga by the creator of Ghost in the Shell]

Regarding who the Colonel and Rose are (especially in His final conversation with Raiden), we know that the colonel has been this new species of life from the beginning and that Rose was also the tool of the Patriots to gather information about Raiden's mission. After Raiden was captured and the virus infiltrated GW's AI, he was replaced by another clone. This new life form is the one that speaks to Raiden in the final conversations, to give him final orders and collect final data. Of course, we have to assume that their goals are the same as the patriots, or maybe they themselves are among the patriots. We can't know for sure until a sequel comes out [keep in mind that this was published in 2002 and the author didn't know about the events of the next Metal Gear Solid yet].

A digital machine can never rely on itself. come to consciousness, for the simple reason that such hierarchal conflicts will not arise in his works.

Non Serviam, by Professor Dobb (adapted from Stanislav Lem's "The Perfect Void")

During the game, Kojima creates a loop to intentionally surround and drown the player. A player who entered the virtual reality military exercises on the island of the shadow of Moses; The player who followed all the objectives as they were told; the player who was talking to an "AI" all the time and mistook the recorded voices for real person voices; A player who thought that the colonel was "behaving strangely, but maybe because Raiden is new", although he himself had never met the colonel; The player whose name is engraved on Raiden's military license plate at the end of the game... The deception of the player is clearly seen when Raiden is running around New York [and inside the Arsenal Gear] with a naked motherfucker... Raiden, turn off the console right now! ... Don't worry, it's just a game. A game like other games. "You are burning your eyes by sitting so close in front of the TV." These are clear messages to the player themselves, as well as the message Fission Mailed [instead of Mission Failed] that appears on the screen and is the same as the Game Over screen. These are signs that some higher level is controlling the "reality" of what the game is simulating, and now it's messed up because of the virus infiltration [within GW]. You see, Raiden was out of control. You were a child of freedom [and the one being controlled] all this time.

The game was deliberately designed this way to make the player feel uneasy. to appear to be in control. Everyone wanted to go all the way with Solid Snake, but we had to control Raiden instead, which is a modern way of expressing art to make the player think. (I'm referring to Tim Rogers' article "Dreaming in an Empty Room" defending Metal Gear Solid 2. This excellent article explains the game perfectly in terms of its form. I highly recommend it, and perhaps the point give you new opinions and change your opinion about the game). It evokes feelings and emotions in you that other forms of media, such as books and movies, are incapable of because you don't interact with the main character in them. The basic point is the same; Transferring memes to a new generation in a way that includes both form and content. The ideas of the game were not new, but they were expressed in such a form and harmony to create an interactive experience. This essay was written in the same way. Using existing memes to convey a message that tries to replicate itself: a meta-meme [a meme about a meme]. The idea that Sneak is no longer the main character and seen through the eyes of another amateur character (3) was worth it. And it was absolutely necessary that this time should fall on the shoulders of the player himself. I'll admit that Metal Gear Solid 2 had its flaws, just as no gem is perfect and, while I think the first issue of Metal Gear Solid will be hailed as one of the greatest games ever, this issue also closes the cycle nicely and offers a new angle to the series. shows... as it visually has one of the most attractive and detailed environments that we will not see again. And it creates such a pleasant experience that it forces a person to share it with others. This level of effort to add so many qualities to Every aspect of the story is a great piece of work that I have a lot of respect for.

BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

"Assuming that biological reproduction is a mechanical process, von Neumann's analysis can be used to formulate an information-based definition of life. In information theory, physical structures that carry information (printed screen, electrical pulses in wires, video tapes, etc.) have no meaning; The only information they generate is the account. Those aspects of life that are important in information theory may be different from what is important in other fields. For a biochemist, complex carbon compounds are the basic building blocks of life. For a biologist, and for many others, response to stimuli is fundamental. For an ecologist, the ability to develop exponentially without the disturbance of predators and with an abundance of food is defined as life.

And where will the newborns go from here on? Anyway, the net is wide and endless...

Motoko/Puppetmaster - Ghost in the Shell

As a footnote, I should mention that the quotes from "Ghost in the Shell" were just because I thought It fit with the theme of the essay. I don't think Hideo Kojima got his ideas from Ghost in the Shell or The Matrix, even though they have a lot of similar ideas and concepts. But I think they all use common sources of scientific information and science fiction literature as their basis. They also spread the memes that others had created, and I mean the other articles and books that were written about this, and the things I'm listing are just a handful of examples: "Where am I?" (1978) by Daniel C. Dent about body and mind; Justin Leiber's novel "Beyond Rejection" (1980) about making backups of the mind; and "Software" (1980) by Rudy Rucker about the digitization of the mind.

Remember to always question what you read, even what is written and linked to here, as it is all just fiction. They are data... it's up to you what information to extract from this data. Nothing is absolute truth or good or evil. I also suggest reading this column [the link the author puts here is disabled]. In addition to these, in my opinion, the basic word behind all of this is a kind of social criticism.

Life does not just mean transferring genes to the next generation. We can inherit more than our DNA. Through speech, music, literature and movies... what we see, hear, feel... from anger, joy and sadness... these are the things I pass on to the next generation. That is why I am alive. We should pass this torch to others, and let our children read our sad and confused history with its light. And with the magic of the digital age, we can do it. The human race will probably end one day, and new species of life will rule the planet. The planet earth may be forever, but we are still responsible to leave a spark of life as much as possible. Building the future and keeping the past alive both have the same meaning. Solid Snake

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Patriots are a type of consciousness that They have come out of the heart of human culture, and have subjugated it in such a way that they can no longer be destroyed by the usual methods, unless the ideology of the world and people is completely changed [because the patriots are the mirror of the same data that humans have created as a result of their beliefs, just like the subject of learning. Machine Learning where artificial intelligence only mirrors the data it has already received at the input. Since it is ideals that control people's actions, ideologies are "immortal" and have absolute power [the person who has an idea dies, but the idea can live on for a thousand years after him].

What are the patriots?

In this essay, I only analyzed the colonel and Rose at the threshold of their final dialogues. Although there are other explanations for them, let me present my own reason. In my opinion, S3 is a system designed by the Patriots to handle the "cultural selection" process. The colonel was the symbol of this system all this time. Rose, meanwhile, was collecting every last sentence of the conversation as data [for the Patriots' AI] before meeting Snake. In the end, the virus (Vorm) gets into GW's AI, and destroys the parts the Patriots wanted (or maybe creates some kind of "appearance damage"?) where the Colonel contacts Raiden again, and it's all "alone" to S3 doesn't stop there... S3 is undoubtedly the Patriots' own program (are they a person? or a consciousness?) (Note: in the Metal Gear Solid 2 docs it says the colonel who calls Raiden there is actually JFK's AI. As GW's AI has already been corrupted, it suggests that this consciousness is split between several AIs named after US presidents (4).

Since Raiden is nothing more than a pawn in their eyes, neither Snake, nor Atakan and/or Aslat know the truth, so any truth can be molded into Raiden. As they had already [wrongly] said to Liquid that they had inherited inferior and inferior genes, while this was not the truth. In fact, the patriot wanted to experiment to find out how much the facts that are told to the person have an effect on the person and his behavior. The information they gave Liquid was a genetic information [having inferior genes] to see how the information a person has about his genes affects him. In the second issue, however, they want to see if a person realizes that they are under control, whether they can still be controlled by other methods and methods, such as the S3 program. [In Metal Gear Solid 1 they gave genetic information, and in Metal Gear Solid 2 they gave meme information].

Therefore, patriots are a type of consciousness that came out of the heart of human culture, and subjugated it in such a way that it no longer exists. They cannot be destroyed by the usual methods, unless the ideology of the world and people is completely changed [because patriots are the mirror of the same data that humans have created as a result of their opinions, just like the topic of machine learning where artificial intelligence is only a mirror of the data that was previously received at the input. has done]. Since it is ideals that control people's actions, ideologies are "immortal" and have absolute power [the person who has an idea dies, but the idea can live on for a thousand years after him]. The page will be turned only when we choose what we want to believe and leave for the future generation, and make the treasury of Mimi a better place. As Snake said:

Snake: There is no absolute truth in the world. Many of the things we accept as fact are nothing more than myths. You can only know one thing as true as your mind allows.

Raiden: So what are we supposed to believe? After me, what am I going to leave behind?

Snick: You can tell others to have faith. What we believe in. What we think is important enough to fight for. The issue is not whether we are right or wrong in this belief. The important thing is how much you persist in this faith, and this is what shapes the future. Now that I think about it, the Patriots are kind of legendary too...don't get bogged down with words. Understand the meaning behind the word, and then make a decision. You have to decide your own name, and your future.

Raiden: Should I decide for myself?

Snake: And you will be what you choose.

Raiden: I'm not sure I can...

Snake: I know you don't have a lot of decisions to make right now. But every feeling and thought you had during this mission is your own. And what you want to do with these experiences is up to you.

Raiden: You mean starting from the beginning?

Snake: Yes, clean clean. A new name, new memories. Choose your legacy. The decision is yours.

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Other ideas and related issues

It is interesting that this We are taught contradictory social rules. I keep reminding myself of this quote from the movie "Fight Club" and Tyler Durden's dialogue:

We are the generation raised by television. And he told us that all of us are going to be millionaires and movie and rock superstars one day. But we won't be. We are slowly realizing this fact. And we are very, very, very nervous.

The quote above led me to this definition:

A meme engineer: someone who consciously invents new memes by linking and combining memes. he does; with the aim of changing the behavior of others. Manifesto writers and marketers are typical examples of these engineers.

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T. S. Eliot

A phrase probably taken literally from the poem "Hollow Men" [Colonel: "Thus the world ends, not with a bang, but with a drop"] by Thomas Stearns Elliot which was written in 1925. They have everything in common except the symptoms of Sajavandi. I'm not sure if it's Eliot's poem since they translated the game from Japanese to English anyway, but it's unlikely to be accidental or unintentional. Here I repost part of the poem: (5)

V
We dance around the prickly pear
Prickly pear, prickly pear
Around the pear We dance with thorns
at five o'clock in the morning

between idea
and between reality
between movement
and between action
The shadow has been cast

The kingdom is yours Lord

Between the concept
and between the creation
Between action
and between reaction
is shaded

Life is too long

Between Desire
and between convulsions
between power
and between existence
between essence
and between decline
is shadowed

The kingdom belongs to you Lord

This is yours
This life
This is yours

This is how the world ends
This is how the world ends
This is how the world ends It ends
not with an explosion, but with a tear(5)

* * *

Self-replicating

I have no will. I have no purpose.
I reproduce myself. Why? Because I can.

I have ancestors. You are the product of those.
I have brothers. You are our means.

I am that annoying ringtone.
You sing. Others hear. They also read. I will be more.

You will read too. Why?
It's innate the desires and fears from the modesty of my ancestors.

I have a trap.

Spread me everywhere that you may have
(Peace of mind | Pleasant afterlife | Friends who know my truth).

Turn from me to do so
(I will come after you | I will torment you in the world after death | I will excommunicate you and your family).

You are nailed.

I am the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that you ate.

Where did I come from?
It doesn't matter. /p>

Okay, millions of monkeys typed on typewriters for billions of years(6) and ate alphabet soup.

What's the difference?
My pattern Now it's dissolved in you and alive. Meluenberg

I would like, although it is a bit off topic, to add here these paragraphs that Ray Kurzweil wrote in his review of Stephen Wolfram's book "A New Kind of Science". . I found the similarity between the two very interesting.

If I ask "Who am I?" I can conclude that maybe "I am these things that are sitting here right now; For example, the orderly and chaotic sum of molecules that make up my body and brain.

However, the sum of particles that make up my body and mind are completely made up of atoms and molecules that for a short time (until a few weeks ago) made up I were different. We know that most of our cells die within a few weeks and new cells are born. Even the ones that last longer (neurons, for example) will eventually have their molecular components changed within a few weeks.

So I'm made up of "things" that were completely different just a month ago. What remains are the patterns that help organize these "things". This pattern itself changes, of course, but slowly and continuously. From this point of view, I am like the pattern of water passing through the stones in the middle of the river. The molecules of this water change once every millisecond, but the pattern and shape they get after hitting the rock remains the same for hours and maybe years.

Thanks for reading.

An analysis on genetics, evolution and information regarding Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

By Junkerhq

1. At the time of publication of this essay, the book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind" by "Yuval Noah Harari" had not yet been published, but the author implied the same thesis of Dawkins in the 13th chapter of his book. (or more precisely, Humphrey) refers that cultural ideas are like parasites: people can live without them, but when ideas are no longer believed, it is as if they never existed. Harari writes:

More and more researchers see cultures as a kind of mental disorder or parasite that humans are the unwitting carriers of. Organic parasites, like viruses, live inside the body of their hosts. They then multiply and move from host to host, feeding on their hosts, weakening them, and sometimes even killing them. As long as the host survives long enough for the parasite to reproduce in another body, the parasite itself does not care about its host's well-being. In the same way, cultural ideas live in people's brains. They then reproduce and move from host to host, sometimes killing or weakening the host in the process. A cultural ideasuch as the Christian belief in a heaven above the clouds or the communists' heaven on earthcompels a person to devote his whole life to the transmission of that idea, even if he himself dies in the process. The host dies, but the idea is able to spread. According to this approach, behind cultural ideas there is no clear conspiracy by individuals to exploit others (something Marxists usually think). Instead, cultures are mental parasites that form by accident, and thus exploit all those whose brains are infected with it.

This approach is sometimes called memetics. It assumes that, just as biological evolution proceeds on the basis of organic information units called genes, cultural [or informational] evolution proceeds on the basis of the reproduction of cultural information units called memes. Successful cultures are those that are better at propagating their memes, even if ideas don't matter that way. And they do not harm their human carriers. (m)

2. This indirect problem can also be seen in the Tragedy of Commons: there is a limited resource for human use, if they use it, they will suffer a collective loss in the long term (destruction of that resource), but in the short term it will benefit the individual. is to use that resource as much as it can; For example, in modern society, it is usually said that it is for the benefit of the collective if working people give a part of their income as taxes to the government in order to create public services for the collective in return. It is in the interest of the "collective" to tax others, but it is not in the interest of the "individual" to tax. Rational individual decisions lead to irrational collective outcomes, and rational collective decisions lead to irrational individual outcomes. (m)

3. From the author: This reference is rather vague, and I could be wrong, but it is unlikely to be accidental. During Metal Gear Solid 2, you play as Raiden, and you see Snake through his eyes. This was one of the most basic points of Pirang, which Kojima also acknowledged. As we know, Kojima is a big fan of John Carpenter's Escape series (Escape from New York and Escape from Los Angeles, and the names Snake and Pilskin come from these movies). "Big Trouble in Little China" is another John Carpenter movie that seems to be starring Kurt Russell again, but alas, it's not. The whole movie revolves around his character, John Burton, but the main plot point of the movie is that he is not the hero of the story and is just a funny colleague and subordinate of another character. So Metal Gear Solid 2 and this movie have a common concept: showing the main hero from another character's point of view.

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4. In Metal Gear Solid 2, we only get to know the name GW, but later in Metal Gear Solid 4, it is officially confirmed that the cores of the patriots' artificial intelligence are based on the names of the most famous American presidents, whose statues are on Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Engraved are named: GW=George Washington; AL=Abraham Lincoln; TR=Theodore Roosevelt; TJ=Thomas Jefferson. What is referred to as JFK's artificial intelligence in the Metal Gear Solid 2 documents (another abbreviation for the American president, John F. Kennedy) is not heard of in later versions. Instead, the fourth version referred to a fifth AI named JD (short for John Doe, the name given to an unidentified male). (M)

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5. The poem is about men who live a dry, empty and empty life in the desert. Everything around them is collapsing; From the "broken pillar" to the broken mirror on the floor and the "broken stone" in front of which they should pray. The poem begins with the speaker, who is actually a group, talking about how they live as "hollow men". They are either themselves, or look like a group of cowards. They are placed between life and death and are in a world over which they have no control or active will. It is clear that as the poem progresses, they cannot really die. They have no money to cross the river. Instead, they wait for an opportunity to come and change the situation.

At the end of the poem, part of which is recorded in this essay, the men dance around a cactus (representing their life in the desert) and sing. . Here we go round the prickly pear is probably a reference to the nursery rhyme Here we go round the Mulberry Bush. A "shadow" that is not defined much and remains vague, has stopped these men and therefore they cannot implement their movement or make their idea a reality. In fact, the shadow means a barrier between two things: from idea to reality, from desire to tension, from essence and descent. The stanza "For Thine is the kingdom" is separate from other parts of the poem and is an allusion to the "Lord's Prayer" that Jesus taught his followers. But this poem has omitted the continuation of the prayer, which shows that despite their good intentions, these men cannot do anything. is/For Thine is the) indicates the fatigue of men in reciting the Lord's prayer. The stanza "Life is too long" as if it came out of nowhere is expressed out of anger of these men because they are stuck between life and death. And the last verses, which are perhaps the most famous poems written by T. S. Eliot's hymn, "The world ends not with a bang, but with a tear" simply means that the end of the world will not be accompanied by an explosion, a catastrophe or a great war. Simply put, these men end up with a whimper and a slow finish. (The description was a summary of the Poem Analysis website). (M)

6. It refers to the "Infinite Monkey Theorem". In this mind experiment, it is assumed that if a monkey randomly types on a typewriter ad infinitum, it is almost certain that it will write any text, even the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, this monkey is almost certain to write all possible texts ad infinitum. This theorem generally states that any series of events, No matter how small the probability of its occurrence is, but not zero, if there is enough time, it will eventually happen.>BingMag.com Metal Gear Solid 2; Is information a new form of life?

Because there are similarities between the manga "Ghost in the Shell" and Metal Gear Solid and the author mentions it several times during his research. It is not without grace to refer to another basic aspect of the definition of life that was seen in the mentioned manga. Masamune Shirou, who published his manga with lengthy notes about its various pages and many explanations regarding his sources of inspiration, found the ending of the manga, which is not unlike Metal Gear Solid 2's concern with life and evolution, to be influenced by William's book Recursive Universe. Poundstone (William Poundstone) knows about the complexity of the universe and the limitations of acquiring scientific knowledge. In the title of that book, the meaning of life is expressed by examining Von Neumann's views, and why it is not just self-replication, but carrying information, is one of the important signs of a thing being alive. About that part of the book, Chapter 11, titled An Information-theory definition of life, Schiro writes:

From dead bodies to cloneshe described everything. But I didn't understand how to classify an old man who has madness but recently reproduced and multiplied his genes. Until someone comes along and defines holons, it seems to me that organ transplantation makes this dilemma more spiritually and spiritually intractable than ever. But if self-replication can be considered a form of life, then so is intelligence. The main problem here is that the word "life" itself is unscientific.

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And now what Poundstone writes about defining life based on information:

Assuming that biological reproduction is a mechanical process, von Neumann's analysis can be used to formulate a definition of life based on information. In information theory, physical structures that carry information (printed screen, electrical pulses in wires, video tapes, etc.) have no meaning; The only information they generate is the account. Those aspects of life that are important in information theory may be different from what is important in other fields. For a biochemist, complex carbon compounds are the basic building blocks of life. For a biologist, and for many others, response to stimuli is fundamental. For an ecologist, the ability to develop exponentially without the disturbance of predators and with the abundance of life food is defined.

All these features are nothing more than details from the point of view of information theory. The really outstanding features of life are the ones that von Neumann explains: (1) a living system that contains a complete description of itself. (2) Since in (1) a contradiction There is inherent, so this form prevents the introduction of the description of the description into the description in the description.

(3) Instead, this description in two ways plays a role. He is the "coded" explanation of the rest of the system. At the same time, it is also a kind of self-applicable model (which does not require coding).

(4) Part of the system, an observer unit, knows about this dual role of the description and ensures that the description is from both points of view. read and transmitted correctly during reproduction.

(5) Another part of the system, a kind of whole builder, can build any object, however large, like the life-carrying system itselfif properly routed.

(6) Reproduction happens when the supervising unit forces the whole builder to make a new copy of the system and its description.

This The characteristics can be seen as a definition of life. All common life forms conform to these criteria. But the strength and weakness of this definition-of-life-based-on-information-theory is better to be examined by generalizing it to difficult examples. Whenever biologists try to formulate a definition of life, they have trouble coming up with definitions for these things: viruses, crystals that grow, Penrose tiles, mules, a dead body that was undoubtedly once alive, an extraterrestrial whose biochemical formula is non-carbon, and so on. A computer or an intelligent robot.

No sane person would accept that a Penrose crystal or tile are living things; No sane person could not consider the mule to be a living creature, or even an extraterrestrial being built on a strange biochemistry but still similar to other living creatures. But the rest of the examples are not so simple and you can struggle with them more. Undoubtedly, no form of definition of life should go against all familiar beliefs in the definition of a living organism.

A virus has a core of DNA or RNA covered by a protein shell. This DNA or arane encodes the amino acid sequences necessary to make new copies of that protein shell. But inside a cell, DNA or RNA can serve as a template for building new genetic material. Therefore, the virus has a complete description of itself It can copy it meeting criteria (1), (2) and (3).

But the further we go, the more criteria it lacks. The virus lacks regulated enzymes, so it has no supervisory unit. It also has no overall structure. Viruses can produce such systems only by dominating and coercing the cells they attack. According to the definition of life based on information, an isolated virus is not alive. It also lacks the complex reproductive capability that von Neumann defined.

Penrose crystals and tiles are similar phenomena. Neither a crystal nor a double tile has its own description. Their ability to grow does not involve manipulation or generating new information, so they are not alive either.

A mule is clearly alive despite being sterile. The basis of the self-replicating machine of all earthly life is inside the cell. Visualize the mule as a colony of cells. Each cell contains the complete DNA sequence of each undifferentiated mule cell, as well as the supervisory and building blocks of the whole. Although a mule cannot reproduce and copy itself, its cells can. So it is in line with the criterion of self-replication.

A similar argument can be made about a dead body. An animal that has just died still has living cells in its body that still have the characteristics of a self-replicating machine. It is conceivable that an environmental engineer could, by taking a living cell from a dead animal, produce a living clone of the same animal. Therefore, it is understandable to say that a living substance becomes a non-living substance only when the information and what is necessary for its reproduction is lost [that is, if all the living cells of a dead animal also died and could no longer be cloned from them, that animal can be considered completely dead and without any signs of life].

Perhaps we are stretching the case too much so that it fits with the template we already have in mind (ability to reproduce). Reproduction seems to be tangential to these systems. But systems as complex as a mule would never have come into being on Earth if the reproductive system hadn't first come into existence. Biochemists believe that the first progenitor cells on earth arose from non-living matter and these progenitor cells did not need complex organization for reproduction. Environmental and native pressures kept and benefited those pro-cells that had adapted more to the environment. The ability to reproduce then allowed them to make edits to their DNA [genetic mutations] that would be passed on to the next generation. After billions of years when these mutations accumulated and evolved, an example became the mule. The mule, like other familiar life forms, is almost entirely the result of the same reproduction and trial and error that has occurred over the years.

Information theory also assumes that a Martian material with an alien [=non-carbon] biochemistry could coexist. Is. It should be said again that the important point here is the message itself and not the media [referring to the famous phrase of Marshall McLuhan: "The media is the message"]: if the genetic information and general structures can be implemented in other forms of chemistry, then the system is obtained. It is also alive.

The most difficult example that cannot be quickly concluded is the example of a computer or an intelligent robot. The potential of computer engineering will dwarf all attempts at a behavioral definition of life.

Part of the problem with behavioral definitions is that many life forms have no behavior to speak of. Some bacteria and spores do not show any special movement for long periods of time in being irritable, absorbing nutrients or eliminating waste. And, of course, bacteria are not an outlier here: they reflect the oldest and most numerous forms of life.

Furthermore, it seems possible to build a computer or robot that can perform any definable action. Even all those actions are claimed to be signs of life [without them showing any particular movement].

Can a computer be alive? According to our definition of reproduction, the answer is yes. But not because they react to external stimuli or are intelligent. Von Neumann's early kinematic models of machine reproduction were a robot made of bolts and nuts. Despite being abstract, his cellular model was no less than other robots. Both can reproduce and are consistent with the criteria for defining life based on information.

However, a computer can be arbitrarily powerful but not "alive". If this computer does not have the necessary tools for reproduction (a coded definition of itself for transfer and replication, a robotic skeleton, etc.), then it does not meet the criteria. A super-sophisticated computer could be intelligent, or perhaps even conscious, but still, by this definition, still a non-living entity.

So, perhaps, we should distinguish between "living-reproducing" and "perceiving". . Humans, and most animals we are familiar with, have both characteristics. Bacteria and all plants alone They are "reproducible-living". Computers may also be merely "perceptive".

However, humans are the result of distant ancestors [such as amoebas] that were purely living-reproducing. Computers are also made by humans [here man is like an amoeba and computer is like an amoeba that potentially becomes a human]. In practice, the root of perception can always be traced back to the same reproductive processes, even in those cases where it seems to have been separated from this process at some point.

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