Sunday, June 13, 2010

I’m Checking this One Out

I have been following with great interest the posts on Robert Sheldon’s blog, a blog found on the neo-conservative web site Sheldon’s ideas about OOL interest me and I have added comments to some of his posts. Some of those comments can be found here, here and here.

Sheldon’s right wing sympathies also interest me as they call attention to the strange complimentary inversion of philosophies that exist between the far right and far left: Those on the far left are likely to believe that the decentralised algorithms controlling matter, contrived with no apparent foresight, have created the organized complexities of life; but they are less inclined to allow decentralized processes to rule the socio-political realm where instead centralised “big government” planning is preferred. In contrast those of the far right often incline toward the view that very non-local processes, processes with foresight and intelligence, have planned and created life; but they do not want to see a centralized planner in the realm of the socio-political and instead believe that the localized unplanned decisions of the market place lead to an ordered and free society.

Sheldon’s take is particularly interesting because it is satisfyingly anomalous, idiosyncratic and exotic. Moreover it shatters the mold: His position on the creation of life looks to be intermediate: If we could quantify intelligence with a quantity I shall call “E” then I interpret Sheldon’s theory to be the equivalent of postulating that “evolution” can make jumps of intermediate value of E. This entails a process of “evolution” that would look a little bit like human history, where the limited quantum of human intelligence beats a path through time. Sheldon might just possibly be onto something.

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