Intelligence and Time – why do we exist?

Lucy IMDB - myndset I watched the film LUCY last night. The premise of the film is delightful: what if we were able to use our full intellectual capacity? What if we be able to activate 100% of our brain’s computing power? While I was lured into the idea that this was another view on the debate and merits of artificial intelligence, one of the most fascinating elements of the film, for me, was the discussion around time.

In a script written by the talented director, Luc Besson, Professor Norman (played by Morgan Freeman) suggests that the living organism (cell) has two options: to become immortal or to reproduce.

You sell it? -This is the purpose of our business.
For us to be like the only purpose seems to be to save time.
It seems that the cell also want to save time.
All the cells that make up the worm or human has only two options …
Immortality …
Or reproduction.
If its habitat is not quite favorable …
The cell chooses immortality …
That is to say, self-sufficiency, self …
But if the habitat is favorable …
This is the reproduction is selected.
And when they die the essential data is passed to the following cells …
Who in turn pass on these cells …
The knowledge, knowledge is devised through time.”

Time is thus an infinite concept or one that must operate in cycles. In Professor Norman’s lecture, he also talks about the transmission of data, of knowledge as part of the cycle of reproduction. But, as we get more intelligent, are we able to transmit, much less capture that intelligence? Is intelligence something we are destined to improve, as a part of a Darwinian evolution?

100% Intelligence versus Artificial Intelligence

As seductive as the concept of all prescient intelligence might be, it also comes with certain risks — as evidenced by the film. In whose hands (or heads) that intelligence falls is of particular concern. Whether that intelligence is “natural” or “artificial,” the issue of governance remains. Professor Stephen Hawking warned us recently of the limits and dangers of artificial intelligence, leading to the notion of singularity, when computers are able to learn and develop for themselves.

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate” (BBC)

The main character, Lucy (played convincingly by Scarlett Johansson), talks toward the end of this apocalyptic orgy of intelligence, about the importance of time as means of defining who we are. She says:

Time is the reason for its own existence, the ultimate measure.
It attributes its existence to matter …
Without time, it does not exist.
Time is unity.
{Film Script}

I wonder, though, to what extent time is unity? Can it be or is it viewed in the same way across cultures? Time and time management is certainly conceived differently by different cultures. Is Lucy’s vision, then, a predominantly western view of the world and of time, or is it a universal truth?

Your thoughts?

Words are so revealing: Time says it all!

WIth my long-time love of words, especially when it comes to translation, I thought about how the French translate the word “timing.” The word the French use is “delai” or “delay.” How ironic!  Certain words can have such a way of explaining a culture.  And, since the way we view time is tantamount to the way we view life, anything dealing with TIME is of particular interest. {Click to Tweet this}

french timing - http://www.bedbathstore.com/eitowacl.htmlWhen the Anglo-Saxon talks about the timing for delivery of a product or service, the French refer to the delay.  It’s almost as if we’re inviting the retard, non?

What does that make you think? Doesn’t it give a whole new meaning to the “Parisian 15 minutes,” where the cool Frenchman (aka the dude to the right) is welcome to be late?

Your thoughts, please!

04:05:06 07/08/09 A Perfect Day in 2009

For all of you living outside of the US who write the date ‘normally’ (i.e. DD/MM/YY), tomorrow morning the time and date will read:

04:05:06 07/08/09
five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM in the morning of the 7th of August 2009

If nothing else, pause and smell the roses.  Give some extra love.  Smile.  Call a friend!  Because life is short and ANY excuse is a good excuse!

A beautiful day for numerologists

Tomorrow will be a beautiful day…especially if you live in the United States (i.e. you write the date MM/DD/YY).  At five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM in the morning (of 8th of July), the time and date will read:

04:05:06 07/08/09

It’s a beautiful thing.  This exact reading will not happen again for another 1,000 years (although, don’t worry, we will have plenty of other “magic” all along the way).

Of course, if you are living in Europe or the rest of the world, you should focus on five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM on the 7th of August, 2009…

Romain Jérôme Watches at BaselWorld 2009

Romain Jerome Watch Moon Dust

I love watches.  Maybe it’s a guy’s thing and/or maybe it’s because guys don’t have much “jewellery” to bandy about.  In any event, I was struck by a couple of things in a recent article in Le Figaro (“Des montres qui racontent des histoires” or “Watches that tell a [hi-]story”), reporting from BaselWorld 2009, the World Watch and Jewellery Show (March 26-April 2).  First, there are no less than 618 different watch brands that claim to be Swiss Made.  Certainly sounds like an industry with an opportunity for more consolidation.  Secondly, I enjoyed discovering the tale of the watches made by Romain Jérôme.  In 2007, Romain Jérôme (RJ) launched the Titanic (below), made with morsels of the famed liner.  This year, in a decidedly more magnificent, dare I say time-defying, statement, RJ has created a watch with space dust in it.  The casing of Moon Dust includes steel bits from the Apollo 11, while the strap has parts from one of the astronauts’ space suit.  And the proverbial icing on the cake: the face contains particles of dust from the moon.  With just 1969 pieces, the Moon Dust watch is priced at between 8,000 euros (for the automatic) and 130,000 euros (for the tourbillon).  It is quite an exceptional concept.   The watch oozes authenticity, texture and history.   And for good measure, see below the Titanic model below, with 2012 pieces to celebrate the 100 years since the historic sinking.

Romain Jerome Titanic Rusted Steel Watch

 

What do you think of these concepts?  What other great watches do you know about?

A perfect date this year…

DID YOU KNOW THAT . . . . .  

if you live in the United States (i.e. you write the date MM/DD/YY), at five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be:

04:05:06 07/08/09

It’s a beautiful thing.  This will not happen again for another 1,000 years.

Of course, if you are living in Europe or most of the rest of the world, you should focus on five minutes and six seconds after 4 AM on the 7th of August, 2009… 

(thanks to my mother for passing this along to me).