LS Re: Four levels of being

Magnus Berg (
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 16:52:26 +0100

Hi Maggie and Squad

You wrote:
> And then I got to thinking, "But there is something fundamentally different between
> a rock and a human, and maybe it has to do with the type of interactions in which
> it usually functions. The rock doesn't interact within all the levels. It's
> basically inorganic, right?
> Well, no, because if it's limestone, its substance was taken from the shells of
> tiny living creatures, so it was "created" by the biological level. And that
> affects its current properties as much as a computer's function is shaped by the
> patterns that controlled its shape.

Yes, a thing, in this case a rock, can be so many different patterns depending on
which aspect you're concentrating on. That's why it makes more sense to talk about
patterns instead of things. If I need some inorganic patterns as a paperweight, I
might use a dedicated paperweight. But I could just as well use a fish or a pack
of disks. A few minutes later, I might be interested in the intellectual patterns
that are stored on one of the disks, so I put it into my computer and read them.

> So you get to the point that it's impossible to think of an instance of the
> inorganic universe that has not been mediated, however minutely, by intelligence,
> unless it is beyond the ripple point of light speed.

I agree but that's actually not a problem once you stop thinking in terms of
things, and start thinking in patterns.

> And that takes you to the point of the intellectual level's greatest invention, the
> ability to remember, plan, project into the future.

Or in short, to represent other patterns.

> But out of nothing but pushing buttons, I have been part of something bigger than
> anything I ever experienced before. I just took an incredible "trip" through the
> universe, all as a result of interaction with some plastic buttons.

That's because the pushing of buttons is not only inorganic value, it's not only
the pressure of your fingers against plastic keys. All levels are involved, but
a computer is still not alive.


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