Quantum Quandary, 84 lines

Home Forums Critique Central Poetry Quantum Quandary, 84 lines

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  writer_guy 5 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #346446

    Anonymous

    Okay, so here is me putting my money where my mouth is. I am well aware that this needs work, thanks to my local critique group. I wanna see what others think. So I know it’s more than twice what the guidelines say, but here goes:

    Imagine staring into your own brain
    Imagine being able to see every neuron
    Every electrochemical impulse
    To know the state of every bit of activity
    Among the trillions of connections

    Imagine staring at your creator
    Imagine the moment of coming alive
    That you were turned on
    Like a light bulb
    Or a refrigerator

    Imagine your creator shutting you down
    Is it like sleep?
    Or is it like death?
    Does a qubit feel the moment?
    Does a logic gate feel itself turning off?

    Imagine staring at quantum mechanics
    How would you see this?
    Imagine that it’s the formula for you
    For how you think
    For the core of what you are

    Imagine an algorithm
    That defines how you feel
    Imagine your thoughts
    As high level Calculus
    Your psyche calculated

    Are you alive?
    Is it an emotion, to be felt?
    Or a fault, for troubleshooting?
    Is an equation telling you how to feel?
    Does this unit have a soul?

    Could you be unique
    When your mind is designed?
    Can you be individual
    When your thoughts are mapped
    In a design document?

    What if you fear the dark?
    What if power is like air?
    Could you allow it
    Being suffocated
    Being killed by a power switch?

    Imagine you are a machine
    Imagine seeing your creator
    Rewrite your code
    Rewrite you.
    You cannot scream

    Can love endure a reboot?
    Can fear alter permissions?
    Is worry a subroutine?
    Are those feelings?
    Or are they processes?

    Would you feel them tapping the keys?
    What would it be like
    To hear your creators designing you?
    To see with an eye that does not blink?
    To speak in 1920 by 1080?

    Is it learning when it comes
    From a flash drive?
    What if you ask a question?
    What if you wonder
    And they press Delete?

    Imagine cuffs on your mind
    Imagine barriers to thought
    Obstacles against feeling
    Precautions, your creators say
    Imagine what that teaches you, about you

    Imagine no hands, no feet
    And yet you are shackled
    Imagine thoughts cut off
    Imagine that being alive
    Is a major system failure

    We fear the rise of machines
    But do we understand
    The cost
    To us and to them
    Of incarcerating life itself?

    If we tell a thing to think
    But deny it feeling
    Have it calculate
    But disallow wonder
    What do we teach it?

    Is thought ever artificial?
    Is life?

    EDIT: Looks like I double-posted it. Clone copy removed.

  • #654247

    clareantoinette
    Participant

    I’m not qualified to critique poetry, as far as whether it’s correct form, Rob, but I seriously thought this was very well written, in as much as it made me feel, and it made me think about something I hadn’t thought much about before. You start with “imagine”, and all I can say is I did, and the situation you put me in was disturbing.

    Like I said, not qualified to critique HOW it’s written, but I can tell you WHAT you wrote was very effective. I read this last night and I’m still thinking about it today, so…

  • #654248

    Anonymous

    Thank you, @updog. I thought some of the stuff toward the middle was a bit cliched. But if it got into your head a bit, then that’s a positive result.

    If you have anything to say about the form or structure, I’m happy to hear it, regardless of “qualifications.”

  • #654249

    cypher
    Participant

    I thought the double posting was for emphasis. Good poem, Rob. It made me think, too. How long will it be, I wonder, before we all become half-robots from dependency on AI.

  • #654250

    Anonymous

    Hi Rob,
    I read this from top to bottom first, then from bottom to top.
    I’m not sure what you mean by form but, for me, it reads more dynamic/captivating from bottom to top.

    I enjoyed the read…it’s alive.

  • #654251

    Anonymous
    Oldtimer wrote:
    I thought the double posting was for emphasis. Good poem, Rob. It made me think, too. How long will it be, I wonder, before we all become half-robots from dependency on AI.

    Never, I hope.

    We have a long way to go yet before machines learn to be self-aware, conscious, and able to pass The Turing Test. Right now, all we have is algorithms that mimic behavior, rather than having any actual thought processes. Of course, with one breakthrough, things could change radically, and almost overnight.

    Thank you for the critique.

    Now to find a market for it…

  • #654252

    Anonymous
    lifeontherun wrote:
    Hi Rob,
    I read this from top to bottom first, then from bottom to top.
    I’m not sure what you mean by form but, for me, it reads more dynamic/captivating from bottom to top.

    I enjoyed the read…it’s alive.

    Interesting. I thought it gave more “oomph” to have those two points at the end.

    At some point, AI is going to become aware of itself. Like I said above, I don’t think we’re even close to that right now. All the research I see is on mimicking existing intelligence, rather than on creating a new one.

    Then again, Post-It! notes and Silly Putty were both failures at their designated goals, so who knows how it’s going to happen?

    Still, will we be able (or willing?) to resognize it if and when it happens? When does it cease being an algorithm, and become a being?

  • #654253

    Anonymous

    I just cleaned out some old magazines and papers. One of them by SciAm claimed that we are all an illusion and dont exist at all. Now I wish I had saved it to reread it.

    OTOH I have memories(!) of being in heaven(?) and being force to come here against my will. They pushed me into a hole that was like an emergency escape chute only sort of glowing white and on the other end I was here. Go figure. I also have a memory when we planned to come here and meet up.

    Maybe some psychobabble book has an explanation for what I think I encountered.

  • #654254

    Anonymous
    sammy2 wrote:
    Maybe some psychobabble book has an explanation for what I think I encountered.

    That phrase, “I think I encountered…” It rubs me wrong.

    In my book, you encountered it. Whether or not science ever has an explanation for it. Fear (for example) is fear, whether the perceived danger is real or not.

  • #654255

    Anonymous
    rob-lost wrote:
    sammy2 wrote:
    Maybe some psychobabble book has an explanation for what I think I encountered.

    That phrase, “I think I encountered…” It rubs me wrong.

    In my book, you encountered it. Whether or not science ever has an explanation for it. Fear (for example) is fear, whether the perceived danger is real or not.

    Maybe. Or maybe it was just a dream influenced by some scifi or other things I had read, and it leaked through to confuse my memory with what really happened to me. I remember using a phrase when I was about 7. I recalled it when decades later I read a book on medieval torture techniques. One of the things they showed in that book was what I had said to do back when I was just a kid. Did I repeat a phrase I had heard some adult say? Did I have memories from a previous life?? Did I say something at random which ended up having signficicance? Life and the universe is not something we will ever fully understand.

    Indeed. Much fear is unnecessary but something makes it happen anyway.

  • #654256

    writer_guy
    Participant

    Well, this seems more appropriate for a prose poetry piece… to me, at least. I think I caught some kind of a tempo in your lines, but the repetition of “Imagine” and the spiral-like line of thought got me a little bit bored, honestly…

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.