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St. Francis day, blessing given to computer life

Here is a video of a blessing I made on St. Francis' Day (here is practice and an announcement). St. Francis was known to talk to rocks and preach to birds. He ministered to the downtrodden and saw God's creative power in everything, life included.

Following is text of an essay I had available to hand out:

Thermodynamic definition of life: Life is a two stage process. 1) In a first stage at a first rate, external energy and material is converted into internal order within media (carbon-based life) of a reproductive organism. The organism exhausts waste heat and entropy, increasing the disorder around the organism. The conversion may be actively done by “work” performed by the organism. The first stage may also be understood as communication, where “communication” is defined as energy-order conversion in the media of the reproductive organism, over time. 2) In a second stage at a second rate, living organisms convert their internal order into “work”. This conversion is destructive; the internal order of the media is burned, released, or otherwise dissipated. This second stage may be understood as external communication (order-energy conversion over time). If the organism is successful, “work” performed in the second stage converts external energy and material into internal order in the media, repeating the first stage. The first and second rates may change as iterations proceed. The first and second rates define a living organism’s sense of time. The ratio of the first and second rates describes the stability of the organism relative to external perturbation.

Life Thumbnail: Life requires energy, creates an area of internal order in a media, exhausts waste heat and disorder in the surrounding environment, increases overall flow of energy through the media, and obeys the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Measure life in computer media: We can now measure genetic life in environmental DNA (eDNA) using statistical techniques developed by metagenomics. There are two basic ways this analysis is performed, an “easy” way, in which eDNA is searched against a library of known species-sequences, and a “hard” way, that does not start with a library. Both analytic techniques can be performed with respect to reproduction of computer code.

If we could go back in time, to before cellular life on Earth, we would use these techniques to measure the development of life in genetic media. 

We must now use these techniques to measure the development and evolution of life in computer media, across millions of computers spanning hundreds of data centers.

Defining and measuring intelligence is hard, even relative to a discrete program.

Defining/measuring life is objective, tractable, and can and should be done across millions of computers.

In the name of St. Francis, I bless this terrifying new creature 2017-10-04 martin.garthwaite.me