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Outside of the machine "clone" of a human brain, the problem I have is that I can’t conceive of any human writing software that could model our own consciousness. McKenna asserts that complex systems can exhibit spontaneous increases in “order”. I interpret this to mean that he believes that a consciousness might suddenly flicker to life within the aggregate of the internet. I just don’t see how that could happen given the deterministic nature of machines and software. I suppose neural networks functioning on a vast scale would leave the realm of human reckoning and could take that leap. But I don’t see the internet as a vast interconnection of neural networks yet. Maybe down the line. Microsoft’s new voice translation technology IS apparently using neural networks (http://readwrite.com/2012/11/09/microsoft-demos-a-star-trek-style-universal-translator-video)...
I've recently had a few days off to center myself and to write. They've been glorious despite being somewhat compromised by outside pressures. The good news is that I've officially started writing Hemlock Book III, and I'm feeling good about the direction it's heading in. The bad news is I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped I would. I will be shifting into a "mode" of writing more regularly now, so I still hope to have something ready early next year. It will probably be a shorter, cheaper installment than Book II. But if I wait until I have the entire arc for Book III done then I might not finish until 2014. And that seems unacceptable.