The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Remarkably readable and applicable science fiction from nearly 60 years ago. Tells the story of the overthrown of an authoritarian government from Earth that controls a society on Luna led by a sentient computer nick named Mike.

Dives into political systems—idea of taxes, governance, and ethics. It also dives into artificial intelligence which feels remarkable current—chat personalities, capabilities, and the latest thinking on consciousness. Talks about the idea of genius being non-deterministic and incomputable—still hope for man.

Still feels possible—a city on the moon by 2076 (set free 300 years later in July of 2076). Evolves into two cities—one western and one Chinese (who use hard currency and thus stable).

In the end a few manipulated and shaped the many—was that good? was it necessary? was that the point that it will all just devolve again (i.e. Animal Farm—was this before or after?). At one point saying “A king is a people’s protection against tyranny”—seems to get to the benevolent dictator position.

You can see how this book influenced a generation of science fiction writers (Seven Eves comes to mind and many others).

This planet isn’t crowded; it is just mismanaged.

Integrated Information Theory of consciousness…

Somewhere along evolutionary chain from macromolecule to human brain self-awareness crept in. Psychologists assert it happens automatically whenever a brain acquires a certain very high number of associated paths. Can’t see it matters whether paths are protein or platinum.

Definition of a state–monopoly on violence

Under what circumstances is it moral for a group to do that which is not moral for a member of that group to do alone?

Heinlein was an anarchist (I think)…

A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as ‘state’ and ‘society’ and ‘government’ have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believe that it is impossible to blame, share blame, distribute blame… as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else.
“My point is that one person is responsible. Always. If H-bombs exist—and they do—some man controls them. In terms of morals there is no such thing as a ‘state’. Just men. Individuals. Each responsible for his own acts.”

About US…

Is mixed-up lace another way; they care about skin color—by making a point of how they don’t care. First trip I was always too light or too dark, and somehow blamed either way, or was always being expected to take a stand on things I had no opinions on.

On the death of Mike…

Did he fall below that “critical number” it takes to sustain self-awareness? … I don’t know. If was just matter of critical number, well, he’s long been repaired; he must be back up to it. Why doesn’t he wake up? Can a machine be so frightened and hurt that it will go into catatonia and refuse to respond? While ego crouches inside, aware but never wiling to risk it?

You listening, Bog? Is a computer one of Your creatures?