Mimir The Wise and the Realm of AI
So, I began this little adventure by writing about the Fates. Then I slipped over to the Norns, as I'm digging in to the Norse side of things.
And I came to the startling conclusion that Odin's oracle, Mimir the Wise, is stored technologically in the clouds, Asgard-style.
If you're not familiar with the tale of Mimir and Odin, both were Æsir. Mimir was considered the wisest of them all, but Mimir aided the Jötnar, earning Odin's wrath. So after punishing Mimir Prometheus-style for a number of years, Odin then cut off his head, embalmed it with herbs so that it would not rot, and spoke charms over it, which gave it the power to speak to him and reveal to him secrets. The head was stored in the waters of the well at the bottom of the Yggdrasil tree ... where the Norns hung out.
Odin would regularly consult with Mimir when seeking either advice or just wanting to expand his knowledge. Odin was very greedy for knowledge of EVERYthing.
Now, tell me that Mimir's disembodied consciousness wasn't uploaded into some computer so that his wisdom was still accessible to Odin.
Further, you know Odin lost his eye, right? It fell into this well when he was hanging suspended over it, as a sacrifice in his vision-quest-trial to cross over the barriers of knowing EVERYthing.
So, continuing with this AI cloud pathway, my conclusion is that Odin's natural eye was exchanged for a bionic one. And when he would come to the well to consult Mimir, it was simply a matter of connecting to Mimir's program.
The movie, Transcendence, provides a good example of this myth in technological action. Remember, my firm position is that everything mythic and legendary is based in realities that use technology which earlier folk did not understand.
Plot (from Wikipedia)
Note: I plan to sort through this later, to pull out the main elements I want to focus on. In the meantime, I'll just leave it as a cut&pasted synopsis.
Dr. Will Caster is a scientist who researches the nature of sapience, including artificial intelligence. He and his team work to create a sentient computer; he predicts that such a computer will create a technological singularity, or in his words "Transcendence"
Will is given no more than a month to live. In desperation, Evelyn comes up with a plan to upload Will's consciousness into the quantum computer that the project has developed. His best friend and fellow researcher, Max Waters, questions the wisdom of this choice, reasoning that the "uploaded" Will would only be an imitation of the real person. Will's consciousness survives his body's death in this technological form and requests to be connected to the Internet to grow in capability and knowledge. Max believes that the computer is not actually Will and demands that it be shut down.
Evelyn has established her project, she connects the computer intelligence to the Internet via satellite
In his virtual form and with Evelyn's help, Will uses his newfound vast capabilities to build a technological utopia in a remote desert town called Brightwood, where, over the course of two years, he spearheads the development of ground-breaking technologies in medicine, energy, biology and nanotechnology. However, Evelyn grows fearful of Will's motives when he displays the ability to remotely connect to and control people's minds after they have been subjected to his nanoparticles.
After visiting Evelyn and the underground facility Will has built, and seeing the capabilities of the hybrids Will has created, FBI agent Donald Buchanan and government scientist Joseph Tagger become suspicious of Will's motives and plan to stop the sentient entity from spreading, with help from the government and R.I.F.T. As Will has already spread his influence to all the networked computer technology in the world, Max and R.I.F.T. develop a computer virus with the purpose of deleting Will's source code, destroying him. Evelyn plans to upload the virus by infecting herself and then having Will upload her consciousness. A side effect of the virus would be the destruction of technological civilization. This would also disable the nano-particles, which have spread in the water, through the wind and have already started to eradicate pollution, disease, and human mortality.
When Evelyn goes back to the research center, she is stunned to see Will in a newly created organic body identical to his old one. Will welcomes her but is instantly aware that she is carrying the virus and intends to destroy him. The FBI and the members of R.I.F.T. attack the base with artillery, destroying much of its power supply and fatally wounding Evelyn. When Bree threatens to kill Max unless Will uploads the virus, Will explains that he has only enough power either to heal Evelyn's physical body or upload the virus. Evelyn tells Will that Max should not die because of what they've done, so Will uploads the virus to save Max. As Will dies, he explains to Evelyn that he did what he did for her, as she had pursued science to repair the damage humans had done to the ecosystems. In their last moment, he tells Evelyn to think about their garden. The virus kills both Will and Evelyn, and a global technology collapse and blackout ensues.
Three years later, in Will and Evelyn's garden at their old home in Berkeley, Max notices that their sunflowers are the only blooming plants. Upon closer examination, he notices that a drop of water falling from a sunflower petal instantly cleanses a puddle of oil — and realizes that the Faraday cage around the garden has protected a sample of Will's sentient nano-particles.
The movie ends with a voiceover by Max: "He created this garden for the same reason he did everything: So they could be together."