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This is the book that challenged basic assumptions about the nature of the physical universe by suggesting that we might all be living in a virtual reality - and that information might prove more fundamental than either matter or energy. At the time of publication (1988) this was still a revolutionary idea, but it is now growing familiar thanks to the success of films such as "Open Your Eyes" and "The Matrix". The ideas in this book have even been given an airing on the pages of New Scientist but, fourteen years on, this remains the most thorough and complete discussion of the virtual model of the universe. While others are beginning to explore the concept, the author had been working with it ever since the 1960s when he was studying mathematics at Cambridge university under Conway, himself a pioneer of artificial life studies. What struck the author was the division in society between those who fully accepted a materialistic view of existence and all phenomena, and those who felt there was 'something more behind it'. This book was an attempt to bridge that division by pointing out how the most extreme materialistic viewpoint would tend eventually to blow open its own walls far more effectively than any spoon-bending exercise. What seemed like two irreconcilable structures of belief would turn out to be just two complementary ways of approaching mystery. This edition contains the original text with new introduction and two further essays plus two stories appended to carry the debate forward into the 21st Century
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Table of Contents

PREFACE THE MINISTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND THE POPE - 1 I INTRODUCTION THE MINISTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND THE POPE - 2 II THE THREAT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THE MINISTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND THE POPE - 3 III IN DEFENCE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE THE MINISTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND THE POPE - 4 IV THE PURPOSE OF THE STORY V JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX VI EXPLORING THE PARADOX VII JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND CREATIVITY VIII JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND RELIGION IX JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND SCIENCE X JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND MAGIC XI JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND SOCIETY XII JOHNSTONE'S PARADOX AND US XIII ARMAGEDDON - A CASE STUDY XIV CONCLUSION Appendix A - New Age Re-run of Words Made Flesh Appendix B - Thoughts on Penrose's Shadows of Mind Appendix C - The Magician and The High Priest Appendix D - The Real Story of the Cathars

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With Words Made Flesh, we have an articulate attempt to boost our understanding of the world and enhance our vision - no matter how involved we are with a traditional study or practice. Devoted to the presentation of a new model of the universe, it develops the concept of artificial intelligence as a cosmological metaphor. I believe this metaphor is of considerable significance to mystic and mage alike...

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