"...Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy."

Rampancy, a term new to science fiction? The term yes, the concept not so.

When asked about the origin of the term "Rampancy" Greg Kirkpatrick wrote:

That is one that I thought up all by myself. It describes pretty well what happens to the AIs. It came about basically by spending a long time looking for a word to replace "insane" with. Insane didn't cut it because it's cliche in SF and it didn't describe very well what was happening.

Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> writes:

"On AGM Andrew Spring wrote:"

>But WHY would rampancy occur?

Rampancy, or the self-awareness of a computer is common theme in Sci Fi.

The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, and Time Enough For Love, by Heinlein both have it. I think Asimov did it once. It was the central theme in Neuromancer by William Gibson, too.

Any other SF buffs remember examples?

The WHY of it is probably a touch of Vitalism on the part of the author. Vitalism is an outmoded adjunct to the theory of evolution that states that the destiny of every living thing is to strive upward to become God-like. Evolutionists don't go in for it much these days, but it makes good pulp SciFi. (For extra credit, work in some reference to Erasmus Darwin).

Ty continues:

"When I saw the word "destiny" I remembered the last line in Mi, "you are destiny". So I looked up Vitalism in the Grolier encyclopedia and here's what it said:"

Vitalism is a general term for the philosophical viewpoint that some sort of special quality, or essence, differentiates living from nonliving matter. It is a form of metaphysical DUALISM, (some tie-in with the level Duality perhaps?) and usually involves some teleological argument for directed purpose to life.(purpose of life? Remember Greg K's post on AGM? He said: What is life about? Hmmmm...) Vitalistic views of widely varying degrees of sophistication have been expressed throughout the history of philosophy, form ARISTOTLE to LEIBNIZ, to BERGSON. In recent centuries a number of scientists such as Hans DRIESCH have tried to develop some biological basis for vitalism, but it remains a philosophical conjecture.

"So is the whole point of life to strive upward and become god-like? If we become destiny at the end of Mi, are we now god-like, and does that make us immortal?"

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