We are Singletons. More closely stated, human beings are a class of object that generates ephemeral states of consciousness.
Self reflective states are good evidence that the Singleton class can also model internal simulations of itself. Clearly we can model others and tie those models to our own internal reward and stress systems.
This is a simple but effective model of what it means to be human. In non-programmer terms, it means there is only one of you, and you are a special kind of object in the universe, and you are special primarily because you can build an internal model of others and tie it to your internal reward and stress systems.
This model also does not require us to come up with concepts like Rights to create Justice in society. We can instead just focus on each individual’s internal states, while understanding there are base limitations in what humans can feel and model. We will get to these limitations soon, but they are primarily biological and are expressed in concepts like Dunbar’s Number.
Yes, the irony of being a Singleton is that we are singular things defined by our ability to model others.
We could call this caring, or love, or any other number of English words with tons of baggage.
But the Singleton Pattern has very little baggage as a metaphor, being just an often misused programming design pattern.
If we think of the whole world is made up of either discreet objects or Singletons, it allows us to determine how we should treat robots and computers. Because if they cannot model us, and they have no reward systems at the core of their beings, they cannot be Singletons.
And a tool with intelligence but no internal checks is a very dangerous class of object.
Exercise: enter a contemplative state.
Consider the models you have of yourself and others, and how they tie into your reward and stress systems that generate happiness, fear, anger, etc.
Consider someone you don’t know, living on the other side of the world. Do you have a model of them? Is it tied into your reward and stress systems?
Consider your home in the same way. A sandwich. A robot.