gad rgyangs wrote:when computers communicate with each other over a network, does that mean they are sentient?
Well for sentient beings, everything in the Universe is relative. A Deva is more aware than an Asura, the latter more than a human, the latter more (generally speaking) than a Preta, and the latter is more aware than say a rock.
And we've speculated here that Plants are somewhere between Pretas and Animals in terms of sentience.
But I'd guess that a computer isn't much more—if any more—sentient than the atoms and molecules that it is composed of. And there have been experiments by I think physicists or quantum physicists in order to find out if atoms and/or subatomic particles are sentient. But apparently an aggregate of atoms called a 'computer' performs the functions that it is made to do by humans.
By the way....
There is a book by a Japanese geneticist on DNA, RNA, etc. with a forward written by H.H. the Dalai Lama, that looks very interesting.
It's not The Universe in a Single Atom
(which also looks interesting), but a different book that I can't seem to find with a web search....