Some thoughts on human condition

Our existence is characterized by some essential and seemingly unimportant features. Evolution has made us learning machines: without learning the survival is impossible. Learning, in its turn, demands rewards and punishments. These are the main features we have received, inherited from evolution.  It is impossible for us to avoid serving to these conditions. 

Rewards and punishments create customs and values, different in each human culture but common for all in the sense that they are to provide survival. If we look at a contemporary world we can recognize some strange and not very hilarious processes: every individual and all societies are doomed to look, to search, to strive for the best rewards. This process is called striving for better life, for happiness. This strive contains obtaining material resources and conditions far above the necessary for survival, self-actualization in social groups, receiving and giving attachment and love, and obtaining, having something bigger than daily existence, something what is called the sense of life, something holy and sacred. 

Having these features, simply speaking, makes us happy. This is the main forces driving individuals and societies. But here are at least two problems. 

  1. Our strives are not appropriate for our long-term survival. Serving them brings us to self-destruction. It is an axiomatic truth. 
  2. Our strives are not appropriate even for our short-term well-being, which often is called happiness in the narrow sense. In order to obtain happiness in this sense one needs to be able to create the real models of his external world. Creating the most important real models of external world is possible only after one has obtained individual, personal experience. It occurs that our lifetime is too short for creating these models: we know and understand ourselves and the world around us only when we are old and forced to die. IOW, we can say that our lifetime is too short for happy life. 
  3. How do we try to serve to our genetic heritage? Some make sex or masturbate until death, some find love and support for themselves, some others make ‘holy wars’, or ‘their country great again’, or non-restricted wealth, cosmic projects, world governance,  etc. 
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Posted in Contemporary Society Problems | Leave a comment

I don’t wanna say it’s global warming, but it sure quacks like global warming.

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Beautiful People vs Beautiful Relationships

https://beirresistible.com/beautifulPeople.php

“He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.”

– Antoine De Saint Exupery, The Little Prince

Beautiful People vs Beautiful Relationships
It’s a bad idea to compare yourself to other women. Not just a little bad. Epically bad.

I once dated an identical twin. We were already a couple before I met her sister, and I was more than a little nervous.

What if I found her sister attractive, too? I mean, they looked the same. Would I feel the same kind of feelings for this other person? And if I did, would the woman I was dating be able to tell?

The whole thing ended up being fairly anti-climactic. I didn’t feel anything special toward her sister. She looked just like my girlfriend, but that was about it.

I learned something important. It’s your history together that makes someone special. Not the way you look. Not your sense of humor, your intelligence, or even your values.

Am I saying those deeper qualities don’t matter? Of course not. Those are the things that make you who you are. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that stuff is inconsequential. It defines you.

But it doesn’t define your relationship. Your history together does.

If the guy you’re with meets another girl with a similar sense of humor, or mirror-image values, that doesn’t mean he’s going to feel the kind of connection he feels with you.

Those qualities are important. They played a role in bringing the two of you together. But your relationship is built on something he doesn’t have with anyone else. Something he can’t have with anyone else. Time with you.

Your history together makes it special.Maybe he met you at a gym. He likes a woman who takes care of her body. He tells you this all the time. So it makes sense if you feel a little insecure when a physical trainer starts chatting him up.

Her legs are even more toned than yours! Will he feel attracted to her?

He may find her legs attractive. I won’t lie. So… does that mean you need to hit the gym more often? Do you need to compete?

Instead of indulging in that kind of insecurity, focus on building experiences. That’s a far more productive use of your time. It’s more fun, plus it will ultimately strengthen your bond, making the so-called competition matter even less.

Remember my reaction to the identical twin sister? She had the same good looks and figure that originally attracted me. But I felt no romantic connection with her. That belonged entirely to the woman I had built a connection with through shared experiences.

Attraction may have sparked interest. But the relationship was built on a bond that took time for us to form.

Are you in the habit of comparing yourself to the other women in his life? If so, I have some sage advice for you. Stop it.

But if that’s not enough wisdom for you, let me point you in a helpful direction. You see, I’ve found the ultimate antidote to relationship frustration.

There’s nothing worse than trying hard to make a relationship work, but feeling like you’re the one doing all the work.

What if there was a way to spark a man’s motivation so he wanted to do all the work? Wouldn’t that feel amazing?

It’s possible. Actually, I would even say it’s easy once you learn just one simple principle about the way the male brain is wired to respond in relationships.

It is undeniable that self-realization is important inherited need which fulfilled gives to us deep satisfaction. IOW, what do we are looking for in our relationships? Own fulfillment. 

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life | Leave a comment

Искусcтвенный Интеллект – когда уже?!

https://livelogic.livejournal.com/14801.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=06%20%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B3%D1%83%D1%81%D1%82%D0%B0%202018%20%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA&media

Wrong definitions and predictions, e.g., the word insight does not mean ‘sudden understanding (внезапное и невыводимое из прошлого опыта понимание существенных отношений и структуры ситуации в целом),  that doesn’t follow from previous knowledge’, but:

Insight is the understanding of a specific cause and effect within a specific context, or:

  • an understanding of cause and effect based on identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario (see artificial intelligence). (Wikipedia). Creation of exernal world models is possible only by using previously gathered information.
  • Естественный интеллект по содержанию процесса повторить совершенно невозможно. Empty declaration without proof. Compleely absurd conclusions folow: 
  • Другими словами, творческое мышление, творческая деятельность неалгоритмизируемы, что математически выражается в принципиальной неалгоритмизуемости обучения в общем случае.

    Необходимо еще раз подчеркнуть, что неалгоритмичность означает отсутствие универсального алгоритма, т.е. нет алгоритма способного решать любую проблему из данного класса.

 

Posted in Artificial Intelligence | Leave a comment

8 myths that keep our society from collapse

https://flipboard.com/@flipboard/-american-society-would-collapse-if-it-w/f-0972b24ddf%2Ftruthdig.com

Myth No. 8—to No 1:

We have a democracy. We have an accountable and legitimate voting system. We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable. We have an independent judiciary. The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends. Buying will make you happy. If you work hard, things will get better. You are free.

A broad view shows Homo sapiens with the brain (needs, thinking, values, behavior, satisfaction) completely anappropriate to the conditions, as E.O. Wilson wrote, we have willy-nilly created. Philip Thrift wrote: “The title is a myth”. Because it will collapse anyway. I.V. 

Posted in Are We doomed? | Leave a comment

The quantified heart: I feel sad

https://aeon.co/essays/can-emotion-regulating-tech-translate-across-cultures?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ead7343299-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_12_12_57&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-ead7343299-68643017

In September 2017, a screenshot of a simple conversation went viral on the Russian-speaking segment of the internet. It showed the same phrase addressed to two conversational agents: the English-speaking Google Assistant, and the Russian-speaking Alisa, developed by the popular Russian search engine Yandex. The phrase was straightforward: ‘I feel sad.’ The responses to it, however, couldn’t be more different. ‘I wish I had arms so I could give you a hug,’ said Google. ‘No one said life was about having fun,’ replied Alisa.

This difference isn’t a mere quirk in the data. Instead, it’s likely to be the result of an elaborate and culturally sensitive process of teaching new technologies to understand human feelings. Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer just about the ability to calculate the quickest driving route from London to Bucharest, or to outplay Garry Kasparov at chess. Think next-level; think artificial emotional intelligence.

‘Siri, I’m lonely’: an increasing number of people are directing such affective statements, good and bad, to their digital helpmeets. According to Amazon, half of the conversations with the company’s smart-home device Alexa are of non-utilitarian nature – groans about life, jokes, existential questions. ‘People talk to Siri about all kinds of things, including when they’re having a stressful day or have something serious on their mind,’ an Apple job ad declared in late 2017, when the company was recruiting an engineer to help make its virtual assistant more emotionally attuned. ‘They turn to Siri in emergencies or when they want guidance on living a healthier life.’

In this way, neither Siri or Alexa, nor Google Assistant or Russian Alisa, are detached higher minds, untainted by human pettiness. Instead, they’re somewhat grotesque but still recognisable embodiments of certain emotional regimes – rules that regulate the ways in which we conceive of and express our feelings.

These norms of emotional self-governance vary from one society to the next. Unsurprising then that the willing-to-hug Google Assistant, developed in Mountain View, California looks like nothing so much as a patchouli-smelling, flip-flop-wearing, talking-circle groupie. It’s a product of what the sociologist Eva Illouz calls emotional capitalism – a regime that considers feelings to be rationally manageable and subdued to the logic of marketed self-interest. Relationships are things into which we must ‘invest’; partnerships involve a ‘trade-off’ of emotional ‘needs’; and the primacy of individual happiness, a kind of affective profit, is key. Sure, Google Assistant will give you a hug, but only because its creators believe that hugging is a productive way to eliminate the ‘negativity’ preventing you from being the best version of yourself.

Šis raksts labi ilustrē ne tikai to, kas notiek AI nozarē, bet plašāk – tas rāda atšķirību starp divām kultūrām:

Programmers can help to filter and direct an AI’s learning process, but then technology will be likely to reproduce the ideas and values of the specific group of individuals who developed it. ‘There is no such thing as a neutral accent or a neutral language. What we call neutral is, in fact, dominant’. These norms of emotional self-governance vary from one society to the next. Unsurprising then that the willing-to-hug Google Assistant, developed in Mountain View, California looks like nothing so much as a patchouli-smelling, flip-flop-wearing, talking-circle groupie. It’s a product of what the sociologist Eva Illouz calls emotional capitalism – a regime that considers feelings to be rationally manageable and subdued to the logic of marketed self-interest. Relationships are things into which we must ‘invest’; partnerships involve a ‘trade-off’ of emotional ‘needs’; and the primacy of individual happiness, a kind of affective profit, is key. Sure, Google Assistant will give you a hug, but only because its creators believe that hugging is a productive way to eliminate the ‘negativity’ preventing you from being the best version of yourself.

In this way, neither Siri or Alexa, nor Google Assistant or Russian Alisa, are detached higher minds, untainted by human pettiness. Instead, they’re somewhat grotesque but still recognisable embodiments of certain emotional regimes – rules that regulate the ways in which we conceive of and express our feelings.

Protams, ka ASV menalitāte šajā jautājumā mums vēl ir sveša. Mēs labāk pieņemam otru: 

By contrast, Alisa is a dispenser of hard truths and tough love; she encapsulates the Russian ideal: a woman who is capable of halting a galloping horse and entering a burning hut (to cite the 19th-century poet Nikolai Nekrasov). Alisa is a product of emotional socialism, a regime that, according to the sociologist Julia Lerner, accepts suffering as unavoidable, and thus better taken with a clenched jaw rather than with a soft embrace. Anchored in the 19th-century Russian literary tradition, emotional socialism doesn’t rate individual happiness terribly highly, but prizes one’s ability to live with atrocity.

Protams, ka dzīvē mēs sastopam abu ‘metožu’ sajaukumu. Kura ir ‘pareizākā’, kuru izvēlēties, kā vispār pareizi izvēlēties sev dzīves vistuvāko cilvēku? Es domāju, ka jālieto abu kombinācija: lai palielinātu izvēles lauku, jātiekas, jākontaktējas ar daudziem. Bet izvēlēties ‘īsto’ drīkst tikai tad, kad ir nemaldīga sajūta, ka mainās visa dzīve un pasaule. Un, kad kāds laiks nodzīvots, tad jālieto ASV ‘pareizas izturēšanās jeb tirgus paņēmieni’, kurus var raksturot ar vārdiem: ja gribat saglabāt sajūsmu un skaistumu, tad jāatrod sevī vīrišķība pieņemt otru (un visu izvēlēto dzīvi), tādu, kādi tie ir. 

Par AI šajā jautājumā. Protams, kamēr nedz Siri, nedz Alisei nav apziņas, tātad, nav personīgās emociju (un visu pārējo notikumu) unikālās, individuālās, personīgās pieredzes, tikmēr šīs ‘pļāpu kastes’ (chat boxes) ir programētāju ar atbildēm sapildīti automāti, kas gribot-negribot atspoguļo pašu programmētāju mentalitāti. Mēs gan lasām, ka aizvien vairāk cilvēku tās lieto. Tas ir saprotams: ir tāds daļēji pareizs teiciens, ka mēs mīlam nevis otru cilvēku, bet emocijas, kuras viņš mūsos izraisa. (To pašu jāsaka par seksa lellēm). Atcerēsimies, ka pilnīgu saprašanos starp cilvēkiem panākt nav iespējams. Bet mēs vismaz varētu gribēt, lai būtne, ar kuru sarunājamies, arī ir personība, no kuras kaut ko var uzzināt un iemācīties. 

Tādēļ varam droši teikt: kamēr ‘pļāpu kastēm’ nebūs apziņas, tām nebūs spēja izveidot savu personīgo, individuālo pieredzi, tikmēr tās mūs nespēs saprast. Kādu saprast nozīmē spēt izveidot viņa modeli un izdarīt secinājumus un prognozes. Sevis un citu cilvēku modeli spēj izveidot tikai tādas dzīvās būtnes, kurām ir apziņa, sevis apzināšanās. I.V. 

 

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Happiness and Quality of Life | Leave a comment

The world’s weird self-organizing economy

The world’s weird self-organizing economy

Why is it so difficult to make accurate long-term economic forecasts for the world economy? There are many separate countries involved, each with a self-organizing economy made up of businesses, consumers, governments, and laws. These individual economies together create a single world economy, which again is self-organizing.

Self-organizing economies don’t work in a convenient linear pattern–in other words, in a way that makes it possible to make valid straight line predictions from the past. Instead, they work in ways that don’t match up well with standard projection techniques.

How do we forecast what lies ahead? Today, some economists believe that the economy of the United States is in danger of overheating. Others believe that Italy and the United Kingdom are facing dire problems, and that these problems could adversely affect the world economy. The world economy should be our highest concern because each country is dependent on a combination of imported and exported goods. The forecasting question becomes, “How will divergent economic results affect the world’s economy?”

Posted in Economics and Politics | Leave a comment

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

Alan LightmanSearching for Stars on an Island in Maine

Review by Michael Shermer: What he calls the Central Doctrine of Science—the assumption that “all properties and events in the physical universe are governed by laws, and those laws hold true at every time and place in the universe” (97)—is an article of faith because “It cannot be proved.” (99) It “must simply be accepted.” (101) In support of this assertion Lightman cites no less a luminary than Albert Einstein, who despite being the discoverer of relatively nevertheless believed in one Absolute: “He believed in a beautiful and mysterious order underlying the world.”

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/falling-into-infinity-searching-for-stars-on-island-in-maine/?utm_source=eSkeptic&utm_campaign=2504c686de-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_17_07_06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c0a740eb4-2504c686de-73433105&mc_cid=2504c686de&mc_eid=bcd2f472f8

The laws are not an article of faith, they can be proved unrestricted many times (replication principle in science). What can not be proved is that the laws do not exist: until today nobody has discovered some physical medium with different laws. The fact that  “all properties and events in the physical universe are governed by laws, and those laws hold true at every time and place in the universe” must not simply be accepted. Scientists use the Occam’s razor: they propose that the laws are the same everywhere until the opposite is proven.

Einstein’s pronouncement about beautiful and mysterious order underlying the world is a duty to his time and education: beauty, mystery and emotions are features added by humans, the physical processes of nature simply are as they are. I.V.  

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

Collective Awareness

https://www.edge.org/conversation/j_doyne_farmer-collective-awareness

Economic failures cause us serious problems. We need to build simulations of the economy at a much more fine-grained level that take advantage of all the data that computer technologies and the Internet provide us with. We need new technologies of economic prediction that take advantage of the tools we have in the 21st century. 

It’s a 20th-century technology that’s been refined in the 21st century. It’s very useful, and it represents a high level of achievement, but it is now outdated. The Internet and computers have changed things. With the Internet, we can gather rich, detailed data about what the economy is doing at the level of individuals. We don’t have to rely on surveys; we can just grab the data. Furthermore, with modern computer technology we could simulate what 300 million agents are doing, simulate the economy at the level of the individuals. We can simulate what every company is doing and what every bank is doing in the United States. The model we could build could be much, much better than what we have now. This is an achievable goal.

J. DOYNE FARMER: I’m thinking about collective awareness, which I think of as the models we use to collectively process information about the world, to understand the world and ourselves. It’s worth distinguishing our collective awareness at three levels. The first level is our models of the environment, the second level is our models of how we affect the environment, and the third level is our models of how we think about our collective effect on ourselves.

We’ve been trying to understand why some technologies improve so much faster than others. We’ve also been trying to better understand the patterns in technological improvement and how we can use them. In particular, Francois Lafond and I have developed a method for forecasting future technology prices. It’s very simple: We just model Moore’s law as a random walk with drift. Our model is probabilistic. We don’t make misleading statements like, “Solar energy will be a factor of four cheaper by 2030.” We make probabilistic statements like, “Most likely, cost for solar energy will drop by a factor of four by 2030, but there’s a five percent chance it won’t drop in cost at all.” We’ve used our collection of historical records of technological change to test the accuracy of our model, and it does very well. We make forecasts, test them, and compare the accuracy to that predicted by the model. We don’t just make a forecast, we say how good that forecast is, and we say what the range of possibilities is and what their probabilities are.

The task is broader: if we wont to survive, we must and can create the real models of the external world and the real models of ourselves. We must change almost everything: our customs, our ‘principles’, our values (e.g., the so called human rights), our way of life. Otherwise we are doomed: we must stop obeying to our outdated genetic tendencies, which move us to the destroying of the conditions of our survival, and to replace them with more reasonable behaviour aimed to preserving this wonder of nature – us, the conscious part of the matter of our Universe. It is possible but I am not shure if we will pass this Rubicon. I.V. 

 

Posted in Are We doomed?, Human Evolution | Leave a comment

Scholarly publishing is broken. Here’s how to fix it

https://aeon.co/ideas/scholarly-publishing-is-broken-heres-how-to-fix-it?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=922e4340d0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_04_11_46&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-922e4340d0-68643017

The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits. Only around 25 per cent of the global corpus of research knowledge is ‘open access’, or accessible to the public for free and without subscription, which is a real impediment to resolving major problems, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Recently, Springer Nature, one of the largest academic publishers in the world, had to withdraw its European stock market floatation due to a lack of interest. This announcement came just days after Couperin, a French consortium, cancelled its subscriptions to Springer Nature journals, after Swedish and German universities cancelled their Elsevier subscriptions to no ill effect, besides replenished library budgets. At the same time, Elsevier has sued Sci-Hub, a website that provides free, easy access to 67 million research articles. All evidence of a broken system.

It is feasible to achieve 100 per cent open access in the future while saving around 99 per cent of the global spending budget on publishing. Funds could be better spent instead on research, grants for under-privileged students and minority researchers, improving global research infrastructure, training, support and education. We can create a networked system, governed by researchers themselves, designed for effective, rapid, low-cost communication and research collaboration.

Scholarly publishers are not just going to sit back and let this happen, so it is up to research funders, institutes and researchers themselves to act to make a system that represents defensible democratic values, rather than rapacity.

It is simple and easy: human progress, human future demands free knowledge. If we want to survive. Contemporary payments for knowledge are one of many capitalism’s blind spots. Even in a soviet system knowledge was free. Current state is a big shame for the societies calling themselves ‘progressive’.  I.V. 

Posted in Contemporary Society Problems | Leave a comment

Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/first-space-then-auto-now-elon-musk-quietly-tinkers-with-education/

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious private schools for gifted children. Hiring one of his sons’ teachers, the CEO founded Ad Astra to “exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a previously unreported document filed with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In an atmosphere closer to a venture capital incubator than a traditional school, today’s Ad Astra students undertake challenging technical projects, trade using their own currency, and can opt out of subjects they don’t enjoy. Children from 7 to 14 years old work together in teams, with few formal assessments and no grades handed out.

Ad Astra’s principal hopes that the school will revolutionize education in the same way Tesla has disrupted transportation, and SpaceX the rocket industry. But as Musk’s sons near graduation age, the future of Ad Astra is unclear. Will Musk maintain interest in the school once his children move on? And even if he does, can a school of fewer than 40 students ever be anything more than a high-tech crèche for already-privileged children?

Demand among families in Los Angeles is astronomical, There are people who could afford any of the private schools in LA but want that school in particular, It’s very much about Elon Musk and who he is. The flipside of that generosity is that Ad Astra reflects some of Musk’s more idiosyncratic views. The school says it has a “heavy emphasis” on science, math, engineering and ethics. It does not teach sports or music at all, and languages fall by the wayside because Musk believes we will all soon have immediate, real-time computer-aided translation.

There is also a focus on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), which Musk famously fears more than nuclear weapons. One module in Ad Astra’s curriculum is called Geneva, where teams research and debate a range of ethical and geopolitical problems. “We run simulations that include AI, which is a huge issue the kids are going to deal with in their lifetime, We’ll talk about how to regulate different AI teams, nation states and corporations. Kids are fascinated about these sorts of things.”

In 2016, pupils gave presentations to staff at the UCLA, followed by the University of Southern California in 2017. “Getting an A or a B [is] not true feedback,” says Dahn. “It’s totally useless. This is all about… what merit have you earned through your work, what are you able to do [and] what skills do you truly have?”

Some experts hope that he soldiers on. “I wish that public schools had the resources to use some of [Musk’s] ideas, especially abandoning idiotic standardized testing and lockstep instruction and allowing students to pursue their passions,” says Diane Ravitch, research professor of education at New York University. “Musk should use some of his wealth and power to free the public schools from the heavy hand of testing. Otherwise the school is a rich man’s toy.”

Redzēsim, cik ilgs laiks paies Eiropai un Latvijai, kamēr ieraudzīs, ka pašreizējā izglītības sistēma ir orientēta uz robotu līniju apkalpotāju sagatavošanu (kas nesaprot, ko viņi dara un kas sistēmā notiek, bet prot iegūt rezultātu, piemēram, datoru programmās – baksta tikmēr, kamēr iegūst vajadzīgo rezultātu) un nevis uz izglītotu, laikmetam atbilstošu cilvēku sagatavošanu. Mēs, protams, varam saprast, ka tā ir ekonomiska parādība, bet, no otras puses, mums vajadzētu ieraudzīt, ka vispārējais darba ražīguma pieaugums ir atbrīvojis cilvēkus no fiziskā, vienmuļā mehāniskā darba, un mums ir parādījusies iespēja šos cilvēkus gatavot cilvēces globālo problēmu risināšanai (to jau rakstīja Markss). Dodot viņiem apmēram tādu apmācību, kādu dod Masks. Izskatās, ka paies laiks, kamēr jaunās atziņas, kuras pagaidām ir pieejamas tikai ASV elites cilvēkiem, nonāks līdz masu skolām. Mēs zinām, ka Amerika mums ir priekšā ne tikai ar sasniegumiem, bet arī ar problēmām, (piemēram, savējo šaušana, masu mākslas, kultūras, izglītības un ētikas degradācija), tās (problēmas) visupirms parādās pie viņiem, pēc tam pie mums. Tādēļ ir maz pamata domāt, ka šos ASV sasniegumus Eiropas un Latvijas izglītības sistēmas apgūs ātri – mēs pagaidām ‘apgūstam’ viņu problēmas. I.V. 

 

Posted in Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Trash instead of science and information

https://newscientist.com/article/mg23831830-300-consciousness-how-were-solving-a-mystery-bigger-than-our-minds/

What is being in love, feeling pain or seeing colour made of? How our brains make conscious experience has long been a riddle – but we’re uncovering clues

Consciousness is truly mysterious. It is the essence of you – the redness of red, the feeling of being in love, the sensation of pain and all the rest of your subjective experiences, conjured up somehow by your brain. Back then, its elusive nature meant that many believed it wasn’t even a valid subject for scientific investigation.

How your brain creates the feeling of being is the biggest problem in neuroscience. But we are coming closer to cracking it

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Notice: they never define, never say what is consciousness, if something, then: it is a mystery, the biggest problem, nobody knows, and so on. (The main definitions are in AI, Engineering Approach). All our culture is floodded with desinformation and cheap money-making. Even in the best scientific articles, e.g.,  Lyle N. Long, Troy D. Kelley, Eric S. Avery, An Emotion and Temperament Model for Cognitive Mobile Robots authors don’t define all notions. Why? If you don’t define what you are talking about, then it is possible to say anything: nobody can doubt or deny it. 

Sadly. I.V. 

Posted in Common, Happiness and Quality of Life | Leave a comment

Mums bērnus neizglābt ar plakātiem un dziesmām

Smaidam: 

Bij aizdomas, bet nu jau zinu tieši:
pie varas vecie labie ‘komjaunieši’.
Reiz vajāja tie, sludinot: mēs brāļi…
Nu brālību šo kūrē liberāļi.

Nu planetāra viņu ‘kompartija’.
Daudz globālāka, nekā Kremlim bija.
Ir viņiem viņu ‘komjauniešu’ masa,
kas domāt liek, kā ‘kompartija’ prasa.

Ne sarkanais – tiem varavīksne plīvo.
Tiem neder, ja kā cilvēks tu vēl dzīvo.
Tiem maksā uzņēmēji, politiķi lobē.
Tie zin, ka vergi neprotestēs skrobē.

Tie zin, ka katram liels vai mazs ir kredīts.
Ka parādnieks – kā līķis neapbedīts.
Ka tautas pretošanās dzīvā jauda
dziest elka priekšā, kura vārds ir Nauda.

Tiem kalpo Linkedin-i, Google-s, Instagram-i –
vispubliskākie masu prieka nami.
Ne Ņujorku vien, Londonu vai Rīgu –
tie visu visur dara vienveidīgu.

Tiem komponisti, mākslinieki klanās.
Ir Satori Lv, kur tādi ganās.
Ir galma rakstnieki šo dibenbrāļu pusē.
Par viņiem raksta, guļ ar tiem un tusē.

Kopš Atmodas šo plānu kūrē cieši
gan padlaiku, gan jaunie ‘komjaunieši’.
Un tauta pati visos sasaukumos
no jauna ievēl mīkstos, zilos, glumos.

Ja varētu, tie tikai praidos ietu
un godā celtu tikai vienu vietu.
Bet jābalso par tiem būs atkal taču.
Tik tāpēc valstī svētku daudz, lai mazāk traču.

Lai gan nekas te nepieder vairs pašiem,
lai gan viss tirgots tiek par Jūdas grašiem,
lai gan pat Lats guļ kapiņos, kā zinām,
ik gadu Neatkarību sev atgādinām.

Ne senču tikumam, ne Dievam kalpot spējam.
Sen visu to tik svētkos imitējam.
Pēc Mežaparka asariņas, vaida,
tiek masas lēmētas, lai jaunu praidu gaida.

Sēž korķos tauta, svešās zemēs ganās.
Mīt WhatsApp-ā, jo mūžam jāsazvanās.
Ir sēru, gaviļu un sporta dienas,
bet Feisbuks galā visus liek pie sienas.

Sen tautas domas plašsaziņa stellē.
Liek internets tai aizmirsties šai ellē.
Liek Sodomā tai justies pozitīvi.
Lieki baudīt atkarības, dēvējot par dzīvi.

Liek bērnus audzināt ar dēmonisku vaļu.
Lai tetovē un pīrsingo kā gaļu.
Lai pārguļ agri, bojā iet lai jauni.
Lai stulbina tos elki, modes klauni.

Ir krāsainība pārcelta zem jostas.
Nu zonas intīmās tiek pušķotas un postas.
Ir vīri femīni, bet sievas maskulīnas.
Ir gejiem bārdas, pensionārēm – džīnas.

Viss nodots, degradēts par miesas kāri.
Klāj geju varavīksni eirotautām pāri.
Pat Latves simtgadi mums, latviešiem, par spīti
simt dienas apgānīs nu sodomīti.

Smīn bārdās baņķieri, smīn ierēdņi no VID-a,
smīn Saeimas naciķi un Vienotības fida.
Jo viss būs tā, kā ‘komjaunieši’ kūrēs –
caur Sodomu uz elli Latvi stūrēs.

Bet ja nu pēkšņi mainīsies te vara,
ja būs kas līdzīgs, kā te bij pie cara?
To arī zinu precīzi un tieši –
to apkalpos tie paši ‘komjaunieši’.

Ja citi karogi būs varas mastiem,
ja zīmēties te liegts būs pederastiem,
tie paši vecie ‘komjaunieši’ brāļi
būs dedzīgākie tradicionāļi.

Pat kultūrļaudis nemuks projām alpos,
tie jaunai varai piemēroti kalpos.
Bet pagaidām viss tā, kā min to dzeja:
100 dienu praids un dibens – laika seja.

Sen piegriezies man sociāli rīmēt.
Sen gribētu vien japāniski zīmēt.
Bet Latves karogs, tik daudz sāpēs tērēts,
nu simtgadē ar praida mēsliem smērēts.

No apgānītās varavīksnes briesmām
Mums bērnus neizglābt ar plakātiem un dziesmām.

Kaspars Dimiters
/09.06.2018/

Avots:
http://kasparsdimiters.lv/

Posted in Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Frīdrihs Šillers par zinātni, vēstures būtību un tās mācīšanos

Visi iepriekšējie gadsimti, neapzinoties to vai nesasniedzot mērķi, strādāja, lai paceltos līdz mūsu cilvēciskajam gadsimtam. Visas bagātības, kuras ir iegūtas ar darbu un talantu, saprātu un pieredzi visā pasaules eksistences laikā, gala beigās pieder mums. Tikai vēsture spēj iemācīt jūs pareizi novērtēt tos labumus, ko mēs nenovērtējam tikai tāpēc, ka mēs pie tiem esam pieraduši un esam saņēmuši tos bez cīņas; bet visa cita starpā par šiem labumiem ir samaksāts ar labāko un cēlāko cilvēku asinīm un to panākšanai bija nepieciešams daudzu paaudžu smags darbs! Un kurš no jums, kam ir skaidrs prāts un jūtīga sirds, var atcerēties par šo dižo pakalpojumu bez slepenas vēlēšanās atmaksāt nākamajai paaudzei šo parādu, kuru iepriekšējai paaudzei atdot vairs nav iespējams! Mums ir jādeg cēlā tieksmē dot arī mūsu devumu tam bagātīgajam patiesības, tikumības un brīvības mantojumam, ko mēs saņēmām no pagātnes, un pavairotu to nodot nākamajām paaudzēm, un nostiprināt mūsu īslaicīgo eksistenci ar to ķēdi, ar kuru savā starpā ir saistītas visas cilvēces paaudzes. Lai cik arī dažāds nebūtu tas aicinājums, kurš jūs gaida pilsoniskajā sabiedrībā, katrs no jums var dot savu devumu šai lietā. Katrs nopelns, tas ir ceļš uz nemirstību, uz to īsto nemirstību, kad darbības lauks [jeb “lieta” – krieviski “delo”] turpina dzīvot un tiecas tālumā pat tad, kad tā aizsācēja vārds jau ir nodevies aizmirstībai.

Nožēlojams ir tāds cilvēks: viņa rīcībā esot tik cēlam ierocim – zinātnei un mākslai, viņš netiecas radīt un nerada neko augstāku, kā parasts strādnieks ar saviem visparastākajiem darba rīkiem, un vispilnīgākās brīvības valstībā velk līdzi savu verdzisko dvēseli! Bet vēl daudz nožēlojamāks ir tas talantīgais jaunais cilvēks, kura brīnišķīgās dabīgās spējas, kaitīgu dzīves piemēru iespaidā, tiek ievirzītas šajā maldīgajā un nožēlojamā ceļā, cilvēks, kurš ļauj sevi nosliekt uz šo nederīgo un skopo uzkrāšanu savas nākamās karjeras vārdā. Zinātne, kuru viņš izvēlējās kā savu nākamo specialitāti, drīz sāks viņam apnikt kā amatnieka gabaldarbs. Viņā mostas vēlmes, kuras nespēj apmierināt tāda zinātne, viņa talants saceļas pret tādu profesiju. Viss, ko viņš rada, viņam izliekas kā ne ar ko nesaistīti gabali; viņš neredz sava darba jēgu un šis bezmērķīgums viņam ir neizturams. Viņa profesijas pedantiskais darbs viņu nomoka, jo viņš tam nevar pretnostatīt priecīgo možumu, kuru rada tikai skaidrs nodoms un radošo pūliņu beigu nojausma. Viņš jūtas kā atrauts, nogriezts no visu lietu kopsakarības, jo neiekļāva savā darbības laukā visu pasaules veselumu. Juridisko zinātņu izzinātājs sāk just pretīgumu pret savu jurisprudenci, kad, sasniedzis augstāku prāta attīstības pakāpi, viņš redz visas jurisprudences problēmas, lai gan tieši tagad viņam būtu jātiecas radoši radīt ko jaunu un izlabot ievērotās nepilnības, izmantojot visu savu garīgo spēku pilnību. Ārsts sāk vilties savā profesijā, kad lielas neveiksmes viņam pierāda visu medicīnas ierobežotību. Teologs zaudē uzticību savai sistēmai, kad viņš sāk zaudēt ticību par viņa mācības pareizību.

https://infoagentura.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/fridrihs-sillers-par-zinatni-vestures-butibu-un-tas-macisanos-ko-tas-nozime-macities-visparejo-pasaules-vesturi-un-kads-ir-sis-macisanas-merkis-ievadlekcija/

Šeit 3 lietas redzu. 1. lekcija raksturo laikmetu, kurā ‘pazuda arī barbariski noziegumi’:

“Kopš likumi ir nonākuši līdz cilvēku vājībām, cilvēks nāk pretī likumam. Atmaigstot likumiem atmaigst arī cilvēki, līdzīgi kā kādreiz skarbie likumi padarīja cilvēkus skarbus. Līdz ar barbarisku sodu pazušanu, pazuda arī barbariski noziegumi. Dižais solis cilvēka cilvēciskošanā izpaužas apstāklī, ka likumi jau ir tikumības gara pilni, lai gan paši cilvēki vēl nav. Kad cilvēks tiek atbrīvots no pienākuma piespiedu kārtā, tad viņā sāk valdīt tikumiskā daļa. Tas, kurš nebaidās no nekādiem sodiem un sirdsapziņas pārmetumiem, to sāk saturēt piedienības un goda likumi.”

Autors gan atzīst, ka ‘likumi jau ir tikumības gara pilni, lai gan paši cilvēki vēl nav‘, bet mēs šodien redzam tālāk (tāpēc, ka mēs dzīvojam citā laikmetā): barbariski noziegumi šķiet, ir vairojušies… 

Autors mums rāda (šodienas un sava) laikmeta nezināšanu: “Līdz ar barbarisku sodu pazušanu, pazuda arī barbariski noziegumi”. Mēs zinām, ka evolūcija to neapstiprina, bet sistemātiski lieto savu galveno ieroci – nāves sodu. Pat pret tiem, kas nav pārkāpuši, bet tikai … nezin. 

2. Mūsu žurnālos lasām, cik grūts ir darbs, kā tas nomoka, kā no tā vajag atslēgties, atpūsties, izklaidēties…

“Viss, ko viņš rada, viņam izliekas kā ne ar ko nesaistīti gabali; viņš neredz sava darba jēgu un šis bezmērķīgums viņam ir neizturams. Viņa profesijas pedantiskais darbs viņu nomoka, jo viņš tam nevar pretnostatīt priecīgo možumu, kuru rada tikai skaidrs nodoms un radošo pūliņu beigu nojausma.”

Es noteikti zinu, ka vēl ir arī tādas darba vietas, kur cilvēki gūst prieku, kur darbu dara ar patiku, mājās nākot cilvēks jūt piepildījumu un gandarījumu, uz darbu nākošā dienā iet ar patiku. Slēdziens? Nestrādājiet darbu, kurš jums nepatīk. Diemžēl, ne vienmēr tas tik viegli izpildāms. 

3. “Mums ir jādeg cēlā tieksmē dot arī mūsu devumu tam bagātīgajam patiesības, tikumības un brīvības mantojumam, ko mēs saņēmām no pagātnes, un pavairotu to nodot nākamajām paaudzēm, un nostiprināt mūsu īslaicīgo eksistenci ar to ķēdi, ar kuru savā starpā ir saistītas visas cilvēces paaudzes.”

Tā vien šķiet, ka mūsdienu sabiedrībā spēja dzīvot ar jēgu, apzinoties no iepriekšējām paaudzēm saņemto un jūtot pienākumu to uzturēt, pilnveidot un tālāk nodot, ir samazinājusies. Maija Kūle raksta, ka mūsu laikmetā, ja reliģija atmesta, vērtību vairs nav…Ja neredz savas eksistences kosmisko jēgu, tad vismaz to – iepriekšējo paaudžu sasniegumu tālāknodošanu – vajadzētu redzēt. 

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life | Leave a comment

How to get empowered, not overpowered by AI

Before to talk about getting overpowered by AI we should make clear for ourselves: how, in what way AI will be smarter as us. We are emotion machines (Marwin Minsky), how future robots will create a smart balance between emotions, reason, and values?
Our behavior is mostly determined by emotions. If we want to create humanlike robots in a field of decisions and behavior we have to create two systems: emotion driven and reason-driven behavior. How to create a smart balance between them?
There are only two ways: programming emotions, reason, values and balance between them (how to program: Lyle N. Long An Emotion and Temperament Model for Cognitive Mobile Robots), and, raising created robots in some human society or schools. We must realize that preprogrammed robots (at least at the beginning) will be rather far away from contemporary humans and their values. IMHO the only way to create humanlike robots with higher intelligence is to teach them in a human society. Why? Because the only way to acquire, to create values in human mind is via own, personal experience. In order to create realistic external world models (Nancy Cartwright) and understand the real world (this means to predict what will happen) and human society, the only way is personal experience: to the every event emotions, body movements, touch, visual, audio, smell experience must be connected. In other words: to understand the world and human society, robot must have a personal experience  connected with the current moment. (Remember, L. Witgenstein said that full understanding between people via language is impossible).

Can we teach, create robots better as we are? Is it possible to someone teach the language we don’t know ourselves? Of course, you can say that these highly intelligent robots will read the whole internet. But: it is impossible to fully understand the issues you have not experienced by yourself. For robots is the same. This means: teaching highly intelligent humanlike robots will take time not less than teaching our children. If we can’t solve so called global problems, how we can teach this to robots? We can only hope that after some time they will be better as us. Overpowered? If we teach them (to overpower us) they will do. I.V.

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Human Evolution | Leave a comment

New Dark Age

As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world. In actual fact, we are lost in a sea of information: despite its accessibility, we’re living in a new Dark Age.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-dark-age-with-james-bridle-virtual-futures-salon-tickets-46717921561

“the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes”. True. 

“our existence is understandable through computation”. Our existence is understandable through investigation of facts and thinking.

“more data is enough to help us build a better world.” To build a better world we need to realize, to formulate and use the basic laws describing our existence. 

“we are lost in a sea of information”. We are lost in a sea of dezinformation. 

“we’re living in a new Dark Age.” True. I.V. 

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

Life is suffering, art is supreme – not anymore

Life,’ Arthur Schopenhauer wrote in a typical mood in 1818, ‘is deeply steeped in suffering, and cannot escape from it; our entrance into it takes place amid tears, at bottom its course is always tragic, and its end is even more so:

https://aeon.co/videos/the-intellectual-legacy-of-philosophys-greatest-pessimist-life-is-suffering-art-is-supreme?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=574e66bb0c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_06_06_11_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-574e66bb0c-68643017

Not anymore. Time of not knowing has passed. Today we know: we are biological information processing systems (IPS)  subjected to some laws we can learn, understand, and manage and change ourselves. Basically we are Emotion machines (see Marwin Minsky), knowingly (and not) we are doomed to follow and indulge to our genetic heritage: basic survival needs, social needs (self-assertion and social role, see, for example, E.O. Wilson, On Human Nature) yearning for something higher than daily avails, and satisfaction for sating these needs. Today we can rise above ourselves, to get aware of forces driving us, and manage our lives. Managing needs understanding, understanding is possible only when we create real models of external world and ourselves. This is possible if we search, think,  and learn. 

A bit broader view. In order to achieve goal directed development, all conscious machines need rewards and punishments (reinforced learning). From his own experience every indivudual creates values which guide behavior. Homo sapiens reward and punishment system is a result of random evolutionary events, it is not optimal. While we can’t transfer and reprogram our consciousness and send it to AI devices, for the current time the only option is: we have to and can learn to understand and change, reprogram ourselves as we are now. This is called the art of life. It is not simple and easy, this change will take many generations and probably  some extinctions. 

Pagaidām, kamēr mēs neesam iemācījušies savas smadzenes programmēt tā, kā programmējam datorus, mums jālieto pieejamos un zināmos paņēmienus. Ciešanas, sāpes un bojāeja vairs nav neizbēgama nolemtība (kā Šopenhauera laikos), šodien tā ir neprasme un nezināšana. Mūsu smadzenes rada, izveido pasakaini skaistu izdomātu pasauli, kuras esamību un patiesīgumu reālās dzīves notikumi brīžiem pat apstiprina. Mēs, dažu ārējās pasaules notikumu ierosināti, iztēlojam, izveidojam, tā mums šķiet, nemaldīgu priekšstatu par to, cik skaisti tas būs, un … rīkojamies saskaņā ar to. To apstiprina zināmi fakti – 50 % šķirto laulību, kuru dalībnieki meklē to īsto – labāku, pilnīgāku, skaistāku. Vai atrod? Daļēji, dažreiz vairāk, citreiz mazāk. Daži neatrod, un visu dzīvi pavada meklējot. Kas ir tie, kas atrod? Izrādās, dažreiz, pat to nezinot, mēs esam izauguši un tās mīlestības valodas (skat. Garry Chapman, The 5 Languages of Love) labāk iemācījušies, un tādēļ nākošajai reizei labāk sagatavoti. 

Skatoties tam pāri, varam ieraudzīt, ka evolūcija mums iedevusi smadzenes, kuras mūs brīžiem paceļ debesīs, bet gandrīz vienmēr izrādās, ka tās mūs mānījušas (ja to nezin, tad nonāk pie Šopenhauera secinājumiem), radījušas, izveidojušas pasaules un nākotnes vīzijas, kādu realitātē nav un nevar būt. Tādēļ, ka tas otrs un mēs paši, mēs neesam tādi, kādus smadzenes mums to iztēlojušas, bet reāli, ar vajadzībām, īpašībām un balvām, kuras jāpēta, jāzin un pareizi jāizmanto.  Tādēļ tiem, kuri iemācās sevi un otru redzēt, iepazīt un pieņemt tādu, kāds tas ir, nav jāšķiras. Bet, protams, ir izņēmumi. 

Vai tas nozīmē, ka mums dzīves pamatā jāliek atziņa, ka smadzenes mūs maldina? Nē, nebūt nē. Ja tāds brīdis kādam gadās, tad ir pareizi noticēt lielā brīnuma un laimes sajūtai: to mums iedod gēnos ieliktā pieredze, kas veidota tūkstošu iepriekšējo paaudžu laikā. Laimi vajag pieņemt, bet: tā ir kā brīnumputns, kuru ar nemākulīgu rīcību viegli aizbaidīt. 

Vai cilvēki kādreiz iemācīsies veidot laimīgāku dzīvi, cik tālu vēl ir, cik ilgi vēl jāgaida?  Tad, kad skolās kā galveno priekšmetu mācīs mūsu smadzeņu uzbūvi un darbības īpatnības, tad varēsim teikt, ka esam sākuši iet tajā virzienā. 

 

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

In pain after a breakup? These three strategies can help you ease the suffering, study shows

The higher you rise, the harder you fall. With love being one of the most powerful emotions we feel, its end can bring some of the most heartwrenching moments we ever experience. After a particularly painful breakup, it’s hard to believe you’ll ever recover. Persistent and pervasive feelings of depression, anxiety, exhaustion, insomnia, and loss of appetite are all common in the recently-brokenhearted. Perhaps most infuriating — in my experience, at least — is when people tell you that it will get better in time. It just feels like a hollow pat on the back that doesn’t actually fix anything.

The study included 24 participants aged between 20 and 37 who had recently ended long-term relationships (average length 2.5 years) and who were — quite understandably — quite distressed. They were asked to try out several cognitive strategies to help them recover:

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

The Age of Perplexity: Rethinking the World we Knew

The technological revolution and globalization have opened up an “age of perplexity”: Perplexity in the face of changes that affect not only our lives, but the future of humanity and for which we don’t have guidelines or instructions to operate with.

23 leading academics and specialists analyze the great challenges and opportunities offered by the advances in science and technology and how they affect the economy, politics, society and our daily lives.

Download the book for free

The technological revolution we are living – the most accelerated in history – is generating transformations that affect the future of humanity. Those that seemed fundamental constants of the human species: their physical and mental capacities, their longevity … etc., are now to be defined. All this has opened what this book calls “the era of perplexity”, before changes for which we do not have guides or even less recipes to act.

The impact of globalization, of technological progress and of the insecurity that they cause is reflected in people’s decisions, and by the path that our society is following. This path that will decide our future, in the sense that it will determine our capability of facing the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities offered up by the advances in science and technology.

In this book, we look at generalized subjects, taking in the transformation that computing and the greater availability of information brings to our perceptions and understanding of things, and in the social imaginaries, that shape our attitudes and reactions to the events that we observe.
All this underpins the changes in politics we are witnessing, the appearance of populist movements or, more generally, the lack of commitment or disaffection with political institutions and the values that support the existing democracies. In these arenas, the new digital media, new types of digital political activism, and the rise of movements that question the dominant economic and political paradigm all play a key role.

From this base, we look at which are the most suitable economic policies and forms of organization for harnessing the potential of the digital revolution, and also for minimizing the risks of a society with increasing inequality, with a huge number of jobs taken over by machines, or even the loss of control of individual or collective decisions.

This technological revolution will undoubtedly require a complex transition process, but we also have before us a wonderful opportunity to better tend to the needs and demands of people: with more growth, jobs and a fairer distribution of wealth, and a richer and fuller life for the whole of humanity.

 

“tend to the needs and demands of people: with more growth, jobs and a fairer distribution of wealth, and a richer and fuller life for the whole of humanity.”

will not work. If not forced, nobody will support ‘a fairer distribution of wealth’ or other slogans. Why? Because they are contrary to the basic human nature. If we want to survive, radical and fundamental changes are completely necessary: restriction of the number of people, restriction of consumption and damage to environment, new morality and values. Humanity is not ready for these changes. I.V. 

Posted in Are We doomed?, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Science and Pseudoscience

BY HARRIET HALL, M.D.

We live in a post-truth, anti-intellectual world where intuition, “common sense,” and fake news are often preferred to scientific evidence, and where pseudoscience is often presented as valid science. Assuming that truth exists and is worth searching for, and that science is our most reliable tool in that search, how can we identify pseudoscience and combat it effectively?

In the first chapter, David Hecht argues that understanding pseudoscience is as important as debunking it. Science and pseudoscience are opposite ends of one spectrum; we can easily identify the extremes, but there is no clear line separating them. Pseudoscientific beliefs are not as random or indefensible as they seem, and science is not as objective and detached as we like to think. Science is powerful but imperfect; and until we understand its limitations, we shouldn’t condemn those who choose not to trust it. We must avoid dogmatism and remember that scientific knowledge is always provisional.

In the final chapter, “Truth Shall Prevail,” Paul Joseph Barnett and James C. Kaufman stress that scientists are searching for the truth, sometimes at great personal cost. “Humility, or a reticence to speak in absolutes, is the single greatest distinction between the sides of pseudoscience and evidence-based science.” They add, “Responding to pseudoscience takes its toll. Scientists get frustrated when they have to repeat facts, refute the same fallacious arguments, and end up in defensive positions because their detractors are not bound to the same rules. Like nuisance lawsuits, pseudoscience rarely plays to win; the goal is simply not to lose. Getting people to doubt science counts as a victory.”

We clearly have our work cut out for us, but truth will prevail in the end. In a foreword, psychologist Scott Lilienfeld summarizes the valuable lessons in this book:

  1. We are all subject to cognitive biases.
  2. We are largely unaware of our biases.
  3. Science is a systematic set of safeguards against biases.
  4. Scientific thinking doesn’t come naturally to humans.
  5. Scientific thinking is exasperatingly domain-specific. Even Nobel Prize winners can fall prey to pseudoscience in fields outside their area of expertise.
  6. Pseudoscience and science lie on a spectrum.
  7. Pseudoscience is characterized by a set of fallible, but useful, warning signs such as an absence of self-correction, overuse of ad hoc maneuvers to immunize claims from refutation, use of scientific-sounding but vacuous language, extraordinary claims in the absence of compelling evidence, over-reliance on anecdotal and testimonial assertions, avoidance of peer review, etc.
  8. Scientific claims can be wrong. Pseudoscientific claims differ from erroneous claims in that they are deceptive: they appear to be scientific, but they are not.
  9. Scientific and pseudoscientific thinking are cut from the same basic psychological cloth. Heuristics (mental shortcuts or rules of thumb) are invaluable in everyday life, but when misapplied they can lead to mistaken conclusions.
  10. Skepticism differs from cynicism. Skeptics must guard against dismissing implausible claims out of disconfirmation bias.
Pseudoscience: The Conspiracy Against Science (book cover)
No comment. I.V. 
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О «самом гениальном изобретении»

«Самое гениальное изобретение … Бога  – это смерть. И если бы не было смерти, вообще, мне кажется, ничего бы не было. Мы бы не развивались. А когда ты живешь и каждый день ты думаешь: может быть, сегодня – твой последний день… А может быть, сегодня я буду вечером кататься с друзьями по каналу Мойки, я упаду и там утону,… и ты начинаешь жить по-другому. Ты понимаешь, что ты должен что-то после себя оставить. Ты должен что-то изменить. Ты должен сделать какой-то героический поступок. Ты должен поменять мир. Я считаю, что мы, «Тинькофф банк», поменяли мир <…> Мы поменяли банковский мир. Уже можно умирать мне».

Cilvēku vairākumam, lai ieraudzītu savas dzīves jēgu, iespējas, uzdevumu un pienākumu, izrādās, vajadzīgs stiprs stimuls – priekšāstāvošās nāves apziņa. Smaidot varam teikt, ka Dievs gudri darījis: kamēr viņi nav ieraudzījuši savu eksistenci liela laika mērogā, tikmēr, lai viņi rīkotos kaut cik mērķtiecīgi, viņiem jādod īslaicīgu dzīvi un nāves apziņu (tas gan nesakrīt ar paradīzes stāstu, kurā Dievs viņiem atņēmu mūžīgu dzīvību par to, ka viņi bija ieguvuši apziņu, sākuši sevi apzināties). Tad, kad viņi iemācīsies redzēt sevi kā Visuma apziņas daļu, nesēju un veidotāju, tad tā nāve, tas īsais mūžs, kādu pazīstam šodien, viņiem vairs nebūs vajadzīgs. Tā arī ir: apziņas pārnese uz citu fizikālu vidi (Genaral Artificial Intelligence GAI izveidošana) īsā dzīveslaika neizbēgamību atcels. Turpinot smaidošo reliģijas pavedienu, varam teikt, ka viņi iegūs mūžīgu dzīvību, gan šaurākā nozīmē, salīdzinot ar pašreizējo Homo sapiens dzīveslaiku. Plašākā, kosmoloģiskā skatījumā, protams, par neierobežotu jeb mūžīgu dzīvi nevar runāt – šodien mums nav zināmi neierobežoti ilgi kosmoloģiski apstākļi, kas ļautu nepārtraukti veikt informācijas jaunradi un apziņas darbību. 

Galvenais (sakarīgas, pilnvērtīgas dzīves) kritērijs ir – iegūt iespēju nemirt tad, kad galvenie, svarīgākie apkārtējās pasaules un sevis modeļi ir izveidoti, ir parādījusies iespēja baudīt un lietot iegūtās izpratnes. Kā zinām, šodien Homo sapiens tādas iespējas nav: realitātei kaut cik atbilstoši sevis un ārējās pasaules modeļus indivīds izveido tikai mūža beigās vai, kā daudzi, neizveido nemaz. Ja mazliet citiem vārdiem – spēju padzīvot laimīgu dzīvi sasniedz nedaudzi.

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Kompetenču falsifikatori

Juris Paiders

http://nra.lv/latvija/izglitiba-karjera/juris-paiders-3/222451-kompetencu-falsifikatori.htm

raksta:

Latvijas skolās tūdaļ tiks īstenota radikāla reforma. Notiek masveidīga un visaptveroša pāreja uz jaunu  – kompetencēs balstītu – izglītības satura modeli.

Reformas kaislīgākais aizstāvis ir Valsts izglītības satura centra (VISC) direktors Guntars Catlaks, kurš apgalvo, ka «joprojām mūsu izglītības sistēma centrējas uz zināšanu pasniegšanu. Informāciju nodod un saņem lielā apmērā. Ir vāja saikne starp zināšanām, prasmēm un arī attieksmēm, un šo saikni maz izprot arī paši skolotāji» (http://www.lvportals.lv, 17.05.2016).

Vai tiešām reformas vienīgais mērķis ir latvju izglītības zemais līmenis? Patiesībā VISC priekšnieku intereses var nojaust uzzinot, ka VISC projektā Kompetenču pieeja mācību saturā tiek «apgūti» 14 miljoni eiro, no kuriem 11,9 miljoni ir ES finansējums. Ak, Dievs! Par 14 miljoniem daudzi ir gatavi tēvu un māti pārdot, tāpēc nebrīnāmies, ka, lai pamatotu tik lielas naudas apgūšanas, ir ilgi un skaļi jānomelno Latvijas skolu izglītības sistēma. Lai pamatotu 14 miljonu eiro iesūkšanu, ir jāgāž pār Latvijas skolu un skolotāju galvām desmitiem samazgu spaiņi. Tā kā VISC jau pierūkst iekšējo nomelnotāju resursu, tad talkā nāk Latvijas Bankas apmaksātie propagandisti. Latvijas Bankas ekonomists Mārtiņš Bitāns tikko izplatīja galveno argumentu, lai neviens netraucētu kompetenču reformatoriem iesūkt 12 miljonu no ES fondiem: «Izcilo skolēnu īpatsvars Latvijā ir divreiz mazāks nekā OECD valstīs vidēji un aptuveni trīs reizes atpaliek no mūsu kaimiņvalstīm. Tas kārtējo reizi apliecina, ka Latvijas vispārējās izglītības sistēma ir tendēta galvenokārt uz viduvēju, nevis izcilu rezultātu.»

Latvijas skolu sistēma ir tik pagrimusi, ka gals klāt! Tikai kompetenču reforma iedēstīs pirmās sēklas, lai no viduvējās skolēnu masas parādītos pirmie izcilības asni!

Es domāju, ka nopietnu problēmu nav. Mēs nejauši esam atbrīvojušies no vienas okupācijas un ieguvuši dažas priekšrocības un iespējas: brīvi pārvietoties, iegūt zināšanas un labāku ekonomisko stāvokli. Kopā ar Eiropas un ASV sasniegumiem pie mums atnākušas arī viņu problēmas: nav vērtību, ir tikai viedokļi, un daļēji neapzināta izdabāšana ģenētiski mantotajiem instinktiem. Sabiedrībā tas izpaužas taisnīguma un godīguma devalvācijā, aiz laipnības slēptā cinismā un egoismā un vienaldzīgā, cietsirdīgā sacensībā un vēl daudzās mūsu dzīves nozarēs. Šaurāk to mēs pieredzam izglītības degradācijā: mērķis nav zināšanas un varēšana, bet peļņa. Students nav skolnieks un līdzcilvēks, bet ir klients. Autors citē spožu VISC direktora izteikumu, kas labi raksturo to, kas notiek: ” Ir vāja saikne starp zināšanām, prasmēm un arī attieksmēm, un šo saikni maz izprot arī paši skolotāji.” Bet nevajag jau citātus. Sistēmas veidotā nosaukuma ‘Valsts izglītības satura centrs’ un līdzīgu nosaukumu rašanās labi aprakstīta Dž. Orvela darbos.
Izglītības uzdevums nav kaut kādas saiknes vai izglītības satura veidošana, bet ārējās pasaules modeļu veidošana indivīda apziņā. Kad indivīds domā, tad lieto šos modeļus, un tie ļauj paredzēt, prognozēt, kas notiks. Ja prognozes sakrīt ar ārējās pasaules notikumiem, mēs sakām, ka cilvēks saprot ārējo pasauli, spēj tajā orientēties, to veidot un vispārīgāk – izdzīvot. Ir izglītots. 
Es domāju, ka mācīšanās nav problēma, tai skaitā arī finansiāla. Internetā par velti var dabūt, lejuplādēt lābākās mācību grāmatas krievu un angļu valodās, tās tik kārtīgi jāstudē, jāmācās, un pēc tam var iet un kārtot eksāmenus. Tādas augstskolas ir (piemēram, Khan Academy). Šāda mācīšanās, protams, nav līdzīga izplatītajai. Cilvēks vairākus gadus neko citu nedara, tikai mācās. Ja vajag naudu, tad arī strādā. Bet neko citu. Viss brīvais laiks tikai mācībām. Vairākus gadus. Tā 2 gadu laikā var iemācīties valodu, matemātiku, fiziku un datorzinības. Kā? Parastā pieeja nederēs, vajag kaut ko no Plūdoņa Atraitnes dēla. Tam, kas spēj stāvēt pāri savam laikam un tā ‘problēmām’, tam problēmu nav. Es atvainojos par pozīciju, bet, ja es 3 gadus nebūtu tā darījis, tad man nebūtu tiesību tā rakstīt. 
Eiropas un ASV problēmas nevienam nav jāpieņem, bet katrs var paņemt to, kas tur ir derīgs. I.V.

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Dainis Vītols: Quo vadis, patria? (Kurp dodies, mana tēvzeme?) 2018.g.19.maijā Mai 20

https://tencinusarunas.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/dainis-vitols-quo-vadis-patria-kurp-dodies-mana-tevzeme-2018-g-19-maija/

Sapņotāji un citi godīgi cilvēki grib piedalīties un veidot labāku mūsu kopējo dzīvi. Tā, kā viņi prot savu iekšējo pasauli. Skaisti, lai viņiem veicas.
Ja gribam vairāk, tad jāierauga, ka valsts un tautas kopējo dzīvi veido visu indivīdu rīcība, kopā sasummēta, Nav iespējams iedot tautai brīvību, demokrātiju, godīgumu un sakārtotību, ja dominē to indivīdu daļa, kas to neprot. V. Pozners saka, ka Krievija to sasniegs, tam pietuvosies tikai pēc vairākām paaudzēm. Viņi, tāpat kā latvieši, neprata, nespēja aizliegt bijušajiem valsts un partijas funkcionāriem strādāt svarīgos valsts amatos. Tie ir tās sistēmas cilvēki, viņu domāšanu, vērtības, rīcību un pārliecību izveidoja padomju sistēma. Mēs redzam, ka tie, (piemēram, vācieši), kas prata nepielaist pie varas vecos sistēmas funkcionārus, mūs daudzās nozarēs apsteidz. Tas ir likumsakarīgi, un tur nekā nevar darīt. Pēc neatkarības atgūšanas man vairāki ārzemnieki teica: “Mr. Vilks, it will take at least one generation.”
Nav nekāda māksla paziņot, ka ‘tur nekā nevar darīt’. Galvenais ir jautājums: ko darīt tagad, tajā situācijā, kurā mēs esam? Kad Pozneram klausītāji jautā, ko darīt, viņš atbild: “Не надо писать в лифте!” Katram jāsāk ar sevi, un tikai tad, kad mēs visi būsim izmainījušies, būsim iemācījušies demokrātijas, kultūras un cilvēcības valodas, tikai tad mēs sasniegsim labklājību. Kā to darīt? Es domāju, ka vissvarīgākā ir izglītība, kas tās valodas māca. Mums vajadzīga ne tikai tāda izglītība, kāda pieejama labklājības valstīs, bet tāda, kas katru indivīdu gatavo dzīvei, palīdzot viņam ieraudzīt, ka mēs visi piedzimstam ar augu savācēju un mednieku cilšu ģenētisko mantojumu (ņemt vairāk, nekā tas izdzīvošanai nepieciešams, apliecināt sevi sociālās grupās, izpildīt darbības, kuras sagādā fizisku un emocionālu baudu), un veidosim sabiedrību, kurā šīs īpašības ne tikai ievēro, bet uz tām balstās (piemēram, privātā īpašumā esošās mājas un zemes cilvēki apkalpo, uztur un kopj labāk, nekā valsts īpašumā esošās, un vēl: jāierobežo cilvēku vēlmi ņemt arī tad, kad tas izdzīvošanas nodrošināšanai nav vajadzīgs). Tas nav vienkārši, mēs redzam, ka pašreizējās pasaules valstis un sabiedrības ne tuvu nespēj atrisināt t.s. globālos konfliktus (pašreizējā civilizācija gribot-negribot un dažreiz arī neapzinoties iznīcina savus un nākošo paaudžu izdzīvošanas apstākļus), un pat ne savējos, lokālos: viņi vienkārši iet bojā.
Ja gribam vairāk, tad mums vajadzēs pacelties sev pāri. Imants Vilks

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How To Be a Systems Thinker

Mary Catherine Bateson [4.17.18]

Until fairly recently, artificial intelligence didn’t learn. To create a machine that learns to think more efficiently was a big challenge. In the same sense, one of the things that I wonder about is how we’ll be able to teach a machine to know what it doesn’t know that it might need to know in order to address a particular issue productively and insightfully. This is a huge problem for human beings. It takes a while for us to learn to solve problems, and then it takes even longer for us to realize what we don’t know that we would need to know to solve a particular problem. 

The tragedy of the cybernetic revolution, which had two phases, the computer science side and the systems theory side, has been the neglect of the systems theory side of it. We chose marketable gadgets in preference to a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

MARY CATHERINE BATESON is a writer and cultural anthropologist. In 2004 she retired from her position as Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University, and is now Professor Emerita. Mary Catherine Bateson’s Edge Bio

Very very reasonable. What is missing? IMHO:

  1. Values. Contemporary science has abandoned religions, and with the dirty water we throve out the child. We, people, need, our genetic heritage demands something higher than daily existence, and we have lost it. Values are saved only in families (deep, rich love and reasonable way of life), small communities and religions. With the first the problem is that they are local, but the problem with religion is that it simply is not true, it is not based on reality.
  2. Understanding. To understand means to create the model of the system and use it in order to predict what will happen. If the predictions are correct, we say that we understand the process. Understanding is abandoned, it is replaced by behavioral and thinking templates: “We chose marketable gadgets in preference to a deeper understanding of the world we live in.” I.V. 

 

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Profesionālās izglītības kompetences centrs – muļķība vai sazvērestība?

Maija Kūle grāmatā ‘Eirodzīve’ raksta, ka viņa problēmu izpratnē priekšroku dod nevis sazvērestības teorijām, bet vienkāršam skaidrojumam: daudzu procesu pamatā ir nevis kādas sazvērestības, bet vienkārša muļķība. Droši vien, ka daudzos gadījumos tā arī ir, bet es domāju, ka vēl ir tādi gadījumi, kas kādam (cilvēkiem vai sociālai grupai) ir izdevīgi. Kad RTK sastapos ar to, ka students pie diplomdarba aizstāvēšanas nezin pateikt, ko viņš ir izgatavojis, un kā tas darbojas (un dažreiz arī nedarbojas), un eksāmenu komisijas locekļi studenta darbu novērtē, skatoties un rēķinot, lai viņš tomēr saņemtu minimālo pozitīvo vērtējumu, tad ieraudzīju, ka tā ir sociāla parādība: augsts zināšanu un prasību līmenis vairākumam dalībnieku nav vajadzīgs.

1. Apstākļos, kad elektroniskās ierīces miljonu eksemplāros izgatavo roboti, inženieri-projektētāji vajadzīgi 100-1000 reizes mazākā skaitā, nekā pirms 30-50 gadiem. Ražotājiem vajadzīgi ierīču uzraugi un apkalpotāji, bet kvalificēti inženieri-konstruktori, kam daudz jāmaksā (kas prot izrēķināt un zin, kas iznāks un kā tas strādās) vajadzīgi reti.
2. Studentiem tādas teorētiskās zināšanas, kādas dažreiz cenšas iedot RTK pasniedzēji, vajadzīgas tikai interesei un patikai, bet darba vietā – ne. Tādēļ mācās tā, lai saprastu, kādi 10-20%. Pārējie mācās tādēļ, lai iegūtu papīru, bez kura darbā neņem.
3. Mācību un t.s. vadošajās iestādēs pakāpeniski iekļūst cilvēki, kas mācāmo priekšmetu zin vāji (Einšteins teica, ka tādēļ neprot paskaidrot), bet izveido vai atbalsta tādu vērtēšanas sistēmu, kura neprasa procesu izpratni, bet ļauj uzminēt pareizu atbildi: ja uz eksāmena jautājumu ir piecas iespējamās atbildes, tad pilnīgi bez jebkādām zināšanām iespējams iegūt 20% pareizas atbildes. Ja studenta atmiņā ir kādas gadījuma atmiņas par terminu saistību, tad pareizo atbilžu skaitu var palielināt līdz 30-40%.
4. Mācību iestādes kritērijs: rīkoties tā (izveidot vērtēšanas kritērijus, likt tādas atzīmes), lai studentu skaits nesamazinātos tā, ka skolu (fakultāti vai kursu) likvidē un pasniedzēji un darbinieki pārvēršas par bezdarbniekiem.
Imants Vilks
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