What Intelligent Machines Need to Learn From the Neocortex

By JEFF HAWKINS

Posted 2 Jun 2017 | 15:00 GMT

Machines won’t become intelligent unless they incorporate certain features of the human brain. Here are three of them

Computers have transformed work and play, transportation and medicine, entertainment and sports. Yet for all their power, these machines still cannot perform simple tasks that a child can do, such as navigating an unknown room or using a pencil.

The solution is finally coming within reach. It will emerge from the intersection of two major pursuits: the reverse engineering of the brain and the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence. Over the next 20 years, these two pursuits will combine to usher in a new epoch of intelligent machines.

Why do we need to know how the brain works to build intelligent machines? Although machine-learning techniques such as deep neural networks have recently made impressive gains, they are still a world away from being intelligent, from being able to understand and act in the world the way that we do. The only example of intelligence, of the ability to learn from the world, to plan and to execute, is the brain. Therefore, we must understand the principles underlying human intelligence and use them to guide us in the development of truly intelligent machines.

More: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/what-intelligent-machines-need-to-learn-from-the-neocortex

http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/imaging/from-macro-to-micro-a-visual-guide-to-the-brain

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/can-we-copy-the-brain

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/can-we-quantify-machine-consciousness

There are good science articles, and there is science-like trash. I will let to the reader to determine. I.V. 

Posted in Artificial Intelligence | Leave a comment

Non-science or trash

https://aeon.co/essays/delayed-orgasm-the-sexual-technique-thats-better-than-sex?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a02c43dcf-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-4a02c43dcf-68643017

Fari Amini & others in their ‘The general Theory of Love’ show persuasively how the nearly sacred infatuation and attachment works for all mammals. Helen Fisher, Ph.D, writes that this infatuation is necessary: it gives to us the ability to endure our mate for all remaining life. What has this ‘campaign’ common with human values? 

https://aeon.co/essays/why-is-the-language-of-transhumanists-and-religion-so-similar?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a02c43dcf-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-4a02c43dcf-68643017: 

“The prospect creating an AI invites us to ask about the purpose and meaning of being human: what a human is for in a world where we are not the only workers, not the only thinkers, not the only conscious agents shaping our destiny.”

We know that we are descendants of primates, who have created superstitions and science, and this science teaches us that we are the only workers, thinkers and conscious agents shaping our destiny. Refusing from it is suicidal. I.V. 

 

 

 

Posted in Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species

Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer, SpaceX, Hawthorne, California.

By talking about the SpaceX Mars architecture, I want to make Mars seem possible—make it seem as though it is something that we can do in our lifetime. There really is a way that anyone could go if they wanted to.

WHY GO ANYWHERE?

I think there are really two fundamental paths. History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event. I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event.

The alternative is to become a space-bearing civilization and a multi-planetary species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go. So how do we figure out how to take you to Mars and create a self-sustaining city—a city that is not merely an outpost but which can become a planet in its own right, allowing us to become a truly multi-planetary species?

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=forums&srcid=MTQzNzcxMjY3Mjc4NDExMzc1NzgBMDk1MzA5Njg4NTMwODMxNzA2MTYBcVJ2MGNiT2VCUUFKATAuMQEBdjI

Posted in Cosmology | Leave a comment

Как воровали в СССР

Вопреки расхожему мнению, на бытовом уровне в СССР воровство существовало повсеместно, но при этом среди самих мелких воришек таковым не считалось.

http://maxim-nm.livejournal.com/331398.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=02_06_weekly&media

например обвесить в магазине или изменить состав блюд в общепите, принести с завода пару подшипников, слить десятка два литров соляры на автобазе — это встречалось сплошь и рядом и не считалось чем-то зазорным. Отчего так происходило? Во-первых, от всеобщей бедности, равно размазанной по всем слоям общества. Во-вторых — из-за всеобщего дефицита необходимых товаров и услуг. Прокладки для сантехники всегда были у “своего” слесаря (которые тот спер где-то на складе), нужные запчасти для автомобиля (которых не было в автомагазинах) чудом находились у “своего” автомеханика. Можно сказать, что такая “низовая коррупция” является практически неизбежной в бедных странах, при этом внутри самого общества она не считается чем-то зазорным, люди просто выживают как умеют.

И третья составляющая такого воровства — это отсутствие частной собственности как таковой, в широком понимании этого слова. Фраза “всё вокруг колхозное, всё вокруг ничьё” очень хорошо характеризует ситуацию тех лет — взять “ничьи” дрова или “ничей” металлолом считалось почти нормой и вроде как даже и не воровством.

Pamatā, cilvēku nospiedošais vairākums ir godīgi un kārtīgi. Apzināti slikti, tādi, kas par sevi tā arī domā: es esmu zaglis, es esmu blēdis, tādu ir maz. Visbiežāk cilvēki zog tad, kad iekšējā taisnīguma izjūta to atļauj, kad zagšanu attaisno ar domu, ka es nezogu, bet izlīdzinu man vai citiem nodarītu netaisnību. Saskaņā ar šo sajūtu netaisnību mums nodarījusi valsts, retāk – līdzpilsoņi.

To cilvēku, kuri ņem kukuļus, apzog valsti un sabiedrību, to cilvēku vairākums tā rīkojas nevis ar domu, ka viņi dara slikti, ir negodīgi, ir zagļi, bet gan ar domu, ka ar savu rīcību viņi izlīdzina viņiem nodarītu netaisnību (protams, vēl ir daudzas citas pozīcijas, piemēram, ‘visi tā dara’, ‘tur nekā nevar darīt, tādēļ man arī jāņem’): valsts nerūpējas par patiesu godīgumu, valsts pieļauj, ka nesodīti zog (piemēram, paši piešķir sev nepamatoti lielas algas, u.t.t.) politiķi, biznesmeņi, dažādu iestāžu darbinieki, tad kāpēc lai es neņemtu? To redzam sākumā dotajā piemērā: padomju valsts deva pietiekoši daudz iemeslu uzskatīt, ka valsts cilvēku ir apzagusi, ka sistēma ir netaisnīga. Diemžēl, daudzas mūsdienu sabiedrības nepārprotami tuvojas šai vēstures situācijai.

Mazāk skarbs, bet visai masveidīgs ‘taisnīguma atjaunošanas’ paņēmiens ir nodokļu nemaksāšana. Dažreiz valsts saimnieciskai darbībai ir radījusi tik lielus nodokļus un tik mazus nemaksāšanas riskus, ka godīgs biznesmenis nevar konkurēt ar tiem, kas nemaksā; Tas rosina nemaksāt arī pārējos.  

Ja gribam, lai cilvēki masveidīgi nezagtu, tad jāsāk ar valsti: valstij jārīkojas tā, lai iedzīvotāju vairākums nepārprotami sajustu, ka lielie  zagļi, kas ņem miljonus, tiek noķerti un sodīti. Ka valstī valda taisnīgums un godīgums. 

Interesanti, ka godīgums ģimenes locekļu attiecībās ir augstāks par godīgumu pilsoņu-valsts attiecībās. Iznāk, ka valsts neveicina cilvēku godīgumu, bet tieši otrādi – provocē cilvēkus veidot speciālas, mazāk godīgas attiecības. Kādēļ tas ir tā? Viens no iemesliem ir fakts, ka ģimenē atgriezeniskā saite iedarbojas gandrīz momentāni, bet valsts-pilsoņu attiecībās – ar kaut kādu kavējumu, un dažreiz (kad izdodas valsti ‘veiksmīgi’ apzagt) – neiedarbojas nemaz. Slēdziens ir viens: jāmaina noteikumi sistēmā.

Vai to var panākt, vai tas ir iespējams? Pašreizējā sabiedrībā ar pašreizējiem likumiem – nē. Ko vispār būtu jādara, ko varētu darīt? Radikāli jāmaina soda principi: sodam jābūt atkarīgam no sabiedrībai nodarītā kaitējuma. (Šādu nepieciešamu pasākumu ir daudz, tai skaitā – radikāli jāpalielina sodi, tā, lai zagšanas ieguvums, reizināts ar noķeršanas varbūtību, būtu pietiekami daudz mazāks par nezagšanas ieguvumu. Vienkārši sakot, sodam jābūt tādam, lai zagt nebūtu izdevīgi. Ja vēl precīzāk, tad sodam jābūt tādam, lai to, ka zagt nav izdevīgi, domātu aptuveni 95-99% iedzīvotāju).

Ja 1000 Eiro nozog valsts iestādes darbinieks, tad sabiedrībai nodarītais kaitējums ir nesalīdzināmi lielāks par to, kuru valstij nodara 1000 Eiro naudas viltotājs. Jo pirmais ir diskretidējis valsti. Pašreizējie likumi (un tā sauktās ‘cilvēku tiesības’) izveidoti tā, ka šāda principu maiņa nav iespējama.

Stāvoklis ir līdzīgs psihoterapeitu aprakstītajai novirzei, kad slimnieks ‘iekritis’ emociju upes vienā krastā, ASV psihoterapeits Dr. D. Siegel to sauc par ‘sastingumu’ (rigidity), un  slimnieks pats no šīs novirzes atbrīvoties nespēj. Arī automātiskās regulēšanas teorijā ir zināmi šādi sistēmas stāvokļi, kad izejas parametrs – šajā gadījumā tā ir sadarbība starp pilsoņiem un valsti – ieņem vienu galējo vērtību, no kuras atbrīvoties neļauj pozitīvā atgriezeniskā saite, šajā gadījumā tās ir pilsoņu emocijas, kas nosaka viņu rīcību. 

Tādēļ nekas nemainīsies ne tikai Latvijā, bet visā pasaulē. Ar negodīgiem paņēmieniem izveidotā sociālā nevienlīdzība turpinās palielināties, masveidīga zagšana un morāles degradācija – arī.  Vai šos vienkāršos likumus nezina polītiķi? Zina, bet viņi tos netaisās mainīt. Kādēļ? Tādēļ, ka viņiem ir izdevīgi tā, kā ir. Vai arī varbūt vēl tādēļ, ka ‘tur nekā nevar darīt’, ka ‘tāda ir dzīve’.   I.V.

Posted in Contemporary Society Problems, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Der Syrienkrieg einfach erklärt

Im Zuge des Arabischen Frühlings kam es vor gut fünf Jahren, im März 2011, zum Bürgerkrieg in Syrien. Was mit angeblich friedlichen Protesten gegen die Regierung von Präsident Bashar al-Assad begann, entwickelte sich bald zu einem komplizierten und undurchsichtigen Krieg, sodass kaum noch von einem Bürgerkrieg gesprochen werden kann. Verschiedenste bewaffnete Gruppen sind involviert, von Terror- bis zu Kurdenorganisationen, die gegen die Regierungstruppen, aber auch gegeneinander oder mit den Regierungstruppen kämpfen. In einem Vortrag am 30. Mai 2016 gab der Schweizer Historiker und Friedensforscher Dr. phil. Daniele Ganser eine mögliche und einfache Antwort auf die Ursache des Syrienkrieges.

https://www.kla.tv/8492

Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

Garry Kasparov: Don’t fear intelligent machines. Work with them

One of the greatest chess players in history, Garry Kasparov lost a memorable match to a supercomputer in 1997. Now he shares his vision for a future where intelligent machines help us turn our grandest dreams into reality.

We must face our fears if we want to get the most out of technology — and we must conquer those fears if we want to get the best out of humanity, says Garry Kasparov. One of the greatest chess players in history, Kasparov lost a memorable match to IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1997. Now he shares his vision for a future where intelligent machines help us turn our grandest dreams into reality.

There is one thing only humans can do: that is dream. I surmise that AI machines will dream too. They will replace us. I.V. 

Stuart Russell: 3 principles for creating safer AI:

Posted in Artificial Intelligence | Leave a comment

Tā dzīvojam. Professor Daniele Ganser

https://doveiks.lv/2017/06/12/saglaba-un-noskaties-sveiciesa-viedoklis/

Many, who don’t like his thoughts, call them conspiracy theories. It seems to me that it is the same conspiracy as evolution theory, our primate needs and behavior. I.V. 

Posted in Economics and Politics | Leave a comment

Giving Away Your Billion

Recently I’ve been reading the Giving Pledge letters. These are the letters that rich people write when they join Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign. They take the pledge, promising to give away most of their wealth during their lifetime, and then they write letters describing their giving philosophy.

“I suppose I arrived at my charitable commitment largely through guilt,” writes George B. Kaiser, an oil and finance guy from Oklahoma, who is purported to be worth about $8 billion. “I recognized early on that my good fortune was not due to superior personal character or initiative so much as it was to dumb luck. I was blessed to be born in an advanced society with caring parents. So, I had the advantage of both genetics … and upbringing.”

Kaiser decided he was “morally bound to help those left behind by the accident of birth.” But he understood the complexities: “Though almost all of us grew up believing in the concept of equal opportunity, most of us simultaneously carried the unspoken and inconsistent ‘dirty little secret’ that genetics drove much of accomplishment so that equality was not achievable.”

His reading of modern brain research, however, led to the conclusion that genetic endowments can be modified by education, if you can get to kids early. Kaiser has directed much of his giving to early childhood education.

Continue reading the main story

Most of the letter writers started poor or middle class. They don’t believe in family dynasties and sometimes argue that they would ruin their kids’ lives if they left them a mountain of money. Schools and universities are the most common recipients of their generosity, followed by medical research and Jewish cultural institutions. A ridiculously disproportionate percentage of the Giving Pledge philanthropists are Jewish.

Older letter writers have often found very specific niches for their giving — fighting childhood obesity in Georgia. Younger givers, especially the tech billionaires, are vague and less thoughtful.

A few letters burn with special fervor. These people generally try to solve a problem that touched them directly. Dan Gilbert, who founded Quicken Loans, had a son born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that affects the brain. Gordon Gund went fully blind in 1970. Over the ensuing 43 years, he and his wife helped raise more than $600 million for blindness research.

The letters set off my own fantasies. What would I do if I had a billion bucks to use for good? I’d start with the premise that the most important task before us is to reweave the social fabric. People in disorganized neighborhoods need to grow up enmeshed in the loving relationships that will help them rise. The elites need to be reintegrated with their own countrymen.

Only loving relationships transform lives, and such relationships can be formed only in small groups. Thus, I’d use my imaginary billion to seed 25-person collectives around the country. 

A collective would be a group of people who met once a week to share and discuss life. Members of these chosen families would go on retreats and celebrate life events together. There would be “clearness committees” for members facing key decisions.

The collectives would be set up for people at three life stages. First, poor kids between 16 and 22. They’d meet in the homes of adult hosts and help one another navigate the transition from high school to college.

Second, young adults across classes between 23 and 26. This is a vastly under-institutionalized time of life when many people suffer a Telos Crisis. They don’t know why they are here and what they are called to do. The idea would be to bring people across social lines together with hosts and mentors, so that they could find a purpose and a path.

Third, successful people between 36 and 40. We need a better establishment in this country. These collectives would identify the rising stars in local and national life, and would help build intimate bonds across parties and groups, creating a baseline of sympathy and understanding these people could carry as they rose to power.

The collectives would hit the four pressure points required for personal transformation:

Heart: By nurturing deep friendships, they would give people the secure emotional connections they need to make daring explorations.

Hands: Members would get in the habit of performing small tasks of service and self-control for one another, thus engraving the habits of citizenship and good character.

Head: Each collective would have a curriculum, a set of biographical and reflective readings, to help members come up with their own life philosophies, to help them master the intellectual virtues required for public debate.

Soul: In a busy world, members would discuss fundamental issues of life’s purpose, so that they might possess the spiritual true north that orients a life.

The insular elites already have collectives like this in the form of Skull and Bones and such organizations. My billion would support collectives across society, supporting the homes and retreats where these communities would happen, offering small slush funds they could use for members in crisis.

Now all I need is a hedge fund to get started.

Posted in Human Evolution | Leave a comment

Curtains For Us All?

Martin Rees

[5.31.17]: https://www.edge.org/conversation/martin_rees-curtains-for-us-all

Continue reading

Posted in Human Evolution | Leave a comment

Carl Sagan on God

 

Carl Sagan’s Best Arguments Of All Time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D4DyJHKqfg

Posted in Cosmology, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct: A Sokal-Style Hoax on Gender Studies

The Hoax

The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that the penis is the male reproductive organ is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial.

That’s how we began. We used this preposterous sentence to open a “paper” consisting of 3,000 words of utter nonsense posing as academic scholarship. Then a peer-reviewed academic journal in the social sciences accepted and published it.

This paper should never have been published. Titled, “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” our paper “argues” that “The penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a gender-performative, highly fluid social construct.” As if to prove philosopher David Hume’s claim that there is a deep gap between what is and what ought to be, our should-never-have-been-published paper was published in the open-access (meaning that articles are freely accessible and not behind a paywall), peer-reviewed journal Cogent Social Sciences. (In case the PDF is removed, we’ve archived it.)

Assuming the pen names “Jamie Lindsay” and “Peter Boyle,” and writing for the fictitious “Southeast Independent Social Research Group,” we wrote an absurd paper loosely composed in the style of post-structuralist discursive gender theory. The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what “post-structuralist discursive gender theory” actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.

Manspreading — a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide — is akin to raping the empty space around him.

This already damning characterization of our hoax understates our paper’s lack of fitness for academic publication by orders of magnitude. We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading,” a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success. […]

More: http://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/conceptual-penis-social-contruct-sokal-style-hoax-on-gender-studies/?utm_source=eSkeptic&utm_campaign=a766bfd2a8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c0a740eb4-a766bfd2a8-73433105&mc_cid=a766bfd2a8&mc_eid=bcd2f472f8

To, ka mēs pieredzam sabiedrības un kultūras degradāciju, ka mēs esam tās dalībnieki un izpildītāji, to mēs jau zinājām. Bet ieraudzīt kārtējo izpausmi dažreiz ir ne tikai nožēlojami, bet dažiem tas šķitīs pat smieklīgi. Bet patiesībā nekā smieklīga tur nav.

To, ka cilvēku vairākumu neinteresē  lielie procesi, rāda tas, ko viņi lasa, kā viņi risina krustvārdu mīklas un sudoku, kā spēlē bumbiņu spēles internetā, kā skatās TV, ko runā par laiku, savām kaitēm, un tomātu vai puķu stādiem. Neinteresē? Pamatoti. Jo tāpat neviens neko iespaidot, izmainīt nevar. Un nevarēs. Lai kaut ko izmainītu, jāizmaina vidējā masu cilvēka domāšana, vērtības, šabloni. To var izdarīt un izdarīs tikai tādi notikumi, kas iespaidos visus. Masveidīgi. Izskatās, ka tas ir skarbs evolūcijas likums un paradokss, kuru mūsdienu evolūcijas zinātnieki zina, bet masu cilvēki nav iedomājušies pie sevis piemērot, uz sevi attiecināt: Nepiemērotais netiek kaut kādā veidā ‘pāraudzināts, mainīts vai iespaidots’, bet – tiek atmests. Un tā vietā nāk jaunais. Un, pat vēl skarbāk: nu un, ja kāds iedomājas, tas neko nemaina. Mums visiem jāiet kopā uz kopējo, likumsakarīgo, vienaldzīgo, ‘godīgi pelnīto’ galu. 

Masu cilvēks ir evolūcijas saprogrammēts truls pusautomāts, kurš nav vainīgs par to, ka klausa savai programmai. Mēs visi tā darām, un mēs neesam vainīgi. Bet: tie, kas ir sevi ieraudzījuši un sapratuši, tie ir atbildīgi un, ja pārkāpj tos likumus, kurus ieraudzījuši un sapratuši, tad ir vainīgi. Bet tas, salīdzinot ar viena cilvēka, ar vienas paaudzes dzīveslaiku, ir ilgs process.

Kad kaut kas mainīsies? Tikai tad, kad populācijas subjekti ieraudzīs galveno, vissvarīgāko vērtību: sevis, savas populācijas saglabāšana, izdzīvošana liela laika mērogā. Šī civilizācija to vēl nav sasniegusi, to ir pateikuši tikai daži tās izcilie domātāji (Steven Hawking, Carl Sagan, E.O. Wilson), bet kopējā izklaides un sensāciju jūklī viņu teiktais neko nemaina. I.V. 

Vēl viens tik pat vērtīgs zinātnisks darbs: 

Why flamingos stand on one leg [Life Lines]
Posted in Are We doomed?, Understand and Manage Ourselves | 1 Comment

Our world outsmarts us

Social problems are fantastically complex, while human minds are severely under-engineered. Is democracy doomed?

When mulling over possible reasons for the alarming nastiness associated with the recent presidential election in the United States, I am reminded of my grade-school bully. Handsome, often charming, superbly athletic, the bully (let’s call him Mike) would frequently, usually without clear provocation, kick, punch and shove other classmates. Fortunately, for reasons not apparent at that time, he never bothered me.

Fast-forward 20 years. After his long-time girlfriend left him for another man, Mike stalked and stabbed to death the new boyfriend. Shortly following his murder conviction and incarceration, I ran into Mike’s father, who spontaneously blurted out: ‘Did you know that Mike had severe dyslexia?’

As soon as his father spoke, I recalled Mike’s great difficulty reading aloud in class. As he stumbled over simple words, the other kids fidgeted, snickered and rolled their eyes. In return, they got bullied. I can still sense my classmates’ fear of Mike even as I cringe at the knowledge that, in our collective ignorance, we were at least partially responsible for his outbursts. What if we had understood that Mike’s classroom performance was a neurological handicap and not a sign of general stupidity, laziness or whatever other pejoratives of cognition we threw at him? Would our acceptance of his disability have changed the arc of Mike’s life? Of ours?

Since running into his father, I’ve often wondered if Mike’s outbursts and bullying behavior might offer an insight into the seeming association between anger, extremism and a widespread blatant disregard for solid facts and real expertise. I’m not dismissing obvious psychological explanations such as ideological and confirmatory biases and overriding self-interests, or suggesting that a particular human behavior can be reduced to a single or specific cause. But Mike’s story suggests an additional, more basic dynamic. What if, as a species, the vast majority of us have a profoundly challenging collective difficulty with mathematics and science analogous to Mike’s dyslexia?

More: https://aeon.co/essays/the-complexity-of-social-problems-is-outsmarting-the-human-brain?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=842570fcee-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-842570fcee-68643017

See comments, they are the best. I.V. 

Manuprāt, svarīgākais un būtiskais ir citur. Protams, ka mūsu domāšana ir nepilnīga, bet to var teikt par visām informācijas apstrādes mašīnām. Tās visas lieto nepilnīgus ārējās pasaules modeļus – atbilstoši savām zināšanām par fizikālās pasaules likumiem un procesiem. Bet tos visus var pamazām precizēt un uzlabot, ko arī cenšas darīt mūsdienu zinātne. Šajā virzienā principiāli nepārvaramu ierobežojumu nav: mūsu zināšanu tuvošanās realitātei ir laika jautājums.

Bet Homo sapiens piemīt viens specifisks ierobežojums, kas nepiemīt, nav obligāts citām informācijas apstrādes mašīnām. Proti, Homo sapiens eksistenci un darbību virza no evolūcijas mantotas vajadzības, to piepildīšana un apmierināšana. Var teikt, ka mēs esam pozitīvas emocijas meklējošas mašīnas, cilvēku vairākums to dara (pakļaujas instinktu prasībām) neapzināti, bet izpildes rituāli un vērtības tiek ņemtas no kultūras vides, kurā indivīdam gadījies piedzimt. Galvenā mūsdienu cilvēku problēma ir tā, ka instinktu vajadzības, to radītās, izveidotās rīcības šabloni un vērtības kapitāli neatbilst tās pasaules realitātei, vajadzībām un izdzīvošanas noteikumiem, kurā mēs, kā to raksta ASV biologs E.O.Wilsons, ‘gribot – negribot esam ielēkuši’. Konkrēti tas nozīmē, ka evolūcija mūs nav sagatavojusi savas vairošanās, dabas resursu patēriņa un bojāšanas ierobežošanai, un tādēļ mēs šīs darbības pārtraukt nespējam. Un izskatās, ka nespēsim.

Evolūcija mūs ir sagatavojusi, dod mums prieku, apmierinājumu un gandarījumu, ja ņemam un patērējam daudz vairāk, nekā tas izdzīvošanai nepieciešams, ja izveidojam zīdītājiem raksturīgu limbisko pieķeršanos, ko bagātinām ar seksu un rūpēm par pēcnācējiem, ja sevi apliecinām kādā sociālā vidē, un, kad atrodam kaut ko lielāku, svarīgāku par mūsu ikdienu un tās vajadzībām. Šis pēdējais teikums izskatās daudzsološs un cerīgs, bet problēma ir tā, ka to lielāko un svarīgāko mūsu laika cilvēki ir atraduši māņticībā, pārveidojuši kroplīgās formās, vai arī – nav atraduši nemaz. Daudzi mūsu sabiedrību domātāji tieši tā arī pasaka. Un šīm vajadzībām mēs klausām un izskatās, ka klausīsim, kamēr te būsim. Izskatās, ka to lielāko cilvēce vēl kādu laiku meklēs. I.V. 

Posted in Understand and Manage Ourselves | Leave a comment

Violence and the History of Inequality

Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes. Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, the Stanford University historian Walter Scheidel shows that inequality never dies peacefully. Inequality declines when carnage and disaster strike and increases when peace and stability return. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world.

Ever since humans began to farm, herd livestock, and pass on their assets to future generations, economic inequality has been a defining feature of civilization. Over thousands of years, only violent events have significantly lessened inequality. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling—mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues—have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. Scheidel identifies and examines these processes, from the crises of the earliest civilizations to the cataclysmic world wars and communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Today, the violence that reduced inequality in the past seems to have diminished, and that is a good thing. But it casts serious doubt on the prospects for a more equal future.

An essential contribution to the debate about inequality, The Great Leveler provides important new insights about why inequality is so persistent—and why it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.

Posted in Contemporary Society Problems | Leave a comment

Reklāma


Vai reklāmā ir nozieguma sastāvs?:

https://gunarsjanaitis.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/vai-reklama-ir-nozieguma-sastavs/#comment-252

Reklāma, hm, skaista tēma. Piedalīšos korī. Man ir tieši tāpat, kā to raksta GN2: Visas firmas, kas mani apmētā ar reklāmu, es neiegaumēju nemaz, bet ja kaut kas paliek atmiņā, tad tā ir skaidra izpratne: tie nav kārtīgi cilvēki, viņi ir pārkāpuši pieklājības robežu, viņi man nav prasījuši, vai es viņu troksni gribu redzēt vai dzirdēt, un vienīgais, kas paliek: ar tiem sadarboties nedrīkst, no jebkādas sadarbības jāizvairās. Manā apziņā viņi sevi ir degradējuši un viņi nav cienījami. Ja atceros, šo firmu preces pirkt izvairos. Piemēram, firmas ‘Pioneer’ aparatūra.

Daudz diletantisma. Tik daudz vienīgo patiesību. Tik vienu piemēru. T.s. mūzikas raidījumos, kuros dažu reizi (reti) ir mūzika, pēc viena gabala beigām viņi tūlīt sāk nākošo. Viņi nezina, ka emociju nodzišanas, norimšanas laiks ir 3-5-8 sekundes, lai klausītājā nospēlētais gabals radītu dziļas un skaistas emocijas, tām jāļauj izskanēt klausītāja apziņā.
Bet tie jau lētie trokšņa taisītāji. No vairākiem tūkstošiem satelīttelevīzijas kanālu esmu izveidojis 55 klausāmu (ne vienmēr) radio raidītāju sarakstu, visbiežāk tie ir Eiropas valstu ‘Klassik radio’ (vācu), vai, piemēram, franču vai Šveices ‘Classic’. Ja uzliek labas austiņas, tad to mūziku un instrumentus var pat sadzirdēt un baudīt. Līdzi šūpoties. Skaisti, skaisti skan, var dzirdēt, kā autors to pārdzīvojis, dzirdējis un pierakstījis. Kādreiz to arī pastāsta. Tur reklāmas nav. Ja kāds palaiž, tad to raidītāju no klausāmā saraksta nodzēšu.
Nekādus TV raidījumus neskatos, vienīgi Youtube kādus mākslas darbus, piemēram, nesen noskatījos franču filmu par Balzaka noveles tēmu ‘Šagrenāda’. Skaisti. Tādas filmas ir vēl, piemēram, ‘Cietsirdīgā romance’ (krievu valodā). Bez tam vēl lielu mākslinieku darbi, mūzika. Piemēram, vergu koris no ‘Nabucco’ vairākos izpildījumos, operas, lielu mākslinieku ieraksti.
Plašāk. Ja skarbi, tad, protams, ka tauta, masa tiek turēta mazliet līdzīgi vistu vai citu fermu dzīvniekiem. Bet tas ir vienpusīgs skatījums. Plašākā skatījumā mēs ieraugām evolūciju, instinktu vajadzību piepildīšanu, īsi uznākšanu, patrokšņošanu, un aiziešanu. Troksni gan mēs redzam un dzirdam, visa dzīve ar to pildīta. Bet man ir zināmi, pazīstami daži cilvēki ar jēgu un saturu. Kad satieku, tad mācos un priecājos. Kad nesatieku, tad tramīgi lūkojos, vai kaut kur neatspīdēs gaisma? Un kādreiz ieraugu, tad var pasmaidīt, un, ja veicas, iegūt draugu. Vai vismaz domas uz īsu brīdi.

Posted in Contemporary Society Problems | Leave a comment

The Crisis of Western Civilization

Between 1935 and 1975, Will and Ariel Durant published a series of volumes that together were known as “The Story of Civilization.” They basically told human history (mostly Western history) as an accumulation of great ideas and innovations, from the Egyptians, through Athens, Magna Carta, the Age of Faith, the Renaissance and the Declaration of the Rights of Man. The series was phenomenally successful, selling over two million copies.

That series encapsulated the Western civilization narrative that people, at least in Europe and North America, used for most of the past few centuries to explain their place in the world and in time. This narrative was confidently progressive. There were certain great figures, like Socrates, Erasmus, Montesquieu and Rousseau, who helped fitfully propel the nations to higher reaches of the humanistic ideal.

This Western civ narrative came with certain values — about the importance of reasoned discourse, the importance of property rights, the need for a public square that was religiously informed but not theocratically dominated. It set a standard for what great statesmanship looked like. It gave diverse people a sense of shared mission and a common vocabulary, set a framework within which political argument could happen and most important provided a set of common goals.

Starting decades ago, many people, especially in the universities, lost faith in the Western civilization narrative. They stopped teaching it, and the great cultural transmission belt broke. Now many students, if they encounter it, are taught that Western civilization is a history of oppression.

Counted values (reasoned discourse, property rights, public square) turned out not to be sufficient. Two values were and are missing now: the sense, the purpose of life and, based on it, the main value, the main moral law: survival of our civilization for the current moment and attainment of unrestricted lifetime on a bigger scale. More about this see Values and sense of life on this blog, but here I will add some concrete, necessary and for most people unacceptable steps for achieving this.

1. New and completely different morality: abandon the hypocritical or uneducated talking about human rights: restriction of planet’s populace, consumption and damaging of living world are much more important values, but these values are not to be reached by wars like current ones. Or current social inequality.

Death penalty is the most natural sanction for each essential violation, which natural selection has used for thousands of years. It is possible that the following generations will dare or will be forced to restore these natural processes. But today there are many principles completely unacceptable for current populace, fop example, taking the donor organs from individuals sentenced to death. Or using some drugs for individuals, who are able to manage their behavior. 

2. New and completely different sense of life: the main task and obligation, the main possibility and responsibility for every individual is the life of future generations, in order they can come to much more fulfilled and unrestricted life. This is the holiness, the sanctity of our life today, for current time. (More: Carl Sagan).

3. For achieving the united behavior of all state citizens completely new  government information politics is necessary: the state’s mass information and education has to teach its citizens the scientific basis for values and morality. All religions, ‘secret’ knowledge and mystics  are to be abandoned, we have only the evolutionary facts, physics and information theory, and on these we have to base our thinking and solutions. If we want to survive. 

4. How to come, how to reach this ‘new world’? One is clear: extermination of ‘wrong’ people and their survival conditions (environment) does not work. Although this ‘method’ is just the most used now.

Genetically inherited human reward system is outdated: strong emotions drive individuals to suicidal behavior. There is the strong necessity for completely new education system, which will prepare possibly more people to start understand and manage their lives. Education is the only way to teach people to make reasonable choices and, for the short current moment, to achieve a bit happiness. This is not easy or simple task: human beings don’t have genetic predisposition for learning complicated survival problems, but they do have predisposition for more simple tasks: to attain and have more eatable things, sex, and self -actualization. These processes dominate our societies. 

The second possibility: the evolution will use its way.  I.V. 

Continue reading the main story

It’s amazing what far-reaching effects this has had. It is as if a prevailing wind, which powered all the ships at sea, had suddenly ceased to blow. Now various scattered enemies of those Western values have emerged, and there is apparently nobody to defend them.

The first consequence has been the rise of the illiberals, authoritarians who not only don’t believe in the democratic values of the Western civilization narrative, but don’t even pretend to believe in them, as former dictators did.

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

The Economy Is Like a Circus

The economy is like a circus. It comes to town, and eventually it leaves town. We get paid in tickets to this circus. As long as the circus stays in town, we can use our tickets. Once the circus leaves town, we are pretty much out of luck.1

The reason the circus stays in town is because the economy stays in sufficient balance that the economy can go on. This is much like the way many other self-organized systems function. For example, our bodies continue to function as long as there are suitable balances in many different areas (oxygen, food, water, air pressure). Ecosystems continue to function as long as there is sufficient rain, adequate temperatures, and enough sunlight.

There are many different views as to what limits we reach in a finite world. Some people think we will “run out” of oil, or of energy products. Some think that the energy return will fall too low, as measured in some manner. I see the adequacy of the energy return as being very much tied to the financial system. Thus, the forecast by US Atlanta Fed GDPNow indicating that first quarter 2017 US GDP growth will only be 0.5% is likely to be a problem, assuming it is correct.

The Economy Is Like a Circus

Our economy operates on economies of scale. Once we get too close to shrinking, or actually start shrinking, we reach a point where the economic circus starts to leave town. At some point, we will discover the circus is gone. The economy we thought we had, will have left us. If some people are survivors, they will need to pick up the pieces and start over with an entirely new system.

What the Economy Needs to Do to Keep Functioning

For our economy to continue functioning, a number of variables are important:

Posted in Economics and Politics | Leave a comment

Dažas domas par mums

Mūsu problēmām ir divi dažādi avoti: pirmais ir informācijas apstrādes likumi, no kuriem nav iespējams izvairīties; otrs ir cilvēka evolūcijas mantojums, kas nav optimāls, nav piemērots mūsu dzīvei, bet kuru var ieraudzīt, saprast, un savu izvēli nedaudz un uzmanīgi pakārtot labklājībai un izdzīvošanai nākotnē.

Visu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu rīcību nosaka divi procesi: pirmais ir noteikts, ieprogrammēts algoritms, bet otrs parādās tad, kad mašīnai ir iespējams rīcību izvēlēties. Inteliģence ir informācijas apstrādes mašīnas spēja sasniegt savus mērķus, piemērojot savu izturēšanos mainīgiem ārējiem apstākļiem, izmantojot ģenētiski uzkrātu vai dzīves laikā iegūtu informāciju, un lietojot apkārtējās vides modeļus ārējās pasaules notikumu prognozēšanai.  Lai informācijas apstrādes mašīna būtu inteliģenta, tai jāspēj izveidot mērķus, lai izveidotu mērķus, mašīnas apziņā jābūt vērtībām, vajadzībām. Un lūk, vērtības un vajadzības nosaka izvēli, rīcību: ja vajadzības tiek apmierinātas, mašīna saņem apbalvojumu (labsajūtu, laimi), to AI nozarē sauc par reinforced learning. 

Mūsu, Homo sapiens gadījumā ieprogrammētie algoritmi bieži ieslēdzas tad, kad tas nepieciešams ķermeņa izdzīvošanai, bet tie ieslēdzas arī tad, kad indivīds nokļūst situācijā, kas tos ieslēdz, piemēram, parādās bailes, izmisums, naids, mīlestība.

Indivīda personīgā dzīves māksla un problēma ir: kā iegūt optimālu līdzsvaru starp labklājības un izdzīvošanas nodrošināšanu mazākā un lielākā mērogā un apbalvojumu (pozitīvām emocijām), pēc kurām mēs visi apzināti un neapzināti tiecamies. Daudzi cilvēki, varbūt pat vairākums visupirms rīkojas tā, lai saņemtu pozitīvās emocijas, un pēc tam maksā (ne vienmēr naudā, bieži tā ir slimība, trauma, zaudējumi, neveiksmīga dzīve) – lai izdzīvotu.

Kāpēc mēs nevaram iegūt kādu optimālu līdzsvaru? Viens skaidrojums ir: mēs visi tiecamies saņemt apbalvojumu tūlīt vai iespējami drīz, jo pretējā gadījumā sajūta ir nepieņemama: manai dzīvei nav jēgas. Šeit mēs ieraugām vairākumu lielo un mazo mākslinieku: realitātei atbilstošu sevis un savas sabiedrības un savas dzīves modeļu viņiem nav, viņi dzīvo savu mākslas tēlu vai sociālās vides pasaulē un tradīcijās, un viņi nevar, nav spējīgi citādāk. Jo neviena informācijas apstrādes mašīna nevar izvēlēties rīcību, kurai tās apziņā nav modeļa. Izskatās, ka ir plašāk: tā rīkojas cilvēku vairākums, gandrīz visi.

Vai no šī strupceļa ir izeja? Šķiet, ka tikai par tik, par cik mēs spējam ieraudzīt, saprast un mainīt mūsu vajadzības.

Kādēļ cilvēki daudzajos attīstības gados nav iemācījušies dzīvot labāk, būt kaut cik laimīgi un veiksmīgi, un kaut vai nekarot vismaz? Viens iemesls ir redzams visās sabiedrībās: mēs nemācam savus bērnus, lai viņi būtu laimīgāki un veiksmīgāki. Lai indivīds būtu kaut cik veiksmīgs, viņa apziņā jāizveido kaut cik realitātei atbilstošus apkārtējās vides un sevis modeļi. Tādu ir ļoti daudz, var teikt, ka tie veido katras kultūras struktūru. Visu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu ‘lāsts’ un nolemtība ir nezināt pilnīgi, iekams pats nav pieredzējis. Lai šo trūkumu kaut cik mīkstinātu, vajadzīga apsteidzoša izglītības sistēma. Šajā vietā parādās vēl viena problēma: normālā sadalījuma vidējais homo sapiens negrib garlaicīgi mācīties, bet grib mācīties tikai tā, ka tas sagādā pozitīvas emocijas. Visas kultūras ir tālu no šo prasību izpildes un apzināšanas. Mūsdienu izglītības sistēmas un kultūras ir pazaudējušas divas galvenās lietas: vērtības un izpratni. Vērtību vietā mums ir viedokļi, tā, it kā pamatvērtību un principu nemaz nebūtu. Pamatprincipi ir tik nepopulāri, ka daudzi cilvēki tos nelieto un nezin, ka tādi ir: uz realitāti, uz zinātnes principiem balstītas vērtības, pasaules un sevis modeļi. Par vērtībām daudzi mūsdienu filosofi un zinātnieki ir paziņojuši, kas tādu nav (izņemot elementārās ķermeņa izdzīvošanas un labsajūtas vajadzības), un vairākums tam ir noticējuši.

Izpratnes vietā ikdienas dzīvē un izglītībā aizvien vairāk vietas ieņem bezsaturīga mēģināšana, vulgāri sakot – bakstīšana. Bērniem skolā nemāca programmas struktūru un to, ko katrs programmas solis izmaina struktūrā, bet atbalsta aklu meklēšanu, mēģināšanu – ja izdodas iegūt rezultātu, tad uzdevums izpildīts. Jāiegaumē tik taustiņu nospiešanas secība, bet izpratne nav vajadzīga.

Evolūcija mums iedevusi vismaz divas problēmas, kuras raksturīgas tikai Homo sapiens, un nav citu informācijas apstrādes mašīnu neatņemamas īpašības: 1) tā ir spēja nepretrunīgi, harmoniski vienā apziņā savienot pilnīgi nesavienojamas lietas, piemēram, zinātne (loģiska domāšana un fakti) un māņticība, mīlestība un realās iespējas, visaptverošs vai fanātisks naids un indivīda izdzīvošana; 2) spēja izslēgt no apziņas, noraidīt un nepieņemt argumentus un faktus, kuri kaut kādā veidā noliedz vai apšauba indivīda iekšējā pasaulē izveidotas vērtības un modeļus.

Citiem vārdiem var teikt, ka no evolūcijas mantotā apbalvojumu sistēma ir tuvredzīga.

Kopsavilkumā var teikt, ka, no vienas puses, tā ir milzīga, skaista un vērtīga evolūcijas balva – spēja dzīvot savā izveidotā pasaulē pilnīgā aizrautībā, ar dziļu mieru un harmoniju, iekšējas sakārtotības un skaistuma izjūtu, bet no otras puses, tas ir lāsts un nolemtība – nezināt, nevarēt un nespēt ieraudzīt skarbo eksistences īstenību un savu rīcību pakļaut vai vismaz pielāgot tai. Iznāk gandrīz vai tā, ka mūsu dzīves īslaicīgums ir tam piemērots.

Vai ir iespējams radīt un izveidot labākas informācijas apstrādes mašīnas? Izskatās, ka – jā. Tādas, kurās apbalvojumi tiek saņemti par realitātei atbilstošu modeļu izveidošanu. Bet tādas varēs izveidot tikai tādi programmētāji, kuriem šādi modeļi pašiem ir.

Posted in Happiness and Quality of Life, Understand and Manage Ourselves, Values and Sense of Life | Leave a comment

Defining Intelligence

https://www.edge.org/conversation/stuart_russell-defining-intelligence:

I worked on coming up with a method of defining intelligence that would necessarily have a solution, as opposed to being necessarily unsolvable. That was this idea of bounded optimality, which, roughly speaking, says that you have a machine and the machine is finite—it has finite speed and finite memory. That means that there is only a finite set of programs that can run on that machine, and out of that finite set one or some small equivalent class of programs does better than all the others; that’s the program that we should aim for.                                 

That’s what we call the bounded optimal program for that machine and also for some class of environments that you’re intending to work in. We can make progress there because we can start with very restricted types of machines and restricted kinds of environments and solve the problem. We can say, “Here is, for that machine and this environment, the best possible program that takes into account the fact that the machine doesn’t run infinitely fast. It can only do a certain amount of computation before the world changes.” 

My field of work is artificial intelligence, and since I started I’ve been asking myself how we can create truly intelligent systems. Part of my brain is always thinking about the next roadblock that we’re going to run into. Why are the things we understand how to do so far going to break when we put them in the real world? What’s the nature of the breakage? What can we do to avoid that? How can we then create the next generation of systems that will do better? Also, what happens if we succeed?

What is the nature of the problem and can we solve it? I would like to be able to solve it. The alternative to solving the control problem is to either put the brakes on AI or prevent the development of certain types of systems altogether if we don’t know how to control them. That would be extremely difficult because there’s this huge pressure. We all want more intelligent systems; they have huge economic value.

Bill Gates said that solving machine-learning problems would be worth ten Microsofts. At that time, that would have come out to about $4 trillion, which is a decent incentive for people to move technology forward. How can we make AI more capable, and if we do, what can we do to make sure that the outcome is beneficial? Those are the questions that I ask myself.

Another question I ask is: Why do my colleagues not ask themselves this question? Is it just inertia? That a typical engineer or computer scientist is in a rut? Or are they on the rail of moving technology forward and they don’t think about where that railway is heading or whether they should turn off or slow down? Or am I just wrong? Is there some mistake in my thinking that has led me to the conclusion that the control problem is serious and difficult? I’m always asking myself if I’m making a mistake.

I worked on coming up with a method of defining intelligence that would necessarily have a solution, as opposed to being necessarily unsolvable. That was this idea of bounded optimality, which, roughly speaking, says that you have a machine and the machine is finite—it has finite speed and finite memory. That means that there is only a finite set of programs that can run on that machine, and out of that finite set one or some small equivalent class of programs does better than all the others; that’s the program that we should aim for.

That’s what we call the bounded optimal program for that machine and also for some class of environments that you’re intending to work in. We can make progress there because we can start with very restricted types of machines and restricted kinds of environments and solve the problem. We can say, “Here is, for that machine and this environment, the best possible program that takes into account the fact that the machine doesn’t run infinitely fast. It can only do a certain amount of computation before the world changes.”

In economics, studying utility theory, how do you construct these functions that describe value?

A million years ago would be too early to be trying to put constraints on a technology, but with respect to global warming, I would say 100 years ago would have been the right time, or 120 years ago. We had just developed the internal combustion engine and electricity generation and distribution, and we could at that time, before we became completely tied in to fossil fuels, have put a lot of energy and effort into also developing wind power and solar power, knowing that we could not rely on fossil fuels because of the consequences. And we knew. Arrhenius and other scientists had shown that this would be the consequence of burning all these fossil fuels.

Alexander Graham Bell wrote papers about it, but they were ignored. There was no vote. Governments tend to get captured by corporate lobbies and not so much scientists. You might say the scientists invented the internal combustion engine, but they also discovered the possibility of global warming and warned about it. Society tends to take the goodies, but not listen to the down side.

It’s always very difficult for a democracy to decide on what the right regulations are for complicated technological issues. How should we regulate nuclear power?  How should we regulate medicines? Often the regulation follows some catastrophe and can be poorly designed because it’s in the middle of outrage and fear.

https://ai100.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ai100report10032016fnl_singles.pdf:

“No machines with self-sustaining long-term goals and intent have been developed, nor are they likely to be developed in the near future”.

The goal of AI applications must be to create value for society. Our policy recommendations flow from this goal, and, while this report is focused on a typical North American city in 2030, the recommendations are broadly applicable to other places over time. Strategies that enhance our ability to interpret AI systems and participate in their use may help build trust and prevent drastic failures. Care must be taken to augment and enhance human capabilities and interaction, and to avoid discrimination against segments of society. Research to encourage this direction and inform public policy debates should be emphasized.

The measure of success for AI applications is the value they create for human lives.

AI could widen existing inequalities of opportunity if access to AI technologies—along with the high-powered computation and large-scale data that fuel many of them—is unfairly distributed across society. These technologies will improve the abilities and efficiency of people who have access to them. A person with access to accurate Machine Translation technology will be better able to use learning resources available in different languages. Similarly, if speech translation technology is only available in English, people who do not speak English will be at a disadvantage.

We, humans, are emotion-driven machines not understanding and knowing ourselves. Genetically inherited needs that determine our behavior are million years old product of evolution and are not appropriate for our current problems and survival. The only hope for long-term survival is AI – our try and possibility to move our consciousness to other, more stable physical media and to create higher and more flexible intelligence. Our try to ‘create value for human lives’ is short-sighted: we must try to escape civilization from collapse and reach long-term survival. Long-term survival of consciousness and intelligence in this part of Universe is the most important value and task of our civilization. I.V. 

 

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Carl Sagans Cosmos – Episode 10 – The Edge of Forever

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Skaistums

Mēs neesam piemēroti laikam, kurā dzīvojam. To raksta E.O. Wilson, to saka Andrejs Tarkovskis, katrs saviem vārdiem un savā nozarē. Bet doma ir viena: Mēs nevaram būt laimīgi, tas iespējams tikai retiem izņēmumiem, mūsu izcelsme mums iedod ilgas, emocijas un vajadzības, kuru piepildīšana nav savietojama ar mūsu realitāti.

Kurš dzīvesveids ir vērtīgāks, vairāk cienījams? Vai tās pasaules, kurās aizrautīgi un juceklīgi dzīvo tie dvēseles mākslinieki, kuri cieš, iet bojā un dažreiz piedzīvo arī laimes mirkļus, vai tie, kuri visa pamatā liek faktus un realitāti, un laimi nepazīst, jo nezina tās valodu? Vai vēl vienkāršāk: nav sastapuši. Kā ir pareizāk?

Helen Fisher (skat. : https://www.amazon.com/Why-Him-Her-Find-Lasting/dp/1851687920/ref=cm_wl_huc_item ) neraksta par tādu aizrautīgu, narkotiskai atkarībai līdzīgu mīlestību: Rietumu sabiedrībā ir pieņemts nākotni vērtēt un pamatoti, nopietni, sakarīgi izvēlēties mēģināt.

Bet varbūt ir tā, ka lielu laimi spēj saņemt tikai stipri un gudri cilvēki? Bet varbūt, ka ir vēl vienkāršāk: nevienam nav pamata prasīt, lai viņš vai viņa būtu normālā varbūtību sadalījuma galējais, mazvarbūtīgais gadījums.

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Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why

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What Romantic Regime Are You In?

Polina Aronson spent her first 16 years in Russia. There, people tend to regard love as a sort of divine madness that descends from the heavens. Love is regarded, as the sociologist Julia Lerner put it, as “a destiny, a moral act and a value; it is irresistible, it requires sacrifice and implies suffering and pain.” Russians measure one another by how well they are able to bear the upheaval love brings, sometimes to an absurd degree.

But when she was in high school, Aronson moved to America, and stumbled across an issue of Seventeen magazine. She was astounded. In America she noticed that people tended ask: Does a partner fulfill your needs? Do you feel comfortable asserting your rights in the relationship? Does your partner check the right boxes?

Aronson concluded that she had moved from the Russian Regime of Fate to the American Regime of Choice.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/what-romantic-regime-are-you-in.html?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ty_20170307&nl=opinion-today&nl_art=1&nlid=74231826&ref=headline&te=1

Everything seems acceptable with one aspect added: Choice is important and useful but don’t forget the most valuable: the heavens. If you do feel that your feeling can change your both lives and yourself completely. you dare to accept it. If you are not sure, take the Choice: 

The Covenant Regime is based on the idea that our current formula is a conspiracy to make people unhappy. Love is realistically a stronger force than self-interest. Detached calculation in such matters is self-strangulating. The deepest joy sneaks in the back door when you are surrendering to some sacred promise.

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Carl Sagan – The Cosmic Perspective

There are not many words but there is a deep sense, possibility, duty and responsibility. And a future, if we will understand and accept it.

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Utopia Inc

At 16, Martin Winiecki dropped out of school and left his home in the German city of Dresden to live full-time at Tamera, a 300-acre intentional community in the rolling hills of southwestern Portugal. His mother and father – a doctor and a professor of mathematics – were reluctant to let him go. ‘It was quite a shock for them,’ Winiecki remembers. Born in 1990, just a few months after the collapse of the Berlin wall, Winiecki came of age in a society in limbo. The atmosphere of the former GDR still clung to people. ‘It was a culture that was so formal. So obligation-oriented. That had no heart. No love,’ Winiecki explained. At the same time, in Winiecki’s eyes, the capitalist alternative was creating a ‘system of deep economic injustice – of winners and losers’. Neither story encompassed a humanity he wanted part of. Tamera offered an alternative.

Founded by the psychoanalyst and sociologist Dieter Duhm in Germany in 1978 and re-founded in Portugal in 1995, Tamera aspired to dissolve the trauma of human relationships. Duhm, heavily influenced by Marxism and psychoanalysis, came to see material emancipation and interpersonal transformation as part of the same project. Duhm had been deeply disillusioned by communes where he’d spent time in the 1960s and ’70s, and which seemed to reproduce many of the same tyrannies that people were trying to escape: egoism, power struggles, envy, mistrust and fear, while practices of sexual freedom often engendered jealousy and pain. In Duhm’s eyes, communes had failed to create a viable model for a new society. In Tamera, he hoped to begin a social experiment that allowed for deep interpersonal healing.

Communitarian experiments such as Tamera are nothing new, although its longevity – almost 40 years – is unusual. Generally,  intentional communities fail at a rate slightly higher than that of most start-ups. Only a handful of communities founded in the US during the 19th century’s ‘golden age of communities’ lasted beyond a century; most folded in a matter of months. This golden age birthed more than 100 experimental communities, with more than 100,000 members who, according to the historian Mark Holloway in Heavens on Earth (1951), sought to differentiate themselves from society by creating ‘ideal commonwealths’. The largest surge in communitarian ‘start-ups’ occurred during the 1840s and 1890s, coinciding with periods of economic depression. But it would be a mistake to see intentional communities merely as a knee-jerk response to hard times.

In historic terms, a broader discontent with industrial society has led to people flocking to communes, utopias and spiritual settlements, from eco-villages and ‘back to the land’ style settlements designed to create sustainable lifestyles and a stronger relationship to nature, to communities founded with spiritual or idealist visions for transforming human character and creating new blueprints of society. Of course, the ‘cult’ label is never far behind. Many intentional communities have had to fight their own public-relations battles in the wake of negative or sensational publicity.

But regardless of our suspicions, our appetite for communitarian living might even be evolutionarily hard-wired. Some sociologists have gone as far as to suggest that we are mal-adapted in modern society, and that ‘tribal’ forms of life are more viable. Theories of neo-tribalism suggest that instead of mass society, human nature is best suited to small, caring groups. The anthropologist Robin Dunbar at the University of Oxford claims that humans can comfortably maintain no more than 150 stable relationships, which suggests that communitarian living might not be so much of an ‘outlier’ or ‘experiment’. From an evolutionary perspective, modern society itself might be the anomaly. As the cultural critic Daniel Quinn writes in The Story of B (1996), for 3 million years the tribal life worked for us: ‘It worked for people the way nests worked for birds, the way webs work for spiders, the way burrows work for moles … That doesn’t make it lovable, it makes itviable.’

Why then do utopian communities so often fail? Interestingly, attrition rates for intentional communities are not all that different from many other types of human endeavour. The failure rate for start-ups is around 90 per cent, and the longevity of most companies is dismal: of the Fortune 500 companies listed in 1955, more than 88 per cent are gone; meanwhile, S&P companies have an average lifespan of just 15 years. Can we really expect more longevity from experimental communities? And if not, what can we learn from an audit of these experiments? What have been the key factors undermining communitarian living?

Perhaps the irony is that many of the administrative and managerial forces that individuals are running away from within mainstream society are exactly the organisational tools that would make intentional communities more resilient: that regardless of how much intentional communities with utopian aims seek to step to one side of worldly affairs, they succeed or fail for the very same pragmatic reasons that other human enterprises – notably businesses and start-ups – succeed or fail.

More: https://aeon.co/essays/like-start-ups-most-intentional-communities-fail-why?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=228cd185e7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_03_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-228cd185e7-68643017

What is the right community, the right human society? Is it possible? Is there an answer? Yes, there are answers but not the ones you are waiting, you are prepared for.

Any human society must not only be based on the real human properties but to make use of them. That means that they must create the rules of game, restricting any wrongdoing by making it unprofitable. This is a hard task human societies try to accomplish since centuries: in many wars they kill innocent people but don’t punish their offenders. 

That means that they have to create the rules which allow to satisfy the basic, most important human needs for self-realization and development and the deep need for something bigger than their daily lives. This is even more hard task which is not solved almost in all human societies: the more important values are not defined. There is pluralism, relativism, superstition and religions instead . I.V. 

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В чем сила?

По данным опросов, россияне не уважают тех, кто умеет «зарабатывать деньги», и не любят тех, у кого они есть. При этом сами предпринимать ничего не хотят.

От редакции LJ MEDIA
Mūsu sabiedrībā nav citādāk. Visvairāk ir kritizētāju un nosodītāju. Zinošu padomdevēju ir mazāk. Darītāju ir pavisam maz. Tas ir kultūras mēms, pāri kuram spēj pacelties tie, kam pagadījušies darītāja gēni un ārējie apstākļi. Un vēl tie, kas apzinās savu mantojumu.
Bet ir vēl sarežģītāk. Daudzi ir darītāji pēc pārliecības un aicinājuma, bet … viņi labāk neprot. Un tā iznāk, ka tie kritizētāji viņus kritizē pamatoti. Bet … paši spēj un prot vēl mazāk. Izeja, risinājums? Klusēt un darīt. Un vērtēt sevi pēc padarītā. I.V.
Avots: http://nikitskij.livejournal.com/700297.html?media
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