Capitalism is a Paperclip Maximizer

oh god

Thought Infection

There is a classic thought experiment in the field of artificial intelligence which is often used to explain how an AI might inadvertently cause the destruction of humanity as a by-product of trying maximize its goals. There is a great wiki on the subject here, but the basic idea of the paperclip maximizer posits the emergence of an artificial general intelligence which is capable of performing not only complex functions, but also is able to innovate means to improve its own function.

Presumably at the hand of an enterprising paperclip manufacturer, this artificial intelligence is set to the mundane goal of making as many paperclips as possible. The paperclip maximizer then goes about finding sources of raw materials and increasingly efficient means of making paperclips. Eventually this AI will start to use up resources that are essential to human survival, or it might figure out that humans make a good source of paperclip material.

We would of course…

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Scarier than Fiction 

Scary and real
^(scary real life stories)

Horror movies are often silly. Sometimes they are plausible, or at least felt to be, and those are the scariest. Of course, taking out the supernatural aspect helps with this, but mental illness and belief in the supernatural, or fringes of reality, can sometimes be one and the same. (see Schizophrenia)

Now, check out these true stories. And I say true in the sense that these are documented historical events. The first one from the linked Cracked podcast at the top provoked me to share this!

Humans are the scariest 

EX MACHINA: A Film Analysis of Color Symbolism

This is amazing!

The movie itself was terrifying.
Is there nothing we can do to avoid the singularity?
Is there nothing we can do to guarantee friendly AI?
Human extinction is imminent, and many of us will be alive to experience it.

The Red Room

 A still from Alex Garland’s Ex Machina

Previously well-known for writing the sci-fi horror film 28 Days Later, Alex Garland recently released his directorial debut, Ex Machina. The sci-fi thriller revolves around a young computer programmer, Caleb, who is selected to take part in an AI experiment at the home of his company’s CEO, Nathan. Caleb takes part in Turing tests in order to determine if an AI, Ava, can pass for a sentient being. From the first scenes, the film is brilliantly inundated with religious, cultural, philosophical, and scientific references. Most of these analogies, metaphors, and symbols are seemingly endless and even subtle at times, a great example being the sephriotic tree of life pattern that’s depicted on the wall during the dance scene.

However, aside from receiving widespread praise for it’s creative plot and philosophical commentary on artificial intelligence, Garland has also shown himself to be a genius when it comes to semiotic composition: his use of color is what…

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They Call Him “Edward Snowden Number Two”

TL;DR, Fuck everyone and/or trust no one


Here I sit throwing stones at my glass house.

Manipulated by rhetoric

(Comrades, the environment, and the zeitgeist)

Forgetting to use my thinking cap while falling victim to the media, and the push of my comrades to “Stop Harper”, I have finally woken up.

Governments are not our friends. Humans, sadly, cannot ever be trusted. 

We are our worst enemies, not the “terrorists” or “immigrants” or “[insert xenophobic comment, or otherwise oppressed/minority group]”. (By the way, this is literally the premise of “Good zombie franchises”; what is worst than certain hatred? The invisible and inevitable threat of betrayal, of course!) Reddit/ If it was any other country, we’d call them Terrorists…

It is all good and well to believe that our government, in the great name of “democracy” is looking out for our best interests. We are but sheep being herded and slaughtered by our leaders. They are our Führers. However, unlike Hitler, we have not been indoctrinated to despise them. No, instead, we have been indoctrinated to have faith in them. To believe in them. To harbour nought but goodwill and loving pretense for our politicians and authority figures.

We do not know of the web of lies and shadows that hide beneath the veil of “good governance”. We only know what they want us to know, and of course that is very little, or BS. So, find your pitchforks and prepare to hate more Muslims, and to find a new Osama, or a new Hussein, or a new Hitler, or whatever and whoever is our new enemy.

It surely is not the mega-corporations, old money/the Anglosaxon élite, or more generally, private and special interests of the oligarch et al.

Weep my friends.


… Friends, Foes, Frenemies… All different sides of the same die… government is the embodiment of this die, and it appears that they are less and less our friend as time goes by.

Continue reading “They Call Him “Edward Snowden Number Two””

POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT

 

Political Disillusionment

October 8, 2015: Something is Missing in the Debates

Preamble: I dislike politics for a variety of reasons, much the same as how much I dislike religion (corruption, deceit, whatever). Ironically enough, one of the biggest problems with religions are the politics. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with either, and the problem lies solely with the people. Perhaps misanthropy is my passion. In any case, today I very briefly discuss a key argument against the world’s developed governments, or more generally, the status quo.

Are we fast approaching, or have we already become a post-industrial society?
Regardless of the answer, we are shifting quickly deeper into the service industries: tertiary, quaternary, and quinary.

The problem is this: capitalism and democracy is inherently flawed. For one, it does not represent the needs and desires of the people; it instead serves the elite, and the hypnotized majority. Second, as a result of the first, the great many of us suffer, and will suffer indefinitely without radical change.

I could delve deep into more examples of bullshit, but with time as my constraint, given that I am a cog in this capitalist machine and must perform my wage-slave duties, I must just make mention of one example:

Technological Unemployment

(Check below for two great sources to learn about it. Hopefully I will make a video about this in the coming weeks/months)

The parties and the people are so concerned with solving unemployment and poverty issues, but they are unsolvable; how can you solve a problem that you do not talk about, or refuse to talk about in meaningful, permanent ways? Humans tend to think short-term, and one of the biggest long-term problems is the issue of technological unemployment.

As time goes by, human obsolescence becomes a greater reality, even the white collars in accounting, management, law, medicine, etc. will be rendered useless through no fault of their own – well, I guess their sole “fault” is being human What does this say about those that are unable to achieve higher education? We can or will be able to replace the ants of cheap labour, and we can replace the giants of highly skilled labour [See below].

Now, as said, we can become more socialist, which I am personally for, but of course, this is not something we talk about. My political compass set me at “anarcho-syndicalism” which pits me at the opposite corner from the top-right that everyone else is in (Obama, Harper, whatever). My closest mates are the Dalai Lama, and I believe Ghandi.

Anyways. I just want everyone to keep in mind the importance of wealth distribution. We need to worry about much more than just unemployment, job creation, and taxation.

Hopefully you too will find the Light and see why I am so disillusioned with… everything. Hopefully you are smarter than me, or can form a smarter collaboration, so that you can solve the problems of today, and the catastrophes of tomorrow.

Peace and Love,

Jame

P.S.
I voted green but it is most likely a wasted vote – the first past the post system makes it most viable to choose from the big three. In terms of genuine political ideology, the right is the opposite of how I feel. I am reformist/radical left. ? > Green > NDP/Liberal.

Sources on Technological Unemployment

“humans need not apply” video by CP Grey

Stephen Hawking, Reddit AMA
https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/3nyn5i/science_ama_series_stephen_hawking_ama_answers/cvsdmkv

Further Further reading

  • Watson, IBM supercomputer that destroyed Jeopardy and will be used to help diagnose medical problems
  • Self-driving cars, think about what this means for the transportation industry. Yes, traffic jams will be a thing of the past (so might cars…) but so till will taxi drivers, trucks, planes,…
  • Baxter, robot that learns things. these three are pulled directly from the CGP grey video actually, so yeah, watch it.
  • Libertarian socialism
  • anarcho syndicalism

 

All Educational Streams are Equally Important

April 22, 2015

All Faculties of Thought are Equally Important

Guys, please respect each other.

note, the following is extremely poorly written… Tl;dr at the bottom

Intro

I entered McMaster in 2011 into the Faculty of Engineering. I ended up there because 1) I was naturally good at Math, Physics, and Chemistry (and science in general I suppose), and 2) my mom pushed me to enter university in fear that if I waited, I would not make it (first generation immigrant problems, and so I picked the “best” of pretty meh options, and 3) I knew that science (all STEM, really) = money, and I wanted to support my poor immigrant family.

I spent the first few weeks doing well. I killed my first round of midterms. Then I felt the existential crisis. The same recurring one that always strikes. I didn’t enjoy my academics, and I didn’t feel like chasing it just for money was worthwhile. Yes, I felt the need to support my mom, but god damn did I hate it all. So I slacked… and my grades slipped, slowly, and then quickly.

By the second semester, I had become a failing student.

By April, I had given up.

My GPA was terrible, but I had the option of transferring to a different program, so I decided to switch to Social Science into an Economics degree. Why? I remember out of all my courses, my elective, Microeconomics, was really interesting (and really easy).

And so I switched from Eng to soc sci, a big jump I suppose.

The Ugliness

When I was in eng, I felt this suffocating air of “Superiority” in the faculty. This overwhelming arrogance that emanated from many of my peers screaming “we are the best, and everyone else is inferior”. Of course, “people” said that the Commerce kids, and the Health sci kids were the same, but at the end of the day, Humanities (/artsy) kids, and Soc sci kids were getting bashed.

I remember the recurring joke of “You’re a hummer? Good luck at Starbucks!” and similarly distasteful jokes implying the worthlessness of non-STEM, Business and Health degrees. I wish I had more examples, but I really just felt some sort of unnecessary friction between faculties, and it was truly disturbing.

The Contradiction and Idiocy

People! We all need each other. We are deeply intertwined in society.

How so?

I’m going to briefly describe, without the aid of Google, what I believe the different faculties mean, and why I believe they are important.

Business: Selling shit. For some reason, I can’t see business and commerce as anything other than perpetuating Capitalism and Profiting. I view it as ugly, buy really, I have no idea what business is. This kind of seems hypocritical given the purpose of this blog, but overall, I just think our (economic) system boils down to us selling shit and creating externalities in production, consumption or somewhere else in the chain that ruins the environment… i guess this is for a different post. In any case, Business is selling shit, let’s just ignore the negativity for now lol.

Engineering Making shit work. Applying science to make useful things, or do useful things, or make things better. Civil, chemical, nuclear, materials, etc. idk, I just feel like engineers are the designers of awesome technological things. The modern day technological inventor of sorts. My plan being in engineering was to “create something novel and awesome and become rich off it, so that my mom could retire, and I could devote my life to doing what I REALLY wanted to do”… obviously that didn’t happen.

Health Sciences The betterment of human health. Biomedical eng I guess fits in here too. But anything involving prolonging human life, or fixing our ailments. Other than the obvious curing of illnesses, it may involve prosthetics, working towards introducing the ability to create new adult teeth, make new eyeballs, whole organs, etc.

Humanities Art. Showcasing the beauty of life. Film, movie, music, visual art, etc. Anything that involves capturing the essence of humanity, of emotion, of narrative, etc. Humanities make our lives interesting, or study it

Science The betterment of humanity. I feel like science overarches all the other hard sciences (eng and health sci)… it can involve chemistry, bio, physics, whatever. Anything that studies the matter and material around us. Science gives us telephones, radio, telescopes, microwave, internet, iPhones, whatever… or maybe it’s engineering. whatever, they make awesome things.

Social science The study of humanity! Is history under humanities or social science…? I think humanities… anyway, soc sci has poli sci, economics, sociology? uhhh… I actually have no idea what programs fall under here. Anyway, I think that soc sci studies the behaviour of humans, whether the systems of political governance, or economy… blah I’m tired.

WHY IS EVERYTHING IMPORTANT?

Here’s a simple example… Business makes saleable goods – makes it possible to own an iPhone.

Engineering designed that rollercoaster, or the iPhone, or your computer, ok.. maybe it was science too.. idk.

health sci! the eye surgery I’ll need. I’m not even going to bother with health sci, if you don’t think it’s important… bleh

Humanities. Remember that movie you watched? That video game you played?

Soc sci: I just explained that prostitution cannot exist because humans are evil and there will be those seeking to maximize profit: if their is money to be made and the costs are low enough (as they are, and have been), then prostitutes will be taken advantage of, and human trafficking will occur.

Lastly, as a deep aside, but similarly related to the importance of respecting the work of others: stop looking down on people. I remember growing up thinking it was “dirty” or “shameful” to work as a custodian, or a garbage man, or a plumber, or a sewage worker, or a McDonalds/Fast food employee, etc. You know what? We need all jobs, careers and workers in order for our world to run smoothly. You may deem some people’s work as dirty or “low-skilled” but there is no need to make them feel bad for it. Not only do some people lack the privilege of attaining more, some people are afflicted with poor histories/upbringing or generally poor life events. I find it upsetting that we look down on others, as we could have just as easily be born as them. I don’t think I have a bleeding heart, I think that others may be a little too black or cold.


Oh, and last tangent: homeless people! Do you know how they ended up on the street? Yes, some of them are assholes, but others just got the short end of the stick. Never treat a whole group of people like shit, just because a few bad eggs. I will extend this blog to include race, gender, sexuality, etc. another time perhaps…

TL;DR, Humans are reliant on each other to create meaningful and better lives. No faculty is inferior or superior to another. We are all equally important. Respect one another’s work.

Insane Babble #I lost count

April 22, 2015

Quick Theory of the Universe

I surmise that the universe that we are a part of is vast. We have seen millions and millions of light-years into it. However, I believe it is much more vast than any thing that we have or can detect. In our astronomy class, we learned more about the Big Bang (I forgot the terms for the small periods before and after), and we also learned about the possible final fates of the universe.

I believe we briefly skimmed over the multiverse theory, but unprovable as it may be, I believe that the true reality is something of the sort.

I believe that somewhere out there, or outside of the reality that we reside in, lies all the possible combinations and permutations that could possibly exist, given the laws of physics. Perhaps there’s even places where the laws of physics are different than as we know – a place where materials are not made up of protons, neutrons, electrons and their constituent quarks and their possibly constituent strings, etc.

Aside from having forms created of those outside of what we know, we will also find alternate realities. A reality where I am a woman, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or decided to eat a taco instead of a burger today, or four drumsticks today instead of five… literally every possible change… it exists.

This is crazy babble, I do admit, but it doesn’t seem possible that there can only be one true existence. I believe in infinite “Matrix”s if you will.

What do you think?

Quip about them damned illegal immigrants

April 9, 2015:

What makes an illegal immigrant an illegal immigrant?

They crossed the borders too slowly: they should have done it with the pioneering settlers – or when there were no, or more lax, immigration laws!

Perhaps if the illegals weren’t so stupid and invented a time-travel device, they could be legal citizens like you and I.

Stupid fucks! Go back home, you dirty (illegal) immigrant scum.

Peace and Love.

P.S.

There is absolutely no way that I am a first-generation immigrant, born in Canada after both of my parents escaped a country brewing political turmoil and mass persecution. Absolutely. No. Fucking. Way.

Arrogance is Poop

April 7, 2015

A great impediment to learning, and positive change is arrogance.

When you think that other’s opinions are worthless, and your opinion is Truth, you run into problems. “Fact” is not necessarily so. What we know is truly only what we think we know. Thus, facts change. Everything is only relative and nothing is absolute. Thanks Einstein!

In fact, “facts” are changing right now. Look at any developing news story or new Wikipedia entry – there is much conjecture, confusion and conflicting information.

Furthermore, and even more scary, is that even things we have “known” for hundreds or thousands of years, may not actually be the case.

I could write at length, but consider that Copernicus’ “Heliocentrism” was rejected as stupid, silly and insane. The Church probably tried fucking him, I don’t remember the history. Attached is a link where you can read for yourself.

“The Takeaway”

Do not be arrogant, and always be skeptical. Even what you most strongly believe in can be in fact false and thus it is important to analyze and be critical of every idea that passes your way.

Peace and Love

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_science