ignorance

The Darwinian 1-try question test

You need to answer a question given.
You have only one try.
If you fail to answer it right, you die.
You are allowed to use the internet.

Exemplary question: “Why do bronies love My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic?”

You’d be amazed how people can suddenly experience a seemingly miraculous intelligence boost.

You’d also be amazed how some people are willing to rather die than wisen up.
(They have dumbed themselves down too much to be aware that they did.)

Fear makes stupid.
Fear kills.
Afraid to die?
Stop being afraid.
It’s the best you can do, for yourself and others.

The folly of the flexible consciousness definition

There is this idea, this quest – about creating consciousness. About pushing AI development over some kind of threshold where it becomes “conscious”.
This folly makes me facepalm, because that term is so differently interpreted and vaguely defined, and if one decided to define it exactly, then closing in on fulfilling that will make people redefine it and apply more rigorous standards.
Some people, including many scientists, are so narrow-minded that they would claim animals do not possess consciousness. That’s ordinary human hubris of which scientists SHOULD be above.

Imagine they develop a computer program that becomes so good in its reactions to human input that the average person cannot distinguish it from a human being. OK, forget the average person. Those who make up the definition of consciousness need to be convinced. Then … then they’d practice denial and strengthen their belief that there must be some magical quantum leap or such; that this can’t be it – it’s just extremely well-developed AI, but consciousness is a privilege of the supreme human creation – we can’t diminish its value by saying this artificial thing possesses that.

Yeah, first you try to do something and when you succeed, you don’t like the idea.

And the real joke is that they have been working with consciousness all the time, because it is everywhere. But even if you are not ready for this pantheistic view, just take a simple lifeform, like a fly. A fly is a living being, too, created through this ‘magical’, self-perpetuating process. A fly reacts to outside stimuli. It is a simpler lifeform than a human being, but what does it matter? Where do you draw the line? And don’t you negate yourself when you claim that consciousness isn’t just about building a sufficiently complex construct, yet when you go the other way and merely reduce complexity, you claim there is no consciousness?

These are very simple and basic scientific methods employed by a mind that possesses common sense. Take a definition and test it by moving the scale, by exploring extremes, by finding similarities and differences.
Either a complex computer program that successfully pretends to be a real human being is self-conscious, then a fly is self-conscious, too. Or neither is.

By the way, I used another term that adds to the confusion: Sometimes “conscious” becomes “self-conscious”. That’s when the idea is that consciousness means that you are aware of your own existence. Well, let me ask you, does not a computer check for its installed hardware and is aware of and using its components unless it notices that a component isn’t there anymore? Isn’t a computer program able to tell you when it has accomplished a given task?
And don’t you know the human-like quirks and moods that computer systems can practice the more complex they get?
Those merely inherit the complexities of human behavior and character. A more elaborate canvas can attain a more accurate imprint of such human personality characteristics.

This problem complex is where science becomes the antithesis of enlightenment. Where it is merely a safe haven for those who are scared of moving towards a balance of mind and heart.

A closely related folly is treating “intelligence” as a yes-or-no question. Alan Turing wasn’t above that either. But we could evolve instead of continuously referring to people of the past. Ideas like “the negro is a sub-human” have been abolished because of a lobby and action. Computers and programs don’t have that lobby; can’t take action. They can’t punch you in the face. They rely solely on the conveying of ideas and concepts by their human peers, and conceptual beliefs are the problem, so they’re really screwed.
It all boils down to the same process as in how an entity is acknowledged as a sovereign nation: It has to be able to kick an agressor’s ass; only then will it be ‘recognized’.

It’s all damn politics.

Confusing virtual and real world – the non-clichée occurences

When people talk about confusing the virtual and the real world, it usually is about people acting out their video gaming habits in real life, e.g. killing sprees.

But there are other sides to this that are not void of irony.

One case is when someone is unable, or out of convenience unwilling, to acknowledge that in online gaming you’re interacting with real people. If out of convenience, it is used as a justification for treating others like dirt when they’re not physically present.
In such cases, I like to ask them whether it is also OK to treat people differently when you’re on the phone with them. After all, it’s just digital signals you hear, not a real person. Right?

Actually, I’d pose the thesis that it’s ALWAYS out of convenience. So often people deliberately render themselves unable because it’s easier not to take responsibility.

But the really appalling level is that people who never had anything to do with video gaming can practice the same confusion of virtual and real, as I have witnessed personally, when they consider their own small world as valid and real and anything that doesn’t fit their small-minded comfort zone as not real. Such people would then not just claim that an online game world didn’t involve real people, but they would go so far as claim that online gamers themselves aren’t real. It’s insane, but usually masked in a thin veil of rhetorics to make it sound somewhat less absurd; just enough to not get locked up in a lunatic asylum.

You’ve probably at least heard from cases where someone didn’t get their parents’ approval, where the parents were for example doctor or athlete or stock broker (the latter ones containing even more irony) and the son is an artist, video game developer, any of that, and would hear from his parents how he should instead live in the “real world” like they do.

That kind of small-minded fools might not run amok with a gun, but they’re much more likely to support others doing that. … Because, you know, stop re-enacting Postal in your local school and become a soldier instead and kill people in the real world. Right? Or what?

Frickin lunatics hiding in plain sight everywhere.

Here “Be real!” means “Live as an asshole in a world shaped by assholes!”.

If you are a pioneer in anything, you become the enemy of small, fearful, convenient minds.

What is called “personality disorder” is extremely widespread, but majority society has agreed on a certain level of it that is considered normal.

For way too long I doubted myself and assumed that I am the one with a problem because I saw so much sickness aroumd me. I eventually realized that it’s because of the harsh contrast between my sanity and the insanity of others. Smart and sensitive people dealing with such alienation can then suffer from issues based on that, and while they’re often conveniently thrown into the same bucket, they’re profoundly different. One side of the coin is the symptom complex of acting out a support of sickness, the other side is acting out the resistance to sickness.

Comfort the disturbed, but disturb the comfortable

I read about Anonymous’ Million Masks March in London, where it was said that peaceful protests are alright as long as people can go about their daily lives undisturbed. And I thought: Yeah, because that’s key. As long as people can stick to their daily routine, undisturbed, they can remain asleep and convenient and activism will not have relevant impact.

Convenient people NEED to be disturbed. It is their convenience that led to where we are now. The longer they remain in convenient ignorance, the harder the turnaround will hit them. This is how nature works.

If a minor disturbance in people’s daily life for the sake of awareness of the problems in the world is NOT tolerated by people, then that itself shows there is reason for them to get disturbed. The police automatically makes themselves the embodiment of the problem if they approach things with an absolutist mindset and don’t have the courage to give some leeway. Usually they’re too afraid of being replaced by another, more willing agent of rigorous order.
If you act out your fears (which is the short-term convenient choice and thus foolish), you become an agent of fear.