apocalyptic techno-optimism

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Riggerjack
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:30 am

thus even if average fuel cost per person actually transported is higher, it can be worth it, because it enables a higher density of humans in the city, which has large economical network effects.
I don't dispute this, but I also don't accept this.

If it's true, and not an artifact of measuring, then the environmentally correct answer would be using existing network technology to make the density gains without the density problems. Why, exactly, do we need to move all the people physically together, at the same time, to get this network effect? And is a concrete jungle, far from food and water, the best place to meet up?

The Green solution would seem be to use more fuel to move janitors downtown so they don't need to pay for parking to clean your office.

prognastat
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by prognastat » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:43 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:30 am
If it's true, and not an artifact of measuring, then the environmentally correct answer would be using existing network technology to make the density gains without the density problems. Why, exactly, do we need to move all the people physically together, at the same time, to get this network effect? And is a concrete jungle, far from food and water, the best place to meet up?
The most efficient solution likely would be working remotely, however this is something that though growing is still looked at as suspicious by most managers/higher ups as they feel less in control of their employees. This would be far more efficient economically and environmentally, but could exacerbate problems that are already growing currently(e.g. social isolation/mental health) if not managed well which I doubt it would at least at first.

@7Wannabe5/BRUTE

I don't think it's impossible to upload/create digital consciousness. In the end you should be able to brute force it given enough calculation power if you are able to completely simulate every atom required for a human being. Even if it turns out that for a human-like consciousness to function you would need outside input from the senses you could simulate that given enough extra power. Another question though is can we circumvent the massive amount of power required for this through smart algorithms instead in which case it might not be a question of when will we have enough computational power to do this and rather when will someone invent the right set of algorithms to achieve this which could take just as long or possibly be done any moment. Technology has taken leaps before when someone had a genius idea.

However just because we could simulate human consciences doesn't really mean you live forever. I would see it as more of a advanced legacy. Instead of leaving your thoughts/knowledge in the form of writing for future generations you could create an A.I. that has your full experience and thought patterns which would be able to leave a full legacy of who you were for the future rather than the incomplete one contained in writing or even video these days. I don't believe this A.I. would be you. It's similar to the teleporter problem. If you can "teleport" by analysing your atoms, breaking them down, transmitting the pattern to a new location and reconstructing the same pattern with new atoms you could do that without destructing the original you leaving two copies and which of those two would be the "real" you. The problem in recreating your pattern in software would be no different. If there can be two of "you" one of them has to be the "real" one and my bet would be on the original copy of the pattern as it has the uninterrupted consciousness throughout.

daylen
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by daylen » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:21 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if uploading a brain turns out to actually be impossible. So much information in such a compact area that measuring part of the brain will inevitably corrupt some other part. This is separate from simulating consciousness in general though.

vexed87
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:24 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:45 am
can technology not solve social problems? the fence solved a lot of tragedy of the commons problems. the invention of private property did. that doesn't mean that all social/ToC problems can be solved by technology, especially technology that is close enough for humanity right now, but brute would suggest that, in principle, it is possible, and has historically happened a lot.
I would argue that the fence itself did not solve any problems, but the commonly held laws that breaching those fences is trespass and a punishable offence, therefore technology itself isn't the solution to the commons problem. Culture needs to change to treasure shared natural resources and non-renewables goods. Capitalism seems to do a great job of organising humans around two of four key forms of capitalism, financial and manufactured capital, however human and natural capital seem to get lost in our current social arrangements for the most part. We need to foster these forms of capital just as much as the first two if we are to address our fundamental issues as a society.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jacob » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:03 pm

@brute/vexed87 - The failure in Copenhagen to agree on how to keep global warming under 2C illustrated this dichotomy well. The developed world's proposal---which we can call the fence proposal---was that all countries lower their emissions relative to the country. The developing world objected to this ostensibly fair proposal. Why? If we look at it on an individual basis, the population in the developed world is increasing very slowly or stagnating, in some places even declining. Whereas in the developing world, it's still booming. Thus under the fence-proposal people in the developing world would have to reduce their emissions/capita much more to account for the fact that they're increasing their "capita". This is also in the face of the fact that developed countries start out higher.

Also that some externalities, like CO2, can't be fenced in.

IlliniDave
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:51 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:21 pm
Maybe stereotype mob muscle types.
Right. Because the mob never had any self promoters?

That's why I said "stereotype"--like Luca Brasi. Not real bright, not real ambitions, conscientious, but amoral.

BRUTE
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:13 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:24 pm
I would argue that the fence itself did not solve any problems
brute thinks the fence itself solves problems. now animals can be locked in, and other humans clearly know where the boundary lies.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:20 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:13 am
What I should have said was something more like "The human mind is not like a computer in the sense that anything resembling continuation of consciousness would be possible via upload."
brute pretty much agrees with this, at least regarding the brain. the brain is the hardware and the software. unlike most popular computers today, brute believes it will be impossible to transfer one "consciousness" into another brain. the consciousness is made of the brain.

the brain is not just the CPU, but also the hard drive, including its contents. moving a "consciousness" onto another brain would imply changing every neuron in that brain, after which, it could be argued, it would not be the same brain. is a hard drive the same hard drive after all the bits have been flipped? it is a physical change.

beyond the brain, it seems that human "consciousness" is indeed informed by various bodily functions (mostly senses). but these seem relatively standardized and connected through abstractions. brute doesn't see why ears, eyes, and maybe limbs couldn't be changed without affecting the "consciousness" much.

then again, the human body produces lots of hormones, which absolutely have effects on "consciousness". so the personality of the newly transferred "consciousness" might change if the new body has a different hormonal environment. but placing the same human, including same body, in a different context would probably cause certain changes as well, e.g. moving the human to a different country, hearing and having to speak a different language, working at a different job, different friends, hobbies.

brute is unsure how large the effect of all these physical bodily effects is on the brain, but it's probably a lot.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by vexed87 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:44 am

@brute

Yes, some problems, but not real hard ones! :)

Common's problems go way beyond overgrazing of shared land. Forgive me if I am leaning too much on your fence example of technology, but...

Some humans do not respect the boundary lines, fences will only stop those that respect them. It's a bit like the analogy of the locked doors on your house only keep out otherwise decent neighbours who might be tempted to wander in when your away for 2 weeks. Your walls and locks are not much good. The criminal uses smash and grab tactics to get in an out before your fancy tech alarm alerts and dispatches the police to your address. Outlaws do not care much for kicking your fences in, or smashing a window to gain entry. Lke jacob says, 'fences' don't stop CO2. There's also CFCs, unsustainable water extraction, plastic dumped in rivers/seas, oil spills, cutting down of vast swathes of trees (legally, behind fences of course :twisted: ). Bandits are behind all these actions. The common thread is the over appreciation of financial capital, and the under appreciation of natural capital.

Technology in itself cannot stop pollution or over-extraction by bandits, a mass-shared value of nature's capital will stop industrial scale destruction of these resources. Not by magic, but because if our social system values them, technology as well as human resources can but put to work to solve the issues. As it stands, no one cares enough to solve most of these over-exploitation issues. If capitalism can be steered to value natural and human capital as much as financial and manufactured capital, our social problems go away. Granted, it's easier said than done.

BRUTE
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:37 am

locks and doors have stopped over-extraction.

are there problems that have as of yet not been solved by technology? yes. are there problems that technology will never be able to solve? brute would wager that that's not just likely, but provable.

but technology has definitely solved some problems. that's the only claim brute made.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:28 pm

prognastat wrote:I don't think it's impossible to upload/create digital consciousness. In the end you should be able to brute force it given enough calculation power if you are able to completely simulate every atom required for a human being. Even if it turns out that for a human-like consciousness to function you would need outside input from the senses you could simulate that given enough extra power.
Nope. Can't do it for same reason we can't accurately predict the weather. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions applies.

"If we knew exactly the laws of nature and the situation of the universe at the initial moment, we could predict exactly the situation of the universe at a succeeding moment. But even if it were the case that the natural laws had no longer any secret for us, we could still only know the initial situation approximately. If that enabled us to predict the succeeding situation with the same approximation, that is all we require, and we should say that the phenomenon has been predicted, that it is governed by laws. But it is not always so; it may happen that small differences in the initial condition produce very great ones in the final phenomenon. A small error in the former will produce an enormous error in the latter. Prediction becomes impossible... Henri Poincare"
brute doesn't see why ears, eyes, and maybe limbs couldn't be changed without affecting the "consciousness" much.
Well, one reason would be that virtually every frame delivered by your unconscious thoughts to allow you to structure your conscious thoughts is referential to the structure and sensory organs of your human body. For instance, "in front of" is referential to the placement of your eyes in the front of your head, and your limbs in their sockets. The number of unique objects you are able to perceive in your visual field is limited by the structure of the brain intermediary. Your concept of the categorical ideal and the categorical minimal is structural. A phrase like "basked in the the warmth of her gaze" is meaningless in the deepest possible sense to something resembling a mind without a human body. Etc.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by prognastat » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:11 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:28 pm
But even if it were the case that the natural laws had no longer any secret for us, we could still only know the initial situation approximately. If that enabled us to predict the succeeding situation with the same approximation, that is all we require, and we should say that the phenomenon has been predicted, that it is governed by laws.
I think this is slightly different question, I do think technically if we had perfect knowledge of the laws of nature we could "simply" calculate backwards to accurately determine the initial conditions. However doing so for the entire universe, which would be necessary to be able to determine your knowledge if 100% accurate, would be impossible without being able to measure the exact current state of the entire universe at a specific moment. A workaround might be to gather this information over time using a universal timestamp for each set of data gathered until you have it all and then calculating backwards the individual chunks. However then you run into the relativity of time and how do you take that in to consideration both in how it affects spacetime and matter for both that which you are measuring and that which is performing the measuring. Finally I suspect that if you were to somehow be able to gather all this data I suspect reversing this and calculating the initial conditions would probably take as much time as it took to actually happen and require a computer made up of as much or more matter than is available in the universe. Where the amount of matter in your supercomputer/simulator and the time are possibly interchangeable to a degree, but this doesn't really help the situation as we can't have more matter than there is available and thus it would be increasing the time to achieve.

So I would say theoretically it's plausible, but effectively impossible for us to achieve. However the scale of simulating the universe accurately enough to predict everything and simulating a person are worlds apart. You could also either simulate a small environment for sensory input or simply take said sensory input from the real world instead of simulating it. Doesn't change the problem that it still wouldn't actually be "you".

Then of course you could also take shortcuts and create a "you" that has some level of abstraction where it still appears to behave like you, but might not contain the same underlying processes/thoughts/feelings, this would be similar to the black mirror episode where a woman loses her husband and has a company create an A.I. that learns his mannerisms through parsing data from social media, email and phone interactions to create a semblance of her former husband and gets more accurate in imitating him based on how much data is provided. It would be easier to achieve and could be an easier way of leaving a legacy reminiscent of yourself but would be even less "you".

George the original one
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by George the original one » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:09 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:28 pm
A phrase like "basked in the the warmth of her gaze" is meaningless in the deepest possible sense to something resembling a mind without a human body. Etc.
Insert sudden vision of genetically modified infrared-emitting eyeballs... "if looks could kill" :o

7Wannabe5
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:45 pm

prognastat wrote: I do think technically if we had perfect knowledge of the laws of nature we could "simply" calculate backwards to accurately determine the initial conditions.
Nope.

logistic map : X @ (t +1) = R * X@(t) (1-X@(t))

try plugging in 2 for R and .5 for X@(t=0)
then try plugging in 3.1 for R and .2 for X@(t=0)
then try plugging in 3.49 for R and .2 for X@(t=0)
then try plugging in 4.0 for R and .2 for X@(t=0)
then try plugging in 4.0 for R and .2000000001 for X@(t=0)
The fact that the simple and deterministic equation (the logistic map) can possess dynamical trajectories which look like some sort of random noise has disturbing practical implications. It means, for example, that apparently erratic fluctuations in the census data for an animal population need not necessarily betoken either the vagaries of an unpredictable environment or sampling errors: they may simply derive from a rigidly deterministic growth relationship such as this equation...even if we have a simple model in which all the parameters are determined exactly, long-term prediction is nevertheless impossible.- Robert May

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by prognastat » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:17 pm

@7W5

Wouldn't the equation you offered be closer to my mention of a shortcut/simplification though? Wouldn't a possibility simply be that the reason these produce seeming unpredictable results for us currently be that we don't currently have a full understanding of all the laws of nature. For example in your equation where R represents the growth rate isn't R itself a simplification of a large amount of factors making the formula itself an abstraction?

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by daylen » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:05 pm

prognastat wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:11 pm
Then of course you could also take shortcuts and create a "you" that has some level of abstraction where it still appears to behave like you, but might not contain the same underlying processes/thoughts/feelings, this would be similar to the black mirror episode where a woman loses her husband and has a company create an A.I. that learns his mannerisms through parsing data from social media, email and phone interactions to create a semblance of her former husband and gets more accurate in imitating him based on how much data is provided. It would be easier to achieve and could be an easier way of leaving a legacy reminiscent of yourself but would be even less "you".
Westworld. 8-)

Spoiler: Second season is incoherent.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by BRUTE » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:01 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:28 pm
For instance, "in front of" is referential to the placement of your eyes in the front of your head, and your limbs in their sockets.
brute has observed that many humans have their eyes and limbs in the same places as other humans. so it seems pretty feasible to transfer a brain into a body and retain a similar notion of "in front of".

@daylen:

fidelity.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:28 am

prognastat wrote:For example in your equation where R represents the growth rate isn't R itself a simplification of a large amount of factors making the formula itself an abstraction?
No. R could represent a simple, readily observable mechanism, such as the fact that the female of a species will usually drop 4 pups in a yearly litter.

Anyways, it doesn't matter whether you say implausible or I say impossible, reductionism is clearly not the path to getting the billionaires to give Team ERE enough prize money to permanently retire from typing in cubicles and/or shopping for white lace push-up bodysuits in order to pay the rent.

So, I suggest we drop that idea, and give BRUTE's brain (or whole head?) transplant suggestion some consideration. Top two problems would be spinal cord re-attachment and fact that human brain evolved for approximately 100 years max obsolescence like rest of the body. I don't believe our billionaire clients will be happy with an extra 50 years of ever-increasing senility.

I think the answer will have to be something like putting the hardware right into the brain case with the wetware with evolutionary algorithm for forming connections. Since the mind is inherently embodied, it could readily be assumed that much of the functionality of an implanted augment chip would eventually become part of majority unconscious processing. IOW, conscious you would not know whether it was your brain or the chip throwing you frames.

daylen
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by daylen » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:03 am

If the nervous system is gradually expanded with nano-machines, then the illusion of self could be preserved.

Creating an interface between a fleshy soup of chemicals and a machine/chip is the major obstacle.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Jason » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:08 am

I guess the original headline "Academic Type of Guy Lines His Pocket By Moderating a Self-Indulgent Roundtable Discussion With Five Rich Douchebags Which He Subsequently Spins Like Cotton Candy into a Pseudo Sociological Techno/Apocalyptic Narrative About a Roundtable Discussion He Had With Five Rich Douchebags Who Have Nothing Better to Do Than Worry about Pseudo/Techno Apocalyptic Narratives" was found to be too long and "Academic Type of Guy Discovers That Present Day Rich Douchebags Think Just Like Previous But Now Dead and Forgotten Rich Douchebags" made it appear to Oniony. But at least common folk like myself can financially benefit if shit does in fact turn real by investing in sex doll manufacturers who's products can maintain a high-level of oral sex performance during atmospheric re-entry and/or DNA recombination.

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