July 20-23,’16 ~ QofDay~ Curiosity Brings You?

What does curiosity mean to you?

Great answer FOS

For me, curiosity is science.

Curiosity is the eternal quest to find out what exists beyond the current limits.

Curiosity is the search for the unexamined assumptions in all illusions that pass for knowledge.

Curiosity is the eternal search for hints at new aspect of what I am, and what I might be capable of.

Curiosity is a willingness to ask any question, examine any evidence, consider any possibility.

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Difficult decision

July 10-13,’16 ~ QofDay~ Most Difficult Decision

What’s one of the most difficult things you have ever had to do?


Glad I’ve never quite been in a position to go to that degree of tough love.

And in my cancer journey, I have met so many people who would rather die than change their diet.

I find that almost incomprehensible, and it is very common.
It has given me a real depth of appreciation of choice, that death can be a choice.

Personally, I think it very probable that given the choice, I will always choose life (though not at the cost of someone else’s life), and I hope I never get to any of the really tricky and unpleasant situations. Those I’ve dealt with have been quite enough, thank you universe😉

One of the more unpleasant things I have done was agreeing to kill a pig for a friend, and as I walked towards the pig, seeing recognition and terror in its eyes, and it started screaming, and continued screaming until I pulled the trigger. I suspect that was a very intelligent pig, and I rationalised that had I not killed it as quickly and painlessly as possible, it might have suffered a slow and agonising death at someone else’s hands. That was the last large animal I killed – about 20 years ago.

Odd thing is, here I am answering this question while on a boat just entering the harbour of our capital city, going to a two day training session “making good decisions” a resource for Resource Management Act decision makers.

Strange, me, an anarchist, a decision maker in a rule based legal system😉. Never say never!

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Youthful muscle

Restoring Youthful Muscle Regeneration

The regenerative ability of muscle declines as we get older, and new research has indicated that declining levels of two proteins called ß1-integrin and fibonectin are partly to blame

I strongly suspect there is a component of Woody Monte’s work
in methanol -> formaldehyde -> protein cross linking – involved as well in many aspects of human aging.

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Ethics and human augmentation

Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation: the three ‘Laws’

Why? To protect us, future consumers and adopters, and society from machines of malice — whether eventually by AI superintelligence, or right now by corrupt human intelligence.

What nonsense.
I need to tell anyone that I am looking at them?
No way!!!
Every individual needs to accept that every thing they do can be observed by anyone!

Technology actually makes that real.

Do not expect that any actions will go unnoticed.

This means we have to get away from the sorts of legal systems we have, that are overly specific as to what one may and may not do, and go to a system where people can see what actually happened, see what narratives the individuals involved have, and make decisions about reasonableness in cases of dispute.

It wont be too long before we all have near perfect recall. Get used to the idea. Not just elites.
Distributed trust networks, with digital memory are likely to be the core of the replacement for markets and money in human interaction.

No way will I accept crippling such things through a need to actively inform everyone I look at that I have looked at them..

Other than that point 1, most of the rest of it seems to make some sort of sense,and like others have said – overly prescriptive.

We have got to start moving away from rule based systems, to values based systems, with general guidelines.

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Who am I?

July 7-9,’16 ~ QofDay~ Who are YOU?

Who are YOU?

Who am I?
The self aware software system in this biological entity called Ted Howard of Kaikoura, that gets to experience being in this software model of reality created by the squishy brain of the body I inhabit.

I seem to be the current instantiation of a series of choices and experience and patterns of some 60 years of experience of being in this body, having been the recipient of vast distillations of wisdom from the cultural history of humanity, and the particular genetic makeup of this body as one expression of the current existence of some 4 billion years of evolution by natural selection on this planet.

In one sense I am an illusion in an illusion – a set of experiences in a predictive model of reality.

In another sense, I am limited in my creativity only by the limits I impose upon myself.

It seems to me that Marianne Williamson was onto something when she said “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”. Kinda says it all in a sense.

I think she was right. It is, and that is why most of us are not powerful in practice.

Its scary being powerful.
One becomes a target for all sorts of “knocking” behaviour.

So – Like Mendy Lou – I am that I am. Both like and unlike everyone else, as is everyone else.

A traveler on the bridge of the eternal now, between the past of experience and the future of possibilities.
Nice views!

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Externalities and obfuscation

Externalities Are the Reason for Obfuscation

Some truth in this series of articles, and the whole series is in essence an obfuscation of a much deeper and more serious issue.

I am all for liberty, and individual security, and reality is that both of those things must exist in a set of contexts that include social relationships, ecosystem relationships, technologies, and the rest of the physical world.

Without doubt. markets were a great tool in an age of genuine scarcity.

However, we now live in an age of exponential technological progress, where automated systems have the ability to remove any scarcity (within reasonable limits).

Markets require scarcity to function, so now markets are actively working againstthe interests of most people.
We need to rethink the systems.

It seems clear to me that we have the technical capacity to empower all individuals to self actualise in whatever manner they reasonably choose.
It is our current use of scarcity based market thinking that is now the greatest threat to the prosperity and wellbeing of the majority of people.

It seems entirely possible to use distributed trust networks to bring stability to universal cooperation, and to have automated systems do all the “grunt work” traditionally handled by slaves or peasants or “workers”, leaving every individual free to pursue whatever interest they reasonably and responsibly choose.

How we transition from our current system to the new one is open to many possible paths, and we need to choose some subset of that infinity soon.

We need to be able to demonstrate by our actions in reality that we really do value individual life and individual liberty, if we want a reasonable probability of surviving the emergence of AGI in the not too distant future.

The age of markets is at an end.

The age of abundance approaches.

We can make that an abundance of peace and security and freedom, and that will require distributed systems that support trust, and make the probability of detection of cheating strategies very close to unity (making the risk of any level of cheating simply not worth the risk).

If you folks really do value liberty, then you need to take this seriously.

The benefits are huge, and it does require some changes in strategy.

In one sense, our entire society is an obfuscation – a web of lies and half truths designed to perpetuate profit at any cost. That simply cannot continue in an age of automation.

Think about it.

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Social justice revisited

Why Libertarians Should Rethink Social Justice and Libertarianism – 2

Solving the deepest puzzle of the social sciences

Coming back to this after a couple of months, and reading everything again, I am struck by how much great stuff is in the article, and how much more is in the comments, particularly those of David Brin and Swami, and how much we all missed first time.

David and I often argue definitional issues around cooperation and competition, and I suspect we agree on far more than we disagree, and it is mainly a perspectives thing. For me, cooperation is the rules that make competition work for all, and we see it at many levels in biology, and it always requires attendant strategies to prevent overrun by “cheats” – games theory 101.

And going back to the original thesis, there seems to me to be much more at play.
Many factors, all important, many stochastic.

A major one is climate stability.

The sea level stability of the last 10,000 years in unprecedented in the past million years.

Over most of the previous million years sea level was either going up on down about a meter per century (3 ft for Americans). That constant change prevented the establishment of stable coastal trading settlements. It was hardly worth the effort of building large ports if the sea would reclaim them within a couple of generations.

For most of human history – orthodoxy reigned supreme. Challenges to existing ideas mostly resulted in death – a famous example being Socrates.

Stable trading centres allowed trading with distant places, which exposed people to the diversity that comes with distance.
Slowly, very slowly, such diversity became acceptable.
Yet still many institutions fought it, guilds and priesthoods of all manner.
Yet there was money to be made, trade for mutual benefit. And eventually the money won.
Yet without the climate stability, it would have been unlikely.

Then there was the transmission of information.
Writing may have started with trade, and initially been a guild thing, closely protected, and eventually the printing press brought literacy to the masses.
With literacy people could share ideas beyond their immediate circle of contact, and across generations.
Mimetic evolution really got its kickstart to a new level.

The pressures of business to innovate to survive directly conflicted with orthodoxy, and orthodoxy lost (mostly).

Then in the late 1800s computation hit its exponential stride.
Eventually this led to automation at whole new levels.

Various forms of technology had previously increased productivity (animals, water, fire, steam, factories), but the rate of doubling of information technology was something else (every year).

This coupled with all manner of innovation in tools and conceptual understandings led to a rapid evolution in ways of understanding.
Simplistic ideas of truth and right had to give way to uncertainty, complexity, and chaos.
The ideas of purpose and balance in nature supplanted by nature as an open ended evolving complex system – neither knowable nor predictable, except by approximation within various dimensions of uncertainty.
Newton’s view of God’s certainty gave way to profound uncertainty from Heisenberg and Goedel and many others. Now we have ideas like Bayesian uncertainty, maximum computational complexity, chaos and fractal systems bringing new aspects to unknowability, and new opportunities for novelty.

At the same time is a growing awareness amongst individuals that our experience of being is not of reality directly, but rather of a subconsciously created and slightly predictive model of reality that our brains produce. So there is a lot of seeing and experiencing what we expect rather than what is, at different levels – which is kind of a logical necessity, and it requires active mitigation strategies on our part when we suspect real novelty is present.

So it seems to me beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that there are many levels of contribution by many different systems to this prosperity that some of us experience.

And I have no doubt that it is possible to take cooperation to an entirely new level, supported by the ability of automated systems to do all the “grunt” work that once required other people, and empower every individual to do whatever they responsibly choose. And that “responsibility” is not a simple thing. It is very complex, multidimensional, constantly evolving, with lots of unknowns, lots of negotiation, and lots of need of associated strategies at all levels to prevent invasion by cheats.

And such cooperation does not imply sameness or equality of distribution, and it does imply that everyone have a high minimum standard of the goods and services and opportunity and freedom available. And with automation, that is a relatively simple thing to organise – once we stop seeing everything through market values.

And with distributed trust networks, and hi fidelity long term memory, cheating at any level becomes a high risk strategy. Digital systems will allow us to extend Dunbar’s number from about 150 to beyond the 10 billion currently living.

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