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Author Topic: Adapting to the Anthropocene  (Read 58806 times)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #250 on: May 09, 2017, 08:21:46 PM »
When thinking about the adjustments required to institutions to make technocracy more viable, it is worth thinking about the activities of opportunists (whether alt-right hackers, individuals controlling botnets or otherwise), and in this regards, I provide the linked Wikipedia article entitled : "Social engineering (security)".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_%28security%29

Extract: "Social engineering, in the context of information security, refers to psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. A type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme.
The term "social engineering" as an act of psychological manipulation is also associated with the social sciences, but its usage has caught on among computer and information security professionals."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #251 on: May 10, 2017, 12:01:39 AM »
Per Wikipedia on self-information: "…surprisal is a measure of the information content associated with an event in a probability space or with the value of a discrete random variable. It is expressed in a unit of information, for example bits, nats, or hartleys, depending on the base of the logarithm used in its calculation."  The linked article entitled: "Surprisals, from Excitation to Code", discusses how this concept provide insights for decision making in systems with uncertainty from living organisms to multiple choice exams.  This concept is also useful to AI decision making and the valuation algorithms for T-4IR.


http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp/surprise.html

Extract: "Surprisal is defined as s = k ln[1/p] where p is a probability (0 ≤ p ≤ 1) and k is a constant that chooses between various unit conventions. For example surprisal is measured in bits if k is 1/ln2~1.44, and in Joules/Kelvin if k is 1.38×10-23. This latter example may seem weird until it's pointed out that reciprocal temperature is energy's uncertainty slope, so that Kelvins measure the "heat energy added per unit increase in entropy". Thus the general inverse relation p=e-s/k becomes this easy-to-remember relation for s in bits: Probability is 1/2#bits.
...
When probabilities multiply, surprisals add. This often makes them easier to work with, and more managable in size, than probabilities. For example, the number of colors possible on a monitor with 256 choices for each of three colors (red, green and blue) is 256 cubed or 16,777,216. This is more simply expressed by pointing out that 8 bits of surprisal for each of three colors results in "24-bits per pixel" altogether. In the special case when there are Ω equally probable alternatives, the fact that probabilities sum to one i.e. Σpi = Sum[pi, {i,1,Ω}] = 1 means that each probability is 1/Ω, and the surprisal associated with each alternative is s = k ln Ω.
Use of surprisals might also help news-media better convey quantitative information to consumers about chances and risk. For example, suppose you plan an action that will reduce the surprisal of you catching smallpox to 16 bits (like that of throwing 16 heads on the first throw of 16 coins). Still not very likely. But if the surprisal of dying from smallpox is only 2 bits (i.e. probability = 1/22 = 1/4), then you might consider getting a vaccination to protect you as long as the surprisal of harm from the vaccination is greater than that of getting done in by smallpox (16+2=18 bits). In practice the surprisal of harm from the vaccine might be closer to 20 bits. The odds of something bad happening either way are tiny, but this simple calculation would let you take informed responsibility for whichever choice you make.
Entropy or uncertainty in information units may be defined as average surprisal S = Σpisi = k Sum[piln[1/pi], {i,1,Ω}]. The name entropy was first used to describe a useful thermodynamic quantity, whose connection to probabilities has been clarified in only the past half century. The underlying idea is that a system, cut off from you and the world, generally does not spontaneously rearrange its state so that the world outside has a more tightly-specified awareness of that state after the fact than before. That is, isolated system entropies in practice don't decrease with time. Put another way, the best guess about the state of an isolated system in the long run is the particular guess which has the most entropy (average surprisal) consistent with the information that you can still count on. Tracking consequences of this assertion mathematically have a long and successful history, clues to which are provided in these notes on the connection between surprisals and thermal physics. Hence then, for example, knowing the energy associated with each state i gives one a ``best guess'' for the final energy. With macroscopic physical systems e.g. with more than 1020 molecules, the resulting predictions can be quite accurate.
In the special case when all Ω alternatives are equally probable, the entropy becomes S = k ln Ω. This logarithmic function of the number of accessible states Ω (#choices=2#bits) is also commonly used to measure the storage capacity of memory devices, that is the amount of information needed to specify its precise state. For example, you might go to the computer store and be told that "To run this program, you need S = 2 gigabytes of RAM (where one byte equals 8 bits)." In that case you need a memory chip that can assume, and hold for later recall, any one of Ω = 28×2,000,000,000 different states. Similarly the uncertainty before choosing one of four answers on a multiple choice test, as well as the information needed to answer correctly, involves 4choices=22bits. How does this change if the correct response might involve multiple choices instead of only one?

Net surprisal (also known as KL-divergence, cross-entropy, and even entropy-deficit although this could mislead) is defined as Inet = Σpi(soi-si) = k Sum[piln[pi/poi], {i,1,Ω}] ≥ 0, i.e. as average of the "surprisal-difference" between a reference or "ambient" condition with probabilities denoted poi, and the current state. It also measures the information lost in overlooking differences between a system and the model that you apply to it. Net surprisals are useful in quantifying finite deviations from the reference "equilibrium reservoir" or "model" state in many fields including chemistry, ecology, economics and thermal physics. For example, relative to a room temperature ambient the net surprisal of water near the boiling point is greater than that of water at the freezing point. Thus an invention that converts boiling water to ice water reversibly (i.e. no batteries required) at room temperature is possible, albeit still an engineering challenge. Mutual information (now quite popular in the study of DNA-sequence/chain-letter similarities, quantum computers, and complex non-linear systems) is simply the net surprisal associated with two correlated systems, referenced to the uncorrelated state. Saying that an observer's uncertainty (about an isolated sub-system) does not decrease, as in the discussion of entropies above, may also be seen as an assertion that the mutual information between observer and sub-system is unlikely to increase as long as the isolation persists.
The foregoing equations, although devilishly simple, lend themselves to treatment of a bewildering array of simple and complex, classical and quantum-mechanical, systems. In particular, surprisals in the form of ordered energy (or available work) can be converted into surprisals in the form of subsystem correlations. Two very powerful laws which govern such processes are the first and second laws of thermodynamics. We might refer to the engines that perform such conversions as steady state excitations. Correlations with maximal survivability, on the other hand, often find themselves stored as replicable codes. The perspective of steady state excitations (e.g. organisms which control energy flow) is in some literal sense complementary to that of replicable codes (e.g. genes or texts designed to multiply intact and adapt over time), making this conversion process an interesting balance which fails if run to either extreme (i.e. if rates of energy thermalization are too fast or too slow). For example, if you're starving then energy processing is too slow, whereas if your house is on fire then it's probably too fast.
Life is a symbiosis between such excitations (e.g. organisms) and codes, the latter now quite familiar in both molecular (e.g. genetic) and memetic (e.g. word) form. In this sense both genes and memes are as fundamental to life as the organisms with which they associate. A map that illustrates connections between these things (with interactive links under development) is shown below.
The resulting picture (below) of energy flow through steady-state organisms, which thermalize solar energy reversibly with help from molecular codes and memes, may therefore have some interesting quantitative and qualitative uses. This is especially true in light of the great strides that memetic codes have made toward speeding up their own replication in recent decades, e.g. with help from digital hardware and global electronic networks."


Examples of surprisals can be found at:
http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp/egsurpri.html
Extract: "Thus surprisal differences (like ebits) can help assess the credibility of true-false assertions about the world around. For example, they are a potentially useful element of Bayesian* jurisprudence programs dedicated to development of objective tools for juries to work with in cases when the information they have can (like DNA evidence) be put into quantitative form." See the fourth attached image.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 12:31:52 AM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #252 on: May 10, 2017, 10:10:18 AM »
As a follow-on to my last post (on surprisal or self-information), the linked Wikipedia article is on the Kullback–Leibler (KL) divergence (see also the associated attached image).  This concept is useful for quantifying the meaning of the phrase: "All models are wrong but some models are useful."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kullback%E2%80%93Leibler_divergence

Extract: "The Kullback–Leibler divergence is a measure of how one probability distribution diverges from a second expected probability distribution. Applications include characterizing the relative (Shannon) entropy in information systems, randomness in continuous time-series, and information gain when comparing statistical models of inference. In contrast to variation of information, it is a distribution-wise asymmetric measure and thus does not qualify as a statistical metric of spread. In the simple case, a Kullback–Leibler divergence of 0 indicates that we can expect similar, if not the same, behavior of two different distributions, while a Kullback–Leibler divergence of 1 indicates that the two distributions behave in such a different manner that the expectation given the first distribution approaches zero. In somewhat simplified terms, it is a measure of surprise, with diverse applications such as applied statistics, fluid mechanics, neuroscience, and machine learning.

In the context of machine learning, the Kullback–Leibler divergence is often called the information gain achieved if P is used instead of Q. By analogy with information theory, it is also called the relative entropy of P with respect to Q. In the context of coding theory, Kullback–Leibler divergence can be constructed as measuring the expected number of extra bits required to code samples from P using a code optimized for Q rather than the code optimized for P.

In quantum information science the minimum of over all separable states Q can also be used as a measure of entanglement in the state P."

Caption for the attached image: "Illustration of the Kullback–Leibler (KL) divergence for two normal Gaussian distributions. Note the typical asymmetry for the Kullback–Leibler divergence is clearly visible."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #253 on: May 10, 2017, 10:19:45 AM »
As a follow-on to my Reply #250:

The linked article is entitled: “What if AI Could Lie?”  AI mimics humans and as we now live in a world dominated by alt-right fake news, we should need to watch out for deceptive humans, deceptive machines and soon cyborgs:

https://disruptionhub.com/what-if-ai-could-lie/

Extract: “Artificial Intelligence is constantly fed information from countless channels. If AI can understand deception, then all of these channels would be disrupted. In some ways, this is good news. In order to achieve optimal function, AI needs to handle missing or hidden data. It’s also useful for it to understand lying – for example, AI can pick up on fake news using an algorithm that mimics traditional journalism techniques. As of this month, it’s even used on U.S. borders as an unbiased lie detector. On the other hand, adding the ability to hide or twist data to super-intelligent systems is a recipe for disaster. AI systems have already worked out how to lie to each other, which creates competition rather than collaboration. Imagine what would happen if AI-enabled robots decided to keep information to themselves – in other words, refusing to co-operate with humans? The relationship between humans and technology would be fundamentally altered. Either way, if Artificial Intelligence can learn to be dishonest, it can be programmed to lie for malicious ends. Cyber criminals could hack into machine learning systems and play havoc with vital info, using rogue AI as blackmail or to steal data. It’s even been argued that AI is deceptive by nature because it mimics and imitates.

It’s clear that AI research isn’t going to stop just because Artificial Intelligence could be dangerous. That means that the only thing developers and investors can do is work together to find ways to contain or prevent deceptive AI. This is supposedly what Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, IBM and now Apple are doing with their partnership on AI. . . but if it was difficult to trust AI before, it definitely will be now that machine learning systems can bluff as well as, and better than, humans. Ultimately, if data-saturated AI can lie to us about our own information (and share it within neural networks that we can’t access) then we have a serious problem.”
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #254 on: May 10, 2017, 06:05:07 PM »
The linked article is entitled: "Lessons from the Anti-Globalists".  In any workable version of T-4IR, the elite must be made to feel the pain/consequences of their decisions, much as the mind (heterachically) feels the pain of the body in an unbreakable mind/body relationship forged by natural selection.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/macron-fight-against-populism-by-joseph-e--stiglitz-2017-05

Extract: "But it would be a mistake to conclude that discontent with the global economy – at least how it treats large numbers of those in (or formerly in) the middle class – has crested. If the developed liberal democracies maintain status quo policies, displaced workers will continue to be alienated. Many will feel that at least Trump, Le Pen, and their ilk profess to feel their pain. The idea that voters will turn against protectionism and populism of their own accord may be no more than cosmopolitan wishful thinking.

Advocates of liberal market economies need to grasp that many reforms and technological advances may leave some groups – possibly large groups – worse off. In principle, these changes increase economic efficiency, enabling the winners to compensate the losers. But if the losers remain worse off, why should they support globalization and pro-market policies? Indeed, it is in their self-interest to turn to politicians who oppose these changes.

So the lesson should be obvious: In the absence of progressive policies, including strong social-welfare programs, job retraining, and other forms of assistance for individuals and communities left behind by globalization, Trumpian politicians may become a permanent feature of the landscape.

We must not forget that before the dawn of the Enlightenment, with its embrace of science and freedom, incomes and living standards were stagnant for centuries. But Trump, Le Pen, and the other populists represent the antithesis of Enlightenment values. Without blushing, Trump cites “alternative facts,” denies the scientific method, and proposes massive budget cuts for public research, including on climate change, which he believes is a hoax.

The lesson of all of this is something that Scandinavian countries learned long ago. The region’s small countries understood that openness was the key to rapid economic growth and prosperity. But if they were to remain open and democratic, their citizens had to be convinced that significant segments of society would not be left behind.

The welfare state thus became integral to the success of the Scandinavian countries. They understood that the only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity. It is a lesson that the US and the rest of Europe must now learn."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #255 on: May 11, 2017, 06:40:49 PM »
While acknowledging that soldiers may need to protect their countries from hostile attacks, the Buddha also challenged such soldiers to try to find a better way.  In this regards, T-4IR will need to challenge nationalism to try to find a better way to protect the innocent while minimizing violence.  As this brings to mind both Camelot and the mental discipline of martial arts (per my Reply #220 the Buddha's teachings can be associated with Zen that can be associate with Taoist teachings that can be associated with many Eastern martial arts), I provide the attached images.

The first image from the movie Kung Fu Panda (with a Yin-Yang symbol) that teaches nationalists that "the more you take the less you have".

The second image conveys to nationalists that in a dynamic situation adaptability contributes to success.

The third image conveys that a heterarchical organizational structure can improve the common good.

The fourth image conveys that in a world of uncertainty one needs to develop an adversarial methodology to dispel illusions and to revile evidence based truth.

In this regards, the following series of links address a new development in machine learning associated with Wasserstein Generative Adversarial Networks (WGAN):

Martin Arjovsky, Soumith Chintala, and Leon Bottou (March 2017), "Wasserstein GAN"

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1701.07875.pdf
https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.07875

Abstract: "We introduce a new algorithm named WGAN, an alternative to traditional GAN training. In this new model, we show that we can improve the stability of learning, get rid of problems like mode collapse, and provide meaningful learning curves useful for debugging and hyperparameter searches. Furthermore, we show that the corresponding optimization problem is sound, and provide extensive theoretical work highlighting the deep connections to other distances between distributions."

See also the following linked blog articles discussing the new WGAN algorithm:

https://datawarrior.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/on-wasserstein-gan/

&
https://vincentherrmann.github.io/blog/wasserstein/

&

http://www.alexirpan.com/2017/02/22/wasserstein-gan.html

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #256 on: May 11, 2017, 06:53:34 PM »
As a follow-on to my last post I provide the attached images that provide more insights on how heterarchical interactions can be used to improve the human condition (including with regard to T-4IR):

The first image shows how the 'Wheel of Dhamma' assumes a heterarchical configuration.

The second image indicates how one of the Buddha's many teachings can heterarchically reduce social stress by being mindful and knowing what battles to fight and which to avoid.

The third image shows a Bruce Lee quote expressing the Taoist idea that a soft (water) approach can wear down hard resistance

The fourth image expresses how living less egotistically results in greater activity, happiness and gratitude.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #257 on: May 12, 2017, 05:09:39 PM »
The linked open access article confirms the structural heterogeneity in the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain.  As this biological process underpins the expression of life, we would be wise to incorporate organizational heterogeneity in our institutional and governance organizations.


https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15231

doi:10.1038/ncomms15231
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #258 on: May 12, 2017, 06:51:56 PM »
http://magnamentis.com
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #259 on: May 14, 2017, 06:47:44 PM »
The two linked videos provide insight as to why AI (or more accurately AGI) is currently progressing faster than most people understand; and they raise the important question of who will control AGI in the future:

The first linked video is entitled: "Google's Great AI Awakening: We didn't even know we hired the best AI scientists in Google".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynZ8_CFRDgE

Extract: "Feb 2017, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Alphabet Inc. Artificial Intelligence sits at the epicenter of mankind’s quest for technological advancements. This poses some timely questions: how is this already being used to protect people today, and what can we expect in years to come? More broadly, how will it transform security and the way we use technology? AI is one of today’s most talked about—and misunderstood—innovations."

&

The second linked video is entitled: "A.I. is Progressing Faster Than You Think".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQO2PcEW9BY
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #260 on: May 17, 2017, 10:22:41 PM »
The linked article entitled" "The 12 biggest announcements from Google I/O 2017", discusses how machine learning is dominating the majority of Google's new deveolpments:

http://bgr.com/2017/05/17/google-io-2017-top-announcements-android-o/
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #261 on: May 29, 2017, 10:37:48 PM »
While the linked Carnegie Europe article entitled: "Judy Asks: Is the Crisis of the Liberal Order Exaggerated?", offers a lot of insightful European opinions on the current turmoil of the "liberal" (rules-based) world order, I have selected only two opinions on this question; which emphasize the roles of both:

(a) How accelerating information technology (4th Industrial Revolution) can make decision making more transparent and

(b) How the rules/institutions that "liberal" elites develop must be adjusted to reflect the truly universal values of free-will.

http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/68041

Extract: "Bahadır KaleağasıChief executive officer of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and president of the Bosphorus Institute

This is not simply a crisis of liberal democracy. The world is going through a very risky phase in the transition toward what could be described as democracy 4.0: a better-functioning political system based on instant and direct access by citizens to fact checking, impact analyses, and policymaking. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution begins to take hold around the planet, processes of societal change and democracy are going through stages of fluctuation as was the case in every other industrial revolution.

Industry 4.0 is quickly being uploaded into citizens’ daily lives, but there is an algorithmic problem with coding a modern democracy 4.0. The current evolution has several adverse dimensions as well as beneficial ones. On the one hand, innovations like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of things have the potential to lead to more transparency, direct democracy, and public scrutiny. On the other, liberal democracy’s turbulent evolution may eventually result in authoritarian manipulation of communication in the digital public sphere. Maybe a technology inspired by the blockchain that makes financial transactions more transparent through decentralized trust and distributed consensus can be adapted to the flow of information between public authorities and citizens.

&
Mikhail MinakovAssociate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

No, it isn’t exaggerated.

Currently, the key institutions responsible for the functioning and development of the liberal order can only react to the snowball of challenges they face, not anticipate them. These institutions respond properly only to immediate risks and fail to avert medium- to long-term problems. This strategic blindness of liberal centers of power must be cured.

What makes this crisis of liberal globalism exceptional is the profound shift in the cultural order. Recent elections and referenda in the EU and United States show that enemies of liberal universalism are winning the trust of Western societies. Isolationism, obscurantism, and ultraconservatism are taking over Western capitals.

Universalism provided the liberal order with legitimacy. After the fall of the Soviet Union and in the absence of a disciplining enemy, Western elites betrayed their adherence to universalism and turned instead to more egoistic practices. As a result, illiberal conservatism offers Western societies alternative solutions that people find more convincing. With the fall of liberalism in the West, the liberal order has no future in other regions.

Liberalism is losing the competition for citizens’ hearts in the West. But it still can win their minds and consciences. Liberals should return to taking universal values seriously and put them at the core of new global agenda."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #262 on: June 03, 2017, 12:16:22 AM »
The linked article is entitled: "Researchers Have Created an AI That Could Read and React to Emotions"; and it indicates that we already have AI that can read pain in a sheep's face, and we are on the road to having AI that can read emotions on a human face:

https://futurism.com/researchers-have-created-an-ai-that-could-read-and-react-to-emotions/

Brief: "University of Cambridge researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can assess how much pain a sheep is in by reading its facial expressions. This system can facilitate the early detection of painful conditions in livestock, and eventually, it could be used as the basis for AIs that read emotions on human faces."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #263 on: June 04, 2017, 07:39:18 PM »
The linked video is entitled: “Quantum Computer – Documentary”, and it provides background information to those who are interested in a recent tutorial on this topic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxrC0NxpdoM
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #264 on: June 16, 2017, 11:32:29 PM »
AI can develop with more alacrity by studying the human mind/brain as discussed in the linked 2017 conference information:

"Science of Intelligence: Computational Principles of Natural and Artificial Intelligence"

https://cbmm.mit.edu/knowledge-transfer/workshops-conferences-symposia/science-intelligence-computational-principles

See also:
"Information-Processing Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, and the Cognitive Systems Paradigm"

&

"Towards a computational approach to behavior"
https://cbmm.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Perona_AAAI17_SoI.pdf
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #265 on: June 17, 2017, 07:40:16 PM »
The linked reference indicates that machine learning is helping scientists to understand multi-body quantum entanglement.

Dong-Ling Deng, Xiaopeng Li, and S. Das Sarma (2017), "Quantum Entanglement in Neural Network State", Phys. Rev. X 7, 021021, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.7.021021

https://journals.aps.org/prx/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevX.7.021021

Abstract: "Machine learning, one of today’s most rapidly growing interdisciplinary fields, promises an unprecedented perspective for solving intricate quantum many-body problems. Understanding the physical aspects of the representative artificial neural-network states has recently become highly desirable in the applications of machine-learning techniques to quantum many-body physics. In this paper, we explore the data structures that encode the physical features in the network states by studying the quantum entanglement properties, with a focus on the restricted-Boltzmann-machine (RBM) architecture. We prove that the entanglement entropy of all short-range RBM states satisfies an area law for arbitrary dimensions and bipartition geometry. For long-range RBM states, we show by using an exact construction that such states could exhibit volume-law entanglement, implying a notable capability of RBM in representing quantum states with massive entanglement. Strikingly, the neural-network representation for these states is remarkably efficient, in the sense that the number of nonzero parameters scales only linearly with the system size. We further examine the entanglement properties of generic RBM states by randomly sampling the weight parameters of the RBM. We find that their averaged entanglement entropy obeys volume-law scaling, and the meantime strongly deviates from the Page entropy of the completely random pure states. We show that their entanglement spectrum has no universal part associated with random matrix theory and bears a Poisson-type level statistics. Using reinforcement learning, we demonstrate that RBM is capable of finding the ground state (with power-law entanglement) of a model Hamiltonian with a long-range interaction. In addition, we show, through a concrete example of the one-dimensional symmetry-protected topological cluster states, that the RBM representation may also be used as a tool to analytically compute the entanglement spectrum. Our results uncover the unparalleled power of artificial neural networks in representing quantum many-body states regardless of how much entanglement they possess, which paves a novel way to bridge computer-science-based machine-learning techniques to outstanding quantum condensed-matter physics problems."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #266 on: June 18, 2017, 06:55:07 PM »
Several of my past posts have discussed the evolution of human emotions and how those emotions assist to deal with "wick problems" by quickly assessing a complex situation and creating a frame of mind that serves as a priori for Bayesian analysis to develop a posterior as a closer approximation of the truth.  Also, previously I have noted that AI will increasingly interpret such facial expressions in order to be assess what humans are thinking.  In this regards, I provide the linked reference and associated linked articles discussing new research that helps to better interpret what the mind is thinking bases on what the eyes are expressing.

Daniel H. Lee, Adam K. Anderson. Reading What the Mind Thinks From How the Eye Sees. Psychological Science, 2017; 28 (4): 494 DOI: 10.1177/0956797616687364

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797616687364

Abstract: "Human eyes convey a remarkable variety of complex social and emotional information. However, it is unknown which physical eye features convey mental states and how that came about. In the current experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the receiver’s perception of mental states is grounded in expressive eye appearance that serves an optical function for the sender. Specifically, opposing features of eye widening versus eye narrowing that regulate sensitivity versus discrimination not only conveyed their associated basic emotions (e.g., fear vs. disgust, respectively) but also conveyed opposing clusters of complex mental states that communicate sensitivity versus discrimination (e.g., awe vs. suspicion). This sensitivity-discrimination dimension accounted for the majority of variance in perceived mental states (61.7%). Further, these eye features remained diagnostic of these complex mental states even in the context of competing information from the lower face. These results demonstrate that how humans read complex mental states may be derived from a basic optical principle of how people see."

See also:
"New Research Analyzes Evolution of Facial Expressions"

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/05/17/new-research-analyzes-evolution-of-facial-expressions/

Extract: "You can tell an awful lot about someone just by looking at his or her eyes — even if the person is a total stranger. How humans are able to so quickly analyze expressions is an ongoing topic of interest for scientists. New research from Cornell University looked specifically at how the eyes developed for sight — but are now also used for insight.

“What our work is beginning to unravel,” wrote Anderson, “are the details of what Darwin theorized: why certain expressions look the way they do, how that helps the person perceive the world, and how others use those expressions to read our innermost emotions and intentions.”"

&

"Eye expressions offer a glimpse into the evolution of emotion"
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170417182822.htm

Extract: "New research reveals why the eyes offer a window into the soul. According to the study, people interpret a person's emotions by analyzing the expression in their eyes -- a process that began as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli and evolved to communicate our deepest emotions."

I conclude by noting that Darwin theorized that human facial expressions have been a major driving force in accelerating human evolution via cultural/social interaction with other humans (and socially close animals like dogs & cats).  Thus as we approach the technological singularity, it is critical that we all better understand the preconditioned nature of our emotions and how AI will first take advantage of insights of millions of years of human evolution to better tackle "wicked problems" and then will transcend human insight.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #267 on: June 18, 2017, 07:00:01 PM »
As a follow-on to my last post, the linked reference discusses how deep machine learning is helping to better understand the origin of, and to utilize, facial expressions:

Ran Breuer & Ron Kimmel (10 May 2017), "A Deep Learning Perspective on the Origin of Facial Expressions", arXiv:1705.01842v2 [
cs.CV]

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1705.01842.pdf

Abstract: "Facial expressions play a significant role in human communication and behavior. Psychologists have long studied the relationship between facial expressions and emotions. Paul Ekman et al., devised the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to taxonomize human facial expressions and model their behavior. The ability to recognize facial expressions automatically, enables novel applications in fields like human computer interaction, social gaming, and psychological research. There has been a tremendously active research in this field, with several recent papers utilizing convolutional neural networks (CNN) for feature extraction and inference. In this paper, we employ CNN understanding methods to study the relation between the features these computational networks are using, the FACS and Action Units (AU). We verify our findings on the Extended Cohn-Kanade (CK+), NovaEmotions and FER2013 datasets. We apply these models to various tasks and tests using transfer learning, including cross-dataset validation and cross-task performance. Finally, we exploit the nature of the FER based CNN models for the detection of micro-expressions and achieve state-of-the-art accuracy using a simple long-short-term-memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network (RNN)."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #268 on: June 22, 2017, 11:36:53 AM »
Game theory has significant implications to society and to adapting to coming changes, and the linked reference discusses how quantum game theory can be combined with Nash-equilibrium theory and can used to establish fair gaming conditions:

Pei Zhang et. al. (2017), "Quantum gambling based on Nash-equilibrium",npj Quantum Information 3, Article number: 24, doi:10.1038/s41534-017-0021-7

http://www.nature.com/articles/s41534-017-0021-7

Extract: "The problem of establishing a fair bet between spatially separated gambler and casino can only be solved in the classical regime by relying on a trusted third party. By combining Nash-equilibrium theory with quantum game theory, we show that a secure, remote, two-party game can be played using a quantum gambling machine which has no classical counterpart. Specifically, by modifying the Nash-equilibrium point we can construct games with arbitrary amount of bias, including a game that is demonstrably fair to both parties. We also report a proof-of-principle experimental demonstration using linear optics."
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #269 on: July 01, 2017, 11:43:07 PM »
While I have previously mentioned that Charles Darwin emphasized human's propensity for cooperation and empathy; however, what is new to me in the following reference Marean (2015) is that homo sapiens sapiens conflict with archaic homo sapiens over resources in South Africa contributed directly to our propensity to cooperate, and that this cooperative nature lead directly to the extinction of all archaic human groups and great numbers of megafauna:

Curtis W. Marean (2015), "The Most Invasive Species of All", Sci. Am., Vol. 313, Issue 2.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-homo-sapiens-became-the-ultimate-invasive-species/

In Brief: "Of all the human species that have lived on the earth, only Homo sapiens managed to colonize the entire globe.  Scientists have long puzzled over how our species alone managed to disperse so far and wide. 
A new hypothesis holds that two innovations unique to H. sapiens primed it for world domination: a genetically determined propensity for cooperation with unrelated individuals and advanced projectile weapons."

Extract: "Sometime after 70,000 years ago our species, Homo sapiens, left Africa to begin its inexorable spread across the globe. Other human species had established themselves in Europe and Asia, but only our H. sapiens ancestors ultimately managed to push out into all the major continents and many island chains. Theirs was no ordinary dispersal. Everywhere H. sapiens went, massive ecological changes followed. The archaic humans they encountered went extinct, as did vast numbers of animal species. It was, without a doubt, the most consequential migration event in the history of our planet."


When thinking about our future adaption to the anthropocene, I think that it is helpful to consider how humanity's past interaction with climate change help to make us what we are today.  In that regard, the linked video provides numerous examples of how climatic fluctuations over the past 150,000 to 200,000 years have shaped modern homo sapiens sapiens:

Title: "Evolution Of Modern Humans Documentary"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkX-hLiU_r8

Edit: The attached image shows many of the climatic fluctuations mentioned in the video
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #270 on: July 02, 2017, 05:24:10 PM »
As a follow-on to my last post, I note that the two linked references indicate two major bottlenecks in the Y chromosome diversity at roughly 50 kya and 10 kya.  I suspect that the bottleneck circ 50 kya is more related to our adaptability to climate fluctuations while the bottleneck 10 kya is evidence supporting an early date for the anthropocene as it seems to be related to human culture giving certain males advantages over other males; which have lead directly to our current paternal domination of mother nature and our coming climate crisis.

Kivisild T, (2017), “The study of human Y chromosome variation through ancient DNA”, Hum Genet.; 136(5):529-546,  doi: 10.1007/s00439-017-1773-z.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28260210

Extract: “High throughput sequencing methods have completely transformed the study of human Y chromosome variation by offering a genome-scale view on genetic variation retrieved from ancient human remains in context of a growing number of high coverage whole Y chromosome sequence data from living populations from across the world. The ancient Y chromosome sequences are providing us the first exciting glimpses into the past variation of male-specific compartment of the genome and the opportunity to evaluate models based on previously made inferences from patterns of genetic variation in living populations. Analyses of the ancient Y chromosome sequences are challenging not only because of issues generally related to ancient DNA work, such as DNA damage-induced mutations and low content of endogenous DNA in most human remains, but also because of specific properties of the Y chromosome, such as its highly repetitive nature and high homology with the X chromosome. Shotgun sequencing of uniquely mapping regions of the Y chromosomes to sufficiently high coverage is still challenging and costly in poorly preserved samples. To increase the coverage of specific target SNPs capture-based methods have been developed and used in recent years to generate Y chromosome sequence data from hundreds of prehistoric skeletal remains. Besides the prospects of testing directly as how much genetic change in a given time period has accompanied changes in material culture the sequencing of ancient Y chromosomes allows us also to better understand the rate at which mutations accumulate and get fixed over time. This review considers genome-scale evidence on ancient Y chromosome diversity that has recently started to accumulate in geographic areas favourable to DNA preservation. More specifically the review focuses on examples of regional continuity and change of the Y chromosome haplogroups in North Eurasia and in the New World.”

&

Monika Karmin, et. al. (2015), “A recent bottleneck of Y chromosome diversity coincides with a global change in culture”, Genome Res; 25(4): 459–466, doi:  10.1101/gr.186684.114

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4381518/

Abstract: “It is commonly thought that human genetic diversity in non-African populations was shaped primarily by an out-of-Africa dispersal 50–100 thousand yr ago (kya). Here, we present a study of 456 geographically diverse high-coverage Y chromosome sequences, including 299 newly reported samples. Applying ancient DNA calibration, we date the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in Africa at 254 (95% CI 192–307) kya and detect a cluster of major non-African founder haplogroups in a narrow time interval at 47–52 kya, consistent with a rapid initial colonization model of Eurasia and Oceania after the out-of-Africa bottleneck. In contrast to demographic reconstructions based on mtDNA, we infer a second strong bottleneck in Y-chromosome lineages dating to the last 10 ky. We hypothesize that this bottleneck is caused by cultural changes affecting variance of reproductive success among males.”

Extract: "we date the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) in Africa at 254 (95% CI 192–307) kya and detect a cluster of major non-African founder haplogroups in a narrow time interval at 47–52 kya, consistent with a rapid initial colonization model of Eurasia and Oceania after the out-of-Africa bottleneck. In contrast to demographic reconstructions based on mtDNA, we infer a second strong bottleneck in Y-chromosome lineages dating to the last 10 ky. We hypothesize that this bottleneck is caused by cultural changes affecting variance of reproductive success among males."



See also the linked Wikipedia article entitled: "Y-chromosomal Adam"


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam


Extract: "In human genetics, the Y-chromosomal most recent common ancestor (Y-MRCA, informally known as Y-chromosomal Adam) is the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) from whom all currently living males are descended patrilineally. The term Y-MRCA reflects the fact that the Y chromosomes of all currently living males are directly derived from the Y chromosome of this remote ancestor. The analogous concept of the matrilineal most recent common ancestor is known as "Mitochondrial Eve" (mt-MRCA, named for the matrilineal transmission of mtDNA), the most recent woman from whom all living humans are descended matrilineally."

Edit, see the three associated images.  The third image supports the concept of sub-bottlenecks of the Y-chromosome diversity associated with the Indo-European migration:

Caption for first image: "Figure 2. Cumulative Bayesian skyline plots of Y chromosome and mtDNA diversity by world regions. The red dashed lines highlight the horizons of 10 kya and 50 kya."

Caption for second image: "Fig 4 Major sub-clades of Y chromosome haplogroup C in ancient and present-day populations. The structure of the major sub-clades is drawn in proportion to their coalescent time (the tip of each triangle) estimated from high coverage genomes of present-day populations (Bergstrom et al. 2016; Karmin et al. 2015; Poznik et al. 2016; Scozzari et al. 2012). The phylogenetic mapping of ancient Y chromosomes (Gamba et al. 2014; Mathieson et al. 2015; Olalde et al. 2014; Seguin-Orlando et al. 2014) is shown with red symbols. Haplogroup names are shown in brown font and haplogroup-defining SNP-marker names in grey font next to relevant branches. The key areas of the present-day spread of the haplogroups are indicated with colour and white text inside the triangles. PNG Papua New Guinea"

Caption for third image: "Fig. 6  Major sub-clades of Y chromosome haplogroups I and J in ancient and present-day populations. The structure of the major extant sub-clades of haplogroups I and J is shown by triangles the tips of which are drawn in proportion to time according to coalescent time estimates from high coverage genomes of present-day populations (Hallast et al. ; Karmin et al. ; Poznik et al. ) http://isogg.org/tree/, https://www.yfull.com/). The colour of each triangle reflects the main geographic areas of its spread according to the map shown in the middle of the plot. The phylogenetic affiliations of ancient Y chromosomes (Allentoft et al. ; Gamba et al. ; Gunther et al. ; Haak et al. ; Hofmanova et al. ; Jones et al. ; Lazaridis et al. ; Mathieson et al. ; Skoglund et al. ) are shown with red symbols. Haplogroup-defining marker names are shown in grey font next to relevant branches"
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 06:10:51 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #271 on: July 02, 2017, 08:20:50 PM »
As a follow-on to my last post that indicated a Y chromosome bottleneck in the regions impacted by the Indo-European migrations, I provide the following linked information:

The linked video is entitled: “Genetics, Migrations and Language Dispersals”, and indicates that in addition to other factors (like warfare, lactose tolerance, horses, etc), the plague contributed to the domination of the Corded Ware Culture on Europe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKn05BbEMcs

Edit: The four attached images are from the video.

&

The linked Wikipedia article is entitled: “Indo-European migrations”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_migrations


Extract: “The Indo-European languages and cultures spread in various stages. Early migrations from c. 4200–3000 BCE brought archaic proto-Indo-European into the lower Danube valley, Anatolia,  and the Altai region. Pre-Celtic and pre-Italic probably spread into Europe after new migrations into the Danube Valley, while pre-Germanic and pre-Balto-Slavic developed east of the Carpathian mountains, at present-day Ukraine, moving north and spreading with the Corded Ware culture in Middle Europe (third millennium BCE).”

&

The linked Wikipedia article is entitled: “Kurgan hypothesis”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan_hypothesis

“Gimbutas believed that the expansions of the Kurgan culture were a series of essentially hostile, military incursions where a new warrior culture imposed itself on the peaceful, matriarchalcultures of "Old Europe" and replacing it with a patriarchal warrior society, a process visible in the appearance of fortified settlements and hillforts and the graves of warrior-chieftains:

The process of Indo-Europeanization was a cultural, not a physical, transformation. It must be understood as a military victory in terms of successfully imposing a new administrative system, language, and religion upon the indigenous groups.
In her later life, Gimbutas increasingly emphasized the violent nature of this transition from the Mediterranean cult of the Mother Goddess to a patriarchal society and the worship of the warlike Thunderer (Zeus, Dyaus), to a point of essentially formulating a feminist archaeology.

Many scholars who accept the general scenario of Indo-European migrations maintain that the transition was probably much more gradual and peaceful than was suggested by Gimbutas. The migrations were certainly not a sudden, concerted military operation but the expansion of disconnected tribes and cultures, which spanned many generations. To what degree the indigenous cultures were peacefully amalgamated or violently displaced remains a matter of controversy among supporters of the Kurgan hypothesis. J. P. Mallory (in 1989) accepted the Kurgan hypothesis as the de facto standard theory of Indo-European origins, but he recognized valid criticism of Gimbutas's radical scenario of military invasion:

One might at first imagine that the economy of argument involved with the Kurgan solution should oblige us to accept it outright. But critics do exist and their objections can be summarized quite simply – almost all of the arguments for invasion and cultural transformations are far better explained without reference to Kurgan expansions, and most of the evidence so far presented is either totally contradicted by other evidence or is the result of gross misinterpretation of the cultural history of Eastern, Central, and Northern Europe.”

&

The linked Wikipedia article is entitled: “Corded Ware Culture”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corded_Ware_culture

Extract: “The Corded Ware culture (German: Schnurkeramik; French: céramique cordée; Dutch: touwbekercultuur) comprises a broad Indo-Europeanarchaeological horizon of Europe between c. 2900 BC – circa 2350 BC, thus from the late Neolithic, through the Copper Age, and ending in the early Bronze Age. Corded Ware culture encompassed a vast area, from the Rhine on the west to the  in the east, occupying parts of Northern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.

The Corded Ware was genetically strongly related to the Yamnaya culture, suggesting that the Corded Ware culture originated from migrations from the Eurasiatic steppes. The Corded Ware culture may have disseminated the Proto-Germanic and Proto-Balto-Slavic Indo-European languages. The Corded Ware Culture also shows genetic affinity with the later Sintashta culture, where the proto-Indo-Iranian language originated.”

&

The linked article is entitled: “Three-part ancestry for Europeans”, indicate that Corded Ware culture brought a lot of Y chromosomes from the Eurasian Steppe (with lactose tolerance), that significantly married local neolithic women.

https://web.archive.org/web/20141011034223/http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/09/three-part-ancestry-europeans

Abstract: “For years, the favored recipe for making a modern European ​was this: Start with DNA from a hunter-gatherer whose ancestors lived in Europe 45,000 years ago, then add genes from an early farmer who migrated to the continent about 9000 years ago. An extensive study of ancient DNA now points to a third ingredient: blood from an Asian nomad who blew into central Europe perhaps only about 4000 or 5000 years ago. This third major lineage originated somewhere in northwestern Asia, perhaps on the steppes of western Asia or in Eastern Europe. This is a "ghost lineage," because no pureblood member of this group survives today. But whoever these people were, their descendants successfully spread far and wide, for their genes show up not only in Europeans but also in Native Americans, according to a talk by paleogeneticist Johannes Krause of the University of Tübingen in Germany, who spoke at a biomolecular archaeology meeting last week. Those who heard the talk in a packed auditorium at the University of Basel were impressed by the genomic data's high resolution—it is the largest data set of ancient DNA ever presented in a single study—even though some aren't convinced about the exact details.​” 

&

The linked Wikipedia article is entitled: “The Seven Daughters of Eve”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Daughters_of_Eve

Extract: “Sykes wrote in the book that there were seven major mitochondrial lineages for modern Europeans, though he subsequently wrote that with the additional data from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, Ulrike(see below) could have been promoted to be the eighth clan mother for Europe.”
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 08:40:28 PM by AbruptSLR »
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #272 on: July 02, 2017, 09:09:59 PM »
Thanks for these, ASLR. Very interesting.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #273 on: July 03, 2017, 01:00:34 AM »
Thanks yet again, ASLR.
It looks like genetic change happens due to regional climate change, disease epidemics and nomadic lifestyle. The period 60 thousand years ago seems to have ended the arabian and MENA "garden of eden" period, such periods happen frequently and when it ends, the people become nomadic and spread elsewhere, working like a cylinder in a pump machine (spreading to Europe, to Africa, to Asia). The same pumping mechanism worked in the steppes after the onset of local neolithic. I have read somewhere that around 3000 BC the eurasian steppe climate became colder and drier. And indeed, the spread of plague around that time also contributed to the success of the descendants of the steppe peoples, because they had likely already developed some immunity against it, which gave their descendants an evolutionary advantage which reinforced itself whenever a new similar plague outbreak occured. But it should not be automatically viewed as a sure military advantage for steppe peoples in the temperate forest zone. Some of such genetic spread might have been due to conscious deliberate selective breeding by the native inhabitants of the temperate zone to gain the additional immunity against plague (and other diseases). After all, humans are but an animal species, not much different from wolves or dogs or other domesticated and bred animals. In fact, humans were the first species to be bred by humans.  ;)

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #274 on: July 03, 2017, 04:40:32 PM »
The point of my last several paleo-posts is to emphasize that circa 2050 to 2060, we will not only need to deal with abrupt climate change and the technological singularity, but all to: population collapse, disease, warfare, massive human migration, and socio-economic collapse.  Thus any adaption plan for those interested helping their offspring to get past such a bottleneck, would do well to sidestep the brunt of these coming impacts.
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #275 on: July 03, 2017, 07:52:26 PM »
There is an assumption in policy circles that the richer nations will be able to adapt much better than the poorer ones. I do wonder whether there is a limit beyond which the more complex, richer, societies will start to fall apart and some of the simpler ones in luckier locations may survive better.
Most probably needs a strong state with a very high level of social cohesion to manage the downward path without things falling apart. Communist Cuba (which already survived the 'special period' after the ending of USSR support) may be a safer place than the southern US.

The world's poor still have the knowledge of how to get food and have not been conditioned to expect the incredible (in historical terms) lifestyles that the rich have become used to. Therefore, they won't suffer from depression at the loss of their dreams (and the dreams for their children) while not being able to grow/hunt for their own food. Easy for hopelessness and inertia to set in.

They will have to be lucky to be away from more "civilized" folks that will be scavenging for food and in areas where the scale of climate change is still adaptable (for their crops etc.). For example, the Mennonites in Southern Ontario may be overrun by the surrounding communities hungry for their food. At the same time temperature extremes may severely curtail their crop yields.

Perhaps around the Arctic Circle, as the open waters become wonderful fishing grounds? It seems that whatever we plan it will still be a bit of a crap-shoot, just increasing the odds of survival in a chaotic world.

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #276 on: July 03, 2017, 10:25:38 PM »
While I personally believe that the best way to adapt to the Anthropogene is via mindfulness, I suspect that only a limited number of people will follow that path.  Therefore, I provide a few alter ideas:

1.  Try learning from what is already happening, as is discussed in the first linked article that considers Africa as a perfect testing ground for both climate change and other Anthropocene impacts:

Title: “Africa is the perfect testing ground for adapting to the Anthropocene epoch ”

http://theconversation.com/africa-is-the-perfect-testing-ground-for-adapting-to-the-anthropocene-epoch-65055


2. Try forming sustainable networks with others, as no man is a island.
3. Try to understand the First Noble Truth, that suffering/imperfection exists and then use a balanced middle path to move towards reduced suffering/imperfection.
4. Timing is important, so don't get ahead of yourself and don't fall too far behind the curve.
5. Learn from the mistakes of others.
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #277 on: July 05, 2017, 06:42:59 PM »
Robert Sapolsky is one of the leading neuroscientists in the world (and winner of a MacArthur Genius grant), studying stress in primates (including humans), and he has recently rewritten a 700 page book entitled: "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst". 

The following is his Ted talk entitled: "Behave: The Biology of Our Best and Worse Selves"

https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_sapolsky_the_biology_of_our_best_and_worst_selves

Extract: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic -- and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares

his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Also the linked article is a review of this book:

Anne Harrington (20 April 2017), "Human behaviour: Guns and roses", Nature, Volume: 544, Pages: 294–295, doi:10.1038/544294a

https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v544/n7650/full/544294a.html

Extract: "On other big issues, such as free will, Sapolsky struggles with his intellectual commitments as a scientist and his moral commitments to a more humane world. Decades of behavioural biology have demonstrated that we have little, if any, free will “worth wanting” (as philosopher Daniel Dennett puts it). Yet, even if all behaviours are biologically caused, grossly aberrant ones may be particularly constrained. Sapolsky concludes that our approach to people who commit crimes should be therapeutic and not vindictive; “words like 'evil' and 'soul' will be as irrelevant as when considering a car with faulty brakes”.

This leads him to a quandary. If you deny free will when it comes to our “worst behaviours”, you must logically deny it when it comes to our best ones. And Sapolsky can't bring himself to do this. He clings to the “homuncular myth” that humans can transcend their circumstances and do the right thing, even if it is the harder thing. The examples of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, former South African president Nelson Mandela and less celebrated individuals — anonymous soldiers who negotiated the Christmas truce of the First World War, for example — show us that “we personally can cause change”. But change for good, says Sapolsky, is more likely when we understand what kind of animal we are, as well as which traditional levers designed to enhance moral behaviour work and which ones don't.

Will better knowledge of human behavioural biology create the conditions for more Mandelas? Is the science secure enough? Is science on its own enough? I am sure that Sapolsky will encounter plenty of sceptics, but being a naysayer is always easier than offering a way forward. In the end, it is impossible not to deeply admire a project bold enough to ask an entire field to work to create a more just and peaceful world. Whether or not success is assured, Sapolsky exhorts us all — please, just try."

Also, see the linked article entitled: "Behave by Robert Sapolsky review – why do we do what we do?"

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/09/behave-by-robert-sapolsky-review

Extract: "This magisterial account of human behaviour journeys from immediate brain response back to long-term social causes. It also suggests we have no free will

Sapolsky argues that every human action is inescapably caused by preceding events in the world, including events in the brain"
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #278 on: July 05, 2017, 06:43:37 PM »
Yuval Noah Harari wrote the book "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow", and he suggests what the quintessential differentiating behavior between humans and other animals (including apes) is our ability to cooperate via "stories", and he discusses this opinion in the linked Ted talk entitled: "What explains the rise of humans"

https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_what_explains_the_rise_of_humans

Extract: "Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we've spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity."

See also, the linked Wikipedia article entitled: "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_Deus:_A_Brief_History_of_Tomorrow

•   Extract: "Organisms are algorithms, and as such homo sapiens may not be dominant in a universe where dataism becomes the paradigm.
•   Since the verbal/language revolution some 70,000 years ago, humans live within an "intersubjective reality", such as countries, borders, religion, and money, all created to enable large-scale, flexible cooperation between different individual human beings. Humanity is separated from animals by humans' ability to believe in these intersubjective constructs that exist only in the human mind and are given force through collective belief.
•   Humankind's immense ability to give meaning to its actions and thoughts is what has enabled its many achievements.
•   Humanism is a form of religion that worships humankind instead of God. It puts humankind and its desires as a top priority in the world in which humans themselves are framed as the dominant beings. Humanists believe that ethics and values are derived internally within each individual, rather than from an external source. During the 21st century, Harari believes that humanism may push humans to search for immortality, happiness, and power.
•   Technological developments have threatened the continued ability of humans to give meaning to their lives; Harari prophesies the replacement of humankind with a super-man, or "homo deus" (human god) endowed with supernatural abilities such as eternal life."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #279 on: July 05, 2017, 07:55:27 PM »
Was just loaned this book. Maybe time to move it toward the pile of books on my bedstand waiting to be read!?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

rboyd

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #280 on: July 06, 2017, 10:38:51 PM »
Found Homo Deus to be very disappointing, seemed like a rushed second book after the success of the first (much better) one - Sapiens.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #281 on: July 10, 2017, 01:41:18 AM »
In the linked video, Ray Kurzweil discusses his vision of the future of capitalism.

Title: “Ray Kurzweil: What Is the Future of Capitalism?”

https://singularityhub.com/2017/07/07/ray-kurzweil-what-is-the-future-of-capitalism/

Extract: “People disagree on the details, he says, but across the political spectrum most agree we should balance the innovative power of capitalism with a basic compassion for people. He believes information technologies will drive further increases in wealth, and we’ll be able to afford a stronger social safety net in the future. This will dramatically change what we do for work and why.”


See also:

http://www.kurzweilai.net/news

Title: “‘Mind reading’ technology identifies complex thoughts, using machine learning and fMRI”

http://www.kurzweilai.net/mind-reading-technology-identifies-complex-thoughts-using-machine-learning-and-fmri

Extract: “By combining machine-learning algorithms with fMRI brain imaging technology, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) scientists have discovered, in essense, how to “read minds.”

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to view how the brain encodes various thoughts (based on blood-flow patterns in the brain). They discovered that the mind’s building blocks for constructing complex thoughts are formed, not by words, but by specific combinations of the brain’s various sub-systems.”
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #282 on: July 20, 2017, 05:15:43 AM »
The linked 26 minute video could be viewed as a marketing pitch for Microsoft, or as insights on the next few (marketable) steps on the long road to a quantum (& AI) enhanced society:

“Research in Focus: Transforming Machine Learning and Optimization through Quantum Computing”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfFHstQDFVA

Extract: “Quantum computing is in its infancy, but Microsoft’s Krysta Svore and Nathan Wiebe talk about quantum techniques as applied to AI challenges. Quantum computing can leverage quantum effects, such as entanglement and quantum interference, to provide solutions to currently unsolvable problems, increasing data security.”

As background see:

Title: "Boltzmann machine"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_machine

Extract: "A Boltzmann machine is a type of stochastic recurrent neural network (and Markov Random Field).

Boltzmann machines can be seen as the stochastic, generative counterpart of Hopfield nets. They were one of the first neural networks capable of learning internal representations, and are able to represent and (given sufficient time) solve difficult combinatoric problems."

&

Title: “Gibbs sampling”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_sampling

Extract: “In statistics, Gibbs sampling or a Gibbs sampler is a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm for obtaining a sequence of observations which are approximated from a specified multivariate probability distribution, when direct sampling is difficult. This sequence can be used to approximate the joint distribution (e.g., to generate a histogram of the distribution); to approximate the marginal distribution of one of the variables, or some subset of the variables (for example, the unknown parameters or latent variables); or to compute an integral (such as the expected value of one of the variables). Typically, some of the variables correspond to observations whose values are known, and hence do not need to be sampled.

Gibbs sampling is commonly used as a means of statistical inference, especially Bayesian inference. It is a randomized algorithm (i.e. an algorithm that makes use of random numbers), and is an alternative to deterministic algorithms for statistical inference such as the expectation-maximization algorithm (EM).”
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 05:38:32 AM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #283 on: Today at 12:41:00 AM »
As a follow-on to my last post, per the first linked article Microsoft's topological quantum computer uses Majorana quasiparticles, which are also described in the following linked reference and associated article:

Title: "THE QUEST FOR A QUANTUM FUTURE"

https://news.microsoft.com/stories/stationq/

Extract: "Station Q researchers will continue to try to do very difficult things, he said, including continuing to pinpoint the existence and characteristics of Majorana particles; trying to detect particles called anyons and explore how those particles might make calculations; finding a way to “braid” strings of anyons through time and space to create stable qubits and therefore quantum properties; and exploring ways to apply topological effects to make qubits more robust."

&

Qing Lin He, et. al. (2017), "Chiral Majorana fermion modes in a quantum anomalous Hall insulator–superconductor structure", Science, Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 294-299, DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2792

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6348/294

"A propagating Majorana mode
Although Majorana fermions remain elusive as elementary particles, their solid-state analogs have been observed in hybrid semiconductor-superconductor nanowires. In a nanowire setting, the Majorana states are localized at the ends of the wire. He et al. built a two-dimensional heterostructure in which a one-dimensional Majorana mode is predicted to run along the sample edge (see the Perspective by Pribiag). The heterostructure consisted of a quantum anomalous Hall insulator (QAHI) bar contacted by a superconductor. The authors used an external magnetic field as a “knob” to tune into a regime where a Majorana mode was propagating along the edge of the QAHI bar covered by the superconductor. A signature of this propagation—half-quantized conductance—was then observed in transport experiments.
Science, this issue p. 294; see also p. 252

Abstract
Majorana fermion is a hypothetical particle that is its own antiparticle. We report transport measurements that suggest the existence of one-dimensional chiral Majorana fermion modes in the hybrid system of a quantum anomalous Hall insulator thin film coupled with a superconductor. As the external magnetic field is swept, half-integer quantized conductance plateaus are observed at the locations of magnetization reversals, giving a distinct signature of the Majorana fermion modes. This transport signature is reproducible over many magnetic field sweeps and appears at different temperatures. This finding may open up an avenue to control Majorana fermions for implementing robust topological quantum computing."

&

Title: "Experiment finds evidence for the Majorana fermion, a particle that's its own antiparticle"

https://phys.org/news/2017-07-evidence-majorana-fermion-particle-antiparticle.html

Extract: "Far in the future, Zhang said, Majorana fermions could be used to construct robust quantum computers that aren't thrown off by environmental noise, which has been a big obstacle to their development. Since each Majorana is essentially half a subatomic particle, a single qubit of information could be stored in two widely separated Majorana fermions, decreasing the chance that something could perturb them both at once and make them lose the information they carry.
For now, he suggests a name for the chiral Majorana fermion his team discovered: the "angel particle," in reference to the best-selling 2000 thriller "Angels and Demons" in which a secret brotherhood plots to blow up the Vatican with a time bomb whose explosive power comes from matter-antimatter annihilation. Unlike in the book, he noted, in the quantum world of the Majorana fermion there are only angels - no demons."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson