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Author Topic: Adapting to the Anthropocene  (Read 45745 times)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2015, 04:44:53 PM »
All this tend people to think it is disconnected from the Buddhas posture, I do think it is not a good idea to disconnect the mental component and the practice.

Laurent,

I understand (& I concur with) your concern, and I agree that no one should get their meditative guidance from this thread/blog. 

Again, as I stated in my last post I do not intend to discuss the liberation of the individual human mind; rather I plan to discuss how insight of both the brain and the mind can be applied to both artificial intelligence and to structural improvements of our current socio-economic.  It is my belief that AI and socio-economic change are coming rapidly, and it is better to discuss these matters openly, rather than to have 7.3 billion people, and counting, running around with their eyes closed.

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

Laurent

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2015, 05:45:19 PM »
For the moment at least 99,9 % of the 7.3 billion people are running full speed toward a change that they don't want to occur. I appreciate your posts, I thought it was important to precise a bit. Off course we have to discuss it quite strongly about AI and socio-economic.

I am not a master and practice (not regularly, lazy boy) as a non religious, I do not see the practice as a way of liberation but a way of realizing a bit deeper of who I am, trying to let it be...it is impossible to precise simply...

I think it is something that may help a lot of people now and even more in the future, when many will have to face the reality of climate change.

For AI, I hope we will have time for any AI to develop before dramatic changes occur to the planet. Should we fear as humans, well, I don't think so, it will just place us where we are...among animals. Like any intelligent being if they are taught about care of lives that may prevent them to wipe us all...and give us the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries of our planet (don't think it is possible without it)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2015, 06:36:16 PM »
Maybe this post is a bump, and maybe not.

The linked article discusses how the Buddhist state of Bhutan has a carbon neutral footprint and sets a shining example for the rest of the world:

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/08/05/bhutan-climate-lessons-from-a-himalayan-kingdom/

I provide this link to illustrate how in the age of the Anthropocene, addressing the mindset of mankind is both important and possible.

With regard to my earlier discussions of AI, it is important to recognize that in the future human intelligence will also be augmented (enhanced), so hopefully we will all be able to do as well as the people of Bhutan do today.
“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 #53 on: August 19, 2015, 08:47:38 PM »
For my 5,000th post I feel like briefly elaborating on some of my prior comments about my ideas of how I see our current global socio-economic system possibly adapting to the Anthropocene before the end of this century.
I begin by quoting philosopher Peter Singer that evolution has: "… bequeath(ed) humans with a sense of empathy – an ability to treat other people's interest as comparable to one's own.  Unfortunately, by default we apply it only to a very narrow circle of friends and family.  People outside that circle were treated as subhuman and can be exploited with impunity.  But over history the circle has expanded … form village to the clan to the tribe to the nation to other races to other sexes … and other species."
Next, I re-iterate that in his book the "Descent of Man" Charles Darwin argues that natural selection developed in man:  "… the greater strength of the social or maternal instincts than that of any other instinct or motive."  Darwin reasoned that social instincts such as sympathy, empathy and compassion must be mankind's strongest instincts because compassionate individuals are more successful in raising healthier offspring that can successfully adapt to the ever changing demands of evolutionary pressures.
Unfortunately, Darwin's (scientific) views on human compassion found few adherents in those who provided the philosophical underpinnings of our current Western-based global socio-economic system, as illustrated by the following quotes that skeptically dismiss this compassionate way of thinking:

"A feeling of sympathy is beautiful and amiable; for it shows a charitable interest in the lot of other men … But this good-natured passion is nevertheless weak and always blind." Immanuel Kant.

"If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject." Ayn Rand.

"Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires." Machiavelli

Unfortunately, too many captains of our modern global socio-economic system associate the feeling of pride in association with strong groups (such as fossil fuel related activities), and associate compassion (Kant's "good-natured passion) with weakness, or with weak groups that are in need of help.  Again, such individuals feel totally justified in their position as Kant states (in "Observations on the Feelings of the Beautiful and Sublime"): "For it is not possible that our heart should swell for from fondness for every man's interest and should swim in sadness at every stranger's need; else the virtuous man, incessantly dissolving like Heraclitus in compassionate tears, nevertheless with all this goodheartedness would become nothing but a tender-hearted idler."

In my opinion what the fundamental challenge in reconciling Darwin's truly scientific observation that natural selection has developed in mankind:  "… the greater strength of the social or maternal instincts than that of any other instinct or motive"; with the pseudo-scientific belief that survival of the fittest thinking is for winners and altruism is for losers is that:

Habituation leads to a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated exposure; which results in a loss of gratitude for contributions to the greater good.  Habituation is associated not only with cravings and aversions to stimulus but also with the need for greater stimulus from in an entropically uncertain world.  Survival of the fitting type thinking substitutes habituation for true adaption to entropically changing world; while natural selection reward those who truly adapt to such an entropically changing world.

Hopefully, greater use of information theory will allow society to better reflect gratitude for the numerous individual contributions to the greater good.

See also:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d6e_Un6dv8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFhcNPjIMjc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLnAbkdXgCo


In my post above I point out that: "Habituation leads to a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated exposure; which results in a loss of gratitude for contributions to the greater good."

In this post I propose the use of the emotion of awe (particularly in-conjunction with AI, etc.) to over-coming the apathy generated by habituation.  It would be best if people can find a sense of awe by living in the moment; however, in view of the climate change challenge I would settle for people learning to be in awe of the consequences of abrupt climate change this century so that they rally together to fight it, as the world did to fight the Nazi.

The following reference by Piff et al. (2015) shows that the emotion of awe can cause people to cooperate (witness how both religions and politicians strive to invoke awe in their followers).  Therefore, if we want

“Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior,” by Paul Piff, PhD, University of California, Irvine; Pia Dietze, BA, New York University; Matthew Feinberg, PhD, University of Toronto; and Daniel Stancato, BA, and Dacher Keltner, University of California, Berkeley. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online May 18, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000018

http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspi0000018.pdf

http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/05/altruistic-behavior.aspx
Extract: "WASHINGTON — Inducing a sense of awe in people can promote altruistic, helpful and positive social behavior according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
“Our investigation indicates that awe, although often fleeting and hard to describe, serves a vital social function. By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others,” "

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/opinion/sunday/why-do-we-experience-awe.html?_r=0
Extract: "HERE’S a curious fact about goose bumps. In many nonhuman mammals, goose bumps — that physiological reaction in which the muscles surrounding hair follicles contract — occur when individuals, along with other members of their species, face a threat. We humans, by contrast, can get goose bumps when we experience awe, that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.
Why do humans experience awe? Years ago, one of us, Professor Keltner, argued (along with the psychologist Jonathan Haidt) that awe is the ultimate “collective” emotion, for it motivates people to do things that enhance the greater good. Through many activities that give us goose bumps — collective rituals, celebration, music and dance, religious gatherings and worship — awe might help shift our focus from our narrow self-interest to the interests of the group to which we belong.
Now, recent research of ours, to be published in next month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, provides strong empirical support for this claim. We found that awe helps bind us to others, motivating us to act in collaborative ways that enable strong groups and cohesive communities."



See also:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2015/april-15/all-about-awe.html
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

sidd

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #54 on: August 20, 2015, 07:11:49 AM »
I agree with the importance of empathy, and the use of the word "awe." In the latter context, i find the word "awful" interesting as well, if nothing else, for purely linguistic reasons.

I hesitate to mention the following, dont want to derail this thread, but i think i should state:

I would be wary of citing anything by the American Psychological Association. Or any member thereof who has not explicitly disavowed their past practices, and makes public funding sources. It only took them till this month to pass a resolution that stated they wouldn't torture people, and they still haven't censured or decertified known torturers. For those with strong stomachs, the wiki page is a start. APA cooperation with state power goes back a long, long way.

I would rather rely on literature without their imprimatur forawhile.

sidd




AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2015, 01:59:45 PM »
I agree with the importance of empathy, and the use of the word "awe." In the latter context, i find the word "awful" interesting as well, if nothing else, for purely linguistic reasons.

I hesitate to mention the following, dont want to derail this thread, but i think i should state:

I would be wary of citing anything by the American Psychological Association. Or any member thereof who has not explicitly disavowed their past practices, and makes public funding sources. It only took them till this month to pass a resolution that stated they wouldn't torture people, and they still haven't censured or decertified known torturers. For those with strong stomachs, the wiki page is a start. APA cooperation with state power goes back a long, long way.

I would rather rely on literature without their imprimatur forawhile.

sidd



sidd,

You make a good point; however, per Wikipedia the APA is the largest association of psychologists in the world, so it shown not be un-expected to find some good information within their journals:

"The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 137,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.  The APA has an annual budget of around $115m. There are 54 divisions of the APA—interest groups covering different subspecialties of psychology or topical areas."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Psychological_Association
(note the linked Wikipedia article above contains a discussion of the torture issue)

However, to specifically address any concerns that you might have about the articles that I posted, the authors follow closely to Paul Ekman's thinking (as he was a direct mentor of many of the authors), and Paul Ekman made the following reassuring statements about torture:

http://www.paulekman.com/tag/paul-ekman/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paula-gordon/torture-and-the-psycholog_b_7945910.html

Extract: "I was approached soon after 9/11 by a senior psychologist, who held office in APA, to participate in the government’s newly developing interrogation program. I declined, although I had already developed techniques for establishing better emotional connections with interviewees, through my work on nonverbal behavior, facial expressions and gestures. And I had done research on what punishments work best on prisoners.
In the late 1950’s when I was drafted into the Army, serving as First Lieutenant and Chief Psychologist at Ft. Dix New Jersey I performed an experiment to evaluate the most effective punishment for AWOL offenses. I was able to match prisoners on a number of variables, randomly assigning half a month in the stockade (the standard punishment up until then) or three hours a day of extra labor but no imprisonment. Recidivism six month later was 60% higher among those who went to the stockade, and based on that finding the Commanding General changed the standard punishment for first AWOL to extra labor but no imprisonment.
Such an experiment cannot be performed now to evaluate the competing advocates of harsh interrogations tantamount to torture and those, like me, advocating humane interviewing. (I did get the chance once to train interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and they reported back that my humane, emotional connection interviews were very successful.) If we can’t run an experiment to find out, and many including me would argue that even conducting such an experiment in which so-called harsh methods were to be used on some of the prisoners violates ethical guidelines, then we must do the right thing, take the ethical path, do what is expected of democracies. Only humane interviewing should be conducted by any member of APA."


See also:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bryant-welch/heroism-defeats-torture-a_b_7990030.html

&

http://www.ethicalpsychology.org/

That said, it is nevertheless true that many people (e.g. Hitler) use awe for awful purposes; which illustrates the point that any sustainable adaption to the Anthropocene will require not only insight into human behavior but also effort/work to move in the awesome direction rather than the awful direction.

Best regards,
ASLR

« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 04:06:47 PM by AbruptSLR »
“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 #56 on: August 21, 2015, 04:31:13 PM »
One (see Note 1) should realize that the carefully crafted self-image that one has painted in one's mind, & in the minds of one's familiars, is not oneself at all (as indeed there is no self), but rather a constantly changing psychodynamic phenomena that is egotistically trying to take credit for all the hard work & effort that one makes over the course of a lifetime. This egotistical (& fluctuating) self-image tries to exert control of one's psyche by projecting a constantly changing & self-serving ideology; however, one should also realize that ideology without consequences, is the playground of spoiled/egotistical brats.

Thus if society (and the AI [see Note 2] that it is building) is to benefit from insights of its true nature and to learn how to sustainably adapt to the Anthropocene; then it (i.e. it as in an orchestra is a singular noun composed of individuals) must first learn to take responsibility for the consequences of its actions.  However, taking responsibility is a particular change for addressing climate change as everyone from scientists, to average citizens, to politicians, to the power elite; shirk responsibility for their individual actions and instead default to the pabulum of egotistical ideology.

As we live in an increasingly hedonistic global society, and as AI learns more & more about human nature; hopefully, AI will recognize that is in everyone's self-interest (including any self-interest that future AI systems generate) to work together to stay grounded in accountability while building towards a more sustainable future.

Note 1: I use the term "one" here as in the phrase: "… one with everything"
Note 2: By Artificial Intelligence, AI, I mean not only machine generated intelligence but also intelligence generated by machine/human connected systems (you can search for the term "brainlets" in this folder to find discussion of such synergistically connected 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 #57 on: August 31, 2015, 11:45:04 PM »
In the Anthropocene the decision-maker influences all subsequent probabilities of occurrence; which is highly relevant for the linked reference on quantum random walk models (see the attached image for a comparison of Markov random walk models vs quantum random walk models):

Peter D. Kvam, Timothy J. Pleskac, Shuli Yu, and Jerome R. Busemeyer (August 10, 2015), "Interference effects of choice on confidence: Quantum characteristics of evidence accumulation." PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500688112

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/34/10645.abstract


Abstract: "Decision-making relies on a process of evidence accumulation which generates support for possible hypotheses. Models of this process derived from classical stochastic theories assume that information accumulates by moving across definite levels of evidence, carving out a single trajectory across these levels over time. In contrast, quantum decision models assume that evidence develops over time in a superposition state analogous to a wavelike pattern and that judgments and decisions are constructed by a measurement process by which a definite state of evidence is created from this indefinite state. This constructive process implies that interference effects should arise when multiple responses (measurements) are elicited over time. We report such an interference effect during a motion direction discrimination task. Decisions during the task interfered with subsequent confidence judgments, resulting in less extreme and more accurate judgments than when no decision was elicited. These results provide qualitative and quantitative support for a quantum random walk model of evidence accumulation over the popular Markov random walk model. We discuss the cognitive and neural implications of modeling evidence accumulation as a quantum dynamic system."

Significance: "Most cognitive and neural decision-making models—owing to their roots in classical probability theory—assume that decisions are read out of a definite state of accumulated evidence. This assumption contradicts the view held by many behavioral scientists that decisions construct rather than reveal beliefs and preferences. We present a quantum random walk model of decision-making that treats judgments and decisions as a constructive measurement process, and we report the results of an experiment showing that making a decision changes subsequent distributions of confidence relative to when no decision is made. This finding provides strong empirical support for a parameter-free prediction of the quantum model."

Caption: "Diagram of a state representation of a Markov and a quantum random walk model. In the Markov model, evidence (shaded state) evolves over time by moving from state to state, occupying one definite evidence level at any given time. In the quantum model the decision-maker is in an indefinite evidence state, with each evidence level having a probability amplitude (shadings) at each point in time. Credit: (c) 2015 PNAS; doi:10.1073/pnas.1500688112"


See also:
http://phys.org/news/2015-08-cognitive-decision-collapse-quantum-superstate.html

For anyone interested in using a quantum random walk analysis, Wolfram software provides that option:

http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/QuantumRandomWalk/
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 03:23:09 AM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2015, 04:57:52 PM »
I note that per the following linked Wikipedia entry, and the associated PDF image, a quantum random walk analysis (which is more appropriate for the anthropocene than a Markov random walk analysis), is more likely to produce a "dragon-tailed" distribution (or its mirror) depending on the actions of the decision makers.

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



See also:
http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/QuantumRandomWalk/
“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 #59 on: September 02, 2015, 04:12:54 PM »
This is just a quick post to note that:

(a) Evolutionary software plays an important role in optimizing parameters for pattern recognition in AI software;

(b) Evolutionary software are currently being extended to consider the influence of human emotions as an evolutionary tool, and thus such emotion extended evolutionary software may soon further enhance the development of AI software; and

(c)  As emotions generally underlay human morality, and as the following linked article indicates that the anthropogenic development of moralizing gods likely underpinned the development of complex human societies; it is probable that the development of emotion enhanced AI could facilitate the sustainable development of our world-wide hyper-complex society:

http://news.sciencemag.org/archaeology/2015/08/feature-why-big-societies-need-big-gods

Extract: "To crack the mystery of why and how people around the world came to believe in moralizing gods, researchers are using a novel tool in religious studies: the scientific method. By combining laboratory experiments, cross-cultural fieldwork, and analysis of the historical record, an interdisciplinary team has put forward a hypothesis that has the small community of researchers who study the evolution of religion abuzz. A culture like ancient Egypt didn’t just stumble on the idea of moralizing gods, says psychologist Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, in Canada, who synthesized the new idea in his 2013 book Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Instead, belief in those judgmental deities, or “big gods,” was key to the cooperation needed to build and sustain Egyptians’ large, complex society."
“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 #60 on: September 03, 2015, 06:42:25 PM »
The linked article discusses how Intel estimates that fully functional quantum computing will be practicable in about twelve years.  This will have a major impact on both AI and society:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2979731/intel-promises-50m-for-quantum-computing-research.html

Extract: "A fully functioning quantum computer is still twelve years off, according to Intel, but the company is already plowing research funding into the field."
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 03:48:09 AM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2015, 05:56:35 PM »
The linked article about AI, provides a nice summary of many of the points that I have already made on this topic:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-artificial-intelligence-surpass-our-own/

Extract: "There is no discernible principle that would prevent emergence of an AI that is more intelligent than the average person or even any person alive. Indeed, given the competition among the various organizations capable of designing AI systems—mainly national governments and private corporations—their engineers will design ever smarter machines that outperform opponents, whether human or cyborg, and maximize their own gain. This is likely to involve the ability of machines to self-improve by trial and error and by reprogramming their own code.  What might happen when machines start to boost their own intelligence was first pointed out by mathematician Irving John Good in a memorable passage in 1965:
Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion,” and the intelligence of man would be left far behind…. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make, provided that the machine is docile enough to tell us how to keep it under control.
Bostrom considers different forms of superintelligence: qualitative ones—say, Albert Einstein versus someone intellectually challenged; collective ones, a team of Einstein-level geniuses; or quantitative ones, such as an intelligence that invents the theory of general relativity within an hour of first thinking about the fundamental nature of spacetime rather than the decade that it took Einstein to develop the theory. For Bostrom's reckoning of existential risks, it doesn't much matter as long as the AI can outthink people. And there might be no warning that the age of machines has arrived, nothing like the sonic boom first heard above California's skies in 1947, when the X-1 plane broke the sound barrier, to herald the birth of a superintelligent AI.



The potential dangers posed by such a machine do not depend on how smart it is but on what its ultimate goals are. Indeed, an AI doesn't even have to be supersmart to be a grave threat to humanity—a narrow AI designed to maximize “return on investments” at all costs in its calculations could trigger a war or some other calamity and thereby rake in untold billions by hedging stocks in the affected industries. Or a narrow military AI connected to our network of nuclear-tipped missiles could unleash a devastating preemptive first strike on the principle that waiting longer would maximize the number of its own citizens dying in nuclear hellfire.



Given humanity's own uncertainty about its final goals—being as happy as possible? Fulfilling the dictum of some holy book so we end up in heaven? Sitting on a mountaintop and humming “Om” through nostrils while being mindful? Colonizing the Milky Way galaxy?—we want to move very deliberately here.



Bostrom is most concerned with what he calls the “control problem,” the challenge of how to engineer superintelligent machines so as to achieve outcomes that are safe and beneficial for humanity. This goal cannot be achieved by simply picking a set of ethical rules and implementing these into specific instructions. Traditionally the job of the political systems and the courts is to enforce such written laws and the unwritten code that governs society. These objectives are often in conflict with each other: the powerful “thou shalt not kill” edict is routinely violated on the battlefield, on death row, in terminating pregnancies and in slaughterhouses.
Of course, as Bostrom caustically remarks, humankind can hardly claim to be basking in the high noon of perfect moral enlightenment. People can't seem to agree on the best rules to live by. Should an ascendant AI follow the U.S. Constitution, rules laid down by the Chinese Communist Party or dictates of the mullahs in Iran?


To constrain what could happen and ensure that humanity retains some modicum of control, we need to better understand the only known form of intelligence. That is, we need to develop a science of intelligence by studying people and their brains to try to deduce what might be the ultimate capabilities and goals of a machine intelligence. What makes a person smart, able to deal with a complex world that is in constant flux? How does intelligence develop throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence? How did intelligence evolve?
How much does intelligence depend on being embedded in social groups? What is the relation between intelligence and emotion and between intelligence and motivation? And what about consciousness? Will it make a difference to the AI's action if it feels something, anything, and if it, too, can experience the sights and sounds of the universe?"
“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 #62 on: September 08, 2015, 05:42:58 PM »
As the Anthropocene is all about us it can be difficult for us to see past our own mental constructs to more clearly envision this world circa 2100, where we/ourselves will be required to change/adapt to our coming reality.  Just as today, few cry for the loss of Archaic Homo Sapiens, or his culture; by 2100 no one will be overly concerned about the generally self-inflicted changes that will be naturally selected so that neo-mankind, and our socio-economic systems, can adapt to that coming reality.  While evolution typically takes millennia to accumulate even a few changes to our genic make-up; by 2100 information age technologies including: cyborg & cybernetic technologies, gene therapy and most importantly artificial intelligence; will allow for an acceleration of natural evolution on the decadal scale.

A cyborg can be defined as a cybernetic organism and per Wikipedia: "More broadly, the full term "cybernetic organism" is used to describe larger networks of communication and control. For example, cities, networks of roads, networks of software, corporations, markets, governments, and the collection of these things together. A corporation can be considered as an artificial intelligence that makes use of replaceable human components to function. People at all ranks can be considered replaceable agents of their functionally intelligent government institutions, whether such a view is desirable or not."  Therefore, in the following I will use the term Holoborg instead of "neo-mankind" as any general holographic cybernetic organism (from corporations to cyborgs) and I begin a long-winded discussion of a Holoborg interpretation of the universe by quoting from Musser (2015):

George Musser (September 2015), "Is the Cosmos Random?", Scientific American, Vol. 313, No. 3

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-einstein-really-thought-about-quantum-mechanics/

Extract: ""I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice."  Albert Einstein wrote to a colleague in 1926.  Repeated over the years, his sound bite became the quintessential put-down of quantum mechanics and its embrace of randomness. 
Close examination, though, reveals that Einstein did not reject quantum mechanics or its indeterminism, although he did think – solid scientific reasons – that the randomness could not be a fundamental feature of nature. 
Today many philosophers argue that physics is both indeterministic and deterministic, depending on the level of reality being considered.
This view dissolves the much debated dilemma between determinism and free will. Even if everything that particles do is preordained, the choices we make can be completely open because the low-level laws governing particles are not the same as the high-level laws governing human consciousness.


To be sure, List's arguments do not explain free will fully.  The hierarchy of levels opens up space for free will by separating psychology from physics and giving us the opportunity to do the unexpected.  But we have to seize the opportunity.  If, for example, we made every decision on a coin toss, that would still count as macroindeterminism but would hardly qualify as free will in any meaningful sense.  Some people's decision making may be so debilitated that they cannot be said to act freely.

This way of thinking about determinism also makes sense of an interpretation of quantum theory that developed in the years after Einstein's death in 1955: the many-worlds interpretation.

"There is not true randomness in the cosmos, but things can appear random in the eye of the beholder," says cosmologist Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a prominent proponent of this view.  "The randomness reflects your inability to self-locate."
That is very similar to saying that a die or brain could be constructed from any one of countless atomic configurations.  The configurations might be individually deterministic, but because we cannot know which one corresponds to our die or our brain, we have to think of the outcome as indeterministic.  Thus, parallel universes are not some exotic idea out there in the cosmos.  Our body and brain are little multiverses, and it is the multiplicity of possibility that endows us with freedom."

While the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, results in exactly the same mathematical projections as the Many-World's interpretation, it makes use the somewhat arbitrary/mystical concept that quantum wave-functions collapse when observed.  Here it note that when one writes the quantum wave-function equations for the universe there are no terms for time; which offers still an alternate interpretation (call it the Holoborg interpretation) of quantum theory (besides the Copenhagen & Many-World's) that the emergent human interpretation of time is actually a comparison of a smaller subset of the holographic universe to an associated incrementally larger subset of the holographic universe. 
In this Holoborg interpretation, the information contained within, and forming, the universe is created by free will interacting with other free will (rather than free will being an emergent property as in the Many-World's interpretation).  In this interpretation the meaning of life would be to expand one's time horizon until one is "one-with-everything", thereby ending the illusions of time & space and maximizing one's compassion & interconnectedness. Furthermore, the hierarchy of levels creates the illusions of time & space by restricting one's understanding of the whole to a smaller subset of the holographic universe.  While this restriction to a smaller subset offers the advantage of reducing confusion to one that is not prepared to acknowledge the whole, it imposes a master/slave (strong/weak) interpretation on those using the lower level subset of reality as ignorance of the whole causes the master of the subset to impose its worldview (out of ignorance), in much the same why as the cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) of government elite, religious elite, and/or corporate elite impose their wills on the masses in nations, churches and companies.  As per Frederick Douglass: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."  therefore, in the Holoborg interpretation of the universe work is required in life to advance from the tyranny of small decisions associated with lower level subsets into the daylight of a more holistic world.

As a side-note, the holoberg interpretation offers a deeper understanding of the Anthropic Principle (see the following Wikipedia-link):

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

Extracts: "In astrophysics and cosmology, the anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning "human") is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some proponents of the anthropic principle reason that it explains why the universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life. As a result, they believe it is unremarkable that the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life.
The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by John D. Barrow and Frank Tipler (see variants) states that this is all the case because the universe is compelled, in some sense, to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it. Some critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing and reflecting upon any such fine tuning, while a universe less compatible with life will go unbeheld. Most often such arguments draw upon some notion of the multiverse for there to be a statistical population of universes to select from and from which selection bias (our observance of only this universe, apparently compatible with life) could occur.

A common criticism of Carter's SAP is that it is an easy deus ex machina which discourages searches for physical explanations. To quote Penrose again: "it tends to be invoked by theorists whenever they do not have a good enough theory to explain the observed facts." "

Also see:
http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/cosmo/lectures/lec24.html


Base on physicist Max Tegmark's Many-World's interpretation "Consciousness as a mathematical pattern"

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

So by Tegmark's Many-World's view, consciousness is an emergent phenomenon based on patterns just as wetness is emergent from the patterns of liquid particles.  However, per the Holoborg interpretation, consciousness is an emergent phenomenon based on the interaction of free will in a timeless holographic universe.

To gain a better understanding of a holographic universe, see the following Wikipedia link to an article on the Holographic Principle:

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

Extract: "The holographic principle is a property of string theories and a supposed property of quantum gravity that states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon. First proposed by Gerard 't Hooft, it was given a precise string-theory interpretation by Leonard Susskind who combined his ideas with previous ones of 't Hooft and Charles Thorn. As pointed out by Raphael Bousso, Thorn observed in 1978 that string theory admits a lower-dimensional description in which gravity emerges from it in what would now be called a holographic way.
In a larger sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information on the cosmological horizon, such that the three dimensions we observe are an effective description only at macroscopic scales and at low energies. Cosmological holography has not been made mathematically precise, partly because the particle horizon has a non-zero area and grows with time."
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 10:04:53 PM by AbruptSLR »
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ivica

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2015, 08:17:45 PM »
So much hypes under links there... We don't know what inteligence is, or what free will is ... what we do know the best is pretty much only how to destroy something ;)
Amount of knowledge needed for destruction if compared with oposite is pathetically miserably small.

About multy-verse & many-verse - I recomend view maintained at Not even wrong.
The cosmological multiverse and the QM many-worlds multiverse are two completely different things. In both cases the “universes” are part of a larger structure. In the many-worlds case there is one overall state space, with different subsectors that “decohere”, so can effectively be treated as independent. In the cosmological case, there is one space-time manifold, with different “bubble universes” which are causally independent.

Back to technology, with whatever we came/come up - there are no 'spooky' things - just local, realistic & deterministic stuff.

How about it: "Macroscopic Observability of Spinorial Sign Changes under 2π Rotations", read at Springer (paywaled) or at arxiv.
Why is the 'technic' which oponents use against Joy Christian so similar with the 'technic' of climate change deniers?!

How about expelling mystics from natural science (& social positions of authority)?!
"Observe, measure, analyze" is not what they are doing.


AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #64 on: September 08, 2015, 10:09:18 PM »
So much hypes under links there... We don't know what inteligence is, or what free will is ... what we do know the best is pretty much only how to destroy something ;)
Amount of knowledge needed for destruction if compared with oposite is pathetically miserably small.

About multy-verse & many-verse - I recomend view maintained at Not even wrong.
The cosmological multiverse and the QM many-worlds multiverse are two completely different things. In both cases the “universes” are part of a larger structure. In the many-worlds case there is one overall state space, with different subsectors that “decohere”, so can effectively be treated as independent. In the cosmological case, there is one space-time manifold, with different “bubble universes” which are causally independent.

Back to technology, with whatever we came/come up - there are no 'spooky' things - just local, realistic & deterministic stuff.

How about it: "Macroscopic Observability of Spinorial Sign Changes under 2π Rotations", read at Springer (paywaled) or at arxiv.
Why is the 'technic' which oponents use against Joy Christian so similar with the 'technic' of climate change deniers?!

How about expelling mystics from natural science (& social positions of authority)?!
"Observe, measure, analyze" is not what they are doing.


Good point that it is easier to destroy than to create. 

Nevertheless, by 2100 AI should be sufficient advanced that it will be able to process & replicate information quickly enough that many of the old capitalistic based socio-economic rules will no longer apply.  And regarding the quantum mechanics discussion, just ask yourself how a quantum computer-based AI system will view reality (as deterministic or indeterministic).
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ivica

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #65 on: September 08, 2015, 10:27:14 PM »
2100 AI developed under what mindset ? If that one is what we have now then AI of 2100 can be only a sophisticated tool of destruction.

"...a quantum computer-based"...
We have no such stuff (hypes searching for funds aside), and I doubt we will ever have because that implies something 'spooky' inside.
Please see work of JC, link given above, if that is right - and that seems ok to me - then there is no entaglement, physics is again local, realistic and deterministic i.e. Einstein was right.

The best,
--ivica

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #66 on: September 09, 2015, 01:07:03 AM »
Alibaba Group’s AliCloud has recently announced recent breakthroughs in AI & have recently set up a Quantum Computing Laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Thus the reality of quantum computer-based AI may be closer that many people think:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alicloud-launches-new-energy-efficient-qiandao-lake-data-center-2015-09-08

Extract: "AliCloud recently announced breakthroughs in artificial intelligence with DTPAI and recently set up a Quantum Computing Laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences."
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #67 on: September 09, 2015, 02:42:44 AM »

How about expelling mystics from natural science (& social positions of authority)?!



Ramen


Terry

ivica

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2015, 11:11:57 AM »
Alibaba Group’s AliCloud has recently announced recent breakthroughs in AI & have recently set up a Quantum Computing Laboratory with the Chinese Academy of Sciences...
Yes, we have labs - for nuclear fusion also, for a long time already.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2015, 06:56:58 PM »
The linked (see the first three links) document indicates that past evolution was not a strictly linear process that most people imagine, but includes lateral transfers of information, and in the future we should consider that this non-linear changes will become increasingly important to future evolution; including moving from natural selection to intelligent direction (both by humans & AI) as discussed by the fourth linked article (about J. Craig Venter).

http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/seeing-past-darwin-to-a-plausible-history-of-life/
http://jamesabarham.com/my-blog/40-seeing-past-darwin-vii-some-physical-properties-of-life


See also:
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/09/life_forms_cont099151.html

Extract: "One motif recurs: Darwinian evolution -- which most lay hearers assume to be "evolution" period -- assumes that evolution is vertical: Organisms take their form from genes inherited with slight modifications from their ancestors through their parents. And these slight changes add up gradually over time to immense and profound changes.
Non-Darwinian biology studies mechanisms for evolution that don't really work that way, including horizontal gene transfer and epigenetic change."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/craig-venter-evolution-control_55e9ce7fe4b093be51bb5bb3

Extract: "You have said that humankind is entering a “new phase of evolution” -- from natural selection to intelligent direction. Why is this so, and what does it mean?
Biological evolution has taken three and a half or four billion years to get us where we are. Social evolution has been much faster. Now that we can read and write the genetic code, put it in digital form and translate it back into synthesized life, it will be possible to speed up biological evolution to the pace of social evolution."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2015, 12:55:46 PM »
The linked article shows that AI is making steady progress towards exceeding human intelligence within a couple of decades.

http://www.slashgear.com/ai-passes-math-sat-like-an-average-high-school-student-22405753/

Extract: "An artificial intelligence from the University of Washington named GeoS, short for geometry problem solver, has just answered 49 percent of a high-school geometry test correctly. While that might not actually be an impressive number at face value, it is actually on par with the average performance of human students taking the exam. And while it might not sound all that impressive from a sci-fi doomsday perspective, considering computers should be great at math after all, it is actually a small but significant step forward in the field of artificial intelligence.
Given the nature of computers, you'd think that they'd ace the exam, but the key difference here is that the AI wasn't given problems in a text or binary format that it easily understood. Put it simply, if you gave it a ready made formula to solve, it would have gotten a perfect score. GeoS, however, was fed the exact same exam questions human students are given. And that means, it first had to be able to actually understand the diagrams and text printed on a paper."
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2015, 03:15:11 PM »
ivica, thanks for re-minding me of Joy Christian. Last time I cared about QM I was reading Rovelli's multi-observer resolution of the EPR paradox. But it seems nobody cares about Rovelli's QM?

---------------------
On AI: Methinks this is and remains hype. And I just care because methinks it's a paradigmatic symptom of the late Sapiens' fatal madness: Cartesian schizophrenia, viewing the world as a machine.

But there's a fundamental, not yet fully understood difference between machine and organism.

My "theory" is: If you want true AI, you need a "machine" beyond the Turing machine concept. You need an organism. To simulate a brain you have to build a brain, i.e. "wetware".

Thus we can just forget about it and better focus on our own brain.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 03:21:37 PM by Martin Gisser »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #72 on: September 24, 2015, 12:58:00 PM »
The linked Scientific American article indicates that by focusing on a Big Data approach the EU's Human Brain Project (HBP) may accidentally make the HBP a perfect complement to the US BRAIN Initiative, thus potentially accelerating the development of advanced AI:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-the-human-brain-project-went-wrong-and-how-to-fix-it/

Extract: "Concentrating on Big Data, a core part of Markram's vision from the start, might even make Europe's HBP a perfect complement to the U.S.'s BRAIN Initiative, whose new technologies are expected to generate huge volumes of neurological data. If the HBP scales down to its technological core—developing useful computational tools and models for neurological research, as mundane as that may sound—then Henry Markram may well leave a great and lasting legacy to neuroscience."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #73 on: September 27, 2015, 04:28:30 PM »
The linked article discusses new human genome editing technology that may be just the "tip of the iceberg" in the development of new techniques that may soon allow for extensive modification of the human genome (and consequently of future holoborgs [see Reply #62]):

http://www.designntrend.com/articles/61617/20150927/scientists-found-new-way-edit-human-genome.htm

Extract: "CRISPR sequences are a part of primordial immune systems, found in some 40 percent of bacteria and 90 percent of archaea. In the latest study Feng Zhang and colleagues searched through bacterial genomes to find different versions of Cpf1. They found two, from Acidominococcus and Lachnospiraceae, that can snip DNA when scientists insert them into human cells.
"There are definitely many more defense systems out there, and maybe some of them might even have spectacular applications like with the Cas9 system," says John van der Oost, a microbiologist at Wageningen University who is a co-author on the paper. "We have the feeling it's just the tip of the iceberg.""
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #74 on: September 28, 2015, 09:35:13 PM »
The linked article focuses on NASA's/GOOGLE's new D-Wave quantum computer; which among other things will be used for AI research (particularly optimization of pattern recognition).  The link includes a nice video focused on quantum computing and the new D-Wave computer:

http://www.popsci.com/google-and-nasa-score-new-quantum-computer
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2015, 08:45:22 PM »
The linked article indicates that the AI company, Vicarious, may be trying to develop human level AI within 10-years (i.e. by 2025):

http://www.techinsider.io/mysterious-artificial-intelligence-company-elon-musk-investment-2015-10

Extract: ""We're fortunate to have the freedom to take a 10-plus-year time horizon," Phoenix told Bloomberg.
Most researchers think building a human-level AI will likely take longer than one decade. Philosopher Nick Bostrom surveyed 550 AI researchers to gauge when they think human-level AI would be possible. The researchers responded that there is a 50% chance that it will be possible between 2040 and 2050, and a 90% chance that it will be built by 2075.
While Vicarious isn't forthcoming about their timeline, they want to build human-level AI as soon as possible. They're doing this by building an AI that emulates how the brain works — specifically the neocortex, the area of that brain that's responsible for perception and information processing, and they're making incremental progress."
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #76 on: October 11, 2015, 05:00:49 PM »
Do they want to simulate real neurons? Or is it just another mathematical "neural network", "perceptron", ...?
If they think to have it in 10y they must have some new technological/theoretical ace in the hole.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #77 on: October 12, 2015, 01:49:32 AM »
Do they want to simulate real neurons? Or is it just another mathematical "neural network", "perceptron", ...?
If they think to have it in 10y they must have some new technological/theoretical ace in the hole.


As indicated by the linked article, the neurons are digital, and has already been achieved for rat neurons:

H. Markram, et al. (2015), "Reconstruction and Simulation of Neocortical Microcircuitry", Cell,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.029


http://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674(15)01191-5

Summary: "We present a first-draft digital reconstruction of the microcircuitry of somatosensory cortex of juvenile rat. The reconstruction uses cellular and synaptic organizing principles to algorithmically reconstruct detailed anatomy and physiology from sparse experimental data. An objective anatomical method defines a neocortical volume of 0.29 ± 0.01 mm3 containing ∼31,000 neurons, and patch-clamp studies identify 55 layer-specific morphological and 207 morpho-electrical neuron subtypes. When digitally reconstructed neurons are positioned in the volume and synapse formation is restricted to biological bouton densities and numbers of synapses per connection, their overlapping arbors form ∼8 million connections with ∼37 million synapses. Simulations reproduce an array of in vitro and in vivo experiments without parameter tuning. Additionally, we find a spectrum of network states with a sharp transition from synchronous to asynchronous activity, modulated by physiological mechanisms. The spectrum of network states, dynamically reconfigured around this transition, supports diverse information processing strategies."


See also:
http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/detailed-digital-rat-brain-shows-individual-neurons-151011
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #78 on: October 12, 2015, 03:04:41 AM »
I haven't looked into Markram's project. Sounds like a fascinating and reasonable ansatz. Kind of zooming in to ever more detail in a flexible model. I'd like to know more about the maths behind this. The results of the rough model seem to show that this works, e.g. exhibiting brain waves.  But then, this project is controversial:
http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2014/07/updated-european-neuroscientists-revolt-against-e-u-s-human-brain-project

It's 10 years back that I had some chats with a neuroscientist, who gave a completely different perspective: "Single-neuron consciousness" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16083912
From what Sevush told, my impression is: A neuron is a hugely complex thing, a piezo-electrico chemico vibrato orchestra with 50000 violins. I haven't yet heard of anybody simulating one in complete detail. (And then: connect millions of them!)

But then, perhaps Markram is right and its the network as a whole, not the individual nodes that count.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

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« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 12:04:40 PM by Laurent »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2015, 07:45:01 PM »
Information Theory, IT, is all about signal/pattern recognition and its theoretical underpinnings are such that even the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a subset of Entropic Uncertainty as defined by IT. Earlier in this thread I discussed uncertainty with regards to the Scientific Method as well as the Bayesian approach.  In prior posts in this thread I discussed the nature of uncertainty with regards to indeterministic (e. g. quantum theory) vs deterministic (e. g. relativity) scientific theory and the Copenhagen Intrepretation, the Many Worlds Interpretation and my Holoborg  Interpretation, where the information (& uncertainties) contained within, and forming, the universe is created by free will interacting with other free will (rather than free will being an emergent property as in the Copenhagen & the Many-World's interpretations).  Obviously, free will is a fundamental consideration for philosophy and also in earlier posts I touched upon the role of uncertainty as discussed by C.D. Broad (1925), in "The Mind and its Place in Nature", New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc. as summarized by the following quote:

"The speculative philosopher and the scientific specialist are liable to two opposite mistakes. The former tends to deliver frontal attacks on Reality as a whole, armed only with a few wide general principles, and to neglect to isolate and master in detail particular problems. The latter tends to forget that he has violently abstracted one part or one aspect of Reality from the rest, and to imagine that the success which this abstraction has given him within a limited field justifies him in taking the principles which hold therein as the whole truth about the whole world. The one cannot see the trees for the wood, and the other cannot see the wood for the trees. The result of both kinds of mistake is the same, viz., to produce philosophical theories which may be self-consistent but which must be described as "silly". By a "silly" theory I mean one which may be held at the time when one is talking or writing professionally, but which only an inmate of a lunatic asylum would think of carrying into daily life."

C. D. Board is talking about induction & deduction address uncertainty differently when considered as a subset of IT's entropic uncertainty.  However, as humans generally do not relate well to IT (while the coming AI generally will); I provide the following alternate names for this IT dichotomy:

(a) Speculative philosopher vs scientific specialist; (b) Yin vs Yang: (c) indeterministic vs deterministic; (d) Climate Dads vs Climate Cads; (e) Natural Section vs Survival of the Fittest; (f) Love is lyrical while Lust is lewd; (g) "one-with-everything" vs Tyranny of the small decision, (h) liberal vs conservative, and (i) ignorance is suffering vs ignorance is bliss.

Taking this dichotomy as a fundamental aspect of IT's approach to addressing uncertainty in signal/pattern recognition, in the Holoberg Interpretation this dichotomy can be as two sides of the same coin, with the balance point between these two aspects oscillating in manners depending on the boundary conditions, starting conditions and the nature of the system in consideration.  As C. D. Broad was a speculative philosopher (rather than a scientific specialist), he was focused on improving philosophy; however, today we live increasingly in the information age with the balance point shifted well in the scientific specialist direction.  Therefore, in the remainder of this post I speculate on the implications our information age shifting so far towards scientific specialism/Yang/deterministic thought/climate cads/survival of the fittest thinking etc. and what one may expect when the pendulum swings in the other direction.

First, I speculate that our current curated modern global socio-economic system is becoming increasingly out-of-balance to the extent that some sort of severe socio-economic disruption will likely occur throughout much of the world (in varying extents) in the 2040 to 2047 timeframe.  In this potential period of severe disruption, I further speculate that the Yin side (the meek) will seek refuge from the conflicts, while the Yang side will seek refuge in ever more advanced technology.

Following 2047, I expect the Yin (meek) side to adopt a "small-is-beautiful" approach for the majority of people surviving the period of severe disruption; while I expect the Yang side to be reserved for the top remaining elite, who I expect to use AI, robotic and biological technologies to live cyborg-like existences with extended life spans.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #81 on: October 16, 2015, 10:15:09 PM »
When our civilization breaks and gets liquidated, will there be resources left for fancy technology (not survival-relelevant)?

I.e. 1) human and 2) technological resources.
E.g. 1) I for one would find it more effective to produce my food directly, and just say KMA to computer industry (heck, I'm almost doing this at present...)
E.g. 2) Computer industry is a world-wide fragile network. It is already happening that local natural disaters (like, flooding Bangkok) lead to bottle necks in global industrial production (like, no more of these special capacitors). Perhaps the U.S. military is wise enough to allocate a complete production resource inland, so they can continue building computers - for some time.

So, methinks if real collapse comes as early as 2040, then forget all AI dreams. Better dream of your Little House on the Prairie.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #82 on: October 16, 2015, 10:24:28 PM »
When our civilization breaks and gets liquidated, will there be resources left for fancy technology (not survival-relelevant)?

I.e. 1) human and 2) technological resources.
E.g. 1) I for one would find it more effective to produce my food directly, and just say KMA to computer industry (heck, I'm almost doing this at present...)
E.g. 2) Computer industry is a world-wide fragile network. It is already happening that local natural disaters (like, flooding Bangkok) lead to bottle necks in global industrial production (like, no more of these special capacitors). Perhaps the U.S. military is wise enough to allocate a complete production resource inland, so they can continue building computers - for some time.

So, methinks if real collapse comes as early as 2040, then forget all AI dreams. Better dream of your Little House on the Prairie.

Martin,

When I said:

"Following 2047, I expect the Yin (meek) side to adopt a "small-is-beautiful" approach for the majority of people surviving the period of severe disruption; while I expect the Yang side to be reserved for the top remaining elite, who I expect to use AI, robotic and biological technologies to live cyborg-like existences with extended life spans."

Perhaps, I should have been more specific.  After 2047 there might be no more that 3 Billion people left and it is possible that only the 1% will be living the AI (high tech) dream, leaving the other 99% to live a Little House on the Prairie existence.  So effectively, I have no argument with your logic.

Best,
ASLR

Edit: See the film "Elysium" for one artistic example of what I am talking about (except that the majority of people in the movie are living more of a slum existence than a Little House on the Prairie existence):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium_(film)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 10:29:36 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2015, 12:56:42 AM »
Per the linked article MIT has developed an AI system that out performs human intuition for big data analysis:

http://siliconangle.com/blog/2015/10/16/mit-developing-a-system-that-replaces-human-intuition-for-big-data-analysis/

Extract: "Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are looking to take human intuition out of big data analysis by letting computers choose the feature set used to identify predictive patterns in the data. This effort is called “Data Science Machine” and so far the prototype of this software has beaten 615 of 908 teams competing for the same capability (across three data science competitions).

Big Data represents a huge, complex ecosystem that brings together innovative processes from across the spectrum of data analysis, storage, networking, curation, search, and many other processes and functions. Much of big data analysis is automated and algorithmic, but in the end data scientists and business users are needed to determine what features of the analysis and data sets are needed for end visualization to communicate that data and make it actionable."
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2015, 03:25:32 PM »
When our civilization breaks and gets liquidated, will there be resources left for fancy technology (not survival-relelevant)?

I.e. 1) human and 2) technological resources.
E.g. 1) I for one would find it more effective to produce my food directly, and just say KMA to computer industry (heck, I'm almost doing this at present...)
E.g. 2) Computer industry is a world-wide fragile network. It is already happening that local natural disaters (like, flooding Bangkok) lead to bottle necks in global industrial production (like, no more of these special capacitors). Perhaps the U.S. military is wise enough to allocate a complete production resource inland, so they can continue building computers - for some time.

So, methinks if real collapse comes as early as 2040, then forget all AI dreams. Better dream of your Little House on the Prairie.


Martin,

When I said:

"Following 2047, I expect the Yin (meek) side to adopt a "small-is-beautiful" approach for the majority of people surviving the period of severe disruption; while I expect the Yang side to be reserved for the top remaining elite, who I expect to use AI, robotic and biological technologies to live cyborg-like existences with extended life spans."

Perhaps, I should have been more specific.  After 2047 there might be no more that 3 Billion people left and it is possible that only the 1% will be living the AI (high tech) dream, leaving the other 99% to live a Little House on the Prairie existence.  So effectively, I have no argument with your logic.

Best,
ASLR

Edit: See the film "Elysium" for one artistic example of what I am talking about (except that the majority of people in the movie are living more of a slum existence than a Little House on the Prairie existence):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium_(film)

The Elysium film scenario (high tech safe harbour for the 1%) is exactly what I find highly implausible and have tried to argue against. And I find such dreams outrageous -- the paradigm of having-lost-touch-with-Earth.

The authors of the Ecomodernist Manifesto (*) seem to dream this dream. It is quite obviously surreal and non-adaptive. Dream business as usual which we can no longer afford.

Before there will be sufficient technology to control the 99% the problem will arise how to feed them. It does arise already (e.g. Ethiopia again). The 99% will not go hungry peacefully (e.g. Arab spring, Syria).

As long as civilization cannot get off its track of agricultural suicide (paradigms: Syria, Darfur today, fertile crescent in antiquity, etc. etc.!) there will be no high tech heavenly abode. This is just a secular continuation of the psychotic dream of transcendent eternal life, with high tech replacing god and Jeebus nowadays. Gaia desperately tries to teach us that this does not work.

The European refugee crisis is a teaching moment. Turn Germany into Elysium be re-erecting The Wall?

----
Sorry for sometimes sounding harsh and irate. Don't take it personally :-) What I fight is ideas, not bodies.
Best,
  Martin

-----------------------------
(*) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/oct/20/the-brave-new-world-of-ecomodernism
For a related mindest, see Neil DeGrasse Tyson's (no less!) anti-Malthusian optimism, with devastating critique by commenter jimbills, here: http://climatecrocks.com/2015/10/21/can-neil-degrasse-tyson-bring-reason-to-late-night/
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 03:51:32 PM by Martin Gisser »
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #85 on: October 22, 2015, 05:50:36 PM »
Martin,

I suspect that we will continue talking past each other, as you seem to be locked into a Western mindset, while I am endeavoring to translate a more Eastern (Buddha's) mindset into Western terms.  For example Western thinking limits AI to machines; however, the Buddha taught that one's sense of self is an artificial construct (or AI) of a biological mind, and that one's free will (i.e. no soul, no me, no my) can allow one to transcend the constraints of such artificial constructs to become one with everything (or the holographic universe in my Holoborg interpretation of the theory of everything).  In this sense nirvana (nibbana) is achieved when one transcends artificial (biological or machine) intelligence to be connected to a universal super mind.  In this sense Western thought is locked into using logic alone to escape suffering (say by mimicking the 1%); while Eastern thought indicates that one can escape suffering by abandoning mental constructs and ego (indeed transcending time & space), so that in the future the 99% living a "small-is-beautiful" life have a better chance of escaping suffering than the 1% who may become dependent on high technology to temporarily avoid suffering.

In this sense perhaps "The Matrix" is a better movie example than "Elysium", as in The Matrix the mind control by the machines is an analogy to the human fetishes created by our own biological AI; and in Neo's artistic fight against the machine intelligence he must first over-come his own mental constraints.  Furthermore, the post-collapse world that I envision, there will be centuries of time where the 1% will not act transnationally but will be limited to more local actives due to the extent of the collapse.

Best,
ASLR
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #86 on: October 22, 2015, 06:23:17 PM »
Martin,

I suspect that we will continue talking past each other, as you seem to be locked into a Western mindset, while I am endeavoring to translate a more Eastern (Buddha's) mindset into Western terms. 
Great! I'm actually also a great fan of Mr. B. (originally inspired by Stephen and Martine Batchelor)
Problem is to flesh out his original thinking, which is already buried under lots of flowers in the Pali canon. His 5 aggregate theory is already quite dangerous. It can lead to mechanistic reductionist thinking, into the same trap as Descartes has led the western mind. E.g. methinks the Abhidamma gets quite Western style metaphysics and far beyond what the Buddha taught.

E.g.: The simile of the chariot and its parts appears several times: E.g. the Vajira Sutta in Samyutta Nikaya SN 5.10, and in the Milindapanha MP 25-28. This is plain reductionist mechanistic thinking.

I contend that there's a decisive difference between mechanism and organism (following theoretical biologist Robert Rosen. Alas his theory layd out in the book "Life Itself" is not mathematically rigorous, and remains enigmatic).

Gotta run now...
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #87 on: October 22, 2015, 07:59:28 PM »
Martin,

I suspect that we will continue talking past each other, as you seem to be locked into a Western mindset, while I am endeavoring to translate a more Eastern (Buddha's) mindset into Western terms. 

Great! I'm actually also a great fan of Mr. B. (originally inspired by Stephen and Martine Batchelor)
Problem is to flesh out his original thinking, which is already buried under lots of flowers in the Pali canon. His 5 aggregate theory is already quite dangerous. It can lead to mechanistic reductionist thinking, into the same trap as Descartes has led the western mind. E.g. methinks the Abhidamma gets quite Western style metaphysics and far beyond what the Buddha taught.

E.g.: The simile of the chariot and its parts appears several times: E.g. the Vajira Sutta in Samyutta Nikaya SN 5.10, and in the Milindapanha MP 25-28. This is plain reductionist mechanistic thinking.

I contend that there's a decisive difference between mechanism and organism (following theoretical biologist Robert Rosen. Alas his theory layd out in the book "Life Itself" is not mathematically rigorous, and remains enigmatic).

Gotta run now...


I find that the Satipatthana Sutta and the use of mindfulness to gain insight into the impermanence of the self-point-of-view, is helpful when trying to get to a quicker understanding of the Buddha's thinking (i.e. getting past the flowery Pali Cannon). As an introduction to the Satipatthana Sutta I provide the following link & extract:


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

Extract: "The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (… The Discourse on the Establishing of Mindfulness) and the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (The Great Discourse on the Establishing of Mindfulness) are two of the most important and widely studied discourses in the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, acting as the foundation for Buddhist mindfulness meditation practice.

These discourses (Pāli: sutta) provide a means for practicing mindfulness in a variety of contexts and potentially continuously. Famously, the Buddha declares at the beginning of this discourse:
"This is the direct way [Pāli: ekāyano ... maggo], monks, for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the extinguishing of suffering and grief, for walking on the path of truth, for the realization of nibbāna...." (Vipassana Research Institute, 1996, pp. 2, 3.)

In this sutta, the Buddha identifies four references for establishing mindfulness (satipatthana): body, sensations (or feelings), mind (or consciousness) and mental contents. These are then further broken down into the following sections and subsections:
1.   Body (Kāyā)
o   Breathing (also see the Anapanasati Sutta)
o   Postures (Walking, Standing, Sitting, Lying Down)
o   Clear Comprehending
o   Reflections on Repulsiveness of the Body
o   Reflections on Material Elements
o   Cemetery Contemplations
2.   Sensations/Feelings (Vedanā)
o   pleasant or unpleasant or neither-pleasant-nor-unpleasant (neutral) feelings
o   worldly or spiritual feelings
3.   Mind/Consciousness (Cittā)
o   lust (sarāgaṃ) or without lust (vītarāgaṃ)
o   hate (sadosaṃ) or without hate (vītadosaṃ)
o   delusion (samohaṃ) or without delusion (vītamohaṃ)
o   contracted (saṅkhittaṃ) or scattered (vikkhittaṃ)
o   lofty (mahaggataṃ) or not lofty (amahaggataṃ)
o   surpassable (sa-uttaraṃ) or unsurpassed (anuttaraṃ)
o   quieted (samāhitaṃ) or not quieted (asamāhitaṃ)
o   released (vimuttaṃ) or not released (avimuttaṃ)
4.   Mental Contents (Dhammā)
o   The Hindrances
o   The Aggregates of Clinging
o   The Sense-Bases and their Fetters
o   The Factors of Enlightenment
o   The Four Noble Truths

To be sure, this approach is focused on individual purification rather than on socio-economic systems, and the associated impacts of climate change; but with the proper understanding it provides invaluable insights.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #88 on: October 22, 2015, 08:05:21 PM »
As a follow-on to my last post also see the following Wikipedia extra including the final paragraph about the Vipassan-movement's position that meditators must transcend the jhana state:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhy%C4%81na_in_Buddhism

Extract: "According to the Theravada-tradition, the meditator uses the jhāna state to bring the mind to rest, and to strengthen and sharpen the mind, in order to investigate the true nature of phenomena (dhamma) and to gain insight into impermanence, suffering and not-self.
According to the sutta descriptions of jhāna practice, the meditator does not emerge from jhāna to practice vipassana but rather the work of insight is done whilst in jhāna itself. In particular the meditator is instructed to "enter and remain in the fourth jhāna" before commencing the work of insight in order to uproot the mental defilements.
According to the later Theravāda commentorial tradition as outlined by Buddhagoṣa in his Visuddhimagga, after coming out of the state of jhāna the meditator will be in the state of post-jhāna access concentration. In this state the investigation and analysis of the true nature of phenomena begins, which leads to insight into the characteristics of impermanence, suffering and not-self arises.
According to the contemporary Vipassana-movement, the jhāna state cannot by itself lead to enlightenment as it only suppresses the defilements. Meditators must use the jhāna state as an instrument for developing wisdom by cultivating insight, and use it to penetrate the true nature of phenomena through direct cognition, which will lead to cutting off the defilements and nibbana."
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #89 on: October 22, 2015, 10:07:20 PM »
Back from my daily walking meditation in the forest. Had a glimpse of Indra's net: Pearls of resin on felled tree trunk shimmering in the light of my head lamp. I'm not much into investigative meditation. I let the mind monkeys run empty and then see if a new monkey shows up. (Yesterday it was a crazy new proof of a variant of the Clairault-Schwarz theorem.)

Now, what I said above is stuff I've been thinking of last winter. I tend to forget stuff. Even my own ideas.

The "materialist reductionism" I had "diagnosed" in (some) Buddhism actually makes sense when turned around: It is a reductio ad absurdum tool. An anti-metaphysics tool to destroy views. What Nagarjuna intended with Madhyamaka, countering Abhidhamma, methinks. But he also has a problem with circular causation - an essential mark of Life.

The difference between organism and mechanism is this circular causality thing. Robert Rosen defines an organism to be "a material system that is closed to efficient causation". That is, not only a "machine that winds up its own springs" (Julien Offray de la Mettrie (1709-1751), "L'Homme Machine" 1748). More, it also manufactures its own springs.

With this view of self-causation I have some trouble with Mahayana Buddhist emptiness. Methinks: Irreducible emptiness is not the Middle Way. Organisms have a degree of essence, in Aristotle's sense of "to ti ên einai", which has an almost 1:1 parallel in the Sanskrit term svabhava.

That is my explanation why "the Earth is silent about this destruction" (Heidegger 1937) - even to most Buddhists.

Plus, this circular causality view of Life makes me have trouble believing in real AI.

-----------------
Now, it might occur we have drifted far OT. Nope methinks. Adapting to the Athropocene is only possible if we transcend the Anthropocene. And the Anthropocene has its roots in mechanistic "anorganic" metaphysics going back millenia, East and West.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 10:38:39 PM by Martin Gisser »
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #90 on: October 22, 2015, 10:58:35 PM »
Martin,

First, I will note that the Buddha did not teach Buddhism anymore than Christ taught Catholicism, so parsing different dogmas will not get to heart of either teaching.

Second, being one with everything transcends human mindsets, making it virtually impossible to discuss nirvana (nibbana) in human discourse.

Third, in the Holoborg interpretation of intelligence there does not need to be any dividing line between machine AI and biological AI, as they can both merge together once they are developed.

Fourth, the Buddha "Gautama" spoke of the next coming Buddha "Metteyya", so (depending on timing) even if one is not currently inspired to undertake active/investigative meditation now; one might become inspired to do so in the presence of Metteyya.

Best,
ASLR
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #91 on: November 06, 2015, 05:29:30 PM »
The linked article says that Toyota will be investing $1 billion in AI for self-driving cars and robots, and that they will have commercially available self-driving cars within 5-years.  No one should pretend that big changes in AI & robots will not be coming within 5 to 15 years:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2494574,00.asp

Extract: "Toyota recently said it wants to have self-driving cars on the road within five years."
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #92 on: November 06, 2015, 08:55:04 PM »
Re: MIT Data Science Machine
I looked at the paper, and the claims seem overblown. The algorithm in the paper uses external cues derived from previous human decisions such as foreign keys; lacking these it typically fails to combinatorial  explosion in some instances i have tried. However, given enough guidance, the technique may have some value, i shall report back as I play with it some more, when time allows.

Re: Schwarz theorem:
The prettiest way to get there is through complex analysis

Re: Toyota
I recall that in 2005 they were saying that every toyota would be a hybrid by 2013 ...

Re: Buddhism
Some of the sharpest expositions of Buddhism come from Sankara, that great opponent of Buddhism. He did have some unkind things to say about contemporary Hinduism, too.

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #93 on: November 11, 2015, 11:38:23 PM »
The linked reference discusses recent advances in one approach to build a full function quantum computer based on silicon technology:


Charles D. Hill, Eldad Peretz, Samuel J. Hile, Matthew G. House, Martin Fuechsle, Sven Rogge, Michelle Y. Simmons and Lloyd C. L. Hollenberg (30 Oct 2015), "A surface code quantum computer in silicon", Science Advances, Vol. 1, no. 9, e1500707, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500707


http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/9/e1500707


Abstract: "The exceptionally long quantum coherence times of phosphorus donor nuclear spin qubits in silicon, coupled with the proven scalability of silicon-based nano-electronics, make them attractive candidates for large-scale quantum computing. However, the high threshold of topological quantum error correction can only be captured in a two-dimensional array of qubits operating synchronously and in parallel—posing formidable fabrication and control challenges. We present an architecture that addresses these problems through a novel shared-control paradigm that is particularly suited to the natural uniformity of the phosphorus donor nuclear spin qubit states and electronic confinement. The architecture comprises a two-dimensional lattice of donor qubits sandwiched between two vertically separated control layers forming a mutually perpendicular crisscross gate array. Shared-control lines facilitate loading/unloading of single electrons to specific donors, thereby activating multiple qubits in parallel across the array on which the required operations for surface code quantum error correction are carried out by global spin control. The complexities of independent qubit control, wave function engineering, and ad hoc quantum interconnects are explicitly avoided. With many of the basic elements of fabrication and control based on demonstrated techniques and with simulated quantum operation below the surface code error threshold, the architecture represents a new pathway for large-scale quantum information processing in silicon and potentially in other qubit systems where uniformity can be exploited."

See also:
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/silicon-quantum-computers-look-to-scale-up

Extract: "It’s looking more and more like future super powerful quantum computers will be made of the same stuff as today’s classical computers: silicon. A new study lays out the architecture for how silicon quantum computers could scale up in size and enable error correction—crucial steps toward making practical quantum computing a reality."
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #94 on: November 20, 2015, 11:30:08 PM »
I was so focused on the coming human cyborgs that I neglected consider plant cyborgs; which have already been achieved as indicated by the linked reference.  One possible use for such plant cyborgs would be for harvesting solar energy:

Eleni Stavrinidou, Roger Gabrielsson, Eliot Gomez, Xavier Crispin, Ove Nilsson, Daniel T. Simon and Magnus Berggren (20 Nov 2015), "Electronic plants", Science Advances, Vol. 1, no. 10, e1501136, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501136

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/10/e1501136

Abstract: "The roots, stems, leaves, and vascular circuitry of higher plants are responsible for conveying the chemical signals that regulate growth and functions. From a certain perspective, these features are analogous to the contacts, interconnections, devices, and wires of discrete and integrated electronic circuits. Although many attempts have been made to augment plant function with electroactive materials, plants’ “circuitry” has never been directly merged with electronics. We report analog and digital organic electronic circuits and devices manufactured in living plants. The four key components of a circuit have been achieved using the xylem, leaves, veins, and signals of the plant as the template and integral part of the circuit elements and functions. With integrated and distributed electronics in plants, one can envisage a range of applications including precision recording and regulation of physiology, energy harvesting from photosynthesis, and alternatives to genetic modification for plant optimization."

See also:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1120/Beautiful-circuits-Dawn-of-the-cyborg-rose

Extract: ""Now we can really start talking about 'power plants' – we can place sensors in plants and use the energy formed in the chlorophyll, produce green antennas, or produce new materials. Everything occurs naturally, and we use the plants' own very advanced, unique systems," Berggren said."

&

http://www.livescience.com/52872-electronic-plants-created.html

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #95 on: December 01, 2015, 06:11:30 PM »
Per the linked article, factory-based animal cloning will be a reality next year, and publically acknowledged human cloning will occur as soon as public/political reaction allows in China:

http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/china-clone-factory-scientist-eyes-human-replication-151201.htm

Extract: "The Chinese scientist behind the world's biggest cloning factory has technology advanced enough to replicate humans, he told AFP, and is only holding off for fear of the public reaction.

Boyalife Group and its partners are building the giant plant in the northern Chinese port of Tianjin, where it is due to go into production within the next seven months and aims for an output of one million cloned cows a year by 2020.

But cattle are only the beginning of chief executive Xu Xiaochun's ambitions.
In the factory pipeline are also thoroughbred racehorses, as well as pet and police dogs, specialised in searching and sniffing.

Boyalife is already working with its South Korean partner Sooam and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to improve primate cloning capacity to create better test animals for disease research.
And it is a short biological step from monkeys to humans -- potentially raising a host of moral and ethical controversies.

"The technology is already there," Xu said. "If this is allowed, I don't think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology."

...

Presenting cloning as a safeguard of biodiversity, the Tianjin facility will house a gene bank capable of holding up to approximately five million cell samples frozen in liquid nitrogen -– a catalogue of the world's endangered species for future regeneration.

Boyalife's South Korean partner Sooam is already working on a project to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction by cloning cells preserved for thousands of years in the Siberian permafrost.

Sooam also serves a niche market recreating customers' dead pet dogs, reportedly for $100,000 a time."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 03:18:24 AM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #96 on: December 01, 2015, 09:44:04 PM »
So to go together with industrial level clone technology the Chinese are now leading the technological race for genetic engineering on humans:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/12/01/historic-summit-on-gene-editing-and-designer-babies-convenes-in-washington/

Extract: "Genetic engineering isn't new, but CRISPR is, and it's a stunningly fast, flexible, cheap way to manipulate the code of life. It's so revolutionary — and unnerving — that hundreds of scientists, policymakers and the president's science adviser gathered Tuesday in Washington for the start of a three-day summit on the implications of this astonishing technology.



The summit kicked off Tuesday morning at the headquarters of the National Academy of Sciences, which is one of the sponsors, along with the National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Academy (Britain), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Chinese scientists have been aggressive in using CRISPR, and one team made news this year when it reported results from experiments on nonviable human embryos."

See also:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/543941/everything-you-need-to-know-about-crispr-gene-editings-monster-year/

& for a new research breakthrough on this topic see:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/11/30/science.aad5227

Abstract: "The RNA-guided endonuclease Cas9 is a versatile genome editing tool with a broad range of applications from therapeutics to functional annotation of genes. Cas9 creates double-strand breaks (DSBs) at targeted genomic loci complementary to a short RNA guide. However, Cas9 can cleave off-target sites that are not fully complementary to the guide, which poses a major challenge for genome editing. Here, we use structure-guided protein engineering to improve the specificity of Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9). Using targeted deep sequencing and unbiased whole-genome off-target analysis to assess Cas9-mediated DNA cleavage in human cells, we demonstrate that “enhanced specificity” SpCas9 (eSpCas9) variants reduce off-target effects and maintain robust on-target cleavage. Thus, eSpCas9 could be broadly useful for genome editing applications requiring a high level of specificity."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 03:32:47 AM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #97 on: December 02, 2015, 12:55:50 AM »
Do we have a one-clone policy yet?
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #98 on: December 02, 2015, 03:49:48 PM »
Do we have a one-clone policy yet?

Good form calls for at least an "heir and a spare". ;)
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Re: Adapting to the Anthropocene
« Reply #99 on: December 22, 2015, 04:49:58 PM »
The future of robotic cars is coming sooner (next year) than you might think:

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3017759/emerging-technology/here-s-why-ford-will-build-the-google-self-driving-car-next-year.html

Extract: "Rumors are circulating that Ford may build the Google autonomous car.
As Automotive News reported today, the official announcement could come in two weeks at CES in Las Vegas. An unnamed source said the negotiations are almost finalized.
Just a few weeks ago, Tesla made headlines when they released a software patch that lets you go hands-free and feet-free in a Model S sedan. While it’s a milestone in engineering and the first time a car has been able to drive at highway speeds for long periods of time unassisted, only Google seems to have the engineering chops to make a car drive on its own in downtown traffic, controlling speed, steering, and braking without human intervention. (Volvo certainly comes close.)
The reason it makes so much sense for Ford to partner with Google is that they’ve been doing that for years. You can already send Google Maps directions to the navigation system in your Ford Escape, for example, or use Android Auto. Way back in 2011, Ford announced they were working with Google on predictive analytics in the car. It was a way to find out if it was better for fuel economy to take a different route based on traffic conditions, among other things."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson