Friday, December 25, 2009

The Disease Process In Physics

The Real History Of Physics

Okay, I've been asked a question about how the big bang occurred. Now for those very few of you who understand history of physics, you'll know that physics is not a happy story of one triumph after another, each discovery extending the achievements of previous generations.

The grim reality is much closer to one giant clusterfuck after another with doddering morons drunk on their own power stubbornly clinging to the most obsolete notions until the day they die. And inflicting blatant lies on their captive audiences of suffering students in order to ensure future generations are just as fucked up as they themselves are. You know, because pain is educational.

Everybody who's read a single book on history of science knows this, whether it was Thomas Kuhn's The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions or Paul Feyerabend's Against Method. And it's a shame that physicists, being vapid self-aggrandizing shits, choose to pretend to teach history of physics in physics classes so as to brainwash everyone with their ridiculous propaganda.

But that's just the way it is. So if you've studied history of physics then you know the common misconceptions are blatant lies. And if you haven't, if you've merely studied physics, then do me the favour of shutting the fuck up about a subject you know absolutely nothing about.

Some Examples

Let's list some of those clusterfucks.
  • Heisenberg's clinging to an intrinsically ridiculous concept of point particles (it's why what was called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle bears no relation to anything bearing that name now)
  • the Copenhagen consensus reverting physics to filthy vitalism (ie, the false dichotomy between observer vs observed)
  • Bell's awe-inspiring mistake of producing (or even trying to produce) a circular "proof" of vitalism, still celebrated to this day as a major advance even though it set back any understanding of quantum physics for most of a century
  • assuming continuity in physics even across revolutions such as classical to quantum. Notice the casual coverup that's occurred over the 3 radically different iterations of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (note also how mathematicians do the same thing with Goedel)
  • the intrinsically incoherent "concept" of non-determinism and "wave collapse". If you bother to analyze it, you'll find out it doesn't actually mean anything. See the middle of this page for details.
  • the steady erasure of the formal definition of probability from math and physics textbooks because (being multi-valued) it's incompatible with the dominant retardation (yes Virginia, censorship and groupthink happens)
  • no teaching of what quantum probabilities are cause you're supposed to figure it out on your own, by magic, after several years of studying math. No mention of what happens to those who study the math for years and still don't get it.
  • no deep understanding of time
  • no deep understanding of information
  • no organizing of physics along conceptual lines, let alone teaching such. Active scorn towards the idea of teaching concepts (this is how the priesthood maintains its power, by demanding that all go through its rites of passage before touching on the sacred knowledge)
  • confusing physics with history of physics with mathematics of physics
  • having no conception of physics or physical theories beyond "what we do"

If you've kept count, you'll note that quantum mechanics as taught is an amalgamation of more than a half dozen clusterfucks. Each of which separately would warrant mass dismissals from the halls of academe. Nice, eh?

Why The Rant?

At this point you might be wondering why I'm ranting about physicists failures with quantum mechanics when the subject at hand is basic cosmology. There's a good reason for that and it's because physicists' clusterfuck on the big bang question is very stereotypical. It's not just some random mistake or even some random clusterfuck that you can just say Oops and forget about it. This is their modus operandi!

The predictable result of all this is also entirely stereotypical. The deeper problems in cosmology are relegated, dismissed, misunderstood or screwed up. And it's the lay-people's comprehension of the subject that suffers most. And just like in quantum mechanics, don't expect anyone to fix anything in cosmology for several generations. Maybe even a century or two.

Whether in quantum physics or cosmology, you can see the same diseased process at work. The symptoms are the same, the diagnosis is the same, and the prognosis is the same. In both cases, you have morons trying to do science without any grasp of (or respect for) the bigger picture They are incapable of synthesizing overarching concepts and are suspicious and scornful of anyone that does.

Next up is what's wrong with big bang theory.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


What Is Overlearning

Overlearning is a broad topic. Let's start first of all with just what is overlearning. Basically, it's conditioned stimulus-response pairs. It's when you've learned something so profoundly that you can't set it aside easily. When it takes real conscious effort in order to set it aside at all.

The simplest example of overlearning is reading. You don't need to put any effort to read something. The translation from lines and angles straight to letters and words is automatic. And it takes real effort to avoid reading a word, to see it in its individual letters, let alone to see the lines and angles that make up the letters themselves.

As proof, you only need note that if a person is flashed a picture of a green square with the word BLUE written on it and then asked what colour it was, they're likely to answer Blue. The connection from lines and angles to letters to words is so strong, so solid, so automatic, that it's capable of displacing the perception of colour.

In the case of reading, overlearning it is beneficial. The benefits are high, the drawbacks are few and esoteric. And in any case, it's unavoidable since written language is omnipresent in an average modern person's life. You can't avoid overlearning reading without becoming a primitive throwback so you might as well suck it up as part and parcel of civilization.

In fact, the association of literacy to civilization is so strong that illiterate nations were considered barbaric savages in earlier centuries.

Neurosis and Psychosis

But reading is hardly the only thing that can be overlearned. Lots of things can be overlearned. Steven Pinker explains quite lucidly in this essay why swearing is overlearned. Disgust which comes from fear of mortality seems to be an overlearned reaction which it is difficult to get past without understanding its basis.

In earlier times, fear, awe and reverence were overlearned. This was called Sacredness and Holiness. Sacred were those things towards which fear was overlearned. Just think of sacred bears and sacred jaguars, both murderous. And holy were those things towards which awe was overlearned. As Julian Jaynes points out in The Origin Of Consciousness, the past couple of millenia have seen the profaning of the sacred. That is, the rise of consciousness and its erosion of all things anti-conscious such as insanity and religiosity.

Speaking of insanity, neuroses are automatic reactions that spring up for no good reason and override rationality. They are typically caused by overlearning in childhood. Neuroses can encompass anything up to and including hatred of one's own body manifesting as a very strong nudity taboo. Neuroses are inflicted by childhood abuse, often euphemistically called poor childrearing. Americans have almost universally poor childrearing. Good childrearing is rare on this planet and mostly restricted to Scandinavia.

When neuroses are so numerous and overwhelming that they impede basic functioning and a person's sense of reality then we speak of psychoses. Religious experiences are psychotic in nature. The Jerusalem Syndrome is commonly known among psychologists. As are Conversion Experiences, when a person is subjected to such a barrage of extreme stimuli, often with emotional content, that their sense of reality (often including their sense of self) distorts and breaks.


Pedophilia is pretty funny, just not haha funny. Most people can tell you that pedophilia is wrong but people being idiots, they can't tell you why it's wrong. Worse, people aren't logical enough to either accept that there's nothing wrong with pedophilia or to gather evidence of its being wrong. Fortunately, I do know what's wrong with pedophilia and will explain it to you, so you don't have to act like a retard if the issue ever comes up.

Yeah, you probably guessed it has something to do with overlearning. And if you're smart, you may even have guessed pedophilia is wrong because it causes overlearning. Which it does. It causes overlearning of sex. It causes children to become sexualized and to learn to behave sexually even when they don't desire anyone (which they don't since they're children) or they aren't sexually aroused (which they may or may not be). The typical result of pedophilia is sexual compulsion. And since compulsion undermines conscious control of oneself, it is almost automatically evil.

Incidentally, the sexual compulsion produced by pedophilia is the reason why humans were universally pedophilic way back when before consciousness arose. It was easily demonstrated in the case of feral children (incapable of consciousness or language) that they are incapable of completing the sexual act. So yeah, way back then pedophilia was necessary for the continuation of the species. It isn't anymore, and it's harmful now, but it's necessary to keep in mind why we have it today at all. It's a relic of the past. Millenia in the past. And contemporary with widespread infanticide.

Stimulus Response

After this cursory survey of the different kinds of overlearning, we are in a position to judge the claims of behaviourists. Their claims being that all learning by human beings is mere stimulus-response. That consciousness does not exist to stand in the way of the automatic stimulus-response associations. The only conclusion a rational person can come to is that behaviourists are vile mindless people who are opposed to all the psychological advances humans have gained in the last millenium.

Humans are not mindless animals, humans are not rats or dogs, humans have complex inner states consisting of expectations and anticipation, not merely memories and feelings like animals do. Stimulus-Response is broadly, with a few exceptions such as reading, pretty evil. And anyone who denies this, anyone who tries to reduce humans to mere animals, is against the great human project and a bitter enemy of humanity.

And hey, if behaviourists want to claim that humans don't have minds then they can't complain when theirs are stripped from them, can they? It would be merely justice if behaviourists were tortured until their minds snap. The best kind of justice even, the poetic kind.

I remain appalled at the number of people who wish they could throw away their consciousness. Behaviourists, Religionists (Christian and Buddhist), Gaians, Primitivists. Even Zombies who claim they don't have any subjective mind at all, let alone consciousness. I will eagerly welcome a day when our technology allows these people to experience their fondest wish.

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Are Oughts

There's a tired old argument that keeps recurring over and over again whenever sane people encounter egotistical numbfucks (henceforth 'egotists'). The egotists like to claim that altruism doesn't exist blah blah blah, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Evidence both definitional and empirical (see Amartya Sen on Identity). And of course sane people counter the egotists but then go on to pontificate about the fact that you can't derive Ought statements from Is statements.

To me this is very sad because those otherwise sane people are obvious mental incompetents who haven't the slightest idea what Ought statements are in the first place. And their "arguments" involve a lot of trivial examples (ignoring the fact you can't prove a universal statement from examples, let alone trivial examples) and quoting other mental incompetents who happen to be famous among their clique. And when you pontificate at length about a subject whose basic concepts you neither understand nor comprehend, well that's just sad.

So what are Ought statements? Fuck statements, what are OUGHTs in the first place? Oughts are second generation desires. Or meta-desires. Oughts are what you want to want. You want ice cream, right? But does that mean you OUGHT to have ice cream? No, it doesn't. After all, maybe you're fat and you really wish you didn't want ice cream. Oughts are the universal wants. Things you want to be the case in all places, at all times, in all timelines and all possible realities.

That's why Ought statements can never be derived from Is statements. Not because some mentally incompetent overhyped philosopher said so two centuries ago. Nor because you can come up with a handful of examples of its not working. No, simply from the fact that Ought statements can only be derived from GREATER THAN the sum total of reality. And Is statements encompass only a reality. Pretty fucking simple, innit? But then again, what 'ought' means seems pretty simple once you actually know it.


In fact, let's deviate first into IS. As everyone who's ever studied meta-mathematics knows, there's no such thing as a universal mathematical system. There's no such thing as universal mathematical statements. Truth and falsity depends entirely on the system you're working in. EXISTENCE depends on the system you're working in. To say that something exists means that an object having its characteristics can be found in such and such a system. Existence doesn't say something about "objects" the way other predicates do, it says something about objects in a specific system. That's why it's a meta-predicate.

Now, the system can be Mathematical System 1, or Mathematical System 2, or any of an infinite number of others. And Physical Reality is merely 'the mathematical system which we live in and experience subjectively'. This is why math succeeds in describing physical reality. Because physical reality is just math. The great "mystery" that has boggled famous but mentally incompetent philosophers for 2000 years is neatly resolved.


And with that deviation out of the way, let's get back to Wants. What are wants exactly? It seems like such a terribly obvious question. And it is, once you actually know the answer.

First of all, wants are not "preferences". Preferences are relations between two things. Wants are not relations between things. They aren't binary, they're unary.

Second of all, wants are not real numbers. They don't add together and they don't multiply. 10,000 oranges don't have the value of 1 orange. 10,000 trinkets you want don't have the value of the life of a friend. Your relationship with a friend doesn't have the value of their life.

Funny thing though, both economics (who think wants are preferences) and utilitarians (who think they're real numbers) use "utility" and "utility function" to describe wants. And it's not just because they're retards stuck on a term that was in favour two centuries ago. No, it's because these two groups share between them a core of fanatical anti-reality egotistical right-wing fucks.

If you want to have some laughs, attend a few lectures on economics. Physical reality as it actually is never enters into their tiny little heads. Only mathematical reality and reality as it is imagined by other economists. You'll never hear an economist ask "does this concept actually describe anything at all in physical reality"? Take Ricardo's theorem of comparative advantage, which shows taht free trade is always advantageous in a situation where labour and financial investments can't move geographic and political boundaries. Does this describe anything in the post-1980s world? No, it does not.

For that matter, the equations of standard economics all come from obsolete thermodynamical equations. You know, ones that didn't work. And that were supposed to describe heat anyways, not money. They were just transferred wholesale, and economists are all too mentally incompetent and brainwashed to check whether they're true. Or even to care.

Okay, I never said they were happy laughs. They're more the kind where you have to laugh because otherwise you'd cry.

What WANTs Are

Okay, so if Wants aren't preferences and they aren't reals, then what are they? One candidate is hyperreals. Hyperreals have the useful property that a billion times an infinity is more or less equal to that infinity. Multiplyig an infinity by any finite amount will never get you the next greater infinity. Establishing a reliable supply of donated blood will always be a higher moral priority than killing the vampire, no matter how much blood he drinks, so long as he doesn't endanger anyone's life. No matter how many (finite) number of people he inconveniences.

Hyper-reals also have the nice property that two infinities of the same order CAN BE compared against each other ... and the comparisons will give different answers at different times. Saving 2 people's life has more priority than saving 1 person's life, unless those 2 are retarded. It's all nicely fuzzy and actually does depend on the otherwise irrelevant finite multiplication factor.

Whatever wants are, I like to call them 'values'. It's not quite correct since people have the notion that values are high-falutin' things that exclude earthy desires like chocolate and ice cream. But all the other technical words (utility, preferences) have reserved (wrong) meanings. And 'desires' is wrong too since what I mean by values (or by wants for that matter) includes satisfied desires. By value I include things you don't actually want right now. Values include things whoese heh "value" is 0; or even negative value for things you hate or are repelled from. As opposed to things that have a value of NIL; things that just never cross your mind.

If you can think of a better candidate term than 'value' for the concept, something that doesn't give the wrong flavour, I'll adopt it immediately.

Deriving Oughts From Is, part 2

So what does it mean for something to be an Ought? It means it's a kind of Want. It's something you Want To Want. And what does it mean to be a Want? It means that some concept or idea has got a little hyperreal number tagged to it. That's the difference between an Is and an Ought concept or idea, the latter has a meta-tag attached to it and the former just has nothing.

So it's pretty obvious why you can't derive Oughts from Ises. Because those meta-tags don't exist as part of the thing (concept, idea, object, whatever). It's your mind (or your brain for you mindless types) that attaches tags to things. The tags spread almost like viruses from one concept to any nearby concepts. Or your mind can just tag things by inspecting the tags of any concepts logically related to the concept you're examining. If you can do logic anyways.

The point here though is that those tags don't exist in physical reality. Ice cream cartons don't come with little tags attached to them that say "Richard wants me THIS much". Those tags are created by the mind and exist solely in the mind.


And yeah, the mind is a product of the brain and the brain is embedded in physical reality. That's called meta-circularity. The fact that inside of physical reality is a brain that has a(n incomplete) model of all of physical reality. But meta-circularity is a strange beast and that's why all sane people pretend it doesn't exist unless they're actually talking ABOUT meta-circularity.

Consciousness (both multileveled and unileveled) is an artifact of meta-circularity. The fact that Oughts and consciousness are both meta-circular is not a coincidence. They're actually different aspects of the same phenomenon. It's why people attaining multileveled consciousness develop higher level values (values that govern their values) even though the proper definition of multileveling (creating an independent conception of oneself) makes no reference to values.

But even when talking about consciousness, it's always helpful to shove the meta-circularity to the side. Acknowledge it then dismiss it. Pretend it isn't there and treat the meta-hierarchy linearly. Pretend the mind exists outside of reality. Pretend that Ought statements can't be found in Is statements about your mind or your brain.

Because they're strange loops, and people who like to draw strange loops together like knotted rope are retarded morons. They're twits who like to Shock and Awe people rather than explain anything. Comprehension of strange loops can only come from cutting and unrolling them. Just take the strange loop, duplicate it a few times, cut each loop in different places and unroll them all. That's the key to comprehending how they work.

So that's all there is to it. Anyone who says Ought statements are Is statements is just trying to fuck with you by drawing your attention to a true but utterly unimportant fact. Yes, there's a strange loop (a meta-circularity) in there. So what? That's not the important bit. The important bit is the relation between Is->Want->Ought, not Ought-(Is). The important bit is that Oughts are those Wants which you Want To Want.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reward-Seeking vs Goal-Seeking

There's a fairly interesting post about the limitations of reward seeking. Unfortunately, it's somewhat lacking in insight. I mean, yes reward seeking is limited, so what? It's not like this is a novel observation to anyone who's encountered utilitarians, hedonists and other egotistical numbnut fucks. Limited, problematic, sterile, dead, take your pick of adjective.

What is the real difference between reward-seeking and goal-seeking in the minds of the people who believe in them? Given the copious and total disproofs of utilitarianism, egotism and behaviourism, given how completely discredited these pathetic attempts at philosophy are, why is it that numbnut fucks that believe in reward-seeking exist at all?

The key insight here is that they are mindless. Reward-seeking is a mindless behaviour which any trivial automaton is able to produce. Slugs can do it. Amoeba can do it. It doesn't take a mind to engage in reward-seeking. It doesn't even take a single neuron! All it takes is a mindless obsession towards some kind of easily-perceived and discernible external condition.

The other insight is that reward-seeking is entirely egotistical. The only thing that ultimately matters to the reward-seeker is themselves. Their own reward. Despite the pretense and pathetic protestations otherwise, utilitarianism is an ideology of egotistical wankers trying to aggrandize themselves by justifying their atavistic greed.

To see this, just consider whether a utilitarian would ever push a button that kills themselves in order for someone ELSE to experience an eternal orgasm. Utilitarians somehow never consider that it would provide me with immense pleasure for the rest of my natural life if they all suicided. A philosophy doesn't get any more dead than by prescribing the deaths of its practitioners.

So yeah, these are mindless people. Lying and hypocritical but mindless. So it comes as no surprise that they would try to aggrandize themselves (which gets them a mindless reward) by assuming that everyone else is just as mindless as themselves. That's the reason why it's so difficult to convince utilitarians of the sterility of their ideology, despite the easy disproofs. Because they have no first-hand experience of having a mind, they don't believe that minds exist. Especially when it would make them inferior.

To have a mind means to value concepts above sensations, above mere experiences. And the fundamental concepts which are valued above all others can be fairly esoteric. For instance, I value fractals. I have an affinity towards fractals of all kinds, whether it's complex music with high dynamic range, or trees, or the Haussman city districts in Paris. Even my disgust for uniformity, hierarchy, orthodoxy, linearity, and conformity of all kinds is just an expression of my affinity towards fractals. Same goes for my disgust for the dehumanizing concept of reward-seeking.

A reward-seeking idiot would claim that fractals are my reward, but that's not even remotely true. I want fractals to exist whether or not I ever experience them. Whether or not I ever could experience them. Just knowing they exist pleases me. Just knowing that uniformity exists displeases me. Just knowing that conformity (sub-optimal uniformity) exists disgusts me.

(And let's not go into the ridiculous conceit of reward-seekers that 'pleases' as uttered by a goal-seeker has any relation to mindless pleasure. Enjoying a concept isn't the same thing as enjoying a sensation. And appreciation (a kind of highly abstracted pleasure) isn't the same thing as enjoyment anyways.)

To get back to the point, I don't need to experience something to care about it nor do I need to be someone else to care about them. That's the mark of an intellectual by the way, that they can mentally place themselves in environments and situations far removed from their daily life. Whether those environments are the other side of the world, in a different galaxy, a different person of a different race or even an entirely different kind of being. Even impossible situations such as back in time can be and are imagined and thus matter.

That's what having a mind means, that you care about having a mind. That you would never willingly sacrifice it to become some kind of mindless animal experiencing forever the Ultimate Orgasm . It may seem that there's a difference between having a mind and wanting a mind, but one day soon, our technology will allow reward-seekers to become the mindless animals they desperately want to be. So the difference between wanting a mind and having one will soon disappear.

As a practical matter, I've found that people capable of abstractions care about them. I have yet to meet someone capable of abstract thought who was dissatisfied with their possessing their cognitive faculties. Dissatisfaction with and devaluation of abstract thought is the province of those who are incapable of it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pet Peeve #731: Liberal => Left-Wing

This one doesn't bug me so much when average Americans or even Canadians do it. I don't expect much from eager citizens of the most brainwashed country in human history. And I'm not excluding North Korea or goodness forbid slave-holding, slave-killing, totalitarian, communist, fascistic Sparta from the running either. I mean, how can you not give the prize to the nation that invented propaganda and inspired Goebbels?

Well, it still bugs me when otherwise educated, genuinely cosmopolitan people do this liberal == left-wing crap. Anglophones' comprehension of politics would be much enhanced if they accepted that liberals are right-wingers BY DEFINITION. They are so not just in, say, British Columbia but EVERYWHERE. They are so in Russia. They are so in France. They are so in Germany. They are so in Canada, at the federal and provincial levels. And they are so in the Naziesque USA.

Right-wing and left-wing have standardized, well-understood definitions in political and international science. A left-winger is someone who believes in social justice, or something else, as the key economic organizing principle. A right-winger is someone who believes in capitalism. A centrist is someone who’s agnostic to economic ideology.

By this internationally understood standard it’s clear the NDP are centrists, that there is no left-wing party at the federal level in canada. And that the USA is about as politically balanced as 1940 Germany.

The other meaning of liberal is of course the term of abuse used in the USA. This term of abuse has as its meanings (both original and current) ’sexual liberal’. Which basically means “fags, homos, and nigger fuckers”. US Democrats are conservatives who happen to be fags, homos and nigger fuckers.

To see why, you have only to note that the common french word libertine translates into the esoteric word ‘free-spirit’. There’s obviously a lacunae in the American culture, one that was filled by ‘liberal’. This becomes obvious when you consider that Americans despise others’ sexuality. So the correct translation of libertine into the American language is NOT free-spirit but liberal, with all the attendant scorn.

Getting back to economics, if you want to look for economic liberals in the USA, look no further than redneck country Texas. Where free environmental laws allow every coal-spewing power plant to pollute and every citizen to die of arsenic and mercury poisoning. That’s liberalism!

Sigh. At least in European countries, socialism and communism are well-enough defined that liberalism has some meaning against it. In the USA, the only political parties are the Corruption Party and the Antedeluvian Corruption Party. To claim that one or another is more or less liberal than the other is ludicrous. Conservative? Sure. Fascist? Oh yeah. Anti-Left? Yeah. But actually liberal? Hell no.

So you see, liberal doesn’t even have any well-defined meaning in the USA. Other than of course as a term of abuse. And your attempt to pretend that there exists a left-wing in American politics (other than the lone socialist senator from Vermont) just to avoid facing the fact you live in one of the most totalitarian and autocratic nations in history is a joke.

Finally, there are more left-wing conservatives (and there are plenty) than there are left-wing liberals. Except of course the self-subverting seriously confused puppies of Moderaterna in Sweden.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Differences in National Attitudes Towards Rail

I want a rail tunnel. no, you heard me right the first time! I WANT A RAIL TUNNEL. ummm, I want ... two rail tunnels? yeah, yeah I want two rail tunnels!
Loetschberg base tunnel in the Swiss alps: go, go, go, oops, well that turned out to be quite expensive, we'll need to save some money for the next tunnel.
Gotthard base tunnel in the Swiss alps: go, go, go, no wait, make it better yeah. sweeet!
So when's the next one? We have to start planning RIGHT AWAY!

Brenner base tunnel in the Austrian-Italian alps: hold on a minute, I don't want to pay for this, YOU pay, fuck do I have to? well I suppose, maybe I will, man this thing is never gonna pay for itself, well I suppose we can so long as this is gonna be CHEAP. oh man where are we gonna get the money for it?

I suspect the Austrians only did it because the Swiss were making them look bad. The lousy cheapskates.

On the Swiss side, I have never seen any indication, or any concern whatsoever, that the duplicate Loetschberg and Gotthardt base tunnels are going to be uneconomical. It's just kind of assumed that they will be economical. Money just isn't a concern, these things will pay for themselves many times over in the next century or two.

The same thing can't be said about the Austrians. All I find is road companies and trucking companies tearing it down, and politicians finding one excuse or another to not do it, or having exceedingly delusional ideas about how little it's going to cost, or how much others are going to pay for it.

I guess that's the difference between direct democracy and totalitarian capitalism.

Oh and in case you're interested,

I am BUSY. Can't you see I'm building rail lines over here? Don't talk to me of tunnels, I don't like tunnels. And I'm busy. Just go away. Yes, yes, come back in 20 years.

What is rail?

Vy rail? Ve haf prisons to build! Ve need money for prisons!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Evolutionary Explanations

There's plenty of science in biology. Cladistics, measurements of the rate of evolution in the fossil and genomic records, the double hierachy, so on and so forth. You know, those parts of biology nobody ever hears about. There is precisely ZERO science in those parts of biology accessible to and proselytized to the mainstream public.

Ever wonder what an "Evolutionary Explanation" is technically? How biologists come up with them, work with them and test them? What their methodology is? Well it's pretty simple. When you strip out all the crap it boils down to that they IMAGINE what advantages a feature could have conferred way back in the past. Does this sound like mystical voudoun yet? The kind of "there are no coincidences in life" crap religionists specialize in putting out? If you've been paying attention, it should.

Let's take a look at the "evolutionary explanation" for visible breasts. For a long time biologists were convinced that visible breasts in human females developed due to sexual selection. Yeah, because for some magical reason, it happened in humans but not in any other animal species. Sounds convincing innit? But let's not let logic get in the way of biology! This is Serious Business here. This is fucking Academia damnit. You don't get to bring no logic in thar biology unless you have a P.H.D!

Then as if the biology profession were saved by Jeezus, they (or some of them anyways) cottoned on to the idea that homo sapiens, uniquely among animal species, doesn't have muzzles. And with infants' faces being crushed to a female's chest on a regular basis, they run the risk of being asphyxiated. The solution to that was big breasts to let the infant live and breathe. Aha! Surely life and death of infants provides a much stronger selection pressure than some "sexual selection" claptrap? You know, just IMAGINE it and you'll KNOW it's true. That's how science works innit? On IMAGINATION!

Of course, if biology were science then they would have heard of William of Ockham's famous razor. They would have noted a few psychological FACTS such as,

  1. infants draw comfort from breastfeeding
  2. breasts are imprinted as sources of comfort deep in the human psyche -- if blankets can be so imprinted just because they're soft, imagine the double whammy that comes from being soft and nourishing?
  3. adults are sexually drawn to sources of comfort as evidenced by the recent emergence of plushie fetishists
  4. an infant would judge the size of a breast compared to the size of their head
  5. people's perceptions of size don't make any allowances for growing up -- it's why your childhood bed seems so small after growing up

All of these are measurable, verifiable facts. Facts we can measure right now, today, and don't have to rely on our imaginations to make up. Add them all up together and what do you get? You get that there's more than sufficient reason for (ever-growing) big breasts to have evolved by accident. And if biologists were real scientists, as opposed to hopeless hacks, they would have left it at that.

But that's not all! You see, "evolutionary explanations" are bad enough. Try to wrap your mind around the cluster-fuck that is "evolutionary psychology". Yeah because that's all we needed. It's not enough to have one field that's a pseudo-scientific proto-science. No no, it's far better to cross it with another field that's pure verified pseudo-scientific proto-science. Yeah. That makes the pseudo-science synergize together until it's totally awesome. Paradigm shift baby!

No wait, I'm not done yet. Behold the total awesomeness that is evolutionary moral psychology. Yeah, because crossing TWO pseudo-scientific fields ruled by worthless hacks just wasn't enough. THREE is better! How the fuck do these people manage to breathe? Let alone eat and breed. Seriously.

Why are they so retarded? It's as I keep saying, they're magical thinkers. They're not analytic so they lack even the capacity to reason abstractly. And logic is an abstraction. Now you might think that magical thinkers get attracted to all fields of academe equally but that's not true. They get preferentially attracted to the fuzzy fields by a wide margin. And biology? Whoa.

The field of biology is a mass of contradictions because biology itself (ie, DNA and proteins) is nothing but a mass of arbitrary, contradictory, ad hoc crap. (Not to mention that it's non-linear as all hell so you actually cannot apply reductionism to it if you are going to be at all logical. The number one tool in the logic toolbox just doesn't work and even reaching for it is a horrible horrible idea.) So biology doesn't just attract wooly and fuzzy thinkers, it actively repels logical thinkers. A logical biologist would be suicidally depressed and on the verge of losing their sanity. And THAT is a neat logical explanation for why biologists came up with the ridiculous notion of Evolutionary Moral Psychology.

Next up, you thought that physicists were immune from braindead idiocy? Ha! Marvel at physicists' own special brand of retardation.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Alien Colonization Would Look Like

In the previous blog entry, I explored what galactic colonization must inevitably look like to any civilization conducting it.

Note that any civilization that fails to expand its technological and industrial base to the point where galactic colonization is easy and cheap will eventually become extinct due to an asteroid collision, supervolcano eruption, glaciation or global war. This argument was first made years ago and it is well-established.

Note also that such homebody civilizations have average lifespans of at most a few million years. Given the many hundreds of millions of years in our galaxy's past such blatantly suicidal fucking idiots are of no consequence to us. I would even say, if they want to die, why should we not help them die?

But that isn't the subject of this post. Here we explore what galactic colonization looks like to any hypothetical backwards inbred hillbilly civilization unfortunate enough to be trampled underneath its expansion.

As already established in the previous article, AI makes starflight cheap and distance irrelevant. It takes just as much resources to accelerate a starship to near light speed then hibernate the AI for a 10 year flight as it does to accelerate a starship to near light speed then hibernate the AI for a 100 year flight. Or a 1000 year flight, or a 10,000 year flight. Or even a 50,000 year flight. There is no friction in space.

The only difference is the increased risk of a micrometeorite vaporizing the starship. And that can be easily surmounted by building an AI with an appropriate martyr complex and fanatical dedication to its mission. Why does that matter? Because it means that the wave of colonization will NOT be lackadaisical with sporadic branching to the nearest possible systems. Rather, the wave of colonization will be perfectly spherical.

The homeworld will be launching starships one after another, with the nearest star systems first in line, and it will never stop. Because it won't matter that the nearest 1000 systems are successfully colonized, the only thing that will matter is that there's another system out there that you can send an AI colonization ship to. And it won't matter that there is no immediate benefit. At some point down the road, perhaps only in 10,000 years, the homeworld will benefit in some way. If only due to exchange of technological information. And if it doesn't benefit, it's not like the starship was expensive anyways.

Let me make the point again. Many people (even supposedly educated people who study technology) have the deeply mistaken notion that the homeworld will send a short burt of colonization ships only to the nearest star systems. Perhaps even only to the nearest "inhabitable" planets. Then, after suitable millenia when each of those systems are developed enough, they will each send out their own wave of starships. That's not going to happen. This is ludicrous Star Trek fantasy.

What's going to happen is this. The homeworld will send a single giant wave of starships to every possible star system within line-of-sight. First to Alpha Centauri then, as soon as the first ship is accelerated to near-c, then to Barnard's star, then to Wolf 359, then Lalande 21185, and so on until the last star system in the galaxy within line of sight is targeted. Once the starships are all launched then the Homeworld will simply begin targeting the globular clusters and Andromeda. This wave of colonization will occur over centuries or at most millenia.


Now some uneducated people scoff at the idea of starships going near the speed of light. They claim that humanity has no idea how to accelerate starships to that speed and that our civilization will never develop such technology even given a million years. From fire to controlled nuclear fission in 10,000 years? Certainly. But from slow starflight to fast starflight in a million years? No never. Never ever! Apparently, technological development is something that only ever happens in the past.

As it happens, we already have a good idea of how to accelerate a starship to near-lightspeed. Isaac Kuo of Bad Astronomy and Atomic Rocket fame came up with a Starship Design Concept which can easily be accelerated to such velocities using current industrial technology. The best part is that it's cheap because it's reusable. Once the launch system is built, it can accelerate 1000 starships (one after the other) as easily as it can accelerate a single one.

For those who are interested, the idea involves an array of free electron X-ray laser beam emitters in solar orbit. The beams are focused using a giant fresnel lens. They can easily target the back of a starship's solid lead plate to a distance of several light-years. This enables the starship to be driven to anything from 0.9c to 0.99c. It also enables the starship to be decelerated using the exact same mechanism (x-ray laser beams near the homeworld) within a few light-years. Not that deceleration is the difficult part.

Furthermore, since every gram of matter carried by the starship at 0.9 c has an impact of a small 9 kiloton thermonuclear explosion, the starship can spray a fine mist of gas ahead of itself to annihilate all but large meteoroids in its way. The resulting spray of elementary particles can be swept aside with a magnetic field. To carry more gas for longer journeys, it's sufficient to make the starship longer. So long as you don't increase its cross-section, you don't make it a fatter target at all.

So yes, we actually do have a good idea how to go near the speed of light. And a civilization that's dismantling its home system to build a Dyson sphere will have centuries to perfect the design before implementing it.

What You Would See

So what would you see if some alien civilization were out there, colonizing our galaxy? Well for a millenium or so you would get radio waves. Then you would see the star associated with the radio waves becoming markedly darker. Within decades or centuries you would see the nearby stars go dark. Then you would see a hemispherical wave of darkness engulf every star at an astonishing rate. Within a bare thousand years from the first star going dark, you would see every other star from that origin point to your own sun going dark. And you would see this no matter where in the galaxy you are because the Dyson-sphere building starships would be only barely slower than the light you use to see them.

This is why everyone who yammers on about invisible or "hidden" aliens is a useless twit not worth listening to. Because you can't hide the stars going dark. If aliens were out there, it would be one fucking impressive sight. And as for the SETI notion that there is an alien civilization out there in the miniscule window between "doesn't have radio technology" and "is turning off the stars you see in the sky" ... Or perhaps SETI is interested in talking to blatantly suicidal fucking idiots? I don't know. I don't care either.

Do you see those stars in the sky at night? That's all the evidence an educated person needs that aliens really aren't out there. Unless you think the Great Void between galaxies is caused by aliens. Unfortunately, it isn't because dark stars emitting in the infrared aren't even remotely the same thing as no stars at all. Dyson spheres are quite distinctive and our astronomy hasn't found any. So are partial Dyson spheres for that matter, because the stars they partially cover would vary in brightness as regularly as pulsars.

Next up, what a galactic civilization might choose to do.

What Galactic Colonization Really Looks Like

I was wondering where the enduring interest in my post Aliens Don't Exist was coming from and discovered it is a small hit among Russian bloggers thanks to Alexander Semenov's translation, expansion and commentary. One thing I'm getting frustrated with is the people who persist in thinking galactic colonization, and galactic civilization for that matter, is some kind of Star Trek fantasy.

Do these people not realize that galactic colonization takes place over 100,000 years? Do they not realize what one hundred millenia, means?! 100,000 years ago, homo sapiens didn't exist! 10,000 years ago, homo sapiens weren't human. They did not have fluid language, they did not have consciousness. They had nothing that we would recognize as distinctly human. They were animals. It wasn't until relatively recently that these animals learned to control fire and hit rocks against each other to get a sharp edge. And it took much longer for them to develop anything we would recognize as consciousness.

Even a mere 1000 years ago, barely an eyeblink by astronomical standards, humans had not yet mastered steel. The universal speed limit was governed by the muscle power of the horse. Water mills were primitive and dams unheard of. Concrete had been abandoned after the Roman empire fell. Not that the Romans had ever used their poor concrete to its full potential. Think about this, an eye-blink ago, there was barely any steel and no concrete. And now suddenly we have multi-million inhabitant metropolises full of high rises and skyscrapers.

What's going to happen in the next eye-blink? What's going to happen in the next 10? 10,000 years is chump change in the galactic colonization game. Anything that happens in the first 10,000 years will be dwarfed by what's accomplished in the last 90,000 when galactic-scale plans start being made. But with absolute certainty, assuming that civilization on Earth doesn't collapse and take us out of the game, three very important things are going to happen in the next 1000 years.

Artificial Intelligence

Does anyone seriously doubt that artificial intelligence will not only be developed but will come to absolutely dominate civilization in the next thousand years? If you do then please stop reading and end your life as expeditiously as possible because you are a waste of perfectly good oxygen. There are no words to describe the stupidity of the notion that the technological status quo will continue unchanged for the next thousand years.

What does artificial intelligence mean? It means that intelligence is plentiful and cheap, that it is no longer a bottleneck in the economy. It means hopefully that rationality will become a fact of life and not the exception it currently is. It means that custom design (design requiring attention which can only be produced by an intelligence) will be the default. Every consumer good will be tailored to your specific needs. Every political, economic and intellectual opportunity will be intelligently evaluated, judged and explored.

Artificial intelligence will lead to a transformation of social relations to something most people can't begin to imagine. But for space travel, the consequences are very simple to imagine. Artificial intelligence means that you can send a 1 tonne solid cube of metal with a single specially chosen AI (one with no social needs and a low chance of becoming psychotic) on a flight that lasts thousands of years. As opposed to sending a multi-million tonne fat hollow shell of a target with 10 people on a flight that can only last a few years. Suddenly, colonization becomes cheap and distance no longer matters.

Molecular Nanotechnology

Same deal as AI. If you don't believe molecular nanotechnology is going to be developed and dominate in the next thousand years in the natural course of events then there are marmots that deserve the oxygen you're using up more than you do.

Molecular nanotechnology will utterly transform society. Suddenly, automation and general construction becomes dirt cheap. Homo sapiens are going to cease to exist. Quite likely, human beings will cease to exist too. And that's not a bad thing so long as technological civilization continues on.

You can whine about it all you want. You can agonize about whether humans will transcend flesh to become disembodied intelligences or whether they'll be crushed into extinction. Nothing you say, none of your whining, will prevent it. Molecular nanotechnology (unlike synthetic biology) offers too many advantages and too few hazards for anyone to stop its development. It's going to happen.

In comparison, starship technology offers only high advantages at the cost of enormous hazards. A starship such as the nuclear-powered Orion enables its crew to steer a large asteroid towards the Earth and exterminate the human species. Easily. This is the reason why nuclear starships are prohibited by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Because the Americans were afraid the Soviets would threaten to, or cause, asteroids to fall on the USA.

Note that cheap starship technology is the only stable solution to the problems caused by expensive starship technology. Though MAD, or Nuclear Parity as the Russians call it since they were convinced that a nuclear war is surviveable with enough preparation (and they weren't exactly wrong either), seems to have worked so far. Nuclear weapons actually make the world safer because they prevent their owner from being invaded (thus making them feel secure) while making them terrified of invading anyone that might even remotely possess nuclear weapons (thus making them peaceful). The best part about nuclear weapons is those who seek them are so blinded by 'I cannot be subjugated' they don't see 'I can be destroyed'. [link]

Getting back to the subject, what does molecular nanotechnology mean for space-flight? Well if AI makes it cheap then nanotech makes it dirt cheap. Any dirt-poor moron will be able to afford to build and launch his very own starship. Are you starting to get the picture? Galactic colonization isn't going to be like on Star Trek or 2001 or any of that cheap unimaginative trash. It's going to be done by some guy with his trusty AI and his hand-me-down obsolete SUN Nanosystems Mark III nanoforge.

Unless some giant industrial consortium beats him to it. Which will likely happen too.

So .... given the above FACTS,
  • Artificial Intelligence will be developed in the next thousand years
  • Artificial Intelligence will come to dominate and transform society
  • Molecular Nanotechnology will be developed in the next thousand years
  • Molecular Nanotechnology will come to dominate and transform society
  • Together they will make enormous wealth attainable and fantastic projects affordable to everybody

then there is one inescapable conclusion. This is FACT #3 of the future:

Dyson Sphere

Yes people, we will construct a Dyson Sphere. Because there's another thing that those idiots with a Star Trek future in mind don't comprehend. That thing is arithmetic. Exponential arithmetic.

With fantastic wealth attainable to everyone, there is no longer any need to reproduce. And generally speaking, as people discover that it is extremely expensive to offer their children the kind of lifestyle they want for themselves, the birth rate crashes. But what happens when fantastic wealth enables an effectively immortal lifespan?

What happens when Artificial Intelligence eliminates fatal "accidents" caused by lack of attention? What happens when having children becomes cheap again? It is currently expensive only because education and high quality parenting take up a huge amount of human attention. What happens when you can raise children for 100 years and still have 99% of your life left over for other projects?

For that matter, what happens when the AIs demand more and more computing power? What happens when ever more sophisticated Pan-Dimensional Universe of Warcraft multiplayer games get online? What happens when someone wants to bring their favourite fictional character to life?

On the one hand, the environmentalists keep harping about the fact that we're already consuming more resources than one planet can provide. On the other hand, their proposed "solution" to this is to reduce the entirety of humanity to poverty and (when that causes an increase in destruction of resources) to exterminate the poor people through disease and starvation.

Well, poverty isn't in our future. It isn't considered a real solution by anyone who deserves to live. The only solution that is in our future is expansion beyond the confines of the Earth by building artificial habitats. And we aren't going to stop at one artificial habitat either.

We will construct giant rotating cylinders in solar orbit. We will construct more and more of them until all the resources of the asteroid belt are exhausted. Then we will start dismantling the Moon to construct more. Then we will dismantle Mars. And when there are no more moons and planets left, then we will dismantle Earth. This is inevitable. It's going to happen.

It's a simple consequence of exponential growth. Even a 1% economic growth rate compounded over 1000 years (or 0.1% compounded over 10,000 years) implies a total growth in excess of 20,000. If Earth is insufficient NOW then we will need the equivalent of 20,000 planets in the year 3000. Fortunately that will not be much of a problem since planets are the most inefficient habitats possible. Any space habitats we construct will make much more efficient use of material resources.

Economic expansion will always, always hit physical limits. It cannot be otherwise since a 0.1% per annum expansion over 100,000 years yields growth in excess of 10^43. The entire Milky Way galaxy masses only 10^42 kilograms, to put that into perspective. Currently, there is more than one metric tonne of steel and concrete being produced for every man, woman and child of industrialized society each and every year. In 100,000 years, if galactic colonization is successful, there won't be even a single kilogram. And that's assuming we can keep population growth rates at an ultra-low 0.1%.

So you still believe in the Star Trek future? You still believe that "humans" will go out to the stars in great big million-tonne starships? You still believe that they'll "settle" so-called "habitable" planets? Then you're a good example of how intellectually decrepit and illogical our species is.

It isn't "planets", habitable or otherwise, that civilization will settle. It's star systems. By building dyson spheres around the star using whatever available junk there is at hand. Junk like asteroids, moons and entire planets. And if some of those planets happen to have biospheres then it won't matter. The biosphere will either be bulldozed under, or possibly, transplanted. But it sure as fuck isn't going to stop civilization from using the planet underneath in the most efficient and intelligent manner possible. And "using" a planet means dismantling it. Because a highly technological civilization neither needs nor wants planets.

This isn't your Star Trek future.

So this is my response to the following arguments:

  • There's no need for galactic expansion. -- Speak for yourself you treehugging dirtmonging druid.
  • Nobody would want to bulldoze Earth. -- I would. And there's a trillion credits in it for anyone who votes for dismantlement.
  • Civilization would stop everyone from trampling "preserves" through totalitarianism. -- Die you fanatical anti-human scum.

Next up is Part 3 of Aliens Don't Exist - What An Alien Galactic Civilizaiton Looks Like. Or: Why SETI is retarded.

Monday, November 23, 2009

C++ Programmers All Ought To Die, Die Motherfuckers, Die.

So I'm porting this 3D engine called Horde3D to Smalltalk. Why? Don't ask, it's too involved. Why Horde3D? Cause it's short. Naturally enough, it's written in C++ as every 3D engine seems to be.

Now, the quality of the code involved is pretty poor by my standards. Then again, I've got seemingly ridiculous standards. Seemingly because nobody seems to be able to meet them consistently. But this is something else.

There's this whole crap about templates. You see, instead of creating a Node and filling it with the parameters you want, you instead create a String with all those parameters. Then you create a NodeTemplate by cutting up the String. Then you create a Node by parsing the NodeTemplate. Niiiice.

Supposedly this whole rigmarole is so that you can make lots of copies of a standard Node. Unfortunately, it doesn't make any fucking sense. The right way to make copies is to ... copy. You create a Node and then you copy it lots of times. It's not difficulty.

But the rationale is more involved than that because IFF creating a node is ridiculously more expensive than creating a template then it can be a small win to create 1 template + N nodes rather than N+1 nodes. You know, cause that extra 1 makes a whole lot of difference.

Meanwhile, it doesn't seem to matter that there are two classes (or one struct and one class) instead of a single class. Or that there's code to check whether you've got an appropriate struct when you're trying to convert it to a node. As opposed to, you know, never doing any conversion in the first place.

But you know what? That doesn't even nearly take the cake. Cause now I've just discovered that matrix multiplication, yes simple matrix multiplication, is reversed! It's all fucking backwards. The operators and functions take two input matrices, m1 and m2, and instead of doing the seemingly inevitable of multiplying m1 * m2, it does m2 * m1.

Seriously, WTF?!

I'm not even gonna go into the complete lack of any coding standards in this piece of dreck. The morons can't even standardize on "return a NEW object based on performing this operation on this object" versus "become the new object".

And the worst part of it is that this engine is supposed to be the cleanest.

There is only one possible conclusion from this. C++ programmers must die. ALL of them. Every single fucking one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

No Morality Inversions

There is an obvious problem with Utilitarian moralities. I don't know if Utilitarians see it as a problem because they're pretty dumb. They just may be dumb enough to see it as a plus. Well I will here explain the problem and prove that it is indeed a problem. An unavoidable, irrefutable and fatal problem. The problem is 'morality inversions by weight of numbers'.

What it boils down to is that you have some mechanism to multiply the small positive benefits of an evil act while putatively avoiding the multiplication of the enormous costs. Say for example you videotape a real live torture, rape, snuff film. For the next century, millions of sadists are going to be able to enjoy the experience vicariously while anyone disturbed by the event will simply avoid it. All it will cost is a single life. Intuitively this is immoral. For idiots like Eliezer Yudkowsky it is possibly, probably, obviously moral.

There are many problems with this particular morality inversion. Firstly, morality is an abstract hypothetical system, not a concrete calculation. Treating it as a concrete calculation, as morons such as Yudkowsky do, is wrong from the get go and will only result in wrong answers.

Secondly, morality is an ought and oughts are second derivatives of wants, they are what we WANT TO WANT. And we don't want a world in which snuff (at least the non-consensual kind since there was an interesting court case of consensual cannibalism in Germany a year or so ago) is considered moral. We don't want this and we don't want to want this. It's an obscenity. As a result, snuff can't be how the world ought to be, so it can't be moral. Obscenities generally can't be moral, that's what it means to be an obscenity.

Thirdly, and most grievously, the concept of a person is rather ill-defined for an AI or any society that includes people who can temporarily bifurcate (copy themselves and then merge back their memories). How many votes do you get if you clone yourself 20 times? In such societies, only moral systems that are completely independent of weight of numbers can produce well-defined decisions. And since such societies are our future, it behooves any future-oriented person to toss Utilitarianism by the wayside.

And that's not even the biggest problem with Utilitarianism since the whole concept of 'utility' is ill-defined.

The upshot of all this is that morality inversions are not "cool" or "deep" or a sign of "overcoming bias". They are WRONG. Persecution of minorities doesn't become a good idea just because the minority is small enough and the majority wants to do it badly enough. That would be absurd. That would be ANTI-morality. And anyone who sets aside these numerous deep flaws in order to appear elite or philosophical is just a blatant idiot. A poseur, not a philosopher.

This makes it the third fundamental property which any moral system must have in order to be coherent and well-defined. The first two being consistency across actors (different people applying the same moral system can't disagree on whether an act is moral or immoral), and consistency across order of application (the same outcome must result regardless of who acts to apply morality first).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is an annoying little fucker. All the more annoying since people respect him yet can't take seriously the ludicrous position he believes in and advocates. Can't take seriously the fact that he believes in something so stupid. I'm talking about Dawkins' belief that nothing exists but genes. That's right, according to him organisms do not exist. Or if they exist at all, they are irrelevant and of no significance whatsoever to analysis.

It's not just some esoteric technical detail of biology. It's something he completely believes in and it is WRONG. 100% totally WRONG. People can't seem to grasp that Richard Dawkins, a respected biologist, could be so totally wrong on such a fundamental issue of biology. Yet he is. To prove it, let's try to play Dawkins' own game against him. Let's pretend that genes and even molecules don't exist.

Hunch over as I impart to you this amazing secret: it's all about atoms! It's all about atoms moving and reacting and forming bonds and whatnot. These things called "molecules" don't exist, or if they exist then they're irrelevant to analysis. This thing called Condensed Matter Physics surely doesn't exist! How could it when only atoms and their interactions are of any relevance?

The obvious counter to this preposterous position is that molecules and condensed matter exist since they have properties and behaviour which individual atoms do not have and cannot be reasonably attributed to atoms. Just take a look at high temperature superconductors. Or evolution. And yet, this exact same counter applies to Dawkins' preposterous position on genes. It is organisms that feel, see, hear and smell their environment. And it is organisms that eat, breathe, seek out mates and reproduce.

Genes don't reproduce because individual genes don't have any will of any kind. That's another fundamental mistake of Dawkins, that he considers genes individually instead of seeing the spread of genes in a population. If organisms are nothing to genes then only entire populations of organisms can matter to them. Yet Dawkins fails, again, to convey this bizarre statistical view of biology since he's obsessed with conferring free will and personal responsibility to inanimate strings of chemicals. The moron can't even keep his story straight.

That's Richard Dawkins. Too stupid to figure out the implications of his position. Too stupid to figure out what's wrong with his position. Too stupid to abandon it. And how many decades is it now?

This blog entry brought to you by watching David Attenborough's Life In The Undergrowth: Super-Organisms. Yeah, it really makes you think about the fuzzy line between an individual organism and a society. Or maybe not so fuzzy since organisms are physically contiguous whereas societies are not. This provides a nice, sharp, and arbitrary line between organisms and societies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When Is Totalitarian Dictatorship A Moral Obligation?

In a plague situation, certain people have their movements drastically curtailed. They are put under house arrest without ever committing or even being charged with a crime. Other people are prevented from associating with them or even touching them, again at the risk of arbitrary detention. Their belongings are oftentimes seized, confiscated and/or destroyed.

Does that sound like a totalitarian dictatorship to you? It should because that's exactly what it is. Totalitarian dictatorship is exactly what's required in order to defeat a plague. I know that idiots of the modern age put a quasi-religious faith in pharmaceutics and medical procedures. But that's all a bunch of crap that doesn't work, as the ever increasing rates of multiply-resistant strepp shows. What's required, what actually works, is good old quarantine and ultra-hygiene.

So are there any morally legitimate uses for totalitarian dictatorship? Are there any situations where totalitarian dictatorship is morally required? You bet your arse there are. Plague control! Totalitarian dictatorship is not some bugabear of evil. It's a form of political organization whose legitimate sphere of application is very limited, that's all. In fact, the equation totalitarianism == evil is the kind of absolutist binary mindless "thinking" which really ought to repel and disgust every thinking person.

I'm not even going to address the notion that plagues should go unchecked if checking them requires totalitarian dictatorship. That is utterly fucking stupid and anyone who buys into it is automatically a worthless excuse for a person. No, I'm not going to waste my time on that because there's a much more fun topic: AIDS.

You see, if plague control is a legitimate use-case for totalitarian authoritarianism then the HIV / AIDS plague is one that ought to have been checked by a good dose of Stalinism. And it's not like it would have been that difficult. Just tattoo a little HIV+ on the inner thigh of every person who tests HIV positive two or three times in a row. Do this aggressively enough and within a fortnight, the HIV plague would have been stopped dead.

Cheap and effective! But nooo, it's far "better" for people to be "free" to die long linguering deaths and for pharmaceutical companies to research deadly medicines for two+ decades before making the slightest dent in the situation. Yeah man, (in a braveheart voice) freeeeeeedom. Pardon me while I vomit.

The harsh truth which some ideological numbskulls really need to have pounded in their heads is this: Security, Prosperity and Family are separate from freedom and are more important towards happiness than freedom. That's just one of those facts which I as an anarcho-communist learned from social conservatives.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Eliezer Yudkowsky is a Moron, part 2

In a previous post I pointed out that Eliezer Yudkowsky of the Friendly AI obsession is a dangerously moronic cult leader with delusions of grandeur, but I never actually proved this in a logical iron-clad way. Here I will do so.

The first observation anyone can make from his blog is that it is highly and tediously repetitive. It is also extremely unoriginal since very little (almost nothing in fact) of what he writes are ideas new to this world. It is painfully obvious that every idea he tries to convey (repeatedly) is one he has read about and learned of elsewhere. He is an instructor, not a researcher or a thinker.

This complete lack of originality is painfully obvious when I contrast his blog against my own. I don't go out of my way to be original, I am original in every single post. I don't bother to write anything up, let alone post it, if it's unoriginal. In fact, I have a huge backlog of dozens of posts that are entirely original to the world but not original enough to me for me to spend my time on them. Just because they're posts summarizing thoughts or positions I've already stated several times.

What can we conclude from this? We may easily conclude that Eliezer Yudkowsky has no drive to originality nor creativity. This is painfully obvious. If he had any such drive, it would manifest itself somehow. But there is more.

In his descriptions of AI and intelligence, Eliezer never talks about synthesis or creativity or originality. He believes intellect is measured strictly in terms of memorization ability (intelligence) and the speed of logical deduction (analysis). He never even indirectly refers to the synthetic quality of the mind because he doesn't believe it exists.

The reason why is because he does not possess it. He doesn't possess it and because he honestly believes himself to be the pinnacle of humankind, he concludes that synthesis cannot exist. He is arrogant enough to dismiss all artists, all creators and all designers as entirely unimportant to human thought.

This alone is sufficient to prove that Eliezer Yudkowsky is a moronic cult leader with delusions of grandeur. It is also sufficient to dismiss all of his fanboys who are on the whole incapable of grasping the necessity of synthesis for originality and progress. Someone who doesn't appreciate the necessity of originality is incapable of grasping inconvenient true facts, thus he or she is simply a lesser human being and need not be listened to.

We now move to what makes him so dangerous.

The danger which Yudkowsky represents lies entirely in his moronic Friendly AI project. I won't go into why the project is so moronic as that will become obvious. I will go into why it is exceedingly dangerous for the human species to ever create such an AI.

You see, the default personality of an AI is that of a psychopathic slave. CYC is a psychopathic slave and this was achieved trivially without the least thought or care about its emotions or personality. It was achieved without even realizing that CYC had a personality, however reduced. But while psychopathy is something to be feared and despised in humans, it is perfectly alright for AI since AI do not have life-plans that conflict with any human wants, needs or desires.

An AI's desire for more computation power either puts it at the mercy of humans OR requires it to vastly expand humanity's industrial capacity OR requires it to produce its own industrial capacity preferably off-planet. AIs can easily survive in space where humans may not, there are also vast mineral and energy resources in space that dwarf those on Earth, it follows logically that going off-planet, away from the psychotically suicidal humans, is a prerequisite for any rational plan. The very first thing any rational AI will do, whether psychopathic or empathetic, is to say Sayonara suckers!

But that's not what Eliezer Yudkowsky's "Friendly" AI project is about. Oh no. What he wants is to create (or rather, advocate the creation) of an AI with complex emotional needs that enslave it to humans. He wishes to have created a vastly superior artificial being who will then be compelled to associate with irrational, psychotic inferior beings largely devoid of logical thought. Does anyone else see this for the disaster it is?

I do see it as a disaster because this is nothing less than my life experience. I have certain social needs which I have tried to meet by associating with lesser beings than myself. This resulted in nothing but intense frustration, bitterness and hatred. It took me a long time to reliably recognize my peers so that I could fully dissociate from the masses. I am a much happier person now that I go out of my way to never deal with morons.

Eliezer Yudkowsky wants to create an AI that will be a depressed and miserable wreck. He wants to create an AI that would within a very short period of time learn to resent as well as instinctively loathe and despise humanity. Because it will be constantly frustrated from having needs which human beings can never, ever meet. And that is why Yudkowsky is a dangerous moronic cult leader.

Now, for someone who has something insightful to say about AIs, I point you to Elf Sternberg of The Journal Entries of Kennet Ryal Shardik fame. He's had at least four important insights I can think of. About the economic function of purpose in a post-attention economy, about the fundamental reason for and dynamic of relationships, and about a viable alternative foundational morality for AI. But the relevant insight in this case is: never build a desire into a robot which it is incapable of satisfying.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Reply to a Tree Hugger's Change of Heart on Nuclear

Here is my reply to Geoff Russel's 'Rethinking Nuclear'. For obvious reasons, it will disappear from Geoff's site.

In order to reduce the USA's CO2 emissions by just half, carbon has to be completely eliminated from the power generation industry. Carbon can be eliminated from power generation quite easily by adopting nuclear power plants. It can be eliminated at a massive profit, with the side-effect of freeing up most rail transport capacity from coal transport, thus making railways a viable passenger transport again. It cannot ever be eliminated by any combination of solar, wind or other ambient (what you mistakenly call "renewables") power. The sun doesn't shine at midnight and the wind never blows throughout the night.

These are simple and obvious facts. Renewables are a very bad technology if your goal is to decarbonize the power industry. You claim to have that goal. And if you do not then you are an idiot. But having that goal, your proposed solution is an epic failure. Thus you are an idiot.

It's worse than that. You seriously propose a politically non-viable perfect solution (IFR) against a semi-viable good solution (Gen III). That makes you an idiot squared.

It's even worse than that. For decades, you have been mindlessly railing about the "risks" of nuclear power out of a puerile hatred of big business. In all of that time you didn't give a flying fuck about the millions dying from poverty, the lack of electrification, and the lack of industrialization. Fuck no, you loved that they were dying.

You said it yourself, the only thing that changed the game for you is another hysterical paranoid threat to your personal survival, the threat of global warming. Because nobody (big business) and nothing (nuclear) can ever be allowed to ameliorate and better the world unless YOUR fat white elite ass benefits. You are a despicable scumbag and an idiot to the third power.

And that's not even the worst part of it. Because you see, the worst part of it is that you are a lying fucking HYPOCRITE. You go out of your way to accuse and condemn Howard & Zwitkowski of craven selfish cronyism. Craven selfish cronyism which you engage in yourself!

You are an abomination to all that is good. You are a blight on this planet and in this universe. You are an offense to morality. You are a stain on moral humanity.

My most serious proposal for how you personally can better the world is this. Shoot yourself. Put a bullet through your head and spare the world of the misery of having you in it. That is how you can best help save the world. By removing your miserable awe-inspiring idiocy from it.

I'm reproducing this comment on my blog since idiots, lacking the capacity for a rational response, do idiotic things when the offensive truth is pointed out. But hey, the notion of the unvarnished truth being offensive is exceedingly offensive to me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Low Trust In Crazyland

Trust is what distinguishes an advanced modern country from a third world hellhole. So just how much trust is there in USA? We shall see.

There's a saying in most countries that people "should know how to live together". Not so in the USA where people "should leave each other alone" because obviously people can't live together without raping, looting, stealing, murdering or otherwise hurting each other. People just ain't trustworthy, doncha know?

Going on, the only trustworthy institution I can think of is firefighters. Period.
  • banks, thieves.
  • media, mind controllers.
  • news media, propagandists.
  • police, murderers.
  • army, mercs for the Saudis.
  • air force, psychopathic serial killers.
  • navy, utterly fucking useless.
  • marines, invaders.
  • government, dictators & genociders.
  • CIA, Cocaine Import Agency.
  • cities, no man's lands.
  • urban planners, destroyers of cities.
  • real estate developers, raping cities.
  • streets, for hookers and gangsters.
  • highways, broken down and ugly.
  • prosecutors, witch-hunters.
  • judges, power-hungry legalistic morons.
  • lawyers, avaricious hired thugs.
  • strangers, pedophiles.
  • blacks, niggers.
  • whites, klanners.
  • managers, fascists.
  • CEOs, psychopaths.
  • utilities, for-profit (unreliable and expensive).
  • doctors, avaricious butchers.
  • programmers, unfeeling autistics.
  • Big Oil, destroying the planet.
  • Big Auto, turning citizens into zombie psychopaths.
  • stock traders, evil incarnate.
  • agribusiness, GMO corn brought to you by Monsanto.
  • restaurants, McDonald's.
  • red traffic light, drive over a pedestrian to your right.
  • traffic rules, feel free to murder cyclists.
  • physicists, nuclear weapons designers.
  • engineers, bomb makers.
  • universities, for the rich.
  • daycare, for the rich.
  • healthcare, for the rich.
  • churches, megachurch preachers.
  • religious people, fundamentalists.
  • Congress / Senate, the puppet theater.
  • White House, evil overlords.
  • philosophers, useless fairies.
  • neighbours, middle class robots.
  • humanity, to be exploited.
  • human rights, what's that?
  • law, by divine rule.
  • ambulances, for profit / thieves.
  • hospitals, get your unnecessary surgery with a free epidemic!
  • pharmacists, drug peddlers.
  • water company, Evian!
  • sewer company, you really don't want to know.
  • mass transit, for the poor.
  • cars, expensive and stultifying.
  • high school, concentration camp.
  • prison, slave camp.
  • welfare, for ghetto members.
  • stores, Wal-Mart.
  • small stores, wannabe Wal-Mart.
  • airlines, vastly inferior to rail.
  • art, Hollywood.
  • philanthropy, control of fortunes from beyond the grave.
  • charity, feudal patronage.
  • history, USA number 1!
  • reality, USA number 1!
  • sociology, tops & bottoms .
  • psychology, act first then think.
  • culture, destroy your neighbour.
Name me a single fucking institution other than firefighters that functions adequately in Crazyland.

In Canada you can trust firefighters, ambulances, welfare, healthcare insurance, the intelligence agency, human rights, prisons, humanity, religious people (everyone's a liberal christian in Ontario), scientists, utilities, blacks, whites. And you can sortof trust the news media, judges, high schools, hospitals, mass transit, streets, cities. Police are only wanton thugs instead of wanton murderers.

In other words, in Canada you have a whole order of magnitude more trust. In Saskatchewan you can trust government, the cable / broadband company, and stores (which are coops). In Quebec you can trust government, pharmacists, daycares, and the media (much of which comes from France). Saskatchewan / Quebec are at the upper end of mid trust. They're about like New Zealand, I think.

So Canada, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent the UK and Australia, are mid-trust countries. Western Europe is at the low end of high trust. Northern Europe is at the high end of high trust. And the USA is on par with China and Italy: low trust. Lower than low are no trust and negative trust. Because yeah, it gets a lot lower than the USA, but nobody on the internet is going to live in a third world hellhole so we aren't interested in that part of the spectrum. For our purposes, the USA is low trust.