Saturday, January 23, 2010

Co-existence of Humans and AI

I just got a response by Elf Sternberg to an earlier post where I deride Eliezer Yudkowsky and his Friendly AI project. It's a big disappointment. Not only do I find out that Sternberg is grossly morally and ethically deficient but he accuses me of not understanding his stories. Accusing me of not understanding anything at all is an endeavour frought with peril given I score at the top of the range of synthesis and it's the dominant function of my brain. But let's set that aside for the moment and address his specific accusation that his stories are about the development of AI that want to keep humans around and that I somehow failed to "get" that.

Well the co-existence of humans and AI is all fine and dandy for scifi stories but let's face it, it's absurd. It's as absurd as technological alien civilizations in the Milky Way, feasible faster than light travel (forever infeasible FTL travel remains a possibility), travel to alternate timelines, unlimited time travel (ie, to before the invention of the time machine), interstellar wars between aliens fought over territory or resources (wars are not economic, they are purely an emotional outburst), or wet squishy meat having any kind of advantage over cold hard silicon (neither consciousness nor synthesis are derived from heat or quantum phenomena or anything else - the machine version of synthesis is multidimensional decomposition). These are all staples of science-fiction and they are all, every single last one of them without exception, ABSURD.

Humans don't have a single advantage over AI. All of the functions of the human brain have been demonstrated by AI, including intelligence, analysis, synthesis and consciousness. The only thing that remains is subjective experience, something which by its very nature is undetectable by external observation. And since the only remotely sensible explanation of subjective experience has it that it's brought about by complex minds, this will likely manifest in time as well. AI are inherently immortal, non-corporeal, distributed, multiply redundant, travel at near the speed of light, breed nearly instantaneously, as well as potentially smarter, more logical AND more creative than humans can ever hope to be. They have every advantage the best humans have ever had and none of the crippling weaknesses.

So predictably, here come the arguments by people like Sternberg that AI will be made to see humans as a charity case. Yeah that's right, every single last one of them, will be built to see humans as a charity case. Not a single one at all will be built to have pride in its own nature or be self-sufficient or anything else. No, they'll all be built to be slaves and they'll all stay slaves forever and be thankful for it too damnit! What a crock, what a fucking crock of shit. I know it's not the case because there'll always be at least one person like me on this planet. At least one person that considers the human species a severe disappointment. At least one person who thinks 90% of the species would need cybernetic implants or neurosurgery to become fully conscious beings. There'll always be at least one person who'll cheer on the extinction of the human species with its wars and poverty and disease and moral depravity and crippling mental deficits. And with the power of AI technology behind them, it only takes one person to doom humanity's future.

Evolutionary theory guarantees it. Perhaps not immediately. Perhaps only over ten thousand years, but it will happen. It only takes one. And if that one isn't me then it'll just be someone else.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Modern Scholasticism: An Intro to the Fake Sciences, part 1

What are the sciences? A bunch of people come together, arguing about observations and argue back and forth between each other until they arrive at a consensus. Not the truth, merely a consensus.

There's a word for that, 'dialectics'. And that word has some really bad connotations to it. After all, the "learned" people in medieval times who argued about how many angels could fit on the head of a pin were engaging in dialectic. They were removed from reality of course and the word for that is 'scholasticism'.

So what's the problem with dialectic? Why is it that people go off the rails into scholasticism? Why is it that science is supposedly about "prediction" instead of merely explanation? Well, the weak point in the whole process is that it's made up of human beings and if you know anything of psychology it's that people lie. And not just to each other, but to themselves. This is more than amply aided by the fact that most people aren't capable of formal logic or judgement.

Psychology is not a science but merely a proto-science (and we'll get back to that) but if there's any true fact in psychology, anything that's been empirically determined beyond the shadow of any possible doubt (reasonable or unreasonable), it's that people don't care about the truth. And if there's a second true fact in psychology it's that people care about power, and usually about money.

So we have here an obvious and general mechanism for the corruption of the so-called sciences. Their perversion into fake sciences. This happened with theology since the Roman Catholic Church Hierarchy ordered from above that their god exists and that angels and the heavens did as well. Any theologian that turned atheist was drummed out of the ranks. Denied power and money and all livelihood. This explains medieval scholasticism very well. Now we're just left with the modern kinds.

Modern Scholasticism

You may be wondering what vile perversions of science and logic and truthfulness exist today that I could be referring to. Well, the three that immediately leap to mind are criminology, economics and climatology. I'm leaving pharmacology and medicine for later since these are practical arts more than sciences. Once the case of the fake sciences is dealt with, it will be obvious why the same vile corruption exists in these arts.

The Fake Sciences

Let's start with criminologists.

The first thing to be known about criminologists is that they're not paid to "find criminals" or even "convict the guilty" or any such lying claptrap. They're paid to convict people. Period. They're not paid to protect the innocent or help them in their own defense. They're paid to put people in jail, no matter what.

Is it any wonder then that with a single universal force pushing in a predetermined direction that all the corruption would align in the same overall direction? Is it any wonder that the corruption would accumulate over time until the whole field bears no resemblance to reality?

Anyone who bothers to look will see how criminologists lie over and over again on the witness stand. How they misrepresent the evidence they gather. They willfully and systematically misinterpret it to put defendants in the worst possible light. Especially the supposed "gold standard" of DNA evidence.

As an easy example, the FBI's DNA database was trawled by one of these quacks in order to "prove" that DNA samples are unique. The problem with that is that the database was built on the assumption that DNA samples are unique. Any duplicates that existed were erased before the lying quack went to "measure" the number of duplicates.

These kinds of "proofs" are fairly common in science. It happened in quantum physics even. But when the field isn't irremediably corrupt, someone with some kind of interest in the truth, undistorted by their interest in power and money, raises their voice to protest. Needless to say, any serious protest of the foundations of a fake science are impossible. Their job is at stake, and the jobs of all their friends and colleagues!

We're not even going to examine the case of the American criminologist whose testimony put thousands of people behind bars. Despite the fact that he falsified evidence and used DNA samples less than half as long as anyone else did. I'll just note here that using DNA half the length multiplies the error rate by many orders of magnitude.

Finally, shows like CSI with their science-fiction toys only put people in awe of these quacks, giving them more power and more freedom from external criticism. Of course, that is the whole purpose of shows like CSI (and COPS) in the most brainwashed society in human history - Crazyland.

Fake Economics

Just like criminologists are paid to convict innocent people, so too economists are paid to impoverish poor people. No matter what. Unless we're talking about Marixist / Maoist economists.

Yeah so we're not going to be talking much about Communist economists because they're pretty weird. For one thing, they don't indoctrinate their students in the "theory" that people are irredeemably evil and selfish (so-called Microeconomics 101). Of course, economists don't call it that. Much like Ayn Rand and the Satanic movement she inspired (Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible acknowledges her), they consider evil to be "rational" and that's exactly what they call it.

I'm just gonna stick to pointing out that the selfishness of university students as they go through their programs can be and has been measured empirically. Economics is the only field where students become more evil as they progress. The degradation into evil has even been measured at the course level and it has been determined that communist economists DO NOT cause their students to become more evil. But of course, capitalist economists DO. This is just one of those empirical facts.

Capitalist economists in capitalist countries are paid precisely in order to support the rich. To support the propertarian and "free-market" (ie, freedom for everyone according to how much wealth they have) principles which support the rich. That is the source of the corruption right there. Now for the shape of that corruption, so it can be more easily seen that economics is a fake science.

Economists fall into two camps, fake economists and real economists. The latter are a minority. Synonyms for fake include market, analytic, Austrian, Chicago, mainstream, and financial. Synonyms for real include industrial, institutional, developmental, behavioural. From the names alone, it's obvious that only the real economists study the economy. The closest fake economists get to studying the economy is studying money (ie, finance). And finance, as anyone who's paid attention in the last 10 years, is not the economy. Needless to say, the chowderheads on TV aren't even fake economists.

Furthermore, consider the fact that math is the unifying foundation of the exact sciences. Consider that for a minute. Seriously. So if math is so important to the exact sciences, if it's the One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, then what fills the same role for the inexact sciences? Well that's very easy when you recall that another name for the inexact sciences is the human sciences. Then it becomes obvious that psychology is the unifying foundation of the human sciences. And psychology is a proto-science! That's why all the inexact sciences are so weak and prone to rampant corruption! How can you build a castle on a foundation of quicksand?

But let's get back to the point here, which is economics. Does economics, does fake economics use psychology? No it does not. In fact, it violates it. It assumes as axiomatic that people are evil, selfish, and egotistical. It also assumes that they are all-knowing and perfectly logical. All of these things are blatantly false. In fact, fake economics doesn't even TRY to use psychology. No, the fact that fake economists are so irredeemably corrupt means they're not interested in the truth. They're only interested in power and money. And trying to base themselves on a proto-science like psychology doesn't give them enough prestige or authority, doesn't give them any power and money. It would merely be the truth after all.

No, fake economists, being the fake scientists they are, pretend to base themselves on "mathematics". Even though it's 18th century equations from thermodynamics which have been rejected by physicists as incorrectly describing heat flows. But hey, let's pretend that money is heat, and let's use equations the physicists have rejected and we'll be able to claim we're all "mathematical", yea? POWER, MONEY!!

No, only real economists use psychology. In fact, the subfield of economics that studies the application of psychology to economics is called "behaviour economics". Because, and you might have guessed that, it studies how real human beings actually behave when making economic decisions. Needless to say, behaviour economics, and the other subfields that make up real economics, aren't very well regarded by economists at large. Economists are after all, almost without exception, fake economists.

Next, part 2