Thursday, December 30, 2004

Favorite Bible Quotes-or Is your GOD evil too?

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45.7).

The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil (Proverbs 16.4)


Easy answers to hard questions:

Q. Do you believe in GOD?

Q. Do you believe in Fate?

Q. Do you believe in KARMA?
A. Um...No.

Q. Where you a bit hesitant there?
A. No.

I am pretty sure that everybody does not get what they deserve.
I mean Jennifer Anniston is famous, rich, and pretty , but her husband left her. Britney Spears' husband ( the first one) got jack squat for a payday. And I guess thousands of children were misbehaving in Asia and God was watching...

Q. Are you going to Hell?
A. Are we there yet? I've gotta pee pee.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

What would a computer have to do to deserve legal or moral personhood?

AT SOME POINT IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE, we might actually face a sentient, intelligent machine who demands, or who many come to believe deserves, some form of legal protection. The plausibility of this occurrence is an extremely touchy subject in the artificial intelligence field, particularly since overoptimism and speculation about the future has often embarrassed the movement in the past.

Given sufficient advances in neuroscience regarding the architecture of the brain and the learning algorithms that generate human intelligence, the Strong A.I. theory holds that programs could be replicated in software and run in a computer. Raymond Kurzweil is one of Strong A.I.'s leading proponents and one of the inventors of print-recognition and speech-recognition software. Extrapolating from the last few decades' enormous growth in computer processing speed, and projecting advances in chip and transistor technology, he estimated recently that by 2019, a $1,000 personal computer "will match the processing power of the human brain—about 20 million billion calculations per second."

The machines will convince us that they are conscious, that they have their own agenda worthy of our respect. They will embody human qualities. This is important because humans have strong anthropomorphizing impulses, and tapping into them can trigger powerful emotions that reach deep into our evolutionary hardwiring. They will claim to be human. And we'll believe them.

Lawyers in America have been willing to short change human personhood before , by extending rights to non-entities such as corporations. According to Wendell Wallach, co-author of the forthcoming book Robot Morality, corporations that own computers and robots might seek to encourage a belief in their autonomy in order to escape liability for their actions.

LAST YEAR, AT A MOCK TRIAL HELD DURING THE BIENNIAL CONVENTION of the International Bar Association in San Francisco, Martine Rothblatt argued that especially tough case. Now we must worry that a group of attorneys will prepare the path to be used by the next dominant species:the artificially intelligent machine.

The human species is doomed to extinction , all beings at the top of the food chain have come and gone. Ours will be no different.Unfortunately we will also be the first species to have created their successor and their destroyer.

Thinking carefully about what separates the human from the nonhuman, those to whom we grant moral and legal personhood and those to which we do not will help us to understand, value, and preserve those qualities that we deem ours exclusively.

At this current point in history , worries regarding the protection of our species may seem unnecessary, but if we wait for the future it will be too late.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Worms, cornbread and that fuckiface Dennis Miller.

I was sifting through packets of instant gravy today. It reminded me of the time my ex proved to me that Jiffy Brand Corn Bread, given a few days in a warm cupboard ,could magically turn from the sweet bread of life into worm meal.

Yucky. The little fuckers had wings , and masticated body parts. I swear to god I thought it was just pepper. I insisted that Mexicans just weren't used to packaged goods. But she got out the Encyclopedia Brown Microscope and goddamn if it wasn't true. It's almost enuff to make you think that Science could be done by Non-English speaking peoples if they tried.

Speaking of people who should not be doing science, I was watching the TV show Dennis - -"I'm sorrry, did I just turn into a Muslim hating right winged Republican asshat? " Miller.

Dennis gets random people to show up and be part of his "varsity." It's kinda like the dog pound only with more annoying guests.

This week it was his pal former Nickelodeon game show host
Marc Summers who get caught discussing the improbability of Global Warming.

Fuck yeah! Marc Summers can't leave his house without checking the locks 16 times has solved the whole Global Warming Crisis for us.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The VIOLENCE of Class Consciousness

The question needs to be asked not if, but how much violence is required for class consciousness to change our economic system. For all the radical sound of this anti-moralist position , [you might even say misanthropic] it is based on some of the least controversial Marxist claims of society.

In the course of history , normal people have deep moral differences that were not due to unreason and ignorance. Similarly, in the present day, there are conflicting standards of the good that cannot be resolved through rational persuasion. [Richard W. Miller]

Various needs of the cast majority are in such a conflict with those of the minority [power holders] that an ultimate standard of equality would have intolerable costs. [Miller]

Traditional political-economic practices are evaluated as if they were (or should be) purely efficient free market operations, ignoring what everyone knows to be the actual dynamics of corporate political-economic behavior. [Dollars and Sense]

Strategies for effective change of the {political and economic system} will require , obstruction and violence that are incompatible with concrete concerns for an equal concern for all involved {in evaluating economics-political practices}. [Miller]

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Prophet of pessimism.

A friend of mine and I were having a conversation a while back about God and the meaning of life. He kept asking me "why life was worth living, " particularly since I am an Atheist.

We were both having difficulty coming up with a reason for going on. My friend unable to shed his adolescent desire to conquer the world through his genius, was just discovering the futility of trying.

I have preached the merits of mediocrity [and how we are all doomed to it anyway] to any who will listen. And while I have never been systematic about my attempts it has always been my desire to do so.

Luckily, prefabricated for our purposes is the wit and wisdom of Schop.
On the futility of trying:

" ...if we compare the ... restless, serious and laborious efforts of men with what they can get from them, in fact what they can ever get, the disproportion becomes apparent. Thus what are a short postponement of death , a small alleviation of need and want, a deferment of pain, a momentary satisfaction of desire, with the frequent and certain victory of death over them all?

Schopenhauer finds our commitment to life quite ironic.

"man loves above everything else an existence which is full of want, misery, trouble , pain, anxiety, and then again boredom, and which, were it considered objectively he would of necessity abhor."

I am afraid Schopenhauer has not given much help in quelling our descent into suicide.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Science Blog - Blacks, poor more likely to donate than receive transplant organs

Science Blog - Blacks, poor more likely to donate than receive transplant organs:

"Blacks and poor individuals are more likely to be donors while whites and wealthier individuals are more likely to be recipients of many types of transplant organs, according to a new study in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Medicine. "

What we need is a new politics of class. Liberals abandoned class anaylsis and have paid the price.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Humans need to be able to lie.

They are getting very close to perfecting lie detectors.

I contend that preventing people from lying, in the long run, will do more damage than lying itself does to society.

In the future I wonder how much of our inside lives will be left to us. The coming totalitarianism will be complete. It will also be just what we asked for.

John Stuart Mill: "Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men."

Thomas Jefferson once said a "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised atall. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere."

Big government and Big Business are quickly moving to stifle any dissent or rebellion. Our movements will be tracked, or purchasing habits monitored, our communications intercepted.

The crime of thought will come to pass. Science will enable us to peer into the unfathomable. Our souls will be X-rayed. The next wave of Eugenics is forthcoming. This eugenical exercise will have more against the propensities for being anti-social or refusing to to purchase DVD's from Best Buy. We may not execute or sterilize , but we will deny services.

An aside:

Best buy is on the way to doing this. Why do you think they collect data on your purchase habits? Walmart wants radio receivers built into all products they carry , soon you will be broadcasting to retailers all your private data.

The government wants a black box in your car and gps signals on public roads. Marketers study the brain patterns that indicate why you want to buy things. Say goodbye to privacy when science perfects it's models for looking into the recesses of your mind.