Archive for the ‘Intelligence’ Category

TRANSCENDENTAL INTELLIGENCE: SAPIENS’ ETHOLOGICAL LAW

April 16, 2017

IDIOCY VIOLATES HUMANITY ITSELF

A question pertaining to the survival of civilization: is transcendental animal not to be boxed in, finally?

A biology professor asked: how far do you intend to carry that project of founding morality on genetics? Well, far enough to show how human ethology transcends genetics and epigenetics:

If one uses enough intelligence, the means become the end. The paradox of the human species!  

Maybe Homo Sapiens should be called the transcendental animal. Indeed what is wisdom, but for the ability to transcend problems… mostly by using physics?

***

Being right in matter transcendental, always starts as a first, not by following the herd:

Normal people indulging in mundane tasks feel that being right means to follow the ways of the herd, all over. The result is plain to see. The world is changing ever faster, yet the herd cannot follow itself out of the problems this generates. Going around news, media and Internet, I am amazed by the gullibility, stupidity, and the relish for the masses to indulge that way. Including masses of professionals paid to teach, or to act as medium (the so-called “media”). But what else to expect from the rabble? Supreme thinking was always from an elite, to an elite.

So much stupidity, and full of hatred too: all over. One can understand why so many gave full powers to Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan: out of rage, and the will to do something even more stupid, and more nefarious, yet, bearing the signature of their freedom.

Meanwhile Geneva and the Australia’s Great Barrier go topless. Desultory progress in the Alps, while uncomprehended tragedy is unfolding in the oceans. True human ethology should contest the legality of all what afflicts it: so-called “representative” democracy, which is truly plutocracy unbound, and its obnoxious little whip and distraction, Salafist Islam.

***

Wasteful GDP Corruption Flaunted:

Economists of the “Liberal” type crow that California’s GDP is larger than that of all but the Gross Domestic Products which the rest of the USA, China, Japan, and Germany are endowed with. Yes, of course: the more a country wastes, the higher the GDP. The USA averages 16 tons of CO2 emissions, per year, per capita. The European Union, only seven. Now that massive consumption of quasi-free fossil fuels in the USA has put it, and Canada and Australia, way ahead economically, as I showed.

GDP is not just an indicator of economic growth, but of massive corruption.

Also GDP is augmented when the world’s largest corporations sit in California and pay no taxes. Thanks to Obama, and, soon enough, Trump.

GDP should look as a defect, instead, it’s viewed as glorious. An ethical and intellectual failure. GDP is an indication not just of pollution, but of mental deliquescence, in those who laud it.

***

I was wondering why so many people hate to think. Is it because the Internet has made them increasingly disconnected with reality? Or is in part, because the Internet has made them suspect as they try to think, and fail, that they may feel they are coming short ethically. Hence all the hatred out there. And they are right (to hate themselves):

***

The Concept of Ethological Law: IDIOCY VIOLATES ALL OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS

Ethology can be scientifically defined through experiments. Some will scoff that the human species is too clever to be defined by gene-given, epigenetic-given law, that the ultimate law of Sapiens is intelligence. And whatever flows therefrom. Fair enough.

This point of view has the consequence that any law which is antagonistic to intelligence is inhuman. Examples of this inhumanity abound. One can only conclude that the general tension obvious around the world, and especially in so-called democracies, originate from all too much of society been organized in systematic violation of the Human Intelligence Principle (HIP).

This was the situation a year ago, in 2016. This year the situation has got much worse. The quest for the Golden Calf of Australian GDP Supreme is the proximal cause of this devastation. More generally GreenHouse Gas warming, induced by a GHG density now probably around 550 ppm, the highest since the Jurassic, 100 million years ago. Time to think and sacrifice, guys, and yes, it means you!

***

Puppets owe everything to those who pull the strings:

I was struck by the picture of the National Security Council, with a mysterious lonely pretty woman sandwiched there.

Dina Powell, a celebrity for our times, the sort of people who owes everything to those who created her (as Obama was). Thus, very pliable. All the more with arguably with all too little formal education, here she is at the top of the defense establishment, including extremely educated generals.

The more a civilization falls victim to plutocracy, the more celebritism is pushed onto people. Plutocracy is a form of generalized fascism, and celebritism, intellectual fascism: they reinforce each other. Celebritism is not just a moral flaw, it is a crime civilization is led to engage in.

***

All progressives should be resolute anti-sexists:

Women In Geneva were already allowed  to sunbathe topless. However, a law from 1929 forbade them to bathe in lakes and rivers, in the same attire. This law has now been changed; in the Canton de Genève (total population metropolitan area, one million). As it should have; enabling only men to go topless, was, and is, obviously sexist, wherever practiced.

In Black African “Islam”, women used to go topless, for obvious reasons: heat, hygiene. Something to emulate, as, worldwide, the planetary warming is accelerating:

***

The Great Barrier Reef, greatest structure on Earth built by animals, is dying:

345,000 square kilometers (as big as Germany). It is 2300 kilometers long. Now 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) are white, distressed, much of it dying.

The Great Barrier Reef is overheating, going white. During overheating, algae within the corral get expelled. In 1998, a colossal El Nino made the Great Barrier white. There was another whitening in 2008, and in 2016. The 2016 El Nino was as bad as the one of 1998. Coral gets overheated, and weakened by toxins (from coal, phosphates from chemical agriculture). Algae dies off in the coral with which they live in symbiosis, the coral goes white (“bleaches”). If bleaching happens again and again, the coral dies.

The Coral Great Barrier reef is dying from human action. Or more exactly mostly Australian action, as Australia does in its pursuit of GDP with corral, the same as it did with aborigines: kill all what’s needed, to get richer. It’s smart of the criminals involved, but there are millions. It’s not smart for humanity at large. This sort of things is solved by another great die-off, this time of human beings.

Human species had evolved in such a way that their actions could not put an end to the biosphere. A virus which cannot kill its host, lest it disappear. Sapiens was a virus, and Earth the host. But now, in a few decades, Sapiens has mutated in an industrial form lethal to Earth.

***

Fracking is good for the ecology, say Plutos:

This is the latest from the fossil fuel Plutos: Ban Fracking? Bad economics, Bad Ecology? Following the more genera cynical argument the USA, Russia and Canada have long been making, secretly, that warming is actually a good thing. Except now it’s not secret anymore: Vladimir Putin has said warming up the north will be a good thing (for Russia). And indeed, it will be for Russia. Canada will be less amused when the USA will insist that Canadian coastal water are actually international waterways… with more than the present day smiles. 

Actually we are approaching 550 ppm of GreenHouse Gas (GHG) equivalent. As I already said, but it’s never repeated enough; it’s a number much more astonishing than anything, even the percentage of the human population deliberately assassinated in World War Two. An astounding number, increasing fast. Levels not seen for 100 million years. Spaceship Earth has been highjacked with raving maniacs.

When all hell will break loose, pretty soon, the Plutos will be at home.

They create their own, most sustainable environment.

This is why when real democracy failed in Athens, more than 23 centuries ago, not only it stayed failed to this day, but Greece knew 22 centuries of foreign occupation.

Nowadays, the stakes are much higher: the biosphere itself is facing its sixth massive extinction. The survival of wisdom is in play. It’s a game that was probably lost by wisdom itself in many a galaxy. Now our turn to show if transcendental intelligence can overcome amor fati…

Patrice Ayme’  

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Want More Wisdom? Get More Life!

January 2, 2017

ANTI-AGE REVOLUTION NEEDED FOR EXTENDING WISDOM

What is the primary strategic goal of anti-aging? Extending not just life, but wisdom!

(Some may sneer that strategia, generalship in Greek, is about war. But life, preserving life on Earth, is a war, and fighting that war, what wisdom leads to.)

In the European Middle Ages, a colossal discovery was made, which made civilization much smarter, wiser, and far-sighted: glasses. Glasses changed everything, by making plenty of other inventions possible. Glasses were an invention amplifier..

By age 40, in the European Middle Ages, aside from the Black Plague of 1347-53 CE, the death rate was slow, but artisans could not engage in precision technological work, because they lost their short distance vision (as people lived outdoors a lot, they tended to be far-sighted, thus lost proximal vision early).

The same vision problem affected intellectuals: they could not read, write, or copy, anymore, by the time they reached their 40s, and the heights of their mental powers.  Mental power is something which grows with age. A cephalopod observes, learns, and then duplicates. On the left below, the mollusk: 

Nothing Here But Us Algae. To Build A Civilization, One Needs The Functional Equivalent Of Hands, But Also Speech, Society And More Of What They Require, Longevity. All These Cephalopods, However Bright, Do Not Have.

Nothing Here But Us Algae. To Build A Civilization, One Needs The Functional Equivalent Of Hands, But Also Speech, Society And More Of What They Require, Longevity. All These Cephalopods, However Bright, Do Not Have.

[Cephalopods have typically 500 million neurons, five times the number of neurons a rat has; they use it to instantaneously mimic the colors and patterns of their environment, not just by changing colors, but even shape, as seen above, for all sorts of dissemblances; and also for manipulation…]  

Reading glasses changed everything having to do with WISDOM. Shortly afterwards, precision mechanisms could be developed by artisans and scientists: the telescope (late 16th century), the advanced mechanical computer (Pascal, early 17th century), and the mechanical clock, which enabled mariners to know where they were (thus enabling the conquest of the world by civilization, and global trade, the excesses of which we are presently experiencing now…)

Glasses were industrially fabricated in Italy by 1286 CE. They were an extension of rock crystal magnification known, and used, for centuries.

The invention of glasses corresponded to the mood of deliberately helping, or even beautifying, life by new technology through national invention programs, the archetype of which was the invention of stain glass windows and metal architecture in Cathedrals, Frankish style. Or the use of giant hydraulic hammers to bend giant iron, one thousand times too strong to be bent by hand, also for cathedral construction.

That mood, of developing technology to facilitate and prettify life, was not new, it dated from the early Imperium Francorum, but gathered momentum as the Middle Ages advanced.   The Tenth Century was full of newly invented (cultivars of) beans. Beans brought lots of proteins without having to go though the less efficient meat production…

So here we are. We went through considerable revolutions in energy and telecommunication, and produced antibiotics industrially (instead of gathering them in the forest, as prehistoric men did).

However, it has been a long time since our civilization made a drastic extension of useful life time. Sophocles was in his nineties when he wrote (or, rather, dictated) some of his work.

Glasses doubled the number of decades intellectuals could spend furthering their studies. It is no coincidence that full-blown printing with movable type appeared within two centuries after the invention of reading glasses: the glasses augmented the availability of books, and the reading of books. Glasses basically doubled the lifespan of intellectuals. Basically doubling the wisdom (doubling the time to gather,.distill and teach wisdom).

The easiest way to double wisdom again, is to double lifespan again.

Further anti-age revolution is needed now to help wisdom. And, as the biosphere totters under the blows of our irresponsible civilization, more wisdom is not just desirable, but necessary.

So extent lifespan. Bill Gates, who got his fortune from his mom’s influence, pontificated recently that the search for life extension, as pursued by, say, Google, was fundamentally “selfish”. Well, no. Bill Gates is an early college drop-out (see mom, an IBM director, above), Bill Gates does not have much formal education. Gates does not have the conception that it takes years to learn esoteric knowledge. And digest it. And forget it. And reconstruct it, to become a master of wisdom.

We need more time. This year, it was learned that Greenland sharks apparently can live more than 500 years. And that some Bowhead whales live more than 280 years.

So why do we live so little? We, the wisest of them all? Because that was the optimization between fast generation renewal and the wisdom we needed to gather, teach and transmit for the new generation, the whole thing protected by enough war-like instincts. So our wisdom, so far has had a lot to do with how to make war wisely, accelerating the evolution of our species.

Well, we need more wisdom, more gathering thereof. We need a different sort of wisdom, of a less bellicose type, a different sort of war, against fate, rather than men. And thus more time, to find out carefully what is really going on, even inside ourselves. it’s not just about ourselves. Earth needs it.

Patrice Ayme’

Allied

December 11, 2016

What are the duties of love? How does love arise? What are the duties of a human being? These are some of the themes touched in the excellent fictional story “Allied”. “Allied” is happening between Morocco, London, and a bit of France in the period 1942-1944. The movies stars Brad Pitt (excellent) and Marion Cotillard (stupendous, Oscar deserving for her great facial expressions).

The movie is a mix of historical realism and a serious distortion, I should even say, violation thereof. the distortion is essential to the story, but fatal to the understanding of why it is that Britain won the war, and the Nazis lost it. Basically, the British were extremely tough, and even tougher than the Nazis, that’s why they won. The British could be tougher, precisely because they had humanity on their side (the part not just sorely, and erroneously missing from the movies, but even deeply obliterated in the movies).  

This has consequences for the now famous subject of “fake news”. In a sense, the entire “Allied”, although an excellent movies, and precisely because it is an excellent movies,  is fake news writ large. Deep disinformation. Maybe I should give stars to fake news and disinformation. When Hillary and Barack says companies reimbursed TARP, that’s five star disinformation. When US propagandists, so-called “historians”, say from Harvard, claim that the US acted only as liberator and savior in World War One and Two, that’s ten star disinformation. “Allied” is a good eight star disinformation about how smart British Intelligence was, and how deeply democracy connects with civilization.

Two Stars & The Sahara, What Could Go Wrong? Well, Depicting Civilization As It Was Not. As It Ought Not To Be.

Two Stars & The Sahara, What Could Go Wrong? Well, Depicting Civilization As It Was Not. And As It Ought Not To Be.

So what is the story told in “Allied“?

All right, all spoilers out, we are landing on the world of real here. Pitt lands in the desert, and goes to Casablanca, where he meets Cotillard. He is a Canadian special agent, she is a top French resistance fighter who has infiltrated Nazis and collaborators in Morocco. He poses as a phosphate industrialist from Paris. He tries not to talk too much, because his Canadian accent is detectable. Together they kill during a reception the Nazi ambassador. It was a quasi-suicide mission, and they get neurohormonally transformed from it (they fall in love) and marry in England.

Next they have a baby, a little girl. Now here comes the maximum spoiler. Even knowing it, the situation is still heart wrenching, though. Cotillard is suspected to be a Nazi spy. Pitt is charged to execute her, should her guilt be confirmed. This is when my heart-strings started to pull hard. He flies to france, and determines, beyond a reasonable doubt, that she is indeed a Nazi double agent.

He confronts her, she admits her guilt. She said she did not believe the Nazis would find her in England. They threatened to kill her baby Anna, so she revealed to the Great Reich what her husband, a high intelligence officer, knew. (Through a little Nazi network of fanatics, one a degenerate smallish woman, the other an apparent Jew resembling Sigmund Freud.)

So far, so good, in the plausibility department. Every single detail of the movie could be correct. Indeed, there were indeed plenty of double, even triple agents (agents known to be double who betrayed those in the know), during World War Two. Many got executed. Many got tortured to death over days, even months.

***

Yet “Allied”Establishes Not Just A Fake World, But a Fake Civilization, Vastly Inferior to the Real One:

There were indeed Nazi spies in England. Some even got executed. For example the three idiots who knew nothing, and crossed from the Netherlands by paddling to commit sabotage, in 1940. Why were they executed? Precisely because they were saboteurs rather than informants. And to set-up a nice terror mood among Nazi spies.

Most Nazi spies in Britain who were detected were proposed a deal: work with us, British counter-intelligence, MI5, to disinform your superiors, or die. None of the Nazi spies chose to die whom I know of. And this is what the movies gets completely wrong. Had really Cotillard existed and been found to be spying, her husband would have been ordered to divulge to her only false and carefully manipulated data.  

***

This way of having a world had a name: The DOUBLE CROSS SYSTEM XX:

Nazi spies in Great Britain were systematically made into double agents. Not all these spies were detected by MI5. Many, seeing that the war was turning against Nazi Germany, and, thus, or, seeing that Nazism was not their cup of tea (as the very head of army intelligence, the Abwehr, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris decided; Canaris was ultimately discovered, arrested and executed). ALL Nazi agents sent to Great Britain were detected and made to work for the Allied cause (some were from standard military intelligence, Abwehr and some from Nazi intelligence, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD)).

All the more in a case as delicate as that exposed in “Allied” were a high officer is married to a spy. As delicate, and as potentially fruitful.

(There were double agents at an even higher level, but they were not detected during World War Two)

Such subtleties are not just about reevaluating history. Nor are they about understanding which way civilizational progress goes, and how to evaluate it. They present immediate interest in appreciating the brouhaha about, say,  Russia having “hacked” (whatever that means) the US elections. If one analyzes deeply and subtly, beyond the headlines, in the claims of “interference”, one realizes that there is nothing there.

“Double Cross XX” was humanly superior:

  1. It was human and had more altruism and empathy than the equivalent strategies in the fascist system.
  2. It was smarter. Smarts is the essence of humanity. Denying smarts deny humanity. Fascism is intrinsically single-minded: thereupon its strength in combat, and stupidity, long, or even short-term (when combat is not at hand).

Movies such as “Allied” are not innocuous, when they drag the edge of civilization in the mud. By representing allied counterintelligence as cruel, vindictive and stupid, it is extolling these characteristics.

After all, the Allies, who quickly self-described as the “United Nations” won because of superior values. Three years before their formal declaration as an organization in San Francisco. An interesting aside is that the “Declaration of the United Nations” was explicitly founded in its first clause on the Atlantic Charter. This is something Russians ought to want to think about when they view NATO as a fundamental adversary.

Take one example out of millions. A German general of the Wehrmacht (a standard general, not a SS), Anton Dostler, ordered the execution of 15 US soldiers who had been made prisoner when, while wearing the American uniform, they tried to blow-up a tunnel in Italy. The general ordered them executed. Subordinates knew well that this violated the Geneva Convention. They stalled, and asked for confirmation of the order, and again and again. The general insisted, and the US troops were assassinated.

The general was subsequently tried. He argued that he was acting under an order from Hitler. However any member of the Wehrmacht had the right to refuse to obey orders in violation of the Geneva Convention, and the order was not direct and reiterated in the specific situation. The Nazi general was condemned to death, and executed.

Where does the superiority of civilization intervenes here? Simple: the subordinates of the general executed an order they knew was anti-civilizational. At that point they had to decide whether they wanted to risk disobeying a direct order from a maniac, or not. Earlier in the war, they could have said no, and the case would have been considered for prosecution (no such prosecution was ever engaged, because the Nazis were afraid of a judicial precedent going against them!).

However, late in the war, when, clearly the 1,000 year Reich was on its ignominious way out, summary execution for disobeying orders became wanton and frequent. Thus the subordinates could not feel that they were fighting for the right cause, under smart and wise leadership, but under idiotic gangsters. That, in turn, would focus their minds not on winning the war (how could vicious imbeciles win the war?) but on saving their skins.

Whereas, it was exactly the opposite on the Allied side: there the mentality was that the cause was just. Greater than a soldier’s fate, worth dying for.

As Britain was more human, more emphatic, vibrant with a higher civilization, German agents willingly went to the British side. And conversely. After the war, it was discovered that Nikolaus Ritter, the Air intelligence chief under Canaris, had known that the cover for the agents in Britain had been compromised, but due to the fear of repercussions, in the cruel, demented, unpredictable, unlawful, wanton, self-destructive nature of the Nazi regime, Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) Ritter was too scared t0 inform Canaris (who was long a devotee of Hitler). Thus we can see directly that the less civilized a regime is, the harder it is to win a war.

***

Why To Insult (Britain Or Civilization In General? 

And once again, I will ask the same rhetorical question: why do those with money (like Hollywood movie producers, and investors, Trump just made one his Secretary of the Treasury!) have interest to misrepresent civilization, drag civilization deep in the mud? Because they have had so much money, in recent years, they feel like gods, and their pleasure has become to overlord people with all their taxpayer paid five star travelling around the world, their power talk with other rulers, their philanthropy, prizes, etc.

And their enemy? Civilization. Hence the interest to make us believe that British intelligence during World War Two was so brutish, vicious, stupid, short-sighted and inhuman to exterminate Nazi spies it could have manipulated, and did manipulate, in real history, as it happened.

To believe that British intelligence was so brutish, vicious, stupid, short-sighted and inhuman that it would have insisted to assassinate the beloved wife of one of their most esteemed operatives, a commander of the fully sovereign state of Canada, is well beyond ridiculous. Had such a case occurred, British counter-intelligence would have viewed it as a godsent, a fantastic occasion to make the Nazis believe more fake news, disinformation, misinformation and stupendous lies. (There may have been similar cases, with extremely high level spies, who got doubled-crossed… but they are kept secret to this day.)

***

The Double Cross System Double Crossed Adolf Hitler:

In the end, Adolf Hitler and his minions were persuaded, from fake intelligence, mostly from Double Cross XX, that the main D Day was not the one which happened in Normandy, on June 6, 1944, but one which was going to happen in the Pas De Calais (facing Dover, where the Franco-English Channel is narrowest). Double Cross XX had persuaded Hitler that an enormous army led by US General Patton (the most famous tank general of the Allies, professor of all top US generals, well-known for his ferocity), was going to rush across.

Actually that was a complete lie: all the Allied forces were concentrated to land in Normandy. Nazi forces basically held the Allies roughly two months, bottled in Normandy. Had Hitler understood on June 6, 1944, that the real D Day had just happened, in Normandy, the Allies may well have been defeated.

Then Hitler could have sent most of the troops in North West France to fight off the Franco-American Provence landing (where my North African dad fought, after the Italy campaign). Gott knows how this would have turned…

Had the Provence assault failed (that’s a big if) the Allies would not have had a second chance, for years. Moreover, the US strategists had warned that, thanks to new jet fighters and jet bombers, Nazi Germany would recover air supremacy by June 1945.

So Double Cross XX (crucially helped) won the war. The Allies won, because they were more civilized.

Allied is a magnificent movie. However, it is also a magnificent lie. And a vicious, deep lie, construed to make us believe superior civilization, and humanity is not what it is. And make no mistake: human beings are sensitive. I knew all the preceding, while I watched the movie. I knew perfectly well that the threat of executing Cotillard was grotesque, unreal, contrary to all what happened and should happen. I knew it was an attempt to confuse the Allies and the Nazis. Still when I saw the horrible fate of the innocent fictional toddler in that outrageous story, deprived of her fictional mother, I felt horrible.

Now Obama is in danger of insinuating that Russia stole the US election: he asked for a special report. That introduces a pretty horrible emotion. Even if we know that it is a fiction that a Russian is standing behind all US election official, the potential for emotional damage is enormous.

Trash civilization, by making us believe it was not the way it was. Now trash the US election system, by putting it in doubt. It’s the industry of doubt, destroying the foundations of value: a potentially lethal industry.

Patrice Ayme’

No Many-Worlds Consciousness

September 2, 2016

OFF WITH DENNETT’S CONFUSED THEORY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Consciousness is not part of science… Yet. Science will be complete, when it is. Except, and that is a huge ‘except’, possibly, most people would have to admit, consciousness may already haunt the foundations of Quantum Physics: this is what the ‘Schrodinger Cat’ paradox is all about (the lives of cats depends upon what we think!). And, indeed, I believe consciousness has to do with the Quantum.

But first I have to dispose of those who claim that consciousness is a non-problem. The famous academic philosopher Dennett asserts that consciousness has to do with brain parallelism. My friend Karen Eilbeck, a ‘biomedical informatics’ professor: “I never was satisfied with [Dennett’s] explanation of consciousness”. Indeed. Consciousness and ‘multimodal parcellationare completely unrelated.

It is now considered that there are around 180 different areas of the cortex, per hemisphere, each doing different things (it used to be 83 different “areas”). 

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players

The Brain Is An Orchestra With More Than 180 Players, Per Hemisphere

As the authors of  “A multi-modal parcellation of human cerebral cortex” (August 11, 2016), have it:

Understanding the amazingly complex human cerebral cortex requires a map (or parcellation) of its major subdivisions, known as cortical areas. Making an accurate areal map has been a century-old objective in neuroscience. Using multi-modal magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and an objective semi-automated neuroanatomical approach, we delineated 180 areas per hemisphere bounded by sharp changes in cortical architecture, function, connectivity, and/or topography in a precisely aligned group average of 210 healthy young adults. We characterized 97 new areas and 83 areas previously reported using post-mortem microscopy or other specialized study-specific approaches. To enable automated delineation and identification of these areas in new HCP subjects and in future studies, we trained a machine-learning classifier…”

Thus the science of finding regions in the brain is more than a century old, it was not viewed as, nor has anything to do with trying to make a theory of consciousness . Yet, Dennett confuses brain activity here, there, and every way, with consciousness. 

Dennett observes that there are “various events of content-fixation occurring in various places at various times in the brain”. (everybody knows this: reach synapse, each neuron, even each axon and dendrite, etc.) The brain consists of a “bundle of semi-independent agencies“; when “content-fixation” takes place in one of these, its effects may propagate so that it leads to the utterance of sentences that make up the story in which the central character is one’s “self”.

A pretty useless ‘explanation’, dear Dennett, and not the problem of consciousness: consciousness is a feeling we all have, not just an utterance. If consciousness were an utterance, the speaking robots we are now interacting with, would be conscious. They are not. They are just algorithms. An algorithm does not have any more consciousness than a canal system. (Philosophers love to pontificate by calling what Dennett did, a ‘category error’; namely one confuses unrelated categories.)

Dennett followers claim that “subjectivity” can NEVER be made a subject to objective inquiry. That is a contradiction with the entire history of science, ever since the first Homo made the first fire.

What do I mean by this? ANY scientific theory started from a subjective experience. The first hominid who realized he could generate sparks with flints was subjectively engaged. So was the first who realized rubbing sticks could also generate incandescence. So the entire history of science, in the last three million years, has consisted, again and again and again, into turning subjectivity into objective inquiry.

When Dennett’s followers claim to have discovered that ‘subjectivity’ can never turn ‘objective’, they fail to understand that science rests precisely on this. In other words, they think as if they did not know that science is possible. Sorry to ask them to jump three million years.

Dennett looks a bit like Socrates with a big bushy beard, he is paid to utter statements viewed as philosophical, and has no doubt many other duties to attend to his enthusiastic following. So much thinking to produce, so little time, drowning in an ocean of fame. Can’t be easy.

How can fame and mental depth coincide? They are adverse to each other. It would be like getting money from oligarchs or financial monopolists, while claiming to want to help average people.

Is there really no connection whatsoever between the brain’s cortex working in plenty of little areas (brain parallelism) and consciousness? I did not say that. Dennett identifies consciousness and parallelism. That’s wrong. But that does not mean that consciousness did not evolve to make arbitrage between all these little areas, being the conductor of that otherwise discordant orchestra.

So Dennett confuses one evolutionary advantages of consciousness and the nature of consciousness. That nature probably has to do with the nature of the Quantum, and the difference between vegetal and animal. “Animal” comes from anima (soul in Latin). The soul is Quantum, this is what the Schrödinger(-Einstein) Cat thought experiment says.

Why the allusion to the “Many Worlds” Interpretation of Quantum Physics in the title? It is more than an allusion. The Many Worlds interpretation of the Quantum consists into sweeping the difficulty of how one goes from many possible outcomes to just a single one, under the rug of formalism. Instead of figuring out what is really going on, Many Worlders of physics say basically that everything and anything goes (all outcomes are ‘real’). One can say that Many World physicists shrug and answer the way Valley Girls do:”Whatever!“. Dennett does just the same. And this is not just a meta-analogy. If I am correct, and consciousness is intrinsically Quantum, the reason is exactly the same: evading a serious attempt at a deeper explanation… of the same phenomenon.

I don’t really expect celebrity physicists and celebrity philosophers to acknowledge that their cute little reasonings are shallow cope-outs, and popular, precisely because they are shallow and cute. However, the last nail in their coffins consist in pointing out that they offer an endearing, yet really terrible example of superficiality to the rest of debating society. Civilization rots by its head.

Patrice Ayme’  

No Intelligence, No Power: No Morality, However Good

June 1, 2016

In Season Four of “Game of Thrones“, the immensely powerful knight, who has high moral principles, steals from his host, bangs him pretty bad on the head, leaving him dazed and bleeding on the ground. The valorous young princess Arya Stark, whom the knight protects, still a child, storms after him, and screams: “They gave you shelter, they fed you, they are good people, and you steal from them? The immensely powerful knight replies:”He is weak, that’s what wrong with him, they won’t pass the winter, so I may as well take his silver, or otherwise some worthless scoundrel will.” Arya shouts back: “You are the worst shit in the Seven Kingdoms!” The mighty knight smirks back:” To be good is not enough. How many Starks need to be beheaded for you to understand that?”

That was an allusion to the fact that Arya’s father, mother and brother had untimely, horrible, and unjust ends… And the engine of their destruction, and actually of the destruction of the Seven Kingdoms has been that goodness which fatally hobbles their would-be superior morality. If goodness leads mass atrocities, surely, it is not good.

This is the essence of the exchange, which I paraphrased because I am reproducing it from memory. This is also the essence of much my ethical system: to be moral, it is not enough to be good, one has to be smart and powerful. Smarts, in the matter of law has much progressed in the last four thousand years:

Good Laws Come Only From High Smarts. Hammurabi’s Laws Are 38 Centuries Old. Having Mastered Writing Was Necessary, As The 282 Laws Were Shown All Over The Vast Empire

Good Laws Come Only From High Smarts. Hammurabi’s Laws Are 38 Centuries Old. Having Mastered Writing Was Necessary, As The 282 Laws Were Shown All Over The Vast Empire

In Hammurabi laws, hitting one’s parents was punishable by death. Same for stealing (except if one was a plutocrat, of course; slavery was legal, although in many ways much less harsh than in the US in the nineteenth century.)

One needs the trinity of intelligence, power and goodness to impose morality. Absent any of the three elements of that trinity, mass immorality can, and will, blossom.

Examples abound in history. France is rich with them. For example, Louis XIV and Napoleon were neither smart nor good, so they were doubly immoral.

Louis destroyed the Protestants, which was particularly nasty, as his grandfather had made peace and a commonwealth with them; France lost millions, and found herself attacked from everywhere, including from the Netherlands and Britain, which used to be French, but were now full of angry protestants (many very intimately entangled with France).

Napoleon replaced the republics (for example in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, etc.) which the revolution had created, into monarchies owned by his family: how much more nasty can one be? One could make a nasty, very deadly war to re-establish slavery in Haiti, which the First French Republic had eradicated. All this was an abyss of stupidity: Napoleon sold half of the USA to the USA for pennies, and then got millions of young Frenchmen dying for his family on the battlefield… while claiming he was fighting for the Revolution.

Want stupid? Napoleon, that enslaving self-obsessed monster is still much admired, from San Francisco to Vladivostok. It’s not clear why.

Another one, much admired is Joan of Arc. Why not? She re-launched the 100 year civil war between Paris and London for another 400 years. That was fabulously nasty, demonically stupid… The day (the cult of) Joan of Arc is viewed as immoral, much progress will have been made.

In the 1930s. The French Republic was smart and right to oppose the Nazism, all the way to giving Hitler an ultimatum. However, the whole enterprise became much less moral, when the French generalissimo ordered to do what his subordinate had argued may be a trap. Hitler had attacked the Netherlands just to draw the French army there. The result was catastrophic, as the French army was cut from behind, and the Nazis were able to conquer Europe, all the way to Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and the Volga, while engaging in various holocausts, and inciting the Japanese allies to do the same. Out of that came the American hegemon we presently enjoy, complete with its technology monopolies doubling as spy networks.

And, of course, We The World enjoy Facebook morality. Facebook just censored French (state) TV for reproducing on its Facebook page a woman demonstration in… Chile. Hey, some of the ladies wore no bras, and Facebook always wear a bra.

Times they are changing though: the Obama administration is proposing to remove US generalissimo-president Andrew Jackson from the Twenty Dollar note. Jackson was no dummy, he was immensely powerful, and his nastiness was excellent for the expansion of the USA. And Jackson, in complete contrast with the corrupt Clintons, kept the banks in their place. Asked what he was the most proud of, Jackson said (in essence): to have kept the banks at bay. Quite a statement, as Jackson had doubled the area of the USA. (Nothing that Clintons’ admirers can understand at this point, though…)

The same remarks apply to Jefferson, or even Washington. Let alone Marcus Aurelius.

Nowadays, then the youth, even in the USA, understand that the criterions for morality have to be jacked up, so Jackson can go jack somewhere else.

All very good, of course. But Big Morality without Big Smarts will always backfired. It’s not very smart for the youth of the world to only go through the spy network, with its fine print which says that only American law applies (although a French Court just determined that was probably unlawful in France, since, actually, well, it obviously is).

No smarts, no morality. At least, at the civilizational level.

Patrice Ayme’

Mathematical Terror

May 7, 2016

Mathematics is dangerous. It has endowed a creature from the Sol system to acquire ever greater powers, including jumping off planet. Fortunately for the future of cockroaches, idiots are striking back. Contemplate the following: an associate professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania was doing what I have done for longer than him: scribbling equations. Then…

This Post Was Deleted. Why? Fear Of Fighting Back? Fear That The Expression Of Fighting Back Is Too Offensive To The Idiots?

This Post Was Deleted. Why? Fear Of Fighting Back? Fear That The Expression Of Fighting Back Is Too Offensive To The Idiots?

Our world is doomed… Except if it is saved by the honor of the human spirit, raw intelligence unleashed. That will entail partial differential equations propelled deep down inside by the most revolutionary philosophy.

The power of the mind has never been greater. This can be seen: watch Obama and Clinton lie about who they helped under their watch (hint: the most useless financial  types, the hedge fund managers, the brokers, those who are behind Brexit). How do they do that? By hiding behind the complexity of Quantitative Easing (what they did was Quantitative Easing for the useless part of finance… Instead of Quantitative Easing for We The People).

This can be seen: watch Putin invading Georgia, Ukraine, chuckling about his “little green men”, denying they are Russian soldiers and then confirming that, indeed, they are.

Hitler used to laud what he called the “Big Lie” technique. Correctly, though, Big Lies should build Big Faith. Hitler observed that: “It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.” Now we have the Big Hypnosis technique. It requires collaboration not just from the Main Stream Media, but the entire intellectual class. Take for example the fascination for novels: what can novels do that this crazy world is not already doing? Indeed, this is why (good) science fiction is precious: because it looks at possible worlds, instead of just arcane details of Conventional Wisdom.

People are fearing Islam, while having been told it was racism to do so. Islam has become a division of the minds.

Meanwhile, in the French Republic, Joan of Arc is getting ever more popular. There, once again, just as with Islam, Obama, Quantitative Easing, it’s all about not knowing what really happened, or what is going on. Ironically, it is the same problem as with Brexit. The real problems in today’s Great Britain have little to do with the European Union. Similarly what Joan of Arc helped to solve was the alliance between London and Paris: Joan of Arc was a Brexiter with a sword, who hacked her way into Paris, so as to separate Paris from London. I told you: reality beats fiction.

But how does one learn real history, and real facts, when all what matters is the fake passion of sports scores? The other day, I passed by a public transportation bus in a large city, and, where the destination should have been written, instead could be seen in huge letters: “Go Warriors!” I never heard of “Warriors” before. Obviously the local sport team. All I know is that this was free public advertising on public transportation. Governments carefully organize fake passions to divert attention from what they are doing. They, their friends, clients, bosses and patrons.

Menzio denounced a “broken system that does not collect information efficiently.” He is troubled by the ignorance of his fellow passenger, as well as “A security protocol that is too rigid–in the sense that once the whistle is blown everything stops without checks–and relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless.”

Mr. Menzio adds: “What might prevent an epidemic of paranoia? It is hard not to recognize in this incident, the ethos of [Donald] Trump’s voting base.” Education my dear Menzio, education. So how come average US citizens are so ignorant? Could it have to do, by any chance with educational inequality? And even “Cognitive Inequality“?

However, professor Menzio works in a university system where people have to pay a fortune to attend, and Mr. Menzio is happy to get a much higher salary than he would get in his native Italy, so his complaints about ignorance are (unwittingly, or should I say cluelessly) hypocritical.

Mr. Menzio complains about ignorance, but he seems himself blissfully ignorant of the fact that he is himself part of the system which generates ignorance, the plutocratic university system, where, to attend, one needs more, in tuition, than the median family income. He can write all the PDEs he wants, but, without the correct philosophy, they cannot bring real understanding of the socioeconomy.

In Isaac Asimov’s first novel, which he wrote in his teens, a planet in a six suns system does not ever know night. A rather primitive (human) civilization eeks a living… until, as astronomers predicted, at a particular time, all suns are on one side, and night comes. Then the savages make a mob, and go kill the astronomers. This could very well be our future if we don’t react fiercely to the savages who confuse beautiful monuments of the past, as in Palmira, or differential equations, as the work, even the world, of the devil.

But reacting fiercely means terminally offending the savages. Tolerance cannot extend to the intolerant ones. This is where it becomes delicate and subtle. It is not just the Devil who is in the details, it is also philosophy itself.

Patrice Ayme’

 

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOON ALL TOO HUMAN

March 10, 2016

What Characterizes Human Intelligence?

HOW DO HUMAN & ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES DIFFER?

We had a president Obama running amok with his “signature strikes” with half-blind drones with pixelated vision killing civilians, far from battle fields, in far-away lands. These crimes full of technological arrogance gave a bad name to Artificial Intelligence. Are we far from robots running amok? It’s clear that the Obamas of this world will have to be reined in.

The (Korean) world champion of the famous Chinese game “Go” was beaten by a Google computer: “I am very surprised because I have never thought I would lose. I didn’t know that AlphaGo would play such a perfect Go.” The champ looked a bit frazzled, but not as angry as Gary Kasparov, the world chess champion, when he was beaten by an IBM computer program, DeepBlue. Kasparov stormed out of the room.

Kasparov’s anger was not an intelligent reaction, because it was obvious, all along, that chess is not such an intelligent game that a simple machine cannot do better. If you want a really  intelligent game, try to become really ethical (vote for Sanders, not the corrupt one). Ethics? A supremely human game where my friend Obama failed miserably. He and his toys, armies of drones and plutocrats.

The Artificial Neural Networks We Build Do Not Grow Naturally. And Their Neuronal Nodes Are Simplistic Relative To Real Neurons. Real Neurons Are Environmentally Sensitive Self Building Micro Computers.

The Artificial Neural Networks We Build Do Not Grow Naturally. And Their Neuronal Nodes Are Simplistic Relative To Real Neurons. Real Neurons Are Environmentally Sensitive Self Building Micro Computers.

“Go” is 3,000 years old. A Go board is 19 by 19, a Chess board, is 8 by 8. People who love to sound scientific say: “Go has more combinations that there are atoms in the universe” (reality check: we don’t know how big the universe is, so we cannot know how many atoms are therein!)

DeepBlue used brute force to beat Kasparov. With “Go”, the breakthrough came from using neural networks. Neural networks can be made to learn. The computer used a program called “Alphago” (devised by my whipping boy, Google, which I congratulate, for once!)  “Alphago” had to use something closer to “INTUITION”, some even say, imagination.

***

Does Patrice “Make Things Up”? I Hope So!

A few days ago, I pointed out to some would-be Stoics that the trite rejoinder of his admirers that Marcus Aurelius was the first emperor “with a natural born son” was a grotesque lie. I rolled out counterexamples, complete with the names of various sons…

All these sons were not named emperors-to-be, by their doting fathers. Only Marcus Aurelius did that This is of considerable import, because Marcus Aurelius is viewed as a pinnacle of wisdom by a large following (Marcus is the Muhammad of Stoicism).

Whereas I claim that, when Aurelius named his five year old son second in command in the empire (“Caesar”), contrarily to all Roman tradition, Marcus Aurelius showed he was anything but wise. Insane maniac, would-be king, violating the Republic is more like it. In particular, the two emperors just prior to Marcus Aurelius had more than three sons and grandsons, yet nominated none of them as successors when they were children. Although Marcus did. (Even the kings of Saudi Arabia don’t really do this!)

That, in turn, shows that Marcus’ followers have a serious problem evaluating reality. And sure they do.

A philosopher with a prestigious chair reacted angrily, accused me in public of “MAKING THINGS UP”. Even as a self-described “stoic” he could not take the reality of all these sons anymore.

Of course, I did not make anything up, in this particular case. I shoot vicious minds to kill, or, at least, maim. It’s best done with the truth.

But accusation got me to think. Do I make things up? That’s one beautiful thing about nature and its dangerous animals: even rattlesnakes can help me to think. Especially rattlesnakes.

The obvious glared back to me: even to find the truth, one has to make things up. First make things up (that’s imagination, which is most important, as Einstein pointed out). That’s making a theory. Or, in the deep cases, making a new neural networks (this is the part where intuition, that is emotion enters, as it is exactly what builds the network). Then checks that this new theory fits the truth (that’s the part where the network learn).

In the case of Aurelius, after revering him for a few decades, I came across facts and quotes which changed my emotional disposition relative to him. Instead of staying a psychological prisoner of his “Meditations”, I became an hostile witness, and explored facts which would demonstrate Marcus Aurelius’ viciousness. I found plenty (including the “natural son” story).

***

HUMAN HIGHEST INTELLIGENCE IS ABOUT MAKING THINGS UP:

My theory of the mind is simple: impelled by genetics and epigenetics (both in the most general sense imaginable) plus the environment, neural circuitry gets elaborated in an attempt to make mini models of pieces of nature within the brain. So mental circuits are (SORTS OF) answers to the environment.

“Sort of” is crucial: it means the neural circuitry elaborated in reaction will often NOT be (capable of being) a faithful (enough) model of the environment. That’s literally impossible, but that discrepancy is precious.

That discrepancy is the difference between what the neural circuitry impelled by the (perceived) environment and said (real) environment, is human creativity.

(I say “human”, for ease of conceptualization, but actually I should say “animal intelligence”.)

What is going on with Artificial Neural Network machines? They learn, as we do through what is called the Hebbian mechanism.

How to explain neural network learning in the simplest terms? Basically, in very rough first approximation, imagine the neural network is a canal system (made of canal which can be eroded). Suppose one wants an output: more water through a desired exit gate. Suppose one augment the flow there (say by lowering that exit gate). The canal network will adjust itself to maximize output.

However, we, very intelligent animals use a META-HEBBIAN mechanism of neuronal network genesis. In Artificial Neural Networks, the network is given, and then it learns: the neural circuit is provided presently by humans to become part of a machine.

The machine does not make it itself. But we do.

Human brains literally make things up, because we objectively, physically, make our neural networks up. We do not just tweak our networks. The networks which characterize our highest intelligence are themselves answers to the environment we are in.

To make a neural network we use emotions: it is known that emotional activity drives dendrite growth, thanks to glial activity.

These neural networks’ construction is tightly controlled from the outside, not just by the environment in the most general sense, but, essentially, by what we call culture. Culture is the set of schematics of the networks which work.

***

So, when we want to explore if machines could become as clever as human beings, we have to ask: could machines be devised to make things up? Could machines be devised which would make their own artificial neural networks?

Many of our fundamental neural networks (such as those controlling breathing) from “genetics” (in the most general sense). Those arise semi-automatically (with minimal back and forth with the environment). However, we make our own most sophisticated neural networks from the emotions which guide their architecture. Emotions are organized topologically, with NON-METRIC topology.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, and certainly worryingly, yes, we could make machines which have their own emotions which build their own neural networks. There is no reason to think we could not build such machines. They probably would have to use artificial neurons, etc. (And why not real neurons?)

The superiority of the human mind comes from making things up, or making ourselves up. Such machines would be similar.

Technologies, the special discourses, are our genus’ genius. Technologies made our genus possible, for at least three million years. Artificial, creative intelligence is more of the same, generating what we become. Not only we are becoming gods, but gods we cannot even imagine.

Imagination is when we make things up. It entails the construction of neural networks which will constitute what future knowledge is made of. This is why imagination is more important than knowledge. Because, without imagination, all the knowledge we would have would reflect neither creativity, nor even will.

Oh, by the way, should we panic? No. But it means that clueless individuals such as the ethically challenged Obama should not have the powers he had under stupid and Nazi-like technology such as drones used to kill civilians. It’s not a matter of replacing Obama by Sanders (although that would be a good idea).

We need a revolution (as Sanders say). We are going to get, in any case, a technological revolution. Intelligence is going to become a science.

But that intelligence revolution has to be about direct democracy fed by the best information possible, that is, total transparency, the exact opposite of the world the malefactor manufacturer Apple is proposing to us. And Obama in all this? He has only a few months to atone for the crimes he committed with the wanton usage of high tech he made. But first, he would have to realize how egregious they were.

This goes well beyond drones. Having the correct ethics will be fundamental for the safe and effective deployment of all too human artificial intelligence.

Patrice Ayme’

I FEEL, THEREFORE I AM

December 3, 2015

Descartes Cut Down To Size, Consciousness Extracted:

Concepts such as “consciousness”, “free will”, “sentience”, or (to sound learned) “qualia”, are often brandished, without connecting them to (what are called in Quantum Physics) “observables“.

I will try to correct this here. I will associate “consciousness”, “free will”, “sentience”, or “qualia” with something observable, namely unpredictability. This enables me to claim that even simple animals have emotions, consciousness, etc.

Yet my approach, unpredictability, provides with a measure (of consciousness, free will, sentience, qualia), thus does not put all species in the same basket (as the unpredictability a mind is capable of will vary; and not just vary as a number).

Approaching intelligence through unpredictability does not fall in the same excesses as Princeton’s Peter Singer and other in the “animal rights movement who claim (with the Nazis) that fleas and humans have equal rights (so we may as well treat humans as fleas).

The notion of “observable” was central to the birth of Quantum Physics, and still is.

Aplysia: Brainy, Thus Sentient, Conscious & Also Unpredictable

Aplysia: Brainy, Thus Sentient, Conscious & Also Unpredictable

Clever Enough to Become a Plantimal…

There are more than 3,000 species of “Nudibranchs”, these sea slugs, as their branchies are nude… Just when you thought you were safe from French. the particular one above steal genes from photosynthesizing algae it eats. Then it becomes solar powered. Science does not know how this works, because Obama prefers to finance his friend Elon Musk rather than fundamental research in genetics and solar power. TO SOLVE THE GREEN HOUSE GASES CRISIS, ONE NEEDS MORE FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH. NOW. Finance it with the 6,000 billions dollars given to fossil fuel plutocrats and their obsequious lackeys.

The notion of “observable” is central to Quantum Physics, and irritated Einstein, especially when Heisenberg pointed out that it was he, Einstein, who had introduced it in physics. It is no coincidence that I was driven to capture it for consciousness: it is central to science.

Quantum processes “behave” as if they were conscious of the environment at a distance. Einstein is unhappy in his grave: reality has turned into his worst nightmare. Poor Einstein was very much a Nineteenth Century physicist, he did not graduate to the new age of implicit wholeness.

Chris Snuggs: “As if” they are conscious. Does that mean they ARE conscious?

Patrice: Not an answerable question, because Quantum Processes cannot be interviewed. But I am sure that the feeling of consciousness is rooted in those Quantum Processes. Precisely because Quantum Processes behave as one could imagine elements of consciousness to behave: they are both unknowable and retrospectively determinable.

Chris Snuggs: “Does not “consciousness” need a brain?”

Patrice Ayme: First for the simple answer. What’s a brain? A set of neural networks. Aplysia has around 650 neurons.

A brain “thinks”. What is thinking? How do we know that an animal thinks? When it behave in a way we cannot always predict. Thinking manifests itself by the ability to make a (set of) neural network(s) behave UNPREDICTABLY.

Thinking is detected by the ability to go beyond (rote) learning, thus, to be unpredictable.

At least that’s what I claim. I claim this, because that’s the best I can… think of. What else?

Here is an example illustrating the preceding concepts. I met a giant sea turtle in the ocean. I knew it was thinking. How? because it showed a lot of initiative (especially for a supposedly stupid reptile).

First it determined I was no threat. It swam towards me. I could see its eye moving, inspecting me. I could not predict what it was going to do. It extended a vast flipper next to my fingers, we delicately touched. It was a sort of respectful handshake across 400 million years of evolution. I have been at the (very obscure, as it should be!) Sistine Chapel, at the Vatican, where God extents a finger to man.

This was much better. A flipper was extended, from turtle, to human. Then my reptilian friend slowly dove. I had done nearly nothing. The sea creature had created the encounter. Deliberately. Unpredictably.

Two days earlier me and the same turtle (it is particularly large, so I know it was the same one) swam on the surface in a particularly strong current, in the exact same spot, so it probably recognized me: sea turtles have color vision, and I am unmistakable with bright fluorescent orange and yellow shirt, pants and socks and giant bright yellow fins.

It is precisely because a human being, the world’s smartest animal, cannot predict the behavior of another organism, that we know that this organism thinks, is conscious, has sentience. The first time it decided to swim 5 feet apart, although I was all business, having trouble with the current, and not interested at that point by socializing sea monsters. My sole aim was to regain the beach, 400 meters away, past a sea cliff.

“Sentience” comes from the Latin sentientem (nominative sentiens) “feeling,” present participle of sentire “to feel”. The turtle was at the very least intrigued by my behavior the first time (‘crazy human swims against current pretending to be a turtle’), and was interested to inspect me some more.

In the case of three neurons, free will (or at least unpredictability) has been demonstrated. https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/…/three-neurons-free…/

The question of what is “consciousness” and how it can be determined to happen arises. That’s harder.

In “Surveiller et Punir” (mistranslated in English as “Discipline and Punish” instead of “Surveillance and Punishment”) Michel Foucault quoted at length the full execution of Damiens a religious fanatic who had pricked Louis XV with a knife. Foucault wanted to show how punishment changed. That gives me a justification to set-up my own gory scheme.

Descartes is famous for his “I think therefore I am”. What he was after was finding the simplest, most fundamental basis to start from. So doing, he made a huge mistake.

Indeed, one does not need to think to know that one is.

That can easily be shown by a thought experiment. Grab Descartes, tie him up on a table. The strength and number of bounds is important. Then take a rusty saw, and start to cut Descartes’ leg off. After Descartes puts in doubt your philosophical qualifications, he will start screaming. By the time you get to the sensitive nerves, next to the bone, his discourse will have lost any apparent method. At this point Descartes will not be thinking, but busy screaming his head off. Still, he would be fully existent, and feeling more alive than ever.

Thus sentience is more fundamental than thinking.

This shows, once again, that correct thinking starts with the correct feelings, moods, emotions.

This has many applications. When people extol Christianism, or Islamism, as if they were civilizations, instead of crazy superstitions with a very LETHAL Dark Side, one has to ask whether they set-up the mood of the Enlightenment.

When “leaders’ gather in Paris for the Green House Gas (GHG) crisis, are they aware of the correct emotion, the correct mood, that they should be infused with? Namely that they have only a few years to research the technologies which will allow to get rid of the GHG crisis, or an unprecedented holocaust, of the entire biosphere, may, or  will happen…

And will they be conscious that it will be their fault, and the fault of the 6,000 billion dollars of yearly fossil fuel subsidies they preside over, like the ecological terrorists they are?

This is an example of the following:

Verily, if you want to think right, you have to feel right. First.

Patrice Ayme’

Human Kind, Yet Evil Rule

October 17, 2015

Humanity Good, Institutions Bad? Not so simple. Evil Rule (Pluto-Cracy) is a fundamental consequence of human nature, amplified by civilization.

In “Human Kind“, 14th October 2015 George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 14th October 2015, suggests that:“Fascinating new lines of research suggest that we are good people, tolerating bad things.”

Sounds good. It’s very self-congratulatory: defining oneself as “on the left”, “liberal”, etc. has much to do with self-satisfaction about what a great human one is. I sent the following comment:

“Saying that “people are good, while tolerating bad things” is an ineffective morality. The crux, indeed, is the moral nature of institutions, controlled by a few, rather than whether humans are kind or not.”

That observation of mine was censored, as  all my comments to Monbiot in the Guardian are. Human kind? Thus Monbiot readers’ minds are kept safe from my dreadful influence (lest readers flee the Guardian, and starts reading my site?).

Cephalopods Are Highly Intelligent, But They Have No Cultural Intelligence., Thus Stay Mental Miniatures

Cephalopods Are Highly Intelligent, But They Have No Cultural Intelligence., Thus Stay Mental Miniatures

Meanwhile in the terror war occupation in Israel, in a few days, more than 40 young Palestinians got killed. One by one. Human kind? If something looking like a Palestinian moves, it gets shot. Some Jewish Israelis got actually shot because other Israelis thought they looked like the enemy (hey, they are all supposed to all be Semites! One very blonde beauty with very long hair who happened to be an Israeli soldier shot dead a Palestinian youth who may have pricked her: she is OK, don’t worry).

Cephalopods are surprisingly intelligent. They even use tools (the definition of Bergson of man as Homo Faber, Homo Artisan-Of-Hard-Materials is to be questioned). However, cephalopods experience short, brutish, asocial lives, and that boxes in their intelligence. This demonstrates that fully-dimensioned intelligence is social, and, in particular, cultural.

Superior intelligence is not just about the individual, it’s about the collective. Our biosphere, our part of the biosphere, is collectively intelligent (somewhat as in the movie Avatar).

Before I quote the interesting part of Monbiot’s article (which mainly quotes others), let me re-iterate my main thesis on altruism and love:

All advanced brain animals have to love, love enough to raise the young. To say love dominates, is saying we have brains grown with culture. It’s an important thing to say. And it explains the experiences Monbiot mentions.

Compare to the poignant fate of cephalopods, whose bright intelligence starts from scratch, with no culture, whatsoever. Cephalopod intelligence shines brightly, and quickly peters out, in a flurry of new born eggs.

So, the difference between us and squids is that we are adorned with philosophers, and other thinkers. The scorn Monbiot heaps on them is neither kind, nor wise, not to say arrogant, coming from someone with a simple journalist background (and it shows!).

A review article in the journal Frontiers in Psychology points out that our behaviour towards unrelated members of our species is “spectacularly unusual when compared to other animals”. While chimpanzees might share food with members of their own group, though usually only after being plagued by aggressive begging, they tend to react violently towards strangers. Chimpanzees, the authors note, behave more like the Homo economicus of neoliberal mythology than people do.”

That is not just a funny joke, but a deep observation, that traders are just enraged chimps. However, to view chimpanzee behavior as typical of other animals is erroneous. Chimpanzees are half-savannah animals. I saw one once in an area with small, very small, and sparse trees, and the first serious forest was weeks of travel away. Not surprisingly, he was acting fiercely and dangerously, in an area roamed by lion prides. Lions having a look at him, won’t try to come close: he shook an entire small tree he was hanging from, and swung away, with incredible power and speed, after flashing his four inches canines.

Thus Monbiot go off the deep end with chimpanzees. Here is a more balanced view: humans keep much in common with chimpanzees. They both descend from common ancestors (who may have been more Homo like than Chimp like: we don’t really know, however fossils, and logic, point in that direction).

Emotionally and socially, the psychology of chimps is very similar to humans,” says famous primatologist Frans de Waal at Emory University in Atlanta (a Dutch who started his famous observations in the Netherlands; universities in the USA have more money).

For instance, de Waal noted, chimps have shown they can help unrelated chimps and human strangers at personal cost without apparent expectation of personal gain, the sort of selfless behavior often naively claimed as unique to humans. They also display culture, with groups of chimpanzees socially passing on dozens of behaviors such as tool kits, and methods from generation to generation that are often very different from those seen in other groups. There are basically as many Chimpanzee cultures as chimpanzee tribes (and that’s thousands).

The big difference I see going for us is language,” de Waal said. “They can learn a few symbols in labs, but it’s not impressive in my opinion compared to what even a young child can do. They don’t really symbolize like we do, and language is a big difference that influences everything else that you do — how you communicate, basic social interactions, all these become far more complex.

Mathematics is, first of all, a language, remember.

The hyper aggressivity of Chimpanzees is related to their evolution: “They don’t like cooperating with strangers, that’s for sure,” de Waal said. Harvard biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham suggested this pattern of genetic (so to speak) violence may have been part of humanity’s legacy for millions of years. Yet, de Waal observed that based on what the canines of Ardipithecus suggest, “chimpanzees may be specialized in that regard [hyperviolence]. It’s only with the special recent human conditions of settlement and agriculture that gave us the incentive to worry about wealth, leading us to become warriors that way.”

This is close to my thesis: EVIL RULE (“Plutocracy”) was made possible by civilization. Before that it was just Demonic Males. Demonicity plus civilization = Evil Rule.

Compare de Waal’ subtlety with Monbiot’s imbalanced enthusiasm characteristic of the journalist he is:

“Humans, by contrast, are ultra-social: possessed of an enhanced capacity for empathy, an unparalleled sensitivity to the needs of others, a unique level of concern about their welfare and an ability to create moral norms that generalise and enforce these tendencies.

Such traits emerge so early in our lives that they appear to be innate. In other words, it seems that we have evolved to be this way. By the age of 14 months, children begin to help each other, for example by handing over objects another child can’t reach. By the time they are two, they start sharing things they value. By the age of three, they start to protest against other people’s violation of moral norms.”

Altruism is shown by nearly all advanced animals, because that’s how intelligence is grown. Thus, it’s not about material rewards. On board (so to speak) systems reward altruism intrinsically. Monbiot again:

“A fascinating paper in the journal Infancy reveals that reward has nothing to do with it. Three to five-year-olds are less likely to help someone a second time if they have been rewarded for doing it the first time. In other words, extrinsic rewards appear to undermine the intrinsic desire to help. (Parents, economists and government ministers, please note). The study also discovered that children of this age are more inclined to help people if they perceive them to be suffering, and that they want to see someone helped whether or not they do it themselves. This suggests that they are motivated by a genuine concern for other people’s welfare, rather than by a desire to look good. And it seems to be baked in.

Why? How would the hard logic of evolution produce such outcomes? This is the subject of heated debate.”

The heated debate is happening because the sort of view I defend (the view in Avatar, that of global intelligence, one could say) is progressing against the very reduced Survival-Of-The-Fittest approach.

The difference between us and squids is that we are adorned with philosophers, and the scorn journalist such as Monbiot heaps on them is neither kind, nor wise, not to say arrogant.

Humans are intrinsic scientists and philosophers, not just lovers and warriors. To try to say they are all one, and not the others misses the big picture.

The left, by insisting that humans are kind, underestimates the evil institutions are capable of. Institutions, although moral persons, in the legal sense, are not held back by human ethology in the behaviors they are capable of. (Nazism provided with plenty of example of that: even the very worst Nazis, including Himmler or Eichmann, found really hard to go all the way, and could do it, only by using institutional tricks, making institutions, Nazi institutions to force them to do what even them found too hard to do.)

Let’s not underestimate institutionalized evil. It has no bounds, whatsoever. Nazism, or Stalinism, were not about just a few very bad guys, they were about evil institutions, including a Prussianized army (in contrast to a human one). Let’s build human kind institutions that cannot not be commandeered by just a few (as our entire democracy-through-representatives regime gangrening the West, not to say the world, is).

Thus, to progress morally will mean to progress in the intelligence of the institutions we will set-up to rule over us. Hence moral progress will be a consequence, and only a consequence, of scientific and technological approfondissement (deepening).

Patrice Ayme’

Wingsuit Philosophy: 400 Million Years Strong

November 28, 2014

 

If Life is Quantum, why do Quantum assemblies jump off cliffs and peaks in wingsuits, with a high probability to be blown to bits? (See flying off the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Mont Blanc Range.)

Is it the love of danger? What else? Indeed, most of these ladies and gentlemen, when interviewed, insist that they love life. And most of them, indeed, seem to enjoy life, and are extremely lively.

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Flier Jumped Off Peuterey (Peak on the Right)

Wingsuit flying is an extreme form of extreme sport. It entangles extreme neurological control, extreme speed, and extreme terror. Plus extreme contempt for probabilities. In other words, all what makes man tick where it counts most, in what counts most, in battle.

The film concludes with a list of more than two dozen wingsuit fliers known to have died in 2013, while practicing their passion.

The first attempted wingsuit flight, more than a century ago, was off the Eiffel Tower (then the world’s tallest structure). The gentleman long hesitated before jumping. He received a significant hole in his head. However, an autopsy revealed that he had died of a heart attack during the flight (so great was his fright?). Frenchmen invented the modern suits in the 1990s. Tubes inflated by air pressure rigidify them. The explicit aim was to land with them (to do this, I believe a 6 meter wing span is needed, thus further, hard, but imaginable, progress in material science).

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

Wingsuited Corliss Popping Balloons Before Zooming Into A Gorge

So why is danger lovable? Danger is not just lovable, it is adaptative, in the evolutionary sense of the term. That means that, for human beings, to love danger present greater advantage that the alternative. Can I prove it? Well, wingsuit flying and all sorts of behaviors potentially lethal to those who indulge in them, are only explainable by the thrill of danger. If this thrill is perceived as more valuable than life, it’s that life cannot do without it.

As Sherlock Holmes noticed, when one has eliminated all other explanations, what’s left is what is going on.

The usual suspects, the loud vegetarians, mosquito lovers, peaceniks, Dalai Lama worshippers, partisans of the intrinsic goodness of man in general, and of the extreme placidity and sanctity of themselves in particular, will meekly bleat that from such violence comes the undoing of man. Assuredly, they will reckon, loving danger leads to war, mayhem, and horror of horror, violence, to put it in one hated word.

Yet, what is man if not the creature of ultimate force? Violence is how man was built, one mutation at a time.

After these vigorous considerations, I went running more than twenty miles in the mountains, some of it above 8,000 feet. Never mind a little snow and ice: the greenhouse presents advantages in late November. At some point I met some mountain bikers: ”What are you doing, so far from anywhere?” I did not tell them I was philosophying, as I already looked crazy enough with my skimpy outfit (running is higher metabolism than biking).

Back in the land of computers, I stumbled on an interview of Jeb Corliss, an expert of “proximity flying” (see above). He reached pretty much the same conclusions as yours truly, in an interesting article with a stupid title:

“Courting popularity has never been a priority for Corliss. “Listen,” he tells me, “I talk about the deaths. I talk about the disasters.”

“And if you die?”

“If I die, I want that footage on TV the next day.”

“Why?”

“Why? Because this is not chess. This is not backgammon. This is not . . . ” (Corliss racks his brain for a yet-more-contemptible pastime, and finds one) “golf. This is dangerous. I believe that footage of fatalities is way more important than film of some guy flying across a beautiful meadow. What we are doing here is very important. I believe that flying is what evolution is about. Think of the squirrels.”

“OK.”

“At the beginning, there were probably only a very few squirrels that even contemplated flying from tree to tree. The other squirrels thought they were crazy. I imagine hundreds of them died in the attempt. But then, in the end, one of them managed it. Now that, to me, is evolution. And now we are evolving, through technology and through skill. I liken what we’re doing in proximity flying to the first animals that left the water. We are evolving and growing. And becoming stronger. What else,” he asks, “is the purpose of life?”

The usual suspects, if they have time to stop grazing their pastures, will call the preceding Nietzschean, or Hitlerian, and condemn it. But that would be wrong on both counts: Nietzsche hated evolution, and Hitler loved regression. Corliss’ philosophy wants progress. That philosophy, which has been mine, ever since I reflected in the wastes of Africa, is very close to Lamarck, and… Sade.

400 million years ago, during the Devonian Period, the earliest tetrapods derived from the lobe-finned fishes.

It is an important point that, although plants did not need brains to conquer the land, brainy animals, having brains, had to decide to conquer land.

Strict “Darwinists” speak as if they cannot understand this, and brains are just what genes do (see in particular Dawkins). Does that mean they never decide anything, except what class and genes gave them? (Lord Matt Ridley, one of the most strident advocates of total gene control, and of plundering the planet, is a major and most propagandizing plutocrat; believing “genes” control all means class controls all).

Yet, that’s obviously wrong: if all and any fish had been so terrified of land that they had not tried to crawl on it, all the mutations in the world would not have made the vertebrates conquer land.

For 400 million years, our brainy ancestors took great chances, and very few of those who took the greatest chances, that is, the most lethal chances, could reproduce. They died early, they died hard, but they tried something crazy, to give some mutation a chance… And, as we will see in a companion essay, a chance for this mutation to appear!

Without the will to progress, there would have been no progress. There would be only plants, bacteria, viruses.

Patrice Ayme’