Posts Tagged ‘Work’

May Day (“Mayday”, “M’Aider”)

May 1, 2018

To put progress in a bad light, no trick is base enough:

Fabre d’Églantine was a left-wing (“Montagnard”, Danton’s secretary) revolutionary. As a member of the National Convention, he was elected as a Member of Parliament of the Republic by universal voting, in 1792. In 1793, in his report on the calendar presented to the Convention, Fabre d’Églantine established a public holiday, to celebrate work and workers, with Saint-Just later setting a date, 1st pluviôse (fifth month of the French Republican calendar, in other words, May First). In 1848, the provisional government of the Second Republic abolished slavery in the Colonies, (27th April) and established May First a public holiday in the Colonies.

The International Labor Day, May First, date was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the Haymarket massacre, which occurred in Chicago, USA, on 4 May 1886. That protest had asked for the eight-hour day. On 1st May 1886, under union pressure, 200,000 American workers had won the right to work an eight-hour day. But this battle was not won by all workers, and riots broke out in Chicago, to generalize the right. The protest was repressed in blood: eight were killed, and later four workers were hanged (plus another who committed suicide rather than letting himself be hanged).

The date had its origins at the 1885 convention of the American Federation of Labor, which passed a resolution calling for adoption of the eight-hour day effective May 1, 1886. Conservative “Democratic” President Grover Cleveland , concerned that a labor holiday on May 1 would tend to become a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair, imposed the September date. The rest of the world celebrates Labor Day on May First an old European festival, and to remember the revolt in Chicago and its bloody repression.

Technology offers ever more ways to exploit people, and, lest we slide into regression, the forces of progress have to stay vigilant. MSFT, Microsoft, wants what you own. Bill Gates’ mother was an official do-gooder, all the more as her hubby the top lawyer in Washington State. So she was made a director of IBM, which then gave control to young Bill on the software public universities had invented. This brought us Microsoft, and now they own the world, or, at least, how to steer it. Watch ex-presidents lick their toes. Besides they own, or control, all the US media, one way, or the other… And yes, they are max do-gooders, a family tradition, and watch the cash, and the GMOs, flow…

Labor studies professor William J. Adelman wrote:

“No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.”

Few countries bathe minds in as much deliberate propaganda as the USA. In the US, even entertainment is propaganda: watch full grown men, transfixed by hulks in tights grabbing each other on TV, or seven feet giants casually pushing a ball through a hoop. It looks innocent, but we have seen it all before: the Roman Plebs was kept quiet, for six centuries with “bread and circuses”, as Roman author Juvenal already observed, 19 centuries ago. Couch potatoes fascinated by steroid laden multi-millionaires put on a pedestal as much, most admired values: wealth, physique enhancing drugs, and the couch potato status, plus dead minds.

Roman Emperor Constantine decided that no free Roman citizen should work on Sunday. The usage was followed throughout the Middle Ages. However, up to the Nineteenth Century, with the invention of cheap artificial lighting, and industrial plutocracy, the situation of workers became reminiscent of slavery in Roman times. The laws which had to be passed are revealing:

In 1840 CE, a law was passed in France, making it illegal to make children less than eight years old, work in mines. In 1842, making it illegal to make women work in mines. Again in 1842, making children less than 12 years old work more than ten hours a day became unlawful!

New technology had enabled a degree of exploitation not seen before.

***

We sell your souls, and do it electronically, just smile, they say, and they chuckle:

It is the same today: our minds are for sale and traded, by the likes of Facebook. It could not have been done before. New tech enabled this new exploitation. New tech enabled this new exploitation. Nonlinearly, as we allowed Facebook & its ilk to acquire this sort of power, they amplified it even further, with considerable wealth, buying politicians, all the way to the president, who used to go there twice a month, to beg for crumbs like an overgrown, sick pigeon, anxious to please, drifting in a sea of greed, with no moral anchor…

US citizens can have Labor Day, as long as it isolates the USA, doesn’t mean much, and encourages to forget history… Especially US history! Well, the Gates will take charge of your education, so you are saved!

Beyond exploitation, there is sheer outrage. Microsoft made it so that a recycler got 15 months in jail. For restoring restore disks of used computers (which Microsoft depicts as theft!) Meanwhile Bill and Melinda Gates are all over TV (such as “60 Minutes”) because they helped finance 300 students, and they present this as the way to support high education. The Gates control more than 150 billion dollars (besides the likes of Obama and his ilk…)

In the 1960s, “60 Minutes” fought the establishment with truths about the Vietnam War. Nowadays, “60 Minutes” has becomes the Gates’ organ of aggrandizement. And so is the “Justice” system. For years, now, “60 Minutes” has been hard at work, opening wide the “Gates of Hell”. Gates of Hell, indeed!

And more is coming:When is a robot homeless? When it can’t get power.

Patrice Aymé

Note: Mayday! Is the call in aviation when needing help in an emergency. Sounds silly, but it is actually the French for “M’aider” (Help me), which is pronounced exactly the same. The French didn’t just fly the first three motorized planes (Avion I, II, III), but also named the field (Ader, who was the engineer who built the first, steam-powered, planes, named planes, “avions” from the Latin “Avis” for bird, and then thus, “aviation” and caused an aviation boom in France in the early 1900s. That’s why most basic aviation vocabulary is French… Including “Mayday”…)

DIVING INTO TRUTH

July 27, 2014

What’s truth? Many a philosopher sat at his desk, pondering “truth”. Can experience with a desk bring truth? No. Only action demonstrates truth: truth is what works.

Tilt over like an otter on her back, big gulp of air, lift the fins sky high, and the blue of the sky turns into the deep blue sea, a universe wilder than outer space, yet through which the human mammal can dive masterfully. The blue yonder is pierced by the silver and gold flashes of sunlight violently reflecting on fishes’ scaly skins amidst undulating algae. Who wants to fly? Everybody. Forget artificial wings. Flying is practiced best with fins and goggles.

A school of 200 depths’ yellowish, dinner plates sized denizens groups up, and rotates to intimidate the suspicious predator in their midst. Another fish with red stripes let me approach, simply happy to extend his impressive spiky dorsal fin. A message well received: don’t touch me there, or anywhere.

Trans-Species Cooperative Intelligence At Sea

Trans-Species Cooperative Intelligence At Sea

It has never been so easy to approach so many fishes. Either the fishes of the area are less hunted, or they learned what a spear gun looks like.

Solo deep sea diving is about the most dangerous sport imaginable. Death can happen at any moment by losing consciousness, and falling to the bottom of the sea (there is no buoyancy below 13 meters down or so, even if one started with full lungs, so one sinks).

Losing consciousness? Try to spend 56 minutes out of 60 below water. Solo deep sea diving, being the most dangerous sport, is best to test one’s philosophical ability and control. Indeed, it requires a perfect theory of truth.

A perfect dive is a perfect truth.

A logical system has two elements:

  1. The basic rules of the subjacent logic L. (“The logic”.)
  2. The semantic truth S in the engulfing universe U. (“the semantics”.)

Basically, a) says how to make well-formed propositions, and b) which ones are true.

L contains axioms, so does the semantics. Where is “TRUTH” in all this? It’s both in L and S.

Truth = L Union S

The main axis of thinking ever since civilization has prospered has been to reduce S and augment L. Why? Because S embodies factual truth, it can be enormous.

For example in animism, S is enormous: every tree, forest, spring, animal, and even cloud shape is endowed with a soul of its own. Modern science has reduced this to zero (inasmuch as it impacts their behavior).

In Elementary Particle Physics, S is disturbingly large: the so called “Standard Model is full of free parameters and mysterious symmetries (sometimes on, sometimes off, for no known reasons).

For a while in physics, it looked as if S was reducing to a few principles (such as the conservation of energy). But then the on-going main interpretation of Quantum Physics blew up the Logic to hell. Semantics became everything.

How? By claiming that even what seemed impossible has a non-zero probability of occurring. In today’s Quantum Physics, camels go through needles, it’s just a matter of time.

Nietzsche tried to reduce S, the Semantics, to the Will To Power.

That’s, of course, stupid.

The Will To Power mostly rises in social animals. Such animals defend themselves as one, mind, the mind of the leader, so determining the “best” leader (namely the meanest) is of the essence.

A better reduction of meaningful motivation in human beings, and, more generally, animals is the much more general Will To Survival. All the power most animals have, is to insure their survival.

All these fishes I was gliding by, had a theory of mine, a theory of my mind, more exactly. You could see it in their eyes, how they wobbled, and fixated, until, reassured, they went back to considering other tasks, They had deduced, from their experience (S above) and the logic L of the situation (my non-threatening behavior), that their survival was not compromised.

What dominates species out there, in the jungle or the sea, is survival. The Will To Survival. Survival is determined by what is true.

Human beings are truth machines. And so are all brainy animals.

Fishes are very brainy.

Those doubting this should see a grouper inciting a moray eel (muraena) to hunt. The grouper is good at catching fishes in the open, moray eels are supreme in cracks and holes. The grouper goes to the muraena, whose head full of large sharp teeth observes him. Then he shakes his head right and left, in a gesture simulating the motions both eels and groupers make when swimming.

It may require several attempts, but then they go hunt together, the eels below the rocks, the grouper above. Suddenly, in flash of activity, many fishes meet their demise. Both fishes are five times more efficient when hunting together.

If a fish escapes from a grouper and hides into a crack, the grouper often goes to the closest moray eel he can find. Then he entices the eel to go fishing. Then the grouper repeats the head shaking dance, more slowly, where the fish went to hide. Then the eel dives into the hole. (Groupers, who are known to be very clever fishes, also cooperate with other fishes.)

Grouper and eel eat, because they have discovered a few basic truths.

Truth is what works.

Notice that the nature of the work Moray Eels and Groupers can do is limited. Thus, so is the notion of truth they can reach. Octopuses are very intelligent, they can unscrew bottles. However they live only a few years, and have no means of cultural transmission. The drama of the Octopus is that every single individual has to reinvent everything.

Advanced life has made intelligence ubiquitous, but finding truth has been highly constrained by the nature of the work species can do. The genus Homo, though, could work in the forests, in the savannah, in the trees, on the cliffs, across streams, and even arms of the sea, or under water. Even before it became super-brainy. And that’s why it became super-brainy.

Our ape like ancestors developed vast notions of truth, because they could do all sorts of work. In turn that created an ecological niche, the superiority niche, which made intelligence a greater advantage. (Until the recent reign of vegetarians, the politically correct, and other gallant promoters of weakness and retardation at the cost of brutal logical efficiency… Or simply the crutches of advancing technology: the present Homo seems to have significantly smaller brains than late model Neanderthals.)

How does that fit the [Truth = Logic + Semantic] equation above? It’s simple: Semantics is true, when it works, and Well Formed Formulas in logic are also what works. As science progresses, Semantic Truth’s empire shrinks, while that of Logic expands. How? Ever more logic shows how, and why, the Semantic Truth is actually the work of logic.

From the physics perspective, “action”, “work” and “truth” are all the same, as the Principle of Least Action ties them up together: the truth of the trajectory, the truth of the evolution of a process, is what minimizes “work” (of/in the physical action). Wherever we look, we see it:

Truth is what works.

Patrice Ayme’

Note 1: Science Is What Works, INSTINCT IS FAST LEARNING, and TRUTH AS ENERGY contain elements of the preceding, while developing further other perspectives.

Note 2:  So what is the difference between humans and animals? The greater capability in humans to do all works, so construct all truths, including the work, and truth, of cultural transmission.