Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You're So Smart!

I have a very bad habit of indulging obsolete equipment. I rooted the Kindle Fire I bought my daughter the day before it was obsolete, which was the day after it was launched and orphaned. She couldn't figure out what to do with it other than to read books and watch videos which she has plenty of other ways to do. For me, as long as I don't visit tech stores very often it seems fine. I have to resist that lust for speed, since as regards functionality, my rooted Kindle is more up to date than the ones in the stores - thanks free and open sourcerers!!

Before that I ran old small laptops, although to be quite honest my now newish Windows laptop can bog down like a champ against the ebola plague of constant updates. This new champ reminds me of myself, struggling to wake up or stay asleep, and never quite in its moment. Meanwhile, Apple is the champ with profits - more than all other PC makers combined nevermind market-share - which just goes to show that controlling the overall experience is where it's really at. If you have the money to support the habit - theirs or yours!

For some reason, the Yudkowsky Kurtzweil krewe is in my face again with their brand of clever to beat all clever, which always seems functionally identical to extinction to me, the way they put it. I know I'm smarter than they are, since I ran a school for kids with IQs higher than theirs if you want to measure things that way, and by definition my numbers had to be better or I wouldn't have survived. I certainly deployed no power! I was dispositionally oppositional to lording it over anyone I think.

I could be wrong.

It's natural that these guys get the attention since we're all geeked up and excited about Internet of Thinginess constant calibrations for our lives. It's harder than ever to trust in luck anymore since you have so much choice against it, even while the world melts down around us or, per Kurtzweil, it only seems to do so since really it's just getting more intelligent and the rescue will be as surprising and instantaneous as Christ's return. Within the margin of error of megavitamins, really, if they don't kill you first. I guess you have to pick your God and go with it.

But there sure is something funny in our read of evolution. To me, the main import of various recent discoverings seems opposite to what they otherwise seem (hmmmm). So we catalogued the human genome and mainly discovered that we're mostly populated by alien DNA in the form of bacteria and other goodies. And that this collection of not-us can be more instructive of our dispositions than the us-stuff.

The other thing is that we've learned more about epigenetics, which should have been obvious if we were to think about it, which we never did. Our time-scales are way off. I mean when you breed goldfish or dogs or people for that matter, you aren't moving along the evolutionary processes. For the most part, we're removing choice individuals to meet some determination of cute, which probably makes those choice individuals less survivable without us. And it turns out, duh, that these choices are heritable but not in the sense of genetically different. It's all in the expression! Dead higher ends for Jesus and for me!

So the other thing which my technological devices bring to my front and center are endless stupid discussions about how less than super intelligent people can contribute to society's advance, and I'd thought we'd gotten rid of those questions along with Hitler. (Humble smart people always say it's hard work and not clever that gets things done, but you don't really believe that, do you?)

But no, it seems that intelligence is fairly automatically thought to accompany evolution as in that's why humans are so ascendant, and if you're unclever or ugly or as in my case just obsolete, then you're pretty much a footnote to the process and not central. This happens via Quora, by the way in case you're interested in the technology, which seems to translate as "magnet for people who think they're so smart."

The thing is really that it's luck which determines survivability on the evolutionary scale. The main thing about humans qua humanity is that we've shifted the environment. Those well-bred are just those who have adopted to the new environs, mostly because they're cute and breedable, which is sometimes internalized as intelligence. You know, those with the choice not to suffer any more slings and arrows than they, ahem, choose.

Like jumping out into the muck would be just crazy, man!! All praise wealth to whatever dead-end it leads us, because at least I get my shower!

But the muck is where it happens, rock and rollers, and that's where most of humanity lives and breeds if never prospers. So here's my root question to myself at least since by now I've lost you for sure: are the lucky the survivors or have they - the lucky - been shunted off onto a breeding dead-end, like breath-challenged pugish dogs? I mean one way to define the lucky is in relation to this clearly unsustainable "artificial" environment at whose end these inbreds mostly perish one would think and mostly instantly if they don't beat the suck me up to the eternal machine-mind endgame of Yudkowski and his ilk.

What would evolved humanity look like if it's to be founded in the muck? Viz the singularity types, I also think humanity is defined beyond the flesh, but unlike the Abrahamic religionists the singulars ape so well, I'm not so interested in that kind of soul. My humanity, if I can be so bold, is the civilization riding on social being which ultimately seems to depend on something rather more than clever or virtuous individuals. I guess it's all about where the boundaries get drawn, and I'm not a fan of ethnic or racial definitions either. Which leaves me rather primitive, like, back in the realm of the Golden Rule or its negative Chinese better.

So, luck is what you make of it most say, and if you're tied to the world as we've created it your luck is about to run out, right? Whether or no some soul-analog gets sucked into eternity. These nutty singularists even have their own version of taboo now, as in you don't want to offend the great AI in the sky.

Cheeesh. It's always seemed clear to me that religion is a manly patent on God, which is just plain wrong! Dinosaurs also must have felt proud before their end, if we want to project pride. Perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to patent our conclusions. What's cute to us is bound never to be cute to eternity.

So, in my humble judgement as we Internet poser falsies like to say, IHMO, INRI, whatever, it's about the civilization we choose to inhabit, inherit, promulgate and propagate, which is surely not the one we celebrate now. The one we have is running on automatic, just the way we would have it do since we're so damned afraid of choice that we've left the kids in charge.

(I just read Tim Geithner on crisis management, which is a seriously good book though wordier than the Bible by far. It's a nice corrective against the notion that you knew anything at all about what was happening when it was happening by a decent guy with normal intelligence. Just in case you want to know where I'm coming from.)

But then I have no breeding either.

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