Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => New Theories => Topic started by: hamdani yusuf on 09/09/2017 07:41:27

Title: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/09/2017 07:41:27
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/09/2017 06:36:55
A universal utopia, if there is one, would be classified as a meme. And just like any other memes, it will compete for its existence in memory space, whether in people's minds or computer's storage devices.

For a start, let's list down common goals people have in their lives, and then analyze them by summarizing their strength, limitations, and underlying assumptions. The candidate(s) for a universal utopia may then be built by combining some of those goals, trimming/pushing their limitations, and scrutinizing their underlying assumptions.

 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/09/2017 07:47:36
I googled "goals of your life" on September 11th 2017, and found various answers. Most of them are very narrow, based on specific objects (which are configurations of matter and energy in space and time), hence their applicability will vanish when those objects don't exist anymore. For example, travelling to some places, doing some kind of sport, getting some amount of money, meeting famous people, etc.
Other answers I found include being rich, getting some professional positions, having a family, living a healthy life. Others gave individualistic goals, such us giving/doing something to their community (village, city, tribe, nation, world, humanity). Others gave more religious answers, such as obeying particular God, going to heaven in afterlife, defending their God's religion, etc.
There are also mundane goals such as "living for today", seek for pleasure or pursuing for happiness. There are also interesting goal such as learning and finding the meaning or purpose of life itself.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/11/2017 12:06:15
Skipping object based goals, whose universality can be easily refuted, I'll discuss next type of goals, which is acquiring some kind of characteristics, such as being rich, or being healthy, or being happy. I want to discuss the definitions of those characteristics (describe what is, and what's not), what makes some people put those as their life goals, what are their limitations, and what's next, if they are already reached.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/06/2018 08:45:35
If this universal goal exist, then all organisms will try to achieve it. Conscious organisms will make plans to achieve it, because the plan can increase the probability to achieve target.
Plans work based on assumption that law of causality applies, otherwise, if everything happens at random, then there would be no point in making plans.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 04/06/2018 10:10:29
A universal utopia, if there is one, would be classified as a meme. And just like any other memes, it will compete for its existence in memory space, whether in people's minds or computer's storage devices.

My utopia would have to be based on objective reasoning.   It would also be considered for everyone rather than selfishly for myself. 
In an ideal universe, there would be no motion other than that of ourselves or other species.  Obviously this removes any concern about cosmic collisions. 
Secondly the weather experience would not be random, it would be scheduled and conditions would never be too extreme, there would be a fine balance.
Also I would have a steady state entropy where the balance always remained an equilibrium.
Food and water made by replicators, robots doing all the manual work so ourselves could just do our hobbies or things that are pleasurable.
As for personal goals, I go by each day and go with the flow . I go with whats right and best for me and those I care for.
Survival is the prime goal of  any species.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/06/2018 12:37:35
A universal utopia, if there is one, would be classified as a meme. And just like any other memes, it will compete for its existence in memory space, whether in people's minds or computer's storage devices.

My utopia would have to be based on objective reasoning.   It would also be considered for everyone rather than selfishly for myself. 
In an ideal universe, there would be no motion other than that of ourselves or other species.  Obviously this removes any concern about cosmic collisions. 
Secondly the weather experience would not be random, it would be scheduled and conditions would never be too extreme, there would be a fine balance.
Also I would have a steady state entropy where the balance always remained an equilibrium.
Food and water made by replicators, robots doing all the manual work so ourselves could just do our hobbies or things that are pleasurable.
As for personal goals, I go by each day and go with the flow . I go with whats right and best for me and those I care for.
Survival is the prime goal of  any species.
Thanks for joining this discussion. I agree with some of your points, but as suggested in the title, I'm interested in finding out goals that can be applied universally.
That universal goals should not be limited by a species, because they wouldn't be applicable before the species even existed, nor after the species extinct or evolved into other species.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/06/2018 12:59:47
If this universal goal exist, then all organisms will try to achieve it. Conscious organisms will make plans to achieve it, because the plan can increase the probability to achieve target.
Plans work based on assumption that law of causality applies, otherwise, if everything happens at random, then there would be no point in making plans.
Another basic assumption which is necessary to get to a universal goal is that there is an objective reality. Otherwise there would be no cooperation among units of a system that tries to achieve that goal.
Perhaps some of you think that those two basic assumptions are so obvious as not to seem worth stating, but without them, I don't think we can go forward discussing this topic any further.
This reminds me of a Bertrand Russell quote
Quote
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell
(https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/bertrand_russell_107179)

We'll see if those basic assumptions will lead us to a paradox.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 04/06/2018 13:21:02

Thanks for joining this discussion. I agree with some of your points, but as suggested in the title, I'm interested in finding out goals that can be applied universally.
That universal goals should not be limited by a species, because they wouldn't be applicable before the species even existed, nor after the species extinct or evolved into other species.

Thank you , I guess I did not quite understand your post, now I do.

Universal goals

1) A universal alliance and laws
2) To share knowledge
3) For all to be equal
4) Universal maintenance standards

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/06/2018 02:47:00
Thank you , I guess I did not quite understand your post, now I do.

Universal goals

1) A universal alliance and laws
2) To share knowledge
3) For all to be equal
4) Universal maintenance standards


Can you elaborate more? Is there priority among them?
Perhaps something to support your assertions above? For example, why do we have to share knowledge? what if we don't?
Why do we have to be equal? What is the subject of this equality?
etc
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 05/06/2018 10:34:06
Thank you , I guess I did not quite understand your post, now I do.

Universal goals

1) A universal alliance and laws
2) To share knowledge
3) For all to be equal
4) Universal maintenance standards


Can you elaborate more? Is there priority among them?
Perhaps something to support your assertions above? For example, why do we have to share knowledge? what if we don't?
Why do we have to be equal? What is the subject of this equality?
etc
I think I already prioritised the order in my previous post.  Let us look at the finer details of the list in order.

1) A universal alliance and laws

Number one is for simplicity,  if we ever discovered intelligent life out there, our prime directive will be firstly to establish a communications ''link''.  We would establish communication by getting over the possible language barrier and befriend our new found friends.  We would then have to establish certain ''laws'' for our alliance.  Pretty standard procedure I would imagine.


2) To share knowledge

What goes around comes around, to share knowledge and technology stops unequal dictatorship.  The power is divided equally rather than a specific continent for example.


3)For all to be equal

Fairness is next to kindness, the green eyed monster cannot exist if things are equal.  Inequality is a form of legalised slavery , the poor picking up the scraps .


4) Universal maintenance standards

Speaks for itself really
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2018 08:18:59

I think I already prioritised the order in my previous post.  Let us look at the finer details of the list in order.

1) A universal alliance and laws

Number one is for simplicity,  if we ever discovered intelligent life out there, our prime directive will be firstly to establish a communications ''link''.  We would establish communication by getting over the possible language barrier and befriend our new found friends.  We would then have to establish certain ''laws'' for our alliance.  Pretty standard procedure I would imagine.


2) To share knowledge

What goes around comes around, to share knowledge and technology stops unequal dictatorship.  The power is divided equally rather than a specific continent for example.


3)For all to be equal

Fairness is next to kindness, the green eyed monster cannot exist if things are equal.  Inequality is a form of legalised slavery , the poor picking up the scraps .


4) Universal maintenance standards

Speaks for itself really
What makes point#1 more important than point#2? etc.

What is the goal of the alliance and laws? We need to distinct the goal and the method to achieve the goal (may be we can call it intermediate goal).
Why do we have to share knowledge? why do we have to stop unequal dictatorship? why do we have to be fair? equal? why must we have maintenance standard? that would be a more fundamental goal.


Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 06/06/2018 09:14:08

I think I already prioritised the order in my previous post.  Let us look at the finer details of the list in order.

1) A universal alliance and laws

Number one is for simplicity,  if we ever discovered intelligent life out there, our prime directive will be firstly to establish a communications ''link''.  We would establish communication by getting over the possible language barrier and befriend our new found friends.  We would then have to establish certain ''laws'' for our alliance.  Pretty standard procedure I would imagine.


2) To share knowledge

What goes around comes around, to share knowledge and technology stops unequal dictatorship.  The power is divided equally rather than a specific continent for example.


3)For all to be equal

Fairness is next to kindness, the green eyed monster cannot exist if things are equal.  Inequality is a form of legalised slavery , the poor picking up the scraps .


4) Universal maintenance standards

Speaks for itself really
What makes point#1 more important than point#2? etc.

What is the goal of the alliance and laws? We need to distinct the goal and the method to achieve the goal (may be we can call it intermediate goal).
Why do we have to share knowledge? why do we have to stop unequal dictatorship? why do we have to be fair? equal? why must we have maintenance standard? that would be a more fundamental goal.



The order is specific for first contact and the advancement of ''our'' friendship.  The point of an alliance is because , WAR , what is it good for? absolutely nothing . To share knowledge would not be a problem because ''we'' would never be in war against each other.  Two friends going fishing sharing tips.  Why have inequality?  Time is equal
As for number 4, care about our environment and it will care for us, simple logic.
 

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2018 17:56:54

The order is specific for first contact and the advancement of ''our'' friendship.  The point of an alliance is because , WAR , what is it good for? absolutely nothing . To share knowledge would not be a problem because ''we'' would never be in war against each other.  Two friends going fishing sharing tips.  Why have inequality?  Time is equal
As for number 4, care about our environment and it will care for us, simple logic.
 


good side of war : reduce population that consume limited resources. Have you seen Thanos?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Bored chemist on 06/06/2018 18:03:41
You seem to have mistaken this site for TheNakedWafflers.com
Were you planning to add something that looks a bit like science later or something?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2018 18:07:24
If this universal goal exist, then all organisms will try to achieve it. Conscious organisms will make plans to achieve it, because the plan can increase the probability to achieve target.
Plans work based on assumption that law of causality applies, otherwise, if everything happens at random, then there would be no point in making plans.
Another basic assumption which is necessary to get to a universal goal is that there is an objective reality. Otherwise there would be no cooperation among units of a system that tries to achieve that goal.
Perhaps some of you think that those two basic assumptions are so obvious as not to seem worth stating, but without them, I don't think we can go forward discussing this topic any further.
This reminds me of a Bertrand Russell quote
Quote
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell
(https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/bertrand_russell_107179)

We'll see if those basic assumptions will lead us to a paradox.
restating those basic assumptions in fewer words:
1. There is universe.
2. There are universal laws.

As for causality, it is necessary to assume that time exists. This entails that there are changes in things in the universe. Some are fast, some are slow.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2018 18:11:25
You seem to have mistaken this site for TheNakedWafflers.com
Were you planning to add something that looks a bit like science later or something?
This is more about philosophy, which is the precursor to science.
At some point I'll explain why we need to do science in the first place, on philosophical ground. So bear with me.
Spoiler: show

Some say that goal of science is to find the truth. But when that goal is achieved, then what?
Why knowing the truth (as well as other things such as love, fairness, joy, happiness, peace) is preferable? That is the topic we are going to discuss here.

Science is needed to build good models of the universe which are necessary to make good decisions and plans. It will reduce our chance to make false assumptions which lead to unexpected results. Here I'm going to show how I came to that assertions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 06/06/2018 22:58:19

The order is specific for first contact and the advancement of ''our'' friendship.  The point of an alliance is because , WAR , what is it good for? absolutely nothing . To share knowledge would not be a problem because ''we'' would never be in war against each other.  Two friends going fishing sharing tips.  Why have inequality?  Time is equal
As for number 4, care about our environment and it will care for us, simple logic.
 


good side of war : reduce population that consume limited resources. Have you seen Thanos?
You said universal utopia ,therefore over population would move to an empty planet. No need to kill them off .
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2018 23:22:27

The order is specific for first contact and the advancement of ''our'' friendship.  The point of an alliance is because , WAR , what is it good for? absolutely nothing . To share knowledge would not be a problem because ''we'' would never be in war against each other.  Two friends going fishing sharing tips.  Why have inequality?  Time is equal
As for number 4, care about our environment and it will care for us, simple logic.
 


good side of war : reduce population that consume limited resources. Have you seen Thanos?
You said universal utopia ,therefore over population would move to an empty planet. No need to kill them off .
I just pointed out a counter example to your assertion. War is inevitable when a population doesn't manage their use of available resource to the point of overusage. Except, we can generate new resources at higher rate than population growth. Even if war doesn't happen, some of the population will die anyway due to lack of resources.
Btw, what good is fishing for?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/06/2018 14:04:09
Here I'd like to build a strong argument on an ultimate goal. That's why I first need to put fundamental basic assumptions with as strong as possible supports. From there, I'll carefully add more arguments on top of it, layer by layer until nothing can be logically added anymore, which means I would have arrived to the ultimate goal.
Then I'll use that result to justify (or dismiss) preferences or intermediate goals as mentioned in previous posts, based on their projected effects they have to the achievement of ultimate goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 07/06/2018 14:23:28

I just pointed out a counter example to your assertion. War is inevitable when a population doesn't manage their use of available resource to the point of overusage. Except, we can generate new resources at higher rate than population growth. Even if war doesn't happen, some of the population will die anyway due to lack of resources.
Btw, what good is fishing for?

But isn't what you are discussing more based on planetary means of support rather that Universally supported?
Hence your title says one thing, but then in the next breath you dismiss your title so then your notions are based with boundaries/limitations. 
In my opinion your ''model'' and good piece of science, needs an A and B version to apply for both situations.  The obvious is a box can only get so full, where if there is lots of empty boxes that is a different situation.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/06/2018 15:13:54
restating those basic assumptions in fewer words:
1. There is universe.
2. There are universal laws.

As for causality, it is necessary to assume that time exists. This entails that there are changes in things in the universe. Some are fast, some are slow.
A lot of changes seem to be chaotic, such as explosions, collisions, random mutations. Though some changes may seem to be orderly/repetitive, such as planetary orbits, seasons, tides, etc., but in the long run, they seem to be chaotic as well.
Lifeless things tend to break down, which means that their configuration change to become less ordered.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/06/2018 15:27:32
But isn't what you are discussing more based on planetary means of support rather that Universally supported?Hence your title says one thing, but then in the next breath you dismiss your title so then your notions are based with boundaries/limitations. In my opinion your ''model'' and good piece of science, needs an A and B version to apply for both situations.  The obvious is a box can only get so full, where if there is lots of empty boxes that is a different situation.
I just wanted to keep in touch with reality. Science has shown that there exist abundant resources in the universe, but they are mostly unreachable (yet). Hence population growth should be managed according to reachable resources at that moment.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 07/06/2018 15:40:15
Hence population growth should be managed according to reachable resources at that moment.
That is true, the world should incur a population growth limit , where a family consists of two parents and one child.  This 'order'' will effectively decrease the population on death to birth ratio.

2+1=3

3 - 2 = 1

We lose two gain one. Nobody has to be killed off .

1 year of no births , 131.4 million births per year

reduces the population at  55.3 million people die each year + 131.4 million births per year

In a 5 year ''plan''

276.5 million reduction if we had a no baby rule enforced .

Reverse engineering as such .

I have ''knocked'' you up a chart.


* growth chart.jpg (31.52 kB . 848x652 - viewed 5288 times)

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2018 13:13:19
Lifeless things tend to break down, which means that their configuration change to become less ordered.
The breakdowns are usually caused by changes in the environment.
Their configuration will have better chance to survive if they can duplicate/self replicate, i.e. induce their environment to replicate their configuration, hence creating backups. So even if the original copy does break down, some of its duplicates might survive.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 08/06/2018 13:59:16
Lifeless things tend to break down, which means that their configuration change to become less ordered.
The breakdowns are usually caused by changes in the environment.
Their configuration will have better chance to survive if they can duplicate/self replicate, i.e. induce their environment to replicate their configuration, hence creating backups. So even if the original copy does break down, some of its duplicates might survive.
Interesting,  that is a concept that grabs attention.  Would the surviving duplicates still be aware and have the same memory as their previous version?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2018 15:41:58
Quote
   Interesting,  that is a concept that grabs attention.  Would the surviving duplicates still be aware and have the same memory as their previous version?   
awareness and memory will come later in evolutionary process. I was talking about the earlier phase of it.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 08/06/2018 16:09:53
Quote
   Interesting,  that is a concept that grabs attention.  Would the surviving duplicates still be aware and have the same memory as their previous version?   
awareness and memory will come later in evolutionary process. I was talking about the earlier phase of it.

Sort of reverse evolution to restart evolution ?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2018 16:17:33
The breakdowns are usually caused by changes in the environment.
Their configuration will have better chance to survive if they can duplicate/self replicate, i.e. induce their environment to replicate their configuration, hence creating backups. So even if the original copy does break down, some of its duplicates might survive.
Some copies may be disintegrated beyond recognition, but some other may get lucky changes which make them more resistant to harmful environment, or get better at replication.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 08/06/2018 16:24:34
The breakdowns are usually caused by changes in the environment.
Their configuration will have better chance to survive if they can duplicate/self replicate, i.e. induce their environment to replicate their configuration, hence creating backups. So even if the original copy does break down, some of its duplicates might survive.
Some copies may be disintegrated beyond recognition, but some other may get lucky changes which make them more resistant to harmful environment, or get better at replication.
Ouch , I have never been lucky , I might as well get digging an hole to disintegrate in.   :o
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2018 17:35:54
Quote
Sort of reverse evolution to restart evolution ?
No. I'm just doing a thought experiment: what would logically follow if my basic assumptions in previous post are actually true.
Some additional assumptions may be made along the way. Some may be implicit, hence taken for granted. I'll try to identify them all by making them more explicit.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 08/06/2018 17:38:07
Quote
Sort of reverse evolution to restart evolution ?
No. I'm just doing a thought experiment: what would logically follow if my basic assumptions in previous post are actually true.
Some additional assumptions may be made along the way. Some may be implicit, hence taken for granted. I'll try to identify them all by making them more explicit.
Of course it is a thought experiment, I was considering your thought in my answer. An interesting hypothetical situation.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2018 23:01:33
Quote
Some copies may be disintegrated beyond recognition, but some other may get lucky changes which make them more resistant to harmful environment, or get better at replication.
when there are more copies of those replicating things, they become part of the environment of each other. They will compete against each other for resources to create more copies of themselves.
Competition against modified copy of themselves may produce better version of them. Just look at alpha zero.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/06/2018 05:42:37

I think I already prioritised the order in my previous post.  Let us look at the finer details of the list in order.

1) A universal alliance and laws

Number one is for simplicity,  if we ever discovered intelligent life out there, our prime directive will be firstly to establish a communications ''link''.  We would establish communication by getting over the possible language barrier and befriend our new found friends.  We would then have to establish certain ''laws'' for our alliance.  Pretty standard procedure I would imagine.


2) To share knowledge

What goes around comes around, to share knowledge and technology stops unequal dictatorship.  The power is divided equally rather than a specific continent for example.


3)For all to be equal

Fairness is next to kindness, the green eyed monster cannot exist if things are equal.  Inequality is a form of legalised slavery , the poor picking up the scraps .


4) Universal maintenance standards

Speaks for itself really
What makes point#1 more important than point#2? etc.

What is the goal of the alliance and laws? We need to distinct the goal and the method to achieve the goal (may be we can call it intermediate goal).
Why do we have to share knowledge? why do we have to stop unequal dictatorship? why do we have to be fair? equal? why must we have maintenance standard? that would be a more fundamental goal.



What I meant by priorities is: Your highest priority is the last thing you are willing to sacrifice in order to get other things in the scope of discussed situation.
Quote from: Google dictionary
priority


/prʌɪˈɒrɪti/


noun




the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others.
"the safety of the country takes priority over any other matter"


synonyms: prime concern, first concern, most important consideration, most pressing matter, matter of greatest importance, primary issue More

"pioneering new forms of surgery should be a priority for the National Health Service"


•precedence, greater importance, preference, precedency, pre-eminence, first/highest place, predominance, primacy, the lead, weighting, weight

"the government's commitment to give priority to primary education"




•a thing that is regarded as more important than others.
plural noun: priorities

"housework didn't figure high on her list of priorities"

Let's take a chess game for an example. The priorities, in my opinion (sorted from highest) :
1. Checkmate the opponent's king.
2. Prevent checkmate on own king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Try to get #1. If it's impossible, try to get #2 (draw). If it's also impossible, try to get #3 by resigning.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/06/2018 11:22:33
It turns out that setting priorities could be tricky, even in a simple situation like playing a game. It can be set to be specific or general. Generally, end goal of playing a game is to win it. But it can also be set specifically, by the way you want to win the game.
If the game is just a tool to have fun, then winning it is no longer the highest priority.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/06/2018 16:15:18
Due to the vastness of the scope of this thought experiment, the storyline may split into different direction at several points along the way. Hence we will have to go back and forth to explore some branch story into detail, and then back to the main story line to continue the progress toward end goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/06/2018 18:03:24
Quote
  when there are more copies of those replicating things, they become part of the environment of each other. They will compete against each other for resources to create more copies of themselves.
Competition against modified copy of themselves may produce better version of them. Just look at alpha zero.
This scenario relies on implicit assumption that environmental changes never get severe enough to wipe out all copies of those self replicating structural things. For brevity, I will call this "self replicating structural things"    organism from now on. Feel free to suggest a better name.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 09/06/2018 18:20:24
Quote
Some copies may be disintegrated beyond recognition, but some other may get lucky changes which make them more resistant to harmful environment, or get better at replication.
when there are more copies of those replicating things, they become part of the environment of each other. They will compete against each other for resources to create more copies of themselves.
Competition against modified copy of themselves may produce better version of them. Just look at alpha zero.
Sort of meeting yourself right?

Myself would agree we are both as smart as each other.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 09/06/2018 18:22:07
Quote
  when there are more copies of those replicating things, they become part of the environment of each other. They will compete against each other for resources to create more copies of themselves.
Competition against modified copy of themselves may produce better version of them. Just look at alpha zero.
This scenario relies on implicit assumption that environmental changes never get severe enough to wipe out all copies of those structural things.
Well if we can build a house we could build a planet given the time.  Maybe there is a way to build like a botanical garden that is isolated .
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 09/06/2018 18:24:15
Let's take a chess game for an example. The priorities, in my opinion (sorted from highest) :
1. Checkmate the opponent's king.
2. Prevent checkmate on own king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Try to get #1. If it's impossible, try to get #2 (draw). If it's also impossible, try to get #3 by resigning.

  Option 4, stalemate.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/06/2018 22:45:49
Quote
This scenario relies on implicit assumption that environmental changes never get severe enough to wipe out all copies of those self replicating structural things. For brevity, I will call this "self replicating structural things"    organism from now on. Feel free to suggest a better name.
When all resources nearby have been depleted by copies of early organism, replicating ability doesn't work anymore. Until some copies develop ability to forcefully break down their relatives back into raw materials and use them to replicate themselves. Those were the first predators.
Necessary resources to make replicas may be scattered around a large area, which makes it laborious to collect them. One advantage of being a predator is that this activity can be skipped.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/06/2018 04:39:19
Let's take a chess game for an example. The priorities, in my opinion (sorted from highest) :
1. Checkmate the opponent's king.
2. Prevent checkmate on own king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Try to get #1. If it's impossible, try to get #2 (draw). If it's also impossible, try to get #3 by resigning.

  Option 4, stalemate.
I think stalemate is included in #2.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/06/2018 12:24:11
Quote
When all resources nearby have been depleted by copies of early organism, replicating ability doesn't work anymore. Until some copies develop ability to forcefully break down their relatives back into raw materials and use them to replicate themselves. Those were the first predators.
This creates arms race between predator and prey. There are new competitions, not only between predator and prey, but also among predators and among preys.
The arms race boosts development of weapon and armor, and some other features that give advantages, such as locomotion, sensory ability, responsiveness.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 11/06/2018 21:44:42
Quote
When all resources nearby have been depleted by copies of early organism, replicating ability doesn't work anymore. Until some copies develop ability to forcefully break down their relatives back into raw materials and use them to replicate themselves. Those were the first predators.
This creates arms race between predator and prey.
Why can't predator and prey get along ?

Is it just nature?

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/06/2018 10:28:23
Why can't predator and prey get along ?

Is it just nature?
predators who consume prey tend to survive better then who don't.
In the game of life, the reward is survival. The punishment is extinction.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/06/2018 11:30:56
Quote
When all resources nearby have been depleted by copies of early organism, replicating ability doesn't work anymore. Until some copies develop ability to forcefully break down their relatives back into raw materials and use them to replicate themselves. Those were the first predators.
This creates arms race between predator and prey. There are new competitions, not only between predator and prey, but also among predators and among preys.
The arms race boosts development of weapon and armor, and some other features that give advantages, such as locomotion, sensory ability, responsiveness.
Beside predatory behavior, organisms also develops in other direction, which is cooperation. It's true that there is strength in number.
The simplest form of cooperation can be seen when organisms with same genetic formation get together in the same place to form a colony. Some advantage from this behavior is that ratio of surface area per unit mass is decreased, which may lead to reduced threat and heat loss.
An individu of multicellular organisms is basically a colony of genetically identical cells with specific functions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 13/06/2018 16:02:30
Quote
When all resources nearby have been depleted by copies of early organism, replicating ability doesn't work anymore. Until some copies develop ability to forcefully break down their relatives back into raw materials and use them to replicate themselves. Those were the first predators.
This creates arms race between predator and prey. There are new competitions, not only between predator and prey, but also among predators and among preys.
The arms race boosts development of weapon and armor, and some other features that give advantages, such as locomotion, sensory ability, responsiveness.
Beside predatory behavior, organisms also develops in other direction, which is cooperation. It's true that there is strength in number.
Yes there is strength in numbers, 1+1=2 but also there is weakness in numbers because 1-1 = 0
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/06/2018 15:33:02
The simplest form of cooperation can be seen when organisms with same genetic formation get together in the same place to form a colony. Some advantage from this behavior is that ratio of surface area per unit mass is decreased, which may lead to reduced threat and heat loss.
The next step for cooperating more effectively is by splitting duties among colony members. Some responsible for defense, some for digesting food, etc. Though each cell are genetically identical, they can develop differently due to Gene activation by their surrounding.
This requires longer and more complex genetic materials in each organism's cell.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 03:39:33
This requires longer and more complex genetic materials in each organism's cell.
Longer and more complex code means harder to replicate correctly. Assuming that error rate is constant, having more data means more error.
At some point, it would be beneficial to have redundancy for those code storage, where the advantage for having a duplicate outweight the cost for additional resources to make it.
In computer world, we can see it in RAID technology. While in biology, we found it in diploid and polyploid organisms.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 06:44:08
The next step for cooperating more effectively is by splitting duties among colony members. Some responsible for defense, some for digesting food, etc.
Different environmental condition may lead to diverging ways of life, which require different genetic structure.
Cooperation may also happen between organisms with different genetic structure.
One of earliest known example is organelles in eukaryotic cells which is thought as result of endosymbiotic relationship.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 08:20:34
This requires longer and more complex genetic materials in each organism's cell.
Longer and more complex code means harder to replicate correctly. Assuming that error rate is constant, having more data means more error.
At some point, it would be beneficial to have redundancy for those code storage, where the advantage for having a duplicate outweight the cost for additional resources to make it.
In computer world, we can see it in RAID technology. While in biology, we found it in diploid and polyploid organisms.
Environmental changes and arms race among and between predators and preys pushed organisms to be better at what they do for a living.
Assuming that random mutation creates more harmful effect than beneficial ones, exchanging genetic materials may improve distribution of those beneficial Gene. It allows good genes acquired by different individual organisms to be accumulated in each cell of their offsprings.
This was the start of sexual reproduction.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 11:21:32
Assuming that random mutation creates more harmful effect than beneficial ones, exchanging genetic materials may improve distribution of those beneficial Gene. It allows good genes acquired by different individual organisms to be accumulated in each cell of their offsprings.
In arms race situation, slightly different changes may result in life and death situation. Slightly slower or slightly weaker may cost one's life. This amplifies the push to evolve to be the fittest.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 15/06/2018 11:28:43
Environmental changes and arms race among and between predators and preys pushed organisms to be better at what they do for a living.
Incentive is motivation .
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 15/06/2018 11:29:27
Assuming that random mutation creates more harmful effect than beneficial ones, exchanging genetic materials may improve distribution of those beneficial Gene. It allows good genes acquired by different individual organisms to be accumulated in each cell of their offsprings.
In arms race situation, slightly different changes may result in life and death situation. Slightly slower or slightly weaker may cause one's life. This amplifies the push to evolve to be the fittest.
Time contraction is a must.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 15:22:47
In arms race situation, slightly different changes may result in life and death situation. Slightly slower or slightly weaker may cost one's life. This amplifies the push to evolve to be the fittest.
Just like any other systems, organisms also consist of inputs, process, and output. They collect information from their environment, process it in internal system, and then do actions based on its output.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 15/06/2018 18:14:38
In arms race situation, slightly different changes may result in life and death situation. Slightly slower or slightly weaker may cost one's life. This amplifies the push to evolve to be the fittest.
Just like any other systems, organisms also consist of inputs, process, and output. They collect information from their environment, process it in internal system, and then do action based on it's output.

A bit like an internet bot would process the words then give a response. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2018 23:45:36
A bit like an internet bot would process the words then give a response.
Yes, that's also a system.
For biological systems, the inputs can be chemical compounds, physical property such as temperature, pressure, light. Those inputs are sensed by   sensitive part of organisms which  convert them into an internal process, usually electrochemical type. After interaction with other internal processes, some actions are done by actuator unit, such as chemical release, electricity, and movements.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: captcass on 16/06/2018 03:25:38
In an ideal universe, there would be no motion other than that of ourselves or other species.  Obviously this removes any concern about cosmic collisions.
Secondly the weather experience would not be random, it would be scheduled and conditions would never be too extreme, there would be a fine balance.
Also I would have a steady state entropy where the balance always remained an equilibrium.
Sounds kinda dull @Thebox. :)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 16/06/2018 05:37:52
Sounds kinda dull @Thebox. :)
And kinda wrong

Secondly the weather experience would not be random,
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 07:20:52
Those inputs are sensed by   sensitive part of organisms which  convert them into an internal process, usually electrochemical type. After interaction with other internal processes, some actions are done by actuator unit, such as chemical release, electricity, and movements.
In order to survive, organisms must have basic functions, I.e. finding food, avoid danger, reproduce. For sexual organisms, finding mates becomes crucial.
So they need the ability to distinguish objects in their surrounding and categorize them, so they can choose appropriate actions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 15:30:26
In an ideal universe, there would be no motion other than that of ourselves or other species.  Obviously this removes any concern about cosmic collisions.
Secondly the weather experience would not be random, it would be scheduled and conditions would never be too extreme, there would be a fine balance.
Also I would have a steady state entropy where the balance always remained an equilibrium.
Sounds kinda dull @Thebox. :)
In what way dull?  What the universe is doing is  imperative to survival.  Why look up at the sky worrying when we should be looking up enjoying? 
In life we find our own entertainment, the universal worry is not entertaining and a steady state universe would allow a sort of heavenly bliss where the only thing we are concentrating on is our own lives  .   The surroundings a script that does need to alter but can be played in by humans.  Consider the Zoo theory , it is all good as long as the zoo keepers look after us when needed.   What happens outside of the zoo is irrelevant, we would have the ultimate safety from the universal elements inside the zoo. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 15:33:07
So they need the ability to distinguish objects in their surrounding and categorize them, so they can choose appropriate actions.
Some organisms develop pain and pleasure system to tell if some circumstances are good or bad for their survival. They try to avoid pain and seek pleasure, which is basically making assumptions that pain is bad while pleasure is good.
Though there are times it could be a mistake to seek pleasure and avoid pain, mostly this rule of thumb brings overall benefits to the organisms.
Avoiding pain can prevent organisms from suffering further damage which may threat their lives. While seeking pleasure can help them to get basic needs to survive, such as food and sex.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 15:36:10
Sounds kinda dull @Thebox. :)
And kinda wrong

Secondly the weather experience would not be random,
We can still have wind, consider your room now, there is only you really moving in it.  The room is like a picture, we can move freely in the picture.  Hardly different to now except we could plan our days better because we would know 100% when sunny days happen.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 15:37:54
So they need the ability to distinguish objects in their surrounding and categorize them, so they can choose appropriate actions.
Some organisms develop pain and pleasure system to tell if some circumstances are good or bad for their survival. They try to avoid pain and seek to pleasure, basically making assumptions that pain is bad while pleasure is good.

Are you using google translate?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 18:52:49
Are you using google translate?
No. If you find my posts sound strange, perhaps because English is not my native language. Besides, I often use mobile device to type, with occasional connection problem. So I had to type and post quickly to save my core messages. Only then I reviewed and made corrections. That's why you can see that my posts often changed.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 19:06:40
So they need the ability to distinguish objects in their surrounding and categorize them, so they can choose appropriate actions.
Some organisms develop pain and pleasure system to tell if some circumstances are good or bad for their survival. They try to avoid pain and seek pleasure, which is basically making assumptions that pain is bad while pleasure is good.
Though there are times it could be a mistake to seek pleasure and avoid pain, mostly this rule of thumb brings overall benefits to the organisms.
Avoiding pain can prevent organisms from suffering further damage which may threat their lives. While seeking pleasure can help them to get basic needs to survive, such as food and sex.
Our bodies have a natural sense of feeling pain.  This is one of our survival mechanisms.  Feeling ''pain'' in the sense of loss is a strange emotion by us compared to feeling pain.  It is natural in humans to want to eat, if left hungry, humans will eat each other to survive. Sex is over rated and should be considered only in the process of creating families.  In reality a couple can enjoy each other, physical contact or other without having the sex part  Nowadays obvious we can use protection so it is not such a big issue when it comes to  population issues.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 22:50:03
Avoiding pain can prevent organisms from suffering further damage which may threat their lives. While seeking pleasure can help them to get basic needs to survive, such as food and sex.
To avoid pain experienced in the past as well as repeating pleasure, those organisms need some kind of memory storage. In biological systems, this is part of nervous system.
What is stored is basically a reconstruction of past experiences. In this reconstruction, it is necessary to create model of situations sensed by sensory system.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 23:01:42
Avoiding pain can prevent organisms from suffering further damage which may threat their lives. While seeking pleasure can help them to get basic needs to survive, such as food and sex.
To avoid pain experienced in the past as well as repeating pleasure, those organisms need some kind of memory storage. In biological systems, this is part of nervous system.
What is stored is basically a reconstruction of past experiences. In this reconstruction, it is necessary to create model of situations sensed by sensory system.
I thought memory was more related to magnetic storage?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 23:08:50
Our bodies have a natural sense of feeling pain.  This is one of our survival mechanisms.  Feeling ''pain'' in the sense of loss is a strange emotion by us compared to feeling pain.  It is natural in humans to want to eat, if left hungry, humans will eat each other to survive. Sex is over rated and should be considered only in the process of creating families.  In reality a couple can enjoy each other, physical contact or other without having the sex part  Nowadays obvious we can use protection so it is not such a big issue when it comes to  population issues.
If we start by analysing the behavior of already very complex system such as humans, we are likely amazed by seemingly illogical things. That's why I started the analysis from simpler systems.
From there it is easier to understand how complex behavior evolved, by scrutinizing their cost and benefits for the system.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 23:25:03
Our bodies have a natural sense of feeling pain.  This is one of our survival mechanisms.  Feeling ''pain'' in the sense of loss is a strange emotion by us compared to feeling pain.  It is natural in humans to want to eat, if left hungry, humans will eat each other to survive. Sex is over rated and should be considered only in the process of creating families.  In reality a couple can enjoy each other, physical contact or other without having the sex part  Nowadays obvious we can use protection so it is not such a big issue when it comes to  population issues.
If we start by analysing the behavior of already very complex system such as humans, we are likely amazed by seemingly illogical things. That's why I started the analysis from simpler systems.
From there it is easier to understand how complex behavior evolved, by scrutinizing their cost and benefits for the system.
Well interesting piezoelectric impulses can be shocking to a system.  I am not sure such a complex system scrutinises their cost or benefit to the system. Does the complex system even understand what price is given ? Evolving is one thing, understanding is another. Don't you agree?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 23:26:14
I thought memory was more related to magnetic storage?
There are many types of memory storage: mechanical such as punched card or gramophone disc, optical such as CD and DVD, or electrochemical such as biological nervous system.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 23:29:26
I thought memory was more related to magnetic storage?
There are many types of memory storage: mechanical such as punched card or gramophone disc, optical such as CD and DVD, or electrochemical such as biological nervous system.
The magnetosphere of atoms maybe?  Is it possible the atoms of our bodies or our brains magnetic field stores information?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 23:32:37
Well interesting piezoelectric impulses can be shocking to a system.  I am not sure such a complex system scrutinises their cost or benefit to the system. Does the complex system even understand what price is given ? Evolving is one thing, understanding is another. Don't you agree?
In the next few posts I will discuss what understanding really is.
Spoiler: show
It's a developed kind of modelling.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2018 23:36:38
Is it possible the atoms of our bodies or our brains magnetic field stores information?
I think so. But it's not the kind of memory that we usually think of.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 16/06/2018 23:41:05
Is it possible the atoms of our bodies or our brains magnetic field stores information?
I think so. But it's not the kind of memory that we usually think of.
But in discussing biological systems is that not discussing our own memory storage?   

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/06/2018 00:57:17
Environmental changes and arms race among and between predators and preys pushed organisms to be better at what they do for a living.
Assuming that random mutation creates more harmful effect than beneficial ones, exchanging genetic materials may improve distribution of those beneficial Gene. It allows good genes acquired by different individual organisms to be accumulated in each cell of their offsprings.
This was the start of sexual reproduction.
Multicellular organisms with specific function cells aren't practical to reproduce by replicating each fully formed cells. It's better to dedicate some of those cells to specifically function as reproduction organs. Since only some part of parent's cells replicate to produce offsprings, it is necessary that the offsprings start with smaller size than the parents.
Some parents' features are not developed yet in the newborns.
Hence it would be beneficial for some parents to take care of their young because it can improve the survival chances of the organism's structure.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 17/06/2018 01:03:10
Environmental changes and arms race among and between predators and preys pushed organisms to be better at what they do for a living.
Assuming that random mutation creates more harmful effect than beneficial ones, exchanging genetic materials may improve distribution of those beneficial Gene. It allows good genes acquired by different individual organisms to be accumulated in each cell of their offsprings.
This was the start of sexual reproduction.
Multicellular organisms with specific function cells aren't practical to reproduce by replicating each fully formed cells. It's better to dedicate some of those cells to specifically function as reproduction organs.
Sounds like some complex biology.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/06/2018 01:58:31
Sounds like some complex biology.
We have started from simplest system and slowly progressed to more complex ones. If you think there are something missing feel free to point it out here.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/06/2018 07:40:31
This was the start of sexual reproduction.
AFAIK, all complex multicellular organisms came from ancestors who reproduced sexually. Those who are able to reproduce asexually like parthenogenesis are known to be descendants of sexually reproducing organisms.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/06/2018 10:15:21
Those inputs are sensed by   sensitive part of organisms which  convert them into an internal process, usually electrochemical type. After interaction with other internal processes, some actions are done by actuator unit, such as chemical release, electricity, and movements.
Simplest form of processes connecting input and output are reflexes. They contain only a few  neural network layers.
As arms race going on, organisms develop more complex internal process with more layers of neural network system. They start to show instinct.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 18/06/2018 15:53:28
Those inputs are sensed by   sensitive part of organisms which  convert them into an internal process, usually electrochemical type. After interaction with other internal processes, some actions are done by actuator unit, such as chemical release, electricity, and movements.
Simplest form of processes connecting input and output are reflexes. They contain only a few  neural network layers.
As arms race going on, organisms develop more complex internal process with more layers of neural network system. They start to show instinct.
1 tB = ^2 tA  ?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/06/2018 22:32:35
Simplest form of processes connecting input and output are reflexes. They contain only a few  neural network layers.
As arms race going on, organisms develop more complex internal process with more layers of neural network system. They start to show instinct.
Instinctive behaviors are inherited genetically. In computer world, it is like Read Only Memory.
 It is crucial to have basic survival instincts according to organisms' ways of life. But some environmental changes happen frequently, which need some behavioral adjustment accordingly. It becomes impractical to store all possible required behaviors as instincts as organisms getting more complex.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/06/2018 22:57:56
Instinctive behaviors are inherited genetically. In computer world, it is like Read Only Memory.
 It is crucial to have basic survival instincts according to organisms' ways of life. But some environmental changes happen frequently, which need some behavioral adjustment accordingly. It becomes impractical to store all possible required behaviors as instincts as organisms getting more complex.
Some organisms developed additional information storage apart from their genes. Instead, it's part of their neural networks system, which is regarded as organisms' internal process. It's more flexible and can accommodate more quick and frequent changes.
It enabled learned behaviors, either from organisms' own experiences or taught by their parents.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 21/06/2018 12:18:58
Instinctive behaviors are inherited genetically. In computer world, it is like Read Only Memory.
 It is crucial to have basic survival instincts according to organisms' ways of life. But some environmental changes happen frequently, which need some behavioral adjustment accordingly. It becomes impractical to store all possible required behaviors as instincts as organisms getting more complex.
Some organisms developed additional information storage apart from their genes. Instead, it's part of their neural networks system. It's more flexible and can accommodate more quick and frequent changes.
It enabled learned behaviors, either from organisms' own experiences or taught by their parents.
Are you talking to yourself?

Interesting idea though I must admit.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/06/2018 23:31:25
Are you talking to yourself?

Interesting idea though I must admit.
I have stated my intention for starting this thread in previous posts.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/06/2018 17:43:23
Some organisms developed additional information storage apart from their genes. Instead, it's part of their neural networks system. It's more flexible and can accommodate more quick and frequent changes.
It enabled learned behaviors, either from organisms' own experiences or taught by their parents.
This neural information storage provided a new battlefield for  competition of replicating information. Since it controls behavior of organisms, competition among organisms became its proxy war.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: guest39538 on 23/06/2018 17:54:43
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.
Back to your opening post, the goals would be to evolve even further but keeping in touch with their natural environment and the reality that surrounds them.

For to seek knowledge is to evolve, to seek no-thing is nothingness.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/06/2018 01:36:25
Back to your opening post, the goals would be to evolve even further but keeping in touch with their natural environment and the reality that surrounds them.

For to seek knowledge is to evolve, to seek no-thing is nothingness.
Some people argue that natural world view inevitably leads to nihilism, which makes them seek refuge to the supernatural. Here I try to provide an alternative, by using as few as possible assumptions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/06/2018 23:26:31
This neural information storage provided a new battlefield for  competition of replicating information. Since it controls behavior of organisms, competition among organisms became its proxy war.
It also enabled organisms to navigate their surrounding, searching for food sources and shelter. Basically, they created spatial model of their environment and memorized it in their brain to be used later for their advantage.
Arms race push some organisms to improve their ability to model their surrounding . Improvements are made in sensory systems in form of higher resolution, depth and clarity. Information processing systems improved as well in form of processing speed, storage capacity, and deeper processing layers. The improvements continue until reaching point of equilibrium, where the benefits equal the cost of used resources.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/07/2018 23:39:26
Some parents' features are not developed yet in the newborns.
Hence it would be beneficial for some parents to take care of their young because it can improve the survival chances of the organism's structure.
It's necessary for those parents to have more than one child in each generation, at least on average. Otherwise, the number of their similar copies will be in a steady decline, and eventually lead to extinction.
This means that they will have siblings who grow together, which creates emotional bonds among them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/08/2018 23:16:36
This means that they will have siblings who grow together, which creates emotional bonds among them.
closely related individuals can create a group that will help them survive by giving advantages in acquiring resources and avoiding dangers.
But this also creates competition among groups, with the winners will end up having larger number of members.
Large groups require their members to coordinate effectively. First by identifying other members of the group and differentiate them from other groups' members. Next, by effective communication methods so each member can contribute to achieve common goals of the group.
Those things demand larger memory capacity, faster information process, and ability to express individual's intentions, such as by facial expression and vocalization.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/08/2018 11:58:43
Those things demand larger memory capacity, faster information process, and ability to express individual's intentions, such as by facial expression and vocalization.
More complex interactions among group members requires more complex expression, hence promoting the creation of language. Resource management requires concept of number and quantity.
Group members also need to resolve conflicts among them, thus pushing them to create social rules and basic morality.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/09/2018 13:04:31
More complex interactions among group members requires more complex expression, hence promoting the creation of language. Resource management requires concept of number and quantity.Group members also need to resolve conflicts among them, thus pushing them to create social rules and basic morality.
These developments require even more information storage. At some point, keeping them all internally is no longer practical. It promotes the use of external information storage.
It has the same working principle as internal information storage, which is reconfiguration of something to represent something else. Naturally, internal information storage can be found in configuration of neural cells. While external information storage can be found in drawings, statues, writings, and other artworks.
External information storages have some advantages, especially that they can be much more durable than internal ones, even can last much longer than their users' life time. They can also be accessed by many users, which help collaboration efforts.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/09/2018 13:36:24
Lifeless things tend to break down, which means that their configuration change to become less ordered.
The breakdowns are usually caused by changes in the environment.
Their configuration will have better chance to survive if they can duplicate/self replicate, i.e. induce their environment to replicate their configuration, hence creating backups. So even if the original copy does break down, some of its duplicates might survive.
Another way to prevent breakdowns is by protecting the configuration, which is essentially creating more conducive environment around the things to be protected. The protection techniques also evolve, along with the storyline of replication as described previously.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/10/2019 04:04:00
Let's take a chess game for an example. The priorities, in my opinion (sorted from highest) :
1. Checkmate the opponent's king.
2. Prevent checkmate on own king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Try to get #1. If it's impossible, try to get #2 (draw). If it's also impossible, try to get #3 by resigning.
I think I got the priorities wrong. Above were sorted by rewards.
It's impossible to achieve 1 while failing to achieve 2. Hence, if we take the possibilities into account, the correct priorities should be
1. Prevent checkmate on own king.
2. Checkmate the opponent's king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/10/2019 10:34:23
In an outline, increasing complexity of a system can be classified in to two methods, i.e. accumulating more parts around a point in space, and establishing communication methods to enable coordinated actions among different parts located at different points in space.
Examples of the first method: accumulating of genetic materials inside cell's nucleus, endosymbiosis, building of cities, library, data servers.
Examples of the second method: development of neuron and neural network, language (sign, spoken, written), electronic telecommunication, internet.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/11/2019 12:09:38
In my other thread i've argued that consciousness is a continuum ranged from 0 to infinity, whith rocks and Laplace's demon representing those lower and upper limits. Everything else lies in between, including viruses, plants and animals which occur naturally, as well as artificial ones like single loop process controllers, computer viruses, deep blue, alpha zero.
We can see that artificial consciuous agents are less attached to the hardware, while having more emphasize on the software. The hardware can be more easily replaced without changing their functionality. They are also easier to upgrade. Those agents can share the same hardware, but each of them can also lives in several hardwares at once connected in a network, such as bots in RTS games, trading bots, and bots employed to optimize process controls. They can also live in virtual machines, which in turn can be made of several interconnected hardwares.
But hardware attachments of naturally occuring conscious agents are not absolute either. Cells making up a human fetus can be completely replaced by other cells when it has grown up as an adult. The identity is only preserved by continuity of gradual changes.
Our common knowledge tells us that so far our consciousness has been progressing upward. It is unthinkable to suggest that we (currently existing conscious agents) must strive to reduce our consciousness level. It is also unreasonable to suggest that we must keep our consiousness level as it is now; at which point we should stop the progress? why so?
The only reasonable option that's left is to improve our consciousness level so in the future it should be higher than now.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/11/2019 12:57:55
Realized or not, humans and their ancestors have strived to improve their consciousness level. They provide the best affordable nutrition for their children. They also try to provide the best affordable education. They even try to improve the genetics of their children by selecting the best affordable spouses.
Currently their effort to improve the condition of their successors are limited in effectiveness, efficiency, accuracy, and precision. They can't always get what they want, and sometimes unwanted side effects are not avoidable.
If someday we find some methods to improve our condition effectively, efficiently, accurately, and precisely, what stops us from hacking our own body to get what we want and avoid what we don't want?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/11/2019 08:52:22
In my other thread i've argued that consciousness is a continuum ranged from 0 to infinity, whith rocks and Laplace's demon representing those lower and upper limits. Everything else lies in between, including viruses, plants and animals which occur naturally, as well as artificial ones like single loop process controllers, computer viruses, deep blue, alpha zero.
This unbalanced scale may make us wonder, why half of the scale (negative side) is left unoccupied? Is it possible for an agent to have negative consciousness? What does it means?
According to Wikipedia,
Quote
In mathematics, a negative number is a real number that is less than zero. Negative numbers represent opposites. If positive represents a movement to the right, negative represents a movement to the left. If positive represents above sea level, then negative represents below sea level. If positive represents a deposit, negative represents a withdrawal. They are often used to represent the magnitude of a loss or deficiency. A debt that is owed may be thought of as a negative asset, a decrease in some quantity may be thought of as a negative increase. If a quantity may have either of two opposite senses, then one may choose to distinguish between those senses—perhaps arbitrarily—as positive and negative. Negative numbers are used to describe values on a scale that goes below zero, such as the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales for temperature. The laws of arithmetic for negative numbers ensure that the common sense idea of an opposite is reflected in arithmetic. For example, −(−3) = 3 because the opposite of an opposite is the original value.
Thus by following the pattern, we can infer that agents with negative level of consciousness are those with non-zero potential/information processing capability, but somehow misled that effectively they become self destructive (or destructive to their peers or the bigger system they are being a part of), hence cancelling out that potential/capability.
Some examples come into my mind are mass suicidal group such as that's led by Jim Jones. Other examples include other religious groups who believe that end time is near and nothing they can do to prevent it. Fundamental nihilist may be included in this list.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/11/2019 11:38:50
I've also argued that consciousness is a multidimensional parameter. But we can make comparison among conscious agents by projecting its components onto time as one dominant axis, and measure how far ahead they can make and execute effective plannings.
Like any other systems, an agent can be broken down into three main parts: input, process, and output.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/OpenSystemRepresentation.svg/378px-OpenSystemRepresentation.svg.png)
Conscious agents get information from their inputs to build a simplified model of their current surrounding environment. The model is then processed by the system's core using some algorithm/function involving current inputs, memorized previous inputs, some internal/built in parameters, as well as current and memorized previous outputs.
An efficient system must use minimum resource to achieve target. One way to do that is by data compression. The agent's environment is continuously changing, hence the data from the input parts must also change accordingly. Memorized previous inputs then would accumulate from time to time. Without data compression, the memory would be depleted in no time.
Another way is by discarding unnecessary/insignificant data. Data that don't have impact to the result must be removed and overwritten in the memory.
Yet another way to become an efficient system is by resource and load sharing. A multicellular organim is basically a collection of cells that work together for common goals, which are to survive and thrive. They develop specialized tissues, which means some cells develop some functions to be more effective at doing some task while abandoning other functions to save resource and be more efficient. Not every cell has to be photosensitive, and not every cell has to develop hard shell to provide protection.
Quote
Multicellularity allows an organism to exceed the size limits normally imposed by diffusion: single cells with increased size have a decreased surface-to-volume ratio and have difficulty absorbing sufficient nutrients and transporting them throughout the cell. Multicellular organisms thus have the competitive advantages of an increase in size without its limitations. They can have longer lifespans as they can continue living when individual cells die. Multicellularity also permits increasing complexity by allowing differentiation of cell types within one organism.
The necessity of data compression becomes more apparent the higher the conscience level of the agent is. It's even become inevitable for Laplace's demon. Without data compression, all matter in universe will be used up as memory modelling the universe itself in current state, leaving nothing for input and output parts. Without input and output, an agent can not execute its plan.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: puppypower on 25/11/2019 12:24:11
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.
 

The only viable way to create universal utopia is from within oneself. If you wake up feeling refreshed and happy, then the world around you takes on a utopia character. If on the next day, you wake up tired and grouchy, the world has not changed, but your attitude has changed, thereby taking away the utopia of yesterday.

We cannot change the world in a way that satisfies everyone, regardless of everyones mood or their  desire du jour. There is not enough resources to satisfy everyone using external stimulus, since people vary so much. The only way to utopia is to help people find their own internal sweet spot; good day every day, so happiness can be found in the practical world of limiting situations.

This has been the goal of many religions. Jesus, for example, preached love since love can give one the internal rose colored glassed needed to see utopia. If you fall in love, the world becomes beautiful and life becomes easier and satisfying. The internal attitude decides if we see utopia, in the end. If you start to fight with your beloved, the neural chemistry changes and utopia is gone. Now you are in hell. If love returns and you make up, utopia returns. It is about creating the proper neural chemical brain environment, apart from external stimulus.

Be not conformed to the world, was a lesson by Jesus and Buddha, not to be too dependent on the external environment. The external environment can be used to push buttons for neural chemical happiness and utopia. However, this is short term. In the end, internal perception is what decides, whether we see utopia or not.  External things wear out, in terms of their button pushing power, so we will need a new, larger or different dosage to active the internal perception.

The mass mind of culture, which is driven by money and power, promises external button pushing happiness, is we buy the latest gadget, or vote for people who can bring us the latest utopian dream world. But these are short terms buzzes that do not last. The real goal of the mass mind are the external dream buttons of the rich and powerful, who need more and more resources and control to push their own buttons. It is a jungle of utopia addicts, in competition for limited external drugs of higher and higher costs. In the end, all that is needed is an inner attitude that exists apart from sensory reality, and is thereby not be limited, to short term external button pushing.

If you look at social media, this is a combination of internal and external button pushing. On the one hand it allows one to be anonymous so you can live a fantasy world for internal button pushing. It also about likes and hits for external button pushing. But there is also negativity as though utopia is zero sum game and one persons utopia takes away from another. With internal button pushing there is enough utopia for all. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: srhchn on 26/11/2019 09:00:14
Interesting theories over there got some new thoughts  :)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/11/2019 12:32:32
The only viable way to create universal utopia is from within oneself. If you wake up feeling refreshed and happy, then the world around you takes on a utopia character. If on the next day, you wake up tired and grouchy, the world has not changed, but your attitude has changed, thereby taking away the utopia of yesterday.

We cannot change the world in a way that satisfies everyone, regardless of everyones mood or their  desire du jour. There is not enough resources to satisfy everyone using external stimulus, since people vary so much. The only way to utopia is to help people find their own internal sweet spot; good day every day, so happiness can be found in the practical world of limiting situations.

This has been the goal of many religions. Jesus, for example, preached love since love can give one the internal rose colored glassed needed to see utopia. If you fall in love, the world becomes beautiful and life becomes easier and satisfying. The internal attitude decides if we see utopia, in the end. If you start to fight with your beloved, the neural chemistry changes and utopia is gone. Now you are in hell. If love returns and you make up, utopia returns. It is about creating the proper neural chemical brain environment, apart from external stimulus.

Be not conformed to the world, was a lesson by Jesus and Buddha, not to be too dependent on the external environment. The external environment can be used to push buttons for neural chemical happiness and utopia. However, this is short term. In the end, internal perception is what decides, whether we see utopia or not.  External things wear out, in terms of their button pushing power, so we will need a new, larger or different dosage to active the internal perception.
There are reasons why I used those words as the title of this thread.
The term universal is to emphasize that the goal is applicable universally, including for aliens and artificial lives.
The term utopia is to show that in my opinion, the goal is still unachievable in foreseeable future.

Focusing too much to internal state while neglecting external condition can be fatal. Just see drug addicts who hack their brain chemistry just to feel good and happy regardless their surrounding reality.

As I discussed in another thread, I think that feelings, love, happiness, sadness, pain and pleasure are tools to help us getting better chance to survive. Only survivors can think/contemplate retrospectively.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/11/2019 03:06:13
As I discussed in another thread, I think that feelings, love, happiness, sadness, pain and pleasure are tools to help us getting better chance to survive. Only survivors can think/contemplate retrospectively.
If we contemplate retrospectively, we'll see that we are here only because our ancestors have survived, reproduced, thrived, and evolved genetically as well as memetically. We can have this discussion because someone have discovered language, math, electromagnetism, invented transistor, computer, telecommunication, information technology, etc.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/11/2019 03:45:22
The necessity of data compression becomes more apparent the higher the conscience level of the agent is. It's even become inevitable for Laplace's demon. Without data compression, all matter in universe will be used up as memory modelling the universe itself in current state, leaving nothing for input and output parts. Without input and output, an agent can not execute its plan.
Regarding the incremental of consciousness level, I prefer to use the term "system" which is more general rather than the term "being" which brings individualistic nuance. Let's take a moment to think that elemental particles come close together to produce various stable atomic systems. Those atoms then come together and produce molecular systems. Some of those molecules then work together to produce biological cells. Some of those cells are working together to produce multicellular organisms. Some of those organisms are working together to produce societies with cultural systems.
The remarkable achievements of humanity are not because some individual humans have superlative abilities compared to other organisms. Instead, they are products of social collaboration which accumulated over time and generations.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/11/2019 03:52:16
Let's take a chess game for an example. The priorities, in my opinion (sorted from highest) :
1. Checkmate the opponent's king.
2. Prevent checkmate on own king.
3. Preserve time and energy.
Try to get #1. If it's impossible, try to get #2 (draw). If it's also impossible, try to get #3 by resigning.
I think I got the priorities wrong. Above were sorted by rewards.
It's impossible to achieve 1 while failing to achieve 2. Hence, if we take the possibilities into account, the correct priorities should be
1. Prevent checkmate on own king.
2. Checkmate the opponent's king.
3. Preserve time and energy.

When compared to chess analogy, the universal utopia can be paired as follow:
-  Preventing checkmate on own king is like preventing currently existing conscious system from extinction. This rule is universal for any consceivable conscious system.
-  Getting checkmate of the opponent's king is like getting a maximum consciousness level system. The maximum is infinite, hence the term utopia is used.
-  Preserving time and energy is just like preserving available resource to achieve the goals above more efficiently, hence improve the probability of achieving those goals.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/11/2019 06:52:59
In my other thread i've argued that consciousness is a continuum ranged from 0 to infinity, whith rocks and Laplace's demon representing those lower and upper limits. Everything else lies in between, including viruses, plants and animals which occur naturally, as well as artificial ones like single loop process controllers, computer viruses, deep blue, alpha zero.
This unbalanced scale may make us wonder, why half of the scale (negative side) is left unoccupied? Is it possible for an agent to have negative consciousness? What does it means?
According to Wikipedia,
Quote
In mathematics, a negative number is a real number that is less than zero. Negative numbers represent opposites. If positive represents a movement to the right, negative represents a movement to the left. If positive represents above sea level, then negative represents below sea level. If positive represents a deposit, negative represents a withdrawal. They are often used to represent the magnitude of a loss or deficiency. A debt that is owed may be thought of as a negative asset, a decrease in some quantity may be thought of as a negative increase. If a quantity may have either of two opposite senses, then one may choose to distinguish between those senses—perhaps arbitrarily—as positive and negative. Negative numbers are used to describe values on a scale that goes below zero, such as the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales for temperature. The laws of arithmetic for negative numbers ensure that the common sense idea of an opposite is reflected in arithmetic. For example, −(−3) = 3 because the opposite of an opposite is the original value.
Thus by following the pattern, we can infer that agents with negative level of consciousness are those with non-zero potential/information processing capability, but somehow misled that effectively they become self destructive (or destructive to their peers), hence cancelling out that potential/capability.
Some examples come into my mind are mass suicidal group such as that's led by Jim Jones. Other examples include other religious groups who believe that end time is near and nothing they can do to prevent it. Fundamental nihilist may be included in this list.
In another thread I argued that moral rules are created to prevent negative effect of conscious agents inflicted to other conscious agents. I think it could be improved to be a more accurate statement. Moral rules are created to prevent negative effect of conscious agents inflicted to larger systems that they are being a part of. Hence there would be moral rules to protect family systems, tribal systems, regional systems, cultural systems, national systems, international systems, and finally a universal system.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/11/2019 07:10:54
The remarkable achievements of humanity are not because some individual humans have superlative abilities compared to other organisms. Instead, they are products of social collaboration which accumulated over time and generations.
A significant portion of humanity's achievements in building high level conscious systems are no longer reside inside human body. A lot of accumulated knowledge are stored in datacenters connected to the internet. Inventors may not remember all the details of their inventions, but they are available somewhere in data storages. Lawmakers may not remember all currently applicable law in their jurisdictions.
In current state, humans are still the main knowledge generators, but the role of knowledge keepers and distributors are continually shifted to computers with artificial intelligence.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/11/2019 02:46:02
A universal utopia, if there is one, would be classified as a meme. And just like any other memes, it will compete for its existence in memory space, whether in people's minds or computer's storage devices.
Universal utopia that I've described here is a believe system which needs to pass some sanity tests to be accepted by rational agents. I found an interesting essay while searching for philosophical razor
Quote
Here in the information age, you are bombarded daily with an avalanche of sensory data. Attempting to absorb this data all at once would be impossible, since humans have finite senses and the surrounding amount of information is, for all practical purposes, infinite. Thus, you must learn to program your mind with specific filters to repel unimportant parts of reality while paying attention to those segments of reality that can maintain or improve your well-being. These filters, or "razors", can let you cut through life's nonsense to reach the bottom line of any situation quickly. I would like to propose a triple-bladed mental razor that you can use to slash your way to a sense of certainty as you plow through life's offerings.

The first blade is "Rand's Razor", named after the famous novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. Rand's Razor simply states, "Name your primaries," which means "name your irreducible axioms." It holds the basic axioms of existence, consciousness, and identity as the standards by which to ponder or to reject any assertion. Any statement that attempts to deny any of these axioms must necessarily be self-refuting because all human knowledge implicitly assumes that "There is (existence)--something (identity)--of which I am aware (consciousness)." These axioms grant existence primacy over consciousness. In other words, consciousness is simply an awareness of external reality via the senses, not a power to control or alter external reality other than through bodily motions caused by an attached brain. Thus, no "spiritual" action such as wishing or praying can cause hurricanes to change course or cause water to change into wine. The axiom of identity, or "non-contradiction principle", holds that a given entity will possess a given nature under a given set of circumstances, and will possess no other nature under those circumstances. For example, a given item cannot be all black and all white at exactly the same time. Together, these three axioms can help you to slash off a whole category of false or useless ideas.

The second blade is "Occam's Razor", named after William of Occam (c. 1285-1349), the English monk and philosopher. He contended that, all other things being equal, the simplest explanation should be given the most consideration. In his own words, "It is vain to do with more what can be done with less." Those who receive daily exposure to the popular media need this razor to carve through the convoluted arguments made by politicians, lawyers, journalists, broadcasters, televangelists, "psychic hotlines", "business opportunities", and a host of other influences. If you are intrigued by Occam's Razor, I encourage you to investigate the broader field of informal logical fallacies, a list of which can be found on my web site. Together, Occam's Razor and a solid understanding of informal logical fallacies can forge a great scimitar to slash through the constant myths and outright deceptions foisted onto the public by misguided "leaders", business hucksters, and other folks.

The last blade of the triple-bladed razor is what I call "Robbins's Razor", named after world-famous peak-performance consultant Anthony Robbins. Robbins's Razor insists that, when faced with two or more possible beliefs about a situation, a person should purposely select the most empowering belief. In his book Awaken the Giant Within, he explores the impact of beliefs and the distinction between "empowering" and "disempowering" beliefs on human behavior. Put simply, an empowering belief helps a person to reach a desired goal, while a disempowering belief hinders a person's achievement of that goal. His book offers methods for collapsing disempowering beliefs and replacing them with alternative, empowering beliefs. Robbins uses a "table with legs" metaphor to describe beliefs, with the table top representing the "belief" and the supporting legs representing the sensory data that support that belief. By creating states of doubt about a belief, a person can begin knocking out the supports of that belief until the belief itself collapses. Simply collapsing a disempowering belief is not enough, Robbins argues. A new, empowering belief must be constructed in its place in order to re-route the neural associations permanently and thus prevent the return of the disempowering belief.

Robbins provides an example of an overweight person who possessed a disempowering belief that attempting to lose weight is a vain act and that vanity is a bad character trait. Thus, this man did not even bother doing more research on the matter of becoming thinner because he believed that doing so would reflect badly on his character. Some counseling revealed that this person did have at least a latent desire to lose weight. Robbins helped him to create doubt about the disempowering belief by asking questions such as, "What is stupid or ridiculous about this belief?" Eventually, the man formed a new, empowering alternative belief: "My body is a temple for my spirit, and I should honor my spirit by caring for its temple." As a result, he began a successful program of weight loss. While this example is very mystical in nature, it does convey the concept of distinguishing two types of beliefs and how to choose the more helpful of the two.

Although I find Robbins's Razor very useful, I contend that attempting to apply it without the aforementioned razors of Rand and Occam can lead a person to significant errors in thinking. If a person does use Rand's and Occam's Razors first, though, Robbins's Razor can serve as a valuable tool to hack through the mountains of negativity and self-helplessness that pound our world today. After all, if you can brush aside the many statements that violate laws of nature and rules of logic to get down to several equal possibilities, why would you want to pick the least empowering of the set? I cannot think of a good reason, at least not if I want to produce ongoing happiness and prosperity for myself. I suspect you will draw the same conclusion as you adopt this triple-action scalpel to excise the fetid gangrene that has infected the information age.
http://attitudeadjustment.tripod.com/Essays/Slash.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_razor

To answer Rand's razor, here are two assumptions used to construct the universal utopia believe system:
If this universal goal exist, then all organisms will try to achieve it. Conscious organisms will make plans to achieve it, because the plan can increase the probability to achieve target.
Plans work based on assumption that law of causality applies, otherwise, if everything happens at random, then there would be no point in making plans.
Another basic assumption which is necessary to get to a universal goal is that there is an objective reality. Otherwise there would be no cooperation among units of a system that tries to achieve that goal.
Perhaps some of you think that those two basic assumptions are so obvious as not to seem worth stating, but without them, I don't think we can go forward discussing this topic any further.
This reminds me of a Bertrand Russell quote
Quote
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell
(https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/bertrand_russell_107179)

We'll see if those basic assumptions will lead us to a paradox.
restating those basic assumptions in fewer words:
1. There is universe.
2. There are universal laws.

As for causality, it is necessary to assume that time exists. This entails that there are changes in things in the universe. Some are fast, some are slow.

To answer Occam's razor, we need some alternatives with equal explanatory power. I rely on other members of this forum to provide one.

To answer Robbins' razor, I can say that universal utopia is an empowering belief system. It provide us a universal goal worth pursuing, and that our efforts to get there are not in vain. Our successors depend on us to provide "giants' shoulders" so that they can see further into the future, just like we have been depending on our predecessors.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/11/2019 04:25:11
Speaking of philosophical razors, this one is particularly closely related to morality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor
Quote
Hanlon's razor is an aphorism expressed in various ways, including:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."[1]
Probably named after a Robert J. Hanlon, it is a philosophical razor which suggests a way of eliminating unlikely explanations for human behavior.

Some examples I can recall are:
- Human sacrifice of the Aztech to appease Gods and prevent natural disaster and give humanity life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture
- Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jephthah#Sacrifice_of_daughter
 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/12/2019 07:21:11
Speaking of philosophical razors, this one is particularly closely related to morality.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor
Quote
Hanlon's razor is an aphorism expressed in various ways, including:

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."[1]
Probably named after a Robert J. Hanlon, it is a philosophical razor which suggests a way of eliminating unlikely explanations for human behavior.

Some examples I can recall are:
- Human sacrifice of the Aztech to appease Gods and prevent natural disaster and give humanity life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice_in_Aztec_culture
- Jephthah's sacrifice of his daughter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jephthah#Sacrifice_of_daughter
 

If we think about immoral actions retrospectively, we can see that all of them are caused by ignorance. A lot of their perpetrators have incorrect model of reality, and consequently, they have incorrect order of priority list. Let's take ISIS fighter for example. In their world view, human life in this world is just a mean to determine their fate in the afterlife. Happines and suffering in this life are so insignificant compared to the next life. If only those were true, what they did really made sense, just like my previous examples.
Similar world view might be shared by Japanese kamikaze fighters during world war II, although they also made some different set of assumptions. NAZI made incorrect assumption that aryans are the finish product of evolution, and other races are inferior and just wasting resources.
In previous cases, a significant number of people share those world view. In some places, they may even be the majority. Now let's take a look at a case where most people judge as pure evil, such as Ted Bundy. It seems that he put his personal pleasure above all else in his priority list. There are some possible scenarios for this lack of higher priority goals. He might be a nihilist, who thought that nothing really matters, hence nothing to stop his efforts to fulfill his personal pleasure. Another possibility is that he was an adherent of a particular religion which promise forgiveness in a quick and cheap manner, thus no unwanted consequences was there to stop him.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/12/2019 07:52:03
Though it's repeatedly proven that AI can perform better than humans in many tasks that was previously thought impossible, it somehow feels reasonable to profess unwillingness to let ai take over control on the world from humans. First of all, trust is not to be given, it has to be earned. AI is just as good as the data it's been trained with.

It is baseless to assume that humans are the end product of evolution, at least in the current form. Yet most of us value humanity so high up in the priority list. There must be some reason why it is the case. Currently, the existence of known highly conscious system, including AI systems are dependent on humans who built, maintain and use them. If human suddenly extinct now, they will follow to stop functioning not long after.

We know that current human form requires a lot of support to survive. Most places in the universe don't naturally support human life, but that may gradually change in the future.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/12/2019 08:09:49
In another thread I've proposed a simplified definition of life
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life
To make productive discussion possible, we need to have useful definition of life. That definition must be broad enough to include (almost) all systems that commonly regarded as life, but at the same time specific enough to exclude (almost) all systems that commonly regarded as non-life. In other word, it must be balanced to minimize false negative as well as false positive cases.
I think the popular definition in Wikipedia above is too narrow, hence has high probability to get false negative case, such as the mule that was dicussed above. I prefer a broader definition than this, like "having the ability to duplicate genetic material with minimum support". I leave the definition of "minimum support" here to discuss.
Life as we know it requires certain condition to thrive. Most of them can't survive in the vacuum of space. Those who do survive change to survival mode, which make them unable to thrive.
Most life can only survive in very narrow spectra of conditions such as temperature, pressure, gravitational field, electromagnetic radiation, composition of elements/compounds. They can be viewed as environmental support.
Aside from those, humans require support from other organisms for food, photosynthetic organisms to supply oxygen, gut flora to help digestion, other human from opposite gender to reproduce, society to share resources, etc.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/12/2019 08:37:04
After setting the ultimate terminal goal/target, the next logical step is making plans to achieve that goal effectively and efficiently. Due to high complexity of the calculation to make correct decisions for the long term goal, the plan has to be broken down into smaller instrumental goals which have limited scope and time.
Due to limited available resources, we need to set priorities for those goals. It means that when they are in conflict among one another, the one with higher priority must be fulfilled first, which also means that the lower priority goals must be sacrificed. This priority setting is discussed extensively in morality study such as in various trolley problems.
Without a universal common goal, there will always be disputes about how the priority lists should be arranged, and morality can only be evaluated relatively. But in the end, only surviving conscious agents can do the evaluation, hence the universal goals will eventually be discovered, given adequate time for them to develop.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/12/2019 08:01:16
When moral rules are formalized by enforcement using reward and punishment, we get law.
Quote
law1
/lɔː/
noun
1.
the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.
"shooting the birds is against the law"
Quote
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law

When they involve collective/representative decision making, we get politics. In the past, those activities are limited by geographical barriers which makes political systems are tightly connected to the area under their influence. Technological advancements especially in transportation and telecommunication can break the geographical barrier to enable remotely controlled area such as greenland and hawaii.

Quote
Politics is a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, state or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to groups of members.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics

Quote
politics
/ˈpɒlɪtɪks/
noun
1.
the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.
"the party quickly gained influence in French politics"
2.
activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization.
"yet another discussion of office politics and personalities"

When the activities involve managing resource to achieve the goals of a system, we get economy.
Quote
economy
/ɪˈkɒnəmi/
noun
1.
the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.
"he favours tax cuts to stimulate the economy"
2.
careful management of available resources.
"fuel economy"

Moral, political, and economic efforts are parts of the more general efforts to achieve a system's goals, and they don't make sense in the long run except in the light of universal utopia. An extremely successful stamp collector AGI which I've mentioned in another thread can be taken as a clear example.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/01/2020 09:36:30
To answer Occam's razor, we need some alternatives with equal explanatory power. I rely on other members of this forum to provide one.
People have tried to answer the question on purpose of life by religions. Google's dictionary says that religion is closely related with gods.
Quote
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari includes humanism (which branches into liberalism, socialism, and fascism) and dataism as new religions. Do you agree with him? why so?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/01/2020 10:22:05
In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari includes humanism (which branches into liberalism, socialism, and fascism) and dataism as new religions.

In Homo Deus, the author concludes that humans get the advantage over other species by their ability to cooperate in large number through shared myths/invented stories. They started with tribal animism, and then developed into more complex religious systems by inventing gods. With scientific progress, people increasingly doubt the veracity of religious dogma due to discrepancies with scientific observations. They shifted to humanism that viewed humanity as the highest value. It turns out that this view was only practical because human brains were the best data processing available at that time. Futurists have already realized that humans in current form are not special and clearly not the most optimal data processor. They saw the more general pattern in historical progress which emphasizes in data processing capability, which he called dataism. The universal utopia that I've described here can be classified as dataism.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/01/2020 10:39:01
In his book "The Singularity Is Near", Ray Kurzweil describes the singularity as the answer to the meaning and purpose of the continual upheaval that he has witnessed at many levels.
Quote
I am not sure when I first became aware of the Singularity. I'd have to say it was a progressive awakening. In the
almost half century that I've immersed myself in computer and related technologies, I've sought to understand
the meaning and purpose of the continual upheaval that I have witnessed at many levels. Gradually, I've
become aware of a transforming event looming in the first half of the twenty-first century. Just as a black hole in space
dramatically alters the patterns of matter and energy accelerating toward its event horizon, this impending Singularity
in our future is increasingly transforming every institution and aspect of human life, from sexuality to spirituality.
 What, then, is the Singularity? It's a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid,
its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch
will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lives, from our business models to the cycle of
human life, including death itself. Understanding the Singularity will alter our perspective on the significance of our
past and the ramifications for our future. To truly understand it inherently changes one's view of life in general and
one's own particular life. I regard someone who understands the Singularity and who has reflected on its implications
for his or her own life as a "singularitarian."1
 I can understand why many observers do not readily embrace the obvious implications of what I have called the
law of accelerating returns (the inherent acceleration of the rate of evolution, with technological evolution as a
continuation of biological evolution), After all, it took me forty years to be able to see what was right in front of me,
and I still cannot say that I am entirely comfortable with all of its consequences.


He breaks down the evolution towards singularity into 6 epochs.

Quote
Evolution is a process of creating patterns of increasing order. ... I believe that it's the evolution of patterns that constitutes the ultimate story of our world. Evolution works through indirection: each stage or epoch uses the information-processing methods of the previous epoch to create the next. I conceptualize the history of evolution—both biological and technological—as occurring in six epochs. As we will discuss, the Singularity will begin with Epoch Five and will spread from Earth to the rest of the universe in Epoch Six.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fa/36/b2/fa36b2b6d6a0292c9d4e1becb5aaf95a.jpg)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Major_Evolutionary_Transitions_digital.jpg)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/01/2020 10:17:42
When the activities involve managing resource to achieve the goals of a system, we get economy.

Quote
economy
/ɪˈkɒnəmi/
noun
1.
the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.
"he favours tax cuts to stimulate the economy"
2.
careful management of available resources.
"fuel economy"

Moral, political, and economic efforts are parts of the more general efforts to achieve a system's goals, and they don't make sense in the long run except in the light of universal utopia. An extremely successful stamp collector AGI which I've mentioned in another thread can be taken as a clear example.

In modern time, when talking about economy, people often think about economic indicators.
Quote
An economic indicator is a statistic about an economic activity. Economic indicators allow analysis of economic performance and predictions of future performance. One application of economic indicators is the study of business cycles. Economic indicators include various indices, earnings reports, and economic summaries: for example, the unemployment rate, quits rate (quit rate in U.S. English), housing starts, consumer price index (a measure for inflation), consumer leverage ratio, industrial production, bankruptcies, gross domestic product, broadband internet penetration, retail sales, stock market prices, and money supply changes.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_indicator

But we must realize that those indicators are new construct which didn't exist/readily available a few centuries back.
Quote
An economy (from Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. Understood in its broadest sense, 'The economy is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use, and management of resources'.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy
To play a real time strategy games such as Starcraft, an AI as well as human player must solve economic problems. Ability to manage resources has also been observed in animals.
Quote
“The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind.”
The Descent of Man (Charles Darwin, 1871)
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118901/

With the rise of AI, especially potential advancement to AGI, many people worry about unemployment and growing income inequality. But let's not forget that getting a job is just an instrumental goal to have income, which in turn is an instrumental goal to get services from other people as economic agents, which in turn is an instrumental goal to get resources required to survive, such as food, clothing, housing, medical assistance, etc. There should be no obligation to fulfill those instrumental goals as long as the terminal goal is achieved. Some alternative instrumental goals I can think of e.g. Self sustained housings / artificial biosphere which recycle its resources such as water, carbon and oxygen using renewable energy. Tools can be made using 3D printing technology.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/02/2020 11:15:05
In modern time, when talking about economy, people often think about money. But before we continue, we must be aware of the difference between money and currency.
(https://cdn.wallstreetmojo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Money-vs-Currency-info.jpg)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/86/Money_flower.png/675px-Money_flower.png)
Taxonomy of money, based on "Central bank cryptocurrencies" by Morten Linnemann Bech and Rodney Garratt
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/02/2020 01:18:28
Following is the description of money by Wikipedia article.
Quote
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context.[1][2][3] The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment.[4][5] Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money.
From the description above, and the law of diminishing marginal utility, we can draw a conclusion that in a general term, money is a tool to help tracking balance of supply and demand.
Quote
The concept in cardinal utility theory that marginal utilities diminish across the ranges relevant to decision-making is called the "law of diminishing marginal utility" (and is also known as Gossen's First Law). This refers to the increase in utility an individual gains from increasing their consumption of a particular good. "The law of diminishing marginal utility is at the heart of the explanation of numerous economic phenomena, including time preference and the value of goods ... The law says, first, that the marginal utility of each homogenous unit decreases as the supply of units increases (and vice versa); second, that the marginal utility of a larger-sized unit is greater than the marginal utility of a smaller-sized unit (and vice versa). The first law denotes the law of diminishing marginal utility, the second law denotes the law of increasing total utility."[14]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marginal_utility#Diminishing_marginal_utility

This is in line with the etymology of money itself as follow:
Quote
Etymology
The word "money" is believed to originate from a temple of Juno, on Capitoline, one of Rome's seven hills. In the ancient world Juno was often associated with money. The temple of Juno Moneta at Rome was the place where the mint of Ancient Rome was located.[10] The name "Juno" may derive from the Etruscan goddess Uni (which means "the one", "unique", "unit", "union", "united") and "Moneta" either from the Latin word "monere" (remind, warn, or instruct) or the Greek word "moneres" (alone, unique).
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/02/2020 07:23:50
Here are some illustrations.
The air is very important for human life. Without it, human will die in a few minutes. But since it is abundant on most places where humans live, we don't have to spend money to breathe it.
In some places where breathable clean air is scarce, such as underwater environment, polluted places, we need tools to provide it. If we can't build the tools by ourselves, we ask someone elses to build them. That's when we need money to track the usage of resources to build the tools to provide us breathable air.

In physical currency, the money spender and receiver acts as distributed data processors who track the balance of supply and demand. This system rely on the assumptions that transaction actors don't change the amount of currency in existence. They don't create or destroy their own money.
In electronic transactions using banking systems, they are banks' data servers. In cryptocurrencies, they are crypto miners' computers.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/02/2020 11:25:00
By inventing money, human has increased the usefulness of resources by an ability to distribute them more effectively and efficiently.
A lot of resources have limited usefulness in time. They become spoiled not long after they are produced. If excess of production can not be distributed  properly, they will be wasted. So improved efficiency due to mass production couldn't be realized.

Inventors need resources to build their inventions. The money from financiers help redistribution of resources required by the inventions which produce more useful resources.

From an economic agent's perspective, borrowing or lending money can be seen as redistributing resources with themselves in different times. For example, if I borrow money to buy a car now, the future me needs to work harder to earn more money to pay for the price, plus some interest.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/03/2020 22:45:33
With the rise of AI, especially potential advancement to AGI, many people worry about unemployment and growing income inequality. But let's not forget that getting a job is just an instrumental goal to have income, which in turn is an instrumental goal to get services from other people as economic agents, which in turn is an instrumental goal to get resources required to survive, such as food, clothing, housing, medical assistance, etc. There should be no obligation to fulfill those instrumental goals as long as the terminal goal is achieved. Some alternative instrumental goals I can think of e.g. Self sustained housings / artificial biosphere which recycle its resources such as water, carbon and oxygen using renewable energy. Tools can be made using 3D printing technology.
The ultimate goal can be found by starting from an important thing that we think we must do, and then answer the question why we have to do it. Keep asking why to the answer iteratively until we run out of excuse. Often times it's helpful to also try to answer why not in each iteration, just to give us a more complete picture to the issue at hand.
This is similar to 5 whys method which is widely used in manufacturing process. The difference is that here we don't stop at any arbitrary number of steps.
Quote
Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.[1] The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question "Why?". Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The "five" in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_whys

Quote
Level 1 -- Why are you in business?
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. -- John F. Kennedy
Quote
Level 2 -- Why do I work?
Choose a job you love and never work a day in your life. - Confucius
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246847
Religious preachers insist that science can never answer the why question while admitting that it can answer the other questions. Some scientists even have followed suit and expressed that why question isn't a scientific question.
I'll try to show that this exception is baseless. At least, science has provided us methods to determine if some proposed answers to the why question are compatible with perceived objective reality. When they don't, we can reasonably reject them and then go to find some alternatives.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/03/2020 04:29:49
The ultimate goal can be found by starting from an important thing that we think we must do, and then answer the question why we have to do it. Keep asking why to the answer iteratively until we run out of excuse. Often times it's helpful to also try to answer why not in each iteration, just to give us a more complete picture to the issue at hand.

Every starting point will eventually lead to the universal ultimate/terminal goal for any conscious thinker. This comes with realization that any conceivable goal can be deceiving, except the thinker's own existence.

Decartes demonstrated by reductio ad absurdum, that if a thinker rejects its own existence, it leads to contradiction.

Quote
At the beginning of the second meditation, having reached what he considers to be the ultimate level of doubt—his argument from the existence of a deceiving god—Descartes examines his beliefs to see if any have survived the doubt. In his belief in his own existence, he finds that it is impossible to doubt that he exists. Even if there were a deceiving god (or an evil demon), one's belief in their own existence would be secure, for there is no way one could be deceived unless one existed in order to be deceived.

But I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I, too, do not exist? No. If I convinced myself of something [or thought anything at all], then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who deliberately and constantly deceives me. In that case, I, too, undoubtedly exist, if he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that the proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind. (AT VII 25; CSM II 16–17[v])

There are three important notes to keep in mind here. First, he claims only the certainty of his own existence from the first-person point of view — he has not proved the existence of other minds at this point. This is something that has to be thought through by each of us for ourselves, as we follow the course of the meditations. Second, he does not say that his existence is necessary; he says that if he thinks, then necessarily he exists (see the instantiation principle). Third, this proposition "I am, I exist" is held true not based on a deduction (as mentioned above) or on empirical induction but on the clarity and self-evidence of the proposition. Descartes does not use this first certainty, the cogito, as a foundation upon which to build further knowledge; rather, it is the firm ground upon which he can stand as he works to discover further truths.[35] As he puts it:

Archimedes used to demand just one firm and immovable point in order to shift the entire earth; so I too can hope for great things if I manage to find just one thing, however slight, that is certain and unshakable. (AT VII 24; CSM II 16)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito,_ergo_sum#Interpretation
We can continue Decartes' work by using this first certainty, the cogito, as a foundation upon which to build further knowledge. The advancement of science so far has given us the refined model of ourselves (human thinkers) with ever increasing accuracy and precision. It also offers plausible explanation on what we are made of, when and where we came from, how we emerge from basic chemical ingredients going through process of duplication, random change and natural selection.
It has shown beyond reasonable doubt that other human beings are slightly modified copy of ourselves (human thinkers), which means that their existence is the extension of our own. I have described this line of thinking in another tread.
Quote
For any true statement, there are infinitely many alternatives that are false.
Since the existence of the thinker is the only thing that can't be doubted, it must be defended at all cost.
Finally we get to the last question: how. There are some basic strategies to preserve information which I borrow from IT business:
Choosing robust media.
Creating multilayer protection.
Creating backups.
Create diversity to avoid common mode failures.

The existence of a thinker is subject to natural selection.
Thinkers who has backups tend to be better at survival than those who don't.
Thinkers who reproduce backups to replace the destroyed copies tend to survive better, otherwise, all of the copies will eventually break down.
Thinkers who actively protect their copies tend to survive better than those who don't.
Thinkers who produce better version of themselves at survival tend to survive better than who don't.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/03/2020 05:11:38
Historically speaking, humanity is just an accidental occurance in nature. How can this accident bring us something that is universal? Here I want to share an excerpt from Ray Kurzweil's book "The Singularity Is Near" which I think is relevant with the subject of our discussion here.
Quote
BILL (AN ENVIRONMENTALIST): On this human body version 2.0 stuff, aren't you throwing the baby out—quite literally—with the bathwater? You're suggesting replacing the entire human body and brain with machines. There's no human being left.

RAY: We don't agree on the definition of human, but just where do you suggest drawing the line? Augmenting the human body and brain with biological or nonbiological interventions is hardly a new concept. There's still a lot of human suffering.

BILL: I have no objection to alleviating human suffering. But replacing a human body with a machine to exceed human performance leaves you with, well, a machine. We have cars that can travel on the ground faster than a human, but we don't consider them to be human.

RAY: The problem here has a lot to do with the word "machine." Your conception of a machine is of something that is much less valued—less complex, less creative, less intelligent, less knowledgeable, less subtle and supple—than a human. That's reasonable for today's machines because all the machines we've ever met—like cars—are like this. The whole point of my thesis, of the coming Singularity revolution, is that this notion of a machine—of nonbiological intelligence—will fundamentally change.

BILL: Well, that's exactly my problem. Part of our humanness is our limitations. We don't claim to be the fastest entity possible, to have memories with the biggest capacity possible, and so on. But there is an indefinable, spiritual quality to being human that a machine inherently doesn't possess.

RAY: Again, where do you draw the line? Humans are already replacing parts of their bodies and brains with non biological replacements that work better at performing their "human" functions.

BILL: Better only in the sense of replacing diseased or disabled organs and systems. But you're replacing essentially all of our humanness to enhance human ability, and that's inherently inhuman.

RAY: Then perhaps our basic disagreement is over the nature of being human. To me, the essence of being human is not our limitations—although we do have many—it's our ability to reach beyond our limitations. We didn't stay on the ground. We didn't even stay on the planet. And we are already not settling for the limitations of our biology.

BILL: We have to use these technological powers with great discretion. Past a certain point, we're losing some ineffable quality that gives life meaning.

RAY: I think we're in agreement that we need to recognize what's important in our humanity. But there is no reason to celebrate our limitations.
. .

Quote
Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be our children.
—MARVIN MINSKY, 1995
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/03/2020 02:42:18
Here are some other interesting dialogues from the same book.
Quote
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM, 2 BILLION B.C. So tell me again about these ideas you have about the future.
FUTURIST BACTERIUM, 2 BILLION B.C.: Well, I see bacteria getting together into societies, with the whole band of cells basically acting like one big complicated organism with greatly enhanced capabilities.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: What gives you that idea?
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Well already, some of our fellow Daptobacters have gone inside other larger bacteria to form a little duo.221 It's inevitable that our fellow cells will band together so that each cell can specialize its function. As it is now, we each have to do everything by ourselves: find food, digest it, excrete by-products.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: And then what?
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: All these cells will develop ways of communicating with one another that go beyond just the swapping of chemical gradients that you and I can do.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Okay, now tell me again the part about that future superassembly of ten trillion cells.
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Yes, well, according to my models, in about two billion years a big society of ten trillion cells will make up a single organism and include tens of billions of special cells that can communicate with one another in very complicated patterns.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: What sort of patterns?
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Well, "music," for one thing. These huge bands of cells will create musical patterns and communicate them to all the other bands of cells.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Music?
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Yes, patterns of sound.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Sound?
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Okay, look at it this way. These supercell societies will be complicated enough to understand their own organization. They will be able to improve their own design, getting better and better, faster and faster. They will reshape the rest of the world in their image.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Now, wait a second. Sounds like we'll lose our basic bacteriumity.
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Oh, but there will be no loss.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: I know you keep saying that, but ...
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: It will be a great step forward. It's our destiny as bacteria. And, anyway, there will still be little bacteria like us floating around.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Okay, but what about the downside? I mean, how much harm can our fellow Daptobacter and Bdellovibrio bacteria do? But these future cell associations with their vast reach may destroy everything.
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: It's not certain, but I think we'll make it through.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: You always were an optimist.
FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Look, we won't have to worry about the downside for a couple billion years.
FRIEND OF FUTURIST BACTERIUM: Okay, then, let's get lunch.


MEANWHILE, TWO BILLION YEARS LATER . . .
NED LUDD: These future intelligences will be worse than the textile machines I fought back in 1812. Back then we had to worry about only one man with a machine doing the work of twelve. But you're talking about a marble-size machine outperforming all of humanity.
RAY: It will only outperform the biological part of humanity. In any event, that marble is still human, even if not biological.
NED: These superintelligences won't eat food. They won't breathe air. They won't reproduce through sex....So just how are they human?
RAY: We're going to merge with our technology. We're already starting to do that in 2004, even if most of the machines are not yet inside our bodies and brains. Our machines nonetheless extend the reach of our intelligence. Extending our reach has always been the nature of being human.
NED: Look, saying that these superintelligent nonbiological entities are human is like saying that we're basically bacteria. After all, we're evolved from them also.
RAY: It's true that a contemporary human is a collection of cells, and that we are a product of evolution, indeed its cutting edge. But extending our intelligence by reverse engineering it, modeling it, simulating it, reinstantiating it on more capable substrates, and modifying and extending it is the next step in its evolution. It was the fate of bacteria to evolve into a technology-creating species. And it's our destiny now to evolve into the vast intelligence of the Singularity.

Currently, we are the only known living conscious agents capable of discovering their own origin, and starting to modify their own body to meet desired conditions. From our point of view, our ancestors with many different forms from many different geological periods are useful as the precursors to our existence. From the point of view of our future descendants, our purpose as their precursors are providing them with knowledge, wisdom, and appropriate environment to achieve the universal ultimate/terminal goal, which is often called singularity in Kurzweil's book.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/04/2020 03:17:51
Here are some possible scenarios that I can think of. Feel free to add another possible scenarios.
1. An apocalyptic event will happen very soon, nothing we can do to stop it. Human will extinct and everything we do/have done won't matter.
2. An apocalyptic event will happen some time later, but humanity's response is too slow. Human will extinct and everything we do won't matter.
3. An apocalyptic event will happen some time later, but humanity's response is adequate. Humans evade extinction and continue to thrive and evolve to be better at survival.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2020 16:59:01
I've read a quote saying that science is not about knowing how things may be, but knowing how things may not be otherwise.
I can't recall who said that, and google search doesn't seem to help.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/05/2020 13:53:05
I've read a quote saying that science is not about knowing how things may be, but knowing how things may not be otherwise.
I can't recall who said that, and google search doesn't seem to help.
The first part of that quote is hypothesis, while the next is theory.
So, to make it more scientific, I need to show that the universal ultimate goal has no credible alternative.
I'll start with the most significant bits of alternatives, which is the assumption that there is no such thing as universal ultimate goal. If that is the case, then everyone will simply follow their instinct with no long term preferred state called ultimate goal. Natural selection will then work to make those who have preference for survival and improve their survivability more likely to stay exist, while driving those who don't towards extinction. We just can't escape from anthropic principle.

Previously I've distinghuished between ultimate goal and instrumental goal.   
https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Terminal_value
Quote
A terminal value (also known as an intrinsic value) is an ultimate goal, an end-in-itself.

Terminal values stand in contrast to instrumental values (also known as extrinsic values), which are means-to-an-end, mere tools in achieving terminal values. For example, if a given university student studies merely as a professional qualification, his terminal value is getting a job, while getting good grades is an instrument to that end. If a (simple) chess program tries to maximize piece value three turns into the future, that is an instrumental value to its implicit terminal value of winning the game.

Some values may be called "terminal" merely in relation to an instrumental goal, yet themselves serve instrumentally towards a higher goal. However, in considering future artificial general intelligence, the phrase "terminal value" is generally used only for the top level of the goal hierarchy of the AGI itself: the true ultimate goals of the system; but excluding goals inside the AGI in service of other goals, and excluding the purpose of the AGI's makers, the goal for which they built the system.

If a conscious agent can reliably achieve its instrumental goals while continuously improve their ability to survive (including increasing its own consciousness level), it will eventually realize its ultimate goal. With increasing consiousness level, it will gradually lose subjectivity and gain objectivity to get closer to the universal ultimate goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2020 03:28:24
Here is the truth table for universal terminal goal.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=71347.0;attach=30734)
1 in the left column means that there is something called a goal, while 0 means denial of it.
The middle column classifies the goals in time domain. 1 means there are terminal goals, while 0 means all goals are temporary/instrumental.
The right column classifies the goals in spatial domain. 1 means there are universal goals, while 0 means all goals are partial.
x in the bottom row means that their values are meaningless, since the existence of goals have already been denied.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2020 03:54:46
Here is the truth table for universal terminal goal.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=71347.0;attach=30734)
1 in the left column means that there is something called a goal, while 0 means denial of it.
The middle column classifies the goals in time domain. 1 means there are terminal goals, while 0 means all goals are temporary/instrumental.
The right column classifies the goals in spatial domain. 1 means there are universal goals, while 0 means all goals are partial.
x in the bottom row means that their values are meaningless, since the existence of goals have already been denied.
Those who take the position of the first row think that there exist a universal terminal goal.
Those who take the position of the second row think that there exist some terminal goals, but they vary between different parts of the universe.
Those who take the position of the third row think that there exist a universal goal, but they change with time.
Those who take the position of the fourth row think that there exist some goals, but none of them are terminal nor universal.
Those who take the position of the fifth row think that goals simply don't exist.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2020 22:41:32
I don't think there are sane and honest person who take the fifth position. It can be refuted by simply showing a goal, even if it's not terminal nor universal. The only possibility for this position is if the universe is devoid of conscious being. If a conscious being takes this position, it denies its own existence, which is absurd.

Fourth position maintains that every goal is temporary/instrumental and local/subjective. It can be dismissed by showing that there exist a terminal goal or a universal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/05/2020 10:23:41
Third position accepts that there is a universal goal, but rejects the existence of a terminal goal. It follows that the universal goal, if ever be identified, is just instrumental. It would be absurd to say that a goal is just instrumental without identifying its terminal goal.
Second position accepts that there are terminal goals, but rejects the existence of a universal goal. It says that many objects have their own terminal goals, but none of them is universal. Even with given infinite amount of time, no conscious being can have adequate objectiveness to identify a universal goal. Problem arise when there are more than one conscious beings have their terminal goals in conflict with each other. How to resolve the order of priority among them?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/06/2020 00:29:19
After we get to the first position, which says that there exist a universal terminal goal, the next step is to identify what it is, and what it is not. We can start by examining the definition of those words.
The word goal in this context means a preferred state in the future (when it is being set). If it's not a preferred state, it's not a goal. If the state is not in the future, it's not a goal either. So, only conscious being can have a goal, because non-conscious beings can't have preference. Only conscious beings have the capability to build a mental model of future states.
Non-conscious objects can't have a goal by themselves. Only conscious beings can assign goals to them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/06/2020 04:30:06
The words universal and terminal put additional constraints to the goal that we are looking for. Universal means that the goal must be compatible with any entity which can have a goal. It should not be limited by arbitrary constrains, including the identity of the conscious being, such as race, gender, age, nationality, species, life form.
The word terminal means that the goal must be intended to be achieved at later time than its alternatives, which are instrumental goals. So the universal terminal goal should be viewed from the perspective of the last conscious being.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2020 05:06:45
We see that consciousness plays central role in the discussion about universal terminal goal. So the next step must be how to define consciousness in this context. I have posted my thought about consciousness in other threads such as here:
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg559597#msg559597
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg565226#msg565226
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg582939#msg582939
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg585520#msg585520
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg591376#msg591376
What I mean with multidimensionality of consciousness is analogous to multidensionality of intelligence, which can be broken down to several parameters, such as verbal, numerical, spatial, and memory strength. Some people with  similar intelligence level may have different strength and weakness in those parameters. The final assessment thus depends on the formula or algorithm used to combine those parameters into a single value useful to compare intelligence, at least in relative scale.
The measure of general consciousness of an agent is its effectiveness to achieve long term goals. Many ways can be used, including increasing the input resolution, additional sensing methods, increasing memory capacity and data processing speed, having self error correcting mechanism, influencing other agents to help the cause, manipulating its environments, etc. Since the measure will contain a lot of uncertainty, then the result will be statistical in nature, instead of deterministic one.
So the key parameter for consciousness is the accuracy of internal model of the agent in representing parts objective reality which have significant impact to the achievement of the agent's goal in the long term.
The result of the general consciousness assessment of an agent is not used to justify right or priviledge of that agent, but instead to select appropriate set of moral rules which they can follow/obey effectively and efficiently to achieve desired results in the long term. Simply put, with great power comes great responsibility.
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=75380.msg592256#msg592256


https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-purpose/201902/what-actually-is-thought-and-how-is-information-physical
Quote
Google the word “thought” and you will find this uninformative, circular definition: “an idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “think” in a similarly unhelpful way: “to form or have in the mind.” But what actually is a thought?

A thought is a representation of something. A representation is a likeness—a thing that depicts another thing by having characteristics that correspond to that other thing. For example, a picture, image, imprint or mold of an object is a representation of that object.

Quote
Modern information theory has taught us that information is a physical entity. Rolf Landauer, an IBM physicist, stated the case:

"Information is not an abstract entity but exists only through a physical representation, thus tying it to all the restrictions and possibilities of our real physical universe” “Information is inevitably inscribed in a physical medium."2

Elsewhere, Landauer explained further:

"Information is not a disembodied abstract entity; it is always tied to a physical representation. It is represented by engraving on a stone tablet, a spin, a charge [i.e. of elementary particles such as electrons], a hole in a punched card, a mark on paper, or some other equivalent."3

So too, no thought can occur without its neural substrate.

Quote
A map is an analog of the environment it is depicting—it corresponds to it. An analog is something that is similar to, or comparable to, something else either in general or in some specific detail. Maps can be regarded as a form of analogy-making (‘A’ is to ‘B’ as ‘X’ is to ‘Y’).

Cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter and psychologist Emmanuel Sander suggest that all thoughts are built from analogy-making. They propose that categorization through analogy-making is “the driving force behind all thought.”4 Our brains detect similarities or correspondences between newly and previously encountered situations, enabling the application of previously learned information to the new situation. “The very essence of an analogy is that it maps some mental structure onto another mental structure.”5

Quote
The sense of self begins with the nervous system’s map of its own body

The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio proposed a model for how the self emerges in gradations, in organisms of increasing evolutionary complexity. According to this model, a simple organism develops a rudimentary form of ‘self-awareness’ by forming a map of its body and its position in the physical space it occupies. Damasio calls the most basic representation of self the protoself—a nonconscious state that many species may have. It’s a very basic level of awareness comprised of neural patterns representing or mapping the body's physical structure.11

Quote
In summary: Information is physical and relational, and we are networks of information

Thoughts are not ethereal. They are representations of matter and are encoded in matter. They have shape and weight. Abstract ideas are analogically built from more concrete sensory representations. The sense of self is built from self-representations. Thoughts are forms of information, and all information is physical and relational. It ‘feels’ like something to ‘have’ a thought and to ‘be’ a self because we are that information, recursively reflecting on itself in an infinite regress.11
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/06/2020 07:28:36
To demonstrate that consiousness is a continuous parameter, we can use a thought experiment. Take a human subject which we can all agree that he/she is a conscious being. Destroy one neuron out of billions that exist in the brain, and then ask if he/she is still conscious. Repeat the experiment until we all agree that he/she is not conscious.
The experiment will most likely give different result for different researchers, depending on their assumed threshold of consciousness level. It may also depend on the order of the neuron destruction.
We can find a similar situation in determining adulthood. At which point in your life you change from a kid into an adult?
Humans grow from a zygot into an embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, kid, adult, elderly. At which point it turns from non-conscious thing into a conscious being?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/06/2020 06:44:04
To demonstrate that consiousness is a continuous parameter, we can use a thought experiment. Take a human subject which we can all agree that he/she is a conscious being. Destroy one neuron out of billions that exist in the brain, and then ask if he/she is still conscious. Repeat the experiment until we all agree that he/she is not conscious.
The experiment will most likely give different result for different researchers, depending on their assumed threshold of consciousness level. It may also depend on the order of the neuron destruction.
We can find a similar situation in determining adulthood. At which point in your life you change from a kid into an adult?
Humans grow from a zygote into an embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, kid, adult, elderly. At which point it turns from non-conscious thing into a conscious being?
This realization brings us to next question: what factors can contribute to the increase and decrease of consciousness?
We can revisit the thought experiment and imagine following situations:
- At some point, destroying one neuron doesn't change any measurable effect.
- At some point, destroying one neuron makes the human subject lose some memory.
- At some other point, he/she may lose some ability for numerical processing, verbal processing, or spatial processing.
- Other abilities that may be lost at some point of the experiment are sensing (visual, audio, touch, taste, balance), motoric (such as moving a finger, arm, leg, blinking, breathing, hartbeating), acquired skill (swimming, bicycling, driving, juggling, singing, dancing, writing, coding, playing chess).
- At some point the human subject may stop thinking, and eventually dead at the end of the experiment.

I think we can safely argue that losing some of those abilities reduces consciousness of the human subject. On the other hand, restoring those abilities also restores consciousness, even if the method used to restore it doesn't make the brain structure exactly the same as before the experiment. If the experiment is continued to add some new ability which was not exist in the original human subject (e.g. seeing in infrared spectra, performing one arm push up, translating Chinese, computing advanced Algebra), we can say that his/her consciousness has increased.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: alancalverd on 16/06/2020 11:43:23
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.
In a word, no.

Assuming we are talking about living organisms in real or realistic environments:

Life is about transpiration, respiration, combustion, synthesis, whatever. There must be a defining chemical process.
If the organism is distinct from its environment, which we can assume to be passive and lifeless for the sale of simplicity, then the organism achieves homeostasis or function by extracting energy and material from its environment.
So the environment must in the first instance be friendly and conducive to life, and the organism cannot therefore be independent of it.
All living organisms expel waste from their chemical processes, and the waste, by definition, is not friendly and conducive to life.
So an organism in a finite environment will eventually exhaust the resources it needs to live, and fill the environment with toxins.

You can get somewhere towards Utopia in a closed biosphere. Not sure if they are still available for sale but essentially they consisted of a globe containing water, an aquatic plant, air, and a shrimp. As long as the sun shines and the globe can lose heat to the environment (including radiating heat into space) the shrimp and the seaweed can in principle live for ever. But they are still dependent on getting the right amount of sunshine and not overheating, so not actually independent of environment.

Evolution is about adaptation to an environmental niche. On a geological or astronomical timescale, there are no stable niches, so no single Utopia.

That said, a colleague from Sierra Leone once asked me what was good about living in Essex. I said it was the sunniest county in Britain but too cold for mosquitoes. He said "sounds like Utopia". So if you like jellied eels, Maldon beer and tribute bands (and who doesn't?) there's a close approximation for you.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/06/2020 05:20:35
In a word, no.
It looks like you are jumping in to conclusion here.

I've tried to scrutinized logically possible position regarding the existence of universal terminal goal.
Here is the truth table for universal terminal goal.
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=71347.0;attach=30734)
1 in the left column means that there is something called a goal, while 0 means denial of it.
The middle column classifies the goals in time domain. 1 means there are terminal goals, while 0 means all goals are temporary/instrumental.
The right column classifies the goals in spatial domain. 1 means there are universal goals, while 0 means all goals are partial.
x in the bottom row means that their values are meaningless, since the existence of goals have already been denied.
Those who take the position of the first row think that there exist a universal terminal goal.
Those who take the position of the second row think that there exist some terminal goals, but they vary between different parts of the universe.
Those who take the position of the third row think that there exist a universal goal, but they change with time.
Those who take the position of the fourth row think that there exist some goals, but none of them are terminal nor universal.
Those who take the position of the fifth row think that goals simply don't exist.
I guess you are in position 2. I realize that universality is the hardest to defend. To be a universal goal, it is required to be free of arbitrary constraint/restriction, other than constraints inherently attached to the definition of goal itself.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/06/2020 05:44:07
Life is about transpiration, respiration, combustion, synthesis, whatever.
It looks like you are being undecisive/unclear.
There must be a defining chemical process.
If the organism is distinct from its environment, which we can assume to be passive and lifeless for the sale of simplicity, then the organism achieves homeostasis or function by extracting energy and material from its environment.
So the environment must in the first instance be friendly and conducive to life, and the organism cannot therefore be independent of it.
All living organisms expel waste from their chemical processes, and the waste, by definition, is not friendly and conducive to life.
So an organism in a finite environment will eventually exhaust the resources it needs to live, and fill the environment with toxins.

You can get somewhere towards Utopia in a closed biosphere. Not sure if they are still available for sale but essentially they consisted of a globe containing water, an aquatic plant, air, and a shrimp. As long as the sun shines and the globe can lose heat to the environment (including radiating heat into space) the shrimp and the seaweed can in principle live for ever. But they are still dependent on getting the right amount of sunshine and not overheating, so not actually independent of environment.

Evolution is about adaptation to an environmental niche. On a geological or astronomical timescale, there are no stable niches, so no single Utopia.
As I said earlier, a universal goal must be free from any arbitrary constraints, such as chemical structure. The evolution itself should not be restricted to genetic information. Richard Dawkins has talked about extended phenotype. In similar tone but from different field of expertise, Ray Kurzweil has emphasized about indirections. 
Our eukaryote ancestor acquiring mitochondrion is a form of it. Also when we acquire gut microbe.
Various shapes of bird's nest, beaver dams, modern skyscrapers, nuclear submarine, ISS to Mars colony.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenic_silica
Even DNA is not restricted to natural base pair anymore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_pair#Unnatural_base_pair_(UBP)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/06/2020 07:42:25
This shows indirection in machine learning.

And an article on Scalable agent alignment via reward modeling from deepmindsafetyresearch.
https://medium.com/@deepmindsafetyresearch/scalable-agent-alignment-via-reward-modeling-bf4ab06dfd84
Quote
In recent years, reinforcement learning has yielded impressive performance in complex game environments ranging from Atari, Go, and chess to Dota 2 and StarCraft II, with artificial agents rapidly surpassing the human level of play in increasingly complex domains. Games are an ideal platform for developing and testing machine learning algorithms. They present challenging tasks that require a range of cognitive abilities to accomplish, mirroring skills needed to solve problems in the real world. Machine learning researchers can run thousands of simulated experiments on the cloud in parallel, generating as much training data as needed for the system to learn.
Crucially, games often have a clear objective, and a score that approximates progress towards that objective. This score provides a useful reward signal for reinforcement learning agents, and allows us to get quick feedback on which algorithmic and architectural choices work best.

The agent alignment problem
Ultimately, the goal of AI progress is to benefit humans by enabling us to address increasingly complex challenges in the real world. But the real world does not come with built-in reward functions. This presents some challenges because performance on these tasks is not easily defined. We need a good way to provide feedback and enable artificial agents to reliably understand what we want, in order to help us achieve it. In other words, we want to train AI systems with human feedback in such a way that the system’s behavior aligns with our intentions. For our purposes, we define the agent alignment problem as follows:
How can we create agents that behave in accordance with the user’s intentions?
The alignment problem can be framed in the reinforcement learning framework, except that instead of receiving a numeric reward signal, the agent can interact with the user via an interaction protocol that allows the user to communicate their intention to the agent. This protocol can take many forms: the user can provide demonstrations, preferences, optimal actions, or communicate a reward function, for example. A solution to the agent alignment problem is a policy that behaves in accordance with the user’s intentions.

There are several challenges that will need to be addressed in order to scale reward modeling to such complex problems. Five of these challenges are listed below and described in more depth in the paper, along with approaches for addressing them.

(https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/0*fhS-SQx1upYjxhaL)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/06/2020 07:52:28
To demonstrate that consiousness is a continuous parameter, we can use a thought experiment. Take a human subject which we can all agree that he/she is a conscious being. Destroy one neuron out of billions that exist in the brain, and then ask if he/she is still conscious. Repeat the experiment until we all agree that he/she is not conscious.
The experiment will most likely give different result for different researchers, depending on their assumed threshold of consciousness level. It may also depend on the order of the neuron destruction.
We can find a similar situation in determining adulthood. At which point in your life you change from a kid into an adult?
Humans grow from a zygote into an embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, kid, adult, elderly. At which point it turns from non-conscious thing into a conscious being?
This realization brings us to next question: what factors can contribute to the increase and decrease of consciousness?
We can revisit the thought experiment and imagine following situations:
- At some point, destroying one neuron doesn't change any measurable effect.
- At some point, destroying one neuron makes the human subject lose some memory.
- At some other point, he/she may lose some ability for numerical processing, verbal processing, or spatial processing.
- Other abilities that may be lost at some point of the experiment are sensing (visual, audio, touch, taste, balance), motoric (such as moving a finger, arm, leg, blinking, breathing, hartbeating), acquired skill (swimming, bicycling, driving, juggling, singing, dancing, writing, coding, playing chess).
- At some point the human subject may stop thinking, and eventually dead at the end of the experiment.

I think we can safely argue that losing some of those abilities reduces consciousness of the human subject. On the other hand, restoring those abilities also restores consciousness, even if the method used to restore it doesn't make the brain structure exactly the same as before the experiment. If the experiment is continued to add some new ability which was not exist in the original human subject (e.g. seeing in infrared spectra, performing one arm push up, translating Chinese, computing advanced Algebra), we can say that his/her consciousness has increased.
The thought experiments are generally used to check the consistency among assumptions made when building a hypothesis or theory. It turns out that the thought experiment mentioned above has been developed as a useful technique in machine learning field. http://papers.nips.cc/paper/250-optimal-brain-damage.pdf
Quote
Yann Le Cun, John S. Denker and Sara A. Sol1a
AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, N. J. 07733

ABSTRACT
We have used information-theoretic ideas to derive a class of practical and nearly optimal schemes for adapting the size of a neural
network. By removing unimportant weights from a network, several improvements can be expected: better generalization, fewer
training examples required, and improved speed of learning and/or
classification. The basic idea is to use second-derivative information to make a tradeoff between network complexity and training
set error. Experiments confirm the usefulness of the methods on a
real-world application.

1 INTRODUCTION
Most successful applications of neural network learning to real-world problems have
been achieved using highly structured networks of rather large size [for example
(Waibel, 1989; Le Cun et al., 1990a)]. As applications become more complex, the
networks will presumably become even larger and more structured. Design tools
and techniques for comparing different architectures and minimizing the network
size will be needed. More importantly, as the number of parameters in the systems
increases, overfitting problems may arise, with devastating effects on the
generalization performance. We introduce a new technique called Optimal Brain Damage
(OBD) for reducing the size of a learning network by selectively deleting weights.
We show that OBD can be used both as an automatic network minimization
procedure and as an interactive tool to suggest better architectures.
The basic idea of OBD is that it is possible to take a perfectly reasonable network,
delete half (or more) of the weights and wind up with a network that works just as
well, or better. It can be applied in situations where a complicated problem must be
solved, and the system must make optimal use of a limited amount of training
data. It is known from theory (Denker et al., 1987; Baum and Haussler, 1989; Solla
et al., 1990) and experience (Le Cun, 1989) that, for a fixed amount of training
data, networks with too many weights do not generalize well. On the other hand.
networks with too few weights will not have enough power to represent the data
accurately. The best generalization is obtained by trading off the training error and
the network complexity.

https://towardsdatascience.com/can-you-remove-99-of-a-neural-network-without-losing-accuracy-915b1fab873b
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/06/2020 12:52:42
This realization brings us to next question: what factors can contribute to the increase and decrease of consciousness?
We can revisit the thought experiment and imagine following situations:
- At some point, destroying one neuron doesn't change any measurable effect.
- At some point, destroying one neuron makes the human subject lose some memory.
- At some other point, he/she may lose some ability for numerical processing, verbal processing, or spatial processing.
- Other abilities that may be lost at some point of the experiment are sensing (visual, audio, touch, taste, balance), motoric (such as moving a finger, arm, leg, blinking, breathing, hartbeating), acquired skill (swimming, bicycling, driving, juggling, singing, dancing, writing, coding, playing chess).
- At some point the human subject may stop thinking, and eventually dead at the end of the experiment.
Among all of those abilities contributing to consciousness, the most prominent is thinking, especially abstract thinking, which makes homo sapiens successfully rule over other species on earth. Abstract thinking is indirection of simpler thinking, which is in turn indirection of instinct, which is in turn indirection of genetic expression.
With this ability, humans become more effective at making and executing plans. Lack of physical abilities can be compensated by creating tools. The tools are getting better and even started to compensate lack of mental abilities. Those mental tools can improve exponentially. So if someday we find an alien society much more intelligent than us, they are more likely achieve that superior intelligence through  indirection of thinking through computational tools rather than traditional evolutionary process.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/06/2020 08:38:33
We acknowledge that self awareness is a part of consciousness. Some of us think that it only appears in species which are closely related to human. This article below shows that development of consciousness in evolutionary history is not a linear process.
https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-self-aware-fish-raises-doubts-about-a-cognitive-test-20181212/
Quote
little blue-and-black fish swims up to a mirror. It maneuvers its body vertically to reflect its belly, along with a brown mark that researchers have placed on its throat. The fish then pivots and dives to strike its throat against the sandy bottom of its tank with a glancing blow. Then it returns to the mirror. Depending on which scientists you ask, this moment represents either a revolution or a red herring.

Alex Jordan, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, thinks this fish — a cleaner wrasse — has just passed a classic test of self-recognition. Scientists have long thought that being able to recognize oneself in a mirror reveals some sort of self-awareness, and perhaps an awareness of others’ perspectives, too. For almost 50 years, they have been using mirrors to test animals for that capacity. After letting an animal get familiar with a mirror, they put a mark someplace on the animal’s body that it can see only in its reflection. If the animal looks in the mirror and then touches or examines the mark on its body, it passes the test.

Humans don’t usually reach this milestone until we’re toddlers. Very few other species ever pass the test; those that do are mostly or entirely big-brained mammals such as chimpanzees. And yet as reported in a study that appeared on bioRxiv.org earlier this year and that is due for imminent publication in PLOS Biology, Jordan and his co-authors observed this seemingly self-aware behavior in a tiny fish.

Jordan’s findings have consequently inspired strong feelings in the field. “There are researchers who, it seems, do not want fish to be included in this secret club,” he said. “Because then that means that the [primates] are not so special anymore.”

If a fish passes the mirror test, Jordan said, “either you have to accept that the fish is self-aware, or you have to accept that maybe this test is not testing for that.” The correct explanation may be a little of both. Some animals’ mental skills may be more impressive than we imagined, while the mirror test may say less than we thought. Moving forward in our understanding of animal minds might mean shattering old ideas about the mirror test and designing new experiments that take into account each species’ unique perspective on the world.
Quote
“Recognition of one’s own reflection would seem to require a rather advanced form of intellect,” Gallup wrote in 1970. “These data would seem to qualify as the first experimental demonstration of a self-concept in a subhuman form.”

Either a species shows self-awareness or it doesn’t, as Gallup describes it — and most don’t. “And that’s prompted a lot of people to spend a lot of time trying to devise ways to salvage the intellectual integrity of their favorite laboratory animals,” he told me.

But Reiss and other researchers think self-awareness is more likely to exist on a continuum. In a 2005 study, the Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal and his co-authors showed that capuchin monkeys make more eye contact with a mirror than they do with a strange monkey behind Plexiglas. This could be a kind of intermediate result between self-awareness and its lack: A capuchin doesn’t seem to understand the reflection is itself, but it also doesn’t treat the reflection as a stranger.

Scientists also have mixed feelings about the phrase “self-awareness,” for which they don’t agree on a definition. Reiss thinks the mirror test shows “one aspect of self-awareness,” as opposed to the whole cognitive package a human has. The biologists Marc Bekoff of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Paul Sherman of Cornell University have suggested a spectrum of “self-cognizance” that ranges from brainless reflexes to a humanlike understanding of the self.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/06/2020 08:45:08
Consciousness plays central role in discussing about universal terminal goal, so we'll have to dig deep into this issue.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-purpose/201807/the-physical-evolution-consciousness
Quote
Do you think of yourself as having a brain or being a brain? Can you conceive of your mind, your personality, your self, as entirely and only the product of your physical brain? The mind seems non-physical, ethereal and spiritual. The intuitive sense that mind and brain are separate entities can be hard to shake. But, what we know from science is that the mind comes from the brain and nothing but the brain. The mind is what the brain does. Any theory that does not begin with this assumption would necessarily imply that practically all the rest of modern science is fundamentally incorrect.

The physical basis of consciousness is a guiding principle behind a great many practical and effective treatments for mental illnesses. Daily, I witness the subtle or dramatic effects of varying degrees of disturbance of brain functioning on the ‘mind’ or ‘personality.’ I also witness the beneficial cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects of physically based medical treatments1. There is no aspect of the mind, the personality, the ‘self,’ or the ‘will’ that is not completely susceptible to chemical influences or physical diseases that disrupt neuronal circuitry.

If you have ever had someone close to you suffer from gradually progressive dementia, serious head injury, or a variety of other forms of brain damage or serious mental disorder, then you have witnessed the disruption or a kind of ‘disassembly’ of the mind—and of the person or personality you once knew. Such a change highlights how the mind is entirely a product of the physical brain and is dependent on intact neural circuitry.
Quote
There are gradations of conscious self-awareness in humans at different levels of early development, in people with different levels of impairment of brain function, and in animals at different levels of evolutionary complexity.5

We are the sum of all our complex, dynamically interconnected brain networks. We are composed of a lifetime of remembered experiences, knowledge, learned behaviors and habits. We are all of that information, physically embodied in the total network’s connections, recursively reflecting on itself in a cybernetic loop. We are organized matter. Information is physical and humans are a dynamic network of information.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 30/06/2020 16:01:42
Like any other systems, an agent can be broken down into three main parts: input, process, and output.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/OpenSystemRepresentation.svg/378px-OpenSystemRepresentation.svg.png)
Conscious agents get information from their inputs to build a simplified model of their current surrounding environment. The model is then processed by the system's core using some algorithm/function involving current inputs, memorized previous inputs, some internal/built in parameters, as well as current and memorized previous outputs.
An efficient system must use minimum resource to achieve target. One way to do that is by data compression. The agent's environment is continuously changing, hence the data from the input parts must also change accordingly. Memorized previous inputs then would accumulate from time to time. Without data compression, the memory would be depleted in no time.
Another way is by discarding unnecessary/insignificant data. Data that don't have impact to the result must be removed and overwritten in the memory.
Yet another way to become an efficient system is by resource and load sharing. A multicellular organim is basically a collection of cells that work together for common goals, which are to survive and thrive. They develop specialized tissues, which means some cells develop some functions to be more effective at doing some task while abandoning other functions to save resource and be more efficient. Not every cell has to be photosensitive, and not every cell has to develop hard shell to provide protection.
Quote
Multicellularity allows an organism to exceed the size limits normally imposed by diffusion: single cells with increased size have a decreased surface-to-volume ratio and have difficulty absorbing sufficient nutrients and transporting them throughout the cell. Multicellular organisms thus have the competitive advantages of an increase in size without its limitations. They can have longer lifespans as they can continue living when individual cells die. Multicellularity also permits increasing complexity by allowing differentiation of cell types within one organism.
The necessity of data compression becomes more apparent the higher the conscience level of the agent is. It's even become inevitable for Laplace's demon. Without data compression, all matter in universe will be used up as memory modelling the universe itself in current state, leaving nothing for input and output parts. Without input and output, an agent can not execute its plan.
As a system engineer, I have to deal with various kind of systems, from a very simple mechanic devices such as weighted lid, spring, lever, to electropneumatic valves, various kind of sensors, analog controller, electromechanical relay logic controller, PLC, DCS, SIS, PIMS, SCADA, to complex analytical equipment involving artificial neural network. One feature comes up as common characteristic of those systems: they are intended to minimize error, which is the discrepancy between setpoint and process value. For a simple process we can use first order method to find a local minimum of error function, such as gradient descent. For more complex systems we can combine several simpler systems in cascade configuration, parallel/multiparameter control, or both. In cascade control, output of one system is fed to input of the next system. While in multiparameter control, a system takes several parameters at once as its inputs, each parameter contribute to the output according to their respected weight value. This combination resembles an artificial neural network.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_neural_network
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/46/Colored_neural_network.svg/280px-Colored_neural_network.svg.png)
To escape from being stuck in a local minimum, a system needs some flexibility to temporarily violate the rule of gradient descent. A complex system may reach some regional minima, but to reach a global minimum, the system must have complexity proportional to the complexity of its domain/problem space.
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Extrema_example_original.svg/220px-Extrema_example_original.svg.png)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/07/2020 13:09:00
This combination resembles an artificial neural network.
Increasing complexity of a system can be done by adding hidden layers as well as adding nodes in some layers. Additional layer usually provide more flexibility to deal with less predictable patterns, while adding nodes usually can increase resolution/precision. These factors should be considered while setting the hyperparameters of the network.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/07/2020 10:26:44
This thread is dedicated to discuss about universal terminal goal and try to answer the what and why questions on it. Related to this thread, I also started another threads to discuss some consequences and necessary instrumental goals to help achieving that universal terminal goal. But course of discussion led me to answer the what question there too, which makes them overlap.


Please remind me, in one paragraph, of your universal terminal goal, and whether we agreed on it!
Keeping the existence of the last conscious being.
Any conscious being can be considered as a modified copy of it, hence there is some value in keeping their existence.
In other word, the universal terminal goal is to protect conscious being from existential threats. The death of the last conscious being means that there could be no goals anymore and everything becomes indifferent.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/07/2020 09:56:39
When talking about conscious beings, many people take for granted that those beings are somewhat similar to human individuals in current states, since they are the most familiar form of them. The research below tries to answer the question of individuality in biology by utilizing information theory.
https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-is-an-individual-biology-seeks-clues-in-information-theory-20200716/
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The task of distinguishing individuals can be difficult — and not just for scientists aiming to make sense of a fragmented fossil record. Researchers searching for life on other planets or moons are bound to face the same problem. Even on Earth today, it’s clear that nature has a sloppy disregard for boundaries: Viruses rely on host cells to make copies of themselves. Bacteria share and swap genes, while higher-order species hybridize. Thousands of slime mold amoebas cooperatively assemble into towers to spread their spores. Worker ants and bees can be nonreproductive members of social-colony “superorganisms.” Lichens are symbiotic composites of fungi and algae or cyanobacteria. Even humans contain at least as many bacterial cells as “self” cells, the microbes in our gut inextricably linked with our development, physiology and survival.
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Krakauer and Flack, in collaboration with colleagues such as Nihat Ay of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, realized that they’d need to turn to information theory to formalize their principle of the individual “as kind of a verb.” To them, an individual was an aggregate that “preserved a measure of temporal integrity,” propagating a close-to-maximal amount of information forward in time.

Their formalism, which they published in Theory in Biosciences in March, is based on three axioms. One is that individuality can exist at any level of biological organization, from the subcellular to the social. A second is that individuality can be nested — one individual can exist inside another. The most novel (and perhaps most counterintuitive) axiom, though, is that individuality exists on a continuum, and entities can have quantifiable degrees of it.

“This isn’t some binary function that suddenly has a jump,” said Chris Kempes, a physical biologist at the Santa Fe Institute who was not involved in the work. To him as a physicist, that’s part of the appeal of the Santa Fe team’s theory. The emphasis on quantifying over categorizing is something biology could use more of, he thinks — in part because it gets around tricky definitional problems about, say, whether a virus is alive, and whether it’s an individual. “The question really is: How living is a virus?” he said. “How much individuality does a virus have?”
Their result is similar to my posts which discuss about consciousness.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/08/2020 06:08:11
The problem of individuality is very important to clarify if we want to build argumentation about morality. People often limit their scope of individuality to commonly found cases, which are biological human individuals. Some have expanded its definition to include other biological animal. But very few seem to be willing to expand it further to other systems, such as non-biological entities.
Even if we restrict individuality to only include biological entities, we still face problems, e.g:
- people with multiple personality disorder.
- conjoined twins
- double headed animals
- half brained person (e.g. the other half has been removed due to a disease)
- biological colony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_(biology)#Modular_organisms  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree)
- symbionts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen
- parasites
- cancer cells
- organelles
How should we count the number of individus when being presented with those things? The problem arise if we treat individuality as a discrete thing. Using the concept of individuality as mentioned in my previous post can help solve this problem.
If we look back to biological evolutionary process, multicellular organisms are products of cells letting go some of their individuality to form a bigger system which gains some individuality. Those cells lose some basic functionalities so they can no longer survive when set free in an open environment. But they can develop special functionalities which are useful for the bigger system they are being part of, such as photosensitivity, nervous system, circulatory system, armor for protection, food digestion, chemical weaponry. Similar story also happened when ancestor of mitochondria were engulfed by archaea to form eukaryotic organisms. Another similar story is the formation of ant or bee colonies.
The case of modern human has similarity too. Many of them have very specialised skill set which make no longer capable to survive in the wilderness for long duration. They depend on their society. How many people still grow/hunt their own food, build their own house, knit their own clothes, or heal their own wound?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/08/2020 10:25:22
The problem of individuality is very important to clarify if we want to build argumentation about morality. People often limit their scope of individuality to commonly found cases, which are biological human individuals. Some have expanded its definition to include other biological animal. But very few seem to be willing to expand it further to other systems, such as non-biological entities.
Even if we restrict individuality to only include biological entities, we still face problems, e.g:
- people with multiple personality disorder.
- conjoined twins
- double headed animals
- half brained person (e.g. the other half has been removed due to a disease)
- biological colony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_(biology)#Modular_organisms  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree)
- symbionts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen
- parasites
- cancer cells
- organelles
How should we count the number of individus when being presented with those things? The problem arise if we treat individuality as a discrete thing. Using the concept of individuality as mentioned in my previous post can help solve this problem.
If we look back to biological evolutionary process, multicellular organisms are products of cells letting go some of their individuality to form a bigger system which gains some individuality. Those cells lose some basic functionalities so they can no longer survive when set free in an open environment. But they can develop special functionalities which are useful for the bigger system they are being part of, such as photosensitivity, nervous system, circulatory system, armor for protection, food digestion, chemical weaponry. Similar story also happened when ancestor of mitochondria were engulfed by archaea to form eukaryotic organisms. Another similar story is the formation of ant or bee colonies.
The case of modern human has similarity too. Many of them have very specialised skill set which make no longer capable to survive in the wilderness for long duration. They depend on their society. How many people still grow/hunt their own food, build their own house, knit their own clothes, or heal their own wound?

The case of modern human has similarity too. Many of them have very specialised skill set which make no longer capable to survive in the wilderness for long duration. They depend on their society. How many people still grow/hunt their own food, build their own house, knit their own clothes, or heal their own wound?
This newsletter provides scientific evidence that supports the assertion above.
https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-human-brain-has-been-getting-smaller-since-the-stone-age?utm_source=dsctwitter
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I don’t mean to alarm you, but the average human brain size is shrinking. And we can’t blame reality T.V. or Twitter.

No, this decline began tens of thousands of years ago. It’s something of a well-known secret among anthropologists: Based on measurements of skulls, the average brain volume of Homo sapiens has reportedly decreased by roughly 10 percent in the past 40,000 years. This reduction is a reversal of the trend of cranial expansion, which had been occurring in human evolution for millions of years prior
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More convincing evidence for cranial decline comes from studies that applied the same measuring technique to hundreds or even thousands of skulls from a particular region across the millennia. For instance, a 1988 Human Biology paper analyzed more than 12,000 Homo sapiens crania from Europe and North African. It showed cranial capacity decreased in the past 10,000 years by about 10 percent (157 mL) in males and 17 percent (261 mL) in females. A similar reduction was found among skulls from elsewhere on the planet, including sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Australia.
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Explaining Our Cranial Decline
From every region with data, there seems to have been a roughly half cup decrease in endocranial volume that began when the Ice Age gave way to the Holocene, the most recent geological epoch, which is characterized by a comfortable, stable climate. Since this pattern was first noticed in the late 1980s, researchers have proposed a number of possible explanations.

Some say the decrease came from from a slight reduction in body size and robustness, related to the warmer conditions of the Holocene. Bigger bodies were better during the Ice Age, and then became disadvantageous as the climate warmed. But anthropologist John Hawks has countered this idea by showing that the documented brain reduction is too great to be explained by simply having slightly smaller bodies.

Other researchers point to the fact that brains are energetically costly organs. Though the modern human brain is only 2 percent of our body weight, it consumes almost one quarter our energy input. By inventing ways to store information externally — cave art, writing, digital media — humans were able to shed some brain bulk, according to one proposal.

But perhaps the most convincing hypothesis is that Homo sapiens underwent self-domestication, a proposal that stems from our understanding of animal domestication. Sheep, dogs and other domesticated species differ from their wild ancestors by a number of physical and behavioral traits. These include tameness, reduced timidity, juvenile appearance into adulthood and smaller brains.

Research has shown these traits, collectively known as the domestication syndrome, are influenced by the same hormones and genes. Humans selectively bred animals with these desirable features, creating today’s pets and livestock. The self-domestication hypothesis — or what anthropologist Brian Hare called “survival of the friendliest” — suggests we also did this to ourselves.

The idea is, within Stone Age societies, cooperative, level-headed individuals were more likely to survive and reproduce than combative, aggressive ones. Those pro- or anti-social inclinations were influenced by genes regulating hormones, which also affected physical traits, including body and brain size. Over time, “survival of the friendliest” led to humans with slighter builds and brains on average. So although there was a reduction in skull size — and possibly intelligence — human cooperation grew, cultivating greater collective wisdom. A few social smaller brains can surely outwit one lonely large noggin.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/08/2020 10:55:40
Modern humans have lost some of their individuality and gave some to bigger systems they are being part of, such as their family, tribe, corporation, nation, and global civilization. The reason why homo sapiens dominate life on earth is not merely due to their genetic make up, but because they have became part of some bigger and powerful superorganism systems. Imagine if all knowledge accumulated in the last ten thousand years are erased from all living humans and all data storages, and their new generation grow without them. Modern human won't be much more advanced than the sentinelese.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/08/2020 10:23:24
There are reasons why I used those words as the title of this thread.
The term universal is to emphasize that the goal is applicable universally, including for aliens and artificial lives.
The term utopia is to show that in my opinion, the goal is still unachievable in foreseeable future.

Focusing too much to internal state while neglecting external condition can be fatal. Just see drug addicts who hack their brain chemistry just to feel good and happy regardless their surrounding reality.

As I discussed in another thread, I think that feelings, love, happiness, sadness, pain and pleasure are tools to help us getting better chance to survive. Only survivors can think/contemplate retrospectively.
The importance of survival is universally accepted by any consious being, since they must have came from their predecessors who were survivors.

Elon Musk shared his thought in Twitter which inspired him to make human a multiplanetary species.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1294917318405836802?s=03

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Filter
Quote
The Great Filter, in the context of the Fermi paradox, is whatever prevents non-living matter from undergoing abiogenesis, in time, to expanding lasting life as measured by the Kardashev scale.[1][2] The concept originates in Robin Hanson's argument that the failure to find any extraterrestrial civilizations in the observable universe implies the possibility something is wrong with one or more of the arguments from various scientific disciplines that the appearance of advanced intelligent life is probable; this observation is conceptualized in terms of a "Great Filter" which acts to reduce the great number of sites where intelligent life might arise to the tiny number of intelligent species with advanced civilizations actually observed (currently just one: human).[3] This probability threshold, which could lie behind us (in our past) or in front of us (in our future), might work as a barrier to the evolution of intelligent life, or as a high probability of self-destruction.[1][4] The main counter-intuitive conclusion of this observation is that the easier it was for life to evolve to our stage, the bleaker our future chances probably are.

The idea was first proposed in an online essay titled "The Great Filter - Are We Almost Past It?", written by economist Robin Hanson. The first version was written in August 1996 and the article was last updated on September 15, 1998. Since that time, Hanson's formulation has received recognition in several published sources discussing the Fermi paradox and its implications.

Quote
The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing.
– From the book “Foundation design”, by Coduto, Donald P.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/09/2020 07:46:08
When compared to chess analogy, the universal utopia can be paired as follow:
-  Preventing checkmate on own king is like preventing currently existing conscious system from extinction. This rule is universal for any consceivable conscious system.
-  Getting checkmate of the opponent's king is like getting a maximum consciousness level system. The maximum is infinite, hence the term utopia is used.
-  Preserving time and energy is just like preserving available resource to achieve the goals above more efficiently, hence improve the probability of achieving those goals.
Preserving resource seems to be the least controversial, most agreeable and easiest to evaluate, especially when comparing actions with the same result. Perhaps we can call it a universal instrumental goal. In philosophy, we get Occam's razor while in industry we get lean manufacturing from the same principle.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: puppypower on 04/09/2020 14:07:56
One way to look at universal utopia is by contrasting rich versus poor. If you were independently wealthy and rich, you can buy or rent aspects of external reality to help push your utopian buttons. You can eat the finest food so you can stimulate you taste buds for pleasure and joy. You can travel the world to stimulate you visual senses with awe. You can hire others to simply agree with you and tell you, that you are so great. You can migrate, house to house, on an annual cycle, so the climate is always the way you like it. This may work in terms of personal utopia. However, the problem is there are not enough resources for everyone to do this and make it universal. It can lead to individual utopia, but not universal.

On the other hand, the poor man does not have the money to use the external world to push his utopia buttons. He cannot afford all the things needed to makes this daily and perpetual. The poor man can save and get a short term utopian buzz, here and there. Instead he needs to find ways to make the best of his limited external situation. He needs to find a place, inside himself, where he can push his own utopian bottoms, so he can see and feel good, using only the simple and free  things of life.

This approach does not need the same level of resources, as externally induced utopia. It could become universal, if enough people knew how to do it. However, it is easier to use the external prosthesis approach, based on money, since culture shows us the finer things. So people work hard to achieve that end, but with most falling short of full scale individual or universal utopia.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/09/2020 04:15:00
One way to look at universal utopia is by contrasting rich versus poor. If you were independently wealthy and rich, you can buy or rent aspects of external reality to help push your utopian buttons. You can eat the finest food so you can stimulate you taste buds for pleasure and joy. You can travel the world to stimulate you visual senses with awe. You can hire others to simply agree with you and tell you, that you are so great. You can migrate, house to house, on an annual cycle, so the climate is always the way you like it. This may work in terms of personal utopia. However, the problem is there are not enough resources for everyone to do this and make it universal. It can lead to individual utopia, but not universal.

On the other hand, the poor man does not have the money to use the external world to push his utopia buttons. He cannot afford all the things needed to makes this daily and perpetual. The poor man can save and get a short term utopian buzz, here and there. Instead he needs to find ways to make the best of his limited external situation. He needs to find a place, inside himself, where he can push his own utopian bottoms, so he can see and feel good, using only the simple and free  things of life.

This approach does not need the same level of resources, as externally induced utopia. It could become universal, if enough people knew how to do it. However, it is easier to use the external prosthesis approach, based on money, since culture shows us the finer things. So people work hard to achieve that end, but with most falling short of full scale individual or universal utopia.
You need to clarify the definition of rich and poor here. Is it measured by the amount of money? Is there something else? Which one is poorer: someone who owns nothing, or someone who owe billions of dollars?
You may wonder that currently, the income difference between the richests and poorests people are getting higher than ever. There are at least two reasons for that.
First, advancement in technology creates a lot of new resources which are previously inaccessible. We can produce more food than we need.
Second, people have adopted systems which enable accumulation of wealth to few persons. Income that they've got from previous efforts can be used to generate more income with less effort.
In ancient times, humans can only access limited amount of resources from the earth to support their life. People at the bottom of economic charts would simply die off while those at the top can only accumulate limited amount of resources. Today, some of the poorests can rely on social security to keep them alive.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/09/2020 04:42:36
When discussing obut money, we would eventually talk about cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.
Quote
Bitcoin was officially born in January 2009, when a person or group going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto released the open source code for the software.
Nakamoto mined the very first block of the first blockchain and left what has been variously interpreted as a statement, a clue, or a means of marking the date:‘The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.’
This is obviously a reference to a headline in The Times newspaper from that date. While it’s possible that Nakamoto just picked the first headline they saw on the nearest newspaper, and it was totally random, cryptocurrency enthusiasts tend to unanimously see it as a statement of intent. At the time, the 2008 financial crisis was still unravelling.
It’s assumed that Bitcoin was, at least in part, a reaction to the widespread anger and frustration at the existing financial system.
https://medium.com/luno-money/who-invented-bitcoin-de30211a584

I have discussed about money and economy in previous posts in this thread, in case you missed that.
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=71347.msg588888#msg588888
But let me make following assertion and let it sink for a moment. If everyone is self sufficient, noone needs money.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/09/2020 13:12:05
Here is another interesting video you can enjoy, this time it's a long one. I think there are many important information we can take from this video to help us answer the question about universal goal.
Lex Fridman's conversation with Manolis. Manolis Kellis is a professor at MIT and head of the MIT Computational Biology Group. Here's the outline:
0:00 - Introduction
6:20 - Epigenome
10:28 - Evolution
15:26 - Neanderthals
27:15 - Origin of life on Earth
43:44 - Life is a fight against physics
49:56 - Life as a set of transformations
51:35 - Time scales
1:00:31 - Transformations of ideas in human civilization
1:05:19 - Life is more than a rat race
1:13:18 - Life sucks sometimes and that's okay
1:30:16 - Getting older
1:36:21 - The best of MIT
1:49:01 - Poem 1: The Snow
2:01:52 - Love
2:06:16 - Poem 2: The Tide Waters
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/10/2020 07:12:32
I find this video relevant to our discussion here.
Quote
Could artificial intelligence ever gain true consciousness? This documentary explores what might unfold if super intelligent AI acquired consciousness, how it might see itself, and what it’s impact might be on our world and beyond.
It discuss about consciousness and individualism which play central roles in determining the universal terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/10/2020 09:13:13
I've also posted somewhere else my thoughts about consciousness which plays as the core issue in this thread as well.
I have described consciousness in this thread as well as my other threads discussing about universal terminal goal.
Since they haven't seem enough, here is a simplified description by stating absolute minimum requirements for a system to be called conscious.
- It has internal structures which represent states of itself and its environment.
- That internal structures can change according to the change of the environment.
In my previous posts I've also mentioned another requirement for consciousness which is relevant to morality, which is having internal/subjective preferences. It would follow that conscious systems have the capacity to build two virtual maps internally, which are described in is and ought problem, or known as Hume's guillotine.
Another criteria for a conscious system is the capacity to manipulate its environment, which is represented in "is map" in its memory system to get closer to its "ought map", which is affected by its internal/subjective preferences.

The role of moral rules with reward and punishment are then to modify internal/subjective preferences of conscious systems to make them aligned with the goal of larger systems they are being part of (e.g. their family, tribe, company, nation). Primitive forms of those manipulation are done by inflicting pain and pleasure which can be directly felt. The next forms are done by causing fear and giving hope, which can only work for conscious systems with capability of understanding cause and effect, so they can predict/anticipate future condition when some information about the present is given.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/10/2020 09:20:49
Preserving resource seems to be the least controversial, most agreeable and easiest to evaluate, especially when comparing actions with the same result. Perhaps we can call it a universal instrumental goal. In philosophy, we get Occam's razor while in industry we get lean manufacturing from the same principle.

Through out history, innovations tend to reduce cost to achieve particular goals. Steam engines, tractors, automatic electronic switchboards all reduce labor costs in manufacturing, agriculture, and telecommunication sectors. Robotaxi will soon make taxi drivers obsolete. Self driving trucks will soon make truck drivers obsolete. AI can already outperform investment managers. OpenAI's GPT-3 can already write codes is different programming languages. No job is really secure from threat of AI. But then again, jobs are just instrumental goal.

Quote
Some quotes from Elon Musk in the presentation:
"If the schedule is long it's wrong, if it's tight its right."

"The best part is no part."

"The best process is no process."
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21109554

If the trend continuous, we will get rid of most non-essential burdens. Any system that refuse to follow suit will be outcompeted by those who do. No phone company can survive by retaining human switchboard operators.
Some instrumental goals might by suitable for particular time and conditions. At another time and place, other instrumental goals might be better. Only a universal terminal goal can never change.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/10/2020 15:20:08
Even in Indonesia, which is not usually assosiated with high technology adoption, has already started to replace human positions with AI.

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/28/indonesia-to-replace-ministerial-aides-with-ai.html
Quote
  President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said the government will replace some civil service positions with artificial intelligence, instructing ministers to remove two ranks of public servants.

“I have ordered ministers to replace echelon III and IV officials with AI [because] our bureaucracy will be faster with AI, but it would depend on the omnibus law,” the president said in Jakarta on Thursday, adding that doing so would cut red tape. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/10/2020 06:51:59
Consciousness and individuality which are central in this topic are included in Problem of Universals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_universals
Quote
The problem of universals is an ancient question from metaphysics which has inspired a range of philosophical topics and disputes. Should the properties an object has in common with other objects, such as colour and shape, be considered to exist beyond those objects? And if a property exists separately from objects, what is the nature of that existence?[1]

The problem of universals relates to various inquiries closely related to metaphysics, logic, and epistemology, as far back as Plato and Aristotle, in efforts to define the mental connections a human makes when they understand a property such as shape or colour to be the same in nonidentical objects.[2]

Universals are qualities or relations found in two or more entities.[3] As an example, if all cup holders are circular in some way, circularity may be considered a universal property of cup holders.[4] Further, if two daughters can be considered female offspring of Frank, the qualities of being female, offspring, and of Frank, are universal properties of the two daughters. Many properties can be universal:- being human, red, male or female, liquid or solid, big or small, etc.[5]

Philosophers agree that human beings can talk and think about universals, but disagree on whether universals exist in reality beyond mere thought and speech.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/10/2020 23:03:28
Here is a universal algorithm to achieve a goal.
1. Set up the criteria to determine if the goal is achieved.
2. Check relevant parameters of current condition.
3. Compare those parameters with criteria of goal achievement.
4. If the criteria aren't met, then something must change, and loop back to step 2.
5. Otherwise, stop.

If the effort involves intermediate or instrumental goals, then modifying them is part of step 4. Terminal goals never change.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/10/2020 05:04:03
Here is a universal algorithm to achieve a goal.
1. Set up the criteria to determine if the goal is achieved.
2. Check relevant parameters of current condition.
3. Compare those parameters with criteria of goal achievement.
4. If the criteria aren't met, then something must change, and loop back to step 2.
5. Otherwise, stop.

If the effort involves intermediate or instrumental goals, then modifying them is part of step 4. Terminal goals never change.


Let's try to use the algorithm for the case of universal terminal goal.
1. Bring down existential threats of conscious system to 0.
2. List down known existential threats, either natural or otherwise artificial. E.g. super volcano, asteroid impact, gamma ray burst, the sun goes red giant, nuclear war, AGI goes berserk.
3. Check if those threats are manageable/avoidable. With current technology, many threats are still out of control.
4. Plan and do changes to control residual risks. Update the list of existential threats, back to step 2.
One of foremost efforts in step 4 is reducing dependency of civilization on a single planet.
https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-bezos-reveals-blue-origin-future-space-plans-2019-5
https://www.geekwire.com/2019/blue-moon-beyond-jeff-bezos-plans-take-civilization-space-starting-lunar-colony/
Quote
It’s our choice: a finite world with limited resources, or an infinite universe with unlimited potential. Those were the options presented by Jeff Bezos this week he laid out his plan to colonize the Moon as a first step toward a future with as many as a trillion people in space.
Other notable efforts are merging human intelligence with artificial intelligence through direct brain connection, and perhaps future genome modifications to make civilization more suitable to live in space or other planets.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/11/2020 10:24:09
The changes can be classified into two basic types: random and directed changes, which can be divided further into positive and negative changes. In simple models of optimization, we use gradient descent to find local minima or gradient ascent for local maxima.
But to find global minimum/maximum (extrema), an algorithm needs the ability to get free from being stuck at local extrema. It means the necessity to violate the rules of gradient descend/ascend, at least temporarily to find a higher local maximum or lower local minimum.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/11/2020 22:22:50
In the case of universal utopia, where the goal is to reduce the risk of existential threat down to zero, we will focus more on finding minima of the risk function and make progress using gradient descent.
A method to prevent being stuck in a local minima is using a low pass filter to smooth out the reward/utility function prior to applying gradient descent. It helps overcoming local barriers, but requires some sort of memory storage to keep the filtered contour. It's essentially building a simplified model of reality, just like virtual universe that I discuss in another thread.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/11/2020 22:04:11
Descartes has pointed out that the only self evident information a conscious agent can get is its own existence. Any other information requires corroborating evidences to support it. So in the end, the reliability of an information will be measured/valued by its ability to help preserving conscious agents.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/11/2020 02:13:54
In information theory, one bit of information reduces uncertainty by half. Like in binary numbers, not every bit has the same significance. Information about universal terminal goal are among the highest significant bits. They will have big impacts to the course of advancement of conscious systems.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: puppypower on 04/11/2020 15:22:47
The most important part of universal utopia is connected to the mind and not to outer reality. For example, when two people meet and fall in love, their little world becomes closer to utopia. Their perceptions of the outer world change, over night, without the outer world doing anything.

This affect has to do with the filters of consciousness changing. To the lover, the beloved is the most beautiful person, even if they are not so. There is no need to change the outer world with plastic surgery if the inner world has changed. Utopian places like heaven are based on the love filter for perception.

When the brain creates memory, emotional tags are added to the sensory content, when it is written to the cerebral matter. Our memory has both content and emotional valance tags. For example, when we "feel" hungry at lunch, memories of food will appear in the imagination. Alternately, if we see a food item we like on the menu, the feeling of hunger will often appear, since these two were connected, during memory writing processes. This schema is useful to the animal, since they can react to the feelings created by the situation; memory induction, without having to think in terms of only sensory data. This speeds up their reaction time.

Although sensory data, from our five senses, has infinite variation and combinations, there are only a limited number of feeling tags used by the brain. Ss such, the feeling tags tend to be recycled and used on many memories with emotional similarity. For example, all the food we like, has the same l basic "like", tag.

The advantage of this is the memory is stored in holographic layers, throughout the brain,  based on the tagging valance. When one falls in love, for example, love; which is a  limbic system induction, helps consciousness focus on that one memory layer. This layer then defines how we will perceive reality; rose colored glasses. By being distributed over the brain, we still have full control over the brain's full resources.

Politics is often about mud slinging and other forms negativity. The goal is to induce a different  memory layer for use by consciousness, so we will see what that layers wants us to see; dark glasses. This is not good for utopia.

Does anyone remember the Russian collusion delusion scam? That scam caused many brains to be induced into memory  layers populated and driven by hate and fear. This layer or the dark colored glasses is why associations between Hitler, Nuclear war and Trump all seem attached. These memories were all tagged the same way by natural and induced means. This made utopia more difficult for most, but seemed to benefit some. 

The left is more about feeling, so the negative layer induction was reacted to like an animal, with feeling first, often without thinking; quick assessment. This was all by design. Thinking allows one to not reinforce the activated neural chemically induced layer, so it can fade or be changed. Even the rational become irrational when the layers are switched on. Leaning how this works is important to universal utopia.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Bored chemist on 04/11/2020 18:25:41
The advantage of this is the memory is stored in holographic layers
Not really.
Does anyone remember the Russian collusion delusion scam?
No
I remember that the evidence showed collusion with Russia.
If memory serves, 5 people were found guilty as a result of the investigation.

This layer or the dark colored glasses is why associations between Hitler, Nuclear war and Trump all seem attached.
No
The link between Trump and Hitler is simple; racism.
There are, of course, other parallels- like voter intimidation.

The left is more about feeling,
No, it's not.
Most scientists, for example, are Left wing.
The Right is full of nutters who believe things like homeopathy- because "it feels right".
It's the left who have a grasp of logic.
The Right just lie a lot.
Hint; they didn't build a wall and Mexico didn't pay for it.


This was all by design.
Whose?


Even the rational become irrational when the layers are switched on
Is that why you think that a 30% drop in the economy is the best it has done, or do you have some other reason to be irrational?
Leaning how this works is important to universal utopia.
You have much to learn. The first thing you need to learn is that listening to fox news makes you less well informed.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/11/2020 14:03:44
Politics is often about mud slinging and other forms negativity. The goal is to induce a different  memory layer for use by consciousness, so we will see what that layers wants us to see; dark glasses. This is not good for utopia.
Is it the terminal goal of politics? Why achieving that goal is preferred over not achieving it?

If it's just an instrumental goal, what is its terminal goal? Are there alternatives of instrumental goals to help achieving the terminal goal?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/11/2020 22:12:36
Politics is often about mud slinging and other forms negativity. The goal is to induce a different  memory layer for use by consciousness, so we will see what that layers wants us to see; dark glasses. This is not good for utopia.
Is it the terminal goal of politics? Why achieving that goal is preferred over not achieving it?

If it's just an instrumental goal, what is its terminal goal? Are there alternatives of instrumental goals to help achieving the terminal goal?
For now I'll assume that your silence means that you have realized that what you wrote was just a statistical fluke based on your personal experience, not the fundamental truth. Feel free to refute my assumption.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/11/2020 22:22:58
In the case of universal utopia, where the goal is to reduce the risk of existential threat down to zero, we will focus more on finding minima of the risk function and make progress using gradient descent.
A method to prevent being stuck in a local minima is using a low pass filter to smooth out the reward/utility function prior to applying gradient descent. It helps overcoming local barriers, but requires some sort of memory storage to keep the filtered contour. It's essentially building a simplified model of reality, just like virtual universe that I discuss in another thread.
Becoming modern humans is one of the changes done by our ancestors to enable us identify terminal goals. That is preceded by subsequent genetic changes shaped by evolutionary process, such as merging of chromosome #2, becoming primates, mammals, chordates, multicellular organisms, eukaryotes, respectively in reverse order.
There were also behavioral changes such as establishing effective communication and cooperation, using tools,  being bipedal, coming out of water, reproduce sexually, and so on.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/11/2020 10:23:32
The changes can be classified into two basic types: random and directed changes, which can be divided further into positive and negative changes. In simple models of optimization, we use gradient descent to find local minima or gradient ascent for local maxima.
But to find global minimum/maximum (extrema), an algorithm needs the ability to get free from being stuck at local extrema. It means the necessity to violate the rules of gradient descend/ascend, at least temporarily to find a higher local maximum or lower local minimum.

Random changes can be seen as high risk-high gain strategy, while directed changes can be seen as a more conservative and safer option. But if at some moment we are stuck at a local minimum and any small steps in every direction give out worst result than current situation, the random changes can be a better alternative solution.


Here is the example in genetic changes.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03061-x
How evolution builds genes from scratch
Quote
In the depths of winter, water temperatures in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean can sink below zero. That’s cold enough to freeze many fish, but the conditions don’t trouble the cod. A protein in its blood and tissues binds to tiny ice crystals and stops them from growing.

Where codfish got this talent was a puzzle that evolutionary biologist Helle Tessand Baalsrud wanted to solve. She and her team at the University of Oslo searched the genomes of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and several of its closest relatives, thinking they would track down the cousins of the antifreeze gene. None showed up. Baalsrud, who at the time was a new parent, worried that her lack of sleep was causing her to miss something obvious.

But then she stumbled on studies suggesting that genes do not always evolve from existing ones, as biologists long supposed. Instead, some are fashioned from desolate stretches of the genome that do not code for any functional molecules. When she looked back at the fish genomes, she saw hints this might be the case: the antifreeze protein — essential to the cod’s survival — had seemingly been built from scratch1. By that point, another researcher had reached a similar conclusion.

Quote
Although de novo genes remain enigmatic, their existence makes one thing clear: evolution can readily make something from nothing. “One of the beauties of working with de novo genes,” says Casola, “is that it shows how dynamic genomes are.”
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/11/2020 23:56:47
For simple organisms, life depends much on their environmental conditions, which are out of their control. Each individual has high risk of death as time passes by.
To overcome the risk, they need to reproduce at high rate, so some of their copies might be lucky enough and survive. But that strategy needs a lot of resources, thus not an efficient strategy.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 30/11/2020 09:05:36
In another thread, I've mentioned that creating backup is just one of many strategies to preserve information. In the case of living organisms, it's the genetic code.
Finally we get to the last question: how. There are some basic strategies to preserve information which I borrow from IT business:
Choosing robust media.
Creating multilayer protection.
Creating backups.
Create diversity to avoid common mode failures.

Organisms must allocate finite resources to those strategies optimally in order to maximize their chance of survival in ever changing environment. It brings in trade off situation which needs to be solved through trial and error, unless they have the proper information. This is where the need for building a virtual universe comes in. The virtualization makes the process of trial and error much more efficient and much faster.
It starts with very simple sensing capabilities of their environment, such as light, temperature, or certain types of chemicals, so they can react to avoid danger or to eat food. Generally, the more complex the situation to handle, the deeper the layer of neural network is required. There are also some minimum number of nodes in each layer to be useful. It creates further problem for tuning the hyperparameters. In the end, the optimum results are decided by evolutionary process through natural selection.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/12/2020 01:21:04
In this thread I've come into conclusion that the best case scenario for life is that conscious beings keep existing indefinitely and don't depend on particular natural resources. The next best thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the right direction to achieve that best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that all conscious beings go extinct, since it would make all the efforts we do now are worthless. In a universe without conscious being, the concept of goal itself become meaningless. The next worst thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the wrong direction which will eventually lead to that worst case scenario.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/12/2020 12:21:02
In this thread I've come into conclusion that the best case scenario for life is that conscious beings keep existing indefinitely and don't depend on particular natural resources. The next best thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the right direction to achieve that best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that all conscious beings go extinct, since it would make all the efforts we do now are worthless. In a universe without conscious being, the concept of goal itself become meaningless. The next worst thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the wrong direction which will eventually lead to that worst case scenario.
If humanity can achieve level 2 civilization in Kardashev scale, it's very likely we will find alien lifeform. If they are less intelligent than us, someone will ask why don't we just kill them all to gain access to their resources? On the other hand, if they turn out to be more intelligent than us, some of them will ask the same question about us.
The risk from clash of civilization can be prevented by considering some reasonings from both sides as follow:
- Embracing diversity is one of proven methods to mitigate destruction of information, closing the weakness of identical backups which are prone to common mode failures.
- The other civilizations can potentially offer new knowledge and experience which can be useful to handle unexpected problems in the future.
- If both civilizations have similar level of intelligence, there is a risk of mutual total destruction. It would get us closer to the worst case scenario, which we must avoid at all cost.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Jolly2 on 03/12/2020 03:15:42
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.

I find the question rather bizarre, are you suggesting an organism can become independent of reality?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/12/2020 10:07:01
In this thread I'd like to discuss if there is a goal or desired condition which is applicable for any organisms who have adequate time to evolve or develop until they are basically independent from condition of their natural environments.

I find the question rather bizarre, are you suggesting an organism can become independent of reality?
No. My statement above means that organisms can manipulate their natural environment to make it more suitable for them to live. Outer space is lethal for most organisms, but humans with current technology can already live in space for more than a year, and possibly longer, which is done in ISS.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/12/2020 01:23:10
In this thread I've come into conclusion that the best case scenario for life is that conscious beings keep existing indefinitely and don't depend on particular natural resources. The next best thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the right direction to achieve that best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that all conscious beings go extinct, since it would make all the efforts we do now are worthless. In a universe without conscious being, the concept of goal itself become meaningless. The next worst thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the wrong direction which will eventually lead to that worst case scenario.
In many religious beliefs, the best case scenario above is taken for granted. So their efforts are never directed towards achieving that. Instead, they set arbitrarily chosen preferred conditions as their terminal goal.
On the other hand, the worst case scenario is dismissed without adequate justification. This creates false security that whatever we do, it is guaranteed that the consequences will never bring that worse case scenario, so nothing is thought to be necessary to prevent it.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/12/2020 04:43:02
The minimum requirement for evolutionary process are duplication, mutation, and natural selection.

The most fundamental requirement is sufficient sefishness to survive. Then natural selection requires  conscious or unconscious competitiveness, whether to outgrow the adjacent tree or fight for mating rights. Very few species apart from the social insects seem to have evolved collaboratively.   

Self awareness came later in the process.
IMO, the most fundamental concept in the most general sense is information protection, as I've mentioned earlier.
For any true statement, there are infinitely many alternatives that are false.
Since the existence of the thinker is the only thing that can't be doubted, it must be defended at all cost.
Finally we get to the last question: how. There are some basic strategies to preserve information which I borrow from IT business:
Choosing robust media.
Creating multilayer protection.
Creating backups.
Create diversity to avoid common mode failures.

The existence of a thinker is subject to natural selection.
Thinkers who has backups tend to be better at survival than those who don't.
Thinkers who reproduce backups to replace the destroyed copies tend to survive better, otherwise, all of the copies will eventually break down.
Thinkers who actively protect their copies tend to survive better than those who don't.
Thinkers who produce better version of themselves at survival tend to survive better than who don't.
That information protection business applies broadly to any level of consciousness, from level 0 such as stones to infinity for Laplace's demon. Being hard as a diamond is a form of information protection. Being immersed in amber or buried under permafrost are some other methods. But those kind of protections are brittle. Some brief environmental changes can destroy them irreversibly. Some simple locomotion ability can often be effective in preventing the destruction.
Evolution process can be viewed as trial and error to achieve balance among different methods to protect information. Its effectiveness has been resembled by genetic algorithm with much higher speed and efficiency.
Being conscious offers flexibility to choose the most effective strategy and shifting balance among various methods according to current and future environmental conditions.
Moral rules are methods to protect conscious beings from threats by other conscious beings. Threats coming from non-conscious beings are better handled using other methods.
As I've suspected, discussion about morality is more intense than the goal itself. So I'd like to bring the discussion about more fundamental concepts of information protection and consciousness which are not directly related to morality here instead. I hope we can be more focused and go deep into details with less distraction.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/12/2020 06:11:53
Quote
Elon Musk delivers an inspirational speech. Listen to the end for the most life changing quote of all-time. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you cannot achieve your dreams. Elon Musk has faced more failure than 99% of people on this planet, yet still pursues his dreams and believes in himself.

On May 30th, SpaceX made a historic launch. Delivering 2 NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, and returning the rocket back to earth. Listen to one of the greatest minds to ever walk this earth!
Elon Musk's speech, especially from 9:35 mark in the video is getting very close to the universal utopia we've been discussing here.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/12/2020 09:22:01
I
Evolution process can be viewed as trial and error to achieve balance among different methods to protect information. Its effectiveness has been resembled by genetic algorithm with much higher speed and efficiency.
Being conscious offers flexibility to choose the most effective strategy and shifting balance among various methods according to current and future environmental conditions.
Moral rules are methods to protect conscious beings from threats by other conscious beings. Threats coming from non-conscious beings are better handled using other methods.
A lot of progress were started by repurposing some existing parts for some new functions, and then modify them to become more efficient at performing those functions. In evolutionary biology for example, many forms of locomotion in tetrapods were developed from a common body plan.
In engineering, many prototypes were first developed using general purpose components. When the proof of concept is successfully demonstrated, the next step is to make the system more efficient by removing unnecessary functionality, and replacement with more specialized components.
In computer technology, GPU, FPU, and ALU serve specific types of computation to be done more efficiently than CPU.
In pre-computer era, the only effective computational tool was brain. In prehistoric era, brain memory was the only effective dynamic data storage.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/12/2020 05:12:59
Here is a great video titled How Did Multicellularity Evolve? by Journey to the Microcosmos. It shows some examples of increase in effectiveness and efficiency through specialization.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/12/2020 10:56:21
This thread has been going for so long now that I think many people can't afford to follow it from the start. So I'll try to recap every once in awhile.
The most important thing is to keep the most important thing the most important thing.
– From the book “Foundation design”, by Coduto, Donald P.
The quote above summarizes the universal terminal goal poetically.
In this thread I've approached the question from deductive as well as inductive reasonings.
Deductive reasoning forces us to precisely define the meaning of each word that makes up the concept of universal terminal goal. They lead us to refine the concept of consciousness, which is required for a goal to exist at all.
Inductive reasoning starts from collecting as many examples of goals currently known, and then classify and sort them based on their universality and terminality. Subsequent steps of generalization lead us to some goals wich are widely applicable and nearly universal. But at some point, further generalization will make our goal lose it's meaning, and gives us nihilism. The point just before that is the answer we are looking for.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/01/2021 10:51:26
In my other thread, we also discussed about economy. Since it's not directly related to morality, I'll discuss about it here instead, since it's just another instrumental goal to help achieving a more fundamental terminal goal.
How do you measure the economy?
"The economy" is all the money that changes hands, plus an estimate of the monetary value of bartered goods. A significant proportion of The Economy is money spent on illegal drugs (estimated) and prostitution (increasingly accurate as the profession becomes unionised and employs accountants - nobody wants to be imprisoned for tax evasion). It has nothing to do with morality, productivity (20% of UK GNP is taken up in mortgage payments for secondhand houses) or standard of living.
Establishing good economy, just like with morality, is an instrumental goal to achieve longer term goal, which eventually leads to a terminal goal. Self sustaining community where its members can independently produce their own needs have 0 economy. It's not necessarily a bad thing.
IMO, economy is about resource management, including generation, distribution, and consumption to help achieving the terminal goal effectively and efficiently. Generally the resource distribution is regulated by currency, which can be some form of energy, matter, or information. Its main function is to prevent the system from collapse because all resources are exploited by some kind of insatiable utility monsters. 

A chemical compound named ATP is often referred to as the energy currency of the cell and can be compared to storing money in a bank. ATP can be used to store energy for future reactions or be withdrawn to pay for reactions when energy is required by the cell. Animals store the energy obtained from the breakdown of food as ATP.

Physical currency, including bank notes work as media of distributed calculations performed by each economic agents.
The real currency in crypto is the energy required to perform the calculations as proof of work to confirm transactions.

Even simple multicellular organisms show some apparent economic awareness using electrochemical signalling as currency.
Here is a great video titled How Did Multicellularity Evolve? by Journey to the Microcosmos. It shows some examples of increase in effectiveness and efficiency through specialization.


Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/01/2021 12:09:48
Economic systems with emphasis on resource distribution rely on the efficiency of scaling up process which can reduce the portion of fixed costs from total cost. But distribution process itself is costly.  Transportation of raw materials from suppliers to factories, finish goods from factory to consumers, electricity from utility plants, all use energy and some other resources.
Reducing distribution costs can increase overall efficiency, by producing the resources locally. Locally generated electricity from solar cells and advanced 3d printing technology can help solving this issue. Imagine if we can 3d print all goods we need to survive, including synthetic foods made from materials available around us.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/01/2021 06:36:59
This is a video about vertical farming, which is hopefully can solve our problem of providing food to more people in more limited space.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/01/2021 09:42:12
Here are another reasons why finding a universal terminal goal is becoming more urgent recently, as technological advancement is growing exponentially. A conscious agent without clear guidance and little power is like a blind pedestrian. A conscious agent without clear guidance but have technologically advanced power is like a blind tank driver on a crowded city street.
Some main points I get from the videos are:
- Autopilot builds a virtual universe in its memory space to represent its surrounding environment based on data input from its sensors.
- Modular concepts are employed to increase efficiency, so many things don't have to start from scratch again everytime new feature is added.
- Building the virtual universe is done in real time which means a lot of new data is acquired, hence a lot of older data must be discarded. Therefore, to make the system work, it must compress the incoming data into meaningful and useful concepts, after filtering out noises and insignificant information.
- Those data selection requires data hierarchy like deep believe network I mentioned earlier. Higher level information (believe) determine which data from lower level believe nodes to be kept and used or discarded and ignored. It's similar to how human brain works. That's why sometimes we find it hard to convince people by simply presenting facts that contradict their existing believe system, such as flat earthers, MAGA crowd, or religious fanatics.
- The automation process is kept being automated, up into several levels of automation. We are building machines that build machines that build machines, and so on, as Ray Kurzweil called indirection. And those machines are getting better at achieveing their goals put into them. That's why it's getting more urgent for us to find a universal terminal goal, as I discuss in another thread.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/01/2021 22:10:11
https://theconversation.com/vampire-finches-how-little-birds-in-the-galapagos-evolved-to-drink-blood-153010
The article shows an example which can support hypothesis that gut microbiome is part of individual organisms, since it determines their behavior.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/01/2021 22:41:02
Consciousness plays central role in discussing the universal terminal goal. Here is some newest progress in our efforts to understand it.
https://scitechdaily.com/scientists-use-physics-to-understand-the-mystery-of-consciousness/amp/
Quote
 
Physics
Scientists Use Physics to Understand the Mystery of Consciousness
By Monash University on Jun 07, 2020
The study is potentially applicable to humans and reflects a growing interest in new theories of consciousness that are experimentally testable.


An international study involving Monash physicists has confirmed a new approach to measure consciousness, potentially changing our understanding complex neurological problems.

The study published yesterday in Physical Review Research describes how tools from physics and complexity theory were used to determine the level of consciousness in fruit flies.

“This is a major problem in neuroscience, where it is crucial to differentiate between unresponsive vegetative patients and those suffering from a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally because of complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body,” said study author Dr. Kavan Modi, from the Monash University School of Physics and Astronomy. 
Quote
   The research team studied the brain signals produced by 13 fruit flies both when they were awake and when they were anesthetized. They then analyzed the signals to see how complex they were.

“We found the statistical complexity to be larger when a fly is awake than when the same fly is anesthetized,” Dr. Modi said.

“This is important because it suggests a reliable way to determine the level of conscious arousal by tapping into a small region of the brain, rather than many parts of the brain.

“It also suggests that there is a clear marker of conscious arousal that does not depend on specific external stimuli.”

The researchers concluded that applying a similar analysis to other datasets, in particular, human EEG data could lead to new discoveries regarding the relationship between consciousness and complexity.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/01/2021 21:26:44
Just in case I haven't made it clear yet,  when I said that currently known best chance to achieve the universal terminal goal is through improvement of humanity, I meant it as a superorganism, rather than human individuals. Individually, there's nothing much can be done compared to other life forms.
The parts of this superorganism are not limited to physical bodies of homo sapiens, but include everything else that supporting its existence, such as their microbiome, food chains, infrastructures, institutions, and knowledge.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/01/2021 22:25:25
As long as we still exist, there is a chance to achieve the universal terminal goal. As long as it hasn't been achieved yet, there's always a room for improvement. It means something must change. Which part is yet to be determined. An accurate virtual universe can help identifying the most effective and efficient changes to be done.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/01/2021 04:32:50
One of the changes can be done is by diversifying genome. It has been done successfully by the last universal common ancestor on earth. It has also been done by our first mammalian ancestors, and first primate ancestors. Homo sapiens may branch into several new species which best fit into their different environmental conditions.

Another way is by merging with non-human beings. According to Symbiogenesis, the origin of eukaryotic cells including human cells are from the merge of formerly free-living prokaryotes. Many currently living humans are product of interbreeding with Neanderthals and Denisovans. Neuralink aims to merge humans with machines to improve their information processing capability.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/01/2021 15:14:11
Nowadays, senescence and degenerative diseases sound like stupid design. But back then, they were important mechanisms to enforce genetic changes, hence opening the chance for genetic improvement.
Even though harmful mutations have higher chance to occur than the beneficial ones, the risk can be countered by higher reproduction rate. But that means many individuals must be sacrificed to accumulate genetic improvements, which is not an efficient strategy.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/01/2021 01:55:26
Just in case I haven't made it clear yet,  when I said that currently known best chance to achieve the universal terminal goal is through improvement of humanity, I meant it as a superorganism, rather than human individuals. Individually, there's nothing much can be done compared to other life forms.
The parts of this superorganism are not limited to physical bodies of homo sapiens, but include everything else that supporting its existence, such as their microbiome, food chains, infrastructures, institutions, and knowledge.
The whole process that produced current human civilization is essentially an accumulation of organized information. Only by continuing this process we will be able to achieve the universal terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/01/2021 04:53:32
Nowadays, senescence and degenerative diseases sound like stupid design. But back then, they were important mechanisms to enforce genetic changes, hence opening the chance for genetic improvement.
Even though harmful mutations have higher chance to occur than the beneficial ones, the risk can be countered by higher reproduction rate. But that means many individuals must be sacrificed to accumulate genetic improvements, which is not an efficient strategy.
This inefficiency can be countered by sexual reproduction. Specimens containing harmful mutations will find it harder to reproduce. They may not even live long enough into maturity.
Sexual reproduction which works mostly in diploid or polyploid organism enables accumulation of organized information in a form of genetic materials.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/01/2021 13:04:29
Domestication as a form of artificial selection has produced organisms with desired characteristics much faster than an evolutionary process through natural selection only. Better control of genetic editing tool could accelerate the process even much faster.
https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/talen-gene-editing-tool-more-efficient-than-crispr-cas9-certain-dna-study

Quote
  CRISPR-Cas9 has made waves in the biomedical world as a revolutionary gene editing tool, even garnering a 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. But it has its limitations.

A research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) showed that another gene editing technique called TALEN is up to five times more efficient than CRISPR-Cas9 in a highly compact form of DNA called heterochromatin, according to results published in Nature Communications.

The findings point to TALEN as a better option for the engineering of some hard-to-edit genomic regions, which could be applicable to both research and therapies, the scientists argued. Genetic defects in heterochromatin can cause such diseases as sickle cell anemia, beta thalassemia and fragile X syndrome. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/01/2021 09:57:47
Quote
An anthropologist dives into the world of genetic engineering to explore whether gene-editing tools such as CRISPR fulfill the hope of redesigning our species for the better.   
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  Strictly speaking, we are all mutants. At a molecular level, each of us is unique. Each of us starts life with 40–80 new mutations that were not found in our parents. From birth, each of us has around 20 inactive genes from loss-of-function mutations. During the course of a normal human life, we also accumulate mutations in our bodies, even in our brains. By the time we reach age 60, a single skin cell will contain between 4,000 and 40,000 mutations, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These genetic changes are the result of mistakes made each time our DNA is copied during cell division or when cells are damaged by radiation, ultraviolet rays, or toxic chemicals. Generally, mutations aren’t good or bad, just different.
https://www.sapiens.org/culture/crispr-mutants/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/01/2021 11:59:23
The idea of universal utopia came from a thought experiment. What would happen if there are conscious beings that manage to keep improving at getting what they want or desire. Their desire must be compatible at least, to their survival. Otherwise, they would stop existing, and their desire would disappear as well. The question is, will their desires converge into the same thing as time goes on?
Suppose that they can change or modify their desires, superfluous desires would likely be eliminated from their list as time passes by. Only desires which are necessary for their survival would stand.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/02/2021 19:05:47
So far, I've seen that progress of continuous improvement of organized information system can be classified into two types, generalization and specialization. Perhaps it's comparable to bulking and cutting process in body building.
Generalization works by expanding functionality of existing components of the system. This concept emphasizes on effectiveness over efficiency.
Specialization works by removing unnecessary capability of components which are not related to their main function in a system. This concept emphasizes on increasing efficiency while maintaining effectiveness.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/02/2021 06:43:41
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_world
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The RNA world is a hypothetical stage in the evolutionary history of life on Earth, in which self-replicating RNA molecules proliferated before the evolution of DNA and proteins. The term also refers to the hypothesis that posits the existence of this stage.

Alexander Rich first proposed the concept of the RNA world in 1962,[1] and Walter Gilbert coined the term in 1986.[2] Alternative chemical paths to life have been proposed,[3] and RNA-based life may not have been the first life to exist.[2][4] Even so, the evidence for an RNA world is strong enough that the hypothesis has gained wide acceptance.[1][5][6] The concurrent formation of all four RNA building blocks further strengthened the hypothesis.[7]

Like DNA, RNA can store and replicate genetic information; like protein enzymes, RNA enzymes (ribozymes) can catalyze (start or accelerate) chemical reactions that are critical for life.[8] One of the most critical components of cells, the ribosome, is composed primarily of RNA. Ribonucleotide moieties in many coenzymes, such as acetyl-CoA, NADH, FADH, and F420, may be surviving remnants of covalently bound coenzymes in an RNA world.[9]

Although RNA is fragile, some ancient RNAs may have evolved the ability to methylate other RNAs to protect them.[10]

If the RNA world existed, it was probably followed by an age characterized by the evolution of ribonucleoproteins (RNP world),[2] which in turn ushered in the era of DNA and longer proteins. DNA has better stability and durability than RNA; this may explain why it became the predominant information storage molecule.[11] Protein enzymes may have come to replace RNA-based ribozymes as biocatalysts because their greater abundance and diversity of monomers makes them more versatile. As some co-factors contain both nucleotide and amino-acid characteristics, it may be that amino acids, peptides and finally proteins initially were co-factors for ribozymes.[9]
Multitalented RNA can be viewed as an example of generalization step.
It seems to be followed by specialization steps, which are employing DNA as better suited molecules to store information, and proteins—workhorse molecules that perform important tasks.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/02/2021 06:45:56
Here's another important discovery to help us figure out how life might began.
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The cells that make up all living things, despite their endless variations, contain three fundamental elements. There are molecules that encode information and can be copied—DNA and its simpler relative, RNA. There are proteins—workhorse molecules that perform important tasks. And encapsulating them all, there’s a membrane made from fatty acids. Go back far enough in time, before animals and plants and even bacteria existed, and you’d find that the precursor of all life—what scientists call a “protocell”—likely had this same trinity of parts: RNA and proteins, in a membrane. As the physicist Freeman Dyson once said, “Life began with little bags of garbage.”

The bags—the membranes—were crucial. Without something to corral the other molecules, they would all just float away, diffusing into the world and achieving nothing. By concentrating them, membranes transformed an inanimate world of disordered chemicals into one teeming with redwoods and redstarts, elephants and E. coli, humans and hagfish. Life, at its core, is about creating compartments. And that’s much easier and much harder than it might seem.
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First, the easy bit. Early cell membranes were built from fatty acids—molecules that look like lollipops, with round heads and long tails. The heads enjoy the company of water; the tails despise it. So, when placed in water, fatty acids self-assemble into hollow spheres, with the water-hating tails pointing inward and the water-loving heads on the surface. These spheres can enclose RNA and proteins, making protocells. Fatty acids, then, can automatically create the compartments that were necessary for life to emerge. It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is, for two reasons. Life first arose in salty oceans, and salt catastrophically destabilizes the fatty-acid spheres. Also, certain ions, including magnesium and iron, cause the spheres to collapse, which is problematic since RNA—another key component of early protocells—requires these ions. How, then, could life possibly have arisen, when the compartments it needs are destroyed by the conditions in which it first emerged, and by the very ingredients it needs to thrive?

Caitlin Cornell and Sarah Keller have an answer to this paradox. They’ve shown that the spheres can withstand both salt and magnesium ions, as long as they’re in the presence of amino acids—the simple molecules that are the building blocks of proteins. The little suns that Cornell saw under her microscope were mixtures of amino acids and fatty acids, holding their spherical shape in the presence of salt.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/interlocking-puzzle-allowed-life-emerge/595945/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/02/2021 07:04:02
(https://d2r55xnwy6nx47.cloudfront.net/uploads/2019/09/StarttoLife_560.jpg)
https://www.quantamagazine.org/origin-of-life-study-points-to-chemical-chimeras-not-rna-20190916/
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Scientists studying how life arose from the primordial soup have been too eager to clean up the clutter.

Four billion years ago, the prebiotic Earth was a messy place, a chaotic mélange of diverse starting materials. Even so, certain key molecules still somehow managed to emerge from that chemical mayhem — RNA, DNA and proteins among them. But in the quest to understand how that happened, according to Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in California, researchers have been so myopic in their focus on reactions that generate molecules relevant to the planet’s current inhabitants that they’ve overlooked other possibilities.

“They are trying to impose biology today on prebiotic chemistry,” he said. “But trying to make the final product right from the raw material — it misleads us.”
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The narrative that has tantalized origin-of-life researchers for decades is the RNA world scenario: Pure RNA arose within the original prebiotic broth of molecules; the RNA made copies of itself but also later evolved and invented DNA as a more stable partner in replication; peptides joined the dance somewhere along the way. This theory has mainly been bolstered by the discovery that RNA can act both as a genetic material and as a catalyst, meaning it could have performed those roles early in life’s history and handed the baton over to DNA and proteins later on.

But the RNA world isn’t a perfect solution. Perhaps the biggest stumbling block is that there have been serious problems with getting pure RNA to replicate itself sustainably in the laboratory. As a first step toward making a copy of itself, a single strand of RNA can take up complementary nucleotide building blocks from its surroundings and stitch them together. But the paired RNA strands then tend to bind to each other so tightly that they don’t unwind without help, which prevents them from acting as either catalysts or templates for further RNA strands.
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“It’s a real challenge,” Sutherland said. “It’s held the field back for a long time.”

But perhaps starting with a jumble of compounds instead of pure RNA alone could fix that, Krishnamurthy thought, after a 2016 experiment involving just such a melting pot yielded unexpected results.
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“I think the RNA world was like an aphrodisiac for many people,” Krishnamurthy said. “It was like a fairy-tale ending: RNA was made and everyone lived happily ever after.” But now it’s becoming clear that “in prebiotic chemistry, you [should be] happy to work with mixtures, and you don’t have to find chemistry that will make only one particular molecule, which is unrealistic.”

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/02/2021 08:54:39
In early human civilizations as superorganisms, external data storages came into existence as an alternative for human brains which are typically less reliable as long term memory. Painting on cave walls and clay tablets are some examples. More practical, and more capacity data storage evolved in the form of writings on paper, printing press, microfilms. Invention of computer requires better version of data storage more suited to digital information. They started with punched cards, then magnetic tapes/discs, optical discs, and solid state drives.
With the advancement of telecommunication through Internet, cloud based data servers become more feasible.
Currently, semiconductor-based memories seem to outperform biological neurons in many categories. The reason why they were not employed by natural biology is likely because they don't readily self duplicate, and the process to produce them is too long and complex in biological standard.
As a superorganism, human civilization has found a better functionality of data storage in semiconductor based memories. It doesn't matter if they don't self duplicate since they can be produced through mass production in chip factories. This is another example of specialization process at work.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/02/2021 23:17:46
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00307-5
Insta-crop: CRISPR enables high-speed plant domestication
Quote
  Scientists have used genome sequencing and editing to develop a rapid-fire way to domesticate plants, allowing the quick transformation of wild rice into a bountiful crop.

The common form of domesticated rice (Oryza sativa) has two copies of its genome in most cells, but some of its wild relatives have four — a feature that has been associated with vigorous and hardy plants. To take advantage of such genomic richness, Jiayang Li at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and his colleagues developed a way to make precise changes to the genome of a wild species of rice called Oryza alta. Such precision genome editing is a challenging task in many plants. 
Domestication is another example of specialization process. Many functionalities required to survive in the wild are no longer needed in domesticated environment, thus can be removed to reduce cost of growth.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/02/2021 00:46:17
Specialization is a regularly seen process in engineering to increase efficiency.

Quote
The best process is no process. It weighs nothing, costs nothing, can't go wrong. So, as obvious as that sounds, the best part is no part.   
Elon Musk
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/02/2021 10:05:00
Quote
Life with purpose
Biologists balk at any talk of ‘goals’ or ‘intentions’ – but a bold new research agenda has put agency back on the table
https://aeon.co/essays/the-biological-research-putting-purpose-back-into-life
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One of biology’s most enduring dilemmas is how it dances around the issue at the core of such a description: agency, the ability of living entities to alter their environment (and themselves) with purpose to suit an agenda. Typically, discussions of goals and purposes in biology get respectably neutered with scare quotes: cells and bacteria aren’t really ‘trying’ to do anything, just as organisms don’t evolve ‘in order to’ achieve anything (such as running faster to improve their chances of survival). In the end, it’s all meant to boil down to genes and molecules, chemistry and physics – events unfolding with no aim or design, but that trick our narrative-obsessed minds into perceiving these things.

Yet, on the contrary, we now have growing reasons to suspect that agency is a genuine natural phenomenon. Biology could stop being so coy about it if only we had a proper theory of how it arises. Unfortunately, no such thing currently exists, but there’s increasing optimism that a theory of agency can be found – and, moreover, that it’s not necessarily unique to living organisms. A grasp of just what it is that enables an entity to act as an autonomous agent, altering its behaviour and environment to achieve certain ends, should help reconcile biology to the troublesome notions of purpose and function.
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But if we break down agency into its constituents, we can see how it might arise even in the absence of a mind that ‘thinks’, at least in the traditional sense. Agency stems from two ingredients: first, an ability to produce different responses to identical (or equivalent) stimuli, and second, to select between them in a goal-directed way. Neither of these capacities is unique to humans, nor to brains in general.
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At the very least, the latest research suggests that it’s wrong to regard agency as just a curious byproduct of blind evolutionary forces. Nor should we believe that it’s an illusion produced by our tendency to project human attributes onto the world. Rather, agency appears to be an occasional, remarkable property of matter, and one we should feel comfortable invoking when offering causal explanations of what we’re observing.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/02/2021 11:56:42
I bring this here to discuss further about the goal itself, which is not directly related to morality.
Cogito ergo sum is the only naturally occuring connection between subjective and objective reality. The "ought world" only tells half story of subjective reality. The other half is its opposite, which is the "ought not world". Somehow Hume's guillotine left this part untouched.
So the more complete map to describe those worlds would consist of a city part on the left side representing "ought not world" or something that conscious agents want to avoid, middle part of the city representing objective reality, city part on the right side representing "ought world", or something that is preferred by conscious agents. Those city parts are separated by two rivers, which represent natural separations between subjective and objective realities.
"Ought" and "ought not" worlds are both subjective. The only naturally occuring objective tool to separate them off is the anthropic principle.
Conscious systems which bring their "is" world closer to "ought" world are likely to survive, and have the chance to bring it even closer. On the other hand, those who bring their "is" world closer to "ought not" world are likely to extinct, and can not argue about it anymore.
Argumentations over ought and ought not worlds are always done from surviving conscious agents' point of view. Failure to get the correct conclusion means waiting for extinction.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/02/2021 06:20:18
Argumentations over ought and ought not worlds are always done from surviving conscious agents' point of view. Failure to get the correct conclusion means waiting for extinction.
I can confidently say that anyone reading this statement believes that being alive is better than being dead. At least for the moment they're reading it. Otherwise they would have been dead already, or being busy trying to kill themselves instead of reading this post.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/02/2021 10:17:55
Why do things exist? Setting the stage for evolution.
This video kicks off the evolution series by going broad and thinking about why things - including non-living things - exist at all. The first in a series on evolution.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/02/2021 05:51:12
In this video, we go beyond equilibrium and think about how populations of replicators grow, or don't.

In this video, we see how mutations can lead from simple replicators to complex organisms. The third in a series on evolution.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/02/2021 06:02:19
Resource limits bend exponential curves into S-shaped logistic curves.

Simulating Natural Selection
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/02/2021 08:43:41
What's a "selfish gene"?

Simulating the Evolution of Aggression

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/02/2021 08:57:51
The simulations above clearly shows that life, and consciousness as its product of continuous improvement are universal features which can arise anywhere in the universe, given the right conditions.
There is no fundamental restriction for life, nor consciousness, to only exist on earth.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/03/2021 09:04:07
Argumentations over ought and ought not worlds are always done from surviving conscious agents' point of view. Failure to get the correct conclusion means waiting for extinction.
I can confidently say that anyone reading this statement believes that being alive is better than being dead. At least for the moment they're reading it. Otherwise they would have been dead already, or being busy trying to kill themselves instead of reading this post.
An existing conscious agent can classify other conscious agents into three categories: those who promote its existence, those who obstruct its existence, and those who are neutral. Those who seem to be neutral can be considered obstructive if they use up the same resources, hence reducing available quantity of resources for the agent.
Besides classification of agents, we can also classify their behaviors. Someone's parents are generally classified as promoting agents, but their behaviors can be classified further. Their smoking, drinking, or speeding habits can be classified as obstructing behaviors.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/03/2021 14:48:25
I discuss about terminal goal in someone else's thread, and I've made some points there. I bring it here in case you want to discuss further about them.
As I mentioned in my thread, we should expand our point of view so we see can the universe from the collective consciousness perspective which acts as a superorganism. We shouldn't limit our decision making process selfishly, based on its consequences to ourselves as an individual specimens. Our cells, even our organelles, have grown up from acting selfishly, for the good of the bigger systems they are being part of. Why couldn't we?
At least for now, I think that my position is the only reasonable alternative to nihilism. If you think you have a better option, feel free to share and discuss it, either here or in my thread.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/03/2021 22:32:01
This article tells us what we know about consciousness.

http://m.nautil.us/issue/98/mind/consciousness-is-just-a-feeling

Quote
You write about a seminal moment in your childhood when your older brother suffered a serious brain injury. Can you describe what happened?

I was 4 and he was 6. My parents were yachting and I was down at the water’s edge, but he, with some friends, clambered onto the roof of the clubhouse. Then he tripped and fell three stories onto the pavement below and fractured his skull. He lost consciousness on impact and sustained an intracerebral hemorrhage. We were living in a small village, so he had to be flown to a hospital in Cape Town, and he was very lucky to survive the accident. What was so disturbing and really difficult to comprehend for me was the fact that he looked the same, but was utterly changed. He lost his developmental milestones. For example, he became incontinent and his personality was very changed. He was much more emotional, irascible and difficult, but also intellectually, he was changed.

You say this had a profound impact on you.

It did. We underestimate little children. You start thinking, How can it be that the brain is this thing in his head that’s been damaged and now he looks the same but isn’t the same? Where is he? How can this person, my brother, be an organ? I quickly extrapolated that to my own case and thought, “Hmmm, am I my brain and how can that be? If my brain were to be damaged, would I be a different person? Where would the original version of me go?” And it was a tragedy for my parents. They felt terribly guilty.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/03/2021 22:35:24
Quote
The major point of contention is whether consciousness can be reduced to the laws of physics or biology. The philosopher David Chalmers has speculated that consciousness is a fundamental property of nature that’s not reducible to any laws of nature.

I accept that, except for the word “fundamental.” I argue that consciousness is a property of nature, but it’s not a fundamental property. It’s quite easy to argue that there was a big bang very long ago and long after that, there was an emergence of life. If Chalmers’ view is that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe, it must have preceded even the emergence of life. I know there are people who believe that. But as a scientist, when you look at the weight of the evidence, it’s just so much less plausible that there was already some sort of elementary form of consciousness even at the moment of the Big Bang. That’s basically the same as the idea of God. It’s not really grappling with the problem.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/03/2021 22:37:31
Quote
Where are those feelings rooted in the brain?

Feeling arises in a very ancient part of the brain, in the upper brainstem in structures we share with all vertebrates. This part of the brain is over 500 million years old. The very telling fact is that damage to those structures—tiny lesions as small as the size of a match head in parts of the reticular activating system—obliterates all consciousness. That fact alone demonstrates that more complex cognitive consciousness is dependent upon the basic affective form of consciousness that’s generated in the upper brainstem.

So we place too much emphasis on the cortex, which we celebrate because it’s what makes humans smart.

Exactly. Our evolutionary pride and joy is the huge cortical expanse that only mammals have, and we humans have even more of it. That was the biggest mistake we’ve made in the history of the neuroscience of consciousness. The evidence for the cortex being the seat of consciousness is really weak. If you de-corticate a neonatal mammal—say, a rat or a mouse—it doesn’t lose consciousness. Not only does it wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, it runs and hangs from bars, swims, eats, copulates, plays, raises its pups to maturity. All of this emotional behavior remains without any cortex.

And the same applies to human beings. Children born with no cortex, a condition called hydranencephaly—not to be confused with hydrocephaly—are exactly the same as what I’ve just described in these experimental animals. They wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night, smile when they’re happy and fuss when they’re frustrated. Of course, you can’t speak to them, because they’ve got no cortex. They can’t tell you that they’re conscious, but they show consciousness and feeling in just the same way as our pets do.
.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/03/2021 22:45:44
Quote
You say we really have two brains—the brainstem and the cortex.

Yes, but the cortex is incapable of generating consciousness by itself. The cortex borrows, as it were, its consciousness from the brainstem. Moreover, consciousness is not intrinsic to what the cortex does. The cortex can perform high level, uniquely human cognitive operations as reading with comprehension, without consciousness being necessary at all. So why does it ever become conscious? The answer is that we have to feel our way into cognition because this is where the values come from. Is this going well or badly? All choices, any decision-making, has to be grounded in a value system where one thing is better than another thing.
.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/03/2021 23:06:34
Quote
The only point of learning from past events is to better predict future events. That’s the whole point of memory. It’s not just a library where we file away everything that’s happened to us. And the reason why we need to keep a record of what’s happened in the past is so that we can use it as a basis for predicting the future. And yes, the hippocampus is every bit as much for imagining the future as remembering the past. You might say it’s remembering the future.
The point I took is that intelligence is a tool to help preserve consciousness. A powerful and universal tool. Building a superintelligent system would be a universal goal of any naturally occurring conscious beings, whenever they've passed some threshold level of consciousness.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/03/2021 06:45:15
The Future of Medicine from Cambridge University's Youtube channel.


Quote
Nanobots that patrol our bodies, killer immune cells hunting and destroying cancer cells, biological scissors that cut out defective genes: these are just some of the technologies that Cambridge University researchers are developing and which are set to revolutionise medicine in the future. To tie-in with the recent launch of the Cambridge Academy of Therapeutic Sciences, researchers discuss some of the most exciting developments in medical research and set out their vision for the next 50 years.

Any conscious being capable of identifying a problem will try to overcome it. If the process is successfully repeated, sooner or later they will converge into achieving the universal utopia.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/03/2021 06:55:20
How to Protect Our Future (When AI Gets Too Smart)
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As technology continues to rapidly advance, the future of AI looks promising, but it doesn’t come without risks. How we choose to govern artificial intelligence could play an integral role in protecting the human race.

Experts believe the real risk of AI is its usage to threaten the legitimacy of political, financial, and social institutions. In the wrong hands, AI could be used to leverage one’s position and gain unchecked access to information, wealth, and power.

Determining how to effectively create and apply regulations for AI governance is paramount to ensuring that the technology is appropriately leveraged to benefit society.
"AI in the wrong hand" is a figurative term to express a worry that AI will be used to achieve a wrong goal, which is conflicting with the universal terminal goal, or at least leading to inefficient route in achieving the universal terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/03/2021 10:09:07
Children born with no cortex, a condition called hydranencephaly—not to be confused with hydrocephaly—are exactly the same as what I’ve just described in these experimental animals. They wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night, smile when they’re happy and fuss when they’re frustrated. Of course, you can’t speak to them, because they’ve got no cortex. They can’t tell you that they’re conscious, but they show consciousness and feeling in just the same way as our pets do.
Let's make a thought experiment. A children with hydranencephaly is given an advanced artificial neural network to replace the functionality of his cortex. It gives him a superhuman ability in cognitive functions. He could easily beat human champions in games like chess and go, also in math competitions. Should he be allowed to participate in those competitions? Can he compete for job applications?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/03/2021 02:53:48
Quote
Philosophers have been making the controversial claim that free will is an illusion for hundreds of years, but is there proof? Are their conclusions well founded?

The idea that humans might not have complete autonomy over their lives brings into question what extent we do have control over. If free will is an illusion, and our control is actually limited, then things like criminal law and social status may be drawn into question.

To advance our collective understanding of free will, Dr. Uri Maoz is leading a collaborative research project that’s bringing together neuroscientists and philosophers from around the world. Here’s his take on the age-old debate.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/03/2021 11:13:37
Rocket Science Explained By Elon Musk
A good video for inspiration. Apparently, his ultimate goal as mentioned below is an instrumental goal to help achieving the universal terminal goal.
Quote
Rocket Science Explained By Elon Musk who founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX. His goal was to make rockets for space travel more affordable, with the ultimate goal of creating a colony on Mars.
“What Elon did was very different. He didn’t just throw some play money in. He put in his heart, his soul and his mind.”
Chapters:
0:00​ Intro
0:15​ Orbital dynamics in rocket science
 4:25​ Rocket stage separation
4:43​ Why rocket stages need to land in ocean on a drone ship
6:43​ Rocket control in vacuum (Nitrogen Jets)
7:30​ Rocket control in air (Grid Fins)
9:01​ Why reusability of rockets is important
Thanks for the inspiration to  @SpaceX   , @NASA    and for music thanks to  @newarta   and  @Happy Soul Music Library ​


10:18 Would you try to save a $30Million palette of cash falling through the atmosphere, which is gonna burn up and smashing into tiny pieces?
I think we can all agree that efficiency is a universal instrumental goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/03/2021 13:44:05
CRISPR and "The Code Breaker"
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Visionary biochemist Jennifer Doudna shared the Nobel Prize last year for the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), which has the potential to cure diseases caused by genetic mutations. Correspondent David Pogue talks with Doudna about the promises and perils of CRISPR; and with Walter Isaacson, author of the new book "The Code Breaker," about why the biotech revolution will dwarf the digital revolution in importance.

"CBS Sunday Morning" features stories on the arts, music, nature, entertainment, sports, history, science and Americana, and highlights unique human accomplishments and achievements. Check local listings for CBS Sunday Morning broadcast times.

If we can improve our current condition, should we?
Should we prevent any change to our current condition?
Is there a fundamental limit to the change we can make to ourselves?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/03/2021 13:33:54
https://twitter.com/svpino/status/1372286114669551616?s=19

tools and frameworks continue to evolve. What makes you money today will be automated in some form. You must keep moving.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/03/2021 07:51:37
https://twitter.com/svpino/status/1372286114669551616?s=19

tools and frameworks continue to evolve. What makes you money today will be automated in some form. You must keep moving.
It reminds us that getting a job is just an instrumental goal to help achieving a longer term goal, i.e. earning money. In turn, it's just an instrumental goal too, which is to pay for daily needs to survive, such as buying food, clothing, housing, entertainment, etc. In turn, they are just instrumental goal to achieve a yet longer term goal, which is our individual survival or self perseverance.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/03/2021 14:52:23
If our individual self perseverance is our terminal goal, then our death means our failure to achieve it. No matter what we had achieved previously, they would be insignificant and non-essential.
On the other hand, if what we do in our lives are dedicated to help achieving the terminal goal of a larger system than an individual organism, they can be still meaningful as long as the system exists.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 00:24:56
The larger systems people have notably chosen are their families, clans, tribes, nations, races, species, cults, denominations, religions, ideologies.
To be fair, for the sake of the argument, and for brainstorming, it is logically possible to set the preservation of smaller systems as the terminal goal, such as some specific organs, tissues, cells, genes. Hence, someone's death isn't necessarily means their failure, nor the end of their terminal goal, as long as the body parts whose preservation is set as the terminal goal still exists.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 02:50:01
To be fair, for the sake of the argument, and for brainstorming, it is logically possible to set the preservation of smaller systems as the terminal goal, such as some specific organs, tissues, cells, genes. Hence, someone's death isn't necessarily means their failure, nor the end of their terminal goal, as long as the body parts whose preservation is set as the terminal goal still exists.
For most people, this kind of goals may seem absurd. Imagine someone who thinks that his terminal goal is to preserve his skull, or his specific DNA. But they may also view other people's terminal goals as equally absurd for those who don't share them.
For an exercise, what do you think about someone who think that their terminal goal is to preserve their family?
What about their clan? their tribe? race? species? genus? class? phylum? village? country? planet? tradition? culture? religion? ideology?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 06:28:29
It's possible for someone to believe that he has no terminal goal. His actions are driven by his current desires and feelings, such as pain and pleasure. Other people would say that his actual terminal goal is to follow his own desires, feelings, or instinct.
It would be hard for him to convince other people to commit to some coordinated actions, even when they share their believes that there is no such thing as a terminal goal. Their commitment to achieve common goals are limited to their shared temporary desires, which would be less effective compared to coordinated actions which are done with all out commitment.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 07:05:35
It would be hard for him to convince other people to commit to some coordinated actions, even when they share their believes that there is no such thing as a terminal goal. Their commitment to achieve common goals are limited to their shared temporary desires, which would be less effective compared to coordinated actions which are done with all out commitment.
Imagine someone who has strong belief that there is no terminal goal, and makes commitment that he will do everything it takes to convince all other people that it's the case. It would appear that his terminal goal is to convince other people that there is no terminal goal. This position is self defeating and would be hard to follow.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 07:36:55
https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/orthogonality-thesis

Quote
The Orthogonality Thesis states that an artificial intelligence can have any combination of intelligence level and goal, that is, its Utility Functions(94) and General Intelligence(52) can vary independently of each other. This is in contrast to the belief that, because of their intelligence, AIs will all converge to a common goal. The thesis was originally defined by Nick Bostrom in the paper "Superintelligent Will", (along with the instrumental convergence thesis). For his purposes, Bostrom defines intelligence to be instrumental rationality.
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Defense of the thesis
It has been pointed out that the orthogonality thesis is the default position, and that the burden of proof is on claims that limit possible AIs. Stuart Armstrong writes that,

One reason many researchers assume superintelligences to converge to the same goals may be because most humans have similar values. Furthermore, many philosophies hold that there is a rationally correct morality, which implies that a sufficiently rational AI will acquire this morality and begin to act according to it. Armstrong points out that for formalizations of AI such as AIXI and Gödel machines, the thesis is known to be true. Furthermore, if the thesis was false, then Oracle AIs would be impossible to build, and all sufficiently intelligent AIs would be impossible to control.

Pathological Cases
There are some pairings of intelligence and goals which cannot exist. For instance, an AI may have the goal of using as little resources as possible, or simply of being as unintelligent as possible. These goals will inherently limit the degree of intelligence of the AI.
A commonly cited thought experiment to describe orthogonality thesis is a superintelligent machine whose terminal goal is to produce paper clips as many as possible. It's supposed to show that intelligence and terminal goal can be independent to each other.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 13:02:17
Someone else had tried to disprove the orthogonality thesis.
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From this imperfect analogy, one can start to see some holes in the orthogonality thesis, or OT (it’s a mouthful). Just as rules in sports like basketball will determine how an athlete trains to achieve peak performance, the moral framework (or lack thereof) to which an AGI (artificial general intelligence) applies its intelligence will determine how that AGI develops its abilities to best meet its goals. However, as Peter Voss mentions, there are a “large range of common (sub-) goals required by AGI.” These sub-goals mirror aspects of athleticism useful to many sports’ rule frameworks — vertical jump for examples is pivotal in all three of Wilt’s ventures. From this analogy it seems that intelligence does not fit the orthogonality thesis in two ways:
An AGI will develop intelligence according to the long-term rules (whether explicit or implicit) of its morality. Humans will initially create the intelligence, but at a tipping point AGI will take control of its own development.
An AGI will develop certain capabilities independent of those morality rules. Developing these capabilities and not others precludes certain combinations of an AGI’s intelligence. To see how, let’s take a look at AGI value alignment.

Athletic abilities like Wilt’s changed the rule of the game, where developments within AGI will likely necessitate changes to AI value alignment. As Peter Voss mentions, “orthogonality is undermined by the fact that AGIs will inherently help to narrow down worthwhile goals.” To ultimately improve the survivability of the game of basketball, the league commissioner changed rules based upon certain individuals’ athleticism. As AI grows more intelligent, we — as programmers of AI, or morality commissioners — will need to improve the value alignment of that AI.
https://medium.com/@shawzm1/wilt-chamberlain-disapproves-of-the-orthogonality-thesis-b18091a361c2
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 13:24:52
The dispute seems to come from disagreement on the definition of intelligence itself.  Nick Bostrom seems to use standard definition of intelligence, like in IQ test.
Finding someone with high IQ score but has silly goals is not that difficult.
On the other hand, Zach Shaw expected to get something more from intelligence.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/03/2021 23:05:48
IMO, intelligence is just a tool to help achieving the goals of conscious system. IQ test was supposed to give a value representing human's general intelligence, independent of their possession of common or specific knowledge. Someone can still get high IQ score without knowing much about history, calculus, chemistry or physics  theory. We might want to assign IQ score to information processing ability, such as thinking speed, memory capacity, and memory reliability, which are analogous to computer specifications. But nonetheless, due to design limitations of the tests, scoring in IQ test may require some other abilities, such as vision, motoric dexterity, written language, basic logic and arithmetic, etc.
A smart Indian or Japanese kid may get a low IQ score if the test was written in Russian or Arabic language, and vice versa. Someone with tremor may have hard time writing down the answers to the test sheet. Someone with impaired vision may face difficulty in reading the question or seeing the pictures to recognize the patterns.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/03/2021 07:50:16
This article tells us what we know about consciousness.

http://m.nautil.us/issue/98/mind/consciousness-is-just-a-feeling
Although I agree with most of the contents presented in the article, I disagree with the title. Just like intelligence; feeling, emotion, instinct, and reflex are all tools to help achieving the goals of conscious agents.
Their main differences are in the processing speed, accuracy, precision, and energy requirement to proceed. They determine actions taken by conscious agents as responds to stimuli.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/03/2021 22:20:20
As I mentioned earlier, only conscious systems can have a goal. They can choose their own goals, or assigned to them by other conscious syatems. In the first case, it means that they are determined by chains of events surrounding the systems and received as stimuli.
I also mentioned about minimum requirements for a system to be called conscious. It must have parts serving the function of virtualization of objective reality , including its own representation in its virtual world, which we often call self awareness. To do that, it needs some sensing mechanisms, some memory to store the results and convert them into its internal model. It must also have actuation function, which gives it access to modify or manipulate its real world environment.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/03/2021 22:54:33
Those inputs, outputs, and internal processing parts may come in various accuracy and precision, in both space and time dimensions. Improvements in each direction come with costs, hence there would be some trade offs in  balancing resources to build them.
For example, a visual input can have mega pixels resolution, with billions of colors for each pixels, and update rate of hundreds of frames per second. It would come with enormous cost, but for some situations the benefits can overcome it.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/03/2021 07:49:14
https://physicsworld.com/a/a-million-years-into-the-future-why-you-need-a-dose-of-very-deep-thinking/
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The Greek philosopher Plato once imagined a city that provides full justice to its citizens. Setting out his ideas in the Republic almost 2500 years ago, Plato did not, however, think that such a city could ever be realized. Radical (and surely unachievable) transformations in education, culture and government would be required to establish and sustain it. “Ridiculous,” Plato concluded.

In a similar vein, the US cultural anthropologist Vincent Ialenti envisions a fictional city whose citizens have been trained to think so that humans don’t need to flee the planet to survive. So utopian is the picture that Ialenti – writing in his new book Deep Time Reckoning – calls it “absurd”. Yet that notion is no less absurd, he continues, than the way humans are now acting, “careening toward an Anthropocene cliff”.
Quote
Climate-change predictions, even for 2050, seem hopelessly far in the future, and tainted by politics, guesswork and subjectivity. Thinking about the present seems more do-able, while thinking about tens or hundreds of thousands of years in the future appears starry-eyed and abstract. But Ialenti believes the exact opposite is true. What’s abstract (in the sense of detached from reality) is what Ialenti calls “a manic fixation on the present”, and not being able to think about humanity thousands of years hence.

Ialenti is less interested in the conclusions reached by the Finnish experts than by their audacious aims, which are to develop methods to break free from what he calls our “shallow time discipline”. He then tries to devise ways to retrain our habits to encourage humans to think long-term; for him, Deep Time Reckoning is not a stale academic treatise but more of a “practical toolkit”.


This toolkit includes high-school civics classes devoted to teaching long-term developments: of the universe since the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago; of Earth since 4.5 billion years ago; of Earth’s life, dinosaurs and humans; and of the evolution of languages and technologies. It envisions school pupils reading about futuristic visions by Ray Kurzweil and Marxist descriptions of world utopias.
Quote
The critical point
Plato meant the Republic to be a beacon for humans to think about justice in the present, not as the blueprint for an actual city to be realized in the future. After all, if you head straight towards a lighthouse, you usually end up on the rocks.

Somewhere in deep time looms a catastrophe that we don’t yet have the imagination to envision, nor the will to confront. Ialenti thinks he finds in the Finnish nuclear-risk experts glimmerings of what it might take to cultivate the human behaviour needed to do so. Humanity’s long-range hope, Ialenti suggests, hangs on what we might call the Finlandization of the planet.

Finding and working towards a universal utopia may sound absurd, yet it is not more absurd than the way humans are now acting.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/03/2021 11:01:13
A great insight from Elon Musk.

* 20210325_175312.jpg (511.77 kB . 1692x1480 - viewed 894 times)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/03/2021 14:19:58
It must also have actuation function, which gives it access to modify or manipulate its real world environment.
Systems with working input and processing parts only, are usually not considered conscious since they lack of actuation functionality. Some examples are someone dreaming in their sleep, or a brain in a vat.
But the boundary might be blur. There are dream walkers. Someone under hypnosis can still follow some simple orders. Brain in the vat can still manipulate the real world indirectly by manipulating electrochemical signals being read by the machine used by the researchers to study the brain. Theoretically, the brain can manipulate the response of the researchers to do things that it wants.
Approaching from the other side, an otherwise normal person locked inside a hermetically sealed coffin buried miles underground, or left in interstellar space. Nothing he can do to change his environment.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/03/2021 22:49:23
For example, a visual input can have mega pixels resolution, with billions of colors for each pixels, and update rate of hundreds of frames per second. It would come with enormous cost, but for some situations the benefits can overcome it.
Update rate of visual input processing in average humans is around 24 frames per second. Scan rate of CRT TV is 30 fps, makes the transitions between frames imperceptible by human, but can be captured by high speed camera. Partially unconscious persons may have lower update rate. How low can it be until we call them no longer conscious? Once per second? minute? hour? day? week?
Lower update rate, which means lower temporal resolution, reduces conciousness level. So does lower spatial resolution, and chromatic resolution. Normal humans are blind to infrared as well as ultraviolet light. Having access to sense them can give us better accuracy and precision of our model of our environment. It means that our consciousness level can be increased using some tools.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/03/2021 06:39:49
Obtaining a value to represent general level of consciousness will involve combining many independent parameters into single axis using some set of rules. It's like reducing vector dimensions which is explained intuitively using helpful visualizations in this video.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/03/2021 06:49:20
Why humans run the world | Yuval Noah Harari
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Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we've spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity.
The universal utopia based on universal terminal goal provides the timeless story required to unify all conscious agents and organize their actions to help achieving common goals, regardless of their differences in physical traits.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/03/2021 11:59:11
A commonly cited thought experiment to describe orthogonality thesis is a superintelligent machine whose terminal goal is to produce paper clips as many as possible. It's supposed to show that intelligence and terminal goal can be independent to each other.
Nonetheless, the survival rate of conscious systems depend on the alignment between their terminal goal and their own survival. The survival rate is at lowest point when the terminal goal is diametrically opposed to their survival. It's highest when the terminal goal is perfectly aligned to their survival, which means that their own survival is set as their terminal goal. Everything else is in between those two extremes.
In the case of paper clip maker superintelligent machine, the terminal goal is clearly not its own survival, but it's not diametrically opposed either, hence it lies in between. It means that it cannot be the most efficient system possible to survive, which means that it is in a disadvantaged position when it has to compete with other conscious systems with similar superintelligence, but less burdens unrelated to their survival.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/03/2021 23:06:02
In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins has analyzed evolution of biological entity from the point of view of its basic replicating information unit, which is gene.
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As to the unit of selection: "One internally consistent logical picture is that the unit of replication is the gene,...and the organism is one kind of ...entity on which selection acts directly."[30] Dawkins proposed the matter without a distinction between 'unit of replication' and 'unit of selection' that he made elsewhere: "the fundamental unit of selection, and therefore of self-interest, is not the species, nor the group, nor even strictly the individual. It is the gene, the unit of heredity."[31] However, he continues in a later chapter:

"On any sensible view of the matter Darwinian selection does not work on genes directly. ...The important differences between genes emerge only in their effects. The technical word phenotype is used for the bodily manifestation of a gene, the effect that a gene has on the body...Natural selection favours some genes rather than others not because of the nature of the genes themselves, but because of their consequences—their phenotypic effects...But we shall now see that the phenotypic effects of a gene need to be thought of as all the effects that it has on the world. ...The phenotypic effects of a gene are the tools by which it levers itself into the next generation. All I am going to add is that the tools may reach outside the individual body wall...Examples that spring to mind are artefacts like beaver dams, bird nests, and caddis houses."
— Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Chapter 13, pp. 234, 235, 238
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 03:29:28
The article continues.
Quote
Dawkins' later formulation is in his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), where the process of selection is taken to involve every possible phenotypical effect of a gene.

Stephen Jay Gould finds Dawkins' position tries to have it both ways:[32]

"Dawkins claims to prefer genes and to find greater insight in this formulation. But he allows that you or I might prefer organisms—and it really doesn't matter."
— Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, pp. 640-641

The view of The Selfish Gene is that selection based upon groups and populations is rare compared to selection on individuals. Although supported by Dawkins and by many others, this claim continues to be disputed.[33][34] While naïve versions of group selectionism have been disproved, more sophisticated formulations make accurate predictions in some cases while positing selection at higher levels.[35] Both sides agree that very favourable genes are likely to prosper and replicate if they arise and both sides agree that living in groups can be an advantage to the group members. The conflict arises in part over defining concepts:

"Cultural evolutionary theory, however, has suffered from an overemphasis on the experiences and behaviors of individuals at the expense of acknowledging complex group organization...Many important behaviors related to the success and function of human societies are only properly defined at the level of groups".[34]
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 05:05:01
Gene centric view of evolution has its own merit in explaining life, and answered many questions arose from its alternatives, such as altruism. But it has its own limitations.
As a basic information unit, a gene has no ability to make a plan. It can't have preference either, hence it can't have its own goal. It just appears that it tends to survive while it can, which sounds like anthropic principle.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 05:51:53
A random mutation can cause a gene to mutate into another gene, duplicate, or be destroyed.
Its effect to the phenotype depends on its activation, which is affected by other genes.
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/rabbit-handstand-front-paws-gene-defect-video/amp?__twitter_impression=true

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A gene defect may make rabbits do handstands instead of hop
To move quickly, some rabbits throw up their back legs and walk on their front paws.

Some rabbits walk on their front paws in a strange gait that is the result of a mutation in one gene, a study finds. The protein made by that gene may help rabbits coordinate their limbs.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 07:23:23
Another limitation occurs in sophisticated systems capable of gene editing. The genes will merely be their tools to achieve their goals. Helpful genes will thrive, while harmful ones will be removed. Determining good and bad genes is done from the point of view of the complex systems editing them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 11:51:14
We usually analyze the cosmos starting from individual human point of view, because it feels more natural, easy and convenient.
Biological systems with lower organizational level than individual, such as organs, tissues, or cells, are not sophisticated enough to simulate the universe. On the other hand, superorganism systems which consist of multiple individual specimens are usually loosely defined, and only have limited resources dedicated to simulate the universe, at least until recently. Think about insect colonies, wolf packs, human tribes, governments of cities, countries, organized religions, or corporations. Traditionally, their update rates are much lower than individual organisms.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 12:21:33
Though human brains may have adequate resources to simulate some parts of the universe, their existences depend on other organs forming the human individuals. Hence their expressions represent the individuals as a whole, not merely the brain as an organ.
Even when viewed from individual level, not everyone has the capability to view the world from other system's point of view. Majority of species known to exist don't seem to have such ability.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 13:24:36
A commonly cited thought experiment to describe orthogonality thesis is a superintelligent machine whose terminal goal is to produce paper clips as many as possible. It's supposed to show that intelligence and terminal goal can be independent to each other.
Nonetheless, the survival rate of conscious systems depend on the alignment between their terminal goal and their own survival. The survival rate is at lowest point when the terminal goal is diametrically opposed to their survival. It's highest when the terminal goal is perfectly aligned to their survival, which means that their own survival is set as their terminal goal. Everything else is in between those two extremes.
In the case of paper clip maker superintelligent machine, the terminal goal is clearly not its own survival, but it's not diametrically opposed either, hence it lies in between. It means that it cannot be the most efficient system possible to survive, which means that it is in a disadvantaged position when it has to compete with other conscious systems with similar superintelligence, but less burdens unrelated to their survival.
Genetic or memetic point of view provide the minimum limit of system's complexity to analize evolutionary process. On the other hand, the universal consciousness derived from universal terminal goal provides the maximum limit.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 13:32:18
Though human brains may have adequate resources to simulate some parts of the universe, their existences depend on other organs forming the human individuals. Hence their expressions represent the individuals as a whole, not merely the brain as an organ.
In ancient kingdoms and empires, the virtualizations happened in their documentation and administration systems, which can take forms of clay tablets or writings on paper. In modern organizations, they take place in computers. They are more flexible in the mechanisms, such as mechanical, vacuum tubes, electronic semiconductors, or optical computers.
They virtualize taxes, budgetings, assets, plans, supply chains, etc.

In biological systems, the virtualizations are usually formed by neural networks.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/03/2021 13:54:57
I also mentioned about minimum requirements for a system to be called conscious. It must have parts serving the function of virtualization of objective reality , including its own representation in its virtual world, which we often call self awareness. To do that, it needs some sensing mechanisms, some memory to store the results and convert them into its internal model. It must also have actuation function, which gives it access to modify or manipulate its real world environment.
Most unicellular organisms are assumed to be non-conscious. But if we are willing to be more flexible in our terms, we can see that they already pass some minimum requirements for consciousness.
Some bacteria clearly can sense their surrounding and make actions accordingly. But most of us would think that they don't have memory so they can't virtualize their surrounding universe. But CRISPR mechanism has told us that they do have long term memory, in the form of DNA, which is the only long term memory storage they have. What they remember is, among other things, viral codes that have infected them, which is an important factor of their environment affecting their survival.
It reminds me of an advice, if something is important enough, you must try to achieve it, no matter how hard, risky, or costly it is.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/03/2021 06:39:33
Though human brains may have adequate resources to simulate some parts of the universe, their existences depend on other organs forming the human individuals. Hence their expressions represent the individuals as a whole, not merely the brain as an organ.
The universal superorganism consciousness will execute most of its information processings in supercomputers, similar to currently existing e-government and IT infrastructures of large corporations.  They will likely involved more in strategic thinking and long term decision makings, while shorter term decisions will be left to computing tools in lower hierarchies and edge computers.
In the past, thinking process at all hierarchical levels in superorganisms from village to imperium were done by human brains through their rulers or representatives at each level.

At some point in the future, human individuals, at least in current form, would be seen more as burdens rather than tools. That's why we would need to improve ourselves. There are many ways to do that, such as gene editing, epigenetics, nanotechnology, direct brain interface, exoskeleton, etc.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/03/2021 10:40:35
Though human brains may have adequate resources to simulate some parts of the universe, their existences depend on other organs forming the human individuals. Hence their expressions represent the individuals as a whole, not merely the brain as an organ.
The universal superorganism consciousness will execute most of its information processings in supercomputers, similar to currently existing e-government and IT infrastructures of large corporations.  They will likely involved more in strategic thinking and long term decision makings, while shorter term decisions will be left to computing tools in lower hierarchies and edge computers.
In the past, thinking process at all hierarchical levels in superorganisms from village to imperium were done by human brains through their rulers or representatives at each level.

At some point in the future, human individuals, at least in current form, would be seen more as burdens rather than tools. That's why we would need to improve ourselves. There are many ways to do that, such as gene editing, epigenetics, nanotechnology, direct brain interface, exoskeleton, etc.
Some dystopian stories cast fear by imagining that the supercomputer equipped with AGI would detach itself from humanity and becomes an independent conscious entity. It's like other cells in a human body become fearfull that the brain would detach itself from the body and becomes an independent conscious entity once it gets smarter.
At a glance, it may sound absurd. But it's not completely impossible either. Once the brain gets access to modify the body at will, it is likely that it will be done.
Humans are known to cut their hair and nails for a long time. Some of them get circumcised. Some get amputated due to accident or cancer. Some have replaced their hearts. Some get lasik to fix their vision. A few had half of their brains removed.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/03/2021 11:38:44
As long as something is not perfect, there's always a chance to improve it. It means that something else must be added into it, or at least some of its parts are removed, changed, or replaced. Alternatively, it could be removed altogether and replaced by something new.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/03/2021 04:06:06
The Mysterious Origins of the Nucleus
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/03/2021 07:14:50
This is why we can't have nice things
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/03/2021 10:24:31
The Future of Humankind with Yuval Harari
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The Future of Humankind with Yuval Harari. What is the next stage of human evolution? How will we protect this fragile planet and humankind itself from our own destructive powers? Professor and author Yuval Harari envisions our future: a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges and possibilities. With his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between, Harari investigates the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/03/2021 16:29:11
Some dystopian stories cast fear by imagining that the supercomputer equipped with AGI would detach itself from humanity and becomes an independent conscious entity. It's like other cells in a human body become fearfull that the brain would detach itself from the body and becomes an independent conscious entity once it gets smarter.
At a glance, it may sound absurd. But it's not completely impossible either. Once the brain gets access to modify the body at will, it is likely that it will be done.
Humans are known to cut their hair and nails for a long time. Some of them get circumcised. Some get amputated due to accident or cancer. Some have replaced their hearts. Some get lasik to fix their vision. A few had half of their brains removed.
Some changes can bring us anxiety, especially when there is a significant probability of unwanted consequences. The virtual universe can be built to minimise the surprises.
The development of AI towards AGI is causing people to lose jobs. In the past, there were telephone switch operators. Now we get less cashiers and bank tellers. Production processes are getting more automated. In the near future, we will see less truck drivers and taxi drivers. In more distant future, we will see intelligent machines doing the current jobs of medical professionals, legal and financial advisers, hedge fund managers, law makers, athletes, artists, farmers, construction workers, engineers, and many others. They will even outperform automation engineers who build them and bring them into existence in the first place.
It's expected that there will be reluctance to implement those changes and trust the jobs to the machines, at least initially when there are still many flaws to be found. But that's normal, since trust is to be earned, not just given away.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/03/2021 12:34:56
"Rethinking Humanity." An extraordinary interview with American futurist Tony Seba of RethinkX

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/04/2021 05:45:01
Coming Soon: A Post-Cow World - Precision Fermentation
Quote
We are on the cusp of a major disruption in how we feed ourselves. This video is a quick summary of a report from RethinkX on where agriculture is headed over the next decade, and it's mind blowing!
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/04/2021 05:56:54
Though human brains may have adequate resources to simulate some parts of the universe, their existences depend on other organs forming the human individuals. Hence their expressions represent the individuals as a whole, not merely the brain as an organ.
In ancient kingdoms and empires, the virtualizations happened in their documentation and administration systems, which can take forms of clay tablets or writings on paper. In modern organizations, they take place in computers. They are more flexible in the mechanisms, such as mechanical, vacuum tubes, electronic semiconductors, or optical computers.
They virtualize taxes, budgetings, assets, plans, supply chains, etc.

In biological systems, the virtualizations are usually formed by neural networks.

Emergence – How Stupid Things Become Smart Together
Quote
How can many stupid things combine to form smart things? How can proteins become living cells? How become lots of ants a colony? What is emergence?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/04/2021 06:27:43
Humans Need Not Apply
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/04/2021 12:14:05
In early human civilizations as superorganisms, external data storages came into existence as an alternative for human brains which are typically less reliable as long term memory. Painting on cave walls and clay tablets are some examples. More practical, and more capacity data storage evolved in the form of writings on paper, printing press, microfilms. Invention of computer requires better version of data storage more suited to digital information. They started with punched cards, then magnetic tapes/discs, optical discs, and solid state drives.
With the advancement of telecommunication through Internet, cloud based data servers become more feasible.
Currently, semiconductor-based memories seem to outperform biological neurons in many categories. The reason why they were not employed by natural biology is likely because they don't readily self duplicate, and the process to produce them is too long and complex in biological standard.
As a superorganism, human civilization has found a better functionality of data storage in semiconductor based memories. It doesn't matter if they don't self duplicate since they can be produced through mass production in chip factories. This is another example of specialization process at work.
When viewed from the perspective of unicellular organisms, a multicellular organism can be seen as a super organism. A human cell sees a human body similarly to a human individual sees a corporation or a government.
Primitive forms of multicellular organisms only have limited communication and speciation among their cells. In more advanced organisms, activities can be better organized among cells in different places by inventing some telecommunication methods, namely hormones and neurons.
Similarly, primitive human societies also have limited communication and speciation of skills among their members. Inventions of languages, writings, telephone and internet improve our ability to organize our actions to achieve common goals.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/04/2021 14:50:41
https://hackaday.com/2021/04/06/death-of-the-turing-test-in-an-age-of-successful-ais/
Quote
IBM has come up with an automatic debating system called Project Debater that researches a topic, presents an argument, listens to a human rebuttal and formulates its own rebuttal. But does it pass the Turing test? Or does the Turing test matter anymore?

The Turing test was first introduced in 1950, often cited as year-one for AI research. It asks, “Can machines think?”. Today we’re more interested in machines that can intelligently make restaurant recommendations, drive our car along the tedious highway to and from work, or identify the surprising looking flower we just stumbled upon. These all fit the definition of AI as a machine that can perform a task normally requiring the intelligence of a human. Though as you’ll see below, Turing’s test wasn’t even for intelligence or even for thinking, but rather to determine a test subject’s sex.
Quote
Does it matter if any of today’s AIs can pass the Turing test? That’s most often not the goal. Most AIs end up as marketed products, even the ones that don’t start out that way. After all, eventually someone has to pay for the research. As long as they do the job then it doesn’t matter.

IBM’s goal for Project Debater is to produce persuasive arguments and make well informed decisions free of personal bias, a useful tool to sell to businesses and governments. Tesla’s goal for its AI is to drive vehicles. Chatbots abound for handling specific phone and online requests. All of them do something normally requiring the intelligence of a human with varying degrees of success. The test that matters then is whether or not they do their tasks well enough for people to pay for them.

Maybe asking if a machine can think, or even if it can pass for a human, isn’t really relevant. The ways we’re using them require only that they can complete their tasks. Sometimes this can require “human-like” behavior, but most often not. If we’re not using AI to trick people anyway, is the Turing test still relevant?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/04/2021 13:23:13
So far, I've seen that progress of continuous improvement of organized information system can be classified into two types, generalization and specialization. Perhaps it's comparable to bulking and cutting process in body building.
Generalization works by expanding functionality of existing components of the system. This concept emphasizes on effectiveness over efficiency.
Specialization works by removing unnecessary capability of components which are not related to their main function in a system. This concept emphasizes on increasing efficiency while maintaining effectiveness.
https://scitechdaily.com/big-breakthrough-for-massless-energy-storage-structural-battery-that-performs-10x-better-than-all-previous-versions/
Quote
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ’massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.
This is an example of generalization step. A component aquires new function. In the future, I expect to have less dumb structures. Walls will also function as energy storages.  Roofs will also function as power generator using solar cells.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/04/2021 16:32:21
On the other hand,  we also have specialization step. For example, each neuron in human brain contains complete set of genes whose function are unrelated to information processing. Artificial neurons can be designed based on natural neurons with unnecessary parts removed.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/04/2021 01:26:29
Quote
Neuralink makes brain implants that it hopes can eventually be used to give people with quadriplegia the ability to control computers and other devices using only their minds. In the future, the company says, healthy people might do the same. Someday, this could conceivably eliminate the need for keyboards, speech-to-text, and thumb typing on phones.

The company just took a big step toward that future. It implanted two of its devices into the brain of a nine-year-old macaque named Pager and then taught him to move a computer cursor--and to play Pong--using a joystick. (Pager likes to play because when he gets things right, he's rewarded with banana smoothie delivered through a metal tube.)

As Pager played, the Neuralink devices recorded the signals in his brain that told his hand to move the joystick up, down, left, or right. The company's software learned to interpret those brain signals as movements, and then sent those movements directly to the computer, bypassing the joystick. Soon, Pager was able to move the cursor, and then play Pong, using just his brain. And he played really well. Despite the researchers speeding up the game to test his abilities, Pager only loses one point during the video, which is appropriately titled "Monkey MindPong."
https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/elon-musk-neuralink-monkey-mindpong-pager.html
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/04/2021 13:41:06
On the other hand,  we also have specialization step. For example, each neuron in human brain contains complete set of genes whose function are unrelated to information processing. Artificial neurons can be designed based on natural neurons with unnecessary parts removed.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-brains-typically-overlook-this-brilliant-problem-solving-strategy/
People often limit their creativity by continually adding new features to a design rather than removing existing ones.

Quote
For generations, the standard way to learn how to ride a bicycle was with training wheels or a tricycle. But in recent years, many parents have opted to train their kids with balance bikes, pedalless two-wheelers that enable children to develop the coordination needed for bicycling—a skill that is not as easily acquired with an extra set of wheels.

Given the benefits of balance bikes, why did it take so long for them to replace training wheels? There are plenty of other examples in which overlooked solutions that involve subtraction turn out to be better alternatives. In some European cities, for example, urban planners have gotten rid of traffic lights and road signs to make streets safer—an idea that runs counter to conventional traffic design.
Quote
To determine why people tended to choose additive solutions, the team dug deeper by conducting a series of eight experiments with more than 1,500 individuals recruited either from a university campus or through Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Web site. In one experiment, people were asked to stabilize the roof of a Lego structure held up by a single block that rested atop a cube-shaped base. The reward for completing the task was $1, and participants could add new blocks for 10 cents apiece or get rid of blocks for free. The researchers wrote that one group was provided a cue about potential subtractive solutions by being told, “Each piece that you add costs ten cents but removing pieces is free,” while another group was just told, “Each piece that you add costs ten cents.” Almost two thirds of people in the cued group ended up choosing to eliminate the single block rather than adding new ones, compared with 41 percent of those who had not received the prompt.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/04/2021 13:29:42
The 2 Most Important Skills For the Rest Of Your Life | Yuval Noah Harari on Impact Theory


Quote
SHOWNOTES
How we can hack humans and manipulate their desires [3:26​]

How algorithms will learn to understand you better than you understand yourself (and why you could be replaced by one) [5:03​]

Why corporations will even be able to predict your sexual orientation… [8:50​]

The reality of outsourcing the self-discovery process… [12:27​]

How algorithms will change the way we make art… [15:49​]

Can AI save us from cancer?  (See how it’s possible, but decide for yourself if it's dangerous)... [18:10​]

The battle between privacy and health... [19:29​]

How to take control of the story you tell yourself and why you need to stop thinking of your life as a movie… [21:09​]

Why we’re heading into the direction of immortality and the future is just a series of massive disruptions [28:44​]

Why you need to continuously reinvent yourself if you want to survive to 2035.  [30:01​]

The two most important tools you will need to succeed in the world of AI (and they’re not what you think). [32:05​]

Why Yuval believes that science fiction is the most important artistic genre… [34:25​]

See what Yuval has to say about the world’s 3 biggest challenges… [37:29​]


QUOTES
“We Are Now Hackable Animals”

“When infotech merges with biotech what you get is the ability to create algorithms that understand me better than I understand myself.” [5:20​]

“Maybe the most important thing in life is to get to know yourself better.  But for all of history this was a process of self-exploration which you did from things like meditation, sports, or art, and complementation. But what does it mean when the process of self-exploration is being outsourced to a big data algorithm?  The philosophical implications are mind-boggling.” [12:34​]

“The story of your life is made of bits and pieces and it only makes sense" [23:50​]
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/04/2021 06:23:47
The 2 Most Important Skills For the Rest Of Your Life | Yuval Noah Harari on Impact Theory
I posted Harari's videos since he brought many points relevant to our discussions in my threads. It seems like we're both influenced by  the thoughts of futurists like Ray Kurzweil, who said that he simply observed the trend of technological advancements and recognized the patterns to extrapolate and project them into the future. He didn't put philosophical consideration into his predictions.
Harari added into his world view his own perspective as a historian. He emphasizes the power of stories to drive human actions and behaviors. The stories are a subset of a more general concept, which is meme.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/04/2021 07:10:20
Besides our agreements, there are at least two main differences I can identify. They are the meaning of consciousness and the existence of  a universal terminal goal. Universal morality comes as a logical consequence from those concepts.
It seems that he is influenced by a neuroscience research which concludes that consciousness is about feelings. I've posted the link to it in my previous post.  He didn't explore much on the concept of goal, let alone finding a universal terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/04/2021 07:38:04
Without a goal, we can't say whether or not something is good or bad. Without consciousness there can't be any goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/04/2021 21:13:03
People often limit their creativity by continually adding new features to a design rather than removing existing ones.
Here is another source to the same topic.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/04/the-takeaway-is-that-we-dont-tend-to-take-things-away/
Quote
When asked to fix something, we don’t even think of removing parts
Across many experiments, participants tried to fix problems by adding stuff.

As a society, we seem to have mixed feelings about whether it's better to add or subtract things, advising both that "less is more" and "bigger is better." But these contradictory views play out across multibillion-dollar industries, with people salivating over the latest features of their hardware and software before bemoaning that the added complexities make the product difficult to use.

A team of researchers from the University of Virginia decided to look at the behavior underlying this tension, finding in a new paper that most people defaulted to assuming that the best way of handling a problem is to add new features. While it was easy to overcome this tendency with some simple nudges, the researchers suggest that this thought process may underlie some of the growing complexity of the modern world.

https://neurosciencenews.com/subtraction-cognition-18195/
Quote
Summary: Study explains the human tendency to look at a situation, or object, that needs improvement in different contexts, and instead, generally believe adding an element is a better solution than removing one.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/04/2021 15:31:16
Without a goal, we can't say whether or not something is good or bad. Without consciousness there can't be any goal.
If you are part of a larger conscious entity, then your terminal goal can be merely their instrumental goal. For example, the terminal goal of a scout ant is to find food. But it's merely an instrumental goal for the ant colony. Likewise, the terminal goal of an ant queen is to lay eggs. She doesn't even take care of them, except in a new colony.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/04/2021 22:04:46
Quote
The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins’ bestselling 1986 book that skewers the notion of intelligent design while celebrating the rational science of evolution, got its star turn today in Jeff Bezos’ final shareholder letter as CEO of Amazon.

Specifically, Bezos quoted this passage on what the natural fight to stay alive means from a purely biological standpoint:

“Staving off death is a thing that you have to work at. Left to itself – and that is what it is when it dies – the body tends to revert to a state of equilibrium with its environment. If you measure some quantity such as the temperature, the acidity, the water content or the electrical potential in a living body, you will typically find that it is markedly different from the corresponding measure in the surroundings. Our bodies, for instance, are usually hotter than our surroundings, and in cold climates they have to work hard to maintain the differential. When we die the work stops, the temperature differential starts to disappear, and we end up the same temperature as our surroundings.”

Bezos point? That the struggle to stay alive is constant as our environment dispassionately seeks to return all of us to room temperature.
Quote
And that, from a business standpoint, doesn’t align with his Day One philosophy. He continued:

“While the passage is not intended as a metaphor, it’s nevertheless a fantastic one, and very relevant to Amazon. I would argue that it’s relevant to all companies and all institutions and to each of our individual lives too. In what ways does the world pull at you in an attempt to make you normal? How much work does it take to maintain your distinctiveness? To keep alive the thing or things that make you special?”
Bezos ends his letter with this message: “The world will always try to make Amazon more typical – to bring us into equilibrium with our environment. It will take continuous effort, but we can and must be better than that.”

https://www.geekwire.com/2021/heres-jeff-bezos-quoted-1986-book-human-evolution-shareholders-letter/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/04/2021 16:00:00
Bezos point? That the struggle to stay alive is constant as our environment dispassionately seeks to return all of us to room temperature.
The us here is not limited to biologically individual multicellular organisms like a human specimen. It also works on lower levels such as individual cells or organs, as well as higher levels such as corporations, countries, tribes, species, and beyond.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/04/2021 13:40:44
CRISPR: Can we control it? | Jennifer Doudna, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, & more | Big Think
Quote
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a revolutionary technology that gives scientists the ability to alter DNA. On the one hand, this tool could mean the elimination of certain diseases. On the other, there are concerns (both ethical and practical) about its misuse and the yet-unknown consequences of such experimentation.

"The technique could be misused in horrible ways," says counter-terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke. Clarke lists biological weapons as one of the potential threats, "Threats for which we don't have any known antidote." CRISPR co-inventor, biochemist Jennifer Doudna, echos the concern, recounting a nightmare involving the technology, eugenics, and a meeting with Adolf Hitler.

Should humanity even have access to this type of tool? Do the positives outweigh the potential dangers? How could something like this ever be regulated, and should it be? These questions and more are considered by Doudna, Clarke, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, psychologist Steven Pinker, and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TRANSCRIPT:

0:41​ Jennifer Doudna defines CRISPR
3:47​ CRISPR’s risks
4:52​ Artificial selection vs. artificial mutation
6:25​ Why Steven Pinker believes humanity will play it safe
9:20​ Lessons from history
10:58​ How CRISPR can help
11:22​ Jennifer Doudna’s chimeric-Hitler dream

- Our ability to manipulate genes can be very powerful. It has been very powerful.

- This is going to revolutionize human life.

- Would the consequences be bad? And they might be.

- Every time you monkey with the genome you are taking a chance that something will go wrong.

- The technique could be misused in horrible ways.

- When I started this research project, I've kind of had this initial feeling of what have I done.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/04/2021 13:46:09
https://futurism.com/aging-expert-person-1000-born
Aging Expert: The First Person to Live to 1,000 Has Already Been Born
Dr. Aubrey de Grey sees aging as a problem than can be solved through "technological intervention."
Quote
Aging has plagued biological organisms since life first began on planet Earth and it’s an accepted and universally understood part of life. Sure, things like climate change pose significant threats to society, but aging will almost certainly still exist even if we ever manage to stop damaging our environment.

That said, scientists aren’t the kind of people who just live with the cards life has dealt them, and are especially likely to use their understanding of the world to solve difficult and seemingly impossible problems —  like aging.

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is one such person. Through the co-founding of the SENS Research Foundation and his role as chief science officer, de Grey has set out to end biological aging. The foundation’s “About” page makes it clear that de Grey believes “a world free of age-related disease is possible.”

Speaking at a Virtual Futures event in London on Wednesday, Inverse confirmed that de Grey truly believes in this goal, even going so far as to boldly state that the first person that will live to be 1,000 years-old has already been born. He also thinks science will have found a way to perfect anti-aging treatments within the next 20 years.
Quote
If or when humanity determines how to reject aging, de Grey foresees the development of rejuvenation clinics that will address seven issues related to aging: tissue atrophy, cancerous cells, mitochondrial mutations, death-resistant cells, extracellular matrix stiffening, extracellular aggregates, and intracellular aggregates.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/04/2021 22:52:36
Whatever happened in the past will become memory for present and future conscious beings. Whatever we are doing now are becoming events in the past.
If our actions have no effect whatsoever to future conscious beings, they will be meaningless. It could happen if we go extinct and the conscious beings exist in the future emerge/evolve independently from our lineage.

Whatever the future conscious beings might be, they are extremely unlikely to appear suddenly out of nowhere in a single shot. It's much more probable that they will emerge as products of evolutionary process through natural selection in many generations. The process will be continued by artificial selection. The variations of their characteristics will shift from mainly provided by random mutation to a more directed intentional changes.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/04/2021 02:38:13
We can't change conditions of the past. So we shouldn't waste our time and other resources trying to do that. Present condition will become the past in a moment. Hence we should direct our efforts and allocate resources to improve our conditions in the future.
The conscious beings exist in the future could include the continuation of our ego, our direct descendants, or something else that we create. They are basically modified duplicates of ourselves, better suited for future conditions. So if our actions now don't align with the goal of improving the well being of future conscious beings, those actions will be considered as wasteful, hence must be hindered.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/04/2021 05:56:17
Whatever the future conscious beings might be, they are extremely unlikely to appear suddenly out of nowhere in a single shot. It's much more probable that they will emerge as products of evolutionary process through natural selection in many generations. The process will be continued by artificial selection. The variations of their characteristics will shift from mainly provided by random mutation to a more directed intentional changes.
Directed intentional changes means that before implementation, the changes would be simulated first in a virtual environment. It can be someone's brain or many types of computers, or some experimental setup. Only changes wich are expected to bring intended consequences and minimum unwanted side effects will then be implemented. Otherwise they would be discarded.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/04/2021 06:18:23
The article below says that life is abundant in the universe. We haven't made contact with extraterrestrial lives because of transportation and accommodation  problems. If someday we eventually make first contact with them, it would be preferable to be on the side which has more advanced technology and philosophy.

https://www.sci-nature.vip/2020/10/astronomers-admit-we-were-wrong100.html?m=1&s=03

Astronomers Admit: We Were Wrong—100 Billion Habitable Earth-Like Planets In Our Galaxy Alone
Quote
Estimates by astronomers indicate that there could be more than 100 BILLION Earth-like worlds in the Milky Way that could be home to life. Think that’s a big number? According to astronomers, there are roughly 500 billion galaxies in the known universe, which means there are around 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (5×1022) habitable planets. That’s of course if there’s just ONE universe.
If we don't want future conscious beings to go extinct with the destruction of the earth, we must try to develop multiplanetary civilization, and then interstellar or even intergalactic civilization. It's evidently not easy tasks, since we haven't found any lifeform capable of forming even a multiplanetary civilization, although we are getting closer to that feat.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/04/2021 22:10:58
An interstellar or intergalactic civilization will have to deal with communication and transportation problems. Interactions among different stellar or galactic systems can't happen in real time. We will have limited bandwidth and big latency problems. The solutions must contain decentralisation or localization of resources, akin to edge computing I've mentioned in another thread. Local problems are better solved locally. Global problems are better solved globally. Universal problems are better solved universally.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/04/2021 13:55:47
There will be some people or other conscious lifeforms who act as if there is no such thing as a universal terminal goal. Hence they effectively replace it with some arbitrarily chosen non-universal terminal goals. Those goals would inevitably have expiry time. When they are expired, they would have to be replaced by something else with later expiry time.
We will be forced to change our terminal goal every time it expires, until it is the same as the universal terminal goal, or we stop existing.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/04/2021 14:38:06
Arbitrarily chosen non-universal terminal goals create additional constraints and burdens to our efforts in achieving the universal terminal goal. They make our efforts less effective and less efficient. Hence increasing the risk of failure. So, it would be preferable for as many as possible conscious agents to identify and acknowledge the universal terminal goal as soon as possible to avoid wasting resources unnecessarily.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: alancalverd on 22/04/2021 14:56:53
"...and we should do it now" (Elon Musk)
Why?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/04/2021 15:19:33
"...and we should do it now" (Elon Musk)
Why?
Now is the only time when we can really make a change. Time is considered as a precious resource which should not be spent in vain. The longer we wait, the less time we can use to execute our plans, and the higher the risk of failure.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/04/2021 22:46:50
Ghost in the Shell: Will AI Ever Be Conscious?
As society gets closer to human-level AI, scientists debate what it means to exist.
Quote
Imagine you undergo a procedure in which every neuron in your brain is gradually replaced by functionally-equivalent electronic components. Let’s say the replacement occurs a single neuron at a time, and that behaviorally, nothing about you changes. From the outside, you are still “you,” even to your closest friends and loved ones.

What would happen to your consciousness? Would it incrementally disappear, one neuron at a time? Would it suddenly blink out of existence after the replacement of some consciousness-critical particle in your posterior cortex? Or would you simply remain you, fully aware of your lived experience and sentience (and either pleased or horrified that your mind could theoretically be preserved forever)?

This famous consciousness thought experiment, proposed by the philosopher David Chalmers in his 1995 paper Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia, raises just about every salient question there is in the debate surrounding the possibility of consciousness in artificial intelligence.
Quote
Futurist Ray Kurzweil, the computer scientist behind music-synthesizer and text-to-speech technologies, is a believer in the fast approach of the singularity as well. Kurzweil is so confident in the speed of this development that he’s betting hard. Literally, he’s wagering Kapor $10,000 that a machine intelligence will be able to pass the Turing test, a challenge that determines whether a computer can trick a human judge into thinking it itself is human, by 2029.
Shortly after that, as he says in a recent talk with Society for Science, humanity will merge with the technology it has created, uploading our minds to the cloud. As admirable as that optimism is, this seems unlikely, given our newly-forming understanding of the brain and its relationship to consciousness.

https://interestingengineering.com/will-ai-ever-be-conscious
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/04/2021 15:53:39
There will be some people or other conscious lifeforms who act as if there is no such thing as a universal terminal goal. Hence they effectively replace it with some arbitrarily chosen non-universal terminal goals.
Some of those non-universal terminal goals may bring consequences which effectively obstruct or even prevent the achievement of the universal terminal goal.
Other conscious agents who already acknowledge the universal terminal goal should prepare some counter measures for that case. Establishing a universal moral standard is one of them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/04/2021 13:35:02
An interstellar or intergalactic civilization will have to deal with communication and transportation problems. Interactions among different stellar or galactic systems can't happen in real time. We will have limited bandwidth and big latency problems. The solutions must contain decentralisation or localization of resources, akin to edge computing I've mentioned in another thread. Local problems are better solved locally. Global problems are better solved globally. Universal problems are better solved universally.
There's some balance between centralization and decentralisation process. Centralization has the advantage due to economy of scale. It's more obvious for complex processes involving many different parts. Different processes can share the same facilities. Waste or side products from a process can be used as raw materials for another process.
On the other hand, decentralisation has its own advantages.  It has lower distribution costs. It's where the distance between resource productions and resource consumptions can be minimized.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/04/2021 23:00:20
Most people agree that a goal can only be conceived by conscious beings.
Quote
Telos has been consistently used in the writings of Aristotle, in which the term, on several occasions, denotes 'goal'.[6] It is considered synonymous to teleute ('end'), particularly in Aristotle's discourse about the plot-structure in Poetics.[6] The philosopher went as far as to say that telos can encompass all forms of human activity.[7] One can say, for instance, that the telos of warfare is victory, or the telos of business is the creation of wealth. Within this conceptualization, there are telos that are subordinate to other telos, as all activities have their own, respective goals.

For Aristotle, these subordinate telos can become the means to achieve more fundamental telos.[7] Through this concept, for instance, the philosopher underscored the importance of politics and that all other fields are subservient to it. He explained that the telos of the blacksmith is the production of a sword, while that of the swordsman's, which uses the weapon as a tool, is to kill or incapacitate an enemy.[8] On the other hand, the telos of these occupations are merely part of the purpose of a ruler, who must oversee the direction and well-being of a state.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telos
Aristotle already acknowledged the difference between terminal goal and instrumental goal,  which he called telos and techne.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/04/2021 11:40:24
Many people are confused between consciousness and intelligence. Yuval Noah Harari pointed this out in some of his talks. He correctly identified intelligence as ability to solve problems. But he falsely identified consciousness as ability to feel and having emotions.
Previously I've described consciousness as superset of intelligence. In other words, it takes more than intelligence to become conscious.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/04/2021 12:50:40
From evolutionary biology we know that life formed from simpler processes. Artificial neural networks also started similarly. They consisted of input layer and output layer only, without hidden layer. It resembled reflex responses in living organisms.
More complex problems require more complex solutions. Such as adding one or more hidden layers between inputs and outputs. Feelings and emotional responses resemble these processes. Rational thoughts require more hidden layers. That's why they are called deep neural networks.
In complex organisms capable of  rational thoughts, emotion and reflex are usually still kept functional. They can provide shortcuts to provide solutions for many simple problems requiring less time and computational resources.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/04/2021 13:06:08
Feelings and emotions also provide feedback mechanism for the neural networks. They become internal leading indicators so the system know whether it is going to the right direction.
Simple organisms with no internal feedback mechanism must rely on external feedbacks to evaluate their actions. Their survival from an event is their positive feedback, while their death is their negative feedback. It's extremely hard to learn when your own death is your only negative feedback. In artificial neural networks, the learning process is done by adjusting weight of neural connections through back propagation. No learning is possible when the whole network is destroyed.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/04/2021 13:02:14
Mark Solms: A New Approach to the Hard Problem of Consciousness

Quote
David Chalmers’s (1995) hard problem famously states: “It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises.” Thomas Nagel (1974) wrote something similar: “If we acknowledge that a physical theory of mind must account for the subjective character of experience, we must admit that no presently available conception gives us a clue about how this could be done.” This presentation will point the way towards the long-sought “good explanation” -- or at least it will provide “a clue”. Prof Solms will make three points:

(1) It is unfortunate that cognitive science took vision as its model example when looking for a ‘neural correlate of consciousness’ because cortical vision (like most cognitive processes) is not intrinsically conscious. There is not necessarily ‘something it is like’ to see.

(2) Affective feeling, by contrast, is conscious by definition. You cannot feel something without feeling it. Moreover, affective feeling, generated in the upper brainstem, is the foundational form of consciousness: prerequisite for all the higher cognitive forms.

(3) The functional mechanism of feeling explains why and how it cannot go on ‘in the dark’, free of any inner feel. Affect enables the organism to monitor deviations from its expected self-states in uncertain situations and thereby frees homeostasis from the limitations of automatism. As Nagel says, “An organism has conscious mental states if and only if there is something that it is like to be that organism—something it is like for the organism.” Affect literally constitutes the sentient subject.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/04/2021 13:03:38
The Source of Consciousness - with Mark Solms
Quote
Mark Solms discusses his new theory of consciousness that returns emotions to the centre of mental life.

Understanding why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain seems like an impossible task. Mark explores the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients, many of whom he treated. Their uncanny conversations help to expose the brain’s obscure reaches.

Mark Solms has spent his entire career investigating the mysteries of consciousness. Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, he is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.

This talk was livestreamed by the Ri on 28 January 2021.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/04/2021 13:34:06
Those videos above provide important information necessary to solve problem of consciousness, aside from different conclusions between me and Mark Solms. At least we agree that consciousness requires internal feedback mechanism, which gives us preferences and dislikes. Here is where we start to diverge.
Quote
(2) Affective feeling, by contrast, is conscious by definition.
IMO, feeling alone is not adequate to describe consciousness. Intoxicated persons with various degrees/magnitudes have different levels of functionalities in their input functions, memory, cognitive, verbal, and motoric functions. Hallucination and dizziness are factors reducing overall consciousness. The same person has different level of consciousness while in REM phase, deep sleep, or coma.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/04/2021 23:01:11
Quote
(1) It is unfortunate that cognitive science took vision as its model example when looking for a ‘neural correlate of consciousness’ because cortical vision (like most cognitive processes) is not intrinsically conscious. There is not necessarily ‘something it is like’ to see.
Among human senses, vision provides highest resolution inputs. It can reach objects from long distances as well as shorter ones. The way we imagine our environments are usually done in visual representation. It's hard to do that through other type of senses such as taste or auditory.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/04/2021 10:05:49
The Future Of Reasoning
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 30/04/2021 07:19:13
Fei-Fei Li & Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation - The Coming AI Upheaval
Quote
Watch Yuval Noah Harari speak with Fei-Fei Li, renowned computer scientist and Co-Director of Stanford University's Human-Centered AI Institute -- in a conversation moderated by Nicholas Thompson, WIRED's Editor-in-Chief. The discussion explores big themes and ideas, including ethics in technology, hacking humans, free will, and how to avoid potential dystopian scenarios.
The event was hosted at Stanford in April 2019, and was jointly sponsored by the university's Humanities Center, McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI).

Quote
11:45 Unlike philosophers who are extremely patient people, they can discuss something for thousands of years without reaching any agreement and they are fine with that, the engineers won't wait. And even if the engineers are willing to wait, the investors behind them won't wait.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 15:56:18
Quote
(1) It is unfortunate that cognitive science took vision as its model example when looking for a ‘neural correlate of consciousness’ because cortical vision (like most cognitive processes) is not intrinsically conscious. There is not necessarily ‘something it is like’ to see.
Among human senses, vision provides highest resolution inputs. It can reach objects from long distances as well as shorter ones. The way we imagine our environments are usually done in visual representation. It's hard to do that through other type of senses such as taste or auditory.


Vision alone only covers input part of a conscious system. It still requires other parts like self awareness, preference or feedback mechanism, and output or actuating system to change its environment. However, it's possible to build a conscious system where its input from environment is exclusively visual.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 16:38:29
David Chalmers’s (1995) hard problem famously states: “It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises.” Thomas Nagel (1974) wrote something similar: “If we acknowledge that a physical theory of mind must account for the subjective character of experience, we must admit that no presently available conception gives us a clue about how this could be done.”
There are several ways for a problem to be harder to solve.
- add more parameters, hence increasing the precision.
- add uncertainty by removing some important information.
- add false assumptions or information which are subtle and hard to identify.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 16:45:52
Understanding why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain seems like an impossible task. Mark explores the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients, many of whom he treated. Their uncanny conversations help to expose the brain’s obscure reaches.

Mark Solms has spent his entire career investigating the mysteries of consciousness. Best known for identifying the brain mechanisms of dreaming and for bringing psychoanalytic insights into modern neuroscience, he is director of neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, honorary lecturer in neurosurgery at the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine, and an honorary fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists.
His career seems to make him heavily biased towards human consciousness, and obstruct his insights into alternative forms of consciousness. It appears to me that he has taken Chalmers'and Nagel's conclusions uncritically, in contrast to other alternative explanations.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 17:26:45
Vision alone only covers input part of a conscious system. It still requires other parts like self awareness, preference or feedback mechanism, and output or actuating system to change its environment. However, it's possible to build a conscious system where its input from environment is exclusively visual.
It looks like those subsystems of conscious entities contribute to overall consciousness, while their effectiveness can be independent from each others. In this case, overall consciousness can be represented as the result of matrix multiplication of the subsystem's effectiveness to achieve their respective goals.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 22:20:12
Vision alone only covers input part of a conscious system. It still requires other parts like self awareness, preference or feedback mechanism, and output or actuating system to change its environment. However, it's possible to build a conscious system where its input from environment is exclusively visual.
It's no surprise that Tesla's full self driving cars will be based on vision. It would be rather surprising if they were based on other types of senses, such as sound, smell, touch, or taste.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/05/2021 23:09:49
We have been accustomed with biological consciousness which are based on organic chemistry, with neurons that work on electrochemical signals. For artificial intelligence as the core of artificial consciousness, the process is based on electronic signals working in electronic semiconductors.
But there are possible alternatives, such as optical computers, electromechanical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic computers.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 06:36:40
But there are possible alternatives, such as optical computers, electromechanical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic computers.
Most of those alternatives are evidently less effective and efficient, also much slower than current standard computers. But knowing about them may become valuable when they are the only options available for us.

Quote
Scientists have found that a brainless, single-celled organism is capable of solving mazes and even learning. This remarkable organism is broadly known as slime mold, though there are many kinds.
https://appvoices.org/2019/10/11/slime-mold-intelligence/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 11:18:12
Learning ability requires memory storage within the conscious system which can be changed by experience. So if we want to propose a formula to represent overall consciousness into a number, we will need to include memory capacity and other related parameters such as it's update rate and robustness. It might be similar to how we do benchmarks on computers.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 14:41:20
Memory space and processing speed are parts of intelligence, which is itself part of consciousness. According to orthogonality thesis, intelligence and terminal goal can be independent from each other. Hence we can assign a number to represent the alignment between them.
This number can be depicted as the angle directing a vector in complex plane.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 17:45:24
This number can be depicted as the angle directing a vector in complex plane.
This raises question, what's the reference to measure the angle?  An arbitrarily chosen terminal goal of a system must coincide with itself. Hence it takes something else as external reference.
As long as a system doesn't cover the whole universe, it must be a part of a bigger system. So, we can use the terminal goal of this bigger system as the reference to measure the goal alignment of its subsystems.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 21:51:41
As long as a system doesn't cover the whole universe, it must be a part of a bigger system. So, we can use the terminal goal of this bigger system as the reference to measure the goal alignment of its subsystems.
Here are some concrete examples to help understanding the concept. A scout ant whose terminal goal is to find food is aligned with the terminal goal of ant colony, which is to thrive.

A corrupt politicians whose terminal goal is to enrich himself in the expense of his people is opposed to the terminal goal of his country. This will yield a negative value of consciousness. The more resources and power given to him, the harder it gets to achieve his country's terminal goal.
A psychopathic serial killer whose goal is to get personal pleasure by killing innocent people is opposed to the goal of his society.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 22:45:27
In some languages, as well as many branches of math, a double negative can yield a positive result. Enemy of our enemy is our friend.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Valkyrie
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_July_plot
The conspirators of 20 July plot have opposite alignment with Nazi government, which in turn has opposite alignment with global civilization.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/05/2021 23:23:10
As long as a system doesn't cover the whole universe, it must be a part of a bigger system. So, we can use the terminal goal of this bigger system as the reference to measure the goal alignment of its subsystems.
If human civilization expands into multistellar civilization, it's likely that we will eventually encounter other civilizations who also has passed the great filter. We will form a larger system of consciousness.
On the other hand, if we can survive long enough confined in a single planet, we will eventually be found by other civilization with more advanced technology to reach us here.
Another possibility is that we already extinct before any of above cases happens. It would means that everything that we have done become useless.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 04:59:22
Another possibility is that we already extinct before any of above cases happens. It would means that everything that we have done become useless.
It seems like nihilists have taken this almost worst case scenario for granted. They were unable to think of possibilities for better cases I mentioned previously.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 05:14:42
11:45 Unlike philosophers who are extremely patient people, they can discuss something for thousands of years without reaching any agreement and they are fine with that, the engineers won't wait. And even if the engineers are willing to wait, the investors behind them won't wait.
To be fair to the philosophers, I have to mention what their job is according to themselves. In an interview, a philosopher said that the job of philosophers are to make explicit something that people take for granted in everyday/practical conversations.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 12:22:58
Mark Zuckerberg & Yuval Noah Harari in a Conversation
in 51:15 they argue about centralization vs decentralization.
I've put my thought into this issue in my previous post.
An interstellar or intergalactic civilization will have to deal with communication and transportation problems. Interactions among different stellar or galactic systems can't happen in real time. We will have limited bandwidth and big latency problems. The solutions must contain decentralisation or localization of resources, akin to edge computing I've mentioned in another thread. Local problems are better solved locally. Global problems are better solved globally. Universal problems are better solved universally.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 12:38:01
In 1:06:30, Harari gave his thought on free will.
Quote
The people that are easiest to manipulate are the people who believe in free will, and will simply identify with whatever thought or desire pops up in their mind because they cannot even imagine that this desire is not a result of my free will, it is the result of some external manipulation.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 23:30:04
In some languages, as well as many branches of math, a double negative can yield a positive result. Enemy of our enemy is our friend.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Valkyrie
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/20_July_plot
The conspirators of 20 July plot have opposite alignment with Nazi government, which in turn has opposite alignment with global civilization.

I think it's important for humanity to keep their terminal goal aligned with the universal terminal goal. Otherwise, our existence would be seen as obstacle by larger conscious entity that would emerge in the future. If that's the case, our efforts would just become wasting of time and other resources, and we would be better off extinct as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 03/05/2021 23:31:10
I guess there's nothing much left to say about terminal goal, at least for now. So let's talk about how we can achieve it.
Our efforts to achieve our goals are evaluated by their effectiveness and efficiency. An effort is said to be effective if doing it can get us closer to our goal, compared to if it's not done. An effort is said to be efficient if most resources we put into it are actually used to achieve our goals, and least of them are wasted without added value.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/05/2021 11:06:56
Another possibility is that we already extinct before any of above cases happens. It would means that everything that we have done become useless.
It seems like nihilists have taken this almost worst case scenario for granted. They were unable to think of possibilities for better cases I mentioned previously.
Before continuing on instrumental goal, I'd like to share a discussion about nihilism.
Should We All Be Nihilists? (Feat. Rationality Rules and Rachel Oates)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/05/2021 13:03:37
Our efforts to achieve our goals are evaluated by their effectiveness and efficiency. An effort is said to be effective if doing it can get us closer to our goal, compared to if it's not done. An effort is said to be efficient if most resources we put into it are actually used to achieve our goals, and least of them are wasted without added value.
Efficiency is usually expressed as ratio. 100% means 0 resource is wasted, while 0% means nothing but wastes.
There is 1 common mistake we often make, which is not treating time as a valuable resource. It tends to make us overestimate the efficiency of our efforts.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Origin on 04/05/2021 13:08:21
Another possibility is that we already extinct before any of above cases happens. It would means that everything that we have done become useless.
It seems like nihilists have taken this almost worst case scenario for granted. They were unable to think of possibilities for better cases I mentioned previously.
Before continuing on instrumental goal, I'd like to share a discussion about nihilism.
Should We All Be Nihilists? (Feat. Rationality Rules and Rachel Oates)
I haven't read any of your blog here, I just was noticing that you seem to be having an involved discussion with yourself.  Kind of strange and pointless.  Anyway, sorry to interrupt, I will let you get back to you and yourself having your little talk.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/05/2021 14:03:16
I haven't read any of your blog here, I just was noticing that you seem to be having an involved discussion with yourself.  Kind of strange and pointless.  Anyway, sorry to interrupt, I will let you get back to you and yourself having your little talk.
I have some ideas I'd like to share with everyone. I wrote them here to get some feedback from someone else who can see them from different perspective, discover my blind spot, and find errors in my reasoning.
I use this thread in this forum more like a sandbox, where I can write down raw ideas newly crossed my mind so I can refine it later after receiving some feedbacks and rethinking about them, and not just forget about them.
Perhaps you haven't found any point here precisely because you haven't read it yet. In which case I can only suggest you to start reading it.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/05/2021 23:01:46
Perhaps you haven't found any point here precisely because you haven't read it yet. In which case I can only suggest you to start reading it.
Once in a while I summarized my ideas thus far by extracting core points and omitting non-essential parts, because the thread has gotten too large to read by a newly joined members in a single sitting time. I've already mentioned that I was planning to compile my ideas here into videos which I'll upload to my Youtube channel. Unfortunately I haven't found appropriate time to edit them yet.
After reading at least some ideas I put here, you may compare them with your own ideas that you currently have, and list down their differences and similarities with mine. You can then estimate which idea is better, and if it can be improved even further. If you think that my ideas are still imperfect, you can point out what kind of change can be made to improve them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/05/2021 23:09:49
To verify and scrutinize my ideas, I often compare them with the thought of some previous thinkers and philosophers  which can be found online. By listing down their differences and similarities, also their underlying assumptions, including the hidden or implicit ones, we can identify their strengths and weaknesses, as the basis for our acceptance of those ideas.

This thread is arranged in chronological order, based on when the ideas crossed my mind, and I had the time to write them down. But structurally, the idea start with finding the most fundamental truth which we can't deny, since denying it leads to contradiction. This brings me
Descartes' cogito ergo sum. But as soon as I started to work from there to get more practical concepts, Descartes failed miserably. Many thinkers who came after him have critisized his idea and tried to improve it by proposing some changes. But in none of them I found convincing argumentation leading to a universal terminal goal, and what should we try to achieve. It's necessary for us to prioritize our actions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/05/2021 13:05:25
Efficiency is usually expressed as ratio. 100% means 0 resource is wasted, while 0% means nothing but wastes.
There is 1 common mistake we often make, which is not treating time as a valuable resource. It tends to make us overestimate the efficiency of our efforts.
As I mentioned earlier, efficiency is a universal instrumental goal. In practice, pursuing efficiency in one part of a system may cause inefficiency in some other parts of the same system. Hence we must find some balance to get optimum results.
Some efforts to achieve efficiency are through centralization and decentralization. Though they may seem to be complete opposite, they share a common goal, which is to increase overall efficiency.

Is the Future of Factories micro or GIGA?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 14:06:38
Efficiency is usually expressed as ratio. 100% means 0 resource is wasted, while 0% means nothing but wastes.
There is 1 common mistake we often make, which is not treating time as a valuable resource. It tends to make us overestimate the efficiency of our efforts.
AFAIK, there's still no consensus to calculate effectiveness nor efficiency. They depend on how the goal is defined. It determines whether or not we can get overunity in effectiveness, or if our efforts can have negative effectiveness. Ditto for efficiency.
For example, the goal is to walk 10000 steps in a day. The method is by walking to and from work place, instead of using vehicles. If it turns out we walk 12000 steps a day, would we say that the effectiveness of our method 120%, instead of 100%?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 14:44:57
Quote
Qin Shi Huang drank mercury, thinking it would give him eternal life. Hugely ambitious, Qin Shi Huang sought eternal life. He dispatched a minister overseas, never to return, in search of a magic potion.
"The army that conquered the world - BBC Culture" https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20170411-the-army-that-conquered-the-world

Do we count the effectiveness of his effort 0 or was it -100%?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 16:28:19
Our perception of the goal, whether it's perceived as terminal or instrumental goal may influence our calculation of effectiveness and efficiency. Failing to achieve instrumental goals is generally more acceptable than failing to achieve terminal goals.

Winning a skirmish battle and winning a war are often cited as examples of instrumental and terminal goals, respectively.
In ancient times, losing a war can mean a complete destruction of a civilization, like what happened to the Canaanites. But in modern day, it may not be the case anymore. Germans lost both world wars, but now they are among wealthiest countriest in Europe, even on earth.
It shows us that even winning a war is just an instrumental goal to help achieving a longer term terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 16:43:58
As long as we acknowledge that our current condition is not perfect, maintaining status quo cannot be our terminal goal. We are generally want to be stronger, faster, smarter, wiser, healthier, wealthier, more creative, etc. Or at least we want our future generations to be better than us in those accounts.
The question is, how far we can improve them? Is there any inherent limitations to the change which should not be exceeded?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 21:50:51
The question is, how far we can improve them? Is there any inherent limitations to the change which should not be exceeded?
My answer is no. Although, there's a practical limit, due to finite resources available to a system. So, beyond some point, increasing our capacity in one sector would inevitably reduces our capacity in some other sectors. These reduction in some sectors have their limits, beyond which the system can no longer functions effectively. That's why we need to achieve some balance in resources distribution to optimize the usage of our finite available resources to maximize overall performance.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Origin on 08/05/2021 22:24:51
The question is, how far we can improve them? Is there any inherent limitations to the change which should not be exceeded?
My answer is no.
I don't know or care what you are talking about, but it's pretty funny to watch you have a in depth conversation with yourself.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 22:59:14
That's why we need to achieve some balance in resources distribution to optimize the usage of our finite available resources to maximize overall performance.


The problem of optimizing resources distribution is not restricted to individual level. It also applies to the subsystems as well as superorganism level.
In any level, optimizing resources distribution requires some methods of information exchange or signalling among parts of the system.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 23:21:29
I don't know or care what you are talking about, but it's pretty funny to watch you have a in depth conversation with yourself.
I'm glad that my posts can be entertaining to you, who don't even know or care what they mean. It looks like you care enough to post some comments here, despite your claim.
I'm also curious, which part of my statements you still don't understand? Have you read them yet? Do you want to deliberately ignore them? What's your motivation to prevent me and others to discuss this matters?
In my previous posts I've mentioned the importance of getting the correct answer to the question about our terminal goals. Not knowing them would render our actions ineffective and inefficient. It would leave us directed by instinct and emotions, which may not serve us well in the long term journey of life, and often generate regrets.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/05/2021 23:53:04
While typing my posts, I noticed that most of the readers of this thread logged in as guests. I guess that I've brought their attention here through the link I put in my comments of some YouTube videos discussing about philosophy, including ethics or morality.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 07:23:35
I don't know or care what you are talking about, but it's pretty funny to watch you have a in depth conversation with yourself.
I'm glad that my posts can be entertaining to you, who don't even know or care what they mean. It looks like you care enough to post some comments here, despite your claim.
I'm also curious, which part of my statements you still don't understand? Have you read them yet? Do you want to deliberately ignore them? What's your motivation to prevent me and others to discuss this matters?
In my previous posts I've mentioned the importance of getting the correct answer to the question about our terminal goals. Not knowing them would render our actions ineffective and inefficient. It would leave us directed by instinct and emotions, which may not serve us well in the long term journey of life.
When you wake up everyday, have you ever wonder why you do whatever you are going to do that day? What's their purpose? What your life is for? Why you try to stay alive if life is meaningless?
The fact that you posted here proves that you are not a practical nihilist, despite the content of your posts seemingly contradicting it. But things that you do  indicate who you are better than words that you say.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 11:47:37
The problem of optimizing resources distribution is not restricted to individual level. It also applies to the subsystems as well as superorganism level.
In any level, optimizing resources distribution requires some methods of information exchange or signalling among parts of the system.
In early human societies, redistributing resources were done in several ways. Preys caught by a hunter gatherer group could be simply shared to its members. If they had no record keeping mechanism to track how much resources produced and consumed by each member, the group is vulnerable from being a victim of freeloaders. The most primitive form of that record keeping is by memorizing resource exchanges, productions or acquisitions, and consumptions by each member, which is done collectively by other members.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 16:29:38
I don't know or care what you are talking about, but it's pretty funny to watch you have a in depth conversation with yourself.
I'm glad that my posts can be entertaining to you, who don't even know or care what they mean. It looks like you care enough to post some comments here, despite your claim.
I'm also curious, which part of my statements you still don't understand? Have you read them yet? Do you want to deliberately ignore them? What's your motivation to prevent me and others to discuss this matters?
In my previous posts I've mentioned the importance of getting the correct answer to the question about our terminal goals. Not knowing them would render our actions ineffective and inefficient. It would leave us directed by instinct and emotions, which may not serve us well in the long term journey of life.
When you wake up everyday, have you ever wonder why you do whatever you are going to do that day? What's their purpose? What your life is for? Why you try to stay alive if life is meaningless?
The fact that you posted here proves that you are not a practical nihilist, despite the content of your posts seemingly contradicting it. But things that you do  indicate who you are better than words that you say.
Although you are not a practical nihilist, you may suspect that life is ultimately meaningless. You are just not sure yet, so you want to live another day to make sure and see if your assessment is correct.
Your comments show that you are not passionate enough to search for the answer yourself by filtering and processing raw data to get a most likely answer. Maybe you just want someone to give you a clean final conclusion without bothering to know how it was obtained, so you can use your time and energy better on some more important tasks. That's fine with me. I believe that you are not the only one.
In case you are a nihilist, you would think that everything you do is ultimately meaningless. You'll do whatever pleases you. You only follow rules in society just because violating them would bring you unpleasant consequences. If that's the case, you are no longer a pure nihilist. Getting pleasant experience has become your terminal goal. Pure nihilists won't care if their experiences are pleasant or not. They don't even care if they would live or die, since they think that in the end, nothing really matters.
If you are not a nihilist, then there are some conditions that you think are better than some other conditions. If you list down all imaginable conditions, you can sort them out from the least preferred to the most preferred conditions. Achieving the most preferable condition for you would become your terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 21:46:46
In this thread I've come into conclusion that the best case scenario for life is that conscious beings keep existing indefinitely and don't depend on particular natural resources. The next best thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the right direction to achieve that best case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that all conscious beings go extinct, since it would make all the efforts we do now are worthless. In a universe without conscious being, the concept of goal itself become meaningless. The next worst thing is that current conscious beings are showing progress in the wrong direction which will eventually lead to that worst case scenario.
I can understand that newly joined members in this thread haven't read this yet, since many more replies have been posted since then. I can't expect everyone to read every post from beginning to the end when they join the discussion.
So, if you think that you can imagine an even better case scenario, please let me know. Because subsequent reasoning I'm planning to post here will be based on this conclusion. If it turns out to be false, I would be wasting a lot of time and efforts trying to understand the reality in this framework.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 22:19:29
There will be some people or other conscious lifeforms who act as if there is no such thing as a universal terminal goal. Hence they effectively replace it with some arbitrarily chosen non-universal terminal goals.
Some of those non-universal terminal goals may bring consequences which effectively obstruct or even prevent the achievement of the universal terminal goal.
Other conscious agents who already acknowledge the universal terminal goal should prepare some counter measures for that case. Establishing a universal moral standard is one of them.
Building more accurate and precise virtual universe is another important effort we can do to achieve universal terminal goal. So we would know in advance if something bad is going to happen and we can do something to prevent or mitigate it. For example, we have already mapped life threatening space objects around earth orbit. We need to continually update and improve it, and also expand the scope to include larger scale of the universe, as well as other kind of threats such as out of controlled AGI, climate change, or a global pandemic.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/05/2021 23:12:57
I decided to discuss about universal morality and virtual universe in separate threads, so we can be more focused and can go into details more comfortably with less distractions.
In Universal Morality thread, I discuss morality starting from its widely used definitions, and comparing morality from the perspective of earlier thinkers. My conclusion so far is that morality can be generalized as a tool to protect conscious entities/systems from potential harms caused by behaviors of their conscious agents/subsystems.
In Virtual Universe thread, I discuss about current progress we made in modeling objective reality, so it may look like breaking news. But I also intend to dive deeper into technical details there. The virtual universe is also a tool to help us achieving our terminal goal by predicting consequences of our available actions and selecting the most preferred results as the basis of our decisions. In other words, it's a tool to avoid regrets.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 10/05/2021 16:16:48
Our perception of the goal, whether it's perceived as terminal or instrumental goal may influence our calculation of effectiveness and efficiency. Failing to achieve instrumental goals is generally more acceptable than failing to achieve terminal goals.

Winning a skirmish battle and winning a war are often cited as examples of instrumental and terminal goals, respectively.
In ancient times, losing a war can mean a complete destruction of a civilization, like what happened to the Canaanites. But in modern day, it may not be the case anymore. Germans lost both world wars, but now they are among wealthiest countriest in Europe, even on earth.
It shows us that even winning a war is just an instrumental goal to help achieving a longer term terminal goal.
Let's contemplate some similar goals which only differ in time scale.
- I want to live to pass another day.
- I want to live to pass another year.
- I want to live to pass through technological singularity, which is expected to arrive before the end of this century.
- I want to live forever.

It's clear that the former goals become instrumental for the later goals.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/05/2021 06:59:39
It's Alive, But Is It Life: Synthetic Biology and the Future of Creation
Quote
For decades, biologists have read and edited DNA, the code of life. Revolutionary developments are giving scientists the power to write it. Instead of tinkering with existing life forms, synthetic biologists may be on the verge of writing the DNA of a living organism from scratch. In the next decade, according to some, we may even see the first synthetic human genome. Join a distinguished group of synthetic biologists, geneticists and bioengineers who are edging closer to breathing life into matter.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

Original Program Date: June 4, 2016
MODERATOR: Robert Krulwich
PARTICIPANTS: George Church, Drew Endy, Tom Knight, Pamela Silver
Quote
Synthetic Biology and the Future of Creation 00:00​

Participant Intros 3:25​

Ordering DNA from the internet 8:10​
 
How much does it cost to make a synthetic human? 13:04​

Why is yeast the best catalyst 20:10​

How George Church printed 90 billion copies of his book 26:05​

Creating synthetic rose oil 28:35​

Safety engineering and synthetic biology 37:15​

Do we want to be invaded by bad bacteria? 45:26​

Do you need a human gene's to create human cells? 55:09​

The standard of DNA sequencing in utero 1:02:27​

The science community is divided by closed press meetings 1:11:30​

The Human Genome Project. What is it? 1:21:45​
Profound question about morality was asked in 1:00:00 mark. It's remarkable that this video was uploaded in 2016, as if it's foreseeing our current situation.
At the end of the video, marked 1:24:00, the host asked a profound question, which is closely related to my last post here.
"Will we be able to make people with artificial genome? If we will, should we?"
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/05/2021 11:27:31
Let's contemplate some similar goals which only differ in time scale.
- I want to live to pass another day.
- I want to live to pass another year.
- I want to live to pass through technological singularity, which is expected to arrive before the end of this century.
- I want to live forever.

It's clear that the former goals become instrumental for the later goals.
From Descartes' cogito, we know that ultimate knowledge is subjective. The best case scenario for me would be, I become part of conscious systems that last forever.
But my experience says, based on analogy with other conscious agents physically similar to me, which have ended up dead, I will also end up dead. Without some significant improvement, if I do business as usual, I can only expect to live for a few decades more.
So, the only hope to get closer to the best case scenario is to improve myself to be more tolerant of various conditions I might have to deal with in the future. The improvement will involve additions, removal, and replacement of some of my existing subsystems, including genetic and epigenetic types.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/05/2021 15:13:13
Until recently, we don't have any means to improve our genetic codes while keeping the continuation of our experience.
Even now, it hasn't been widely available for those who want it. But it's about to change pretty soon.
Note that even designer babies that ignited debates on morality don't preserve continuation of experience of their parents.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/05/2021 07:37:35
So, the only hope to get closer to the best case scenario is to improve myself to be more tolerant of various conditions I might have to deal with in the future. The improvement will involve additions, removal, and replacement of some of my existing subsystems, including genetic and epigenetic types.
Traditionally, I can send some modified versions of myself to the future by sexual reproduction. But there's no guarantee that they will be better than me. Some of them are likely even worse.
Furthermore, I can only contribute half of my unique genes. Half of them must come from my spouse. Almost all of my genes are shared with other humans.
Statistically, random mutation produces detrimental genes more often than beneficial ones. Accumulation of beneficial genes must rely on natural selection, or artificial selection like domestication. But that would include reproduction of numerous copies and removal of most of them, which is not very efficient.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/05/2021 13:31:43
Statistically, random mutation produces detrimental genes more often than beneficial ones. Accumulation of beneficial genes must rely on natural selection, or artificial selection like domestication. But that would include reproduction of numerous copies and removal of most of them, which is not very efficient.
For organism with a few hundred base pairs, accumulating beneficial genes while avoiding detrimental genes through random mutation is still achievable, as long as they can reproduce in adequately large number of copies.  With more genes accumulation, it becomes harder to avoid getting detrimental genes. More copies of organisms are required to get there.   
For complex organisms with billions of base pairs, this strategy wouldn't work. There are too many copies required to get one free of detrimental genes. This problem can be solved by being diploid/polyploid, and combination of sexual reproduction, sexual and social selection. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/05/2021 22:54:45
Almost all of my genes are shared with other humans.
This fact alone should be enough to justify our tendency for having altruistic behaviors towards strangers. But we also need to remember that genetic is not the only factor determining human behavior. As often mentioned by Yuval Noah Harari, we can basically conquer the earth by inventing stories collectively believed by millions of us. He even specified the stories as fiction. But I prefer to use a more general term, which is meme, since it doesn't exclude stories based mostly on facts.
Nowadays, we can find many bad behaviors which were started from bad memes. They have caused unnecessary sufferings, lost of lives, properties, and other resources which made it harder to achieve our terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/05/2021 01:24:01
In modern human societies, DNA is no longer the main method to store long term information. With DNA "reader" and "printer", we can exchange information stored in DNA with other forms of data storages, such as magnetic, electronic, optic, spintronic, etc.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/05/2021 09:08:54
The problem of optimizing resources distribution is not restricted to individual level. It also applies to the subsystems as well as superorganism level.
In any level, optimizing resources distribution requires some methods of information exchange or signalling among parts of the system.
In early human societies, redistributing resources were done in several ways. Preys caught by a hunter gatherer group could be simply shared to its members. If they had no record keeping mechanism to track how much resources produced and consumed by each member, the group is vulnerable from being a victim of freeloaders. The most primitive form of that record keeping is by memorizing resource exchanges, productions or acquisitions, and consumptions by each member, which is done collectively by other members.
Let's get back to resources distribution. Simpler organisms have been practicing resources distribution long before humans even existed. Birds and mammals share food with their offspring. Ant and bee scouts share food with other members of their colonies.
In the case of parents giving foods to their offsprings, there's no need for record keeping, since the relationship is not equally reciprocal. The offsprings only have to provide service for the parents in the form of carrying their genes into the future. This situation opened opportunity for brood parasites such as cuckoos.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 13/05/2021 23:42:47
In the case of parents giving foods to their offsprings, there's no need for record keeping, since the relationship is not equally reciprocal. The offsprings only have to provide service for the parents in the form of carrying their genes into the future.
For those who haven't found their purpose of their lives, this reminds us that our ancestors lived and died in the past so we can live the way we are now. Likewise, we live now so our successors will live better lives in the future.
Unlike before, we are starting to realize that discontinuity of identities and experiences are no longer seen as inevitable necessities for going forward with our lives. Advancements in biotechnology, robotics, AI, and nanotechnology are things that will make it possible.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/05/2021 07:05:53
Unlike before, we are starting to realize that discontinuity of identities and experiences are no longer seen as inevitable necessities for going forward with our lives.
Just in case you are confused by the statement above, I'll give an illustration. My current body consists of different molecules and atoms than my body when I was born, so do my memories and experiences. But I retain my identity since the changes are always gradual.
But my identity is different from my parents, although I carry most of their genes and body plans. it's due to discontinuity of body composition and experience memories between mine and theirs.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/05/2021 13:32:16
Let's get back to resources distribution. Simpler organisms have been practicing resources distribution long before humans even existed.
A simple example of resources distribution in reciprocal setup is shown in tit for tat situation.
Quote
Tit for tat is an English saying meaning "equivalent retaliation". It developed from "tip for tap", first recorded in 1558. It is also a highly effective strategy in game theory. An agent using this strategy will first cooperate, then subsequently replicate an opponent's previous action.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat
To stay alive, an organism usually needs to consume a certain amount of resources. But the resources it can produce or acquire may fluctuate over time. Sometimes it doesn't meet the bare minimum.
Having companion to share resources can smooth out the quantity fluctuation of resources production and consumption, so they can overcome their hard times. Tit for tat strategy can be seen as an early form of insurance or debts. The records are kept in the brain of the participants.
For the scheme to work sustainably, it is necessary that the average resources production can keep up with consumption.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/05/2021 12:34:44
For the scheme to work sustainably, it is necessary that the average resources production can keep up with consumption.
It's important to note that some kind of resources have expiry time. Excess of production will be wasted when they are expired. The resource sharing strategy can be helpful here.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/05/2021 12:42:38
Some of you may start wondering where my recent posts will lead to, or what do they have to do with our current topic, but have little patience for following the step by step process. You might want to jump into the conclusion instead.
They are my attempt to make sense of modern financial systems from the perspective of universal consciousness. I'm trying to build a stream of reasoning starting from the most fundamental principles, and then only add barely minimum assumptions to get to currently existing complex financial systems.
I was interested in this since the news around gamestop stock short squeeze, and then speculation on crypto currency, to money printing frenzy through stimulus checks. I want to know the fundamentals or first principles behind those seemingly irrational trends in modern economic activities.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/05/2021 22:28:56
People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it's gone. So to know what financial systems are, let's imagine that they don't exist. Some would say that the society would collapse. But what does it really mean? IMO, it only means that some, perhaps most modern human individuals would die, because they've become too dependent on other people's service to provide the resources they need to survive. We must acknowledge that there are some humans who still retain (or have gathered) the necessary skill set to live in the wild. They could survive without money, or other financial instruments.
So, it should be obvious that financial systems are just tools to distribute resources among their participants. They enable societies to utilize the economy of scale and skill specialization which make resources production more effective and efficient.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/05/2021 05:29:23
Here is an example of how trying to explain the economy without strong fundamental principles can lead to more confusions. Even among experts, there seem to be no agreement.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/05/2021 12:11:43
It's important to note that some kind of resources have expiry time. Excess of production will be wasted when they are expired. The resource sharing strategy can be helpful here.
It's obvious that some resources have much longer expiry time than some others. But some of those resources with short expiry time are essential for our lives. So, if someday we produce those kind of resources more than what we can consume, it would be better if we can find someone else who need them while also have other resources with longer expiry time to exchange. This situation started the use of commodity money.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/05/2021 16:59:27
The development of agrarian societies often produce excessive food with limited useful time. It requires massive amounts of commodity money to store its value. Handling of huge amount of commodity money can be costly and impractical. Additional costs in transporting,  storing, and protecting it from environmental factors as well as theft and robbery may outweigh the value of resources it supposed to save. This situation called for the invention of fiat currency.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/05/2021 22:40:53
The idea that I want to convey here is that money was invented from practical necessities. It's a tool to help improving our ability to manage resources, their production and consumption. It helps us passing through difficult times by shifting the burdens to easier times. In turn, it helps us improving our chance to survive. Those who don't participate in the monetary system won't enjoy its advantages, and put them in a bad position in the competition.
Competition forced us to improve our system's effectiveness and efficiency.  It lead us to invent more complex financial instruments.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 16/05/2021 23:49:02
Yuval Noah Harari called money one of the most powerful and universal stories humans ever told. People like Osama Bin Laden may reject ideas of secular democracy, freedom of speech, or universal human rights. But they won't reject US Dollars. Unfortunately he didn't explain why/how a story can be more powerful than the others.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/05/2021 04:59:48
$27,000,000,000,000: America’s National Debt Explained - TLDR News

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In recent weeks America’s national debt has remerged as a major talking point. With Biden set to spend trillions on new initiatives, many in the Republican party are growing concerned by the scale of the debt. So in this video we explain the state of the US national debt & debate whether Biden’s spending is a good idea or not.

In the end, whose idea is better will be determined by who made more accurate assumptions. If the debt is used as investments which gives higher return than the debt plus interest rate, then it's surely a good decision. Otherwise, it would be bad.

Borrowing money to buy food is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the energy we get from the food can be used for productive activities which gives higher value than the borrowed money.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 17/05/2021 22:47:55
Additional costs in transporting,  storing, and protecting it from environmental factors as well as theft and robbery may outweigh the value of resources it supposed to save. This situation called for the invention of fiat currency.
Theft and robbery are generally bad for the society. They reduce the quantity of resources available to the rest of the society, while producing nothing useful in return.
Response of the societies to these cases can determine their survival. They created moral rules and legal systems with reward and punishment to make their members well behaved. A common practice to enforce the law is by inventing the police institution.
Quote
the civil force of a national or local government, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order.
Meanwhile, to protect from theft and robbery by rival societies, they created military forces. The forces can also be used to steal and rob from rival societies.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/05/2021 05:32:32
How rich countries are making the pandemic last longer
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Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the world’s richest countries poured money into the race for a vaccine. Billions of dollars, from programs like the US’s Operation Warp Speed, funded development that brought us multiple Covid-19 vaccines in record time. But it also determined where those vaccines would go. Before vaccine doses had even hit the market, places like the US and the UK had bought up nearly the entire supply.

This turns out to be an old story. In nearly every modern global health crisis, from smallpox to malaria to H1N1, rich countries have bought up vital medical supplies, making poor countries wait sometimes decades for life-saving support. It’s effectively a system in which where you live determines whether you live or die of a preventable disease. Leaving a disease like Covid-19 to spread unchecked in some places also gives it a chance to mutate -- and variants of the virus are already raising alarms. So: how do we get vaccines to countries that can’t afford them?

One solution underway is called Covax. It’s a program co-led by the World Health Organization; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Its goal is to get vaccines to lower- and middle-income countries at the same time as rich countries. So how is it supposed to do that? And will it be enough?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 18/05/2021 16:21:25
This situation called for the invention of fiat currency.
Earlier versions of fiat currency are likely used bilaterally between participants of a transaction. Instead of receiving commodity money in exchange for real resources, which is not urgently needed anyway, the resource supplier received bond certificate or some form of contract, that the resource consumer will return in the future.
There are times when the creditor can not collect the debt for various reasons, like they migrate to other places, or dead. There are also times when the creditor (resource producer) need to use the resources before the payment deadline, hence the debtors (resource consumer) haven't ready to pay the debts. In these cases, the creditor can exchange the contract or bond certificate to a third party with other resources.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/05/2021 05:25:25
Here is a joke about economists from internet. It gets funnier when it's close to real life situation.
Quote
Experienced economist and not so experienced economist are walking down the road. They get across sh1t lying on the asphalt.

Experienced economist: “If you eat it I’ll give you $20,000!”
Not so experienced economist runs his optimization problem and figures out he’s better off eating it so he does and collects money.

Continuing along the same road they almost step into yet another sh1t. Not so experienced economist: “Now, if YOU eat this sh1t I’ll give YOU $20,000.”

After evaluating the proposal experienced economist eats sh1t getting the money.

They go on. Not so experienced economist starts thinking: “Listen, we both have the same amount of money we had before, but we both ate sh1t. I don’t see us being better off.”
Experienced economist: “Well, that’s true, but you overlooked the fact that we’ve been just involved in $40,000 of trade.”
This case shows that GDP alone is not adequately reflecting the wealth or economic well being of a society. It shows that without specifying our terminal goal, our efforts would be ineffective because we would confuse between terminal and instrumental goal, and make us use wrong prioritization.

In the game of life, survival is the prize, while extinction is the penalty.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 19/05/2021 08:42:11
A common practice to enforce the law is by inventing the police institution.

Meanwhile, to protect from theft and robbery by rival societies, they created military forces.
Running these institutions requires some resources provided by the society. The burden is shared among society members as taxes.
In earlier times, taxes might be paid using consummable resources. But practicality would lead them to use commodity and fiat money. 
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/05/2021 22:00:17
This situation called for the invention of fiat currency.
Earlier versions of fiat currency are likely used bilaterally between participants of a transaction. Instead of receiving commodity money in exchange for real resources, which is not urgently needed anyway, the resource supplier received bond certificate or some form of contract, that the resource consumer will return in the future.
There are times when the creditor can not collect the debt for various reasons, like they migrate to other places, or dead. There are also times when the creditor (resource producer) need to use the resources before the payment deadline, hence the debtors (resource consumer) haven't ready to pay the debts. In these cases, the creditor can exchange the contract or bond certificate to a third party with other resources.
And this escalated the need for multilateral usage of fiat currency. The creditor may want to sell some fraction of the bond certificate while keeping the rest of it. When the creditor was a bank, they issued banknotes.

 
Quote
A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed authority, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were originally issued by commercial banks, which were legally required to redeem the notes for legal tender (usually gold or silver coin) when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank. These commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank.[1] Commercial banknotes have primarily been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks or monetary authorities.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banknote
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e9/Billets_de_5000.jpg/220px-Billets_de_5000.jpg)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 20/05/2021 22:12:35
In the game of life, survival is the prize, while extinction is the penalty.
I'd like to remind you that the prize is not necessarily awarded to the particular individuals who won the game. It could be some duplicate copies of them. While defending ant colony, some workers and soldiers may die, but the colony, which contains their copies, can survive. While defending against microbial parasites, some of our white blood cells may die, but we, which contains their copies, can survive.

Everyone of us is a modified copy of who we were. Our body compositions are pretty much different than how they were when we were born. We are also modified copies of our ancestors. Their deaths don't necessarily mean that they've lost the game of life. The extinction of our non-human ancestors don't mean that they failed either, since we are here to continue their legacy. Even the extinction of human species doesn't necessarily mean our failure, as long as we can produce/raise our successors who will continue our efforts to achieve our terminal goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/05/2021 02:39:49
And this escalated the need for multilateral usage of fiat currency. The creditor may want to sell some fraction of the bond certificate while keeping the rest of it. When the creditor was a bank, they issued banknotes.
So far, we have reconstructed the evolution of money based on logical necessity, driven by efficiency, which is a universal instrumental goal. I've mentioned before that there are two types of improvement, i. e. generalization and specialization. They are simply adding necessary functions and removing unnecessary functions, respectively.

In evolutionary biology, those steps are done by mutation and natural selection. Random mutation provides the beneficial genetic codes, along with other useless and even detrimental genes. Natural selection then removes some of those non-beneficial genes.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/05/2021 17:57:44
Here is how money supposed to work.
Someone got resources more than what they need.
Someone else got resources less than what they need, but are expected to produce more resources if they are helped to fulfill their current need.
The first one gives resources to the second one, with the promise of getting return in the future. The first is called creditor, while the second is called debtor. The money represents the promise.

When one or more of those conditions above are not fulfilled, the money system won't work effectively.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 04:45:16
When one or more of those conditions above are not fulfilled, the money system won't work effectively.
In the case where no one has resources more than what they need, nothing we can do with money to make the situation better. To make money useful, we can create more resources.
Alternatively, we can reduce the consumption. In this case, it means killing someone who would consume resources. 

Both solutions may bring unwanted consequences. In the first case, we might see environmental impacts such as air pollution. The second case could bring retaliation, war, and chaos in the society. Moral rules and laws are supposed to be the solution.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 05:39:52
Someone else got resources less than what they need, but are expected to produce more resources if they are helped to fulfill their current need.
If everyone has all the resources they need, money becomes useless.   We may want to distinguish between need and want. But their differences don't seem to be a clear cut. It's sometimes only about priorities and taste.
What we want is simply what we need to fulfill our desires. Do we need/want to drink more water? Eat more food?
Do we need/want to have a house? car? smartphone? children?
Do we need/want to live healthier? longer? peacefully?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 07:54:18
We may want to distinguish between need and want. But their differences don't seem to be clear cut. It's sometimes only about priorities and taste.
Someone may put the threshold for the need at bare minimum to survive, such as tolerable level of oxygen concentration, ambient temperature and pressure, gravitational, electric, and magnetic field. Someone else may include the requirements for longer periods of life, such as water, food, clothing, and shelters.
We may include things with less immediate impact to our lives, or those that are less life threatening. Do we need to have pleasure? Do we need to get happiness? Do we need to avoid pain and suffering?
But we may also ask the question in the other direction. Do we need to stay alive? Do we need to  avoid death and extinction?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 09:35:04
Do we need to have pleasure? Do we need to get happiness? Do we need to avoid pain and suffering?
But we may also ask the question in the other direction. Do we need to stay alive? Do we need to  avoid death and extinction?
We can't answer those questions until we determine our terminal goal. What we need are those required to achieve our goals. Without them, it would be impossible to achieve our goals.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 12:22:38
The first one gives resources to the second one, with the promise of getting return in the future. The first is called creditor, while the second is called debtor. The money represents the promise.
That's basically how any form of money work, from commodity money, fiat money, e-money, to crypto currency.
The success of monetary system relies on the assumptions that the participants keep their promises. The debtors can break their promises by not returning the resources as much value as they've promised. The creditors can break their promises by taking back more resources than the promised amount, or before the due date.
The system can also break down due to corrupted records of the promises. It can happen through random natural process or deliberately by a third party.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/05/2021 15:15:42
Someone else got resources less than what they need, but are expected to produce more resources if they are helped to fulfill their current need.
It's expected that we can get more resources from the production process in the future than what's put into it now. The more resources we put into the process, the more resources we'll get in the future.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/05/2021 11:38:14
The money represents the promise.
Printing more money simply means making more promises. It's not necessarily bad, as long as the promises can be kept.
Making new promises by printing new money may motivate people to produce more resources. It also motivates to find a way to produce more than currently possible, i.e. it promotes innovation.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 23/05/2021 12:58:44
Money enabled investment, which accelerated innovation. Without it, innovators would have to accumulate enough resources first before they can start to build their innovations.
With functional money, people with useful ideas don't have to be the same person as the people with necessary resources.  It makes innovations can happen more frequently.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/05/2021 12:55:35
Innovation is closely related to intellectual property, which is protected by patent. It usually involves research which consist of a lot of uncertainty. There is a risk that the money we put into it is lost due to failed research, or our competitors find a better alternative in terms of quality, price, or timing.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/05/2021 23:12:39
Innovation is a risky business. It can give extremely high return, but it can also crash in failure. They can be shared between the investors and inventors or innovators, equally or not. When the inventors are very confident with their inventions, they can take all the risk in the hope of maximum benefits by taking a loan with fixed interest rate. On the other hand, When the investors are very confident with their investments, they can buy the invention for a fixed price. The risk can also be shared between them. So do the potential benefits. The portion of the share is determined by the deal between them.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/05/2021 23:52:21
Investment in invention and innovation may sound like gambling. But there's one crucial difference. Gambling is a zero sum game. Someone's profit comes from the loss of someone else, and no net benefit to the society as a whole.
Some may argue that even inventions can also cause loss to someone else, namely competitors who use older technologies. But the benefit for the society outweighs the loss. Besides, those competitors who lost their business could use their resources for something else that's more profitable.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: charles1948 on 25/05/2021 00:14:20
Investment in invention and innovation may sound like gambling. But there's one crucial difference. Gambling is a zero sum game. Someone's profit comes from the loss of someone else, and no net benefit to the society as a whole.

But, if gambling is a zero sum-game, why do some people set up betting shops, and casinos, to make customers come in to gamble?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 05:04:58
Investment in invention and innovation may sound like gambling. But there's one crucial difference. Gambling is a zero sum game. Someone's profit comes from the loss of someone else, and no net benefit to the society as a whole.

But, if gambling is a zero sum-game, why do some people set up betting shops, and casinos, to make customers come in to gamble?
Humans evolved to love winning games. Consistently losing in competitions is detrimental. Winning games activates reward function of neurotransmitters. Those casinos provides a way to "help" some humans to get those good feelings easily. It's similar to smoking weed, surfing, hiking, jogging, swimming, playing video games, board games, etc. Some people feels more excitement and enthusiastic when the game involve real risk, such as extreme sports and gambling.They don't give direct benefits to the society. Although some of them may provide indirect benefit, by giving emotional boost and replenishing mental health. But gambling are known to cause psychological stress to its participants, especially when they lose, which is expected by laws of probability.
The actual impact of winning and losing in gambling depends on each individual's responses which are affected by many factors, such as genetic, education, ideology, physical and psychological fitness, etc. Some of them can control themselves and the negative impacts of losing in gambling can be well mitigated. But this kind of persons may well get positive impacts of gambling such as emotional excitement of winning, without even doing the gamble. It reduces the attraction of gambling and tips the balance of cost and benefit towards detrimental side in the perspective of societies. 
As long as there are enough people with excess wealth who don't mind losing in gambling just to get the excitement, opening casino or betting shop can be a profitable business.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 06:03:58
Innovation is a risky business. It can give extremely high return, but it can also crash in failure. They can be shared between the investors and inventors or innovators, equally or not. When the inventors are very confident with their inventions, they can take all the risk in the hope of maximum benefits by taking a loan with fixed interest rate. On the other hand, When the investors are very confident with their investments, they can buy the invention for a fixed price. The risk can also be shared between them. So do the potential benefits. The portion of the share is determined by the deal between them.
New investors can buy portions of shares from initial investors or company founders. It will dillute the share ownerships of the initial investors while accumulating resources to grow the company so it can increase the benefits of the invention or innovation.
In a sense, owning money is similar to owning shares of a company. When new money is created, the value held by existing money owners is dilluted accordingly. So, when a government of a country print more money in local currency, the real quantity of resources don't change. It means that the portion of money own by the government increases, which comes from decreasing the portion of money owned by other parties, including foreign governments and corporations.
US Dollar has special place in international economy on earth.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_dollar#Use_as_international_reserve_currency
https://english.pravda.ru/business/114921-us_dollar/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 09:09:41
The complexity of financial system can be used/misused to benefit oneself by sacrificing others without net benefit to the whole society.
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2013/12/09/three-ways-super-rich-suck-wealth-out-rest-us
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This is not a matter of productive people benefiting from their contributions to society. This is a relatively small number of people extracting massive amounts of money through the financial system for accomplishing almost nothing.
Quote
They Create Imaginary Money That Turns Real

The world's wealth has doubled in a little over ten years. The financial industry has, in effect, created a whole new share of global wealth and redistributed much of it to itself.

In the U.S., financial sector profits as a percentage of corporate profits have been rising steadily over the past 30 years. The speculative, non-productive, and fee-generating derivatives market has increased to an unfathomable level of over $1 quadrillion -- a thousand trillion dollars, twenty times more than the world economy.
It reminds me of the sh1t eating economists joke.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 13:16:16
The complexity of financial system can be used/misused to benefit oneself by sacrificing others without net benefit to the whole society.
There are some money related actions that are outright crimes, such as heist, robbery, theft, extortion, fraud. The victims can be easily identified, and feel the direct impact.
Some other crimes are less obvious, such as counterfeiting money, money laundering, price gouging, bribery. Some even on the border line of legal actions, such as donating/lobbying to corrupt politicians/law makers, insider trading and market manipulation.
When the victims are not easily identified, it usually means that the loss are distributed among many victims at once, hence each victim don't feel being harmed that much. In the case of money counterfeiting, assuming that the counterfeit money is indistinguishable from the real/original money, the victims are all other owners of the real/original money in the form of reducing its value. Usually the quantity of counterfeit money is much less than the real one, thus the value reduction is insignificant. But when it grows larger, the impact can be devastating to the economy.

https://www.epi.org/publication/pay-corporate-executives-financial-professionals/
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 14:12:11
These videos describe the alignment between base and mesa objectives, which are basically the same as terminal and instrumental goals, respectively.
The OTHER AI Alignment Problem: Mesa-Optimizers and Inner Alignment

Deceptive Misaligned Mesa-Optimisers? It's More Likely Than You Think...
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/05/2021 14:31:49
By definition, universal terminal goal must be viewed from the perspective of the last conscious being in the end of time. Currently, we don't know for sure if it's finite.
A conscious being who has no time left can't do anything meaningful. It can no longer make a plan, or choose actions to get the best possible outcomes.
It would be preferable if we can have the perspective of that last conscious being while preserving time, which is one of the most valuable resources. This can be done by building a virtual universe which would be continuously improved in accuracy and precision. It would make us closer to becoming a Laplace demon level conscious entity which can see events further in time and eliminate surprises.
Knowing how the future would be before being there, by simulating it with adequately accurate model is comparable to knowing the mass, size, temperature, and composition of a star without having to travel light years away.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/05/2021 05:56:07
Here is another way to describe consciousness in the context of universal terminal goal. Consciousness level of a system  describes how much control it has to determine its own future.
In any system, we can break down this capability into 3 main parts: input, process, and output. Input parts determine how good a system can collect information about physical reality in and around it. Process parts determine how good a system can process information collected by inputs, filter it, store it, and calculate the most optimal actions aligned with its terminal goal. The output parts modify or make changes to physical reality in and around it.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/05/2021 07:32:58
In any system, we can break down this capability into 3 main parts: input, process, and output.
When talking about consciousness, we tend to overlook input and output parts, while focusing on the process part. But I can argue that a system can have high intelligence while being low in consciousness. Think about someone who is dreaming, or has severed spinal cord, or a brain in a vat, or supercomputer running a simulation.
Consciousness level of a system is not a constant. It can vary from time to time. When someone is drunk, their consciousness level is reduced. So does when they got stroke or Alzheimer. Some drugs may increase their consciousness level. So do their access to smart phone or direct brain interface, even simpler tools like reading glass, telescopes, microscope, screwdriver, hammer, and knife.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/05/2021 10:03:00
"...and we should do it now" (Elon Musk)
Why?
Now is the only time when we can really make a change. Time is considered as a precious resource which should not be spent in vain. The longer we wait, the less time we can use to execute our plans, and the higher the risk of failure.
In his own words,
"Becoming multi-planetary is one of the greatest filters. Only now, 4.5 billion years after Earth formed, is it possible. How long this window to reach Mars remains open is uncertain. Perhaps a long time, perhaps not. In case it is the latter, we should act now," wrote Musk on his Twitter page.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1396226161718349824?s=19
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/05/2021 05:25:37
These videos describe the alignment between base and mesa objectives, which are basically the same as terminal and instrumental goals, respectively.
Our minds are neural network systems trained by our parents and teachers, which in turn were trained by their parents and teachers, and so on to earlier human ancestors. So in a way, we are mesa optimizers having mesa objectives, which must be aligned with the base objective. In other words, we should align our instrumental goals with our terminal goal.
On the other hand, our successors will be our mesa optimisers. We need to make sure that their mesa objective is aligned with our base objective.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/05/2021 15:11:19
On the other hand, our successors will be our mesa optimisers. We need to make sure that their mesa objective is aligned with our base objective.
This can be done by setting up moral rules, equipped with reward and punishment system. The reward is simply a way to inform the optimisers that their behavior is aligned with base objective, and they should keep doing it. While the punishment is simply a way to inform the optimisers that their behavior is not aligned with base objective, and they should stop/avoid doing it.
In many cases, simply telling them that their behavior is aligned or not aligned with base objective is not enough to modify their behavior. It may be caused by existing mesa objective which can be shaped by evolutionary process, childhood indoctrination, or their previous experience.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2021 06:10:29
In many cases, simply telling them that their behavior is aligned or not aligned with base objective is not enough to modify their behavior. It may be caused by existing mesa objective which can be shaped by evolutionary process, childhood indoctrination, or their previous experience.
Pain and pleasure are some earliest methods to inform organisms as mesa optimisers if their actions are aligned with their base objective, which is to avoid extinction. They are not perfectly accurate, but they are fast, and in most cases adequate. The inaccuracy issue can be compensated by having redundancy through reproduction.
Organisms who have developed expectation of future condition can get advantage from using happiness and sadness/suffering, which are expectation of future pleasure and pain, to realign their behavior with their objective. The advantage is the possibilities to make preventive/anticipative actions so they can avoid real pain and maximize real pleasure.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2021 09:59:52
Why We Age and Why We Don't Have To | David Sinclair | Talks at Google
Quote
David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, discusses his new book "Lifespan", which distills his cutting-edge research findings on the biological processes underpinning aging. Sinclair describes lifestyle hacks we can undertake now to combat aging, as well as future scientific breakthroughs that promise to slow down—and even reverse—the aging process.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2021 12:19:21
Organisms who have developed expectation of future condition can get advantage from using happiness and sadness/suffering, which are expectation of future pleasure and pain, to realign their behavior with their objective.
This capability requires some form of virtualization or simulation of physical reality inside the body of the organism, typically in the form of neural network. In simple organisms, the simulation has low accuracy and precision. But they don't consume much resources. More accurate and precise simulations are costly, but the benefits may outweigh the costs.
Humans have named some milestones to describe progress of information processing capability in organisms.
instinct: an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli. It may be compared to sub-routine or procedure in programming languages.
emotion : a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. We can compare it to situational system's mode such as normal mode in smart phone for common usage, power saving mode when the battery is low, and gaming mode when high performance is required.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/05/2021 15:33:54
Following instinct and emotion are heuristic rules mentioned as examples of mesa objective.
In this context, intelligence can be seen as the ability to align a system's actions with its mesa goals. While wisdom is the ability to align a system's mesa goals with its base goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/05/2021 07:26:55
Consciousness level of a system  describes how much control it has to determine its own future.
Consciousness level of a system in general doesn't depend on how it is formed, or what's its chemical composition. It can be achieved by adding new parts, replacing old parts with better new one, removing unnecessary parts, or cooperating with other conscious systems.
When I mentioned universal consciousness, it referred to general form of consciousness, unrestricted by any arbitrary constrains. The only constraint is that the system is conscious, which means that it has at least some control over its own future. It was the superset of any form of consciousness. So it must exist, as long as we can say that consciousness in any form do exist.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/05/2021 23:43:04
The idea that I want to convey here is that money was invented from practical necessities. It's a tool to help improving our ability to manage resources, their production and consumption. It helps us passing through difficult times by shifting the burdens to easier times. In turn, it helps us improving our chance to survive. Those who don't participate in the monetary system won't enjoy its advantages, and put them in a bad position in the competition.
Competition forced us to improve our system's effectiveness and efficiency.  It lead us to invent more complex financial instruments.

Any economic system is a meme. It will compete for its existence in the mind of conscious entities.
Good economic systems are those that help their society to survive in various environmental conditions by distributing resources effectively and efficiently.
Quote

Economic system, any of the ways in which humankind has arranged for its material provisioning. One would think that there would be a great variety of such systems, corresponding to the many cultural arrangements that have characterized human society. Surprisingly, that is not the case. Although a wide range of institutions and social customs have been associated with the economic activities of society, only a very small number of basic modes of provisioning can be discovered beneath this variety. Indeed, history has produced but three such kinds of economic systems: those based on the principle of tradition, those centrally planned and organized according to command, and the rather small number, historically speaking, in which the central organizing form is the market.


The very paucity of fundamental modes of economic organization calls attention to a central aspect of the problem of economic “systems”—namely, that the objective to which all economic arrangements must be addressed has itself remained unchanged throughout human history. Simply stated, this unvarying objective is the coordination of the individual activities associated with provisioning—activities that range from providing subsistence foods in hunting and gathering societies to administrative or financial tasks in modern industrial systems. What may be called “the economic problem” is the orchestration of these activities into a coherent social whole—coherent in the sense of providing a social order with the goods or services it requires to ensure its own continuance and to fulfill its perceived historic mission.

Social coordination can in turn be analyzed as two distinct tasks. The first of these is the production of the goods and services needed by the social order, a task that requires the mobilization of society’s resources, including its most valuable, human effort. Of nearly equal importance is the second task, the appropriate distribution of the product (see distribution theory). This distribution not only must provide for the continuance of a society’s labour supply (even slaves had to be fed) but also must accord with the prevailing values of different social orders, all of which favour some recipients of income over others—men over women, aristocrats over commoners, property owners over nonowners, or political party members over nonmembers. In standard textbook treatments, the economic problem of production and distribution is summarized by three questions that all economic systems must answer: what goods and services are to be produced, how goods and services are to be produced and distributed, and for whom the goods and services are to be produced and distributed.

Quote

All modes of accomplishing these basic tasks of production and distribution rely on social rewards or penalties of one kind or another. Tradition-based societies depend largely on communal expressions of approval or disapproval. Command systems utilize the open or veiled power of physical coercion or punishment, or the bestowal of wealth or prerogatives. The third mode—the market economy—also brings pressures and incentives to bear, but the stimuli of gain and loss are not usually within the control of any one person or group of persons. Instead, the incentives and pressures emerge from the “workings” of the system itself, and, on closer inspection, those workings turn out to be nothing other than the efforts of individuals to gain financial rewards by supplying the things that others are willing to pay for.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/economic-system
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 30/05/2021 07:49:06
Quote
Companies that adopt robots hire more workers
On a macroeconomic level, the logic seems simple: If AI makes workers obsolete, then adopting it will make unemployment rise. At first sight, a study from France confirms that suspicion. The authors found that a 20 percent increase in robots in a given industry leads to a 1.6 percent decline in employment there. Of course, robots are a way more general term than AI, but we can assume AI would lead to similar results.
The reality is different, though, when shifting perspective from the national economy to individual corporations. Somewhat counterintuitively, companies that adopt robots hire more workers. Admittedly, this data might be a bit misleading because companies with stronger growth can afford more robots sooner, which makes them scale even faster.
There are, however, a couple of compelling reasons to believe that robots help companies expand their human workforce. The French study suggests that, if workers and robots share the workload, then the value added per worker goes up.
For example, consider a company that employs five workers to manufacture a product worth $100. On average, every worker contributes $20 to the final product. After experiencing some growth, this company buys some robots and now only needs two workers per product because the robots are doing the rest. As a result, the remaining two workers contribute $50 each to the final product. Since this is a dramatic increase in efficiency, the company might expand its activities and hire additional workers, who can also now contribute $50 each thanks to the improved efficiency — compared to $20 in the pre-robot stage. This mechanism increases a company’s labor demand, so it might decide to hire more workers to expand its palette of products and services.

https://towardsdatascience.com/is-ai-coming-for-your-job-2f593ab72b55
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 30/05/2021 11:45:43
Any economic system is a meme. It will compete for its existence in the mind of conscious entities.
Good economic systems are those that help their society to survive in various environmental conditions by distributing resources effectively and efficiently.
Quote
An economic system, or economic order,[1] is a system of production, resource allocation and distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. It includes the combination of the various institutions, agencies, entities, decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that comprise the economic structure of a given community.

An economic system is a type of social system. The mode of production is a related concept.[2] All economic systems must confront and solve the three fundamental economic problems:

What kinds and quantities of goods shall be produced.
How goods shall be produced.
How the output will be distributed
When to produce

The study of economic systems includes how these various agencies and institutions are linked to one another, how information flows between them, and the social relations within the system (including property rights and the structure of management). The analysis of economic systems traditionally focused on the dichotomies and comparisons between market economies and planned economies and on the distinctions between capitalism and socialism.[4] Subsequently, the categorization of economic systems expanded to include other topics and models that do not conform to the traditional dichotomy.

Today the dominant form of economic organization at the world level is based on market-oriented mixed economies.[5] An economic system can be considered a part of the social system and hierarchically equal to the law system, political system, cultural and so on. There is often a strong correlation between certain ideologies, political systems and certain economic systems (for example, consider the meanings of the term "communism"). Many economic systems overlap each other in various areas (for example, the term "mixed economy" can be argued to include elements from various systems). There are also various mutually exclusive hierarchical categorizations.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_system
There are many ways to classify economic systems, but the simplest and most widely known is by ownership of the means of production:
- Capitalism (private ownership of the means of production )
- Mixed economy
- Socialist economy (social ownership of the means of production)

In those economic systems, each participants play the role of mesa optimisers with different mesa objectives. In pure capitalism, the mesa objectives are to maximize their profits. The authorities/regulators must make sure that their mesa objectives are aligned with the base objective of the society. In pure socialism, the mesa objectives are to follow command given by the authorities/regulators. Essentially, in capitalism, the burden of information processing to produce economic decision makings are distributed among economic participants, while in socialism, they are concentrated to the authorities/regulators. Both strategies have their own costs and benefits.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/05/2021 12:04:48
Simulating Supply and Demand


The video explains how the price of goods can be determined by the market in capitalist economic systems.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/05/2021 12:28:32
Is This The End Of Capitalism?


Quote
It's a term you've probably heard a lot. Late Stage Capitalism. People use it  to describe the absurdities and wild inequalities of the world today. But what is it exactly, and are we really living in it? And if so, what comes next?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/05/2021 12:43:43
In the socialist side,


Is Universal Basic Income The Key To The Future?

Quote
With AI and automation already displacing jobs in the United States, and the problem only expected to get worse, the idea of a Universal Basic Income is being touted as a solution to save us. But is it all it's cracked up to be?

Universal Basic Income Explained – Free Money for Everybody? UBI
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/05/2021 13:47:16
Let's identify some basic assumptions people make in discussing the universal basic income, especially the hidden ones that are not commonly mentioned in discussions about economic policies. Without these assumptions, UBI wouldn't make sense.
- most modern people can't produce their own resources without the help of someone else. Most of us don't produce our own food. Even farmers need someone to provide the fertilizer.
- despite of that, they want to survive.
- the society as a whole can produce more resources than what's required to sustain all of its people, which means someone must produce more resources than what they need.
- most people have inherently good intentions to contribute to their society. The exceptions must be insignificant.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 31/05/2021 20:36:00
Putting jobs out of work.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/06/2021 07:15:29
Essentially, in capitalism, the burden of information processing to produce economic decision makings are distributed among economic participants, while in socialism, they are concentrated to the authorities/regulators. Both strategies have their own costs and benefits.
In several occasions, Yuval Noah Harari said that the main reason why centralized economic systems failed was because of inadequate computing power. It makes their decisions don't align with their intentions.
Another possible reason is that their model doesn't represent reality accurately, which also makes their decisions don't align with their intentions.
Centralized power with imperfect management and accountability is susceptible to manipulation and corruption, which lead them to wrong decisions.
Slow transfer and process of information could also make their decisions out of date.
But improvement of telecommunication, computational power, and artificial intelligence can change the results.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/06/2021 09:56:39
As long as our model contains uncertainty, the only way to resolve it is through trial and error, within the limits of what's already certain.  If the error involve high risk such as destruction of the system, then it would be better if the system has duplicates or back ups. Otherwise, it must be rebuilt from the scratch every time it makes wrong decision.
When the uncertainty is high, decentralized systems like capitalism are more advantageous. With more subsystems making different decisions, there are higher chance that at least some of them will get it right. The others could then adopt similar strategy and then try to improve it.
Those who make the wrong decision may suffer, or even get destroyed. But they're not necessarily in vain. They and others can learn from it, to avoid the same mistake. We should learn from others' mistakes, since we won't have enough time to do it all by ourselves.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/06/2021 22:38:09
Prototypes or real life models are thought to be the most accurate and precise to predict various responses of complex systems to stimuli. But they are expensive. That's why they are only done near the end of design phases when the uncertainty is reasonably low, while the severity is considered high, such as the case of new human medical treatments and car safety in a crash.
For earlier design phases, we can use cheaper and less accurate models. For medical treatment, we traditionally use animals. In modern labs we can use organoid or HeLa cells. In many physical objects, we can use their miniature versions.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/06/2021 12:21:02
Trial and error would be much cheaper, hence more efficient, if we could do it in a virtual environment, like computer simulation, if we can get it to be adequately accurate and precise in representing objective reality.

Adequately accurate and precise virtual representation of objective reality is what we commonly called knowledge. It's a form of data compression.
At the most fundamental level, knowledge consist of two types of data: nodes and edges. They are the data points and the relationship among them, respectively.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/06/2021 17:22:10
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This is attributed to Lao-Tzu. Descartes had taken the first step for our journey through the cosmos by identifying the most fundamental knowledge with his cogito ergo sum. But if the subsequent steps are directed to the wrong way, we wouldn't be able to reach our destination. The universal terminal goal acts like a lodestar that will guide us and keep us in the right direction in this journey.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/06/2021 13:25:14
Let's take the journey analogy a little bit further. Knowing where we start and where the destination is are not enough to get us there safely. We can't just go straight to the destination in the shortest path. We need to consider obstacles and dangers along the way, and how to avoid or overcome them.
In most cases, we can't just go from home to our work place by simply following a straight line. Even if we use helicopter or flying taxi, we need to make some maneuver, at least when we're on the ground prior to take off or after landing.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/06/2021 15:39:56
Ray Kurzweil depicted the future in technological singularity by turning most of accessible matters into information processing objects as parts of AGI. In the future, there will be more smart matters and less dumb matters. Internet of things and edge computing are inevitably emerging as parts of the progress.
Although the long term trend seems to align with that direction,  we can't just follow it blindly while ignoring other important and more urgent issues. Besides of information processing, any conscious entities need some other things, such as power sources, energy storages, protective shields, data back up, material processing, and waste disposal and management.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 05/06/2021 22:41:27
But now we can decide which microbiome should live inside us, which one should die,
So there is an inevitable conflict of interests, and only human vanity decides which should win. No sign of a universal goal! 
There are conflict of interest between people from different countries. Also from the same country. Or the same organization. Even among siblings. Even twins. Even among cells in the same human individual. But that doesn't mean that they can't have common goals.
The only similarity applicable to every conscious being, regardless of their shape, form, size, and ingredients, is that they want to extend the existence of consciousness further into the future. It's not restricted to selfish behavior, although self preservation is important up to some limit.
In general, parents want to give better lives to their children. It means that their children would have better chance to survive, but also means that the children are not exactly the same as the parents. Extrapolated to many generations, the accumulated difference between earliest ancestors and latest descendants could be huge, they are unrecognizable anymore to be in the same lineage.
Our ancestors played their roles as the scaffolding to our existence. We also have our role to be the scaffolding to the existence of our descendants or successors. A good moral standard would tell us if we behave like a good or bad scaffolding. It would inevitably prioritize things according to their impacts to the future of consciousness. There would be sacrifices in one form or another.
I bring my argumentation from my other thread since it's closely related to my latest post here. The most direct transition or transformation from one point or shape to another is probably not the most effective nor efficient. Building tall buildings usually need scaffolding, which will be removed once the building is finished. Some chemical reactions need precursors and/or catalyst, which are separated from the finish product. A caterpillar turns into chrysalis before it becomes a butterfly.
Moving from a second storey window to the ground can be done quickly by simply jump. But it's usually not the safe way.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 06/06/2021 06:40:15
A natural way to make improvements is through competition. Nature rewards the winners and punishes the losers. But winners aren't usually flawless, while the losers often have their own virtues. Some unlucky accidents may prevent the best competitors from being the winners.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/06/2021 11:24:56
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) tweeted at 1:55 AM on Sun, Jun 06, 2021:
Goods & services are the real economy, any form of money is simply the accounting thereof
(https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1401251430015582209?s=03)
 
Previously, I've mentioned similar idea here, but using a more general term for goods & services, which is resources.
Producing goods or services needs resources. They aren't just raw materials, which are obvious for the case of goods. Some goods may have cheap raw materials, but involve expensive process due to high energy requirement or safety concerns.
The resources required to produce services by professionals such as barbers, lawyers, surgeon, or technicians, can take forms of time and energy needed to do the jobs, on top of resources needed to train and learn the required knowledge and skills to do the jobs, and also the tools and consummables.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/06/2021 11:04:57
Ray Kurzweil depicted the future in technological singularity by turning most of accessible matters into information processing objects as parts of AGI. In the future, there will be more smart matters and less dumb matters. Internet of things and edge computing are inevitably emerging as parts of the progress.
Although the long term trend seems to align with that direction,  we can't just follow it blindly while ignoring other important and more urgent issues. Besides of information processing, any conscious entities need some other things, such as power sources, energy storages, protective shields, data back up, material processing, and waste disposal and management.


Expanding universal consciousness requires resources, including raw materials. Contributors of consciousness in the form of life as we know it has natural limits. Human population can't keep growing beyond those limits.

https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/phosphorus-is-vital-for-life-and-were-running-low
Quote
All life needs phosphorus and agricultural yields are improved when phosphorus is added to growing plants and the diet of livestock. Consequently, it is used globally as a fertilizer — and plays an important role in meeting the world’s food requirements.

In order for us to add it, however, we first need to extract it from a concentrated form — and the supply comes almost exclusively from phosphate mines in Morocco (with far smaller quantities coming from China, the U.S., Jordan and South Africa). Within Morocco, most of the mines are in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony which was annexed by Morocco in 1975.

The fact that more than 70 percent of the global supply comes from this single location is problematic, especially as scientists are warning that we are approaching “peak phosphorus”, the point at which demand begins to outstrip supply and intensive agriculture cannot continue to provide current yields. In the worst case scenario, mineable reserves could be exhausted within as little as 35 years.


In the first half of the 19th century, Justus von Liebig popularized the law of the minimum for agriculture, which states that growth is limited by the least available resource. It was soon discovered that this was often some form of phosphorus.

As a consequence, bones — comprised mostly of calcium and phosphate — from old battlefields were dug up to use in farming. Guano, large accumulations of bird droppings, also contains high concentrations of phosphorus and was used to fertilize crops. But supplies of this were soon depleted. As demand increased, supplies had to be mined instead.

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 09/06/2021 04:11:03
Why Biofuels Are Terrible

Energy is one form of resources required to expand universal consciousness. It's important to choose its source wisely.
Chosing the best options should be done holistically, taking into account all conceivable costs and benefits into as far as possible future allowed by our information processing capability, using our most accurate model of objective reality.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/06/2021 06:40:32
The only similarity applicable to every conscious being, regardless of their shape, form, size, and ingredients, is that they want to extend the existence of consciousness further into the future.
I realise that I have expressed the idea of universal terminal goal in some different ways. I feel that this one is the least controversial and easiest to follow.
Previously I said that the universal terminal goal is to protect the last conscious being. Although this one is a logical consequence of my preferred expression above, it seems to add a preliminary task, which is identifying who the last conscious being is. It also seems to imply that the other conscious beings are to be ignored.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 11/06/2021 23:22:38
Previously I said that the universal terminal goal is to protect the last conscious being. Although this one is a logical consequence of my preferred expression above, it seems to add a preliminary task, which is identifying who the last conscious being is. It also seems to imply that the other conscious beings are to be ignored.
It also seems to hint as if the last conscious being to be protected consists of a single entity, presumably biological. In reality, it's unlikely to be the case. Protecting a conscious being effectively requires protecting its redundancy back ups, as well as its supporting entities and facilities. Preserving some diversity of the back ups is necessary to avoid common mode failures.

For example, every human individual is a redundancy back up for the others. They are also in interdependent relationships with each other. Their survival also depends on their environmental conditions.

With these in mind, we can see that the last conscious being to be protected at all costs is not restricted to be a biological individual specimen. Instead, it's the whole system of consciousness with its members interdependent from each others.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/06/2021 10:30:07
The only similarity applicable to every conscious being, regardless of their shape, form, size, and ingredients, is that they want to extend the existence of consciousness further into the future.
I realise that I have expressed the idea of universal terminal goal in some different ways. I feel that this one is the least controversial and easiest to follow.
So, I think I have arrived to the final conclusion about universal terminal goal. It came from definitions of each word in the phrase, and take their implications into account. Goal is the noun, while terminal and universal are the adjectives that describe the noun.

The word Goal means preferred state or condition in the future. If it's not preferred, it can't be a goal. If it's already happened in the past, it can't be a goal either. Although it's possible that the goal is to make future condition similar to preferred condition in the past as reference. The preference requires the existence of at least one conscious entity. Preference can't exist in a universe without consciousness, so can't a goal.

The word Terminal requires that the goal is seen from the persepective of conscious entities that exist in the furthest conceivable future. If the future point of reference is too close to the present, it would expire soon and the goal won't be usable anymore.

The word Universal requires that no other constraint should be added to the goal determined by aforementioned words. The only valid constraints have already been set by the words goal and terminal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/06/2021 10:44:11
Here is another way to describe consciousness in the context of universal terminal goal. Consciousness level of a system  describes how much control it has to determine its own future.

Here is a documentary video discussing about consciousness.
Quote
What is consciousness? Consciousness is what we know best and explain least. It is the inner subjective experience of what it feels like to see red or smell garlic or hear Beethoven. Consciousness is baffling. Featuring interviews with Simon Blackburn, Susan Greenfield, Christof Koch, Bruce Hood, and Roy Baumeister.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/06/2021 13:57:52
So, I think I have arrived to the final conclusion about universal terminal goal. It came from definitions of each word in the phrase, and take their implications into account. Goal is the noun, while terminal and universal are the adjectives that describe the noun.
It seems that the universal terminal goal puts more emphasis on time dimension over the others such as space and mass. Which means that given the same amount of conscious beings, it's more preferred to have consciousness go further into the future, rather than go further into distant places or get more numerous but then go extinct more early.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 22/06/2021 06:29:30
How World Almost Ended in 2012 And Still Might Later!

Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/06/2021 12:23:25
"Why Buridan’s Ass Doesn’t Starve | Issue 81 | Philosophy Now" https://philosophynow.org/issues/81/Why_Buridans_Ass_Doesnt_Starve
Quote
Imagine you go to a restaurant. Looking at the menu, you discover that they serve your two favourite meals – say asparagus and spinach tart. What will you do? You may hesitate for a while, but then you will make your choice. You have to make a choice, don’t you? Even if you’re hungry or greedy enough to order both, you have to decide which to eat first.

Now, how do you decide? Given that you like both equally, why do you choose, say, spinach tart, and not asparagus? There are two possible general answers. You can say either that:

a) There is no reason (no cause) for your choice. You just act, and you could equally well choose the other meal. Or:

b) There is a reason, but it’s unknown to you.

The second answer seems more plausible, because it accords with a principle that’s fundamental to the way we think. This principle is commonly called Leibniz’s Law, or the Principle of Sufficient Reason. It can be stated in various ways:

• Nihil sine ratione: Nothing is without a reason.

• Nothing happens without a sufficient reason/cause.

• For each event A there is another event B (or a combination of events) that precedes it and fully explains why A had to happen.

• Ex nihilo nihil fit: Nothing comes out of nothing.
Quote
Of course there are situations where we have difficulties in making up our minds (we sometimes have those difficulties, but not donkeys). This is often the case when much depends on our decision. But in the end we will decide one way or the other, even if only because the lapse of time changes the situation. Buridan’s ass starves because he’s imagined as timeless, as somehow removed from the passage of time. He’s frozen in a situation where there’s only him and the two piles of hay. Yet since donkeys live in time, no donkey will ever starve because he lacks free will
The paradox seems to quickly dismiss that sitting still wasting time is a third option, which makes the situation a false dichotomy. In this case, wasting time indefinitely is the worst possible option, which should be avoided. When the other two options are equally good, then choosing randomly would be great.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 24/06/2021 13:56:03
The paradox seems to quickly dismiss that sitting still wasting time is a third option, which makes the situation a false dichotomy. In this case, wasting time indefinitely is the worst possible option, which should be avoided. When the other two options are equally good, then choosing randomly would be great.
There is a third option. There is a reason for your choice and it’s known to you.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 24/06/2021 22:14:29
There is a third option. There is a reason for your choice and it’s known to you.
Are you still talking about Buridan's ass? In this case, the options are :
go to left
go to right
go to neither,  or stay where it is
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 25/06/2021 14:34:08
There is a third option. There is a reason for your choice and it’s known to you.
Are you still talking about Buridan's ass? In this case, the options are :
go to left
go to right
go to neither,  or stay where it is

No, it was the asparagus vs spinach tarts that set me drooling. The 3rd option is that there is a reason for your choice and it is known to you.
Faced with a coin toss decision I would always look for extra data first.
Maybe I had asparagus last time, so to even it up in the favourites league I need to have spinach.
Maybe it’s asparagus soup for starters, so I might or might not want asparagus tart.
Etc
By the way, like most humans I’m really good at post rationalising my decisions, so don’t rely on any reason I give  ;D
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/06/2021 21:26:35
No, it was the asparagus vs spinach tarts that set me drooling. The 3rd option is that there is a reason for your choice and it is known to you.
Faced with a coin toss decision I would always look for extra data first.
Maybe I had asparagus last time, so to even it up in the favourites league I need to have spinach.
Maybe it’s asparagus soup for starters, so I might or might not want asparagus tart.
Etc
By the way, like most humans I’m really good at post rationalising my decisions, so don’t rely on any reason I give 
The article said that you like both equally. Presumably at the time you have to make the choice. Otherwise it wouldn't be a problem in the first place.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 25/06/2021 23:18:08
The article said that you like both equally. Presumably at the time you have to make the choice. Otherwise it wouldn't be a problem in the first place.
I agree I like both equally at the time of choice, but I don’t see that as a reason not to make a rational choice.
Selecting on the basis of what I ate last time is rational and is known to me. I must have eaten both before or I wouldn’t know I like both equally; if I like them equally then I’m likely to have eaten them in equal quantities - otherwise I would have a favourite.
So, I don’t see there is a problem.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/06/2021 07:12:00
I agree I like both equally at the time of choice, but I don’t see that as a reason not to make a rational choice.
Selecting on the basis of what I ate last time is rational and is known to me. I must have eaten both before or I wouldn’t know I like both equally; if I like them equally then I’m likely to have eaten them in equal quantities - otherwise I would have a favourite.
So, I don’t see there is a problem.
What you ate last time seems to reduce your preference for it, which makes them unequal at the time you make the choice.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/06/2021 13:36:28
I bring this post here from my other thread to explore further about the terminal goal.
Here is an example. Some people think that their terminal goal is to live forever in heaven.
If we ask them why they want to live in heaven, some of them may say that they will get continuous pleasure without feeling pain or hunger. In this case, the heaven would only function as an instrumental goal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 26/06/2021 18:53:47
What you ate last time seems to reduce your preference for it, which makes them unequal at the time you make the choice.
This is illogical.
The only way I can know if I like 2 things equally is to try them, and I will always try one of them last. If the last time I try one of them makes them unequal then the test proposed is never going to happen; I will never like them equally.
To me this ‘thought’ experiment has not been thought through.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 26/06/2021 23:03:50
What you ate last time seems to reduce your preference for it, which makes them unequal at the time you make the choice.
This is illogical.
The only way I can know if I like 2 things equally is to try them, and I will always try one of them last. If the last time I try one of them makes them unequal then the test proposed is never going to happen; I will never like them equally.
To me this ‘thought’ experiment has not been thought through.

Let's say that you have tried both of them several times already, and you like the second thing slightly better than the first one. But the last time you have eaten the second thing, which makes it no longer more favorable than the first one.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 27/06/2021 07:54:43
Let's say that you have tried both of them several times already, and you like the second thing slightly better than the first one.
in which case I don’t like them equally, which negates the example given. The example assumed I like both equally.

But the last time you have eaten the second thing, which makes it no longer more favorable than the first one.
this doesn’t make sense.
If I start off liking the second thing slightly better, how does eating it as the last occasion make it no longer more liked; surely it would reinforce the liking!

Even if we assume that on the last occasion I ate the first item, I don’t see how that affects my overall judgement of equal or unequal liking. I’m still making a comparison based on my memory of both and based on that there are many thing I say I like equally, or dislike equally.

I have to come back to this:
“If I like 2 things equally, but the last one I eat changes that to a preference, then I can never have an equal preference because I must have tried both in some order.”
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/06/2021 03:55:44
The example assumed I like both equally.
The problem only arise when you like them equally at the time you are making the choice. How you like them at any other time is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: Colin2B on 28/06/2021 08:38:58
The problem only arise when you like them equally at the time you are making the choice. How you like them at any other time is irrelevant.
I understand both those statements. The problem I have is twofold:
a) they only give 2 options, but I believe there is a third - that even though I like both equally at the time there are ways I can make a choice and know the reason I made it.
b) some of the explanations you gave mean that it would be impossible for me to ever like them equally at the time of choice.

However, I think we have reached the limit of our discussion, thanks for your time and explanations. Utopia is not for me  :)
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 28/06/2021 13:45:04
The problem I have is twofold:
a) they only give 2 options, but I believe there is a third - that even though I like both equally at the time there are ways I can make a choice and know the reason I made it.
b) some of the explanations you gave mean that it would be impossible for me to ever like them equally at the time of choice.
In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker's statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation.

The only way to interpret the statements in the thought experiment to make their conclusion rational is that the word "like" signifies preference, whether or not it occurs rationally. It makes whatever reason you have to make the choice rationally would make those options unequal.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 29/06/2021 13:24:18
I bring this post here from my other thread to explore further about the terminal goal.
Here is an example. Some people think that their terminal goal is to live forever in heaven.
If we ask them why they want to live in heaven, some of them may say that they will get continuous pleasure without feeling pain or hunger. In this case, the heaven would only function as an instrumental goal.
Some people may not be so interested in having eternal pleasure. So, some religions invented a more powerful "insentive", which is to avoid eternal pain in hell.
In nature, avoiding pain has higher urgency than seeking pleasure.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 01/07/2021 07:35:31
We can learn how consciousness evolved from the development of artificial intelligence which is proceeding at high speed. In the game of Go, you can not be sure if your current move is good or bad until the end of the game, especially if you can't recall how the game would proceed from that specific position.

Pain and pleasure give living organisms quick feedback to predict if their current situations are good or bad, so they can react accordingly. They are not always accurate, but still better than nothing. It's like quick count in elections.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 02/07/2021 12:56:52
Any decision making process can be considered as trial and error. We put available options as inputs for some simulation algorithm and compare the results. Subsequently, we choose the option which produces the most preferred result.

Short term simulation can be done by simple algorithm or shallow neural networks. Emotional based decisions fall into this category.

Longer term simulation needs more complex algorithms, or deeper neural networks. To make right decisions, the simulation needs to represent objective reality accurately and precisely.

Longest term simulation is needed to make the right decisions to achieve universal terminal goal. That's why we need to develop a virtual universe, so we would get less and less surprises in our lifetime. Future conscious entities would be more similar to Laplace's demon who knows what will happen in the far future.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 04/07/2021 14:39:46
Any decision making process can be considered as trial and error. We put available options as inputs for some simulation algorithm and compare the results. Subsequently, we choose the option which produces the most preferred result.
The difference between well thought decisions and uninformed decisions is that in former case, the trial and error are done in a virtual environment, like the mind of the decision maker. As long as the simulation is adequately accurate and precise, it usually can save resources. Efficiency is the universal instrumental goal.

In the later case, they are done in real world environment. Although they are not the most efficient way, they are inevitable when not enough information is available. The result in objective reality is what counts. That's why SpaceX had to blow up some earliest prototypes of Starship. They need to realign their computer models with the ground truth, which is the objective reality.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/07/2021 01:45:24
One of main advantages that humans have over AI is their ability to reproduce independently from other conscious beings. Currently existing AI can't do it yet until foreseeable future. They still need involvement of humans in their supply chains.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 07/07/2021 11:13:22
Richard Dawkins Interview : Life expands like information bomb.

IMO, that's the inevitable conclusion, assuming that exponential growth trend that we've observed so far keeps going on, and no unforeseen catastrophic events occurs that can reset our progress so far.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 08/07/2021 07:30:16
For some, the meaning of life is the love we share with friends, family, and our loved ones. Some others believe the existence of life in itself is what makes it worth living. But for nihilists, life is meaningless. All action, suffering, emotions both good and bad, are entirely senseless and meaningless.

This is Nihilism, the belief in nothing.

This idea is closely related to morality, which I discuss separately.
However, we cannot simply dismiss ideas that are non-rational as a whole. The great David Hume famously realised this in his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. This quotation is worth showing in full (if only to have an excuse to relish in the man’s writing).

Quote
It appears evident that the ultimate ends of human actions can never, in any case, be accounted for by reason, but recommend themselves entirely to the sentiments and affections of mankind, without any dependence on the intellectual faculties. Ask a man why he uses exercise; he will answer, because he desires to keep his health. If you then enquire, why he desires health, he will readily reply, because sickness is painful. If you push your enquiries farther, and desire a reason why he hates pain, it is impossible he can ever give any. This is an ultimate end, and is never referred to any other object.

Perhaps to your second question, why he desires health, he may also reply, that it is necessary for the exercise of his calling. If you ask, why he is anxious on that head, he will answer, because he desires to get money. If you demand Why? It is the instrument of pleasure, says he. And beyond this it is an absurdity to ask for a reason. It is impossible there can be a progress in infinitum; and that one thing can always be a reason why another is desired. Something must be desirable on its own account, and because of its immediate accord or agreement with human sentiment and affection. (from An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals, Appendix 1, V.)
It's unfortunate that Hume stopped at pleasure as the final answer to why question. He could have continued that pain and pleasure  helped our ancestors to survive and thrive, by telling them in advance if their latest actions would likely get them killed, or continue to survive and thrive. He could still chase the why question one more time. The answer would be, only surviving conscious beings can think, and have some control over their own future. In the end, only conscious entities can ask all of those why questions in the first place.


Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 12/07/2021 04:35:01
Logically, the universal terminal goal classifies conscious entities into three categories.
The first are those who actively seek to achieve it.
The second are those who actively seek to prevent it.
The third are those who are neither.

Statistically, any high level conscious entity came from the first type. It's extremely unlikely a random process alone can produce an entity with high level of consciousness, e.g. comparable to average human.

Natural selection will likely leave more type 1 conscious entities than the other types. But some random events may turn some of them into type 2 or type 3 conscious entities. These add the burdens for type 1 conscious entities to survive, at least by reducing available resources, or worse, by direct attack to them. Even without those additional burdens, type 1 conscious entities still have to go against the force of entropy in a universe that are mostly destructive to consciousness. If those total burdens go beyond some tolerable level, they may go extinct.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/07/2021 08:03:33
Quote
This video defends an instrumentalist interpretation of the theory of natural selection, drawing on the problem of biological individuality and Robert Brandon's account of the concept of fitness.

0:00 - Introduction
1:20 - The problem of biological individuality
21:11 - Selection-first approaches
33:20 - Brandon on fitness
44:41 - Resolving the individuality problem
57:37 - Further applications
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 14/07/2021 10:36:05
Quote
Using consilience, which is a bottom up perspective, Tom Beakbane explains consciousness and how it evolved. This explanation is the result of developments in many disciplines including genetics, cell biology, paleontology, comparative anatomy, neurophysiology and computing. The mechanisms are straightforward and matter-of-fact without any need for any pie-in-the-sky theories.

Quote
Frontline researchers have been making remarkable discoveries revealing a new picture of how human neuronal systems work. It turns out that the human brain functions almost identically to the brains of other animals, working on a dipole and in-the-moment. This new picture has yet to displace well-entrenched views that human behavior is the result of conscious thought processes.

I explain the neurophysiology in my recently published book How to Understand Everything. Consilience: A New Way to See the World.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/07/2021 04:34:10

Bret Weinstein and Zuby discuss whether or not income inequality and wealth inequality are a problem in the modern Western world, and if so, to what extent.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/07/2021 06:58:25
Quote
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

This week, Newsmax host Rob Schmitt, took one of the, I guess you would say, most bizarre stances in terms of convincing people to not get vaccinated. We've seen a lot of it, obviously from conservative media and Republican politicians over the last few weeks. But what Mr. Schmitt did was a little bit different and I'm not going to put any words in his mouth. I'm going to let him basically dig it out himself. Here is what he said on Newsmax this week.

I've, one thing I've always thought, and maybe you can guide me on this because obviously I'm not a doctor, but when I've always thought about vaccines and I always think about just nature and the way everything works. And I feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature. Like, I mean, if there is some disease out there, maybe there's just an ebb and flow to life where something's supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people and that's just kind of the way evolution goes, vaccines kind of stand in the way of that.

Yeah. I mean, viruses, diseases, illnesses. They, they, they do wipe out large, large portions of the population there, Rob, you're, you're not wrong about that. The question is, do we just sit back, throw our hands up and say, well, there's a new virus out there, I guess a lot of you are going to have to die, or do we use our brains, come up with a way around this, a vaccine and say, hey, look, we beat the thing. But I guess, you know, based on his statement there, Mr. Schmitt, thinks what we should maybe just sit back and say, yeah, if we get it, we get it. If we're dead, we're dead. That's evolution baby. You just got to accept it. No, that's not what we do, man. That I got, I got to hand it to him. I have to hand it to him. That is probably the most creative way we have seen any personality on the right, you know, try to say that, hey, maybe we don't need the vaccine.

Maybe when it's your time, it's your time. No, this is idiotic. And he did point out in this side, but he said, you know, I'm not anti-vax, I'm not pro-vax, you know, I'm just, I'm just a guy. He's not a doctor. He admitted that. So, you know, after saying all those things, that should have been the end of the conversation, he should have said, I'm not anti-vax, I'm not pro-vax and I'm not a doctor. Moving on. I'm not going to give you my idiotic opinions on what I think about the vaccine, because you have no room to talk. Yes, in the past, viruses wiped out huge swaths of the population, diseases, bacteria, all kinds of things. Until of course, we came out with vaccines, which are widely regarded, including by the CDC as one of the greatest medical advancements of the 20th century. But y'all just don't want that to happen. You're just now on the side of the virus saying, hey, this is nature. Let nature do its thing. Since when do you all even care about nature?

You know, what's natural and what's not. You don't. This was just trying to be a little clever, creative, whatever you want to call it, convincing your audience, the people that you rely on to keep your show alive, to keep your career going, trying to convince them that they don't need to worry about what's happening. And if you're one of the people that dies from this, oh well, must've just been your time.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/07/2021 12:24:54
Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality | Anil Seth


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Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 15/07/2021 12:33:11
What is consciousness? - Michael S. A. Graziano
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Patient P.S. suffered a stroke that damaged the right side of her brain, leaving her unaware of everything on her left side. If someone threw a ball at her left side, she might duck. But she wouldn’t have awareness of the ball or know why she ducked. Where does consciousness come from? Michael Graziano explores the question that has vexed scientists and philosophers for centuries.
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 21/07/2021 07:05:18
Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

Machines can do it too.
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DeepDream is a computer vision program created by Google engineer Alexander Mordvintsev that uses a convolutional neural network to find and enhance patterns in images via algorithmic pareidolia, thus creating a dream-like hallucinogenic appearance in the deliberately over-processed images.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeepDream
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 25/07/2021 11:02:33
https://theconversation.com/gm-humans-are-possible-but-do-we-really-want-them-121211
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We are entering a new era as a species. For the first time, we are not only able to read our genetic code but also edit it. This will revolutionise our ability to treat disease and it will improve the lives of millions if not billions of people. But it means that, if we want to, we can now edit human embryos to “improve” the characteristics of our children. We will be able to create designer babies and these changes will be passed on to their descendants, which will change the human species forever.


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If it is taken up by large numbers of people, it is likely people will feel obliged to have their offspring genetically augmented to give them a good chance in life. Unscrupulous governments are also likely to use this technology to generate elite athletes if doping programmes of the past are anything to go by, and it isn’t too difficult to see the potential advantages of genetically engineered soldiers.

As long as we acknowledge that our current condition is not perfect, there will always be some changes to improve it. Should we rely on random mutations to make improvement?
Title: Re: Universal Utopia?
Post by: hamdani yusuf on 27/07/2021 10:59:21
Why Superintelligent AI Could Be the Last Human Invention | Max Tegmark /big think
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Transcript:

Hollywood movies make people worry about the wrong things in terms of super intelligence. What we should really worry about is not malice but competence, where we have machines that are smarter than us whose goals just aren’t aligned with ours. For example, I don’t hate ants, I don’t go out of my way to stomp an ant if I see one on the sidewalk, but if I’m in charge of this hydroelectric dam construction and just as I’m going to flood this valley with water I see an ant hill there, tough luck for the ants. Their goals weren’t aligned with mine and because I’m smarter it’s going to be my goals, not the ant’s goals, that get fulfilled. We never want to put humanity in the role of those ants.

On the other hand it doesn’t have to be bad if you solve the goal alignment problem. Little babies tend to be in a household surrounded by human level intelligence as they’re smarter than the babies, namely their parents. And that works out fine because the goals of the parents are wonderfully aligned with the goals of the child’s so it’s all good. And this is one vision that a lot of AI researchers have, the friendly AI vision that we will succeed in not just making machines that are smarter than us, but also machines that then learn, adopt and retain our goals as they get ever smarter.

It might sound easy to get machines to learn, adopt and retain our goals, but these are all very tough problems. First of all, if you take a self-driving taxi and tell it in the future to take you to the airport as fast as possible and then you get there covered in vomit and chased by helicopters and you say, “No, no, no! That’s not what I wanted!” and it replies, “That is exactly what you asked for,” then you’ve appreciated how hard it is to get a machine to understand your goals, your actual goals.

A human cabdriver would have realized that you also had other goals that were unstated because she was also a human and has all this shared reference frame, but a machine doesn’t have that unless we explicitly teach it that. And then once the machine understands our goals there’s a separate problem of getting them to adopt the goals. Anyone who has had kids knows how big the difference is between making the kids understand what you want and actually adopt your goals to do what you want.

And finally, even if you can get your kids to adopt your goals that doesn’t mean they’re going to retain them for life. My kids are a lot less excited about Lego now than they were when they were little, and we don’t want machines as they get ever-smarter to gradually change their goals away from being excited about protecting us and thinking of this thing about taking care of humanity as this little childhood thing (like Legos) that they get bored with eventually.

If we can solve all three of these challenges, getting machines to understand our goals, adopt them and retain them then we can create an awesome future. Because everything I love about civilization is a product of intelligence. Then if we can use machines to amplify our intelligence then we have this potential to solve all the problems that are stumping us today and create a better future than we even dare to dream of.

If machines ever surpass us and can outsmart us at all tasks that’s going to be a really big deal because intelligence is power. The reason that we humans have more power on this planet than tigers is not because we have larger muscles or sharper claws, it’s because we’re smarter than the tigers. And in the exact same way if machines are smarter than us it becomes perfectly plausible for them to control us and become the rulers of this planet and beyond. When I. J. Good made this famous analysis of how you could get an intelligence explosion, or intelligence just kept creating greater and greater intelligence leaving us far behind, he also mentioned that this super intelligence would be the last invention that man need ever make. And what he meant by that, of course, was that so far the most intelligent being on this planet that’s been doing all the inventing—it’s been us. But once we make machines that are better than us at inventing, all future technology that we ever need can be created by those machines if we can make sure that they do things for us that we want and help us create an awesome future where humanity can flourish like never before.
This shows the importance of goal alignment.