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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 3157 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.