Imagine

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Jan Sand
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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 5th, 2018, 10:57 am

The previous recommendation I suggested on the possibilities of current society not being obliterated is nicely complemented by another Chomsky presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoQHh_WBXwg which analyses the history of government power and its controlling elements and suggests possible adversarial actions.

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Greta
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Re: Imagine

Post by Greta » May 5th, 2018, 6:57 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 5:21 am
It is hard to determine when and how a critical upsurge in mass awareness of an immense change in world opinion may arise ...
True! Consider how quickly the neocon movement swept through. I personally think that one individual, Rupert Murdoch, was most instrumental in bringing this about, although if he did not exist the fossil fuel industry probably would have had to invent him.

Imagine Trump's traction today without Fox - he is the primary lifeline. Murdoch controls over 60% of print media in Australia, and it's no coincidence that "left wing" (actually slightly right wing) parties tend to rarely find themselves in power, and that their time in power is fraught with regular full frontal assaults by that 60%. Then the conservative TV and radio hosts use the genuinely fake news of Fox as the basis for their own deeply biased accounts.

The trouble has always been that one side wants to fight according to Marquess of Queensbury rules while the other is a street fighter who will "do whatever it takes". If Obama committed just one of Trump's hundreds of outrageous lies or denial of accountability he would have been impeached by now, and probably in prison. The vultures of Murdoch and his friends swarm, waiting for a chance to take out centrist politicians (especially women) while giving endless passes and smarmy rationalisations to cover for their own side's indiscretions.

Yes, out of ugliness can come goodness, and not just at the scale of dinosaurs. Consider the flourishing of culture and knowledge after the Black Death or how Germany and Japan rebuilt after their humiliating descent into paranoia and madness in the 30s and 40s. It seems that sometimes we have too many people and there is a correction. As Attenborough has repeatedly noted, if humans don't control their population then nature will. In this instance, nature may well be extended to include AI.

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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 5th, 2018, 11:46 pm

Admittedly I am not very bright since it is the obvious that I continually refused to acknowledge that it is open to see for anybody who will use his or her eyes. My latest interest in Chomsky has helped me a bit, Although he is characterized professionally as a linguist and his lectures there are interesting it seems to me he is somewhat off the mark on certain essentials. He is deeply involved in the tragedies of general human culture which, despite the huge changes in society throughout the ages, has retained fundamental characteristics which seem to be terminating in the destruction of life on this planet. Musk and even Hawking seem to believe that transferring a seed of humanity to Mars is worthwhile to maintain life in this solar system but that strikes me as super optimistic nonsense as humanity has not reached the stage of rationality to make a success of that. We simply do not have the supporting infrastructure to carry it off although it might be managed if the primitive vicious drives that seem basic in humanity can somehow be suppressed. At the moment, that appears very unlikely.

In one way or another humanity has evolved from a herd culture to a few variations of a slave culture where a few dominant, mostly males, have domesticated the great mass of the species to benefit them and keep them under control so that the bulk of the wealth is retained by, what we now call, the elites. These elites have evolved various lies or scams to control the great mass of their culture and profess to be wiser and stronger or somehow connected to an imaginary supernatural powerful being and the mass of humanity is convinced from early childhood to swallow this nonsense and accept the role of domesticated cattle to the point where they even willingly die for these corrupt criminals in some weird joy of fulfilling a crazy destiny. In an almost humorous way many of these idiotic elites even come to believe these outright fantasies themselves and a very few who understand the scam and nevertheless are bright enough to fall in with the whole business because it permits a life of luxury and freedom. If any of the general population understands this scam and tries to let his or her fellows in on the tricks being played to control them the elites either corrupt him or her to join them or quickly dispose of whoever might attack the system as being lazy or criminal. These days, the disposal is the business of the police or the CIA or other government agencies in order to preserve the system.

Chomsky makes it clear in his lectures that the general mass of the public can always get rid of their masters by simply refusing to comply with the restrictions that keep them more or less controlled but the quick expansion of tight surveillance through the internet and other surveillance means is now closing in so completely that the elite domination of society makes it almost impossible to change the system into something more decent and rational.

If the controllers of society really cared for the general population and saw to it they were fed and housed and properly educated and cared for medically the system might function sensibly but this rarely happens. The elite has come to believe their stupidities and disdain for average humanity elevates them into some sort of genetic superiority and they always mistreat their domesticated human cattle eventually so badly that the population revolts and the whole mess starts all over again. Or, as in the past, those in control so mistreats the environment that supports them so that the civilization collapses entirely.This is what is happening today but the major difference today is that not one small sector of the Earth is involved, but the entire planet is being so thoroughly destroyed so that there is nowhere that will survive to permit the long redevelopment to take place necessary for a recovery. Beyond that, there is not the slightest indication that any intelligence remains within the powerful to grasp the total catastrophe rapidly approaching so their destructions of the planet is, if anything, speeding up to enhance the total obliteration. If mankind has reached the apex of anything, it is the production of an abysmally idiotic elite that has no understanding of that final suicide of their species and almost all other species on the planet.

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Greta
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Re: Imagine

Post by Greta » May 6th, 2018, 3:54 am

Jan Sand wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 11:46 pm
Admittedly I am not very bright
Don't talk rubbish, Jan. It's unbecoming for one as bright as you.
Jan Sand wrote:Musk and even Hawking seem to believe that transferring a seed of humanity to Mars is worthwhile to maintain life in this solar system but that strikes me as super optimistic nonsense as humanity has not reached the stage of rationality to make a success of that. We simply do not have the supporting infrastructure to carry it off although it might be managed if the primitive vicious drives that seem basic in humanity can somehow be suppressed. At the moment, that appears very unlikely.
At the moment, certainly. However, the rate of change at present is rapid. I think that Musk and co anticipate that once AI reaches the point where it can build better AI than humans can, the rate of technological progress will be increase, possibly exponentially so.

Whatever survives off-world will not be human as we know it. There will be a significant AI component - how much, who can say? Maybe AI is the next evolutionary step? Maybe AI will wake up, or maybe it will just be a conduit for the spread of Earth's life? Or maybe it will transform into Paperclip Maximisers due to a programming error in the core code of the learning module and they turn the entire Earh's surface into paperclips? Or maybe an asteroid or supervolcano will decimate us tomorrow?
Jan Sand wrote:In one way or another humanity has evolved from a herd culture to a few variations of a slave culture where a few dominant, mostly males, have domesticated the great mass of the species to benefit them and keep them under control so that the bulk of the wealth is retained by, what we now call, the elites. These elites have evolved various lies or scams to control the great mass of their culture and profess to be wiser and stronger or somehow connected to an imaginary supernatural powerful being and the mass of humanity is convinced from early childhood to swallow this nonsense and accept the role of domesticated cattle to the point where they even willingly die for these corrupt criminals in some weird joy of fulfilling a crazy destiny. In an almost humorous way many of these idiotic elites even come to believe these outright fantasies themselves and a very few who understand the scam and nevertheless are bright enough to fall in with the whole business because it permits a life of luxury and freedom. If any of the general population understands this scam and tries to let his or her fellows in on the tricks being played to control them the elites either corrupt him or her to join them or quickly dispose of whoever might attack the system as being lazy or criminal. These days, the disposal is the business of the police or the CIA or other government agencies in order to preserve the system.
It seems so, more or less. As I said earlier, good things can come from apparent ill.
Jan Sand wrote:Chomsky makes it clear in his lectures that the general mass of the public can always get rid of their masters by simply refusing to comply with the restrictions that keep them more or less controlled
Trump followers would agree with you. They think that they are "draining the swamp" by installing its largest alligator. It is remarkable what people can be prompted to believe with the right propaganda and conditioning.
Jan Sand wrote:If the controllers of society really cared for the general population and saw to it they were fed and housed and properly educated and cared for medically the system might function sensibly but this rarely happens.
I think that if people were race horses then the form is there - most of the wealthy never have much cared. They often do care somewhat but I find people generally don't much care about others because they are so busy keeping their own lives together. Rather, both rich and poor people tend to care most about themselves and their own, although spheres of concern obviously vary from person to person, and that includes in elite circles.

Plenty do care but they don't have much influence because such ethical people tend to "play by Marquess of Queensbury" rules whereas the self-entitled ruthless types shamelessly go straight for the jugular and gonads and then scream loudly via their loaded news outlets should there be any retaliation. It's a stitch-up - Orwell and Huxley were visionaries, as was Sagan.
Jan Sand wrote:This is what is happening today but the major difference today is that not one small sector of the Earth is involved, but the entire planet is being so thoroughly destroyed so that there is nowhere that will survive to permit the long redevelopment to take place necessary for a recovery.
Yet again. A biosphere that does not change becomes stagnant, and then change will be inevitable.
Jan Sand wrote:Beyond that, there is not the slightest indication that any intelligence remains within the powerful to grasp the total catastrophe rapidly approaching so their destructions of the planet is, if anything, speeding up to enhance the total obliteration.
There is not one serious observer who predicts total obliteration. What they expect are many disasters and problems for most people and animals.

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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 6th, 2018, 4:32 am

I applaud your optimism and would willingly join you but there is that persistent personal experience of a rather disastrous life behind me aside from the fact the my main battle in life remains a tendency for constipation. Otherwise I am doing quite well. This morning I have witnessed a video more current than the others on Chomsky at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_YoWL9UDBQ&t=194s which seems more in line with your point of view and well worth the time.

Incidentally, my opinion of myself is not false modesty. I have tested myself in many directions and I speak out of considered experience. Chomsky is a couple of years younger than me and experienced the same eras and used that raw material to far better consequence so I have a comparison to judge myself and I in no way measure up even microscopically.

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Greta
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Re: Imagine

Post by Greta » May 6th, 2018, 4:45 pm

Haha - my life has been a dog's breakfast in many ways too. Either that or I made a dog's breakfast of it. Both. Neither. The point is moot - it's just that life is hard. It doesn't look that hard, but the devil is in the detail. Commiserations on the constipation BTW - a nasty condition. More water, more movement. You've got to soften that stuff up and get it moving!

Jan, most of us are probably not going to measure up intellectually with Chomsky or other geniuses in public life :)

That video is really long and I won't get to it today. Any help there appreciated.

Jan Sand
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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 6th, 2018, 11:40 pm

People in difficulties are comforted by a touchstone, something solid to grasp when reality becomes the discernible menace on dark days with thunder and lightning. Creative people frequently take to alcohol or drugs or God which doesn't work with me because the are all simply indigestible. A rabbit foot is a common remedy although it didn't work for the rabbit. I retreat to an occasional thought by someone who has better perception than I can manage. My two favorites are Picasso's comments that an artist must lie to tell the truth and his confession that it took him a year to learn to paint like Rafael and the rest of his life to be able to paint like a child. My other one is Groucho Marx's observation that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana. That one seems to me as profound as anything one can pick out of the Bible since it captures our confusions of reality better than anything else.

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Felix
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Re: Imagine

Post by Felix » May 7th, 2018, 3:10 pm

Jan Sand: "My other one is Groucho Marx's observation that time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana."

I hadn't heard that one, very funny. Must be why I rarely see time fly - I am not an archer.

Groucho also said: "Outside of a dog, a book is your best friend - and inside of a dog, its too dark to read."

"Creative people frequently take to alcohol or drugs or God."

Far less frequently than non-creative people.

Re: your quip about dinosaur technology and Greta's reply, "Well then where is it?"

Rumor is it was not a hardware based technology but a psychic one. They may still be among us, you sometimes hear someone say, "I couldn't help myself, my lizard brain took over" (a variation of "the devil made me do it"). Well, it may not have been their lizard brain.

There is a Ray Bradbury story about human travelers to Mars, who possessed nuclear weapons, being overcome by the Martians mind control technology - don't know if the Martians had a reptilian appearance, maybe so and that's where they went to evade the Earth's deadly meteor shower which then killed all their dumb cousins.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

Jan Sand
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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 7th, 2018, 3:53 pm

The first people punished by totalitarians are comedians because comedy which is good reveals that we rarely understand that our deepest stupidities and most firmly held convictions are quite silly. What makes us laugh the hardest is to understand how silly we are. Asimov pointed out the the most important remark that an experimental sciencist makes when he or she sees an unexpected result is "That's funny!" As Chaplin was well aware, once you can laugh at a monster it destroys its power.That's why Trump is basically obviously silly even though he may kill us all.

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Greta
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Re: Imagine

Post by Greta » May 7th, 2018, 7:56 pm

Indeed Felix, Reptilians lie within us all! Granted, they do cause a lot of trouble.

Interesting that nasty aliens are depicted as being human-sized but with either microbial, insectoid or reptilian qualities. (Or humanoid, of course). We fear the unreason of simple beasts that cannot comprehend mercy or ethics and we fear that element within ourselves. We also fear the possibility of regression back to those base mentalities, exemplified by The Lord of the Flies and more religions than you can poke a stick at.

What I wonder about is what Trump supporters will do if he loses or is removed for corruption. They had a lot to say about the bad behaviour of the left after Trump won - claiming this as evidence that the left were more violent and uncivilised than the right (never mind the KKK). I wonder if they will show discipline when their side goes down on democracy's see-saw?

This is what happens when democracy stops being a true democracy. In nations where elections are held purely for appearance's sake to legitimise an illegitimate autocrat, post-election violence is common. The unfairness deepens societal divisions by fostering resentment. In time, as authoritarians strengthen their grip on power it seems that a national version of the Stockholm syndrome takes place. In effect, as citizens are beaten down and the (unethical) efficiencies of authoritarianism provide its usual short-term gains, there will increasingly effectively be a significant rump in the population of willing, unquestioning, browbeaten, quasi-deifying Winston Smiths. A machine needs its components to operate as per spec.

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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 7th, 2018, 9:44 pm

For a brief adventure into the reality of how the civilization of humanity is actually managed see

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/07 ... scription/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BXtgq0Nhsc

This will lift the propaganda tarpaulins just a small bit to hopefully dispel the current nonsense of democracy as it exists in the world. As Gandhi once remarked when asked his opinion of human civilization "It's a good idea".

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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 7th, 2018, 10:28 pm

Incidentally, a good number of fictional alien invasions depict the aliens as human sized for the convenience of portrayal on pseudo SF TV and Hollywood adventures to the advantage of actors with putty noses and a bit of colored makeup to become aliens with a low budget. The reality of communication with these invaders is minimized because it is rarely admitted that humans have not solved communication with our close relatives here such as chimps or dolphins or even friendly dogs, cats and butterflies. My own attempt at conversation with a praying mantis proved totally futile even though she watched me closely and turned her head as I approached. Most aliens merely roar and show their teeth and wave their tentacles under the assumption humans are potable delicacies rather than intellectual conversationalists. Considering the quality of humanity that is broadcast out of electoral contests and commercial advertising I doubt aliens will appreciate that intellect exists at all on this planet.


I have yet to see any SF story wherein an alien AI enters our internet system to disrupt our susceptible systems. Since they can easily roam the universe at light velocity this might be a actual possibility..

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Greta
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Re: Imagine

Post by Greta » May 8th, 2018, 12:49 am

Jan Sand wrote:
May 7th, 2018, 10:28 pm
The reality of communication with these invaders is minimized because it is rarely admitted that humans have not solved communication with our close relatives here such as chimps or dolphins or even friendly dogs, cats and butterflies.
Yes, a huge issue. On the plus side, I do not see insectoid, reptilian or amoeba-like beings as like to foster the nous and cooperation to build a grass hut let alone a space program. Any technologically advanced species will either be effectively eusocial, with specialised functions, or a hive mind. Given the increasing pervasiveness of the digital world, our societal structures may eventually develop into a hive mind as the next step.

Whatever they are, they will have stronger curiosity than a desire to eat everything living and juicy that they encounter. Death by dissection by hypothetical aliens rather than predation would seem more plausible, although any species capable of interstellar travel will also be capable of non-destructive analysis of specimens and perhaps such powerful telescopy that they can already watch the dinosaurs in action on Earth!
Jan Sand wrote:My own attempt at conversation with a praying mantis proved totally futile even though she watched me closely and turned her head as I approached.
Most of the animals alive now are amongst the most instinctively fearful of humans - hence their current existence. Daily benign interaction is needed over a period to earn their trust - which doesn't mean that you can necessarily trust them :) Often things that we take for granted can make a big difference to small animals. I reduced the aggression of the ant nest next to my house by simply being careful not to step on them on the front stairs and leaving tidbits in their trail (reduces need to span out into my house). I realised that if there is not periodic carnage meted out on the nest then the animals are less agitated. A community of any species, including humans, would not respond wildly differently.

I have watched people walking on a footpath with a magpie feeding just up ahead of them. They simply stroll through the bird's space as if it didn't matter, forcing it to flee. Then they wonder why these intelligent birds, which can recognise and remember human individuals for years, swoop them. I show the birds respect, giving them space, and I coo at them (acknowledgement - intelligent animals like that) and occasionally feed them. So they don't swoop at me.

There must be countless other instances where obliviousness creates tensions with local animals that could easily be avoided.

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Re: Imagine

Post by Jan Sand » May 8th, 2018, 1:27 am

One possibility that has been neglected is intelligent life in the atmosphere. We know that clouds foster bacteria and lightning testifies that they possess high energies. As in the human digestive system which has active colonies that promote digestion and influence human thinking, real cooperative development could exist. The atmosphere would seem to be probable places to develop interacting cell systems that could communicate by radio and even develop propulsive systems independent of winds so that evolutionary competition would foster developments of cloud strategies and even intellect. Beyond that they are close to outer space and solar energies that could easily move them into interplanetary travel without the expenditures of massive energies we need to get there. They could even develop weather controls to dominate a planet's life ecologies. Smokey gods in effect. I haven't read anywhere of this concept being explored.

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