Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us

Posts tagged as: skynet

Two Singularities

I just finished Mass Effect 3, which I heartily recommend. Hell of a game. The ending was quite lame,  sort of a cross between Contact and Terminator, but still. I imagine it must be hard to come up with an ending for a story of this scale.

For those unaware of it, Mass Effect is a series of games set in space in the 22nd century. One of the most interesting parts of the script is how it portrays artificial intelligence in this sci-fi universe. There´s some robots around (they call them 'mechs'), but of course that's hardware, which is unimportant. What's important is software, and in ME there's two kinds of intelligent software. There's VIs, virtual intelligences, which are human-like interfaces programmed for some task in particular. They speak and respond to language, but they are limited to whatever task they are programmed to do. It might be as complex as running a ship or controlling a factory by itself. But it's still a program.

Then there is AIs, artificial intelligences, which are self-aware, self-modifiable, fully sentient intelligences. What we normally think of as an AI. Those are generally deemed to be dangerous, as they tend to go rogue, but you can still find them now and then. In this fictitious world both VIs and AIs are incredibly advanced, yet people aren't much different from real life humans. 'Organics' are also said to have lots of enhancements, genetic engineering and whatnot; but it really doesn't show in the casting...

Don't fix it

My RSS feed is full of reactionary goodness, as it should. But most of us are only part-time  thinkers, and good stuff takes time to come by, so reactionary blogs don’t update very often. For those quick fixes where I need something to read on my phone while waiting for public transport, I have a new feed which updates almost as often as Business Insider: Via Meadia.

I admit I only started reading Walter R Mead very recently, but he’s good. I particularly like his foreign policy commentary, the guy really seems to know what he’s talking about. Of course he’s in full communion with the Cathedral. In fact 3/4s of every article of his are all long expositions of how strong his faith is and how he still fights for the creed; then he proceeds to talk sense and cite some real data. See this article on the developments on Myanmar . He first says that it’s a great victory for the USG, how fortunate the Burmese people are for finally getting human rights, blablabla, but then advises to avoid gloating about it and antagonizing China. Which is a very grown-up thing to say.

But his domestic commentary is also interesting. For the last month or so he has been talking about the crisis of what the calls the ‘blue mo...

The Endgame

Nick Land has finished his long series, Dark Enlightment. It was fascinating to find in an obscure chinese expat site a middle aged Philosophy lecturer writing what effectively was a summary of Moldbug's blog, with a slight touch of cyberpunk.

Of course the most interesting part in this series is that it has an ending. Which means it reaches a conclusion. In the last post before this one, his 4e, he advances how he sees the future unfolding. He basically sees three possibilities:

  • Utter collapse (Postmodernism)
  • Chinese takeover (Modernity 2.0)
  • A miracle (Western Renaissance)

His bet is on a Chinese takeover (and he walks the walk living in Shanghai), because a Western renaissance is really unlikely. Not that it is hard, in fact one can easily come up with a handful of policies that would make any Western polity become earthly paradise. As he puts it:

(1) Replacement of representational democracy by constitutional republicanism (or still more extreme anti-political governmental mechanisms).

(2) Massive downsizing of gover...

The Singularity Swindle

First, men wanted to find the Garden of Eden, where milk, honey, spice and everything nice was to be found. It didn't happen.

Then men wanted to reach the Kingdom of God, where sins would be forgotten and peace and love reigned forever. Didn't happen.

Lately men want to achieve the Singularity, where Skynet does all the work and allow us to be free and idle to engage in polyamorous poetry readings with fat transexuals and a token negro here and there. This may or may not involve having our bodies hooked to the Matrix.

Probably not going to happen.

Don't take my word about it though. Edge Magazine, which is about one of the best places out there for Academics to actually debate each other and reach the public, asked this year in their annual question about intelligent machines. Which is just code for the AI singularity.

Understandably, 80% of the articles contributed were total fluff, as most people don't know crap about stuff besides their own discipline, and few of the people invited actually has any expertise on how the human brain works or if computers can ever do the same things.

A few academics though do know something about the human brain, and they had this to say:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 5.36.28 PMContinue Reading →