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Thread: Hints of the Singularity

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Hints of the Singularity

    Ok, I wanted to make a better thread title, but it would be more descriptive to me and nobody would click it. At least this way you click it and think.... fuck this.

    Backstory: About ten years ago I was fiddling around with a cellular automata program which simulated wolves, sheep and grass interactions. I put a small randomized neural nets in each creature and had them combine via sex/reproduction. Then I added in a thingy where if I clicked a given sheep or wolf I could see it's neural network and weights. In the large picture, the sheep and wolves began to have simple behaviors as the best survivor strategies took hold. When I clicked various animals I found the simple networks were so damn complex that I had no fricking idea what made the virtual animals do what they did.

    Virtual animals have zero effects on anything real, but modern computer systems do. See this article on 'Alien Knowledge.' It's the same thing except it's a lot more relevant and interesting than my story.

    We thought knowledge was about finding the order hidden in the chaos. We thought it was about simplifying the world. It looks like we were wrong. Knowing the world may require giving up on understanding it.
    We have built programs that generate knowledge which we don't understand. I see this as a hint of the singularity approaching. Why not? It's an out of fashion concept which means it may actually be closer than before.

    So some random ass discussion questions, but say what you will on the topic. Since the topic is not knowing what the fuck is going on anymore, pretty much anything is probably appropriate.

    1. Is this Singularity thing BS?
    2. Have you any other examples of shit that is becoming increasingly opaque with time as opposed to clearer?
    3. Are people really as stupid as we seem?
    4. Do we need to load some hardware into our brains to cope with this or start manipulating our genes post haste?

  2. #2
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    What this brings immediately to my mind is the fallacy of logic. We like explanations that make sense to us. We like stories that make sense. We like narratives. It causes us to find logic and narratives where none exist, or, more accurately, where the logic in place is built on things that are undetectable to us or too complicated for us to understand.

    So I like anything that fights against our innate tendency to believe in our own narratives. I think it's good to force ourselves to recognize opacity, chaos, and the likelihood of being mistaken.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  3. #3
    I read the title and was immediately bated to click (I was thinking black hole singularity insight had been made or something).

    Fuck this!!!

    But yeah. I think we really are that stupid. But we are smart enough to make ourselves smarter via the aforementioned methods, which I suppose could exponentially boost us over time into not nearly as stupid as we seem today. Or perhaps we would just blow ourselves up in the attempt. I'm not sure we're smart enough to make ourselves smarter in an ethical manner either. Not everyone cares about ethics though, so there's that; besides the fact that what is ethical is a very fluid and subjective thing.

    I'm not sure we wouldn't all just commit suicide if we were much smarter. It very well could be the smartest thing to do.
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    I don't find you a potential threat to human society, you're not crazy. Feces.

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    was here.. LordLatch's Avatar
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    This just in: I'm accepting all friend requests too unless you're a fricken jerk and I can't stand your existence and inane drivel. If that's the case, then I'll accept your friend request so I can keep an eye on your ass unless you don't hold any interest for me; then only the threat of keeping my eye on you stands. feces

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Re: humans being stupid. I met some in-laws of an in-law last weekend. I found the experience profoundly disturbing. After we shot some guns (which was okay, I was in the military once), we cooked some burgers. My in-law, a thoughtful person who I respect, mentioned he'd been finding fossils on his land. The in-laws of the in-law's only reply was 'flood' as in Noah's Ark flood and the subject changed. That sort of thing. I'd finally met some creationists in the wild.

    I'm sure their version of the singularity is called the Rapture. Thankfully we avoided talking politics.

    This makes me think - how much of what I 'know' is BS? Probably a lot.

  6. #6
    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starjots View Post
    I met some in-laws of an in-law last weekend. I found the experience profoundly disturbing. After we shot some guns (which was okay, I was in the military once), we cooked some burgers. My in-law, a thoughtful person who I respect, mentioned he'd been finding fossils on his land. The in-laws of the in-law's only reply was 'flood' as in Noah's Ark flood and the subject changed. That sort of thing. I'd finally met some creationists in the wild.

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