Friday, 5 July 2013

Are Humans Too Stupid to Change?

I recently read a G+ post by Max Huijgen regarding Edward Snowden, which prompted me to post a comment about civilization, human intelligence. My sociological observations are worth repeating and embellishing here, via this blog-post, because they give an insight into why I'm interested in AI.

Max was making the point that Snowden had failed to present the PRISM spying issues successfully. I, however, feel Snowden's presentation is not at fault because regardless of how Snowden presented the issues people would soon stop thinking about the issues. The reason why the issues are hidden, or were hidden, and why the security services do what they do, is precisely because people are the way they are. The issue is not that the security services act maliciously, with impunity, contrary to the better natures of people, the security services are merely a symptom of flawed natures regarding typical people, so no matter how the issues are presented people would soon move from serious issues to trivialities because they simply don't want to know about serious issues. This means the mass desire for ignorance both creates and perpetuates the problems. The security services, the state of civilization, this situation exists because people are morons, people crave oblivion, ignorance, which is a 1984-strength similar to how people typically unwittingly think freedom is slavery.

Yes there is significant social-engineering to emphasize stupidity but this social-engineering is only successful because it has been unconsciously sanctioned by the general world population. Social-engineering of stupidity happens via mass consent, although many people are too stupid to recognise or remember how they gave and continue to give consent to stupidity-engineering. I do recognise how there is lots of intelligence in the world and I also recognise how every human possesses innate intelligence but innate human intelligence is latent in the majority of people. The large amount of intelligence we see via sci-tech does not mitigate he greater amount of stupidity. Despite the typical state of latent human intelligence I think people within their unawareness are nevertheless partially aware, but they cannot express their awareness intelligently thus they become deranged, which is why religions continue to be popular, it is why serious issues are trivialised. It is a messy situation perhaps best described as mass psychosis.

Human idiocy is severely pronounced in the year 2013, therefore governments, or people opposing governments, could reveal the most shocking abuses of rights and freedoms, for example torture, indefinite detention without trial, force-feeding prisoners, or other issues, but this news would soon fade into triviality. A combination of effective government propaganda, which plays upon a misguided sense of patriotism, the overbearing need to fight to the enemy, the need to focus on any enemy despite East Asia never actually being at war with Eurasia, the need for scapegoats, the blind need protect security-freedom at all costs, and the human desire for ignorance; this combination inevitably leads need to serious issues being trivialised or misunderstood.

This is the prime reason I focus on human level AI because I know humans are generally too dumb to change regardless of ANY information presented to them in ANY manner.

I'm sure Snowden was fully aware of the consequences, all the outcomes of his actions, in the manner of Winston Smith. I'm positive he was aware his actions would very likely be futile, but being a man of high principals he decided to act despite the likely outcome of futility. Thought crime does not entail death, thought crime is death, which means the conclusion is inevitable but via this analogy I am not stating Snowden will be killed, my point is merely regarding inevitable futility. He certainly realized his life would become a living nightmare, he is after all fully aware of what the security services do, he also realized people would soon trivialize the issues.

The only slight point where Snowden was perhaps misguided, is regarding the theoretical awareness of a potential nightmarish situation. My point is that despite the best imagination in the world the theoretical conceptualization of a nightmarish situation will fall short of the tangible real-life horror of it, thus a couple of years from now Snowden might start regretting his actions due to a prolonged nightmarish situation. Theoretical awareness of pain is nothing compared to actual pain.

I think Snowden's leaks were always going to go wrong no matter how the leaks happened, but considering the futility of raising awareness I think events regarding PRISM are the best we could have hoped for, so relatively I deem the presentation to be righter than right. Considering the general circumstances of our largely futile civilization, the impossibility of changing a world full of morons, Snowden's leaking is a great success. Snowden's leaking must be deemed to have gone wholly right despite to total wrongness of everything in the world.

This is why I pin my hopes on artificial intelligence, but I am aware AI could merely exhibit a level of stupidity common to humans, which means the intelligence of AI could be wholly quantity based instead of quality based, thus one super-intelligent AI brain could embody the equivalent of 20 billion human brains but 20 billion fools don't really constitute smartness in the slightest. Perhaps, however, the sheer force of numbers, brute processing power, will allow for at least a small amount of genuine smartness, or at least with 20 or 100 billion fools we will progress somewhat quicker. The best situation would be if each Strong-AI brain possessed brainpower comparable to 20 billion truly smart humans instead of 20 billion typical morons. We shall see what happens. Currently in our world many people who think they are smart are actually idiots. Allegedly smart humans often fail to demonstrate any significant reasoning ability.

If you want to comment, do so via the KurzweilAI Forum or via this G+ post. Note also this subsequent post on the theme of Snowden stupidity. 

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