Saturday, 29 March 2014

Left Pointing Hand

I was searching for a left pointing hand character. I've actually got a few in software on my computer but I thought I'd try a new site I'd heard about, alas I could not make function. Here is a small version ☜ and below is a large version.

A short while after contacting the site (see Tweets below), the site did start working so maybe they fixed something with their site, after I contacted them, or maybe it was a temporary glitch with my browser. Personally I think Wikipedia is easier to use for copying then pasting unusual characters.

The Wikipedia pages are Geometric Shapes Unicode block and Miscellaneous Symbols or Dingbat.

Behold! A large left pointing hand you can actually copy and paste.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Mike Elgan Techno Optimism Response

I saw an interesting Tweet by Mike Elgan (he is referring to his G+ post, which I've embedded below). I responded.

Here is Mike's post on G+.

Theoretically I should be in the Luddite arena because I am very far from the technological elites (I am very poor). Intelligently however I realise nothing will stop the march of technology, I also very insightfully realise technology is the solution to all our problems, once we get past this teething stage where old-world traditional paradigms cling to the new emerging world of technological liberation.

Technology is freeing everyone from poverty. The drudgery of work is ending. Note how the first mobile phones on sale in 1983 were priced at $3,700 approximately, whereas 31 years later in 2014 you can buy a significantly more powerful phone for a mere $6!

Diamandis and Kotler in their book Abundance focus on the optimism of technology regarding how technology will create a significantly better world.

Snowden is right, we merely need to steer the direction of technology safety through this turbulent period of teething. Interestingly there are a few photos online of Snowden's former (?) girlfriend reading The Singularity is Near.

Sadly many commentators on the Singularity are affluent thus they fail to address the fact that the Singularity will entail everything being free. I try to redress this failing.

The #Singularity viewpoint entails explosive intelligence. AI will not be limited by the slowness of traditional evolution. Humans have shown how their relatively small amounts of brainpower can create increasing sophistication of technology, increasing efficiency entailing more powerful devices at cheaper prices.

All resources only have a price due to scarcity. Sufficiently advanced AI will essentially make all resources limitless due to ultra-intelligent ultra-efficiency (asteroid mining ventures will also help, note Planetary Resources), thus everything will be free. This means there will be no businesses, no economy.

Imagine the evolution of 3D-printing leading to totally decentralised manufacturing. Similar to how computers have evolved on the past 31 years, imagine 3D-printers evolving BUT the 3D-printer evolution is accelerated due to the greater intelligence of AI. Imagine anyone being able to print a super intelligent mind.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Singularity 2045 on G+ March 2014

I recently selected the vanity URL for Singularity 2045 on Google. The short link is now instead of the previous long ID number (112564607617850290297), but URLs with the long ID will continue to function.

The amount of people following the G+ page is growing steadily, in general, but a lot more people seem to have +1ed the page instead of having the page in their circles. The figures for 22nd March 2014 are 31,193 +1s and 19,785 people have the page in their circles.

I really like the way some posts on G+ now display a bigger image from linked articles instead of the small thumbnail. The cover image for S45 has also been updated. Here are a few recent S45 posts:

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Bill Gates Wealth Parenting Future

I noticed an article via Wired, titled "Bill and Melinda Gates Aren’t Leaving Their Kids Billions." It inspired me to leave the following comment.

I think it is bad parenting to deprive your children of wealth.

If you are intelligent you can ensure your children become sensible, wise, intelligent, balanced adults despite being free from all financial worry.

I think the biggest mistake parents make is to try to control their child's life, which appears to be a mistake happening with the Gates children. Via withholding money the parents are trying to manipulate their children into behaving how they deem appropriate. Ideally children should be free to make their own choices, and the freedom of money, to be without any financial fears or obligations, is a very good freedom for this.

The "freedom to do anything" might be the freedom to do nothing. If their children had truly received a good education they'd be able to highlight the illogical nature of what their parents are stating. "Freedom" means being free. "Anything" means anything, but what we see here is an idea of "freedom" meaning: DO WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO.

Bill Gates: "We want to strike a balance so they have the freedom to do anything, but not sort of a lot of money showered on them so that they can go out and do nothing."

I think Bill and Melinda feel guilty regarding their massive wealth in contrast to poor people suffering immensely, but it is wrong to make irrational decisions based upon guilt. Perhaps Bill never recovered from that pie in the face?

It is pure nonsense to state "work is meaningful and important." Work is merely a symptom of primitive technology. In the future total automation via ultra sophisticated technology will ensure nobody will need to work, ever, but perhaps some misguided people will want to make their children suffer via partaking in primitive civilization. Maybe in the year 2014 you should make your children wear hair-shirts, work in a coal-mine, have no access to running water or electricity, chop wood, milk cows, farm the land. In the year 2045 people will look back at "work" in the year 2014 then shudder at the horror of it similar to how we might shudder at the horror of living in a world with no running water, no electricity, no hospitals or antibiotics.

If Bill Gates really wanted to do something intelligent, something sensible with his money, he'd give me $50 million at least. Alas we live in a primitive world where people lack intelligent insight.

Someone called docwatson responded to my comment, which inspired me to comment again. Here is docwatson's comment with my reply afterwards. I've included a bonus Tweet too.

I definitely come from a perspective that we are made to work; it gives us purpose, direction, and a sense ownership and belonging. If you are truly doing nothing, you die from eustress.

If your point is freedom to pursue the arts, the truth is that any activity we have involves work - painting, composing, sculpture, etc. all require real work to be of value, otherwise it's the outcome of a dilettante.

The need for external purpose, work for example, is only required for purposeless people (people who are utterly empty, people who don't possess vibrant minds). A truly vibrant mind has "direction" merely because it is a mind, it doesn't need a business to go to, it doesn't need a boss or monthly salary, it needs no paltry pats on the back to assuage self doubt, it needs no educational certificates, or distractions from self-reflection. Such a mind does not equate happiness with hard effort. Happiness is NOT something attained through great suffering, effort, struggle, or work. Good-stress or "eustress" is an oxymoron.

Children show how they can be perfectly happy merely to exist, they need no stress to gain a sense of fulfillment or positivity, in fact their positivity and fulfillment typically decreases regarding any stress, good or bad.

Our primitive civilization entails lots of stress therefore the minds of children typically become extremely twisted, thus after a period or time you have a typical adult who is an empty husk, a being with no self, no self-direction. This means extremely alienated support mechanisms are needed for the travesty of his or her adult mind. It means typical adults only feel fulfilled when they distract their minds from the horror of their non-existence.

Work is primitive nonsense. It principally provides a method for alienated people to avoid their abysmal alienation. Adults are basically gibbering lunatics who would become very evidently insane if their self-distraction methods were removed from their lives. Adults are somewhat similar to the Doozers in Fraggle Rock, they have a mindless need to build things. It is a simple problem.

The idea of deriving a sense of "belonging" from external phenomena highlights the emptiness of typical minds. I belong to myself because I exist, I don't need to be a member of a club to validate my existence. I own myself, I am myself. Work gives no sense of "ownership." I need no proofs of self-worth. My self is self-evident but most people are not in possession of their minds, they are mindlessly adrift like sheep or Doozers, the sleep of the Walking Dead.

The idea that you would die from doing nothing is merely the recognition that you are already dead inside, which means when all the distractions are removed you are confronted with the nothingness inside you.

Are the arts a worthwhile venture? Most certainly not. People should have the freedom to pursue the arts if they desire but I have an anti-art Dadaist viewpoint. "Art" is very alienated, it is pathetic need to prove to people sensibility when our sensibilities should merely be self evident. In a senselessly insensate world, the alienated proof or art is needed. Art is an obscenity. If you feel joy you don't or shouldn't need to write a poem about your joy, or tell people via any other medium about your joy. You shouldn't need to await payment, respect, thanks or applause for your your joy, or whatever other emotion or philosophical state you want to convey.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Luddites Dislike Self-Service Machines

I noticed an article by Brandan Sharp (archived here) published via the UK newspaper The Independent (18th March 2014): "Are self-service machines in our supermarkets really the way forward?"

The essence of the article is a Luddite fear of machines in supermarkets. It is feared robots are stealing our jobs, which is a tiresome trope you've probably heard before.

The Editor's Note states: "Brendan Sharp's article was notable for two reasons: clarity of argument and aptness of subject. The threat to manual workers from automation is a challenge facing all advanced societies."

Brendan wrote: "With such a high unemployment rate, combined with the liability of self-service machines, perhaps there should be a mandatory number of manned customer tills to cater for the varying demands of our retail culture."

Below are my comments including replies to my comments.

I disagree strongly. Automation is not a problem. Yes machines can be stupid but they will become smarter. Already I think self-service automation is generally quicker. I definitely don't think Brendan Sharp's article has "clarity of argument." The "threat to manual workers" is merely a failure to explore intelligent possibilities. With a slight bit a research Brendan might have discovered the #BasicIncome concept, it is regarding everyone receiving a totally unconditional income without needing to work or look for work. Basic Income would be enough to live on and it cannot be withdrawn. So the future entails the freedom to not work because cheap automation has replaced manual labour. A person of the future in receipt of Basic Income has no financial pressure therefore they can devote their time to whatever project they desire, such as designing novel products via 3D-printing then setting up a kick-starter campaign to sell their inventions thereby supplementing their basic income. Free from the drudgery of manual labour, via the financial security of Basic Income, people will in the not too distant future unleash their creativity and intelligence.

"Irish Lass" replied:
Yes, SingularityUtopia - it sounds fantastic.... and familiar. In the 1970s, when I was just starting out as a computer programmer, the talk everywhere was of how computers would free us all up so that we would not have to work for a living. Did that happen? Did it heck! In actual fact, the more computers can do, the more individual human employees are expected to do......because the computers have made it possible to do more. I have heard of many people being made redundant because of computers, and there is certainly an increase in the number of people who don't work and who live off the taxes taken from those who have to, but no, I see no sign of any utopia on the horizon. Your Basic Income certainly sounds very like social security benefits - and I don't think most people find living on those very utopian!

In the 70s you didn't have Watson, Siri, Google Now, Cortana. You didn't even have the Web back then. We now live in very different age. There is actually a pending Swiss referendum for the implementation of Basic Income. It would be silly to think a radical future can never happen merely because initial predictions were way too overoptimistic. I think what most people find troublesome about living on benefits is the hostility and constant pressure to not claim benefits. That pressure (hatred) would not be evident regarding the unconditional Basic Income. You mention people being made redundant due to automation thus surely you should see the value of a totally unconditional benefit that cannot be withdrawn. The answer is not to abolish machines in a Luddite manner. People need to understand that in the not too distant future nobody will need to work, which is where Basic Income fills the gap.

"flighty2" replied:
We were told all this in the 1960's on the BBC programme 'Tomorrow's World'; people would work a three day week etc. - didn't happen. Ironic that governments are bribing people to have even more unnecessary children; and the Swiss economy is hardly a comparable model to use in the UK.

The Swiss Basic Income referendum demonstrates how Basic Income is not a science fiction 'Tomorrow's World' fantasy. Yes the UK economy is slightly different to Switzerland but the Swiss are not aliens on Mars, there is some similarity. Merely because some predictions were wrong (overly premature) in the 60s this does not mean the predication can never happen. There is not some weird magic regarding premature predictions where if you predict something early it means it can never happen. So the reality is we have the Swiss showing us how Basic Income could be implemented and the world around us is overflowing with very tangible examples of radical technology with a clear potential to improve over the next couple of decades.

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