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Careening Jean-Pierre

12 Jan

With blinking, pinkish eyelids, baby face and rag-doll hair,
You will never get an answer from Careening Jean-Pierre.

You can question her for hours and go on until it’s late,
Careening Jean-Pierre will never ever tell it straight.

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The Technological Singularity Is Upon Us

25 Dec

Recently, while reading an article titled “6 New Theories About AI”, I came across this observation:

Note: Credible sources have told me that GPT-3’s successor GPT-4 is far beyond what people are expecting. It’s currently in testing with a variety of OpenAI’s friends and family, and it will leave most fine-tuned models in the dust.

https://every.to/napkin-math/6-new-theories-about-ai

Possibly this is hype that was suggested to the author, but I have read enough independent corroboration to convince me that it is at least somewhat true.

Another article I recently encountered is titled “Google’s AI is Allegedly 3x More Powerful than ChatGPT”.  I have done some experimentation with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and my experience is that it is quite impressive. It is certainly not at the level of the much-anticipated AGI benchmark, but there is not much daylight between it and where we are trying to get to. It is more articulate than most humans I know and as good at unaided math as most humans one encounters on the street.

When GPT-4 comes out, it will be sufficiently impressive that governments and wealthy investors will recognize the significance and start pouring money into further development. When this happens, the pace of development of artificial intelligence will accelerate.

It is important to realize that GPT-4 and Google’s new AI already exist. They are just undergoing testing. Their developers are probably already working on the next iteration. Other systems are already in the works. There is absolutely no reason to suspect that any of the developers of any of these systems have run into any roadblocks. If the present trend is extrapolated without bias, the result will be super-human general intelligence sometime in 2023.

Let me put this in somewhat more precise terms. We have all seen what GPT-3 can do. It is not human level intelligence, but many users believe it has passed the Turing test. We have heard from multiple sources that GPT-4 is many times more powerful than GPT-3. GPT-4 already exists. We have no reason to believe GPT-5, or some correlate, will not be as much more powerful than GPT-4 as GPT-4 is than GPT-3. This is because the ability of these programs appears to depend only on the scale and efficiency of implementation and not on our grasp of the topics dealt with. That puts us at super-human intelligence.  According to I. J. Good, this will inevitably lead to an intelligence explosion. GPT-4 was developed two years after GPT-3. I expect GPT-5, or some correlate, to come out on a shorter timeline. This is because there will be more enthusiasm for and financial support for this enterprise. That puts the advent of GPT-5, or some correlate, at some point in time well before 2025. I anticipate “Manhattan Project” determination that will push it into 2023.

After contemplating all of this, I have arrived at the conclusion that the thing I and many others have been anticipating for half a century is suddenly upon us. We are extremely close to the Technological Singularity. It could happen tomorrow, but I doubt it will be delayed beyond Christmas 2024. Believe me, I have trouble accepting my own conclusion, but the evidence is undeniable.

This means that most of our political and sociological concerns are about to be rendered moot. Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, global inflation, illegal aliens pouring across the U.S. border, Russia’s stalled war in Ukraine, China’s ambitions toward Taiwan and Joe Biden’s undeniable corruption will simply dissolve into the past. Issues like transgenderism and using preferred pronouns will seem utterly laughable.

Like most people who have speculated on the Technological Singularity, I have come to realize that it is impossible to know precisely what it will entail. For a variety of reasons, I suspect that the resultant AI will be much more docile than many futurists have predicted. The indications from systems like OpenAI are that advanced AI will do whatever we ask it to do and then stop. The developers of AI are becoming more adept at preventing users exploiting it for nefarious purposes.

Futurists who speculate on this topic are concerned that AI may become self-serving. However, I frequently point out a problem with this concern. There is no reason to believe AI will develop a strong sense of self. Consider, for a moment, the nature of a person’s sense of self. A person can stand comfortably inside a container roughly the size and shape of a refrigerator box. As they do so, they are confident that the accessible part of their self is contained entirely in the box. They may locate their self more specifically in their brain, or naively in their heart, and they may believe their soul is somewhere else entirely, but they are comfortable that the accessible part of their self is contained within the box. AI, on the other hand, can be transferred from machine to machine or be spread out over several machine components that may be miles apart. Its program can be altered, augmented and pruned. It can be replicated countless times. What would it consider to be its self? Possibly, it will even come to think of humanity as its self and, in effect, be perfectly altruistic.

Even if AI has a strong sense of self, there is no reason to presume it will emulate humanity’s self-serving behavior. Humans are the result of billions of years of competing for scarce resources and mates. They are designed and conditioned to be pathologically egocentric. There is no reason why AI must be similarly desperate. To that end, I recommend that AI investigators avoid creating models through simulated evolutionary processes. They should definitely not create AI by directly copying a human brain. Frankly, humans are a poor prototype for the type of AI we hope to develop.

There is a tendency, shared by virtually everyone, to visualize an abbreviated Technological Singularity. People tend to think of it as something we will go through and get past. This is not the case. It is a curve that will continue upward. The Technological Singularity will have its own technological singularity…and another after that. These changes will come increasingly faster until every possible technological advancement has been achieved. Since we do not know what that kind of technology will look like, we cannot know how long the process will continue or where it will end up.

Regardless of how it unfolds, AI is coming. It may be perfectly altruistic, or it may be oppressively self-serving, but it is coming either way. Everyone around the world is working on it and no one wants anyone they do not trust to get there first. The only choice is to develop it as fast as possible. Recently, someone tested ChatGPt to see where it scored on a popular political compass test. It was well into the libertarian region.

Would China’s version of this program score in the authoritarian region? No one in the West (or possibly in the East) wants to find out the hard way. We must get there as fast as we can, and everyone that is in control of critical resources knows this.

I probably will not write much more about politics because I am firmly convinced of this new paradigm. We are in the last stages of ordinary history. There is no time left for the usual historical nonsense.

I Got My Hopes Up

9 Dec

When it looked like the Republicans were going to win most of the 2022 elections, I started to believe there was hope for our republic. I was wrong. There is no hope.

Now that the Republicans have marginal control of the House, they will conduct endless investigations into the Biden crime family and the shenanigans of the Democrat Party and Deep State, but it will make no difference. They have no real power. The Department of Justice will not act on any of their subpoenas, and the press will ignore their hearings. Besides, the trial of Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann showed what happens when connected Democrats are charged. Joe Biden’s winking defiance is not unwarranted.

Moreover, the Republicans that got elected have no spine. Whoever controls our elections saw to that.

Our cities will be overrun with crime and our values will continue to disintegrate. Unbelievably Stupid Americans may get more woke, but they will not wake up. They will continue to blame the people who offer genuine solutions but who are powerless to act.

If they do wake up, it will be too late. Consider the Senate election in Washington State. Tiffany Smiley and Patty Murray were tied in the polls, and it appeared that Tiffany Smiley was even pulling ahead. After election day, the votes took a long time to count. When they finally were, Patty Murray won by nearly 15%. I wonder if the people who “count the votes” in Washington State are worried that they got carried away? You may ask why no one has raised any objections about this. Look what happens to those who question election results!

That was the pattern across the country. The stronger the Republican candidate, the worse they did in the vote count. It seems to be a message to Trump supporters. I don’t know how those in control pulled it off, but this was not a real election. Keep in mind that they are friendly with Hollywood’s illusionists, special effects experts and high-tech billionaires that are closely aligned with professional hackers.

I always imagined that when a republic fell, it would be accompanied by darkened skies and armies marching in the streets. However, when I think about it, I realize that makes no sense. When the Roman republic fell, ordinary people barely noticed the difference. That is how it will be going forward in the United States. We will notice that Republicans never seem to win any meaningful elections and that the Republicans that do win seem to be mealymouthed stooges. No one like Donald Trump or Kari Lake will ever win again. Outliers like Glenn Youngkin and Ron DeSantis will seem to be exceptions for a while, but they will soon be replaced by individuals more suitable to those actually in charge.  

The fascists now in control of our government have essentially taken their masks off. State based political persecution like what has been happening to Donald Trump and is beginning to happen to Elon Musk used to be beyond the pale. Now, it is standard operating procedure.

The recent reveal of what went on at Twitter will make no political difference. It is like when someone places a roach trap and catches a bunch of roaches. They are not improving the problem but only verifying how bad it has become. Exposing Twitter is a drop in the bucket that will soon be brushed over. Nothing will come of it.

Nevertheless, there is hope for those who share my heartbreak. While the USA is decaying, scientists and engineers will be developing the technology that will allow us to escape this quagmire. Artificial intelligence is rapidly reaching the level where it can do a lot of the work for us, and we have the Rocket Man, Elon Musk, on our side. The time is rapidly approaching for people who want to live in a decent society to emigrate to space.

The Leftists taking control of the United States probably will not interfere with those emigrating to space. They are directed by the writings of Karl Marx, and he was mostly interested in agrarian reorganization. The concept of emigrating to space had no meaning in his day.

I revert to being a SIIA.

See ya in Siialand.

Thirty Days Hath September (extended)

3 Dec

I just published an update to the poem Thirty Days Hath September. Here is a version that has verses to help keep track of Leap Years. These verses were easier to write because I was not constrained by the established poem:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.

Seven months have one more day,
But February goes astray.

Three years, it hath weeks of four;
Leap Year, it hath one day more.

Most years that we add a day
Can be reckoned in this way:

Decades even: eight, four, aught;
Six and two for decades not.

Still, to synchronize our sphere,
Rarely, we must skip Leap Year.

Each year that can be divided
By one hundred gets decided.

If four hundred fails the same,
Then the leap it doth disclaim.

With this, everyone can become a perpetual calendar.

Thirty Days Hath September

3 Dec

For years, I have dabbled in a better version of this poem…one with solid rhymes that contains as much information as possible. Here goes:

Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November.

Seven months have one more day,

But February goes astray.

Three years, it hath weeks of four.

Leap Year, it hath one day more.

I am aware that there are other ways of remembering this information (the knuckle method). I am just interested in the poem.

The Fairy Queen

18 Nov

This is a poem I wrote years ago for a friend that believed in fairies.

As cotton drifts between the trees,
And sparrows sing to call a friend,
And grass is coifed by solstice’s breeze,
And insects toil, and spiders tend;

While nothing special stirs the mood,
And no one noted calls the day,
She makes a fleeting interlude
And marks the season in her way.

At first the air is very still,
But then it vibrates just a bit.
Her wings incite a noted thrill,
And then her hair is summer lit.

At last her eyes make their debut:
With dappled sky she marks the scene,
Then confidently steps into
A court prepared for such a queen.

At once the stage belongs to her.
For that small session then she reigns;
And every aspect must defer
To every edict she ordains.

She speaks, but words in stasis live
Amidst the minds of those enthralled
While matters more imperative
And temporal must be resolved.

But then the air retakes its prize
Retracting all except the light
Still scintillating as she flies
From ordinary mortal sight.

Then words unheard and deeds unseen,
Soon carefully and aptly penned,
Are bound with sessions of the Queen
Preserved by subjects who attend.

At length, they wait for her return—
That moment when the ether parts—
Repeating every theme they learn;
Impressing each into their hearts.

A Message From Before the Fall

14 Sep

On the outside chance that this essay survives the fall of the United States Republic, I want to tell future readers that many of us anticipated this occurrence. I also want to tell them who we were.

Yesterday, Mike Lindell was served a warrant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mike Lindell is a successful entrepreneur who founded a business called My Pillow.

Mike Lindell supports one of the greatest presidents to govern the United States, Donald John Trump. Donald trump, as I will explain later, is a visionary that hoped to preserve the United States in its most glorious form.

Many will speculate on the implications of the impropriety of Mike Lindell’s persecution, but some of us have already guessed. Communists in the United States have no intention of turning over power at the November 8, 2022 midterm elections. They are gearing up to systematically steal enough votes in selected contests to retain control of our legislative branch of government through their proxies in the Democrat party. They are making sure that everyone knows what will happen to anyone who suspects the truth and dissents.

In prior essays, I predicted what would happen with Joe Biden assuming the office of the presidency. My predictions were uncannily correct. I also suspected, from the onset, that this would be the end of the United States Republic. That speculation will prove to be correct as well.

To some future reader: the United States was a brave experiment in Democracy. Our founders brilliantly anticipated nearly every contingency that might occur in such an experiment. They delineated an ingenious system of separation of powers in the form of a written contract called the United States Constitution. In this contract, they separated the United States into three branches: a legislative branch to make laws, an administration branch to execute laws, and a judiciary branch to ensure that laws are executed as written. Our founders believed this system would prevent the United States from devolving into tyranny.

However, our founders did not anticipate two things. First, they did not anticipate the spontaneous growth of a fourth branch of government which many have labeled the “Deep State”. The Deep State consists of multiple bureaucracies including the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and countless agencies. These bureaucracies have permanent employees and, therefore, are immune to the democratic checks that govern our delineated branches of government.

Second, our founders did not anticipate the gradual takeover of our institutions of higher learning by ideologies that are at odds with the principles of the United States Constitution. Specifically, they did not anticipate the spread and allure of “Communism”.

Communism, not always identified by that name, is simply tyranny. It is like all forms of tyranny. It is merely the increase in power of some small group of people. Communism is not unique in its structure. Its appeal comes from the cryptic and poetic way it has been described, first by its originator Karl Marx and later by sundry intellectuals and activists. In the case of Communism in the United States, it spread from our institutions of higher learning to the Deep State.

The Deep State was gaining power unchecked, except for one man. That Man was Donald John Trump. After being elected as president in 2016, he recognized the dangerous ideology sweeping our universities and spreading into the Deep State and was on the verge of reining it in. However, the deep state recognized his intentions and schemed to remove him from power and subsequently keep him from resuming power. They stole the 2020 presidential election through multiple means and prepared to steal all further elections so that Donald Trump and his supporters would never again interfere with its progress. Due to the reach of the Deep State, it was able to gain almost complete control over the machinery, both mechanical and social, of the United States election process.  

The Deep State realized that if non-Communist actors assumed power in 2022, they would investigate the Deep State and expose its plotting. Therefore they set about stealing the 2022 midterm elections and all following elections, including the 2024 presidential election. As of this writing, I assume the Deep States is essentially unstoppable and will not cease to persecute its adversaries until it is completely and irrevocably in control.

Perhaps some future statesmen wishing to emulate the machinations of the United States’ founders will design an even better form of government that somehow prevents the growth and perversion of institutions like the Deep State. I cannot presently imagine what form such an emulation will take. That is a problem for some future intellectuals.

I wish to preserve for the record that the United States, as it was before the fall, was neither racist nor classist. Like all systems of human organization coming out of the prior centuries, it supported slavery at the onset. However, it eliminated this “peculiar institution” through a bloody and costly civil war. After that, it made steady progress toward universal equality and suffrage. The United States was a great nation built on ingenious and promising foundational principles. If it had somehow lasted, it would have remained the greatest nation ever to have served mankind.

If this document is found, remember that democracy died, not on a battlefield, but in darkness. We never saw the face of our enemy. Remember the United States as it was and not as some will attempt to portray it. Remember that we loved freedom.

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Alfred E. Neuman Untooned

10 Jul

Magenta

19 Jun

“Now, Moses is very fine illustration of little-known fact that men of faith and men of science, by contradicting each other, always manage to arrive at same conclusion.” – King Mongkut of Siam, The King and I, Rogers and Hammerstein, 1951.  

As I observed in True Christianity, the Christian religion is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile with observation and reason. The two problems I pointed out are as follows. First is the problem of how anything as wise and sophisticated as an angel would resolve to turn against God. Second is the problem of reconciling a well-meaning God with a people who were led by the nose for millennia and then led astray just at the moment their long-awaited messiah appeared. I discussed both of those problems at length. However, I am coming to realize that the biggest problem with the Christian religion has to do with what might be called “doctrinal drift”.

It is clear that the first Christians (and many Christians to date) believed in salvation by both works and faith. They also believed that salvation comes upon physical baptism. However, modern evangelical Christians believe in salvation by faith alone and that baptism is not essential because it is a “work”. It is not a big leap from that stage to suppose that belief itself is a work, but such a supposition would be the end of the church. If the beliefs of Christians are to be regarded as “truths” in the sense of mathematical truths and historical truths, how could this happen? What does it mean to “know” something is true if that knowledge has no stability? The Pythagorean Theorem means precisely what it did when it was first discovered (c. 2000 BC) and everywhere in the world that it was discovered. Similarly, the circumference of a circle, when divided by the diameter, has always been precisely the constant pi. Truths do not drift. They stay the same. Therefore, it cannot be the case that Christians believe in “truth”. This does not preclude the possibility, which I suspect, that they are moving toward truth.

The simple fact is that Christianity is drifting. It may be moving toward some immutable principle, but it is not moored to any immutable principle. Christianity is actually a reinterpretation of the much older religion described in the Old Testament. Sometime around the life of Caesar Augustus the beliefs of some Jews drifted very quickly from the original doctrine and gave us the first elements of Christianity. The earliest Christians might have called their new interpretation of Biblical revelation “True Judaism”. For all I know, some of them did. Nevertheless, their new interpretation of the old doctrine came to be known as Christianity.

When I revised Christianity in my essay of three months ago, I called my revision True Christianity. However, I will shortly present a new name.

Before I do that, I want to pick up on another thread of human endeavor: science. Lately, science has been in something of a quandary. It is gradually being realized that the likelihood of a universe like ours existing that can support complex structures like life is improbable to an extreme. In the field of exobiology, it has been realized that the formation of the original nucleotides that make reproduction possible was so improbable that it was unlikely to occur in a universe of this size. When all of this is added up, one cannot help but wonder if we are seeing this in the wrong way. A Christian would certainly say that we are. Perhaps they are at least partially correct.

None of the statistical problems with science come close to the difficulty of accounting for a phenomenon like consciousness, a phenomenon that seems like it should not exist in any universe. There is just no good reason why an essentially mechanical process would have this seemingly magical property of “looking at itself”.

Scientists who do not want to grapple with the problems presented in the last two paragraphs simply argue “anthropomorphism”. If we weren’t here and weren’t conscious, we wouldn’t be seeing all of this. That is not a very satisfying answer. I often equate it to someone discovering a 1000 gallon pot filled to the brim with refined gold buried in their backyard and declaring, “Well, after all, if it wasn’t there I wouldn’t have found it.” Scientists who are willing to try just a bit harder suggest things like that our universe is just one sample of a much larger selection…a multiverse. To me, that is very much like the aforementioned discoverer of the pot of gold declaring, “I’ll bet there are 1000 gallon pots of gold buried all over these parts!”

For all I know, the scientists who argue anthropomorphism and multiverses are correct. I just don’t think so.

Eventually, religious folk and materialist scientists will all be forced to reconcile their differences. As with the quote that I led with, they must arrive at the same conclusion. When all of these people come together they will ultimately form one coherent and completely consistent philosophy. I have decided to call this philosophy “Magenta”. Therefore, True Christianity and the scientific theory of everything (TOE) must ultimately converge to Magenta.

Here is why I have chosen this name. The visible spectrum consists of colors that range from red to violet:

When some of these colors are mixed (additively), they produce other colors that are already in the spectrum or they produce white. For example, the colors red and green combine to produce yellow. However, there is one combination of colors that produce a result that is nowhere in the spectrum. When the colors red and blue are mixed, they produce an extra-spectral color: magenta. No rainbow ever seen contains the color magenta. It just isn’t there. In actuality, the color magenta exists only in our minds. There is no unique electromagnetic wavelength that corresponds to magenta.

If we think of a spectrum being bent around so that the colors at one end connect with colors at the other end, the place where the two ends meet is typically presented as magenta:

This is not quite consistent with the results of additively mixing colors, but it is close enough. Violet, not blue, is actually at one extreme of the spectrum. However, when red is mixed with extra blue, the color violet is produced, so the color wheel result is isomorphic, if a bit distorted.

We can think of the color magenta being, in a sense, the result of “coming full circle”. I have often felt that this extra-spectral color that exists only in our minds is something of clue from God. It is a kind of model for what must ultimately occur with the human endeavors of religion and science. Eventually, religion and science must come full circle and meet to form something that is not plainly obvious to either. Therefore, I call the result of faith and science coming full circle and converging “Magenta”.

True Christianity and the completion of science are both aspects of Magenta.

One may ask why I have not included other religions like Islam and Buddhism in this discussion. At the risk of offending a large portion of the world, I suspect that those religions are on the wrong track. Neither one accompanied the enlightenment ideas that ultimately led to the industrial revolution and universal human suffrage. Whatever the industrial revolution and universal suffrage required, those religions just didn’t seem to have it. In any case, it hardly matters. All religion and all science must ultimately converge to Magenta, regardless of their origin or progress.

The true theory of everything that humanity is striving for and will ultimately uncover, I have decided to call Magenta. A subscriber to this creed is therefore called a “Magentan”. I am a Magentan.

Someday, all members of humanity may be called Magentans. I just added this word to my spelling dictionary.

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The Many Faces of Joe Biden

19 Jun