Event driven NNs, the internet, meh

So, I was watching vihart’s channel, and I came across https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toap7iPpTbs.

I didn’t make it all the way through the video. Perhaps at some point I will. I’m not really over being sad about all the horrific things that have been happening lately – it seems like when I decided to stop following the news, the news decided to start following me. Everyone on facebook feels duty bound to make facebook not the news feed of what my friends and family are up to, but the alternative news feed about what the world is up to. And yet, in the hopes of seeing little bits of contact from my friends I feel I speak to far too little and spend far too little time talking to, I keep feeling drawn to it.

That’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I recently brought up the idea that we are neural networks, and neural networks are event driven, and thusly the concrete existence of guns may generate what I would refer to as ‘gun events’ in our minds and thusly fuel shooting. I’m also thinking that with the internet in general, and facebook in particular, we’re perpetually stuck in what I’ll call ‘tragedy events’. And so my mind is constantly reacting to the fact that, really, there are awful things happening all over the place all the time.

After I watched about half of that video, I was reminded both that vihart would likely automatically hate me if she knew me, and that we’ve built a really broken system. We’ve got all these concepts flying around that as they merge together, more or less guarantee misery for all. I could spend some time identifying them, and perhaps I will do so later, but right now I’m feeling too miserable to put my finger on them, other than to comment that perhaps the womens and the mens should contemplate that both sides are made equally miserable by the current battle of the sexes. I am sure there are many female types who would assert that in fact the men have it all their way and the women have nothing and are downtrodden but I don’t agree. I think both sides are not getting what they want and need. Of course, I could probably identify the same situation with republicans and democrats. And very likely with the 99% and the 1%. And just about anywhere things get broken into ‘us’ and ‘them’, both ‘us’ and ‘them’ are getting the shaft one way or another.

And I wonder, if I could manage to put facebook down.. just put it down, walk away, and not come back, how much of this would stop hurting me? And, would something else rise to take it’s place? Is my mind just geared to experience a certain amount of hurt no matter what I do, and there’s nothing that can be done about it?

I mostly need to just not think about 49 people shot in Orlando. It’s yet another horrific thing I can’t do anything about. I read Deadly Passage by Erik Larson and felt odd tuggings of wanting to buy a gun. Even though I know the very last thing I want to own is a gun. I do not want a tool for making bad decisions very quickly. I’m kind of in the mood that the NRA probably fears the most.. where I would take the guns away from everyone if I could. Even the police. Perhaps especially the police, actually.

But back to the neural network thing. So, neural networks are event driven, I’ve mentioned. Not entirely event driven in the case of NNNs, but largely event driven. Those of you who go out and buy guns, who shoot guns, who spend time defending the right to carry, you’re generating gun events. You’re helping the gunnish part of your mind pump iron. For this reason, I don’t find it that surprising that the number of shootings and the number of guns out there are more or less linear. And, you can talk about responsibility and whatnot all you like but I’m starting to suspect that to a certain extent we’re just bumpers in a pinball machine. We get free will, yes, but not as much as we think. We’re not free to do anything at any time, because the mechanics of our physical neural networks won’t let us. We can only think inside the box defined by our hardware. This feels a little calvinist, and I am not sure it’s really what I think – maybe it’s just what I think right now. Just the delusion I happen to be riding at the moment.

And if we were talking mechanical semiautomatics with a fair amount of lag time between each shot, that might not be so awful. But exhaust gas powered semiautomatics that can shoot 30 rounds in 3 seconds are a thing. And I wish they weren’t a thing. If I could just not be affected when I hear news of tens or hundreds of people being gunned down for no reason..

I worry a lot that we’re finding the failure modes for humanity. Global warming, water shortages, mass shootings, starvation, hoarding, nuclear weapons, I could go on for a while, but there’s so much negative stuff to negative on if you’ve got a mind to. I try to stay positive – after all, thus far, most of this stuff only affects me insofar as it hurts when I read about it on various news sources. I do wonder, if I hide my head in the sand completely, what would the results be? After all, as I’ve pointed out many times, it’s not like there’s anything I can *do* about these things.

One of my .. I hesitate to use the word friend though that’s what I wish he was.. acquaintances, I suppose.. thinks that I’m what causes mass shootings. That the world would be safer if I were in jail. He might have just said that in a moment of anger. Or he might have really, deeply meant it. I’m not really inclined to talk to him about it. I figure in a few years maybe he’ll figure out what a jackass he was being. Or maybe not. I do wonder if some of what resulted in this comment from him was me talking about bullet control – he’s a fan of the gun. I am not. I was kicking his sacred cow.

I just had a whole series of thoughts about how perhaps it’s both male entitlement and female entitlement that lead to so much unhappiness, but I lack the energy to write them down and they’re probably extremely politically incorrect anyway. Maybe at some later date.

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