Archive for the ‘Tinfoil hat’ Category

Reminder about the ‘Tinfoil Hat’ category

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Posts marked ‘Tinfoil hat’ are to be taken with at least a few grains of salt. They may not represent the beliefs of my mind as a whole but rather just the beliefs of certain subnets, or they may represent beliefs I hold which I think are contradictory, illogical, or unreasonable.

More on conservatism

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

So, I understand the urge to save what’s good about a society – and after all as I’ve talked about elsewhere we must all have conservative neurons or we wouldn’t function, so there is certainly a *type* of conservatism that isn’t wrong and stupid. It’s just not the type we currently have. (You can almost say that the way our experiences become hardwired in a way that makes deletion incredibly difficult is a way that our entire brain is inherently conservative of experience, and that is also a desirable thing)

You can also quite rightly accuse me of being *incredibly* conservative – after all, I test every operating system update and will often refuse to install further upgrades once the operating system appears to be declining instead of advancing. I insist on rigorous tests before performing system upgrades, be they hardware or software. I like to have several backup plans based on most probable things going wrong at all times. And so on.

If ‘conservatives’ were conservative in the way I’m conservative about installing software, I’d welcome them and say they perform a very desirable role. The problem is, what we actually have is they are either A: in love with 1800 and want to go back or B: in love with paper money and willing to destroy real value in order to make more of it or C: in love with war and willing to kill millions of innocents – originally over things as stupid as whether we should be collectivist or individualist – not here in America, but whether other countries were allowed to try out collectivism – but now, even worse, just over lies and in order to make more money. (Weapons of mass destruction, anyone?)

Part of what’s alarming is that the conservative electorate appears to have no memory. Their side lies to them and kills millions of people but all they can do is pull the lever next to the conservative party because they’re afraid some bum somewhere will get some of their money. We’ve spent far more on our idiotic wars over resource system ideology – and destroyed trillions worth of resources, making the human race as a whole poorer – than we ever will giving someone food or a place to live.

Of course, some of this is that the powers that be have figured out how to manipulate the emotions and thinking of a conservative voter. (probably of a liberal voter and a progressive voter as well.. we’re all at risk of being brainwashed.. but it doesn’t irritate me nearly as much when millions of people aren’t being killed).

For example, they’ve sold some really insane thinking over the issue of abortion. Clearly if you believe in God you should A: notice that abortions happen spontaneously even without human help and B: conclude that God presumably has a perl script in place to route souls only to bodies that are going to be extant. If you don’t believe in God, then that is a blank tape, a empty neural net. But I digress. The point is, the conservatives grab the single issue voters who somehow don’t notice that they murder millions. They’ve got several different single issues that push people’s buttons – and *both* sides of the aisle write emails that are loaded with emotionally laden symbols and are trying to push people’s buttons as hard as humanly possible.

Now, if anyone wants to argue that both sides are corrupt, I agree. We need to not have a two party system.. among other things, with a two party system, the only people you can hire when you kick the bums out are the other bums. It’s great for crony capitalism and corruption, not so good for doing a good job at running things.

Anyway, the basic thesis behind conservatism is that the future isn’t going to be better than the past. That we shouldn’t try new things and see which ones work. Beyond that there’s also the thesis that there isn’t enough and won’t be enough and we need to make sure that everyone who isn’t putting their back into it starves. There’s also the thesis that we need to make sure the bosses are able to make everyone who is putting their back into it barely get by while the bosses have multiple yachts.

Now, we’ve reached the point where I actively loathe the right. Part of this is the posting by the president to a link to a video that says “the only good democrat is a dead democrat”. It’s very difficult for me to not be upset by this – I guess I thought the president was supposed to at least *try* to be the leader of everybody, not just his or her chosen party, and was supposed to consider the points of view of everybody. I would say that I pretty much want the GOP to cease existing at this point and be replaced by two different (or more) right wing parties. Of course, I’d also like the Democrats to *stop being a right wing party*. It also makes me wonder how many of my conservative friends think the world would be a better place if I was no longer in it.

I am pretty amazed at how effective brand loyalty is. I have conservative friends who are defending Trump even as he robs America blind and destroys everything. I am fairly sure if they had been told he was a Democrat, they would be attempting assassination by now. But, they believe he’s part of their tribe, one of their brand, so they are carefully blind to his awfulnes. There’s probably a interesting lesson about input filters and brand loyalty here, which perhaps I will find later.

I think part of the problem is that we should be insisting on everything being evidence based and data driven, but we instead would rather push for our ideologies even when they do not align with the data and fail reality testing. But one of the interesting things that happens is our view of reality bends with our beliefs so it’s actually kind of hard to know whether we’re being even remotely objective or not.

Challenges in transitions

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

So, I see on the news someone was killed in CHOP (the capital hill police free zone). I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not. Of course, the presence of police with their current behavior could also very likely have led to someone dying so it’s not as clear cut as “Cops are good, mkay”.

It reminds me of a Niven story, ‘cloak of anarchy’, in which society has chosen to make ‘anarchy parks’ where there are no rules except no one shall raise a hand against another, enforced by a system of robots that have some form of stunner. These robots run on beamed power, and a character in the story decides to experiment with whether “real” anarchy would work by knocking out the beamed power source.

It goes about like you’d expect. Actually, possibly because it’s fiction, the situation deteriorates far faster than it has in CHOP. However, it underlines the challenge in transitioning from one system – even a broken system – to another.

Making a real functional society without police in their current role is challenging, and unfortunately by the time the group realizes that real change needs to happen various transgressions have already occured which make the current situation untenable. Unfortunately my personal beliefs about the people running CHOP is that they are not the team to forge a new criminal justice system or new government – part of this is A: they couldn’t even agree on the name of their autonomous zone and B: they changed it, which suggests they spent time and energy on the subject when triage of the situation would suggest there are much bigger and more immediate issues to be addressed. I wonder to what extent they have even discussed what they will do with individuals who are acting in ways that are not in the best interests of the group.

I feel bad about having a low opinion of the group of people who have been, among other things, occupy – I agree with almost all of what they want, but I feel like we need to triage and work the most important problems first – the fact that their manifesto had *30 items* concerns me about their ability to do this. I agree, everything is broken, but we can’t fix everything at once. Ideally, we’d figure out which problem is most at the root of our issues and fix it first, or alternately figure out which problem is hurting the most people and fix it first.

I am glad that the general public is finally recognizing that the cops are out of control and have become as big a hazard as the criminals – but also as I mentioned in previous posts we need to not just throw them under the bus either. They were placed in a framework that asked them to enforce bad laws – and I really think any time you make a human hurt other humans because of stupid bullshit political ideaology (i.e. the drug war) you damage that human. I mean, you look at things like Vietnam and you clearly see that the people who come back from murdering innocent people over resource allocation system ideology end up profoundly fucked up – we’re just not built to hurt people. We can do it, because we’re *very* programmable, but not without taking some damage ourselves. And I have to imagine that the cops arresting people for smoking weed and watching them get years in jail have to have known at least subconciously that they were acting immorally and making the world a worse place, and I have to assume they took damage from that. At the same time, we ask the police to handle some of the most difficult situations humanity faces – things like the infamous “domestic disturbance” – and increasingly we hate them because we know they’re making the world a worse place. We also know they routinely shoot citizens for no good reason and get away with it, which makes fearing them rational. It’s not a good place for the police to be in and it’s not a good place for the citizens to be in..

However, we do still need guardians – especially because our memetics are so bad. Our religions do awful things to our minds, and our advertising often does some undesirable ones as well. And, it’s difficult for a new system of guardianship to self-organize in a way that’s going to work right right out of the box. The story I mentioned above really shows why this is difficult.

I really don’t know what the right answers are or I would be down at CHOP trying to sell my viewpoint of what a utopian future would look like. I know that the current situation must change because we have cops planting evidence, cops killing citizens, and a obvious systematic bias based on the color of skin. And we also treat life like it’s incredibly cheap – we care more about money than we do about life and will put someone in jail for a year for stealing $100. In the meantime, we’ve built a economic system that is going to fail more and more spectacularly as automation gets better and better – and we’re busy making automation better and better.

I will inject one more comment – conservatism is wrong and stupid. History shows us over and over that when we believe we can do things, we can do them. And modern conservatism says “My money is more important than your life” – while at the same time repeatedly destroying real value in order to make paper dollars. Humans fall in love with political brands, but I think if you pulled everyone out of their bubbles and let them sit down and think for a while they would recognize that politics in general in the USA is broken and we need to kick *everyone* out of the pool and start over – but also that beyond that, conservatism is even *more* broken. That there are republicans trying to block mail in voting – they claim that it’s based on fraud but I’ve dug deeply into the dataset and the fraud I found was fractions of a percent, never anywhere near anything that could change a election – it’s really about the fact that conservatives are willing to cheat to win. At this point my feeling is even conservatives know their policies are bad for the group as a whole, but they are quite willing to let other folks die if they can continue to be rich – and then they’ve sold some very irrational things to some very frightened and/or gullible people. I find it the most interesting when I see conservatives who are only alive because of collectivist health care arguing that the state should not take care of people who make mistakes.. I can’t help but wonder if they realize at all that they want to saw off the limb they’re standing on.

Clarification to previous post

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

So, since there seems to be some confusion.. in the last sentence of the previous post, I was saying we need a organization to *help the cops*. I don’t *want* them to end up homeless and hungry, and I feel they have been ill done by by our system in general. These are living, breathing human beings and while the current situation is terrifying and has programmed into them some very destructive beliefs, their lives also still matter. We need to deprogram them of the harmful programming that results from too much authority, and also from being the hated and feared face of a broken authoritarian system that’s run by madmen. (That’d be the top-level politicians, who I have a very low opinion of)

I do not *want* the police to be homeless and hungry even if we determine that the way we were using police is inappropriate and we need to break apart the system we have built. That is what I was saying.

And, the scariest thought

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Who is going to protect us from the cops after they’re defunded? If they’re the most violent criminals among us, they’ll still *be* there. Community policing isn’t going to protect us from the angry, feeling they should be more empowered than they are, wanting to crack some skulls ex-cops who will now also be homeless and hungry.

We need a massive organization to help bring them back to some kind of sanity.


Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

So, thinking about it, I’m more afraid of the cops than of criminals. I really hope that overall pressure forces a reset of the criminal justice system. I think it’s far more likely that I will be killed by a police officer than a criminal, and far more likely I will be beaten by a police officer than a criminal. I also think the police should be ashamed of their repeated use of violence on peaceful protesters. It does fit my understanding of what they have become – a bunch of bullies who abuse their power at every opportunity and who have no respect for the constitution or the rule of law.

Hearing about the police placing protesters in the hospital in critical condition, I think we need to keep the pressure on until they are disbanded and replaced with a system that is likely to be less flawed. They are almost as big a bunch of murderous thugs as our military has become.

The problem is the politicians who would normally oversee that are also a bunch of criminals – some of the biggest thieves among us – and love that the police are murderous thugs because it is part of the base of their power. It’s hard not to feel like a revolution is the only option, except a revolution would just replace this flawed system with another equally flawed system. We need to design and testbed a good system of government *first*. Since the US is made up of 50 states it’s a ideal testbed environment if we are willing to do the smart thing. Of course, doing the smart thing is not what America is known for, we’re the “hold my beer” country where stupidity is king. But I can still hope.

One more COVID post, aimed particularly at MLM folks

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

MLM folks, *do not* have in person parties.

“But no one is sick!”

The problem is, COVID can

A: Be totally asymptomatic.. you feel just fine, but you are shedding – releasing hundreds of billions of copies of the virus

B: Be shedding before it’s symptomatic.


C: The test probably false-negatives fairly often, based on the number of people I know who got the test negative but are obviously sick with it. One thing I suspect also is that whether a person believes they have it or not may affect what answer they *hear* regardless of what the actual answer *is*. The human brain is a very tricky animal especialyl when death is involved.

“But I need to pay the rent”

Look, if the landlords evict us, we will *end* them. All we have to do is a special type of general strike where we give them all the money. Once all the tokens are in one group’s possession, they are totally worthless and then we will create a new type of money. Remember, we make the value, they don’t. Go back and read resource allocation as a group, especially the last part.

“Us And Them” and neural networks

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

More of my hand-wavy guesswork about the structure of the human mind follows.

So, one of the interesting questions that comes up when thinking about NNNs is the question of ‘us’ and ‘them’. It’s a pretty standard part of human thinking to think of yourself as a member of a group (the ‘us’) and people who are not members of that group as being ‘the enemy’ or at least subdesirable in some way. I’m not thinking this type of thinking is all that helpful a lot of the time, but it’s interesting to think about in terms of what it says about the underlying network.

Earlier, I hypothesized that while we as individuals have the ability to determine whether information is coming from inside or outside of us (or whether we think it is – in fact we’re probably not in a great position to know for sure) very few neural subnets can tell the source of information – and in fact many subnets may not be able to tell a data access from a command from a teaching / learning moment. Extending on that idea a little bit, it may be very difficult to abstract any external data that a local copy does not exist of.

It’s very likely that any attribute we can recognize in the “them” exists within us, since if it didn’t we wouldn’t have a frame of reference to think about it at all. This doesn’t mean we’re all mass murderers, but it does mean that we all have a collection of symbols surrounding the idea of mass murder. Generally, I imagine, that symbol is wired up in such a way as to inhibit such behavior in most of us. (After all, neurons do most definitely have inhibit inputs as well as excite inputs)

Now, it’s important to realize that a lot of these symbols are necessarily fairly large. You don’t fit a idea like mass murder inside a single neuron, or even a hundred, and you also have to have some fairly large neural bridges sufficient to allow reaching between symbols that are physically somewhat disparate, because the overall system is so large that there are physical limits as to what can be wired directly to what.

So, one of the questions – especially insofar as we’ve been discussing neural games of Go – is how much of ‘them’ is a interior part of us that is attempting to be a acting part at any given time. We the controlling personality is obviously going to resist acting on the urges and impetus of the parts of us that are what we would consider part of the ‘them’, but they’re still very much active and engaged neural subnets which are participating in the overall big picture of making us who we are. If you removed them entirely, you would likely not get a stable or usable system. This would seem to play in nicely into the philosophy of Yin and Yang.

DID and neural networks

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

So, popular consensus is that DID is a mental illness caused by extreme trauma that causes a personality to fragment into segments.

I assume it is news to no one that while I do not consider $future_person[0] a alter, I do believe that I have DID, although normally my alters stay very far backgrounded. I do however think that they all contribute to the overall system – that is to say, I think that for example when I’m jamming with the band and making up lyrics on the fly but my conscious experience is only slightly engaged in creating the lyrics (a phrase or fragment or concept), some wordsmith part of my mind is creating bits that rhyme and turning this into full blown lyrics. For a example of this, check out this audio clip from band practice with Bruce, Art, and me – this was not a prewritten song, it was improv – clip

I think it is possible to have something that is a close kin to DID and have it be a more productive order than the average configuration rather than a disorder. The reason is that it enables the operator of the mind that is using this configuration to more effectively utilize the entire neural network.

Consider that normally, your conscious experience is only engaging with a few dozen threads at once – that’s all you can have ‘foregrounded’, or actively a part of your world. Now, obviously there are neural structures that do things like running a scheduler for running events at preset times, but if you have alters, you can also pass off foreground tasks that you don’t need to be actively engaged with to other bits of yourself – it’s kind of like the advantages of having multiple cores in a CPU. I don’t know if alters have a conscious experience, or just a head node and task list, or what – it would be fascinating to be able to look at the structure of my mind sufficiently to find out – but certainly they can be engaging neurons and neural subnets that would otherwise be completely idle.

Now, of course, I have no memory of what it might be like to *not* be this way. So it’s possible that I’m wrong and that I would simply be able to handle more threads if I wasn’t broken. I do seek certain types of reintegration, although with a fair amount of fear and trepidation because I’m hesitant to fuck too much with a running system.


Sunday, June 19th, 2016

So, I had a thought the other day about the recent epidemic of autism – and mind you, this is definitely tinfoil hat territory.

I think it’s possible autism is enhanced – made to be a more prominent trait – by standardized testing.

So, the basic thesis works like this. Natural Neural networks are always adapting to whatever load is placed on them. Standardized testing encourages them to develop more black-and-white thinking. I think professional educators often forget that the minds of the students are still adapting during the test itself – that the test itself is causing them to learn something, but it’s probably not anything you’d call good.

And, of course, we run our children through many, many standardized tests these days. I think it’d be really interesting to run some large advanced ANNs through standardized testing and looking to see what happens to the structure of a mind that is adapting to standardized testing.