Tetra-Lyfe blog #3
Tetra-Lyfe Blog #3
“Artificial Intelligence plus Rainfall Rhythm and Melodies”
Science and Technology
Aug. 26th, 2017
Fairly soon we’ll be doing only one podcast a week instead of our usual two. The original intent was to get two 30 minute recordings out a week since we’re new and looking to get established. We’ve enjoyed producing content so much our podcasts lasted at least 45 minutes or more. Wike and I came to the conclusion that it is best to keep our recordings under an hour per release since like us, we know you only have so much time during your day. Should we have a podcast which is longer than an hour like our first podcast, we’ll split it in two. We’ll also do our best to get a blog done every week and of course, some will be longer than others. When we receive more participation and feedback from our listeners, we’ll have another aspect we can respond about.
I decided to do a separate blog for this podcast since the last topic content was fairly heavy in nature and deserved its own attention. I was going to mesh both 30 minute podcasts into one blog but since they’re longer it just wasn’t realistic. Wike and I decided kind of at the last minute to add Artificial Intelligence to the podcast mainly for two reasons. It’s extremely interesting and speaking about rainforests for 45 minutes to an hour would be fairly dull. Neither one of us have doctorates in science related fields so we could only expand so much and some of topic aspects required an extensive knowledge. This podcast definitely helped us discover that for future podcasts, it is a much better strategy to discuss topics at a macro level and let experts who may be listening to help us at the micro level. It also gives us the opportunity to cover several topics of interest in the limited amount of time we have. Once we get experts in a certain field as a guest speaker then we can go back to a specific topic and branch out from there.
So onto the fun stuff, artificial intelligence. We talked about what singularity is and if you know anything about AI, this term should be at least somewhat familiar. We spoke about The Terminator movie series and that if you believe the human potential and creativity to be limitless, what we dream up can come to fruition. Elon Musk has been a popular household name in the realm of topics such as space exploration, inventions, and his outspokenness to the potential dangers of AI. Both Wike and I couldn’t agree more with him. Technocrats, proponents of a technocracy, trust heavily in technology to solve our problems. However, they are ignorant to many underlying issues. One of them is relying on certain technologies to get us out of a mess humans created in the first place because of our hubris and lack of spirituality. In other words, we need to return to nature, change our addictive lifestyle habits, and give more credit to how badass the potential of humans really are. We have all heard compelling arguments why certain drugs should be used like Lipitor, which lowers cholesterol. Most drug companies have a vested interest in profit and keeping humans sick to continue sales. Even claims about eating less eggs has been suggested since they are high in cholesterol. The reality is that when chickens, or any other food source for that matter, is geared more towards high production in very poor living conditions it creates a substandard product. High stress creates bad types of cholesterol. We’ve all heard the saying “You are what you eat”. If you’re eating eggs that come from continually stressed out chickens in tiny little cages that are heavily modified through genetics to make the food “bigger” in a short time period, you’re getting an inferior product that will eventually make even the most resilient human bodies sick. Pills only allow you to continue sustaining a poor lifestyle, they don’t solve the underlying problem.
One of Elon Musk’s greatest fears is that AI would find humans a threat to their self preservation and wipe us out. If you take a genuinely honest look at the recorded history of humans you can only arrive to the conclusion of how insane we truly are; how grotesquely to say the least we’ve treated one another, ourselves as a whole, and our environment. I wouldn’t blame AI for taking that position at all which makes that realization even scarier. The method of human extinction used in Terminator 2 was nuclear annihilation and a real possibility. If you’ve seen any of the combat robots we currently have, they should give you some real pause for thought. One of my favorite films of all time “The Gods Must Be Crazy” shows how even a simple tool of technology can cause real havoc amongst a loving group of people who never needed it in the first place. Elon Musk along with Sam Altman helped found OpenAI, a non-profit artificial company designed to focus on friendly AI that mutually benefits humanity while learning more about AI before a singularity event occurs. It was created to help address existential concerns about the unforeseen risks of AI, allowing patents and research open to the public. During the International 2017 Dota 2 video game tournament, OpenAI played against a 27 year old Russian player using the pseudonym Dendi in a 1v1 live challenge on August 11th, 2017. Dendi decisively lost both matches and CTO Greg Brockman explained the bot learned by playing against itself in only two weeks real time. Mr. Brockman said that this learning software was a step in the right direction towards executing complex tasks such as brain surgery. Elon Musk suggested that the only way to prevent humans from being completely taken over by AI is through a ‘neural lace’ that allows humans to directly link with computers. In other words, it would create another level of security preventing us from essentially becoming “The Borg”. This is the only way I could see how AI would compete with humans with things like intuition, the collective consciousness, or concepts like remote viewing. What I have often contemplated is how bionic humans or AI would survive a solar flare, EMP, or nuclear style devices that cause electromagnetic fields, destroying any electronic parts without some type of shield or faraday cage. As a human civilization, we’re not even mature enough to take that into consideration for our nuclear power plants which should cause some attention to urgency amongst all humans on the planet. Below are some links of interest I recommend checking out.
Now onto the rainforests. We discussed quite a few things especially some science topics we did our best to tackle. Everyone has heard about global warming which certainly is a big political topic worldwide. What Wike and I wanted to impress on everyone is a few key things regarding this specific topic. There are some who claim if you criticize global warming in any way then you are a climate change denier. Only people who are complete climate change deniers are like those who believe the Earth is flat. Unfortunately it is an over polarization knee jerk reaction to anyone is who is skeptical regarding specifically how much impact humans play as a whole to the Earth’s overall climate change process. It is also another distraction to separate and divide people. We’ve constantly said on this show that science is a journey, not a destination yet many treat some answers like a plateau that cannot be surpassed. Science also helps us to use critical thinking skills that even if we arrive at an answer that is incorrect, it helps us find a correct one giving us perspective. It is mistakes that forge an objective truth we can all appreciate and share. Only through genuine humility can we acknowledge our vast limitations and how little we actually know. It was Sherlock Holmes that reassured Watson’s doubt in himself about his incorrect answers that helped Sherlock find the correct ones. It is simply a process to be done together, not to adopt a flawed attitude of “I’m right and you’re wrong”. Even if there is an ultimate truth, we lack the capability to comprehend it.
Part of the problem is there is a ton of information out there and some of it disinformation. Many of us are junior scientists at best only repeating what other scientists say without any real effort in study or comprehension of the topic. Getting many scientists (or anyone for that matter) to change their deeply entrenched dogmas, especially when years of study have been performed and large grant money is at stake, can seem impossible. There simply are false narratives that certain institutions wish to continue so the rest of us believe them to be such. Change would require them admitting they are wrong and curriculums especially in schools would require major overhauls. Any of us who have been to college have found frustration when required to purchase a new book edition yearly in classes such as math because of a few slight “curriculum” changes, where profit is the main culprit and not because some new enlightened method of math was discovered. When we are taught an ideology for most of our lives and then come to find out it is not true or it has changed significantly, it can be challenging at the highest levels of the human psyche to adapt to a new paradigm. Mark Twain said “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” I can think of a few times in my life where I could have SWORN to the death the details I was certain of were true only to have friends I love and trusted tell me I was mistaken. Our brain can play tricks on us, making up missing memory gaps, and can be referred to as a form of eyewitness misidentification. It is said that the victors of wars are the ones who write history, yet unfortunately there are often many parts left out especially the darkest ones they commit.
So what’s the crux of these entanglements? Without going into other scientific facts too much detail, we need to understand a few points that should help us bring humanity closer together and not further away. The first is that there are many things we simply do not understand, and at great magnitude including our own brain like consciousness. We still understand very little about the Earth’s oceans and we live here! It’s not some distant planet we can barely see on telescopes. We are finding new oceanic species all the time and some of prehistoric nature. The hypothesis about rainforests creating their own rain was suggested back in 2004 by scientists that were experts in their field, and only at a micro level. It took until 2017, 13 years to confirm their suspicions about how plant transpiration worked with heavy water and only because of evolving technologies. Often, it takes an extraordinary amount of time to research things which may mean several lifetimes with details changing over that course as well. It is difficult for most of us to have the foresight or desire to commit our lives to something we may never find a satisfactory answer to, let alone a few years. Unfortunately neither is there a profit margin for those flipping the research bill and why many technologies arise from times of warfare out of great necessity before the so called enemy obtains it.
Another issue we are presented with is our minuscule recorded history when compared to the millions of years of undocumented Earth’s history. We erroneously think we can take a sliver of time and quantify it into some exponential range of reasonable computation to account for these missing gaps. Sure, we can do things like take core samples of the ice caps to provide a peek tens of thousands of years ago but it is still limited source in the entire scope of things. Our brains can only fathom so much; certainly not what a 100 thousands years of day after day contemplation would be. Some of us can’t even remember what we had 10 days ago for dinner.
So what is an answer or solution? I have suggested for many years now that we should focus on two suggestions. The first is realizing that if we returned to a more naturalistic method of living and polluted less to maintain our lifestyle choices, by default we would lesson the human footprint we’re creating. In the 1970s many people claimed that we were cutting the rainforests down so fast that soon we would be doomed and the Earth changed forever. What we found was that because the human population is growing exponentially and breathing out more carbon dioxide, more trees and plant life was also increasing. This was discovered by satellite footage and that scare tactic myth was debunked. Those scare tactics were being used for the wrong reasons by faulty logic on purpose. However, since much of the world lives in a manner that is about consumption and upholding this addiction to our lifestyle, bringing attention to a radical change in paradigm is of the greatest importance. Focusing not how much humans are adding to global warming but the destruction of ecosystems and pollution that humans are a part of, not separate from. Of course no sane person wants to live in a toxic and polluted environment unfortunately certain people and multi-trillion dollar corporations who are purely profit based don’t care. They’ll be dead long before the worst of it right? If you dig deep enough about DuPont and some of the atrocious acts they’ve committed against nature and people regarding pollution, one can only conclude they are the definition of a madman. No one can escape the effects of severe pollution, no one. The second answer is realizing it is pure hubris to believe humans could even recreate on a scale of 10% some of the most cataclysmic events the Earth has gone through. We are our own worst enemy and the Earth will survive the worst we can throw at it. If we acknowledge honestly the Earth goes through these phases, then we need to plan for the future so we can survive as a species. Before we destroy ourselves as a whole and all the technology that could help us with solutions such as space exploration is lost forever.
Best wishes to our listeners, we wish you well here at Tetra-byte Podcast!