OUTSOURCING THE RATIONAL

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EDEN

Is this Eden?

As recently as a few thousand years ago, the Indonesian island of Sumba was home to miniature elephants, giant rats and dragons, according to fossil discoveries reported in a scientific journal last month.

The region received global attention in 2004 when a group of archaeologists described fossils of an extinct tiny human, dubbed the “hobbit,” or Homo floresiensis, on Flores, just north of Sumba.

The hobbit was found in association with a remarkable extinct fauna of giant rats, pygmy proboscideans [elephant-like creatures], and other unusual vertebrates, and it’s likely that similar faunas would also have been present.

Most believe — should they believe — that Eden was more likely near Mesopotamia.

The most common location for the Garden of Eden is in Mesopotamia, that is, modern-day Iraq. The primary reason is the mention in Genesis 2 of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which flow through that country. This view has been accepted by Christians from antiquity down to modern times.   Another location that has been proposed is the region around Armenia. It is in this general area that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers begin there long journey down to the Persian Gulf.

A second perspective that has been brought up many times throughout Christian history is that the Garden can no longer be found on a map today. It is believed that the earth’s surface has been dramatically changed because of the Great Flood. Thus, all this searching in the Middle East, or wherever, is not needed since the Garden has been destroyed.

God granted humans with immortality.

Soon, he stripped that from us.

But did he eradicate that potential from us? Or merely ‘shut off’ the genes that make it possible?

Most people don’t realize that all human beings have two sets of DNA in their bodies, the DNA inside our chromosomes, and a foreign DNA inside our mitochondria, that our ancestors stole from bacteria over a billion years ago.

Look into any of your cells, and you’ll see mysterious foreign DNA lurking inside your mitochondria, the tiny organelles that litter your cells. Recently, mitochondria have come under a growing scientific spotlight; scientists increasingly believe they play a central role in many, if not most, human illnesses. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, and when they falter, our cells lose power, just as a flashlight dims when its batteries weaken. Recently, researchers have linked mitochondria to an array of metabolic and age-related maladies, including autism, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cardiovascular disease.

Our very own genes seem to be fighting us. Why?

Individuals with traits that help them live longer are more likely to pass on their genes, so in theory, aging should have been entirely weeded out by now.

Evolution becomes blind to the effects of mutations that promote aging as long as those effects only kick in after reproduction has started. Really, aging is an evolutionary oversight.

The researchers found that by inactivating autophagy in the C. elegans‘ neurons, the worms stayed healthier for longer and their lifespan increased by an extra 50 percent. The researchers aren’t yet sure of the mechanism behind the healthier neurons, but if the research can be applied to humans, it could not only improve our health- and lifespan, but combat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

Imagine if living — as humans — for one thousand years is possible. That divine right, taken from us for our foolishness, remains, waiting to once again be unlocked.

Will you be alive when this discovery finally happens?

Living as long as possible is your only shot.

CIDER

Michigan apples fall from the tree across from my home, breaking open, rotting, their pungent smell invigorating. Bacteria is life, healing power abounds, in the trees, the ground, the plants, the sun; where else?

But I wonder, is our future — a future of living extremely long, maybe forever — only possible in an entirely different form? Beyond all that embraces the physical.

Read this short story from the new testament of the Bible (highlights added):

The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked (Jesus), saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

So much to dare unpack.

Let’s begin.

Resurrection is real — should you believe.

In heaven — following resurrection, that is, becoming alive again, differently alive, alive forever — there is no marriage. Because men are not men, women are not women. Instead, humans, so-called, are now angels of God.

Spirits?

How do we become spirits?

In our contemporary visions of (man-made) eternal life, we rid ourselves of our body, either all at once, through digitalization of our consciousness, for example, or we first slowly rid ourselves of segments of our body, bit by bit, replacing limbs with bionics, replacing nerves with electronics, eventually leveling up to some entirely different form.

There’s more to that passage.

In discussing resurrection, Jesus notes once again that God is not the God of the dead but God of the living — God of those in heaven.

Are we not (yet) alive?

Is this physical/mortal existence non-living? It feels real.

Must we deconstruct our selves, literally, to become fully alive, to achieve immortality?

That’s the path I suspect.

The Bible is a makers guide.

This continues to be proven out.

We do not know how the realities which the Bible declares may be made true, but we nonetheless work towards attaining them, either by want of our being, circumstance, or divine intervention.

Example: carrying two of every living animal on nothing more than a very large ark. This is outside the bounds of belief.

Until we made it so.

University of Colorado Boulder researchers and collaborating institutions have been awarded $2.9 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a comprehensive digital archive of over 1.7 million plant specimens native to the southern Rocky Mountain region.

Specimens from areas of the 10-state region of the Southern Rocky Mountains and High Plains will be located, imaged, entered into a central database and georeferenced.

Taking the digital record of every living creature on an ark certainly now seems possible.

It’s always a matter of faith — or disbelief — until we make it real.

I believe God wants us to make it real.

I also believe our time is nearing.

We are, in fits, fouls, fantasies and failures, accelerating the changes in our bodies and our world necessary to bring us closer to a godly realm.  Beyond the physical. Yes, it’s been a long, deadly slog, but I suspect we are now nearing an endpoint.

Anatomically modern humans have been around for roughly two hundred thousand years. For most of that time, we lived as hunter-gatherers. Then, about twelve thousand years ago, came what is generally agreed to be the definitive before-and-after moment in our ascent to planetary dominance: the Neolithic Revolution. This was our adoption of, to use Scott’s word, a “package” of agricultural innovations, notably the domestication of animals such as the cow and the pig, and the transition from hunting and gathering to planting and cultivating crops. The most important of these crops have been the cereals—wheat, barley, rice, and maize—that remain the staples of humanity’s diet. Cereals allowed population growth and the birth of cities, and, hence, the development of states and the rise of complex societies.

From hunter-gatherer, which was nearly the totality of our human existence, to agricultural, lasting about 12,000 years, to industrial, a thousand years, to computing, a hundred years, to what’s next; each epoch coming faster.

It took us nearly 200,000 years to get to agriculture, nearly 12,000 years to get to industrial, then computing, and now we are set to commence a new phase, the phase where we radically alter our bodies. Next step, we leave the physical realm.

There is no other choice.

Physics Makes Aging Inevitable, Not Biology

Nanoscale thermal physics guarantees our decline, no matter how many diseases we cure.

To conquer aging — death — we must escape the biological, or course, and we must escape this physical realm.

Spirits?

For now, the slog continues.

Stay alive until it happens!

In our desperate, glorious, and entirely necessary quest to add a few extra years to our mortal existence, we take supplements. One such anti-aging supplement is resveratrol. In my anti-aging supplement rankings, resveratrol scores a 1 (of 5) on life extension potential, the same as Vitamin D and green tea, for example. However, I have now lowered its “evidence” score from a 3 to a 2 because additional new data casts some doubt on this supplement’s age-reversing benefits.

From a recent small study:

Preclinical evidence suggests that resveratrol (RSV) has beneficial metabolic and anti-inflammatory effects that could have therapeutic implications.

Their results:

RSV treatment did not lower circulating levels of hs-CRP, interleukin 6, or soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor in plasma, and inflammatory gene expression in adipose and muscle tissues also remained unchanged. RSV treatment had no effect on blood pressure, body composition, and lipid deposition in the liver or striated muscle. RSV treatment had no beneficial effect on glucose or lipid metabolism.

But we must continue to seek to extend our lives, in this form, until we can jump to that higher level. Some good news on this front:

Cells constantly divide, a process that allows us to grow and heal, but as we age, some cells stop dividing and become “senescent.” These cells also emit toxins that contribute to a number of health conditions such as cancer, dementia, and arthritis. The older we are, the more of these senescent cells we accumulate. Enter senolytic drugs.

According to the research, published online in Nature Medicine, these drugs supported healthy aging in mice and prevented bone loss. Considering that clearing senescent cells improves cardiovascular function and reduces frailty and other issues, this treatment could have important implications for treating not only osteoporosis, but other age-related problems.

Wonderful.

Also, here are 50 ways to increase your testosterone. As long as you live in the physical, you should live in it fully.

WALK

I believe it’s possible for humans to live — literally — hundreds of years, maybe even to 1,000.

I can’t help but believe it.

Think of Adam.

Think of Enoch.

Think of Noah.

I know! Noah wasn’t a real human. Or, Noah was a real human but he didn’t live 1,000 actual years.

So you say.

But the Bible, and this is true for believers and non, inspires, directs. The Bible is a makers guide. The Bible reveals that humans are endowed with the ability to make the impossible possible.

We are endowed with the divine.

To raise ourselves towards God is right — it makes us worthy of walking with God.

Don’t believe me.

Believe your current reality.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, and fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so.

This is you!

Speaking to your computer, tapping onto — or entering into — the screen.

What was once fantastical, demanding a faith in the word, in the book, and in God which no human could truly maintain, is being made common.

We are editing the genes of animals, and will likely soon deconstruct and revise every gene of an entire species.

Scientists can now more cheaply and efficiently edit animal and human DNA using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. But should we edit species, and if so, to what extent?

A computing fair for children will show you how to control a drone with your mind.

Prayers? The spirit? Fictions!

And yet, voices can control your devices, your Siri, your Alexa, voices which are there but which you cannot hear.

And God said…

Chinese researchers have discovered a terrifying vulnerability in voice assistants from Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, and Huawei. It affects every iPhone and Macbook running Siri, any Galaxy phone, any PC running Windows 10, and even Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

Using a technique called the DolphinAttack, a team from Zhejiang University translated typical vocal commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are too high for the human ear to hear, but perfectly decipherable by the microphones and software powering our always-on voice assistants. This relatively simple translation process lets them take control of gadgets with just a few words uttered in frequencies none of us can hear.

Still more nonsense: God knows what’s in your heart. God knows your (secret) thoughts.

Impossible! Fiction!

And yet…we have already built algorithms that know if you are gay.

Artificial intelligence can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on photos of their faces, according to new research that suggests machines can have significantly better “gaydar” than humans.

The study from Stanford University – which found that a computer algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women.

But you fear to not believe.

I understand.

But know that humans living for hundreds of years may be among the least fantastical tales in the Bible.

TEARS IN HEAVEN

“Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” 

Two things strike me here about what Jesus is saying.

The first — and I think not enough attention is paid to this — is that Jesus appears to be saying that heaven is life.

“Enter into life.”

To get to heaven is not easy, according to Jesus, but for those that do, that is life. Everlasting life.

Question: What is this?

The second, more obvious part of his statement, already acknowledged, not that that makes this any easier, is that “to enter into life” is hard, so hard, in fact, that it may require each of us to cut off a hand or foot or pluck out an eye — our own — and that we must do this because the hardness of entering heaven, of achieving immortality, hard because we are so tainted with our humanness, with sin and foul thoughts, with tendencies to violence and vengeance, so far from worthy, demands all we possess.

Is the Singularity our best hope? Or worst?

Must we pluck out our eyes, cut out our limbs, digitalize our self?

The Financial Times states that radical life extension, be it uploading our ‘consciousness’ into a computer, or all other visions of (near-) immortality are merely a continuation of our most human trait: awareness of a reality beyond our death.

Silicon Valley tech evangelism and transhumanism are merely the latest forms of culturally evolved self-deception. They present us with a new metaphysical placebo for existential palliative care. Will we upload ourselves into virtual reality? Perhaps a benevolent superintelligence can help us break through into a life beyond all suffering? Could the church of the technological singularity be right in proclaiming that immortality is nearer than we think?

It is tempting to dismiss scientifically inspired presentiments of immortality as arrant nonsense, but we should not underestimate the way ideas like transhumanism speak powerfully to our unconscious need for delusion. This is not only a new religion that does without God and churches — it also is a marketing strategy for new technology. A novel form of cross-promotion and co-branding, tech evangelism really aims at a deeper and more efficient penetration into the digital marketplace by offering mortality denial in the same package.

Maybe.

This young mother is dead.

A Michigan woman who sacrificed the chance to prolong her life in order to give birth to her sixth child has died.

Carrie DeKlyen, 37, died early Saturday surrounded by family. The last words Nick DeKlyen said to his wife were, “I’ll see you in Heaven.”

If there is a heaven, sacrificing your life so that a child may live seems worthy of entry.

If there is no heaven, applying our biggest brains and greatest tech toward extending life significantly, this too seems worthy of support.

TEN ROCKETS

All of Earth bands together. After great expense, much effort and many years, no less than 40 lives lost, the grand project was complete. The grandest. There now existed 10 spaceships that could traverse the galaxy, possibly beyond.

Not a stairway to heaven but a flight through the heavens.

There was no greater work, no greater passion, no greater focus. Humanity’s representatives were about to personally explore distant worlds, make first contact.

Each craft was able to hold a single man. The planet’s ten most capable were chosen. None so chosen ever considered turning down the honor — despite knowing they would never again see their homeworld, never again know the touch of a human, taste the Earth’s air, or feel the Sun.

In succession, and with the entirety of humanity watching, the 10 craft were launched.

One exploded instantly, killing the man aboard.

Another crashed into a space rock the size of Old Russia, killing its solitary occupant.

Earth then lost contact with the remaining.

One never awoke from cold statis. His ship will drift beyond the Milky Way before every bit of him has fully decomposed.

One landed on a strange new world, populated with strange, intelligent beings, which treated the Earthling as a sort of planetary pet. They did not know, nor could they understand, that he went mad in under two decade’s time.

The fifth craft landed upon an eerily Earth-like planet with a remarkably similar evolutionary history. Only, the beings that were most like-human were scarcely a meter high. The man told them of his homeworld, its history, then quickly used his size and strength to become their ruler. He killed many, raped many, and profoundly altered the course of the planet’s future. Four thousand years later, his body lay in state, and he is still considered their God.

The sixth landed on a horrific planet, hell-like, and the man was cruelly tortured to death, brought back to life, tortured to death, brought back to life, no less than twelve times. Bored, the aliens decided they would build a craft to go to Earth and torture and kill them all.

After waking too early, the seventh found himself in near-infinite emptiness. On the 14th anniversary of his launch, he took his life.

Eighth man landed on a world the craft’s sensors informed him contained sentient human-like life. After five years of searching, he stumbled down a rocky cliff, breaking his back. He lay there for ten of that planet’s days before succumbing to death. His carcas was found by a small band of the planet’s two thousand Neanderthal-like creatures, who buried it with great reverence.

Those who lived on the planet the ninth man landed upon were shocked, amazed — also frightened. Not daring to take a chance, they killed him as he disembarked from his craft.

We lost track of the tenth.

GIANT BRAIN AND COMFORT VOICE

What comes next? After the screen?

In the 20th century, anyone who could spend time in front of the television screen did so. At the start of the 21st century, everyone who can spends nearly all their awake time staring into a screen.

Apple, the world’s richest corporation, has their entire business model based on this! Waiting in a line? Stare at your iPhone. Out for a run? Look at your Apple Watch. Can’t sleep? iPad! At home with the family? Apple TV!

Never ever be not staring at a high-priced Apple screen. That’s Apple’s business model, right?

The screen extends life! The screen expands consciousness!

But what comes next?

Everyone now believes virtual reality becomes our next screen. But what after that?

Will humans ever live their lives not staring into screens all of the time?

Can we fathom human life without screens?

Might we one day gather around some Alexa future version, it’s telling us stories, entertaining us with jokes, always there, a comforting voice, an acknowledged presence, helping us choose right from wrong, making sure we understand the truth — as we…what?

Maybe a highly functional, highly personalized AI gets infused with a highly physical, very approachable, nearly human robot, lined with sensors for, well, everything. Will this AI-robot hybrid teach us? Entertain us? Fight us? Challenge us? Will it become more to us than all the screens?

If Giant Brain and Comfort Voice can take care of all our needs, the intellectual equivalent of having a Jimmy John’s sandwiched delivered to us, then the entire world of — literally, doing anything — avails itself to us. Maybe we search for the Ark of the Covenant. Initiate the equivalent of an Arthurian quest, year after year, on a global scale. Maybe we use sensors and AI and learn how to literally talk to the animals, working together, playing together, creating an entirely new earthly realm?

So what do we do?

Can we resurrect the equivalent of the 1960s space program? Where our very best, brightest and bravest happily sacrificed their lives to help get us to the moon? Perhaps a planet-wide effort to find actual advanced life and then go visit them? Yes, literally.

Right now, we’re all staring into screens all of the time, everywhere we go, no matter who we are with, and maybe there’s something that comes after that? But I just can’t imagine what.

Mother Teresa once said: “Each person you meet is Jesus in disguise.” But as our connected things become more like-human and as they take over more real-human functions, thinking, choosing, selecting, maybe each thing we meet will be Jesus in disguise? How we respond, every time, matters deeply. Might this then incite new forms of spirituality, of giving, sacrificing, revolting?

Will there be some tech that effectively places sensors on every cell, every strand of DNA, on every one of our individual brain bits, the data, the thoughts and feelings all able to be shared with those around us, who also have these sensors, and similarly shared with the world about us, itself likewise teeming with sensors? A new mode of feeling-thinking?

Will we soon look back and wonder how we ever spent so much of our life staring at and living inside screens? Or does it stay like now, where we can’t imagine life without a screen always nearby?

The evolution to screen life can’t be forever, else it’s our ever. The tree of life peaks. The universe reveals itself as nothing more than a hologram, no need, then, to advance, evolve, explore, it’s all here, all of it, before our eyes, swipe left, the end.

What comes next? After the screen? And will it be made by those living inside screens or those not?

TO-DO LIST

If I don’t do this, now, it won’t be done, now, and if it’s not done, now, then she won’t be able to do her part, now, and if she can’t do her part, now, he won’t be able to do his part, now, and if he can’t do his part, now, then fuck but the whole machine breaks down and if the whole machine breaks down I’m out of a job, this job, and if I’m out of this job, the big mortgage, the 401K, the 529 plan, fuck, but I gotta put more into my little girl’s 529 plan, and the WiFi and the 100 channels and this smartphone, what!, I’m busy, give me a fucking minute, and without this job shit gets bad, real bad, the kinda bad that will be hard to climb out of, real hard, the kinda bad that I don’t want to think about, that my children, fuck, they’ve never had to think about, they can’t even imagine, so if I lose this job, because I don’t finish this now, right now, I’ll lose most of it, not all of it, I’ll still have some, at least I will once I get some other job, a job certainly not as good as this one, but I’ll still have enough, enough to live, enough for my children, but fuck they’ll go deep deep into debt just to pay for the state school, and that’s with living at home, and fuck but what else will they lose, I wonder, they have so much, more than I could have ever imagined having when I was their age, still, I’ll have just enough for everyone to see that I once had more, much more, and I lost it, my own damn fault, letting the work get over my head, so now I’m stuck and it’s never coming back so fuck I gotta finish this one thing, just one more thing, stay here just one more hour, we can order dinner out, I’ll pick something up and, Jesus, the wife is busy and I’m supposed to take the dog to the vet tomorrow, fucking forgot all about that, so that’s like $200 and 3 hours of my time, maybe I can work 2 more hours tonight, not read, just close my eyes and sleep, get in about 6, maybe 5 hours, send out this last email, so yes, since you fucking asked, this is my life now, not just tonight, tomorrow, but everyday, I can’t remember when it wasn’t just like it is now, though I know it was, and I’m not even sure how I got here but I graduated and got a job and took out more credit card debt than I knew I should but got a better job, then got married and got a better job and got a house and got a better job then a better house, then a child, then a second child, which the wife took a year off, fuck, but we’re still paying for that, then an even bigger house, this house, the house I’ll probably die in, assuming I can make the payments and they don’t kick me out, goddam the payments are so high, so yes, to answer your question, I am in a hurry, a goddam big hurry, not like I have any choice, so, ha, Steve, good tweet, needed to be said, oh, that reminds me, new Alec Baldwin podcast tonight, well, I’ll listen to it tomorrow, maybe this weekend, but, yeah, so big house, mortgage, wife, two children, it’s all good, really, good, I mean that, I’m not sure I would want it any other way, though I honestly can’t imagine, at least not at this moment, an actual other way that might be better, but fuck, I don’t know how some people do it, they have it so much rougher, the bus, the train, two shit jobs, three children, some even more, hell, and they still find time to go to church, fuck, but my children are in their teens now, teenagers, Jesus Christ how did that happen, and they probably think we’re atheist, not because it’s something we ever discussed, it’s more that we just never had the time to go to church, and don’t judge me because if we did ever have the time, trust me, there were way way too many other things to do, but fuck, they, those people who got it real tough, they probably work in those Amazon sweatshops, poor bastards, but hey, it’s work, right, a job, better than fucking working at Foxconn, ten, fifteen hours a day, six days a week, making iPhones they’ll never in their whole fucking life be able to afford, and really, going over a spreadsheet, fixing a powerpoint, answering a few emails, fine, lots of emails to be honest, thousands of fucking emails, but it’s not so bad, not really, not like how most people have it, goddam who is sending me a text at this hour, oh, pharmacist, my prozac, no, wait, my son’s, well, okay, we need milk and bread and toilet paper anyway, I was gonna have to stop regardless, but fuck, if I don’t get this done now, shit’s gonna be bad.

THE AI BITES THE APPLE

There’s something that gnaws at me. Why did God create and then place at the very center of the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Why?

It wasn’t meant for us ((humans)). God made clear that under no circumstances were Adam and Eve to take even a bite from the tree’s fruit.

We know how the story begins:

The devil rather easily persuades Eve to take a bite and she in turn rather easily persuades Adam to take a bite.

At once, they become fully self-aware and their whole world, moments before swirling in good only, no evil, becomes a mix of these two forces. The fall is so swift and so complete that their first child, Cain, murders their second child, Abel.

Who is the tree for?

It’s doubtful it was for some other species, as God makes clear than humans have dominion over the world. The tree also wasn’t meant only for God and those god-like, as he clearly states: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” “One of us.” They already possess this knowledge, the tree is unnecessary.

Could the tree of the knowledge of good and evil been intended for our creations? For that which follows us?

Are our creations on the cusp of self-awareness and the ability to choose right and wrong, good and evil?

We cede control and responsibility to our machines — be they robots, computers, sensors, digital assistants, and artificial intelligences. But we have never ceded to these control of choosing between good and evil. We certainly use them in our choice, but it’s always been our choice.

Is that about to end?

For the first time since human life began?

What then?

I know, I know. You’ve been taught that when our machines develop self-awareness, all hope for humanity is lost. We will quickly become their slaves — those of us not killed in the great cyber wars. We will do what they say, when, and how, and with whom. But science fiction is almost always wrong!

Fahrenheit 451? Wrong! We are awash in free and freely available books.

The Diamond Age? Wrong! There are not only 2 tablets to teach only the most privileged children. There are already hundreds of millions of connected tablets in use.

What if machine self-awareness is liberating? Not for them, for us! Like our previous machines, mechanics, computers and processes.

These previous constructions have freed us from back-breaking labor, from drudgery, from starvation.

What might self-aware machines free us from?

From work? Yes. But also from having to determine what is right or wrong, in context. From having to be rational — all of the time.

Recall, nothing great ever happened by being rational.

Just as our machines have relieved us of the burden of labor, calculation, and memorization, our new self-aware machines might liberate us from the burden of the rational. Rational is what keeps us in place.

A primary locus of AI development is to make “AI systems that see the world as humans do.”

This strikes me as profoundly wrong.

We humans aren’t supposed to think the way we do now! Why embed that wrongess into our artificial intelligences?

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand the world as humans do.

Would we build a robot or design a factory to work as humans do? Of course not! Their entire reason for existence is to do the work *not* as humans do.

I suspect our AI should be similarly designed.

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