Technology and the Substantiality of Experience

Melvin Sokolsky - from the bubble series
Melvin Sokolsky – from the bubble series

Technology is a great thing [for us humans], but it has a negative aspect not many talk about.

It deprives us from feeling the “real experience” in accordance to how we are biologically wired. Technology builds a protective bubble around the human body that however takes care of a lot of challenges for us, leaves us peculiarly unchallanged inside. And to elaborate a bit more on the “challange of unchallended”, it unemploys and unsues the sensorimotor circuitry in our pre-historic brains. And since we percieve happiness more directly inside our brains than on the surface of our skin or outside our bodies, this can be enough to spoil a good deal of fun for us.

In many cases technology offers the same functionality for our survival needs, but with less substance. Same outcome, less work for it. But what if “working for it” was a part of the satisfaction, that was planted in us by evolution to keep us motivated to persue tasks vital for our survival?

The main reason we have brains is sensorimotor circuitry. Some researchers claim it is the only reason. As organisms we need to act upon the world for our survival (the motor system) and in order to do that correctly we need to sense it by a sensory system. So the motor act is the primary goal and the sensory is secondary; it is needed only for the motor act to be decided correctly. Nature doesn’t care if you observe the details of the environment perfectly. Your gene code is passed on if you survive.

Now the technology sits in the way by enhancing the sensory channel and empowering the motor act. It eases the deeply emotional process of decision making, and by doing so leaves those circuitry unused and unemployed. But hasn this not made us unhappy? I used to think that technology enhances feelings and emotions since it assists and magnifies the sensory channel but at our core we are not passive sensors. We are active performers of our lives and spoiled in the comfort of our civilization we have truly lost our natural reference of comparison to our bodily similar ancestors. Lots of process that used to happen in our brains now takes place outside our bodies. Most of the signals that we used to constantly process and handle for survival does not reach the surface of our skins or don’t come even close to us. People go to the nature or gym, try extreme sports or play video games to experience those situations and trigger those condditions; It is a retro movement.

We have all heard modern-time complains about how people nowadays use digital messages instead of real ink on paper postcards, navigate the reality with GPS, and now get dates from apps without holding face-to-face conversations. The outcome is the same; conveying the message, mating or reprodution, or getting to a destination. But something is missing during the process.

Now, this familiar contemporary observations may be worrisome, but it is nothing new.

The technological dumb-down of mankind even if admitted is usually associated to the modern times. This seems to be a new trend in a couple of generations, if we take our own norms and typical lifestyles as the ultimate base for the real experience. Much of “the real experience” had already been taken away from us and before that from our ancestors for dozens of millenia:

* People express worry these days that driving skills, the real experience of navigating the roads is going to fade away with self-driving cars. But do we remember how horse riding felt before cars? Or did our horse-rider ancestors know what they were missing not to hunt an animal while running after it, barefoot?

* Spending too much time in the digital conversations and dealing with only letters and emojis makes us deaf to the intonations of the spoken language. The ability to grasp the meanings conveyed in the rise and fall of the pitch and loudness of the speech needs to be practiced. But was it not the verbal language itself that provided a parallel channel of communication and made us blind to the previous forms of communication, such as reading of emtions from facial expressions? How often do we even try to read each other’s eyes nowadays? In such intuitive social skills that were vital for tribal survival, our illiterate ancestors were more intelligent than us.

* Youth nowadays get dates for their digital profiles sometimes without composing a sentence, or having to make a face-to-face charm. An Irish man in Trondheim told me once “There was a time that people couldn’t hide behind dating profiles. You had to show up in person in real places and talk to real people and prove yourself”. As if a bar is a gladiator arena, or the spoken language itself, just like dating profiles, is not used for people to hide behind. This complain is sound but to me sounds like we would complain to our grand children: “There was a time that you couldn’t just telepathically go through a hundred thousand profiles with the chip in your brain to get a mutual date. You actually had to open an app, a real app! And had to go through profiles one by one. And you had to chat with them, for real. Like composing sentences word by word to make a connection. And then there was still a high chance that they wouldn’t match you because it was not pre-calculated!”

Much of our sensorimotor circuits are inactive since their function is outsourced to the technology. And I think that comes in an order. First the motor act, the outcome of the whole process gets outsourced and inactive, since the machinary around us does it on our behalf. Then there’s no longer need for the sensory part and so that part gets dull and dormant too.

Your worry may be right. The new generation gets spoiled by the new technology and loses the real feel of an experience. They are handed in something as functional but less sensational; less powerful, engaging, and real. Just like we were.

We know it, by comparison.
Our parents knew it, by comparison.
Their parents knew it, …

It’s been fifty thousand years folks!

Illuminati is us!

Illuminati Pyramid as a Sand Pile
Illuminati Pyramid as a Sand Pile

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. Quite the contrary, I believe in accident, in self-organization. If you hear my opinions as theorizing a form of conscious conspiracy I have failed to communicate my message. In the absence of enough evidence, I refuse to believe that a secret society of few humans have teamed up to plot against the rest of us with a plot so seamless that no one has any direct evidence of. That a secret group of people have succeeded to gain control over the rest of mankind only because it is conceivable to persue a goal as such through technological tools like vaccines, chemtrails, or GMOs.

I am not saying that the effect is not there. Tracing the cascade of causalities and reducing the root cause to a bunch of folks around a hypothetical table sounds a very naive explanation to me. Our diverse pool of interconnections is full of false positives to fish for to support pretty much any theory that you can think of. To impose non-existing patterns upon the reality is like designing a crosswords puzzle. All it takes is to search for pieces of evidence that you need to put them together to create the pattern you are willing to see or believe. Not that I trust any longer in science as it works in rather similar ways, but the practice of making up unrepeatable patterns at its best is the work of art.

The biggest problem with conspiracy theorists is that they fail to show that randomness is not the root cause of the spotted pattern, and thus some intelligent design, albeit of human nature must have caused it. Most of popular conspiracy claims are quite unlikely when you think of how difficult it is for conspirators to execute, predict and control a chaotic system such as the modern human society without leaving a trace behind.

So having an ideal society where rulers are transparent and observed by the media and grass-root movements and whistleblowers monitor any wrong-doing or dirty plot, is there still no threat by the evil? Yes, there is. And here is the bad news:

Innocent intentions can collectively cause evil outcomes.

Sand pile experiment

There is a simple physical experiment during which grains of sands are dropped one at a time on a conical pile of sands and as a result once in a while there is a sudden avalanche. It was a Danish experiment in the 80s and was replicated by Norwegians on piles of rice in the 90s. Not so old findings yet they are the first physical experiments to demonstrate a phenomenon called “self-organized criticality” which is an “emergent property” of a complex system:

“Emergence: The larger entities that arise through interactions among smaller entities can show properties the smaller entities do not exhibit.”

The occurance of an avalanche is an emergent property for the sand pile. it is extremely unpredictable to the local sand grains and also to the experimenter. But if you could ask the local sands somewhere in the pile, what they would make out of their horrible experience of an avalanche, or its cause, they would probably blame few sands somewhere on top of the hierarchy. In fact no single grain of sand has control over the behavior of the whole pile. Even the experimenter who is God-like to the grains by having the whole picture fails to predict when and how the next avalanche will occur.

We humans are the sands in a complex sand pile, our civilzation. Based on our limited view of the local neighberhood we tend to believe that there must be a designer behind every human phenomenon around us. We tend to connect big events such as wars, revolutions, scientific discoveries and historical breakthroughs to certain leaders or public figures. Such good simplified story makes sense to our little monkey brains, cause we can never get even close to comprehend it cognitively. The best we can do is to oversimplify it in other ways, and simulate it. Our civilization is much more collective and complex than it is portrayed in the narratives of our history books or newspapers, no matter how honest they try to be.

When an unpredictably big social or political event – and usually negative – takes place, sometimes even when it clearly has a natural cause such as an earthquake or a volcano, people tend to point fingers at other humans. If we didn’t see a war, epidemic or a revolution to come, somewhere out there has to be someone who knew about it. Some one who has planned it.

It doesn’t have to be explained that way. Political events are the collective behavior of our actions, but since we can’t comprehend the details involved, we tend to believe that there should be minds, and minds of our own type, behind them all. There should be an intelligent designer behind these and that they must exhibit some form of team work behavior and perhaps in a way that we are used to in our daily organizations.

The conclusion is that secret organized societies with God-like predictive power and flawless control do not have to be the explanation for the political or societal evil that we face. Illuminati doesn’t exist in that naive form.

Or it does, it actually does. And I tell you, it is in fact me, it’s you, and it’s is all of us combined. Illuminati is our emergent property.

We are the building blocks of a complex hierarchical society and we have achieved the current state of our civilization due to two main factors that separated us from other animals: Individual and collective. Collectively the advent of language and the poewr of communications which helped us preserving our knowledge and build up a system of advanced tools by simpler tools. And individually due to the power of our thinking organ; the human brain. None of these two had to be extraordinarily different from other animals, but combined they passed a critical level that redefined our nature and turned us to something entirely different, in such a short time.

In the past fifty thousand years we have transformed our lives from tribal animals into interconnected socioeconomic beings in an advanced technological society. Meanwhile our brains has not changed much and we have arguably become slightly dumber even. Our brains, including the brains of our powerful decision makers, celebrities and politicians with a broad range of influence, is still tribal. This organ grew from 0.5 to 1.5 kg from three million years ago to some fifty thousand years ago, so two third of that brain, one kilogram, consists of programs that were shaped during our tribal life on the ground. Our bodies and brains have not changed much since then, but our collective environment has, drastically. We tend to think that we do things for truth and reason, though we only do what we do for one reason: survival.

The red button

Back in the tribal times the “red button” did not exist. Symbolically put, if Eve and Adam would push a button, at most a fruit would fall off a tree. Now there are buttons around us that if we push we could somewhat blow up things out of your sight; lives can be affected by a minor task of us. Now we can simply make changes by pushing a like button, ordering an item from a restaurant menu, buying a share from stock market, or deploying a code.

We do it all for the sake of our survival, indeed with our kindness and affection towards our local tribe. The people for which we naturally have capacity to care, are only a couple of hundred people who are around us, socially or geographically. We can never affectively reach out to seven billion people out there, and not in fact to zillions of animals and beings. Nature has simply not given us the empathic tools to do so. Despite that, in order to increase the power of our influence, we have redefined our environment and hacked the natural resources around us. Just like any other animal we do it for our survival with disregard to other beings. The difference is though we do it beyond our natural habit, systematically and  technologically.

This already started from the first man who made a tool; the manifestation of grabbing and touching an object, using it, and leaving it NOT unchanged. Animals don’t do that. They either eat or kill the thing and destroy it permanently, or they let it be. We grabbed things around us with our hands and left them changed, still in our service. We made the first tools and then tools made more tools and that escalated. And well with an ultimate disregard to the nature and things that we touched, or things that we touched touched, we set up this advanced system. And now the complexity has reached a level that the mentioned disregard may come back to ourselves.

We tend to put our animalistic tribal behavior in a divine and holistic light. We are proud that we have made judiciary systems and rules, democracies and beurrocracies, technologies and computational systems to be soft and civilized and avoid the downsides of our wild tribal behavior. But are we still not let by apes like ourselves? Is the wild animalistic behavior limited to third world dictatorships and underdeveloped tyrannies, or to the ancient kings and emperors?

Now check this out. Apes and ravens are extremely social animals. As a group they sometimes team up to attack an isolated victim who did not play with the rules or to project a group failure onto that individual. When you see that for example 160 republicans (about the natural size of a human tribe) in a group act stop supporting Donald Trump, do you expect some of them to be brave enough and admit that this was not a calculated act independent from the truth of Donald Trump, and that was simply a tribal act of mimicking a group to conform? When you see such an animalistic behavior in such high levels or power hierarchy, do you really need to believe in conspiracy theories to explain evil? Let us not our problems on to the political parties or even broadly politicians. These are normal people like me and you. This is not about political parties or the individuals. It is about all of us and how rapidly and blindly we scaled up. This is what Hannah Arendt argues introducing the term “The Banality of Evil”.

Scaling up the human power to influence, without scaling its control mechanism (empathy) accordingly has been going on in waves since the prehistoric times and in each round the wave collapsed and taught us a new lesson on how to scale. Ever since we united in bigger groups than a tribe, an external force was required, after a collapse, to teach us how to scale in numbers while being in peace with each other. Depending on the size of the human populations we learned that we need to synchronize with music or stone idols, we need to invent language or religion, and that we need to set rules, judiciary systems and bureaucracies. The problem with our age is that we have never experienced the connectivity to this level, ever before. This is historically is not a good sign cause we don’t know what kind of collapse we will get after this and sadly it does not seem that predicting a collapse is enough to take measures to stop it. We need to see it with our eyes to reverse some of the aggressive and self-destructive aspects of our scaling.

Getting connected from a tribal to a global level, from a couple of hundreds to a few billions, is in fact a scale-up of a 7 to 8 orders of magnitude. Yet our amygdala has remained the same size as a hundred thousand years ago. What do we expect from such dynamics except for a catastrophic apocalypse? How can we theoretically see any other sustainable horizon in the near future when the scale-up is still going on and no one is trying to adjust it or advance it a bit more mindfully?

You see, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist or a fatalist to warn others that The Doomsday’s Clock might be ticking. You don’t need to spot and blame some conscious master minds or group for every disaster that comes along our way. The evil is not always one of us. It is bigger than us. It is our emergent property.

To put it intuitively, this video sums up the politics of our era. One doesn’t need to know more than this about politics: Scaling up the human power to influence, without scaling its control mechanism, empathy, accordingly.

We are not completely helpless though. There are solutions ahead of us. We can in fact take advantage of our destructive connectivity and design a data-driven system for functional empathy to avoid its collapse. This is not what we are doing. Nothing but a “technological self-consciousness” (interpret it in anyway you wish) can possibly save us from an exponential over-exhaustion of our limited resources and an apocalyptic breakdown.

Should we do something about that, or should we let the system collapse and wait for a new order to rise from its ashes? What’s right to do?

Blindspot Dilemma

“We are blind to our blindspots.”

Does this quotation have a name? I couldn’t find, but let’s call it the “blindspot dilemma”.

Blind2
The image copyright: George Redhawk, an actually blind artist.

From the view point of dominant scientific paradigms [and in fact several of them] this statement amounts to bullshit!

When you mention it and you start to expand on it, mainstream routine scientists start to laugh at you.

Why?

– It is a logical tautology.
– It does not add anything to our knowledge.
– It doesn’t give us any new fact about our environment and how it works.
– It is not testable.
– It is unfalsifiable. (If they think Popper)
– It is unscientific. (If they think Feynman)
– It contains zero amount of information.
– It can’t predict.
– It has no value.
– At best it’s just a definition.

– “We can’t see what we can’t see.”

If you come from science, philosophy, business or what not, the dominant mindsets of your field may be expressed in different forms, but they all – perhaps wrongfully – mean the same thing:

The blindspot dilemma is worthless.

Yet, quite surprisingly, when I think about it, when I apply it to different domains, when I keep it – constantly – in the back of my mind, the conclusions I get are drastically different from before: New things emerge and old things get a different set of explanations. Observations make a better sense in a broader range, and a recursive sense of clarity starts to form.

How can that be worthless?

A month ago I applied this simple recipe to “the range of empathy in humans”. As a result, I was taken by a long trip and came back much more insightful. A whole new world of meanings and insights about morality, empathy, psychopathy started to hit me. I got a different vision of our collective civilization. My relationships with the people improved. Social behaviors made more sense. Everything was shed in an irreversible light!

I applied it to human behavior and I learned new things about politics, conflicts, societies. The way the world works and how it could be dealt with it.

I applied it to data, and I got new approaches, new models, new charts and shapes and values.

I applied it to cognition, and I learned new things about conciousness, and even geometry, math and topology.

Someone please tell me how can such a simple yet useful statement be so worthless?

I think the dominant scientific epistemology that is ruling the way science works is incompetent here. And the harm that is causing us comes exactly from that rigid inadequecy.

From Popper’s “falsificationism” to the statistical null hypothetical testing that is dominating the logic with which we do science, have failed to reflect a sense of recursion that may be more profound to our nature than we think.

The late Feyerabend who eventually went against Popper with refusing to accept the existence of universal methodologies in science was on to something. His anarchistic views of science in his against the method lost the battle of history to the falsificationism of Popper.

Science is so blind to its blindspots that Feyerabend’s “sociology of scientific knowledge” where he started to study science as a man-made cultural product made by the society of scientists (my wording) never took off the way it deserved to.

I don’t have a clear formulation to introduce a paradigm here. But I am sure, as much as Popper was sure of his unfalsifiable theory, that we can and we should formulate the blindness dilemma into scientific paradims in an elegant and ground-breaking way.

Me and myself have a recursive faith that beyond the incompetent tools of our current science and our profound blindness to other potential ways of finding the truth, there must be a formal way to adress the so-called “blindspot dillema”. We must nicely and regretfully invite it back to our toolbox of making sense of the world!

I can only hope we see a paradigm shift before our extinction.

P.S. In a looser reading, one can interprete the two “we”s differently by inviting two different perspectives. Then it is no longer a tautology. There is a model (an interpretation/semantics), for which you get something similar to Dunning-Kruger effect. That is not a tautology either. This is probably where I “cheated” in this passage. But I don’t think of it as cheating and that is the point here.

I am not defending this quick text as a well-thought and accurate post. But hear the idea:

Such a fuzzy freedom of interpretations (such as moving between perspectives) is missing in falsifiablity paradigm.

Even the way the dominant paradigms include uncertainty (e.g. statistical hypothesis testing) is so deterministic that they push uncertainty all the way to a statistical parameter or a random variable.

Such freedoms are in the blindspots of the falsifiability approach without originally being excluded them for a good reason. They are only not included, yet, due to a lack of solid and rigorous formalization.

The universe is inside us!

“The universe is inside us. It’s in you and you’re in it.”

There it is; my “spacescale” theory of cosmos! Not because the atoms of our bodies come from other stars, and not based on any other spiritual propaganda.

The universe may be inside us, literally.

I don’t have time to elaborate on this mathematically right now. Therefore, I briefly touch upon the informal concept only so I won’t forget this. I will get back to this at a later occasion.

0. Disclaimer

This is just a theoretical (and yet informal) gameplay with axioms. But you can think of it as the main idea of a theory that its math can be written rigorously and its predictions can potentially be tested by experiments. The whole thing is new to me, too. So I just set out to document the idea.

I am sane and sober. This post is serious and not ironic. And no spiritual or metaphorical bullsh*t is intended.

If someone is raising eyebrows reading this, I would be happy to discuss the topic with them in more precise terms.

If you decide to go through this post, please read it with trust and patience. And with as little prejudgement as you can about me and my mental condition (!) as well as all of the perceptual biases fed to us by the dominant scientific culture of our civilization. Please bear with me carefully throughout this passage and read it with a very very open mind.

1. Conscious realism

Before going through the passage, watch this TED talk by Donald D. Hoffman. His work may turn out to be one of the most ground breaking studies of our time. And the implications of this approach to sciences are huge.

Hoffman claims that reality can have nothing to do with our perception.

Objective reality can exist as the source of cause and effect in the world, but to our counter-intuitive surprise our perception has NOT necessarily mapped it in any “real” way, but only in a useful way for fitness.

According to this approach the fact that we can “map” the reality and make a useful “autocad”-like software that others can also use, still does not mean that our very basics of geometric perception had anything to do with the reality. They are just one practical approach of interacting with it for survival.

His main thesis that evolution may favor fitness and not the reality is hard to grasp for two reasons. One that it is in contrast with our dominant scientific belief system and we are not used to do science that way. But a greater problem in my opinion is that his radical ideas are difficult to grasp for us humans, since we may have been deceived by evolution from the very early stages all the way till now. Thus this deception may be deeply rooted in us.

I must say I used to carry similar thoughts and thus I wrote this (Persian) for the philosophy section of the most popular reformist newspaper in Iran back in 2003, though the article was vetoed being labeled as an idealistic subjective viewpoint.

2. Relativism of geometry

I always thought that the geometry of our perception must be deceiving, simply because we have thought and worked it out with our brains. But I never imagined I would go this far to question the whole set of perceptual and intruitive axioms of geometry. And I am intending to do it here.

Let’s break the foundation of a geometric construct, such as any modern axiomatization of a geometry, into two sets:

1. Logical rules of deduction
2. Geometric axioms

Where did we get group 2? From our intuitive perceptual assumptions. They are intuitive so they must be right, we thought.

Playing with these two sets we have constructed intuitive (but not real) geometries that gave us engineering that – so far – helped us to survive better, so we assumed they must represent some sense of an objective truth. What went wrong? We took the latter too seriously. Our “intuitive/perceptive geometric assumptions” did not have to do anything with reality!

Evolutionary biology is the base of geometry, not the other way around.

Evolution is not probably the base of reason and logic (group 1), but it is the foundation of some of the intuitive axioms of geometry (group 2). Because of the intuitive and useful deception of this group, the resulted geometry and thus the whole physics and engineering we built on top of that was only a construct of our basic perceptions. Self-consistent, intuitive, and useful. But not real.

The catch is that the intuitive geometry that we built could be just a random artefact of our evolutionary path. Its axioms come from our profoundly biased perception, and we never fully doubted them, with a systematic and comprehensive map.

It was a historic choice. From Ancient egypt to Pythagoras and then Euclid we based our reasoning and built our sciences on top of a deceiving set of axioms about time, space, scale, and other fitness arteficts of our evolution. They were axioms of survival, not axioms of reality.

Did we make science on top of the most intuitive, yet most deceiving branch of it, geometry? Geometry is not pure math and reasoning. It did not have to be as universally as valid as logic, number theory or algebra. But it was assumed to be. Very simply put, the axioms of group 2 were just the artefact of our evolution and could be theoretically undermined, rewritten or completely deconstructed.

Omar Khayyam of the pioneers of Geometric Algebra said a millennia ago:

“Whoever thinks algebra is a trick in obtaining unknowns has thought it in vain. No attention should be paid to the fact that algebra and geometry are different in appearance. Algebras are geometric facts which are proved by propositions five and six of Book two of Elements.”

Khayyam was deceived himself and thought it in vain! Attention must be paid to the fact that algebra and geometry are different, in appearance, and in essence. Algebra *may be* a universal base for reasoning but geometric facts are just deception of our perception thatappear intuitive, to us. He even got the word “trick” right, but mistakenly refered it to “algebra”, instead of the “geometric facts”.

3. Deconstructing intuitive axioms

How on earth the “unified entity of space and time” and the whole concept of spacetime was intuitive?

It was not.

A century ago Einstein assumed this very weird axiom and deduced some theoretical, exotic and non-intuitive results from it:

Things get shorter and more massive when they move? Simultaneity is relative? Mass is energy? Gravity is a property of space and time?

None of this was, has been, and will ever be intuitive. You read them in books and newspapers. And Einstein was only brave enough to assume time and space to be the same thing, despite such a profoundly counter-intuitive sense. You are now used to it so you can’t percieve how crazy it may have sounded back then. Then he played around with the theoretical implications of this assumption and got even more non-intuitive results. Some of them were verified by objective experiments long later.

The weirdness of early quantum mechanics came from the same place, but the opposite order. Objective experiments showed results that did not satisfy our perception. Ever since theories and axioms has been rewritten in an ever increasing pace so they cope up with the experiments.

No matter in which order the axiomatic theories or the objective experiments arrive to us, after they are in agreement with each other, they are – both – to be trusted, not the intuition.

Relativity and quantum mechanics hinted us conservatively that the geometry of cosmos may diverge from our intuitive thinking of it. Or that the reality may be a generalization of our deceived range-limited perception. It may be far worse than that. The reality may have actually nothing to do with our perception after all.

This is not trivial. If you think this is what quantum mechanics has so far claimed, you are still deceived. This is far more radical. Thinking of cosmos, did we ever manage to remove our basic ingredients of intuitive perception from our written objective math? Even in the context of modern geometries, although we constructed slightly different topologies and geometries (say Riemannian) , weren’t they all still profoundly biased due to some of our wrong yet intuitive axioms?

In my manuscript on higher dimensional Euclidean geometry 20 years ago I touched upon the relativism of geometry. But I – sadly – did not deconstruct the Euclidian axioms and only generalized them to higher arbitrary dimensions. Historic mistake in sync with the society.

It is hard to think and not intuit [perceptually], but setting ourselves free from our perception and knowing that this may actually be a more scientific and “real” approach, although less intuitive (biased), brings new possibilities and we were unaware of those possibilities, as Hoffman says too.

In my interpretation, we never reconstructed it all perception-free. Until recently, and may be in string theory, or M-thoery may be we find axioms that are borrowed from objective experiments more than the perceptual bias? It’s not enough if you ask me.

Reality is not intuitive. But the good news is that it is achievable and objectively testable.

Now, let us deconstruct some basic intuitive axioms in new ways in disagreement with our perception, and still use reason and logicalcomputers  (useful Turing machines) to rebuild new profoundly different geometries for cosmos. Then we double check its theoretical results and implications with old or new experiments.

And things start to get interesting:

4. Theory of spacescale

And now, ladies and gentlemen, let me deconstruct one of the most profoundly intuitive axioms of all geometries and sciences that you know of. And then briefly build on it to surprise you with its exotic implications. My time is short to elaborate now, so spitting out the short story:

I am asking, what if “small” and “large” are the same thing?

Of course counter-intuitive, but ignore your bias for a moment and read this:

Hoffman compares the faith of two organisms with simulation: One organism with a realistic perception of the truth, a “linear” fit-ness function of a given resource. The other with a non-realistic, wrong perception of the truth, a bell curve fitness-function. The truth sends the first organism to extinction, because it takes too much or too little of that resource. The deceived organism which has the bell curve fitness function, responds to the “just right” amount of that resource due to the distorted bell curved perception, whereas the organism who saw the truth, dies!

The organisms who could intuit about relativity, quantum entanglement, or wave-particle duality (things that we know from our experiments), die if their true vision did not help them fit from early days. Instead, we, deceived creatures who don’t even understand that time is space, reproduced and survived.

Back to the bell curve perception: We have intuitions about ”left and right” directions, “cold and warm” temperature, ultra and infra” light frequency, “in and out”, “past and future” time, “small and large” size, etc. They are not necessarily telling us how the nature works, but they are two asymmetric sides of a stimulus and have evolved in us to fit and survive.

Now I ask you what if “small  and large” are actually the same thing in two different directions? Such as “back and front” in space.

Let’s deconstruct the basic intuition we have about “scale” and build a geometry on top of that exotic axiom where scale is a dimension in space.

Roughly speaking you get what you may call a 4D manifold, made of three spatial dimension, and one “scale” dimension. It’s like spacetime but “time” is replaced with “scale”. And they are unified.

I will get back to you why, with more accurate and formal description of this manifold and possible metrics on it, but for now accept from me that from which ever direction you move on the surface of it you get back to where you are. (the 3D surface of a 4D sphere, as an even-dimensional space can be combed due to the Hairy Ball Theorem, it has no singularity.)

If we simply assume the non-intuitive axiom that “scale” is “space”, despite the fact that just like “time” we perceive it very differently, then it has mind blowing theoretical results. Here’s one of them.

5. The universe is inside us!

This can simply be an implication of unifying scale and space on a combable 3D surface of a 4D sphere (3 space + 1 scale):

Choose a direction around yourself, literally any direction. Up or down, it doesn’t matter. Then zoom in it.

Look at your hand for instance. Say you zoom into one of your cells, any of them. You just keep straight and don’t turn. Then you zoom into it till molecular level. Then atomic level, and you see quarks and what not and when you zoom enough guess what you get: The whole universe! The one and the only universe. The exact same universe that you are in it. And you can repeat.

This video was probably made to demonstrate this visual effect of zooming from intergalactic to sub-atomic levels, but can actually be an implication of the spacescale axiom. Ignore the tilts and the cheats and the wrong microscopic objects that it shows, it is a good visualization of what you may expect from this theory.

And yes, it should have approached the woman on a side of the earth when the planet became visible. We expect to lend in the same eye of the same woman, not elsewhere, if we go on a straight line (a geodezy) on the surface of the 4-ball.

This video may be a bit better. It doesn not tilt and its sub-atomic particles seem more size-realistic. But it does not loop.

Here, zoom in scale may be just like moving in a physical dimension. It is not believable, but the theoretical predictions of this theory are objectively testable by experiments.

Just like space and time being the same thing was never intuitive. But was predicted by theory and then approved by experiments.

What if I claim “space”, “time” and “scale” can be all the same thing, and interchangeable? Despite our perceptive bias.

You zoom in something and it gets bigger, and you get close to something and it gets bigger. Same, same. Don’t stay biased. Remove your euclidean axioms.

Scale is just a direction in space? Is it just like “forward and backward” althought we percieve it differently as “in and out”? Just like time that is a dimension but we sense it as “past and future”, although they are just the same and interchangable?

The universe is inside us?

It’s in you? And you’re in it?

It’s not intuitive. But can be real.

P.S. Few days after I quickly drafted this, Alex Grey published his “Body, Mind, Spirit” and appeared on my social network. My claim is this, but in every direction you turn your head:

AlexGrey

In fact a one-sided space (such as the Klein bottle) you would actually look into your own eyes, face to face. May be that’s where we all came from.

I set a mirror in front of your mirror.
To build an eternity,
out of you.
– Shamlou

Revolution or Reform?

vincent-callebaut-paris-smart-city-2050-3

Imagine this hypothetical landscape: You live in 2300. Humanity is still around and somehow through calculated global programs, colonizing mars or deadly wars has reduced its earth population from ten down to three billion already. And has fixed it there. The earth is tolerably warm but sustained.

Politics:

Countries are provinces of the world federal government and they have different state rules to practice their local cultural differences.
Different races campaign politically to defend the continuation of their gene traits and complaining about the others reproducing more than regulated.
The word “freedom” has mixed meanings and is used with the word “from” not to be misunderstood.

Economy:

There is no centralized money and even digital currency is just a hidden layer of the world economy that some expert may still look at.
People use public services more than their private properties, however that’s a cultural thing; Everyone is given a minimum of private ownership by birth, and several times during their life span. People can lose their private stuff accidentally or choose to donate it at will, however the world welfare system may restore it for them.

There is a notion of money, but that is negative (like debt) which is calculated by an individual’s cost of living such as their footprint as long as it is calculably affected by their personal choices.
Therefore there is no money. There is fine.

Business:

Growth of companies are limited through regulating their shareholder’s wealth. New-capitalism is practiced safely.
Work is constitutional right but voluntary and companies act more like temporary social games shaped by entrepreneurs and closed and cashed out once they serve their purpose. Land and land resources, infrastructure, utilities, transport and media belong to the public and can not be bought by companies or other legal entities by the world constitution.

Every citizen is granted an equivalent of some work/office space and work equipment after a certain age. They can use the equivalent of their office space for individual business or they can exchange it with an equivalent of that when they get a job or build a company.
Education is too a constitutional right and voluntary. People get educated to fit the available work opportunities. Public education is accessible globally and private education is the service that educational companies serve.

Democracy:

Terms above are regulated by the world federal government, which is a distributed post-digital consensus system on the Internet. Democracy is not a hard-coded system and is a complicated structure for collective decision making by humans (and partly even by pets and rightful animals). It senses and collects data from different levels of humans’ lives and aggregate it organically to sense what people want (implicit voting) and thus regulates the society democratically. It’s optimisation will be focused on human’s psychological level and it’s well being. Feeling good is a constitutional right. Citizens get notified about the important updates of their local or federal rules depending on importance and relevance to their lives, and can always overwrite their predicted vote or temporarily exit the decision-making networks voluntarily. Politicians, lawyers and developers aid the machine. General assemblies are held by politicians who are themselves through the machine. Newer versions of democracies are be deployed. All citizens of the world have constitutional right to access the overall simulations and predictions that the system provide based upon the latest rules. Cultural differences will be shaped by local rules decided by the local people at the time. Climate, genetic differences and culture will self-organise the world to a peaceful multicultural equilibrium.

Legal system:

Over-scaling is a unified crime. Occupying other’s territories, violence, killing of rightful beings, exceeding the individual footprint limit, are all forms of over-scaling and will be fined by custody or private property depending on the degree of crime. People scale for sport in the virtual world.

Celebrities:

Plato, Darwin and Mandelbrot are more famous than Einstein. Few nerds know Obama. No body knows Kanye West. But there’s this terrible dancing monkey all over the fucking virtual world.

Other species:

People talk to pets through chips and devices. Eating animals (and humans!) is highly regulated and lab-grown meat (and a lot of other lab food) has taken off. People consume them according to their fashion, taste and lifestyle.

Animals or humans are not being slaughtered in the real world unless there is a legal warrant or a specific type of digital authorization signed for it. Of course people (and pets) still cheat when you don’t see them, but machines watch, warn and stop the cheaters who kill “rightful animals” illegally. There are debates around the definition of that term. Say there is a list including mammals and big land animals. There are debates and protests to include or exclude a certain species.

In Spain (or north Africa?) they still chase bulls in a safer and non-fatal form of bullfighting. And those who love fishing have to go to, let’s say china, because it’s still legal there.

Parenthood:

There are still families, although people are free to live in different social settings and move on to new groups. This will be reinforced by cultural differences in each region and the cultural differences will be maintained.

Psychology:

People take things for granted. They are civilized and they behave but they can easily get depressed and die a fragile life if they get isolated. It’s called “laziside”.
People have become even lazier than us in a sense that they have outsourced their surviving “actions” to the technology and thus they have also outsourced many of their “sensations” because keeping them is not crucial. Shortly, many sensorimotor functions of the brain are practically outsourced to the machines and that’s worrisome due to the depression and numbness that it creates.

Sport:

For the reason mentioned above, “nature gyms” are all around and somewhat mandatory to train people to practice their sensations in the absence of some practical technologies. Professional sports have become intellectual. People compete over their “nature gym” skills by using their physical, social and cognitive skills to show off that they are best. There are cognitive games in the “nature gyms” where people look into each other’s eyes to read feelings and stuff like that. Sex comes to sport with different forms of convertors.

Architecture:

Nature and civilization are mixed up technologically. Buildings breathe and cities are self-sustained. Rooms rotate and change size and adapt with the light conditions democratically by the wishes of people in them.

The list goes on.

A future landscape that is missing a lot of unimaginable technological advances or their cultural artefacts. Just one in a zillion possibilities. Just fantasize and expand it on your own vision.

Then, question:

Is it fun? Should we start talking about a scenery like this? If yes, should we discuss how we should act accordingly to move towards something like this? And not further away from it? Should we wait till machines do it for us?

Or should we – really painfully – go extinct?

Functional Empathy

Here it comes a call for addressing an unpleasant need. A need for recognizing a broader definition of some modern and civilized traits of psychopathy that will functionally include every one of us. A hidden angle of our truth that we need to face and recognize, as this can be the main cause behind the biggest problems that our world faces today.

Hell

A phrase from hell: At any cost

A simple mechanisms has become the fuel for our capitalistic growth and the driving force of our technology: Boards of corporations are pressured by shareholders to make decisions as quick as possible to deliver profit at any cost.

The profit is measured by money, a totally fake entity, and that is not where the problem lies. If it was, would be totally fine to play around with a fake thing that does not pose a danger. That would be as harmless as playing a video game.

The problem lies in those three words: “At any cost”. A capitalistic mantra that is designed to exclude all the affected “unavluable things” that can suffer as the byproduct of our value maximization. Wherever this term appears it could be replaced by longer phrases, articles and albeit books if we had decided to ellaborate on that. As a result of every single act of our value maximization, lives and feelings of many beings are fractally at stake. Our capitalistic ideology can not afford such uninmportant semiology, thus it refers them to hell; at any cost.

A conventional psychopath has a “good story”

Psychopaths are portrayed by public as ruttless killers with ugly faces and creepy eyes.

Conventional psychopaths, activated or not are just people with relatively smaller or less active amygdala (the so-called empathy center of the brain). Biologically they are hunters or parasites fighting for their own survival, only that their victim can easily be another human from a close social proximity, aka a “tribe”.

A killer, raper or torturer will not acquire that title until they fit in the same pictured frame or same short story, together with their human pray/victim. A conventional psychopath gets detected and makes newspaper headlines only when their crime have a short and comprehensible story for our simple minds, carried on our primal brains.

We will not understand that an abusive tie between two humans exists or hurts, until it can form a comprehensible story and touches the limited range of our human emotions.

Modern humans are functional psychopaths

We are all very likely to be functional psychopaths.

This will strike us to know that a shareholder or consumer of an irresonsible business and the victim of that business can easily be two people in a one-way and abusive bond or relation unknown to both sides. And sadly even more so unknown to the abuser than to the victim. Somtimes the victims get to understand who is running over them before the abuser starts to care.

Forget other species, only between the humans functionally psychopathic bonds are much more common and statistically widespread than urban instances of anti-social crime that make headlines in the media and spark national outrages. You don’t know them because they lack a comprehensible narrative, a “good story”.

As a shareholder or a consumer of an unethical business that delivers profit at any cost, we may already be remote psychopaths with effects worse than the movie characters in slaughterhauses, as we are living off harming many other victims. Only that the prays are not close members of our tribe. We just don’t know or see them.

We need a more general and philosophical definition of “psychopathy” beyond the conventional psychiatric terminology that limits that concept to just an anti-social disorder.

We need that broader definition of psychopathy to see and understand what our increasingly powerful collective civilization is doing to the world and ultimately to ourselves.

We need that for the survival of our species.

Greed before empathy, A recipe for extinction

With power comes responsibity. Why? For survival.

Now imagine tribal/local empathy with global influence.

Do you know how to wipe out a species from inside? Empower their individuals, without accordingly granting them an increased level of empathy. Their equilburium will collapse and they will harm each other to ultimate extinction.

Capitalism is the last instrument that we have used to follow up with this recipe.
Capitalism increases the range of our individual power much faster than ever before, while not helping our empathy circle growing any bigger. As the workers of the capitalistic machine we are not supposed to feel that something is wrong as long as we are functional.

Our global influence is in action to harm many other beings, while our tribal empathy is fairly satisfied inside our own social bubble. That is why we naturally feel fine and follow the system until a danger comes to our visibility and touches our basic emotions and stimulates our rather weak empathy that is much smaller now than it should be with respect to our power.

Our empathy is tribally limited

Human society was during its longest history of evolution a scattered group of isolated homo tribes. Reletively recently our society has scaled up to have become this huge interconnected network. Still at every point and at each individual it is just a local tribe. And each of us is just a naked ape with a primal brain that hasn’t evolved according to the fast pace that it has created in its environment.

We are still naked apes playing around and messing with the nature with technological tools. We are equipped with things that we don’t understand although we have collectively made them. As individuals we still run around with our ancient brains that doesn’t seem to have added many brain circuits to that of our prehistoric ancestors. And particularly to their amygdala.

The empathy mechanisms in that brain has evolved slowly as social mechanisms of control, to assure the survival only in a tribal level. As for most of our evolution our behavior could influence things only within that limited social structure.

We have no care or attention whatsoever, towards the creatures outside our social proximity. This made us a regular animal in the nature, until our power surpassed the borders of our fine-tuned empathy and reached beyond our tribe. Ever since we have been blindly increasing the territory of our influence faster than the territory of our affective understanding and in an ever acllerating pace.

The modern interconnected world has stretched our influence way beyond the visible range of our cognition, let alone the much narrower circle of our affective empathy. We have no care or attention whatsoever towards those who get trapped outside our narrow empathy circle, let alone the affected beings completely outside our visible zone.

All you need to do is to ask yourself this one question: How many people (let alone other beings) you harm during our lives, without seeing or registering them?

We are much moer terrible than what we want to believe we are.

We need functional empathy

To systematically neutralize our “functional psychopathy” and reverse some of its harms we need to invent “functional empathy”. Our natural empathy is way too limited to carry such burden.

In order to reduce the unpredictable harms that technology causes to the environment, it should start to feel it to decide whether or not it should change it in that direction.

That one principle with any interpretation, could have saved us from much of our modern problems and could made our growth much more sustainable and genuine. And should become prioritized with something even more aggressive the capitalism itself.

How could we potentially use our technology to “feel” the world is not to be addressed here, but that poses the fundamental question:

How can we care for something that we don’t see?

I will not try to answer this right here. We need to build a paradigm. I will try to throw some ideas later with sparks I see in the world of big data. Empathetic data-driven decision making.

A blueprint awaits us. Help if you agree!

Psychopathy in Politics

Unpredictability of an embarassing election

The most powerful nation on earth, the geography that still absorbs the best and most courageous minds on the globe, has managed to narrow down its three hundred million population down to two embarrasing choices. For their president, and commander in chief.

The two-party system is locked up. Money has reinfoced its power. In once being the land of the free and the home of the brave, people do not choose their faith freely anymore. America is no longer a democracy.

On one side the democratic party secretly back-stabbed Bernie Sanders, for a politician with a careless history of interventionism, bully and arms sales. On the other side a TV host with the scariest promises rarely heard in that level of power became the finalist of the republican party. And his rhetorics has already polarized the country in two or more hostile clusters.

It is hard to predict how the US (and the world) would look like after each of the two. But indeed harder to especulate that with Donald Trump.

Psychopaths and politics

I have no access to clinical diagnosis of Donald Trump and neither do I much belive in those labels. But Donald Trump is depicted by its opponents as a narcissist, or sometimes even a psychopath. These labels officially speaking cover the bottom one to four percent of the range of human empathy. True or false Trump has an attitude.

And I myself know of a politician who was certainly a psychopath by any possible measure. Those who have followed the Iranian politics would recognize the Ahmadinejad of Iran. Both are primitive and instictive enough to have been resembled to monkeys or alpha gurrilas.

But how can an average ape climb up the ladders of human power hirarchy and reach some of its highest tops? Showman ship? Trump is called a Narcissists who posseses not much quality and especially not related to the job of precidency, though he is good at mimicing the values around him and growing bigger by sucking the juice out of the things in their environment, without many considerations.

So if it is so that Trump has some traits of Ahmadinejad (and that he is a so-called Energy vampire) he should not morally hesitate to backstab his supports in the long-run and after they served their purpose for him.

Ahmadinejad which was the forced choice of the Iranian hardliners and took the power with coup by backstabing the rivals brutally, quite quickly started to make trouble for his companions and friends. That included eventually many conflicts with the supreme leader who had paid a big price by taking his side while they stole the votes of a nation in the Iranian 2009 election with the help of the military.

A psychopath’s strategy is defined by “self” and not so much tied to the long term goals of a greater whole, their environment, the constitution, a regime, a party, or an establishment. Their circle of empathy can be literally as tight as their skin boundaries, which enforces no commitment whatsoever, even to their closest friends. The core values of a psychopaths – self benefit – does not change, but the means of reaching those goals may change quickly by any change in the environment; A change in the environment, such as being elected.

The interaction of our politicians within the bubble around them is still driven by the primate brain evolved in the groups of 100 to 150 people. Now that the man kind is connected, such small selfish traits of parasitic behavior or psychopathy, and a minor flaw in practicing empathy can have world-wide effects and can spark terrible disasters that would destroy us all together.

It could have been a better approach in political science, to study the interaction of our politicians and how they play with the strings tied to them in their social organizations. It is crucial to follow up how people have climbed up the ladders, driven by their psychology, to see what damages they may cause in that system later.

Back to Trump and Ahmadinejad and that breed. Assuming that These folks have got no empathy, it is likely for their Amygdala (the so-called empathy center in the brain). For the moment that AI is still not that scary I think that the lack of empathy in power is the most important danger that the human kind faces. No empathy for the underdog means no empathy for the superior or colleagues and it brings pure uncertainty. A psychopath will not play within the rules. In this case Trump would probably have difficulties to show long-term commitment to any system, any party, or the establishment. He would not be committed to his fundraisers and lobyists, unless they make sure they have the means to control him during a future precidency. Do they?

If Trump is a real narcissist or psychopath he will serve himself only and this is generally the recipe to guess what his next step is. In this case he will not collaborate with other psychopaths within the system either, and will eventually make trouble for them and perhaps for the whole establishment. He would probably cause trouble for the other centers of power around him.

If Trump truly is a manipulator and his circle of empathy includes him and no further, then I think his precidency would have similarities to Ahmadinejad’s precidency in Iran, only that it is scaled up to a global level. Study the path of Ahmadinejad and may be that patterns is educational.

Clinton on the other hand, has a curropt history but she is more of a sane person.  She will play within the rules and will serve an establishment. She will certainly collaborate with a good chunk of moderaltely selfish people, and will thus manage to cause some well-thought damage to the world. To optimize a local benefit of a group of elites that is quite bigger then herself. Clinton would be the continuation of the status quo. An increase the inequality gap and destruction of several other countries in the middle east would be foreseen from now if Clinton takes power. About Trump, we don’t know nothing.

One thing is that Anti Trump leftist camp fails to see that even for the main body of Trump supporters, this is a class war. And well, both sides need the majority and both play the same card this card since afterall this is still a democracy in form, and cannot be officially run by the elites for the elites, just yet.

Face-off type of comparison and focusing only on the personality of a candidate is misleading, but we can claim that if we get concentrated evil in Trump, we are getting distributed evil in his alternative. So go and especualte for yourself which one causes more damage and to which group. I don’t have the data for that.

There is a hirarchy of power anywhere you look at. Psychopath (and that term includes all of us in some levels) will cause damage for those who are on their blind-spots, i.e. outside of the empathy circle. And none of us have a universeally stretched circle of empathy. At least to keep the human kind intact and for the survival of our own species, it is important to bring to the public, the skills we ALL need to posses, in order to defuse the psychopathic traits around us, so they safely inhibit and ignore the careless harm that they can cause to a much greater whole. This way, may be we ultimately avoid or postpone the singularity that is awaiting us.

Robots Take Over

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
– Stephen Hawking

“I am in the camp that is concerned about superintelligence.”
– Bill Gates

“If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably artficial intelligence.”
– Elon Musk

“I would have made you my bitch, if I were smarter than you!”
– Søren