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Smoke and Mirrors

I have been interested in quantum stuff ever since I started talking maths with the Arts people after I hit bottom . They took it as a mission to stop me from being black-and-white but then they were also fascinated as to how far science went. At that time scientific destruction was begun with wonderful books like “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” by Gary Zukav, and “The Tao of Physics” by Fritjov Capra. Both of these writers have gone on and done stuff, but they are not central or mega-significant in terms of the establishment, yet their ideas should be. HHDL’s Mind and Life might have that mantle now but again it is not mainstream.

On my journey I picked up a book called “The Quantum and the Lotus” by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan. It appears to be conversations between a biologist who became a monk and a Buddhist scientist, certainly a useful arena for the Path of Scientific Enquiry. And on page 9 I stopped reading because something Thuan said “Is … a science in the same sense as a natural science – that is to say, based on observation, with maths as its language?” I was at the beach, and I knew it was important so I let it sink in.

This morning I woke up and I’m not doing stuff for 3 days, and my mind won’t stop – I forced myself to meditate because I wanted my mind clear. But I couldn’t so gave up. Thuan is talking of a wonderful compartmentalisation in science/academia that hides a multiplicity of “stuff”, and disguises the delusions that are accepted. And when we are looking at quantum stuff with their absurdities these delusions are much more significant. Sheldrake talks about the 10 core assumptions in science but those assumptions I have described as “hidden science” because as Sheldrake points out these assumptions are not discussed.

But maths is based on assumptions. What Thuan said is a fair assessment of science’s approach physical observation based on the language of maths. So science is based on the assumptions of maths – apart from “hidden science”.

Schrodinger’s equation is an important equation of quantum stuff and I have no idea what it means.

This looks a fascinating and powerful equation to me – I mean it. But it has two things in it that rings the bells of assumptions to me “i” and partial differentiation – limiting behaviour.

I am going to use the “i” and wander into complex numbers.

Complex numbers. But first let’s get a grip on number because number is quite arbitrary even though as a building brick of maths it is considered solid. A number doesn’t exist – OK less dramatic they are not real. A number only makes sense as a descriptor – 3 apples, but what has happened through the centuries and agreements made in school in maths classes we all have an agreed sense of what 3 is. Because we all use it the same way we don’t question involved in its usage. It makes sense to use it the way we do but it is full of agreed assumptions and we don’t question it.

But this screen is a 14 inch long. No it isn’t. It is about 14 inches long. To be correct, from corner to corner the screen is about 14 inches, maybe between 13.8 inches and 14.2 inches. But then 13.8 and 14.2 have their own accuracy measures – maybe 13.75 to 13.85 and 14.15 to 14.25. So the screen is more accurately described as 13.75 to 14.25, then 13.745 to 14.255, then 13.7445 to 14.2555, and so on. All of this as people we call 14, as mathematicians we call it assumptions. Reasonable assumptions but still assumptions. In most situations the number 14 suffices because we all agree what it means but on occasions these assumptions really matter.

Take a spark plug. Let’s suppose the gap in the spark plug is supposed to be 1.4 mm, and 1.42555 is too big and it won’t fire. Then these type of apparently pointless assumptions do matter. In what I am considering overall, what really matters is that assumptions are made – even with the simple use of numbers, and we have to evaluate these assumptions.

So I come back to Thuan’s comment. Science does not in general evaluate mathematical assumptions it compartmentalizes those assumptions and relies on the mathematicians – the language of science.

Let’s look at another aspect of number – Dedekind cuts. How many numbers are there between 0 and 1? 10? 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, … 0.9, 1.0. 4? ¼, 1/2, ¾ , 1. OK. Let’s take 10. How many numbers are there between 0.1 and 0.2, and the answer could be 10 again. 0.11, 0.12, ……0.19, 0.2. And how many between 0.11 and 0.12? 10? 0.111, 0.112 … 0.119, 0.12. Each of these cuts produces “ten” more numbers. So if you are “anal” enough to ask the question how many numbers are there between 0 and 1, then you are anal enough to accept the answer infinity. For most people and situations the question is totally meaningless. Are all these numbers fractions or decimals?

There are numbers – we call them irrational numbers, that cannot be written as fractions or decimals. The easiest one to get our heads around is √2, this is the number that solves the equation x2 = 2 (x = √2). But what is √2? 1.42 = 1.96. 1.4142 = 1.999396, and 1.4152 = 2.002225. Now we can get as close to 2 as we want but it will never exactly equal 2 because “2 does not exist or 2 is not real”. So we invent a number called √2 whose square is exactly 2. But √2 cannot be written as a fraction or a decimal. What is the area of a circle? Πr2. Simple? Take the radius, let’s say 4cm, square it 16 cm2. Multiply by π, whatever that is – press the button on the calculator or use whatever is given in the question 3.14, 3.142, 3.14159265359. In school to avoid a multiple of answers the question usually says 2 decimal places – helps the marker!!! But in truth the area of a circle also has an infinite number of answers – Dedekind cuts. But we have a convention – an agreement – that there is one answer.

So between 0 and 1 we have an infinite number of numbers and some of those numbers are irrational 1/√2, 1/π, and so on. So when we have a number system we have many many assumptions that people don’t usually consider.

In some ways maths gets harder in school as it gets further and further away from what makes common sense. Early on in secondary school we get introduced to negative numbers. At this stage we have been taught numbers without all the assumptions (of Dedekind cuts, irrational numbers, infinite possibilities for lengths or areas). The number 3 is an accepted “reality” so then mathematicians ask what is x if x+3 = 0? From a mathematician’s point of view this is a very sensible question, pushing back the boundaries of mathematical questioning in the hope of coming up with a sensible answer that might prove useful.

The answer of course is -3, equation solved. Maths as language can be used in science as -3. So what are we doing? Measuring a length of -3 cm? Counting -3 apples? No -3 is just something we use in maths, and most people accept -3 is a number. But it exists even less than any other numbers. 3 apples can be counted but 3 is a descriptor and it has no existential meaning. If I went to ask for -3 apples, they’d lock me up. But most people are happy to accept that -3 exists.

In the spirit of mathematical enquiry we give negative numbers rules, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Cos that’s what mathematicians do. How can you add two things that don’t exist? Everywhere in the world if you asked people to add -2 and -3 you will get the answer -5 – except for kids in my classes Why? Then we get a teacher’s trick. Draw a number line –5, -4, -3 … 3,4,5. Go to -2 and go to the left a further 3 and you get -5. So let’s call this -2 + -3, and get the answer -5.

So there is some kind of physical interpretation we can use here – the number line. So what happens if we try to multiply -2 x -3? Kids will usually say -6 to begin with. That would make intuitive sense, and the teacher says they are wrong -2 x -3 is +6 because –=+. Why? A physicist might then say two negative things attract and become positive, but isn’t it more sensible to go with what the kids say -6? After telling the kids many times and making them fail tests if they go with intuition we get the agreement that -x- = +, and -/- = +.

We have made agreements based on assumptions that mathematicians have made. And we have begun to get into interesting quantum territory with some of these assumptions. How many numbers between 0 and 1? Infinite. That’s absurd. We can have some kind of notional concept of fractions – ½ a cake, 0.1 is a tenth of an inch, but what the hell is an irrational number? And if there is such a thing as an irrational number what is the point? I can see some point in 3 apples, ½ a cake, a 1/10 of an inch, but what is an irrational number? Yet we can use π to find areas of circles – it has a practical use.

But then what’s the use of negative numbers? They’re unreal. But then because we accept the definition of multiplication we can make them real by squaring them -3*-3 = 9 and we can have 9 apples.

So by examining numbers we can see that there all kinds of assumptions. And importantly we take a rule for negative numbers that is not perhaps intuitive, and we can make negative numbers “real” by squaring them. It works. And this is an important assumption for quantum theory, and it is an assumption that most kids do not at first find intuitive.

We then get further intuitive errors:- x2 = 9, so x=3. As a maths teacher I have to mark this wrong – absurd, maybe I give half marks. Now that we have negative numbers the answer is that x = -3 or +3, without taking -3 as a possible answer there are situations of practical relevance that would not be included – sorry can’t think of one but they are there.

By accepting negative numbers we can introduce a practical situation that we all accept. We have already seen a number line with negative numbers but what about graphs what do they mean?

And then we get

for some reason -x and -y have not been marked.

But we know all this, it is real. Now I hope you will start to say, it is not real it is just part of what we assume. Number is riddled with assumption but it works especially if we go to school get rid of intuition and accept the rules and conventions and make an agreement.

So maths enquiry said great, we have come with the answer to the question x2 = 9 as ±3, so now how about answering this equation x2 = -4? So we are looking for a number which when we square it gives a number that doesn’t exist. Here is what maths did. They said that -4 can be written as -1×4 so if we take the square root we get √-1 and √4. We now accept that √4 is ±2, but what do we do with √-1? What’s the square root of something (-1) that doesn’t exist? Everybody calls it “i”. So the answer to the question x2 = -4 every mathematician and scientists accepts as ±2i.

Here’s the rub. This “i” is an assumption about an assumption, and it is arrived at by a rule that -x- = +. And it is arrived at by an assumption that it is reasonable to say that we can have a thing called i where i2 = -1.

And where do we find i? In Schrodinger’s equation.

Here is what I feel about this. I can accept numbers as existing such as 1,2,3, … These are natural (they are actually called natural numbers). Between 1 and 2 there are an infinite number of numbers some of which are irrational. Absurd. Then we extend to negative numbers there is some kind of intuitive acceptance when we see negative as meaning go back or go down on axes:-

But this is just a way of explaining, it isn’t “real” – although maths people call these axes of real numbers.

But then we get to “i” imaginary numbers. We even draw axes for these, and give it a “funny” name – Argand diagram – to make them look as if they exist.

But imaginary numbers are invented to make calculations about something that is made up (i=√-1) about something (-1) that is made up. And yet Thuan has happily compartmentalised his observation so long as there is mathematical language, and has compartmentalised the assumptions. I am not having a pop at Thuan, I could have said the “natural sciences”.

What is wonderful about imaginary and negative numbers is that if you are using equations all you have to do is square them and they become real. i2 = -1 and (-1)2 = 1. To make imaginary stuff real all you have to do is square them. When you look at the development of maths it all seems perfectly reasonable, I want to solve x+3 = 0, I want to solve x2 + 4 = 0 so I invent numbers and rules. But what you have done is use maths to make imaginary stuff real.

Now making imaginary stuff real normally seems a waste of time. When little kids come up with imaginary friends we find the nicest way we can of telling our kids that they don’t exist, they’re not real, and we basically find a nice way of getting rid of them. However making imaginary stuff real in maths is useful. Somehow Schrodinger’s equation helps quantum scientists predict quantum events, and as with quantum computing these quantum events happen – they are real.

But what we are talking about is a whole bunch of imaginary assumptions. I have no problem with accepting quantum events such as superposition and entanglement as happening. I am quite happy to accept that mathematicians far far far far more capable than I – great respect – are able to manipulate things such as Schrodinger’s Equation so that there is some element of prediction that is practically useful. But it is all assumption, assumption that has a mathematical integrity but nevertheless assumption.

So am I doing a “fake news” on science? In a way only, because a scientist should always be sceptical. Where are scientists going with quantum theory? They are trying to talk about stuff they cannot see. What they can observe is effects and in the sub-atomic arena there is some pretty weird stuff such as superposition and entanglement. What they are looking at however has practical applications, and this is important. So science turns to maths as if it is the sacrosanct language. But maths is stack full of assumptions. Are these assumptions invalid? Certainly not as far as I know, but in the sub-atomic arena we must contend the possibility that the maths of normal space might fall down. What is normally seen as the “laws of physics” is definitely out of the window.

But I am not trying to dispute the maths. 02 = 0, and if we take that new zero and square it again we have zero. If we start with nothing and keep squaring it we get nothing. Somehow we start with i, square it and we get -1, and square that we get +1. We start with the imaginary and we get the real. If that happened anywhere else other than maths we would laugh it out of the window.

Maths is a logical language, its sphere of influence is logic yet it is being used in the arena of the absurd to substantiate the absurd. You do not substantiate the absurd by logic or we could not have superposition. Here is what I am saying. It is the observation that is substantive, scientific verification through mathematical derivation is not appropriate, this is not a world of reason and logic. Accept the observation, use the maths to help validate the observation, don’t use a discipline that is based on assumptions that might well not apply in the quantum arena.

I am not asking you to refute the observation, the observation can be repeated. But when you look at aspects of knowledge which have been observation-based and reject them because they don’t have the scientific verification of mathematical rigour, then consistently you should reject quantum physics.

“Science beyond Reason” <– Previous Post Next Post –>

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Science Beyond Reason

Science and reason, being synonymous recently, has an interesting history. I have argued that Bacon schismed knowledge into reason and revelation – discussed in Hidden Axioms of Science, on the grounds of evidential knowledge and subjective knowledge. However since Bacon, scientific establishment has gradually eschewed revelation as a source of knowledge until recent times. For most scientists who work within the Newtonian paradigm (a term used by Fritjov Capra in the Turning Point – Capra discussed here and next blog), science is still basically particle-oriented and for these scientists the lynchpin of science is reason. For scientists who work within this paradigm experience that is not based in reason is often rejected. Typical of this is acupuncture. Since the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor, acupuncture has been part of Chinese medicine. Over the years the effects of the chi flowing along channels or meridians has been seen as a measurement of health, and the use of needles to unblock chi has led to healing. When western science started to dominate medicine through slash and pill, acupuncture has been rejected as an effective medical treatment because it is not subject to reason. Discussed here.

Yet since Niels Bohr science has investigated quantum space and accepted such illogical absurdities it makes acupuncture seem completely rational. There is however no rational explanation for acupuncture unless you accept the existence of chi.

What about quantum computers? As discussed in this blog quantum computers which have huge potential and are beginning to have practical application. Yet this application has at its basis absurdity – quantum superposition and quantum entanglement. Now although these observations are couched in scientific language, they are basically absurd:-

Superposition – one atom existing in two places
Entanglement – two photons existing apart with a connection that enables instantaneous transfer of data.

These absurd observations are at the basis of Zeilinger’s work that he discusses here. Aaron O’Connell has described metal that vibrates and does not vibrate at the same time in this TED talk. I am only just beginning to investigate these quantum phenomena but a characteristic appears to be that they are absurd but observable. There is no rational explanation for these phenomena (“as yet” some scientists might argue), however science is working with them.

Science has accepted phenomena that appear absurd, that have no rational explanation, and has accepted sub-atomic behavior as being observable and of practical use eg quantum computers. Yet limited rational science is rejecting acupuncture with a record of millenia. These paradoxes ought to disturb every scientist, and ought to create disillusion and disenchantment with reason as the sole basis of science.

I described the path as:-

And I want to focus on insight here.

Insight can arise through meditation; Vipassana meditation is simply insight meditation. Buddhadasa talks of anapanasati – mindfulness of breathing, one result of his approach is insight. Buddhadasa also describes the following:-

Removing the I and mine from the 5 khandhas (as represented in the meme by the body and psyche as well as consciousness) allows for connection to sunnata, and one result can be insight. Reason is one of the khandhas, sankhara, included in the psyche in this meme. In other words insight can occur when we have removed I and mine from the psyche that includes reason in sankhara. I have discussed insight with many non-meditators and academics. Their inability to accept that there can be that which is beyond reason has prevented them from experiencing insight (amongst others). Insight (Archimedes Eureka for example) can arise beyond reason in the same way that quantum paradoxes can arise beyond reason – whatever rational work led up to the Eureka moment.

Whilst some of science still hides behind the words “quantum theory”, phenomena such as the absurdities of superposition and entanglement can be used with beneficial result. Personally insights that I have experienced when beyond reason have application in daily life. Meditation the stilling of the mind by following the breath or otherwise can have huge personal benefits without apparent rational justification. Going beyond reason is now a legitimate scientific activity, ignoring meditation because we hold to reason is a limitation in much the same way as dismissing quantum realities. The dual state of science, quantum and reason, parallel the Buddhist understanding of khandhas and beyond. What an indictment of those who cling to reason and intellect!

Surely scientists have to have disillusion and disenchantment with a background that is purely based in reason if there is sufficient enquiry?? Surely??

“Entangled for war” <– Previous Post Next Post –> “Smoke and Mirrors”

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Entangled for War

Yesterday a friend told me about quantum computers and their instantaneous abilities. He understood little but was intellectually fascinated – as he is a slave to his intellect so my arrogance immediately dismissed him. Shame. I did however have sufficient integrity to investigate and will apologise.

I have a very limited understanding of what happens but here goes. It is an observable phenomenon of photons that they can exhibit the same properties instantaneously in two places. Somehow if these photons have opposite polarity there is a property of instantaneous transfer. Sorry to be so vague, I don’t understand.

However vague my understanding science has been able to turn this property into some practical use. Apparently a scientist, Zeilinger, has demonstrated the use of quantum theory practically. Here is a talk he gave, I don’t understand it. Basically it relies on 3 observations – superposition, randomness and entanglement. Something like 2 photons that had been connected have the same properties even though they have been separated. This does not make sense to me but what I can accept is that it has been observed and these observations can be repeated. This is what I argue about for meditation, it can be observed and repeated and therefore it is science. And then there is gravity. Gravity has been accepted for centuries – Isaac Newton. Its properties have been used by science and there are equations involving gravity that are used practically. Yet how does gravity work? I’m glad it does, walking on earth can be pleasant – certainly useful.

Zeilinger describes here (17.40 to 18.30) a new way of thinking of information. “Information is a fundamental constituent of the universe … Information might be more basic than matter … Information that characterises two systems transcends all limitations of space and time.”

Here is a description of transfer of data using quantum computers. I don’t understand how it has been done but data has been transferred – an observable reality. Serious quantum computers are here, if the FT are discussing it then we know this.

But here is the mandtao rub, and it somewhat ominously comes from the Los Alamos lab (Oppenheimer). Here is a quote from the FT article “John Sarrao, associate director for theory, simulation, and computation at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, is among the scientists looking at how to invest in the technology. The organisation, best known for its work on nuclear weapons, is taking a long-term view of quantum computing from a national security point of view.” That frightens the hell out of me. Note the use of the euphemism “national security” – how the West (primarily) disguises its efforts at global hegemony and profit-making through violent oppression.

Here is what I do understand. Computers we now use are based on the electrical transfer of data using bits (binary digits). Fundamentally “classic” computers transfer data through electricity by the use of on-off switches, and through this transfer of data computers are able to be used to do so many fantastic things – at the same time “classic” computers are able to create the threat of AI and use smart bombs and drones. Developments in computers (new generations of computers) are measured in terms of the speed of processing, the faster the processing of data the more they can do.

Quantum computing freaks me out because it takes this understanding to a new level. The processing is faster because it is instantaneous – superposition. Secondly is the notion of Qubits. Basically quantum computers can store data in these Qubits – whatever they are, and they are transferred instantaneously. Frightening computer power.

Where is the investment in quantum computing coming from? At present most investment appears to be within the computer industry itself, as can be gleaned from the FT article. But defence is moving in – note here defence is a euphemism for western hegemony. This article from Sputnik News describes global focuses on quantum computing investment, and China leads the way. The article suggests that China will have the capability of hacking western military usages. In other words China will soon become an enemy of NATO, and enemies could mean war. Here is a military view of the quantum arms race that is freaky as well. This article has no moral content, he is just playing fear tactics to ramp up the quantum race for greater US government investment. With people like Major Ryan Kenny ramping up a global arms race in the FT, what future does it hold for humanity?

With this new leap in quantum computing – new to me as being realistic, the need for a HFP-protocol is even more urgent.

“Bostrom” <– Previous Post “Science beyond Reason” Next Post –>

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Bostrom

Nick Bostrom has written a book called Superintellignce, Paths and Dangers, Strategies. It is fascinating to listen to the efforts that have been made to make AI. To be perfectly honest there is stuff he talks about I don’t understand, and there’s stuff there I could never understand so that is why he is an Oxford prof – Oxford is definitely the place I would go to find a white prof.

He began the book with a parable that talks of sparrows, owls and the sparrows inviting owls into their nests without knowing whether the owls eat sparrows. Except Scronkfinkle warns the sparrows, and he dedicates his book to Scronkfinkle. Whilst the sparrows of Scronkfinkle’s nest might be dinner there would still be other sparrows. With AI the worst case scenario would be that there would be no sparrows left!! Am I being picky?

He begins his preface with “Inside your cranium is the thing that does the reading.” Whilst I don’t know of any humans without a cranium who can read, this statement makes me tirade, but not here … maybe.

What is so fascinating is what they have been able to achieve. Years ago they were thinking that they couldn’t invent a machine to win at chess, now it is done. In some ways this is impressive, I would get very little further than 4 moves against Gary Kasparov. But whilst the AI is beating me at chess, I had eaten a pizza, drank coffee, and watched a swan at the nearby lake. Meanwhile I was very grateful that another AI had cleaned the house … and I am not going to mention Sophiabot who (which?) gave me pleasure in the bedroom this morning.

What I am getting at is that despite the great advances, the level of multi-tasking that women and some men can do, an AI cannot. So the question is whether I should have used “as yet” in that sentence.

Suppose we lived in a society where we are measured by our ability at chess, and only the best chess players survive, then what we have done is to invent a machine which will end our survival. Therefore before we invent the chess-AI we should have invented the HFP so that the chess-AI could not wipe out humanity. An obvious point.

Now there is a freaky but realistic scenario that we have to consider and that is I J Good’s intelligence explosion – “their” terms as I don’t see it as intelligence. We invent AI that can design AI , they design new AI that has more AI etc. There will be an explosion of AI that would make human intelligence appear minimal so why not swat the mosquito that is irritating?

This sounds a suitable doomsday scenario except for questions about intelligence.

Then there is developing intelligence from child’s brains because it is considered easier to invent a child’s brain, apply conditioning and experience, to get adult intelligence.

And there is brain emulation. Get a brain – I can’t remember whether Bostrom said it was dead or alive???, make this brain so that the AI has all the connections the human brain has.

But reading Bostrom is so infuriating. Sometimes I listen (in the car), and I have to turn it off – of the words I describe him the politest is fool. And this is an Oxford prof. There are two areas in which this occurs – spirituality and politics. Bostrom is working for British academia so indirectly he is working for the British government, NATO … Trump. How responsible to the human race to deliver war-capable AI to the leading colonialists, to an alliance run by a country whose government dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. And Trump …

Where is the power? Without Oppenheimer there was no Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Without gunpowder where was British colonialism? Without scientists where would there be drone deaths and smart-bomb deaths. Scientists take this scourge off your shoulders.

Scientists need to stand up and put safety first

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HFP-Enabled Platforms

I have got somewhere, it feels good. This so-called scientific enquiry was just heading down a hole of political rhetoric. But not now because there is a solution or at least a potential solution.

It’s a long time since I have read Asimov’s books but here is what I remember of them. There was this positronic brain whose 3 laws were inviolable. The stories were concerned with how people tried to manipulate the laws for their own ends. Therefore there was an assumption underpinning Asimov’s work that humanity in general had to develop robots in such a way that they could not be manipulated by an individual to cause harm. The positronic brain, although AI – whatever that means, could not be used for harm – first law.

It is this that I am talking about with the Humanity First Protocol (HFP), what we need is a neopositronic brain with HFP. This has to be the platform on which AI is built.

The problem with our computer systems in real life is the platforms – Windows, Apple, Linux – they have no HFP. So there is the solution, legally mandate these platforms to have HFP. Then make it illegal to tamper with the platform, and then we have the end of AI problems. A simple straight forward solution if our governments are in control and want to control AI – mandate the existing computer platforms to have HFP.

Don’t get me wrong. The problem of how to enact a HFP is difficult but governments could insist it happens – if they have control.

I started this investigation by considering AI in robots then weapons and then computers in general. Now all of these have as a basis these platforms so by having a HFP in place we have control of the situation with regards to AI-Robotics, AI-weaponry and the supercomputer controlling our lives. It is so clear – control the platforms so they put humans first – HFP.

Imagine how useful this HFP could be. House security could be designed on platforms with HFP so that guns could be prevented from entering into homes, buildings, cars etc. As soon as guns are in the building alarms go off.

What about manufacture and sales of armaments. Computers could not be used for these because of HFP. These platforms are already global, HFP-enable the platforms, and there would be a vast reduction in armaments and therefore killing. I use the word reduction, it would not be a panacea – there would need to be some sort of global protection and enforcement in place. But it would be a solution.

No I am not being naïve, this of course is not going to happen. The 1% will not allow governments to insist on HFP-enabling, I know this.

But remember this is part of the Path of Scientific Enquiry, and the operative word here is Enquiry. For an Enquiry to be part of the Path, the individual scientist must make the decision. As a scientist you are working on AI. You work with people such as those who wrote the Open Letter with Hawking, and you say we don’t want AI to be used for killing, and you say we want platforms to be HFP-enabled.

Are you compassionate scientists or Oppenheimers?

Answer this question for yourself. Will they enable HFP? Then you will know who you are working for, what science is working for. Asking me you can reject the answer because you can say I am biassed – although I think I am not because I have already enquired and reached an answer. Have you?

Have you enquired?

Are you a scientist? Don’t you think you should enquire?

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3rd Revolution in Weaponry

Watch this clip of people who describe AI weapons as the third revolution in warfare. The first was gunpowder in which, primarily the British, used this weapon to develop effectively a global colony. Whilst the Chinese invented gunpowder they did not particularly use it to develop a global empire but the British did.

As part of that empire the British colonised the US, and then the US fought for independence kicking out the British When the second revolution in warfare – nuclear weapons – came, the US had effectively taken over the British colonial empire, and they were in conflict with the Soviet Union. This happened when I was young and we were all frightened of nuclear holocaust.

This clip now warns of a third revolution in warfare – AI weapons, do we need to be frightened again? As the NRA says “guns don’t kill humans kill”, are we in a position to think that humans will not use AI weapons? Are we in a position to think that the use of such weapons will not cause global destruction?

One of the protagonists in a competitive AI race has a historical descendency connecting them – British, the US, NATO. In the first weapons revolution the British were the clear aggressors, with nuclear weapons the US were the first to use a nuclear bomb against the people of Japan, and they were part of the conflict which reached a crescendo at the Bay of Pigs. Now we have the potential of AI destruction, what are we doing about it? Instead of trying to control it we are entering into an arms race dominated by the same hegemonic influences that misuse the first two weaponries.

The world needs to wake up and recognise that these same forces are in control. Forces that expanded through colonialism, forces that established a US hegemony after the Second World War in part by use of nuclear weapons, forces that continue to seek expansion are in control of the AI race.

We need to block this race. We need to establish a Humanity First Protocol where advances in AI, however they occur, do not threaten human beings. There is some sort of global treaty on chemical weapons, I have no idea how enforceable it is. We need an enforceable Humanity First Protocol to be applied to all computers especially AI. We need to build into all such software this Protocol so that we can know that AI-weapons cannot be used against humanity.

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This already feels too late. It is never too late but things have gone way too far, and “middle people” are ignoring the problem.

When I began thinking about AI concerned with government systems (as opposed to robots and weaponry), I felt even more completely depressed. I have begun to realise that, however misplaced it is, the rise in rabid individualism is a reaction to 1%-oppression through machines facilitated by liberals.

This sounds like a contradiction in terms but this liberal censorship has no freedom. I mentioned how computers were supposed to be user-friendly yet liberalisation has introduced them. The 1% is not interested in anything but their power and profits. If they have liberals as foremen it doesn’t matter to them. And the liberals are hiding behind machines, machines rules require universal conformity. And rabid individualism reacts to this.

Unfortunately rabid individualism seeking freedom has been manipulated into seeing that these liberals are Marxist, so these egos do not support compassion for all and work against collective struggle. Hence we have the rabid individualism typified by IDWeb, instead of individualism pushing for freedom and compassion for all. Their freedom is only for the ego, and ego works against compassion.

Why have we lost freedom? Because there is only profit. There are not the human values that come with compassion, there is only profit and egos flourishing in the market pretending this is freedom.

Why is this AI? Because the so-called intelligence that is coming from algorithms is based on market, as discussed by Safiya Noble, based on profit and not based on human compassion. We have lost because there is no prevailing will to introduce protocols that value what is human above AI. AI in government, for society, only has to make decisions based on profit and market algorithms. Whether the IDWeb reacts with individualism doesn’t matter because that individualism is not genuine freedom but ego.

These insights that led to my depression need some clarification but it already seems too late. I am wondering whether freedom is a rallying call – freedom from the machine. Unfortunately freedom from the machine on the right has become freedom from government regulation, and because of this in the US now we have all the regulations that infringed business being rolled away whilst regulations that infringe personal liberty are left in place.

Perhaps, however, the left needs to go with this as a strategy – although the very idea freaks me out because free trade and free regulation is just a bully-boys charter for the 1%. But we do need a move to be free from the machine, we have to end this focus on regulation.

Where does this regulation take us? Increased automation, increased control by AI. The protocols that are needed for robots such as the 3 laws need to be applied to computers in general especially if government computers start to be developed using AI – machine control by more than simple coding.

Typically now with government agency government workers are facilitating the rules of computers, and the way these workers are being instructed is a methodology that conforms interaction with government as a mechanised, programmed approach – the exact antithesis of user-friendly. In a sense in government now, the differentiation between government worker and machine is indistinguishable, the government worker is the front end of the machine – a human interface, simply a communication conduit. These conduits are presented two ways, hard-hearted people who just accept the limitations or frustrated people who complain that it is not their fault because these are the rules.

This conduit mentality is completely back-to-front, the human interface needs to be the power that holds back the ravages of the machine, the conforming straitjacket of regulation. Instead of being the front end and conduits, these workers need to be the human representatives against regulation, against the conforming straitjacket.

What about the caring professions? These people are straitjacketed by regulations and lack of finance. As a result their supposed care usually ends up with their being front ends for the machine, in my case as a teacher I was the front end of indoctrination and I was good at that because most kids knew I cared they did well and trusted me to work in their interest. And what did I do for them? Made them into cogs in the machine.

What about social workers? These people care. They are dealing with human situations fraught with danger. They are continually under attack from a media who are promoting freedom from regulation as a business interest. They are not free to use their judgement. Rather than build up human experience these caring people are constantly pushed into dilemma and to cover themselves they have regulations that protect them. Regulations should not be their protection, humanity and caring needs to be. Politically these people are “nowhere”. They do not have the finance to do their job, and they have the machine and regulation repressing the very humanity that is needed to do their job.

Then we have the law. When I was young (17/18) I would wander the streets in the early hours with a friend, we both had long hair and it was a hippy time when drugs were coming in. We were maybe stopped by police because we were not conforming, but because it was clear there was no criminal intent we were sent on our way home. Young scallywags committing trivial crime were clipped round the ear and sent home. In today’s context we were white and privileged. Back then a black boy could not have done the same. The police were and are mostly racist, it is that mentality that attracts them to be police. To attempt to control the racism amongst other human police characteristics regulation is in place. These protect the police including when they are wrong as in “Black Lives Matter”. Because the police still attract the racists the situation hasn’t changed, it is far worse.

Regulation and machine are intertwined and designed to infringe on human freedom. The IDWeb are a group of misfits who appeal to the need for freedom but however intellectual it is simply frustration – rage against the machine. Because it is mostly emotional there is no clear analysis. Freedom is what is needed but they fail to see that a blind allegiance to the market and freedom from regulation (government) is simply a business tactic – libertarians are doing the work of the 1%. Freedom means compassion for all – an end to suffering for all. And it is necessary to see where this suffering stems from. And much of it comes from the 1% sponsoring nationalism because they know that will help their deregulation and profits.

What we need in our society is freedom from conformity – freedom to be human. We need to end this notion that the human is the front end and interface of machine and regulation. The human needs to return to being the interpreter of value and freedom, the human needs to be trusted whether they make mistakes or not.

We need to understand that the mistakes that are made are usually caused by lack of funding and workload pressure. Why do we have this? Because the 1% have accumulated all the money. The 1% want the AI. They want the machine (government, automation and regulation) to be the focus of anger. They want humans to conform to “machine” because that enables profits. They want to disempower humans whose compassion naturally works against profit-making.

Government people as others want to keep their jobs, they have families to look after. Through automation they enforce regulation that conforms. Rabid individualism rages against this machine but is manipulated into targeting the front end and interface instead of the source of the problem who are the 1% manipulating the machine for their own benefit. It is time to return this process to humans. Humans have to end being front ends, end being interfaces, and people have to allow them to be free to judge what is correct.

To do this they need to be financed and accumulation has to be ended to enable that finance. That is why it is too late, that cannot happen.

Humanity needs to be valued, ultimately that is what the machine does not do. Humanity works for the machine, and not the proper way round. This is why AI is so frightening. Because of the 1% humans are being conformed into AI, and not vice versa. Recently I am sorry to say liberals have been key architects of this downfall.

Humanity first, somehow we need humanity first protocols in all forms of software design, for all machines not just robots.

Humanity first protocols – 3 laws.

“Superintelligence – myth?” <– Previous Post “3rd Revolutionary Weaponry” Next Post –>

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“Humans are currently the most intelligent beings on the planet – the result of a long history of evolutionary pressure and adaptation. But could we some day design and build machines that surpass the human intellect?

This is the concept of superintelligence, a growing area of research that aims to improve understanding of what such machines might be like, how they might come to exist, and what they would mean for humanity’s future.” [ref]

In terms of The Path of Scientific Enquiry examination of this article will recognise how many fundamental scientific assumptions are being made. In the spirit of Sheldrake’s 10 core assumptions, we can begin to question superintelligence. However what must clearly be understood is that science’s core assumptions suit the interests of power and influence, and remember it was not Oppenheimer who dropped the bomb … but he did enable it.

“There is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains.” This is taken from here, and was written by a host of scientists including Stephen Hawking (respect).

This quote wraps up a whole load of assumptions, particularly the assumptions of science that I have the greatest difficulty with (concerning mind and brain) that is covered in Sheldrake’s dogmas by #1 and #8:-

Nature is mechanical.
Your mind is inside your head.

Another way of looking at this dogma is to say that mind and consciousness somehow emanate from the brain. Here is a scientist’s view of neuroscience that encapsulates this dogma – she explains it clearly and I presume this is relatively standard. Listen to this bit. Basically she is saying that the brain and nervous system is what makes us think and move – who we are.

Does this need investigating or what?

I don’t particularly want to criticise this lady, she is a scientist who happened to be #1 when I searched “what is neuroscience?”.

I think it reasonable to associate movement with the nervous system – as far as I know, this leaves me with the brain being what makes us think and who we are. This is in line with the Hawking plus quote in which a group of particles forms the brain … and therefore makes us think and who we are.

In other words Hawking plus are searching to convert the fictional “positronic brain” into reality. It appears they think that by a suitable rearrangement of particles there will be a real “positronic brain” that will be superintelligent. They are so convinced of this threat they wrote this article about it.

As Sheldrake (in his book Science Set Free) and others have pointed out, science was once seen as a panacea, that it will answer all. This quote indicates that process “In the history of science we have discovered a sequence of better and better theories or models, from Plato to the classical theory of Newton to modern quantum theories. It is natural to ask: Will this sequence eventually reach an end point, an ultimate theory of the universe, that will include all forces and predict every observation we can make, or will we continue forever finding better theories, but never one that cannot be improved upon? We do not yet have a definitive answer to this question… —Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, p.8” quoted by Sheldrake. Or as Sheldrake says himself in Science Set Free “The biggest scientific delusion of all is that science already knows the answers. The details still need working out but, in principle, the fundamental questions are settled.” [p17 of 770].

Now science has a new panacea AI-solutionism, that AI has all the answers. Here are some reasons why not. But I fear this AI-solutionism in much the same way as I fear those in science who claim it has all the answers.

I don’t fear the superintelligence of robots. I don’t fear that there can be a rearrangement of particles that can create a powerful neo-positronic brain which will annihilate humanity because such a brain would be superior to humans. But I am very frightened of AI. We have already created AI in drones and smart bombs that are used to kill humans, if Asimov’s Robotics laws were in place they would not be doing so.

The problem is not AI going out of control, it is that humanity goes out of control. The NRA slogan is “guns don’t kill humans do”. This can be rephrased as “drones don’t kill humans kill”, “smart bombs don’t kill humans kill”. And the argument against the NRA applies to drones and smart bombs, if we take away the drones and the smart bombs – and the guns – there is no killing. In the US there is a campaign against guns because Americans are being killed, there is minimal resistance to drones and smart bombs because it is not Americans who are dying.

The problem with AI is not “robots-out-of-control” but humans out of control. Humans are continually searching for more powerful weapons to destroy each other primarily for profit. And AI-robots as soldiers are such weapons. Then the NRAI will say “AI-robots don’t kill humans kill”.

Scientists are researching AI as scientists do – in search of learning. That learning as with Oppenheimer is used by the greedy and powerful to further their own ends.

Scientists have to start demanding that protocols (such as the 3 laws) be put in place for their AI development. AI cannot be weaponry, it has to be used for the betterment of humanity. The protocols need to be established now, established for AI, established for drones, established for smart bombs.

Scientists, do not weaponise the 1%.

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Here is an open letter sent by the Future of Life institute concerning automated weapons:-

As companies building the technologies in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics that may be repurposed to develop autonomous weapons, we feel especially responsible in raising this alarm. We warmly welcome the decision of the UN’s Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) to establish a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems. Many of our researchers and engineers are eager to offer technical advice to your deliberations.

We commend the appointment of Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill of India as chair of the GGE. We entreat the High Contracting Parties participating in the GGE to work hard at finding means to prevent an arms race in these weapons, to protect civilians from their misuse, and to avoid the destabilizing effects of these technologies. We regret that the GGE’s first meeting, which was due to start today (August 21, 2017), has been cancelled due to a small number of states failing to pay their financial contributions to the UN. We urge the High Contracting Parties therefore to double their efforts at the first meeting of the GGE now planned for November.

Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close. We therefore implore the High Contracting Parties to find a way to protect us all from these dangers.”

They are writing to the UN, and they note the problem of the UN; it has no teeth primarily because the US refuses to pay the globally-agreed percentage of GDP. The US also controls the Security Council, and yet the only possibly effective organisation for such control is the UN.

This is what we must fear. In this blog I warned about the US and NATO labelling their others as terrorists, and using the label of terrorist as an excuse for using AI-bombs. The UN could stop them by introducing global robotics laws but the US controls the UN.

We need to be afraid of western-sponsored AI-weapons and do something.

“3 laws & drones” <– Previous Post “Superintelligence – myth?” Next Post –>

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Science fiction has pointed out fears concerning AI and various apocalyptic scenarios; this is the job of the creatives. Perhaps the most famous has been Isaac Asimov’s books on robotics in which he established the following 3 laws to protect humanity (from here):-

A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In humanity’s development of AI so far, have we followed these laws or similar? And the answer unequivocably is NO.

And the problem is racism, humanity does not have respect for the life of the other. And where does the problem lie? With the power in the West. It is the nationalism of the West that is the problem, a nationalism that is prepared to use any weapons technology possible to further its own interests.

The main despicable weapons technology that uses AI is drones, and NATO’s use of drones is shameful. These are unmanned crafts that are being used to murder people in territories where there are no westerners. If you look at Asimov’s laws then western use of drones breaks the first 2 laws.

This is the problem with AI, if it is not programmed for safety; here is a Reuter’s article which says just that. The article is hopeful because it suggests that appropriate protective programming will be in place. But they are not facing the fact that AI is being used as weapons already as in drones and other technology. Protection is not in place already.

In other words these people have their heads in the sand:-

You could argue that drones are fired by soldiers in the Nevada desert but according to Asimov’s 3 laws that would not be allowed. The drones are killing, the drones are AI. Smart bombs are killing, smart bombs are AI. Applying Asimov’s 3 laws neither drones nor smart bombs would be able to kill even though humans are pushing the switch.

Protective laws need to be universal. They need to be programmed into AI now so that no-one can use AI-based weapons technology to kill other humans. And if there isn’t such programming then scientists working on AI are Oppenheimers:-

What we have to recognise now is that AI is already killing, the robots are killing. It is important to recognise the Vietnam factor. Vietnam was a war fought on foreign lands in my view for dubious reasons. The US establishment, particularly, suffered from internal protest and strife because of their involvement with the war – especially when US citizens came home dead. From that time technology was developed so that war could be waged without involving US troops on the ground. Decisions for war are already being taken when home lives are not being lost, decisions for war are being made using drones and smart bombs – not people. This is AI. Recognise now that AI is killing where politically NATO has difficulty justifying war with troops. We need Asimov’s 3 laws now.

No more drones, no more AI-based weaponry.

As I said the problem is nationalism and racism. Because of the arbitrary “War on Terror” all people who suffer at the hands of the US are labelled terrorist and that justifies the use of AI to kill people. The 3 laws need to be applied globally so that no AI-enabled weapon can be used to kill people. If we allow one nation such as the US or NATO to define terrorism and legitimise the murder of terrorists by AI, we are already in the doomsday scenario that science fiction writers have described.

Science needs to stop being Oppenheimers. Oppenheimer did not drop the bomb on Hiroshima, but he did create the bomb for people who are hawkish enough to drop such bombs. Those hawkish people are westerners, NATO. Oppenheimers need to stop working for NATO hawks until the laws of AI robotics have been established.

Of course that will not happen because so many scientists jobs and families depend on their being ostriches.

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