Category: Path Scientific Enquiry


AI Warning – Bush Mechanics

I am a huge Pirsig fan – even thought of studying with the Liverpool crowd (Anthony McWatt) (might have started if there were distance leaning but not now). Pirsig died last year. To begin with his only book was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM), (I quoted him in my teaching dissertation – loved it Corgi [1976] ). When Lila first came out I couldn’t get into it. Years later I did, and now think it is better. I started a thing where I was bouncing off Pirsig – reading a bit then writing, I might well continue the Pirsig Platform. I saw he had died, I wanted to show my respect.

In ZAMM Pirsig was questioning AI even before there were computers (I surmise). Let me explain what I mean. If you read ZAMM there is tons of stuff, and one theme was motorcycle maintenance. I am not mechanical so I didn’t personally get it but I think my intuition did. He would go on about how you must CARE for your motorbike. He would talk of mechanics who just read the spec, did what they were supposed to, then got stuck and were unable to go anywhere. And there were mechanics for whom it was an art, for whom fixing the motorbike was a feeling of love (my words). They got into it, and the bike was fixed properly; the spec mechanics couldn’t do it.

In the 90s I was in Botswana driving a wreck. I am a getting from AtoB driver, that is what my car means to me; none of Pirsig and his bike. I was also relatively broke so couldn’t afford a decent car, yet apart from the women driving to game parks was my greatest memory of my time there. This part of ZAMM was never a part of me even though I think I got it. But the bush mechanics were magical. You would walk into their lots and there would just appear a load of junk. But they could fix cars. Of course they broke down again, and they could fix them again. These bush guys got ZAMM, and have now been made obsolete.

Now I have a new car, and it is all different. There are maybe car bush guys around in Thailand who could work ZAMM magic, but that is not profit for BIGJapan. They have designed these bush guys out of existence. Bush guys cannot now open the bonnet and tinker the car into working. Under the bonnet is now an intersecting connection of assembly units. If something goes wrong the mechanics find the unit and replace it. These are trained mechanics. BIGJapan trains them with specs. Symptom, spec, change unit. Car fixed. I made a decision to pay this way, and go to the showroom. My car is fine.

I had a motorbike here, and I had a bike bush mechanic – ether are lots of them here. I damaged the motorbike by driving it without oil – fool. A bush mechanic pulled it apart put it back together again, and it worked. Something else happened, he did the same. I had screwed the bike, he could bush-fix it always. But it was not the way I wanted to drive – not AtoB. Now my car is serviced, and AtoB is fine. For the big bikes these bike bush guys have already been designed out of existence, as small bikes are driven by the poor in all sorts of condition bike bush guys might survive.

Difference between bush guys and BIGJapan – I am now paying far more money. BIGJapan has designed people out of the process and I pay far larger amounts of money to drive. In Botswana I had no money, I couldn’t do it and I needed the bush guys. In Thailand I didn’t want a car – until I did. I had a small bike and the bike bush guy was fine. I got bigger and there were problems until I bought a big bike from BIGJapan paid far more and had no problems.

There is a relationship between my incompetence, quality bush guys and BIGprofit. And BIGprofit designs out human quality. Money wants quality now, it has no patience, and it doesn’t care about people. If I can pay the big bucks to the showroom it is not my problem that the bush guy’s family struggles.

So where do you go with this? Do I demand rich guys hang around the old car lots I used to waste time in whilst the bush guys tinkers? How can I?

I see AI in this way. Human quality will be designed out of the process. Our world will be changed to suit tasks that can be carried out by AI. Do the assembled cars have intelligence? No. Does it work? Yes, if you have the money. Will the AI have intelligence? No. Will it work? Yes, if you have the money.

But where are people in all this? Where are the bush guys with their skills? Earning scraps whilst a few trained and fitted in with assembly units. And the showrooms have pretty girls.

When your boffs are in the labs working on AI for BIGprofit to make human qualities obsolete, are they thinking Oppenheimer?

“Racist AI” <– Previous Post “synth catness” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

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Racist AI

A bit of a buzz this morning – curtailed meditation. It started with Brian, Hanoi and artificial intelligence. AI will be part of the path of scientific enquiry as will (might) become clear.

Not true – started with Safiya Noble and her talk on “Algorithms of Oppression”. In this she strongly indicated how search engines are racist and sexist. Now this is because of how I assume the search engine algorithm works – I don’t know how it works, and there is a certain amount of secrecy about the algorithms because business wants to be number one as advertising.

Fundamentally search engine rankings are based on what is loosely called the market, the most visited sites are highest up the rankings – assuming nothing too nefarious. Google is an advertising business, high rankings means advertising revenue. It is not based on human values eg the most creative has no component within the Google model.

What are the implications of this marketing model? I contend that marketing and bell hooks’ wonderful “white supremacist patriarchal society” are symbiotically linked. I am quite happy to say as I am not a scientist that marketing is white supremacist and patriarchal.

But I don’t want to get too bogged down in language because bell’s language turns the ignorant off. Marketing is the 1%-system might not raise so many hackles, it is not a huge leap to see that owners of big companies selling products are interested in marketing. And what are the characteristics of the 1%-system? Quite simple, the 1% exploit the 99% for profit. Not a biggy to say that. And it’s not a big jump to then say that marketing exploits the 99%.

For me that does not need explaining but let’s examine it anyway. I need to buy so I have to learn about what choices I have to buy. Let’s take food. I remember a TED talk, I think Dean Ornish, in which he describes the supermarket shelf as having many names but no difference in food choices. I know as a person who would love to eat 100% organic that I cannot go to a supermarket and do that. In other words in a supermarket I cannot choose to eat healthy; I cannot eat healthy although my choices can improve my diet. Market apologists turn round and say people are not choosing organic so it is not available. To counter that I argue that people are conditioned not to eat what is good for them, and we end in confrontation.

Marketing fashions what we know is available, and the results of search engines are based on the fashioning of the marketers. How can this be changed? Regulate search engines?

Search engines reflect the market, search engines reflect society. And that is why search engines are racist and sexist as Safiya Noble says. The algorithms reflect the way humanity acts. I did not say it reflects the way humanity is, and I will get into that later – that is the nub of AI and the path of scientific enquiry.

AI has a similar problem, and we come to Hanoi. In this clip (finish at 74m), he describes AI learning models as basically models that synthesise universal data collection. To learn about cats AI trails the net for all that there is to know about cats and then synthesises some kind of understanding of cats. Put simply AI learns from all that there is know about cats – good and bad. Sounds reasonable.

So what about learning models concerning race? Based on universal data collection in 1%-Trump-world, what kind of racist is our AI machine? What kind of sexist?

So what happens to those humans who do not want to be racist or sexist? If we can understand the answer to this, can we then add it to our AI learning model? Racism is conditioning, if we assume we are all born equal then it is simply conditioning. So as humans we unlearn our conditioning to stop being racist. This unlearning process is difficult, and has many stages of understanding including language, removing false delusions and removing institutional biases (institutional racism). But there is still more. Around us racist conditioning continues so we have to counter the continuing conditioning processes.

But ultimately we need detached minds that will prevent us from sinking back into the conditioning. And where do we get such a detached mind. One way is meditation although for some such a detached mind could be natural.

Of course not all would agree that anti-racist process is what all humans should be striving for.

This anti-racist model of unlearning could be written in stages as:-

Language
Removing false delusions
Removing institutional racism
Avoiding reconditioning
Remaining detached

How can AI be conceived with these stages?

Language is easy to stop if we choose.

False delusions becomes harder. Some delusions are clearly false. Scientific data exists to remove the 19th century racism that black brains are smaller. Black people deserve equal opportunity, but some might question whether they get such equality. “Blacks are taking our jobs.” becomes a little harder, because of the term “our jobs”. I would argue that the 1% are taking our jobs, and that there are enough jobs for all. So maybe the delusion is caused by institutional racism.

Avoiding reconditioning might be easy for AI. If a pattern of conditioning has been recognised it would be easy not to follow such conditioning again. But what is conditioning? And there we have a problem because what I might describe as conditioning is not the same as how others might describe it.

And as for detachment how can a robot be detached. What is human detachment? As a human I might be able to remain calm and detached but how do I then describe what I am doing?

If detachment is achieved through meditation then that is impossible for a robot. Natural detachment becomes difficult to describe, and if it difficult to describe how can it be “perceived” as AI?

For me the main issue with AI are political questions. I accept that we live in a 1%-system in which humans function as consumers for the express purpose of increasing 1%-profits. If that is accepted what impact will robots have on consumerism. The second political question is the Oppenheimer question. Scientists might well define AI limitations but will those limitations be what the 1% want and will they accept it?

But those political questions are not the main part of the mandtao path of scientific enquiry although financial and political awareness are always part of any path. For the mandtao path that issue is what AI cannot do?

In “Science set free” Sheldrake’s discusses his 10 core scientific assumptions/questions (here and AppA) and suggests that a science assumption is that it can explain everything given time. Extrapolate that, and we have can AI perform all that humans can given time? That enquiry is the path, part of the path of scientific enquiry.

“mind/brain frustration” <– Previous Post “Bush Mechanics” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Mind and Brain Frustration


I began watching a BBC Horizon programme on Insight, and as usual ended up with the usual frustration about brain science.

The format of the programme was to look at current research on insight, and that research typically examined the location of brain activity when insights were supposed to have happened. Begrudgingly I recognise that the science is showing that certain areas of the brain react when insight occurs.

When considering brain science like this my first question is always concerned with the nature of mind. Insight would tacitly be accepted as coming from the mind, but what is the connection between mind and brain?

In science there is again a tacit assumption that the mind is located in the brain, but if I ask Thai people where the mind is they point to the heart.

In the case of this Horizon investigation I suggest there is a tacit assumption that when the location of insight in the brain has been found then the source of insight has been found. I am certain I am expressing the tacit assumption too strongly, but that assumption is there to some extent. But it is an assumption, and it is an assumption that I can cast some doubt on; I also note that from my personal experience I contend that assumption is not true.

There are corollaries to this brain science. If the location can be found can an insight be stimulated? What else are they going to do with this physical location?

It is not necessarily the fault of the brain scientist that this question of brain and mind has not been resolved, it is a fault of science and academia in general. “What is mind?” is accepted as a philosophical question that science doesn’t have to answer. So these brain scientists can proceed with their tacit assumptions because academia fails to reach an understanding of mind.

There is an empirical understanding of mind which comes from meditation. When people meditate then they become aware of their own minds and gradually learn more of its nature. In terms of this blogpost they learn that mind is not located in the brain. Hence the roots of this assumption of Thai people that the mind is in the heart because this is the populist Buddhist view of mind – not in my view what meditators say mind is. Now when I am considering meditation as an empirical method of understanding mind I am going against academia. And this is a big point. Academics do not know how their own minds function. I do not know how one can understand how the mind functions without meditating but I concede it is possible. But I would argue that in general academics don’t understand their own minds very few going beyond the cognitive or analytical. Here is a meme showing how Buddhadasa viewed the mind:-

If as I contend academics do not understand their own minds and if academia does not understand mind and its relation to brain, how can there be meaningful investigation into insight?

I want to consider the interesting case of Jill Bolte Taylor and how this puts light on the relationship between mind and brain for insight. Here is her TED talk.

I had forgotten what a phenomenal talk this was, and it was very clear that she was speaking from experience. Her talk was discussing the meaning of the left and right brain, what she called the serial and parallel processors. Are there lessons to be learnt concerning the connections between mind and brain? Her talk clearly points to the left and serial thinking, and right and parallel thinking. But does she talk of brain and mind connections?

During her stroke of insight did her mind reside statically in the brain or did her mind swap from left to right. Was she experiencing alternatively left-mind and right-mind, or was the mind hopping from left to right during the experience? I contend the second – without proof and the above meditation justification.

I am looking for a way that will make it obvious that my Buddhist understanding would prevail over the tacit assumption of brain science. I have not succeeded. When I have an insight, usually after meditation, it is because I have cleared my mind, focussed it (sometimes by mentally dropping it away), removed my ego and somehow have gained insight with a connection to sunnata because my mind is well-harmonised, this might show as some form of brain stimulation but for me that is the least of it. Sometimes in meditation I focus my mind in my heart, in other times I will drop it away in an effort to enable sunnata to flow into my body – this is a visualisation. I tend to think of mind as being amorphous, and that it moves around my body causing function sometimes consciously I move it sometimes unconsciously it is moved. As I have been unable to establish this I have just stated it as a contention.

I have not got over my frustration concerning brain science, in fact it is now worse because I was unable to establish my contention. My contentions are true for me, I wouldn’t waste time with sophistry for its own sake, but there is no simple way for me to make it true for you.

My frustration leads to an interesting question. If a certain part of the brain is known to react during insight, can I move my mind to stimulate that area of the brain into an insight? This is a horrible question these brain scientists want. Aaaggh!! Not at all the direction I wanted.

I ain’t doing it though. If I want an insight I am going to meditate.

Frustration!!!

<– Previous Post “path sofar” “Racist AI” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Even before I had completed the Treatise ideas of writing “The Path of Scientific Enquiry” started raising their disturbances. I began writing it here, but have discovered that far too many of the ideas have not been formulated. I now feel that this path is the purpose of Mandtao so I have called it the Mandtao path. [Aaaaggghhh – it’s probably a book.]

This is also in the way of Honiti, I want to finish that now I have pathtivism ( Ch24).

Now I am just blasted. Scifimuse was telling me to do Honiti, and spirimuse wants me to write a new book. Worn out so daunting – relentless.

This post is a series of notes concerning what I will look into for Mandtao.

Mandtao Empirical Method

What is the Mandtao empirical method?

My view – there are observations/events/experiences that can be repeated. Because they can be repeated then these are events that we can know. In other words these are events that we can give a scientific explanation for because they repeat.

So empirical method is to make observations and then determine a scientific explanation.

This is different than an experiment in a laboratory. Why?

What is lost in a lab? Can a real life be recreated in a lab?

How to recreate meditation?

How to recreate path?

Quantum Theory Enquiry

I have reposted the Zandtao Hagelin blog here in Mandtao. I learned sub-atomic was protons neutrons electrons. Now the smaller we go the more particles we find. Or do we? Do we find particles or do we find properties that we assign to particles? Fritjov Kapra Gary Zukav etc.

Do we find particles because of Newtonian paradigm?

If Bruce Lee was experimenting would we find chi?

If Annie Besant was investigating would we find consciousness?

Measurement

Bacon split reason and revelation. Is science no more than what we can measure and logic? If we cannot measure it doe it not exist? Human capacities beyond reason – intuition, insight, creativity, are they now not science/knowledge because they cannot be measured? Meditation/path?

Mind and Brain

I am just going to post a blog that has lain dormant about mind and brain. In the case of scientific enquiry how important is our considerations of what is mind and brain. When you consider the treatiseplusmeme if there is no vinnana to help transcend then there cannot be a path.

If there is only brain and nothing else, how much is this restricting our knowledge?

Medicine

This is basically the acupuncture discussion only much worse. How much do our medical models restrict our abilities to heal?

the relationship between funding and medicine is back-to-front.

Axioms

The hidden axioms has already picked on some axioms. Monism fundamental unity has not been investigated.

Gaia Assumptions

<– Previous Post “Hagelin” Next Post “frustration” –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.