Inescapable Technology

5 months ago

“The vagueness of language, far from being a bug or an imperfection, actually might be a feature of language, one that we use to our advantage in social interactions.” - Steven Pinker



Mind Meld
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I am not sure that is a good thing…

Author William Sleator wrote a book entitled Singularity that I read sometime in middle school.

Probably to earn points to get a free personal pizza.

But that is besides the point.

The book’s description from Amazon reads:


“Identical twins Barry and Harry Krasner are house-sitting at their great-uncle's Midwest farm. It's peaceful at first, but soon they realize there's something about the farmhouse that makes locals stay far away. The twins are sure that the locked shed out back is their reason why – but what they find there is more shocking than anything they could have imagined.”

Anyways the point is that this interesting book has stuck with me, probably because of the unusual name.

The title also describes another topic that has a similar concept but that has to do with the tech world.

Technological singularity.


From the Google:

“The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.”

This is a rabbit hole that goes deep.


Don’t believe me?



Check these out:

“Robin Hanson predicts in “The Age of Em” that we’ll develop cheap technology for emulating brains on computers in the next 100 years.

He expects emulations, or ems, to be like human brains but able to run 1,000 times faster and be copied. He predicts they will quickly put every human out of work and create a radical new civilization, living by the billions or trillions in a few megacities.”

With the rapidly growing world of AI and programs with augmented reality and the ushering in of Virtual Reality that we are lining up and paying for we are quickly on our way to a world where this is possible.

In fact:

There was a ”device that can literally read your mind invented by scientists”

“An 'easily operated' machine linked to a smartphone could be ready within five years

Think it is still going to be a choice at some point?

Or will technology truly become inescapable?



RoboCoffee
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The thought of technology reading our minds makes me think of thinking (metacognition) and the language we use to do that.

I came across a Steven Pinker TED Talk the other day called What our language habits reveal.


What stood out the most to me was the following bits:

“I think the key idea is that language is a way of negotiating relationships, and human relationships fall into a number of types. There's an influential taxonomy by the anthropologist Alan Fiske, in which relationships can be categorized, more or less, into communality, which works on the principle "what's mine is thine, what's thine is mine," the kind of mindset that operates within a family, for example; dominance, whose principle is "don't mess with me;" reciprocity, "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours;" and sexuality, in the immortal words of Cole Porter, "Let's do it."

Now, relationship types can be negotiated. Even though there are default situations in which one of these mindsets can be applied, they can be stretched and extended. For example, communality applies most naturally within family or friends, but it can be used to try to transfer the mentality of sharing to groups that ordinarily would not be disposed to exercise it. For example, in brotherhoods, fraternal organizations, sororities, locutions like "the family of man," you try to get people who are not related to use the relationship type that would ordinarily be appropriate to close kin.”

With machines reading our thoughts, will we be able to maintain the same types of relationships?

In a way haven’t we already loss something already?

But yet, haven’t we gained so much more?


So will the vagueness of language, that Steven talked about, continue to be “far from being a bug or an imperfection” and can it remain, as machines read our minds, “a feature of language, one that we use to our advantage in social interactions.”



Or shall we not have social interactions as we are now accustomed to and will have a completely different sort of interaction, if any at all.

But for now, I leave you with this:

The Thought Police (thinkpol in Newspeak) are the secret police of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is their job to uncover and punish thoughtcrime. The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology.

The Thought Police of Orwell and their pursuit of thoughtcrime were based on the methods used by the totalitarian states and ideologies of the 20th century.

The term "Thought Police", by extension, has come to refer to real or perceived enforcement of ideological correctness.
” ― Ideas found in George Orwell’s 1984


I think this is a wonderful and interesting time to be alive.

What do you think?


The future together is bright.

Join me.


This document is for information and illustrative purposes only and is not, and should not be regarded as thoughtcrime recommendation or technology advice.

I currently do not have my brain connected to a computer via wires, but maybe soon…


Michael


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Robin Hanson is a pretty smart guy. I knew him back when on the Extropian Mailing list. We had a few words.
I believe that he is wrong about the megacities...Virtual Reality eliminates their need.
I also question EM...consider an augmented human instead.
cybernetic plug ins anyone?

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Yes the little I heard/read/watched about the EM was a bit much for me.

As an idea, I found it interesting, like I would a sci-fi novel, but as for the reality or existence of such a "world", I had trouble actually picturing and believing possible.

Augmented humans seem a plausible direction that some may accept, but I am not sure I am on board personally... I don't sleep well enough as it is and I just can only imagine having that possiblity of allways being able to "plug-in" and "keep going".

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Augmented humans have been with us for quite some time. There have been wooden legs since the days of whaling and the Civil war, false teeth even longer. Today the tech is advancing MUCH faster than most people are aware of.

I expect that fairly soon elective amputations will be fairly common. To get those fancy cybernetic ones you know?
what follows will be VERY interesting...

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Right you are.

They are, however, still pressing for the development of smart cities "building a theoretical urban zone “from the internet up,” with some of the same tools and principles that have fueled success at many tech companies."

They will probably be free and provide UBI, I'm guessing. All it will cost is any perceived shred of privacy you have left.

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Follow the money. Who has what to gain?