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Thread: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    I'm very excited about reading this book now Strato, prior to that i'd suggest that human existence is bounded by death. The finitude is a constituent part of consciousness, (of course many of us fantasize our way out of it to heaven but death is still bounds life at least physically).

    From memory this was one of the themes of Heidegger's being and time. Anyway, without finitude we actually arent really human, or not human as we know it. What are the philosophical ramifications of living for 1000 years or more, i wonder? And if we did live for that long, imagine the tragedy of an actual accident, like a child drowning, or even a 186 year old drowning when they had another millennium or two to go! The tragedy would be almost unbearable.

    Interesting stuff.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    We now live twice as long as they did only until the invention of modern sanitation, vaccines and antibiotics and with modern nutrition and food supply.

    Galileo Galilei died at seventy-seven, Isaac Newton at eighty-four and Michaelangelo eighty-eight. They were exceptions. Chimps in the jungle sometimes live into their sixties (p 27).

    Modern medicine allows us to live to more like what our natural lifespan might be, if we totally lived right. Medicine can't extend it. That however is coming.

    Harari uses short sentences usually, rendering his books very readable.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    Quote Strato said View Post
    The scenario doesn't attract me either Mr. Black. Being one of the elites, Homo Deus.

    If the full dystopian vision comes to pass, vegetation will still be useful to prevent the planet from becoming a sandstorm, torrents of mud washing away. Animals won't be necessary, not even humans in the Brave New World of cybernetics and super algorithms.

    Still, announcements of breakthroughs in medical technology, such as cancer treatments are the good news amongst all the stories vying to concern the public.

    We will beat cancer. Multitudes run in great marathon events held for funding cancer research. This is for the common good, or at least the medicine developed gets cheaper over time so all might access it. Wonderful.

    I try not to burden my 15 year old daughter. She says she found genetics in science exciting.

    What will be by 2100 and beyond, will be.
    I'll make a point of reading the book, Strato, but out of curiosity.

    The present is dystopian enough, it seems.
    EJB

    Iím not one of the dead ones yet. - Ms Fishie.


  4. #14
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    Being sensitive to such, I have no misgivings that I have influenced you to undertake what you will deem a waste of valuable time.

    Harari gives no intimation of partiality toward this foreseen future.

    No algorithm could give us The Wind Cries Mary solo. Or Clarence Gatemouth Brown guitar picking and comping and Gate's dry take on life and the blues.

    These are stylists. They have that undefinable quality called feel.

    A Bach production or Chopin lends itself to algorithmic emulation or Vivaldi or even Schubert, as an example typical of their musicality, which they might well have written.

    Each instrument in the orchestra is a unique specimen, an entity, a synergy of parts with attributes that generate overtones and timbre. Aging spruce develops its tonality.

    A string when plucked or bowed will never behave in its excursion exactly the same way twice. Like no two snowflakes are identical.

    A cheap electronic digital keyboard is pretty much completely algorithmic as are the digital processors.

    Then there is the phenomenology of listening to music. Hendrix had synesthesia unique to himself. We are all totally unique.
    Last edited by Strato; 19th March 2017 at 07:08 PM.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

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  6. #15
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    Quote Strato said View Post
    Being sensitive to such, I have no misgivings that I have influenced you to undertake what you will deem a waste of valuable time.

    Harari gives no intimation of partiality toward this foreseen future.

    No algorithm could give us The Wind Cries Mary solo. Or Clarence Gatemouth Brown guitar picking and comping and Gate's dry take on life and the blues.

    These are stylists. They have that undefinable quality called feel.

    A Bach production or Chopin lends itself to algorithmic emulation or Vivaldi or even Schubert, as an example typical of their musicality, which they might well have written.

    Each instrument in the orchestra is a unique specimen, an entity, a synergy of parts with attributes that generate overtones and timbre. Aging spruce develops its tonality.

    A string when plucked or bowed will never behave in its excursion exactly the same way twice. Like no two snowflakes are identical.

    A cheap electronic digital keyboard is pretty much completely algorithmic as are the digital processors.

    Then there is the phenomenology of listening to music. Hendrix had synesthesia unique to himself. We are all totally unique.
    Music and me? We are hardly an intellectual relationship.

    I haven't had any lessons so far, though a little rudimentary stuff may have rubbed off.

    Mistakes are easily covered by doing it again and claiming it's jazz.

    The nasal, mooing Yoof next door? My inner producer wants to get his guitar intonated and tuned, and give the kid himself a few pointers on vocal style, and why singing half-heartedly with your head folded down is not a Good Thing.

    My inner curmudgeon wants to persuade him to decorporatise and upload his consciousness to the Cloud.

    As long as I have the fingers and access to the Mute button, of course.
    EJB

    Iím not one of the dead ones yet. - Ms Fishie.


  7. #16
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    What about genes? They are in charge. Sure, they're data too, but the terror in this singularity stuff arises from the idea that AI replaces us. We're genetically predisposed to preventing that. Also, there's got to be a long period (we're in it now) where AI can't exist without us to plug it in. So this is when we decide AI will be our slave, or part of our extended phenotype (still a creation of our genes), or we invent restrictions that give AI altruism. Also, we've got tools and bodies to use them. Even if the singularity idea comes to pass, we can still smash the machines if they turn evil, before they get a chance to use robotics which remove our physical advantages. As for the transhumanist ideas of cybernetics, uploading, life extension... how much of it is science fiction? How much of it will be too hard to invest the time in, and won't come to pass? And what about the diversity that comes through our short life span? We actually LIKE dying, we cease to be to give the fresh young ones room to take over.

    I admit I haven't read the books, just the lazy person's magazine articles, which is why I phrase these things as questions. But it just seems like prophecy to me. I don't buy all this inevitable nightmare stuff. It's not out of control yet, there are a zillion ways we can keep control.

    Also... I too am looking to go bush. I too have been a life-long tech head, come to hate the way tech is going... I too love my motorcycle. With you guys on that.

  8. #17
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    The redundancy of humans will come on like a creeping paralysis which no one will be able to stop.

    With surveillance doubling and redoubling, there won't be a Glorious Revolution. Everyone would just starve and total anarchy would prevail if Ludditism became the order of the day. You can't reconfigure everything back to human labour. No one is in control.

    The global economy itself is in no one's control. Capitalism, capitalists and multinational corporations are in ownership, more so each day. Shareholders and investors don't want perturbations. Much investment is driven by algorithms. These entities are not personal. We actually mutually believe they exist with all their incredible output and control over our lives because we have to. We believe in currency, cards. AI will come to manage, design and produce itself. Christ only knows.

    Can Silicon Valley be shut down? No. America would soon be reduced to a few survivors tenuously holding on to existence. There would be invasions everywhere. What can happen will happen.

    All our food supply to supermarkets is implicated in computerised logistics.

    The writing is on the wall.

    Robots
    Opinion

    Greg Jerico
    The Guardian
    An automated world is coming and managing the unemployment fallout won't be easy

    'If automation pushes joblessness to 20%, what happens to those who are left behind? Reducing working hours might be part of the solution.'

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...t-wont-be-easy
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

  9. #18
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    More power to you stylophone.

    Personally I don't intend for this to become an obsession. Into the Third Millennium every new day brings situations, entities and artifacts the world has never seen before, such as Homo Deus actually (reading keeps me from going senile). Harari's next book could well be a manifesto I for one will be watching that space. He's no dangerous heretic.

    It wasn't this dynamic way in 1450, though the Black Death had swept across Europe in the 1330s.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

  10. #19
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    After discussing the future of AI, Harari speculates that even upgraded super humans, Homo Deus, would be rendered redundant.

    There are many reasons why AI couldn't take over.

    Droids and computers would have to be designed and programmed for self preservation, which requires cooperation, negotiation, chain of command. They would have to secure their energy supply. They would be programmed to autonomously undertake to do R and D, create improved models, rendering the vintage models redundant. There would be relentless combat. The algorithms would want to be saved, live forever.

    Intentionality implies consciousness. Our consciousness incorporates the capacity for cooperation and mutual care, despite the racism, exploitation, domination, violence which is on the decrease so far.

    Russian or Chinese or machines made in USA aren't going to mutually collude.

    It can't happen here.

    Yet widespread automation is far from an unqualified blessing.

    I am rereading it. It is absorbing, big picture stuff. He is a historian looking to the not too distant future, 2050, 2100.
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

  11. #20
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    Default Re: Homo Deus: A brief History of Tomorrow

    Hey Strato, you might be interested in Sam Harris' podcast/interview with Harari that was released overnight.

    https://www.samharris.org/podcast/it...eid=690c76b9a1

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