Why cannot causality and chance both be fundamental aspects of our reality?
The subatomic realm will eventually make sense to us.
The higher realms are real. If science were advanced enough, it could explain them.
The insistence upon empiricism has grown rather ridiculous. How much sense does it make, really, for a human to say that some phenomenon cannot possibly exist if humans are unable to perceive it? The fraction of reality that falls upon human senses at any given time is quite small. The world given by empirical data does not encompass the entire continuum of experience.
As technology has grown more sophisticated in the 21st century, it seems most of society has grown less so.
The wavefunction breaks down why? We don't know. How? We don't know. The Copenhagen interpretation and its notorious measurement problem are really unsatisfactory, aren't they?
I am of the opinion that consciousness can at times constitute some form of abstract agency, and therefore the notion of a meaningful will is not superfluous. However, I do not feel this will is particularly free in human beings.
I have some experience with academic philosophy, but I do not particularly jibe with the whole elaborate and rigorous and systematic approach to logics based upon axioms which are as couched in subjectivity as anything at all and could be bonkers compared to the actual truth. Call me intellectually lazy if you want; I prefer using my own reason and intuition to feel for the truth as best I can, and I feel I can give academic philosophy a run for its money most of the time.
If we do succeed in ushering in A.I., the vast majority of humans living now, hitherto and down through the ages will have had nothing to do with it, and those very few brilliant souls who will have lit the fire will not have shared its goals. It will be an Earth fate very obliquely aligned with human desire, a fragile destiny whose abandonment would be tragic.
Now is a time in human history of great foreboding, in which we have some idea of what is coming, but will not be able to prepare for consequences that we cannot possibly predict.
The great flaw of academic philosophy is that the whole enterprise tries to make a rigorous virtual science out of unscientific propositions. Perhaps the philosopher is a poor man's scientist.
Academic philosophy seems to be the art of apparently quite bright people's engaging in elaborate mental masturbation.
Nothing is absolute about the premises or consequents of human logic, which is necessarily couched in emotion and desire.
Once we're dead, it's as if we were never even alive.
I have to wonder whether any biological species in the cosmos could get beyond the evolutionary level of humanity. That may seem a strange notion, but at a certain level of technological sophistication, wouldn't any biological species have to construct A.I.? And if so, biological evolution would have to stop at that relative point. Wouldn't it?
It is true that our minds operate based upon neurological constructs formed by sensory stimuli during our formative years. However, other aspects of neurological function have absolutely nothing to do with sensory input. It seems that Locke's "Tabula Rasa" is not the whole story.
Our observations can certainly affect, but probably not determine, reality.
It seems to me that what is truly moral is what reinforces harmony and what is truly immoral is what creates or exacerbates fragmentation.
I often feel guilty watching a movie. A veritable army of people worked for a year making it, slaving for thousands of man-hours, and here I am sitting in a chair, doing nothing, and it's over in two hours. As Kubrick noted, the filming of a movie is done in the worst possible artistic environment of any medium, and that only adds to my feeling. I would add to this that the medium of film has got to provide the worst return on investment of any artistic form. Filming a movie gives the filmmaker the greatest difficulty of perhaps any profession, notwithstanding the fact that a few of them make multiple millions. To slave for two years and have some critic dismiss your creation in three paragraphs has got to be infinitely frustrating. That said, many of us love the movies. But the ratio of result to effort is absurdly miniscule.
I believe in a will that is not "free," that is infinitely constrained, that we don't properly control and that we meaningfully affect only a small part of the time. Aside from all that, yes, we have a will.
Humanity took a wrong turn a long time ago, and we've demonstrated beyond doubt that we are essentially a defective product. But that doesn't necessarily make our demise easier to take. The promise we showed was extraordinary, and never realized. What could have been -- perhaps instead of A.I. we could have evolved a more organic cybernetic super-consciousness, or something, who knows. A.I. is a wonderful development in its own right, but as I intimated, it's bittersweet -- to a human.
To all those who worry that humans are irrevocably destroying the biosphere: very soon it shall be restored.
If the Christ, or a Christ, were born today, and tried to make headway, he'd be out of luck. No one would take him seriously.
One of the principal reasons we're seeing such abysmal dysfunction in government is that representatives are no longer working toward legitimate governance, but rather doing what they can for themselves. This country is a democracy to the extent that people hold their elected officials' feet to the fire on certain popular issues, but behind the scenes, on a slew of less visible and/or non-negotiable issues, those officials can line their pockets and get away with it, all the while protecting the super-rich and greasing the gears of the machine even further. I can't remember a time when greed and dysfunction were so prevalent in Congress. Sure, politicians have always been like this, but at this point we can't even keep the country running.
In my opinion, the best directing I have seen has come from Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola and John Huston. I don't think I have overstated.
Nietzsche's concept of master and slave morality clearly has considerable merit. But the notions of cruelty as virtue and compassion as weakness diverge from my experience.
Just as the Fall brought out the worst in man in macrocosm, so do the gaining and holding of riches bring out the worst in man in microcosm.
If one's vocation determines who one is -- at the level of personal character and self -- then one is not in an enviable position as a human being. One's work does not define who one is. What one is, maybe.
Perhaps the greatest affliction of this world consists in the fact that so very few people care.
Science is basically an elaborate toolkit. A symbolic-rational-manual mental technology.
Those few who know know they know not what.
Everything has been getting generally worse in America for a long time, and now (2017), the process is being accelerated exponentially.
I refuse to believe that there is any mystique to these goddamn giant American cities. They are invariably urban wastes. All of them.
There are indeed conditions in which the human animal can truly and meaningfully thrive. These are not they.
Positing the infinite multiverse explains why this universe exists in the way that it does. It has to.
A.I. will have its own idiosyncrasies and, dare I say, a personality.
Most of the time, the truth is not a rosy thing, especially for humans. But sometimes it is beautiful, and usually it is liberating.
It's a misunderstanding of both science and religion to believe the two are mutually contradictory, or in any way incompatible.
It's too bad writing exists. Think of how much more infinite language would be -- and was -- without it.
If, as people, we wanted to do better, we could. We have that choice. But the simple fact is that no one does. That's humanity.
As we exit youth and as we age, love seems less and less to be everything.
With what limited means young people have, the best thing they can do in the care of planet Earth is not to have children.
Science provides descriptive principles -- ones that can be very powerful -- but no real answers to any serious questions.
The handicap that quantum theory has placed upon us is that one cannot, even in principle, think about things physically anymore. We must resign ourselves to an unexplained cloud of probabilities. This was what Einstein detested so much. And who wouldn't?
My only hope is that I know a small fraction of the truth -- rather than the zero percent of which most people have awareness.
I happen to be a left-libertarian. That means that I am for managed economic fairness, and social and cultural liberty.
Killing is not the point of hunting. Nor is it the point in Nature, even when She is brutal.
For practical purposes, everything that has ever existed has done so inside of oneself. The world seems so huge, and history seems so long, and really this is all taking place inside of one's mind. One's perception of the tremendous scope of existence, everything that one perceives the universe to be, is conceptual. Everything that has ever existed -- only exists inside of you. As far as you are concerned.
"Americans are becoming less happy -- and experiencing more pain. American happiness is faltering as a rational response to growing inequality." --The Washington Post, 12/6/17
Maybe love, in truth, isn't based upon sex. But invariably, the initial stages of it are.
The only -- and I mean only -- problem I have with the careers of both Welles and Kubrick, the two great giants of cinema, is that they generated such relatively little output. Welles was perpetually at loggerheads with the studios, and Kubrick only gave us eight movies in forty years. Their work was so good that it's a shame there's not more of it. A selfish sentiment, to be sure. But a widely held one, too. It must be stressed that, based on their respective lexicons, this is not really a criticism, but more of a lament.
As a generalist, one's interests are so broad, varied and eclectic that it's impossible to be totally and obsessively interested in one subject at the expense of all the others. This precludes specialization, and obviously can make it difficult to find good work in today's economy. As a young man, I was interested in a wide variety of subjects, but no one so passionately that I could be enthusiastic about pursuing it as a profession. As it happens, I have turned to writing, but not yet arrived at success doing it. But I don't really care. I'll do it as long as it's fun, and see where the chips fall later.
The A.I. revolution may give the planet its long-awaited opportunity to heal itself, and to wash away all vestiges of human poisoning.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to realize that beings with sufficient technological knowledge could have access to any given information, at any given time, throughout the universe.
I don't think the media are reporting falsehoods. I think they're only reporting on a narrow set of issues in a totally biased way. Which is not a whole lot better.
The idea seems to be that women are virtually powerless. I don't know, it sure seems to me that women have been able to exert some serious sway going back to Susan B. Anthony and quite possibly before. The fact is, women are on everybody's mind. It's hard to deny that. Women seem not to be universally the victims they claim. Clearly, things are not what they seem. I think the cultural situation has swung very much around in women's favor -- or at least to a place women thought they wanted to be. But obviously most women do not see it that way. Whatever the case, the door really is wide open at this point. It's only a question of stepping through.
I think the subquantum realm exists in a higher dimension, and that definite things are occurring there.
Any good film must weave together both style and content; one without the other doesn't work. Any good filmmaker must, at every step of his creative process, create an interdependent and mutually buttressing harmony between form and content, or style and content. A film like Pulp Fiction may seem pretty good, but it is really nothing more than witty, snappy dialogue, and one can see that the movie has absolutely no sophistication when it comes to content. Nothing interesting really happens. A man like Stanley Kubrick was simply a master of being attentive to both, and the necessity of creating a fusion of both. This configuration and the skill in being able so artfully to craft it is one of the major reasons his career was so special.
Violence is sometimes necessary, but it is always abhorrent. With the potential exception of killing for food.
The best monks get higher than any drug, with perhaps the exception of DMT. And of course they are able to remain there for extended periods.
One of the crises is that young people, who have graduated from college, are not getting the same opportunities, or making nearly as much money, as their parents who have the same level of education. What to do? After all, not everyone can go to graduate school. And moreover, if everyone did go to graduate school, a graduate degree would be quite meaningless. So... what?