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Ssnake

The future. Do we want to live in it?

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58 minutes ago, ssidiver said:

No, it's the mice!

 

Just this week I heard of a 'study' in logic, apparently based on the number of possible universes. Their conclusion was that it was highly unlikely that life as we know it evolved, in this universe. So we must be in a simulator run by someone else.

 

I don't have a link to it, but I saw some videos on Youtube that scientists attempted to simulate how life might have evolved from chemicals, and what they showed, at least in simulation was how the chemicals behaved in ways that looked like life: simpler molecules attracted, 'attacked,' or 'repelled' others, formed more complex molecules and so on. Over eons, over huge expanses of time, this is life itself, and it by and large still behaves like that. Interesting concept, I recommend doing a search for it.

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7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

Certainly ascetic.

 

Not quite. The Buddha called his teaching "the middle way", meaning it was not indulgent nor ascetic. It was after years of practicing asceticism that Siddhartha concluded this was not the path to enlightenment.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

There are different Buddhist strains, or sects, if you like. But the concept of Nirvana in Buddhism translated means to extinguish like a flame is snuffed out. The idea being the way out of the curse is to deny the Will (although Will is not per se a Buddhist concept)- 'say no to life' in an over simplistic sense. The basic curse of life is that desire propels us all- but desire is unfulfilled. When you don't have a thing, desire makes us want, when we get it, before long, we want something new. Therefore, desires are always unfulfilled, and that's life's inherent trap to make us individually and as a species want more- by being slaves in a sense to this desire.

 

That's somewhat accurate.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

Deny attachments- denying even the pleasures which are the carrot and stick incentives that life offers which makes us still not see the world for what it is but rather compel us to still participate, that's the idea.

 

Again, the idea [of Buddhism, anyway] is to deny attachment...period. There's nothing inherently wrong with pleasure. The problem arises when we begin to define certain states as pleasurable versus other states, and we tend to want to dwell only in those pleasures. Existence is change. Everything is impermanent. Therefore, suffering arises when, inevitably, the state we have defined as pleasurable...changes. This is the hidden meaning behind the [Buddhist] teaching of reincarnation. We die and are reborn into other states on a daily basis. These deaths are suffering. It is only when we "snuff the fire of desire" that we cease to 'die' and reach Nirvana - the constant state of contentedness, void of 'death'. Many people achieve Nirvana. The trick is to make it last until "paranirvana" - actual physical death.

 

7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

The end state is a kind of nothingness, that's the breakout of the curse of something-ness (even before we ever existed, none of us had any complaints about that). Most if not all ancient religions have the same idea- that life itself is wretched, that's why they always have these transcendental ideas, concepts or other-worldliness as incentives or as consolation prizes, you die, you go to paradise in return for the hardships endured in this life and this sort of thing. Ancient people weren't stupid, they saw the world around them and the misery and how ephemeral and transient and painful life was. It's not hard to see why. Many people of course don't see it this way, but older cultures tend to have a different view about life than younger ones.


More specifically, it [nirvana] is the nothingness of self. Without self, there can be no experience. Without experience, there can be no judgement. Without judgement, there can be no attachment. Without attachment, there can be no suffering. If one realizes there is only 'the everything', and no 'somethings', one cannot prefer one thing over another...because there is no 'one'. Unlike nihilism, there is no Buddhist teaching that life, itself, is without meaning. On the contrary, the destruction of self (and by extension, the destruction of attachment) allows us to delight in the awe-inspiring experience that is 'life' - in its completeness. It has been said that "there is no light without dark". If we truly appreciate the value of both, and how they contribute to the meaning of each other, we have taken a great step in reaching true happiness.

 

In other words, we can still value the good things, as long as we don't become absolutely attached to them...for they must surely pass away. Such is the nature of existence. -Or- What meaning would 'good' have, if everything was good? Ultimately, every 'thing' has no intrinsic meaning...everything is relative.

 

Long story short: It is the Buddhist idea of the illusion of the individual that I find similar to the ideas of Schopenhauer. It appears that it is only when the idea of 'self' arises (that there exists a will which, at times, is contrary to the "Will") that suffering is born. I have not read up on Schopenhauer, but from Captain_Colossus's explanation, I see no assertion of meaninglessness. In fact, I am curious as to what he [Schopenhauer] proposed was the impetus of this "Will". I will look into it.

 

I am sorry for delving so far into the realm of religion here, in a forum which is not the place for such discussions. Please do not take what I have written as an endorsement for one particular belief. It's just that, as a Buddhist, I felt the need to clarify [at least how I understand] this position. Thank you.

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Ascetic by Western standards then- for example, delights in alcohol would be prohibited because imbibing in that kind of thing prevents one from seeing the truth. The Middle Path comes from the Buddha's experiments in self-denial, finding for instance one end to be wound too tight as the Jains, not tight enough in the Hindu religion, so of course as you know, the Middle Path is compared to a more fined tuned instrument between the two. But the point remains compared to Western indulgences I would say still ascetic.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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More back on topic, there has been interest lately with articles discussing increasing human longevity, and certainly wealthy entrepreneurs are investing in technologies and research to that, and it's not hard to see why: all the money in the world doesn't buy anyone more time per se.

 

On the other hand, there is an argument that at least in terms of our physical bodies, we may be reaching a hard limit at around 100-120 years, even people who reach that age do not resemble anything like a healthy, spry human. It may be 'hard-wired' that humans have a time frame, and attempting to go beyond that won't work. It has been the case that as medical science and access to healthier diets have increased like spans over the last century, at the same time, people live long enough to develop health problems that people didn't have before, and perhaps life adjusts accordingly to make sure that we don't live too long- after all, you'd have problems once again with older people competing with younger people for resources, mates and so on.

 

Postulate: the next step for human beings attempting to overcome mortality is the cyborg, figuring out how to preserve the life essence by non organic means or like something out of Futurama, famous personalities have their brains preserved or something- again, probably introduces more problems at the same time.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Anyone ever seen The Gods Must Be Crazy? A chance discarded cola bottle seems to be a boon, and then becomes a curse.

 

Disentangle and detach from all of this, and it probably would not have increased the net problems as it did. The world is involved, and in doing so it stretched the ordeal out. The world gets involved under all kinds of pretenses while at the same time supplying one side or the other with weapons and military support, the country has been destroyed as a result and it's no better for it. Get involved and it attracts the interest of other rival parties, and they get involved, and now the situation either gets worse or it's stabilized with the regime still entrenched, back to square one, hundreds of thousands of lives lost to show for it, the country is wrecked with no better situation to show for it. So, it's the same old story, a lesson which can't be learned.

 

This is what is meant by seeing the world for what it its, it's right in front of us. Life is never content to simply be a struggle to live but a struggle for power above and beyond that. Life itself would remain complacent and stagnate if it weren't this way, it would not evolve and move forward. There's always something that compels life to want to overtake and consume others,  conquer the weak and strange, simply giving humanitarian and food aid to one side isn't enough, of course tribalism kicks in, rival ethnic groups have to clash and things like this, they won't simply get along. The same forces which propelled life to begin with as the ancient Earth congealed and cooled are the same ones theoretically in play. So if you see what I mean therefore.

 

In the First World, we have the illusion that government and civil society create a semblance of balance, but what happens is life behaves in a way that seems to fly under the radar-  one still competes, one does so kind of anesthetized by materialism and pop culture. 

 

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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On 10/18/2016 at 0:55 PM, Marko said:

Pure speculation on my part but I think holographic games will be the future.

there's a few start ups out there already the pic below is a demo concept from one its a holographic table .

Looks like it would last about a day in my house. LoL

 

 

 

holocube-hc40-40-inch-holographic-display-5-600x404.jpg

 

 

With your clan?

 

About five feckin' minutes, mate. :D

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A friend of mine attends CES in Las Vegas every year, and apparently the robots have been getting better and more lifelike every year.

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/07/at-ces-robots-that-can-recognize-if-youre-sad.html

 

We are on the verge of companion robots, girlfriend robots, sex robots going on sale in 2017.

 

Why are these changes so punctuated at this time? I think this is what supply and demand and Darwinian evolution predict. We like to talk about these concepts as if they are real, but as if they apply to everything but ourselves, as if human behavior isn't deterministic or as if it lies outside of these domains as we describe the rest of the world around us existing apart from ourselves.

 

I think the explanation is more or less: as the bar keeps getting raised for success and attractiveness, increasingly the females in post industrial societies, who can earn the same amount as men, as men compete with both women and computers and machines in the work place, the value of men naturally has decreased and women increasingly only find those higher status men attractive- men have to have it all: looks, status, career, and so on, more and more men find themselves not attracting female attention, and so the response is to meet these needs artificially. They've already seen this in Japan, this theory would explain the collapse of social relationships there, where things like manga, video games, robotics, anime basically are the means the generations of younger males find any sort of outlet. This is what is going on, and again, it's right in plain sight. The same kind of mechanics which describe behavior in economic systems or animals in the wild generally apply the same way to an evolving human species.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Can progress be stopped? Where is there evidence of that happening? See the world for what it is and even what you might think as good is just part of the same chain with all the bad, one has to take them both together as part of the same Will, if you like.

 

Even when the Earth had suffered some global catastrophe and most of the life on the planet went extinct, life came back again and proceeded to evolve again and life forms behave again the same way- competing, consuming one another, discarding what was left over if it offered no benefit for life to evolve. Like the stock market may collapse, but then returns more menacing than ever. That is tenacity- what we admire about life in its endurance is also what can make it quite horrific, if necessary. That is the cost that comes with it. When life outgrows its current confines, it finds a way. Anything that survives is the thing you bet on, the same rather simple, elegant explanation explains how disease becomes immune to vaccines and new ones have to be invented. Native cultures will eventually just get bought out, you don't per se even need to take anything from them by force, sooner or later they won't much of a choice. There will just be so much distance between them and the amount of money owned by those who own the world, and that is all they will be able to do.

 

So there will be culture wars and fights between the haves and have nots. There will be push back certainly, just like people start to oppose any change that is disruptive to their lives every time in history. But if the strong survive, or at least those most able to adapt, then you see it's all quite deterministic. There may be something to the idea of fate- if conditions play themselves out similarly as they always have, then you can reasonably predict how the world behaves, there will be a paving over anything that was old and no longer contributing to the economy, including people, if necessary. The mystery is not that life does this, not that life behaves this way, it's in plain sight if we don't let our egos get in the way and tell us we are more special or somehow we are different than the way other animals behave, the mystery is the beginning of time, the why or how this all started to begin with. There are two possible question, one is the rhetorical response to the other. 1. Why is there something rather than nothing. 2. Well, what makes people assume there could have been nothing, why would there be nothing rather than something.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Even top shelf predators enjoy affection and company; it seems that would be rare for animals to get that kind of thing in the wild. Why did life not evolve to look life this all the time? What does that tell us about life? It does have its carrot on a stick, that would be necessary at times to offer some kind of incentive, but life will continue on with its agenda. We're trying to evolve as a species with this duality- we want to make the world predictable and safe, or at least for those who have the power. They want to be able to predict human behavior to a science, we'll probably move to a cashless society eventually, all transactions will be electronic and on record, humans are studied and categorized and made to be passive consumers and this sort of thing. And that's all they want out from you. But there is still competition wired into it: people will resist and whoever comes out of the contest in good shape determines the course of progress.

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7 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

Can progress be stopped? Where is there evidence of that happening? See the world for what it is and even what you might think as good is just part of the same chain with all the bad, one has to take them both together as part of the same Will, if you like.

 

Even when the Earth had suffered some global catastrophe and most of the life on the planet went extinct, life came back again and proceeded to evolve again and life forms behave again the same way- competing, consuming one another, discarding what was left over if it offered no benefit for life to evolve. Like the stock market may collapse, but then returns more menacing than ever. That is tenacity- what we admire about life in its endurance is also what can make it quite horrific, if necessary. That is the cost that comes with it. When life outgrows its current confines, it finds a way. Anything that survives is the thing you bet on, the same rather simple, elegant explanation explains how disease becomes immune to vaccines and new ones have to be invented. Native cultures will eventually just get bought out, you don't per se even need to take anything from them by force, sooner or later they won't much of a choice. There will just be so much distance between them and the amount of money owned by those who own the world, and that is all they will be able to do.

 

So there will be culture wars and fights between the haves and have nots. There will be push back certainly, just like people start to oppose any change that is disruptive to their lives every time in history. But if the strong survive, or at least those most able to adapt, then you see it's all quite deterministic. There may be something to the idea of fate- if conditions play themselves out similarly as they always have, then you can reasonably predict how the world behaves, there will be a paving over anything that was old and no longer contributing to the economy, including people, if necessary. The mystery is not that life does this, not that life behaves this way, it's in plain sight if we don't let our egos get in the way and tell us we are more special or somehow we are different than the way other animals behave, the mystery is the beginning of time, the why or how this all started to begin with. There are two possible question, one is the rhetorical response to the other. 1. Why is there something rather than nothing. 2. Well, what makes people assume there could have been nothing, why would there be nothing rather than something.

 

What is progress? Is it the teleological view of the advancement of mankind? If so then yes. The fall of Rome being a popular (though perhaps inaccurate) example. In modern times look at the rebels in Syria or what Turkey is becoming or what Afghanistan or Iran became. If we are speaking of iterative changes in various things, then perhaps that ends in the Big Freeze. The subject of "progress" is a big subject.

 

In any event as technology advances we will probably have to do something as regards economic interactions among people. I suspect that within my life time that there may well be more people who are being bulldozed by economic progress than those being built up by it as more and more jobs become redundant due to the ability to increasingly automate them. At some point this century most low level, entry level jobs will become automated along with I suspect many highly skilled jobs. When that happens I wonder how long it takes till there is the risk of mobs with pitchforks coming out to play Louis & Marie.

Edited by TankHunter

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The term is loaded, I understand. Different people will infer different outcomes depending on what they think progress is according to them.

 

I propose that is simply means going from A->B

 

Is there an advantage to be gained from it under conditions life favors, yes or no. If yes, it does not imply and should not be taken to imply that means there aren't nasty things that come with it- like a river flowing around an attempt to dam it and shore it up, flooding banks and wiping out animals or whatnot while being redirected, but it finds a away- that's the comparison I mean. Life or The Will doesn't care about individuals, but life has a whole; only getting to where it 'intends' to go matters. Life keeps sending out feelers in this way or that way, punching through or rolling over some barriers, detouring around others, those barriers which prevents life from going around or going through- that's the dead end for that particular direction that life takes.

 

Again, if life finds a way, we're all just disposable to that end. We are all collectively involved in the same experiment, life uses all of us and sees what it can get out of it. Some of us will produce things that life uses, many of us won't, but life is inherently like a tumor always looking for another blood supply to tap. It may even kill the host, and that is the particular dead end for that path. So, as it's always done, life finds a way, and really this not necessarily a good thing to say about life. That means if things like compassion or consideration aren't good for some kind of advantage in a world where these things are disadvantages, it follows that life takes the path that confers advantages to itself on a larger scale than the witless poor organisms which gets in the way of its 'progress', implying anything you want as to how wicked or bad or disruptive that may be. There is a reason why we live in the modern world now as we do instead of conditions they lived in the Middle Ages for example- there were people where sitting around just being happy with the status quo weren't enough, they had to go out and earn an extra dollar or influence others to their thinking; the same drives that look for cures to disease and seeks to open worlds for discovery are the same drives to conquer, to replace the old with the new and so on and so forth.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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1 hour ago, TankHunter said:

In any event as technology advances we will probably have to do something as regards economic interactions among people. I suspect that within my life time that there may well be more people who are being bulldozed by economic progress than those being built up by it as more and more jobs become redundant due to the ability to increasingly automate them. At some point this century most low level, entry level jobs will become automated along with I suspect many highly skilled jobs. When that happens I wonder how long it takes till there is the risk of mobs with pitchforks coming out to play Louis & Marie.

 

That is the prediction- the subject kids are learning in school now are technically way ahead than when I was a kid. There will come a time perhaps that everyone has some background in programming as de riguer; it will be a basic skill as arithmetic is. Of course, that would also decimate the salary potential for programmers as a distinct career, and in the long rung if having advanced technical skills become necessary just as a basic matter of being employed or not, the supply and demand predicts the value of those skill sets will become less. This is how the world evolves, the bar keeps getting raised.

 

Some people are now predicting as a result of all this that governments might be forced into paying allowances to people to have a basic income- or the pitchforks and torches may come out. To that end, you'd need to population to be anesthetized and passive, perhaps made complacent with materialism. As long as they are glued into consumerists patterns, plugged into social media 24/7 or some other kind of technology, then the people are easy to control- and it can make a few of them very very wealthy ad the same time.

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On 10/18/2016 at 3:00 PM, Ssnake said:

 

Well, the question really is, what "killer advantage" does a holographic display offer over a flat display?

 

Real depth of field

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...and you seriously missed that, when?

Notice that you came up with the argument three weeks after I posted my question. That doesn't indicate that it's a "killer" advantage, just a minor one which most people would probably not consider worth the considerable drawbacks (demand for volume per field of view that is filled by the scene).

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I never thought about it before, but I can see the drawback to holographic displays, if one considers other problems other than just the limits of the technology.

 

Suppose you could project a 3D hologram image view able in 3 dimensions from any perspective; you could walk around the scene, look at it from different angles, I see that as really messing with the brain and attention spans. Instead of kicking back and viewing the scene, it could just further promote ADD behavior in people as they can't stop squirreling around and looking at the scene from all different angles all the time.

 

The brain really can be overwhelmed by too much choice- we consider choice a good thing, but too much choice presents a psychological dilemma, or what some people call the paradox of choice- when confronted with so much choice, screwing around with selection routines in the brain, it becomes more difficult to settle on any one thing- you may be missing out on some missed angle or something if you choose any one over all the others. If stores stocked shelves with 100 different ice cream brands, that gives the supposed benefit of choice, but it tends to elicit confused responses in consumers, unable to settle on one, stand there in the aisle reviewing at all the choices and dither. I have actually seen this and made note of it several times.

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On 11/10/2016 at 9:09 AM, Ssnake said:

...and you seriously missed that, when?

Notice that you came up with the argument three weeks after I posted my question. That doesn't indicate that it's a "killer" advantage, just a minor one which most people would probably not consider worth the considerable drawbacks (demand for volume per field of view that is filled by the scene).


Last week when I was working on a mod for the new Skyrim Special Edition.  Just try putting objects on a shelf by eyeballing it...

 

I didn't notice the date of your post nor thought that it mattered.

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A stereoscopic projection would help you with the depth sorting. No need for a true holographic display, IMO.

 

WRT the date of the argument, it would have mattered had you been thinking of reasons why someone would want to have a holographic display since I brought up the argument. In your case, maybe it wasn't so relevant. Still, I stand by my opinion that I haven't heard a convincing argument yet why I would want to abandon current display technologies for 3D, other than, maybe, in the form of lightweight stereoscopic projections (like, integrated into normal glasses).

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On 11/11/2016 at 5:15 PM, Homer said:

It would bring us one step closer to Star Trek's holodeck.

 

That's an interesting point you raise- should we want that, it may in time come whether we want it or not. The holodeck will likely not just be for mere entertainment but replace reality altogether- it's just something that people will be immersed in whenever they're not sleeping or in some kind of down time. Why should they turn it off?

 

I'm finding it more and more difficult to argue against determinism, that is, whatever is going to happen can't be changed, every possible combination of events, exchange of matter and energy  already exist in a sense and have been seeded, and like dominoes knocking one another, everything falls into place in time. If one were omniscient and could see the past, present and future, they would see all things that could possibly exist all at once, and no other way around it- by being omniscient, the future would cease to look like the future and would look as real and as cemented and as certain as the present in the same frame. I don't think free will exists, that is to say, there is only the illusion of freedom, since our limited perspective, cognitive abilities and sense data impressions simply do not show us everything and therefore the limited scope of our perspective gives us the impression that reality isn't already over-determined, or predetermined, if you like. Crudely, we aren't perceptive enough to see the universe for what it is and will be (although we have access to calculations for example that the Andromeda galaxy is on a collision course with our own, the outcome is a certain as anything provided no technology is developed to divert an entire galaxy- certainly a Newtonian understanding makes this inevitable).

 

So if you were painting your fence this evening, let's say- all of cosmic history had been waiting for this event to happen right here and now: everything in the past has been a chain of causation that had led up to this moment, all the pieces fell into place: your 'choice' to be there really is another link in the chain which has been moved by something prior, which had been determined by something prior still, and so on- not an independent event.

 

By extension, this is existence- your genes are inherited from parents, grandparents, down through the line over billions of years of evolution, the same sort of concept, you did not choose any of this at all. And so therefore, take this idea to extend into the future- a chain of causation from past to present to future, all things which could possibly exist will exist, and it can't be that they won't exist: if we some day evolve to perfect our intellect and perception of things, it would be like humanity becomes gods which sees everything.

 

Maybe the future sucks and there is no way around it- if heat death is inevitable and programmed into things already, maybe that indicates it wasn't 'meant to be.' But then again, no one would be around to complain, no one would be around to perceive anything wrong with that.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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It doesn't matter if fatalism is real or not.  From our perspective, it's pointless to even consider it.

 

If holodecks ever were to become reality, I don't think it would impact society that much.  They would be much like today's theme parks because they wouldn't be cheap to build and operate.

 

 

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To the extent the technology becomes practical enough that anyone can own it, I don't think it quite compares to a theme park. That would be like comparing an Xbox to a theme park, that is, if at some point people could set these up in their living rooms, it would be a major time filler. Go outside or stay at home and spend time in the holodeck? The way we conceive of the technology, there's no real difference insofar as convincing the brain is concerned, except that the holodeck can produce experiences you can't get in the 'real world'. If you see what I mean, for all practical purposes, that sort of technology becomes the defeault way people spend their time.

 

How habits start and become 'addictions' - our brains actually restructure and rewire with any such habit so that life feels like it is missing without it. The draw to spend time in the holodeck would be so natural so as to feel a major part of life were missing when not spending time in it. Whatever activity someone can imagine- go to the park, read a book under a tree- the holodeck should be able to do that, plus anything else you'd be interested in doing. So why would someone elect not to do it in the holodeck (this presumes that the technology is comparable to something like Star Trek- not simply holograms, but tactile sensations and perceptions so that you could interact with places, objects, people generated are for all practical purposes like the real thing).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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