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CartsBeforeHorses

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CartsBeforeHorses last won the day on November 17

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  1. BitCoin

    I just wish that I had started mining BitCoin when I had heard about it. Back then, you could mine it on a laptop or a PC. Nowadays, the algorithms have gotten so complex that you need a dedicated rig that costs thousands of dollars.
  2. Writing: A form of a cognitive mirror.

    Well said! When I am making my videos, such as my most recent one entitled "You Are A Phoenix," it was as much a personal journal entry as it was meant for public consumption. Crytstallizing my thoughts in this manner helped me to address a key philosophical issue: that of personal continuity, also known as continuity of consciousness.
  3. The problem is not the language used, but the concepts used. Words do not equal concepts. Whether or not a concept is applied to a computer is different from the language that we use to discuss computers. We can say that a computer has "memory," and a person has "memory," but that is, in most people's minds, a homophone. Like rose (the flower) and rose (to have risen). Same word, different concepts. Very few people out there actually think, "Oh, the computer is a living being with a consciousness that remembers" when they discuss "memory." While there are some people out there who conflate the two types of "memory", I suspect that they'd do that regardless of whether or not the same words were used. For instance, "processing" is often conflated with consciousness, as you pointed out. This is done despite there not being a term for machine "consciousness" in common use. I use the terms "memory" as relates to computers because that's what everybody else uses. Language is a harsh mistress. Just look at the word "selfishness" and how most people use it. Again, I'm open to any other terms that are in common use to refer to various components or aspects of the computer. I agree that it's a problem that some people out there view machines as conscious or potentially-conscious, such as the legal issues which Mr. Swig mentioned which could arise. However, I don't believe that changing the English language will cause these people to change their minds. It is the primary thing that concerns me with AI, not whatever people choose to believe is going on inside the box. Depending on the capabilities of AI, would depend on the degree of rights violation that could occur. Just look at how many people's phone calls, emails, and credit card transactions are tracked by the NSA. Another area is with self-driving cars. In addition to being used to track the driver, disable his ability to commute, etc. there is also the concern that traditional, human-driven cars would be outlawed because they aren't "as safe." In this case AI would be appealed to as the safer alternative. While that may be so, that is not a justification to curtail people's ability to use public roadways with the transportation method of their choice. Just like the existence of vaccines isn't a justification to force people to be vaccinated. And here I would agree with everything that he says. But changing the language to reflect what's actually going on inside of a computer, as I mentioned, is a difficult task. We haven't changed the colloquial definition of "Selfishness," so what makes you think that we'll change any definitions for the public usage of computer terminology? In many cases, they are, such as the "Brain uploading" projects. In mainstream AI research, the focus is not on building a conscious computer. The focus is on building an artificially intelligent one. One which mimics human intelligence, not necessarily one which actually is smart like a person is smart. As to whether or not that technology can exist in a general sense, we will have to wait and see. I would hardly call it a waste of money, because there are many good things that AI can be used for (such as aiding in scientific discovery, as you pointed out). I think that is a valid concern, yes.
  4. Anything For Anybody Is Everything

    At the end of the day, even Russel had to wake up every morning, put on his shoes, and walk out the door to go to work or wherever he was headed. His actions betray an implicit knowledge... you need shoes to protect your feet, you need to keep the door closed to prevent burglars or heat escaping your house, etc. When he conveys the idea that "knowledge is impossible," he actually uses knowledge to do so... his knowledge of the English language, and his knowledge of the concepts "knowledge" and "impossibility." Even the deniers of absolute knowledge act as if they have knowledge. That speaks volumes more than their denial that knowledge is possible. Such hypocrisy is what Rand called the "fallacy of the stolen concept." And it's what I call "the most basic of jokes."
  5. I think that, in most cases, the words that are being used are appropriate. "Memory" could just as easily be called "storage," and indeed, in many contexts it is. "Knowledge" has been used in this sense since the beginning of time. Academics lamented all of the "knowledge which was destroyed" when the Library of Alexandria was burnt to the ground. I would tend to agree with you that knowledge and data are different. All a computer contains in its hard drive is data. Knowledge is a contextual understanding of what a concept means, and its interrelation to other concepts. No AI system thus far developed has said knowledge. AlphaGo Zero is better at Go than the top human players, and previous versions of itself... but it does not have "knowledge" of the game, why it is played, what it means, etc. I haven't heard anybody call present AI software "conscious," although speculation exists among certain circles that eventually a form of consciousness could be reached by these systems. Most people who actually work in the field shy away from this sort of speculation--as they should, because if they said that they are developing conscious systems would necessarily entail government regulation of them. Perception? That's a new one. Usually it's called "image recognition algorithms" or something. Computation is an action, which needn't be performed by conscious beings. Nothing in the definition precludes it being done by a machine. My question to you would be: what alternate terms would you suggest to those presently in use? I don't necessarily believe that changing the terminology would change the predictions. AI's danger is like the danger of guns or atomic power... not inherently dangerous in and of itself, but dangerous if the wrong person uses it for the wrong ends, either deliberately or accidentally. In the case of nuclear power, it can also be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. I view "strong AI" in much the same way. Were it to be achieved, it needn't be conscious to wreak havoc, whether by a hacker or terrorist group gaining access, or because it was programmed incorrectly without safety precautions in place to prevent it gaining access to critical infrastructure and using it for ends that humans might not like... such as trying to convert the world into a giant paperclip factory. Or AI could simply be added to the growing police state's arsenal of surveillance in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The NSA would wet their pants to have access to Skynet, or other similar AI systems as portrayed in science fiction... and there is at least some reason to suspect that it may someday become science fact. We can care in the sense that we can suggest alternate terminology, but a small group of Objectivists is not going to change the language. Look at how the SJW effort with "xe" and "xir" gender-neutral pronouns has worked out... and I would say that they are far better poised to change the language than we are. Rather than focus our limited efforts on changing the terminology used in the AI sector, perhaps we could focus our efforts on bigger problems. Saudi Arabia recently granted citizenship to an artifically-intelligent robot. It would not be the first time that a government has irrationally granted citizenship to an entity non-deserving of it.
  6. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    I am honestly having trouble seeing the same threat from the neo-Nazis that you all (except Invictus) see. There are currently zero neo-Nazi countries, with the possible exception of Ukraine. Whereas there are many, many socialist countries, mixed-economy countries or countries where socialism isn't seen as the evil that it is. Neo-Nazism does not have the power to rule, one because of their terrible marketing image from WWII and the Holocaust which will never go away in the public's minds. Two, because it does not serve the globalist interest, and the globalists are the ones who hold most of the political and economic power among all enemies of Objectivism. Neo-Nazism, on the contrary, is antithetical to the globalist threat, because it places the white race and white nations above the plans of globalists of browning the West with immigration. That does not make neo-Nazism our ally, or conservatism's ally, and the alt-Right's alliance with neo-Nazis should be seen as more of a marriage of convenience just as Hitler's original alliance with Stalin. While I agree that if neo-Nazis were ever to attain power, the consequences would be catostrophic, I don't see it happening. Peikoff envisioned a theocracy taking over, which I also do not see, unless you count the technocracy AI folks like Ray Kurzweil and former Google director's new "church" to be a religion. The real danger to this country is left statism, and the bulk of the right will continue to be nothing more than reactionaries. The election of Donald Trump was a reaction to the left, not really representing a core conservative philosophy in himself. The left, on the other hand, DOES have a core philosophy... just look to Kant, Hegel, Marx, and other leftist philosophers. Thus they control academia, they control the media, they control the narrative because they actually have a playbook they're reading off of. Trump's playbook is by-and-large informed by his rudimentary America-first philosophy... I would again assert that this is a reactionary stance. There would be no need for an "America first" philosophy if there were not those out there--the globalists--who were interested in putting America last, disarming us, censoring us, flooding and replacing us, etc. "America first" should indeed be a true component of a larger philosophy of rational self-interest for individuals, and national self-interest for nations.
  7. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Wait, Jews are white? I thought Nazis hated Jews. I'm confused, please help.
  8. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Not true. Have you watched my YouTube videos? They're light on the memes, heavy on the concepts, though explained in rather pedestrian language. I'm not concerned with going viral more than I'm concerned with getting people to think. Though obviously if I went viral it would be great--it would pay me good money through ad revenue--I will not compromise on quality of my argument. There's a saying about porcupines. During the winter they try to huddle together to keep warm, but their barbs prick each other. Even though they'd all benefit from huddling, they don't because of their barbs. You're being barb-y. You don't have to be. Objectivists would do well with coordinated, targeted actions to maximize strategic effect. United not as some "collective," but around a shared set of ideas that we all have. Does a business simply hire people in its marketing department who don't talk to each other, who each go off on their own marketing campaigns to market the same product? No. They interact on a united campaign, with the same sales literature, the same metrics, etc. Cooperation is a benefit. That is something I do in my spare time. It is purely recreational in nature. That is not part of any active campaign I'm engaged in. How about this... you go after the commies and the fascists, and I'll go after the leftists. Deal? We can coordinate; we each do what we're best at. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." That's a common phrase. It's an idea. But it's a true idea in general, wouldn't you agree? You seem to espouse it yourself, that one person that you're eagerly engaged with one-on-one is worth whatever number of people you might "meme" at with unconvincing arguments out in the internet bush. It's true in many other areas of life. A great relationship is worth two first dates. An existing customer is worth two sales leads. Usually, it's far more than two, but the number can actually be measured in sales. I guess "A bird is worth 11.2 in the bush" didn't catch on as well. You don't need to know the underlying philosophy of the guy who first said "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" in order to evaluate its truth or falsity. You can incorporate its contents into your general knowledge. Sorry, I'll get it in the original Greek next time.
  9. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    Nazi messages don't resonate with conservatives any more than they resonate with communists, or other radically-opposed belief systems. Conservatism and Nazism are as incompatible as Nazism and Leftism. People make the mistake of calling Nazis "far right." They're not. They supported fascism, a system of government-sanctioned corporatism. The idea that government should pick winners and losers is a fundamentally leftist idea.
  10. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    No. I'm not marketing IOTBW at all. I don't spread the meme at all around the internet. The most I do is upvote it on r/The_Donald when I see it, to see leftists' reaction to IOTBW trending. I love their salt. I take selfish pleasure in their pain. You're marketing cognitive dissonance. You're marketing making people squirm uncomfortably in their own filthy mind. It's meant to shock. Consider it the same as the graphic warning labels that certain countries put on cigarettes, except this is the free market of ideas at play instead of some crony regulator. Agreed. I won't dismiss it at all. Fallacies apply to reasoning, not to marketing. Marketing is an instance where genetics do matter. Rational consideration of an idea's truth or falsity is one instance where genetics do not matter. Like I said, marketing is all about exploiting what the consumer thinks. This is true whether or not the consumer is behaving rationally... which consumers rarely do entirely; most buying decisions involve some level of emotion, or faulty reasoning, or appeal to tradition, or what have you. Just because marketing is a useful way to sell an idea, though, does not mean that it is a useful way to consider an idea. The concept of genetics should not at all be smuggled into an individual's proper reasoning process.
  11. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    I would never, ever, start off a reasoned discussion with a rational leftist who is willing to change their mind, by saying "It's okay to be white." Either in person or on the internet. I think we're all on the same page there. I might say it as sort of a strategy to use their own arguments against them, for instance by saying, "Fine, if race does indeed matter, then it's okay to be white, because it's okay to be any race." It would be part of a larger argument meant to persuade, not taken out of context as a meme. That's the problem, though. We're on the internet here. We don't have the time to make those sorts of longer, drawn-out arguments... unless you join a forum like this one. Take Reddit for instance. Even among people who might be willing to change their minds, you maybe get, at most, 5 or 6 replies of a few paragraphs each before the other side throws in the towel and says "I'm done with you" or if you're lucky, "Agree to disagree." If you're really lucky, you might get 8 replies. And on Twitter? You might get 20 replies but all of two sentences each. I've tried persuading people who I viewed as rational leftists on these sites, and it didn't work well. I didn't use memes or anything, just pretty standard libertarian/objectivist arguments. The only other alternative is forums. I've used more reasoned, longer approaches on forums... you'll find scant few out-of-context memes in what I write. But even here, people can ignore you. Invictus2017 ignored me for seemingly no justification other than that I "refused to use my reason," whatever that means. The ex-prisoner putting himself in a prison of the mind--he's the most basic of jokes. Notice that I still quote him and use the few of his ideas I agree with, because I don't care that they come from somebody who blocked me. I wish him and his city in the sky the best. Talk about lofty ideas. Which brings us to the genetic fallacy. Yes, origins of ideas matter... to certain people, in certain contexts. Origins do not intrinsically matter though. Some people are protesting the NFL because they sit for the flag, which originated with Black Lives Matter, which originated with a false claim of "hands up, don't shoot" by some thug kid. Are they right to do so? Well, it's their time to spend watching games or not. That's capitalism. As for me, I'll take any good idea that I agree with, that suits my purposes, and run with it... in certain contexts. Again, because I'm not an intrinsicist when it comes to ideas. Ironically, I don't care if it comes from the kind of intrinsicism, Plato himself... the man said at least a couple of things in his volumes of work that are true. Plato was the first philosopher to hold men and women as intellectually equal. If I say, "men and women are intellectually equal," that doesn't mean that I'm promoting Plato, even though he's where the idea originated from. Peikoff starts his History of Philosophy lecture on Plato by acknowledging the good in him. Leia: "Why must you confront [Vader]?" Luke: "Because, there is good in him, I felt it." So to wrap up this whole IOTBW meme. Do its origins matter? Yes and no. Yes, to certain people who are intrinsicist, guilty of the genetic fallacy, who judge an idea not based on the idea itself, but who said it. No, to people like us who can evaluate the legitimacy of an idea independent of who originated it. Alas, though, we have a marketing issue here. What we think doesn't matter in marketing. What your target demographic thinks matters in marketing. Conciseness, and being able to make a point quickly matters in marketing. How valuable is your attention, is another good thread on O.O. which gets into that. In that sense, people will judge an idea based on its origins. IOTBW is no way to promote Objectivism. That's why you don't see me actively spreading the IOTBW meme. I live 15 minutes from a college campus, I could easily hang up flyers there if I wanted to. I don't waste my time with petty things like that. I think it's fun to watch the left's hysteria in reacting to words that are essentially non-harmful... it not only proves them guilty of the genetic fallacy, but also the very racists they claim to stand against. Again, that's the only reason that I passively upvote IOTBW memes on r/The_Donald. Because it's fun to watch leftists stew in their own contradictions. It's fun to watch evil ideas destroyed. It's fun to watch statists eat each other. I see it as a spectator sport, like watching two boxers duke it out. Better grab more popcorn.
  12. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    And they're all on their last legs. The genie has been let out of the bottle for reason, atheism, free thought, liberty, and representative government. Those ideas were not formulated centuries ago, so the darkness persisted in the absence of light. Now they are formulated, and humanity is more interconnected than ever, so there is no getting rid of these ideas. Even North Korea has an estimated 10-20% of the population who consumes Western media, and they're the most tightly-controlled regime on the planet. Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to reform into a moderate version of Islam--I'll believe it when I see it, but they've made some encouraging moves in the last two years such as allowing women to vote, and to drive. They've also arrested dozens of princes with alleged ties to terrorism... who knows how much of that is legitimate, but if even one of the princes was tied to terrorism then it's a step in the right direction. While it's possible that we are headed into a second dark age, as Invictus2017 might proclaim, I tend to take a more optimistic view. Even if America itself does not survive, there will always be some place on earth where man can live qua man, where freedom reigns. And if not earth, there is always the stars above.
  13. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    I apologize for implying that. I was under the impression that Grames didn't provide an explanation for his picture because no explanation is needed. Apparently I was mistaken and quite a bit of explanation is needed, even to non-leftists such as yourself. Leonard Peikoff, when advocating for the validity of the senses, uses the anti-reason philosophers' own (false) arguments against them. He said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "such an argument against the validity of the senses would even apply to God, if he existed. You could simply say to God, 'well, you're not directly perceiving reality, you're just perceiving what the divine sensory apparatus gives you.'" In the same way, IOTBW uses the left's own false argument against them. The left says, "you should feel guilty for being white" and "you should face lessened opportunity because you're white." I could say one of two things in response. 1. "Come on guys, we're all just human beings, this whole race discussion is irrational.. can't we all just get along?" That is an eminently rational statement, but it will get approximately zero traction. We are in a culture which promotes to kids, from the day that they're born, that race A. Exists, B. Matters, and C. You shouldn't hate on people for being a certain race... (unless they're white, the left would add). You can't erase decades of conditioning with a simple appeal to rationality qua rationality. As Invictus would say, you need a therapist to do that. If it were as simple as appealing to rationality, we'd have won by now. More importantly, even when you make the case that race doesn't really exist, you get accused of being "blind to racism," AKA a racist yourself. There is no way out of the left's quicksand when you are constantly forced to perform acts of apologetics with them, constantly saying "no, I'm not a racist." 2. "It's okay to be white." This essentially throws their entire argument up in their face. It points out that they're being blazing hypocrites, because if anybody of any other race said, "It's okay to be X," they wouldn't have a problem with it. By doing this, I am essentially saying to them, "You are the most basic of jokes." The only sticking point with this meme, as others have pointed out, is that it originated with neo-Nazis. I say, fine. The left already thinks that we're all racists anyway. If they're stupid enough to believe that everybody who is posting IOTBW is a neo-Nazi, then they're beyond rationality anyway; they've abandoned reason and there is no persuading somebody who has done so. They have free will to think or not to think.
  14. How Nazis Recruit Normie Conservatives For Meme Wars

    And as a result, even the neo-Nazis who don't support death camps are accused of supporting death camps secretly. I can't read their minds, so I don't know what their ultimate goal is. Because housing discrimination is illegal. The government is actively trying to keep neo-Nazis in our country instead of allowing them to do what they would naturally do otherwise... self-segregate from the rest of the population. I'm not implying that every last one would move away... but a good number of them would as they have outright stated that white nationalism, AKA a nation for white people, is on their agenda.
  15. What are you listening at the moment?

    Interesting use of aquatic puns. I raise you, the Swirling Eddies and a song about a "card shark."
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