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Archive for the ‘existential risks’ category

Jul 31, 2014

CERN AND THE EARLY EINSTEIN

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

CERN bets the planet on the early Einstein having been wrong. Let me explain.

After having founded special relativity in mid-1905, the early Einstein held fast to the speed of light c being a global constant of nature for another 2 ½ years. Only in December of 1907 did Einstein switch to the view that c was only an everywhere locally, but not globally, valid constant of nature.

In 2008, results proving that the early Einstein of 1905 was right started to appear in the scientific literature. For example, quantum electrodynamics combined with the equivalence principle (Schwinger) shows this. Up until now, no counterproof is in the literature.

In light of this renaissance of the early Einstein, a previously noncontroversial policy of the famous CERN consortium turns out to be problematical: their refusal to update the outdated Safety Report of mid-2008. Demanding this update has become a priority issue for everyone who learns about its lack.

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Jul 15, 2014

Political futurism, ethics energized by sci-fi

Posted by in categories: entertainment, ethics, existential risks, philosophy, transhumanism
.@hjbentham . @clubofinfo. @dissidentvoice_ . @ieet. #scifi. #philosophy. #ethics.
Literature has served an indispensable purpose in exploring ethical and political themes. This remains true of sci-fi and fantasy, even if there is such a thing as reading too much politics into fictional work or over-analyzing.


Since Maquis Books published The Traveller and Pandemonium, a novel authored by me from 2011–2014, I have been responding as insightfully as possible to reviews and also discussing the book’s political and philosophical themes wherever I can. Set in a fictional alien world, much of this book’s 24 chapters are politically themed on the all too real human weakness of infighting and resorting to hardline, extremist and even messianic plans when faced with a desperate situation.

The story tells about human cultures battling to survive in a deadly alien ecosystem. There the human race, rather than keeping animals in cages, must keep their own habitats in cages as protection from the world outside. The human characters of the story live out a primitive existence not typical of science-fiction, mainly aiming at their own survival. Technological progress is nonexistent, as all human efforts have been redirected to self-defense against the threat of the alien predators.

Even though The Traveller and Pandemonium depicts humanity facing a common alien foe, the various struggling human factions still fail to cooperate. In fact, they turn ever more hostilely on each other even as the alien planet’s predators continue to close in on the last remaining human states. At the time the story is set, the human civilization on the planet is facing imminent extinction from its own infighting and extremism, as well as the aggressive native plant and animal life of the planet.

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Jul 15, 2014

A minor new Result can change the World (c-global)

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

It is a nice game: Pretend that c, the speed of light in the vacuum, were a global constant of nature. Then the Einstein equation assumes a more compact form. And black holes acquire radically new properties. One should not try to produce them down on earth, for example.

Fortunately, this simple game is pure fiction. Presently, Stephen Hawking’s safety guarantee to the planet – the rapid “evaporation” he described – renders miniature black holes innocuous, his recent modifications notwithstanding.

There are some voices that c is indeed globally constant (http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/2608/2469 ). Would this be a reason to look at the issue anew for Hawking and others?

Jul 9, 2014

The global-c “Catastrophe” in Physics

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

To elder children and young adults, it is a bonanza since everything becomes transparent. The “ugly” dependency of the speed of light on the local pull of gravity – that it is slowed in the vicinity of the sun (Shapiro) and comes to a standstill at the horizon of a black hole (Oppenheiumer) – is gone since the distances travelled are proportionally enlarged. Simultaneously, the so far assumed to be added-on expansion speed of the universe ceases to be an option so that the “Big Bang” is no longer a physical reality. A new freedom – a vast new spatial reality to roam – opened itself up.

The same liberation has almost the opposite effect on slightly older young people – those who have to pass an exam or defend a thesis in a physical discipline. They are at a loss as to what still to believe and defend. Most textbooks have become obsolete. How discuss the new situation with Stephen Hawking, for example, or with CERN? Most importantly: How reconcile it with Einstein’s own work?

The latter job is a joy. A renaissance of the young Einstein – of the three years of his miraculous period ranging from 1905 until late 1907 – follows. These years were fueled by the universal constancy of the speed of light c in the vacuum as is well known.

What about the famous “Einstein equation” of late 1915, however: Has it become obsolete since its c is not a global but only a local constant? The equation only needs a re-scaling. The “too short” spatial distances for the elongated light travelling times just get proportionally stretched. The “Shapiro time delay” is now accompanied by a space dilation (“Shapiro-Cook space dilation”) and the infinite temporal distance to the horizon of a black hole is accompanied by an equally infinite spatial distance valid from outside.

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Jul 5, 2014

Löw – the Lion – demonstrates to the World that Perseverance can win a Palm

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

My repair of the global constancy of the speed of light c – the loss of which had stopped Einstein from publishing on gravitation for 4 years – has revived Einstein’s early greatest strength.

If c is globally constant, black holes are radically different – nonevaporating – in contradistinction to Hawking. And the by definition superluminal expansion speed of the “Big Bang” is likewise exploded.

Two canonized postulates gone: So it is no wonder that CERN refuses to defend its six years old safety report?

Suppose the young Einstein was indeed stronger: Would it not be worthy to check on this fact, especially so if it could save the planet from a catastrophe?

The world needs a voice capable of defending the older Einstein against the younger one. Anyone able to hit that goal?

Jul 4, 2014

GMOs are not the problem, per se

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, existential risks, food, genetics, health, innovation

. @hjbentham . @clubofinfo . @dissidentvoice_ .#tech .#gmo .#ethics . @ieet .

Since giving my support to the May 24 march against Monsanto, I have taken the time to review some of the more unusual opinions in the debate over genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The enthusiasts for technological development as a means of eliminating scarcity and disparity view GMOs favorably. These enthusiasts include Ramez Naam, whose book The Infinite Resource (2013) argues for human ingenuity as a sufficient force to overcome all resources shortages.
On the other end of the spectrum, alarmists like Daniel Estulin and William Engdahl argue that GMOs are actually part of a deliberate plot to burden poor nations and reduce their populations by creating illness and infertility. Such fringe figures in the alter-globalization movement regard big pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies and agri-giants as involved in a conspiracy to create a docile and dependent population. Are the opinions of either Naam or Estulin well-informed, or are they both too sensational?

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Jul 2, 2014

AN ACTUAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CEO AND THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CHIEF STRATEGIST!

Posted by in categories: big data, business, complex systems, disruptive technology, economics, education, energy, engineering, existential risks, finance, futurism, information science, innovation, physics, robotics/AI, science, scientific freedom, security

AN ACTUAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CEO AND THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CHIEF STRATEGIST!

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AN ACTUAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CEO AND THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL WORLDWIDE CHIEF STRATEGIST!

QUESTION: HOW CAN WE ILLUSTRATE MR. ANDRES AGOSTINI’S CONCURRENT COORDINATED CONVERGENT SYSTEMS THINKING (CCCST): ARTICULATED UNDER INTELLIGENCE AUGMENTATION AND AMPLIFICATION (IAA) VIA ASIN: B00KNL02ZE ANSWER: BY PAYING ATTENTION TO AN INDOORS INTERVIEW BY THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL HERE:

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Jul 1, 2014

E.Q.-Focused Nations (suboptimal) Versus I.Q.-Centric Countries (optimal)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, ethics, existential risks, science, scientific freedom, security

E.Q.-Focused Nations (suboptimal) Versus I.Q.-Centric Countries (optimal)

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1.- E.Q.-Focused Nations argue that the millenarian applied terms such as: Prudence, Tact, Sincerity, Kindness and Unambiguous Language DO NOT SUFFICE and hence they need to invent a marketeer’s stunt: Emotional Intelligence. I.Q.-Centric Countries argue that the millenarian applied terms are beyond utility and desirability and that stunts are to social-engineer and brain-wash the weak: Ergo, all of these are optimal: Prudence, Tact, Sincerity, Kindness and Unambiguous Language, as well as plain-vanilla Psychology 101.

2.- E.Q.-Focused Nations are mired with universal corruption, both in private and public office. I.Q.-Centric Countries are mired with transparency, accountability and reliability, as well as collective integrity and ethics.

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Jun 12, 2014

Could a machine or an AI ever feel human-like emotions ?

Posted by in categories: bionic, cyborg, ethics, existential risks, futurism, neuroscience, philosophy, posthumanism, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

Computers will soon be able to simulate the functioning of a human brain. In a near future, artificial superintelligence could become vastly more intellectually capable and versatile than humans. But could machines ever truly experience the whole range of human feelings and emotions, or are there technical limitations ?

In a few decades, intelligent and sentient humanoid robots will wander the streets alongside humans, work with humans, socialize with humans, and perhaps one day will be considered individuals in their own right. Research in artificial intelligence (AI) suggests that intelligent machines will eventually be able to see, hear, smell, sense, move, think, create and speak at least as well as humans. They will feel emotions of their own and probably one day also become self-aware.

There may not be any reason per se to want sentient robots to experience exactly all the emotions and feelings of a human being, but it may be interesting to explore the fundamental differences in the way humans and robots can sense, perceive and behave. Tiny genetic variations between people can result in major discrepancies in the way each of us thinks, feels and experience the world. If we appear so diverse despite the fact that all humans are in average 99.5% identical genetically, even across racial groups, how could we possibly expect sentient robots to feel the exact same way as biological humans ? There could be striking similarities between us and robots, but also drastic divergences on some levels. This is what we will investigate below.

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Jun 1, 2014

Is it possible to build an artificial superintelligence without fully replicating the human brain?

Posted by in categories: automation, computing, ethics, existential risks, futurism, hardware, human trajectories, neuroscience, robotics/AI, security

The technological singularity requires the creation of an artificial superintelligence (ASI). But does that ASI need to be modelled on the human brain, or is it even necessary to be able to fully replicate the human brain and consciousness digitally in order to design an ASI ?

Animal brains and computers don’t work the same way. Brains are massively parallel three-dimensional networks, while computers still process information in a very linear fashion, although millions of times faster than brains. Microprocessors can perform amazing calculations, far exceeding the speed and efficiency of the human brain using completely different patterns to process information. The drawback is that traditional chips are not good at processing massively parallel data, solving complex problems, or recognizing patterns.

Newly developed neuromorphic chips are modelling the massively parallel way the brain processes information using, among others, neural networks. Neuromorphic computers should ideally use optical technology, which can potentially process trillions of simultaneous calculations, making it possible to simulate a whole human brain.

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