THE DELUSION OF WAR

Who Needs War Propaganda for Millennials?

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There is nothing more natural for people to hold different views. That’s what makes us individuals. What might to certain extent be a matter of concern, however, is when views with very questionable contents assertively aspire to dominate the public space through constructs that are completely detached from logic or aggressively assault basic values of the human civilization. Many may argue that contemporary media is allowed to tolerate anything, but when renowned think-tanks get involved in such mass consumption exercises, as is the following example from the Geopolitical Futures presentation in Brain Bar Budapest of July 07, 2017, different views should not be restrained.

At least views on the following constructs:

Inexactitude One: Global War is coming because wars are inevitable.

Wars are NOT inevitable for the simple reason that wars are not a natural disaster, like earthquake, tsunami, landslide, or huge meteorite colliding with the Earth. The character of wars is anthropogenic – wars are planned, initiated and carried out by people. Every war is designed and prepared by a group of people who see for themselves some profit in the outcome of that particular war. This far only it is possible to implement an interpretation of Hegel who “… designed history showing its predictability, its agonies, showing its moral dimension”, and who “addresses the reality of human life”. But analysis of reality must go further. Because you definitely would not expect that the people who come with the idea of a new war are the soldiers for the frontline trenches, who would be expected to die in the very initial stage of that war. The people who plan a war are not expecting at all that they themselves die in the war they plan. They expect to become wealthier and more powerful when their war is over. This distinction is ethically fundamental because it reveals that a war is an enterprise in which some people – military or civilians – are planned to die in order some other people to become richer and more powerful. But the most important point here is that the decision about a war to be prepared and started is a human decision, and if humans do not make such decision, or do not allow some group of individuals to materialize such decision, no war will happen. It is only in the Greek mythology where wars among humans are ordered by the Gods residing on the mount of Olympus.

Inexactitude Two: Wars occur when some nations rise and some nations fall

Well, the Bolshevik leader Lenin has definitely shared this kind of views. But he did not live long enough to witness the post WW2 economic developments of modern world. Japan, for example, became the third world economy after WW2 without a single gunshot being fired. No war was needed by Germany either to develop its economy to the forth position in the world. On the contrary, many economists argue that the main cause for the intensive postwar economic growth of those two countries was the restricted military budget. And if you look at the numerous economically successful countries during the last few decades in South East Asia, for example, that were called the new “economic tigers”, you would spot no trace of war-blood dripping down their fangs.

Wars start when leaders with hypertrophied egos for wealth, power or world dominance, often influenced by military industries and encouraged by ambitious generals, build the necessary military power that gives them the enough confidence to attack and invade other countries. War is a manmade disaster designed to satisfy abnormal egos. The meaning of war for people like Hitler or Napoleon was to solve their personal mental, very often to the extent of psychiatric problems, at the expense of millions of other people’s interests and lives. That makes wars organized activities against Humankind. And Hegel has nothing to do with that.

A 21st century global war could most probably occur if a political leader with hypertrophied ego gets to power and attempts to control the world by military force. The only thing that can stop him (or her) from starting a full-fledged global war is the assessment of their military headquarters that they cannot win that war. The assessment of military can also be wrong – and that was the case when Japan decided to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Japanese at that time had a brilliant military mind – Marshal Admiral of the Navy Isoroku Yamamoto, who clearly warned that military victory over America is impossible. His opinion was neglected, Japan air force attacked Pearl Harbor, and as a result Japan suffered the greatest national catastrophe in its history.  Nowadays, if two powers clash into a conflict, such conflict would soon get hot and would quickly expand geographically by each side activating its allies. And when, after the culmination of an intensive military phase, one of the parties would conclude that it is losing the war, it will resort to pushing the red button for the nuclear missiles or whatever sophisticated weapons they have prepared for doomsday.

In other words, international peace survives on the assessment of balance of power –  a complex category that is to certain extent both inaccurate and irrational: inaccurate because there is no military intelligence in the world that can guarantee hundred percent its information on all important details of potential enemy’s military machine, and irrational because the decision to start the war can anyway be made only on the basis of the available military intelligence, especially if the decision-makers are already obsessed with the grandeur of a big military victory, or pressed by issues of domestic policies character. And Hegel has nothing to do with that either.

Another crucial problem for humanity is that military machines have their perfect algorithms how to try to win a real war in real time, but military machines have no brain that can process the consequences of nuclear global war for the basic values of human life. Theoretically, one side could win a global nuclear war, but only at the cost of having survived on a planet that, as a result of the war they have won, has become practically uninhabitable.

Inexactitude Three: Wars and preparation for wars propel technological innovations.

Microchips, digital cameras, GPS, internet and cell phones are described in the presentation as gifts generously presented to us, the billions common human creatures on Earth, by the “warriors or the scientists of warriors.”

The reality is that military research and weapons inventions are financed by taxpayers’ money, and this is the wisest policy for any government making decisions to build strong national armed forces in the world of ubiquitous violence we have had so far.

But more importantly, you can mention microchips, digital cameras, GPS, internet and publicly advertise iPhone, but no one is allowed to disclose thousands of edge technologies that are perfectly applicable for great innovations to appear on the market, but at this point of time are classified for military purposes only. We know nothing about them. These new technologies came into being in laboratories financed by our money, but civil business has no access and no chance to apply them in making gadget that could miraculously make the everyday life of us all easier and better. This is a case when military is depriving the advance of human civilization of immeasurable chances for multiplication of scientific and technological results through chain reaction.

So, in fact military classification of high edge technologies hugely delays material wellbeing and obstructs humanity progress.

Inexactitude Four: Military is Life

This is perfectly true, provided the cause is defending your Homeland.

But are all military activities related to this high cause?

Here there is one more important point – the new technologies brought new methods of waging wars: in the Troy war, for example, and until the wars of the medieval ages, it was the rule of the battlefield that the chief military commander, very often King himself, mounted on a horseback and with a sword in hand, leads their soldiers into the battle with the fierce enemy. Today, the top military generals are designing war tactics in bunkers, in nuclear-bomb proof bunkers. And this is what radically changes their personal attitude to war itself, and to what would be the best strategy for winning the war, in regard to what consequences that particular strategy could bring.

Inexactitude Five: The fantasy that you can decide to avoid wars

Finally, in regard to some excerpts from the mentioned presentation like: “Ask people in 1935 do you want a world war? No. They would have voted that way. It didn’t matter what they wanted. … War lurks in your life. … Believe that the life you lead is up to you? You think you shape your lives? … I am a millennial. I get to choose. The confidence of youth is dangerous. The illusion of powerfulness. … The illusion of making decisions that determine your future. … Strange statements made by leaders actually could not just change your life but end it.”,

I am fully confident that the hundreds of young girls and boys who attended the Geopolitical Futures presentation in Brain Bar Budapest on July 07, 2017, will maturely survive what they have heard there.

And that would be very easy, because there are other words written by the great Americans forefathers that bring by orders greater civilizational power than that of a primitive military propaganda:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

In terms of violence, millenials definitely are not going to inherit from our generation a world that is acceptable.

But they can certainly change that.

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International Security – the Mirage of the Impossible

Do Not Reform the United Nations Security Council

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The United Nations Organization was established in a civilizational moment of truth – immediately after WW2, which was the biggest anthropogenic tragedy in human history so far. That circumstances contributed to make the design of the UN Security Council, as stipulated in Article 24 of the Charter of the United Nations stipulates: “In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf” perfect. It implies the undeniable reality that the UN Security Council permanent members China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States had, in aggregate, all the necessary resources: political influence, economic tools, and military power, to ensure that any of the Security Council resolutions could be unconditionally materialized, and to quickly and uncompromisingly resolve any disturbance of security character anywhere in the world. They had this capacity 70 years ago, and they have this capacity now. And giving them the power of veto was an expression of trust, as well as an instrument of authorization for these five countries to maintain international peace and security. So, there is no reason to change anything in regard to how the UN Security Council functions.

If our human civilization wants to have a powerful and highly efficient UN Security Council that maintains international peace and security in real time and in real terms, however, there is a crucial need to change something that is beyond the United Nations Organization.

It was very unfortunate that just a few months after the United Nations Organization was established, all major countries got engaged in ideological confrontation and in struggle for world domination. As a result, the Security Council permanent members abandoned their duties to guard international security. Betraying the trust of the international community, the “Big Five” practically nationalized the extraordinary powers they were given in order to maintain international peace and security and started illegitimately applying them as a powerful extension of their own national foreign policy. Most of the other countries were involved on the newly formed battlefield by allying, through proxy politicians, proxy revolutions, proxy democracies, proxy oppositions and proxy governments, waging proxy wars. Consequently, the world degenerated back to where the WW2 began. And is still there, with the only difference of new, very sophisticated and extremely destructive military technologies.

If everybody agrees that something has to be changed, then the only urgent and radical reform that must be done in order to bring peace and eradicate political violence worldwide, is to denationalize the decision making process on foreign policy issues related to international security within the UN Security Council permanent member countries themselves. The current practice through which UN Security Council member countries form their foreign policy positions on issues of international security in branches that are integral part of their respective departments or ministries of foreign affairs must be completely abandoned because those national government organs are by definition designed to protect and advance exclusively the national interests of that country. Because if you have an apple tree you cannot expect mango fruits to be growing there, all Security Council members must establish new independent national structures – Agencies for global security policies. With temporary status for the Security Council non-permanent members.

An Agency for global security policies will have to work with visions beyond the narrowly defined national interests of its own country; to state firmly and in transparent mode how exactly that particular position of the country will contribute to prevent violence, save human lives and avoid destruction of material values; and to resist the consequences naturally coming from disregard of immediate national interest. Its priority focus must be on long-term and indirect benefits for the country, including the by-products coming through the existence of stable, peaceful and predictable international political environment. For such a structure there must be a well functioning sophisticated system of subordination with its own government, and in regard to the traditional foreign policy service of the same country. A mechanism that can process, evaluate and separate two complexly intertwined, imaginary and most possibly contradicting models of state behavior: one with the classic national foreign policy line, and one associated with the same country’s positions as a member of the Security Council. Even if such dual foreign policy exercise has never been comprehensively done yet, in a world where global and nationally relevant processes and interests are becoming more and more interrelated, the corresponding methodology should naturally come into existence.

Would that be a price too high to pay for humanity willing to live in a civilized world?

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Time to Get Your Life Back

A medically functioning body is just the door into Human Life

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Statue of Leonardo in Amboise

So far, so good – after thousands of years dramatic journey in Time, Homo sapiens, our only extant human species, has successfully arrived at the Anthropocene epoch.

At present, various options of new anthropogenic disasters like large-scale wars, mass destruction, pandemics, climate change, wrongly assessed outcome of human triggered processes in fields like Artificial Intelligence and Gene Editing and others are still on the table for us, humans, to make the “To Be or Not to Be” decisions.

But if we are civilizationally wise, we could survive even our innate deficiencies.

And the best is yet to come.

As for our biological existence, there is much ground to feel optimistic.

Technological advance has already accumulated enough potential to allow Peter Diamandis predict abundance.  Elon Musk mentions a formula to convert robots taking our jobs into Universal Basic Income resource. And we can read in AI100 Stanford Report that “Longer term, AI may be thought of as a radically different mechanism for wealth creation in which everyone should be entitled to a portion of the world’s AI-produced treasures. It is not too soon for social debate on how the economic fruits of AI technologies should be shared… The measure of success for AI applications is the value they create for human lives.”

But when the reality of Abundance and Basic Income comes, would you accept mere biological existence to be your bravest dream?

If you look at the great names of human civilization, such as Da Vinci, Newton, Darwin, Bell, Kelvin, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Picasso, Kandinsky, Mozart, Wilde, Kant, to mention just very few, practically none of them worked eight hours per day to get the pay-check at the end of the week so that they could feed their families. Even Einstein, who in the most productive period of his life was employed at the Swiss Patent Office, in reality was inspired for his greatest discoveries by the afterhours hobby to discuss with friends the works of Henri Poincaré, Ernst Mach, David Hume and other philosophers. For various reasons those

Most successful representatives of humankind were not engaged in earning their everyday bread

for either someone else provided them their existential circumstances, or they simply neglected it and existed on the brink of physical survivability. And that condition seems to have unleashed the tremendous burst of inborn energy to accomplish the things they really loved to do, and to bring to our human civilization their unique fruits of human ingenuity and creativity.

The ultimate objectives of human life and the greatest achievements of human mind are of character by orders higher than what can be described in economic, technological or social terms. 

Curious to find out what spiritual treasures might be hiding beyond the dimensions of culture, science and art?

Get Your Life Back!

 

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All the Harmony of the Universe

in just one picture:

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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

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The Industrial Revolutionaries and the Monkey Syndrome

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Since the first human species appeared some 200 000 years ago until the current Anthropocene age, Humankind successfully rode through the millennia on a strategy of group survival. On the way, Human Civilization emerged as the spiritual dimension of group survival strategy that unlocks capabilities of human beings to mutually defend their strategic self-interest through generating civilizational values.

All human history has been projecting onto two basic vectors: the technological advancement which all the time provides us with more efficient and more sophisticated tools to make the things we want, and the societal progression which records the changes we impose on our societal systems.

Humans never stopped improving their life through inventing, but there are periods of time when new technologies disrupt whole sectors of economy and format a new way of life: the Industrial Revolutions. Revolutions are made by people. They are called “revolutionaries”. And industrial revolutions are no exception.

Right now we are amidst the whirlpool of the most exciting one – the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Artificial Intelligence already shatters the foundations of our good old Temple of Philosophy where we have indulged for centuries in the serenity of discussing problems that never had any practical significance; Synthetic Biology and Genomics invaded the very texture of the biological framework of our own lives, and we even started to recklessly mix different self-evolving pieces of living matter with no clear idea about what type of uncontrollable monster could be waiting for us at the end of chain;  and Robotics that were forecasted by the recent Mackenzie report  are marching into the factories  – to take half of our jobs in the next 17 years.

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And this is only the beginning of a new age unfolding.

The billions of people living today on our planet might not understand the details of how exactly deep neural networks work, or how self-driving cars solve traffic circumstances. But human nature has preserved one primitive ability: to feel directly through the skin when imminent danger, no matter how vague, is intensely coming out somewhere very close. And the fact that we do not precisely understand the character of that danger invigorates our feeling of fear and sharpens our preparedness to react.

Humanity is about human prosperity, and human dignity is an imperative value that has to be defended to the last line of fire. Human dignity has three basic existential pillars: life, income and status. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has already put them all under attack. Life and security – because in the final end every invention gets applied into weapons build by humans to kill humans. Losing jobs and wage stagnation as a result of automation means not only loss of income: it is also loss of social status and shutting the prospects that were throwing light on the paths leading to your dreams – yours and that of your family.  And when people feel that all three basic pillars of their life are threatened, their behavior can become very unpredictable.

Those existential processes might be present within the motivation of the people who massively voted for Brexit.  And maybe Donald Trump was supported in the election by a silent but very powerful undercurrent of millions of people who feel being left behind and who anticipate that the foundations of their lives are starting to melt away. Shocked by the reality that, contrary to the general presumption of a permanently advancing human society, their life is going to be worse and poorer than the life of their parents, they are getting desperate to the extent to embrace the unpredictable candidate.  And a definitely more serious issue of concern is the analysis of a number of experts who associate radicalization of young people with the absence of visible prospects for a human life that would be normal in the sense of what we considered normal human life just a decade ago. What behavior can we expect next from people who consider themselves disenfranchised?

No matter how thick the walls can be, in the current intensively interconnected world there was no way for the wealthier part of the inequality graph to remain undisturbed by the tectonic movement of social and political strata. Some of them may have lost the comfort of the highly predictable world they were used to inhabit. In initial symptoms of panic they mobilized media resources to attack an elected politician. That was basically wrong, because the reality is that in a democratic system you cannot attack an elected politician, you can only attack those, who supported him. And you cannot have convincing enough arguments against their reasons to do so. This year, even the participants of the traditionally glamorous Davos gathering seemed to not have been prepared for more than quietly uttering the mantras of a liberal order that is fading away. At times they looked like a crowd standing on the seashore and waving farewell to the beautiful departing ship, pretending not to know that this ship will never come back again. A crowd with no clear idea about how the new big ship will be designed and what it would look like. Or is it going to be a ship at all. Yet.

The paradox of this particular moment in history is that the depressive moments of gloom and despair are spreading after it became crystal clear that the exponential technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are in reality bringing unlimited potential for abundance. Renowned futurists and experts, including Peter Diamandis, have no doubt that “Abundance is our Future”.

Leading MIT economist Andrew MacAfee recently stated in an interview:

“We are creating an overall more prosperous world. The pressing question is: How do we share that prosperity?”

The above pressing question is not for the technological club. The members of the technological club have done a great job: For just only 250 years since the First Industrial Revolution, the industrial revolutionaries have elevated our human civilization to the stage where abundance is technically available!

The above pressing question is to the political club. It is the policy makers who have to respond to the new trends determined by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to design adequate policies that will protect basic human values and human dignity, and will defend the strategic interests of human civilization.

And why isn’t that happening?

The Monkey Syndrome 

“Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result, all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

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After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.”

Politically, we are still using the societal technology of the monkeys that emerged some 60 million years ago. Including the Monkey Syndrome which keeps reproducing absurd social patterns, and tribal thinking that enables violent conflicts, inequality, and disregard for human dignity.  And just like the monkeys – all the time this drama goes on without anyone having any idea why.

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So, what takes our policy makers so long to start walking their mile forward in the societal vector?

And, if the industrial revolutionaries are now having their brightest moment of glory, where are now the civilizational revolutionaries to close the gap on the road of our advancing Humankind?

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Civilizational Thinking Speech of the Year

In 2016, no vision got closer to the core problems of Humankind:

Remarks by Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States, at Davos 2016

“The sense of Possibilities: The Soul of our common Humanity that no Machine can Replace.”

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Would Your Next President be Artificial Intelligence?

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Artificial Intelligence and the Ultimate Democracy: No Politicians. No Corruption. No Elections.

We live in a society, and very naturally, in the process of division of labor, we empower politicians to take care of our common interests. As stipulated in the Declaration of Independence, “…— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …” What we call government is usually politicians elected in top decision making positions like president, ministers or secretaries or in parliament, Congress and other important institutions. And politics is about government projecting the aggregated individual interests of us all – the millions of voting taxpayers, into corresponding adequate policies, and implementing those policies by spending our – the taxpayers’ money accumulated in the budget (treasury) of the country.

That explains why it’s not only our right to closely follow how the government spends our money: it’s our obligation, stemming from the self-respect in regard to the things that are important to us, and from the public interest to keep the democratic machine moving smoothly to where the majority of us wants our nation to go.

In reality, however, politics function in a very different manner.

Both Presidential and Congressional elections have consequences on your immediate socioeconomic, ecological, security, etc. environment. Naturally, you want to vote for the candidate whose positions on key issues during the campaign are closest to your interests.

The fight for the ballot papers, however, logically turns the election campaign into clash between the PR units of the contending parties that provide the voters with no reliable ground to calculate the future political behavior of a President, or member of the Congress. Because, once elected, the new president starts following a different agenda: one that is formed by the real-time political priorities and that is influenced by the top donors of her/his campaigning. Big political money could distort decisions and favour the interests of small groups at the expense of larger communities of citizens. The result: “Political scientists have been studying the question of campaign promises for almost 50 years, and the results … suggest that presidents make at least a “good faith” effort to keep an average of about two-thirds of their campaign promises;”

But politics is not mathematics, and only if you are politically lucky, the campaign promises that made you vote for that particular politician might prevailingly fall into the “fulfilled” promises. Otherwise, you will well understand another set of statistics: Confidence in institutions, where currently trust in the Congress is about six percent.

Each condition has alternative solutions, and the wisdom of the forefathers should never be underestimated: “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

So, let’s consider a totally different method of Government taking care of our interests:

Elect Policies, not Politicians

The current Political System:

At certain point of the presidential race, based on your individual circumstances, condition and interests, you have decided that your personal top ten key issues that will determine for whom of the five candidates A, B, C, D and E, you will vote, are as follows:

Should Any Public Colleges or Universities Be Tuition-Free?

Should US Election Campaigns Be Publicly Financed?

Should Fracking Be Allowed?

Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

Should the National Security Agency (NSA) Continue to Collect Phone and Email Metadata on US Citizens?

Should the United States Transition Away from Fossil Fuels and Towards Renewable Energy?

Should Genetically Modified (GMO) Foods Have Mandatory Labeling?

Should the US Return to the Gold Standard in Which Coin and Currency Are Backed by Gold?

Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?

Should There Be a Flat Tax on Income?

In the following table the five candidates’ positions on the above issues are marked “Yes” when you support, “No” when you are against, and “?” when the candidate has no clear position on that issue, with last raw calculated as “Yes” points minus “No” points:

  Your Individual Key Issues A B C D E
1 Should Any Public Colleges or Universities Be Tuition-Free? No Yes ? Yes Yes
2 Should US Election Campaigns Be Publicly Financed? ? Yes Yes Yes ?
3 Should Fracking Be Allowed? Yes Yes ? Yes ?
4 Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal? ? No Yes ? No
5 Should the National Security Agency (NSA) Continue to Collect Phone and Email Metadata on US Citizens? Yes Yes ? Yes No
6 Should the United States Transition Away from Fossil Fuels and Towards Renewable Energy? No Yes Yes No Yes
7 Should Genetically Modified (GMO) Foods Have Mandatory Labelling? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
8 Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed? ? Yes Yes No Yes
9 Should There Be a Flat Tax on Income? No Yes No Yes Yes
10 Should the US Return to the Gold Standard in Which Coin and Currency Are Backed by Gold? No ? Yes Yes No
-1 7 3 5 2

None of the above five candidates fits all your priorities, but you still have a clear favourite: you would vote for candidate B. In the course of the campaign, however, B and C drop out of the race, and you vote in the election for the best that is still available – D. That lowers your potential joy of eventual victory from 7 to the 5 points promised by D.

The Artificial Intelligence Political System

Functions as a sophisticated interplay of several AI modules:

AI Module 1: Letters to Santa Claus

In the above table, no one of the running candidates is your ideal candidate. But you should not worry about that – design your personal ideal President yourself: take a pen, and put down everything that you think the government could do to make you happy. It could be something like a demanding letter to Santa Claus, but you shouldn’t be modest: Pursuit of Happiness is Your Unalienable Right, and it is your government that has to take care of it.

When all the millions of your fellow citizens submit their letters to Santa Claus into a national data base, AI will analyze all of them, sort in categories such as Economy & Taxes, Education, Crime & Justice, Labor & Wages,  Health Care, Abortion, & End of Life Issues, etc. Functioning as a direct democracy procedure, this AI module will automatically constitute a new category in case certain new type of request exceeds, for example, 300 000 entries.

The final product of AI Module 1 would be a list of few hundred Key Political Issues on which the public interest is strongly focused, with the number of voters Pro, Con or Neutral on each Key Political issue. And that already provides a clear-cut guidance for the Government what policy to follow on that particular issue.

What AI does in this module is analyzing the millions of ideal “presidents” as described by each one of the voters, extracting their expressed preferences on each major political issue, quantifying the public support or rejection on each policy, and, in fact, aggregating the results into a comprehensive political program that will represent the “ideal President” at the point of time.

AI Module 2: Foreign Policy, National Security, Defence, and response to changes in the outer political environment

You don’t have to understand everything in the above areas. But the high professionals in the corresponding government Departments must be a zero-compromise edge. In the capacity of experts, not as politicians. Debatable only within qualified expertise community, and with limited transparency.

AI module 3: Designing economic policy for growth that maximizes the tax revenue in long-term dimensions.

AI module 4: Determining priorities of the whole system, e.g. capabilities of AI Module 2, favouring key factors such as science and technology advance, etc.

AI module 5: Dynamic optimization of overall correlated processes within the whole system.

The Artificial Intelligence Political System would have many advantages. In our current reality, for example, all politicians who run for President always promise to be the President for the whole nation. But human nature has never excelled at being impartial, and that is only one of the reasons why the results of any political election have always divided the society into two, at times very close in numbers, very distinct groups – the “winners “and the “losers”. With a transparent Artificial Intelligence procedure there will be no winners and no losers in a continuous process of optimizing resources – results ratio that is not disrupted by political elections.

With the relevant data fully transparent and published, all government policies would enjoy massive public understanding, support and trust. In such circumstances if you are not satisfied with a particular government decision, you cannot blame the bureaucrats. Your only choice would be to accept the reality that you do not belong to the majority opinions of your fellow citizens.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what is the name or the background of your President. It doesn’t matter what is his or her political party. It doesn’t matter even if they came to power through an uncontested democratic process, or on a military plane, or designed in an AI laboratory. The only thing that matters for political power is that they have the unbreakable determination and the edge capabilities to defend Your singular interest, as related to the interests of all community members.

And from all we know from politics in our history, no human would ever be in position to do the job better than an Artificial Intelligence assisted President.

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The Concept of Civilizational Values

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“The Starry Night”, Vincent van Gogh, 1889

If Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was precise in defining brain as “… another organ of survival, like fangs, or claws” that “does not search for truth, but for advantage, and … tries to make us accept as truth what only self-interest is allowing our thoughts to be dominated by our desires”, then its decisions on where do we go and what we do, determine the interplay of both existentialist and behavioral sides of our existence through a very simple command: Chase Values!

Some values that are important to us, we have for free from Nature. Most of our dearest things, however are related to or made by people.

Civilizational Value is a physical or non-material product of human activity that has the capacity by itself, or aggregated with other civilizational or natural values, to be recognized by other humans as a potential source to accomplish one or more self-interest components. In economic terms, an entity incorporating civilizational and natural values, can appear on the market in the form of goods or service.

As an example, let’s follow 15 minutes of your routine morning: your croissant for breakfast incorporates pieces of civilizational values such as farmers cultivating land, harvest of crops, mill, transportation, baking, etc; in a similar way – through a chain of pieces of civilizational value, your coffee comes on your table. And while sipping your hot espresso, you check news and mail on your smart phone – with Van Gogh’s ”Starry Night” selected for the background picture. Did you know that the handset only is a product that incorporates several hundred pieces of civilizational values in the form of patents? The 4G telecommunications connectivity you need to reach internet servers with your smart phone, functions on another set of 80 000 active patents. And that does not include other many thousands of civilizational value pieces: such as already expired patents, or previous inventions and discoveries. You would definitely agree that your smart phone would not exist if William Gilbert had not discovered electricity in year 1600. While having breakfast, you are keeping an eye also on the TV – a different set of many more tens of thousands civilizational value pieces. You switch that off, and head to your car, that represents yet another set of tens of thousands civilizational value pieces. In reality, for those 15 minutes you might have consumed close to million pieces of civilizational value, each of them designed or manufactured by one or more human beings.

Just think about it: If we take for granted that Happiness is the momentary measure of self-interest, then one million people or teams of people, who lived in different centuries of human history, have worked hard to make you happy and feel comfortable in that 15 minutes of your routine morning! And very importantly – by your personal preferences and definitions of happiness and comfort!

No matter if a finalized civilizational value is a direct outcome of human activity, or was made by a robot that was made by a robotic plant that has been designed by humans, ultimately, humans only can be the source of any civilizational value. The greater the numbers of healthy and well educated people who enjoy high life standards and have successful careers, the higher the total output of civilizational values generated globally. And because civilizational values are what essentially has the capacity to serve our individual self-interest and make us happy, everything what we tend to categorize as “altruism” is, in reality, based on plain egoism.

Civilizational values cannot be measured by money. Otherwise, it would be impossible to explain why Van Gogh died penniless, after he painted more than 900 pictures with some of them, like your favourite ”Starry Night”, are worth each well over 100 million dollars? And how does that compare with John Smith, who made a few millions on the stock market: he has done for you what?

It all means one thing: Time has come to design the metrics that provide quantifiable assessment of civilizational values.

Today Big Data processing practically enables analysing the market information about who of us, (7.4 billions of people on the planet), likes what, and that will have two major cognitive (and not only) consequences:

First, Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning already is in position to peel off the layers of each complex product conglomerate of civilizational values and to reach the frequency and the multiplicated usage of every civilizational value piece ever generated in human history; then AI can measure, in exact figures – in CiVal units, the overall contribution of that particular piece of civilizational value to the advancement of human civiliztion.

And second: by composing a trustable algorithm to attach each piece of civilizational value, as indexed in the above method, to its creator – we can design, for the first time in human history, a precisely calculated quantitative assessment of how great minds of Humankind – both from history and our contemporaries, have contributed to the long-term wellbeing of our human race. Are you not curious to see the Civilizational Ratings of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Mozart or Archimedes? Or that of Elon Musk?

That will change a range of attitudes and decision-making processes: from the way people sitting in the Nobel Prize Committee and institutions vote, to news media editors-in-chief deciding who to publish on the front page.

But most importantly, Civilizational Value Rating will change individual and public perception about not what, but who is really important to Your Life.

For, if we don’t hold in our hand the compass of humanity’s basic values, how can we live confident, that we are walking our singular mile of human civilization’s long way, in the right direction?

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Brutal Logic, Humans | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Every Man is a Universe” – Heinrich Heine

Why do we need transition from Tribal Thinking into Civilizational Thinking?

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In the whole process of evolution, human species never had a viable strategy of individual survival: we can’t run fast enough to escape a cheetah, or kill a mammoth for dinner in a one-on-one fight.

Humans became a success story and reached the current Anthropocene age, riding on an initial version of group survival strategy: the one enlightened by the torch of Tribal Thinking.

As a result, our 21st century world is intensely globalised and technologically highly advanced, but we are still a Humankind decomposed into tribes that seek dominance in the way they did thousands of years ago.

This reality has significant negative consequences on

The ultimate existential meaning of human civilization: securing the long term self-interest of each individual human being

For the following reasons:

  • The ubiquitous political culture of Tribal Thinking has over and over generated the greatest anthropogenic disasters in human history: wars and armed conflicts among various state and non-state actors have ended with tens of millions human lives lost and material culture worth tens of trillions USD destroyed;
  • Driven by fear of real confrontation, current world annual military expenditure soared to trillions of USD;
  • World economy suffers astronomical losses due to the current rigid rules that lock edge technologies exclusively for military and security purposes and does not allow their use in mass large-scale production;
  • The advance itself of human civilization is significantly slowed down by the fact that top IQ human brain potential of the world are employed in the non-productive areas related to defence and security;
  • And, most importantly, the real time cutting-edge military capabilities of the weapons deployed around the world have more than enough power to self-destroy Humankind.

Which means that by still operating in the Tribal Thinking version of group survival strategy, in civilizational terms, we have made further technological advance of human society not only obsolete, but also a threat to our very existence as human species on planet Earth.

All we need to solve this existential conundrum is a new version of group survival strategy: the Civilizational Thinking.

Civilizational Thinking is not about creating new ideology or new religion. Civilizational Thinking is only about re-organizing the global political space environment into a universal multifaceted platform, on which all polities in their ideological, political, national, cultural, ethnic, religious, racial, etc. diversity exist, interrelate and compete with each other without conflict – by following incontestable rules that are optimized to protect core values of human civilization.

More than 180 years ago, the Swiss have already made Switzerland a fully functioning prototype for Civilizational Thinking: a socio-political space where people of different ethnicity, different religion and culture, who speak different languages, live together without violence and enjoy a high standard of continuous prosperity.

There is no ground for expectations that some intelligent creatures from other planet will come make the crucial transition from Tribal Thinking into Civilizational Thinking for us. It is we, the humans currently living on planet Earth, who have to roll up sleeves.

We could start with an open source process that generates relevant ideas and induces the appropriate real politics.

Just like the policy making in ancient Greece cities, where free people gathered on public places called Agora to live discuss and decide together what is best for them and for their future.

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Artificial Intelligence and the “Who To Kill” Equation

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Inside a self-driving car

It is a very special excitement these days to watch history being made in the global Artificial Intelligence workshop with driverless buses starting test running in Finland’s capital Helsinki, world’s nineteen major car makers declaring their fully autonomous car will be hitting the roads by 2020, renowned AI experts discussing the benefits that AI self-driving cars will bring to traffic safety “How Self-Driving Cars Will Choose Between Life or Death” and the need of moral consideration about how AI-empowered machines behave.

The choice between “life or death” is not a difficult one to solve in terms of human morality. The more challenging moral dilemmas come in everyday life where we are not given that type of choice.

Let’s have a look at a hypothetical situation on the highway:

The car marked “A” in the drawing below is equipped with AI computer managed self-driving system. Suddenly, an accident occurs somewhere ahead of car “A”, and its computer driver immediately calculates that car “B” in front will sharply break and stop in two seconds.

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Within the two seconds interval of time the AI driver has to choose and execute one of the following options:

Option 1: Change nothing. In this case, provided the high speed, the following six people will be injured heavily, some of them maybe fatally: A1, A2, A3, B6, B7 and B8.

Option 2: Turn sharp right. As a result, another set of six people – A1, A4, A6, C5, C7, and C8 will get injured.

Option 3: Turn sharp left. This choice endangers passengers A2, A3, A5, E1, E2, and E4.

Option 4: Break sharp. That would make vulnerable those on seats A6, A6, A8, D1, D2, and D3.

The AI calculates that a collision is inevitable, and knows the identities of all the 24 potentially endangered passengers, among which there is a high school student, a renowned neurosurgeon in his thirties, a baseball star, a terminally ill senior woman, a senator, a young mother breastfeeding a baby, a marine going on a trip with his girlfriend, a successful businessman, a prisoner just released after heavy crime sentence, university professor, and some more; with the exact information who sits where.

How do we program the AI driver to process the above situation? Or, in moral terms, how do we, the humans, take the responsibility to teach the self-driving car computer how to solve a “Who To Kill Equation”?

Take your time (our brain is not that fast) and try to decide what your choice would be in the above situation. Study carefully the available information about each one of the 24 potentially endangered passengers: they all have their names, social status, profession, family, friends, dreams, etc. They all are still alive, but that is going to change in two seconds, because six of them do not have future.

Having somehow made your choice, ask your friend Alex to do the same exercise (Alex is a great baseball fan), or your colleague Jane, who would on the way discover, that the marine’s girlfriend is in fact her beloved niece! Or ask the local municipality for their opinion, or the Congress. Put it on Facebook, or organize a small referendum. I bet all the way you will be receiving different answers that are crucial for the 24 men, women and kids involved in the drama on the highway. And all the 24 have absolutely equal rights to stay alive in circumstances that make this impossible.

And there is an escapist fifth option: for controversial situations like this, in order to avoid moral responsibility, engineers can build into the self-driving program a “Russian roulette” – random decision to choose one of the above options. But then, in the same situation the split-second spontaneous reaction of a human driver might prove to be better.

The brutal reality is, that you can’t solve the “Who To Kill” Equation in terms that allow for the AI self-driving system to make that final, irrevocable and irreparable existential decision within two seconds, without providing the AI with the information about the human value of each of the 24 people potentially involved in the crash. 24 simple numbers is all the machine needs in order to do its job. But who will provide the 24 simple figures?

The idea itself to design methodology and the metrics that can assess the value of a living human being through a mathematical process based on weighing dynamic unquantifiable characteristics that exist and evolve in the irrational dimensions of human morality, would be a challenge beyond the scope of contemporary political philosophy. And that is exactly what makes the idea more attractive. Even if the discussions on this aspect of human morality will most probably start as a huge battlefield where philosophical, religious, anthropological, axiological, racial, legal and other concepts will clash in epic fights.

One direction for contemplation would be looking back into human history. As a result of a more or less spontaneous process, over the millennia people have imposed some sort of civilizational values matrix  that already has assessed the value of numerous human beings like Einstein, Van Gogh, Mozart, Da Vinci, Mother Theresa, Pushkin, Archimedes, Alexander Fleming, Alexander Bell, as well as thousands more bright minds that Humankind will always be proud of. For one only reason: in their lives these people have exercised titanic capacity to create civilizational values that hugely changed, in a positive way, the lives of millions of people on the planet for generations ahead. They all had extremely high quotient of capacity to create civilizational values – CCCVQ, and exactly that is what gave them the unique appreciation of the rest of the people.

Obviously, at this point of time we don’t seem prepared to solve the equation with the five cars on the highway.

Could we, then start with a more simple one, projected on a real case from 19 century France:

Evariste Galois, a mathematics prodigy, in his late teens made fundamental discoveries in the theory of polynomial equations that hadn’t been solved for centuries. He also was a passionate activist for the republican idea and against the king. Galois did not live long: on May 30, 1832, at the age of twenty, he was killed in a duel. There is no clear record even about the name of the man who killed Galois, but presumably it was a fair fight with rules kept and each of the two men had the right to defend their honour and kill the other.

If an AI system was to decide the outcome of that duel on May 30, 1832, what algorithm would you suggest for the computer to follow in order to have spared the life of Evariste Galois for the benefit of the generations to come?

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Evariste Galois

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Brutal Logic | Leave a comment