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The Technism/Vyrdism Discussion Thread

technism Vyrdism postcapitalism automation technotariat proletariat John Henry Vyrd post scarcity artificial intelligence robotics

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#21
Yuli Ban

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No, no no, I meant a technist in practice government.

 

Of course one could actively pursue technism, but governments ultimately pursue some form of efficiency (even if they themselves are horribly inefficient). Eventually, governments will become increasingly automated just as businesses are. It is only a matter of time before so much of the government is automated (and by so incredibly intelligent of AI) that we will wake up under the blue and white banner and not realize when we arrived.

 

The only way to not be pro-technist is to be pro-primitivist, actively restricting any forms of automation in society, business, and government. It's not like with evolutionary socialism; the working class by nature cannot ever join the government in such great numbers as to wholly represent the government. What benefits do workers bring to the government? Nothing besides socioeconomic policies. There is no increased efficiency. There is no increased power. 

Compare to AI, whose benefits virtually require as little human interference as possible. 


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#22
Alice Tepes

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A quick check of the internet yielded this definition of human, which I think suits my purpose:

 

 

 

hu·man  (hyo͞o′mən)
n.
1. A member of the primate genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other apes by a large brain and the capacity for speech.
2. A person: the extraordinary humans who explored Antarctica.
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of humans: the course of human events; the human race.
2. Having or showing those positive aspects of nature and character regarded as distinguishing humans from other animals: an act of human kindness.
3. Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility associated with humans: a mistake that shows he's only human; human frailty.
4. Having the form of a human.
5. Made up of humans: formed a human bridge across the ice.

 

 

 

 

 

Would you agree that it is immoral to not grant a sentient/sapient (of human intelligence or greater and the ability to understand the idea of self) being person-hood and or citizenship?

 

 

I would avoid the whole problem by not creating an AI that achieves sentient/sapient status. If society insists on going that route, then a lot depends on the nature of that sentience.  Is it subject to re-programming and thus control by those who have special access to its programming functions? Is it truly autonomous, or is it dependent upon humans to keep it operating on a day to day basis?

 

 

I think the fourth definition of human brings up some interesting implications, how much do you have to lose or gain to become not human? Also i would like to add that depending on the help of others is one of the things that makes us human.


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#23
caltrek

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I think the fourth definition of human brings up some interesting implications, how much do you have to lose or gain to become not human? 

 

I take it you mean by "the fourth definition":

 

 

 

4. Having the form of a human.

 

Please realize that this is the word "human" as an adjective, not a noun.

 

I can say that my cat has emotions that are quite human in nature, meaning that in form they are quite like human emotions.   That does not mean that I believe that my cat belongs to the human species as opposed to the feline species.

 

 

 

Also i would like to add that depending on the help of others is one of the things that makes us human.

 

An interesting point. Would you care to elaborate?


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
Yuli Ban

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I feel it should be mentioned that technism offends liberal sensibilities often, so much so that I feel technism and liberalism cannot coexist.

 

  • All humans are not created equal. And even if we were, we'll make humans who are unequal sooner or later.
  • On that note, a human cannot compete with a sufficiently advanced machine. Going out of our way to try is perfectly fine, but there's no reason why we should abandon development just to make sure some people are happy having jobs.
  • Some opinions are closer to the truth than others. Sufficiently damaging opinions should not be tolerated.
  • Tolerance is only good so far as it promotes what is righteous and aids civilization. I cannot tolerate antihumanism. Anyone who willingly puts our success and survival at risk— whether it be radical "protect every tree" ecosocialism or radical "drill baby drill" capitalism— should not be allowed to act or spread their degenerate ideologies. We know what works, and there's no reason to be blinded by ideology in the face of reason.
  • There are many things we cannot afford tolerate, and our culture of '100% tolerance' has been wholly detrimental to our success as a civilization. 
  • Democracy is good, but sapiocracy is how we should go about democracy. Those less educated and less intelligent cannot be trusted with guiding civilization.
  • At some point, we'll create beings so intellectually capable (be they synths or posthumans) that there'll be no choice but to relinquish choice to them. You wouldn't take orders from a chimpanzee, would you? Why should they listen to you?

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#25
Alice Tepes

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one of the major parts of the human species is that we are a very social one. i would also say that one reason humanity has done so many amazing things is that we are social and are able to specialize what we do. having it so everyone doesn't have to find there own food makes it so that some people have time to become good at other things and time to think. this thinking time helps us invent all the things we have now. also as social beings we confer the most knowledge of any animal down to our offspring and other fellow humans. I don't believe that anyone can say that they have never relied on anyone from the time they where born. there are however many creatures that after they are born don't get any support form any other member of there own species. so i would say that even if an AI needs human help to exist, that in itself dose not stop it from being in the same class as humans.


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#26
caltrek

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Yuli Ban: I feel it should be mentioned that technism offends liberal sensibilities often, so much that I fell technism and liberalism cannot coexist.

 

·  All humans are not created equal. And even if we were, we'll make humans who are unequal sooner or later.

 

Caltrek’s response: The liberal philosophy does not hold that all are of equal intelligence or ability.  Only, that all are of equal worth, that all should be given an equal opportunity to demonstrate their intelligence without prior prejudice or handicap imposed by such prejudice.  So you are right that there is a conflict between liberalism and technism as you describe it.

 

Yuli Ban: ·  On that note, a human cannot compete with a sufficiently advanced machine. Going out of our way to try is perfectly fine, but there's no reason why we should abandon development just to make sure some people are happy having jobs.

 

Caltrek’s response: I agree that there needs to be a way to reconcile “development”  with the unemployment that often results. It strikes me as a bit dangerous to conclude that doing things that are make people happy is somehow wrong or dangerous in itself.  I do agree that such considerations need to be balanced against the overall good of society.

 

Yuli Ban:

 

·  Some opinions are closer to the truth than others. Sufficiently damaging opinions should not be tolerated.

 

 

·  Tolerance is only good so far as it promotes what is righteous and aids civilization. I cannot tolerate antihumanism. Anyone who willingly puts our success and survival at risk— whether it be radical "protect every tree" ecosocialism or radical "drill baby drill" capitalism— should not be allowed to act or spread their degenerate ideologies. We know what works, and there's no reason to be blinded by ideology in the face of reason.  Democracy is good, but sapiocracy is how we should go about democracy. Those less educated and less intelligent cannot be trusted with guiding civilization

 

Caltrek’s response: The problem here is who, or what, is to determine what opinions are “sufficiently damaging.” Who, or what, is to determine what constitutes “degenerate ideologies”  or “’protect every tree’ ecosocialism” or “radical ‘drill baby drill’ capitalism” or “what works”?  More on that in a bit.

 

Yuli Ban: ·  There are many things we cannot afford tolerate, and our culture of '100% tolerance' has been wholly detrimental to our success as a civilization. 

 

Caltrek’s response: On the contrary, I believe that there has been a bit of a correlation between high tolerance and high “success as a civilization.” I know the latest round of election results can be offered as evidence to the contrary.  Hopefully, my comments below will be seen as furthering discussing that objection..

 

 

Yuli Ban: ·  At some point, we'll create beings so intellectually capable (be they synths or posthumans) that there'll be no choice but to relinquish choice to them. You wouldn't take orders from a chimpanzee, would you? Why should they listen to you?

 

Caltrek's response: Here we come to the crux of the matter.  I think it is much too simplistic to argue that some forms of AI will be so advanced that “there’ll be no choice but to relinquish choice to them.”

 

1)      Like it or not, we always have a choice as to whom “we relinquish choice.”  At least absent some form of near total mind control.  If such a near total mind control does develop, then this debate will become merely academic.

 

2)      This seems to imply that all forms of advance AI will be of one mind.  I think the more likely scenario is that different AIs will come to different conclusions as to policy choices.  Like humans, they will operate from different sets of values and work toward different ends within their computer brains.  Some mechanism will be needed to sort this out. It would seem to me that humans ought to be are part of that mechanism, and that democracy will remain the best of available mechanisms in that regard.

 

3)      I think part of the problem here is looking at the very last set of election results at the exclusion of other things.  Here we see an utterly horrible outcome.  I can understand that there is a desire to posit the need for some alternative system to avoid such future outcomes.  The temptation for an elitist solution is thus very great.  Yet, it is elitism itself which is a significant element at the core of the problem. 

 

Let me expand on that last point.  Under a capitalist society, the very dangerous notion has arisen that the wealthy have become wealthy due to superior talent and intellect.  There may be some truth to that notion, but there is also much that is false. Yet, at least here in the United States, many have been so mystified by that notion that they ended up concluding that what at least appears to be a highly successful businessman must have some insight into our society’s problems. Therefore, such persons should be entrusted with positions of leadership.

 

This elitism has become oriented toward success under the capitalistic system as the most important criteria of intelligence and ability. Success in the scientific sphere of endeavors has been downgraded.  Conclusions regarding important problems, such as global warming, have been biased toward the moneyed business elite and against the scientific consensus on this matter.  So the problem is not that we don’t trust an elite, but what criteria we use to designate what elite we should trust.

 

Shifting our allegiance to trust in the superior intellect of AI simply risks reproducing the problem. Who is likely to have (at least initial) ownership of that AI?

 

Aside from government, it will be the moneyed class.  It is they that will filter and interpret the results of any analysis derived from AI.  It is they that will be in the strongest position to influence the discussion as to what constitutes “degenerate ideologies.”  It is they that will ignore AI warnings and recommendations regarding detrimental environmental policies while carefully consulting with AI regarding the best methods of exerting control over the masses. If they voluntarily relinquish control completely to AI, it will only be because they will have concluded AI has thoroughly incorporated within its goal structure a preference for protecting their privileged position.

 

Democracy is good over the long term because the masses continue to have some control.  An appeal to the masses is always a possibility so long as democratic processes remain intact.  The best and most promising movements of our time come from those determined to organize public opinion in a way that will correct the mistaken policies we are about to pursue.  Vesting final authority in such masses is our best hope. The problem is in finding how best to educate the masses. 

 

We can continue to rely on the moneyed elite and follow their endorsement of the Donald Trumps of the world, or we can organize from the ground roots up to present an alternative vision that will ultimately be more appealing to the masses.  That may involve tolerating within our midst “protect every tree” ecosocialists because such ecosocialists are far less dangerous than the global warming denialists that are currently in the ascendancy.  While I tend to quibble with some of the conclusions of what I call deep ecologists, I think we stand to lose far more than we gain in throwing them or their ideas into the dustbin of history.

 

 

We need to find common ground to unite the left, not develop ideological systems of belief that potentially serve only to create further schisms on the left.  Or worse yet, reinforce the strength of the right. We don’t need to articulate visions that merely confirm the suspicion that those on the left are elitists that look down their noses at the great unwashed.  You, yourself, pointed out that a problem in this last election was Hillary’s dismissive attitude toward the working class in states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.  The left needs to develop a clearly articulated program that deals with the concerns of those subgroups within our society.  In shifting away from fossil fuels, we need to find alternative occupations for those workers in the fossil fuel industry that are satisfying for those workers and productive for the greater good.  Some of those alternatives may very well involve “save every tree” type programs of restoration in places like West Virginia.

 

Yes, the left needs to incorporate within its ranks the scientific community and to utilize the benefits of AI in developing programs for the future.  That should be a matter of voluntary partnerships and support, not a matter of capitulation that derives from elitist snobbery or a feeling of inferior unworthiness.  Maybe I am missing something, but the technism you describe seems to all too easily fit within those last categories. I fear that as an ideology it has the potential to further splinter an weaken the left in a way that is simply not necessary. In "the left" I mean to include those who recognize the dangers of global warming and other forms of pollution as well as other such dangers of undesirable byproducts of inappropriate technologies.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#27
Yuli Ban

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Capitalism= capitalists own means of production. Human workers labor using capital they don't own.
 
Communism= working class owns means of production. Human works labor using capital they collectively own.
 
Technism= capital owns means of production (i.e. itself). Humans are disenfranchised from the process entirely.
 
There are three classes: the bourgeoisie (owner of capital), the proletariat (workers of capital), and the technotariat (intelligent capital).
 
Fusions of the ideologies naturally exist since it's near impossible to have pure forms of these ideologies.
 
Capitalism + Communism can equal a whole variety of things. State capitalism, mixed economics (state regulations + market economy), joint economics (high level of worker ownership + market economy), democratic socialism, syndicalism, and more.
Anything but "pure technism" involves humans still possessing ownership of the means of production. This is "Vyrdism", named after John Henry Vyrd. Capitalism + Technism is Market Vyrdism. Communism + Technism is Marxism-Vyrdism. Because of the nature of a highly automated economy, even Market Vyrdism tends to involve quite a bit of syndicalism and radical decentralization. Thus, Market Vyrdism bears most resemblance to market socialism and mutualism, and can possibly be considered "techno-syndicalism". The defining factor, however, is that the free market is protected.
Marxism-Vyrdism drops private property and has the masses collectively own the technotariat. This, too, has the opportunity for radical decentralization since one could use artificial-intelligence systems to plan an economy in a decentralized manner without inefficiencies. 
A method towards achieving Vyrdism of any variety would be the adoption of a "Universal Basic Income." By itself, it's not good enough to keep society afloat, and reliance upon a central state is dangerous. But it may be unequaled in its ability to grant the masses enough capital to kickstart technism.

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#28
caltrek

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Futures Shaped by Automation and Catastrophe: Peter Frase on Capitalism's Endgame

 

http://www.truth-out...alism-s-endgame

 

Extract:

 

Mark Carlin:  Can you next explain the impact of automation -- a very important theme in your book (Four Futures) -- on present and future economic systems, and why automation is intractable?

 

Peter Frase: The biggest problem with a lot of contemporary debates about automation is that people speak as though the phenomenon is new. But this is a central problematic of industrial capitalism, going back a couple of centuries. Once upon a time, almost everyone worked in agriculture; now that employs only a tiny fraction of people in rich countries. Then manufacturing became a main source of employment, before that too diminished due to automation (and also due to outsourcing, but to a much lesser degree than many people think). Now we see service sector and professional jobs being subject to the same basic force, which is the capitalist drive to economize on labor: to do more with less workers in order to increase profits.

 

I'm not going to say it's impossible that we might turn the wheel one more time, and shift everyone into some new kind of employment, rather than simply eliminating the need for labor. But I'm more interested in what's possible in a world where we do have a drastically reduced need for work.

 

Because another problem is that people speak as though there's no human agency here; that the robots just come for our jobs, and there's nothing we can do about it. But for as long as the capitalist drive to automate has existed, there has been a counter-movement from the side of labor: the demand that the benefits of increased productivity should accrue to the working masses, not to the tiny elite of owners. This drives demands for shorter hours, higher wages, and even such things as a Universal Basic Income, guaranteeing everyone a basic standard of living irrespective of work.

 

Of the four possible futures discussed by Frase, one is "extermism".  That is where the elite simply wall themselves off from the rest of society and are no longer dependent upon any human labor.  He regards this as the most dystopian of the possible futures he describes. He also discusses the possibility of ecological catastrophe. See also the link I provided.

 

 

2017_0205cap_2.jpg

Peter Frase.

(Photo: Verso Books)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#29
Yuli Ban

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The more I think about this, the more I realize that technism fundamentally runs counter to many post-Enlightenment beliefs, such as total egalitarianism. My solution: undo Western liberalism. Transhumanism, artificial intelligence, and consciousness enhancing across animals will clearly cast an end to the days where "all men are created equal".
You'd never let a chimp rule over you; why would an AI or posthuman accept a silly little human's ideas on how to run society?


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#30
caltrek

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You'd never let a chimp rule over you; why would an AI or posthuman accept a silly little human's ideas on how to run society?

 

 

Depends on how it is programmed.  I can see an AI, even a sentient AI, being willing to be subservient to humans.  Whether that also means accepting the silly ideas of humans, I am not so sure.  I can see AI rejecting human ideas while still holding humans to be of central value.

 

Posthuman is a little more complicated.  I suppose since it is a blending of human and AI the same answer applies.  

 

Now physical differences are just that.  Ultimately, a machine, no matter how physically strong it is, is controlled by intelligence.  At least as long as it is functioning as designed. 

 

Remember, assuming equality of humans means believing in equality of opportunity.  It does not mean belief in equality of condition or aptitude.  Aptitude is not prejudged, but differences in aptitude are manifested through work on a level playing field. At least in a nominally just society based on "post-enlightenment" beliefs.  If there is such a thing.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
caltrek

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Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?

 

https://www.scientif...l-intelligence/

 

Extract:

 

..artificial intelligence is… making breathtaking advances. In particular…the automation of data analysis. Artificial intelligence is no longer programmed line by line, but is now capable of learning, thereby continuously developing itself...

 

…Today, Singapore is seen as a perfect example of a data-controlled society. What started as a program to protect its citizens from terrorism has ended up influencing economic and immigration policy, the property market and school curricula. China is taking a similar route. Recently, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, invited the military to take part in the China Brain Project. It involves running so-called deep learning algorithms over the search engine data collected about its users... According to…reports, every Chinese citizen will receive a so-called ”Citizen Score”, which will determine under what conditions they may get loans, jobs, or travel visa to other countries. This kind of individual monitoring would include people’s Internet surfing and the behavior of their social contacts.

 

…Everything started quite harmlessly. Search engines and recommendation platforms began to offer us personalised suggestions for products and services... based on personal and meta-data that has been gathered from previous searches, purchases and mobility behaviour, as well as social interactions...Today, algorithms know pretty well what we do, what we think and how we feel—possibly even better than our friends and family or even ourselves.

 

...governments are trying to steer citizens…by means of a "nudge"—a modern form of paternalism…The magic phrase is "big nudging", which is the combination of big data with nudging. To many, this appears (to allow) one to govern the masses efficiently, without having to involve citizens in democratic processes…citizens could be governed by a data-empowered “wise king”, who would be able to produce desired economic and social outcomes almost as if with a digital magic wand...

 

A further problem arises when adequate transparency and democratic control are lacking: the erosion of the system from the inside. Search algorithms and recommendation systems can be influenced.  Companies can bid on certain combinations of words to gain more favourable results.  Governments (during) elections...might nudge undecided voters towards supporting them..

 

 

4593CEFD-A536-4E40-A310EE023E36BA08.jpg?

Credit: Paper Boat Creative Getty Images


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#32
Christe Eleison

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It must be said that Vyrdism is, potentially, one of the best long term solutions to a rise in automation and related technologies.

 

 

Any attempts to introduce UBI, specifically branded as a permanent "Unconditional Basic Income" on a large scale would, assuming the project is anywhere near successful, lead to radical centralisation in state apparatus, directly making an increasing proportion of the population dependent on the central government. Any attempts to reform it thereafter would be greatly hampered by the massive amount of people dependent on the UBI, of whom many would be fearful of losing their livelihood. Any politician wanting to reform UBI once it has been introduced would be met with accusations of cold-heartedness, and "trying to kill off the poor." But such a state of affairs would permanently lock most of the recipients of UBI out of the workings of the new world. They would be excluded from the means of production of wealth, goods, and services, and a state of affairs where many see education as "useless," and "not needed in real life" could well evolve. Most could be excluded, by their own choosing, but also by perverse incentive, from knowing how anything behind what they use in their daily lives works, and be completely cut off from the why's and how's of the functions of the world.

 

 

The UBI, though unreformable, could quickly come with strings attached. At first, only those who have committed the most serious of crimes would have their UBI cut. Then, after perhaps 20 years, it would also be cut for perpetrators of less serious crimes. This would, over time, evolve into a situation where any protest leads to a cut off from UBI. This is but one of many issues with UBI.

 

 

Only through wide dissemination of automation and related technologies can democracy and equality of opportunity be preserved, at least in some form.


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#33
kjaggard

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I think you're missing some very key things in your conception of the future to come.

 

We wouldn't allow a chimp to decide the course of OUR society, but we very often set them up in a preserves and enclosed parks to manage their own culture for themselves while we grant resources to them when the ecosystem doesn't meet their needs sufficiently. Resources it should be mentioned that we ourselves mostly have moved past the need for and don't compete for.

 

we interact, teach a common language to and observe and study chimps. We generally hold that it is unacceptable to subject them to cruelty and vivasection.

 

There is no reason to think a sufficiently advanced AI would handle things any worse. In fact an Advanced AI being able to live a predominantly digital life with little or no need of the same space or resources as human, might well just settle into the gaps between human populations. From our perspective it would seem small out of the way centers networked together while human societies still occupy the larger expanses of the material world with virtual realms as sort of borderlands. While to the AI vast digital realms surround pockets of the material realm.

 

It's all relative.

 

but it also seems to me and artificial divide you are constructing. People often describe the new machine age in a way like aliens arriving from nowhere in an otherwise closed system. Inherently disruptive and an occupying force.

 

I'm aware I'm in the minority, but I see things quite different. I see things as a bit more evolutionary and symbiotic. The world once was pretty much exclusively material/physical, humans developed a level of abstraction that provided a symbiosis to thoughtforms. Cultures, memes and knowledge have become symbionts within the animal form of humanity, and we grew and evolved to work together much like the bacterial population grew together to become eukaryote organisms with mitochondria, which in turn became multicelluar. And we are now looking down the barrel of a similar evolution percipitated by the world shaping symbiotic actions of our current forms and thought processes.

 

The ecosystems will be shifted and augmented, with technological inclusions, in a way much like cultural and knowledge based augmentations created the agricultural age of ecosystems. It will drift upward from there augmenting us and creating a new layer of symbiotic relationships.

 

There will be no US and Them in large part. Anymore than we look across a room at our shoes and think, 'Those outsiders, controlling and dictating the experiences of feet the world over'.

 

Sure there will be transition periods and some that don't make the crossing. but overall it's likely to be evolution of what it means to be human.

 

human brains are often (largely sybolically, but as a decent mode for understanding the processes) split into the 'lizard brain', the limbic system 'paleomammalian cortex', and the neocortex 'neomammalian complex'. And we may soon enter a period that introduces a cyber cortex. maybe hardwired, modular or even wirelessly connecting our bodies and symbiotic cultural minds into systems that connect augmentary AI, extra remote limbs and sensory organs and otherwise expand the realm of what it is to be us.

 

And I don't mean this in a way that requires some insane scifi tech development. I mean it in a way like so many of us know what time it is or what the graph of complex equations would look like. We have the peripheral parts of ourselves that think the thoughts that get us the answers to those questions. They are ours, and they extend us. When somebody asks "do you have the time?" or "does anybody know how much time there is before the State of the Union comes on?" nobody responds with 'no but I have a friendly AI in my pocket that can provide the answer.' We consider them largely to be our awareness of time. And we take it in stride that Somebody in Washington DC and ourselves elsewhere in the world are not only using the same model of devision of time but we share a common sense of time enough to predict and agree on the course of events within the timeframe.

 

This course of events will progress to include other senses, knowledge, and capabilities. We will wear them and implant them.

 

Basically there will not be this line that designates us and them. Some few groups may try to establish bubbles of us and thems, but they will each be different and it will be a sort of hold over reaction much like racism and sexism that tries to make the alien other out of people who are different from us in some degree or other but still largely just like us.


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Await occasions, never make haste. Find wonder and awe, by experiencing the everyday.

#34
Erowind

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The UBI, though unreformable, could quickly come with strings attached. At first, only those who have committed the most serious of crimes would have their UBI cut. Then, after perhaps 20 years, it would also be cut for perpetrators of less serious crimes. This would, over time, evolve into a situation where any protest leads to a cut off from UBI. This is but one of many issues with UBI.

 

Which is why it is so important that UBI come about through decentralized means. Non partisan organizations would have to allocate funding and do the budgeting with third party non partisan oversight, then said funding would get pumped into a decentralized blockchain that distributes the funds to citizenry. Eventually an AI could be designed for this purpose in order to make UBI completely untouchable. It would require a new branch of government that is untouchable by the senate, president etc. This branch would also have to be transparent. The only way it could be interfered with is if the citizens of the country tore it down via referendum.

 

I'm sure there are even better ways to do this, I'm just speculating.


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#35
caltrek

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The Sustainability Prerogative: Nonprofits in the Future of our Economy

 

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/04/27/the-sustainability-prerogative-nonprofits-in-the-future-of-our-economy/

 

Extract:

 

 

 

·        I think that the nonprofit sector in particular is perfectly situated to help us transition to a different economic landscape.

·        I’m looking at the structure of nonprofits and not-for-profit corporations as business entities. Because they’re not for sale, because they’re not shareholder- or share value–maximizing companies, what they end up doing is promoting revenue and the exchange of value and the circulation of money, which revives a whole economy rather than enriching the few.

·        It took Walmart 20 or 30 years to bankrupt one of the communities that it was extracting value from. So now Walmart is in trouble, because so many towns where it operates are impoverished. Once you have a Walmart, you can’t make any money doing anything else. Everyone just either works for the Walmart or buys from the Walmart, that’s it.

·        The object of the game (in the for profit sector) is to buy a business and then sell that business for enough profit that you never have to work again.

·        (In a sustainable economy if) you make your customers rich, then you’ve got wealthier customers and people who are going to come back. So, you need to start looking at money…as something that you circulate through the economy and that you see again and again and again and again.

·        A big, for-profit pharma company now doesn’t have the capacity to innovate. Instead, they look around for little companies that are innovating and then buy them. 

·        Now, (in) the nonprofit sector…the investment that you put in the company stays in the company. You can’t extract that when you leave.

·        (In a sustainable economy) you’re building a company not because you want to take value out of it and then use that money to bequeath an inheritance to your grandchildren, but rather you’re building a company that you hope will still be around when your grandchildren need a job, to circulate wealth when you die.

·        A commons is a managed common resource, and a real commons has very strict rules about it. So, if there’s a pond in our town that we all fish from, we’re going to have to make rules about this commonly used resource.

 

 

The article then goes on to describe co-ops pretty much along the lines of Market Vyrdism.

 

google-bus-e1461764855795.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
caltrek

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Capitalism= capitalists own means of production. Human workers labor using capital they don't own.

 
Communism= working class owns means of production. Human works labor using capital they collectively own.
 
Technism= capital owns means of production (i.e. itself). Humans are disenfranchised from the process entirely.

 

 

It occurs to me that there is a fourth alternative:

 

The Non-profit form:  corporations that function with Boards of Directors, Chief Executive Officers, and Chief Finance Officers but which are not organized along for-profit lines.  

 

Under this form, "owenrship" is not an issue. The non-profit is typically not available to be sold and therefore is not "owned". (At best, only its physical assets can be though of as being owned).  Control is exerted by those human beings who serve on its board of directors or are paid as managers.  Any "profits" are realized as wages or as a benefit to the larger community. This non-profit sector is already a significant presence in our economy. 

 

This realization occurred to me after reading the article cited immediately above, which pretty much makes this same point.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
caltrek

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Vyrdism Meets Housekeeping Services

 

http://thebollard.co...der-revolution/

 

Extract:

 

“There’s a lot of cooperatives amongst home cleaning and commercial cleaning all over the country, working a lot with women, with Latino populations, with new Americans all over,” said Jonah Fertig of the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI), an organization that fosters the formation of worker co-ops in New England.

 

“Women in those businesses have increased their wages,” Fertig said. “They’re treated with respect. They’re not exposed to toxic chemicals, and they have a voice. They control their company and they are able to really guide the direction of that company and advance in their own careers, as well — advance in leadership.”

 

Some of the largest and most successful worker co-ops in America are cleaning businesses, like the Si Se Puede! (We Can Do It!) Women’s Cooperative in Brooklyn, New York. Founded in the summer of 2006, Si Se Puede! had 65 worker-owners as of March 2015, according to its website, all of whom are immigrants. Prospera, a co-op incubator based in Oakland, has helped launch five successful home-cleaning businesses owned and run by workers, including Natural Home Cleaning Professionals, whose 30-plus worker-owners earn twice the average starting wage for residential cleaners in their county.

 

Prospera also had a hand in helping a promising new business form in Portland (Maine) in 2014. It was called C.L.E.A.N., which stood for Cooperative Labor and Economic Access Naturally. Last summer, the company adopted a simpler and catchier moniker: Clean Bee.

 

…Clean Bee has half a dozen regular commercial-cleaning clients, and gets a lot of one-time residential jobs, cleaning houses and apartments before or after people move. Most of the gigs are in Portland, but they also service homes and businesses in Falmouth, South Portland, and Westbrook. One of their commercial clients is One Longfellow Square, the Portland music and events venue that’s hired Clean Bee for weekly cleanings since the summer of 2015. The staff at One Longfellow told me they’re very pleased with the job the co-op does.

clean_bee.jpg

 

The worker-owners of Clean Bee (from left): Jesse Newcomb, Sylvia Stormwalker, Crystal Gamet and Nyaruot Nguany.

Photo/Chris Busby


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#38
Yuli Ban

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I wanted to make sure people understand Helotism.
 

I've been talking about the proposition of [technism] quite a bit, and one aspect of this is the use of what I call 'helots'. These are technotarians who work for the common good.
 

The helots were a slave/serf class in ancient Sparta who were owned in common by the citizenry. 1 In technostist terms, they're droids who are publicly owned and work for the State and/or the People. They can replace traditional public roles, and they can be used for new ones (self-repairing cities). They are public servants [public slaves, if you will]. They differ from droids, who are domestically owned, and technotarians, who work for a business or enterprise. Your municipality should have a number of helots. I made the example in another thread about imagining the relationship between myself, droids, technotarians, and helots.

 
We've seen the start of this with self-repairing city drones1. This actually works to decentralize the government, which is something I love. However, what we especially need for helotism to work is a large, bodied technotarian class. "Bodied" referring to robots2. Of course, we're working on robots of all types3, and not all technotarians will be humanoid.
 
This is something I feel is important, because I've made three distinctions of the types of robots4. The current markers aren't really working except for 'helot'. It's the helots I'm also most interested in.
 
  • I live in a small city of about 20,000 people. There are about 1,000 droids that exist as "public units." These are used for things more like traditional public jobs; i.e. firefighting, policing, etc, but also for things like repairing potholes and cleaning trash. In essence, these 1,000 technotarians belong to the State and the People, as well as to no one in particular.
Droids and technotarians can indeed fulfill the role of helots, but they don't have to. A helot can maintain your property along with many others, but it's more like a baseline. Your own droids are the "high definition" versions, making your property more of your own.

 

 
tl;dr: Helots are publicly owned robots that replace the functions of the state

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Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#39
Roh234

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Brutally honest summation.
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Well shit, this describes me perfectly.


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What is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses everywhere are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic politicians must appeal to these masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice and beauty. -Hans Hermann Hoppe


#40
Jakob

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I'm very nearly the opposite.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: technism, Vyrdism, postcapitalism, automation, technotariat, proletariat, John Henry Vyrd, post scarcity, artificial intelligence, robotics

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