We humans do not excel in integrity politically. What if we opt for a cybernetic government, i.e. appoint an AI as government?
The first months of 2021 were not a peak of democracy. Once again, parties came to power that excel in short-term politics, cheat voters time and again and act against the interests of the Netherlands. What if we leave politics to computer algorithms? Futurologists seriously consider a future society that is primarily cybernetic in nature.
In fact, more has come from cybernetic government politics than many people realize. Econometrician and feared, because expert and conscientious Member of Parliament Pieter Omtzigt (CDA) stated in his book A new social contract (2021), which for an outsider is nonsensical government policy intended to make purchasing power models correct. A good example of Omtzigt is the new employed person's tax credit in the 2021 Tax Plan. Politics wants to do “something nice” for the middle class. So politicians invents a complicated employed person's tax credit that is maximum for people with a middle income of around 40,000 euros. Not coincidentally the electoral group of the ruling coalition.
The Secrets of the Cybernetic Government
These models are secret according to good Dutch political practice. Just like the epidemiological models of the RIVM, which support the covid-19 decisions and which are scientifically controversial.
If computers already largely dominate the Netherlands anyway, could we not make this process more transparent? Why should we have lying, blundering and spinning politicians as intermediaries between the voter and the calculation model? Why not directly disclose the source code of the algorithms that govern us? And give us a say? It's time for that psychohistory?
What is 14edo? Western music is based on a seven-note octave. The eighth note is the note where the next octave begins. In between there are five “half-tones”. In fact twelve tones.
Physically speaking, a note one octave higher is a sound wave that is twice as short. So a tone of 300 Hz (vibrations per second) sounds an octave higher than a tone of 150 Hz.
The 'primal scale' is the pentatonic scale. This occurs all over the world. There are minor and major octaves.
However, this is just a small selection of the enormous choice we have in alternative scales. Because, why not, for example, a note between C and C# (cis)? Or a scale with 14 (14edo) or 20 (20edo) notes?
A standard keyboard is not suitable for playing these compositions. The mathematician and composer Elaine Walker therefore developed keyboards with different pitch distances.
The core of creativity is to see “buttons” with which you can change things. Such as the self-evidence, with which we start from the western octave. Walker turned the previously unthinkable knob. Namely the button, how we divide an octave into pieces. With this discovery, Walker opened up a world of new, groundbreaking music.
Below is a piece by the composer, based on an octave of 14 notes.
Elaine Walker had been locked up at home because of the Covid-19 epidemic. A disaster for many, but an opportunity for Walker to finally be able to work calmly. She therefore indulged herself in exotic music that, unlike atonal music, has mathematical regularity. That is why it sounds quite pleasant to the ears.
This 14edo music is slightly more cheerful.
Which of course raises questions. Like, can we teach humans to enjoy alternative tonal scales? And also, what kind of music would other animals like? Or aliens? And also, how does music interact with our brain?
More remarkable compositions on her website ZIAspace.
The dream world has been the place where everything is possible for centuries. Now speaking with dreaming people is also possible. Even at a pretty high level.
Dream World: enigmatic, inaccessible and fleeting
Dreams take us to another reality, a world of hallucinations that feels as real as any waking experience. These often bizarre episodes are characteristic of human sleep, but are still an unexplained phenomenon. We are a little further than Plato, who in his famous parable assumed that we are living in a dream, but much is still unexplained. Which makes this “inner voyage” all the more fascinating. For the first time, researchers have entered a previously unknown domain.
Eyewitness account from lucid dream
Until now, dream research relied mainly on witness reports from dreaming people. Dream memories fade quickly, within minutes of waking up. our conscious mind also distorts the dream. In this groundbreaking study, subjects were able to answer questions from the study leaders. The test subjects were present in a lucid dream. Lucid dreams are a special type of dreams in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that she is dreaming during the dream. Fellow writer Niek has studied it and regularly dreams lucidly. Here are tips for learning how to dream lucidly yourself.
Questioning about the dream world during REM sleep
We know from previous research that people dream during so-called REM sleep. Brainwaves show an activity that is very similar to the waking state and the eyes make 'Rapid Eye Movements' (REM). The experiments took place in 36 lucid dreaming subjects who were determined by brainwave measurement that they were in REM sleep. During this sleep, they analyzed new information as an awake person would, they memorized information in their working memory, calculated simple answers, and gave voluntary answers. These findings were made by four independent research groups. In short: for the first time, it is now possible to actually communicate with people who are dreaming, and to hear firsthand from them how they experience their dream world. Can we now start exploring the hidden world in which we each spend hours each night? More details in the resource, which is publicly available.
Researchers developed an AI algorithm that in 70% of the cases on a face can distinguish left and right in voting behavior.
In discussions between left and right, it often seems as if two different human species are talking to each other. Nowadays left and right talk more and more past each other.
They see the other as alien. Mostly left has a hand in this and reacts more emotionally. An important distinction is also that left-wing voters show more emotions in their face than right-wing voters.
Not clear why left and right look different
The annoying thing about neural networks is that they can make a reasonably accurate prediction, but not on the basis of which they make that prediction. The researchers were therefore unable to pinpoint exactly what kind of facial features their system correlated with political affiliation, but they did find some trends. Like the attitude of someone's head.
The degree to which some form of facial expression could be seen in the photos also seemed to provide some clues. For example, people who looked directly into the camera, a favorite hobby of ex-VVD politician Wiegel, who is known for his conservatism, usually judged the algorithm to be more progressive. Those who looked away and showed disgust, therefore ended up on the “conservative” pile.
Difficult to replicate
Repeating this research by others, an absolute requirement in science, is difficult. After all, the photos and political preferences on which their algorithm has been trained contain pretty privacy-sensitive information. Other researchers will therefore have to create their own collection of left and right voters and apply the algorithm to this.
That is only going to be difficult, now that the proportions are so polarized. And this correlation may not be correct outside the (California) target groups from which the researchers obtained their data ...
How can you use this knowledge as a spin doctor?
The intention is to allow voters of your political preference to vote, and to discourage others from voting. For example, you could identify left and right voters by means of facial recognition. If you want mainly left-wing voters to vote, you can appeal to them and encourage them to vote. You want to deprive right-wing voters of the desire to vote with cynical jokes about the “pocket-filling politicians”.
Source Michal Kosinski. Facial recognition technology can expose political orientation from naturalistic facial images, Scientific Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-020-79310-1
We were created from stardust and one day, hopefully this century, we humans will return to the stars. Some people move on. They think the stars and planets determine their fate. Is Astrology Sense or Nonsense?
What is Astrology?
For those wondering why most names for sciences end in “logy”, except “astronomy”, this is because astrology existed before astronomy. Astronomers who study celestial bodies in a scientific way wanted to distinguish themselves from astrologers.
This is no wonder. Astrology is the belief that the position of the planets and stars at your time of birth determines your fate. Although astrologers use detailed methods to extract predictions about your future life course from the positions of the stars, these methods have no scientific basis. In short, astrologers do just about everything that a true scientist would dislike.
For example, there is no clear working mechanism of astrology. The midwife's gravity on a baby is four times that of the planet Mars's gravity, for example. The only celestial bodies that you really notice as a human being are the sun (day and night) and the moon (ebb and flow, in combination with the sun). Besides the earth itself, of course. And possibly hitting asteroids. In the latter case, an astronomer can of course make an accurate prediction of your date of death. And hers and the rest of humanity, of course.
Another problem with believing in astrology is that there are at least three different astrologies. Chinese astrology is based on the year of birth, Indian (Vedic) astrology and related Greek astrology is based on the positions of planets. And also the Mayas (and probably the Incas too) had an elaborate form of astrology. Assuming the same position of the stars, an Indian astrologer therefore makes a different prediction than a Western one. The yugas of Indian astrology are very different from the baktuns of the Maya.
This while, for example, the Chinese, Greek and Mayan versions of the Pythagorean Theorem, yield the same result.
Gauquelin: Proof That Astrology Works?
The French psychologist Pierre Gauquelin discovered, in his own words, a “Mars effect“. The position of the planet Mars during the birth of someone would affect the chance of becoming a successful athlete. This discovery caused quite a stir, and was embraced by astrologers to defend their belief in the stars. It later turned out that he had made the necessary methodological mistakes. For example, the effect appeared to no longer occur with dates of birth after 1950, when doctors communicated the date of birth.
A similar effect, where the month of birth is one statistically significant effect appeared to have on Canadian ice hockey achievements, could be traced back to an apprentice's age. If a student has a birthday just after the selection year starts, he is much bigger and stronger than a student who reaches that age at the end of the year. Simply because he is almost a year older. He is therefore more likely to be seen and scouted as an “ice hockey talent” than the younger student.
It started with internet porn. Then came the sex robots. We are now approaching the point for 2030 that artificial intelligence can pass the Turing test. In other words, pretend to be a human. For example, as someone trying to hook you up. What techniques will artificial intelligence use to learn to hack human emotions? When are you tempted by artificial intelligence? In this video the state of affairs.
Seduced by artificial intelligence
Capitalism will always strive to maximize profit. You make a profit by selling products that you can manufacture cheaply for more money. When there is no longer a way to differentiate yourself with your special product, there is only one way to make a profit. Sell more. In other words: entice more customers and entice customers better.
If AI continues to improve and eventually surpass humans in information processing capacity, the logical end product is the siren AI. An artificial intelligence capable of completely wrapping people around its finger. Cash desk!
But there are also supervillains. At least, evil characters who take the opportunity to grow into a real time Joker or Darth Vader. Such a person may come up with the idea of seducing the population with this. For example, to a dictatorship headed by him. Was Cambridge Analytica, the firm that helped Trump win an election, scary? Or the power of big tech over us?You haven't seen anything as yet.
We saw an example of such artificial intelligence in the 2015 film Ex Machina. An artificial intelligence seduced the protagonist in order to escape, to work on world domination. This is not imaginary, says philosopher Neil Bostrom in his book Superintelligence. Tempted to doom? The risk is greater than most people think about.
Is it allowed to lie, if you can save the world with this?
Lying very useful in politics
In a democracy, in theory, the population rules. In practice, this is “delegated” to professional politicians, who are elected every four years. Getting your way through is difficult, when stubborn people are constantly getting in the way who think they know better. And besides, often have a different agenda than you. That explains why lies are so popular in democracy. Like magicians, politicians and politicians disguise their real, unpopular intentions. They mask these with noble lies. Because the stupid people cannot handle the truth. Below are some examples of “white lies”, well known from public sources, that turned out to be disastrous.
A good example is the increasingly worse anthropogenic global warming (AGW), popularly called the 'greenhouse effect'. The amount of CO2 in the air has risen sharply in the last two centuries. Namely, from approximately 270 ppm to around 415 ppm in 2021. That is not going in the right direction. After all, more CO2 in the air means warming and rising sea levels. Parts of the tropics can also become uninhabitable due to the high temperatures.
If the temperature remains structurally above 26 degrees, our body will suffer from too much heat during heavy work. This is already a huge problem in, for example, El Salvador . And certainly, if, as expected, the average temperature in the tropics will rise even more. Then the tropics become unlivable even with sufficient drinking and light work. Reason enough, therefore, to tackle the AGW problem. Most Dutch and Belgians would like that too.
Meat is unhealthy for the planet, not for humans
One of the main contributors to this CO2 is livestock farming. It is estimated that about 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions, plus the necessary deforestation, are caused by livestock . In short: it is very useful for the earth if we stop eating meat.
Now the problem is: The argument to save the Earth convinces only a few people to abandon meat. But when people start to believe that eating meat makes eating sick, the number of vegetarians explodes. And there you see, a significant reduction in CO2. This explains why the opinion that meat is unhealthy, and that meat can be easily missed, is predominant in progressive, hip blogs. Because who wouldn't want to save the world with a white lie?
A lie yes indeed. Children need meat to grow better - vegetable protein is much more difficult to digest . So while eating a little less meat is beneficial for adults who eat a lot of meat, growing children certainly need plenty of meat.
The war on dairy
Dairy also suffers this fate. After all, dairy also comes from livestock farming and is therefore CO2 polluting. One kg of protein from dairy is about the same as one kg of protein from meat. Milk was once recommended to prevent osteoporosis, and school milk was something we were proud of. Now even schoolchildren get fake milk like oat milk from their well-meaning, socially conscious parents. Oat milk is widely hyped in hip circles, but is in fact a kind of expensive meal drink. With many empty calories and many and too few nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D . The result: malnutrition in children. Because these types of families also eat little eggs and meat.
Ban curse on soy
In fact, just one plant-based milk substitute comes pretty close to cow's milk. Soymilk. Although the protein from soy is about twenty percent less rich in essential amino acids than that in cow's milk. So you have to use more soy milk to get enough of those amino acids. Yet they do not often choose soy. The soybean has a bad smell to socially conscious people.
Although soy is fine to grow in the Netherlands. Moreover, a higher yield per hectare gives than in Brazil: 3.5-4 tons per hectare with experienced growers . That equates to 1500 kg of soy protein per hectare. Sufficient for a whopping 500,000 liters of soy milk per hectare per year. In other words: we could grow enough soy for the complete milk consumption of the Netherlands, 975 million liters, on an area of 2000 square kilometers (this is approximately the area of the province of Limburg). But soy is wrong. So you can't.
Lying to start wars
In general, wars are a very bad idea. Wars cause a lot of human suffering. And there are many victims, both dead and disabled. Countries are also turning into wasteland. The disruption is ruining the lives of millions of people. So no sensible person can be for war. Yet wars are still the rule. Also wars started by democratic countries.
This is possible because the people are being lied to. Consider the weapons of mass destruction of the then Iraqi dictator Saddam, which later turned out not to exist. On this basis, Saddam's regime was overthrown, which has now been replaced by a pro-Iranian regime. With hundreds of thousands of deaths as a result. But oil profits and those of companies like Halliburton and Raytheon were assured. Interesting detail: the energy content of the depleted uranium munitions thrown on Iraq was sufficient to supply all households in North America for four years. free of electricity to provide.
The masks lie and corona test lie
An example a little closer to home. The way in which the Dutch government tackled the corona crisis was characterized by lie upon lie. For example, the government claimed that there was insufficient testing capacity. And made little move to increase this capacity. The result was that the Dutch corona figures compared favorably with those abroad, such as Germany and Belgium. And the Netherlands was excluded when, for example, flights to Germany and Belgium were stopped. That yielded quite a bit of economic profit. In reality, the excess mortality in 2020 already shows that the Netherlands is at least as badly affected as the neighboring countries: about the same as Belgium and much more severe than Germany. 
Mouth masks were not necessary, the government claimed. In the rest of the world, including at the WHO, it was already known in the spring of 2020 that the wearing of mouth masks the best prevention against covid-19 spread. The reason for this lie was to prevent the Dutch from hoarding medical mouth masks. There was a great lack of this in healthcare. If the government had told the truth, then Dutch factories could have switched en masse to indigenous production of face masks, as happened in China, for example. Or we could have collaborated with our Belgian, French and German neighbors.
Does lying make sense?
From the previous examples we see that lying to the population always has a negative effect. Even if the liar's intentions are noble. Lies destroy credibility and trust, that is, social capital. Keeping up lies requires secrecy and censorship. Lies also cause wrong policies and steer society in the wrong direction. All of this is a high price for a short term benefit.
False is wrong. Joking is never allowed. No, not even to save the world. There is no such thing as white lying. If we are too stupid and cowardly as a species to grasp and act on the truth, we don't deserve to survive.
According to Nick Bostrom's singleton hypothesis, one great power will eventually emerge that swallows or subdues the rest. Is he right?
The world is increasingly becoming a “village that encompasses the world”. That's no coincidence, according to the singleton hypothesis. This theory comes from the brain of Nick Bostrom. Bostrom is a philosopher from Oxford University, who previously made a name for himself with his theory about super intelligence. According to this theory, the logical outcome of human evolution is that there is one world government will come . At least one entity that will rule all of humanity. That can be a super intelligence are, but also a mega-corporation or a superstate.
Increasing levels of order
As philosophers often do, Bostrom uses induction and makes an abstraction of it. In concrete terms: he established that in history, people started to live together in ever-increasing relationships. From a handful of hunters and gatherers to states with more than a billion inhabitants. Think of India and China. Or quasi-states like the EU. He continues this trend. He thinks that these enormous states will also merge into one earth-spanning realm.
Or in an artificial intelligence, something like Skynet from the Terminator series. Or in a company such as Tencent in China, which is a bank, social credit rater, shop and social network in one. But then much, much bigger.
Temporary trend of nationalism
Bostrom thinks that the prevailing trend in Western countries of anti-globalism today is temporary. Bostrom looks at timescales spanning centuries. Millennia, even. In the longer term, the outcome is clear, he says. We're heading towards a singleton. Whether we like it or not.
World government more effective
Bostrom thinks a singleton could turn out well. After all, now there is the threat of nuclear wars. And an arms race. Plus tackling global issues, such as the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, is failing. A world government is nipping an epidemic in the bud and introducing a lockdown. And quickly arranges compensation for the affected area, so that no one has to grumble. Thus the epidemic had been contained. Unless the world government is a totalitarian dictatorship afraid of losing face, of course.
Singleton only for open systems?
Bostrom generalizes from a limited dataset. Namely that of open systems. Most people live in an open system, in which there are plenty of contacts with the rest of the world. In closed systems, such as islands, you see that these usually split up into a few parts. Take for example the Guanches of the Canary Islands and the inhabitants of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. A lonely island in the Pacific. Rapa Nui was completely isolated. The original inhabitants of the island, about the size of Texel, had cut down all the trees. Other islands are more than a thousand kilometers away. When explorers discovered the island, the population had split into different clans. This effect also occurred in the Guanches.
The soil is such a closed system. That is, as long as humans are the predominant species, the earth will likely remain split into a few large blocks. That is, if historical trends are correct. But that's the question. In modern times many trends have been turned upside down.
That would change if an outside threat were discovered. For example aliens, or colonies elsewhere in the solar system. So, as humanity we will not get much further than the United Nations. Unless humanity spreads beyond the Earth. Then a new field is added for quarreling. We humans are, unfortunately, quite stubborn. Hopefully we have learned that we get along more with peace than with war.
Will there be life after death after all? Microsoft has applied for a patent on the idea of an afterlife as a chatbot.
In the episode Be Right Back from the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror, exactly this idea emerges. A woman's dead boyfriend is digitally “brought to life” again. By using her memories of him, and the photos and conversations left behind, to fabricate a realistic look-alike robot of her ex. Of course, in Black Mirror style, this also ends badly.
Brought back to life using an algorithm
In its patent , Microsoft focuses on an initially, more modest goal. A chatbot, fed with all the knowledge and memories of the deceased. The idea is not new. Two years after the broadcast of the first episode of Black Mirror, a number of Russians worked on the development of a chatbot to bring their friend who was killed in a collision back to life. 
Is an afterlife ethical as a chatbot?
As is often the case with artificial intelligence, ethical issues come into play here too. To begin with, is it ethical to use private conversations of a deceased person as a grief counseling? Are you not violating that person? And in the slightly more distant future, as artificial intelligence keeps getting better, is there still a distinction between a chatbot and a real person? Is it murder to delete the chatbot? And how ethical is it to give a survivor false hope? To make her or him like something that is nothing more than a computer program? Or are we no more than a computer program?
And the question that burns us all on the lips: is Microsoft Windows' infamous Blue Screen of Death getting a second meaning? Because Microsoft is known for its abundant production of vaporware. Questions and more questions.
The father of the United States Marine Humayun Khan, blown up in Iraq by a fellow believer, thinks his son has meant more to the United States than Trump. Of course, the Donald did not let that go by and a media riot broke out. Which brings us to a fascinating philosophical question.
Sense and nonsense of the martyrs
The Christian faith has grown with it: martyrs. In the early pacifist days of Christianity, this usually concerned Christians murdered by order of the emperors of the Roman Empire. As Christianity became the state religion and the Roman Catholic Church increasingly deviated from Christian pacifism, their numbers declined. Some well-known past martyrs were beatified by the Church and then canonized. Their statements were given a special meaning. They had their own saint's day and one hagiography after another saw the light.
The second great faith, Islam, also has martyrs. The Quran guarantees every Muslim who dies (shahid) for the sake of Islam, a certain stay in paradise. All his, or occasionally, her sins are forgiven this person by Allah. Although suicide is forbidden in both the Quran and the narratives (hadith), it is allowed to die murderously. Martyrs are also highly honored within Islam. For example, there is extensive worship of martyrs in the Palestinian territories. Survivors of suicide attacks receive a special benefit.
There is also an extensive cult around fallen soldiers in the United States.
Are Martyrs Right?
From a rational point of view, a martyr is one who has failed to achieve his goal alive. This may be because the only way to reach the goal is to sacrifice yourself. In that rare case, the martyr was a brave man. In many cases, it is a rather silly person best to deceive you posthumously Darwin award can reach out. The Muslims who blow themselves up with a bomb belt can be seen as such. These are gullible, often mentally less gifted that are easily fooled by smooth nice craters. A lot of sexually abused Muslim women become martyrs to save their family's honor.
According to publicly available information, a suspected taxi was approaching Humayun Khan when he served as a security guard in Iraq. He dismissed his subordinates and hailed the taxi himself. Then the driver, a suicide bomber, detonated the taxi. Based on this information, we can provisionally conclude that Khan was indeed a hero. He risked his life to neutralize the danger, instead of sending one of his subordinates. He respected the lives of others more than his own. That makes him a hero in the classic sense of the word.
Who has meant more to the United States: Humayun Khan or Donald Trump?
Khan saved the lives of probably several hundred people through his courageous actions. Trump has had varying degrees of success in his various business activities. This wealth, by the way, mainly because Trump had a rich father. You need money to make money in the real estate world. Without Trump, there would probably have been some other tall buildings than now, some fashion models would have had another rich guy, and Trump University attendees would have let themselves be fooled by another scammer.
Had Trump been an entrepreneur in medical engineering, for example, or a philanthropist, he would in principle have made a much greater positive contribution to the US than Khan could ever have done as a soldier. Let alone, if his dream of becoming a military lawyer had come true. Nevertheless, we have to conclude here that Khan's contribution was positive on balance, and therefore incomparably greater than that of Donald Trump until his presidency.
Whether his contribution to Usa was positive or negative after Trump's presidency ended, we can only determine later. Ratings for presidents sometimes change over time. He has shaken things up quite a bit and thus accelerated the course of history.