Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Spiritual Machines and Cyberspeak People?

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuyt of Purpose?

Conjugate, Propagate and Delegate it to a Governmental Policy?

 

There are times, really, when I have wondered whether the domestic violence, school violence, etc., was merely a matter of saying “I am!” loudly enough to be heard.  Sometimes.   To me, meaning centered around purpose, conscious choice in the face of difficult circumstances, enabling creativity in children (often through singing).  As a mother, my purpose was never surrogate mother for the “state” (or anyone else), nor did parenting mean, choosing which daycare.  It meant the whole ball of wax.  

Today and this week were significant for two major religions.  I am uninvolved, this time round.  I have no significant sentiments,  The major drive of my life has not changed from yesterday to today:  (a) fiscal physical and emotional survival (b) finding and speaking some truth, (c) what can I do about the crises in the courts?  Can something I do or say avert the next family annihilation, or expose why these are happening to the point they do, less?

 

 

Last night I watched Dr. Who (yes, I have devolved, although in my defense, a typical day is long.  Also watching TV does help me forget that my children no longer live here, courtesy failure-to-enforce (across a spectra of institutions one would think WOULD) custody orders, such as sole physical custody to a nonbattering mother, etc.,   I watch TV at night, after reading, researching, writing, and connecting with people all day.  It is my non-think time.  This is also the first period in my adult life I watched TV regularly.  Given the last several years, I just don’t do chit-chat and entertainment well, and I have retreated from the former open home policies, integrating colleagues, my kids, their kids, and at-home clients (teaching).  I’m too often in shock, pissed off, or simply puzzling out how to solve the latest intractable legal issue (without funding).  

This could be mildly justified as social commentary on what is current diet and what age level the average evening program seems aimed at (what “market niche”).  Anyhow, so after konking out, I woke up to “Dr. Who.”  

In this episode, homeless and hungry people were being experimented upon by some mastermind trying to produce eternal life for his debilitated self.  Eventually upgraded (with screaming and frightening looking tools) to the metal-skinned Cybermen (clunking slowly, but ominious, destructive, and unstoppable through windows and other obstacles.  Briefly, I thought of the Book of Revelation in the Bible, where did the image come from?).  However, the populace were definitely “plugged in” and paused for their daily downloads.  Brain takeover was a few steps away.

Most fiction draws off real life, and comments on it.

So, the big fear is of robots taking over, and them physically destroying too many of us, of an outrageous conformity and willingness to take orders, no matter how horrible.

Let’s see, can this be identified by a metal skin and slow movements?

I think sometimes we are fearing the wrong things.  

From my perspective (a decade of “head of the household” DV plus about a decade of double-talk and psychospeak in what I thought was a justice system),  the degradation and fragmentation of languages into technospeak means human kind is perhaps getting so specialized that when their anointed (pardon, me, “apPOINTed”) experts do not speak, the rest of us are speechless, on issues which haven’t been proclaimed upon.  If it hadn’t been proclaimed or pronounced upon, then it must not exist, probably.  

Language is a two-edged sword.  We teach kids to define words properly in school, or get the multiple choice question wrong, and grade them on correctly guessing what the test-maker-meant.  The best use of language is with double-meanings and context sensitive.  I think school desensitizes the observing factors, at least when it comes to coursework.  

Particularly in the middle class, I think, who are not independently wealthy (do not have wealth-producing assets such that they could take time out to process things, or step away from their routine of JOB – WEEKEND – VACATION – LEISURE – KIDS EDUCATION lifestyle long enough to actually understand “what happened”?   If you want a very coherent opinion, dogmatic and determined, perhaps the two places to find it are among homeless people (who I’ve found to be VERY well-read, many of them) and — if you can find them — people who started a foundation or five.  You may not be rubbing shoulders with these people, but you can read the “History” section of their foundations.

And/Or, you can go to major universities around the country, and find out what centers, fellowships, and institutes have been named after them.  I have been.  It’s INTERESTING.

Well, enough commentary.  I just thought the following passage was interesting enough to post.  Decide for yourself if it’s relevant!

Species that overspecialized didn’t survive the crises as well as the generalists.  The ability to use TOOLS is key, as well as to adapt to different environments.

I am concerned that a tool the majority of us don’t have time to guard — carefully — is LANGUAGE.  (I say this despite the abominable prose above, let alone copyediting).  What I mean is that we have not experienced enough to connect terms in common use with commonly lived through experiences.  This does not reduce the affirmation and certainty with which they are used.  Hence, we still think that in the U.S. there are possibly three separate branches of government whose powers balance each other.  Or that Public Eduction is either.  Or that HomeSchooling (a new verb) is that, either.  My favorite oxymoron is when we get to the point that the ‘experts” on many topics who are listened to by virtue of Ph.D’s and publishings, have not actually experienced what they proclaim on.

One of my very favorite books in the world on these matters of perception/interpretation versus actually noticing and observing, was written by a woman who is (was?) an autistic behavioral scientist.  “ANIMALS IN TRANSLATION.”  I learned much about PTSD and WHY my thinking process changed after, oh, say, about 12 years of up-close dealing with people who lie, and one or more who stalk.  I became more alert to nonverbal cues (AND verbal ones).  This actually helped in a certain line of work (in the arts).  It did not help with relationships, overall, because the level of sensitivity was too high, and level of trust too low.  I hope to get it in balance one of these (years).  There was, however, a need to counter being too trusting.  

If this post was interesting, please comment.  Thank you.  It’s an FYI, and not one of my most passionate ones.

Sincerely,

“LetsGetHonest” 04-11-09

 

I believe this is a review of the book on “Spiritual Machines.” 

If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can’t make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines’ decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won’t be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.


On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite – just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race. They will see to it that everyone’s physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes “treatment” to cure his “problem.” Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them “sublimate” their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals.
1
1 The passage Kurzweil quotes is from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto, which was published jointly, under duress, byThe New York Times and The Washington Post to attempt to bring his campaign of terror to an end. I agree with David Gelernter, who said about their decision:
“It was a tough call for the newspapers. To say yes would be giving in to terrorism, and for all they knew he was lying anyway. On the other hand, to say yes might stop the killing. There was also a chance that someone would read the tract and get a hunch about the author; and that is exactly what happened. The suspect’s brother read it, and it rang a bell.
“I would have told them not to publish. I’m glad they didn’t ask me. I guess.”
(Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber. Free Press, 1997: 120.)

 

 

In an earlier post I looked at an article on “Intimate Partner Violence,” by a woman in Australia who helps women in crisis because of this. After grilling her article (I hope, not unkindly) on its premises — (which is how I converse, and think — interactively) I felt it only fair to search for the upcoming book “The Future By Us.” What I attempted to confront was the articles innocent, I felt, groupthink — vision of a violence-free word to be created by productive dialogue with others.

The google search led to a book I have (The Age of Spiritual Machines), reminding me uncomfortably of how little most of us understand what goverment-funded and privately-funded policies, established without input, alerts, discussion, or permission can do.  They are simply so large, well-funded, and in perpetual motion, that a person with whom an individual actually interfaces may or may not be able (or prone) to act AS a person, but rather as an extension of a policy only.  

As a mother (or father, I guess), you may be talking to a live person that looks to be living, breathing, and sentient — but that person is working in a system that has policies, priorities — and owes their funding to those policies and priorities — that may have nothing to do with you, your interests, your children, or anything you call moral, upright, or such.

At some point, one realizes that most of the myths we were raised with (the justice system is about justice, law enforcement is about law enforcement, and courts are where both sides of a case are heard and fairly adjudicated, in the pure form. Those laws you finally looked up that are to protect your children are on the books to be enforced, and “if only” the judge knew that these laws applied, he/she/it would rule correctly.

Wrong again. I learned a lot of this through NAFCJ.net AND checking out the links, I spent weeks on Google and now habitually (it is my HABIT) when reading almost anything in this field, published by an organization, I look at: 1. Board of Directors 2. Funding, and then I go back and see who they are. SOME insight develops over time.

I’m almost afraid to review what I wrote above.  This blog is not about essays, it’s about the act of speaking, and I hope that Gentle Readers will forgive shortcomings in this one in particular.  I just thought it interesting.  Unlike other topics here, it lacks the intensity that makes for focused writing.

Ah well….  

 

 

Written by Let's Get Honest

April 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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