Friday, May 26, 2017

Tactical valley of ignorance

Many of the rich and famous appear to be now indicating that universal income (1) is a good policy. It may be too little too late with children running powerful nations and corporations. If they do want to make an impact, it will take more than speeches and photo ops. It will require actions to disseminate information across populations and technologies that can curb misinformation. It will require belief and the ability to embrace a utility function that encompasses humanity.

There are good signs for humanity, however. Bad examples have great value in education and we certainly have a great number of them in full display. But education is a necessary condition that will allow humanity to separate the wheat from the chaff, those who have been marginalized and the lucky, those who volunteer to make the world better and the uninterested, the unlucky from those who fight for money, the rebels from those who appear religious, the travellers from those who stay put, the indifferent from those who seek their own kind, the optimizers from those who maximize, the elderly from those who do not grow up.

We are slowly progressing toward a better society. The hiccups on the way are just that and contemporary events may provide rich fodder for comedy shows in a few decades. The millennials appear to have it but they have to get through a tactical valley of ignorance.


(1) https://townhall.com/tipsheet/laurettabrown/2017/05/25/mark-zuckerberg-argues-for-universal-income-in-speech-to-harvard-grads-n2331924

Friday, May 19, 2017

Immigrants

Nearly 3% of the population - 250 million, live outside the country of their birth (1) and it is a constant reminder that humans have been on the move for over 100 thousand years. They spread culture, ideas and biases across locations and continents, eliminated those who differ from them and clung together to survive in the bottleneck that reduced them to a few thousand. In spite of the walls that separated them, they pushed to assimilate in spite of the color of their skin, eyes or hair, and now we may be turning time back for the worse.


Knowledge has always slowed down the journey to destruction and those who did not imbibe from the fountain have been left behind to fend for themselves. Geographical segmentation schemes have separated siblings and illogical religious constructs have united those who never wanted to be united. Humans have separated themselves based on surface features, never considering that their architecture has been a lot deeper. As they shut down the boundaries of their recent homes based on ignorance, the intelligentsia bleeds but as they always do, they remain ineffective.


Move, move again - and let humanity come together, once again.


(1) http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/people-move-science-migrations

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The advantages of sex

A recent study (1) suggests that genetic interactions are driving selection. This is an important finding and it suggests that mutations are not sufficiently robust to propel populations to more dominant states. In fact, mutations may have a negative effect on optimal progression. It has major policy implications in that, if humanity were to survive, it would be largely driven by genetic interactions rather than optimization in sub-populations.
 
Humans seem to be on a dangerous course, propelled by an affinity to surface features and segmented utility. The leaders in most countries appear to be less intelligent than average and it implies suboptimal policies with long term deleterious effects. As they travelled out of Africa by foot, first to Australasia and then to China, they never imagined the state of affairs, they would find themselves in fifty thousand years later. Some travelled north and obliterated the gentle Neanderthals and some stayed put, only to be marginalized. Some crossed the ice bridge into the new continent only to be separated from the rest.
 
Without an abundance of genetic interactions, humans are doomed to oblivion. Fortunately, the idiots who run countries and corporations have a limited life span.


(1) http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6337/539

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pinnacle

At the pinnacle of innovation, technology and war mongering, those who are climbing it seem to have left behind nearly ten million of their exact copies in Nigeria, with half of them malnourished and failing from diseases, amplified by hunger (1). For a societal leap forward, it will require moving the entire humanity to a position of sustenance. Empathy has been easier than effective policies, tweets easier than action, cosmetics and shallow conversations easier than thoughts and ignorance safer than seeking knowledge. Meanwhile, millions perish from lack of basic necessities.
 
The question remains to be why humanity is stuck in this local minimum. Good has always trumped the bad and ideas flourish over stagnation, but it appears that we are unable to break out of a stalemate, aided by global apathy and instability. Societal progress has been immensely hampered by illogical constructs such as an outward show of religion and patriotism. Those who could aid a move up from the valley have been busy nourishing their egos in academia and fighting their colleagues. Those who want to save the world by elevating themselves to the top of the hierarchy have been corrupt and emotionless. At the heart of this stalemate is lack of education, as ignorance has spread like wildfire across the world, aided and abetted by their leaders. If the 7.6 billion occupying the world only knew that they are clones of a single human being, perhaps we can begin to bridge the gap.
 
But it is a tall order as humans suffer from myopia, driven by hard constraints on life span.
 
(1) http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/04/hunger-amplifies-infectious-diseases-millions-fleeing-violence-boko-haram

Friday, May 5, 2017

The bulge in the frontal cortex

Recent finding in the Journal of Neurological Sciences (1) that Descartes' brain had an unusual bulge in the frontal cortex is further proof that humans with unusual developments in the organ they carry on their shoulders, move societies. Less than a hundred individuals with such deformities in the last two thousand years, including Albert Einstein, substantially contributed to most knowledge accumulated by humans. This implies that knowledge is a result of unusual patterns in the brain and humans in general are not really designed to go a lot further than the basic attributes in their objective function, largely driven by food and reproduction.

Understanding their limitations is a leap forward for humans as their forward momentum depends largely on the arrival of the next genius. There has not been a positive sign in the last hundred years as they move technology forward at the destruction of the delicate greenhouse they have been afforded. As they travel to nearby planets, extend life incrementally and double computing power every 18 months, they have to realize that none of these have any fundamental impact on knowledge. For that, humans still require a major deformity in the brain of one of the billions of specimens they seem to have replicated into.

As indicated in the article (1) " It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well."


(1) http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/descartes-s-brain-had-bulging-frontal-cortex