Sunday, May 26, 2019

36,000 days and optimization within a catastrophic constraint

Humans have a very interesting mathematical problem. They have to optimize within a harsh time constraint. Although the endowment is not known, it is increasingly predictable. Even though the range is broad - from 0 to say, 36,000 days, the variance has been going down, thanks to modern medicine. But most humans sub optimize. Materialism, ignorance, hunger for power and a variety of other value destroying metrics have misguided nearly 100 billion samples from inception.

The time afforded to a human appears limited. Irrational thinking has led most astray, some believing "God," is going to save her and others trying to create "legacy," in the absence of such an entity. It is unclear what a random individual is trying to maximize. For half the contemporary population, it is all about maximizing the probability of higher utility in after life. For the rest, it is more complex. As the seconds wind down to the inescapable event horizon, most humans run for tactical metrics without any value.

What would human 2.0 feel like? For her, contribution to society will be supreme for anything else seems meaningless. As the event horizon is specified without any flexibility, it would be important to contribute before she crosses the inescapable boundary. It is counter-intuitive as it is not that a human has to contribute to the perpetuation of a species, that appears less interesting, but rather that her role in the larger context, has meaning. It is meaning for society we are after and that is likely too conceptual for many.

Human 2.0 - If we ever get there, it could be a fantastic world with a simpler objective function, something that maximizes happiness not wealth, something that maximizes knowledge not ego, something that maximizes society not the individual, something that maximizes ideas, not the mere description of them, and something that maximizes empathy not the portrayal of the same.

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