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Comment: Social Science (Score 1) 892

If your favorite social theory is being tested on the masses, when things good, it is because of your social theory and when things go bad they are going as good as they could have gone in all possible worlds.

That's why those who object to your social theory don't need to be consulted for their consent prior to your experiment being run on them. Indeed, if they strenuously object (say, because an aspect of your social theory is that "sexual pressure ushers, guides or shepherds the process of sexual awakening" in your prison system), their extremism is a clear and present danger to the stability of society and it is only reasonable to preemptively treat their psychological disorder, with or without their consent.

Comment: Tax Net Assets, Not Actions (Score 2) 79

by Baldrson (#49346609) Attached to: NY Times: "All the News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"?

The primary function of government is protection of property rights. Early anarcho-capitalist Lysander Spooner described all legitimate government as a mutual property insurance company. Guys like Gates, and now Zuckerberg, should be taxed on their net assets, not on their actions (ie: not on income, capital gains, sales, value added, inheritance, etc...) as that is the closest thing to a property insurance premium.

Comment: A part what? (Score 1) 221

by Baldrson (#49258637) Attached to: World's 1st Penis Transplant Done In South Africa

Are we now to revisit the apartheid era with the emphasis on PART as the white supremacists in South Africa (you KNOW they're still there) start harvesting organs from hapless African men in order to retain the sexual fidelity of their Jungle Fevered wives without beating them (the way you just KNOW they beat their children and even dogs)?

Comment: The Pagan Bible (Score 1) 187

by Baldrson (#49210739) Attached to: China's Arthur C. Clarke

From the description of "The Devourer," it sounds like Cixin could relate to "The Pagan Bible" by Melvin Gorham and "The Social Conquest of Earth" by E. O. Wilson.

Both describe civilization as a eusocial superorganism -- with Gorham being more pessimistic than Wilson as to the potential for containing its ecological conquest of sexual species.

Comment: System Development Foundation (Score 1) 45

by Baldrson (#49141679) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets

Its "System Development Foundation" not "System Development Corporation" and Charlie's full name is Charles Sinclair Smith. He's semi-retired now and living the next county over from me in southeast Iowa where we've been collaborating on a couple of projects -- one of which is to photosynthesize all of the CO2 effluent from US fossil fuel power plants (as Charlie got his start co-founding the Energy Information Administration of the DoE under Carter).

Its ironic that in the 80s I was living in La Jolla, which was an epicenter of the neural net revival at UCSD, had taken neural net courses from Robert Hecht-Nielsen and by 1990 had prototyped the highest performance neural network image processing system (as Neural Engines Corporation) -- but I then later worked with Charlie for almost 15 years before discovering he had had played such a key role in the revival of neural nets. Even more ironic is that, circa 2005, I came up with the idea for the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge -- based on Hutter's entirely different, top down mathematics approach to AI -- and Shane Legg, founder of Deep Mind, which is largely identified with deep learning neural nets, actuality studied under Hutter and achieved Deep Mind's famous ability to learn to play video games using Hutter's approach but everyone thinks that capability is uniquely attributable to deep neural net learning alone.

Comment: War, Not Aggression, Is the Failing (Score 1) 532

by Baldrson (#49096395) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression

Virtually all sexual species exhibit aggression. The problem is war, not mere aggression. And this problem goes beyond mere conflict between human groups. E. O. Wilson's "The Social Conquest of Earth" describes how group selection dominates the environment and, in the case of human eusocial organization, degrades biodiversity.

The price of civilization is eusocial organization and the price of eusocial organization is war.

One way of addressing this failing is to turn civilization outward, away from the biosphere, toward "war" on lifeless rock in space -- converting it to life -- leaving the biosphere free of human eusocial organization.

Is there a place for humans in the biosphere?

Yes, but only if individual sovereignty is ruthlessly enforced.

Comment: Re:Relation Arithmetic and Dimensional Analysis (Score 1) 210

by Baldrson (#49078163) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

Right. There is a long history of dimensions as after-thought/addon to languages going back to the PLATO system's TUTOR programming language circa 1972. Russell's Relation Arithmetic starts with relational structure and defines equivalence classes of structure as numbers in the arithmetic of relations. Its an entirely different, and correct, approach.

Comment: Relation Arithmetic and Dimensional Analysis (Score 1) 210

by Baldrson (#49074967) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

The penultimate paper of "Bit-string Physics: A Finite and Discrete Approach to Natural Philosophy" discusses an attempted revival of "Relation Arithmetic" with which Russell and Whitehead had planned to cap off their Principia Mathematica in its final volume.

Of Relation Arithmetic, Russel said:

"I think relation-arithmetic important, not only as an interesting generalization, but because it supplies a symbolic technique required for dealing with structure. It has seemed to me that those who are not familiar with mathematical logic find great difficulty in understanding what is meant by 'structure', and, owing to this difficulty, are apt to go astray in attempting to understand the empirical world. For this reason, if for no other, I am sorry that the theory of relation-arithmetic has been largely unnoticed."

-- " My Philosophical Development" by Bertrand Russell

An example of going astray in attempting to understand the empirical world is when people attempt to combine incommensurable quantities in their calculations, not understanding the structure of the relations between the quantities.

Ordinarily, programming languages treat units, as I/O formats for dimensions, as an afterthought -- independent of type checking. However, what if we saw numbers themselves as embodying relational structure, as intended by Russell, thereby unifying the notion of "type checking" with the notion of "number"? Might then the power of dimensional analysis be brought to bear, in a mathematically rigorous way, on the relatively ad hoc notions of "type", hence problematic areas such as the object relational impedance mismatch?

Comment: Deep Mind's IQ Test Works (Score 1) 129

by Baldrson (#49015173) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

A rigorous definition of general intelligence now exists and has been applied by the Deep Mind folks. See this video lecture by Deep Mind's Shane Legg at Singularity Summit 2010 on a new metric for measuring machine intelligence.

If you want something more accessible to the general public, The Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge has the same theoretic basis as the test used by Deep Mind and has the virtue that it uses a natural language criterion, in the form of a Wikipedia snapshot. If the 100M snapshot of Wikipedia used by the Hutter Prize is no longer challenging enough, then substitute Matt Mahoney's Large Text Compression Benchmark which is basically just the Hutter Prize enlarged by an order of magnitude.

Comment: But but but "obesity epidemic" is just a metaphor! (Score 1) 378

by Baldrson (#49008337) Attached to: Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant

Certainly, we should all be celebrating the diversity of gut flora brought to all shores of all nations by all shores of all other nations. Let us not permit this minor incident to instill in anyone the virulent notion that "obesity epidemic" is but a poorly chosen metaphor for the lazy stupid fat citizens of the US who should be replace by vibrant immigration.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine