Wednesday, October 2, 2013
This self-isolated population, moreover, might be particularly difficult to reach except by information that is delivered in a package which likewise exploits that addiction. Looks like we've discovered yet another means by which humans can (by just following their natural instincts) inadvertently guide a social-system toward collapse.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
One of the phone companies has been running a series of commericals which falsely pretends: (i) that wireless TV is a new thing, (ii) that they invented it, and (iii) that it is difficult for kids to live without it. This is odd, since TV in our house was wireless from the beginning and still is.
Moreover, not once did I (or my kids) ever ask to take advantage of its wireless nature by moving the TV to the garage or to the closet. Is it really OK to pay children to broadcast a self-servingly false history of communications technology in this way?
What does it suggest about the technical competence and/or professional ethics of the people responsible for such uses of electronic media? Is this an occasion to ask advertisers to flag: (a) the audience they are targeting, (b) the soft spots within the target audience they are trying to hit, and (c) the places where technical and historical observations are being distorted to falsely-inflate the status of the organization running the ad.
Friday, May 31, 2013
- pursuit of food (H),
- fear-based avoidance and/or camouflage (F),
- intra-species fighting for territory or mates or belief-systems (A),
- aggression-redirected toward e.g. pair-bonding, bauer/sports, or xenophobic-treatment of outsiders (R),
- imitation of high-status individuals, which as above may also involve denigrating others (I),
- humor and "the joy of the aha!" in model-selection (C),
All of these response-modules seem to have been naturally-selected for good reason in the worlds of our ancestors. However in the world of today they also play into the way populations as a whole respond to electronic-communications (like radio, TV, and the internet) which did not exist in ancient times.
If electronic-communications can neurophysiologically associate (e.g. by repetition) certain desired sensory-patterns and/or behaviors with these fast-reaction modules above, then they can elicit reactions that after-the-fact modules (like the PR-module mentioned below) will naturally help institutionalize e.g. by reduction to memetic-code.
After-the-fact and hence "slower-by-comparison" modules might instead involve:
- public-relations or "knower in charge" self-narrative construction (P),
- prefrontal-cortex reasoning in general (L),
Somewhat illogical (L) but none-the-less successful examples of modern-world uses for these "modules with ancient roots" include:
|(meta-stable) "diamonds are forever"||R,I||created a tradition that expanded a mining-industry|
|cigarettes placed in movie actor hands||I||helped start nicotine-addiction among tobacco-industry customers|
|"king of beers"||H,I||helped start alcohol-addiction among brewing-industry customers|
|guns & terror on TV||F,R,I,P||excellent stimulus to arms-industry sales|
|bottled-water commercials||I||popularized water-in-plastic where high-quality tap-water was basically free|
|"four-cheese" as a good thing||H||excellent stimulus to the dairy & fast-food industries|
|rhetoric of mono-cultural superiority||F,A,R,I,C||politically-incorrect comedy, isolationism, and worse...|
|academic self-aggrandizement||I,P||grants/publications as ends, rather than as tools to apply/refine|
and what else?
Friday, May 24, 2013
Historically, of course, folks often thought of themselves as organisms under the control of a single "thinker", represented by the voice of that PR-module. Moreover, they are often blissfully unaware of the effects of concept-choice on the world that their PR module sees.
This illusion of the "knower in charge", of course, has consequences for policy. It might lead, for example, to the presumption that if we armed "good knowers" with weapons and took weapons away from "bad knowers" then such a weaponization process would serve as the foundation of neverending social bliss.
Of course if all "knowers in charge" are really just partially-informed PR-modules, which mainly after-the-fact explain behaviors by "muscle-memory modules" capable of much more rapid-response, then weaponization might mainly just give all those PR-modules more in the way of "unintended consequences" to explain after the fact. In this context, can we risk assuming that "folks who think they are infallible in this way" are less likely to fail than those who don't?
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Even though they might look and act like organisms, they are either an instrument of the layered-hierarchy that created them or (if separate) a much-less-layered phenomenon by comparison. For example they do not have depth in their adaptation to the chemistry of this planetary environment. As a result, like us fragile multi-celled organisms they are likely to be gone long before microbes on this planet find it too inhospitable to stick around.
On the other hand, robots may be quite helpful in the extension of our life-phenomenon to other planets i.e. as an extension of our layered hierarchy of subsystem-correlations. In other words as an extension of us, robots may be an important part of life. Separately, even if they "look tough" they are a pretty shallow phenomenon by comparison.
It's also possible that as we imagine evolving toward more levels of sub-system correlation, or even just stronger correlations (e.g. with center-of-mass niche-network layer-multiplicity approaching 6), that we too will find ourselves in a world of folks who won't get it when we point at stuff with the goal of helping them out. If you can think of places where this has happened in the past, or if you encounter this same effect now, let us know!