Monday, December 3, 2012

Go Vulcan

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Clint Ward
Activist Post

I have come to several conclusions after years of following economic and political news. I believe only real tragedy will effect real change, that power trumps reason and “Truth”.

Why, because the human brain is a computer whose output is affected by our unique perception of the world. We each produce our own conclusions which we own and defend. We also each occupy or wish to occupy a specific position in the world, which may require varied actions good or bad.

What I believe we lack are the constructs of reason, conclusions that are produced in ways observed in science. The testing, reproduction and refinement of technology brings new and better results. Our reasoning and hence our conclusions have stagnated or even regressed. As stated earlier we each have personal conclusions. When we do reason together, perceptions still mitigate the results and applications. Power also may influence perceptions, conclusions and outcomes more than reasoning. So I ask a question; what does a mutual conclusion or understanding look like, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights? Where though can I find the reasoning for these documents, the logic or understanding? How can I prove them correct a second and third time by reproducing the results? So my proposition is that as technology rises in a parabola, human thought and the conclusions we reach remains at a standstill. What we do now is what we have always done. We pick leaders. This is our effort to find the best computer / operating system to navigate the turbulent world. Why do we do this?

We do this because our computers will not sync.

Several years ago I came across an article about “Collective Intelligence”. This article told how some number of average people together could outsmart the student from MIT. If you explore this subject today you may come to the same conclusion that I did. It seems to me that this works because it is the greater variety of ideas that wins the contest. With collective intelligence as it is today it is still just the “perception” of the greater number to a solution. What seems to be lacking is a scientific way to produce better avenues of knowledge and conclusions.


Later I came across the study of Epistemology. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy concerning the nature of Knowledge. I stumbled upon fallacies, which are errors in reasoning. These gave me great hope that yes we are capable, we can create better conclusions, reach better understandings. The research is there, it is just not common knowledge. It is not being utilized.

Now comes the twist and the turn where I lose the people I have not already. How do we marry our language our reasoning with modern-day technology? Can you do calculus in your head? Do you know what calculus is? We have calculators for math. We have computers that can speak and analyze facial expressions. Why can we not develop software that can analyze language patterns, usage and context? Why can we not show visually a proposition and the supporting arguments with the likely conclusions? Do you have to understand the ins and outs of Epistemology? Can a machine do it for you? What would it look like?

Imagine a handheld device that scans a page, reproduces it on a tablet, removes or isolates the fallacious arguments and the fluff then presents the remaining propositions or arguments with the supporting rational in three dimensions possibly. Would you buy it? I am sure someone building a wheel for a Conestoga wagon never envisioned your wheels. Can we really imagine what is possible? Suppose then you sync with your friend's device and go to work using provided logic software to come to a conclusion. Imagine that conclusion is independent of your ego, pride and thirst for power. Then you take your device home with the conclusions you and your friends developed together and ruminate on it for a week or two when you feel like it. You discover a new perspective or new information and facts are provided. Your handheld device has abductive reasoning built in.

 You and your friends get together and you get more meaningful and clearer understandings. Everyone takes the new perspective home with them, wherever home may be. Your friendship does not suffer because of your conclusions and the viewpoint which aided your understanding. Your name or any personal representation is not there next to your thoughts.

This advancement or progression is not owned by you or anyone else and does not cast a shadow on anyone. This is a common electronic brain aiding in a collective thought process. There are so many ways I can see this changing human behavior. Those Vulcans on T.V. they always seem so peaceful. I think I know why. They developed the technology I mentioned centuries ago, so long ago they don’t even need it anymore. Compare this imagining to what we have today. Have you ever seen 15,000 postings underneath a hot topic? What conclusions did all these individuals come to? Who knows? I am sure some perspectives may have changed even if they won’t admit it, otherwise what an orgy of hate.


Who are the players in the modern world and who rules? How do they rule? They rule by changing perceptions. Are perceptions accurate? If they thought you were a witch could they burn you at the stake? No, but are the people alive today really any different than those people who did just that? Do the apathetic and the willfully ignorant hold greater power than the engaged? Does disinformation work? Do you ever really know the real reasons why? What if all this muck went away? What if you could upend the playing field not just change the rules? What if every relevant argument was there for you to see at your disposal? What if power and money could not distort that? What if your contribution had nothing to do with your station in life? What if answers only make sense if they made sense and what made sense could not be ignored or given the slight?

So how do we begin? We begin in futility. We begin with a website asking for solutions. We keep the ideas alive. We hold onto them and learn to work and develop them, to test and recreate them. We add to what we know and preserve what we have learned. We keep our emotions at bay. We go Vulcan.

This article has been entered into the Activist Post Writing Contest - Solutions. 1st place receives a $250 cash prize & $250 gift certificate to Offgrid Outpost. 2nd place receives a $250 gift certificate to Offgrid Outpost. Additional details and submission guidelines can be found here: http://www.activistpost.com/2012/11/activist-post-writing-contest.html

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Spock!

Each human is the sum total to date of their chemistry and experiences subject to the boundaries of the human device. Digitization of all the possible combinations in one human is beyond comprehension never mind a murder of cackling humans trying to agree on a "best" solution.

The "best" solution that humans can expect is bound by the commonality of the planners. Envision F. L. Wright and an Eskimo designing an abode "best" suited for a Maori!

Any decision arrived at by more than one human represents merely trends toward the "best", not necessarily satisfactory, solution in a chaotic universe.

Clint Ward said...

What you are describing really sounds more like what we have today. No offense, in 4 years no one including wife, best friends, smart uncle, smartest kid in H.S. have understood what I am trying to say. What I am reaching for is to strip an dialog down to the bare proposition and supporting arguments and prove or disprove these. Also I would like to preserve the work done for later reference so it is there to impove upon, study and to provide a point of reference for when the humans start "cackling". I used to go to sunday school. Quiz the participants later a day a week. I think it was all lost. Attend long enough, 1 or 2 years and you would hear the same lesson again. Nothing was ever created. you were there to "learn". People are different and it does divide us. We do not trust each other. I want to find a way to leave our "differences" at the door and let the reasoning of an argument develope itself. the little drawing board in your handheld device or other forum would never be owned or represent any one individual or group of people. It would simply be language. It would also cut on repitition. We would not have to hear the same proposition from 12 different people, 12 different way from 12 different slants throught the rest of our lives.

Clint Ward said...

anony. Bing Stanford Epistemology for a better understanding of where I am coming from. You will see it is not something you can carry as a reference in you pocket. I looked over it somewhat and I hardly feel like I've scratched the surface. That may be why it is out of the picture for most people. Think Wikipedia, a collaborative site dealing in informantion but with no formula like divide carry the remainder in math. Then think Wikireason, Wikilogic or Wikiunderstanding, collaborative but with format and procedure - Epistemology and user friendly software. Consider an anti war protest. On one side you have demonstrators "war is murder" on the other side military, "they will get us if we don't get them first" they are thinking, the demonstrators are screaming the soldiers are thinking. They each have their proposition trying to force it down the throat of the other. Where did they get these propositions, they formulated them over years perhaps. Will this work? maybe if enough people show up and put "pressure" on politicians. This though is just a concession. Also Everyone involved is operating of their "perceptions' We call them perceptions because their logic may contain faults, fallacies, biases etc. So really when you boil it all down you just have two competing propositions butting heads. understanding will have to wait for another day. In the end though the politicians hold all the power. We are only hoping that we can count on the politicians "good graces". Until they screw us over at some sooner or later date. What if pomp, suits, hair, delivery did not matter. Politicians became irrelevant, they appeared crude and primitive trying to sway us. The apathetic and disinterested did not hold the power of silence. They could not stop you at the grocery and "we should just turn that county to ashalt". Well they could but it would be irrelevant, you needen't even answer. To consider answering would be foolish wasted time because you and 100,000 other people had already worked that out and no one could say that 100,000 people were not "good" enough, who they were and thay they didn't know what they were talking about. They guy counting on his fingers vs. the guy with the calculator.

Anonymous said...

@Clint Ward

All this discussion seems to assume that time stops at some point. As soon as you have come to a logical solution, something happens on the other side of the universe to foil your plan.

There is nothing in our space that doesn't eventually fail! There are no superlatives except in grammar. Everything must be compared to whatever preceded it, and, to be sure, there will always be a successor!

We live in an infinite but bound universe where EVERYTHING is an approximation! Surety is only a perception not a truth ...... the only truth is TIME. Everything depends on TIME!

Have a nice day!

Clint Ward said...

Anonymous, I agree with you that there may be no definitive answer all the time,more like guidlines as the pirate captain would say. It would depend on your perspective. God would through a monkey wrench in things. Still though I view the playing field as flawed. I still view the brain as a computer constantly analyzing and coming to conclusions. Humans seem to attack one another when another (computer) puts out a different take. We put as much emphasis on who is saying what as we do what they are saying. When we don't like what they say we find a hundred reasons to hate them. We have to joust with words. Your last word TIME in capitals, maybe if you bounced it off my forehead I would understand. In this atmosphere chaos rules and deception pays off. Rush Limbaugh was in my daughters English book. The chapter on fallacies had the student go through his transcript and find them all. That is the world we live in. Good Luck. If we could put our smarts together using methods people have been theorizing on for centuries at the very least maybe we could trade the ownership of our contribution for some legitimacy for all of us regardless what we look like or where we come from. We each give up the fame and fortune but we all benefit because we don't have to spit at each other to communicate.

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