Debate Mansion

   

Tidbits, Trivias... Share what you want NEW LINK (Page 136)

Post Reply New Post

Page 136 of 150

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 12 February 2013 at 10:52am | IP Logged
Originally posted by zorrro

Amazing ---- That dude  is real gutsy Big smile

Really great man, my idol.

Dear Guest, Being an unregistered member you are missing out on participating in the lively discussions happening on the topic "Tidbits, Trivias... Share what you want NEW LINK (Page 136)" in Debate Mansion forum. In addition you lose out on the fun interactions with fellow members and other member exclusive features that India-Forums has to offer. Join India's most popular discussion portal on Indian Entertainment. It's FREE and registration is effortless so JOIN NOW!

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 12 February 2013 at 10:53am | IP Logged
Originally posted by -Aarya-

Originally posted by Freethinker112

Bill Gates's AMA on Reddit.

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/18bhme/im_bill_gates_cochair_of_the_bill_melinda_gates/
 
 
I don't think of him as humorous, but when someone asked him, "What do people give you for your birthday, given that you can buy anything you want?" he simply said, " Free software, just kidding." 
 
IAmA

That's a passable joke. LOL

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

-Aarya-

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 12 February 2013 at 10:55am | IP Logged

Here's a transcript of all the questions he answered, so that you all don't have to go digging through the comments. Smile

Q: What one Microsoft program or product that was never fully developed or released do you wish had made it to market?

A: We had a rich database as the client/cloud store that was part of a Windows release that was before its time. This is an idea that will remerge since your cloud store will be rich with schema rather than just a bunch of files and the client will be a partial replica of it with rich schema understanding. [Win FS]

Q: What type of computer are you using right now?

A: I just got my Surface Pro a week ago and it is very nice. I am using a Perceptive Pixel display right now - huge Windows 8 touch whiteboard. These will come down in price over time and be pervasive... (http://i.imgur.com/1JqrLVc.jpg)

Q: What is something that needs to be changed in the world, but money wont help?

A:It would be nice if all governments were as rational as the Nordic governments - reaching compromise and providing services broadly. The Economist had a nice special section on this last week. Africa governments have often been weak but you can't write a check to change that. Fortunately the average quality is going up. Mo Ibrahim tracks this in a great way. (http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/IIAG/)

Q: What emerging technology today do you think will cause another big stir for the average consumer in the same way that the home computer did years ago?

A:Robots, pervasive screens, speech interaction will all change the way we look at "computers". Once seeing, hearing, and reading (including handwriting) work very well you will interact in new ways..

Q: Since becoming wealthy, what's the cheapest thing that gives you the most pleasure?

A: Kids. Cheap cheeseburgers. Open Course Ware courses...

Q: Given the recent targeting of health professionals in Pakistan and Nigeria, do you think eradication of polio is attainable in the next decade? How is the Gates Foundation going to get over this barrier to eradication? Also, what is your opinion on the anti-vaccination movement in general?

A:The violence against the vaccinators in both Pakistan and Nigeria is a terrible thing. However both countries are committed to finishing the eradication. This is the project I spent most of my time on. We should be able to finish by 2018 although that will require raising funds and some great execution. We have some innovations like the way we use satellite maps to find all the villages and GPS tracking to make sure the teams go to every hut that are helping out. Polio is a harder disease than smallpox was but it is doable. (I discuss this more at www.billsletter.com)

Q: Which world-wide health cause are we perfectly capable of easily solving and on the cusp of achieving but just need to put it over the top with a little more attention or resources to actually solve?

A: Polio is the first thing to get done since we are close. Within 6 years we will have the last case. After that we will go after malaria and measles. Malaria kills over 500,000 kids every year mostly in Africa and did not get enough attention until the last decade. We also need vaccines to prevent HIV and TB which are making progress...

Q: How have other extremely wealthy people reacted to your excessively generous philanthropy?

A: I have enjoyed meeting other philanthropists and talking about what they work on. I think there is a movement to do more, start sooner and be smarter about giving. Philanthropy is mostly about a broad set of people giving but it helps if the most wealthy set a strong example...

Q: Many wealthy people I know point to Bill Gates as their idol. Not for his Microsoft days, but for his philanthropy. He also simultaneously killed many of my friend's hundred million dollar trust funds after their parents discovered that Bill was only leaving $10 million for his children.

A: I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them. Warren Buffett was part of an article in Fortune talking about this in 1986 before I met him and it made me think about it and decide he was right. Some people disagree with this but Melinda and I feel good about it.

Q: Do you still code ?, if so which language ?

A: Not as much as I would like to. I write some C, C# and some Basic. I am surprised new languages have not made more progress in simplifying programming. It would be great if most high school kids were exposed to programming...

Q: What are your thoughts on the push against the open and free Internet that we have been seeing in the recent past and present (such as sopa, etc)?

A: There are two things this could reference. One is the free/pay for software mix. The Internet has benefited from having lots of free stuff and lots of commercial software. It has been interesting see people inventing hybrid models. Even stuff that is pretty commercial often has free versions for some audiences. Even the most open stuff often have services people choose to pay for.

The second thing is the anonymous versus identified tension. This is another one where both will probably thrive since you want anonymity for some things and full identity for others. I am surprised how little progress has been made in the identity space but it will improve.

Q: What do people give you for your birthday, given that you can buy anything you want?

A: Free software. Just kidding. Books actually.

Q: What's your favorite book?

A: My favorite of the last decade in Pinker's Better Angels of our Nature. It is long but profound look at the reduction in violence and discrimination over time. I review a lot of the books I read at gatesnotes.com (is that too self-promotional?)

Q: What is the greatest achievement of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in your opinion and how do you choose which causes to support?

A: So far our biggest impact has been getting vaccines for things like diarrhea and pneumonia out which has saved millions of lives. Polio will be a great achievement along with key partners when that gets done.

Q: Can you still jump over chairs?

A: Less than I used to. It was part of exercise for snow skiing. I still ski but I am not as hard core...

Q: If Microsoft didn't take off, what would you have done and be doing instead?

You are a leader in the ultra-wealthy philanthropists, but what do you think that people of median income can do to help improve the world the most?

A: If the microprocessor hadn't come along I am not sure what I would have done. Maybe medicine or theoretical math but it is hard to say.

Most giving is done by the middle class so it is the backbone of generosity particularly in the United States. A key thing is to support government aid which is only 1% of the budget but helps poor countries in incredible ways.

Q: What do you do for fun? I find it hard to fathom how someone like you can just disconnect. Disconnect from the emails, calls ,the media. All of it. What would be your definition of a chill and fun day?

A: I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it - it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona),... I read a lot and watch courses (online or the Learning Company)..

Q: The anti-vaccine movement does not only exist in developing countries, such as Pakistan, but is quite popular here in the United States as well. As a result, the number of flu and whooping cough cases are bigger than ever.

Are you planning on working domestically as well?

edit for related question: Which countries do you think serve as models for their initiatives towards an overall healthier society? ie. who's doing the best?

A: Vaccines are very important in all countries. Some of the bad rumors have lead to kids dying of measles and pertussis. We have backed some information campaigns on the importance of vaccination even in the US.

The Nordic countries do a good job on health like they do on many things...

Q: How do you measure the success of the foundation?

How does the foundation differ from other large philanthropic organizations?

Thanks for all that you and Melinda have done and continue to do!

A: Our goals are focused on helping the poorest (globally) and improving education (in the US). We spend half of our money on global health. One metric to look at is reducing the number of children (under 5) who die. My annual letter talks about the amazing progress that has been made on this. Amazingly as health improves families choose to have less kids so paradoxically population growth goes DOWN as you improve health helping with almost every issue - from stability to the environment..

Q: What's your worst fear for the future of the world? (edit: I terms of policy/politics/etc -- e.g. SOPA/ITU)

A: Hopefully we won't have terrorists using nuclear weapons or biological weapons. We should make sure that stays hard.

I am disappointed more isn't being done to reduce carbon emissions. Governments need to spend more on basic energy R&D to make sure we get cheap non-CO2 emitting sources as soon as possible.

Overall I am pretty optimistic. Things are a lot better than they were 200 years ago..

Q: How was your relationship with Steve jobs? I always hoped that y'all were really good friends and competitors.

A: He and I respected each other. Our biggest joint project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away...

Q: How did you feel about your portrayal in Pirates of Silicon Valley, and who do you want to play you next in a movie?

A: That portrayal was reasonably accurate...

Q: Is Weezer still your favorite band?

A: Weezer... Actually U2 is a favorite.. I keep waiting for Spinal Tap to go back on tour...

Q: Windows 7 or Windows 8? Be honest Bill.

A: Higher is better.

Q: Do you guys really use Bing? I mean seriously...

A: Seriously Bing is the better product at this point. Try the challenge. I am biased but the work to make Bing better has been amazing.

Q: What is your view on the world's reliance on crude oil, and will you be investing into researching other sources of energy?

A: I did a TED talk about the climate crisis. Over time we have to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions so using fossil fuels will require us to do carbon capture and sequestration. There has been far too little work on this. (http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Topics/Energy/Talking-About-Energy-Miracles-at-TED)

Q: My question is how do you see technology enhancing Mathematics education without actually replacing it?

A: The ability to test your knowledge and get refreshed on a topic you are making mistakes on will personalize a lot of the learning experience. People like Sal Khan are out in front figuring out how to do this well. My foundation has funded a lot of MOOCs focused on community college kids or kids who have to take remedial math. I am optimistic these will make a big difference.


And he ended the AMA with this. LOL



Edited by Freethinker112 - 12 February 2013 at 10:54am

The following 2 member(s) liked the above post:

-Aarya-Vinzy

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 13 February 2013 at 3:00am | IP Logged

Talking to God...

I met god the other day.

I know what you're thinking. How the hell did you know it was god?

Well, I'll explain as we go along, but basically he convinced me by having all, and I do mean ALL, the answers. Every question I flung at him he batted back with a plausible and satisfactory answer. In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.

Which is odd, because I'm still an atheist and we even agree on that!

It all started on the 8.20 back from Paddington. Got myself a nice window seat, no screaming brats or drunken hooligans within earshot. Not even a mobile phone in sight. Sat down, reading the paper and in he walks.

What did he look like?

Well not what you might have expected that's for sure. He was about 30, wearing a pair of jeans and a "hobgoblin" tee shirt. Definitely casual. Looked like he could have been a social worker or perhaps a programmer like myself.

'Anyone sitting here?' he said.

'Help yourself' I replied.

Sits down, relaxes, I ignore and back to the correspondence on genetically modified crops entering the food chain…

Train pulls out and a few minutes later he speaks.

'Can I ask you a question?'

Fighting to restrain my left eyebrow I replied 'Yes' in a tone which was intended to convey that I might not mind one question, and possibly a supplementary, but I really wasn't in the mood for a conversation. ..

'Why don't you believe in god?'

The bas***d!

I love this kind of conversation and can rabbit on for hours about the nonsense of theist beliefs. But I have to be in the mood! It's like when a Jehova's witness knocks on your door 20 minutes before you're due to have a wisdom tooth pulled. Much as you'd really love to stay… You can't even begin the fun. And I knew, if I gave my standard reply we'd still be arguing when we got to Cardiff. I just wasn't in the mood. I needed to fend him off.

But then I thought 'Odd! How is this perfect stranger so obviously confident – and correct – about my atheism?' If I'd been driving my car, it wouldn't have been such a mystery. I've got the Darwin fish on the back of mine – the antidote to that twee christian fish you see all over. So anyone spotting that and understanding it would have been in a position to guess my beliefs. But I was on a train and not even wearing my Darwin "Evolve" tshirt that day. And 'The Independent' isn't a registered flag for card carrying atheists, so what, I wondered, had given the game away.

'What makes you so certain that I don't?'

'Because', he said, ' I am god – and you are not afraid of me'

You'll have to take my word for it of course, but there are ways you can deliver a line like that – most of which would render the speaker a candidate for an institution, or at least prozac. Some of which could be construed as mildly entertaining.

Conveying it as "indifferent fact" is a difficult task but that's exactly how it came across. Nothing in his tone or attitude struck me as even mildly out of place with that statement. He said it because he believed it and his rationality did not appear to be drug induced or the result of a mental breakdown.

'And why should I believe that?' 
  

'Well' he said, 'why don't you ask me a few questions. Anything you like, and see if the answers satisfy your sceptical mind?'

This is going to be a short conversation after all, I thought.

'Who am I?'

'Stottle. Harry Stottle, born August 10 1947, Bristol, England. Father Paul, Mother Mary. Educated Duke of Yorks Royal Military School 1960 67, Sandhurst and Oxford, PhD in Exobiology, failed rock singer, full time trade union activist for 10 years, latterly self employed computer programmer, web author and aspiring philosopher. Married to Michelle, American citizen, two children by a previous marriage. You're returning home after what seems to have been a successful meeting with an investor interested in your proposed product tracking anti-forgery software and protocol and you ate a full english breakfast at the hotel this morning except that, as usual, you asked them to hold the revolting english sausages and give you some extra bacon. '

He paused

'You're not convinced. Hmmm… what would it take to convince you? May I have your permission for a telepathic link?'

'Do you need my permission?'

'Technically, no. Ethically, yes'

Might as well play along I thought. 'OK - you have my permission. So convince me'

'oh right! Your most secret password and its association'

A serious hacker might be able to obtain the password, but no one else and I mean

NO ONE

knows its association.

He did.

So how would you have played it?

I threw a few more questions about relatively insignificant but unpublicised details of my life (like what my mother claims was the first word I ever spoke – apparently "armadillo"! (Don't ask…)) but I was already pretty convinced. I knew there were only three possible explanations at this point.

Possibility One was that I was dreaming, hallucinating or hypnotised. Nobody's figured out a test for that so, at the time I think that was my dominant feeling. It did not feel real at the time. More like I was in a play. Acting my lines. Since the event, however, continuing detailed memories of it, together with my contemporaneous notes, remain available, so unless the hallucination has continued to this day, I am now inclined to reject the hallucination hypothesis. Which leaves two others.

He could have been a true telepath. No documented evidence exists of anyone ever having such profound abilities to date but it was a possibility. It would have explained how he could know my best-kept secrets. The problem with that is that it doesn't explain anything else! In particular it doesn't account for the answers he proceeded to give to my later questions.

As Sherlock Holmes says, when you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Good empiricist, Sherlock.

I was forced to accept at least the possibility that this man was who he claimed to be.

So now what do you do?

Well, I've always known that if I met god I would have a million questions for him, so I thought, 'why not?' and proceeded with what follows. You'll have to allow a bit of licence in the detail of the conversation. This was, shall we say, a somewhat unusual occurrence, not to mention just a BIT weird! And yes I was a leetle bit nervous! So if I don't get it word perfect don't whinge! You'll get the gist I promise.

***********************************

'Forgive me if it takes me a little time to get up to speed here, but it's not everyday I get to question a deity'

'The Deity' he interrupted.

'ooh. Touchy!' I thought.

'Not really – just correcting the image'

Now That takes some getting used to!

I tried to get a grip on my thoughts, with an internal command - 'Discipline Harry. You've always wanted to be in a situation like this, now you're actually in it, you mustn't go to pieces and waste the opportunity of a lifetime'

'You won't' he said.

Tell you! That's the bit that made it feel unreal more than anything else - this guy sitting across the table and very obviously accurately reading my every thought. It's like finding someone else's hand inside your trouser pocket!

Nevertheless, something (other than simply having given my "permission") made me inclined to accept the invasion, I had obviously begun to have some confidence in his perception or abilities, so I distinctly remember the effect of his words was that I suddenly felt deeply reassured and completely relaxed. As he had no doubt intended. Man must have an amazing seduction technique!

So then we got down to business…

'Are you human?'

'No'

'Were you, ever?'

'No, but similar, Yes'

'Ah, so you are a produc.t of evolution?'

'Most certainly – mainly my own'

'and you evolved from a species like ours, dna based organisms or something equally viable?'

'Correct'

'so what, exactly, makes you god?'

'I did'

'Why?'

'Seemed like a good idea at the time'

'and your present powers, are they in any way similar to what the superstitious believers in my species attribute to you?'

'Close enough. '

'So you created all this, just for us?'

'No. Of course not'

'But you did create the Universe?'   

'This One. Yes'

'But not your own?'

'This is my own!'

'You know what I mean!'

'You can't create your own parents, so No'

'So let me get this straight. You are an entirely natural phenomenon.'

'Entirely'

'Arising from mechanisms which we ourselves will one day understand and possibly even master?'

'subject to a quibble over who "we ourselves" may be, but yes'

'meaning that if the human race doesn't come up to the mark, other species eventually will?'

'in one.'

'and how many other species are there already out there ahead of us?'

'surprisingly few. Less than fourteen million'

'FEW!?'

'Phew!'

'And how many at or about our level?'

'currently a little over 4 billion'

'so our significance in the universe at present is roughly equivalent to the significance of the average Joe here on planet Earth in his relation to the human race?'

'a little less. Level One, the level your species has reached, begins with the invention of the flying machine. The next level is achieved when a species is no longer dominated by or dependent upon it's own primary  – your Sun. They are able to prosper away from their own, or indeed any other, stellar system. Humanity is only just into the flying machine phase, so as you can imagine, on that scale, the human race is somewhat near the bottom of the level one pack'

'Do you mean we will one day control our own Sun like Kardashev and Asimov talk about?'

'quite the opposite. Those are the visions of an evolving mechanical species who imagine that bigger machines are better and stronger and that we will always need more and more energy to achieve mastery of the universe. The truth is the exact opposite. The more advanced we become, the less energy we require and the less impact we make on our environment. You manipulate matter, which requires enormous amounts of energy. We manipulate energy, which requires none. As a consequence, you would not, for example, even recognise a level two species as a lifeform unless it chose to let you '

' all these evolving species; they are your "children"?'

'I like to think of them that way'

'and the point?'

'at its simplest, "Life Must Go On". My personal motivation is the desire to optimise the intelligence of the Universe. In your own terms, I strive to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. A great deal of pleasure, however, arises from communications between separate entities. Once you've achieved my level,  we tend to cease to be billions of separate entities and become one ecstatic whole. A single entity that cannot die unless it loses the will to live. Advanced and self contained though I am, or perhaps, more accurately, because  I am so advanced and self contained, one of the pleasures we lose along the way is that simple joy of meeting new and unpredictable minds and either learning from or teaching them. Thus, in large part, the point of the exercise is to provide company. I am the first eternal in this Universe. I do not intend to be the last'

'so you created a Universe which is potentially capable of producing another god like yourself?'

'The full benefit will be temporary, but like most orgasms, worth it.'

'this being the moment when our new god merges with you and we become one again?' 
  
'don't play it down, that's the ecstatic vision driving us all, me included – and when it happens the ecstasy lasts several times longer than this universe has already existed. Believe me, it really is worth the effort.'

'Yes, I think I can see the attractions of a hundred billion year long orgasm'

'and humans haven't even begun to know how to really enjoy the orgasms they are already capable of. Wait till you master that simple art!'

'So it's all about sex is it?'

'Sexual ecstasy is merely a reward for procreating, it is what makes you want to do it. This is necessary, initially, to promote biological evolution. However once you've completed that stage and no longer require procreation, you will learn that ecstasy can be infinitely more intense than anything offered by sex'

'Sounds good to me!'

'How direct is your involvement in all this? Did you just light the fuse which set off the big bang and stand back and watch? Or did you have to plant the seeds on appropriately fertile planets?'

'The first significant level of the intelligent self organisation of matter is the arrival of the organic chemistry which forms the precursor for biology and the first primitive life forms. That chemistry evolved, mostly, in deep space, once the stars had created enough of the heavier elements, and purely as a result of the operations of the laws of physics and chemistry which your scientists have already largely understood. All I did was to set the initial conditions which triggered the bang and essentially became dormant for nearly 5 billion years. That's how long it took the first lifeforms to emerge. That places them some 8 billion years ahead of you. The first intelligent species are now 4.3 billion years ahead of you. Really quite advanced. I can have deeply meaningful conversations with them. And usually do. In fact I am as we speak'

'So then what?'

'Do I keep a constant vigil over every move you make? Not in the kind of prying intrusive sense that some of you seem to think. Let's say I maintain an awareness of what's going on, at a planetary level. I tend only to focus on evolutionary leaps. See if they're going in the right direction'

'And if they're not?'

'Nothing. Usually'

'Usually?'

'Usually species evolving in the wrong direction kill themselves off or become extinct for other reasons'

'Usually?'

'There have been one or two cases where a wrong species has had the potential of becoming dominant at the expense of a more promising strain'

'Let me guess. Dinosaurs on this planet are an example. Too successful. Suppressed the development of mammals and were showing no signs of developing intelligence. So you engineered a little corrective action in the form of a suitably selected asteroid'

'Perceptive. Almost correct. They were showing signs of developing intelligence, even co-operation. Study your Troodons. But far too predatory. Incapable of ever developing a "respect" for other life forms. It takes carrying your young to promote the development of emotional attachment to other animals. Earth reptiles aren't built for that. The mammals who are, as you rightly say, couldn't get a foothold against such mighty predators. You've now reached the stage where you could hold your own even against dinosaurs, but that's only been true for about a thousand years, your predecessors didn't stand a chance 65 million years ago, so the dinosaurs had to go. They were, however, far too ubiquitous and well balanced with the ecology of the planet, and never developed technology, so they weren't going to kill themselves off in a hurry. Regrettably, I had to intervene.'

'Regrettably?'

'They were a beautiful and stunningly successful life form. One doesn't destroy such things without a qualm.'

'But at that stage how could you know that a better prospect would arise from the ashes?'

'I didn't. But the probability was quite high.'

'and since then, what other little tweaks have you been responsible for in our development?'

'None whatsoever. I set an alarm for the first sign of artificial aerial activity, as I usually do. Leonardo looked promising for a while, but not until the Montgolfier brothers did I really begin to take an interest. That registered you as a level one intelligent species'

'If the sign is "aerial activity", how do you identify technological bird species?'

"Same way. Intelligent flyers rarely become technologists though. They tend to evolve into adaptors rather than manipulators but the few exceptions develop flying machines rather more quickly than species like your own because they have a natural understanding of aerodynamics."

'but why would a bird need a flying machine?' 

'that's like asking why would your species need cars and other forms of mechanical transport. The technology lets you carry heavier loads, faster and for greater distances than just relying on your own physical abilities.'

'OK, so what about our more famous "prophets"; Jesus of Nazareth, Moses, Mohammed…'

'hmmm… sadly misguided I'm afraid.  I am not here to act as a safety net or ethical dictator for evolving species. It is true that anyone capable of communicating with their own cells will dimly perceive a connection to me – and all other objects in this universe - through the quantum foam, but interpreting that vision as representing something supernatural and requiring obeisance is somewhat wide of the mark.  And their followers are all a bit too obsessive and religious for my liking. It's no fun being worshipped once you stop being an adolescent teenager. Having said that, it's not at all unusual for developing species to go through that phase. Until they begin to grasp how much they too can shape their small corner of the universe, they are in understandable awe of an individual dimly but correctly perceived to be responsible for the creation of the whole of that universe. Eventually, if they are to have any hope of attaining level two, they must grow out of it and begin to accept their own power and potential. It's very akin to a child's relationship with its parents. The awe and worship must disappear before the child can become an adult. Respect is not so bad as long as it's not overdone. And I certainly respect all those species who make it that far. It's a hard slog. I know. I've been there.'

'So, you've been taking more interest in us since the Montgolfiers, when was that? 1650s?'

'Close. 1783'

'Well, if you've been watching us closely since then, what your average citizen is going to want to know is why you haven't intervened more often. Why, if you have the  power and omniscience that goes with being a god, have you sat back and allowed us to endure such incredible suffering and human misery in the past few centuries?'

'It seems to be necessary.'

'NECESSARY??!!'

'Without exception, intelligent species who gain dominance over their planet do so by becoming the most efficient predators. There are many intelligent species who do not evolve to dominate their planet. Like your dolphins and most of the intelligent flyers we were just talking about, they adapt perfectly to the environment rather than take your course, which is to manipulate the environment. Unfortunately for the dolphin, theirs is a dead end. They may outlive the human race but will never escape the bounds of planet earth, let alone your solar system - not without your help at any rate. Only those who can manipulate the world they live in can one day hope to leave it and spread their seed throughout the universe.

Unlike the adaptors, who learn the point of cooperation fairly early on, manipulators battle on. And, once all lesser species have been overcome, they are so competitive and predatory that they are compelled to turn in on themselves. This nearly always evolves into tribal competition in one form or another and becomes more and more destructive - exactly like your own history. However this competition is vital to promote the leap from biological to technological evolution.

You need an arms race in order to make progress.

Your desire to dominate fuels a search for knowledge which the adaptors never acquire. And although your initial desire for knowledge is selfish and destructive, it begins the development of an intellectual self awareness, a form of higher consciousness, which never emerges in any other species. Not even while they are experiencing it, for example, can the intelligent adaptors - your dolphins - express the concepts of Love or Time.

Militarisation and the development of weapons of mass destruction are your first serious test at level one. You're still not through that phase, though the signs are promising. There is no point whatsoever in my intervening to prevent your self-destruction. Your ability to survive these urges is a crucial test of your fitness to survive later stages. So I would not, never have and never will intervene to prevent a species from destroying itself. Most, in fact, do just that.'

'And what of pity for those have to live through this torment?'

'I can't say this in any way that doesn't sound callous, but how much time do you spend worrying about the ants you run over in your car? I know it sounds horrendous to you, but you have to see the bigger picture. At this stage in human development, you're becoming interesting but not yet important.'

'ah but I can't have an intelligent conversation with an ant'

'precisely'

'hmm… as you know, most humans won't like even to attempt to grasp that perspective. How can you make it more palatable?'

'Why should I? You don't appear to have any trouble grasping it. You're by no means unique. And in any case, once they begin to understand what's in it for them, they'll be somewhat less inclined to moan. Eternal life compensates for most things.'

'So what are we supposed to do in order to qualify for membership of the universal intelligentsia?'

'Evolve. Survive'

'Yes, but how?'

'Oh, I thought you might have got the point by now. "How" is entirely up to you. If I have to help, then you're a failure. All I will say is this. You've already passed a major hurdle in learning to live with nuclear weapons. It's depressing how many fail at that stage.'

'Is there worse to come?'

'Much'

'Genetic warfare for instance?

'Distinct Possibility'

'and the problem is… that we need to develop all these technologies, acquire all this dangerous knowledge in order to reach level two. But at any stage that knowledge could also cause our own destruction'

'If you think the dangers of genetic warfare are serious, imagine discovering an algorithm, accessible to any intelligent individual, which, if abused, will eliminate your species instantly. If your progress continues as is, then you can expect to discover that particular self-destruct mechanism in less than a thousand years. Your species needs to grow up considerably before you can afford to make that discovery. And if you don't make it, you will never leave your Solar System and join the rest of the sapient species on level two.'

'14 Million of them'

'Just under'

'Will there be room for us?'

'it's a big place and level two species don't need much space'

'and, for now, how should we mere mortals regard you then?'

'like an older brother or sister. Of course I have acquired more knowledge and wisdom than you have. Of course I'm more powerful than you are. I've been evolving much longer and have picked up a few tricks along the way. But I'm not "better" than you. Just more developed. Just what you might become'

'so we're not obliged to "please" you or follow your alleged guidelines or anything like that?'

'absolutely not. Never issued a single guideline in the lifetime of this Universe. Have to find your own way out of the maze. And one early improvement is to stop expecting me - or anyone else - to come and help you out.'

'I suppose that is a guideline of sorts, so there goes the habit of a lifetime! '

'Seriously though, species who hold on to religion past its sell-by date tend to be most likely to self destruct. They spend so much energy arguing about my true nature, and invest so much emotion in their wildly erroneous imagery that they end up killing each other over differences in definitions of something they clearly haven't got a clue about. Ludicrous behaviour, but it does weed out the weaklings.'

'Why me? Why pick on an atheist of all people? Why are you telling me all this? And why Now?'

'Why You? Because you can accept my existence without your ego caving in and grovelling like a naughty child. '

'Can you seriously imagine how the Pope would react to the reality of my existence?! If he really understood how badly wrong he and his church have been, how much of the pain and suffering you mentioned earlier has been caused by his religion, I suspect he'd have an instant coronary! Or can you picture what it would be like if I appeared "live" simultaneously on half a dozen tele-evangelist propaganda shows. Pat Robertson would wethimself if he actually understood who he was talking to.

Conversely, your interest is purely academic. You've never swallowed the fairy tale but you've remained open to the possibility of a more advanced life form which could acquire godlike powers. You've correctly guessed that godhood is the destiny of life. You have shown you can and do cope with the concept. It seemed reasonable to confirm your suspicions and let you do what you will with that information.

I can see you're already thinking about publishing this conversation on the web where it could sow an important seed. Might take a couple of hundred years to germinate, but, eventually, it will germinate.

Why now? Well partly because both you and the web are ready now. But chiefly because the human race is reaching a critical phase. It goes back to what we were saying about the dangers of knowledge. Essentially your species is becoming aware of that danger. When that happens to any sapient species, the future can take three courses.

Many are tempted to avoid the danger by avoiding the knowledge. Like the adaptors, they are doomed to extinction. Often pleasantly enough in the confines of their own planet until either their will to live expires or their primary turns red giant and snuffs them out.

A large number go on blindly acquiring the knowledge and don't learn to restrain their abuse. Their fate is sealed somewhat more quickly of course, when Pandora's box blows up in their faces.

The only ones who reach level two are those who learn to accept and to live with their most dangerous knowledge. Each and every individual in such a species must eventually become capable of destroying their entire species at any time. Yet they must learn to control themselves to the degree that they can survive even such deadly insight. And frankly, they're the only ones we really want to see leaving their solar systems. Species that haven't achieved that maturity could not be allowed to infect the rest of the universe, but fortunately that has never required my intervention. The knowledge always does the trick'

'Why can't there be a fourth option - selective research where we avoid investigating dangerous pathways?'

'There is almost no knowledge which is completely "safe". As you can see from your own limited history, the most useful ideas are also, nearly always, the most dangerous. You have yet, for instance, to achieve the appropriate energy surpluses required to complete this phase of your social development. When you've mastered the relevant technology, it will eliminate material inequalities and poverty within a generation or two, an absolutely vital step for any maturing species. Your potential paths to this bonanza include the control of nuclear fusion - which you only began to explore in the context of potential mass extinction weapons and nano engineered solar energy harvesting or hydrogen cycling. And already your leading military scientists are looking for ways to develop equally dangersous weapons based on the same technology. And they will find them. You may not survive them.

Similarly, you will shortly be able to conquer biological diseases and even engineer yourselves to be virtually fault free. Your biological life spans will double or treble within the next hundred years and your digital lifespans will become potentially infinite within the same period: Ifyou survive the potential threat that the same technology provides in the form of genetic timebombs, custom built viruses and the other wonders of genetic and digital warfare.

You simply can't have the benefits without taking the risks'.

'I'm not sure I understand my part in this exercise. I just publish this conversation on the web and everything will be alright?'

'Not necessarily. Not that easy I'm afraid. To start with, who's going to take this seriously? It will just be seen as a mildly amusing work of fiction. In fact, your words and indeed most of your work will not be understood or appreciated until some much more advanced scholars develop the ideas you are struggling to express and explain them somewhat more competently. At which point some of those ideas will be taken up en masse and searches will be undertaken of the archives. They will find this work and be struck by its prescience. You won't make the Einstein grade, but you might manage John the Baptist!

This piece will have no significance whatsoever if humanity doesn't make certain key advances in the next couple of centuries. And this won't help you make those advances. What it will do is help you recognise them'

'can I ask what those advances may be?'

'I think you know. But yes - although you are at level one, there are several distinct phases which evolving species pass through on their way to level two. The first, as we've discussed, is the invention of the flying machine. The next significant phase is the development of the thinking machine.

At your present rate of progress, you are within a few decades of achieving that goal. It marks your first step on the path of technological evolution. Mapping the human genome is another classic landmark, but merely mapping it is a bit like viewing the compiled code in a dos executable. It's just meaningless gibberish, although with a bit of hacking here and there, you might correctly deduce the function of certain stretches of code.

What you really need to do is 'reverse engineer' the dna code. You have to figure out the grammar and syntax of the language. Then you will begin the task of designing yourselves biologically and digitally. But that task requires the thinking machine'

'You say you avoid intervention. But doesn't this conversation itself constitute intervention – even if people alive now completely ignore it?'

'Yes. But it's as far as I'm prepared to go. Its only effect is to confirm, if you find it, that you are on the right path. It is still entirely up to you to navigate the dangers on that path and beyond.'

'But why bother even with that much? Surely it's just another evolutionary hurdle. We're either fit enough or not…'

'In many ways the transition to an information species is the most traumatic stage in evolution. Biological intelligences have a deeply rooted sense of consciousness only being conceivable from within an organic brain. Coming to terms with the realisation that you have created your successor, not just in the sense of mother and child, but in the collective sense of the species recognising it has become redundant, this paradigm shift is, for many species, a shift too far. They baulk at the challenge and run from this new knowledge. They fail and become extinct. Yet there is nothing fundamentally wrong with them - it is a failure of the imagination.

I hope that if I can get across the concept that I am a product of just such evolution, it may give them the confidence to try. I have discussed this with the level two species and the consensus is that this tiny prod is capable of increasing the contenders for level two without letting through any damaging traits. It has been tried in 312 cases. The jury is still out on its real benefits although it has produced a 12% increase in biological species embracing the transition to information species.

'Alright, so what if everyone suddenly took it seriously and believed every word I write? Wouldn't that constitute a somewhat more drastic intervention?'

'Trust me. They wont'

'and so it's still the case, that, should another asteroid happen to be heading our way, you will do nothing to impede it on our behalf?'

'I'm confident you will pass that test. And now my friend, the interview is over, you have asked me a number of the right questions, and I've said what I came to say, so I'll be going now. It has been very nice to meet you - you're quite bright. For an ant!' He twinkled.

'Just one final, trivial question, why do you appear to me in the form of a thirty something white male?'

'have I in any way intimidated or threatened you?'

'No'

'Do you find me sexually attractive?'

'er No!'

'So figure it out for yourself…'

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 13 February 2013 at 3:01am | IP Logged
In before tl;dr LOL

Vinzy

IF-Stunnerz

Vinzy

Joined: 03 December 2005

Posts: 26802

Posted: 13 February 2013 at 4:39am | IP Logged

Valentines day Spl:Big smile

PUTTING THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR HEART IS: WHO GETS WHAT
THE WIFE THE MISTRESS
Diamond jewelry: 10.5%Diamond Jewelry: 25 % 
Lingerie: 7.6 %Lingerie: 19.5%
Technology items: 17.5%Technology items: 6.7% 
Flowers or chocolates: 21.8%Flowers or chocolates: 9.3%
Silver or gold jewelry: 12.3% Silver or gold jewelry: 10.9%
An outing or trip: 10.7%An outing or trip: 10.7%
Fashion accessories: 16.4%Fashion accessories: 14.5%
Household Items: 3.2%Household Items: 2.9%

 



 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Freethinker112

IF-Sizzlerz

Freethinker112

Joined: 16 May 2012

Posts: 13810

Posted: 14 February 2013 at 6:08am | IP Logged

Let's just say iOS 6.1 hasn't been Apple's finest hour. So far it's been plagued with connection issuesbattery woes, and now it's totally insecure. You can simply bypass any lockcode on an iPhone using a pretty straightforward sequence of button presses. Oh Apple, what the hell happened here?

I have no idea how one would actually figure this out in the first place, but the instructions are pretty simple not that they've gone through all the effort. First you have to pretend to turn the phone off, then make an aborted emergency call, then a quick bit of off button and cancel pressing. That boots you into the full phone app where you can pretty much call or message anyone you like. Or in fact, change someone's contact details to confuse the hell out of them.

Hopefully Apple pushes out a fix for this pretty soon, as any bottom feeder could rack up a load of premium-rate phone calls in a matter of minutes if they pinched your beloved iPhone. Apple's slipping, a little bit more each day. [YouTube via S1riOS6]

Image credit: Unlocked2 from Shutterstock



Edited by Freethinker112 - 14 February 2013 at 6:03am

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

-Aarya-

ikeelyou

Senior Member

Joined: 02 January 2013

Posts: 720

Posted: 14 February 2013 at 6:35am | IP Logged
THE ACCOUNT OF THE MEMBER WHO POSTED THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY BANNED.

If you think this is an error please Contact us.

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

Freethinker112

Post Reply New Post

Go to top

Related Topics

  Topics Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Symposium - Speak, Share, Spill your minds

2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 149 150

return_to_hades 1192 38572 05 December 2010 at 11:16pm
By return_to_hades
Kaho jo kehna hai + share articles / latest News

2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 149 150

raj5000 1196 55527 23 July 2010 at 11:05pm
By return_to_hades
Summers in India - NRI experiences - share urs!

2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 14 15

Ice-Thinker 114 7343 30 May 2010 at 6:18pm
By qwertyesque
HOMOSEXUALITY: Share ur views on it...... Beyond_the_Veil 1 753 16 May 2008 at 11:52am
By raj5000
Thx my friends- Want 2 share !

2 3 4 5

Aparna_BD 33 1981 21 September 2006 at 1:20pm
By NNGAL

Forum Quick Jump

Forum Category

Active Forums

Debate Mansion Topic Index

Limit search to this Forum only.

 

Disclaimer: All Logos and Pictures of various Channels, Shows, Artistes, Media Houses, Companies, Brands etc. belong to their respective owners, and are used to merely visually identify the Channels, Shows, Companies, Brands, etc. to the viewer. Incase of any issue please contact the webmaster.