To stop a tech apocalypse we need ethics and the arts

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The article does a poor job of defining what the “tech apocalypse” actually means. There are some examples and some references to pop culture, but no in-depth delving into what the problem actually is. And if you can’t correctly identify the problem, how can you hope to find the solutions?

The thing about articles like these is that they sound good to laypeople, but the authors themselves do not really know what they are talking about. In order to determine what the potential problems are, you must first figure out exactly where the current stage of AI development is so as to see where it is heading. But that requires you to be literate with regards to Machine Learning and AI, which is not something that most people are.

Discussions about AI are a particularly good example of the Dunning-Kruger effect and of people simply putting their two cents in without knowing what they are saying. The reasons for this are not hard to identify: there are many pop culture references to AI, public perception of it is coloured by the idea that we are close to creating artificial life (and, of course, by the idea that creating such life is even possible), and developed AI strikes at many of the fundamental fears that we have.

And AI might well be dangerous in a lot of ways. But not in the ways the public believes, and this is the key idea. Being fearful, to an extent (more like cautious), is fine, but you should be afraid of the right thing.

Mml-Bsr-W97

It worries me that so many threads, especially in personal finance type places, direct people into STEM to achieve anything. We need the arts to live a complete and colorful life, so not everyone can be a programming guru, nor should they be encouraged to be. Without the arts, we live in a dreadfully dull world designed by committees. It’s a shame those in the arts are often not compensated in a way that makes them a socially ideal direction in life. It’s too often a sacrifice to chase a dream rather than a richly rewarded societal boon that is in line with their dreams.

robotzor

I’m going to be totally honest and disagree. Why not just incorporate both? It’s like saying technology can’t be tasteful. Isn’t digital art made by technology? Movies, shows they bring about art and ethics in abundance. We learn non tech related subjects via the aid of technology. Why backtrack when you can progress AND carry all the history with you.

TikkiTakiTomtom

I feel like the people creating the tech have a lot more exposure to arts and ethics than the average person. We just need more education and a better process for accountability of unethical actions.

The piece here cites a “suggestion” by a doctor finkel without any additional evidence, which is not how science works and is a very poor argument.

If you want to enact change or impact how and why science is done, you need data documenting what you’ve observed and how your proposed changes impact it. Alan Finkel didn’t do that, and believe me when I say he very easily could if he wanted to, and neither did this article.

EDIT: Sorry for the many edits.

doctorcrimson

It’s more likely that AI will be owned by a few ultra rich to control the masses through ever increasingly complex rules of employment and compensation. AI will develop ever increasingly insidious mouse wheels for us to exhaust ourselves upon as they squeeze ever more exploitation out of us.

And here’s where the problem begins. We already have to compete with immortal entities with a tenuous connection to morality and ethics. These are called corporations. Add immortal entities that will eventually out-think us in every way programmable, and put them in charge of the day to day operation of these mega-corporations… like HR and middle management. Tasked with a singular purpose – to legally trap us into ever more exploitative employment. To wring out every erg of energy they legally can from us. And to keep at least one step ahead of any legal system while doing it.

This is the real future of AI. Not the mass murdering machine uprising everyone worries about. Think Nazi forced labor camps rather than Matrix style fields or Terminator style murder machines.

And most people will gladly walk into it because we’ve all got to eat.

jdlech

How To Practice Stoicism in Daily Life | Modern Stoic

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When I was a kid, I read about Stoicism, and it seemed stupid. ‘Stoics would greet every event, good or bad, with the same attitude: it doesn’t matter.” Obviously, a poor definition, but when you’re 8 or 9 years old, nuance is lost on you.

Now, much older, I’m beginning to appreciate the Stoic stance. I’m a sober alcoholic and after 7 years in AA, the Serenity Prayer seems to have a lot in common with Stoicism:

God, grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference

And from another field: pro sports. All the top golfers say they can’t let themselves get too ‘high’ after a good shot, or too ‘low’ after a bad one, baseball hitters have the same attitude at-bat to at-bat, etc. Keeping an even emotional keel leads to better outcomes than letting your emotions whipsaw you.

Unfortunately, many people live for those emotional ‘highs’ (and for the lows), and get caught up in a lifelong pursuit of the next high, meaning they live their lives on an emotional roller-coaster.

FrankDrakman

Stoicism is unlike any other philosophy in the world. A pragmatic philosophy that has gained rapid popularity in modern times. It teaches self-control and fortitude as a means for overcoming destructive emotions.

A big challenge in today’s highly technological era is people seeking attention, feeling ashamed or lack self confidence.

This ancient philosophy, teaches you, among many other things, to stop caring about what others think of you. Understanding that it’s not what others think that troubles us, but rather our thoughts on what people think about us.

TheGuillamon

Im newer to philosophy and fascinated by concepts like this. Something that irks me a little bit about stoicism, or at least how it is portrayed in this essay, is the idea of ignoring events “outside of your control.”

I understand this is a way to become more accepting of the world’s darker sides, but it almost seems like it requires losing your sense of empathy as well. Is it not right to care for tragedies in another country or feel sympathy for those who are less fortunate?

I’ve always thought loving those around you and becoming a selfless, giving person was the path to self actualization – but, again, I’m new to this kind of thing and I apologize if I’m uninformed or misinterpreting.

rotatingswingman

Stoicism: So hot right now

AnAppariti0n

I’ve been unknowingly practicing Stoicism since a young age due to my environment and my childhood. The biggest benefits it’s given to me are self-improvement and thinking with a calm mind no matter the circumstances. Though they are indeed really helpful. Having a stoic mind has really affected my emotions and I’ve become a lot more apathetic towards everything. Usually commented as being cocky or cold by my family and friends when I’m actually not what they describe me as at all. It’s still a problem for me because I’ve learnt how to control my emotions too well as I grow older, it terrifies me.

xX_Edgyname_Xx

Faith and politics mix to drive evangelical Christians’ climate change denial

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People be like “keep politics out of sports” but I’d rather keep church out of politics.

bttrflyr

Back when I was a philosophy student, I had a professor who went to a Christian church to speak on environmental issues (the church was in a community dealing with environmental fallout and they were trying to raise awareness of climate change). An evangelical Christian came in during the talk and started shooting people, including the professor.

He survived, thankfully. It demonstrated that there is definitely a violent opposition to environmentalism within Christianity, but it also showed that it’s an issue that’s divided Christians. My professor was both asked to give a talk by a Christian church and shot by a member of another Christian church. We have to both acknowledge the danger of these evangelical groups while not casting out the many Christian groups who are allies to environmentalists.

The same thing happens with any issue that divides the right and the left. There is a Christian left, and they’re fighting for things like racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice. We hurt all these causes if we paint them with the same brush as these fundamentalists. We have to be careful to focus specifically on what makes fundamentalism so dangerous.

Meta_Digital

I find this interesting because climate change fits in nicely with some of the biblical descriptions of the end times. A third of ocean life dying, a third of Earth’s flora burning, famines, etc. Christians could see climate change as a possible way that prophecy gets fulfilled.

needmoresleeep

Half of my christian friends stopped being Christians because of this hypocrisy during Trump’s reign, including me.

The other half, I’ve disowned. Its no longer political. It’s because of ethics and morals.
I’ve actually voted for McCain and Romney back in the day since they are men of their word. I lost my long time friend and some family members because of trump. I hate him

GOP otherwise has been hijacked for the ultra rich.

this1isnttaken

I’ve only ever known one argument to work against someone whose stance is “climate change isn’t real because God controls the climate”…

For starters you have to base it inside the framework of it being true that God controls the environment, because you’ll never convince them otherwise. The question you have to pose is *how* he does it, and answer it with that he does so through creating finely tuned systems. The best example to use is the ocean/tides: God may control the tides that are responsible for a lot of ocean ecosystems, but he did so through making the moon circle the earth raising and lowering them. Then you ask “if man found out the moon was made of gold and mined it all until the moon was gone would the tides still occur?”, which is a pretty obvious “no”. But you can’t frame it as God’s plan failing, you have to frame it as man getting greedy and God letting them suffer the consequences of their greed… Once you have that you just compare the cycle of carbon, trees soaking it up and taking it into the ground with them to keep the levels stable for example. Then use man digging up oil and burning it as the equivalent of mining the moon in the first example… Now you aren’t claiming that God doesn’t control the climate. You instead have climate change being a whole “punishment for man’s arrogance towards God and his plans causing consequences that they have to suffer for”, which Christians *really* get off to…

Disclaimer: Saying this all as an atheist myself, but sometimes you have to step into their mindset to convince them of things.

ValyrianJedi

The anxiety of choice – More choice doesn’t mean more happiness; it means more anxiety and guilt.

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In this talk philosopher and sociologist Renata Salecl challenges the neoliberal view that every individual is ultimately responsible for their own happiness (or lack thereof) based on the choices they make. She discusses the ways philosophical theories of choice – like utilitarianism – often underestimate the complexities of making real world decisions, before going on to consider the connection between choice, freedom, anxiety and death in the thinking of philosophers including Sartre and Kierkegaard. Choice, she argues, always means the closing off of certain possibilities, establishing a connection to death, and from this reasons that anxiety is inherent in choice. Salecl considers the re-emergence of individualism at the end of periods of crisis, and reassertion of individual freedoms to seek our pleasure. She concludes by discussing the disparity between our rational conception of our desires and the unconscious conception that influence our behaviour, and the overlooked influences of our social surroundings on our choices. The abundance of choice in the modern world has created anxiety for two reason – it creates the illusion that no one is in charge; and it does not give more power to individuals, but rather to corporations, leading to the sense that someone might be in charge in a hidden way.

IAI_Admin

My username describes this!

paralysisofchoice

Do you know what is worst?
When you know exactly what you want, and they don’t have it.

VFiorella

Still I would rather have more choice than not.

jvoc2202

This is why the Western idea of liberation/freedom is so flawed. Many in the West take it as self-evident that more choice is a fundamentally good thing to strive towards, but this isn’t the case at all. It’s the major difference between liberal, secular societies and religious ones.

Religious people accept that they won’t ever have ultimate freedom, and accept the restrictions placed upon them. They have belief that their restrictions are for their own good, and that the possible hardship they suffer due to it is not only better than the alternative, but also that they will be compensated for it after death. It makes for a more peaceful, fulfilling life.

By contrast, a liberal secular society caters to individual desires and demands that there be as few restrictions as possible. This forces people to make decisions at every moment of their lives, with practically infinite choices, which leads to stress and anxiety. It also causes regret and guilt, because there is never an objectively good choice.

It’s two fundamentally different paradigms to see the world through. Atheists look at religious people and say, “Oh how oppressed these people are, these shackles and chains restrict them so much, they’re not free!” And religious people look at atheists and say, “Oh how fickle these people are, they have no direction and no higher truth, they worry about every little thing!” Paradoxically, the religious worldview asserts that there is freedom in restriction, because it forces you to focus on the decisions that really matter.

otah007