21 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2023
    1. we are certainly special I mean 00:02:57 no other animal rich the moon or know how to build atom bombs so we are definitely quite different from chimpanzees and elephants and and all the rest of the animals but we are still 00:03:09 animals you know many of our most basic emotions much of our society is still run on Stone Age code
      • for: stone age code, similar to - Ronald Wright - computer metaphor, evolutionary psychology - examples, evolutionary paradox of modernity, evolution - last mile link, major evolutionary transition - full spectrum in modern humans, example - MET - full spectrum embedded in modern humans

      • comment

      • insights

        • evolutionary paradox of modernity
          • modern humans , like all the living species we share the world with, are the last mile link of the evolution of life we've made it to the present, so all species of the present are, in an evolutionary sense, winners of their respective evolutionary game
          • this means that all our present behaviors contain the full spectrum of the evolutionary history of 4 billion years of life
          • the modern human embodies all major evolutionary transitions of the past
          • so our behavior, at all levels of our being is a complex and heterogenous mixture of evolutionary adaptations from different time periods of the 4 billion years that life has taken to evolve.
          • Some behaviors may have originated billions of years ago, and others hundred thousand years ago.
      • Examples: humans embody full spectrum of METs in our evolutionary past

        • fight and flight response
          • early hominids on African Savannah hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago when hominids were predated upon by wild predators
        • cancer
          • normative intercell communication breaks down and reverts to individual cell behavior from billions of years ago
            • see Michael Levin's research on how to make metastatic cancer cells return to normative collective, cooperative behavior
        • children afraid to sleep in the dark
          • evolutionary adaptation against dangerous animals that might have hid in the dark - dangerous insiects, snakes, etc, which in the past may have resulted in human fatalities
        • obesity
          • hunter gatherer hominid attraction to rich sources of fruit. Eating as much of it as we can and maybe harvesting as much as we can and carrying that with us.
            • like squirrels storing away for the winter.
  2. Jul 2023
      • Title
        • One Billion Happy
      • Author

        • Mo Gawdat
      • Description

        • Mo Gawdat was former chief business officer at Google X, Google's innovation center.
        • Mo left Google after seeing the rapid pace of AI development was going to lead to a progress trap in which
          • the risk of AI destroying human civilization is becoming real because AI will be learning from too many unhappy people whose trauma AI will learn and incorporate into its algorithms
        • Hence, human happiness becomes paramount to prevent this catastrophe from happening
      • See Ronald Wright's prescient quote
  3. Jun 2023
    1. scary smart is saying the problem with our world today is not that 00:55:36 humanity is bad the problem with our world today is a negativity bias where the worst of us are on mainstream media okay and we show the worst of us on social media
      • "if we reverse this

        • if we have the best of us take charge
        • the best of us will tell AI
          • don't try to kill the the enemy,
            • try to reconcile with the enemy
          • don't try to create a competitive product
            • that allows me to lead with electric cars,
              • create something that helps all of us overcome global climate change
          • that's the interesting bit
            • the actual threat ahead of us is
              • not the machines at all
                • the machines are pure potential pure potential
              • the threat is how we're going to use them"
      • comment

        • again, see Ronald Wright's quote above
        • it's very salient to this context
    2. the biggest threat facing Humanity today is humanity in the age of the machines we were abused we will abuse this
  4. May 2023
    1. I would submit that were we to find ways of engineering our quote-unquote ape brains um what would all what what would be very likely to happen would not be um 00:35:57 some some sort of putative human better equipped to deal with the complex world that we have it would instead be something more like um a cartoon very much very very much a 00:36:10 repeat of what we've had with the pill
      • Comment
        • Mary echos Ronald Wright's progress traps
    2. there is this growing Chasm between our Paleolithic brains and what we're designed for and the niches we're built to inhabit and this new technologically infused world that we're living in
      • Comment

        • Elise says
          • "there is this growing Chasm between
            • our Paleolithic brains and
            • what we're designed for and
              • the niches we're built to inhabit and this new technologically infused world that we're living in
          • We have changed our environment so rapidly and so radically and we have not kept pace with that change
            • so either we keep changing the environment or
            • we change ourselves to fit the environment and
            • I think the fact that we're consistently making these commodified decisions in which
              • we do expunge more and more of our of our Humanity in favor of profit
              • in favor of short-term decisions i
              • n favor of such abysmal thinking when it comes to complex systems like the human body
            • it is a testament to the fact that these brains are not built for this world and
            • we are not going to be adequate stewards of this system
              • that is now so complex that to keep it held together
            • you actually need a new form of intelligence beyond what we are"
        • Elise Bohan' statements perfectly echo Ronald Wright's famous quote on the nature of progress traps
      • comment

        • I think, however, that Wright would agree more with Mary and less with Elise in Elise's contention that
          • we need a new form of intelligence beyond what we are
          • applying progress to our own cognitive abilities
            • may create the biggest progress trap of all
    1. “To use a computer analogy, we are running twenty-first-century software on hardware last upgraded 50,000 years ago or more. This may explain quite a lot of what we see in the news.”
      • quote worthy
        • “To use a computer analogy, we are running twenty-first-century software on hardware last upgraded 50,000 years ago or more. This may explain quite a lot of what we see in the news.”
        • Ronald Wright
  5. Mar 2023
    1. our practical faith in 00:09:05 progress has ramified and hardened into an ideology a secular religion which like the religions that progress has challenged is blind to certain flaws in its credentials 00:09:18 progress therefore has become myth in the anthropological sense and by this i don't mean a belief that is flimsy or untrue successful myths are powerful and often partly true
      • Quote
    2. the artist managed to harness his grief to produce a vast painting more a mural in conception than a canvas in which like the victorian age itself he demanded 00:04:31 new answers to the riddle of existence he wrote the title boldly on the image three childlike questions simple yet profound where do we come from 00:04:46 what are we where are we going the work is a sprawling panorama of enigmatic figures amid scenery

      Paul Gauguin's painting: - Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Do_We_Come_From%3F_What_Are_We%3F_Where_Are_We_Going%3F#:~:text=Que%20sommes%2Dnous%20%3F,the%20themes%20of%20the%20Gospels%22. - Wright uses this painting as a appropriate introduction to his work tracing human progress because to answer the third question - where are we going? - requires answering the first two - where do we come from? - what are we?

      • Ronald Wright gives his famous Massey talk on = progress traps
      • The book
        • A Short History of Progress
      • is based on a series of 5 talks he gave at the Massey Lectures
      • All five talks are recorded here
  6. Feb 2023
    1. we're running 21st century software on hardware last upgraded fifty thousand years ago or mor

      = Ronald Wright quote - "we're running 21st century software on hardware last upgraded fifty thousand years ago or more "

    2. progress creates problems that are or seem to be soluble only by further progress

      Progress quote -" progress creates problems that are or seem to be soluble only by further progress".

    3. myth is an arrangement of the past whether real or imagined in patterns that reinforce a culture's deepest values and aspirations

      Ronald Wright - definition of - = myth - an arrangement of the past - whether real or imagined - in patterns that reinforce a culture's deepest values and aspirations

      Quotes: - myths are so fraught with meaning that we live and die by them - myths are the maps by which cultures navigate through time - the myth of progress - progress has an internal logic that can lead beyond reason to catastrophe - a seductive trail of successes may end in a trap

    4. the victorian ideal of progress
      • Victorian definition of progress
      • historian Sydney Pollard, 1968
    5. the future of everything we've accomplished since our intelligence 00:06:55 evolved will depend on the wisdom of our actions over the next few years
      • Ronald Wright puts what is at stake into perspective.
      • Our entire evolutionary history as ca species is at stake.
  7. Jul 2022
    1. Could artificial intelligencebe an ally in this venture?

      Yes, in servitude of humanity, but that must be done so carefully to avoid another progress trap. Indeed, progress traps need to be advanced as an urgent new explicit field of scientific enquiry to develop a systematic process for avoiding and mitigating unintended consequences as a result of (technological) progress.

      https://hyp.is/IhS3BvotEeylDq8MXFT9xQ/thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/09/20/Ronald-Wright-Can-We-Dodge-Progress-Trap/

    1. The assumption that we can safely overshoot, then recover temperatures back down by the end of the century, is seriously misguided. Alas, this is the story that we are telling ourselves.

      Progress traps will certainly occur.

      Ronald Wright asks: Can we still dodge progress traps? https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Fthetyee.ca%2FAnalysis%2F2019%2F09%2F20%2FRonald-Wright-Can-We-Dodge-Progress-Trap%2F&group=world

    1. In the deep past these setbacks were local. The overall experiment of civilization kept going, often by moving from an exhausted ecology to one with untapped potential. Human numbers were still quite small. At the height of the Roman Empire there are thought to have been only 200 million people on Earth. Compare that with the height of the British Empire a century ago, when there were two billion. And with today, when there are nearly eight. Clearly, things have moved very quickly since the Industrial Revolution took hold around the world. In A Short History of Progress, I suggested that worldwide civilization was our greatest experiment; and I asked whether this might also prove to be the greatest progress trap. That was 15 years ago.

      Indeed, Wright is right to ask: Is our modern human civilization the greatest progress trap of all?

      Exponential technological progress has shortened the time for dangerous levels of resource extraction and pollution loads to the extent that we face the potential of cascading global tipping points and enter a "hothouse earth" state: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1810141115

      Were this to happen, there is no place on earth that would be immune.

      In hindsight, the unfortunate but predictable trend is one of every increasing size of progress traps, and ever shorter time windows when serious impacts occur. Today, it appears we have reached the largest size progress trap possible on a finite planet.

    2. Ronald Wright: Can We Still Dodge the Progress Trap? Author of 2004’s ‘A Short History of Progress’ issues a progress report.

      Title: Ronald Wright: Can We Still Dodge the Progress Trap? Author of 2004’s ‘A Short History of Progress’ issues a progress report.

      Ronald Wright is the author of the 2004 "A Short History of Progress" and popularized the term "Progress Trap" in the Martin Scroses 2011 documentary based on Wright's book, called "Surviving Progress". Earlier Reesarcher's such as Dan O'Leary investigated this idea in earlier works such as "Escaping the Progress Trap http://www.progresstrap.org/content/escaping-progress-trap-book

    1. Can Humanity Get Out of Its Latest ‘Progress Trap’? A review of ‘The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene.’

      Title: Can Humanity Get Out of Its Latest ‘Progress Trap’? A review of ‘The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene.’