Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pre-Futurism Vs. The Singularity
Intelligent Universe?

This post is going to start out with a rather dry discussion of the history of microprocessors. But go with me on this. I want to show how computing has developed and where it is going.

I can almost guarantee you that what you are going to read here will be one of the most incredible new ideas you have ever been hit with.

It isn't my idea, so I am not bragging. Here we go.

The information in computers is stored in binary code consisting of zeroes and ones. These zeroes and ones are processed through microchips, or microprocessors.

In the old days, the central processing unit of a computer was made from bulky discrete switching devices (and later small-scale integrated circuits) containing the equivalent of only a few transistors. In 1971 Intel developed the first microprocessor, which they called the 4004:

The 4004 was not very powerful -- all it could do was add and subtract, and it could only do that 4 bits at a time. But it was amazing that everything was on one chip. Prior to the 4004, engineers built computers either from collections of chips or from discrete components (transistors wired one at a time). The 4004 powered one of the first portable electronic

In 1974 Intel developed an 8-bit microprocessor called the 8008, able to carry 6,000 transistors, which gave birth to the personal computing revolution.

Now check out these numbers:

In 1979 the 8088 was created with 29,000 transistors.
In 1982, the 80286 was created with 134,000 transistors.
In 1985, the 80386 was created with 275,000 transistors.


until today, when the Pentium Four Prescott carries 125,000,000 transistors.

How do they do this? Well, they put more information on a piece of silicon in smaller and smaller pieces. On the Pentium Four Prescott, the smallest wire on the chip is just .09 microns wide. For comparison, a human hair is 100 microns thick. As the feature size on the chip goes down, the number of transistors rises. The 8008 chip, by comparison, carried wires which were 6 microns thick.

Now, here's the thing. At a certain point you can't keep creating wires in smaller and smaller microns because you will be down to the atomic level. So, what do you do then?

You start turning the atoms themselves into computers:

Researchers at the University of Michigan have produced what is believed to be the first scalable quantum computer chip, which could mean big gains in the worldwide race to develop a quantum computer.

Using the same semiconductor fabrication technology that is used in everyday computer chips, researchers were able to trap a single atom within an integrated semiconductor chip and control it using electrical signals, said Christopher Monroe, U-M physics professor and the principal investigator and co-author of the paper, "Ion Trap in a Semiconductor Chip." The paper appeared in the Dec. 11 issue of Nature Physics.

Quantum computers are promising because they can solve certain problems much faster than any possible conventional computer, owing to the bizarre features of quantum mechanics. For instance, quantum computers can process multiple inputs at the same time in the same device, and quantum circuitry can be wired via the quantum feature of entanglement, dubbed by Einstein as "spooky action-at-a-distance."

One of the most favored candidate quantum computer architectures is the use of individual atoms to store quantum bits ( qubits) of information, where each qubit can hold the number 1 or 0, or even both 1 and 0 simultaneously, Monroe said.

You can see that the speed of such quantum processing will be exponentially greater than the speed of current microprocessors.

But wait, there's more. What happens if you string atoms together into an atomic chain functioning as parelell processors?:

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — The only hint that anything extraordinary is happening inside the brown stucco building at Los Alamos National Laboratory is a small metal sign posted in front:

"Warning! Magnetic Field in Use. Remain on Sidewalk." Come much closer and you risk having the magnetic stripes on your credit cards erased.

The powerful field is emanating from the supercooled superconducting magnets inside a tanklike machine called a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.

The device itself is unremarkable. N.M.R. machines are used in chemistry labs across the world to map the architecture of molecules by sensing how their atoms dance to the beat of electromagnetic waves. Hospitals and clinics use the same technology, called magnetic resonance imaging, or M.R.I., to scan the tissues of the human body.

The machine at Los Alamos has been enlisted on a recent morning for a grander purpose: to carry out an experiment in quantum computing. By using radio waves to manipulate atoms like so many quantum abacus beads, the Los Alamos scientists will coax a molecule called crotonic acid into executing a simple computer program.

Last year they set a record, carrying out a calculation involving seven atoms. This year they are shooting for 10. That may not sound like many.

Each atom can be thought of as a little switch, a register that holds a 1 or a 0, and the latest Pentium chip contains 42 million such devices. But the paradoxical laws of quantum mechanics confer a powerful advantage: a single atom can do two calculations at once. Two atoms can do four, three atoms can do eight.

By the time you reach 10, doubling and doubling and doubling along the way, you have an invisibly tiny computer that can carry out 1,024 (210) calculations at the same time.

If scientists can find ways to leverage this achievement to embrace 20 atoms, they will be able to execute a million simultaneous calculations. Double that again to 40 atoms, and 10 trillion calculations can be done in tandem.

The goal, still but a distant glimmer, is to harness thousands of atoms, resulting in a machine so powerful that it would easily break codes now considered impenetrable and solve other problems that are impossible for even the fastest supercomputer.

"We are at the border of a new territory," said Dr. Raymond Laflamme, one of the leaders of the Los Alamos project. "All the experiments today are a very small step, but they show that there is not a wall."

In other words, less than one hundred atoms would be faster than the largest computer on Earth today.

Ok, that is amazing enough, but there is a further implication to this atomic quantum computing. Think about it.

We're talking about using atoms as computers.

What is the world made up of?

Yes, that's right, atoms.

Obviously, huh?

But, if we can use atoms as microprocessors, then can we use the matter around us as microprocessors, turning the world itself into a gigantic computer?

Ray Kurzweil believes that is going to happen This is from an interview with Mr. Kurzweil from What is Enlightenment? magazine:

WIE: You mentioned earlier that as human beings we naturally seek to expand our horizons, and that in the future we will do so largely through the expansion of our intelligence. Do you see the expansion of human intelligence as an evolutionary end in itself?

RK: Well, it's a good question. It's like asking, "What is the purpose of life?" In my mind, we will ultimately saturate all of the matter and energy in our area of the universe with our intelligence, and I suppose you could say that's an end in itself. All of this dumb matter and energy around us will wake up and become sublimely intelligent. Then it will spread out to the whole universe at the fastest speed information can flow. And one could make an argument that it's not going to take an infinitely long time because there may be other ways to get to other parts of the universe through shortcuts like wormholes, which physics has postulated. Eventually the whole universe will, essentially, wake up.

But isn't it interesting that you never see cosmologists give any role to intelligence in the future destiny of the universe? Rather, they talk a lot about whether or not the universe will contract back to a big crunch or expand indefinitely, as if these sorts of mindless forces of physics are just going to endlessly grind on like a big dumb machine.

Nowhere do they consider, "Now, wait a second, intelligence could spread through the universe and actually make an intelligent decision about what the destiny of the universe is, and even though the gravitational force and other forces might cause the universe to spin apart, the intelligent civilization infusing the whole universe will decide, 'No, we're not going to do that. We're going to do something different.'"

WIE: Some scientists and cosmologists argue that the universe is already intelligent. But what you're saying is that we will use technology to inject our own intelligence into the nonintelligent matter of the universe, that it's a purely physical accomplishment.

RK: Exactly. And that's a form of enlightenment. Because I would say that the whole universe is not intelligent at this point. But I think it will become intelligent through the process that I described.

WIE: How do you see that happening on a practical level? Can you envision it?

RK: Well, yes. We can state the fact that levels of intelligence far greater than our own are going to evolve within this century. We can't entirely describe what that will be like because it will be, by definition, more intelligent than we are. As we move through three-dimensional molecular computing, we're ultimately going to be organizing matter and energy in a very efficient way, down to the atomic level. In about twelve years, we'll be able to compute very efficiently with these three-dimensional molecular structures, which actually are based on carbon, much like life is, but organized millions of times more powerfully.

A one-inch tube of nanotube circuitry built out of carbon atoms would be a million times more powerful than the human brain. Using these incredibly small information-processing systems, which have the ability to reorganize matter, we'll ultimately be able to convert most of the matter and energy in our area of the universe into very efficiently organized processes for running intelligence.

And then, this intelligence will expand outward, almost like information, but it will actually be able to essentially convert and absorb into itself all the matter and energy that it encounters as it continues to spread outward into the universe.

I don't even know what to say about this. The thing is, it is the most incredible thing I have ever heard. It sounds insane, and yet, if we are already learning to use atoms as processors, why would this not work?

And what would happen when we had begun to use the entire universe as a computer? What would such a universe think about? We can guess it would think about some sort of creation, right?

What would it create? Another universe?

What is going on here?

Chances Of
Very High

Praying at the Western Wall.

Good news. Let's also pray that he can come through healthy enough to enjoy life a bit:

JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's chances of surviving his severe stroke are very high, but his ability to think and reason have been damaged, one of his surgeons said Saturday.

The 77-year-old Israeli leader remained in critical condition, though his vital signs were stable and a brain scan Saturday showed a slight reduction in swelling.

Doctors are to decide Sunday when to begin lifting Sharon's medically induced coma to examine the severity of the brain damage.

"Tomorrow is the day of truth," Dr. Jose Cohen, one of Sharon's surgeons, told Channel 2 TV. "Tomorrow we will all know if what we did for him helped him or not."

Cohen said he was "quite optimistic" about Sharon's prospects for survival, which he said were "very high now."

But when asked about possible cognitive impairment, Cohen replied, "To say after such a severe trauma as this that there will be no cognitive problems is simply not to recognize the reality."

Cohen's comments appeared on Channel 2 as a transcript broadcast on the screen. He did not appear himself. It was not immediately possible to contact Cohen by phone, and Sharon's other surgeon, Dr. Felix Umansky, declined to be interviewed.

The comments reinforced a widespread assumption that Sharon will never return to power. Israelis from all walks of life have lamented Sharon's likely departure from the political scene.

With his larger-than life persona and warrior credentials, he was seen as the man most capable of disentangling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


One of the arguments you always hear from those who oppose the war is, "Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. There were no terrorists in Iraq." Well, of course, those who live on this side of reality never believed that. We have all heard about the training camp in Northern Iraq, where terrorists trained in hijacking jets. We know that Abu Nidal lived in Iraq, at Saddam's behest.

But, such truths have never swayed those who opposed the Iraq war.

Well, now, there are documents being released by the United States government (finally) which reveal concrete evidence of Saddam's training and funding of terrorists:

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units.

Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000.

Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.

Read the whole thing.

To Leave

From AFP, via Little Green Footballs:

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) - Followers of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have ordered international observers overseeing this month’s Palestinian election to leave the Jenin area of the northern West Bank.

“We are sorry to tell you that you must leave Jenin as soon as possible,” said a statement Saturday from the Jenin branch of the Brigades received by AFP.

“We ask you to understand that this step is not against you. It is against the occupation and against the international community which has done nothing to stop the Israeli army’s escalations against our people.”

Is there any logic in that statement? Any at all?

What Should
The Citizens
Of France
Do In
To The

Dag, of No Dhimmitude, left the following comment on one of my posts about the Nice-Lyon Train Intifada:

How is it that it took nearly a week for the French to admit that 600 citizens were attacked on a public train?

Politicians are responsible for this outrage. So are the media. And I'll include the universities and churches. Our intelligentsia and our moral leaders are criminals.

It's past time to rid ourselves of these people and reform our world from the bottom up.

If our moral leaders and our cultural and intellectual leaders believe in nothing at all, then they have no authority whatsoever, and we must rid ourselves of them and replace them with men and women who have some real moral standing.

What is moral? By what authority? We live in a pluralistic world, and we must find a universal moral for a plurality, one that has authority for all regardless of race, creed, or religion. If we fail at that, then Islam and dhimmitude await us.

Today a train, and we cower in fear waiting for rescue by police who have no authority to use force against criminals. Tomorrow a school in which children are exploded, and our police haven't got the competence to rescue them.

Next day we're blown up riding the tube to work or killed in our offices or burned to death in ships defending the world and ourselves. And yet we don't fight because we don't have anything we feel we should fight for, not even our very lives, they being too meaningless to defend.

We require a moral reformation or we are lost forever.

Dag has a very good point. If the government of France will not take care of it's citizens, then, it is time for the people of France to overthrow their government.

Friday, January 06, 2006


by Joe Citizen


Western Muslims are on a racist rape spree across Europe and Australia(Thanks to News of Eurabia):

In Australia, Norway, Sweden and other Western nations, there is a distinct race-based crime in motion being ignored by the diversity police: Islamic men are raping Western women for ethnic reasons. We know this because the rapists have openly declared their sectarian motivations.

When a number of teenage Australian girls were subjected to hours of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney that occurred between 1998 and 2002, the perpetrators of these assaults framed their rationale in ethnic terms. The young victims were informed that they were “sluts” and “Aussie pigs” while they were being hunted down and abused.

In Australia's New South Wales Supreme Court in December 2005, a visiting Pakistani rapist testified that his victims had no right to say no, because they were not wearing a headscarf.

And earlier this year Australians were outraged when Lebanese Sheik Faiz Mohammed gave a lecture in Sydney where he informed his audience that rape victims had no one to blame but themselves. Women, he said, who wore skimpy clothing, invited men to rape them.

A few months earlier, in Copenhagen, Islamic mufti and scholar, Shahid Mehdi created uproar when – like his peer in Australia – he stated that women who did not wear a headscarf were asking to be raped.

And with haunting synchronicity in 2004, the London Telegraph reported that visiting Egyptian scholar Sheik Yusaf al-Qaradawi claimed female rape victims should be punished if they were dressed immodestly when they were raped. He added, “For her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct.”

In Norway and Sweden, journalist Fjordman warns of a rape epidemic. Police Inspector Gunnar Larsen stated that the steady increase of rape-cases and the link to ethnicity are clear, unmistakable trends. Two out of three persecutions for rape in Oslo are immigrants with a non-Western background and 80 percent of the victims are Norwegian women.

In Sweden, according to translator for Jihad Watch, Ali Dashti, “Gang rapes, usually involving Muslim immigrant males and native Swedish girls, have become commonplace.” A few weeks ago she said, “Five Kurds brutally raped a 13-year-old Swedish girl.”

In France, Samira Bellil broke her silence – after enduring years of repeated gang rapes in one of the Muslim populated public housing projects – and wrote a book, In the hell of the tournantes, that shocked France. Describing how gang rape is rampant in the banlieues, she explained to Time that, “any neighborhood girl who smokes, uses makeup or wears attractive clothes is a whore.”

Unfortunately, Western women are not the only victims in this epidemic. In Indonesia, in 1998, human rights groups documented the testimony of over 100 Chinese women who were gang raped during the riots that preceded the fall of President Suharto. Many of them were told: “You must be raped, because you are Chinese and non-Muslim.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that in April 2005, a 9-year-old Pakistani girl was raped, beaten with a cricket bat, hanged upside down from the ceiling, had spoonfuls of chillies poured into her mouth, and repeatedly bashed while handcuffed. Her Muslim neighbours told her they were taking revenge for the American bombing of Iraqi children and informed her they were doing it because she was an “infidel and a Christian.”

And then there is this, which appeared on CUANAS last month:

A Muslim man tells us how he really feels about Swedish babes. From Dymphna at Gates of Vienna:

“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid [link is in Swedish].

“The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.”

It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background.

“It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do."

"I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.”

Of The
Holy Land

Jamie Glazov interviews Justus Reid Weiner, a Human Rights Lawyer, and Scholar-in-Residence at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an independent policy studies center(Thanks to News of Eurabia):

My specific interest in the plight of Christians living in Palestinian society is more recent. Eight years ago I met a Christian pastor who, knowing that I was a human rights lawyer, urged me to investigate the human rights abuses directed at Muslims who converted to Christianity. I knew nothing about this, and frankly doubted that anyone would victimize the adherents of the world's largest religion. But as I began to interview people most were reluctant to even meet me. If they agreed to reveal what they had suffered, they insisted that I refer to them by a pseudonym.

JG: Why do you think there has been an increase in Islamic fundamentalism in Palestinian society?

Weiner: The increase is a regional phenomenon. Indeed it would be hard to find any predominantly Muslim country in the Middle East, North Africa or even into Asia, where Islamic fundamentalism is not on the rise.

JG: Tell us about the persecution of Palestinian Christians and why their persecution became so much worse since the Oslo peace process began.

Weiner: These are acutely trying times for the Christian remnant residing in areas ‘governed’ by the Palestinian Authority. Tens of thousands have abandoned their holy sites and ancestral properties to live abroad, while those that remain do so as a beleaguered and dwindling minority. They have faced virtually uninterrupted persecution during the decade since the Oslo peace process began, living amidst a Muslim population that is increasingly xenophobic and restless. Chaos, nepotism, and corruption are endemic.

Their plight is, in part, attributable to the influence of Muslim religious law (Sharia) on the inner workings of the Palestinian Authority. Moreover, the Christians have been abandoned by their religious leaders who, instead of protecting them, have chosen to curry favor with the Palestinian leadership. That is the life of a dhimmit in a Muslim land.

Rice Cancels Trip To Indonesia

Why? Check out the info in this AP article:

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice canceled a six-day trip to Indonesia and Australia on Friday, amid uncertainty over the condition of ailing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"She decided because of the situation in the Middle East, it was the right decision to stay here in Washington," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. Rice had planned to leave Saturday.

Sharon, 77, remained in serious condition at an Israeli hospital after suffering a massive stroke on Wednesday. Sharon underwent a third brain surgery Friday morning and was expected to remain in a medically induced coma until at least Sunday.

If Sharon were to die, Rice would probably attend the funeral in Jerusalem, although McCormack did not mention that possibility.

U.S. officials have been careful not to publicly predict that Sharon will not return to power. Rice's travel decision is the clearest sign yet that U.S. officials consider his recovery unlikely.

I don't think this adds up. Indonesia doesn't have anything to do with the Middle East conflict. And, one would assume that if Condi was concerned that she might have to head off to a funeral, that she could simply take her mourning clothes with her to Indonesia.

Could it be that Sharon is already dead? Or, could it be that the Bush Administration is concerned for the safety of the Secretary of State in the wake of a possible blowup in the Middle East?

Is It?

Shrinkwrapped questions how the world will change with Ariel Sharon's passing on the mantle of power. Are we, now, in a period comparable to the late-30's, when we still had an opportunity to stop Hitler?:

In 1971, the great Italian film maker, Vittorio De Sica directed The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival that same year. The movie was a character study of a wealthy Italian Jewish family in the town Ferrara in 1938. The Finzi-Contini family is already destroyed but do not realize it yet. The fascist government of Mussolini was not particularly energetic in their persecution of Jews but their much more powerful ally demanded that Italy at least make some attempts to aid in the "final solution." The scourge of anti-Semitism which had been in abeyance for many years in Italy was slowly gaining force and depth in 1938. The movie is a fascinating, elegiac look at wealthy, narcissistic young people who, like insects with one wing trapped in amber, do not perceive that their world is about to end.

I have written before (in "Good Muslims" and "Good Germans" and again, in A Ticking Clock) that in our war on Islamic fascism, we are in the late 1930's. We can stop Hitler/al Qaeda/Islamic fascism/Iran now at some indeterminate, possibly terrible cost, or stop them later, at horrific cost.

Of The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Roger Ebert describes the family and its reaction to the approaching storm:

Giorgio's father says of the Finzi-Continis: "They're different. They don't even seem to be Jewish." They're different because wealth and privilege and generations of intellectual and social position have bred them into a family as proud as it is vulnerable. The other Jews in the town react to Mussolini's edicts in various ways: Giorgio is enraged; his father is philosophical. But the Finzi-Continis hardly seem to know, or care, what is happening. They are above mere edicts; they chose to live behind their walls long before the Fascists said they must.

The Finzi-Continis were insulated by their wealth from the realities of the world that was crashing down around them; it seems today that our liberal elites, equally insulated from the world by their wealth and success, believe if they continue to behave as if time has stopped, then they need do nothing to prevent the coming disaster. However, we are clearly approaching a pivotal moment. Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred (in a post that should be read more widely) asks some questions that need to be addressed:

The civilized world is on trial today.

It is a simple matter, really. How we respond to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks denying the Holocaust and excoriating Jews will say a lot more about us that it will about him.

What lessons have we learned from the past? What morality have we integrated into our very being as the result of the Holocaust, directed against the Jews, by design? What morality have we integrated into ourselves as a result of that wider holocaust, the one that left 50 million dead in the span of six years?

The Palestinians have only slowed their genocidal attacks in order to turn their rage on themselves, for now, yet once the Iranians have their bomb, Israel's existence will be at risk both from the air (Iranian missiles) and from the land (Palestinian suicide bombers). Al Qaeda has taken up residence in Gaza to facilitate the mass death and destruction they hope to rain upon the hated Jews.

How will the world respond? One answer is here:

Norway's Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen is backing a planned consumer boycott of Israeli goods, contradicting the coalition government's policy.

Ms Halvorsen voiced support for a campaign of solidarity with the Palestinians, due to be launched by her Socialist Left party this month.

Some on the left, especially in Europe but with fellow travelers in the United States, will hope to "feed the crocodile so as to be eaten last." Others will resort to the failed policy of using "soft power" to somehow convince Iran's mad mullahs to "play nice":

Iran nuclear research troubles EU
European nations have called on Iran to reverse its decision on Tuesday to resume nuclear fuel research, part of its controversial nuclear programme.

It is always easier and more comforting to imagine that the present will continue indefinitely; it is behind much of the isolationist impulse in this country, both on the left and the right. It is always easier in the short run to live like the Finzi-Continis, especially when one has comfort and wealth which would be put at risk by taking action.

Time is short and Israel's future may depend on whether or not their next leader can become like Sharon, one of the 20%, or like so much of Europe and the isolationists here at home, the Finzi-Continis reborn whose own well being and continued existence may well depend on what the Israelis (and perhaps the Americans) do in the next few months.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Singularity
What Is

Ray Kurzweil and others say that in the future we will be able to build robots the size of molecules to do our work for us at the atomic level. The tiny robots are called Nanobots.

My explanation is simplistic. The Nanobots will not be intelligent. They will simply be tools manipulated by humans or computers.

Why would we want to manipulate things at the atomic level? The answer is, so we can build whatever we want to build, from the ground up.

Here's an excerpt from an article called The Future of Molecular Nanotechnology by Mike Deering:

Molecular nanotechnology is the capability to build or modify any material object by adding or removing individual atoms under complete external control. Nanotechnology is performed by assembler nanobots. Assembler nanobots are molecular scale machines that can make anything from individual atoms in accordance with a design supplied by an external computer. Assembler nanobots are made by other assembler nanobots, which is kind of a chicken and egg problem.

We don't currently have assembler nanobots. People working in the nanotechnology field are very certain that we will have them soon. We already pick and place individual atoms with atomic force microscopes (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopes (STM). We have machines that can produce DNA molecules of any specified design. Experimental computer circuitry is already at the molecular level.

Mature molecular nanotechnology is the endpoint of a long history of miniaturization of mechanical and electrical systems. Kurzweil is fond of saying that all forms of engineering are reducing in size by 5.6 per dimension per decade. Few people hearing this fully understand the implications of this statement. What it means is that we are guaranteed by a long history of miniaturization trend data to reach mature molecular nanotechnology by 2020 or sooner (the trend is accelerating).

Miniaturization is the root force behind the Singularity. Computers powerful enough to support general intelligence are based on it. Tools for the reverse engineering of the human brain are based on it. Tools for the development of molecular biotechnology are based on it. Of the three Singularity technologies, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and molecular biotechnology; nanotechnology is leading the charge to the Singularity event.

Nanotechnology is at the heart of every R&D frontier. The economic and military advantages are driving investment and research efforts in nanotechnology beyond all other areas of development. Every industry is involved.

I'm presenting this, purely, as information, not as truth. This is what one man believes will happen. I'm learning as I study this material everyday.

One thing to know is that when Mr. Deering talks about "Reverse Engineering the human brain," he means mapping the molecular structure of the human brain, completely, so that we can build brains, literally.


Interesting, isn't it? Sounds too crazy to be true. But, one thing I am learning is, we should not doubt the capacity of the human imagination to make a reality of anything it dreams.


Do the men of France deserve to be mocked for what happened on the Nice-Lyon train?

20-30 Muslim guys terrorized 600 people on a train, beating, mugging and sexually assauting them. Sexually assauting their women.

If the measure of a civilization is revealed in how women are treated, then the question must be asked, is France civilized?

When a friend has a problem, there is an intervention, and counseling is advised.

What is to be done about France?

And, the final question is, am I going to far in asking these questions? Is it possible that the problem is just exaggerated in my mind? After all, we did have similar problem in New York back in the 1960's and 70's.

A New

The Iranian President just can't keep his mouth shut, can he? It's almost like something compels him to do what he does:

IRAN'S hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has launched a new verbal attack against Israel as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon battles for survival in a Jerusalem hospital."

Why would you impose such a bold and corrupt regime on the nations of the region unless it (the Holocaust) is a big historical lie," Mr Ahmadinejad said, addressing Western nations.

"Be sure that not only the Palestinian people, but also all Islamic nations will not even for a moment tolerate this occupying regime and corrupt government empowered by you," the President said in the city of Qom.


Put down your coffee and remove anything breakable from your desk, because you may experience spasms of astonished hilarity mixed with sadness as you read this, from the Associated Press:

PARIS (AP) - European leaders on Thursday fretted over the fate of Ariel Sharon, a man once seen in Europe as a danger for the Middle East but now viewed as a more complex, even crucial figure.

The concerns reflect a subtle shift in Europe - where there has been surprised admiration for Sharon's dismantling of settlements, satisfaction with the role now played by Europeans on the Gaza-Egypt border, and a growing wariness with the Islamic world.

``Ariel Sharon plays a particularly important role in the quest for lasting peace in the Middle East,'' Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said in a get-well message to the Israeli leader, who was in serious condition after a massive stroke. Austria holds the European Union's rotating presidency.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw praised Sharon as ``a towering figure not only in Israel but in the whole of the region.''

Speaking to reporters in Beirut after talks with his Lebanese counterpart Fawzi Salloukh, Straw said Sharon's attempts to find a settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had ``earned him huge respect across the world.''
Such comments contrast sharply with the cautious, even hostile European attitude toward Sharon in the past. His history as a hard-line general and his role in Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 led many to believe that when he became prime minister in 2001 he would hinder, not broker, peace.

``When Sharon was elected, Europeans saw him as an impediment to the peace process,'' said Richard Whitman, an analyst with Chatham House, a London think tank.

``But since then there's been a grudging acceptance that he has made a contribution, even if it has not been in the manner that Europeans expected. He has pursued his own peace process,'' Chatham said by telephone.
Sharon's stroke comes just as relations between Israel and Europe are at last picking up.

The latest boost came with November's deal to allow EU monitors along the Gaza-Egypt border, Europe's first security role in the region, despite years of lobbying.

The EU's role in the Middle East now hinges heavily on the patrol mission. EU officials insisted Thursday that the program was not under threat despite Sharon's illness.

Europe's experience with Islamic terrorism in recent years has also slightly shifted European sentiments toward the Middle East. Train bombings in Madrid in 2004 killed 191 people; suicide bombers killed 52 transit passengers in London last July.

``Europe has looked at terrorism differently since the attacks in London, even if the terrorism we're experiencing is fundamentally different from that in Israel,'' said Francois Gere, president of the French Institute for Strategic Analysis.

``We are not at the point where we would use the measures Israel does, but we understand them better,'' he said.

French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Sharon wishes for a speedy recovery.

Chirac said he hoped ``the courageous initiatives that Mr. Sharon embarked on - which were praised by the entire international community - will continue.''

Lines Up With

I like the way Atlas put this, so I'm going to steal her post, and simply tell you that her blog is one of the top five on the internet. Read her everyday:

Norway's finance minister calling for a boycott of Israel today.

The link is in Norwegian but Sir Humphrey has a partial translation here of her comments at. Go over to Humphrey's site and read Chefen's most excellent post.

The minister is the leader of the Socialist Left and seems to be in love with all things anti-semitic.

Watch the global chessboard aligns itself, with the Bush Doctrine or the The Ahmadinejad Doctrine.

Yes, that is what is going to happen. We are living in a very strange time, my friends. People who have been supporters of "peace" are coming out in support of fascism. There is a worldwide cellular mitosis happening. The chromosomes are lining up and the whole world is going to split into two completely new cells; one decent, and one evil.

It is a frightening event to observe.

Train Intifada

From the Washington Times comes the first English language MSM media coverage of the Nice-Lyon Train Intifada in France:

PARIS -- A gang of more than 20 youths -- thought to be North African immigrants -- terrorized hundreds of train passengers in a rampage of violence, robbery and sexual assault on New Year's Day, French officials said yesterday.

The five-hour-long criminal frenzy was "totally unacceptable," French President Jacques Chirac told reporters. "Those guilty will be found and punished, as they deserve."

The gang of between 20 and 30 youths boarded the train, heading from Nice on the French Riviera to Lyon, in eastern France, early on Jan. 1, as it carried 600 passengers home from New Year's Eve partying overnight.

Once inside, they went wild, forcing passengers to hand over mobile phones and wallets, and slashing seats and breaking windows.

A 20-year-old woman cornered by several of the marauders was sexually molested.

"It was a real scene of pillage on the train," said the regional state prosecutor, Dominique Luigi, adding that the passengers were in a state of "panic."

Train staff alerted police, and the train pulled into a station to wait. The three officers who initially turned up later were joined by reinforcements.

A waitress in a bar near the station said two young women from the train had come inside in tears.

"They told me there had been groping. They talked about sexual assaults. They were really traumatized," she said.

The train resumed its journey with the heavy police presence on board but, just before Marseille, the youths pulled the emergency stop and many escaped.

Only three -- two 19-year-old Moroccans and a minor, all living in France -- were arrested. Both men were being held for robbery and one also was facing charges of sexual assault. The minor was to be judged separately.

Three others -- a man and two boys -- were arrested briefly in Marseille but were released despite reports they were carrying a knife, a screwdriver and a small amount of hashish.

Police in Nice, meanwhile, said they had escorted the group of drunken youths and put them on the train Sunday to ensure they did not cause trouble in the city.

Police said they thought the gang was part of a bigger group of 100 youths from the Marseille area who had gone to Nice and nearby seaside resorts for New Year's Eve, taking advantage of a special $1 New Year's Day train fare.

News of the violence shocked France, which still was reeling from three weeks of rioting that flared in impoverished suburbs across the country in late October and early November last year.

The opposition Socialist Party said it viewed the incident with "astonishment."

Five hours long? Nothing was done about an "incident" that went on for five hours?

France is shocked and astonished. Yeah, they ought to be shocked and astonished at their own stupidity.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Erotic Plane

From Morph Naked

The French
Just Bend
Over And
Enjoy It

A couple of days ago there was an incident in France where 600 French people on the Nice-Lyon train were terrorized by 20-30 "youths." Uhhmm, Muslims. There were beatings, muggings and sexual assaults.

So, what is France doing about it?

What do you think?

They are covering it up.

Meanwhile, the "youths" are blaming the whole thing on the police ...

... because the police interrupted them before they could come, I guess.

Sharon Dies,
We Hit
Rocket Fire

Sharon is lying in a hospital, close to death. What is the Palestinian reaction? Why, a threatened barrage of rocket fire, of course:

Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip are watching the news regarding Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's deteriorating health carefully and will celebrate with Qassam rocket firings at Jewish towns if Sharon dies, terror leaders told WorldNetDaily.

One militant leader threatened the life of Sharon's temporary replacement, Deputy Minister Ehud Olmert, who was installed as prime minister just hours ago.

"I am ready with my candies and my rockets and praying to Allah that Sharon dies. We have prepared a celebratory barrage of rockets ready to fire into Israel on the occasion of the death of our enemy," said Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for firing hundreds of Qassam rockets and mortars at Jewish towns.

Hamas leader Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar told WND Sharon's condition "plunges the Israeli political scene into chaos, which could bring about an equal response from the Palestinians."

Sources close to Sharon told WND the prime minister's condition is life threatening, and that there was a significant chance he might not survive.

"We are not hopeful," said a senior Sharon aide.

One senior political leader said he has information Sharon is "clinically dead. He is on life support machines in the operating theater that can keep him alive for an extended period, but doctors are pessimistic he can return to normal functioning."

Celebrations reportedly are underway in the Gaza Strip, with families distributing sweets and gunmen shooting into the air.

Al-Zahar said he is hoping Sharon survives.

"Sharon's new party Kadima was good for us. They made clear in no uncertain terms that part of their platform was more withdrawals from the West Bank and from Jerusalem. His passing from the political scene now places all of that in jeopardy. We don't know what are the policies of Olmert. Whether he supports giving us the West Bank and Jerusalem."

Al-Zahar sounds like a Palestinian who actually lives in reality. The rest sound like the types of Palestinians who will never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Sharon Suffers "Massive Stroke"

A sad day for Israel and the world:

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a massive stroke Wednesday and was on a respirator after falling ill at his ranch. Doctors operated to drain excess blood from his brain.

Powers were transferred to his deputy, Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.

Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, said Sharon suffered "a significant stroke," adding that he was "under anesthetic and receiving breathing assistance." A few minutes later, Mor-Yosef emerged to say that initial tests showed Sharon had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in his brain.

The Hamas Charter

Saruman? No, Sheikh Yassin, founder of Hamas.

Polls show that the terrorist organization Hamas is poised to win the upcoming Palestinian elections in January. Many media outlets, including the Washington Post, have tried to spin Hamas as being a decent political party interest only in justice and freedom for it's people.

This is absolute and unparalelled bullshit.

Hamas is, and always has been a terrorist organization. Here, from National Review, is some information about Hamas' own declaration of it's intentions; the Hamas Charter:

The 1988 Hamas charter (an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement" in Arabic) is both political and genocidal — yet the United Nations has never denounced it. Hamas is against any Middle East peace process: "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad. All initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are a waste of time and vain endeavors" (Article 13).

And then there is the Hamas slogan, which has inspired countless jihadist bombers: "Allah is its goal, The Prophet its model, the Qur'an its Charter, jihad its path, and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief" (Article 8).

Hamas is committed to continuing jihad against "the Jews" until Allah's victory is implemented. The land of Palestine, it affirms, must be cleansed from their impurity and viciousness. Muslims are obligated by order of the Prophet to fight and kill the Jews wherever they find them. This call to genocide is justified by a hadith which concludes article 7 of the charter:

The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to implement Allah's promise, whatever time that may take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until the Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them), until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: Oh Muslim! Oh Abdullah!, there is a Jew behind me, come on and kill him. Only the Gharqad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

This controversial hadith — related by the eminent compiler al-Bukhari in the 9th century — has since become a commonplace belief among Islamists. For example: On April 12, 2002, the Palestinian Authority's Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi delivered a Friday sermon at the Sheikh Ijlin Mosque in Gaza City, broadcast live on Palestinian Authority television. Madhi quoted from this hadith — including the curious reference to the "Jewish" Gharqad tree — and then stated: "We believe in this hadith. We are convinced also that this hadith heralds the spread of Islam and its rule over all the lands... 'from the ocean to the ocean...'"

Sheikh Madhi concluded his sermon with: "Oh Allah, accept our martyrs in the highest heaven... Oh Allah, show the Jews a black day... Oh Allah, annihilate the Jews and their supporters... Oh Allah, raise the flag of Jihad across the land... Oh Allah, forgive our sins..." (Credit to MEMRI for the translation.)

Another characteristic of the Hamas charter is the frequent references it makes to conspiracy theories ... On "Jews" and "Zionists" — called "the enemies" — the charter follows in Hitler's footsteps by appealing to the crudest of forgeries:

"Their plan is embodied in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion ... The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates..." Article 22 states that "the enemies" have long since taken over the world's financial centers, controlling the world's media: "agencies, press, broadcasting, publications, etc....

With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions, and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests." Indeed, "they" have been stirring up revolutions since the one in France in 1789 — including Communist revolutions.

Unlike speeches and newspaper articles, which may change with the winds, a written charter is an essential, binding document. After his release from an Israeli prison and return to Gaza in October 1997, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual head of Hamas, declared that Israel must "disappear from the map." He added: "We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose." The root meaning of jihad means "struggle."

If you want to read the Hamas Charter for yourself, here is a link.

With Babies

Islamic Clerics in Bahrain say, go ahead, have sex with babies. One female Women's Rights Activist is objecting:

The following are excerpts from an interview with Bahraini women's rights activist Ghada Jamshir, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on December 21, 2005.


Interviewer: "What do you have against the Shari'a courts?"

Ghada Jamshir: "I have a lot against them. What they have done to Bahraini women is not a trivial matter. For years women have been going into these courts, only to be oppressed and treated unjustly. We have reached the point that we say: Enough. We have reached the breaking point."

"We have a problem with family planning. We have no family planning in Bahrain. The Shiites in Bahrain have marriages for the purpose of mut'ah [pleasure]. They bring multitudes of children into the world, without thinking, who grow up in the streets.

"It's accepted for a man to marry a Filipino woman, a Bahraini woman, and a third woman from Iran, and then he takes two or three women in mut'ah marriage... How many children will he have?!"

Interviewer: "Some people say that Ghada Jamshir is a Sunni, and that this is why she is leading the battle against [mut'ah] marriages, which are authorized by religious law among the Shi'ites."

Ghada Jamshir: "Authorized by religious law?!"

Interviewer: "Among the Shiites, yes."

Ghada Jamshir: "Does the Islamic Shari'a authorize mut'ah marriages?

Does the Islamic Shari'a authorize mut'ah according to the following classification: 'Pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs.' They have: 'Pleasure from sexual touching,' 'pleasure from sexual contact with her breasts.'

'Pleasure from a little girl.' Do you know what 'pleasure from a little girl' means? It means that they derive sexual pleasure from a girl aged two, three, or four."

Interviewer: "Let's not go into details..."

Ghada Jamshir: "Let me tell you what 'pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs' means..."

Interviewer: "Don't give me the details..."

Ghada Jamshir: "This is a violation of children's rights! This constitutes sexual assault of the girl.

What does 'pleasure from sexual contact with her thighs' mean? It means deriving sexual pleasure from an infant. How old is an infant? One year, a year and a half, a few months?

"Is it conceivable for a grown man to have sex with an infant girl? And you people tell me that the Islamic Shari'a authorizes this?

Forget about the mut'ah. Let's talk about misyar. What do misyar marriages mean? You said that I'm a Sunni and that's why I'm attacking the Shiites. No!"

Interviewer: "Some people claim that."

Ghada Jamshir: "No, no. What does the misyar marriage mean? A man marries a woman from another town, and goes to her once a month. He 'visits' her. He calls her his 'wife.'"

Interviewer: "Not necessarily once a month. He might go there every day."

Ghada Jamshir: "Brother Turki, this kind of marriage, this kind of behavior, diminishes the woman's honor as a human being."

"All her life, the woman is a prisoner in her own home. In the past, she would not go out to work, or to study abroad. Very few women would go to university outside Bahrain. She is at home in order to cook, sweep, and raise the children. How will she get an education? There are women whose families are extremist. They even force them to marry against their will.

"You tell me, why is female circumcision still practiced in the Arab world? Why? Because there is no education, no awareness. A few days ago, a four-year-old girl called An'am died in Sudan."

Interviewer: "Why?"

Ghada Jamshir: "Because she had been circumcised. Four years old, and she died of blood poisoning."

"I am convinced that I was 100% right in everything I have done."

Interviewer: "You have been accused of heresy by some places... some Internet forums."

Ghada Jamshir: "So what? Even in mosques they accuse me of heresy. So what? You think that if they accuse me of heresy, it affects me?"

Interviewer: "You don't care?"

Ghada Jamshir: "No. Allah will decide whether I go to Paradise or to Hell, not them."

Interviewer: "Don't you think that those who accuse you of heresy..."

Ghada Jamshir: "These are the methods of the weak." Who gave them the right to accuse me of heresy?"
Interviewer: "Who gave you the right..."

Ghada Jamshir: "Did they see whether I pray or not? Or maybe it's because I don't wear a veil."
Interviewer: "So you don't care. It doesn't affect you?"

Ghada Jamshir: "It doesn't bother me at all."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A German Gets It:
"I Thought My God, He's A Nazi"

So, why can't the average Leftist get it? For God's sake. From The Weekly Standard:

Hardly anything has infuriated certain critics of the Bush Administration more than the president's vocabulary to describe the war on terrorism. Bush warns of an "axis of evil," in which rogue nations collude with Muslim extremists to acquire nuclear weapons. He regards Osama bin Laden and his cadre of suicide bombers as "evildoers." He compares the theology of radical Islam to that of European fascism and "all the murderous ideologies" of the twentieth century.

Intellectuals and others reject this talk as sophomoric and supremely arrogant-just another manifestation of Bush's cowboy diplomacy. Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor in the Carter Administration, voices a typical note of contempt: "We have increasingly embraced at the highest official level what I think can fairly be called a paranoiac view of the world."

Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that these same critics remain mostly mute over the stunning remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Two weeks ago the Iranian president shocked Western leaders when he claimed that the Holocaust was "a myth" created by Jews and "Zionist historians." This followed a previous slander against Israel as "a tumor" to be "wiped off the map"--or, at best, relocated to Europe. "

Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," Ahmadinejad told the Organization of the Islamic Conference. His anti-Semitic tirade comes as the Iranian leader continues to defy the United Nations to pursue a nuclear weapons program.

"I thought, my God, he's a Nazi," a German resident told Knight Ridder. "I couldn't believe that again the world was faced with a Nazi as a head of state. It's beyond comprehension."

Well, at least the Germans are starting to get it. Maybe, someday, the American Left will awake from its hateful slumber and see that we are faced with a fascist menace far beyond that which they have imagined in "Bushitler."

Secret Services
Say Iran
To Build
Nuclear Missile

A report issued by the combined Secret Services of France, Germany, England, and Belgium indicates that Iran is searching across Europe to buy the parts needed to build a nuclear missile:

The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes.

Scientists in Tehran are also shopping for parts for a ballistic missile capable of reaching Europe, with "import requests and acquisitions ... registered almost daily", the report seen by the Guardian concludes.

The warning came as Iran raised the stakes in its dispute with the United States and the European Union yesterday by notifying the International Atomic Energy Authority that it intended to resume nuclear fuel research next week. Tehran has refused to rule out a return to attempts at uranium enrichment, the key to the development of a nuclear weapon.

The 55-page intelligence assessment, dated July 1 2005, draws upon material gathered by British, French, German and Belgian agencies, and has been used to brief European government ministers and to warn leading industrialists of the need for vigilance when exporting equipment or expertise to so-called rogue states.

It concludes that Syria and Pakistan have also been buying technology and chemicals needed to develop rocket programmes and to enrich uranium. It outlines the role played by Russia in the escalating Middle East arms build-up, and examines the part that dozens of Chinese front companies have played in North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

But it is the detailed assessment of Iran's nuclear purchasing programme that will most most alarm western leaders, who have long refused to believe Tehran's insistence that it is not interested in developing nuclear weapons and is trying only to develop nuclear power for electricity.

Governments in the west and elsewhere have also been dismayed by recent pronouncements from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has said that Holocaust denial is a "scientific debate" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map".

The leak of the intelligence report may signal a growing frustration at Iran's refusal to bow to western demands that it abandon its programme to produce fuel for a Russian-built nuclear reactor due to come on stream this year.

The assessment declares that Iran has developed an extensive web of front companies, official bodies, academic institutes and middlemen dedicated to obtaining - in western Europe and in the former Soviet Union - the expertise, training, and equipment for nuclear programmes, missile development, and biological and chemical weapons arsenals.

"In addition to sensitive goods, Iran continues intensively to seek the technology and know-how for military applications of all kinds," it says.

The document lists scores of Iranian companies and institutions involved in the arms race. It also details Tehran's growing determination to perfect a ballistic missile capable of delivering warheads far beyond its borders.

It notes that Iran harbours ambitions of developing a space programme, but is currently concentrating on upgrading and extending the range of its Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 750 miles - capable of reaching Israel.

Iranian scientists are said to be building wind tunnels to assist in missile design, developing navigation technology, and acquiring metering and calibration technology, motion simulators and x-ray machines designed to examine rocket parts. The next generation of the Shahab ("shooting star" in Persian) should be capable of reaching Austria and Italy.

If we don't do something about this soon, the "shooting stars" will fall from the sky, and the moutains will tumble into the sea.

The Singularity,
And Friendly AI

Eliezer Yudkowsky talks about a scenario in which our future will be populated by a Friendly version of Artificial Intelligence (AI).. Let's look at a brief excerpt.

A "Friendly AI" is an AI that takes actions that are, on the whole, beneficial to humans and humanity; benevolent rather than malevolent; nice rather than hostile. The evil Hollywood AIs of The Matrix or Terminator are, correspondingly, "hostile" or "unFriendly".

Having invoked Hollywood, we should also go on to note that Hollywood has, of course, gotten it all wrong - both in its depiction of hostile AIs and in its depiction of benevolent AIs. Since humans have so far dealt only with other humans, we tend to assume that other minds behave the same way we do. AIs allegedly beyond all human control are depicted as being hostile in human ways - right down to the speeches of self-justification made before the defiant human hero.

Humans are uniquely ill-suited to solving problems in AI. A human comes with too many built-in features. When we see a problem, we see the part of the problem that is difficult for humans, not the part of the problem that our brains solve automatically, without conscious attention.

We hypothesize that AIs will behave in ways that seem natural to us, but the things that seem "natural" to us are the result of millions of years of evolution; complex functional adaptations composed of multiple subprocesses with specific chunks of brain providing hardware support. Such complexity will not spontaneously materialize in source code, any more than complex dishes like pepperoni pizza will spontaneously begin growing on palm trees.

Reasoning by analogy with humans - "anthropomorphically" - is exactly the wrong way to think about Friendly AI. Humans have a complex, intricate architecture. Some of it, from the perspective of a Friendly AI programmer, is worth duplicating; some is decidedly not worth duplicating; some of it needs to be duplicated, but differently.

Assuming that AIs automatically possess "negative" human functionality leads to expecting the wrong malfunctions; to focusing attention on the wrong problems. Assuming that AIs automatically possess beneficial human functionality means not taking the efforts required to deliberately duplicate that functionality.

The obvious question to me is, why would the programmers of future technology, friendly AI, be expected to make better moral decisions than the human race has made in choosing governments, leaders of businesses and religious organizations, or in administering justice?

In other words, why would we expect computer programmers to create a world that would be any more friendly than the world in which we currently live?

Thus far, we humans have not been able to make consistently good decisions for ourselves on any level. Of course, in the United States, Australia, and much of Europe, we have set up systems which have worked reasonably well, but there has still been genocide, war, and all manner of miscarriages of justice and abuses of human rights.

If Friendly AI possess intelligence far exceeding that of human, augmented by a reasoning ability peculiar to the architecture of their software, then they can be expected to make moral decisions which are of a magnitude more complex than ours.

As we saw in crude form in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the simplest mistake in the original software architecture can lead to results which can not be anticipated. I propose that this problem is only complicated by more complex reasoning ability.

Or, at the very least, I think it is worth pondering.

What do you think?

Are At It

This time, approximately, 30 youths terrorized 600 passengers on the Nice-Lyon train. The ordeal included systematic beatings, muggings, and at least 2 sexual assaults.

But, of course, the official French culture, represented by the government and the media, has yet to acknowledge that there is a problem with Muslim immigrants.

I guess polite society will ignore the problem until there is no room for the polite in society anymore.

Then, the impolite will battle it out for control.

Iran Even
Into The
Of Sharia

From Reuters:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The Iranian government on Monday ordered the closure of a daily newspaper and banned a new women's bi-weekly from publication in the first media crackdown since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in August.

"The Supervisory Board on the Press agreed to the temporary closure of Asia newspaper and Nour-e Banovan and ordered their cases sent to court," said the Culture Ministry in the ban, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

No reason was given for the closure and ban although a journalist at the economic daily Asia said the paper had been given a warning in recent months for printing photographs of women considered to have been improperly dressed.

Nour-e Banovan, a planned bi-weekly publication aimed at women, has not yet been published.
More than 100 publications have been closed by the Iranian government since 2000 although many have re-opened under different names and scores of titles still exist.

The Iranian government needs to be done away with before they get their hands on nuclear weapons. They are bent on turning the world into a Medieval hellhole dominated by their omnipotent thugocracy.

There is no room for such a government.

Monday, January 02, 2006

God And
The Singularity

The Speculist ponders God and The Singularity, and shows us some of the possible ways people will look at the future and its implications:

1. God as Model of the Good

Ray Kurzweil lays out some challenging ideas in The Singularity is Near, perhaps none is more challenging than this passage which concludes the chapter entitled "Ich Bin Ein Singularitarian":

"Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love. In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. "

"Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking."

This raises some interesting questions about the relationship between God and the Singularity. Just to rattle off a few...

Does the Singularity bring us closer to God?

Does God show up at the Singularity?

Are we going to somehow create God?

Are we going to somehow become God?

... before we get to the answers, let's spend some time on why we would even be talking about God in relationship to the Singularity. For starters, there's probably not a lot of overlap between theists and Singularitarians.

Devout believers tend to view the Singularity as a kind of competing eschatology, while "devout" (doesn't seem to be the right word, does it?)

Singularitarians tend to be agnostics and atheists. There are exceptions, of course, but they are mostly outliers -- scientifically minded folks who have room in their world view for an amorphous, noncommital "spirituality" and fringe believers who are okay with making pretzels out of established doctrine (a la Tipler) in order to be able to affirm everything they want.

Those are perhaps needlessly nasty caricatures, but they get the point across. Very much to his credit, what Kurzweil seems to be presenting is a merger of both these positions, absent the cynicism and simplistic rationalizations.

A while back, during a between-session break at Accelerating Change 2005, I had the good fortune to have a chat with two prominent individuals, one a life-extension advocate, the other a thought leader on the subject of artificial intelligence. We were talking about the Singularity and the probability of a hard versus soft takeoff when suddenly we found oursleves on the topic of where this is all going in the long run.

One of us dared to suggest that God might figure into the picture, pointing out parallels between the scenario we were examining and a story from the Bible. This was immediately dismissed by another as reliance on "fiction," but the third participant suggested that the Bible story referenced should be viewed as myth, not in a pejorative sense, but as a potential source of wisdom and instruction irrespective of whether it describes something that happened historically.

This was an attempt, I believe, to establish some kind of common ground between believers and nonbelievers. And I think it's similar to what Kurzweil does above by referring to God not as an entity but rather as a collection of characteristics.

Some of the characteristics that Kurzweil mentions are things that we would normally associate with the idea of the Technological Singularity, namely:

...while the rest might seem a little out of place:
subtle attributes such as love

But then again, maybe not so out of place. If we add empathy and kindness as subheadings under the "subtle attributes," what begins to emerge is something not unlike Friendly AI as defined by our friends at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence:

A "Friendly AI" is an AI that takes actions that are, on the whole, beneficial to humans and humanity; benevolent rather than malevolent; nice rather than hostile.

The evil Hollywood AIs of The Matrix or Terminator are, correspondingly, "hostile" or "unFriendly".

Arguably, a highly creative intelligence could emerge with a strong aesthetic sense and still have no empathy for us whatsoever. But I believe that if we find a way to instill a notion of beauty into an artificial intelligence, that notion will depend upon an underlying concept of goodness, which -- with any luck at all -- we will help the new intelligence to extend into the ethical as well as aesthetic sphere of thought.

So there, I believe, is the common ground that believers and Singularitarians have in exploring the relationship between God and the Singularity. Both have a keen interest in goodness. In working to bring about an emergent superhuman intelligence, the Singularitarian can find in the idea of God (or at least in some of the more prominent ideas about God) a model, a template, an ideal.

Pastorius question: Does a concept of beauty inevitably lead to a developed moral sensibility?

A believer might counter that to attempt to create God would be the worst kind of hubristic folly, and blasphemy to boot. We'll look at these objections in greater detail later.
But no one is talking about creating God. A Christian mother who tries to instill Christ-like qualities in her children would not be accused of blasphemy ..."

... if I trade (god-like) that term for "godly"? -- seems like something we can all agree is a pretty good idea.

Technologists will see this as responsible design, akin to the safety considerations that must enter into the introduction of any new machine. Believers will see it as a moral imperative. If the new intelligence is our offspring, the imperative is to raise the child with the right values. If it is a soulless machine, the imperative is to see to it that it is used for the best ends possible.

I think this is a rather wise way of looking at the problem. Truth is, these "machines" will be melds of human mind and computer technology. Therefore, any sense of goodness with which they are programmed will, theoretically, be of human origin, and will be subject to the free will of the machine. This means that their sense of morality will evolve as time goes by, as does our moral sense currently.

Could it be that the future computer/brain technological meld will be imbued with the same varied moral sensibilities that the current human race carries with it? Could it be they will grapple with the same dilemnas writ large by questions of potential immortality, all-pervading surveillance, and the potential of individuals to create massive nuclear destruction?

The dilemnas of the future are coming at us with such speed and inevitability that it is almost as if the future were already with us; palpable and breathing in our faces.

We must choose wisely.