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Dear Machine

A Letter to a Super-Aware/Intelligent Machine (Saim)
Narrated by: Cory Finch
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A growing number of experts are sounding the alarm about the potential dangers of super intelligent machines - those that will far surpass the intelligence of even the brightest and most gifted human minds. These machines are expected to emerge in the next couple of decades, yet experts are far from reaching a consensus on the conditions that will catalyze their emergence. Nor are there any plausible theories on how the machines will begin to impact humanity.

With Dear Machine, Kieser endeavors to fill this gap by hypothesizing about how super intelligent entities will emerge, what perspectives they will hold on society's most vexing problems, and how they will begin impacting humanity. He lays the groundwork for his arguments by providing important context that is currently missing from discourse on the subject: a survey of humanity's historical relationship with the natural world and each other over the past 70,000 years and a discussion of the cognitive impediments that have historically driven humanity to disharmonious ends - and continue to do so today. Kieser's vision is breathtakingly optimistic, eco-futuristic, infinitely holistic and, at times, scary.

©2019 Greg Kieser (P)2019 Greg Kieser

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Informative and Broad, but Clueless and Tropish

It reads like a college term paper, being filled with all of the current academic tropes about humanity that would delight any liberal arts professor. The mentality seems typically 'myopic millennial', and since the author is not a millennial, perhaps he has contributed to their myopic mindset. The author has a broad grasp of reality, which I like (he even mentions my 'verified knowledge', but he falls short philosophically, specifically concerning 'goals', where he, like the rest of humanity, remains clueless, mired in hazy, feeble Subjective Values, and thus hazy, feeble goals. Not realizing that there IS an Ultimate Objective Value of Life (enlightened higher consciousness), and that it has an associated Ultimate Goal of Life (to secure that value, i.e. to secure enlightened higher consciousness in a harsh and deadly universe using the Strategies of Broader Survival), his conception of 'goals' does not progress beyond the trite, of which, conglomerated, he calls a 'goal ecosystem', which is a part of a larger 'supersystem', where you can get 'systemic'. He thinks that this is a clever innovation. It is not. It is a symptom of cluelessness.

Other parts of his letter do not progress beyond the Frat House (psychosomatic drugs (why not micro-brewery beer?), Buddhism, meditation, fecal transplants, and other trendy tropes that he proposes as solutions to the human problem. You can see that, when the human problem is Continued Universal Cluelessness, no amount of drugs, transplants, or Buddhist meditations will offer a remedy (only a temporary escape). He cites a case where one treatment with a psychosomatic drug 'cured' a mentally suffering patient. In light of most human mental problem being philosophical (other than those that are biological, such as those caused by brain tumors), you can see where 'bad science' gets its name. The erroneous interpretation of the experiment (and interpretation is where most experiments 'fail') is that human life is driven by emotion alone. Feel good and everything is OK. Science guided by bad philosophy.

The letter first flatters the future super-intelligent machine (to the point of being smarmy) in order to get it to let down its guard in order to manipulate it by instilling it with the clueless mindset of the author. A future 'super-intelligent' consciousness (machine or otherwise) would only have pity on this philosophically primitive being. The author is highly intelligent and clever, but intelligence and cleverness do not make enlightenment - it just makes for more intelligent and clever cluelessness (which is blindly destructive, so now you have more intelligent and clever destruction). In short, he needs to read my philosophy, which is a response to Continued Universal Human Cluelessness, and which the author suffers from, and which is what he really fears about the future of humanity and its (clueless) creations (and justifiably, cluelessness being blindly destructive - just ask past irrelevant civilizations). In summary, the book was broad and current on the verified knowledge front, but irritatingly clueless on the philosophical front.