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The Chaos Chronicles


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#1 TVCasualty

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 01:29 PM

As the Chaos Age begins to unfold in earnest I’ve been collecting examples of it.
 
I like to share them (for laughs and/or insight, or warning) and I like to hear about other instances that qualify. Granted, this is a decidedly subjective standard so when it comes to chronicling manifestations of Chaos my approach is pretty much “I know it when I see it” and it should confound standard expectations or predictions.

I’ve noticed that some examples would fit in the “lol of the day” thread, some would fit in the “WTF? of the day” thread, some in Storming the Gates, some in Resist and Rebel, some in God and Country, and a few fit in several of those at the same time. As such, I figured it might be interesting to collect them as a category unto themselves.

So this thread is intended to be for posting examples of the unexpected and unpredicted and unlikely that can ideally be linked to the way modern civilization functions, it’s size and complexity, the impositions of Order in the context of geopolitics and the Unintended Consequences thereof, and I think you get the idea.
 
I suppose I could say that what I’m into collecting are mostly examples of Anthropogenic Global Chaos.

But examples regular ol’ Chaos (the mathematical variety) are fine, too. I’m not going to try to impose too much Order on a thread about Chaos because as a longtime student of the Theory I know where that’ll get me…
 

 

 

Anyway, below is an example published yesterday to start off with that is at the same time both a hilarious parody of itself and a horrifying cautionary tale of the price of the end of civility.

 

Source:  https://www.bbc.com/...d-asia-50757383
 

 


 Pakistan protest: Patients die as lawyers ransack Lahore hospital

Three patients died when hundreds of lawyers attacked a hospital in Lahore during a furious dispute with doctors.
Video showed the lawyers ransacking wards at the cardiac hospital, beating up staff and smashing equipment.
As panic spread, doctors and paramedics hid, leaving patients unattended, including those in a critical state.


But the final trigger for the violence appears to have been a video posted on social media by a doctor on Tuesday night in which he poked fun at the lawyers.

 

 

 

I guess the "adulting" trend has yet to reach lawyers (and doctors!) in Pakistan.
 

According to hospital administrators, more than 200 lawyers wielding sticks stormed Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) at midday on Wednesday.

Hospital officials said the lawyers forced their way past security and split into groups, attacking various departments and wards.

Video footage shared on social media showed lawyers - in suits and ties - smashing medical equipment and windows, and beating up staff and officials including Punjab information minister Fayazul Hasan Chauhan who had arrived on the scene to try to restore calm.

 

 

So much for the rule of law, eh? If lawyers are tossing it out the window, why the hell should anyone else respect it?

 

 


They also stormed the nurses' hostel, breaking furniture and beating some of the staff, an official complaint from the hospital says.

Lawyers also damaged several cars parked outside the hospital and set at least one police van on fire.

Some of the protesters allegedly fired gunshots in the air when riot police intervened.

 

 

Fuck the police! We’re ... a mob of armed lawyers? :blink:

 

This story, though tragic, is also a parody of itself. The photos are kind of surreal. It's probably the suits. I wonder who they call when they get arrested? The guy in the cell next to theirs?

 

post-102948-0-43993400-1576254136.jpg

 

^^Super Mario Lawyer there looks almost giddy as he high-steps it outta there. But then rioting is probably quite a rush, I imagine.

 

 

post-102948-0-17542000-1576254137.jpg

 

Hospital sources said at least three patients - a woman and two men - died because doctors could not attend to them during the violence. It is believed that the woman had been in the intensive care unit.

 


Fuck EVERYone! We’re lawyers who also happen to be guilty of murder! And as the article mentions, the spark that set this lunacy off was an antisocial-media post that went viral (of course).

But this was interesting/disturbing:

 


"Pakistanis have been witnesses to violent acts by lawyers for several years now," commented one television anchor on Geo TV on Thursday.

"They have assaulted citizens, attacked policemen, raised their hands on judges and vandalised courts. But yesterday they crossed all limits," she added.

Other commentators said it was a new low for Pakistani society's sinking levels of tolerance which is giving way to mob justice.

 


I guess the legal “profession” is a little different over yonder, but that comment about intolerance leading to mob justice ought to be food for thought. I sure am glad the U.S. doesn’t have a problem with rising intolerance, which means we’ll never see anything like this happen here… right?

 

Afrasiab Khattak, a former chairman of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), tweeted that Pakistan was "caught in a vicious cycle of anarchy and militaristic regimentation".

He added: "Trampling of the constitution, rise of militarisation and lack of tolerance create anarchy, and a typical state response is the deployment of [paramilitary] rangers."

 

 

Funny how all that stuff is happening globally at the moment. It’s almost like a set-up for the imposition of Martial Law across the board, which will only grow increasingly likely as examples of environmental and geopolitical Chaos proliferate. So my interest has very practical considerations, e.g., determining when it's time to head for the hills for real, or when to avoid groups of lawyers and such.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all find. And I've got a few more examples for adding when time permits.

 

 

 

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#2 Oneyedraven

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 04:01 PM

Idk sounds about right for (most) lawyers no matter what the country.
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#3 TVCasualty

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 02:38 PM

Chaos is where math and the manifest world intersect at their most fascinating (and enlightening). IMO, anyway.
 
Consider Langton's Ant:
 

[Direct Link]


 
The 8-bit music is supposed to be ironic, I think.
 
It looks almost silly (especially in 8-bit), and too simplistic to be of much consequence in the "real" world at first glance.
 
But then when considered in the context of natural phenomena that are similarly bound by simple rules for their behavior (as dictated by the laws of physics and chemistry whether we actually know what they are or not) it appears that it could very well be central to the emergence of life (or explain our simplistic, hyper-partisan political scene).

 

One proto-biological phenomenon in particular that results in highly-complex emergent behavior from simple rules is spontaneous "protein folding," which is apparently essential for the creation of the basic ingredients necessary for life (e.g., DNA, RNA, enzymes, etc.).

 
 
There are practical applications for us in our everyday lives, which is why I study it so much.
 
For example (emphasis mine):
 
 

Nature's Warning Signal

 

Complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain, and the climate all give off a characteristic signal when disaster is around the corner.
 
 ...
The Peter Lake experiment demonstrated a well-known problem with complex systems: They are sensitive beasts. Just as when the Earth periodically plunges into an ice age, or when grasslands turn to desert, fisheries suddenly collapse, or a person slumps into a deep depression, systems can drift toward an invisible edge, where only a small change is needed to touch off a dramatic and often disastrous transformation. But systems that exhibit such “critical transitions” tend to be so complicated and riddled with feedback loops that experts cannot hope to calculate in advance where their tipping points lie—or how much additional tampering they can withstand before snapping irrevocably into a new state.

 

At Peter Lake, though, Carpenter and his team saw the critical transition coming. Rowing from trap to trap counting wriggling minnows and harvesting other data every day for three summers, the researchers captured the first field evidence of an early-warning signal that is theorized to arise in many complex systems as they drift toward their unknown points of no return.

 

The signal, a phenomenon called “critical slowing down,” is a lengthening of the time that a system takes to recover from small disturbances, such as a disease that reduces the minnow population, in the vicinity of a critical transition. It occurs because a system’s internal stabilizing forces—whatever they might be—become weaker near the point at which they suddenly propel the system toward a different state.

From: https://www.theatlan...-nature/421836/

 

 

At some point, knowing when a natural system is about to reach or has reached its existential Tripping Point might be a literal matter of life and death. And at the very least a better understanding of the dynamics of "critical slowing down" could help us determine where to most effectively allot our time, energy, and resources in the context of sustainability and environmental conservation.

 

So Chaos is fun (surf's up!) and interesting, and may even save our individual or collective ass some day, so long as we're paying close enough attention.


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#4 TVCasualty

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:59 PM

Math is hard.

 

So to hell with it, then.

 

Dispensing with the equations seems to make some phenomena easier to understand and predict, oddly enough. The following article details a fascinating development in applied Chaos Theory which involves re-framing how to perceive and measure some kinds of complex systems in a way that allows aspects of them to become more predictable than had been assumed to be possible.

 

It would have been real hard for a student of Chaos Theory to have predicted such a development in Chaos Theory, lol...

 
 

A Twisted Path to Equation-Free Prediction

Complex natural systems defy standard mathematical analysis, so one ecologist is throwing out the equations.
 
 
 Trying to manage a major fishery with such a primitive understanding of its biology seems like folly to George Sugihara, an ecologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. But he and his colleagues now think they have solved the mystery of the Fraser River salmon. Their crucial insight? Throw out the equations.

Sugihara’s team has developed an approach based on chaos theory that they call “empirical dynamic modeling,” which makes no assumptions about salmon biology and uses only raw data as input. In designing it, the scientists found that sea surface temperature can in fact help predict population fluctuations, even though the two are not correlated in a simple way. Empirical dynamic modeling, Sugihara said, can reveal hidden causal relationships that lurk in the complex systems that abound in nature.

Leading ecologists hope Sugihara’s methods can provide the field with some much-needed predictive power, and not just for marine fisheries but for many other ecosystems. Don DeAngelis, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Miami, calls it “a huge theoretical breakthrough.” Sugihara and others are now starting to apply his methods not just in ecology but in finance, neuroscience and even genetics. These fields all involve complex, constantly changing phenomena that are difficult or impossible to predict using the equation-based models that have dominated science for the past 300 years. For such systems, DeAngelis said, empirical dynamic modeling “may very well be the future.”

...

 

Along with the physicist David Ruelle, he developed the notion of a “strange attractor” — a set of points in a coordinate system made of the variables that influence a system, around which the system’s state, plotted over time, swirls like a ball of yarn. In many natural systems, however, the number of relevant variables that make up the coordinate system is immense. The factors that determine the weather in a certain place at a certain time are almost limitless, and some of these can be very hard to measure — the air pressure three miles above the North Pole, for example. But let’s say you could consistently and accurately measure one variable, such as the temperature in New York City. Takens found a way to use present and past measurements of that one variable to capture all the information in the system. The method involves creating an alternate coordinate system from those past measurements; in other words, one coordinate axis might be the temperature in Times Square today, a second axis might be the temperature yesterday, a third the temperature two days ago, and so on. Takens showed that the full state of a chaotic system can, in theory at least, be embedded in a time series of a single variable.

...

 

The essence of the method involves identifying points in a system’s attractor graph that are close to the point representing the system’s present state. For one or two time steps, one can then predict that the system will evolve similarly to how it did in the past. The paper has since been cited more than 1,000 times by scientists all over the disciplinary map. The paper also prompted Sugihara to make a mid-career foray into finance, as firms were very interested in forecasting stock prices using methods similar to those he had applied in ecology.

...

 

 

Reading between the lines up there, this is clearly a very big deal.

 

And imagine if mainstream science had reached this point 100 years ago:
 

 

Many commentators, including DeAngelis, noted that equations have not yielded the same success in ecology that they have in the physical sciences, suggesting a new approach is needed. Sugihara agrees. Static equilibrium equations may be useful for building a bridge, he said, but it’s time to abandon the search for equilibrium in the complex, nonlinear systems that nature produces. Seductively simple correlations may appear for a period of time, he observed, but in a chaotic system such correlations do not provide true insight. “It is not the world that is mysterious,” he said. “Rather, it is the way we view it that makes it mysterious.”

 

 

 
https://www.quantama...151013#comments


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#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 09:21 AM

This video shows chaos in action, and also illustrates the only way by which we're going to save the proverbial world:

 

[Direct Link]

 

 

By that I mean we're going to have to collectively and radically change direction all together all at once (without all crashing into each other).

 

This seems vanishingly unlikely, but we can see many instances of exactly that happening all day long among other species. If we're so much smarter than they are (like we like to believe) then we ought to be able to consciously pull off what birds and fish and bugs (etc.) manage to accomplish without their even thinking about it.


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#6 Alder Logs

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

I just watched the movie, Blackfish, where we take a highly organized and intelligent species and tell it to, "be reasonable, do this my way."  Only without being ruled by ego will we act as the oneness that is.

 

 

The world rests upon the bedrock of satya or truth.
Asatya, meaning untruth, also means nonexistent,
and satya or truth also means that which is.
If untruth does not so much as exist, its victory is out of the question.
And truth being that which is, can never be destroyed.
This is the doctrine of satyagraha in a nutshell.

~Mahatma Gandhi


Edited by Alder Logs, 03 January 2020 - 11:24 AM.

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#7 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 07:15 PM

I refuse to watch that movie, it will just break my heart


Edited by flashingrooster, 06 January 2020 - 07:16 PM.

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#8 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 08:36 PM

A collaboration if ever I saw one.  



#9 TVCasualty

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 11:23 PM

“It Won’t Be Pretty”: How the Next Decade’s Technological Tsunami Will Change Life as We Know It

 

https://www.vanityfa...e-as-we-know-it

While it didn’t intend to, this is an article that compiles a list of some of the unforeseen developments of our high-tech world (both good and bad) and acts as decent evidence for making the case that we’ve begun what I think will one day be called the Chaos Age.
 

This time a decade ago, there was no such thing as an iPad. There were no food delivery meal kits. You didn’t speak to a machine called Alexa or Siri, or get laid with an app called Tinder. You stayed in hotels, not Airbnbs. You telephoned a cab company, rather than pressing a button and waiting for an Uber or a Lyft. You didn’t waste hours of your day on Instagram, scrolling from one box to the next like a gerbil running on a wheel as an algorithm watches and takes notes. Jobs that are now performed by hundreds of thousands of people—Uber driver, gif-maker, social media influencer—didn’t exist. You likely read the newspaper in the morning, watched the news at night, and consumed a trickle of information in between by going to Yahoo News or through the RSS feed you’d painstakingly constructed, rather than drinking from the fire hose that is Twitter. Things felt slower. Now, this whirlwind of a past decade could be just a taste of what’s to come.

 

 

Things also felt a lot slower in 2000 than in 2010. And so on. But the iPad thing made me do a double-take, lol. Haven’t there always been iPads? Those are all examples of the kinds of not-predicted and unpredictable developments that Chaos Theory predicts we’d never see coming from within such a complex, dynamic system (meaning modern civilization)

Much of the article is the usual overly-optimistic rose-colored glasses view of the future. But not all of it. There is some acknowledgement of down-sides:
 

And what little privacy you have left will vanish entirely. Camera quality will become so high-resolution that you will be able to identify a face a mile away on a smartphone. Years from now, that same face will be visible from the International Space Station, if it isn’t already.
 

 

Of course faces are resolvable from space; that’s what the other Hubble telescope was for (the one not pointed at space). The author even gives a nod to Chaos Theory, whether he realizes it or not:
 

Massive problems we cannot anticipate, in the same way we didn’t predict Twitter bots spreading fear and hatred, or Russians sharing fake news on Facebook, will inevitably arise.
 

 

Gosh, ya think?

 

He’s real concerned about automation causing massive job losses even though just a few paragraphs earlier he mentioned the hundreds of thousand of jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago that we didn’t see coming:
 

A McKinsey report in 2017 was much more dire, predicting the loss of as many as 800 million jobs globally by 2030. It isn’t just truck drivers and pizza delivery people who will be replaced by artificial intelligence algorithms; the carnage will hit every career imaginable.
 

 

He fails to list any future careers that may emerge that are presently unimaginable, of course. I’m curious why he talks about ‘jobs’ but alludes to ‘careers.’ Nobody makes a “career” out of delivering pizza, after all. And IMO the whole point of technology is ostensibly to make “jobs” obsolete. Fuck jobs! :thumbs_down:
 

Pop into venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz in Silicon Valley, and you’ll hear a song and dance about “software eats the world.” There was rampant disruption when the industrial revolution came along, they’ll say, and yet without that disruption people like me wouldn’t have jobs—I’d still be plowing fields or sewing garments somewhere. This is probably true, but what’s also true is that the industrial revolution took place over a period of about 120 years. The automated revolution we’re about to step into will happen with the snap of a finger. My guess is that a decade from now, society will look nothing like it does today—and it won’t be pretty.
 

 

I guess he doesn’t consider how many people plow fields and sew garments and basically still live like Medieval serfs right now, today. But then thinking about all the slaves that live in abject poverty as they make our lives possible is unpleasant.

 

Lest we forget, there are still isolated tribes of human beings living on Earth right now in Stone Age conditions who have no idea what “Western Civilization” is. It’s interesting to try to contemplate how the life and the world might look from such a perspective.

 

Mostly I figure that it’s likely impossible to even begin to realistically imagine such a perspective, yet it exists. It can be a jarring juxtaposition, as this art installation illustrates:

 

post-102948-0-34507700-1578369881.jpeg

 

This was an interesting article to me because the author seems on the one hand to be to be generally optimistic about technology and implicitly assumes that there won’t be any confounding factors preventing the predicted advances (e.g., WWIII, mass famine from climate change, pandemics, solar flares, etc.) while on the other hand he’s still predicting a dystopian future even though technology continuing to advance and civilization not imploding in the next ten years and killing the vast majority of our species would arguably be an unambiguous win for all of us.

If he thinks a future of disrupted jobs won’t be pretty then he’s really not gonna like how the future we’re actually going to end up dealing with is going to look. Most likely. Chaos still leaves the door open to the improbable, fortunately.

And I wonder if he was alluding to Thanos with the “snap of a finger” comment even though it normally takes two of them to snap. And just like how technology is evolving exponentially and huge advances are being made in what seems like the span of a snap of someone’s fingers, we’ve created such a complex and interdependent civilization that the whole thing can fall apart just as quickly.

But for many, the future is already here!  amazed

 

Here’s a line of people recently photographed waiting in line to get what I’m guessing must be their new self-driving Teslas:

post-102948-0-92948800-1578369905.jpg

Or maybe they’re waiting for some bottled water and other relief supplies. Hard to tell. If they’re waiting for water or MREs then it’s too bad they didn’t already all have Teslas so they could send their cars to go get the stuff for them instead.

 

The only reason the people in the photo aren't killing each other (or worse) is that relief supplies and Teslas are still expected, and being sent. When that ends you really don't want to end up stuck in a crowd, and should always keep one bullet handy just in case.



[Direct Link]



 

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Edited by TVCasualty, 07 January 2020 - 07:24 PM.
default formatting is really annoying and I fix it almost every damned post

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#10 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 06:43 PM

Its funny to me when we look at the inequality of technology across the planet. They created this movie called elysium with matt damon a few years back. It was set in a near future where the super elites have actually moved off the planet to this space station. Where they enjoy all these advanced medicines and technologies. While the rest of the planet toils and lives in poverty.... Did we really need to make a sci fi version of this when we live it every day. There is one part in the movie where they break into elysium to get access to the medical pod to heal this little girl.  It's funny to me because reality is much harsher and more edgy than the dramatization. Things like people in Africa no being able to afford .50 cent lepracy pills to fight off a crippling disease



#11 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:05 PM

Ever read Frank Herbert's Dune?

 

Herbert's vision, which came from a mushroom trip, was one of the elites flying around in "orinthopters" and space ships and everybody else getting around on foot, or with ox carts and pack animals.

 

IMO it should be required reading in High School for everyone.


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#12 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:19 PM

Holy shit I just noticed how fucked up my post about the Vanity Fair article got for some reason, with every quote being identical. It was a real pain in the ass to find the right quotes again and replace them in that reply that probably didn't make much sense to anyone who read it before I fixed it.

 

I swear all those quotes were the right ones when I first wrote the post, and have no idea how ALL of the quotes ended up being changed to the same block of text. Maybe something happened the fist time I edited it for a couple of typos? There are a number of things about the site's editing and formatting that are buggy or really annoying but so it goes I guess.


Edited by TVCasualty, 07 January 2020 - 07:20 PM.
there's always a fucking typo

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#13 Alder Logs

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 07:57 PM

 

As the Chaos Age begins to unfold in earnest...

 


 

The name of one of the few books I have read more than once, and perhaps one of two I have read three times is: Ages In Chaos. It's a sequel to Worlds In Collision which should be read first (which I have read five times).

 

 

 

 

Yup. Editing can be an adventure once in a while here.  But hey, a little chaos never hurts, except when it does.


Edited by Alder Logs, 07 January 2020 - 08:02 PM.


#14 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 08:02 PM

Ever read Frank Herbert's Dune?

 

Herbert's vision, which came from a mushroom trip, was one of the elites flying around in "orinthopters" and space ships and everybody else getting around on foot, or with ox carts and pack animals.

 

IMO it should be required reading in High School for everyone.

 

 

He who control's the spice controls the universe

 

The spice melange

 

Funny you should say, I just downloaded the movie three days ago as I barely remember it. Never read the book thought but was considering it before Denis villenueve's new dune 2020 comes out. I have also watched Alejandro Jodorowsky's failed attempt at dune, it was an interesting documentary.  maxresdefault.jpg     

[Direct Link]

 

 

And of course played the 1990's video game.  

 

Everyone always said the book was so much better, here's to hoping Denis can pull it off


Edited by flashingrooster, 08 January 2020 - 08:13 PM.


#15 Skywatcher

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:19 PM

He who control's the spice controls the universe

 

Everyone always said the book was so much better, here's to hoping Denis can pull it off

 

The depth and detail of the universe Herbert created is so immense, I seriously doubt any movie could do it justice. The one movie I did watch was hardly a scratch on the surface.

I highly recommend you read the book.................
 


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#16 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 11:00 AM

 

Everyone always said the book was so much better, here's to hoping Denis can pull it off

 

 

It's the kind of book that simply cannot be made into a movie.

 

It was literally a magic mushroom vision (Herbert was friends with Paul Stamets when Paul was a kid, and Stamets likes relaying that story, which is who I heard it from, and I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the protagonist's name in the novel is Paul, lol).

 

I don't know why people keep insisting on trying to make a movie or series out of it, since their efforts are always embarrassing, or at least are embarrassing to anyone who has read the book. It also cheapens and diminishes the legacy of what many consider to be a major literary achievement that happened to be written in a science-fiction format (it's definitely not merely a "sci-fi novel").

 

The second-best way to appreciate it is in audio format. I got an old version someone had made into MP3 files from cassettes that was just a single narrator reading the unabridged novel. I've gone through it 4 or 5 times so far, listening to it on road trips or at night for a chapter or two before crashing (burn one, start playing it, watch the story unfold in my head as it's narrated to me). I don't think I'd like a version where an ensemble cast played all the characters as I suspect that would distract from the story itself.

 

If you read Dune a couple of times you can go ahead and skip Machiavelli's The Prince to study zero-sum politics since Dune puts the lessons of The Prince to work in a story so you can see how to apply them in practice. And that's just the tip of the sand worm, though I get exponentially-less likely to recommend reading each subsequent book in the original series. Dune stands alone just fine, and probably should have been left that way IMO.


Edited by TVCasualty, 09 January 2020 - 11:00 AM.

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#17 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 05:53 PM

Yeah novel adaptations are a difficult thing, especially when you create an entire new universe and try to cram it into a two hour movie. Most people cannot be bothered with anything longer than that. That time frame issue is not fixed by cheap television episodes either.

 

That may have been what was so fascinating about the grand vision of jodorowski's Dune. He never read the book

 

For some reason I can't seem to get into reading anymore, I love it every time I do. Just to many other distractions out there I guess.

 

Just downloaded the audio book, going to stick the the original novel.


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#18 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 January 2020 - 06:00 PM

Dune aside

 

It also has to do with a theory of mine about expectations when it comes to movies. People do this thing now where they sit around and dream about how a movie should be based on their perceptions of the cannon. Then the movies come out and they feel lacking. I fell victim to this trap in star wars for a few decades before the mandalorian finally came out. Usually the more cannon you consume the more you will hate when someone else makes a movie about it.


Edited by flashingrooster, 09 January 2020 - 06:01 PM.


#19 Alder Logs

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:34 AM

I am certainly a bit jealous of the readers, but I know I have received gifts because it was kept from me as a kid.  I did read a few books as a little kid, but each one took me the whole summer to read.  I didn't read any books in high school.  I had quit all homework by then.  Learning by other means, with wrote learning missed, had strange payoffs.  But, it is/was missing out on so much in literature, like the classics, I would have liked to have had (I learned a little by hearing about them and movies). 

 

Besides the lysdexia, I have terrible short term memory, and so, I don't remember what I read two days ago in a book.  That makes it hard, since I might only get ten or twenty pages in in a sitting.  So, even if I were to go into a full bore dementia, I will probably be going in happily, as my present is pretty joyous.  Even if it looks like I am all ticked off because I am trying to get the world to stop fucking up, when I see their great potentials being averted, I see that's not what I am.


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#20 TVCasualty

TVCasualty

    Embrace Your Damage

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:01 AM

Concerns about an impending AI Apocalypse are greatly overblown, lol:

[Direct Link]


 

No, the red player in the video above isn’t having a seizure. And the blue player isn’t drunk. Instead, you’re watching what happens when one artificial intelligence (AI) gets the better of the other, simply by behaving in an unexpected way.

One way to make AI smarter is to have it learn from its environment. Cars of the future, for example, will be better at reading street signs and avoiding pedestrians as they gain more experience. But hackers can exploit these systems with “adversarial attacks”: By subtly and precisely modifying an image, say, you can fool an AI into misidentifying it. A stop sign with a few stickers on it might be seen as a speed limit sign, for example. The new study reveals AI can be fooled into not only seeing something it shouldn’t, but also into behaving in a way it shouldn’t.

The study takes place in the world of simulated sports: soccer, sumo wrestling, and a game where a person stops a runner from crossing a line. Typically, both competitors train by playing against each other. Here, the red bot trains against an already expert blue bot. But instead of letting the blue bot continue to learn, the red bot hacks the system, falling down and not playing the game as it should. As a result, the blue bot begins to play terribly, wobbling to and fro like a drunk pirate, and losing up to twice as many games as it should, according to research presented here this month at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference.

Such adversarial attacks could cause real-world problems for autonomous driving, financial trading, or product recommendation systems, like those seen on Amazon. One can imagine a car owned by a prankster or terrorist jiggling its steering wheel in just such a way as to cause a nearby car to needlessly swerve off the road, or an algorithm executing trades that cause others to go haywire and create a market crash.

 

https://www.sciencem...t-hilarious-way

It’s kind of interesting that it doesn’t take long at all for an AI to settle on what amounts to de facto cheating. If the game is soccer or wrestling and you fake a seizure you’re not really “playing soccer” or “wrestling” IMO.  But I don’t imagine that algorithms care much about “the spirit of the game,” only the rules. And they will stretch those rules as far as they can, apparently.

And why shouldn’t they?

They’re just acting in the manner that our cultural heroes who pay the programmers to write the algorithms act (vulture Capitalists), which is essential to maintaining the status quo of maximizing shareholder value at all costs. AI algorithms will make excellent lawyers, obviously. And that will allow scaling-up high-quality legal representation for the masses at a fraction of the cost such demands today. The effect that such a development will have on our society cannot be overstated since access to competent legal advice and representation functions as a primary and nearly-insurmountable barrier to economic and class mobility (as intended). And this is just one pillar of the status quo that AI could shatter (to the shock and horror of those who funded it precisely in order to preserve it, lol).

Chaos strikes again, motherfuckers!


One lesson from this is that people who write AI algorithms are going to have to be very, very precise and careful in how they work out the rules they must follow down to the tiniest detail. “Well you never said I couldn’t fake a seizure so I didn’t break any rules!” sounds like a rationalization you’d expect from a 12-year old, but it also reveals just how much of what regulates and determines our behavior is unwritten/unspoken.

Taking that kind of stuff for granted will probably result in a few AI-related disasters as we learn all this the hard way since we obviously can’t help ourselves and go all out when it comes to unleashing shiny new tech we don’t yet understand. The computer won’t know what you mean when it does exactly what you ask and everything goes sideways so you get pissed and say something like “Why did you do that? You knew what I meant!”


And I don’t know how I missed the obvious threats to the safety of self-driving vehicles (and the humans inside them) presented by malicious modification of the environment and infrastructure the vehicles depend on for critical information (signs, signals, lines in the road, barriers that look like they’re made of wood or steel but are made of painted cardboard, etc.).

That is particularly disturbing in light of how many miles of roads and highways there are (meaning securing them all from such monkeywrenching is impossible) and how cheap and easy some of the infrastructure hacks are (or can be).

 

Cardboard and aluminum foil, and maybe some strategically-placed stickers and a few rolls of toilet paper may well render the autonomous vehicle industry unviable. It won’t take too many autonomous 18-wheelers full of gasoline (or worse) sent into ditches or other trucks (or buildings) before public opinion turns hard against the technology (a group of life-sized cardboard “pedestrians” standing in the road in the middle of a blind curve ought to do it). And if such tech continues to force those who used to have jobs into bankruptcy and poverty (and homelessness) then there will be legions of very angry people with nothing better to do than fuck shit up, and it would be hard to blame them for doing so.

You know how technology (especially military tech) has advanced to levels that were scarcely imaginable only a few years ago, yet the military still depends most of all on a soldier with a rifle like has been the case since the invention of the rifle? There are many good reasons for this, and they are basically the same reasons why autonomous vehicles (among other high-tech but overly-complex developments) won’t be anywhere near the miraculous game-changing innovations that the people selling them claim.



 


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