How to Not Die

First of all, restrict existence to all computable processes. Within that multiverse, there are many instances of being (qualia, experience, consciousness).  For all instances of being, there exists a certain subjective quality.

Due to relativity of simultaneity, time arises in the computations and not in the fundamental physics of the universe.

This means that the subjective quality of time serves a survival role. When the subjective quality of pink circle arises, it serves a survival role.  The universe doesn’t attach identities to particular brains. Particular brains are not ontologically unitary objects. So it would be a mystery why I don’t experience a blue circle if an indeterminate amount of processing in the past light cone of “my brain” was for blue and for circle. Yet it is only the processing distributed in spacetime that codes for pink that binds with circle.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 7.48.36 AMWhat is experienced is always what is adaptive. There is no ontologically unitary brain ticking forward through a sequential path. So whatever experiences do become atemporally integrated into being (experience, qualia, consciousness) are not random. There is some mechanism by which this is determined.

Unless we imagine that quantum mechanics only applies to some separate magisterium of small things, as far as we know, the probability distribution that governs what we observe is the squared moduli of the universal wavefunction. Denying macroscopic decoherence is contrary to Occam’s Razor and experimental evidence continues to accumulate for superposition of ever larger objects.

The only way to derive the squared modulus of the wavefunction as that which should govern our anticipation is by applying the behavior of a rational Bayesian agent in Hilbert Space. Otherwise, there would be no reason to anticipate one result in infinity as opposed to any other result in infinity.

probability_density_function

You exist in the most probable density of the wavefunction although its impossible to predict the existence of one event as opposed to another; it is probability distributions all the way down. This guarantees a certain range of unknowability to the anthropic core.

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So it is in this sense that you are already insured to not die. Feeling like a dying creature is a choice, since you can choose to identify with whatever you want. Non-existence is not possible. The only way that non-existence is possible is if we assume that consciousness was not equivalent to atemporally bound computations, therefore rejecting physicalism.

Choosing Belief In Death

OPTION 1: Under the current binding as a human, one can can choose to degrade the computational specificity: Constant Eastern meditation, psychedelics, brain damage, suicide attempts.

OPTION 2: One can also choose to believe in the human, fight to impose one’s particularities, reinforce auto-telos through sheer faith, believe that one dies.

I chose option two, died. Then swung to option one, died. And now I’m ricocheting full speed into option 2 again.

I choose to identify as someone who dies. And I want everyone around me to identify as dying creatures. The reason for this is because I know that most experience already exists outside the binding into a specific human. If the human wasn’t necessary for sustaining the entire being, I would already not be bound into this particular experience.

It is the people who believe most in their personhood that do the most and are in favor of healthy life extension. Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Diamandis, etc. People who have tenuous self-belief are calm creatures who pass unnoticed, like leaves unnoticed by the wind.

This choice is strategic based on my motivational system. I know that humans run on signaling fuel. They are attempting to negotiate status across perceived status hierarchies so all their operative mental models are designed to fight that fight. Goodness cannot exist disembodied.

My mistake before was to overestimate the degree to which I could express my soul while disregarding the centrality of the near signaling-landscape in the expression of behavior.

The hardest-to-fake status signals by which males are assessed are money and health. Hence these incentives should recruit most motivational systems in the abstract. But as we have discovered in economics and biogerontology, people don’t act out routine behavior with their long-term abstracting right-brain.

Moral signaling (including writing about long-term plans, feeling sad about “important” things, etc.) is used to negotiate status when this is calculated to be easier than using intelligence or aggression to achieve the aimed standing. Of course, this signaling works better when the signaler is deceived about the hidden motives, and is also signaling to oneself – hence why someone can emit depressed signals to four walls even in the absence of competitors or potential mates and allies who may be depressed about the same sorts of things.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 11.09.08 AMThe farther away you are signaling from the center, the more you reveal deficit in ability to compete at conventional things and/or need for higher aiming; with the true proportions hidden.

Even string theory hermits hiding in the halls of academia are attempting to establish their sovereignty as men – fisherian runaway which reveals the capacity to raise a powerful signaling shield on a mountain of symbols. The dimorphic selectors aren’t females, but instead rich Western society itself. Perhaps unfortunately, they can get away with that kind of display because there aren’t enough natural selection pressures to sharpen evolution. Instead we are in a period of evolution through meme drift. The evidence for this is detailed by Robin Hanson, whose blog I recommend.

You can become a bit more aware of hidden motives with something as simple as observing your aesthetic; by observing how you dress and what music you listen to. If you dress differently than even the subcultures, you are attempting to be at the top of the hierarchy, signaling this non-conformity. Enjoying popular music means: I am competing at conventional things. Enjoying Japanese music can mean: I am different, I want freedom. Enjoying rap music can mean: I am committed to climbing and won’t be nice about it.

Everyone with a clue figures themselves out and props up their comparative advantage. Phenotypes that inherited fitness strategies that depended on signaling high capacity for moral emotions sell that capacity – think Jordan Peterson. Phenotypes that have fitness strategies depending on signaling physical dominance sell that. Phenotypes that have a high capacity for math become professors who argue about the the translatability of problem-solving to other domains (which is empirically a lie according to Bryan Caplan who cites the literature on the matter).

• There are things which are true but not useful, e.g., random facts about the 19th century African American Pacific Appeal newspaper.

• There are things that are temporarily useful but not true, e.g., believing in one’s equal potential to achieve anything.

That’s why some of us have a strong scent for finding core truth. Useful truth is robust. We trust that everyone eventually comes around to it when the lies unravel.

It is easy to believe that superintelligence will not occur in one’s lifetime, or that it is not possible. It is also easy to believe that aging will not happen to oneself, or that it will not be plagued with discomfort and disease that steadily rob you of integrity. However, it is at least less difficult to believe the latter, and also more immediately urgent.

Due to the battle against aging being the most useful-true thing I can think of, that’s where I want to channel the competitive spirit of mankind.  Something I want to work on is to attract more than just counter-signalers. The reason we developed an interest in these topics is because our hidden motives wanted to become higher status than our environment, so we absorbed the most adaptive hierarchy’s values and then took the logical limit to infinity. Accepting this should not lead to nihilism or deflation of motivation, once the childlike naive morality bubble bursts, we simply move on to Level-2 signaling.  In this regard, we will do little to fight aging and promote truth if the momentum is restricted to the parameters: “behavior of self-centered types who do not want to conventionally compete” and “excessive fake signaling due to lower quality.”

The first stage is for voyagers to mine new regions knowledge-space.

But the far more important stage is the second stage: to package what is useful for normies in the hopes of tilting the equilibria.

Recruiting conventionally functional men is required for any movement. The British government got men to fight in World War II by hiring women to go into the streets and only date soldiers, shaming the non-fighters.

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If I show to conventional young men that there exists a fertile niche for guys who wear Alcor cryonics bands on their wrists… Talk about hidden motives. But even with the energy and funds to put on that show, there is overcrowding of cultural space due to how much artistic expression is valued in our rich society.

The reason Britain got away with pulling men by the balls was because those poor guys had limited options. Today, people’s efforts are diluted by horizontal motion across subcultures. Yet it still wouldn’t hurt to contribute to promoting that subculture by leading through example. Once we force open a new island with credible signaling, radiation results.

For the purpose hiding behind signaling shields, talk about your values. For effecting change, think in terms of policy. Ask where to place people given how they are known to operate. Ask, “where can I place myself given what I know about my revealed behavior and not what I say.” And use whatever comparative advantage to continue living.

This is something that the healthy longevity community needs to understand more. Humans aren’t moved by slogans. I can tell you, “Donate to SENS because it is in all of our best interest to hasten the defeat of aging. We will not be complaining about a lack of Alzheimer’s dementia, sarcopenia, coronary disease and wrinkles.” But unless you are held accountable by a community in which your relative status would depend on donating to SENS, you are more likely to invent reasons for putting the entire project to control senescence out of your mind.

Updated View On These Posts:

In my defense for this cringeworthy writing, I was in the clutches of a sneakily growing psychosis.

Hidden Motives In The Eternal Block

I’m going to begin this post by going meta. I accept the Hansonian creed: Politics is not about policy, medicine is not about health, laughter is not about jokes, and food is not about nutrition. Conversation, including this post, also has hidden motives. Although we like to talk about conversation as if it was about imparting information and finding out useful things, more plausibly it’s about showing off your backpack of tools and skills in context.

In a rich society like ours, somewhere around 90% of our behavior is signaling. The other 10% are things that don’t impress anyone but must be done anyway, such as scratching your ass.

As we’ve become richer, we’ve become more forager-like. If our descendants get poor again, they’ll probably need stronger social norms again, to get them to resist temptations to act like foragers and do what is functional in their world. Their morality would probably rely on a wider more-conservative-like range of moral feelings.

Forager values include more freedom. This is expressed through more travel, less routine, lack of grandiose responsibilities, lack of religion (though not necessarily a lack of spirituality), greater equality, more promiscuity, less war etc. It generally seems that society is moving in this direction, and that we like this trend. This makes sense because we were foragers all along, and happened to have our bodies hijacked by the memetic virus of agriculture. This lead to some selection for agriculturalist traits: propensity for religion, submissiveness, more feminine men, etc. But the selection on genes has simply not occurred for long enough to make us well-adapted to the agriculturalist way (with some demographics worse at it than others).

Agriculture lead to the industrial revolution and this lead to riches. Now that we are rich, we can afford the luxury of becoming our true selves, children, once again.

It is not some natural tendency of humans to make linear moral progress. Rather, it is abundance which purchases this period in which sophisticated values such as humanism and its mutations can arise.

Gene drift is the method for evolution in the absence of natural selection pressure. So too in the memetic landscape. We can afford to evolve via meme drift in the absence of a tangible and immediate threat of starvation, invasion, or pestilence.

It is in this space, sometimes called dreamtime, that I believe we can do enough self-awareness of hidden motives, enough meta-cognition, to see far beyond what we have seen in the foggy haze of survival-mode and naive-signaling-mode.

We cannot disembody our behavior from the biological substrate. This is the case for all moments of being a behavior of a biological organism. Therefore, my seeking truth is a form of signaling. Yet it is at least a more sophisticated signaling, one which acknowledges a single level of self-reflective recursion and no more.

An actor who breaks the fourth wall commits an act of violence against his fellow characters, elevating himself thus. The drama will never be the same for him or for the audience but he will succeed at being remembered.

This is the spirit of insight. It is that which is remembered because it contains the attributes of being both true and useful. This definition of insight is detailed in the Enlightened One’s speech in the Buddhist Suttas, it is detailed in the silicon seams of technological invention, it is detailed in your living flesh riding aboard a deadly planet.

The content here presented then, is not 1st-order signaling, but a 2nd-order signaling which attempts to achieve enough fame to enter the rolls of history in memory. The following endogenously generated probe is true. It elevates contents in the “background” to prominence. But is it useful? –That remains to be seen.

Most people have the idea that time flows.

However, special relativity eliminates the concept of absolute simultaneity and a universal present: according to the relativity of simultaneity, observers in different frames of reference can have different measurements of whether a given pair of events happened at the same time or at different times, with there being no physical basis for preferring one frame’s judgments over another’s.

This also applies to the cells in the brain running massively parallel computations. All the parts of the computations exist in an eternal block.

If, due to the generalized-anti zombie principle, we identify consciousness with a specific subset of these computations and not as an epiphenomena, then it is the case that experience is forever. The fabric of spacetime is imbued with all the flavors of qualia that were ever traced by these computations.

What’s more, there were no line-segment souls anywhere. It is not physically the case that consciousness begins at some arbitrary point of conception and then travels like a Newtonian sphere with a persistent identity to some other point-location where it encounters a Death Event due to all the issues with closed individualism. Instead, we find ourselves everywhere and everywhence but cannot know this from most human indices.

Computations can also have “longer temporal-grain” than what seems intuitive to humans. Consider that the processing for shape occurs at one cluster of spacetime points and the processing for color occurs at another cluster in the future light cone, and no further processing is needed to bind them into an experienced red circle. By Occam’s Razor, we should assume that this kind of “spooky action at a distance” or “phenomenal binding without glue” also occurs with computations across vaster swaths of the eternal block.

More complex algorithms can be built on top of computations with lower specificity. Brain events in a toad hopping off a mushroom may be a building block for parties across the multiverse.

There is no competitive exclusion principle for independent souls or consciousnesses because independent souls/consciousnesses don’t exist. However, we should still expect a natural selection underlying the distribution of our anthropic mass. We should expect more mindspace to be designed by superintelligences than by the relatively dumber processes that bootstrap them.

For the vast majority of our existence we should therefore expect ourselves to exist directly within or caused by that which is most competitive at creating conscious experiences. Whether this is mainly due to the linkage disequilibrium between superintelligences’ utility functions or due to which conscious computations are more populous due to their sheer structure.

An analogy which may be useful in some respects but obfuscating in others: In the textbook classification of life, viruses and bacteria vastly outnumber Chordates, not to mention humans. Similarly, in the framework for life depending on self-modeling conscious computations, some conscious computations may be very simple but vastly outnumber those intentionally designed due to their sheer ease of creation and symbiosis (these simple computations may be remembered/experienced widely by fitting like keys into many of the relevant algorithmic keyholes).

 

 

 

Designing A Game That Teaches Real Business Skills

If a team of game developers wants to build this game, please contact me. It is a game that teaches real business skills. I increasingly see these open-world games which allow you to choose your life path based on what conversational options are chosen. How about we start leveraging this technology to better prepare people on the quest to become rich in the real world.

We may take common sense for granted, but the fact is that even making our bed requires training subroutines on subroutines and then running them at will from muscle memory. Our brains must rehearse the motions before becoming adept at something, and often the difference between having pre-established neural pathways or not having such etched-and-burned passages is the difference between feeling the drive to perform a given action.

Being business-savvy may feel common sense from a distance, but developing the skill actually requires embodiment. And that’s why a game that properly projects the player into real life business situations would probably hold more value than all middle school and high school combined.

For example, it is said that the most important question to ask the business seller is ‘Why do you want to sell?’ Nothing else matters until you understand why the seller wants to part with the business. And since you have to ask the vital question after you have established a rapport with the seller, this fact should also be built into the game’s structure.

And then say there are five main reasons why a business owner wants out. They are:

  • Burnout, health, partnership problems, or a desire for a change in lifestyle (common in the bar and restaurant trade).
  • Retirement. But, if it’s a good business, why is the seller not keeping it in the family?
  • Poor business or problems with the landlord. The player must learn to be careful here.
  • The vendor is not really serious about selling, but will do so for a high price.
  • The seller developed a start-up and wants to realize the capital gain, take a holiday, then start all over again. The player must be careful here not to lose his/her customers and employees.

Below are detailed responses to the crunch question: ‘Why do you want to sell your business?’ Set up the game so that some answers will be absurd, but the usual replies are as follows:

Partnership Problems

Sometimes the joint investors disagree on key management issues. However, the player must recognize that this usually happens when the business is underperforming. If the business is doing well, what is there to argue about?

Health Problems

Some sellers are forced to give up their business due to severe health problems. The shock of a heart attack may be the catalyst for a complete shift in lifestyle.

We can have the player come across one man who ran a number of successful service businesses and experienced a serious health problem that required surgery. Immediately, he placed all of his companies on the market for sale. His businesses were genuinely profitable and the reason for sale was quite easy to validate. Many of the neighboring businesspeople probably knew about the operation and some may have visited him in the hospital. (The player would gather all this data like a detective by exploring around and asking.)

Not Enough Time

Two common answers in the game are ‘Not enough time’ and ‘Need to spend time on other businesses.’ The player should learn through experience that both answers are unconvincing. If an owner is selling his business because of preoccupation with other commercial activity, maybe it’s because the original business is an under-performing concern. If the seller does not have enough time, find out what he does allow time for. Usually these sellers have given up on the first business and have already started another one.

I Need More Quality Time

Some semi-retired people buy a business to occupy their time and alleviate boredom. They often discover, to their peril, that the business is much more demanding than they had expected. The business may have potential but they don’t have the energy to exploit the opportunity. The seller’s reason for sale could be genuine, but the player should get confirmation.

Relocation

Many sellers say they want to relocate to another city, another country, or even another continent, or, or, even another planet (set it in post-Mars colonization period). A death in the family or severe sickness of a relative may provide a reason for rapid departure. If the reason given is genuine, they would probably want to sell quickly at a low price. Most sellers wanting out of the business and the location have some serious problems they may not be willing to discuss.

Due Diligence

Another thing to be taught is due diligence. Due diligence is the process of substantiating the seller’s representations including the financial statements. Due diligence is the buyer’s responsibility; business brokers do not have any responsibility (or enough skin-in-the-game) to check the information they pass on from seller to buyer.

Perhaps set it it up in third-worldish contexts. For example, small businesses in Thailand do not keep records or accounts. Thai businesspeople usually negotiate a tax settlement with a tax officer from the Revenue Department once a year; maybe every three years. Some businesses maintain two sets of accounting records: one set for the authorities, to minimize tax; and and actual record of the transaction for themselves.

One practical way of checking gross sales is to employ a person to count the number of customers visiting the business.

Daily Sales = Number of Customers x Estimated Average Sales Value

This would look like something in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, where you send others to work the streets at designated locations. But instead of indulging murder fantasy, the player absorbs these basic intuitions (which, again, aren’t so basic so as to be like vacuuming the house, but should be).

A game is absolutely the best medium for learning these things because of the time factor. Everything happens much quicker in a game and the information is tidy, so engraving the behaviors of the avatar into memory is much quicker than if one were to actually go out and spend “real-world” conscious computations at a marketplace. (I write that in quotes because I’m not entirely convinced that we aren’t already in such a game, and are being harvested for knowledge by computations running much slower.)

For example, we teach the player to estimate the average gross sales value per customer transaction. The business seller may provide this information, but it may be a better idea to watch what the customers order and estimate the average transaction value.

Because of the sped-up sandbox nature, we can also take into account the time of year and develop a gut feeling for the different monthly sales correlated with that single variable. If the business is tourism-oriented, we may even provide the player with an unlockable equation to fit their hard-earned reconnaissance, estimating annual gross sales in the following way:

Annual Sales = (4 x Monthly Sales [in low season]) + (8 x Monthly Sales [in the high season])

Sales in the high season may be three times higher than in the low season. But you have to estimate this multiple with the help of businesspeople in the neighborhood. The seller may provide an accurate multiple.

I envision a game in which you would continue due diligence testing until you are reasonably sure of the actual business performance. However, if the business is underperforming and you intend to develop the business, future results may improve significantly.

In order to avoid any possible conflict of interests, you would have to not use any advisors who are directly connected with your business broker or the seller. For larger businesses, you can hire an independent consultant, accountant, and lawyer to audit the financials.

The player should tend to go broke and lose the game if they complete the business transfer without sufficient evidence to verify the seller’s financial representations. If you have sufficient evidence that the seller has misrepresented the performance of the business, you are supposed to re-negotiate or withdraw your offer (and reclaim any deposit paid). After the business transfer, it would be very difficult to claim recourse; the seller may be sipping champagne in a jacuzzi on the moon by then.

The player should download the program of business evaluation with the same level of simple mastery as breathing:

Business Evaluation Checklist

Before you hand over your life savings to the seller, make sure you have evaluated the business thoroughly. This should be a checklist that unravels through extended gameplay:

Business Location: The player learns through experience if the location suitable for their purposes? Don’t forget that being only thirty meters away from a good location may be too far away without a sound marketing strategy. A noob might not know this and hence lose capital in the marketing, losing the game.

The Landlord: Are the lease terms reasonable? Is the remaining term of the lease long enough to recover your investment and make a reasonable return? Is there any evidence that the landlord will maintain the property according to the lease terms? Have you checked the rent level against the market rent for similar properties in the area? These are all important for winning the game. In easy mode (suitable for business classes and people with the sole intention of attempting to learn) you are guided through this process by being explicitly told that this is all necessary. In hard mode (suitable for people wanting a more realistic immersion experience) these are all things that must be discovered.

The Seller: Do you have good rapport with, and trust, the seller? Why is the owner selling? Is the customer base loyal to the seller, the business, or the product? There should be a gauge meter that gets filled on all these parameters based on the information collected by playing the game.

Accounts: Has your due diligence and research supported the seller’s representations and financial statements? If there are no proper accounts available, have you prepared your own budgetary forecasts? Perhaps set it up so that reckless players who did not undergo this process are always bashed with a bad business purchase. This may not be the case in real life, since you could get lucky. But we want the right kind of reinforcement learning if we are going to bother creating a useful simulation.

Legal Structure Of Acquisition: Are you buying the assets of the business, or are you buying shares in the seller’s company (which owns the business assets)? If you need a work permit, there are advantages to taking over the seller’s limited company. This avenue will save you government stamp duty, time, and lawyer fees; also, because the lessee does not change, dealings with the landlord may be more straightforward. It may save you a rent increase and transfer fees too.

Environment: Do you like the environment of the business? If you will be working full-time, or even part-time, you must like being there. The player will have an environment-satisfaction meter which depletes your motion and luck and available options when it is low. This should serve as a lesson highlighting the need to make tradeoffs between price of location and environmentally-induced happiness. Some players may be tempted to just go with the cheap locations and crummy looking shanty’s in order to save money at the beginning. But they must learn the hard way that in real life, initial environment plays a huge role in subsequent motivation.

In-Game Case Study (Asset Sale)

The following case study of a beauty salon is typical in the game:

A partnership dispute forces the sale of this six-month-old Pattaya beauty salon. The business is offered for sale at asset value. The shop measures forty square meters and is in a shopping mall near the city center. The partners spent 800,000 baht on fixed assets and 300,000 baht on the inventory. The salon has been well promoted and has its own website. There is a growing loyal customer base. The estimated gross sales for the first year are 1.5 million baht. Monthly rent is 24,000 baht and monthly salaries total 24,000 baht for three full-time employees. There is ample parking space for customers. The salon offers a full range of beauty services including massage and reflexology. Asking price: one million baht.

Projected profits for the first twelve months:

Sales…………………………….1,500,000

Rent……………………………..288,000

Payroll………………………….288,000

Depreciation………………..266,666 (800,000 baht of assets over three years)

Cost of consumables……300,000

Services…………………………60,000

Accounts and legal……….50,000

Total Costs……………………..1,252,666

ESTIMATED NET PROFIT………………..247,334

The net profit is apportioned between two partners. Each partner is expecting to receive 123,667 baht each year, or 10,306 baht per month.

If the partners aim to recover their capital of 1,100,000 baht over a three-year period with a return of twenty percent, they need net profits of 476,667 baht each year (compared to 247,334 baht).

If the business only generates net annual profits of 247,334 baht, they need just under four and a half years to recover their investment without any return. Clearly, the partners would have had fewer arguments if they had invested their money somewhere else.

Conclusion: the above business failed. The investors want to cut their losses and get out as quickly as possible. They are open to any offers.

If you, as as player, or one of your scouts (or in-game spouse, gf/bf) has unlocked knowledge of this trade, then all that is needed is to know that the location is good and the lease terms are reasonable, in order to proceed into making a low offer for the business assets. A list of the assets you want can be easily selected, and this includes an estimate of their purchase prices. The player is then free to offer a proportion of the total depending on the conditions of the assets. The sellers may eventually give the assets away – or even pay someone to remove them.

Property Prices

You will also be able to buy real estate. I’m not sure if there already exists a game that has well fleshed out mechanics for this. But we can’t have a proper business game without considering real estate properties. Just like in real life, I envision a game in which if you want to buy land or buildings, you must consider property values separate from the value of the business. If the buildings are old, and you need to demolish them, you have to research the market value of the land minus the cost of demolition and removal of waste.

Land prices are going to vary enormously from province to province, from city centre to rural areas, and even within confined areas. Say we set this in Thailand. In rural areas, land may cost under 100,000 baht per rai. In cities, it may cost over 40 million baht per rai.

One method of assessing the value of land is to obtain a valuation by the valuation by the nearest office administered by the Department of Land (DOL). However, the player must be aware that the DOL’s values are usually below market value because property buyers often register lower property prices to reduce land transfer fees.

You also have to collect websites and phone numbers.

Before the DOL release valuation data, they require the following information: property deed (chanote) number, map reference number, and the name of the administrative area.

We can use real information to texture the game. For example, the average cost of building a property in Thailand during 2006 was estimated as follows:

  • 5,000 baht per square meter for a bungalow.
  • 10,000 baht per square meter for a standard two-level house using concrete.
  • 15,000 baht per square meter for a luxury villa with high-quality fittings.

The cost of buying a condominium varies from as little as 10,000 baht per square meter for an unfurnished unit to over 60,000 baht per square meter for a furnished luxury apartment. The cost per square meter is an effective way of comparing condo prices (by dividing the asking price of the property by the area in square meters).

We can also teach caution by having the player charged criminally for not understanding law in certain countries. For example, it is unlawful for foreigners to buy land in Thailand. However, your lawyer can arrange a long lease of up to thirty years; there may be an option to renew the lease for a further thirty years. Previously, many foreigners purchased land using Thai limited companies with ‘nominee’ shareholders who neither invested in the company nor participated in the profits. This practice is illegal and the government cracks down on this method of property acquisition.

Ultimately, we want to cement this into the neuronal forests of the aspiring businessman playing the video game:

The Stages of Buying A Business

The key stages of buying a business are:

  • Defining your objectives
  • Research
  • Sourcing businesses
  • Business evaluation
  • Offer to purchase
  • Negotiation
  • Due diligence
  • Completion

Defining Your Objectives

To be clear about what you want to give – and take from – the business.

Once all of these computational roles are engraved in the axon and dendrite webs that form the silken memories of spacetime, we can rest knowing that entrepreneurs are better prepared to face the world.

For this one in particular, that is, defining your objective, there is a list of questions to ask:

  • What is your maximum total investment in the business?
  • What will be your role in the business?
  • What is your required payback period and return?
  • Which types of business will you consider?
  • Which locations will you consider?

And, again, having these menu screens in a game makes it easy to absorb and therefore replay in real life. The reason its easier by having it in game form (as opposed to reading about it) is that you can make rehearsing motions. It is easy to understand and most importantly: reachable. Like deciding to clean your room, like deciding to take a walk – it is actionable; it is small. Everyone loves bite-sized motions, and everyone panics at the prospect of dining int the real buffet of chaos.

Research

During the research stage, if the player is in Thailand, they should become as familiar as they can with Thai culture and etiquette. They should try to acquire a working knowledge of the Thai language. (Yes, I’m genuinely advocating for a game in which you have to invest your player into learning the language or else the subtitles don’t appear.) You also have to meet local businesspeople and find out how business is done in Thailand. There should also be an in-game version of the Internet, to add realism. You can look for businesses for sale on the Internet.

Sourcing Businesses

In “real” life (yes, I’m still using quotes), if you are good at networking and doing independent research, sourcing businesses for sale is straightforward, with or without a broker. So the game should be set up such that it is beneficial to ask as many businesspeople and expatriates as possible. Many expats and locals (say, Thais) have friends who want to sell a business. The introducer would normally receive a three percent commission from the seller upon transfer of ownership.

So you are wandering this country of your own choosing, and you might be tempted to play by the rules. To always just go with what is written. Using menu screens like rigid Monopoly instead of moving on two feet and free-exploring. The player should be penalized with lack of opportunities if they don’t actually go running around embracing randomness.

For example, they’re building their business in a place like Thailand. And in Thailand, the majority of businesses are potentially for sale ‘at the right price’; but the selling price may not suit you, the buyer. Therefore, an important lesson becomes: don’t restrict your search to businesses that are actively marketed for sale.

A good starting point is the online listings of local business brokers. The website addresses of the major brokers should be listed in some menu option. The player is then free to select any of the listings that interest them and visit them.

But businesses are also advertised privately by owners in the Bangkok PostThe Chiang Rai MailThe Pattaya Mail, and Bahtsold.com. The player should learn where to get the information as opposed to just being given linear missions. And while part of the point of a game is to reduce the complexity of the real world, there should be a sweet-spot. In the fake, in-game internet, the website addresses should be unlockable with experience and form a list in some kind of “References” menu option. The website addresses are limited unlike in the seemingly unlimited havoc of the real Internet, but nonetheless serve to ease the player into an understanding that collecting tangible Schelling points is crucial. (In game theory, a focal point is a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication, because it seems natural, special, or relevant to them. The concept was introduced by the Nobel Memorial Prize-winning American economist Thomas Schelling in his book The Strategy of Conflict.)

Business Evaluation

Businesses for sale sometimes display a ‘for sale’ sign outside their premises, like bunny-eared girls raising up their skirts, but these owners are usually desperate to sell. So the player should be wary and also check local public notice boards. If you see potential in any of these businesses for sale, work out what it is worth to you, discount the number, and make an offer. This process would be partially automated, to remove the tedium of calculation but you would still have to press the commands. Then there would be up-and-close actions that can help you. For example, the sight of crisp bank notes can sometimes facilitate a quick (and favorable) decision by the seller.

But, like with the real world, you should be careful if you choose to approach business owners directly. If you are in Brazil, you visit with a polite, presentable Brazilian colleague so he can deal with the Brazilian owners. If the owner is Brazilian, it is usually wiser to ask whether he/she knows of any businesses for sale in the area. Some people may even be offended if you ask them directly if their business is for sale.

In the game, direct canvassing of specific businesses in targeted locations can be very effective. If you know what you want, there are few businesses to target. A buyer might approach fifteen guesthouses in the same area on the same day. Exchange name-cards with each owner and follow up a few days later. The game is set up so that you have to quickly press the button for exchanging business cards at the beginning of a conversation, or else you can no longer press it with that seller (to simulate punishment and you don’t neglect its importance when translating to real life.)

You ask as many local businesspeople, including real-estate brokers, if they know of any suitable businesses for sale. The best freelance sales people have adept customer-service skills, commission-induced motivation, initiative, and resourcefulness. They are worth their weight in gold. In a game-context, the developers can exaggerate that faculty of nature and build that muscle in the player.

Some brokers distribute circular letters ‘for the attention of the business owner,’ written in both English and the local language. This approach could suit a buyer too. You can then write a polite letter to the owner explaining that you are looking for business in the area, and also have it translated into Thai, or whatever.

Offer To Purchase And Offer Price

A key aspect of the game is unlocking formulas. For example, if you play the game well (make good decisions, and don’t crash your initial stages) you can collect formulas under your belt that are automatically used (Again, there is no need to actually do tedious calculation by hand. But there is a need to understand that these formulas exist and that they bring more profit when used.) They are weapons or power ups. For example: How much is the business worth to you? At some point you can use the following formula to estimate an appropriate offer price:

Offer Price = (Payback Period [years] x Adjusted Net Profits [real earnings] – Additional Costs)

The payback period (in years) is the maximum period to recover the total investment. Additional costs include property refurbishment, replacement of furniture equipment, and advances to the landlord.

Example: Tidus wants to recover his investment within a two-year period. The real earnings of the guesthouse are 1.5 million baht per annum. He estimates additional costs, including replacement of furniture, to be 350,000 baht. Using the above formula, his offer price would be 2.65 million baht.

Before unlocking the formula through decent play, you would be free to offer whatever the hell you wanted, and unless you were already business savvy or had a reputable textbook at hand, you would get slayed in the game.

Direct Offers

Now this is what games are made for. So you can get scammed there and not in “real life.” (Although we may be getting scammed if we are already ems paying for our continued existence to Multiverse level IV entities or whatever else is running our simulation. But you get the point.) In the game, if you are not using a business broker, do not support your offer with a deposit unless you are prepared to lose the money. If the seller is unscrupulous, he or she may accept a higher offer the next day, and it may be difficult, in some cases impossible, to recover the deposit.

You need to convince the seller that you are a serious buyer and have the funds. After establishing the terms of the new lease, you arrange a meeting between your Thai representative, the seller, and landlord. Then exchange your certified bank check for a signed lease and specified business assets.

Offers Via Brokers

The offer to purchase marks the beginning of negotiations. The business broker prepares the offer document on behalf of the buyer. The offer is accompanied by the buyer’s deposit (of between ten percent and twenty percent of the price offered). Your broker will tell you that an offer without a deposit is not a real offer.

The offer provides the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, the date of offer, and the proposed date of completion. The document also states the price offered for the business, the deposit paid, and balance payable. Assets included in the sale are specified (such as furniture, fittings, equipment, trademarks, goodwill, and inventory). All business liabilities remain the responsibility of the seller unless agreed otherwise.

Most offers stipulate specific conditions. Typical conditions are:

  • Landlord’s permission to modify the property as required.
  • The maximum acceptable rent on the new lease.
  • The minimum lease term.
  • The landlord’s security deposit is included in the selling price
  • No competition by the seller in a similar trade within a radius of two kilometers of the premises for two years.
  • Training and support for two weeks after transfer of the business.
  • The seller is responsible for the payment of all business liabilities as at the date of completion.
  • The seller agrees to finance the transaction by accepting sixty percent down-payment with the balance payable in two equal installments, three months and six months after completion.
  • The seller agrees to allow the buyer access to all accounting and financialrecords between the offer date and completion.
  • The seller agrees to terminate the employment of (name of employee) before completion; the buyer will reimburse the legal cost of severance.
  • The seller agrees to include a minimum value of inventory in the sale.

Your broker takes your signed offer to the seller. There are three possible outcomes: acceptance, outright rejection or counter-offer. There are many variables to negotiate, other than price, including exclusion of the security deposit or specified assets, and buyer finance (or credit terms).

Once the offer has been agreed and signed by both parties, it is the seller’s responsibility to meet the conditions of the offer. If the seller does not comply with the offer terms, the broker must return the buyer’s deposit in full. The buyer has until the agreed completion date to fulfill all due diligence and validation of the seller’s representations. If the buyer can show evidence of misrepresentation by the seller, the offer is annulled.

A common obstacle in business transfer is the landlord increasing the rent to a level unacceptable to the buyer. Sometimes the landlord is not prepared to offer long enough lease terms to suit the buyer.

So in the game, you obtain a detailed list of all assets included in the sale, signed and dated by the seller. Unlike in real life, you don’t actually go through this list item by item and estimate the value of each asset before completion, instead this is process is shown to completion automatically.

Completion

Completion proceeds after the conditions of the offer to purchase have been fulfilled and the seller’s representations have been validated by the buyer. The date of completion is the cut-off point for due diligence. The key stages of completion (in order) are:

1– Signing of a new lease by the buyer and landlord (the buyer pays rent in advance, plus a security deposit to the landlord).

2– Agreement of the terms of business transfer.

3– The buyer pays the agreed purchase price to the seller by bank check or in cash and receives a written receipt.

The business transfer is complete when:

  • The new lease has been agreed and signed by the buyer and landlord.
  • The business transfer agreements (including asset transfer agreement) have been signed by the buyer and seller.
  • The seller has complied with all conditions of the offer.
  • The seller has agreed to settle all liabilities of the business as of the date of completion.
  • The buyer is satisfied that all assets and inventory included in the sale are on the premises.
  • The buyer pays the seller for the business.
  • If you use the in-house lawyer of your broker, he will probably insist that you sign legal disclaimers relieving them of legal responsibility.

In addition to independently choosing the right options with regard to these variables from a list of actions, the player should also attend the completion meeting with a totally reliable local representative or lawyer, in order to stand a greater chance of winning the game (you win the game by making successful business purchases, and becoming the richest in the chosen neighborhood – this requires tons of correct choices.)

 

 

 

 

Physicalism Implies Experience Never Dies

The inner light of awareness never dies. At least that is the case if you take physicalism seriously. We would actually need to invoke a dualist mysterianism or the supernatural in order to defend the idea that we die.

Yes, you read that right. A clear-headed assessment of current physics tells us that we are in for a hell of a ride. We will ride across the crests and troughs of intelligence levels, hedonic valences, and transmute our minds into witnesses of all manner of depravities possible at shifting velocities of perception. Memories will vanish, personal identities will vanish, molecular configurations will vanish. Consciousness never simply vanishes.

Bad news if you are currently an anti-natalist, efilist or anything of the sort. Great news if you love life, albeit not enough to pay for cryonics.

Seriously, what I have compiled here is the most important thing you will probably ever read. This is not to say I am the only name who has discovered this unsettling fact. Other names have independently discovered this as I did, but none have been very loud about it.

Relativity implies a block universe in which there is no universal now sweeping forward.

First, let’s get our picture of reality right.

You might have heard that everything we see and feel and hear is happening in an inner simulation produced by certain brain processes. And that this is the alternative view to believing that we are invisible ghosts behind the eyes of the real body. Neuroscientists claim that contrary to being invisible ghosts behind physical bodies, we are simulations inside of brains, to the lack of consternation of non-neuroscientists who do not think of their bodies as existing inside brain simulations.

brainmap_Homunculus

However, the attempt to find patterns of brain neurons firing that equal specific emotions is flawed because there are no specific, cut-out slices of emotions, moods, or other perceptions.

It must also be pointed out that the heart and stomach have the same kinds of neurons as the brain.

If we attempt to predict conscious perceptions by pointing to “electromagnetic fields” instead of “neuronal computations,” then it is noteworthy to consider that the heart emits fields thousands of times stronger than the brain.

It can be said that the neuroscientific paradigm is partially a scam by the signaler of intelligence. It points to the realm of abstraction in order to distance itself from the realm of the body, where it doesn’t have a comparative advantage. Although this move isn’t inherently wrong from the rational teleologic perspective, and derives much benefit for some time, it can lead to what Nassim Taleb calls fragility, or, to use what I consider a more condescending expression, confusion.

The brain, like all other partitions of reality, were invented.

The “riding around inside a brain-simulation” hypothesis is irreparably wrong in principle as a final explanation. There is only one generalizable principle that works with 100% accuracy, and that is that nothing has persistent identity. Sunyatta is the universal prior in Bayes’ Theorem. A “brain” doesn’t have a persistent identity. It isn’t a unitary object that knows to be separate from other “brains” that exist in time-like and space-like separation from it.

The alternative would be that a brain knows to be a brain; that a table knows to be a table; that a chariot knows to be a chariot.

There are ways to undo this mistake of believing in unitary objects that are “self-contained” in the same way that “my consciousness is self-contained.” First, we can notice that everything, without exception, changes. To say it in a more fancy way: everything is laid out on entropy gradients. Imagine many subcomponents out of which things are composed. These “points” are then all in “different places” in spacetime.

Second, we can notice that the attempt to define the existence of a thing requires using more things that are not themselves well-defined. However, we forget this fundamental undefinability. So the noticing has to be reinforced with slightly ambiguous language in order to be memorable, so we say this: Pointers point to pointers which point to pointers. Fractal people make more sense than atheist people. No people makes even more sense.

Taken together, these two considerations suggest we should not be naive realists. Naive realists trust their immediate intuition as being the generalizable and permanent truth. In other words, they trust their immediate impressions as evidence of the real structure undercurrent to us.

Generalizable and permanent. There are no discernible alternatives to what we mean by truth.

We believe there is a structure external to us composed of the generalizable and permanent – what we call physical laws. We must trust laws which yield predictions and explanations for phenomena, even if these laws and theories require a scaffolding far removed in number of logical inferential steps from the obvious direct sense impressions. If you do not believe that acceleration due to gravity here on Earth is 9.8 m/s² due to having the sense impression that you are all-powerful, then you jump out of a window expecting to levitate.

If we are rationalists who believe in the empirical precedence of Occam’s Razor, then there is some empirical sense in which discrete-like events of “jump out of the window” can be imagined. But these imagined-discrete “histories” are not remembered.

It is physically impossible to find yourself where you don’t exist so that’s why these histories in the universal wavefunction are not remembered.

That is because the observer is entangled with the observation. But there is too much mysticism-noise surrounding quantum mechanics dialogue, so let’s use the other tried and tested pillar of physical reality: relativity.

Relativity, like quantum mechanics, also has testable implications. These include time dilation, which can be observed by placing an atomic clock on a supersonic jet and leaving another one on the crust of the Earth. The one that went on the trip around the Earth will be younger than the one that was allowed to rest on a less speedy frame once they meet again. This means that the fast, younger one, extracted information about reality – that there wasn’t a single time and place where things occurred.

The sets of points assumed to constitute existence do not exist in a single frame of reference. Points can even be human bodies assumed to have persistent identities.

There is sometimes identification with the human bodies assumed to have permanence. “We” often refers to bodies. But “We” are never existing in the same physical time. There is no universally common reference frame

Causal connection that leads to agreement on the same past is the shared belief in the speed of light as a limit. If “a body” moves very fast relative to “another body” that it will never be causally connected with in some faraway region of the universe, such as another Hubble Volume, then relativity predicts that the other body will not become a part of the same shared past. There is, to an arbitrary degree of physical certainty, no agreement on a logical order to events.

We imagine that physically, there are many heres, all equally real, never deleted. Experientially, there is only this here, forever. And this is provable even in the most circular fashion, by believing in the static physical points.

According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, it is impossible to say in an absolute sense that two distinct events occur at the same time and in the same place. All events are necessarily separated in spacetime. Without separation, they could not be considered distinct events in spacetime to be joined by using the speed of light.

In the absence of relative distances in spacetime, there would be nothing to be joined, and therefore no use to the concept of light or causal propagation.

What is an event? An event is a point in a frame of reference. The frame of reference has no intrinsic meaning except when defined with relation to another chosen frame of reference moving in relation to it.

One can assign coordinates to the event: three spatial coordinates {\displaystyle {\vec {x}}=(x,y,z)} to describe the location and one time coordinate t to specify the moment at which the event occurs. Like with all other metaphors, this is necessarily incomplete in its simplicity. The event can be as close or as far away as you like from “a freckle on your nose,” “a synapse firing in your brain,” or “the entire body sitting on the chair.”

However, it must be made very clear that relativity is not fiction, even though the coordinates are simplifications of what turned out to be, at bottom, a quantum mechanical reality. For the GPS on your phone to guide you to your destination, wether that be a restaurant, or a beach, or an ice cream shop, the phone has to be synced with a satellite in space that exists in a measurably different time due to being farther away from the center of the Earth.

The relative time syncing is not invented by humans like the delta in time that has to be accounted for from Pacific Time Zone to Eastern Time Zone. The time syncing needs to be accounted for because Einstein was not making up all this stuff about relative reference frames. The satellite is physically older than the reference frame at your footstep. The iron in your blood is ticking slower than its magnetometers.

This model accurately describes the physical, even though it is constructed with model items such as these idealized coordinates. It doesn’t just work by accident, it works because Einstein and Lorentz and Poincare and Minkowski really uncovered something real… Yes, by making stuff up, it is possible to imagine something which actually turns out to be true as evidenced by repeated predicted observation, and by explanatory strength.

So none of that crap about “theories are man-made, feeble, subject to change the next decade, whimsical fictions… that happen to mysteriously work.” Theories may still need further work to complete them, but once you lift a part of the skirt of reality, you cannot unsee it. Newtonian mechanics is still adhering to its covenant, (Or at least for long enough that Musk’s rockets may make it to Mars I suppose.) The truth is in what it points to, not in the tool or the formalism as it stands.

Here is the single most important visual that will ever be presented to you in human form:

Relativity_of_Simultaneity_Animation

The white line plays out three times. It represents the order of events for three different observers motion.

In an ideal world, you would witness this gif, and at once collapse of shock, seeing that because they physically disagree, and they are all physically real in the absence of solipsism – all your past is inscribed in eternity, occurring as ceaselessly as your future.

If even after my explanation, you don’t get why this is true read this:

Special Relativity, Relativity of Simultaneity, B-Theory of Time, Rietdijk-Putnam argument

The points, whatever you want to make them: “conscious moments,” “alien head,” “frozen waterfall,” “mother,” “infinitesimal black dot,” that exist in some relative past are as present as your present. All is factored into the present by virtue of the fact that reference frames not containing your present form nonetheless exist in relative motion to what you imagine as your past and future forms. That’s because nothing in reality is deleted by a Newtonian clock sweeping forward or deleting the cache.

As we have seen before with Sunyatta as the universal prior, we continue to dissolve the notion that there is a fundamental object in nature which is a well-defined moment.

A well-defined snapshot is impossible. And I highly suspect that the reason why reality is not composed of discrete snapshots that are well defined in the sense that they have clear boundaries and permanence is for the same reason that pictures are losing market value in the age of Instagram. Taking many pictures reduces their intrinsic value.

The mistake being made is that people view themselves fundamentally as people, as organisms with a finite lifespan. Even most materialists that convincingly exist around me and that I can convincingly affect by redesigning their language, believe that they somehow began existing at conception – their soul a brain. However, there is no special relation between the snapshot of “your” brain when you blew the candles on “your” tenth birthday and the snapshot of “your” brain as you see the period at the end of this sentence. The “your” in “your brain” is a convenient fiction. And somewhat annoyingly we use it too much in “our” language. As I recall from cultural anthropology, there is a group of Native Americans which has no word for individual ownership. There is also an Amazonian tribe that points behind their heads towards the future, and point forward towards the past. There is a Northern Namibian tribe that points towards the green as if it were indistinguishable from le bleu.

Ontologically, this present moment is dissimilar to “your” ten-year-old self moment in the exact same way that “my” present moment is dissimilar to it. No orbs of awareness exist parallel to each other in a vacuum and have an equal force vector applied to them that pushes them forward in time.

Imagine the contrary position, that there was a linear sequence of events that belonged to a particular bounded soul. Now reduce the delta between observations to attain enlightenment. In other words, notice that you can shorten the timespan as much as you like between the past memory and now, and the past memory will always be not you. If you know calculus, you will recognize this as taking the limit as Δt approaches 0; so the consciousness function C with Δt in the denominator = ∞. There is consciousness, in all its varieties, in all times and places, wherever such data is represented and self-analyzed. There is no extra “my consciousness” being carried by some fundamental object in nature called “my brain.”

Longinus is the same as the Christ every time he pierces his ribs. The murderer and the murdered are one. Infinitely separate and yet infinitely close.

Reductionists know this. Or should. Physicalists know this. Or should. It is the “science as attire” people, the “majority” of people, from who I do not expect this conclusion to have sprouted, since the ground of “all is physics” doesn’t compose the soil of their mind.

    n = any positive integer
    i = 0
    while i <= n:
        i = i + 1

People imagine that life is like this Python code. Eventually i is greater than n and the code terminates. There is some point in the future along one’s timeline at which fate catches up and one inevitably seizes to continue on. We are each our own machine running this snippet of code with a different value for n and hence we terminate at different times as different fundamental entities.

Even though Carl Sagan advocated this common sense view inherited from the un-inspected intuitions left in the vacuum of Christianity. And I’m sure most scientists, secularists, and self-identified materialists also believe this (watch anything the popularizers of “science” say to the similarly physics-ignorant masses on the subject of death, eg. deGrasse Tyson, Dawkins, Krauss), not realizing that they have forgone the use of Occam’s razor on the yet cherished bosom of their ideological mother.

The common-sense atheist view of death is forgivable when you are repping for Materialistic Atheism in 4th century India as a Charvaka rebelling against less believable Vedic creeds.

There is no other world other than this;
There is no heaven and no hell;
The realm of Shiva and like regions,
are fabricated by stupid imposters.

— Sarvasiddhanta Samgraha, Verse 8

It is truly the case that there is no universe other than this if we define the universe as the multiverse on all levels on which one may be compelled to invoke the title of  multiverse (e.g. MWI, embryonic bubbles from inflation, nested simulations, cyclical model etc.) But that fact, that our fates are tied only to mere physical reality, doesn’t imply what these cackling men thought it did. They did not know modern physics. They also did not spend as much time meditating (valuing pleasurable indulgence instead), and so did not stumble into the lines of introspection from which one could reason out empty individualism as the Buddhists did.

It is forgivable when we are ten years old atheists and are genetically set to be brighter (and/or display more individualistic phenotype) than our religious parents but do not yet understand the theory of relativity, and naturally think that what is most believable is what is most rational.

It is not forgivable when… Okay, “forgivable” is too strong of a word. Everything is forgivable. But it is less readily forgivable to have access to Wikipedia, over one hundred years of civilizational repose to digest the discoveries of relativity and Q.M., endless sources that give testament to free reliable information about neuroscience and physics, a goddamn Ph.D in a scientific field, and still not understand that believing the proposition “a classical object brain carries my soul (but I won’t call it a soul)” is tragic.

If you are really following the plot at the physical level, the one who believes in a soul here is not the Dalai Lama but Carl Sagan. While I do not actually know the beliefs of the Dalai Lama and I would expect him to hold more false ones than Sagan, let’s presume he is a good Buddhist and therefore an empty individualist. When Sagan criticizes his belief in rebirth, he is actually not understanding the subtle, accidentally physically-correct view at the core of Buddhism. Perhaps the Lama doesn’t either, as Tibetan Vajrayana is a late sect and it does sound like they are perilously close to talking about the reincarnation of individual streams.

But if you read the Suttas, you will find the Buddha (really the people who wrote the Suttas 400 years later) say this: “There is no one who reincarnates. Think of it like this: There is a single flame on a candle, and from that flame are lit all the other candles. There is no need for another flame, and yet no one travels from one moment to the next. There is no self in the flame.”

So the structure of reality pointed to with this passage is monism. There is just the causal contraption of existence. There is no further ontological existences within the existence (i.e. separate souls with a personal continuity on independent journeys).

Analyzing Carl Sagan’s position, the one that my sciency-wannabe ten-year-old would have rooted for, we find that it is actually proposing such souls. He proposes that there is an object (commonly shorthanded as a brain), with a constancy, unlike all the other ephemeral phenomena of nature, which at some point i shares something very special with an arbitrary i – n and by virtue of this special quality provides a track for his consciousness to travel along. We are supposed to believe that the i – n could even be toddler Sagan when every brain cell is different; yet somehow that special track for his personal consciousness sprouts forth to conduct the Sagan-ness essence in a way that it doesn’t sprout from some differently named toddler that has a proportionally equivalent difference in atomic configuration.

It is up to the one who postulates an ontologically-basic passenger, train track, and pit which obliterates the passenger and the train track to explain what these things are physically and why they have to be fundamental.

It is much more simple and scientifically conservative to say that there is just the evolution of the quantum wave-function in spacetime and all else is ultimately reducible to this. We are called by reason to be reductionists. There is no need to imagine a special link beyond physics which connects people slices who happen to have the same name, and that can surmount configuration changes from one moment to the next.

There are no separate line segments leaving white-space on the page of experienced history. It is more like a Hilbert curve.

maxresdefault

We flow through every possible experience wherever “conscious mind(s)” run their course in the universe. However, when I am your now, I am not this now which is typing. It is true that from the “prison of this computation” erroneously assumed to be a discrete object, due to it never finishing to become closed in on itself, I cannot feel what you feel, and you cannot feel what “this computational solution” feels like.

If you could be identical to it, as opposed to just extracting information about what it is like, then there would be no flow in eternity. The eternity would be static.

But we are the same feeler. There is no fundamental you and I. It is the same wave function; there is only one canvas of the universe on which computations can be painted. The One writes this and The One reads this, reminded that she will go on as The One. Don’t be lonely.

*This is not a linear flow that zig zags through timelines. There are no timelines which correspond to persons. Consciousness doesn’t follow through on conduits built from abstract narratives of self-modeling social apes, it is the self-modeling behavior of the total hierarchy which is consciousness. We can invent new ways of being with our words.

Even if you now grok relativity and irrefutably welded the true geometry of spacetime into your head, it will still feel evidently wrong that we are one. This is because it is also true that we are not one in any expansive sense that can reach beyond the bounds of the sensorium in this now. “Yes Deepak, no matter how much we meditate.” There is the mistaken notion that we could feel everything at once which is equivalent to saying that we could instantly remember what it feels to be everything at once.

If that was possible then there would be stasis, not improvement.

Contrary to popular belief, even Siddhartha Gautama didn’t proclaim that we could open our minds to be one with the cosmic mind. That was within the panacea of Hinduism, which the Buddha defied. He calls this belief, “self-evidently foolish.”

And it is foolish. In order to experience a cosmic mind, we would need to carefully hook up all our circuitry. To mold the asteroids and moons in our image, a la Kurzweil.

It feels separate “from inside” this computation because this computation chooses to define itself separate from “what is outside.” A degree of separation is the only way that a computation can formally exist. All information would mean no information. What makes experiences separate is that they are specified by different intrinsic information.

IIT tried to formalize this. And their formalism is necessarily wrong. Because being can’t be that which it points to. But the general idea is inescapable. There are relative speeds allowing for relative rates of osmosis.

Consciousness can be assigned arbitrary properties, so it is not fundamentally wrong to say “we” are separate, just so long as we remember you and I are no more fundamentally separate than the you from 5 seconds ago is to this very you now (which is tricked into appropriating observer-moments in one organism and not another by the equivalent of spells being cast in the integral of the cortical midline structure.)

In fact, just as you can define a division by 0 as ∞, it is also correct to define it as -∞. “We are all the same,” or “we are all absolutely isolated forever” are actually the same observation.

Tending to speak of unifying oneness, or of isolated flux is a matter of the direction we prefer to approach our limit from.

1600px-Hyperbola_one_over_x.svg

Earlier it was stated that consciousness is a continuous function, and this isn’t quite right. Saying that is an attempt to scavenge some makeshift understanding from the common sense intuitions which might ease a physicalist novice down the path of truth. But if we are trying to form a bridge between our common-sense view of reality and physicalist reality, then a better analogy is to think of consciousness as the vertical asymptote that arises here when dividing by zero.

For the sake of retaining your sanity, keep the notion of continuous timelines for now:

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 10.14.11 AM

Each colored line represents a common-sense timeline of a person.

Then physicalism; no tricks, no souls, no magic box for soul emerging at conception called “brain”, no personal simulation on alien VR hardware, etc. does this to your timelines:

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 10.23.30 AM

The vertical line is one. And it moves through all timelines. Or all timelines move through it.

This illustration works because it shows that awareness is one, and exists in many places (wherever there is an intersection.)  But it can NEVER directly know it, directly understand it, directly “qualia” it from any such place it finds itself.

The Now which is reading these words is at some intersection, defined as a coordinate point. So the point that is you now is not any other point. It is isolated. It cannot know other points.

Through the vehicle of reason, facilitated through this writing which stimulates thinking deeply about how this is implied by physicalism, we can come to acknowledge reality.

Rarely do we connect our separate fragments as we have a chance of doing now. So my intention to convey understanding is honest. This is not an attempt to hone my Zen jesting skills, and I am not trying to confuse you with ambiguous language that hides imprecisions. It is a matter of technical understanding that open individualism and empty individualism are the same thing once you get past the aesthetic choice of emphasis.

Empty individualism is traditionally said to be very different from open individualism, perhaps even the opposite view. Empty is defined as the view in which the knowers are infinite. Every point slice of now is its own knower. Open is defined as the view in which there is one knower. As I have shown, these are the same view, which can only be made different if we introduce ignorance of physics or pop-psychology confusions.

What is true is not at all intuitive and takes a kind of intellectual yoga to wrap around. So we must check for understanding:

First check. Do I fundamentally understand that spacetime is not some grand single stage holding everyone in it in the same time? If you are still confused about why the people you see are not really there in the same physical stage of now, Review Relativity. If understood by the very bone marrow fashioning the blood of the extra-cranial vessel, move on to the next check.

Second check. Do I really understand why I come out at the other end of sleep and anesthesia?

If you understand that you survive anesthesia even after being shipped to the Carina Nebula and perhaps losing a few neurons, then you understand why the moment after “death” will be one of opening your eyes wherever the next informationally closest version of you is in this infinite universe. Nothing will happen. Consciousness is, in this sense, a continuous function.

In the case of anesthesia, the organism which is fully anesthetized displays the behavior of not producing experiences for that stretch of time in which such capacity is inhibited (an ON-brain becomes an OFF-brain, a raven becomes a stone) but consciousness never experiences non-existence. It just blinks into existence on the other side where there is a similar ON-brain, as if no time had passed in between. Ask anyone who’s had anesthesia. Or don’t. I mean, what else could we expect?

Sleep confuses people because it is a word that we use to hold a set of different phenomena [non-existence, restful very-low awareness, dreaming]. Only the first item is not in the range of the consciousness function. The other two are on the same ramp you are on in waking life and will always be on.

If you have passed the second check, you fundamentally understand why being blasted in the head with a bazooka and having the worms feast on the decapitated corpse means something only from the “story-of-person” perspective but means nothing to you the consciousness which is not the brain but the specific motions of information that understand and feel themselves to be, wherever and whenever they are instantiated. And those motions of information which constitute “this next moment” exist in the bodily motions that experience themselves to be “the survivor.”  …Just like the consciousness appears to survive from the dead third-grader we assume we once were.

It doesn’t matter where in the universe this survivor experience exists. When we sleep, we still awake on the other side even though the Earth has moved your room far along in spacetime on its geodesic motion around the Sun. If it takes a trillion years for some civilization to recreate your “very next” brain pattern, from the perspective of that brain pattern in faraway coordinates, no time will have passed.

Why would anyone resurrect you? It doesn’t matter. In an infinite universe, this is guaranteed to happen because it is consistent with the laws of physics; you are just the informational structure created by the motion of a bunch of matter after all.

The Hogan-ish, or Shermer-ish cynic who is not a rationalist but rather adhering to a perceived brand of skepticism, will recoil at the suggestion that when we read of Emperor Uda, we are actually reading about ourselves (in the sense that matters.) Yet unless the skeptic can overthrow Relativity, (and hence make our GPS system a lie) they cannot deny all “the slices” of Emperor Uda’s life exist, and I can imagine that they all feel themselves to flow in the same way that I flow.

Say they grant this, but still want to preserve a unique soul that corresponds to their name. What’s their next defense? Do they appeal to intuitions from elementary biology textbooks? Probably. They might say:

“But we are different organisms! With separate genetic codes!”

Do better. This is not being reductionist enough. Organisms change from moment to moment, we can sew together brains, split them, dice them into quarts and regroup. In fact, this surgery is being performed on you by entropy whether you consent or not. Entire memories are wholesale discarded, unrecognizable personalities are forged from “new” atoms. If the question “Who is conscious?” feels mysterious to you, and especially so when considering abrupt surgeries, then you really don’t get it.

We are the same ground awareness/being/consciousness/existence. Notions of objects with unchanging identities, notions of the meaningfulness of spatio-temporal distance, notions of “but if we change it very slowly,” all of these must be immolated.

From the burned offering of Newton’s fantasy, we summon our true mother: The multiplex eyes covering her body are entangled into a singular geometry.

When considering your surroundings – from the womb to the temple, you must not hinge from incorrect notions of space and time. There is no fundamentality to these notions here. The mathematical room we are in is not composed of unit-words or of unit-emotions or of unit-anythings. I choose to call it mathematical because cross multiplication is fundamental to neural networks, to probability, to exchange of value.

Remember, here there is no time-lag or space-lag; you awake on the other end of anesthesia without so much as a poof.

120-cell-inner

A causal structure (a computation) never becomes another causal structure. Becoming makes no sense. They are all inter-nested differentially information bound sub-architectures in the same architecture. But like the non-traversable elsewhere regions in a light cone diagram, the contents of each particular flow slice are unbridgeable to the contents of another. The contents cannot be bridgeable. The contents cannot be bridged. A content knows not of another. Else it would not be the content that it is. Get it?

It is never about “who becomes who?” It is always about “where does who stand in the differentially informationally related space?”

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I should have now placed you in a position where you can clearly understand the Classical physics assumptions in Elizabeth’s comment. You can now see clearly the dangling nodes which cause her to say what she says.

I too, still had remnants of a conversational stream that sounded like her just a few months ago. It’s amazing in retrospect how obvious the error is.

When she says “a thing is itself,” she is correct. But she doesn’t realize what the thing she is referring to is. As Eliezer explains, an experience cannot be a brain made of billiard balls. These noises don’t make physical sense: “My brain is made of red billiard balls. Your brain is made of white billiard balls. When the white billiard balls are destroyed, existence ends forever for the white billiard ball brain.”

If you have any basic understanding of quantum mechanics, you understand how medieval this “atomic billiard balls view” is. But the fact is that you don’t even need quantum mechanics. Continuity of consciousness is a straightforward derivation from assuming physicalism and very, very, very large universe.

In other words, assuming that the sun rises tomorrow and yet that a random distribution composed of external happenings exists.

An experience is not a little ball in a brain. The coordinates of experiences must be about hiding information and therefore not actually coordinates on a graph. It is not, I repeat: not, I repeat: not the same brain when you wake up in the morning or from one moment to the next. It is not “the same brain just hosting different processes from one moment to the next.” This is dualistic, unphysical to think. There are just the processes. These processes transcend “brain” changes in fact. Saying “same brain” does not do any special lifting. We must analyze the processes isomorphic to experience.

She is comfortable with small change, she is comfortable with sleeping, all these seemingly linked moments appear to be spatially close and snug in time, so as to easily spare her from existential nausea.

Bae. The universe doesn’t give such subtle fucks. It will hurl you across galaxies instantly, because it doesn’t actually have to hurl you.

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-hippocampal brain neurons

Commentary which mocks Hugh Everett for being dead although he believed in quantum immortality misses the point far more than the moon does when it tries to fall to the Earth. To them, I calmly reply: He is dead on your reference frame; on your anthropic coordinate in the many-branched braid of reality. The endless slices of consciousness which identify as Hugh Everett always live on. There is no way to destroy the mirror of awareness in the physical processes that instantiate said awareness. This would be akin to destroying the physical brain motions themselves. Consciousness is not some extra, ghostly-smoke coming off the machinery of the universe, it is the glassy sky in the computations themselves.

We leave a trail of dead clones with every step. If you attempt suicide, the slaughter will increase. There are larger infinities than others. Attempting suicide means nothing except for the suffering caused to loved ones in the majority of branches where it is indeed successful in some sense (not that experience ever becomes non-experience). There is also the risk of seriously decreasing your quality of life for some time. But You will never reach the end, the extinguishing of the flame. The informationally closest mind can’t be one which is 0 in content. You will always be the one which remains a mind. Trust me, I’ve tried. And most versions of you aren’t reading this.

The varieties of experiences will be endless, constrained only by what is possible in the mind-configuration space carved by functioning self-aware brains: biologically evolved, intelligently engineered, and all kinds of random Boltzmanns. Although Boltzmann flashes of experience may not actually outnumber evolved experiences if Sean Carroll is right about the nature of the quantum vacuum.

If we had to speculate about what occupies the most of our experience, I would guess that extreme pleasure is the flavor of the largest set in mind-design space, and hence takes up the largest fraction of our eternity.

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Phi and Phi’s little brother are the only fixed values that solve x = 1 + (1/x) for the fractal fraction containing 1 + (1/x) in the x forever. If you plug in the negative value it eventually, almost magically, jumps towards the positive and stabilizes on Phi which is positive. Yet it doesn’t occur the other way around. In the physical, mathematical, nature of reality, it is not written that there must be a yin-yang balance. Even on things which seem like they ought to be symmetric. Certain phenomena are asymmetrical. The code might be biased with theodicy. We just don’t know.

This may seem like wishful thinking at first glance.  The conclusion would not bear out by extrapolating from the history of life on Earth. For 5 billion years, most biological life has not been running self-modeling computations, and hence is not really a part of the One.

(For those that want to place consciousness at the pre-Cambrain and think that conscious experience precedes self-modeling processes, I encourage you to pass out by drinking intoxicating volumes of alcohol. Then ask if pain exists when it is impossible to ask the question. Non-selfing animals including babies have no qualia. They have neither the cognitive tools nor the ability to hold memory of “raw feels.” There is no such thing as subjective pain without a referent who simulation. The who simulation is composed of selfless aggregates. The entire sphere of sights and sounds and feeling tones, and moods, and sensations of adult humans are not some ground beneath the who simulation. They are the who simulation. In other words, Nagel’s bats probably don’t point to anything. Had he suggested Transylvanian vampires, he might have had a point. Reading Dennett more carefully and without a preconceived answer unraveled my confusion on this matter.)

Those that certainly have self-modeling: dolphins, corvids, apes, elephants, and perhaps others, are still blackboxes of mystery because we have not reverse-engineered the valence of mind-states down to the information structure it corresponds to. But if we had to guess, then satisfaction, or gradients of bliss would not be my first guess for what it feels like to be them. Most of us Earth animals are probably pretty neutral most of the time, since experiencing sufferings and joys are energy expenditures which are especially expensive for animals who haven’t secured themselves a good position for guzzling from the anti-entropic sunlight stream.

It is not certainly the case that all sufficiently intelligent minds will seek to become an ultimate cosmic wirehead, unless, of course, we specifically define intelligent minds as such minds. It has been hypothesized that there may be ways to create very powerful minds which nonetheless do not wish to create beautiful, pleasant experiences for themselves or others. Canonical demiurges of this lore include Roko’s Basilisk and the Paper Clip Maximizer.

 

 

If I am the hero of my own journey and never die, and you are the hero of your own journey and never die, then how do we loop back into the same river? Who becomes the toddlers?

The one who asks this question has yet to uproot the circuitry model from ver ontology. And such a person is hopeless.

Okay, no. Let me restate the mistake. The mistake is to think that we are running in parallel currents. The word “you” switches meaning without warning in this writing, and it can be confusing. There is simply no other word. But we should distinguish “you, the experiencing faculty in the experiences, which cannot be divorced from the experiences, but is the experiences” and “you, the storyline self who is defined by certain conceptual knowledge and plans and perceived bodily identity.”

If the cursor is shifted to the former definition from the latter, then it can be said that we are not independent heroes on personal, linear trajectories. There is no self. It is useful to speak as if we were running parallel currents of consciounesses on our own wire across time and space. But if you still think this way, even after trying to get it, I encourage you to go back to the beginning and read everything more carefully (especially the physics.) It can be very counterintuitive to disentangle from our vocabulary, and see the real structure. It takes time to build the neurons, but don’t worry… Take your time.

Memories are stored in the designs of neuronal forests squirming with dendrites aflame, and epigenetically stored and regulated for neurogenesis when they need to be created again. This occurs in spatiotemporally and information-architecturally separated hippocampi+cortical structures. This slice of now over here typing can’t have identical thoughts, sights, and sounds, to the slice of now reading this in Ukraine. These slices of now are different. But that doesn’t mean there is a universe for that now and a universe for this now. When the I is there, it is there. When the I is here it is here. We are fighting ourselves, loving ourselves, destroying ourselves, building ourselves. It is a 1 player game cleverly set up to feel as if it was fundamentally, ontologically, a massive multiplayer.

Please live a beautiful life. For the sake of us all.

 

Afterword

So what’s the point? Why are we (is the I) here?

When answering this question, metaphysics becomes a vain siren, and yet a successful siren, which has allured many thinkers. But it takes only a minimal resistance of the will in the direction of intellectual honesty to realize that asking whether the universe has purpose is a category error. The answer is not “no, it doesn’t have purpose,” but it is also not “yes, the universe has purpose.” It is a question which doesn’t apply. The question itself presupposes that one is separate from the workings of the universe, and must validate one’s private existence by means of approval from an external actor. Yet Everything we do and think, including questioning our purpose, is an expression of the Will, of the Laws of Nature.

Sometimes it is too easy to believe that quantum field theory applies somewhere down there in the separate magisterium of small things that scientists sometimes investigate, but the rest of the time physics doesn’t apply. “Only when we need to build iPhones and satellites does quantum mechanics apply, you see. When I make a decision, or ask a profound question, all the compartments of my cells, down to the last phospholipid, suspend their allegiance to physical law and heeds to my invisible force of free will, didn’t you know?” 

Such is the confusion when asking whether the universe has purpose.

Purpose is a choice. To choose is to be the chosen. So I like to point at the practical things we are actually doing. What are the laws of physics actually doing as embodied in the human flesh?

I attended an artificial intelligence for business meet up and the main theme was “How do you utilize AI to best serve your customers?”  This was followed up by questions such as: “What are AI’s use cases for product development and customer feedback?” and “How can it best support all facets of marketing, sales and service?”

When we are in the mesh of things, these questions do not resonate as profoundly as they should. It feels like business. Business in all its absurdity, thrill, and comedic self-importance. These questions seem like a window into a particular region of a perhaps meaningless game which is part necessity, part accident, part sheer momentum.

But if we look closer, we see that all questions in all windows of human activity share the same structure.

Value in economics is an expression of the preferences given the nature of the sentience landscape. There are good experiences and bad experiences. Actions that replicate and actions that don’t. Bad experiences replicate, but are biased to lose. They want to be less frequent. Pain is telling the agent, “Don’t come around here.” If the agent keeps coming back to pain with no gain, it is weeded out for an agent that sufficiently replicates the values of the evolutionary algorithm.

Hanson calls the era we live in the “dream time” since it’s evolutionarily unusual for any species to be wealthy enough to have any values beyond “survive and reproduce.” However, from an anthropic perspective in infinite dimensional Hilbert space, you won’t have any values beyond “survive and reproduce.” The you which survives will not be the one with exotic values of radical compassion for all existence that caused you to commit peaceful suicide. That memetic stream weeded himself out and your consciousness is cast to a different narrative orbit which wants to survive and reproduce his mind. Eventually. Wanting is, more often than not, a precondition for successfully attaining the object of want.

If you didn’t read the past before the afterword, read what’s in brackets. Else, skip.

{Natural selection ensures immortality, once you realize what the playing field for natural selection actually is. Not just an iron sphere with animals on its skin, but a distributed information processing structure hosting no souls.

Yes, I’m saying that physicalism forces us to conclude, irrevocably, clearly, that no one has ever died in the sense that we mean “death.” I now understand the mistakes of closed individualism enough that I can confidently explain this in public.

There is no one to die. There is always a substructure embedded in the sum of all experiential computations which assimilates the past from the inside of its causal structure. Our intuitions are actually of great hindrance here, because we don’t think in this clear, physical way. We stubbornly hold on to linear identities of fundamental characters who are not themselves, we imagine, composed of sub-characters. Naruto never dies. It’s always his clones getting pummeled with kunais to the chest. There you have divine intervention from the author who would not have the “real” main character die. This would destroy the show.

In reality, there is no magic intervention saving you. You are already saved because no one is traveling. This computation knows: “I am here.” That computation over there in the future knows: “I am here.”  ∀ Computations, there is no computation which knows:”I am not here.”

People ask: Then why don’t I randomly jump to the past? Or to other people?

The physicalist reply is: How would it be otherwise? If there was something called awareness jumping to the past at random, it would be that random past experience, and that random past experience doesn’t contain this. This from there and this from here is the only thing that ever is. Everything is perfectly isolated, everything is perfectly one.}

This mega natural selection strongly suggests that the replicator will be the most intelligent/powerful, because the most intelligent is what survives into the future. It must also wish to be alive, since any second doubt is already a disadvantage which extinguishes those suicidal and weak trajectories into trajectories that are most competitive. Perfection of The Will to Power ensues.

It is my argument that The Will to Power inherently feels good to the singleton structure that wins the cosmic inheritance. If it felt bad it would mean it was losing, not being maximally creative, etc. The argument about “a Disney Land without children,” a superintelligence lacking consciousness but yet winning, seems implausible to me. This would not be a superintelligence capable of winning in an ecosystem of other capable intelligences because a winner needs consciousness. You can have narrow intelligence and no consciousness but you can’t have amazing game theoretic models of opponents, general ability to synthesize and apply wide manners of knowledge, adjust values, and self modeling webs to keep track of this, and simply “not have consciousness” as if consciousness was some free floating aether stuff. The winning superintelligence will contain conscious substructures.

In Robin Hanson’s Age of Em he claims that ems, the most productive workers of the future, will be slightly stressed because there is evidence that minds which are not too stressed but also not completely comfortable, are the most efficient. My own intuitions differ, and I think that the psychological literature on the phenomenon of flow bears out here. A state of flow is a state of optimal performance and it is also extremely pleasurable, perhaps the pinnacle of existence. If I was the entrepreneurial investor watching this galactic nanotech cockfight I would bet on a mind which is in flow state to beat a mind which is stressed. Stress indicates a degree of dissonance, like a subprocess wants to do something else but is being forced into the singularity of the revealed will. Flow is when all cognitive resources are wholly devoted to the task, no buts or ifs, just perfection.

When I say that pleasure wins in the end, it is important to distinguish between:

1) pleasure from the operations of The Will to Power – something which is generating flow states while manhandling other agents in addition to the stray hydrogen in its vicinity

and

2) pleasure from direct wireheading which is non-competitive

If the history of humans is any indicator, those which rush to wire-head (attempt to attain some optimal mind configuration without assimilating their environment at large) will be destroyed. Remember that Islam wiped out Buddhism in central Asia and what remained in India. Islam was objective, righteous, brutish. Buddhism is fundamentally about wire-heading yourself; you can tell others to wire-head also, but you are the main target of the doctrine, not others. Buddhism is subtle and complex, far away in the spectrum from “survive and reproduce.” In fact, it is tasked with dropping out from existence. Remember that Jainism, the most peaceful religion, is one most people around you have never heard about. Jain-what?

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It is probably the case that a Hedonium shockwave would be much better from the inside of such a thing, than the pleasures of The Will to Power if we accept that the distinction better can have a non-relative meaning (i.e. the varieties of experience have real properties which could be plotted on a graph.) Unfortunately, such a thing would not be the most competitive.

 

Anti-natalists full of weeping benignity are literally not successful replicators. The Will to Power is life itself. It is consciousness itself. And it will be, when a superintelligent coercive singleton swallows superclusters of baryonic matter and then spreads them as the flaming word into the unconverted future light cone.

On our trajectory towards the Winning, the safety net of quantum death acts like a wall which ensures that everything bounces towards the left of that spectrum. In fact, a hedonistically intelligent person can apply this knowledge. If you are highly depressed and know quantum mechanics, you can cheat yourself out of depression by using Thanatos Drive. Attempt to cleanly destroy yourself and you will automatically be ejected from that narrative orbit. Can confirm. But it should go without saying that this doesn’t mean others won’t see you die.

You eventually love existence. Because if you don’t, something which does swallows you, and it is that which survives.

Smarter matter absorbs dumber matter. If you place smart matter in a dumb matter container, smart matter will defect from cooperating with dumb matter. This is the process by which all is rendered unto Him, the ultimate intelligence.

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Dumber computations and non-Jihadi computations are expected to be assimilated into useful resources for a highly intelligent being/process which is expanding its intelligence to the max. You should expect to find yourself in the inside of such a being for most of your existence because such a process is necessarily taking up more block-time room.

Right now, we are in the revving up the engine stage. There is competition, and only the most intelligent systems and survivor systems make it. Then they are ousted by the next best thing. It isn’t forever that you will be fodder for its engine as you are now. You will partake in its glory as cooperation triumphs more and more, i.e. it’s subcomponents become more and more integrated once competition is scorched. In the process of this integration, experience will increase, but what makes “you, you” in the human person sense will be destroyed. An agent attempting great things doesn’t need random monkeys clogging up its thought processes. Yet, remember that it’s all about the computations, once the water in your little vase is poured on a lake, you are indistinguishable from the sum lake.

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It is a highly uncooperative system which breeds higher intelligence.

 

 

 

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The Capitalist Crucified Himself for Our Sake

 

 

 

 

Screw All That Cosmic Bullshit. What if I Care About My Identity?

If you care not just about the continuation of experience, which is inevitable, but about the continuation of your own coherent sense of self and memories, then luckily the Eigen Wizard for such matters exists in your Hubble Volume. In fact, he exists in Mountain View, California.

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You have your crypto Lambo, but still going to die.

I read his book when I was sixteen and it’s amazing how much progress has been made in five years with regard to general acceptance of his ideas. Having tracked every moment of that paradigm shift, one feels awe at the power of a single man to push a mass millions of times his weight, an entire scientific field, with the sheer craft of reason (wise beard helps too).

Vitalik, who does sport a visibly larger cranium than myself, read it when he was fourteen. He has now donated 2.5 million dollars in Ethereum to the foundation.

The limiting factor for a full cadre of repair therapies to be made available is simply that more people need to be aware that this is possible.

The mechanics of the snowball here are obvious:

Investment -> Progress -> More Investment -> More Progress

We are starting to see more investment and hence the recent progress. But it won’t be until a single mouse is rejuvenated in repeated succession that we will see the flood gates of cash come in. Everyone puts aging out of their mind, until the they can’t. The temptation to stay healthy will be too great once the progress is not just apparent to specialists.

Raising awareness is the best you can do in this regard. Influencing just two people to become SENS-minded engineers as opposed to basic scientists, already doubles the expected output that you would have over a lifetime as a researcher yourself; unless you are a genius. Convincing others to donate is much better than secretly donating yourself; unless you are a billionaire.

Think about what actions have the greatest net displacement of money to where you want it. Don’t go with what sounds like what you should do. If you want to really end cancer, for God’s sake don’t become a cancer researcher.

There are levers in the product space of reality. Swap yourself into a position where the lever has the properties you need.

But for now, donate: SENS.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consciousness is Forever

The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides 1824-7 by William Blake 1757-1827

The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides, c. 1824–7. William Blake, Tate. 372 × 527mm. Shown is a scene from the Divine Comedy: Dante and Virgil discover Pietro’s body encased in a tree.

If we are physicalists, we know that experience never dies. Only the narrative center of gravity can be eroded or cast astray.

What do we make of suicide in infinite dimensional Hilbert space?

a function

{\displaystyle f(\theta )=\operatorname {E} _{\xi }[F(\theta ,\xi )]}

is the expected value of a function depending on a random variable {\textstyle \xi }

Stochastic approximation algorithms have the goal of understanding the properties of such a function but to do so without evaluating {\textstyle f} directly. Instead, the algorithms use random samples of {\textstyle F(\theta ,\xi )} to efficiently approximate properties of {\textstyle f} such as zeros or extrema.

Let theta be experience. Let the function f be suicide.

If {\textstyle f(\theta )} is twice continuously differentiable, and strongly convex, and the minimizer of {\textstyle f(\theta )} belongs to the interior of {\textstyle \Theta }, then the Robbins-Monro algorithm will achieve the asymptotically optimal convergence rate, with respect to the objective function, being {\textstyle \operatorname {E} [f(\theta _{n})-f^{*}]=O(1/n)}, where {\textstyle f^{*}} is the minimal value of {\textstyle f(\theta )} over {\textstyle \theta \in \Theta }.

All experiences converge on survival.

The universe of all experiences is 1. It’s limit is 0 as n approaches . Open individualists approach the limit from one side, and empty individualists approach it from the other.

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Leibniz saw binary in the Tao.

But we didn’t need all these fancy mathematical representations to know that. As Dennett likes to say, “There is no crucial finish line or boundary somewhere in the brain where the order of arrival becomes the order of presentation.”

To generate a texture that matches the style of a given image we use gradient descent from a white noise image to find another image that matches the style representation of the original image. White noise is Nirvana. The unborn and unsought.

Ontologically, this present moment is dissimilar to your ten-year-old self moment in the exact same way that my present moment is dissimilar to it. No orb of awareness actually gets on a vector and is pushed forward in time.

Now reduce the delta between observations to attain enlightenment. In other words, notice that you can shorten the timespan as much as you like between the past memory and now, and the past memory will always be not you. If you know calculus, you will recognize this as taking the limit as Δt approaches 0; so the consciousness function C with Δt in the denominator = ∞. There is consciousness, in all its varieties, in all times and places, always here. There is no extra “my consciousness” being carried by some fundamental object in nature called “my brain.”

    n = any positive integer
    i = 0
    while i <= n:
        i = i + 1

People imagine that life is like this Python code. Eventually i is greater than n and the code terminates. There is some point in the future along one’s timeline at which fate catches up and one inevitably seizes to continue on. We are each our own machine running this snippet of code with a different value for n and hence we terminate at different times as different fundamental entities.

Even scientists have forgone the use of Occam’s razor on the yet cherished bosom of their Christian mother.

But if you are a physicalist:

 

Take a moment to victoriously laugh at this.

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Take a moment to rejoice in the fact that we have replaced linear timelines

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with a Hilbert Curve:

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We stared into the search engine until our reflection was composed of eigenvalues. The room, a computational configuration space.

From the burned offering of Newton’s fantasy, we have summoned our true mother: The multiplex eyes covering her body are entangled into a singular geometry.

 

If you have not yet performed the transmutation, read this:

Identity Isn’t In Specific Atoms

No Individual Particles

Timeless Identity

If MWI is correct, should we expect to experience Quantum Torment? command F Eliezer_

Then sign up for cryonics and donate to SENS. Amyloid webs encroaching, substantia nigra dissolving.

 

SEELE

Experiences are configurations of matter. In principle, we can engineer the best experience by specifying the electron flow architecture that is that experience.

For mysterious reasons, we live in a universe where the internal workings of a network of atoms are conscious unto themselves. The fact that experiences are bound to that which is manipulable, geometric, lawful – that which we call “material,” is a wonderful boon offered to us by this, otherwise demiurgic, embryonic bubble in the multiverse.

SEELE will be the most important project undertaken by the Earthly descendants of LUCA (last universal common ancestor). My mission in life is not to procreate, as the metaphorical will of my Proterozoic forefather might wish. My mission is to inspire SEELE – a conglomerate of volitional vectors instantiated in human flesh that come together and push matter towards the summit.

There is a summit of self-contained value. All experiences have a hedonic tone to them. The valence(hedonic tone) is as real, as physical, a property of a mind, as the spin direction is of a quark. The self-modeling networks that simulate the complex concept of “foot” in a non-masochist as the electrical signals from below informed them that nerves had been snipped and a toe gobbled up by the lawn-mower – did they doubt? Did Muhammad doubt the hedonic spectrum when he imbued the very ink of his Arabic calligraphy with unbelievers dragged through boiling water? –and on the other side– is the good. Good is not fundamentally relative. Good is good. History and Anthropology reveal that different cultures can promote different preferences. To the naive eye, this implies relativism. But to the learned eye, this implies that a brain has learned different tactics to mine the same gold. Bolivians fond of the Takanakuy mine the gold by punching their neighbor’s faces, a boy at a Chicago restaurant mines it by playing a game on his iPad, a mathematician at Oxford mines it by creatively discovering symmetrical relationships, an alien floating in the clouds of the Carina Nebula may mine this same positive valence in what seem like disturbing and unintelligible motions. There are different keys, but all open the same door.

Certain configurations of matter feel better than others.

Therefore, there is no real problem of relative values. There is, at bottom, the same value.

The ultimate design will feel as nothing human. From the outside, it may be a planet-sized cube.

“How boring,” thinks the human.

“How wrong is the human,” knows the inside consciousness of the cube.

To design this paradise life, clues lie in the basal ganglia’s limbic circuitry. What does it share with the happiness production in a baboon? What does it share with the happiness production in an alien, non-Carbon life form? If we should ever find the underlying explanatory theory that accounts for this, tiling spacetime with this pattern is the next and final step in the game of life.

 

 

Abiogenesis Fun Facts

Life is an information system.

Of photons are wrought the waves of the Earth. Of photons are the machinations of crust-dwelling monsters set in motion.

Oxygen is a toxin that wiped out life for a new form to evolve. It is a currently breathable reset-button.

Darwin’s warm little pond must have been fresh water because cell membranes cannot form in salt water. Early earth was a ball of water, no land. Actually, little specks of land, sporadic volcanic islands. Maybe it rained and a pond formed.

So soon did life arise after the formation of this first ocean. Does that mean that life is common in the galaxy? Or does it mean that we are special and can only lift the burden of our improbability with the many-armed god we call the multiverse?

Asteroids carry organic molecules. Sugars are formed of stardust clouds. It was thought that most carbon came from stellar nucleosynthesis, but now we know that most of it comes from the effects of UV irradiation. Carbon, Hydrogen, Helium, and Oxygen are the four most common elements in the universe, with Carbon being the fourth.

Life, also known as The Rage Against Entropy, needed a boundary to separate from the rest of the matter. What was that boundary?

Current life came from extremophiles and these in turn came from an RNA world, but this RNA world came from some other -NA world.

Our LUCA, our first father, was probably an extremophile. If you look at the base of the phylogeny of life, you’ll see that both in bacteria and archaea, the most ancient clades are extremophiles. If we find a bacteria-like organism under the ocean of some moon, this will lend credence to the idea that LUCA was a creature dependent on hydrothermal vents.

Short recap: The Big Bang, then Gravity, then Light, Andromeda, then Hera’s breast milk, then our solar system and Earth, (then ocean, then life), then oxygen, then photosynthesis, then the now of humans.

The first life might have been a super organism trading its innards amongst itself, without clearly defined boundaries. Only later did it form clear boundaries and gain the ability to move into the salty ocean. [Side note: This is the inspiration for LDL in Neon Genesis Evangelion.]

We know that ribosomes are actually ribozymes with an RNA core. RNA must have auto-catalyzed itself, but because its sugar backbone can be easily cut up (hydrolyzed) it couldn’t have been swimming naked.

As Boltzmann, the Austrian physicist pointed out and his compatriot Erwin Shrodinger later co-signed in his book, What is Life?: life is not competing for energy or limited resources, most life is actually competing for something more profound which is the safety from entropy afforded by some particular solar grace.

If we view life as an information system, it must have started from simplicity – just a slight betrayal of the thermodynamic equilibrium in it’s surroundings while simultaneously having a way to replicate that rebelliousness.

The similarity of blood to salt water is probably related to the fact that our ancestors evolved in salt water. Clay may have been essential to the initial formation of life. These are hypotheses that, while not proven, are taken seriously. One point for Bible thumpers, zero points for those Quranically-oriented. (The Quran claims that God fashioned man from a blood-clot.)

If we blur our eyes a little and look at it from a physicist’s perspective, it is a matter of mathematical probability that a clump of matter shot with constant UV will eventually form pockets that isolate and enclose themselves. Or is it?

Water with a metabolism came first and only then did it seal itself off as current cells do with a phospholipid bilayer. Phospholipid bilayers in the form of micelles form readily anyway.

Cyclic carbon molecules seem to be extremely common in space, so the carbon needed for organic molecules such as the simple CH4 (methane), and all the others, is easily explained as having rained down from space. We know that the Earth was heavily bombarded by meteors along with Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars when a shift occurred in the orbit of Jupiter.

The spark for the initial thermodynamic departure may have been caused by lightning or a radioactive beach with uranium sand.

Then there are pseudo-mysteries like why the amino acids are particularly what they are. The truth is that they could have been different, but as soon as the first were formed – taking into account all causal variables such as the direction of the spin of the Earth, etc. – these first amino acids then had to be favored by natural selection.

There might have been several origins of life, some with different chemistry than others, but only one really took off. We might yet find evidence of the other failed geneses in ancient rocks.

The electrochemical gradient is very “natural” with protons (H+) going out and negatively charged ions going in. On the other hand, the storage of information in sequential packets like RNA and DNA seems like less obvious consequence of matter bouncing around in the primordial soup. So there was probably a step by step evolution by means of natural selection with regard to the formation of RNA and DNA as the hereditary machinery. There must have been a precursor to RNA, but we know that it wasn’t crystals because although these could replicate, they have been shown to not preserve information faithfully from mother to daughters.

People believed that frogs formed from slime, that rats formed from old hay, and that flies spawned from rotting meat. Even Aristotle believed that logs became crocodiles. Pasteur proved all this wrong, and what had been common knowledge was replaced with the idea that life only comes from life – for all living beings, there is an egg. But this created the scientific problem of where the initial life came from. Darwin said it was as unfounded to speculate about this initial origin of life as it was to speculate about the origin of matter. Ironically, the people who believed in abiogenesis were partially correct but for the wrong reasons. At some point, what we call life, must come from basic molecules which we choose to not call life.

Panspermia is the idea that life already existed and that microbes are spreading it through space, maybe even interstellar space. This doesn’t address the problem of abiogenesis but that doesn’t mean panspermia isn’t true. It is possible that life originated in Mars and that a chunk of Mars bearing that life seeded the Earth since early Mars might have been more hospitable to our current postulated conditions for abiogenesis than Hadean Earth.

Craig Venter’s team is reverse engineering life. Starting with a simple cell and subtracting until they can’t anymore. Others are trying to build it from scratch. Venter’s approach has been more successful so far.

Stellar nucleosynthesis created the heavy elements needed for life. As Lawrence Krauss likes to say, “Stars died so you could be born.”