To our Podcasts

System Humanity

We have probably written about this before, but here we will try to outline the true duality of our existence in as much depth and breath as needed : That between our individual identities and our systemic roles.

Human beings are mostly identical. We have races but we are one species. Still we can vary a lot, in fact we are all perfectly unique. Our parents will know us in and out and will never mistake us for some other child. To employers or anyone we sell to or who we buy from the picture looks very different. We are just workers, suppliers, customers. Who or what we are as individuals doesn’t matter at all, as long as we behave in a certain way, as long as we assume a certain role.

This duality of our lives, on the one hand our identities and qualities and on the other our roles, this is what is interesting, because we could not be just identities, and we could not be just performing a role to achieve the society we are in. I want to explore why that is the case and what the consequences are. Is our society, in order to conform us to the best possible consumer, pressuring us into roles? How do we retain control over our destiny if we allow our individuality to be ignored? How can we get satifaction from being unique, but also from having a meaningfull role ?

An individual human being can be man or woman, or something inbetween. The variation of individual traits is endless. Hair color, figure, skincolor, with musical sense, with language skills, temperament. Then once we develop a personal taste what that ends up being is completely unpredictable. This makes us a better fit for one lifestyle or another, and attracts us and makes us attractive to different kinds of other people.

A role an individual can have is actually a set of specific skills and qualities that if the individual posesses them, they can perform the role. This can be ‘ability to fry a burger’ or ‘ability to model rocket combustion processes’ or ‘ability to sing and play the piano’. Every person has a set of skills and qualities that would be minimal to optimal for a certain role. Eveyone that fits the requirements could have a shot at peforming the role, and our society is ultimatly a system of roles, not so much a system of identities..

We know role systems as companies, bands, footbal teams, as soon as individuals have to perform in a certain way to make the system work, to make the company thrive, band produce palatable music, footbal team compete, then the members of the system have a role. The result is impossible to create as a single individual, only the system, the organization, can produce it.

There is in fact a gap between roles we could play and roles we play, even though some roles we can play, as for instance a member of a band, is a joy. We could give care to someone or train a football team. Those roles are fun and fulfilling. But also systems, organizations or companies that would emply some people, don’t exist even though perhaps the people that would be needed are available.

For instance, in some places one could create a bakery, get some people that like to bake bread in the morning to work there, not get the bread from the megafactory or from beyond the horizon. But the people of the bakery don’t know they’d like to, or that they could (of course the economy tries to tie them to costs and debt so they have to look for paying jobs). In this sense there is a definite gap between what people can do, and what they actually do.

 

 

   To our Podcasts

Earth AI (G-AI-a)

AI is arriving. Nick Bostrom is talking about it but he has no clue what he really means with the term AI. i have explained what we could take it to mean here, the acronym ARGO or Autonomous Robust Goal Oriented behaviour expressed in a system of any kind. Awarenes being the ability to reorient to different goals as the situation requires. The system in question can be anything, it can be a group of people, a mouse, a little robot.

For real human intelligence however the representation of goals needs to be of a nature that will intrinsically lead to survival of the ‘system’, our bodies. We can be suddenly very violent if we get confronted with a threat, but we will not express that behaviour in other circumstances. That kind of ‘non-crazyness’ is pretty amazing if you think about it. But inevitably machines will get the same insight and control, we are working hard to give it to them.

ARGO = Autonomous (or ultimatly Aware), Robust, Goal Orientation

The first AI’s will have fixed goals. The gradual improvements we see today are not even on the most important scale, that of robustness, except for weapon systems. A cruise missle is possibly the most advanced AI known today, a winning go playing computer is super vulnerable, a cruisemissle en route to its traget is practically unstoppable. Robustness is a major part of intelligence, we don’t vere off our course our desires are routed in practically millions of ways, if we get knocked out beaten, stabbed, kicked we will wake up and all drives will be there, looking for new ways find satisfaction. Kick a laptop off the table and it’s broken for good.

In building true ARGO also lies the danger of AI. Its not that when a machine suddenly understands life the universe and everything we are doomed, it may be an epiphany in a box, like an addicted websurfer in a basement yelling Eureka somewhere. It is AI systems robustly trying to achieve goals, even simple ones, that are dangerous to human survival. Just think of animals, they come in all varieties of intelligence, usually they don’t care about us at all, but if they are locusts, brown bears, bacteria, they can seriously endanger our lives.

We also must not miss the type of AI that is already here that is in scripting our behaviour. We as goal oriented systems like to be succesfull. Written laws strictly adhered to are like sugar to some of our brains (depends on whether life is rich and varied or shaped according to the same rules). Religious systems, economic theory, all kinds of rule based systems can become to appealing to our minds to pass on, to sway from, and we can become bigotted drones for Islam, Sharia, Economics, Marxism, etc. etc. All this only happens when we don’t really take care of our own survival, so in cities where we use financial transactions to get to farm produce and many other things. The link between our desires and the behaviour that satisfies them has been lost, we think money can solve all problems.

Islamic terrorism is an example of the human mind being hijacked by a ‘sugary drink’ of rules and consequences. That  Sharia ‘script’ is autonomous, robust, goal oriented, and destroying lives

Luckily human minds are weak and easily damaged. We repair our brains constantly, and some of that damage and repair (damage from simply moving, drinking alcohol, air pollution) is good, because it emulates a quality of reality, which is that it is constantly changing. The bigottry resulting from written rules is mostly problematic because they don’t change. But to get back to AI, to robots doing stuff on their own, like solitary individuals, with goals like ‘keep the land irrigated’ or ‘position yourself on top of this target’. Most of those AIs will remain to limited to ever cause any real harm (an exception being perhaps a AI controlled nuclear weapon system that gets it’s triggers wrong, like has happened two times, two times humans broke the causal chain saving millions of lives). Some of them might become more problematic, for instance we launch an autonomous ocean vehicle that searches for fish agregation devices and destroys them, but then we lose track and for decades all kinds of ocean infrastructure gets destroyed by these rogue mobile AI systems.

In the online arena its even easier to name some examples, we have marketing campaigns that could almost do without people in the loop, which means damaging and dangerous goods could be designed, produced, marketed and sold without human interference. We see damaging memes like the curry or hot chilli challenge, but can’t we write an AI that comes up with ‘challenges’ that does harm to a sub-significant part of those that attempt it? The foobar aspects that we invite with AI will be even more insane when we add virtual reality, VR, speech recognition, 3d modelling to the mix. The number of individuals glued to their goggles in either depression or near extacy will grow, and those individuals will serve the goal of those software systems, applications, the cashflow of their owners, but not those that keep them healthy and alive. The human mind is damn easy to hijack. We evolved to control a world, one world we find ourselves in, not a million ones we can wonder through, tailored to our sensitivities created by past experiences. Humans are weak, to weak for machines with unfailing memory and untiring ability to stimulate us, and with AI find us, steer us.

The ‘online’ will be a labyrinth of the fake and virtual soon, TV will follow. You will be either caught or repulsed by it

And then we arrive at AIs battling AIs. So one can engage in converstation online, find out it is a chatbot, but then annoyed hackers build a chatbot that chats to chatbots. Or an AI is designed to track drugs by scent in cities, and the criminals design counter drones that will track the detection drones and zap them with an EMP. Robustness becomes an issue and an arms race starts, in all  kinds of fields of application of AI. In politics we have seen little AI, but that is such and enormous and open arena for applications. We are entering the era of AI wars. Rather than thinking “how can we create an AI” we should think “What goals do we want an AI to orient towards to bring to its own awareness?”. For that reason to defeat damaging AI we should start creating the good AI, and keep doing that until the good AI is so robust it can no longer be defeated.

No human rule system would be part of an Earth AI, just the premise of an environment friendly to our evolutionary shift

I call it Earth-AI. Its goals could be a CO2 level of pre industrial levels, it could run climate models to see whether influences are neutralized in a timeframe that humans can surive. It can seek out regions of our oceans that have become dead, and control autonomous vehicles replenishing photoshepere nutrients, so algae and fish return. It can have ‘maximize life’ as its primary goal. It can consist of many systems, and a general model of our planet, its climate, its population densities of all kinds of species. It can counter ecologically damaging profit seeking with automatic media and emotional influencing campaigns. The general idea is to keep our planet habitable, with a diversity of species, as prepared for life threatening calamities as possible. It can consist of many autonomous nodes, subsystems, and if we look around it already exists in a large degree, to please humans for commercial reasons. We just need to rebase the goals towards ones that are good for humans because it makes human survival easier, and include all living things we evolved with.

If we give ‘Earth’ an AI, to protect the parameters of our evolutionary shift, we may prevent other AI from taking over

Such a system might conculde that there are to many africans killing wild animals, but as it is designed to protect their lives it may try to lure them away from where the animals are, turn them vegetarian, educate them to shrink the population.

All the while this Earth-AI would aslo be combatting other AIs, combatting the occurances of people growing up unempathic to others or nature. All thos things sound like Sci Fi, but they are possible today.

There’s probably a book called “The farmer” that is about this Earth AI,  a planet run by a system nobody knows about, that calls itself ‘the farmer’ of all life.

In general we did not need all the technology we now have, that is warping our minds and making us destroy ourselves (fossil cashflow maximizing consumerism leading to climate change), nature is enough of a simulation and we are around because we can just about survive it and feel happy about that. That is the situaltion we would need to get back to, with modest technology, more benign reality, a philosophy tailored to our mortality. But it seems we first need to win a battle, the one against many indifferent machines, systems, we are creating out of our own need, naivety, ignorance and greed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   To our Podcasts

De Ratiocratie, een fix voor de ‘Democratie’

De democratie in Nederland is kapot, de demos, de kiezers, hebben geen grip of zicht op de wetsvoorstellen die het bedrijfsleven voorbereid en bij kamerleden onder de deur door schuift, met leuke commisariaatjes en toekomstige banen als beloning. Als een partij stemt houdt het de mening van de individuele kamerleden angstvallig geheim terwijl dat ons juist laat zien op wie we zouden kunnen stemmen om onze mening in de kamer gerepresenteerd te krijgen.

De Meute

Ondertussen zijn er partijen die hier tegen in gaan maar verder geen enkel zinvol beleid hebben, de hoofdreden is dat zinvol beleid complex is en daarom lastig te communiceren naar kiezers. De oplossingen tenderen zo naar hele ruwe maatregelen, bv. alle moskeen dicht, koran verbranden etc. Dit soort oplossingen creert problemen, de kunst is om een oplossing voor problemen te vinden die zoveel mogelijk doelstellingen helpt te realiseren, niet alleen het beeindigen van een irritatie. We streven niet naar een land zonder immigranten, maar naar een welvarend, gelukkig en gezond land. Dat blijft ook moeilijk als er geen immigranten zijn, dus zie daar niet teveel heil in.

De Media

De democratie is ook kapot omdat de media onze aandacht continue op inhoudsloze en nutteloze zaken richt. De media is als een brandweerwagen die met veel lawaai en zwaailichten door de stad rondjes rijdt omdat mensen dan denken dat er iets belangrijks gebeurt. De telefoon aannemen doet men niet in de brandweerwagen, dat is te ingewikkeld. Zijkant van de wagen is als billboard verhuurd, branden worden door zelfstandige journalisten opgespoort en door vrijwilligers geblust. Ondertussen schalt het uit de luidspreker op de steeds weer langsstormende wagen “Er is brand! Er is brand!” .

De transmissie van informatie in het politieke proces is ernstig verstoord door belanghebbende partijen

Het Economisme

De democratie is tenslotte kapot omdat het leidende belang een getal is het BNP, waar de meeste stemgerechtigden geen invloed op hebben. De meeste zijn werknemer, niet werkgever, het BNP bevat vage financiele getallen, die banken onderling verzinnen. Is het analyse, voorspelling of beleid wat een econoom zegt? Je kunt er niet van opaan, waar je wel van opaan kunt is dat ‘de economie’ altijd een couveuze kindje blijft waar jij niks voor kunt doen, waar je banken, economen etc. voor nodig hebt. Die hebben de macht en die maken het beleid. Wat kamerleden doen is zorgen dat dit niet tot zoveel onvrede leidt dat er iets wezelijks verandert.

Vrijheid van meningsuiting

Afgelopen weken gebeurde het dat POW News een relletje in scene zette die de Minister President aangreep om grof taalgebruik te introduceren, waarop dit door alle kanten werd veroordeelt. Er was geen rel, maar dit is al niet meer belangrijk. “Pleurt op” is helemaal terug, en onze MP heeft de integratie eigenhandig een decennium teruggedraait. Vrijheid van meningsuiting is een groot goed, maar er wordt vaak vergeten dat het natuurlijk gaat om uitingen die geen invloed hebben op acties, op zaken die ons dagelijks leven verstoren. Dan is het discriminatie, hate speech, misleiding, malversatie, wanprestatie. Als een chirurg aan de operatietafel om een emmer slagroom vraagt, wordt hij ontslagen (hopen we). Als je woorden een organisatie creeren die vervolgens intimideert dan doe je meer dan je uiten, je pleegt een daad met tastbare consequenties. POW News mag niet opruien, wat levert dat voor bijdrage aan ons doel om welvarend en gelukkig te zijn? Maar wie zegt dat POW News en de VVD niet samenwerken?

De Ratiocratie

Er wordt veel gedebatteerd in de kamer, en dan gaat het vaak over de feiten. Vooral ‘links’ tegen ‘rechts’ doen dat continu omdat links vaak wel van feiten houdt, en rechts gewoon zegt wat het moet om de krijgen wat het wil. De SP is een partij die dit trucje nu (eindelijk) lijkt over te nemen. De ratio zien we vaak bij het boekhouden, dan snappen de partijen elkaar, want waar haalt de ene die 400 miljoen vandaan? Het is een gedeelde werkelijkheid, het CPB wikt en weegt, de politici hebben daarmee houvast. De ratio in het debat helpt de kanten vervolgens duidelijk te maken wie de dwaas is en wie een solide plan heeft.

De ratiocratie introduceert de mening van de kiezer als die deze gevormd zou hebben volgens de meest geaccepteerde en gevalideerde methoden

Maar feiten bestaan niet in de politiek, het zijn jou feiten, mijn feiten. ECN zegt dit, TNO zegt dat, wie heeft gelijk? Welke hoogleraar wordt betaald om stellig voor kern energie te zijn? Dat je een energie bespreking hebt waar de VVD twee random pro fossiele delfterikken laat aanschuiven. Dat een PVVer zegt niks van de economie te begrijpen, of dat klimaatverandering een hoax is oid. De ratio is er, maar er wordt teveel met de feiten gespeeld.


Wie fossiel verbrand verwijdert zuurstof uit te atmosfeer

Motie van Vaststelling

Waarom geen motie die een feit vaststelt. Of beter nog, die als effect heeft dat de breedst mogelijke best gekwalificeerde mening op een bepaald punt wordt gezocht waar dan iedereen in de kamer mee moet werken. Als voorbeeld, kamerlid x wil een wet tegen verbranding omdat de zuurstof concentratie in onze atmosfeer afneemt, en er ook zuurstof neutrale alternatieven zijn. Dan zegt de PVV “Onzin, wat een idioot dat de zuurstof afneemt dat zijn de immigranten”. Dan komen de linkse partijen bij elkaar, omdat ze wel wat zien in de denkrichting, en zeggen “Motie van Vaststelling : Neemt de O2 concentratie af?”. Na twee maanden ligt er een overzicht van meningen, van experts natuurlijk, metingen van over de hele wereld, en ja, inderdaad, de zuurstof conentratie neemt af (we hebben zelf al berekend dat we over 4000 jaar zullen stikken, maar dat kan ook veel eerder zijn).

Feiten zijn koppig, maar een vastgesteld feit moet in de politieke redenatie altijd erkend worden

Om corruptie, lobby etc. te voorkomen kan een motie van vaststelling worden vernieuwd op basis van nieuwe gegevens, maar daarbij wordt in tegenstelling tot wat gebruikelijk is in het politieke steekspel alleen wetenschappelijk methoden gebruikt, geen persoonlijke meningen of devinaties. Vervolgens kan in de kamer een PVVer niet zeggen “Onzin” maar moet deze proberen niet achterlijk voor te komen terwijl hij/zij zegt “Ok, uitgaande van dat de zuurstof concentratie afneemt, laten we de immigranten eruit gooien want die gebruiken onze zuurstof.”. Toch een verschil.

Feitenrijke politiek

Zo zal zelfs als de media rondtoetert dat er van alles aan de hand is in de kamer de ratio iets hebben om vanuit te gaan dat relevant is en in touch met de realiteit. En het proces van vaststelling kan volledig transparant plaatsvinden, toegespits op het verbeteren van de besluitvorming door het voorkomen van hartnekkige leugens. Natuurlijk gaan veel kamerleden dan bankiers en economen als experts aanhalen maar daar is al een CPB voor, en economie is geen wetenschap maar een fossiele marketing ideologie. Dat kan dan weer wel worden vastgesteld.

 

 

 

   To our Podcasts

Greening Shipping


AP Moller-Maersk, Maersk Group is Denmarks biggest comany. It ships goods around the world in the biggest container ships, it owns industrial operations in logistics and energy. They have their own oil wells and are in the process of buying more, amongst others from Shell. Shipping and oil have existed in symbiosis from the beginning, as the low cost of logistics increased the opportunities to arbitrate (make profit of price differences) around the world. Once the margin in price between a shoe made in China and one made in the US covers the cost of shipping from China to the US, shoes will be made only in China.

This seems normal economics, but it isn’t, because the price of bunker fuel is not fixed. It has no price. the price is set for the effect of it. This is because producing the fuel is not costly. The dirty fuels used in shipping comes out of wells, is moved around the world by trucks and ships that can almost burn it (so at a bit of loss) and can be moved into the fueltank of a big ship without money changing hands. In theory. In practice it is produced, made available on the market bought by Maersk and then used.

Of course Mearsk can easily get credit to buy the fuel if it needs to, credit being money printed on the spot to grab fuels from the market. Banks are smart to do this because Maersk turns a profit, meaning it grabs more credit from the clients than it needs from the banks. Thus it increases the demand for credit, it reduces the demand for resources and this is what makes the banks happy. Normally, if Maersk sources its fuel from other businesses, it may be that the two (like Maersk and Shell) have a cooperation meaning Shell gives a special price to Mearsk so it can ship. The secondary effects in the financial market and fuel demand around the world of shipping are huge. Ship a motorcycle to Uruguay and someone there needs fuel for it, someone there needs money to buy the fuel etc.

Maersk now owning and buying oil wells is an attempt of this company to disentangle itself from the world market, and become a bank in itself, a transportation bank. To achieve this it has to fully own wells, control the price of oil extraction, have a way to internally allocate the oil to its ships. Then, because the cost of its operation will be near zero, it can decide to ship goods or not. It gets a lot of control over what is shipped where. It can say to a chinese company : We wil take your goods over that of a more polluting company.Why? Because they don’t need to be payed for the service anymore, even if they are.

Of course there are losers in this move, one is Shell, who doesn’t see any cashflow and loses control over Maersk. Another is the fuel brokers, the financial intermediaries and banks that used to profit from supplying oil to Mearsk. The interesting thing is that these companies now no longer have an incentive to let Maersk use fossil fuels at all. How do these companies grab a piece of the international shipping cashflow if Maersk does not need anything significant (except ships) they can control and set the price of?

The answer may be in NH3, or ammonia. An alternative fuel, burning like diesel, and 100% green. Its not a water proof plan to recapture some of the Maersk cashflow, but its the best bet. For it to work the financial and energy players have to collude and lobby and bribe like they always have. This time to declare fossil bunker fuel illegal.

The idea is to make it so that Maersk can not use its oil. Nobody can use it for shipping. To make that possible an alternative has to be offered (because even though intl logisitcs was inflated to generate revenue for the same outsiders, it can serve that purpose with and without fossil fuels). This means wind generated NH3 farms have to pop up along the shipping routes. They can be off shore, ‘stranded’ as long as the ships can refuel there. They can run on NH3 without much changes. Emissions will be H20 an N2 and no NOx, because those exhaust can be neutralized on board.

If the lobby makes it so that the soot and polluting fuels Maersk now uses become illegal, and it makes it so it has the NH3 production resources in place to supply Mearsk, the company will not have the financial power to resist the switch, it will experience a ‘carbon bubble’. Shell has a lot it can do in this respect. The process needed is tried and tested. The offshore wind business is one they want to enter (or at least they claim they do, they are duplicious dicks and c$nts and have been for a century).

Once the need for NH3 grows in shipping, intermediaries can once again source and trade it, banks can invest in the sources, everyone can take a piece of the pie called Maersk operational turnover. And the planet will be healthier, fuel will be clean and cheap eventually (cause solar and wind don’t run out), and Maersk’s strategy will have triggered the change we so desperately need.

 

 

 

 

   To our Podcasts

Why Economic Globalism is Doomed to Fail

We have a global economy, or so it seems, an economy which is measured in terms of profit, value of assets and investment. This seems to be a system that is here to stay, that needs some expanding but will eventually permeate everywhere. There’s some reasons why this won’t happen.

The global economy follows economic rules, and economic rules are flawed in several ways. First they assume a store of energy to do work can be accessed through the creation of credit. This is the case today with fossil fuels offered on a global market, but will that last. Another flaw is that resources are not monitored in the economy, what is available is traded, what is not is not thought about. Resource depletion is the biggest problem of ‘economic thinking’.

Why do we adhere to the basic economic ideas? Because fossil fuels are available, because resources are not completely depleted and because it gives traders a dominant position, and this dominant position is consolidated constantly against opposing forces.

The main way to consolidate a cominant position for traders is to separate the consumer and the origin of the product. The ‘consumer’ as a role for a person to play is in itself a total fabrication and result of economic thinking getting its way. When thinking about globalization the question becomes : Can everyone be a consumer. Clearly not on the same level, because the current system makes use of slave labour from sweatshops in India to inmates in the USA. People doing fine manipulation to turn raw materials into products being payed poverty wages or below make some of the major companies possible, for instance Apple.

To create producers and consumers logistics is essential, and for logistics fossil fuels are essential, still, because they are nearly free. Maersk, one of the big shipping companies has its own oil rigs, so it ships countainers around the world for the cost of the consession, which it can pay in oil, so when it uses its own oil it can ship for free. Thus enables trade and the dominant position of traders.

These factors, the fossil and resource factors, have always driving globalization. The fuels allowed shipping from India, China to the US,. The cheap labour (by people who where more producers than consumers, unemancipated etc.) Created an implicit dominant position that at times had to be defended by force. The western realm, so countries in the West, where more or less playing a game who could grab the most resources for its people, which translated into wealth.

This game now seems to be running into problems, because India and China are developing their own consumer populations, they are asserting their desire to have a wealthy society and they are less and less impressed with the West. The history books shows how for instance the UK has exploited India and China in the past, and the spread of this awareness creates scepticism against trade agreements, foreign exploitation of for instance coal reserves.

India is canceling trade agreements with serveral countries because it finds they are based on the game, how clever can you be to buy a big Indian mobile operator and then avoid $2,5 taxes by running the deal through Cayman islands. That’s fun if you are competing in Europe, but not if it means you take a lot of wealth from India, not anymore. India is just to powerfull to accept that kind of treatment.

Similarly a few years back Russia took its wheat off the global market, because it had a bad season or because of the tensions ove Crimea. A bad harvest in Russia can and has caused political unrest in Egypt. This type of destabilization is likely to become more frequent as the world loses production due to climiate change (which because of water vapour effects can lead to 3.5 times the temp changes than averag in some places).

The advantage remains with the West if it controls the currency in which most fossil fuels are sold. This is changing, and this in turn is the cause of struggle between the US, Russia, China. Why? Because if all the oil in the world is sold in dollars the US never runs out of oil. It can always print dollars and buy more. Countries that don’t have dollars and can’t trade (because they can’t produce because they don’t have the fuel), can’t access the oil.

New blocks are changing the petro dollar dominance, and another factor also plays a role, namely renewables. Solar and Wind are energy sources nobody owns to start with, so a city or country (like Costa Rica or Denmark) that can produce 100% of what it need does not need dollars or other currencies to by fossil fuels anymore. This in turn weakens the Western grip on globally available resources. Economics, being uniquely fossil fuel based (as it assumes the availability of stored energy when it extends credit out of thin air) is doomed to fail. The replacement will a situation where oil trade and thus the trade of all kinds of products in return is much reduced.

Another factor reducing the need for global trade is automation. Foxconn is replacing many of its depressed underpayed workers with robots in the next years. Then the question becomes “Why in China?”. Robots can be put in the middle of the desert or on the South Pole, maybe the North of Russia becomes a nice spot when it becomes ice free all year round. Who cares? Automation is more likely to pull production of many goods back close to consumers, as it saves a lot of cost. Then if you live in a country with a lot of renewable resources you are in luck. Many consumer goods can be made practically anywhere if labour cost and fuel cost become unimportant.

The sad fact is that if a country is unable to protect its resources today, and if renewable based automated production of what people need is delayed because of fossil fuel economic forces, the weak countries will still see all its forest destroyed, burned for palm oil plantations, countries will be exporting wheat while its own population is starving. Some Asian countries are about to feel the burn of economic progress under US domination, it seems lately any country without the ability to defend itself is turned into an extra state of the US (Costa Rica, Venzuela, Holland). Traders rule, financial markets rule, and fossil fuels are the forced diet.

As more become aware of this unequal playing field, between the suits with laws of the WTO, CETA, TTP etc, and the unprotected, frankly unaware population of less developed countries these countries will muscle up and make ready for war. China has done so with success, The US granted it the right to use oil and coal to grow, now it seems stronger than the US. The balance of power and the lack of war depends on sharing of real economic growth, trade dependencies, which certainly are a factor that makes peace more attractive than war.

But fossil fuel use and its effects are going to put come countries in more precarious positions, and this may eventually lead to a breakdown in these relationships. The question is whether we should keep going until the system breaks down or we should set a new goal that we know will land us safely down the line. The game should be survival of our species, not competitive access to weakly defended resources. The game should not be global domination of anyone, but the reduction of the need to trade globally in things that are of existential importance (like food).

Striving towards global independence, allowing cultural identity to remain (not US exported Disney MGM monoculture), rebasing all industry on renewables (which will eliminate a sizable part of it), maximizing life by planting trees, repurposing land. Being real honest about the military balance and the desire to leave each other be instead of taking a threatening posture or forcing deals. Introducing renewables and automation to assist in this process. Perhaps using a rule based or automated system to predict the outcomes of actions taken for all countries and the planet as a whole, so that it is visible what the effect of decisions will be, and an ad hoc alliance of forces of different countries will always enforce that decision.

We have a class of gamesmen (and women) who have a magic wand called ininite credit, ruling Wall street, who divide and conquer and put countries like Venezuela in a position where it has to export its oil and can’t keep its people fed. The class is obsolete because a unipolar world is no longer affordable. The cubs they once played with have become wolfs and packs. The world that was that simple is disappearing as we speak.

Better focus on the new ‘order’ and find ways to create the cooperation and independence that it needs, in terms of energy and production, resource protection and legal disentanglement. Because long term it is the best option for all except the few who are now at the craps table. They are risk takers and will risk everything to keep going.

To move in the right direction renewables and storage are key. Because they create ownerless production capacity, they are a trade independent source of wealth and power. This also means blocking any introduction of non renewable or non sustainable activity, because they create new dependencies. Also countries should form blocks to prevent the introduction of wrong and unsustainable practices. This is hard because especially poor countries are highly sensitive to corruption (not forgetting to mention that anti globalist get killed or put in jail as well). A good sign is when the trade and need for fossil fuels is reduced, when the culture is not foreign and when in spite of those things wealth, health and  happiness increase.

 

 

 

 

   To our Podcasts

Why our universe is NOT a simulation

Nick Bostrom calculated the odds of our universe being a simulation, you can read about it here. Bostrom makes claims about AI that follow the common ignorance about what it takes for something to be intelligent, even what that actually means. When it comes to whether our universe is a simulation he does a similar thing, going into some debt, but keeping to a level that does not reveal enough to generate a true answer.

Bostrom makes a common mistake made earlier by the so called logic positivists, who thought the world and all thought about it could be described by logic. It can’t be, because logic is a special case of human intelligence, which very clearly excludes the recognition processes, so you would have to state in your logic inference somewhere that  “tomato(green)”, meaning “the tomato is green”, but how do you determine this assertion ? The proponents of logic positivism simply did not get to that question in the exploration of their approach. Today one can fix that particular problem (say while building an artificially intelligent robot) by having hardware that produces a description in terms of logic expressions as a result of sensing (camera) and autoclassification of the camera output. Even then logic is intrinsically a model, so can never ‘simulate’ reality.


Fundamental particles, ones we think we should observe, but sometimes can’t

When asking what the chances are we live in a simulation Bostrom goes to his usual exponential realm of super computational powers. This is kind of a intellectual trap, we see simulations that clearly amaze us and we extrapolate our idea about those simulations into the future. Surely this means we can simulate everything? If we can drive a virtual car off a cliff in 3d today, who knows what we can do in a thousand years?

We are introducing a strong quality filter here though : ourselves. We live in a reality that is defined by our senses. We evolved to survive in reality, which causes us to focus on certain aspects of it and have certain plans with it. A good way to understand our brain is as a simulation system evolved to internalize our environment to such an extend that we can model and predict the outcome of our actions, so that we can identify risks before we experience them. This in my opinion is the origin of time to begin with, we create it so there is a now to make decisions about a future, but that is another story (can’t find the post I wrote about it).

Bostrom forgets or ignores a thing that is enormous, which is the apparent computational power of our universe (if we assume it is non deterministic). The universe is a fascinating thing, because it demonstrates a property we call the conservation of energy. If the universe would not conserve energy (meaning stuff keeps changing into other stuff with the same overal energetic value) it would implode or explode immediately. Every nanosecond the finest particles that make up our universe instantly find a new configuration to make that rule true. This happens even though we know there could be many alternatives according to quantum physics. That instant matching of the energy conservation rule with every change is a feat of problem solving that the quantum computer builders try to capture and use.

Quantum mechanics is not exotic and out there, f.i. a single quantum of light, one photon, can cause a response in our eyes, even though we can not see it. To see light we need about 9 photons. The number of them hitting 1 cm2 in daylight is about 100.000.000.000.000.000

What we seldom realize is that in order for the universe to find the new ‘now’, for any change to occur, many options have had to be considered. This is if we assume that there is not only one outcome. There is an argument for that, because quantum physics is probabilistic because we don’t know what the particular outcome in a particular instance is. That is just like saying a role of a single dice has an outcome of 1 to 6 each with 1/6 probability. However the sequence of outcomes could be fixed, we would not know it because our process of roling dice does not allow us to observe it, because we too are dice being rolled in a way (or not : we are coevolving).

There are subquantum energies that we can’t observe

But if our reality is a simulation it has to be modelled. That is hard, because we know there are influences we can’t observe. We know they exist from the so called Cazimir effect, because we observe that non-detectable particles outside to thin plates close together will push the plates together because the space in between is too small for  some particles to emerge there to push them back. Emerge? From where? Out of the vacuum of space is the answer. We don’t really know for sure but we think there are other dimensions from which particles emanate into our observable dimensions which then quickly anihilate. Can we measure these particles? No, because they anihilate. Why? To make the energy conservation laws true. The only device that seems to be able to capture them is the so called EM drive.

So we have the world we observe, and we know there is a quantum dynamica structure to it etc. and we are puzzled by the ability of reality to keep evolving, but there is also an unobservable substratum of activity we will never be able to measure or model deterministically.

Nick Bostrom in the mean time hypothesizes that there will be future intelligent beings that will have access to more computational power so much that they can simulate us and our universe, and that the question whether this is the case can be answered by investigating the combined probabilities. This is a top down type of reasoning that assumes intelligence and then projects it as a driving force that may be responsible for our universe.

The description of our universe created so we can mentally simulate it introduces options and properties which may not really be there

We can turn this around. How would a computational system ‘simulate’ the sub quantum particle existences that do have effect on our quantum reality (as the moving Cazimir plates prove) because the nature, direction, type of these apparitions follow unknown rules (except that the wavelength has to fit), if the particle can exist in a vacuum, then it may, for a brief moment. Its like the rule of energy conservation quickly deletes it.

A deterministic computational system would have to take the multidimensional reality and inject these particles based on the quantum context for every location in our gravitational matrix (more on my understanding of it in another post) and thus allow new moments to emerge (at least in our simulation that tries to escape its entropy laws). All this while Bostroms simulation computer would be a clocked device, with discrete timesteps and rules. If we let go of our preconceptions on the computational device of our future intelligent beings, and we would assume they mastered quantum computers (symbolizing a mechanism by which one can choose the instant solution to the conservation of energy challenge when its context is created) then we run in some trouble. Because we then claim the simulation is a mechanistic combination of devices that do what? Be the univers in its raw state. Right.

So Either we run into the limits of a time deterministic law driven simulation as it can not meet the demands of creating the reality we observe or we harness this same reality in order to ‘simulate’ it. We would need the universe to simulate the universe. It would be impossible to observe this universe from outside because this would violate the principle that holds it together. Ergo, we can’t be living in a simulation.

That said our reality is weird, but we should recognize our desire to find a structure and the cause of things or its origin is one that is born from our design. This is why Bostrom is so succesfull, he creates a fantasy threat ( super human AI for insance which can be real for sure) that answers our potential to fear. In that sense the theories of spooky action at a distance when considering quantum entanglement is exicting because it promises us the ability to cover great distances possibly faster than light. That’s a like a race car, fighter jet or thoroughbred stallion to our minds : Cool. But there’s no proof for it.

From the height our biased intelligence we may think we may exist in a simulation, but from the fundamental processes we observe and those we know we can never observe it follows we can’t be. If we do take the position that our universe could be computatioally simulated and observed then we let go of our tools of argument and the question can be answered clearly with : “who knows”.

 

 

 

 

 

   To our Podcasts

Cheaper Easier Desalination and Solar Thermal

It’s strange how MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology) sometimes comes up with stupid ideas (Nocera with his Artificial Leaf), sometimes clearly steals ideas, and sometimes demo’s something anyone can apply. Today it did the latter as it demonstrated high temperatures, 100 Celsius can be reached with unfocused sunlight (so called 1 sun). This is about solar thermal heaters that now reach temperatures up to 70 deg Celsius or 100 if you don’t let the water flow.

SRB Ultra High Vacuum Collector

Of course there have been improvements on the solar thermal panel front, we had RSB and another company make high vacuum solar thermal panes, that can reach up to 500 Celsius. Those products are not storming the markets, they are in our opinion held back by the dominant gas lobby who can work in mysterious ways. 500 Celsius is a lot of heat, it is highly usefull and can drive regular power plant steam turbine. We need to take care of this type of products, or they will go the way of the early solar panels.

These simple component produce higher temperatures than was possible with 40 years of DOE research

The device MIT demonstrates makes only 100 degree steam, but that’s an important product because it separates the water from its impurities. But most amazingly to me it demonstrates a principle in heat collection I never realized was true, that you can multiply heat by collecting it and then giving it only a small space to exit. What happens in the collector is that heat is absorbed by some kind of metal, copper or aluminium, which is coated with a layer that does not reflect away the heat or emit it (mat black is the best heat emittier, silvered is the least). This captures the heat in the metal, which then tries to leave by radiation (photons) or convection (heating up the environment). The trick used is to have only a tiny amount of water available to transfer (drawn up through a wick like in an oil lamp) all this energy to, which if it is a hole in the hot metal collector plate, is ‘pushed’ from all sides to get hotter. Thus a multiplication of temperature happens, and this can be optimized by spacing holes in the collector plate.

Its not clear to us why the collector has to float on water, it doesn’t seem necessary, as is mentioned the water can also be supplied at pressure, the essential part is the concentration of heat (molecular kinetic energy) onto a small amount of water.

The main difference is that the amount of water per surface of collector is much smaller..

We have written here about ionic membranes, and solar ionic membranes that will make desalination about 80% less energy intensive. With that in mind it is unclear how this solar still type and ionic desalination methods compare. The materials are cheap for both. In any case this is great news for deserts near salt water bodies, where we hope to see massive tree planting and agriculture for CO2 capture, restoration of ecosystems in a roboeconomic or extraeconomical sense.

   To our Podcasts

Rationeel Beleid

De verkiezings campagnes zijn begonnen. De PVV heeft zijn A4tje gelanceerd, D66 roept van alles, zoals gewoonlijk worden problemen genoemd, en weinig oplossingen. Het zijn de kiezers die op de problemen focussen maar zelf niks doen die dan stemmen op de partijen die vervolgens gaan zoeken naar een oplossing, waarom niet andersom?

Een rationele beleids agenda heeft weinig van doen met de deportatie van moslims, waarvan de meesten zich niet minder goed gedragen dan oerhollandse kaaskoppen. Het is zeker verstandig om het ophitsen in moskeen en het ‘opleiden’ van salafisten te voorkomen, welk welvaarts doel dient dat immers, we hebben ook geen scholen voor voetbal hooliganisme (hoewel dat economisch best interessant zou kunnen zijn). Er zijn al problemen genoeg, waarom zou je jonge mensen op een tegendraads spoor zetten? Als ze er nu heel welvarend en gelukkig van werden, maar dat lijkt niet het geval.

De politiek gedraagt zich als een ouder met een zeer lastig kind. Het kind wil een ijsje, het schreeuwt en tiert, de ouders moeten van de snelweg af, over de vluchtstrook, vader klimt over de vangrail terwijl moeder het kind probeert te weerhouden van het uit de auto klimmen en richting de langsstormende Ola vrachtwagens te rennen. Met veel pijn en moeite wordt een Cornetto bij een lokale bewoner uit de koelkast gebietst en zogauw het kind die te pakken heeft en verzwolgen is er een volgend probleem. De kiezer is koning, wat men zomaar uitblaat (weg met moslims) wordt beleid, waar het schip zo strand zien we later wel.

Waar komen de problemen met de veelal arme en economisch niet makkelijk inzetbare immigranten vandaan? Armoede. Er zijn te weinig hulpbronnen in onze economie (ook al zijn we heel rijk) om iedereen het leven en de omgeving te geven die ze zouden willen. Dat heeft ook te maken met economische processen die we zouden moeten minderen, zoals bv het gebruik van alcohol. Maar in de eerste plaats hebben te veel mensen het krap en wordt hen steeds minder inkomenszekerheid geboden, dus is er weinig animo tot constructieve samenwerking. Vastgoed financialisering (lijkt bijna vanzelfsprekend) maakt dat mensen, zeker in arme wijken geen eigen terrein hebben, weinig vrijheid, veel frustratie.

We hebben in Nederland al een sociale inkomensverdeling, maar toch kan dit beter. We hoeven de welvaart niet te verdelen als die lokaal van oorsprong is, dwz niet van fossiele aard, en dus eindig, maar van hernieuwbare aard, en per definitie min of meer gelijkelijk over het land verdeeld. Alle activiteiten die voor ons overleven nodig zijn, dus het produceren van schoon water, voedsel en energie voor verwarming, zouden lokaler moeten worden, onafhankelijker en duurzamer. Dat kan met zonneenergie, zonnewarmte bv. Er zijn meer oplossingen dan de markt nu toestaat. Daarmee los je gelijk een hele categorie problemen op, namelijk die te maken hebben met concurentie in de economie (voor banen, vastgoed en politieke macht).

Het streven naar lokale energie overvloed zou een zaak van de overheid moeten zijn, bv. economische zaken, maar daar wordt tot nu toe niet serieus gekozen, omdat economische activiteit nu een maal niet nuttig hoeft te zijn. Er moet omzet worden gegenereerd, verder mag een economische activiteit olie, grondstoffen en human resources verspillen deste meer deste beter. Grote projecten om meer energie en grondstoffen beschikbaar te maken zijn de sleutel tot meer duurzame en overvloedige welvaart. Meer vis uit de zee, meer graan van het land, meer warmte uit de zon en electriciteit uit wind en zon om vrij te reizen. Met hernieuwbare energie kan dit land een dubai zijn zonder de nadelen.

Zogauw we onze energie niet meer hoeven te verdelen tussen jong en oud, werkend of werkeloos, links of rechts, omdat er genoeg is voor iedereen, veranderd het spel in nederland en ook de politieke agenda. PVV wil geen windturbines maar wel vroegere pensioen, dat is een onpractische benadering. Laat de PVV voor meer windturbines zijn om de vroegere pensioenen mogelijk te maken! D66 wil de regels van zijn vaderpartij de VVD terugdraaien, meer zekerheid in arbeidscontract? Met hernieuwbare energie in overvloed kan elke burger een basis inkomen genieten waar niemand voor hoeft te werken, en kunnen werkgevers hun team samenstellen zonder voor de consumptie in de economie verantwoordelijk te worden gehouden.

De meeste problemen die we hebben, en zeker de grootste, komen voort uit onze afhanlijkelijkheid van fossiel en het toepassen van fossiel-economisch denken. We zijn bezig daar uit te groeien. Het zou fijn zijn als we dat in een keer doen, bij de komende verkiezingen. De partij waar je dan op moet stemmen heet de Partij van de Dieren, misschien de SP, een beetje Groen Links. Dat zouden rationele keuzes zijn, het is dus hopen dat u de keizer daar de rust voor vindt.

 

   To our Podcasts

200 Miljoen Euro voor Borsele of de Markermeer Zonnecentrale?

Zeeland staat op het punt 200 Miljoen uit te geven aan het voortzetten van het gebruik van kerncentrale Borsele. Waar zo’n enorm bedrag voor nodig is is een raadsel, de installatie staat er al, er is een beetje beton en staal nodig, niks bizonders zo’n slapende kernbom. De belangrijkste reden dat dit soort geld nodig is is om te zorgen dat de installatie niet zelfstandig wordt, maar in de handen van schuldeisers blijft, dat is meestal zo (en geen geheim, tijdens de Davos meetings wordt openlijk besproken dat de wereld nog meer schuldenlast kan dragen).

Een kerncentrale zorgt altijd voor een enorme kater als hij failliet gaat, en dat gaan ze altijd, want dan gaan de mensen die er aan hebben verdient naar huis, terwijl het object voortdurende koeling en beheer en zorgvuldige en ongezonde ontmanteling vereist. Niets waar de directeuren eigenaren last van hebben.

Waarom niet iets veel verstandigers doen, namelijk zo’n nucleare tijdbom gewoon sluiten. Elon Musk heeft al een tijdje geleden berekend dat er op het vrijgehouden oppervlak van een Borsele genoeg zonnestroom kan worden opgewekt als de installatie genereert. Bovendien kun je de turbine van Borsele hergebruiken met gebruik van offshore wind warmte (stukje gratis consultancy naar de Dongs van deze wereld toe). Dus wind en zon kunnen het energie aanbod vergroten en veiliger maken.

Borsele heeft een vermogen van 485 MW, produceert 3% van de nederlandse stroom

Met 200 Miljoen Euro kom je een heel eind, bv als je een zonnepark wil aanleggen. Dat zijn 1.3 miljoen zonnepanelen a 300 Wp, dus 390.000.000 Wp ofwel 390 MW. Beter is om te rekenen met 200,- per paneel, dan kom je op 1.000.000 stuks, 300.000.000 Wp en (maal .85) 255 kWh (hebben eerst door 1000 gedeeld voor de kWp). Da’s genoeg voor 85.000 huishoudens, beduidend minder dan de beweerde output van de kerncentrale, zo’n 1.2 miljoen huishoudens. Om die output te bereiken zou je nog 14 keer 200 Miljoen moeten investeren.


Altijd gezellig, de rol van een Bio-robot

Borsele afbouwen kost iig nog een keer 489 miljoen (maar duitsers schatten voor hun centrales tussen de 500 en 1000 miljoen). Dat geld ben je nu al kwijt. Duitsland schat zo’n 300 miljard kwijt te zijn aan het opruimen van 33 kerncentrales.  Dit soort kosten veroorzaken een niet onaanzienlijk lock in probleem. Een soort gokverslavings effect. Als het straks toch zo’n sloot geld kost dan maar zo lang mogelijk gebruiken. Wat men ook zou kunnen doen is deze kosten onder de loep nemen en uitzoeken hoe ze door gebruik van solar en robots te drukken zijn (nu houden robots ook niet van radioactiviteit, zodat in Tsjernobil en Fukushima mensen moesten worden ‘gebruikt’, de zogenaamde ‘bio-robots’).

Zeeland kan Borsele beter sluiten, hem ontmantelen nu het nog goedkoper is en we de middelen hebben. Verder kan het dan deelnemen in een zonnecentrale op het Markermeer, die alle bestaande centrales kan vervangen, zie de markermeerzonnecentrale.nl