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#26 2008-05-09 08:40:58

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“I rather think Western culture improved Mongolia...”

I’m glad that’s your opinion.  Why not ask the Mongolians what they think?  Ghengis Kahn died in the 13th century, and they’ve pretty much minded their own business for 500 years.  Don’t you think it’s time to let bygones be bygones?

Bob

Mongolians participate in their own democracy, you should ask them whether they prefer to elect their own government or be subjects of an unelected Khan, who has his own idea of what to do with his country. You no doubt realize that many Mongolians died in the Great Khan's quest to conquer the world. Sure the rampaged, raped plundered and pilloried, many foreigners, but at a cost, many mongols died despite their own cruelity towards other people. Perhaps many of them would have lived longer had they stuck to a peaceful existiance of herding cattle and horses. Wars of conquest often benefit the ruler more than his subjects who must do all the fighting for him.

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#27 2008-05-09 08:49:44

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“What is government for?”

I don’t think that has a simple answer.  Plato would hardly have agreed that it was to serve the people—more like to secure justice.  Marx might have held such a view, but his goal was to dissolve all government.  Hobbs felt that the people were best served by giving all their power to a soverign. 

Even the founders of the United States of America were very concerned about the “tyranny of the majority.”  That’s one of the reasons why the US Constitution has so many checks, balances, separation of powers, and hobbles put on government.  Where does minority protection come in with government serving the people?

Bob

Speak for yourself. Do you want to be a slave working in a slave labor camp run by an unaccountable unelected government?

If such a despotic government were to gain control of the whole mass of humanity, what does that mean for us as a species? The majority of us would be serving a master, we would be bred for obedience, our master would choose who we could mate with. Our children would be seperated from us and raised by overseers to be obediant slaves. Basically the vast majority of humans would become someone's property, much like beasts of burden of the past or robots of the future. There would be few free individuals in such a future, most of us would be slaves.

Somehow, I can think of a better future than one where humans are uses as slaves, or tools, or property. I'd rather live in a place where humans have rights and are allowed their maximum individual freedom. If you can't distinguish between a despot, a dictator, or a democracy running the whole Solar System, then how can you tell the difference between someone who is a slave and someone who is free? I can't speak for you, but as for me, I'd rather be free.

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#28 2008-05-09 09:13:37

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“The United States was attacked by Great Britian [sic], the Indians, Japan, Germany, Spain, Afghanistan, Iran, and Mexico.”

There’s at least two sides to all those stories.  I don’t know what this has to do with the virtue of democratic governments, but

Spain attacked the United States?  When was that?  Certainly not the Spanish American War.

Never heard of the sinking of the Main? We were fighting Spanish colonialism then anyway.

Iran?  When was that?  Oh, you mean the embassy business.  That really wasn’t much of an attack.  How many killed?  Zero, I think.

An attack on the US Embassy is an attack on the United States legally, you know that, and that standard is accepted worldwide by most nations.
Besides would you trade places with any of those blindfolded US hostages when the Iranians threated to put them on trial and execute them for spying? The accepted standard is those hostages were supposed to have diplomatic immunity. Even the Soviets when they accused a US diplomat of spying only expelled him, they did not hold him hostage.

The Indians?  Whose land was it anyway?  What kind of nerve did these Europeans have to just come and take over whole continents from millions of people who’d lived there for ten thousand years?

Actually no one owned the land, it was just there. The Indians in North America didn't recognize property rights, they just lived there and roamed the land freely. Besides, why should we distinguish between Indians and Europeans anyway? We're all human beings aren't we? Is there a continent where only white Europeans can roam, one where only Native Americans can live, and one for black people only and one for only Asians? I saw no evidence that the continents were supposed to be racially segregated, certainly no one put up any signs that said, "White Only", "Aboriginals Only" etc.

Britain?  Wasn’t it the Americans who declared war on Britain in June of 1812?  And wasn’t it the smugglers and other ne’er-do-wells who ungratefully attacked the legitimate government after Britiain had saved the colonists from the French and Indians?

Do you think the people of Indiana would object if the Federal government decided to levy a federal tax only on them and without their consent? I think they would. Great Britian levied taxes on its American colonies to pay for the troops of the French and Indian War. The British calculated that it was in their interest to keep the 13 colonies British and not French, and then the British turned around and claimed they did the colonists a favor and demanded that they pay up all without their consent - that is why the Colonists rebelled. The British by the way, sicked the Indians on the American colonists during both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. This didn't help relations between Americans and Indians afterwards.

Mexico?  The Americans colonized a Mexican territory we now call Texas, and declared their independence from Mexico.  When the Mexicans tried to take it back, the US responded by slicing off not only Texas but about half of Mexico.

There was the Almo massacre. The Mexicans initially invited American colonists to settle in the terrotory of Texas, because they didn't have enough of their own people to settle the region. the Texans later wanted independence from the Mexican Emperor. The movement only got more support when the soldiers of General Santa Anna massacred all the defenders of the Almo

I’ve got to give you Japan, Germany and Afghanistan. 

Bob

These points your trying to make say nothing about the wisdom of united the Solar System. The base point being that multiple nations increase the chances of war. If there is no one to conquer, how can you have war. I think this point your trying to make about American history is a diversion, I never claimed we were perfect, but the enounters with the Indians have two sides to them, you painted it as one-sided victimization of Indians by white people. Those settlers also had concerns and those concerns were left out in your one-side presentations. I do think North America is more civilized than it was 600 years ago, especially with the Aztecs' traditional practice of ritual human sacrifice.

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#29 2008-05-09 09:55:24

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

The day after the Maine was sunk in Havana harbor, Assistant Secretary to the Navy Theodore Roosevelt stated that “we shall never find out definitely” the cause of the disaster. Roosevelt's words have proved particularly enduring.

In 1999, to commemorate the centennial of the sinking of the Maine, National Geographic Magazine commissioned an analysis by Advanced Marine Enterprises, which concluded that “it appears more probable than was previously concluded that a mine caused the inward bent bottom structure and the detonation of the magazines.” Some experts, including Admiral Rickover’s team and several analysts at AME, do not agree with the conclusion, and the fury over new findings even spurred a heated 90-minute debate at the 124th annual meeting of the U.S. Naval Institute.

This does not seem to be a very firm case for going to war, but of a democracy behaving hysterically and rather stupidly.

Bob

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#30 2008-05-09 10:01:46

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“The British calculated that it was in their interest to keep the 13 colonies British and not French”

I don’t think the English colonists really wanted the French to take over their colonies and have rule by Louis XV.  Sort of like Indiana being defended from takeover by Iran—and then not wanting to pay a small fraction of the cost of defense.

There’s more than one side to most stories, especially including this one.

Bob

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#31 2008-05-09 13:36:52

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Terraformer wrote:
Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other? I can't.

The USA and CSA, Greece and Turkey, the USA and the UK (The American Revolution)

I don't really consider the Confederate States as Democracies, on account of them keeping slaves. The slaves didn't have the write to choose what happened to them, so therefore it wasn't a democracy. (I don't consider the states we have nowadays, as only those other a certain age are allowed to vote, no matter how thick they are.) Britain was oppressing the US states, so that wasn't a Democracy. If you think that the Empire at the time was a Democracy, then you wouldn't have a problem with 49 states to get together and declare that the 50th shall bear most of the tax.

Mainly what I'm worried about is freedom and oppression by the majority. If a group of people disagree with the views of the Republic, then, provided their views aren't immoral and unethical (the baseline of which should be decided by a diverse commitee and votes from everyone), then they should be allowed to secede. They should be allowed to choose the level of participation they have in the Republic.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#32 2008-05-09 17:24:19

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“If a group of people disagree with the views of the Republic, then, provided their views aren't immoral and unethical (the baseline of which should be decided by a diverse commitee and votes from everyone), then they should be allowed to secede”

Democracies have decided that an awful lot of things are immoral, unethical and just plain illegal; and they done very drastic things to enforce those feelings of the majority:

The Fugitive Slave Act, passed by a majority of the US House, Senate, signed by the President and held valid by the Supreme Court.  It was a crime to aid a slave trying to escape.

In Chicago in the 1930s, an ordnance was passed unanimously by the city council making it a crime for crippled or deformed persons to appear on the public streets since such appearance might distress the public.

Prohibition of Alcohol in the US and Norway (among other democracies).  In the US the Constitutional Amendment was passed by 2/3 of both Houses of Congress and ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures.  Some offenders of Prohibition laws, sentenced in the 1920s, were only released by a pardon from John Kennedy in 1963 (40 years later for those arithmetically challenged).  Kennedy said that it was the only thing to do; it was too late to do the right thing.

Are you sure you can really count on your committee to do the right thing? 

Today many democracies find it immoral, unethical or illegal for people to do many things, and they don’t agree:

Two people of the same sex can’t marry each other, or two people of the same sex are permitted to marry

A man can marry more than one woman, or not.

Divorce isn’t allowed, or is.

Abortion isn’t allowed, or is.

Smoking marijuana isn’t allowed, or is

You can say bad things about a company or person that you know aren’t true, or not.

There are probably a million examples; some of them really important to many people.

As Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government,

Except for all the rest.”

Bob

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#33 2008-05-10 05:49:19

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Which is precisely why one government is a bad idea. People are never going to agree with each other about everything.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#34 2008-05-10 09:02:02

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“Speak for yourself. Do you want to be a slave working in a slave labor camp run by an unaccountable unelected government?”

Well, OK, OK.  But try looking at it this way. Think of a bunch of prisoners chained in a cave so that they can only look forward; fed, watered, isometrically exercised, bathed and otherwise cared for by tubes and machines.  There’s a battery of lights in back of them and a walking path in-between.  The lights cast shadows on the walls of the cave, which the prisoners can see.

These poor people, as the days, weeks and years go by, will talk with each other.  And, since about the only thing remotely interesting will be the shadows on the walls, there’ll devote a great deal of time to those and will come to understand these patterns very well.  They’ll be able to make predictions about the number and shapes the shadows will take at various times, and probably be able to tell lots of other things just by long and intense scrutiny of the shadows.

But then there are a group of people who can look around and see the people and animals forming the shadows--in three dimensions and color.  Maybe they can even walk outside and observe the wider world.  This second group (let’s call them “philosophers”) will have spent virtually no time at all observing the shadows and would be really bad at making predictions based on the shadows, 

But don’t you think the philosophers would know what was real and true far better than the others?  Would they not be better able to distinguish a fan from a club?  An embrace from an assault?  Would they not have a far better understanding, not only of color, but of justice? Don’t you think this group would be best educated and led by the philosophers rather than the chained ones?

To return to the real world; wouldn’t we all be much better off if we were ruled by extremely talented, wise people very intensely and specially educated to be able to see reality in all its colors and three dimensions?  Philosophers who would rule with reason, not passion; isolated from self-interest; seeking only justice?

Far better than some ignoramus scrambling for a position on the school board so he could mis-appropriate funds or put in some absurd ideology about philosopher kings or gender equality.  Far better than democratic rule by people who only see shadows.

We could call this new kind of Republic the Platonic system.

Bob

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#35 2008-05-10 09:17:28

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,062
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Hmmm. Would everyone have the same chance to get to that position?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#36 2008-05-10 09:28:30

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“Would everyone have the same chance to get to that position?”

For answers to this and other questions visit:

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

Bob

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#37 2008-05-11 15:49:43

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: Solar Federal Republic

"Actually no one owned the land, it was just there. The Indians in North America didn't recognize property rights, they just lived there and roamed the land freely."

That is a very ignorant view TK.  A large proportion - probably half (my guess) of the Native Americans in what is now the USA were settled farmers, some with quite sizeable permanent settlements. Remember it was the Native Americans who kept the Pilgrim Fathers alive with their farm produce.

What we think of as the archetypal Red Indian - freely roaming the plains on horseback - was a consequence of European intervention. Prior to the arrival of the horse on the continent - introduced by the Spanish - the Native Americans had little mobility and were much more settled.

Even the Plains Indian recognised communal property rights - "these are our hunting grounds".  When the land was stolen by the USA it was usually simply taken into a different communal ownership i.e. federal state ownership.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#38 2008-05-11 17:39:43

Stormrage
Member
From: United Kingdom, Europe
Registered: 2005-06-25
Posts: 274

Re: Solar Federal Republic

That sounds a whole lot like USA in Space. Why don't you just call it the United States of Planets. The amount of people who would actually want it  would most likely be very low.

I foresee a more European style. A Union where there are common practises and common rules which each member follows but it wouldn't infringe of the sovereignty of individual planets. The Capital would be a useless Planet which isn't powerful economically or militarily.



Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other? I can't.

Continuation war. Finland a democratic nation joined the war against the Soviet Union to get back the last that was taken from it by the Soviet Union in 1939. The Allies pretended to care about Finland when it was the opposite. Once the Soviet Union become an Ally nation there was a state of war between the UK and Finland.


"...all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by."

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#39 2008-05-11 21:07:25

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Solar Federal Republic

I foresee a more European style. A Union where there are common practises and common rules which each member follows but it wouldn't infringe of the sovereignty of individual planets.

I thought you said you were following the European model.  wink


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#40 2008-05-12 01:59:03

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,704

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Stormrage -

Bet you had to use some research to come up with that one! I'll give you that as possibly the only example.

In future I shall amend my statement to "Where a democracy launched an invasion of another democratic country." 

Even if there are one or two, I think one can mulutiply by a 100 the examples of non-democratic nations launching wars on each other or on democracies. Also, non-democratic nations are far more prone to serious internal civil war.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#41 2008-05-12 08:01:38

Gregori
Member
From: Baile Atha Cliath, Eireann
Registered: 2008-01-13
Posts: 297

Re: Solar Federal Republic

'Democratic' nations don't launch wars on each other these days mostly due to the fact that the means of destruction are so great they would cause mutually assured destruction aswell as destroying trade and economy..

'Democratic' nations however have no problem with picking on third world countires who don't really have the means to fight back.

What is really at the heart of these state's actions is money. Buisness interests call the shots in so-called 'democratic' countries. The common thread betwen such states are multi-national corporations, not democracy big_smile

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#42 2008-05-12 21:30:34

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Solar Federal Republic

What is really at the heart of these state's actions is money. Buisness interests call the shots in so-called 'democratic' countries. The common thread betwen such states are multi-national corporations, not democracy big_smile

Free countries mean free markets.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#43 2008-05-13 05:07:25

Gregori
Member
From: Baile Atha Cliath, Eireann
Registered: 2008-01-13
Posts: 297

Re: Solar Federal Republic

What is really at the heart of these state's actions is money. Buisness interests call the shots in so-called 'democratic' countries. The common thread betwen such states are multi-national corporations, not democracy big_smile

Free countries mean free markets.

Not really. By that measure there are no free countries because every single last one enforces a measure of protectionism to protect its buisness interests.
Don't worry, there is plenty of interference in the market in support of big buisness.

My issue is not with any notion of 'free' countries or markets, it's with how democratic these states are.

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#44 2008-05-13 08:37:26

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

What is really at the heart of these state's actions is money. Buisness interests call the shots in so-called 'democratic' countries. The common thread betwen such states are multi-national corporations, not democracy big_smile

Free countries mean free markets.

Not really. By that measure there are no free countries because every single last one enforces a measure of protectionism to protect its buisness interests.
Don't worry, there is plenty of interference in the market in support of big buisness.

My issue is not with any notion of 'free' countries or markets, it's with how democratic these states are.

There are many degrees of freedom, the most important freedom is that of the individual to make economic decisions for himself without an interfering "majority" deciding how he is to spend his wealth. Government should tax as much as necessary to get its job done and no more. Taxation should not be used as a vehicle to spend your neighbor's wealth without limit. I'd basically limit redistribution to no more than 10% of GDP.

I recognize that things like artificially intelligent robots may put human beings out of work, so therefore to keep the free market going, some redistribution is necessary, but I prefer the redistribution to come in the form of direct money transfers to every citizen without the need to satisfy bureucratic requirements, means testing or to jump through hoops of red tape. The decision on how the redistributed income should be spent should lie with the individual, not government decision-makers.

Artificial intelligent robots should be made so they don't have rights, don't have "free will" and do what their designers and owners intend. The problem is that under such a system without modification all the income will go to the owners of capital equipment such as the AI systems, and human beings won't be able to find work from which to derive an income. Instead of make work programs that many liberals support, I'd make the robots and AI systems produce income and redistribute a limited amount so that everybody gets a share to drive the economy. The artificial entities still need to be motivated by profit and loss in order to drive the economy to its maximum efficiency. Having Government run state economies is detrimental to technological progress.

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#45 2008-05-13 08:45:57

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Terraformer wrote:
Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other? I can't.

The USA and CSA, Greece and Turkey, the USA and the UK (The American Revolution)

I don't really consider the Confederate States as Democracies, on account of them keeping slaves. The slaves didn't have the write to choose what happened to them, so therefore it wasn't a democracy. (I don't consider the states we have nowadays, as only those other a certain age are allowed to vote, no matter how thick they are.) Britain was oppressing the US states, so that wasn't a Democracy. If you think that the Empire at the time was a Democracy, then you wouldn't have a problem with 49 states to get together and declare that the 50th shall bear most of the tax.

Mainly what I'm worried about is freedom and oppression by the majority. If a group of people disagree with the views of the Republic, then, provided their views aren't immoral and unethical (the baseline of which should be decided by a diverse commitee and votes from everyone), then they should be allowed to secede. They should be allowed to choose the level of participation they have in the Republic.

I think the main purpose of the Solar Federal Republic would be to keep other governments and other people off of your back, to prevent majorities from making individual decisions for you. The SFR would basically fill the power vacuum at the top to prevent other, more despotic governments from filling it. And a system of consitutional admentments and Federal checks and balances on itself and lower state governments would prevent it and its subordinates from overly intruding upon your life, that is the basic idea of a Federal systemwide government. Taxes should be constitutionally limited to no more than 40% for all levels of government, the remaining 60% of income should remain with the individual. A floor of 10% redistribution would prevent people from falling below the poverty line. So in a nut shell 10% for local government, 10% for state government, 10% for federal government, and 10% for redistribution is my formula.

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#46 2008-05-13 11:07:16

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“I recognize that things like artificially intelligent robots may put human beings out of work”

This has never been the result of technology.  Looking at the very long view, the hours worked per year per person by the Magdalenians 15,000 years ago may have been less than the current hours worked per year per person. 

This is suggested by the enormous amount of art these people produced, the presence of musical instruments, and by the necessity for downtime for nearly all outdoor occupations during the winter (in some areas the temperature would exceed -40 degrees C), and at night, because of the difficulty of providing adequate artificial light for food processing, textile or lithic work.

“Artificial intelligent robots should be made so they don't have rights, don't have ‘free will’ and do what their designers and owners intend.”

You’ve identified whole areas, which, under these restrictions, would be completely reserved to humans; determining intent.  Human beings would still have to decide what is to be done by the robots; usually in very considerable detail and frequently as a group project.

For instance, one of the things that humans would most likely tell the robots is “Educate the children.” But they are unlikely to say, “Teach them whatever you think is best.”  Parents and the wider community will want to largely determine the curriculum, methods of instruction and tools of evaluation. 

Humans will still write music, literature, make movies, sculpture, paint, design, play sports and engage in other artistic and entertainment activities.  They will decide what philosophical, mathematical, scientific and medical areas are worthy of research and development, decide about methods, resource allocation and evaluation.  They will probably come up with most of the new ideas.

Politics and law will probably be handled almost exclusively by humans.  Humans will decide preservation, conservation and environmental issues and conflicts.  After all, it’s what we want that matters.  The location and nature of parks, roads, other transit facilities, buildings (commercial, cultural, government, academic, scientific, religious, entertainment, dwellings) and many other types of land use will be decided by humans at least on a broad scale.

The broad allocation of resources of all types will be decided by humans. 

Humans might even figure out a few other things only they can do, or that they don’t want robots to do.

I don’t think there’ll be any lack of work.  Just as has been the case with all technology since the invention of the club.

Bob

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#47 2008-05-13 19:16:00

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

I don’t expect that AI will be here soon.  I don’t subscribe to Kurzweil’s “Spiritual Machine” idea, which seems mainly based on an indefinite extension of Moore’s Law.  I’ve noticed that trends never continue indefinitely, especially exponential ones.

Also, when you start with zero, doubling doesn’t do much good. 

My first experience with computers was in the early 1960s.  The IBM 705 would be exactly what the code you imputed with punched cards told it to do, no matter how stupid, and only if you put in the right tapes.  In the early 1990s I wrote some code for PCs, which would do exactly what the code commanded, no matter how stupid, and only if it had access to the right files.

The computer I bought last year will do exactly what the code (produced by humans) executed by the command icons I click on tell it to do, no matter how stupid, and only if it has access to the right files.  The new computer does not seem one bit smarter than the 50 year old IBM 705 or the 30 year old 486.

I know, I know (I’ve heard and read Kurzweil), it still doesn’t have anything approaching a faction of 1% of human neural connections, etc., etc. 

Still, going from kilobytes to gigabytes of memory and storage, orders of magnitude increases in processor speeds, 50 years of hardware and software development; you’d expect to notice something.  A little hint of a wink of some kind.  But nothing—complete passive zero IQ.  Not an original thought, no motivation for anything at all—just dumb code execution.  The brain of a screwdriver. 

Bob

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#48 2008-05-14 08:47:01

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

There has been work it Switzerland on a computer network simulating the neural interconnectivity of the brain stem of a rat. In less than 10 years they say they'll be able to simulate the entire rat's brain, and in 10 years after that the brain of a human.

This is what I call going the Frankenstein route in producing the AI, basically what is done is to simulate every type of brain cell type in a human brain, because that's the level of intelligence we eventually want to produce and we have nothing better to go on. Every type of human brain cell and their relationship and interactivity are simulated on a network of computers, that is the physics of how the human brain behaves, and add to this a simulation of the human body and every type of cell, their relationship to each other and how they interact, and you put this all together in a computer simulation and you can simulate a human.

This Sim human will probably need to be raised in the sim space of the computer from infancy. The real human operators will have to interact with this baby by wearing bodysuits and data gloves and goggles and earphones. The real humans will have to interact with this simulation feed the sim baby simulated baby food, educate this simulated baby as he or she grows up.

The simulated human can also interact with the real world, this will require making the computer network that simulates him or her portable, this should be possible with further minaturization, the computer will be contained within the framework of a humanoid robot whose arms and limbs are slaved to the simulated arms and legs of the sim human. The sim human will receive visual inputs from the robots visual sensors, he or she will receive tactile inputs from the robots tactile sensors, air sample analysers will give the sim human a sense of smell, and chemical analysis will give him or her a sense of taste. This sim human will walk around in the sim space contained in the computer of the humanoid robot, and using information gathered from its sensors, the humanoid robot will create the sim objects within its mind for the sim human to interact with, and with every move of the sim human, the humanoid robot will also move and interact with the real environment. As a final touch the humanoid robot will be given artificial skin and be made to look exactly like the simulated human. This is an example of Artificial Intelligence, this example violates the rules of AI which I listed above, because what we would have created here is an actual electronic person with a free will and therefore human rights. Since here we are simulating a human lock stock and barrel, but its a start.

The question is how many electronic persons do we want to create? Since we don't know how the human brain goes from a bunch of cells to intelligent behavior, all we can do right now is simulate accurately human cells in a brain and arrive at an electronic person with sufficient processing power.

An electronic person will not blindly obey, he or she will need to be motivated, educated, he or she will demand something in return for performing a service, but electronic persons have advantages over real people.

1) An electronic person can be copied: You can have two or more identical copies of an electronic person, once those simulations are run for any amount of time, they will differ with different experiences, and you would therefore morally have two or more legal persons in place of one.

2) The ability to copy an electronic person also means he has the ability to travel at the speed of light, just so long as there is a receiver and a computer ready with robot to simulate him or her at the destination.

3) A copied electronic person can do the work of an army or entire work force, just so long as every skill set is represented once, each example can be copied a sufficient number of times to fill all the job slots. If you need one thousand aerospace engineers, all you need is one electronic person with the necessary skills and copy him or her one thousand times!

4) Electronic humans are also capable to travelling to the stars much more easily and cheaply than real humans.
- a) Electronic humans do not have frail human bodies and can withstand extended periods of time at multiple Gs of acceleration.
- b) With minaturization, they can be very small and require little mass, thus easily accelerated to relativistic speeds.
- c) No need for the electronic people to get board on the long journey either, they can simpy turn themselves off for the years long journey and turn on when they get there, it will be for them as if no time has passed
- d) Electronic humans don't need breathable atmospheres on alien planets.
- e) Using tiny robots, they can construct larger humanoid robots for themselves from local materials if they like and can interact on the alien surface of the distant planet.
- f) If  real humans are desired, the genetic material can be brought over of synthesized from genetic information with local materials, and with artificial wombs real humans can be raised from infancy by artificial humans. The AIs can also work on terraforming the alien planet so real humans can breath its atmosphere

I'm sure you can imagine many other uses for these artificial people, and if we build them, we will have to find some way of getting along with them, or otherwise face the eventual possiblity of them replacing us, but I think we should maintian our biological heritage, just in case there is something about the AI technology that fails, we would have something to fall back on instead of being erased from existance like a computer program.

The use of sex pronouns in describing electronic persons is mean to convey that they will think of themselves as human since we are talking about simulating them, and as part of that simulation they will be either male or female as real humans are, at least as far as they are concerned. Their ability to reproduce will have little to do with sex however.

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#49 2008-05-14 09:12:56

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“I recognize that things like artificially intelligent robots may put human beings out of work”

This has never been the result of technology.  Looking at the very long view, the hours worked per year per person by the Magdalenians 15,000 years ago may have been less than the current hours worked per year per person.

 
15,000 years ago was prehistory, actually it was during the last ice age, we can only speculate what their lives were like since they left no written records. I suppose like any primitive society there was a social heiarchy, some people were deemed more important than others. Tasks were specialized to some degree. I would say that since these people had no written records, art became especially important for them. Art and pictures on a cave wall served as the tribe or clans historic documents, it told their story and allowed members to learn from their past experience and pass on their knowledge to the next generation. I suspect it wasn't completely out of whimsy that these cave paintings were drawn. Some people were tasked to provide food, others to make tools and still others served as the official historian and keeper of traditions, and this in itself had survival value of its own, because story tellers eventually died and so the artwork served as neumonic devices to help new story tellers to remember the stories they learned as children from their elders, thats how I picture the importance of cave art from the stone age.

“This is suggested by the enormous amount of art these people produced, the presence of musical instruments, and by the necessity for downtime for nearly all outdoor occupations during the winter (in some areas the temperature would exceed -40 degrees C), and at night, because of the difficulty of providing adequate artificial light for food processing, textile or lithic work.

“Artificial intelligent robots should be made so they don't have rights, don't have ‘free will’ and do what their designers and owners intend.”

You’ve identified whole areas, which, under these restrictions, would be completely reserved to humans; determining intent.  Human beings would still have to decide what is to be done by the robots; usually in very considerable detail and frequently as a group project.

The ones that serve us would be logical machines, and would do what they are designed to to, those machines that are designed to simulate people however are another story. I'm not sure what the legal framework for that would be. Would they be outlawed? Would a limited number of copies be allowed to be made? Electronic people would in some ways compete with us, that is the scary part. I take the middle position, I think they should be allowed, but I also think some room ought to be allowed for the continued existance of biological humans, if the electronic persons out compete us, we would have no economic basis for our continued existance. That's why I think there should be a negative income tax, we'll need something to live off of, and ever job we can do can also be done by an electronic person. To create perfectly loyal electronic servants, we would have to create something that is less than what we are because of the inherent advantages of electronic AIs.

“For instance, one of the things that humans would most likely tell the robots is “Educate the children.” But they are unlikely to say, “Teach them whatever you think is best.”  Parents and the wider community will want to largely determine the curriculum, methods of instruction and tools of evaluation. 

Humans will still write music, literature, make movies, sculpture, paint, design, play sports and engage in other artistic and entertainment activities.  They will decide what philosophical, mathematical, scientific and medical areas are worthy of research and development, decide about methods, resource allocation and evaluation.  They will probably come up with most of the new ideas.

Politics and law will probably be handled almost exclusively by humans.  Humans will decide preservation, conservation and environmental issues and conflicts.  After all, it’s what we want that matters.  The location and nature of parks, roads, other transit facilities, buildings (commercial, cultural, government, academic, scientific, religious, entertainment, dwellings) and many other types of land use will be decided by humans at least on a broad scale.

The broad allocation of resources of all types will be decided by humans. 

Humans might even figure out a few other things only they can do, or that they don’t want robots to do.

I don’t think there’ll be any lack of work.  Just as has been the case with all technology since the invention of the club.

Bob

There is much that is Frankensteinian about creating AI servants and electronic people. Electronic people are allowed to be creative and in every way human except for the physical biology, there are alot of difficult questions to answer here.

Do we want electronic people to be the next stage in our evolution?

Should we transfer our real brains to electronic entities and become electronic persons ourselves, and if we do so, what if there was some freak event like a nearby supernova which erases our software leaving us as inert hardware to lie on the surface of the Earth and to litter the Solar System? I think we need to preserve our biological selves and also allow the possibility to evolve into something electronic as well.

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#50 2008-05-14 11:33:04

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“In less than 10 years they say they'll be able to simulate the entire rat's brain”

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

“Every type of human brain cell and their relationship and interactivity are simulated on a network of computers”

I don't we need to worry about this happening for quite a while.

Bob

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