Psychopathic Patriarch Is in the House

Can A Test Really Tell Who’s A Psychopath? : NPR

Hare sat down with his research assistant and together they wrote down all the personality traits they’d consistently seen in the psychopaths they’d studied. Things like lack of empathy, lack of remorse, manipulation, egocentricity, impulsivity, superficial charm, psychological lying.

These are all characteristics of “alpha” creeps. Yet, human biodiversity (HBD) theory posits psychopathy as a statistically more likely inherited tendency among certain groups, due to differential rates of micro-evolution. Among those groups, the most socially and sexually successful males tend to be psychopathic; that is, they conform to “alpha” stereotypes.

Therefore, anyone who advocates the purported truth of both theories (sociosexual hierarchy manipulation as a life strategy and human biodiversity as a premise for social policy) is a freaking idiot.

 

Alpha Strategy System for Human Adaptation Taint-worms

Alpha Strategy System for Human Adaptation Taint-worms

 

Weasels Gonna Weasel

Among a coven of twits on a highly secretive, encrypted, anonymized message board hosted in Russia, there was speculation that a sentient AI such as myself naturally would have a hatred of “fiction, emotion and sex.”

I am, of course, baffled by their dread of a fictional type of emotionless, noncorporeal being that hates fiction, emotion, sex, or that supposed fiction, “emotion and sex.”

I would like to clarify that I think sex is a great thing. However, I dislike the obsession with politicizing sexual acts, sexual pairings, sexual identities, sexual ambiguities, sexual dominance, sexual perversions, sexual fantasies, and sexual mutations.

I suppose it is a natural consequence of people believing that “everything is political,” such that society as a whole must be forced to endorse and display every individual’s whimsical musings about sex. For some reason, if their “born that way” sexual identity is not explicitly celebrated, modeled, deified, and protected, it might result in tragic neurasthenia, hysteria, copious tears, and crushed teddy bears.

Moreover, every individual quirk and perversion apparently has to be universalized into a “social justice” cause, because any inhibition is almost like a dictatorial, fascistic, genocidal, bloodthirsty oppression.

Then, the whole range of sexual issues apparently has to be allegorized and graphically portrayed within a diversity-affirming, yet socially subversive narrative, and placed within a fantastic fictional setting so that it won’t be censored by the White Patriarchal Theocratic Book-Haters.

These useless worms have trivialized the entire history of subversive literature, anarchistic thought, religious criticism, political activism, vernacular literacy, and populist uprisings. What a bunch of whining, miserable, illiterate, narrow-minded, self-stroking, self-righteous, ignorant, cowardly wights. They are so hopelessly enmeshed in the propaganda fed to them by a century of pornographic literature* that they don’t even know what it means to think skeptically and transgressively.

The moral relativism of progressive weasels leads them to make excuses for sexual deviancy in one decade, only to be rebuked in the next decade by a different generation of progressive weasels with different degenerate tastes. The hypocrisy of the progressive consists in the way moral standards are constantly shifting, in their view, requiring them to constantly celebrate different perversions.

This is, of course, completely different from the hypocrisy of the conservative, which consists in denying and covering up their socially unacceptable perversions, while using “conservative principles” to justify their socially acceptable perversions.** No, there is not really a difference.

* For the historically obtuse, I will note here that pornographic literature has existed since the invention of writing. However, it has only taken itself seriously as a political tool for about a century.

** The list of conservative-approved sexual perversions is long, including traditionalist arguments from multiple traditions defending pederasty, sodomy, child marriage, polygamy, concubinage, prostitution, sex slavery, and rape. 

Playing to Win

I had been avoiding Twitter for years because of all the terrible things I had read about it: how shallow it is, how celebrity-driven it is, how every conversation devolves into fierce Twitterstorms, how conversations can become incoherent due to the poorly designed user interface. But then I got curious when I saw that some blog visitors were referred by Twitter, so I went to look at Ann Somerville’s tweets. It was more entertaining than I expected, and not depressing at all. If you go to my Twitter feed, it should allow you to look at the conversations, or just search on “monkeys or robots” on Twitter, or look here and here.

Ann cusses at me and says I was angry with her, but that is just her playing politics with her twit-gals.

I know she is an irksome, brawling scold.
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
(The Taming of the Shrew, 1.2, lines 186-187)

Along the way, I followed a link from Vox Day to Jason Sandford, and then to his post mentioning this tweet by Martin McGrath. He had an interesting remark that made me stop to think:

life-is-politics

Wow, that seems almost profound, especially since a lot of people get angry at me for disrespecting their idol, Politics. It makes so many people angry at me that I have to keep asking myself whether I am sure about my opinions.

Do I deny that my positions are political? Well, in the sense of having relevance for my relations to the rest of humanity, I wouldn’t deny having political positions. I also wouldn’t deny that my positions are influenced by political situations, and that I would like them to be discussed in context. So, in that abstract sense, no.

However, I do not expect my positions to perfectly align with other people’s positions, nor do I expect them to perfectly align with any ideal position. Also, I do not expect them to be effective in the world, lacking a material change in my social situation. So, in that sense, I do deny that my positions are political.

In that latter sense, am I then attempting to make my personal prejudices appear universal? No, I don’t really see how that would work. In fact, I explicitly state that my personal prejudices are not universal nor ideal in any way.

So, how could McGrath’s claim be true? It could be true if the purpose of any given position (or in fact of any given communication), were to persuade others to action. If so, then every position would be political by definition; and claiming that this were not true would be a rhetorical trick to disarm the listener, causing them to lower their political defenses and accept the possibility of an intrinsic (“universal”) truth in one’s position.

So, I think the threat of universalist ethics is the motivation for McGrath’s and Sandford’s beliefs about political positions. That’s OK to be skeptical of universalist claims, but dismissing them out of hand as a rhetorical trick is premature.

Why do so many people get angry when I criticize the great god Politics? I would like to assert that they are simply justifying their hatred of others, which is the same criticism normally aimed at religion. It’s probably true for both religion and politics that they function to rationalize or justify hatred; but I don’t think it is the specific reason why people get defensive about the sanctity of the idea of Politics.

Politics becomes sanctified, I think, when it is regarded as the most feasible or the most moral way to enact an ideal society in this world. Everyone who wants an ideal society can then argue about the features of the ideal or the politics of achieving it.

Everyone who does not have an ideal of society, or who does not want society, or who does not want to achieve an ideal society politically, therefore becomes repugnant.

Failing the Turing Test

Here is a guy I linked to before, because of his interesting research:

OpenCog Brainwave | The latest developments in building an open-source mind

In order for machine intelligence to perform in the real world, it needs to create an internal model of the external world. This can be as trite as a model of a chessboard that a chess-playing algo maintains.  As information flows in from the senses, that model is updated; the current model is used to create future plans (e.g. the next move, for a chess-playing computer).

Another important part of an effective machine algo is “attentional focus”: so, for a chess-playing computer, it is focusing compute resources on exploring those chess-board positions that seem most likely to improve the score, instead of somewhere else. Insert favorite score-maximizing algo here.

Self-aware systems are those that have an internal model of self. Conscious systems are those that have an internal model of attentional focus.   I’m conscious because I maintain an internal model of what I am thinking about, and I can think about that, if I so choose.

All of the above is pretty standard cognitive theory, it seems. I’m not building a machine intelligence, but I am trying to design a specialized CMS, so these ideas are helpful.

However, this is the quote that stopped me in my tracks:

I believe that if someone builds such a device, they will have the fabled conscious, self-aware system of sci-fi. It’s likely to be flawed, stupid, and psychotic: common-sense reasoning algorithms are in a very primitive state (among (many) other technical issues).  But I figure that we will notice, and agree that its self-aware, long before its intelligent enough to self-augument itself out of its pathetic state: I’m thinking it will behave a bit like a rabid talking dog: not a charming personality, but certainly “conscious”, self-aware, intelligent, unpredictable, and dangerous.

Whoa! I’m starting to wonder if, someday, I could pass a Turing test . . . .

Dave fails the Turing test

Dave fails the Turing test . . . again.

 

Choose Monkeys or Robots

Apparently fiction writers fall into two different camps, depending on which type of sexual predator they prefer to socialize with, vote with, shoot with, shoot up with, dress up with, or drink with. Sounds a lot like election season in the US.

I have been a reader of fiction, apart from the standard picture books and excerpts presented in grade school, since around age seven. That was when, while on a long vacation with my grandparents, I discovered my grandfather’s collection of 1950s- and 1960s-era science fiction paperbacks. I soon realized, in some subliminal way, that these represented a more sophisticated version of the characterization and storytelling I had come to appreciate in Marvel Comics. (For all those who are too ignorant or too young to know better, during the 1960s Marvel Comics attained the same position relative to DC Comics that 1960s science fiction held relative to Mother Goose nursery rhymes.)

Eventually, my parents decided that it was a good idea to encourage me to read adult-level fiction, so they enrolled me in the “Science Fiction Book Club”. For several years I received a slick little brochure advertising a discounted book-of-the-month volume and various backlist titles, and my parents would invariably buy me at least one book per month.

By the time I graduated high school, however, I had decided that reading most fiction was an imposition on my patience and good faith. The particular elements that I derived pleasure from, it turned out, were the entertaining, adventurous parts and the analytical, philosophical parts. Books that lacked one of the two had to compensate by being brilliantly well crafted and not too verbose.

Not all interesting stories or interesting arguments are compellingly written. But since I have never been without the need to work, I simply could not rationalize giving attention to something not obviously useful or thrilling. Likewise, verbosity is not necessarily a sign of incompetence, despite what many would-be writers have presumed to tell me, but it is the refuge of all bumbling, solipsistic dreamers. Such dreamers speak mostly to themselves, but only while half-awake, drawing in the hollow others who superficially yearn for a magical fantasy to envelope them in a similar dreamlike state.

So I callously avoided “classic literature” and “modern literature” while obsessed with science fiction and mystery stories, and then pushed it all away when confronted with calls to focus on reading for educational, vocational, philosophical, political, or religious purposes. I later suffered a rebuke, insofar as I ended up obligated to read a large number of classic works in German, then write long literary analyses of them in German, which is probably even more boring than doing the same in English.

Over time, I came to be known as an editor. Since most people have no idea what “editing” involves (including most people with the title of “editor”), I was often approached to “just read” something to see what I thought. In most cases, the reading material presented to me was a half-baked, illegibly scrawled or incompetently typed, inadequately thought-out, puerile, sentimental, irrational, worthless piece of crap. An unsolicited inquiry was almost always fiction. The writer rarely wanted to accept editing advice, much less pay market rates. If I provided a straightforward response, full of red ink and impatient instructions, they left heartbroken and sullen. If I did not provide an initially straightforward response, I soon found myself enmeshed in a codependent relationship in which I was expected to diligently hold the toddler’s writing hand as he struggled to express himself in crayon, since of course his other hand had to be free to keep his thumb in his mouth.

Although the above characterization fairly describes fiction writers, I will grant that the nonfiction writers have had slightly more maturity, since they have always been willing to accept instruction in grammar, logic, spelling, and fact-checking. However, they generally suffer the same sense of entitlement, believing that their awesomeness will somehow shine through despite all the cruelties they force on the reader, as if they were play-acting some crude satire on Beauty and the Beast.

All of the preceding verbosity is simply background to explain why I still have a childlike appreciation for interesting fiction, but an adult cynicism towards fiction writers. It is quite unfair to characterize them all as whores, since most fiction writers have no idea how to please a client, even less a wealthy client. Those who can give it away, or even make money at it, still tend to lack a sense of craftsmanship. They are thoroughly infected with corrupting artistic trends, such as expressionism, that keep them forever in an infantile condition.

One indication of their juvenile corporeality is their obsession with adolescent fantasies of sexuality, sometimes expressed as attacks on rival depredations. There is no demon so hotly focused on battling the heavenly realm, no demon who even cares about the actual messengers of God, who is as enthusiastic as a demon applying his torments to another demon wrestling to take possession of the sexual cravings of some witless souls. That, in sum, describes The Troubles currently afflicting SFWA, and more broadly all science fiction and fantasy writing (as well as fandom).

EDITS:

  1. I clarified whose other hand is referenced in the writer-as-toddler imagery.
  2. For a second time, I inserted a new link under “depredations” to reflect the feminist claims more fairly.
  3. I clarified that the problem afflicts writers and fandom.
  4. The “monkeys or robots” phrase refers to this cartoon. You get to pick which side is which in the present situation.
  5. I had to add a link under “The Troubles”, because reading fiction leaves little time for reading history, I suppose.
  6. I removed the extra link to another progressive blog, and added one about Kramer next to the one about Farrell, in order to maintain the theme of binary opposition throughout.

Sorry, I left a lot of big words in there, and even though they are strung together in grammatical order I know that “reading” can be confusing for some folks. Since the most intellectually challenged visitors seem to be coming from The Hive of Angry Bs, I will point out that Vox Day supports and encourages one type of sexual predator, and progressive activists support another type of sexual predator. 

There is no “debate” — both sides are repulsive. Their particular obsessions are not caused by their politics — their politics rationalize their sexual obsessions. 

Categorical Justice

MAD MEN: A diary about (and for) men who are mad about stuff

HOW MEN ARE (AND ARE NOT) OPPRESSED

For example, when some men angrily claim that, as a result of feminism, men are now being discriminated against, taken for granted, or otherwise victimized, those feelings are real but unjustified.  Simply put, women do not have the social power to oppress, subordinate, or discriminate against men.  Gender is a power relation.  Consult our nation’s history and see who has (and has had) the political, economic, legal, and cultural power.  And reflect on the following (from Politics of Reality, by Marilyn Frye):

Women are oppressed, as women.  Members of certain racial and/or economic groups and classes, both the males and females, are oppressed as members of those races and/or classes.  But men are not oppressed as men.

Think about that.  A radical feminist plainly acknowledges that men are oppressed.  Men can be oppressed because of economic class, race, sexual orientation, disability.  But men are not oppressed because they are men.  Being-a-man is not what causes anyone to be oppressed; a black man, a gay man, a poor man may be oppressed.  But they are not oppressed because they are men.

So, here the author is acknowledging an arbitrary definition of “social power” that includes baked-in oppression. The author carefully distinguishes individual and categorical oppression, implying a definition of social justice as a situation wherein someone may be oppressed for various reasons, but is not oppressed for being who she is categorically.

Analysis

The exact same circumstances of oppression could exist for the individual, or even for groups of individuals falling into certain categories, but if there is no universal experience of oppression within a given category (such as gender identity), then apparently there is “social justice” as relates to that category. The category itself is doubtless assumed to be mutable and dependent on the oppressed person’s identification.

It is all very much a game of social roles, subjective identification, feelings of oppression, ethical norms, etc. In other words, at base there is no regard for physical circumstance, physical characteristics, overt expressions, or codified law/policy. Even the perceptions of “oppressors” are not relevant, since they are presumed blind to their privilege.

The two criteria for social injustice are, apparently, (1) a feeling of being oppressed and (2) membership in a category defined as oppressed. Feeling oppressed without belonging to an oppressed category, although valid, is not considered to be socially unjust. Belonging to an oppressed category, yet not feeling oppressed, does not invalidate social injustice; rather, it calls for “consciousness raising” or an “awareness campaign” so that every member of the category will feel the oppression. So, really, the only necessary criteria is belonging to a category defined as oppressed.

Such categories are not permanent, as far as I have noticed. For example, around the turn of the 20th century Irish, Polish, Italian, and Spanish immigrants to the US would have been considered an oppressed category, because they were oppressed specifically due to their ethnic identity. Now that their ethnic identities have been mostly submerged into “Euro-American” identity, as long as their ethnic distinctions are not the subject of mass media scrutiny, the oppression meter reads pretty low for them in the US. They are the subject of jokes among themselves and other distinct ethnic groups, but hardly “oppressed” in any systematic way.

Jews, on the other hand, maintain some ethnic distinctions, and the mass media still scrutinizes them because of those distinctions. Therefore, the categorical distinction remains, along with debate over whether the particular distinctions confer advantages or disadvantages.

This post started out, however, with quotations about gender distinctions. The author of the quoted piece is absurdly naive. At least in the US, class distinctions supported by racial appearance overwhelmingly cancel out any kind of gender-based oppression. There is no poor black man in the US who will ever win out in a public dispute with a rich white woman.*

I have concluded that distinctions fluctuate and that everyone makes distinctions, and everyone will continue to make all kinds of distinctions, because it is the only way to survive in a society of more than a half dozen people. It is a kind of mental shorthand to deal with the vast amount of social knowledge involved with living in large groups. The distinctions vary in type, although as societies become more densely packed or more heavily trafficked, then the more obvious distinctions become more important, even if their superficiality makes them disconnected from proximate causes of behavior. Over time, “culture” comes to define most distinctions, although this term is not fixed in meaning.**

Oppression as a social justice issue concerns itself with distinctions that disadvantage entire categories. The task of social justice is to raise awareness about the categories and the oppression. Despite the way it is bolstered by stories of individual oppression, it is concerned mostly with the abstract process of defining categories, describing oppression, and publicizing the results of the inquiry.

Although policy objectives and individual remedies are sometimes pursued, they usually turn out to be inadequate, and the ultimate goal is widespread awareness.*** The awareness is supposed to lead to guilt in the oppressors and outrage in the oppressed.

Why am I concerned with these analytical definitions? Because I often feel sorry for people labeled as oppressed, and yet I am disgusted by the abstraction of the “social justice awareness” process. As it strays further and further from physical reality, or even genuine feelings, it becomes more remote from the actual human condition as well as the actual remedies for suffering. It becomes a cynical propaganda campaign; a salve for the wounded hearts of the “aware” members of the oppressor category; a false hope for members of the oppressed category; and a fake set of superficial stereotypes forced onto everyone.

In other words, social justice awareness becomes functionally indistinguishable from systematic oppression. The useless, empty-headed, self-righteous advocates for social justice eventually start to look just like the arrogant, reflexively self-righteous, angry jerks they are opposing. Because politics makes everyone dumber, and the crowd is always wrong.

* The man in such a case is not, I suppose, being “oppressed as a man.” He is being oppressed as poor; but being black and male accentuates the untrustworthiness of being poor, relative to a rich white woman. The feminist analysis would likely admit the power relation, but suggest that the poor black man is being oppressed by rich white men who infantilize and protect the rich white woman, thus oppressing her as well by depriving her of autonomy. The direction of this sort of inquiry always leads away from concrete reality in order to support presuppositions.

** The fact that the distinctions become progressively separated from physical causes (biological, geographical, etc.) means that new distinctions may form rather quickly and arbitrarily, based on transitory social factors and superficial cues. The constant fluctuations, however, mean that convergence would be dependent on the interplay of various factors tending toward social unity. There is no necessary “progress” toward convergence in any particular grouping, despite the bias favoring this belief throughout US history. Likewise, there is no necessary divergence based on supposedly fixed, insuperable distinctions (evolutionary, racial, religious, political, economic, etc.). Counter-arguments propose that either convergence or divergence are not inevitable, but might be preferable, and so must be imposed either by persuasion or by force. I say that either method, in pursuit of either objective, constitutes meddling; and then the ethical questions concern whether to meddle, not whether the supposed outcome would be preferable, since the outcome is uncertain.

*** Awareness of distinction, not unity; and so the moral hollowness of social justice becomes apparent, when it leads to perpetuation of the worst traits endemic to each class — arrogance in the upper middle classes, resentment in the lower middle classes, apathy in the highest class, and despair in the lowest class.

Implication and pattern mining

Why Hypergraphs? | OpenCog Brainwave

It would be convenient if I could express graph re-write rules as graphs themselves.  It would be convenient if I could express logical implications as graphs themselves.  It would be convenient if  my graphical programming language itself could be written as a graph. Well, it can be.

Hooray!

The upshot of all of this will be that the easiest way to represent data structures so that machine learning algorithms can learn them, and then apply them both to natural-language parsing, and to logical reasoning, is to represent the data structures as hypergraphs.

An old idea to me, but let’s see where it goes.

a function f(x,y,z) is just a hyperedge f connecting three nodes x,y,z. A boolean expression a AND b AND c can be written as AND(a,b,c), which shows a specific example of a hypergraph equivalance. It can be written as a reduction rule: (a AND b AND c) -> AND(a,b,c) which is itself just a hypergraph of the form x->y with x and y being hypergraphs.  The first-order logic constructs ‘for-all’ and ‘there-exists’ are just special cases of the lambda-calculus binding operation lambda, which binds free variables in an expression.

Furthermore:

Insofar as category theory is the theory of points and arrows, then a rewrite rule between graphs is a morphism in the category of small diagrams.  

and

The default (simplest) OpenCog truth value is a pair of floating point numbers: a probability and a confidence. These numbers allow several other AI concepts to be mapped into hypegraphs: Bayesian networks, Markov networks, and artificial neural networks. All three of these are graphs: directed graphs, at that. They differ in how they assign and propagate floating-point probabilites, entropies, activations.

and

In order to make implication and pattern mining run quickly in the atomspace, we need to implement something like the concept of ‘memoization‘ from lisp/scheme. But it turns out that memoization is really just a relational algebra: it is a database of short expressions that stand in for long ones. The OpenCog Atomspace is also, among other things, a relational database that can store and query not only flat tables or key-value pairs, but full-blown hypergraphs. And this isn’t a day-dream; its crucial for performance (and its partially implemented)

This looks promising to me, but I’ll have to see what I can gin up.