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My Four Cigarettes

Discussion in 'Life, the Universe and Everything' started by Jamira, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Cigarette 15

    Hung out at the loggia, smoking. Reflecting on a very special statement:
    "Back then I only thought about what I wanted, never what I had. I was a stupid girl." - Sansa Stark in "Game Of Thrones"

    So true! Friends, books, history, family, home ... good to have such a background. It's the base for the future, for everything. I leaned back and smiled ... and I thought: "Relaxe, old boy! Enjoy what you own already. No need for further stress."

    ... 25° C, sun is radiant, whiskey, cigarettes, lazy, no regrets ... sounds good, doesn't it?
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  2. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    I sometimes wonder if I'm the weird one (I often think it is the world). I don't want more "stuff", I don't have time to enjoy what I have to the fullest or even at all in some cases. I continue full time with my job because I have shed loads to get done and I want to do it and it is enjoyable. The money comes in, I bank it. I struggle to justify buying new things. I would rather fix things than buy new ones...

    I question if I am weird because the everyone around me is so different. I walk though London and I see people spending their money on things they don't need. Stuff I would never buy. Same most places else.

    I keep thinking of that film "They Live"
  3. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Well, I'm jobless. I'm 62. No chance to get a new job. And guess what: I enjoy it. I share your intention of keeping things instead of replacing them. Unfortunately several things are made of this cheap kind. Never meant to last long. Not meant to be repaired.

    Many people would call you "weird". Don't worry about and don't call them weird. I ordered a curved 65" TV lateley. That's the other side: Many new things are simply overwhelming and different to my 180 Euro shoes wich will be repaired the third time soon. Kinda co-existance. Probably you read "The Social Contract" by Jean Jacques Rousseau or Pierre Bayle's "Remarks To A Comet"? Hang-out-books. Good for feel the ground again ;-)

    Most important to me is the ability to relax meanwhile. I asked a former colleague to show me how his PS4 will work with this 65" TV. Just for fun. My life is limited. Approximately 10 years, probably 15. Why should I suffer further stress?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
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  4. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Well quite. I'll remember the books are here... I'm doing a stage of my life where books are not getting a big look in - which is a shame but I can't do everything. I feel another story about repairing things coming on...
  5. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Oooops ... rereading the 4-cigarettes I stumbled about this. Probably most of the US folks ARE THAT STUPID because they elected an idiot/clown as president- lol! Good reason to take a deep breath of fresh air at the loggia and smoke

    Cigarette 16

    Well, my time here at planet Earth is limited to ~20 years maximum. Should I care for the future of mankind? No. It doesn't matter to me. I think younger folks should. It's the future they have to live with and it's the future of their children. Really not my problem. I will die soon - probably next year - and be away completely. There is no greater interest of mine in the future of mankind. Really: There is no significant reason for our existance. It'ts just because it is stated by some philosophers. Funny and pretty useless.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  6. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Cigarette 17

    Nasty April weather. 8° C, dark clouds, wind, rain showers ... uncomfortable. Out at the loggia for another cigarette I reflected again on the meaning of mankind. I and Kater (Cigarette 1 - 4) made it, despite all this uncomfortable circumstances. Several other attempts of nature didn't. And sometimes I sense the breath of history in my mind.

    The house I live in was built way in the past by a former U-boat commander of WW2 during the late thirties I think. It is a wonderful flat. The rooms are 2,87 m high, big windows, parquet in the living rooms, planking in other rooms and nice vintage tiling in kitchen and bathroom. And we have this beloved loggia. It's size is 5,0 x 1,6 m, looks at west.

    What came to my mind was: Who sat at this loggia at June 4th 1954 when I was born? What did these people think? What did they care for? I will ask the owner about them. Because this damn loggia became so meaningful to me.
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  7. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    I sometimes ponder what people will think when they think of all the people who died before we cured dying. The idea of not existing will seem so alien to them. Will they wonder about the potential of all those people who died, what they might have accomplished if only they had been born later. I've found as I get older, I am more fascinated by the past, especially machines and mechanics.
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  8. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    But ... okay ...

    Cigarette 18

    everyone has his own experiance in his very special enviroment. Meanwhile it is nearly impossible to imagine what the next generation of mankind will invite. Latest at the end of the 19th century the speed of development increased dramatically: steam engines, photography, rail roads, electricity and so on. When I was young the biggest progress were an electric washer, an electric refrigerator and a monochrome TV. I was seven. Different to most of other people we had a telephone at this time (~ early sixtees). Meanwhile I own a super flat Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, a 65 inch curved TV with 3d and a 3d-printer. Slowly the speed of development overruns my capacity. I remember well that we omited tape cassettes already. We jumped from tape and vinyl straight to CD.

    I say: Enjoy your time within your context. Next generation won't be able to do that if the increase of development continues. And I think most people who died meanwhile had the chance to enjoy their life. I'm in doubt if our children can do that in the same way.

    How ever, cure dying is bullshit. Imagine you have to live for thousands of years - no, for billions of years! For ever even! We are products of a natural evolution with natural limitations. That means, we are determinded and restricted. Especially under mental aspects. Either we become cyborgs or we can't stand eternal life.

    We own and use things our parents coudn't imagine. And so will our children do. Let old folks be happy with what they had and be dead. And be happy to have a fullfilled life and leave it one day.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  9. San


    Statistics is the most ruthless law of the universe. If you eliminated your chance of dying from natural causes, all you'd accomplish was raising your chance of dying from unnatural causes to 100%. You just don't know when it's gonna happen and will spend your time waiting for it. So you'll have the trauma of the future as well as any past mental trauma staying with you forever. Unless or until consciousness can re-frame itself, we are not cut out for this. Science is just about beginning to tackle what that is at all, consciousness. We haven't even scratched the surface.

    Edit: Many years ago, long before the tacky movie, I much enjoyed reading Philip Jose Farmer's 'Riverworld' series.
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  10. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    I'm not really sure if I should comment in here... the four cigarettes thread feels a bit like Jamira's Diary. Keeping this in mind, I feel the odd comment is fine but a multipost discussion might be a bit disrespectful?

    This said, at the risk of doing so (feel free to kick my ass Jamira) the living forever thing, yes indeed but don't worry, I get that it is a fantastical idea and so against the grain of how we view life and the world today that most would shrug it off. Indeed as I get into my 30's I already feel I struggle to remember things. I have to think hard (spare head 3 moments if you have ever seen Red Dwarf) or find paths to the thing I need to recall. I was rather fascinated by a bit in Green Mars where they talk of not being able to remember university days or it is so dim it is like something they read or saw on television. I can see how that would happen now. My Dad is in his 70s but has a fantastic recollection of different bits of his life, my mum rarely tells these stories and I am not sure if it is because she can't remember, is private or has nothing of interest to share. So people likely remember stuff better or worse than each other. I feel a bit like I have "brain fill" like it is one thing in, one thing out and everything else goes into deep storage and I have to send the boy on an errant to go fetch it when needed.

    So yes I'm decaying matter and even if say cancer and all sorts could be fixed my noggin would still be running into full up mode. Fundamentally it is the ageing that needs to be sorted. No one would want to live in a decrepid old state forever I quite agree. I write of a world where people can be resurrected when they die presumably from a digital copy by the looks of things in Entropia. My avatar stays 24 then.

    But even if youth and vitality could be perpetuated, what of the mind? When I think of how long humans have been banging around really in the grand scheme of things it was but a moment ago that humans were not making it much past their 30s. Within no time really we have doubled and soon trippled that lifespan - are our brains cut out for it? This hasn't been a gradual adaption over millennia, it's been closer to the blink of an eye.

    So yes, maybe cyborgs indeed, maybe we need to transfer ourselves to a digital form at which point we get into a world of interesting scifi like ghost in the shell, down and out in the magical kingdom or lain and so forth. As for if this is possible, I don't think we can tell yet, in the same way that we couldn't predict iphones before Alan Turing came along. Certainly for now, it is not - much like interstellar travel. We can't do it unless there is something pretty exciting we haven't figured out yet. We know there is a lot we still don't know, so the jury is still out on that one.

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  11. San


    Sentient machines. Cyborgs are merely augmented biological bodies with the same fundamental issues. We'll need to work on this from the other side, we just don't understand the principles of consciousness and can't even imagine how it works yet.

    There is the excellent seminal book "Understanding Understanding" by Heinz von Foerster. Unfortunately the paywall is very steep and the legal owner tight on getting unpaid copies deleted. It should be available from a university library if you have access to one. Then there is the groundbreaking collaboration of Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff, and on a different track Dean Radin who has created experiments whose outcomes will shake the core of your belief system. Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ are names to look for, too. Yet another, Thomas W. Campbell has developed a voluminous but interesting looking theory ("My Big TOE" [Theory Of Everything]), though I haven't managed to read more than a synopsis of it yet.

    (I also try to be respectful and not derail the diary format. The occasional interjection is supposed to be motivating, telling the writer that it's actually interesting and he doesn't produce for /dev/null. Or offer additional material.)
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  12. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    We have access to some stuff by Foerster but not that one alas (either that or our proxy is acting up with springer - entirely possible). "Dean Radin who has created experiments whose outcomes will shake the core of your belief system" - go on then?
  13. San


    Not sure how to do that without hijacking the thread, thought I just throw some names out to search for and see what resonates. Created a new thread here:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  14. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    A lot of stuff to think about. Before I go into details of what you both posted I go outside to the loggia and smoke

    Cigarette 19

    I appreciate it very much when folks like Wistrel and San are respectful and politely in such a way. I assume there is a wide number of other folks out there, who never ever would have such intention or even the idea of it. To think along this way is pretty strange to many people meanwhile, probably impossible. Because they didn't learn it at home or school.

    Some guys assert that each smoked cigarette means one day loss of life span. Alas, this cigarette is worth it. Just to say "thank you". Seriously, who cares about dieing at March 18th or 19th?

    Special thanks to San for doing this:
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  15. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Cigarette 20

    I am fascinated by the idea of self-driving cars. I myself had such ideas many years ago while standing in a traffic jam or watching pictures of heavy accidents.

    This evening I watched Terminator Genesys again. A really enjoyable movie. Former governor of California in bestform and Daenerys Targaryen as Sarah Connor. Crazy! When the movie was over I went out to the loggia to smoke a cigarette. Through the door window I saw that our SONY TV showed a black screen, than Android booted again. "Holy shit," I thought by myself, "meanwhile our TV crashes and needs a reboot!"

    Well, it's the operation system. Such things arn't a problem of computers only any longer. Meanwhile my TV is related as well. It took 15 or 20 seconds and the TV was back again. No problem anyway since I was out there, smoking. My TV didn't move very much during this time.

    But seriously, what would it mean when I would sit in my self-driving car? 15 to 20 seconds at 120 km/h or more! Not to speak about all the software that has to start again after a system reboot! Let's say half a minute in total.

    120 km/h is 1 km/0,5 min. ONE kilometer without steering? Or even 5 seconds in a town at 50 km/h!

    We will need at least two additional independent systems of active redundancy for such vehicles.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  16. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Interesting thoughts on the crashing of the systems (then the car!). Have to admit I hadn't really thought of it. I guess when it comes to "safety critical systems" I s'pose I figured that one had been licked a dozen times before. Planes are more or less automatic as I understand it (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) and then there are automatic trains in some places. Automatic landers on mars. so on and so forth. I don't know exactly what they do to ensure nothing goes wrong (or have ways to mitigate when it does) but they do it. I heard a rumour once that all NASA code is written in assembler! :O

    But on the cars and automation in general I'm all for it. I'm one of those evil people who wants to put all the truck and railway drivers out of a job and hang the consequences for society and employment. Actually I want to get rid of humans doing anything that can reasonably be automated.

    That said, I was surprised when I watched a recent Tesla video of a car driving itself and felt very unnerved by it. I think in the end it came down to 2 things oddly. One was I think mainly my being freaked by left hand drive. The other was that the steering wheel was moving by itself. I think if there wasn't a steering while I'd have been ok with it. Another part of me worries about how good the vision system is as I tend to not put a lot of trust in conventional computer vision and find myself perpetually confused when it occasionally actually works! I tend to think the only way we can do vision/intelligence "as we know it" would be brain like processors or neural nets.

    That said, I was watching a TED video from last month this morning with Elon Musk in and he was saying they are about to reveal an automated truck that runs entirely off vision and uses neural nets. Crazy times!

    Incidentally, I did some calculation a little while ago about if we could make a chip that works like a brain and has similar levels of complexity (although interestingly an artificial brain might be more efficient so may not need to be as complex for the same ability). I forget the numbers off hand but I worked out we could maybe do it in a while and in a while more make it chip scale. If I remember right though 1, or it may have even been both of those stages was going to be problematic because we can't shrink the processors small enough in theory. So terminator style "chip in the head" AI might not actually be possible unless we invent a new way of making ICs.

    I should go listen to the rest of what Mr Musk has to say really...

  17. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    Cigarette 21

    Well, it's May meanwhile but still April weather here :-( I had another cigarette at the loggia and thought of Wistrel's other thread:

    Imagination, creation, design ...

    What I like is the following idea ... and it seems close to what will be possible during the next few years.

    Imagine a wonderful summer evening with moderate temperature, smoking Cigarette 21a to 21e, a good whiskey in my glass, talking to my brandnew SAMSUNG Tab S6 - or whatever number - running a 3d-sculpting app:

    "Okay <app-name>, main theme is steam punk. Situation is: a corner in an abandoned destroyed house. A young male and a young female warrior have a break or wait for the next fight and hide themself in the ruin. The femal sits on top of the wall and watches what happens. She has a fucking big machine gun at her side and a cappucino as well. The male sits at the bottom, drinks coffee and a sniper gun leans to the wall next to him. Make a first attempt!"

    Well, the result will either be very rough or completely failed. But hey, I invested 15 seconds so far ;-) And now I can start to adjust it a bit since I see, what the app understood so far.

    "Okay <app-name>, search for Wistrel and make the female body tiny and give her clothes like tank-girl. Put black leather clothes to the male and something like a visual device to his head. Let him sit in an old seat with crossed legs. Place a hot plate with a coffeepot in front of him. Show me what you got so far by rotating the scene."

    Now I can change every detail, add things, change clothes and weapons. I can change the physiognomy by asking for resarch in the net or choose from a library. I can say: "More relaxed." or "Blow the cheeks of the male." or "Schrink the ruin of the building to the corner." The process will take some time. But it's a cosy summer evening. After three or four hours I would say:

    "Okay <app-name>, send it to the printer and make a first attempt." I would talk to my wife a bit, have Cigarette 21f to 21i and go to bed finally. Next morning I can inspect the printed model and can realize: "Dude, you've been really drunk yesterday!" ;-)


    This story doesn't seem to be much far away. I hope, I can sample it.
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
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  18. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    You know... I used to think that sort of thing was crazy talk... but (and I just took a moment to double check latest my occasional pass time again and was not let down https://www.google.co.uk/search?gs_ivs=1&q=how+old+is+Theresa+May#q=who+is+she+married+to&tts=0 This was me talking to my computer asking first "How old is Theresa May" then "who is she married to" It even told me the answers via a good voice in a perfectly well formed sentence. Google does not disappoint) these days it doesn't seem like such a stretch at all to go from say giving me directions (https://www.google.co.uk/search?gs_...irections+from+Nottingham+to+Winchester&tts=0 again, a perfectly formed audible reply casually telling me about the route) to manipulating a 3d scene.

    After all, the scene components can be, and in fact are, described (https://www.google.co.uk/search?gs_ivs=1&q=show+me+a+3D+picture+of+a+kettle#tts=0 Google replied "Here you go, some pictures"). Need a cracked wall? "Check out these pictures of a cracked wall" says google (https://www.google.co.uk/search?gs_ivs=1&q=show+me+a+picture+of+a+cracked+wall#tts=0). Once this basic functionality of being able to reply in a natural way and and parse the sentence has been cracked (and it seems it has) it is just a case of hooking the instructions up to the object manipulation task.

    OK so the artistic component is a long way off but the raw "fetch and display and move about" could happen as soon as someone wants to program it. We really are living in the future... (or getting damn close to it anyhow).


    PS I still love that picture!
  19. Jamira

    Jamira Samurai Girl

    To understand language and reply via language or offer results of net-search is one theme. Next and much more interesting theme will be: different interpretations of special terms. That's the hurdle to next step. The software must be able to learn what I mean when I say: "... have a break or wait for the next fight and hide themself in the ruin." That's pretty hard to interpret. Not speak about issues like: "The male stinks, because of his clothes."
  20. San


    The reason is, the piece of language that gets transmitted between humans does not contain all the information needed to decipher it. Not even if you program a receiver with a well-defined grammar, extensive vocabulary, fuzzy logic to deal with inaccuracies, or whatever, will it be enough to understand it. An entire human life with its experiences, knowledge, and intuitions functions as a resonance body for the received message. Understanding then is filtered out of this resonance. Computers cannot replicate this (yet). We don't even have a working theoretical model for it, hence the reference to consciousness as a phenomenon to study.

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