Monday, November 3, 2014

meliorism - the belief that the world can be made better by human effort

Just looked at how Google analyzes "meliorism"

this is a actually pretty interesting, it shows a decline in usage since pre World War II.  I guess some folks need reminding.  If we were to plot this per capita (Hey Google,  you need to do this), this would show a steep decline.  More on this later too. Believe in goodness!

dissentio - je ne suis pas d'accord - I disagree with the AGI crowd trying to scare us

dissentio - je ne suis pas d'accord - I disagree  with the AGI crowd trying to scare us

There's a crowd forming out there  trying to scare all of us that Artificial general intelligence (AGI)  will get so smart that its going to squash us (humans).  Where does this crowd get these ideas? How about 'AGI gets so smart' that it figures out some good things.  Just because some pathological mutations occur occasionally doesn't mean that everything that improves only improves to become malicious. More on this later.  This will be a frequent topic.

I'm into Meliorism  -- i happen to believe that progress is real (eventually) and that the world does improve (event though some  barbarians occasionally succeed in taking advantage of trusting folks)

I also believe that scientific and technological progress is real. and there is much that we can do to accelerate that progress ... to the benefit of us all.

Moving the Needle

Is moving the needle a tired cliche? As I keep reflecting on what's ahead, I also keep thinking on how we can all move the needle towards a better life and quality of life for all.  At least Seattle uses the phrase in their environmental agenda.

I think we need a clear and simple way to measure how people's lives get improved.  Some thoughts are:

  1. Increased amount of joyful time in life (in both relative and absolute terms)
  2. Decreased amount of total painful time in life  (in both relative and absolute terms)
  3. Decreased cost of food (as for example decreased real cost of 1 oz of protein)
  4. Decreased cost of housing
  5. Decreased cost of energy.
How do YOU think we should measure improvements?