a magic ball

1. thoughts on prisons

1.1. what is a prison?

Definition 1. A place to store suspects until the court figures out what to do to them (aka “jail”).

Definition 2. A place to store bad peeps until they become good peeps.

Definition 3. A place to store bad peeps as a form punishment. The degree of the punishment is determined by the length of time spent in storage.

Definition 4. A Gulag.

Definition 5. Any combination of Definition 1, Definition 2, Definition 3, or Definition 4. This gives us the following number of extra variations: $$ \sum_{i=2}^{4} {4 \choose i} = 6+4+1 = 11 $$

1.2. thoughts on Definition 1

If the storage is causing no harm on the suspect, then the suspect could be stored indefinitely. This implies things like, a very comfortable storage with nice bed, food, no harm on income, no harm on psychology, no mixing with bad people that may corrupt him, etc.

But usually the storage does cause some harm (e.g. shit bed, mixing with shit people, etc). Thus, Definition 1 is only good if the expected harm with the free suspect is more than the expected harm with the stored suspect, which depends on:

Generally, I think there is a lot of room in reality of making Definition 1 a good tool in a legal system if the storage is not for too long, and the storage is not too harmful on the suspect.

1.3. thoughts on Definition 2

Definition 2 is basically a synonym to the naturally occurring concept known as “parent”:

So those who claim that prisons are as per Definition 2, they are indirectly saying that prisons are bad.

1.4. thoughts on Definition 3

Let's look at the extreme ends of punishment by storage:

On the bright side, Definition 3 can have a deterring effect via fear, as it may cause the good people feel that becoming bad people is a bad idea.

But, there are cheaper ways of achieving fear and deterrence of good people from becoming bad, that does not have the side effects of Definition 3, such as:

Such methods hardly cost any money (i.e. no money to spend on food, building maintenance, guards salaries, etc), and hardly has any effect of mixing bad people with worse people (and hence less chance of corrupting people beyond their corruption).

So, Definition 3 is surely a bad idea, as there are equally effective methods that are cheaper with less side effects.

1.5. thoughts on Definition 4

A Gulag is basically a forced labour camp, with huge negative emotional thoughts around it due to Stalin. But —philosophically— what is a forced labour camp? Is “capitalism” a huge forced labour camp? Is life a forced labour camp?

See, it's fundamentally a more complex problem. Just because Stalin abused the concept, and showed us that it can be bad, it does not mean that the concept itself is fundamentally bad. We just need to have a deeper look right now.

What if someone shits on streets, or on someone's property? IMO it's fair to have the law enforcement force him clean the streets and the properties. Is it forced labour? Yes. Is it a form of Gulag? Yes. Is it bad? No. It seems a great disciplinary action to fairly punish the bad doer in kind.

For the vast majority of cases, we don't need forced labour camps, as capitalism and the monetary system functions as a huge Gulag (which is good). Hence, often paying monetary fees to compensate for damage caused by bad doers is a good idea, and is practically a good form Gulag.

My thoughts are:

1.6. thoughts on Definition 5

Since Definition 5 is a mixture of Definition 1, Definition 2, Definition 3 and Definition 4, my thoughts on it is also a mixture of what's in Section 1.2, Section 1.3, Section 1.4 and Section 1.5.

1.7. summary

These are good:

These are bad:

The better alternatives to the bad ones are:

2. can consciousness arise from physical complexity?

This article contains a series of thought experiments that try to mimic evolution from a physics and evolutionary point of view, with the goal to see how will consciousness arise from complexity.

2.1. thought experiment

First let's define consciousness:

Definition 6. $x$ is said to have “consciousness” if, and only if, $x$ has a point of view.

2.1.1. low complexity

Consider the following thought experiment:

Result: after a while, heavy balls will be eliminated 1st, and the lighter survive longer.

Question 1. Do the winning balls have any consciousness? Feelings? A point of view?

Answer 1. As per the standard Physics model: perhaps they don't. They are just stuff happening as matters interact as energy moves from higher to lower — they have no point of view, nor feelings.

2.1.2. more complexity

Now let's increase the mechanical complexity of the balls:

Result: balls that have strategically positioned throttle tentacles will survive longer than otherwise. Reason: the position of the throttle can determine that if a 2nd ball comes close to get over the 1st ball, the 2nd ball will hit the throttle tentacle of the 1st, which causes the 1st to spin a kick against the 2nd, ultimately disabling it from getting on top.

Now, let's ask Question 1 again. Answer 1 still holds.

2.1.3. much more complexity

The balls now have several sensors (cameras, pressure, gyroscopes, accelerometers), with ASICs that implement image processing using neural networks. Each ball even has a rat's brain hooked up in it as an extra processing unit beyond the ASICs.

What about now, how will the answer to Question 1 be? Will the standard Physics model find out that the balls have a point of view? Nope, Answer 1 still holds, and even the rat's brain is nothing but a mere collection of matter that's reacting with each other as energy is flowing from higher levels to lower levels.

2.2. conclusion

Conjecture 1. Consciousness is beyond the reach of the standard Physics model.

But we seem to strongly know that we have a point of view, or consciousness. Therefore, I think, consciousness is not physical, and that the reality might be that we are living beings in another world, that are hooked up to some simulation. We might be right in a simulation (possibly tested for something).

IMO consciousness seems beyond this universe/simulation. I.e. this simulation's internal API does not expose enough information to tell us where consciousness comes from.

Maybe we are in a pretty deep recursion of simulations. Maybe if we die here, we wake up in the parent simulation, up until a point where we end up being in a life form that finally exposes adequate API to explain the source of consciousness.

Meanwhile, I think it's good to behave nicely in this simulation, based on how nice is defined in this simulation. So that in case we are being audited for good behaviour, we do a good job, and please the simulation's master.

You may ask:

Question 2. How do we know if we do a good thing in this simulation, then it's good in the parent simulation?

To which I answer:

Answer 2. We don't know. But IMO that's our best bet.

My reasoning to Answer 2 is that, if we simulate people in this universe to test people, it would not make sense to hate those that behave properly in the scenario of our child simulation. Evolution rewards good doing, and it's hard to see a surviving species hating the good doers.

I know it's not enough evidence. But until I formalize this better, which I work on slowly from time to time, that's what I have for now.

3. imo music is not good

Unless you are a spy or a secret agent, then when you listen to music, you only get this information:

That's it. Now the next question is:

Question 3. Why do you need that information?

and its answer:

Answer 3. Maybe to study stupid humans that their intelligence didn't evolve fast enough to realize that music is shit.

So if you are not studying retards (e.g. their history, how to cure the, etc), then why bother with this shit? No reason!

Unless you are listening to music to study retards (for a greater purpose), listening to music has these problems:

For the drums damage point, evolution-wise, we are more evolved to handle sounds found in nature, as opposed to sounds produced by musical instruments. This may explain why music is more harmful to our ears than natural sounds.

But what do I mean by the bias shit? Basically music IMO alters how you think. E.g. depending on the music you listen, you may end up being more risky, more cautious, etc. IMO this is not good, because it induces some artificial bias in your brain's function as shown in Figure 1.

Some shooting targets showing the bias-variance trade-off.
Figure 1. Bias-variance trade-off.

IMO it's better to keep your brain at neutral, so you get thoughts that hit the center, without having external bias due to music to drag your thoughts to the sides.

3.1. criticism

Some people disagree with me and say that music can make people smarter. But IMO the study has a fundamental flaw: the alternative to music classes for kids were drama lessons and nothing. They didn't include, say, mathematics classes as an alternative.

This is why the study is shit: maybe the reason the kids that learned music became smarter was thanks to them needing to learn musical notes (those fancy symbols for music) which functions as some kind of programming (except for generating sound).

In other words, if the kids had taken a programming class, or extra mathematics classes, then maybe they would have been even smarter, without having the side effect of musical instruments possibly damaging their ears.

IMO it's disgusting that the study claims it's due to music that kids became smarter, and not because of the abstract mathematical and logical aspects of generating music, which —itself— is not music.

This other study says that that study is shit, but then adds its own shit by doing similar wrong shit. One funny aspect it mentions that music is good to calm retards. See… I LITERALLY told you music is for retards!