Is the key to real progress simply to forget the past?


(Bill Ames) #1

Continuing the discussion from How many years will it take for AIs to become as indispensable as it took for GPS to become indispensable?:


(ACD) #2

My answer is in the negative. Knowlege of history is essential for progress.


(Bill Ames) #3

Absolutely. Our DNA based its improvements on previous improvements. My I7 is just an improved TRS80 and the F35 is just an updated Wright Flyer. History is just knowledge of past events.


(ACD) #4

Understanding of human historical actions and culture is essential for progress.


(Bill Ames) #5

History goes back before books so how did the old societies learn about human historical actions?


(ACD) #6

The oral tradition, arguably, was more effective than what we have now.


(Bill Ames) #7

I may agree that we have a problem if we have nothing to apply. There was nothing in the past we can use when applying:

Also, when we reach a point where we can edit DNA as simply as we edit text in Grammarly and look to the past for guidance, well, none.

Put AI into the mix to help and we can have data, is data all the past is?

If we no longer remember why a mother Hunter-gatherer prevented a child Hunter-gatherer from doing something we do not burden parents of today having to use old and pointless rules.

I think the past could be a real burden on progress.


(ACD) #8

I view this statement as narrow-minded in the extreme. There is far more to human civilization than technology, and that other vast part is rooted in history, not in data.


(Bill Ames) #9

All human civilization is a result of very sophisticated technology. Our DNA (the program) produces a conscious mind (the application) and what that does is fed back into making improvements to the DNA. AI and quantum computers are just the DNA expanding outside the squishy container it built to get this far. It may be impossible for the soft parts to be eternal, but there are other, more improved ways. The human mind may be impressive, but it cannot recall every microsecond of its existence. The new models will have no problem. We need only remember the objective for the next version, like your PC or phone.


(ACD) #10

I find your comparison of a person to a computer and its software to be preposterous and not very smart. Nevertheless, I continue to search for mutually overlapping latitudes of acceptance.


(Bill Ames) #11

It is just as it was designed to be when the universe was created. In 20 or 30 thousand years it will be compared to something much more sophisticated. I use the terms of computer and software because it is commonly understood. When I create something in my imagination that has nothing to compare to in this world it is difficult to discuss it. Like I just did.


(ACD) #12

Where do you get this?


(Bill Ames) #13

My character Sketch told me how it was done. When the universe was created it was not without much thought. A design review was conducted, it consisted of evaluating what the universe would consist of using variations of the physical starting point and different values of universal parameters. The design was evaluated from the start using all possible permutations and combinations of physical elements until all had ceased to exist. A very long time. What the inhabitants were to be and how they worked was part of this review process. One of these reviews was acceptable and was used as the starting point for what we have now. Because so much in a physical universe is random the ultimate path is not known, all possible paths were observed.


(ACD) #14

Are you referring to a fictional story in the genre of science fiction?


(Bill Ames) #15

It describes future events but it was necessary to have a backstory for the race where they originated, at about the 4 billion year mark and that was 10 billion years ago. So going forward it might be viewed as SF but going back a historical drama.


(ACD) #16

So your participation in this discussion of history is a farce?


(Bill Ames) #17

I agree with the topics title. And do my best to explain why. That’s all.


(ACD) #18

Your insistent use of science fiction presents a problem for productive discussion here and elsewhere.


(Bill Ames) #19

When I was young I grew up on SF. Now a lot of the SF I grew up on is real. A lot happens in 75 years. Why should I doubt that ideas now appear as SF are not just tomorrows science? I do not let my thoughts and ideas be constrained by what is possible today, that would be silly. You may not believe some of my ideas but you have not experienced the thoughts I have had and how I have seen things (many of my thoughts) become real. If your idea of a productive discussion is limited to what is or was but excludes the future then you are not open to new ideas. You cannot solve the problems of 7 billion people using what is sold now on Amazon, at least not this year.


(ACD) #20

Your insistence on making every discussion one which must ultimately be about your science fiction writing is a matter which is separate and apart from the question of what technology may come about in the future and our comparative opinions about same. Your insistence is destructive in this context.