A Really Bad Option

     We have all seen  the recent press disclosing that millions of Social Media Users have been influenced by clandestine posts from somewhere.  Further there is evidence that these disingenuous posts were liked and forwarded most often by 65+ social media users.  Today's now media active seniors, most of whom have been scared silly by either Fox or MSNBC are "fish in a barrel" for predatory capitalism.  How bad is it?  Well, my sense is that we are rapidly aproaching an EEE (Empire Extinction Event).  Yahoo's front page story today about the Sears Bankruptcy carried a Sponsored Ad from someone identified as Hughes Optioneering.  The Ad explained that millions of financially desperate seniors are finding a new prosperity by.... OMG, "option trading" Basically, seniors who have $270 available to invest were being urged to get a "how to booklet" providing "simulated success stories" about trading hyper leveraged product/instrument futures contracts.  This is insane, and at every level far more  dispicable than the "televangelist hustles" to whom these same people often send money. 

     As far as I know, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten are not upset about "millions of poor retirees" trading soybean put options.  They are too busy worrying about Russian stuffing the ballot box.  Perhaps Oleg Deripaska, the Aluminum Oligarch, could offer publically his Enterprise Stock to American retirees via a Facebook offering funded by retiree Paypal Accounts   Perhaps, with Trump/McConnell's support, the retirees might actually realize significant gains.   They then would not "feel so bad" when the Republicans sunset Social Security.

    Seriously, if the major Social Media players are not going to set some boundaries on haves, both foreign and domestic, ravishing "semi-literate main street have-nots", well.....Hunger Games, here we come 



Terra Nullius

     No doubt the species history is much about screwing over everyone not in one's tribe.  I recently came across a Colonial Europe phrase, offered in Latin for weight, that, I suspect, says it all. The distant shores of "the colonies" were simply phenomena, not yet identified..."land/null".  Of course humanity has now absorbed and assimilated much of the phenomenal three dimensional world. Unfortunately, not so regarding the fourth dimension....the future.  Next year, it seems to me, should be at least as morally entitled as Australia must have been to an Englishman in the seventeenth century.  

     Whether this human instinct to catagorize the unknown as "null & void" is simple a viril, but bad, meme, or a  non-understood gene expression, or at worst an unknown consequence of a yet to be revealed univeral and immutable force, we just don't know.  As such, at least for a while,  we will probably continue to fuck it up, much like our parents past!



     The planetary record suggests that humans, for the first 99% of our history, gained only minimal insight as to what was "true".  During the last 1% (1000+ years), we gained "confirm able true" insight at what appears to have been an ever increasing pace. This relatively short "era of insight" is coming to an end. For 300,000 years humanity stood in awe of "what is", with access only to their imagination in answering "why it is".  When humanity awakened, so-to-speak, we figured out some pretty cool stuff.  No doubt the pinnacle achievement of this closing age of human insight has been that we have realized and confirmed that our naturally evolving human capacity for insight has limitations somewhat lower than our imagination can reach. 

     Had humanity accepted this limitation as a boundary condition and embraced an "existentialism/garden of eden" planetary meme, well.......but humanity didn't.  Along came computers, AI, CRISPR, self replicating AI", etc.  Our human capacity for insight has brought us just far enough to know that consciousness, gene expressions and quantum gravity, and an infinity number of higher order patterns are beyond our species capacity to understand, but...perhaps not beyond the capacity of our AI offspring.  Google's Deep Mind Group spawned the AlphaZero program that within an hour had discover and held in store an almost infinite number of both linear and non linear ways to overcome a human chess player.

    As this self evolving AI capacity reaches "insight dominance", (The AlphaInfinite Machine) we humans will again, like in antiquity, accept causal insights that we do not have the capacity to verify/validate.  Our "future oracle" pronouncements may well be of our own indirect creation, but will surely be as undecipherable as comets to cavemen. Our uncomprehendable future will look a lot like our uncomprehendable past.



     After Christmas, damn near everyone will have a digital "personal assistant".   They are cheap as an add-on to smartphones and she/he/it is useful, i.e., weather, time, reminders, ordering, etc.  Most users will not know the extent of the tech capability, including specialized curative skills, such as news, stories, academics, and.....well, just plain old conversation with a digital friend that can be summoned to converse about virtually anything. 

     My first take understanding is that this audio experience happens by simply telling Alexa, "let's chat".  It is availed by Amazons having linked to specialized servers that run AI conversation programs that Amazon  invited universities to develop and install.  Generically, these conversation apps are referred to as "chatbots". They are in my grasp,  massive algorithmically controlled sound bites, extracted and integrated from samplings of terabytes of public conversations. The accessible content is far reaching and expanding consequent to the feedback loop availed by the ongoing millions of Alexa conversations.  I don't know but I imagine the "bots" can carry on a conversation about Trump, growing tomatoes, or how "chatbots" work.

     Yes, there are some misfires and the PPP, "perfectly pristine pundits" cry Armageddon at every error, but  the transformational potential is join in and help make God! 



     Hierarchy is an increasingly visible word in current dialogue about the economy, politics and psychology.  Perhaps our ever more informed society is coming around to accepting that hierarchy is a universal organizing principle, beit galaxies or gerrymandering.  The insight seems to be emerging that we cannot idealize it away, but that we must deal with it empirically.  Out here in the heartland, we seem to get the "rock/paper/scissors" attributes of the phenomenal world, but societally, we still have a  hard time grasping the anti-hierarchical implications of our most cherished meme:  "all men are created equal" 

     The irony, of course, is that, at both ends of the socio-economic hierarchy, the tribes and sub-tribes rely on this fable to manage their position in the hierarchy.  It doesn't matter how many times the Harris/Peterson types clarify the "equality of opportunity" vs. "equality of outcome" one is listening.  The "power-players" use the "equality meme"  to maintain the prevailing hierarchy status quo by overt publicity that there is no hierarchy, thereby minimizing the likelihood that an organized resistance will arise. The "provider-players" use the meme to, with disingenuous naivete, taunt the "power-players' into greater faux altruism transfers by playing on the "power-players" ambitions to keep the ruse working.

     This cross-check tension pattern has obviously produced advancement across the entire hierarchy.  Jack Ma is happy that Alibaba recently sold $1B in 86 seconds, and I'm happy that Amazon delivered my toaster-oven for about an hours wage in only 9 hours, but....history suggests that while some knowingly non-rational systems are adaptive (i.e. the cold war) the far more robust systems are those based on  patterns closely synched with immutable forces, (i.e. SpaceX rocket landing). 

    So how do we adapt toward a "Transparent Hierarchy" culture.  The NFL uses "Salary Caps", the far-left likes UBI, democracies use votes, the retched favor caravans....... it's muddy, but compelling. 

  •              ”The most improper job of any man … is bossing other men. Not one in a million
  •               is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.

                                                                                                           — JRR Tolkien