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Discussion about ChatGPT as a tipping point for AI
THURSDAY 4:00MST 29-DEC-22
ZOOM address ... copy it
Justa Chat ... join us. Bring a friend!
Nuclear Fusion - anticipating the aftershocks
A "Fusion" of Thoughts - by Mel Head
Reading reference. Harvard Business Review article HERE ChatGPT is a tipping point for AI
HAPPY NEW YEAR? Reflections on the Meaning of Life
2022 good riddance. I've had enough already about war and and weather, pandemics, inflation and corruption. Year-end holidays can be a time to think ahead maybe even to reflect about your self and - if you are really meditating, to reflect on the meaning of life. If so then you may find the following thoughtful "Skeptics View of the Meaning of Life" Esir Prene shared his thoughts in the following article "What makes a life meaningful?"
Some as in the article argue that thought and purpose - each of which require conscious reflection, give life meaning. First, what is life anyway but the sum total of our many moments, i.e. experiences. It is the pursuit of "unique" experiences that gives life purpose. What makes the experiences "unique" - recorded and memorable, is that they have clashed with certainty. They may be positive or negative but without these unique uncertainties we just exist, inert as a pebble tossed about in the surf.
The brain, the very organ that enables us to reflect, is awakened and nurtured NOT by sameness, but by uncertainty, by differences. The paradox is that the life worth living is one of unique often shocking experiences. The brain reconciles experienced uncertainty until a pattern emerges thus resolving uncertainty until the experience, the sensation, is no longer unique and is ignored.
That feature of our brain, the capacity to sense a difference is gifted at birth, a gift for living. And it - the brain, the self, our life, and all action share a common, aligned purpose - the perpetual quest to find and resolve differences; uncertainty is life's elixir.
Every living being shares in that common pursuit to resolve uncertainty. The worm. The genius. All engaged in a search to resolve the mysteries of what it does not know, but seeks to understand. And once understood, to renew the search again. To experience is to live. To learn makes life purposeful.
If this is so, then one has resolved the meaning of life as the process of learning, the composite of attention and memory, resolving and encoding the experience of uncertainty.
If that is so, then of what purpose is forgetting and perceiving? Both are as real as learning itself. Both can distort understanding and create uncertainty. Perhaps that is their very purpose. By creating uncertainty they serve as a feedback loop. By creating uncertainty they serve as a check on certainty. At the very moment of an experience, the perception can modify and distort reality. Just as forgetting modifies a former certainty.
The feedback loop triggering uncertainty serves to ensure, to refresh the quest for certainty. In so doing the feedback serves as a self-perpetuating, self-generated, source for checking certainty. One might say that uncertainty is the spice of life.
As for dreams, they simply constitute another form of experience. As such they can also trigger uncertainty and in so doing force us to reflect on certainty giving additional purpose to life. The dreams that are not rational, that conflict with certainty, trigger a reassessment of certainty. And so life goes on for even the dreamer, the writer, the musician, the artist, each bound by an endless quest to find and experience and resolve uncertainty.
In summary my thesis is that learning is gives meaning to and is the very purpose of life. Learning enshrines our experiences. To observe a living creature - man or worm, reveals life as a perpetual quest to learn, to know, from experience.
One might say that the purpose of life is to experience. But that is too passive; even a pebble as it tumbles in the surf is gathering and changing with experience. So life has to be more than the gathering and recording of experience. To be purposeful, experience must be purposeful as in the quest for more - to learn. It is learning that reinforces the quest making the search endless and perpetual. It is learning - the resolution of uncertainty, that gives life purpose.
As we age, the quest for uncertainty wanes. Life's experiences and the certainties compile. The quest requires more and more exertion and so the clock winds down, until the quest is no more.
I have asked many people about whether they desire everlasting life. Most say that it has no appeal. When I search further, they reveal that life over time changes. That sameness intrudes. Certainty prevails. Experiences repeat. When asked to target when is enough enough, they target about 100 years, after which life loses it's meaning, its purpose, and until it wanes no more.