I love to learn. I am constantly reading or trying new programming techniques or playing new games. I enjoy the challenge, and I enjoy improving myself.
As technology continues to advance at an exponentially increasing pace, mankind becomes more and more vulnerable to terrorist attacks by a single person or small group that has mass casualties numbering in the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions.
In 1995, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and injured over 600 people acting on his own beliefs that the US government was a bully taking people’s freedoms.
In 2001, a small group of 20+ jihadists launched a terrorist attack killing 2,996 people and injuring over 6,000.
Since then, many smaller terrorist attacks have occurred. Usually, these are very uncreative plots where an individual or small group brings guns and shoots as many people as they can or detonate small improved explosive devices.
Imagine if someone more intelligent than the average terrorist (someone of a McVeigh or Bin Laden or higher intelligence) were to plan a large scale attack now. Here are just a few options they could attempt in order of escalating scale:
- Get an ordinary gun (easy) and kill up to 60 or 70 people
- Create a large improved explosive device and kill hundreds in the right area
- Use attacks on infrastructure (water distribution, airplane transportation, trains, etc) to kill thousands or tens of thousands.
- Use chemical weapons to attack a major sporting event, killing as much as a hundred thousand
- A rogue nation (North Korea, Russia, Pakistan) could use a nuclear weapon on a major downtown to kill huge numbers.
- A scientist uses DNA manipulation techniques to combine existing diseases into something that our immune systems can’t handle. This could kill millions, hundreds of millions, or even billions depending on the infection rate and death rates.
- One of the giant organizations (Google, IBM, US government, Chinese government, Microsoft, etc) that is putting tens of billions of dollars into artificial intelligence actually succeeds and builds a general intelligence. Depending on how a true Superintelligence behaves, we might see the complete extinction of our species.
Life is good, compared to most other humans of today and most other humans in history. For example, look at previous times:
- In 2005 there were no smartphones
- In 1990 there was no internet, not really common PCs, no video games
- During the 60s and 70s there was less freedom of movement, no real way to move to a new city and find your way around easily, harder to get information
- In world war 2, there was shortages of essential supplies, people lived in fear, there was massive slaughter, no freedoms, no travel
- In 1900, there were no airplanes and the automobile was in it’s infancy. If you couldn’t get somewhere by horse in a day, that was usually the limits of your life. You usually never went further than 30 miles beyond the place you were born.
- In 1800, you were probably a serf pulling weeds and planting seeds for some rich baron. The rich baron had rotting teeth, bad health problems with no resolutions, lived with ticks and fleas in his straw stuffed bed… even the poorest people in America today live 100x better than that rich baron. And god help you if you were a serf.
- In 4000 BC you probably lived outside with a small tribe of close relatives. Other tribes would usually try to kill your men and steal and rape your women. You probably lived on the brink of starvation most of the time and barely reached four feet in height because of it. At nights, you’d freeze out in the cold. During the days you’d have to deal with heat. Bugs, snakes and other animals would be a constant threat. Life was nasty brutish and short.
- In 15000 BC you lived naked out in the wild with the same brain humans today have…. But you were constantly dodging animals that could hunt and kill you such as wolves, bears, lions, and many others. You were not at the top of the food chain, you were somewhere in the middle probably. Life was even nastier, more brutal, and shorter.
I am happy to be alive today!!!!
I have noticed that when I wake up in the morning my nose feels all clogged up and my throat slightly swollen. I am not sick, I think it is allergies to my old dust and mite infested pillows. I am going to try to vacuum under my bed and also get new pillows and hopefully that will solve the issue.
While trying to build a recursive function yesterday, I realized my understanding of recursive PHP is pretty weak. I am still working on the same thing today… it should not be as hard as it is.
I am trying to build an array in PHP of my team members, with each level nested under their team lead. I need recursion so it can go N levels deep.
I have been referencing this code, but my code keeps running into infinite loops.
I think I need to back off and look at the problem from a high level again.
My grandma told me yesterday that I was my mother’s son… in reference to the fact that I seek out battles sometimes unnecessarily. If I get mad about something, I tend to very aggressively attack the issue and sometimes those people around the issue. Yesterday, I discovered a company was trying to rip me off in my contract, so I have been trying to get help. Unfortunately, their employees have been exceptionally unhelpful, so I am gearing up to really fight these bad players.
I probably take a more adversarial approach to dealing with problems than a lot of people do. I don’t want to get walked on… but this sometimes probably leads me to walk on others. I need to be careful to be fair and just in my dealings.
This is not a conspiracy theory. I don’t think that Donald Trump’s election and the ensuing circus is an intentional distraction from some nefarious plan.
However, I believe the greatest risk to mankind right now is the ongoing development of artificial intelligence. The development of a superintelligence that far surpasses humanities intellect would result in essentially a new apex predator on our planet that would outcompete us for resources. Worst case scenario is an extinction event, best case scenario is that we live in some sort of zoo.
Recently, the breakthroughs in artificial intelligence have been coming fast and furious. Pretty much every game or activity you can think of there now is specialized AI that is better than humans at that… everything from image identification to chess to Go to thousands of other areas.
Most recently, there is now AI that can build AI better than humans can…. this is potentially the beginning of recursive self-improvement.
I find it very helpful to have my team leads conduct one on one meetings with my team members. They review work and priorities to be done, previous work that has already been completed, and discuss any other outstanding issues. I am planning on talking to my team about this in our Monday company meeting. Hopefully it is something that will continue to deliver better results to Coalition’s clients!
I have just added one of my employees to my hand coded project Scoretask that we use internally for project management. Hamza should be able to really help me get some fixes done that have been on my backburner for awhile. I am having him start by working on the easiest mini-site we have for tracking links built for clients. He will first build acceptance and unit tests, then refactor and improve my code and finally make feature changes and improvements.