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Communism & associated tangents

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#26
It is truly amazing how many of you speak of these things not realizing that what you speak of is slavery. Mental or physical it is against everything that humans are. Your discussion is a system on how to herd animals so they dont hurt eachother or one pig eats more food then that pig. The key has already been stated:

"Principles of my Ethos:
• Core Morality: The core morality is the ethical boundaries that prevent tragedy and suffering. It is that which is essential for enjoyable contact between people, and the enjoyment of life.
• Drive to Perfection: Ideals are not just for guidance, but are to be strived for. Even when it seems acceptable, continuing working towards the goal prevents stagnation and improves the quality of life.
• Innovation: New ideas and approaches are essential for preventing stagnation, showing up problems and finding new, better solutions.
• Information: Being informed allows choices to be made with better decisions, is healthy and exciting for the mind and leaves problems kept on top of.
• Compromises: Although problems often become polarised, the ideal solution satisfies both sides. Keeping the balance aids this goal.
• Sense and Simplification: Complexity can lead to paradox, confusion, stagnation, false justification and unchanging conditions. Common sense and reasonable simplification makes everything achievable."

we'll never achieve these things currently to have a good society thats free. All we can hope for is a change in education and hopefully in a 100 yrs we will achieve it. Communism is the solution now in your view because our education, media, TV, music, etc all have taught us wrong.
 

The Archivist

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#27
Thanks shadow.

The point is, to reiterate what shadow has said, that socialism as the be all and end all can become a fixation that can ignore a core morality in pursuit of itself. Although socialism does have a part to play, it must be integrated with other systems to achieve all the points. There are many ways of doing so, and if your supercomputer was to be part of a larger system then that could work. On its own, it is doomed to spiral inward with self-obsession, due to lack of innovation, and eventually discard other points on the way: Morality, Information, Compromise & Sense fall away, leaving nothing but a sole Progress Drive whose principles are empty and meaningless.
 

Count Darvaleth

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#28
The Archivist said:
There is one problem with a super-computer mind: It could satisfy all but innovation. A computer cannot come up with new ideas or ways to apply those ideas unless it gains sentience, and if it gains sentience then the three laws would condemn him to slavery.
I completely agree; the computer would not be able to invent new things. But that does not mean innovation would die; humans would still invent and innovate. After all, scientists and such will still exist in this society. The computer doesn't need to invent; it just needs to see the new technology, be allowed to run experiments and then simulations to calculate its impact, then decide whether it is economically viable at its current stage, and then, if it ticks these boxes, begin production immediately. Hence innovation is not sacrificed.

@ Shadow: I don't believe Communist society is slavery. Neither do I believe a Communist society run by a computer is slavery; if anything, the computer is the slave to humanity's best interests, not the other way around. I struggle to see how an emotionless machine programmed to maximise human happiness could possibly enslave the population.
 

The Dread King

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#29
A computer cannot truly learn morals. Therefore, in cases where the emotions and moral codes of humanity are brought up and questioned, the computer's decision may be somewhat controversial.
Also, what would happen if there was a powercut (i.e. if the computer system crashed/died etc.). Then some guy might "stand in" for the computer until it was fixed and the country could very easily end up being run by a dictator.
 

Count Darvaleth

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#30
The computer's decision when morals come into play would be based on human happiness statistics, not what it thinks is best, because it doesn't truly think. If it didn't have enough data it would take a referendum of sorts so that future similar situations have plenty of data to go on.

As for powercuts... again, it comes back to the single barrier being the infallibility of the computer. Yes, it makes it less practical, but means that the single problem is, as I have said, the creation of the infallible computer.

Besides, I doubt there would be a powercut as by the time we can create these computers we will have practically infinite energy in the form of nuclear fusion. We can already do fusion we just don't have a material to line the reactor yet.
 

The Archivist

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#31
{Unless it becomes sentient, in which case it is slavery to keep it shackled.}

But how is it to measure the impact of something new? I, a scientist, bring out a new material with properties that is then developed into something new. This device does not fall into previous sectors, as a trinket might, and so the two are lumped together in 'testing' (however you do this) and its potential is not recognised. If it can evaluate new ideas, it is moderately sentient, and if it has new devices explained to it through new parameters, there is a new, human factor you haven't used before.
 

Count Darvaleth

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#32
I personally wouldn't lose much sleep over enslaving one, emotionless machine in return for a Utopian society; of course, I can't speak for everyone!

As for the evaluation of new technologies, most modern technologies are developed to make a certain process better or faster or cleaner. The computer can analyse these things.

If it is entirely based on leisure, however, then it can base the decision to develop the product on reviews by users; a large selection of people would use the new technology (can't imagine what it would be, but that's for the inventor to do anyway!) and then rate it. The computer now has statistics it can work on and therefore can happily continue its system of simulating and comparing data.

The computer would use past data and simulations wherever possible; where there is not enough in the way of statistics then it can simply gather data from human opinion until it has enough to simulate outcomes.
 

Count Darvaleth

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#34
Statistics again. Human polls etc.

It can also measure it partly through the level of healthcare and well-being of the humans; it'll ensure they have enough to survive, then a little more above that, and then it turns to happiness data for further changes.
 

Chaos_Born

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#36
How are these polls taken? Do people go on their own PCs and send an online survey to the computer, is it done on paper and shiped etc?

See where I'm going now
 

Count Darvaleth

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#37
I can see that you are saying the polls could be rigged or otherwise affected by other humans; however, seeing as each human is chipped at birth to monitor health and other conditions, I could easily see it being able to register high-stress at the point of voting (somebody behind you with a gun etc.) and would also stop people impersonating others. Heck, the chip might even be able to take the vote mentally!

I do see what you mean, but I feel that if we could create such a masterpiece of technology then we could probably make that not-so-enormous leap to safe polling stations. :clown:
 
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#38
In reading these posts there definitely is this utilitarian theme to all this; my essential argument being that what works for most people does not work for everyone, and governments structured to uniformity fail. The simplest example i can give is about two shoemakers, one shoemaker lives in a "capitalist" government and the other lives in a "communist" government. the capitalist shoemaker has an incentive to make a great product and many of them, with competition the capitalist shoemaker must stay competitive and produce quality work to survive. The communist shoemaker on the other hand gets the same wage regardless of if he makes 3 pairs of shoes or 500 pairs in a day, without incentive quality suffers and people remain unmotivated. (this occurred during the Communist history of Russia workers were gluing high heels on boots as a joke) I know that i am talking merely about the economic value of both systems but in reality it transcribes into larger society. The problem with Communism is that the smartest people in a Communist society are not Communists they merely claim to be while they have the system work in their favor; you see this with China today, they label their country as Communist but there are huge disparities with wealth and education in that country, you have private ownership in China however they still claim to be Communist. Anyways to the point the problem with the supercomputer idea is that machines cannot comprehend unspoken law, if two people are about to be hit by a car and you can only save one the computer would vote to save the one with the highest probability of surviving, however if the one who has the higher probability is an 85 year old man, and the other a 12 year old girl, a human would understand the right course of action. (also the government fails during power outages or around strong magnets) Lastly western civilization evolved into what it is today, and it is still changing. The general "disproval" of Communism is merely because in the greater scheme of things it lost out to Socialism and Capitalism, Communism would be great for a small village... doesn't work large scale though
 

Chaos_Born

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#39
Good answer Darvy, but there's more.

Are people allowed to make anything of their own, for example painting or modeling warhammer models?

It's been a while since I've tried to assail an idea that's been thought through. I'm enjoying this:)

Edit: Ninja'd. But I'm going to save Darvy the trouble of an answer for unanswered and the paradoxical connotations involved. Your first point regarding the lack of incentive has already been answered in Darvy's initial plans. There will be simple rewards, like shows and stuff. As for the computer's lack of humanity in decision making, then after a couple of bad decisions it will notice the negative 'happy polls' and will adjust and learn accordingly.

This doesn't mean that I agree with your plan or your logic Darvy and I don't want to appear to hijack your role as the defending party, but I'd rather not see you buried under a stream of arguments and counter points. After all, you need your head clear to argue with me :D
 

The Archivist

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#40
Darvy, when I say artificial sentience, it is something very different to artificial intelligence.
Sentience is the point at which one becomes a 'person', with emotions, intelligence and artistry. The bars are set low, but the combination of the three is very rare currently.
Emotions are feelings, desires, hates and instinct. Animals are a good example of high emotional levels, but low artistry and intelligence.
Intelligence is sheer processing power. Today's computers are highly intelligent, for an artifice, but have little or no emotion or artistry.
Artistry is the 'spark' of innovation, lucidity and imagination. Randomness is sometimes considered to be a factor, but it is the most unfathomed part of the trio.
A low level combination of these can be sentient. We have relatively high proportions of the three, with obvious variations in the three. If a computer were to develop an ability to judge, it gains a reasonable leap in emotion, and the ability to innovate would constitute artistry. The combination of these three would deem it sentient.

As a sentient being, it would be able to function, perhaps disparately but there are many humans who are disparate, as a persona. As such, to shackle it in the mind with laws and limiting programming is, in effect, slavery.
When you say you would be willing to enslave a machine, do you mean harness an inanimate machine or enslave a being that is a new sentient being? I hope that it is the latter.
 
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#41
Darv, how can you not see this as a form of slavery? Human beings are not ants. You are basically adding a computer as the queen ant. Humans need to make their own decisions and it should not be dictated by another human or especially a computer. If your the religious sort then getting God involved is another topic. Humans are good and bad we all have this quality and the goal is to achieve complete goodness to nature and our fellow man. You cannot force people to do it like your system would attempt to do. The day they "assign" me a job in a communist society is the day your products or food sucks. I will do everything in my power to sabotage your new smart phone or whatever. Then the computer will decide Im a threat and terminate me through my new shiny implant. Welcome to Communism
 

Chaos_Born

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#42
The reason you aren't enslaving the people is because (as Darvy has said) the choice is theirs if they leave the computer run state.

As for enslaving the machine, that just sounds insane. You say that one of the things necessary for sentience is innovation...at what point does this computer innovate. Essentially it is a big manager that can correct problems based on readings of happiness and trial and error. No, the computer isn't sentient, it is only a machine that must follow a set algorithm. In this case it's an extraordinarily complex algorithm, to which it can add new processes, but it only adds them in a way it is programmed to, not in any kind of innovative way.

Right, back to my question...
 

The Archivist

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#43
What I am arguing is that, for a computer to be able to perform properly on its own, it must be sentient, and if it is sentient then it is immoral. As for your 'algorithm', we are all programmed to some extent, but we can write new programming in our heads through learning, and can do random things through small variations in conditions affecting the brain. It is not immpossible to concieve that a computer might do the same.
 
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#44
Darvy, you a Neal Asher fan by any chance?
As some of your ideas do sound a lot like the Polity.

In answer to the 'Where do people go to parliament if there is no government?'
I don't think I made myself fully clear, my idea is that you have a government of sorts, only it is made up of the elected individuals from certain areas. So while they do rule the country as such, they have been voted for by the people in their local area, and won't stay in power unless they get a majority vote from that area. To prevent dictator's rising to power, you would have a system where if it can be proved that the majority of a person area no longer want them as their representative, then they are replaced by a suitable candidate.

While the idea of using computer is all well and good, I agree that it may lead to a slight form of stagnation. However, no where has Darvy stated that he would abandon Scientific pursuits in his utopian society. The idea of getting a chip implanted at birth worries me a little, as that could lead to some issues.
 

Mad 'At

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#45
What is the meaning of life? To be happy. Can anyone wish anything more than to be happy? No, I don't think so. Of curse there are many definitions of being happy, but I my view everything we do is an attempt to be happy.

Now, we build a computer that knows all about us and has the ability to command everything about our society (enforce laws, monitor food production, etc etc), we also give it the three laws for reassures and finally teases it to recognise happiness. Then we give it one order. Make everyone as happy as they possibly can be with the resources at hand.

The machine could do nothing but to make us happy, by any definition. Of curse there would be limitations by laws elected by the people, like you can't kill even if it makes you happy. The machine would have to value how to make as many people as happy as possible, even if it means that a few must remain relatively unhappy.

In the end most people would be happy. By the time we can build this machine I reckon most labour work can be done all by machines, so stuff like food production would be taken care of. Us humans can concentrate on what makes us happy, which in some cases would mean being innovative and other good stuff.

This trend that machines take over our labour is already happening, and a problem with capitalism I my eyes is that few understands that. To be well you have too work but the amount of work around us is less than it was 20 years ago, yet we have to work about the same amount per day to live normal lives. So instead of reducing the work hours and let the machines do the work we are forced to invent pointless new jobs which in the end are nothing but a waste of resources.
 

Chaos_Born

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#46
Monkey said:
So while they do rule the country as such, they have been voted for by the people in their local area, and won't stay in power unless they get a majority vote from that area. To prevent dictator's rising to power, you would have a system where if it can be proved that the majority of a person area no longer want them as their representative, then they are replaced by a suitable candidate.
This just describes the system of government in England at the moment!
 
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#47
Another problem with having Friend Computer (I will insist on calling it that) as supreme governor is that coups just became incredibly easy. Let's assume that everyone who built and programmed it was the most stunningly competent, lovable, huggable person you could ever hope to meet, with no agenda of their own. Even then, someone with decent hacking skills could likely change government policy on a whim; what if the person hacking in decided he really, really didn't like black people? Since Friend Computer seems to control every aspect of life, and knows exactly where everyone is (due to their chips), being a black person would not be much fun.

So you protect it. How? Surround it with its own, personal robot guard programmed to kill any intruders? Now your ultra-racist domineering supercomputer has its own private army. Surround it with human guards? If any one of them is untrustworthy, the system falls to pieces.

But let's assume you have safeguards so it can't hand out death sentences willy-nilly. What if it 'accidentally' gets a virus shutting it down for good? What do you do about the chappie who offers to take the reins 'just until Friend Computer is back online'? What do you do when Friend Computer is, mysteriously, never fixed? What if the new benevolent dictator decides that it is impossible for blacks and whites to coexist peacefully?

Rule by a computer is not communism. It is dictatorship by a machine.
 

Chaos_Born

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#48
As Darvy has said, we are assuming that the computer is utterly infallible. Unlikely, I know, but we must allow this given for the discussion to continue. This is merely a theoretical system after all, as it is unlikely there will ever be such a sophisticated machine made in our lifetimes.

Also, the computer doesn't rule. It organizes.

I'll just voice my question again Darvy, so that you can find/reference it easier. Are people allowed to make or enhance anything for a hobby or some such (for example, painting warhammer models)
 

The Archivist

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#49
Mmm... I assume that humans are perfect. Communism works!

I agree with spiney.
Seriously, any system is assumed to be fallible. It's how it copes with failure that defines how well it functions. A computer, unless sentient, cannot renegotiate failures in it's programming. Similarly, hackers will find a way if they try. It only takes a sledge hammer and a wire to get past key codes, a car to get past locked doors, a virus to get through firewalls and the system is open to anybody with the smarts.
 

Chaos_Born

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#50
What if the only one who knows where it is and how to work it are it's creators, who all kill themselves once it has been perfected. Also it could be nothing like a normal computer in it's form or operation. I'm not going to make any suggestions because that's not why I'm here.

This is really just a thought experiment, working off the one fixed given that the computer is infalliable. Of course that's unlikely, but so is the idea that a suggestion from a forum about warhammer will ever be taken seriously in the formulation of a country's government!
 
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