Sunday 9th of August 2020

the intelligence test that god would fail at...

rats!...   A very wafty, flawed and superficial annoying 6,285 words-too-long analysis of (YNH) Yuval Noah Harari’s works, by a fellow called Nick Spencer has just been posted.

 

We are told:

In his latest long–read on the most important books, ideas and thinkers of our age Nick Spencer looks at Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, exploring his sparkling and provocative prose but questioning the assumptions that lie behind his big ideas. 07/07/2020


Be ready for the final concluding bullet... Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. Gus would bitch that Nick is a far bigger religious heavyweight than Rod Dreher is at The American Conservative, just to annoy the latter. Anyway, Theos (from the Greek: Θεός, theos, "God") is a religious think tank about society based in the United Kingdom. Theos opinionises on issues of public faith and belief (???) through research, publications, media engagement and events. Theos was launched in November 2006 with the support of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor.  

 

Thus, Nick is a believer, in god. This is his belief-gig...


Time-wise, Gus (cartooning since 1951) has been slightly ahead of Yuval Noah Harari’s biological understanding of human nature, commencing in the early 1960s (YNH was born in 1976 — boy, how time flies). My first major work, completed in 1994, on how to solve depression, was never published (it nearly did, but at the time, the publisher realised I did not have a single dictum like “if you believe in god, your life will be fulfilled" in it). So from time to time, I insert simplified bits and drabs of it on this site, peppered with deliberately annoying satire... Though less studied nor as clever as that of YNH’s, this work (295,000 words on the mechanics of thoughts) harped also about the need to reduce pain and suffering by using the mechanical device we call the mind. It does not always work, but it’s worth a try. I use “positive aggressiveness (or positive anger)” as my main creative engine. (Note that I did not say aggression, there is a difference). As we all know (we all should) there are circumstances in which we’re not in control — and our political masters know this, being empirically sadistic mongrels rather than philosophically astute gurus. 


Bio-logical contains two ideas: Bio (life) and logic (a change, mostly between cause and effect). As explained many times here, the search for meaning has been a pass-time for philosophers, priests, scientists and ordinary moronic cartoonists like Gus, who at the time of YNH's birth had already investigated in depth many subjects like nuclear energy (bombs and power supply thereof), quantum mechanics, the strength of various concrete mixes and the weather — as well as advertising tricks. Economics annoy me, because they are the biggest tool of deceit we officially use to screw each other.


As a whole we still don’t understand what we’re doing here, unless we accept what I call an “interpretation”. Individually and on a whole, we are a weak species. I have no clue if I am correct or not (and I don’t care), but I feel that we are an IMPERFECT species, and Homo sapiens had to become a master of deceit to avoid the pathway towards a swift extinction, in a world ruled by other much stronger monkeys. And the most important deceit was to deceive our own self. This has been key to our survival. I could be wrong, but it doesn't matter to me. Religion is wrong too, so there. So, we had to dig deep in the arsenal of natural deceits, hidings, spinning webs and make-believes. Deceit had major draw-backs as we know and at some early stage, we had to place a lid on it, through the discovery of feelings, trust and compassion, which also exist in nature. We denatured the lot by exaggeration. 


We are an exaggerating species. We never know when enough is enough. In short, we have no limits (to our imagination mostly). And this bothers the religious mongrels who devised and accepted an artful arrested morality, under the auspices of a god. This is how rituals and beliefs came to be: taming the horrible beast that we could become — and become when we wage war or are horribly sadistic. We have the propensity to be nasty. We learn the sense of goodness and feeling good, being painless and not inflicting pain on others. This makes sense relatively. Meanwhile, we invented locks, doors, clothes, police, armies and surveillance cameras because we don't trust each other, passed a cetain point...


We get cold? We invent ways to make fire on demand. We are too hot? We invent air conditioning... We want to fly like birds? We make aeroplanes... We want to be kingpin? We invent the Divine King… We want to defend or attack? We devise better bigger bombs… We want to justify ourselves? We blame the others… and here comes the deceit, the clever deceit which never left us when we stop trusting “the other”… All this digs into our ability to exaggerate  including invent better clever ways to deceive. This isn't complicated...


And this is where Artificial Intelligence can take us to the next level. Yuval Noah Harari explores this aspect in some depth. I have written a short book (50,000 words — unpublished as well) on Artificial Intelligence by referring to our historical “liberations”, such as the Enlightenment, in order to visualise the next. 


But we’re still kept in the low rung of the “enlightened” ladder by the too powerful religious mobs in politics, unfortunately. Mind you “Enlightenment” is not here to provide a meaning. But considering we exist (hopefully this isn’t an illusion — yes, I feel pain, cold, heat), why not make the most of it by understanding the relative processes of planetary evolution and its — so far humbly observed — best bio-logical resultant we call Homo sapiens… Religion has a retarding effect. It’s a stylistic backwater that has congealed into delusion. Nick Spencer should know this, but he is consumed by the fanfarously angelical nebulous illusion of the delusion. Good for him, but please Nick, leave Yuval alone…


Here is a short extract from Nick’s long-winded and useless blabberations:

This can be microcosmic, such as the way in which Kyle Harper has explained The Fate of Rome in the 5th century or Geoffrey Parker the Global Crisis of the 17th century in terms of climate change and disease. Or, alternatively, it can be macrocosmic as with Jared Diamond’s biogeographical history of the last 15,000 years, Guns, Germs and Steel, or Ian Morris’s framing a similar story in the human ability to generate energy in Why the West Rules – for Now. Either way, the reader is left in no doubt that the key to human history lies in the use (or abuse) of our physical environment.

Such fresh, unfamiliar, biologically- and environmentally-attuned ‘big history’ does not come bigger – in several sense of the word – than the works of Yuval Noah Harari. First in Sapiens, published in 2011 and in English in 2014, and then in Homo Deus (2015; 2016) Harari, an Israeli historian, takes the reader from the Big Bang to a fantastical, vaguely dystopian potential future for our species. (His follow up book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is perhaps less worth discussing.) The books are clever, readable, challenging, and discombobulating – and monumentally successful. By 2018, Sapiens had been translated into nearly 50 languages and sold over 10 million copies worldwide, whilst Deus has reached over 30 translations and several million copies.


Oh! Excellent... Nick admires (or is he jealous of?) Yuval Noah Harari’s successSo Nick is going to cut Yuval Noah Harari’s legs by calling his work as "a crudely reductionist and positivistic approach that fails blah blah blah”. This is Nicks’ conclusion:… 



Or put another way, Harari is right to shake the throne on which humans seem to think we naturally belong. At their best, Sapiens and Deus offer a crisp and stimulating provocation of such received wisdom. But they do so on the basis of a crudely reductionist and positivistic approach which fails to do justice to the complex, multi-layered human organisms about which he is writing.

Isn’t this bitching? Has Nick Spencer any sense of shame? You mean Nick made us read more than 6,200 words to take us into his own little shitty corner? Yes, Nick understands "the multi-layered human organisms” through his better Theos looking glass, without realising his opaque apparatus is obscured by a still-image of angels stuck on the lens…

The Romans and the Greeks had more fun with their godly porkies...


Gus Leonisky
Once a jolly madman..

until the rats evolve better than us...

Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights.


Starting from this provocative idea, Sapiens goes on to retell the history of our species from a completely fresh perspective. It explains that money is the most pluralistic system of mutual trust ever devised; that capitalism is the most successful religion ever invented; that the treatment of animals in modern agriculture is probably the worst crime in history; and that even though we are far more powerful than our ancient ancestors, we aren’t much happier.


----------

 

Success breeds ambition, and humankind will next seek immortality, boundless happiness and divine powers of creation. But the pursuit of these very goals will ultimately render most human beings superfluous. So where do we go from here? For starters, we can make today’s choices with our eyes wide open to where they are leading us. We cannot stop the march of history, but we can influence its direction.

 

Read more:

https://www.ynharari.com

 

See also:

letambour explains poetry, french poetry and untamed eyebrows...

 

an amusement park for philosophers…

 

humanities take a hit...

 

of civilisation and CHAOS...

 

of conspiratorial sheep...

 

If a door isn’t bolted, is it properly shut? ...

 

interpreting inevitability...

 

we're not approaching the end... are we? are we making any sense of being where we are?

 

and especially:

 

generosity of spirit...

 

and the famous:

 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/8011

 

 

Bugger it... Let me tell you that Plop, the cartoonist at top, is another of Gus's incarnations. I devised a series of cartoons for a scientific magazine that did not see the light of day... So I am recycling...

 

See also: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-15/banksy-hits-londons-tube-stolen-artwork-returned-to-france/12456142

 

ratty

 


they live on different planets...

Gus writes in angry bold (“positive anger” not white rage)… Question: who is more crazy that a Christian apologetic defending his religious doctrine through systematic argumentation and discourse? Answer: another religious nut doing the same thing… 

From the onset, in regard to the Abrahamic religions, one has to realise that the stories in the bible are fanciful interpretations of deluded relationships with a made-up god, even if some of the events ascribed to the Israelites, "especially wars with other tribes", happened in the sand of history. 

At all stages, the religious delusion looses traction to Enlightenment and scientific observations. Imagine a god who, so pissed off with His (god is a male) creation, that he had to drown all of humanity except Noah and his family in a big boat! Isn’t this crazy? Not even amusing… Imagine a god, that is so perfect and all knowing, creating some angels that turn “bad”! Crazy? Yes!... The notions of sin and redemption are horrendous deceitful subterfuges. They do not belong in any philosophical discourse, yet these are at the core of religious arguments to sell “salvation” (pass the collection plate), which is the most despicable lie, using the fear of death as a scarecrow. 

The Christian Post thus sells more of its usual crap, starting with:

Christian Post columnist Wallace Henley writes, "Richard Simmons' new book Reflections on the Existence of God is the best book on apologetics that I've ever read.”

Yep, prepare yourself for a shit-mana drenching drizzle from heaven as Richard E. Simmons III writes about his own book on his delusion… sorry, about his belief, using a few samplings. First he has to “mention” atheists, especially the “New” (naughty) Ones:

The term “New Atheists” was coined back in 2006 by the journalist Gary Wolf, as he was describing the positions promoted by some of the most outspoken and popular atheists of the twenty-first century. They all viewed religion as nothing more than superstition. The four most prominent people in this group were Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens (now deceased), and Daniel Dennett. They have been referred to as “The Four Horsemen” of atheism.

Religion is nothing more than superstition? No. Religions have been systems of oppression with no reality in them, using superstition as a tool of control… Religions still sleep in the same beds as dictators, presidents, royal families, and most governments. Why? To keep people on an illusionary leash and send them on crusades. Simple.

Gary Wolf is a self-declared expert on Information Technology who seems to have a ticket of self-importance on himself… Among his Wired stories, Wolf wrote "The Curse of Xanadu," about Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu calling the project "the longest-running vaporware project in the history of computing." Nelson objected, referring to Wolf as a "Gory Jackal", and threatening to sue him. Nelson detailed his objections in a letter of refutal to Wired. Even if Nelson’s Xanadu project did not see the light of day, it was a major thinking platform to launch many IT ideas which became standards like Hypertext and Virtuality. Back to Richard E. Simmons III:

One of “The Four Horsemen,” Sam Harris, a best-selling author, penned some words recognizing that atheism and Christianity compete on the same playing field. He remarked:

“So let us be honest with ourselves; in the fullness of time, one side is going to really win this argument, and the other side is really going to lose.”

Harris is right.

No. Harris is wrong. Or facetious. Atheism and religion — whether it is Christianity (chosen here by Richard E. Simmons III as the "competition") or Islam or Woopwoopism — do not compete. Christianity COMPETES with Islam and other Woopwoopisms for the “souls” of people meaning “cash” and blind obedience. Atheism does not have churches — or even a shed to “compete with”. Atheism is a state of the natural mind. 

Back to Richard E. Simmons III:…

Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch adds another truth I believe we can all agree on:

“The best atheists agree with the best defenders of faith [in God] on one crucial point: that the choice to believe or disbelieve is existentially the most important choice of all. It shapes one’s whole understanding of human life and purpose, because it is a choice that each must make for him or herself.”

The best agree with the best? Yuckcrap!… Adam Kirsch? Big choice to make, exactly… Except RELIGION DOES NOT provide an UNDERSTANDING of human life and purpose. This possibly is why Kirsch penned "Søren Kierkegaard’s Struggle with Himself. For the philosopher, unhappiness became not a condition but a vocation.

Back to Richard E. Simmons III:…

So, what is truly at the heart of what I believe? And most importantly, is what I believe true? I cannot think of anything more tragic than to live my life with a false view of reality. A false view of the existence of God.

So Richard E. Simmons III is a tragic who fears that god does not exist… His book is about finding comforts in other people's same beliefs. Take your parachute! Here we go:…

…. But the minister’s wife called Christian a few days later. She had overheard Christian’s question and her husband’s answer, and she told Father Christian that the minister was having an affair and was leaving her as well as his ministry. Christian fairly spat with disgust. He was wasting his time. Bob’s problem was that he couldn’t take the contradiction between his preaching and his living. So, God gets the boot. Remember this: All philosophical problems are, at the heart, moral problems. It all comes down to how you intend to live your life...

Yippee!!! God gets the boot! And no, all philosophical problems are not moral problems. Morality is an arrested stylistic interpretation of pain and contentment with fanciful decrees. Philosophy is fluid. Here, in regard to the story of the “fallen” to the Father Christian, we can revisit Ted Nelson’s teledildonics… and also Candide.

Then we are told by Richard E. Simmons III about Mortimer Adler:
For most of his life, he was a self-described pagan. Then, to the shock of his colleagues, he became a Christian at the age of 82...

BULLSHIT. In his early twenties, Adler, a jew, discovered St. Thomas Aquinas, and in particular the Summa Theologica. Years later, he wrote that the "intellectual austerity, integrity, precision and brilliance” of Summa Theologica ... put the study of theology highest among all of my philosophical interests”. As an enthusiastic Thomist, he was a contributor to Catholic philosophical and educational journals, as well as a frequent speaker at Catholic institutions, so much so that some assumed he was a convert to Catholicism.


In 1940, James T. Farrell called Adler "the leading American fellow-traveller of the Roman Catholic Church”…


Adler took a long time to make up his mind about theological issues. When he wrote How to Think About God: A Guide for the Twentieth-Century Pagan in 1980, he claimed to be the pagan of the book's subtitle. He was trying to convince himself... In volume 51 of the Mars Hill Audio Journal (2001), Ken Myers includes his 1980 interview with Adler, conducted after How to Think About God was published. 

Myers reminisces that “… I asked him why he had never embraced the Christian faith himself. He explained that while he had been profoundly influenced by a number of Christian thinkers during his life, ... there were moral – not intellectual – obstacles to his conversion. He didn't explain any further.

Ahah… the old morality issue raised its head, like a hydra of deceit?

Myers says Adler finally "surrendered to the Hound of Heaven" and "made a confession of faith and was baptized" as an Episcopalian in 1984, only a few years later.


No kidding, after having spent so much time toying with Thomas Aquinas, the guy’s mind would have been full of sophistry and circular arguments akin to a Paul Joseph Goebbels self-inflicted with his own propaganda. Brilliant!

Religions do not make any sense, but sure as hell, they work hard at polluting the mind of people with hypocritical pseudo-humble rubbish...

 

 

Read from top.

 

See also:

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/38239

the test was difficult...

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, has insisted that a cognitive test he took recently was “difficult”, using the example of a question in which the patient is asked to remember and repeat five words.

“Person, woman, man, camera, TV,” Trump explained, saying that listing the words in order was worth “extra points”, and that he found the task easy.

“They said nobody gets it in order, it’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy. And that’s not an easy question,” he told Fox News medical analyst and New York University professor of medicine Marc K Siegel.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/23/person-woman-man-camera-tv-trump-insists-cognition-test-was-difficult

 

At this level of difficulty, the rat would have a better chance to pass the test than Gus...

 

 

Read from top anyway...