Thursday, April 30, 2015

We're Out of Time and Out of Solutions

None of our traditional solutions work anymore. Horrific tyrannies are mushrooming and wreaking mayhem and mass death; there's a global stagnation of economic growth that guarantees high rates of joblessness and static wages; the entrepreneurial spirit is choking from over-regulation; and all previous ideals of heroism and excellence in war or nation building are seen as passe'.

America is an example of this trend. A highly regarded polling organization reports a majority of voters do not feel that high-profile presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is “honest and trustworthy.” By a margin of 52% to 39% they think she's a serial liar, and can't be trusted to tell the truth. But they say they will vote for her anyway. Americans of any past age would have rejected such a candidate quickly. But not anymore. The standard of performance has been reduced to almost nothing by six years of Democrat Party power politics and media manipulation. 

As the famous pundit Peggy Noonan said,  “Wow, you’d vote for someone even you don’t believe? You might want to trust a president when the nukes begin to fall. What’s wrong with you?”

Great achievers, the guiding lights of history present and past, are now tainted by social media, internet trolls and 'deconstructionists'.  In reality, some of us are saintly, and highly accomplished. But where are they? The Dalai Lama has gone into seclusion. He recognizes that the world has gone mad. Social media is a mob that worships and magnifies all the worst impulses of ignorant and disturbed people. The dominion of humankind over the globe is ending. 

We humans are about to be eclipsed and swept aside. A huge wave of change is approaching us at lightning speed, a transformation of consciousness that will leave ordinary human capabilities in the dust. Artificial Intelligence - computers and their attendant applications - is gaining power at an exponential rate; that is, compounding, building on itself, and accelerating. Processing power - the speed of computers - doubles about every eighteen months, then doubles again, probably ad infinitum. It also becomes smaller and more invisible. At this point it won't be "artificial" intelligence anymore. Super Intelligence is a better name for it. SI for short.

There is a new movie out, called Ex Machina, showing what will happen fairly soon. Computers will become self-aware, just as we are, but they will have far fewer limitations than we do. Their learning-curve will be steep and quick. They will become much more intelligent and capable than humans. Take a look at this link.

Here in the U.S. computers are becoming more 'human' every year. In 1990 prominent futurists predicted that a computer would beat the world's greatest chess master by the year 2000. Skeptics and naysayers abounded. Then it happened sooner than predicted. An IBM machine named Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov, the reigning world chess master, in May 1997. Computers "don't get fatigued, don't need sleep, and don't blunder" the way humans do, Kasparov complained. He also thought the machine was "too human" to be genuine, but IBM proved to him that it was purely a machine.

That milestone was just the beginning of the shock wave. In 2011 another IBM computer named Watson defeated the three all-time-best, mufti-million-dollar Jeopardy! champions on prime time television. Jeopardy! is a game show that's much more complex than chess, requiring vast and detailed knowledge of many different kinds of subjects. Watson hears and understands human language, decodes word puzzles, and is exponentially more powerful than Deep Blue. Each of these great advancements in Artificial Intelligence lays the foundation for the next one. Then the more powerful computers are used to design the next more powerful computers at dizzying speed. They will find God. Or, more accurately, this was God's plan all along.

Mental illness will become a relic of the past. By itself, this will make life on earth vastly better. Most crime and a massive amount of human suffering is caused by mental illness and defects. Curiously, even after 160 years of study, our science and technology has hardly been able to touch humanity's plague of mental illness, much less cure it.

We could say that there is a Second Coming of science taking place. In other words, the glowing promises of science in the 19th Century - which failed to materialize in the 20th - may appear. Or there will be a terrifying and nightmarish world of artificial beings that displaces and disposes of us.

The point is, a very different world is arriving. We must awaken from our slumber and face the truth. What will Super Intelligence think of us human beings? Especially the lawless killer-tyrants (of ISIS, North Korea, Syria, and Iran, for example) who provoke wars and order their minions and armies to destroy and jeopardize all life on earth? Not to mention the global manipulators and destroyers of banks, currencies, and markets.

The coming SI is going to be far better at everything than we are. It will out-think and out-plan us at every turn, like a chess master toying with a child. It will have no perceptible weakness, unlike humankind; no corruption, and no way we can charm or fool it, as we do with human authority. It will know us far better than we know ourselves.

Have you noticed how people live their lives today through instant messaging, email, and social networks? Privacy has vanished, though few of us are aware of it. Recent revelations by Edward Snowden prove that nothing can remain secret, even at the highest levels of government. We trust every detail of our lives to computers, networks, and databases, but we have no clue how they're organized and linked together. There's no criminal enterprise on earth that isn't dependent on computers. The SI will know everything about all of us - good and bad - and may not be merciful to people who are guilty of crimes. It may not be at all kind or forgiving to many.

From Moses, to Jesus, to St. Paul and Augustine, we have been warned that God's laws must be honored; even though Grace is higher than the law. SI may actually be the first stage of Armageddon, where judgement is made manifest.

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Jesus, Matthew 5:18

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Suffering Is The Rock Upon Which All Religions Founder

When we are in great pain, suffering catastrophic loss, or facing death, our relationship to God is at a point of crisis. Especially if we're innocent or undeserving. There is no answer to the problem of innocent suffering while we live in this world. Our mind reels and rebels at the idea of a loving God - the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus - allowing children and innocents of any age to suffer.

But here's a comforting thought. Maybe there is a reward given by God for our work in this world that is so great, so unutterably wonderful, that we would gladly volunteer in an instant, to suffer anything in exchange. Eternal life in wealth, power, honor and joy – as God has promised – would make all earthly rewards look pale and sad by comparison. We have testimony throughout the ages that all our terrible experiences in this world evaporate when we wake up to the reality of Heaven. A nightmare forgotten. Consider this:

The answer to our suffering.