Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reversibility – or – How to judge human interaction

Imagine if eighty prominent American scholars were invited to Tehran for a conference. After months of securing visas, final clearances, and days of travelling, they arrived at the Tehran airport only to be detained, shackled, and deported back to the United States.

It’s simple:

If you judge something as “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong” between two persons or parties, just try to swap the players and look at the result: Do you still judge it in the same way?


Then you don’t judge, but prejudge – you demonstrate bias, openly, traceably and seeably for anybody without your blinders.

Under the radar: an Iranian and America

I guess, that’s the reason, why nearly all people outside America think about America, the world and everything in another way, because thanks to that great American gift of TV and Internet for a better communication, for freedom of mind through free access to information...

people everywhere are now able to watch News and look for information.

Thanks to TV and Internet the isolation so urgently needed for a working propaganda – will no longer be an excuse in the years to come, because particularly with the Internet the isolation from the truth is only...

voluntary, a willing choice to close your eyes, your ears, your mind...

As if it would be so hard to know what’s right or wrong between humans – the old wisdom of the Golden Rule (“Do to others as you would have them do unto to you” – Jesus) is so easy to verify...

just imagine...

use your fantasy, the great ability of your brain to do simulations...

just swap the roles...

Especially if you demand something from someone – ask yourself, if you would demand it “from the other kind of people” – would you really ask Christians to beg pardon for the Crusade of Mr. Bush?

Because human are first of all – human, human dignity doesn’t differ between male or female, the color of skins, the place of your birth or the amount of money your parents have.


Human rights are fundamentally about the notion of guaranteeing human beings the right to be treated with respect, honour and dignity.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Quotes of Voltaire

Found at Wikiquote:

François-Marie Arouet (November 21, 1694 - May 30, 1778) French writer, deist and philosopher; better known by his pen name Voltaire. (Emphasis mine, just for better understanding of his words about religion and churches)

Man is free at the instant he wants to be.

Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.

It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.

To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature.

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.

Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours

When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.

All men would then be necessarily equal, if they were without needs. It is the poverty connected with our species which subordinates one man to another. It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence.

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly- that is the first law of nature.

Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.

[Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world.

It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions.

Thought depends largely on the stomach. In spite of this, those with the best stomachs are not always the best thinkers.

Money is always to be found when men are to be sent to the frontiers to be destroyed: when the object is to preserve them, it is no longer so.

Virtue supposes liberty, as the carrying of a burden supposes active force. Under coercion there is no virtue, and without virtue there is no religion. Make a slave of me, and I shall be no better for it. Even the sovereign has no right to use coercion to lead men to religion, which by its nature supposes choice and liberty. My thought is no more subject to authority than is sickness or health.

It requires twenty years for a man to rise from the vegetable state in which he is within his mother's womb, and from the pure animal state which is the lot of his early childhood, to the state when the maturity of reason begins to appear. It has required thirty centuries to learn a little about his structure. It would need eternity to learn something about his soul. It takes an instant to kill him.

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other

Nothing is so common as to imitate one's enemies, and to use their weapons.

In a word, we only pray to God because we have made him in our image. We treat him like a pasha, like a sultan whom one may provoke or appease.

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.

Add to this Kants “What is Enlightenment?” and Nietzsches “Last Man”, then you see:

It doesn’t change much since 1750.

Except for?

Global Population explosion...

Global Waste...

Global Wars...

Global Warming...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Two kinds of people

Winners and losers...

you say?

And show in a very nice way how a “reflex” works – fast and with only one outcome using a “shortcut” around brain. And Pavlov could demonstrate that there are not only “physical reflexes”, but even trained ones: If you teach an information processing system (using the active mode of processing) to react quickly with only one outcome, you are particularly successful, because you can use ‘pure’ information: an initial state always leads to the same end state. Therefore to learn an initial-state-end-state-pair means to know future (at least partially) – you only have to detect a known (stored in memory) initial state to foresee the result of the process = the end state – to foresee the future. And to foresee the future means being able to decide “proactively”. That’s why each and every information processing system is eager to find information, independent of the processing mode.

What’s the difference between “active” and “passive”?

The active ones can learn new “information” aka new initial-end-state-processings while the passive ones are...


So each and every information processing systems – forced by the never biased laws of nature – will use passive strategies just for the sake of speed as long as possible, because in reality you have not only to decide what’s best for you but to decide it early enough to avoid harm.

That’s why Pavlov reflexes – in general – are a good thing.

But passive processing has to “pay a price” for the speed – systems using passive processing are not able to learn. And that’s why you have to “decondition” systems been trained wrong, you can’t just argue with them rationally...

like the idea, that all the people can be separated in winners and losers and all the animals (including humans) can be separated in “predator and prey”.

How about the fact, that most of the predators are themselves prey of other predators? How about crows and elephants? How about the fact, that each winner is so often a loser in his whole lifetime?

No, there’s a more basic axis to categorize human minds – actually an axis used in ancient typologies you can see until now in the zodiacal signs and in Tarot (proving the power of memes, but that’s another story and shall be told another time).

The axis uses a very important element of each and every information processing task: positioning. You need positioning to measure and you need measurement to identify and you need identity to detect states, initial states and end states.

And actually, this ancient axis – as amazing as the Celtic calendar with its sophisticated mathematics to describe the informative processes created by the course of sun and moon – uses the only thing, an active information processing system is ever able to know for sure: its own existence (but brain isn’t a pure Solipsist ;-) ). So this axis is described by two poles: endogen and exogen, “inside yourself” and “outside yourself”, which leads us to the “control”, again a basic element of each and every information processing because that’s what’s information processing is all about.


To detect and to observe, to classify and to analyze, to decide and to react – control of what’s going on and of yourself just for the sake of your own best being. And because control – and the inherent question “Cui Bono” – is the foundation of any information processing simply because each finite system has to reduce the de facto infinity of reality (you know: IKI Infinity Kills Information).

Alas, for high intelligence aka a multilevel hierarchical processing system the “distance to reality”, the simple fact, that each and every processing system has to work with “mappings”, has to create blueprints of the world rather than to be able to “incorporate the whole world outside” includes the risk, that small processing failures on a low level of processing add to a huge mistake in the end of the processing, at the point of decision – with the lethal danger of wrong decisions risking the own survival. So high intelligence has developed many valdiations, trying to verify as much as possible. That’s the reason btw, why you can “reconfigure” a person to remember “wrong memories” – just by giving so much plausible current input AGAINST the remembered, that the system starts to combine the states in other “initial-end”-chains, such reorganizing the whole “knowledge”.

And high intelligence – living in a group – has a “painless” help to verify the own processing: The processing of other members of the group. Because information is physical and a given initial state always leads to the same end state, two information processing systems fed with the same input have to get the same result (as long as they both have the same abilities and goals). In a group, one knows each other and therefore is able to estimate the others abilities and interests – and if another information processing system seems to be as capable as yourself and is likely to share the same interests it should be reaching the same results by using the same input.

So if your friends assure you, that you are right, it’s nothing else than bettering the probability of correctness of your decisions – it betters your chances to survive. That’s why approval is so important for high intelligences.

“But what” – you will ask – “ what does that have to do with the topic?”

Look at such a high intelligence in a group of friends – having to process a nearly infinite amount of information as fast as possible, having to consider not only your own interests but the interests of your protecting group is really a tough job. So you use the advantage of the group, not only protection, but synergy – you willingly are part of the group, the group’s actions, the group’s decisions, the group’s culture and laws and rules to protect your own interests and survival.

And here we’re back on topic.

Because at this point you have to decide – to be controlled by yourself or be controlled by the uber-ego of the group.

“But where is the problem” – you will ask. “The groups interests are your interests, just because if not you would live alone.”

“Yes,” i’ll reply, “but the same interests don’t mean the same decisions. It takes two to process information, always and ever: Two states, initial and end, two processing 'modes', active and passive, two elements, stability and dynamics – and two input factors: input signals and the goals choosing which signal is to be ignored and which is to be processed. So the same interests must not mean the same results, because each member of a group has a slightly different input.”

And laws and rules are standard-decisions – like instincts and emotions they are 80%-solutions for a standard situation detectable by some key signals. But like instincts and emotions they are not able to solve the other existing 20% problems. Therefore, Mother Nature gave us our Ego – the decision point only in case the results of the subsystems (like instincts and emotions) lead to some contradictions. Btw, everytime, instincts and emotions get the same result, Ego isn’t “activated”, that’s why philosophy, the foundation of goals and interests we depend on, is so important, because philosophy is the soil on which even instincts and emotions work (remember Pavlov?)

So everytime a 20%-problem occurs where instincts and emotions, rules and laws don’t fit, you have to use your Ego to verify the input, to check the results of the subsystems and then to do the decision based on the checked and verified results.

Sounds fine.

But in a group – in case of such an irritation – the slightly different input signals might lead to different results – and then you have to decide if you follow your result aka if you can prove your result as being more apt to the situation – or if you follow the results of the others in case they can prove their result as being more apt to the situation.

Still sounds fine.

But remember the power of approval? The lust for approval is an instinct either, given us by Mother Nature because of the “painless verification” approval allows. Alas, that kind of verification only works when the processing systems are separated and only the results are compared. In a human group with the high density of communication based on language, the processings aren’t truly separated – by words you can transfer “milestones” of your processing and so reach some “agreements” how to interprete information...

that’s part of the communication of human groups and it is part of the strength of the human race – but it lowers the advantage of verification. Why? Think of all the biologic inheritance in a human mind, the lust for approval, the fear of the unknown, the hope that daddy will fix it and you see how easy it is to convince a person from something wrong. And then the results of both information processings may be the same, but alas, they are the same wrong results.

And because that’s such a basic problem of high intelligence it needs the most developed “tool” of information processing: the Ego, the ability to check oneself with all the own capabilities and own risks, with all the own input-deciding goals and all the given knowledge to position it against a current situation simply to get the best result, to be able to re-calculate the part of the own processing in a result to estimate if the own wishes had trumped the objective processing.

And because that’s such a basic problem, it touches the basic question of the own ability to make good decisions for oneself, it touches the old fear to decide something wrong which will risk the own existence – and this feds the eagerness to follow the decision of someone else of your group, because the other one also wants to survive – in your group, so it’s likely that the other decision will help you, too.

That’s the reason, why only 20% of the people are self-controlled – says behavioral science. 60% are followers and 20% need control, because without control they are ruled by their bodies, mostly because their biological cycles aren’t as perfectly “normalized” as they should be.

“So what” – you will ask” – “that fits well with winners, they control the situation and are able to force others to follow their own decisions.”

“Oh no” – i will reply – “to control a situation is not, what the definition of a ‘winner’ describes. Think of a hermit in the forest. He perfectly controls his life and everything around him. Do you call him a ‘winner’? I guess, you will not, because a winner has to fight and to win. But do you call a hunter, killing a bear, a ‘winner’? i guess, you will not either, because the bear might be beaten, but no one will call him a ‘loser’ – and a winner needs a loser. So you see, you only can be a winner, if you are able to make someone a loser. And here you have to follow the rules of the group, because who is the winner and who is the loser is not your decision. Read your Konrad Lorenz again, if you think so. The alpha-chimp, a perfect representation of a winner, is dependent on the support of the group. As long as he has the support, he will win – otherwise he loses. It doesn’t matter if he is stronger or weaker – the ‘amount’ of support decides."

That simply means that a wanna-be-alpha has to follow the rules of success of his group to know and to perform the wished actions, classified as “successful” by his group. And in the end, that means that he has to be a good delta, only fighting against members of the own level (and weaker ones), then to be a good gamma, afterwards a good beta and only if he is a lucky careerist, he can become alpha – as long as he is able to beat the next wanna-be-alpha, but in the end he will lose and has to go.

Sure, you can say, he follows his goal to be “the winner”, but that goal isn’t really a “performable” goal, it can’t create objective decisions, because above anything else you have to consider the current group where you want to be seen as “winner”.


Careerists, winners have to be cyclists: kick downwards, bow upwards.

Look at the pope – a typical alpha male, the one and only to decide in the Catholic Church, previously the most loyal defender of the words of the previous pope.

Or look at the role model of each and every careerist: Albert Speer. First he obeyed to the rules of the Nazis, then he obeyed to the rules of the American democracy – in both systems he was “successful”, a “winner”, but only because he followed the rules better than anybody else.

Actually, winners are just “lucky losers” – look around you, look at those, called “winners”. Are they truly the best – or are they just more lucky as others? Yes, they kiss boots and betray others to be successful but that’s not enough. Most people do that. There always has to be some help to be successful – a friend, a well meaning supporter, not to be sick at the right moment – and there always has to be a necessary fact fulfilled: that there is no stronger wannabe-winner there.

“But what” – you will ask – “what about aristocrats? Those ‘winners' are never forced to prove to be the best because their fathers can pay anybody to do the jobs for them and in case of failure pay the judges and/or scapegoats to be punished for them.”

“They also have to obey the rules of their aristocracy, maybe more than anybody else. Because without the support of the aristocratic ‘network’ they are nothing. Look at the Bushs – look at everything Mr. George W. Bush has done in his life. Use an objective scale (simply by simulating the situation with another actor like ‘Joe Sixpack’) and classify what he has done and i guess, you simply will judge:’Uber-Loser, son by profession’. He will never be able to live on his own.”

“But he is President of America” – you will say.

“Not on his own account. Without the money and the powerful friends of daddy, he would be nothing else than a tramp. And he knows that. He knows that he is nothing without his group as well as any other ‘winner’ knows, because no one is as worried about the own ‘success’ as winners. Look at them, how they mistrust everybody and everything. Mr. Bush doesn’t dare to walk alone on streets, he even has to hide behind sealed manhole covers, needs weeks of preparation and millions of dollars to build the walls of ‘security’ to hide behind.

If you call that ‘to follow his own rules’, i dare to doubt that to live in a Gilded Cage like the Chinese Emperor, hidden behind a huge buffer of walls, weapons and warriors is following the own rules. Why do you think are so many ‘winners’ in the end believers in some odd things or religions, why do so many of them suffer from burn-out? Simply because they don’t follow their own rules but feel forced to so many things...

even as Chinese Emperor or American President.

That’s why the two basic kinds of people are not winners and losers, but the self-controlled and the followers, the free and the obedient.

Look at the poor man able to be happy – or look at the rich one able to be still human – they don’t follow the rules (and characterizations) of the group, the poor doesn’t care about being a ‘loser’ and the rich doesn’t care about social darwinism, about the ‘kill or be killed’-philosophy of the greedy violence (as history proves, the ‘best’ strategy to become very fast very rich).

Look at Van Gogh or Boltzmann.

Not really winners – but following their own rules. And the latter ones show why so many prefer to be followers.

To be self-controlled means to be free.

But Freedom is a really tough job.

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What happened to “No American Left Behind”?

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful fairy tale, even better known as the Grimm’s Tales...

that America never ever would allow foreigners or nature to harm a single American without sincerely trying to rescue him/her...

by all means...

Hollywood made great movies of brave heroes risking their lifes – successfully of course - to rescue some lonely American out of the hell, either of war or of natural disasters.

Actually, this fairy tale was “true enough” to convince the world, that whenever Americans were involved, the Superpower would not stop the efforts to protect them. You could bet that any other person would be “allowed” to stay in hell...

but that America would do anything to save life and dignity of Americans no one would have doubted...

once upon a time...

American citizens who are trying to leave Lebanon must agree to repay the U.S. government for the cost of their evacuation

Oh yes, the government had to cancel that - but fact is: They tried it.

and the people still believe in this wonderful fairy tale...

James LeFlere, 56, was trying to remain optimistic.
"They're going to get us out of here. It's just hard to hang on at this point," he said.

patiently waiting while what happened?

At one point, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line.

Why? Because it’s just “reasonable” to prefer the people "who care for the nation", while the poor are only “waiting for somebody else to take care of them. They have children they can't afford. They're uneducated. They can barely read.”

Well, hell, yes, we should save the rich people first. You know, they're the ones that are responsible for this prosperity.

“All a[mericans] are equal, but some a[mericans] are more equal than others." – Animal Farm