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Solve for Happy
This morning, I finished reading the book Solve
for Happy: Engineer your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat, which I started reading on August
14, the day I bought it. I did not read the whole book, because I skipped
some parts that I did not find interesting. I am not very impressed by this
book that is not much different from other self-help, think-positive books. I
was disappointed by the chapter in which the author defends intelligent design
and reveals that an important foundation of his hapiness is the idea that
everything that happens has a meaning. He defends intelligent design on
probability reasoning, but I am not convinced that his graps of statistics is
sufficient. Also, in one of the earlier chapters he argues that there is no
absolute knowledge. In one place he talks about how reality comes into
existence through living observers, based on an incorrect understanding of the
observer concept in quantum mechanics, while at another place he argues that
everything is controlled by a designer. To me this seems to contradict each
other. For someone like me, who believes that there is probably no designer
and that everything happens just by chance, there is not much to get from this
Humans in the backseat?
At the end of the afternoon, I went to Lightbulb chat: AI: Humans in the backseat? event at the DesignLab of
University of Twente. There were two introductions followed by an open
discussion. The first introduction was by Ringo Ossewaarde. (What follows is based on notes that I made during the
talk and might be an incorrect representation of what was being said.) He
discussed artificial intelligence from a view point of social science. He
remarked that AI is already quite old and that only recently it has gained some
development. It is part of what is called the fourth technological revolution. He want to address matters of concern
rather than matters of fact. There are four issues of concern he wants to
AI will change the job landscape, both for lower and high-tech jobs.
- That much of the development of AI is done from a logical positivism point of view. But there exist other views of
science. It also seems to based on a mechanical world view.
- He is worried about the power stucture around the research and deployment
of AI. The research and application of AI is mostly done by American
companies, what is often refered to as the Tech Oligards. Europe is
seriously lacking behind in this area.
- The problem with the algorithms as such. The black box problem. The lack
of access to the algorithms. What sort of world is presented by these
algorithms? It is also a rather conservative force in the sense that it
is keeping power in old structures.
- What are the implications of AI on society. There is a strong emphasis on
The second introduction was by Khiet
Truong. The showed the Google Duplex 2018 video. Should we make systems as human like as
possible? Would we really want this? She showed video from Japan where there
is much research done about the application of AI in the care for the elderly,
epsecially with demantia. She also mentioned the Chinese room argument: The issue of weak and strong AI.
It was followed by a very wide discusion, where too many (often conflicting)
issues and view points were mentioned to be summarized. The discussion was
rather shallow and did not touch on some of the most important issues, I think.
Music at the neighbours
Today, there is the Muziek bij de buren (music at the neighbours) event
in many cities in the Netherlands. In Enschede there are 37 places, mostly
living rooms, where you can go and listen to some music performances. At 13:00,
I listened to a performance of Heliophile. (I saw them before on September
16, 2017.) I bought a T-shirt and their EP Downhill from here. I
also was offered a cup of veganistic pea soup. While biking to the next
location, I came accross WSH and listend a bit. I wanted to see an exhibition
at XPO, but it was closed (although on the door it
said that it should be open). I went to the cee spot and saw the last part of the performance of Times Like These, a cover band. I stayed and worked
on my notebook until the start of the next performance and left to see the
second performance of She's On Mars.
This happened to be at the place of some acquaintances that I have known for
about thirthy years. I stayed some time after the performance to talk with
Thin layer of snow
Yesterday, there was a lot of attention in the news that it was going to snow this night during a transition from cold to warmer weather. There was
some warning for heavy snow fall. In the morning, there was a thin (broken)
layer of snow outside. It was like this in a large part of the country. There
was only one out of 240 weather stations that reported 5 cm of snow. There were
some large areas with 2 or 3 cm of snow. It was not snow that was causing
problems, but fog. By the end of the day, all of the snow had melted away.
At the end of the afternoon, I watched the exhibition Extraterritorial Realm - The second texture by
Chen Yu-Jung at the University. His
stay in Enschede is supported by Artist Residencies Enschede. I also saw, in the smaller exhibition room,
work by Lisa Maartens as part of AKI takes over.
I played my first game of Go in almost a year. It was the
first time, I played against my opponent. I won playing black with 74 points
against 37.5. The difference could have been much smaller. My opponent cut a
long chain of stones, but when I played a moving giving my opponent the choice
between letting me reconnect the stones or letting me create a single eye in
the chain, my opponent decided to prevent the eye and thus allowing me to
reconnect the stones.
This months interesting links
| November 2018
| January 2019
| Random memories