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April 4th, 2022

Where are you dreaming child of the sea?

Peter Pink-Howitt, "Ariel", algo-art 2021 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Ariel", algo-art 2021 CE

I awoke to the dawn without you

The first light of the day

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April 4th, 2022
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Luang Prabang", algo-art, 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Luang Prabang", algo-art, 2022 CE

To your people the Mekong means business

The Nam Kang is their playground

***

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April 4th, 2022
Peter Pink-Howitt, "flowing sagacity", algo-art, 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "flowing sagacity", algo-art, 2022 CE

Sleepy towns divided by a stone's throw

Speaking different languages within hearing distance

And always the river's lullaby

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April 4th, 2022
Peter Pink-Howitt, "blood-letting of sorts", algo-art 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "blood-letting of sorts", algo-art 2022 CE

"Something to do with violence a long way back

and wrong rewards and arrogant eternity"

(Phillip Larkin)

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April 4th, 2022

"I don't want them to take away my demons, I am scared they will take my angels too"

(Rainer Marie Rilke on Therapy)

Peter Pink-Howitt, "Prophecy", algo-art 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Prophecy", algo-art 2022 CE

Sallow-skinned with large pale watery eyes

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April 4th, 2022

coming soon

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April 4th, 2022

Part 2 — Homo Deus

Continued from Part 1

Peter Pink-Howitt, “Homo Deus”, algo-art 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, “Homo Deus”, algo-art 2022 CE

Little escaped their minute attentions and predations:

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March 10th, 2022

Part 1: Rise of the Innovators

Peter Pink-Howitt, “Rise of the Innovators”, algo-art, 2022 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, “Rise of the Innovators”, algo-art, 2022 CE

Part 1 — the rise of the Innovators*

Once

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December 15th, 2021
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Universal tree of life", algo-art, 2021 CE
Peter Pink-Howitt, "Universal tree of life", algo-art, 2021 CE

CONTENTS

Preface

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December 14th, 2021

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If a proper ethical framework is to be built, it is useful to run historic and futuristic scenarios through it to test the framework whilst it is still in development.

Below, some thought experiments are considered in the context of an ethical framework.[15]

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December 14th, 2021

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General Axioms

The General Axioms are relevant to any action, including ethical action

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December 14th, 2021

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Definitions

The following are some important concepts to be defined[1] provisionally, pending consensus.

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December 14th, 2021

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10.3. The Behind-the-Veil Test: Aliveness, Feeling, Intelligence and Wisdom Indexing

Given the risks of subjectivity and anthropocentric prejudice by humans, a significantly modified sort of Turing Test is proposed, which takes place ‘behind the veil’.[24] The use of the ‘Aliveness, Feeling, Intelligence and Wisdom’ (AFIW) Index is to ensure we try to identify similar qualities between different species.

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December 14th, 2021

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“Be noble, / Helpful and good! / Because that alone / Distinguishes him / Of all beings / Whom we know…

Hail the unknown / Higher beings, / Of our belief! / That we should be like them! / Their examples teach us / That we might believe in them.

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December 14th, 2021

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Vian, “Carpathian Biosphere Reserve”, Wikipedia, 2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0; Михайло Пецкович, “Autumn Morning in the outskirts of Rakhiv”, Wikipedia,  2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0; Vian,“A foggy morning in the Carpathian mountains”, Wikipedia,  2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0. [1]
Vian, “Carpathian Biosphere Reserve”, Wikipedia, 2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0; Михайло Пецкович, “Autumn Morning in the outskirts of Rakhiv”, Wikipedia, 2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0; Vian,“A foggy morning in the Carpathian mountains”, Wikipedia, 2014 CE, CC BY-SA 4.0. [1]

We need to move much more quickly, and scale our ambitions more grandly, if we are to arrest the destruction of natural habitats and prevent the extinction of species and the negative impact on the quality of life and life-carrying capacity of our biosphere.

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December 14th, 2021

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9.7. Fish

“Dwarf lanternshark”, Wikipedia, Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution, public domain
“Dwarf lanternshark”, Wikipedia, Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution, public domain
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December 13th, 2021

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9.1. Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota (the Three Domains of All Life on Earth)

Life-forms on Earth are currently divided into three main domains. Animals and plants are in the more recent ‘eukaryotic’ domain[1] that arose approximately 2 billion years ago. However, at the base of all life’s experiments on Earth are simple bacteria[2] and archaea.[3] They have both been present for over 3 billion years[4] — since nearly the beginning of the Earth — and they have shown a propensity for survival in the harshest conditions that are possible here. Having begun in an oxygen-poor environment, they have flourished through fire and ice (see the ‘Snowball Earth’ hypothesis[5]), apocalyptic asteroidal destruction and massive volcanic eruptions.

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December 13th, 2021

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Vincent van Gogh, “Tree Roots and Trunks”, 1890 CE, Wikipedia, public domain.[2]
Vincent van Gogh, “Tree Roots and Trunks”, 1890 CE, Wikipedia, public domain.[2]

“Living entities, especially the ones we are familiar with, like a horse or an olive tree, can be thought of as replicating objects in space that have gathered, over considerable evolutionary time, immense amounts of information on how to solve a multitude of problems they might face in their lifetime.”

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December 13th, 2021

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Entropy and Negative-Entropy Cycles

● The Sun is considered a source of negative entropy, from the perspective of life-forms on Earth, even though it actually creates entropy in its formation and fusion processes.

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December 13th, 2021

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“The Daoist Immortal: Li Tieguai and Liu Haichan”, Wikipedia, (Museum of Fine Arts Boston), public domain, circa 1760 CE
“The Daoist Immortal: Li Tieguai and Liu Haichan”, Wikipedia, (Museum of Fine Arts Boston), public domain, circa 1760 CE
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December 13th, 2021

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“‘I have a question. And the law obliges me to be accountable … By what law do you interpret laws?’ … ‘It’s a dilemma. If you knew what to do, it wouldn’t be a dilemma. You choose one of the options, make your bed and lie in it. Laws may help you hack through the jungle, but no law changes the fact you’re in a jungle. I don’t think there is a law of laws.’”

(David Mitchell)[1]

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December 13th, 2021

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iii. Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion Cantos” Series

Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion Cantos” is a medieval-historical religious re-imagining of the future. It is what one might expect if Ursula K. Le Guin and Umberto Eco had a love-child that wrote sci-fi. It is worth our attention as a wonderful story and, perhaps, the most ambitious creative synthesis of ethics, religion, philosophy and science-fiction.

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December 13th, 2021

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7. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

from *‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’, directed by Steven Spielberg, 2001 CE, ‘fair use’ assertion *[1]
from *‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’, directed by Steven Spielberg, 2001 CE, ‘fair use’ assertion *[1]
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December 13th, 2021

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“The concept ‘true’ does not tally with the assertions of pure geometry, because by the word ‘true’ we are eventually in the habit of designating always the correspondence with a ‘real’ object; geometry, however, is not concerned with the relation of the ideas involved in it to objects of experience, but only with the logical connection of these ideas among themselves.”

(Albert Einstein)[1]

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December 13th, 2021

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6.3 The Halting Problem and the Limits of Logic

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

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December 13th, 2021

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“Words bend our thinking to infinite paths of self-delusion, and the fact that we spend most of our mental lives in brain mansions built of words means that we lack the objectivity necessary to see the terrible distortion of reality which language brings.”

(Dan Simmons)[1]

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December 13th, 2021

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“Nursery of New Stars”, Wikipedia, NASA, Hui Yang University of Illinois, 1995 CE, public domain.
“Nursery of New Stars”, Wikipedia, NASA, Hui Yang University of Illinois, 1995 CE, public domain.

“‘O Deep Thought Computer,’ he said, ‘the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us…’ he paused ‘…the Answer!’

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December 13th, 2021

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5.3. Compassion

Aimé Morot, “The Good Samaritan”, 1880 CE, public domain
Aimé Morot, “The Good Samaritan”, 1880 CE, public domain
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December 13th, 2021

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“True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which is deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”

(Milan Kundera)[48]

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December 13th, 2021

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Sacrifice can also be a hollowing out to become hallowed.

“T.S. Eliot said: ‘the progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality’. This … remark … is likely to perplex most readers. It is not clear why artistic expression, which could be regarded as an elaboration or even enlargement of self, would require such a sacrifice or extinction of personality … I argue that the question of vocation: what it means to be a poet … is central to the work of these writers, and that this question can only be answered by considering the kinds of ‘sacrifice’ which they felt this vocation required.”

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“I am the ritual and the sacrifice; I am the offering and the fire which consumes it, and the one to whom it is offered.”

(Bhagavad Gita, text 16)

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December 13th, 2021

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Let us now touch — briefly — upon the potential for feeling and suffering of other life-forms on Earth.[56]

Woodmouse [57]
Woodmouse [57]
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December 13th, 2021

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In adults, self-perpetuated suffering often arises due to some mis-directed or faulty (though well-intentioned) self-protective mechanism that is helpful at the time of a childhood trauma.[36]

“Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox … If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.”

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December 13th, 2021

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***

“The sun sank with a sob

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December 11th, 2021

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***

First, for questions of conduct to be ethical questions we also need to engage at least the potential for one other life-form to be involved and, somewhat less obviously, the concept of life itself. Adding more life-forms gives us quantitative complexity (the number of ‘is’ facts and ‘ought’ statements that may need to be engaged), requiring greater intelligence and, as the complexity scales up, wisdom.

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December 11th, 2021

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***

“Science is not only a disciple of reason, but also one of romance and passion.”

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December 11th, 2021

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***

“The common cognomen of this world among the misguided and superstitious is ‘a vale of tears’ from which we are to be redeemed by a certain arbitrary interposition of God and taken to Heaven — What a little circumscribed straightened notion! … Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”

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December 11th, 2021

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***

“Is it the train / That falls like meteorite

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December 11th, 2021

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***

Now, you might be wondering why so much time is being spent on explaining physical laws in a section on free will. It is important to demonstrate that freedom is both constrained by physical laws and that physical laws may be more flexible than we might think, due to our continually improved understanding of those physical laws. It is to put humans within the correct physical perspective and framework for a discussion about any form of freedom that can be seen and measured.

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***

Vincent van Gogh, “Landscape with Snow”, 1888 CE, Wikipedia.org, public domain.
Vincent van Gogh, “Landscape with Snow”, 1888 CE, Wikipedia.org, public domain.
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December 5th, 2021

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***

We must be very careful to distinguish inequality and inequity and to clarify what is meant by inequality.

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December 5th, 2021

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***

“Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark,

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December 4th, 2021

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***

M. C. Escher, “Circle Limit IV”, 1960 CE, Wikiart.org, ‘fair use’ assertion.
M. C. Escher, “Circle Limit IV”, 1960 CE, Wikiart.org, ‘fair use’ assertion.
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December 4th, 2021

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***

Christian Schussele, “Ocean Life”, an illustrated imagining of the Cambrian Explosion, date unknown. Gift of Mr and Mrs Erving Wolf, in memory of Diane R. Wolf, 1977, Wikipedia.org, public domain dedication.[1]
Christian Schussele, “Ocean Life”, an illustrated imagining of the Cambrian Explosion, date unknown. Gift of Mr and Mrs Erving Wolf, in memory of Diane R. Wolf, 1977, Wikipedia.org, public domain dedication.[1]
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December 4th, 2021

freedom for the maximal diversity of life-forms

‘Earth from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’, NASA, 2015 CE.
‘Earth from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’, NASA, 2015 CE.

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