读书笔记《未来简史》(下)

来源: 2018-05-31 20:12:48 [] [博客] [旧帖] [给我悄悄话] 本文已被阅读: 次 (24348 bytes)

(十五)

第二部分Homo Sapiens Gives Meaning to the World。

谈到cognitive revolution产生虚构体之后,文字的产生导致大社会能够分工协调,完成巨大的项目。

《人类简史》里谈到社区或帝国的统治阶级不见得都是最强壮的人(所以,作者争辩,女性被歧视没有道理),是不是和文字出现有关?如果女性没机会接触文字,那么男女不平等现象肯定比大家都不懂文字时更加剧烈。

因为文字功能如此强大,文字的产生,虽然允许身体并不见得很强壮的男人当领导,却更加排斥同样身体不见得很强壮,但不识字的女性?

谈到这个世界/历史充满了谎言和虚构。而且都是主流思想,像圣经一类的。谈到司马迁的历史观更符合现代历史观。

我们知道信仰对基督教横行世界有重大影响,但一般都从宗教的正面影响去考虑(至少我是这样理解的),但本书很干脆,说,就是因为这些不真实的虚构的信仰能聚集大量人口:No matter how mistaken the biblical world view was, it provided a better basis for large-scale human cooperation.

(十六)

读《人类简史》的时候,总觉得作者对游牧民的美好生活理想化了,虽然事实上农耕社会的农民生活的确很辛苦。

这里作者给我们两个旅游单子,对比非常强烈。

但是,为什么智人会选择农耕,抛弃游牧生活呢?纯粹为了复制更多的DNA?还是有其他目的?是自然选择?还是当时智人的选择?

如果是当时智人的选择,那就证明了,即使游牧生活在我们现在看来比农耕生活要好,但在当时的智人看来,农耕社会应该过得更好。

可以有两个解释。第一,农耕社会人口多,双方起争论的时候,一下就把游牧社会给干掉了。就是说,游牧民族虽然什么都好,但是没有在和其他种族起争执时生存意义上的竞争力。第二,对于统治阶层来说,显然农耕社会更完美。首先不用到处跑,定居在舒服的屋子里。其次,农民被土地和神话拴住,有可能不如游牧民族那样容易造反。

第二个解释尤其可以拿来和现代来比较。比如,现在人类大量养畜,这些家畜生活非常悲惨,但是人类基本摆脱了挨饿。作为生物链上的顶端,人类舒服了。

就是说,以前的统治阶层等于现在的人类,而以前的农民等于现在的家畜。

抄一段:Fiction isn’t bad. It is vital. Without commonly accepted stories about things like money, states or corporations, no complex human society can function...But the stories are just tools. They should not become our goals or our yardsticks.

(十七)

讲到religion and spirituality的区别:religions seek to cement the worldly order whereas spirituality seeks to escape it。

讲到旧约的形成,讲到犹太教最初根本不是经传教(from rabbis),而是一些寺庙祭祀之类的宗教活动(from priests)。

确实,所有的宗教,你一旦去看其形成的历史,那么其神秘感就荡然无存。

作者认为宗教成分有三部分:Ethical judgement, Factual statement, Practical guideline。科学不能和ethical judgment争论,但是绝对可以用在第二部分factual statement。

这一段涉及宗教核心: In truth, it is not always easy to separate ethical judgements from factual statements. Religions have the nagging tendency to turn factual statements into ethical judgements, thereby creating terrible confusion and obfuscating what should have been relatively simple debates. Thus the factual statement ‘God wrote the Bible’ all too often mutates into the ethical injunction ‘you ought to believe that God wrote the Bible’. Merely believing in this factual statement becomes a virtue, whereas doubting it becomes a terrible sin.

作者置所有宗教于死地!!!

(幽默片段)讲到关于量化“快乐”的困难,作者问了这个问题:Eating ice cream is enjoyable. Finding true love is more enjoyable. Do you think that if you just eat enough ice cream, the accumulated pleasure could ever equal the rapture of true love?

我在前面也给出了量化快乐的困难。

这几节的目的在于阐明科学和宗教之间的复杂关系。驳斥了两个极端观点。第一,宗教和科学各司其职。第二,科学颠覆宗教。作者的观点是两者互相交叉互相作用。

作者给出了一个很颠覆性的观点:无论宗教还是科学,都对所谓的“真实”不感兴趣。他认为,宗教最关心秩序(order),而科学最关心权利(power),紧接着解释,这是as collective institutions,not as individuals.

(十八)

说Modernity is a deal...The entire contract can be summarised in a single phrase: humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power.

乍一看,没看懂。其实原因在后面一段:Up until modern times, most cultures believed that humans play a part in some great cosmic plan. The plan was devised by the omnipotent gods, or by the eternal laws of nature, and humankind could not change it.

这是典型的西方圣经教中心论。我作为一个中国人后代,中国数千年文化没有谈到人类在宇宙中有啥目的。中国文化讲究天人合一,人是自然的一部分,人和自然和睦相处。

(可笑的一段)The modern world does not believe in purpose, only in cause. If modernity has a motto, it is ‘shit happens’.

所以We can do anything we want – provided we can find a way. 作者罗列了一堆“anything”:和平,永生,此地天堂等等。但是,凭什么就做这些“好”的事情呢?如果没有purposes,大家互相毁灭,一起毁灭也就无所谓了。是什么理由让人类做这些“好”的事情呢?

作者说下一章会谈到:The next chapter will examine how humankind has used its growing power to somehow sneak meaning back into the infinite emptiness of the cosmos.

说对经济增长的迷信似乎已经成为了一种宗教。More than that: Capitalism...has probably helped global harmony far more than centuries of Christian preaching about loving your neighbour and turning the other cheek.

上一段问题的答案:humanism.

(十九)

(幽默一段)every year for the past decade the Israeli LGBT community holds a gay parade in the streets of Jerusalem. It is a unique day of harmony in this conflict-riven city, because it is the one occasion when religious Jews, Muslims and Christians suddenly find a common cause – they all fume in accord against the gay parade. 但是,这些人并不试图用“上帝禁止同性恋”来谴责,而是用“这些游行伤害了他们的感情”来谴责(humanism)。

和《人类简史》一样,作者把humanism分成三类,liberalism(英美法等), social humanism(苏联中国等), and evolutionary humanism(纳粹等)。在谈到第二次世界大战时,作者也用这三方面来解释。

作者认为,越战后liberalism进入了危机,全靠着核武器支撑。当然到了1980后期,冷战以苏联惨败结束,liberalism席卷全球。

讲到中国可能可以给liberalism以一定的威胁。Yet this economic giant casts a very small ideological shadow. Nobody seems to know what the Chinese believe these days - including the Chinese themselves...This ideological vacuum makes China the most promising breeding ground for the new techno-religions emerging from Silicon Valley。

我认为,新的religions可能会在中西方碰撞中产生,但不一定是techno-religions。作者对于东方文化显示出比较明显的无感。

作者认为激进伊斯兰(以及其它fundamentalist Christianity, messianic Judaism and revivalist Hinduism等)对liberal package没有啥大的影响。包括儒家学说。作者认为,所有这些都和现代科学技术不沾边,所以无法复兴。

作者的观点显然是,新的宗教必然和现代科技紧密相连。

虽然现在还有很多信伊斯兰教,印度教等,但是,History is often shaped by small groups of forward-looking innovators rather than by the backward-looking masses.

理论上没错,但是作者为什么会忽略文艺复兴呢?文艺复兴不就是从希腊文明里去找源头吗?

作者其实举了马克思列宁的成功(和洪秀全等比较),原因就是马列试图和科技结合。所以作者的观点其实是,纯粹的backward-looking是没有机会的。

所以重要的是,即使是想复兴以前的思想,也必须和现代科技结合。

讲到马克思:Before Marx, people defined and divided themselves according to their views about God, not about production methods. Since Marx, questions of technology and economic structure became far more important and divisive than debates about the soul and the afterlife. 这从另一的角度评价了马克思主义,也可能可以用来解释为何中国当时最先进的思想者,很多也信奉了马克思主义。比如,首先,马克思主义不是以上帝为出发点。其次,马克思主义带有先进的科技思想。再次,马克思提倡全人类的解放。

作者抛出了两个很有启发性的问题。Ask yourself: what was the most influential discovery, invention or creation of the twentieth century? That’s a difficult question,因为太多了。Now ask yourself: what was the most influential discovery, invention or creation of traditional religions such as Islam and Christianity in the twentieth century? This too is a very difficult question,因为太少了。

介绍第三部分:the third and final part of the book will argue that attempting to realise this humanist dream (就是immortality, bliss and divinity,长生,快乐,和神性) will undermine its very foundations, by unleashing new posthumanis technologies.

(二十)

作者给liberalism的第一击:根据现代科学,Homo sapiens have “neither soul, nor free will, nor ‘self’ – but only genes, hormones and neurons that obey the same physical and chemical laws governing the rest of reality.”

解释random和free的区别。比如扔一个钢蹦,有正反两面,但不会多于两个结果。并宣称:Free will exists only in the imaginary stories we humans have invented. 再辩论,freedom 和进化论是矛盾的。说if an animal ‘freely’ chooses what to eat and with whom to mate, then natural selection is left with nothing to work on。

接着描述了一堆科学实验,目的就是要说明,我们想做什么其实是很容易被控制的。比如你现在不想练习钢琴,带上一个头盔,马上就很想弹了。所以,在这种科技下,所谓的自由意志毫无自由可言。

(二十一)

自由意志没有了,个体(individual)呢?和圣诞老人一样,虚构的。Humans aren’t individuals. They are ‘dividuals’. 主要有两个,narrating self and experiencing self.

这一小节最后一段:Nevertheless, most people identify with their narrating self. When they say ‘I’, they mean the story in their head, not the stream of experiences they undergo. We identify with the inner system that takes the crazy chaos of life and spins out of it seemingly logical and consistent yarns. It doesn’t matter that the plot is full of lies and lacunas, and that it is rewritten again and again, so that today’s story flatly contradicts yesterday’s; the important thing is that we always retain the feeling that we have a single unchanging identity from birth to death (and perhaps even beyond the grave). This gives rise to the questionable liberal belief that I am an individual, and that I possess a consistent and clear inner voice, which provides meaning for the entire universe.

紧接着一个问题asked by Jorge Luis Borges’s story ‘A Problem’: what happens when the yarns spun by our narrating self cause great harm to ourselves or those around us?

给出三个答案。第一,什么事也没有;第二,醒来之后的害怕;但还有第三种情况,强化缘由,In politics this is known as the ‘Our Boys Didn’t Die in Vain’ syndrome.

应用上面第三种情况:If you want to make people believe in imaginary entities suh as gods and nations, you should make them sacrifice something valuable.

在经济,政治,金融,生活当中,这也有很多应用。

这一段点题:We see, then, that the self too is an imaginary story, just like nations, gods and money. Each of us has a sophisticated system that throws away most of our experiences, keeps only a few choice samples, mixes them up with bits from movies we saw, novels we read, speeches we heard, and from our own daydreams, and weaves out of all that jumble a seemingly coherent story about who I am, where I came from and where I am going. This story tells me what to love, whom to hate and what to do with myself. This story may even cause me to sacrifice my life, if that’s what the plot requires. We all have our genre. Some people live a tragedy, others inhabit a never-ending religious drama, some approach life as if it were an action film, and not a few act as if in a comedy. But in the end, they are all just stories. 貌似残酷了点。

作者说,我们需要a brand-new package of religious beliefs and political institutions.

(二十二)

关于计算机在象棋和围棋中打败人类已经家喻户晓了。作者给了一个在艺术上的例子:David Cope is a musicology professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz... Cope has written programs that compose concertos, chorales, symphonies and operas. His first creation was named EMI (Experiments in Musical Intelligence), which specialised in imitating the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. 程序一天写了5000首类似巴赫的作品,做了演出,结果大部分人无法区别,多说非常感人。Cope got EMI a contract, and its first album –

Classical Music Composed by Computer – sold surprisingly well.

然后是诗。In 2011 Cope published Comes the Fiery Night: 2,000 Haiku by Man and Machine. Of the 2,000 haikus in the book, some are written by Annie, and the rest by organic poets. The book does not disclose which are which. If you think you can tell the difference between human creativity and machine output, you are welcome to test your claim.

(二十三)

The preceding pages took us on a brief tour of recent scientific discoveries that undermine the liberal philosophy. It’s time to examine the practical implications of these scientific discoveries.

In the twenty-first century three practical developments might make this belief obsolete:

1. Humans will lose their economic and military usefulness, hence the economic and political system will stop attaching much value to them.

2. The system will still find value in humans collectively, but not in unique individuals.

3. The system will still find value in some unique individuals, but these will be a new elite of upgraded superhumans rather than the mass of the population.

(二十四)

关于程序,说,即使编了一个看起来毫无恶意的程序,比如计算pi,也有可能后院起火:AI可能会毁了人类,占领地球,银河系,然后把整个宇宙整成一个超级计算机,用全宇宙的能量来计算pi。这个脑洞得多大才想得到啊。

接着回顾自由派的三大基本假设:1. 我是一个体;2. 我这个自我是有自由意志的; 3. 除了自己,没有其它更了解自己。

然后驳斥:1. 我不是一个个体,而是多个程序组成; 2. 可以随机和不随机,但毫无自由可言;3. AI可以深入了解各种体内荷尔蒙,信号等,所以可以做到比自己更了解自己。

(二十五)

关于谷歌的一些例子。比如,如果大家同意谷歌可以查询他们的邮件,那么谷歌可以在几个小时内(说不定半小时之内)就能发现大面积的流感爆发,因为很有可能上班的早上起来发现身体不舒服,用邮件请个假,如果谷歌发现有大量的“头痛,发烧,喉咙痛”等等关键字,它就能做出正确判断(Google Flu Trends)。

如果这个例子还比较正面,下面的例子就比较恐怖了。如果谷歌能收集个人的DNA和各种身体指标,等等信息,然后给每个人设计相对完美的生活习惯,请问,我们自己离机器人的距离又有多远?是不是以后一大群身体素质差不多的人,过的日子就基本相同了?(Google Baseline Study and Google Fit)。

还有一个例子,你如果想知道自己的DNA情况,付23andMe $99,寄去你的口水样本,他们就可以告诉你一切有关你基因方面的信息,预测和注意事项。

然后是一段非常有意思的描写,假设某女孩子喜欢两个男性,决定不下来,她可以问知道到她所有信息的机器人。机器人根据这些信息和程序,说,87%的可能性,你和约翰结婚比较好。

当然,所谓的民主,选举啥啥的,都没有必要了。你的机器人早就知道你选谁对你来说更合适。

Liberalism will collapse on the day the system knows me better than I know myself. Which is less difficult than it may sound, given that most people don’t really know themselves well.

FB做过一个实验,从86220用户中,FB根据他们的点赞,可以更精确预测此人对一份调查问卷的回答。结果,程序只需要10个点赞,就比此人的同事更准确,需要70歌点赞,就比此人的朋友更准确,需要300个点赞,就能超过此人的丈夫或妻子。

(二十六)

Once Google, Facebook and other algorithms become all-knowing oracles, they may well evolve into agents and finally into sovereigns. 举了WAZE和CORTANAS的例子。

还提出了一个很有意思的问题。如果你的理智告诉你,你要去锻炼,然后你告诉CORTANAS 把电视机打开。那么CORTANASS会听谁的?理智的你,还是偷懒的你?

The shifting of authority from humans to algorithms is happening all around us, not as a result of some momentous governmental decision, but due to a flood of mundane choices.

(二十七)

谈到贫富差距会拉大。首先,Twentieth century medicine aimed to heal the sick. Twenty-first-century medicine is increasingly aiming to upgrade the healthy。其次,twentieth-century medicine benefited the masses because the twentieth century was the age of the masses...in the twenty-first century the most efficient (albeit ruthless) strategy may be to let go of the useless third-class carriages, and dash forward with the first class only.

(二十八)

说新的techno-religions很可能会在Silicon Valley产生。这个techno-religions可以分成两部分,techno-humanism and data religion。

前者创造Homo Deus,with the help of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and brain-computer interfaces.

the spectrum of possible mental states may be infinite, but science has studied only two tiny sections of it: the sub-normative and the WEIRD(Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic).

positive psychology (vs mental illness) has become the trendiest subfield of the discipline

如果技术可以改变人类不好的思维感情等,如何设计?Suppose Romeo and Juliet opened with Romeo having to decide with whom to fall in love. And suppose even after making a decision, Romeo could always retract and make a different choice instead. What kind of play would it have been?

后者,认为世间一切都是数据,根据这种观点,free-market capitalism and state-controlled Communism 本质上没啥区别,无非是数据处理的不同,Capitalism uses distributed processing, whereas communism relies on centralised processing.

Like capitalism and communism, so democracies and dictatorships are in essence competing mechanisms for gathering and analysing information. Dictatorships use centralised processing methods, whereas democracies prefer distributed processing.

按照这种观点,21世纪根据数据处理的有效性改变,民主有可能会落伍。现在像谷歌,脸书,亚马逊等公司,拥有大量数据,导致的是数据处理的中心化,就是独裁的一种表现。

政府想要规范?The governmental tortoise cannot keep up with the technological hare.

Our current democratic structures just cannot collect and process the relevant data fast enough, and most voters don’t understand biology and cybernetics well enough to form any pertinent opinions. Hence traditional democratic politics loses control of events, and fails to provide us with meaningful visions for the future.

From a Dataist perspective, we may interpret the entire human species as a single data-processing system, with individual humans serving as its chips. If so, we can also understand the whole of history as a process of improving the efficiency of this system, through four basic methods:

1. Increasing the number of processors.

2. Increasing the variety of processors. (to increase its dynamism and creativity.)

3. Increasing the number of connections between processors.

4. Increasing the freedom of movement along existing connections.

If humankind is indeed a single data-processing system, what is its output? Dataists would say that its output will be the creation of a new and even more efficient data-processing system, called the Internet-of-All-Things. Once this mission is accomplished, Homo sapiens will vanish.

关于自由信息The new motto says: ‘If you experience something – record it. If you record something – upload it. If you upload something – share it.’

关于人类比动物要高级,根据dataism, a human can write a poem about his experience and post it online, thereby enriching the global data-processing system.

未来?Internet-of-All-Things。

最后作者问了三个问题:

1. Are organisms really just algorithms, and is life really just data processing?

2. What’s more valuable – intelligence or consciousness?

3. What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?

 

 




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