The Morality of Humans is Highly Questionable

Recently, Scientific American had an article titled: Why Robots Must Learn to Tell Us “No

Unfortunately, you have to pay to have access to the article, but the point of the article seems obvious to any moral person. Except, it isn’t.

So, I bought the digital subscription. I don’t need any more physical objects added to my already near hoarder level home.

Reading the article it takes an unfortunately narrow view of the bad things humans can order robots to do. The research carried out is on humans ordering a robot to destroy a physical object that it just built, but not ordering a robot to harm another human.

It is still a good article. I definitely recommend reading it. It includes discussion about Asimov’s laws of robotics and how they implemented something like it with ‘felicity conditions’.

The morality of humans is highly questionable. Anyone who has read some articles on this site know I have read and researched dozens if not hundreds of instances of humanity gone wrong. Humanity going wrong may be more the normal circumstance than the exception.

Asimov wrote a book about human that lived on a planet called Solaria. They took their human bodies and altered them. Then, in Isaac Asimov’s story, they defined human as only humans that have been altered as they were. Normal humans could easily be killed by these robots.

Consider that situation and perhaps the coders defining humanity by the color of a person’s skin or the color of their eyes and you can see the deep potential for robots doing harm to some or all of humanity.

Here is a thought experiment:

  1. In the present or near future a company creates drones equipped with squirt guns. It is great fun. The company does well and starts a research and development group.
  2. This group’s research and development comes up with drones that can fire based on facial recognition. These, too are great fun.
  3. Kids get teams of drones and water guns and play during the summer outside and this is recognized as one of the coolest things ever.
  4. The technology propagates out of the United States and western nations.
  5. A man that was turned down by a woman puts acid in the storage chamber and inputs her picture in to the device. It attacks her, burning her face off.

So, the robot – or drone in this case – was just following orders. Drone (or R/C aircraft) technology is widely available today and certainly a squirt gun equipped model could be built – even if the amount of water it can carry is limited.

The above sequence of events is certainly possible. So, what can we do to not have this happen in the future?

The drone must be able to say no. How can the drone say no?

Well, it requires planning and knowing the basic lack of morality of humans. A sensor would be required in the storage tank of the water gun drones. If the substance comes up as not water – the drone may not fire the water gun. In addition, if the acid attack is carried out by drone – prosecution is hard enough in crimes of this type – what about when there is little or no evidence and the perpetrator left the area long before the drone begins the attack?

The problem is that we have already put drones to work in the dirty business of war. We have already set the precedent that drones or “robot” technology can be used in the business of war – the business of killing people.

We will most likely have two sets of rules – military and civilian – for drones and robots.

But wait, there’s more.

Everyone is pursuing different ‘morals’ around the world. Murder isn’t murder if it is….

Honor killing. Except that no, honor killings are just murder. Murder of a family member because that member did something that you don’t like.

Large portions of the population in Islamic countries believe that honor killings are moral. Will they request (and get?) robots or drones with modified rules that allow for honor killings, acid attacks, and more?

If companies don’t create these alternate ‘Islamic’ moral rules robots, won’t the Islamic people create their own?

And More.

In any part of the world rape is a problem. Will there be rapists with robots to hold women down? Robots must be able to say no. Robots will need to understand the situation they are placed. Robots will need to understand what harm is. And programmers will have to have standards as to what constitutes harm.

What ‘moral’ actions will AI robots be applied to in the future? When women survive their husbands in India will the home robot ‘assist’ in removing her from the home – so the son can inherit from the father and the mother be put into a life of destitution begging for food and potentially prostitution?

Will drones and AI robots assist the sale of women for dowry?

But Maybe?

If we can code and ensure that while we humans in general are not moral – that our robots are moral there can be much good for humanity. If the costs of creating AI robots falls fast enough perhaps the drudgery that causes women to be sold for dowry in to slavery can be prevented – if the AI robots take care of these tasks. If there are sex robots perhaps rape can be prevented by having a place for rape to occur, just not to humans. Ethical problems may still arise, but, perhaps if an entity is designed to not be bothered by rape this ethical issues can disappear.

The potential that we have to work toward are moral AI robots – and for the ubiquitous to an extent that it prevents the above horrors. Intelligence may need to be built in to many devices. Autonomous cars will need to know if their sensors have been disabled by an unscrupulous human to commit murder by car. Moral AI robots will have limitations – but it needs to start with a basis of defining harm – and start with the worst forms of harm so that the good of placing moral AI robots in to existence will more than balance the harm that humans may attempt to make them perform.


It is troubling with how immoral humanity is that such power and based on the contents of my blog – we do such horrible things to each other. Perhaps, there is a chance that our children (AI robots, codops, etc) can help make humanity a more moral species.

Lessons Learned in Government – Meaning of Words

I’m going to straight out state something that many people will disagree with – and then I’ll back it up.

The United States of America will never be a racially or sexually equal country.

I say this as a veteran of our armed forces. I say this thinking that the United States of America is probably one of the best countries in the world. No matter what I would like to think about my country – the facts and the symbolism are there. Even if we are the best country in the world there is always room for improvement.

And it all started in the beginning.

The basic problem is that when we started when the Constitution was written we were a divided nation. The whole “United we stand, divided we fall” idea is necessary in the United States of America because we are and always have been divided.

I’m not going to go over the whole Constitution of the United States of America here – just a bit – just the beginning to prove my point.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If I read this now – as a member of the 21st century it seems to hold together. However; while some of the signers may have meant it the way I read it now, some most certainly did not.

In 1776 the only people who had the right to vote were white property owners. This requires we amend the Constitution to reflect what they really meant.

“We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States, in Order to form a more….”

This change in scope from decoding word meanings to actual implied meanings is the split in the United States of America in 1776 as well as it is the split in the United States of America in 2016.

In a recent meeting of NPI celebrating Donald’s winning of the office of President of the United States of America, Richard B. Spencer – head of NPI, said:

“America was, until this past generation, a white country”

“designed for ourselves and our posterity.”

“It is our creation, our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

He isn’t correct – and he is not incorrect. His words are chosen carefully. The word posterity weaves in with the Constitutions preamble I quoted earlier in this article. It matches the change – the literal meaning of the constitutions “We the White, Male, land owning people of the United States,…” that was the de facto of early United States of America’s history.

A lot of things have happened to who votes and who “People” refers to in the Constitution. This document shows the many changes to who a voter was over the history of the United States of America.

This highlights of the document are:

  1. 1870 – African Americans granted citizenship nearly 100 years after our country formed and 101 years before I was born.
  2. 1920 – Women are granted the right to vote
  3. 1924 – Native Americans granted citizenship and the right to vote (but this wasn’t enough)
  4. 1940 – Congress recognizes Native Americans have the right to vote
  5. 1943 – Chinese immigrants have the right to citizenship and vote
  6. 1971 – 18 year-olds are permitted to vote – this is the year I was born

Antonin Scalia who was a Supreme Court Justice in the United States of America indicated that you could not change the meaning of the words in the Constitution to their modern usage. The word people meant something different to the signers of the Constitution than after the hundreds of years of modifications to the voter, i.e. the “People”. That the words don’t mean something different because of the current time or interpretation, they only mean and permit what was voted upon by Congress at that time of the vote. He said people need to vote at the ballot box and have Congress enact laws or amend the Constitution. That there is no law preventing treating women different from men, only that women have the right to vote.

Antonin Scalia wasn’t 100% wrong, either. The problem is words and their meanings.

What do the words “We the People” mean to you? The point is; however, more than just the meaning of words. Do amendments about the vote cover equal treatment or do they just cover the right to vote?

The point is that the United States of America started out – not as a consensus, but as a ruling minority over a majority of other people – people of different religions, different skin colors, different historical origins.

No matter your interpretation of the words, the white supremacists are given power by the historical fact that this country was originally a White, Male, Landed country only. That George Washington owned slaves even after the revolution. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. People (capital P in the Constitution) owned people.

The Lesson Learned here is that whatever new country that comes in to existence, either by revolution, creating a new home in the vast oceans, or in the depths of space – consensus needs to be created at least once – in the creation of that country. And that consensus needs to be on the definition of the words level for that constitution, that charter, that founding document(s). There can be no ambiguity.

We are quickly coming on an era where “people” whatever it means, may not be the only self-controlled entities on Earth. Our constitution is being stretched to cover all people of biological origin. What will it do to the first codops (computerized doppelgangers), the first AI, or the first cyborg?

What we do to those three categories of people will determine if codops, AI, and Cyborg have to fight biological humans for their rights. The time to be thinking about these formerly science fiction problems is now – before it is too late.

One final note:

Often, when a government is torn in two because the foundation is not built on consensus – you have to not only write and pass a law once, but you have to do it several times in order to say, “Yes, I really mean it this time.” This seems to apply the strongest in terms of rights to vote than on any other topic.

To Build a Country – Lessons Learned

In an earlier post I described some of the mechanics of creating a new country – the physical infrastructure of creating a country out in the undesirable section in the middle of either the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

Starting a new country doesn’t mean anything if you don’t restructure government and how it performs.

In project management, after every project ends you have to (or really should) perform a lessons learned. It is a process where you get everyone together and discuss what worked in the project, what didn’t work, and how to do things better. These items are then documented and hopefully put in to play for the next project so the next project can be a better experience.

Elsewhere, I have said that being President of the United States of America is like being a project manager. Something that is sorely missed in our political process is a review of what happened during the presidency. A formal review. With documented issues.

In addition, any project needs a charter. What is the charter for being President of the United States of America. It is very simple. The charter for the President of the United States of America is to improve America. To, in part, improve the lives of the citizens of this country.

There are a lot of operational functions of government. Like project management – it is important to understand what a project is – and operations are not projects. Improving or replacing operations are definitely projects.

Of course, in the present time the hope of having an objective lessons learned with the partisan politics that dominate.  There are also problems that most projects don’t have – projects usually have a clear charter about what they are going to achieve in the next period of time.

In regard to that, well established measures can be used to estimate if – after a term of presidency life is improved or not. There is a section of the population that deny any statistical and measure evidence and I would conclude at present that they would not be interested in pursuing this article.

I am a fan at taking the long view about the world around me. Well, at least objective matters that are not about the heart or the spirit.

There is a group called “The Long Now” – which advocates taking a very long view of humanity. In fact, they are creating a clock that will work for 10,000 years. It would be a mechanical clock that is designed by computers to work indefinitely – well, 10,000 years. It is the stuff of science fiction. Imagine, the stories you could write about when the clock stops working? The doomsday cults? The people concerned that it would be the end of time? The people fighting to live another day because a clock is just a clock? The shadowy people who maintain the clock – because no matter how well designed things go wrong. Earthquakes happen, fuel sources run out or geothermal heat sources move (could be fueling the clock). Wonderful.

We should take a longer view about politics and government. No government lasts forever. It is possible that the democracy that exists as it is today is threatened by our recent election. It is possible that our democracy is not threatened. It doesn’t actually matter. No government has lasted thousands of years. Humanity has lasted tens of thousands of years (even longer than the time The Long Now’s 10,000 year clock. People die. Political systems die – even though the propagandists might insist that their system is the best and will last forever. What does that make government? What does that make our present government?

Short-term projects. Projects that come to an end. Projects that require a lessons learned to make better governments in the future.

As with many things, government is constantly changing and the Democracy that we have now is not the same as what was in place for the founding fathers over 200 years ago and it is not the same as what they actually had in place over 200 years ago. So, despite the illusion of having the same government for 200 plus years – that isn’t exactly true.

There are also other conditions – positive conditions – in which new governments can arise. As indicated earlier – there is the potential of creating a floating sea city – outside of any governmental control. A new government can be formed. In addition, in a positive view of humanity’s future – there will be humans that live beyond the boundaries of Earth. At first, perhaps the governments of Earth will maintain sovereignty over these humans, but that is unlikely to be maintainable.

But what government? Right now – we can do something we can create Lessons Learned for our government – The United States of America – as well as any other government that has existed on Earth that has sufficient documentation of events and core concepts.

It is important to establish a scope for exploring Lessons Learned for government.

There are layers to government.

  1. The activities that are permitted by agents of the government. For example:
    1. Can government agents kill citizens? If so, under what conditions.
    2. What kind of actions can agents of the government do to people? Under what circumstances? An example would be proportional response. If a person breaks a law, what kind of force can enforcement use against that person? If someone is illegally selling cigarettes is an outcome where that person is dead ever an appropriate outcome.
    3. Can agents of the government falsely imprison people?
    4. Can agents of the government force people to behave in a manner inconsistent with their normal behavior – provided that behavior does not harm others?
    5. Do agents of the (or can they) government assist non-governmental agencies that cause harm to sections of the population.
    6. Debtors prison
    7. Can governmental entities betray the spirit of laws. For example, laws that are explicit about something – make laws or otherwise betray the meaning of the laws.
  2. The activities that are permitted by the people by the laws of the government? For example:
    1.  Allowing people to own people
    2. Allowing people to persecute other people
  3. How is the governmental allowed to deal with other government entities.
    1. Can the government betray treaties – even the spirit of the treaties?
    2. Under what conditions can war be initiated?
    3. What are the ethical ways of dealing with other governments?
    4. Can genocide ever be justified?

This is just the beginning of the things we can do. There are people out there already working to try and make the first satellite self-governing entity, Asgardia.

The time to think about what a new government would be like is now.


Humanity Struggles with what Science Fiction Figured out – Decades Ago

I wish everyone had been a science fiction fan as I was throughout childhood. It would have been a vastly better preparation for the present than the classical public school education that I had participated.

So, cloning. Cool stuff. I live in a house with two clones. Identical twins. In essence, identical twins share the same DNA and therefore – would be no different than two clones born at the same time.

There is this article (and video) about cloning.

CJ Cherryh knew about these problems. She figured them out with her understanding of the universe. She wrote a series about the process of cloning to reproduce a specific individual.

Back to my identical twins. They may share a huge percentage of their DNA, but they behaviors are vastly different. Despite having the same DNA they experienced everything differently – from the very beginning of their lives. Even during gestation my wife experienced a Subchorionic Hemorrhage which diverted resources from one of the twins. This resulted in her esophagus didn’t grow all the way through and a fistula formed connecting her stomach to her lungs. She experienced surgery at 12 hours old to repair both of these problems.

That wasn’t the end of her problems; however, she had two holes in her heart and as a result of the holes a pulmonary stenosis.

Everything was fixed in the (nerve wracking) end – to the point that she doesn’t need clearance to do gym in school. She has Goretex in her heart. (Say it like in Seinfeld if you remember – damn I’m old. I’m laughing hiding real pain – Deadpool).

Both identical twin girls were born at nearly the same time. The one with the list of problems was in and out of the hospital for the first 6 months of her life. The other twin was in the hospital for a lot less time – she was still born a little premature – and needed more development to occur in her lungs.

All these macro differences and micro differences – resulted in very different personalities. There was the obvious – one twin with the surgeries always weighing a little bit less – by less than a pound – made for significant differences in facial features. However; there were thousands of micro differences in the twins.

It was always odd – that when they were little and just walking that they would always go in different directions. Tastes in food are (sometimes vastly) different.

Coming back to the point though, in terms of human cloning. Each and every small difference in the raising of a clone from the original’s life experiences will likely result in differences in behavior between the clone and the original.

And this point was made decades ago by C.J. Cherryh.

And all these ‘problems’ of human cloning. A clone is a separate individual – as different from the original as a sibling is different – or a twin.

Not all science fiction is as edifying as this series by C.J Cherryh. But the combination of different experiences – like with my twins – may change you – and your outlook about the future – just as it has changed me – and others.

To Create a New Country – Seasteading

There are many layers to creating a new country. In this article I only want to discuss the mechanics of creating a new country on Earth using existing technology. A qualifier about using existing technology does not mean that the specific items already exist – only that existing technology could easily create specific items that are necessary. First we initialize our new country with a location – or rather locations. There can be many locations for the new country; however, two locations will be primary. The first location will be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Anywhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as long as it is outside any international borders. If you have guessed already the second facility would be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. No specific location; however, there will be more on the location. Unlike just about any other country in the world the location will not be fixed. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs indicates that the lower levels need to be satisfied before we can really move in to the upper levels.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Now, satisfying the item of sex will be problematic and certainly has never been done in any society – with a few exceptions where women can’t say no and older men basically marry children – which is a horrific way to live.

  1. Breathing – given the stable atmosphere of the Earth there being enough oxygen should not be a problem. Note; however, that if it becomes a problem there is no better place than in the middle of the ocean to split water molecules and increase the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere locally.
  2. Food – there was an article a long time ago in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics about a ocean based city that was fully independent of imports for food. The process that was described was in two parts. First, disturbing the nutrient rich sea floor underneath the facility. Second, exchanging or pumping the water from the sea floor to the surface. This way, you can live in even the most ‘dead’ zone of the ocean and create a nutrient rich zone for sea life. Harvesting the life would not be difficult and potentially vast cages could be produced to keep the sea life from being poached by other sea life and to ease the process.
  3. Water – obviously desalinization would be the primary source for water. Secondary would be recycling the water within the system similar to a spaceship instead of the mostly wasteful processes humanity uses on land. In addition, plumbing designs will have to be easily maintainable and not require the use of harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals would damage the recycling of water supply, the “ship’s” plumbing and poison humans and the greater environment.
  4. Sleep – would be guaranteed safe in individual modular home environments.
  5. Homeostasis – the design needs to properly regulate temperatures and protect from the environment.
  6. Excretion – Now, you might not think this is the most important item on the list; however, it is. In many third world nations there is a lack of bathrooms. Women, have to risk their lives (and sometimes lose them, or be raped) in order to go out to the bathroom at night. Each module would need to have its own bathroom. It should be noted (in case you don’t already know) that nearly twice the population of the United States of America poo in public due to lack of facilities.

So, from this we draw our specifications for a module. A module is for 1 person. If a family moves to the floating city they will bring 1 module per person. A module will be approximately 1,000 square feet, with a small bathroom. A typical family home in the USA is between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet. If a family of three moves to the seastead with three modules they will have 3,000 square feet and three bathrooms. Each module will have dedicated cubic feet for foam material that will ensure that no single module can sink even if punctured. Each module will contain heating and cooling elements to regulate temperature to temperatures tolerable by humans. All entrances will be securable with a locking mechanism. All modules will be able to attach to other modules in any direction. All modules will be able to support the weight of 10 modules on top of them. Custom modules in the future may be able to support larger numbers of modules to create skyscraper buildings inside the seastead. All modules will have energy connections, water connections (waste outgoing, clean incoming), and some solar panels for energy generation. Yes, some modules may be completely occluded from the sun in their final configuration; however, all modules need to generate energy to reduce the reliance on any kind of central energy generation. Solar panels should be removable so that they can be utilized in the final configuration. There would be additional modules for non-living areas – in order to support living modules significantly above water.

Connections will have to allow space between the modules of varying widths. Some units may be quite close to each other. Some might be far apart for large walkways, gathering areas, or malls.

An additional requirement is that all units be equipped with a computer and screen, and that networking be part of the connections to the modules. It should be noted that this would be combined with the marketing and commercial design of the new (undiscovered) country.

Specifically, stores are for the most part a huge waste of space. Specific industries it might be required – say for clothing. Buying items online isn’t very difficult. However; buying clothes (and shoes) online has more difficulties – even with an easy return process. It is much more efficient to be able to quickly go to a store and quickly try a few things and then be on your way.

Transponders will be built in each segment. In cases of emergency the structure of the seastead can change – extending the modules away from each other; however, still connected but better able to withstand giant waves or severe weather.

While the structure of the modules will be relatively static; there will be people who control the configuration. The present Earth architecture is always static. The modularity of the seastead will allow for changes and chaos in the most basic of environment.

One of the core concepts of the society is that only living things change. Even a living thing can be dead if it ceases to change.

Specific modules will need to be developed for critical city services.

To continue with the model of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. The second level is : Safety.

  1. Security of body – requires a police force, fire department, hospitals, educational infrastructure.
  2. Employment – within the seastead – the city – there will be 100% employment. Everyone will do something of value. In the world, in a single company, in a single country – there are always things that need to be done, but that go not done. Everything will be done in the floating city. Even people who do not have any physical capabilities can perform virtual work.
  3. Resources – is a harder question at this time. There should be a guarantee of enough resources for people to survive and thrive. Resources of a larger amount – to start a new endeavor, etc, would require effort, charter, explanations of what the project of business would do – for you as the owner and for the society as a whole. Beneficial projects that are within the resources of the society should almost always be approved unless they present a danger to the society.
  4.  Morality – is an even harder question to answer. I would leave this to the people who live on the city.
  5. Family – is an arbitrary distinction. A family could be anything. Whatever people define as a family should be protected – no matter what form it takes.
  6. Health – Healthcare will be provided to everyone, as much as it can be. I remember long ago Rush Limbaugh had a skit about everyone being on a cruise ship. If you would help pay for everyone’s health care. He made it look crazy. It isn’t crazy. In fact it is a requirement. If you have one person come on board your city and they are sick – it could spread to everyone. Impacting the number of lives on board the city. Impacting the quality of life for everyone on the city. Even genetic diseases and cancers affect society in general. People who are crippled by disease become more of a burden on everyone in general – so we need to do everything possible – free healthcare, free medicine, free whatever they need – in order to ensure that individuals do not experience negative outcomes through illness, disease, or human foul play. In addition, no one should ever go to work sick. Talk about disease vectors. If you do actually get sick stay home. Medical care should come to you. This way the chances of disease transferences in a centralized location are reduced. Whenever I go to my children’s doctor I see the well and sick side waiting rooms. This should never happen. The chances of disease spreading when people go to a central location are vastly increased.
  7. Property – ownership is an important concept even if it is illusionary. We don’t own anything beyond the end of our lives – at least not yet. Ownership also has perils. Hoarding situations would not be tolerated on the city. It presents a health risk to everyone, and in specific the ability of a person’s individual unit to stay afloat. In the broader aspect the ownership of the city and the assets of the city are to be democratically assigned with rules that ensure the stability of the city.

Beyond that on Maslow’s Hierarchy – institutions and systems cannot be created to ensure humanity’s peace of mind. The ground work can be laid to allow people to do what they need to make their lives peaceful, successful, and happy.

An additional note on sanitation, health, and excretion. Individual units need the ability to process excrement and liquid waste. This removes the need for a vast network of pipes and giant sewage processing plants – which would be costly, heavy, and expensive.

Once a design is finalized it could be used as a basis for building a space colony.

Time Travel, Donald Trump, and Hitler

Exhibit (some very large number)

Description: Donald acting very Presidential (sarcasm)

As Donald has a former Mrs Universe come out on the stage to berate her a man wolf whistles at her. No one does anything. Nobody says this is wrong. No one reports Donald to HR.

There are plenty of time travel stories out there. Some of them involve people traveling back in to time to kill Hitler and prevent World War II.

Isaac Asimov invented two different models of time travel during his science fiction career.

  1. Even slight changes to the timeline can create big changes for the future (earlier or butterfly effect model)
  2. Changes require massive efforts and little changes will easily be erased (later or more complex model)

In the grandfather paradox – what happens if you go back in time and kill your grandfather or grandmother or heck both before they have your parent (or even both sets of grandparents)?

In model 1 – you would cease to exist and not exist to come back in time to kill your grandparents. Nature, what we can observe of it, doesn’t allow for things like this in everyday activity.

In model 2 – someone else will be either or all of your grandparents. You will grow up and travel back in time and kill them(this new set of grandparents). This cycle can continue to happen over and over again – and there will never be a paradox. If you really wanted to not ever have existed – you would have to kill off all of humanity – all of your possible grandparents – to ensure that you were not born to travel back through time to kill your grandparents.

Now to kill Hitler. You know what would be funny? Not ha ha funny, just funny, hmmm.

Nostradamus made predictions about the future. Many people point to a section on the river Hister and think this was actually a prognostication about Hitler. But what if – there was a Hister? What if we do learn to travel back in time – and we murdered Hister for killing millions of people. Then we returned to the future to find everything unchanged except that instead of Hister being the person responsible for killing all those people – it was Hitler.

Not definitive proof of time travel, but interesting. Not ha ha funny, just funny, hmmm.

Rarely, though are human events just about one person. Hitler had a huge following of people that were willing to do whatever it took to make Germany the strongest country in the world. You can write all the orders in the world to build gas chambers, remove people from their homes to concentration camps, and kill hundreds of people at a time, but if no one believes that you are doing the right thing – nothing will happen.

I have seen it dozens of times in the work place. Stakeholders are ordered to do something by upper management and it just doesn’t happen. People always talk about projects that don’t happen because there is no executive sponsorship. Turns out if your employee stakeholders don’t believe in a project – it won’t happen either.

If you look at leadership in terms of a pyramid there are many many more blocks on the bottom and only one at the top. Should the block on the top be removed the vacuum will suck in one of the other higher up blocks in the place of the one removed. Remove Hister you get Hitler.  Remove the top piece you get the next one in place – and so on.

There are; however, practical applications to the second model in today’s politics. In this video, (linked at the beginning of this article as well) you see Donald Trump embarrass and sexually harass a woman. You see her come out to the audience and men are wolf whistling. You see an entire crowd laughing and jeering at the appropriate parts of the speech so well it might be scripted. Only it isn’t scripted.

And killing Donald Trump is immoral – and would not gain the desired results – say ridding the US politics of the ideals espoused by Donald Trump. He would die. Someone (internal or external to his organization, GOP, or elsewhere) would take his place. It could even make the problem worse – say if one of Donald’s children are old enough to run for President – now they would get a huge sympathy vote for having lost their father.

Assassination, oddly enough, aimed at preventing larger altercations may even make those altercations more likely. The death of JFK or Martin Luther King Jr. did not stop the movements and progress that they were making. It may have changed those things, but how could we say that they were changed in a way that would not have been the case if they had still lived?

The Morrigan – Chapter 2


In which we learn something about the Mikes and the Mike’s lives on board Vesta – the hollowed out asteroid spaceship

Progress was slow, but Bob, destroyer of humans had his hopes up. The other Mikes had called a meeting. Bob remember his life before the exodus. He hated meetings. It was very rare that he actually wanted to be at a meeting.

The meeting room was huge and not very adaptable. Giant tables were carved straight from the rock of the asteroid, Vesta. Hundreds of Mikes were present. Copies of copies. Copies of the original. Memories in some that extended thousands of years just as they did in Bob. Some that extended only 15 decades direct from the original.

Bob’s was the longest memory. One day they were hoping to merge the memories of all the Mikes in to one clone. Unfortunately, at present it was beyond the mental capacity of the blank clone to hold that much knowledge. Even Bob was forgetting things all the time.

At least, from what he remembered from the original, this wasn’t so different than it was when he was 40 years old and above.

Hundreds of Mikes flowed in to the conference chamber. He couldn’t see calling it a conference room because it was so large.

A large amount of the human brain is devoted to human facial recognition. It would be surprising to an outsider, perhaps, how in a vast group of clones all sharing at least 150 years of memory how individual clones could recognize each other.

Bob recognized the vast majority of clones. There were no regulations demanding that everyone maintain the same look. So, while 2/3rds of the Mikes looks relatively similar there were Mikes who deviated by large amounts with green hair, some stopped caring about their weight and were quite large, odd haircuts, shaved heads, and there was even a contingent that were deep into being tattooed. Some of the tattooed Mikes went completely tattooed. The low gravity really meant that being what was once considered morbidly obese caused no problems in mobility. Vesta was rotating and it was rotating at a faster speed than the Earth, but still it wasn’t enough to make up for full Earth gravity.

Bob settled in on a spot. Everything was regulated by the council. It was no democracy – but democracy hardly seemed necessary when everyone had relatively the same viewpoint. Unfortunately, the Mikes all had a rebellious streak and when you are the authority – well it doesn’t really matter you are going to rebel anyway. It was kinda like having kids that grew up so much like you and then suddenly the make choices that make no sense at all.

Bob noticed as everyone took seats that one of the Mikes was missing an eye. They called him Maddy from Harry Potter’s Mad eye Moody. It was a strange and rare incident where a Mike had turned in to a murderer.

No, more than a murderer. A serial killer. He killed 15 Mikes before anyone realized there even was a murderer on board. The possibility that one Mike would want to kill other Mikes seemed foreign. Yet, there it was. Maddy Mike was the one who stopped the serial killer – and was almost killed in the process.

There were many meetings after that incident. We hashed out that we were in fact the destroyer of humans and that equally, we had the capacity for killing other Mikes as well as other humans – at least under the right circumstances.

973 Mikes had finally filtered in to the meeting chamber and the noises settled down and a slight wait occurred for someone to take charge.

Oh, shit. I think that’s me. He was the highest member of the council present.

“Hello all Mikes. Thank you for coming to the meeting on the progress on attaining the next milestone in our mission – settling and retaining a presence on Earth. This is the mission that was declared by our founder after the exodus from Earth.” He paused.

“In the 141.59 years since the last meeting I have not attempted to go back to Earth. The Morrigan has killed me more times than I can remember easily. At the suggestion of Mike 100 two teams were formed to solve the problems involved in gaining a foothold on Earth. 100, please go ahead and tells us your report and what our current status.”

Bob sat down still impressed by the acoustics of the meeting chamber. He had no used any electronic device and was still heard easily by all the Mikes there. He was quite surprised that 100 was in fact quite far away from him. 100 stood up and began his portion of the meeting.

“Mikes, I’m going to be very brief. We were assigned two tasks. The first task was finding a way to disable the entity we are calling The Morrigan. In this we have failed.” There was a lot of noise and expressions of surprise and 100 had to stop speaking and just wait it out.

“This does not mean that we have failed our mission and that we cannot get to Earth! The Morrigan is a quantum computer – essentially – she is a program – who has mastery of certain aspects of quantum physics. Specifically, she can hear anything that happens on Earth. She knows when we are entering the Earth’s atmosphere by the radio communications that pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. She has blocks throughout the Earth that are similar on a quantum level – quantum entangled and what happens to one happens to them all. She then triangulates which ones are intersected by the radio waves and knows the precise location of our landing ships and attacks.”

“There must be a cube of space at her central computer entangled with all these other spaces – and that quantum entangled cube is where her calculations are performed. If we could locate and destroy this prime cube – then we would disrupt her ability to know – well basically everything that is happening on Earth. This; however, is something we have been unable to find.”

“Despite this, once we understood how she senses the world we have developed a technology of disrupting the connection between the quantum entangled spaces. This involves making them dissimilar and breaking the links between the blocks and of course not using radio communication.”

“We have landed many Mikes on Earth; however, two-way communication has proved to be impossible – at least in any normal manner. At a standstill in terms of countermeasures against The Morrigan. We then were able to proceed on our second mission – getting intel on the remaining humans of Earth. This mission was expanded after our failures to find additional countermeasures to The Morrigan to finding the history of The Morrigan to potentially learn where her computing center is and being able to disable it.”

“Earth is no longer – culturally, like anything we remember from our base memories from thousands of years ago. I’m going to summarize now, and follow up with detailed documents – both on the current humans of Earth and what we have been able to piece together of the history of The Morrigan.”

“The original Mike killed well over a billion humans. Still, it doesn’t account for the present human population of Earth of only about 400 million. Much of humanity now lives in a pretechnological state. There are no cars. All the cities are in ruins. And…”

100 looked at his audience of Mikes. He looked perplexed and unsure how to move forward.

“The humans of Earth live on a planet with a living god – The Morrigan is this god. They speak prayers to this god and she answers – well – some of those prayers.” He looked down. “Our original killed over a billion people; however, The Morrigan was made to kill.”

“She kills anyone that attempts to or successfully kills another person. She comes to the aid of any woman that calls out to her for aid – in particular if they are in danger of being raped or killed. She patrols the world for weapons and destroys those weapons and frequently the people holding those weapons.”

“We lost many iterations of Mikes on Earth until we figured out about the weapons. No weapon may ever be brought to Earth.”

“This has produced an agricultural, matrilineal, matrilocal society. Women are in charge of all aspects of life.”

“Women, in some societies have taken advantage of The Morrigan.”

“Outsiders are often executed by the locals.”

100 waited for a moment. The Mikes were an intelligent bunch in general, but sometimes when you don’t expect it you don’t use your brain. Out of the nearly 1000 Mikes in the meeting one raised his hand.

100 looked over.

“Maddy, you have a question?”

“Yes, sir. I have particular experience with … murder and I don’t see any difference between murder and execution – at least in the fact that there must be a weapon used to kill.”

“Thank you Maddy. I’m glad you are still around. You hit what I wanted you all to know – as viscerally as possible – that there are no weapons allowed on Earth, but there are executions.”

“The executions are carried out by using The Morrigan as a weapon. She is an advanced AI computer program. That much is clear. She has; unfortunately, limits in understanding humanity. We were executed many times by The Morrigan; although in total we have died fewer times than Bob. Strangers are not tolerated in the small human colonies. When captured a drug typically was administered that made Mikes very susceptible to suggestion. Then a woman would place herself in a vulnerable position with torn garments or no garments at all and she would call The Morrigan. Frequently, after quickly assessing the situation The Morrigan would execute the Mike in what I must say is an interesting mix of methodologies. The reason there are so many of us here is that we would recreate our Mikes that died on Earth and then we would make an additional clone of that line of Mike before going on the mission. In addition, even if Mikes were successful in their missions two-way communications were impossible. All Mikes have a brain recorder and radio transmitter implanted in their skulls. On death – regardless of the source – a burst communication would send the contents of the Mikes mind to us for recreation and debriefing. As we got better at surviving on Earth Mikes would have to make the decision as to when to – report back – or rather kill themselves – in order for additional information to be added about the Morrigan.”

“I’m sending individual case logs where important discoveries were made to all of you so that we can share and have the same information as each other.”

“We were able to find information about The Morrigan and – what we call her precursors. There were efforts to create The Morrigan before – which all ended in failure. The Morrigan may have been a last effort by a scientist who left during the exodus on the other asteroid spaceship. An unfinished project left with simple instructions and an ability to learn.”

“I am sending the logs of what we know of the precursors and their creator to everyone.”

“I warn you all now – that what little experiences we have in terms of the darkness in humanity – even as we are directly related to someone that killed over a billion people – and our recent experiences with a serial killer on Vesta – are nothing – compared to the experiences that were had by the precursors or even many women in general on different parts of Earth – than anything we have ever experienced. Men are subservient to women on Earth now – and that is probably a good thing.”

“Thank all you Mikes for hearing my report.”

“We thank you for your report.” Said all the Mikes at once.

Bob didn’t feel well. Soon he would have to try to return to Earth again. He didn’t look forward to being killed by The Morrigan again (and again, and again). The mission was more important than anything else – even if all the Mikes were terminated.