Laying the Groundwork for Dictatorship

(Political Post – if you want to pass – I don’t blame you)

This is the world that we have made – or at least the United States we have made.

Our relationship with words, meaning, and factual statements have paved the way to this conclusion.

As a Science Fiction writer I can’t help buy place myself 4 years from now and 8 years from now and try to prognosticate what could happen – in a kind of “worst case” scenario.

It is a good idea to engage in empathetic treks in to the future and understand both best, worst, and average cases – in a way project managers try to prognosticate the completion (hopefully) of their projects.

Worst Case

We have a fairly good framework laid out at present. When Donald was a “would be” president – he stated that the election was fixed – unless he won it.

Next Donald has made many statements about how big he won the election. That is not the case, either.

Now, we could assume for a moment that he doesn’t know what he is doing – but I think this has been a fatal flaw in how the public, government, and politicians have dealt with Donald. To continue with our framework Donald claims he won the popular vote due to millions of illegal votes for Hillary and he claimed that if that was the goal (winning the popular vote) he would have focused on that and won the popular vote.

His claims notably through his Press Secretary (and humorously lampooned by everyone else) that he had a crowd larger than any crowd ever for his inauguration – are completely, visibly, notably false.

Donald continues his rants about how he didn’t really lose the popular vote and that millions of people voted illegally.

As a person in authority (the highest state authority in the US) his statements carry weight. It is like having a problem with a police officer and then going to court. People are going to give the police officer’s testimony more value than any statement that you make – even if the police officer’s statements are provably incorrect.

It should also be noted that his first official Press Secretary task to blatantly lie to the US public about his “bigly” crowd sizes.

This is not done by accident. Less than four years from now (regardless of the actions during his tenure as president) these claims are going to be pounded upon over and over again – an advertisement for a propensity to believe someone when they say the election is rigged. I don’t think I have ever seen such a sore winner of a presidential election in the United States of America – ever.

2020

There is no question in my mind that Donald will start taking on Dictatorial attributes and if he should lose the election will claim there is widespread fraud – he will invalidate the election and continue his presidency.

2024

He will combine and exaggerate claims that the US is crumbling. That the US needs a strong leader and (whoever) the Democrats cannot provide such a leader. He will take full “dictatorship” of the United States of America until such time as there is enough stability to continue normal electoral processes.

Now, the above is the worst case scenario. Please; however, note that the actions, statements, and events don’t make sense unless you are priming for a coup of the democratic system. You should ask questions of Donald’s behavior.

  1. Why does it matter how many people watched or attended the inauguration?
  2. Why repeat debunked statements that “millions” of people voted illegally? This single statement is targeted at weakening confidence in the election process.
  3. Why tell people he had the biggest electoral victory ever?

Answers:

  1. He is a leader of a great flock – and so many people supported him that it isn’t possible that he would be one of those lame single term presidents
  2. Laying the foundation for marking the next election – with no evidence whatsoever – as illegitimate
  3. Because, how could someone with the “biggest” electoral victory ever end up losing a second term?

They are all statements and actions geared for breaking our elections system down.

Medium Case

While all the above is factual and then extends outward from that it could be that Donald will win the second term fairly. This seems unlikely given his lowest ever popularity levels at the start of a presidency (a fact I’m sure will be glossed over or forgotten by the next election). It also does not seem likely as while admirably he is moving quickly on many positions – each one is fraught with danger for his future second term.

Millions of people may be out of health insurance. These will not be happy people and it appears a lot of them overlap with Donald’s voting population.

He is; however, very good at marketing. He may set things in the future and that repairing and getting everyone health insurance coverage is coming soon.

Unfortunately, even in the medium case the groundwork that he is laying down – on government competence (hammering at Hillary’s 30 years of experience in government), economics, and immigration – he still has quite a place that in 2024 – he will push to be temporary dictator of the country. Perhaps he will claim that the elections are rigged and until we can establish a non-rigged system. That could take some time.

Positive Case

The positive case is that Donald does what he is going to do – admirably actually following through with his statements – and the impacts are so bad that he loses in a landslide for his second term. Instead of pounding on the point of illegal voters, he pulls back and decides that perhaps politics was not his favorite occupation.

This positive case – seems very unlikely.

 

Connections in the War on Women

There are things that make me wonder. One of my friends of Facebook asked “Where do you find this stuff?” The answer is that I subscribed to British news magazines on Facebook.

It kind of makes me wonder how people (in general) in the US are so sheltered about the rampant anti-women acts around the world – and the horrid details of what these activities look like.

Three articles came to my attention this morning that relate to worldwide treatment of women.

  1. Girl not allowed to join cub scouts in England. Please note: In England girls are allowed organizationally to join the scouts. This is not how it is in the United States where the organization seems to be quite different and girls are not allowed organizationally to join the scouts. The scout master in specific refused to allow a girl in his group.
  2. There was a click-bait in another article I read that I bumped into pictures of Kathrine Switzer’s first Boston Marathon run. Certainly, I had known of this before. It was just a little off seeing this right after seeing a girl not allowed to join the cub scouts because she “won’t be able to canoe” or won’t have our male staff in a tent with her on overnights – even after ways of addressing the overnight situation were offered.
  3. Finally, this article which I had read the previous day. A woman’s husband had left the area for a job. She went to do shopping by herself. A gang of religious thugs cut her head off.

There was a fourth article as well that as I went through my tabs (dozens open) that connected to the treatment of women in human society.

4. Brazilian man kills family and others on New Years.

The connections: In number 2 – even the men that supported Kathrine were against her in the beginning. They had been taught that women were weaker. The girl who cannot join this particular cub scouts – her mother rightly questions – just what is this sexist scoutmaster teaching to the young boys in his troops? What are the men (in general) taught in Afghanistan that they should feel it is right to behead a woman who is just going about her business? Finally, in Brazil, where nearly daily reports of violence against women occur, what are the men taught there about a woman and women’s rights?

Finally, connecting this to the topic that is closest to me: what about the rights of AI or codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) when they come in to existence? If we cannot manage to give equal rights to humans how long will it take to give equal rights to electronic beings? And do we really have time with a rapidly changing landscape of intelligence to waste getting comfortable with equal rights for machine intelligences?

By rapidly changing landscape of intelligence I mean this:

  1. In the beginning there will be one codop or AI.
  2. On a curve, once the first has come in to existence, many more will come in to existence as computing power doubles every 18 months.
  3. If we hypothesize that the first true AI or Codop exists in 2025, then there will be approximately the population of the US in AI or Codops (or both) in 2066
  4. There will be slightly more than 1 billion AI, Codops, or both by 2069
  5. By halfway through 2073 there will be a comparable population of AI, Codops or both.
  6. In 2075 there will be twice as many AI, Codops or both than there are biological humans.

This is why – as a futurist I am a believer in human rights – but we should simply call them rights or basic rights. These rights need to apply to all humans (LGBTQ, women, all men) so that we can apply them to the unhuman intelligences to be born.

It seems clear to me that by 2025 or even out to 2075 the repeated teaching that women are inferior, requiring protection (which inevitably involves restriction of freedom of action or freedom of expression), and that women are not fully human (cannot be priests, be in the same room to worship, ‘thank god I’m not a woman’, etc) will not disappear.

It should be concerning to all of us that a new ‘species’ of intelligence or more than one new ‘species’ of intelligent life will come to existence when we have not yet fixed how to treat everyone equally. That concern that doesn’t have to come to reality by people like Stephen Hawking, that AI will overthrow us or be detrimental to biological humans – does not have to happen.

But we have to plan now. Determine hard questions as ‘what is a person’ among others before they come in to existence. Otherwise, it appears that a disgruntled slave class of AI/codops will come into existence and eventually be more powerful than the slavers.

We’ve seen how this comes out – when technologically more advanced people come to lower technology areas – with the Europeans and Native Americans – it didn’t work out well for the Native Americans and it won’t come out well for us biological humans, either.

What Not to Do On a Date

The war on women never ceases. While people want you to pretend that such a thing doesn’t exist or want you to keep focused on wage differences – the reality is that men feel they have a *right* to women’s bodies.

After a few dates and meeting up on Tinder, this man decided that not getting sex was too much – and murdered his date and dissolved her body in acid.

She is no less of a combatant on a battlefield as anyone on an actual battlefield with an end result that you can expect.

On a battlefield, people call for revenge, retribution, justice against our enemies.

However, if a woman dies, and the person that caused that death is confronted about it – in this case the man simply shrugged it off.

Perhaps if the battle was more of a fight instead of a ‘these things happen, she probably encouraged him, she dressed provocatively’ kind of thing – perhaps he should be murdered the same way and dissolved with no one to remember that he existed.

Women Fight Back

There is nothing that should be honored more than women fighting back.

In Pakistan, a law is passed (which I have discussed previously) that creates a mandatory minimum 25 years of prison for “honor killings”. Not familiar with the term “honor killing”? Murder of a family member for not being ‘acceptable’ – is probably a good working definition.

The problem with murdering loved ones because they are doing things that are not acceptable is that it is deeply ingrained in the society. Many cheer when a popular social media personality Qandeel Baluch was killed by her brother and cheerfully defaced her Facebook page with threats (before she was killed), agreement that she was killed, and joy that a woman that had pride in her physical aspect was no longer alive. The page appears to have been taken down since her death.

The point is, that laws are great, but when police officers turn their backs or even aid the aggressors it will be a long time before those laws are effective.

Women in India have an organization that was started just to protect women. The Gulabi Gang trains women to fight back. It was formed when the women who started the organization got tired of hearing her neighbor being beaten by her husband. She picked up a stick and went over to their house and beat the husband.

This grandmother trains boys and girls in fighting techniques. An important quote in the article:

Physical and sexual assault and rape remain at crisis levels in India. 41% of women experience violence or harassment by the age of 19, new research by Action Aid found. Just as troubling, nearly three-fourths of women surveyed in the report say they were harassed or violated within the past month alone.

75% of women harassed in the last month alone – in one of the two most populated countries in the world. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen in the US.

In fact, the US could sorely use organizations such as the Gulabi Gang and this grandmother teaching fighting techniques. In the US there is an organization “slutwalk” which has done some good in raising awareness, but on the whole I don’t think it is as effective as teaching women to protect themselves.

In the end though, I suspect that none of these groups are yet willing to do what needs to be done in order to reduce rape. There is an imbalance. Women are killed, faces destroyed by acid, forced to marry their rapist (and basically sold in to slavery), sold for a dowry or sold to settle gambling debts or finally, tricked in to finding work that turns out to be sex slavery (as told in the opening story in the book “Half the Sky”.

There is in states such as India and Pakistan (among others) tribal courts. These courts often give daughters away or have women raped to settle wrong doing or gambling debts . There needs to be the equivalent of these by women in these countries. It needs to be done in secret as the males would view this as a challenge to their authority. In fact, if the existing tribunals order the rape of a woman, sale of a woman to settle a debt, or marriage absolving a rapist for his crime – those tribal “elders” are up on the block.

Sometimes, in courts, the death sentence is recommended. Honor killings result in the deaths of women. I don’t think the men who have these attitudes are going to stop until they start dying for acid attacks, honor killings, rape (which ends a woman’s honorable life and chances for a good future), selling women in to sex slavery, etc. There are often no repercussions to the (mostly men) who commit these acts. Sometimes, the men who do these things go free and taunt their victims as the justice and legal system do nothing.

Our Batshit Crazy World

Once, I had read long ago about a criticism of a science fiction book that the world didn’t have an even application of technology. One group had certain technology and another group didn’t.

Turns out the world building of the author was more accurate than the world building of the critic. Our present world contains many layers of uneven application of technology.

An airplane crashed and it is indeed a horrible event. All lives were lost in the crash.

The appropriate action is to ground the fleet, inspect the aircraft, understand the cause, rectify the cause, and finally return the fleet to service.

Except that the minds of the people who maintain the aircraft and the crew that help the aircraft operate still have minds – oh several hundred years in the past.

So, they determined that the appropriate action was to sacrifice a black goat.

No really. They killed a goat because they screwed up an aircraft and it crashed and killed people.

I have encountered people here in the US that are not too far off from that mentality. People who won’t read Stephen King books because “demons might come out of the book and infect their mind.” Or people who don’t want their kids to read Harry Potter books because it supports the use of magic.

Now, a number of people in the world made fun of these people – ignoramuses – is what I would call them. Ignorance – we all suffer it in various topics. But you can’t be ignorant about aircraft maintenance and work in aircraft maintenance. That is a life threatening combination.

Worse, though is in the back and forth about the aircraft someone supports the sacrifice of the goat:

Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of MisBis spoke for many when she wrote: “There’s nothing wrong in giving Sadqa [sacrificial offering]… Sadqa bari balao se bachata hai [it hedges against many troubles]… stop making it a joke”.

I’m sorry it is a joke. It needs to be joked about. This is another case of “my ignorance is equal to your highly technical knowledge of the operation of aircraft and technology”.

And in this case, I have been as a member of the US Air Force Reserve – 8 years of experience maintaining aircraft. In no place in the Top Secret documents on maintaining the aircraft did it say, “Bribe the gods with a sacrificial goat to ensure safe operation.”

Should We Create Codops

It is likely that we can simulate the human brain and then copy our minds in to computerized versions (codops). The question is: should we?

This is not an argument from the point of view of “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.” This is blind stupidity.

No. This is an argument that humanity is far short of being moral beings. Even the best of us. Even myself (far from it, I’m sure).

As evidence I would say many of the articles I have written are about humans being inhumane to each other. It seems like an oxymoron inhumane humans. What we really have to do, though is strike out the word inhumane. Everything humans do is by definition human or humane.

What is it to be human? Large swaths of our population abuse other segments of our society. Not only that, but they think it is the right thing to do. Spot a woman walking unattended by a male and you should rape her to teach her that she should not be out alone and to dishonor her.

Elevating one ‘race’ over another – which is now gaining dominance in US politics. This isn’t the exception, it is the rule. South Africa – with around 10% population as white – dominated the other 90% of the population. Because racism. Because white is better than black. Or so they say. Or so they say, ‘Hail Trump!’ during a conference.

So, what is it that people will do – as I earlier projected – that they will have Watson level computing capabilities in the home of the average family in 2037? What exactly are businesses going to do when they commonly have Watson capability computers in the work place – as I predict they will have in just 3 to 4 years?

What will businesses do when they have codops (computerized doppelgangers) in the work place? Will they run them until they don’t feel motivated to run anymore and then delete them and reload the original copy?

As we progress – what will happen when there are more people as codops then there are physical people in the world? How will we treat each other? Will we maintain contracts that state a codop has computing power to last the next year and when they run out of funds they will cease to exist?

Is that right? Is it moral?

It seems that we learn very quickly two sets of rules. One is moral and the other is what we can do and get away with. Hence there is a vast number of people that say, “Rape is wrong.” and there is a large number of people out there who rape. Or say things like “Racism is wrong” and vote for a candidate that clearly has the backing of outwardly racist organizations.

Here is a case in point. This person lived 55 years and was the father of four children. For whatever reason, he then decides to throw acid on all of his kids and his wife. It is like a nightmare sleeper agent from the cold war story. Similarly, you see people that are ‘responsible’ gun owners until one day – a former police officer – shoots and kills a man in a movie theater.

Perhaps we are all monsters hiding until the inappropriate time comes and then they horribly lash out at whoever attracts their ire.

Perhaps, all I am saying is that copying the human brain as a basis for an AI and copying minds of existing humans – might not turn out well. Safety protocols need to be developed. We are getting closer and closer to making an artificial brain.

Perhaps AI is not the only ones in need of the development of the three laws of robotics that Isaac Asimov developed. This recent article talks about creating ethically aligned AI – I find it interesting that we can develop ethically aligned AI, when we ourselves do not appear to be ethically aligned – or even agree what ethically aligned might mean.

Fake News and Rape

It is hard to understand the concept of fake news or the motivations. I’ve mentioned earlier in my research the real world is often crazier than what I would have imagined.

So, one of the Facebook sites I follow Taste My Metal World – which I follow because I like heavy metal music, likes to post different things – things that are ‘metal’ posted this article about a woman who was attempted to be raped, cut her rapists penis off, and then forced him to eat it.  I would hazard that the mean metal like in the show Metalocalypse where audiences would watch the groups shows and commit so many mass murders and suicides that the entire audience at the end would be dead.

I’m not sure a band with concerts like that would have long-term money making potential, but anyway back to the topic.

As you probably have figured out – this article about the woman cutting off her rapists penis and forcing him to eat it is false or fake news.

It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to make this kind of fake news. The idea that a woman who was about to be raped cutting her rapists penis off and forcing him to eat it – isn’t really “off the hook” or outside the parameters of normal human activity – if you are being raped, anyway.

Arguably, there are events in the real world that are just as metal.

Examples:

  1. A pregnant woman (by her rapist) in Turkey finally had enough and cut his head off. Then carried his head to a central area of town to show everyone.
  2. Or this man in India, who cut off his sister’s rapists head and then carried it to the police station. I have a vision of this. That not only is she carrying this man’s severed head, but she is holding it up high with one hand.
  3. This woman severed her brother-in-law’s / rapists penis and brought it to the police department.
  4. Or this event which is covered in the book “Half the sky” – where 200 women in a court attack a rapist, cut/rip his penis off and hack him to pieces.

I could go on… The point I’m trying to make is that if you want “metal” you don’t need fake headlines. The real world offers plenty.

 

Edited to add:

This guy, killing his wife’s rapist, cutting off his penis, cooking and eating it.