Human Nature not a constant ?

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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Nanos wrote:I remember my dad pointing out to me the dangers of crossing the road and assuming all cars had working brakes, when he reckoned from his experience of working in a garage fixing them that 1 in 10 cars on the road didn't have functional brakes.

I've heard and seen oddles of health and safety issues, enough to make me pretty sure that a large section of management don't care two hoots about safety, to them its just a job and they have targets to meet.

Sure some workers are lazy and don't do a good job, but having worked as a worker and as management, I'd say the finger of blames points more towards management than the workforce.
You want perfection when what is required is balance.

Fortunately Americans don't have the utopian disease near as bad as the Euros.

If 1/10th the autos have bad brakes and Europe has 100 million autos that would argue that you should be seeing something like 10 million auto accidents a year where bad brakes are a contributor.

If things were that bad I do not believe people would get in an auto.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

Its not perfection I'm after, its people doing a decent job.

The more profit is involved in that, the less it happens.

(I know in theory your supposed to sack the bad workers and employ better ones, but in practice, the bad ones are cheaper to employ..)

Though it also happens when you have government targets...

10 million cars without functional brakes doesn't equal 10 million auto accidents, its only an issue if someone steps out in front of you expecting you to stop for them!

But I'm sure we have plenty of car accidents as it is anyhow, and that doesn't seem to put people off! (Though I'm more happy to accept a lift in a Volvo than a Fiat..)

jmc
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Re: Human Nature not a constant ?

Post by jmc »

JaMorg wrote: This hardwiring and evolutionary programming is however why certain governmental and societal forms such as communism or socialism can never work unless all power is ceded from humans to another entity for several generations and that entity raises humans from birth at the optimum method.
There are two ways that complex entities can come into being, they can either evolve or be designed by entities that can evolve.

Anything that evolves by natural selection will be self centred by its very nature.

Anything that is self centred will create machines or entities to serve its personal needs above those of others.

Its not just humanity. Benevolent selflessly altruist entities just do not exist. There's no enlightened alien race out there that is going to govern us selflessly and wisely for the benefit of mankind. Nor is there a super computer that will take on that role.

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Post by jmc »

Nanos wrote:Perhaps Communism might work in the future when most of the work is done by machines and people don't really need any incentives.


I do wonder if a brain surgeon cooperative could exist in reality..
Sounds dodgy.

I am highly skeptical about ceding all power to machines and computers and then just lying back, like the Eloi and letting them serve us and administrate over us.

Remember its not only genes that are selfish anything that replicates is selfish, including memes. I read a comment "The meme machine" that rightly pointed out that since humans have memes any computer that will display "human like characteristics" must also have memes aswell.

The instant we give machines the abilitity to improve themselves (there already pretty close to being able to create themselves, just look at a car factor ) then we will give them all the ingredients to evolve themselves. Once this happens the machines will gradually become more and more selfish at the expense of human welfare.

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Post by Nanos »

Yes, look how selfish traffic lights have become, getting us to wait longer and longer for them...


Are we not already slaves of the machine or just parasites living off their backs...

Roger
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Post by Roger »

Last week 3 of our 50 taxis went down for bad brakes.

Whats the average age of an auto in the US? ...11...12... yrs...? I could see a significant portion of them having repair deferral issues. I had sketchy front brakes & baloney skins up front when I put my '96 Caravan in the shop. I put on new front discs, pads front & rear, front struts and rear shocks.

A front brake piston can go bad gradually. The brakes will pull to the left and then later start pulling to the right, etc. It might be a month or more until it utterly fails. Knowing that, the owner can continue driving the vehicle while trying to save up enough money for the repair.

I can easily see 1 in ten cars having deferral of maintenance or repairs.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

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Post by ravingdave »

Nanos wrote:Perhaps Communism might work in the future when most of the work is done by machines and people don't really need any incentives.

No way! I can see the idealic vision of all the manual labor being done by robots, and people being free to pursue happiness in their lives, but the far more likely scenario is that the robots will be owned by the wealthy, and they will be hostile to the very idea of sharing the robot's output with others. Human nature requires stratification of status. There must be a top, and there must be a bottom. Anything else is completely intolerable.




Nanos wrote: I do wonder if a brain surgeon cooperative could exist in reality..


An issue I do have with current 'incentives' for people is its not one which necessarly ends up with a good job being done, but instead corners are cut to fit within budget requirements, products are rushed out before much in the way of testing.

When I listen to friends of mine who do maintence on planes, it explains why they never fly themselves, as management operate on the cost principle rather than the safety one..?
I don't mind that as long as they are completely aware that the costs of an accident far outweigh the benefits of skimping. Money wise, that is.

Nanos wrote: The family management style reminds me of gang culture, especially family run gangs which can end up controlling the black market in whole cities.

So I do wonder just how could you take it, run a whole country like that maybe.. ?
Are you refering to monarchy ? I've heard that countries have been run that way, but I can't think of any at the moment . :)



David

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Post by ravingdave »

tomclarke wrote:Humans evaluate risk in a weird way.

We don't allow aircraft to fly which are slightly flakey - and get horrified by the very occasional accidents.

On the other hand we happily let use of asbestos and low-level background exposure store up future mesothelioma cases (cases rising in UK in spite of strict regulations). We even more happily encourage people to eat to excess, take no exercise, and die of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Regulation is a problem because the regulators often are no wiser than the regulated, and anyway it is (nearly always) centralised and inflexible. But nature red in tooth and claw does not necessarily make for a society any of us would want to live in. Cars, computers, internet, cheap food: all great advances of themselves, mean that Westen children now are much less healthy than they were 30 years ago. The changes are much too fast to be accomodated by evolution, or even societal adaptation.

Sometimes I feel like being a Luddite - contrary to the overall spirit of these forums!

To be fair, a lot of stuff happens without people being aware of the danger until they are made aware of it much later. (as in asbestos, mercury, etc.)

I likewise have been thinking for some time that technology moves too fast, and would prefer a slower pace to give people more time to keep up with it. It's not that i'm in favor of buggy whips, but the whole mess does create a lot of social and economic upheaval.

Of course we get what we get.

David

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Post by ravingdave »

jmc wrote:
Nanos wrote:Perhaps Communism might work in the future when most of the work is done by machines and people don't really need any incentives.


I do wonder if a brain surgeon cooperative could exist in reality..
Sounds dodgy.

I am highly skeptical about ceding all power to machines and computers and then just lying back, like the Eloi and letting them serve us and administrate over us.

Remember its not only genes that are selfish anything that replicates is selfish, including memes. I read a comment "The meme machine" that rightly pointed out that since humans have memes any computer that will display "human like characteristics" must also have memes aswell.

The instant we give machines the abilitity to improve themselves (there already pretty close to being able to create themselves, just look at a car factor ) then we will give them all the ingredients to evolve themselves. Once this happens the machines will gradually become more and more selfish at the expense of human welfare.

I'm not terribly concerned about a "Terminator" or "Berserker" (Fred Saberhagen) type situation. I'm far more worried about a small elite group of humans controlling the super killing machines.

We currently have the technology to make robots that could drive into a city and kill anyone who sticks their head out, but such a system is too nondiscriminating. Technology will soon be able to produce machines that can select characteristics and then those people will be seriously dead.

Scary.

David

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

Bubble up, bubble down.



A friend of mine once showed me a sorting algorythim he uses to sort stuff, and it left me with the impression of something bubbling up to the surface. For some time I have theorized that something very like this occurs in evolution.

People mate with the best quality they can find that is willing to mate with them. Characteristics in common between mates get reinforced, and differences average out. Often, benificial characteristics end up giving the offspring characteristics which are better than either parent, and in that reqard the offspring evolve towards the better.

Sometimes characteristics add together and produce the opposite effect. Defective genes inherited from both parents make the child less capable than either parent. Even if not disabling, the characteristics will often make the child less able to attract a mate of better quality than themselves.

At some point, the Stronger, Handsomer, Smarter, Healthier and more capable evolve, and join the high status group, while the Weaker, Uglier, Dumber, and Unhealthier continue to decline in status until they drop completly out of the gene pool.


The movement occurs in both directions.

This buisness obviously occurs in every species, not just people.

I refer to it as "Bubble UP, Bubble Down."



This is more in the vein of "Human nature not a constant? " theme.




David

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Post by Nanos »

> Are you refering to monarchy ?

Familes, like Mafia, where everyone is related to everyone else by blood.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

Nanos wrote:> Are you refering to monarchy ?

Familes, like Mafia, where everyone is related to everyone else by blood.

Yeah, I was joking. Monarchy is the most natural form of government that there is.

David

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Post by MSimon »

Dave,

You might want to look at "bubble sort" which is fact the name of a sorting algorithm. I don't know if it is the one you saw.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

I can't remember if I've told this story or not here, but once when I was working in a government department my manager was telling me that we was due to spend a morning sorting a list, by hand!

Yes, thats right, printing out a list, cutting every line into strip of paper, and then hand sorting thousands!

I gently pointed out that sticking the list into a spreadsheet and clicking sort would perform the same task in a fraction of the time...

At which point I was granted the title of IT liaison officer, so I could help point them to ways to use computers to help reduce their workload.

(At one point, they gave me 3 months of data entry work to do, upon which I came back half an hour later after finding out the data was already in the system in another place, and all I had to do was write a short script to copy it to the right place.)

It was really quite stunning how little IT training they do in government departments..

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Post by ravingdave »

MSimon wrote:Dave,

You might want to look at "bubble sort" which is fact the name of a sorting algorithm. I don't know if it is the one you saw.

Looked it up. That is exactly it. I showed him a faster one, but it had some limitations that the bubble sort didn't.

David

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