Wednesday, March 11, 2020

833: Why us.....?

Several times I have pointed at the fact, that we have to look at things from an historical perspective.
We are easily inclined to expect that problems we face, also those on a world scale, should be solved within our lifetime.
Rutger Bregman shows us in a brilliant way, how we should see ourselves as Homo sapiens in historical perspective.
-quote- The first thing you need to know about humans is how very, very young we are. We have only just come into existence. 
To give you an idea: suppose the history of life on earth only covered one single calendar year instead of 4000 million years. 
Then the bacteria would have had the world just for themselves until mid-October. 
Only in November did life come into existence as we know it, with legs, bones, branches and leaves.
 And the human being? 
He appeared on December 31, around 11 o'clock in the evening. 
Then we first spent about an hour walking around as hunters and gatherers, to invent agriculture at the last minute, around 11.58 p.m. 
In the sixty seconds before midnight everything we call "history" took place, with pyramids and castles, knights and ladies, steam engines and planes. 
In no time Homo sapiens conquered the entire world, from the coldest tundras to the hottest deserts. 
We are even the first species to leave the earth and take a step on the moon. -end quote-
But why were WE the astronaut, our species? So many other species walked the earth in those early days of mankind.
Why was it Homo sapiens and not, for instance, a chimpanzee? This is not such a silly question.
If you know that we are genetically identical to a chimpanzee for 99%, why would this very last 1% make such a difference?
For a long time we considered our privileged position as God's plan. We humans would be smarter, better and more superior than anyone else: the crown on his creation.
The uncomfortable truth is that we too as animals who see themselves as special, are the product of a blind process. 
We are a member of a family of furry beasts, also known as primates. 
Until ten minutes before midnight we were even in the company of other hominids, who have meanwhile disappeared in a mysterious way.
The basic ingredients of the evolution of life are clear. You need.... a lot of suffering...... a lot of struggle..... a lot of time.
The duck in the pond in front of my house had 9 young last spring. After a month or so there were only 3 left, which survived.
Possible explanation: they had a better eye for danger, were faster swimmers, were thus better adapted to their environment.
With these qualities they could become parents from which their offspring inherit their special qualities, and so on....
Keep this process on going for a 4000 million years from  bacteria to primates and the fittest of a species will prevail.
It's a blind process. There is no planning or design. Even Darwin was troubled by this observation.
He couldn't relate the cruelty of nature with a benevolent god.
Take the parasite wasp. It lays its eggs in a caterpillar and the larvae eat the caterpillar from the inside. 
This caterpillar dies a horrible death. Which sick mind can come up with something like that? Nobody.
And we are part of this whole process in the course of time and became creatures which in general are OK. How can that be true?
We'll see...thank you for your attention again....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion
[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lots of anomalies in nature
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes Gemma...seems to be the normal
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): heard one scientist say that a lot of evolution was chemistry..... chemical reactions
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all the way
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not only survival of
[13:25] herman Bergson: Just the whole system of the food chain.....A eats B and A is eaten by C and so  on
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and I think you ate those ducks!!!!!!!
[13:25] CB Axel: LOL
[13:25] herman Bergson blushes deep purple
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): see!!!!!
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: i love duck
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahah
[13:26] herman Bergson: I admit..they were delicious :-))
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): even as a birder I love to eat duck
[13:26] herman Bergson: Me wine sause with some cinnamon in it.....:-)
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I've eaten that too once at least indeed
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): went on a birding trip once and had them
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): poor duckies
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): poor chickens!!!
[13:27] herman Bergson: Bu tto get back to our theme....
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we eat them all the time
[13:27] CB Axel: I have a friend who loves hunting ducks.
[13:27] herman Bergson: of course all evolution is about chemistry
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): did you look in their eyes before killing them?
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): evolution
[13:28] herman Bergson: Yes...
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so many still don't believe in it
[13:28] CB Axel: I always wonder about the other humanoid species. I bet we murdered them.
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): amazing
[13:28] herman Bergson: First thing I love here is to see how YOUNG we are as homo sapiens
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): maybe
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very young
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:28] herman Bergson: Ahh CB...there I have an interesting observation for you.....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I guess indeed
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i feel young suddenly:)
[13:29] herman Bergson: A second...listen.....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which explains some really awful behaviors
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we are toddlers
[13:29] herman Bergson: There are irrefutable facts...everyone accepts them....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:29] herman Bergson: but what are real facts and how do people respond....
[13:29] herman Bergson: AN example....
[13:29] CB Axel: People like to think we're important and have been in charge of everything forever.
[13:30] herman Bergson: A journalist asked Armstrong how it felt, walking on the sun as the first human being....
[13:30] CB Axel: It's like how Americans don't like to think of the US as a young, upstart country.
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): moon I guess
[13:30] CB Axel: We're like spoiled little kids.
[13:30] CB Axel: On the sun?
[13:30] CB Axel: That'd hurt.
[13:30] herman Bergson: All Listeners laughed....the real fact is you can't walk on the sun every body accepts that
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:31] herman Bergson: Then came the was it to walk on the moon?
[13:31] CB Axel: Not if you go at night. LOL
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cause u would burn up long before getting there even
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hahaha aaa that is a classic
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] herman Bergson: And now some bystanders said....that was a hoax....he was never on the moon.....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes  there re so many
[13:32] herman Bergson: in other words....all of a sudden facts could be questioned....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it was all a hoax
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): filmed in a studio
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Moon landing was recorded in Hollywood!
[13:32] herman Bergson: I have seen that movie....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:32] CB Axel: Buzz Aldrin  punched someone for saying the moon landing was a hoax.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): good for him
[13:32] herman Bergson: Nice landing :-)
[13:33] herman Bergson: But you easily real facts can be questioned
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): evolution still allows for strange ideas
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes....that applies to evolution even more
[13:34] herman Bergson: The fact is that we have carbon dating....
[13:34] herman Bergson: soil layers that can be dated....
[13:34] herman Bergson: the whole archeological science
[13:35] herman Bergson: How HARD are these facts....?
[13:35] herman Bergson: I don't question them, but indeed some do
[13:36] herman Bergson: How much of these facts is walking on the sun and how many is walking on the moon
[13:37] herman Bergson: But all together...I think we are a result of evolutionary chemistry, which has no plan or design
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): walking on the moon I at least possible
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): is
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true but wonders how the brain began to think
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ultimate chemistry
[13:37] herman Bergson: THAT still is the great mystery Gemma
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the huge sticking point
[13:38] herman Bergson: But it doesn't change much regarding evolution
[13:38] herman Bergson: and perhaps in the next lecture(s) you might find a tiny answer to that question
[13:39] herman Bergson: Not so huge anymore, I think.....there is some explanation possible based  on scientific facts
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): cant wait
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed its almost like magic
[13:40] herman Bergson: Learning means that pathways between neurons in the brain are created.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: Happens all the time...
[13:40] herman Bergson: also during the millennia of evolution of primates....
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we are trying to recreate it with AI for things like self driving cars but computers are very different beasts then a real brain
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ultimate chemistry for sure
[13:41] herman Bergson: and if you assume that it is just a process of random events....some primate has learnt something that made him special
[13:42] herman Bergson: Drop the AI stuff Bejiita....that is a hoax in my opinion :-)))
[13:42] herman Bergson: in realtion to emulating the human brain
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): doing a pretty good job except for emotions
[13:43] herman Bergson: I hope you don't mind, Bejiita :-)
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): AI is that is
[13:43] CB Axel: I think the brain is way too complex to recreate.
[13:43] herman Bergson: Oh yes AI works....undeniable...
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:44] herman Bergson: It can play chess and Go much better than any world champion
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I dont like faucets that listen to you
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and put the right amount of water in the dog's bowl
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a recent ad
[13:44] herman Bergson: Indeed....or a Netflix that tries to predict and determine what I like to watch
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well ai works for sure and I try earn it a bit, looking at the most used framework, a python library called Tensor flow
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): most used AI system I think now
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but still its nothing like a real brain but that it can be done at least somewhat with a machine is still cool
[13:45] herman Bergson: Long ago I spent a lot of time on PROLOG....:-)
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as long as used right that is
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all math algorithms
[13:46] herman Bergson: beautiful AI programming language
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as I have gotten it what you do is first u need terabytes of data to analyze and then u make the computer see patterns
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and decide from that
[13:46] herman Bergson: We had a nice AI scandal in politics here
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): I heard something about that
[13:47] herman Bergson: Tehy had developed an AI system that combined and connected all kinds of databases....
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): was listening to someone describe aI  hearing so many pieces of music it did compose some similar but original
[13:47] herman Bergson: Housing, income, IRS, medical  it
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa I heard about that too
[13:48] herman Bergson: It was used by the municipal governments to detect fraude...
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and?????
[13:48] herman Bergson: They selected a part of town ...put all data in....and so emerged names of POSSIBLE suspects of social support fraude....
[13:49] herman Bergson: First of all it was a major violation of privacy
[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true for sure
[13:49] herman Bergson: didn't deliver at all real suspects in the numbers expected....
[13:50] herman Bergson: in other words...the courts decided that it was illegal
[13:50] herman Bergson: by the way....millions of taxpayers money down the drain of course because of the development of the system
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and I don't think a computer can really decide like that, its too complex so it will make wrong decisions with disaster for people
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so no not a good idea indeed
[13:51] CB Axel: Maybe there aren't as many as they thought there should be.
[13:51] herman Bergson: but whio cares...taxpayers money is so anonymous :-)
[13:51] CB Axel: People are OK, right? So not many are defrauding the government.
[13:51] herman Bergson: THERE CB, you hit the mark.....!
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): just to heave from a bottomless pit yay!
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (sighs)
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): have to remember last week lecture
[13:51] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats sadly what they think
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): all good
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): here in Sweden too
[13:52] herman Bergson: Teh whole system is based in the belief that  basically man is bad....inclined to steal and be fraudelous!
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when our tax money finance rich politicians drunk parties
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): champagne and fine wine
[13:52] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): not ok
[13:52] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): loves fine wine
[13:52] herman Bergson: But most people are OK....only the government is reluctant to use that as their basic principle for dealing with us
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes but our tax money should not finance those events
[13:53] CB Axel: That's because the not OK people go into politics. :)
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): esp when they themselves are swimming in money already
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well some cb!!!!!!
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nto all!!!
[13:53] herman Bergson: Maybe you are quite right there CB....
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): goodness
[13:53] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): theer are good ones too luckily
[13:53] CB Axel: Which is nice. They're all in the same place, so it makes it easy to keep track of them.
[13:54] herman Bergson: But there are good ones too :-)
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and those are who I vite for
[13:54] herman Bergson: Indeed...note the names CB!
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): vote
[13:54] CB Axel: Hmmm. I can think of....Obama. That's about it. :)
[13:54] herman Bergson: Better indeed Bejiita!
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh goodness!!!!!!!!!!
[13:54] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): many more
[13:54] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): name one Gemma:)
[13:54] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): local
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and state
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Ghandi
[13:55] CB Axel: My state representatives are very good.
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): me too
[13:55] herman Bergson: Alexandra Cortez...
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i never have to call them
[13:55] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i KNOW what they are going to do and did
[13:56] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats a good thing
[13:56] herman Bergson: Well...enough about politics.....
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): getting late
[13:56] herman Bergson: Time to get ready for the group photo...
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:56] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): you helping evolution
[13:56] herman Bergson: I'll move the chairs somewhat
[13:57] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:57] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what happened to the old bleachers
[13:58] herman Bergson: ok...I am ready !
[13:58] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol herman!
[13:58] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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