Monday, June 7, 2021

Good Vs. Evil

- What are you reading? Let me see.
The fundamental elements of the theory are tasks, i.e., the abstract specifications of transformations in terms of input/output pairs of attributes. A task is impossible if there is a law of physics that forbids its being performed with arbitrarily high accuracy, and possible otherwise. When it is possible, then a constructor for it can be built, again with arbitrary accuracy and reliability. A constructor is an entity which can cause the task to occur while retaining the ability to cause it again. Examples of constructors include a heat engine (a thermodynamic constructor), a catalyst (a chemical constructor) or a computer program controlling an automated factory (an example of a programmable constructor).
Who is that by?
- David Deutsch, the British physicist. Keep reading.
Feelings and moods will ultimately prove to be brain activity, and since brain activity is physical, and all physical acts are computable, feelings must also be computable.
- David Deutsch again?
- Yes, paraphrased. Keep reading.
The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite, / That ever I was born to set it right.
- This one I know: Shakespeare, Hamlet.
- Yes. Keep reading.
Let us, then, be up and doing, / With a heart for any fate; / Still achieving, still pursuing, / Learn to labor and to wait.
- I'm laboring and I'm waiting to hear from you the point of all this.
- Longfellow, the end of his famous poem The Psalm of Life. A couple more quotes and you'll be done. Read.
Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason; Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is heaven. Evil is hell.
- I don't know. William Blake maybe?
- Correct. Continue.
There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
- A billionaire speculator said that, can't remember his name. The one that said it was not right that his secretary paid a higher rate of tax than he did but didn't offer to pay his secretary's taxes or to pay more taxes himself.
- Correct again. The name's not important.
- So what is all this about?
- I've been inspired to concision by David Deutsch's attempt with constructor theory to give a theory of everything: computers, quantum physics, evolution, explanation. He says that good will win out against evil in human life because good's creativity will find a way to beat evil's ignorant conservative attempt to deny individuals freedom.
- Do you agree?
- No. Conservative evil has only one job: by enslaving the good blocking its ability to make use of the advantage of creativity. Good has two jobs: being creative, and dealing (unwillingly) with the threat evil represents to creativity.
- Hamlet!
- Yes. The good hesitates, and evil quickly moves to get in ahead and remove conditions necessary for freedom, making the good slaves, working in repetitive, deadening occupations, convincing them they are machines, that there is nothing to life but ever progressing technology eliminating thereby even the imagination of creativity.
- Let us be up and doing then what?
- Let us be good, which according to Blake is to confine the energy of doing within the bounds of reason.
- The not doing of contemplation: of truth, beauty, or good.
- Yes. Read, last time:
A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background is necessary for a scientist to become free of the prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is - in my opinion - the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
- Einstein?
- You are correct. If good is to win over evil good must know what evil is.
- Wouldn't David Deutsch say he does know? It is a constructor that launches a first strike to make the practice of creativity, progressive improvement in the constructors of the good difficult or impossible.
- But if creativity is only another, more comprehensive constructor, feelings and moods only a different program a computer might run, why not become evil oneself since evil clearly has the advantage over good of being on only one track?
- Then how does good win?
- By knocking aside this attempt of ignorant evil to make good believe human life may be reduced to, explained as a mere progress in technical mechanism.
- How?
- Constructor theory can make itself useful here by showing us what human life is not. Constructors repeat, unchanged, and make repeatedly the same change in the world. In an individual's life, learning, progress is the same as in science - conjecture and testing - but success for an individual is not a new technology, but return to harmony within, in another step forward along a personal, unique path through the world. Learning we don't acquire a technology, we don't repeat ourselves and don't situate ourselves within a world we make repeat.
- We capture energy of action within the rest of beauty.

Further Reading: