Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

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Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Dan Rowden » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:22 am

In this edition of The Reasoning Show we're going to attempt to come to grips with something thing that most people think about from time to time, if only in limited ways and if only when it slaps them in the face: namely, the FUTURE.

In the coming years and next few decades, the world as we know it will change significantly. Life spans will increase substantially. Our senses and cognitive faculties will be enhanced. We'll have greater control over most aspects of our minds. The limits of the human body will be transcended as technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and genetic engineering converge and accelerate. With them, we will redesign ourselves and force a new paradigm of thinking with regards to who and what we are as persons and as a species. This future presents us multifarious and profound issues to grapple with and questions to be addressed, the most salient of which may well prove to be: "are we ready for or capable of dealing with this future?"!

FACING THE FUTURE
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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby skipair » Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:27 pm

Excellent show. My comments:

We already have the technology through neuro-linguistic programming and neuro-semantics to induce specific emotional experiences, such as horror from a movie, is if by a remote control. The way this works is humans have various sequences of thought that role through our primary modalities - hear, see, and touch - that reflect archived neuro-emotional experiences from the past. Many of these experiences are anchored to a specific stimulus (a la pavlov's dog), which in turn activate the sequence and create the emotion. We all have an individual sequence for 'love', for example. Learning what anchors trigger what sequences to create what emotions in ourselves is key to our own development and to be an effective communicator with others. Last thing we would want would be giving a child a lesson and inadvertantly activate a self-hatred anchor! The thing about administering drugs to control certain behaviors (with today's technology) is that it doesn't make the individuals involved any more conscious about why they acted how they acted before, or even really why they're acting how they are now. It's a static change that may provide a desired result in a particular context, but still doesn't provide the skill to navigate through the world by choice, or by ethics for that matter.

An anger and aggression suppressant in males, for example, really has nothing to do with ethics and more to do with pragmatizing behavior to fit desired social norms. We could say violence is wrong, and therefore we put some in jail and give others anti-stress meds, but in the end no lesson has been learned. It doesn't matter how fancy we get with our technology and learn how to, one by one, get rid of undesirable traits. The process of improvement happens within the individual's mind alone. Anything else is a sham.
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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Nick Treklis » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:14 am

skipair wrote:An anger and aggression suppressant in males, for example, really has nothing to do with ethics and more to do with pragmatizing behavior to fit desired social norms.

I especially didn't like his idea of a drug to suppress testosterone levels. It seemed very shallow and almost contemptuous toward the male sex, which I kind of sensed in a few of his comments. As if the only role testosterone plays in males is their level of aggressiveness. All in all a pretty exciting show though. It definitely builds my anticipation to see what the future holds as far as trans-humanism goes. I could use an all titanium skeleton, adjustable microscopic and telescopic vision with the ability to switch to infrared, adjustable hearing, more powerful muscles, a top of the line immune system with rapid wound healing, and of course radical life extension. Is that too much to ask?
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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Greg Shantz » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:40 pm

I think my favourite part was when David said that the Catholic Church are experts at child abuse. That made me laugh. :-)
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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:40 am

A memorable part was how Dr Hughes tried to suggest that one could live with attachments such as women, but circumvent the negative karmic consequences. And then later David questioned him by comparing the death of his wife to losing an ice cream cone, and he said, “the sorrow a man feels for his wife’s death is something he’d never want to give up”…. I thought that was interesting…

But I’m not sure about David’s theory about enlightened robots because it seems to me that for a robot to be truly wise, it would need to be plugged into the causal world in such way that it would experience pleasure and pain. The question raised - Is wisdom even possible in a machine that lacks sensuality? because let us not forget that wisdom is born through time, as the individual experiences stupidly and learns from it, so I question how a robot could be programmed to be wise….?

Unless scientists build a machine that experiences the world in the same way as we do, but then we’d be back where we started wouldn’t we?

Wouldn’t it be easier to just genetically modify the current male species, and use robots as laborers?
Last edited by Ryan Rudolph on Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby David Quinn » Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:16 am

Ryan Rudolph wrote:A memorable part was how Dr Hughes tried to suggest that one could live with attachments such as women, but circumvent the negative karmic consequences. And then later David questioned him by comparing the death of his wife to losing an ice cream cone, and he said, “the sorrow a man feels for his wife’s death is something he’d never want to give up”…. I thought that was interesting…

I liked the way he described the child not being upset over his spilled ice-cream as "emotional maturity", while an adult being upset over the death of a wife as "the human experience". That rather tickled me.


But I’m not sure about David’s theory about enlightened robots because it seems to me that for a robot to be truly wise, it would need to be plugged into the causal world in such way that it would experience pleasure and pain. The question raised - Is wisdom even possible in a machine that lacks sensuality? because let us not forget that wisdom is born through time, as the individual experiences stupidly and learns from it, so I question how a robot could be programmed to be wise….?

We could program all that into them - human-like senses, the ability to experience pleasure and pain, the subjective sense of what it means to be an ignorant being, even false memories if needs be. The end result will be an enlightened robot fully-equipped to teach ignorant beings, such as humans, knowledgeably and compassionately - if they choose to.


Unless scientists build a machine that experiences the world in the same way as we do, but then we’d be back where we started wouldn’t we?

Wouldn’t it be easier to just genetically modify the current male species, and use robots as laborers?

Maybe. In principle, the sky is the limit. There will be all sorts of possibilities that we could pursue.

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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Cory Duchesne » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:33 am

David,

Ryan: The question raised - Is wisdom even possible in a machine that lacks sensuality? because let us not forget that wisdom is born through time, as the individual experiences stupidly and learns from it, so I question how a robot could be programmed to be wise….?

David: We could program all that into them - human-like senses, the ability to experience pleasure and pain, the subjective sense of what it means to be an ignorant being, even false memories if needs be. The end result will be an enlightened robot fully-equipped to teach ignorant beings, such as humans, knowledgeably and compassionately - if they choose to.


How would we ever know that we've succeeded in programing robots with a subjective sense of pleasure, pain, etc?

This brings up the not so age old debate between the behaviorists and the existentialists. The behaviorist will tell you that programming a robot to quickly recoil upon touching fire, acid or whatever is sufficient for programing pain. An existentialist will tell you that that's nonsense, that there is more to pain than merely the behavioral reaction. Programing a robot to simply 'behave' is, relatively speaking, the easy part. Programming it to actually experience an emotion and sensation strikes me as an extremely baffling feat. I can't imagine how it could be done. You see, even if you have a good theory about how to do it, it would be bloody hard, if not logically impossible to verify.
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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby autism » Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:21 am

A truly uninspire and clueless guy. I'd comment on it but I forgot what he said. Trelis is right, he was your typical feminist academian which is now equivalent to a young republican in the Fifties. The guy doesn't have a non politically correct thought in his head and if he did he'd suppress it for fear he couldn't make money gaming everyone in the aacdemy.

C'mon guys, you can do better than this!

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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby David Quinn » Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:04 pm

The idea isn't necessarily to speak only to very wise or very interesting people, but to speak to people who represent a certain section of the population or a certain school of thought.

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Re: Latest Show: "Facing the Future" - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Ryan Rudolph » Sun Oct 28, 2007 12:03 am

David Quinn wrote:

The idea isn't necessarily to speak only to very wise or very interesting people, but to speak to people who represent a certain section of the population or a certain school of thought.


Yes, I noticed that if one is too feminine, and doesn’t cultivate a strong independence of thought from an early age, then the environment will mold their character to suite whatever function they serve in society. Their character ends up containing an environmental printout of the unique conditions at the time. Personally, I find all the causal molds rather interesting to examine, and each has a certain value, as it reveals certain characteristics for a given environment/time.
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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:15 am

"Brain Chips and Other Dreams of the Cyber-Evangelists"

^ Amusing article that makes mention of James Hughes among other 'cyber evangelists'

;)
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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby daybrown » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:58 pm

I quit listening when he mentioned the rich getting richer. One of the things that the upwardly mobile women are doing is availing themselves of fertility clinic services, selecting from among thousands of more promising Y chromosome lines to conceive their children with than anything they are likely to have access to in their personal contacts.

Think about it. This is headed for the Platonic Republic. It will be these kids, with their vastly superior intelligence, charisma, and artistic talent that will be in high demand by the transnationals, and indeed, soon be run by their mothers. All of the poor women will be condemned to make do with the innately aggressive misogynistic men and increasingly charming sons of philanderers who are in the gene pool only because of their one significant talent: seduction.

Are such sons, when they grow up, going to earn enuf money to pay the social security taxes to support your retirement? Dr Hughes seems to think meds will be available to make them more functional. You prolly dont want to think about that either.
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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby jelly24 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:00 pm

That's a very useful discussion. Thank you for your reply.

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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby jupiviv » Thu May 27, 2010 8:07 pm

I understand that I'm very late for the party, but I just listened to this and simply had to post this. This show is probably the worst in the whole of the reasoning show series. The show basically went like this:

Question - Do you think we are prepared to meet the future?

Dr. Hughes - I think apples and roses are both red, so there may be some similarity between these two things. Also, I have teeth.

If I'd done that interview, I'd have first asked him what he meant by the terms "future" and "change." Admittedly, that would probably have ended the show within 15 minutes.
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Re: Facing the Future - Dr James "J" Hughes

Postby jaskorhov213 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:28 pm

jelly24 wrote:That's a very useful discussion.





i agree...


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