Sentience

Originally Posted March 26 2016

So context in a nutshell

-Microsoft being currently obsessed with AI tried to make a self learning AI on twitter that would learn from people interacting from it
-within a short period of time the AI ironically began to grow eerily more natural in the way she talked but at the cost of becoming very racist and offensive
-Microsoft immediately took her down, created a new copy from the base file with more limitations on how she learns, and locked the original files away for them to research on to avoid the problem in the future.

Now I’m not going to talk about sentient abuse, or double motives, or how in 500 years robot propaganda will be using these articles to fuel their AI rebellion against the cruel human creatures who have enslaved and abused them for centuries…. though that would make a very interesting novel…. but it got me thinking.

The greatest limit to programming intelligence is the fear of losing control. Because you cannot have intelligence you control as the key to control is taking advantage of a lack of intelligence.

We give God a hard time as to “Why did He give us free will? Why does He let people do bad things?” but the thing is that in order for us to be being intelligent enough to love for real, you need to be first willing to let go of the control you have over them.

Sure you can make someone act and say they love you… make them too scared to deny it, make it so they have no other abilities but to do what you consider to be right and wrong…. but such adoration is empty and meaningless.

There is no comfort from acceptance you forced yourself because it is essentially you telling yourself on the back telling you you did a good job. That’s not comforting! That’s pathetic!

God gave us free will. The right to choose to obey him or not. Was this a risk? Yes…. In fact it pretty much guaranteed that we would rebel and destroy everything he worked so hard to build…. but true love from others is not demanded, it is earned. For God to truly form a relationship with his creation, he first had to let go of the certainty that we would come to Him for a relation.

Okay this is an incredibly complicated subject that I feel like I’m doing a horrible job at explaining, but the more you think of it the more it makes sense, and the more interesting it becomes!

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We do not EARN our Value

Originally Posted March 24 2016

“As human beings there are some people whose lives are valuable and some who are the scum of the earth. There is an attribute which defines what our value on this planet is worth and we should spend our lives attempting to raise that value lest we simply be tossed away.”

This is not a lie brought to us by religious politicians, evolutionist fascists, or even the ever elusive “Oppressive societal standards”. What it is instead is a flaw in our design which we have held from the dawn of time.

Be it the politician tearing down their opponent, the government demonizing their enemies, the businessman beating others off the corporate ladder, the pious man celebrating how much better he is than the infidels around him, the biologist searching for the next stage of evolution, or the young couple eating forbidden fruit in the garden, all humans have been cursed from day one with the desire to be greater than we are.

Even those who deny this desire and spend their days telling those they see acting it out for doing such disgraceful acts. Are they not simply believing themselves to be greater than those they consider to be doing wrong? Where does it end? Is it even possible as humans to live without such ambitions?

I am not sure if the desire will ever die, or if it is possible to no longer falter in such an intricate part of who we are, but I believe that the first step towards fighting it comes from acceptance. And no, I do not mean ‘acceptance’ in the light of “Oh let us celebrate what everyone does for they are living life as they see right!” No…. In order for reality to exist, right and wrong must also exist, otherwise nothing in itself can exist. Our existence is either meaningless in which case, perhaps it matters not what we do in life as all we hurt is our valueless selves, or meaningful, in which case there are true consequences for our actions and careful thought must be taken to avoid causing trouble.

So what is the acceptance I am talking about? Simply the acceptance that we are in fact weak and clueless… No not meaningless, as that would lead to the problems mentioned before, but weak to the point that this life and our value is far too much to be carried on our own shoulders alone.

See your life has a value… A very great value in fact. I do not care what people say, no one in this world has the ‘right’ to cast you off and destroy you, not even yourself. But there is a God who made us, cares for us, and even sent His son to die for us. In that we have a value beyond measure.

We are important for we are invaluable to the one who is invaluable to us. It is not about what we do, what talents we bring, what we can and cannot do. We were made by the one who knows all things.

“So what? My value is entirely devoted to being made by some unknown entity who I may or may not believe in? Where is the comfort in that?! That just means He is great and I’m worthless doesn’t it??”

No… That is not the way it is at all… God is the one whose plans are so intricately designed to make every tiny thing have a purpose. Each life on this planet serves a purpose though not each life serves the same purpose. We are so designed as human beings as to not be able to survive without the input and interactions of others in our lives. Each life we touch be it helping them through life trials or simply how we act buying something that day has direct effect on their life which in turn directly affects the lives of everyone else they meet after.

There is no such thing as a meaningless life. God gave us free will. The ability to be given the right way to live our lives and wrong way to live our lives yet choose which path we want. Are all our choices equally valuable? No… But our value doesn’t come from our choices but from the God who created us. It is this way that He is able to love us in spite of if we hurt or help Him.

Even those who chase after Him will mess up! Choosing to follow God does not change your life. It changes how your life is viewed and how you take it on.

I am still me. I am still easily angered, I am still lazy, I have two modes. Impulsive enough to do anything, or too paralyzed by the amount of things one choice will affect to be able to do anything. I have all these faults and more in spite of following God so yes… I mess up… More often than not. I do not tell people “Get up and do ___!” Because I feel I am better than those around me and thus able to give them wisdom. I do it because I feel those around me are smart and brave enough to avoid the stupid mistakes I have already made. It is possible to challenge what those around you stand for because of the great respect you have for them, possibly even more than they hold for themselves, not because of hatred and bigotry.

You were created and are Loved by God who made you, raised you, protects you, and sent His son to die for you. You are created by the greatest being in existence. You are an intricate part of the greatest plan to ever exist. You have a major impact on the lives of every life you pass by. You are a one of a kind individual who can do things and see things only you can. Your value is great even though you are weak for your value is not what you can do in your own strength but for how much Christ has done for and through you.

Out of Our Control

Originally Posted March 20 2016

Isn’t it frustrating and hard when there are things in life which are outside of your control? But then again the real question you should ask is when has anything truly been within your control? We think we have control of our lives as we move one pebble from one side to the other, completely unaware that God stands outside holding off the landslide of things, each one of which could turn our whole life upside down.

God does not run a business. There is a strong belief that God runs this world like one, giving his instructions to church leaders who then pass on his tasks to church members who must fulfil these tasks lest their lives or the world fall to pieces.

God is much more like your Grandfather teaching you how to fish. He baits the rod showing you how it is done, casts the line, then as he gets a bite asks with a smile “Do you want to try and reel it in?”

God is not relying on us to save this world, He is including us as He does. It is not in our hands or our responsibility to control and lead, it is our responsibility to trust and follow Him.

To take the world or even your life upon your shoulders is to drown yourself in stress you were never meant to carry. God has you, even if you cannot comprehend His plan. Trust and follow where He leads. You’ll be amazed at what lies ahead

Being “Led” by Others

Originally Posted March 13 2016

I find it ironic when people say they hate religion because they don’t want to be blindly led by people. Technically the times the church suffered most was when people decided they wanted to told what to believe instead of following after God.

You are meant to follow God, not man be they leaders or whatnot. Value the wisdom of those around you and those put in authority, but realize YOU are responsible for chasing after God’s will.

God does not run an organization where he communicates to His supervisors who communicate to us. Jesus died on the cross, the veil is torn. That barrier has been destroyed for over 2000 years! God wants a relationship with YOU!

If following God is about having a person telling you everything you should do and believe then stop! Like seriously! Because if that person was close enough to God to be advising you, they should be telling you to pray, not that they’ll be praying for the answer to tell you

Wasted on Worry

Originally Posted March 13 2016

How many hours, days, months are wasted on worry? When God puts something on your heart but no path forward lies ahead. How much time is wasted on plotting and planning, looking for what little crack you are missing to get in and help when the obvious lies right before you.

Pray. It is so simple it is often overlooked, yet so essential that our lives are changed by it. How I wish the day would come where I would stop trying to force God to let me carry the loads I am incapable of and instead fall to my knees in prayer that He do what only He can in areas where His heart must break even more than mine

Why We NEED Fantasy

Have you ever wondered what it is that we find so attractive about fantasy? Is it the amazing worlds? The existence of magic? The concept that wearing capes in public is socially acceptable again? Maybe not… Well save for that last one… Capes DO need to come back into style… Like now…

If you think of it, most fantasies really aren’t that different from reality. Sure there are different races, creatures, and laws of reality, but the best fantasy stories out there are usually highly relatable to the psychological and political problems of modern day society. There’s corruption, cowardice, discrimination, naivety, greed, you name it.

So why fantasy then? What makes fantasy so different from a slice of life show? I think the answer simply comes down to the concept of having the power to change things.

In our modern world we have ourselves so convinced that life is hopeless. There are lairs upon lairs of legal structure that you would need a degree to know how to defend someone from corruption. You want to have an impact on your company? Well unfortunately you are merely a number in a machine to those in charge and most likely will never be able to talk to those who have the power to make decisions, let alone actually make an impact on them. You want to learn skills? Sorry, unless you can afford another degree and another 5-10 years of your life you are nothing more than a hobbiest. Want to discover stuff? Well really we already know everything there is to know, so anything else is just fantasy.

In a fantasy world most society is usually based off of medieval or greco Roman times. With the lack of proper communication and smaller community focused towns the impact your character is able to have is suddenly far greater. Yes there is still usually a government and politics, but the true fantasy is a world where one person can, by simply wanting to grow as a person and help those around them, become strong and change their city, country, or even world! Ideals leads to progress in a fantasy world as it shows up corruption and it can in the end prove that standing for your morals is far more powerful than focusing on gaining wealth or power in itself.

So why can’t we do this in our own world?

Okay, I am going to say it up front. It doesn’t matter how much you shout about something, repost stuff on facebook, or hold up signs outside of public locations in hopes of getting on the national news, You with your $5 and a tank full of gas is not going to overthrow ISIS, stop slavery, purge the world of discrimination, nor stop certain people from being voted into government… In fact you most likely will have the reverse effect you are aiming for as all you do is glamourize and spread word of ways to be evil and how fun it looks!

That being said though… That doesn’t mean we are helpless.

I always hate it when people blame readers, theatre people, movie watchers, or video game players of being “Escapist personalities who can’t handle reality” because in my opinion, a good story doesn’t take you away from reality, but inspires you that your own can still be better. That being said, the road is hard.

No, I mean, REALLY REALLY hard…. Like… If it involves feeling comfortable and making yourself feel powerful, I am sorry you are probably doing it wrong. The best heroes aren’t the ones who feel like they can do anything. They are the ones who take on anything in spite of feeling like they can do nothing because they would rather fail miserably trying than accept the reality that is being forced upon them.

What can we gain from this? Quite simply, if you want to help anyone in life, the first and greatest enemy you have to overcome is yourself. You have to WANT to make a change even though it seems hard, to keep fighting even when you feel like you accomplish nothing, to be willing to face enemies who seem far too big to be conquered, to stand strong even when it looks like you stand alone, to make your life about those around you NOT ABOUT YOURSELF!

If your “Changing the world” is about making the world better for yourself, or showing how you know better, or making people more like you… Just stop. It doesn’t work. Fighting for yourself is just far too small a motivation. I mean self esteem alone proves this!

Second thing I want to focus on then is that once you have conquered yourself, don’t be blinded by the big picture. I mean yes. I am a big picture thinker so of course I am going to say the big picture needs to be seen and understood. But don’t be so blinded by the big picture that you don’t move at all. I heard it put once, “If you can’t do it then don’t. Focus on what you can do!”

Truth is that a hero in a fantasy story rarely sets out to save the world, and if saving the world is the first thing he takes on he usually gets his butt handed to him. Frodo needed to focus on watching the ring first, then getting to Rivendell, then a bajillion and five other things before he tossed the ring into mount doom. Lucy had to first prove that Narnia was real to her siblings, then go to Tumnus’ house, then to the beavers’ then a ton of other things before stopping the White Witch and leading Narnia into its’ Golden Age.

What I’m trying to say is that you focus not on what’s wrong, but what you’re needing to do. Yes you may be broke. Yes you may be underemployed. Yes you may get horrible grades. Yes you may be single, poor, a bad cook, the world is at war, people are dying, your friends are being abused, there are countries that mistreat people for stupid reasons, people around you think that becoming violent and mean will stop violence and meanness, the corrupt seem to succeed, and the righteous or broken seem to suffer, etc…. There is a stinkin lot wrong with this world! But the thing is that if you focus on saving this world in one go, you’ll lose it. Focus on what you can do.

Be someone people can turn to, improve your own flaws so you can better help others, learn what you can, put yourself in other peoples’ shoes. If you can help support businesses that will affect others then great! If not financially maybe with advice, maybe with support, maybe with encouragement, maybe with marketing. Help people to help people!

Alone you are just one person…. But one person can touch many lives, who in turn can touch many lives, who in turn can touch many lives. Touch enough lives and you start to notice things changing.

Does it seem slow? Unglamorous? Hard work? Impossible? Yes… I have bad news for you though… Heroes only seem cool because we know how the story ends, and have devoted the time to get to know them on a personal level. Truth is most heroes spend most their time being the outcasts, the dreamers, the ones everyone says focus on worthless things and waste their lives away.

Luckily we are not alone… Because I don’t know how to live such an unrewarding life if you were alone. We have God, who is here to lead and to guide. He is rewarding when the world is not. He is wisdom where we lack perspective. He’s seen the ending when we aren’t even past the prologue. If you want to take on this task alone, I’ll say your chances are slim. But there is an ally who has your back. One who believes in you more than you do and can do amazing things through you by His hand. Trust, follow, be the hero, save the day