POTUS 2020, part 1

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
pulga
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by pulga » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:19 pm

It is said that Sālavatī was visited by very desirous men, and that she went for "a hundred" a night -- "abhisaṭā atthikānaṃ atthikānaṃ manussānaṃ paṭisatena ca rattiṃ gacchati". Note the duplication of atthika to convey the intensity of the desire that the men had for her. Ambapali is said to have gone for fifty a night. All this coupled with Sālavatī's becoming pregnant makes it pretty clear what the term gaṇikā means.

Phena
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by Phena » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:27 am

pink_trike wrote:
poto wrote: Full disclosure: I used to work in the adult industry doing web and marketing. It is not a wholesome livelihood.
Hello Poto,

"It's not a wholesome livelihood" obviously needs some unpacking. If you're referring just to the manufacturing of adult entertainment as "not a wholesome livelihood" ... a constructed narrative that maybe or maybe is not the result of modern Western 'religious' conditioning ... then there's not much to discuss here. The reality is that in our hyper-aggressive, pathologically alienated, capitalist / consumer society, the adult entertainment industry is inevitable, necessary, and valuable ... and should be respected as such. And, the adult entertainment industry in the U.S. is a multibillion dollar industry that employs how many boring, well-behaved accountants, business managers, art directors, videographers, programmers, graphic artists, sales staff, management, etc... ordinary people who go to work each day. A blanket dismissal / degradation / condemnation of 'sex work' as "unwholesome", especially if it is a conditioned, knee jerk, received / trained reaction, is intellectually shallow, reactive, culturally bigoted, and inconsistent with the goal of Dhamma / Dharma practice.

However, if just the act of manufacturing adult entertainment in itself isn't the basis of your "not a wholesome livelihood" comment, then I assume you're talking about elements and circumstances of this community that cause suffering. That we can talk about.

I have a broad, deep, intimate, and lengthy understanding of and association with the adult entertainment industry. I provided pro bono substance abuse counseling / psychotherapy / educational services / and practical support (food and shelter) to the hetero / bi / homo / trans / intersex adult entertainment community in San Francisco and the European male escort circuit for nearly a decade. Through this work I became an active member of the adult entertainment community ... socializing with them, advocating and agitating for them politically, cultivating life long friendships, and blessed with quite a number of loving relationships ... while simultaneously providing substance abuse counseling / psychotherapy / educational services on a fee basis to middle and upper class San Francisco / Marin county residents. After spending the day working with the financially secure, I would descend into the world of the financially insecure and those who have been rejected by mainstream bourgeoisie society for one reason or another ... which often included doing street outreach late at night in dangerous circumstances. I can say emphatically, as a result of this long and intimate association with this community, that I much preferred working with sex workers over the fortunate mainstream, for a few reasons:

1. The adult entertainment community is, by far, in my experience, the closest thing to a true meaning of 'community' (fellowship and caring for each other) that I have ever experienced, and I've been a long time member of quite a number of cultural communities and sub cultures (including an active and committed member of various 'Buddhist' communities for nearly 45 years). My experience of people in the adult entertainment industry, in general, is that they look out for each other with a deep sense of responsibility and caring, and are deeply loyal and generous, to a degree that I haven't witnessed outside this community in modern Western society. It is comparable to the sense and practice of community that I've witnessed in remote Native American, rural Mexican, and remote Southeast Asian communities that are relatively free from Western contamination and degradation.

2. Sex workers (adult video performers, prostitutes, phone / cyber sex workers, erotic dancers), in my experience, in general, have a clearer perception of reality, of what really is taking place right now, in this moment, and the nature of desire / craving, than the average person that identifies as 'Buddhist' in the Western world. They tend to have a clearer perception of the nature of existence, as a result of their outsider status, lived uncertainty, and experiential / psychic mediation of reality. Yes, I'm saying that the average sex worker has a clearer perception of reality and existence than the average middle / upper class self-identifed 'Buddhist' (and those who have absorbed the values of dominant culture). They tend to have a very stripped down way of mediating reality that is consistent with the view of reality that Dhamma / Dharma records have preserved and advocates (minus the very recently added 'religious' lens, the result of the modern Western occupation of Dhamma / Dharma since the late 18th century). There's no evidence of the concept of 'religion' or the emotional state of 'religiosity' in Dhamma / Dharma prior to 18th / 19th century Western interpretation of it.

3. Dhamma / Dharma practice really isn't about about modeling the construct of good vs bad mores of modern Western society, a misconception that is now deeply engrained into modern understandings of the purpose of Dhamma / Dharma practice. Dhamma / Dharma practice really isn't about being "good" and the rejection of the body and material world ... a clear understanding of Dhamma / Dharma rejects the dualistic parsing of 'good' and 'bad' and 'material / immaterial'. Rather, it is really all about the refinement of perception, the cultivation of clarity (vision, free from cultural conditioning, conceptual habits, and emotional reaction), the acknowledgement and acceptance of emptiness (and liberation from the delusion of self-existence), the rejection of dualism, and the value of the compassion that organically arises from the dissolving of the delusion of self-existence and permanence. I've heard countless times the doctrine of 'non-self, interrelation, and impermanence, and the personal testimonials of the organic kindness that rises out of the understanding of these central elements of Dhamma / Dharma, in late night revelations, free from the modern Western jargon of "Buddhism", often delivered in the peak of self-medication, from those who sell their bodies to strangers or give up their naked image to the gaze of hungry masses, in order to provide food and shelter for themselves and their children ... importantly, absent the reward that most modern Buddhists expect ... a privileged 'rebirth' and a cherished self-identification of 'good' and 'spiritual', and 'better than / not like everyone else' (it's fascinating how many people who identify as 'Buddhist' unconsciously think of themselves as 'special' ... which is just one more deluding 'self' concretization ... or, in modern terms, state of insanity.

Are there dangers associated with sex work? Yes, of course. A dear friend of mine ... one of the most intelligent and awake women I've ever met ... was beheaded by one of her escort customers. Does exploitation happen in this industry? Yes, of course. Do some people who work in this industry suffer long term psychological effects? Yes, of course. And yet ... are there dangers associated with law enforcement? Yes ... a dear friend who was a policewoman in Paris was tortured and killed by a drug gang. Are there dangers associated with dentistry? Yes...a dear friend who was a successful dentist recently killed himself ... dentists have the highest rate of suicide of any profession. Are there dangers associated with computer programming? Yes ... a longtime friend and programmer employee recently lost management of his mind and was committed to an asylum ... programmers have a higher than average rate of psychopathology. Are corporate bio-drones exploited ... yes, often extremely. Yet, I've hunted for decades for statistics that support the idea that sex work is more dangerous than socially acceptable occupations. Or more immoral than many socially acceptable occupations, and statistics do not seem to support this popular perception (that is commonly held by 'religious' people). Is sex work really more dangerous, unwholesome, or immoral than corps / industry that deplete and poison the thin fragile layer of life here in Earth that humans and all other living beings depend on for sustenance and survival ... that perhaps irreparably harms DNA, resulting in extreme transgenerational epigentic disease extending 2-3 generations and perhaps infinitely into the future of the collective human organism? Is it more dangerous, immoral, unwholesome than the unholy marriage between politicians and the military ... that results in millions of people killed or displaced on an ongoing basis? It's just so easy for modern, western, religiously indoctrinated people to tsk tsk about sex, while ignoring the indisputable fact that Western civilization itself is immoral and dangerous, and has resulted in 150k species going extinct annually and accelerating ... 70% of all species are projected to go extinct by the end of this century (just 85-ish years) ... and human cancer rates are projected to increase by 70% in the next 20 years, as a result of a delusional, immoral, religionized, mystified, and mythified view of nature and existence and our embedded place within these realities.

Can sex be an obstacle to awakening? Of course. Can anything / everything we do ... the circumstances of life that we encounter in every moment and our reaction to them (even consensually acceptable reactions), be an obstacle to waking up to reality? Yes. Can blindly taking refuge in 'Buddhist" mythology, dogma, and self-identity be an obstacle to awakening? You bet. So let's not point the eager finger of judgement at those "other' people who don't match our conditioned view of acceptable behavior and occupation.
Great post pink_trike! Thank you for sharing your experiences, in depth observations and some of the double standards and hypocrisy of the "religiously indoctrinated".

chownah
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:51 am

I've been stressing the importance of voters starting a dialogue with possible candidates to probe them for their ideas about the coming disruptions from advancing automation and artificial intelligence technologies. Although I have seen no evidence of voters doing this it is good to see that some politicians are at least seeing the near term effects which is not surprising in that the near term effects are happening right now....more is being produced with fewer workers and the trend is for this to intensify and accelerate. I still think that the views being expressed while enouraging are focused on the near term (not suprisingly) and really nothing is being said about longer term issues which will assurdly come and almost assuredly will come sooner than people expect:
Mark Cuban: Robots will ‘cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it’
https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/5fae7a1a-c ... -will.html

Again, this is a good start but really it is already a bit behind the curve in that the failure of politicians to appreciate this issue and bring it into the discussion in a meaningful way resulted in a president who seems to not be addressing the issue at all and does not appear to be likely to develop and appreciation for it........etc. I think its time that the people who run the country try to get ahead of the curve at least with the discussion if not actual planning.
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:05 pm

Some political leaders have been saying we have nothing to worry about and we only need to retrain the workforce to keep people employed as automation and ai advances....that we need to train people to build and program the machines of automation. A big part of this had been a big push to teach programming starting in primary schools to develop a generation of programmers. Sounds good but it really is very short sighted:
Are you a software programmer who voted in a recent Slashdot poll that a robot/AI would never take your job? Unfortunately, you're wrong. Microsoft, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, is developing such an AI. This software "can turn your descriptions into working code in seconds," reports MSPoweruser. "Called DeepCoder, the software can take requirements by the developer, search through a massive database of code snippets and deliver working code in seconds, a significant advance in the state of the art in program synthesis."
https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/02/2 ... t-of-a-job
It very well could be that the advances in software creating AI will be doing all the software development by the time that those fourth graders graduate from college in 12 years. Doesn't this seem like the politicians have a very short sighted view of things? Shouldn't they be trying to solve problems that are 10 years out instead of just looking at the next few years? It would be good if voters started questioning these things in their communications with their representative and with people who are wanting to become their representatives. They have waited for the manufacturing jobs crisis to bloom before they even realized the origin of the problem....they were blaming it on jobs moving outside the US when in fact it was the rise of automation which was eliminating the jobs.....the result is in washington dc today.....if we don't get smarter about these things and inform our representatives then perhaps we will have a repeat.
Does anyone here think that the disruption caused by technology are going to disappear or stay the same?......it seems so obvious that the disruption is going to grow and at an ever increasing rate of growth.....it seems obvious that unless some people get some smarts and start doing something that society will be totally unprepared to deal with this in an elegant way....are you ready?
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:02 am

Many people, myself included, go to wikipedia for facts. Some people accept whatever is found there and some people know that sometimes they get it wrong. As it turns out some of the "facts" are adjusted by software bots which change tweek the articles to I guess make them more "factual". Problem is that there are many different bots which do that and sometimes they fight over which is correct:
https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/02/2 ... dias-pages
A new study from computer scientists has found that the online encyclopedia is a battleground where silent wars have raged for years. Since Wikipedia launched in 2001, its millions of articles have been ranged over by software robots, or simply "bots," that are built to mend errors, add links to other pages, and perform other basic housekeeping tasks. In the early days, the bots were so rare they worked in isolation. But over time, the number deployed on the encyclopedia exploded with unexpected consequences. The more the bots came into contact with one another, the more they became locked in combat, undoing each other's edits and changing the links they had added to other pages. Some conflicts only ended when one or other bot was taken out of action. The findings emerged from a study that looked at bot-on-bot conflict in the first ten years of Wikipedia's existence. The researchers at Oxford and the Alan Turing Institute in London examined the editing histories of pages in 13 different language editions and recorded when bots undid other bots' changes. While some conflicts mirrored those found in society, such as the best names to use for contested territories, others were more intriguing. Describing their research in a paper entitled Even Good Bots Fight in the journal Plos One, the scientists reveal that among the most contested articles were pages on former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the Arabic language, Niels Bohr and Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of the most intense battles played out between Xqbot and Darknessbot which fought over 3,629 different articles between 2009 and 2010. Over the period, Xqbot undid more than 2,000 edits made by Darknessbot, with Darknessbot retaliating by undoing more than 1,700 of Xqbot's changes. The two clashed over pages on all sorts of topics, from Alexander of Greece and Banqiao district in Taiwan to Aston Villa football club.
Are you comfortable that automated software can determine the "facts"? I suppose that if the software was godlike then it would be an improvement....but what are the chances of a godlike program appearing? Seems like there is alot of power inherent in deciding the facts.....the recent appeal to "alternative facts" comes to mind. Do you think that your representative in congress knows about the possible threat of automated "facting"?....do you think it would be good if the next potus appreciated the dangers of this new development?
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by DNS » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:06 am

Oprah hints at a possible Oprah 2020 run:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/politics/ ... index.html

She never thought she had a chance, since she has no political experience, but now that she saw the election of Trump . . .

:popcorn:

chownah
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:45 pm

Alot of reaction to bill gates's idea to tax robots to finance the social dislocation they will cause. Well, at least he is thinking about this before the problems get too severe.
https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/17/ ... -robot-tax

People may think that I am exagerating by saying before the problems get too severe because they may think that the associated problems have not arrived yet at all...to those people I just point to the president of the usofa that idiot wind donald trump who used the commonly held ignorance that the lack of jobs was due to manufacturing moving off shore when in fact the lack of manufacturing jobs is clearly and unequivically shown to be due to automation....so the problems have already arrived and people are living with eyes closed.

I brought this link to direct your attention to a bloomberg columnist mentioned in the article at the bottom:
But even while acknowledging that technology can complement humans rather than replacing them, a Bloomberg columnist argues that "Gates is right to say that we should start thinking ahead of time about how to use policy to mitigate the disruptions of automation." So if we're not going to tax robots, then how should society handle the next great wave of automated labor?
I guess that bill gates, the columnist, and I are equally ridiculous for bothering the powers to be with the idea that there are problems coming and we should be at least planning to mitigate those problems. If you are equally ricidulous too then maybe you should try to influence the political process such as it is in the direction of getting going on a serious dialogue.....of course if the only way you think you influence the political process is by voting then really you are more part of the problem than part of the solution. Just think how you did not give any input into who should run for president and just waited for the vote to come....see what you ended up having to choose between. I hear lots of people badmouthing the political parties for giving voters such a couple of duds...to those people I say....why didn't you get active and push for someone better BEFORE the election...what are you waiting for?...the next election? You're going to do nothing for the next four years and then think that you can use your input to good effect? If you think this then you are a fool and you deserve whatever politician lies their way onto office. Making the world a better place is an every day sort of thing for those who actually make an impact...the rest are just tourists in life.

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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:46 pm

In this article some techies think that the societal disruption that most people expect has been seriously underestimated primarily because the rapid pace of advancements in artificial intelligence it is not widely enough appreciated.

Are you going to start discussing this as an issue to address politically?....or just do nothing and then complain when the gov't does something or does nothing without your input?
Excerpt:
But experts warn that such studies may fail to grasp the full extent of the risks to the working population.
"The studies are underestimating the impact of technology -- some 80 to 90 percent of jobs will be eliminated in the next 10 to 15 years," said Vivek Wadhwa, a tech entrepreneur and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University in Silicon Valley.
- Dire consequences -
"Artificial intelligence is moving a lot faster than anyone had expected," said Wadhwa, who is co-author of a forthcoming book on the topic. "Alexa (Amazon's home hub) and Google Home are getting amazingly intelligent very fast. Microsoft and Google have demonstrated that AI can understand human speech better than humans can."
Wadhwa calls the driverless car a "metaphor" for the future of labor and a sign of a major shift.
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/tech-world-d ... 34514.html
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by pulga » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:18 pm

At some point - if only to avert social unrest - we may need to resort to a basic income guaranteed to all citizens.
Concerns about automation and other causes of technological unemployment have caused many in the high-tech industry to turn to basic income proposals as a necessary implication of their business models. Journalist Nathan Schneider first highlighted the turn of the "tech elite" to these ideas with an article in Vice magazine, which cited figures such as Marc Andreessen, Sam Altman, Peter Diamandis, and others. The White House, in a report to Congress, has put the probability at 83% that a worker making less than $20 an hour in 2010 will eventually lose their job to a machine. Even workers making as much as $40 an hour face odds of 31 percent.
Basic income - Wikipedia

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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:14 pm

I've thought about this increasing automation process too; it seems to be inevitable in the same way the Industrial Revolution changed everything about 100 to 150 years ago. Things can be produced much more quickly, efficiently so it is unlikely to be stopped. There will be a need for workers to design and produce robots and to repair robots but certainly the overall effect will be a net loss in the number of jobs.

A Basic Income is one of the suggestions, but the problem with that is who is going to pay for it? If there are not as many workers and you tax them too high, there will be little incentive for them to even go to work. Instead they'll quit and sign up for Basic Income too. So there still needs to be a careful balance in not rushing to simplistic solutions for a complex problem.

On another note, I have wondered what future warfare might look like with this increasing robot-automation. Already the U.S. has been using drones quite a bit where enemies are taken out with basically a video-game type apparatus where U.S. Air Force pilots thousand of miles away on a U.S. base control a drone and shoot or drop bombs on enemy combatants. It makes warfare too impersonal, too distant and perhaps psychologically "easier" when you don't see the humanity of the person you are killing due to the great distance. And then if it ever advanced into some type of sci-fi robot drones doing ground warfare, what would stop anyone (any leader with the financial means) from purchasing millions of those drones and taking over any nation they wanted? The "winner" would be the one with the largest pocket-book, not the one that is the most morally wholesome.

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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by Jetavan » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:41 pm

"The only good bot is a dead bot."
-- Lieutenant Colonel Hideo Cohen Nyerere, U.S. Army, during the First Estonian A.I. War, 2045

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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by Justsit » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:53 pm

Image

chownah
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:42 pm

pulga wrote:At some point - if only to avert social unrest - we may need to resort to a basic income guaranteed to all citizens.
I agree with the general idea of a basic income guarantee but I think that the fundamental idea of a basic income is that the gov't gives something to all citizens without charge. It doesn't need to be money. It could be a house to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear, transportation, and internet hookup (which would of course include phone services). In an automated society these things would be easy to provide.

I think that I am looking way ahead to when automation and AI are so developed that the necessities will be....well....automated. This will not happen before the 2020 elections and not by the 2024 elections but it will happen. While many think it is too soon to think about these things I think that there will be social manifestation of this which will significantly affect how smoothly society runs very soon....soon as in it is already happening to a degree which is evidenced by trump "bringing back jobs" which do to automation don't quite exist like they used to....already society has not gracefully adjusted to the advances in automation. So....if it is starting to happen now then it would be good if society started heading in a good direction which can continue to develop as automation's effects on society develop instead of going down a path which turns into a dead end because of our lack of forsight or vision. So....I'm thinking that people should act now with regards to what is happening now but to keep an eye on where today's trajectory might lead and try to avoid those dead ends.
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by chownah » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:52 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I've thought about this increasing automation process too; it seems to be inevitable in the same way the Industrial Revolution changed everything about 100 to 150 years ago. Things can be produced much more quickly, efficiently so it is unlikely to be stopped. There will be a need for workers to design and produce robots and to repair robots but certainly the overall effect will be a net loss in the number of jobs.
For the near term you are correct but why can't robots design, produce, and repair robots? Microsoft (I think it is them) is developing a AI application which will write software already. I'm not too knowledgeable in what they are doing but from what I gather you just tell it what you want your program (I guess they are called "apps" today) to do and it will write it.

I think that eventually it will be possible for someone to have a robot assistant who can do anything from fix the car and build a house to rock the baby to sleep. I think that people think of humanoid robots as being sort of limited like people are but you know that a robot would have access to all skills for all things....and would not get tired or need to rest.
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Re: POTUS 2020, part 1

Post by robertk » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:56 pm

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