On doffing your hat to artificial intelligence

January 26, 2016 § 24 Comments

We shall begin with the words of the Prophet Rush:

When they turn the pages of history
When these days have passed long ago
Will they read of us with sadness
For the seeds that we let grow?
We turned our gaze
From the castles in the distance
Eyes cast down
On the path of least resistance

Many modern people are waiting in joyful hope for the coming of artificial intelligence. I’m not especially worried about Skynet taking over the world any time soon given that the current state of the art in AI, with all of the best minds and the most resources behind it, is the autocorrect feature on my phone. But many people seem to actually crave the emergence of AI.

Now that we’ve well and truly said farewell to kings, no man has the right to rule over other men. If another man has a genuine right to rule over us that makes us less than fully human. The justification of political power is that legitimate exercise of political power makes sure that nobody can tell anyone else what to do.

Nature and basic rationality beg to differ, so human authority does not disappear: it merely becomes sociopathic, ‘justified’ by consequentialism and other lies, as we attempt to replace human authority with neutral mechanical procedures. The telos of rule by neutral mechanical procedures is all nations kneeling before the great AI singularity.

Whether the superman will actually succeed, for certain values of ‘succeed’, in creating his god is I suppose open to debate. The future is not set, there is no fate, blah blah blah.

But adopting modern teleology does guarantee one thing: the results for those who adopt it will be inhuman.

§ 24 Responses to On doffing your hat to artificial intelligence

  • DeNihilist says:

    Interesting factoid about AI, you can impregnate cows from thawed bulls semen, but you cannot impregnate a mare with thawed stallion semen.

    This is why horses have to travel if someone wants a certain match.

  • Zippy says:

    Acronymnal Instigator.

  • Mike T says:

    DeNihilist’s comment reminded me of the times I’ve seen a machine learning-based system like recaptcha or Google Translate poisoned. Probably an insemination joke in there, but I’m too tired from 3 days of digging through snow over the weekend.

  • Zippy says:

    It was a hell of a storm for NOVA. More than the last snowmaggedon, at least where we are. Virginians kind of crack me up though: what the heck are they going to do with all the bread, eggs, and milk they stripped off the shelves? That’s a lot of French toast.

  • DeNihilist says:

    The biggest problem with the AI dream is the loss of personality. I have a few customers who have me over for service more for the social aspect then the actual repair. They will never accept an AI fixing their heating system.

  • Mike T says:

    I grew up on the coast, and it was bewildering to see people prepare for hurricanes by buying more milk and TP. Loss of power is obviously pretty common in a cat 3 or higher hurricane. The only explanation was that people intended to let the milk spoil and spend the rest of the storm cleaning up after the runs.

  • King Richard says:

    An irrational activity done by the masses to give themselves the illusion of control in the face of great risk. Could be pre-storm purchases, could be voting.

  • Zippy says:


    At least in one of the irrational rituals you get french toast.

  • Mike T says:

    Unless you happen to have Pepco power your home…

  • Mike T says:

    (If you live in DC or southern Maryland, long term storm preparation should begin by just preemptively throwing out the contents of your refrigerator)

  • Zippy says:

    We were lucky not to lose power this time, but we’ve never lost it for more than a day or so. The power co-op here is actually not too bad. The little inverter-based Honda generators are great. Also portable fridge/freezer (Engel or the like). Camp stove. Etc.

    The main issue there is not having too much expensive stuff to put into the portable fridge – stocking up aggravates the problem it doesn’t help. It isn’t as if roads will remain impassable for more than a day or so, even in the unlikely event that the power stays out. I was actually out driving every day, though I’ve got appropriate vehicles and skills. If things got too drawn out I’d just move whatever and whomever needs moving to somewhere else where there is power, etc.

    But YMMV in different areas, with different gear, and with different personal options. I understand storm preparation; I just find the panic ritual around here of stripping the shelves bare of milk, bread, and eggs kind of funny and counterproductive.

  • Zippy says:

    Don’t worry though because once the great AI god is in charge we won’t have to worry our meaty little heads about any of that stuff.

  • Scott W. says:

    Time for another Zombie Apocalypse prepping entry. 🙂

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard and Zippy,

    Just watch this… 🙂

  • Mike T says:

    Full version. It’s George Carlin, so chunks of it are crude, but hilarious in its truth about American democracy…

  • Zippy, a suggestion for a thought to develop if you haven’t. The pseudo-liturgical character of the election in our religion of Americanism/liberal democracy, right? I think a lot more can be drawn from the liturgical parallel. Along the lines of your “Belief in equal rights as a state of grace.” There is the doctrine, all authority comes from God. Perhaps very few people really deny it – those who verbally deny it continue to believe it after a fashion. They just turn it around: participation in the electoral process is divinization, and in particular it’s communion with the God named the People, the source and summit of the American life. A people may not be sanctified right away by the imposition of democracy, but over time, inexorably (here the Calvinism can be still seen), divine grace will work through the sacrament. The suggestion that any be excluded from communion is, as you’ve said, the worst judgment in the book. It’s an exclusion from the whole society of man and God, only for the lowest of the low, since there is no alternative path to virtue and holiness.

  • Guard says:

    Oh, Christ, Zippy, just move to a monarchy and shut up.

  • Zippy says:


    Thanks for the suggestion, but you’ve misapprehended the situation. I am not a monarchist. I am an authoritarian antiliberal patriarchal antidisestablishmentarian subsidiarist.

  • […] expressed before why I am not concerned that some artificial intelligence is going to take over the world and turn […]

  • […] only occasionally go fishing in the SPAM folder to see if any legit comments got caught in King AI’s deplorable catcher.  This morning I retrieved this from Elspeth and this from e. a. […]

  • […] authority (and consequent obligations) as an owner of real property. It much like the desire to abandon human authority to machines in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading On doffing your hat to artificial intelligence at Zippy Catholic.