Acceleration and China

artificial intelligence rolling stone

[Photo source:]


By Josephivo

1. Introduction

First, we all looked at the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea. But is the conflict with China one dimensional? Or has China more than one iron in the fire? I wonder if we ask the right questions, if we look in the right direction. China might have a more holistic strategy on how to get to the top of in the world picking order.

Second, why did Eve bite in the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge? Why do we have to keep learning? As people, we all experience the same learning process, we went through the same cultural revolutions that changed all aspect of our daily lives at once. We adapted (at different speeds) the same solutions or values, for the same set of newly created problems:

Values of the agricultural revolution: expansion of land, property, military power.

China was one of the first to adapt agriculture. It stayed in that phase until recently. Still, in its current momentum, it wants to move to a larger “land” position too. Some recent history: first there was nothing, then a piece of paper with a dotted line, a shelter for fishermen, a few sandy islands, huge and fully equipped military bases… what’s next?

But the more important question could be: “Is this the meat or just a distraction?”

Property is ingrained in our deep farmer society cultures. Property issues generate high emotions. Do emotions suppress our rational thinking?

Values of the industrial revolution: monopolistic positions, financial power.

China started with a 200 year delay. Smothered in opium, misguided with communism and then a sudden explosion from nowhere to position number two in the world.

The digital and scientific revolution values: speed, power of imagination.

As speed is the important variable, let’s look at some fields of life/science:

2. Some fields of speed and acceleration.

The reader could add timelines, the first improvement wave took thousands of years, than hundreds, decennia and now we double many performances in 18 months; see Moore’s law.

As a warm-up exercise, some history:

  • Hunting-gathering, planting seeds in the wild, domestication of plants and animals, natural selection and breeding, cloning, genetic modifications, designer crops and animals, the Human Genome Project, DNA printing… soon designer babies on the shelves or the eternal life promised by the Methuselah foundation?
  • Muscular energy, fire, water- and wind mills, chemical energy (powder), steam power, electricity, internal combustion, nuclear power, renewables… too late to prevent climate change?
  • Posture and noise communication, language, writing, telegraph, telephone, radio, television, internet, 3 billion smart phones, social media…. soon all interconnected living in mega-cities?
  • Mathematics, astronomy, physics, relativity and quantum mechanics…the CERN Large Hadron Collider proving the Higgs boson or God particle (China is building now a collider twice the size!), string theories, many universes….the end of physics?
  • Evolution of the artificial/virtual: paintings and statues, printing, photography and film, digital transformation, internet, Siri, Artificial Intelligence…. soon the Technological Singularity?

Things are moving fast today, not only fast, but also faster and faster. Our political thinking overtaken by major technological innovations. With no time to adjust as we previously did when we went through our agricultural revolution, industrial revolution and the digital revolution. Will China surprise us all in this science race?

Progress in the West has to deal with checks and balances. Look at Europe where privacy laws are slowing down the Googles and Facebooks of this world. At the slow democratic processes to release funds for fundamental research. The ethical committees in the academic interfering with scientific decisions. A lot is caused by conservative reactions of voters, the resistance to change. Voters live in cultures still stuck in an agricultural era. Even worse, our “DNA nature” is based on hunting-gathering conditions and values.

Little of this in China. Autocratic governments can decide and implement much faster. Chinese are also less hindered by ethical concerns, the (their) end justifies the means”.

And China understands that is not only about speed, it is about acceleration. All want to rise in the pecking order of things, the one that moves faster will prevail.

Let’s have a look at some areas where dramatic change might be around the corner:

3. Where to expect breakthroughs?

Let’s look at some areas where we could expect some world changing technologies. Will the breakthroughs and dominance come from China?

3.1 Biological

Performance enhancing drugs for athletes… performance enhancing drugs for factory workers? Enhancing muscle performance… enhancing brain performance? Performance enhanced scientists developing better performance enhancing drugs faster?

And what about gene modified scientists? Thinking faster, memories as idiot savant, needing less sleep, concentrating better, all a matter of a few genes. DNA printing is just around the corner. And why only scientists?

Gene drives exist, forcing certain specific changes in DNA to be inherited, dominant or not.

Oscar Pretorius and artificial limbs, night vision, firing assistance, Google glasses… all quite primitive. But what about artificial intelligence?

3.2 Information Technology.

Mega Data

A long time ago 1K of data was a lot for a computer, then 1M, a decade ago 1B, now the amount of data a computer can handle is almost unlimited, Giga-, Tera-, Peta-… and increasing fast. Do you know what your phone company knows? A German, Malte Spitz, long ago in 2009, via legal action got his meta-data Deutsche Telecom collected over the last 6 month: 35,800 lines of information. By reconstructing this information you could see where he slept, when and where he traveled, with who and how long he called professionally and privately. The company also knew what his friends did, where they traveled, whom his colleagues contacted…

The same goes for Google, Facebook, your internet provider, the only difference that they have more extensive, more detailed information. All your photos on the cloud have tags with dates and location, cookies return specific information of your computer use.

NSA is spying (industrial, military, political) according Snowdon, ISIS accelerated surveillance technologies, face recognition, Deep Learning (see below) and all of this is outdated the moment you type it.

Cybercrime robbing the Bangladesh National Bank, cyber wars…

And what does China do as a state? They didn’t complain about the ZTE deal, did they find easier ways to collect information about the Philippine government in the mean time?

Deep learning

What’s done in BPO’s? Reading and writing, listening and speaking, looking at things, integrating information, all things where computers are learning very fast the last 2 years due to deep learning. Computers acquire knowledge no longer via complicated programmed algorithms but in ways the human brain functions, by simulating levels of neurons. They will do BPO tasks faster and better than humans.

The Chinese are very slow in the BPO industry, does this mean they advanced enough with deep learning computers?

Artificial Intelligence

My brother was a Gas Chromatograph expert (consulted several times by MIT). He lost his job 10 years ago because computers did an (almost) equally good job in suggesting how samples had to be prepared, how to be measured and how to interpret the resulting graphs. Deep Blue defeating Kasparov, GPS guiding you, the Google self-driving car, face recognition… More and more areas of human knowledge are simulated or surpassed by computers.

AI requires 3 basic realms of expertise: (1) understanding the human brain or brain mapping, (2) simulating thinking processes, and (3) embodiment or making them interact with the real world. In all three fields huge progress has been made over the last few years. We can see and understand in ever greater detail and in real time what our synapses are doing. With scanners we can see what letters you are reading; recording dreams is for the near future. We have accurate estimates of the size of the computations we make and the size of the memory we use. Our current computers will still have to grow in several orders of magnitude, but ideas exist to simulate a rat sized brain.

Where the military are in all this, we don’t know. Where the Googles and Facebooks are, we don’t know. The public discussion is lagging. Too few people have an idea what the scientists are doing.

Will future (Chinese?) superintelligence be heaven or hell?

3.3 Manufacturing

3D printing, new materials, Nano technologies, robotics…

And the Russian creativity guru, Genrich Altshuller . . .  he set up a method of structured creativity, TRIZ, and predicted in the early ‘50ies that, at the limit, products evolve towards doing everything with nothing. Remember a big black phone, only phoning in the ‘50ies; seen the functionality of some of the smallest smartphones today? A lot of China’s methods came from the USSR. China in the 50ies had a good relationship with Russia.

China is morphing into a new manufacturing power. It’s no longer about cheap labor, but about innovative products.

4. Conclusions

We are discussing the near future, the next election, education, RH bill implementation, mining, our territorial rights… But what will the environment be at fruition times? What new humans skills will be required, what new challenges, how will China exploit all these? What leverage will China get from its new capacities? What dangers will it create? How does one make superpowers behave? A centrally controlled superpower such as China? A sling and a stone?



159 Responses to “Acceleration and China”
  1. josephivo, great wake up call.

    IMHO, the main take away here should be that the Philippines, the whole ASEAN for that matter, is out matched. So find a niche to counter China in every field China’s poised to accelerate, what is that niche for the Philippines? 😉 (I doubt it’s any of the one’s you’ve listed above).

    Here’s a good perspective IMHO that encompasses a larger reality, not just spy stuff, but in the way China ‘s spreading and their strategy. This is James Lilley, when you read below, keep in mind China’s 16-Character policy, their 1,000 Talents program, industrial/gov’t espionage, cyber theft, foreign students in western universities, real estate purchases, incorporation of PLA-related companies abroad (Huawei, ZTE… ), etc. etc.

    “How do they do it? How is their espionage different than, let’s say, the Russians or the East Germans were?

    It’s different. It has the same objectives because they all go back to Sun Tzu in one form or another, or the fifth century B.C., who had the five kinds of spies. He wrote the book on spying. The Chinese have done espionage, spying, and intelligence work very well since the beginning. It’s all through the romance of the Three Kingdoms. It’s been a central part of their work.

    They use different techniques. You don’t find the case officer in a trench coat on the corner making a pass with an agent or laying down a dead drop, necessarily. What you find is the massive collection technique, the vacuum cleaner. Somebody once said — I think this is in Nick [Eftimiades]’s book — “If the Russians want to get certain sand from a beach that’s special, they’ll have a submarine come in at night. They’ll put a crew infiltration. They’ll get a bucket full of sand, and they’ll take it back to the submarine, and leave.” The Chinese will have 500 people having picnics on the beach, each picking up the sand in a small can, and bringing it back.

    It’s a different technique. They rely much more on contacts, persuasion. Only a small percentage is for actually clandestine work. They do that, but a very small percentage. It’s very frustrating for people like the FBI who are looking for the classical intelligence man.”

    • josephivo says:

      Almost all you do and all you think is somewhere online, and not only yours. Probability calculations can fill out the blanks. Spying is becoming the job of (fast) learning computers, dealing with trillions, quadrillions and quintillions and more of data, formulating the relevant questions by there own. Encryption just delaying by a few months, years.

      • Which is why most security relies on changing codes like RSA (Rivest Shamir Adelman, names are obvious, all published in Tel Aviv University the best crypto researchers are in that country) but the number of bits used has grown, I think 256-bit is the present state…

        Big data is getting stronger… I am working with some people who do that stuff… raw data from SAP (for example delivery and orders) is aggregated to form a bigger picture… business intelligence is the name of the game… but even stronger analysis is coming up. The main issue is to prevent false correlations, so it is not that people become unnecessary – it is just that you need people who see the big picture a lot more nowadays.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Some ideas I want to place here,I already posted in Lance’s article.
    Going back to Agriculture, they were almost allowed to own land in Australia.

    • josephivo says:

      Agriculture at what environmental cost? Can we introduce new genetically modified species? Plants? Animals? To what extend? Pay Monsanto, get for “free” or steal from China or do it on our own? Is doping for our agricultural students OK, allow them to learn more in shorter time and what is an acceptable health risk?

      A lot of ethical question that should be discussed in public, not only in backrooms of universities.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Water alone is the problem.

        Take California for example.40% is used for irrigation,I am sure most places that rely in agriculture use that much water.

        I understand California is into waste water tratment and desalination.
        Maybe that is where we are headed,maybe that will slow down sea level rise.

        • Bavaria is blessed with water… this Sunday in July which should normally be sunny it is a bit of a curse because it has been mostly rainy and the river has high water meaning even the usual promenade is going to be flooded just like the last time I went there…

          The only death penalty water boards in the Netherlands (not waterboarding, water boards in charge of the dykes and irrigation) levied in the Middle Ages was for polluting the water which everybody used for their fields, drinking etc. – now THAT is much worse than shabu!

          • josephivo says:

            The Dutch has hundreds of years to optimize their systems, today 100 days is a lot, tomorrow changes will be dealt with in hundred hours by out trusted computers.

      • Andres IV says:

        No need to destroy anymore forest or environment for the sake of agriculture, all we need is proper irrigation.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    Maybe the Supreme Court stopped a Chinese company from leasing ten percent if our agricultural lands.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    Technology will replace 12 million jobs in Thailand,should we worry?

  5. karlgarcia says:

    ASEAN in transformation: How technology is changing jobs and enterprises.–en/index.htm

  6. NHerrera says:


    With acceleration in all areas — the acceleration of global warming itself — there is indeed an argument for doing things the authoritarian way of the Chinese. Who have impressively demonstrated how things are done in an accelerated way — to economic, military and global political power.

    The Politburo says this is how it is to be done and it’s done. No funding requirement where needed, no DAP diversion of funds, no TRO, no human rights violations, no never-ending discussions on Mamasapano, no wrangling about new laws, no SC constraints, no PCA ruling constraints?

    One negative I can see. The Politburo is not the font of wisdom and intelligence to see the future. There is some positives in allowing the slower-process coming from diversity of ideas and discussions before deciding. The same tricks that fuel Big Success may come Big Failure? I really don’t know.

    (I sound like I have migrated to the other side. Josephivo’s blog article triggered the obvious note.)

    • josephivo says:

      I share your fear, heaven or hell. With balances as in the West, I feel a little more confident, although profit can override common sense too. The Chinese way of neglecting international conventions is more frightening, getting ahead might be such a strong driver that irreversible processes might be initiated.

      How to tame the dragon?

      • NHerrera says:

        There is also a nation’s pride, which — like a person’s pride — makes it difficult to dismount a very high horse. Me, I learned a long time ago to go down my small horse. 🙂

  7. For science that deals with ethical issues like AI, cloning, etc the Chinese are a powerhouse that can barely be contained, in other realms the rest of the world is still going toe to toe. The advent of 3d printing I hope can reclaim the lost skill of building stuff. Something the Philippine government should really look into.

    We don’t need the union jobs of old but we must create the scientists workers of the future.

    • josephivo says:

      3D printing. Indeed chipping stuff away to make something is illogical, unknown in nature. Injection molding and 3D printing are big improvements, but nature still beats us by far in many areas of product design and manufacturing.

      I was in plants here that did not compete so much with cheap labor but with smart labor generating smart solutions. But they still live on small islands. There might be a need for a RoRo of ideas to connect these isolated islands. Better national scientific and technological societies, national awards, symposia, product related organizations (IT, electronics, car, agri-industry…), process related organizations (chemestry, pharmaceutical, molding and 3D printing, robotics….), geographic organizations (Davao, Cebu, Calabazon, Clark….), profession related organizations (IT, quality, project management, lab workers, science teachers…) women for science… How to give a few scientists a celebrity status? As an astronaut, a TV reality show, competitions…?

      Just dreaming.

  8. IBM’S productized Watson that can answer basic questions scared the shit out of me. It basically meant probably half of call centers can be replaced by the said technology. The main issue right now is cost and no longer technology. We have about six years maybe only four but if we can’t transition We are dead.

    • NHerrera says:

      Aceleration, Moore’s law and all that. I agree, we have to accelerate adaptation too. Or we are dead.

    • Yep. The transition will have to be from drone-type call center work to value-added services. A Finn who has dealt with Filipino BPO workers says they are perfect if you tell them exactly what instructions to follow. This is what Filipinos are trained for I guess. But that will not be enough. It is just like Germany got into a crisis when automation replaced many of its perfect factory workers trained to follow orders like in 19th-century Germany…

      There are a number of fields where Filipinos are good – I am sure doing accounting is one, so why not offer accounting for international firms, not as workers for Accenture and IBM but with own Filipino companies with value-added offerings – maybe including legal since so many Filipinos seem to be born lawyers? But that means going beyond routine and rote – and learning the accounting rules and laws of major player states like USA, Canada etc. – and even more languages than just English? Romanians are top in European BPO because they are flexible and speak French, German, Spanish, Italian not only English…

      • sonny says:

        PiE, am just discovering the diversity of eastern European peoples. Diverse it most certainly is. Reminds me of our own diversity as archipelagic Malay, the big difference, boundaries. We have water and they have land. Currently looking at the 7 borders along the Ukraine. Romania borders at two places. Wonder which cultures are most polyglot?

        • Romania borders on Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldavia and Ukraine – five places. Ukraine in old Slavic if I remember right simply means “Borderlands” – a fitting name.

          The Carpathian mountains are the natural boundary between Romania and Ukraine. Ukraine is already part of the Eurasian steppe, the cradle of the old Kurgan culture.

          What makes Eastern Europe so diverse are the different waves of invasion/migration. And of course the natural borders: mountains, hills, rivers like the Danube which isolated. So you have islands within a continent so to speak, islands with varied populations. One thing which is also similar to the Malay area is that most Eastern European countries have very village-centered cultures, with patriarchs and matriarchs playing roles in families and clans.

          Romania is polyglot internally: German, Hungarian and Romanian. Their being polyglot externally is helped by their language being one of the closest living languages to Latin. Their being the only mainly Latin country between Slavs and Hungarians shaped them.

          Phanariotes (Istanbul Greeks) played a major role in building Romania in the 1800s. Pontic Greeks lived along the coast of Ukraine for a long time, but most have left – a first batch left for Greece when the Soviets came, a second batch for Western Europe after the Soviet Union crumbled. Odessa had a sizable Greek presence as a major seaport.
          Ukraine has people closer to Poland in culture and religion in the West (Galicia) and Russians in the East. Crimea has a number of Tatars, leftovers of the old Khanate there. Of course Ukraine (Galicia) had a sizable Jewish population, decimated by the Holocaust.

          The only country that actively protected its Jews in those days was Bulgaria. Bulgarians though Slavic in language mostly look more like Turks. There are Bulgarian Turks in the South, and Bulgarian Gypsies also considered Turks because they are usually Islamic. Romania of course has a sizable gypsy population. Ceacescu favored gypsies because they formed a solid support group. Ethnic Germans in Romania were there for centuries, but many left after 1989. So even culturally Romania is an often clashing mix of groups.

          Their cultural mix of high flexibility with the anchor of family/village – usually a Romanian abroad will be supporting relatives – made them ideal migrants. France, Spain and Italy were the first wave of working-class migrants, the language barrier easy to surmount with a Latin mother tongue. Germany and England the second wave which started with working class and then professionals. Returnees are of course perfect BPO recruits. And since their focus is mainly own/family well-being, they are free of the too strong nationalism which can make Bulgarians, Hungarians, Ukrainians a bit harder to deal with. Poland BTW was the major BPO destination in Europe before Romania, but those days are over. Some business is still there, but similar to what is in Northeastern Germany, not really growing.

          From what I see Bulgaria and Ukraine are trying very hard, but are not really making inroads. Hungary seems to have grabbed a lot of manufacturing, so has Czech Republic.

      • “There are a number of fields where Filipinos are good – I am sure doing accounting is one, so why not offer accounting for international firms, not as workers for Accenture and IBM but with own Filipino companies with value-added offerings – maybe including legal since so many Filipinos seem to be born lawyers? “


        If we take both Law and Medicine as two logical ends of both science (Medicine) and philosophy (Law), this is totally in line with josephivo‘s “New Thinkers” in the Philippines.

        With medicine though Filipinos seem to be fine with being relegated to nursing (which is not going beyond routine & rote), and lawyering over there seem also relegated to transactional law (not the higher aspirations that should be the law… high falutin’ notwithstanding 😉 ).

        Accounting, IMHO, will be the first to get fully automated… though tax evasion and hiding wealth will be in demand 😉 , magic is an art! LOL!

        So get Filipinos to not settle for nursing, get them to be doctors, whether on the floor or research or private practice… same with lawyering, stop looking at this noble profession as simply transactional stuff (notary, will, etc.) and a means to get ahead (ala Binay) 😉 ,

        Medicine and Law are two things Filipinos are already very involved with, raise these professions up, and here is where you’ll find,

        the first of your “New Thinkers”, part of the niche the Philippines can cultivate and focus.

        evolve from this,

        • karlgarcia says:

          You are aware that there was a time when Filipino doctors studied to become nurses just to land a job in the US?

          • karlgarcia says:

            And those lawyers who got stuck doing notaries never intended to be stuck there,but it became lucrative,I think.

          • josephivo says:

            With tears in my eyes, 10 years ago, in a Belgian foreign aid program we hired a bright Filipina doctor, doubled her previous salary as head of an hospital, sponsored a one year study in the Tropical Institute of Antwerp where she graduated in Tropical Public Health. 12 months later she and her husband passes a nursing exam and left for the States.

            • LG says:

              Totally embarrassing for the Philippine Medical Association, Josephivo. Misguided move for those couple, it seems. Or complete schemers :(… smart to use nursing as their stepping stone to getting a MD license in the US. Or, to enterprise, set up a profitable health related facility for the aged.

        • sonny says:

          Science & Engineering come to mind as fields where Filipinos can excel and some have. Case in point, during the Cold War race, Boeing, Bechtel, Parsons, Sargent & Lundy are some of the engineering firms that ‘drained’ Filipino engineers and scientists from Philippine schools of engineering. IT is another field that does not discriminate. Mismatches soon find out. PH schools and Board Exams are good filters.

    • karlgarcia says:

      As that recently concluded show says: We will Survive.

      No longer content with simply lower costs, call center outsourcing buyers are looking for providers to deliver emerging technology and improved business outcomes as well.

  9. OT just found this funny:

  10. Joe America says:

    I read the article on two planes, one getting consumed by the whirlwind of change that is out-dating our military/industrial model of dominance, and also how we live (including whether or not we even need formal education, versus, say, high-skill technical knowledge in a wee narrow little place), and two how to not become slaves of China.

    Your commentary fits LCX’s article like glove to hand.

    Alongside this, I have taken up a little block-builder game much like minecraft, creating whole worlds all by myself. I created a stairway up to the clouds and built my operations center up there, as I am in the world real time, especially when I leap from the cloud and free fall to the earth below. It draws a bit of gasp every time.

    I think the game is more real than this social world we live in, where half-truths and simplistic arguments and decisions dominate over intelligence and Kafka has obviously been hired by God as architect. Civility gone, absurdity rising, apathy of the entitled looking the other way dominating the governmental ways and means. I’ve taken to following sarcasm tweeters, or satire and ridicule, because their twisted look at things makes more sense than the real goings on.

    China? I’m working on that one . .

    • Francis says:

      Can’t read or research anything myself with ease anymore. Always looking behind my back—figuratively—and wondering what agenda even a “trusted” source is pushing.

      Too many speaking. Too many actual truths being thrown around—but unsure which one is more “true” for the situation. If moral relativity was a radical—but distant—idea in the 19th and 20th century—it is now a de-facto “fact of life” now that no one can escape from whether they like the idea of it or not.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, indeed. Who to trust? Does it matter that privacy is gone, and “my government” led the take-away. Them and Google and Facebook. I always smile when they deliver an ad on my page that pertains EXACTLY to a search I did a day or two earlier. I’ve actually found it helpful. I never search anything to do with ISIS or terrorism or how to make explosives. They may already know that I was in the rocket club in 9th grade and know that salt peter does more than make horses lose sexual appetite. I’m sure the CIA have record of my blogs and have me noted in their electronic black book as “persuasive but harmless eccentric who never wrote a decent poem in his whole life”.

        I figure flying free is the best thing to be, to have simple anchors like ginger tea in the morning and being a good parent. I must confess I have a hard time with LCX’s austerity, as I worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and find now the goal is to live in a bamboo hut and power my light bulb by peddling ass on a bicycle and feed ants as if they were pets. It’s an adjustment.

        Young people used to drive social development and now it seems they drive social insanity and self-involvement on a scale that would make Narcissus look like a social butterfly.

        I laugh a lot, actually, because there is not a lot to take seriously.

        Someone commented about people who live in their memories are not able to deal with the present. Hey, I love my memories. The chills and spills have ripened into cherished recollections, and the sex has never been better. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Put another way, yeah, Francis, you are spot on!

        • sonny says:

          🙂 🙂 🙂 Indeed, Joe. I have now traded reflection times from THS for viewing times on first seasons of GUNSMOKE & NCIS while sucking on my thumb and hugging my security blanket. The two tour de force articles by LCpl & Joseph are gems and I have stashed both to ruminate on as my remaining brain cells allow. Pax!

        • sonny says:

          PS. I’m still gnawing on LC’s soldier vs monk teaser. And now I think Joseph is related to Monsignor LeMaitre. 🙂

          • sonny: “LC, the answer lies in the conundrum you alluded to about death: be a soldier or be a monk. If soldiering fails then maybe try being a monk.”

            sonny! it’s been awhile, hope you’re well, uncle 😉

            I have a deep deep reverence for monks. True monks mind you not these Joel Osteen, half-baked individuals that purport to be spokespersons of God. We’ve talked about St. Origen (if I could I’d truly cut my balls off, i think i’ll get more things done in life 😉 ), St. Francis, same with Jainism and also Spinoza I would place among them.

            But they also represent inaction for me. I know there is a deeper wisdom found in the way they live, but I can only be in awe, like watching Michael Jordan, I know I can’t ever be like Mike.

            There’s been a long tradition of soldier-monks, from the Crusades, the Templars, then the Samurais, the Shaolins, and I would add the Spartans (they weren’t monks per se but their dedication to an austere life in attempt to control a less austere populace is of interest especially now, the Agoge is also of note).

            So I’m not talking about regular military here, when I say soldier; I’m talking talking more of a ‘scout’ (a metaphor also used by josephivo), though I prefer the word ranger. A ranger (small ‘r’) is basically one that’s trained in both conventional and unconventional warfare.

            He can fight by himself having been trained to do so. And like a monk, less is more for him. So when I allude to soldier vs. monk, I’m simply speaking about action vs. inaction— though I know there’s something deeper to a monk’s inaction,

            I know a monk’s inaction is a form of revolt, more valid IMHO than a slave’s inaction, which is associated to fear and despair.

            Now on to Joe’s statements … and I’m still addressing your interest here, sonny 😉

            “I must confess I have a hard time with LCX’s austerity, as I worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and find now the goal is to live in a bamboo hut and power my light bulb by peddling ass on a bicycle and feed ants as if they were pets. It’s an adjustment.”


            “putting in one of those electricity making bicycles that LCX is peddling and pedaling for the indoor food farms and a light bulb or two, and sealing off the door with 10 feet of cement. Before doing that, though, I’m going to invest in about 1,000 tangible, real, old-fashioned page-turning paper BOOKS.”

            My pass article ‘austerity’ is tactics, while the recent article we’ll call ‘rage’ is more an attempt at strategy. If the two (tactics and strategy) don’t jibe, it’ll be like two heads on a snake.

            What I was proposing via the Costa Rican model is that the Philippine carve out a niche similar to Costa Rica (Denmark and Iceland have really great renewable energy programs, so add them to the model too). Next door to Costa Rica, Panama’s attempting to carve out its own niche, which looks more like Singapore or the UAE.

            For the sake of discussion, since we’ve already covered much in ‘rage’, let’s agree that the Costa Rican model is the best for Philippines, and it’s something we can offer to China… NOT only in renewable energy and green industry promotion, as China’s show room & trade partner, but like josephivo‘s ‘New Thinkers’ the Philippines will be able to infect China with wisdom only a nation in between worlds can bring—– so,

            we’re also operationalizing ‘New Thinkers’ here.

            to be able to do all that, as strategized, Filipinos have to start doing micro-manufacturing (gian’s comment above), to be able to do what Joey on the other thread was talking about doing. Remember the tools library and fabrication labs, also start opening up libraries along side, with everything off-grid, or as close to off-grid as possible (but electricity should definitely be off grid).

            If you follow the US and have everything on-grid, you’ll be susceptible to cyber attacks and sabotage, even espionage. So the name of the game, taking from ‘austerity’, is to be able to live off-grid as well as on-grid, and balance the two.

            Sec. Gina Lopez’s DENR and Sec. Briones’ Education are crucial here.

            So to be sure, this is to Joe 😉 , I’m not advocating inaction or going into a cave, ‘austerity’ and ‘rage’ when used together is a solid strategy, but whether or not it can be implemented is another story. (though I’m for collecting 1,000 hardcopy books anytime 😉 )

            Look at Costa Rica, they are not making anything or moving money around, but because less and less of the world has no more wild and beautiful places, they’ve captured a niche. Work with this idea.

            My only caveat is that over-dependence on tourism will be a weakness, hence grow the ‘New Thinkers’ in the Philippines that josephivo‘s written about, so this is Sec. Briones purpose in life, not training the world’s new workers (slaves), but to making the world’s ‘New Thinkers‘ !!! 😉

            (hope this cleared things up, sonny)

      • NHerrera says:

        Aah, I yearn for the simple, slow days of a long time ago, pre-mobile smartphone, when people trust one’s word — perhaps days of innocence or ignorance. When families gather for dinner and exchange thoughts of the day without the curse of drugs and that thing known as Facebook, Twitter or Google. Those were the days of yore — an un-accelerated but meaningful life. A shorter life too compared to the old people’s life now with the life extenders that they may not really want but feel obliged to take or get some scolding from the son or daughter in a strange reversal of roles.

        • josephivo says:

          The same as this hunter-gather father seeing the rise of agriculture. Breakthroughs have their advantages and their challenges. Will we adjust faster? (with the aid of computers?)

          The one to blame is still Eve, why to bite in the fruit of wisdom and losing our innocence?

          P.S. What is the snake telling us this time?

          • NHerrera says:

            The traditional devil has lost much of its bite, seeing how many politician have embraced him wholeheartedly. Technology which has been given unquestioned deference must be the Modern Snake.

            • josephivo says:

              But isn’t technology a male thing? I hope that it are still women that are to blame. What about unlimited communication? 🙂

  11. Francis says:

    China surpasses us in the “How” and—not as bound by ethical concerns and checks and balances as the West is—primed for anything of scale and ambition. You can trust them to build very big. You can even trust them to throw a moonshot project into the abyss.

    But the thing is—a democracy is and will always be way more suited in dealing with the “Why” of these rapidly changing times.
    And “Why” comes before “How” in the order of things, me thinks.

    While we democracies will—no doubt, courtest of free speech and all sorts of rights that facilitate discourse—be happily sorta-ready (eh, we’ve discussed decentralization and all that junk, decaaaadddeess ago) to enjoy life in an era of mass automation and universal basic income…I wonder how the Party will deal with loads of idle citizens….

    • josephivo says:

      As long as the “how” is reversible, not too big of a deal. But if new artificial form of life can run out of control or AI can run amok, the correction via ‘Why” becomes irrelevant.

      Who does the risk/benefit analysis in China? Look at new islands in the South China sea.

  12. madlanglupa says:

    > Performance enhancing drugs for athletes… performance enhancing drugs for factory workers? Enhancing muscle performance… enhancing brain performance? Performance enhanced scientists developing better performance enhancing drugs faster?

    If anything in a China unhampered by ethics or rules, a discovery — no matter how illicit — will have larger probability to have immense military potential.

    The item above would soon make it equally easy to develop a seemingly unstoppable genetically-enhanced paratrooper — indoctrinated from the womb — capable of jumping over a fence, or destroy a wooden house as if it was paper… or a robotic stormtrooper, remotely controlled or programmed to destroy anything in its path.

    China is also coming up with a succession of more powerful supercomputers, larger and monstrous than the last, with the potential to decrypt coded emails and messages, to design more powerful weapons, or use it to shape and misshape the rest of the world’s information infrastructure. She, of course, has an army of willing hackers who could tear apart anything it deems anti-Chinese.

    But no matter how we try to see them as seemingly invincible — the widening gap between the rich and poor in the Middle Kingdom may soon ignite economic discontent or even a conflict greater than the disputed territory.

    • josephivo says:

      I need a massive computer to analyze historical data for similarity of the problem and effectiveness of the actions taken. I would rely more on the computer’s advise than on anything else.

      The likelihood is minimal that I live until the Technological Singularity is achieved and that is reassuring. But am I too selfish? What about the next generation?

    • Joe America says:

      Hmm, just watched the movie “I, Robot”. Eeerie similarity. Will Smith. Scores of evolved robots leaping out of a big truck to suppress any dissent.

      I’m thinking about digging a big cave into the hillside here, putting in one of those electricity making bicycles that LCX is peddling and pedaling for the indoor food farms and a light bulb or two, and sealing off the door with 10 feet of cement. Before doing that, though, I’m going to invest in about 1,000 tangible, real, old-fashioned page-turning paper BOOKS.

      • josephivo says:

        Yes, if it wasn’t that Google knows where that cave is and Amazon reading the 1000 titles has a very good idea what your subversive thoughts are. So do not feel too safe in your cave. At least leave us some nice paintings on the walls.

      • Joe,

        Before you seal that cave up, I think a good course of action is to do a series of blogs for each system/grid you are connected to in Biliran,

        1). Water system

        2). Waste-water system (is there a grey-water system over there?)

        3). Road system (includes water transport)

        4). Telecommunication system

        5). Electric (is there a gas system there? I know propane’s popular)

        It can be metaphorical, “closing” off each system, as you seal up your cave, and what each closure entails, realistically.

        I think you mentioned that much of your electricity is from geo-thermal plants, but knowing electric grids they all connect, so unlike water or say gas pipes or sewage (if no septic tanks),

        electric grid is more “abstract”.

        Hell you can even relate this series to Yolanda-type scenarios, as a ‘what-if’ series, ie. what-if water stops, your toilet stops, roads are closed, radio/tv/internet turns off, electricity is gone?

        How about it, Joe? 😉 or if Biliran is too much in the boondocks, how about Cebu city as example?

        • Joe America says:

          I was actually thinking hydro-power yesterday. Thermal is under development now. Water is plentiful during most of the year, but the dry season is starting to test . . . Grey water just goes into the ground via septic tanks and comes out who knows where. I did a hydro-power blog a while back but have rethought the problem . . .

          Cebu would be an interesting project in all respects. I just don’t much care for the drudge these kinds of projects require. Writing poetry or complaints is easier.

      • Elysium (2013) is an even more horrifying vision…

    • There was once a military power that, unhampered by ethics, developed the first mass synthesis method for a performance-enhancing chemical first synthesized in Japan.

      It was used in the Blitzkrieg by Germany against Poland… a friend who seems to know what he is talking about told me at lunch today that the Panzers drove for three days no halt… it was also used for pilots and U-Boat crews, but limited in use because it wore people out…

      The chemical is METHAMPHETAMINE aka SHABU. Just to show where some stuff leads…

    • madlanglupa,

      it’s already here,

  13. karlgarcia says:

    Performance enhancing Drugs are banned in the Olympics,USADA,WADA,All athletic commissions in the US.
    examples are anabolic steroids,and testosterone replacement therapy

    • josephivo says:

      That’s athletes, what about Captagon, a very popular drug in my generation, a drug allowing students to concentrate better, to feel less tired. Some (known) doctors prescribed it easily. Took it only twice in desperate situations, when studying 20 pages and hour didn’t suffice anymore. Did it help? I don’t know, but my room mate took it regularly with good results. What is available now? Ethically correct? Does Du30 wants better student results or is it a reason to be shot?

      • josephivo says:

        P.S. I only took halve pills (expensive). My roommate said halve pills didn’t make sense, one pill or none at all.

        What is available in the military?

      • karlgarcia says:

        can be good substitute for coffee,what happened to captagon? i will try to google it.

        • josephivo says:

          Yes, because from to much caffeine one got shaky. Coffee is socially accepted though. According Wikipedia captagon became illegal in the 80ies, but still popular in the Middle East.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Yes,Joseph I sometimes palpitate when having too much caffeine. i had an Arab classmate back in grad school,maybe he did not take captagon,he was caught cheating using his cell phone during an exam.

            • josephivo says:

              What is cheating? Doesn’t the end justify the means? All these moralistic talks slow us down. Others might be moving faster.

              Sometimes I feel bipolar, or Chinese (?) 🙂

              • karlgarcia says:

                If you run a school you will have lots of enrollees ,open books,open smart phones ,open laptops policy.

              • “All these moralistic talks slow us down. Others might be moving faster.”

                or use it to move slower, like the Huichols,

                “Huichols have traditionally used the peyote (hikuri) cactus in religious rituals. Huichol practices seem to reflect pre-Columbian practices particularly accurately. These rituals involve singing, weeping, and contact with ancestor spirits. “It is Wirikuta, where the Huichol go each year to collect peyote.”

                “Before reaching Wirikúta, their final destination, they pass by the sacred springs of Tatéi Matiniéri (“Where Our Mother Lives”), the house of the eastern rain goddess. They cross steppes. The first one is the Cloud Gate; the second, Where the Clouds Open.”

                This pilgrimage takes place annually as a desire to return to where life originated and heal oneself. The Huichols assume roles of gods along the trail that they usually take by foot.”

  14. Can China rise peacefully??? The most important question the world are eagerly want to see, the logic of expansionism is looking for vast resources but expansion in a very fast pace will send signal to the rest of the world that look like they are up to something.
    The infrastructure that they build in the west Philippines sea is something else they are not ordinary navigation facilities. I think after the PCA results now it’s the time to put pressure on China to obey it, the world have to pay a very big price if it too late to stop them.

  15. edgar lores says:

    1. I said it before and I say it again: Stop the world! I want to get off.

    2. Acceleration: If life goes too fast, if we move too fast, we have to slow down. Otherwise, life becomes a blur, and we do not see clearly.

    3. Moralizing, in its worst sense of being self-righteous, is unnecessary. But trying to see where we are is necessary. For this, we need a personal Global Positioning System, a GPS. Religion used to our GPS. It still works for some. Others have moved on to Scientism. Most others don’t care and indulge, gratify and lose themselves in modern technological manna. Pokemon Go is the current balm.

    4. If JoeAm feels the need to retreat into a cave, as I do now and then, it is because the world is too much with us.

    5. LCpl_X has suggested revolt as giving meaning to life. That is as valid a way as any. But is thumbing your nose at death the best way?

    6. Is there, in fact, a best way? I think each of us finds our own way. Integration into one’s life of all that Joseph has enumerated is extremely difficult, if not impossible. How can one possibly fit into a single brain the products of a billion brains?

    7. Giancarlo’s serendipitous finding of Danish schnapps and Canadian whisky is really not off topic. Kindness is the Dalai Lama’s way.

    8. For me, my way is to practice some of that kindness and to pause and retreat into silence. In that silence, I hope to separate the chaff from the grain. In that stillness, I hope to encounter the timeless.

  16. karlgarcia says:

    After all the Acceleration,Inertia,I’ll stop the world and melt with you.

  17. karlgarcia says:

    China is moving do fast,everything seems to be in a grinding halt.

  18. the absence of ethics surely fuels acceleration and expansion. Authoritarian governments usually are the ones who often display this characteristics, particularly in the field of science and military capabilities. Years ago, I read that china, despite receiving advice on the dangers created by space debris went ahead and tested their own satellite killer missiles on their own satellite, adding more space junk in orbit around our earth…Then there is North Korea, who would rather see millions of its citizens die of hunger, but will not spend a penny less in its desire to amass a nuclear arsenal. It seems the sky is the limit, when the attitude is the end justify the means.

  19. chempo says:

    Thank you for a thought provoking read Josephino.

    Although you have placed China into the context, seems to me you are more grappling with the general idea of CHANGE. It’s not the political hypes of Obama’s “Change is coming” or Duterte’s promise of change. It is generational change or evolution of mankind, the thoughts that filled great philosophers over the ages.

    Your feature image of the metalised Thinker is very apt. So you have evolved from Rodin’s famed Thinker, from the Gates of Hell, to an electronic looking Thinker.

    Acceleration is frightening indeed. By the time you finished your blog, the world has moved from the electronic Thinker to a nano Thinker. This one from 3D printer by some South Koreans is smaller than a red blood cell (it’s a demo of latest technique in 3D printing)

    Your blog seems to betray a yearning for auld lang syne and a foreboding of the future. We are wayward insignificant digits witnessing and participating in life’s generational struggles, one age taking over another age. automatons moving with the march of times.

    If it’s any consolation, even Gods have faced this and philosophically accepted it. The pantheon of Titans were swept away by the Olympians not too long ago. (Saturn, Oceanus etc replaced by Jupiter and Neptune). John Keats wrote of this great battle, and in Keats’ time of Romanticism, it’s all about “Beauty”. The fallen Titans were replaced by Olympians perceived to be more beautiful beings. I love Keats’ opening stanza describing a dejected Saturn deep in thought much like the “Thinker” :

    ” DEEP in the shady sadness of a vale
    Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
    Far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star,
    Sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone,
    Still as the silence round about his lair;
    Forest on forest hung about his head
    Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
    Not so much life as on a summer’s day
    Robs not one light seed from the feather’d grass,
    But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
    A stream went voiceless by, still deadened more
    By reason of his fallen divinity
    Spreading a shade: the Naiad ’mid her reeds
    Press’d her cold finger closer to her lips.”

    I just loved the line “Forest on forest hung about his head”.

    If beauty was paramount during the Romantic age, what is it today? —Power, Knowledge, Wealth, Racial Supremacy, Religious Supremacy? Josephino has a right to be worried.

    • josephivo says:

      China, because they seem to ignore international conventions. They might define risk differently too.

      … God keeps moving in the Bible as the disconnect between human nature and his surroundings keep moving. From a God walking in a garden, interacting with Adam and Eve, to a lonely revengeful God punishing his elected people, than a God with compassion for the individual as in the Psalms, a God with helpers in the New Testament, as his Son, Maria and later plenty of Saints for the small discomforts, from Antony for a lost key to Anna for a toothache and even Devils to explain temptation, the prerequisite for sins, back to the many “spirits” His people adored before His revelations. The industrial revolution brought a well-reasoned but more abstract Prime Mover, institutions more important than the individual, but also a retreat to the pure religious sphere, a Story Teller, not a Scientist Who proved that Jerusalem was the center of the universe.

      What will the new emphasis be when basic questions arise on the definition of man as different with a computer: consciousness, imagination, a large frontal cortex handling data in a specific hierarchic way, defined by DNA with over 3,000 Mb of data expressed by 4 letter words. Living in One Universe or is our universe just one of the infinite number of universes with a unique set of string constants, creating a unique expression of the 26 dimensions in the bosonic string theory.

      Will God now emphasize on process? Consciousness? A interconnected mega-structure of knowledge? Or in the other direction a God as the compilation of all good and bad spirits in the woods, in our houses, in the weather… a collective God including all the spirits of our ancestors?

    • Joe America says:

      Man, I love the art of words expressed well. Thanks for bringing Saturn to us via Keats.

  20. edgar lores says:

    1. I had to read up on Technological Singularity. Wikipedia says:

    “The technological singularity is a hypothetical event in which an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) enters a ‘runaway reaction’ of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an intelligence explosion and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all human intelligence. This would signal the end of the human era, as the new superintelligence would continue to upgrade itself and would advance technologically at an incomprehensible rate.”

    2. This prospect frightens me.

    3. This is the opposite of the God concept, wherein man is a creation of God. In Technological Singularity, it is man creating God.

    4. Ultimately this will result, I think, in man becoming the slave of the Machine.

    5. The mental state of mankind is uneven. It spans brains mostly caught in superstition, to brains of average intelligence, then to brains of magnificent brilliance. The latter are of varied skills, ranging from language to mathematics to spirituality. I think the Technological Singularity will be unsurpassable, even omnipotent, in the first two, but will be nonpareil in the last. It will, as I note, think of itself as God.

    6. There are two short stories of Isaac Asimov worth pondering:

    o The Last Question
    o The Last Answer

    7. I will not tell you what the stories are about. Both stories are relevant to the notion of a Technological Singularity. I will only say that again we are met with a paradox.

    • josephivo says:

      😉 So I’m no more alone. Think about it in the context of China and international conventions.

      A good read: “The Technological Singularity” by Murray Shanahan, MIT press 2015

      • edgar: “3. This is the opposite of the God concept, wherein man is a creation of God. In Technological Singularity, it is man creating God.

        4. Ultimately this will result, I think, in man becoming the slave of the Machine.”

        Reading the old Testament (Jewish bible),

        you get the feeling that there’s three different interpretations of God (i guess depending on who’s writing which parts of said bible at any one time), either God’s to be feared/gloried only, or to be emulated (be like God), or to become God (the Mormon’s seem to take this one literally, while others seem Buddhist about it).

        For me, it’s always been the ‘becoming God’ tradition that’s of interest, either from Buddhism, Jainism to Spinoza’s expansion towards or attached to God, or from the Bible. But it all starts in Genesis with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life:

        Genesis 2:9— “God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.”

        God said don’t eat from the two trees, they ate…

        Genesis 3:21-24— “God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Then God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

        So God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

        Maybe that cherubim fell as sleep at his post, but someone’s done ate from the tree of life … and “become like one of us” 😉 .

        But not to worry, as with the most important subjects in life, Johnny Depp’s done a movie about it 😉 ,

        so that… or it’s Skynet, the Matrix or the Borg for us.

        But the romantic in me, wants to believe Johnny Depp, especially that last scene 😉 .

    • Joe America says:

      I’ve come to think we are already under the control of machines, but at a very rudimentary level in which they are gaining prominence in determining what we see of the tangible world. If we consider our brains as bluetooth enabled to share with . . . in put and output . . . the world that runs around us, the running increasingly to the beat of a host of servers that may not even recognize what they are being filled with, but have no trouble digesting it and spitting out some semblance of knowledge that someone wishes to acquire. We look at Wiki, as you have done, and say, my what a marvelous concept, all knowledge at the tap of a key. But our own cranial machine is being filled with stuff so fast and so much at random that the view of the real world that we hold is nothing but clouds assembled as so many droplets of rain that got dragged into place by the wind and heat. We work hard and fast to assemble a context and some concepts that show it makes sense, and then the next instant something or someone comes along and shades it a different hue, and we lose the thread and really can’t ever grasp it again. Joni Mitchell song ringing clear now, I’ve looked at life from both sides now . . .

      Well, life has an infinite number of sides and the machines are giving us too many to keep up with. Which is why so many of us want to retreat to something tangible that we really know is here, right there in front of us, right now. We’ve lost to the machines already, I think. The shit is just screaming at us and, unlike like Yolanda’s seemingly unending raging screech, which only lasted about an hour and a half, there is no way to get rid of this one unless we concede, bow out, and retreat to the cave.

      The result of the onslaught of information that drives most of the world to ignorance, thinking irrational thoughts and doing crazy deeds like Trump and Duterte, is a conceptual stupor caused by warped data streams. Sense has no impact against the wind. Anchors get blown away. We are all delusional. The machines are just chugging along weighing two digits really fast, and don’t go nuts like we do. They may, however, run off and do things we lunatics would consider crazy. Like end the human race.

      But then, we are substandard in our calculations and get what we deserve.

      • Joe America says:

        Haha, so then I bop over to facebook and read this:

        Alfonso Tomas Araullo
        4 hrs ·
        Every once in a while, I would encounter posts in my feed from a certain online outfit called “The Maharlikan,” usually through the Facebook group “Juan Nationalist.” It is becoming so common that I feel I should start a discussion.

        Please know that many of their posts appear completely made up. I know because I tried verifying claims from their site on a few occasions. I am sure that some headlines are fabricated, some quotations are pulled out of thin air, and some photos are misrepresented. These are then deftly mixed with authentic news gathered from other organizations to create an illusion of legitimacy.

        The group does not have a published set of editors or writers. It is also impossible to get in touch with them for feedback. Judging from their content, I think it may be a sophisticated black propaganda operation. What worries me is they have hundreds of thousands of followers, some of them friends and even colleagues from the news. Guys, if you know better, please prove me wrong.

        There are many more groups and sites that engage in the same racket. The proliferation of fake news on the internet has become an epidemic, and anyone can fall victim. We have to take extra precaution before spreading these things, as responsible social media users.

        • josephivo says:

          In hand written texts you could see some of the character of the writer and his mood. In printed text this was all lost. In today’s world we don’t know what is copied and pasted, what is photo-shopped.

          But the computers will help us to reconstruct emotions and refine our perceptions, deep learning and statistical analysis of zillions of data will result in better interpretations than what our lousy brain is doing.

          Just some patience, in the meantime do as the new generation does, judge stories on being nice, worthwhile to share, and correctness or authenticity are irrelevant.

          • “In today’s world we don’t know what is copied and pasted, what is photo-shopped.”

            But pseudo-epigraphy has always been part of the written revolution, then as is now.

   ex., were those letters all written by St. Paul? Was the part in the gospel of Mark on pigs really in the original, because the lines deviate from a certain order found in other parts of Mark, and it’s weirdly longer that the rest of Mark… stuff like that.

            “But the computers will help us to reconstruct emotions and refine our perceptions, “

            The possibilities are endless…

          • Joe America says:

            I would add that, along with patience, we need a good sense of humor.

      • “I’ve looked at life from both sides now . . .” I have been on top of Cha’s elephant, underfoot and even gotten pooped and pissed on at times or thrown by the trunk…

        “we are substandard in our calculations and get what we deserve.” the Internet gives us a broader view of the world – but it is a lot of snapshots without proper context.

        Having been to some of the places and in some situations mentioned does help me get a clearer picture than those who have not… but even I get overwhelmed at times…

        There are stories of young Arab men who go refugee to Europe because of Facebook – and then they get to see the real thing with the nitty-gritty and it is not easy.

        When Marco Polo travelled, he had time to adjust while riding on horseback and camel.

        Nowadays it all goes too fast for our poor caveman brains. We get jetted to places where people live who have gotten used to a certain way of life and may not know any other… even worse the Internet takes us there but doesn’t really take us there 360 degrees.

        • Joe America says:

          Haha, yes, you’ve see the elephant from both sides now, and for sure best to stay on the back awhile. What is interesting is I think I’m adapting, finding the whir of nonsense blasting past quite entertaining, and for sure spewing forth my own version of lunacy into the four winds, or six, or however many there are these days. As Josephivo says, relevance doesn’t matter . . .

          • sonny says:

            Joe, I’ve listened to the tune … From Both Sides Now … too many times already. I thought I’d undust an old copy of Alvin Toffler’s FUTURE SHOCK and be remnded again or maybe my Physics 101 book and review topic on first derivatives with respect to time of change in displacement (speed), change in speed (acceleration), change in acceleration (jerk). Those were the days my friend (now we know they never end) … 🙂

        • karlgarcia says:

          Youtube has a top 10 teleportations caught on camera.I will just show you the top4.
          One day we will all say beam me up Scottie.

    • Since the topic is acceleration I think
      Profession would be an excellent Asimov short story.

    • chempo says:

      Isimov actually had anti-tech singularity enshrined in his 3 Robotic Laws:

      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

      But as we saw in the movie Irobot, Will Smith had to battle those robots who somehow managed to break those laws wired into their circuitry.

  21. Ooooohh… Nice article. Lot’s of possibilities for discussion opened. =D

    To start somewhere, uhm… I’d just to like to remind that Moore’s Law has already been broken. I guess the Law of Diminishing Returns had one won over it? Hmm… Same probably applies to what is happening to the world’s powers. Growing too powerful for its own sake and then collapsing under its own weight.

    And given the above, China seems to be headed through the same path. And in addition to that, I think the term acceleration is very apt as it seems that China has been going too fast & too furious, and it is just lately that they are realizing that they do not yet have proper brakes. And to be blunt: If they will not change anytime soon, a huge crash is probably bound to happen much sooner. Though in some ways, they are doing something about it now. The question however is would it be enough? Can’t say for sure as of now but they really are growing at an alarming rate… I don’t think they’ll be able to sustain it without resorting to drastic measures.


    As for science and revolution, well, the preceding revolutions you’ve mentioned were the agricultural and industrial revolution. From the way I see it, these were basically a revolution in production and consumption. And as for science? IMO, it just seems to readily adapt to whatever is the goal of the revolution at hand. So though you’ve said that speed and power of imagination are what is valued by the digital revolution, I can’t help but consider that there may actually be other factors at play.

    To elaborate more, I think the obsession with speed and power , in terms of output, is something that we inherited from the industrial revolution. The power of imagination/innovation is probably from something else. Why? Well, during the industrial revolution, scientific breakthroughs were mostly used to further enhance the yields of production. And it was mostly done by: Double the scale, double the output. Bigger = better. Faster = Stronger. Quantity > Quality. Though many breakthroughs had lots of potential, it was usually channeled to improve the output of production, and as it also follows, consumption as well. If they cannot channel it to improve these things, well, it was basically useless.

    So where did this value for the power of imagination/innovation come from? Well, forward to the near present and you’ll see that speed and power are starting to lose its grip. Though we are consuming much more than ever, efficiency and sustainability are starting to gain ground and it was basically a break from the norm of industry which has already existed for quite a while. It was new and it was different. Imagination and innovation are needed much more than ever. And a many of people seem to have their support. This will probably lead towards something that I’d like to call the “green revolution”.

    So juxtaposing the two: Industrial wants to increase production to meet consumption. Green, on the other hand, will probably aim to reduce consumption to meet production.

    So given this, I think the scientific revolution for the present time is now somewhat torn between the post-industrial revolution and the pre-green revolution. But then again, science only wants progress and it is fickle.

    And how does China play into this? Well, are they industrial or are they green? I pegging them as more industrial. But they are doing something about it. Though reaching a balance is also possible…

  22. josephivo says:

    Thanks. Happy to see that there is still an optimist in the room. Myself, I’m a big fan of the slow movement. But worried that the power of the growth economy and the American “more and louder” mentality will be too strong. Also worried that scientist with their blinkers will run in just one direction, a public debate on what is desirable, what is ethical acceptable is missing. And China is doing all this behind closed doors. But maybe I’m just a desperate Luddite.

    I see this revolution as fundamental as it breaks through the limits of “brain power” (biological and IT wise) just as the previous one broke through the limits of muscular power and before that through the limits of food gathering and hunting. In this new world ways of praying will change, ways of cooperating, values will change. Also new conflicts with our DNA instincts will arise and they will require new mitigation actions, the successful ones will be embedded in a changes culture.

    Speed and imagination where two concepts guru Tom Peeters sold in the nineties, “the nano-second nineties”, he sensed the future ahead of his time.

    • As always, whoever wins will choose and decide. Nonetheless, all I’m sure of is people will try to adapt as always. But personally, I’m actually looking forward to more machine development. But then again, I don’t see it as a problem as I’m in the said field. And if worse comes to worse anyways, I probably won’t live to see Skynet’s activation. Heh.

      Related video:

      As for an interesting story about some morals and ethics, I’d like to suggest Eliezier Yudowsky’s Three Worlds Collide. Very fun and interesting to say the least.

      Blurb by Yudowsky:
      “Three Worlds Collide is a story I wrote to illustrate some points on naturalistic metaethics and diverse other issues of rational conduct. It grew, as such things do, into a small novella. On publication, it proved widely popular and widely criticized. Be warned that the story, as it wrote itself, ended up containing some profanity and PG-13 content. ”

      Brief background of the story by Peter Watts:
      “In the first installment we [humans] encounter an alien race whose peaceful, scientific, and undeniably moral civilization is predicated upon the eating of babies. Our earnest crew wrestles with the intuitive proposition that baby-eating is wrong, but has a much more difficult time than you might think expressing just why that might be.”

  23. madlanglupa says:

    Offtopic: is it just me, or has the homicide rate skyrocketed in the last several weeks? In any case… this is getting out of hand, only the ultrarightists are cheering with the flowing blood..

    • edgar lores says:

      In other countries, new administrations hit the ground running. In Duterte’s new administration, bodies hit the ground — non-running.

    • karlgarcia says:

      The program for poverty reduction is to kill the poor,same goes for crime reduction and drug addiction.

  24. cha says:

    Storytelling, narrative building are buzzwords increasingly being used in contexts outside of literature these days. One reads or hears about how these particular set of skills as making the difference in business communication, marketing and advertising, political campaigns etc.

    Both recent and current political situation in the Philippines seems to prove the point. The enemies of the previous administration, perhaps initially by stroke of luck more than anything, found the story prompt that eventually took hold, captured the sustained interest and imagination of many, and led them to taking over and writing its final chapter. It was the story of a government that not only bungled its way through crisis after crisis, from the hostage taking in Manila, to Yolanda and Mamasapano but also lacked the compassion for those who suffered through its failures – the MRT mess, one of the world’s worst airports with hidden bullets to welcome or send off unsuspecting passengers, and “hell on earth-like”- traffic conditions in Metro Manila.

    Looking for some escape from the miserable story they have woven around themselves, the people then latched on to another story, framed around lawlessness and the drug epidemic as the causes of their suffering. They are the poor hapless victims of drug addicted lowlife creatures preying on their cellphones, loose change and cars, and a better life awaits them when drug users and pushers lose theirs. This story as we know, is the current blockbuster and will probably remain there for a while more. For as long as the self-appointed avengers of the people are yet to turn on them.

    It is no different from the South China Sea debacle between China and the Philippines. China’s position hinged on their story that they have a historic right to the disputed territory and they even brought out a nine dashed line map to prove it. Unfortunately for them, the Philippine defence panel was able to convince the UNCLOS arbitration panel that China’s story was just that – a story which had nine dashes to it but no leg to stand on whatsoever.

    So what is going to happen next? What will the future look like? Maybe it will be a battle of storylines galore, all genres considered though increasingly fictional from fictionalised historical accounts to fantastical worlds and adventure, full action/CGI war stories, dystopia…Wish I could say bring out the popcorn, but the truth is it looks like it’s time indeed for old folks like us to head for the hills.

    Maybe there lies relief. With the sound of music. Because there Re is not what it’s all about but simply a drop of golden sun.

  25. josephivo says:

    We are not alone, also Rappler talks about accelerated change…

  26. LG says:

    Shame on me 😔. I did not know before today that the Philippine EEZ in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (376,000 + is larger than the entire Philippines (300,000!!!! Source: Antonio T. Carpio. Tribunal ruling on the South China Sea: It’s ramifications (may not be commentary’s exact title), Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 21, 2016. Carpio also notes in the article acts the Philippines can take to enforce the ruling which includes suing China for its violations in some court in Canada (Joe had cited such step).

    🙏🏼 FVR is up to his latest appt. 🙏🏼

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