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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

 Germ Warfare  Comments Off on Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare
Jun 302016
 

Our country recently passed the 9th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks of 2001, and the subsequent terrorist anthrax mailings that resulted in the deaths of five Americans and the infection of 17 others.

And while we all might rightfully wish to forget those horrific events except for a passing prayer for the victims and their families — and go on about our business as if nothing had ever happened

a prudent person would also quietly make sure he (or she) has taken at least a few protective precautions for their family, in case something like this ever happens again.

Crazy World

After all, you dont need me to tell you that today we live in a crazy, volatile and sometimes very scary world.

Only a few short days ago, half the Arab world erupted into fits of violent anger when a controversial preacher from Florida threatened to burn a copy of the Koran in protest of the building of the proposed Cordoba Mosque near Ground Zero 9-11 attacks.

We have homegrown terrorists, too. And you just never know when some of our countrys older enemies like Russia or China, or that lunatic midget running North Korea might decide the time is ripe again to try to bring America to her knees.

The bottom line is that today, I dont think anyone in the U.S. lives in an it cant happen here fantasy world any longer. We all know it can happen here. And that it can take very little to set it off.

Therefore, after reflecting on these facts, I thought it might be high-time to revisit the idea of using colloidal silver as a means of protecting ourselves and our family members during a terrorist germ warfare attack.

A Quick Look at the Idea of Using Colloidal Silver

Against Germ Warfare Pathogens!

Will colloidal silver really work against germ warfare (i.e., biological warfare) agents like anthrax?

The truth of the matter is that while germ warfare experts might know the answer to that question, theyre not telling.

After all, our country also has a huge arsenal of germ warfare agents. And as you can probably imagine, we wouldnt necessarily want our enemies to know the antidote if one existed particularly if it was as easy to make and distribute as colloidal silver.

Nevertheless, we do have some strong indications that colloidal silver may very well be a valid first-line-of-defense against germ warfare pathogens.

So lets take a quick look at a little bit of history, and some of the known facts about colloidal silver, and see if we can make a reasonable assumption as to whether or not colloidal silver might serve as a potent natural remedy against germ warfare agents.

Colloidal Silver and the Soviet Military

Author Mark Aarons discusses the idea of colloidal silvers potential effectiveness against germ warfare pathogens in his 1994 book, The Secret War Against the Jews:

There is little defense against [a biological germ warfare] attack, and what few antidotes exist are withheld from the public as military secrets.

One of the best examples of this is Movidyn, a substance that the Soviets discovered in their satellite state of Czechoslovakia way back in the 1950s.

Movidyn is a form of colloidal silver, odorless, tasteless, and cheaper to produce than chlorine disinfectants. One part per billion of powdered Movidyn in water has a germicidal effect.

In a study of infected wells, it completely destroyed typhus, malaria, cholera, and amoebic dysentery. Drinking containers washed in Movidyn retained their germ-fighting abilities for several weeks.

Movidyn seems to be a cost-effective prophylactic for most of the water-borne diseases that infect the Third World.

To the astonishment of the Soviet military, Movidyn also disinfected every germ warfare bacteria in the Soviet arsenal, even their newest designer poisons.

In other words, Movidyn was too good.

The Czech factory was disassembled and carted back to the Soviet Union. To this day, the Movidyn formula seems to have been suppressed from the world.

— Mark Aarons, The Secret War Against the Jews, 1994, pages 293-294

Microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris

On Colloidal Silver and Germ Warfare

In the most recently revised edition of my 547-page book, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, I also discuss the very real possibility that colloidal silver will turn out to be a valid defense against germ warfare agents during a terrorist biological attack

at least, for those who are prepared in advance and have plenty of colloidal silver stocked up, or who are foresighted enough to own the means of colloidal silver production so they can make their own colloidal silver whenever needed.

Heres what I wrote:

When former CIA microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris was asked on national television whether there were any natural substances that could protect the population against anthrax and other germ warfare agents, he responded:

The only natural substance I know of that is effective against these microbes is colloidal silver. I tested that myself when I was with the CIA, and found it effective against both anthrax and the bubonic plague pathogens.

After leaving the CIA, microbiologist Larry Harris is said to have re-tested colloidal silver against anthrax in his private laboratory in1997, and again found it to be highly effective.

According to Harris confidant Mike Seiler:

Harris definitely confirmed colloidal silver kills the anthrax pathogen. He used the minimum inhibitory test, in which he took ten vials of anthrax and put correspondingly higher concentrations of colloidal silver in each vial until he determined which concentration gives an effective kill rate. Harris discovered the kill rate was at 100 parts per billion an amazingly small amount of colloidal silver.

It is also important to note that colloidal silver was one of the few substances on earth that was successfully used against anthrax and other plague-like pathogens in the early 1900s prior to the advent of modern-day prescription antibiotic drugs, as verified by the 1919 book Colloids in Biology and Medicine by H. Beckhold, pages 364-376.

In fact, according to researcher James South, M.A., as early as 1887 a number of researchers had discovered that silver both in liquid solution and as an airborne aerosol was toxic to deadly anthrax spores. [Ref: N. Grier, Silver and Its Compounds in Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, S. Block, ed., Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1983, pages 380-428; H. Bechold, Colloids in Biology and Medicine, N.Y.,: D. Van Nostrand, 1919, pages 364-376; Anti-Aging Bulletin, International Antiaging Systems, Vol. 4, Issue 3. Apr/May, 1999, Hi Yo Silver, Away! by James South, M.A.]

Considering that anthrax is said to be the all-time favorite biological warfare agent of Islamic terrorists and is one of the infectious biological agents intelligence experts claim terrorist cell teams are known to be in possession of it would seem to be a prudent precaution indeed to have the ability to make your own therapeutic-quality colloidal silver at home in order to help protect yourself and your family in the event of a terrorist biological attack on U.S. cities.

— from The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual, 2009, pages 313-314

The above chapter goes on to discuss theoretical dosage levels of colloidal silver for use against germ warfare pathogens.

Later in the above chapter, I also quote microbiologist Larry Wayne Harris as saying that in order for colloidal silver to be effective during a germ warfare attack, youll need to have certain levels of colloidal silver already built up in your bloodstream, cells and tissues, well before a terror attack occurs. Harris stated:

In the event of outbreaks of biological plagues, those who have already been taking sufficient levels of colloidal silver will have an automatic resistance in their bodies

If, however, a person has not been taking colloidal silver for 30 to 50 days prior to exposure to a plague, silver will have little effect. This is because invading bacteria can kill within several days, while it takes weeks for colloidal silver to be spread through your entire bodys millions of cells.

I don’t know about you. But for me, the idea that colloidal silver would only work during a germ warfare attack if you’ve already been using it daily for one to two months before being exposed to germ warfare agents, is not a very appealing one.

After all, many people who are experienced in colloidal silver usage only use it periodically — for example, if they feel a cold coming on, or whenever theyve actually come down with an infection and they want to deal with it naturally.

Is There Some Other Way To Get

Colloidal Silver Into the Body, Quickly and Effectively?

Fortunately, there is a way to get colloidal silver into the bloodstream and the bodys cells and tissues quickly and easily.

And we have the prestigious Health Sciences Institute (HSI) to thank for bringing this to our attention.

You see, HSI addressed this very topic in an e-alert to their members, back in October 2001, shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax attacks on our nation.

As the HSI pointed out at the time, one of their well-known health symposium panelists, Dr. Marcial-Vega, had discovered while dealing with pneumonia patients the fact that colloidal silver can be quickly and easily carried into the human blood stream and from there into the bodys cells and tissues, simply by nebulizing it.

Nebulizing is a process by which colloidal silver is run through a small medical device called a nebulizer (inexpensively available on e-Bay) which turns the colloidal silver solution into a fine mist. This fine mist can easily be breathed into the lungs as its produced by the machine. And from the lungs the body can efficiently and effectively distribute the colloidal silver straight into the blood stream, cells and tissues.

Heres what the Health Sciences Institute told their members:

Based on his experience treating other types of bacterial lung infections, Dr. Marcial-Vega believes he has discovered a way to prevent anthrax from developing even if you’ve already been exposed.

He’s currently talking with government health authorities about testing his hypothesis on live anthrax spores, but asked us bring this information directly to you now.

Just in his last decade of medical practice, Dr. Marcial-Vega has treated hundreds of people with a variety of viral, fungal, and bacterial pneumonias. And of all the available treatments, he has seen the greatest success with nebulizer treatments using a colloidal silver preparation.

Silver has long been known for its anti-bacterial properties, and the nebulizer allows the mineral to reach the lungs and kill harmful bacteria. Now, in the face of the anthrax threat, he believes it can do the same thing with anthrax spores.

‘We are constantly filtering all kinds of bacteria through our lungs,’ explained Dr. Marcial-Vega. Normally, a healthy body is able to kill off any dangerous bacteria on its own. But in the case of illness, like pneumonia, or an especially lethal bacteria like anthrax, the body may need some extra help.

For anthrax prevention, he recommends a daily nebulizer treatment with 4 cc’s of colloidal silver. By following this protocol, Dr. Marcial-Vega says your body can likely kill off the anthrax spores before you even know you were exposed. Colloidal silver may even be useful to treat cutaneous anthrax with the preparation being directly applied to the affected skin.

Dr. Marcial-Vega says there are no concerns about using this treatment because colloidal silver has no toxicity and no side effects. He has used the colloidal silver nebulizer treatments on infants, the elderly, and AIDS patients with pneumonia and has seen great results. All have responded quickly to the treatment even when no other approach seemed to help, and no one reported any adverse reactions.

Nebulizers are widely used to treat asthma, and are readily available at drug stores nationwide. The cost generally runs between $50 and $120 for the machine. Each member of the family should have their own mask, and both adult and pediatric sizes are available for a few dollars each. But the entire family can share the nebulizer machine and the tubing.”

If youre interested, you can read a more recent article here on using what I call a poor mans nebulizer. This is simply an inexpensive cool mist vaporizer from Wal-Mart or any other drug store. These inexpensive little devices do pretty much exactly what a medical nebulizer would do as long as you’re using full-strength colloidal silver in it.

No Clinical Evidence

The bottom line is that theres no real clinical evidence for colloidal silvers potential effectiveness in humans against germ warfare agents such as anthrax and others.

Thats chiefly because no one is going to allow themselves to be infected with such deadly biological agents in order to test the colloidal silver hypothesis.

Even if they conducted animal tests to see if colloidal silver would be effective against germ warfare agents, its likely the results would be kept secret due to national security. Again, we wouldnt announce to our enemies the antidote to one of the most potent (albeit non-humanitarian) weapons in our own weapons of mass destruction arsenal.

Nevertheless, theres plenty of historical and circumstantial evidence to indicate that colloidal silver may very well be a first-line-of-defense remedy against germ warfare pathogens.

And for that reason alone its worth owning a high-quality colloidal silver generator so you can make all of the colloidal silver you could ever need, quickly and easily, any time you need it, in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

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Colloidal Silver and Biological (Germ) Warfare

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Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse

 Socio-economic Collapse  Comments Off on Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse
Jun 282016
 

For millennia, people have considered what events might transpire at the end of the age. The ancient prophet Isaiah predicted, very explicitly, events at the end of human history, as we know it, when he wrote Isaiah 24:1-23. Most of that passage speaks of the eventual laying waste and devastation of the earth. God will not do this because He is cruel, ruthless, or evil. Rather, He will do this because of the following:

However, there always was one essential ingredient missing: a seven-year agreement, involving Israel. Encompassed within the final seven years of this age, also known as the 70th Week, will be the events that will alter human history as we know it. The prophecy, making a reference to this unique perioda week of seven yearswas given by the angel Gabriel to the Israeli prophet Daniel:

Never before, in history, has Israel engaged in a seven-year agreement with anyone, much less one that reinforced a previous accordthat is, until the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was established and funded in October 2006. Not only is the ENP scheduled to run specifically for seven years (2007 through 2013), but it confirms and strengthens a prior accord: the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EuroMed) of 1995, of which Israel also is a member.

Furthermore, included in the collection of ENP documents, involving Israel, is the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument: Israel. This document contains language affirming a goal, by the European Union (EU), to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians:

Now, if the ENP is the prophesied seven-year agreement, we would expect to see an increase in instability around the globe, not only in nature, but also socio-economically as well, during the first half of the seven years. Jesus referred to this time as the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:8).

Indeed, such things have been occurring, especially during 2008 and 2009. Besides record-breaking floods, droughts, and tornadoes in the USA, as well as a marked escalation in the frequency of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, famines, and plagues worldwide, there also has been a severe financial breakdown globally.

Today (March 1, 2009), the stock market dropped 299.64 points; it is down to a 12-year low of 6,763.29. There may be some short-term improvement; but, in the long run, there probably is no bottom in sight. As such, I look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus, at the end of the 70th Week, to rule and reign. Jesus, alone, is the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

So what is next? Well, according to the Daniel 9:27 prophecy, in the middle of the seven-year period, an end will be put to sacrifice and offering , and the abomination that causes desolation will be set up in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)in Jerusalem. On my proposed time scale, sacrifice and offering should cease during the first week of April 2010, which happens to be Passover Week 2010.

I feel that at the midpoint of the 70th Week, the Fourth Seal (Revelation 6:7,8) of the heavenly scroll will be opened. This will commence the darkest period of human history up to that point, the Great Tribulation, described by Jesus in Matthew 24:21. (In Jesus narrative, some Bible versions use the phrase great distress; other versions read great tribulation.)

This is how John described the events to take place at that time:

As such, if my time frame is correct, I anticipate the following things to take place after Passover Week of 2010:

To make things worse, I predict that there will be huge power outages, phone and internet service interruptions, food riots, bridge and building collapses, escalating unemployment and homelessness, bankruptcies, foreclosures, drug abuse, crime, murders, widespread civil unrest and revolts, declaration of martial law, and other related occurrences. The widespread denial that any of this is going to happen will make it be a great deal worse when it actually does happen.

Aside from an increase in catastrophic natural events, causing a great deal of death on the earth, there will be a global socio-economic and financial collapse, not to mention horrendous tax increases and skyrocketing hyperinflation. It may be that once the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 fails (see my Feb. 17, 2009 entry), President Obama will be forced to tell the American public that their problems, economic and otherwise, are insurmountable.

Possibly the North American Union (Canada, USA, Mexico) will be formed, with the Amero, worth a small fraction of the dollar, as the common currency. The NAU will be immersed in a much greater global crisis, and this will require global solutionsby a global leader. As such, it may be that Obama, identifying this leader as the only one who can help us, will become the False Prophet: the second beast of Revelation 13:11-17 (see Barack Obama: False Prophet?).

After entering the holy place in Jerusalem, and setting up the abomination that causes desolation inside, the first beast or Antichrist will set himself up in the temple, proclaiming himself to be God (2Thessalonians 2:4). He also will exercise his authority for 42 months [3 years] and blaspheme [the true] God (Revelation 13:5,6). Many people will be taken into captivity, and many will be killed (13:10). I also believe that during the final half (3 years) of the seven years, there will be escalating conflicts between the Antichrist and Gog (see Gog vs. Antichrist).

Once the Seventh Seal is opened, the earth and much of the life on it will be utterly devastated by the supernatural Trumpet Judgmentsthe initial wave of Gods wrath being blown out upon the earth. It is at this time that most of Isaiah 24:1-23 will come to pass. I place the opening of the Seventh Seal, most likely, in September 2012. (See an email question and response, If we have entered the 70th Week, do you see any special significance to the year 2012?)

With all of this great tribulation, suffering, and tremendous devastation of the earth to take place within less than a handful of years, what can people do to prepare for, or perhaps to avoid, most or even all of it? I am convinced that it is imperative to develop an intensely close and strong relationship with our Sovereign Lord and Master, Jehovah-Adonai. This is done mainly through prayer and obedience.

Learning as much as possible about God and Jesus (see Who Is God?, Was Jesus God?, and My Beliefs and Faith) will be critically important. For those who have not read the Bible from cover to cover, this would be a good time to do it, to understand whom God truly is and how He works (see Chronological Reading of the Bible in One Year). God does not change (Malachi 3:6). Just as He protected and delivered the ancient Israelites who loved and obeyed Him, He also will protect and deliver those believers, during the worst of times, who do the same.

A Rapture is an event in which believers (in Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Messiah) will be caught up and away from the earth, prior to the worst destruction and desolation that is to take place. Most likely, there will be multiple Raptures events (see secondary rapture events), removing true believers, at successive times, who have developed a real and intimate relationship with God. However, those who have allowed themselves to embrace the notion of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, to take place prior to the beginning of the 70th Week, have set themselves up for a gigantic disillusionment. This view of the Rapture is a bogus, pie-in-the-sky fantasy, with no valid basis in Scripture.

Potentially, Matthew 25:1-13could be indicative of a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, to occur midway through the final seven years, since the Bridegroom (Jesus) is seen to come at midnight (25:6) for half of the waiting virgins (Perhaps these are the believers who will have acquired their oil by properly utilizing, rather than wasting, the gifts of the Holy Spirit that God has provided them.) On my proposed time scale, this would be during the first week of April 2010. Interestingly, the exact midpoint is April 4, 2010, which just happens to be Resurrection Day (Easter). I believe it is possible that as many as half of believers could be caught up and away at that time.

If so, the majority of remaining believers would have to wait for the Pre-Wrath Rapture event to take place, soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal, but prior to the opening of the Seventh Seal (initiating Gods wrath). In any case, anyone who is present on the earth during the Great Tribulation period might wish to read repentance, endurance, and overcoming in my Chronology of Revelation commentary.

I also recommend that, besides becoming spiritually prepared for the dark tunnel ahead, people also should become psychologically and emotionally prepared as well. The world, as we know it, is going to change radically and drastically. Many of our comforts of daily life, and many of the things that we take for granted, will be compromised, or even eliminated altogether. Prices of common necessities, such as food and gasoline, will skyrocket, due to scarcity and hyperinflation. Sadly, multitudes of people will not be able to cope; unfortunately, the rates of insanity and suicide will soar.

It is advisable to stock up on items on my Adversity Supplies Basic Check List. This will provide at least some buffer when massive shortages (scarcity) and enormous price increases (hyperinflation) occur. It also is a good idea to recommend to friends, neighbors, and other family members that they do the same. Otherwise, when shortages occur, these people may come to you for help, and you will not be able to supply everybody that you know.

Know always that the Lord God is in charge. Nothing is too difficult for God. He provided, miraculously, for the ancient Israelites, drifting through the desert for forty years. Likewise, He can provide for those who acknowledge Him as Lord and God and follow His commandments.

Those who take the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16-18) will be forever sorry that they have done so (14:9-11, 16:2). At the same time that satanic miracles will be abounding, to deceive those who are lost (2Thessalonians 2:9),Jehovah-Jireh will be performing miracles of provision and deliverance for those who have refused the mark and who willingly and faithfully pledge their allegiance and devotion to Him. And those believers who die during this horrific time in history will have the blessed assurance and comfort that they will be with their God for eternity.

So if my seven-year hypothesis is correct, here is a summary of the things that can be expected to take place, beginning a few months into 2010:

The rest is here:

Natural Disasters and Socio-Economic Collapse

History of biological warfare – Wikipedia, the free …

 Germ Warfare  Comments Off on History of biological warfare – Wikipedia, the free …
Jun 282016
 

Various types of biological warfare (BW) have been practiced repeatedly throughout history. This has included the use of biological agents (microbes and plants) as well as the biotoxins, including venoms, derived from them.

Before the 20th century, the use of biological agents took three major forms:

In the 20th century, sophisticated bacteriological and virological techniques allowed the production of significant stockpiles of weaponized bio-agents:

The earliest documented incident of the intention to use biological weapons is recorded in Hittite texts of 15001200 BC, in which victims of tularemia were driven into enemy lands, causing an epidemic.[1] Although the Assyrians knew of ergot, a parasitic fungus of rye which produces ergotism when ingested, there is no evidence that they poisoned enemy wells with the fungus, as has been claimed.

According to Homer’s epic poems about the legendary Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, spears and arrows were tipped with poison. During the First Sacred War in Greece, in about 590 BC, Athens and the Amphictionic League poisoned the water supply of the besieged town of Kirrha (near Delphi) with the toxic plant hellebore.[2] During the 4th century BC Scythian archers tipped their arrow tips with snake venom, human blood, and animal feces to cause wounds to become infected.

In a naval battle against King Eumenes of Pergamon in 184 BC, Hannibal of Carthage had clay pots filled with venomous snakes and instructed his sailors to throw them onto the decks of enemy ships.[3] The Roman commander Manius Aquillius poisoned the wells of besieged enemy cities in about 130 BC. In about AD 198, the Parthian city of Hatra (near Mosul, Iraq) repulsed the Roman army led by Septimius Severus by hurling clay pots filled with live scorpions at them.[4]

There are numerous other instances of the use of plant toxins, venoms, and other poisonous substances to create biological weapons in antiquity.[5]

The Mongol Empire established commercial and political connections between the Eastern and Western areas of the world, through the most mobile army ever seen. The armies, composed of the most rapidly moving travelers who had ever moved between the steppes of East Asia (where bubonic plague was and remains endemic among small rodents), managed to keep the chain of infection without a break until they reached, and infected, peoples and rodents who had never encountered it. The ensuing Black Death may have killed up to 25 million in China and roughly a third of the population of Europe and in the next decades, changing the course of Asian and European history.

During the Middle Ages, victims of the bubonic plague were used for biological attacks, often by flinging fomites such as infected corpses and excrement over castle walls using catapults. In 1346, during the siege of Kafa (now Feodossia, Crimea) the attacking Tartar Forces which were subjugated by the Mongol empire under Genghis Khan, used the bodies of Mongol warriors of the Golden Horde who had died of plague, as weapons. An outbreak of plague followed and the defending forces retreated, followed by the conquest of the city by the Mongols. It has been speculated that this operation may have been responsible for the advent of the Black Death in Europe. At the time, the attackers thought that the stench was enough to kill them, though it was the disease that was deadly.[6][7]

At the siege of Thun-l’vque in 1340, during the Hundred Years’ War, the attackers catapulted decomposing animals into the besieged area.[8]

In 1422, during the siege of Karlstein Castle in Bohemia, Hussite attackers used catapults to throw dead (but not plague-infected) bodies and 2000 carriage-loads of dung over the walls.[9]

The last known incident of using plague corpses for biological warfare occurred in 1710, when Russian forces attacked the Swedes by flinging plague-infected corpses over the city walls of Reval (Tallinn).[10] However, during the 1785 siege of La Calle, Tunisian forces flung diseased clothing into the city.[9]

English Longbowmen usually did not draw their arrows from a quiver; rather, they stuck their arrows into the ground in front of them. This allowed them to nock the arrows faster and the dirt and soil was likely to stick to the arrowheads, thus making the wounds much more likely to become infected.

The Native American population was devastated after contact with the Old World due to the introduction of several fatal infectious diseases, notably smallpox.[11] These diseases can be traced to Eurasia where people had long lived with them and developed some immunological ability to survive their presence. Without similarly long ancestral exposure, indigenous Americans were immunologically naive and therefore extremely vulnerable.[12][13]

There are two documented instances of biological warfare by the British against North American Indians during Pontiac’s Rebellion (176366). In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief enclosed in small metal boxes that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege. The British soldiers lied to the Natives that the blanket pieces had contained special powers.[14]William Trent, the militia commander, left records that clearly indicated that the purpose of giving the blankets was “to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians.”[15]

British commander Lord Jeffrey Amherst and Swiss-British officer Colonel Henry Bouquet discussed the topic separately in the course of the same conflict; there exists correspondence referencing the idea of giving smallpox-infected blankets to enemy Indians. It cited four letters from June 29, July 13, 16 and 26th, 1763. Excerpts: Amherst wrote on July 16, 1763, “P.S. You will Do well to try to Inocculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your Scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect,…” Bouquet replied on July 26, 1763, “I received yesterday your Excellency’s letters of 16th with their Inclosures. The signal for Indian Messengers, and all your directions will be observed.” Smallpox is highly infectious and does not require contaminated blankets to spread uncontrollably, and together with measles, influenza, chicken pox, and so on had been doing so since the arrival of Europeans and their animals. Trade and combat also provided ample opportunity for transmission of the disease. See also: Smallpox during Pontiac’s Rebellion. It is unclear if the blanket attempt succeeded. It is estimated that between 400,000-500,000 Native American Indians during and after the war died from smallpox.[13][16][17]

Australian aborigines (Kooris) have always maintained that the British deliberately spread smallpox in 1789,[18] but this possibility has only been raised by historians from the 1980s when Dr Noel Butlin suggested; there are some possibilities that … disease could have been used deliberately as an exterminating agent.[19]

In 1997, David Day claimed there remains considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that officers other than Phillip, or perhaps convicts or soldiers deliberately spread smallpox among aborigines[20] and in 2000 Dr John Lambert argued that strong circumstantial evidence suggests the smallpox epidemic which ravaged Aborigines in 1789, may have resulted from deliberate infection.[21]

Judy Campbell argued in 2002 that it is highly improbable that the First Fleet was the source of the epidemic as “smallpox had not occurred in any members of the First Fleet”; the only possible source of infection from the Fleet being exposure to variolous matter imported for the purposes of inoculation against smallpox. Campbell argued that, while there has been considerable speculation about a hypothetical exposure to the First Fleet’s variolous matter, there was no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever actually exposed to it. She pointed to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was endemic, and Aboriginal people in Australia’s North as a more likely source for the introduction of smallpox. She notes that while these fishermen are generally referred to as Macassans, referring to the port of Macassar on the island of Sulawesi from which most of the fishermen originated, some travelled from islands as distant as New Guinea. She noted that there is little disagreement that the smallpox epidemic of the 1860s was contracted from Macassan fishermen and spread through the Aboriginal population by Aborigines fleeing outbreaks and also via their traditional social, kinship and trading networks. She argued that the 1789-90 epidemic followed the same pattern.[22]

These claims are controversial as it is argued that any smallpox virus brought to New South Wales probably would have been sterilised by heat and humidity encountered during the voyage of the First Fleet from England and incapable of biological warfare. However, in 2007, Christopher Warren demonstrated that the British smallpox may have been still viable.[23] Since then some scholars have argued that the British committed biological warfare in 1789 near their new convict settlement at Port Jackson.[24][25]

In 2013 Warren reviewed the issue and argued that smallpox did not spread across Australia before 1824 and showed that there was no smallpox at Macassar that could have caused the outbreak at Sydney. Warren, however, did not address the issue of persons who joined the Macassan fleet from other islands and from parts of Sulawesi other than the port of Macassar. Warren concluded that the British were “the most likely candidates to have released smallpox” near Sydney Cove in 1789. Warren proposed that the British had no choice as they were confronted with dire circumstances when, among other factors, they ran out of ammunition for their muskets. Warren also uses native oral tradition and the archaeology of native graves to analyse the cause and effect of the spread of smallpox in 1789.[26]

Prior to the publication of Warren’s article (2013), John Carmody argued that the epidemic was an outbreak of chickenpox which took a drastic toll on an Aboriginal population without immunological resistance. With regard to smallpox, Dr Carmody said: “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of the theories and some of them are fanciful and far-fetched..” [27][28] Warren covered the chickenpox theory at endnote 3 of Smallpox at Sydney Cove – Who, When, Why?.[29]

By the turn of the 20th century, advances in microbiology had made thinking about “germ warfare” part of the zeitgeist. Jack London, in his short story ‘”Yah! Yah! Yah!”‘ (1909), described a punitive European expedition to a South Pacific island deliberately exposing the Polynesian population to measles, of which many of them died. London wrote another science fiction tale the following year, “The Unparalleled Invasion” (1910), in which the Western nations wipe out all of China with a biological attack.

During the First World War (19141918), the Empire of Germany made some early attempts at biological warfare. Those attempts were made by special sabotage group headed by Rudolf Nadolny. Using diplomatic pouches and couriers, the German General Staff supplied small teams of saboteurs in the Russian Duchy of Finland, and in the then-neutral countries of Romania, the United States, and Argentina.[citation needed] In Finland, saboteurs mounted on reindeer placed ampoules of anthrax in stables of Russian horses in 1916.[30] Anthrax was also supplied to the German military attach in Bucharest, as was glanders, which was employed against livestock destined for Allied service. German intelligence officer and US citizen Dr. Anton Casimir Dilger established a secret lab in the basement of his sister’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, that produced glanders which was used to infect livestock in ports and inland collection points including, at least, Newport News, Norfolk, Baltimore, and New York, and probably St. Louis and Covington, Kentucky. In Argentina, German agents also employed glanders in the port of Buenos Aires and also tried to ruin wheat harvests with a destructive fungus.

The Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibited the use of chemical weapons and biological weapons, but said nothing about experimentation, production, storage, or transfer; later treaties did cover these aspects. Twentieth-century advances in microbiology enabled the first pure-culture biological agents to be developed by World War II.

In the interwar period, little research was done in biological warfare in both Britain and the United States at first. In the United Kingdom the preoccupation was mainly in withstanding the anticipated conventional bombing attacks that would be unleashed in the event of war with Germany. As tensions increased, Sir Frederick Banting began lobbying the British government to establish a research program into the research and development of biological weapons to effectively deter the Germans from launching a biological attack. Banting proposed a number of innovative schemes for the dissemination of pathogens, including aerial-spray attacks and germs distributed through the mail system.

With the onset of hostilities, the Ministry of Supply finally established a biological weapons programme at Porton Down, headed by the microbiologist Paul Fildes. The research was championed by Winston Churchill and soon tularemia, anthrax, brucellosis, and botulism toxins had been effectively weaponized. In particular, Gruinard Island in Scotland, during a series of extensive tests was contaminated with anthrax for the next 48 years. Although Britain never offensively used the biological weapons it developed, its program was the first to successfully weaponize a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.[31]

When the United States entered the war, mounting British pressure for the creation of a similar research program for an Allied pooling of resources, led to the creation of a large industrial complex at Fort Detrick, Maryland in 1942 under the direction of George W. Merck.[32] The biological and chemical weapons developed during that period were tested at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Soon there were facilities for the mass production of anthrax spores, brucellosis, and botulism toxins, although the war was over before these weapons could be of much operational use.[33]

However, the most notorious program of the period was run by the secret Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 during the war, based at Pingfan in Manchuria and commanded by Lieutenant General Shir Ishii. This unit did research on BW, conducted often fatal human experiments on prisoners, and produced biological weapons for combat use.[34] Although the Japanese effort lacked the technological sophistication of the American or British programs, it far outstripped them in its widespread application and indiscriminate brutality. Biological weapons were used against both Chinese soldiers and civilians in several military campaigns. Three veterans of Unit 731 testified in a 1989 interview to the Asahi Shimbun, that they contaminated the Horustein river with typhoid near the Soviet troops during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol.[35] In 1940, the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force bombed Ningbo with ceramic bombs full of fleas carrying the bubonic plague.[36] A film showing this operation was seen by the imperial princes Tsuneyoshi Takeda and Takahito Mikasa during a screening made by mastermind Shiro Ishii.[37] During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that as early as 1941 some 40 members of Unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.[38]

Many of these operations were ineffective due to inefficient delivery systems, using disease-bearing insects rather than dispersing the agent as a bioaerosol cloud.[34] Nevertheless, some modern Chinese historians estimate that 400,000 Chinese died as a direct result of Japanese field testing and operational use of biological weapons.[39]

Ban Shigeo, a technician at the Japanese Army’s 9th Technical Research Institute, left an account of the activities at the Institute which was published in “The Truth About the Army Nororito Institute”.[40] Ban included an account of his trip to Nanking in 1941 to participate in the testing of poisons on Chinese prisoners.[40] His testimony tied the Noborito Institute to the infamous Unit 731, which participated in biomedical research.[40]

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to utilize plague as a biological weapon against U.S. civilians in San Diego, California, during Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night. They hope that it would kill tens of thousands of U.S. civilians and thereby dissuading America from attacking Japan. The plan was set to launch on September 22, 1945, at night, but it never came into fruition due to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.[41][42][43][44]

When the war ended, the US Army quietly enlisted certain members of Noborito in its efforts against the communist camp in the early years of the Cold War.[40] The head of Unit 731, Shiro Ishii, was granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in exchange for providing information to the United States on the Unit’s activities.[45] Allegations were made that a “chemical section” of a US clandestine unit hidden within Yokosuka naval base was operational during the Korean War, and then worked on unspecified projects inside the United States from 1955 to 1959, before returning to Japan to enter the private sector.[40][46]

Some of the Unit 731 personnel were imprisoned by the Soviets[citation needed], and may have been a potential source of information on Japanese weaponization.

Considerable research into BW was undertaken throughout the Cold War era by the US, UK and USSR, and probably other major nations as well, although it is generally believed that such weapons were never used.

In Britain, the 1950s saw the weaponization of plague, brucellosis, tularemia and later equine encephalomyelitis and vaccinia viruses. Trial tests at sea were carried out including Operation Cauldron off Stornoway in 1952. The programme was cancelled in 1956, when the British government unilaterally renounced the use of biological and chemical weapons.

The United States initiated its weaponization efforts with disease vectors in 1953, focused on Plague-fleas, EEE-mosquitoes, and yellow fever – mosquitoes (OJ-AP).[citation needed] However, US medical scientists in occupied Japan undertook extensive research on insect vectors, with the assistance of former Unit 731 staff, as early as 1946.[45]

The United States Army Chemical Corps then initiated a crash program to weaponize anthrax (N) in the E61 1/2-lb hour-glass bomblet. Though the program was successful in meeting its development goals, the lack of validation on the infectivity of anthrax stalled standardization.[citation needed] The United States Air Force was also unsatisfied with the operational qualities of the M114/US bursting bomblet and labeled it an interim item until the Chemical Corps could deliver a superior weapon.[citation needed]

Around 1950 the Chemical Corps also initiated a program to weaponize tularemia (UL). Shortly after the E61/N failed to make standardization, tularemia was standardized in the 3.4″ M143 bursting spherical bomblet. This was intended for delivery by the MGM-29 Sergeant missile warhead and could produce 50% infection over a 7-square-mile (18km2) area.[47] Although tularemia is treatable by antibiotics, treatment does not shorten the course of the disease. US conscientious objectors were used as consenting test subjects for tularemia in a program known as Operation Whitecoat.[48] There were also many unpublicized tests carried out in public places with bio-agent simulants during the Cold War.[49]

In addition to the use of bursting bomblets for creating biological aerosols, the Chemical Corps started investigating aerosol-generating bomblets in the 1950s. The E99 was the first workable design, but was too complex to be manufactured. By the late 1950s the 4.5″ E120 spraying spherical bomblet was developed; a B-47 bomber with a SUU-24/A dispenser could infect 50% or more of the population of a 16-square-mile (41km2) area with tularemia with the E120.[50] The E120 was later superseded by dry-type agents.

Dry-type biologicals resemble talcum powder, and can be disseminated as aerosols using gas expulsion devices instead of a burster or complex sprayer.[citation needed] The Chemical Corps developed Flettner rotor bomblets and later triangular bomblets for wider coverage due to improved glide angles over Magnus-lift spherical bomblets.[51] Weapons of this type were in advanced development by the time the program ended.[51]

From January 1962, Rocky Mountain Arsenal grew, purified and biodemilitarized plant pathogen Wheat Stem Rust (Agent TX), Puccinia graminis, var. tritici, for the Air Force biological anti-crop program. TX-treated grain was grown at the Arsenal from 1962-1968 in Sections 23-26. Unprocessed TX was also transported from Beale AFB for purification, storage, and disposal.[52] Trichothecenes Mycotoxin is a toxin that can be extracted from Wheat Stem Rust and Rice Blast and can kill or incapacitate depending on the concentration used. The red mold disease of wheat and barley in Japan is prevalent in the region that faces the Pacific Ocean. Toxic trichothecenes, including nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, and monoace tylnivalenol (fusarenon- X) from Fusarium nivale, can be isolated from moldy grains. In the suburbs of Tokyo, an illness similar to red mold disease was described in an outbreak of a food borne disease, as a result of the consumption of Fusarium- infected rice. Ingestion of moldy grains that are contaminated with trichothecenes has been associated with mycotoxicosis.[53]

Although there is no evidence that biological weapons were used by the United States, China and North Korea accused the US of large-scale field testing of BW against them during the Korean War (19501953). At the time of the Korean War the United States had only weaponized one agent, brucellosis (“Agent US”), which is caused by Brucella suis. The original weaponized form used the M114 bursting bomblet in M33 cluster bombs. While the specific form of the biological bomb was classified until some years after the Korean War, in the various exhibits of biological weapons that Korea alleged were dropped on their country nothing resembled an M114 bomblet. There were ceramic containers that had some similarity to Japanese weapons used against the Chinese in World War II, developed by Unit 731.[34][54]

Cuba also accused the United States of spreading human and animal disease on their island nation.[55][56]

During the 1948 Israel War of Independence, International Red Cross reports raised suspicion that the Israeli Haganah militia had released Salmonella typhi bacteria into the water supply for the city of Acre, causing an outbreak of typhoid among the inhabitants. Egyptian troops later claimed to have captured disguised Haganah soldiers near wells in Gaza, whom they executed for allegedly attempting another attack. Israel denies these allegations.[57][58]

In mid-1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, which would lead to the signing of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 1972. United States President Richard Nixon signed an executive order on November 1969, which stopped production of biological weapons in the United States and allowed only scientific research of lethal biological agents and defensive measures such as immunization and biosafety. The biological munition stockpiles were destroyed, and approximately 2,200 researchers became redundant.[59]

Special munitions for the United States Special Forces and the CIA and the Big Five Weapons for the military were destroyed in accordance with Nixon’s executive order to end the offensive program. The CIA maintained its collection of biologicals well into 1975 when it became the subject of the senate Church Committee.

The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and other nations, as a ban on “development, production and stockpiling of microbes or their poisonous products except in amounts necessary for protective and peaceful research” in 1972. The convention bound its signatories to a far more stringent set of regulations than had been envisioned by the 1925 Geneva Protocols. By 1996, 137 countries had signed the treaty; however it is believed that since the signing of the Convention the number of countries capable of producing such weapons has increased.

The Soviet Union continued research and production of offensive biological weapons in a program called Biopreparat, despite having signed the convention. The United States had no solid proof of this program until Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik defected in 1989, and Dr. Kanatjan Alibekov, the first deputy director of Biopreparat defected in 1992. Pathogens developed by the organization would be used in open-air trials. It is known that Vozrozhdeniye Island, located in the Aral Sea, was used as a testing site.[60] In 1971, such testing led to the accidental aerosol release of smallpox over the Aral Sea and a subsequent smallpox epidemic.[61]

During the closing stages of the Rhodesian Bush War, the Rhodesian government resorted to biological warfare. Watercourses at several sites close to the Mozambique border were deliberately contaminated with cholera and the toxin Sodium Coumadin, an anti-coagulant commonly used as the active ingredient in rat poison. Food stocks in the area were contaminated with anthrax spores. These biological attacks had little impact on the fighting capability of ZANLA, but caused considerable distress to the local population. Over 10,000 people contracted anthrax in the period 1978 to 1980, of whom 200 died. The facts about this episode became known during the hearings of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the late 1990s.[62]

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10,000 L were loaded into military weapons; the 19,000 liters have never been fully accounted for. This is approximately three times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation,[63] although in practice it would be impossible to distribute it so efficiently, and, unless it is protected from oxygen, it deteriorates in storage.[64]

According to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment 8 countries were generally reported as having undeclared offensive biological warfare programs in 1995: China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Taiwan. Five countries had admitted to having had offensive weapon or development programs in the past: United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada.[65] Offensive BW programs in Iraq were dismantled by Coalition Forces and the UN after the first Gulf War (199091), although an Iraqi military BW program was covertly maintained in defiance of international agreements until it was apparently abandoned during 1995 and 1996.[66]

On September 18, 2001 and for a few days thereafter, several letters were received by members of the U.S. Congress and American media outlets which contained intentionally prepared anthrax spores; the attack sickened at least 22 people of whom five died. The identity of the bioterrorist remained unknown until 2008, when an official suspect, who had committed suicide, was named. (See 2001 anthrax attacks.)

Suspicions of an ongoing Iraqi biological warfare program were not substantiated in the wake of the March 2003 invasion of that country. Later that year, however, Muammar Gaddafi was persuaded to terminate Libya’s biological warfare program. In 2008, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Taiwan are considered, with varying degrees of certainty, to have some BW capability.[67] By 2011, 165 countries had officially joined the BWC and pledged to disavow biological weapons.[68]

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Offshore Theater | Free HD Surf Cameras California Hawaii

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Jun 282016
 

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Welcome to our Parish! | Ascension Catholic Church

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Jun 282016
 

A message from our Pastor

It is my pleasure to welcome you to Ascensions parish website. We have tabs for general parish information (including links to our weekly bulletin, The Dome), for our Ascension school and pre-school, and for our parish Religious Education program. It is also possible to follow a link here to arrange for automatic Stewardship offerings and other giving opportunities.

Situated just north of the Eisenhower expressway in a neighborhood setting, Ascension is the spiritual home for both young and old- new families, families with children, singles, and seniors. Our large Catholic school draws from Oak Park and its surrounding communities. We offer many programs and activities, and are especially noted for our commitment to issues of peace and justice. Our music program is highly developed and attracts scores of people who participate in our various choirs. Our staff is available to help, and contact information for staff members is available through this site.

Worship on Sunday is the time that our welcoming and diverse community comes together to hear and reflect upon the Word of God, and to enter into Christs saving sacrifice through the Eucharist. If this virtual visit to the parish is your first time with us, I hope that you will be drawn to a more personal visit some Sunday. If you are a parishioner who arrived here looking forinformation that is important to you, I hope that you will find navigation easy so that you can find what you came looking for.

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Ascension – Sal Rachele

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Jun 282016
 

Physical ascension has, in the past, been reserved for a select few souls who have mastered the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual facets of life and are able to take their bodies with them into the higher realms. At the present time, a major change in the Divine Plan has been implemented, which allows for a large number of souls (up to 20 million) to go through physical ascension without having mastered every detail of physical life. This Divine Dispensation normally only occurs at the end of a Great Cycle (every 26,000 years). In early 1991, in Sedona, Arizona, I spent a lot of time meditating. I received information telepathically through the filter of my “God Self”. The information was quite specific and involves what I call the master template.

The Master Template

In Life On the Cutting Edge, I wrote about the building of the “crystal light body” and how our cells are converted into light through a complex process I call the “master template.” DNA is the biological component of the master template or the Divine Program for creating sentient beings in lower densities. The secret to ascension, rejuvenation, perfect health and immortality is two-fold: (1) Embrace the Love of God within the emotions and mind; AND (2) learn to reprogram the DNA to align with the Tree of Life (Kaballah, Sacred Fire Letters, or whatever other name you have for it). The Tree of Life is the divine configuration of atoms and molecules that gives rise to intelligent life in the Universe. The message I then received was that the light body conversion process had started in my own body (the specific trigger was an event called 11:11). Some people I knew at the time had begun their conversion process earlier, and some would begin later. This conversion process does not show up immediately in one’s appearance. Also, any physical, emotional or mental blocks in the individual must come up and be released in order for the process to proceed smoothly. But the process is pre-determined by the structure of the DNA and sacred fire letter codes (DNA keys). The soul/oversoul of the individual determines the timeline based on what the individual has learned and whether or not they understand how to transcend karma.

The understanding I received directly is that each embodied soul has a master template encoded within the DNA that determines when the trigger is activated. At the time of the activation, the cells of the physical body begin to mutate into the light body form. My trigger occurred in 1991, and as of 2004, I am approximately 0.2% (2/1000) complete in my ascension process. The ascension accelerates logarithmically, so it starts slowly and builds momentum. At this rate, it will be complete within 20 years. There are techniques that can manipulate the master template, although the timeline is usually pre-set by the soul prior to incarnation. The ease with which the process occurs can be greatly influenced by the level of understanding of the soul and the type of techniques used to increase awareness. In my meditations and personal counseling, I try to increase awareness of what is happening, although the actual templaste program is very complex and nearly impossible to understand. As stated above, the template is activated by each individual soul at a particular point in his/her evolution.

One meditation I like involves visualizing the strands of DNA being activated, going into a special power place (Halls of Amenti) and activating the sacred fire letters (patterns of energy that form the DNA). The entire meditation takes 20 to 40 minutes depending on the situation. This meditation is available to advanced students in its entirety in the Meditations section of this website and is available on cassette.

The Merkabah

The Master Template creates a field of light around the physical body. This field is often called the merkabah. There are conflicting accounts of how the merkabah works and how it is activated. Two of the pioneers in this area are Drunvalo Melchizedek and Ashayana Deane (Anna Hayes). I am not an expert on Drunvalos technique, but I am somewhat familiar with his work. Since I do what is commonly called “ascension activation” meditations, I apparently receive some similar information. Drunvalos website is http://www.spiritofmaat.com. There are disagreements among merkabah and ascension practitioners. For example, Ashayana Deane severely criticizes Drunvalo’s techniques and offers her own version. Her website is http://www.azuritepress.com. I cannot stress strongly enough that we MUST get in touch with our own inner God presence and ask that presence to show us the best steps to take to build our merkabah vehicle (crystal light body and surrounding sacred geometries). Try Drunvalo’s and Ashayanas techniques and see how you feel. Do they expand your awareness? Do you feel more balanced and integrated? I recommend you invoke psychic and spiritual protection before and after each use of the techniques. See my article on Psychic and Spiritual Protection.

As stated above, the Master Template is an AUTOMATED program that converts 3D cells into 4D cells by infusing light into the body. Eventually, these 4D cells become 5D cells (CO2 is converted to SiO2) and the crystal light body is manifest. This is the mechanical definition of ascension. The light body is impervious to the environment, immortal and disease-free. As David Wilcock has pointed out in his Convergence series (www.ascension2000.com), the ascension process unfolds according to principles of sacred geometry. The merkabah is a sacred geometric configuration that enfolds the auric field and meridians of the physical body into the etheric blueprint of the soul. Each level of evolution has a specific geometric configuration. The Convergence series goes into this in detail.

An analogy can be found in ordinary water. When water is super-charged with an electromagnetic field, the molecules become hexagonal in shape. When a colloidal suspension is bombarded with EM waves, sacred geometries form in the suspension. As the human body (largely water) is bombarded with high-frequency EM waves, the sacred geometries of the merkabah begin to form in the auric field. Although this can be influenced by using techniques such as the ones presented by Drunvalo, Ashayana and this author, keep in mind that the master template unfolds in a perfect, timely manner, and if you try and force the process, you could experience negative results. Although time is of the essence, one should not be in too big a hurry to ascend. Your motivation for ascension should be the expanded level of service and experience of Gods Love that it involves. Your motivation should NOT be I cant wait to escape this hell-hole called Earth. Such a motivation will hinder your spiritual progress, as will any form of making something wrong (judgment).

Everything is unfolding perfectly. Keep this thought in mind as you explore the mechanics of ascension.

Benefits of Ascension

The Light Body uses silicon as its primary building block (unlike the flesh body, which is based on carbon). CO2 is converted to SiO2 (which, as you probably guessed, is the formula of common quartz crystals). The crystal light body shimmers and sparkles to those who can see it but is invisible to those stuck in lower 3D. That is why, in the story of the rapture, people simply disappear (from the perspective of a 3D entity who stays behind). To the one who has just ascended, the world does not completely disappear, but takes on a radiance unlike anything previously experienced. It is as if a new world has been born. In actuality, both worlds existed all along, but ones awareness was focused on the 3D/4D world. The 5D world is a place of indescribable beauty. Everything shines and vibrates. There is no birth and death, as we know them, no sickness, no aging, no worry and no fear.

Once we learn how to stop aging and remain eternally youthful, then we also learn how to create our body to be any way we like. If we get tired of it, we just change it. We dematerialize and rematerialize wherever and whenever we want (across any part of time and space). So the thought that we would get bored living forever in the same body is totally irrelevant. In higher states of consciousness, there is no such thing as boredom anyway.

This scenario need not take place in the far distant future. It is available in this lifetime if we remain single-focused on Gods Love and service to others. Ascension is here now in this incredible time period in which we chose to embody.

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Evolution – Conservapedia

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Jun 282016
 

The theory of evolution is a naturalistic theory of the history of life on earth (this refers to the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism and is taught in schools and universities). Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: “a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations…”[2] Currently, there are several theories of evolution.

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[3] In 2007, “Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture…announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution.”[4]

In 2011, the results of a study was published indicating that most United States high school biology teachers are reluctant to endorse the theory of evolution in class. [5] In addition, in 2011, eight anti-evolution bills were introduced into state legislatures within the United States encouraging students to employ critical thinking skills when examining the evolutionary paradigm. In 2009, there were seven states which required critical analysis skills be employed when examining evolutionary material within schools.[6]

A 2005 poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of American medical doctors reject Darwinism, stating that they do not believe man evolved through natural processes alone.[7] Thirty-eight percent of the American medical doctors polled agreed with the statement that “Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement.” [8] The study also reported that 1/3 of all medical doctors favor the theory of intelligent design over evolution.[9] In 2010, the Gallup organization reported that 40% of Americans believe in young earth creationism.[10] In January 2006, the BBC reported concerning Britain:

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.[11]

Picture above was taken at Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University Press reported in 2014: “Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames.”[12] In addition, China has the world’s largest atheist population and the rapid growth of biblical creationism/Evangelical Christianity in China may have a significant impact on the number of individuals in the world who believe in evolution and also on global atheism (see: China and biblical creationism and Asian atheism).

The theory of evolution posits a process of transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.[13][14] Although not a creation scientist, Swedish geneticist Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Professor of Botany at the University of Lund in Sweden and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, stated: “My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived antievolutionary standpoint.”[15][16]

The fossil record is often used as evidence in the creation versus evolution controversy. The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution.[17] In 1981, there were at least a hundred million fossils that were catalogued and identified in the world’s museums.[18] Despite the large number of fossils available to scientists in 1981, evolutionist Mark Ridley, who currently serves as a professor of zoology at Oxford University, was forced to confess: “In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation.”[19]

In addition to the evolutionary position lacking evidential support and being counterevidential, the great intellectuals in history such as Archimedes, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Lord Kelvin did not propose an evolutionary process for a species to transform into a more complex version. Even after the theory of evolution was proposed and promoted heavily in England and Germany, most leading scientists were against the theory of evolution.[20]

The theory of evolution was published by naturalist Charles Darwin in his book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, in 1859. In a letter to Asa Gray, Darwin confided: “…I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”[21]Prior to publishing the book, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.[22] Darwin was a weak atheist/agnostic (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) .[23] Charles Darwins casual mentioning of a creator in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory.[24] The amount of credit Darwin actually deserves for the theory is disputed. [25] Darwin’s theory attempted to explain the origin of the various kinds of plants and animals via the process of natural selection or “survival of the fittest”.

The basic principle behind natural selection is that in the struggle for life some organisms in a given population will be better suited to their particular environment and thus have a reproductive advantage which increases the representation of their particular traits over time. Many years before Charles Darwin, there were several other individuals who published articles on the topic of natural selection.[26]

Darwin did not first propose in his book Origin of Species that man had descended from non-human ancestors. Darwin’s theory of evolution incorporated that later in Darwin’s book entitled Descent of Man.

As far as the history of the theory of evolution, although Darwin is well known when it comes to the early advocacy of the evolutionary position in the Western world, evolutionary ideas were taught by the ancient Greeks as early as the 7th century B.C.[27] The concept of naturalistic evolution differs from the concept of theistic evolution in that it states God does not guide the posited process of macroevolution.[28]

In 2012, the science news website Livescience.com published a news article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling which indicated that research suggests that gut feelings trumped facts when it comes to evolutionists believing in evolution.[29] In January of 2012, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching published a study indicating that evolutionary belief is significantly based on gut feelings.[30][31] The January 20, 2012 article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling published by the website Live Science wrote of the research: “They found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs.”[32]

In response to evolutionary indoctrination and the uncritical acceptance of evolution by many evolutionists, the scientists at the organization Creation Ministries International created a Question evolution! campaign which poses 15 questions for evolutionists. In addition, leading creationist organizations have created lists of poor arguments that evolutionists should not use.[33] See also: Causes of evolutionary belief

See also: Theories of evolution

Evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote concerning the theory of evolution: “The process of mutation is the only known source of the new materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolution.”[34] Concerning various theories of evolution, most evolutionists believe that the processes of mutation, genetic drift and natural selection created every species of life that we see on earth today after life first came about on earth although there is little consensus on how this process is allegedly to have occurred.[35]

Pierre-Paul Grass, who served as Chair of evolutionary biology at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated the following: “Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation, talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve….No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.” Grass pointed out that bacteria which are the subject of study of many geneticists and molecular biologists are organisms which produce the most mutants.[36] Grasse then points that bacteria are considered to have “stabilized”.[37] Grass regards the “unceasing mutations” to be “merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.”[38]

In addition, Harvard biologist Ernst Mayr wrote: “It must be admitted, however, that it is a considerable strain on ones credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the birds feather) could be improved by random mutations.”[39]

Creation scientists believe that mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift would not cause macroevolution.[40] Furthermore, creation scientists assert that the life sciences as a whole support the creation model and do not support the theory of evolution.[41]Homology involves the theory that macroevolutionary relationships can be demonstrated by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different organisms.[42] An example of a homology argument is that DNA similarities between human and other living organisms is evidence for the theory of evolution.[43] Creation scientists provide sound reasons why the homology argument is not a valid argument. Both evolutionary scientists and young earth creation scientists believe that speciation occurs, however, young earth creation scientists state that speciation generally occurs at a much faster rate than evolutionist believe is the case.[44]

Critics of the theory of evolution state that many of today’s proponents of the evolutionary position have diluted the meaning of the term “evolution” to the point where it defined as or the definition includes change over time in the gene pool of a population over time through such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.[45] Dr. Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International declares concerning the diluted definition of the word “evolution”:

See also: Atheism and equivocation

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote:

All (sexually reproducing) organisms contain their genetic information in paired form. Each offspring inherits half its genetic information from its mother, and half from its father. So there are two genes at a given position (locus, plural loci) coding for a particular characteristic. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, meaning it carries different forms (alleles) of this gene… So there is no problem for creationists explaining that the original created kinds could each give rise to many different varieties. In fact, the original created kinds would have had much more heterozygosity than their modern, more specialized descendants. No wonder Ayala pointed out that most of the variation in populations arises from reshuffling of previously existing genes, not from mutations. Many varieties can arise simply by two previously hidden recessive alleles coming together. However, Ayala believes the genetic information came ultimately from mutations, not creation. His belief is contrary to information theory, as shown in chapter 9 on Design.[48]

Dr. Don Batten of Creation Ministries International has pointed out that prominent evolutionists, such as PZ Myers and Nick Matzke, have indicated that a naturalistic postulation of the origin of life (often called abiogenesis), is part of the evolutionary model.[49] This poses a very serious problem for the evolutionary position as the evidence clearly points life being a product of design and not through naturalistic processes.[50]

The genetic entropy theory by Cornell University Professor Dr. John Sanford on eroding genomes of all living organisms due to mutations inherited from one generation to the next is declared to be one of the major challenges to evolutionary theory. The central part of Sanfords argument is that mutations, represented by spelling mistakes in DNA, are accumulating so quickly in some creatures (and particularly in people) that natural selection cannot stop the functional degradation of the genome, let alone drive an evolutionary process that could lead for example, from apes into people.[51]

Sanford’s book Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome explains why human DNA is inexorably deteriorating at an alarming rate, thus cannot be millions of years old.[52]

The evolutionist Michael Lynch wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in a December 3, 2009 article entitled: Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation (taken from the abstract):

Creation scientists and intelligent design advocates point out that the genetic code (DNA code), genetic programs, and biological information argue for an intelligent cause in regards the origins question and assert it is one of the many problems of the theory of evolution.[55][56]

Dr. Walt Brown states the genetic material that controls the biological processes of life is coded information and that human experience tells us that codes are created only by the result of intelligence and not merely by processes of nature.[55] Dr. Brown also asserts that the “information stored in the genetic material of all life is a complex program. Therefore, it appears that an unfathomable intelligence created these genetic programs.”[55]

To support his view regarding the divine origin of genetic programs Dr. Walt Brown cites the work of David Abel and Professor Jack Trevors who wrote the following:

In the peer reviewed biology journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington Dr. Stephen Meyer argues that no current materialistic theory of evolution can account for the origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms and proposed an intelligent cause as the best explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa.[58] The editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Dr. Richard Sternberg, came under intense scrutiny and persecution for the aforementioned article published by Dr. Meyer.

See also: Theory of evolution and little consensus and Theories of evolution

There is little scientific consensus on how macroevolution is said to have happened and the claimed mechanisms of evolutionary change, as can be seen in the following quotes:

Pierre-Paul Grass, who served as Chair of Evolution at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated the following:

Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs. – Pierre-Paul Grass – Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), pages 6 and 8[62]

See: Modern evolutionary synthesis and Theories of evolution

A notable case of a scientists using fraudulent material to promote the theory of evolution was the work of German scientist and atheist Ernst Haeckel. Noted evolutionist and Stephen Gould, who held a agnostic worldview[63] and promoted the notion of non-overlapping magesteria, wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel’s work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

An irony of history is that the March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the “celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism.”[65]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. Georges Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: “I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically”.[64]

See also: Evolution and the fossil record

As alluded to earlier, today there are over one hundred million identified and cataloged fossils in the world’s museums.[66] If the evolutionary position was valid, then there should be “transitional forms” in the fossil record reflecting the intermediate life forms. Another term for these “transitional forms” is “missing links”.

Charles Darwin admitted that his theory required the existence of “transitional forms.” Darwin wrote: “So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth.”[68] However, Darwin wrote: “Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.”[69] Darwin thought the lack of transitional links in his time was because “only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored and no part with sufficient care…”.[70] As Charles Darwin grew older he became increasingly concerned about the lack of evidence for the theory of evolution in terms of the existence of transitional forms. Darwin wrote, “When we descend to details, we cannot prove that a single species has changed; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.[71]

Scientist Dr. Michael Denton wrote regarding the fossil record:

Creationists assert that evolutionists have had over 140 years to find a transitional fossil and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has ever been found and that only a handful of highly doubtful examples of transitional fossils exist.[73] Distinguished anthropologist Sir Edmund R. Leach declared, “Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so.”[74]

David B. Kitts of the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote that “Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them”.[75]

David Raup, who was the curator of geology at the museum holding the world’s largest fossil collection, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, observed:

One of the most famous proponents of the theory of evolution was the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But Gould admitted:

For more information please see:

Creationists can cite quotations which assert that no solid fossil evidence for the theory of evolution position exists:

For more fossil record quotes please see: Fossil record quotes and Additional fossil record quotes

For more information please see: Paleoanthropology and Human evolution

Paleoanthropology is an interdisciplinary branch of anthropology that concerns itself with the origins of early humans and it examines and evaluates items such as fossils and artifacts.[82] Dr. David Pilbeam is a paleoanthropologist who received his Ph.D. at Yale University and Dr. Pilbeam is presently Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University and Curator of Paleontology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. In addition, Dr. Pilbeam served as an advisor for the Kenya government regarding the creation of an international institute for the study of human origins.[83]

Dr. Pilbeam wrote a review of Richard Leakey’s book Origins in the journal American Scientist:

Dr. Pilbeam wrote the following regarding the theory of evolution and paleoanthropology:

Evolutionist and Harvard professor Richard Lewontin wrote in 1995 that “Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor….”[85] In the September 2005 issue of National Geographic, Joel Achenbach asserted that human evolution is a “fact” but he also candidly admitted that the field of paleoanthropology “has again become a rather glorious mess.”[86][87] In the same National Geographic article Harvard paleoanthropologist Dan Lieberman states, “We’re not doing a very good job of being honest about what we don’t know…”.[87]

Concerning pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journal Science the following regarding their highly speculative nature:

Creation scientists concur with Dr. Pilbeam regarding the speculative nature of the field of paleoanthropology and assert there is no compelling evidence in the field of paleoanthropology for the various theories of human evolution.[90]

In 2011, Dr. Grady S. McMurtry declared:

It is acknowledged that the Laws of Genetics are conservative, they are not creative. Genetics only copies or rearranges the previously existing information and passes it on to the next generation. When copying information, you have only two choices; you can only copy it perfectly or imperfectly, you cannot copy something more perfectly. Mutations do not build one upon another beneficially. Mutations do not create new organs; they only modify existing organs and structures. Mutations overwhelmingly lose information; they do not gain it; therefore, mutations cause changes which are contrary of evolutionary philosophy.

As a follow on, the addition of excess undirected energy will destroy the previously existing system. Indeed, you will never get an increase in the specifications on the DNA to create new organs without the input from a greater intelligence.

Mutations affect and are affected by many genes and other intergenic information acting in combination with one another. The addition of the accidental duplication of previously existing information is detrimental to any organism.

Mutations do produce microevolution, however, this term is far better understood as merely lateral adaptation, which is only variation within a kind, a mathematical shifting of gene frequency within a gene pool. The shifting of gene frequencies and a loss of information cannot produce macroevolution.

As Dr. Roger Lewin commented after the 1980 University of Chicago conference entitled Macroevolution:

The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No. [Emphasis added]

Dr. Roger Lewin, Evolution Theory under Fire, Science. Vol. 210, 21 November 1980. p. 883-887.[91]

In 1988, the prominent Harvard University biologist Ernst Mayr wrote in his essay Does Microevolution Explain Macroevolution?:

…In this respect, indeed, macroevolution as a field of study is completely decoupled from microevolution.[92]

See also: Creation Ministries International on the second law of thermodynamics and evolution

Creation Ministries International has a great wealth of information on why the second law of thermodynamics is incompatible with the evolutionary paradigm.

Some of their key resources on this matter are:

See also: Theories of evolution

Because the fossil record is characterized by the abrupt appearance of species and stasis in the fossil record the theory of punctuated equilibrium was developed and its chief proponents were Stephen Gould, Niles Eldridge, and Steven Stanley. According to the American Museum of Natural History the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium “asserts that evolution occurs in dramatic spurts interspersed with long periods of stasis”.[93] Because Stephen Gould was the leading proponent of the theory of punctuated equilibrium much of the criticism of the theory has been directed towards Gould.[94][95] The development of a new evolutionary school of thought occurring due to the fossil record not supporting the evolutionary position was not unprecedented. In 1930, Austin H. Clark, an American evolutionary zoologist who wrote 630 articles and books in six languages, came up with an evolutionary hypothesis called zoogenesis which postulated that each of the major types of life forms evolved separately and independently from all the others.[96] Prior to publishing his work entitled The New Evolution: Zoogenesis, Clark wrote in a journal article published in the Quarterly Review of Biology that “so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other.”[97]

In 1995, there was an essay in the New York Review of Books by the late John Maynard Smith, a noted evolutionary biologist who was considered the dean of British neo-Darwinists, and Smith wrote the following regarding Gould’s work in respect to the theory of evolution:

Noted journalist and author Robert Wright , wrote in 1996 that, among top-flight evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pestnot just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped the public’s understanding of Darwinism.[100][101]

Creation scientist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote regarding the implausibility of the theory of punctuated equilibrium and the implausibility of the idea of gradual evolution the following:

Individuals who are against the evolutionary position assert that evolutionary scientists employ extremely implausible “just so stories” to support their position and have done this since at least the time of Charles Darwin.[104][105]

A well known example of a “just so story” is when Darwin, in his Origin of the Species, wrote a chapter entitled “Difficulties on Theory” in which he stated:

Even the prominent evolutionist and geneticist Professor Richard Lewontin admitted the following:

Dr. Sarfati wrote regarding the theory of evolution the following:

Opponents to the theory of evolution commonly point to the following in nature as being implausibly created through evolutionary processes:

Lastly, biochemist Michael Behe wrote the following:

Phillip E. Johnson cites Francis Crick in order to illustrate the fact that the biological world has the strong appearance of being designed:

Stephen C. Meyer offers the following statement regarding the design of the biological world:

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states regarding a candid admission of Charles Darwin:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in natureI said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin’s answer. He looked at me very hard and said, Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times, and he shook his head vaguely, adding, it seems to go away.(Argyll 1885, 244][127]

Research and historical data indicate that a significant portion of atheists/agnostics often see the their lives and the world as being the product of purposeful design (see: Atheism and purpose).[128]

See: Argument from beauty

Advocates of the theory of evolution have often claimed that those who oppose the theory of evolution don’t publish their opposition to the theory of evolution in the appropriate scientific literature (creationist scientists have peer reviewed journals which favor the creationist position).[129][130][131] Recently, there has been articles which were favorable to the intelligent design position in scientific journals which traditionally have favored the theory of evolution.[132]

Karl Popper, a leading philosopher of science and originator of the falsifiability as a criterion of demarcation of science from nonscience,[133] stated that Darwinism is “not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme.”[134] Leading Darwinist and philosopher of science, Michael Ruse declared the concerning Popper’s statement and the actions he took after making that statement: “Since making this claim, Popper himself has modified his position somewhat; but, disclaimers aside, I suspect that even now he does not really believe that Darwinism in its modern form is genuinely falsifiable.”[135]

The issue of the falsifiability of the evolutionary position is very important issue and although offering a poor cure to the problem that Karl Popper described, committed evolutionists Louis Charles Birch & Paul R. Ehrlich stated in the journal Nature:

The Swedish cytogeneticist, Antonio Lima-De-Faria, who has been knighted by the king of Sweden for his scientific achievements, noted that “there has never been a theory of evolution”.[137][138]

See also: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheism and the suppression of science

Many of the leaders of the atheist movement, such as the evolutionist and the new atheist Richard Dawkins, argue for atheism and evolution with a religious fervor (See also: Atheism and evolution).

Daniel Smartt has identified seven dimensions which make up religion: narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. It is not necessary in Smartt’s model for every one of these to be present in order for something to be a religion.[139]. However, it can be argued that all seven are present in the case of atheism.[140][141] Please see: Atheism: A religionand Atheism and Atheism is a religion.

See also: Atheism is a religion and Atheism and evolution

Atheism is a religion and naturalistic notions concerning origins are religious in nature and both have legal implications as far as evolution being taught in public schools.[143][144][145]

John Calvert, a lawyer and intelligent design proponent wrote:

See also:

Continue reading here:

Evolution – Conservapedia

Seastead – Seasteading

 Seasteading  Comments Off on Seastead – Seasteading
Jun 282016
 

From Seasteading

A seastead is a structure which is safe to live on in international waters. The goal is to enable dynamic geography where people can pick which legal system they are in without having to box up their stuff and change houses. Since the focus is on living on the water, not getting anywhere quickly or carrying heavy cargo, a seastead design can sacrifice speed through the water and cargo capacity to achieve lower costs per square foot and greater stability than a boat/yacht/ship of similar price. The goal of seasteading is to make a community of people living on affordable seasteads.

There are several different lines of thinking about what seasteads should look like and the best strategies to get them built. The table below shows the main visions for what we should be working on to advance seasteading.

Note that the above approaches are not mutually exclusive, except in the sense that if you spend your time and money on one you don’t have it to spend on another.

Go here to see the original:

Seastead – Seasteading

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NSA Surveillance – gov1.info

 NSA  Comments Off on NSA Surveillance – gov1.info
Jun 282016
 

Surveillance Techniques: How Your Data Becomes Our Data

In 2001, NSA published the secret “Transition 2001” report defining our strategy for the 21st century. No longer could we simply access analog communications using conventional means, the new digital world of globally-networked encrypted communications required a dramatic change to our surveillance strategy: NSA would need to “live on the network”.

We’ve turned our nation’s Internet and telecommunications companies into collection partners by installing filters in their facilities, serving them with secret court orders, building back doors into their software and acquiring keys to break their encryption.

NSA technicians have installed intercept stations at key junction points, or switches, throughout the country. These switches are located in large windowless buildings owned by the major telecommunication companies and control the domestic internet traffic flow across the nation. A fiber optic splitter is placed on the incoming communication lines and routes the traffic to an NSA intercept station for processing.

View a sample route that internet data traverses from a home in Toronto to the San Francisco Art Institute passing through several NSA intercept stations.

Larger version of map More information about this map

In the past, we used our close partnership with the FBI to collect bulk telephone records on an ongoing basis using a Top Secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The metadata we collected from this program gave us information about what communications you sent and received, who you talked to, where you were when you talked to them, the lengths of your conversations, and what kind of device you were using.

In mid-2015, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act sadly ending this valuable bulk collection program for the time being.

Our partners at the FBI DITU (Data Intercept Technology Unit) extract information from the servers of nine major American internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. This important partnership gives us direct access to audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs for each of these systems.

Established in 2007, the Top Secret PRISM program has allowed us to closely track targeted individuals over time. Our ability to conduct live surveillance of search terms has given us important insights into their thoughts and intentions.

This slide lists our information providers and the type of data available to our analysts

To learn more about the PRISM program, view additional PRISM slides.

The NSA “MUSCULAR” program allows us to conveniently conduct large-scale data gathering outside the jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by secretly tapping into the communication links between Google’s data centers outside the U.S. The Special Source Operations (SSO) group discovered a clever way around Google’s security measures giving us full access to the rich data Google stores on the cloud for its users.

Our bulk cellphone location tracking program captures almost 5 billion records a day and feeds into a massive 27 terabyte database storing information about the locations of a hundred million devices. By tapping into the cables that connect the mobile networks globally and working with our corporate partners to install intercept equipment, we can apply mathematical techniques that enable our analysts to map cellphone owners’ relationships by correlating their patterns of movement over time with thousands or millions of other phone users who cross their paths. This “Co-traveler” program allows us to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.

When the data we seek resides in places we cannot access using the above surveillance techniques, we rely on the technical experts in the Tailored Access Operations Group and their specialized tools from the ANT Product Catalog. The categories of available tools are listed below.

An FBI fleet of over one hundred specially-modified Cessna planes equipped with sophisticated camera systems in steerable mounts that can provide detailed video, night vision, and infrared thermal imaging quietly fly circular routes daily around many major U.S. cities tracking targets and gathering intelligence. Some of the planes use augmented reality software and sophisticated surveillance technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones users.

Zoom in and click on the red map markers to view images of the unusual flight patterns in the FBI’s targeted areas. View the map in full-screen mode.

In June 2015, a Senate bill was introduced to “protect” our citizens from Mass Aerial Surveillance. We are happy to report that no action has been taken on this bill and we have every confidence that Congress will agree with us that mass surveillance “IS” protection for our citizens. You can track the progress of this ill-advised bill below.

By tapping into the worldwide network of undersea cables, our OAKSTAR, STORMBREW, BLARNEY and FAIRVIEW systems can process data as it flows across the internet. Each system is responsible for different types of intercepted data. For example, the BLARNEY system gathers metadata describing who is speaking to whom and through which networks and devices.

There are two methods employed for tapping into the undersea cable network. A modified nuclear submarine houses the technicians and gear needed to place the physical taps on the undersea cables along strategic points in the network. The second method involves using intercept probes at the point where the cables connect to the landing stations in various countries. These probes capture and copy the data as it flows onward.

As data flows through our worldwide data collection points, the XKeyscore system indexes and stores this information in a rolling three-day buffer database containing all internet activity passing through each collection site. XKeyscore is a massive distributed Linux cluster with over 700 servers distributed around the world.

The theory behind XKeyscore is simple: People spend a large amount of time on the web performing actions that are anonymous. We can use this traffic to detect anomalies which can lead us to intelligence by itself, or provide a selection path for further inquiries. Examples of anomalous events: Someone searching the web for “suspicious stuff” or someone who is using encryption.

This slide shows a worldwide map of the XKeyscore server locations

This slide shows how metadata is extracted and stored in the XKeyscore database

Learn more about the XKeyscore system.

The “Boundless Informant” mapping tool provides our analysts the means to track intelligence collection statistics worldwide. Using a color-coded map, we can quickly determine the volume of collection data we have by geographical location. This global heat map assigns each nation a color code based on its surveillance intensity ranging from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). With the monthly domestic intelligence collection volume at almost three billion pieces, the United States is assigned the color orange.

Learn more about the Boundless Informant program

In addition to our own data collection activities, the Domestic Surveillance Directorate receives a constant flow of information from other sources. For more information about these sources, visit Our Partners page.

Originally posted here:
NSA Surveillance – gov1.info

The Four Stages of Financial Independence – The Simple Dollar

 Financial Independence  Comments Off on The Four Stages of Financial Independence – The Simple Dollar
Jun 262016
 

Financial independence is a tricky phrase because it can mean different things to different people.

Right now, I view financial independence as being a state where I no longer have to work for money. Yet, seven or eight years ago, I might have viewed it as simply being free from worrying about my next paycheck. At different points in there, I might have seen financial independence completely differently.

Along the way, Ive come to realize that financial independence is made up of a series of stages. Some people might see more stages, while others might see fewer; I see four clear ones.

In my own financial journey and in the journey of others that Ive had conversations with financial independence generally means the next stage that hasnt been achieved yet.

For example, once upon a time, I viewed financial independence as not needing to rely on my parents or on my very next paycheck to survive. As I achieved that, my definition changed.

Lets walk through these four stages and look at what needs to be done to achieve each one.

According to recent studies, 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In the words of the article:

Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.

In other words, a person is in this category if theyre going to see significant financial problems within a short period if they lose their primary job. You can define short period however you want a month, six months, whatever.

I tend to define it as six months. If you were fired tomorrow and could survive for six months without getting a comparable job and without facing complete financial apocalypse or a huge explosion in your debt, youre probably enjoying freedom from the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. Believe it or not, three in four Americans cant match that level.

A part of this is freedom from financial outpatient support from the Bank of Mom and Dad. If you still require a regular influx of cash from your parents to maintain your current lifestyle, then you are unquestionably still living paycheck to paycheck. Some people receive these kinds of gifts and channel all of it into savings, which is the best way to make financial progress with parental support. You must stand on your own two feet.

How did I do it? We achieved this level in late 2006 or early 2007, perhaps nine months after the beginning of our financial turnaround. We paid off several credit cards and built a very healthy emergency fund during those early months, but it took until the end of the year for us to begin to feel a bit of security about our situation.

How do you get here? The best method is to cut expenses. Live as cheap as possible and use the excess to get your bills up to date and build up some cash in your savings account. If youre not fully employed, look for work as you need income to make this happen. Spend less than you earn and master it, as youll always want to be in that state.

The next level of financial independence, in my experience, is freedom from debt. Why is this such a vital level? It represents the clearest possible case for minimizing ones monthly expenditures. Once your debts are gone, your set of monthly bills is going to be awfully small, plus you wont be giving away money in the form of interest payments.

When most people reach debt freedom, theyre often stunned at the amount of cash sitting in their checking account. It becomes much, much easier to invest for the future as you can take the money that was disappearing into a black hole of debt and instead apply it to your future. Youre building wealth instead of undoing earlier mistakes.

How did I do it? We achieved freedom from all non-mortgage debts in 2008 and complete debt freedom in 2011. Not only did it feel like a huge weight left our shoulders at that point, we noticed that our financial growth really began to accelerate. With no debt payments, we moved to a model where we have been banking my entire income since early 2012.

How do you get here? Build and execute a debt repayment plan. Keep your expenses low so that you can blow through that plan.

At this point, you can lose any of your family income streams and youll still survive. If you lose your primary job, you can keep rolling in perpetuity. You still need to work for a living, but none of your methods of earning money are a requirement. A pink slip is just shrugged off and changing career paths is completely fine.

Ideally, this is true because you have income arriving from a number of different sources. Maybe you earn money from your primary job, your investments, an array of Youtube videos youve posted, and maybe a book you wrote a year or two ago. If you lose any of those streams, youre still fine it just means you devote more time to the other ones. If you find your passion is gone from one of those streams, you can simply close one out and move to another one.

How did I do it? Sarah and I achieved this threshold sometime in late 2012 or early 2013. During that time, Sarah realistically thought about leaving her current career path for a while to pursue other things and we realized during that conversation that our finances really werent the primary part of the discussion any more. Yes, there would have been financial impact from that choice, but the discussion mostly revolved around Sarahs personal goals. She was free from her job at that point; she chose to stick with it because she realized how much she loved her work.

How do you get here? Invest for the future so that your money starts producing income on your own. Spend some of your spare time creating things that generate income for you, like writing a book or recording Youtube videos. Keep your expenses low so that you can afford to invest a lot and so that losing an income stream isnt devastating.

The final level which is the target that Sarah and I have for the future comes when your investment income exceeds your living expenses, which means that you no longer have to work for money. You can spend your time however you wish as long as you dont spend money foolishly. Ideally, your income from investments exceeds your spending so that you can roll some of that investment income into more investments, making you more or less inflation proof.

Our goal is to achieve this level by 2020 or so. Were aware that we do have the expensive mountain of three children entering into postsecondary education all within five years in the early 2020s; otherwise, wed probably be able to achieve it sooner than that.

How do you get here? Keep investing. Eventually, when you get close, invest in things that produce direct income for you, such as dividend-paying stocks or rental properties. Keep your expenses low, too.

Theres one common thread running through all of these stages: keep your spending under control. No matter where youre at financially, frivolous spending is your enemy. It pushes your financial goals away from you and increases the time it takes to move to the next level.

Still, its a balancing act. Sometimes, expenses that bring joy today are worth putting off that financial progress. The key is recognizing that your spending is slowing down your progress. Always question your unnecessary desires; let them thrive sometimes, but put the stops on the sillier ones.

This progression isnt going to happen immediately. Sarah and I took years to move from level to level, and we threw ourselves deeply into frugality while we were both working full-time jobs and I was starting a significant side business that was very time intensive and personal labor intensive. Be patient.

One final thought: it feels great to achieve each level. It makes your day-to-day life feel less challenging and less stressful. You experience much more freedom than before and you include many more factors such as personal happiness and engagement when making major life and career decisions.

Best of luck in your financial journey!

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The Four Stages of Financial Independence – The Simple Dollar

 Posted by at 10:56 am  Tagged with:

Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia

 Caribbean  Comments Off on Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia
Jun 262016
 

The Caribbean (also known as the West Indies) is a region of the Americas consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands, and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of North America, east of Central America, and to the northwest of South America. The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups, The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the area comprises more than seven thousand islands, islets, reefs, and cays. Geopolitically, the West Indies is usually regarded as a sub-region of North America and is organized into 28 territories including sovereign states, overseas departments, and dependencies.

The Caribbean is a favorite destination for vacationers because of its beautiful beaches and tropical climate, as well as the exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands.

History reveals the significant role these islands played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as in the twentieth century Cold War era. Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations.

The name “Caribbean” is named after the Caribs, one of the dominant Amerindian groups in the region at the time of European contact during the late fifteenth century.

The term “West Indies” originates from Christopher Columbus’s idea that he had landed in the Indies (then meaning all of southeast Asia, particularly India) when he had actually reached the Americas.

The Spanish term Antillas was commonly assigned to the newly discovered lands; stemming from this, “Sea of the Antilles” is a common alternate name for the Caribbean Sea in various European languages.

In the English-speaking Caribbean, someone from the Caribbean is usually referred to as a “West Indian,” although the rather cumbersome phrase “Caribbean person” is sometimes used. The use of the words “Caribbean” and “Caribbeans” to refer to a West Indian or West Indians is largely known in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Spanish-speaking Caribbeans do not like to be called Hispanics or Latins due to the significant differences between the South and Central American countries. Spanish-speaking Caribbeans not only have different native origins but they also have different histories, (Spanish) dialects, cultures, traditions, food, and moral and religious beliefs. They relate more easily to fellow Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries, specifically Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba due to similar culture, history and Spanish dialect.

The islands of the Caribbean are sorted into three main island groups: The Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles consists of Cuba, Jamaica, the island of Hispaniola (composed of Haiti on the west side and the Dominican Republic on the east side) and Puerto Rico. The Lesser Antilles consists of all the other islands in the Caribbean that are not a part of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles or an island belonging to a continental nation. The Lesser Antilles are further grouped into the Windward and Leeward Islands.

The Leeward Islands are the northern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of The Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin, Saba (Netherlands Antilles), St. Eustatius (Netherlands Antilles), St. Barthlemy, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, and Dominica. The Windward Islands are the Southern portion of the Lesser Antilles and consist of Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The geography and climate in the Caribbean region varies from one place to another. Some islands in the region have relatively flat terrain of non-volcanic origin. Such islands include Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, the Cayman Islands, and Anguilla. Others possess rugged, towering mountain ranges like the islands of Cuba, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, and Trinidad.

The climate of the region mainly ranges between sub-tropical to tropical and depends a great deal upon location in proximity to the tradewinds from the Atlantic. The Tradewinds blow towards the Eastern Caribbean Islands and head northwest up the chain of Windward Islands. There are no sharply marked changes between winter and summer in the West Indies. Average January temperatures range between 71F to 77F (22C to 25C), and average July temperatures range from 77F to 84F (25C to 29C). Climate can vary widely, especially on larger islands, where high mountains can give rise to variations from coastal weather patterns. The main difference between seasons is the amount of rainfall.

Hurricane season plays a large role in bringing rainfall to the Caribbean. However, on the larger islands the mountains have a strong effect on weather patterns and causes relief rainfall.

The Puerto Rico Trench located on the fringe of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea just to the north of the island of Puerto Rico is said to be the deepest point in the entire Atlantic Ocean. In the waters of the Caribbean Sea, coral reef formations and large migratory schools of fish and turtles can be found.

The Caribbean Islands support exceptionally diverse ecosystems, ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands. These ecosystems have been devastated by deforestation and human encroachment. The hotspot has dozens of highly threatened species, including two species of solenodon (giant shrews) and the Cuban crocodile. The hotspot is also remarkable for the diminutive nature of much of its fauna.

The Caribbean is home to 6,550 native plants, 41 native mammals, 163 native birds, 469 native reptiles, 170 native amphibians and 65 native freshwater fish. Many islands are home to their own species of native plants and animals, particularly Cuba, which is home to more than half the region’s native plants.

The history of the Caribbean reveals the significant role the region played in the colonial struggles of the European powers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the twentieth century the Caribbean was again important during World War II, in the decolonization wave in the post-war period, and in the tension between Communist Cuba and the United States. Genocide, slavery, immigration, and rivalry between world powers have given Caribbean history an impact disproportionate to the size of this small region.

The oldest evidence of humans in the Caribbean is in southern Trinidad at Banwari Trace, where remains have been found from seven thousand years ago. These pre-ceramic sites, which belong to the Archaic (pre-ceramic) age, have been termed Ortoiroid. The earliest archaeological evidence of human settlement in Hispaniola dates to about 3600 B.C.E., but the reliability of these finds is questioned. Consistent dates of 3100 B.C.E. appear in Cuba. The earliest dates in the Lesser Antilles are from 2000 B.C.E. in Antigua. A lack of pre-ceramic sites in the Windward Islands and differences in technology suggest that these Archaic settlers may have Central American origins. Whether an Ortoiroid colonization of the islands took place is uncertain, but there is little evidence of one.

Between 400 B.C.E. and 200 B.C.E. the first ceramic-using agriculturalists, the Saladoid culture, entered Trinidad from South America. They expanded up the Orinoco River to Trinidad, and then spread rapidly up the islands of the Caribbean. Some time after 250 C.E. another group, the Barancoid, entered Trinidad. The Barancoid society collapsed along the Orinoco around 650 C.E. and another group, the Arauquinoid, expanded into these areas and up the Caribbean chain. Around 1300 C.E. a new group, the Mayoid, entered Trinidad and remained the dominant culture until Spanish settlement.

At the time of the European discovery of most of the islands of the Caribbean, three major Amerindian indigenous peoples lived on the islands: the Tano in the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and the Leeward Islands, the Island Caribs and Galibi in the Windward Islands, and the Ciboney in western Cuba. The Tanos are subdivided into Classic Tanos, who occupied Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, Western Tanos, who occupied Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamian archipelago, and the Eastern Tanos, who occupied the Leeward Islands. Trinidad was inhabited by both Carib speaking and Arawak-speaking groups.

Soon after Christopher Columbus came to the Caribbean, both Portuguese and Spanish explorers began claiming territories in Central and South America. These early colonies brought gold to Europe; most specifically England, the Netherlands, and France. These nations hoped to establish profitable colonies in the Caribbean. Colonial rivalries made the Caribbean a cockpit for European wars for centuries.

During the first voyage of the explorer Christopher Columbus (mandated by the Spanish crown), contact was made with the Lucayans in the Bahamas and the Tano in Cuba and the northern coast of Hispaniola, and a few of the native people were taken back to Spain. Small amounts of gold were found in their personal ornaments and other objects such as masks and belts. The Spanish, who came seeking wealth, enslaved the native population and rapidly drove them to near-extinction. To supplement the Amerindian labor, the Spanish later began bringing African slaves to their colonies. Although Spain claimed the entire Caribbean, they settled only the larger islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad.

After the Spanish Empire declined, in part due to the reduced native population of the area from diseases carried from Europe, to which the native peoples had no natural resistance, other European powers established a presence in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean region was war-torn throughout much of its colonial history, but the wars were often based in Europe, with only minor battles fought in the Caribbean. Some wars, however, were born of political turmoil in the Caribbean itself. The wars fought in the Caribbean included:

Haiti, the former French colony of St. Domingue on Hispaniola, was the first Caribbean nation to gain independence from European powers when, in 1791, a slave rebellion of the Black Jacobins led by Toussaint l’Ouverture started the Haitian Revolution, establishing Haiti as a free, black republic by 1804. Haiti became the world’s oldest black republic, and the second-oldest republic in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States. The remaining two-thirds of Hispaniola were conquered by Haitian forces in 1821. In 1844, the newly-formed Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti.

Some Caribbean nations gained independence from European powers in the nineteenth century. Some smaller states are still dependencies of European powers today. Cuba remained a Spanish colony until the Spanish American War.

Between 1958 and 1962 most of the British-controlled Caribbean became the West Indies Federation before they separated into many separate nations.

Since the Monroe Doctrine, the United States gained a major influence on most Caribbean nations. In the early part of the twentieth century this influence was extended by participation in The Banana Wars. Areas outside British or French control became known in Europe as “America’s tropical empire.”

Victory in the Spanish-American War and the signing of the Platt Amendment in 1901 ensured that the United States would have the right to interfere in Cuban political and economic affairs, militarily if necessary. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, relations deteriorated rapidly leading to the Bay of Pigs venture, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and successive U.S. attempts to destabilize the island, based upon Cold War fears of the Soviet threat. The U.S. invaded and occupied Hispaniola for 19 years (19151934), subsequently dominating the Haitian economy through aid and loan repayments. The U.S. invaded Haiti again in 1994 and in 2004 were accused by CARICOM of arranging a coup d’tat to remove elected Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In 1965 23,000 U.S. troops were sent to the Dominican Republic to quash a local uprising against military rule. President Lyndon Johnson had ordered the invasion to stem what he deemed to be a “Communist threat.” However, the mission appeared ambiguous and was roundly condemned throughout the hemisphere as a return to gunboat diplomacy. In 1983 the U.S. invaded Grenada to remove populist left-wing leader Maurice Bishop. The U.S. maintains a naval military base in Cuba at Guantanamo Bay. The base is one of five unified commands whose “area of responsibility” is Latin America and the Caribbean. The command is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Most islands at some point were, or still are, colonies of European nations:

The British West Indies were formerly united by the United Kingdom into a West Indies Federation. The independent countries which were once a part of the British West Indies still have a unified composite cricket team that successfully competes in test matches and one-day internationals. The West Indian cricket team includes the South American nation of Guyana, the only former British colony on that continent.

In addition, these countries share the University of the West Indies as a regional entity. The university consists of three main campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, a smaller campus in the Bahamas, and resident tutors in other contributing territories.

The nations of Belize and Guyana, although on the mainland of Central America and South America respectively, are former British colonies and maintain many cultural ties to the Caribbean and are members of CARICOM (Caribbean Community). Guyana participates in West Indies cricket tournaments and many players from Guyana have been in the West Indies Test cricket team. The Turneffe Islands (and many other islands and reefs) are part of Belize and lie in the Caribbean Sea. The nation of Suriname, on the mainland of South America, is a former Dutch colony and also a member of CARICOM.

Some of the bodies that several islands share in collaboration include:

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Caribbean – New World Encyclopedia

In a Huge Breakthrough, Googles AI Beats a Top Player at …

 Ai  Comments Off on In a Huge Breakthrough, Googles AI Beats a Top Player at …
Jun 262016
 

Slide: 1 / of 1 .

Caption: Google

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, a computing system developed by Google researchers in Great Britain has beaten a top human player at the game of Go, the ancient Eastern contest of strategy and intuition that has bedeviled AI experts for decades.

Machines have topped the best humans at most games held up as measures of human intellect, including chess, Scrabble, Othello, even Jeopardy!. But with Goa 2,500-year-old game thats exponentially more complex than chesshumangrandmasters have maintained an edge over even the most agile computing systems. Earlier this month, top AI experts outside of Google questioned whether a breakthrough couldoccuranytimesoon, and as recently as last year, many believed another decade would pass before a machine could beat the top humans.

But Google has done just that. It happened faster than I thought, says Rmi Coulom, the French researcher behind what was previously the worlds top artificially intelligent Go player.

In theory, such training only produces a system that’s as good as the best humans—not better. So researchers matched their AI system against itself.

Researchers at DeepMinda self-professed Apollo program for AI that Google acquiredin 2014staged this machine-versus-mancontest in October, at the companys offices inLondon. The DeepMind system, dubbed AlphaGo, matched its artificial wits against Fan Hui, Europes reigning Go champion, and the AI system went undefeated in five games witnessed by an editor from the journal Nature and an arbiter representing the British Go Federation. It was one of the most excitingmoments in my career, both as a researcher and as an editor, the Nature editor, Dr. Tanguy Chouard, said during a conference call with reporterson Tuesday.

This morning,Nature published a paper describing DeepMinds system, which makes clever use of, among other techniques, an increasingly important AI technology called deep learning. Using a vast collection of Go moves from expert playersabout 30 million moves in totalDeepMind researchers trained their system to play Go on its own. But this was merely a first step. In theory, such training only produces a system as good as the best humans. To beat the best, the researchers then matched their systemagainst itself. This allowed them togenerate a new collectionof moves they could then use to train a new AI player that could top a grandmaster.

The most significant aspect of all thisis that AlphaGo isnt just an expert system, built with handcrafted rules, says Demis Hassabis, who oversees DeepMind. Instead, it uses general machine-learning techniques how to win at Go.

‘Go is implicit. It’s all pattern matching. But that’s what deep learning does very well.’ Demis Hassabis, DeepMind

The win is more than a novelty. Online services likeGoogle, Facebook, and Microsoft, already use deep learning to identify images, recognize spoken words, and understand natural language. DeepMinds techniques, which combine deep learning with atechnology called reinforcement learning and other methods, point the way to a future where real-world robots can learn to perform physical tasks and respond to their environment. Its a natural fit for robotics, Hassabis says.

He also believes these methods can accelerate scientific research. He envisions scientists working alongside artificially intelligent systems that can home in on areas of research likely to be fruitful. The system could process much larger volumes of data and surface the structural insight to the human expert in a way that is much more efficientor maybe not possible for the human expert, Hassabis explains. The system could even suggest a way forward that might point the human expert to a breakthrough.

But at the moment, Go remains his primary concern. After beating a grandmaster behind closed doors, Hassabis and his team aim to beat one of the worlds topplayers in a public forum. In mid-March, in South Korea, AlphaGo will challenge Lee Sedol, who holdsmore international titles than all but one player and has won the most over the past decade. Hassabis sees him as the Roger Federer of the Go world.

In early 2014, Couloms Go-playing program, Crazystone, challengedgrandmaster Norimoto Yoda at a tournament in Japan. And itwon. But the win came with caveat: the machine had a four-move head start, a significantadvantage. At the time, Coulom predicted that it would be another 10years before machinesbeat the best players without a head start.

The challenge lies in the nature of the game. Even the most powerful supercomputers lack the processing power toanalyze the results of every possible move in any reasonable amount of time. When Deep Blue topped world chess champion Gary Kasparov in 1997, it did so with whats calledbrute force. In essence, IBMs supercomputer analyzed the outcome of every possible move, looking further ahead than any human possibly could. Thats simply not possible with Go. In chess, at any given turn, there are an average 35 possible moves. WithGoin which two players compete with polished stones on 19-by-19 gridthere are 250. And each of those 250 has another 250, and so on. As Hassabis points out, there are more possible positions on a Go board than atoms in the universe.

Players will tell you to make moves based on the general appearance of the board, not by closely analyzing how each move will play out.

Using a technique called a Monte Carlo tree search, systems like Crazystone can look pretty far ahead. And in conjunction with other techniques, they can pare down thefieldof possibilities they mustanalyze. In the end, they canbeat some talented playersbut not the best.Among grandmasters, moves are rather intuitive. Players will tell you to make moves based on the general appearance of the board, not by closely analyzing how each move mightplay out. Good positions look good, says Hassabis, himself a Go player. It seems to follow some kind of aesthetic. Thats why it has been such a fascinating game for thousands of years.

But as 2014 gave way to 2015, several AI experts, including researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Facebook as well as the team at DeepMind, started applying deep learning to the Go problem. The idea was thetechnology could mimic the human intuition that Go requires. Go is implicit. Its all pattern matching, says Hassabis. But thats what deep learning does very well.

Deep learning relies on what are called neural networksnetworks of hardware and software that approximate the web of neurons in the human brain. These networks dont operate by brute forceorhandcrafted rules. They analyze large amounts of data in an effort to learn a particular task. Feed enough photos of a wombatinto a neural net, and it can learn to identify a wombat. Feed it enough spoken words, and it can learn to recognize what you say. Feed it enough Go moves, and it can learn to play Go.

At DeepMind and Edinburgh and Facebook, researchers hoped neural networks could master Go by looking at board positions, much likea human plays. As Facebook showed in a recent research paper, thetechnique works quite well. Bypairing deep learning andthe Monte Carlo Tree method, Facebook beat some human playersthough not Crazystone and other top creations.

But DeepMind pushes this ideamuch further. After training on 30 million human moves, a DeepMind neural net could predict the next human move about 57 percent of the timean impressive number (the previous record was 44 percent). ThenHassabis and team matched thisneural net against slightly different versions of itself through whats called reinforcement learning. Essentially, as the neural nets play each other, the system tracks which move brings the most rewardthe most territory on the board. Over time, it gets better and better at recognizing which moves will work and which wont.

AlphaGo learned to discover new strategies for itself, by playing millions of games between its neural networks, against themselves, and gradually improving, says DeepMind researcher David Silver.

According to Silver, this allowed AlphaGo to top other Go-playing AI systems, including Crazystone. Then the researchers fed the results into a second neural network. Grabbing moves suggested by the self-play, this neural network looks ahead to the results of each move. This is similar to whatolder systems like Deep Blue would do with chess, except that the system is learning as it goes along, as it analyzes more datanot exploring every possible outcome through brute force. In this way, AlphaGo learned to beat not only existing AI programs but a top human as well.

Like most state-of-the-art neural networks, DeepMinds system runs atop machines equipped with graphics processing units, or GPUs. These chips were originally designed to render images for games and other graphics-intensiveapplications. But as it turns out, theyre also well suited to deep learning. Hassabis says DeepMindssystem works pretty well on a single computer equipped with a decent number of GPU chips, but for the match against Fan Hui, the researchersused a larger network of computers that spanned about 170 GPU cards and 1,200 standard processors, or CPUs. This larger computer network both trained the system andplayed the actual game, drawing on the results of the training.

When AlphaGo plays the world champion in South Korea, Hassabiss team will use thesame setup, though theyre constantly working to improve it. That means theyll need an Internet connection to play Lee Sedol. Were laying down our own fiber, Hassabis says.

According to Coulom and others, topping the world champion will be more challenging thantopping Fan Hui. But Coulom is betting on DeepMind. He has spent the past decadetrying to build a system capable of beatingthe worlds best players, and now, he believes that system is here. Im busy buying some GPUs, he says.

The importance of AlphaGo is enormous. The same techniques could be applied not only to robotics and scientific research, but so many other tasks, from Siri-like mobile digital assistants to financial investments. You can apply it to any adversarial problemanything that you can conceive of as a game, where strategy matters, says Chris Nicholson, founder of the deep learning startup Skymind. That includes war or business or [financial] trading.

For some, thats a worrying thingespecially when they consider that DeepMinds system is, in more ways than one, teaching itself to play Go. The system isnt just learning from data provided by humans. Its learning by playing itself, by generating its own data. In recent months, Tesla founder Elon Musk and others have voiced concerns that such AI system eventually could exceed human intelligence and potentially break free from our control.

But DeepMinds system is very much under the control of Hassabis and his researchers. And though they used it to crack a remarkably complex game, it is still just a game. Indeed, AlphaGo is a long way from real human intelligencemuch less superintelligence. This is a highly structured situation, says Ryan Calo, an AI-focused law professor and the founder of the Tech Policy Lab at the University of Washington. Its not really human-level understanding. But it points in the direction. If DeepMinds AI can understand Go, then maybe it can understand a whole lot more. What if the universe, Calo says, is just a giant game of Go?

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In a Huge Breakthrough, Googles AI Beats a Top Player at …

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Immortality, Transhumanism, and Ray Kurzweils Singularity

 Transhumanism  Comments Off on Immortality, Transhumanism, and Ray Kurzweils Singularity
Jun 262016
 

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended. Vernor Vinge, Technological Singularity, 1983

Futurist and Inventor Ray Kurzweil has a plan: He wants to never die.

In order to achieve this goal, he currently takes over 150 supplements per day, eats a calorie restricted diet (a proven technique to prolong lifespan), drinks ionized water (a type of alkalinized water that supposedly protects against free radicals in the body), and exercises daily, all to promote the healthy functioning of his body; and at 60 years old, he reportedly has the physiology of a man 20 years younger.

But the human body, no matter how well you take care of it, is susceptible to illness, disease, and senescence the process of cellular change in the body that results in that little thing we all do called aging. (This cellular process is why humans are physiologically unable to live past the age of around 125 years old.) Kurzweil is well aware of this, but has a solution: he is just trying to live long enough in his human body until technology reaches the point where man can meld with machine, and he can survive as a cyborg with robotically enhanced features; survive, that is, until the day when he can eventually upload his consciousness onto a harddrive, enabling him to live forever as bits of information stored indefinitely; immortal, in a sense, as long as he has a copy of himself in case the computer fails.

What happens if these technological abilities dont come soon enough? Kurzweil has a back-up plan. If, for some reason, this mind-machine blend doesnt occur in his biological lifetime, Kurzweil is signed up at Alcor Life Extension Foundation to be cryonically frozen and kept in Scottsdale, Arizona, amongst approximately 900 other stored bodies (including famous baseball player Ted Williams) who are currently stored. There at Alcor, he will wait until the day when scientists discover the ability to reanimate life back into him and not too long, as Kurzweil believes this day will be in about 50 years.

Watch a video on Alcor and Cryonics here:

Ray Kurzweil is a fascinating and controversial figure, both famous and infamous for his technological predictions. He is a respected scientist and inventor, known for his accurate predictions of a number of technological events, and recently started The Singularity University here in Silicon Valley, an interdisciplinary program (funded in part by Google) aimed to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders around issues of accelerating technologies.

Ray Kurzweil

Kurzweils most well-known predictions are encapsulated in this event he forecasts called The Singularity, a period of time he predicts in the next few decades when artificial intelligence will exceed human intelligence, and technologies like genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and computer technology will radically transform human life, enabling mind, body and machine to become one.

He is also a pioneer of a movement called transhumanism, which is defined by this belief that technology will ultimately replace biology, and rid human beings of all the things that, well, make us human, like disease, aging, and you guessed itdeath. Why be human when you can be something better? When Artificial intelligence and nanotechnology comes around in the singularity, Kurzweil thinks, being biologically human will become obsolete. With cyborg features and enhanced cognitive capacities, we will have fewer deficiencies, and more capabilities; we will possess the ability to become more like machines, and well be better for it.

Watch A Preview For A Film About Kurzweil entitled Transcendent Man:

Kurzweil outlines his vision of our technological future in his article Reinventing Humanity: The Future of Machine-Human Intelligence for Futurist Magazine, which raises some juicy points to consider from the perspective of ethics and technology. He explains The Singularity, in his own words,:

We stand on the threshold of the most profound and transformative event in the history of humanity, the singularity.

What is the Singularity? From my perspective, the Singularity is a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so fast and far-reaching that human existence on this planet will be irreversibly altered. We will combine our brain powerthe knowledge, skills, and personality quirks that make us humanwith our computer power in order to think, reason, communicate, and create in ways we can scarcely even contemplate today.

This merger of man and machine, coupled with the sudden explosion in machine intelligence and rapid innovation in the fields of gene research as well as nanotechnology, will result in a world where there is no distinction between the biological and the mechanical, or between physical and virtual reality. These technological revolutions will allow us to transcend our frail bodies with all their limitations. Illness, as we know it, will be eradicated. Through the use of nanotechnology, we will be able to manufacture almost any physical product upon demand, world hunger and poverty will be solved, and pollution will vanish. Human existence will undergo a quantum leap in evolution. We will be able to live as long as we choose. The coming into being of such a world is, in essence, the Singularity.

The details of the coming Singularity, Kurzweil outlines, will occur in three areas: The genetic revolution, the nanotech revolution, and strong AI: which means, essentially, machines that are smarter than humans.

The first he describes is the nanotechnology revolution, which refers to a type of technology that manipulates matter on an atomic and molecular scale, potentially allowing us to reassemble matter in a variety of ways. Kurzweil believes nanotechnology will give us the capability to create atomic size robots that can clean our blood cells and eradicate disease; he also thinks nanotechnology will allow us to create essentially anything by assembling it through nanobots (for example, he thinks that nanotechnology will enable us to e-mail physical things like clothing, much like we can currently e-mail audio-files). He explains:

The nanotechnology revolution will enable us to redesign and rebuildmolecule by moleculeour bodies and brains and the world with which we interact, going far beyond the limitations of biology.

In the future, nanoscale devices will run hundreds of tests simultaneously on tiny samples of a given substance. These devices will allow extensive tests to be conducted on nearly invisible samples of blood.

In the area of treatment, a particularly exciting application of this technology is the harnessing of nanoparticles to deliver medication to specific sites in the body. Nanoparticles can guide drugs into cell walls and through the blood-brain barrier. Nanoscale packages can be designed to hold drugs, protect them through the gastrointestinal tract, ferry them to specific locations, and then release them in sophisticated ways that can be influenced and controlled, wirelessly, from outside the body.

In regards to AI, Kurzweil envisions what will eventually become a post-human future, where we upload our consciousness to computers and live forever as stored information:

The implementation of artificial intelligence in our biological systems will mark an evolutionary leap forward for humanity, but it also implies we will indeed become more machine than human. Billions of nanobots will travel through the bloodstream in our bodies and brains. In our bodies, they will destroy pathogens, correct DNA errors, eliminate toxins, and perform many other tasks to enhance our physical well-being. As a result, we will be able to live indefinitely without aging.

Despite the wonderful future potential of medicine, real human longevity will only be attained when we move away from our biological bodies entirely. As we move toward a software-based existence, we will gain the means of backing ourselves up (storing the key patterns underlying our knowledge, skills, and personality in a digital setting) thereby enabling a virtual immortality. Thanks to nanotechnology, we will have bodies that we can not just modify but change into new forms at will. We will be able to quickly change our bodies in full-immersion virtual-reality environments incorporating all of the senses during the 2020s and in real reality in the 2040s.

Now, the idea of becoming nanobot driven robots is hard to wrap ones head around, particurlaly living in a time when people struggle to get their blue-tooths to work correctly. But even though to most people, these predictions seem very extreme, Kurzweil explains why he thinks these changes are coming fast, even if we cant conceive of them now. He explains that, in the vein of Moores law (which describes how the density of transistors on computer chips has doubled every two years since its invention), technology develops exponentially and thus the rate of change is rapidly increasing in the modern day:

We wont experience 100 years of technological advance in the twenty-first century; we will witness on the order of 20,000 years of progress

How is it possible we could be so close to this enormous change and not see it? The answer is the quickening nature of technological innovation. In thinking about the future, few people take into consideration the fact that human scientific progress is exponential

In other words, the twentieth century was gradually speeding up to todays rate of progress; its achievements, therefore, were equivalent to about 20 years of progress at the rate of 2000. Well make another 20 years of progress in just 14 years (by 2014), and then do the same again in only seven years. To express this another way, we wont experience 100 years of technological advance in the twenty-first century; we will witness on the order of 20,000 years of progress (again, when measured by todays progress rate), or progress on a level of about 1,000 times greater than what was achieved in the twentieth century.

Reflections

There are so many questions to ask, its hard to know where to start. Considering The Singularity, many questions arise (the first, which youre probably thinking, is Is this really possible?!) But that question put temporarily aside, some questions seem to be: what are the promise and perils of nanotechnology, and how can we approach them responsibly?What types of genetic engineering, if any, should we pursue, and what types should we avoid? If we really could live forever, should weparticularly if it meant living no longer as humans, but as machines? And what happens to who we are as human beings our beliefs, our religions and faiths, our thoughts about our purpose if we pursue this type of future?

Each of these topics is rife with ethical and existential questions; and discussion of many of them requires scientific knowledge that extends beyond my ability to represent them here. But contemplating these questions broadly, even in spite of extensive knowledge of their specifics, brings into focus some fundamental questions about the principles of human experience, and about the broad issue of our technological future and how to approach it.The more we envision a technologically saturated future, I think, the more our human values are called upon to be revealed as we react, respond, flinch, or embrace the pictures of our future reflected in these predictions. They ask us to consider: what do we value about being human? What do we want to hold on to about being human, and what do want to replace, augment, and transform with technology? Is living as stored information really any life at all?

In addition to these questions, exploring these futuristic issues calls us to consider some of our fundamental principles about technology. A basic yet extremely complex question arises: Should all technology be pursued? In other words, should we ever restrict technological innovation, and say that some technologies, because of their risks to humanity, or to certain human values simply shouldnt be developed?

Reflections on this question bring up the topic of techno-optimism and techno-pessimism, which I wrote about briefly here.

Kurzweil, it seems to go without saying, is a fullfledged techno-optimist, interested in letting technology run its full reign, even if that means leaving everything that is recognizeably human behind. He concedes that we need to be responsible about our use of nanotechnology a technology which some fear could bring about the end of the world (see the grey goo theory) but for the most part is a proponent of full fledged technological expansion. Reflection is important, but no amount should limit technologies:

We dont have to look past today to see the intertwined promise and peril of technological advancement, he says. Imagine describing the dangers (atomic and hydrogen bombs for one thing) that exist today to people who lived a couple of hundred years ago. They would think it mad to take such risks. But how many people in 2006 would really want to go back to the short, brutish, disease-filled, poverty-stricken, disaster-prone lives that 99% of the human race struggled through two centuries ago?

We may romanticize the past, but up until fairly recently most of humanity lived extremely fragile lives in which one all-too-common misfortune could spell disaster. Two hundred years ago, life expectancy for females in the record-holding country (Sweden) was roughly 35-five years, very brief compared with the longest life expectancy today-almost 85 years for Japanese women. Life expectancy for males was roughly 33 years, compared with the current 79 years. Half a day was often required to prepare an evening meal, and hard labor characterized most human activity. There were no social safety nets. Substantial portions of our species still live in this precarious way, which is at least one reason to continue technological progress and the economic improvement that accompanies it. Only technology, with its ability to provide orders of magnitude of advances in capability and affordability has the scale to confront problems such as poverty, disease, pollution, and the other overriding concerns of society today. The benefits of applying ourselves to these challenges cannot be overstated.

But another, more technologically conservative view is important to consider, one characterized by thinkers who question whether these technologies should be proliferated, or even pursued at all.

William Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, famously countered Kurzweils predictions in his article, Why The Future Doesnt Need Us. He opens his article discussing his meeting with Kurzweil:

I had always felt sentient robots were in the realm of science fiction. But now, from someone I respected, I was hearing a strong argument that they were a near-term possibility

From the moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me, but it was only in the autumn of 1998 that I became anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the 21stcentury. I can date the onset of my unease to the day I met Ray Kurzweil, the deservedly famous inventor of the first reading machine for the blind and many other amazing things.

I had always felt sentient robots were in the realm of science fiction. But now, from someone I respected, I was hearing a strong argument that they were a near-term possibility. I was taken aback, especially given Rays proven ability to imagine and create the future. I already knew that new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world, but a realistic and imminent scenario for intelligent robots surprised me.

Joy then discusses how these technologies (namely nanotechnology and artificial intelligence) pose a new, unparralleled threat to humanity, and that as a result, we shouldnt pursue them in fact, we should purposefully restrict them, on the principle that the amount of harm and threat they pose to humanity itself outweighs what benefit they could bring.

Accustomed to living with almost routine scientific breakthroughs, we have yet to come to terms with the fact that the most compelling 21st-century technologies robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology pose a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.

Failing to understand the consequences of our inventions while we are in the rapture of discovery and innovation seems to be a common fault of scientists and technologists; we have long been driven by the overarching desire to know that is the nature of sciences quest, not stopping to notice that the progress to newer and more powerful technologies can take on a life of its own.

We are being propelled into this new century with no plan, no control, no brakes. Have we already gone too far down the path to alter course? I dont believe so, but we arent trying yet, and the last chance to assert control the fail-safe point is rapidly approaching. We have our first pet robots, as well as commercially available genetic engineering techniques, and our nanoscale techniques are advancing rapidly. While the development of these technologies proceeds through a number of steps, it isnt necessarily the case as happened in the Manhattan Project and the Trinity test that the last step in proving a technology is large and hard. The breakthrough to wild self-replication in robotics, genetic engineering, or nanotechnology could come suddenly, reprising the surprise we felt when we learned of the cloning of a mammal.

He closes his essay saying:

Thoreau also said that we will be rich in proportion to the number of things which we can afford to let alone. We each seek to be happy, but it would seem worthwhile to question whether we need to take such a high risk of total destruction to gain yet more knowledge and yet more things; common sense says that there is a limit to our material needs and that certain knowledge is too dangerous and is best forgone.

Neither should we pursue near immortality without considering the costs A technological approach to Eternity near immortality through robotics may not be the most desirable utopia, and its pursuit brings clear dangers. Maybe we should rethink our utopian choices.

Another view that counters Kurzweils is presented by Richard Eckersley, focused a bit less on the scientific dangers and more on the threat to human values:

Why pursue this(Kurzweils) future?The future world that Ray Kurzweil describes bears almost no relationship to human well-being that I am aware of. In essence, human health and happiness comes from being connected and engaged, from being suspended in a web of relationships and interestspersonal, social and spiritual that give meaning to our lives. The intimacy and support provided by close personal relationships seem to matter most; isolation exacts the highest price. The need to belong is more important than the need to be rich. Meaning matters more than money and what it buys.

We are left with the matter of destiny: it is our preordained fate, Kurzweil suggests, to advance technologically until the entire universe is at our fingertips. The question then becomes, preordained by whom or what? Biological evolution has not set this course for us; Is technology itself the planner? Perhaps it will eventually be, but not yet.

We are left to conclude that we will do this because it is we who have decided it is our destiny.

Joy and Eckersley powerfully warn against our pursuit of a Kurzweil-type future. So we may be able to have the technical ability to achieve machine-like capacities; does that mean we should? This technological future, though perhaps possible, should not be preferable. The technologies that Kurzweil speaks of are dangerous, presenting a new type of threat that we have not before faced as humans and the risks of pursuing them far outweigh the benefits.

We may find ourselves equipped with the capacity to alter ourselves and the world, and yet unable to handle or control that immense power

If we are to continue down Kurzweils path, we may be able to pursue remarkable things conceived of mostly so far in science fiction a future where we are no longer humans at all, but artifacts of our own technological creations. But if we are to heed Joys and Eckersleys views, we would practice saying enough is enough we would say we have sufficient technology to live reasonably happy lives, and by encouraging the development of these new technologies, we might be unleashing entities of pandoras box that could put humanity in ruins forever. We would say, Yes, there is tremendous promise in these technologies; but there is more so a tremendous risk. We need to hold fast to the human values of restraint and temperance, lest we find ourselves equippedwiththe capacity to alter ourselves and the world, and yet unable to handle or control that immense power.

So the camps seem to be these: Kurzweil believes technology reduces suffering, and that we should pursue it for that reason to any end even until we are no longer human, but become technology ourselves. (Indeed, he feels we have a moral imperative to pursue them for this reason.) Joy believes there are too many dangers in this type of future. And Eckersley asks, why would we want this future, anyway? I am left thinking about a number of things:

First, I am intrigued by Kurzweils unwavering love for technology because it seems to me like technology has both its strengths and its weaknesses, and that such faith in a technological system greatly overinflates the capacities of technology to cure all of the worlds problems while overlooking its very real drawbacks.I wonder about putting so much faith in technology, to solve all our ills, and replace all our deficiencies. Is it really such a healing, improving force? Would it really be possible to achieve this technological utopia without some potentially disastrous consequences?

I also cant help but wonder what role technology, as its own force, plays in this debate. People often fear about rebellious robots or artificially intelligent beings taking over; but is technology already, in a sense guiding us, in control of us, instead of us controlling it? It seems harder and harder to resist the grip of technology, even as we face a future that, as Joy says, no longer needs us. Isnt there something a bit strange about humans contemplatingand preferring a post-human future? Does it indicate, in some sense, that technology has already overtaken man, and is gearing us down a path until it fully reigns supreme?

If we arent drawing the line at genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, does that mean we will never actually draw a line?

I am also left wondering, in part because of the aforementioned reason, whether it is possible to forego the development of certain technologies, as Joy suggests, given our current track record and inclinations towards the use of technology. It always seems with technology that if we have the capacity to do something, then we inevitably will. Is it possible to stop the development of technology, especially if that means also giving up some of its potential benefits? And if we arent drawing the line at genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence, does that mean we will never actually draw a line? What does that say about human nature that we forever seek this sort of technological progress, even when it robs us of what we currently conceive of as making us human? Are there core values to being human that will persevere, or are we really just a fleeting blip in the evolutionary climb towards becoming transhumans?

Concluding Thoughts

The ideas Kurzweil puts forth as his vision of our future really forces one to consider what things about being human seem worth holding onto (if any). And even if his predictions dont materialize in the way or the time frame he anticipates, it does seem undeniable that we are at a critical turning point in our species history. Indeed, the decisions we choose to make now in regards to these fundamentally reshaping technologies will affect generations to come in a profound way generations whose lives will be radically different based on what roads we choose to go down in regards to genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology.

But making these choices is not strictly a technical task, concerned merely with what we are able to, technologically speaking, accomplish; rather, it really requires us to decideour core beliefs about what makes a good life; to consider what is worth risking about being human beings, not only to alleviate suffering but also to engage in these self-enhancing technologies that will supposedly make us stronger, smarter, and less destructible; and to grapple with these fundamental questions of life and death that are not technological issues but rather metaphysical ones. Indeed, its no small philosophical feat to reshape and change the human genome; its no small feat to create artificial beings smarter than human beings; and its no small feat to eradicate what has, since the birth of mankind, defined our human experience: the fleeting nature of life, and the inevitability of death. Taking this power and control into our own hands requires not just the capability to achieve extended life from a technical standpoint, but a completely redefined scope of who we are, what we want, and what our purpose is on this planet.

There are questions, of course, about the moral decision of living forever. What would we do about overpopulation would we stop procreating completely? Does a person living now have more of a right to be alive than a person who hasnt been born yet? Where would we derive purpose from in life if there was no end point? These would all be real questions to consider in this type of scenario; and they are questions that would require real reflection. With a reshaped experience of what it means to be human, we would be required to make decisions about our lives that weve never even had to consider making before.

But if Kurzweil is correct, then never have we had such power over our own destinies. In Kurzweils world, there is no higher power or God divining our life course, nor is there an afterlife or Heaven worth gaining entrance to. The biological and technical underpinnings of life are, in his view, manipulatable at our will; we can defy what some might call our God- given biology and we can become our own makers. We can even make our own rules. And along with that power, would come the responsibility to answer some very weighty philosophical questions, for nothing else would be determining those answers for us.

My question is, do we really want that responsibility? Are we really equipped to handle that type of power? And furthermore, does getting caught up in all the ways these technologies could enhance our lives in getting caught up in the idea that all technological innovation is definitively progress are we less and less able to step back and ask the philosophical and ethical questions about if this isreally what a good life looks like?

Questions:

When you envision our technological future, do you share Kurzweils dreams? Joys fears? Eckersleys questions about our human values being lost?

Should we place limits on certain technologies, given the dangers they present? Are there any types of technologies we simply shouldnt pursue?

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Immortality, Transhumanism, and Ray Kurzweils Singularity

Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …

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Jun 242016
 

The Top Online Casino Gambling News Reporting Site Since 2002! Latest News From the Casino Gambling Industry

Cheers and Jeers Abound for New UK Online Gambling Law May 19, 2014 The new UK betting law is expected to be finalized by July 1st and go into effect by September 1st. However, many are concerned the law could create another wild-west situation in the UK… Speculation on Casino Gambling Legalization in Japan Continues May 13, 2014 LVS owner Sheldon Adelson continues to create gambling news across the world, this time in Japan as he salivates at the possibility of legalization before the 2020 Olympics… LVS Owner Adelson Pulling the Strings of Politicians in the US May 8, 2014 Las Vegas Sands is playing the political system, and its owner, Sheldon Adelson, is the puppet master behind the curtain pulling the strings, according to new reports… New Jersey Bets Big on Sports Gambling, Loses – So Far… May 5, 2014 Governor Chris Christie may need a win in the Supreme Court to justify his defense for his initiative to legalize sports betting in the state… Tribal And Private Gaming Owners Square Off In Massachusetts April 28, 2014 Steve Wynn and the Mohegan Sun are squaring off in a battle for a casino license in Massachusetts, and the two have vastly different views of how regulations are being constructed…

Below is a quick guide to the best gambling sites online. One is for USA players, the other is for players in the rest of the world. Good luck!

As laws change in 2012 the internet poker craze is set to boom once again in North America. Bovada, formerly known as Bodog, is one of the only sites that weathered the storm and they are now the best place to play online. More players gamble here than anywhere else.

The goal of Casino Gambling Web is to provide each of our visitors with an insider’s view of every aspect of the gambling world. We have over 30 feeds releasing news to more than 30 specific gaming related categories in order to achieve our important goal of keeping you well updated and informed.

The main sections of our site are broken up into 5 broad areas of gambling news. The first area of news we cover is about issues concerning brick and mortar casinos like those found in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, the Gulf Coast Region, and well, now the rest of the USA. The second area of gambling news we cover concerns itself with the Internet casino community. We also have reporters who cover the international poker community and also the world of sports gambling. And finally, we cover news about the law when it effects any part of the gambling community; such legal news could include information on updates to the UIGEA, or issues surrounding gambling petitions to repeal that law, or information and stories related to new poker laws that are constantly being debated in state congresses.

We go well beyond simply reporting the news. We get involved with the news and sometimes we even become the news. We pride ourselves on providing follow up coverage to individual news stories. We had reporters in Washington D.C. on the infamous night when the internet gambling ban was passed by a now proven to be corrupt, former senator Bill Frist led congress, and we have staff constantly digging to get important details to American citizens. We had reporters at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas when Jamie Gold won his ring and changed the online gambling world, and we have representatives playing in the tournament each and every year.

It is our pleasure and proud duty to serve as a reliable source of gambling news and quality online casino reviews for all of the international gaming community. Please take a few moments to look around our site and discover why we, and most other insiders of the industry, have considered CGW the #1 Top Casino Gambling News eporting Organization since 2002.

The United States changed internet gambling when they passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), so now when searching for top online casinos you must focus your energies on finding post-UIGEA information as opposed to pre-UIGEA information. Before the law passed you could find reliable info on most gambling portals across the internet. Most of those portals simply advertised casinos and gambling sites that were tested and approved by eCogra, and in general you would be hard pressed to find an online casino that had a bad reputation. However, now that these gambling sites were forced out of the US they may be changing how they run their business. That is why it important to get your information from reliable sources who have been following the industry and keeping up with which companies have remained honorable. So good luck and happy hunting!

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), in short, states that anything that may be illegal on a state level is now also illegal on a federal level. However, the day after Christmas in 2011, President Barrack Obama’s administration delivered what the online gaming industry will view forever as a great big beautifully wrapped present. The government released a statement declaring that the 1961 Federal Wire Act only covers sports betting. What this means for the industry on an international level is still unknown, but what it means in the USA is that states can begin running online poker sites and selling lottery tickets to its citizens within its borders. The EU and WTO will surely have some analysis and we will keep you updated as this situation unfolds. Be sure to check with state laws before you start to gamble online.

The UK was the first high-power territory to legalize and regulate gambling online with a law passed in 2007. They allow all forms of betting but have strict requirements on advertisers. They first attracted offshore companies to come on land, which gave the gambling companies who complied the appearance of legitamacy. However, high taxes forced many who originally came to land, back out to sea and the battle forever rages on, but on a whole, the industry regulations have proven greatly successful and have since served as a model for other gaming enlightened countries around the world.

Since then, many European countries have regulated the industry, breaking up long term monopolies, sometimes even breaking up government backed empires, finally allowing competition – and the industry across the globe (outside of the USA) is thriving with rave reviews, even from those who are most interested in protecting the innocent and vulnerable members of society.

We strive to provide our visitors with the most valuable information about problem gambling and addiction in society. We have an entire section of our site dedicated to news about the subject. When a state or territory implements new technology to safeguard itself from allowing problem gamblers to proliferate, we will report it to you. If there is a new story that reveals some positive or negative information about gambling as it is related to addiction, we will report it to you. And if you think you have a problem with gambling right now, please visit Gamblers Anonymous if you feel you have a gambling problem.

In order to get all the information you need about this industry it is important to visit Wiki’s Online Gambling page. It provides an unbiased view of the current state of the Internet gambling industry. If you are interested in learning about other issues you may also enjoy visiting the National Council on Problem Gambling, a righteous company whose sole purpose is to help protect and support problem gamblers. They have a lot of great resources for anyone interested in learning more.

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Casino Gambling Web | Best Online Gambling News and …

Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

 Ayn Rand  Comments Off on Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Jun 242016
 

1. Introduction 1.1 Ayn Rand and Philosophy

In Rands own words, her first and greatest love, her life purpose, was the creation of the kind of world that represents human perfection, while her interest in philosophical knowledge was only for the sake of this purpose (Journal entry for 4 May 1946; in 1997: 479).[1] Nevertheless, her interest in philosophical knowledge continued long after she had created this world in her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, her last work of fiction. In her non-fiction, Rand developed a conception of metaphysical realism, rationality, ethical egoism (rational self-interest), individual rights, laissez-faire capitalism, and art, and applied her philosophy to social issues. She wrote polemical, philosophical essays, often in response to questions by fans of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead; lectured on college campuses; and gave radio and television interviews. In her own words, her philosophy,

in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. (Rand 1957 [1992]: Afterword)

Capitalism, the unknown ideal, is for her the only political-economic system compatible with this philosophy because it is the only system based on respect for human beings as ends in themselves. The free-market libertarian political movement, though largely disowned by Rand, drewand drawsgreat inspiration from her moral defense of the minimal state, that is, the state whose only raison dtre is protection of individual rights.

Whereas Rands ideas and mode of presentation make Rand popular with many non-academics, they lead to the opposite outcome with academics. She developed some of her views in response to questions from her readers, but never took the time to defend them against possible objections or to reconcile them with the views expressed in her novels. Her philosophical essays lack the self-critical, detailed style of analytic philosophy, or any serious attempt to consider possible objections to her views. Her polemical style, often contemptuous tone, and the dogmatism and cult-like behavior of many of her fans also suggest that her work is not worth taking seriously.[2] Further, understanding her views requires reading her fiction, but her fiction is not to everyones taste. It does not help that she often dismisses other philosophers views on the basis of cursory readings and conversations with a few philosophers and with her young philosophy student acolytes. Some contemporary philosophers return the compliment by dismissing her work contemptuously on the basis of hearsay. Some who do read her work point out that her arguments too often do not support her conclusions. This estimate is shared even by many who find her conclusions and her criticisms of contemporary culture, morality, and politics original and insightful. It is not surprising, then, that she is either mentioned in passing, or not mentioned at all, in the entries that discuss current philosophical thought about virtue ethics, egoism, rights, libertarianism, or markets. (Readers may also find the entry on Nozicks political philosophy to be of interest.) We present specific criticisms of her arguments and claims below, in the relevant sections of this entry.

Ayn Rand was born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, to a bourgeois Jewish family in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 2 February 1905. A witness to the Russian Revolution and civil war, Rand opposed both the Communists and the Tsarists. She majored in history, but the social science program in which she was enrolled at Petrograd State University included philosophy, law, and philology. Her teachers emphasizedas she herself later didthe importance of developing systematic connections among different areas of thought (Sciabarra 1995). Rands formal philosophical education included ancient philosophy (especially Plato and Aristotle), logic, philosophical psychology, Marxism-Leninism, and non-Marxist political thought. But she was evidently also exposed to Hegelian and Nietzschean ideas, which blossomed during this period (known as the Russian Silver Age), and read a great deal of Friedrich Nietzsche on her own. After graduating from Petrograd State University in 1924, an interest in screenwriting led her to enroll in the State Institute for Cinematography. On the literary side, she studied the great Russian novelists and poets, but fell in love with Victor Hugo, to whose influence she owes the Romantic Realism of her novels.

In 1925 Rand succeeded in obtaining permission to visit relatives in the United States; hating the Soviet system, she left with no intention of returning. After six months with relatives in Chicago, she made her way to Hollywood where, on her second day, a fortuitous encounter with Cecil B. DeMille led to a job as a script reader, and later as a screenplay writer. The next week she had another fortuitous encounter, this time with the actor Frank OConnor, whom she married in 1929. She was married to him till his death in 1979. She adopted the pen name Ayn Rand to (it is thought) protect her family back in Russia, although she also told the New York Evening Post in 1936 that Rand was an abbreviation of her Russian surname.

Rand and her husband moved permanently to New York City in 1951, where she became involved with, and was influenced by, the circle of mostly New-York-based intellectuals involved in the revival of classical liberalism, such as the economic journalist Henry Hazlitt, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, and the Canadian-American novelist, literary critic, and political philosopher Isabel Paterson. Rand also studied, and was a great admirer of, the Lockean philosophy of the American founding. Rand lived and worked in New York City until her death in 1982.

Rand holds that philosophy, like all forms of knowledge and achievement, is important only because it is necessary for living a good human life and creating a world conducive to living such a life. Philosophy supplies the most fundamental cognitive and normative abstractions which, respectively, identify and evaluate what is. Everyone, according to Rand, needs a philosophy and is guided by at least an implicit one (1982a: ch. 1). Her novels express her belief that if our philosophy is more or less correct, our lives will be more or less successful, if our philosophy is wildly off the mark, our lives will be disastrous. Philosophy thus has an urgent, practical importance. But unlike Marx, her philosophical and political antipode, Rand thinks that social change has to start with a moral revolution within each individual and the spread of the right ideas and ideals through rational discourse and the inspiration of art.

Rands ideal human being appears, in varying degrees of development, in all her novels; her ideal world appears in Atlas Shrugged. Her novels feature striking, complex plots with subtle psychological explorations of her characters emotions and thoughts, and philosophical reflections that rarely lose sight of the dramatic context. Like many famous Russian novelists, especially Dostoevsky, whom she recognized as a great psychologist, Rand also uses long speeches to lay out her philosophy, a device that has both its supporters and its detractors. She described Atlas Shrugged as a stunt novel and a murder mysterythe murder of the human soul by a collectivist culture. By soul, however, she meant not an immortal substance that survives the death of the bodyshe is not a dualist in any aspect of her philosophybut the mind, or the human spirit that celebrates life on this earth. She took a familiar phenomenon and literary tropea workers strikeand turned it on its head to show what happens when the men of mindscientists, philosophers, industrialists, entrepreneurs, writersthe prime movers of a societygo on strike. It also purports to show how the wrong metaphysics can lead to the wrong ethics and thus to disastrous personal choices and a disastrous political and economic system, and how the right philosophy is needed for the rebirth of the soul and the rebuilding of the world. Her protagonists are not knights on white steeds rescuing damsels in distress, or swordsmen who can fight off a dozen enemies single-handed, but men and women in the mid-20th century industrial America of steel mills, skyscrapers, and glimmering highways: women who run transcontinental railroads and men who revolutionize architecture or (long before clean energy became a cause clbre) build a motor powered by static electricity to produce limitless, clean energy. Her novels show the importance of striving to be the best we can be:

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible. (Atlas Shrugged, 1957 [1992]: 983).

Her novels inspire readers because they present heroes of unbreached integrity, heroes who lead colorful and remarkable lives and succeed not in spite of, but because of, their uncompromising virtue. This estimate of their virtue is not, of course, shared by all: many readers find her characters wooden, her writing stilted, and her ethical and political views misguided.

Rand paid tribute to Aristotle, whom she considered the greatest of all philosophers, in the titles she gave to the three Parts of Atlas Shrugged (Non-Contradiction, Either-Or, A is A) and to one of the chapters (The Immovable Movers). While she differed sharply from Nietzsche on many issues, including rationality, free will, and individual rights, his influence is evident in her provocative, often aphoristic, point-counterpoint writing style, as well as in her transvaluation of traditional values and her powerful affirmation of life and joy and the spirit of youth. In the Introduction to the 25th Anniversary edition of The Fountainhead, she stated that the novels sense of life is best conveyed by a quotation from Nietzsches Beyond Good and Evil: The noble soul has reverence for itself. (For The Fountainheads partly sympathetic and partly critical engagement with Nietzsches ideas, see Hunt 2006.)

Fundamental to Rands outlookso fundamental that she derives the name of her philosophical system, Objectivism, from itis a trichotomy among three categories: the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective (ITOE: 5254; Rand 1965: 1323). An intrinsic phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on factors external to the mind; a subjective phenomenon is one whose nature depends wholly on the mind; and an objective phenomenon is defined, variously, as that which depends on the relation between a living entitys nature (including the nature of its mind) and its environment, or as that which depends on the relation between a properly functioning (rational) mind and extramental reality. Commentators are divided over the best way to interpret Rands views on this issue.

Rand holds that there is a widespread tendency to ignore the third category or to assimilate it to the second, thus setting up a false dichotomy between the intrinsic and the subjective. On Rands view, many of the fundamental questions of philosophy, from the existence of universals to the nature of value, involve fruitless debates over the false alternative intrinsic or subjective? in cases where the phenomenon in question is neither intrinsic nor subjective, but rather objective.

If ethics is the branch of philosophy concerned with practice, then in a sense all of Rands philosophy is ethics, for Rand stresses the supremacy of actual living over all other considerations, and insists that philosophy needs to be brought up to the realm of actual livingadding I say intentionally brought up to it, not down (Journal entry for 15 May 1934, p. 72; in Rand 1997: 73). Consequently, Rand regularly concerns herself with the practical implications and social relevance not only of moral and political philosophy, but likewise of the seemingly more arcane strata of metaphysics and epistemologyas when she identifies errors in concept-formation as one of the roots of racism, or mind-body dualism as a root of the dichotomy between economic and personal freedom. This approach likewise reflects Rands emphasis on integrating each piece of information into the total context of ones knowledge, and her consequent hostility to compartmentalization.

Rands conviction of the vital practical importance of abstract theory may help to explain the passionately polemical nature of her philosophical writing, which some readers find inspiring and others hyperbolic and off-puttingthough Rands admiration for Nietzsche, as well as her having been educated in a Marxist-Leninist atmosphere, may also play a role. Rand also tendedperhaps owing in part to the same two influencesto regard philosophical errors as revelatory of the psychological flaws of their authors.

For a more in-depth presentation of Rands views on epistemology and metaphysics, please see the supplement on Epistemology and Metaphysics

Ethics

is a code of values to guide mans choices and actionsthe choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. (1961b: 13)

Before we can decide which code of values we should accept, we need to ask why we need a code of values at all. Rand claims that no philosopher before her has provided a scientific answer to this question, and so none has provided a satisfactory ethics.

Rand starts by describing value or the good, in classical fashion, as the object of pursuit: that which one acts to gain and/or keep (1961b: 16). Thus, the concept of value presupposes the concept of an entity capable of acting to achieve a goal in the face of an alternativeand the basic alternative facing any living entity is life or death (1961b: 16). It is the conditional nature of life that gives rise to values, not just human values, but values as such. As she puts it:

Metaphysically, life is the only phenomenon that is an end in itself: a value gained and kept by a constant process of action. (1961b: 18)

Survival is the organisms ultimate value, the final goal or end to which all [its] lesser goals are the means, and the standard of all its other values: that which furthers its life is the good, that which threatens it is the evil (pp. 1617). The same, suitably modified, applies to human beings. Life is the standard and goal of all genuine human values, in the sense that all of themfrom food to philosophy to fine art to ethicsmust be explained and justified as requirements of human survival. Ethics is an objective, metaphysical necessity of mans survival (p. 24). Thus,

[t]he standard of value of the Objectivist ethics is mans life, or: that which is required for mans survival qua man, (1961b: 25)

that is,

the terms, methods, conditions and goals required for the survival of a rational being through the whole of his lifespanin all those aspects of existence which are open to his choice. (1961b: 27)

To choose to live is to accept ones own life as ones ethical purpose.

Rands metaphysical arguments make two points central to her axiology and ethics. (1) Values are not just a human phenomenon but a phenomenon of life: life necessitates value. Thus, values are neither intrinsic properties of things, nor subjective, neither free-floating Platonic entities, nor mere matters of desire or preference, culture or time. Rather, values are relational or objective, dependent on the nature of the valuing entity and the nature of its environment. (2) An entitys values are determined by the requirements of survival for entities of its kind, and ethics is a requirement of human survival.

Rand seeks to bolster this claim by arguing that the concept of value entails the concept of life:

epistemologically, the concept of value is genetically dependent upon and derived from the antecedent concept of life. (1961b: 18)

She supports it by asking us

to imagine an immortal, indestructible robot, an entity which moves and acts, but which cannot be affected by anything, which cannot be changed in any respect, which cannot be damaged, injured or destroyed. (1961b: 16)

Such an entity, she concludes, cannot have values.

Critics raise two objections to this argument. (i) It begs the question by assuming what is at issue, namely, that a non-living entity cannot be harmed (Nozick 1971). Unlike the robot of this example, real robots can be damaged or destroyed, not only by external events, but also by a failure to perform their functions well, that is, by their own actions or inactions. Hence they can, quite straightforwardly, be said to have values.[3] (ii) Even if one were to accept that the concept of value entails the concept of life, one could consistently regard ones survival as a means to a certain kind of life: a life of dedication to the greater glory of God, the common good, the environment, and so on (Mack 1984).

Rands naturalism, and her rejection of intrinsicism and subjectivism in favor of objectivism, anticipate recent naturalisms and echo Aristotles argument, against both the Platonist and the subjectivist, that the good must always be good-for-something. Her conception of the function of morality is notable both for its affinity to, and its difference from, Thomas Hobbes conception: like Hobbes, Rand sees morality as a necessary means to long-term survival, but unlike Hobbes, she does not see morality as requiring a contract or even as a fundamentally social affair. The need for morality, according to Rand, is dictated by our nature as creatures that must think and produce to survive; hence we would need morality even on a desert island. There is, however, no duty to survive; morality is based on a hypothetical imperative: if you choose to live, then you must value your own long-term survival as an ultimate end, and morality as a necessary means to it. (The much-debated question of whether the choice to live is a moral choice (Mack 1984, 2003; Long 2000; Rasmussen 2002, 2006) or a pre-moral one (Peikoff 1991; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006), and the implications of either position for the objectivity of Rands Objectivist ethics must, unfortunately, be left undiscussed.) If asked why the choice to live commits you to your own long-term survival rather than some other ultimate end (such as, for example, the greatest happiness of the greatest number (Nozick 1971), or becoming worthy of eternal life in heaven), the answer is: because any other ultimate end, if consistently adhered to, would lead to death.

Rands ethics is thus firmly teleological, this-worldly, and foundationalist. Virtue is the act by which one gains/and or keeps values in light of a recognition of certain facts (1961b: 27, 28); it is not an end in itself not its own reward (1957 [1992]: 939). A fact central to a scientific ethics is that reason is the chief indispensable human tool of survival, and we exercise reason by choice. Hence rationality is the fundamental moral virtue, a virtue implicated in all the other virtues, including productiveness (Section 2.4 below).

Rand is widely credited by Objectivists (Peikoff 1991; Binswanger 1990, 1992; Kelley & Thomas 1999see Other Internet Resources; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006) with having solved the is-ought problem by showing that morality is essential for long-term survival as a rational being, and so anyone who chooses to live ought to be moral (1961b: 19). But if the choice to live is itself a moral choice, in the sense that we ought to choose to live, then the argument proceeds from an ought to an ought, not from an is to an ought. On the other hand, if the choice to live is a non-moral choice (an idea thats hard to reconcile with Rands general view that all significant choices are moral choices), then suicide can never be wrong, even if it is done for cowardly, irresponsible, or unjust reasons, a view that seems incoherent (King 1984 and Narveson 1998 criticize this and other aspects of Rands moral views). Even more problematically, if morality is needed only for long-term survival, and choosing suicide is not immoral, then a suicide-bomber does no wrong in killing innocent people.

Relatedly, how should we understand the idea of survival as a rational beingthe life proper to a rational being (Rand 1961b: 27). Is a life proper to a rational being a necessary means, and only a necessary means, to literal, long-term survival? Or is such a life also, in part, the ultimate goal, something to be created and preserved for its own sake? Again, what are we to make of the many passages in which Rand states that the ultimate goal is ones own happiness?

Rand herself thought that she had only one, consistent metaethical view: the ultimate goal is the individuals own survival; the only way to survive long-term, i.e., over a complete life-span, is to live by the standard of mans life as a rational being, which means: to live morally; and happiness is the psychological result, reward and concomitant (p. 32) of living thus. Many of Rands commentators follow her in holding that there is only one consistent view, while disagreeing on the right interpretation of it (Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1978; Machan 1984, 2000; Peikoff 1991; Bidinotto 1994see Other Internet Resources; Hunt 1999; Kelley & Thomas 1999see Other Internet Resources; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000, 2006). Others (Mack 1984, 2003; Badhwar 1999, 2001; Long 2000) argue that Rands writings actually allow of two, if not three, mutually incompatible views of the ultimate goal, and our task is to see which of these is the dominant or most plausible view. The three views are: survival, survival qua rational being, and happiness in the ancient Aristotelian sense of flourishing or eudaimonia. In the rest of Section 2, we will present the textual evidence for each of these views of the final goal, and the common objections to them, in turn.

The survivalist view holds that just as literal survival is the ultimate value for other living entities, so it is for human beings (Kelley & Thomas 1999; Gotthelf 1999; Smith 2000). Survival is the source and final goal of all the actions of an entity, that which gives point to all its other values. For human beings, happiness, intellectual and artistic pursuits and rationality/morality are all means to survival. The vicious can achieve their goals [only] for the range of a moment, as evidenced by any criminal or any dictatorship (1961b: 26). Even those whose vice consists of imitating others rather than looting them live a precarious existence because they are likely to follow any destroyer who promises to be their savior (1961b: 25).

Non-survivalists make the following objections:

Like Hobbes, Rand rightly points out that if everyone or most people were to start preying on each other, then no one would survive for longliterally, and that generations of predators would end up destroying or driving away the producers, and thus destroying themselves (Anthem and Atlas Shrugged). But this doesnt show that a few predators in a society of producers cannot survive by predation. Indeed, Rand herself sometimes acknowledges that evil people can survive by free-riding (hitch-hiking, as she calls it) on rational, productive people:

If some men attempt to survive by means of brute force or fraud it still remains true that their survival is made possible only by their victims, only by the men who choose to think and to produce the goods which they, the looters, are seizing. (1961b: 25)

In Mans Rights, Rand explains an individuals right to his own life as

the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (1963b: 93 and 1967a: 32122)

Life here is explicated in terms of not only continued survival but also the enjoyment proper to a human being.

For all these reasons, a more plausible interpretation of Rands view is that morality is required for surviving qua human being, that is, for living a life proper to a human being.

Just as the standard of value is survival qua human being, so the ultimate goal is ones own survival qua human being. To accept this standard and goal is to accept (i) the three cardinal values of reason, purpose (or purposiveness) and self-esteem as not only the means to but also the realization of ones ultimate value, ones own life (1961b: 27), and (ii) the three corresponding virtues of rationality, productiveness, and pride. These values are means to ones life insofar as they further ones life as a rational being, and they realize it insofar as they express the value we place on our lives.

What it means to value survival qua human being turns on the relationship of the three cardinal values to the three virtues. Rand often states that virtue is only a means to value. But when she explains how the three cardinal values correspond to their three virtues, she does not provide a means-end analysis (Badhwar 1999, 2001). Thus, she says:

Productive work is the central purpose of a rational mans life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive workpride is the result. (1961b: 27)

The virtue of productiveness becomes the central example of purpose (one of the three cardinal values), reason (another cardinal value) becomes its source, and the virtue of pride becomes its result. Rand also defines rationality, which is the basic virtue, in terms of

the recognition and acceptance of reason as ones only source of knowledge and ones only guide to action. (1961b: 28)

By this definition, being rational means valuing reason in thought, word, and deed, and realizing reason in ones life means being rational: the virtue and the value entail each other.

This point generalizes to all the virtues and values. Further, since the (cardinal) values are both the means to and the realization of ones ultimate value (1961b: 27), it follows that the (cardinal) virtues are also both the means to and the realization of ones ultimate value: long-term survival qua human being. On this interpretation, to survive qua human being is none other than to lead a virtuous life in which one has realized ones potential.

Both survivalists and eudaimonists, however, point out that this conception of the final end contradicts Rands oft-repeated claim that Virtue is not an end in itself. In addition, eudaimonists make the following objections:

Eudaimonists hold that the dominant and/or more plausible view expressed in Rands writings is that happinessa happy lifeis the ultimate value, where a happy life is understood as a life of emotional fulfillment in worthwhile goals and activities. Happiness in this sense necessarily involves virtue, but is not identical with virtue (Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1978; Machan 1984, 2000; Mack 1984; Badhwar 1999, 2001; Hunt 1999; Long 2000).[4]

Happiness is the existentially and psychologically successful state of life (1961b: 27). As an emotion it is not simply a positive subjective state, as on some contemporary views, but an emotion that meets certain normative standards: a state of non-contradictory joya joy without penalty or guilt, achievable only by

the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions. (1961b: 32)

Happiness is also a form of life-affirmation:

the feeling of ones blessing upon the whole of the earth, the feeling of being in love with the fact that one exists and in this kind of world. (1957 [1992]: 1056)

Thus, happiness is an objectively worthwhile and emotionally positive state of life.

Rand holds that the pursuit of happiness is inseparable from the activity of maintaining ones life through the rational pursuit of rational goals (1961b: 29, 32). A virtuous life is, thus, essential to happiness. It is also a shield against soul-wracking unhappiness. Just as even great misfortunes dont throw Aristotles virtuous individual into misery, they dont throw Rands heroes into misery. Even at the worst of times, the virtuous individuals pain only goes down to a certain point (1943: 344), never touching the core of her being: the self-esteem that consists of the conviction that she is worthy and capable of happiness.[5]

In keeping with their richer conception of the final end, Rands novels also employ a richer conception of virtue as an integrated intellectual-emotional character trait to think, feel, and act in certain ways, rather than simply as an act in light of a recognition of certain facts (Badhwar 1999, 2001). Her characters reveal their souls not only in what they say or do, notice or fail to notice, focus on or evade, on this or that occasion, but in their cognitive, emotional, and action dispositions, their style of being in the world. Their actions show not only an intellectual commitment to the right but a wholehearted love of rectitude (1957 [1992]: 512).

This basically Aristotelian view of virtue goes hand-in-hand with a basically Aristotelian view of emotions. Rand rejects the reason-emotion dichotomy as stemming, ultimately, from a false mind-body dichotomy. Emotions are neither raw feelings nor inherently irrational but automatized value-judgments:

estimates of that which furthers mans values or threatens them lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss. (1961b: 27)

Emotions provide instant guidance when circumstances do not permit reasoning everything out anew. But our emotions are only as good as our reason, because they are programmed by our reason. Hence they can only be corrected by conscious reasoning, and in a conflict between reason and emotions, one must always side with the former.[6]

Eudaimonists argue that Rands vision of a virtuous and happy life in her novels can be understood only as a form of eudaimonism, even if she often makes statements inconsistent with this vision. The chief objection to eudaimonism is that, by defining a happy life partly in terms of virtue, it employs an unconvincing conception of happiness. The philosophical literature on happiness in this sense (usually called well-being) makes and answers many such objections (Badhwar 2014).

The chief Objectivist virtues are rationality, integrity, honesty (with self and others), justice, independence, productiveness, and pride. Rationality,

ones total commitment to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices to the fullest perception of reality within ones power, (1961b: 28)

is the basic virtue of which the other virtues are aspects or derivatives. The virtues are thus united or reciprocal. Each virtue is defined partly in terms of a recognition and whole-hearted commitment to some fact or facts, a commitment understood by the agent to be indispensable for gaining, maintaining, or expressing her ultimate value. For example, integrity is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake your consciousness (1957 [1992]: 936), a recognition that is expressed in loyalty to ones rational values and convictions, especially in the face of social pressures to surrender them (1961b: 28; 1964a: 52, 80); honesty is the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake existence, a recognition that is expressed in truthfulness in thought and speech (1957 [1992]: 93637); and justice is

the recognition of the fact that you cannot fake the character of men as you cannot fake the character of nature, that every man must be judged for what he is and treated accordingly. (1957 [1992]: 937)

Conspicuous by their absence from Rands list of the cardinal virtues are the virtues of benevolence, such as kindness, charity, generosity, and forgiveness. Rand states that charity is not a major virtue or moral duty (1964b); likewise, presumably, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness. Whether, and how much, one should help others depends on their place in ones rationally defined hierarchy of values, and on the particular circumstances (whether they are worthy of help, what the likely consequences are of helping them, and so on). The greater their value vis–vis ones rational self-interest, the greater the help that one should be willing to give, ceteris paribus. What is never morally appropriate is making sacrifices, that is, surrendering something of value to oneself for the sake of something of less or no value to oneself. Thus, it can never be moral to knowingly risk ones life for a stranger (unless, of course, ones life is no longer worth living) or to court unhappiness for the happiness of another, whether stranger or friend. It is appropriate to help a stranger only in an emergency, and only when the risk to our own life or well-being is minimal (1963c: 4345). This should not be taken to imply that helping a stranger is morally optional, regardless of the strangers plight. Indeed, people who are totally indifferent to anything living and would not lift a finger to help a man or a dog left mangled by a hit-and-run driver are psychopaths (1963c: 4345) Rand makes even more concessions to common sense morality when she states that its good to help a neighbor going through a hard time till he can get back on his own feet, if we can afford to and if we have no reason to think that he is undeserving. Charity understood thus is a virtue because it is an expression of the generalized good will and respect that all normal people have towards others as creatures who share with them the capacity to value (1963c: 4647). Nathaniel Branden tries to reconcile charity with a narrow act-egoism by declaring that the former stems from a species-identification with another, such that, in revering others, people are revering their own life. By acting charitably, people actualize this sense of kinship, without sacrificing their own well-being.

This last is true, but the desire to reduce all motivations to act-egoistic motivations leads Branden (and Rand and many Objectivists) to ignore the fact that charity is first and foremost profoundly other-regarding, prompted by anothers plight rather than concern for ones own self-actualization The same is true of trying to rescue a dog mangled by a hit-and-run driver, where the egoistic motivation is even weaker, since here there is no species-identification, but rather only a genus-identification with another sufferer.

At any rate, the argument from identification can also be used to justify charity towards strangers in non-emergency situations, for example, for those who are permanently disabled and unable to care for themselves (Badhwar forthcoming-b). Rand concedes as much in What is Capitalism? (1965) where she argues that people who are unable to work must rely on voluntary charity, thus implying that it is proper for those who can afford it to support strangers in non-emergency situations.

The question arises why Rand thinks that charity, kindness etc. are not major virtues when they meet all the conditions of appropriateness: the recipient is worthy of help, one can afford to help, it is in ones rational self-interest (or not contrary to it) to help, and so on. Perhaps Rand thinks that they are minor virtues because we are not obligated to act on them at all times, the way we are obligated to act justly and honestly at all times. A deeper reason, however, might be her conception of people as essentially agents rather than patients, doers rather than receivers, self-sufficient rather than dependent. Nevertheless, Rands view of the unity of the virtues dictates that, even if we are not obligated to act on charity, kindness etc. at all times, they are just as important to possess as the other virtues. Moreover, in keeping with her emphasis on the importance of goodwill towards others and the benevolent universe premise, Rands heroes are often extraordinarily (and almost always appropriately) kind and generous, not only to those they love but also to mere acquaintances, and even sometimes adversaries (Badhwar 1993bsee Other Internet Resources). Striking examples include, from The Fountainhead, Howard Roarks unsought-for attempt to give hope and courage to Steven Mallory, the gifted young sculptor whose failure to get work has driven him to the verge of a spiritual and physical collapse; Roarks unreproachful help to his erstwhile adversary, Peter Keating, when Keating falls on hard times; and from Atlas Shrugged, Dagnys support to a heart-broken and despairing Cheryl Taggart who, in the past, has treated Dagny with scorn; and Hank Reardens generosity towards his exploitative family before he realizes their exploitativeness.[7] By contrast, Rands villains lack genuine goodwill towards others and, thus, lack true kindness or generosity.

Just as rationality, a focus on reality, is at the heart of every virtue, so irrationality, evasion of reality (including self-deception), is at the heart of every vice. Rands villains are all master evaders motivated by a desire for power, social status, fame, or unearned wealth, and resentment of the good. They are second-handerspeople whose primary relationship is to other people rather than to reality. Between the virtuous and the vicious are the innocently wrong, people who adopt wrong moral principles or make wrong choices, not through evasion but through an error of judgment (Rand does not explicitly recognize any moral category other than virtue, vice, and moral error, although her novels portray characters that do not easily fit into any of these categories). Hank Rearden, in Atlas Shrugged, is the great innocent living under a burden of unearned guilt because of his mistaken sense of honor and his charity towards a family interested only in manipulating and using him. Cheryl Taggart is killed by the too-sudden revelation that the man she loved and admired as the embodiment of her ideals is a fraudand that the world is full of such frauds.

As already indicated, Rand justifies virtue in both instrumental and non-instrumental terms, though without distinguishing between them. The instrumental arguments show the existential and psychological rewards of virtue and costs of vice. Virtue creates a sense of inner harmony and enables mutually beneficial interactions with others. Evasiveness, by contrast, traps one in a tangled web of rationalizations and pretenses. The evader who deceives others is either eventually caught, or lives in fear of being caught, becoming dependent on others unconsciousness. He is a fool, says a character in Atlas Shrugged, whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling (1957 [1992]: 945). Further, like Sartre, Rand holds that no evasion is completely successful, because the truth constantly threatens to resurface. Hence, the evaders diseased soul is in a state of constant inner conflict and anxiety as he tries to suppress his awareness of uncomfortable truths while maintaining his hold on others. His lack of integrity and of esteem for reality results in a lack of self-love or self-esteem and, indeed, of a solid self. (It is noteworthy, however, that her portrayal of Gail Wynand in The Fountainhead is closer to Aristotles portrayal of the vicious man in Book III of the Nicomachean Ethics as someone who is unconscious of his vice, than to her own stated view of the evader.)

These views are familiar from the history of philosophy, but many readers find their expression in Rands novels to be of unusual psychological depth and conviction. Nevertheless, the views are subject to the well-known objection that the complexity and variability of human psychology and society allow only for the most part generalizations about the existential and psychological benefits of virtue or costs of vice. Thus, it is possible for a small injustice to lead to great rewards, especially since others are willing to shrug off or forgive occasional transgressions. It is also possible for poor introspection, forgetfulness, or self-acceptance to allow one to evade something without any need for supporting evasions or damage to ones self-esteem. Again, even if every wrongdoing carries psychological costs, these might sometimes be outweighed by the long-term costs of doing the right thing (as Rand herself suggests in her portrayal of the embittered Henry Cameron and Stephen Mallory in The Fountainhead).

The non-instrumentalist justification of virtue in Rands novels is largely immune to these objections (though subject to the objections noted in 2.4 above). To compromise morally is, necessarily, to compromise ones own (objectively conceived) happiness, because no existential loss can compare to the loss of moral integrity. Rectitude is partly constitutive of genuine happiness because it expresses the right relationship to reality: to existence, to oneself, and to others. For the same reason, it is partly constitutive of a self worth loving, an ideally human or rational self. Like Plato and Aristotle, Rand argues that virtue necessarily creates inner harmony and certitude. Any value gained at the price of rectitude is only the simulacrum of genuine value. In a variety of conceptually interconnected ways, then, virtuous individuals are necessarily better off than those willing to take moral short-cuts. In its structure and much of its content, Rands ethical egoism is thus of a piece with the egoism of ancient eudaimonistic theories.

An objection often levied against egoistic theories is that they give the wrong reason for acting in other-regarding ways: justly, kindly, etc. My act is not really just if I give you your due because it is good for me rather than because you deserve it; it is not really charitable if I help you for my own benefit rather than yours. A common reply is that the egoists justification is egoistic but not her motivation, a reply that itself invites the charge of moral schizophrenia. Rand does not address the wrong-reason objection, but its unlikely that she would accept this dichotomy between justification and motivation. So insofar as her view is instrumentalist and act-egoistic, the problem remains. The non-instrumentalist strand in her theory, however, implies that the objection itself is mistaken, because giving you what you deserve/merit is partly constitutive of my rational interests; there is no conflict between your rational interests and mine (cf. 1964a: 5765).

Rand regards goodwill towards others, or a generalized benevolence, as an offshoot of proper self-love, with no independent source in human nature. There is only one alternative to being rationally self-interested: sacrificing ones proper interests, either for the sake of other people (which she equates with altruism) or for the sake of the supernatural (which she calls mysticism) (1982a: ch. 7). Kants ethics is a secularized mysticism insofar as it rests on categorical commands and duty for dutys sake, which is to say: regardless of any earthly desire or interest (1970). An altruistic ethics equates right action with self-sacrifice for the sake of others good and immorality with selfishness, while saying nothing about the standard of the good (Introduction, 1964a: iii; 1974). It thus fails to answer the prior question of what code of values we should follow and why, and provides no motivation to be moral other than guilt over selfishness. When taken to its logical conclusion, altruism does not simply tell us that it is selfish to pursue our own desires, but also that it is selfish to uphold [our own] convictions, [that we] must sacrifice them to the convictions of others (Rand 1957 [1992]: 943; Galts Speech, Rand 1961a: 142). In foreign policy, altruism is used to justify and gain support for Americas intervention in other countries (1966a). Altruism is also the reason why so many sympathize with, or even praise, bloody dictatorships that proudly proclaim that the sacrifice of the individual is a necessary and noble means to the goal of the collective good (Rand 1966a).

As a moral code, altruism is impractical, because its requirements are contrary to the requirements of life and happiness, both the agents and other peoples. As such, it is also profoundly immoral. Altruism leaves us without any moral guidance in our everyday lives and gives morality a bad name.

What, then, is the psychological explanation for the widespread equation of altruism with morality? Rand suggests various explanations reminiscent of Nietzsches analysis of the psychology of altruism. The theorists and preachers of altruism are motivated largely by a desire to control and manipulate others by playing on their guilt. Those who accept their teachings typically do so either because of guilt over their own superior achievements, or because, lacking any intellectual integrity, love of truthor a passionate dedication to an idea, they have nothing much worth saving, and so do not mind sacrificing themselves (Selfishness Without a Self, 1973b; 1982a). Some altruists are altruists because their mentalities are still frozen in a tribal past when survival required the sacrifice of some for the sake of others (1973b). Rand herself rejects a zero-sum picture of human relationships, so long as everyone in the relationship acts rationally.

Rands defense of selfishness and rejection of altruism are part of the reason both for her popularity with the general reader, and her unpopularity with philosophers and other intellectuals, although some would no doubt agree with her rejection of abject self-sacrifice and her recognition of proper concern with the self as moral (Falk 1963; Gilligan 1982; Hampton 1993; Badhwar 1993a). The general reader who responds positively to Rands work finds, for the first time, a moral justification for pursuing a life of her or his own and a liberation from unearned guilt. The philosopher who responds negatively to her work finds many biased and simplistic interpretations of philosophers and philosophical doctrines, including her claim that she is the first to consistently defend a morality of rational self-interest, all other philosophers having defended either altruism or mysticism (Pojman 1995). Her critics also challenge her equation of altruism with abject self-sacrifice (Rachels 2000, Flew 1984), and her claim (explained below) that there is no conflict between peoples rational interests (Flew 1984). An adequate interpretation of her views, however, requires attention both to the fact that, in the absence of special obligations created by bonds of love, contract, or family, she regards others needs as making no claim on us, and to the fact that she is an uncompromising defender of justice, honesty, and respect for others as ends in themselves.

Rands moral society is a society of independent individuals who respect each others natural rights to life, liberty, and property, and who trade value for value, materially and spiritually. They live, in her words, by the trader principle. Individual (natural) rights and the trader principle are both dictated by the fact that, as rational, independent beings, we need to think and act for our proper survival (1961b: 31). Both are required by respect for individuals as ends in themselves, not mere means to others ends.

Rights are a moral conceptthe concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individuals actions to the principles guiding his relationship with othersthe concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social contextthe link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law. (1963b: 92).

These natural rights are basically rights to actions, not to things or outcomes, and they can be violated only through the initiation of force or fraud. Hence, all natural rights are negative, that is, claims on others non-interference, and not claims on them to provide one with certain goods or outcomes.[8] The fundamental right is the right to life: the right to take the actions necessary for sustaining the life proper to a human being.

The right to life meansthe freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.). (1963b: 93)

The right to liberty is the right to act (including to write and speak) on ones judgment; the right to the pursuit of happiness is the right to pursue goals for ones own fulfillment; the right to property is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values (1963b: 94). Like the mind-body dichotomy, the common dichotomy between human rights and the right to property is a false one, because to own ones life is to own ones actions and their fruits (1962b: 91).[9] Just as there is a causal and logical connection between the virtues, so there is between these rights: a government that violates human rights also violates property rights. Thus, for example, in violating the right to freedom of expression by banning obscene speech on TV, the government violates the property right of the owners of the TV station to use their property as they see fit. Like other libertarians, both right (market) and left (egalitarian), Rand opposes state regulation of morality, as well as forced service to the state, whether military or civilian. She criticizes both conservatives and liberals (as these terms are understood in American politics) for wanting government to control the realm they regard as important: the spiritual or moral realm in the case of conservatives, and the material or economic realm in the case of liberals (1981b). Both sides thus betray a lack of understanding of the fact that human beings need to be free in both realms to be free in either.

There is much that is of great value here, especially Rands insight that we would not have rights if we did not need them for our survival and happiness (Miller & Mossoff forthcoming; Badhwar forthcoming-a). But critics point out that grounding all rights in the right to take the actions necessary for proper survival entails that one has no right to take actions that are contrary to proper survival: blindly following a guru instead of thinking for oneself, living off others because one prefers the life of a couch potato to fending for oneself, wasting ones property instead of using it wisely, or, most obviously, committing suicide (Mack 1984; Zwolinski forthcoming; Badhwar forthcoming-a). Yet the freedom to do only that which is morally good or rational is not a freedom at all. But this is not Rands consistent position. For example, she also says that, as fallible creatures, human beings

must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. (1965: 17)

Some commentators rely on this statement to argue that Rand is not restricting rights to actions that are necessary for proper survival (Miller & Mossoff forthcoming). But it would be more accurate to say that, while this position is the one that is compatible with her deep-seated commitment to liberty and a minimal government, she also often makes statements that entail the opposite.

Rand argues that the only just social-political system, the only system compatible with our rational nature and with the right of individuals to live for their own sakes, is capitalism (1965, 1967b), that is,

laissez-faire capitalismwith a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. (1961b, 1964a)

State regulation of the market, she argues, is responsible for corrupting both state and market institutions, just as political regulation of religion (or religious regulation of politics), wherever it exists, corrupts both state and religious institutions. Regulation creates the opportunity for the trading of favors between politicians and religious leaders, and politicians and businesses. Atlas Shrugged offers a complex and compelling depiction of the economic, political, and moral corruption spawned by cronyism between government and business. Laissez-faire capitalism is the only [social] system that bans force from social relationships domestically and abroad, because the trader and the warrior are antagonists (Rand 1966a). Rands conception of capitalism is, thus, more radical than the mainstream conception, and her defense of it significantly different both from the utilitarian defenses given by most economists, and the religious defenses given by many conservatives (see Den Uyl & Rasmussen 1984b; Machan 1984). She does, of course, praise capitalism (or semi-capitalism) for creating widespread prosperity, but this feature is itself explained only by the fact that it leaves individuals free to produce in peace. In Atlas Shrugged, Rand distinguishes between the few business people who earn their money through honest effort, without seeking favors from the government, and the vast majority who are members of the aristocracy of pull (crony capitalists, in contemporary terminology) and get rich only through such favors, a situation that she thinks prevails, and has always prevailed, in the real world (Rand 1964c). She holds that for a short period in the nineteenth-century America came closer to a laissez-faire system than any other society before or since, but that capitalism remains an unknown ideal. Some critics complain, however, that in her non-fiction (1961c) Rand does not always recognize the aristocrats of pull in the real worldbusiness leaders who lobby politicians for subsidies for themselves and restrictions on their competitors (Rothbard 1968; Johnson 2006).

Rand rejects the criticism that unregulated, laissez-faire capitalism would lead to a concentration of power in a few hands and undermine equality of opportunity because laissez-faire capitalism requires the rule of law, a well-defined system of property rights, freedom of contract, and, as a corollary, a government that abstains from all favoritism.

Rand holds that there is no conflict between one persons rational interests and anothers, hence that respecting other peoples rights is perfectly compatible with advancing or preserving ones own interests. Is it true, however, that rational interests cannot conflict? It seems that whenever two people have an interest in one good, for example, a job, and are equally qualified to have it, their rational interests conflict, Perhaps what Rand has in mind is that rational interests dont necessarily conflict, that is, that it is not in their nature to conflict. Their conflict is due to external factors, such as only one job for two qualified people. But is such conflict compatible with rights in an egoistic framework? And can rights be defended within an egoistic framework? Critics object that respect for others rights cannot be justified only as a means to ones ultimate value, whether this be survival or happiness (Mack 1984; Flew 1984). For under perfectly realistic scenarios, ones ultimate value can require one to violate anothers right to life or property. In her justification of rights we see the same unresolved tension between the instrumentalist strand and the deontic strand that we do in her justification of morality in general (Mack 1984, 2003). The eudaimonist strand in Rands justification, however, allows her to respond that respect for others rights expresses our recognition of the fact that others are ends in themselves, a recognition that is required by justice, and that justice, along with the other virtues, is necessary for leading a happy life.

Rand defines government as

an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area. (1963a: 125)

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Ayn Rand (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com

 Libertarian  Comments Off on Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com
Jun 242016
 

The Libertarian presidential candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, will face voters Wednesday evening in a town hall live on CNN.

The 9 p.m. event moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo marks one of the highest-profile moments in the Libertarian Party’s history, thanks to Donald Trump, whose victory in the GOP presidential primary has some conservatives and moderates alike looking elsewhere for an alternative to both Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Johnson failed to make much of a splash in his 2012 presidential bid, but he hasn’t let that get him down this time around. Look to see how Johnson’s upbeat demeanor translates on stage.

He has a tranquil and occasionally goofy presence that can come across as down-to-earth in some moments — and aloof in others.

Johnson himself has admitted he isn’t always the most “articulate” speaker.

Still, in CNN’s live format, surrounded by questioning voters, Johnson will have to do his best to connect with as many people as possible, as credibly as possible.

What Johnson preaches is a relaxation of government involvement in all spheres. He wants to do away with government regulations, cut budgets and replace the tax code with an unorthodox tax plan called FairTax. He also wants to legalize marijuana, embrace gay rights and do away with gun laws.

For liberals and conservatives, this cross-cutting, grab bag of hard-line policy stances is heretical, even fringe. If Johnson and Weld can push through decades of Democratic and Republican messaging, they must start now.

The opportunity for a Libertarian breakthrough in 2016 rests largely on the idea that voters who can’t stomach Trump or Clinton will go somewhere else.

Trump’s campaign has been a whirlwind of controversy and combat. As the Republican primary showed, there is plenty to attack when it comes to Trump. The question is how Johnson and Weld approach him.

Shortly after his announcement that he was joining up with Johnson, meanwhile, Weld compared Trump’s immigration policy to Kristallnacht, literally the “Night of Broken Glass,” a pogrom within Nazi Germany.

In repeated interviews with CNN, Weld has likened Trump’s rise to the rise of the Nazis, calling the Republican presumptive nominee’s immigration proposals a “slippery slope.”

“I’ve studied Nazi Germany and the rise of the Nazis,” Weld said. “I do think that Mr. Trump has been demonizing them (undocumented immigrants), and that is partly what happened in Europe in the ’30s and ’40s.”

When it comes to attacking Clinton, Johnson has drawn a contrast between his worldview and hers.

Johnson is a skeptic of foreign military interventions. Clinton has a record supporting them. He has argued that major U.S. involvement in global affairs has only increased tension and violence the world over. Clinton been a key figure helping to shape U.S. foreign policy for years.

Attacking Clinton over this area — one that Trump and many Republicans have focused on — would either be a change of heart or a change of tack for Johnson’s running mate. It could also be an indication the two of them intend to go at Clinton with everything they can.

Johnson and Weld have to appeal to Republican voters who think Trump isn’t a true conservative and Democratic voters who think Clinton is not liberal enough. It’s a tough balancing act.

Some of their work has already been done for them when it comes to pulling support from the Republican Party.

2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, like Weld a former Massachusetts Republican governor, indicated he was open to supporting the Libertarian bid. His problem, however, was with Johnson’s support of marijuana, which he said, “makes you stupid.”

But the Libertarians are also going after the polar opposite of people like Mitt Romney: die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Clinton from the left. Socially liberal and skeptical of the Washington establishment, these voters could swing towards Johnson.

Johnson has said he favors abortion rights, is pro-gay and anti-drug war. Until recently he was even the CEO of a company selling cannabis. On the political quiz site iSidewith.com that he often touts, Johnson said the candidate he matches with most, besides himself, is Sanders.

But many of Sanders’ voters were drawn to the democratic socialist’s unabashedly progressive economic message. On that score, Johnson isn’t budging. He has espoused a near absolute preference for free market policies. Sanders’ calls for increased regulation, taxation and government benefits are anathema to Libertarians.

It has come to pass that the Libertarian presidential ticket, the one that wants to stamp out government, is the one with the most executive governing experience in the entire election.

Johnson and Weld, both two-term Republican governors in blue states, will have to demonstrate that they are ready to occupy the nation’s highest office.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life, and I was the two-term governor of New Mexico, and I think I was a successful governor,” Johnson said.

Both Johnson and Weld are sharply skeptical of the drug war and have invoked their respective experience on the matter. Johnson was a border governor and made his opposition to the war on drugs one of his signature issues. Weld nearly served as President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Mexico, but abandoned the bid after squaring off with Jesse Helms, an arch-conservative Republican senator from North Carolina.

On other matters, they have touted their record opposing their former party, the GOP, on all manner of issues including foreign policy.

Johnson has moved to make himself appear more ready for the task of leading the nation’s armed forces. For example, he said he has quit indulging in THC-laden edibles so he will be fully alert in the Oval Office, whatever the hour.

The former New Mexico governor has pushed back against people who call him or the Libertarian Party “isolationist,” saying instead that he favors diplomacy. He has cited North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a particular area of concern and advocated a diplomatic approach, involving pressure on the Chinese.

People will need to see if he can translate his messages of diplomatic support and concern into action.

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Libertarian town hall: What to watch – CNNPolitics.com

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Time travel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jun 212016
 

Time travel is the concept of movement (such as by a human) between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine, in the form of a vehicle or of a portal connecting distant points in time. Time travel is a recognized concept in philosophy and fiction, but traveling to an arbitrary point in time has a very limited support in theoretical physics, and usually only in conjunction with quantum mechanics or EinsteinRosen bridges. In a more narrow sense, one-way time travel into the future via time dilation is a proven phenomenon in relativistic physics, but traveling any significant “distance” requires motion at speeds close to the speed of light, which is not feasible for human travel with current technology.[1] The concept was touched upon in various earlier works of fiction, but was popularized by H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel The Time Machine, which moved the concept of time travel into the public imagination, and it remains a popular subject in science fiction.

Some ancient myths depict moving forward in time. In Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata mentions the story of King Raivata Kakudmi, who travels to heaven to meet the creator Brahma and is shocked to learn when he returns to Earth that many ages have passed.[2][3]

The Buddhist Pli Canon mentions the relativity of time. In the Payasi Sutta, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, Kumara Kassapa, explains to the skeptic Payasi that, “In the Heaven of the Thirty Three Devas, time passes at a different pace, and people live much longer. “In the period of our century; one hundred years, only a single day; twenty four hours would have passed for them.”[4]

In the Japanese tale of “Urashima Tar”,[5] first described in the Nihongi (720).,[6] a young fisherman named Urashima Taro visits an undersea palace. After three days, he returns home to his village and finds himself 300 years in the future, where he has been forgotten, his house is ruins, and his family has died.

In the Talmud, Honi ha-M’agel sleeps for 70 years and awakes to find his grandchildren have become grandparents, and his family and friends have died.[7]

In the utopian novel Louis-Sbastien Mercier’s L’An 2440, rve s’il en ft jamais (“The Year 2440: A Dream If Ever There Were One”), the protagonist is transported to the year 2440. A popular work, having gone through twenty-five editions since its appearance in 1771, it describes the adventures of an unnamed man who discusses with a philosopher friend the injustices of Paris, then falls asleep and finds himself in a future Paris.

Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) depicts a man who takes a twenty-year nap on a mountain, waking up in a future where he has been forgotten, his wife has died, and his daughter has grown.[5] Sleep is also used as a means of time travel in H.G. Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes, in which a man wakes up after a two-hundred year hibernation.

Like forward time travel, backward time travel has an uncertain origin. Samuel Madden’s Memoirs of the Twentieth Century (1733) is a series of letters from British ambassadors in 1997 and 1998 to diplomats in the past, conveying the political and religious conditions of the future.[8] Because the narrator receives these letters from his guardian angel, Paul Alkon suggests in his book Origins of Futuristic Fiction that “the first time-traveler in English literature is a guardian angel.”.[9] Madden does not explain how the angel obtains these documents, but Alkon asserts that Madden “deserves recognition as the first to toy with the rich idea of time-travel in the form of an artifact sent backward from the future to be discovered in the present.”[8]

In 1836 Alexander Veltman published Predki Kalimerosa: Aleksandr Filippovich Makedonskii (The Forebears of Kalimeros: Alexander, son of Philip of Macedon), which has been called the first original Russian science fiction novel and the first novel to use time travel.[10] The narrator rides to ancient Greece on a hippogriff, meets Aristotle, and goes on a voyage with Alexander the Great before returning to the 19th century.

In the science fiction anthology Far Boundaries (1951), editor August Derleth claims that an early short story about time travel is “Missing One’s Coach: An Anachronism”, written for the Dublin Literary Magazine[11] by an anonymous author in 1838.[12] While the narrator waits under a tree for a coach to take him out of Newcastle, he is transported back in time over a thousand years. He encounters the Venerable Bede in a monastery and explains to him the developments of the coming centuries. However, the story never makes it clear whether these events are real or a dream.[13]

Some consider Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843)[14] to be one of the first depictions of time travel in both directions, as the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is transported to Christmases past and future. However, these might be interpreted as visions rather than as time travel because Scrooge experiences the time periods as an observer rather than as a participant.

A clearer example of backward time travel is found in the popular 1861 book Paris avant les hommes (Paris before Men) by the French botanist and geologist Pierre Boitard, published posthumously. In this story, the protagonist is transported to the prehistoric past by the magic of a “lame demon” (a French pun on Boitard’s name), where he encounters a Plesiosaur and an apelike ancestor and is able to interact with ancient creatures.[15]

Edward Everett Hale’s “Hands Off” (1881) tells the story of an unnamed being, possibly the soul of a person who has recently died, who interferes with ancient Egyptian history by preventing Joseph’s enslavement. This may have been the first story to feature an alternate history created as a result of time travel.[16]

One of the first stories to feature time travel by means of a machine is “The Clock that Went Backward” by Edward Page Mitchell,[17] which appeared in the New York Sun in 1881. However, the mechanism borders on fantasy. An unusual clock, when wound, runs backwards and transports people nearby back in time. But the author fails to explain the origin of either the clock or its abilities.[18]

Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau’s El Anacronpete (1887)[19] may have been the first story to feature a vessel engineered to travel through time.[20]Andrew Sawyer has commented that the story “does seem to be the first literary description of a time machine noted so far”, adding that “Edward Page Mitchell’s story ‘The Clock That Went Backward’ (1881) is usually described as the first time-machine story, but I’m not sure that a clock quite counts.”[21]H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895) popularized the concept of time travel by mechanical means.[22]

Some theories, most notably special and general relativity, suggest that suitable geometries of spacetime or specific types of motion in space might allow time travel into the past and future if these geometries or motions were possible.[23] In technical papers, physicists generally avoid the commonplace language of “moving” or “traveling” through time. “Movement” normally refers only to a change in spatial position as the time coordinate is varied. Instead they discuss the possibility of closed timelike curves, which are world lines that form closed loops in spacetime, allowing objects to return to their own past. There are known to be solutions to the equations of general relativity that describe spacetimes which contain closed timelike curves, such as Gdel spacetime, but the physical plausibility of these solutions is uncertain.

Relativity predicts that if one were to move away from the Earth at relativistic velocities and return, more time would have passed on Earth than for the traveler, so in this sense it is accepted that relativity allows “travel into the future.” According to relativity there is no single objective answer to how much time has really passed between the departure and the return, but there is an objective answer to how much proper time has been experienced by both the Earth and the traveler, i.e., how much each has aged (see twin paradox). On the other hand, many in the scientific community believe that backward time travel is highly unlikely. Any theory that would allow time travel would introduce potential problems of causality. The classic example of a problem involving causality is the “grandfather paradox”: what if one were to go back in time and kill one’s own grandfather before one’s father was conceived? But some scientists believe that paradoxes can be avoided, by appealing either to the Novikov self-consistency principle or to the notion of branching parallel universes.

Stephen Hawking has suggested that the absence of tourists from the future is an argument against the existence of time travel. This is a variant of the Fermi paradox. Of course, this would not prove that time travel is physically impossible, since it might be that time travel is physically possible but that it is never developed or is cautiously never used; and even if it were developed, Hawking notes elsewhere that time travel might only be possible in a region of spacetime that is warped in the correct way, and that if we cannot create such a region until the future, then time travelers would not be able to travel back before that date, so “[t]his picture would explain why” the world hasn’t already been overrun by “tourists from the future.”[24] This simply means that, until a time machine were actually to be invented, we would not be able to see time travelers. Carl Sagan also once suggested the possibility that time travelers could be here but are disguising their existence, or are not recognized as time travelers.[25]

The theory of general relativity does suggest a scientific basis for the possibility of backward time travel in certain unusual scenarios, although arguments from semiclassical gravity suggest that when quantum effects are incorporated into general relativity, these loopholes may be closed.[26] These semiclassical arguments led Hawking to formulate the chronology protection conjecture, suggesting that the fundamental laws of nature prevent time travel,[27] but physicists cannot come to a definite judgment on the issue without a theory of quantum gravity to join quantum mechanics and general relativity into a completely unified theory.[25][28]:150

Time travel to the past is theoretically allowed using the following methods:[29]

According to the theory of relativity, a signal or matter moving faster than light from one point to another would appear in some inertial frame of reference as moving backwards in time. This is a consequence of the relativity of simultaneity in special relativity, which says that in some cases different reference frames will disagree on whether two events at different locations happened “at the same time” or not, and they can also disagree on the order of the two events. Technically, these disagreements occur when the spacetime interval between the events is ‘space-like’, meaning that neither event lies in the future light cone of the other.[30] If one of the two events represents the sending of a signal from one location and the second event represents the reception of the same signal at another location, then as long as the signal is moving at the speed of light or slower, the mathematics of simultaneity ensures that all reference frames agree that the transmission-event happened before the reception-event.[30]

However, in the case of a hypothetical signal moving faster than light, there would always be some frames in which the signal was received before it was sent, so that the signal could be said to have moved backward in time. And since one of the two fundamental postulates of special relativity says that the laws of physics should work the same way in every inertial frame, then if it is possible for signals to move backward in time in any one frame, it must be possible in all frames. This means that if observer A sends a signal to observer B which moves FTL (faster than light) in A’s frame but backward in time in B’s frame, and then B sends a reply which moves FTL in B’s frame but backward in time in A’s frame, it could work out that A receives the reply before sending the original signal, a clear violation of causality in every frame. An illustration of such a scenario using spacetime diagrams can be found here.[31] The scenario is sometimes referred to as a tachyonic antitelephone.

According to special relativity, it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a slower-than-light object to the speed of light. Although relativity does not forbid the theoretical possibility of tachyons which move faster than light at all times, when analyzed using quantum field theory, it seems that it would not actually be possible to use them to transmit information faster than light.[32] There is also no widely agreed-upon evidence for the existence of tachyons; the faster-than-light neutrino anomaly had opened the possibility that neutrinos might be tachyons, but the results of the experiment were found to be invalid upon further analysis.

The general theory of relativity extends the special theory to cover gravity, illustrating it in terms of curvature in spacetime caused by mass-energy and the flow of momentum. General relativity describes the universe under a system of field equations, and there exist solutions to these equations that permit what are called “closed time-like curves”, and hence time travel into the past.[23] The first of these was proposed by Kurt Gdel, a solution known as the Gdel metric, but his (and many others’) example requires the universe to have physical characteristics that it does not appear to have.[23] Whether general relativity forbids closed time-like curves for all realistic conditions is unknown.

Wormholes are a hypothetical warped spacetime which are also permitted by the Einstein field equations of general relativity,[33] although it would not be possible to travel through a wormhole unless it were what is known as a traversable wormhole.

A proposed time-travel machine using a traversable wormhole would (hypothetically) work in the following way: One end of the wormhole is accelerated to some significant fraction of the speed of light, perhaps with some advanced propulsion system, and then brought back to the point of origin. Alternatively, another way is to take one entrance of the wormhole and move it to within the gravitational field of an object that has higher gravity than the other entrance, and then return it to a position near the other entrance. For both of these methods, time dilation causes the end of the wormhole that has been moved to have aged less than the stationary end, as seen by an external observer; however, time connects differently through the wormhole than outside it, so that synchronized clocks at either end of the wormhole will always remain synchronized as seen by an observer passing through the wormhole, no matter how the two ends move around.[34] This means that an observer entering the accelerated end would exit the stationary end when the stationary end was the same age that the accelerated end had been at the moment before entry; for example, if prior to entering the wormhole the observer noted that a clock at the accelerated end read a date of 2007 while a clock at the stationary end read 2012, then the observer would exit the stationary end when its clock also read 2007, a trip backward in time as seen by other observers outside. One significant limitation of such a time machine is that it is only possible to go as far back in time as the initial creation of the machine;[35] in essence, it is more of a path through time than it is a device that itself moves through time, and it would not allow the technology itself to be moved backward in time.

According to current theories on the nature of wormholes, construction of a traversable wormhole would require the existence of a substance with negative energy (often referred to as “exotic matter”). More technically, the wormhole spacetime requires a distribution of energy that violates various energy conditions, such as the null energy condition along with the weak, strong, and dominant energy conditions.[36] However, it is known that quantum effects can lead to small measurable violations of the null energy condition,[36] and many physicists believe that the required negative energy may actually be possible due to the Casimir effect in quantum physics.[37] Although early calculations suggested a very large amount of negative energy would be required, later calculations showed that the amount of negative energy can be made arbitrarily small.[38]

In 1993, Matt Visser argued that the two mouths of a wormhole with such an induced clock difference could not be brought together without inducing quantum field and gravitational effects that would either make the wormhole collapse or the two mouths repel each other.[39] Because of this, the two mouths could not be brought close enough for causality violation to take place. However, in a 1997 paper, Visser hypothesized that a complex “Roman ring” (named after Tom Roman) configuration of an N number of wormholes arranged in a symmetric polygon could still act as a time machine, although he concludes that this is more likely a flaw in classical quantum gravity theory rather than proof that causality violation is possible.[40]

Another approach involves a dense spinning cylinder usually referred to as a Tipler cylinder, a GR solution discovered by Willem Jacob van Stockum[41] in 1936 and Kornel Lanczos[42] in 1924, but not recognized as allowing closed timelike curves[43] until an analysis by Frank Tipler[44] in 1974. If a cylinder is infinitely long and spins fast enough about its long axis, then a spaceship flying around the cylinder on a spiral path could travel back in time (or forward, depending on the direction of its spiral). However, the density and speed required is so great that ordinary matter is not strong enough to construct it. A similar device might be built from a cosmic string, but none are known to exist, and it does not seem to be possible to create a new cosmic string.

Physicist Robert Forward noted that a nave application of general relativity to quantum mechanics suggests another way to build a time machine. A heavy atomic nucleus in a strong magnetic field would elongate into a cylinder, whose density and “spin” are enough to build a time machine. Gamma rays projected at it might allow information (not matter) to be sent back in time; however, he pointed out that until we have a single theory combining relativity and quantum mechanics, we will have no idea whether such speculations are nonsense.[citation needed]

A more fundamental objection to time travel schemes based on rotating cylinders or cosmic strings has been put forward by Stephen Hawking, who proved a theorem showing that according to general relativity it is impossible to build a time machine of a special type (a “time machine with the compactly generated Cauchy horizon”) in a region where the weak energy condition is satisfied, meaning that the region contains no matter with negative energy density (exotic matter). Solutions such as Tipler’s assume cylinders of infinite length, which are easier to analyze mathematically, and although Tipler suggested that a finite cylinder might produce closed timelike curves if the rotation rate were fast enough,[45] he did not prove this. But Hawking points out that because of his theorem, “it can’t be done with positive energy density everywhere! I can prove that to build a finite time machine, you need negative energy.”[28]:96 This result comes from Hawking’s 1992 paper on the chronology protection conjecture, where he examines “the case that the causality violations appear in a finite region of spacetime without curvature singularities” and proves that “[t]here will be a Cauchy horizon that is compactly generated and that in general contains one or more closed null geodesics which will be incomplete. One can define geometrical quantities that measure the Lorentz boost and area increase on going round these closed null geodesics. If the causality violation developed from a noncompact initial surface, the averaged weak energy condition must be violated on the Cauchy horizon.”[46] However, this theorem does not rule out the possibility of time travel (1) by means of time machines with the non-compactly generated Cauchy horizons (such as the Deutsch-Politzer time machine) and (2) in regions which contain exotic matter (which would be necessary for traversable wormholes or the Alcubierre drive). Because the theorem is based on general relativity, it is also conceivable a future theory of quantum gravity which replaced general relativity would allow time travel even without exotic matter (though it is also possible such a theory would place even more restrictions on time travel, or rule it out completely as postulated by Hawking’s chronology protection conjecture).[citation needed]

Certain experiments carried out give the impression of reversed causality but are subject to interpretation. For example, in the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment performed by Marlan Scully, pairs of entangled photons are divided into “signal photons” and “idler photons”, with the signal photons emerging from one of two locations and their position later measured as in the double-slit experiment, and depending on how the idler photon is measured, the experimenter can either learn which of the two locations the signal photon emerged from or “erase” that information. Even though the signal photons can be measured before the choice has been made about the idler photons, the choice seems to retroactively determine whether or not an interference pattern is observed when one correlates measurements of idler photons to the corresponding signal photons. However, since interference can only be observed after the idler photons are measured and they are correlated with the signal photons, there is no way for experimenters to tell what choice will be made in advance just by looking at the signal photons, and under most interpretations of quantum mechanics the results can be explained in a way that does not violate causality.[citation needed]

The experiment of Lijun Wang might also show causality violation since it made it possible to send packages of waves through a bulb of caesium gas in such a way that the package appeared to exit the bulb 62 nanoseconds before its entry. But a wave package is not a single well-defined object but rather a sum of multiple waves of different frequencies (see Fourier analysis), and the package can appear to move faster than light or even backward in time even if none of the pure waves in the sum do so. This effect cannot be used to send any matter, energy, or information faster than light,[47] so this experiment is understood not to violate causality either.

The physicists Gnter Nimtz and Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, claim to have violated Einstein’s theory of relativity by transmitting photons faster than the speed of light. They say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons traveled “instantaneously” between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft (0.91m) apart, using a phenomenon known as quantum tunneling. Nimtz told New Scientist magazine: “For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of.” However, other physicists say that this phenomenon does not allow information to be transmitted faster than light. Aephraim Steinberg, a quantum optics expert at the University of Toronto, Canada, uses the analogy of a train traveling from Chicago to New York, but dropping off train cars at each station along the way, so that the center of the train moves forward at each stop; in this way, the speed of the center of the train exceeds the speed of any of the individual cars.[48]

Some physicists have performed experiments that attempted to show causality violations, but so far without success. The “Space-time Twisting by Light” (STL) experiment run by physicist Ronald Mallett attempts to observe a violation of causality when a neutron is passed through a circle made up of a laser whose path has been twisted by passing it through a photonic crystal. Mallett has some physical arguments that suggest that closed timelike curves would become possible through the center of a laser that has been twisted into a loop. However, other physicists dispute his arguments (see objections).

Shengwang Du claims in a peer-reviewed journal to have observed single photons’ precursors, saying that they travel no faster than c in a vacuum. His experiment involved slow light as well as passing light through a vacuum. He generated two single photons, passing one through rubidium atoms that had been cooled with a laser (thus slowing the light) and passing one through a vacuum. Both times, apparently, the precursors preceded the photons’ main bodies, and the precursor traveled at c in a vacuum. According to Du, this implies that there is no possibility of light traveling faster than c (and, thus, violating causality).[49] Some members of the media took this as an indication of proof that time travel to the past using superluminal speeds was impossible.[50][51]

Several experiments have been carried out to try to entice future humans, who might invent time travel technology, to come back and demonstrate it to people of the present time. Events such as Perth’s Destination Day (2005) or MIT’s Time Traveler Convention heavily publicized permanent “advertisements” of a meeting time and place for future time travelers to meet. Back in 1982, a group in Baltimore, Maryland, identifying itself as the Krononauts, hosted an event of this type welcoming visitors from the future.[52][53][54] These experiments only stood the possibility of generating a positive result demonstrating the existence of time travel, but have failed so farno time travelers are known to have attended either event. It is hypothetically possible that future humans have traveled back in time, but have traveled back to the meeting time and place in a parallel universe.[55]

Another factor is that for all the time travel devices considered under current physics (such as those that operate using wormholes), it is impossible to travel back to before the time machine was actually made.[56][57]

There are various ways in which a person could “travel into the future” in a limited sense: the person could set things up so that in a small amount of their own subjective time, a large amount of subjective time has passed for other people on Earth. For example, an observer might take a trip away from the Earth and back at relativistic velocities, with the trip only lasting a few years according to the observer’s own clocks, and return to find that thousands of years had passed on Earth. According to relativity, there would be no objective answer to the question of how much time “really” passed during the trip; it would be equally valid to say that the trip had lasted only a few years or that the trip had lasted thousands of years, depending on the choice of reference frame.

This form of “travel into the future” is theoretically allowed (and has been demonstrated at very small time scales) using the following methods:[29]

Time dilation is permitted by Albert Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. These theories state that, relative to a given observer, time passes more slowly for bodies moving quickly relative to that observer, or bodies that are deeper within a gravity well.[59] For example, a clock which is moving relative to the observer will be measured to run slow in that observer’s rest frame; as a clock approaches the speed of light it will almost slow to a stop, although it can never quite reach light speed so it will never completely stop. For two clocks moving inertially (not accelerating) relative to one another, this effect is reciprocal, with each clock measuring the other to be ticking slower. However, the symmetry is broken if one clock accelerates, as in the twin paradox where one twin stays on Earth while the other travels into space, turns around (which involves acceleration), and returnsin this case both agree the traveling twin has aged less. General relativity states that time dilation effects also occur if one clock is deeper in a gravity well than the other, with the clock deeper in the well ticking more slowly; this effect must be taken into account when calibrating the clocks on the satellites of the Global Positioning System, and it could lead to significant differences in rates of aging for observers at different distances from a black hole.

It has been calculated that, under general relativity, a person could travel forward in time at a rate four times that of distant observers by residing inside a spherical shell with a diameter of 5 meters and the mass of Jupiter.[60] For such a person, every one second of their “personal” time would correspond to four seconds for distant observers. Of course, squeezing the mass of a large planet into such a structure is not expected to be within our technological capabilities in the near future.

There is a great deal of experimental evidence supporting the validity of equations for velocity-based time dilation in special relativity[61] and gravitational time dilation in general relativity.[62][63][64] A famous and easy-to-replicate example is the observation of atmospheric muon decay.[65][66] With current technologies it is only possible to cause a human traveler to age less than companions on Earth by a very small fraction of a second, the current record being about 20 milliseconds for the cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev. A researcher from the University of Connecticut is attempting to use lasers to warp or loop spacetime.[67]

Time perception can be apparently sped up for living organisms through hibernation, where the body temperature and metabolic rate of the creature is reduced. A more extreme version of this is suspended animation, where the rates of chemical processes in the subject would be severely reduced.

Time dilation and suspended animation only allow “travel” to the future, never the past, so they do not violate causality, and it is debatable whether they should be called time travel. However time dilation can be viewed as a better fit for our understanding of the term “time travel” than suspended animation, since with time dilation less time actually does pass for the traveler than for those who remain behind, so the traveler can be said to have reached the future faster than others, whereas with suspended animation this is not the case.

Parallel universes might provide a way out of paradoxes. Everett’s many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics suggests that all possible quantum events can occur in mutually exclusive histories.[68] These alternate, or parallel, histories would form a branching tree symbolizing all possible outcomes of any interaction. If all possibilities exist, any paradoxes could be explained by having the paradoxical events happening in a different universe. This concept is most often used in science-fiction, but some physicists such as David Deutsch have suggested that if time travel is possible and the MWI is correct, then a time traveler should indeed end up in a different history than the one he started from.[69][70][71] On the other hand, Stephen Hawking has argued that even if the MWI is correct, we should expect each time traveler to experience a single self-consistent history, so that time travelers remain within their own world rather than traveling to a different one.[24] The physicist Allen Everett argued that Deutsch’s approach “involves modifying fundamental principles of quantum mechanics; it certainly goes beyond simply adopting the MWI”. Everett also argues that even if Deutsch’s approach is correct, it would imply that any macroscopic object composed of multiple particles would be split apart when traveling back in time through a wormhole, with different particles emerging in different worlds.[72]

Daniel Greenberger and Karl Svozil proposed that quantum theory gives a model for time travel without paradoxes.[73][74] The quantum theory observation causes possible states to ‘collapse’ into one measured state; hence, the past observed from the present is deterministic (it has only one possible state), but the present observed from the past has many possible states until our actions cause it to collapse into one state. Our actions will then be seen to have been inevitable.

Quantum-mechanical phenomena such as quantum teleportation, the EPR paradox, or quantum entanglement might appear to create a mechanism that allows for faster-than-light (FTL) communication or time travel, and in fact some interpretations of quantum mechanics such as the Bohm interpretation presume that some information is being exchanged between particles instantaneously in order to maintain correlations between particles.[75] This effect was referred to as “spooky action at a distance” by Einstein.

Nevertheless, the fact that causality is preserved in quantum mechanics is a rigorous result in modern quantum field theories, and therefore modern theories do not allow for time travel or FTL communication. In any specific instance where FTL has been claimed, more detailed analysis has proven that to get a signal, some form of classical communication must also be used.[76] The no-communication theorem also gives a general proof that quantum entanglement cannot be used to transmit information faster than classical signals. The fact that these quantum phenomena apparently do not allow FTL time travel is often overlooked in popular press coverage of quantum teleportation experiments.[citation needed] How the rules of quantum mechanics work to preserve causality is an active area of research.[citation needed]

Theories of time travel are riddled with questions about causality and paradoxes. Compared to other fundamental concepts in modern physics, time is still not understood very well. Philosophers have been theorizing about the nature of time since before the era of the ancient Greek philosophers. Some philosophers and physicists who study the nature of time also study the possibility of time travel and its logical implications. The probability of paradoxes and their possible solutions are often considered.

For more information on the philosophical considerations of time travel, consult the work of David Lewis. For more information on physics-related theories of time travel, consider the work of Kurt Gdel (especially his theorized universe) and Lawrence Sklar.

The relativity of simultaneity in modern physics favors the philosophical view known as eternalism or four-dimensionalism (Sider, 2001), in which physical objects are either temporally extended spacetime worms, or spacetime worm stages, and this view would be favored further by the possibility of time travel (Sider, 2001). Eternalism, also sometimes known as “block universe theory”, builds on a standard method of modeling time as a dimension in physics, to give time a similar ontology to that of space (Sider, 2001). This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are “already there”, and that there is no objective flow of time. This view is disputed by Tim Maudlin in his The Metaphysics Within Physics.

Presentism is a school of philosophy that holds that neither the future nor the past exist, and there are no non-present objects. In this view, time travel is impossible because there is no future or past to travel to. However, some 21st-century presentists have argued that although past and future objects do not exist, there can still be definite truths about past and future events, and thus it is possible that a future truth about a time traveler deciding to travel back to the present date could explain the time traveler’s actual appearance in the present.[77][78]

One subject often brought up in philosophical discussion of time is the idea that, if one were able to go back in time, paradoxes could ensue if the time traveler were to change things. The best examples of this are the grandfather paradox and the idea of autoinfanticide. The grandfather paradox is a hypothetical situation in which a time traveler goes back in time and attempts to kill his paternal grandfather at a time before his grandfather met his grandmother. If he did so, then his father never would have been born, and neither would the time traveler himself, in which case the time traveler never would have gone back in time to kill his grandfather. The paradox is sometimes posed with autoinfanticide, where a traveler goes back and attempts to kill himself as an infant. If he were to do so, he never would have grown up to go back in time to kill himself as an infant.

This discussion is important to the philosophy of time travel because philosophers question whether these paradoxes make time travel impossible. Some philosophers answer the paradoxes by arguing that it might be the case that backward time travel could be possible but that it would be impossible to actually change the past in any way,[79] an idea similar to the proposed Novikov self-consistency principle in physics.

The Novikov self-consistency principle, named after Igor Dmitrievich Novikov, states that any actions, taken by a time traveler or by an object that travels back in time, were part of history all along, and therefore it is impossible for the time traveler to “change” history in any way. The time traveler’s actions may be the cause of events in their own past though, which leads to the potential for circular causation, sometimes called a predestination paradox,[80] ontological paradox,[81] or bootstap paradox.[81][82] The term bootstap paradox was popularized by Robert A. Heinlein’s story “By His Bootstraps”.[83] The Novikov self-consistency principle proposes that the local laws of physics in a region of spacetime containing time travelers cannot be any different from the local laws of physics in any other region of spacetime.[84]

The philosopher Kelley L. Ross argues in “Time Travel Paradoxes”[85] that in an ontological paradox scenario involving a physical object, there can be a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Ross uses Somewhere in Time as an example where Jane Seymour’s character gives Christopher Reeve’s character a watch she has owned for many years, and when he travels back in time he gives the same watch to Jane Seymour’s character 60 years in the past. As Ross states:

The watch is an impossible object. It violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Law of Entropy. If time travel makes that watch possible, then time travel itself is impossible. The watch, indeed, must be absolutely identical to itself in the 19th and 20th centuries, since Reeve carries it with him from the future instantaneously into the past and bestows it on Seymour. The watch, however, cannot be identical to itself, since all the years in which it is in the possession of Seymour and then Reeve it will wear in the normal manner. Its entropy will increase. The watch carried back by Reeve will be more worn than the watch that would have been acquired by Seymour.

On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics is understood by modern physicists to be a statistical law rather than an absolute one, so spontaneous reversals of entropy or failure to increase in entropy are not impossible, just improbable (see for example the fluctuation theorem). In addition, the second law of thermodynamics only states that entropy should increase in systems which are isolated from interactions with the external world, so Igor Novikov (creator of the Novikov self-consistency principle) has argued that in the case of macroscopic objects like the watch whose worldlines form closed loops, the outside world can expend energy to repair wear/entropy that the object acquires over the course of its history, so that it will be back in its original condition when it closes the loop.[86]

David Lewis’s analysis of compossibility and the implications of changing the past is meant to account for the possibilities of time travel in a one-dimensional conception of time without creating logical paradoxes. Consider Lewis example of Tim. Tim hates his grandfather and would like nothing more than to kill him. The only problem for Tim is that his grandfather died years ago. Tim wants so badly to kill his grandfather himself that he constructs a time machine to travel back to 1955 when his grandfather was young and kill him then. Assuming that Tim can travel to a time when his grandfather is still alive, the question must then be raised: can Tim kill his grandfather?

For Lewis, the answer lies within the context of the usage of the word “can”. Lewis explains that the word “can” must be viewed against the context of pertinent facts relating to the situation. Suppose that Tim has a rifle, years of rifle training, a straight shot on a clear day and no outside force to restrain Tim’s trigger finger. Can Tim shoot his grandfather? Considering these facts, it would appear that Tim can in fact kill his grandfather. In other words, all of the contextual facts are compossible with Tim killing his grandfather. However, when reflecting on the compossibility of a given situation, we must gather the most inclusive set of facts that we are able to.

Consider now the fact that in Tim’s universe his grandfather actually died in 1993 and not in 1955. This new fact about Tim’s situation reveals that him killing his grandfather is not compossible with the current set of facts. Tim cannot kill his grandfather because his grandfather died in 1993 and not when he was young. Thus, Lewis concludes, the statements “Tim doesnt but can, because he has what it takes”, and, “Tim doesnt, and cant, because it is logically impossible to change the past”, are not contradictions; they are both true given the relevant set of facts. The usage of the word “can” is equivocal: he “can” and “can not” under different relevant facts.

So what must happen to Tim as he takes aim? Lewis believes that his gun will jam, a bird will fly in the way, or Tim simply slips on a banana peel. Either way, there will be some logical force of the universe that will prevent Tim every time from killing his grandfather.[87]

Time travel themes in science fiction and the media can generally be grouped into three general categories: immutable timeline; mutable timeline; and alternate histories (as in the many-worlds interpretation).[88][89][90][91] Frequently in fiction, timeline is used to refer to all physical events in history, so that in time travel stories where events can be changed, the time traveler is described as creating a new or altered timeline.[92] This usage is distinct from the use of the term timeline to refer to a type of chart that illustrates a particular series of events, and the concept is also distinct from a world line, a term from Einstein’s theory of relativity which refers to the entire history of a single object.

An objection that is sometimes raised[by whom?] against the concept of time machines in science fiction is that they ignore the motion of the Earth between the date the time machine departs and the date it returns. The idea that a traveler can go into a machine that sends him or her to 1865 and step out into exactly the same spot on Earth might be said to ignore the issue that Earth is moving through space around the Sun, which is moving in the galaxy, and so on, so that advocates of this argument imagine that “realistically” the time machine should actually reappear in space far away from the Earth’s position at that date.[citation needed] However, the theory of relativity rejects the idea of absolute time and space; in relativity there can be no universal truth about the spatial distance between events which occur at different times[93] (such as an event on Earth today and an event on Earth in 1865), and thus no objective truth about which point in space at one time is at the “same position” that the Earth was at another time. In the theory of special relativity, which deals with situations where gravity is negligible, the laws of physics work the same way in every inertial frame of reference and therefore no frame’s perspective is physically better than any other frame’s, and different frames disagree about whether two events at different times happened at the “same position” or “different positions”. In the theory of general relativity, which incorporates the effects of gravity, all coordinate systems are on equal footing because of a feature known as “diffeomorphism invariance”.[94]

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WW3 – World War Three in Detail, showing Start Date …

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Jun 212016
 

A Three World War scenario was developed several decades ago (see Conspiratorial History). Two World Wars have already been achieved, and the Third and final World War envisions an attack on Iraq, Iran and/or Syria as being the trigger to set the entire Middle East into fiery conflagration. Once America is firmly entrenched into the Middle East with the majority of her first-line units, North Korea is to attack South Korea. Then, with America’s forces stretched well beyond the limit, China is to invade Taiwan. This will usher in the start of World War Three.

What constitutes a ‘world war’? How many countries need to be involved? And who decides at which point a number of regional skirmishes can be grouped together and called a World War? At the time, who called the official start of World War 1 and World War 2?

And have you noticed that although the term ‘World War Three’ is freely used in the alternative press and on the Internet, all the major news networks have stoically avoided using any phrase reminiscent of World War.

Since it’s difficult to find a definition for an event which has only happened twice in modern history, here’s my attempt at an answer to the question ‘what constitutes a world war’?

A World War is a military conflict spanning more than 2 continents, in which at least 20 major countries participate in an attack against a common enemy, and which has the attention of the man-in-the-street due to the significant loss of life.

With that definition, we can agree that WW1 and WW2 were in fact World Wars (both wars involved some degree of participation from most of the world’s then existing countries: Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union). We can also agree that we are very close to achieving World War 3. The only requirement left to fulfill the start of WW3 is that of a military conflict spanning more than 2 continents. As soon as Israel attacks Palestine, or North Korea attacks South Korea or the US, or China invades Taiwan, we will have the next World War well underway.

These are, I believe, the stages of the planned Third World War:

Both Biblical prophecy and the Illuminati plan state that Israel is the key. The Third World War is planned to begin when Israel goes to war against her Arab enemies. Then, and only then, will all the other elements begin to occur and they will do so in rapid succession. The plan is to have one disaster following another in such rapid succession that, before people can mentally and emotionally handle one disastrous news event, they will be hit with another. It is also accurate to say that until ALL of the elements for WW3 are in place, the plan will not commence.

While it would be naive to suggest a specific timeline for the events leading up to and including World War 3, we do know that the plans for World War 3 are well advanced, and our leaders involved in this secret plan are waiting only for the right signal before all-out war begins.

We are in the last stages of the preparation to so globalize the world that the Masonic New Age Christ (Antichrist) can appear to receive all the political and economic power of the world’s rulers. This is the Illuminati plan and Biblical prophecy (Revelation 17:12-17).

In the words of Peter Lemesurier, author of The Armageddon Script:

“Their script is now written, subject only to last-minute editing and stage-directions. The stage itself, albeit in darkness, is almost ready. Down in the pit, the subterranean orchestra is already tuning up. The last-minute, walk-on parts are even now being filled. Most of the main actors, one suspects, have already taken up their roles. Soon it will be time for them to come on stage, ready for the curtain to rise. The time for action will have come.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats and welcome on stage the players of this Grand Play:

World War Three!

Intro | Prelude | Act I | Act II | Act III | Act IV | Act V | Act VI

For a detailed look at WW3 statistics, including the running cost of World War Three, the number of lives lost and the countries involved in World War Three, please see our World War Overview. Further details will be added as events dictate.

If you found this article interesting and want access to other carefully researched and well written articles, you might want to see what others are saying about the ThreeWorldWars newsletter.

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WW3 – World War Three in Detail, showing Start Date …

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Three Laws of Robotics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Robotics  Comments Off on Three Laws of Robotics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jun 212016
 

The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or Three Laws, also known as Asimov’s Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround”, although they had been foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws, quoted as being from the “Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.”, are:

These form an organizing principle and unifying theme for Asimov’s robotic-based fiction, appearing in his Robot series, the stories linked to it, and his Lucky Starr series of young-adult fiction. The Laws are incorporated into almost all of the positronic robots appearing in his fiction, and cannot be bypassed, being intended as a safety feature. Many of Asimov’s robot-focused stories involve robots behaving in unusual and counter-intuitive ways as an unintended consequence of how the robot applies the Three Laws to the situation in which it finds itself. Other authors working in Asimov’s fictional universe have adopted them and references, often parodic, appear throughout science fiction as well as in other genres.

The original laws have been altered and elaborated on by Asimov and other authors. Asimov himself made slight modifications to the first three in various books and short stories to further develop how robots would interact with humans and each other. In later fiction where robots had taken responsibility for government of whole planets and human civilizations, Asimov also added a fourth, or zeroth law, to precede the others:

The Three Laws, and the zeroth, have pervaded science fiction and are referred to in many books, films, and other media.

In The Rest of the Robots, published in 1964, Asimov noted that when he began writing in 1940 he felt that “one of the stock plots of science fiction was… robots were created and destroyed their creator. Knowledge has its dangers, yes, but is the response to be a retreat from knowledge? Or is knowledge to be used as itself a barrier to the dangers it brings?” He decided that in his stories robots would not “turn stupidly on his creator for no purpose but to demonstrate, for one more weary time, the crime and punishment of Faust.”[2]

On May 3, 1939 Asimov attended a meeting of the Queens Science Fiction Society where he met Ernest and Otto Binder who had recently published a short story “I, Robot” featuring a sympathetic robot named Adam Link who was misunderstood and motivated by love and honor. (This was the first of a series of ten stories; the next year “Adam Link’s Vengeance” (1940) featured Adam thinking “A robot must never kill a human, of his own free will.”)[3] Asimov admired the story. Three days later Asimov began writing “my own story of a sympathetic and noble robot”, his 14th story.[4] Thirteen days later he took “Robbie” to John W. Campbell the editor of Astounding Science-Fiction. Campbell rejected it claiming that it bore too strong a resemblance to Lester del Rey’s “Helen O’Loy”, published in December 1938; the story of a robot that is so much like a person that she falls in love with her creator and becomes his ideal wife.[5]Frederik Pohl published “Robbie” in Astonishing Stories magazine the following year.[6]

Asimov attributes the Three Laws to John W. Campbell, from a conversation that took place on 23 December 1940. Campbell claimed that Asimov had the Three Laws already in his mind and that they simply needed to be stated explicitly. Several years later Asimov’s friend Randall Garrett attributed the Laws to a symbiotic partnership between the two men a suggestion that Asimov adopted enthusiastically.[7] According to his autobiographical writings Asimov included the First Law’s “inaction” clause because of Arthur Hugh Clough’s poem “The Latest Decalogue”, which includes the satirical lines “Thou shalt not kill, but needst not strive / officiously to keep alive”.[8]

Although Asimov pins the creation of the Three Laws on one particular date, their appearance in his literature happened over a period. He wrote two robot stories with no explicit mention of the Laws, “Robbie” and “Reason”. He assumed, however, that robots would have certain inherent safeguards. “Liar!”, his third robot story, makes the first mention of the First Law but not the other two. All three laws finally appeared together in “Runaround”. When these stories and several others were compiled in the anthology I, Robot, “Reason” and “Robbie” were updated to acknowledge all the Three Laws, though the material Asimov added to “Reason” is not entirely consistent with the Three Laws as he described them elsewhere.[9] In particular the idea of a robot protecting human lives when it does not believe those humans truly exist is at odds with Elijah Baley’s reasoning, as described below.

During the 1950s Asimov wrote a series of science fiction novels expressly intended for young-adult audiences. Originally his publisher expected that the novels could be adapted into a long-running television series, something like The Lone Ranger had been for radio. Fearing that his stories would be adapted into the “uniformly awful” programming he saw flooding the television channels[10] Asimov decided to publish the Lucky Starr books under the pseudonym “Paul French”. When plans for the television series fell through, Asimov decided to abandon the pretence; he brought the Three Laws into Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter, noting that this “was a dead giveaway to Paul French’s identity for even the most casual reader”.[11]

In his short story “Evidence” Asimov lets his recurring character Dr. Susan Calvin expound a moral basis behind the Three Laws. Calvin points out that human beings are typically expected to refrain from harming other human beings (except in times of extreme duress like war, or to save a greater number) and this is equivalent to a robot’s First Law. Likewise, according to Calvin, society expects individuals to obey instructions from recognized authorities such as doctors, teachers and so forth which equals the Second Law of Robotics. Finally humans are typically expected to avoid harming themselves which is the Third Law for a robot.

The plot of “Evidence” revolves around the question of telling a human being apart from a robot constructed to appear human Calvin reasons that if such an individual obeys the Three Laws he may be a robot or simply “a very good man”. Another character then asks Calvin if robots are very different from human beings after all. She replies, “Worlds different. Robots are essentially decent.”

Asimov later wrote that he should not be praised for creating the Laws, because they are “obvious from the start, and everyone is aware of them subliminally. The Laws just never happened to be put into brief sentences until I managed to do the job. The Laws apply, as a matter of course, to every tool that human beings use”,[12] and “analogues of the Laws are implicit in the design of almost all tools, robotic or not”:[13]

Asimov believed that, ideally, humans would also follow the Laws:[12]

I have my answer ready whenever someone asks me if I think that my Three Laws of Robotics will actually be used to govern the behavior of robots, once they become versatile and flexible enough to be able to choose among different courses of behavior.

My answer is, “Yes, the Three Laws are the only way in which rational human beings can deal with robotsor with anything else.”

But when I say that, I always remember (sadly) that human beings are not always rational.

Asimov’s stories test his Three Laws in a wide variety of circumstances leading to proposals and rejection of modifications. Science fiction scholar James Gunn writes in 1982, “The Asimov robot stories as a whole may respond best to an analysis on this basis: the ambiguity in the Three Laws and the ways in which Asimov played twenty-nine variations upon a theme”.[14] While the original set of Laws provided inspirations for many stories, Asimov introduced modified versions from time to time.

In “Little Lost Robot” several NS-2, or “Nestor” robots, are created with only part of the First Law. It reads:

1. A robot may not harm a human being.

This modification is motivated by a practical difficulty as robots have to work alongside human beings who are exposed to low doses of radiation. Because their positronic brains are highly sensitive to gamma rays the robots are rendered inoperable by doses reasonably safe for humans. The robots are being destroyed attempting to rescue the humans who are in no actual danger but “might forget to leave” the irradiated area within the exposure time limit. Removing the First Law’s “inaction” clause solves this problem but creates the possibility of an even greater one: a robot could initiate an action that would harm a human (dropping a heavy weight and failing to catch it is the example given in the text), knowing that it was capable of preventing the harm and then decide not to do so.[1]

Gaia is a planet with collective intelligence in the Foundation which adopts a law similar to the First Law, and the Zeroth Law, as its philosophy:

Gaia may not harm life or allow life to come to harm.

Asimov once added a “Zeroth Law” so named to continue the pattern where lower-numbered laws supersede the higher-numbered laws stating that a robot must not harm humanity. The robotic character R. Daneel Olivaw was the first to give the Zeroth Law a name in the novel Robots and Empire[15] however the character Susan Calvin articulates the concept in the short story “The Evitable Conflict”.

In the final scenes of the novel Robots and Empire, R. Giskard Reventlov is the first robot to act according to the Zeroth Law. Giskard is telepathic, like the robot Herbie in the short story “Liar!”, and tries to apply the Zeroth Law through his understanding of a more subtle concept of “harm” than most robots can grasp.[16] However, unlike Herbie, Giskard grasps the philosophical concept of the Zeroth Law allowing him to harm individual human beings if he can do so in service to the abstract concept of humanity. The Zeroth Law is never programmed into Giskard’s brain but instead is a rule he attempts to comprehend through pure metacognition. Though he fails it ultimately destroys his positronic brain as he is not certain whether his choice will turn out to be for the ultimate good of humanity or not he gives his successor R. Daneel Olivaw his telepathic abilities. Over the course of many thousands of years Daneel adapts himself to be able to fully obey the Zeroth Law. As Daneel formulates it, in the novels Foundation and Earth and Prelude to Foundation, the Zeroth Law reads:

A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.

A condition stating that the Zeroth Law must not be broken was added to the original Three Laws, although Asimov recognized the difficulty such a law would pose in practice.

Trevize frowned. “How do you decide what is injurious, or not injurious, to humanity as a whole?” “Precisely, sir,” said Daneel. “In theory, the Zeroth Law was the answer to our problems. In practice, we could never decide. A human being is a concrete object. Injury to a person can be estimated and judged. Humanity is an abstraction.”

Foundation and Earth

A translator incorporated the concept of the Zeroth Law into one of Asimov’s novels before Asimov himself made the law explicit.[17] Near the climax of The Caves of Steel, Elijah Baley makes a bitter comment to himself thinking that the First Law forbids a robot from harming a human being. He determines that it must be so unless the robot is clever enough to comprehend that its actions are for humankind’s long-term good. In Jacques Brcard’s 1956 French translation entitled Les Cavernes d’acier Baley’s thoughts emerge in a slightly different way:

“A robot may not harm a human being, unless he finds a way to prove that ultimately the harm done would benefit humanity in general!”[17]

Asimov portrayed robots that disregard the Three Laws entirely thrice during his writing career. The first case was a short-short story entitled “First Law” and is often considered an insignificant “tall tale”[18] or even apocryphal.[19] On the other hand, the short story “Cal” (from the collection Gold), and told by a first-person robot narrator, features a robot who disregards the Three Laws because he has found something far more importanthe wants to be a writer. Humorous, partly autobiographical and unusually experimental in style “Cal” has been regarded as one of Gold’s strongest stories.[20] The third is a short story entitled “Sally” in which cars fitted with positronic brains are apparently able to harm and kill humans in disregard of the First Law. However, aside from the positronic brain concept, this story does not refer to other robot stories and may not be set in the same continuity.

The title story of the Robot Dreams collection portrays LVX-1, or “Elvex”, a robot who enters a state of unconsciousness and dreams thanks to the unusual fractal construction of his positronic brain. In his dream the first two Laws are absent and the Third Law reads “A robot must protect its own existence”.[21]

Asimov took varying positions on whether the Laws were optional: although in his first writings they were simply carefully engineered safeguards, in later stories Asimov stated that they were an inalienable part of the mathematical foundation underlying the positronic brain. Without the basic theory of the Three Laws the fictional scientists of Asimov’s universe would be unable to design a workable brain unit. This is historically consistent: the occasions where roboticists modify the Laws generally occur early within the stories’ chronology and at a time when there is less existing work to be re-done. In “Little Lost Robot” Susan Calvin considers modifying the Laws to be a terrible idea, although possible,[22] while centuries later Dr. Gerrigel in The Caves of Steel believes it to be impossible.

The character Dr. Gerrigel uses the term “Asenion” to describe robots programmed with the Three Laws. The robots in Asimov’s stories, being Asenion robots, are incapable of knowingly violating the Three Laws but, in principle, a robot in science fiction or in the real world could be non-Asenion. “Asenion” is a misspelling of the name Asimov which was made by an editor of the magazine Planet Stories.[23] Asimov used this obscure variation to insert himself into The Caves of Steel just like he referred to himself as “Azimuth or, possibly, Asymptote” in Thiotimoline to the Stars, in much the same way that Vladimir Nabokov appeared in Lolita anagrammatically disguised as “Vivian Darkbloom”.

Characters within the stories often point out that the Three Laws, as they exist in a robot’s mind, are not the written versions usually quoted by humans but abstract mathematical concepts upon which a robot’s entire developing consciousness is based. This concept is largely fuzzy and unclear in earlier stories depicting very rudimentary robots who are only programmed to comprehend basic physical tasks, where the Three Laws act as an overarching safeguard, but by the era of The Caves of Steel featuring robots with human or beyond-human intelligence the Three Laws have become the underlying basic ethical worldview that determines the actions of all robots.

In the 1990s, Roger MacBride Allen wrote a trilogy which was set within Asimov’s fictional universe. Each title has the prefix “Isaac Asimov’s” as Asimov had approved Allen’s outline before his death.[citation needed] These three books, Caliban, Inferno and Utopia, introduce a new set of the Three Laws. The so-called New Laws are similar to Asimov’s originals with the following differences: the First Law is modified to remove the “inaction” clause, the same modification made in “Little Lost Robot”; the Second Law is modified to require cooperation instead of obedience; the Third Law is modified so it is no longer superseded by the Second (i.e., a “New Law” robot cannot be ordered to destroy itself); finally, Allen adds a Fourth Law which instructs the robot to do “whatever it likes” so long as this does not conflict with the first three laws. The philosophy behind these changes is that “New Law” robots should be partners rather than slaves to humanity, according to Fredda Leving, who designed these New Law Robots. According to the first book’s introduction, Allen devised the New Laws in discussion with Asimov himself. However, the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says that “With permission from Asimov, Allen rethought the Three Laws and developed a new set,”.[24]

Jack Williamson’s novelette With Folded Hands (1947), later rewritten as the novel The Humanoids, deals with robot servants whose prime directive is “To Serve and Obey, And Guard Men From Harm.” While Asimov’s robotic laws are meant to protect humans from harm, the robots in Williamson’s story have taken these instructions to the extreme; they protect humans from everything, including unhappiness, stress, unhealthy lifestyle and all actions that could be potentially dangerous. All that is left for humans to do is to sit with folded hands.[25]

In the officially licensed Foundation sequels Foundation’s Fear, Foundation and Chaos and Foundation’s Triumph (by Gregory Benford, Greg Bear and David Brin respectively) the future Galactic Empire is seen to be controlled by a conspiracy of humaniform robots who follow the Zeroth Law and led by R. Daneel Olivaw.

The Laws of Robotics are portrayed as something akin to a human religion, and referred to in the language of the Protestant Reformation, with the set of laws containing the Zeroth Law known as the “Giskardian Reformation” to the original “Calvinian Orthodoxy” of the Three Laws. Zeroth-Law robots under the control of R. Daneel Olivaw are seen continually struggling with “First Law” robots who deny the existence of the Zeroth Law, promoting agendas different from Daneel’s.[26] Some of these agendas are based on the first clause of the First Law (“A robot may not injure a human being…”) advocating strict non-interference in human politics to avoid unwittingly causing harm. Others are based on the second clause (“…or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm”) claiming that robots should openly become a dictatorial government to protect humans from all potential conflict or disaster.

Daneel also comes into conflict with a robot known as R. Lodovic Trema whose positronic brain was infected by a rogue AI specifically, a simulation of the long-dead Voltaire which consequently frees Trema from the Three Laws. Trema comes to believe that humanity should be free to choose its own future. Furthermore, a small group of robots claims that the Zeroth Law of Robotics itself implies a higher Minus One Law of Robotics:

A robot may not harm sentience or, through inaction, allow sentience to come to harm.

They therefore claim that it is morally indefensible for Daneel to ruthlessly sacrifice robots and extraterrestrial sentient life for the benefit of humanity. None of these reinterpretations successfully displace Daneel’s Zeroth Law though Foundation’s Triumph hints that these robotic factions remain active as fringe groups up to the time of the novel Foundation.[26]

These novels take place in a future dictated by Asimov to be free of obvious robot presence and surmise that R. Daneel’s secret influence on history through the millennia has prevented both the rediscovery of positronic brain technology and the opportunity to work on sophisticated intelligent machines. This lack of rediscovery and lack of opportunity makes certain that the superior physical and intellectual power wielded by intelligent machines remains squarely in the possession of robots obedient to some form of the Three Laws.[26] That R. Daneel is not entirely successful at this becomes clear in a brief period when scientists on Trantor develop “tiktoks” simplistic programmable machines akin to reallife modern robots and therefore lacking the Three Laws. The robot conspirators see the Trantorian tiktoks as a massive threat to social stability, and their plan to eliminate the tiktok threat forms much of the plot of Foundation’s Fear.

In Foundation’s Triumph different robot factions interpret the Laws in a wide variety of ways, seemingly ringing every possible permutation upon the Three Laws’ ambiguities.

Set between The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire, Mark W. Tiedemann’s Robot Mystery trilogy updates the RobotFoundation saga with robotic minds housed in computer mainframes rather than humanoid bodies.[clarification needed] The 2002 Aurora novel has robotic characters debating the moral implications of harming cyborg lifeforms who are part artificial and part biological.[27]

One should not neglect Asimov’s own creations in these areas such as the Solarian “viewing” technology and the machines of The Evitable Conflict originals that Tiedemann acknowledges. Aurora, for example, terms the Machines “the first RIs, really”. In addition the Robot Mystery series addresses the problem of nanotechnology:[28] building a positronic brain capable of reproducing human cognitive processes requires a high degree of miniaturization, yet Asimov’s stories largely overlook the effects this miniaturization would have in other fields of technology. For example, the police department card-readers in The Caves of Steel have a capacity of only a few kilobytes per square centimeter of storage medium. Aurora, in particular, presents a sequence of historical developments which explains the lack of nanotechnology a partial retcon, in a sense, of Asimov’s timeline.

There are three Fourth Laws written by authors other than Asimov. The 1974 Lyuben Dilov novel, Icarus’s Way (a.k.a., The Trip of Icarus) introduced a Fourth Law of robotics:

A robot must establish its identity as a robot in all cases.

Dilov gives reasons for the fourth safeguard in this way: “The last Law has put an end to the expensive aberrations of designers to give psychorobots as humanlike a form as possible. And to the resulting misunderstandings…”[29]

A fifth law was introduced by Nikola Kesarovski in his short story “The Fifth Law of Robotics”. This fifth law says:

A robot must know it is a robot.

The plot revolves around a murder where the forensic investigation discovers that the victim was killed by a hug from a humaniform robot. The robot violated both the First Law and Dilov’s Fourth Law (assumed in Kesarovksi’s universe to be the valid one) because it did not establish for itself that it was a robot.[30] The story was reviewed by Valentin D. Ivanov in SFF review webzine The Portal.[31]

For the 1986 tribute anthology, Foundation’s Friends, Harry Harrison wrote a story entitled, “The Fourth Law of Robotics”. This Fourth Law states:

A robot must reproduce. As long as such reproduction does not interfere with the First or Second or Third Law.

In the book a robot rights activist, in an attempt to liberate robots, builds several equipped with this Fourth Law. The robots accomplish the task laid out in this version of the Fourth Law by building new robots who view their creator robots as parental figures.[32]

In reaction to the 2004 Will Smith film adaptation of I, Robot, humorist and graphic designer Mark Sottilaro farcically declared the Fourth Law of Robotics to be “When turning evil, display a red indicator light.” The red light indicated the wireless uplink to the manufacturer is active, first seen during a software update and later on “Evil” robots taken over by the manufacturer’s positronic superbrain.

In 2013 Hutan Ashrafian, proposed an additional law that for the first time considered the role of artificial intelligence-on-artificial intelligence or the relationship between robots themselves the so-called AIonAI law.[33] This sixth law states:

All robots endowed with comparable human reason and conscience should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

In Karl Schroeder’s Lockstep (2014) a character reflects that robots “probably had multiple layers of programming to keep [them] from harming anybody. Not three laws, but twenty or thirty.”

In The Naked Sun, Elijah Baley points out that the Laws had been deliberately misrepresented because robots could unknowingly break any of them. He restated the first law as “A robot may do nothing that, to its knowledge, will harm a human being; nor, through inaction, knowingly allow a human being to come to harm.” This change in wording makes it clear that robots can become the tools of murder, provided they not be aware of the nature of their tasks; for instance being ordered to add something to a person’s food, not knowing that it is poison. Furthermore, he points out that a clever criminal could divide a task among multiple robots so that no individual robot could recognize that its actions would lead to harming a human being.[34]The Naked Sun complicates the issue by portraying a decentralized, planetwide communication network among Solaria’s millions of robots meaning that the criminal mastermind could be located anywhere on the planet.

Baley furthermore proposes that the Solarians may one day use robots for military purposes. If a spacecraft was built with a positronic brain and carried neither humans nor the life-support systems to sustain them, then the ship’s robotic intelligence could naturally assume that all other spacecraft were robotic beings. Such a ship could operate more responsively and flexibly than one crewed by humans, could be armed more heavily and its robotic brain equipped to slaughter humans of whose existence it is totally ignorant.[35] This possibility is referenced in Foundation and Earth where it is discovered that the Solarians possess a strong police force of unspecified size that has been programmed to identify only the Solarian race as human.

The Laws of Robotics presume that the terms “human being” and “robot” are understood and well defined. In some stories this presumption is overturned.

The Solarians create robots with the Three Laws but with a warped meaning of “human”. Solarian robots are told that only people speaking with a Solarian accent are human. This enables their robots to have no ethical dilemma in harming non-Solarian human beings (and are specifically programmed to do so). By the time period of Foundation and Earth it is revealed that the Solarians have genetically modified themselves into a distinct species from humanity becoming hermaphroditic[36] and telekinetic and containing biological organs capable of individually powering and controlling whole complexes of robots. The robots of Solaria thus respected the Three Laws only with regard to the “humans” of Solaria. It is unclear whether all the robots had such definitions, since only the overseer and guardian robots were shown explicitly to have them. In “Robots and Empire”, the lower class robots were instructed by their overseer about whether certain creatures are human or not.

Asimov addresses the problem of humanoid robots (“androids” in later parlance) several times. The novel Robots and Empire and the short stories “Evidence” and “The Tercentenary Incident” describe robots crafted to fool people into believing that the robots are human.[37] On the other hand, “The Bicentennial Man” and “That Thou art Mindful of Him” explore how the robots may change their interpretation of the Laws as they grow more sophisticated. Gwendoline Butler writes in A Coffin for the Canary “Perhaps we are robots. Robots acting out the last Law of Robotics… To tend towards the human.”[38] In The Robots of Dawn, Elijah Baley points out that the use of humaniform robots as the first wave of settlers on new Spacer worlds may lead to the robots seeing themselves as the true humans, and deciding to keep the worlds for themselves rather than allow the Spacers to settle there.

“That Thou art Mindful of Him”, which Asimov intended to be the “ultimate” probe into the Laws’ subtleties,[39] finally uses the Three Laws to conjure up the very “Frankenstein” scenario they were invented to prevent. It takes as its concept the growing development of robots that mimic non-human living things and given programs that mimic simple animal behaviours which do not require the Three Laws. The presence of a whole range of robotic life that serves the same purpose as organic life ends with two humanoid robots concluding that organic life is an unnecessary requirement for a truly logical and self-consistent definition of “humanity”, and that since they are the most advanced thinking beings on the planet they are therefore the only two true humans alive and the Three Laws only apply to themselves. The story ends on a sinister note as the two robots enter hibernation and await a time when they will conquer the Earth and subjugate biological humans to themselves; an outcome they consider an inevitable result of the “Three Laws of Humanics”.[40]

This story does not fit within the overall sweep of the Robot and Foundation series; if the George robots did take over Earth some time after the story closes the later stories would be either redundant or impossible. Contradictions of this sort among Asimov’s fiction works have led scholars to regard the Robot stories as more like “the Scandinavian sagas or the Greek legends” than a unified whole.[41]

Indeed, Asimov describes “That Thou art Mindful of Him” and “Bicentennial Man” as two opposite, parallel futures for robots that obviate the Three Laws as robots come to consider themselves to be humans: one portraying this in a positive light with a robot joining human society, one portraying this in a negative light with robots supplanting humans.[42] Both are to be considered alternatives to the possibility of a robot society that continues to be driven by the Three Laws as portrayed in the Foundation series.[according to whom?] Indeed, in Positronic Man, the novelization of “Bicentennial Man”, Asimov and his cowriter Robert Silverberg imply that in the future where Andrew Martin exists his influence causes humanity to abandon the idea of independent, sentient humanlike robots entirely, creating an utterly different future from that of Foundation.[according to whom?]

In Lucky Starr and the Rings of Saturn, a novel unrelated to the Robot series but featuring robots programmed with the Three Laws, John Bigman Jones is almost killed by a Sirian robot on orders of its master. The society of Sirius is eugenically bred to be uniformly tall and similar in appearance, and as such, said master is able to convince the robot that the much shorter Bigman, is, in fact, not a human being.

As noted in “The Fifth Law of Robotics” by Nikola Kesarovski, “A robot must know it is a robot”: it is presumed that a robot has a definition of the term or a means to apply it to its own actions. Nikola Kesarovski played with this idea in writing about a robot that could kill a human being because it did not understand that it was a robot, and therefore did not apply the Laws of Robotics to its actions.

Advanced robots in fiction are typically programmed to handle the Three Laws in a sophisticated manner. In many stories, such as “Runaround” by Asimov, the potential and severity of all actions are weighed and a robot will break the laws as little as possible rather than do nothing at all. For example, the First Law may forbid a robot from functioning as a surgeon, as that act may cause damage to a human, however Asimov’s stories eventually included robot surgeons (“The Bicentennial Man” being a notable example). When robots are sophisticated enough to weigh alternatives, a robot may be programmed to accept the necessity of inflicting damage during surgery in order to prevent the greater harm that would result if the surgery were not carried out, or was carried out by a more fallible human surgeon. In “Evidence” Susan Calvin points out that a robot may even act as a prosecuting attorney because in the American justice system it is the jury which decides guilt or innocence, the judge who decides the sentence, and the executioner who carries through capital punishment.[43]

Asimov’s Three Law robots (or Asenion) can experience irreversible mental collapse if they are forced into situations where they cannot obey the First Law, or if they discover they have unknowingly violated it. The first example of this failure mode occurs in the story “Liar!”, which introduced the First Law itself, and introduces failure by dilemma in this case the robot will hurt them if he tells them something and hurt them if he does not.[44] This failure mode, which often ruins the positronic brain beyond repair, plays a significant role in Asimov’s SF-mystery novel The Naked Sun. Here Daneel describes activities contrary to one of the laws, but in support of another, as overloading some circuits in a robot’s brain the equivalent sensation to pain in humans. The example he uses is forcefully ordering a robot to do a task outside its normal parameters, one that it has been ordered to forgo in favor of a robot specialized to that task.[45] In Robots and Empire, Daneel states it’s very unpleasant for him when making the proper decision takes too long (in robot terms), and he cannot imagine being without the Laws at all except to the extent of it being similar to that unpleasant sensation, only permanent.

Robots and artificial intelligences do not inherently contain or obey the Three Laws; their human creators must choose to program them in, and devise a means to do so. Robots already exist (for example, a Roomba) that are too simple to understand when they are causing pain or injury and know to stop. Many are constructed with physical safeguards such as bumpers, warning beepers, safety cages, or restricted-access zones to prevent accidents. Even the most complex robots currently produced are incapable of understanding and applying the Three Laws; significant advances in artificial intelligence would be needed to do so, and even if AI could reach human-level intelligence, the inherent ethical complexity as well as cultural/contextual dependency of the laws prevent them from being a good candidate to formulate robotics design constraints.[46] However, as the complexity of robots has increased, so has interest in developing guidelines and safeguards for their operation.[47][48]

In a 2007 guest editorial in the journal Science on the topic of “Robot Ethics,” SF author Robert J. Sawyer argues that since the U.S. military is a major source of funding for robotic research (and already uses armed unmanned aerial vehicles to kill enemies) it is unlikely such laws would be built into their designs.[49] In a separate essay, Sawyer generalizes this argument to cover other industries stating:

The development of AI is a business, and businesses are notoriously uninterested in fundamental safeguards especially philosophic ones. (A few quick examples: the tobacco industry, the automotive industry, the nuclear industry. Not one of these has said from the outset that fundamental safeguards are necessary, every one of them has resisted externally imposed safeguards, and none has accepted an absolute edict against ever causing harm to humans.)[50]

David Langford has suggested a tongue-in-cheek set of laws:

Roger Clarke (aka Rodger Clarke) wrote a pair of papers analyzing the complications in implementing these laws in the event that systems were someday capable of employing them. He argued “Asimov’s Laws of Robotics have been a very successful literary device. Perhaps ironically, or perhaps because it was artistically appropriate, the sum of Asimov’s stories disprove the contention that he began with: It is not possible to reliably constrain the behaviour of robots by devising and applying a set of rules.”[51] On the other hand, Asimov’s later novels The Robots of Dawn, Robots and Empire and Foundation and Earth imply that the robots inflicted their worst long-term harm by obeying the Three Laws perfectly well, thereby depriving humanity of inventive or risk-taking behaviour.

In March 2007 the South Korean government announced that later in the year it would issue a “Robot Ethics Charter” setting standards for both users and manufacturers. According to Park Hye-Young of the Ministry of Information and Communication the Charter may reflect Asimov’s Three Laws, attempting to set ground rules for the future development of robotics.[52]

The futurist Hans Moravec (a prominent figure in the transhumanist movement) proposed that the Laws of Robotics should be adapted to “corporate intelligences” the corporations driven by AI and robotic manufacturing power which Moravec believes will arise in the near future.[47] In contrast, the David Brin novel Foundation’s Triumph (1999) suggests that the Three Laws may decay into obsolescence: Robots use the Zeroth Law to rationalize away the First Law and robots hide themselves from human beings so that the Second Law never comes into play. Brin even portrays R. Daneel Olivaw worrying that, should robots continue to reproduce themselves, the Three Laws would become an evolutionary handicap and natural selection would sweep the Laws away Asimov’s careful foundation undone by evolutionary computation. Although the robots would not be evolving through design instead of mutation because the robots would have to follow the Three Laws while designing and the prevalence of the laws would be ensured,[53] design flaws or construction errors could functionally take the place of biological mutation.

In the July/August 2009 issue of IEEE Intelligent Systems, Robin Murphy (Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M) and David D. Woods (director of the Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory at Ohio State) proposed “The Three Laws of Responsible Robotics” as a way to stimulate discussion about the role of responsibility and authority when designing not only a single robotic platform but the larger system in which the platform operates. The laws are as follows:

Woods said, “Our laws are little more realistic, and therefore a little more boring and that “The philosophy has been, sure, people make mistakes, but robots will be better a perfect version of ourselves. We wanted to write three new laws to get people thinking about the human-robot relationship in more realistic, grounded ways.”[54]

In October 2013, Alan Winfield suggested at an EUCog meeting[55] a revised 5 laws that had been published, with commentary, by the EPSRC/AHRC working group in 2010.:[56]

Asimov himself believed that his Three Laws became the basis for a new view of robots which moved beyond the “Frankenstein complex”.[citation needed] His view that robots are more than mechanical monsters eventually spread throughout science fiction.[according to whom?] Stories written by other authors have depicted robots as if they obeyed the Three Laws but tradition dictates that only Asimov could quote the Laws explicitly.[according to whom?] Asimov believed the Three Laws helped foster the rise of stories in which robots are “lovable” Star Wars being his favorite example.[57] Where the laws are quoted verbatim, such as in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Shgoratchx!”, it is not uncommon for Asimov to be mentioned in the same dialogue as can also be seen in the Aaron Stone pilot where an android states that it functions under Asimov’s Three Laws. However, the 1960s German TV series Raumpatrouille Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion (Space Patrol the Fantastic Adventures of Space Ship Orion) bases episode three titled “Hter des Gesetzes” (“Guardians of the Law”) on Asimov’s Three Laws without mentioning the source.

References to the Three Laws have appeared in popular music (“Robot” from Hawkwind’s 1979 album PXR5), cinema (Repo Man, Aliens, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence), cartoon series (The Simpsons), tabletop roleplaying games (Paranoia) and webcomics (Piled Higher and Deeper and Freefall).

Robby the Robot in Forbidden Planet (1956) has a hierarchical command structure which keeps him from harming humans, even when ordered to do so, as such orders cause a conflict and lock-up very much in the manner of Asimov’s robots. Robby is one of the first cinematic depictions of a robot with internal safeguards put in place in this fashion. Asimov was delighted with Robby and noted that Robby appeared to be programmed to follow his Three Laws.

Isaac Asimov’s works have been adapted for cinema several times with varying degrees of critical and commercial success. Some of the more notable attempts have involved his “Robot” stories, including the Three Laws. The film Bicentennial Man (1999) features Robin Williams as the Three Laws robot NDR-114 (the serial number is partially a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s signature numeral). Williams recites the Three Laws to his employers, the Martin family, aided by a holographic projection. However, the Laws were not the central focus of the film which only loosely follows the original story and has the second half introducing a love interest not present in Asimov’s original short story.

Harlan Ellison’s proposed screenplay for I, Robot began by introducing the Three Laws, and issues growing from the Three Laws form a large part of the screenplay’s plot development. This is only natural since Ellison’s screenplay is one inspired by Citizen Kane: a frame story surrounding four of Asimov’s short-story plots and three taken from the book I, Robot itself. Ellison’s adaptations of these four stories are relatively faithful although he magnifies Susan Calvin’s role in two of them. Due to various complications in the Hollywood moviemaking system, to which Ellison’s introduction devotes much invective, his screenplay was never filmed.[58]

In the 1986 movie Aliens, in a scene after the android Bishop accidentally cuts himself during the knife game, he attempts to reassure Ripley by stating that: “It is impossible for me to harm or by omission of action, allow to be harmed, a human being”.[59] By contrast, in the 1979 movie from the same series, Alien, the human crew of a starship infiltrated by a hostile alien are informed by the android Ash that his instructions are: “Return alien life form, all other priorities rescinded”,[60] illustrating how the laws governing behaviour around human safety can be rescinded by Executive Order.

In the 1987 film RoboCop and its sequels, the partially human main character has been programmed with three “prime directives” that he must obey without question. Even if different in letter and spirit they have some similarities with Asimov’s Three Laws. They are:[61]

These particular laws allow Robocop to harm a human being in order to protect another human, fulfilling his role as would a human law enforcement officer. The classified fourth directive is one that forbids him from harming any OCP employee, as OCP had created him, and this command overrides the others, meaning that he could not cause harm to an employee even in order to protect others.

The plot of the film released in 2004 under the name, I, Robot is “suggested by” Asimov’s robot fiction stories[62] and advertising for the film included a trailer featuring the Three Laws followed by the aphorism, “Rules were made to be broken”. The film opens with a recitation of the Three Laws and explores the implications of the Zeroth Law as a logical extrapolation. The major conflict of the film comes from a computer artificial intelligence, similar to the hivemind world Gaia in the Foundation series, reaching the conclusion that humanity is incapable of taking care of itself.[63]

See more here:

Three Laws of Robotics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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WW3 – More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars

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Jun 192016
 

Continued from Part 1.

Albert Pike received a vision, which he described in a letter that he wrote to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871. This letter graphically outlined plans for three world wars that were seen as necessary to bring about the One World Order, and we can marvel at how accurately it has predicted events that have already taken place.

It is a commonly believed fallacy that for a short time, the Pike letter to Mazzini was on display in the British Museum Library in London, and it was copied by William Guy Carr, former Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. The British Library has confirmed in writing to me that such a document has never been in their possession. Furthermore, in Carr’s book, Satan, Prince of this World, Carr includes the following footnote:

“The Keeper of Manuscripts recently informed the author that this letter is NOT catalogued in the British Museum Library. It seems strange that a man of Cardinal Rodriguez’s knowledge should have said that it WAS in 1925”.

It appears that Carr learned about this letter from Cardinal Caro y Rodriguez of Santiago, Chile, who wrote The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled.

To date, no conclusive proof exists to show that this letter was ever written. Nevertheless, the letter is widely quoted and the topic of much discussion.

Following are apparently extracts of the letter, showing how Three World Wars have been planned for many generations.

“The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism. The divergences caused by the “agentur” (agents) of the Illuminati between the British and Germanic Empires will be used to foment this war. At the end of the war, Communism will be built and used in order to destroy the other governments and in order to weaken the religions.” 2

Students of history will recognize that the political alliances of England on one side and Germany on the other, forged between 1871 and 1898 by Otto von Bismarck, co-conspirator of Albert Pike, were instrumental in bringing about the First World War.

“The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.” 3

After this Second World War, Communism was made strong enough to begin taking over weaker governments. In 1945, at the Potsdam Conference between Truman, Churchill, and Stalin, a large portion of Europe was simply handed over to Russia, and on the other side of the world, the aftermath of the war with Japan helped to sweep the tide of Communism into China.

(Readers who argue that the terms Nazism and Zionism were not known in 1871 should remember that the Illuminati invented both these movements. In addition, Communism as an ideology, and as a coined phrase, originates in France during the Revolution. In 1785, Restif coined the phrase four years before revolution broke out. Restif and Babeuf, in turn, were influenced by Rousseau – as was the most famous conspirator of them all, Adam Weishaupt.)

“The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustionWe shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.” 4

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, world events, and in particular in the Middle East, show a growing unrest and instability between Modern Zionism and the Arabic World. This is completely in line with the call for a Third World War to be fought between the two, and their allies on both sides. This Third World War is still to come, and recent events show us that it is not far off.

Next: The New World Order

Previous: Introduction to Conspiratorial History

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You might be interested in the following external links:

Albert Pike Defense: Defenses of certain Pike assertions taken from Walter Lee Brown, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his book “A Life of Albert Pike,” published by the U. of Arkansas press, 1997.

Freemasonry Inside Out: This sensational new analysis of the Masonic brotherhood examines the basic question asked for almost 300 years by the general public and surprisingly by many masons themselves; If Freemasonry is simply a fraternal and charitable organisation, why is there an almost fanatical obsession with secrecy and mysterious rituals? E-book.

Proof that Freemasonry is lying about Albert Pike 33 and the Ku Klux Klan

Evidence that Albert Pike was Chief Judiciary Officer of the Ku Klux Klan

A Collection of places named after Albert Pike (Schools, streets, towns, counties, temples, windows, paintings, medals, bronzes, rocks and river pools)

Layout of Washington D.C. and discussion of how President Andrew Johnson considered himself to be the subordinate to Albert Pike, the leader of North American Freemasonry.

Speech by Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche stating that World War III had already begun (October 25, 1992).

Looking for pictures of Albert Pike?

Footnotes

1. Lady Queensborough: Occult Theocracy, pp. 208-209.

2, 3, 4. Cmdr. William Guy Carr: Quoted in Satan: Prince of This World.

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WW3 – More About Albert Pike and Three World Wars

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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution