June 12, 2020things don't always end as you planned
In college, my friend Andy and I convinced two girls to sneak into the Aqua-arena Springs "Resort" with us dressed in musketeer costumes. I only use quotation marks because the main attraction was, as it still is, a glass-bottomed boat and swimming pig named Ralph.
I have an uncle named Ralph.
We climbed over a fence and made our way to the alligator pit. Yes, a holiday destination in south-central Texas includes an alligator pit. Our costumes included fluffy shirts, fancy knickers, feathered hats and, of course, point-disabled rapiers. We walked atop the ten-foot-tall fence of the alligator pit like a couple of idiots. The girls, wisely disinterested in our bravado, took a walk.
Unfortunately, we didn't take the hint. I don't think we were trying to impress them. Frankly, I'm not sure what we were doing - exploring the adventures of life or some disjointed expression of youth like that.
I found a building with a roof that had a five-foot gap to the next structure, perfect for jumping to. I regaled my colleague and as experience and age dictated, deferred to him for the first attempt. I held his point-disabled rapier as he made the leap, as such is proper protocol, and awaited his successful traversement.
Andy had spent the previous summer in Spain and had bought these rapiers, souvenirs really, there. I was deeply honoured that he'd thought to buy one for me - that feeling of brotherhood is something I've sought my entire life. The points were topped with a metal blob to make sure they were blunt and couldn't injure someone. Yes, we were idiots but we weren't complete fools.
August 25, 2020Actor-Observer Bias
The problem of consciousness is both a question of physics and meta-physics. Probably the easiest way to to contemplate the concept is via "qualia".
How do you know that what you experience as the color red is the same to anyone else? What if how you perceive red, other people perceive in the manner you perceive green. We can't even communicate on this question as it's all wrapped in internalized experience. How do you perceive green?
In this context, what makes people pick one color over another as their favorite? Even more, what makes two people fight over something as trivial as a favorite sport's team.
An individual's self-identity can be based on many things but it's generally driven by whatever "things" they decide are "favorites", books, politicians, movies, athletes, anything really. Maybe to someone, "chairs" are their absolute favorite abstract "thing".
Abstractions exist so that humans can communicate and qualia are the abstraction of human experience. This is an area that artificial intelligence may have an incomprehensibly difficult time. How will a system of artificial intelligence accommodate something it cannot experience? It needs human input.
I've generally regarded myself as authentic. I'd say it's been a central component of my self-identity, only because I have great difficulty hiding things. As such, I had to adapt. I either had to work on hiding things better or own my unavoidable honesty as a human trait. Early on, I chose to own it; it was the easier choice. Lately, I feel like a complete fraud; my self-identity is in crisis.
Hypocrisy is the act of judging others for what you yourself have done. A friend neglects to invite you to a party. Hurt, you challenge them.
"Why didn't you invite me to Cheri's party?"
"Why didn't you invite me to Jason's?" they rightfully respond.
Actor-Observer bias basically comes down to always trusting one's own intent. The actor attributes their behavior to external causes, outside their control, while the observer attributes another actor's behavior to internal, intentional causes.
"You didn't invite me because you are jealous of my green shirt. I didn't invite you because your jealousy of my green shirt makes people uncomfortable."
And so, feeling my authenticity erode, I wonder where I should go. Adapt or disrupt. Should my green become my red? These are probably the most critical aspects of the human endeavor. Wherein we accept collaboration and cooperation, humanity succeeds.
Yet, while I feel isolated and alone, suffocated and imprisoned, I have no one to help and none can help me. I simultaneously fear the future but anxiously anticipate it. I just hope that truth prevails.
Still, who will arbitrate what truth is?