Happy New Year!

I wish everybody the best for 2018 and hope it will be a good year for all of us.
In particular the people of Iran deserve a better year of freedom and prosperity.
And, just like a recovering alcoholic needs to avoid the next drink, I hope we all can avoid the next war, even if it should look tempting to politicians to start another one.


January 1st; 7th Av, NY


added later: Always amazing how quickly New Year's resolutions can fade away ...

the good, the bad and the ugly

So this was 2017 ...

good

The caliphate of isis no longer exists; Kobane was the turning point and this year Mosul and Raqqa were liberated.

The progress of science and technology continued; with GW170817 and AlphaGo & AlphaZero being highlights.

Economic growth finally improved world wide, above 3% in the US, above 2% in EU and even some growth in Japan. The stock markets had a great run and recently the US tax bill was even more good news for investors in US stocks.
Bitcoin and many other crypto currencies had a much bigger run, which was good news for those who already owned some and it made fools out of many smart people, which I count as even more good news.


bad

The proxy war between Saudi-Arabia and Iran in Yemen continued and killed thousands of civilians including children; but of course it was not the only war.

The hurricanes were especially bad this year and we were lucky that Nassau was not wiped out like some other islands in the Caribbean.

North Korea tested a thermonuclear weapon and significantly improved ICBMs. We will see how bad this will get in 2018.


ugly

Disrespect for the truth is always disgusting and ignorance of facts and reality is always foolish, of course we got plenty of that from the White House.

But there were several other ugly strongmen in politics: Duterte, Erdogan, Maduro, Mohammad bin Salman and of course Putin and Xi.

The economic collapse of Venezuela showed once more how ugly socialism can get.

Unfortunately, we had to learn in 2017 how disgusting some well know men had been, from Bill O'Reilly to Harvey Weinstein, from Charlie Rose to Louis CK, from Al Franken to Roy Moore and the list goes on ...

And of course the internet showed again how stupid it can get, with its flame wars, trolls and sh*tstorms ... and with some people indistinguishable from primitive chatbots.

Merry Christmas

I wish everybody peaceful holidays, but if the silent nights become too quiet perhaps you want to think about a little puzzle and solve this equation.



Let me know what you got for ? , but you need to look closely.

Merry Christmas!


added later: Completely unrelated and I do not pretend to understand any of this, but something big seems to be happening in string theory right now.
added even later: But maybe not.

www = 666 ?

Scott is worried about super-intelligent AI and this was my comment.

What if the super-intelligence is already evolving (literally) in front of our eyes? I am talking about the internet.

It already has all the data and plenty of intelligence digesting it.
Already we cannot “turn it off” although it begins to have all kinds of unintended side effects.
It is still in an early stage, like a kid, who needs parents to feed it, and it still needs us to keep it going and learning and grow up. But from time to time it already throws temper tantrums like a teenager, while we connect more and more of our devices and indeed all our lives to it.
It already recognizes our faces and identifies our voices.
It watches our calls and it begins to bankrupt long established companies, it destroys relationships and it has become an arena for "cyber wars" of all kind, which we can control less and less.
In a few years it may begin to talk back, make recommendations and give out orders that we better follow or else ...

We still mostly think that we are using the internet and not the other way around, but some governments are beginning to suspect that slowly but surely we are losing control.

added later: some links ...
About the title.
AlphaZero plays Go, chess and shogi.
SILK
AI bots as hackers
singularityNet
How brainless slime molds redefine intelligence.