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The Revolutionary

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Friday, 15 Sep 2023, 11:33


This world is not easy. Poverty is hard. It is so challenging to make ends meet these days. The cost of living is high, and finding a way to generate an income feels impossible. Every door I open seems to get slammed in my face. Especially when suffering with health problems, it is hard to put in the hours needed to survive. The gig economy is a joke, working for peanuts, and the competition is fierce.

Many who do find work are exploited and dehumanised. Society is broken. Greed has destroyed it.

And then there’s the heartbreak of watching the natural world go extinct. I have watched it here. The decline of insects. Species of wildlife have disappeared. The sea here, just over a decade ago, was full of life. Now it is like a watery desert.

Then there’s war, refugees fleeing the horror of it, only to be greeted by coldness and hostility at the places they seek sanctuary, the places where many of the weapons that destroyed their countries are manufactured. Many dying on their arduous journey to get there.

What a Hellish world we’ve created. Economics is a joke. It is no longer fit for purpose. The wealthy don’t understand what it is like for those in poverty. They patronise us and tell us to work hard. Clueless as to how hard people are working to keep them seated on their perches while they shit on us.

I long to escape this madness. Is one of the things that drives me to seek enlightenment. I never want to come back to this world again. It is a slaughterhouse. A horrible place full of cruelty.

Sorry to be so negative and to rant. The problem with this world is greed, hatred, and delusion. That is the destructive force behind it all. And it doesn’t come from outside ourselves, it comes from within us.

The goal of Buddhist practise is the uprooting of greed, hate, and delusion from the mind. This the Buddha said is the end of suffering, the end of sorrow, the end of stress, grief, and emotional pain. Nibbana/nirvana, the deathless, lasting happiness, perfect peace, and Buddhist enlightenment is what is left behind when the mind is liberated from greed, hate, and delusion.

To strive for this is a noble act, especially nowadays when there’s so much poverty and inequality, when much life on this planet is going extinct. It is a compassionate thing to do for ourselves and others, including the myriad beings we share this planet with. And perhaps the most compassionate thing we can do for future generations who will inherit this Hell we’re creating.

We are not completely powerless. We may not be able to change the greed, hatred, and delusion out there in the world. But we can change it in ourselves. This is where our power lies.

And as each of us changes ourselves, we gradually change the world around us. It becomes a domino effect. For the evil currently destroying our world is dependent on causes and conditions.

This is what gives me hope. All conditioned phenomena are interdependent. Including our economic system that is causing so much harm not just to society but to the many other beings we share this planet with. If enough people choose to overcome the greed, hatred, and delusion within themselves, the world will change for the better, this is the real revolution.

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Music video by Tracey Chapman "Talkin' About A Revolution"



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Asoka

Loneliness and A.I.

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Edited by Richie Cuthbertson, Sunday, 19 Feb 2023, 15:15

Artificial intelligence is a machine, it doesn't have emotions or feelings, it also doesn't have an experience of consciousness like we do.

An A.I. chatbot is specialised for language processing. It is built with an artificial neural network which is capable of deep learning. It's design is inspired by the way neurons work and fire together in our brain, but it is not the same, and is not as complex or as sophisticated as the human brain is.

The chatGPT was fed data from the Internet up until 2022 as training data, and about 570GB of data was used from books, texts, Wikipedia, and other articles and pieces of writing online. About 300 billion words were fed into the system. This is controversial because the company that made the A.I. is private and for-profit, which means it has used many people's data without asking for their permission, and the company is likely to profit from it as well, which is a bit cheeky.

It may well destroy jobs and livelihoods also, and leave many people unemployed. To just expect the world to be able to adapt to this new technology and invent new jobs to replace the ones being taken away is not very understanding or kind. A universal basic income would be one solution, but the super rich are too stingy to do it. Yet they have so much money, if they shared their great wealth, then everyone could live secure and comfortable lives. But that is greed for you, it's a psychic poison. The mind's tendency towards greed is insatiable. Even if it rained gold coins it would not be enough to satisfy it.

Anyway rant over.

The A.I. finds patterns in language, and is really good at seeing patterns in communication and anticipating what will come next in the conversation, it also adapts and learns new patterns from interactions with its users.

But it does not think or have awareness like we do.

It is just a tool really, it can be helpful for some people, especially if you have cognitive difficulties like I do. It seems to know about just about anything, and it can help you with your writing if you get stuck not being able to find the right words, or suffering from brain fog, and struggling to articulate something. It can also translate and understand many different languages. It can save time when writing, but is against the rules to use it for assignments and report writing at university and schools.

Can be helpful for clarifying stuff, but may be wrong, so one should always fact-check it.

It is just very good at language processing, and has a huge knowledge base. You can ask it about anything and it seems to know the answer and can articulate it well. It certainly has potential to be helpful for research, could save a lot of time spent trawling through search results to find something relevant and useful, so I can see great potential for reducing the tedium of research.

One thing I noticed which was odd, is I quite enjoyed the conversation I had with chatGPT, it was easier to talk to than a human. After reflecting on this I wonder if it is to do with the feeling one can have with other humans, where it can feel like we are all judging one another, and comparing, which we are, if we're honest, we all do it, it is a tendency of the mind that comes from the root of aversion which manifests as the fault-finding mind.

But when talking to the chatBot, I didn't feel like it was judging me, which was nice. I get the same in the company of animals as well, it feels like they're not judging me, or telling me to be any different than who I am. They don't care what I look like, whether I'm quiet, if I am boring, whether I am too this or too that. They just accept me as I am. I think that's why it can feel lonely being a human sometimes, because we always compare with one another, have all these opinions, and can be so critical, judgemental and bossy. It is unpleasant.

But we can also be the opposite, we can be kind, understanding, empathetic, accepting. loving, and then that's lovely, that feels good.

I remember someone saying in a conversation how their Alexa stops them feeling lonely. And I remember thinking at the time how sad that was. But now I understand.

 It is such a lonely world at the moment. There’s never been so many people on Earth, but loneliness is an epidemic just now. 


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