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Cognitive Asymmetry - The Noise Age

Cognitive Asymmetry - The Noise Age
By Patrick Ryan • Issue #3 • View online
Artificial intelligence is a lot like communism: Ask ten machine learning experts to define it and they’ll come up with one hundred different definitions… and none of them will work as advertised.
Just as the printing press mass produced text information, neural networks mass produce correlation. They find correlations that are too trivial for humans to bother pointing out and correlations which are too complicated to make sense of. Typically, the total human capacity for correlation detection is mostly constrained by education options, investment access, geopolitical competition, academic gatekeeping, and regulation from authorities. With neural networks operating like a printing press to mass produce correlation, the statement “quantity is it’s own quantity” will create an epistemic “shift of scale”.
Part 1 of Cognitive Asymmetry will explore how the printing press, the Industrial age, and the Internet created structurally similar “shifts of scale”. This will help us understand better what unknown events may arise from mass produced correlation.

Came for the Bible, stayed for the Reformation
The Catholic Church was an early advocate for the Print Age. The printing press allowed the Church to dramatically expand its influence by mass producing the Bible. Printing presses, inks, typesets, authors, and press technicians were also being mass produced to keep up with the production demand. As the printed Bible expanded across the world, printing press operations became cheap enough for others to print their own books filled with their own ideas. Martin Luther would successfully leverage printing press availability for his fight against the Church. The abundance of information spawned conspiracy and hope alike, forms of mystery that acted as a last-ditch effort to keep people communicating before the Thirty Years’ War eventually disrupted all of Catholic civil society.
It is common to assume this abundance of print revealed unaddressed social issues. Those of a more scheming perspective may conclude the abundance of print created a new mode of conflict for opportunists. What if the abundance of print also had intrinsic emergent properties which transformed the underlying structure of our very minds? What if those emergent properties of the Print Age were selecting for a type of mind that could easily cut through the noise of mass produced books, posters, and pamphlets?
Keep making stuff until the nukes are cheap
The British Empire was an early advocate for the Industrial Age. The mass production of goods allowed for its trade ambitions and its financial influence to expand. Factories, raw goods, mathematics, engineers, and surplus labor were also being mass produced to keep up with global production demand. As Industrial Age production expanded across the world, manufacturing became cheap enough for others to produce the complex infrastructure (such as rail systems) needed to efficiently centralize power within national frames. Germany, China, and America would successfully leverage their manufacturing power to challenge British financial power. The abundance of produced goods spawned conspiracy and hope alike, forms of mystery which reflected the indirect dance between capital and labor right before nuclear weapons eventually created the demand for world managerial systems.
It is common to assume the abundance of produced goods exacerbated unaddressed social issues. Those of a more scheming perspective may conclude an abundance of produced goods created a new mode of conflict for opportunists. What if the abundance of produced goods also had intrinsic emergent properties which transformed the underlying structure of our very minds? What if those emergent properties of the Industrial Age were selecting for a type of mind that could easily cut through the noise of complex sociological relationships and tribal disputes?
What you believe is what you receive
Postwar America was an early advocate for the Information Age. The mass production of transistors allowed for its trade ambitions and its military influence to expand. Computers, software, complexity research, programmers, and content were also being mass produced to keep up with global information demand. As the infrastructure for the Information Age expanded across the world, psychological weaponry became cheap enough for national powers to exploit international relations for advantages. Oil-producing nations would successfully leverage such techniques to continuously destabilize each other. The abundance of psychological weaponry spawned conspiracy and hope alike, forms of mystery which mirrored the desires of international arrangements right before neural networks would create the demand for epistemic protectionism.
It is common to assume the abundance of psychological weaponry revealed unaddressed social issues. Those of a more scheming perspective may conclude an abundance of psychological weaponry created a new mode of conflict for opportunists. What if the abundance of psychological weaponry also had intrinsic emergent properties which transformed the underlying structure of our very minds? What if those emergent properties of the Information Age were selecting for a type of mind that could easily cut through the noise of belief?
We spend shit identity, AI hoards valid identity
The Unknown Empire was an early advocate for the Noise Age. The mass production of correlation allowed for both its scientific ambitions and cultural influence to expand. Additionally, neural networks, cloud computing, data scientists, machine learning specialists, and specialized hardware were also being mass produced to keep up with global correlation demand. As the infrastructure for the Noise Age expanded across the world, epistemic collapse became cheap enough to interfere with any conception of human identity, regardless of organizational model, scale, entrenchment, or power. City-state power would successfully leverage such techniques to establish hyper borders as the preferred means of colonial expansion. The abundance of epistemic collapse spawned conspiracy and hope alike, forms of mystery which detailed the convoluted reality of identity right before machine learning insights into genomics eventually created the demand for neural engineering as a last-ditch effort to preserve Cold War definitions of identity.
It is common to assume the abundance of epistemic collapse revealed unaddressed social issues. Those of a more scheming perspective may conclude an abundance of epistemic collapse created a new mode of conflict for opportunists. What if the abundance of epistemic collapse also had intrinsic emergent properties which transformed the underlying structure of our very minds? What if those emergent properties of the Noise Age were selecting for a type of mind that could easily cut through the noise of cognition?
Cognitive honesty is the only remaining asset
If we can assume the noise of belief to be a barrier that cannot be crossed by those who cannot examine their own beliefs (a commonly held position in the Pop Science West), we can devise an analogous cognitive barrier which cannot be crossed by those who cannot examine their own cognitive faculties, its underlying constraints, or identify when they slip into superforecasting behavior.
In part 2 of Cognitive Asymmetry, we will explore the “shift of scale” witnessed with mass produced correlation and how to use this scale to create advantageous asymmetrical advantages.
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Patrick Ryan

Autocults is an on-going discussion about powerful AIs that not only create religions and Gods for competitive advantages, but also believe them.

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