I am happy to announce that I closed my LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is such a horrible website, but my personal reasons might not be what you think.

I barely spent any time on LinkedIn, though I have used it in the past to look for jobs. However, in the future, I will try my best to look for jobs through emailing people or applying directly on other websites.

Despite not spending much time with LinkedIn, I am happy I closed my account, because it’s was a waste of time. It is a gamification of the job acquisition process, and the jobs themselves are primarily of the corporate kind, which are soulless to begin with.

Corporate jobs are merely meant to further technological growth and become less sustainable as a planet, and I couldn’t stand seeing them. Of course, to some extent, almost all survival on this planet these days is about furthering technological growth.

So, LinkedIn can’t be blamed for the state of our sick society. However, the way it glorified the process was rather disgusting. Also, the entire system of maintaining connections with other people that I barely knew is also rather sick. I hate making superficial connections. They are meaningless and if the only purpose of them is to get injected into some corporate nothingness then I certainly would rather not have those connections.

LinkedIn also started producing AI-generated articles and getting people on their platform to comment on the “ideas” in those articles. That was probably the last straw. I do not want to support their twisted idea of collaboration by getting involved in superficial interactions with random people who only care about furthering connections.

On the whole, I can say that during my entire time on LinkedIn, it has not helped me once in any way. The continued posts I saw by tech companies that couldn’t care less about anything except ruining the planet for their bottom line disgusted me. The news articles were irrelevant. Everything about the entire experience was inhuman and irrelevant.

I believe the world would be better off without LinkedIn and I would be overjoyed if it shut down, permanently.

These days, people wonder about the definition of AI. Does it mean AGI, as in something truly intelligent? Does machine learning count as AI? When I tell people I won’t use AI, one of the first questions they ask is, “what is AI to you?”

People who are wary of AI might also like to know the answer to this question. If you don’t want to use AI, you might like to know what to avoid. Of course, everyone needs to come up with their own moral code about AI. However, I will propose a rule that I believe should be in everyone’s code:

Avoid AI that makes creative decisions.

Why is this so important? It is because in order to have free-functioning of your creative spirit, you should not be exposed to an extremely fast generator of creative suggestion. AI is such a generator. Why should you avoid fast generators of creative suggestions? It is simply because it will crush your own free-functioning mind.

Although I believe that all AI research should be destroyed, and further research should be halted, when it comes to using AI, it might be almost impossible to completely avoid. Some of the products you buy at the store might be made by companies who use AI.

Yet, you still have control over using AI yourself to make creative decisions, such as using AI to write a paragraph of text for you. Because you have this control, you should exercise this control and avoid using AI in this context. This is the only thing that will give you a fighting chance at being a normal human being in the context of AI manipulation of the human spirit.

Some places, including Canada, have started making laws banning single-use plastics. There are also many laws for phasing out gas-powered cars and introducing electric vehicles. One of the arguments I’ve heard against this is that “China outputs so much CO2” that we should focus on big emitters like China, massive coal plants, and other huge CO2 sources to curb climate change.

And indeed, China is a huge emitter of CO2. In 2017, they emitted almost 30% of the world’s CO2. However, that does not mean we shouldn’t try and reduce our own output of CO2 and other pollutants.

The two options are not mutually exclusive. And more importantly, there’s a good reason to ban plastic straws, reduce our own polluting, however small it may be compared to all those huge coal plants: that is, we need to start cultivating respect for the environment.

People who say their own polluting is insignificant and therefore they can use all the single-use plastic they want are contributing more than just pollution to the environment. They are also reinforcing the philosophy of disrespect for the environment. They are saying that they don’t care and they just want their cushy lifestyle with all the convenience of polluting as much as they want, and to hell with the planet.

That’s why we need to cultivate a serious attitude of respect towards the planet, by reducing the consumption of individuals everywhere, starting with the education of children. If the majority of the population eventually comes around to respecting the environment more, then the vast majority of people will vote for people who care and then finally, those people can make more of a difference in putting pressure on world powers to reduce mass pollution.

Of course, we also need to focus on industrial pollution now. But it is crucial to cultivate respect for the planet by eliminating all activities that demonstrate disrespect for the planet. And that includes banning single-use plastics, plastic straws, gasoline-powered vehicles, and extreme commercialism.

A humanidade tem muitos problemas além da tecnologia, e um deles é o nosso clima. Desde que nós começamos a usar combustíveis fosseis, adicionamos CO2 na atmosfera e agora a terra está esquentando.

Um outro problema é a nossa economia, que dá recompensas para pessoas que fazem produtos e serviços que ajudam as pessoas no curto prazo, mas têm consequências negativas no longo termo. É óbvio que esse sistema promove tecnologia, mas também promove a destruíção do clima e outros problemas socias.

Todos os problemas trabalham juntos. A economia permite o desenvolvimento da tecnologia, que também danifica o meio ambiente.

Qual é o melhor caminho que devemos tomar para resolver esse grande problema? É claro, devemos ter tarefas específcas tais como reduzir a produção de CO2, comer menos carne, desenvolver menos tecnologia, pensar em quais tecnologias que devemos usar, etc.

De fato, a maioria das soluções hoje em dia são sobre objetivos específicos. Entretanto, acho que estamos ignorando um aspecto importante: a atitude das pessoas com respeito ao meio ambiente e o clima. Isso não vai ser aprendido completando objetivos específicos, mas com educação geral.

Essa educação geral precisa ensinar respeito pelo meio ambiente. Como nós ensinamos esse respeito? De novo, não é fazendo objetivos específicos, apesar dos objetivos específicos serem utéis. Em vez disso, precisamos ensinar como ter um relacionamento pessoal com as plantas e animais.

Com certeza, devemos ensinar isso para as crianças, mas para os adultos também. E, tem muitas coisas que devemos ensinar, sobre quais vou falar nos artigos futuros.

Mas, claro que nós precisamos de ambos os caminhos para resolver a doença da sociedade de sempre fazer coisas por vantagens a curto prazo: objetivos específicos e aumentar o respeito pelo meio ambiente. Atualmente estamos falhando em ambos os caminhos.

I have talked at length about how we should be extremely wary of technology. But that means being cautious about the social and environmental impacts of technology. It does not mean that we should be suspicious of the basic scientific method. The scientific method works. It produces results that rapidly and successful converge onto the truth.

Of course, science is not flawless, especially when it is applied to the social sciences which is heavily flawed to begin with. But generally, the physical sciences are the best guide we have if we want to figure something out.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of ignorant skeptics out there, such as climate deniers. A climate denier is a person who refuses to listen to any facts and tries to deny the human impact on climate change, or sometimes even denies that climate change exist. These people are idiots and it is unfortunate that they exist.

Skepticism is good, but only when it is combined with logic and science. If it is combined with religious ferocity and ignorance then it produces nonsensical things like denying climate change and random conspiracy theories. We don’t need any more of that in this world. Ignorant skeptics only make this world worse.

Therefore, although a lot of technology is harmful, it does not mean that we should become religious fanatics without any logic at all. Instead, we need to listen to scientific findings to figure out what the hell we are doing to this planet.

In this post, I will describe some tips you can use as an individual human being to contribute to a more sustainable relationship with nature. I’ve talked about some of these in my newsletter but these are slightly different, so you should read these too.

  1. Find something you enjoy doing, and spend a lot of time doing it. Learn something and learn it well. But at the same time, understand at every point how the knowledge you learn has shaped society and how it will shape society. Understand the impact of the new power you gain with your knowledge.
  2. Spend less time paying attention to what other relatively anonymous people are doing, and pay more attention to the people you really know in real life.
  3. If you enjoy something special, do not consume it too often, whether it is something like food or something intellectual. Take more time to truly savour fewer things.
  4. I’ve said this before, but take at least one day per week where you do not use the internet at all.
  5. Learn more about plants and animals in your area by simply watching them.
  6. Avoid upgrading your technology for as long as you can. Use what you have and find new uses for what you have.

I’ve been reading a few articles pondering whether artificial intelligence could ever reach the state of AGI (artificial general intelligence), and whether that consequent new being could then destroy us.

In my mind, this is not the most important issue. I already wrote at length about this in my article, How will AI destroy us?

In short, we have far more to fear from AI fundamentally altering society. This is true even if AI remains as a series of specialized models that aren’t intelligent at all in the traditional, sci-fi sense of the Terminator or Data from Star Trek.

Hence, this focus on AGI has inspired me to define a new type of fallacy: the distant enemy fallacy. It is the fallacy of assuming that the enemy is always far away, and that consequently, we can safely discuss the danger of the enemy as if debating the moves of two chess players.

But with AI, I’m sorry to say that the danger is already here. It’s the same with climate change. It’s not some future enemy that we have the luxury of dissecting academically. It’s already here, even though it may not be hitting with the immediate effect of a tidal wave. This isn’t the movies. This is real life, and in real life with AI, the enemy doesn’t need to travel back in time to kill us. It’s already here, and it’s starting to kill us.

One of the simplest things you can do to resist technology is to learn about plants and animals. I already gave this point in my most recent newsletter, but I will talk about it here too because it’s so important.

The reason why this works is because learning about plants and animals strengthens your connection with the natural world.

How do you learn about them? Get a book and read about them. But don’t just use a book. Go outside and sit on the grass and watch them. Feel the environment they’re in, touch some plants, feel the bark of trees. Observe the insects and find a spider.

There is nothing more important than our connection with the natural world because we are part of it. Having this connection will orient you along the right path to resist the sick pathology that we call technology. Of course, even more importantly, being close to nature is the only path to true health.

The law of diminishing returns is one of the most ubiquitous laws in society. It states that along any narrow avenue of advancement, at some point, there’s no point in continuing. This law is truly almost everywhere. Cleaning your room for two hours makes a big difference. But cleaning it for three doesn’t do much more. If you clean it for four, you’re likely to start sweeping individual particles of dust and then they’ll come right back.

The law of diminishing returns happens in most research fields. As a mathematician, I can attest to it happening in mathematics. Between about 1900-1970, tremendous advancements were made and many beautiful theories were constructed. Nowadays, math is mostly about heavier and heavier abstractions that almost no one cares about. Take any discovery in pure math in the last five years and chances are, ten people in the world will know enough about it to appreciate it.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but in general, math is mostly a complete subject. The healthy thing to do would be to ask how the general practice of mathematics should change now that there’s very little to do with regard to research. Perhaps mathematicians should take some of their official time to try and help save the world now, but that hasn’t happened.

Generally, when a field or area of exploration stagnates, there are only two possibilities. The healthy thing to do is to change, and figure out something truly productive and useful to do. The unhealthy thing is to plod further and further into obscurity because it’s comfortable.

Unfortunately, most areas of human exploration that have reached the point of diminishing returns start to stagnate instead of continually changing into something new. And when that happens, they begin to become pathological and unhealthy. Frankly, it makes me sick. Humans are sick.

The point of diminishing returns has been reached in computer science and technology also. There is very little technology that will actually help us out of the current problems we face. Again, there are exceptions. Perhaps we will need carbon capture technology, advances in solar panels, and so forth. But the vast majority of technology is now just about making markets more efficient, using more efficient resources, selling people junk they don’t need, and making people more addicted to technology so that when they are finally replaced by AI, they will march happily into the existence of being mere consumers of endless meaningless media.

Just think of all the technology that is being created today to aid in this perverted shadow of what humanity could be: TikTok, algorithms, Twitter, Facebook, virtual reality, all powered and made cheap by fossil fuels and the global economy. Now we’ve got the most digusting thing of all: AI, being pushed forward by truly revolting companies like OpenAI and Cerebras, designed to make the entirety of all human enterprises soulless and mechanical. I place the CEOs of such companies on the level of toxic waste dumpers, deforesters of the Amazon, and killers.

There is one area of which we have not even begun to scratch the surface, and that is wisdom and enlightenment. Some people have caught on the idea, such as Zen Buddhists. Unfortunately, such movements are overshadowed by the sick, global economy that we have created that maximizes short-term economic gains without considering the commons we are destroying and the long-term negative effects.

The law of diminishing returns should not occur in a healthy society. In a healthy society, if some area is sufficiently developed, then the people developing that area evolve into doing something else. For example, mathematicians could change the way they do things. They could put less emphasis on publishing and endless glut of deeper and abstruse abstractions, and put more of their skills into activism and explaining the mathematician relationships in climate change and other important fields.

Similarly, computer scientists and programmers could stop wasting their time developing AI and begin to work directly on climate models or even work on reducing the amount of technology that people need to interact with. Instead, they keep creating more technology that mostly promotes materialism.

The law of diminishing returns is a symptom of the pathological search for perfection in the trite and trivial, and its ubiquitous presence perfectly reflects the sick and dying nature of our society. In a healthy society, we would have stopped most technological development long ago, and long before fossil fuels ever could have been used.

But we had not the wisdom to do so, and now our only chance is to reach a collective state of enlightenment and abandon our materialistic ways driven by the invisible hand of the markets. We may be too late and we may burn for it, but if there is any chance at all at reversing the horror we have unleashed upon ourselves and our biosphere, then at least we should try. So how about we stop trying to make ourselves immortal, all-knowing, and endlessly amused by nonsense and begin to take some responsibility?

One of the greatest myths in modern times is that more knowledge is better. Or, that more knowledge will help us solve all our world problems like climate change and species extinctions. That however, is very far from the truth.

We believe it because it has become dogma and doctrine.

At one point, it was true that some knowledge acquisition was necessary to bring us out of barbarism. And I say this not because I believe knowledge is necessarily a good thing, but just because our brains are sufficiently powerful that at least some knowledge is necessary for us to understand ourselves.

However, we have mostly reached the point of diminishing returns in all areas of knowledge. Of course, there are some avenues that are worth exploring, but very few. Now, instead of acquiring new knowledge, we must acquire new wisdom.

We must stop glorifying science and knowledge, and treat it more cautiously as something that is more likely to cause us to further expand and destroy the world, rather than something that will bring enlightenment.