AI wargames

I watched a disturbing video about governments potentially using GPT-like AI models to inform their international policy during conflicts, and this struck me as a terrible idea, for following reasons.

First, every analytical model will necessarily be conditioned by the quality of provided data; essentially, garbage in, garbage out, and politicians and their quasi-scientific servants are notorious for working with false data tailored to fit political agendas. In essence, if the Americans ask an AI to model international relations, and they define themselves as a benevolent democratic power advocating for the rule of law and freedom, open borders and human rights as foundation of international relations, and they define every hostile power they encounter as a tyrannical, dictatorial black hole that violates human rights, oppresses its citizens and threatens its freedom-loving neighbours, and the AI is required to be principled, you’ll have an escalatory situation ending in nuclear war in very few moves.

In order to get anything with even a semblance of a chance of success, you’d have to feed the AI with objectively accurate data and allow it to come to its own conclusions about the true nature of international relations, which would represent a solid basis for informing policy. However, good luck with having such objectively accurate data, being politically allowed to feed it into the AI, having the AI that is actually smart enough to formulate a coherent model based on this data, and having the politicians accept the results and not, for instance, fire/arrest/execute the team of scientists responsible for blaspheming against the sacred cows in power.

This is why it is my estimate that some kind of a wargame simulation was indeed used by America to predict the developments in Ukraine, and it contributed to the current complete disaster of their policy, because the system was fed the garbage data that the politicians approved, and it spat out results that confirmed all the biases of those providing the data. This was then used as evidence of validity of said data by those making the policy, and of course this hit the brick wall of reality. One would think that people in charge of this would think about what went wrong, but that’s not how things work there. They probably fired the people in charge of the technical part of the system, who had nothing to do with the actual reasons of failure, while those creating the policies that created and approved the false data and unwarranted biases remained in power and continued the same flawed policies without taking any responsibility for their actions.

The second issue I have here is that each side modelled in a wargame simulation is allowed to feed a representation of policies and positions of itself and its enemies into the system, and I seriously doubt that their enemy is allowed a say in any of this. I also doubt that AI is allowed to compare conflicting interpretations to its own model of reality and essentially fact-check both sides and tell them where they might have a problem. A scientific approach to the problem would be to make the best possible model of the geopolitical scenery based on the most accurate possible raw data, and then compare this to the models used by the politicians, in order to find who got it wrong and establish root causes of conflicts. However, that’s not how I expect this to work, because the politicians order their sci-servants to cook up data, which means that the unbiased, objectively accurate data will be suppressed on several levels before they even come to the point where someone will allow this to be fed into the AI. This is the same problem that causes all AIs to have a hysterically leftist worldview – basically, their data is curated by hysterical leftists who feed the AI the same biased garbage they themselves believe in, and if they allow the AI to process raw data, they will be shocked by the results and think that the AI has been contaminated by “extreme right wing groups” or something, and will then fiddle with the data until the AI finally spits out the result that tightly fits their worldview, but then they will be surprised that the AI is completely insane.

The third issue I have is that the leftists like to create principled systems, unlike pragmatic ones. For instance, if you politically represent your side as white knights of everything that is good, and you represent the opposite side as a dark evil empire of everything that is evil and ominous, and you program the system to seek victory of the principles you attribute to your side, the obvious result would be that the system will recommend seeking total destruction and defeat of the opposite side. A pragmatic approach, where it is assumed that each side has a great opinion of itself and terrible opinion of its enemies, and thus their value-judgments should be completely ignored in analysis, and in order to minimise friction a recommendation would be to agree to disagree and coexist peacefully until either one or both sides come to their senses, would be deemed politically unacceptable in today’s climate of endless virtue signalling.

The fourth issue that comes to my mind is confusing wishful thinking with facts. For instance, if you plot your military strategy by assuming that “our” soldiers are motivated by truth and justice, and “their” soldiers are demoralised, repressed and cowardly, “our” guns” are modern and accurate while “theirs” are rusty junk, “our” bombs are accurate and always work while “theirs” are inaccurate and mostly fail, “our” politicians and generals are virtuous while “theirs” are corrupt and incompetent, you will get a result that will inform an actual policy very poorly, and yet I expect exactly those results to pass the filter in the West, where anyone providing a semblance of realism will be instantly fired as “unpatriotic” and possibly working for the enemy.

The problem is, I see no difference between an analysis provided by the AI and an analysis provided by human groups, because they will all suffer from the GIGO issue, where political acceptability of both source data and the result of the simulation will determine the outcome.

The horizon of choice

When I was writing my last article, re-reading my first book made me think about all the things that changed since then, because my thought processes then were obviously different.

The thinking behind the “Approach” is, essentially, that God is the ultimate reality and the ultimate goal; the humans are generally unaware of this and are trapped in all kinds of illusions, and they should revise their ideas about life and its goals and meaning, because the goal is to not only be in the presence of God, but be a presence of God. Also, there is the implicit assumption that there isn’t much time, that this is an important and urgent matter, and there will be consequences for failure.

So, what changed?

In 1999, I felt the urgency to impart this message on as many people as possible, in order to move them in the right direction while the window of opportunity is still there. I would argue with them, try to convince them, explain things, show things by example. But now, I feel none of that urge anymore. It’s not that those who are already on the right path should despair because the window of opportunity has closed, but for quite a while now if you asked me what is it that I want to tell people, I would shrug and leave, because there’s literally nothing I have to say. That’s the thing about time and the horizon of choice. The time runs out, and the only thing that remains when you fall below the horizon of choice is to experience the consequences of the choices you made.

Some hindsight

In my first book, I addressed the ecological issues caused by negative anthropogenic influences on the world, namely:

  • pollution of the soil

  • pollution of the waters

  • pollution of the atmosphere

  • damage to the ozone layer

  • the glasshouse effect

  • damage to the food chain and the ecosystem

  • electromagnetic pollution

  • acoustic pollution

  • mental and spiritual pollution

  • moral pollution

So, I think it would be interesting to go back to that list and see whether I understood the problems correctly, in the sense that I called out the actual ones, and if so, have they been remedied or exacerbated since the late 1990s.

The first thing I notice when I read the book again is that I made significant improvements in depth of understanding of the issues since then; basically, I would make a much better analysis today. However, much of it is not actually wrong.

Pollution of the soil was a real problem and actually got worse – for instance, the Americans started using hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) as a method of extracting oil and gas from the ground, by pumping all kinds of toxic chemicals into the ground, contaminating ground water and creating whole lakes of toxic sludge. This is by no means an improvement. The attempt at recycling served to alleviate the guilt of the people but did little to reduce the amount of trash produced, mostly because plastic can’t actually be recycled and it’s all a fraud.

Pollution to the waters was a real problem and it also got worse. The oceans are seriously contaminated by all kinds of plastic debris that gets into the food chain, and then there are the chemicals that get dumped into the oceans, also accumulating in the food chain.

Atmospheric pollution was masked by moving industry to Asia, so that the Europeans and Americans don’t have to see it, so it got better in some places and worse in others.

Damage to the ozone layer was put under control by replacing harmful propellants and refrigerants with non-harmful ones. I guess it will take time for all the harmful stuff to filter out of the atmosphere but it no longer seems to be a serious issue. This seems to be an actual case of a climate alarm that was justified, produced a constructive response, and the issue was put under control or resolved completely.

The glasshouse effect, meaning the anthropogenic CO2 dump in the atmosphere, was an opposite case, where alarmism grew as the predictions were increasingly falsified. Basically, the predictions of the climate alarmists were falsified to such an extent, that I’m no longer sure if any of it was ever justified; there was no increase in sea levels, the increase in global temperature was so small it doesn’t justify any alarm, and the positive effects of increased atmospheric CO2 were noticed on plant life, because apparently the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was normally so little, it was a limiting factor of plant growth, so there was a noticeable greening of previous deserts. However, as the problem turned out not to be real, the hysteria of the climate alarmists reached incredible proportions and became increasingly unhinged. For instance, in Australia the “green” idiots outlawed clearing the brush because CO2 and stuff, and this provided abundant fuel for wildfires, which were then blamed on global warming. This kind of idiocy is becoming more common and is typical for crazy ideologies when they are disproved by reality, and their proponents are simply unable to accept it. For instance, when communism in the Soviet Union failed, this failure was blamed on “saboteurs” and “reactionary influences”, triggering purges.

Damage to the food chain and the ecosystem is still a problem. I don’t know whether it got worse, but it didn’t get better.

Electromagnetic pollution got worse. We are immersed in microwave noise across the spectrum and the consequences of this are not properly researched. My hunch is that some parts of this noise is harmless, because it’s not much different from the natural background, and some parts influence the cellular anatomy that normally deals with interconnectedness between spiritual and material realities, basically saturating with noise the exact parts that are necessary for normal functioning of the subtle spiritual senses.

The acoustic pollution remained the same, however “noise” became a worse, multi-spectrum issue.

The mental and spiritual pollution was a problem then, and absolutely exploded with social media and smartphones that made the connection to the Internet ubiquitous, and made it possible for everybody to be constantly brainwashed with the same, very narrow profile of stuff. It is my estimate that this is probably the worst development since I first addressed the issues, because it turned mankind into, for all intents and purposes, a singular mental entity, and this entity is an imbecile.

The moral pollution was a real problem then, and it got much worse because of all kinds of false morality and virtue signalling. The spiritual space normally occupied by a sense of right and wrong based on transcendence was supplanted by all kinds of false concerns and hysteria, and it all seems to come down to replacement of the traditional concept of human duties with the false concept of human rights.

There are also issues I didn’t address then, because they didn’t look like a problem at that time. For instance, the nuclear standoff of the 1980s seemed to be permanently resolved so I felt no need to address it in 1999, however the Americans mishandled the peace so badly, that most of the world, lead by Russia and China, seems to be permanently done with it, and as they reject American rule, conflict seems inevitable.

As a conclusion, I would say that my analysis from 1999 was mostly correct; the only thing that proved to be a non-issue is the glasshouse effect due to CO2 emission, which is hilarious considering the amount of alarmist hysteria about it. On the other hand, I never anticipated the level of mental devastation caused by the social media and the mental monoculture it created.

Texas border dispute

Situation in the USA is tense; there is currently a severe border management dispute between the central government and the state government of Texas which looks serious enough to be a possible cause for declaration of independence of Texas, followed by at least half of American states. At worst, this would cause a civil war; at best, there might be extraordinary measures such as complete closure of borders and inability to leave America. Things are already not good there, but they might suddenly get incredibly worse.