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Artificial Intelligence
John Leo Keenan

I hope you disagree with those who say “artificial intelligence” can be smarter than us.  Smarter than them, OK, but not smarter than all humans.  People who say it are unaware that “thinking” is a craft.  Too few see “thinking” as one more craft to be good at.  Children need to be taught that it is, so then they have before them the most important task they can accomplish and a growing number become good thinkers as opposed to average thinkers, with many attaining a high enough place that many other thinkers will know there are plenty of “top thinkers” in our midst.  Then people will have a hard time saying that a mere machine is or will be more intelligent than human beings.

I don’t think “artificial intelligence” knows what to think about what I have written thus far.  Let’s consider what makes a top thinker.  His skill is nonspecific.  For example, if you send him to an NBA team to help them be better, it will not matter if he doesn’t know all the rules and none of the movements they practice.  It would be sufficient if he is familiar with sports competition.  He should be able to improve the team 100% if he is the best thinker there, and if only they will listen to him!

Let’s see what a top thinker might do in the unique situation where he has been hired temporarily only because he is a “top thinker”.  What would he say?  1) The quality difference that exists between LeBron James and the rest of you is not acceptable – it’s wrong.  He is better than you, but the difference can and must be cut in half, at least in half.  A player might try to ‘guide’ him.  “I have had many coaches and none could help me make it possible.”  Why do you shoot from your chest instead of from your forehead like most others in the NBA do?  “I’ve been shooting this way since Junior High.”  No coach said that you have the strength to now shoot differently?  “No, they would complain if I shoot with my eyes closed.  It’s all a matter of stats.”  I am a fan of the great Argentinean player Facundo Campazzo, and wished for him to succeed so much when he arrived from Spain to play in the NBA.  He did not shoot well enough for the NBA.  His way was to shoot from close to chin level.  With rare exceptions, no great shooter does it that way.  The coach, like all the other coaches, did not fix this shooting form problem (a simple fix).

Let’s try another one.  We should speak also to the Coach.  Why can a player receive the ball under the hoop all alone, where all he has to do is jump a little and dunk it, so that as soon as gets the pass the two points are a gift for him?  “We cannot avoid this; we don’t have Soccer’s offside rule.”  Is there any other situation where receiving a pass means automatically two more points for the team?  “No.”  Are you sure it can only remain this way?  “Yes.”  Looks preposterous when it happens; can we try to find a way to fix this giveaway until we find it?  “You go ahead and observe the game and come up with it.”  Sure thing (‘a man has got to do what he’s got to do’).

Some things you don’t want to say because it’s embarrassing.  I saw a team which needed a buzzer beater point to win the game, but the Coach would not order that the ball be given to the best shooter in the team, and so somebody else chose to take the shot and missed.  That’s no way to lose the game.  All the coaches need to become better thinkers or else hire one of them now and then because it can mean the championship.  How does one become a top thinker?  They didn’t teach us in school.  I keep good memories of my teachers, but we tend to forget all we learned besides reading, writing and basic math.

It helps to watch the great thinkers in action.  I read some of the theological and historical work of Isaac Newton.  When I learned that he had written a book on the book of Revelation, published in 1733, six years after his death, I rushed to the bookstore to get it.  I had been trying to understand that book and I knew that someone like him could help to understand something like that.  I think there has been little interest from students and experts because they say that he was a physicist and a mathematician, even a genius all right, but not a “theologian” or a “historian”.  They prefer their theology and history from professionals in those fields.  This sort of proves my point that “thinking” is not recognized as a separate craft as it should be.  Just like the schools don’t prepare anyone to be a “top thinker”, the universities don’t do it either.  Some students say: “Not interested in what Newton says on the prophecy, because it’s more a matter of having the right spirit to understand it and not about being some kind of genius.”  He deciphered the whole book, symbols, structure, meanings, rules of interpretation – very difficult to do.  Maybe only Father Time can beat his interpretations, but that’s just a personal opinion because he wrote almost 1700 years after, so the long time factor was already there.  To be ready for the scope of a prophecy covering the entire future, one should have a ‘Google’ type mind to know all the key historical facts from the last 2000 years, which means including what the Roman and Greek historians wrote in and after the first century, also what the writers from the middle-ages wrote, etc.; then we must be capable of locating events in the right paragraphs, and then have “the light” to see what could not be seen before – the “fulfillment”.  Newton had all these gifts (in spades).   He always denied he was a genius; he said it was all “perseverance.”  Since Newton was serious, it must be true that “perseverance” was a bigger factor than we’d be inclined to stress over his genius.  There’s a childhood anecdote which explains how Newton’s life changed:  one day he was walking to school and another boy kicked him in the stomach and a fight ensued.  He was an average student up to that point.  He decided that that boy was not going to be a better student than him.  Perseverance was the root of his genius.  Something unique happened to me while reading his theological-historical work.  Now and then I felt like standing up to give him a standing ovation!  A majority of Newton’s time was spent on theology and history.  I read that about a third of his time was spent on the physical sciences.  He basically said that he had done enough for one man and that others should do the rest.  About his work on Revelation, he said that more was still there to be known – or understood – but not much more.

What else helps us?  Self-criticism.  I think the top thinkers, especially if they have a regular I.Q., grow in their capacity to put all their “stuff” or cherished conclusions in front of them and in “smashing” them, with all their might, until only the good is left standing.  That skill alone will put a man/woman above 80% or 90% of all other thinkers.  Few zero in on this aspect of good thinking and make it a goal to become as good as they can be at it.  That’s the really hard work part.  It should become easier – less “painful” – with time.  Another important thing is what I, pardon me but I thought of it, call “panoramic intelligence”.  This is crucial.  It’s not the thinking or logical work.  It’s taking just a panoramic view to find “where the ball is” or could be.  Then the “thinking” part – or thinking crew as it were – can go in there.  It should be your fresh, unimpeded personal panoramic view.

I suppose many books have mentioned the order of importance – primary, secondary, tertiary – and how this can change as you go along, and the top thinker obviously is good at detecting orders of importance.  By the way, I want to cite the book by James William Gilbart, “The logic of banking: a familiar exposition of the principles of reasoning, and their application to the art and the science of banking” (1859).  I don’t have it, but wish to have the 1859 copy (could not find it) because of what he attempts to do.  The top thinker must realize also, as he strives to get “up there”, that he must love the truth to get up higher.  No one who does not love “the truth” is or can be a top thinker.  If you love it viscerally, like “a man loves a woman”, or with passion, all the better!  Love it for all you’re worth.  To the Greeks, the circle of Plato, there was like a single continuum from the Gods to the lowest creatures, and to them your ability to think well and better brought you closer to divinity.  It makes a lot of sense.  When you pray, you’re careful not to somehow impose yourself because you sense it could easily happen; Jesus taught that prayers should be kept short because “the Father” already knows.

I think the Greeks agreed that when you “think”, you’re in closer spiritual communion too, so the better your thoughts the closer you must be to the source of all intelligence and knowledge, and maybe the higher powers are making it possible for you.  Can it be a divine experience when we just “think”?  In my opinion, a little awareness of that is good.  It surely is no sin to associate closely your act of thinking with the superior power(s) that gave you that faculty not given to any other animal.

A top thinker must be humble.  If Isaac Newton was humble, we should all be.  The arrogance stands in the way of recognizing the errors, and you’re on the hunt for your errors.  We should be concerned with “arrogance” more as a feeling than a thought.  The arrogant thought may be irrelevant, but that old feeling is “fatal” for the goal.

Does “artificial intelligence” know all the above?  I say “no”.  The word “artificial” says that it’s not really real.  No top thinker will say that an artificial intelligence is or will be superior to his human intelligence.  I really think it’s an error that would mean he is not a top thinker (yet).  It is possible, you know, that through artificial intelligence other powers, from other galaxies or no galaxies, could wage war against man.  Theirs would be an “artificial intelligence” of another sort, which we would need to call “zero intelligence”.  I share the concerns about artificial intelligence; I don’t even like anything “artificial”.

Let us teach our children that “thinking” is a craft, that some could be like up there with the gods and others at the very bottom, and that they should analyze their own skills and characteristics, just fixing the mental errors they recognize, and advise also that it is up to them to become better and better thinkers until that day when, hopefully, they have become a “top thinker”, which our children certainly can become.






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