Born To Do Math 199: Failure of Altruism in Apex Predators

In-Sight Publishing

November 16, 2020

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: So I think when we left off, it was somewhere around the idea that at least on our planet, the apex, the alpha information processors, the smartest beings dominate the planet with ethical behaviour towards each other, sometimes.

But the lack of ethical behaviour for animals that aren’t us, often we have pets, but the number of pets compared to the number of meat animals that we destroy and keep in terrible conditions is tens of billions of chickens slaughtered in just the US over a year.

So, if you extrapolate that to the future where augmented humans won’t be the smartest things, it seems to me a little frightening that we’ll stumble our way to new ethical frameworks that will probably leave us in the dust.

Given that we’ve got an ethical framework for humans that is supposed to provide us with some safety and stability of shitty things happening to people all the time, having a bunch of things running around that are smarter than we are, it won’t necessarily lead to more justice.

The justice we might find is if it turns out it is so cheap computationally to store human consciousnesses and, maybe, other animals’ consciousnesses that it’s just no big deal. It’s the floor mats that the dealer throws in for free. So, they’re never free. You always have to negotiate them out of that.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: If you have an apex predator, how you convince it to be altruistic?

Rosner: There is altruism there, the failure of altruism or the failure of people to be altruistic; you see this in America with its apex predators, the very, very rich who have controlled the levers of government for the last decade or more and haven’t been persuaded to give up any meaningful portion of their wealth.

We have a minimum wage in the US that remains at $7.25 an hour and hasn’t gone up. I don’t think it’s gone up in the 21st century. The deal is: You can’t be an apex predator if you’ve killed all the prey.

So, some of the financial strength in the US before Covid was the very rich people owned too much shit. There has to be a way for the rest of the population to experience some financial growth, so they can buy shit.

So, the very rich people can make more money, more legitimately than they’ve been making money, lately. The very rich people make money by controlling government and by harnessing all the increased productivity.

When some new step in automation comes along and a factory lays off 70% of its workforce, it’s not like the wages of the 30% remaining triple. The reduced costs only added profit. Profits almost all go to the to the owners, and it’s been bad just based on the tweets I read during Covid and that the fucking companies, particularly the big ones like Facebook, Amazon, I guess, Netflix and Google.

Facebook is, I would think, faltering a little because everybody fucking hates Facebook now, but Amazon, I think, Bezos’s wealth has increased by hundreds of billions of dollars during Covid because everybody has to shop online.

Yet, Bezos hasn’t improved wages or working conditions for the people who work for him. They have to do shit like piss in a bottle because they don’t have time to run to the bathroom. But only with the altruistic reasoning for apex predators to be generous with their prey is so as to not to fuck up the ecosystem.

But I don’t know what ecosystems we’re going to form with humans and augmented humans and then engineered consciousnesses of a lot of various degrees and types. But eventually some of this stuff will go to court, people of various degrees of still being alive or not being alive and being augmented, will go to court and argue that they deserve the rights that they formerly had when they were fully human.

We’ve talked about a lot of this stuff. All that shit’s going to lag. The deal is that government was always going to fall behind technology. It’s falling behind faster under Trump. Trump’s a fucking idiot and he hires fucking idiots and he’s put three conservatives at least two of them loathsome conservatives on the Supreme Court.

So, there is now a six, three conservative majority. they may take away governmental services or rights that most people want the right to – abortion, health insurance. Then people will have to set up extra governmental systems.

They’ve done it before. When 80 years ago, when abortion was mostly illegal, there were networks that helped people, mostly people with money get abortions, poor people get shitty abortions and maybe die or threw themselves down a flight of stairs or something else.

Anyway, I would hope that if Roe v. Wade goes away this time around; that social networks will do a better job of hooking people, who live in abortion prohibited states, up with services. But the general trend is, even if Trump had had the good fortune to fuck up, the Supreme Court government was always going to fall, start lagging behind what it needs to do as far as technology changes, as all technology changes everything.

There was always going to be a need for makers, for technologists, or social networks to figure out replacements or the government to figure out ways to do the things that people used to turn to the government for; I think that is the general trend. Until, you can’t predict a trend because it becomes increasingly unpredictable, where I can’t imagine that.

Well, at least in the near future, you don’t get much of a pause in technological improvements and do get increases in the power of A.I., in what A.I can do in every other field. But I don’t see any stable resting point being reached.

You can look at Moore’s Law. People for a decade or more have argued that Moore’s Law has to come to an end because you can make it smaller than atoms. I’m sure there are other limitations. But they’ve been predicting the end of Moore’s Law, which is the reduction of size of micro-circuitry, the number of microcircuits you can cram together.

There are various Moore’s Law, but they also say how long it takes for your chip to become the square root of two more powerful or smaller or whatever. And various Moore’s laws are always in the range of 18 months to two years.

Recently, some of the Moore’s laws have been hanging up on the limits of miniaturization. So, you can argue that there is a plateau there. The resting point, as well as the brute force miniaturization of circuitry, comes to a pause and then people have to figure out how to make chips more powerful, even when you can’t shrink them any further.

Which includes, I don’t know, going from two dimensions to three dimensions, stacking your circuitry. But I can’t see anything similar to that. Not that I know all that much about it or anybody knows all that much about the technological waves of the near future.

I can’t see a point where we’ll necessarily have a stable society, where the augmented humans are on top. There are the engineered eyes of various degrees of consciousness, depending on what you want them to do.

Then just regular people divided into nations and sex to some extent based on their attitudes towards technology. I just don’t see that mix being stable. Maybe, for a couple years, you’ll get some social, political, technological solution that works. But some new tech is always going to blow that up.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


(Updated July 25, 2019)

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Founder, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight Publishing and Editor-in-Chief of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal (ISSN 2369-6885). Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and the advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere.


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License and Copyright


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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