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  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-27-2020, 11:41 PM
    This post is spiritual and it is not directed at RPF. But those who need to read it will find it here. I'll start by highlighting one of my favorite Twilight episodes, A Nice Place to Visit (compressed version here). While it gives no canonical insight into the nature of the afterlife, I think that it does make an important point -- be careful about your assumptions about the way the world is, and especially about the way things will be in "the other place". I've been thinking a lot lately about the end of the Age. In particular, I have thought a lot about the return of Christ and what exactly that means, what it will "look like", so to speak. Some people say it happened already. Others say a great cataclysm will happen first. Some say all the believers will be spirited away. And so on. There are many opinions. But on his return, would Jesus actually proclaim himself as such? After all, from the time of the resurrection until the return, he is sitting at the right hand of the Father. When he returns, he returns not as the Son, but as the King and Heir, as such. That is, on his return, Jesus will be indistinguishable from the Father. He will be, simply, God.
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  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-24-2020, 10:21 PM
    Chapter IX Making an enemy out of someone who has internalized this lesson is double folly. When he exacts his revenge, he will despise your cries for mercy as the meaningless squeals of a pig being led to slaughter. To such a one, you are nothing but a fantasy, a dream from which one awakes.
    1 replies | 757 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-24-2020, 08:10 PM
    Courtesy of Microsoft Research. This talk is astoundingly excellent. It's accessible for techies, some parts might be rough going for non-techies, but you should be able to get the gist of most of it. I posted this video here because I've been "a voice crying in the wilderness" on this subject for at least the last five years. When AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol (and even before this) I realized there had been a seminal change in AI as a result of Deep Learning. That match happened in 2016, about three years after this talk. So, one of the big changes between 2013 and today is that Deep Learning has emerged on the stage as not merely "viable", but as an absolute unit. The "bad news" of the end of Moore's law is really not so bad. Device scaling is limited by many factors and, as the speaker points out, most of them are economic. There's an enormous gap between what can be done in the laboratory and what can be feasibly rolled out as a viable computing product. This is one of the reasons I continue to have a gloomy outlook on quantum computing. I might be wrong about QC and we just might have a series of lucky breakthroughs in the next few years. But I think we will have a burst in the QC bubble and a QC winter will set in. Sometime after that winter has passed, perhaps QC will be revived and come into its own. But for now, we don't need QC to save us from the end of Moore's law. We have Deep Learning, which is really a fancy word for "large-scale parallelism on approximate (noise-tolerant) computing architectures." This parallelism is made possible by "end-to-end trainability." What that means, is that we can build really big, complex neural nets (and other types of learning architectures... NNs aren't the only game in town) and, as long as it is end-to-end trainable, we don't have to explicitly program it. Instead, we can just apply indirect training methods which are usually much cheaper because they don't require large numbers of highly specialized human programmers. To be clear, these are still not "fire and forget" systems. They can't be trained by a monkey. Training these systems is an engineering art all to itself. But the scalability and flexibility of these systems is much higher than ordinary computing systems.
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  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-13-2020, 12:10 AM
    I don't want to get too deep into this, but I have a few quibbles with the link provided: The antichrist is a human man. Satan is a spirit. It's an important distinction because if Satan incarnated in person (as the antichrist), he would have completed the counterfeit of the miracle of the Incarnation. There is only one divine incarnate -- Jesus, the Messiah. Rather, the appearance of the antichrist is Satan's counterfeit attempt to mock the Incarnation. "If God can do it, so can I." If Satan appeared in bodily form, he could be killed and that would be the end of his continual wreaking havoc on humanity. He is not that stupid. But he fully intends to convince humanity that he has incarnated. And that is precisely what the antichrist is. He is the crown jewel in Satan's sprawling web of lies, going all the way back to the Garden. The antichrist will be hailed as a literal superhuman. The scientists will worship him as a genius of physics and technology. The occultists will worship him as a dark lord. The New Agers will worship him as an incarnation of an Ascended Master. And so on and so forth. As you can see, Satan has been very busy preparing for the appearance of his sterile seed on Earth. I highly recommend AW Pink's book The Antichrist. It really helped me clear up a lot of confusion I had regarding the apocalyptic prophecies.
    13 replies | 384 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-12-2020, 11:43 PM
    We are made in the image of God, thus, we have free will. That said, God is supremely powerful. No one can resist him. The theologians get lost in arguments over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin... but the Bible is quite clear. I'm not saying we will never recognize the antichrist -- as you said, what would be the point of pretty much the entire New Testament? Rather, I am saying that no one should believe they can escape the Great Deception by dint of their own cleverness. Free will or not, no one -- not one single human born in this world, excepting the Son of God himself -- can escape the Great Deception without supernatural protection from God. It doesn't matter how clever or cynical you are... you won't escape. I'm not inventing a new teaching: " For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:24) His point? If you are in the end times and you are not being saved, you will be deluded by the antichrist, period. No one escapes, there is no "third way".
    13 replies | 384 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-11-2020, 11:24 AM
    Trump fails a lot of the criteria for antichrist. To be clear, I'm no Trump fanboi. As far as I'm concerned, all political power is inherently corrupt. So, the idea of a "good politician" is as contradictory as "honest lawyer." The "Jared Kushner is the antichrist" idea is a little more interesting but, like most conspiracy theories, dubious. But I think the idea that we will be able recognize the antichrist is mistaken. He will come with counterfeit signs and wonders after the working of Satan. He will have the mantle of Satan because he will be deputized by Satan. It is the height of arrogance to imagine that we will be able to "see through the deception" by dint of cynicism. Only supernatural protection from God will allow anyone to escape the Great Deception.
    13 replies | 384 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-11-2020, 09:59 AM
    The antichrist is a human male. We cannot rule out any particular individual turning out to be the antichrist (because Satan is the deceiver and he is better at deception than anyone) but Bill Gates fails a lot of specific criteria. He is not universally loved and he really is not a master of political intrigue (although he is definitely a fanboi for those who are masters of intrigue), and several others. There are reasons to suspect the antichrist will be blind in one eye (see Islam's traditional belief regarding the dajjal (antichrist), which probably originates from Christian oral traditions circa the 7th century). The antichrist will almost certainly be a "dark horse" individual that suddenly appears on the scene, as if from nowhere. Because he will be universally loved, it is highly improbable that the antichrist will "rise up" through the ranks of a political party since, almost by definition, that would mean he would be hated by almost 50% of the population (members of the other party). So, all the notable leaders in business, religion and politics are unlikely to be the antichrist. It's not impossible that one of them could turn out to be him, but it seems very unlikely based on the descriptions in Scripture. Perhaps a better way to think of the antichrist is in terms of a false return of the Messiah (Jesus). Based on Matthew 24, it appears that the antichrist will be genuinely accepted by virtually the entire global population as the actual return of Jesus, a superhuman deliverer that earns universal praise and acclaim through miraculous demonstrations of power (for apparently good uses). In fact, the Great Deception will be so powerful that only supernatural deliverance will prevent the elect from falling for the deception. In short, if God were not using divine power to protect you, you yourself would certainly fall for the Great Deception. That is how powerful the deception will be. "Even the very elect." Never forget that phrase.... we are dangling by the thinnest of threads. Also, the antichrist is not identical with Satan. He is the prophesied "seed of the Serpent", the Son of Satan (hence, the false Messiah, the anti-Christ). His father will endow him with all of his powers (this is the deputizing of the Beast in Revelation). But the appearance of the anti-Christ is just the first salvo in the spiritual war that will ensue.
    13 replies | 384 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-11-2020, 09:42 AM
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  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-09-2020, 06:25 PM
    It's not unique to Austrian theory, but it's important for general understanding of economics.
    0 replies | 133 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-09-2020, 01:18 PM
    This is interview is pretty technical. Lex is an expert in AI and Sutskever is one of the leading personas in the field of AI and Deep Learning, worldwide. They don't pull any punches for the listener. So just be forewarned. That said, I think it is valuable for the wider public to get exposure to this discussion. Ignore the technicalities and listen to them discuss the practical implications of Deep Learning for the future. There is an opinion that many people hold that Deep Learning is just a buzzword. That this is yet again the same situation of the boy who cried wolf... "Skynet is here!" I am an engineer working in the high-tech field and I think it is important for the public to understand that this time really is different. There are no major AI tasks which Deep Learning has not either conquered or at least cracked open. That last point is impossible to over-emphasize. That Deep Learning is not yet having lucid conversations with humans or plotting nuclear world domination is irrelevant. It's the wrong measure of progress. Deep Learning has already revolutionized the technology that you carry with you in your pocket, in a thousand different ways. Perhaps the most noticeable change for end-users is the massive increase in reliability of the speech-to-text feature. Deep Learning is why your phone doesn't need to train to understand your voice or your accent and yet it is able to recognize what you say with accuracy that is on par with a human (with occasional glitches, of course). The change from legacy speech-to-text algorithms to Deep Learning-based speech-to-text is night and day. And it occurred without end-users being aware of how it happened. In practical terms, I think that the public should think of Deep Learning as a general-purpose "compute-accelerator". Deep Learning takes a given pool of compute resources and makes them able to solve problems that are factors of millions, billions, or more, harder than legacy systems could solve even with access to the same compute resources. That is the key. For decades, we have had the capacity to scale up the available compute hardware as much as the market will bear. But due to the slow process of writing software by hand, the market has always been capped by the capacity of software designers to utilize the available hardware. Deep Learning has changed all that. For any typical Deep Learning task, if you give me 1,000 times more compute, I will scale up your pipeline by nearly 1,000 times. That linear scaling is unprecedented in the history of computers. More available compute has always meant greater time-to-market while the software engineers code up algorithms to utilize the available compute resources. Not anymore.
    0 replies | 217 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-07-2020, 01:48 PM
    Thank you for sharing this! This is the single best video I have seen on this subject. The amount of hysteria being pumped by the medical establishment (the ones in bed with Big Pharma and the Fed) and the media is truly unprecedented. This is the largest propaganda operation in human history; it is bigger than WWII propaganda by a country mile. The immunologists explained it correctly: unless you are immunodeficient, your immune system thrives on interaction with the environment, it is strengthened by it. Your immune system is like an army. When you begin isolating yourself and disinfecting to excess, you are basically putting the troops on leave. That doesn't make your army stronger, it makes it weaker. To keep an army strong, it must be out in field, exercising daily, patrolling the frontiers and constantly engaging real, live, hostile forces. The moment your army goes on leave, it starts to fall behind the curve and you become increasingly susceptible to novel infections, whether naturally-occurring or otherwise.
    32 replies | 4315 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-07-2020, 11:52 AM
    Mistake, rousing the Leviathan... :shrugging:
    3 replies | 284 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-06-2020, 07:28 PM
    Do the math. And what of the opposite?
    6 replies | 288 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-06-2020, 11:22 AM
    COVID-19 has strong political opinions. Just take a look at a COVID-19 map (by state)... it's heavily targeting Democrat states. :tears: :tears: :tears:
    2 replies | 112 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-04-2020, 12:23 AM
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  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-02-2020, 09:38 PM
    Now you know why the DS is so terrified of ideologues of any brand, stripe or color. A true ideologue is always initially motivated by a deep commitment to truth and uprightness. No matter how objectively incorrect their theories may be about the best means to attain the ends of the true and the good, they really are committed to those ends. When the DS perceives that such an ideologue is rising to any kind of influence -- however marginal -- it moves swiftly to corrupt them, pigeonhole them, or gag them. This is the fate of virtually every ideologue. The danger of ideologues in these "all hands on deck" situations, like COVID-19, is that they are always liable to go rogue and go off-message. The marching orders have been handed down. Everyone connected to the DS (directly or indirectly) knows what the talking points are supposed to be. But the ideologue -- even the leftist ideologue -- might just go off-script anyway. The DS hates ideologues.
    12 replies | 302 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    05-02-2020, 11:54 AM
    Well put
    12 replies | 302 view(s)
  • ClaytonB's Avatar
    04-30-2020, 10:12 AM
    Finally... somebody is talking about the China connection...
    5 replies | 247 view(s)
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