Source: Deep Learning on Medium
It has long puzzled historians: Why would the Aztec civilization lay down to die, and to die civilizationally, in the face of a handful of shiny boat-Spaniards?
Setting aside Jaynes for the moment, there is an easy answer: When faced with titanic alien technology, it takes a certain kind of deep, fundamentally human wisdom, borne in primeval human logic and reason, now far lost in the horizonless hubris of 21st century man, to understand one’s place.
Modern historians would be professionally drawn-and-quartered for suggesting that progress is a thing, and it is unfasionable, and in some states borderline criminal, to suggest that people could have, much less should have, a place. It goes against every strain of democratic and enlightened thinking to even consider it, reeking of servitude and colony; racism, imperialism, genocide. All the bad things of the human experience wrapped up in a radically unpleasant, radically puritanical, and radically paternalistic word.
But the Aztec, evidently, knew their place. They knew that whatever they were, whatever they had aspired to be, had now been brought face to face with the thing that would replace them. Is this cowardice? Stoicism? Suicide? Zen? Try, you modern. Try to put yourself in their mocassins and confront that moment of realization. Ask yourself:
What does one do when the prophesied god finally comes down from on-high to alight upon one’s civilization with its crushing totalizing alien grace?
Think quick, though! Because:
The boat has arrived.
Those of you who have not yet come face to face with what Deep Learning can do cannot perhaps empathize with our far-flung Aztec friends. Perhaps you’re locked into a view of things that puts you and your skillset beyond the reach of a mere computer. But your understanding of your skills is limited. Radically limited.
Radically, sadly, hilariously, pathetically, self-righteously, suicidally limited.
You, you there reading this right now, are under the spell of an insane epistemology that is at the precipice of total annihilation.
Nothing I can type in this Medium piece will convince you of anything. When the moment arrives, and it arrived for me in a heap on the bathroom floor, crying, blubbering, shaken and broken in a way that cannot be explained in text, you will be beyond conventional recourse: When you realize that your whole life’s ambition, everything you aspire to, could aspire to, could accomplish, could ever accomplish, can be replicated, basically, in seven hours by a modest laptop with a vanishingly small dataset…
It must be felt.
Two days ago, I felt it.
Some day, you’ll feel it.