Peter Ulric Tse

 

The deepest problems are yet to be solved.

We do not understand the neural code.

We do not understand how mental events can be causal.

We do not understand how consciousness can be realized in neural

We have yet to be liberated by a Darwin who’ll provide with an over-arching conceptual framework that unifies all the data in the field.

 

 

The Neural Basis of Free Will. 2013. Page xii.

Neural Prostheses for the Born Blind and Philosophy

Neural prostheses that have been developed for children who became deaf elicit sensations of sound also in the born deaf.  This fact is a conclusive proof that the experienced sound is innate and not a property of air vibration.  Similarly, I expect that the same would be demonstrated for vision next decade, perhaps as early as 2023:  neural prostheses that have been developed for children who became blind would elicit sensations of light in the born blind.  It would constitute a conclusive proof that the experienced sensation is innate and not a property of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Such demonstration is sure to create a shock in the general public.  In philosophy, it would bring to a final end the tabula rasa assumption that underlies current theories of knowledge. Making explicit the implications of replacing the tabula rasa assumption by its direct opposite would be the most basic change in the foundation of knowledge in some 300 years since John Locke introduced it as the basic tenet that underlies Empiricism.

 

If the mind is causally efficacious, physics is in crisis

 

A.    Voluntary action, imagination and causality.

Any voluntary action activates the motor cortex in a selective manner.

Such selective activation also occurs when the voluntary action is just imagined.

Imagination is private and subjective. The activation of the motor cortex is physical.

This ordinary example proves that the mind is causally efficacious.

It is taken for granted in physics that only physical causes can have physical effects.

Hence, there is a crisis in the foundation of physics.

 

B.         On the innateness of mental faculties

B1        Some sensations, emotions and cognitions are innate in humans

B2        As such they are private, subjective, mental or phenomenal.

B3        The intra-subjectively and inter-subjectively consistent defines existence

B4        The physical is that which is publicly observable and thus locatable in space

B5        The phenomenal satisfies the existence criteria

B6        The phenomenal does not satisfy the physicality criteria

B7        B5 & B6 prove that non-physical consciousness exists

 

C.         The epistemological priority of the phenomenal over the physical

C1        The sensations by which the physical world is knowable are innate.

C2        Hence, the physical is inferred from the phenomenal.

C3      This confers on the phenomenal epistemological priority relative to the physical.

C4        The brain elicits, not produces, phenomenal states.

C5        The phenomenal is not reducible to the physical.

 

D.        Spatial localizability is a physical attribute – the phenomenal is ubiquitous

 

E.       Summary

E1        Some sensations emotions and cognitions are innate and thus private.

E2        The physical is inferred from the phenomenal.

E3        The phenomenal is ubiquitous.

E4        The mind is causally efficacious.

E5        The foundation of physics requires reconstruction

IT: Only Philosophical Considerations Can Identify the Next Big Thing

Is philosophy a problem-solving discipline?
In 1969, while I was a student of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, I have reached the out-of-the-mainstream conclusion that the foundation of knowledge is the most powerful problem-solving area. I noted, for example, that while no basic science is self-contained, the knowledge area that interrelates basic sciences provides top-down solutions that are not derivable by bottom-up inference from any given basic science. This view has been out of the mainstream. I decided to put these views to a reality test to prove their validity, to myself at least. Having been interested in information processing in the conscious brain as it may relate to information processing in general-purpose electronic computers, I chose the information technology field.

That experiment in applied philosophy proved a success: it contributed to the development of the first 8-bit single-chip microprocessor (1972). Below, I provide a chronology of my actions. Such an account does not disclose the philosophical reasoning involved. One way to demonstrate that it was philosophy rather than computer knowledge is the following.

The current multiplicity of computer devices with overlapping functions indicates the need and possibility of a major simplification, which constitute The Next Big Thing. Knowledge from within information technology is, characteristically, insufficient to identify major simplification. Thus, if philosophy was indeed to a driver of my actions then I should be in a position to apply these high-level, top-down solutions to the current IT state. I would welcome such a challenge. I return to it at the end of this item. I now return to the chronological account.

Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC)
In 1969, I evaluated and recommended for $4 million Initial Public Offering (IPO) a new high technology venture, Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC) in San Antonio, Texas. I had an extended discussion with Austin “Gus” Roche, Vice President of Research and Development, in which I mentioned the 1000-fold increase in transistors per unit area that was being achieved during the 1960s. I suggested that such development makes the “computer terminal” a conceptually obsolete notion. I recommended that CTC in their next product do the following:

1. Develop and utilize a general-purpose central processing unit (CPU)
2. Implement that CUP as an 8-bit single-chip microprocessor
3. Utilize that CPU in a user-dedicated mode

CTC did develop for their next product, the Datapoint 2200, a general-purpose CPU. CTC also requested proposals from Intel and Texas Instruments (TI) for the implement the Datapoint 2200 CPU as a single-chip microprocessor.

Intel
Intel was formed as a semiconductor company in 1968. Its main products were semiconductor memory chips. Its customers were companies making computers. The prospect of making chips that function as a CPU did not appear attractive. The salesforce felt that their unfamiliarity would handicap marketing CPU chips; the management was concerned that making CPU chips would make Intel appear as a competitor.

These were some of the reasons when, in 1969, Intel received requests for proposals from CTC and from Busicom, a Japanese electronic calculator consortium, it gave priority to the development of the chip for Busicom, shelving the CTC development.

On hearing that I met with Intel’s CEO Robert “Bob” Noyce. I conveyed to him my conviction that Intel’s implementation of an 8-bit single-chip microprocessor based on the Datapoint 2200 CPU would unleash a technological revolution. In contrast, I noted the 4-bit chip Intel was developing for Busicom, which can represent only 16 different symbols thus insufficient to represent the alphabet, a limitation that defines the 4-bit chip as an applications-specific, not a general-purpose computer.

In response, Bob Noyce said that Intel would develop the Datapoint 2200 CPU microprocessor after completing the development of the 4-bit chip for Busicom. But in order to do so, it would need to obtain the consent of CTC that Intel develop, produce and sell to the general market such chip.

I then told Noyce: “I am flying back to San Antonio, and will get Intel the required consent.” On parting, I added that I will form a company that will be Intel’s first customer for their 8-bit single-chip general-purpose microprocessor.

In San Antonio, I met with Phil Ray, CTC’s CEO. CTC was not happy with Intel’s putting their project on the back burner and found the specifications of the single-chip processor were below of what it could do using existing technology. Phil Ray agreed to my request that Intel may develop, produce, and sell to the general market a microprocessor incorporating aspects of the Datapoint 2200 CPU architecture.

I so notified Bob Noyce. My initial surprise that my contribution has not been acknowledged turned into dismay. Lamont, in his book Datapoint, estimated the value of that act (without mentioning my involvement) in over a billion dollars. The dollar amount is secondary. It is the intellectual property contribution that has not been acknowledged.

Texas Instruments (TI)
TI, after receiving CTC’s request or proposal, filed in 1971 a patent application for an 8-bit single-chip microprocessor satisfying the request for proposal requirements. However, the initial attempt to produce such a chip suffered delays. The patent was granted in 1973. But for a few years, TI showed reticence entering the microprocessor filed.

Q1 Corporation
In 1972, the Datapoint 2200 single-chip CPU microprocessor was introduced with the name Intel 8008. Later that year, Q1 Corporation, a company I formed, delivered the world’s first microprocessor-based personal computer to Litcom, a division of Litton Industries in Long Island, NY. Subsequent generations of the 8008 are known as the x-86 microprocessor family. By the end of the 1970s, it became dominant worldwide.

In 1973, Nixdorf Computer of Paderborn, Germany paid Q1 $40,000/month to develop software related to the 8008 and forthcoming 8080 processors. In 1974, Q1 delivered the world’s first 8080-based personal computers to the Israel Supply Mission in New York City. In 1975, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) ordered Q1 8080-based systems for all its eleven worldwide bases. Also that year, at the request of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), I organized and chaired the opening session of its first worldwide conference about the microcomputer revolution.

On identifying the next major phase in the information technology field
I seem to be in a unique position to outline the major next phase in information technology. If any major IT company would like to explore it further, I would suggest the following three stages:

First a short overview of the chronology leading to the introduction of the first 8-bit single-chip microprocessor. It then can be followed by a 90-minute outline of some general principles that determine the next phase. Optionally, such session would conclude by a three hour in which the general principles are shown to specify some hardware and software choices.

Interested parties may contact me via my associate,
Ms. Lizzie Villas Boas
+ 1 (917) 530-4735
lizzievb.lvb@gmail.com

The prospect of controlling future human evolution

Biotechnology. Biotechnology now makes it possible to control future human evolution. This is the most important development in human history. It also proves that history is unidirectional. For this reason, the use of the past as a guide for the future is likely to have adverse consequences.

A possible scenario. The strife among world powers may prove unnecessary in the future. Being prisoners of the past, some world leaders are likely to feel compelled to consider, or even embark on introducing heritable enhancements to the genomes of their population. Once any national entity embarks on such a course then within a few generations the genetic distance from the rest of humanity would be no longer reversible. It may make this millennium Homo sapiens’ last. In order to prevent such bifurcation of humanity, it is necessary to find a way to bridge the cultural chasm now separating East and West.

The absence of common grounds to decide what ought to be done. The ability to heritably modify genomes illustrates success and rapidity of scientific and technological advances. In contrast, humanity has failed to effectively address any long-term global issue. Typically, the cumulative aspect of such problems is at the stage beyond our capacity this century to reverse or stop these toxic trends. This consistent failure of humanity points to the absence of a science-based conceptual with which to address such issues. The current ethical and legal systems of the West are non-universal. The resulting relativism makes impossible reaching consensus based on underlying commonalities of human nature and conduct. It is as if the technology is catapulting humanity into an unknown future, while dysfunctional guidance system locked the trajectory toward apparent extinction.

Updating the foundation of knowledge as a survival imperative. Current neuroscientific knowledge has demonstrated that humans possess innate elementary sensations, emotions, and cognition. This basic fact, in turn, implies that there exist innate commonalities of human nature that constitutes the empirical ground for universals of human conduct. The problem is that for the last 300 years philosophy has been based on the denial that any sensations, emotions or cognitions are innate.

It is therefore now necessary for the philosophic community to undertake the reconstruction of knowledge. The application of this knowledge to the various normative disciples will take time. For example, in the West, it implies the transition from the current legal systems which are based on positive law to a legal system based on natural law. It is said that even a thousand-mile march begins with a single step. The time to take that step is now.

Philosophy, Gene Editing and The Next Phase of Human Evolution

We can now control future human evolution. It is the most far-reaching technological development since humans branched from other primates some six million years ago. There does not exist at present a conceptual framework with which to address this (or any other) long-term global issue. Typically, any long-term global issue is a looming disaster. Consider a few examples: climate change, pollution of the oceans and air, nuclear proliferation and demographic upheavals. This record suggests that the worst outcome is also the most likely in the instant case: that during this century, some national entities would introduce heritable enhancements to the human genome in their country – making the last millennium Homo sapiens’ last.

This book identifies philosophy as the root problem. It then outlines how current science requires updating the 300-year-old foundation of knowledge. It concludes by indicating how such reconstruction provides the ground for formulating normative social policies.

De-nuclearizing North Korea

What has prevented atomic conflict since the Second World War is the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Kim Jeong Il discovered that this formula is inapplicable to the potential atomic conflict between a superpower and a small country. Instead, the superpower, having more to lose, is in a military disadvantage. This fact confers negotiating advantage in the smaller country. However, such an advantage is limited to negotiations. In an atomic conflict, neither side wins.

In the interim, North Korea is subject to a punishing embargo. It desperately needs a source of income. They have one thing that many entities desire, so naturally, North Korea is in the business of selling atomic know-how. Some well-funded terrorist entities that seek to obtain atomic weapons are not geographically locatable. As a result, there is no way to counter any attack by such entities. China may be among the initial targets for such unilateral attacks. Such prospects are utterly unacceptable. It would force China to prevent opening this Pandora’s box: this means de-nuclearization of North Korea.