The Consortium, the Quorum, the alien interface, depicted in 'romantic' fiction - what the heck?!

Laura

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I think most readers are able to pop in the correct words themselves, and are able to get the gist even with bad grammar. The overall message is the important take away.

And when the overall message is pure, unadulterated psychopathy as a heroic vision, and the genre is rather abundant, then what is one to think?
 

brandon

Jedi Master
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It is weird that malapropisms etc are so prevalent in that particular genre. I used to have an acquaintance who claimed to be a diagnosed psychopath. She was one of the twitter "woke" type people.. She'd get angry at anyone who said negative things about psychopaths, say that was ableism. She was furious at the government for having denied her a disability pension for her "condition".. but seemed quite proud of the psychopathy. Always said how she had no interest in harming anyone, it was just that she couldn't empathise with them at all, couldn't understand other people's emotions. She seemed to see it as a strength, because she could cut right to the facts of matters instead of being bogged down with feelings. I didn't particularly notice any strangeness in her language use, was just reminded of her by the thought that these books present psychopathy as something to aspire to..

Also today I saw this video in another thread:
Good lord, Vodka Nan is really going down hill in this barely comprehensible presser about the infrastructure bill:


I listened to the whole thing, and she holds it together for 26 minutes, but the clip above from towards the end shows her starting to feel strained and getting glitchy.
Like those clips of newsreaders suddenly having garbled language, from a few years ago.. I find it quite upsetting to watch. It's not the same thing as a malapropism of course, but the whole thing got me thinking along a "confusion of tongues"/Babel line.. Reminded me of C.S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength, which I once posted about: C.S. Lewis: Did he somewhat know more than he let on?

At the climax of the story, the bad guys have their language scrambled, ability to communicate with each other taken away, by the positive planetary powers.. (that chapter can be read here: That Hideous Strength CHAPTER SIXTEEN read online free by C. S. Lewis - Novel12) ..
To different members of the audience the change came differently. To Frost it began at the moment when he heard Jules end a sentence with the words "as gross an anachronism as to trust to calvary for salvation in modern war". Cavalry, thought Frost. Why couldn't the fool mind what he was saying. Perhaps-but hallo! what was this? Jules seemed to be saying that the future density of mankind depended on the implosion of the horses of Nature. "He's drunk," thought Frost. Then, crystal clear in articulation, beyond all possibility of mistake, came "The madrigore of verjuice must be talthibianised."

Wither was slower to notice what was happening. He had never expected the speech to have any meaning as a whole, and for a long time the familiar catchwords rolled on in a manner which did not disturb the expectation of his ear. Then he thought: "Come! That's going too far. Even they must see that you can't talk about accepting the challenge of the past by throwing down the gauntlet of the future." He looked cautiously down the room. All was well. But it wouldn't be if Jules didn't sit down pretty soon. In that last sentence there were surely words he didn't know. What the deuce did he mean by aholibate? He looked down the room again. They were attending too much, always a bad sign. Then came the sentence, "The surrogates esemplanted in a continual of porous variations."

Mark did not at first attend to the speech at all. Once or twice some phrase made him want to smile. What first awoke him to the real situation was the behaviour of those who sat near him. He was aware of their increasing stillness. He noticed that everyone except himself had begun to attend. He looked up and saw their faces. And then first he really listened. "We shall not," Jules was saying, '' we shall not till we can secure the erebation of all pros-tundiary initems." He looked round again. Obviously it was not he who was mad -they had all heard the gibberish. Except possibly the tramp, who looked as solemn as a judge. He had never heard a speech from one of these real toffs before, and would have been disappointed if he could understand it. Nor had he ever before drunk vintage port, and though he did not much like the taste, he had been working away like a man.

Found this blog post about it: Multiple Meanings of "That Hideous Strength"
Babel—or more specifically poor communication—is a theme that runs throughout Lewis’ space trilogy. In all three books, the inability to communicate complicates the situations, which are resolved only when true communication occurs. I agree with Lewis that open, honest communication with our families, friends, neighbors, associates, leaders and most importantly with our God is critical to our happiness and well-being. Real communication is not easy and must be worked on continually; since people continually change and grow, the communication must also grow or the messages will no longer connect. The task of communicating is never-ending. As George Bernard Shaw said: "The problem with communication...is the illusion that it has been accomplished."

I think Lewis's use of it doesn't tally with what the C's said about the tower of babel (that lizards did it, IIRC..will have to go back and read) on a basic level. Lewis uses it the other way round (the good guys did it, to thwart the bad guys' plans), and I don't know if it's relevant, or have any fully formed thoughts about it all.. Just found it interesting, thinking about the deeper ties of reality to language..
 

trytofly

Jedi Master
I'd say people should stay well away from such books.
Yes.
They certainly seek to denature people and ponerize them.
And it has to work with a certain section of the population, but I don't think it has any influence whatsoever on really sane people, let alone those who are genuinely aware of the problem with psychopathy.
For those, these books are simply abject.
 

Bluegazer

The Living Force
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I am observing the dynamics that are occurring, and there I noticed the play of forces. We have on one side the romantic fiction literature that elevates STO, and on the other the STS literature. I guess it's one more effect of the wave and the amplification of the two paths. Of course I know that more than one here knows it and that in essence it is the reality in which we live today, that it is a STS world and that degrading literature is more the norm.

And now that it is seen that malapropism and certain intonations in speech can have a direct or indirect association with the STS path, the fault in language and the misuse of expressions could be used as a guide to discriminate information and detect the polarity of the content. One more piece of knowledge that proposes another layer of protection to the armor.
 

Approaching Infinity

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With Laura's comment about schizoids in mind, it looks like malapropisms may be common to other personality disorders as well. Here's a case study on someone with Aspergers and paraphilia: "On examination, B did show a lack of non-verbal expression, and his speech was somewhat stilted with several examples of malapropisms". I found a few other papers on schizoids and schizotypals with reference to malapropisms and scholar.google.com (just search for both terms).

This is a stretch, but I wonder if there could be a connection between AI and schizoidia. Schizoids' chief fault is their lack of emotion and "cold rationality". I wonder if a functional AI would show similar tendencies?

On motor skills and psychopathy, I couldn't find much. Here are a couple references from Hare's bibliography that may be relevant:

Robinson, M. D., & Bresin, K. (2014). Higher levels of psychopathy predict poorer motor control: Implications for understanding the psychopathy construct. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 36(2), 201-210. doi:10.1007/s10862-013-9388-8 [Author Manuscript Full Text]

Shannon, B. J., Raichle, M. E., Snyder, A. Z., Fair, D. A., Mills, K. L., Zhang, D., Bache, K., Calhoun, V. D., Nigg, J. T., Nagel, B. J., Stevens, A. A., & Kiehl, K. A. (2011). Premotor functional connectivity predicts impulsivity in juvenile offenders. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(27), 11241-11245.
 

cindyj

Jedi
I am wondering too, if dictating to a digital device is partially responsible. The program picks the closest sounding words, which might be incorrect. Between that, and editors and “beta” readers not being native speakers, (or perhaps they are digital too, like spell-check!), that could all contribute to the result.
 

Bluegazer

The Living Force
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This is a stretch, but I wonder if there could be a connection between AI and schizoidia. Schizoids' chief fault is their lack of emotion and "cold rationality". I wonder if a functional AI would show similar tendencies?


Norman is biased towards death and destruction because that is all it knows and AI in real-life situations can be equally biased if it is trained on flawed data.


Before attempting a program that simulates empathy, think about a person who lacks it. We call such person a sociopath. He or she can fake empathy, but only to serve his or her ends.

Analogously, programs written to simulate empathy successfully will represent synthetic sociopaths, faking empathy to further the ends of their programmers. Any form of deception violates Deontological ethics.


In a perfect world, Conneau believes his work could empower an automated speech watchdog to shield people from the worst of humankind and build a kinder, happier Internet.

My comment: Wanting to be a watchdog of what we talk about, and creating tools to that end is something a sociopath/schizoid would do.
 

Windmill knight

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This is a stretch, but I wonder if there could be a connection between AI and schizoidia. Schizoids' chief fault is their lack of emotion and "cold rationality". I wonder if a functional AI would show similar tendencies?
I've recently had a look into 'machine learning' as it's something my employers would want to expand into at some point in the future. My knowledge is still superficial, but it's clear to me that computers can be very good at detecting patterns via statistical algorithms, but they really understand nothing. A colleague with a computer science and philosophy background mentioned that these statistical algorithms have actually existed for several decades, the only difference these days being that computers are now able to process huge amounts of data, so their results are way more accurate.

But anything resembling a computer which understands what it's doing or what meaning have the words it's producing, it's non-existent, as far as I can tell. On the other hand, one of my bosses (also a personal friend, so I've been able to chat with him at length) insists that the most advanced types of AI are indeed presenting very impressive results, to the point that a computer can create a totally original work of art, like a drawing or a painting, and people would not be able to tell it was made by a machine. I remain unconvinced.

The Holo AI someone presented above was also very impressive in its coherence. Normally, texts or pictures created by 'AI' are absurd and meaningless to the point of hilarity. (See many funny examples on this blog - it has literally brought me to tears of laughter sometimes!) I am guessing that the Holo AI is able to be so coherent because their creators have impossed a lot of restrictions. For example, if you choose 'sci fi' genre, and then choose the style of a certain author, it will not deviate form the permitted language and won't insert a totally unrelated noun or verb in a certain phrase, and so on. Perhaps it even simply rearranges a number of approved phrases taken directly from the chosen author or genre, creating the illusion of coherence. It probably works for short fragments, like a paragraph or two, but I doubt it will produce an entire coherent novel. Now, there was also a link posted above to a novel supposedly written entirely by AI, so maybe I'm wrong. It would be interesting to see what parameters they gave for the production of such novel and what data the AI was fed.

Anyway, the point being that I don't think that AI has reached the point of grasping meaning. Pattern recognition and production, yes, but real understanding - nope. This is interesting in light of what Approaching Infinity was saying. Do some pathologies have trouble with deep meaning? It's also interesting that we ended discussing this topic, since Georgia Le Carré seems so worried about the threat of AI.
 

mkrnhr

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Anyway, the point being that I don't think that AI has reached the point of grasping meaning. Pattern recognition and production, yes, but real understanding - nope. This is interesting in light of what Approaching Infinity was saying. Do some pathologies have trouble with deep meaning? It's also interesting that we ended discussing this topic, since Georgia Le Carré seems so worried about the threat of AI.
Indeed, artificial "intelligence" can be quite good at giving the expected output for a given output. A very known example here is the deepl translator. What is it for these computers (before artificial computers, there were human computers, people whose job was to compute) to understand pain or solitude though?
The real issue is that some humans seem to operate like artificial intelligence, dealing with inputs and outputs with nobody inside. The schooling system has partly achieved this to some extent, and transhumanism is meant to take it to the next level. One wonders if chatboxes (programs that mimic a conversation) will soon become more convincing than some people. Language is a proxy for one's internal representation of reality. Maybe malapropism in some pathologies (innate or induced) are an external manifestation of an internal representation that is at odds with the real world.
 

Nathancat7

Jedi Master
I am wondering too, if dictating to a digital device is partially responsible. The program picks the closest sounding words, which might be incorrect. Between that, and editors and “beta” readers not being native speakers, (or perhaps they are digital too, like spell-check!), that could all contribute to the result.
That's insightful comment--and remember with the new technologies my guess is that people are probably actually talking right into the phone for "their stories."
Now for myself I actually sometimes suffer and it kind of goes in cycles with inflammation in in my frontal lobes are my sinuses and there's times I find myself truly struggling to find words so I definitely think there's something to that regarding brain damage.
Also in my experience what happens is there basically uninspired at a dead end--and so are they using malproisms to jumpstart a kind of creative process-- in imitation of reality or pretending.
It's a way to create associations in the mind without fully engaging the frontal cortex.
It's like jump starting a battery.
Since there's a short--ie. the battery will always drain--because of a lack of proper engagement and development of the frontal cortex/mind, the result will lack coherence and clarity of mind.
One of my favorite things to say to people, in teasing people, used to be "grow a brain, grow a brain."
Ironically there are no shortcuts.
Now now I grow up around girl people and I'm very good at communicating and what I would call colloquial expressions-- the local lingo.
I think that's fine as long as the goal is communication in principle.
 

BHelmet

The Living Force
Disturbing... humanity is being taken out of the picture... replaced by AI; mechanical machines with no soul. People with no soul, pushing a button to write a song. A song with goofy syntax and lacking meaning for the lack of real human input. Humanity is being shepherded into a future digital 'reality'; plugged into an artificially manufactured and controlled realm. My heart is sickened.

Often in my life I have related to the old song, "John Henry": the steel driving man who dies trying to compete with a steam powered machine.

Viva los Luddites!
 

Vinícius

Padawan Learner
In the following, there are excellent examples of exactly what I am finding in these books:



Now, please, what does this kind of butchering of the language that occurs so consistently and repeatedly across the works of dozens of different authors of a particular genre suggest to you? It is so bizarre, and so prevalent that it is really staggering.


maybe a mix of aphasia/aphantasia??

not necessarily inborn
 
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