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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Does it matter if art comes from artificial intelligence or human creativity?

It could depend. And even then, there seem no simple answers.

Possibly, we shouldn’t ruin good questions with (shallow/any) answers. Computers continue to make greater art.

Whodunit

It seems to make a difference if you’re honest about who created the art.

It is problematic when a chess player (allegedly) pretends to be brilliant by playing moves fed to him by a hidden computer.

The police will be after you for fraud if you pretend to have found a Rubens, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, or Appel while you painted it yourself.

But, three Reb Shlomo Carlebach musicians, after his death, together composed a song for Shuvi Nafshi in his style. They did not claim to have found a lost original Carlebach composition. This seemed no problem.

The Governor of Israel’s Central Bank had a computer write a speech for him. Can his plum job salary now be slashed into something more decent?

When highly handicapped, highly gifted autists make great Art, is that art? And if we can’t tell if they are at all intelligent? Should it bother us that we like what they make, or that their social handicap is even made a topic?

Who Needs People?

Have humans become irrelevant and worthless if computers can make the greatest Art in the style of and indistinguishable from the great Masters? Who needs to adore Mozart or Van Gogh if some pieces of lifeless electronics create the same style and quality in a matter of seconds?

We’re OK to let machines wash our clothes, dishes, or floors, saw, plant, or harvest, sew outfits and build cars, etc. So, why is it a problem to have automats create Art? Does that threaten our self-esteem? Or, our wish to idolize a select group of people? Will we then idolize the technicians who designed the computer, or will we be left with no respect for anyone?

We still let humans compete at chess tournaments, though computers can now out-calculate humans and triumph over any mortal. And, we continue to see widespread awe for humans playing amazing games. Why? Why don’t we just watch games between computers? I really don’t know.

We are amazed when Roman Kim plays a whole orchestra on one violin, but when street organs do the same, we’re charmed but not astonished.

I don’t have many answers. Maybe, be happy with the questions? Did you notice I answered the question with many questions? But, yeah, why not?

The Next Frontier?

What’s next? A computer that composes a Bible superior (or say: equal) to the Torah? Good luck at that, since nuances in the Original are intensely studied by the smartest for 1000s of years, and the Text still doesn’t bore. And, either it should dovetail with the rest of the Written and Oral Bible (the Talmud is humanity’s largest Book and still written in telegram style), or replace them too, leaving Jewish Law derived from them the same.

Computers can be fast, creative, and even ‘learn,’ or at least, it looks like that. But they don’t have Free Will, the ability to surpass one’s discomfort and prioritize what’s morally best. Mainframes lack feelings and egos.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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