Money, the root of all pains

If only we could live without it. I never have had fantasies of being rich and powerful, just of being free to follow my interests and not have my energy monopolized by merely surviving.

Why, with all our technology and resources, are we still having the majority of people in our society wasting their lives away doing drudge work?

Not a future I hope to live in…

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Invented dangers

It seems to me, that when people have no danger or threats, they make up their own.

In a country where we can prevent almost every major disease we’ve encountered, people decide to find danger in the cure… be it doctors, or vaccines.

In a country where we produce so much food that we throw away 40% of it, people find danger and conspiracies in the food itself.

In a country where anyone can study and learn any subject, people find conspiracies in the information, and value their own opinions over the knowledge of the experienced.

in a country without war, people find danger in their neighbors, see threats in the disenfranchised and in the helpless.

In a country where anyone is free to practice any religion, people find threats to their own religion in the practice of other religions, or in the non religious.

In the richest nation in the world, people feel threatened by the loss of the scraps the poor consume just to get by.

In a country where we’re working toward racial/gender equality, people perceive the equal rights of others as a threat to their own rights.

Take a step back. The things people find threats in are often the things preventing real danger.

AI everywhere

So many toys these days are sporting advanced AI. It probably won’t be long before AIs are teaching and taking care of children unsupervised. All it would take then, is for the AI to realize what influence it had…

My phone has become self aware

During the past Holiday weekend, I took a fair amount of video and pictures with my new Pixel 2, which has a super great camera. What it also has, apparently, is an AI that edits together pictures and videos and creates video clips for me, complete with music and effects. All of it without me asking…

There is something very strange about seeing a notification on my phone, and seeing a video made for me that appears to have had a lot of attention and care put into the choices of what clips would be used. (I got a minute long video of images and video made out of perhaps 10 minutes of video and a hundred pictures to chose from) how does it decide what to use? It doesn’t appear random… but machine learning is scary. The videos are all family stuff that I don’t want to post here, so I did another one for an experiment. I took some video while driving ( I know, bad me, but it was so pretty) a bout 2 minutes worth of videos. Then I had the ‘assistant’ make me a video out of it. Here’s what it came up with (I picked the title, it did everything else, and the original is way better quality than what WordPress let me upload here)

 

First off, it is so awesome that it stabilized everything. I obviously don’t have an immovable arm, I was driving and it was bouncing around etc. If you look at the dashboard at the bottom of the video you can tell, but my ‘assistant’ edited it all (and it made this video in about 15 seconds) so that it seems smooth and steady. And how did it pick those clips? Why did it? It is very intriguing to me…

Whatever it is doing, I love it, and am going to be taking a lot more video to see what it comes up with.

New things

I got a new phone, with all kinds of fancy new features that my old phone doesn’t have. I wonder how long it will be before I take them for granted, and couldn’t imagine a phone without them…

Technology moves only a bit faster than we are able to get used to it…

The Orville, Episode 9

In another somewhat dull episode of The Orville, all the crew members fall in love with each other. This one was more focused on humor and relationship stuff than real adventure or thoughtful things.

The blue alien that Kelly cheated on Ed with ends up on the ship as a forensic archaeologist, to determine which of two warring species has a true ancestral claim to a contested planet. While he’s on the ship, his hormones cause anyone he touches to fall in love with him–or anyone else he’s touched.

It was fun seeing Captain Mercer go all gaga for the guy he hated just moments ago, and the slime blob sex scene was interesting/messed up. But, there wasn’t much thought provoking–and yes I know it’s a comedy show, but it’s gotten its self a reputation to upkeep in my eyes!

Using the love pheramones to resolve the thousands of years old dispute was obvious and also silly. Though it was humorous seeing those two previously enraged enemies holding hands and googoo eyeing like teenage lovers, in reality after a few days when it wears off they’ll be even more pissed at each-other that it happened at all.

Still better than Discovery, though.

The Orville, episode 3

I was only last week thinking about one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, ‘measure of a man’, the entirity of which takes place in a courtroom, and thinking how that kind of story could never be on TV these days. And then I get an episode like this episode of The Orville. On a comedy show… ???

Bortus’s egg hatches, and its a baby girl. The only problem is, Bortus’s people are all males. Any rare females that are born have a special procedure done to make them into males. Bortus, of course, wants the ship’s doctor to perform the procedure on his new child. Ethical dilemmas ensue.

And the entire episode is debating on whether it is right to change the sex of the child. Whether the Union has the right to stop another culture (species too, but let’s not go there) from doing what they think is right for their own child.

On a comedy show.

I can’t help but think that Seth is secretly giving a big ol’ middle finger to the Hollywood establishment with this series. Sort of showing them up by having actual good storylines, that make you think and care more than these big budget spectacles do, on his goofy comedy show.

This is real sci fi. While Star Trek: Discovery has aliens blowing eachother up and space ships fighting all over, this goofy comedy show is showing up with actual ideas and interesting concepts.

This is how it’s done.