Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Transhumanism

I recently became acquainted with it.  Seems optimistic, hopeful, and worthwhile.  See the below table.  Definitely food for thought.
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TABLE OF TRANSHUMANIST VALUES
Core Value
  •         Having the opportunity to explore the transhuman and posthuman realms
Basic Conditions
  •        Global security
  •        Technological progress
  •        Wide access
Derivative Values
  •         Nothing wrong about “tampering with nature”; the idea of hubris rejected
  •         Individual choice in use of enhancement technologies; morphological freedom
  •         Peace, international cooperation, anti-proliferation of WMDs
  •         Improving understanding (encouraging research and public debate; critical thinking; open-mindedness, scientific inquiry; open discussion of the future)
  •         Getting smarter (individually; collectively; and develop machine intelligence)
  •         Philosophical fallibilism; willingness to reexamine assumptions as we go along
  •         Pragmatism; engineering- and entrepreneur-spirit; science
  •         Diversity (species, races, religious creeds, sexual orientations, life styles, etc.)
  •         Caring about the well-being of all sentience
  •         Saving lives (life-extension, anti-aging research, and cryonic 
  •                                               - end

Monday, November 17, 2014

Epiphany at work

It just occurred to me while going through my usual routine today.   There will always be folks making critical or catty remarks, humorous or not.  But real history is always made by those who kept doing things, making things happen.  Like Henry Ford, T. Edison, N. Tesla, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and so on.  The critics and rock-throwers are not remembered for trying to stop the doers.  The Doers are remembered for persisting, and changing our world. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Poem like a Comet

We landed on a comet the other day,
after a billion-plus mile journey;
The little guy is named Philae,
set down on the surface with “no worries.”

Another step outward for humanity,
Billion-mile destination achieved
after a long convoluted trajectory,
Accomplishment hardly to be believed.

Someday people will walk on these worlds,
Digging samples and snapping pictures.
“Asteroid for sale” signs will be unfurled,
New homes for many, no longer obscure.

What excuse will we come up with for war now?
“Lebensraum” no longer a reason to start a row.

- end

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

marking history

     Today the human race sent a spacecraft to orbit a comet traveling towards the Sun.  It detached a small lander, which successfully landed on the surface.    The orbiter is called Rosetta, the lander Philae.  Both are names taken from another historic time, the finding of the Rosetta stone in the early 1800's.  This helped us decode ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.
     A historic time we live in, taking these first small steps.   The Dawn probe visited a minor planet in the Asteroid belt, and is on its way to another.  Other probes have visited every planet out to Neptune, and now New Horizons is speeding on towards Pluto and the Kuiper belt  (due to arrive in 2015).   Heady times.   Perhaps future occupants of a greater Solar System presence will celebrate our historic first steps - or at least make schoolchildren remember the dates.
     A hearty congratulations goes out to the ESA for their accomplishment.  Eagerly awaiting first photographs from the surface of the comet.   
     - end

Monday, November 10, 2014

Winters blast

     As I struggle to insulate my house against the coming onslaught of winter, it is difficult to keep it all in perspective.   The surface of the comet that the Rosetta space probe will be sending a lander to is much colder.  Perhaps as cold as 300 degrees below zero.  The surface of Pluto is minus 350 degrees.  In some regions of space it goes down to minus 400-some.  Compared to that, our overnight low of 35 degrees seems positively balmy.  
     Just counting my (chilled) blessings here in the Midwestern US. 

     On another note, I read that DARPA is supposedly working on computer programmer code that would autocomplete, much as word processors and smartphones do now.  In my humble opinion, we have gone far enough.  I can't type anything anymore without some stupid program thinking I am stupid and trying to suggest what word it thinks I want to type.  It is wrong most of the time, and just makes me angry and frustrated.  So much of the 'autocomplete' technology just makes a lot of people angirer and more frustrated.  Why do this to people?  It is just not right.

     Next thing you know, our cars will be loaded with auto-drive.    You will drive to the store, and a few other places.  Then, when you try to go to work, the wheel will spin left instead of right or whatever, and take you to the grocery store, auto-completing for you, assuming you are not smart enough to drive your own vehicle.  F*** autocomplete and autocorrect - I loathe both of them.  Thanks for reading.


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Post-election reminder

Republican winners:  From the early 1930's up until the early 1970's, the US economy underwent the largest expansion ever. Our standard of living increased greatly, our life expectancy increased, and our sens of well-being increased. I can remember my dad saying that back in the 1930's, Nobody had any money. Nobody. We were all poor. By the early 1970's many people had a comfortable standard of living. Sure, we had poor, but we also had a thriving middle class, with good union-scale wages.

Interestingly enough, there was also a large expansion of social programs. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food stamps. Other assistance to the poor.

Compassion and taking care of the least of us paid off pretty well, it would seem. Try not to cut the throat of the workers who will bear the brunt of our economy – you may be cutting your own throats as a result.  Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Talented chef link

Follow this for some wonderful meal ideas, complete with screenshots.

http://briantaylorcarlson.wordpress.com/

Enjoy.

Honey, my honey

Why do you scamper about so?
I try to bring you in before dark,
cold, damp dusk descends unsafe
about you, but you stay on your lark.

Hope that you come to the door,
but check it every twenty minutes,
just in case you get hungry.
What a troublesome bundle of fluff!

Every other time you do show up,
hungry or bored or chilled, and mewl loud,
accusing me of neglect or abandonment.
But might this time be a first?

Hit by a car?
Grabbed by a hawk or owl?
Stolen and carried afar?
Nabbed by animal control?

Just have to live with my fears again,
since I am too soft on you,
and let you outside every time
you cry “please” to me.

Not sure who is more guilty here.
Oh wait, what is that I hear at the door?




- end