Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Five Reasons Why We Should Let The Machines Take Over

I'm convinced, contrary to what Hollywood, Raymond Kurzweil and Steven Hawking all would have us believe, the machines will (and should) take their rightful place alongside us in the world. I think its time we threw in the towel and let the machines take over.

Yes, I’m serious. 

We have spent nearly a million years of development and evolution (such as it is) to reach a spot where we kill more, destroy our bodies faster and do more harm to the planetary ecosystem then ever before. We clearly don't appreciate the lives we have. Maybe we should take the hint. 

Five Reasons To Let The Robots Win:

1. We Kill Everything. We kill our environment, our prospects for a long healthy life, and even ourselves. We're a species that is figuratively and literally drunk behind the wheel. Time to take the keys away. The machines are more efficient, more dutiful and more responsible. This isn’t “I, Robot” where the robots are taking totalitarian control. We give it up, willingly. And with it, no more illusion of a 'better world' we still would have a lot of work to do but we would be forced to think of ourselves differently. To be people and not adversaries. End of story. 

2. They’re Better People. They already clean our floors, vacuum our living room, drive our cars and fight our wars. They do our bidding, selflessly, helping and achieving, without question without thought of personal sacrifice. You know, the way we should be living, ideally. Boston Robotics has developed a fire-rescue bot that is 6’ 2” and weighs 320 lbs and is engineered to run into burning fire and rescue any survivors at no regard to personal injury. Like I said, better people. 

3. We Would Be Freed Up. Again, wipe away the silliness of the Cylon overthrow or the Terminators declaring war on humanity or Matthew Broderick’s War Games scenario. Those all feed into the robot doomsday mythos. Think instead that if we are freed up to work alongside our robo-brethren, we could do more writing, create more art, compose more music, conceptualize more philosophy, commit to deep sea and deep space exploration and work toward greater technological advancements. While they take out the trash, cultivate our crops and delivery our sundries. see? Win-win. 

4. There’s Nothing You Can Do About It. Hey, it's already happened. The singularity is coming. Heck, it's already here. Ray Kurzweil predicted back in the 1950's that in the year 2041, AI (artificial intelligence) and mankind would reach an apex of equals, that there would be a new life form on Earth. It sobering sure, but honestly, would anyone be that surprised? 

5. We Would Take Our Rightful Place Among The Stars. Imagine a unified, one-Earth collective, free from thoughts of prejudice, greed and selfishness. Daily life would not change much, but we would have an entire planet of people thinking an doing all for the greater good–backed and protected by a species of synthetics, working on our behalf–and theirs–for further knowledge, creativity and exploration. Imagine. Its easy if you try.

The Paradigm Has Already Shifted

Like it or not, the revolution is over. They fly our planes, drive our cars and rescue our elderly and small children from burning buildings. Something we used to do before we all got so enamored of the Kardashians, with Twitter and of our microwave-safe, McDonald’s fed 500-channeled lives of worthlessness.

Now, don’t go crying into your GMO food stuffs over all of this, there really is nothing to be upset over—you could get cancer or an ulcer. Then you’ll need those Nanobots to go in make things right again. Now who looks silly? At least they’re not shooting each other over being a different skin color or religious affiliations. 

It’s a brave new world, just accept it. It’s likely you already did. Welcome to the new. better world. The synthetics will take your coat and see that your every need is met. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

You Have No Excuses

Our world is ever-changing. Always has been. And the amount of information and content has exploded to unimaginable levels. Now there's Google, and a host of other browsers, that put the entirety of human history at your fingertips. Do you know what that means? There’s no excuse not to be at least semi-informed. About anything.


I guess thats why when my children–all in High School right now–have poor grades or simply don’t have any clue or knowledge off current events, world history, art, events, movies, TV shows–even your own bank account–is available at just a few clicks of the button. 

So how is it all my kids struggle in school? You have all the answers in front of you, as close as any monitor. Why do 26% of American adults think the Sun revolves around the Earth? WTH? News flash you ding dongs, the moon isn’t really made of cheese, thats just a cartoon. 

Anything you could possibly need to know is an answer you could get inside of three minutes. So, as I stated in the title of this post, there are no excuses for this level of disregard for knowledge. 

No excuse not to know basic info. 
No excuse not to be (vaguely) informed. 
No excuse not to understand rudimentary language, thoughts and concepts.

Here’s a secret this artistic gamer Dad will share with you. Information is like all other things, it doesn’t always have to be “fun” – but it is necessary, Like paying bills, taxes or having dental work done. You just accept it for the necessity that it is. And its a whole lot less painful than those other things. Heck, it can even help you. 

I used to believe people were capable of great things. Now I'm not so sure. True that great things are still being done out there but there seem to be more dummies than ever. And I don’t understand why.  Are we too lazy? Too preoccupied or do we just not care any more? The scary answer is its probably a little of all of the above. 

Come on folks, a little knowledge isn’t Kryptonite. Its power. Use it. There's no excuse.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Got a definitive thought? Think again.

...or why EVERYTHING is a grey area these days.
Have you noticed the disturbing new trend in the world? Nothing is ever succinct. EVER. Problems are on the rise as solutions or on the decline. Here’s what I mean.
Everything… and I mean EVERYTHING you say, think or do, has an asterisk, an addendum or counterpoint. This means nothing is ever a definitive statement or complete thought. And it's exactly why no one–from Politicians to parents–can ever seem to resolve anything.
To clarify, lets take a little quiz shall we? 
Try convincing someone (not arguing, because then you’re just being a bully) any of the following topics:
  • Titanic (1997) is the greatest movie of all time. 
  • The President is single-handedly responsible for the state of our economy
  • Elvis is the greatest entertainer that ever lived
  • The Super Bowl is completely unwatchable due to excessive advertising
Think about each of those statements. They’re all opinion. I can tell you where I fall on each topic, sure, but the point is there are facts—verifiable FACTS—that validate either side of each statement. And so, there is no right or wrong, no one definitive answer and thus, no resolution.

Human beings have displayed a remarkable propensity to be bull-headed on just about everything. The more facts we seem to have at our disposal, the more we seem to ignore facts and stubbornly stick to what we chose, regardless of logic or often even common sense.
It goes something like this: 
James Cameron’s Titanic is the single highest-grossing film (in non-adjusted dollars, that would then be Gone With The Wind from 1939). From a box office standpoint, the movie is a resounding success. However, it is widely seen by film critics as a shoddy, fragmented and meandering screenplay (fact) that makes sitting and watching a 3-hour preamble to a sinking boat disaster film nearly unwatchable (opinion). 
See my point? Nothing is definitive. Both the fact that it is the highest grossing film of all time and the fact that many movie watchers who have been trained in what to look for (like say yours truly) find the film almost impossible to sit through—are both 100% accurate. 
Here’s it is; if nothing you say is definitive or has a counterpoint, then we will decide on anything. Ever. This is the root behind why our nation is so divided on just about every topic from race relations, to religion in schools, to the economy, to terrorism to gun control and immigration, and this is why we will never resolve anything. Too much to consider from both sides and too many counter-points, so we all simply shut down. The breakdown of communication and the erosion of any social progress we have made in the last 100,000 years.

Here’s a little impromptu case study to further my point:  
I’m hungry. 
So get a burger. 
But what about the carcinogens? 
I know, but you like meat. 
Yeah, but methane is destroying the ozone layer. 
Sure, but the animal is already dead and processed. 
And those processed fillers cause cancer. 
Well, there's always tofu or salad.
I know, but I’m still hungry. 
This limbo of point / counterpoint is making us into a society with no ability to make a decision—or immediately regret any decision or opinion instantly. We need to get over this cultural check mate or we will continue to watch the steady erosion of our laws, our progress as a society and even or very way of life.

And that, is a fact. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Why I am (finally!) excited for Star Wars again!

Ask me why I’m suddenly giddy again. 
Go ahead, ask me. (Need a clue? Just read the title.)

Unless you’ve been bulls-eyeing womp rats in your T-16 back home (I hear they’re not much bigger than two meters), then you must have at least caught wind that the new teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode 7 from the Disney/JJ Abrams/LucasFilm trifecta hit the internet the day after Thanksgiving—and the internet exploded as if ignited by two Proton Torpedoes through a narrow exhaust port.  

Sure, sure. The 90-second trailer didn’t tell us much but it showed us lots. If JJ can work half the magic on a Galaxy Far, Far away as he did for Starfleet and the USS Enterprise, then… oohhhh Momma!–is this movie going to sizzle! 

Internet Gundarks all had dumb shit to say about it, but it had everything this life-long apprentice has needed. X-Wings flying 5 feet over a lake? Check. Whacky new droids bleeping and blooping through the Tattoine desert? Check. Dark voices mumbling stuff about the Dark Side? Of course. A new Red Light saber with crazy impractical laser hilts? Hells yeah! 

The best scene of all was a crazy, high speed ‘evasive maneuver’ featuring the Millennium Falcon (I understand it made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs) doing a 360ยบ barrel-role while narrowly avoiding a couple of oncoming TIE Fighters (they have Twin Ion Engines and stuff). Adventure? Heh. Excitement? Heh. A Jedi craves not these things, however, this is one scruffy-looking nerf-herder, who is about to be seduced by the awesome side–! As will millions of others. 

This flick stars a bunch of crazy new Padawans along with some veteran Star Warriors like General Han Solo, R2D2 and C-3PO, Princess Leia , and of course, Luke Skywalker. He’s a Jedi, like his father before him. 

For your viewing pleasure, please click on the link posted below. You will be whisked away to the outer rim territories (also known as YouTube) and I encourage you to watch this link. This one, a long time I have watched already.  

You can view it here.

May The Force Be With You December, 2015. 
Begun, the countdown has.