Many (okay, fine, most) of the people I have interacted with lately have been commenting about me (sometimes to my face and sometimes not) on what a grumpy, grouchy, cantankerous anti-social person I have become.
I paused the other day to ponder this development, and to consider what has caused this peculiar predicament. I have certainly not always been this way — I want to understand the process that has transformed me from a friendly and generally lighthearted soul into a sullen and ill-tempered lump of curmudgeon-like flesh.
I worry too much.
Having come to this conclusion, I decided to make a list.
In retrospect, this was (is) another in a long line of spectacularly bad decisions, but I’ll trudge on with this story none-the-freaking-less.
So, I started to contemplate and ruminate about what worries and upsets me – things that fill my mind with dread, anxiety, irritation and all manner of vexitating thoughts.
Yeah, I know “vexitating” is not a word but combining vexation with irritation is vexitation and I am vexitated, damn it.
One vital note – the items on this list are in no particular order of priority or importance; I simply jotted things down as they occurred to me. At any one time – based on the media news cycles, individual moods, and sunspot activity, items may rise to the top or sink to the bottom.
Kind of like my attitude.
Anyway, here is the list of things I worry about —
- MERS virus
- Ebola virus
- COVID virus
- Avian (bird) flu virus
- Viruses, in general
- Reptilians (and aliens among us generally)
- Surveillance (including brainwave reading)
- Chips in credit cards and cash
- AI and rise of the machines
- Superbugs resistant to all antibiotics
- Hydrocarbon neutralization
- Genetics manipulation to lower intelligence
- Genetics manipulation (XY) to control population
- Epigenetics resurgence
- Possible dangers of 5G / QKD / terahertz radiation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Internet censorship
- Apocalyptic visions of the end of the world
- NSA and other unauthorized government spying on citizens
- ISIS terror group
- Antifa terror group
- Terror groups, in general
- -isms, in general
- Takeover of the Health Care Industry by a centralized government
- Education takeover by a centralized government
- Centralized governments, in general
- Global warming – fact or nonsense?
- Possible economic meltdown and devaluation of dollar
- The Federal Reserve’s control of the dollar and the economy
- IRS Scandals
- The IRS, in general
- Voting fraud
- North Korea and possible use of nukes
- Iran and possible use of nukes
- Pakistan and possible use of nukes
- Use of nukes, in general
- Are nukes even real?
- People seeking world domination
- Russia and Ukraine
- Chinese economy passing America in size
- Can we trust the Chinese?
- Can we trust any other country?
- Manufactured racism
- Real racism
- Reverse racism
- Racism, in general
- Middle East tension between Islam and Judaism
- Syria and chemical weapons
- Chemical weapons, in general
- Hatred between Arabs and Persians
- Weakness of economies throughout Europe
- Spread of terror by fanatics
- Intelligence level in America on the decline
- Education, news, entertainment designed to keep people stupid
- Internet content mostly trash and crap
- Abortion out of control
- US Border not secure
- Honeybees dying
- Bad line calls
- NASA NEO (Near Earth Objects) colliding with Earth
- Yellowstone Caldera
- Volcanoes, in general
- Drug cartels
- Rise in synthetic drugs
- Targeted genetic weapons
- High interest rates
- Fire ants, mosquitoes, scorpions, and brown recluse spiders
- Illegal and Undocumented Workers
- Benefits paid to illegal aliens which they did not earn
- Political Corruption
- Politics, in general
- Crony Capitalism
- Bureau of Land Management land grab
- Environmental Protection Agency water grab
- Food & Drug Administration food grab
- Grabs, in general
- Excessive taxation – city, county, state, federal
- Legalization of dangerous drugs
- Rise in prescription drug abuse
- College graduates with no jobs
- College graduates moving back home with mom & dad
- College graduates who never should have gone to college
- Toll Roads
- The Pope wanting to redistribute “benefits”
- Fanatics of any ilk
- Big Tech control of Internet
- Big Tech control of News Media
- Big Tech, in general
- FEMA camps
- Ceding US sovereignty to the United Nations
- The United Nations, in general
- Wasted billions on supposed green energy
- Sunspot activity and solar flares
- Changes in the Earth’s magnetic poles
- Artificial Intelligence and Rise of the Machines
- Politicians who cannot seem to tell the truth
- Mainstream media that does not seem to care about the truth
- Truth, in general
- Breakdown of the basic family structure
- Guns in the hands of fools
- Fools, in general
- Sexual Orientation crisis
- Rapidly rising food costs
- Half the population on food stamps
- Fast & Furious gun running
- Gun running in the Middle East
- Gun running in Central America
- Gun running, in general
- Violence rising in US cities
- Corruption seemingly everywhere
- Liberal bias
- Conservative bias
- Libertarian bias
- Human bias
- Bias, in general
- Self-driving cars
- Government Scandals
- No collective will to punish criminals
- Abiotic Oil
- Too much lithium in society
- Vaccines introducing genetic material in host
- Tainted water supply
- Food shortages
- Supply chain issues
- Conflicting adaptive strategies
Eventually I grew weary and dispirited from adding items to this stinking list, especially as it dawned on me that none of the items from my own uniquely personal worry list were actually on the list.
You know, spectacularly worrisome things like pay the bills, headaches at my work, headaches with my significant other, mowing my grass, regular bowel movements, et cetera, ad nauseum.
After this profound (or amateur found) insight penetrated my bonehead, I realized worrying about such lists – global or personal – was an insidious trap. It was a spiraling vortex from which you cannot escape because – wait for it – there is always something new that will be next on the list to worry about even if you manage not to worry about the item on the list you were currently worrying about…
Good lawd – confusing, but I had cracked the code! Simply stop worrying!
Sadly, that is effing impossible. Rather like getting a politician to cut wasteful spending.
Wasteful government spending!!!
Crap – now I have to add that to the list.
I’m going to find a nice quiet place to curl up and worry.
–EnochRead More →
Life is a wreck, a crash, an accident in process.
At the end of the working (or even non-working) day all of us would love to know that our books are balanced, that the sun will set (and rise) as it always has – and that all is well in our Voltairian best-of-all-possible worlds. Dr. Pangloss is an eternal optimist.
He’s French, so he has to be.
Humanity has risen to the top of the food chain – apparently – because it has elevated the art of self- and other-deception as the most important skill for survival and success. We want to be deceived (Mundus Vult Decipi, as they say in Latin) and many people will be quite happy to deceive you.
Hey, they are only trying to help you.
What was once simply one among many traits of the overall adaptive strategies humans employ to survive, self- and other-deception is now the fundamental “truth” of human existence. Lies bring power. The bigger, the better. Truth is relative you are told.
Horse hockey – Truth is not relative.
Many adaptive strategies embrace deception and lying, confirming the erroneous belief (IMHO) that only a truly clever person could achieve success with such techniques. Sophistry is the use of fallacious reasoning, tricks of speech, and errors of logic to confuse, confound, and win arguments.
Politicians are, almost without exception, practiced Sophists. Just follow the news to confirm this for yourself.
You cannot escape the debacle of the smashing conclusion of the crash which is your life. That is to say, the crash which always ends in the demise of the driver.
However, the extent to which you enjoy your life and derive pleasure from it (while the wreck is happening) is directly and inextricably correlated to how well you manage and control the ongoing wreck that is an individual life.
Of course, as with anything in the “real” world — you are subject to the vagaries and variables which swirl around all of us like some noxious cloud that repeated waving of the hands fails to dissipate.
One such irritating variable — the wreck of our lives is always controlled by other people long before the “wheel” is ever handed over to us.
So, this means that not only must we learn to manage the crash on our own, but we must recover from the often poor handling of the previous driver, be they mother, father, friend, State, or other.
If we are fortunate, the crash was skillfully managed by the previous controller and when we are handed “the wheel” we can maintain a modicum of direction. Scalar and vector.
I must state, though, that words like “controller” and “control” simply do not convey the exact nature of what I want to say. The trick is to slow down the crash, reduce the rate of speed — if you will — so that while you, the controller (within your frame of reference) are living and enjoying every moment, the accident is happening so slowly around you you don’t even notice.
The last thing you want to do is to become so enamored with the crash’s net result that you initiate behavior to precipitate or accelerate the end or – worse – forget to enjoy the very act of driving (living).
It’s rather like watching a basketball game and some player is making every shot he or she takes. The announcer makes a remarkably astute commentary about it by saying, “That player is unconscious!”
In truth, the best results in life are often achieved if we don’t think about it too much. Sometimes, the more you fight for control, the worse the crash becomes. Often it is best to simply drive “into” the crash and not work against it.
However – this is critical – this does not mean ignorance is bliss and that we should relinquish our free will and let the State or any external entity drive and control our lives.
Self-determination is the key to happiness. Pay attention or you will pay a stiff price indeed – lost freedom and a vanished individuality.
Focus on the moment with an eye to achieving specific realist goals and the crash is relegated to the background, the periphery of reality.
Unless you allow the State or an external entity to be in charge. That is most definitely a DUIO violation – “Driving Under the Influence of Others.”
If you are going to have to endure the final wreck yourself (which you most assuredly will), then you ought to be the one driving – all the time. Don’t fight the crash – embrace it.
Who knows – you might even be able to drive around it. Maybe put it on auto-pilot and embrace the joy of everyday living. Get out and walk.
Perhaps an actual crash is not the end.
The Universe is full of strange things.
As for me, I’m walking right now, but I might break into a trot…
EnochRead More →
We should all be familiar with the succinct and profound military attack plan best expressed as “divide and conquer.” The phrase is often attributed to Julius Caesar (100 to 44 BCE) — “Divide et impera” if my Latin serves me correctly. Okay, fine, I looked it up…
“Divide and conquer” is a simple and robustly elegant strategy which is designed to splinter one’s opponent into smaller and more manageable groups incapable of uniting to deal cohesively with a common enemy.
Disorganized and isolated groups subject to such a strategy languish in malaise incapable of any unified effort.
There are many organizations in America that directly benefit from the disarray and chaos engendered by heightened racial tensions. It contributes significantly to their financial success and political power to stoke the flames of racism and — if no racism can be found — to locate kindling and build their own fire.
Usually the latter.
I would like for you to examine your own life for just a moment. Slow down and think about this — we are constantly “informed” that all of us hate people on the basis of the COLOR of their skin. We are repeatedly told by those organizations referenced above that we are all racists.
Ask yourself this — when was the last time that you personally expressed your own bigotry, felt it from others, or directly witnessed others committing wanton acts of authentic racism? Not just an act of violence where, by coincidence, someone was one color and someone was another color. Not something “manufactured” to support a narrative. I mean an authentic act of pure racial hatred and bigotry.
Judging from my own experiences, the answer is not very often. Maybe never (except through the digital ether). In truth, you have really got to be kidding me — how on earth have any of us been sucked into buying this line of carnival crap about race? Do we honestly dislike people because of the EXTERNAL color of their skin? If this is true, then why not hate people on the basis of the color of their shirt, the size of their shoes, or how they comb their hair?
We are letting the race hate-mongers and corrupt politicians control our minds. They are manipulating the electromagnetic (EM) waves — any digital signals containing data — in order to divide black, brown, white, yellow and whatever color you want to add to the mix.
Separate and equal in chaos — and useless to face the true enemy.
It is absolutely NOT the skin color of a person — not some mere external variable like that — that leads us to dislike someone. It is what lurks inside the other person that repels and irritates us. It is their behavior as a direct expression of what is inside that disturbs us.
What we truly hate is our animal nature. The beast within us all.
We have been battling for tens of thousands of years to be human – and to become more than human – and what we hate and fear are humans who are NOT truly human because they act like animals – in point of fact, they ARE animals.
And these non-humans can be any color. All colors. Color does not distinguish when it comes to bestiality.
The legends of vampires, werewolves, zombies and such are — of course — pure nonsense, but they do illustrate a simple and completely undeniable TRUTH — we fear, loathe, and hate our unrestrained animal nature. We hate those who are out of control and use no rational thought to guide their actions.
Such creatures are not human. Yes, they look human – but they have no soul. We are born with the ability to have a soul, but it is created over a lifetime of work and effort. Intentional awareness and conscious effort.
When heinous acts are committed by such non-human humans — be they white, brown, black, yellow, red, or purple — we face the horrible truth of our unconscious animal side. True humans do, indeed, hate and abhor the sad sight of that. It is reminder that the divide between civilization and barbarism is narrow indeed.
However — that is not racism – it has nothing to do with race, but only with cultural values in disarray – values that glorify sex, violence, drugs, and hate. Values with no genuine moral or ethical basis.
Failure to embrace a culture that values such important things as hard work, dedication, sacrifice, virtue, honesty, family, and self-responsibility leads to a stagnation and rot. A culture may deny the truth of religion, but it cannot deny the value of religion – when it does, a lack of morality and ethics leads to anarchy and chaos.
And it affects all humans, of any race.
Trying to uphold the highest standards of human conduct with true morality and ethics – and expecting others to do the same – is NOT racism.
It’s called being a conscious human being.
If you call it racism – what is it you are really hiding? What are you really seeking?
Manipulating emotions and manufacturing hate for personal or political gain is evil.
Period. End. Of. Story.
Enoch. October 2021.Read More →
Most people love cats or dogs. Maybe birds.
Shoot, even reptiles. Snakes. Hamsters. Gerbils. (Seriously, gerbils?)
I love the dung beetle.
I know, it just seems so wrong. I think the immediate response of most people has to be “huh,” or some more colorful derivation thereof.
A great many people simply stare at me blank-faced and ask, “why?”
Let me slip on my pointy pontificating hat and ponder an appropriate reply.
I would ask that you pause for just a wavering moment and carefully contemplate what the dung beetle accomplishes.
It takes what we regard as an absolutely repugnant by-product of living (e.g., scat, poop, excrement, dung, fecal matter, sh*t) and instead of stepping gingerly around it and moving on, the dung beetle labors feverishly to accumulate, organize into a spherical shape and then roll the “fruits of its labor” back to his or her abode.
Where the dung beetle uses said ball of smelly goo to feed and raise its young. Thereby allowing the lowly dung beetle to replicate, survive, and subdue its world.
The dung beetle is an awesome role model for any human.
Here’s why –>
Think about how much crap all of us deal with on a daily basis.
And lately, it’s quite a bit.
It might come from our boss, from our clients, from our co-workers, from our spouse, from our friends, from our relatives, from Internet social media, from mainstream media, from non-mainstream media, from the government – basically from a wide and seemingly endless list of sources.
Generally, from the Cosmos as a hole. I mean, a whole.
In fact, someone, somewhere, at one time or the other went full frontal dung beetle and made a lot of money with a simple bumper sticker that merely states the dung beetle motto – “Sh*t Happens.” For the sake of a more genteel discussion, we will use the less offensive term “poo” so as not to offend the Internet’s automated word censors.
Having reflected on the success of the dung beetle, I am immensely happy that poo happens.
Poo gives us opportunities – in life for sure, but especially in business. It doesn’t matter whether you own a business or work for someone else. The poo that you see on a daily basis is your opportunity to make yourself useful and valuable, because you can locate the seemingly foul poo, step right in it, organize it, shape it into a nice little ball, and roll it away for a useful purpose.
Best of all – you can actually get paid for messing around with poo and making something valuable from it because most people just complain and run down the hallway crying about the horrible poo.
Dang it, why does my spell-checker keep flagging poo?
Anyway. the next time poo happens to you – regardless of the source – make a careful evaluation of how you can turn a disgusting by-product of business existence into something useful and valuable.
The ensuing success may just surprise the poo out of you.
–ERead More →
With all the craziness going on in American society, it’s no wonder my mind did a Dobie Gray and drifted away into thoughts about violence and mayhem. Not writing it down is just killing me…
It made me ponder our culture and the daily exposure to violent things.
Here goes something (or nothing):
Badass (TV series)
Bang (energy drink, game, slang for sex)
Bash (Unix shell and command language)
Belt (for pants or alcohol)
Batter (as in baseball and pancakes)
Blade (movie/comic book character)
Blast (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool)
Boom (comic book explosion, airplane, studio)
Burst (mobile video service)
Chop (stolen cars, steaks)
Chopped (a TV show)
Crack (cocaine and other things)
Crush (soft drink)
Cutter (bug spray)
Destroyer (a Navy ship, rock band and comic book character)
Edge (shaving gel)
Eviscerate (Heroes of Warcraft spell)
Gash (slang term for female genitalia)
Hack (think computer)
Hammer (useful tool, fictional detective)
Hurt (awesome Trent Reznor song sung by Johnny Cash)
Impale (online game)
Lance (national brand of baked goods)
Mace (the spray)
Maim (musical band)
Mangle (weird toy, laundry device)
Mangler (movie, software name)
Maul (Useful tool, sci-fi character)
Megadeth (heavy metal band)
OG (original gangster)
Pound (British money)
Pummel (online game, album title)
Rent (something I’m late with on occasion)
Rip (pull songs from a CD or other source)
Ripped (weightlifting supplement)
Ripper (British slasher and tennis shot)
Sabre (tech company)
Scar (film character, actress nickname)
Shatter (high-potency marijuana)
Shredder (comic book character)
Slam (magazine, ball dunk, big hit in baseball)
Slash (Guns N’ Roses singer)
Slayer (heavy metal band)
Slice (soft drink and tennis shot)
Smash (TV series and tennis shot)
Snuff (smokeless tobaccov
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer character and volleyball shot)
Stab (surfing magazine and tennis shot)
Stiletto (a shoe, a tool company)
Stomp (musical group)
Whip (cool or otherwise)
Wreck (as in Wreck It Ralph kid’s movie)
Speaking of Wrecked – I am and need a drink. Or a nap. Or possibly both…
If you have an item for the list, drop me a line at
enoch@debrisfromthewreckage dot comRead More →
I play baseball. Amateur (i.e., unpaid). Fast pitch. I know, it’s nuts, but there you have it.
Anyway, I’m heading out to the game and it’s across town. I’m on the highway (The Loop) and proceeding at terminal speed, which is 65 in this case.
Hang on, maybe “terminal” and “speed” should not be used in the same sentence, especially the way most people drive.
The highway is crowded because — well — it’s always crowded. People are driving 65 and 65 plus. Mostly plus, truth be told.
I begin thinking. A dangerous habit I fell into many years ago and from which extraction seems impossible. Like a tooth in the back of my head. Sorry.
I’m wondering how in the name of Vishnu, G_d, Allah, Zeus or any other deity you care to conjure does this highway driving thing even work?! It seems like it is a catastrophic event awaiting activation.
I mean – stop to ponder the situation for just a cold, clinical, detached moment – you have whizzing and hurling hunks of metal weighing close to two tons — or more — flashing by on all sides — doing the whizzing and hurtling at a startling (if you stop to ponder it) at a close proximity of around 5 to 6 feet or so.
And the only thing separating their car from careening madly into yours is a line.
A line PAINTED on the freaking pavement.
This whole damn highway thing ONLY works if everyone honors the lines. Sure, it’s only paint, but it might as well be invisible because it only functions if everyone believes in it.
Trusts it, endorses it. Has faith in it.
The only way such high-speed driving functions smoothly is the absolute belief of all the drivers that the lines will be honored. Each driver must trust the other.
Governments should work the same way. Well, they are supposed to…
The invisible lines for our society – for those of us living in America—should be the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Just like that simple paint on the highway, those documents are only printed (written) words on pieces of paper. They have no magical reality beyond what people grant to them. And — yet — by entrusting our faith in those words, a great country was born.
What happens – however – when certain groups of people decide NOT to honor the lines?
Imagine the utter chaos that would ensue on the highway if there were drivers that ignored the lines and steered their vehicle anyway they wanted, without regard for others. The only choice in direction such drivers cared would be their own — your choices would be rendered meaningless and ignored. It would be very bad. Catastrophic indeed.
Imagine any group or organization that ignores the lines and steers in any fashion it wants to without regard for anyone’s choice — then you have a much worse form of chaos.
That is because the vast majority of citizens are still using those aforementioned lines as guidance – they are honoring the invisible lines — the words of those documents — the ones that link us as Americans. When they see any group or organization driving haphazardly – without using the lines – there is confusion, anger, dismay.
If someone ignores the painted lines on the highway, there are consequences. There are law enforcement agencies who will pull your car over and stop you. Or, you may die in a fiery crash. Despite what some political groups would have you believe, bad choices must yield bad consequences. There is a price to pay for bad decisions — you cannot be constantly bailed out.
It’s called responsibility, integrity, honor.
Who is going to pull the group or organization over and stop them before they crash into citizens still honoring the invisible lines of American society? Who guards the guardians, as it were?
American functions as a cohesive society because we have a belief in ourselves and others. We trust each other in societal interactions, just as drivers trust each other on the highway. Even an atheist has to have faith in the invisible lines that provide guidance for the conduct of American affairs. When that belief falters because our leaders ignore the lines or try to redraw the lines without our consent, then we have a chaos that is not easily mended.
Without belief and faith there is no positive human action because individuals give way to despair and resignation.
Perhaps this is what certain political groups desire. Citizens despair and resign. They stop driving. The roads are clear. Certain groups or organizations can then drive anyway they want, using any lines they desire. That is true tyranny.
The belief that the lines formed by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights is the fundamental truth of America is critical to our continued success as a nation.
If that belief is lost, then America is lost. This is a nation built on belief in self — and others. Mistrust, retribution, dictatorship, and fear is not what we want.
If you put your faith in something and say, “I believe,” then make absolutely sure it is a belief in the right thing. Not the lies that is often held out as truth by any group, individual or organization that lusts only for power and control.
Honor the invisible lines which hold us together, or suffer the tyranny of others who have no such belief.
See you on the highway!
–ERead More →
When we hear the word “technology,” the first thing that most of us think about is advanced computers, AI, digital devices and other such things.
The simple truth is that anything that humans create represents technology.
The root word “techne-” means that which is made by human hands (which by implication means that which was conceived of by the human mind.) The “-logy” part actually refers to the concept of “logos” which means how well the idea of the item being created reflects the thoughts of the mind conceiving the idea.
In other words, if someone builds a chair, the extent to which their technology is a “success” depends on how well the chair reflects the idea of “chairness” in terms of functionality and aesthetics, assuming it is a chair designed for humans…
Additionally, even the ancients understood that there was good and bad juju, mojo or logos (yin and yang, as it were). The same piece of iron (raw matter) can be transformed into a plough share or a sword. A passenger car or a combat tank. You get the point.
The successful development and utilization of future technologies depend on the “logos” which is their focal point. What I mean to say is, whether such technology results in freedom or enslavement depends on how it is used.
There are a number of technologies which are currently in the development phase and the direction they take will inform human affairs for better, or worse, for years to come.
Whoever controls these technologies will rule the world.
Let’s make a list so you can keep an eye out for such technologies.
Please note that this is not a prioritized list, as any one particular technology can leap to the forefront in prominence based on new insights, breakthroughs and actual use in the “real” world.
I will list the item and then the positive and negative “logos” for each item on the list. Also, because my space and time is limited, this is just a brief and cursory examination of these topics. They all require a much more detailed expose…
►DNA and genetic manipulation
Positive: We can fix or remediate disease, illness, infection and a host of other maladies that can be mended or alleviated by genetic treatment.
Negative: There is a danger if governments decide they can make people “better” and genetic treatment is used to mold, fashion and manipulate living humans, and human fetuses. In addition, if you can create genetic methods to help fix genetic disorders, then the implication is you can create genetic methods to deliver genetic disorders.
►High speed communication, quantum communications, quantum computing, et cetera
Positive: Instantaneous communication without delay between any two points on earth that would basically be impossible to hack, plus vast improvements in computing speed and processing
Negative: Data encryption would be controlled by governments and corporations and not individuals. Improvements in quantum computing could result in dangerous human reliance and over-confidence in computer algorithms and artificial intelligence systems for decision making. In addition, it would permit governments and corporations to control and, if necessary, manipulate all content that people see, hear and feel.
►Satellite or orbiting space station power transmission
Positive: Space-based capture of solar energy and then wirelessly “beaming” this to earth is a subject of intense scrutiny on a global basis. This could lead to almost free and abundant energy for all of humanity.
Negative: The difference between a device “beaming” useful energy and a device “beaming” destructive energy is, well, in the intention of the person controlling the device. In addition, whoever controls the energy has the power.
►Use of electromagnetic waves other than visible light (solar) for energy source. This would include the harvesting of human-made EM waves or harvesting naturally-occurring EM waves (e.g., gamma, infrared, ultraviolet, microwave, et cetera)
Positive: Humanity would no longer be dependent on petroleum products, wind, solar or nuclear power. Energy would basically be free and abundant.
Negative: Energy can be used for work, and work can be used to make things (technology) and those things can be awesome good or awesome bad. More energy = more temptation to evil.
Positive: When humans think, our brain generates brainwave patterns. While the content may be unique to the individual, the form and structure is universal. Such patterns can be, and eventually will be, coalesced into a database and correlated with word/concepts/images. What you “think” can be “read” by other people or other devices. This will greatly facilitate communications between humans themselves, and between humans and machines. It will also make dramatic and life-changing communications possible for those disabled, comatose or otherwise unable to communicate in traditional ways.
Negative: If a person’s thoughts – the last real bastion of privacy – vanishes, then power and control of human society would belong to those who control the technology. Never a good idea.
►Transhumanism. A basic Internet definition is: “…an international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.” A popular international transhumanist website talks about those “sophisticated technologies” in this fashion: “…artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, biotechnology, genetic engineering, stem cell cloning, and transgenesis…. Other technologies that could extend and expand human capabilities outside physiology include artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, robotics, and brain-computer integration, which form the domain of bionics, uploading, and could be used for developing whole body prosthetics.”
Positive: Anything that improves the human condition should, on the face of it, be good. Better health and longer life are excellent goals which the transhumanists believe can be accomplished through technology.
Negative: The biggest challenge for transhumanism is – if you create some truly remarkable breakthrough – who controls it? Who decides how it is distributed and utilized? What is the impact of longer and healthier lives – would humans be affected by the law of unintended consequences?
►Drones, autonomous vehicles and robotics
Positive: Less human-based labor sounds wonderful – more time playing and less time working sounds appealing. Devices which facilitate commerce and make our lives more efficient are good.
Negative: Automation and robotics displace people from jobs and – due to their skill, talents, education, intelligence and abilities – renders them basically unemployable. Drones, autonomous machines and robotics can make everyday life easier, but they can easily be weaponized and the next great war or conflict will probably be won by the country that has the most drones, autonomous machines and robotics as well as the most skilled people sitting in underground bunkers operating joysticks and pushing the fire button.
There are other things which could easily go on this list, but all this pondering has worn me out. Therefore, ergo or in summation, I will provide a list for future contemplation. Maybe after I have an adult beverage and give this some more careful consideration.
■ Nanotechnology for health maintenance and treatment
■ Artificial intelligence for the diagnosis of health issues
■ Ability to sustain human consciousness in non-human systems
■ Neurological transfer accomplished through brain transplants to younger versions of ourselves accomplished through genetic cloning
■ Augmented and Virtual reality — digital means direct transplant
■ Breakthroughs in nuclear fusion, rather than fission
■ Using Earth’s natural electromagnetic field to create energy
■ Transformation of matter to create food and water
■ Recreation of abiotic oil in the laboratory
The world is full of decent, honorable and virtuous people. My fervent hope is that such folks will utilize all the positive things I have listed to make the world a great place. My fear, inescapable, is just the opposite. My rational conclusion is that we may have to weather some storms getting to all the positive, but eventually it will happen.
Then again, I am also convinced I will win the lottery…
 https://humanityplus.orgRead More →
After a long day at work I settled into my favorite easy chair, relishing the solitary adult beverage I normally permit myself, and sat scanning through the news on my favorite digital device. I was looking desperately for something which, upon reading, wouldn’t prompt me to run screaming into the night calling for my mommy – I failed miserably.
Staring up at me from the pixilated depths of digital chaos was erstwhile tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, speaking out about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI). I am neutral in regard to Mr. Musk and his technological endeavors (Tesla and SpaceX) but I do agree with him about artificial intelligence and the risks inherent in its inappropriate usage.
What – the attentive reader may wrathfully ask – is “inappropriate usage?”
Well, let’s take a look at AI and how it is currently used – and how it might be used in the very near future.
Any human activity that is augmented by software or hardware is, technically speaking, interacting with AI. The thermostat that you set at 72 degrees and automatically shuts off when the room cools down to that temperature is an AI. It has intelligence because it has been programmed to shut off when it senses an ambient air temp of 72, and it is not human (it is artificial).
Now, granted, it is also a very, very, dumb AI — if you ask it to solve “1 + 1” you will have many electric bills to pay before you ever get an answer.
AI, however, can be much, much more. For instance — the current state of AI involves systems that inform you of sensory data that the AI has gathered and when this data is compared against norms and standards, may generate an appropriate message to a human.
That little notice that appears on your car’s display that says your right front tire is under-inflated? AI.
The text message your security system sends you that the back door was opened at 2:12 a.m., by your now grounded daughter? AI.
Music or book recommendations digitally sent to you based on previous purchases? AI
Advertising for products and services digitally sent to you based solely on your Internet browsing? AI.
Stop for a moment to think about all the messages you receive (digital display on some device, email, text message or other) that entails an AI or other automated system forwarding data (mildly interpreted at best) directly to you.
It will be much more than you think, until you think about it.
There is nothing wrong with this because the AI is in passive mode – simply gathering facts. No danger of Alexa or Siri ordering a pizza without being told to do so, or so we are informed…
The next advance is to program the AI in such a way that not only does it gather data (either directly through modified sensory input, or indirectly by humans inputting the data), but it interprets the data and offers unique recommendations. As I write this diatribe, all those AI recommendations are still based on a wide range of algorithmic possibilities all created by humans – the AI simply processes the data faster and can assess more of those recommendations in various scenarios than humans.
No matter what – though – the AI still makes recommendations of future action that are wholly based on a range of options preset by human programmers.
Not only that, but AIs generally are not permitted (by any human that has half a brain) to make decisions that involve action unless that action has already been planned and reviewed by humans as well. Letting an AI auto-shutdown a dangerous problem in a nuclear plant is still based on human decision-making scenarios.
The great risk is when – at some point in the future – AI use is widespread and not under the careful and constant supervision of intelligent and discerning humans. The great risk is when humans abdicate responsibility and allow AI not only to gather, interpret and make decisions based on known options, but permit AI to make decisions which may not be found on a carefully preset and human-programmed decision tree.
In humans we like to call this “thinking outside the box,” but in AI this could be catastrophic since the ripple-down effect on humans cannot – despite the processing power of AI – be adequately calculated.
The somewhat misguided Utopian vision of an AI is basically one in which the AI operates and thinks just like a very smart human – just faster, bigger, better, stronger and all that. However, obviously that is not enough because you cannot rely on an AI which makes decisions solely based on the logic and reason of advanced programming. Hey – I think that was a Star Trek episode!
Anyway, in other words, we are creatures of body, mind, and soul – humans have emotions, passions, as well as ethics and morality. Unless you can teach that to an AI, you will have AI-rendered decisions and actions that are only based on the best possible outcome – and the best possible AI outcome may not necessarily be the best possible human outcome.
Humans, generally speaking and referencing them as an overall species, are not very intelligent. Truth be told, humans have made incredible progress since our cave-dwelling days by simply being average – usually by utilizing the insights of a relatively small percentage of gifted humans.
When the AI genie is let out of the bottle, we run the risk that human reliance on this form of intelligence will not only create a dangerous dependency, but also allow average humans to control technologies that are way beyond their comprehension and understanding.
Worse than that, I can easily imagine those average humans – fully cognizant of their average nature – granting the right of control of the AIs to humans supposedly “gifted” enough to understand the technology, trusting such people to always make decisions about the AIs that will benefit everyone equally.
What could possibly go wrong with that idea?
The truth is, Elon Musk (and many others) rightfully do not trust the average people to control the technology, nor (in their heart of hearts I suspect) do they trust their fellow intelligent techies to do the right thing. Getting humans to do the right thing is a job than even an AI would have trouble in executing.
I think using the word “executing” in the same sentence as “AI” is probably one of the things bugging Mr. Musk.
AIs are coming, and we do need standards of performance and structure. If the AIs will eventually be able to do all the things that the techies now wax prosaic about, then we are creating beings that will be godlike.
Anyone who has studied Greek mythology knows how irrational and petty the gods actually were, and being a god does not of necessity mean you act like a god.
Anyway, I have to go now because I just got a text message from my pharmacy, an email from my refrigerator (out of milk) and apparently my car just auto-subscribed to some kind of music service. Fug.
–EnochRead More →