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The Real Alternative


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How did public bathrooms get to be separated by sex in the first place?


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Earth is hot at the core – something for CO2 tax fanatics to remember

So here’s a story that reminds us that the Earth is incredibly hot at the core. I’m not a geologist but I am wondering: If the mantle can peel off and cause earthquakes, might not some of those deep fissures affect Earth’s surface temperatures?

When I suggested this some time ago at the late David Bowie’s site, I was virtually assaulted… it was implied that I was a “denier” with my head buried in the sand, simply because I wanted to discuss the issues, given the considerable uncertainty we have with regard to just how the Earth maintains its surface temperature.

But oh no. The fundamentalists couldn’t see past their new sci-religion and just look at the issue from as many angles as possible. Like all good fanatics, their pat explanation was good enough for them. And anyone who challenged it was some kind of global criminal. Sad, how regimented some people are.


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LinkedIn – but not the way we wanted


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Islam and Christianity share ‘idea of conquest’, says Pope Francis


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Artificial Intelligence will have to learn like the rest of us

Interesting idea in the tweeted article:

It would take far too long to program every speech thread required for normal human conversation, so machines will have to ask the right questions when faced with uncertainty, and learn from the human answers.

That sounds great. But what about morality. Can a machine learn right from wrong? Or decide whether or not to save a child or a bumblebee from a natural disaster? I’m not sure. Part of the answer, I think, depends on whether or not AI would have some kind of soul or higher consciousness that transcends its circuits. Before we say that it doesn’t, it’s probably best to just say “we don’t know” and leave it there.

Myself, it seems like our car and computers have a personality of their own. Sure, I’m probably just projecting my own thoughts and feelings onto the machines… but … they are just organized energy… and so are we. So can we really be sure?

Something for future philosophers and, perhaps, social rights activists to ponder down the road.

–MC


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Lifting the stigma around disabled sex


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Interpretation stage of science eclipsed by the wonders of new tech?

Don’t get me wrong. I am the first to champion the elimination or, at least, alleviation of unnecessary suffering. The problem with “gee-whiz” stories like this, however, is that the interpretative aspect of data observation is often dealt with inadequately. If we start screening and medicating young people who statistically deviate from the norm, might we be blotting out future Einsteins or van Goghs for the sake of some kind of contented stagnation?

And who is to say that human evolution might not require some genetic variation? Pre-doping people into conformity for a given historical period seems a bit short-sighted to me, no matter how well-intentioned.

–MC

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