Disabled people aren’t handicapped, they are getting obstructed.
Disabled people aren’t handicapped, they are getting obstructed.
We don’t see things how they are, but how we are.
As Sheldon from Big Bang Theory said: “Text adventures run on the world’s most powerful graphics chip: Imagination!”
Everything you see or hear happens in your brain.
Think about it.
That insult that really hurt? Only in your brain.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Just beware of the “everything is my fault” concept. There is no point in trying to take responsibility for everything.
Sandel asks questions like “If you had to choose between (1) killing one person to save the lives of five others and (2) doing nothing, even though you knew that five people would die right before your eyes if you did nothing—what would you do?”
Or: “The tickets for my lectures are free but you have to get them because so many people want to attend. Now some people have started to pay money for someone to stay in line for them so they can attend for sure. Is that ethical?”
You can find videos of his lectures on the web site above. Here, I’ll collect a couple of important quotes from an interview he gave to Sternstunden (Swiss Radio and TV).
Most important point: Adding a financial incentive changes the meaning of a social practice. This is in contrast to the common belief that economics is neutral towards ethics.
Note: This is a loose translation how I understood him, not what he actually said.
Aaron Swartz is dead. There is no arguing the fact, we can only disagree why he died.
His girlfriend says: “I believe Aaron’s death was caused by exhaustion, by fear, and by uncertainty.” (source)
I, too, get the feeling that the world is turning from an adult into a child again.
When does someone stop being a child? When they realize that actions have consequences and that they have to take responsibility for their every action. Some even realize that you have a responsibility for your inactions as well but that’s probably too much to ask for most people.
So as soon as you refuse to take responsibility for your actions and start denying the consequences, you must be turning into a child again.
What are the consequences of incarceration of almost one percent of the whole population? Is adding more rules to a broken system the adult or the childish way out?
A lot of people argue in favor of the death penalty when there is no indication that any of the arguments is supported by facts. Isn’t it typical childish behavior to refuse to listen something you don’t want to hear?
Let’s all grow up again.
No, the world doesn’t end 2012 but it will soon be a much less hospitable place for us humans. Before I share my view, what do you believe will be the most prominent factor in the massive reduction of the human population?
Update: Polldaddy didn’t keep my poll alive and I missed to copy the results before it was gone. Sorry for that.
What I like about the Jazoon is that they try to widen your horizon. We had presentations how to publish books, psychology and the NASA. This year, the closing keynote was about androids – as in artificial humans, not Google.
Henrik Scharfe from Aalborg University talked about “Stay Human – on the future of men and robots” and Geminoid-DK, an android which Scharfe had built after his image (production notes). For this project, Time magazine put him on the “100 Most Influential People” list in 2012.
According to Scharfe, we’re all part of the “ultimate project: Make sense of the world” in a perpetual loop. To achieve this, we communicate. A very powerful means of communication is the story. Stories need not be true, they have to be relevant. In a sense, we talk to scale, to widen our influence.
During the presentation, Scharfe gave some insight into the production of the android. How odd it feels to enter a room where a copy of yourself is assembled. When the skin on the head is hanging open like from a nasty wound. When “your” arms are still missing. A head without hair. The different stages of coloring. When a worker stabs a needle through the skin to add the facial hair. Thoughts how the workers will treat your copy when you’re not around.
The team did celebrate its “birthday,” the date when it was first activated. For Henrik, it “felt like a friend waking from a long coma.”
After the android was assembled, automatic movements were programmed. We don’t usually notice but the facial expressions only “work” when all the details are right. This was hard to achieve because of the properties of the silicone skin, it’s thickness and the distance to the actuators. When the android is presented in public, this leads to opposite reactions by children and adults.
While adults are fascinated how human-like the android is, children are frightened by it because they sense that something is wrong. When the automatic movements (breathing, blinking) are deactivated and Henrik switches to manual control, this flips. Now, adult and teenagers are worried but the children suddenly see the android as a toy – something they can relate to.
When used as a mannequin, customers are hesitant to touch the clothes on the android while they have no problem to touch the dummies.
Looking at the future, Prof. Scharfe sees new modes of presence. Instead of traveling to Australia for a presentation, you might send your android (or just the skin). Over time, there will be a blended presence.
Beware: His android always causes a commotion at customs (when they stuff him into the X-ray) and the cabin crew (“Who is flying?” “I thought you were!”)
Of course, that causes questions: What happens if someone gets hurt by your android? Or when someone hacks into the remote control? As the androids get smarter (= they will be able to do more things on auto pilot like finding a room in a building), are they allowed to protect themselves against theft or attack?
Do we want to allow people to build androids for recreational activities? What about sex?
What if I order an android that looks like my girl friend? My ex-girl friend? Adolf Hitler? The pope? The President of the United States? My beloved dog? A Saber-toothed tiger (scale 1:1)? A child of mine that died in an accident or from an illness (like in A.I. Artificial Intelligence)?
Can I destroy this android? Walk it to a public square and club it with a baseball bat? Run it over with a car? Shoot it? Have it beg for mercy while I’m doing this? It’s just a recording, right?
If androids get really smart, will we grant them rights? How will you feel when your android greets you in the evening with “Honey, we need to talk. There is this really cute model at the other end of the city. Oh, and I’ll keep the kids.”
Will it be murder when I wipe the memory of such an android?
As you can see, these questions are important because technology just plows on. Technology doesn’t decide what’s right or wrong, we do. Answers will come through technology but we must still ask the questions. We must stay human where it counts.
To do that, more advanced research structured need to be built. It must be more simple for researchers to find relevant information (Watson comes to mind). It must be easier to share research. To collaborate. Today, it’s hard to combine resources. Some things aren’t on-line. Instead of individual PCs, universities and high-schools need to offer cloud services for their staff and students.
And most importantly, research needs to get out of the lab. It’s a neat story that people greet Geminoid DK when they enter the lab and say goodbye even when it’s switched off. But seeing surprise in the faces of children in a crowd only happens on the street.
There is no safe way to get rich.
Proof: There are still poor people.
How is that a proof?
If there was a simple, safe and legal way to get rich, a lot of people (= all those who know about it) would be rich. That would leave the rest (= those who don’t know) poor. But the poor would be wondering: Why am I poor?
And a some of them would eventually learn about this simple, safe and legal way to get rich and become rich, too. So over time, the number of poor people would inevitably shrink. Since it’s a safe way, the rich would stay rich. Even if they lost some money, they would just apply the scheme again to make up for the losses.
That means after a certain time, there couldn’t be any poor people left.