Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Important Flu Warning.

Activities to Avoid:

Ray Kurzweil



Most of all I enjoyed Ray's comments about how we can predict things accurately at a macroscopic level, trends, Moore's Law etc despite having no power to predict the individual (microscopic) factors. It makes me think of all those people quoting Quantum Physics as a way of looking at human interactions, forgetting that Quantum Physics' Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle only applies to quanta, hence the name "Quantum" physics, not simply physics, which adheres to the (very predictable) laws of thermo-dynamics, as Ray points out. Back to the drawing board new agers.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

That makes me think of...

Before I begin, the title “That makes me think of” makes me think of Zefrank the progenitor of the game “That makes me think of”, which involves… well you’ll get the idea by the end of this entry (a long one since I haven’t “entered” recently).

So, Zefrank makes me think of sarcastic news reporting.

Sarcastic news reporting makes me think of Mahmoud Ahmadinegad who, just last week, opened the UN talks on racism... yes, that's right. He began with a tirade against "international jewry" (or something to that effect). This prompted a walkout by 23 EU delegates, joining a boycott by many countries including New Zealand; countries who had predicted such a speech by an entrenched anti-Israel proponent, theocrat and holocaust denier.

This makes me think of the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, which reminds me my coffee is over-heating on the stovetop. The tarnished poor-man’s-espresso maker was a (much appreciated) gift from my sister in law who flats with a barista. She was recently given a 3 hour lecture on the nuances of coffee brewing. One interesting insight was that when the coffee starts to splutter the oil from the coffee beans has been exhausted, and as this carries the flavour it is best to cease pouring before this point. This little piece of advice has improved my coffees immeasurably

Oil carrying flavour makes me think of abstract concepts being physically enacted upon. An example being the question “do you believe in Love?”. A question that is complete nonsense. One can believe that there is a feeling people are referring to as love, and that that feeling is relatable across humans, even animals. One can believe that someone else loves them but to believe in love external to the sensation or actions surrounding the concept of love makes no sense. Does it make sense to anyone else?

Believing in things that don’t physically exist makes me think of Vampires. A subject about which my wife recently wrote a short story, which has been published in Her magazine!!!

Vampires make me think of Twilight, the movie, new to video (unfortunately I missed it at the cinema, how did that happen…?) that stars nobody, an opportunity of which Michael Laws took advantage, by successfully attaining the role of the father vampire Carlisle Cullen. I didn’t see his name in the credits but as you can see from it the picture it was undeniably him...



Michael Laws reminds me of people who say irrational things, which brings us back to where we started.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Darwin



This is an extra special entry on the blog, the long awaited (largely by my brother and parents) Darwin compilation video! We're still working on his recall and basic socialising with other dogs, but look at all the other cool stuff he can do! We've found that our local business village "Smales Farm" is a perfect skate-park for dogs with ledges, hoops, benches, gardens, fields and fountains (we haven't worked out what to do with the fountains yet...).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Word of the Day: Urbane

adj.
courteous; suave; elegant and refined in manner.

"Urbane" is one of those peculiar words where, simply using the word, makes the speaker seem characterised by it. Much like the word "pretentious", which almost inevitably makes the speaker seem pretentious.

Some might think that using words like "Urbane" also makes one sound pretentious, but who cares what they think? Philistines!

Quote of the Day

"I know not with what weapons the third world war will be fought, but I know that the fourth will be fought with sticks and stones."

Albert Einstein

Robots

Below is a video of the Big Dog. Sounds badass doesn't it?

It's a sort of robotic mule that is being used to track down and capture Osama Bin Laden! He's going to be laughing his ass off when he sees this hobbling around the corner.



It's probably best you turn your volume down, the noise is mightily irritating.

For a less frivolous look at the future of military roboticisation check out P.W.Singer: Military Robots and the Future of War. Singer talks about the moral dilemmas of robotic and remote warfare, particularly interesting is a disturbing new phenomenon: "War Porn".