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  1. #841
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    [...] Qanon [...]
    Since you mention it, have you heard the news? Q's identity is now known. It's the father and son who bought 8Chan from its original owner and turned it into 8kun, which they are still running today. The father gave himself away through a slip of the tongue in an interview.

    Both he and his son have been posting as Q, and occasionally as Q+, by which they sought to convince their followers that Q+ was Donald Trump himself.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  3. #842
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    I saw that clip from Q Into the Storm. Ron Watkins and his dad, who bought 8chan.

    I wonder what kind of karmic gift awaits them?

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  5. #843
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    LOL

    I've always tried to eat organic when available ...
    So thank goodness for these earthly delights...


    Reubin's Farm Fresh Donuts ~

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  7. #844
    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    Lol very much enjoying your shares Gio, thankyou.

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  9. #845
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Thinking

    ♪ How terribly strange to be seventy ♪


    Old Friends

    Simon & Garfunkel

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  11. #846
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Video

    Watch Ameca the humanoid robot
    in its FIRST public demo


    Last year, a video of Ameca the robot's facial expressions had the world fascinated (and terrified). But the creators of this humanoid say Ameca is the face of the future.
    CNET

    Jan 5, 2022

    8:58 min.


    Last edited by giovonni, 9th January 2022 at 21:41.
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  13. #847
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Apart from that I'm amazed by how very lifelike Ameca's facial expressions are in comparison to other attempts at creating humanoid robots ─ e.g. Sophia ─ I find the whole concept of humanoid robotics fascinating and interesting because of its convoluted implications.

    One of the reasons why I'm interested in this topic is that more than a decade ago, I started working on a science-fiction novel ─ meanwhile moved to the farthest back-burner ─ in which the protagonists are artificial but living and sapient humanoids from another galaxy. The concept of artificial humanoid life was also explored in the "Battlestar Galactica" TV series, albeit far more deeply in the reimagined series than in the original one from the late 1970s. There was and still is a whole slew of reasons why I didn't like the 2004 remake of "Battlestar Galactica", but the concept of artificial humanoid life was not one of them ─ to myself it was in fact the most fascinating thing about the whole series.

    On the one hand, I can understand the developer's motives to want to not make Ameca appear too lifelike, because it would be all too easy to mistake those natural looking facial expressions for actual sentience. On the other hand, the science-fiction fan in me is wondering whether it would ever be possible to create an artificial sentient life form. We're already capable of creating lifelike robots, albeit that they usually don't behave lifelike once they become active, simply because they're still only machines. And at the same time, we're also already capable of creating actual artificial life, albeit only microbial, i.e. little nanobots that are made up of actually living organic matter.

    Now, there are some who feel ─ perhaps conservatively inspired by their religious convictions ─ that the creation of artificial sentience and/or sapience would be some kind of blasphemy. Personally I don't see it that way ─ perhaps because I am not (and refuse to be) beholden to any gods or goddesses. After all, people are forming marital bonds for the sake of procreation, and unfortunately, it happens quite often that people opt to have children for very selfish reasons ─ not to mention people who don't even care that having sex may lead to procreation ─ even though children are real human beings, and for that matter, human beings whom we often mistreat. Likewise, we as a species also engage in the breeding of animals, from livestock ─ for every possible purpose ─ over to pedigree pets.

    Now, all of our technical knowledge is in and of itself the result of the fact that we as humans are endowed with sapience, and the general lack of wisdom among humans ─ scientists and engineers most definitely included ─ aside, I don't see any ethical objection to the creation of artificial sapience. Of course, with that would come a whole new set of ethical considerations regarding...

    • what we would be creating those beings for ─ what our motivation is for doing it;
    • how we ourselves will be treating such beings; and
    • what the existence of those beings would imply for the future of ourselves as a species, and for the future of society and life on this planet (and possibly beyond) as a whole.

    I think this whole subject is very intriguing, although the very fact that we're being surprised and amazed by technological progress such as in this case is at the same time also perhaps a warning ─ and we humans aren't particularly good at heeding warnings ─ that we ourselves may not quite be ready and sufficiently evolved yet for dealing with artificial sapience. After all, we can't even take care of the naturally born life on this planet, not to mention that we're all too often grossly and willfully mistreating it, even if they're our own children.

    So if and when the time comes that we humans start creating sapient artificial life, then not only is there the question of how we would be treating them ─ we would most likely treat them as slaves, as was the theme of "Blade Runner", and history has taught us over and over again that advanced civilizations always try to subjugate what they perceive as lesser advanced civilizations ─ but then there's also the question on what we ourselves as inferior and highly fallible beings would be teaching our (undoubtedly physically stronger and intellectually superior) artificial offspring, and then how they in turn would react to said treatment.


    "Show me into shallow waters, before I get too deep."


    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  15. #848
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Question

    Futurist Amy Webb says babymaking could get crazy
    and the smartphone will die


    Steven Zeitchik - Yesterday 4:00 AM

    "Over 15 rich years of public forecasting, Amy Webb has become one of the most prominent futurists around."


    Provided by The Washington Post Futurist Amy Webb says babymaking could get crazy and the smartphone will die

    "As an author, the former journalist is behind nonfiction books such as “The Big Nine,” exploring the potentially dire consequences of unchecked artificial intelligence; “Data: A Love Story,” about how she used algorithms to help herself date; and “The Signals Are Talking,” in which she examined the better ways to read the right tea leaves. As founder and leader of the Future Today Institute, Webb has headed up a group that spots and advises on coming social and technological change for all manner of organizations. (The institute also issues an annual must-read “Tech Trends Report” on what to imagine for the times ahead.)

    Webb has co-written a new book, “The Genesis Machine,” with pioneering geneticist Andrew Hessel that talks about the possibilities and pitfalls of synthetic biology — the broad idea that science will allow us to change everything from how we create medicines to food to human beings. (Designer babies are, she says, the wrong way to think about it.)

    As 2022 kicks off with ever-increasing levels of innovation — and plenty of hype and fear to go with it — The Washington Post chatted with Webb about topics as varied as lab-created meats, CRISPR gene editing, 5G and the future of reproduction. The conversation has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

    Zeitchik: Let’s start with the themes of your new book. You’re very bullish on the many opportunities that science affords us in procreation. What do you see as some of them?

    Webb: What we’re talking about here is a technology that unlocks our ability to be more selective and to intentionally design life. Maybe that means one person using their own genetic material to bring an embryo to term; maybe it unlocks opportunities to select traits from more than two parents. We don’t know how it will look, but I believe the possibilities can be very good. What all of this means is optionality.

    S.Z.: Reading your book it feels like you have an almost philosophical belief that people should overhaul what they think about how humans are created. If synthetic biology can deliver on some of these promises — if it removes any age restriction on egg fertilization, say, or if embryos can be gestated outside a human body — what do these changes do to us as a society? Do they alter it fundamentally?

    A.W.: The thing is we never stopped and asked how we got to this point. Until now a baby was a man and a woman and having the structures to be in place for that to happen. And now synthetic biology is giving us other options. Forty years into the future, I think it may be the case that there are many parents to one child, or that a 70-year-old and their 60-year old spouse decide to have a baby. Why would we close ourselves off to those possibilities?

    S.Z.: There are people who say CRISPR and what awaits beyond is a bridge too far, that it allows a kind of manipulation at social or even governmental levels. You don’t much agree with them.

    A.W.: [Laughs] All roads on this path lead to eugenics. The fears that it’s going to be “Gattaca” — nations can intentionally design populations. Look, we need to acknowledge the geopolitical advantages that some countries might try for by elevating their population’s intelligence and physical traits. But the thought of making pregnancy easier for people who really want to become parents is something we should be embracing. Right now, creating a child relies on chance and serendipity, or enough money for a lot of IVF cycles. It’s shockingly difficult in the year 2022 to make a baby. It shouldn’t be that way.

    S.Z.
    : Synthetic biology doesn’t have to apply just to humans, of course. How much promise do you hold out for it changing animals, plants — the food supply?

    A.W.: This is something I feel very strongly about when people come out and talk about how to support food suppliers if there’s economic uncertainty or after a major climate disaster. The solutions should be not to subsidize what has always been done. We need to figure out new ways to scale production, whether that is indoor plant factories or using genetic engineering to create plants or creating grains that can withstand extreme heat. And then the animals. There is so much instability in the market because of our incredible reliance on meat. And I think the ideal — I think the plausible outcome, really — is how do we produce meat in a different way.

    S.Z.
    : Even if we could do this affordably at scale, though — and there are a lot of scientists who say we can’t — there are some pretty entrenched interests that would push back. Producers, for starters.

    A.W.: I agree and don’t know that we’ll be able to do some of this within a generation. But we need to go in that direction. We don’t have much choice.

    S.Z: It reminds me a little of the pharmaceutical industry, in terms of the need to change versus the ability to do so.

    A.W.
    : At the moment if someone came up with a universal flu vaccine that was mRNA-based, it would be problematic for a whole bunch of companies that have made their money on the current model, from medical-records firms to doctors’ offices to CVS — a whole business ecosystem. But we should still be doing it. Some of synthetic biology will cause future problems for today’s business models. The model will have to adapt, just as we will. That will be a challenge too, by the way.

    S.Z.: Yes, it’s always interesting how many of us can struggle picturing these changes — like when you describe about food or medicine. It wasn’t that long ago when we didn’t have in vitro fertilization, or antibiotics. Yet we struggle with imagining how life will look different. Our minds have an almost chemical inability to accept change going forward compared to going backward.

    A.W.: I think that’s true. I also think it has to do with the pace of change in the last few years. The technology is evolving much faster than society can; the technology is evolving much faster than our ability to confront our cherished beliefs. People understand how to facilitate the values they know. They don’t realize those values themselves are created, are synthetic and innovative. So we could innovate and create new ones.

    S.Z.
    : This penchant for the status quo can also often be led by policymakers and thought leaders.

    A.W.: Completely. The fact that the U.S. does not view food supply as an issue of national strategic importance is a big one here, to come back to that. We are drastically underinvested as a country in investigating how we are going to produce food in a world of climate change. And we’re running out of time. It’s so shortsighted of us not to be investing in these spaces. I mean, we lost our minds at the start of the pandemic when we couldn’t have our Raisin Bran. Imagine that on a much much wider, much, much deeper scale.

    S.Z.
    : Let’s shift to something that is on people’s minds pretty imminently: 5G. We’re about to get it rolled out, finally, and I think many consumers wonder what it will really mean. What’s the biggest immediate impact in your view?

    A.W.
    : The biggest immediate impact I think isn’t going to happen here. It will happen in China. 5G is going to bring an incomprehensible number of people online all at the same time. And suddenly that makes China an extremely attractive market for goods and services.

    S.Z.: Which could be — maybe? — good for Americans worried about the trade deficit? We become not just consumers of what they produce but producers of what they consume?

    A.W.: If we undo decades of offshore manufacturing and lean into our role as producers, yes. That could take a long time. What it means now to have all these consumers is that there’s suddenly a lot less supply for us. And that means higher prices.

    S.Z.: Hmm, any positive effects?

    A.W.: A great enhancement of telehealth. More drone deliveries. A few others.

    S.Z.: Speaking of things we’ve been hearing about a lot lately, the metaverse. Like 5G used to be, it’s either going to change everything or nothing, depending on the person speaking, or the day.

    A.W.: Most of what happens with the metaverse sounds super-buzzy and overhyped. The future of the metaverse, for example, is not avatars.

    S.Z.: No?

    A.W.: I don’t think so. I think it’s digital twins. The idea of getting 3-D renderings of all kinds of spaces. Think of what it will mean just for homes, what we can know about how they’re built, or if there’s asbestos. That’s just one example. It’s melding the physical and the digital. It doesn’t have to be cartoons.

    S.Z.: A corollary to the metaverse talk is that the Internet will be more embodied — less about the phone we hold outside of ourselves and more something we wear and is integrated with us. You’ve been at the fore of saying we’re on the cusp of a grand smartphone decline. Do you still believe that?

    A.W.: Yes. We said in the 2018 Report that smartphones would go away by 2031, and I still believe that. Nothing’s changed. There will be fewer things done by one device like we have now. It will be close to us and worn all over us.

    S.Z.: That seems like just a small form-factor change but I think it actually could feel pretty major.

    A.W.: Very major. Just think of eyesight. Right now, there’s so much eyestrain when we look at a screen. This is going to get rid of so much of that.

    S.Z.: OK, your biggest fear for the coming year.

    A.W.: How blockchain and NFTs and decentralization will lead to new forms of hacktivism. I worry it becomes a serious problem.

    S.Z.: Finally, I have to ask. You wrote a book and gave a viral Ted Talk about how you met your husband by building an algorithm. Do you think that kind of approach is going to accelerate even further and take us well beyond the kind of soft filtering that happens presently on dating apps? Are we going to be finding partners primarily by AI?

    A.W.: Fortunately, I haven’t had to go back to that well. [Laughs.] But I look at one of the best recommendation engines out there, and it’s TikTok. People love consuming content that it recommends. Why wouldn’t you use something like that for dating too?"


    Source/links
    Last edited by giovonni, 11th January 2022 at 16:04.
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  17. #849
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Question



    A reveal ...


    The story of how the Doomsday Clock began ticking 75 years ago, the brainchild of a Chicago artist

    By Ron Grossman
    Chicago Tribune |
    Jan 13, 2022




    "Martyl Langsdorf designed just one magazine cover, but it has had considerable staying power. A prolific painter of abstract and figurative canvases, she was commissioned 75 years ago by the scientists who built the atomic bomb that ended World War II. By 1947 the Cold War was on, and they wanted to alert Americans to the danger of a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union" ...

    Listen to/or read the rest here
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  19. #850
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Question

    'Into the Clouds' ...

    The internet of everything -
    Our relationship with the internet


    DW Documentary


    Is humanity destined for a futuristic utopia? Or are we heading blindly towards life in a nightmarish surveillance state? Both scenarios still seem possible as increased digitalization is turning us into a fully networked society.

    The Internet is in the process of infiltrating all aspects of human life. "Reformed techno-utopian" and filmmaker Brett Gaylor ventures into the world of digital invention. Here, he meets people who have made significant contributions to the "Internet of Things." One of them is Kristina Cahojova. She has developed a device that relays information about fertility from the vagina directly to the cloud. Journalist Nellie Bowles met a victim of domestic violence who was terrorized by her ex-boyfriend in their shared 'smart' apartment.
    Meanwhile, in China, citizens are rewarded for behaving in socially desirable ways. In Toronto, activist Bianca Wylie warns against the Sidewalk Labs project, which turns people into guinea pigs. The documentary poses fundamental questions about people -- and their personal data.
    42:25 min.

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  21. #851
    Senior Member donk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Apart from that I'm amazed by how very lifelike Ameca's facial expressions are in comparison to other attempts at creating humanoid robots ─ e.g. Sophia ─ I find the whole concept of humanoid robotics fascinating and interesting because of its convoluted implications.

    One of the reasons why I'm interested in this topic is that more than a decade ago, I started working on a science-fiction novel ─ meanwhile moved to the farthest back-burner ─ in which the protagonists are artificial but living and sapient humanoids from another galaxy. The concept of artificial humanoid life was also explored in the "Battlestar Galactica" TV series, albeit far more deeply in the reimagined series than in the original one from the late 1970s. There was and still is a whole slew of reasons why I didn't like the 2004 remake of "Battlestar Galactica", but the concept of artificial humanoid life was not one of them ─ to myself it was in fact the most fascinating thing about the whole series.

    On the one hand, I can understand the developer's motives to want to not make Ameca appear too lifelike, because it would be all too easy to mistake those natural looking facial expressions for actual sentience. On the other hand, the science-fiction fan in me is wondering whether it would ever be possible to create an artificial sentient life form. We're already capable of creating lifelike robots, albeit that they usually don't behave lifelike once they become active, simply because they're still only machines. And at the same time, we're also already capable of creating actual artificial life, albeit only microbial, i.e. little nanobots that are made up of actually living organic matter.

    Now, there are some who feel ─ perhaps conservatively inspired by their religious convictions ─ that the creation of artificial sentience and/or sapience would be some kind of blasphemy. Personally I don't see it that way ─ perhaps because I am not (and refuse to be) beholden to any gods or goddesses. After all, people are forming marital bonds for the sake of procreation, and unfortunately, it happens quite often that people opt to have children for very selfish reasons ─ not to mention people who don't even care that having sex may lead to procreation ─ even though children are real human beings, and for that matter, human beings whom we often mistreat. Likewise, we as a species also engage in the breeding of animals, from livestock ─ for every possible purpose ─ over to pedigree pets.

    Now, all of our technical knowledge is in and of itself the result of the fact that we as humans are endowed with sapience, and the general lack of wisdom among humans ─ scientists and engineers most definitely included ─ aside, I don't see any ethical objection to the creation of artificial sapience. Of course, with that would come a whole new set of ethical considerations regarding...

    • what we would be creating those beings for ─ what our motivation is for doing it;
    • how we ourselves will be treating such beings; and
    • what the existence of those beings would imply for the future of ourselves as a species, and for the future of society and life on this planet (and possibly beyond) as a whole.

    I think this whole subject is very intriguing, although the very fact that we're being surprised and amazed by technological progress such as in this case is at the same time also perhaps a warning ─ and we humans aren't particularly good at heeding warnings ─ that we ourselves may not quite be ready and sufficiently evolved yet for dealing with artificial sapience. After all, we can't even take care of the naturally born life on this planet, not to mention that we're all too often grossly and willfully mistreating it, even if they're our own children.

    So if and when the time comes that we humans start creating sapient artificial life, then not only is there the question of how we would be treating them ─ we would most likely treat them as slaves, as was the theme of "Blade Runner", and history has taught us over and over again that advanced civilizations always try to subjugate what they perceive as lesser advanced civilizations ─ but then there's also the question on what we ourselves as inferior and highly fallible beings would be teaching our (undoubtedly physically stronger and intellectually superior) artificial offspring, and then how they in turn would react to said treatment.


    "Show me into shallow waters, before I get too deep."


    Very interesting concepts…in light of the Dune remake being pleasantly surprisingly good…I am eager to get started my re-read of Herbert’s “Destination: Void” series, don’t want to spoil (even though it’s probably 60 yo now), but it is a really interesting perspective on sentience and treatment of AI (eventually being asked, “how will we worShip?).

    I think I missed one of them, looking them up now…I thought it was trilogy but it looks like there were 4…it’s been so long I only really remember first two. Good read though if you like Herbert’s style.
    What is the purpose of your presence?

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  23. #852
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Thinking

    The next two weeks will be crucial ...


    German FM visits Ukraine first amid rising Russia tensions

    DW News

    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says she is ready for serious dialogue with Russia in an effort to de-escalate the crisis on the Ukranian border. Baerbock is in Kyiv today for talks with her Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

    She underlined Germany's support for Ukraine. They also discussed the build up of Russian troops on Ukraine's border, Kyiv's call for Berlin to supply it with weapons, and disagreements over the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. Baerbock travels to Moscow on Tuesday.
    8:21 minutes

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