Thursday, January 31, 2008

What the Bleep is the Secret?

Science and religion are being hijacked by paranormal pseudo science "fruit loops" with some really good things to say.....even if they may be mostly wrong are these really good messages they are sending? Movies like "What the Bleep do we Know" and books like "The Secret" would like us to think that this is our universe to control and we have the power to think things into existence just through the power of our thoughts and desires. This is a fanciful thought, but there is truth to it that we should all embrace in our lives. Out of the two, the movie "What the Bleep do we Know?" has more to say about who we are and the power we truly have than "The Secret" does. The core of the "Bleep" movie seems to have more to do with personal development while the "Secret" movie seems to focus on wishing for more money which as we should all know truly does not bring happiness though it does bring power.

It is true that you have power over the future. If you wake up each morning and start it all off with positive thoughts and work hard at erasing the negative from your life then your life will truly be better. If you think positive things and surround yourself with positive people, you will naturally work towards positive things. If you have a goal in your life and have the confidence to work for it then you are more inclined to make it happen. Think about a better relationship, making more money, think of a better career and think it into existence, you will more than likely take the steps necessary to bring it into your life. If you recognize the negative in your life and work at removing it, then you can truly have power over your future and grow as a person and as a contributor to the society in which we live. Not only do positive thoughts have a positive impact on your life, but they also have a positive impact on your physical health. If you have depression and negative thoughts then you impact your physical health and start a downward spiral that is hard to move back up. Always strive to move up and avoid that which brings you down.

Now having said that, let's look into the illogical parts of these new movements. You can wish and think positively for money all you want, but it's not going to come to you if you don't go and get it in a positive way. Thinking and saying positive things to water as it is freezing does not make prettier ice crystals just as thinking and saying negative things does not make the crystal formations uglier. Many things come into play when water freezes and it has never been scientifically proven that your thoughts and feelings have anything to do with it. Please heavily research Dr. Masaru Emoto before taking these things as truth for he specifically chooses the images to fit the results he is looking for. Some peoples' "universes" may be more powerful than yours no matter how positive you are with your thoughts. The universe is a chaotic and complex system that you have little power over. You can only positively control your immediate realm of existence and from that you do create minor fluctuations in the larger system.

Do listen to the core messages of these movies and books, but do not let them blur your understanding or willingness to understand the world as it is.

Friday, January 25, 2008

R.I.P. Santa Claus

Well, it's happened. The fabled North West passage is now open for the first time in recorded history and countries are scrambling to lay claim to the open waters and the riches that lay below, but what about the cultural loss that this brings about? What of Santa Claus?

Yes, it seems that in the next few Christmas's we will have to break the news to our children that Santa is now sleeping with the mercury infected fishes of the arctic ocean along with several seals, polar bears and a few native Inuit. It seems that the North Pole is no longer able to stay frozen enough to allow any man made structures to stand upon it. You see, at some point the ice thawed and Santa's Workshop slipped forever beneath the cold but slowly warming depth's of the waters of the north. Little elf bodies floated on the surface as the people of the world held their fingers in their ears and pretended that nothing important was going on.

The debate rages on as to what actually caused the death of Santa Claus, but most intelligent people believe that it had something to do with some sort of human activity on the planet. Other's claim that a deity of sorts that floats "out there" somewhere does what he wants and we have no power to stop him. Other's claim that it is a cycle that comes and goes and we should just live with it. Then there are some that think that nothing is happening at all. Regardless of the mind set that you fall within it is apparent that many people do not notice the changes in the environment that have taken place since they were children.

Maybe it was all Santa's fault.....he kept sending us all these gifts that we really didn't need. He kept us wanting more and more and more until we just polluted the world so much with his factories that kept consuming more and more resources. Not only did Santa deliver stuff that wasn't needed, but it seems that family members bought stuff for other family members who bought stuff for other family members and none of these people really needed the stuff that they received. When one person buys something for fifteen dollars and another family member buys something for fifteen dollars and they give each other these gifts that neither person really wants, then a lot of energy and material resources are wasted.

What should we do now? What should the human race say?

Good bye Santa have destroyed our world enough. Now that you are gone, maybe we will learn that the best gifts to give are not associated with holidays and come at random times and are appropriate and needed by the recipients that we love. Yes, it is sad that we can no longer look forward to the overly fed man in red giving us gifts that we really don't need, but is it really all that sad that you are dead? The hollowness that you brought to us all as we did our duty buying stuff no one needed is no longer needed. We should all look to the north and see the shining sea that is before us and know that we should do something different. As your rotting corpse sits at the bottom of the ocean, maybe we can learn how to set things right and start being responsible with the beautiful world that we are fortunate enough to live in.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All My Circuits

Our Roomba “died” a few months ago and my daughter was devastated. As she cried and caressed the little robot as it lay in the box waiting to go back to the store for a replacement she asked why it had died. We explained that it just stopped working and that we were going to get a new one. She said she did not want a new one; she wanted her “Cutie” (she had named it) and didn’t want to lose him. We replaced the robot with a new better model and my daughter does not want anything to do with it.

This makes me wonder as the robot industry grows and pervades our lives as projected will the younger generations see these mere machines as being as worthy as the family pet? Will they eventually see them as being better than us? Will the line blur separating organic and silicon\plastic faster than anticipated by leading futurists? If the next or future generations find robots to be living sentient beings and raise them up to that level, will organic life be brought down in any way to meet them during their rise in status? It is very plausible that as the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics continue to grow these machines will continue to rise in intelligence and abilities and could quickly, according to moore’s law, well surpass our level of understanding and intelligence within the next 20 years by thousands of times.

You can now see complex movements thought to be only the domain of human beings performed by robots such as the Honda “Asimo”. Robotic vehicles are now able to drive themselves through complex courses in the real world in challenges put on by the military. The NASA Mars rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" are able to make decisions on their own to allow them to better survive the harsh environment of the red planet. The company Ugobe has created an amazing “pet replacing” dinosaur pet robot named "Pleo" which is one of the most complex and emotional consumer robots available. And of course, the most successful robots sold by iRobot are capable of doing a pretty good job vacuuming your floors and scrubbing them as well.

The robots are coming and we need to start thinking of what we are going to do when they become smarter than us and start making decisions for us. We already rely on computers to make life and death decisions in various fields, but we still have control. One day we just may give it up all together and create the gods that we seem so desperate to have.

*Moore’s law: The power of microprocessor technology doubles and its costs of production fall in half every 18 months.

Roomba technology in the past:

No More Tears

Honda’s Asimo:

Ugobe Pleo:

Darpa’s challenge: