Sunday, December 03, 2023

Send more bombs ...


Bombs undergoing maintenance at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho in 2020.(

In reading The Cradle's piece regarding how the US is supplying Israel with serious ordinance while at the same time urging Israel to spare civilians while carpet bombing Gaza, the notion of Orwell, Doublethink and Newspeak comes to mind without question.

To whit.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on 2 December urged Israel to protect civilians during its campaign against Hamas in Gaza, even as the US military continues to send 2,000-pound bombs and artillery to the Israeli army for use in the densely populated and besieged enclave. 

Austin told the Reagan National Defense Forum in California on Saturday that shielding noncombatants in the densely populated and besieged enclave is necessary for victory in the urban fight. 

Austin stated that he had “learned a thing or two about urban warfare” while fighting in Iraq and leading the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS).

“The lesson is that you can only win in urban warfare by protecting civilians,” Austin stressed. “If you drive [Gaza’s civilians] into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.”

But just one thing, it takes money, right?

Austin, a former board member of weapons manufacturer Raytheon, then asked the lawmakers in the crowd to pass both the military’s budget and the supplemental funding for both wars.

The object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war.
Emmanuel Goldstein/1984

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Only the 6th ...

 George Santos smiling.

Santos was expelled from Congress on 12 December, and seems to be determined
to take others down on his way out. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Actually hate to see him go. :)

Well, the saga of the esteemed George Santos has ended with his expulsion from congress, only the 6th who have achieved this "honored" distinction, which says volumes about just how craven this institution truly is. If one was a fly on a wall, able to see the inherent corruption of those bought and paid for "representatives" who supposedly represent us, one would soon find out Santos lacked the brains and guile to hide the monies given to him by the real owners of the country so eloquently voiced by the late great George Carlin.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. The House has voted to expel Santos following a critical ethics report on his conduct that included converting campaign donations for his own use, making him just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by his colleagues. Expulsion requires support from two-third of the House. 

How George Santos responded to being fact-checked on 14 of his biggest lies

Santos told reporters after his expulsion he was done with Congress.

“Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place,”
he told reporters outside the US Capitol after the vote.

Needless to say, he'll be on TV as he's now a celebrity where there's no such thing as bad PR. :)

Time to cull the herd, right?

Two thousand deer are mowing through native plants on Catalina, allowing flammable grasses and shrubs to proliferate, an island conservationist said.

Herbivorous rats, you know, the beautiful white tailed deer of Bambi fame, are hardy and hungry to the max, Living in Fairfield county, yours truly knows what happens when any animal proliferates beyond reason in terms of habitat loss, something now happening on Santa Catalina Island, an environment unique in terms of the native species that have lived there for thousands of years. 

To Lauren Dennhardt, the lead conservationist on the island, there is only one way to save Catalina for future generations: Kill all the deer.

There's a reason why if one does the research.

Outrage has ensued over the prospect of gunning down deer from the sky.

Time to cull the herd if you want to save the habitat, right?

Friday, December 01, 2023

Carpet bombing Gaza ... yet again

Carpet bombing Gaza, designed to eliminate Hamas, will not work. It didn't work in Algeria, Nam, Iraq or Afghanistan as indigenous fighters don't have to win, just outlast. IMHO, Israel is entering into an existential crisis of their own making, something bound to happen when 800,000 Palestinians were driven out of Palestine in 1948 by Begin and significant others in an ethnic cleansing operation the Palestinians call the NAKBA. People driven off their land never forget, something the Israelis are beginning to find out in no uncertain terms as the Palestinians will not give up, no matter what the cost may be.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Mr. K ...

He's finally dead. Brilliant, ruthless and a decorated war criminal, the death of Cambodia was the arch creation of Mr. K, the model Secretary of State who orchestrated Nam for Nixon, a catastrophe of biblical proportions, based on a lie.

A truly great obit ...

Addendum: Yet another take on Mr. K. Well worth reading IMHO.

Any questions?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Arc Line ...

Arc Line

Depicted above is a delicate arc of ice with the background removed to show how profoundly beautiful nature can be. What's also obvious is just how transitory this arc of ice is because one day later, it was gone. Now, look at our economy, driven by code and AI, abstracted to the nth degree with the stock market forever going into the stratosphere until it doesn't, something slowly beginning to happen thanks to the inevitable fact, resources on our finite planet keeping us alive are not infinite, which means the economy of the world will soon revolve around said resources, a physics driven reality not even AI and the endless manipulation of money can change as man moves further into the 21st century.

And so it begins. - K. Vonnegut

A simple matter of division

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

The Treachery of Images ...

Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

Polonius. By th’ mass, and ‘tis like a camel indeed.

Hamlet. Methinks it is like a weasel.

Polonius. It is back’d like a weasel.

Hamlet. Or like a whale.

Polonius. Very like a whale. 

Seems Shakespeare was indirectly channeling AI, news and social media where people talk to their choir, believing almost anything as long as it aligns with one’s world view ... which brings up the notion of Deepfakes as they’re Everywhere. Just go to almost any site and see nonsense, usually in full color, residing on the right hand side or on the bottom of the web page, saying something patently ridiculous regarding a celebrity, news event or “scientific” fact, accompanied with a clickable AI graphic showing said tidbit to be “true”. One of the usuals is a huge beast found on a beach near you

The Idea Dynamo

Prescient to a fault, Webster’s Idea Dynamo presages the emergence of AI, the open-ended tech able to generate virtually anything of note by simply inputting, text, sound or visual  prompts as needs warrant. From "writing" research papers magically dealing with quantum mechanics to effortlessly generating detailed 3D photo-realistic art depicting something like the work seen below, AI’s changing reality 24/7 whether we like or not. 

The Intelligence Equation

Jumping spiders plan ahead to catch prey, octopuses, masters of camouflage and escape, not only use shells as houses but also as blinds to get close to their quarry, crabs. Crows solve puzzles like 7 year olds and monkeys use rocks to crack nuts but the real avatars of intelligence are the whales with the sperm whale having the largest brain on the planet, configured like ours but only bigger.

Melville’s Moby Dick, besides being existential, is also scientific as Melville was an acute observer trying to understand how reality works or ... “Is it not curious, that so vast a being as the whale should see the world through so small an eye, and hear the thunder through an ear which is smaller than a hare's? But if his eyes were broad as the lens of Herschel's great telescope; and his ears capacious as the porches of cathedrals; would that make him any longer of sight, or sharper of hearing? Melville tried to answer these questions but failed because in 1851, the notion of sound, let alone, sonar, was not part of the equation nor did whalers even conceptualize why spermaceti, used to enhance echo location, existed in the sperm whale’s head in the first place.

Difficulties learning whale ...

The Gift of Prometheus

When reading MIT’s Technology Review's article discussing the possible emergence of super intelligent AI’s going rogue, the notion of Prometheus' gift of fire to man and Phillip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? resonate.

60 Minutes | Geoffrey Hinton/Godfather of AI & former Google Fellow

Let’s think probabilities because reality, as defined by Quantum Mechanics, is probabilistic so the concept of AI going rogue becomes a distinct possibility as we don’t know how AI works due to the fact code has to write code to enable neural nets, the analog front end of AI, to interact with the real world in real time as human programmers cannot write software in real-time to do the task at hand, an inconvenient fact the so called AI experts seem to ignore at our peril.

In essence, we don’t know where AI ‘s headed as guesstimates about predicting the future remains but a crapshoot thanks to the vagaries of reality. :)

Houston, we have a problem

Why is this so? Well, the smart phone, the additive love child of tech, is one reason why because its so easy to get “information” just fast enough to avoid boredom as instant gratification isn’t fast enough.

Not Thinking Things Through

Consider the exhausted Odysseus, slowly sailing toward the coast of Ithaca while sleeping next to a bag carrying all the winds save the favorable west, a gift generously given to the weary travelers by Aeolis, god of the winds. The crew, also tired from the 10 year Trojan War but all too greedy for their own good, decide to open the bag thinking there was treasure to be had, thus consigning themselves to death or enslavement when their ship is driven back into the Mediterranean when all the winds escaped from the bag, forcing Odysseus to wander the sea for another 10 years before reaching Ithaca yet again. 

Copyright & Public Domain

Yours truly has often talked about the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) with emphasis on intellectual property rights vis a vis copyright, the disaster perpetrated on the US by the late Sonny Bono (The Mickey Mouse Act) who, as California congressman, extended the length of copyright from the Founders 14 years plus one allowed extension of 14 years (if the cr holder was still alive) to life plus 70, which means Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, written in 1905, could theoretically remain outside of public domain until 2025 as Einstein died in 1955. Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, debuted in 1928. Disney died in 1966, ergo, Steamboat would not enter the PD until 2036.

Question, how many chimps does it take to write Hamlet?

As we all know, in order for AI to advance, it needs to hoover up our data, lots and lots of data. What’s better is the fact the tech giants categorically state the content acquired is theirs, not ours, thus potentially able to be copyrighted, which means, our content’s not ours. 

A Wicked Problem

In conclusion, the abuse of copyright created by Bono and the courts, combined with the abuses of the tech giants regarding who owns what when feeding their AI’s our online content means we have lost ownership of our data but more importantly, the tech giants have lost control of AI because if one doesn’t know how said tech works, then controlling same is impossible. 

Lest we forget, it’s all about the money ... yet again.

The Future of AI is Analog

With the advent of digital, single purpose analog systems, like Lord Kelvin’s, (inventor of the analog computer) withered away but no longer as AI needs to handle the vagaries of the real world in real-time using neural nets, the analog construct required by AI in order to function. Digital can do the job but only at enormous cost in terms of efficiency and power, something becoming increasingly problematic as society moves further into the 21st century.

Digital counts, Analog measures.

When analog computing's in place, AI will be EVERYWHERE.

Postscript ...

The World of Pretend

A good friend of mine wrote an incredible piece of music titled The World of Pretend detailing the career of Veronica Lake, an extremely talented women who decided to go off grid, only to be seen in the various film noir flicks she did in the 1940's. To this writer, the age we are living in indirectly relates to hers as the emergence of AI is creating an alternative reality in which we all live 24/7. With this being said, there is no morality in tech, it all depends on who's creating said tech, something we should all recognize as we move further into the twenty first century.

Same as it ever was. - Talking Heads

Monday, November 20, 2023

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

When reading MIT's Technology Review's article discussing the possible emergence of super intelligent AI's going rogue, the notion of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? resonates.  

Let's think probabilities because reality, as defined by Quantum Mechanics, is probabilistic so the concept of AI going rogue becomes a possibility as we don’t know how AI works due to the fact code has to write code to enable neural nets, the front end of AI, to interact with the real world in real time as human programmers cannot write software in real-time to do the task at hand, an inconvenient fact the so called AI experts seem to ignore at our peril.

In essence, we don't know, in this case, where AI 's headed as guesstimates about predicting the future forever remains a crapshoot thank to, you guessed it, the vagaries of Quantum. :)

Happy T Day! :)