Thursday, September 20, 2018

The definition of "is" ...

Just a matter of time

Eyes wide shut

Same as it ever was

Mia not culpa

Arthur's Murry's School of Dance

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Open Ended ...

BRT has written copiously about AI as my loyal readers know as this is open ended tech with ramifications far too important to ignore. In many instances, people think of AI as a thing, not as a set of millions of interconnected things, something that will happen without question as digital is a replicable environment where duplication, modification and networking constructs work at levels far beyond the kin of man. With this in mind, an excellent article by Henry Kissenger, How the Enlightenment Ends in The Atlantic, connects AI to the Enlightenment at deep level, a piece that should be read by everyone concerned about how this technology will impact society as we move further into the 21st century.

Heretofore, the technological advance that most altered the course of modern history was the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, which allowed the search for empirical knowledge to supplant liturgical doctrine, and the Age of Reason to gradually supersede the Age of Religion. Individual insight and scientific knowledge replaced faith as the principal criterion of human consciousness. Information was stored and systematized in expanding libraries. The Age of Reason originated the thoughts and actions that shaped the contemporary world order.

But that order is now in upheaval amid a new, even more sweeping technological revolution whose consequences we have failed to fully reckon with, and whose culmination may be a world relying on machines powered by data and algorithms and ungoverned by ethical or philosophical norms.

We are not ready for this ...

Third, that AI may reach intended goals, but be unable to explain the rationale for its conclusions. In certain fields — pattern recognition, big-data analysis, gaming — AI’s capacities already may exceed those of humans. If its computational power continues to compound rapidly, AI may soon be able to optimize situations in ways that are at least marginally different, and probably significantly different, from how humans would optimize them. But at that point, will AI be able to explain, in a way that humans can understand, why its actions are optimal? Or will AI’s decision making surpass the explanatory powers of human language and reason? Through all human history, civilizations have created ways to explain the world around them — in the Middle Ages, religion; in the Enlightenment, reason; in the 19th century, history; in the 20th century, ideology. The most difficult yet important question about the world into which we are headed is this: What will become of human consciousness if its own explanatory power is surpassed by AI, and societies are no longer able to interpret the world they inhabit in terms that are meaningful to them?

Questions to consider without question.

And so it goes. K. Vonnegut

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fragile indeed

An excellent piece in The Atlantic succinctly explains why the Constitution is so fragile.

To whit ...

To add fuel to the fire. The Atlantic strikes yet again.

James Madison traveled to Philadelphia in 1787 with Athens on his mind. He had spent the year before the Constitutional Convention reading two trunkfuls of books on the history of failed democracies, sent to him from Paris by Thomas Jefferson. Madison was determined, in drafting the Constitution, to avoid the fate of those “ancient and modern confederacies,” which he believed had succumbed to rule by demagogues and mobs.

James madison died at Montpelier, his Virginia estate, in 1836, one of the few Founding Fathers to survive into the democratic age of Andrew Jackson. Madison supported Jackson’s efforts to preserve the Union against nullification efforts in the South but was alarmed by his populist appeal in the West. What would Madison make of American democracy today, an era in which Jacksonian populism looks restrained by comparison? Madison’s worst fears of mob rule have been realized—and the cooling mechanisms he designed to slow down the formation of impetuous majorities have broken.

Fragile indeed | twice two.

Late Summer

Working Hard

A quiet conversation

Blood Moon



Thursday, September 13, 2018

JD Seem

Acoustic blues never gets old as seen by JD Seem & Company.

Yippee Coyote

Reggae and brass, complete with a tiny squeeze box, is the perfect remedy for a hot summer day. 

Tom Heany

Telling a story is the key to Tom's compositions. Listen closely to his guitar playing, unusual in tonality and very cool without question.

Emma & Company

Blues, elegantly done, is the focus of this piece. Check it out for sure.

Monday, September 10, 2018

TH yet again.

A truly great rock video by the late Jonathan Demme.
Check it out, it's worth watching without question.

One in a lifetime?

For a better take on Once in a Lifetime, check out the TH version. :)

Pluto is a planet, right? :)

To yours truly, the demotion of Pluto as a planet was a true injustice as she has multiple moons and is now known to be an incredibly complex and active system as per discoveries made by New Horizons, Nasa's gem of a probe that forever changed how we view this distant entity of our solar system. 

Sounds logical does it not? 

This image of haze layers above Pluto’s limb was taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. About 20 haze layers are seen; the layers have been found to typically extend horizontally over hundreds of kilometers, but are not strictly parallel to the surface.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Touching the Sun

Nasa/Parker rocks without question. 

Terrain Mapping 101 :)

Yours truly loves maps, especially ones showing a different view of the world using tech in innovative ways as seen by this gem above, imaged by defense agency satellites at resolutions thought to be impossible until now.

Click Reference Elevation Map of Antarctica to get cartographic details about the map and the continent it's based on. Stellar to a fault IMHO. :)

Releasing the Dragon

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Saturday, September 01, 2018

What a bummer

The Village Voice died. RIP

The voice had serious reporting chops without question.

The death of print continues, unfortunately but at least The Voice's digital archive lives on.


How not to do military ...

BRT has posted beaucoup articles about the military fubars this nation has done for the last 50+ years with emphasis on inept equipment procurement, egregious errors in foreign policy and truly excellent  and illegal adventures in Nam and Iraq, not to mention the never ending 17 year lost cause known as Afghanistan, the longest war in US history, events one and all that are truly astounding to think about in terms of cost and suffering save for the department of defense, an entity that needs endless war in order to survive as we move further into the 21st century. 

To whit ...

Always has been, always will be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


From beaches to ponds, woods and night, Summer/2018 shows nature at small scale. Enjoy.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ancient Scotland

Ancient Scotland from John Duncan on Vimeo.

Seriously great cinematography without question and ... the music works without question as well. :)

Friday, August 17, 2018

A Faustian bargain

BRT has waxed poetic about the perils and foolishness of fracking, a short term solution to a long term problem with emphasis given to its destruction of precious aquifers in order to generate fossil fuel energy no matter what the cost may be.

An alarming new study reveals fracking is quite simply destroying America’s water supply.

That means we are losing potable water forever in many semi-arid regions of the country, while simultaneously producing more carbon pollution that in turn is driving ever-worsening droughts in those same regions, as fracking expert Anthony Ingraffea, a professor at Cornell University, explained to ThinkProgress.

The game-changing study from Duke University found that “from 2011 to 2016, the water use per well increased up to 770 percent.” In addition, the toxic wastewater produced in the first year of production jumped up to 1440 percent.

End result ...

Yes indeed.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Circadian Rhythms

It's all about the 24 hr cycle that every living thing on planet earth obeys with summer being the best way to see how it all works out. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Summer 2018

Butterfly 1 :)

Clematis on edge

DK 2

Orange Frilly

Monarch having a snack

Sherwood Silhouette

Tan Dragonfly

Tiny Daisy

“War does not determine who is right — only who is left.” ― Anonymous

Autonomous bots are becoming an ominous reality as there is too much money to be made by building and selling this hardware to interested parties as seen by this piece in New Atlas titled Kalashnikov’s new autonomous weapons and the “Terminator conundrum”

Earlier this month, the Russian weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Group made a low-key announcement with frightening implications. The company revealed it had developed a range of combat robots that are fully automated and used artificial intelligence to identify targets and make independent decisions. The revelation rekindled the simmering, and controversial, debate over autonomous weaponry and asked the question, at what point do we hand control of lethal weapons over to artificial intelligence?


Something to consider don't you think?

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Paleoartistic restoration of the head of Razanandrongobe sakalavae. Unlike extant crocodilians, this terrestrial predator had a deep skull. Credit: Fabio Manucci.

One can only imagine just how scary Jurassic Madagascar's Razanandrongobe sakalavae must have been when hunting as seen by the Razana reconstructions seen above and below of a heretofore unknown apex predator able to move at tremendous speed as  its legs were positioned straight and erect under their bodies, allowing them to gallop and sprint after prey in a decidedly athletic, uncrocodile-like manner. Notosuchians like Razana also had elevated skulls, making them look more Velociraptor and less pancake-headed swamp monster. Notosuchians were fierce predators that ranged all over Gondwana during the last half of the Mesozoic Era, but the new findings demonstrate that none of these souped-up crocs were quite as formidable as the monster from Madagascar.

Factoids ...

Seems the age of dinosaurs was dangerville to the max without question. Click here to get scientific information further detailing why Razana was so fearsome a predator.


Friday, August 10, 2018

As needs warrant ...

Like reality, tech knows no morality save for the person using said tech, something BRT has discussed for years as the same tool used to cure cancer can also be used to create credit default swaps or, in this case, AI used to both defeat malware or create it as needs warrant.

Seen below is a diagram showing how IBM's DeepLocker does the deed. 

Here is The Hacker News' take on AI doing the right thing for us rubes.

Interesting is it not?