Tag Archives | Controversy

Davos Says: 7 Reasons Why Elon Musk Is Wrong To Believe Intelligent Robots Will One Day Kill Us All

Maurizio Pesce (CC BY 2.0)

Maurizio Pesce (CC BY 2.0)

Jim Edwards writes at Business Insider:

A panel at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland has just completely dismantled the idea — currently trendy in the tech sector — that artificially intelligent robots, lacking morals, may one day independently decide to start killing humans.

The idea has been spread, somewhat tongue in cheek, by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has even suggested that the robots may even thwart any humans who try to escape them by blasting off to Mars.

AI research is advancing rapidly inside private companies right now like Facebook and Google. That R&D is mostly a secret, which is why people like to speculate about it. Plus, everyone loves the Terminator movies, in which killer AI robots are the main protagonists.

The panel was hosted by two UC Berkeley professors, Ken Goldberg (who studies robotics) and Alison Gopnik (who studies psychology).

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The Myth of the Megalith

Eusebius@Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Eusebius@Commons (CC BY 2.0)

via The New Yorker:

Baalbek, Lebanon, is the site of one of the most mysterious ruins of the Roman Empire, a monumental two-thousand-year-old temple to Jupiter that sits atop three thousand-ton stone blocks. (The pillars of Stonehenge weigh about a fortieth of that.) The blocks originated in a nearby limestone quarry, where a team from the German Archaeological Institute, in partnership with Jeanine Abdul Massih, of Lebanese University, recently discovered what they are calling the largest stone block from antiquity, weighing one thousand six hundred and fifty tons and matching those that support the temple. Its provenance is more shadowy than one might expect of a three-million-pound megalith. Nobody seems to know on whose orders it was cut, or why, or how it came to be abandoned.

Baalbek is named for Baal, the Phoenician deity, although the Romans knew the site by its Greek name, Heliopolis.

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Satellite photo of MH17 being shot down

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We’ve got mail! Over the weekend, two Disinfonauts alerted us to the release of a satellite photo of MH17 being shot down. It appears that there is much controversy (surprise!) surrounding its authenticity.

What do you think?

 Disinfonaut, Earthstar, sent this article from PressTV:

The Russian news service, Itar-Tass today published satellite photos clearly proving that Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, was downed by a Kiev-backed jet fighter.

The United States and Great Britain have had these photos for months, proving the Kiev junta responsible for purposefully downing the plane and killing 298 passengers and crew, 196 of them from the Netherlands.

In fact, for months, the preponderance of evidence has indicated that the downing of MH17 was done by Kiev as an act of false flag terrorism, one of many during the conflict.  However, as accusations against Kiev gained substance, the investigation was handed to the Dutch government, who tabled the entire process for over a year without any promise of a definitive finding.

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The Clash of the Shakespeareans

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I tried to think of a fitting Shakespearean insult that would suit this, but I came up short. I did, however, find this fun Shakespeare Insulter.

via The Guardian:

Shakespeare wasn’t immune to throwing around the odd insult, penning some of the greatest put-downs in the history of the English language.

“Thine face is not worth sunburning”; “Thou art as fat as butter”; “You are as a candle, the better part burnt out”.

But now the Bard himself is at the centre of some distinctly colourful language after academics traded blows over the publication of a Shakespearean journal.

The row erupted when one professor submitted a paper in which he cited evidence that poems and plays attributed to the “man from Stratford” were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.

The essay – intended for the Italian journal, Memoria di Shakespeare – was said to examine the case for the theory as well as “the conscious and unconscious psychological factors behind the taboo against openly discussing the authorship question”.

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Legal Scholar: Is Fluoridation an Illegitimate Human Experiment?

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NEW YORKSept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “The cessation of all compulsory water fluoridation schemes should be the goal of all public health agencies, ethical lawmakers and informed citizens,” argues Rita Barnett-RoseChapman University Associate Law Professor, (online August 2014), reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).

Evidence of fluoride’s harm is ignored, downplayed or not studied; benefits exaggerated and informed consent disregarded. “Claims that fluoridation is not mass medication are unpersuasive,” she writes.

After scientists disproved the 1945 theory assuming ingested fluoride was essential for healthy teeth, fluoridation promoters newly speculate, without evidence, that fluoridation benefits low-income children who have the most decay and least access to dental care – a problem that persists today despite 7 decades of fluoridation. In fact, dental socioeconomic disparities have increased.

The National Research Council acknowledges significant fluoride health research has yet to be done – especially fluoride’s effect on the young brain.… Read the rest

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Air New Zealand Reprimanded Over Sexist Safety Video

As a frequent flier, I’ve become accustomed to tuning out the boring, rehashed safety demonstrations. I know I’m not the only one, as it only takes a quick glance around to see people with their heads bowed pouring over their books, people staring out the round windows, and others resting their tired eyes with head in hand. Apparently Air New Zealand also noticed this plight and teamed up with Sports Illustrated to make a more “exciting” safety video with bikini clad models.

Unfortunately everyone involved failed to consider how these sexed up, objectified beauties would be received by the female population.

Regardless of the objectification criticism, the entire video is weirdly cringe-worthy and awkward. Why are you giving me that flirty smile when telling me to obey illuminated signs? Odd.

From NBC News:

The video immediately sparked online outrage, with Natasha Young of Australia among the most notable after starting an online petition calling for its removal and saying the video was “an excuse to objectify the sexualised female body.” The petition sparked outcry on Twitter with the hashtag #AirNZsexism and attracted more than 11,000 signatures.

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Controversial Idea is too Dangerous for Festival of Dangerous Ideas

festival-of-dangerous-ideas_logoIn a weirdly ironic twist, The Sydney Opera House has cancelled speaker Uthman Badar’s talk “Honour killings are morally justified.”

In a statement the Opera House appeared to blame the talk’s title for giving the ‘wrong impression’, while announcing that it had decided not to proceed with the session.

‘The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is intended to be a provocation to thought and discussion, rather than simply a provocation,’ the Opera House wrote on Facebook.

‘It is always a matter of balance and judgement, and in this case a line has been crossed.’

‘It is clear from the public reaction that the title has given the wrong impression of what Mr Badar intended to discuss. Neither Mr Badar, the St James Ethics Centre, nor Sydney Opera House in any way advocates honour killings or condones any form of violence against women.’

Mr Badar told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that the session’s cancellation is revealing of the extent and influence of Islamophobia in Australia.

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Sacred Geometry with Randall Carlson &Vinny Eastwood

Via SacredGeometryInternational.com

Vinny’s NUTShell:

The ancient world and culture is a very interesting topic indeed, how exactly did the ancient peoples of the earth have such precise knowledge about celestial movements, geometry, measuring, time keeping and architecture?

It seems many practices and understandings are now being rediscovered in our time and it might be the very key we need to understanding our own past and predicting future events. Climate Change looking back to the dawn of man through till today appears to be a natural phenomenon with great climatic catastrophic events dotted throughout ancient and modern history alike. The conclusion being that human kind is in fact the enemy as a political excuse to install a world government for the benefits of international bankers and communist dictator wannabes.

Download show .MP3

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The Divine Farce

Joseph Grosso writes at Counterpunch:

If the recent report from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is true than it turns out that the first Pope to resign his post in almost six hundred years did so, at least in part, due to the existence of a faction of gay Vatican officials being blackmailed by outsiders of a ‘worldly influence’. This sordid affair apparently emerged from an investigation by a three Cardinal team that Pope Benedict XVI set up to look into the leaking of documents by the Pope’s own butler, Paolo Gabriele, who saw leaking the Pope’s personal correspondence to an investigative journalist as a noble act meant to spur reform in an organization dominated by infighting and corruption.

Just last month tourists visiting the shops inside the Vatican were prevented from using credit cards to buy tickets and souvenirs after the Bank of Italy found that the Vatican Bank’s safeguards against money laundering do not meet international standards.

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