Tag Archives | Technology

You Are Heroic, Unending, Mercurial Potential! Featuring Musical Mystic, Chris de Cinque of Closure in Moscow

Chris de Cinque is a well read man with a cheeky, verbose spirit. He also sings for the proggy, satire-soaked, mercurial quintet, Closure in Moscow. Their critically-acclaimed opus, Pink Lemonade (without a doubt one of my favorite records of last year) proves it’s possible to grapple with heavy themes like enlightenment and transhumanism all whilst maintaining a deep sense of fourth-wall breaking sarcasm complete with what sound suspiciously like boner noises (see the full album stream below).

ITUNES  STITCHER DOWNLOAD

4-Closure-in-Moscow-3-2

Hear our first conversation with the Closure in Moscow boys here. 

The courage to forsake the armor your persona provides and expose your tender vulnerabilities to other humans is a terrifying, intimidating, yet irreplaceably vital thing. When you do summon up the bravery take that leap, you’re truly doing the no less than holy work of shrinking the gaps between you and your fellow man. Disabling your social forcefield allows compassion and understanding flow.Read the rest

Continue Reading

DIY prosthetics: the extreme athlete who built a new knee

493px-Drenwkolaniedzien5
Brian Bartlett lost his leg at 24. Rose Eveleth hears how a man who just wanted to ski again invented a new kind of knee.

When Brian Bartlett was 24 he was hit by a car from behind so hard it ripped his right leg off instantly. It all happened so fast. He doesn’t like to talk about it. “You really can’t understand,” he told me. “There’s just no way to…until you have an injury where you’re ripped or cut apart instantly.”

He turned 25 in the hospital. When he left, fitted above the knee with a prosthetic leg, he wanted to return to his life. Before the accident, Brian had been a competitive skier; he had a sponsorship, and he was on track for the US Olympic team. So after the accident, he was eager to get back to the slopes. It was 1998, long before Oscar Pistorius would take the track at the Olympics or Amy Purdy would take the stage on Dancing with the Stars.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Next Jobs Automation Will Kill

liz west (CC BY 2.0)

liz west (CC BY 2.0)

Barb Darrow via Forbes:

Most of us watched as automation displaced factory workers and other laborers; but now many “skilled” workers are getting anxious as the robot overlords come for us.

When automated factories started erasing jobs at manufacturing companies, most of us shrugged: Great, better products cheaper, was the general line of thinking

But as automation keeps creeping up the stack, taking over more of what most would call “skilled” positions, well that’s getting some folks—who consider themselves skilled professionals—nervous.

Take airplane pilots for example. That’s now a dead-end job according to Mary “Missy” Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL) at Duke University (and a former Naval fighter pilot.) She said that “in all honesty” she could not recommend that anyone become a commercial airline pilot going forward, given the current state of the art.

“Commercial pilots today touch the stick for three to seven minutes per flight—and that’s on a tough day,” she told an audience at the MIT CIO Symposium on Wednesday.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Scent of a Cabbie

Bluury Streets of SF

Tuesday

5:05am:
The sun’s been coming up early. (Ok. And I’ve been “sleeping in.”) Regardless, I do feel the unrelenting compulsion to race in to work, to beat its rise, like a vampire trying to make his casket before turning to ash. Hopefully, mine will be full of coffee grounds. I need a buzz.

5:30am:
I’m finished greasing Tony’s palms back in the Citizen’s Cab office, and I head out to the lot.

Aside: Yeah, I chanced a $5 bribe on Tony for an airport this morning. I don’t actually expect to see one come my way from dispatch. But I gotta check-in now and then, if only to keep Tony on his toes.

5:31am:
I’m in new ‘ol 137 and I’m immediately overcome with a strong wave of fruity… Well, just strong, fruity. I look around hard, but I cannot find the offending Christmas Tree air freshener, however hard I try.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Are AI-Doomsayers like Skeptical Theists? A Precis of the Argument

the-end-is-near

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions

Some of you may have noticed my recently-published paper on existential risk and artificial intelligence. The paper offers a somewhat critical perspective on the recent trend for AI-doomsaying among people like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates. Of course, it doesn’t focus on their opinions; rather, it focuses on the work of the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has written the most impressive analysis to date of the potential risks posed by superintelligent machines.

I want to try and summarise the main points of that paper in this blog post. This summary comes with the usual caveat that the full version contains more detail and nuance. If you want that detail and nuance, you should read that paper. That said, writing this summary after the paper was published does give me the opportunity to reflect on its details and offer some modifications to the argument in light of feedback/criticisms.… Read the rest

Continue Reading