• IMPORTANT NOTE TO iPHONE /iPAD USERS: Last week, an Agency of Homeland Security – U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security (CISA) – issued an Advisory to millions of users to apply an immediate update, since newest hacks are taking control of systems via the Safari browser. The update will also further protect against stolen passwords or passcodes which compromise Apple Pay & Apple accounts, after users who have reported their “entire digital life stolen by criminals and then being lock out , as well as entire bank accounts wiped out.”  [EPOCH TIMES – 1/24/24]
  • LATEST ON A.I. involves Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) – the next and soon-enough coming generation which, “if achieved, would be able to outperform humans on most intellectual tasks, and which A.I. doomers think could engender not just disruption but economic chaos or even a robot apocalypse. The CEO of OpenAI likens this to evolution of the iPhone, where (1) no single model represented a big leap, but the jump from the first version to the latest has been extraordinary; (2) that ‘technological prosperity’ is the most important ingredient to a much better future; and (3) that he expects the ‘fuss’ caused by this first generation A.I. to be short lived.” [ECONOMIST – 1/20/24]
  • GLOBAL POPULATION, FAMILY SIZE AND STRUCTURE WILL BE DRAMATICALLY CHANGING by end of this century. A study just published in by Nat’l Academy of Sciences predicts that the 10.4 billion people now spread around our planet will, by 2,100, have dramatically been reduced and reconfigured, including: (1) U.S. population maxing out at 280M by 2080, then edging down to 366M; (2) U.S. family model reduced to some 25 relatives (assorted children/ grand & great grandchildren/ parents/ siblings/ aunts & uncles & offspring/ cousins/ etc.) from over 40 today; (3) China’s population declining over 40% to below 800M; (4) Globally, families becoming more vertical than horizontal, spread out along geographic and age spectrums, with family gatherings becoming increasingly rare; (5) Eldercare and Childcare burdens currently taken on for extended family members being replaced by outside resources and maybe even robots.  [BIG THINK – 1/9/24]
  • OVER 8 MILLION ILLEGALS HAVE EMIGRATED TO THE U.S. SINCE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION appointed Mayorka to head Homeland Security and VP Harris as Border Czar, with a now-apparent “directive to destroy the southern border.” Mega-millions of aliens were effectively invited to enter through expanded entry points or by just wading across the border, unchecked as to health conditions and then transported across the nation to ‘sanctuary’ cities they choose, with any type of ‘asylum request hearing’ deferred several years. The chaos has overwhelmed public education, health & social services – particularly in California, where one-third of residents live on assistance, a fifth struggle below the poverty line, and $70 billion state spending deficit is already forecast this year, yet free Health Care has just been extended to non-citizens. “The utter insanity of this Open Border policy would be laughable if the amorality of illegal immigration were not so deleterious to Americans.”  [VICTOR DAVIS HANSON]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  Just astonishing bodypainting!  https://biggeekdad.com/2024/01/the-chameleon-illusion/

Most people know that ‘working out’ makes us feel better, but still avoid exercising. The reason is that human brains are “hard-wired to avoid unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings, with a tendency to almost always consider ‘is it worth it?’  So we take the path of least resistance, stick to routines, and dwell within our comfort zones. While the brain processes motivations at any given time as our Actual vs Ideal vs Ought-to be self, avoiding physical activity is a viable option,” and usually wins.  [BBC SCIENCE FOCUS]

 Internal Revenue Service has now suspended all ‘unannounced visits’ to taxpayers by agency revenue officers (other than Criminal Investigations) in order to “reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees.”

 “The standard concept of Common Sense has a somewhat circular definition: it’s a set of claims that sensible people agree with, while it’s sensible people who possess Common Sense.”  A research study of over 2,000 participants, published by Nat’l Academy of Sciences, found that plainly-worded claims relating to technology & science (‘Real World’) were most likely rated as commonsensible, versus more abstract claims related to matters of history & philosophy. But age/ sex/ income/ personal politics had little impact. “Truly Common Sense is an elusive thing, influenced by psychological measures of social perceptiveness.”  [ECONOMIST]