• DUMPING ADULT ANXIETIES OVER EXISTING SOCIAL PROBLEMS ON CHILDREN & YOUNG ADULTS was priority again this Halloween season among instructors & administrators from grade school thru college & university levels, who focused on “raw cultural appropriation… by warning students about not dressing as Indian chiefs/Mexican bandits/the Black Panther/ princess Moana, wearing hoop earrings or dreadlocks, serving sushi, holding yoga classes, or anything encompassing the ‘unauthorized use’ of another culture’s dance/dress/music/language/folklore/cuisine/traditions/medicine/religious symbols/and more… It doesn’t matter if such symbols were viewed as celebrating the purity or bravery of a group, or simple children’s fantasizing about being princesses, cowboys, Indians, soldiers or samurai.” The only thing that matters is about the possibility someone in this snowflake generation could feel “disrespected or mocked by appropriating their culture.” [ZEROHEDGE.COM – 10/31/18]
  • AN ETHICAL DILEMMA EXISTS FOR PROGRAMMERS OF SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES: the degree of instructions which guide ‘choices’ in conditions affecting who may live or die, statistically. A team of psychologists & computer scientists led by MIT conducted a study involving some 40 million ‘decisions’ made by people from 233 countries relating to “whom to kill… They created a ‘Moral Machine’ website which presented visitors with a series of choices about whom to save” in situations like ‘brake failure ahead of a pedestrian crossing’ where continuing straight would hit X people versus swerving to hit a different mix of bystanders or passengers. Preferences varied between Western/Eastern/Southern continents & cultures as related to prioritizing children over elders, women over men, doctors over workers, humans over animals, pedestrians over passengers, and so forth – although ‘criminals’ were consistently “ranked as subhuman, below dogs and slightly above cats… Self-driving cars, it seems, may need the ability to download new moralities when they cross national borders.” [THE ECONOMIST – 10/27/18]
  •  ‘DIGITAL IMMORTALITY’– afterlife interaction between your ‘digital avatar’ and others– is also on the horizon. ‘Augmented Eternity’ will involve how your post-life person could/would communicate and interact with others, “based on machine-learning algorithms which can approximate your unique personality, and could take the form of a text-based chatbox, an audio voice, digitally edited video, or a 3-D animated character in a virtual reality environment – any of which could be embedded in a robot.” The remaining challenge has to do with programming “context, emotional content and semantics” in which communication occurs (e.g. joking vs annoyance vs reacting to news) and any degree of pre-death relationship (like relatives, student/teacher, boss/employee, vendor/customer). Once functional, “our digital representations might even be more talkative, pushy & flattering than we are…with power to manipulate; who better to convince and sell an idea or product than someone we’ve loved and lost? Your life’s data means a version of you which could live forever.”  [M.I.T. TECHNOLOGY REVIEW – 10/18/18]
  •  ODDITIES & ENDS: (1) An ‘Artificial Moon’ satellite will soon replace some Chinese city street lights, by illuminating up to a 50-mile diameter with brightness up to eight times that of the real moon, involving “large computer-controlled mirrors to track the movement of the sun and reflect its rays downward.” [THE GUARDIAN – 10/17/18]    (2) Another West Hollywood Claim to Fame: the world’s first Sex Robot Brothel Resort set to open next year, “to provide companionship for lonely people by offering cutting edge technology in a clean and futuristic environment.” The star cyborg will be Harmony, who is now a member of the website Tinder offering her ‘virginity’ to the first customer willing to pay $10K. [DAILY STAR.UK – 11/1/18]    (3) The early-childhood app market is all about “hidden ads which kids under age 7 aren’t capable of recognizing.” A Univ. of Michigan study found 100% of free apps contained some form of advertising, including “interrupting play with a video that kids must watch to continue playing or earning credit in the game.” [THE WEEK – 11/1/18]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising one’s voice…  Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us.” – Robert Burns

      The ‘Blame Game’ results from unwillingness to “spend 15 seconds to figure out whose fault something really is… Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort, pain, anger, and is corrosive to relationships since not listening means missing the opportunity for empathy.”  A quick enlightening video:  https://biggeekdad.com/2015/07/the-blame-game/

      Appreciate: Some of the world’s most amazing sculptures at  https://www.truthinsideofyou.org/30-incredible-sculptures-breath-away/An absolutely impossible illusion: https://biggeekdad.com/2013/05/magician-kevin-james/ ; And a challenging card trick::  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h15QrgY2_SM