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Friday, November 30, 2012

Big Dating

Another thing Big Data is going to change is dating. First of all, a computer will be able to profile you VERY well based on everything it knows about you. It will then be able to match you up with the person who is most perfect for you. Dating will be LESS common and marriage will be MORE common. Some day, your children will be able to find their soul-mates in the time it takes you to blink and your grand-children will ask you if it's really true that people used to waste roughly a decade dating random strangers and friends of friends.

Another way Big Data will change dating is with facial recognition software. As I said, Big Data will allow computers to know you better than you know yourself. You will have at least one online profile based on all the available information about you. you might have a public profile and a private one, but you will have at least one. But I digress. A potential mate will be able to take a picture of you and will then be able to access your public profile and know a lot about what kind of person you are. Perhaps more than you want them to know. But that door swings both ways. Hopefully, this will help you know if you've found the one you've been looking for or if there's a good chance the person sitting across from you had their last date chained up in the basement at home.

Until then, keep rolling those dice at the speed-dating tables.

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The Oracle

What's going to happen when Big Data analysis can predict the future? What are the advantages of knowing the future? Perhaps the biggest advantage - other than being able to prepare for natural and man-made disasters - would be the ability to make money in the stock market. Average middle-class workers will be able to invest in the stock market with little or no risk if Big Data can tell them which stocks will rise and which will fall. Will everyone get rich? Will this level the playing field in the financial world and lead to an economic equilibrium?

This will partly depend on how specifically the future can be predicted. I think, at first, the predictions will be relatively general, but as we gather more and more data and develop more and more sophisticated ways of analyzing it, our predictions will get more and more specific; especially once that analysis is done by a quantum computer. It won't be long before this oracle will have to factor ITSELF into its predictions and a kind of singularity will be reached. Who knows what will happen then?

On the other hand, if computers get really good at predicting the future, it will mean fewer surprises. Not NO surprises; but fewer. That can be good if the predictions are bad, but many will miss the spontaneity life will have lost. Part of what makes life so much fun is its ability to surprise us.

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Don't Tag Me Bro!

If employers are going to go snooping around our Facebook profiles uninvited, at some point, they're going to have to decide how many pictures of drunken shenanigans is too many. By that I mean, most people on Facebook have at least a few photos or other wall posts they'd rather their bosses not see. Some might have a warped sense of humor or a penchant for going on political rants. If employers are going to fault job candidates for every questionable thing they post on Facebook, they're going to wind up with a rather small pool of Puritans to choose from and all the jobs will go to the most boring people on the planet. Otherwise we're all just going to have to never post anything fun on Facebook and what's the point of going on Facebook if you're not allowed to post the occasional filthy limerick or some questionably homo-erotic photos of that time you and your friends decided to turn Twister into a drinking game.

Another thing to think about is the fact that many of these potential employers will, themselves, have some embarrassing things posted on THEIR Facebook walls. Your future boss can't very well hold those frat party photos against you if he or she has several photos on their wall of them doing a keg stand while dressed as a nun. Personally, I think if an employer wants to see MY Facebook profile, I should get to see THEIRS. Maybe I'd like to know what sort of bell-end I'm asking to work for. Maybe I want to see a background check on THEM. It's only fair. Let me see THEM half naked, passed out win a pool of their own puke with a cock and balls drawn in permanent marker on THEIR foreheads.

I wish I could start a NEW social networking site. One where the bosses aren't invited and the background checkers aren't allowed. Anyone who runs a company big enough to afford background checks can fuck right off. Yes, nothing to see here, Mr. Grenick. Go back your office and finish deleting all the porn off your browser history, you lifeless child-stalker.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Future Belongs to the Psychonauts

As robots become more and more sophisticated, they will gradually be able to do more and more jobs that humans do. I keep reading that the people whose jobs will be most secure in the future are people whose jobs are based on creativity and innovation. Robots can and will do a lot of impressive things, but it is doubtful that they will ever replace humans in the creative realm.

Keeping this in mind, I believe the future job market will belong largely to those who experiment with drugs, or at least have in the past. It has long been known in the drug culture that many drugs enhance creativity. Some drugs help people think in new and different ways. On the right drug, an already creative person can become much MORE creative and someone who is NOT very creative may be instilled with creativity they never knew they had. I believe people who enjoy marijuana and the occasional psychedelic will have a leg up on people who staunchly insist that "chemical creativity" is a crutch. Such critics assume that the drug user has no innate creativity of their own, but this is not so. I've had plenty of brilliant ideas when I was blind, stinking sober, but nothing helps you think outside the box like a little chemical inspiration. Those Puritans can comfort themselves with their "moral victory" as they stand in the unemployment line. Meanwhile, I'll be making the world a better place and getting paid for my ideas.

It should also be noted that the government is only shooting themselves in the out by arresting and incarcerating so many of their greatest innovators. I guess if they don't want to hear great ideas if they come from a guy who's out of his mind on LSD, perhaps some other country will want to patent the next big breakthrough.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some Thoughts on Occupy Wall Street

First of all, we need to make sure this doesn't turn into another G20 protest where it's all just hippies and anarchists and general liberal types doing all the protesting.  We need get the conservatives involved and make sure they know this is THEIR fight, too.  We have common enemies now: Wall Street and the government that enables them.  BOTH sides have begun to recognize that neither party really serves them but instead serve Wall Street.  The dirty dom-sub relationship between Wall Street and K Street has been put on display and it's finally sinking in to those on the right.

I don't think we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and rewrite the Constitution.   I think a few drastic changes can fix everything­. We need campaign finance reform. Nothing else gets fixed until we get Wall Street out of politics. We need publicly financed elections and we need to severely punish Congressma­n caught accepting bribes. We also need national ballot-ini­tiatives so the people can decide a few things for ourselves and have a voice in the system beyond electing representa­tives. We need to get rid of the ideas that corporatio­ns = people and money = speech.

Perhaps the first thing we should do is figure out what we agree on. I think most of us agree that neither party really serves us anymore. I think most of us agree it's been corrupted by Wall Street. Most of us want millionair
es and billionair­es to pay higher taxes and/or stop using tax havens and loopholes. Most of us want pot legalized at least for medicinal use. Most of us are now okay with gay marriage. We HAVE TO unite around the things we agree on and form an official organizati­on based on THAT.

It's odd, (I JUST noticed this now) how anti-government conservatives are turning against the corporations while anti-corporate liberals are turning against the government.  Funny.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wolves in the Fold: How Closet Atheists are Suckering the Religious Right Into Abandoning Its Values.

It has long been my belief that many of the conservatives in Congress and on the radio - mostly fiscal conservatives - are closet atheists. I say this because I cannot believe that these men who profess Christ on camera really think they're not going to be in trouble when they stand before God to answer for decades of screwing the poor for financial gain and spreading fear and hate. What are Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Glenn Beck going to say to God when he asks them why they demonized compassion and inflamed people's fears and hatred for others? How are John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Eric Cantor going to explain their policies of cutting aid to low to come families so they can give more money to those who already have more than their grandchildren will ever need.

Mind you, I have no problem at all with atheists. I'd rather have them in charge than the Religious Right. Certainly most atheists are not the money-grubbing, fear-mongering haters that comprise so much of the conservatives in Congress and infesting a.m. radio. But it almost eludes me how the Religious Right can ally themselves with these people. I fear that this unholy alliance (no pun intended) has cause a lot of religious conservatives to abandon many of the the values Jesus taught. Indeed, many religious conservatives - due to their association with these closet atheists - have abandoned their moral obligation to help others and have in fact joined the choir of those condemning compassion. There's no biblical justification for the Rights almost erotic affinity for guns; in fact, one would think that the party that complains that we have no respect for life anymore would be AGAINST the proliferation of guns. I find it hard to believe that these fiscal conservatives really care that much about abortion given how little they seem to care about babies once they're out of the womb. They DO have some common ground when it comes to gay marriage in that the kind of atheist conservatives I'm talking about genuinely do feel uncomfortable with the gay community, but speaking of discrimination, there's no reason Christians should support the oppression of minorities; even the ones who are here illegally.

I don't mean to say, by the way, that atheists are immoral or even amoral.  I don't mean to suggest that they lack compassion.  I certainly do not believe that morality comes from religion - or at least a belief in God - and that without religion there would BE no morality.  One should not need to be told by God, or anyone else, what is right or wrong.  When I say that their alliance with these closet atheists is causing religious conservatives to abandon their moral obligation to help others, I mean that atheists don't hold themselves accountable to God the way Christians are supposed to.  Christians are supposed to believe that when they die, God will judge them and by abandoning their obligation toward others, the Religious Right is acting like there is no God and they will not be judged for shunning the poor.

The point is, anyone who spends as much time and energy spreading fear and hate and demonizing compassion while serving the whims of the wealthy as so many radio and Congressional conservatives do cannot believe that God will pat them on the back for their efforts and there is no reason those who genuinely DO follow Jesus should ally themselves with those people.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 14, 2011

Four Reasons Why the Gate-way Drug Argument Fails

Probably the second most popular argument against legalizing marijuana - after the oh-so-popular and equally fallacious What-about-the-poor-defenseless-children argument - is that marijuana is a gateway drug.  You start out toking joints and pretty soon you're sucking cock in a truck-stop mens room to support your meth habit.  There are a few different reasons I can think of off the top of my head why this argument is patently absurd which I will now innumerate:

1.) Marijuana is the most widely available illegal drug.
The more widely available a drug is, the more likely people are to use it and it's fairly easy to get your hands on some weed.  Even if you live in a small town, you should be able to find a good 10 people who've got it, but even if you live in a big city, you've gotta do some asking around to find anyone who's got coke or heroin.  Yeah, you can find hard drugs (again, IF you're in a big enough town), but it's significantly easier to find weed. 

2.) Most people aren't that interested in trying harder drugs.  
I'm pretty confident I speak for most of the marijuana-smoking community when I say that I'm not interested in trying heroin, cocaine, meth, crack; basically anything that comes in a white powder.  These would all be things to avoid.  The anecdotes I read or hear about involving those drugs don't tend to end well.  Most of us have seen too many "VH1: Behind the Music" episodes where some band member got addicted to some heavy stuff and died or broke up the band to try any of that shit ourselves. According to a 2007 Zogby poll, 99% of us wouldn't use hard drugs if we could.

3.)  Why does the "slippery slope" start with weed?
Prohibitionists point out that most of the people currently in rehab for hard drug addiction started smoking weed first.  In Latin, this is known as the "Ad hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy.  Just because A happened before B doesn't mean A caused B.  Just because someone smoked weed before they started smoking crack doesn't mean the weed wasn't enough for them.  First, while I've never had crack and never will, I'm pretty sure there's a world of difference between the high caused by weed and the high caused by crack, but more importantly, why does the slippery slope start at weed?  What about alcohol?  I'm willing to bet those same people in rehab for hard drug addiction started drinking alcohol before they ever smoked weed.  Why isn't alcohol the gateway drug?  Or coffee?  Coffee is a stimulant that puts you in an altered state of consciousness.  Why isn't coffee a gateway drug?  I bet a lot of those people in rehab trying to kick heroin started with a cup of Folgers in the morning.  I guess prohibitionists must figure that weed is the top of the slope because it's illegal, which further shows the kind of intellect we're dealing with.

4.) If marijuana were a gateway drug, and if it was as addictive as prohibitionists claim, one would expect to see a corresponding rise in the use of hard drugs along with the growing popularity of marijuana, but no such rise exists.  
While marijuana has been and remains popular, hard drugs remain significantly less so.  Most people who smoke pot DON'T go on to use hard drugs.  Statistics like these consistently show that the number of people who use hard drugs is always a FRACTION (usually a SMALL fraction) of the number of people who smoke pot.

Seriously, does anyone really buy the gateway argument anymore?