Monday, March 30, 2015

Seduction and sex as positive relationship and life skills

As Jane Langton says (below in her TEDx video), we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and we need to have fun in life and in relationships. One more thing before we get started. If you have a pet, when you walk by it at home, do you smile at it?

When you see something pleasing, do you take a moment to smile about it? Do you smile enough throughout your day? Even if you have little to smile about, if you try to find things that are lighter throughout your day, that has a lot to do with enjoying life. If you think about how often the number 23 comes up in life, once you consider that, you tend to start to notice that number. The same can be true about other things. Like beauty and humor, compassion and affection.
Chen Lizra
Okay, let's start by watching the first minute of this video from a TEDx with Chen Lizra on seduction. Watch at least the first thirty seconds. There will be a few TEDx videos shared in this blog today just for support and background, and for further (and better) explanation of the specifics of the overall topic.

But not to worry. They are are pretty short, interesting, entertaining, educational and very useful. If you don't know TED or TEDx, they are pretty awesome. TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment and Design" and the "x" is for the independently community versions of these.

"TED is a global set of conferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading". TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event; the annual conference series began in 1990." -Wikipedia

I've been surprised by two things first and foremost in this area. One is how this is abused by some in the public sphere to get ahead and that is fine, but sometimes it does get out of hand. The other is how they will use it in their public and professional lives, but not at home with the person that is their partner in life and the one most central to their life.

This goes for both men and women but I've seen it more in my life obviously (being male) with women. Once in a relationship, they seem to think it's wrong to use it on their mate. Why is that?
I suspect it is because they know how they use it in public and they may not want to bring that into the privacy of their home, for whatever reason. That it is in some way, disingenuous, questionable to use on someone close to you, or simply unfair in some way. It's not, if you have both of you in mind.

This also has to do with self image, how one views oneself.

And in America, how self conscious we are, how we associate sex with everything but then disassociate it from so much where it really should be associated. We are a curious tribe, mixed and varied as we are. We seem mostly to associate sex in negative ways (advertising, reactions to it, pornography, etc.), but is it sometimes not used in ways we may mistakenly consider it to not be positive, where we really should be using it?

We're twisted sometimes, and not in a good way. And not in ways we think, making it somewhat counter-intuitive for many.

We are at times stunted by our over Puritanical, over religious ways and, we need to get over ourselves.

Of course there are other issues, as Tracy McMillan points out in her TEDx. Tracy McMillan is a television writer (Mad Men, United States of Tara) and relationship author who wrote the book "Why You're Not Married".We need to marry, or to be in a relationship with the right person. First and foremost that person needs to be, you.

This brings us to the next issue once we are in a relationship as explored in the Sex Starved Marriage by Alisa Vitti. You can watch the video, but one of the things to consider is that sometimes you just need to have sex, even when you don't really feel like it. Remember the comment above about smiling? Similar issue.

And not just even sex. If your partner just wants to be with you but the frustration, or anger, or the bitterness keeps you from wanting to also, well....

Two things to consider here.

One is that doing is practicing doing, and not doing is practicing not doing. Our reality guides our future.

The other thing is something she mentions about those (mostly women in her therapy experience with clients) who finally do have sex when they didn't at first want to and, that once those women have had sex, usually she says that they report that they actually did in the end enjoy it after all.

This is somewhat similar in many ways to the suicidal bridge jumper who leaps from a bridge and then three quarters of the way down decides that they really do want to live after all. Or if they were stopped from jumping, years later are then so glad that they didn't kill themselves after all, even though they had badly wanted to at the time.

Sometimes we just have to do what we don't want to do, in order to realize what we really did want to do, or that we would later be glad we didn't do something irrevocable, like death.

This is also very much about achieving: losing weight, starting a new project, cleaning the house (maintaining a relationship), or whathaveyou. It is that first step that we are so unmotivated to do, that we most need at times, to do.

One of the things some women (and men) have problems with are issues with it their own bodies.

Between advertising, male oriented just about everything, and puritanism (or religious diatribes against things like healthy sex), women (and some men though that's not as much the issue), need to feel comfortable in their own skin, with their female sexuality and related body parts, as Jane Langton explains in her own TEDx video where she says masturbation is the basis for all human sexuality.

Masturbation. Especially, female masturbation, is important.

Familiarity basically is the issue. To know yourself, to know what you want, what you want your sex partner to do to you, really does help.
Alisa Vitti
In Loving your lady parts as a path to success, power & global change (yes, that is the title), by Alisa Vitti at TEDxFiDiWomen, she says there are many women who need to learn that, in order to move outward to their relationships with others.

In order to make sex what it should be for them and their partners. Life, is not just something you start out in and can expect it to be what it can be. That only happiness through luck and good decisions, knowledge and trial and error. Information certainly enhances our success rates and decreases unnecessary risks.

Then we have to consider, Is it lust or love, a TEDx by Terri Orcuch. This, is an important one in maintaining relationships. So many relationships dissolve because one is in a love relationship with someone who is in a lust relationship with them. And there are other issues about this. Is one partner seeking love through sex? Are both? Because that is only going to eventually fail.

Finally, Make Love Not Porn ( from Cindy Gallop at TEDxOxford. This relates to the premise that porn is sanitized and idealized and not real life sex. Because of that and because some people watch it and think it's real or watch it so much they expect reality to reflect that, it has become (long ago really) a consideration and with her web site, she has done something about that.
Debby Herbenick
I lied. Finally we have, Making Sex Normal, by Debby Herbenick | TEDxBloomington. Sex, is normal. We should treat it as such. We should have some ethics about it and we should treat it like a benefit and certainly not as either a weapon or something to be used lightly and without any thought about it. If you ever use sex as a tool or a weapon, use it with you and your partner both in mind and not just yourself.

What are you doing to make sex normal?

Here's the thing (summation) and it's really fairly simple. We have a wide variety of things available to us in our lives as human beings that we need to know about, to think about, to address correctly and to incorporate properly into our lives.

Live your life, enjoy your life but make it work for you, not against you. Because not infrequently, we are our own worst enemies.

And it just doesn't have to be that way.

#sex #love #seduction #relationahip #TED #TEDx

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CNN special report, Atheism: Inside the World of Non-Believers

Last night I watched the CNN special report, Atheism: Inside the World of Non-Believers.

It makes me wonder, considering what some religious people think, such as the parents who see their son as dead since he turned his back on their beliefs.

Would they rather their child come out gay, or atheist?
Murderer or atheist?
Convert to an opposing religion, or atheist?
At what point does it all not make any sense any longer to them?

There were a few important things missed in the report but we should recognize however that people may have addressed some of those points, but between the editor and the producers, those points may not have made it into the final product.

"In God we trust" was only added recently to money and pledges and such. This is not news, only to theists and politicians who don't want to admit it. It's a huge point they failed to make, however. But they may have been theists who produced the show, in which case I'd say, good job overall, really. Because it could have been a travesty. Instead, it was actually not too bad, considering. 

I'm sure that it inflamed and hopefully enlightened a few hard core theists.

I don't have a problem with people having "church" format atheist gatherings or meetings without god. Some people just need that community thing and it may be good actually. It does however taste slightly like vegetarians who like faux turkey, which makes little sense to me in some ways and yet, perfect sense to those who indulge. 

Whatever it takes I guess to not eat meat, or avoid true religion.

Obversely, it's like atheists who play at religion without involving god in it. Baby steps, perhaps.

I have always had trouble with hard core atheists, the militant ones but then those who come out and deal with the backlash against them and their beliefs, perhaps, have to be that way, as original hard core feminists were in the early days of that movement. 

I see no need for it now however, as it only serves to alienate theists even more than they already are and can be counterproductive, as I've argued in the past about the FemiNazis types, including even those who might wish to ditch their theism.

It was an interesting show and pleasing to hear now about those 500 religious leaders (and growing) in religion who have a support group in actually being non-believers (baby steps again) but remaining leaders in their churches. Amazing. 

The reporter in the show says that atheists could be uncomfortable learning about religion or studying it. When in reality I've generally known more about religion than 99% of the theists I've come into contact with and I've seen and heard the same from other atheists.

On that note of calling oneself an atheist. I usually don't because as they indicate in the show, there is so much baggage associated with it. But that's not the reason I don't call myself one. As I see it, we evolved from lower forms of life as science has shown us and religion has not. In the beginning there was no god or religion, that came after we had brains the size that were able to handle the concept of magical thinking, and it explained things to us we did not understand.

Religion has been a placeholder, merely waiting for science to arrive on the scene to take over. Just as children need fairy tales to help them understand concepts before they are sophisticated enough to understand the larger concepts of good and evil. In that vein, I see religion as coming second and therefore I'm not an "atheist" as someone against something that was there first, but in reality religion came second and therefore is against "atheism" if you see what I'm saying.

So the correct term for "theist" should actually be, in our current lexicon, "a-atheist", as one who is against atheism. More accurately, the term for theists should be, "anti-atheist" since first there was no god (no belief in god if you prefer though it is somewhat disingenuous) and then only later did we develop beyond belief in demons, dangers and spirits in the dark, evolving THEM into a set of rules and therefore religion, and so you have theism. 
Hindus worshiping monkey god
So called, "atheists" came first people, so sorry to disenfranchise you of your long held belief that first there was god. First, there was not god, in reality. When we were just monkeys, sitting in a tree at night, staring fearful into the dark that we knew could reach out any second and snatch us and eat us, we evolved theism. Later it simply came from that. 
Aberration of multiple sets of nipples, why?
Generations and generations of having seen our loved ones who fell off a tree at night and were snatched away by an evil demon (a tiger, or lion or jackal or whathaveyou which we couldn't see) and therefore because evil. Why else do you think some people are born with tails, or multiple sets of nipples? We were once as a species, not as we are now, because of, evolution.

Not to mention how come so many of the stories in holy texts are also seen in previous civilizations predating Rome, or Egypt even?

Our forms of thinking and beliefs also evolved. 

So actually you see (hang on), god came second. The devil (satan, old scratch, whatever you want to call him), actually came first. The good magic came as a way to buffer our fears and counter our demons. From that we started to build rules, and from that we got various sects divided by geographical structures (mountains, bodies of water, etc.). 

The thing is, we are now grown up enough we don't need a crutch like religion. Or, we shouldn't. Though as much as religion is about in the world, obviously we need something. So having "church" without god, is a good direction to go. Though it scares the hell out of people. Because this is so deep seated within us.

It always cracks me up to hear a theist say, but if you're dying in a fox hole, etc., etc., when it just shows how clueless they really are and how much they don't get it. Atheists don't turn to god when dying in a fox hole, agnostics do. Atheists don't because they know there is nothing there. Does it make you feel good? Possibly, but you know in your heart it's a wasted thing and merely something that comes up out of your from your early childhood upbringing.

The fundamental fear of god built into us from childhood and through thousands of generations, if deeply seated, but it's not proof of anything, other than inherited mysticism and beliefs in magical thinking coming from our darker, less enlightened times.

The fact that atheists are the outliers in society (in America) means they are a temperature gauge for the maturity of our race and our nation. 

It's definitely gotten better since I was a kid, but there's still a long way to go. Religion, believe it or not, is on the way out and good riddance to it. It was helpful, but like a bad relationship lasting far beyond it's shelf life, it's exceeded the need to exist other than as an oddity or a way for us to evolve it yet again into what makes the most sense at this stage in our development as a species.

Yes, yes religion has done good, but good that can be done without it. That is always the cry of theists. "Look at all the good religion does." Yes, but how about we do it without religion? Why is that so impossible when it is regularly done all around the world and people just choose to ignore that reality.

Yes bad is also done in the name of no god, but far, far, more bad actually is done in the name of God. Remember the Crusades, ISIS? And don't get all squirmy about ISIS, no it's not Islam doing it, but yes, it is their excuse for it all. What if that didn't exist? Would there initially have been such reticence at removing them sooner?
Not god, religion, people's fears and beliefs
Again, remember all the wars, torture, and abuse done in the name of god. Where both sides thought "god" was on their side and they were on the just and right side of things. What were those things? Ideals, really. Just, ideals. Philosophy with magical beings sprinkled among them.  

When you remove all that, what is left? Bigotry? Elitism? Control? Power? Abuse? Time to let your childhood go and look forward to the scary realm of adulthood as a race of beings who are finally ready to take their place among the adults.

Again, here is a way to see this show now... CNN Special on Atheism

And I'll just drop this here... The Spread of Disbelief in the Arab World.
Who saw that one coming, right?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spatial Disorientation and Cognitive Dissonance

There are things in life where we are convinced we are right about them. We divine the reasons for them as 100% correct in how we view them. And yet, we are completely wrong.

There are various theories about these things. But the one I'm referring to is an odd one. It happens to airplane pilots from time to time and pilots are taught to trust their instruments. It's called Spatial Disorientation.

I'm not really talking about Cognitive Dissonance: the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. - Wikipedia which also says:
"Individuals can adjust their attitudes or actions in various ways. Adjustments result in one of three relationships between two cognitions or between a cognition and a behavior.
Consonant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are consistent with one another (e.g., not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then ordering water instead of alcohol)
Irrelevant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are unrelated to one another (e.g., not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then tying your shoes)
Dissonant relationship – Two cognitions/actions that are inconsistent with one another (e.g., not wanting to get intoxicated while out, then consuming six tequila shots)."
There is also a consideration of the magnitude of the dissonance but I'm talking about having no idea about any dissonance but rather an outside force indicating one that simply makes no sense to us.

When you find that you seem to be diametrically opposed to what makes sense, when you see you are going against the stream, against the norm, against all others, which makes more sense? That you are an amazing genius, that you are a maverick, going against the stream of sheep all headed in the direction the herd is taking them? Or that you have somehow gotten waylaid, turned about and are even upside down as can happen to pilots in flight.

If you fly a plane through a cloud layer just right, it is impossible to tell you are upside down. The glass of water next to you is still apparently upside right in relation to the cockpit, your sense of inner ear balance tells you all is normal, your weight appears to be just as it should. And yet, your indicator on the control panel says, you are upside down. It's impossible, right?

However there can be reasons for all appearing normal and how you got there. Distractions and make you miss important clues and signs that you are flipping over. As you flip over (or as in life, around), you unconsciously compensate on the flight controls, pulling up in the cockpit and sideways and then upside down, maintaining correct g forces so that once you pay attention and see your horizon indicator is off, you adjust and now all is well.

Except that now you are 180 degrees from your normal. You are now, upside down. Or as in life, 180 degrees from your starting point and now facing backwards, or taking on a position that is directly opposed to the position you think you are taking. Night is day, right is wrong, good, is now bad.

All you can do it constantly check your position. Keep your ego in check. Pay attention to the controls and indicators you have available to you. Trust something, outside of yourself. Yes, you have sometimes to trust only yourself, but sometimes you have to trust others, or other things.

Trust that which is impervious to opinion (such as a flight control indicator). Correct your position from time to time. Be sure of your reasoning and be sure it is not ego in the way of your seeing clearly what is actually happening to you and therefore, possibly those around you because of your orientation.

How many Nazis after WWII in reflection, in hindsight, in viewing their previous actions in the light of the commentary of the entire world, finally saw the folly of their previous beliefs. But then it was too late and then even they knew they deserved what was about to come down on their heads, even though they would strive to escape it because in the end, they didn't want anything even remotely near to what they did to others, to happen to them. .

Be absolutely sure in life that you truly are facing forward, that you are upside right and not 180 degrees from the position you merely believe you are facing as you are pulling your plane upward directly into the ground below you.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Nuclear Energy - Thorium as a 'future fuel'

This situation reminds me of the Beta vs VHS situation. One got held up until the other, not as good of a choice, simply took over. In the case of Beta, it was Sony's greed and as the court case dragged on VHS simply took over the entire market.

In the case of Thorium, the Government's penchant for words in how a technology was presented, and not understanding the technology, were perhaps what killed it during a period in our history when the sound of something could outweigh its viability. Kind of like now with a certain partisan cohort in the US Congress.

Full disclosure, I actually bought stock in Thorium energy companies a couple of years back. So I'm not pushing this now as something to make me money but to share what I thought was a good idea back then and still do.

I'm not going to argue or present much of anything here other than to present this video (see below). It is two hours long on YouTube, but it contains a lot of information worthy of hearing. The important thing to note is life as usual has got to stop. We need a change. This may very well be a possible, if even temporary solution, but one better than carbon based ones like coal which has really got to go ASAP as well as petrochemical.

I would suggest those petrochemical companies also need to go considering in some (many) cases their historical and ongoing crimes around the world against humanity.

One naysayer below the video in the comments section says Thorium only has supplies for forty years, four times that of carbon based fuels. And? Still sounds good to me. After all, don't we need that buffer to come up with even newer technologies? And we don't need to continue the insanity with the current ancient ones.

Here is the video, a little clunky, but worth sitting through: You be the judge.

Thorium backed as a 'future fuel' - Published on Nov 19, 2014

"Some believe thorium is key to developing a new generation of cleaner, safer nuclear power.[2] According to an opinion piece (not peer-reviewed) by a group of scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, considering its overall potential, thorium-based power "can mean a 1000+ year solution or a quality low-carbon bridge to truly sustainable energy sources solving a huge portion of mankind’s negative environmental impact."[3]

"After studying the feasibility of using thorium, nuclear scientists Ralph W. Moir and Edward Teller suggested that thorium nuclear research should be restarted after a three-decade shutdown and that a small prototype plant should be built.[4][5][6] Research and development of thorium-based nuclear reactors, primarily the liquid fluoride thorium reactor, (LFTR), MSR design, has been or is now being done in India, China, Norway, U.S., Israel and Russia."

One of the points in this video is that China has already come over here for information and is already building one of these Thorium based nuclear power stations. Do we really need to buy our energy from China in the future via the technology to build these plants when we originally discovered and and foolishly disregarded it, actually killed it ourselves back in 1972 if not even sooner in many ways?

We need to start looking to the future (or perhaps in this case, the past)....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Are we destined to fall in love with our robots?

If we could look into the near future, would we see some people who normally would perhaps be single, instead living in a love relationship with human created non-human, basically in love with a personal robot?
From Svedka Vodka ad
We see the elements now a days that if put together, indicate one thing. That we will one day in the not to distant future be seeing those who are in love with their personal robots and it doesn't even need to be a fully anthropomorphized bot, but simply a digitized personal assistant on one's phone as exemplified in the film, "Her".

As many reading this may know, a few years ago I published a short sci fi story myself about just that issue. By the way, feel free to download and read a free copy. It's titled, "Simon's Beautiful Thought" (if you would prefer to pay for a 99 cent copy, it's also available on Amazon and thanks for the support in downloading either copy). There's also a video trailer for it if you like.

My story came out a couple of years before Spike Jonze and Joaquin Phoenix's film, "Her". I should say here that although my story came out a couple of years previous, the film was in the works for over ten years. Although I had never heard about the "Her" project until I saw the film's promos, I just felt the Zeitgeist that it was time for this story to be written. Most likely again really, as I'm sure someone sometime previously had already written one like it; but it's all about the timing. 

I've done well on that issue if I do say so, predicting, writing and releasing stories prior to more famous versions coming out in novels or film. Another example of that might be between my short story first published on the online hard sci fi magazine,, titled, "Expedition of the Arcturus" (also now in ebook and audiobook formats and yes, here's the video trailer). It wasn't long after that the film, "Interstellar" started to be talked about, in production and eventually start to be promoted and finally released.

In my story entire families are sent to a planet in Earth's first generational space ship in order to save humankind whereas in "Interstellar", a team is sent to explore a similar need, but they have more time than Earth does in my story. Two very different stories based in the same need and offering questions if not answers to specific issues.

We need to examine these things ahead of time, to think about them before it's too late to do anything about it. That's where things like science and speculative fiction and Futurism come into play. And speaking about that, allow me to inject here an article titled: "20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know". It's good to at least be aware of these things and at most, it's a fascinating field to get involved in.

One of those things we should be aware of and explore are the proposed Laws of Robotics. A set of very useful things to have as protection against some very bad things possibly happening. It doesn't take a lot of foresight to see how robots or AIs and humans will have very close relationships. 

Ones that may very well easily transition into situations where there is little difference in the experience between "normal" interhuman relationships and inhuman or transhuman ones. So we really do need to consider various elements in the topic. Basically, how robots will relate to us, how we will relate to robots and, how we will relate to one another and treat one another. Treatment of robots is another topic that was first explored in "I, Robot" by Asimov.

I see these relationships as going one of two ways. Mostly people will get along with their "tool" and that will be the end of it. But for some, the love interest will grow and seem to be rewarding and useful, or it will become dark and destructive. I think the orientation in my story was a bit more realistic considering what these assistants will be designed for and then the film, "Her" took the other more popular \ entertaining (salacious?) if not more sensationalist view. 

Science fiction and speculative fiction should tell a good story, but they should also point out realistic possibilities to give us a good view into the future so that we can be more prepared for what is to come. Much of science fiction has turned dark to show us the negative effects of technology on humanity, but it's not realistically all going to be dark. Dark is just more fun and offers more of a roller coaster ride experience in entertainment.

Some examples of this are the following. The excellent 1979 film, "Alien" which was a reaction in a way to the 1977 more positive film, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Alien scared the hell out of many people. The reaction to that film was another Stephen Spielberg film in 1982, "ET The Extraterrestrial" which had a far more positive effect. There was also of course Start Trek and Star Wars but those dealt more really with overall societal issues, such as war and galactic federations.

We have heard much of late from famous and great thinkers about Artificial Intelligence and the dangers it poses if we do not pay attention now, first and foremost to some very necessary things. To follow on that progression by the way, we have the first of the "The Terminator" film franchise that started in 1984, an iconic year (considering the George Orwell book of the same name) and was itself a reaction against the ET and for that matter.

Terminator and its SkyNet were prime examples of the worst that could come from AI if it is allowed to run unabated. 1970's, "Colossus The Forbin Project" was a much earlier example of this with its echoes back to Kubrick's 1968 film based on Arthur C. Clark's short story "The Sentinel" and titled, "2001: A Space Odyssey" with its demented and destructive HAL 9000 computer AI.
SPOILER, it wasn't HAL's fault but politicians in Washington DC as uncovered in the 1984 film, "2010" based on another 1982 Clark book, "2010: Odyssey Two".

Some of those who have raised the question of control and protections for humanity regarding digital autonomous beings are none other than Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk, both very concerned about the power that AIs might end up with and a very real need for us to control them before we give them too much control over us or too much autonomy. 

Controls as in the "Three Laws of Robotics", Isaac Asimov first came up with believe it or not in his 1942 short story "Runaround". Laws he published in science fiction and which have since been updated and will continue to be made better or at very least, he had set the standard and the basis to indicate that we would indeed need such laws built into robots and AI's.

By the way, while we're talking about all this: 
"The first use of the word Robot was in Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) (written in 1920)". Writer Karel Čapek was born in Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic) and I read his play many years ago.

Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics":
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
He later introduced a fourth or zeroth law that outranked the others:
  • 0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
This is further explored in the article, "Do we need Asimov's Laws?" The reader's comments below that article are also interesting and one offers a counter argument to the usefulness of the laws in, "Why Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics Can't Protect Us."

Well that's all very interesting and these are things we need to consider, but let's get back to the point of this article....

As I saw in the film "Her", the AI didn't follow the laws to a logical conclusion (for me), whereas in my story, "Simon's Beautiful Thought", they were. Is my story better? That's for the readers to decide and my tale was merely a short story, but in my view, they are in some ways equal. Both give the readers or viewers a good projection into two very different and possible futures. 

I read a short sci fi story when I was younger about a guy on another planet who was a top robot field handler. He could handle up to the considered limit of nine which very few could do. If I remember correctly these were like clones with attached appliances so that someone could wear an appliance himself and thereby control the cybernauts in the field to do manual labor too grudging for humans to do. 

Being that kind of a wild west mining planet, they had towns with bars and brothels to service the labor managers and handlers. Our hero falls in love with a prostitute and decides to run off with her. But at the end he discovers there is a control appliance under the bed where he meets his "lover", much like the one he uses to control his clones and he realizes in horror that this whole time he had been in love basically, with himself. He was the one guiding the clone "prostitute" to pleasure him as he needed and desired.

So not only was it a fake "hooker\john" relationship, it had no bearing in the realm of "relationships" whatsoever. Except to himself. Is that what we really want? It may even in some ways for some sound desirable, but unless you have a personality problem, I don't think that is actually the case.

For some more background on the topic there is a Huffington Post article on the robot paramour paradigm:

Also for a quick survey of sci fi and our obsession with sex and robotics:

While many of us will not "fall in love" with our digitized assistants, there will most definitely be those who will fall fast in love with their non human entity or entities (as some will have multiples). The near future is going to be an odd place indeed.

Considering people now fall in love with things like toasters and electrical appliances residing on the street, some are now falling in love with their RealDolls (life sized sex dolls appropriately weighted and articulated) with no animation at all to them. They cost around $7,000 and some people have more than one of them. These types of objectivists will most certainly become bonded to their purchased non-human "toys" that may be either inanimate, animated, interactive or eventually, both.

Consider thisMashable reports:

"With the press of a button, Barbie’s embedded microphone turns on and records the voice of the child playing with her. The recordings are then uploaded to a cloud server, where voice detection technology helps the doll make sense of the data. The result? An inquisitive Barbie who remembers your dog’s name and brings up your favorite hobbies in your next chitchat."

Is it a matter of time then that those who would now be against gay marriage will one day welcome the old days of when that was their only concern? Will they have to consider those who want to marry their dolls, or their AI or full cybernaut manufactured device?

My concern with all this isn't that people have a diverse array of things they can explore. More power to them in that; mostly. We have after all only scratched the surface of what it means to be human.

Humankind is a mere adolescent in it's development and there is much, much more to come. Not the least of which is our own physical and mental development. Once we have AIs freely available they will alter and further develop us in ways we can now only imagine, just by their mere existence and our interacting with them a on regular and long term basis.

But we have to imagine it all now, before it's too late.

My concern in all this isn't so much that people might fall in love with autonomous individuals, even if digitally created. We do that now with naturally organically created individuals in relationships.

My concern is in how people might fall in love with themselves, at least in the beginning, before robots become sophisticated enough to have their own mental / personality kernels with their own ID\Ego|Superego if you will to use an old Freudian paradigm.

At that point, it will be no different than a real human relationship.

However before that point, when AIs as they are now are mostly a reflection of who we are, for us to have a period in time where we are basically falling for ourselves, like falling in love with your reflection in a mirror, during that period in robotics development what might that do to humanity as a whole? Will it alter and develop us in a new direction where we are beings narcissistically involved only with ourselves? And if that were to become widespread, where would that leave humanity as a whole?

I see that as a far greater threat to humanity and our overall development, than I do an AI taking over the world as in SkyNet in the Terminator film franchise, taking over the world. That might be a better ending for humanity that for us to turn into the narcissistic mental midgets that we are seeing in the media now a days all around us. "Selfies" are rampant, entertainment news media is all about those who it is "all about". 

We have in point of fact, become enamoured with ourselves. For more on this see: "Psychogenic Photopenia-A New Disorder?"

If given the ability to further develop in that direction, how many may choose perceived perfection in a relationship over that of the more problematic and rich ones we receive from our fallible human beings in one to another?

There are many and varied, new and novel things in our future and I look forward to them all. To explore them, to consider and become involved in many of them. Still, we do need to consider looking before we leap as a species and consider well, our new paths before us.

And now, this....
Rise of artificial intelligence is changing attitudes on robot romance

And, this....

The Washington Post | Love in the time of bots

April 9, 2015
Source: The Washington Post — March 17, 2015 | Dominic Basulto
Artificial intelligence thought leader Ray Kurzweil has suggested that a real life human & AI romance might be possible in as little as 15 years.
In his review of the 2013 Spike Jonze film Her, Kurzweil said he expected similar types of advances by the year 2029, “Samantha herself I would place at 2029, when the leap to human level AI would be reasonably believable.”
Kurzweil says your romantic partner might not need a physical body, as long as there’s a “virtual visual presence.” Kurzweil sees this happening via virtual reality experience.
“With emerging eye mounted displays that project images onto the wearer’s retinas and also look out at the world,” he said, “we will soon be able to do exactly that. When we send nanobots into the brain — a circa 2030s scenario by my timeline — we will be able to do this with all senses, and intercept other people’s emotional responses.” [...]

Monday, March 9, 2015

Innovation Requires Being Innovative

We need innovation. The usual way of doing business is killing us. We need more quality in life, more time to ourselves. One example is the less than five, or six day work week, the less than ten or eight hour day. Here is an example from Salon magazine that I've been calling for going on decades now: 5 Reasons it's time for a Four Day Work Week.And no, not ten our days but four day work weeks and six hour days. One mentioned in this article was calling for three day work weeks but hey, I'm reasonable.

What's holding America back from advancing into the future with innovation and progressive forethought? According to (myself and) Robert Reich, corporations (big surprise, right?). Even Henry Ford believed he needed to pay his workers enough to afford the products they were producing. Corporations today are pushing to squeeze every last dollar in a counter-intuitive effort to simply take every last dollar.

As if one day soon, there will simply be no more money. And there won't, if they keep taking it all for themselves and their shareholders.

Diana Kander at a TEDxKC titled, Our approach to innovation is dead wrong, talks about her experiences in martial arts. I had my own experiences through the martial arts. When I was a kid taking Isshinryu Karate, we fought in tournaments and we kept losing. Why? Because we were trained to kill quickly in our style.

Budokan was a local style around the Pacific Northwest that was consistently beating us in tournaments. It's Karate Ka strutted around like they had the better martial art, when we knew we were the better style. So why did they hold that position?

It was because they could beat is in a controlled environment, and that their style was perfect for tournament style fighting. But on the street, in a life and death situation, I would give it to us.

This situation simmered for some time until a Tacoma tournament...

During the finals, the main event was between our heavyweight fighter and theirs. The fight happened, it was a good fight, then finally our guy had had it and pulled out all stops. There guy ended up going to the hospital.

Finally we had proven that if we were pushed, we could clean the mats with these guys. There was no more question, no more strutting around town and no more claims of their being better. But to be fair, the black belts all started saying it was not something that should have ever started up in the first place and they felt bad about what had happened.

Especially our black belt who had won that fight. He had let it get to him too. It had been a brutal fight.

I remember being one of the last people at the tournament, after the finals night was over. The field house was almost empty, they were starting to turn off lights, two of the other style's black belts were walking the loser from the main event out, between the two of them as he couldn't walk out well on his own. He was hunched over a bit and walked slowly from the three rapid fire punches he had received in the chest and that had ended the fight.

We see similar things in schools where we are trained not for real life but a specialized view of real life. Then when we sometimes fight back, we feel bad about it. If we had been trained for the real world in the first place, we have to hold back because we can't do otherwise in a controlled environment.

Life usually doesn't set us up for it properly. Life is usually different than what you expect when it happens to you. So we need to be versatile, creative, ingenious and compassionate in all the right places and against all odds.

It's not that easy and much of the burden is laid upon us when it could have been corrected by those whose charge we had been placed in, in the first place. One of the things that could help us along our way is actively enhancing the quality of life for everyone and not just the rich elite few and those at the top of corporations and... nations.

By this point in human development and history we should be turning our thoughts to increasing luxury time wherever possible for recreation, the arts and sciences. We are wasting so much human endeavors on corporations when we need to be expending it on humanity.

The more luxury personal time people have the more people will turn to innovation, rather than spending all our time decompressing from work, work, work always worried about money and working. Part of the reason we don't have money, don't have enough personal time, is how we have been pushed down as a race of beings (at least in the so called first and second world countries) to where we have to work more and more for less and less for the fewer and fewer in control of all of us.

Guesswork, guts, instinct, all these things we need to cultivate before we need them, along with the teaching and training we receive, whether we want it or not in the course of our growing up and throughout our lives. We need the time to expand on these things and we can't do it if we are always working and always under duress from work, bills and lack of personal space and time.

When we do need to act in using those types of things, we need not to go into shock, but to act. To act appropriately for whatever the situation is which will most likely not be what we were trained for. But instead we have too little time to do anything but stew in our own juices, to stress, to see only the crest of the next hill and not over it into the next valley.

So be ready. Be ready for what will actually happen, and not necessarily what you were trained to expect to have happen. And strive to push those in charge to give us more and not trick us into thanking them for giving us less and less.

And best of luck.

Monday, March 2, 2015

American Ideals: Tobacco companies, Congress, Robotics and a thing called Ethics

I love his show and John Oliver is doing a great job on "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver", poking fun at idiot South American leaders who are poking back, and at Tobacco companies, the scourge of our world.

Now all that being said, a word about Tobacco companies, American corporations in general and the state of the world. You see, America isn't the only country being abused. A quick word about Russia who has been absconded with by an ex KGB thug in Putin.

Putin, in trying to support the Russian people's ideals as he sees them, is failing to be a true leader who could lead his proud nation into the future. He has twisted things about so that he seems like a good thing for many, but is only a good thing for the elite few and is bringing down the disdain of an entire planet on his people.

There are many being misled world wide. The Russian people. The American people, Many of the Muslim community being charmed into absolute absurdity by ISIL.

We can thank those responsible for many of the world's problems today in various entities mimicking the Tobacco industry debacle over past decades for so much of the nonsense that is now happening all though our lives, in our American Congress and among our citizenry.

Tobacco years ago was having an image issue. They were selling an addictive drug in a form that literally killed hundreds of thousands of people world wide. How does one get over that kind of brand suicide? You confuse the issue, distract, redirect and more importantly, misdirect. Twist reality to the point that Satan smiles upon you.

Also note that many of these tactics were old KGB tactics of disinformation, and there's your American patriotism for you. Years of watching the KGB by Britain's MI6 taught them a great deal about how to alter reality to their desires and agendas.

The American CIA learned from MI6, the Tobacco industry learned from them, as did others. Because what happens in prisons, in the military, in the clandestine services, eventually always trickles down into civilian organisations, companies and lives.

And that's what the people did who the tobacco industry hired to fix their image and therefore their profits and so for many years, fixed their bottom lines. When it failed in America, they moved to other countries, now killing many overseas at younger and younger ages.

No matter anymore that their products kill people. Right? Because all that is important, is what the profit making entity does to preserve themselves their profits, their power. As was with them, so it is with others, even those who hold the public interest as their charter, even though they could really care less.

There is actually more to all this, an even darker side, as recently pointed out in a Salon magazine article, "Republicans’ deadly political strategy: Ruining our country hurts the Democratic Party".

Nothing seems to matter for Republicans in viewing their actions of twisting elections, facts, gerrymandering, etc., except Republicans. Their remaining is power is far more important to them than doing the right thing for America.

If it could be proved to them that Democrats (or any other party) were a better thing for America and that they were damaging our country, they would still fight to remain in power being the zombie party that they have become.

That alone is reason to kill off the GOP if you ask me. Grand Old Party, my backside. They have become a party to sit on and not look up to.

Years ago some moron decided that corporations are people. Laws were passed to protect the stock holders over that of the citizenry. Stock holders, are therefore more important than the people who are being sold products and services to.

Think about that for a moment.

Who would make such laws? On the surface it sounds wise, that a for profit company who is there to make profit, should make profits their business.

But at what cost? And to whom? If corporations are anything, they are robotic or cybernetic, not human. They are an extension of humanity not a part of it.

At what point does a company stop and say, "Wait, are we stepping over the line?" But now they just have to respond, "Naw, we just have to make profits and we are considered a person too even though we are a corporation and so our only goal is to make our stock holders more rich, within the structure of the laws we can circumvent." Great, lucky us.

I would like to make a suggestion....

Issac Asimov many years ago came up with the three basic rules for robotics in order to protect humankind. They have since been refined by others, but I would like to suggest we use that now for corporations. Just as a place to start.

If an American company sells a product in America, or MORE especially, if it exports it or sells that product (made in America or in the local country), then it also has a moral, ethical and legal requirement to follow certain rules and these rules can start with and then be honed to be more appropriate, from these following self evident laws:

1) A robot (that is, a corporation) may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2) A robot (yes, yes, a corporation, you're getting it now) must obey the orders given it by human beings (now this is here actually referring to the ideal of humanity and not just its leaders), except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3) A corporation (originally a robot) must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

And in that last one lay the problem most of the time lately. Corporations will do anything to maintain their bottom line and existence and in some cases, a corporation should be allowed to die. To say that the bottom line is existence and profit at any cost, is to beg for horrors to happen, sooner or later, here or there, in sight or behind closed doors or in foreign and poor countries.

It is something to consider, to act on, to make an America ideal.

It is a concept, an entity that could be respected around the world, and not too far in the distant future, in the off world(s), when and as that will become a thing.

We need to stop being fools (including myself) in not paying any of this any attention. We also need to consider that this may very well already be "a thing". A thing we need to address now before we are already in off world endeavors as it's approaching fast and once established, it may be too late to do anything about it.

We need to act on all this before it's too late. If it's not too late already.

I'm not the only one feeling like this, John Oliver has his own take on the infrastructure side of things as also mentioned in this Salon article..It's really all about the same things though.