Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good to Go, Brazil News & Back to the Future, Again

Since I haven't shamed the Empire in a while.....

Not So Fast Buddy

In case you still believe you are living in the greatest democracy known to man, think about this.
Your life could be seriously complicated by something as innocuous as the no-fly list.
Check this story from We Meant Well, Peter Van Buren's informative blog; helping to shed light in a world where some would prefer none.

Imagine this: All of a sudden and for no apparent reason you are denied boarding your flight. Just think how many situations could be completely and irreparably fucked up!
Your new status can not easily be rectified because no one is allowed to know much or talk directly to DHS about this and all the while, you may not fly.
Funeral? Nope. Wedding? Sorry. Someone quite ill? Forget it, you can't go. Oh, you can drive or walk, but no, you can not fly and we can't say why you can't, you just can't.

Think this is an unlikely or exaggerated tale? Read on.
Here's a direct link to that story:

It's Just a Game

Well deserved congratulations going out to Germany on their World Cup victory.

 It was a great game.

Think of the kids would 'ya?

I wish it was just a game.

Let your conscience be your guide.
My attention has been diverted since learning how the games are opposed by many in Brazil and for a variety of reasons.

The Federation Cup held in Brazil last year was 'marred' by protests and an excellent article I posted here from ESPN gave me a glimpse of how these events just bulldoze (literally) over any interests that don't include said events.

Mafias like FIFA have practically ruined the game adding substantially to the ever escalating salaries, fees and costs of every kind that serve to generate and then channel back revenue to the organizers who then promotes on an even grander scale.

We, the fans pay dearly for this; athletes suffer, but most tragically Brasileros already on a low economic wrung are displaced, attacked and their basic necessities cruelly ignored. 

All for the game yeah?

You may not think a sporting event that nearly everyone wants to be a thing is the appropriate place to protest say, the growing income disparity of people living in a country that has a vast amount of wealth and resources.

I think there's good reason to imagine Brazil having an even larger impact on the world in the future so it makes sense the disenfranchised feel some urgency regarding their message.
The billions that have been spent building stadiums, advertising, playing host and broadcasting the games illuminates the stark contrast between the growing numbers of people in poverty and the organizers and their governments.

The Nation link comes to us via Columbia Dave.

Singularity Blues

Singularity, when machine "intelligence" surpasses that of man is the key term of a documentary about man merging with computers and it will certainly get you thinking about this.

There's a guy, Ray Kurtzweil and his book 'The Singularity is Near' (for sale), a film (for sale), loads of trailers and hype. The documentary linked here is called Transcendent Man (free).

Man and machine as one. Ahhhh, finally.

Certainly many would welcome this kind of progress and considering it merely overcoming an 'obstacle' in our long technological trajectory; overcoming our limited cognitive functions (at last).

I'm not so sure.

As a documentary it sticks mostly to Kurzweil's ideology and the whole thing has an odor of cult and a profitable cottage industry for the not-so-dumb Kurzweil. The dissenting views are sparsely inserted and compelling, but it's easy to feel that RK is on to something. Even if he does come off sounding slightly desperate to connect with his tragic father, not to mention fear of his own mortality.

This is clearly a topic that's a feedbag of thought for people who think too much.

I think a problem here is that our 'now' brains can not imagine what our future brains with future tech help will conceive.
Sure we can guess and his exponential growth theory works for some things. However since each change will change each stage of this growth, making in turn something we can't know, it throws off that neat curve to infinity.
Besides, we can use knowledge of our past to make another logical conclusion.
We are going to fuck this up too.

There's also a film coming with Johnny Depp. So there's that.

Here's the Documentary.

Peace and thanks for reading

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