Nothing in and of itself particularly bloggable today, but I did run across a few interesting tidbits on the tubes today that you might find interesting in case you missed ’em:
- I was drawn in by the spectre of New Scientist’s title, “Could the Net Become Self-Aware?” but you should also stay tuned for the rest of their 8-part series. Interesting stuff…
- Brett’s gonna come back again. Oh, yes he will. But I do think he proved last year that 2007 will gone down as his last great season.
- Tons of kids staying home from school next week in the metro-Milwaukee area, what with the bacon disease. Hey, remember when we were kids, and there would be a chicken pox outbreak, and if you hadn’t had it yet, your mom would make sure you went to school, with instructions to lick all doorknobs trade pencils all your itchy friends? Yeah, I remember that, too.
- Don’t know if they’ve changed much in Amarok 2 since I was last using it a couple months ago, but I will say this: the album shuffle seems to be doing a better job. I wonder if there’s anything else I can do to optimize the tags on my tunes..?
OK, well, I’m gonna eat some dinner and get ready for a party that Michelle and I are headed to in a couple hours. Yes, I know it’s already 8:30. The party goes until 3 AM. Seriously.
I read a post on New Scientist today that offered up six suggestions for developing robots that would be adequately submissive, docile, or otherwise non-threatening to humans. While they are all reasonable possibilities, it should be noted that:
- they admit that it’s “too late” to execute two of them
- a third (Asimov-like laws) is dismissed as good for fiction, but not practical for real life
- the remaining possibilities are not technologically feasible at this point
Of course, we all know that regardless of what we do to control the manner in which robotic intelligence develops, the robots themselves will probably have greater ideas down the road.
Just being out of commission for a day can set you back a little bit. I had 36 new articles come through my New Scientist feed this morning…
In the category of “It’s Always Something,” we have: Flatscreen TVs turn up the heat on climate, showing once again that we can ALWAYS find a way to destroy the planet. Is the Earth this fragile, or are we this big?
At this point, the celebrity (or quasi-celebrity) who I idolize the most is definitely John Hodgman. He exudes an ideal combination of hilarious and intelligent. If I could be this funny, I wouldn’t really need to worry about anything else. His second book is a great gift idea for Jason, by the way…
Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed (and I barely have), the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team has committed to showing up for at least 82 more games, and their season begins tonight. I have entered basketball seasons with no hope for the Bucks in the past, but this is the first time since I took an interest in the NBA in the late 80s that I start a season with neither hope or interest. Well, maybe that’s not 100% true– I must be at least vaguely interested, or you wouldn’t be reading these words. However, I’m not as interested in following the fortunes of the team as I am the story of their inevitable collapse. I pity the Tom Enlunds and Michael Hunts of the world, who make a living writing about this team. It can’t be a very good living…
Oh, and you may have noticed a significant uptick in the size of the ‘archives’ available on the site– my sick day was good for researching and solving the problem I’d had with importing data from the old tikiwiki blog. So if you care to relive the days when my words were much prettier, stop by 2003 or so.
That is all, carry on.
I am enjoyed this New Scientist feed, and I have to thank David Q. Schrubbe for sending me its links a number of times and getting me keyed in there…
Anyway, I read a story today about a study to investigate how knowledge about global warming effects a person’s perception of the phenomenon. The finding was that more knowledgeable Democrats were more concerned, and more knowledgeable Republicans were less concerned.
I mention it just because this echoes my experience trying to talk about the subject to a T. What I don’t understand, and what I wish some conservative die-hard could tell me is: if climate change is, as you like to believe, some sort of liberal conspiracy invented by Al Gore (much like the Internet), then… what would be the POINT of that? All these scientists doing all this research, taking all these core samples, compiling all this data– how exactly does this advance some perceived liberal agenda to trash capitalism and take away everyone’s guns?
And I realize that I might’ve mentioned this before, but no one ever came back to me with an answer.
On a completely different side note, this will likely be the last post for me until after Memorial Day. Michelle and I are headed up to Bayfield and Madeline Island for a long weekend. Hope you enjoy yours; weather’s supposed to be phenomenal in Milwaukee…
New Scientist has a post today about a robotic rabbit with actual fur:
Yohanan’s new robot, dubbed the Haptic Creature, is designed to recreate that touch-based communication between pet and owner to inject an element of emotion into human-robot interactions.
Remember those stories from the Civil War about families fighting on both sides? How much harder will it be to unplug your robot pets when they turn on you?
I just read an interesting little article about the use of “biogas” (basically natural gas harvested from rotting manure) in India. Found it via New Scientist.
Also wanted to quickly take this opportunity to mention commencement and open houses for next weekend. I didn’t just start thinking about it, but I’ve been slowly working on a post about this graduation stuff for about a month now, and it’s too late to finish it. So:
- I will be “commencing” in anticipation of a summer 2008 graduation from Oshkosh next Saturday, May 17. All are welcome.
- All are also welcome the following day, Sunday, May 18, at Jen and Joe Mundschau’s house at 6425 W Wisconsin Ave in Wauwatosa for an open house event to recognize Joe and me, both “commencing” this weekend.
I understand that is very short notice. What’re we gonna do?