8 Years Ago

I was on a metal table, with my rib cage cut open and spread by an ingenious tool resembling a Medieval torture device. People with long retracter rods held my flesh open as well, and I have those bruises to this day.  However it was successful and here I am preparing to binge watch the Netflix Marvel series again in preparation for the upcoming Defenders 1st season.

This morning I walked the dogs at the lake, and since I walk briskly some looked at me as a challenge, and they worked hard to pass me by,  but later were huffing and puffing beside the path as I went by them a half mile later. What I didn’t tell them is that if they have to work hard to pass a 62 year old quintuple bypass survivor with a pacemaker, then they should probably see a doctor. Life’s not a sprint, but rather a progressive steady journey, take it at a reasonable pace and you will do better. While I still struggle at times when I bend over and I’m getting cataracts, I’m otherwise healthy for my age.

Bending my midsection  is rough at times – hopping in the car seat can put me out of breathe, at the verge of urination, and choked up all at once. It’s just like a solar plexus punch panic attack when the spiral wiring that ties my rib cage together stimulates  my vagal nerve.

Growing old is not for wusses, and I tell my friends and anyone else who listens that in the race of life I intend to finish dead last.

Ethical Design in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

From Asimov’s laws of robotics to the present people have wrestled with the ethics of decision-making processes for AI’s. This seems urgent in this age of drones and robotics, but the greatest urgency is in the world of social media and information distillation.

The AI engines that work in drones and robots decide singular events – and when they fail responses and repair will be quick. The questions by failures to keep humans in the loop, how are decisions made in combat, or in traffic will be all answered over time after events and failures occur.

However our information aggregation and distillation AI’s work behind the scenes in murky fashion, uncontrolled by user inputs and they affect humanity’s entire direction now. It’s a scary world when whole populations become herdable or affected at once, and we don’t even understand the who, the how, or the why of these engines. This is why ethical design review is a must going forward.

Future Islands — Ran

Future Islands has a new album dropping in April, here’s the traditional pre release tune for your enjoyment:

Purchase at Itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-far-field/id1195221378

 

Senator Incitatus

Here we are four days in to the four years of Trump’s administration and on each of those days both the President and his press secretary have told multiple lies all of which are easily verified as false. What makes it worse is that they are the sort of lies a conceited paranoid twit would tell to shore up his self worth. They aren’t even substantial or meaningful, they don’t advance any real purpose other than the

Caligula and Incitatus
Caligula and Incitatus
standard outrage of the day mythic swill the extremists in the GOP live, eat, and breath everyday. Trump appears to have been born and braised in bile like this his whole lifelong, and he knows nothing better I guess. He thinks he is the Republican president, and not the American President.
Keep in mind that one of his lies was to people in the House and Senate, who definitely know he’s lying – which is kind of insulting to them when you come down to it. After all of this you can’t help but wonder how long it will be before he proposes a horse for senator.

No, Surrender … but Never Surrender.

If you are terminally cynical, aka suicidal, do not click the play button to this music video. Justin Currie wrote this after hearing the UK was entering yet another war, and it’s full of bitter cutting cynicism. If however you have the spine, the spiritual fortitude, and the plain old moxie to pull yourself out of despair, click play, wallow in it, then cry, have a beer, stand up, shake it off and Stand again.

Currie’s lyrics are masterfully written, they construct an accurate picture that portrays most of what is wrong in our times, and this poem will certainly last the ages. It’s especially fitting in these times. So listen but don’t let the bitter take you, don’t be that paranoid and hopeless one. Never surrender.

Thanks to our Veterans

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This Time it is Different

Hillary’s latest ad:

Kirk Douglas on the Road Ahead

From Kirk Douglas, now 100 years old, yet newly relevant again:

A few weeks ago we heard words spoken in Arizona that my wife, Anne, who grew up in Germany, said chilled her to the bone. They could also have been spoken in 1933:

“We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish here…[including] new screening tests for all applicants that include an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values…”

These are not the American values that we fought in World War II to protect.

Read more at Huffington Post.

Hillary Questions Trump on His Foreign Ties

Not the type you wear either…

KU, KU Med Center Reveal Preliminary Budget Cuts Required After Brownback Cut Funding This Summer

This is Governor Brownback’s legacy to the state of Kansas.

Long ago when I first arrived in Kansas I used to work for a person who was a self-designated “DINK” – Dual income, no kids. He was proud of the fact that he and his wife would enjoy life to the fullest by buying all the big boy toys, (he did,) and retire early (they did.) He didn’t just celebrate it, he reveled in it and rubbed people’s noses in it, sometimes sneering when he would hear of a new child to come for someone who worked with him. His usual comment was something like “well that’s a shame, there goes that hardbody…” This guy’s wife made a lot of money, and as a manager he made a respectable sum as well, but he kept his wife on a make up budget. If he wasn’t an outright libertarian then he was libertarian in nature.

The entire time I worked for him he had a pet peeve that you would hear about at least a couple of times per month. He would bitterly complain about having to pay for “other people’s kids to go to school.” It was an anathema to him, he would rant on and on about it while standing in a computer room surrounded by technology designed, created, and built by other people’s kids who attended public schools. He did it while driving in cars built by kids who attended public school, and he did it while driving down roads that they constructed. A few years later in life he had serious health issues and his life was saved by doctors who attended KU med. Even after that he never saw the hypocrisy of how he benefited from public schooling in Kansas while railing against it.

The University of Kansas has outlined the first half of about $3.8 million in cuts to academic and administrative programs expected this year at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Among the programs taking significant cuts in this first-round announcement are the Kansas Geological Survey, Kansas Public Radio and the Audio Reader service for the blind and visually impaired.

Officials said the first $1.3 million in cuts announced by Provost Neeli Bendapudi on Wednesday are necessary as the university tries to manage a $7 million reduction in state funding mandated by Gov. Sam Brownback this summer.

An additional $3.7 million in state funding has been cut from the KU Medical Center budget, and officials there said the budget reduction would cause significant hardship for the medical school.

More: KU, KU Med Center reveal preliminary budget cuts required after Brownback cut funding this summer