Monthly archive for October2014 - page 3

Finally…someone has the guts to say it

Finally…someone has the guts to say it

Seems appropriate with election day just around the corner:

People, young or old, who don’t know the issues, budget battles, or the current state of regulations and policy should NOT vote. Ever. I don’t care what Rock the Vote or anyone else says. It’s not your “civic duty” to be a dipshit voter. Stay home if you don’t know what the hell you’re voting for.

Now don’t get too excited, it’s just a random person on facebook saying it.  Still, I applaud.

Hat tip: Althouse

Some Sunday Smiles

Some Sunday Smiles

black cat dance



Hello.  I don’t usually post on Sundays, but since I’ve got a few minutes I’ll post some stuff I stole outright from Ace of Spades which was probably stolen from somewhere else.  Did I say stolen?  I meant “re-gifted”.  Yeah.  That’s right.

This is pretty self-explanatory.  Mis-heard song lyrics:

I’m guilty of a few of those.  Here’s one about people from somewhere else who talk funny.  They don’t talk good like us.

Utterly refreshing.  You know what they don’t have in Britain?  Cat videos, that’s what.

Domo Arigato!  猫のビデオはエンターテイメントの最高の形である !

OK!  Gotta go!  Have a great day!

Music Friday – in the news edition

Music Friday – in the news edition

There were a couple things in the news this week.  Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders died this week at the age of 76.  Paul Revere was the band’s keyboard player, not the frontman/vocalist.  That was (is) Mark Lindsay who is still alive.  Here is one of my favorite P.R. & The Raiders songs:

The nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this year were announced.  Among them is Sting, so here is a song from him:

What the hell.  Here’s a bonus song from when he was a Policeman:

So there you go.  No film at 11.

Music Friday – All Talk edition

Music Friday – All Talk edition

Yep – all talk and no action.  Actually, no talk either.  Just “talking”.


Whadda you talking about?

Talking about communicating…

Talking about communicating…

Since my last post talked about communicating, let me communicate for a minute about talking.

Actually my last post didn’t talk.  I wrote – you read.  Now this post will communicate – I’ll write, you read.  About talking.  Well, about language.  See?  We’re communicating!

I’ll try to make this quick – I read a couple articles about language  – more preceisley about the evolution of language.  The first article was about something called “ultraconserved words” which, as near as I can tell, are words that are so fundamental to language that they change little enough over time that using a list of ultraconserved words a modern person could communicate with a person speaking a dialect 15,000 years old.  In other words, if I went back 15,000 years in my time machine I could communicate with English speakers of that era.  The second article was a critique of the first article challenging it’s premise.  I won’t go into the details – both articles are interesting but somewhat heavy reading.  Follow the links if you want to give it a try.  I want to make a different but related point.

I don’t see how two people separated by 15,000 years of…what’s the word I want…evolution (?) could communicate effectively when people can barely communicate with each other today. So much of communication is context – perspective.  Two people separated by that much history would have no idea of the other’s perspective of the world around them.

I’m surprised when people today communicate at all.  It’s not that we don’t have the means.  And the means keep changing all the time.  How long until verbal communication becomes a thing of the past?  People have to have a common perspective – a shared context – to communicate effectvely.  So I guess what I meant to say is…hell…most of the time I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

Life in the Fast Lane….

Life in the Fast Lane….

…surely make you lose your mind.

In this instance I use the term “fast lane” to refer to an advanced high speed internet connection – a connection fifty to one hundred times faster than today’s fastest connections.  We are told in this article at Yahoo! News that not only are ultra fast broadband connections looming on the horizon, but once they do arrive they will transform the way we live by making possible new kinds of communication like telepresence and virtual reality.  At least in the opinion of “experts” in the field who responded to a poll conducted by Pew Research and Elon University.

Apparently speeds in this range are possible and are already in limted use by tech companies, though here has been some questioning as to how useful these connections really are.  But that will change when the connections become more widespread and common, because a “killer app” will emerge to take advantage of the bandwidth.  To wit:

“As gigabit bandwidth becomes widespread later this decade, applications will emerge which exploit the combination of big data, GPS location, weather, personal-health monitoring devices, industrial production, and much more,” said William Schrader, co-founder of PSINet Inc.

“Gigabit bandwidth is one of the few real ‘build it and they will come’ moments for new killer apps. The fact that no one had imagined the other killer apps prior to seeing them grow rapidly implies that no one can imagine these new ones — including me.”

This makes some sense in light of how technology evolved that we take for granted today.  No one imagined smartphone apps before smartphones (really I-phones) were invented.  Furthermore:

David Weinberger, a researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said that with these connections, “There will be full, always-on, 360-degree environmental awareness, a semantic overlay on the real world, and full-presence massive open online courses. Plus Skype won’t break up nearly as much.”

Waitwaitwaitwait…did he say full, always-on 360 degree environmental awareness?  OK, now it’s getting scary.  Not to mention:

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said the new connections means people will “play sports and music virtually, distributed, across the globe” and that some can have “virtual Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of the family.”

Well at least Skype won’t break up as much.  And virtual Thanksgiving dinners are way less likely to devolve into a foodfight/wrestling match in the front yard.  Unless teleportation is somehow involved…lemme scan this article again…no, they said “telepresence”.  No mention of teleportation.  Though the “always-on” part has me a little concerned.

When I hear experts talk about these things, I alway here them say how the technology will help bring people together.  I think it does just the opposite.  It enables people to avoid coming together and instead talk to a screen, or apparently in the future a hologram of some kind.  Certainly there would be some advantages to business, by eliminating the cost of people traveling for meetings.  I get that.  I also understand the benefit for families that can’t afford to travel being able to spend holidays together at least in some way.  But when we approach the always-on 360 degree virtual reality stage, I think we’re getting into “no need to get out of your chair for anything” territory.  Talk about your “killer app”.

Surely make me lose my mind.  What about you?  You with me so far?


Welcome to the blogosphere. Ego Vero questions answered

Welcome to the blogosphere.  Ego Vero questions answered

I’d like to first welcome any new readers, then give some background and answer some questions about the blog.

*taps the microphone*  Is this thing on?

Ego Vero is my little corner of the internet where I can transform thoughts and ideas that are rattling around inside my head into a form of reality by comitting them to writing.  Ego Vero is Latin for “I seek truth”.  I have invited you along on my journey which may take us along strange paths.  This means I may write about any of several general topics that interest me and for whatever reason occupy my thoughts.  The articles (which are called “posts”) on the home page are in chronological order – newest at the top, older below – and not sorted by category.  As you scroll down you go back in time and see every post covering every subject.  If you don’t wish to see all the categories, you can narrow things down to one category at a time.  Here’s how.  You will see these categories listed on the right hand side of the page – clicking on one of those categories will show you only the posts on that subject.  Let’s say you are an aviation buff who only wants to read my aviation posts and avoid the rest of my blather about Empiricism, robots, music and so on – click on “Aviation” and voila!  You will see only the aviation posts – still in chronological order with the newest at the top.  Same goes for any of the categories.

The category with the most posts by far is “Life”.  Just FYI

You know – Life – as in Life One and Life Two (three? four?……)

Any red text you see within a post contains a link to additional information – an article I used for reference, perhaps another related post I wrote, or a wikipedia link, etc.  Clink on the red text and the link should open in a new tab.

My goal first and foremost is to get these ideas out of my head!  Read the “About” page for more background.  But I invite you, dear reader, in the hope that we may learn something together about ourselves and each other.  And that you may be at least somewhat entertained in the process.  I welcome your feedback via the comments.  To the left of each post title is a two colored box – the top half is red and indicates the date the post was created.  The bottom half is grey and says “comments”.  The number  – which is almost always zero, dammit – indicates how many comments readers have left about the post.  Click on that grey box and you can leave a comment about the post.  Please do!  Your e-mail adress will not be published, shared or used by me in any way.  And there is definitely a slim chance that I will not stalk you.

For more, read How to Read This Here Blog Thingy and For New Readers – Welcome!

So Welcome!  And enjoy.

The Robots are Coming…

The Robots are Coming…

The Robots are coming!  The Robots are coming! 

First they came for our jobs, and I said nothing because I was unemployed.  Is this how the robot revolution begins?

Perhaps my anxiety is uncalled for.  In fact as is the case with most of my anxiety, paranoia, general hysteria and impalpable ranting, I’m sure it is.  If history is our guide, then we can predict a shift in employment, but not an end to employment.  At the end of the nineteenth century, most American jobs were in agriculture.  When those jobs were taken over by machines, employment shifted to manufacturing.  Then those jobs were automated.  The employment shifted again to Tech and Services, the jobs that the ‘bots are eyeing now through their little red glowing IR sensor eyeballs…err…CMOS chips.  Is that the end of the line?  No.  Employment will shift to areas reliant on tasks that robots cannot perform – yet.  What those areas are I can’t say off the top of my head, but I’m sure they exist – or will exist.  And when the robots take over those jobs, humans will be employed in other industries possibly yet unheard of.  One hundred years ago the occupation of, say, software engineer had’t been imagined.  Today it is commonplace and often lucrative.  So I think it’s safe to say that there will be occupations that exist one hundred years from now that we cannot imagine today.

Technology is advancing at an exponential rate.  Consider that personal computers were only introduced about 30 years ago and were very expensive.  Now everyone carries a better more powerful computer around in their pocket.  One that probably didn’t cost much – it might have even been free.  When my father was my age, neither the PC nor the Smartphone had been invented.  What types of technology might there be when my sons reach my age?  I don’t know.  I literally do not know.  I only know that the trend seems to be toward artificial intelligence and robotics.  It is hard to imagine where that’s going to lead us.

robot unicorn attack

So perhaps the real question is, what (or who) is going to take over the jobs that robots are doing?  The next couple hundred years should be interesting;  let’s hope it doesn’t get weird.  OK, check that.  We know it’s gonna get weird.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t get too weird.

Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

You can’t get to heaven if you don’t read this post

You can’t get to heaven if you don’t read this post

Not really.  The post title is just “clickbait” – clickbait is a method of generating  traffic and pageviews using sensational titles that will (usually) lead to a useless B.S. article.  Or even worse, a “listicle” that you will have to click through 12 pages to see the 12 reasons that something unusual will do or provide something unbeleivable.  Or something.  Watch this video.  Or suffer eternal damnation.  Disclaimer:  No boobies, just language.

That was great craic!  Not crack, craic.  So remember when you see those “recommended articles” with titles like “The Twelve Most Cruel and Unusual Torture Devices in History” or “Fourteen Freakiest Coincidences of History” DO NOT  CLICK on them.  If you do you will destroy the internet.

Music Friday – Saturday Morning Edition

Music Friday – Saturday Morning Edition

Welcome to Music Friday on a Saturday morning.  What can I say? I just ran out of Friday.  No matter – since there are no more Saturday morning cartoons you don’t have anything better to do, right?  Thought so.

OK, so jumping off my previous post (scroll down or click here), I want to throw something different at you.  These songs are among my favorites – what does that say about me?  If you ask me, it says nothing.  But what do you imagine it says about me?  Listen to these while you ponder that.

Presented with minimal commentary.  Click on the artist’s name to follow a link to their Wikipedia page.  First up is a song from the soundtrack of a popular movie by dueling pianists Ferrante & Teicher:

Come to think of it, these are all from soundtracks.  The next offering is the first of a pair from Henry Mancini:

And finally another Henry Mancini arrangement:

So.  Any opinions?  Did my choices reveal my secret personality?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

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