Archive for May 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ZOE WILLIAMS ASKS IF ROBOTS ARE TO DO ALL THE WORK WHERE DO HUMANS FIT IN? – EVOLUTION AND THE ROLE OF ROBOTS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY ZOE WILLIAMS IN THE GUARDIAN

 

They don’t, at least in the long term.

The coming of robots is effectively the next stage of evolution.

I suspect, on any of the many worlds out there in the cosmos with life, that the ones capable of reaching or communicating with us are likely robotic. They have no interest in us.

The entire great saga of evolution seems to me to be about the emergence of intelligence, of the universe becoming self-aware.

Humans are just one long step in the great effort, and they have no more long-term future purpose than would dinosaurs.

That’s hard for us to swallow, given our huge egos.

The real difficulties will be in an interim period of maybe a century in which robots do take virtually all the work and begin reproducing and improving themselves.

Will they be hostile to us the way we were to, say, Neanderthals?

Or will they tolerate us the way we do chimpanzees?

In any event, there definitely will not be room for seven billion or so of us with all our pollution and demands and murderous stupidities.

 

Readers may enjoy:

http://chuckmanrobots.blogspot.ca/

 

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Posted May 24, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EXPERT SAYS BRITAIN HAS ONLY BECOME MORE SEGREGATED OVER LAST 15 YEARS – SUGGESTED REASONS – AMERICAN EXPERIENCE WITH VOLUNTARY SEGREGATION AFTER THE END OF FORMAL SEGREGATION

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Well if true – and that’s a big “if” because measuring such things accurately is not easy – it would not surprise me.

In much of America this is very true despite the end of all formal segregation many years ago. It has been replaced by informal or voluntary segregation.

There are many reasons for this, and people should avoid jumping immediately to saying “racism.”

First, blacks tend to be, on average, less economically successful for whatever reasons, so there are differences in worth or wealth. More well off people always live in different places than less well off.

Second, it is an easily observed fact that people of one type or another tend to show a preference for having people of their own kind as neighbors. This is just as true of blacks as it is for whites. And, of course, it explains phenomena like China Town or Korea Town or Spanish Harlem or many other such concentrations.

Three, all the stats from places as diverse as the United States, South Africa, Jamaica, and other places say that places with large concentrations of black people tend to suffer more crime. That’s not an opinion, it’s just what the stats say, millions of them.

In America, for example, cities or states or regions with high black population concentrations – Detroit, Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, and increasingly, Chicago – there is a much higher incidence of crime, especially violent crime.

In a state like Maine with few blacks, crime rates are comparable to those in Canada. That is a major reason why whites often flee to new locations as the population in an area changes noticeably. It’s called “white flight.”

White flight also happens out of parents’ concern for children in changing schools, concern both over violence and a sense of declining achievement in the schools.

These are very hard facts, but they are facts and society cannot pretend to deal with a situation unless it starts with facts.

Prejudice owing just to skin color is much less common than many people imagine. We see this in the United States, which, despite its history and despite its voluntary segregation, has twice elected a black man as president.

Posted May 24, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WRITER SAYS MICROSOFT RUINED HER DAY AND MAYBE HER LIFE WHEN IT DUMPED ITS NEW SYSTEM INTO HER COMPUTER UNASKED – THE WINDOWS 10 TALE OF UGLY CORPORATE BEHAVIOR CONTINUES – SOME REFLECTIONS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MICHELE HANSON IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Microsoft has spent its corporate lifetime ruining people’s days.

It consistently sells incomplete or faulty products, repairs them in a half-assed way as you use them, and then comes out with another faulty product.

And that’s apart from its long record of unfair competition and squeezing the little business guys.

Now, they’ve hit upon the notion of Windows as a service you keep renting – like anti-malwares – rather than a set of bits you pay for once. To really get the new money-machine rolling they decided to make the first install free and to basically dump it into people’s computers willy-nilly. There are reports on the Internet of all kinds of problems with incompatibilities and lost files.

It’s actually a pretty ugly outfit, and I always get a laugh out of Bill Gates, a man who made his money as a pretty ruthless corporate predator, putting on his Dalai Lama air while protecting control of his fortune from taxes by ladling out charity here and there, all the while keeping himself center stage, for that is precisely what American foundations were designed to do.

Seriously, you can prevent this corporate burglary in your computer by downloading something called GWX Control. A software engineer built it, and it’s free, and it really works.

You can always change your mind later, but it has given me peace of mind for many months. Windows 7, while far from perfect, is probably the best operating system they ever built. All the sharp guys tell me Windows 10 is not as stable and that it has some undesirable features, to say nothing of having been installed against your will.

This highly aggressive behavior is only intensifying in the next few months.

Posted May 24, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EGYPTIANS DISCOVER THAT THERE WAS AN EXPLOSION INVOLVED WITH EGYPTAIR 804 – SOME FURTHER EARLY OBSERVATIONS

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

There are three suggestive facts around this crash.

1) The plane flew right through the area of a joint naval exercise called Phoenix Express 2016.

2) The plane was detected by the Greek Defence Forces taking unusual evasive action like nothing involved in normal flight. Although the Egyptians already are saying this isn’t so.

3) A Greek recorded some video of a “fireball” across the sky at the time. At least to my eye it resembles a rocket trail.

The shooting down of civilian airliners by the American military has happened about half a dozen times. These events are always either completely lied about (TWA Flight 800 off the US East Coast) or presented as something other than what they were (The downing of an Iranian airliner during the Iran-Iraq War).

It should come as no surprise if this proves to be the case here. America’s ships and jets are in many locations and carry many deadly missiles. We also live in a time of extremely elevated tensions thanks to the US, so such weapons are all the more prone to being fired in error.

Of course, Egypt will never tell us the truth just as the US lied about TWA 800 and as it lies about Ukraine’s role in downing MH-17.

Already Egypt’s government is contradicting the experts at the morgue who said the bodies proved an explosion.

Posted May 24, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE GUARDIAN PRINTS AN ARTICLE ABOUT REFUGEES BY TURKEY’S MURDEROUS PRESIDENT RECEP ERDOGAN – SYRIA AND ASSAD – AMERICAN BRUTAL POLICY OF MIGHT MAKES RIGHT

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED (AND SOON REMOVED BY EDITOR) TO AN ARTICLE BY RECEP ERDOGAN IN THE GUARDIAN

 

Why do you print anything with this man’s name on it?

He may have the title President but he is a mass killer, a killer of Kurds and Syrians.

He suppresses freedom of the press throughout his own country, and he makes lunatic demands of other countries such as insisting Germany prosecute a television comedian for making fun of him.

Never mind he has refugee camps, it is mainly his fault that there are streams of Syrian refugees in the first place.

And now he is blackmailing the EU around the future of the refugees.

He has sent wave after wave of cut throats and maniacs, gathered from all over, covertly there to destroy the country.

He has sent weapons, including Sarin nerve gas taken by America from Gadhafi’s stores, and he arranged an entire system for stealing Syrian oil and selling it on the black-market to help finance all his dirty operations.

Indeed Turkish journalists who uncovered his filthy shipments are now spending five years in Turkish prison.

President or not, he is simply a bloody thug, one of the world’s worst.

The Guardian should know that, yet you give him space.

I guess it can only mean you support his goal of getting rid of Assad, a leader who in fact is far more tolerant and intelligent than Erdogan.

But the United States wants Assad gone – in part because Israel hates him and in part because he doesn’t do some things America has demanded which he views as not good for his country – so you fall into line with David Cameron in effectively telling a country’s people who their leader should be. There is no other way to interpret any support for Turkey or Saudi Arabia on this matter.

In supporting this and giving a killer space in the paper, The Guardian effectively embraces a world where only might makes right, hardly the position of a truly liberal or progressive publication.

 

 

 

Posted May 23, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EDWARD SNOWDEN SAYS A NEW NEW WHISTLEBLOWER LAW IS NEEDED – YOU WON’T GET THIS FROM OBAMA – WHAT GREAT SECRECY DOES TO A SOCIETY – WHAT IT HAS DONE TO AMERICA

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN

 

It is well known that Obama has a strong distaste for whistleblowers. The man is an ugly fanatic on secrecy.

And so too, Bloody Hillary.

________________________

 

Another reader comment: I recall Snowden saying something like courage is contagious. This is good news. I’m hoping for a pandemic.

 

I hope so too.

The real truth is that you cannot have a truly democratic state and massive secrecy at the same time.

It is a fundamental almost like the Uncertainty Principle in physics.

And America, by any reasonable reckoning, today is not a democratic country. It only has the props and staging of one. It also is not a genuinely free society.

The truth is that the massive vaults of secrecy in Washington – literally billions of documents – mostly serve two purposes, neither of which has anything to do with genuine national security.

One, they hide a great deal of embarrassment for members of the government over failures, stupidities, and even crimes.

Two, they hide the fact that government is doing things – things of great consequence – about which they have never consulted the people, let alone sought their consent.

In a country like the United States, the total of military and secret services (17 agencies, no less) have been bloated into a major portion of the economy. You simply cannot have a free society this way, which is the kind of pattern one expects in an East Germany or North Korea.

The military and security services effectively form a government within the government, an ongoing one, never elected, and answerable to almost no one. Even Presidents often are not privy to its secrets. This known to have happened with a number of Presidents, including Eisenhower and Kennedy.

And the security services have a claim, allowed to stand, that even in Congressional investigations and other authorized agency investigations, they have a right to simply lie. Richard Helms, former head of CIA, once openly made this claim.

So how can they ever be accountable? They cannot. And if they cannot, given their vast budgets and resources and privileges, it follows that you do not have a free society.

It is not just an academic argument but goes to the heart of the very nature of our society. This is only going to get worse, too, without serious change. The government of today’s America has literally arrogated to itself the right to decide life or death, or to subject to torture, and to interfere in the internal workings of countries across the planet.

_______________

 

By the way, while I salute Edward Snowden for what he has done, my heart always goes out to Chelsea Manning for unparalleled courage and ethical concern.

Posted May 22, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MH-17 FAMILIES ARE TO SUE RUSSIA AND PUTIN – CYNICAL MANIPULATION OF THE FAMILIES – WHAT WE GENUINELY KNOW ABOUT FLIGHT MH-17 CRASHING IN UKRAINE

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT

 

“Families of Flight MH17 victims attempt to sue Vladimir Putin and Russia for £165m”

Simply absurd.

All the facts that we know point to Ukraine.

But we don’t know all the facts.

And why is that?

Because America suppresses them, afraid of their effect upon world opinion of their new client state, Ukraine.

Again, America has never released either the spy-satellite images or the military radar tracks of this event that we know to a certainty it possesses.

Why?

Protecting its client.

And Holland’s sad investigation has been suppressed in exactly the same way.

It has been a shameful embarrassment of partial information and agonizingly long time spent deliberately to let the public’s memories fade.

The case should and could have been completely established in a couple of months at most, as happens with many crashes. This was not a hard one to figure out, but they have made it so.

No court worth talking about could possibly bring a verdict on this situation.

Although, one can’t rule out more pressure from dear old America to do so.

Posted May 22, 2016 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized