Artificial Intelligence (AI), Is It Something To Be Afraid Of?

Today, I got a good dose of artificial intelligence, and I am afraid. All we have been hearing of late is that AI will do this and AI will do that with the implication that humans will be no longer be needed. Don’t believe it. That might happen in a hundred years, but it is not ready today. That is why I am afraid. The AI promoters are the same ones who have been drilling man-made global warming on us for the past forty years. When I was still a productive citizen meaning I was still working I was sold on the BS that computer salesman pushed. That was in the 1980’s when the PC was still kind of young. Oh the miracles these devices would perform for us! It has been thirty-some years since then and I’m still waiting for the miracles to happen. I must admit that PC’s have gotten better and the memory required to do good stuff has grown and some of the pitches are being realized. I was also reading about AI back in the eighties. I’m glad I’m not hanging by my thumbs while waiting for that to happen.

A month ago I got the urge to sell some of the stuff I have laying around the house. I was a big fan of eBay and had well over fifty sales under my belt. It took me a long time to learn how to use the service productively. Naturally, I tried to log in under my old user name and password and failed, and failed, and failed. Nothing I did would get me into my account. In desperation I opened a new account to quit wasting time. I wasted hours trying to get on with a new secure password. Everything I tried failed. Miraculously one of the tries worked and I got on to sell.

I selected two items which I thought would be easy; a Toy train set, and a lift for transferring a person from a bed to a wheelchair. A friend sold a lift just six months ago and clued me in how to ship it. (no shipping only local pickup) Both sales blew up on me. I thought the toy train would be an easy one, and it was, except for shipping. I knew the train would require some special handling because of the size of the box. I made the mistake of holding off specifying the mode of shipment. In their infinite wisdom the AI program picked free shipping because that is what the algorithm directed it to do. I didn’t learn who the buyer was until the auction ended; the buyer is in England. Now I had to undo the damage the program did by messaging the buyer to accept shipping charges. He did. UPS quoted $760, and the post office came in at $136. I went with the post office. The buyer tipped me off that I should inform eBay of our dealings or we would both lose our sell rights. I did. This morning I checked and the buyer had deposited the amount we agreed on. The program then prompted me to save eight bucks by shipping with an eBay label. Of course being a mercenary I pushed that button. It failed. I tried and tried but it kept failing. Finally I said to myself, find a human who can help. I pushed a phone icon to speak to someone. Success, But only after my screen shows me a code. My phone rings and an automaton voice asks for the code. I pump it in and get transferred to another voice. “How may I help you” said the voice. I answered, “I need help printing a label.”

It took repeated tries and three phone calls to finally get the voice to understand something I said. The voice answered “oh shipping, I can’t help you with that please go to the shipping page.”

“Bull shit” I responded, but the voice had already hung up. I really wanted this to work for me, but eBay and its AI wizards can only respond to customers who are also automatons. “Joe” I said to myself. “put a label on the box and take the box to the post office. I did, it worked. I don’t care if eBay gives me a poor rating it won’t be as low as the rating I gave them.

The second item, the lift. This thing is five feet tall, four feet wide and five feet deep and weighs seventy-five pounds. In order to box it I would have to take it apart. I specified local pick up for a reason. You want it, come and get it. Again, I didn’t specify how I would ship it because I didn’t intend to ship it. The eBay algorithm chose USPS and tagged it with a $8.35 shipping cost. I sent the buyer who is from Louisiana an eMail specifying I would return his money because the shipping was not possible for me. He replied “I paid, ship the item.” I responded by saying that if he wanted to drive up to Illinois to pick it up I would be happy to give it to him for the low price he bid. “His response to me ” I can get a brand new one for $150 shipped to my house, fuck you.”

I replied, “I think you should buy the new one. Thanks for the message, and by the way, the drive from Louisiana to Illinois is lovely this time of the year.”

I have sworn off eBay forever, and if they insist on this path using AI to communicate with sellers and buyers there will be many more people like me who will swear off. They are only interested in major sellers, and the onesy-twosy people who made them rich are being dumped.

At my age I can’t be wasting my life learning how to use new technology that is not ready to work. I would have been much better off putting both items at the curb with a sign stating “FREE”.

In between all of this I was communicating, or at least I was trying to communicate, with PayPal. I’ll save that story for another day.

Now does it make sense that I am afraid of artificial intelligence? The whole world is headed this way.

Exactly

Alyssa knows the truth.

 

College Student: My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us

The title describes the author, Alyssa Ahlgren, who’s in grad school for her MBA.  It’s a short article but definitely worth a read.

I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought.

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”

Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I digress.

“Never saw American Prosperity”.  It’s stunning when you think of it in those terms, but the attitude that AOC voices is obvious all around us.  The US has roughly 5% of the world’s population but contributes about 25% of world GDP; global prosperity, if you will.  Producing that quarter of the world’s GDP gets us derided by those same college students for using more than 5% of the world’s energy to generate that outsize contribution!  Instead, they should be asking why the other major economic powers aren’t contributing as much.  The US has lifted more people out of abject poverty, spread more freedom and democracy, and has created more innovation in technology and medicine than any other nation in human history. When a disaster happens somewhere in the world, US citizens routinely donate more out of their own pockets than any other country’s citizens, and generally giving more than entire nations do with tax money (that is, not voluntary charity).

Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity? We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why? The answer is this, my generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don’t know what it’s like not to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.

Churchill spoke of socialism as the “Gospel of Envy” and the daily media spew reeks of that envy taken all the way to resentment.  In the US we have people living in the top 10% of incomes in the country resenting the small percentage making more than they do.  Society stratified so that everyone resents the next higher level of income, with most of those people thinking how bad they have it instead of how good.

You Say Tomayto and I Say Tomahto

The current line of stupidity being debated by our Congressional oversight committees is the difference between using two words, i.e. spy versus surveillance. Attorney General Barr spiked a firestorm by Democrats who knowingly spied on the Trump campaign. Evidently, the word spy indicates something evil, and surveillance is like watching your baby so it doesn’t fall out of the crib. The dictionary I consulted shows the word ‘surveillance’ as a synonym of the word ‘spy.’ Forgive me but it has been seventy-one years since I first learned the basics of our fine english language, and the Democratic Socialist Progressives have probably rewritten the dictionary since then.

What are differences between the two definitions? See for your self below.

spy | spī | noun (plural spies) a person who secretly collects and reports information on the activities, movements, and plans of an enemy or competitor. • a person who keeps watch on others secretly.

surveillance | sərˈvāləns | noun close observation, especially of a suspected spy or criminal: he found himself put under surveillance by military intelligence. ORIGIN early 19th century: from French, from sur- ‘over’ + veiller ‘watch’ (from Latin vigilare ‘keep watch’).

I guess surveillance implies that the person under surveillance can know it is happening, where, if someone spies on you it is more effective if you don’t know it.

Maybe it is my seventy-one year old education, but to me the two words mean the same thing.

The democrats wasted two years and over twenty million dollars of tax payer money to learn nothing, and are now determined to get their hands on the Mueller report so they can re-write it to say what they want it to say. No doubt they will read in between the lines to find clues and evidence that the Special Prosecutor left out. Because of their embarrassment over not finding that the Russians didn’t have anything to do with Hillary’s loss they are now going berserk over the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Democrats were behind the thing.

Everyone in this country knows that Hillary initiated the Russian collusion story and she used it to turn attention away from her treasonous behavior as Secretary of State. What really bothers me is people in Washington pretend not to know any of this stuff. The only way they will admit to knowing it is to investigate the matter for themselves, and we know investigating takes months and a lot of tax payer money. In the mean-time the perpetrators keep running further and further away from their crimes.

Our country is in a civil war, Left against Right, and both sides will not give in until one is a clear winner. Eventually, the war will escalate from using words, tricks, investigations, smears, dirty elections to using our Second Amendment rights to bear arms and to put the whole shebang out of its misery.

I’m ready, are you?

I Finally Finished


In my old age I should know better than to struggle for twelve weeks to finish reading a book. My time on earth is rapidly diminishing and reading useless literature is not what I want to be known for. The book that almost broke my back is Alan Turing: The Enigma. I love the story of the Enigma. It is an important piece of WWII history. A machine invented by the Germans to scramble messages, it drove the British nuts. I saw the movie Imitation Game and loved the story. Following my rule that a book is usually  better than the movie I trusted my fellow reading club members that this was still true. Except, in this case the movie is infinitely better.

Who ever this author Andrew Hodges is, I will never read another of his works. This work is over six hundred pages of small print. The story could have been cut in half that amount of words and pages. True, trying to describe a mathematician’s work process and ideas is trying. None of Hodges’ descriptions of Turing’s early work while inventing the modern digital computer was understandable. The only way I was able to decipher what he was trying to say was by looking at Turing’s sketches of his early machine which contained a series of zeros and ones. It was then that I began to understand some of his gibberish. I learned to program an early digital computer using binary numbers which was the basis of the machine i learned to program.

This story convinced me that I abhor intellectual work and should refrain from reading it. I love good stories. I hate reading math books. Even a physics book is more exciting than a math book. Alan Turing was a pure mathematician and Hodges failed to tell his story in a simple understandable way. The last two hundred pages finally started to read well, but by then the story drifted away from math and toward the man and his life struggles.

I also like stories with short chapters. This work has boring with long chapters of a hundred pages or more. The chapters could be shorter. The author may have decided to cut some of them had he done so.

All in all, if you want to learn the story of the Enigma go see the movie “The Imitation Game.”

Five ughs.

Twelve More Years To Go

The freshman darling of the Democrat party Alexandria Ocasio Cortez predicted this week that the world has twelve years left before man-made global warming brings it to an end. To keep this event from happening she wants us to pay seventy percent income tax.

I say that to hell with paying seventy-percent income tax to prevent the event. I say apply it to a world-wide party celebrating like crazy before we all meet our end.

Paying seventy-percent income tax would bring our world to an end as we know it. Certainly we would become another socialist success story like Venezuela, and if that happens we might as well have Antarctica melt and flood the world. Didn’t Noah build an ark to save the world from a great flood. Didn’t he have to load the ark with two of every species of living thing so when the floods receded the world could again begin anew?

I read recently that the arc was found on top of a mountain in the mid-east. If we suffer a massive ice melt like Antarctica the oceans around the world would rise several feet. If the story about the ark is true and it was found atop a mountain, it says the world survived a greater flood than that which will come from Antarctica melting.

Scientifically, I think melting Antarctica will take something more dramatic than an immeasurable rise in temperature from high CO2 in the atmosphere. I think it would take an angular shift of the earth’s axis of about fifteen to thirty degrees to put Antarctica directly into the sun’s rays. If that shift were to happen it won’t matter how much tax the socialists want to charge the world will be very different, and North America will have very long winters and the Arctic ice mass will become huge. Canada and the northern half of the USA will have winters with twenty hours of darkness and four hours of low-level light a day. Argentina will become the new winter playground of the world.

All of this calamity would happen but the man-made CO2 problem will be the same.

Alexandria baby, I’m drinking one to ya tonight! I love a good party.

Random Thinking While Drinking

 I was thinking;

If only 11 million people have Obama-Care, how will 24 million people die if it is repealed?  Will an additional 13 million people be randomly shot, poisoned, or spayed?

I was thinking;

If Donald Trump deleted all his emails, wiped his server with Bleachbit (like Hillary) and destroyed all of his phones with a hammer, would the Mainstream Media suddenly lose all interest in the story and declare him innocent (like Hillary).

I was thinking;

If women do the same job for less money, why do companies hire men to do the same job for more money?

I was thinking;

If you rob a bank in a Sanctuary City, is it illegal or is it just an Undocumented Withdrawal?

I was thinking;

Each ISIS attack now is a reaction to Trump policies, but all ISIS attacks during Obama’s term were due to Climate Change and a plea for jobs.

I was thinking;

We should stop calling them all ‘Entitlements’. Welfare, Food Stamps, WIC, ad nausea are not entitlements, they are taxpayer-funded handouts, and shouldn’t be called entitlements at all.  Social Security and Veterans Benefits are Entitlements because the people receiving them are entitled to them. They were earned and paid for by the recipients.

I was thinking;

If Muslims want to run away from a Muslim country, does that mean they’re Islamophobic?

I was thinking;

If Liberals don’t believe in biological gender and promote transgenders, then why did they march for women’s rights?

I was thinking;

How did the Russians get Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC to steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders?  How did Russia get Donna Brazile to leak debate questions to Hillary Clinton in advance of the debates?

I was thinking;

Why is it that Democrats think Super delegates are fine, but they have a problem with the Electoral College?

I was thinking;

If you don’t want the FBI involved in elections, don’t nominate someone who’s being investigated by the FBI.

I was thinking;

If Hillary’s speeches/screeches cost $250,000 an hour, how come no one shows up to her free ones?

I was thinking;

The DNC is mad at Russia because they ‘think’ they are trying to manipulate our election by exposing that the DNC is manipulating our election.

I was thinking;

If Democrats don’t want foreigners involved in our elections,  why do they think it’s all right for illegal’s to vote?

Remember, Drink, don’t Think!

 

Trust Me!

The latest news from GM has given me an outstanding business idea. This is so good that I can’t keep it to myself and will let you get in on the action too. General Motors announced their plan to close a number of plants in Michigan and Ohio with a minimal layoff of fifteen thousand workers.  It seems they can’t sell cars anymore like the Japanese, and Koreans so they want to concentrate on designing and building electric cars in China. The sales on the Chevy Volt were so spectacular they couldn’t satisfy demand. Rather than disappoint buyers by not selling them a car, they shut down Volt operations.

A few short years ago Obama deemed General Motors too big to fail. Actually, Obama didn’t give a hoot about the company, what he meant was the United Auto Workers union was too big to fail.  He generously donated fifty billion of our tax dollars to the company in a bailout to save all those voters, er . . . I mean UAW workers. You and I paid five hundred dollars each to that cause through our taxes. Smart asses protecting the great one will argue that GM paid forty billion back. Okay, so GM only owes us $100 each. Had the government kept out of the deal in 2008 GM would have filed for bankruptcy and reorganized. The problem is that the reorganization would have eliminated the UAW.

My experience with GM runs hot and cold. I worked for GM in the nineteen sixties when they were the largest car maker in the world. Their profits were around four billion dollars. They could do no wrong, except to bow to the demands of the UAW. The union had some valid requests like “we want some of that profit because you made it with the sweat of the UAW brow.” If GM didn’t respond the UAW went on strike. The strike wouldn’t last very long because GM didn’t want to upset their shareholders with higher operating costs and lower dividends.  Eventually, the UAW added a huge burden to the cost of an automobile, they still do. Rumor has it that the unions drove up the cost of a car by $1500. what that means is that if you were to put a Toyota Camry next to a Chevy Malibu and the price tags were equal, GM was making $1500 less on the Malibu than Toyota did on the Camry. The GM answer to this dilemma was to cost-reduce their cars. What that did was reduce the reliability and quality of their cars. Add that to the stigma of buying an Obam-mobile and GM loses. Ford and Chrysler have their own stories which I won’t get into right now.

Instead of reviewing the sad history of the former largest car maker in the world let’s look forward. They really believe that electric cars are the wave of the future. Since they are too big to fail I want to take advantage of GM’s plan to make electric cars and trucks. I am starting up a franchise operation to provide energy for millions of electric cars. Right now a Tesla electric gets as much as 280 miles on a charge. I want those people to be able to drive into one of my stations. Think about the possibilities this business has. Even if we shift the paradigm and change from using a gas station to a charging station in our garage we will still need to recharge on the road. A trip across country from Chicago to Flagstaff will require a full-charge five times. Full charges using a super charger take ninety minutes. Using a lower grade charger like the one in your home can take up to ten hours. My stations will be equipped with 10 to 50 superchargers to take advantage of volume. Adjacent to my stations and connected will be a fabulous restaurant, casino, motel for your convenience. After all, a ninety minute charge will only be possible if I am charging ten cars as opposed to fifty. At fifty car capacity it may take three to five hours to charge. During those trapped minutes my casino will be raking in tons of nickels and dimes in the slots. 

The cost of a charge will be about five times the cost of a tank of gas at 2018 prices. Why so high? The demand for electricity will be so great that the electric power plants will be operating at max capacity. It’s that old supply-demand thing again.

Now comes the real lucrative aspect of this business. Behind all the charging stations we will build a high speed electric train using the center median on the interstate system. All those car owners sitting around waiting to get charged will look sadly at the hundreds of people flying past on the high speed rail. Imagine all those dollars pouring into the coffers from all those car owners switching to trains while the cars are at home charging.

The next phase after the high speed rail is a network of power plants. The world doesn’t have enough power generating stations to fuel all the electric vehicles GM is making therefore we’ll need super output generators. They will need energy as well so we’ll tap into wind, sun, and fossil fuels. Right now, coal mines are cheap because everyone is so down on coal. Buying coal is our secret weapon. While we continue to use coal we will also spend billions on harnessing the energy from the sun. All these puny solar collectors cluttering up the landscape are an eyesore and can’t produce spit, but the roof of every house will collect enough solar power to give individual households enough energy to be independent of the grid. Our research will concentrate on collecting sun in large spherical mirrors which transfer solar into heat to run the turbines in the super generators. Since the sun doesn’t shine on some days we will need to tap into the core of the earth to get heat.

Now that we have come full circle on energy, let’s talk about how much you want to invest in my company.  

Bhutadarma

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