Killer Robots By Accident or On Purpose?

There are companies like Lockheed Martin making autonomous killing robots, and there are companies like Google making self-driving cars (which kill people by accident or poor design). At least cars don’t tend to kill on purpose, and the Google self-driving car hasn’t had a deadly accident (or one it caused, of any kind). So, what’s worse? Intentionally creating machines that can destroy humans, or accidentally doing it? Let’s aim at neither.

Many people have seen the Sci-Fi movie Terminator and Terminator 2. They were made before the WWW, and before Skynet seemed like a possibility. Now we have 3D printers, we have walking and flying robots who can shoot, and we have a global intelligence network those machines connect directly to. We need to be very cautious in Artificial Intelligence development over the coming years, or a small group of people could make a mistake that could cost millions (billions?) of lives.

With Millions To Spare, Here’s How to Save Thousands of Lives

This rich couple is doing good with their money.

Regina caught sight of a jacket in the water during the cruise, and when she asked about it, she was told it might belong to a dead migrant who was trying to find safety in Europe.

While some Europeans criticize the rescue operation, saying it draws more migrants to the sea, Xuereb says that’s just not true. People are desperate, undertaking the journey to find a better life. They deserve to live, he says.

Last year, about 218,000 people made this journey — a record. Some 3,500 people drowned. And the numbers are growing.

Premier Wall Takes Potshot at First Nations Leaders’ Pay #skpoli

The Premier said:

“It underscores the need for leadership at the local level, including — and let’s be clear — including on the part of chiefs and council,” he said.

“We also saw a report on the fact that chiefs and council in this province and right across the country get paid, as they should, for their services and some of them get paid a lot. You know, they get paid to make the decisions, to make choices on behalf of their members of their First Nation and protection and safety have to be at the top of the list.”

In response, FSIN Kimberly Jonathan sent out a press release denouncing Wall’s comments, saying they exemplified the “paternalistic approach” First Nations receive at the hands of the federal and provincial governments.

While I’ve criticized MLA pay in the past, it’s widely recognized that MLAs are not a group discriminated against by more powerful people, and are not at all systematically disadvantaged because of their culture and race. There was no need for the Premier to bring up the pay level of political leadership on reserves, because there’s no evidence it contributes to the economic situations in those communities. The Premier took a clear pot-shot at First Nations leadership, instead of extending a sincere offer to help solve the deadly problem of house fires. Clearly his instinct to badmouth First Nations people/leadership is at least as strongly ingrained as my instinct to oppose something the Premier says.

Meanwhile, The Premier gets paid to make the decisions, and protection and safety have to be at the top of his list.

Live Long, And Prosper – Nimoy Dies at 83

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on Star Trek, is dead from COPD. He quit smoking 30 years too late.

Of the original Star Trek cast, Scotty and Bones have also passed away.

Tweeter’s Block

I’ve a mild case of Tweeter’s block. I guess that means I need to write on my blog instead.

What’s going on? A whole lot of nothing, and a lot of somethings simmering. My to-do list is impossibly long as usual. At least some of them I’m really looking forward to. For instance a US vacation, and even a possible trip to Calgary coming up soon if weather co-operates. I also get solar panels installed in a couple months. I need to start seedling planting soon, and plan a community garden for my condo’s courtyard (which was delayed last year on account of my premature and short-lived death, and recovery.

And people keep asking me if I’m running for City Council again, which I can say with assurance that I’m on the fence and waiting to be pushed off one way or the other. I see umpteen others give up on improving Regina and move away, and that’s not an option right now, nor do I hope it becomes one. At least there are also good people still moving to here.

I got the basement cleaned up finally in preparation for the Spring flooding/leaking. Even managed to pick up the dehumidifier we need on sale last month. A friend in the city also pounced on the same deal.

With it being 2015, and with the City and country having made no progress on reducing carbon emissions or the energy efficiency of homes or businesses, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be able to stop climate change. There’s probably still value in trying anyway, as a large part of the effort is in improving transportation quality, and building community, and doing those things will never go out of style.

I’ve more to say, but not sure if I want to share them with you right now.

Cancer Time Machine

One disturbing part of modern life, is that no one will escape this Earth untouched by cancer in their life somewhere. It’s a toxic environment we’ve created for ourselves, and with lifespans well past what they used to be, cancer is most likely to catch up with our bodies.

I dare say Minister Raitt’s perspective on cancer stories is sharply modified this year, opposed to her view five years ago.

“But it’s sexy,” Ms. Raitt said. “Radioactive leaks. Cancer.”
vs.
“Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday to remove a “solid growth” on her ovaries.” “She revealed her medical condition in an interview with Tom Clark, host of Global TV’s The West Block. Raitt, who represents the Ontario riding of Halton, says she chose to speak out to avoid speculation about her coming absence from Parliament.”

Raitt’s pleading for people to remain ignorant about their own health and treatment, should be given the same level of credence as her sexy cancer remarks of five years ago.

CBC Live As Composed As A Live Blog

Ancient years ago, about 6, CBC journalists could be heard explaining to crowds how bloggers might one day be eating their lunch, but for the time being the responsible journalism was being done by the Main Stream Media.

Then an armed gunman shot a soldier at the War Memorial before charging into Parliament with a rifle. Peter Mansbridge reported there were “reports” of a shooter at the nearby Rideau Centre. People hunkered down at the Chateau Laurier hotel on the other side of the Canal. In hindsight these were reasonable precautions given erroneous or exaggerated reports of there being another shooter seen coming out of the car of the first. Also in hindsight, it was a mistake to report them because the information turned out to be misinformation, and were never properly confirmed. Ivison reported there were two people coming from the car, and that Canada had lost its innocence. The shooter made it past second base, I suppose, but Canada is no virgin. Ivison remained wrong on both claims.

At least one journalist figured it out:

Ottawa journalists are too close to the story to be objective, as Mitrovica made very apparent:

If you’ll allow me to recycle one tweet from my last blog post about this subject, Frank Magazine raises an important question that applies to the supposed benefit of having live, unconfirmed news coverage of an active shooting scare: