In this post, I cover my robot masters. Also mentioned in this post is some Big Brother news, some literary science-fiction, photography, HTML tips, coComments, Google browser sync, the color blue and more!
A free night photography lesson is available to anyone wanting to read it. Since I have been quite keen on night photography these last few days, I thought about posting a few resources to help night photographers. I find that most photos I take during the day don’t capture the colors vividly as I would like. Maybe it’s the camera, but my wife has told me that she thinks the same way about her Fuji S2 Pro. She has some beautiful sets of nightlife available.
I love the color blue; it’s basically one of my favorite colors. There are so many interesting shades, ultramarine, cerulean, cobalt, manganese, azurite, indigo, Prussian, Egyptian and Smalt blue.
Here is a link to a site covering pigments used over the ages.
For all of you using WP, there are quite interesting things that you can do with HTML. Basically, the posts are html based. You can edit the code to format the posts the way you want. Here is a site to help you out with the basics of tables, formatting and other things.
The dumbest thing I had to remember was that it was HTML and that I could edit it quite easily. Like using the h1 and other predetermined formats. This links to binary moon test site of Regulus. You can see all the possible formatting that is allowed within a WP theme. Check out the creator of your theme to see all the possibilities.
Oh my good, I think I can’t stand Nikki from Big Brother Uk anymore. She is so annoying. She spent the whole episode crying, having temper tantrums and hysterically crying. I think she is playing to the cameras, because no one could really like that in the real world. My bets are on Lisa leaving, because of the four up for nomination, she is the most annoying. However, you never know how the votes will go. Imogen could be evicted because she is such a non-entity in the house.
In Big Brother Australia, John is barred from competing in the Friday Night Games this week, for having talked about nominations with Gaelan, Ash and Jamie. The intruders are coming into the house on Wednesday. However, Australia Eastern Standard Time is UTC+10 and EST is UTC-5. So that is a 15 hour time difference. I tend to forget that sometimes.
Robots. I love’em.
Are you tired of your kids? Is the babysitter costing you too much? Are nannies too expensive for you? Is daycare not subsidized in your Country or State? Buy the childcare robot to take care of your kids!
Or go here for a translated version.
You know that we will all be replaced by robots. It’s funny that the word robot comes from the Czech word robota meaning to industrial labor. Which is what a robot does. I am a fan of Isaac Asimov. Not all his stories are easy to read, but Foundation is exceptional as well as his detective series involving R. Daneel Olivaw and Elijah Bailey.
Imagine the problems we will have as a society, when robots will do all or most manual labor. Will we be totally dependent upon them? Would other men try to enslave everyone by using machines (like in Dune by Frank Herbert, during the Butlerian Jihad) or would Men coexist with robots peacefully? Asimov had decided in his latter years that in his vision, humanity could not flourish with robots.
[Ed.note: This is the cover of a book called How to survive a robot uprising: tips on defending yourself against the coming rebellion. The description follows:
How do you spot a robot mimicking a human? How do you recognize and deactivate a rebel servant robot? How do you escape a murderous "smart" house, or evade a swarm of marauding robotic flies? In this dryly hilarious survival guide, roboticist Daniel H. Wilson teaches worried humans the secrets to quashing a robot mutiny. From treating laser wounds to fooling face and speech recognition, outwitting robot logic to engaging in hand-to-pincer combat, How to Survive a Robot Uprising covers every possible doomsday scenario facing the newest endangered species: humans.
Based on extensive interviews with prominent scientists and including an overview of cutting edge robot prototypes like humanoid walkers, insect, gecko, and snake robots, this one-of-a-kind book makes a witty yet legitimate introduction to contemporary robotics.
Cutting age research right here!]
In Asimov’s world, robots were first used by the Spacers, 1st wave of colonists who settled on 20 worlds. These worlds, of which Aurora was the gem and leader, became paradises. Humans lived for hundreds of years, served by dozens of robots. The situation was even more extreme on Solaria, where there were only 10000 Solarians on the whole of Solaria. Each Solarian had 10000 or more robots under their command. They disdained any form of human contact and preferred to interact remotely with viewing technology. Earth was rapidly becoming overpopulated and became belittled by the Spacers, disregarded and disdained. When finally Settlers were allowed to leave from Earth to colonize space once more, the Spacers died out. Except the Solarians, who had evolved into telekinetic hermaphrodites, having completely eliminated the need to interact with other Solarians. (It’s getting late and I had all the trouble in the world trying to spell hermaphrodite. When I get tired, languages start getting mixed up in my brain. I can’t express myself very clearly in any of them. Probably a symptom of being a polyglot)
Robots disappeared from the world, the Spacers died out because they had no will anymore. Telepathic robots became the directors of the human race, making sure humanity survives at all costs. This led to the Foundation series, where in the end, in the novel Foundation and Earth, Golan Trevize meets R. Daneel Olivaw.
In one of Asimov’s stories, there is another interesting projection of this story. These telepathic robots evolved into robot overlords, who existed out of time and space and chose this reality, the one of the novels, for humanity, for they did not encounter any aliens. They foresaw the destruction of humanity if it was confronted too early with extra terrestrial life in the Galaxy. However, once Galactica, the one mind of the Galaxy awakens, Humanity will be able to adequately deal with extra terrestrial intelligences.
Alastair Reynolds also examines a world without alien intelligences. So does Frank Herbert, but towards the end of Chapterhouse Dune, we learn that the Honored Matriachs were fleeing back to the Old Empire because they were being decimated by an unknown enemy.
How would we adapt to these issues in the real world? It is interesting to examine science-fiction for inspiration on this. I think, from my beliefs and intuitions, that the danger lies not only I robots but also with AIs. What would happen if a constructed AI evolved enough to develop true intelligence or consciousness? With the theories of quantum computing and quantum theory, these concepts are rapidly becoming reality. I feel there is somewhat of a danger from virtual lifeforms and nanotechnology. These issues are somewhat examined by Michael Crichton in Prey and in the TV series Odyssey 5. I find it surprising that there is no legislation covering these technologies. But am I for legislation or am I for unrepentant progress?
Dan Simmons in the Hyperion Cantos also has an element of AIs. The main characters are AIs who evolved to achieve sentience and separated from human affairs. That was what humans thought. It is revealed later that they are intricately linked to humans in a lot of different ways, that they manipulate humans for their own devices and goals.
See en.wikipedia.com for recaps on these series of novels. From the Dune Cycle from Frank Herbert, to the Asimov robot series to Alastair Reynold’s Revelation Space, wikipedia covers these topics in surprising detal. If you are a Dune fan, you will want to know that Hunters of Dune is coming out very soon. I am somewhat disappointed by what I have learned of the novel. Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson decide to use the ghola process to revive all the fallen heroes to do battle with the unknown enemy. I find this suggestion somewhat distasteful. I understand and appreciate the presence of the gholas Duncan Idaho and Miles Teg, however resurrecting Paul, Gurney and others… I think those characters would have been better served left for dead. They are eons away from the current timeline in Dune. Literally, thousands of years have passed since the age of the Old Empire. It’s a ploy from the authors I believe. House Atreides was not very good. The rest of the cycles from B. Herbert and K.J. Anderson were a lot better.
The robots are coming, watch out! Explore the flickr pool of robot images where most of the images in this post come from.
I almost uninstalled the coComment plugin for Firefox today. The service seems to have been down for most of the day and eats up a lot of RAM while doing so. It kind of froze my browser a few times, because the extension is constantly checking if new comments are available to the conversations you track. I read up upon this a bit and since it started functioning again, I’ll give it another go. But this is just the reason why I uninstalled Google’s Browser Sync. It takes forever to sync. And I don’t want to wait around for 3 minutes while the extension uploads all my info to the server.
Yesterday, I noticed that my milk was empty. I found this quite odd, since I had drunk some tea not too long ago and the milk was pretty much full. So I looked around and I saw that there was milk everywhere in the fridge. I noticed that all of the milk has splashed over when the door of the refrigerator had been maybe shut too forcefully. That totally sucked. I tried to make Spike lick it up, but since I’ve trained him not to go into the kitchen or our bedroom, he wouldn’t budge. It was funny to see this conflict within him. At first, he couldn’t decide, too a step in, then almost immediately jumped back and didn’t want to come in at all. I decided to spare the obedient beast this dilemma and started cleaning up.
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