Tag Archives: too much technology

The Sermon on the Modem?

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Followed by a fashion show for the Emperor’s new clothes…

How long are we going to make like we believed in the Artificial Intelligence scam? I think we have to stop when the computer starts lecturing to us on morality.

In a “debate”–I mean a simulated debate–between an international debating champion and the “AI-powered IBM Debater,” addressing the question of whether the government should subsidize pre-schools, the computer “said”–that is, it delivered a programmed response–that “Giving opportunities to the less fortunate should be a moral obligation for any human being” (https://www.cnet.com/news/ibms-ai-loses-to-human-debater-but-remains-persuasive-technology/).

Is this a satire? ‘Fraid not: we’re supposed to take it seriously. A computer’s moral compass. Of course, had it been programmed by someone else with a very different set of “values,” it might have said, “The kindest thing we can do for the less fortunate is to kill them and use them as fertilizer.” It would be just as meaningful as the other: a robot saying what it has been programmed to say. There is no intelligence involved, artificial or otherwise. It is only a machine mindlessly repeating what it has been programmed to say.

One of the reviewers said the computer was “surprisingly charming and human-sounding.” They could have just as easily programmed it to sound like Dracula.

Why are so many people willing to swallow this–hook, line, and sinker? Why can’t they grasp the fact that the machine is not “thinking,” it is only performing simulations of things that humans say and do. It is not alive. It is not a person. It’s a machine, like your toaster-oven–only more expensive. And more pretentious. At least they haven’t yet invented a toaster-oven that harangues you about Climbit Change every time you want to toast an English muffin.

“Yeah, but it’s Artificial Intelligence!”

Just can’t get through to people, can we?


Now Your iPhone Is Spying on You

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Not for me, thank you

Most of you will understand this better than I can, but suffice it to say an “Apple FaceTime bug lets others spy on you” and “lets users secretly listen in through someone else’s iPhone when a call is placed–even though the recipient hasn’t picked up the call” (https://www.ajc.com/business/personal-finance/apple-facetime-bug-lets-others-spy-you/UVNEMRdFH8i7hTjqVEEp1K/).

My phone hangs on the wall and only handles phone calls.

Apple had to disable GroupFaceTime on Monday night and is working to fix the problem. Until it does, “the best defense” is to turn it off–a complicated procedure which I couldn’t do to save my life.

I wouldn’t have a job without our high technology, but really–is there no such thing as too much technology? I think there is. Do we truly have to have all these gadgets spying on us? Is that really where we want to be?

There are people out there who want to set up a global government with themselves in charge of it. They will use our technology to advance their enterprise. These are not nice people, these are not angels or saints or sages. We need to defend ourselves from them.

Psalm 2 springs to mind: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.”

I wonder if He’s going to stop laughing soon.


You Only *Think* You Own Your TV Set

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If they call it “smart,” beware!

A writer for The Atlantic bought a brand-new Samsung “smart TV” set recently and has been having all sorts of problems with it (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/smart-tvs-are-dumb/581059/).

“Your TV is now a computer, but not in a good way,” she entitles her essay. In addition to the TV crashing now and then, because it’s full of artificial stupidity technology, it comes complete with a CBS News app that can’t be deleted. So every few minutes, what you’re trying to watch on TV is marred by a nooze flash up in the corner of the screen. Heck, you wouldn’t want to miss the latest attack on Donald Trump, would you? And you can’t delete the freakin’ thing because it’s a done deal between CBS and Samsung in which the buyer of the set is not included.

Consulting a forum, the writer found a host of “outraged responses of other Samsung TV owners.”

Once again, the Pro-Choice crowd has made our choices for us. We’d just choose the wrong thing, don’t you know, just like we chose the wrong president.

I remember my father and my Uncle Ferdie, when our TV went on the fritz, taking it apart and testing all the vacuum tubes to find out which ones were shot and needed to be replaced. They replaced them, put it all back together, and it worked.

But this can’t be done anymore. We now have more technology in our lives than we can control or even understand–and I find something sinister about that. Who’s going to use our smart TVs–I’ve warned you to steer clear of anything that leftids call “smart”–to spy on us, and who’s going to get the information about our viewing habits, buying patterns, and whatever else they can dig up on us?

We don’t have a new TV set. Anything we want to watch, we watch on disc or on the Internet. We certainly don’t have a “smart” TV, we don’t want one, and we’re not going to get one.

Will technology make it finally possible for power-hungry loons to exercise total control over millions of people?

They’re working on it as we speak.


‘Oops… Your Phone Blew Up’ (2016)

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Three guesses as to what happened to this poor guy…

Don’t you hate it when your phone explodes–especially if it does that while you’re using it?

https://leeduigon.com/2016/09/10/oops-your-phone-blew-up/

A couple years ago Samsung had a bit of a difficulty on the exploding phone front. Give them credit for not trying to pretend there was nothing wrong.

We had exploding hoverboards, too.

Somehow our ancestors did not have to worry about exploding butter churns, milking stools, wagons, or those funny old telephones with dials on them. Nothing in our house ever blew up, when I was a boy.

But never mind the technology. Our culture is in much worse shape than our phones.


School Tax Potlatch: $1 Billion Up in Smoke

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Long ago, big shots among certain Pacific Northwest nations had a custom called the potlatch, in which the giver demonstrated his wealth, power, and prestige by giving away fantastic quantities of, like, everything–or even simply burning up stuff so everyone could see that he had stuff to burn.

We don’t have the potlatch anymore, but we do have school budgets, which are almost the same thing.

I missed this the first time around, four years ago, but Michelle Malkin revisited it today in her column: the time the Los Angeles school district potlatched $1 billion–yeah, we said “a billion dollars”–to buy iPads for the kiddies (https://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2018/12/26/beware-silicon-valley-santas-in-the-schools-n2538037). The iPads came pre-loaded with Common Core crapola and “an onslaught of online ads.”

Did the kids get a billion dollars’ worth of smarter? In a word, no. They did get kind of tired of having their faces glued to a screen every waking moment.

But “educators” haven’t learned their lesson, Malkin says, and Big Tech is taking full advantage of educators’ wooden-headedness, showering public schools with a mass of shiny hi-tech toys–this at a time when at least some researchers are beginning to wonder if it’s really, truly such a good thing to have kids staring at a computer screen all day instead of playing, running around, and being normal.

A billion bucks–hot dog! The people of Los Angeles had to work for that money. It was their money. They earned it. Then the government–in this case the city educational authorities–took it and pissed a billion dollars of it into a fan.

Let me leave you with this thought: Kill public education, and leftism dies.


We Haven’t Got a Mobile Phone

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Whole Foods offers a discount to Amazon Prime members; but we couldn’t get ours today because we haven’t got a mobile phone.

When my wife called about that, the woman at Whole Foods corporate offices apologized: they had no idea that so many people choose not to have cell phones. Half the calls they were getting today, she said, were from Amazon Prime members who don’t have cell phones. “We never thought of it!” she admitted. So their programmers are working on some way of making the discount available to us who have only land lines.

So why don’t we have a mobile phone?

The thing is, if you have one, people call you on it. There’s no point in having one if you don’t carry it around with you. And then they can get at you while you’re grocery shopping, playing basketball, or trying to drive your car in nerve-racking Jersey traffic without getting killed. “Hello! This is Romaine from Fumble Bay Resorts! Our records show that you stayed with us for two weeks in 1974 and had a wonderful time…” Lie. Scam. Trying to bamboozle poor senior citizens. Plus all these jidrools text you with ads all the time, which you wind up paying for.

Well, it was gratifying to learn that we have a lot of company in this.

Land liners, stand firm! Enough technology is enough.


We Don’t Need These Robots

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I like to play games on Pogo. I like to chat with my Pogo friends while we’re playing. It’s relaxing. It’s nice.

My wife plays a lot of Pogo, and she likes to win “badges.” A badge denotes that you’ve achieved something or other in the course of playing a game. Players like to collect badges. I’m not into that, but that’s me.

As I play, from time to time a certain advertisement appears in the chat box, offering you the power to “complete and win hard badges quickly”… by signing up for robots, “Badge Bots,” to play the game for you.

It reminds me of someone I knew long ago, who was too lazy to go to the unemployment office to collect his check. We called him “Clams”–although the average clam was a lot more dynamic than he was.

Sheesh! Are we grown too flaming lazy even to play our games? Where’s the fun in having some robot play your games for you? Are we too dull, too inert, even to relax? And what kind of gavone brags about all the badges he “won” by letting Badge Bots win them? Where’s the achievement? How many of us, really, are that dishonest with ourselves?

Other robots turn our lights on or off–you have to shell out for “smart” lights that will obey the robot’s order–because we’re too torpid to flick a switch.

I heard somewhere that the civilized world has an epidemic of obesity. I wonder why. Well, at least we still have the energy and the drive to stuff our faces non-stop. Is that the one thing we don’t want robots to do for us?

I’m reminded of a story Ray Bradbury told in The Martian Chronicles, a poignant, somewhat poetic piece in which all the human colonists on Mars are dead and gone but their robots mindlessly keep performing their now pointless tasks of housekeeping the now uninhabited houses.

Let’s not go there, okay?


A Fatal Night at the Movies

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It can happen to anyone?

Do we have more technology in our lives than is good for us?

A man in England has been killed by an “electric recliner seat” among the “Gold Class seats” at a movie theater (http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/20/man-dies-getting-head-stuck-vue-cinema-seat-retrieving-phone-7401134/). I’ve never been in a movie theater where they had any of this, so it took me a few minutes to understand the news report.

So, the guy accidentally drops his cell phone–why he needed to take it to the movies with him, who can say?–and when he bends down to retrieve it, the chair’s electronic footrest comes up and, well, his head gets caught. Before they could somehow get him out of it, he suffered a heart attack and subsequently died.

I would’ve thought one of the last things we needed was new ways to make it cost even more to go to the movies, but I guess I’m just old-fashioned. All I ask of a chair is that it be a chair. I don’t want my chair to get ideas: they’re going to be bad ideas. Betcha they call it a “smart” chair! And they charge you extra to sit in one while you watch the movie: hence “Gold Class” seating.

And where is it written that we have to have our cell phones with us everywhere we go? Well, OK, I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t want someone bothering me on the phone while I’m trying to shop for groceries. Or watch a movie.

I wondered what movie this poor guy saw, but that information isn’t given. Whatever it was, it wasn’t worth it.

One thing about plain old chairs with no computers in them: they never kill you.


Kids Too Weak to Grip Pencils?

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British pediatricians and school principals are saying the current crop of kindergarten kids are too weak to grip a pencil, thanks to their spending most of their time as “the touchscreen generation” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5435015/Touchscreen-happy-children-weak-hold-pencil.html).

They claim 58%–yeah, 58%–of children under two years old have already gotten into iPads and smartphones: and that their hand muscles, unable to develop normally, are weak. Too weak to wield a pencil. And they lack the motor skills needed if they’re going to learn how to write or draw. The tots don’t play with crayons, paintbrushes, scissors anymore. Just touchscreens. They aren’t playing with Play-Doh, either: but that comes later, in college.

I just had a horrible thought! What happens when these kids grow up and go to college, and they’re too weak and clumsy to play with Play-Doh?

Aw, well, motor skills, schmotor skills, who needs ’em? Bots are gonna do all the work, anyhow, and all the thinking, too.

I was born into a world of men and women. Real Smart People are destroying it.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.


An Amazingly Stupid Idea

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For those of you who missed it in the comment section today, there’s a new technology that will let amazon.com delivery personnel into your house or apartment when you aren’t home (https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2017/10/27/new-amazon-service-gives-contractors-a-key-to-your-house-for-deliveries/).

Are we getting ourselves in too deep with our technology?

The problem they’re trying to solve is people stealing your stuff because you weren’t there when it was delivered. So they will have “a link to an Internet-connected door lock” so the deliveryman can get in.

If you need me to explain why this is a bad idea, you need to think it through a little longer.

I’m pretty happy with amazon’s delivery system as it is. If there are people in your neighborhood who steal your packages, it won’t help to replace it with another problem that might easily turn out to be much worse: allowing some stranger to potter around in your home while you’re absent and maybe get to wondering where you keep your credit cards, etc.

But these days, if any idea is all that bad… they’ve just gotta do it.


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