Frum vs. Trump: Simplicity vs. Simpleton

frum

In case you don’t know who David Frum is, he is a conservative commentator and former speech writer for GW Bush.  Let’s just state for the record that I am not a fan of David Frum’s ideology, but I do respect his intelligence and the way he presents his case.  I also love the way he has rejected Trump as not only a non-conservative that threatens his party’s values, but as an entity that threatens American values.  In Sam Harris’s latest podcast, Frum brilliantly states this case for even the simplest among us. I’m even advocating for you to follow his Twitter feed, which is chock full of daily affirmations that the Trump presidency is a disaster for America.

What I like about his commentary, as I mentioned, is that he simplifies the issues in a nice, neat package and one-lines them so that they are easy to digest.  He understands the long-term implications and, can easily relate them fairly to previous administrations.  For example, he will state that he never voted for Obama and never would, but he at least saw him as a man of integrity.  In Trump, he sees no such thing.

He also sends a clearer, more hopeful message – that we can have intelligent debates about policy and ideology by discussing facts and by being mature; we can talk about issues without being tribal and over protective of our egos. This is an important message especially for all of those conservatives who got on the gold-plated Trump train and are now heading off the cliff they see coming miles away.  They probably figure Trump can make a deal with gravity.  That’s how dug in they are.

I would love to get back to a time and place where that can happen again, but I only see it getting worse in the future and I blame it on our short attention spans and our love for reality TV.  We no longer like to think for ourselves and think critically about anything.  We just want information fed to us and we want to lay back, be simpletons, and let the Idiocracy take over. Sad!

Advertisements

Am I Crazy about AI?

Artificial_intelligence_AI

(Graphic courtesy of ComputerWeekly.com).

When someone says that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a threat to the survival of humanity, they are normally looked at as if they said they just saw Elvis in a local McDonald’s yesterday.  It is quickly pointed out that there are so many other ways for the human race to become extinct – pandemic, nuclear war, climate change, even an asteroid – that they don’t even want to think about the fact that technology could be our undoing.  Why not?

First, we don’t actually know what AI is.  Every phone has some sort of AI in it.  Siri is AI.  Google Home is AI. Amazon Echo is AI.  Advertising uses AI – that’s why you have customized ads pop up on the websites you visit.  But, those seem so harmless, so how can they actually kill you?

Sam Harris gives us an easy picture as to how AI will grow and become smarter.

Nick Bostrum also cautions us about it’s inevitability and danger.

Daniel Suarez actually tells us about autonomous robots that can kill.  They exist now.

So, how far are we from losing, no, ceding, control to AI in matters of life and death? Perhaps, not as far as you would think. Some scientists estimate that between 30-50 years, we may reach what is called the “singularity”, where AI will surpass human intelligence and possess the ability for self-improvement.  Suddenly, the dystopian future of The Terminator series is not as much as science fiction as it is science reality.

The companies currently investing heavily in AI are all the biggest tech companies in the world – Google, IBM and Microsoft. They won’t stop improving on it, either.  There is too much money in it and we all know what the root of all evil is…