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Society & Politics

Connection Gap

How do you connect with people if you aren't already connecting with people? What I mean is… when you're inexperienced, out of practice and probably a bit out of touch how do you find people willing to connect with you?

SciFi Musing #2: AI vs human genome

Fully conscious, self-aware, complex and possibly even immature electro-mechanical machines are just one more step (and probably not even the last) in what is a long series of developments that started with the invention of computers (arguably earlier if you consider hunting dogs and the like). It started with basic stuff like calculators. Smart homes, cars and phones are automating our lives. It's a matter of time before these machines learn and build their own knowledge systems. And it's just a matter of time before one of them becomes self-aware.

SciFi Musing #1: Scientific Knowledge is outpacing mankind's ability to handle it

CRISPR describes a mechanism that bacteria use as a defense mechanism against viruses. It involves incorporating a part of the virus DNA into their own DNA to use as a fingerprint to quickly identify a repeat invasion. It is also a method for coopting those genes for cutting in (or out) specific gene sequences in a cell. Any cell. I learned about it from Radiolab's latest broadcast and the power of this tool is mind blowing.

SciFi Musing #3: Wealth gap will lead to Genetic gap

I don't know whether to be excited or terrified by the thought that we could soon have the ability to genetically modify our children's genome. This could be accomplished by tweaking the genes in young embryos or later on by "patching" the genome.

Dressing Up.

I often have the interesting experience of walking around my city in very

nice, well fitting and in style clothing. I feel confident, attractive, like I am at the top of my game, that I have "made it". It is comforting to know that people will like me, that I won't make them uncomfortable, or fit into any negative stereotypes. It is validating to know that according to societies metrics they cannot, at least for the moment, find me at fault for anything.

What Forgiveness is to Me.

How do I define forgiveness? Forgiveness is addressing my past. It is separating my ego from the facts. It is changing my story into reality. It is accepting that an injustice occurred and coming to terms with it. It is learning to stop hurting myself long after that person did and restoring my dignity and self-respect. It is giving myself permission to stop suffering and to let go. It is reconnecting with myself and the world I am in.

Resolving Conflicts

After a very long time of trying to become better at workplace communication and conflict resolution I finally have a basic outline that seems to work. The focus is very much on avoiding personality conflicts and egos and getting everyone what they want.

What is a City

Recent election, a lot of issues on the ballot regarding city services. I wondered what it is that a city provides. Here is a list that I think is fairly complete:

If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

I had a funny thought yesterday on the way home from work. I was thinking about a quote that went something like "politicians follow the money, not the idea". And I thought no, there is always an idea behind the money. It's just that wealthy groups get their way, get their ideology into law because they have the money. In other words they are represented but the vast majority of Americans are not. I do agree it is unfair that the distribution of representation in government matches the wealth distribution and not the population distribution. So if that is the case, how do you fix it?

What Will Obama's New Oil Regulations Do To Our Trade Imbalance?

According to various sources across the internet, Americans consume approximately 3.7 billion barrels of oil per year. With a little math we see that's around 10.1 million everyday. If oil were at $40 per barrel, this comes out to $148 billion oil consumed every year. Obama's new regulations were designed to, 'save 2 million barrels of oil per day'. This works out to 8.1 million barrels per day, or about 3.0 billion barrels consumed per year. If oil is at $40 per barrel this is about $120 billion per year.

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