books, economics, education, ethics, government, happiness, human rights, internet

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The Inevitable is a 2016 nonfiction book by Kevin Kelly that forecasts the twelve technological forces that will shape the next thirty years:

  1. Becoming: Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions
  2. Cognifying: Making everything much smarter using cheap powerful AI that we get from the cloud
  3. Flowing: Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything
  4. Screening: Turning all surfaces into screens
  5. Accessing: Shifting society from one where we own assets to one where instead we will have access to services at all times.
  6. Sharing: Collaboration at mass scale. Kelly writes, ‚ÄúOn my imaginary Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10.‚ÄĚ
  7. Filtering: Harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires
  8. Remixing: Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways
  9. Interacting: Immersing ourselves inside our computers to maximize their engagement
  10. Tracking: Employing total surveillance for the benefit of citizens and consumers
  11. Questioning: Promoting good questions is far more valuable than good answers
  12. Beginning: Constructing a planetary system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix

Though it might sound scary, the book is surprisingly upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Kevin Kelly (born 1952) is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.

Amazon

 

ethics, GOP USA, government, things getting worse

Is the USA still a democracy?

For me a authoritarian regime (dictatorship) is a place where the leader can order opponents murdered, without consequences. Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2020, for example.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) scores countries on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

Nations are then classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

Under Trump the USA became a flawed democracy.

Obviously, the main goal of the GOP under this egocentric toddler is to make the rich richer. Which they’ve done.

Nations still ranking high as democracies include Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark. Canada and Ireland are up there, as well.

Recently a Republican Senator claimed that “democracy isn’t the objective” any longer. Knowing that his Party was likely to lose the 2020 election, it’s part of the GOP plan to contest the results.

That Senator was bored, at home, COVID-19 positive at the time. #loser

I want people to be able to easily un-elect bad leaders. To have more influence in governance, even when they get it wrong. When wrong, they should be able to later easily change again.

The best coverage of this issue I’ve found is from my favourite podcast.

Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are On the Media

Communicable disease has haunted humanity for all of history. As such, the responses to coronavirus in our midst have a grimly timeless quality. In fact, to one scholar, epidemics are a great lens for peering into the values, temperament, infrastructures and¬†moral¬†structures of the societies they attack.¬†Frank M. Snowden is a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale and author of¬†Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present.¬†An epidemic, he writes, ‚Äúholds a mirror‚ÄĚ to the civilization in which it occurs.¬†In this podcast extra, he speaks¬†to Bob about what we can learn about ourselves from the infectious diseases we've faced, from the bubonic plague in the 14th century to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to COVID-19 today. This¬†interview originally aired as a segment in our March 6, 2020 program,¬†Our Bodies, Ourselves.
  1. Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are
  2. EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon
  3. Believe It Or Not
  4. Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic
  5. Another World Entirely

government, things getting worse, TV

David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet

David Attenborough is now age-94.

His newest work is a “witness statement” ‚ÄĒ his reflection on his career as a naturalist and the devastating changes he has seen.

A love letter to Earth from the beloved broadcaster.

The first half is very depressing. Humanity doomed.

But in the second half Attenborough explains how mankind MIGHT possibly survive the next 80 years.

As it seems nations can’t organize to do even the most trivial collective good, I’m not optimistic.

In the USA, the Trump regime has been doing the exact opposite as recommended. In Alberta, the Kenney regime is making the future worse, as well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, government, internet, movies

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

Nick Bilton¬†is a British-American journalist and author. He is currently a special correspondent at¬†Vanity Fair. …

His reporting is credited with helping to lead the United States¬†Federal Aviation Administration¬†to overturn their longtime ban on¬†using cell phones, Kindles and iPads on airplanes. …

Bilton’s most recent book,¬†American Kingpin, tells the story of the¬†Silk Road¬†marketplace, its founder¬†Ross Ulbricht¬†(who went by “Dread Pirate Roberts“), and how U.S. law enforcement arrested him.

… ¬†In June 2017,¬†The Hollywood Reporter¬†reported that the¬†Coen brothers¬†and¬†Steven Zaillian¬†were adapting the book into a movie.

ethics, GOP USA, government, music

Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire & Emily Strayer

#respect for the Dixie Chicks

The Chicks¬†(previously known as the¬†Dixie Chicks) ¬†… have won 13¬†Grammy Awards.

Remember this from 2003?

Anti-war band the Dixie Chicks have hit back at their critics – by posing naked on the front of a leading showbiz magazine.

The Grammy-winning band suffered a massive backlash in America after they said they were “ashamed” President George Bush was from their home state of Texas.

 

ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, things getting worse

If you support Trump, never speak to me again.

When you challenge a Trump supporter to defend the toddler’s latest indefensible lie, crime or moral outrage, they very often deflect by calling for ‚Äúcivility‚ÄĚ. Let’s look for common ground.

That’s bullshit, of course. ¬† I ask that they instead unfriend me instantly.

So far as I’m concerned you’ll burn in the same Hell as this anti-Christ.

The Ugly American

 

Forgive? Sounds good
Forget? I’m not sure I could

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go ’round and ’round and ’round …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, ethics, government, human rights, things getting better

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Of many movies and books I’ve recently reviewed trying to become more aware of my white privilege, White Fragility is best.

That surprised me as the author is White writing for a White audience. ¬†Writing for me, a privileged white male who believes he’s anti-racist.

Click PLAY or watch DiAngelo on YouTube.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism¬†is a 2018 book written by¬†Robin DiAngelo¬†about¬†race relations in the United States.

An academic with experience in¬†diversity training, DiAngelo coined the term “white fragility” in 2011 to describe any defensive instincts or reactions that a¬†white person¬†experiences when questioned about race or made to consider their own race.

In¬†White Fragility, DiAngelo views racism in the United States as systemic and often perpetuated unconsciously by individuals….

DiAngelo linked to a study pointing out that children aged 3 upwards believe it better to be White in the USA.

She points out that white, males avowing to be Christian and heterosexual are at consistent advantage.  Everyone else at a disadvantage, especially Black Americans.

That’s systemic racism.

The book is popular but has had a fair bit of criticism, as well.

Personally, I learned a lot. ¬†On the other hand, it’s not well written: too academic, frequently repeating the same bullet points.

Also, I wouldn’t sign-up for one of DiAngelo‘s lectures nor diversity training¬†workshops. ¬†I find her arrogant and too defensive with those who challenge.

And here’s how comedian Ron Hart learned about his white privilege in 1994. ¬†As the only White guy in a comedy club.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

bad news, Facebook, Google, government, internet

Censorship by flood of misinformation

Back in the 1990s I was completely convinced that Google and the internet would make the world a much better place.

If people had more information, they’d be able to make better decisions.

It turned out to be mixed. Smart people make better decisions.

But many are overwhelmed, disinterested and easily confused.

ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. ūüėÄ

According to professor of critical race theory,¬†David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On¬†Real Time with Bill Maher,¬†Bill Maher¬†expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …