While visiting my mother in Paynesville I attended a U3A (University of the 3rd age) discussion group my father regularly attended before his passing. It is concerned with current affairs. So I raised these three topics, it was my father’s job there to manage the discussion.
1. Global Warming
Caused by burning fossil fuels – cars, power plants. These things have helped humans progress substantially but it’s time to save the planet
99% of scientists say it’s because of human activity
Ice caps melting, water levels rising, Bangladesh example
Will possibly cause human extinction
What can we do?
Power consumption, voting – greens perhaps?
2 Nuclear War
The other big threat to humanity
Countries with the bomb
North Korea, Iran, Russia, France Israel, UK, US – Trump
Trouble in the Middle East
Israel’s killing of Palestinians and annexing of land may cause global conflict where the bomb might be used
3. Artificial Intelligence
AI will take most human jobs – robots
AI will enables humans to focus on life, leave the mundane to AI
AI is an opportunity for evolution
As dramatic as any human invention:
Our first inventions were the use of fire, the wheel, language, money, and Socrates and Plato developed human thought
More recent inventions like politics, education and flight.
Now we have AI
Stephen Hawking says AI is the biggest threat to humanity
I loved film before coma so here is another post about an old film, perhaps I’m becoming normal. Stanley Kubrick was my favourite film maker, or perhaps Tarkovsky. We recently watched a Kubrick film again, “Eyes Wide Shut”. Philosophically opposed to his classic “A Space Odyssey 2001” which was a story about aliens or maybe Artificial Intelligence, “Eyes Wide Shut” is about humans, it explores the human condition of emotion. For humans sex is central, there are two sexes man and woman and then the act of sex for pleasure, emotion and procreation. He considers these desires focusing on emotion, on love and it’s difference for the two sexes. It’s most interesting that in both films Kubrick arrives at fundamental questions for humanity, we think and we feel. “A Space Odyssey” is about thinking, other intelligence exists in the universe. “Eyes Wide Shut” is about feeling, love. It was goodg to watch “Eyes Wide Shut” again, during the time of “me too”.
‘Ghosts in the Shell’ is a film about the human brain transplanted into a robot. They are doing similar things today in medicine, amputees brains controlling artificial limbs. Things like manufactured arms and hands being controlled by the amputees nervous system. As the films subject suggests perhaps one day we will be able to transplant the human brain into a robot, in this way we will achieve immortality. Maybe soon I’ll even be able to replace my bad leg, but then again it’s my brain that’s the problem. How about a brain transplant? Then I’d also be able to move past this identity. Then again compared to immortality death might be a good thing. We also went to see another film “The Shape of Water” which prompted me to update this post. It celebrated cinema make believe in its storyline, the make believe helped it arrive at themes of love and hope. I’ve always said my favorite mainstream film was Kubrick’s ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ or films like Igmar Bergman’s ‘Franny and Alexander’ but this film was very aware of cinematic make believe. A fantastic exploration of wonderment.
Congratulations to the people of France, they didn’t turn their backs on the world in a time of globalization. Indeed the world has been changed through ships, planes and now technology which is making it a smaller place. The EU is a profound thing which prevents the us versus them mentality of nations which has caused many wars. Shame about the English and BREXIT… Soon enough when we start to live on other planets the world will be regarded as one place. La Pen would have been a backward step. Given ISIS today it’s a good thing to care of all human beings in the world, especially those trying to survive by fleeing their homeland. Quite a thing to choose to leave your home for survival.
Happy lunar new year, the year of the rooster begins tomorrow… ‘Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái’ which means ‘respectful happiness become wealthy’ or ‘happy new year’ in Chinese. It’s a massive event here in Singapore, a few days of public holiday and a unique thing called ‘lo hei’ or ‘harvest fortune’ where together with the people you are celebrating with you toss food with chop sticks. The food elements representing various things including wealth of course.
‘Home on my own, all alone’ – words from a Not Drowning Waving song. Well I’m not exactly that, my wife is asleep. Mother is in hospital for a foot infection the result of her diabetes. Hospitals remind me of coma. Previously mother needed a toe amputated for a similar complaint, I sincerely hope her foot survives. But it has been very peaceful this morning without her, and my wife also unwittingly bolted the door and her brother out before sleeping which was very bad, mother bolted us out recently too. Singaporeans are paranoid about people breaking in with all access but if burglars are already in they could un deadlock the door anyway. We certainly hope for mother’s speedy recovery and that she keeps her foot but just the same it’s an excellent song and quite a nice way to live. ‘Home on my own, all alone’. I think it goes on as ‘this town is tool loud to be yourself, too loud to understand’.
I’ve returned to a place I used to frequent on the Singapore river. I was reflecting on my last post on the train, I began to think spirituality a much more important ambition than working to make money, but we humans must pursue both given the world we’ve built and our inclinations. Perhaps one day we will ask each other not how much do you earn but questions like where have you been? And talk about reality, things like love and hope… I realise we talk of and write of such things but it seems to me our primary focus is money, perhaps we can buy love and hope… I hope I get better… How much?