Last month I promised a lighter topic and space unicorns. Taoism has an Epic Fail Moment The surviving texts of Taoism are mainly profound and achingly beautiful poetry, so what’s not to like about that? If I do have a gripe it’s that (in my humble opinion and all its tongue-twisting finery) it’s inaccessible and exclusionary to most people exactly in the way it claims … Continue reading Space Unicorns: What Enlightenment, and Zen, Is Not.
I was born just eight years after partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Mr Humphries, Kenny Everett and Larry Grayson were among the kind of TV personalities people probably recollected back then whenever the topic of men who are gay came around. As a pre-teen kid I couldn’t relate – and I still couldn’t as a teen when I started to understand why and … Continue reading Blasting Gay Male Stereotypes
There’s a sutta* where Buddha says “Whatever harm an enemy may do to an enemy, or a hater to a hater, an ill-directed mind inflicts on oneself a greater harm.” He also says nothing can do “greater good than one’s own well-directed mind.” Earlier * he claims victimhood can’t still our hatred. How can hatred still hatred? These blew my mind when I read them. OK. … Continue reading Hashtag Me Too: Victimhood, Abuse, and Being Buddha
Pretending to be happy with my work, my technical abilities improve. Then I’m happy too. Continue reading Zen of Writing 1: Mood and Creativity
2018 is, world-over and hands-down, the year anthropological climate change began to actually show. The thought of people in New Delhi facing 50°C got me revisiting my personal carbon footprint. According to carbonfootprint.com, and including my own personal calculation, the annual average carbon footprints at the level of individuals are as follows: Industrial-world: 11 tonnes Me: 9.6 tonnes United Kingdom: 7.13 tonnes Worldwide target is: 2 tonnes … Continue reading 2018: The Year Climate Chaos Showed
Update: Watch Tim Cook’s Keynote where he mentions the “data industrial complex“. Searching for tracking-free, track free, cookie free, no-track Internet didn’t bring up a strong list of useful websites. What it did bring up, when I searched, was advice from big Internet companies on how to track customers! So I’ve decided to create my own list. Here it is; and (if I remember) I’ll … Continue reading Tracking-free Internet is Possible
© Trevor Barton, May 2018. When someone introduced me to the “Fermi Paradox” several years ago I felt troubled. I remember that, at the time, this weary and confused disposition was, perhaps, interpreted by the third party who dropped this “Fermi bombshell” as me being irrational, or just me “wanting to believe” in aliens – as many of us do – and therefore not wanting to … Continue reading The Fermi Paradox is Scientifically Redundant, Right?
AI Product Equals Evil AI. Discuss. The wrong AI debate is about whether to have it. I studied AI philosophy at MA level (for a bit) and it concerns me that a lot of the “AI ethics” discussions are framed around “should we have AI, or not?” Today a reader of my Brobots science fiction trilogy asked me if I watch Westworld and (in relation to that) … Continue reading AI product equals evil AI. Discuss.
At the close of his latest book The People Vs Tech (Ebury, 2018), Jamie Bartlett declares, “we can stop feeding the data monsters”. He’s talking about certain social media sites; and I agree with him. The Vice Chancellor of a world-famous university, in 2006, asked for my advice as to whether one such platform (guess which) would ever take off. (Ooh, get me!) Since at … Continue reading We Can Stop Feeding the Data Monsters
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Presently Ubiquitous, Limited, and Widely Misunderstood The key misunderstanding today is that AI describes one thing, and it doesn’t. There are different strengths of AI. The most flimsy types are great at what they do, but on their own they will never suddenly “wake up” to human-like consciousness. There’s nothing it’s like to “be” them; and there never will be (or … Continue reading Let’s Be Clear About AI