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September 2001


Sunday, September 2, 2001
(1:48 pm)

We're headed down a slippery slope, and no one really has any idea how to deal with what we are creating. The technology is advancing so quickly that when the machine(s) gain awareness we won't be able to deal with them. Stephen Hawkings thinks we need to improve the complexity of DNA so that our descendants will be able to deal with the machine(s). [Hawkings's article is no longer online] I think he's on the wrong track. Increasing the complexity of human DNA would depend on computers and advanced technology to accomplish and the results would be pretty much unpredictable. What we need to do is slow down, evaluate the actions we're taking now. Bill Gates and his ilk with their increasingly complex software inventions to keep track of us, what we're doing, what we want, what software we might possibly have that we haven't paid for, etc., are playing into the hands of the coming AI monster we'll all have to deal with. Like Victor Frankenstein, Bill Gates undoubtedly thinks he can control it. Villagers arise! Bring your torches and pitchforks. There's gonna be a battle.


Monday, September 3, 2001
(1:09 pm)

My "rantlet" from yesterday continues. There are a number of pretty smart people who claim that the "techo-rapture" or "Singularity" will take place in the year 2012. This "Singularity" is defined differently by different people, but most agree that at some point machines will become smarter than humans.

Dani Eder of the Boeing AI Center in Alabama said in May of 1994, "Since computer capacity doubles every two years or so, we expect that in about 40 years, the computers will be as powerful as human brains. And two years after that, they will be twice as powerful, etc. And computer production is not limited by the rate of human reproduction. So the total amount of brain-power available, counting humans plus computers, takes a rapid jump upward in 40 years or so. 40 years from now is 2035 AD." His whole essay is found HERE.

A page of links to information and speculation about the Singularity and other (probably justifiable) paranoid speculation about our future possibly adversarial relationship with intelligent machines can be found HERE. You can also do a Google search and it will yield about 130,000 hits. Happy reading. . .


Oh, by the way, the pages at ide-a.net, including the mirror of this page will not be updated until further notice. I got a message Friday from the new web hosting people to the effect that they will be moving the pages to their new servers and to please not make changes until they finish so as to not inadvertently upload something to the old server thinking it is the new one. I'm confused. Anyway, my account there expires in November, a scant two months away, and after that I don't know where ide-a.net will live, if anywhere. Stay tuned. . .


Tuesday, September 4, 2001
(10:05 am)

Let's twist again, like we did last summer. . .

Wednesday, September 5, 2001
(12:33 pm)

Especially with this page loading so slowly from the Charter server, the cost of the extra 1250 characters to create and display the moving window with the ide-a.net information in it may be too much. I've called Charter twice about the load times of this page. So far they don't seem too interested in fixing it. It's really no wonder I get discouraged with the whole web page thing. It's always a struggle where it really shouldn't be. I have to fight with Charter to maintain a proper connection speed and now to get an acceptable load time. I had to fight with Big Picture Technologies (the bastards!) to keep my ide-a.net site up. Now I have to rely on whoever the hell it is taking care of the coolwebhosting servers and in November at the latest it will all go away. I thought I had something nice going. I see all kinds of journal pages popping up on the web now, several of which I know were directly influenced by mine. I get no acknowledgment, however. My audience has dwindled if not disappeared. Can you say "discouraged?"

Thursday, September 6, 2001
(10:29 am)

My dreams elude me. My past doesn't even haunt me. Both just tap me on the shoulder in passing and say "Hi." I don't even get the chance for a good look much less a meaningful exchange. It's exasperating. . .


(11:57 am)

I'm still trying to figure out why this is out of focus.  The camera was on a tripod and I used the Infrared remote shutter switch.  I had the lens on manual focus set at infinity and a large aperture.  It SHOULD have been in focus.  Oh, well, it's still nice. I may try this one again sometime. (C-049-e7)
"Warm Water Lights"

Friday, September 7, 2001
(5:22 pm)

Cholesterol's up. Triglycerides are way up. LDL is up, HDL is down. Blood pressure is up. Time for Zocor. Yippie ti yay. . .

Put on your technicolor raincoat and waltz with me. . .
"Authority"

Saturday, September 8, 2001
(10:05 am)

Tell me, what do you think of the little flying window that pops up when you first visit this page?

I love it!
I hate it!
I don't care.
What flying window?
 
Comments?
 

Just pick one and click the "SUBMIT" button. I'd also like to know what people think, if you'd like to take the time to make a comment. I have one opinion so far and it's negative. My son's friends all seem to think it's neat. I think it's a lovely little opportunity to stimulate the visual cortex.


(7:27 pm)

I'm into my second day of my diet, and I haven't killed anyone yet. Did I mention I'm dieting? I have to lose weight, get my cholesterol down or die before my time. I'm not too keen on doing that.


Sunday, September 9, 2001
(10:41 am)

There was a column in the paper this morning, Richard Reeves I think, lamenting how Britain is falling apart, how nothing there works right and things are literally crumbling. Well, Mr. Reeves, look around! I'm having trouble with my mail delivery again. No one seems to care or to be able to do something about it. We got new checks, ordered through the bank with one of the order forms that come in the box of checks with a cancelled check attached. After years and years with this bank, always ordering our checks the same way, they spelled our last name wrong! The streets in Charleston are terrible. I hate to speculate how much money is needlessly spent on tires, alignments,and other repairs due to potholes, rough pavement and other asphaltic defects. Of course the roads leading out of town are in fine shape.

Customer service? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Welcome to the conservative revolution.


Monday, September 10, 2001
(9:50 am)

I have a life. I do! I'm just not using it right now.


(7:38 pm)

It's getting to be a hassle trying to update and maintain this page. I've called Charter three times now about doing something about the long load times. I get the distinct impression that nothing is going to happen. Seems that Charter subcontracts the member webpages out to another company. Of course they do! It's cheaper that way and if someone has a problem, all the anger, frustration, and stress is on the customer. What could be more perfect!?

All I want to do is keep a web page going where I can display my art and jot down a thought or two. Why does that have to be so damned difficult?

Another asemic drawing, done with quill pens and India and colored inks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
(3:11 pm)

The skyline has changed.


Wednesday, September 12, 2001
(9:44 am)

Twenty-four hours ago the World Trade Center Number two tower fell down. Shortly thereafter the number one tower went down. If the towers were fully populated at the time of the attack and if the distribution of people was equal across floors, the number of dead will exceed 18,000.

This needs to be avenged. We have to be careful to avoid abdicating our liberties in the name of security, however. As Ben Franklin said, "Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

In Michael Moore's occasional e-mail this morning, he asks,"Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isnít living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?" He goes on to say "Letís mourn, letís grieve, and when itís appropriate letís examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in. It doesnít have to be like thisÖ"

Amen.


Thursday, September 13, 2001
(9:22 am)

I've gotten e-mail and heard news reports of people donating money to help with the damage in New York. Atrocities like this bring out the best and worst in us. I went to the Microsoft web page. There is no mention of what the richest corporation in the world or the richest man (top three at any rate) is donating. Why is this? The people who get the most owe the most. Bill Gates and Microsoft should EACH be contributing money to help repair the damage. I think this contribution should be in the 11 figure range. It's only fair. The Walton family and Warren Buffet, too, should chip in. Or is it like every other instance in American history -- the wealthiest only increase in time of travail.


Friday, September 14, 2001
(9:46 am)

Donate

 


Saturday, September 15, 2001
(5:25 pm)

I have trouble writing. I have problems talking to people. It's easy to drift off, to space out. I don't know if it's mainly my new medication or if it's suppressed rage or depression, or illness or what. It's a difficult time.

Black and white on color film (C-046-e7)
"O"

(7:24 pm)

We should fill the skies of Afghanistan with U.S. Military aircraft, cargo planes, dropping food for the Afghan people, clearly labeled in all languages, "Courtesy of the people of the United States."


Sunday, September 16, 2001
(12:05 pm)

It's amazing to me how many people who speak in front of microphones and in front of television cameras, including a lot of commentators, John Ashcroft, and even Vice President Cheney, who can't pronounce the word "terrorist." They pronounce it "terrist."

Someone sent me this artists conception of a proposal to rebuild the World Trade Center (Thanks, Beck!):

Get the picture?

Monday, September 17, 2001
(10:30 am)

It's the best of times. It's the worst of times. Dickens had no idea.


Tuesday, September 18, 2001
(10:05 am)

I am concerned, not with Terrorists or what they did in New York and Washington, but with the increase in religious and patriotic fervor that the attacks have engendered. I am concerned that our liberties will be eroded, if not by legislative and administrative action, then by broad general expectations and prejudices of the majority of people in this country. I am concerned.

I met this fellow on a walk, I belive it was on Virginia Street, maybe Quarrier.  He's got a loud purr motor.  (C-050-e7)
"Is This Pose Okay?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2001
(12:45 pm)

Government officials and public figures are calling on America to make sacrifices. They're saying that it's no longer business as usual. Well, in light of the plunge of the stock market and the layoffs announced by the airlines and Boeing, it seems that the corporations and the stockholders are immune from making the sacrifices. Once again, it's the ordinary person who scarifices and the wealthy gain from it. These corporations need to suck it up, continue providing employment for these people. The traders and brokers and stockholders need to lower their profit greed and stop selling off stocks of companies affected by our recent tragedy. It won't happen. The money people are in charge of the government, and until the government steps in, greed will continue unabated.

American's have contributed over $200 Million to charities to assist with the great need created by this assault. If you look at corporate contributions, you'll see they are very small in comparison their net worth. Now the airlines say they need a huge bailout. This may be true, but I think greed contributes to it as much as lost revenues. Maybe it's time to nationalize the airlines. After all, we're going to be paying for them. . .


Thursday, September 20, 2001
(5:50 pm)

Busy today. My photoposters that I'd returned got back today, which is amazing considering they came from DC and all that's been going on since I sent them back. They're WONDERFUL!


Monday, September 24, 2001

Prismacolor and graphite pencils (14 X22)
"911"
(detail)

Wednesday, September 26, 2001
(10:43 am)

Rumple Minze 1, Michael 0


Friday, September 28, 2001
(6:59 pm)

"Make no mistake about it, we're in hot pursuit." George Dubya Bush


The whole world has flipped. The emotions are high and they're affecting me, even though I tried my best to stay calm and unaffected. Yesterday, when Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of and posthumous award of a new "Defense of Freedom" medal, I cried. It took 16 days, but I cried. There's a hole ripped in our collective consciousness, and, like it or not, it affects us all.

Notice in the previous paragraph, I used the word "affect." Most television correspondents, experts, government officials and the ordinary man in the street would have used "impact" and done so incorrectly.


Sunday, September 30, 2001

We drove up into the mountains again today. I took some nice photographs, I think around Sandstone Falls and The Bluestone Dam. Lots of interesting things there. I love the clear air, the woods, the water. A US Park Ranger told us that some photographers come up there just to photgraph specific plants. Botanical photographers, he called them The New River Gorge National River is a really neat place to visit if you're close and so inclined. So many things to see and do along it. I should have pictures tomorrow.

Tomorrow is October. Wow!


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