Browsing All posts tagged under »#longreads«

God in the Eyes

December 23, 2018

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Out of nothing I have created a strange new universe. — Janos Bolyai Is there a God? I have no idea. But if there is one, He (or She or It) ought to be really, really impressive. The standard God who watches the Game Board of the Universe and occasionally moves some of the pieces, is so … so … human. And that’s a […]

The Genie Problem

November 25, 2018

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It would be much better to call a halt in material progress and discovery rather than to be mastered by our own apparatus and the forces which it directs. — Winston Churchill In the debate about Artificial Intelligence — will it be a good thing? Will it bring destruction? — there’s a big divide between […]

The Billionaire Soirée — a short story

September 30, 2018

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A man of financial wealth who values himself by his financial net worth is poorer than a poor man who values himself by his intrinsic self worth. — Sydney Madwed Shortly after I made my first billion, I got invited to a very swank, exclusive party. All the invitees were billionaires. This would be a […]

Glakreg, cont. — a short story

July 8, 2018

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[Glakreg’s story begins at this link] No one knows they’re not dreaming. Not one of us. Not ever. Not for one single moment of our lives. — Doctor Who I was doing fine until I set off the quantum fluctuation. It’s been trouble ever since. I was finishing up my college physics project, an experiment […]

Not the Same as a Rapist

March 18, 2018

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I have been sexually harassed, I have been sexually abused, and I have been date-raped. And, don’t tell me they are all the same, because they are not. They are not the same. . . . And, I don’t want to throw everybody on the same manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same […]

The Light Within — a short story

February 18, 2018

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[**WARNING: This story contains scenes that may not be suitable for younger readers. Please use discretion.**] Love is like a friendship caught on fire. — Bruce Lee You’re the fire burning inside of me. ― Kelvin O’Ralph It began, strangely enough, in a cemetery. The headstones stood, some at odd angles, on a grassy hillside that […]

Rude or Rape?

December 17, 2017

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If you’re a person who complains about everything all the time, then you’re just the boy who cried ‘wolf.’ But if you do it on occasion and about the right reasons, then people listen. — Bryan Cranston At the height of the Vietnam War sit-ins, The New Yorker admonished protesters about using the word “totalitarian” […]

Brain Replacement Surgery — a short story

September 24, 2017

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I would be glad to know . . . whether, when my brain has lost its original structure, and when some hundred years after the same materials are fabricated so curiously as to become an intelligent being, whether I say that being will be me . . . — Thomas Reid Since you asked, the real […]

The Search for Status by Bags of Goo

June 4, 2017

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We have developed a mania for regulating people. We forbid not only evil practices, but we are beginning to lay the restraining hand of law upon practices that are at the most of only doubtful character. — George Sutherland Established incumbents [in business] prefer regulations that take the form of predictable, upfront high fixed costs, […]

Will We Control AI?

January 8, 2017

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. . . If we just build an AI without tuning its values, the argument goes, one of the first things it will do is destroy humanity. — Maciej Cegłowski We “live in interesting times” fraught with “dangerous opportunities”. But enough about China. Within the next 30 years or so, due to rapid advances in […]

Media vs. Trump

November 13, 2016

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The big story is the big cities trending blue (all over the country) and the smaller towns trending red. — Scott Sumner To the media, it was a stunning surprise. How on Earth could a tinhorn conservative boor like Donald Trump become president? After all, the polls clearly signaled a victory for the Democratic party’s […]

Syria and The Great Filter

October 30, 2016

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One of the problems with being a pessimist is that you can never celebrate when you are proven right. — Thomas Sowell I once nearly made a bet with a friend that we’d suffer a terrible world war in the following ten years, a war that would kill nearly everyone. Then I thought: If I won, […]

How the Software Deleted the Humans — a short story

June 26, 2016

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By far, the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it. — Eliezer Yudkowsky The lonely guy lived in the basement of his parents’ house, managing four computers, his fingers dancing over the keys as his mind created digital wonders line by line. His expanding belly sometimes bulged […]

The Prime Directive and the Rancher — a short satire

February 21, 2016

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No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet. No references to space or the fact that there are other worlds or civilizations. — “Star Trek” In the TV series “Star Trek”, the Prime Directive forbade the Federation from giving away the secrets of high technology to primitive alien […]

The Chancellor Resigns — a short story

December 13, 2015

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Dean Mary Spellman at Claremont McKenna stepped down after she sparked a campus protest and hunger strikes by two students this week over her email to a Latina student saying she would work to serve those who “don’t fit our CMC mold.” — news item Is this on? … Okay. Can you hear me? Good. […]