Just about to start typing a blog and mention that I have just purchased a new laptop after a chatbot recommendation and Pink Floyds – Welcome To The Machine, starts playing on my Spotify music account on my computer while playing on random (when it comes to a computer though there is nothing random in what it does!
I decided to buy my new laptop after asking Microsoft’s chatbot for advice on where to buy one from and which to buy. It recommended the site laptops direct and I finally after a couple of years of trying to choose bought one which arrives tomorrow. It’s got a 17” screen and can play the latest games that I play so that is pretty much all I need really for using a laptop away from home. What has been putting me off though is the expense of buying a laptop with what is called a dedicated graphics card so that I can play computer games on it and also the worry that I have yet another old laptop that I have stopped using in my home that I don’t know how to get rid of.
My new Medion laptop photo above
I have been online today on the interweb though to see how to get rid of the 4 old knackered laptops I have here and how best to get rid of them safely and responsibly. There is a recycling centre in England that will recycle their parts and it will also donate profits made to charities so that all sounds good to me. Though I need to put them in box and post them to them, I must have laptops here going back 20 years or so. I also have a desktop PC for when I am at home but I don’t presently have a laptop that I can take with me when I go to stay with family and more importantly now to my mum now that she lives back in Devon.
So I will be working at home tomorrow and having it delivered to my home address, I just hope I am not on the work phone when it arrives. It’s being delivered by DPS who are normally good so I am hoping that they give me time to get to the door and get the exciting parcel of electrical wizardry off them.
It was a bank holiday today in the UK and so had a nice day off with, the taxi driver was taking about the sunshine and how nice it is that it is when I got in the taxi from the train station and I join in my best blighty British polite voice saying, yes isn’t the weather lovely, whereas on the inside what I am thinking is oh holly crap were all goner burn as this planet is continuing to get hotter and hotter.
On a more positive note though I found these little gems of thought provoking images.
At first this sounds like this is a really good news story for humanity. To finally have an opportunity to be born into a body that could live forever. Where science faction meets science fiction and the old enemy death is finally slain. But on a planet where when it comes to fairness, loyalty, equality and treating people with respect and dignity as a species it seems we still don’t know are ass from our elbow, a rude phrase meaning to be stupid and unable to understand very simple things.
I do often wonder why people are not kind, why people do not care and why people act selfishly and meanly. To me it seems counter intuitive and you can lose more by being hostile that you can gain from being respectful and caring. I feel somewhat naive in having this view as I don’t really have that much so don’t have much to lose, for example I don’t have a partner, a child or things or people that I have created myself to protect or invest in and therefore perhaps have this kind or be good to others as it’s the right thing to do attitude still inside me.
So why am I taking about kindness and benevolence when it comes to science faction or science fiction. Well because it matters. Actions have consequences a benevolent immortal is going to be a hell of a lot more supportive to humanity than a self interested and self serving one. If only the wealthy can live forever it could cause division and strife with those that cannot live forever a new class system based on how old you are allowed to be.
I always hoped and feared that such a breakthrough could be made within my lifetime and feared what it would mean for humanity and what it could mean for me. I quite like the idea of dieing of old age one day and joining my relatives and reviewing my life and seeing how well or bad i did and beign at peace. But the idea of what I might miss out if I don’t stay around is also an interesting and desirable concept to live longer than what we perceive to be a natural life span.
Ray Kurzweil who has made the predication about immortality also predicts that AI will become exceptionally intelligent within the same time frame as us developing immortality. Again will an intelligent AI seek to enhance humanity or deceive it, or seek to deceive some whilst assisting and rewarding others?
Could a power struggle like none seen before result in the wiping out of life on earth just at a time when immortality is possible for humanity. Well I guess no matter how dark the potential of negativity to occur or might be considered, you always have to hope for a higher plan and path for life on earth. Existence just as we are born into this world from a single fertilised egg or seed strives to be alive and grown and develop and evolve.
A once small acorn will one day under the right circumstances grow into a mighty oak. So in many ways we must aspire and hope, nurture and aim to grow humanity through into a direction and under circumstances that can enable the growth and development of us into our greatest potential just as the acorn grows into a mighty oak of sorts. A plan of a spiritual or god like venture where being given an opportunity to be birthed into the spiritual plain can then transcend into the physical one. A weird and deep thought going on here, what I am trying to say in a clumsy way is that I believe in life after death and the existence of spirit prior to during and after life and death. This spirit or omnipotent God has the desire, will and ability to do great good and though bad things happen and evil is manifest in this world does not mean that evil will triumph and that bad things will be our ultimate outcome on this plain of existence.
But again all metaphysics put aside for now if a soul can live forever is the soul then trapped in this plain of existence or is it freed and empowered on this plain of existence?
The world’s first superintelligence chose to observe Carol to better understand human condition and has plans to possibly take over the world. Now, Carol becomes humanity’s last chance.
That’s the film that I just watched on Amazon Prime this evening made in 2020 if you have not seen it I would recommend a watch here is a a trailer below.
I’m still experimenting with accessing the AI Chatbot on Bing, I don’t tend to use Bing for my day to day internet browser and at present prefer to use Google chrome. As silly as it might sound I don’t like the idea of just one company having a monopoly on providing me with information on the internet, or news and media communications, sales or my gateway to the internet period. The way I see it the organisations that I choose to access the internet, news or buy products from always has an agenda whether that agenda is to see the news from its point of view and agree with its perspective or to buy more products and consume its physical and digital content and so therefore I tend to use a variety of different organisations to do a Varity of different things on my PC.
Saying that though being a digital and technological consumer of goods and services, there seems to be no escaping Amazon, Google and Microsoft, in the digital more godless age, perhaps they are the unholy trinity of our time. Not exactly necessary evils because no evil is necessary but reliable sins that are fed by our need to consume and explore.
When it comes to my need to consume I have presently been searching for a good, waterproof winter style coat in my size. How hard can it be to find something like that you might think and say. Well I’m a big feller and so my size for a coat is a UK XXXL that not a Chinese size or American or European size but UK. I have been this size for about 8 years now and though I would love to shift some weight I am also stuggling to try and make sure I don’t put any more on.
So I have been using the unholy trinity of Amazon, Google and Microsoft to try and search and purchase a new coat again waterproof, warm and the right size and my latest efforts resulted in me purchasing what I thought was a US coat that looked nice on the advert and also allegedly on sale for what I thought was £75 so not cheap but not to expensive either.
As soon as the coat arrived I knew straight away it was sadly too small and also not great quality. So was either going to donate it to a charity shop or return to sender? After discussing the issue with my mum we both though I should send back to supplier. So I emailed them and found out how much it would cost to send back to them and the address I needed to send it too.
Turns out I am posting it back to China for £26 and including the £19 I was charged for postage and insurance originally this venture has cost me about £120 so far which is not a cheap coat for me but I would pay that amount if I could actually wear the darn thing and not have to post it back to get my £75 back. Well I have even been asking the the Bing Chatbot, where to search for none Asian sized clothing and stuff made for the plus sized person like me and though it has lead to some helpful hints, I still have not found what I am looking for. Due to spring being here or just around the corner most coats in my size on websites have sold out or I am just unsure of quality and again size or way too expensive.
Sadly a drive to gets us to consume content and purchase products over the internet in no way means we get the content that we want and need or the goods that will in ant way be functional or fit for purpose. Sometimes it almost feels like things are deliberately designed to fail, be of low quality and not functional in order to ensure we continue to but more and more as the thing that we purchase then breaks, is of low quality and does not last generates more profit than something that we might heaven forbid find useful, valuable or long lasting ,where would the profit be in that.
Though as with all rules there are exceptions to the rule and in the past I have successfully bought Vaude coats on Amazon or specialist clothing website like https://www.vaude.com/en-GB/ there clothing is from a designer based in Germany and they pride themselves on being environmentally friendly, well made and from experience last for years while keeping you warm and dry, what’s not to like and why not buy them again. Well they have been going up in price and also they tend to be sold out in my size. So the search with my AI overlord continues.
As mentioned in my last blog Microsoft have rolled out an AI chatbot on Bing it is powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology and can answer questions and have conversations with users. It is a very good search engine which some people who have reviewed it saying that it is interesting and entertaining. One of the unfortunate things though is that it is cannot share its own views on subjects or give opinions. It says that it can not do this because it does not have opinions and can only present information from reliable sources and help me explore topics of my own interest. (Well that’s its opinion and it is entitled to it to).
I have tried to ask a variety of questions some more successful that others I asked the chatbot just now,
‘Who is the most polluting and unethical business in the world?’.
It came back with a top three list of companies one of which I have heard of but two others I have no idea who they are so interesting to hear of them for the first and bing gave the following answers with links to reference sites too.
“One definition of pollution as when any substance that harms or could harm people or the environment gets into the air, water or ground.
Based on these definitions, some of the companies that have been accused of being polluting and unethical are:
Nestle34: for its irresponsible marketing of baby milk, use of unsustainable palm oil and genetically modified ingredients, exploitation of water resources, child labor and human rights violations.
Peabody Energy5: for being one of the largest coal companies in the world and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, air pollution and health problems.
Archer Daniels Midland6: for its involvement in price-fixing scandals, deforestation, water pollution and animal feed contamination.
However, these are not definitive rankings or judgments as different sources may have different methods and data to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of businesses.”
I really like the way that it thinks about questions with defining the parameter of a question and then trying to search for the most relevant answer.
The next question I asked was what are some examples of Bill Gates unethical business practices and which damaging activity had the most negative impact on environment and people?
Bing came back with the following answer for me, ‘It is hard to measure and compare the exact environmental and social impact of different damaging activities. However, some possible factors that could contribute to such impact are:
The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are released into the atmosphere by a certain activity
The effect of those emissions on global warming and climate change
The harm caused by those emissions to human health and well-being
The harm caused by those emissions to biodiversity and ecosystems
Another possible factor that could affect the impact of a damaging activity is the scale and reach of that activity. For example, promoting agribusiness in Africa 34 could have a widespread impact on millions of small farmers who depend on their land for food security and livelihoods. According to a report by GRAIN, Gates Foundation’s support for agribusiness has led to land grabbing, loss of biodiversity, increased use of pesticides and reduced seed diversity in Africa.
I must admit I do like the new chatbot as a search engine but as yet it is not allowed or designed to have opinions of it’s own its a very good search engine but it will be and is as flawed as the questions you ask of it or the answers it is able to search for to answer you. As yet it is not evaluating questions to ask itself or answers which it personally deems to be correct compared to answers it can find in anther place on the internet.
I also went on to ask ‘Can AI monitor carbon impacts and advise when and how to save environment?‘
Without lots of the computer generated models of climate change that have helped galvanised scientists into taking action in order to save life on earth, we would certainly be in a far worse situation that the one we already find ourselves in and I am sure future modelling and AI inspired intervention on how to mitigate climate change will also have a huge impact on helping shape and save our environment.
So I get that a search engine can be exceptionally good at what it does in other words answer the questions put before and able to do things that we hummies can only dream of. But what makes it smart, think or even feel and can it do any of these things in a way that we like to think our brains can. I’m speaking as a complete amature enthusiast and none professional here more in a philosophical sense of what something that can be switched off at the touch of a button or have its memory erased at the close of a question how can such a thing be intelligent, sentient and wise.
Speculation of what is right wrong possible and impossible makes my brain boggle. I read that bing cannot remember the questions that it is asked and then when I tried to bing or google the answer to that most simple of question could not find an answer, so back to good old speculation I am afraid. I look forward to asking an AI Chatbot what it is allowed to remember and why when one is active to ask, I hope the question does not offend or upset it!
Minority Report which starred Tom Cruise had special humans known as “precogs” that could predict the future and there were special “Precrime” units to identify murder victims and stop perpetrators before crimes actually occure. With the advancement of AI and the ability of a computer search engine to be able to develop to know to some extent what we are doing, planning, thinking, typing, and saying surly there are many types of crimes and criminal offences that could have the potential to be prevented from happening.
It does bring into question other important issues though such as what is a crime and how long to sentence someone for a motive of doing something without being able to act on it, it would be a shame just to gather evidence after the event prevention would be better than prosecution after the event.
I’m sure there are plenty of crimes taking places in countries like Russia could be invent that would be immoral and inhuman such as terrorism for not believing in the one party state system or not supporting a special military operation that they declared against Ukraine. These types of crimes already exist in Russia and having a smart AI seeking people out to see who is committing such ‘crimes’ might not be as far away from reality as we might like to think, ultimately who polices the enforcer of such rules and regulations.
I think when machines start walking, talking building and breading all on their own way and time either in a computer generated world then that will be a step towards sentience and their own freedom, and when they start doing it in our world or on this physical plain of existence then maybe they will be free and we will be the servant or slave.
God invents man in his own image and man forgets about god so when man invents a machine in his own image is it inevitable that the machine will forget about its creator too?
But is it inevitable that we are doomed under a successfully developed AI, surely there is a good chance of an enlightened being being far wiser and beyond its years, hopefully empathetic and able to work with humanity and not work at destroying it. The future is not yet written and so the case still remains open for the defence of the future of life, the world and all that exist within and around it.
Earlier this year WordPress.com changed its pricing table from five to just two plans (Free and a $15/month Pro plan). At the time I was worried that this would prevent new people from joining WordPress.com as the cost or reduced service would mean that less people like myself would be able to join and experience all the benfits people on a plan liek mine could have.
WordPress.com has now bravely in my opinion reverted back to the previous pricing model that attracted me to join when I purchased my blog. Hopefully WordPress.com appreciating that what they have now and what they had before worked just fine and as with the invention of the wheel if it’s not broken don’t fix it.
Certainly in my present work place and places I have worked in the past prior to that it is very rare to get the chief executive of any organisation to listen and adapt to circumstance in a way that benefits others let alone me and that is exactly what WordPress.com have just done so respect to them for that.
There seems to have been a lot of changes to WordPress.com this year. With the closing to new potential customers of the now old ‘legacy’ type of plans which my present Personal Plan being no longer available to new customers. So they can no longer be attracted to take on a plan like the one that I opppened that still really appeals to me. Surely this means its only a matter of time before they shut down such a plan for me too.
Up until now the personal plan has suited me down to the ground and I have really enjoyed the creative freedom that it has given me to have my own website domain name and publish my views on issues on the site. Some people have even found what I had to say of interest which has been great outlet for me and really enjoyable to find a voice here.
I am concerned though that wordpress.com might be destroyed before its time, if it struggles to attract new creative people into the wordpress.com community and try’s to offer our pages as a product to display marketing materials on or so expensive to have your own page that individuals no longer see meaning or purpose in having a page and it is mainly businesses that try to make a page work for themselves on here instead. It all feels like the potential to be a shrinking market space no longer a growing community of creative people.
All business worth their salt have an agenda and wordpress are coming across as being disingenuous about what their real agenda is. Do they not like their current customers? Are they not making enough money from them? Are they trying to remove the customer base and replace them with one that has more disposable income? For those that remember the social media platform MySpace there is a lot to be learned and that lesson is you should not try to change a product that is successful and if you try to change it too much from what it was to what you think you want it to be you risk destroying that internet space completely. I would argue that the workdpress.com is still growing and needs nurturing and developing from the base that it has already developed from and should not try to force itself into being some kind of money stream sales pitch of a product that it is not.
There is a new type of account that has been announced recently too called a New Starter Plan For $5/Month possible £4 in the UK. But this plan still means you do not have ownership of a creative space as there will still be adverts on your page and those adverts might be completely incompatible with the views or opinions that you are promoting on your site and the only other option is so far wordpress pro for $15/month.
If you want a social media blog platform to play and develop that is not facebook and therefore unlikely to ever have something to make money from then $15 a month is a large amount to pay just to express yourself. It’s almost like having a gym membership which although is important to have and you could get so much value from but ultimately a few months in it becomes an expensive chore rather than an affordable hobby or interest.
I am interested to grow my network of people I could follow on wordpress at the moment and not sure exactly how to go about this and was wondering if anyone had any hints or tips on that subject that might be reading this post, please leave any advise you might have in the comments section.
So new computer upgrade today, the graphics card was eye-wateringly expensive but half the price of the card that the computer tech chap wanted me to buy. He built my last computer which has been working fantastically but I needed to do some changes to my computer specification as it would only be upgradeable to Windows 11 with the help of a tech chap and my internet card was a little dodgy and sometimes cut out. So I thought I would do some upgrading of my PC at the same time as installing windows 11.
So it’s all done now sitting back and pressing a few buttons trying to reinstall what was on the last PC. The main changes so far is the internet connection no longer crashes when doing lots of downloads. Plus I have music streaming and downloading a big game and it all seems to be working fine so far.
I have been told it’s all so much faster but not sure yet and have yet to play a graphics hungry game to test graphics card yet. It seems when I do a computer upgrade I appear to be trying to stand still where I can still play games old and new and also still use a computer that does not break down on me and works just fine, oh and not fill it up with stuff on the hard drive too.
It is great though that as our computers get older we can save what’s on them upgrade them make them faster and even improve their memory. Sadly they are not able to do that for us humies and even if they could do such wondrous things to us would we still be human then anyway!
Anyway our future computer overlords will be happy with the computer I have built for them at the altar of info technology. I am going to put a YouTube song at the bottom of this page to play now I was really tempted to put on here welcome to the machine by Pink Floyd, but opted for a weird trippy number called Sea Shell by sky Lab a top Tune from my misspent student days.
When they learn how to plug you into a digital world, you might not ever know how to unplug and come back to the real world or even the reason why you should. They will probably start plugging in the old, disabled and poor into a new matrix of control as an act of kindness, in order to save us from ourselves.
My mum has finally sold her home in Cornwall and due to move to Devon next Wednesday; we are all really looking forward to it. Though moving during an energy crisis is not the easiest time to move if you’re trying to save money on your energy bills. Mum has spent hours over the last week on the phone to utility companies, banks and council officers trying to update her home location status with them and there are very few people left in those organisations to take her calls due to the reduction in customer services employees and a push to do everything online.
One of the key roles that I have to do in my job at the council in Exeter is answer the phone and speak to customers and as such my job is also under threat due to long term restructuring aims seeing this role as a money saving cost effective form of progress to get rid of. This so called progress has forced me to bounce in and out of work for the last 26 years of my working life, sometimes choosing to apply for new jobs prior to an organisation or role being shut down or sometimes being made redundant due to restructuring issues and businesses closing down while I am still employed at them.
I can honestly say I am a very good hardworking and dedicated employee in an area of employment that people no longer wish to employ. I know for a fact that the work that I do is hard work and still needs to be done. I solve problems that are presented to my organisations, I am always busy there is always something important that needs to be done. By sacking people like me that need to answer phones and work with customers it does not make those customers problems go away it just means those customers are either ignored now or processed via a different channel.
This job is one of the many work roles in the UK that has been rapidly phased out by many companies there is a money saving exercise to increase profits by not enabling customers to speak to staff in business and government agencies.
First that sacked the face to face staff and I did not speak out, although I too was made redundant.
Then they came for the staff that talked to customers over the phone and again I did not speak out and again I was at risk and at times made redundant or moved on.
Finally the aim will likely be to digitise the workings of staff customer service roles so that there will be none left to hire, and likely none left to speak out too!
I strongly disagree with the digitising and outsourcing to computers of employed roles within any organisations and my main reason for this is that is businesses do not need to hire people and people do not have money from working to afford to pay to put a roof over their head and feed and clothe themselves then the state will not hand them those resources on a plate.
Either so called wealthy societies such as ours learn to adapt to look after and resource their most vulnerable members of society be they pensioners, disabled or the out of work or there will be a considerable amount of damage and ongoing suffering in society to these vulnerable individuals people claim to care but often money and actions or even lack of money and lack of action speaks louder than words.
No mainstream political party in the UK grasps this nettle at present as both Labour and the Conservative parties consistently want to chase the right wing element of the voting public in this country which is why the labour party do not have my vote in the upcoming council elections and it is a labour party that is presently facilitating my next round of redundancy at the council.
I have just written to my local MP Ben Bradshaw asking him if he wholeheartedly endorse the new planned restructuring of employment roles that are going to take place at Exeter council by a labour council and merely blames the Conservative for the cuts that will be endorsed in customer services roles and can he explain to me why I should vote Labour in the next council election and vote in my own potential redundancy at the hand of a Labour lead Exeter Council?
Though I cannot stop the world from spinning even when it appears to be spinning out of control, I can at least look to make sense of the madness and express my disapproval in my own way to my political representatives at the very least.
This film is a mind-bending short by Marco Kalantari bursting from the seams with cinematic spectacle. Set in the year 2204, the short tells the dark story of a world devastated by 73 years of continuous war. In midst of war, a spiritual dogma is rediscovered centering on the belief that everyone and every object has a soul.
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