Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 30th, 2011

Projects to live 700 years: What is Singularity University?

Remember Deep Blue?  The program of IBM that defeated Garry Kasparov in chess?  How about Project Blue Brain, also by IBM, a synthetic brain following mammalian’s models?  David Ferruci is responsible of the Semantic Analysis and Integration part; David is ironing out a few glitches in project Watson, a supercomputer designed to challenge contestants in Jeopardy. Project Blue Brain has created hundreds of programs and algorithms endowed with capabilities of reasoning, learning, organizing memories…; these algorithms are based on Artificial Intelligence rules of (If-Then) questions and answers.

There is this Singularity University, a campus based at NASA, and is supported and funded by Google and the Pentagon.  Google is working on a “giant brain” emulating human reflexes!  Yes, a “Singular Brain”. Peter Diamantis, the co-founder of Singularity University and its director since June 2009, declared that his objective is to live to be 700 years; “I am very serious” he said.  It seems that current technology has limits: It cannot extend life beyond 700 years; or maybe an oracle warned him not to witness what will happen 700 years later. The 49-year old Diamantis is a pioneer of private space trips.

You have participants coughing up $15,000 just for a 9-day sessions of discussions and training for acquiring creative minds.  If you want to attend a 10-week session then you must have saved $25,000.  Obviously, these rich participants are encouraged by their multinational corporations as direct means for funding this Singularity thing.

Andrew Hessel, former researcher at Amgen (biotechnology leader) is confident that within 10 years we will be able to control the code of life.  Christopher de Charms is involved in brain imaging:  Collecting information by means of detection systems that quantify (objectively) the levels of depression or pain; he said: “We are about to obtaining objective data directly from the brain”. How objectively feelings can be quantified?  How would a experimenter know what we feel in order to gather the proper data?

What about this engineer and entrepreneur Raymond Kurzwell? He is the author of “Humanity 2.0: The bible of change” and described as the “absolute thinking machine”?   He pretends that artificial recreation of a brain is far simpler than what it appears since everything is enclosed in the genome.  Kurzwell is the inventor of readers of characters for the blind, music synthesizer,  and voice recognition. Kurzwell envisions the usage  of sciences to improving mankind physical and mental capabilities; for example, by applying genetics and nanotechnologies illnesses and getting old would one day be history!  He said: “Being a human means precisely to going beyond what we are”.  Ethan, Kurzwell’s son, said lately: “My dad has been considered lately as far less bizarre:  He is such meticulous in his research and his reflections are far advanced.”

Skeptics are by the shovelful; generally they had experienced life and tend to view the optimism of Singularity University as overly premature:  extrapolating trends on prior advances are no longer applicable, since the rates of scientific advances and technology are diminishing rapidly relative to population rate increase . Among other facts. Anyway, how many people reaped any advantages in decoding the genome so far?  Are these technology destined to be reserved for the elite 1% of humanity?  Are eugenics programs developing full swing?

Note:  You may read

The leaders of the Palestinian Authority, those self-appointed President, PM, and negotiators in the name of the Palestinian people (in the West Bank, in Gaza, in refugee camps all around the world…) that refused to have another democratic election for fear of Hamas winning all the way, have been under contemptible situations as leaks of their cowardly negotiations with Israel surfaced in the public domain.

The Palestinian Authority is blaming the Emir of Qatar, since Al Jazeera is headquartered in Qatar, to leaking enormous amount of documents that robbed any remaining legitimacy to the Palestinian Authority:  This Authority is holding simply because the US and the western States want them to remain in power. The Palestinian Authority, represented by the defunct President Mahmoud Abass, Fayyad PM (stooges to the IMF and US Administration), Ahmad Korey3,  Saeb Erakat…are claiming that the maps are those presented by Israel and not their own version of land concessions; that the negotiations didn’t waver from what Arafat signed on in Oslo in 1993…

It sounded so disgusting; an “illegitimate government” endeavoring to negotiate from positions of total impotence and helplessness.  This Authority has not the backing of the Palestinian people and has been behaving as an oligarchic political system:  The Treasury is considered as belonging to the Fateh faction and the miniature other factions, factions that relinquished resistance to the occupier and insist on licking asses at every opportunity. This Authority has been cooperating fully with Israel in capturing and assassinating Hamas operators, under the excuse that the Oslo agreement in 1993 was to safeguarding Israel’s security.

This Authority has been cornered since Sharon assigned Arafat to his quarter in Ramallah and then assassinated Arafat by poison.  This Authority has been functioning under a prison mentality and trying its best undignified posturing for being recognized by the western nations are “legitimate negotiators” on behalf of the Palestinian people.

You have commentators saying that the leaks didn’t divulge any strategic shift in the concept of independent State for peace but simple tactical giving away parcels of lands.  A parcel from here and a parcel from there and pretty soon there is no land to give away.  The quarters of Har Homa and Gilo are already under constructions for some years, and Ariel, and Maaleh Adumin well established.

Fact is, this Authority has been governing as an oligarchy to such an extent that the Palestinians living in Jerusalem would rather apply for Israel citizenship, if given choices, and refrain from living under abject conditions and lacking basic rights under this Authority.  What kind of Palestinian State these backstabbing and slandering negotiators are discussing?  Tzipi Livni was pretty crude, responding to Erakat, on the kind of military defenses the Palestinian State should have: “To create your State, you have got to agree with Israel in advance on everything.  Your only choice is to relinquish any choices in the future.  Those are the founding bases for negotiation.”

Rumors would like us to believe that:

First, the negotiation between Arafat and Uhud Barak failed during the Clinton Administration simply because Uhud wanted “what is underneath the Great Mosque” of Haram El-Sherif to be Israeli territory;

Second, Hamas refuses that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria to return to Israel but exclusively to the long-awaited Palestinian State

Third, the sticky parts in the negotiations is whether the Jewish quarter in Jerusalem should revert to Israel, or that the Armenian quarter should return to Israel…

What if the remaining West Bank land reserved for the Palestinian State barely constitute 30% of the original land before the 1967 borders, since all the 400 Jewish colonies distributed in the West Bank and special highways joining the colonies are to be Israeli territory…

What if the Palestinian State has no borders but with Israel and all its economy is based on Israel?

So far, No party discussed or asked the opinions and input from the Palestinians living in Israel and having Israeli citizenship and passport.

A unified negotiating team, including all the major factions, especially Hamas, is the only viable alternative to resuming a dead negotiation process.  Anyway, with the fall of Mubarak (Egypt), the last “strategic State” in the region to Israel, this Zionist State is no longer in a position to playing coy.  Not a single State around Israel is scared of Israel’s military retaliation of any kind.

In Lebanon, the channel Al Jadid has been diffusing videos of questioning sessions of the International Court representative to Lebanese political personalities,  related to the assassination of Rafic Hariri PM in 2005.  You cannot imagine how these politicians slandered and reviled their opponents in front of a foreigner, simply because he is a UN representative.  Lebanon has been ruled by those same leaders for 60 years; they claimed that stability and peace of Lebanon are linked to satisfying their family, clan, and sect interests.  The newly appointed Mikati PM has a small window of opportunity to demonstrate that he comprehend that the Lebanese people, before the fallen Mubarak, Ben Ali, and Saad Hariri, are no longer the same and demand drastic reforms.

Note:  Mubarak is denied political refugee status everywhere, even in Saudi Arabia.  Otherwise, Mubarak would have resigned a couple of days ago.  The US Administration is calling around to finding a resting location for Mubarak.  I suggest that the UN designate an Island State to be the refuge to all deposed Presidents in order to save thousands of casualties in mass upheavals.




January 2011

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