Have Empathy for Money

Corporations, Corrupt Governments, Militaries and Lots of Empathy

Given all that’s happening in the world (wars, social injustice, brainwashing via mass-media and entertainment) it’s tempting to say we need a revolution. The heritage of this word is a bloody one. It is clear we need change. But let us embrace the concept of evolution.

The very idea of revolution implies a return to a previous state. It is circular and repetitive in nature, just like our violent history. Evolution means breaking this vicious circle. Due to the upcoming technological advances, which will make nuclear weapons look like wet firecrackers, we are forced to evolve rather than revolve. I believe one of the keys of the next evolutionary step (if not the key) is generalized empathy.

Artificial Non-Intelligence

The Danger with Artificial “Intelligence” Is That It’s Not (yet) Intelligent

Albert Einstein once said that “our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal”. He said this in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago, after seeing Europe ravaged by the First World War. Regardless, Einstein continued contributing to that same technological progress. Human curiosity and our desire to achieve are incompatible with stagnation. We will have to deal with this by being careful with the technology we will inevitably develop.

Like many have said before me, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can either be our salvation or our doom. It is a far bigger game-changer than nuclear bombs. But the problem is that there is NO Artificial Intelligence yet, and there won’t be for quite some time to come. Everything that the world’s corporations are selling now-a-days as “smart” or “intelligent” is actually a mindless human construct. Sure, it’s advanced, but if a rocket is more advanced than a spoon, that doesn’t make it in the slightest more intelligent than the spoon. They both lack one of the prime ingredients of intelligence, which is self-awareness. And therein lays the true threat.

Right now, our so-called artificial “intelligence” is nothing but a tool that corporations can and will use ruthlessly against one another (and against the people of one another). This is already taking place on the stock market, something I wrote about last year. Back then, I highlighted the fact that exactly because these algorithms are not intelligent, they will be used to enrich and empower whoever spent money in building them, regardless of their morals or social affiliation. And let’s not forget that software is far easier to steal and smuggle than radioactive material. Put the wrong AI in the hands of the wrong people and…

That Pepsi Commercial

That Pepsi Commercial

I am saddened by the fact that Pepsi took a noble message and a beautiful story only to ruin everything by having a script and implementation so utterly disrespectful towards minorities, women and social classes. Pepsi wants to say “we should look beyond social classes”, but instead highlights the ugly differences that exist between the privileged and the other 99%. The commercial is also a rather sad mix of cliché and kitsch.

Bottom line? It’s bad taste. Just like Pepsi and the rest of the canned sugar industry.

A Dark Side Of Software

A Dark Side of Software

Lying and cheating to get a competitive edge is nothing new and certainly not limited to human beings. But Earth has plenty of resources and there’s no serious threat to our existence in sight (other than ourselves, of course). Because companies affect so many beings, cheating has serious effects.

Thanks to software, never before has cheating had so many ways of staying hidden through complexity and obscurity. Thankfully, some people still have a conscience and this is how we found out about the way Uber, Volkswagen and probably many other companies have stayed above the law and ruined the lives of countless people.

EpiPen by Mylan

Big Pharma Finds Itself in the Spotlight Again

Now and then, the dirty tactics of Big Pharma burst out into the open. At the end of 2015, the disgusting maneuvers of Valeant came to light. Then-CEO, Martin Shkreli, laughed at and insulted the representatives of the people. We might sometimes dislike politicians, but the arrogance and greediness of these pharmaceutical companies is absolutely staggering.

All Your Computers Are Belong To Us

All Your Computers Are Belong to Us

In recent years, Intel has moved towards integrating some pretty nifty remote administration features into its CPUs. While this may be a good idea for certain enterprises, it may quickly turn into a nightmare as soon as exploits and vulnerabilities are found.

Software has bugs. Hey, it happens, everybody makes mistakes. But in this case, the mistakes can’t be corrected in time (before an attacker exploits them). That’s because, in typical monopolist corporation fashion, Intel is obscuring the process by not allowing the security community to analyze whatever code the company decides to shove into our machines. The same argument stands true regarding any proprietary code, especially Microsoft’s Windows, which after 20 years of fixes is still the most vulnerable mainstream operating system.

The Internet Diagram

The Uncertain Future of the Internet

As one of the most, if not the most powerful force for change, the Internet’s future is a cause for concern. In the past decade, governments and corporations have increasingly encroached upon our freedom and privacy. These entities will use every possible excuse to rein-in the transformative power of the Internet.

As more people get connected, the Internet is becoming a mirror of our society. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the horrible, we can all find it online. Our society isn’t perfect. Regulatory bodies are using this aspect to motivate various restrictions as being “for our own good”, this being one of the age-old excuses that our masters have used when trying to deprive us of something.

The Intellectual Diet

The Intellectual Diet

Just like the body is what it eats, the mind is what it experiences. This is a truth with vast and grave implications when it comes to the types of entertainment we invest our time in. Entertainment is a highly efficient social programming tool because when entertained the mind is open and relaxed. While in this state, it is easier for toxic messages to escape our scrutiny and infiltrate our thoughts.

A simple example about how entertainment has negatively affected our society is the impressive range of stereotypes it helped create. We need to look no further than the objectification of both women and men. The silent enforcement of ideal body types starts as early as the first cartoons kids watch and continues throughout the adult life, slowly dripping into our minds from movies to magazine covers and commercials.