Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Life in a World Without Work

Derek Thompson talks with The Atlantic editor in chief James Bennet about the state of jobs in America.

“I’ve always wanted to usher in a new era of technology where robots do our bidding. If you have better batteries, better robotics, more dexterous manipulation, then it’s not a far stretch to say robots do most of the work. So what do we do? Play? Draw? Actually talk to each other again?”
Alex Bandar

More and more articles are appearing predicting that machines will make workers obsolete and asking what will be the result.

In the latest, A World Without Work, The Atlantic senior editor Derek Thompson writes:

Futurists and science-fiction writers have at times looked forward to machines’ workplace takeover with a kind of giddy excitement, imagining the banishment of drudgery and its replacement by expansive leisure and almost limitless personal freedom. And make no mistake: if the capabilities of computers continue to multiply while the price of computing continues to decline, that will mean a great many of life’s necessities and luxuries will become ever cheaper, and it will mean great wealth … the widespread disappearance of work would usher in a social transformation unlike any we’ve seen.

Industriousness has served as America’s unofficial religion since its founding. The sanctity and preeminence of work lie at the heart of the country’s politics, economics, and social interactions. What might happen if work goes away?

Eventually, by degrees … a new normal, where the expectation that work will be a central feature of adult life dissipates for a significant portion of society.

Peter Frase belongs to a small group of writers, academics, and economists—they have been called “post-workists”—who welcome, even root for, the end of labor. American society has “an irrational belief in work for work’s sake,” says Benjamin Hunnicutt, another post-workist and a historian at the University of Iowa, even though most jobs aren’t so uplifting. A 2014 Gallup report of worker satisfaction found that as many as 70 percent of Americans don’t feel engaged by their current job.

Hunnicutt said he thinks colleges could reemerge as cultural centers rather than job-prep institutions. The word school, he pointed out, comes from skholē, the Greek word for “leisure.” “We used to teach people to be free,” he said. “Now we teach them to work.”

The post-workists argue that Americans work so hard because their culture has conditioned them to feel guilty when they are not being productive, and that this guilt will fade as work ceases to be the norm.

Less passive and more nourishing forms of mass leisure could develop. Arguably, they already are developing. The Internet, social media, and gaming offer entertainments that are as easy to slip into as is watching TV, but all are more purposeful and often less isolating. Video games, despite the derision aimed at them, are vehicles for achievement of a sort. Jeremy Bailenson, a communications professor at Stanford, says that as virtual-reality technology improves, people’s “cyber-existence” will become as rich and social as their “real” life. Games in which users climb “into another person’s skin to embody his or her experiences firsthand” don’t just let people live out vicarious fantasies, he has argued, but also “help you live as somebody else to teach you empathy and pro-social skills.”

To envision a future that offers more than minute-to-minute satisfaction, we have to imagine how millions of people might find meaningful work without formal wages. Read the entire article at The Atlantic.

Fat is Good

Science Daily

In a Viewpoint published in the Journal of the Medical Association, researchers from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University and Boston Children’s Hospital call on the federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption in the forthcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

There’s no longer going to be a recommended upper limit on total fat intake. We won’t have to worry so much about the total fat content of our food. And this makes a lot of sense, since in many ways, fats are much better for us than what they’ve typically been replaced with in low-fat diets – refined carbs and added sugars.

“Placing limits on total fat intake has no basis in science and leads to all sorts of wrong industry and consumer decisions. Modern evidence clearly shows that eating more foods rich in healthful fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and fish have protective effects, particularly for cardiovascular disease. Other fat-rich foods, like whole milk and cheese, appear pretty neutral; while many low-fat foods, like low-fat deli meats, fat-free salad dressing, and baked potato chips, are no better and often even worse than full-fat alternatives. It's the food that matters, not its fat content.

The USDA and HHS must use the 2015 guidelines to send the message that limiting total fat provides no benefits and actually leads to confusion and bad dietary choices.”
Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bob Dobbs | Entertainment Sucks

June/July 1995

March/April 1997

The following dialogue took place in Costa Rica on January 22, 1992 with Bob Dobbs, Connie Dobbs and Gerry Fialka.

In June, 1992 Bob released his first book Phatic Communion with Bob Dobbs. As an introduction, here's a brief excerpt from Bob's radio show: Bob - "I say human-scale is a reflex reaction to the situation we've come to in our mixed corporate-media effects, and I don't have any identification with anything that's going on. I offer the technique of suspended judgement. No point of view. I study the effects. I don't study the content of the figures. I study the ground, the effects of media on people. You've got to have the technique of suspended judgement and get out of the sensory bias of your time. Like Captain Beefheart says, 'I'm not really here, I just stick around for my friends!'" Now let us time travel to Costa Rica, January 22, 1992:

Bob Dobbs: ...We'll never know what Jack Ruby did at that point because I got lost in thought. I started to talk about how entertainment sucks, as all about me the world went amok.

Gerry Fialka: Tune in next week "As The World Bobs".

Bob: Bob along with Bob as Bob develops the theme that entertainment sucks. Okay, who came up with that phrase "entertainment sucks"? Was it you, Connie?

Connie Dobbs: Yes, Bob! And I'd like you to answer the question - why does entertainment suck?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

William Irwin Thompson | The Economic Relevance of Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne Fellows House

At the 1979 Lindisfarne Fellows Conference in Crestone, Colorado, and again at our Summer School of Sacred Architecture in 1981, Robert Mann, the founder of the Julliard String Quartet, gave us the gift of a performance of Bach’s Chaconne from the Second Partita for Unaccompanied Violin in D Minor.

After the 1979 performance in Maurice and Hanne Strong’s backyard, Bobby discussed with me those exalted moments of performance in which his conscious ego just disappeared in an epiphany of transfiguration. This form of epiphany was an experience I was familiar with in my own creative process when I was giving a public talk1 or writing my novel as I passed up out of the clouds of personal factual knowledge into a state of mind in which I began to be aware in an intuitive gnosis in which I learned much more than I personally knew.

And much the same was true of Lindisfarne as a group, as a noetic polity. There were moments in group-meditation, or in our conferences, when we all felt transfigured and exalted in a state of being in time that was larger than ourselves, and larger even than Lindisfarne as a group. Ultimately, the real significance of Lindisfarne resides in this shared sense of exaltation that touched and transformed the lives of those who participated in our time-bound concert of visions, ideas, emotions, and embodied minds. This personal sense of transfiguration was the metanoia of our noetic polity. In the stillness of group meditation after the conflicts of ego in communal living, or in the confusion and passions of love affairs that did not fit into the previous definitions of our lives, those who felt a connection to Lindisfarne experienced a moment of exaltation in which the ego dropped out of the way and something ineffable took its place. Continue reading at Wild River Review

Payday Chat Line | 13 June 2015


groomio.79 at 2:01:28 AM
"beef on a fork, got burnt, cooked, extra hot, mm. mmm" 
groomio.79 at 1:50:09 AM
it's gonna happen anyway..whether we talk about it or not and i don't know what " it" is....but it's good
augmentr.249 at 12:22:35 AM
blue ice?
Roxy.251 at 11:56:32 PM
Rebelations 22:22
Roxy.251 at 11:54:49 PM
Is one of the most repeazted words ob the Holy Boble.
Roxy.251 at 11:54:02 PM
the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness".
Roxy.251 at 11:47:21 PM
Repentance[1] is the activity of reviewing one's actions. Turn to God.