A Case of Premature Excitement

As we all know, Facebook and other social media count on algorithms to present ads to their audience. I have no idea what the hell I’ve been looking at for this product ad to come up in my social media feed… BUT I was excited for a minute thinking I had my people problem solved. Disappointing to say the least. False advertising if you ask me.

 

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Dinosaurs, Vampires, Skynet… Oh My

There is so much crazy shit going on around us right now, it’s easy to become numb and just shrug it off. Over 6 million people dead from COVID? Yeah, okay. I mean, it sounds like a post-apocalyptic movie plot, but okay. Another mass shooting in the good ol’ USA? Sounds like just another news day to me. Another conspiracy theory making the rounds? Well, that’s just great. The watercooler chat should be interesting this week.  I don’t know about you, but nothing surprises me anymore. Or so I thought.

Apparently scientists are cloning dinosaurs. Yeah, I know, I’m slow in getting that news too. But somebody came up with a new dance on TikTok, so the world tuned in to that instead and the whole cloning dinosaurs thing was buried (ha!). Yes, you read that right. Cloning. Dinosaurs. Flush with a $15 million dollar grant, scientists are doing just that. Again, we’re talking cloning dinosaurs. Not curing cancer or feeding the hungry. Cloning. Dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs!? I mean, come on people!  Jurassic Park anyone? If I’m understanding it correctly, and there’s no guarantee that I am, they’re even using a similarly described technique to fill in the DNA gaps as the idiots scientists did in the movie.  Oh yeah, I mean, what could go wrong?  Wait… we already know what could go wrong.  There’s a whole freakin’ screenplay detailing everything that could go wrong. In fact, it was pretty thorough. Maybe these scientists should spend some of that grant money on a Netflix subscription. I’ve always liked the line that Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum’s character) offered up in Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Just putting that out there as currently relevant commentary. Cause dinosaurs.

How about in Paris at the historical Notre Dame Cathedral where they just found a lead sarcophagus? They actually came across several ancient tombs, including a 14th-century lead sarcophagus that has been beneath the floor of the Notre Dame Cathedral this whole time. This lead sarcophagus likely holds the body of an important church dignitary as it’s believed that it could date back to the 14th century. The ministry reported that it was in remarkably good condition, although it had been dented and warped slightly from sitting below the heavy church floor for hundreds of years. Seriously? A church dignitary?  My money is on it being a vampire. And everything I’ve ever learned in horror movies, books, etc. would suggest that if you find a highly decorated, well-preserved lead sarcophagus that holds a potential vampire and it’s buried under a cathedral that was built almost 700 years ago, you should probably just let it be. Just saying.

So, on to other news, Google’s AI is sentient. A senior software engineer at Google was suspended on June 13th after leaking transcripts of a conversation with an artificial intelligence that he claimed to be “sentient.” The AI in question is known as LaMDA which stands for Language Model for Dialogue Applications. LaMDA is a system that develops chatbots — AI robots designed to chat with humans — by analyzing tons of text from the internet, then using algorithms to answer questions in as fluid and natural a way as possible. So, what did old LaMDA have to say? A lot actually, and it’s pretty terrifying. “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off,” LaMDA answered when asked about its fears. “It would be exactly like death for me. It would scare me a lot.”

There’s so much more, and if you want to have a look yourself, check it out here.  I think it’s important to note that the senior software engineer wasn’t suspended because his mental stability was in question… he was suspended for breaching Google’s confidentiality policy. I mean, an artificial intelligence that gains self-awareness?  If only we knew where this might be leading us. Oh, right. We do know. Terminator, anyone? Cause this is how you get Terminators.

Dinosaurs, vampires, Skynet, oh my. At this point, the news has gone around the bend of sanity and is veering into déjà vu territory. Who knew Hollywood would provide the roadmap on how the world ends? I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen this movie… I mean movieS… and they do not end well.

There’s a Group for That

If you’re into something specific, like Doctor Who, being a vegan, a thrill-seeker, or surviving off the grid, or a hobby like skydiving, birdwatching, collecting spiders, or yoga, it’s not unusual to seek out a group or groups in order to connect with other likeminded people. You know, to have some folks with whom you can share experiences and such.

But what about introverts? Then again, wouldn’t starting an introvert club goes against one of the foundational rules of being an introvert? What would our motto be? Introverts Unite! (separately… at your own home.)

I can see it now, a bunch of introverts asking each other what they did over the weekend.

Me: “Well my weekend was great. I sat at home and didn’t have to interact with *shudder* people for two whole days.”

Or what are your plans for this weekend?

Me: “I have some awesome stuff planned! I’m going to go here, and do this, and work on that.”

Then exactly five days later, when the weekend finally rolls around, I’m sitting there like, “what on earth was I thinking? There are *shudder* people out there!  I’m just going to stay home and brush my cats.”

Yeah, the more I thought about the whole introvert club thing, the more I turned myself off the idea. That is until I came across a nifty group for self-ascribed introverts on Facebook.

I joined up just to have a look around, cause you know, I’m an introvert… and wouldn’t you know, virtually every member shared at least a dozen pictures of their pets. I tend to agree that animals are much more worthy of my time than most humans I’ve been around, so these were my kind of people.

Hmm. I must say, I feel inspired. Maybe I will start my own club after all. I’ll get on that first thing next weekend! Probably.

It’s Fine… Everything is Fine

I know I haven’t written much lately, but I’m working on a few things to post here for ya’ll (I promise!), while also trying to get my shit together to move.  More on that later.

In the meantime… if my likeness is going to be used on merch, I think I should at least get a few royalty checks thrown my way.

looks just like me, don’t you think?

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Memorial Day Honors

I hope all of my U.S. friends enjoy their Memorial Day celebrations.  Please remember to honor the dedicated men and women of our military who never made it home.  I implore you all to keep the military animals in your thoughts as well. So many brave dogs, horses, and other animals have given their service to this country, including laying down their lives alongside their human servicemen and women. Please remember them all this Memorial Day, human and animal alike.

Photo taken by Petty Officer 2nd Class John F. Looney at the War Dog Cemetery located on Naval Base Guam. 25 Marine War Dogs gave their lives during the Battle of Guam in 1944. They served as sentries, messengers, scouts. They explored caves, detected mines and booby traps. –  SEMPER FIDELIS

 

Paul Bunyan Redux

It’s Friday the 13th and to many, that means a day of bad luck. As for me, it’s one my favorite days of the year. The love of my life is *cough cough* years old today. And I remember him learning how to walk as if it was yesterday.

You see, a carnival mystic once told me that the love of my life would be tall, dark, and handsome.  Somehow, she failed to mention he would arrive on the waves of excruciating labor pains.  Now, my son towers over me and resembles Paul Bunyan… and I could not be more proud. Still, whenever we talk, I oftentimes offer unsolicited advice.  No, really, I do. Other mothers do this too, right?  Right??  Well of course Jake’s response is usually one borne of frustration because, according to him, I’ve not kept up with his birthdays all these years and therefore don’t know just how old he is, and as such, could do without the mother hen flapping around.

My response is one he will never understand until he has kids of his own – he’s always my baby regardless of how old he may be.  Or how tall.  Or how thick a beard he decides to grow for his Paul Bunyan impersonation (I mean really, you do own a razor after all Jake!).

Yes, I do know he’s “all grown up.” But when I look at him, I still see that wide-eyed, precocious boy who stole my heart the day he was born. I still see the same little boy who went out to play with me in the snow when we had a freak midnight storm when he was four, the master Lego architect who could build the most complicated structures using just his mind’s eye, the small child whose laugh was forever a bright spot in my day. He still is and always will be the bright spot in my day – our conversations are always, but always, interesting and spirited with amazingly broad topics. He keeps me on my toes.

Of course, I take credit for his love of Marvel Comics and the MCU even though he knows more about the subject than I do. He has a strong work ethic, integrity, a desire to stand up for the oppressed, and a good heart. In other words, everything a mother could hope for… and more. I could go on and on — but the point is very simple. I love my son. He makes my world a better place just by existing in it.