Archive for the ‘Theoblogical’
One of my MANY frustrations with the church is another in the series of adoptions of the “ways of the world” via the Mass Media Model. To stand idly by and say nothing as companies like Comcast and Time Warner monopolize the broadband market and work to prevent municipalities who have their own ideas about what would be good for their constituents from implementing those things which would lead to that good.
Broadband infrastructure is that good of which we are speaking here. We know, from the example of numerous foreign countries and some individual USA markets, that the broadband of the behemoth providers like Comcast is vastly overpriced and 50 to 100 times SLOWER than that “cheaper” broadband that can be had in these places where Comcast or Time Warner have not had their way. A mind blowing and infuriating history of these shenanigans is given by Susan Crawford in here book “Captive Audience”. It’s total bullshit, and we should be up in arms. Because it’s important. It’s important for education. It’s important for innovation because it connects us and enables a collaboration on a scale never before seen in history. It’s important for BUSINESS. For ALL businesses, even these BEHEMOTHS themselves! Their obvious problem here is that they are looking at and fighting for THE SHORT TERM. They are looking ahead exactly ZERO inches. And this is DUMB. STUPID. SHORT-SIGHTED. Self destructive.
Another danger in letting the behemoths consolidate is that they will be able to more firmly control what travels along their pipes, and how well it travels. They can give better quality of bandwidth to “privileged content” (aka “Content providers who pay a premium to the carriers. Those who don’t simply don’t get the quality or perhaps even the access. It is a turning back of the clock to the cost prohibitive days of television when only the huge production companies (NBC, CBS, ABC, and later, somewhat as a public service to provide a modicum of presence to a “public forum”, PBS).
The above is where the church needs to “be afraid, be very afraid”. If the pipes are to become sold to the highest bidder, then the opportunity that the church has had and continues to flounder in leveraging, is lost. We’ll see the “internet version” of media monopoly, which has already begun. As usual, the church looks at the Internet and sees a shovelware channel. It’s stuck in the world of print, and in some “cool” instances, in the world of old broadcast media with top-down , TV style video “streaming”. All of the innovation lies ahead in the convergence of video conferencing, social media, and mobile technology. Look ahead , folks.
To understand how the brain works will also take a new dimension to our thinking; yet also possible.
My stated lone objection to Kurzweil’s #Singularity thesis is that despite the obvious continuing advancement in computer capability and affordability, simply reverse engineering the human brain still leaves us short of understanding how the brain (or “person”) takes the activity that we can measure or sense with imaging technology, and act upon that (although we can undoubtedly also measure the “act” of responding to the information presented to the brain, wherein lies the “intelligence” and “reaction” from a personal experience perspective? This is the representative of kind of question I still have, having read through the entirety of “The Singularity is Near” and starting to read “How to Create a Mind”. Perhaps the latter will shed some additional light on this for me.
On a related note: I just tweeted: “I’m fully aware that this “new dimension to our thinking” is something I don’t yet understand – cuz if I did, it wouldn’t be “new” “
Been watching a couple trailers, including one 15 minute long one that includes several artistic folks talking about relationships (here). After reading several others where various reviewers talk about “sounds like Skynet” (basically jumping out of the conversation about what WOULD be important ingredients of good AI) ….I’d rather explore what it is we’re looking for , ALL THE TIME, even as an exercise in trying to mend or improve our way of relating to others. While I don’t follow to the “eventual goal” of AI (to become indistinguishable from “real human”) because I think there will always be various amounts of “missing links” in any approximation of a “personality”. I just wince when I hear people almost START with the “warning” about the “takeover”. Might as well begin with the notion that ANY relationship is going to end up in hurt and rejection, so why bother? That doesn’t get one very far in the journey of “trying anyway” , because we simply must have “it”.
We have already come a long way in finding surprisingly deep personal conversations in the online world, and new ways of extending upon the ideals of finding community in physical spaces…..helping us FIND such places and people and helping us IMPROVE the connectivity of those places and people beyond the limited amount of time we have with those people and places.
Although I have limits in mind to how far AI can go (like I dont see a point at which we can “Build a brain” that can be indistinguishable from “human”) , I also have to acknowledge that there is a lot to do in coming at personhood from the social, and also as yet to be unexpected improvements in AI on a “personal level”. I just want to keep exploring beyond what I might expect at any given point. That exploration itself is valuable.