Posted by: JDM..... | June 9, 2014

Executing good ideas.….

in the bloodier sense of the word….

Every bad idea started out as a good idea. It’s not that good ideas somehow spontaneously transform themselves into bad ideas, but that human beings have an innate need to mess with things. Take religion for example. Here is a phenomenal mechanism to bring group cohesion to countless independent nomads in the process of forsaking the traditions of hunting and gathering in favor of living in static communities so they could grow grain, brew beer, and invent bread. What a great idea! Acknowledge the existence of deities taking care of the group and making rules for them to follow, come up with a few shamans to deal with the food supply and play “Daddy” for the community, and voila. Western civilizations came up with the name “God”, or some variation thereof, and imbued him-her-it-they with a strict persona but one of boundless love. The problem was, and of course it “was” almost immediately, that there were as many variations of the Big Kahuna as there were groups developing cohesion. Between that sentinel moment in time and the one that just terminated while I was trying not to spill coffee on my new keyboard a second ago, I’d wager humanity has slain, tortured, beheaded, hung, drawn and quartered, stoned to death, in the Name of God more fellow human beings than have died in all of our wars, diseases, automobile accidents, suicides, dog bites, and pissed off cuckolds combined since the beginning of time. We’re supposedly at the top of the food chain at an infinite Smorgasbord, and yet we opt to consume ourselves.

Moving right along…..I mean, we obliterate virgin woodlands, build houses on the remaining desert, and then go about the business of ….. wait for it…..planting grass and trees! I don’t know how many tens of thousands of years ago the monkey’s nephew first eyeballed a bird and thought it would be pretty nifty to fly like one, but the minute he actually accomplished the feat, he was compelled to roll over and FLY UPSIDE DOWN! No other living thing is capable of exhibiting such perpetual arrogance, with the possible exception of the house cat. Maybe that’s why so many of us love them as pets. Lions and tigers and bears don’t build zoos for themselves under the presumption that they can create a better faux jungle than the original model.

To compound our incongruous concept of logic, we are completely aware that we do this, at least in hindsight. While we frantically rearrange the statutory furniture so the future generations won’t repeat our mistakes, we spare no potential opportunity to engineer new mistakes for our hapless descendants to deal with in a similar manner. The adage “Same shit different day” didn’t just pop out of the ether for no reason, after all.

But, that was then and this is now, so to speak.

According to an online NBC news item, an organization of British geeks announced that a computer program has finally been developed that can convince a panel of geeky judges it is actually human. Isaac Asimov and countless other science fiction writers have played this tune in print for decades, but, apparently, it now has stuck a toe in reality and at least one of Academia’s cerebral “Good Idea Farmers” has already broken the ice with predictions of wondertude for the digital doohickey in the service of mankind.

A professor from the University of Reading sees the Good Idea side of faux-people acting as mercenaries in the fight against “cyber crime”, and then creates the inevitable portal to Bad Idea Land by generalizing the technology into some non-specific, omnidirectional “communicator” with the single overall ability to lie to us and get away with it. First of all, that would seem like an immeasurably frightening proposition. Secondly, that “idea” is the exemplar of reinventing the wheel since humanity has been performing that little parlor trick in-house since some grunting hairball became the first one to stand upright.

That’s all I need, some ashen mobile computer carrying a briefcase and clad in a black suit knocking on my door to talk to me about “I Robot.”

Imagine being pulled over on the Interstate by R2D2 on steroids.

I can almost hear “Hal” laughing his motherboard off when I discover that my bank account has disappeared and that my name has been legally changed to some unforgivable obscenity in an extinct language

The list goes on, but I’m terrified that I might come up with a good idea, and that would be a bad idea, so I think it would be a good idea if I quit right now.



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