Writer of all types of fiction, poetry, and odd bits of non-fiction. Traveler, scuba diver, teacher, and observer of human behavior in Saudi Arabia. Buy "Rejuvenation", my new dystopian novel, at: https://tinyurl.com/yyevad5n
Two men living in the same apartment building wake up at 7 AM on a Tuesday and prepare for their day. They both hit snooze on their smart-phones and lie in bed, wishing for more sleep. Then they each sigh, resign themselves, and get out of their respective beds.
The defense attorney paused in his speech, bowed his head, and for a few moments, simply pursed his lips and studied the fists he clenched in front of his chest. Then he lifted his head, simultaneously opened his fists with his palms up, turned and addressed the judge directly.
He jauntily popped the last breakfast sausage between his thin and oily lips, chewed quickly, and swallowed a little too soon. As he rose from the table with a slight grunt, he placed his dirty plate with crumbs and untouched broccoli on the designated spot on the large table that would let the server know it could be taken away, winked at his wife, and strode with vigor towards the stacks of clean white plates. With a sneer on his lips and a half-formed insult in his mind, he rumbled past the salad bar with its bowls of plain lettuce, Caesar salad, vinaigrette salad, chickpea salad, corn salad, and other assorted raw vegetables.
The Bulls of Oman
It is 4 PM. The bulls are supposed to be on their way, according to the few mentions on websites and the stories of my students. I have been here since 2:30 PM, as it is my habit to seriously overcompensate when attending basically any event. However, this is the Middle East, where they say inshallah in connection with time and attendance. “God willing,” the bulls will arrive at 4 PM.
A Catalytic Life
I will awake as the sun rises just high enough to shine through my bedroom window and warm my face. The timer I have set to match the sunrise and automatically update with the changing seconds of every day will have raised my blinds automatically. I will head straight to the shower that has also been turned on automatically and is at the perfect temperature for me. My coffee will be waiting for me, and my juicer has already squeezed the nutrients from my fruits and vegetables. All I need to do is dress myself, sit down at the table, and choose what to read while I start my day.
Unasked Questions Concerning Artificial Intelligence
With more and more of our attention being drawn towards discussions on the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI), everyone is knocking on the doors of our pre-eminent physicists and tech experts (techsperts), and the internet is being scoured for quotes to support one camp or the other. When asked about AI, Elon Musk said that he thinks we “should be very careful… If I were to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that.” Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking agree with Musk, while Neil deGrasse Tyson expresses equal concern, but adds that “as long as we don’t program emotions into robots, there’s no reason to fear them taking over the world.”
Liu Cixin's 'The Wandering Earth'
In Liu Cixin’s novella, The Wandering Earth, hope is a viscous substance clinging rather tenaciously to the remnants of humanity. At times, it seems as if this is the only theme running an even course throughout the story; however, tucked beneath the surface and erupting later in the story is another powerful theme that speaks to many of our problems today: a distrust of scientists.
The Darks Vs The Light of Transhumanism
"He’s more machine now than man." In 1983, along with my friends and hundreds of other kids, I went to the movie theater at Meridian Mall in Okemos, MI to watch The Return of the Jedi. As a young teenager, this line spoken by Obi Wan Kenobi was not my first introduction to the world of humans altered by science, but it was one of the more noteworthy. And the very next line set the tone of this particular encounter and my feelings on the topic of transhumanism for many years after: "His mind is twisted and evil."
Drone Warfare Escalation
On February 4, 2002, the CIA sent an unmanned Predator drone to the city of Khost in the Paktia province of Afghanistan in order to kill Osama bin Laden. Although the CIA had been patrolling parts of Afghanistan since 2000, this was the first time one had used lethal force, and this lethal force came in the form of a Hellfire missile with the ability to destroy a tank, or a medium-sized building. However, if you know your recent history, then you are aware that Osama bin Laden was not killed in this strike in 2002; instead, a small group of people collecting scrap metal was reportedly obliterated.