Good flics

Here are 14 movies that we enjoyed recently.  They can be found on Amazon Prime. Some are serials, some are films. They are not in rank order, they are simply alphabetized.  Enjoy….

Adopt a Sailor
Jack Ryan
Love and Teleportation
Orphan Black
Pioneer One
Radio Free Albumuth 
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Fare
Touching Evil

Andy Warhol eating a Burger King burger

OK, so I watched some of the Super Bowl commercials.  One of them was Andy Warhol eating a burger.  It was like weird.  And I thought to myself, “isn’t he dead?”.  It was only 45 seconds long.  My curiosity got the best of me and I went searching for information about it.  I finally found a YouTube of the original footage from a 1982 Jørgen Leth documentary.

This movie clip is 4 minutes 27 seconds long.  Be prepared.  It reminds me of two things: one is mindfulness eating! This is how mindfulness eating is done!  Slow, dedicated, relaxed.  The other thing it reminds me of is how wasteful our society really is.  All that paper was just to deliver that itty bitty burger.  And then it was going to be just casually dumped.  At least it is recyclable.

Yes, Andy is dead, he died in Feb 22, 1987, aged 58.  About 32 years ago.

Yes, the internet is full of unusual stuff.  And here is some of it.  At least you can decide to click or not.


Cut and paste this if you prefer

The Moral Machine

Take a short 13 item “test” to see how you would program AI cars to choose between unavoidable scenarios involving who lives and who dies. There are no right or wrong responses. The quiz has been taken by 3-4 million people already from 233 countries. Your responses will be displayed as compared to the totals.

The current results have just been published in Nature Magazine 1 Nov 2018. Take the test here, go to bottom and “Start Judging”.

Some items are tough… 5 old people in a car vs. 5 mixed age pedestrians. Some are easy… people vs. animals.

The research article itself is behind a pay wall at If you have a subscription, you can find it here:

The applied results will be driving past your house soon. But the programming will be changeable. Help the programmer near you make ethical choices.

“Before you travel, do not forget to sit on your luggage in silence for a few minutes before leaving home.” – A Russian superstition

AI Superpowers is a great read

AI Superpowers is a great book, written by Kai-Fu Lee. I find it more interesting to read this book than to do my FB browsing, email and news gathering combined. aka easy to read, exciting to see where we are going in our future, and amazing. I like science fiction, but this AI is better and it is reality.

Meanwhile, be sure to keep your cell phones charged. Read the book to find out why!

Disruptive shifts in our lives are coming. He estimates that within 15 years, we will be able to automate 40-50% of all jobs in the USA. The final chapters contain a list of societal changes needed to offset the impacts of AI on job destruction.

This paradigm shift will affect all of us, with rising unemployment and widening inequality facing us unless we begin to make changes soon. We need to remember what makes us human and gives life meaning, and it ain’t jobs.

IMHO, we can’t stop what’s already begun. But we can begin to work towards a symbiotic solution. Quoting Lee: “If we believe that life has meaning beyond this material rat race, then AI just might be the tool that can help us uncover that deeper meaning.” Big government is part of the solution. Military domination is not. We need to reward socially productive activities. Remember “social investment stipends”.

Origin Story

This is an amazing book that somehow is able to put the full history of our planet into one book. The subject matter crosses so many disciplines that I am amazed a single person was able to write it. David Christian is a Distinguished Professor of History at Macquarie University, a MOOC instructor at Coursera, a cofounder of the Big History Project with Bill Gates, a TED Talker, a speaker at the Davis World Economic Forum.

And… he can make history interesting and approachable. Our Origin Story begins with the big bang and ends with questions about our future. This book belongs in every library, it should be read by everyone serious about our present world.

David is a realist and optimist, which is rare these days. It is easy to recommend this book.

Life 3.0

If you’re interested in artificial intelligence (AI), I highly recommend that you read this new book Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark, a professor at MIT. His book is an easy read for the amateur and weighty enough for the AI students and professional. It explains (finally someone got it through to me) how neural networks work, how our mind learns and remembers and generally how machines can be built to mimic these processes. This is a realistic book, issues in the future are explained, not sidestepped. This is a science book that is not only important, but fun to read. I give it 5 stars!


“This is a conversation that everyone needs to join. But for them to join it constructively, we need to educate them about what the challenges and opportunities actually are. Otherwise it degenerates into the scaremongering that the British tabloids do. Ultimately, this is a very exciting opportunity. Everything I love about civilization is the product of intelligence. If we can create a beneficial superintelligence, we can help humanity flourish better than ever before.” — by Max Tegmark

“Worth reading Life 3.0 by @Tegmark. AI will be the best or worst thing ever for humanity, so let’s get it right.” — by Elon Musk in Twitter

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” – by Bill Gates

“If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.” – so said Voltaire

No Is Not Enough – the book

The new book “No Is Not Enough” by Naomi Klein should be read by all. It was rushed out in reaction to Donald Trump, but includes important comments about climate change and the anthropocene.

Because one of the most unjust aspects of climate disruption is that our actions as adults today will have their most severe impact on the lives of generations yet to come, as well as kids alive today who are too young to impact policy — kids like Toma (her son) and his friends, and their generation the world over. These children have done nothing to create the crisis, but they are the ones who will deal with the most extreme weather — the storms and droughts and fires and rising seas — and all the social and economic stresses that will flow as a result. They are the ones growing up amidst a mass extinction, robbed of so much beauty and so much of the companionship that comes from being surrounded by other life forms.

The above quote from the book is how I feel about my grandchildren (aged 12-19). Global warming, climate change, neoliberalsim, the USA oligarchy, Trumpism, all of these things are not their fault. The adults of the “western world” have effed up society and the planet so bad that I feel revolution will be the only way out. And these kids will be fighting the wars, unless we can help wake people up to the dangers.

Get a copy of the book, buy it, library it, borrow it. And learn more at

“I’m not looking to overthrow the American government, the corporate state already has..” – John Trudell