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News Briefs 18-11-2013

Robot proves itself to be to have been self-conscious.

Quote of the Day:

F*** these guys. I’ve spent the last ten years of my life trying to keep Google’s users safe and secure from the many diverse threats Google faces. I’ve seen armies of machines DOS-ing Google. I’ve seen worms DOS-ing Google to find vulnerabilities in other people’s software. I’ve seen criminal gangs figure out malware.

But after spending all that time helping in my tiny way to protect Google — one of the greatest things to arise from the internet — seeing this, well, it’s just a little like coming home from War with Sauron, destroying the One Ring, only to discover the NSA is on the front porch of the Shire chopping down the Party Tree and outsourcing all the hobbit farmers with half-orcs and whips.

Google engineer Brandon Downey, as quoted in Google engineers offer the NSA ‘a giant F*** You’.

  1. Do we live in a Matrix? Do we want to know?
    I’ve considered this at varying times after reading story links here and seeing tv shows touch on the matter. Don’t know what difference it makes as I try to wrap my brain around the implications. Presuming we do not live in a computer simulation, then we still have not determined what reality is, whether God exists or not, whether consciousness survives death or not, nor if our five senses are perceiving reality as it truly is. If we do live in a simulation, then it would be up to the simulators to determine the answers to these questions – if their program provides for continuation of consciousness after death/between lives, then so be it. Basically we just substitute Programmer for God. All the same rules would apply basically.

    If we are not in a simulation and there is no God nor any means for survival of consciousness after death, then we blink out…what would be the difference nor would it matter. Plus, assuming these test show we do live in a simulation, is it definitive, or does it mean the universe doesn’t operate the way we think and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions quite yet…

    I won’t lose any sleep over the question, already lost enough over whether consciousness survives death.. 😉

  2. Cabinet of Curios
    As a collector, I always enjoy animal related curiosities. However, I would never want an elephant tusk or ANY part of an endangered animal in my collection. Especially knowing it came from a poached animal, that’s just not cool!

    The problem is as long as there is a demand for rare and illegal items, poaching will continue. All collectors should know the laws of their state and country before acquiring an item and avoid protected species.

  3. Little Red
    Perhaps I am digging too deeply here, so bare with me:

    I always saw the tale of Red as a slightly veiled story. On one side being an obvious warning to little girls to stay out of the forest or you’ll be “attacked” by a “wolf” (aka a thief or child molester); and on the other side it seems to resonate with the stories told by the mystery schools that were meant for the initiated few. Red is dressed in the symbolic red of the rose (for example, there are many other reasons for that color) and is wandering alone through a wood. In many legends, both for better or worse, the wolf as a symbol of a guide or the “animal self” one must overcome through the wisdom of the mysteries. At the beginning of Dante’s Inferno, he is chased through a wood by a she-wolf (amongst other animals), and Virgil states that it is basically Dante’s concupiscence. On one side this could be a “elbow-in-the-side” to the Roman Catholic Church, but it is also a throw back to the ancient mysteries. Long before Rome or the Etruscans they conquered, a wolf-based mystery school may have began the story of the wolf as a symbolic guide to the candidates. Over time as the view of the wolf morphed from guide to monster, this also transformed it’s legend. However, the tellers of these tales who remembered the ancient wisdom kept some symbolism in the story just unveiled enough for those who go looking for it.

    In truth, neither Christianity nor Catholicism are responsible for the downfall of the “positive wolf symbolism.” It is believed to have happened some time during the Dark Ages, but it didn’t happen everywhere.

    It goes much deeper than that but if I keep typing my fingers are gonna fall off 😛

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