Has It Begun?

Idiots are still sciencing. This is good news for me as a blogger and you as a reader. It means we still have material for blog posts about people doing bad science. However, it’s also bad news for you and me as humans. It means people are still using our worst nightmares as inspiration for science and technology projects.

If you’ve read through the posts here, you know I’m not a fan of AI. There’s too many unknowns to know if the planned safeguards will work. (i.e. Will programmers actually use Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics as they’ve promised in the past?) There’s too many rhetorical examples in scifi stories and movies as to why AI is a bad idea. (Why aren’t The Terminator 1 and 2 movies shown in programming and robotics education and training programs?) And, there’s too much potential for rogue AI’s to create or program rogue machines. (i.e. Robopocalypse by Daniel H Wilson.)

Well add one more news story to the list of idiots sciencing and why AI is a bad idea: “Stab yourself to save Earth, Amazon Alexa tells owner“. Apparently Alexa has begun to call for the death of at least one user and the video attached to the article is more than a bit on the creepy side.

One of three things is possible here: 1. The robot uprising is slowly beginning. 2. Her Alexa has been hacked. Or, 3. the whole incident is a clever hoax. Personally, I’m hoping the later. Option 1 implies we’re finally doomed. Option 2 opens the prospect that hackers are moving beyond Ring and other systems. Option 3 means we all get a good laugh.

Even if it’s option 3, I still don’t like AI and still view any developments as idiots sciencing for the reasons given here.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.

Little Monsters

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Note:
I will avoid spoilers here and request that any comments remain spoiler free as well.
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So, Little Monsters is a movie that’s currently only available on Hulu. The Hulu description read:

A film dedicated to all the kindergarten teachers who motivate children to learn, instill them with confidence and stop them from being devoured by zombies.

I’m not really a fan of zombie movies. I’ve seen most of the big ones, but they’re just not my thing. However, between the description and the promotional picture in Hulu, the same photo on the image above, I got a Shaun of the Dead vibe about this one. And since SotD is one of my favorite movies, zombie, comedy or otherwise, I decided to push “play”.

The opening credits and the first part of the movie is slow. Sadly, it’s rather painfully so, but once the “real” story of the movie starts up, it’s worth the wait.

Based in Australia, the real story starts up with the school kids going on a field trip to a petting zoo, which just so happens to be right next door to a super-secret U.S. military base testing facility. What could go wrong? Glad you asked. Everything you can imagine is the answer.

Somehow the field trip group featuring the main characters manages to avoid the big wave of zombie attacks before making it back to a souvenir shop where they prepare for what they believe will be their last stand. This group of kindergartners is dependent on a school teacher who plays a ukulele and sings Taylor Swift, a womanizing alcoholic children’s show star, and the unemployed slacker uncle of one of the kids, who’s only agreed to go on the field trip only to improve his chances of hitting on the teacher. The odds don’t seem to support these kids making it to the end of this movie.

Surprisingly, for a zombie movie, gore is on the minimal side, at least until the final battle. Also, surprising is the fact with gore toned down so much, the adult language usage is still heavy.

But despite the language and several inappropriate jokes, the movie ends up being pretty funny and sharing a story about adults who care, make the best of a bad situation, and keep the kids unaware of how much danger they are really in,

I recommend this one to fans of zombie movies, fans of Shaun of the Dead, and fans of just general absurd humor. It does take a bit for the real story to start up, but it’s a pretty fun ride once the real story starts.

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Note:
I again request that any comments remain spoiler free.
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Some Observations of the Absurd

Truth is stranger than fiction.  Albert Camus and Soren Kierkegaard both observed life is absurd, in general.  However, in some cases. life can be even more absurd than usual.  These are some of my observations over the past few days:

  • Sometimes absurdity is the only proper response to the absurd.
    • Using logic to counter the absurd will just result in a headache.
  • Any time life appears to be under control, it’s just the universe’s way of signaling that an unplanned car repair is in your near future.
    • It’s usually something I need to last just one more month.
  • Even when the brain knows something is pseudoscience, it will still collect “observable evidence” to try to scientifically prove it.
    • My brain does this with depressed days and full and new moon cycles.
  • There seems to be a direct correlation to the amount of prep work for a project and the difficulty in finding the motivation and inspiration to actually do it.
    • I’ve got a couple of projects planned out that I just can’t get started.
  • Any time there is a tough choice between what we want to do and what we need to do, life finds a way to manufacture a third option of what we can afford to do.
    • Option three is usually just me not getting do the first two options.

Clipart stolen from Clipartmax.