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Showing posts from June, 2012

Power Trick

“Power resides where men believe it resides… it’s a trick, a shadow on the wall… and a very small man can cast a very large shadow” 
- Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin 

An intriguing take on one of the most persistent and powerful desires of men - to possess power, over resources, over other men, over destiny itself.

Most sources of power are formal, either explicit or implicit contracts of authority, with money, rights, ownership or tradition giving them their legitimacy and, in many cases, acceptance.

But while most would be quick to list accurately and exhaustively those that have power over them, what is often unappreciated and unrecognized, is one's own power. Power to choose, to think, to decide, to act, to change.

The Arab Spring, is a case in point. An uprising of unprecedented scale, it was sparked by one man's refusal to accept his powerlessness. The act stirred the long suppressed desire of millions to snatch a bit of power over their lives that was their due. A …

Future

How far ahead can you think? A hundred years? A couple of hundred? Five hundred? A thousand? At which point, you probably agree, it starts to feel a little unrealistic. This future-blindness, as I call it, is perhaps an intrinsic part of human nature. We’ve evolved to think of life in terms of a human lifespan. Most of the human population, at any given time, would be hard pressed to trace their family history beyond a few generations.
So, what would life be like a thousand years from now? Of course, assuming we don’t blow ourselves up, and the planet doesn’t freeze over, or a comet doesn’t strike. How much farther would technology take us?
Machines would probably do most of our physical work, and possibly a great deal of what we consider mental work today. How far would artificial intelligence have developed? Would there be a difference between artificial and natural intelligence? Would machines have the ability to innovate and be creative?
Almost surely. Rise of the machines, if…