Read your piece, “Aliens.” You sound nervous about the possibility of intelligence evolving beyond the level of humans. Now you know how the mammals felt, when after ingesting a new amino acid protein, our mitochondrial DNA mutated and created the circumstances for the evolution of a dual hemisphered “human” brain to grow on top of our mammal and precedent reptile brains. All bets were off after that as we set about renovating reality to suit our evolving perceptions of possibilities.
The duality caused contrast and depth of field and we realized our full self-awareness for the first time. Metaphorically, we left the bliss of ignorance and the natural world behind and began to create a world of our own interpretation – the beginning of human abstract expressionism. As our subjective human world has grown increasingly complex and therefore confusing, humans really at this point have become no longer capable of processing all of the information required to make a correct decision.
Not wanting intelligence to evolve as it should and segue from humans to electronics is like building a house in The Hamptons and then not wanting anybody else to be allowed to build after that so the place stays the way we like it.
The machines are already in charge anyway. There is hardly a transaction that you can instigate that does not require you to follow specific steps dictated by the machine for the transaction to be completed. I watched a store clerk try to get a cash register to open and it would not until the clerk proceeded exactly as the machine said. Same thing with a credit card, and yesterday, while using the lavatory in a professional building, the paper towel machine would not dispense a towel into my wet, dripping hands until I placed them exactly where it wanted me to for the exact amount of time it required to determine the correctness of everything and determine that I was indeed “towel worthy.” They took over when we were asleep one night, or while we were all distracted watching the antics of Charlie Sheen or a royal wedding.
Try and relax about the whole thing if you can and go with the flow. Look at it this way, when you have to drag your butt out of the house when you don’t want to and do something to keep your personally chosen reality alive and kicking, and your dog is laying on the couch like you’d like to be doing, you can take some solace in the fact that you too will someday be knocked off the top of the mountain, and get to relax while those more capable follow the clock and do the dirty work.
Richard M. Kostura
A.k.a. Michael Galileo
I’m there now. It’s great. –DR
The U.S.D.A.’s new MyPlate dietary logo illustrates graphically the shrinking role of meat and dairy products in our national diet. It replaces meat with a tofu loaf, and shunts dairy off the plate.
The new logo provides a fitting conclusion to a 30-year record of the Dietary Guidelines recommending replacement of animal products and other fatty foods in our diet with vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains (see www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines).
The recommendations reflect widespread concern with the growing epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other killer diseases.
There is an historic reason why health authorities have not taken a stronger stand against meat and dairy, as they did with tobacco products three decades ago.
In 1977, the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published Dietary Goals for the United States, recommending reduced meat consumption. The meat industry forced the Committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new version. It then abolished the Committee, voted Chairman George McGovern out of office, and taught government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. (Food Politics by Marion Nestle, 2007).
Wanna go out for a burger? -DR
A tax WHOse time has come . . .
Some members of Congress are proposing a tax on stock transactions. Such a tax would have very little impact on most of those buying and selling stocks because of proposed tax limitations on ordinary transactions.
A stock transactions tax would incur extra costs mostly to those who are speculating by perpetually buying and selling the same stocks multiple times a day. It’s what’s known as “churning.” Those engaged in that practice usually turn a small profit on each transaction, but make many millions on sheer weight of trading volume. I fail to see how churning benefits anyone but the speculators.
Even though a stock transactions tax, as has been proposed, would be .0025%, it would have negligible effect on most investors. It’s estimated that a stock transactions tax would generate about $50 to $100 billion dollars a year in tax revenue – no small piece of change!
It would be nice to see such additional revenue go towards payment of our national debt instead of into the pockets of Wall Street speculators.
Paul G. Jaehnert
Vadnais Hts., MN
I can’t wait to attend your July 16 Taste of Two Forks event! In fact, I’m not waiting, my wife and I are visiting the many restaurants and wineries involved in the event, every chance we get! Thanks for some great food and wine pointers. ‘Can’t wait to meet Marcus Samuelson. Is Sarabeth really as sweet as her jams?
www.danstasteoftwoforks.com. -DR [/expand]