Stephen Hawking’s Final Reddit Comment

I was struck by Professor Hawking’s answer to a really fascinating question. It was his last comment on Reddit before he died. The thread was an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Unsurprisingly the answer not only rocketed to the top of Reddit recently, but as users have noted, Hawking’s answer contains a truly challenging and poignant thought about the future.

The question, boiled down and summarized, was given technological advancement and ever more automated processes that used to be done by human beings, do you believe mass amounts of people could lose their jobs and not being able to find anymore work? Or will there always be jobs and new technologies that create more careers for people?

Hawking’s answer:

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

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Article: When to Start Your Child in Martial Arts

After writing this article, I feel that old urge to join a dojo. My editor is all about Jiu-Jitsu so I’ll be looking for a gym around here that does that. And then, on to the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

“When to Start Your Child in Martial Arts: What to Consider.” Borncute.com. First published February 12, 2018. https://borncute.com/starting-your-child-in-martial-arts/.

When to Start Your Child in Martial Arts: What to Consider

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Article: Best Word Games For Kids

2018. I feel old just saying it. Time to get some writing done, and get paid for it, I decided. Turned out not to be too hard to find a few places that are happy for writers to contribute. Who knew!? So, voila, my first article of 2018 below!

“The Best Word & Spelling Games for Kids.” Borncute.com. First published February 2, 2018. https://borncute.com/best-word-and-spelling-games-for-kids/.

Fun Fact: Apparently I’m super stoked to get kids reading just so they can play Scrabble. If only this article was about games in general, I would have thrown in more excuses to start them on MTG and Catan. You can’t see it, but I’m rubbing my hands together like an evil genius intent on hooking your kids on tabletop games. I’ll be found guilty of corrupting the youth probably.

The Best Word & Spelling Games for Kids Rated in 2018

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So This is a Thing

bison

This Christmas tree ornament is made of bison feces.

Is that a sentence that has ever been written? Read it again, just for the fun of it. It is not only an existent sentence, but one with true referents in the world. Is that a sign of the rise or the fall of humanity? Is our species in its waning years? Is this a triumph of human creativity or the death throes of a gnarled and dying limb on Darwin’s tree of evolution–momentarily about to break off in the slightest gust.

Is the bison poopornament, poornament, a gag gift? Yes, but if you read the “artist’s” website it is SO much more.

“For those that buy one of my pieces of art, I wish you a lifetime of enjoyment. And if it forever brings a smile to your soul, I will have considered it a JOB WELL DUNG!”  —Victor Bruha

Middle school science teacher puns? Poop made into “art” that could possibly fulfill the category “a lifetime of enjoyment?”

I can have a lifetime of  enjoyment for the low low price of $13.99!?

NOTHING CREATES A LIFETIME OF ENJOYMENT! Haven’t you read the Four Noble Truths! But if something did, obviously, the Buddha would have said fecal based ornaments.

Wrapping your head around this slough of quasi art, quasi gag gift, quasi sustainable Native American eco-spiritualism, and complete Frankenstein horror, is like reading an Edger Allen Poe story. Something terrible is coming. You’re about to boarded up in a wall, or the body of a dead man is going to be under the floorboards that you stand on, sipping your Amontillado. Continue reading

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More Power than any Supreme Court Justice, any King, or any President

Social Media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram–innocuous as they seem, their policies of what counts as free speech and what counts as banned content determine what people can see; depending on who and where they are.

An uploaded video of a democratic protest in Tibet might be viewed by any computer or phone–except the ones in Tibet or China. There are a lot of articles about Facebook and Google’s toleration of censorship and tyranny, but “The Secret Rules of The Internet” is about you and me when it comes to free speech online. It’s about the thousands who watch uploaded videos of child abuse so that we don’t have to. It’s also about the controversy over corporations who are officially stamping user content as offensive, without input from the public, the police, or elected officials.

A watershed moment came in the case of a YouTube video of a pro-democracy protester shot and killed by government forces in Iran in 2009: Continue reading

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Give your life context: CrashCourse World History

Bored? I was too, until I started the best TV series that will tide you over until Game of Thrones is back. Every episode is free to watch right now.

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“There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth.”

“The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery.

The second by commerce, which is generally cheating.

The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.”

Benjamin Franklin 

https://books.google.com/books?id=4kj0WC3JUvcC&pg

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Space Poop

Play: Space Poop

Space Poop cover

Space Poop is a sci fi comedy interactive RPG text game. You play as Space Station Intern Ejest Bindle. Depending on your choices in Space Poop, you’ll encounter one of TEN different endings. Be careful what you choose, because even simple choices affect what happens for the rest of the game.

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When Robots Put You On Hold

All I wanted to do was pay my credit card bill. I did not expect a morning spent in descending rings of outrage and then metaphysical horror that robots control humanity.

This has long been difficult for me. Not the robots, the paying my credit card. Specifically, the difficulty began six months ago when I received my new US Bank credit card in the mail. Attempting to activate it, I found out they assigned me a 4 digit PIN which could only be mailed to me (“expect in 5-7 business days”) because, I don’t know, it’s 2015 and isn’t snail mail the way we all communicate, just like the Victorians did? The Victorians knew their shit. Let’s stick to that system.

So fast forward through getting my PIN via a thin, bleached tree pulp container with hand written scrawl in black ink, and a saliva stained square worth forty nine cents, and we get to the point where I need to pay my bill for the first time. Again, I figure (stupidly) that US Bank is aware that it is the 21st century. I can’t find any way of logging into their website service to check my balance. They have some ludicrous system where you look at a picture that should help you remember your password somehow. A picture they choose.  Continue reading

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BioShock’s Meta-Narrative

Check out my published chapter on BioShock!

Pointon, C. (2015) BioShock‘s Meta-Narrative, in BioShock and Philosophy: Irrational Game, Rational Book (ed L. Cuddy), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.

 

DOI: BioShock’s Meta-Narrative          Print ISBN: 9781118915868

Video games and Philosophy; I was on my home turf with this publication. Working in e-Publication for two years at Marquette University’s Library, I dealt with Wiley-Blackwell more than any other publisher. They’re probably the largest publisher of scholarly works in the English speaking world. I feel a special kind of pride, consequently, that I’m in their database now as an author. Continue reading

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