Penny For Your Thoughts

You didn’t have to say it. You were thinking it.

Scientists at MIT developed a wearable electronic device purported to “hear” inner speech. It’s officially called the “Alter Ego” headset.  Billed as an “intelligence enhancement” device.

Electrodes pick up neuro-muscular signals in the jaw, triggered by internal verbalizations–saying words in ‘your head’–but were undetectable to the human eye.

…The signals were sent to a computer that used neural networks to distinguish words…

So far, the system has been used to do fun things like navigating a Roku, asking for the time and reporting your opponent’s moves in chess to get optional countermoves via the computer in utter silence.

…Motivation was to build an IA device–intelligence augmentation device, said MIT grad student and lead author, Arnav Kapur in a statement.

Pardon me for being skeptical.  The “what if” part–what if this were to get in the wrong hands, for the wrong reasons?  It didn’t seem like much of a stretch.  Detected non-verbalized communications are called “subvocalizations.” I would prefer to keep my subvocalizations to myself.

I don’t know about any of you, but I could use more intelligence.  I suppose that if both parties in a conversation were equipped equally, there wouldn’t be much need to communicate out loud.  Your significant other wouldn’t ask, “A penny for your thoughts?” Because they would already know.

Should we watch what we say and think at this point?  Only clean words and thoughts?  Not that we shouldn’t strive for that, anyway.

 

http://www.engadget.com/

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Flat Earth Day

In fairness, why not celebrate Flat Earth Day? It would be a day for science deniers everywhere.  Science denying is becoming increasingly popular.  Colorful deflated balloons hung upside down, the perfect decoration.

“Mad” Mike Hughes, has every right to believe as he so chooses.  He recently launched himself in a steam-powered, home-made rocket, to support his belief that the earth is flat. He survived the ordeal. Results of his semi-scientific endeavor have yet to be determined.

What determined which parts of scientific discovery would be denied?  What was the scientific basis behind science deniers?  Would science deniers believe any of it–if there were?

What else remained to be denied?  The field was wide-open.  Newton’s Laws–gravity,  inertia, objects in motion.  There were many unscientific case studies that involved humans, on old AFV and Jackass videos.

“Mad” Mike Hughes may be a flat-earther, but he’s far from crazy.  There haven’t been any anti-gravity enthusiasts so far.  And what would they do?  Walk around with attached weights?

Why haven’t flat-earthers discovered the edges of our planet?  Humans have been on this planet long enough to find out–in my opinion.

 

image, http://www. golfdigest.com/– 

Leftovers

Who would still be around
To pick up the pieces?
Scrounge through junk
Things, once important
Now, deemed useless
Control, a mere delusion
When that day came
Would there be cussing
And fussing about
Being inconvenienced?
Value judgements faded
About choices made
Sublimated in confusion
Seasoned by musty odors
From paper, books and furniture

 

He Meant Well

After everything’s over
The best that could be said
Was–that he meant well
According to unofficial
Polls, surveys–with
Applicable, caveats, disclaimers
Buick is removing its own name
From its cars next model year
Rumor has it–during a two-year
Transitional period, Buick autos
Will have T-A-F-K-A-B badging
You’re only as good as
What you’ve done lately

Kissed By An Anvil

The little doohickey at the bottom of my toilet tank, sadly reached the end of its planned obsolescent life.

Water trickled in perpetuity from under the rim between flushes. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

An inspection, revealed the flush valve, was also on the critical list. It appeared to be drooling from the top, when flushed.

High ho, high ho, off to the big-box home improvement store. What would I encounter there?

More needlessly complex parts, when all I wanted was the same as what came off–only newer and operational?

“For a mere 79.95. the next-generation, Flap-O-Matic, smart flapper, with digital readouts, water usage monitoring, and notification to your smart phone, in the unlikely event that anything would go wrong.  Guaranteed for two years.”

No thanks, I’ll take this one for 15.99, that looks just like the old
one.”  Everything replaced at home–the KISS method worked once more.

Twenty-First Century Good Fellas (Updated)

“I really like you kid; in an appropriate, non-gender specific sort of way, of course,” Said Sal.

“Jimmy, you’re gonna’ go places if you follow a few ground rules.”

“What do you mean, Boss?” Jimmy asked.

“It means you have to change your ways of doing business. You can’t go around cracking coconuts–like you did with Herman the German. So what if he didn’t sell, locally grown, sustainably produced agricultural products?

“Where was your empathy? Why, in the old days, I woulda’ head-slapped you already. I’m going to be more sensitive and give you one more chance. Don’t screw it up.”

“Don’t thank me. Thank Big Eddie for bailing you out.”

“Eddie, what the hell are you doing? I’m braggin’ on you and you’re falling asleep on me?”

“Sorry Boss, I was meditating,” Eddie answered. Sal’s face was beet red.

“Do your meditating somewhere else–on your own time.”

Big Eddie hadn’t been the same since bariatric surgery–in a quest to become “Not-so-big-Eddie.” Last night at Luigi’s he’d ordered vegetarian lasagna. Lucky for Eddie, Sal hadn’t noticed. Eddie’s Yoga classes would have been the last straw.

“Don’t neither of you lunkheads get too comfortable. I’m not done talking.” Sal was on a roll. Big Eddie craved a fresh-fruit smoothie in the worst way, but kept quiet.

“This business has changed. Think of what we do, as Sal’s Security Services. I want you two guys to become security consultants. Instead of intimidation, arm-twisting and gourd-cracking, you’ve got to play to people’s fears and anxieties.”

“It’s like being a bartender. Bartenders listen. You should say things like, ‘How ya’ doin’ Pal? What can I help you with? That’s a tough break. I’m here for you.’ Listen to people, be sensitive to their needs. Even if you don’t feel like doing it.”

“They sell salty snacks at bars; and how about salty, movie theatre popcorn?” Do you two, knuckleheads have any idea why they do that? Sorry, that was insensitive of me. Do either of you two gentlemen have any idea why they do that?”

“So, they can sell more drinks, Boss.” “That’s right, Jimmy. Keep thinking that way, and I’ll keep you around. Think of people’s fears as salty snacks. We will quench their security needs–just like those, 64 ounce, refreshing, cold drinks.”

“Big Eddie, you’re lookin’ good. You’ve dropped some weight, got those double chins tightened up.”

“Thanks Boss,” Eddie answered. “Still got a ways to go.”

“Jimmy, stop wearing that stupid baseball cap turned around backwards. We’re professionals–want people to like us.”

Both of you could stand to be more sensitive.  Jimmie and Eddie looked as if they’d been shot.  Sal fractured many bones over the years–none of them sensitive.

“Next week you’re both going to sensitivity classes.  Don’t look at me that way.  If you want to work for me–you’ve got to go.”

Sal, alleged, but never convicted, wise guy, became Sal–mentor, philosopher, proprietor of Sal’s 21st Century Security Services.  That was then, this was now.

Jimmy and Eddie looked spiffy in their new, dark green uniform shirts.  Eddie sighed, contemplated going home to play with Biff, his new boxer puppy.

Beating Round the Bush

It will not be easy to avoid talking about a popular sporting event, today, but, I will try.

Weather talk, or not? Seventy degrees today and sunny. That’s very nice for this time of year.

Didn’t see any acquaintances at breakfast–except for the wait staff.

For some reason, I lost Saturday. No, not literally. All day I wanted to skip right to Sunday.

Who got snubbed? Who got their feelings hurt? Doesn’t matter.  I don’t have much interest in SB 52.  Neither of the contenders are local.  Coach Rosetti, from high school, would call me a poor sport.