Posts Tagged ‘progress’

IBM’s Watson Destroys Humans at Jeopardy

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Jeopardy’s top performing players proved to be no match for an artificial intelligence machine created by an IBM research team. Watson – the name of IBM’s AI marvel – had a two day score of $77,147, more than tripling the score of the two human contestants, who earned just $24,000 and $21,600.

It seemed as if Watson’s biggest advantage was speed. Even though the humans knew the answer, they couldn’t buzz in faster than Watson, who dominated the two former Jeopardy champs.

This contest demonstrates where we are today with regards to artificial intelligence and computational power. Watson was developed by some of the world’s brightest minds and it runs on a supercomputer. Yet, within a decade, a program as powerful as Watson will run on the future equivalent of today’s smart phones.

Humankind has been progressing through leaps and bounds, and the breakthroughs are sure to keep arriving faster and faster. The powers we are unleashing will enable us to do tremendous things.

Within a decade or two, institutionalized war and extreme poverty will become obsolete. A world of peace where no one starves to death is just one of the amazing things we have to look forward to.

Millions hit the streets in Cairo

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Al Jazeera is reporting an estimated 2 million people are protesting in Cairo, with hundreds of thousands more in Egypt’s other major cities. Way to go, Egypt!

Egyptian President Mubarak has begun to accept defeat, announcing he will step down within 3 months. This will not squelch the uprising, it will only add fuel to the fire. If the people didn’t smell victory before, they certainly will now.

Expect Mubarak to completely capitulate soon. Then the Egyptians can form an interim government, headed most likely by opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei. After which they’ll initiate a new election using a democratic process approved by the public.

Real democracy, and it didn’t take a trillion dollar war machine to make it happen.

The Tunisians, and now it seems the Egyptians, are showing us a glimpse of what our new technology can do for us. We’re gaining unprecedented means to cooperate and coordinate. When we work together effectively, we can shift the balance of power into the hands of the people. This way, the system will work for us and not the other way around.

Just as these millions in the Middle East are working together to oust their oppressive oligarchies, so too will the entire human race unite and cooperate enough to counterbalance the world’s oppressive leaders: financial institutions and corporations.

A better world is coming. The process has already begun.

Protest Like an Egyptian

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

(Al J’s coverage of the Cairo protests)

(Just like Tienanmen’s Tank-Man, one guy stands alone against a water cannon)

Last week the Tunisian people finalized a months long civil uprising that has successfully begun the process of regime change. Inspired by these events, Egypt is now rife with revolutionary tidings as protesters have been taking to the streets by the thousands.

Since they live under a highly authoritarian government, this type of civil uprising is rare in Egypt. But within the past few years a vital ingredient for change has been developing: Egyptians are migrating online. More than 1 in 5 Egyptians have Internet access today. This puts most of the planet just one uploaded cellphone video or a single tweet away from instantly knowing what is going on within Egypt’s borders.

Egyptian leaders now have to make decisions knowing the entire world is watching, and the inherent violence of an unjust system is getting harder to conceal from the global eye. Why go down in history as a mass murderer when you can just skip town and live off the fortunes you’ve got stashed offshore.

Just as it did in Tunisia, Egyptians will be emboldened as they hear the collective voice of their fellow citizens saying “No!” to the injustice. As well, Egyptian angst can be effectively channeled into a well-coordinated movement, letting the will of the people really be felt.

With technology getting so cheap so fast, pretty soon Internet access will reach the entire world’s population. This will enable a revolution paralleling those of Tunisia and Egypt to happen on a global scale. The collective voice of the world’s people will be felt, and it will embolden our species to really let our will be felt.

Humankind is rising up together to remove corruption from the system and usher in a more just civilization.

Milestone Achieved by Civil Uprising in Tunisia

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The past month’s civil uprising in Tunisia reached a milestone today, when President Ben Ali announced he will be stepping down – in 3 years! Ben Ali also stated that he will be cutting the cost of food, has ordered security forces to stop killing civilians, and will be ensuring freedom of speech and internet access.

While this speech – delivered in the Tunisian’s native tongue – may placate a few protesters, the bulk of the dissenters are unlikely to be satisfied with mere words. They want justice, and will not rest until their repressive regime gets removed.

The collective voice of regular Tunisian people has been saying “We’ve had enough!” Enough with the corruption in the government and the oppressive oligarchy. No more will Tunisians tolerate the injustice of suffering in poverty while Tunisia’s leaders hoard too much of the pie.

What is happening in Tunisia should serve as a microcosm for our entire world.

Right now,  the top 1% of the world’s people control 40% of all the world’s wealth. Meanwhile, about 20% of the world’s people are dying in extreme poverty, and another 20% are barely making enough to survive. This grossly distorted distribution of wealth allows preventable human suffering to persist.

The world’s wealthiest humans are content to keep things as they are.  It is up to the bulk of humankind – those who’ve been getting a disproportionately small slice – to let their collective voices be heard. Only then will some of the world’s most egregious injustices come to and end.

Fortunately for everyone on earth, this social revolution has been gradually brewing for a very long time. Within the next decade or two, we will come together as a species to fundamentally alter our world’s system and permanently establish a more just global civilization.

Wikileaks… Good Times

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Remember when Wikileaks released a bunch of classified documents and the establishment reeled from the threat of transparency? Man, that was sweet.  We should do that again.

Seriously, it was so exciting! One could almost feel the system changing with each step as the story unfolded. I miss those days.

What’s that? Wikileaks still has like 200,000 more classified cables to release, plus a whole backlog of dirt on some of the world’s biggest institutions? Nice! It seems more changes are on the way.

Did you also hear about the newly sprouted Wikileaks clones and mirrors? This means the struggle towards democracy and open government has never been stronger. Hooray!

Sure the fickle global spotlight seems to be moving on, but Cablegate is set to be remembered as a pivotal moment – a sign that the balance of power is shifting away from the few and into the hands of more and more people.

Here we go! More evidence to believe that a better world is sitting right upon our doorstep, and another reason to be optimistic for the future =D