Thursday, November 08, 2007

In the news today...Coincidence?

Did anyone else notice this on CNN's website today?

Just another item to throw in the bushel basket of things that make you go hmmmmmm.

So as I logged in, I was rather shocked by the fact that my last post was 10/20 -- 18 days ago, and I don't even have a superfly rap song to show for it.

Good grief.

Either I am become extra-ordinarily lazy with my bloggage, I am too boring to find stuff to blog about, or perhaps time is moving faster.

Yes, that's it. It must be. In fact I do recall seeing a blurb on the news about a slight change in the earth's rotational speed. I was utterly shocked at the nonchalant manner in which the news caster glossed over that fact to get to a really important story, so important I don't remember what it was about, but seem to believe it was about whether or not Tom the Turkey would be ready for the thanksgiving day parade. Yes, that certainly trumps the earth deciding that it wants to change speed.

I can't blame channel 5 news, they are simply catering to the interests of their viewers. And let's face it, people are becoming increasingly less intelligent. It is only a matter of time before machines take over. Or have they already started? I recently read an article in Wired magazine, my latest un-guilty pleasure about the electronic devices becoming our outboard brains. Quick tell me you parent's phone number. Heck, tell me your phone number. Many people immediately grab for the cell phone for such information nowadays, quite frankly because there is far more information available to process now than ever before, and our cabeza's only have some much capacity, unless your name is Ken Jennings.

So, if recall of facts is no longer a reliable marker of intelligence, what is? Could it be the ability to gather facts (as opposed to storing them) and place them in the appropriate context?

Bo Darvill might suggest precisely so. He once said something to the effect of the intelligence of what you know depends on where you are. Very moving. Who, you might ask is Bo Darville? The bandit, i.e. Burt Reynolds from Smokey and the Bandit. I've tried searching all over online for the exact quote, but my search turned up as fruitless as Sheriff Buford T. Justices.

So where am I going with all this?

You'll see, we are almost there.

What has long separated man from machine, intelligence-wise, is the ability to tease out context and apply it to facts. And for this we can sleep safe at night.

Then I found this. A mere toy, an electronic game, a modern rendition of a classic pastime, 20 questions?

Ha! It is the first shot in the man vs computer wars!

Let me tell you while not 100% accurate, it comes disturbingly close. And that is the home version (which is non-learning). The online version continues to grow in intelligence with every game played.

Oh Snap, somebody call Sarah Connors STAT!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time IS moving faster. Almost everyone perceives this, only to discount it as a mistaken perception. Thus it is commonly believed that time SEEMS to move faster as one becomes older. But what if time actually keeps moving faster. Thus you perceive it as faster than when you were younger, because it is, not because of age. It's a much simpler explanation. -- Brad