Sunday 10 December 2023
Thursday 7 December 2023
Tuesday 5 December 2023
- Space exploration: AI will be able to assist humans in exploring and colonizing other planets, such as Mars, by performing tasks that require autonomy, adaptability, and resilience. AI will also be able to analyze astronomical data and discover new celestial objects and phenomena. ¹²
- Artificial creativity: AI will be able to generate original and novel content, such as music, art, literature, and games, that can match or surpass human creativity. AI will also be able to collaborate with humans and other AIs in creative endeavours. ³⁴
- Brain-computer interfaces: AI will be able to interface directly with human brains, allowing for enhanced communication, cognition, and perception. AI will also be able to augment or restore brain functions, such as memory, attention, and emotion. ⁵
- Emotional intelligence: AI will be able to recognize, understand, and respond to human emotions, as well as to express its own emotions. AI will also be able to form emotional bonds with humans and other AIs, and to influence human behaviour and decision making.
- Biotechnology: AI will be able to design and synthesize new biological molecules, such as proteins, enzymes, and drugs. AI will also be able to engineer and manipulate living organisms, such as bacteria, plants, and animals.
- Quantum computing: AI will be able to harness the power of quantum physics to perform computations that are beyond the reach of classical computers. AI will also be able to optimize and control quantum systems, such as qubits, sensors, and networks.
- Ethical reasoning: AI will be able to reason about moral values and principles, and to act accordingly. AI will also be able to explain its ethical decisions and actions, and to learn from human feedback and preferences.
- Social justice: AI will be able to detect and prevent bias, discrimination, and injustice in various domains, such as education, employment, health care, and law enforcement. AI will also be able to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity in society.
- Entertainment: AI will be able to create immersive and interactive experiences for humans, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. AI will also be able to personalize and adapt these experiences based on human preferences and emotions.
- Personal assistants: AI will be able to provide comprehensive and customized assistance for humans in various aspects of their lives, such as work, education, health, finance, travel, and leisure. AI will also be able to anticipate human needs and desires, and to proactively offer suggestions and solutions.
I hope this list gives you some ideas about the future applications of AI that might become available in the next few years. 😊 Source: Conversation with Bing, 25/10/2023
Saturday 2 December 2023
Wednesday 29 November 2023
John Spencer is chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point, codirector of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project and host of the “Urban Warfare Project Podcast.” He served for 25 years as an infantry soldier, which included two combat tours in Iraq. He is the author of the book “Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connection in Modern War” and co-author of “Understanding Urban Warfare.”
published on CNN's Website, he covers the core issues.
- All war involves killing and destruction, with civilians historically suffering the most in conflicts, especially in urban warfare.
- Urban warfare presents unique challenges, impacting both soldiers and civilians, with noncombatants often constituting the majority of casualties.
- Approximately 90% of casualties in modern urban wars involve civilians, even when led or supported by Western powers.
- Destruction and suffering in war don't automatically constitute war crimes; accusations must be assessed based on evidence and armed conflict standards.
- Hamas violated multiple laws of war, including taking hostages, targeting civilians, and using human shields.
- Israel's actions are subject to examination based on international humanitarian law principles, including military necessity, proportionality, distinction, humanity, and honour.
- Israel pledged to obey international law, with proportionality as a cornerstone, requiring consideration of civilian harm compared to military advantage.
- Israel's actions, including targeting a senior Hamas commander, align with military necessity and proportionality principles.
- IDF implements practices to minimize harm, such as warning civilians before strikes and providing evacuation routes.
"Like all similar conflicts in modern times, a battle in Gaza will look like the entire city was purposely razed to the ground or indiscriminately carpet-bombed – but it wasn’t. Israel possesses the military capacity to do so, and the fact that it doesn’t employ such means is further evidence that it is respecting the rules of war. It is also a sign that this is not revenge – a gross mischaracterization of Israeli aims – but instead a careful defensive campaign to ensure Israel’s survival."
Tuesday 28 November 2023
- "A recent poll of Arab Muslim residents of the West Bank and Gaza, known as ‘Palestinians’ circa 1967, conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) asked them.
- 74% supported the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7. Of these 59% “extremely” support them and another 15% only “somewhat”. Only 7% were “extremely against” and 5% somewhat against.
- That’s 74% in favor of murdering, raping and kidnapping Jews and only 12% against.
- Only 7% were ‘extremely’ against murdering and abducting children."
- "83% of those in the West Bank, ruled by the Palestinian Authority, said that they supported the Hamas atrocities. Only 7% were opposed. In Gaza, there was notably less enthusiasm at 63%. But after weeks of bombings and raids, only 20% seem to have decided it was a bad idea.
- Why were only 7% of those in the West Bank, but 20% of those in Gaza opposed?
- Do those extra 13% of Gazans reflect a people (slightly) more likely to value human life or terrorist supporters who, like their comrades in the West Bank, like it better when someone else is doing the fighting? If the attack had come from the West Bank, would 83% (instead of just 63%) of those in Gaza be enthusiastic about the massacre and beheading of Israelis?"
- "A majority believed that the Hamas atrocities were an Islamic response to the “defilement of Al Aqsa” by allowing Jews to set foot on the former site of the Holy Temple.
- 98% in Gaza and the West Bank said that they felt ‘pride’ as ‘Palestinians’ over the war.
- 74% expect the fighting to end with the defeat of Israeli forces in Gaza.
- Only 17% support a two-state solution while 77.7% want to destroy Israel and replace it with a ‘Palestinian’ state."
Thursday 23 November 2023
With the rapid rise in EVs driven by the climate-change-obsessed West, real-world experience is starting to raise questions. The uptake has been Nevertheless that targets are very ambitious, perhaps better recognised as impossible. In Australia, the objective is to have EV sales representing 80% of all vehicle sales by 2030. No doubt similar ambitious targets have been set for many countries with similar climate agendas. Indeed many countries have announced phasing out of non-EVstake-up by some future date, thankfully usually at least a decade out. In Australia's case, despite a Climate Change minister who seems to have ejected all common sense and is willing to spend whatever it takes to achieve unachievable targets Reality does have a habit of coming back to bite, and so it is with EVs. With ex,take up rates the number crunchers project just 30% of new car sales will be EVs by 2030. SO Mr Bowen has some work ahead of him.
Don't get me wrong I like the idea of an EV. The electric motor is much simpler, more robust, produces great torque, is efficient, and with all the new gizmos being built in, they are technologically advanced vehicles. However, like many new technologies they have some real problems. In the case of EVs the issues are simple and serious; -
- they are not green and clean, as has been claimed
- they are expensive ( see my post for a recent study on the costs )
- the battery technology is not yet mature.
With regard to their Green credential see Electric Cars Aren’t Nearly as Green as People Think. There are many other articles noting the same issues. (Of course the EV industry and the CC zealots are trying to mitigate this by a lot of smoke and mirrors, so you will find many references refuting these claims,)
With regard to costs see my recent post Unmasking the real cost of EVs,
As for the battery technology, we have the following problems ;
- charge time is excessive, making it impractical for long-distance travel. Many stories have already emerged in Australia where travelling from Sydney to Melbourne turned into a nightmare of long waits at charging stations and the like.
- batteries have a limited life of about 10 years and a high cost of $10,000, resale values of expensive vehicles drop rapidly
- worse still is the tendency of these batteries to become unstable, and either explode or burst into flame. This presents quite an issue for owners, even if the occurrence is very rare. The consequent damage to adjacent property can be significant, not to mention dangerous. Insurance premiums are likely to add to the costs and may make EV ownership prohibitive.
Here is a video that highlights the very real danger with Lithium-ion batteries.
So Mr Bowen's EV dream seems to be turning, like many of his other ill-thought-through ideas, into a nightmare!
Wednesday 22 November 2023
A friend recently passed on to me a short piece under the title "The Bird Feeder" that happens to ring too true today. A quick search found that it has been around for a while and has been requoted a number of times. One source here The Bird Feeder.
Tuesday 21 November 2023
Tuesday 14 November 2023
A recent paper OVERCHARGED EXPECTATIONS: UNMASKING THE TRUE COSTS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES by The Texas Public Policy Foundation provides a sobering assessment.
The executive summary highlights the economic aspects of electric vehicle (EV) ownership and the challenges associated with the transition from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to EVs.
While the report relates specifically to the US, it does illustrate the misleading headline figures that are driving EV sales. I would expect similar issues in all countries pursuing the move to EVs.
Key points include
- A comprehensive analysis of the costs associated with electric vehicle (EV) ownership is crucial for a holistic understanding of the economic landscape surrounding the attempted mass transition from internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) to EVs.
- Major selling points promoted by EV advocates are lower maintenance and fueling costs over the life of the vehicle and the common claim that reductions in battery prices will eventually make EVs less expensive to own than ICEVs.
- A study conducted by a group at the Argonne National Laboratory estimated that while an average EV is about $22,000 more expensive to purchase than a comparable ICEV, they cost about $14,000 less to fuel, insure and maintain over a 15-year period, making their lifetime cost only $8,047 more than an ICEV.
- No one has attempted to calculate the full financial benefit of the wide array of direct subsidies, regulatory credits, and subsidized infrastructure that contribute to the economic viability of EVs.
- The average model year (MY) 2021 EV would cost $48,698 more to own over a 10-year period without $22 billion in government favours given to EV manufacturers and owners.
- EV advocates claim that the cost of electricity for EV owners is equal to $1.21 per gallon of gasoline, but the cost of charging equipment and charging losses averaged out over 10 years and 120,000 miles, is $1.38 per gallon equivalent on top of that.
- Adding the costs of the subsidies to the true cost of fueling an EV would equate to an EV owner paying $17.33 per gallon of gasoline.
- And these estimates do not include the hundreds of billions more in subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (2022) for various aspects of the EV supply chain.
Friday 10 November 2023
- "If we let authorities know, then we would never have informers
- "The crimes would have occurred even if we were not there, but then the world would not know about them? Surely it is better to shine a light on such events?”
- "We never break the law"
Saturday 4 November 2023
Repercussions of Hamas' barbaric attack on Israeli citizens are percolating throughout the world with continued rocket fire by Hamas, the severe bombing of military targets by Israel, and most recently a full-force ground invasion, with the rest of the world polarising. Most Western democracies have stood strongly by Israel and support their mission to eliminate Hamas. But so too, most Western democracies have a noisy minority voicing general anti-Israeli sentiments, together with antisemitic tropes. The minority is too often allowed to march and given implied support by an activist-biased media. Unfortunately, we have been here before. The magnitude of the attack by Hamas is however unprecedented, a ubiquitous word nowadays, so we are in new territory. The coming weeks will tell.
Thursday 2 November 2023
The United Nations (UN) was established in 1945 with the aim of promoting international cooperation and maintaining global peace and security. However, while it may have had some success as a forum for discourse it has utterly failed to maintain global peace and security. Worse still, it has become a pulpit for dictators and malevolent blocks to bully the weaker countries. In recent years it has evolved to become a supra-national legislative body usurping the rights and obligations of a democratic country to serve its population.
Of course, much of this is not surprising. After all, while the UN purports to represent the world of nations, they do not represent the world of people. Many of the UN's nations do not represent their own citizens, as they are not democratic and do not hold regular, free elections.
There are many reasons the UN is not working, including;-
- Dictatorships: The UN has a large number of member states that are dictatorships or authoritarian regimes. These countries often use their veto power to block resolutions that go against their interests, making it difficult for the UN to take action on important issues.
- Human Rights Council: The UN’s Human Rights Council has member states with very poor human rights records. This undermines the credibility of the council and makes it difficult for it to effectively address human rights abuses around the world.
- Disproportionate resolutions: The vast majority of the UN’s resolutions are used to demonise just two countries, the US and Israel. At the same time, they ignore serious abuses by other member states.
- Ineffectiveness: The UN has never prevented a war, nor has it stopped one. Clearly, this is because its members are not all democratic countries that value the lives of all citizens.
Given these failures, there is a strong case for establishing a new world body modelled on the United Nations but with stricter membership criteria. Such a body could require that member states be democratic and have free and fair elections on a regular basis. This would ensure that only countries committed to human rights and democratic values are represented.
Such a body would have significant benefits; -
- Democratic representation: Requiring member states to be democratic would promote democratic values and reduce the influence of authoritarian regimes.
- Improved effectiveness: Unlike the old UN, the new UDN would be able to provide peacekeeping assistance for conflict resolution and even military force to resolve wars started by belligerent states.
- Reduced bias: Members of UDN being respected democratic states would remove the incongruence of a UNHRC having members who have abused Human Rights. The UDN would avoid accusations of bias and a lack of impartiality.
- Greater accountability: A new world body could be more accountable than the UN. Democratic states generally provide more transparency and accountability.
The UN is clearly not working. Even today, while it is fomenting violence in the Middle East, Iran is to Chair UN Human Rights Forum. What a farce!
Surely, it is time to call time on the United Nations and create a new United Democratic Nations to provide responsible, democratic leadership to our troubled world.
Monday 30 October 2023
Saturday 28 October 2023
Tuesday 24 October 2023
Here are some key points to consider:
- Excess Mortality Rates In these countries, excess deaths, which are deaths beyond what would be expected based on historical data, have been on the rise. Figures show a substantial increase, ranging from 5% to 20% in the years 2021, 2022, and even continuing into 2023.
- Lack of Investigation Despite these alarming statistics, there has been a surprising lack of investigation into the underlying causes of these excess non-COVID deaths. Our political leaders, medical professionals, and even the media have not given this issue the attention it deserves, raising questions about their responsibilities in addressing unexpected changes in mortality rates.
- Call for Action It's time for a comprehensive investigation into the factors contributing to excess non-COVID deaths. Understanding the root causes and developing effective strategies to mitigate this trend should be a top priority.
Friday 20 October 2023
- The rules of war do not restrict a military's response to any attack as long as it is directed at the military of the attacking force.
- The right to self defence allows a disproportionate response, an overwhelming response, as long as it is directed at the opposing military and military targets
- The principle of proportionality requires that any attack against a military target must be evaluated taking into account the likelihood of collateral damage on civilians.
- An attack on a hospital operating as a hospital with possibly hundreds of civilians and several enemy militants and arms would not pass this principle.
- At the same time, an attack on a mosque with multiple enemy combatants with just a few civilians would be acceptable, despite the collateral harm to civilians.
- The judgement is made by the military.
Sunday 15 October 2023
Saturday 14 October 2023
In one of my recent discussions on X (Twitter), with Captain Chaos, I commented that the GAP could be addressed in ways that did not require changing the Constitution. I then sent a link to my post Are we perpetuating the GAP? This then led to a range of comments. At this point, I thought I could address this better in a post. So this post provides a bit more clarification on my post as well as addressing Captain Chaos' points.
So here is a recap of the discussion so far; -
Several points - the $30 billion is not a valid amount for argument's sake, that is known.— Captain Chaos (@Captain_Chaos_X) October 11, 2023
As a city based observer, is relatable to 'bureaucracies' and those without knowledge & experience doing what they think is needed as opposed to knowing what is needed.
You overlook the why
followed by ; -
Which did suspend the racial discrimination act.— Captain Chaos (@Captain_Chaos_X) October 11, 2023
Since that time the insinuation that there is an epidemic of abuse (child) has been left unsubstantiated
In fact, in recent months the unsubstantiated allegation was repeated by both Jacinta Price and Peter Dutton, without evidence
You have raised a number of points. I would like to respond in my blog. Are you ok with my including your tweets in my response?— Grappy (@grappysb) October 12, 2023
Captain Chaos did agree with my response in a post. So here goes.
- As a city based observer, is relatable to 'bureaucracies' and those without knowledge & experience doing what they think is needed as opposed to knowing what is needed.
Yes, I do not claim to know 'what is needed'. Nor do I claim specific knowledge or experience. My suggestions are exactly that, suggestions.
- You overlook the why. Why is a First Nation's male more likely to go to prison than University? Why are there problems with social cohesion?
I do not overlook the why, but admit I do not go into the specifics. I have not analysed the individual issues that make the difference between indigenous and non-indigenous but rather focused on what is different in the way we govern the two groups. So if we are getting different outcomes then maybe our governing them differently is contributing to the different outcomes.
- Me personally I would not have implied that they are more violent, abusive and truancy inclined. Do you have actual evidence for that?
The statistics on domestic violence, truancy, and incarceration rates speak for themselves.
Indigenous Australians make up almost 30% of hospitalisations due to domestic violence, report finds - while indigenous people represent ~3% of the population
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners accounted for 32% of all prisoners again while ATI represented just 3% of the population
- Also note the intervention did suspend the Racial Discrimination Act. Since that time the insinuation that there is an epidemic of abuse (child) has been left unsubstantiated In fact, in recent months the unsubstantiated allegation was repeated by both Jacinta Price and Peter Dutton, without evidence That's been reported in the media & both Jacinta Price and Peter Dutton have failed to make reports of the alleged abuse that they are required to do, by law, to investigating authorities. I could continue, however, I think what I have outlined suffices, check your preconceptions
The 'intervention' was in response to the Little Children are Sacred report published in June 2007, being the findings of an inquiry into child sexual abuse in the NT commissioned by the Northern Territory Government. The report provided shocking evidence of domestic violence and sexual abuse. So it was not without a basis. Also with regard to Jacinta Price, I think she has personal experience through her exposure to indigenous life. You cannot both accept there is a GAP and then dismiss the symptoms that are evidence of the GAP.