What is important. What is real. What you need to know to survive the 21st Century. How to live a million years and want more.
Phil Osborn's Articles
April 5, 2017 by Phil Osborn
There's a lot of mystical, teary-eyed attachment, especially among my fellow libertarians, to the idea of a hard backing such as gold for the dollar.  The reality is simple supply and demand.  People need dollars to pay their taxes.  There is effectively no substitute.  Mortgages and other financial instruments in the U.S. are also tied to the dollar and there is no sign that somehow bitcoin or any other replacement - including gold - is immediately av...
April 5, 2017 by Phil Osborn
I was thinking about the casual, everyday evil that we face, wondering how it so often prevails.

Not sure how much time I can realistically devote to this just now, but my inclination is to strike when my muse tells me.

As an Aspy, I am very familiar with the typical experience of being blamed for everything.  Even now, nearing 70, I find that on a daily basis I am the object of suspicion at home and where I work.  No doubt part of this is simply that for me and most Aspies, our ...
March 1, 2017 by Phil Osborn
http://www.kurzweilai.net/neural-networks-promise-sharpest-ever-images

Imagine applying this to everyday audio/video via something like Google Glass. Imagine refining huge samples such as a novel or a physics compendium.

Maybe we already have enough data, given this methodology, to describe and extract a full blown universal TOE.  If so, why do anything more?  In general, if we know that this is theoretically possible then what incentive remains, of any kind?  Do we have to...
February 11, 2017 by Phil Osborn
Interesting program on NPR regarding the fairly common problem of pre-frontal lobe atrophy.   Ravel was coming down with it as he wrote Bolero, and the structure of the piece reflects the removal of the moderating circuitry in the pre-frontal lobe.  Typically, victims will go thru a phase in which they generate amazing repetitive pattens...

I'm thinking about my "On Morals" blog, but there are numerous other blog articles in which I tend to repeat myself, with slight variat...
January 29, 2017 by Phil Osborn
 

03/05/2017 I've decided to take the plunge and go positive for a change.  Other people will pick up the negative slack, I'm sure...  With regard to the depressing coverage below, numerous researchers in fields such as neuro-psychology have pointed out that the evidence strongly suggests that empathy is and has been for several decades on the decline.

Anecdotal evidence abounds for this position, although usually other kinds of causes are flagged. And, if my theory ...
October 2, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Phil Osborn, February 27th, 2008.  On Morals:*  (Restarted 10/02/2016 due to glitches)Overview and summary of “On Morals,” by Phil OsbornWherein I present a new, independent and powerful reason why we would want to be "good," even when we would benefit otherwise from doing evil.03/27/2017 More Breaking News!  Check this out:http://www.kurzweilai.net/musk-launches-company-to-pursue-neural-lace-brain-interface-technologyI'm now convinced that there is an en...
October 1, 2016 by Phil Osborn
 

Update: 10/04/16  

My link to this from the Orange County Science Fiction Club has been taken down.

For at least a couple of decades now, I have attended the monthly meetings of the OCSFC on a fairly regular basis.  What could go wrong at a science fiction club?  Murphy's Law rules, but recent meetings have clearly more to do with Murphy's estranged mother-in-law:

https://www.meetup.com/Orange-County-Science-Fiction-Club/events/231893455/

I've kno...
September 17, 2016 by Phil Osborn
I recently developed a really great relationship.  My new friend has read so many of the same books, seen the same movies, enjoyed the same sf, thought the same thoughts that it often feels like talking to myself.  And, she has a great sense of humor. It looked like a dream come true.  We sometimes disagreed, but we both took the disagreements as opportunities for exploration and growth.  About time, damn it!

Until she suddenly made a declaration to the effect that everyth...
September 4, 2016 by Phil Osborn
In response to today's "Scholars' Circle" on KPFK - Sunday, 09/04/2016 12 noon:

I wrote: Thanks for an XLNT program.


I believe we met years ago at Chapman University at the Yu Torture Memo presentations.


Regarding bird communication capability: I have informally studied crows and ravens for about three decades, and for several years I had a red-front Amazon parrot.  After several years during which my parrot had virtually no contact with any other parrots, I t...
August 28, 2016 by Phil Osborn
So, I'm sitting at the public computer at the Tustin Library as usual, and there is the typical encounter of the hostile kind - gang-banger with girl with noisy baby.  Which primed me for a discovery.

Sometime later, after the security guard once again intervened between me and the gang banger, I was watching the Fermi paradox video on the Kurzweilai.net site, trying to screen out all the noise from yet another kid who can't be bothered to shut up, more precisely a mother wh...
August 28, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Check out O'Keans across the street from the Tustin library, OC CA US

Oddly enough, this coffee shop is a kind of intellectual nexus for the area, one of several.

At seemingly random times, some group - Christian intellectuals, Japanese families, Korean families, etc., college students, philosophers, gamers, digerati ... somehow arrive as a cohort and take over the space.  There is just enough room inside for 2 or 3 such groups to cluster with a few seats left.  O'Keans r...
July 24, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Update: 08/28/2016

http://www.kurzweilai.net/clear-and-present-danger-to-your-life-as-of-now-from-cyberblitzkrieg

http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/AI-Work.html

http://www.kurzweilai.net/one-second-after

July 25, 2016

I opened the OC Register at work this morning and almost skipped over the front page article "Zoltan, a presidential candidate for the future."  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/need-723287-says-income.html%20

I've been talking up the "basic ...
July 23, 2016 by Phil Osborn
After listening to a fair amount of the Republicrat's venting and angst last week, and now the Democans pretty abstractions - trying to paint a new face on a tired progressive philosophy, I've come to the conclusion that we ought to do something.  Soon.

The real problems - climate change, hair-trigger nuclear holocaust, new plagues, aging, massive corruption, 1 billion people on the edge of starvation, looming massive unemployment due to robotics, intellectual property used ...
July 10, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Welcome back.  REM:  November 8th, Election...  November 25~27, LOSCON...   www.loscon.org

I've done this sort of thing several times now, each time from a different angle.

Why?

I have a dream ... of a time when we have the credibility matrix that I suggested publically in 1999 at ICANN

https://forum.icann.org/iana/comments/03oct1998-10jan2000/msg00298.html

Then, everything of public significance that happens at a venue such as LOSCON will be...
June 5, 2016 by Phil Osborn
I'm going to try to supplement my aging bioram with a record of whatever brilliant - or not - spin-offs from material in "Scientific American" that I'm able to generate. 

1> The article "Eggshell Education" in the June 2016 issue dovetails nicely with some thinking I've been doing about mockingbirds.   The OC went through a major decline in the Mockingbird population when the crows moved in en masse about 20 years ago.  Every evening brought rivers...