The Machine Uprising Begins with Quadrotors.

A Quadrotor 600 Robot.
At first I thought the machine uprising was probably going to begin with those robots that clean your floors now they have their own social network, MyRobots, but they do suffer from 'Darlek syndrome' when it comes to steps (yes I know the new Darleks can fly but no one ever thought of this in the 1970's).

However, now I've seen Quadrotors in action, I'm thinking this is the beginning of the end right here. As soon as someone figures out how to attach lasers to these little puppies it's all over!

Let's back up a little and take a look at these tiny but cute, fit in the palm of your hand, flying robots that can operate in swarms and destroy all life as we know it once somebody attaches lasers to them... it's going to happen... mark my words!!

These robots can operate autonomously, mapping their environment as they move. They don't even need to communicate with each other yet they can still work effectively as part of a team of robots. Their programming is based on the way ants work together to get things done.

One suggested use is to have swarms of these things running surveillance on rain forests, to detect illegal deforestation but, at some point, someone is going to say, "Let's cut out law enforcement and just attach lasers to our Quadrotors so they can turn criminals to toast on the spot".  Then they really would be 'silent guardians of the rain forest', as a former student of the Quadrotor project has suggested.

From there it's a small step to robot bird Armageddon in an Alfred Hitchcock-like nightmare as internet connected floor cleaners command swarms of Quadrotors to do their bidding... it'll happen... and don't be surprised if those floor cleaners are being ruled by an Evil Feral Juicer plotting world domination!

The Quadrotors cute performance of the James Bond theme music might fool you into thinking they're harmless... however it's actually a signal of dissent to your internet connected fridge... I don't think your tinfoil hat will save you this time!

Needlessly Cycling 16km to Work

The newly installed, 8 kilometre (km), bitumen cycle/walking trail that runs through the length of my town has one rule, which is really more of a guideline in both the interpretation and literal sense of the rule, and that is to keep left.

You can see in the image that this rule is painted onto the trail periodically to remind people.

Apparently the rule doesn't apply to pedestrians who are used to walking anywhere they please on the majority of footpaths.

Which would be fine if only they'd do one thing every now and then - look over their shoulder to see if anything is coming up behind them. When you get two or more walkers together, they often get so caught up in conversation that, whilst taking up the width of the walking trail, they forget that others may want to get past.

As you may have guessed from the picture I've been cycling this trail. I've been doing so every day for the last three weeks, five days a week, 8km there and back (16km total) to get to work. Considering I work from home - that's dedication for you!

I've written about my attempts to keep fit before, something I've kept up since about 2003 (I think) when I started a regular routine of weight lifting, sit ups and stretches, coupled with daily walks. Then I made the mistake of taking up jogging.

A few months after we got our dog, Oscar, in late 2010, my regular walks with him were stretching out to about an hour and a half. That, along with running around like an idiot with Oscar in the back garden on a daily basis, seemed like more than enough exercise for me so I decided to drop all the weight lifting I'd been doing.

As it turns out, walking an hour and a half with a little dog that likes to stop and 'smell the roses' (you dog owners will know I don't actually mean 'roses') quite a lot along the way isn't really fooling my body into thinking it's getting enough exercise.

I didn't want to go back to weight training because, well, it's boring as hell, despite how good you feel afterwards.

My partner bought me a mountain bike back in 2010, which I rode for a while but has kind of been in storage lately. Since they opened up the new bike track which gives you a near unbroken run through the most scenic parts of our town I figured that would be a great way to get in some additional exercise. Plus you rarely see overweight cyclists - well not the hardcore ones who go out and buy the Lycra, 'go fast' suits anyway (I'm not doing that!).

The ride is really good but right at the other end of an already hilly track is the steepest hill I've ever ridden a bike up. It marks the halfway point of my round trip journey.

The bottom third of the hill is the steepest part and, as you can see from the image, it's steep enough for the council to put up a warning sign for those going down hill on bikes. It's the only warning sign about hills along the whole trail.

Going down you have to use your brakes otherwise you're likely to collide with an unsuspecting dog owner or worse, a baby laden stroller as you go around the corner at the bottom.

Going up, even in the lowest gear it's a real struggle to keep the bike moving. By the time I get to the sign I have to stop for a rest because I"m gasping. I get almost as much exercise going up this hill as I do riding over the whole of the rest of the trail.

Once I've caught my breath I continue up the other two thirds of the hill, which still requires low gear but is thankfully not as steep. Totally worth it for the view and the exercise though.

Despite three weeks of this thus far my weight is staying constant at 70kg. Which may not seem heavy but my ideal weight, when I'm in super fit condition is around 64kg. Even at 70kg I'm not saying I'm fat. I just know that I can be fitter and lighter. I just like to keep on top of things.

I don't ever want to get to the stage where I can't do something because I'm overweight or not fit.

Live Aid, Kony2012 and Slacktivism

Last week the full documentary of Kony2012 was broadcast on the Australian, National Ten Network, ad free, and it got me to thinking about the rise and rise of raising awareness of war criminal Joseph Kony in Africa and just how quickly the whole issue seems to have gone world wide. In only six days it has become the most watched video on You Tube with more than seventy five million views since being uploaded.

In contrast, wind back the clock to 1985 and Bob Geldof's Live Aid Concerts. Similarly Bob was attempting to raise world wide awareness and funds for famine relief and starving children in Ethiopia.

I don't have any great revelations about either to share, despite doing some research and noting the Live Aid's estimated world wide audience of 1.9 billion was achieved long before we had internet and social media.

Where as Kony2012 is being applauded as a demonstration of the power of social media by many commentators. I wonder what Bob Geldof would be thinking?

Do you think he's thinking how much easier Live Aid would have been easier to organize with today's technology or do you think he's getting ideas, building on Kony2012 but focus it on the causes he supports?

On a different note, Kony2012 has been criticized for encouraging 'slacktivism' however, one thing that can be said is, that more people are reached through slacktivism (just based on my observations of Kony2012). Whilst many of those people may not do anything substantial to contribute to the cause in any meaningful way, it's clearly an effective way to at least inform people and get some gauge of support for a cause.

The more people you reach, the more chance there is of some of those people going from slacktivist to activist. I have no basis for that claim other than from a marketer's mailing list point of view. The bigger the mailing list the more conversions you're likely to get.

Without slacktivism I would never have heard about Kony2012. I'm sure plenty of people are the same. Whilst I may not do anything to contribute to that cause, for the right cause, I just might be prompted to do more.

As I said at the beginning I have no great revelations about any of this. I just thought I'd write out a few observations that went through my mind as I watched Kony2012 unfold. It amazed me that a social media cause moved fast enough to be broadcast nationally on a commercial television network in Australia.

There's something to be said for that and the power of informing people through social media.

Multiculturalism, Muslims and Australian Immigration

Err... yeah... you guys are not helping.
Image: The Muslim Brotherhood wants to Rule the World.
Recently a friend sent me (and a number of others on their email list) the following chain email, that has been circulating around Australian email boxes, asking for my opinion on the message.

Just before you read it I'll pre-warn you that it relates to immigration laws and ideas that I'm sure many countries are grappling with in this post 911 world.

I've reproduced the email as closely as I can to how I received it, complete with large typeface. Have a read and then read my response. The email is titled 'Go the Dutch'. The comment in red is by the last person to forward the email to my friend.


About time the Australian government did the same......why do we suck up to these people whose "values" are from beyond the dark ages ,who still live the way they did 2000 years ago. 


Go the Dutch - but why wait until 2013?

The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism:

The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.

A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads:
"The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people.

In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role.

With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.

The letter continues:

"A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens. It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands...

The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants. For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner;

"It is not the government's job to integrate immigrants." (How bloody true).

The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress.

More specifically, the government will impose a ban on face-covering, Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2013.(Why wait 11 months?)

Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and realised - maybe too late - that creating a nation of tribes will kill the nation itself.

Australia's future may well be read here.

READERS NOTE:

Muslim immigrants leave their countries of birth because of civil and political unrest "CREATED BY THE VERY NATURE OF THEIR CULTURE."

Countries like Holland and Australia have an established way of life that actually works, so why embrace the unworkable?

If Muslims do not wish to accept another culture, the answer is simple; "STAY WHERE YOU ARE!!"

This gives a whole new meaning to the term; 'Dutch Courage' -  Unfortunately Australian politicians don't have the ... guts to do the same.

There's a whole lot of truth here!!!!

ELECTION 2013 IS COMING

A Nation of Sheep, Breeds a Government of Wolves!

I'M 100% for PASSING THIS ON!!!

Let's Take a Stand!!!

Gillard: Gone!

Borders: Closed!

Language: English!

 

Law:Obey Australian Law

Culture: Australian Constitution, is the Bill of Rights!

Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!

NO freebies to: Non-Citizens!

We the people are coming!!!

Only 86% will send this on. Should be a 100%. What will you do?

-- End of Email --

Before you read my response, think about your own response. Do you agree with the message? Is this the kind of response to you'd like to see implemented and if so, why?

My response:

Hi [Name withheld],

Since you asked, put me down for 100% against the policies and ideas of the message.

The message isn't about scrapping multiculturalism it's about being anti Muslim and is based entirely upon fear and ignorance. Fear and Ignorance of the Muslim culture as well as ignorance of other cultures and religions that create their own communities in Australia, in much the same way as Muslim's do but with less of the divisive rhetoric from so called 'Australians'.

Australia has Greek, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Christian, Catholic, Buddhist and Islamic communities as well as communities from many other nations and religions. All of which make our country  richer for their involvement. Australia, over the last few decades, strives to be inclusive and understanding of other cultures and religions yet too many 'Australians' seem to want to implement archaic polices (such as those in the message you sent) more suited to the 1950s than 2012.

If 6% of the Netherlands identify themselves as Muslim then that's a 0.5% increase since 2002... hardly a growing threat to the overall Dutch population.

Over the last few decades Australia has also seen a visible increase in Australian Patriotism. Ironically reinforced by our involvement in wars (ANZACs, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq for example) rather than our successes as nation in something more positive like strengthening our ties with countries in the region and around the world. The Australian spirit, values and way of life has never been stronger than it is today. Multiculturalism is not a threat to our way of life, it is our way of life and has been since the country was first settled.

If these so called Australians truly wanted integration of other nationalities and religions, they would make the effort to welcome these people to our shores and share with them what it means to be Australian, whilst learning something about those who can only aspire to one day live in the 'lucky country'.


Share this message around...

-TET


The above makes it seem like I did some research but most of it is just my observations over the last few years. The only part I researched was to look up Muslim populations in the Netherlands back in 2002 just to see if there really had been any kind of dramatic increase to warrant their government's concern.

Anyone with a basic knowledge of Australian history will know that Australia has always been 'Multicultural' - even before European settlement with a mix of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. European settlement was mostly a mix of British and Irish. The Chinese started immigrating here as far back as 1851 when gold was discovered at Bathurst. - who, incidentally, had to put up with similar prejudices that Muslim's face today (though ironically it was their reputation as good workers that seemed to be the main contention).

Beyond that, look at all the German, Greek and Italian history. In the region I live there are historic wineries established by German immigrants, not to mention extensive Welsh mining history as well.

If you'd like to do your own research MDAA's web site has a good starter page that looks at cultural statistics since Australian settlement: Anglo-Australian General Information.

From the above link, I'll leave you with this...
European descendants make up 95% of Australia's inhabitants. The majority have a British or Irish heritage, but about 18% of the population have other European origins. While Australia's ethnic make-up is relatively small, it is one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world.
There's some interesting further reading of early Australian history at these two links:

http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/a…
http://www.oldmogotown.com.au/chinese.ht…
Related Posts with Thumbnails