Thursday, February 1, 2018

Perceived Reality - Two Stories of Adam and Eve

Are we the stories that are told to us?  Do stories define our culture.  I believe that answer to be yes.

Let's take the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible.

Traditional Version:
Adam and Eve live in paradise after they have been created by God and they live a carefree life as all is provided. But of course there is a fly in the ointment! They have been warned by God not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge or they will surely die. And of course like all children they break the rule.

They have to try and experience life for themselves.

After God finds out that they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, he is very angry and punishes them by taking away eternal life, he does not kill them as promised, but they now have to work for a living, and they are thrown out of paradise.
Pretty heavy stuff for a loving parent. Is this where we learn collectively that the answer to mistakes or transgressions is punishment?
This picture here says it all:
Genesis 2

Another version:
Adam and Eve live in paradise after they have been created by God. And since God is loving and caring he sits down with them and explains that along with creating them he has also given them “Free Will” and that He can’t reverse the outcome of decisions they make.

And He explains that they be advised not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Life will get very tough if they do. They will loose paradise.

And of course like all children they need to experiment with life and being advised that they will not die and be like gods they eat the fruit.
They try and hide after eating the Fruit but of course God find out. And instead of being full of wrath and almost cursing them – he sits down with them and explains that he is very sorry for them and that outcomes can’t be reversed and they going to be escorted out of paradise. They will need to work and they will die. Still very heavy stuff but at least he commiserates with them and he does wish them all the best.

My Comments:
The Adam and Eve story tells us how everyone has to leave childhood behind and become an adult and take their place among peers.

Question: Do parents feel guilty of having children and raising them and then having to send them out into an uncertain world fraught with danger and economic uncertainties?

Are they, therefore, non-loving from day one?  It is interesting that God created Adam and Eve but did not spend any time with them to educate them or show them the way of the world.
He seems to say: "I created you – you are in paradise – don’t break the rules – all will be fine."

I believe that that is the model that society has adopted and preaches constantly.

Where is love and caring and empathy in this story?

It seems to me our world, family, school, society at large, corporations and governments are all build on the punishment model.

And of course children get kicked into the real world when they are told they have to work and pay their way. The free ride is over.

And corporations play out this scene any time they kick out an employee because he or she is deemed to have broken the rule or can’t earn his keep, supposedly.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Driving and Self-Driving Cars (AI)
We are driving on a rural narrow two-lane highway at night time and it is dark, very dark.  We are driving against the continuous week-end traffic streaming back to Montréal from cottage country.
There are headlights blinding us and lots of brake lights going on and off as the traffic is "stop and start".   
Of course, a student is driving.  Each student has done very well including the student at the wheel and all have passed.  We will be in their small town in an hour or so. 
I have been watching the traffic for some 10 hours, with 2 more hours to go before I am back home. It has been a long day.

The continuous light of the headlamps and brake lights passing us - almost hypnotic - the student drivers are excellent drivers - I am tired - very tired - and then I see - just for a split-second, red lights going out in that maze of lights - it has to be a car - probably joining our lane. No reaction from the student driver - so - he has not seen the brake lights.

I hit the brakes and sure enough, the car appears in our lane.  The student is surprised.
He wants to know - along with the other students - how come I knew about the car appearing.

Good question actually.  Super good question. Good peripheral vision? I know that I have.  Excellent peripheral vision is essential in driving.  Will self-driving cars have it?  

 Luck?  Yes. Paying attention - always - and if something else had caught my attention on my side of the road at the same time - a cat, a dog, a leaf, a pedestrian? 
This episode happened 40 years or so ago and I can still picture it now. 

The analysis in retrospect: 
I see red lights go out in what looks like a driveway on the other side of the road. I don't see a car as it was blocked by the cars on the highway.  I surmise it is the brake light of car and the lights move quickly and then they are gone.

Will that car join the traffic coming towards us?  Or will the car appear in our lane?  If the car joins the ongoing traffic it would have moved slowly - so - it will break into our lane.

How would "lidar" have picked up the lights going off in a maze of lights and silhouettes of moving cars?  

At the time this happened I had driven some 17 years, many kilometres on the Autobahn at 160 km and many, many miles on country roads and of course city driving. 

Another episode - going through a small town market on a Saturday with the market square dividing a 4 lane road.  The car in front of me is signalling left and is in the left lane but it is going slowly and the driver keeps looking both left and right and is looking for something.  My dad wants me to pass - I don't want to pass as I don't trust a confused driver. 
The driver now makes a right turn. 

How does AI figure this out? 

I am driving in the Schwarzwald, Germany on a Sunday night - pitch black outside.  It is a two-lane highway and no shoulders, just a ditch and Black Forest trees on either side. I am doing  100 km - 120 km and the oncoming traffic is maybe doing 80 to 100 as they are returning to the city after the weekend.  
I come around the bend and there is a car in my lane.  No place to go.  Driving into the trees is death.  Driving ahead looks like death. I silently apologize to my aunt whose daughter and her fiance are in the back seat and who, I had promised to deliver safely to my aunt's house. 
So - you - the other driver caused this - so - you drive off into the trees - if not - you will also die.  I hit the brakes hard and he gets back into his line of traffic.  
Dead silence in my car. No one talks for the rest of the trip. 30 years later I meet my cousin again for the 1st time after that episode and the first word are: "Remember back ..." Yes - we almost died that night.  

But before the Schwarzwald episode, I am at work and ask a co-worker: "How come you have a big scar on your face and scalp?" 

He tells me this story.
"He is driving on a two-lane highway at night from Lübeck to Hamburg and there is a car in his lane passing a truck. No place to go. He decides to drive into the ditch.  The truck and the "passing" driver keep going. About 1/2 hour later another car driver sees the headlights in the ditch and decides to stop.  Of course, the ambulance is called and the hospital does its magic and he lives."

I am totally angry that the other driver kept going.  I ask several times about it and basically, if the driver who did stop had not stopped then he would have bled to death as eventually the battery would have died and he would have only been found in next day in daylight and dead.

Coincidence?  The universe works in wondrous ways.  

And AI in a self-driving car?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Whitby, Ontario Gaming Facility Comment

My comments below  re: A gaming facility in Durham Region to create jobs and bring prosperity to the region.


Dear Sirs,
I don't belief government should ever get into the gambling business! But since the Ontario government is into the gambling business and therefore we are in a race to the bottom there can be no objections to making money, or can there be? 

Since I am a senior on fixed income, I should concur being a rational economic man, as, presumably, my taxes will not rise quite as fast if we have a "private gaming" facility?

Hopefully, Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has figured out a way that the social costs of gambling are worth it and that after all the books are balanced there is a positive cash flow except for the ruined lives and hopes of the partners of the addicts and of course we should not worry about the children who may go hungry and or the the dogs that will be locked up in cars for hours.

So - sure go for it!  You will anyhow!

Good old mother earth will soon put an end to the whole thing anyway as we pollute the air, the water soil and have killed the buffalo herds, the caribou herds, the whales, the cod, the herring, the whitefish in the Great lakes, etc. and not least of all - our moral compass.

What is one more transgression between friends.

Peter Deppisch

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are the Three R's enough?

Are the R's enough? Once you know how to read, write and do arithmetic you can read the books of the world and get an education. Once you know how to write you can communicate with the world. Once you know arithmetic you can balance your bank account. What else is needed?

How about religion? Will you be truly successful if you you practice what the lyrics in this song tell you,
          Have faith, hope and charity,
          That's the way to live successfully.
          How do I know, the Bible tells me so.
          Do good to your enemies,
          And the Blessed Lord you'll surely please,
          How do I know, the Bible tells me so.

          Don't worry 'bout tomorrow,
          Just be real good today.
          The Lord is right beside you,
          He'll guide you all the way

          Have faith, hope and charity,
          That's the way to live successfully.
          How do I know, the Bible tells me so!
Or maybe you also need a college education or maybe better yet a university education. But as my daughter told me, better yet to have a masters, and better still to have a PhD.

But do any of these institutions teach you about life and how to be successful? I maintain that educational institutions only teach proficiency about a subject without discussing implications, ethics, morality and spirituality.
And of course that would take a huge amount of time and effort and most likely large amounts of money.

But I believe that we need to teach about life as well as academic subjects, such as the 3 R's.

We need a holistic approach in education that teaches the "Ways of the world"! 

Genesis 3:16

Does the Plight of Women start with Genesis 3:16?
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
I guess the Pope thinks so:
Dominion over the Other in the Interpersonal Relation by Pope John Paul II

When will the Pope speak out against Domestic Violence?

There are thousands and thousands of Domestic Violence crimes day in and day out, 365 days a year and for sure at Christmas!

You can watch the daily continuous Domestic Violence unfold here:

Plight of Women

We, the world, need a new model where women are equal in law, in marriage, and at work and religion needs to its part to bring this about!   

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Some more "entangled reality".

I follow this blog:

And came across this article:
Why there are no missing links

Entanglement is just a fact of life.  Take a look at a tree all of the roots and branches and shelter and food it generates.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do you have a wife?

On a bright sunny day I had driven some 200 km to pick up my daughter from camp where she was a camp councillor.   As usual I had taken my dog along and as we were close to our destination he spied water. 
I was driving a car that had a sunroof  and I just managed to grab his tail as he headed out through the sunroof.  Just let's say that he loved the water.  So I stopped at the closest access point to the water and played "retrieve the stick" game.
Eventually it was time to pick up my daughter and drive home.  As we are driving back the dog throws up - combination of hot day, lots of water, but who knows. What a mess!  What a stench! 
Luckily there was a major grocery store 5 minutes away and I stopped and had my daughter go into the store to buy lots and lots of  paper towel to clean up the mess. 
In the meantime I am trying to clean up as best as I could and I am joined by a small boy, I am bat at guessing ages but let's say 10 or so.  

He watches my effort at clean up and then asks: "Do you have a wife?" 

I am stunned and look at him and mostly what goes through my mind is.  What's it to ya, little fella?

And then it dawns on on me that he is serious.  I contemplate my answer and say: "Yes, I have a wife and why do you ask" in a rather challenging tone of voice.

And his answer was? "You should get her to clean it up!"