Tag Archives: risk

Happy Holo-Days

Sadly, Christmas technology just isn’t there yet.

We’re still celebrating in the old old-fashioned way. The wheel. Analog travel. And at what cost? Jet lag. Transportation risks. Fights over sounds and smells. Great expense.

In the far future we’ll step into the transporter room, say “energize,” and all meet instantly at uncle Joe’s place in the Bavarian alps.

Assuming most of us won’t be around for the 23rd century, what the hell are we supposed to do in the meantime?

My idea for a short-term interim solution is the hologram Christmas. Imagine it. You finish the last season of your favorite show on Netflix, have a seat in the imagine chamber and voila, you’re magically in the living room sitting around the hearth with the rest of the fam.

Fa la la la la la la!

No mess. No fuss. No road rage. No dodging other drivers brandishing weapons. No worries about snow in the pass. It’s just a good as being there. Better, even.

The technology is almost there. We just need some holo imagers, holo emitters, contact lenses embedded with Google Glass, and sufficient bandwidth. I’ll bet clever programmers can even come up with realistic holo versions of our current level of tablet and phone technology, so we can all lose our faces in devices just like we already do. That’s authenticity.

Happy holo-days to you and yours and everyone you’re willing to interface with.

Societal death spasms

deathNeighbor kills neighbor. Don’t worry, though. They will pay for what they’ve done. Especially if they hate the inconvenience of annoying paperwork, attending a couple of hearings and paying a fine. That’s more than sufficient punishment for killing a fellow human being, right?

What is a society? My definition is a system where people make decisions that impact the safety of others. More and more it seems like that’s the only definition that matters.
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Random musings on #Ferguson

The #1 result in Google Images for a search of "Ferguson Missouri Police Department."

The #1 result in Google Images for a search of “Ferguson Missouri Police Department.”

I’ve been thinking about recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. I’ve been trying to control my brain and avoid leaping to conclusions.

I preface the following thoughts with this disclaimer: I’m a big fan of law enforcement. They have a tough job. They have my empathy. They have an extremely necessary function in a society that is populated with far too many assholes. We need them.

I’ve never been a cop but I know a few. I have never walked a mile in their shoes. To those who say that means I’m not entitled to my opinion or that I’m somehow unable to form cogent (but possibly erroneous) conclusions from a different vantage point, I only say this: It is possible to form conclusions without having been there first. If that wasn’t true, humans would have never been able to leave Earth and visit outer space.

Therefore, opinions and conclusions about police by non-police shouldn’t automatically be rejected out of hand on that basis alone. That would be a logical fallacy. If you want to reject ideas, find a better rebuttal than that.

Thought #1

“It is a failure of civilization when an armed person kills an unarmed person.”
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What’s The Points?

Guru hard at work.

Guru hard at work.

The computer screen told the story. A weather system, shown as a menacing blob of glowing crimson on the screen, was bearing down on us and about to engulf the whole damn island. Isla Nublar was really in for it. Gale force winds, 40 foot swells, the whole nine yards.

Communications were already out.

The control room shook as horizontal rain punished the windows creating enough background noise to decidedly get on my nerves. I took a moment to glance out the window. The tropical trees were whipping in the wind like piñatas under a baseball bat.

It was up to me.

I realized a voice was coming out of the high-tech radio I held in my hand. “Sqwk! Say again, say again, we are pinned down. No way out. Request immediate EVAC. Do you copy? Over. Sqwk!

Sending out the chopper in these conditions would almost certainly be suicide. Yet there stood the flight crew, having already volunteered, now impatiently awaiting my decision. Risk three lives to save eight? I could barely comprehend the mathematics that involved.

The weather display was blinking now. It has just been updated with the name of the storm which was now closer than ever. “Fiona” they were calling in. Wow, I thought. They named the storm. That’s extremely useful information.

“Clever girl,” I said without realizing I was saying out loud.

Time was growing short. It was do or die. This command decision had to be made so I could triage the next looming disaster only seconds away.

“Send ’em out,” I ordered. I keyed the mic. “Help is on the way. Out.”

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Proud sponsor of the American Scream

bank-robberI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: What of Mediocre Fred?

For newbies, Mediocre Fred is a decent, honest, hard-working guy. He doesn’t cheat on his taxes, obeys the law and is kind to small furry creatures. As such, he’s not exactly rewarded like a paragon of the American way.

Here in America we base our entire system of government on one simple principle: No freeloaders. You have to work for a living. As a nation we abhor the notion of those who work the system to get the promised land of freebies without pulling their own weight. Well, at least on the bottom end of the scale.

Mediocre Fred has worked every week of his life since he was 16. When still in school he worked part-time. After graduating with his high school diploma, he went full-time and has never looked back.

Over the decades Mediocre Fred has always worked. He’s had no pension, 401k plan, health insurance, vacation or paid days off. He just works. And when his fellow workers tried to unionize and the company closed and bulldozed the store and built a new non-union store across the street, Mediocre Fred always seemed to land on his feet. He’d just get a new job and keep his nose to that grindstone.

That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?
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Heisenberg Crosswalks

crosswalkI’ve written about pedestrians before. I don’t mean to be pedantic but I’m driven to hammer my point home.

To me, there’s very little “uncertainty” about crosswalks.

You clearly don’t know who you’re driving over, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skywalker. I am the danger. A guy puts the pedal to the metal and someone gets plowed and you think that of me? No. I am the one who stalks!

–Heisenberg Crosswalk, Braking Bad

In the local news of late there has been a lot of discussion about “dangerous crosswalks.” That got me thinking. What is it about the crosswalk itself that makes it dangerous?

The fact that it exists? That it leaps out and surprises pedestrians? That it has a concealed carry permit? That it lulls pedestrians to sleep with a false sense of security? “Come to me,” it whispers in the wind. “Tread upon me. I will protect you. I will keep you safe. You can trust me.”

Liar!
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