Wrong Planet

Insomnia sucks.  I suck at sleeping.  I wish it wasn’t necessary.  It’s such a waste of time.  I know that’s why I sleep so poorly.  I can’t help but think of all the things I could be doing, and then I get up and do them.  Then I pay for it later when I can’t focus well.  I get more clumsy, and I spend far too much time pacing when I’m overtired.  I’m reading a few books simultaneously, and that has contributed to my awakeness.

The first book is called, ‘Solarversia’.  I won’t give away anything in it, but I’m so hooked, I’ve been reading it when I should be sleeping.  I’m on book 3 of the comic ‘Saga’ as well.  And on top of that, I’m reading ‘Red Mars’ by Kim Stanley Robinson.  He’s fast becoming a favorite author, so I’m going through his catalog of books.  He got me with ‘The Years of Rice and Salt’.  I learned a lot about different belief systems from that book.

It wasn’t typical science fiction, but that didn’t make it any less interesting to me.  I’m half watching TV while I type this.  The Energizer commercial that brags about how they used 4% recycled materials to create their new batteries is pathetic.  If efforts only result in 4% recycled materials, it’s nothing to get so excited about that it merits a commercial.  The commercial made to brag about it undid that measly 4% in wasted energy and then some.  Geez.

Recycling doesn’t help the environment nearly as much as people think.  It’s not worth the bother.  We need to focus on things that make a bigger difference.  Like walking and bicycling instead of driving. Doing that for a week will make a much bigger dent in the problem than recycling.  Once we build a space elevator, we’ll start throwing our plastics into space when we finish using them.  So long as they are pushed out with a little force to prevent interference with space stations, it’s a better solution than burying it on earth.

Lack of sleep makes me think about this sort of thing.  Mostly, I’ve been thinking about AI and the ethics surrounding the technology.  It bothers me that people are calling things like Siri and Alexa AI.  It’s not right.  Those are digital assistants with access to large databases, but there is no intelligence in the machine. They don’t even use sophisticated algorithms.  If you want to create a virtual assistant by using massive amounts of data that is searchable by vocal commands, have at it.  Just don’t call it AI.

True artificial intelligence is becoming a way of differentiating which pisses me off.  They are redefining the origin to accommodate idiots who misuse it.  That’s ridiculous.  Machine learning is different.  When I look at what people are doing with it presently, it makes me sad.  I don’t understand why they are using the most difficult and time consuming methods to achieve their ultimate goals.  It’s like their imaginations are broken, forcing them to think forward in tiny increments.  It makes me want to scream sometimes.  Other times, I want to tell them what they’re doing improperly, and explain why they are trying too hard.  But then I think about the ethics, and I choose silence.

I’ve never been one to feel lonely, but this is one instance where I feel a strong sense of condescension laced alienation.  I do like to talk about what fascinates me, and makes me obsess day and night to the point of chronic insomnia.  But there is nobody to talk to in this instance.  At least not yet, and probably not for some time.  Sigh.  I’m on the wrong planet.