2016 Winter December 29 Thursday

40 degrees this morning (felt like 33); 34:07 minute walk.

No walking record this morning, but still walking at a faster pace, which is good.

Listening to “Great Course” on Science Fiction.

The course mentions that science fiction has a way of “humanizing” robots etc. Of course some of the part-human, part-robot creations (I believe called “cyborgs” or maybe more properly “human augmentation”) may be humanized with good reason.

However, I was thinking the science fiction writers may have good reason to humanize even mechanical robots, since we tend to “humanize” our cars, etc. and even become fond of clothing and assign it more value than it ever is worth at least in monetary value and maybe even some human characteristics or feelings.

He also mentioned science fiction concept of endlessly traveling space ships, to the point the “passengers” don’t even realize they are really on a space travel mission.

Who knows, maybe earth was originally a traveling space station, although that may be stretching things too far.

If so, I think the non-human evil travelers have taken over the spaceship, at least in the United States!

Of course, one story keeps coming back to me (Melville, “Benito Cereno”), where the persons who APPEAR to be in charge are actually being manipulated by the persons who appear to be not in charge and everything is actually controlled by the persons who appear to be the controlled. Or something like that.

The story actually takes place on a ship and what appear to be the slaves are actually the masters, who mutinied. (That is a very simplified version, but the idea of the “slaves”, actually being the “masters” stuck with me.)

Actually a lot of early science fiction is becoming reality, as more and more I read about robots being used to assist in health care and take care of Senior Citizens etc.

I think it is almost a sure thing that, regardless of whether robots ever have any human feelings, we will continue to assign human traits to robots and mechanical helpers.

Whether they develop human traits and feelings is a completely different matter, or maybe it isn’t if we assume they have them!

The college football “bowl” season is here. One thing I like about it is it allows even a team with an average season to have the spotlight and end the season as a “bowl champion” even without a bunch of players (or any) whose objective is to turn professional. Nothing against players who want to turn professional, can’t blame them a bit, but it is nice that average players (in perspective) have an opportunity for some glory without continual playoffs leading to an eventual loss.

Currently the weather is reasonably pleasant. There supposedly is some cold, possibly snow coming in, but, as I mention, every day of winter gone, is a day of winter gone! It is nice to know that the days are getting “longer” every day and Spring and Summer is coming!

That’s it for now, Thursday, December 29, 2016.

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