Not long ago I celebrated in my brimmings blog the realm of touch, so wonderfully depicted by my favorite nature writer, Diane Ackerman, in A Natural History of the Senses. What she doesn’t touch upon is the increasing loss of that tactile dimension in a virtual age powered by Artificial Intelligence now pushed to the forefront by the corona pandemic. Nearly a third of us … Continue reading The Vanishing World of Touch
There isn’t anything I enjoy more in a stress-laden world than a time-out for a good read. Books lend me a purview of how others experience life, lending sagacity and connection with my fellows. Books teach me that I’m not alone. Courtesy of The New Yorker (February 11, 2019), this morning I came upon Oliver Sacks’ restive short piece, ¨The Machine Stops.” Written in the … Continue reading Oliver Sacks’ Ambivalence on Living in the Digital Age
“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” (Robert Oppenheimer, quoting the Bhagavad Gita following the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima) Recently, my daughter shared details of her trip as an Amazon employee to Las Vegas to attend a tech conference. 8700 people from all over the world gathered there for the conference—its major theme, Artificial Intelligence. And why not! Artificial Intelligence continues … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence: Will It Take Your Job?
We all have hobbies or special interests. Mine has been studying languages. As a child, it literally became an obsession. I’d buy paperbacks with my meager allowance, seemingly offering a pathway to fluency in German, a language I desperately wanted to learn given my brother’s return from post-war Europe with a German bride. On one occasion, I made the long trudge, several miles, to the … Continue reading Does American Sign Language (ASL) Have a Future?
It’s funny how your mind takes vast jumps, transcending time and space, hurling you into the past or thrusting you into the future. It’s happening to me now. I remember sitting in my sixth grade class in Florida, fascinated with my teacher’s story of Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth, motivating him to travel to a new place, which he called Florida. … Continue reading Live Longer Now
Things are really heating up these days in the ongoing dispute between Apple and the FBI. In December, fourteen people were killed by ISIL sympathizers Farook Malik and his wife Taskeen, in San Bernardino, CA. In the aftermath, the FBI has been investigating the possibility they may have had accomplices. Backed by a court order, the FBI has requested Apple remove the security blocks … Continue reading Apple vs. the FBI: How Money May Decide the Issue
Every month our local power cooperstive, Blue Grass Energy, sends us its superbly put together magazine, Kentucky Living, filled with helpful tips on home maintenance, gardening, recipes, recommended books, regional activities, events, etc. With all its feel good staples, it’s easy to lose sight of its primary purpose as a public relations gimmick to elicit the public’s support. Your power company is on your side, … Continue reading Expanding the energy portfolio: Utilities awaken
I haven’t any doubt that the vast majority of us mourn the tragic death of Robin Williams, who brought laughter into our hearts and with it, wisdom too. And yet there are always a few, the ghouls I call them, who surface in such tragedies to verbally vandalize our grief with mindless, and often, acerbic commentary. Recently a bicyclist was killed here in Lexington KY … Continue reading Internet Ghouls Among Us: The Robin Williams Aftermath
The other day, I had a solicitation in the mail from a magazine called Reminiscence. Apparently, a lot of folks like to engage in nostalgia. I confess I occasionally do the same, though I’m aware of how time can soften the contours of the past. Still, I like to muse on past events that were really quite wonderful and that I wish I could relive … Continue reading Reminiscence: And I could wish it were 1949 again
I just read Frank Somerville’s recent post (July 3) on Facebook. For the record, he’s the nightly news anchor on KTVU in Oakland, CA. I don’t live anywhere near the West Coast, so I don’t get to watch him, but Somerville keeps a page on Facebook that I read daily for its keen insights, sensitivity, and passion for social justice. Thank goodness he’s out there … Continue reading Technology and the shrinking of community