Friday, November 23, 2018

There is a theory that the universe began with a Big Bang.  To break it down, it is basically an explosion.  I agree.  However, in the world of science there is no explanation of what exploded. There is nothing that exploded into everything.  Weird. 

That is why God didn't tell Moses the science of creation.  It was not something Moses would understand. Maybe, someday, we will.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Rational vs Logical vs Critical Thinking

There are people who consider Rational, Logical and Critical Thinking to be the same thing. This idea is neither rational, logical, or critical. Rational, Logical, and Critical thinking do have one thing in common. A starting point.

Consider this statement, “Man evolved from Apes.”

A Rational thinker will consider the things apes have in common with man. Things like; Apes look like humans, they act like humans, they can create tools like humans, they have the ability to communicate, the list is pretty long.

A Logical thinker will link Apes to Man with quantifiable data. Apes evolved first into a variety of not quite Apes and not quite Man, then eventually Man. They will go step by step through the process of evolution to reach their final conclusion.

The Critical Thinker questions everything. Where is the evidence? What is the data saying?  The missing link between Apes and not quite Apes has never been found, Ever. Until the story is complete any correlation between Apes and Man can also be found between Man and Dogs. After all, your dog does communicate with you, right?

The Rational and Logical thinker easily become victims of “Confirmation Bias”. Confirmation Bias is a condition in which you find evidence that supports your point of view and then quit looking for evidence that does not support your point of view. Although the Critical thinker can also fall victim to confirmation bias, they are always on guard to it.

You can make a rational argument about anything. You can present it logically. You can be completely wrong. But at least you were rationally and logically wrong. Don't be those people. Develop Critical Thinking skills. You might still be wrong, but at least you will know why.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Common Sense is Not that Common

Common Sense, people refer to Common Sense when describing someone who does not understand something. To say someone has no Common Sense is the same as saying they are dumb. The question becomes, Is Common Sense, Common.  Consider the following example.

    Two men, both 21 years old are given a cell phone.  One man uses it to make a phone call, the other uses it as a paperweight.  We can say that the first man has common sense, but what about the second man?  It is what we do not know about the second man that makes a difference.

    If the second man in our scenario was born and lived his entire life in the jungles of Borneo and has had no contact with technology is it fair to say he has no Common Sense?  If we took the first man and dropped him into the jungle, how long would he survive? 

    When we talk about Common Sense, we must consider Common Experience.  This extends to many of the tasks we expect people to understand. A 21 year old who was raised and lives in the jungle of Borneo may not understand how to use a cellphone as the phone was intended.  Likewise, a city dweller may not understand the importance of keeping your kindling dry.  For that matter they may not know what kindling is.

    Using that logic I argue that there is no such thing as Common Sense unless you consider Common Experience first. 

Just a Saturday morning thought.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Machine Learning.

Machine Learning.

Imagine that you put a baby in a room.  You give the baby a square block. The baby will explore the block. It will file the block's shape, hardness, taste and smell into its memory. Introduce a slab of wood that has a square hole. The baby will explore the slab of wood and eventually it will put the square block into the hole. If you add shapes and matching holes the baby will learn through experience what shapes go into what holes. You can speed this process up by teaching the baby how to study the shape and find the corresponding hole.

Machine Learning is exactly the same process.  A machine can be programmed to explore objects and catalog those objects parameters in its memory. Through the use of algorithms you can have the machine perform an infinite array of tasks with this information. The big difference is, once one machine has learned the information, it can be exactly duplicated to other machines. An army of machines only needs one machine to learn the task. Machine Learning is a small portion of the greater field of study known as Artificial Intelligence.

It does not take much imagination to understand the benefits of machine learning. Imagine a machine that can clean up toxic spills. People would no longer need to do jobs that are inherently dangerous, and the machine can work 24 hours a day. But why stop there?

You go to your favorite fast food chain. Lately they have been messing up your order. It almost gives you a complex. Now introducing the Burger Gurgler 2020 . . . it never makes a mistake. In fact, with its connection to the internet and access to cell phone data, it can predict how many customers will visit in the next 20 minutes. The owner of the store loves this. Minimal food waste, the machine is always on time for work.  The food will be hot, untouched my human hands, and exactly the same every time. Sounds great!!

That is, it sort of sounds great. Unless you are one of those people that used to sling burgers. Cheer up! You might be able to get a job as a Burger Gurgler 2020 cleaner until someone programs a Burger Gurgler 2020 Jiffy Cleaner.

This brings up an interesting topic.  What if the machine breaks?  Wouldn't a person need to diagnose the problem and fix it?  You are kidding, right?  A machine that can diagnose and fix itself is part of the plan.

It may sound like futuristic fantasy, but ask yourself when was the last time you saw someone cutting a tree into lumber by hand? Have you been to the bank, or a store?  Humans are quickly becoming a burden on some businesses.

Technology has a way of  slowly creeping its way into everyday life.  Then suddenly there is a leap that upsets the order of things.

An example is the railroad. Prior to railroads, animals were used to move goods and people. At first the railroads used large numbers of people and animals to lay the rails. Once the rails were down the people and animals were no longer needed. 

Regardless of whether you love or hate the idea of AI, it is here and the great leap is not far away.  The number of people that will be needed to take care of even complex tasks will be eliminated.

What will they do?