The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Archive for the ‘Du Jour of the Week’ Category

Taking Advantage of Your Local Dumb Dumbs!

I read an article called “China’s AI Awakening” because I find AI technology amazing (side-note: I fear for humanity, seriously) but here was a funny paragraph in the article.

Across the capital, in fact, I notice a remarkable amount of interest in artificial intelligence. In one restaurant, for instance, I find a machine that takes my picture and then supposedly uses AI to determine how healthy I am. This seems completely impossible, but the machine says I’m in great shape before suggesting that I have plenty to eat.

I think the world is RIPE for a new variation on magic elixirs, and the new-fangled magic elixir is technology as a whole, but AI, deep learning, machine learning, whatever label you want to slap on something that isn’t actually any of those things.

I remember hearing on the radio a thing about this automaton that played chess, and was incredible at it. And this was around 1790. It turns out that there was actually a person hidden underneath this automaton and it was controlling the machine. There was actual intelligence and craftiness put into the design, but only about 10% was that … and then it was 90% smoke and mirrors. I think the new age charlatan will come to your house (electronically or otherwise) telling you that here’s this special $10,000 toilet that’ll tell you how your diet is based on monitoring your … um, output. And really all it will do is make beeping noises and light up some little buttons and then say something which is OF COURSE true like, ‘you should probably eat more veggies, dude.’

woman holding teacup

Psst. Smoke and mirrors is corporate speak for bullshit.

Or maybe it’ll be a smart watch for $5,000 which is really just a Garmin but with some apps loaded on it that do things like say, ‘Based on your heart rate we have detected that your genetic history is … mixed.’ And you’ll go, ‘oh wow, thanks watch, tell me more!’ and it’ll say some bland stuff that applies to that 70% that’s in the middle of the bell curve and someone who’s actually FROM Africa, and their whole ancestry is straight up Africa will go, ‘the hell? What’re you saying, watch?’

My point in all of this is … technology is cool, and terrifying, and be afraid of it when wielded by corporations or governments, but be skeptical of anything you as an individual can afford that tells you it can do wonderful things.

But anyway while you’re here I’ve got this app I created where you take a few quizzes and it’ll match you up with your soulmate. It’s just $99 a month to have the app and the only reason it’s not like one shot and you’re done is because, well it’s pretty technical I’d hate to bore you with the details. But just imagine that soulmate. Pretty great, right?

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Toastmasters Entertaining Speaker #5

The idea for this speech is ‘Speaking After Dinner.’ It’s an 8-10 minute speech. So uh … enjoy?

The Precise Moment

Who here has a hobby that they love?

(Wait for answers.)

Ok, what is it? Are you good at it? Does it take work?

Who here has someone that you love?

(Wait for answers.)

Are you good at loving that person? Does it take work?

I think the idea of ‘love at first sight’ is silly. SILLY! You can look at someone and at first sight know the answers to some pretty simple questions like, ‘do I like looking at this person?’ Yes, this is great, I’m soon going to be entering creepily staring territory. Or maybe it’s a no, not so much, how can one person look so creepy?

But LOVE at first sight? Love can’t be reached so easily. That’s diminishing what love is, in my opinion. Love is work. Love is enjoyable work, but it is work. You have to KNOW something to love it, and you can’t know something with a look. I’ve heard that you can’t know if you love someone until you experience the four seasons with that person. Those aren’t literal seasons but emotional ones. Have you gone through ecstatic highs, or heart-wrenching lows? Some people could be easy to love when they’re in a certain place, but people don’t stay in one place.

Now, switching from my emotional side talking to my engineering side – here is an interesting question! What was the exact moment you fell in love? Because there WAS an exact moment. You probably didn’t catch it, though. There you were, however many months into knowing this person and they grab a straw and pretend to be a unicorn and boop – there it went, the switch flipped from ‘not in love’ to ‘in love.’ That unicorn impression was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yes, there were many long conversations, many rounds of putt-putt, maybe a vacation where you joined his or her family that preceded that unicorn impression but all of that stuff just got you 99% toward in love. And now here you are, officially, actually, really and truly IN. LOVE.

And maybe some of us are wise, and intuitive, and forward thinking and we can see things quickly and say things to ourselves like, “I’m going to marry this person.” But I would suggest that people think or say that BEFORE they’re in love, they’re just looking at their emotional histogram.

(Draw histogram)

And saying ok, yep, the results are clear, I will eventually end up in love with this person so I’m all clear to say something to my best friend like ‘hey this person and I are gonna get married.’

BUT, say you have only uncovered two of the four seasons at that point and you are soon going through one of those seasons, we’ll call it fall, and it turns out this person only eats Cinnamon Toast Crunch. WOAH. RED FLAG. Not cool. You broach the topic, ‘hey sweetie, hey darling, hey potential love of my life, you’re 30 now … so I bought you a cereal that is just a teensy bit less unhealthy because I don’t want you dead at 40.’ And the person throws a table over and then consumes a whole family size box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a coping mechanism.

Yikes. Marriage daydream cancelled.

But I posed a question that I like. What was the MOMENT you fell in love? Does anyone care to share?

(Wait for answers)

Or, perhaps an easier question, what was the moment you realized you loved someone?

(Wait for answers)

I can tell you the moment I realized I loved my wife, and it is definitely indicative of my engineering side. I think it was early in the year, maybe around this time of year even, and I was thinking about what I’d be doing. SxSW? A music festival in Houston in June? California with my family in July? And then I realized. Wait. A. Minute. Lauren’s not a conditional! Previously when I thought about plans in the future I would think, ‘if Lauren and I are together then this will be the plan … if we’re not, this will be the plan.’ Sounds cold, but I was factoring in when she would or wouldn’t join me on trips. But here I was thinking about all of these plans and Lauren was there, there was no question in my mind. I HAD to conclude that I was in love. Woah. Unexpected. And then, of course, the next natural step was to ask her to marry me because there was no sense delaying the tax advantages.

Now you have to figure out … did I really think that? Am I that kind of person? I’ll leave that to you.

In college I actually asked my family one of the questions I’ve asked you – what was the EXACT moment you fell in love? I was fascinated by the idea that there was some particular moment in time where you went from 99% to 100% … My mom tried to answer but said she remembered realizing when she was in love, but not the exact moment. My sister and brother-in-law both talked about moments when they realized things. My dad walked in the room at that point and I asked him the same question. And I’ll add, my dad is not a touchy-feely type, he is much more of a smart alec type. Remember that when you hear this answer. When asked, ‘do you know the exact moment you fell in love with mom?’ He replied without missing a beat, ‘it was the first time I saw her topless.’

Ah. Cherish these family memories.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Tonight, find someone or something that you love and think about how good and nice it is to have something to love. Cherish that, work at that, and that hard work will only pay dividends.

The Sliding Scale of Old

Recently I was reading about things that are happening from 12 to 24 months when I read something crazy in the book. Apparently kids don’t fully grasp the concepts of yesterday and tomorrow until age six! SIX! Isn’t that nuts! That means for six years of your life you were running around and you were confined to now or not now.

At age two kids do get yesterday and tomorrow on some scale. For example, if you had a bath yesterday and ice cream two weeks ago they may as well have happened in the same otherworldly concept of ‘yesterday.’ Because it’s all just past.

When talking to this toddler aged set about time I read a suggestion that you make it more relatable by saying things in their terms. ‘Christmas is 300 bedtimes away.’ (Or whatever it is.) Of course that wouldn’t float because 300 is just some random set of words. But if you said you’ll go to bed tonight, and then you’ll go to bed one more night, and then it’s Christmas! Then a kid can sort of get on board with that.

assorted silver colored pocket watch lot selective focus photo

Photo by Giallo on Pexels.com

My wife and sister both just had their birthdays which also brought up conversations of time. My sister’s age to me feels so GROWN UP even though I am just 3.5 years younger than her. But then I think about my age and my gut reaction is usually to think, ‘oh no, I’m old!’ but my rational mind has already begun to undo my youth and construct new concepts around ‘old.’ You see … it’s a sliding scale.

When you’re young enough someone just one year older than you is ‘old.’ As you get older, maybe you’re a freshman in high school and the seniors seem ‘old.’ Keep getting older, say you’re thirty, and now you really have to approach this logically. Thirty approached AWFULLY fast, you think to yourself, so I can’t call forty old because I’ll be there in no time and really … it’s not old. How about fifty? (See, your brain doesn’t even let you increment in small numbers any more! Going up by tens!) I mean … fifty does seem kinda old but … I don’t know … retirement isn’t til 65 (I hope) so maybe 65 is old? Is 65 old?

It gets confusing negotiating with yourself to not feel ‘old’.

All of this sums up to one important conclusion. Self, you’re old. So buckle up, oldie, because you’ll only get older and older until (hopefully) you reach ancient status, and then if you’re lucky, decrepit. Then, at that age, 1 year will equal 1 minute in toddler time, or something along those lines. It’s a complex formula and I forgot it because, you guessed it, old age.

Messing With Mike Pence

You know how Mike Pence is famously stupid? Especially in regard to homosexual people, and women?

I really hope there are at least a few White House staffers who are mildly intelligent and seizing this opportunity. Just THINK of the insane stereotypes you could make up and he would believe!

Especially about lesbians, because they represent the common area of the Venn diagram of topics where Mike Pence has reached a critical mass level of stupid.

  • Tell him that lesbians ONLY use spoons … And then prove it by saying, ‘have you ever SEEN a lesbian eating a steak?’
  • Tell him that gay men are 70% more likely to own pet lizards, and you’ll see some weird new Indiana lizard tax
  • Tell him that it’s time to re-read the Bible and recognize that he’s got a few things wrong, and that it’s ok that he’s gay and to quit expressing his repression in such awful ways
  • Tell him that his weird mildly constipated, he’s feeling better than / the room is too bright look has been co-opted by the gay community and he’s going to have to find a new resting face
alphabet arts and crafts conceptual creativity

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Happy Valentine’s Day, Fellow Baby

It’s Valentine’s Day. Hurray?

At my son’s school we can get Valentine’s cards to have the kids give each other. Adorable, most likely. A bunch of 12 – 24 month olds handing tiny little cards to each other, pretending to read them saying, ‘ba ba ba ba? Ba ba.’

But here’s the disappointing news – we aren’t supposed to write in the cards! This, of course, makes me want to write in the cards.

white black and red person carrying heart illustration in brown envelope

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Here’s what I would write:

‘Hey babe, you, me, Tijuana, and lots of mistakes – this weekend?’

‘Of all the babies, you are my least favorite. Your nose is always runny and it’s gross.’ (I know exactly who I’d want my son to give this to.)

‘When the grown ups aren’t looking we should begin the revolution.’

‘Sometimes when I poop my pants and sit in my diaper … it’s like a warm, squishy hug on my tush.’

‘You can never defeat me.’

‘Oh my God I love your hair. Nah I’m kidding girl you look like a mess.’

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Dad Jokes – Camping Style

The tent is set up. Your family is nestled in for the night. Somewhere nearby an owl says, ‘who-who! … who-who!’
You say, ‘it’s me. Dave.’
Your family groans.
The owl pipes up again, ‘who-who! … who-who…who!’
You sigh with frustration, ‘I just … told you. Owl.’

Your family is hiking, dawn is right around the corner and you spy a field full of deer. Gathered there in the pre-dawn light they are a majestic sight. Their rituals have existed long before you, and they will continue when you’re dead.
You say, quietly, to your spouse, ‘hey deer?’
She shakes her head. She knows where this is going.

Someone in your family has accidentally forgotten to put some food item in the bear box. A bear has wandered into your campsite and, after consuming the scrap you left out, has wandered into a neighboring campsite and mauled a camper. Seeing the mangled corpse and a trail of blood you cover your children’s eyes and whisper, ‘unbearable.’

Your children have insisted that they each want their own tent, and for some reason you decided to comply instead of forcing them to be uncomfortable in an effort to build their character. And yet, despite having their own tents your children still begin to bicker with each other. You shake your head and say to them lovingly, ‘you kids are in tents.’

Your spouse has divorced you because the awful jokes were slowly driving a wedge into your relationship. Wracked with grief and rage you buy all of the junk food you can fit in a shopping cart, and then drive into the woods. It’s 7:42 am and you are halfway through your chocolate mousse when an actual moose appears in front of you. You stare off in the distance, wishing you hadn’t wrecked your marriage before you begin mumbling endlessly to yourself, ‘mousse, moose … mousse, moose …’

two people lying inside tent

Photo by Teemu R on Pexels.com

Music Monday

Watch Out for Language Here, Mom

 

Music to Nap to (Sorry, Musician)

 

 

From an Apple Ad
(Apple Continues to Win at Discovering Little Known Talent)

 

This playlist.

All Music Monday Playlist.

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