Thursday, February 15, 2007

Loonsbury and the Singularity of Science Fiction

The Amero case is the trial of this young century and it marks the end of an epoch journey where man searches for intelligent life elsewhere. The baton of that task is an unnecessary artifact of who we are today and not of who we are becoming.

A few weeks ago, when I still worked at ING I approached an executive who discussed everything but change and the future. I told him he needed to revolutionize the insurance industry by introducing life assurance policies rather than life insurance. Soon we will want policies that insure that our bodies and ourselves get the latest advancement in restoration of the self. We will die only by accident or by information osmosis.

Once you become familiar with the concept of the technological singularity such an idea has prosthetic legs. Life and death will take on different meanings very soon. But I'll save that discussion for another time.

My discussion today involves the intellectual meltdown of America. Our public school teachers are so technologically unsophisticated as to be barely qualified for what used to be third world countries. And our children's curriculum is so saturated with basics testing obsessions that our brightest students are being intellectually deformed and tortured from a lack of stimulus. In truth, every student and teacher is. Our schools need a visionary restructuring and it has to happen NOW. We are losing our future and that will be painful for us all and, yes, this is a crisis of the American Dream.

The public schools are to education what Guantanamo is to model prisons.

But it is not just the schools. Yesterday a group of security experts were pleading to buy an electronic copy of the Amero transcript. Electronic copies are searchable but the State of Connecticut mandates paper copies. I called to plead our good cause.

On the phone I contacted the transcriptionist's supervisor, Maura Simoneau who after some discussion agreed to put in a good word for us. But in exchange she asked that I advocate for better court technology. "In the early eighties we were the first ones using computers and technology but today we have ancient systems. These transcripts should be done in realtime. They can be shown in court on screens. We are just way behind."

Yes. The small town trial of Julie Amero in Norwich which is becoming jokingly referred to as Loonsbury is a microcosm of a national cancer - an overdose of the anti-intellectual policies of government that's killing our country. The sophistication of issues that the Amero case involves reporters must dumb down.

Julie Amero is the first high-profile evidence of something that is emerging in our Loonsbury flatland existence. That is the phenomenon that our information processing machines are behaving independent of the operator. This isn't news to everyone but it is an entirely new tsunami of relationships with machines that we have never seen before. The Amero trial is being treated like an episode of The Twilight Zone instead of AI. There's a reason for that. Too many people aren't intellectually ready for it and that's A BIG PROBLEM.

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1 comment:

Rob said...

I am hoping that the Amero case is like 'the shot heard around the world', and serves as the wake-up call that the justice system needs. Hell, I suppose the education system could do with as much of a wake-up.
Good start with the coverage here, in the Washington Post, The NY Times, the Boston Globe.

Thanks and keep it up, Frank.