On one hand, you’ve got R2D2, Wall-E, and Johnny-5. On the other hand you have HAL-9000, Cylons, and The Terminator. And yet on another hand (this one on a third robotic arm) you have the possibility of a cyborg enhanced self. Which way will AI go? We explore this with the (admirably feeble) help of Apple’s, Amazon’s, and Google’s own consumer AI systems as guests. Also there’s a quick, ad-hoc review of the new Apple HomePod.
Is the purpose of life to be happy? What if you could take a pill and you would be blissfully happy? Is that the end game, then? If not, what is it? Let’s ask the Dalai Lama … or at least a poster of his purported sayings, and test to see if they — or any — answers are acceptably real. Including the number 42.
Music featured on this podcast is from Jim’s Big Ego.
Are some monsters real? Could they be anomalies that pop into our reality like griefers in an online social sim? Or are they just figments in our shared subconscious? Could they be, in some aspect… acceptably real?
Under what circumstances can ghosts be considered acceptably real? Joe and I think we have the answer. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, we have several spooky stories to tell you, one with actual photographic evidence (see above).
Is photography our proof that the past actually existed? Or is it just another figment of the ever present “now”? And when you remember something that you took pictures of, are you remembering the event, or the pictures? What is time, anyway? And how is it related to memories? And why in the world did we start talking about the movie Sucker Punch? Yet more mysteries to ponder when exploring what is Acceptably Real…
Have intelligent extraterrestrial visited Earth? Are they still here? Are they walking among us? Why? What could they possibly want, and how would they get here? These and other questions spring from both Joe and Jerry seeing the recent movie Arrival.
Also, would it even be possible for humans to understand the complexities of a much more advanced extraterrestrial society?
This first episode of our new podcast is a bit different than what we plan for the rest of them, mainly because Jerry had been telling Joe about his childhood adventures with his father, and how one time his father had taken him hunting for pirate treasure down in the Sea of Cortez.
UPDATE: Jerry found references to the giant whirlpools and the freaky upwellings referenced in this episode in an old book called The Sea of Cortez by Ray Cannon:
“…when the vertical counter-current gains more momentum than the surface flow, immense whirlpools develop, sometimes 300 feet in diameter.”
“The most frightening demonstration of the power of the counterflow is seen when it shoots up at the cannel’s south end, exploding during extreme highs to a height of ten feet or more above the surface. At first these upwellings occur in small, circular boils that are about 100 yards across, but they widen at times to half a mile and stretch across all of the channels. As the water spills down from the top of a boil it resembles breakers about to crash into a beach, but instead of one wave being behind the other, they are stacked up on a flat plateau of smooth water.”