This week's MICKnuggets

08.06.18- Robot Lives Matter!

Movies like iRobot explore the relationships between robots and their human “masters.”  It’s a frequent theme in science fiction.  But it’s closer to reality than we may think and how we handle those relationships is a bit surprising.

The report is from a German study that tested how humans reacted to robots with personalities.  It’s nice, but it may not be good!

While the people thought they were assisting in helping the robots learn tasks, the real test was after the tasks when the humans were told to turn off the robot.  That was all well and good for half of the participants.

The other half had robots who asked to not be turned off with varying excuses like being afraid they would not be tur4ned back on or that they were being killed.  13 people refused to turn off the pleading machines and the others getting the request delayed and considered their act before shutting the robot down.

Apparently the lesson here is: Robot Lives Matter and that Skynet may be closer than we think!

08.07.18- How to Lose a Country

The Freedom Forum Institute conducted a survey of 1009 American adults.  The results are concerning.

It was about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and an astounding 23 percent believe the 1st amendment goes too far.  While 74 percent disagree, over a fifth of respondents would limit your rights to free speech.

While freedom of speech is enshrined in the 1st amendment, what other rights are there?  40 percent don’t know.

In fact only 36% could name even one 1st amendment protection.  Name two?  Only 12% could. And only one of the 1009 could name all five!

72% believe social media should sensor “hate speech” with many believing the government should have oversight of the process.

I hope the survey is skewed.  I hope it’s wrong. If this is what Americans believe, we are on our way to losing the country.

By the way, the five are: religion, speech, assembly, the press and petitioning the government.  How’d you do?  More importantly, how’d your kids do?


08.08.18- Animal House

Apparently Harvard has messed up more than the Florida Legislature. 

It’s now mandated that fraternities and sororities must be open to all regardless of gender, else their members will be penalized for the lack of inclusivity.

Failing to comply will cause members to be ineligible for leadership positions in student groups, being a team captain in varsity sports or even receiving Harvard’s backing for fellowships.

One sorority has shut down rather than add men to its mix.

The school says diversity and inclusion will get groups additional support and resources as the non-discrimination policies are embraced.

The real issue is that Harvard is under investigation for Title IX violations for gender discrimination that could cost the Ivy League school federal funding.

The closed sorority has the right idea.  There are reasons so be gender exclusive…Didn’t these folks see Animal House?


08.09.18- If You’re Going to Play

I never anticipated being single in my 50’s.  Life doesn’t always work out as we anticipate.  What is it they say?  Man plans and God laughs.  I suppose the joke’s on me.

So, being in a job that makes late nights a no-no, and not being a bar or club life guy anyway, meeting people can be tough.  Like many people my age I find myself trying online dating.  It’s a mixed bag.

A University of Michigan study of online dating, or attempts at it anyway, may shed some light on the idea.

Apparently most online date seekers want to play above the rim, that is on a talent level above their ability.  Like being a weekend softball player in the major leagues.

The study says we tend to seek to meet people 25% above our own attractiveness level.  Only 21% will meet someone of enhanced looks through these efforts.

Well, if I am going to play, may as well go for the upper deck.  21% sure beats my odds with the lottery!


08.10.18- The Final Frontier

Space…the final frontier.  So begins my favorite Sci-Fi series of all time, Star Trek.  And while we’ll not attain that kind of space travel in my lifetime, we are taking steps in wherever that direction- out there- takes us.

Vice President Pence announced on Thursday that the Pentagon will begin plans for adding a branch of service to the US military, the Space Force.

While we are cooperating internationally with even countries that would be considered enemies on earth, we do have vital American interests in space that impact our defense, economy and our daily lives.  It makes sense to have a force to protect them.

While I agree that this could be done, for now, under the US Air Force, at some point, maybe when we are flying around earth’s orbit all the time, a space force will be necessary.

But starting now is a good idea.  Why be behind on space? 

I just hope that there is a Captain Kirk now serving ready to change branches!

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