Henry Lewis Gates Jr. this morning on NPR pointed out that racism is always highly correlated with scarcity of resources, and that when we are uncertain of our economic future, it's easiest to preserve our share by dividing society into an us v. them, and looks happen to be a very easy way to group people. So maybe the first thing to do is figure out how to topple the economic system, with technology? Is it possible for us to overcome the basic struggle and competition to survive? We ought to have eliminated starvation and health concerns at this point, though we haven't.

Is there anything a baby can do that we can't build a robot that could do it also? That is, babies move, (mostly without coordination), they feed (take in energy), they excrete waste, they monitor a variety of sensory inputs, they record vast amounts of data from said sensory inputs... anything else? Facial recognition? But do they have a sense of self? are they conscious, in the way we find so mysterious? Or does that develop over time? They certainly don't sit around and think about things like what I've just written, which is the result of me sitting around thinking about consciousness. Wait a minute, do people find consciousness mysterious, or conscience? (I don't think either are all that mysterious.)

If you are willing to concede that animals have conscious brains, the question applies there too; and then you start to wonder, where is the line? Are our machines already conscious? (If this discussion ought to be about conscience instead, is it accepted that some animals have a conscience? that dogs can feel guilt?) (Because you can start to see that consciousness is not a defined feature, but rather a property of a broader quality that beyond some threshold deserves the label, much like beyond some size, grains of sand become a heap.)

So the program will: read in a sequence of photos (video frames); extract a specific line of each frame; reassemble the set of lines as a new frame; save the new frame; and then increment the line for extraction. Holy crap this is working! I need to figure out how to assemble them into a video automatically, instead of inside AE.

"Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity. He's an enemy of children who's bodies he's allowed to be raped and who's minds he's encouraged to be infected with guilt. It's embarrassingly clear that the church is less concerned with saving child's bodies from rapists than from saving priestly souls from hell, and most concerned with saving the long term reputation of the church itself. 

He's an enemy of gay people, bestowing on them the bigotry that the church used to reserve for Jews before nineteen sixty two. He is an enemy of women, baring them from the priesthood as though a penis were an essential tool for pastoral duties. 

He is an enemy of truth, promoting bare-faced lies about condoms not protecting against AIDS, especially in Africa.

He is an enemy of the poorest people on the planet, condemning them to inflated families that they cannot feed, and so keeping them in the bondage of perpetual poverty. A poverty which sits ill besides the obscene wealth of the vatican.

He is an enemy of science, obstructing the vital stem cell research on grounds not of true morality but on pre-scientific superstition.

Ratzinger is even an enemy of the Queen's own church, arrogantly dissing Anglican orders as quote, absolutely null and utterly void. While at the same time shamelessly trying to poach Anglican Vicars to shore up his own pitifully declining priesthood.

Finally, perhaps of most personal concern to me, Ratzinger is an enemy of education. Quite apart from the lifelong psychological damage caused by the guilt and fear that has made catholic education infamous throughout the world, he and his church foster the educationally pernicious doctrine that evidence is a less reliable basis for belief than faith, tradition, revelation and authority—his authority.  
—Richard Dawkins

Also, dear blogger: your editor here sucks. Can't you just give me a default button that actually defaults to the format of the rest of my post? maybe some day.

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