Is This the future?

Published in: Uncategorized on January 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Fundamental Lack

I have just realized what Korea, and general society, is sincerely lacking. What seems to be lost  in this, and many overstimulated societies is an awareness of feeling, or emotional intelligence. Feeling seems to be  intensely avoided at any cost it. If we pause and take a moment to focus on the  primary modes of  interpreting reality, we can divide these interpretations into three broad categories. They are the visual,  auditory, and emotional or using feelings as a mode to interpret reality. These ways can further be categorized into motivation towards constructing a comprehensive understanding of one’s self, and a destructive avarice towards one’s place in the world.

Korea is consumed with visual stimulation. One only needs to look around to notice the zombie like bumbling of people on their cell phones, or people glued to oversized plasma shadows to notice the invasive visual stimulation. Auditorily this is the case as well. Ipod’s, loudspeakers, and a general lack of silence marks the intensity of drowning in audio. Both of these modes construct an avoidance of reality. What about feeling? I have lost count of the lone children I have seen crying, the businessman stumbling drunk and complaining about the should’ves. It all seems like escapism on the grand scale from any sort of feeling. This is aided by the general tools of avoidance that manipulate the audio and visual ways of understanding. This isn’t a Korean issue alone. It is an issue in North America as well.

How are we to combat this smothering feeling of overstimulation with an amplified lack of emotion and feeling? This becomes more problematic when it is coupled with the manufactured and commodified emotion which audio and visual modes recreate, as if to satisfy our emotional lack. While the question may arrive at: What should we do? The better question is: Can we cope?

Published in: Uncategorized on October 23, 2010 at 4:57 am  Comments (7)  

The Protagoras Problem.

I have been recently going over a classic philosophical paradox, and I believe I might have solved it. I am not sure how sound my logic is thus far, but if you agree or disagree with me please comment on this post.

The paradox:

“Euathlos has learned from Protagoras how to be a lawyer, under a very generous arrangement whereby he doesn’t need to pay anything for his tuition until and unless he wins his first court case. Rather to Protagoras’ annoyance, however, after
giving up hours of his time training Euathlos, the pupil decides to become a musician and never takes any court cases. Protagoras demands that Euathlos pay him for his trouble and, when the musician refuses, decides to sue him in court.
Protagoras reasons that if Euathlos loses the case, he, Protagoras, will have won, in which case he will get his money back, and, furthermore, that even if he loses, Euathlos will then have won a case, despite his protestations about being a
musician now, and will therefore still have to pay up. Euathlos reasons a little differently however. If I lose, he thinks, then I will have lost my first court case, in which event, the original agreement releases me from having to pay any tuition fees. And, even if he wins, Protagoras will still have lost the right to enforce the contract, so he will not need to pay anything.

They can’t both be right. So who’s making the mistake?”

(p. 4, ‘101 Philosophy Problems’. Cohen, Martin 2001)
My solution. Euthalos owes Protagoras. If we look at Protagoras’ court demands they appear sound. If Euthalos loses, then Protagoras reaps the court benefits. If Euthalos wins, he must honour the agreement with Protagoras (A little more difficult to justify).


Euthalos’ reasoning doesn’t hold. He believes that if he loses he will have lost his first court case. While this appears to be true on the surface, it appears we run into a fallacy of what is called a ‘definitional retreat’. “This occurs when someone changes the meaning of the words in order to deal with an objection raised against the original wording” (p46 ‘How to win every argument’, Pirie, Madsen 2006). So what we see is a confusion upon the word ‘first’. In the agreement between Protagoras and Euthalos it is understood that Euthalos pays nothing until he wins his first court case. Does ‘first’ here mean the first instance of winning in any sequence of cases, or does it mean the first case in his sequence of court cases? We don’t know due to a lack of information which were stated between both parties. However, an everyday example may shed some more light on the issue of why I think Euthalos needs to pay up. Perhaps I begin watching the opening game of my favourite baseball team. Unfortunately they lose this game, and to my dismay they lose the next four games in a terrible losing streak.  I travel to the stadium to show my support for game six. Amazinly my team wins. The front page of the newspaper the following day reads ‘The Detroit Tigers win their first game after a five game losing streak’.

We know that this was the Tiger’s sixth game in the sequence of the games they have played. It was their first instance of winning. To compare this to the Protagoras problem, we see a similar issue. If Euthalos loses his first court case, he will have only lost his first in the case of sequence. This does nothing to remove the burden of winning his first court case, for this would be his first instance of winning.

Another question we must ask is whether the contract changes after the verdict of the court case? If it  does, then if Euthalos wins against Protagoras, either the contract is  meaningless or he must honour some new guidelines set forth by the  judge. If Protagoras wins, then we must ask if the contract is  unchanged or if Euthalos must pay an amount now. Protagoras’ win does not guaruntee an immediate payment. So we can observe that this  argument has two important qualifications. First, what is implied in the agreement between Protagoras and Euthalos when we use the word  ‘first’. Do we mean here the first in a succession of first, second, third; or, do we instead mean ‘first’ as an instance or occurence or a quality, regardless of sequence. We have seen this in our baseball example. Once this beginning qualification has been made in the court case, it is necessary to focus on the change in the contract terms. It is
from this qualification that we can move from the original agreement to and honourable resolution to this much contested paradox.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  

O, Death

I am really interested in a song I randomly stumbled across a few days ago. It’s sung by Lauren O’Connell from somewhere in California. I had thought it was an original song, but in her description she states that “This is a traditional folk song under public domain. So there’s no original, per se.” Regardless, she does a beautiful job and the tone of the music is just somber enough to give you chills.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Robotic Butterfly

This is a really cool robotic butterfly from Japan Trends . The flight looks incredibly natural. Check the video below.

Published in: Uncategorized on July 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

HULC starting human trials

Lockheed Martin’s HULC exoskeleton is beginning its human trials. This is great news for robotics. I am looking forward to seeing more of DARPA and Lockheed’s robotic application in the future.

I hope that in the future that this kind of advancement will be integrated with the armour technologies as we have seen from Troy Hurtubise

Published in: on July 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

First, get a glass of red wine…

This is how to set the ambiance for a nice glass of wine in solitude during our intensely alienating digital age.
First, make sure your computer speakers have a little volume.

Next, ensure your browser supports tabs.

1) Open this link in the first tab

2)Open this link in the second tab

3)Lastly, open this tab in last am ensure it sits on top.

Go full screen, kick back, and enjoy the glass.

via “Time to get Classy”

Published in: Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 9:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Finally, someone to catch my dropped coffee

This video is a tad bit dated as far as videos on the internet go. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see how fast this robotic ‘hand’ can move. Speed definitely plays a role in the uncanny valley, and not only high speed but slow speeds as well. Check out the video below.

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Uncanny Valley through a Robotic Mouth

via Gizmodo

Not as uncanny as it could be. Imagine this mouth attached to a face and a body. However, the moans that come from it are quite offputting!

Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

How lazy I have become…

Well, this isn’t what I thought I would be doing in Korea. However, it is a very nice perk. I present you you, McDelivery.

Published in: on March 9, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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