The book I am reading now I bought on my birthday trip in Toronto last weekend. Its titled ‘Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom’. It is excellent. They were contemporaries, knew of each other but they were from different classes and their paths never crossed. Yet they both fought for the freedom and sanctity of the individual and their right to think and say what they believed. A fight that is not over by any means.
The Deep Mind supercomputer and its AI program Alpha Zero are making news. This plucky program learned how to play chess in four hours without being programmed to try and win. And then in a little over a year with help from chess grand masters it was able to defeat the reigning AI champion chess program (which defeated the best human players) in 155 out of 1000 matches, losing 6 times and drawing the rest. And most importantly, the program played chess unlike any player or computer had played before, sacrificing pieces far more often, but still winning. It learned heuristically, like we do, which is new according to the experts, and it came up with something completely different. Which is exciting and frightening at the same time. Perhaps we will ask it to figure out how we can cure cancer and it will suggest killing everyone. If our values are not part of the software and hardware, is SkyNet far behind? (Warning! Terminator reference. And come on, the first two were great.)
Back at the gym, just doing cardio. It has a different feel for sure. I am a free weight, machines in continuous motion or at least vigorous body weight guy. Push ups, pullups, sit ups, squats. Always have been. I do feel lighter somehow, although I am pretty sure I am not. But it’s the gym, so that helps psychologically. A good kind of addiction, if that is possible.
I am listening to Chris Guillibeau Podcasts on side hustles. Interesting and inspiring. Recommended.
A paragraph from one of the short stories in The Fire (coming soon)
Only the richest of the patrons could afford to hear these powerful songs. And even then, only rarely, for reasons both financial and mental. They thought of course, that they earned it and their position in society made them better suited to appreciate it. Their lieutenants, guards and whores came with the patrons to the concerts, but they could not go in the hall. The ecstasy was for the chosen.
Have a great week!