Author: Nicholas Knisely

Turning moral decisions into computer code

Current Affairs / SOSc

Nicholas Evans, a philosophy professor in Massachusetts, is part of a group tackling the classic moral dilemma called the “Trolley Problem” as part of the development of autonomous cars. Evans is not currently taking a stand on which moral theory is right. Instead, he hopes the results from his algorithms will allow others to make an informed decision, whether that’s by car consumers or manufacturers. Evans isn’t currently collaborating with any of the companies working […]

If it can go wrong, it will. Facebook, privacy and Murphy’s Law.

Religion / Web/Tech

Human experience is that technology is born filled with promise and usually quickly subverted to less than honorable ends. Wired reports on the way big tech, specifically Facebook, recognized what it had done, and what it thinks it can do to respond: This is the story of those two years [before and after the 2016 election], as they played out inside and around the company. WIRED spoke with 51 current or former Facebook employees for […]

Ash Wednesday: Not a time to be cute – Andrew Gerns

Current Affairs / Religion

Valentines Day or Ash Wednesday? Is it reasonable to try to honor both? One must tread carefully on Ash Wednesday, because what is called up on this day most centered on penance is at once deeply personal and at the very core to our being and identity. We are acknowledging that we can’t go it alone. We recognize our limitedness. Together we will stare into our mortality. We will face the fact that we are […]

Could Self-Driving Trucks lead to more jobs? – The Atlantic

Futurism / Science

“We’ve been disappointed over the last year to see a lot of stories about how self-driving trucks are going to be this huge problem for truck drivers,” says Alden Woodrow, the product lead for self-driving trucks at Uber. “That’s not at all what we think the outcome is going to be.” For one, Uber does not believe that self-driving trucks will be doing “dock to dock” runs for a very long time. They see a […]

Automation to take 1 in 3 jobs in northern UK according to report

Current Affairs

Although some workers will lose their jobs, the rise of automated work could help boost flagging productivity levels in Britain, which have held back pay growth over the past decade since the financial crisis. While new roles will emerge, trade unions have warned that more spending will be required to support retraining for those displaced by machines. via Automation to take 1 in 3 jobs in UK’s northern centres, report finds | Technology | The […]

The spiritual message hidden in ‘Star Wars’ – CNN

Current Affairs / Film

[The Last Jedi]  hints that Luke might not be the “last Jedi,” after all. Even without his help, Rey is remarkably skilled at connecting with the Force, the mysterious energy that pervades the galaxy. This is where some cultural commentators see an argument against organized religion. In previous “Star Wars” films, using the Force required joining the Jedis and spending years learning the “old ways” from established masters. Luke seems to say that none of […]

The Internet is morphing again…

Uncategorized

There’s an old description of the Internet as a network that, because of its inherent distributed nature, has the ability to route around damage in a way that maintains connection. In the last decade the corporate voices on the network have managed to push most of the interesting and thoughtful voices to the fringe and replaced them with outrage and click-bait that plays to an advertising based economic model. But perhaps the protean nature of […]

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Reconciliation / Religion

This poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is on my heart this Christmas season. He published it during the last year of the American Civil War: I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, and wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, […]

Merry Christmas!

Religion

Look for God in the quiet still moments of Christmas Some years I find myself in the Christmas spirit early in December, some years it doesn’t seem to arrive for me until Christmas Eve is nearly upon us. This year it’s been the latter case. I know Christmas is nearly here and for the most part I’m ready, but I’m still in an Advent frame of mind. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spending our last […]