Sunday, May 23, 2010

Links from the Gregg Zone

1) My green contribution for the week was sent to me by Joe, dealing with where to recycle your old electronics. The article was in honor of Earth Day, so it is a little dated, but the information should be good. I think the date they selected for Earth Day 4-22 each year might have been better thought out, as many people may have not recovered from the celebration two days earlier, even if they did their memory may still be in a in limbo.
2) This is an article on some very a Star-Trek type technology coming out in the medical field. Using lasers instead of stitches to heal wounds, and spray on skin, more examples of how Sci-Fi leads science fact. It is amazing how many examples of this there are. Unfortunately when it comes to advancements in getting our military back into combat, and bringing them home in as good of physical condition as possible, what is missing is that so many are coming home with their mind in a basket. It is not the same as it used to be, a soldier used to know who the enemy was because he was wearing a uniform, and they knew they were not children, or innocents. Now they have to make the ‘friend of foe decision’ on their own in a split second, with very few clues and with their life on the line, burying that what if I am wrong question deep in their memory. How does one deal with the dreams about the possible mistakes. It is one thing when they are in the combat zone, but when the adrenalin slows after coming home and in the still of the night reliving the events of the war in their minds, how do they deal with the questions, doubts, and justifications.
3) It has been a while since I have posted anything in the field of crypto-zoology news. I could not pass this one up as it also qualifies in the WTF and OMG categories as well. This is out of Ontario Canada, and I have no clue, nor did the comments help much. Someone’s dog found it in the water and dragged it ashore, according to the local natives it is very rarely seen, they just call it the ugly one. I could not agree more, if I was to wake in the night look outside of the tent and see this it would be a Sanford and Son “it’s the big one” type event. The natives say it is very rare and a bad omen to even see one; I can’t wait to find out more about this.
4) This is one of those interesting developments in virtual reality world stories. Advancements in this field seem to be very interesting. I posted something a few months ago about transferring a person’s perception of self into an avatar. I suppose this is quite similar, but with a psychological twist, I will side step the obvious J Edgar Hoover joke here, but it seems to me the research in this area has merit. For a lot of people it is difficult to “walk in someone elses shoes”. I am for anything that creates a better understanding between people, whoever they are. I see other areas of this research that look promising to me, like understanding racism, empathizing with the disabled, along with the mentioned gender sensitivity referenced here.
5) I know I have posted a lot about the social networking technologies, and privacy lately but when I heard someone talking about this on the radio the other day I just had to look into it. The scary thing to me about this is the implications, and the fact that even if Google does not go there someone will. I’m talking about advancements, and implementation, of facial recognition search software, and offering it for mobile phones. The person on the radio was hypnotizing on what could be done. She was saying, for instance a girl is sitting in a restaurant, impresses the serial weirdo across the room. He takes her picture on his phone and searches the internet. Goes to her face book page, learns where she went to school, gets some details on her school friends, learns her current interests and/or problems from her last hundred or so Google searches, goes to street view to see what kind of house she lives in, notes the address, then either approaches her as an old school chum, or just stalks her for whatever reason. Or, I walk into a store; someone runs my picture comes up with my doppelganger overseas somewhere who happens to be on a terrorist list. I walk out wondering what the swat team is doing there, and then find out it’s me, and I get a free trip to Guantanamo.

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