Saturday Thoughts

Once again the weekend has broken and I had nothing unusual on which to post……so scramble was on to find that certain special post.

Racism has been in the news quiet often……but how far does our thoughts on color actually go?

It seems that we would apply our racial stereotypes to robots as well……

study published by New Zealand’s University of Canterbury reported that humans tend to apply their racial biases to white and black robots. 

The study, “Robots and Racism,” conducted by New Zealand’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory, indicated people ascribe racial backgrounds to human-like robots and apply racial stereotypes accordingly.

If proliferation of robots increases, this association could present a serious issue, according to the study.

“If robots are supposed to function as teachers, friends, or carers, for instance, then it will be a serious problem if all of these roles are only ever occupied by robots that are racialized as White,” it states.

And people say it is getting better on the racial front…..reality says no way……

How about those brains?

I knew all along that I was special…..

Which river passes through Madrid? What year did the Spanish Civil War end? Some people seem to have the answer to every trivia question you throw at them. What sets these people apart from others, though? Not all that surprisingly, it has to do with their brains. A new study found that people with great general knowledge also have efficiently wired brains.

“Although we can precisely measure the general knowledge of people and this wealth of knowledge is very important for an individual’s journey through life, we currently know little about the links between general knowledge and the characteristics of the brain,” says Dr. Erhan Genç from the Department of Biopsychology in Bochum.

Genç and colleagues performed brain scans on 324 volunteers using a special technique called diffusion tensor imaging, which reconstructs the pathways of nerve fibers. Imagine your brain as a tangled network of roads and highways; this method can provide a map of this network.

The brains of people with excellent general knowledge are more efficiently wired

Time for me to give MoMo the attention she demands…..have a good day and a better tomorrow.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Kill Or Be Killed!

For decades we have been sending messages into space and hopefully watch for some reply… far little has returned.

First ever considered that those aliens out there may not want to talk to us or even acknowledge our existence?

But that aside….say we get a message in return saying “We are on our way”…..what then?

There have been many many movies that deal with this conundrum….one of my favorites was a Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”…..

If and when they, ET, shows up will we have to fight? (As most SciFi movies would have us believe)

Or will we treat them as we treat most animals?

Scientists often kill animals — that’s just a grisly fact of biological research.

But it’s a bit more complicated in the theoretical future where we’ve made first contact with extraterrestrial life. At that point, science author Guy Harrison argues in a Psychology Today op-ed that biologists may have to come to terms with killing alien life in the name of scientific progress — which raises a difficult question: at what point does scientific inquiry outweigh the value of life?

Harrison suggests guidelines that future biologists may find helpful. For instance, any extraterrestrial life that shows signs of intelligence ought to be spared. In that case, we may be able to learn about the alien lifeform by using our words instead of our scalpels.

Could we be the lower form of life?

The larger questions of science……and now I leave them for “experts” to answer….if they can.

But the old professor will try……

When considering the prospect of alien life, humankind should prepare for the worst, according to a new study: Either we’re alone, or any aliens out there are acquisitive and resource-hungry, just like us.

These two unpalatable options are pretty much the only possibilities, according to the new study. That’s because evolution is predictable, and alien biospheres should thus produce intelligent creatures much like us, with technological prowess and an ever-increasing need for resources.

But the fact that we haven’t run across E.T. yet argues strongly for the latter possibility — that we are alone in the universe’s howling void, the study suggests.

Can we possibly predict the temperament of our alien pals?


Given the current state of our home planet, and indeed our species, it can seem a bit surplus to needs to speculate on whether extraterrestrials are going to one day come and eat us (or, well, you know, do anything equally unpleasant).

Nonetheless, the question of whether there’s anyone or anything ‘out there’ that might ever show up to cause trouble does seem to come around again, and again, and again. For example, it’s become a bit of a perennial topic for Stephen Hawking to mention, and he’s not alone among serious scientists in speculating on the outcome of any such encounter.

As with any effort to decode the likely thought processes or intents of entirely hypothetical lifeforms, the options are – shall we say – fairly loosely constrained.

I still like the Twilight Zone episode the best…….maybe with some roasted asparagus and a nice Bordeaux.

Any thoughts on this or anything else…maybe the failing dam in the UK?

More later.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”