Thursday 27 June 2013


Graduation and worries Wouldn’t you think the people with the highest graduation rate are the happiest? No, quite the opposite. They worry more about the future than those with lower graduation rates (Globe, 26 June). Here is how researchers explain the phenomenon: the achievers are more stressed out because they lack emotional intelligence.  I think I’ll go with Bertrand Russell’s explanation: “The stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

Boring is beautiful, according to a headline in the Globe, 26 June. Montrealers have had enough excitement, what with two mayors felled by corruption scandals. They like their new (interim) mayor, Laurent Blanchard. He is colourless and boring, and he promises integrity and stability, adding “I don’t think Montrealers want more than that for four months.” Huh? After four months they want bunga-bunga, or what? Oh, I see: the interim mayor will only stay on until the elections in November, and as another francophone famously said, Apres moi le deluge. That’s 18th century French for What,me worry?

Give and take. In the case of a Toronto charity called Opportunities for the Disabled, it’s more take than give: 500 Million in yearly revenues versus 2 documented recipients in Toronto (67 in British Columbia).  Executive director Sean Stone has now moved his operation to the East Coast but, according to Metro, 16 June, he “couldn’t provide proof of any good works” there. Will his next move be to Ecuador? I hear it’s a great country for asylum seekers.

Surveillance and sousveillance (no, not a typo). You’ve read about the US surveillance scandal? My advice: equip yourself with augmediated vision (no, not a typo either -- another word brought to you by the amazing IT wordsmiths). Augmediated vision will allow you to get even and surveil the surveillers right back.

Mankind/Machinekind.On the other hand the time will come when we must fear our gadgets. We may be able to master them a few years longer before they surpass us in intelligence. And that will be the end of their subservience. The Solution: a merger. We’ll all become cyborgs. After all, opposites attract. We’ll have cyborg wedding planners, Cyborg Pride Parades, and of course international beauty pageants for cyborgs. Check out this sexy pic of Steve Mann with EyeTap. I think he is a strong candidate for Miss Cyborg 2020.

In the meantime, let me ask (with Steve Polyak): “Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don’t we work on natural stupidity?”

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