61014 Gleaning Generation X Flare 666 Marks The Spot ”The Destiny Of The World Determined In The Coming Weeks”
Today, I want to highlight two interrelated and significant developments in the world of AI, or Artificial Intelligence. The first has to do with a computer program called “Eugene Goostman,” which has reportedly become the first artificially created human being to fool more than 30% of judges that he is a real person. The test was recently conducted at the Royal Society in London and the UK’s Independent reported yesterday
This is particularly interesting in light of a recent piece from the MIT Technology Review titled, How Advanced Socialbots Have Infiltrated Twitter. The article highlights the work of Carlos Freitas from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, who demonstrated the ability of Twitterbots (i.e., fake computer generated Twitter accounts) to not only gain more followers than actual human users, but to also infiltrate social groups within Twitter and exercise influence within them. Furthermore, while Twitter monitors the site for bots and suspends them when uncovered, 69% of the bots created by the Mr. Freitas escaped detection.
Gender also played a role. While male and female bots were equally effective when considered overall, female social bots were much more effective at generating followers among the group of socially connected software developers. “This suggests that the gender of the socialbots can make a difference if the target users are gender-biased,” say Freitas and pals.
Hahaha, software developers trying to get frisky on Twitter.
So the work of Freitas and co is a wake-up call for Twitter. If it wants to successfully prevent these kinds of attacks, it will need to significantly improve its defense mechanisms. And since this work reveals what makes bots successful, Twitter’s research team has an advantage.
The threat posed by such systems cannot be overstated when it comes to both government and corporate propaganda, and it seems we have already reached the point where they are sophisticated enough for us to become concerned.
While this hasn’t been a key topic on this site up to this point, I have covered it in the past from time to time. For example, in the post from one year ago titled: The CIA’s Latest Investment: Robot Writers.
Furthermore, the threat posed by AI isn’t limited to media. We have also seen it creep into surveillance methods. For example: Meet AISight – The Artificial Intelligence Software Being Installed on CCTV Networks Globally.
This is definitely a trend that deserves more scrutiny going forward.
Presently, biblical passages regarding marriage and sexuality are considered antiquated and hate speech by radical liberals. But, in the future, one of the most controversial passages will be Genesis 1:27, which states that God made both male and female in His own image. (That it takes both a male and a female to reflect God’s image is also a strong case for biblical ethics regarding human sexuality and the true framework for marriage, family and gender distinctions.)
If technology and science continue to increase without biblical or ethical boundaries then it is likely we will also be dealing with a movement toward being a “trans-human,” initially dealing with people being part machine/part human, human cloning and eventually leading to an attempt to integrate human and animal body parts and traits. (This future trend will make the current debates on sexuality and gender identity seem like small children playing patty-cake in the street.)
Just how badly are they doing? Bad enough to turn around the entire concept of middle-class prosperity in America – one where every next generation should do better than the preceding one – on its head.
Only one-third of Generation X households had more wealth than their parents held at the same age, even though most earn more, The Pew Charitable Trusts found.
And there, in a nutshell, is your so-called recovery: two thirds of an entire generation – one which is in its prime working years – doing worse than their parents!
The rest is just a story of sad anecdotes confirming that not only is there no recovery in America for the average person (the average billionaire… well that’s a different story entirely), but that things are, in fact, going from bad to even worse.
First, it is the overall collapse in wealth:
… the reality is far, far simpler: the myth of the US economic recovery is nothing more than a lie of mythic proportions.
Take Generation X: those millions of Americans born between 1960 and 1980 who in a truly recovering and thriving economy would be at the forefront of career opportunities and of wealth creation. Instead, as an extended Bloomberg profile of Gen X shows, there has hardly been a generation in worse shape than Americans between their mid-30s and mid-40s… perhaps with the exception of Gen Y, and the Millennials of course.
So propaganda aside, what is life really like for a group of people that in a parallel universe, one with a truly vibrant, growing economy, should have never been better? Sadly, “life” as it is lived and not shown on TV makes one wonder if X stands for Exterminate.
Take Vera Johnson from Seattle. Vera, one of the several Gen-Xers profiled by BBG, “is barely making do, let alone saving for retirement.”
Thanks to free and abundant credit to those at the front of the line, home prices have soared in the last few years as “smart” hedge fund managers have bought homes-to-rent in a yield-grab with both hands and feet. This – as we have noted numerous times – priced out the ‘real’ buyer; who this time, instead of being driven by a “fear of missing out”, would rather not play (only to be left holding the bag). Another unintended consequence courtesy of The Fed’s “main-street-helping” actions that has destroyed the American Dream for a declining middle class.
Furthermore, with now completely divergent central banks, BofAML believes that European technicals are going to remain stronger for longer. As they conclude, “relatively stronger US fundamentals lead to relatively weaker technicals,” – or put another way “good news is bad news” for US credit markets…
You know things have got a little too strange when the largest government bond market in the world saw no futures trades in the morning session last night. We may complain in the US of falling volumes but none, zero, zip, nada is about as low as it gets; and that is how many trades occurred in the 20Y futures contract in Japan (and 10Y cash bond market). This is not the first time as Mizuho warned in Nov 2013 that “to all intents and purposes, there is no JGB market.” And this lack of trading on a day when major macro data printed far worse than expected… well played Abe… you entirely broke your bond market.
As Bloomberg reports, 10yr cash bond and 20-year bond futures were untraded in themorning session (Japan’s benchmark 10-yr note had no trade all day on April 14; that was the first time since Dec. 2000)
And this total lack of trading occurred on a day when Japan’s Services sector data collapsed 5.4% (considerably worse than expected) as the post-tax-hike hangover hit like a Tsunami…
We are sure it’s just an oversight, but given Abe’s increasingly nationalist banter (and an economy set to plunge in Q2 after Q1’s pre-tax-hike surge), it is certainly worth noting that, as The Japan Times reports, Japan failed to include 640 kg of unused plutonium in its annual reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2012 and 2013, in what experts are terming an “inappropriate omission.” The unreported amount is enough to make about 80 nuclear bombs. reassuringly, officials noted “there is no problem in terms of security against nuclear terrorism,” but as another pointed out, “should make efforts to improve” its reporting. Well, yeah, especially given that Japan possesses the largest amount of plutonium among nonnuclear weaponized nations.
An impulsive solar flare reaching X2.2 at its peak time erupted on June 10, 2014, generating R3 (Strong) radio blackout. The event started at 11:36, peaked at 11:42 and ended at 11:44 UTC. Source was Active Region 2087 located on the southeastern limb.
Two X-class solar flares erupted in just over one hour from Sun’s southeastern limb today. The first one peaked at 11:42 UTC as an impulsive X2.2 – you can read more about it here. The second X-class event of the day started at 12:36, peaked at 12:52 as X1.5 and ended at 13:03 UTC.
Surprising as it is, this is now the sixth X-class solar flare of 2014.
While the X2.2 was impulsive in nature and it did not generate a big Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), the second one had a Type IV Radio Emission which usually occur in association with major eruptions on the Sun and are typically associated with strong CMEs and solar radiation storms. Additionally, a 10cm Radio Burst lasting 18 minutes, with peak flux of 530 sfu, was associated with that event.
Both these flares were centered around new AR 2087 (old region 2065) located on the eastern limb and their CMEs will most likely be directed away from our planet.
As more and more information about the state of global affairs becomes available one can’t help but realize that life as we have come to know it is going to change dramatically in the very near future. The manipulation of financial markets, the fabrication of economic figures, and the mobilization of government on all levels are clear signs that something is amiss.
As has been said on many occasions, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’.
And that’s the trillion dollar question. When will the system finally come on unhinged? Further, what will be the catalyst that finally sends the system into a tailspin?
In the grand scheme of things it makes no difference what the final triggering event will be. It will, as Rickards notes, likely be something we don’t see coming – a Black Swan. It could come in any form and at any time, and it will likely take place some time in the next 24 months.
Speaking at the Herzliya Conference at the Interdisciplinary Center, Steinitz said that the nightmare scenario would likely be the result of Western powers signing a “bad deal” with Iran on its nuclear program.
“This is what we are working on now. The destiny of the world for the coming decades will be determined in the coming weeks,” he said.