MW#8 | The Contentious Future on Our Little Blue Dot
This week: AI helping UN Peacekeeping Efforts, Life Lessons and Creativity from the COVID Era, and the Future of Energy with Fossil Fuel Alternatives
This post was originally published in Mind Whoosh! on Substack.
Welcome to Mind Whoosh! A newsletter bread-crumb trail of thoughts, learnings, and speculations following my spelunking journey through minds, metaverse, and this messy human meat-space we call ‘reality.’
In this Issue:
- Author’s Note
- The UN Turns to AI for Help Facilitating International Peacekeeping Efforts
- Life Lessons from a Heart Attack in the Pandemic Era
- Little COVID Era Home Innovations
- How Can We Outgrow Fossil Fuels?
- Closing Thoughts from a Lawful Good Kitten
I started a new #100DaysOfX challenge yesterday! The goal is to write and publish content daily for 100 days. I’ve done this before with software projects and code and find it helps build new habits quickly with a little external reinforcement.
I’ll save your inboxes from the daily onslaught, but feel free to drop in more regularly to see the latest musings from a fellow hyper-active mind. I’ll also be publishing on Medium as well. You can follow me there if you prefer it over substack. Here’s a post from yesterday:
*Enter generic news anchor voice*
“And now for your regularly scheduled programming… “
It’s exciting to see technologies used to help address areas where humans are a bit lacking, particularly in international conflict resolution. We’ve seen digital elections take place entirely via direct voting online, so why not use a similar concept to enable civilians to communicate directly with governments during times of crisis and conflict? With the help of an AI system as the intermediary, thousands of people’s messages could be summarized in near-realtime so that policymakers could better understand their populace’s concerns.
These kinds of intelligent communication systems will undoubtedly become more prevalent in the future. They’re beginning to emerge in other settings as well. It’s a fundamental human social challenge to tackle as our civilization matures. Anywhere a central organizing body and represented population requires effective communication to operate for everyone involved. It raises some interesting questions as we go forward:
- How are the identities of individuals protected from government retaliation?
- Is there clear visibility on how these algorithms consolidate and summarize redundant communications?
- What is the potential for loss of unique but influential expression?
- How do we measure skew toward specific segments of the participant population or demographics, such as internet access?
You can take a lesson from someone who recently shared their story of near-death on Linked In. Life is short, and much of America suffers from an unhealthy work-life culture. This forced reflection and transformation period is an opportunity to reassess our ingrained habits and forge ourselves a little bit better with each new day.
A coworker once revealed one of his blunt-force methods to help remind himself to live his best life every day. After a visit to his apartment, you could see a large piece of paper stuck to the door at eye level as you leave. He’d printed in giant block letters the phrase, “YOU’RE DYING.” That way, he’d be reminded of the incredibly brief and fragile blink in time that we’re each endowed, every time he stepped out into the world. Hopefully, that helps you make the best of it.
Little COVID Era Home Innovations
This one is just pure indulgence. I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately around lifestyle changes forced upon us by the pandemic. More recently, they’ve shifted toward thinking about opportunities to reinvent or improve many people’s home-bound lifestyles. If you need some inspiration for your home office setup, look no further than this ingenious example of a floating desk that makes excellent use of minimal corner space and a bucket-full of creativity.
Anywho, onward we go!
How Can We Outgrow Fossil Fuels?
Some of the world’s wealthiest are taking public stances on which alternative energy solutions are worth collective investment. There’s still heated debate about the optimal paths forward for a healthier human-friendly future on Earth, but most of the public have come to agree on one thing; fossil fuels are a problem we need to solve as soon as possible.
So what are the solutions? What alternatives offer the best routes forward?
Kurzgesagt -a prolific studio on Youtube- has a hot take on the topic worth a few minutes of your time. They make extensive efforts to collect various legitimate peer-reviewed research from competing perspectives in creating their “In a nutshell” overviews. This one is no exception and ultimately lays out a compelling argument for increasing broad investment in both modernized nuclear and other forms of renewable “clean” energy.
Closing Thoughts from a Lawful Good Kitten
We’re living through tumultuous, chaotic, terrifying, and sometimes hilarious times. In case you missed this one last year, a lawyer accidentally entered a zoom call behind a kitten filter to argue his client’s case in 2020. He handled it like a champ, too.
Anyway, enjoy the rest of your week. Hopefully, this leaves you with a good laugh to get through the rest of your day.
If you appreciate any of the things I’ve gathered or written about here, consider following my blog on substack or sharing this with other like-minded humanauts in your circles. Right now, the best thing you can do is help find a larger community of people who can benefit.