Friendly Talk

Him: Have you gone astray, since we went to school together?

Me: No, I was like this even then. I was already in favor of robots in 1971, reading Asimov. So many decades later, I am quite sad that they are still primitive and not like those in Humans, I watch on amc, every week.

Him: What’s amc?

Me: A popular culture satellite or cable TV channel you despise so much. I mean popular culture, not so much cable TV in general, that you despise.

Him: Only science fiction and crime stories. They are very like those cheap novels of knights on horses, which ended with the Cervantes’ Don Quijote de la Mancha, ending an entire trivial genre with a single masterpiece.

Me: Yes, I know, your standards are high. I am a more simple man with no such prejudices and aesthetic criteria as you have. So I watch Humans on amc which are in fact robots in our contemporary environment. I watch, I enjoy and I am asking myself – what went wrong, we don’t have such robots by now.

Him: They are not really possible, that’s why. Besides, what would humans do with so many perfect robots working for  them.

Me: I could run a latifundia with one thousand of such robots, producing food. Perhaps I would use one thousand of such robots to build a stone bridge between those  two alpine peeks, over that river. Perhaps, I would release several on the Snake island to wipe out snakes there. I have many ideas of how to be a slave master of a robotic army. At least that. But we have failed to make them so far and this is not a good thing.

Him: I think those fantasies are not very wise or productive.

Me: I, on the contrary, think that that is a wise and productive example of dreaming. Your dreams, sorry to say this, are very doll and non-inspiring. Your vision of natural materials as the peek science achievements makes me quite sleepy. It’s not a vision at all, more like a museum all over the world project. It’s not just you, but the majority of people nowadays.

Him: I was always in favor of technological advances, you should know that.

Me: Your technological revolutions don’t deserve to be named a revolution by far. A bit better electrical motors? They are coming out every day. Which is good, but nothing to be too excited about.

Him: And you want robots which are just like humans? Don’t you think it’s a childish idea?

Me: I aim much higher than that, of course.

Him: I know, even more childish fantasies about superintelligence  and such.

Me: Of course. Think big! Deliver a shock, comparable with the aeroplane or atomic bomb, back then. Not something like a Victorian gadget for  preparing tea a bit faster or slower.





Expect More!

A week ago, an asteroid came too close to be comfortable with NASA and every other agency managing our Solar system and beyond.

The Halloween asteroid was a previously unknown large rock less than 40 Earth diameters away. Roughly speaking, one among 40 of such collides with our planet. And nobody had a clue it existed! Quite bad. We are talking about Chelyabinsk times 10000 at least in this case if a collision had happened.

How come, we are not aware of every single rock larger than 10 meters across, buzzing around? Is that too much to ask?

Another agency “WHO” has warned us recently, that we should avoid eating red meat. They failed to present us all the contrafactuals. How many more (or less) would die among those billion of new vegetarians?

And they have informed us recently, that Antarctica’s ice is growing. I would say they should have known this long ago (as I have) and not only now when they have “measured it”. How hard can it be to measure something like that? Apparently it’s difficult for those agencies, thus they are not very good.

Pan Am had a marketing slogan –  Expect More From Pan Am! And went out of business soon after. Perhaps we should not expect very much from those mega agencies.

Privatize them, privatize them all!


Small GW Debate

Him: Did I hear you correctly, Thomas? Are you saying, that there are no greenhouse gases at all?

Me: Yes.

Him: Do you know that water is the prime greenhouse gas?

Me: It is not.

Him: It is. It’s only you, who says otherwise.

Me: Give me a minute, do not interject except for short answers to my questions and you’ll agree with me.

Him: Sure, go ahead.

Me: The standard narrative goes that cloudy mornings are warmer than clear sky mornings. Correct?

Him: Sure, that’s exactly what I, as well as every other sane person, are saying.

Me: You see, a cloud isn’t water vapor. It’s either liquid or solid. True?

Him: Yes. But …

Me: Silence please, you have agreed not to interject!

Him: Okay.

Me: Well, it’s a small portion of liquid water or ice, a cloud technically speaking, which obscures our view. And IR photons, as well. Hence the “warming” effect in the cloudy morning.

Him: What about water molecules in the air, which are in the gas phase?

Me: You have very many of them on an average clear morning. In total, much more than in a relatively thin cloud; yet a thin cloud prevents frost sometimes, but a much larger quantity of water dissolved in 10 kilometers of air, does not.

Me: For example, there is a lot of water in the air over Sahara. Dissolved water. It doesn’t prevent cold mornings. Clouds, on the other hand, do.

Him: Fine, you are just nitpicking. It’s not a greenhouse gas, it’s a greenhouse liquid or solid. It’s the same!

Me: The next one, carbon dioxide, is only in the form of gas in our atmosphere. Never solid, even less liquid.

Him: It seems that water is a greenhouse gas after all!

Me: Greenhouse perhaps, but only when it’s not in the gas state.

Him: It might be that water is a greenhouse liquid/solid, but carbon dioxide might be a greenhouse gas non the less.

Me: It isn’t.

Him: How do you know?

Me: I know at least something obvious. That water isn’t a greenhouse gas, but a greenhouse liquid/solid maybe. You people failed to spot the obvious fact about that. So I treat you all as a … well – less intelligent crowd.

Him (thinks): I hate you.

Him: Let talk about something else.