This modern life…

The Red Tide in Florida: What Have We Done?

I felt the deepest dismay on my recent trip to Sanibel Island, in South Florida on the Gulf Coast. We stayed near the water and I was so looking forward to walking down to the beach. That first morning, it was great to see the water and hear the surf.

Yet the beaches were deserted. Odd, I thought. Is it because the beaches here are so stark? Not a leaf of shade, a flatness to the terrain. In late August the brick wall of humidity is fierce. I grew up in St. Louis so I know humidity, but the humidity in South Florida is…dystopian.… Read the rest

Screenshot from The Singularity is Near

Humblebrag: I won an award for my feature writing

I’m delighted to report that I won a 2018 Azbee Award of Excellence in the category of Web Feature Article. (Azbees are awarded by the American Society of Business Publication Editors). My winning article is titled Artificial Intelligence: When Will the Robots Rebel? It’s a deep dive into the evolving technology of AI, its relationship to human consciousness, and its likely future disruptive role in society.

Researching the article, I interviewed numerous experts, including Adam Coates, Director of the Silicon Valley AI Lab at Baidu, and Pieter Abbeel, director of UC-Berkeley’s Robot Learning Lab. Visiting the Robot Learning Lab was a blast – I got to see how BRETT, a robot, actually “learns” how to do things like fold towels and tie knots.… Read the rest
electric piano in a music store

My Tribe in the Music Store

I like stopping into the music store now and then. There’s a Yamaha electric piano I have a crush on, but for $800 my love is better off unrequited.

It’s always good to check in with the tribe in the music store. They’re my people, the people who really love music. They are – and I speak affectionately – a mangy bunch. Their hair tends to be bad, and their complexions are nothing to write home about either. They seem a little “apart,” as if they could converse with you if need be, but it’s not their first choice.

There are always a few standard humans in the music store. … Read the rest

march for our lives

March for Our Lives in SF – Feelin’ It

[From Saturday, March 24] Gathering for the March in front of SF City Hall. Must admit I’m a tad verklempt at the energy of it all, the young people voicing a higher purpose. Kind of makes you think there might be hope for us after all. That we make terrible mistakes but that there’s some larger, timeless energy that resides in us – all of us as a whole – that somehow keeps us moving upward. Damn. There’s a lady writing in chalk on the sidewalk: “vote them out.” Oh yeah.… Read the rest