Monday, 7 August 2017

Since You Been Gone

May since my last (non-)post? Has it really been that long?  I guess the old cliche "Time flies when you grinding hard" ain't so cliched.  So what's gwan? Many tings though I'd say life as usual.  Anything but (I'll leave out the sordid details)

Still slaving for the machine, reading the Guardian, tumblr (not so much these days), soundclouding (ain't that supposed to shut down soon?), watching Red Pill and Blue Pill on Brother Rich's Youtube channel ("Red and Blue Purple like Prince! Red and Blue Purple like Prince!").  The song annoys the wife, the kids love it.  Hip Hop heads unite!



My middle son's become the nightmare to the other two, straight up causing mayhem around the house. Cracks me up that one, I remember being as naughty (yes, I'm the middle one of the siblings), so bad I had to go to school in a separate car, my dad that exasperated with my antics (and tired of beating my ass).  Like his daddy little dude can be a delight to chit chat with.  Whip smart (yup, we do intelligence), watches the news, very attentive.  Till he decides he's had enough and puts lego pieces down his elder brother's back or snatches baby brother's pac-man toy.  I do the faux-telling-off parenty bit ("You little shit! Go to your room! Now!"), but inside I'm laughing my head off.

Did a UK holiday (Margate) for the first time.  Brock pockit, Brexit, alladat, means no more expensive holidays to foreign lands.  Buy British! Must say, I quite enjoyed it, beach on sunny days (if 19 - 21° C counts :-), visits to Dover, Canterbury on the rainy-ish days.  White Cliffs of Dover was popping! visited the famous light-house.  Place has a wikid tea room, full up of all types of cakes and Chinese kids on some cultural exchange ting.  Yeah, could have really done with a visit to Ghana/Gambia/Egypt/Nigeria but affording holidays for a family of five is beyond my pay grade.  Can't wait for those sprogs to grow and leave the yard so I can get back to my type of holidays.

God Bless the children

***

What really goes on in Silicon Valley? The billionaire venture capitalists and Tech startups pride themselves on innovation, disruptors as they call themselves.  But at what price? This cloaking in warm and fuzzy terms like "Social Media" means we sometimes fail to see what they really represent, ask the right questions.  Cold hard cash by another name



Watched this really great documentary, Secrets Of Silicon Valley, on BBC iPlayer.  The presenter explores what disruption really means beyond the confines of the bubble that is the valley.  Uber in India, Airbnb in Barcelona, driver-less trucks in the US that will put thousands of truck drivers out of work, AI advances in medical diagnosis.  The social implications (negative and positive) and the hard questions that tends to get overlooked in this march to Technology Utopia. Really fascinating documentary.

Puts things in perspective.  The Tech giants are starting to outgrow political control (in the US at least), doing stuff that leaves little room for debate on the pros and cons.  In most cases these technological advances are not properly understood by those empowered to legislate.

The arrogance of these young startups is astounding and worrying. The presenter interviewed this dude who heads up Y Combinator, a startup that nurtures and greenlights other tech startups.  The founder and head is this young 32 year old guy, regulation jeans and tshirt.  He barely entertained the presenter's questions on disruption, visibly irritated by questions that touched on the social implications, completely dismissive.  The questions turned around to his "innovative" idea that in the future the 1% might consider paying a "living wage" to the Great Unwashed who will lose their menial jobs to AIs and advances in Automation. Some kind of Benefits 2.0.  The presenter was aghast at his lack of irony.  Like you see nothing odd in this outcome?  What? people just sit at home on the "dole", ambition discouraged?  The Master of the Universe got even more irritated.

For someone whose company is valued at $80 billion dollars he expressed zero empathy.  Not the sort of guy you want determining your future.  Is what happens when Tech positions itself as a force for Social Change.  These dudes are as cold as the servers that run their software platforms.  

Watched another video that might explain the super focussed, deadpan, disconnected attitude.  Microdosing LSD Productivity Hack ey?  Interesting ...


I have no words

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