Gongol.com Archives: June 2008
Brian Gongol


June 5, 2008

Water News Proposed rule would allow golf-course irrigation with recycled wastewater

Humor and Good News To a dear upstairs neighbor

Science and Technology We already have the joke-a-day; what about the compliment-a-day?
The idea isn't a joke. We already look to the Internet for daily doses of humor in the form of comic strips and joke-of-the-day widgets. And with social isolation emerging as a serious risk to the mental health of many people -- especially the elderly -- then why wouldn't we think seriously about delivering daily compliments to individuals via the Internet? The evolution of artificial intelligence should make this extremely plausible in the near-term future, especially considering a daily-compliment generator wouldn't even have to pass a Turing test. It would only have to be good enough to absorb and parse some of the information readily available about an individual (and in the era of Facebook, what isn't available?) in order to generate a daily affirmation. Considering that responsive pet-like robots are already being developed, the notion is hardly outlandish. Besides, people already develop irrationally close psychological bonds with radio and television personalities -- consider, for instance, the number of people who thought of Johnny Carson as a bedroom guest every night -- so why would we not think that a computer could be made to surrogate for esteem-enhancing interpersonal relationships?

The United States of America Secretary of Defense fires USAF bosses
Gates takes accountability to the top after Minot Air Force Base flunks a test of nuclear-weapon security. It would be nice to see accountability in the public sector taken this seriously more often.

Weather and Disasters This is already the deadliest tornado season in a decade
And the peak doesn't arrive in Iowa until this month

Humor and Good News Gorilla gourmet

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