Taxing the Imagination

Recent attacks by Islamist terrorists in Paris resurrected the predictable refrain that belief in religion is at the root of the violence, and if mankind could finally reject religion, then peace would reign in the world.

This particular sentiment is captured best in the lyrics of the song that seems to be the anthem of this notion, John Lennon's Imagine.

AI & the Singularity

Artificial intelligence (AI) is presumed to exist in one of two forms, either strong or weak. Weak AI represents a limited computer technology that is able only to carry out previously provided instructions. With weak AI there exists no genuine intelligence or self-awareness, though interactions may appear to be very sophisticated if the program has access to large data stores, provides speedy responses, stores and uses personalized information, and so forth.

NATO - No Action, Talk Only

When I left NATO, my last job was to plan a large joint combined out-of -area exercise for the new NATO Reaction Force. The NRF was designed to provide a quick crisis response capability. I spent a couple of years during the planning process trying to get national representatives, who wanted the force but preferred not paying for it, to provide equipment and money.

Happiness and Money

Most people don't believe the saying that 'money can't buy happiness.' There's a sense that with enough money, happiness follows automatically. The key, of course, being how 'enough' is defined.

There's science (assuming that one believes economics is a science) that says money does have a strong relationship to happiness, but it's not a simple linear relationship.

German Football Hooligans and Islamic Law

Are football hooligans defenders of western civilization? Interesting news from Germany reported in this Soeren Kern article: "Hooligans from rival football clubs have temporarily set aside their mutual hatred for each other in order to unite against a common enemy: radical Salafists who are bringing Islamic Sharia law to Germany."

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