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Would you like an interesting Weekend Challenge?

Do you have a favourite topic or issue that you would like to raise? Perhaps something that you feel the media, or even writers like me, have never turned their attention to?

So here’s the challenge. Think of an article that you would like to write about that issue, but don’t actually write the whole article. Simply come up with a Title for the article, and then write a one or two paragraph synopsis and post it as your comment. I’ve given a couple of pull-quote examples below from my AIMN articles to give you an idea of length, word-count, and format. Might be fun and interesting for all the rest of us to read what you have to say. Brevity is the key.

Your topic doesn’t have to be serious, it can be raw comedy, or satirical, or it can be about Cricket if you wish, or it can be very serious and designed to draw our attention to a worthwhile cause. The usual rules of writing decorum apply … no overt bagging or personal attacks or over the top profanities.

Of course there has to be a winner, and there has to be a prize. Since I’m the worst judge of anything I’ll have to leave picking the winner to the Court of Public Opinion (ha … if that seems like a grand cop-out to you that’s only because it is), and as for the prize, the biggest Bucket Of Kudos will wing your way. Wouldn’t mind winning that one myself.

So … do you feel like taking up the challenge to inform, amuse, or even surprise the rest of us? Go for it, you are the writer and we are the audience!

Cosmic Follies and the Race for Space

Humanity was a low-level civilisation, and just like the 3,112 other failed civilisations we have studied thus far in the galaxy known by the Aliens as the Milky Way .. they were hardly unique. They succumbed to the same self-destructive drive as the others. They never managed to become post-nuclear, or post-war, and they killed off their own habitat, and ultimately their own species.

The Australian Dark Age

To anybody who might think that I’m being slightly over the top here all I can say is the following … the water is in the pan, it is currently lukewarm, and we are the frog. Also, the mass of the population under the old Weimar Republic thought that the totalitarian ‘jobs and growth’ mantra was a wonderful thing, until they learnt at great cost to themselves and others that it wasn’t when economic crisis and political instability led to the collapse of the republic and the rise of the Third Reich.

Through the lens of time

Whimsy … is it possible for me to look back over my shoulder, and from my present now, directly observe the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD? You’ll soon see that I have a prime, if hopeless, motivation for wanting to do such a thing.

Of course, it is possible for me to do it. It is eminently possible. But the trouble is I’m in the wrong place to observe such a thing. I’d need to be somewhere on the other side of our galaxy with an exceptionally good telescope. Reflected earth light from 43AD has been travelling outwards from here at the rate of 299,792,458 meters per second, which translates as 9,460,528,000,000 km each and every year for the last 1,976 years.

Endgame: Machine artificial intelligence and the implications for humanity

Machines are now learning how to modify their own instructional code based on their own experience of the external world. This type of coding is not based on humanity’s experience of the external world. Once a machine learns how to jump, jump it will. Once a machine learns how to think, think it will. Once a machine learns to act autonomously, act autonomously it will.

Humans are teaching machines how to recognise individual humans via facial recognition, and how to sense some human emotional states via bio-metric sensing. In the future, if a machine senses a threat it will act. Humans, and their emotional states, are a bit of a jumble. Sometimes fear responses can be mis-interpreted as aggressive responses. If a machine senses a threat it will act.

Some AI coders say that we should not fear any of these eventualities. They say that intelligent machines will augment and enrich the lives of human beings. There is truth and untruth in that. Weaponised machines will kill us humans just as dispassionately as one of them sans weapons will vacuum our carpets.

The Desert of Redemption?

In early April 2019 I jumped in my venerable X-Trail and headed west and alone into the Australian desert. After the finalisation of my case against the Catholic Church I needed clear air, I needed blue sky, I needed wider spaces, I badly needed a gallon of the finest shiraz, and I desperately craved a sense of redemption. It ended up being, to my surprise, a 7000k long journey.

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5 comments

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  1. Keith Davis

    “Here’s a bit of fun …”

    TITLE: New Zealand plans to invade Australia: The Fush and Chups mob have finally had enough!

    The NZ-ers tried to keep their plans a well protected secret. But when Australian Operatives in Dunedin intercepted the Stealth-Courier Sheep Dog, with a canister containing the secret plan strapped to its back, the game was up.

    A copy of The Plan was sent to the Australian Intelligence Service (oxymoron) for translation from New Zealand English into proper English, and I’ve managed to scoop the Murdoch Press by being the first to fully outline this outrageous Plan, and hopefully scare you to the extent that you might well scurry under your bed tonight.

    You see, since our Government is currently trying to scare you with implied threats from all corners of the globe, I thought I’d jump on that concocted bandwagon and see if such blatant fear-mongering gets you to read this article right through to the end.

  2. Russell Green

    Where Australia Went Wrong and How To Repair It.

    Where it all went wrong depends on where you want to draw the line. In post WW2 Australia was definitely playing above its weight. We had just fought another war to end all wars. We had taken a leading role in setting up the UN. We were still riding on the back of a sheep. The next wave of Dig it up and sell it was about to start. Then in the Mid 1950s the Communist Scare took hold. It entrenched Menzies and for 27 years we endured a Coalition Government. Now this is NOT where we went wrong, 1975 played its part but we were still fine,but it was during the Fraser Government that things started to go awry. The decline us hastened by Hawke/Keating accellerated by Howard, continued under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. Until the whole thing blew up in our collective faces with the instillation of Abbott.

    What has led to the decline isn’t all the headline grabbing Economic Issues, but the politicisation of the Public Service. Fraser had managed to “Privatise” Medibank, that was the first of handing over Government assets to the Private Sector. When Hawke came to power they opened the flood gates to what was to follow. They made the decision to consolidate all Economic Policy in the Hands of Treasury. Prior to this all Departments had their own Economic Policy Advisors, who would do the sums for that Department. This all went to Treasury thus ensuring only 1 source of advice an any Economic Policy regardless of Requirements. So Military, Environment, Immigration etc all spending decisions were to be passed through the prism of Treasury.

    This decision encouraged later governments to continue the process. Howard then chose to make Department Heads remuneration based on “Performance” which translated into “Saving Money”. Once this was achieved the Government owned the Public Service. So remuneration and tenure was dependent upon keeping the Government happy.

    Once the INDEPENDENCE was lost so were we.

  3. David

    The Self Funded Unemployed

    The cohort of people who, due to ageism etc, could not find work having become unemployed/unemployable in their mid-fifties onward. How big is this cohort and how much are they saving the government because they “retired early” to access their super rather than suffer the trials and tribulations of Centrelink and the stressful, confidence sapping and depressing futility of job searching under the Newstart regime. How will this cohort hit the budgeting estimates when they have spent (or significantly drawn down) the super money and start applying for pensions? Are they on anybodies radar?

  4. RosemaryJ36

    Does the Law deliver Justice?
    Parliaments and local government officials deliver laws and bye-laws covering a multitude of issues and many of those laws also cover penalties to be applied if the law is breached. Some of these breaches may end up in a criminal court, while others are classified as civil matters.
    In either case, the matter will most commonly be heard before a magistrate (in a lower Court) or a judge and when reaching a verdict and deciding a penalty, the fact that there may be an issue of a mandatory penalty becomes significant in the context of justice.

  5. Keith Davis

    Well, the weekend is done. And the winner is …………

    RosemaryJ36, and Russell Green, and David.

    The prize was a huge Bucket of Kudos so even splitting it three ways round means that everyone gets plenty of it. How good is that!

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