What is the brain?

In the past year or two, mariner has complained that various groups and individuals don’t know what they are doing – especially the electorate. Many topics contribute to this ignorance: civics is not taught in public schools; political history is not taught in public schools; environmental science is not taught in public schools; health and hygiene generally is not taught in public schools; social psychology is not taught in public schools; economics is not generally taught in public schools.

Since the 2016 election, mariner has been concerned about the electorate being led by a crazy person compounded by Big Data altering reality on purpose. The issue is the role of facts in the human thought process. Mariner has promoted films about how the brain is influenced and how the brain depends – or not – on factual reality.[1]

Just as a clinical beginning to understand that there are many mini-brains in the human head, mariner provides a legitimate shorthand description of these brains:

What is the brain?

The brain is an organ that’s made up of a large mass of nerve tissue that’s protected within the skull. It plays a role in just about every major body system.

Some of its main functions include:
   processing sensory information
   regulating blood pressure and breathing
   releasing hormones

Anatomy and function

Cerebrum

The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain. It’s divided into two halves, called hemispheres. The two hemispheres are separated by a groove called the interhemispheric fissure. It’s also called the longitudinal fissure.

Each hemisphere of the cerebrum is divided into broad regions called lobes. Each lobe is associated with different functions:

Frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are the largest of the lobes. As indicated by their name, they’re located in the front part of the brain. They coordinate high-level behaviors, such as motor skills, problem solving, judgment, planning, and attention. The frontal lobes also manage emotions and impulse control.

Parietal lobes. The parietal lobes are located behind the frontal lobes. They’re involved in organizing and interpreting sensory information from other parts of the brain.

Temporal lobes. The temporal lobes are located on either side of the head on the same level as the ears. They coordinate specific functions, including visual memory (such as facial recognition), verbal memory (such as understanding language), and interpreting the emotions and reactions of others.

Occipital lobes. The occipital lobes are located in the back of the brain. They’re heavily involved in the ability to read and recognize printed words, along with other aspects of vision.

Cerebellum

The cerebellum is located in the back of the brain, just below the occipital lobes. It’s involved with fine motor skills, which refers to the coordination of smaller, or finer, movements, especially those involving the hands and feet. It also helps the body maintain its posture, equilibrium, and balance.

Diencephalon
The diencephalon is located at the base of the brain. It contains the:
    thalamus
   epithalamus
   hypothalamus

The thalamus acts as a kind of relay station for signals coming into the brain. It’s also involved in consciousness, sleep, and memory.

The epithalamus serves as a connection between the limbic system and other parts of the brain. The limbic system is a part of the brain that’s involved with emotion, long-term memory, and behavior.

The hypothalamus helps maintain homeostasis. This refers to the balance of all bodily functions. It does this by:

maintaining daily physiological cycles, such as the

   sleep-wake cycle
   controlling appetite
   regulating body temperature
   controlling the producing and release of hormones

Brain stem

The brain stem is located in front of the cerebellum and connects to the spinal cord. It consists of three major parts:

Midbrain. The midbrain helps control eye movement and processes visual and auditory information.

Pons. This is the largest part of the brain stem. It’s located below the midbrain. It’s a group of nerves that help connect different parts of the brain. The pons also contains the start of some of the cranial nerves. These nerves are involved in facial movements and transmitting sensory information.

Medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata is the lowest part of the brain. It acts as the control center for the function of the heart and lungs. It helps regulate many important functions, including breathing, sneezing, and swallowing.

End of clinical description.

The frontal lobes are the problem. This is where judgment is formed based largely on internal conditions of the body; things like fear, hunger, safety, interpersonal behavior, etc. There is no need for external facts; decisions are about physical survival laced with contrived imagery from the temporal lobes. A successful society must include training of the frontal lobes to include external facts in addition to internal emotions.

Sigh. Yes, mariner knows he is jousting with windmills. Apes we are, apes we’ll always be.

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] An important film focused on this specific issue is ‘Hacking the Mind’ available for viewing or purchase on PBS.com . Another film available on Netflix is about how Big Data manipulates individual behavior to maximize profits; search ‘the social dilemma’.

Environment

We humans have become increasingly aware that we live in an environment not as a dominating owner but simply as just another renter who tends to trash the apartment. Perhaps it’s the global warming issue that helps with human awareness; perhaps it’s the growing scarcity of food resources for the planet; perhaps it’s the cost to farmers when they plow the soil which strips the fields of all nutrients and plants, especially in regions where there are strong winds that carry away the soil farmers just tilled and fertilized and put weed killer down – producing poor yield in the fall.

Evidence of growing awareness is all about. TV broadcasts about gardening, farming, waste management, and collaborative sharing with the environment are frequent. Extension agencies, libraries and garden clubs sponsor programs about collaborative gardening. Mariner has a relative whose hobby is planting colorful plants around the base of trees along New York streets; mariner has a friend who has decided to let violets stay in the lawn. And mariner himself is tinkering with a number of collaborative projects in his own garden.
֎ One example is the cursed Creeping Charlie, a very rapidly spreading weed that defies elimination. It still is a killing pest in the lawns but in some garden beds mariner has decided to experiment with Creeping Charlie as the ground cover to keep other weeds out and at the same time add to the décor of the garden. It turns out that Charlie has taken hold of his new job with relish. Not even the dreaded crabgrass can sprout beneath a robust covering of Creeping Charlie. In fact, mariner is saving money because he doesn’t have to buy mulch for those areas.

֎ Another experiment is mariner’s tolerance of a rambunctious mole. He must protect against the mole’s burrowing in vegetable beds where seedlings are emerging but otherwise he has let the mole venture about. Tolerance by the mariner is an experiment to see how many Japanese beetle grubs can be eaten; mariner has many fruit and ornamental trees on a property surrounded on all sides by large concrete pads and accompanying large garages. All beetles come to mariner’s garden.

An unexpected reward is the mole gradually aerates the lawn. Typically, a lawn keeper occasionally will need to rent an aerating device to pull plugs from the lawn so it can grow and accept water. Mariner keeps his lawn a bit high (another anti-weed collaboration rather than performing the typical buzz cut) so the lumps from the mole burrowing aren’t noticeable.

Mariner has mentioned in past posts that his town has lawn Nazis. It is of a different spirit, certainly not one of collaboration with nature but comparatively speaking takes more time, labor and cash to maintain. This difference between collaboration with and dominance of nature has existed throughout history from the first scraping of the ground to cast wheat seeds to the large open mining pits and deliberate elimination of forests today.

In just a few years many farmers have proven that any way to collaborate with the environment is more productive, less expensive, saves waste and is good for surrounding atmosphere, water and wildlife. One common practice by farmers that has been implemented for many decades is a natural easement by creeks and rivers rather than plowing closer to the water’s edge.[1] It is entertaining to work with nature as a partner – both existentially and philosophically. What projects does the reader have?

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] An excellent documentary on collaborative farming, ‘Kiss the Ground’, is available on Netflix but the reader must search ‘The Littlest Farm’ – the title is in error. The Littlest Farm also is an excellent film about how a family uses nature to transform virtual wasteland into a productive farm but mariner could find it only as a rental or purchase. 3 minute trailers are available online for both films.

Life in the future . . .

. . . will last a long time. Is the reader familiar with COQ10, NAD+, Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL, Alpha Lipoic Acid, IPW, Crispr and inter-species zygotes? These pharmaceuticals are not vitamins. They are products that sustain cell function by restoring required levels of various molecules the cells need to function and communicate – molecules that disappear as humans grow older. Crispr is a technology that allows patching, adding or eliminating various genes. Inter-species zygotes (shudder) create fertilized eggs that are half human and half some other species; become familiar with the word ‘chimera’.

Commercially, these chemicals and procedures are new today and do not share the limelight with vitamins. But it won’t be long before they become more important than vitamins when it comes to restoring and sustaining a body that defies one’s age. Still, the one normal requirement is a good diet that provides necessary vitamins and minerals; many nutritionists claim the Mediterranean diet should be in this group of life-sustaining materials but eating is so passé.

The reader should not let their imagination run free with this subject. One easily could conjure any number of abused subhuman creatures to attend normal human interests. Quickly mariner’s mind leaps to a subhuman slave class, living chimeras that replace sex robots, ordering online a replica of great-great grandma, eternal life (isn’t that supposed to be in Heaven?), or a yet to be bred Homo something to upgrade Home sapiens.

Setting aside these conspiracy theories, it is very likely that, as this area of body chemistry improves, everyone will be living well into one hundred-plus birthday celebrations, hopefully still with many of the body functions that begin to disappear in middle age.

Today, there are actual improvements available. Many inherited diseases and disorders can be eliminated through gene splicing. In some situations where consummating and giving birth is difficult, the solution is an altered sperm or egg. The overwhelming contribution by this new group of supplements is cell health. Scientists are learning more about how individual cells do their job at molecular levels. These additives keep cells healthy and productive.

The reader should give praise to the mice that have given their lives to this chemistry. If we were mice, we may already have lived twice our expected lifespan, solved difficult puzzles while bypassing dementia and had active sex all the while.

The reader may want to start thinking about what they want for their 130th birthday.

Ancient Mariner

 

These are trying times

Trying times is an understatement.

The migration of tens of millions of people, exacerbated by a changing climate, will be one of the mega-trends of the 21st century, Bryan Walsh writes in Axios Future:

“For both humanitarian and political reasons, wealthy countries like the U.S. will need to figure out a way to handle a flow of people that may never stop. People make the difficult decision to leave their homes for many reasons, including conflict and crime, political persecution, and the simple desire for a better life.

“But a growing factor is the push of extreme weather and climate change, which disproportionately affect people living in poorer, hot countries that are already a major source of migrations to the U.S. That means the U.S., as well as the rich nations of Europe face a permanent and likely growing flow of climate migrants that they — and the international refugee system — are ill-equipped to handle.

“The catch: Climate change’s precise role in migration is tangled up with more immediate factors, like security and economic well-being.

“A Gallup survey released this week found that more than a quarter of the population of the 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean — which would amount to 120 million people — would like to permanently move to another country.

“42 million of those want to come to the U.S.”

More and more folks recognize that global warming is real. In the United States the political resistance comes from fossil fuel interests, the Trumpist anti-science movement and twentieth century conservatives. The combination of global warming, social modification due to artificial intelligence, a global virus pandemic and an apocalyptic shift in global economy – all at the same time – easily is more disruptive socially than the eruption of Vesuvius was to Mediterranean society or the environmental disruption caused by Krakatoa.

It is true humans are their own worst enemy. There are some egregious habits like death by war, life by stunting the Earth’s natural threats of viruses, visceral disorders, unnaturally prolonged lifespan, and other relationships that would control human population.

Adam Smith’s concept of moralistic capitalism no longer serves the common people. For one thing, there are far too many common people; for another, capitalism is competitive and slowly has separated wealth from the far too many common people; and finally there are far too many common people for the amount of natural resources available.

Humans added to population by inventing self-propelled transportation that easily spreads population centers over greater areas, easily heated homes and technologies capable of wiping out any number of biomass balances from air and water pollution to the directly related extinction of over 16,000 species.

These are trying times!

The trouble is, we can’t go back. We’re stuck with this mess and finally must take drastic actions to restore order – actions that we should have been managing all along but didn’t bother.

Has anyone seen Chicken Little? Is it true Amos went back to the farm? Guru is taking strong antidepressant pills.

Ancient Mariner

Let’s check in on the real news

In 4.5 billion years the Sun will fry the Earth destroying all living matter.

The Moon is drifting away from the Earth at the rate of 1.5 inches per year. Today the Moon circles the Earth about every 27 days; in 50 billion years the Moon will settle into a wider orbit that will require 47 days to circle the Earth. But then there’s the Sun’s interference at 4.5 billion years . . .

Current new studies show that the Americas are drifting away from Europe and Africa at a rate of 4 centimeters per year.

Can survival lessons be taken from the lifestyles of the oldest living things? The oldest Spruce tree is 9,550 years old; a variety of parsley living in the high deserts of Chile is 2,000 years old; stromatolites, a primitive moss/rock creature, lives 2,000 years. Hmmm, as a group they don’t seem to ask for much.

Mariner could continue to list news items showing patience, tenacity and long-term stability. It reminds him that in comparison the destructive, trashy, often incoherent Homo sapiens is like a one-panel cartoon versus a twenty volume encyclopedia. Perhaps it is best that humans live a short life span and will be extinct in less than 5 million years – given no asteroids, climate collapses or chemical destruction occur first. That leaves 4.495 billion years for the biosphere to recover.

If God had a Sunday newspaper, humanity would be on the comics page.

Ancient Mariner

 

In the news

֎ An interesting poll from GALLUP. What’s interesting is that in one year China jumped significantly over Russia as the greatest enemy of the United States:

Americans’ Perceptions of the U.S.’s Greatest Enemy

What one country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy today?

Feb 3-21    Feb 3-20      Change
%    % pct. pts.
China 45 22 23
Russia 26 23 3
North Korea/Korea 9 12 -3
Iran 4 19 -15
Iraq 2 7 -5
Afghanistan 1 1 0
United States itself 1 1 0
Mexico 1 1
Saudi Arabia 1 -1
Middle East (non-specific) 1 -1
Japan 1 -1
Israel 2 -2
Syria 1 -1
Pakistan 1 -1

The reader must take note that this poll coincides with the coronavirus pandemic. Still, despite the economic catastrophe affecting every nation, China’s size and fast rising GDP (7 percent) makes that nation look more healthy and successful than the US. Further, the cultural differences cause concern as China continues to squeeze individual rights and continues virtual genocide against the Uighur and Kazak Muslims in Xinjiang Province. Finally, modern technology has opened a new arena in spying and warfare that makes every nation paranoid.

֎ While the politicians, public, fossil fuel corporations, press and social media continue bickering whether global warming exists, Federal agencies are taking scientific information seriously. The agencies are trying to figure out models of projection that will predict damage.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Finance Agency and NASA all have met with analytical firms to explore tools that will help protect taxpayers, banks and homes from rising seas, worsening rainstorms and severe droughts linked to climate change.

Mariner advises readers not to invest in coastal properties – especially in Florida where the peninsula will shrink by one fifth including everything below Lake Okeechobee – places like West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples and the Keys.

֎ Has the reader seen the news clips of folks on spring break? Sigh. Because mariner’s wife is brave and dutiful and has ventured into the outside world, he has been in virtual quarantine. He has spoken in person only to three other individuals in a year. The vaccination occurred so fast that he didn’t even speak to the technician. Mariner is old and fossilized but he is concerned what this year of isolation has done to elementary school children. Prepubescent children suffer subconsciously and will carry silent aberrations for the rest of their lives.

֎ A growing strategy by the GOP is to blame Joe for immigration numbers. Mariner suggests no President of any party, no authoritarian figurehead can alter the growing migration issue not only from Latin countries but from every country into every country around the globe. The reason: weak global economics and changing climate. Even squirrels know to migrate to mariner’s feeding station when there’s a foot of snow on the ground.

֎ Not in the news but referencing the post about pop psych, mariner is reminded that the pop psych terms ‘inductive’ and ‘deductive’ are similar to ‘what’ and ‘why’.

Ancient Mariner

 

Yes, Virginia, one day Santa may have to move to Antarctica

֎ Mariner has written in past posts about Earth’s polar magnetic field flipping erratically in the Bering Sea and the southern Atlantic. The following summary is copied from the current Science Magazine:

Kauri trees mark magnetic flip 42,000 years ago

By Paul Voosen

Using a remarkable record from a 42,000-year-old kauri tree preserved in a bog, researchers have pieced together a record of the last time Earth’s protective magnetic field weakened and its poles flipped—known as the Laschamp excursion—exposing the world to a bombardment of cosmic rays and, the team suggests, briefly shifting Earth’s climate. The record shows the field nearly failed prior to its brief swap, which only lasted 500 years. Combined with an unusually quiet Sun that is believed to have occurred during this time, cosmic rays could have caused a notable drop in stratospheric ozone, shifting wind flows and climate patterns, they suggest.[1]

֎ Bad Omens

Here’s what history tells us about what’s next for Trumpism. “From Berlusconism in Italy to Perónism in Argentina and Fujimorismo in Peru, personality-driven movements rarely fade once their leaders have left office.”

Trump’s county-level 2016 election map (red means GOP win):

“To the frustration of those Republicans who want to steer a new course, state-party committees have become the strongest redoubts of Trumpism,” Russell Berman reported last week.

Censured by a state GOP
Supported Biden’s … Voted in favor of Trump’s …
Campaign* Certification** Senate Trial† Impeachment††
Sen. Burr
Sen. Cassidy
Rep. Cheney
Gov. Ducey
Ex-Sen. Flake
Cindy McCain
Rep. Rice
Censured by a county GOP or multiple counties
Supported Biden’s … Voted in favor of Trump’s …
Campaign* Certification** Senate Trial† Impeachment††
Rep. Kinzinger
Sen. McConnell
Rep. Newhouse
Sen. Sasse
Rep. Upton

*Actively endorsed Biden.

**Acknowledged or supported certification of Biden’s victory before or on Jan. 6-7.

†Voted in favor of constitutionality of Trump Senate trial.

††Voted for either impeachment in the House or conviction in the Senate.

Officials censured by both state and local GOPs are categorized by the highest censure they received.

Source: News Reports

America’s next authoritarian will be much more competent. As Zeynep Tufekci[2] warned back in November: “It won’t be easy to make the next Trumpist a one-term president.” To wit from Axios:

“Trump advisers will meet with him at Mar-a-Lago this week to plan his next political moves, and to set up the machinery for king making in the 2022 midterms. Trump is expected to stoke primary challenges for some of those who have crossed him, and shower money and endorsements on the Trumpiest candidates. State-level officials, fresh off censuring Trump critics, stand ready to back him up.” [Currently given only thin margins for the democrats in both the Senate and the House, any success by Donald or his nationalist party likely will flip Congress red. AM]

Remember that 70 million citizens voted for Donald in spite of himself and his authoritarian politics. The clouds look familiar – like the clouds in Germany in the early 20th century. It is time for the public to educate itself on fascism. A good reference is Madelyn Albright’s book, “Fascism, A warning”. Banished after the second world war, Fascism is on the rise again, from North Korea to Hungary and Turkey, while a newly introspective America at best looks the other way, sometimes even offers encouragement. Madeleine Albright’s book is a warning aimed at all of us to look up from our petty partisan bickering.

֎ The good news is now that Joe is President and has made overtures to Europe, the Western Alliance quickly is re-energizing itself to deal with Russia, cyber warfare, big data, global warming and repairing trade arrangements. Still, the rubber meets the road when the alliance bumps into Brexit, immigration, EU dictatorships along the eastern front and Germany, who did not wait for Donald to leave and has built trade liaisons with Russia and China.

Remember when the news was just five minutes of simple headlines? Walter Cronkite would be astonished!

Ancient Mariner

[1] For those curious why the magnetic field flips, it is caused by the Earth’s iron core rotating at a different speed than surface layers of the planet. Eventually what can be represented as static electricity disrupts the magnetic balance – just like lightning or touching something while walking in your socks across the rug. Unlike the instantaneousness of lightning, the mass of the entire Earth acts like a capacitor, slowing the change to thousands of years.

[2] ZAY-nep tuu-FEK-chee) is a sociologist and writer. Her work focuses on the social implications of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data.

As the World Turns

One of the characteristics of life today is that there is a sense among people around the world that something just isn’t right. The global nature of this uneasiness makes it difficult for each citizen to identify cause and effect and to take some reasonable action to set things right.

֎ One of the most notable in its cause and effect is the uprising in 31 democratic nations, including the U.S., of rebellion against the government. The nature of rebellion can lead to disruption of government oversight or even to organized and deadly attacks on government. Already many important nations have suffered a collapse in democratic government that has been replaced with authoritarianism.

֎ Another international crisis that slowly increases is the amount of resources available to sustain the world’s population. The most notable evidence is the slow accumulation of excessive wealth for the elite around the world versus growing poverty and public stress. The community of nations has been derelict in its obligation to ‘change with the times’ as today’s economies begin to falter under the imbalance of global resources and its effects.

֎ Still too political for its own good, the response to global warming and climate change remains inadequate. Most scientists doubt that any meaningful effort this late will slow warming for the next century. The primary cause and effect is the relocation of tens of millions of citizens around the planet who will (and are) suffer from sea rise, loss of potable water, disruption of lifestyle and jobs, and massive migrations much larger than migrations away from violence and collapsed economies that occur today.

A tie-in with the global resource issue will be the stress on virtually every large agricultural area in the world. Even the United States will have to deal with crops grown in the Dixie region as the weather there becomes more like Arizona and New Mexico.

֎ Finally, but probably not least, is the massive destruction of the planet’s ecosystem by the human species. The ‘intelligent’ humans have learned how to steal and ravage Mother Nature for human convenience and profit. Mother Nature, however, can be a bitch and will deal with imbalances in her desire to keep a balanced environment.

The point is this: Because of technology, industrialism, class discrimination, resources, weather and everything else, humanity has reached a point where individual nations can no longer solve global problems. The requirement to feed the world requires an international consortium of super-nations that can address the economic stress.

Already China has begun to move in this direction by creating closed supply chain relationships with other nations; interestingly, the idea of a super-American nation comprised of Canada, Mexico and the United States has been around for well more than a century. Unlike the European Union, which tried to sustain nationalism by allowing each nation to keep its own currency, the new consortiums will operate as one nation with one ‘dollar’ used in a common economy.

The pandemic has expedited these issues to the very front of our twentieth century society’s attention.

The future is in the hands of the electorate. Has anyone seen Chicken Little?

Ancient Mariner

Meanwhile

Because of the anthropological tumult in today’s world, mariner hasn’t visited the world of the sciences for a while. Here are a few updates:

֎ Invest in European real estate now before the rush

In the next 200 million years, Eurasia and the Americas will collide to form the supercontinent Amasia, according to a model of tectonic plate motion.

From Columbia to Rodinia to Pangaea, Earth has seen a few supercontinents come and go in its ancient past. Now, researchers theorize that these giant landmasses form in regular cycles, about once every 600 million years. They even predict when and where the next supercontinent will form, driven by the creeping flow of rocks in our planet’s hot mantle. Nicolle R. Fuller/Science Source

֎ Ortho and Orkin are new kids on the block when it comes to insecticide

Ancestors living in southern Africa around 200,000 years ago not only slept on grass bedding but occasionally burned it, apparently to keep the bugs away.

Remnants of the oldest known grass bedding, discovered in South Africa’s Border Cave, lay on the ashes of previously burned bedding, say archaeologist Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and her colleagues. Ash spread beneath bound bunches of grass may have been used to repel crawling, biting insects, which cannot easily move through fine powder, the researchers report in the Aug. 14 Science. Wadley’s team also found bits of burned wood in the bedding containing fragments of camphor leaves, an aromatic plant that can be used as a bug repellent.

֎ Do teacher unions know about this?

Artificial intelligence designs lesson plans for itself

Unlike human students, computers don’t seem to get bored or frustrated when a lesson is too easy or too hard. But just like humans, they do better when a lesson plan is “just right” for their level of skill. Coming up with the right curricula isn’t easy, though, so computer scientists wondered: What if they could make machines design their own?

That’s what researchers have done in several new studies, creating artificial intelligence (AI) that can figure out how best to teach itself. The work could speed learning in self-driving cars and household robots, and it might even help crack previously unsolvable math problems.

֎ Check the weather – frequently

$16 billion. That’s how much damage was caused in the U.S. in 2020 by 16 climate-driven disasters, which cost $1 billion each, as of October.

The average yearly number of these disasters, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires to prolonged heat waves, has quadrupled in the last three decades. The planet is now about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 100 years ago, near the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

Ancient Mariner

 

Homo sapiens has become obsolete

Regular readers are familiar with the skepticism of alter ego Amos. In this new century, one beginning with a multitude of new and unchartered worries for mankind, Amos feels increasing depression as his fellow humans (AKA electorate) fail to grasp the enormity and perhaps the fatalistic nature of the times. The recent attack on the United States Capital was a misguided and virtually irrelevant gesture when global civilization is on the brink of collapse as the environment falters, global resources rapidly disappear, birth rates around the world approach zero growth and mankind’s own manufactured reality is decaying.

Now, there is hard evidence that Homo sapiens is about to be irrelevant and will disappear in short order. The following photograph is taken from the back cover of the January issue of The Economist. The small type says:

“Malicious AI created her picture, yet she has never been seen by a camera. It made her an online profile, yet she has never logged in. Malicious AI built her to attack you.”

The public today is worried about face recognition software. Poo. Who needs your face anymore when AI has a detailed description of your profile, health, driver license, family connections, friends and financial particulars – and can make a face made to order? Even more, a detailed copy of your whole existence sits in data bases that can emulate your probable real life experiences.

Now, AI doesn’t need your face or your body. AI can create a fictitious reality without using real human beings and can interlace you with others on Facebook, Twitter and E-Harmony. If you’re still around in a few years, you may have remarried and not even know it.

Consider the new AI world of business: AI creates a statistical version of a restaurant then populates it with statistical versions of humans. The finances look good on a digitized screen and AI will have to move bitcoins around in the fake economy to balance the database.

The next phase of human evolution will be complete. Living only as digitized energy, our progeny easily will be able to spread throughout the universe.

Ancient Mariner