Focus

Newmarket, Auckland NZ 2010 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

I tend to go down rabbit holes from time to time. I become obsessed.

At the moment, it’s a new camera that I must have. A few months ago it was learning a new business skill, and a few months before that it was Johnny Cash’s concept albums from the 1960’s.

Before I enter down the various rabbit holes I find that I am first intrigued, curious, and that quickly develops into an obsession to find out more. I must step through to the other side and see for myself just what is waiting there. It is an addictive trait, and luckily I have not developed one for drugs, alcohol or chocolate (coffee, maybe), but it leads me to focus all of my energy and attention to it for as long as it takes.

Although I have always been like this, it is only recently that I have picked up the pattern and analyzed the behavior. In the past I have tried to teach focus with little success. I figured that by doing one task repeatedly for a long period of time it would be a meditative experience and, like meditation, would ultimately lead the person to a greater state of focus. But it’s not the Karate Kid and sometimes people get bored before they get focused, and give up.

Focus is an extremely powerful state and when followed by action, it can create new worlds for us. There is no prep involved, but you have to move towards it.

If curiosity develops, follow it to see where it leads you. Venture into the unknown, as scary as it may seem.

Just don’t get trapped down the rabbit hole forever.

Ride this Train

Ethan and Charli (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Ride this train with me, on a journey into the realms of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Cybernetics. Along the way we pass major milestones in technological advances. From palm pilots to virtual assistants, cryptocurrencies replacing cash, automation replacing personnel. It’s a fast ride and we’re not stopping anytime soon.

As we ride into the age of Artificial Consciousness, are we in fear of losing touch with our own humanity ? In order to model synthetic cognition we must have an understanding of our own mortality.

Compassion, patience, and temperance are virtues we may one day see in machines, but I doubt I’ll live to see when that day comes.

Until then we ride this train into the distance and hope for humanity’s sake we reach the place we’re heading. We claim this new frontier for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.