March 9th, 2014


Poll: General Fund for March 4, 2014 Fishbowl

This is the general fund poll for the March 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  You have $30 to spend.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I'll keep it open until at least Sunday night.  If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open a while longer.  This poll is about distributing funds; there may need to be a followup poll to determine details.

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Artificial Intelligence

Here's a very thoughtful explanation of why robots will NOT get "smarter than humans" in the near future.  These are many of the same reasons I've been giving, arranged in clear and concise format.  This doesn't mean that artificial intelligence is impossible, just that we aren't as close as some people think, and there are still some major obstacles to solve.

On the other hoof, the potential for sentience follows the infrastructure.  If we start building machines with the physical  complexity akin to a human brain, then we're creating an environment that could  host a complex mind.  At that point it becomes possible, however distantly, whether we intend it or not -- just because life is mightily creative stuff.  We could wind up with an infant AI where nobody expected one.  I suspect the results would be bad, because humans still haven't figured out how to treat each other decently on a consistent basis, let alone the first of a new species with no legal protections.

Poem: "Gifts from the Spirit Wind"

This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the March 4, 2014 fishbowl reaching the $200 goal.  It came out of the January 2014 Creative Jam.  It was inspired by prompts from wyld_dandelyon and sylvaine.  It also fills the "snowed in" square in my 1-2-14 card for the Trope Bingo fest.  This poem belongs to the series Beneath the Family Tree, which you can explore via the Serial Poetry page.

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Poem: "The Dragon Nebula"

This poem came out of the March 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a picture prompt from siliconshaman.  It also fills the "gravity" square in my 1-31-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored out of the general fund, based on an audience poll.

The Dragon Nebula

She begins to coalesce
when no one is looking,
vanes of dark matter manifesting wings,
her eyes white with starfire.

Delicately she checks her egg,
nosing the thin shell of the planet
to see if it is ready to hatch yet.
It is not.

Gravity furls around her as she goes.