One day, maybe sooner than we think, a consideration of the ethics of the treatment of rational, sentient machines might turn out to be more than an abstract academic exercise.
From last June, but still a worthy topic for debate, particularly as the use of robots increases for retirement homes, nursery school programs, hotel reception lobbies… (also the topic of a short story I wrote in 2000 but still haven’t published outside of a grad student journal…)
“Over sixteen million Americans served during World War II and this story offers in rich detail the story of two men in uniform and a woman they both cared about. A story of love and tragedy that is more representative of the experiences of many that served than the ones often told of generals and politicians. A story that needs to be told and remembered.”
— Dr. Rick Derrah, Professor of Social Studies, Kindai University, Osaka; former US Army E-4 Specialist
“Not only is this a touching and interesting family story, it is a great snap shot of the war and its effects, as well as Trojans and Troy history connection.”
— Don Rittner, historian, former Albany City Archaeologist and founder of the Pine Bush Historic Preservation Project
The Smashwords “Authors Give Back” free ebooks for COVI-19 lockdown campaign has been extended to May 31st!
Since baseball (and all other sports and events) have been postponed until further notice, I decided to revisit my literary baseball novel, Approaching Twi-Night (published 2015). It’s now available in the following ebook formats for FREE: .ePub (Apple Books etc), .mobi (Kindle), .pdb (Nook etc.), PDF, text, and online reader.
NOTE: This is a story written for those who know who Mark Harris, Bernard Malamud, Ring Lardner, W. P. Kinsella, and Philip Roth were. It’s not a Disney movie. It’s not aimed at kids (don’t read it aloud with children under age 14 or 15, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
Both my books on Smashwords (Adam’s Stepsons and Destiny in the Future – actually my mother’s book published posthumously as a tribute) are FREE downloads from now to April 20 as part of the Smashwords Authors Give Back initiative:
This time of year in Japan, the sugi (Japanese cedar) spew yellow pollen all over the balcony doors of our house.
All over the car and windows. All over any clothing hanging out to dry.
For some reason, my allergies stubbornly resisted this season. Until this past week. Then I enjoyed the new spring temperatures with two days of non-stop sneezing fits, followed by a day of throaty, mucusy coughs and stuffy nose honks.
Not ideal during a Coronavirus pandemic that has everyone in the world terrified of anybody within earshot. Even I, myself, couldn’t help a momentary feeling of panic. What if…I…??
Should I self-isolate? What if I (and my wife, and kids, and all our friends, neighbors, and colleagues) already were infected and didn’t even know it? (Many people show mild or no symptoms, especially if they’ve been inoculated against seasonal flu already.)
What if it’s too late, we’ve already recovered, and the whole thing is just an overblown cold virus?
Or what if it’s just starting and the worst is yet to come?
With so many unknowns, it’s hard not to feel a real sense of fear, and dread. The world turned upside-down, our “leaders” selling us out while they run off to safe houses as the system they undermined collapses under its own weight.
Maybe it’s the beginning of a new Gilded Age. A new Roaring Twenties of wealth, prosperity, and debauchery.
Only we know what followed that.
It’s been three weeks since two doctors cut open my left shoulder and removed a 2cm-square benign tumor that looked like a tiny blancmonge. The same day my elementary-age daughters had to stay home because their school year abruptly came to an end, with little advance warning thanks to terrified, clueless politicians.
Were they all needless deaths after all?
In only three weeks, it has all been changed. From now and in times to be, wherever a mask is worn.
‘As far as audio recordings, we previously had only 48 minutes of off-air audio of the BBC coverage from another source. Now thanks to you we have over eight hours!’
It’s been 50 years since The Eagle landed. There are plenty of existing video and audio recordings from US media sources (like this one on YouTube, clocking in at over 3 hours).
It’s been considerably less time since news recordings of Apollo 11 from *outside* the US were discovered. Just over half a year. Audio only. Bummer. But at least you get a different perspective (always a good thing when it comes to news).