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    Wacky environmentalist article

    An interesting little peek into the mind set of the global warming/ deindustrialization crowd. How very Communist Chinese of them.

    Should Americans have fewer babies to save the environment? - By Daniel Engber - Slate Magazine


    Last edited by Cyclonepride; 09-14-2007 at 07:22 AM.

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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    I agree - no more green babies allowed by that guy.


    We can replace green boy with roboboy for every couple:


    Robot Maker Builds Artificial Boy
    Sep 13 07:36 AM US/Eastern
    By MATT SLAGLE

    View larger image





    Zeno the Robotic Boy Debuts as Interactive Companion


    RICHARDSON, Texas (AP) - David Hanson has two little Zenos to care for these days. There's his 18-month-old son Zeno, who prattles and smiles as he bounds through his father's cramped office. Then there's the robotic Zeno. It can't speak or walk yet, but has blinking eyes that can track people and a face that captivates with a range of expressions.
    At 17 inches tall and 6 pounds, the artificial Zeno is the culmination of five years of work by Hanson and a small group of engineers, designers and programmers at his company, Hanson Robotics. They believe there's an emerging business in the design and sale of lifelike robotic companions, or social robots. And they'll be showing off the robot boy to students in grades 3-12 at the Wired NextFest technology conference Thursday in Los Angeles.
    Unlike clearly artificial robotic toys, Hanson says he envisions Zeno as an interactive learning companion, a synthetic pal who can engage in conversation and convey human emotion through a face made of a skin-like, patented material Hanson calls frubber.
    "It's a representation of robotics as a character animation medium, one that is intelligent," Hanson beams. "It sees you and recognizes your face. It learns your name and can build a relationship with you."
    It's no coincidence if the whole concept sounds like a science-fiction movie.
    Hanson said he was inspired by, and is aiming for, the same sort of realism found in the book "Supertoys Last All Summer Long," by Brian Aldiss. Aldiss' story of troubled robot boy David and his quest for the love of his flesh-and-blood parents was the source material for Steven Spielberg's film "Artificial Intelligence: AI."
    He plans to make little Zenos available to consumers within the next three years for $200 to $300.
    Until then, Hanson, 37, makes a living selling and renting pricey, lifelike robotic heads. His company offers models that look like Albert Einstein, a pirate and a rocker, complete with spiky hair and sunglasses. They cost tens of thousands of dollars and can be customized to look like anyone, Hanson said.
    The company, which has yet to break even, was also buoyed by a $1.5 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund last October. The fund was created by Gov. Rick Perry in 2005 to improve research at Texas universities and help startup technology companies get off the ground.
    Hanson concedes it's going to be at least 15 years before robot builders can approach anything like what seems to be possible in movies. Zeno the robot remains a prototype.
    During a recent demonstration, Zeno could barely stand and had to be tethered to a bank of PCs that told it how to smile, frown, act surprised or wrinkle its nose in anger.
    Robotics, Hanson believes, should be about artistic expression, a creative medium akin to sculpting or painting. But convincing people that robots should look like people instead of, well, robots, remains a challenge that robot experts call the "uncanny valley" theory.
    The theory posits that humans have a positive psychological reaction to robots that look somewhat like humans, but that robots made to look very realistic end up seeming grotesque instead of comforting.
    "Nobody complains that Bernini's sculptures are too darn real, right? Or that Norman Rockwell's paintings are too creepy," Hanson said. "Well, robots can seem real and be loved too. We're trying to make a new art medium out of robotics."
    So just how did Hanson end up with two Zenos, anyway?
    It all goes back to when his wife, Amanda, gave birth to their first child and Zeno the robot was already in the works.
    They rattled off several names to their baby boy, but it wasn't until they whispered "Zeno" that "this look of peace fell over his face; it was like soothing to his ears," Hanson recalled.
    "There was no way we could give him any other name. He chose Zeno as his name," he said.
    That was just fine with Amanda.
    "I thought that it was very endearing, very sweet," she said.
    The similarities go beyond the name. Though Zeno the robot was built to resemble the animated Japanese TV show character Astro Boy, his plastic hair and saucer-shaped eyes bear a striking resemblance to the curly locks and wide-eyed smile of the real Zeno.
    "So by coincidence they're both Zeno, and in other ways this robot has become more of a portrait sculpturally of the son, although it's almost coincidence," said Hanson, whose previous jobs include working as a character sculptor for The Walt Disney Co. "We didn't consciously sculpt this robot to look like him. It's the way things filter through the hands of the artist."
    Hanson says one of the robot Zeno's biggest advancements is that its brains aren't inside the robot. Instead Zeno synchs wirelessly to a PC running a variant of Massive Software—the same Academy Award-winning code that enabled the fantastical battles among humans, orcs and elves in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.
    Like some modern version of Geppetto's workshop, Hanson's office is crammed with rows of shelves stacked with books about robots next to toy robots and plastic skulls. Notes ranging from mathematical formulas to design sketches cover several white boards like high-tech graffiti.
    There are scattered bits from Hanson's previous creations, including Albert Hubo, a white robotic body topped with a realistic head of Albert Einstein that has graced magazine covers and even shaken hands with President Bush.
    Hanson has been recognized for his work, garnering accolades from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in 2005 and a "best design" award at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial last year. But Hanson is most proud of the real Zeno, a rambunctious toddler who frolics with free rein among priceless electronics. "If the robots become popular I suppose it will pose an identity crisis for my son," Hanson said. "But I think that the amount of love that he receives will make him feel like an individual no matter what."


    Last edited by Wesley; 09-14-2007 at 07:08 AM.
    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    I have 4 children....I let my wife read his article...WE might have another one just to PI$$ the people haters off. One thing I am doing with my kids...making sure that guys like the author are the ENEMY that way for every one of those KOOKS there is 4 to counter their idiocy.



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    And other options to replace all:


    The abandoned monkey who has found love with a pigeon
    Last updated at 18:39pm on 13th September 2007

    They're an odd couple in every sense but a monkey and a pigeon have become inseparable at an animal sanctuary in China.
    The 12-week-old macaque - who was abandoned by his mother - was close to death when it was rescued on Neilingding Island, in Goangdong Province.
    After being taken to an animal hospital his health began to improve but he seemed spiritless - until he developed a friendship with a white pigeon. Scroll down for more...
    The macaque nestles his head against his feathered friend



    The blossoming relationship helped to revive the macaque who has developed a new lease of life, say staff at the sanctuary.
    Now the unlikely duo are never far from each other's side, but they aren't the only ones to strike up an unusual friendship.
    Earlier this year a pig adopted a tiger cub and raised him along with her piglets because his mother couldn't feed him. And in 2005 a baby dear named Mi-Lu befriended lurcher Geoffrey at the Knowsley Animal Park in Merseyside after she was rejected by her mother.


    Let my Fred's Posse Ride: Georges, Naz, Hogue, Bryce, Nader, Monte, Matt, and McKay.

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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    This train of thought has been around for quite a while, though they have generally kept it quiet to prevent the backlash that they experienced when they brought it up before. Very interesting that they think the time might be right to throw it out again. It's evidently the next logical step in their program to prevent global warming. They even admit that completely stopping the use of fossil fuels will not be enough to change the global warming trend. Oops. Shouldn't have told us that!



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    An interesting little peek into the mind set of the global warming/ deindustrialization crowd. How very Communist Chinese of them.

    Should Americans have fewer babies to save the environment? - By Daniel Engber - Slate Magazine
    Well, the voluntary human extinction movement is certainly wacky, as are other fringe movements. However, the main point of the article is interesting and in my opinion not wacky. If you want to make a personal choice to reduce what is fashionably called your "carbon footprint" you have many choices. You can bike to work, recycle, turn your AC up in the summer, replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones, etc. These are all nice things to do, but the one choice that has by far the most impact, and indeed dwarfs the others all put together, is not having babies! Thus, if you are concerned about the rate at which the earth's resources are being consumed (as a personal choice), the most impact you can have to address that perceived problem is to choose to not have babies! More practically, you might choose to only have one child. In either case, a much more difficult choice than changing your lightbulbs.

    Now, if you are not concerned about conserving earth's resources, obviously you would have as many babies as you possible can



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    Quote Originally Posted by iceclone View Post
    Well, the voluntary human extinction movement is certainly wacky, as are other fringe movements. However, the main point of the article is interesting and in my opinion not wacky. If you want to make a personal choice to reduce what is fashionably called your "carbon footprint" you have many choices. You can bike to work, recycle, turn your AC up in the summer, replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones, etc. These are all nice things to do, but the one choice that has by far the most impact, and indeed dwarfs the others all put together, is not having babies! Thus, if you are concerned about the rate at which the earth's resources are being consumed (as a personal choice), the most impact you can have to address that perceived problem is to choose to not have babies! More practically, you might choose to only have one child. In either case, a much more difficult choice than changing your lightbulbs.

    Now, if you are not concerned about conserving earth's resources, obviously you would have as many babies as you possible can
    Lunacy I say...

    But Why? because there might be a good chance that the baby we decided to not have was the one person who would save the world from.....ugh CARBON.



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    Quote Originally Posted by flyhighcy View Post
    Lunacy I say...

    But Why? because there might be a good chance that the baby we decided to not have was the one person who would save the world from.....ugh CARBON.
    There is certainly that chance (although saying a "good chance" may be overstating it). Thus, this is a personal choice and reasonable people can disagree. I know many smart, responsible people that have chosen large families.

    For my personal choice: Since the vast majority of us just consumes, I place low odds on any given child growing up to save the world



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    Quote Originally Posted by flyhighcy View Post
    Lunacy I say...

    But Why? because there might be a good chance that the baby we decided to not have was the one person who would save the world from.....ugh CARBON.
    You can't play that game. If so, a just as "logical" statement would be that baby could grow up to be the person that ends the world by pushing the button to send off their respective country's nuclear weapons. Therefore, you shouldn't have that baby!



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    I read it and thought it was sarcasm.....

    - keep.


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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    I thought the Euros tried that lunacy and it failed. The Muslim fundamentalists came in, are having a bunch of kids, and over-running the place...


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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    [quote=Cyclonepride;184263]An interesting little peek into the mind set of the global warming/ deindustrialization crowd. How very Communist Chinese of them.

    Having adopted a little girl from China, I've read a fair amount about this decision. Amazingly enough, there is not a lot of backlash in China over the one child policy. They had a famine back in the 50's that would have been the equivalent of having every one in California die of starvation (insert your own joke about not being that bad of a thing). Most of us know older folks who went throught the Great Depression and how that affected them. You can imagine how that many people dying would affect you. They are very concerned with not having enough food to feed their population.



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    In Mining the Sky, John S. Lewis suggests that the staggering resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion people. It should be noted however that this book is considered fiction as opposed to nonfiction.

    Link: NSS Review: Mining the Sky



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    Quote Originally Posted by iceclone View Post
    Well, the voluntary human extinction movement is certainly wacky, as are other fringe movements. However, the main point of the article is interesting and in my opinion not wacky. If you want to make a personal choice to reduce what is fashionably called your "carbon footprint" you have many choices. You can bike to work, recycle, turn your AC up in the summer, replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones, etc. These are all nice things to do, but the one choice that has by far the most impact, and indeed dwarfs the others all put together, is not having babies! Thus, if you are concerned about the rate at which the earth's resources are being consumed (as a personal choice), the most impact you can have to address that perceived problem is to choose to not have babies! More practically, you might choose to only have one child. In either case, a much more difficult choice than changing your lightbulbs.

    Now, if you are not concerned about conserving earth's resources, obviously you would have as many babies as you possible can
    The key issue here is choice. These people are not satisfied with giving us the choice to be more environmentally responsible. They feel it necessary to promote legislation to force us to do so. What makes you think that they will be satisfied with suggesting this?



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    Re: Wacky environmentalist article

    [quote=isufrEEk;184348]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    An interesting little peek into the mind set of the global warming/ deindustrialization crowd. How very Communist Chinese of them.

    Having adopted a little girl from China, I've read a fair amount about this decision. Amazingly enough, there is not a lot of backlash in China over the one child policy. They had a famine back in the 50's that would have been the equivalent of having every one in California die of starvation (insert your own joke about not being that bad of a thing). Most of us know older folks who went throught the Great Depression and how that affected them. You can imagine how that many people dying would affect you. They are very concerned with not having enough food to feed their population.
    I can appreciate that. However, backlash in China is answered in a slightly different way than the United States. It's not exactly a society that that allows free exchange of opinion. In fact, it doesn't really allow any.



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