Tag Archives: Google

The World’s Changing Around Us…

We’ve written a bit about politics of late, as it’s quite the year for it. Of course, our original thought was about how crazy politics in the United States is going… but then we got topped. I mean, when there was the Scottish independence referendum, it was an exciting shakeup of the status quo just that it happened, but it didn’t pass, and the world moved on…

And then Brexit.

And it’s painful to see that immediately after the vote already passed… after the Prime Minister resigned… that’s when people were looking up the question “what is the EU?” A backslide from the movement towards any idea of larger post-nation world government, the sort of science fiction thing I write about…

It’s a new world we’re moving into. It will be interesting to see what this means – for England, a country that I love; for the European Union, if this precedent is only the beginning; for Scotland, which seems to be thinking about independence again; for global economies and the way things are now.

What it means when the U.S. votes in November.

A united thought between this vote and the presidential one is immigration. I just looked up the world population… 7.4 billion. People moving and running into those that aren’t like them, that seems like something that’s just going to happen more. Science fiction talked about overpopulation and xenophobia and overcrowding plenty. We unfortunately may be hitting that point in human history – and science fiction rarely predicted that it went well.

So… yeah. This is going to all get interesting.

Science Fiction Today – Privacy

This was a topic we almost covered during our A to Z Challenge posts on Science Fiction Today. However, it’s a big topic and probably not best in that shorter format. Also, we hit on Surveillance, so we somewhat hit on the topic. But government surveillance is only part of the topic.

My take on Privacy is that it is only somewhat a right – it is also something you have to fight for. We can have expectations of Privacy, but things like government surveillance remind us that we don’t always know when or where we’re being watched. But it can be simpler and lower-tech than that – when I am home I might have an expectation of Privacy, but if my blinds are wide open then someone may well be watching!

That’s what I mean as to fighting for Privacy – perhaps working on Privacy is a better term. Constant vigilance! Or maybe the blog is the best example. We have a right to free speech – we can write what we want here, and we’re not worried about getting dragged off to jail. However, we have been careful regarding our Privacy – like names, picture of us, things like that. Or of the Geek Baby. I know a number of bloggers who use a pen name, and plenty who splash their picture and such all over. It’s a personal decision, about how much Privacy we’re looking for. We’re not all looking for the exact same level! No matter what Facebook thinks…

I’m a librarian. I know Privacy is tough. I was working in a library when the Patriot Act was passed – when the FBI got the right to come in and request library records. When libraries around the US got paper shredders to destroy paper records. Got programs to erase browser history and downloaded files and such between computer users. It’s a fight. So let’s look at a couple of possible futures when it comes to Privacy.

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Last Pass – a Review

I was noticing that one of our best posts is Holly’s review of glasses.com (which is indeed a fantastic service), and I was thinking that there are other specific services that we use that could be recommended. One that I think deserves some review is Last Pass.

Last Pass is like a number of products out there, I suppose, as a password-keeper service. Holly and I had heard about Last Pass a while ago, but the inertia to change your passwords is pretty extreme. I mean, do you even know how many passwords you work out of?

Then Heartbleed happened. Suddenly, it was necessary to change all of our passwords. It cut through the inertia, and it was time to check out Last Pass. Their name comes from the thought that it will be the last password you ever have to remember. How true has that turned out to be? Read on for my review of this service: Last Pass!

Last Pass

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Science Fiction Today – Transportation, Take 3

With our Science Fiction Today posts, we like to explore the ideas from Science Fiction and how they might come about in the world today, or in our near future. Because really, it’s more fun to think about today’s problems in terms of what they can become, rather than what they are now.

One of the topics we’ve talked about most with Science Fiction Today, meanwhile, is transportation. Maybe it’s because modern transportation is a drag – and maybe it’s because with the Internet, the world is getting smaller and we want to be able to travel like it is!

We’ve talked about transportation first in the face of the sequester, when they were worried about travel delays, and then when Holly was considering it after flying and having to wait. There are some advantages to flying – you can get stuff done, like reading, work, handheld games. Electronics have made this form of travel very versatile. Well, except for the take-off and landing…

I saw something this week that made me think about transportation a little bit differently, and I thought I would share it, continuing our ongoing consideration of science-fictional forms of transport – Today! Continue reading

Science Fiction and Religion – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I initially started writing about Science Fiction as it relates to Religion in terms of aliens – and how the existence of aliens might do a lot to prove or disprove religions. There are a lot more science fiction worlds I could look at and discuss this point, and I may at some point in the future. However, a truly intelligent alien race, that was around well before us, is an entirely different train of thought.

And that leads me to today’s topic: Intelligent Design. A common theme in science fiction, the creation of humanity as the result of alien influence. Seen prominently recently in Prometheus, this thought comes up a lot, and while it doesn’t prove anything – the fiction aspect of the phrase – it does pose some hard scientific questions.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's GuideSo let’s go with the best example of this: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Why have a stuffy intellectual conversation or a self-righteous religious one when we can have a fun conversation? If you haven’t read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, go do it. If you prefer audio books, Holly loved listening to it with Stephen Fry narrating. It is a good time, a fantastic parody, but with some solid thought that went into it too, which is a lot of its lasting appeal. So let’s take a look at what Douglas Adams did with Religion.
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