Review: Ex Machina

Ex machinaWhat makes us human?

This is a question long posed by science fiction literature and films and Ex Machina is the latest to take a stab at answering the unanswerable. The plot itself is simple. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a programmer working for a Google-like search engine company called BlueBook. He wins a company wide lottery to spend a week at the home of company founder Nathan (Oscar Isaac). While there, he discovers he’s been set-up and the real purpose of his visit is to “test” an android, Ava (Alicia Vikander) to see if she truly possesses artificial intelligence. This is done through a series of interviews, where Caleb and Ava exchange nuance-heavy dialogue.  Continue reading “Review: Ex Machina”

Self Worth

Thoughts for a Sunday Morning“For years, he always had a safety valve in the back of his troubles. He always had the comfort of the old chestnut, ‘I’m worth more dead than alive.’ That was his last call, his safe passage in case all other options failed him.

When the time came, though, turned out he wasn’t worth all that much dead, either.”

ARTS: Neil Gaiman on getting hooked on handwriting – Tulsa World: ARTS

ARTS: Neil Gaiman on getting hooked on handwriting – Tulsa World: ARTS.

Over the past few months I’ve gotten two beautiful fountain pens: One for Christmas and one as a “Thank You” for a favor done. I bought myself a nice case for the two of them and they live in my bag, for use when I need to sign things.

I also have a preponderance of journals and notebooks. I wonder if I should try this? It’d be an interesting experiment for sure. That said, my handwriting generally sucks. And when I had to take the GRE test the hardest thing to do was copy something out by hand.

But still… getting back to the old ways, at least for some things, might not be a bad way to go.

Podcasting…?

Old Timey MicSo I’m thinking about podcasts.

These are the democratization of ideas and thoughts, right? Anyone who thinks they have something to say has an open platform in which to say it. This is the digital version of Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. It doesn’t really matter if you’re right or wrong, no one is fact checking outside of their choice to listen or not.

Like a blog, a podcast can have a specific point of view… or not. It can be published (is that even the right verb?) on a regular schedule…or not. It can make money for the people putting it out… or not. Continue reading “Podcasting…?”

Learning

Thoughts for a Sunday MorningWhen I was younger (and maybe not so much younger) I tried to learn from everyone and everything around me. Tossed off comments by people who knew more than I did became like little nuggets of intellectual gold I would horde.

Lessons I was shown once, when it came to things I was interested in, would stay with me. These weren’t formal lessons, although I remember those as well. No, these were just bits of advice, tips and tricks, what the Internet today would call “Hacks.”  Continue reading “Learning”

Awards…

V2 by Justė Kazbaraitytė
V2 by Justė Kazbaraitytė

So yesterday I won an award. Was nominated for four.

I was voted by the student body at Vytautas Magnus University a likely candidate to be the funniest professor, the best orator, best foreign professor and best all around professor. I took home the prize for Best Foreign Professor. This time around the award was a large hourglass which takes about a half hour to cycle through. Last year was an engraved globe and the year before a sculpture for the desk. Third year in a row I’ve won this particular prize. Continue reading “Awards…”