‘A nice place to visit’: Will technology make classic Twilight Zone episode a reality?

The Twilight Zone A Nice Place to VisitWhat if you could live for hundreds of years? What if you could have anything your heart desired? Would it be like experiencing a taste of heaven — or hell? Google Ventures’ efforts to find the fountain of youth and emerging technology like self-driving cars makes one wonder: Is it possible that future advances in technology will create our own little version of The Twilight Zone’s “A Nice Place to Visit”?

I recently finished Tony Robbins’ “Money: Master the Game.” In it, he briefly mentions a classic 1960 episode of The Twilight Zone where small-time crook “Rocky” Valentine dies and finds himself in a place where all his wishes are granted. If he wanted his favorite entertainment, it was there. If he wanted to go home with three girls, then they were willing. Anything he wanted was given to him. It wasn’t long before the situation began to drive him mad, and when he confronted his “guardian” about how he wasn’t a good fit with heaven, “Pip” informed him that he was actually in hell.

“A scared, angry little man who never got a break. Now he has everything he’s ever wanted and he’s going to have to live with it for eternity — in the Twilight Zone,” the narrator says as the episode ends.

Mr. Robbins’ point was that money is just a means to an end — it isn’t an end in itself. Material things do not bring true happiness, and until we learn that we are setting ourselves up for failure. Likewise, future technology will continue to raise the standard of living for billions of people — but what good will physical comforts be if it fosters a mental and spiritual wasteland?

A Nice Place to Visit Twilight ZoneSt. John Bosco once said:

“The principal trap that the Devil sets for young people is idleness. This is a fatal source of all evil. Do not let there be any doubt in your mind that we are born to work, and when we don’t, we’re out of our element and in great danger of offending God. … First tell the Devil to rest, and then I’ll rest, too.”

New technology can be a great force for good, but it’s not hard to see how a society focused on receiving rather than giving could easily churn out generation after generation of depressed and misanthropic drones.

A Nice Place To VisitEnjoy your future self-driving car. Take advantage of replacement kidneys and hearts and lungs that allow you to live until 115. Have fun playing video games in 2030 that will be unlike anything we’re capable of imagining today. Do all of that, but keep in mind that the man who only lives for the next gizmo or gadget will never have enough. He will never be filled and as a result he can never be truly happy. In some sense, he will be living in a Twilight Zone episode of his own making.

Jesse Jackson, Sr. to go after Silicon Valley: Shakedown Rainbows never end

Jesse Jackson tech companies

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition shakedown rainbow never ends, but everyone knows that there is the equivalent of many pots of gold in the bank account of Jesse Jackson, Sr. Regardless, it now it turns out he’s going after the tech industry.

USA Today reported Monday:

Desair Brown: Civil rights activists are turning up the heat on Silicon Valley, calling on major internet firms to release their diversity numbers. I’m Desair Brown for USA Today here with Reverend Jesse Jackson Senior from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Calling, whose partly behind the campaign. So reverend, the numbers show that the tech industry is mostly white male and asian. How have companies been able to get away with that for so long?

Jesse Jackson Senior: The media has not exposed them. Those who have been locked out if not declared they should be let in under some notion it’s somehow Magic Kingdom, kind of economic rock stars. So they have a lot of H1B workers they bring in from outside the country. There’s no job that they do that we can not do in America. So there’s not really a talent deficit; there’s an opportunity deficit. […] This is the next step in the civil rights movement.

Notice Ms. Brown’s question: She asks how tech companies have been able to “get away” with having so many white and asian employees, as if the statistic alone is proof that there is some sort of weird conspiracy to deny black people jobs at Google, Twitter, etc. Mr. Jackson takes the bait and then references minorities (asians apparently don’t count) who have been “locked out” of Silicon Valley.

The liberalism of Jesse Jackson Sr. is one that is favored by intellectual sloths out to make an easy buck or the intellectually bankrupt seeking to enrich themselves materially. As already stated, the racial shakedown is a perfect vehicle for such a thing. In Jackson’s case he’s 2-for-2, being intellectually lazy and intellectually bankrupt.

The line of questioning adopted by Ms. Brown implies that there is no point to digging into the numbers; we don’t need to go beyond Stage 1 because Silicon Valley has already been tried and convicted in the Court of Diversity.

What if Google and Facebook and Twitter all want to hire more black people, but they just don’t have a large enough pool of qualified applicants? These companies are looking for the best and brightest in the world due to fierce competition — hiring mediocre applicants just to get a good grade on some “diversity report card” is, in the tech world, suicidal.

Instead of asking Mr. Jackson how companies “get away” with having so many white and asian individuals on the payroll, Ms. Brown should have asked her guest “What does the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics tell us about the number of women and minorities potentially available for these jobs?” She didn’t do that because a.) Jesse Jackson Sr. is only good at coming up with bumper sticker lines about “opportunity deficits,” and b.) the numbers would take her story in a realm not favorable to Rainbow Push Coalition race-baiting campaigns.

Here is what NSF said in its report “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2013”:

NSFGov minority science statsOne online search highlights quite nicely that Ms. Brown and Jesse Jackson Sr. are either intellectually lazy or disingenuous when they imply that the technology sector is “getting away” with “locking out” minorities. The fact is that American minorities as a whole (at this time) aren’t particularly interested in pursuing math and science — and when they do go into the field it’s in a “soft science” like psychology. There is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what tech companies are looking for in an applicant. In less than five minutes bloggers can find government data that suggests the problem is a lot more nuanced than the tech-companies-are-probably-racist story, but Mr. Jackson can’t? Telling.

The interesting thing about “diversity” activists is that it’s not true diversity they want. Take for instance The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport’s 2014 “Racial and Gender Report Card” for the NBA. The organization found that African Americans “comprised 77 percent of all NBA players while 80.5 percent of players were people of color.” The grade for NBA player hiring practices: A+.

From a true “diversity” point of view, that is horrible. How is the NBA “getting away” with having such a dearth of asian point guards? Why are there so few white people on the basketball court? If the field of play is supposed to be representative of the racial breakdown of the country, the Rainbow Push Coalition should be looking to reduce the number of black players (and by extension black millionaires) in the league. However, if the NBA’s goal is to have the best basketball players in the world, should it then do nothing.

Perhaps most bizarre about the Jesse Jackson Sr. worldview is that if I came up to his fans on the street and told them more black people should concentrate on science and technology, there’s a good chance they would say that I was trying to impose “white” culture on them. They would say that the history of black culture indicates that black Americans have always been attracted to the liberal arts. They would rightly note singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, etc. as all the reasons why I should just mind my own business and not worry about whether or not a black kid from Chicago wants to be the next Michael Jordan, the next Oprah Winfrey or the next Steve Jobs. The end result is that diversity activism boils down to “I want what I want when I want it.” What constitutes “diversity” is completely arbitrary. When numbers can be used as a racial cudgel, expect to be beaten. When numbers are inconvenient, it’s none of the white/asian guy’s business — stop trying to change my culture, Mr. Ernst.

If Mr. Jackson really believes that there is an enormous pool of black talent that isn’t being tapped, then he should start his own tech company with an all-or-mostly black staff just to prove a point. If Silicon Valley has really “locked out” black techie all-stars, then it has willingly denied itself massive profits. Mr. Jackson should have no problem finding recruits for a new company that will be based out of Chicago.

OkCupid: Brendan Eich is the ‘enemy,’ so ignore the fact we sell your personal info to the highest bidder

Brendan Eich Mozilla

If you haven’t been following Mozilla’s Brendan Eich story, all you need to know is that OkCupid and the thought crime brigade within Mozilla’s software developer community  were successful in getting the co-founder of the company to resign as CEO, all because he apparently believes the definition of marriage has a very specific meaning that isn’t in line with the gay community.

The Washington Times reported:

Brendan Eich, the co-founder of Mozilla, has stepped down as CEO over the controversy that erupted after his $1,000 pledge in support of California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8 became widely known.

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,” read a statement from Mozilla. “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

“That was shocking to me, because I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” [Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker] said, Recode reported. “But I overestimated that experience.”

Yes, even though the guy wasn’t on television bashing gay people, Mozilla has been known to be a very gay-friendly company for years, that Mr. Eich kept his politics to himself and didn’t bother anyone, we know he must be a monster because he joined with millions of other religious Californians who believe marriage has a definition that can’t be squared with the gay community’s desires.

OkCupid didn’t take too kindly to that, so they started a campaign against Mozilla (which has since been rescinded with Eich’s resignation) in order to put pressure on Mr. Eich to step down. It succeeded.

Ok Cupid Mozilla

Politics is not normally OkCupid’s thing, in part because if it were its top brass would be forced to talk about how they’re willing to secretly sell your personal information to the highest bidder.

OK Cupid Third Parties

Just for fun I started an account just to see how many third-party sites would show up before I even filled out a profile or perused the site. It looks like I was well on my way to racking up a screen full of nosy little triangles. What’s up with that, OkCupid?

How many devout Christians, Muslims and Jews have used OkCupid? Do you call them your “enemies”? Do you wish them “misery” and “failure,” or do they not count because you’re making tons of money from all the information they provide in their search for a mate?

In OkCupid’s attempts to smear Mr. Eich, its statement read that the dating company knows there is “a lot more wrong in the world than misguided CEOs.” True — and OkCupid is in the “more” category.

Who is more of a threat to the happiness and health of the nation: Mr. Eich and his belief that the union between a man and a woman — with the implied understanding that they will procreate and raise their biological children in a loving home — is essential to any civil society, or OkCupid, which harvests all sorts of personal information about you and sells it to third parties without you knowing who they are or what they’ll do with it?

Do you suffer from depression? Anxiety? Do you watch kinky pornography? Do you have cancer or some other disease? Do you believe in God (like Brendan Eich)? Are you a Socialist? A Communist? A hard-core Conservative? If so, then you need to understand that companies like OkCupid want to know because it’s worth big bucks.

It turns out OkCupid actually does like religious men...provided that it can secretly make money off them by selling that information to third parties.
It turns out OkCupid actually does like religious men…provided that it can secretly make money off them by selling the knowledge of their faith to third parties.

If you really want to see just the size and scope of OkCupid’s hypocrisy, watch the 60 Minutes piece ‘Data Brokers.’ Our self-righteous friends are featured prominently.

How convenient is it that shortly after the 60 Minutes piece aired that OkCupid found a target that would allow its management to stand on a moral pedestal and get good press for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a video of President Obama to watch from 2008. Apparently, he officially held the same view on marriage as Mr. Eich did up until the 2012 election. I wonder how many outraged Mozilla employees voted for him, knowing that he was a “bigot.” I don’t remember OkCupid running any political ads against him in 2008 either. Strange.


Related: OkCupid’s hypocrite CEO Sam Yagan admits he donated to the ‘enemy’ — because it benefited him

Prediction: Statists will try to limit your use of 3-D printing technology

President Obama doesn’t seem to be a fan of technology. He once even lamented its deleterious effect on the economy, telling the “Today” show: “You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don’t go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.” Given that, it’s a good bet he won’t be a fan of 3-D printing. Thanks to this technology, people will eventually be able to make the high capacity magazines and AR-15s that he hopes to ban — right from the comfort of their own homes.

It’s already happening. Extreme Tech reports:

“The first 3D-printed gun was created by AR15.com forum member HaveBlue. It was a pistol, and consisted of a 3D-printed receiver, with a fully metal upper area, such as the barrel. The receiver is actually what legally constitutes a firearm, so in the eyes of the law, that’s a ‘real’ gun.”

Statist politicians will have a tough time regulating weapons when gun enthusiasts will have the power to print their weapons, magazines and ammunition from a favorite armchair. But they will try.

President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have claimed that “if it only saves one life,” their infringements of the Second Amendment will be justified. Using that logic, it isn’t hard to imagine a time when politicians will seek to limit access of 3-D printing tech to a select few (i.e., their friends and the “friends” who donate to their campaigns), despite the infinite ways it could positively impact our everyday lives.

Just as the United Nations seeks to wrestle control over the Internet in an effort to control freedom of speech, 3-D printing will be targeted for its ability to safeguard life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Politicians will eventually realize this technology’s potential, and it will be given greater scrutiny. Bureaucrats in Washington have shown no problem with attempting to curtail a right enshrined in the Constitution. They will certainly have no qualms attempting to withhold emerging 3-D technology from the general public.

When we can see through walls, but not the debt in our face

New technology allows us to see light move at one trillion frames per second, but yet many citizens still can’t see the slow motion economic train wreck caused by out-of-control debt and a bloated federal bureaucracy.

How is it that it’s only a matter of time before Americans will be able to see through walls, but they can’t see the writing on the wall when it comes to debt and deficits? Professor Ramesh Raskar’s presentation on cameras that can film at one trillion frames per second is amazing, but it also demonstrates one of the problems conservatives have when it comes to talking about recessions, depressions and the economy in general.

Not too long ago I got to cover the Defending the American Dream Summit for work. While I was there, I got to talk to a number of older individuals who honestly believe that the standard of living their grandchildren will be lower because of the policies we are putting in place today. That’s true — in many respects — but it’s hard to get anyone to buy it when new technologies keep emerging that will change the course of human history.

How do you get people to understand the future that never was? While it’s a godsend that humans are constantly pushing the limits of what is possible, it also is maddening that so many are regularly susceptible to public policies that retard economic growth and the entrepreneurial spirit inside us. We adopt health care policies that hinder the innovation of lifesaving drugs while giving more people crappier coverage. We enact well-intentioned entitlement programs that turn able-bodied men and women into human gerbils waiting for the next government pellet — instead of encouraging them to break free of their mind-forged manacles. We use the tax code for social engineering instead of allowing the individual to keep more of his own money with which to build a brighter future.

The “poor” in the United States are not getting poorer. In fact, the “poor” (who are also not a static group) in the United States do quite well when compared with their counterparts around the world. Given that the standard of living generally goes up for all Americans each generation — even if the rates differ among social classes — conservatives need to find a way to talk about lost futures. It’s not enough to say that if we elect liberal politician “x” that life will be worse off, because benefits gained through technological advances mask all sorts of theft to our standard of living.

If conservatives are smart they will become tech-savvy nerds who not only care about cameras that can see around corners, but talented orators who can paint vivid pictures of the future by describing their vision for the world and the vision of their political opponents.