A Postcard from Asimov

In January of 1981, I received this postcard from Isaac Asimov, the prolific science fiction writer: The postcard was in response to a letter I’d written to Asimov after reading his 1979 nonfiction book, Extraterrestrial Civilizations. In this book, Asimov … Continue reading →

David Deutsch: Still No Progress on Artificial General Intelligence

In 2012, physicist David Deutsch published an Aeon Magazine article titled Creative Blocks, exploring why, despite six decades of work on artificial intelligence, we are still nowhere close to creating an AGI: artificial general intelligence. We’ve made great leaps in … Continue reading →

Will Virtual Afterlives Transform Humanity?

I have previously written (here) of my skepticism about the idea of replicating conscious human minds in computers. My skepticism remains intact, but setting that aside for the moment, I find the ideas presented by Michael Graziano in a 2013 … Continue reading →

Mary Oliver: Lingering in Happiness

Lingering in Happiness by Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early After rain after many days without rain, it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees, and the dampness there, married now to gravity, falls branch to branch, leaf … Continue reading →

Olive W. Burt: Mentoring a Young Writer

One day in the fall of 1966, I received a package in the mail from my great aunt, Olive Woolley Burt. It was a copy of her just-published book, “Jayhawker Johnny”. The accompanying letter advised me to look at every … Continue reading →