Food Trucks are Part of the Real World
I read in last week’s edition [of MJ] that someone has told the food trucks not to come to Montecito because of complaints. I find this shocking – that someone would complain when the people eating lunch at these trucks are mainly working for them!
I am a direct next-door neighbor to the Olive Mill food truck, living at Casa Dorinda. I am delighted to see them there – in fact, I have been known to walk down to the food truck and enjoy a delicious lunch from it, as well!
This is the kind of stuff that gives Montecito a bad name as being snobby, elitist, and unfriendly.
Linda Beuret, Montecito
We are Lucky to Have the SB Public Library
Through a personal experience, I recently discovered the scope of the extraordinary services offered by The Santa Barbara Public Library. A friend of mine was frustrated in seeking employment. Someone suggested that she might try the library for assistance.
To our great surprise, a friendly and responsive librarian made us aware of help in preparing a resume and tips on presenting yourself to advantage in a job interview. The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful. I am happy to report that the result was success in attaining the position that my happy and grateful friend was hoping for. A further benefit of my experience was a discovery of the many other beneficial opportunities that are available at our library – everything from helping to prepare your taxes, to “English as a second language” classes, to preschool story time for kids and moms. The extent of the community benefit of our library was a wonderful surprise. We are very lucky to have this free resource as just another exceptional aspect of what makes Santa Barbara such a special place to live.
Grateful community member
Big Answers for Big Questions Column
I disagree with several of Mr. Robert Bernstein’s comments in Big Questions. The first is about Ray Kurzweil’s statements in several of his books about the Singularity.
Mr. Kurzweil’s arguments are about rather prolific contentions, easily quantifiable and defined by simple equations. True, but invariably limiting. With the explosion of connectivity in the internet, all the opinions published, right or wrong, lead to new venues, new answers, and new questions, obviously.
Hence: What is reasonable to project accurately, with so many falsehoods and such few actual truths published? It’s hilarious, the stuff we make up from pure conjecture. Seriously intelligent scientists publish nonsensical theoretical considerations, to fund ridiculous postulations about unobservable quanta. CERN, Hadron Collider, et cetera. Billions in R&D funds suggest there are parallel universes. Others, like the Church, rely on human perception. Fear and need of an afterlife, reincarnation, angels and devils all exist as proof of faith, that Heaven and Hell exist, just to get all of us believers to contribute. Tell the Vatican and/or all believers in God this proof cannot exist, because it is just not there. There are huge differences in being agnostic and atheistic.
What if we turned this Bernstein argument around? If Moore’s Law exists onward, and his theory still applies, why haven’t we, the human race, not communicated with other more highly developed intelligences yet? According to Kurzweil, Moore’s Law will continue to apply. According to Drake and others, millions of civilizations must exist. Not so fast.
My contention is no. Too many simple assumptions are incorrectly applied.
1. “Carpe Diem quam minimum credula postero.” We cannot know what the future holds. From CV to meteorites, and from nuclear annihilation to cascading catastrophes, intelligent life may just abruptly stop here on Earth tomorrow.
2. SETI has revealed nothing, and our searches have become incredibly effective with technology and software. Drake’s famous equation is wrong; too few factors were considered about our existing reality.
3. Artificial intelligence, according to Mr. Kurzweil, cannot be contained. Just as the atom bomb, once unleashed, could not be disinvented (per Einstein’s request); the prospect of a higher intelligence ultimately making decisions for us about our own well-being seems to be a rather plausible argument.
I believe SETI is unsuccessful in finding telltale radio emissions, because there aren’t any – a plausible assumption. Occam’s Razor. Intelligent life may sprout up, but it also ends suddenly. Obviously, our life here on Earth on many occasions could have simply ended. I’m certain we, the human race, will not reach the wondrous maturity of ultimate intelligence because of one simple overriding, omnipresent law in the universe. It’s the simple law of change. Everything is cyclical, everything is converging, dissipating, modifying and/or expanding, contracting and just changing. Hot, cold, hard, soft, brightness, darkness, even ignorance and wisdom. The Laws of Thermodynamics are well known. We exist in polarities, and everything forever is in a state of constant change. I exist, maybe. Or not?
Mr. Bernstein, just the facts. Neither Heaven nor Hell exists, just plain nothing, once again.