Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

Change, or die: that’s the stark choice most protagonists face in literature, whether they recognize it or not.  Change is constant, and stasis is only an illusion.  What is true of people is also true of civilizations.  Cultures evolve, or they follow the lead of Ozymandias. Neal Stephenson’s epic and ...

**WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Secret Empire storyline. Proceed at your own risk** Captain America, Marvel Comics’ stalwart sentinel of liberty, has been at the center of controversy since he was revealed to have been a lifelong agent of the terrorist organization Hydra on the final page of ...

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie The Love Witch. Read at your own peril. Witches have been part of literature from the very beginning. Female connection to supernatural powers can be drawn directly from Medea all the way to modern stories such as The Witch and Charmed. ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • Automation will affect one in five jobs across the UK, says study
    Workers in shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s constituency face highest risk of being replaced by robots, says researchWorkers in the constituency of shadow chancellor John McDonnell are at the highest risk of seeing their jobs automated in the looming workplace revolution that will affect at least one in five employees in all parliamentary seats, according to new research.The thinktank Future Advocacy – which specialises in looking at the big 21st century policy changes – said at ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian: RoboticsPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017By Larry Elliott, Economics editor
  • Social media bots threaten democracy. But we are not helpless | Samuel Woolley and Marina Gorbis
    Ever-more sophisticated Facebook and Twitter bots can sway political opinions. We have the technology to counter this – we need the will to use itCan social bots – pieces of software that perform automated tasks – influence humans on social media platforms? That’s a question congressional investigators are asking social media companies ever since fears emerged that they were deployed in 2016 to influence the presidential election.Half a decade ago we were among a handful ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian: RoboticsPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017By Samuel Woolley and Marina Gorbis
  • Meet Pepper the robot – Southend’s newest social care recruit
    Humanoid robot can read emotions, play memory games, send emails and show videos Pepper, the newest recruit to the people team at Southend-on-Sea borough council, has many of the skills and characteristics of a model social care employee. He perceives emotions and adapts his behaviour accordingly, and he can memorise personality traits. He can also speak 12 different languages, dance to Gangnam Style and does a mean impression of R2D2. But Pepper’s not like any ... Read more...
    Source: Guardian: RoboticsPublished on Monday, October 16th, 2017By Katherine Purvis
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  • The Rise of Quetzalcoatl: From Plumed Serpent to Creator God
    Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods in the ancient Mesoamerican pantheon. Its iconic appearance is identified in the name of this god. Quetzalcoatl is a combination of two Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) words, quetzal, which is the emerald plume bird, and coatl, which means serpent. Therefore, Quetzalcoatl is commonly also known in English as the Plumed Serpent or Feathered Serpent. Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsAmericas ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient OriginsPublished on Friday, October 13th, 2017By dhwty
  • Demonic Dames: Watch out for the Vengeful Women of Japanese Legends
    Japan has had stories about oni (demons or ogres) and yuurei (ghosts) for hundreds of years. As time passes, new vengeful spirits continue to appear and their stories are told even in the present day.  Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsAsia ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient OriginsPublished on Friday, October 13th, 2017By valdar
  • Ancient Chinese Art
    Ancient China covered a vast and ever-changing geopolitical landscape, and the art it produced over three millennia is, unsurprisingly, just as varied. Still, despite continuous indigenous technical developments, changes in materials and tastes, and the influence of foreign ideas, there are certain qualities inherent in Chinese art which make it possible to describe in general terms and recognise ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Friday, October 13th, 2017
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