The SETI program is still waiting to catch a sentient signal from deep space, but in the absence of data, people are free to speculate. Michael Dyer, a computer science professor at UCLA, is certain that the first aliens to visit Earth will be robots. He even attached a probability to it, according to Adam Hadhazy, a reporter published on Live Science. “If an extraterrestrial spaceship ever lands on Earth, I bet you that it is 99.9999999 percent likely that what exits that ship will be synthetic in nature.” Has Dyer watched too many science fiction movies, or does his prediction have any scientific grounding? His reasoning involves several ideas. For one, space travel is hard on biology. For another, robots are not as vulnerable to harsh environments and poison gas. A third is his belief, based on the inevitability of artificial intelligence (AI), that humans will eventually replace themselves on Earth by robotic progeny. That implies that advanced aliens will have already reached that point in their evolution. Seth Shostak was quoted in the article in agreement with Dyer’s idea that alien visitors will be made of hardware and software, not cuddly biology. While speculating about alien evolution (see also the 07/21/2010), Dyer continued wondering whether futuristic robots could ever have empathy. Will they be programmed, like Hal 9000 in A Space Odyssey to follow the mission, even if it means killing humans? (That idea seems so 2001). Will they destroy the freedom of the remaining humans, even if programmed with mercy? “I think the most we can hope for is to embed software into all intelligent synthetic entities to cause them to want to protect the survivability of biological entities, with humans at the top of the list for protection,” Dyer said. Every speculation brings new dilemmas, however. Dyer looked into his crystal ball: “I can foresee my robotic master not letting me do any activities that it deems will be harmful to my long-term survival,” he said, “so I’m no longer allowed to eat ice cream while lying on the sofa watching junk TV shows.” Or allowed to watch the latest Hollywood alien-invasion flick, Hadhazy added. Dyer did not explain if alien synthetic life implies intelligent design (12/03/2005). He also did not place a value on his bet, or explain how or when he would have to pay up. Presumably, there is a .0000001 percent chance it is not synthetic; that would give him an out. Question: why is this on Live Science? Are we to the point where, in the name of science, there are no restraints on speculation, no requirements to test ideas against evidence, no distinctions between science and science fiction, no epistemic modesty, no restraints on hubris? Has the mission of science been usurped by storytellers with limitless imaginations? Answer: “I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.” (see IMDB.com).(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
17 December 2013 South Africa’s plan to help protect sex workers against HIV and help them access treatment is a “flagship model” that should be followed by the rest of the world, Mark Dybul of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria told Africa’s biggest Aids conference held in Cape Town last week. Dybul lauded South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment for Sex Workers as a comprehensive plan that “showed remarkable leadership and (was) a flagship of how we must respond not only on this continent but around the world”, Business Day reported. Dybul was speaking at the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa on 10 December.Scaling up The plan was developed by South African National Aids Council (Sanac), the Sex Workers’ Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat), Sisonke Sex Workers Movement and the departments of Social Development and Health, among others. It will form a part of the country’s National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, TB and STIs 2012 – 2016. The plan involves a significant scaling up of a comprehensive HIV prevention package, improving services, reducing the discrimination against sex workers and mobilising resources, Business Day says. It aims to increase access to HIV treatment for the estimated 153 000 sex workers in South Africa, reduce the violence and human rights abuses perpetrated against them and to promote their well being. Fareed Abdullah, Sanca’s chief executive, writes in the foreword to the plan that addressing the health of sex workers is “crucial to our plans to combat the spread of HIV” in South Africa as they are most at risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections”. Dybul reportedly said it was “appalling” that sex workers were 12 times less likely to receive antiretroviral treatment than other people. He said their rights had to be respected and they had to be brought into the human family and given choices regarding what to do with their lives. The launch of the plan, which was due to take place at the conference on Tuesday last week, has been postponed until 2014 out of respect for the passing of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president, who died on 5 December. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria donated R3-billion in October to South Africa for its HIV/Aids programmes, an amount which will supplement prevention and referral services for two-and-a-half years. Further funding from the organisation will assist specific HIV health services for sex workers in the future, Sanca’s Rentia Agenbag told SAinfo. Business Day and SAinfo reporter
This note comes in today’s mailbag:James writes, “I have a hard time closing the sale. I struggle between wanting to be passive and carefree about the deal, and being too aggressive, and then worrying about losing the sale. I have the skills and competency and experience to do the job, but it is hard for me to close the sale. Does this mean I am just a bad salesperson? What do I do to get better at this and find a balance when I feel like I’m trying to grasp the greased watermelon?”Being passive isn’t the answer. You can’t sit around and wait for your dream client to ask you if they can finally buy from you. Being aggressive isn’t the answer either. It smacks of being self-oriented or desperation. You aren’t a bad salesperson for not knowing how to do some necessary part of the job. Knowing that you don’t know how to do something and not doing anything about it would make you a bad salesperson.If you struggle to close it likely means that you are afraid to ask for commitments. If you are going to succeed in sales (and life), you are going to have to ask people for commitments. The root of your fear of asking for commitments might be your fear of not knowing what to say if your dream client says no. Or it might be that you don’t feel that you’ve earned it. But my guess is that you just don’t have words that your comfortable using. I just wrote an article for Success Magazine covering this very topic.You don’t need books of different closes. You don’t need special closing techniques. You just need to ask directly. Try something like, “I feel like we know enough to move forward on this idea. Can we start work on this now, or is some other step you think we need to take first?” Or try this, “Can we get started in this project for you?”If you’ve earned the commitment you are asking for, you shouldn’t have any reluctance or fear of asking. Just ask directly and naturally.QuestionsHow do you ask for the business?When do you ask?What are the root causes of the fear of asking for commitments, especially the commitment to buy? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Two persons died, while two others were injured after a few youths opened fired at the staff in a garment shop in a mall in Varanasi over a dispute on Wednesday, police said.The incident took place at the JHV shopping mall in the high-security Cantonment area of the Uttar Pradesh city. The suspects, alleged to be students of the Kashi Vidyapeeth University, have been identified. The three suspects entered the branded apparel store and one of them, identified as Alok Upadhyay, inquired about a salesman named Prashant. The suspect then got involved in a brawl with the other staff but was soon overpowered. A country-made pistol he was carrying was also snatched away, said a witness. Vivek Tripathi, UP police spokesperson, said after finding their friend overpowered, the other two youths tried to rescue him and fired shots at the salesmen and in the air.Two persons, Gopi Kanaujia and Sunil Kumar, died of bullet injuries, while Vishal Singh and Chandan Sharma, were admitted to hospital and are said to be stable, police said.”They also fired shots indiscriminately in the mall, after exiting the store,” said one of the witnesses. While initially police was told that the firing was triggered by a dispute over discount, a police statement in the evening hinted at a personal enmity.As per the police, the main accused Alok Upadhyay had a dispute with one of the salesmen Prashant over his friendship with a female staff at the store. The witness also said that the accused had once already assaulted the salesman outside the mall.Inspector General, Varanasi, Vijay Singh Meena, said the CCTV footage of the mall was being examined. The police is investigating how the three suspects managed to bring in weapons into the mall as frisking is done at the entry.
The men’s team, which swept its way to the gold during the sport’s maiden appearance in this biennial meet in 2015 in Singapore, will take on Indonesia (11:06 a.m.), Cambodia (1:22 p.m.), and host Malaysia (4:26 p.m.) in a busy start to its title defense.The Volcanoes, who are coming from the Asian Rugby 7s win in Doha, will complete their assignments Sunday against Singapore and Thailand.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Lady Volcanoes, bronze winners last time around, will battle Thailand (10 a.m.), Laos (3:16 p.m.) and Singapore at 5:32 p.m. They will round up their matches Sunday against host Malaysia at 11:28 a.m.Rugby 7s will only have two days of competition where top two teams after a round robin will vie for gold and the next two fight for bronze. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension The Volcanoes will be bannered by Christopher Hitch, Justin Thomas Coveney, Vincent Francis Young, Jason Ritchie Lynch, Harry Morris, Jonel Madrona, Rupert Dian Zappia, Harrison Blake, Evan Spargo, Ricky Kucha, Jake Letts and Christopher Everingham.Dixie Star Yu, Sylvia Tudoc, Angella Camille San Juan, Madille Salinas, Rassiel Sales, Camilla Maryam Maslo, Helena Roxanne Indigne, Kaye Llanie Honoras, Gelanie Gamba, Tanya Louise Bird, Hayes Monica Bolofer and Ada Milby comprise the Lady Volcanoes. Read Next Despite Flying V’s failed bid, Teng grateful for run with Thunder Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games KUALA LUMPUR—The Philippine Volcanoes will be very active when their even kicks off. And the men’s team is threatening to erupt anew.The Philippine Rugby 7s men’s and women’s teams will start their Southeast Asian Games duty Saturday at Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Stadium, Kelana Jaya here.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next WATCH: Alyssa Valdez feels the love from Filipinos in Taiwan “The Philippine Superliga strictly enforces the One League Policy prohibiting its players from playing and/or participating in other tournaments during the one-year playing commitment with the PSL. The act of Ms. Soltones in playing/participating in the PVL All-Stars is a clear violation of our existing policy,” wrote PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara in a letter to Iriga mayor Madeleine Alfelor.Soltones only suited up for one game for the Lady Oragons, playing in their opening day assignment against Sta. Lucia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWith the decision, Soltones will be barred from playing in the PSL until November 5 next year.The former San Sebastian open spiker is the third player to violate the league’s One League Policy since its enforcement in 2016 following Pau Soriano and Lillet Mabbayad, who both played for Bureau of Customs in the Shakey’s V-League after their campaign with Standard Insurance-Navy in the PSL All-Filipino Cup. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Grethcel Soltones. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netGrethcel Soltones was on the receiving end of a one-year ban and a P50,000 fine after violating the Philippine Superliga’s One League Policy.The league handed down the decision on Monday as the three-time NCAA Most Valuable Player, who has a live contract with Iriga in the ongoing PSL Grand Prix, competed in the Premier Volleyball League’s All-Star Game last October 29.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments
The waif like models that walked the runway at the last Men’s Fashion Week in Milan signalled the death of beefcake in the international modelling scene.But the trend has been bucked by the Indian shores where the ramps are still populated by quite some six packs.The debate around emaciated models has always centred on women, but the same miniscule measurements now go for men in the fashion capitals of Europe and New York.But the models that walked down the ramp at the recently concluded Van Heusen Mens Week here were not the delicate teenagers populating the international catwalks, but muscled men.And the brawn is here to stay, says Milind Soman, India’s first male super model.”The international trend for androgynous male models has still not caught up here. I think it will cause an uproar if a skinny chicken walks the ramp here, the audience will not accept it,” Soman told PTI.Designer Jay Arora who caused a flashbulb frenzy when he sent models dressed in barely-there hot pants during Mens Week says that economics has a part to play in the trend.A large chunk of consumers for designer menswear in India according to him is the ‘new age man’, who is not afraid to stray from the black suit routine. And this new age man is also a gym freak.”The trend running through all the collections was a lean silhouette. And to carry off the fitted look, you need a gym toned body. All the models work hard for it and so do my costumers,” said Arora.advertisementWhere the masculine ideal earlier was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment on the international catwalks is the wraith like urchin.Designer Anjana Bhargava is thankful that the trend is not here yet and suggests that Bollywood, where former models like John Abraham and Arjun Rampal are ruling the roost, may have something to do with it.”They may not say so openly but a Shah Rukh Khan or a Hrithik Roshan is indeed role model for many men, who also buy designer clothes. Bollywood trends quickly become popular and the trend in tinseltown is for ripped bodies not skinny men,” said Bhargava.The models themselves rubbish the trend, as a mere flash in the pan.From Lalit Tehlan to Kabir Singh, the most popular models all sport gym toned abs and muscular physiques.And they say that they would rather emulate British model David Gandy, who became a over-night star after appearing in the Dolce & Gabbana perfume campaign wearing only a pair of tight white briefs.”The top earning male model today is David Gandy who is far from skinny. The trend for skinny models too I think too will fade out and the tall muscular frame will again become fashionable,” said upcoming model Ravinder Kuhar.
Sunday night, the 2015 NCAA Tournament field was revealed, and unsurprisingly, Kentucky was named the overall No. 1 seed. The Wildcats are also the odds-on favorite to win this year’s national title, per Bovada. In fact, Kentucky is almost at even money to take home the trophy – they’re currently listed at 6:5 to win it all.Arizona, the 2-seed in the West Region, actually has the second-highest odds. Wisconsin checks in third, with Duke fourth. Villanova and Virginia come in at 10:1.Here’s a list of all 68 tournament teams, along with their odds to win the championship. You could make a lot of money betting on a 16-seed to win it all, but we wouldn’t advise it. No 16-seed has ever even won an NCAA Tournament game, much less a title.Who are you betting on?