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Sisyphus, by Franz von Stuck

(…) Mark Ward filters thousands of pounds of plastic out of Oregon’s beaches every year.
(…) It may be that filter-cleaning sand at the beach is akin to chipping away at a mountain, and that ocean currents can undo such work in one fell swoop, yet Ward retains a positive outlook. “I know we are not the solution to ocean plastics,” he admits. But he is extracting vast amounts of plastic from beaches nonetheless.

More Sisyphus on the beach here:

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‘Bertram, lees je wel eens stukjes over de vrije wil?’
Filosoof Bertram Wilberforce Kopjes: ‘Helaas wel ja. Ik kan er niets aan doen. Ik word er onweerstaanbaar door aangetrokken. Weigeren is onmogelijk. Het is sterker dan ikzelf.’ ;)

Quantum Mechanics, Free Will and the Game of Life | by John Horgan | SciAm

(…) One prominent explorer of quantum cellular automata, Nobel laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft, flatly rules out the possibility of free will (…) His model leads him to a position called “superdeterminism,” which eliminates (as far as I can tell; ‘t Hooft’s arguments aren’t easy for me to…

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(…) The ability for viruses to mutate and evade the human immune system and cause infection is called viral escape.
(…) We modeled viral escape with machine learning algorithms originally developed for human natural language. (…) We identified escape mutations as those that preserve viral infectivity but cause a virus to look different to the immune system, akin to word changes that preserve a sentence’s grammaticality but change its meaning.
(…) Our study represents a promising conceptual bridge between natural language and viral evolution.

Tech guru Chriet has more:

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Can Google Priapus lead to pregnancy?

‘Dokter, het was toch niet alleen maar kommer en kwel in 2020?’
Dokter Kopjes: ‘Welnee. Positief blijven. Ik verwacht in 2021 een flinke geboortegolf door de razendsnelle opkomst van de deepfake dickvid.’ ;)

2020 was een geweldig jaar voor de deepfake dickvid | Medisch Weekblad U&O

(…) Je kunt gerust zeggen dat als er één winnaar aan te wijzen is van deze crisis, en eigenlijk van het hele jaar 2020, dan is dat de deepfake dickvid. (…) De kunstmatig intelligente penissen vlogen je werkelijk om de oren. Dat heeft er vooral mee te maken…

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Facebook is a Doomsday Machine

“Limitations to the Doomsday Machine comparison are obvious: Facebook cannot in an instant reduce a city to ruins the way a nuclear bomb can. And whereas the Doomsday Machine was conceived of as a world-ending device so as to forestall the end of the world, Facebook started because a semi-inebriated Harvard undergrad was bored one night. But the stakes are still life-and-death. Megascale is nearly the existential threat that megadeath is. No single machine should be able to control the fate of the world’s population — and that’s what both the Doomsday Machine and Facebook are built to do.”

—Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic

More doom and gloom to read under the christmas tree here:

Kopjes Kattenoppas

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