Rationalism a la mode
The industrial, sexual, political, cultural: all revolutions are covered by Dr D...
The debate ends here! Artificial intelligence not only exists but has the ability to spontaneously and consciously determine its own evolution. And what's more, this mechanical evolution is alive and kicking on the streets of London. I know. I've witnessed it. Everyday as I sit on the upper deck of the 24 bus, anxiously waiting to inch forward, I am privileged to glimpse this phenomenon of the modern world: cars of all descriptions Sierras, Toyotas, Renaults, Lamborghinis all suddenly making the conscious decision to evolve into buses and, wondrously determinedly crossing over into the bus lane. This is a scientific miracle in motion. There can be no other explanation . Evolution gets you thinking about the missing link, doesn't it? Which gets me thinking about pornography. Don't ask why. Particularly the sorry state of Brit Porn in the 1970s. I was lucky enough to recently meet Dr Clarissa, a fantastic woman who has completed a PhD on Pornography for Women. Taking a purely professional interest in this, I learnt a lot. Dr Clarissa's particular hero of Brit Porn c.1970 is a king of samizdat-smut, who later shifted his business interests to the ahem popular (very "popular") end of the tabloid market. As our entrepreneur's "adult only" shops appeared on street corners across parochial England the local press would be flooded by complaints, firmly signed off with "Yours disgustedly". Who were these vocal missionaries, standing up for the morals and decency of the nation? Rev. Bollgersmythe of Cheadle? Mary Whitehouse on her knees? No, it was king porn himself, taking a little time out from R&R to do some PR. Apparently, after such moral outrage, with the name and address of the shop brandished across the letters columns, the sales at would go through the roof. There's a lesson here for someone, as my mother would say.
Mary Whitehouse. Do you miss her? Okay, daft question. Barry Duke, the editor of The Freethinker who, like the BBC awaiting the departure of the Queen Mum, seemed to have something already prepared did us proud. May I say Barry, best Freethinker cover I have seen. Barry, like others in humanist and secularist circles, with, shall we say, long memories, had personal experience of Mrs Whitehouse. I didn't. But I caught one clip, amid the news coverage of her death, where Mary explained that she was "doing the work of the Lord" (that is, persecuting and pursuing those whose ideas, lifestyles and views disagreed with the pernicious piety of Mary). She then broke into an all-embracing grin. It was enough to send shivers down the spines of small children.
Shivering almost lost me an argument recently. And I don't like losing arguments. The story goes something like this: my Polish friend and I like each other but disagree about most things. Pity, because I'm right. He dislikes what he sees as my silly socialist leanings. I disapprove of his creeping capitalist shenanigans. He thinks I act on lefty-liberal whims. I know he wallows in indulgent individualistic angst. We had a conversation at a bus stop. I had refused an extra jumper (would have ruined the line of the jacket). It was cold. The conversation went like this:
Me: "I believe in human progress."
The Polish Friend: "Mmmm. There's only progress in individuals. [I'm beginning to shiver]"
Me: "I believe the world could be a better place."
TPF: "Mmm. There's a Polish saying [there's always a Polish saying] one thing gets better, another one gets worse. [I'm really shivering now]"
Me: "Human beings [shiver] have [shiver] the p-p-p-potential to cha-change [shiver] the world. [There are tears in my eyes. My nose is running."
TPF looks at me for a moment and then, almost kindly: "You'd never survive a revolution."
This has yet to be proven.