Real World or Fantasy World?

I am going to step away for a bit from my usual gears and grease discussions and expound on some philosophical thoughts that have been running around in my head. I promise I will get back to gears and grease in the coming months. Unless you have been in a coma over the past couple of years, you have to realize that there is something unique going on in society. The current bizarre election cycle is the obvious focal point, but I think that is just the tip of the iceberg (yes, we also have global warming).

In previous articles, I have stated that the root cause of environmental problems (including global warming) is not being recognized or addressed by mainstream media. What we hear about are the results, not the root cause. We know we can see the trunk of a tree and the leaves, but we cannot see the roots that make them grow. So it is with “environmental warming.” It is caused by da,da,da,da (pick one or pick all of them – your choice). If you think about the roots and not just what you can see, you come up with one inescapable fact that drives the whole “shebang” (a technical term) and that is the “hockey stick” figure below.

Human Population Growth graph

If looking at that graph does not scare you, it should. It shows the real cause of environmental problems. Too many people using too many resources, which deplete the earth’s resources and contaminate the planet. What is most frightening is the asymptotic nature of the curve. What I learned studying engineering is that nothing we can measure goes to infinity or zero; it just gets close. At some point in time, the curve will reach a maximum, and what happens then will be even more dramatic. Level off? Bend over? Collapse? The only statement I can make with certainty is that our environmental problems will continue, and most probably grow, as long as the hockey stick grows its handle. Now are you scared?

The AI Challenge

Another rapidly evolving situation in our society is the creation of “Artificial Intelligence,” a label that makes about as much sense as saying, “artificial fire.” In its present form, it is just a giant pile of jigsaw parts that can be assembled to create any picture that you tell it to create. It can generate an intelligent nugget … or a dangerous pile of crap.

I look forward to its use in the field of medicine. Few absolutes and only bits and pieces of knowledge that can be pieced together from the “science” of medicine, which the physician uses in his practice of the “art of medicine.” Well-developed and carefully controlled AI can become an extremely valuable tool to hone that art and potentially significantly improve performance by expanding the science and art of medicine into a useful tool for diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is mainly a fact-based art, while treatment is applied science and craftsmanship. Well done AI can benefit both.

Beneficial AI can make our lives safer and enjoyable. Malicious AI can kill us all. You may not be able to tell the good from the bad, and we may not be able to control it. The fantasy world may become the real world.

I think we have a glimpse of how that can happen by stepping back and critically observing the current political situation. You have one party that works using traditional arguments and propaganda, and another party that has created a meta universe and convinces followers that it is real. “The term metaverse has been used as a buzzword by companies[1][14] to exaggerate the development progress of various related technologies and projects for public relations purposes.”

It is strenuous and expensive to obtain an education that informs you what mankind has learned about our life on earth. One that challenges you to investigate statements made by others and research the facts that may be wrapped up in hard-to-understand, complex problems. It is much easier to be fed easy-to-understand and emotionally charged misinformation that appeals to our emotions and prejudices. AI is the perfect tool for doing this. Recently one candidate has proposed that it is a good idea to “temporarily suspend the constitution.” Why not as it does impede our ability to change the way we are governed, and some changes are in order.


I have a new friend whose name is Albert. Albert is here on a visa from India. Some of you have met him when he was my passenger on some Early Ford V8 Club events. Steve Estep even put him in the Wyoming Model A paddy wagon when we toured the Shriners Home. I had to help him “escape” in my hot rod Pontiac. Albert is a graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana where he obtained a Masters of Nursing degree. He now is head nurse for a nursing home.

Albert is working towards becoming a U.S. citizen. I invited him to ride with me in the Early Ford Club Tour that Tom Webb had arranged to Fort Logan Cemetery in observance of Armistice Day. It occurred to me that Albert had no idea why that cemetery exists, so we sat down in front of my computer and brought up an easy-to-read copy of the Constitution of the United States to help Albert understand how the United States of America is governed.

I had not read it in a long while. At one point in my life, I took an oath to defend it. No other country on earth has this document. In simple and declarative language, it lays out all the important rules about how “We The People” will govern ourselves. You, as a citizen of the United States, will be privileged to live under these rules. You may be asked to defend them, but you are definitely required to obey them and live under them. When we toured Fort Logan Cemetery, you see the sacrifice that was made by others, which is a powerful visual for understanding the privileges many of which no other people on earth have.

After the tour, Albert wandered around the cemetery reading the grave stones. He came back with a new understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.

Suspend the Constitution?! Not on my life. Do not fall victim to AI and misinformation. I would not dare to walk through Fort Logan Cemetery if that were to happen.

Sorry if I have put a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking. I will try and have more of an optimistic message in the future. If you want to put a valuable gift for your children in their stocking, you might consider printing out a copy of our Constitution, rolling it into a tube, and wrapping a red, white, and blue ribbon around it. It is the most valuable gift they will ever receive, and it has been fully paid for by those whose marble stones blanket Fort Logan Cemetery.

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