Archive for January, 2018

Shape Up and Beat the Flu

January 30, 2018

Flu vaccine is not the #1 prevention, despite media claims. At best, it may offer protection from the three most prevalent strains of flu. However, with the tremendous influx of world travelers, new strains of flu are presented to us daily.

Flu doesn’t mess around. Flu virus has a strong addiction to sugar. It absolutely thrives on ice cream, sodas, sweetened juices, candy, fries, and processed foods. Flu virus just can’t survive when people drink plenty of tap water or lemon water, eat plenty of whole foods, intact as nature made them, and log in eight hours of sleep each night. This routine is the #1 prevention.

It’s that simple. We do not have to have a nasty bout with the flu. It’s up to us.

 Flu vaccine may be 60 percent effective. Flu vaccine may tend to make people feel protected and therefore impervious to the three strains of flu included in the vaccine. People may ignore early signals of sore throat and the general feeling of “I’m coming down with something.”

Each of us must take responsibility not to pass the flu around. Flu virus thrives on sugar. The reason flu gets a stronghold is because as a civilization, we have increased our sugar consumption to outrageous amounts in the last 70 years alone. Sugar has gradually, stealthily, been added to just about everything we put in our mouths. Even when there was a sugar bowl on every kitchen table, we did not consume the huge quantity of sugar that has spawned so many conditions, in addition to leaving us in a weakened state to fight flu viruses.

Pharmacies have become the new sub-clinics. As a nation, we seem to be accepting chronic illness as a way of life instead of as a wake-up call to shape up and deal with our addiction to sugar. We lead the world with poor health as a result of our addiction. Over 1600 years ago, Hippocrates advised people to “Let your food be your medicine.” Imagine how different our lives could be if we followed that sage advice.

Massive changes begin with small steps; sugar was added in small steps; pharmacies expanded in small steps. Our bodies do need natural forms of glucose for energy. Small steps toward healthier forms of glucose might begin with including one piece of fresh fruit each day and one fresh vegetable eaten raw or cooked. Habits change by adding something new, not by taking away the old. The new makes change possible, is more inviting. With every small new step, a bit of the old sloughs off and change happens.

Here’s to shaping up with lots of small steps!

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Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of AI

January 30, 2018

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, is the most hopeful book I have read for our times. Author, Mark Tegmark, an MIT physicist, is an engaging writer. I say this, despite being a tech challenged reader, unable to conceptualize bits and bytes. I am optimistic about the possibility that robots could be designed to help us design and experience a healthy, safe, and harmonious world with all life forms.

For the last 50 years, we have been working on raising our consciousness about the rights of all humans and societies, wildlife, environment, and planetary needs. In order to design and build AI robots, we need to program them to do no harm, and to respect the rights of all living beings, including the Earth. But to program robots, we need to first clean up our own act.

In 1988, Isaac Asimov noted that “the saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Life 3.0 is about necessary research and steps we humans must take with robot development to ensure a bright, healthy future.  Tegmark takes us through research to date on the precautions necessary for safe passage into a bright future with robot support.

To improve prospects of the AI Revolution ending well, Tegmark recommends:that we each become mindful optimists and develop positive visions for the future, for ourselves and for humanity.

  • that we educate our young to make technology robust and beneficial and improve human society before AI takes off.
  • that we modernize our laws before technology makes them obsolete.
  • that we resolve international conflicts before they escalate an arms race in autonomous weapons.
  • that we create an economy that ensures prosperity for all before AI potentially amplifies inequalities.
  • that we agree on some basic ethical standards before we start teaching these standards to powerful machines.
  • that we create a more harmonious human society characterized by cooperation toward shared goals.

In sum, the list gives us direction, the book explores the how, and continues to be a work in progress. Tegmark has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial and invites us to join in the conversation.

The future could indeed be bright and it is up to each of us to join together and make that bright future happen.