Retaining Humanity in the Information Age

In recent times, situations with humans and machine computers increased. For evidence, there is a recent analysis by a doctor of philosophy student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), Carrie Cai, and supported by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors Rob Miller and Jim Glass, former CSAIL postdoc Philip Guo, and undergraduate Anji Ren. Adam Conner-Simons in CSAIL expressed the results of Cai’s leadership related to a language-learning app labeled with the name WaitChatter. Conner-Simons (2015) said, “In a pilot study, WaitChatter users learned an average of about four words a day over a period of two weeks. The system takes words from both a built-in list as well as the user’s ongoing chat conversations.” The presence of interconnectivity is apparent, but learning in and of itself as a purpose did not save even the wisest Ancient Grecians from travailing. For instance, the reader may look to the writings of Plato about Socrates and reckon the irritation that he felt at being the target of sophistry despite his effort of love for his people (Cahn, Markie, 2012 p. 16-32).

Within these times, Byron Spice shared information about the results of Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University researchers, Moira Burke and Robert Kraut, on personal interactions with computers. Spice (2016) said, “By considering mood and behavior over time, Burke and Kraut’s study revealed that Facebook interactions with friends predicted improvements in such measures of well-being as satisfaction with life, happiness, loneliness and depression.” The psychological importance of understanding what and who people love is consistently important for humanity. Othello’s moral failings because of not understanding Iago’s hatred towards him serves as a sign and a wonder of the opposite being true as well, forever (Shakespeare).

For people, what we do is not as important as why we do it. Marshall McLuhan spoke about media serving as extensions of the human body. McLuhan (1989) said, “Without the artist’s intervention man merely adapts to his technologies and become their servo-mechanism” (p. 98). Therefore, people engineering their environments might become re-engineered for the new environments; the man without creativity will be controlled by circumstances. The Book of Proverbs (KJV) states, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change” (24:21). People may integrate faith with reason or develop derivative works of human-to-human or human-to-world relationships in the form of human-computer interactions, and prayerfully the truths that apply to all people will be retained. For learning languages as part of daily labor, the labor should be retained as done by Cai’s team. When seeking the transcendent with love from people, dependence on emotion more than logic or credibility is a timeless warning sign about misplacing trust in the hearts of men given to change more than the wisdom of those who study and reflect on relevance beyond the self. Further, the human self without a consistent truth about him will be repurposed for someone else’s design. Therefore, when interacting with computers designed by humanity, the reader should take care that he retains what results in blessings for ourselves and other people; that the soul of man is enriched.

References

Cahn, S. M., & Markie, P. J. (2012). Ethics: History, theory, and contemporary issues (5th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 16-32

Conner-Simons, A. (2015, May 14). Learn a language while you text | MIT News. Retrieved from http://news.mit.edu/2015/learn-language-while-you-text-0514

Shakespeare, W., & Barnet, S. (1996). Othello.

Spice, B. (2016, September 6). Friends Help Friends on Facebook Feel Better | Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. Retrieved from https://www.scs.cmu.edu/news/friends-help-friends-facebook-feel-better

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The Current State of Nintendo and Potential Solutions

In 2016, Pavel Alpeyev and Takashi Amano of Bloomberg Technology reported that Nintendo profits have decreased significantly, and this paper will propose potential solutions. Alpeyev and Amano said, “The company has been forced to acknowledge an industrywide shift toward mobile gaming, while Nintendo’s traditional console business, anchored by legendary hits like Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong, struggles” (Alpeyev, Amano 2016). Economically speaking, this is saying that the demand for Nintendo video games is currently relatively elastic, so players who are interested in gaming have many substitutes for Nintendo games. Furthermore, Alpeyev and Amano said, “Net income was 29.1 billion yen ($241 million) in the three months to December after Wii U sales dropped 2.1 percent and those of the 3DS handheld player plunged 28 percent” (Alpeyev, Amano, 2016). This sends a message that the supply is relatively inelastic.

Besides that, it is thus that Nintendo is selling their games at a price above what industry substitutes offer. It makes sense to say that Nintendo could benefit from a change in supply that would be a shift in the supply curve thus developing a new market equilibrium. If done, the new equilibrium shall cost Nintendo the opportunity to sell their games at a higher price, but Nintendo would be able to their profits closer to marginal cost. Players would pay less for individual titles but buy a greater total amount of games from Nintendo. The incentives for doing this are Nintendo continuing to sell console games as well as mobile games. The Bible offers insights into the incentives of making a good deal. The Biblical Scriptures say, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (NIV Lu 6:38). In this writer’s view, Luke wrote that the incentive for good business is, in essence, market equilibrium.

Bibliography

Alpeyev, P., & Amano, T. (2016, February 2). Nintendo Tries to Convince Investors to Wait as Profit Dives. Retrieved May 07, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/nintendo-profit-falls-36-as-lack-of-hits-hurts-holiday-sales

 

Learning Languages – Native and Foreign

In 2013, about a year before I enrolled in a computer science program at a post-secondary school a couple years ago, I decided that I would begin learning more about languages. As a computer science major, I may give the impression that these languages are primarily for programming at a glance. Although I learned a few in academic and professional settings, and I continue my academic program, I am referring to spoken dialects such as English and Spanish. During 2013, I began studying Japanese. I learned the basics of hiragana and katakana. However, it was not until I began critically studying the Biblical Scriptures that I found a calling for language study through prayer and action. As a result, I think that I should learn languages for the purpose of collaborating with people from around the world. I understand that English is the language of international business and science, and understanding people in their native tongues may help when sharing ideas within diverse teams.

For a while, I was studying Japanese as mentioned, but I decided that I would learn from professionals or professional software applications. I started with MandarinX MX101: Chinese Language: Learn Basic Mandarin. A couple months into 2016, I completed that program. Here is the course certificate. When I completed that, I felt more equipped for a journey on the path towards understanding other people, more. My current involvement with Mandarin Chinese is Rosetta Stone. I am currently on the final segment of Level 1 with three levels remaining. Besides that, I am learning Spanish with Duolingo. I believe that I may work towards fluency in these languages, and with steady effort, my faith should be rewarded.

The Biblical Scriptures offer insights into the relevance of sharing languages with people. Moses, the traditionally accepted author of the Torah including Genesis, wrote, “The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” (NIV, Gen 11:6). The LORD spoke of the capacity of mankind when speaking the same language. A possible interpretation of this is accepting that humanity has potential for good or evil with the godliness bestowed to us as those who have the image of God. Having said that, in our new covenant because of Christ’s self-sacrifice, mankind has the right to life together as the church of YHWH. Therefore, I hold the view that learning multiple languages for Christ empowers mankind so that we may build relationships based on holy purposes, and receive the blessings of God. This is instead of the alternative purpose of building on a foundation of haughtiness as Nimrod did.

 

Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.