Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visits Pope Francis and gives him a drone

The world moves further toward the mark of the Beast. This blogger isn't on Facebook and never will be, God willing (I've heard that it's very difficult to get off Facebook once you're on it). As reported by Sarah Perez of Tech Crunch, August 29, 2016 (links in original):

On Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan met with Pope Francis, as part of Zuckerberg’s trip of Italy, announced following the devastating earthquake that hit the country last week, killing hundreds. After discussing the importance of connecting people in the world without internet access, Zuckerberg presented the Pope with a drone – but, alas, not a working one. Instead, it was a model of Facebook’s solar-powered Aquila aircraft, designed to beam internet access to those areas of the world that are lacking connectivity.

The Aquila drone, which has a wingspan of over 113 feet – bigger than a Boeing 737 – just completed its first official test flight this summer. The drone will fly for 90 days at a time, and can blanket a 60-mile wide area with internet access.

According to a post on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, the CEO told the Pope how much he admired his message of mercy and tenderness, as well as how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world. (The current Pope uses social media, having followed in Benedict’s footsteps by joining Twitter, and he signed up for an Instagram account just this March.)

In a statement released by the Vatican’s press office, the Pope and Zuckerberg discussed how technology can aid in continuing to spread the Pope’s message.

“Together they spoke about how to use communications technology to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and to communicate a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged,” said Vatican press office director Greg Burke in a statement.

As part of the trip, Zuckerberg also met with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to discuss the earthquake, the economy, and technology’s impact on job creation, among other things. The CEO hosted a Townhall Q&A in Rome, which was live-streamed on Facebook, as well.

“I told the Prime Minister I’m especially excited with the work being done across Europe on artificial intelligence,” wrote Zuckerberg on Facebook.

“As part of the Facebook AI Research Partnership Program, we’re providing 26 state-of-the-art GPU servers to research institutions across Europe — including one to the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia here in Italy. They’ve got a great artificial intelligence and computer vision program, and this new technology will hopefully help students and the faculty do even more,” he said.

Fifteen research groups across 9 countries in Europe will receive these computers, which are similar to those at FAIR (Facebook AI Research) with 8 high-end GPU cards each. The computers are meant to help recipients in research areas like computer vision, learning systems, deep neural networks, and more.

Beyond getting face time with the Pope, it’s also interesting to see Zuckerberg taking on the role that’s usually reserved for politicians – that is, touring a country after a natural disaster. While that wasn’t the primary purpose of the visit, it’s clear that Facebook has a larger role to play in the world economy these days, and is working to get key players to buy into its plans to bring the internet to the unconnected masses.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg went to China, where he held a rare meeting with China’s propaganda chief, Liu Yunshan, to discuss internet development in China, and how Facebook could be included. The site has been blocked in the country, which hosts 720+ million internet users, since 2009.
As reported by Fortune, August 29, 2016:

During his trip to Italy, Mark Zuckerberg made sure to pencil the Pope into his schedule.

On Monday, the Facebook (fb) CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, met with Pope Francis to discuss “how to use communications technology to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and to communicate a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged,” according to a statement from the Vatican press office obtained by CNN.

Zuckerberg has made it his mission to bring the Internet to those around the world who don’t have access. Last year, he announced a plan to provide refugee camps with Internet access, which is a small part of a larger global connectivity plan he’s working on with rock star Bono. In an op-ed for the New York Times, Zuckerberg and the U2 frontman detailed their plan to get everyone online by 2020, a step they believe is “necessary for development.”

On his Facebook page, Zuckerberg posted a picture of him giving Pope Francis an Aquila—Facebook’s solar-powered drone designed to help the Internet expand to and improve in developing countries. The aircraft successfully completed its first test flight just two months ago.

Italy was hit by an earthquake last week that killed nearly 300 people and injured hundreds of others. Soon afterward, Zuckerberg announced that he would be taking a trip to the country. It’s uncertain whether he’ll visit the cities affected by the natural disaster, though he did host a live question and answer session in Rome on Monday.

During the Q&A, Zuckerberg answered questions about people increasingly looking to social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter (twtr) , to get their news. While he said there are “advantages to obtaining information from different parts of the world,” he shot down rumors that Facebook was becoming a news outlet.

“We are a tech company, not a media company,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.
Click on the link to see To Unite the Earth, Connect It by Bono and Mark Zuckerberg in The New York Times, September 26, 2015. It's worth noting that Bono, who wants to unite the world technologically, is also involved in the Coexist movement, which seeks to unite the world's religions. See my post A false Jesus on Youtube (December 16, 2009).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

60 years ago: Good riddance to Alfred Kinsey

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. I Corinthians 6:18

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; II Peter 2:11

On August 25, 1956, U.S. sexologist Dr. Kinsey died of a reported heart ailment and pneumonia at the age of 62. Dr. Kinsey, a biologist by training, founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University in 1947. He published the reports Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), which created the impression that the American people were far more liberal in their sexual behaviour than they actually were, or were willing to admit. Dr. Kinsey was reported to be bisexual, and he devised a scale of sexuality in which bisexuality rather than heterosexuality was the norm, and this passed for "science." It wasn't until many years after the publication of his reports that it was revealed that a disproportionate number of Dr. Kinsey's subjects in his research on male sexuality were convicted sex offenders, and a disproportionate number of his female subjects were prostitutes--not exactly representative of the majority of the American people. For further reading, I recommend the books of Dr. Judith Reisman, who has spent many years exposing the frauds and crimes of Dr. Kinsey.

Dr. Kinsey has been credited with creating the modern sexual revolution, and gets this blogger's vote as the most influential person in Western culture in the last half of the 20th century. One of the aspects of the sexual revolution that Dr. Kinsey was indirectly responsible for was the modern pornography industry, which is generally acknowledged to descend from Playboy magazine, founded in 1954 by Hugh Hefner. Mr. Hefner, like Dr. Kinsey, received a straitlaced Methodist upbringing, but went to university in Illinois and read Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, which led him to conclude that everyone except Hugh Hefner was having fun. Mr. Hefner thus set about to rectify this lack in his life, and created Playboy and its subsequent business empire. Whether the modern plague of pornography would have come about eventually anyway is a matter for debate, but it seems certain that no Kinsey=no Hefner.

Alfred Kinsey was a pervert and a fraudulent scholar, and his vast influence in Western society has been overwhelmingly evil. And, as Woody Allen would say, I say that with all due respect.