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May 16, 2023 at 3:59 a.m.

The AI to be feared

Someone recently asked me how an artist like myself might be affected by artificial intelligence. I've been painting lately and, truth be told, I am not an exceptionally gifted painter. For me it's a battle to try to get down on canvas what I see in my mind's eye; what I want to convey to the viewer. If you look at my work, you can see the scars from that battle.

All art, from subway graffiti to the Sistine ceiling, is a triumph of the human spirit. The rising machines may be able to mimic the mind, but never the heart.

What I do fear is politicians dumbing things down to appeal to the lowest common denominators in their ranks. Men who try to hide their Oxford education by talking like Mr. Haney on Green Acres, or who would present a snowball as evidence that global warming is a hoax. Artificial ignorance is the AI to be feared.


Hot Springs

Why hate happens

Why is there hate? Maybe it's because whites feel threatened by Blacks. Or Blacks feel threatened by Hispanics, and Asians are threatened by whites, Blacks, and Hispanics.

Maybe it has something to do with Christians feeling uncomfortable about Jews, who feel uneasy around Islamic worshipers, who feel similarly about Hindus, who share that about Buddhists, who altogether shudder about those who are non-believers or agnostics.

Maybe it arises from men who are threatened somehow by women, or children who are threatened by parents, grandparents, and other parental figures.

Maybe it's because students feel cornered by teachers, role models possibly feel unduly challenged by mentees, or independent-thinking kids fear educators in general.

Then maybe it's because thinkers are threatened by the under-educated, the knowledgeable fear those who don't bother to study, or the "I feelers" outshout those who do their research, leaving voids.

But more importantly, hate may occur largely because people simply don't listen to each other. They scream what they think they know without trying to understand what it is they don't know.

If we'd only just acknowledge that we as a people are more alike than we are different, then we'd discover the jewels and talents we can all contribute for the betterment of our community, nation, and world.

But then, again, maybe that falls under the category of "too much common sense." Dad always told me, "It is smart to possess and use common sense--just don't flaunt it." Oops!


Little Rock

Endorsement useless

You have to wonder about our governor. A Republican, she endorsed candidates in the nonpartisan Conway school board election. Another wonder: Her endorsement came on the day of the election after 55 percent of the voters had already cast early ballots.

The outcome? Her candidates lost. For those of us on the winning side, we look to the upgraded board to turn things around and guide the schools back to their former first-class rating.



Democracy at stake

Einstein's word for the constant motion of heavenly bodies, seen and unseen, with no orderliness, was "entanglement." Worldwide scientific agreement has followed. My thoughts upon seeing pictures of the craziness of balls and lines and stars and stuff in constant movement in the heavens were that Earth with all of her people rushing dizzily might also be described as entanglement.

Maybe entanglement is a basic core of human existence. From the beginning, there seems to have been love and hate, peace and war, good and evil, happiness and sorrow, rich and poor, powerful and weak, black and white. In the USA, we now add red and blue. What mankind has done to rise above smoothing these either/or realities hasn't seemed to change over the centuries. But a sincere effort was made in July 1776 when Thomas Jefferson, on behalf of America, wrote that "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that [we] should declare the causes which impel [us] to the separation" (from England).

Hence, the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed... ." Full grievances and expectations follow.

Common sense was expected. A respect of all people was to be offered, but it was slow to come for women and now for Black people. While traits such as integrity, justice, truthfulness, and fairness were hoped to dominate in the new world, I'm sure our forefathers had enough savvy of human nature not to expect perfection. Laws were created to correct wrongdoings. I write this because I hope we the people should best perceive the entanglement we are experiencing now. The health of democracy is at stake.


North Little Rock

Law-abiding citizens

I believe it is absolutely the case that in every instance of gun violence on groups or individually, lives are saved the faster a good guy with a gun stops the bad guy with a gun.

Every time.

Some times it's far too long as in Uvalde, and others are within a few minutes, saving many.

It matters not whether the good guy is a police officer or a law-abiding citizen or a trained teacher or resource officer. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, folks.

Let's harden our targets while some continue to chase the never-to-be- realized dream of disarming honest, law-abiding Americans.


Horseshoe Bend

Print Headline: Letters


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