Hits and Misses at Flavour Concert in Liberia

first_imgFlavour at John Gbedze Beach performing in LiberiaHITSFlavour is now in Nigeria, but his just ended concert in Liberia is worth talking about. Splendid performances by the artist, poor planning by the organizer, and a wonderful opening act by comedian Joseph Dean elicited lots of talking points. However, if you never attended, you missed quite a bit of music, and a handful of speeches.Yes, you missed a lot because Flavour thrilled fans with some of the most electrifying performances ever seen in Liberia.Stage-wise, Flavour murdered all the Liberian artists that opened for him, apart from being the best dressed; he appeared dressed in all white.From the first to the last song he performed, which was a tribute to the fallen Liberian musician Quincy B, Flavour definitely kept the audience spellbound with songs like “Ada Ada” and “Ashawo Remix,” before increasing the momentum with “Chinny Baby.”Songs like “Adamma” and “Alcohol” were introduced late to the crowd, who did not relent but happily sang along while Flavour, who also burned down the stage with more of his hit singles.However, apart from Flavour, Young Z and Kobazzie delivered some awesome performances, clearly demonstrating why they are rated as two of the nation’s best up and coming young artists.Post performance talk was that Flavour murdered all the Liberian artists that performed that night, including heavyweights like DenG, Soul Fresh, PCK and L’Frankie, all of whom were not accompanied by a live band.Misses For every good show, the MC plays an incredible role. However, at the Flavour concert, it was the other way around as the MCs’ performances were disastrous. Giving the task to deliver their best, it was soon discovered that media personalities DJ Blue, As a Boy and Weego Zico were not born for this.From bad jokes to missed moments, DJ Blue, As a Boy and Weego Zico seemed to struggle; but, thanks to Master Queen, who managed to successfully host the event, the night was saved.Though the show had the traditional bright lights and blasting speakers (good sound and lighting system); however, the show started seven hours after its advertized time of 12 p.m.Secondly, the backstage, which was meant to keep the artists safe, was not properly protected thereby allowing anyone to walk in and see the artists, which was a violation of international standards when organizing shows.This was due to poor planning on the part of the organizer, Monrovia Liquor Store. As a matter of fact, the backstage was constructed during the day of the show…during the middle of show, the light was cut off for about three minutes.In addition, too many people were on stage whenever Liberian artists were performing, thereby leaving little space for them to thrill their fans. This did not happen to Flavour during his performance.Furthermore, the organizers creating an iron fence between the ordinary and VIP sections, including putting seats on the beach, made it difficult for the fans to respond to the artists during their performances.This situation created a boring environment which resulted in artists like DenG, Teddyride, Royal Busta Pain and the group Soul Fresh sounding like duds.In show business, especially on the beach, the performance stage is meant for the stars, DJ and dancers, if any; and if the crowd remains seated while the artists perform, the show becomes boring. No need for chairs or a fence dividing the ordinary crowd and the VIP.Overall, if it was not because of Flavour’s performance, fans could have leaf the show complaining. Why? Because the show was really boring! But Flavour brought it back to life.And judging by the size of the crowd, it looked like there couldn’t have been more than 200 people in attendance for such a top billing artist and lineup.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Romo becomes face of Cowboys

first_img Bills to start Losman Around the league Saints: A sports marketer has filed a lawsuit against running back Reggie Bush and his parents that seeks to recoup nearly $300,000 in cash and gifts they allegedly accepted during Bush’s sophomore and junior seasons at USC. The suit filed Tuesday in Superior Court claims Bush and his family received $291,600 in cash, living arrangements and other benefits from Lloyd Lake between November 2004 and January 2006. The suit comes nearly two years after allegations first surfaced and has prompted the NCAA and Pac-10 to launch their own investigation. Lake and partner Michael Michaels have said they provided money to Bush’s family as well as a home for which his family had failed to pay more than $50,000 in rent. Lake’s attorneys said they plan to meet with NCAA investigators Friday. Redskins: Washington placed cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee) on injured reserve. Eagles: The oldest son of Philadelphia coach Andy Reid, Garrett, 24, was taken into custody again after failing a drug test, prosecutors said. Reid has acknowledged he had used heroin when he ran a red light and hit another car in January. He and his younger brother Britt are to be sentenced Thursday in separate cases. The 22-year-old Britt Reid, is already in jail in an unrelated case after violating his bail conditions. He was charged in August with driving under the influence and drug violations. Police said they pulled over Britt Reid for suspicion of drunken driving and found painkillers, amphetamines and antidepressants when they searched him and his vehicle. At the time, he was awaiting sentencing for a road-rage incident that happened the same day as his older brother’s crash. Packers: With its roster exemption from the NFL for Koren Robinson expiring, Green Bay added the reinstated wide receiver, making room for him on the 53-man roster by placing DeShawn Wynn, its leading rusher, on season-ending injured reserve. Coach Mike McCarthy said Wynn has “a significant shoulder injury.” Raiders: Oakland waived struggling wide receiver Mike Williams, becoming the second team in six months to cut ties with the former USC standout who was the 10th pick of the 2005 draft. Hall of Fame: Cornerback Darrell Green and receivers Cris Carter and Herman Moore were among 124 modern-era players, coaches, and contributors on the preliminary list of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Romo is signed through 2013, which means he’ll be the face of the franchise when it moves into a $1 billion, 100,000-seat stadium in 2009. “The best feeling by far is to know the organization, the Jones family and our coaches and everyone say, `Hey, you’re our guy,”‘ Romo said. “That means everything, more than the money ever could. I’m just excited to be here for a long time.” Romo replaced Drew Bledsoe at halftime of a Monday night game against the New York Giants last October. His first start came the following game, on Oct. 29, 2006; a year to the day later, he agreed to a contract that gives him the third-highest annual salary for an NFL quarterback, behind only Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer. Bills quarterback J.P. Losman will start Sunday against Cincinnati. The team announced that Trent Edwards needs additional time to recover from a sprained right wrist. Bills coach Dick Jauron said in a statement that it’s unclear whether Edwards will practice at all this week. Edwards hurt his throwing hand in the third quarter of Buffalo’s 13-3 win at the New York Jets last weekend. Losman took over with the game tied at 3 and produced two scoring drives, sealing the win with an 85-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans. The game against Cincinnati will be Losman’s first start since he sprained his left knee during the first series of a 38-7 loss to New England in Week 3. From news services Add Tony Romo to the list of Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterbacks, right after Don Meredith, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Having already inched his way toward such elite company by winning 12 of his first 17 starts, often in spectacular fashion, Romo’s spot in the team’s hierarchy was secured Tuesday with the signing of a six-year, $67 million contract of which $30 million is guaranteed. “He’s the man for the 2000s,” team owner Jerry Jones said. “I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t think he gives us a chance to win Super Bowls.” last_img

Worst week of year for stock market

first_imgBonds prices drifted, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipping to 4.98 percent from 5 percent late Thursday. Short-term yields continued lingering above long-term rates, signaling greater expectations of slowing economic growth. Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar dipped against the Japanese yen and was flat versus European currencies, while gold prices stood near $610 an ounce. Crude futures gained amid political unrest in Iraq after the death of the country’s main terrorist leader, with a barrel of light crude up $1.28 to settle at $71.63 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While the Fed has been fixated on accelerating inflation, recent signs of economic weakness has investors fretting that the central bank might lift rates too high and derail the economy, said Jack Caffrey, equities strategist for JPMorgan Private Bank. Next week’s reports on wholesale and consumer prices will provide the latest clues on the economy’s health and could spark more investor debate on the battle between economic growth and inflation. “People will be thinking about what the Fed will be debating at their June 28-29 meeting,” Caffrey said. “Investors are scared not necessarily about what the Fed will say, but of the possibility that the Fed may overtighten rates.” The Commerce Department on Friday said the nation’s trade gap widened by $1.5 billion to $63.4 billion – below estimates of $65 billion – amid higher oil prices and a flood of furniture, computers and toys from China. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said prices for imported goods grew 1.6 percent in May, or just 0.6 percent without petroleum. Export prices excluding agriculture rose 0.6 percent, the department added.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I think we still have to push the risky asset values lower relative to safe assets because there’s been so much speculation that needs to be unwound,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Harris Private Bank, who added that the afternoon retreat was an ominous sign of more losses in the coming sessions. The Dow slid 46.90, or 0.43 percent, to 10,891.92, after having been up 37 points earlier in the session. Broader stock indicators also declined. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.63, or 0.45 percent, to 1,252.30, while the Nasdaq composite index lost 10.26, or 0.48 percent, to 2,135.06. Despite the major indexes’ retreat, advancing issues were just ahead of decliners on the New York Stock Exchange. NYSE’s preliminary consolidated volume of 2.31 billion shares trailed the 3.65 billion shares that changed hands Thursday. The major indexes finished a nervous week with steep losses, saddled by concerns that rising interest rates would slow demand and hinder the global economy. For the week, the Dow dropped 3.16 percent, the S&P 500 sank 2.79 percent and the Nasdaq plunged 3.8 percent. NEW YORK – Wall Street finished its worst week of the year with a moderate decline Friday as persistent unease over inflation and interest rates kept investors nervous about buying. Stocks had appeared to steady themselves in morning trading Friday after several days of heavy losses. But a jump in import prices and increased demand for foreign-made products renewed the market’s inflation jitters and sent stocks sliding by midday. Since the Federal Reserve said in early May that more rate hikes could be needed to counter inflation, investors have been increasingly unwilling to place bets and bid stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average shed more than 355 points this week and is off 6.5 percent from a six-year high of 11,642.98, reached May 10. Analysts say Wall Street’s pullback has been exacerbated by traders repositioning their holdings to account for the risk of rising interest rates and slowing economic growth. But while stocks have slumped, investors were still unsure where to put their money. last_img read more

KILMACRENNAN DEFEAT GLENCAR TO LIFT DOWNTOWN CUP

first_imgKilmacrennan Celtic Res.    3             Glencar Celtic    1Kevin Mc Menamin ( 2 )                      Chris MalseedDarren Mc Ginley REPORT FROM KILMACRENNAN CELTICThe Downtown Cup final was played on Saturday past down at the Flagpole, Rathmullen. The two giants of the Saturday league went head to head, Kilmac and Glencar.On the two previous league encounters this season both games ended in draws and the likely hood was that this final would be no different as indeed was the case.Paul Doherty was the referee with Marty Quinn and Barry Hunter his assistants . A large crowd was in attendence at the flagpole. The venue had to be switched from Ballyare to Rathmullen as the Donegal League deemed Ballyare unplayable due to the fact that of all the rainfall during the week. The game kicked off at 4pm, like was anticipated the game got off to a blistering pace with both teams looking to get an early goal and settle any nerves that they may have had.The opening 15 minutes belonged to the Lurgysiders as they completely dominated this period and it was no surprise when they took the lead on the 15 min mark when Marty Sweeney won the ball in midfield and played the ball to Kevin Wappa Mc Menamin on the center circle and the wee man poked the ball between two Glencar defenders then completely outpaced his opponents as he bared down on goal where he Cooley placed the ball wide of the advancing Glencar goalkeeper Pajo Rafferty to give Kilmac a well deserved lead.Glencar came more into the game as you would expect, they had alot of possession whilst never able to get in behind the Kilmac rearguard which were marvelous to day.Manager Raymond Shields opted for experience rather than youth for this particular contest and it payed off as Glencar struggled to get any joy over the Kilmac defence, evergreen Shaun Bugie Sandilands was excellent in the sweeper role and big Gary Gorman won everything in the air, John Doherty was surperb at right back he did not put a foot wrong all day.Gavin Gorman at left back was his usual composed and brilliantly effective no nonsence approach, he played really well. Shaun Budgie Sandilands in the sweeper role, well he simply defies age, he has the experience  and he reads the game really well he was the engine of our defence . Big Gary Gorman at centre half, Gary will play in any position you ask him, well he is at home in the center half role and he was one of the reasons why Glencar never got in behind. Marty Sweeney and James Gorman bossed midfield espically in the second half, they were winning 50-50 ball’s and one of they reasons why Kilmac came up the road with the cup, all the manager said to the two boys in the half time talk was simply give another 15% lads and we will win this cup and that is exactly what they did fair play.Shaun O Donnell and Paul Mc Eldowney were magnificent on the flanks both lads worked their socks off and both deserve great credit again they played a major part in our victory. They have Pajo we have Wappa, that was all the talk around Letterkenny in the build up to this final, it may be only a Saturday League Cup final but i can tell you that was all that was talked about in footballing circles all week, iv heard things like Glencar have more quality, Kilmacrennan have more experience, Glencar have Pajo, Kilmacrennan have Wappa, Glencar beat Kilmacrennan in last year’s cup semi-final so Glencar are favourites to be honest people have funny ideas and any one can win in a final.Wappa literally ran himself into the ground, getting two of our goals, simply the wee man is a genius on the ball he reminds me of a youthful George Best perfectly balanced a real sharp shooter and definitly the reason why we are champions and it is no coincidence that the wee man is receiving the Willie Duffy Div 1  Donegal League  Player Of The Year later on this month, he deserves it. Darren Mc Ginley, Wapa’s strike partner is one of those players you couldn’t leave out of a team. Darren is one of those players that comes up with vital goals in big games and today was no different when Darren got that all important vital third goal that killed the game off as a contest. Like i said earlier Glencar were enjoying alot of possession but never looked like getting in behind the Kilmac rearguard . Towards the end of the first half Kilmac were giving away to many stupid freekicks deep in their own half and if you keep giving freekicks Glencar have quality in their ranks and eventually they will hurt you, 37th minute we got hurt when Gary Gorman was adjudged to have raised his foot to high in an effort to clear the ball up field as his foot grazed Eugene O Sullivan on the head referee Paul Doherty gave Glencar a freekick right on the edge of the penalty area.Chris Malseed hit a rasper of a shot that totally deceived Mark Gallagher in goal, just prior to that goal Mark brought of a fabulous instinctive save from the head of Declan Scanlon following a corner kick. The halftime whistle blew and the Kilmac lads headed into the dressin rooms and in my opinion Glencar made a fatal mistake in not doing the same as im told they were very quite during that break. We had the time and peace to reflect on our mistakes and try to correct them and take the positives out of it and go on from there. Our halftime team talk worked as we definitely enjoyed most of the possession in the second half and fully deserved to win. Wappa delivered the all important goal with 13 min left on the clock after a brilliant run from Shaun O Donnell up the right hand side where Shaun cut inside beating three players before slipping Wapa through on goal this time Wapa simply shimmeyed the keeper leaving him on his bum and rolled the ball into an empty net 2 – 1  dream land. Just before Wapa scored two minutes earlier Mark Gallagher was adjudged to have brought down Eugene O Sullivan as he made strides inside the Kilmac penalty area Paul Doherty had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.None of the Glencar players seemed to want to take the penalty a little bit of confusion their normal penalty taker Pajo Rafferty didn’t seem to want to take the penalty, eventually Anthony Doherty summoned up the courage to take the spot kick, he never looked comfortable , when the referee blew his whistle Doherty only took two steps and struck his spot kick which wasn’t hit with any conviction and Mark Gallagher became the hero when he dived to his left and the ball nestled in his arms you just knew our name was on the cup.The game was put to bed on the 85th min when Darren Mc Ginley rifled the ball to the roof of the net from close range when Gavin Gorman won the ball o the left hand side before threading the ball through to Wapa who waltzed past two defenders and the keeper before shooting on goal only to see Noel Malseed clear off the line but his clearence fell to Darren who simply couldn’t miss smashing the ball hard and high to the roof of the net.Kevin Mc Ginley came on late to replace the cramp injured Wapa. In those final minutes big Kevin almost scored when James Gorman released the big man through on goal and Kevin brought a fantastic save out of Pajo in goal where the rebound fell to the feet of Darren Mc Ginley and the wee man composed himself and tried to place the ball high into the corner of the net but his effort was just slightly high of the mark hitting the crossbar and over.The final whistle blew the cup was ours and the celebrations started and continued into the wee early hours of the niight or should i say the morning. It would be unfair to choose a man of the match as each and every single player played a vital part in winning this elusive cup .Well done to all associated with Kilmacrennan Celtic. Next season is a brand new challenge who knows ” the double ” perhaps?KILMACRENNAN DEFEAT GLENCAR TO LIFT DOWNTOWN CUP was last modified: May 13th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:KILMACRENNAN DEFEAT GLENCAR TO LIFT DOWNTOWN CUPlast_img read more

Drug-dealer who hid drugs in kitchen vent is jailed for nine months

first_imgA Carrigart drug-dealer who hid a stash of cocaine and cannabis in a vent in his kitchen has been jailed for nine months.Robert Deehan appeared at Letterkenny District Court after Gardai raided his home at Church Road on November 2nd last. After searching the house they found cocaine and cannabis worth €500 as well as €2,400 in cash in a vent.Deehan’s solicitor. Mr Michael Shiel, said his client had a drugs problem but was not a big-time dealer.He was trying to pay off a drug debt and was supplying drugs to some of his friends to come up with the cash.Judge Paul Kelly noted that Deehan, a father-of-two, had undergone a previous Probation Report in September 2017 for drugs offences and he was said to be at moderate risk of reoffending.He was also ordered to undergo counselling but this would not have appeared to have taken place.Solicitor Shiel said his client had tried to get counselling but wasn’t called for it but would try again.Judge Kelly said he would have some sympathy for Deehan but the discovery of such a large amount of cash suggested a larger scale operation than was being suggested.He jailed Deehan for 12 months but reduced it to nine months because of the early plea in the case.Drug-dealer who hid drugs in kitchen vent is jailed for nine months was last modified: April 1st, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CarrigartcourtdrugsGardailast_img read more

Focus on Detroit: Will Lions spoil Raiders’ long-awaited homecoming?

first_imgThe last thing the Raiders want to see in their first game in Oakland in nearly three months is for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to make himself at home come Sunday.The problem is Stafford has been nearly unstoppable during a renaissance of sort for the 11th-year pro, whose name is even creeping into the outskirts of MVP conversations. His big day helped the Lions beat the Giants 31-26 Sunday as Stafford threw for more than 340 yards and three touchdowns for the third time this season. …last_img

American Express Invests in Mobile Payments Startup Payfone

first_imgsarah perez Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces American Express has announced today that it invested in the mobile payment startup Payfone, along with others, to close out a $19 million strategic funding round. The two companies have also formed an alliance to create a new global mobile checkout service where Payfone will combine its mobile authorization and payment services with American Express’s recently announced digital payments platform Serve.With Serve, users can send and receive money from their accounts, which are funded by a bank account, a debit or credit card, or by money from another Serve account. Serve will be accepted online, on mobile phones or with merchants who accept American Express cards.With this new partnership, Payfone will use AmEx’s Serve software platform, allowing consumers to purchase both digital and physical goods using their mobile phone number. The move is expected to help strengthen AmEx’s position outside the U.S., where typically Visa and MasterCard dominate. The other investors in this $19 million round led by AmEx include Verizon Investments and Rogers Ventures, both venture capital arms of their respective mobile carriers. Payfone’s existing shareholders include Opus Capital, BlackBerry Partners (RIM) and RRE Ventures.Why Payfone is UniqueWhat makes Payfone unique, is that, unlike traditional payment networks, it leverages the security built into the mobile operator network itself when processing mobile payments. This access allows it to authorize credit and debit cards and mobile operator billed payments (i.e., carrier billing), while also fighting fraud, reducing risk, chargebacks and identity theft.To do this, Payfone ties the phone’s SIM card, device ID and location to each customer’s account. That means it knows when a different phone is used, or when a phone is used in a different location. It also ties into the global SS7 signaling network for connected payment authorization and processing.In short, says Payfone’s CEO Rodger Desai, the company’s goal is to make the mobile phone number “the new accepted way to pay.”AmEx’s Foray into Mobile Payments: Online, Mobile and NFC?AmEx’s choice to partner with a startup of this kind is a change for the company, which has traditionally used its own proprietary payment network. It hopes, of course, that this will allow it to expand to other markets, by way of its Serve digital wallet service. As Desai says, there are “over 5 billion people worldwide currently have mobile phones, however less than 2 billion have credit cards.” With Serve’s rollout, AmEx is attempting to reach that untapped market.Although not mentioned in the press releases put out today by Payfone and American Express, one aspect of Payfone’s plans involve the use of NFC technology. According to the company’s website, it says that, in two years, it plans to be “a payment option for all goods and services, even when you pay by waving your phone in front of a reader at the checkout line.”Waving your phone at checkout is precisely how you perform an NFC-based transaction. NFC, or near field communication, is a wireless technology that enables data exchange between short distances – for example, between a mobile phone and a terminal at point-of-sale.Many other businesses are diving into experiments with NFC lately, including American mobile operators Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile who, alongside Discover card, are launching an NFC-based mobile payments service called Isis, as well as Google, which is reportedly launching a mobile payments service with Citibank and MasterCard. Several banks have also been testing NFC-enabled mobile wallets, including Bank of America, Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.To learn more about NFC, you can follow our ongoing series on ReadWriteMobile here. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#mobile#news#NYT#web last_img read more

If AI Means The End Of Us, Maybe That’s Okay

first_imgFor a while now I have been wanting to write an essay or even a book with the title, “The Last of Our Kind,” looking ahead to a time when machines become more intelligent than humans and/or humans incorporate so much digital technology that they become post-biological creatures, indistinguishable from machines. Those digitally-augmented descendants will be so different from us as to seem like an entirely different species. What happens to us? Simple “biologicals” might be able to co-exist for a time with our more intelligent descendants, but not for long. Eventually, creatures that we today consider “humans” – creatures like us – will go extinct.At the heart of this line of thinking is the notion that what matters most is intelligence, not biology. What are we humans? At the end of the day we are nothing more than biological containers for intelligence. And frankly, as containers go, biological ones are not ideal. We’re frail, and superstitious. We don’t live very long. We need to eat and sleep. We learn slowly. Each new generation spends years re-learning all the stuff that previous generations have already learned. Some of us get sick, and others then devote enormous resources to caring for the sick ones. It’s all incredibly slow and crude. Progress takes forever.So maybe we are just a stopping point. Maybe the whole point of biological creatures is to evolve into something that generates just enough intelligence to evolve into something else. Maybe our purpose is to create our own replacements. And maybe, thanks to computers and artificial intelligence, we are not far from reaching this huge evolutionary inflection point.What Is To Be Done?Others are thinking along these lines, and even trying to do something about it, as evidenced this terrific essay from the New York Times by Huw Price, a philosopher at University of Cambridge. It’s a long piece but I’ve grabbed some highlights:“I do think that there are strong reasons to think that we humans are nearing one of the most significant moments in our entire history: the point at which intelligence escapes the constraints of biology. And I see no compelling grounds for confidence that if that does happen, we will survive the transition in reasonable shape. Without such grounds, I think we have cause for concern.“We face the prospect that designed nonbiological technologies, operating under entirely different constraints in many respects, may soon do the kinds of things that our brain does, but very much faster, and very much better, in whatever dimensions of improvement may turn out to be available.”Price and many others believe we are nearing the point at which artificial general intelligence is achieved. But this raises profound existential questions for us:“Indeed, it’s not really clear who “we” would be, in those circumstances. Would we be humans surviving (or not) in an environment in which superior machine intelligences had taken the reins, to speak? Would we be human intelligences somehow extended by nonbiological means? Would we be in some sense entirely posthuman (though thinking of ourselves perhaps as descendants of humans)?”The argument that some people put forward is that machines will never be able to do everything a human can do. They’ll never be able to write poetry, or have dreams, or feel sorrow or joy or love. But as Price points out, who cares?“Don’t think about what intelligence is, think about what it does. Putting it rather crudely, the distinctive thing about our peak in the present biological landscape is that we tend to be much better at controlling our environment than any other species. In these terms, the question is then whether machines might at some point do an even better job (perhaps a vastly better job).”Of course machines will do a vastly better job at many things than we humans can do. Machines are already doing that in countless domains. Chess is one example. Stock market trading is another. Imagine what would happen to the world’s markets, and thus to the world’s economy, if tomorrow all the computers were shut off and we went back to doing it by hand. Imagine humans trying to compete side by side in this domain against machine. It’s unfathomable.Trying To Stop The UnstoppablePrice and others are trying to come up with ways to keep this from happening, or to make sure that “good” outcomes are more likely than “bad” outcomes. Toward that end Price has co-founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (C.S.E.R.) at Cambridge.I think assigning values like “good” and “bad” to the various possible outcomes of an evolutionary process makes no sense. Evolution happens and we don’t have control over it. Whatever rules some well-wishers might put into place to prevent certain outcomes, others will find ways to work around them. It’s what Yale computer scientist David Gelernter calls “the Orwell Law of the Future,” and it goes like this: Any new technology that can be tried will be.We are on a path, and there is no stopping it. This is neither good nor bad, it just is. Was it bad when single-celled organisms evolved into more complex organisms and then got eaten by them? I suppose the single-celled organisms weren’t psyched about it. But without that process, we humans wouldn’t be here. And if now it is our turn to be erased by evolution, so what? From the perspective of the universe, who cares if humans cease to exist?The great irony in all this is that we can’t stop pushing forward with dangerous technologies (AI, bioengineering) because evolution has hard-wired our brains in such a way that we cannot resist pushing forward, even if the consequence of this ever-upward march of evolution is that we end up rendering ourselves extinct. We humans like to believe that we among all living creatures are special and unique. And we are, if only because we are the first species that will knowingly create something superior to ourselves. We will engineer our own replacements. Which when you think about it is both brilliant and phenomenally stupid at the same time. In other words, perfectly human.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 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ICC World Twenty20: India-Pakistan match will draw huge crowd anywhere, says Ravi Shastri

first_imgIndia cricket team director Ravi Shastri on Wednesday said the India-Pakistan World Twenty20 encounter will draw huge crowd wherever it will be staged.The game which was scheduled to be played in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh on March 19, was on Wednesday shifted to the historic Eden Gardens here for security reasons. Before the final decision was out on the venue of the marquee clash, Shatri said: “Where we play we don’t know. But Indo-Pak tie will draw huge crowd wherever it will be played. And when you are playing at home, majority of the crowd will be behind India.”  (World T20: ICC announces Kolkata as venue for India-Pakistan match) Speaking about the threat from Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir who bowled brilliantly against India in the recently concluded Asia Cup, Shastri said: “You are speaking about a game that happened last week and we play them again one month later. We all know he bowled beautifully but then everyday can’t be his day. You have to think of what is ahead.” (Also read: World T20 – Confusion over Pakistan’s departure for India)Asked if Indian speedster Mohammad Shami will play in the practice games, Shastri said he will have to.”Shami is in the 15 (member squad), he will have to play,” he said.The 53-year-old also said he is facing a ‘problem of plenty’ with the squad but believes that is what adds to the bench strength of the side. (Rampant India take on West Indies in warm-up game) “Rahane is a good problem to have. The good thing about our bench strength is they can get into any side of the world. He will be around,” he said.advertisementShastri said the team was banking on the mix of youth and experience to regain the trophy which they won back in 2007.”Every side that needs to be a good side has to have the balance of youth and experience. Look at teams that have won the World Cup. There’s always been a mix of youth and experience. What youth does is it brings energy. They keep the seniors on their toes and they will want to emulate the juniors,” Shastri said.Youngster Hardik Pandya has impressed even the harshest critics in the last few weeks with his allround skills, and Shastri believes he is a value addition to the squad.”Very important (being picked for the T20 format), because he has all three departments. He is a very good fielder, he is sharp when he bowls and he is a tremendous striker. You need such players in such a format,” he added.last_img read more