News in the past few days has been dominated by “Will he?” or “Won’t he?” type of speculation whether Manhattan DA will bring charges in hush money probe. The subject of the investigation has been fulminating quite a bit about the unfairness of the investigation. We will see how the process unfolds legally, but I can’t think of a better headline than the “Bragg v Bragger” battle that is playing out! 🤣 What say?😉
In recent times before my weekend afternoon nap, I make an announcement to my wife “Honey, I am going on a darkness retreat!” 😉 Hey, darkness retreat is not just for the Jet Set and it’s an apt term for nap under layers of comforters in Wisconsin winter, eh? 😄 Besides, I head for a nap with retirement in mind and emerge from the experience with my mind fresh, clear, active and ready for action!🥰👍 I take news of Rodgers heading to Jets philosophically as the Packers-Rodgers relationship had run its course. Mutual trust and respect are fundamental to a sound relationship and in the past few years the relationship had frayed quite a bit🙏
LOL! This week another big name announced AI initiative! Amazon already offers AI services in AWS. If Apple decides to throw the hat in the ring and Netflix decides to join the fun by launching a show about the AI race this AI-fueled story will not lack FAANG! Expect a lot of bytes! 😊
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” is a well known saying attributed to Oscar Wilde (It’s also attributed to Charles caleb Colton). Recent happenings made me think about it. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has been the rage past couple of months. It’s a chatbot that interacts in a conversational way and many think that’s going to be the future of internet searches and many other applications. Microsoft has invested a significant amount of money in OpenAI’s chatbot. Google, which specializes in internet searches, has been working on its version of AI-powered chatbot Bard. In the wake of ChatGPT’s popularity and probably perceiving a threat to its online search dominance Google demonstrated Bard. The demo did not go smoothly as Bard’s response to a question was inaccurate. Microsoft decided to cash in on ChatGPT’s popularity and decided to release a beta version of Bing chatbot powered by ChatGPT’s AI with mixed results. Some who have tested have reported it makes up information and some have said the chatbot’s response has, to put it politely, not always been polite. Surely misery seeks company (or should I say “Companies seek misery”?)! 😄 Obviously long-term outlook for AI is promising but recent stumbles indicate it’s not quite ready for prime time wide usage yet. Since this piece is about imitation and technology I was struck by the announcement preceding layoffs by big tech companies in the recent past. Most announcements declared that the companies overestimated the demand in the wake of COVID pandemic, expanded too fast, hired in excess and the CEOs took personal responsibility for that. The language was strikingly similar it seemed as if all the companies had an aha/eureka moment at the same moment or each company decided to imitate the response of the other organizations’ that announced layoffs! 😊 In many fields (sports, business, technology, politics, entertainment etc to name a few) it appears the temptation to imitate, especially a bad example, is simply irresistible. Don’t know if it’s hubris or just a human tendency to take a bad example and prove it could be done even worse! Up there Oscar must be thinking “Imitation as sincerest form of flattery” has even exceeded his Wildest dreams! 🤣
English is a funny language. Sometimes a particular word can either be positive or negative depending on the context or usage. One such word is conviction. A person with conviction is someone with firmly held beliefs or opinions. On the other hand, a person with conviction in their record is someone who is found guilty by a jury of peers! Below is an attempt to use the word both ways in a single sentence. Lacking in conviction and honesty the fraudster went on a crime spree that eventually resulted in his conviction!
LOL … Looks like Aaron Rodgers and I share a passion for washing dishes! 😀 Don’t believe it? No worries, The Raj always has the receipts to prove it ( https://therajblog.com/2020/01/11/therapeutic-value-of-dishwashing/ ) 😂. Hey Aaron, there have been quite a few lows this season for Packers team and fans 😢. The season could still end on a high I think. Could swing by Mr Rodgers neighborhood, we could go on a Ayahuasca trip and experience a Packers High! 😉 What say? 🤣
Fair play and justice have always been of high significance for me whether it be sports, politics, business, education, law or in other walks of life. In times when folks with money and power push the envelope on what is considered legal/acceptable, get away with it and are admired for that and repeat offenders are treated like folk heroes 👎 expecting fair play and justice not realistic always I realize. Basic honesty and decency should not be too much to expect though. I like watching shows like “Dateline”, “20/20”, “48 Hours” to see how the investigative and judicial process works. The most heartening shows are those that feature investigators’ dogged pursuit of truth by collecting evidence and pursuing leads assiduously, lawyers arguing the case based on evidence bringing closure to affected families and reinforcing belief that the wheel of justice does move even if at times very slowly 👏. The most heartbreaking shows are those where closure for affected families means just holding on to memories of victims or to objects associated with the victim/s like a pendant, sweater or a glove due to lack of physical body. 😢
It’s fascinating to look at the process and the players involved in the pursuit of justice. In criminal justice system the guilt of the accused is to be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. The reason is to minimize the possibility of accused person getting punished if he/she is actually innocent. I have wondered how some of the people involved in the process approach their work. Let’s consider a few
1) Cops/Investigators: They should have an open during the course of investigation while collecting evidence and following all promising leads. Does their training and experience help them keep their biases and emotions aside and check out all leads, especially if they have a suspect with the motive and means to commit the crime? Does the desire to take quick action against perpetrator/s come in the way of doing a thorough investigation?
2) Prosecution team: In trying to build case against the accused would they prefer to ignore any and all evidence that may not fit their case? Would they simply go ahead with their case and have the defense team poke holes in their argument/case?
3) Defense team: Is the only objective for defense to create reasonable doubt about the accused’ involvement? Would the defense team ask the accused to reveal everything relevant to the case to defense even if some of the facts may be detrimental to the accused’ cause OR would defense team clearly mention to the accused not to reveal any facts that may harm them (The defense team could then possibly claim no knowledge if unpleasant facts are unearthed by prosecution?). If there are multiple eyewitnesses to a crime and there is no doubt about guilt of the accused does defense lawyer’s training force them to still fight for a less stiff sentence by arguing temporary insanity for the client even if it’s not really true?
4) Jury: For serious crimes verdict is required to be unanimous. The jurors are likely to be from different backgrounds with different temperaments. Would aggressive juror/s bully and try to force other jurors (with different point of view) to agree with them? (If that does happen that would be like social media groups where a few attention-seeking and overly aggressive folks push their own agenda while ignoring or isolating those who disagree even if it’s for valid reason/s 😡)
5) Judge: Potential jurors are vetted for their biases before they are selected for jury duty to ensure their bias would not cloud their judgment. Is there a similar process in place before a case is assigned to a judge? For example, assume a judge is an avid biker and the case involves a hit-and-run involving the death of a biker. Would the judge subconsciously sustain or overrule objections based on their own likes and sympathies?
There are also instances in criminal cases where the defendant may make “Alford plea” which amounts to a guilty plea by defendant in criminal court but does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence. Generally this happens when defendant thinks prosecution has made their case strongly and as a result jury is likely to return a guilty verdict. Alfrod plea appears like a compromise and a neither here nor there kind of deal (A civil case equivalent would be defendant settling the case without admission of guilt and have NDAs signed to prevent any further discussion of the case).
Is the meaning of justice different based on the role of a person in a trial? For a prosecution lawyer is “Guilty” verdict = justice? Likewise does “Not Guilty” verdict mean justice for defense lawyer? Should justice mean victim’s family and friends and the accused’ family and friends knowing the full truth?
The question that keeps haunting me is “What is justice?”🙏
In the past few years chess engines have gotten so much better that it’s now well-nigh impossible for even top-level human grand masters (GM) to beat the most advanced chess engines. Processing power, AI and quick risk calculation all combine to make it a much more difficult job to take on the machines and emerge victorious. Having played Grand Master rated computer opponent in Scrabble I can now understand, to some extent, the frustration and empathize with the feelings of experts who get crushed by computer overlords. Below is my experience playing GM rated computer opponent in Scrabble. 1) My win loss ratio hovers between 1:6 and 1:7. Meaning, on an average I win once for every 7 or 8 games I play against the computer grand master. I am glad I am just an enthusiast playing for fun and not an expert playing for a living 😀 2) It’s been a very humbling experience, at times even humiliating 😢 when the virtual opponent goes on double-digit game winning spree, for sure. It’s like taking on a very powerful and talented opponent with instant access to the best resources 🙁 The idea is to test oneself against the best and savor the occasional victory 👍 3) I am not sure if the alphabet tiles for a player get selected randomly as it should be. Too many times I have ended up with all 7 tiles being vowels or all 7 tiles being consonants making me wonder if the intent is to load the dice even more against the humans intentionally. 🤔 4) Even when the opportunity presents itself to use all 7 tiles (and get 50 bonus points for that) the value of the tiles themselves are minimal reducing the benefits of 2/3 letter/word multipliers. In the left picture of this post, in one of the games, I managed to hit two 3 x Word multipliers (effectively 9 x word value) with the word ‘ORIENTAL’. Apart from the fact I had to use one blank piece (which can be used as substitute for any alphabet that fits a word) which does not have any value the rest of the tiles also had minimal value. Even if couple of tiles had more than minimal value the final outcome (right picture) might have been different 🤔 5) The computer opponent (of Grand Master rating) plays quite a negative game 👎in the sense it’s always on the lookout for drying up opportunity for opponent to place on a value multiplier square. Maybe an extension of “Best defense wins championship” thinking on the board
Most times, when I am playing or the player/teams I support are playing, I believe that the player/team that plays better wins and the losing side just have to take it on the chin and get back stronger. There are times though when the virtual opponent sneaks in a high scoring word at the end and wins after trailing the entire game and leaving me shaking my head 🤦♀️in disbelief and mutter a word that rhymes with itch but starts with a ‘b’ 😡 No sexism there though, if the virtual opponent had been Joey instead of Zoey I probably would mutter a word that rhymes with dastard but starts with a ‘b’ 😂. Actually dastard wouldn’t be a bad choice either. 😅
Bottom line: Biggest lesson learned is “It ain’t over till the petite lady stings!” 😊🙏