Don McCann

Regina Saskatchewan, Canada

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Don McCann
Posted about 1 year ago
Are we making ourselves redundant?
Hi Edulover, It is not for the lack of trying that I don't have a real female voice to greet me when I come home. I think I may have become too picky to find anyone suitable. My late wife was extraordinary. I have only met one person who comes close, and she is married. I haven't given up hope, but find myself hoping for the best and planning for the worst. Besides, it is not out of the question that even the ideal woman would find a personal assistant to be useful.
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Don McCann
Posted about 1 year ago
Are we making ourselves redundant?
As a 60 year old widower who lives alone, I would welcome a disembodied voice to greet me when I get home from work. I'm not sure about a "frubber" robot, but I do have a Neato robot that keeps my floors cleaner than my very particular late wife ever did. As a software developer I am experimenting with writing personal software that will help me remember things when my mind starts to slip even more than it already has. When I say things like "we were walking past Notre Dame," my computer looks through my tagged photos and presents on my big-screen TV, the pictures I took of my lovely wife that day, annotated with the date and time. It also displays and records my favorite TV shows by voice command, and can answer simple questions like "Did my pay get deposited into my bank account yet?" My son likes the notion that the computer will be able to answer my grandson's questions about me, long after I am dead. There is no substitute for the real thing, and never will be, but a personal assistant with a friendly (female) voice is helping me with my final chapters.
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Don McCann
Posted about 1 year ago
Are you ready for the Google Glass generation?
Google Glass looks (to me) like a solution in search of a problem. I could imagine a mechanic looking at a repair video in real time, or a schematic, and I could imagine walking down the street and seeing "enhanced" signs, or street signs where none exist, but I don't see a compelling reason to get this product right now. 10 years ago I rode my bicycle from the Pacific to Atlantic ocean. On my helmet was a mirror about the size of a dentist mirror, that enabled me to look behind without having to twist; (I was 50 at the time and not very flexible.) It took a while to acclimate to the mirror, but long after the ride was over, I would look in the direction of the (non-existent) mirror if I heard a noise behind me, and then I would turn around after realizing I was not wearing my helmet. I realize this is really basic technology, but it illustrated to me how easy it would be to adopt or even become dependent upon experience-altering technology.
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Don McCann
Posted about 1 year ago
What were 5 things you wish you knew as a senior in high school?
Be brave but not foolish Know that you are better looking now than you think you are (especially to someone else) Travel to Europe...I recommend the Netherlands, or Denmark. Remember that 10% extra effort at study, paper writing, building, you name it, will make the result twice as good. You don't have all the time in the world, so use it wisely. 10,000 hours applied to any topic will make you an expert. Learn to juggle and or play an instrument...girls like that Meditate; if you don't know how, learn. Show compassion and generosity ALWAYS. Remember that under the skin, most of the people you see are insecure children, peering out at the world, afraid. Participate in something like Kiva. Never be bribed. Fall in love; you'll know it when it happens...way better than drugs. Stay fit...walk or ride a bicycle when you can. Never believe in the notion of the "transformational purchase" (If only I had that house, car, or iPad my life would be complete) Never contort yourself to "fit in." Be a continuous learner. Do good when you can. Avoid religions of all kinds except as an exercise in understanding the past. Take the time to look at the stars on dark clear nights, preferably while holding someone's hand. Try to do one extraordinary thing. Never let an old man like me tell you how to live your life.
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Don McCann
Posted almost 3 years ago
Using TED.com as an organic supercomputer think tank, instead of hooking up networks of personal computers.
Hi Robert, It seems that there is a movement afoot here in which lessons are learned on the internet, while in the classrrom, students do what was traditionally thought of as homework. The teacher seldom offers a lesson unless it is remedial, and is there to watch students do their assignments or help if they get stuck. This is particulalry well suited to mathematics, in which a huge reserve of lessons are available on YouTube. I think I would favor a global infrastructure for education, health, food, and shelter. I know people that are building houses 4 times as big as the ones in which they raised their children, while others sleep in cardboard boxes.
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Don McCann
Posted almost 3 years ago
The universe as a sentient being and ourselves, solar system and galaxy molecules in an immense system of synapse, axioms and dendrites.
Hi Robert, You may want to first read about the Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen thought experiment, which was only a thought experiment until 1982, when the electronics existed to actually verify that Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen were wrong. Quantum effects can be measured instantaneously over thousands of light-year distances. It is my second favorite experiment in all of physics. Cheers...Don
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Don McCann
Posted almost 3 years ago
What do you think happens to your soul when your body dies?
Tambra, While I respect you as a human being, not all opinions are created equal. There are those who chose creationism over evolution, natural versus man-made climate change, alien abduction versus bad dreams, and 2000 year old modified and manufactured scriptures, versus the anthropological evidence that these tales were made up and morphed through the ages. I was once close to where you are now in my belief systems, then rationality set in. It is not nearly as painful as you might suppose...Don
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Don McCann
Posted almost 3 years ago
What do you think happens to your soul when your body dies?
Tambura, Many people believe in Karma, many people believe in Voodoo, angels, winning the lottery, and flying saucers. Just because people believe, does not make them so. I do not need the threat of a hell to do the right thing. You have hit the argument right on the head " What a great and comforting concept! I would hate to think that when my body dies, that there isn't a part of me (my soul) which will go on to something greater and more glorious than what I experienced on this 'physical plane'." THAT is what I would PREFER to believe, and when I die, if that is the reality...BONUS! I just have accepted that it is probably not the case. I am not suggesting that I know exactly what will happen after my death, but my actions on earth are not predicated upon what may or may not happen after I die. Sorry darling, just wishing something is so, does not make it so, but the prospect has built many thousands of churches and temples all over the world, with treasure that could have been put to much better use. The tens, perhaps hundreds of millions that have died because their belief system did not closely align with the belief system of others, may argue that the good done in the name of these belief systems does not come close to the harm they have inflicted upon the people of the earth. I too am a newbie to TED, but I am not a newbie to this topic. I have had too many decades to reflect upon this very subject. If I am going to choose a fantasy after I die, it might be OZ...I am not very tall but I would be a giant there!