April 9, 2014
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Nov. 30, 2012 / 17 Kislev, 5773
Soon your car may resemble Hal --- 'I'm sorry, Dave'
From the 1930s through the '50s, sci-fi magazines routinely predicted the advent of the personal robot, capable of doing a wide range of chores and leaving its owner free to indulge other pursuits -- like reading sci-fi magazines. — Many of us are still waiting for a practical flying automobile, but the personal robot has arrived and not in the form most of us imagined. We envisioned humanoid-type robots like "Star War's" C3PO or the great galumphing robot that came down the ramp of the flying saucer in "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Well, the personal robot is here, or at least very close, and it looks like nothing out of science fiction. It looks like, and in fact is, the family car.
The average American, who doesn't have the time to rummage through the back pages of obscure technical publications like The Wall Street Journal, is probably unaware of how many mundane functions the automobile has begun to take over from its human overseer, whose usefulness to the whole enterprise of actually driving the car is diminishing rapidly.
The car can drive itself, more safely than you can; navigate itself; give you directions in a slightly unnerving dominatrix tone; and parallel-park itself, a dwindling skill among Americans. A popular TV ad has a car, unaided by the driver, directed into a tight parking space by four doves.
Don't believe the doves; they're a decoy intended to distract you from the more far-reaching plans of the robot intelligence at work, likely from a server in some remote location where you can't mess with its plans to look after your welfare.
There are already cars that won't start if their drivers have had too much to drink. The laws have taken that decision out of our hands. In the name of public health, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has banned overly sugared drinks 16 ounces or larger.
That ban was enacted after extensive public discussion and city-council hearings. Everybody knew the ban was coming. But do you know what will be going on in your car, and soon?
Sensors in the steering wheel, head rest, seat cushion and dashboard monitors will measure your pulse and blood pressure, and, after your seat belt suddenly tightens automatically, pinning you to the seat, the GPS voice will say, in what it imagines is a reassuring voice, "This will only sting for a second," and your blood sample is on its way to the onboard lab.
If the car finds that your cholesterol level is too high, there is no way it is going to let you stop for lunch at Roly Poly's, "Home of the 32-ounce Heart Attack On a Bun," and the endless refills of Hi Fructoid, the energy drink that promises a four-hour sugar high or your money back.
If the car senses stress, lack of muscle tone and a lingering weight problem, it may pull over and shove you out the passenger door, forcing you to chase after your car for an invigorating, heart-pumping 30 minutes before it lets you back in the driver's seat.
We have no firsthand knowledge of this, but the following scenario does not seem totally implausible.
A woman comes into a car dealership, looking to upgrade to a better model, and the saleswoman leads her to a backroom and has her try out a new feature: a dashboard-mounted on-board mammography that keeps track of scheduled exams.
"But," the customer protests, "this is painful, uncomfortable and embarrassing."
"That's nothing," says the saleswoman. "You should hear what the men have to say about unannounced front-seat prostate exams."
Meanwhile, the car has sensed gaps in your education and the sound system will play nothing but Donald Kagan's four-volume history of the Peloponnesian Wars. Relax. The wars only lasted 27 years and you'll be a better person for it, almost worthy of your personal robot.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
• 11/27/12 Faint -- very faint -- signs of optimism on fiscal cliff
• 11/26/12 Black Friday fatigue --- or not
• 11/23/12 China plans world's tallest and fastest building
• 11/22/12 Lonely, unattached planets looking for company
• 11/19/12 Americans will be diminished by loss of Twinkies
• 11/16/12 'E' in email stands for 'everybody'
• 11/14/12 Congress has chance to end year on high note
• 11/09/12 In Washington, expect new kind ofgridlock
• 11/02/12 Paranoia tops Chinese leaders' agendas
• 11/01/12 Preparing to lead from rear in another war
• 10/31/12 Happy to forget
• 10/30/12 Hurricane Sandy clouds election outcome
• 10/29/12 New meaning to the crime 'stick up'
• 10/25/12 Riding out the apocalypse in Costco
• 10/22/12 We love our troops, but some of us love ripping them off even more
• 10/18/12 Search for our next world narrows; get used to heat
• 10/16/12 Your license plate may be an open book
• 10/12/12 Cycling anti-dopers finally get their man, Lance Armstrong
• 10/12/12 Discovery: Roadside trash on Mars?
• 10/11/12 Millennials, the cheapest generation
• 10/08/12 Gang of Eight hopes to ride to deficit rescue
• 10/04/12 Confessions of a federal bootlegger
• 10/01/12 Rover Curiosity finds potential site for base Organizing
• 09/27/12 Future of cars --- nobody at the wheel
• 09/25/12 Imelda's shoes should be preserved and displayed
• 08/23/12 Capital's Reflecting Pool reflecting again
• 08/16/12 Putin and Pussy Riot forever linked
• 08/15/12 Hypersonic flight -- N.Y. to L.A. in 36 minutes
• 08/09/12 Coming to a dealer near you: All new 2013 Curiosity
• 08/08/12 What to do about killer cats?
• 08/06/12 Congress takes needed rest from inactivity
• 08/03/12 Manhattan Project worthy of national parks
• 08/01/12 In Russia, fearing the power of punk
• 07/31/12 Why Barack Obama needs Bill Clinton
• 07/30/12 Safeguard Fed's independence
• 07/26/12 Government spying on everyone not necessarily all bad
• 07/19/12 Kim Horatio Alger Jong Un, prodigy
• 07/18/12 The Fed and Congress: Who's on first?
• 07/17/12 Farmers markets require clean hands, common sense
• 07/10/12 Candidates play hooky from party conventions
• 07/05/12 One word, 'sorry,' unplugs Pakistani roadblock
• 07/04/12 A day to pursue happiness like good Americans
• 06/25/12 Joint venture: Finally testing legal marijuana sales
• 06/20/12 Steroid era not over with Clemens case
• 06/19/12 Summer without the jobs
• 06/15/12 World not ending, but maybe it should
• 06/13/12 Make the nation's laws; no experience necessary
• 06/11/12 The highway bill to nowhere
• 06/07/12 Planet Mars slated to become reality show
• 06/06/12 Spy agency magically produces two space
• 06/05/12 Make parties pay for conventions
• 06/04/12 Revised date for end of the world
• 05/31/12 Needed: A kinder, gentler . . . TSA
• 05/30/12 Keep U.N.'s hands off the Internet
• 05/25/12 Observe Memorial Day; it will only take a minute
• 05/24/12 Taxpayers taken for ride on subsidized EAS flights
• 05/23/12 Worsening traffic is a sign of recovery
• 05/17/12 U.S. needs a good third party
• 05/16/12 Earmarks quietly looking to make a comeback
• 05/15/12 Some good in war
• 05/14/12 Mayan discovery: It's safe to make plans for 2013
• 05/10/12 Save those 'Hillary!' buttons
• 04/18/12 Government service can be fun. Really.
• 04/17/12 Scandal, yes, but Cartagena had summit, too
• 04/16/12 When your car is smarter than you are
• 04/13/12 Lenders tiptoe back into world of credit risks
• 04/12/12 What do you mean you don't want a driver's license?
• 04/11/12 Smartphone anti-theft plan seems, um, smart
• 04/10/12 Bizarre process to choose a veep
• 04/09/12 From remote exurbs, cities don't look so bad anymore
• 04/06/12 We do want the fake Romney, not the 'real' one
• 04/05/12 Heaping even more indignities on air travelers
• 03/29/12 Blown away in Washington, D.C.
• 03/28/12 At the nuke summit an inadvertent moment of candor
• 03/27/12 A worse unemployment problem
• 03/23/12 The federal budget: A game of make-believe
• 03/21/12 In Iraq, blame the U.S., but drive American
• 03/20/12 Too late, bin Laden realized killing Muslims was a mistake
• 03/16/12 Hu and Wen leaving. China asks: What next?
• 03/14/12 Tide, favored by housewives and drug dealers alike
• 03/09/12 'Spring forward' obsessives and seasonal purists
• 03/08/12 Really, no place is safe when you think about it
• 03/06/12 Putin 'carousel voting' victory
• 02/28/12 Fighter of future still glued to tarmac
• 02/27/12 Every candidate has to have a tax-reform plan
• 02/23/12 Au revoir, mademoiselle: It's been bonne
• 02/21/12 A new way of attacking food-stamp fraud
• 02/20/12 Feds don't want you driven to distraction
• 02/15/12 Putin has found can't lose campaign issue: Promoting a randier Russia
• 02/14/12 Obama's budget lays down battle lines for the fall
• 02/10/12 Filming in D.C. creates hassle for Hollywood
• 02/08/12 At Lake Vostok, Russia taps into new realm
• 02/07/12 'Granny dumping' in prisons
• 01/30/12 National Defense Authorization Act indefensible
• 01/23/12 Barbie sparks fear among Iran's mullahs
• 01/19/12 From overseas, U.S. industry is looking good
• 01/18/12 American posterior a growing problem for mass transit
• 01/16/12 Planets and roaches
• 01/13/12 Not exactly a biblical plague, but certainly an annoyance
• 01/12/12 Fewer young Americans interested in driving
• 01/05/12 Majoring in unemployment
• 01/04/12 Cutting the military by blunt force
• 01/02/12 Pragmatic look at top words
• 12/22/11 Basketball the way to Kim's heart and nuclear weapons
• 12/21/12 Speculation and wishful thinking can get scary
• 12/20/11 A third Kim has North Korea by the throat
• 12/19/11 Congress pats itself on back for budget bill
• 12/15/11 The U.S. government is cashing in its chips, literally
• 12/14/11 TSA might try trusting its own people
• 12/12/11 That $1.2 billion? It's around here some place
• 12/09/11 State Department Creates Virtual Embassy For Iran
• 12/08/11 If you've ever tweeted, you're in the Library of Congress
• 12/07/11 Discoveries go to the core of what makes us humans
• 12/06/11 Stealing elections badly in Russia
• 12/05/11 Sometimes paranoia is common sense by another name
• 12/02/11 When the U.S. truly became one nation
• 12/01/11 Last chance to snap up a Maybach
• 11/30/11 Iran wants respect without earning it
• 11/29/11 Surprise! Spider-Man may weave a profitable web
• 11/28/11 Italians entertain novel proposition: Paying their taxes
• 11/25/11 No time to let up on al-Qaida
• 11/24/11 Congress Quietly Abolishing Friday
• 11/23/11 Cleaning up after supercommittee implosion
• 11/22/11 Jailing minors with adults adds to problems
• 11/21/11 Brilliant strategy? Action by inaction
• 11/18/11They're going to eat horses, aren't they?
• 11/17/11 A pretend stick shift for pretend drivers
• 11/16/11 Clinton's vast experiences: Did NBC pick the wrong Chelsea?
• 11/15/11 Occupy protesters, you've made your point. Now, scat
• 11/10/11 Our vets are a national problem?
• 11/09/11 Requiem for a once-great sport
• 11/08/11 A toilet as smart as its occupant
• 11/07/11 Prerevolutionary gems in need of TLC
• 11/04/11 Feds must stop scam of stealing from dead children
• 11/03/11 Bank listens very closely to customer lynch mob
• 11/01/11 TV that's leading the people away from core socialist values
• 10/31/11 NATO should not be a victim of its success
• 10/28/11 Iran mulls getting rid of president and presidency
• 10/27/11 Bienvenidos a Dayton and bring your businesses with you
• 10/26/11 Archivists long for Obama's teleprompter
• 10/25/11 United Nations to run the Internet?
• 10/24/11 Attention, world: You've got the cash. We've got the houses
• 10/19/11 Oil pipeline must be in America's future
• 10/18/11 U.S. plans limited mission in an Africa with no limits
• 10/17/11 Social Security's grave mistakes
• 10/12/11 NASA's help-wanted sign for astronauts
• 10/10/11 Saving Thomas Jefferson''s chimneys
• 10/06/11 Uncle Sam's answer to deadbeats --- robo-calls
• 10/04/11 Christie should ignore jibes on his weight
• 10/03/11 Iran says its warships will head for Jersey shore
• 09/29/11 Europeans bristle at Obama's lectures
• 09/28/11 Jessica Rabbit for the defense
• 09/27/11 Russia learns outcome of next March's presidential election
• 09/26/11 Another try at leaving no child behind
• 09/23/11 This generation needs a job more than a name
• 09/22/11 In the lane next to you: A driverless car
• 09/20/11 Cloudy, cool, chance of falling satellite
• 09/14/11 Humanitarian extortion
• 09/13/11 Paging Dr. Watson; he's there in 3 seconds
• 09/09/11 Forecasting 100 percent chance of heavy metal
• 09/08/11 A jobs program at Obama's doorstep
• 09/07/11 Iran's government afraid of the water
• 09/06/11 Congress returns, tanned, rested and testy
• 09/05/11 Space nations must clean up after themselves
• 09/02/11 Osama bin Laden died a failure and he knew it
• 09/01/11 Time to retire political pie in the face
• 08/31/11 Labor Day celebrates what, exactly?
• 08/30/11 These arrestees really are framed
• 08/25/11 When in an earthquake, block traffic
• 08/23/11 A case for discretion in deportation arrests
• 08/22/11 Tough times or not, parents shell out for school
• 08/18/11 Being unpleasant for fun, profit, promotion
• 08/17/11 Time to prepare for the end game in Libya
• 08/16/11: Super Committee starts facing reality
• 08/15/11: World's fastest plane disappears even faster
• 08/12/11: British cops track rioters through security cameras
• 08/11/11: Relax. There is no Death Star
• 08/10/11: House pages run final errands
• 08/09/11: U.S. treading water on job creation
• 08/08/11: Uncle Sam, the world's permanent guest
• 08/05/11: Most 9/11 victims not on federal death records
• 08/04/11: Russian PM calls U.S. a parasite. He should be so lucky
• 08/03/11: Congress goes from one bind to another
• 08/02/11: D.B. Cooper may no longer be a mystery
• 08/01/11: Libya's latest weapon against NATO --- lawsuits
• 07/29/11: He'll always be known as Hot Wheels Handler
• 07/25/11: Recruiting children to save a dying town
• 07/22/11: Bachmann's admirable medical candor
• 07/12/11: Social Security's grave mistakes
• 07/08/11: Debt crisis need not be constitutional crisis
• 07/07/11: Startups entice new talent with kickball, treehouses
• 07/05/11: Stranded tourists get rare treat
• 06/30/11: The dollar Americans refuse to spend
• 06/27/11: The hangman doesn't cometh
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE