Fostering Family Connections
Saturday, 4 March2023
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now roaring at us with the newest upgrades from Microsoft and their Windows OS. You may have experienced the seemingly big distance between your iPhone and your PC with some workaround to get pictures from your iPhone. Mine is to locate the photo on the iPhone, and then send it to my PC using eMail. A little clumsy but it works OK for an occasional photo or two. But it would be much easier if my PC simply opened the photo files on my iPhone and iCloud. Although that is currently doable now with Windows 10, it, along with other clever additions, will be easily automated with Windows 11.
Unfortunately the upgrade to Windows 11 with way too many current Windows 10 computers is blocked by hardware deficiencies. Which apparently for most of us means shelling out to buy a new computer and that is too steep a price for my Swedish soul. A quick check on Amazon for a Windows 11 PC equivalent to my current desktop would cost around a $1,000 or more. Since I prefer Open Source software, much of which will not likely run in the Windows 11 environment, I would be hanging on the horns of a dilemma. If I choose to upgrade, I will also face more expense finding and buying (or renting indefinitely) equivalent software, some of which I only use occasionally. All of this could easily add another $1,000 or more to may cost of upgrade.
But, there is a powerful incentive with Windows 11, and that is to gain access to the future; tools of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML). I have often said that if I was 20 years younger, I would take off my socks, roll up my pants and wade into the waters of AI/ML developing requisite skills with one of the compatible programming languages such as Python. With Windows 11 and recent upgrades, there is much of AI/ML that is reachable without writing a single line of code. What ever you may want to do—write an essay, calculate future value of an asset, reduce or expand a recipe for a Swedish version of Norwegian krumkake—first try talking to your PC with a request (in any language) that the PC do it for you. Some of that is currently free but don't expect that to pertain indefinitely; a pay plan will be ready for you sometime soon. Microsoft has not been known for its charity, the Gates Foundation notwithstanding. (If you want something from the Gates Foundation, make a detailed proposal and don't even think about asking for anything less that a couple million dollars.)
But Microsoft is not the only game in AI/ML. Google (YouTube), Meta (Facebook), Apple and Amazon are actually wagging the tail of the AI/ML dog. Not that we should be misled into thinking that a dog with a wagging tail is always friendly. These dogs are clever and know where your thoughts and money are kept. Beware offers that seem too good to be true. Hey SERI, what should I do?
The Bowl (Amy's Wooden Bowl) is safely on the way to Ames. Laura Gardner will pass it along to daughter Grace for safekeeping for another generation and hopefully more. I have recently revised the Editors Note on the Post provided by Linnae on the provenance of the bowl.
I just did my taxes for 2022—full disclosure, Patti assembled everything for our CPA—and again found that none of my computer expenses are deductible as they were when my consulting business was active. Zoom and lindgrensonline does not qualify as charity either. Fortunately all costs are manageable.
My latest listen (Audible Book) as mentioned last week is The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD. He is a wonderful storyteller and highlights so many things about cell biology that I taught for many years, yet he bring almost poetic writing to his descriptions and stories of the people who made the important discoveries of the past decades.
Brave New Workshop, an improv theater in Minneapolis has a current show entitled “Smelling Elon's Musk.” The subtitle: The Future is Now, but Does It Include Us?will not likely engender a love story with the oligarchs taking control of our economy, technologies and democracy.
Holding your breath for Republicans to criticise either Fox News or its darling Marjorie Taylor Green is going to deprive you and our democracy of much needed oxygen. It is impossible to imagine the angst of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell when Green calls for all Red States, presumably the contiguous states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee to form a new nation. Whew!
We keep going with hope that others will join us. It is time to begin trying something new. Accordingly this will be the last of the routine, two-hour Wednesday evening sessions. Here is a (tentative) schedule for the month of March: Wednesday, 8th 7:00-9:00 PM; Tuesday, 14th 7:30-8:30 PM; Sunday, 19th, Thursday, 23rd 7:30-8:30; and Wednesday, 29th, 7:30-8:30. Let me know how you feel about this change.
My hope is that by adding some flexibility to the Zooming schedule, it will easier for some family members to join. We know other obligations on Wednesday evening have made participation difficult. I have always said, and this is still true, you can always jump on and jump off at any time.
I will continue to send Roots & Shoots each week with connection information and a bold reminder of the the times and dates. I continue to hope to raise topics of interest to stimulate fun and interesting conversations about our family history, connections and the world writ large. Without being intrusive or snoopy, it is great to hear about travel and toil among our connected and extended family.
We will continue to highlight Questions of Interest, along with some special topics that may bubble up in the course of our conversations. Special presentations are encouraged on virtually any topic you find of interest. Feel free to be formal or casual at what ever is your comfort level.
You are warmly invited to join this upcoming Zoom Conversation:
Bruce Lindgren is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Family Zoom Conversation
Time: Mar 8, 2023 07:00-9:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting by Clicking the Link Below:
The Meeting ID is: 653 136 3825 (This is usually not needed, except when joining for the first time and when you dont have the Zoom application installed on your personal computer or device (iPhone, etc.)
Let's Keep in Touch!
(218) 348-3325 or email@example.com