Ilegal protests in Spain and artificial intelligence

Last Friday 27th March 2015 saw the creeping shadow of a full blown police state take one step closer with the updated Ley de Seguridad. It came into effect almost unnoticed. Known as the ‘ley mordaza’ or ‘gag law’ it allows punitive fines for unauthorized gatherings outside of official buildings, any filming of the police as well as a few measures to deal with upstart immigrants. Maximum fines are around 30,000 Euros and a stay of up to 5 years in the Hotel Benidorm if you really manage to tick them off.

So, if you are unlucky enough to find yourself on the wrong end of a Policia truncheon, don’t come crying to me, because I am not allowed to film it. You probably did something wrong, anyway. As far as your right to free speech goes, it has never been a good idea to complain about anything here in Spain, especially if you are a bull!

I notice there have been some startling revelations according to the latest Happiness Index. The big surprise is… that people who are rich tend to be happier and more productive. The author’s compelling conclusion is that we should all work harder to become wealthy, productive and therefore happier. My conclusion is that people who have money are, in the main, happier because they are not having to scratch around to find out where their next meal is coming from…

We also have a date for when artificial intelligence is going to become smarter than ourselves. It is 2025, but my feeling is that in many cases machines are already a good deal smarter. What machine is going to repeatedly go to war in order to make other higher order machines wealthy and presumably happier? There was a time when our leaders could genuinely be thought of as brave and heroic and I believe that this is what we want to see from our heads of state, instead of images of them skulking in some nuclear bunker with the state flag behind them and a look of mock sincerity as they talk to camera.

Many have grown tired of cardboard leaders and it is this that may be at the core of the popularity of King Richard III. It goes some way to explain why it is that people have stood in line for so long in order to view a few misplaced bones. Whatever happened to the days when a King would lead his troops into battle from the front? It would seem that the media, as a whole, are now solely concerned with reporting the latest shenanigans of airhead movie stars, a new crappy gadget from Apple or news of what Jeremy Clarkson had for breakfast. All except a few that have genuine concerns about what really is going on…