Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:12 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Moshe Safdie is 84 and has published a new memoir. The Guardian’s article about it, and him, is mostly about Habitat 67.

    • Orr 15:03 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      CBC’s the Current had an interview with him. It was quite interesting.
      “Ideas like giving up personal car ownership would improve our cities.”
      Very simple to google it.

  • Kate 14:56 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A visit to a strange parallel underground city as seen by tourists, from Urbania.

    • Blork 17:32 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Sarcasm overload!

    • Ian 19:15 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

      It does have a postmodern je-ne-sais-quoi if you can get over how dated and decrepit it is rapidly becoming. I mean c’mon, it’s a friggin’ mall. Not exactly the Library of Alexandria.

  • Kate 08:59 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a weird piece on a humanoid robot designed to sit with old people and make them feel like they have companionship. Since they’ve created a humanoid face, you’d think they’d at least carry the idea through by putting a shirt on the torso of the mechanism.

    • EmilyG 11:22 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      I find that so disturbing. It’s sad, for so many reasons.

    • steph 11:45 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Assisting people to connect online would be a greater contribution.

    • Blork 11:48 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      That seems like something designed to freak them out, not comfort them.

      (Maybe the visible mechanics is to ensure some of the old folks – who might not all be operating at 100% – don’t forget it’s a robot.)

    • steph 11:53 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      After watching a few videos online, it gives me hope that someone(something) will actually take care of me when I’m old. We’re not there yet, but an intelligent companion will relieve the stress on the healthcare network. It’s good to move away from having and expecting children to care for you in your old age .

    • JaneyB 12:54 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      It’s sad. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect some care from your children in your old age. That’s the way humanity has always functioned. I absolutely expect more support from my family than I would from strangers and I expect to provide it too. Our society should be organized to make that easy. Robots are simply an insane workaround. There are 8 billion people in this world; there is no labour shortage.

    • Kate 13:18 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Not everyone has children, JaneyB.

      I was wondering whether anyone reviews what the old people say to the robot. It’s possible they might tell the robot things about their state of health that a human being ought to be made aware of.

      I wonder what would happen if someone confessed to murder – to the robot.

      What if they dictated to the robot how they wanted their wealth and possessions to be distributed after their death, and this was the only will they left?

    • Chris 14:04 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      >What if they dictated to the robot how they wanted their wealth and possessions to be distributed after their death, and this was the only will they left?

      I’d expect that’d be the same if they dictated it to a tape recorder. (How the law treats *that* I don’t know.)

    • Blork 14:11 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Ditto on the “not everyone has children.” Also, this robot is not “taking care” of the old people; they’re merely providing company and amusement. The care comes from the human workers at the home.

    • Blork 14:22 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Bear in mind this is just a part of a study on loneliness, and presumably on how robots can help in that department. Highly unlikely anything is being recorded at this point.

      But down the road, if this is adopted as a viable thing, then the robots will most likely record the interactions, because that will be one way to monitor the needs of the old people. Especially if they have some level of dementia or other cognitive issues. And if a geezer confesses to murder I assume it would be treated like any other case of overheard confession. Cops would be informed, an investigation would take place to see if there is a record of any such murder. No charges would be laid until such a connection is made of course, because the confession could just be rambling, or false memory, or the old guy just taking the piss with a robot.

      As to the distribution of wealth and possessions, probably a similar treatment. In the absence of any other such document, it would be evaluated as to authenticity and the state of mind of the individual, balanced against any countering complaints by people who suddenly find themselves out of the picture. In other words, just like in non-robot life, it comes down to lawyers, lawyers, lawyers,

    • Michael 17:33 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      Bladerunner 2049.

      It’s coming.

    • mare 19:10 on 2022-10-23 Permalink

      My ex gave her heavily demented grandmother a doll. The best present ever, it improved her life so much. They were inseparable, had long conversations about everything and everybody, and the doll itself was a topic when she had other visitors, reminiscing about events she and the doll had experienced. The doll was sometimes her son, her father, her mother and her husband. (Her care staff had to secretly take the doll from here when she took a nap so they could wash it, because she regularly shared her food with it.)

      I don’t know if a robot that (who?) actively encourages you by body language or talking back is a huge improvement over a doll, but maybe it is. In any case, if I ever end up severely demented like that (I hope I’ll die before that stage though) I would certainly like such a doll, or a robot.

    • james 17:18 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

      On netflix there is an interesting Russian sci-fi drama (2 seasons worth) called “Better than us” about advanced robots in a believable near-future.
      Worth watching in my opinion.

  • Kate 08:56 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    We’ve seen a few pieces this year on the rise of rats in Montreal, but the people always cited in these items are exterminators, who presumably have an interest in promoting the claim.

    • Ian 19:08 on 2022-10-24 Permalink

      Longer autumns and hotter summers also mean more rats. And squirrels. And skunks. This year opossums were sighted (with photos seen on FNOMTL) in Petite-Patrie ! This is another aspect of climate change. When I was a kid in the 70s there were no coyotes in Ontario or Quebec, either.

  • Kate 08:48 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A five-alarm fire in St‑Henri Saturday night has displaced residents from 25 units in the building. Video on Reddit. We’ve also got a smog warning Sunday morning, saying “A major fire is causing very high concentrations of fine particulate matter, which results in poor air quality in the downtown area.”

    There was also a fire of suspicious origin in a business on de la Commune overnight.

    • Kate 08:44 on 2022-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

      A step has been taken in protecting east‑end Boisé Steinberg from development, Hydro‑Quebec preparing to sell its portion of the land to the city.

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