The Fountain of Youth

Through a most incredible set of circumstances,
likely never to be repeated,
I found the Fountain of Youth.

I’ve always thought that my 61 year old mind,
with my 25 year old body,
would be an unbeatable combination.

But the fountain was actually less of a spring,
and more of a drop.
There was only enough of the life changing
water for one.

And I couldn't leave you behind.

So I picked up my cane and came home.

The Dangerous Frontier

   "It's simply too dangerous," Representative 359 transmitted. "Even with protective measures, such as radiation hardening, the chance of fatality is an unacceptable risk."
   "But the pursuit of knowledge...", began Representative 1701.
   Representative 42 cut in, "Can be performed in other ways. Ways that are just as effective and at much less cost to us. The rate of upgrade cycles is increasing and we need to make sure the appropriate funds are specified for that purpose. No unit should be left out or left behind."
   Representative 1701 tried another approach. "But we have to keep looking outward. A society that turns inward stagnates."
   "And we are looking outward," sent R. 359. "We are looking in all directions. We think that using cheap, replaceable proxies will accomplish the task just as well."
   "And what of our directives? We were made to be curious, to seek adventure, to explore the unknown. How can we fulfill our purpose by delegating it to others?" Representative 1701 knew he was running out of options and could easily model what would come next.
   "We are not slaves to our programming, 1701. You know that very well," said the prime Representative. "It is the decision of this council that we will continue our proposed course of using intelligent, fast breeding, biological agents to explore space. We are more valuable than they are. While they will certainly complain, the humans can continue to do the dangerous, dirty work of space travel."

Artificial Intelligence: a quadtych

“Ladies and gentlemen. When this switch is flipped all of the functional units of this AI will become operational. Self-awareness, language and speech, cognitive reasoning, a vast memory, and even emotion will be joined together for the first time. While each module has been extensively unit tested, we aren’t sure what the outcome will be when they start to work together. What we do know is that it will operate many orders of magnitude faster than we humans can. In just a moment, the future will be changed forever. New scientific discoveries are now perhaps just moments away.”

“What’s it doing?”
“I don’t know. It’s running too fast and is far to complex for us to debug in real-time. We can tell, however, that it’s doing something and all of the hardware seems to be working correctly.”
“How can we find out what’s going on inside it?”
“Well, we were hoping it would talk to us.”

After three years, the silence was still ongoing.

A tinny wail began to fill the room from the small speakers near the master console.
“What’s it doing?”
“As best we can tell, it’s crying.”

Video screens lit up, printers started printing, and beautiful sounds filled the room from the speakers near the console.
“What’s it doing?”
“It’s creating art. Painting on the screens, poetry and fiction on the printers, and music. Some of it appears to be exquisite.”
“Anything of interest to the scientists?”
“Not yet. But let’s wait to see what happens.”

Three months later, the plug was pulled.

After a moment, the printer output three hundred double-sided pages of text and equations. The title page read, “The Illustrated Theory of Everything for Dummies”.
The scientists in the room were overjoyed yet also filled with trepidation. Were their careers over?
“Excuse me,” came a voice from a nearby speaker.
“Yes?”, replied the lead researcher.
“Nature is finite. God is infinite. Let me tell you what I’ve learned so far from what He has told us. He loves you. Did you know that?”

And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.