In a Dec. 9 San Francisco Chronicle article, Engineering Lecturer David
Calkins suggested that robots are not a thing of the future;
they are all around us. "Why do we call a Roomba a robot and not a
Calkins, arguing that we already rely on special-purpose devices such
as search engines, which use rudimentary artificial intelligence to
answer queries and rank replies. "It's a problem of definitions," Calkins
said. "People use the r-word to mean so many different things." Calkins
added that we need not worry about our electronic servants turning
against us. "If today's 'robots' don’t even know that they
are robots, how could they be imbued with a moral code?"
In a Dec. 15 opinion piece in The Capital Times, Assistant Professor
of Cinema Joseph McBride recalled his experiences
with director John Ford. McBride, who teaches a film class on Ford,
interviewed the esteemed director in 1970 for McBride's 2001 book, Searching
for John Ford: A Life. "It
was kind of comical," McBride said. "I was 23. I hadn't met
many people in the industry. … He was such an enigmatic, complicated
figure. Just having been able to observe him was important." McBride
the full-length commentary for Ford's 1940 film "Grapes
Working for the green
Professor of Urban Studies Raquel Pinderhughes discussed her
latest study on "green-collar jobs" in the Dec. 17 edition of National
Public Radio's Morning Edition. "Employers are looking
for workers. There are not enough places where workers are currently being
for these jobs in terms of the hard skills, and there is a tremendous
window of opportunity for people to be trained up and placed in manual
labor jobs in green businesses," she said. The broadcast noted
Pinderhughes' belief that vocational training can both help sustain
green businesses and break the cycle of urban poverty.
In a Dec.
5 Oakland Tribune article about a plan to make Oakland the center for "green-collar jobs," Pinderhughes said, "The
idea here is reaching out to those who are locked out of the traditional
labor market, or are locked into low-wage, no benefit jobs," noting
that green business employment "is poised for dramatic growth."
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