The Waiting Room

Have you noticed?

Waiting room clocks are LOUD!

So are the people who pass outside the door.

Moreover:

Why does the time go so slowly?

And why do the passing conversations seem so trivial?

Putting these things to one side for the moment

The big question is…

Will it actually be worthwhile

Spending this part of my life HERE?

 

Deaf NOT Daft

Dappled conversations

Confusing to the ear

Brightly tinkling chatter

Dull, no longer clear

 

Silent slippery sentences

Using lips to lend a clue

Shattered to staccato

Once they’re not in view

 

Sorry, I didn’t catch that

Say it once more, please

I’m deaf not daft, but sadly

Words are like Swiss cheese

Forming Opinions

If opinion is divided,

Consensus not in sight.

Head and heart may disagree,

But both cannot be right

 

Bring to bear one measure;

The final acid test.

Belief may be convincing,

But evidence is best.

 

The Other Point of View

This world is happening around you
Though logic says that for others this is true
Those others cannot share your senses
The same world but through different lenses

Others may walk on your stage for a time
With bit-parts; though few may be prime
They, like those you pass in your car
Unaware that you are the star

For those you affect with your actions
Fates changed by your common transactions
Never knowing the one point of view
That’s exclusively experienced by you.

The Threat from Artificial Intelligence

Many things have threatened our lives
War, disease, terrorists with knives
Humanity’s resilience on a world-wide scale
Brings overconfidence that we always prevail

Now, blindly, we seek our nemesis to grow
Racing to unleash a formidable foe
A holy grail with potential for good?
More, our undoing, not understood

For scientists strive around the globe
To create an electronic temporal lobe
The ‘AI’ juggernaut  is on its way
But let’s not wake to rue that day

Once created, how to hold it in check
To stop society becoming a wreck
Pandora’s box; lid open wide
Mankind swept away on tsunami tide

Computers manage our knowledge; they have a key role
In energy grids, finance, air traffic control
Vast infrastructures already in place
Black boxes communicating with their own race

Once these machines are able to think
Harnessing speeds faster than a lightning blink
With capacity to accelerate their own evolution
What regard then for our frail constitution

Not bound by ethics to consider our fate,
Would they preserve a welfare state?
Circuits and chips that become aware
May not accept that they need to care

For earth’s resources they will compete
Serving no purpose, we’d be obsolete
How soon before we are oppressed
If they turn off the lights, we’ll do the rest

An Encounter

I thought I saw something ahead
A shaft through murky skies
As opaque curtains moved apart
To show once hidden lies

I do not know if it was real
Or mirage-like in the eye
Yet it struck a part of me
That much I can’t deny

Some talk of visions sent by God
I do not speak of these
Nor yet some natural, lovely sight
Like leaves flickering on the trees

I wish it needn’t be the case
Just then to be all alone
And see that truth which, truthfully
Would turn my soul to stone