Friday, October 1, 2010

Bill Gates

3 Degrees
Bill Gates' official picture
from Microsoft Website
Bill Gates
by Matt Groening 
I thought this post was going to be cheery.  Bill Gates has been portrayed on adult cartoons like Family Guy, South Park, and The Simpsons.  I figured that finding a connection to him would mean lots of fun stories and characters.  I found characters, brilliant, interesting, and intriguing characters.  The second degree is just sad.  

Working backwards toward JP2.  Third Degree: Bill Gates was a computer wunderkind in the 60s.  He began Microsoft in 1975 and every reader of this blog is in possession of some kind of microsoft product.  We are all customers of Microsoft to one degree or another.  Mr. Gates has an inquiring mind.  When he read Pushpinder (Push) Singh's manifesto "Why A.I. Failed," he contacted Singh.  Gates said, "I think your observations about the AI field are correct. As you are writing papers about your progress I would appreciate being sent copies. I am still extremely interested in AI."  
Push Singh
To read the manifesto click here
To read Bill Gates' bio on the Microsoft Site click here.

Chris McKinstry
Artificial intelligence was the passion of Second degree: Push Singh.  Push joined the Media Lab at MIT upon graduation.  He worked tirelessly on creating programs and models for artificial intelligence.  

To read about Mr. Singh's memorial service at MIT click here.
To read about his work on AI and his tragic connection to AI scientist, Chris McKinstry click here

Dr. Singh was a Media Lab colleague of Walter Bender.  First degree, Walter Bender met John Paul II at a meeting about technology and spirituality in the late 1990s.   
To read more about Dr. Bender click here
To read what Dr. Bender had to say at that conference with JP2 click here.

Walter Bender and John Paul II
Push Singh was a strikingly handsome man.  At the time of his death he was at the top of his profession.  He had a girlfriend.  He was living what many perceive as a perfect life.  He was also plagued with debilitating back pain.  It appears that the back pain and resulting depression were the reason for his suicide.  

Chris McKinstry did not suffer from back pain, but his lifelong erratic and unusual behavior suggests a strong psychological or psychiatric pathology.  His life ended in suicide as well.  His suicide note and the chat that ensued online can be read in the Wired article here, and linked above.  

Does suicide damn a person?
Only Christ judges the final
disposition of a soul.
Are these two men in hell?

The theme to M*A*S*H said that "Suicide is Painless,"  but that doesn't appear to be true.  The memorials to Push show that the colleagues he left behind are pained by the loss of him.  The youthful dreams that inspired his work on artificial intelligence were not realized, no doubt a longer life would have gotten those dreams closer to reality.  
The Last Judgement, Michelangelo

The Catholic stance on suicide is unchanging and plain.  It is a grave injustice toward Him.  A direct attack on God.  We do not have the right to judge the value of another person's life and decide if it should be lived anymore.  We also do not have that right in our own lives.  For the Catholic Encyclopedia article click here.  

We all know that.  We also know that these two were probably not of sound mind when they perished.  Do you remember the horror film where the teen is in the house and the monster-killer is calling from inside the house and there is no escape?  This is the nightmare of a suicidal person.  In the end, the ONLY one who knows what the state of mind and true condition of a person is at the moment of death is Jesus Christ, Our Lord.  

Suicide must be condemned in the strongest terms.  It is always in the media: a bullying victim, a murder suspect in custody, a spurned lover, a religious fanatic.  We need to stand firm for life so as not to encourage this horrific act.  We must also love and care for the families and loved ones of the dead and pray for the souls of the departed.  

If you or someone you know would like to know more about the ancient church's position on suicide, click here to listen to Father Thomas Hopko, an Orthodox priest and teacher emeritus at St. Vladimir's Seminary.  It's well-worth the listen.  

John Paul, please pray for the souls of Push and Chris and all those who struggle with despair.


1 comment:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

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