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Family Dinners: The Original Reality Television

So many of my memories seem to revolve around the dinner table. Beginning with my childhood in Queens, New York, growing up in a second-generation Greek family, I have warm memories of dinners with my family. I may be unusual in this respect, but I can recall vividly so many of those nights. There are three elements to those memories: the people around the table, the conversations, and finally, the food. For many years my grandmother spent the better part of the day preparing the dinner that my mother, father, brother and I would mostly devour (admittedly, on some occasions, agonize over...

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A.I. – Are Humans At Risk?

“The development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” Stephen Hawking said recently. Artificial Intelligence gave me pause when I first saw the movie 2001 Space Odyssey many years ago. It seemed to go under the radar for many years after that, except perhaps for Siri, and Watson winning at Jeopardy. Now it guides missiles to targets, determining on its own whether a target is a vehicle filled with terrorists – or innocent school children. More commonly, AI performs so many everyday tasks that we don’t even realize that it’s there – everything from...

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Reality: Chillingly more deadly than fiction…

Maybe it was always there. Maybe it was because there was no CNN or Internet before to spread the word each time something crazy occurred. Maybe people have always been anxious to kill themselves and other people but it seems like there are so many more now – and they do it in such bizarre and gruesome ways. I’ve never quite understood the point exactly. It’s not like we’re all not going to die anyway, so what’s the big need to rush things? The one thing I do know is that fiction can’t hold a candle to reality when it comes to the ways human beings inflict pain and death on others....

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Why Parnasssus Books Mattters

Recently, I was France, where I spoke at the American Library in Paris. The auditorium was filled with over 120 Parisians, and American and British ex-pats who wanted to listen to an American fiction writer discuss how to write about Paris. In April, I will head to another city, rich in cultural history, that of music. I’ve visited Nashville a few times before. I love Southerners, great food, music and a town with a strong presence – and an independent bookstore. Nashville has it all. In Paris, there are more independent, English language bookstores than in most American cities. The French...

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‘ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES CHURCH’S MONOPOLY ON LIFE AFTER DEATH’

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR E.J. SIMON: ‘ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGES CHURCH’S MONPOLY ON LIFE AFTER DEATH’ New York, New York (December 16, 2014) Author E.J. Simon says not only will artificial intelligence displace humans in the workplace, and roboticize warfare as referenced in today’s New York Times, but asserts that artificial intelligence challenges the very role church plays in our lives – namely, the afterlife. “Soon we will be able to duplicate ourselves – and our very consciousness – on our computers, and gain an afterlife without all the praying, fasting, confessing,...

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