From Our Readers
I have just read the article “Saris by the Millions” in the July 8, 1988, issue of Awake!, and it made me feel so happy. I looked at the photograph of the woman wearing a sari and thought, ‘What beautiful attire!’ It was written in a way that the reader feels favorably disposed and respectful toward the women of India. This kind of article offsets any small trace of racial prejudice that might be in our hearts. It mentioned that the ordinary Indian woman puts on an older ‘house sari’ to do her daily housework. This helped me, here in faraway Japan doing the same work, to feel self-respect. I was also helped to give thought to ‘femininity of dress.’ So from now on, if I am indoors and need to buy something at the neighborhood grocery, I intend considering whether my dress is feminine and well-arranged before leaving home.
N. I., “A woman who would just love to try on a sari,” Japan
My son, 16 at the time, knocked a tooth out while riding a bicycle. I remembered reading in the Awake! (June 8, 1983) either to put the tooth in its socket or hold it in the mouth or put it in milk, but I couldn’t remember which was best, so I called the hospital’s emergency room. They said to pack it in ice, totally opposite of what I’d read. So I called another, told them what I remembered, and they said to put it back in the socket if possible. So we did that, took him to the emergency room, then the oral surgeon, then the endodontist, and they all said that if we had packed it in ice as the first emergency room had said, he would have lost the tooth. So you are making us an educated people; I only hate to think of what I have missed by not thoroughly reading each issue in the past.
P. L., United States
The article on artificial intelligence in the July 8, 1988, issue of Awake! was missing much; either the author was ignorant of several developments in the field or if aware discounted them for some reason . . . The article totally ignores neural networks, which give computers essentially the same ability as the human eye or ear to discern patterns. Currently, these neural networks can only emulate ganglions of less complex creatures . . . It is uncertain whether or not they will ever approach the complexity of the human brain neuron, but it may not be necessary . . . I’m afraid this article is like many I’ve read in the popular press, pushing the idea that “it’s ok, humans, you will always be superior in intelligence to anything on earth.” I think it’s an unwarranted fear of humans, to meet a more intelligent being, and also very egocentric.
J. O., United States
“Awake!” discussed current developments in artificial intelligence, what is presently in practical use. Reader J. O. is concerned primarily with experimental future prospects, for which he admits some uncertainties. “A study by M.I.T.’s Lincoln Laboratory suggests that in five years it should be possible to build a neural network as complex as the brain of a bee,” says a recent “New York Times” editorial. (September 7, 1988) Credit should be given where it is due—any level of artificial intelligence is still just a very inferior imitation of the Creator’s work.—ED.