Jan 222021

Does it count as interacting with Twitter if I still refuse to use Twitter, but I reply to it on a blog? Dammit, maybe I’m doing this wrong.

Karen Hao is the senior artificial intelligence reporter at MIT Technology Review. If you feel trepidation at seeing the word “reporter” used in proximity to “tech,” congrats, you’ve been paying attention to the last half-decade. Karen is no exception. In a Twitter thread she says we shouldn’t cure cancer because rich people with profit from this first. Obviously a stupid argument that isn’t worth engaging. But to further my narrative of “Twitter literally makes people stupid, we should check to make sure it isn’t actually an eldritch god trying to destroy humanity,” check out this claim:

name one technology in history that has successfully been redistributed completely equitably from the bastions of privilege and power to the have-nots in society

I can name two without pausing to think – mobile communication and vast computing power. Both used to be exclusive to the ultra rich, and now permeate even typical third-world country populations via cellphones. There are literal homeless people with cell phones. Maybe this still doesn’t pass some strict definition of “completely equitably,” but whatever. That a so-called tech reporter couldn’t come up with “cell phones” before making a public proclamation like this is mind-boggling. Avoid Twitter folks. It may be Literal Evil.

While we’re in her twitter thread, notice this smuggled premise:

Concentrating resources away from the marginalized in society to the richest in society so that the rich can then decide who to bestow those resources to doesn’t make the world a more equitable place.

Many of these techs concentrate resources to the poor, benefitting them, and the innovator takes a tiny cut. Amazon has been bad for traditional retailers, who aren’t marginalized. It’s been good for actual poor people, letting them get stuff cheaper and with less time/effort investment. This isn’t tech-reporting, it’s luddite propaganda being pushed with a kill-the-rich excuse. Only saving grace here is that by using the rich are the current hate-target that you can use to rile people up at least you’re picking a target that can do something to defend themselves, rather than stomping on sex-workers or something.

  One Response to “Karen Hao is a dumb-dumb”

  1. I think that’s a trend not only seen there. Where someone has a .. I dunno what to call it, primary goal for improving society that makes everything else irrelevant. It can be to reduce racism. Or to save the environment. Or to have wealth distributed more evenly. Or something else.

    And those people, whenever something doesn’t improve the situation they are looking at and can be construed to be in any way related to that issue, complain about that part. Like in the example above, being against medical progress because it doesn’t benefit the right group right away.

    In some cases similar reasoning is being used by politicians to not take action. “If we made the cost of products equivalent to the amount of environmental resources they consume it would be a problem for poor people.” -> so let’s not do anything at all and hope the problem solves itself.

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