Jan 312020

Do Cops Lie? (click image for link)

“the replacement of algorithms with a powerful technology in the form of the human brain is not without risks. Before humans become the standard way in which we make decisions, we need to consider the risks and ensure implementation of human decision-making systems does not cause widespread harm.”


Joker is interesting because it reminds us where we (or our parents) came from, which still impacts a lot of the present day.

“Our problems are different now, but Joker remains a product of a different era. Arthur Fleck lives in a fragile system on the brink of collapse, whereas we live under a system that only gets more stable and entrenched, so much so that the most powerful nation on earth can have an childish yet vicious know-nothing serve as President and continue prospering.

Perhaps the ebbing of chaos and crime left our psyches wounded in a special way.”

Of particular note is that CyberPunk was basically this setting with cool cyber stuff on top of it.


The entirety of this post is gold. About an actual thing that happened regarding a technical term in computer science.

“the trouble with obsessing over terms like “quantum supremacy” is not merely that it diverts attention, while contributing nothing to fighting the world’s actual racism and sexism. The trouble is that the obsessions are actually harmful. For they make academics—along with progressive activists—look silly. They make people think that we must not have meant it when we talked about the existential urgency of climate change and the world’s other crises. They pump oxygen into right-wing echo chambers.

But it’s worse than ridiculous, because of the message that I fear is received by many outside the activists’ bubble. When you say stuff like “[quantum] supremacy is for racists,” what’s heard might be something more like:

“Watch your back, you disgusting supremacist. Yes, you. You claim that you mentor women and minorities, donate to good causes, try hard to confront the demons in your own character? Ha! None of that counts for anything with us. You’ll never be with-it enough to be our ally, so don’t bother trying. We’ll see to it that you’re never safe, not even in the most abstruse and apolitical fields. We’ll comb through your words—even words like ‘ancilla qubit’—looking for any that we can cast as offensive by our opaque and ever-shifting standards. And once we find some, we’ll have it within our power to end your career, and you’ll be reduced to groveling that we don’t. Remember those popular kids who bullied you in second grade, giving you nightmares of social ostracism that persist to this day? We plan to achieve what even those bullies couldn’t: to shame you with the full backing of the modern world’s moral code. See, we’re the good guys of this story. It’s goodness itself that’s branding you as racist scum.” ”


Everyone, forever (yes, even me) XD

This is how much damage one person can do when put in power. Our history would be radically better if Andrew Johnson had never come anywhere near the presidency. Lincoln done fucked up.


Imagine that tomorrow everyone on the planet forgets the concept of training basketball skills.

“You don’t get better at life and rationality after taking one class with Prof. Kahnemann. After 8 years of hard work, you don’t stand out from the crowd even as the results become personally noticeable. And if you discover Rationality in college and stick with it, by the time you’re 55 you will be three times better than what you would have been if you hadn’t compounded these 3% gains year after year, and everyone will notice that.

What’s more, the outcomes don’t scale smoothly with your level of skill. When rare, high leverage opportunities come around, being slightly more rational can make a huge difference. Bitcoin was one such opportunity; meeting my wife was another such one for me. I don’t know what the next one will be: an emerging technology startup? a political upheaval? cryonics? I know that the world is getting weirder faster, and the payouts to Rationality are going to increase commensurately.”


I think I would love this. Oldest Mall In America Turned Into Tiny Homes


Metal Genres Without Distortion


I already wrote about this recently, but here’s the link: On Short Hair And Gender. Or Back To The 50s Gender Norms, With A Twist?


People’s perceptions of what they can do to reduce CO2 usage varies drastically from the actual numbers.

“This is an area where I think informing people about what is actually useful might really shift their behaviour. They’ve mostly just been misinformed and never stopped to research it. After all one can never directly see what is actually causing the most emissions.”


This makes me happy. I just need to clarify that I’m 3rd Wave Feminist and I can embrace the label again. (also, 4th wave feminists are as bad as TERFs. Judean People’s Front unite!)


Bad: Superhero whose secret identity is just staggeringly obvious, but nobody picks up on it for various implausible reasons.

Good: Superhero whose secret identity is just staggeringly obvious, and everybody “knows”, but in spite of countless people’s best efforts nobody can actually prove it.


Interesting perspective – the economy has been in a state of wartime mobilization since WWII began, having never returned to a peace-time economy, despite a lack of war.


I think I would actually watch this:

  2 Responses to “Link & Meme Archive 10/9/19 – 1/31/20”

  1. This was my political anger thing of the last quarter of a year: https://www.republik.ch/2020/01/31/nils-melzer-about-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange (english translation, the interview was conducted in german)
    An interview with the UN special rapporteur on torture about the Assange case.

    I’m sometimes a bit of a conspiracy theorist but I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory any more when it’s reported by the UN… but the whole system is broken. It’s not just Trump, this case is ten years old and it’s happened in Sweden and the UK while all the rest of western civilization did nothing.

    The big problem I see with that is that it becomes normal to silence unwanted voices (whistleblowers, reporters). I think it’s things like this that make the younger generation think that russia isn’t really that bad and don’t really get why the older generation says that they are. When a reporter vanishes in some prison never to be seen again in Russia, sure, we know that it’s a bad thing and even if it happens way more frequently than in the western part of the world, we know that it happens here too. We think it’s silly when the US (out of all nations!) complain about interference in their elections. The fact that we’re being spied on by all our allies in ways that are similar to 1984 or the Stasi in East Germany has become accepted.

    I’m kind of losing hope that it will get better any time soon.

    PS: Maybe I’m linking a bit too much together here and maybe they only get away with it because there’s so many bad things. If there was only one problem then people would focus on that but this way there are so many wrong things that while you turn to face one thing the rest becomes accepted reality. Fridays for future and extinction rebellion protest against the government doing too little to fight climate change and get some results but in the meantime a generation grows up for whom it’s normal that western civilization locks up journalists and throws away the key and spies on all of humanity. And by the time they’re thirty it will become normality and nothing to frown at and the generation after that will have known nothing else.

    • Oh, also, one more thing. The fact that Edward Snowden lives in Moscow because every other country would gladly hand him over to the US so they could make an example of him is not helping the case of us being morally superior to them. I think to 90% of the young people that care at all about politics Snowden is a hero and in a world where everything is black and white (which isn’t how it is but how you might think it is while growing up) that makes Russia the good guys.

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