Month: April 2023

  • Tucker Carlson, US Imperial Power, and the Enemy of My Enemy

    There has been a lot written about the specifics of this really terrible American Prospect article about Tucker Carlson, so I won’t go into the details of why it is so terribly wrong. Others have done that very well. But I do think it is instructive in a depressing way about the problem the general…

  • Is AI Coming for the Economy?

    The title is one of the fundamental questions of the next twenty years or so. Tim Lee does not think so. The post is long, but the general argument is that AI will merely move work around because there are still going to be things that AI and robotics cannot handle. In general, the “pie…

  • It’s Hard to See In The Pale Moonlight

    It’s Hard to See In The Pale Moonlight

    This month is the 25th anniversary of the Deep Space Nine episode In The Pale Moonlight. It is a critically acclaimed episode with excellent acting and direction. Avery Brooks did a marvelous job, as did all of the supporting actors. It has been called the best episode of the serious and praised for being a…

  • It’s Okay Not to be Notable: Or, Conservatives, Please Stop Whining about Twitter Checkmarks

    It’s Okay Not to be Notable: Or, Conservatives, Please Stop Whining about Twitter Checkmarks

    On April 20th, because Elon Musk has the sense of humor of a stoned college student alone on a Saturday night, Twitter removed verification (the blue check mark next to your name) indicators from all account snot paying for his Twitter Blue program. Most people and organizations did not switch and thus have no verification…

  • Substack Notes and the Nazi Bar Problem

    I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a story that anyone who has hung out at punk or hardcore bars has probably heard. There are many versions of it floating around, and it’s almost certain that none of them happened. A fairy tale for the sonically enraged, then, rather than a bit of history.…

  • A Handful of Thoughts on Where AI Learned to Speak: From Business, Racists, and Thieves

    A Handful of Thoughts on Where AI Learned to Speak: From Business, Racists, and Thieves

    The Washington Post has a very interesting deep dive into how Google’s imitative AI was trained. It is a fascinating look at the sources of the training data. A few thoughts below: There is a lot more in the article, including how skewed the set was toward western religions, including far-right offshoots of those religions.…

  • A Third Wave or a Ripple?  Is Using Tech’s Tools against Reaction Possible?

    A Third Wave or a Ripple? Is Using Tech’s Tools against Reaction Possible?

    This is a very thought-provoking article about the concept of a third wave of algorithmic accountability, or at least the possibility of such a wave. You should really read the entire thing, because my summary here will not do it justice. I can wait; I have snacks. For those who did not read the article,…

  • You Really Can’t Breathe: A Review of the Excellent Chokepoint Capitalism

    You Really Can’t Breathe: A Review of the Excellent Chokepoint Capitalism

    This is a difficult book to review, not because it is bad, but because it is so good. I honestly wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was, to be as thorough and thoughtful as it was. While I generally enjoy Doctorow’s fiction, I have found his non-fiction activism to be a little…

  • An FDA For Algorithms?

    An FDA For Algorithms?

    By now, you have likely seen that ChatGPT falsely accused Johanthon Turely of sexually harrasing his students. Now, Turely is a putz, but these accusations have no basis in reality. They quoted a made-up article about events on a trip that Turely never took. Turley, to be clear, has never been accused of sexually harassing…