Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Shorten The Silly Season

After over a year of reality tee vee campaigning, it could not be any clearer that the health of critical political discourse requires much shorter campaign seasons as legitimate, even urgent, political critique is undermined when it happens in the context of arguments over necessary choices of the best among often wrong candidates for office. The Clinton campaign is taking up what seem to me to be reactionary "tech" formulations on key economic issues -- no surprise, really, after the futurological seduction of her husband and especially Al Gore, or Obama's ed tech follies -- but writing about this simply seems a demoralizing distraction from the flabbergasting threat represented by Trump, by this moment in the white-supremacist science-denialist death-dealing GOP, by the too likely prospect of obstruction and breakdown in the face of otherwise solvable problems if Democrats fail to win back the Senate and make a real dent in the House...


jimf said...

> . . .the flabbergasting threat represented by Trump. . .

Or the flabbergasting opportunity, depending on your point
of view.
Pariahs for Donald Trump
Nicholas Kristof
SEPT. 1, 2016

To read newspapers like this one, you might think that almost
nobody has endorsed Donald Trump. Ah, but maybe that’s because
The Times is, as Trump puts it, “totally dishonest,” “failing”
and “a disgusting fraud.”

In truth, Trump has actually attracted a broad range of endorsements
that perhaps haven’t received adequate attention. . .

“I ask Allah to deliver America to Trump,” a supporter of the
Islamic State declared recently in an Arabic-language posting. . .

“He must be smoking bad hashish to say such crazy things,”
one jihadist added. Supporters of ISIS say they hope Trump
would cause the United States to self-destruct, and that
is why, as one put it, “Trump’s arrival in the White House
must be a priority for jihadists at any cost!” . . .

“Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate
they say he is, but is actually a wise politician,” a columnist
wrote in a North Korean propaganda magazine, DPRK Today. . .

Chinese leaders apparently think Trump would manage allies
and American foreign policy poorly, thus reducing American influence
and creating space for China. . .

“Donald Trump would be best for the job,” said the imperial wizard
of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. “. . .

The American Nazi Party’s position is a bit more complicated. . .

“Recently, the jews-media gave the Party international coverage
over our last ANP radio show, where they ‘claimed’ that I ‘endorsed’
Donald Trump, in another effort to ‘SMEAR’ the man,” [Rocky] Suhayda[,
party chairman] wrote on the Nazi Party website. “It was a
typical kosher BIG LIE, as exposed and explained in Adolf Hitler’s
book Mein Kampf — whereas they ‘CLAIM’ that Mr. Evil Nazi (me) has
embraced Donald Trump for President, hence Mr. Trump and myself
are joined at the hip, being clones of Little Hitlerites.”

So maybe Trump doesn’t have the Nazi endorsement sewn up after all.

He does have the backing of. . . Martin Shkreli, who as C.E.O. of
Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a lifesaving drug by
more than 5,000 percent; Milo Yiannopoulos, recently banned from
Twitter for leading internet trolls on a misogynist and racist
campaign against Leslie Jones. . .; and Alex Jones, the talk
show host who has said that the Apollo 11 moon landing was faked
and that no children were actually injured in the Sandy Hook
school shooting.

My grandma once said, back in 1969, that she thought the moon
landing had been faked. She was a nice old lady, but I suspect
she'd be a Trump supporter too.

jimf said...

> The Clinton campaign is taking up what seem to me to
> be reactionary "tech" formulations on key economic issues --
> no surprise, really, after the futurological seduction
> of her husband and especially Al Gore, or Obama's ed tech follies. . .

Especially. . . you mean that guy who invented the internet?
The internet wot might wake up one of these days and suck us
all into The Matrix?
David Brin reviews some recent books on the future of artificial intelligence
[ ]
He’s more optimistic than I am. For one, I think most of the AI pundits
are little better than glib con men, so any survey of the literature should
consist mostly of culling all the garbage. No, really, please don’t
bring up Kurzweil **again**. Also, any obscenely rich Silicon Valley
pundit who predicts a glorious future of infinite wealth because technology
can just fuck right off.

But there’s also some stuff I agree with. People who authoritatively declare
that this is how the future will be, and that is how people will respond
to it, are not actually being authoritative, because they won’t be there,
but are being authoritarian. . .

The AI literature comes across as extremely silly, too. . .

Jesus. We don’t have these “intelligent machines” yet, and may
not — I think AI researchers always exaggerate the imminence of
their breakthroughs, and the simplicity of intelligence. So this
guy is declaring that the big concern of this century, which is
already 1/6th over, is an ethical crisis in dealing with non-existent
entities? The comparison with religious authorities is even more apt. . .

Ehh, this guy is just a beta-male pussy-whipped Social Justice Warrior,
whose God-given testosterone-driven rational faculties have been
etiolated by Feminazi-brewed man-destroying poison.

Now here's somebody you can take seriously:
A.I. Threat: Why Alpha Males Fear the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

AI Will Murder Us All. . .
. . .At least, according to some of the finest minds of our generation.
But what do they know?

Sargon of Akkad
Published on Aug 13, 2016

> But what do they know?

More than Steven Pinker, apparently.