Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Monday, September 26, 2022
As George Carlin said, the big joke relies on us rubes believing we have a choice when it comes to selecting politicians who "truly represent us" and not to the powers at be who fund their endless campaigns. The big joke also applies to banks "too big to fail" getting bailed out by us when making bad investments as there's no consequences whenever these entities make bad decisions like that of pols lying to the public about Viet Nam or banks selling options on toxic assets before the housing bubble burst in 2008. In indirect fashion, this big joke applies to The Donald's big lie as seen by the blurb below.
Donald Trump’s so-called big lie is not big because of its brazen dishonesty or its widespread influence or its unyielding grip over the Republican Party. It is not even big because of its ambition — to delegitimize a presidency, disenfranchise millions of voters, clap back against reality. No, the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election has grown so powerful because it is yoked to an older deception, without which it could not survive: the idea that American politics is, in essence, a joke, and that it can be treated as such without consequence.
When politicians publicly defend positions they privately reject, they are telling the joke. When they give up on the challenge of governing the country for the rush of triggering the enemy, they are telling the joke. When they intone that they must address the very fears they have encouraged or manufactured among their constituents, they are telling the joke. When their off-the-record smirks signal that they don’t really mean what they just said or did, they are telling the joke. As the big lie spirals ever deeper into unreality, with the former president mixing election falsehoods with call-outs to violent, conspiratorial fantasies, the big joke has much to answer for.
Orwell's take also rings true regarding the joke in his classic essay Politics and the English language
Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Friday, September 23, 2022
We won't talk about stick shift cars but we could, right?
There's a cost to all of this as the question to ask is, what happens if the power goes out or one needs to be able to read cursive written information articulating something really important residing on paper. Disquieting don't you think? As often stated in BRT, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch, something readily seen in the pix seen above when young people cannot discern the data contained within said images.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
To give you some of the background: The most successful AI models today are known as GANs, or Generative Adversarial Networks. They have a two-part structure where one part of the program is trying to generate a picture (or sentence) from input data, and a second part is grading its performance. What the new paper proposes is that at some point in the future, an advanced AI overseeing some important function could be incentivized to come up with cheating strategies to get its reward in ways that harm humanity.
“Under the conditions we have identified, our conclusion is much stronger than that of any previous publication—an existential catastrophe is not just possible, but likely,” Cohen said on Twitter in a thread about the paper.
"In a world with infinite resources, I would be extremely uncertain about what would happen. In a world with finite resources, there's unavoidable competition for these resources," Cohen told Motherboard in an interview. "And if you're in a competition with something capable of outfoxing you at every turn, then you shouldn't expect to win. And the other key part is that it would have an insatiable appetite for more energy to keep driving the probability closer and closer."
Sunday, September 11, 2022
Then I witnessed the torture of Sisyphus, as he wrestled with a huge rock with both hands. Bracing himself and thrusting with hands and feet he pushed the boulder uphill to the top. But every time, as he was about to send it toppling over the crest, its sheer weight turned it back, and once again towards the plain the pitiless rock rolled down. So once more he had to wrestle with the thing and push it up, while the sweat poured from his limbs and the dust rose high above his head. (Odyssey, Book 11:593)