Sep 13

Big truthiness

The strange thing about big data and the devolution of most scientific fields solely into math that only a few practitioners (somewhat) understand is that as complexity grows, the less you know about what you actually know. Or are sure that you know it.

Something knows it, sure, but is it you? Who or what here is doing the knowing? Some algorithm that has long ago surpassed human mental capacity? And what does it mean that we know something if no one human can understand anything save a small piece of it?

Right now humanity is poised in some strange state of pre-cybernetic and/or genetic intellectual enhancement where we can build semi-automata that can produce results far more complicated than we can understand because none of that created system is integrated into our simian brain.

We can produce “truths” that are beyond any verification, using tools that we built but can’t truly grasp the operations thereof.

Sep 12

Wright out

Copyright is 99% evil. But it mostly benefits the 1%, so propaganda tells you — and you probably believe — that it is 99% good.

Sep 12

All hat

Here is a great sentence from this article.

We want to find and possess — even if what we possess is nothing more than the moment of discovery.

When I was younger, I didn’t appreciate showy writing. I probably wouldn’t have cared for that sentence much when I was twenty because I could and can turn them out by the dozen. But I’ve mellowed, or broadened, and have come to appreciate the compression of meaning and the emphasis on the chromatic rather than the concrete.

Then, I would’ve seen it as all hat and no cattle — too much coruscating peacockery and not enough cogitation. But now, sometimes the impression’s the thing, not ideas churned out by the dozen.

So…damn good sentence.

Sep 12

Audio

In principle I like audio books.

In practice, I can’t stand them. So slow. So very slow.

I read depending on the difficulty of the book 15-20x faster than spoken word.

This is not time efficient for me. And I dislike most narrators.

Sep 11

Currently Reading

In case all ya’ll are interested in the fascinatin’-ass material I got my nose poked in*:

Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience edited by Steve Platek, et. al.

The Divine Comedy by that Dante Alighieri dude, English translation by Clive James.

La Divine Comédie by that same dude, French translation by Jacqueline Rissett.

The Eidolon by Libby McGugan

I’ll do these updates regularly. Or not. But hope to.

*It’s actually usually poked towards a glorious 5K iMac, truth be told.

Sep 11

Screw the Mozilla clown show

What a bunch of sophistic hooey.

This is what pisses me off about smart people. They are so confident in their ability to delude someone or many someones dumber than they are that they forget they aren’t the smartest one in the room.

Well I’m in the fucking room now, homies. I’m all up in your post doing an exegesis on your bullshit.

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit,” some old dead dude said. Hear, hear and all that.

Maire Leavy spends an entire post justifying why attempting to achieve privacy is overrated, that it is impossible, and that making efforts to do so is beyond the average user.

Maybe this is true.

However, the argument is specious assclownery because that doesn’t mean Mozilla has the right to make it worse.

Mozilla is like Tony Stark. They are good people, like Stark is a good person. A good organization. And like Stark, so convinced that they are righteous and good that anything they do must be by definition good as well because of the transitive quality of goodness — no matter how destructive or dangerous. Well, fuckers, goodness is not transitive.

It’s your actions every day that make you good…or bad. Not your words. Not your beliefs. Not your intentions. What you do. Your actions, every day.

And if your actions harm your users, then what you are doing is bad and wrong no matter your doctrine or intentions.

Maire Leavy, you are once again the smartest one in the room. I’m stepping out. TTFN.

Sep 10

Vent

Damn, I’m so fucking tired of hearing from the moronic tech geek IT community every time Apple rolls out something that they didn’t invent it.

First of all, who gives a shit. Apple (generally) isn’t in the invention business.

What Apple does is takes a look at the market, sees what’s out there and determines what they can vastly improve from its origins. Very smart, by the way.

The first in a market is usually the first loser. Apple cannily avoids this mistake and usually turns out products that are 5x better for less than 1.25x the price.

The tech idiot community always has this attitude that if Apple didn’t invent something, it didn’t have anything at all to do with it.

Improving something vastly and/or making it where it doesn’t require a PhD in computer science to use counts for nothing, apparently.

Sep 09

Singular file

What a technology geek sees when traveling abroad.

The singularity adherents might be wrong in the broad outlines, but to our predecessors what many of us have lived through would seem like a singularity to them.

We have capabilities that would be pure fucking devil magic to someone from 1500.

This is a great sentence from the piece.

We live in a world where it is normal for a team of scientists to keep on working while they are flying. Not only do we fail to notice the change, but we even insist forcefully that nothing changed.

That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately — this complete blindness to major societal and cultural change — and have long intended to write a thorough piece about it.

This amnesiac tendency mystifies me because I easily remember when many things used to be much different and it baffles me when people tell me (very, very wrongly) that things used to be no different in any way.

For instance, the increase in societal prudishness over the past 30 years, the difference in openness/approachability, that Keynesian economics had never fallen out of favor, the difference in children’s freedom to roam/explore (yes, many people deny it was ever any other way) — all these and many more are examples of where society has vastly, massively shifted in a pretty short time and yet many people will deny it was ever any different.

I think perhaps I can better see these phase transitions because I am not strongly connected to my — or any — culture.

But I don’t know.

Sep 08

Finally

I’d been contemplating writing a post about this for a while, but Clarissa has done it already.

I don’t even want to excerpt any of it as it’s so good.

The simple fact is that allowing emigration from places where men truly and deeply hate women makes life worse for the women resident wherever those men end up.

This is inarguable and it does happen and has happened in many places — it’s just inconvenient for many on the left to talk about.

But I care about women more than I care about what some brainwashed lefty doofus thinks.

I have nothing but sympathy for the refugees. However, if I were dictator it is highly doubtful I’d let a single North African and/or Islamic man into the country (no matter how white they were), because I’d rather the women of my country prosper and not have to worry even more than they already do about being harassed, stalked and treated like human garbage.

The simple cultural fact is that if you let a bunch of women-hating men in, life is going to worsen for the women around them.

Not worth the trade-off to me. Not even close.