Discussion:
Death by a thousand interfaces
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pataphor
2015-12-15 13:27:51 UTC
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Nobody is posting anything anymore, so I guess it's my turn, lest the
Internet will stop having new content.

I suppose it's no wonder, with the whole thing being kind of one sided:
one may become famous or not, but the probability of blow back and
the lack of financial reward are constant factors.

One of the reasons I am posting here in outer space, or in a deserted
Usenet group, is that I don't like to depend on some billionaire's
platform, or on some corporate magnifier for my statements.

I also don't like to write in the sidelines of someone's blog, under
tight editorial control of someone who is himself under control of
those aforementioned platforms.

You may have a few thousand likes or a million youtubes, this is
only so because some other party is holding you up; I'd rather speak
for myself, even if it means no one will listen.

The advantage is, I can consider myself on par with blog authors or
writers no matter how popular they themselves think they are.

Recently I read a book by an author who kind of had the same
educational background and interests as I have, yet I am here, or
rather nowhere, while she wrote a book and published it. I liked the
book, but it gets no extra credits from me, above those that a
series of very long Usenet posts or blog entries would get.

The book was about a many worlds universe (a multiverse) and the
protagonist was a representative of an agency operating in an items
gathering capacity. Obviously, with many different possible histories,
all kinds of things would have been produced that are not available in
other worlds.

I have fantasized about such things myself in the past, like trying to
imagine what kind of (computer) interface would be necessary to acquire
movies made in other worlds, I mean if they had movies.

But reading someone else's fiction about the matter made me realize how
thin and personal such bubbles are. I could clearly notice the author's
need for a certain kind of world structure, and for stability of
personal relations based on mutual trust.

It's not that I would say those things aren't necessary, no, what I want
to say is the specific form they take is arbitrary. And such becomes
all the more apparent if the substrate is many possible worlds to
choose from, each with their own set of characters, although in this
case only a select group could travel between the worlds, a group which
the main character of the story (the author's wish fulfillment
vehicle perhaps) belongs to.

I am noticing this problem of choice in my own work too, for example
when I program midi sequences. At first I tried just generating all
permutations of a set of notes, but this was too hard to listen to, so
I tried a more moderate set of variations, like putting the notes in
(hyper) cubes and generating all the ways the cube could be mirrored to
itself, then having an instrument play each 'cube' flattened as a
series of notes.

This sounded a bit better, and after introducing some stereo variations
(panning) in the notes, and varying the speed of the different tunes
the result became highly interesting to listen to, I mean if you're not
weighed down by any kind of traditional music concept.

I am not going to blow my own horn or disclose too much of my special
techniques, but again, my productions feel on par with classical music,
except that they are just some very regular interactions of prime
number length rhythms. In retrospect it seems to be obvious that the
basic rhythms must be prime numbers, because they generate the most
interactive variations.

But the problem now is not variations, nor, curiously, is it beauty; the
problem rather is that every single turn, or musical phrase, is perfect,
or at least as good as all the other moments, up to the point that
whatever thing one lifts out of the auditory supply (where one "begins"
a melody) or which instrument one follows becomes purely arbitrary.

The music stops having a point, everything is equally beautiful, there
is neither too much nor too little, all notes pleasantly caress one's
ears from all stereo positions, never lingering too long nor leaving
some empty space.

A few days ago I was reading some hacker news articles (unfortunately
hacker news has now moved into a "torprob" folder for reasons that
will become clear later on in this post, which means they are demoted
and some other news source becomes more relevant), and some article was
kind of the solution to the problem in the article right next to it in
my browser's tabs.

One was about how in the early days of cancer treatments the new
methods would be extremely hard to introduce, like doctors deciding to
not follow the protocol, and then, when things didn't work out, they
claimed the protocol was worthless. The other was about how some rich
billionaires were starting yet another platform to stop the AI
apocalypse.

The thing is, in order to fight the AI apocalypse ("cancer") we need to
stop doing things like we did them before, and billionaires putting
money in organizations is like trying to douse a fire with gasoline.

Some time ago I saw a video recording of a speech by an AI research
blogger or interviewer, claiming some AI research institute
funded by billionaire corporations was not sharing data like they
promised, and instead was slowly turning into yet another IPO ready
company because that was the only way the big corps would come aboard
and would provide the necessary money. But that turned the whole thing
into just another zero sum game, instead of the exponential growth
formula they used to advertise with to gain goodwill from the masses.
But firms are there to make money aren't they?

The whole thing comes down to figuring out how to give a party in your
daddy's house without inviting him and without offending him either,
lest he torpedo the whole affair.

I retrospect, some of the most intelligent persons, that I highly
respected, seem to have been talking about AI problems in a way that
seems to ignore the very thing they are talking about happening right
before their eyes, in the form of corporations providing them the
platform and the money to get out and reach people, or at least to
enable them to work on AI stuff without starving financially.

The way it works is kind of like this: In every organization there are
some persons whose brains are sufficiently lobotomized for the specific
ethical thing one wants to circumvent, or, in case the organization is
still small, or conservative, or one is just unlucky enough to not
find such a person, one can simply outsource the procedure, preferably
in such a way that one can deny ever having had any knowledge about
it happening, much less having requested it.

But now, with things becoming more and more interconnected, everyone
can find something according to their specific bubble on the Internet,
and, if it is not readily available, find some suitably brain damaged
person to provide a way around the obstacles between you and what you
want.

So, the Internet as a whole becomes exactly like every other
psychopathic corporation.

I mean, that guy who gave us bitcoin, isn't he mercilessly hunted down
to be doxxed? I could understand if it happened because someone hated
bitcoin, even if the result would be the same: no one will want to
create stuff that encourages privacy and financial freedom anymore.

But that is not even the case: while doxxing someone less famous is
still seen in some places as offensive, when it is done by some major
news outlet there suddenly is nothing wrong with it.

So we kind of end up in a situation with no ethics whatsoever, or a
situation where everything is ethical, which is kind of the same
uninformative state of affairs as having a graph will all nodes
connected.

I mean I don't hate bitcoin (yet) but I don't like billionaires (it's
just the small matter of hoarding the equivalent lifetime QUALY's of a
few 100 k people) so even I would have some reason to expose him if I
had insider knowledge, although I personally wouldn't have done so, for
now.

But if not me, a thousand others would have entirely different reasons
to act differently, including persons whose brains are lobotomized in
exactly the specific way so as to have no ethics at all about the
matter.

I am guilty of using such parties myself.

For example, I am using tor to prevent websites connecting my web
searches. It's not that I specifically want to prevent my search
history to be known, no, it's because that search history is widely
shared until it gets to some sufficiently ethically lobotomized party
that has no scruples whatsoever to interfere with my inner mental loops
to show me ads more effectively.

At the same time tor is abused to make inappropriate entries to blogs,
or spam or DDOS sites, but what am I to do if I don't want to be a
victim of the sites delivering the content, selling me out to third
parties even if they claim not to know about what their javascript
is doing? Take their good word for it, forcing me to make adaptations
according to every site's specific risks, while I only learn about
infidelities much later or never? And what if they get bought or
change their TOS while I'm not watching?

So, just as I can get lost in melodies with beauty everywhere, so that
everything starts to smell, feel and look like pickled herring, the
culture as a whole starts to lose its ethical direction.

I don't know what the solution is, maybe we'll split up in different
paradigm regions, where it is not so much a crime to break the law, or
pirate some content or do whatever, but the crime would be to act
inconsistently with the framework where one currently resides in.

Meanwhile, Google will send balloons in the stratosphere, to give us all
Internet, but at some point they will discover that even though such
balloons have plenty of very intense sunlight so they could be used as
solar collectors, there is currently no way to send that energy back to
earth, unless they forget about sending energy back to earth and use the
electricity on the spot (high up in the air), maybe to compute bitcoins
and send those back to their headquarters instead. Or were they planning
that all along?

P.

"Oh well, I guess having a telescoping forcefield is like using a long
stick to push a button."
Buzzard
2016-03-04 18:15:09 UTC
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On 12/15/2015 8:27 AM, pataphor wrote:
> Nobody is posting anything anymore, so I guess it's my turn, lest the
> Internet will stop having new content.

Yeah, I had kinda gotten away from UseNet, for one reason,
which is that other things created more demands on my time.
Flood damage, extra work at my place of employment, and
writing a silly "Chobits" fanfic to post online.

Sometimes it does seem as though the various offers of
distractions, both the interesting ones and the required
ones, are being tossed before the populace like a fog,
meant to limit how FAR we can see by flooding our field
of vision with so many close-at-hand THINGS to see.

--
the Vulture of the Damned
pataphor
2016-03-05 09:26:28 UTC
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On Fri, 04 Mar 2016 13:15:09 -0500
Buzzard <***@yahoo.com> wrote:

> On 12/15/2015 8:27 AM, pataphor wrote:
> > Nobody is posting anything anymore, so I guess it's my turn, lest
> > the Internet will stop having new content.
>
> Yeah, I had kinda gotten away from UseNet, for one reason,
> which is that other things created more demands on my time.
> Flood damage, extra work at my place of employment, and
> writing a silly "Chobits" fanfic to post online.

Sorry to hear that you had flood damage. I guess your income is like
mine still tied to your living place, or else you're bound otherwise so
can't just go somewhere else like a Bukvich.

I'm currently in the middle between weaving seamless camber shirts and
making land between the salty waves and the sea strands on the one hand
and on the other trying to understand how capitalism got us all this
wealth while at the same time robbing most of us of elementary freedoms
like moving somewhere else or not being manipulated by artificial
scarcity.

But for a fellow anime fan I'll go the extra mile.

> Sometimes it does seem as though the various offers of
> distractions, both the interesting ones and the required
> ones, are being tossed before the populace like a fog,
> meant to limit how FAR we can see by flooding our field
> of vision with so many close-at-hand THINGS to see.

Funny, I hadn't seen fog for ages, and now, first thing I saw after
waking up was this fog which made it hard to see much farther than the
plum tree in my garden. That plum tree has been on my mind a lot and I
made a lot of pictures of it because it started to blossom very early
this year.

Maybe there is no such thing as a random coincidence, like the other day
when I was reading a Rosicrucian magazine that had been laying around
here in my room, unread for 16 years, and now telling me the story about
Jacob fighting all night with someone who impaired the functioning of
his hip, and when I was googling the Internet to make sense of that
story a Lady beetle comes out of the woodwork where it had been having
its diapause.

The problem is, in Dutch, the beetle (I guess it was a Coccinella
septempunctata) is called "little animal of our Good Lord" which would
signify that Jacob had been fighting with God, or like the Internet
interpretation of this event, he was starting to feel uncomfortable with
the riches he had acquired by tricking his brother and was battling it
out with a better version of himself in a dream during the night, but,
if I would tell this story in English, it would mean the fight would be
with Mary. Maybe this means it all depends on where I go next.

You see, I could start following obscure religious references and wonder
about why nowadays a Jubilee only forgives the sins of the rich when
they have just blackmailed the world by bringing it to the edge of a
financial abyss, while copyright and debt and prison sentences are
extended time after time. Or I could make up a story about
Neanderthals, Mammoths and modern humans.

You see, (I'm just doing this to nag Bukvich) in the old days in Africa
after you killed an elephant or other big animal it wouldn't do much
good if you guarded it from other animals until someone had sent the
message to the tribe so they could all eat it: sure it was not at all
useless but in that heat the meat would eventually decay in a week or
so.

How different were things in the colder icy northern areas! The meat
would not decay, because it was frozen, and there were not as much
other predators or scavengers or even bugs to start eating away at your
prize. So informing the right people became something of great personal
value, you could make friends for life this way. I mean after you had
killed all those nasty Neanderthals, because even if they too would
try to hide their kills, they didn't have the social insight to not
each start their own cooking fire so the place would soon start giving
out enough smoke signals to alert everyone for miles.

But even though we humans learned the value of cooperation inside the
tribe and the value of silence towards the outside, kind of like the
modern cult of 'omerta' or the Chinese 'fuck you' philosophy (you want
to know what this 'fuck you' philosophy is about? Fuck you, I won't
tell you anything!), the current day mega kills (business, oil, or
banking money) not only don't decay in value, no, the money (or the land
or the houses in prime property you buy with it) becomes more valuable
the longer you don't touch it, via interest or speculation or just as a
means to threaten other people with by possibly taking it somewhere
else. And it can also be transfered to your offspring once you die.

So all these hard learned evolutionary instincts now have found a
perverse superstimulus to go berserk on.

But there is a little snag, in order to keep things in the family one
has to endure larger and larger differences in wealth without breaking
solidarity and 'whistleblow' the trade secrets to outside parties.

On the other hand, we now have a widespread sharing culture without
which progress would be unthinkable. In a way, without the Neanderthals
who where too smart to let their intelligence be capped by group
cohesion (there is a theory adhered to by at least one person, that
individual IQ is a fundamental limitation to group cohesion if that
group has outcome ('status') disparities), information would have
spread much slower, so even if we killed them all for it they still
helped us get over an information hoarding local maximum that kept us
in our cognitive caves for millennia.

Now despite all these stories about Cthulhu always swimming left it is
time to overcome our reptilian right evolutionary evolved traits that
predispose us to accepting greater and greater status differences,
because without them we can start evolving again. Not like
Neanderthals each for and on his own, but now by limiting status
differences so that we can once again increase our individual IQs, or
allow existing people to access smarts they already possess without
fear of social exclusion.

P.

'aposematische Superreitze entlarvt'
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