mid feb

February 15 , 2019

Some random pics from the first half of the month posted on a day when the crazy guy has declared a National Emergency so he can spend money on his delusional pet project to appease his rabid white supremacist base. This will be countered by congress and possibly the courts, and will keep news stations in business. The news is like some crazy dystopian series with way too many episodes, and after a while you are almost numb to it. I keep waiting for that second-to-last episode where the narrative's momentum starts to shift to hopeful possibility before sloshing around in the denouement in the final episode.

A couple more quotes from Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus

Despite all the talk of radical Islam and Christian fundamentalism, the most interesting place in the world from a religious perspective is not the Islamic State or the Bible Belt, but Silicon Valley. That’s where hi-tech gurus are brewing for us brave new religions that have little to do with God, and everything to do with technology. They promise all the old prizes – happiness, peace, prosperity and even eternal life – but here on earth with the help of technology, rather than after death with the help of celestial beings.
Over the past half century there has been an immense advance in computer intelligence, but there has been exactly zero advance in computer consciousness. As far as we know, computers in 2016 are no more conscious than their prototypes in the 1950s. However, we are on the brink of a momentous revolution. Humans are in danger of losing their economic value because intelligence is decoupling from consciousness.
such algorithms consistently outperform human capitalists, we might end up with an algorithmic upper class owning most of our planet. This may sound impossible, but before dismissing the idea, remember that most of our planet is already legally owned by non-human intersubjective entities, namely nations and corporations. Indeed, 5,000 years ago much of Sumer was owned by imaginary gods such as Enki and Inanna. If gods can possess land and employ people, why not algorithms?
In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. We just don’t know what to pay attention to, and often spend our time investigating and debating side issues. In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.