Category Archives: Political

AIs as the moral equivalent of nuclear weapons!

Listening to these videos on risk assessment in AI is weird. In this video, the risk assessment researcher, again Robert Miles, addresses an interview that Elon Musk gave on the dangers of autonomous military killbots. One of the things Musk said is he desired AI to be “democratized.” The researcher takes a different path and says that because of the many risks involved in artificial general intelligence, it should be developed solely by responsible parties. Like with nuclear weapons.  That’s his analogy, not mine.

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What we learn about scientific ethics from the Manhattan Project relative to artificial general intelligence

For a way to understand how business and the military treat scientific ethics, the best, clearest case is the Manhattan Project.  When discussing the project, it is important to remember that the program wasn’t to “develop an atomic bomb.” But to “develop an atomic bomb before the Nazi project produced one.” The potentially civilization-ending powers of the weapon were known. And, obviously, in a world where wooden bullets and poison gas were forbidden on the battlefield, something as horrific as an atomic bomb must be, right?

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Elon Musk Might Quit Twitter Fun Times!

So, Elon Musk might be stepping down as Twitter CEO. I mean, let’s be clear. As the sole owner of Twitter, it could mean nothing at all. It could be a publicity stunt. And almost certainly any CEO chosen by Elon Musk – and they WOULD be chosen by Elon Musk, exclusively – would be absolutely beholden to Elon Musk. Further, mistakes that “Twitter” made going forward could be blamed on the non-Musk CEO, offering at least partial cover for his painfully stupid decisions.

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The End of History Has More Than One Meaning

Francis Fukuyama, a Hegelian philosopher and political scientist, wrote an article that appeared in The Atlantic, “More Proof That This is Really the End of History.” He said that the current regime of strongmen in places like Russia and China again demonstrates that liberal democracies are the only serious game in town.

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Why I’m Moving to Denmark

I.

I’ve decided that it’s time to lay out all the reasons I’m moving to Denmark[1].

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Thoughts on the future of trumpism

I woke up today and saw the news, and it was suddenly… sane.

I am no great fan of Democratic politics.  As I’m a leftist, I hadn’t seen a distinct difference between the two parties.  I often have characterized Democratic politics as a “cooling off” for Republican policies – a part of the country’s rightward shift.  Republicans will do something (say, start to bomb other countries with drones willy-nilly), and Democrats will freak out… but Democratic administrations will use the powers instituted by the Republicans. At that point, the Democrats shut up about it.  Pretty much everything in the war on terror – drone assassinations, torture, secret and illegal detention, etc. – are now part of US politics.

Trump made me modify my view.  Previously, I had considered the Republicans more doctrinarian and disciplined about their doctrine.  While I found their doctrine odious, there was consistency for it.  What Trump did – and this might be his lasting contribution to the Republican Party and conservatives, in general – is fracture that consistency.

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Conspiracies, fundamentalism, and why we’re not done with Trumpism

Donald Trump is my brainworm. I can’t think past or around him. So, as writers do, I am writing about what I can write about.

The reason Donald Trump is so goddamn popular with so many people is that many millions of Americans have accepted conspiracy theories as real. Here and now, I’m going to argue that one of the most significant reasons that’s true is America’s relationship to religion, specifically Christianity.

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Police use of chokeholds as torture

Let’s talk about strangling people. More specifically, how cops strangle people and how it’s a vicious cycle leading to torture and murder.

I’ve been in enough jujitsu classes to have been strangled a fair bit. I’m almost a connoisseur of strangulation. Which is to say that I know what happens when a person gets strangled.

In short – you freak the fuck out. You want it, you NEED it to stop. Panic sets in almost immediately. This is a big part of the reason how waterboarding works. When you can’t breathe, even if for a few seconds, your body freaks the fuck out.

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