Friday, March 15, 2019
The problem is that it’s hard to get worried about potential misdeeds of artificial intelligence when humans are creating so much trouble for ourselves — not just with wars and nuclear arms races but with mass deception, propaganda and con games so effective they’ve led some to question if truth itself is obsolete. Maybe AI would do a better job of running things than we have.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
And these are the easy cases, where the lines between good and evil are clear and Facebook has developed a formula for responding. On her laptop, Bickert pulls up a slide presentation from a meeting of the company’s Community Standards group, which gathers every other Thursday morning to come up with new rules. As many as 80 employees participate in the discussions, either in person or virtually. The slides show that, on a Thursday last year, the team discussed what to do with #MeToo posts created by women who named their assailants. If the posts were untrue, they could be construed as harassment of innocent men. In the same meeting, the company evaluated viral stunts that younger users attempt, such as the “condom-snorting challenge,” which, with apologies, involves snorting a lubricated prophylactic up a nostril and pulling it out through the mouth. There are dozens of challenges such as this—the chile pepper challenge, the Tide Pod challenge, and so on—that young people do (or pretend to do) to get views. If these stunts can hurt people, should Facebook stop people from promoting them?
Friends don't let friends use facebook. I don't use facebook and I don't have many friends.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Warren may not be president — she may not even win the primary — but she has distinguished herself considerably by all-but daring powerful lobbyists to pour cash into her opponents’ war chests. She’s issued an understandable a proposal on a complicated industry that ought to be broadly popular with a public that loves net neutrality and doesn’t trust tech companies.
I don't want her as President but her idea appeals viscerally to me, I must admit.
Duke Law's new Center for Firearms Law aims for 'rigorous and balanced' Second Amendment scholarship - The Chronicle
Lisa Page admitted Obama DOJ ordered stand-down on Clinton email prosecution, GOP rep says | Fox News
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that "the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information," the congressman alleged in a social media post late Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page's closed-door testimony.
Well well well.
In Europe, it generally tends to be Muslims who object to crucifixes. But in Ireland, such complainants are joined by others who proudly regard themselves as having no beliefs at all but are in favor of “tolerance.” Taking their empty-headed assertions at face value, you might gather that, by seeking a “level playing-field,” they wish to defend minority forms of belief against the implied supremacy of others. But going deeper, it becomes clear that in such gesturing there is but a momentary, opportunistic “solidarity” with the allegedly beleaguered belief-system of the “offended,” a solidarity that will evaporate as soon as the “defended” entity seeks to assert the ineluctable absolutism of its own outlook. Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist sensitivities offer merely a rhetorical shield in the crusade to create conditions in which no religious beliefs will be tolerated. Such interventions invite not “pluralism” and “tolerance,” but the banishment from the public arena of any form of absolute certitude about the meaning of the mysteries that define humanity. What is elevated, implicitly, is the non-engagement of the self-styled “non-believer,” as though this was a neutral position rather than one seeking to impose its ennui and pessimism on everyone.
As I have shown here, the case against Pell has been fraught with implausibility and worse from the outset. The Victoria police went on a fishing expedition against Pell, a year before any complaint had been received from an alleged victim. The committal hearing, which dismissed many of the charges the police brought, ought to have dismissed all of them; but amidst a public atmosphere that bears comparison to Salem, Massachusetts, during the witchcraft hysteria of the seventeenth century, a criminal trial was decreed. At that trial, and after Pell’s defense demonstrated that it was physically impossible for the crimes with which he was charged to have occurred, a jury voted 10-2 to acquit him; but that meant a hung jury (several of whose members wept as their verdict was read), and the Crown decided to proceed with a re-trial. At the re-trial, Pell’s defense team demonstrated that ten implausible and improbable things would have had to have happened simultaneously for him to be guilty of the charges; there was no corroboration of the complainant’s charges; there was ample refutation of the very possibility of the vile acts with which Pell was charged having occurred by others present that day; the police were shown to have been grossly negligent in investigating the alleged crime scene—and yet the second jury voted 12-0 for conviction, after what can reasonably be supposed to have been their refusal to take seriously the trial judge’s instructions on how evidence was to be construed.
There are plenty of even bishops and cardinals who are guilty of covering up and even committing abuse. But Pell seems on this account anyway to be innocent, and to have accumulated powerful enemies in the murky financial world and among our old friends, the communists.