3 min read

You Should Read - Feb 17

You Should Read - Feb 17

Just One Thing

"I will not harm you unless you harm me first."

Simon Willison recounts a number of conversations with the new Bing AI (based on ChatGPT). Any coverage that suggests the AI "understands" anything should be immediately binned. But its manner is so convincingly "human", it's easy to fall into intuiting motivations behind these seemingly bizarre query outputs.

It's a long read, but the punchline priceless.

Collected Ephemera

Wired Chatbots Got Big—and Their Ethical Red Flags Got Bigger: Researchers have spent years warning that text-generation algorithms can spew bias and falsehoods. Tech giants are rushing them into products anyway.

Dr. Joan Braune A Partial Typology of Empathy for Enemies: Collaborationist to Strategic (free download from Academia.edu, featured in ¡No Pasaran!: Antifascist Dispatches from a World in Crisis)

Washington Post ‘I’ll Call an Uber or 911’: Why Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Drive: Zoomers are shunning cars and driver’s licenses. Will it last?

Big Think The Bantu Philosophy of “Ubuntu” Focuses on the Power of Community: The age of the Internet has replaced community with a “global village.” We know more about strangers thousands of miles away than the people next door. The Bantu philosophy of ubuntu focuses on community. Who you are is intimately tied to those around you. Instead of being “internet famous,” we should focus on being famous within five miles.

The Guardian ‘There Is No Standard’: Investigation Finds AI Algorithms Objectify Women’s Bodies: AI tools rate photos of women as more sexually suggestive than those of men, especially if nipples, pregnant bellies or exercise is involved

Slate Why Wikipedia Is So Tough on Bigfoot

Rolling Stone Trump Plans to Bring Back Firing Squads, Group Executions if He Retakes White House: The former president wants to expand the use of the death penalty, and expand the federal government's options for carrying out death sentences

Print The Daily Heller: The Maus That Roars

Blue Notes The Future of Leadership Is Kindness: Listen-up companies big and small: move over command and control, there’s a new leadership style in town.

Pine Island Games How Persistence Pays Off: an interview with Alan Moon (Ticket to Ride)

The Intercept The Snitch in the Silver Hearse: the FBI paid a violent felon to infiltrate Denver’s racial justice movement

Thagomizer We Don't Do That Here

Religion News Service After 30 Years, Buddhist-Inspired Message of ‘Groundhog Day’ Still Holds Spiritual Power: Part Hollywood love story and part secular spiritual parable, the 1993 film shows life can be better if we pay attention.
Groundhog Day is one of my favorite movies of all time was maybe my earliest Buddhist education (aside from Yoda). Can't believe it's 30 years old. But, then, I can't believe how old I am.

Beneath the Pavement Solarpunk Wants To Change the World — Should We Take It Seriously?: Can an (overly) optimistic science fiction genre help inspire a new generation of Leftists?
⇒ My favorite new Facebook group is "Punk Rock Gardening & Birdwatching". I might actually get motivated to start a backyard garden.

CalMatters Gavin Newsom’s Intriguing Proposal to Close a Tax Loophole: The 2023-24 budget that Gov. Newsom put forward last month contains an intriguing one-paragraph proposal to close a loophole that allows wealthy Californians to set up trusts in other states and avoid state income taxes on their profits.

The Atlantic Margaret Atwood–Go Ahead and Ban My Book: To those who seek to stop young people from reading The Handmaid’s Tale: Good luck with that. It’ll only make them want to read it more.

The Wabbit Hole

Selections from my Wikipedia searches this week...

karzer | The Horus Heresy | penal military unit | 999th Light Afrika Division (Wehrmacht) | National Committee for a Free Germany | Jah | Dennis Brown | Winthrop Pickard Bell | Leonard Peltier | Chainsaw Man | Daniel Berrigan | DARVO | Five Iron Frenzy | Aṅgulimāla