3 min read

You Should Read - Oct 21

You Should Read - Oct 21

Just One Thing

Robin Rendle's essay, Monarch, is a meditation on the above photo, a family keepsake of his family's participation in imperial rule. The questions Rendle asks about his grandfather's activities in what is now Pakistan are questions I ask about my own role as a citizen of today's world dominating hegemon.

The scary part about fascism isn’t that someone else can be lured into it, but that even you can, too.

I imagine myself a citizen of a republic. And in many ways, that's true (for now). But I live on conquered territory. I benefit from previous generations' looting and theft. There can be no question, I am a citizen of the Empire.

The AI Tsunami

Business Insider Artists Say AI Image Generators Are Copying Their Style to Make Thousands of New Images — and It’s Completely Out of Their Control
I was not aware that Open.AI and DALL-E were backed by Elon Musk. Eek.

Icosystem Competence Without Comprehension

Wired Software Helps Develop Hunches: A twist on evolutionary computation called the “hunch engine” promises to let computers produce everything from more-attractive photos to new pharmaceutical candidates, one nudge at a time.

The Atlantic ‘A Perfect and Beautiful Machine’: What Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Reveals About Artificial Intelligence: Charles Darwin and Alan Turing, in their different ways, both homed in on the same idea: the existence of competence without comprehension.

Evolution News Dennett on Competence without Comprehension: (This inflated claim forms the logical conclusion of Dennett’s essay, so let’s begin by examining how he got there.)

Collected Ephemera

Sorry, it's a lot of accumulated gloom and doom from the past two weeks.

An Injustice! Here’s How the Thin Blue Line Flag and the Punisher Logo Are Fascist: No matter what police say, the Thin Blue Line flag and the Punisher logo are fascist signifiers

Reuters German Spy Chief: ‘Russia Is the Storm, China Is Climate Change’

Politico Fiona Hill: ‘Elon Musk Is Transmitting a Message for Putin’: Eight months into Russia’s war against Ukraine, POLITICO talks to the Russia analyst about whether Putin’s aims are evolving and what it would take to end the war.

CALMatters Agency battling wage theft in California is too short-staffed to do its job

ProPublica Rent Going Up? One Company’s Algorithm Could Be Why.

Jacobin The Rich Are the Ones Burning the Planet: Research repeatedly shows that expanding inequality is intimately tied up with the destruction of the planet. We can’t save the world without taking on the rich.

Enough talk. Act.

If you live in the United States, this election is, like every election, a make-or-break election. California, where I live, sends every voter a mail-in ballot. This week, my wife and I performed our regular citizenship ritual by sitting together to discuss the candidates and propositions up for vote and fill in our ballots together. Don't squander your power. Vote.

The State of California sends an "I voted" sticker with your mail-in ballot.