Hi. I’m Adam.

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Diary

Here’s my latest posts to the free fediverse, some rambling, some ranting, mostly just commenting on stuff I’ve read lately. Some of it gets syndicated to Twitter but mostly not. The best of it reaches my monthly digest email.

Tue, 05 Mar 2024 11:46:12 +0000

It's my birthday so I can have sausage egg and chips for breakfast if I want.

Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:29:57 +0000

I've been reading Ray Dailo's "Principles for dealing with the changing world order" in which he charts the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms and dynasties.

The main cycle, he reckons is:
1) Winner of a war consolidates power, unites the population (often through oppression)
2) A smart cooperative equitable educated society with meritocracy means good societal progress and wide sharing of the wealth.
3) Long period of peace, building good tech and military and financial systems.
4) Leadership corrupts: Excessive debt, money-printing, inequality, financial ruin, no sense of solidarity, then a natural disaster pushes it over the edge
5) The fall: Escalating rebellions, very bad inequality, internal conflicts
6) Civil war, revolution, eventually a strong leader proves the winner and back to 1.

We in the western civilization are very clearly in the late states of this kind of cycle, and it's frankly terrifying with the weapons we have these days when it comes to a war.

The leadership is too corrupt to try and fix the inequality or invest in that well educated, equitable, cooperative society.

He explicitly agrees with Marx and implicitly with me a lot more than I'd have expected from the rabid capitalist that Ray Dailo is.

It's interesting to hear his emphasis on inequality and how a prosperous society depends upon sharing the gains of prosperity widely. You tend to hear hyper-capitalists mostly emphasizing that capital's gains should go to capital, and Ray is certainly suggesting the opposite here. That if that happens, it corrupts the leadership and ends with cronyism and debt and revolution.

We seem to basically agree what creates good prosperous peaceful civil society, and that capitalism in the Anglican world isn't doing it, and that fucked up corrupt government is why we aren't doing it.

We'd offer fairly different prescriptions though I think.

Sun, 03 Mar 2024 11:23:39 +0000

The BBC loves to both-sides arguments you see. They are neutral.

Except when it's banning kids from the internet. Then they only represent one side of the argument, deny that any other side could possibly exist, and insist impossible things which can't work will protect kids while offering no evidence that internet access is even really more harmful than helpful.

Sat, 02 Mar 2024 11:09:09 +0000

"DEMOCRACY IS UNDER THREAT" says unelected prime-minster feeling threatened by an outlier election result.

Fri, 01 Mar 2024 00:34:15 +0000

For my part, I always thought copyright was bullshit. Monopolies on the reproduction of ideas granted by the authority of the king? 😆 Whatever. 🏴‍☠️

There must be better ways to fund arts than the actual imprisonment and banning of them from the free flow of ideas.

The reproduction of ideas is *how it works*, taxing that is bonkers.

Fri, 01 Mar 2024 00:16:29 +0000

Wow, March the first. Finally.

I sure am glad that yesterday didn't really exist and all those things I said aren't real.

Thu, 29 Feb 2024 23:55:47 +0000

If copyright is real then the AI machines owe the artists of humankind (which is to say all of us) more money than exists in the banking systems of the planet.

If copyright is not real then the companies that trained those models have no right to exclusive ownership of the weights.

I bet somehow the law conspires to make it the worst of either option.

Thu, 29 Feb 2024 23:39:22 +0000

I honestly think we'd be in a massively different world right now if Marx had just said "Workers" and "Owners" instead of "Proletariat" and "Bourgeoisie".

Pretentious wanker cost us the revolution the bearded twat.

Wed, 28 Feb 2024 12:01:21 +0000

Hey, corporate news media, if you want young people to trust you more maybe try not being blatant untrustworthy propaganda filled with lies?

For instance, if you report on a report, you could try saying who did the report or link to it's actual contents? Or would that reveal that it's all just fake study propaganda made by corporate sponsors?

RE: Young people choose TikTok over BBC for news

telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/02/2

Mon, 26 Feb 2024 11:38:07 +0000

The boss wants me to set up 2fa on the work gmail account, which is fair enough, but it turns out to be impossible to do so.

In order to set up 2fa with Gmail you must first associate a phone number with your account because Google are greedy data-hoarders.

But I don't have any business phone number and I am unwilling to associate my personal phone number with my employers gmail account.

So we had to do the dance where I give it his phone number and he forwards the sms confirmation to me and then I set up 2fa and then delete the phone number.

Every other one of the services he's asked me to set up 2fa for didn't require a phone number.

It's mostly just Google that Sucks.

Fri, 23 Feb 2024 10:55:34 +0000

I knew that if I just worked hard and trained and went to the gym every day then one day I would be strong enough to rip up a phone book.

Apparently this is the last one they're gonna print. I'm relieved to find I'm not in it. Is this all the BT customers prepared to reveal their numbers still?

Or just those who didn't know it was happening?

Fri, 23 Feb 2024 00:13:19 +0000

I like the way Issac Authur uses the word "doable".

You wanna spin up the moon so it goes 30 times faster to give it a 24 hour day? Sure. That's doable.

Ship an oil-taker full of water onto the moon every second for thirty thousand years to create oceans? Yeah, doable, but you'd probably stop early because of property values.

Build a black-hole in the center of the moon to increase it's gravity to earth-levels? Doable. Just have to get the mass from Jupiter.

youtube.com/watch?v=3Q3mSljAbN

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 22:52:04 +0000

I've seen the nights, filled with bloodsport and pain
And the bodies obtained, the bodies obtained

b3ta.com/board/11404479

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 22:09:46 +0000

They have a blog to reassure their users about the changes.

bsky.social/about/blog/02-22-2

A summary of some ways Bluesky differs from Mastodon:

A focus on the global conversation

Which is to say, manipulating the things you are shown such that you are broadcast to from megastars rather than talking to a community.

Your Mastodon server is part of your username, and becomes part of your identity.

I am not a handle! I am a free man! I guess that means on Bluesky you're stuck with the one identity and can't transition into a new identity 😆

breaking news, viral posts, and algorithmic feeds

Ugh.

Composable moderation.

Which is to say hiding the nazis instead of deleting them. Putting up a veil instead of addressing a problem.

Composable feeds:... there are currently over 40,000 algorithmic feeds to choose from!

It's just like TV!

Your Mastodon timeline is only made up of posts from accounts you follow

Damn right.

Moving hosting services should be like changing your cell phone provider — you should be able to keep your identity and data.

I'm leaning more towards auto-delete after a month lately, but that still hasn't quite overcome my inner archivist.

Losing an account when a server went down is indeed a good chunk of why I started a server.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 20:25:36 +0000

Come help us build a decentralized social media!

Step one: Join this surveillance capitalist's centralized forum system.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 20:23:10 +0000

Man, it's not even optional.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 20:18:49 +0000

Hahhahha.

So the Bluesky federation is turned on. Wondered about installing a server, check it out.

"Join our discord"

Hahhaaa.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 18:46:29 +0000

re: ukpol parliament/gaza


The thing I don't get is that they reckon Starmer threatened the speaker with losing his position as speaker.

Why would Hoyle give a fuck about that? Isn't it supposed to be a shit job? A tradition of having to be dragged from the benches and forcibly put in place and all that.

Eighty grand a year isn't to be sniffed at I guess, but he could make more speaking at business things than being speaker of the house now.

If I was speaker of the house and someone threatened to relieve me of the position I'd bite their arm off. Get back to slacking on the back benches and taking bribes from capitalists or whatever they do.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 17:48:19 +0000

Over 100 moderation-reports on this server now.

A week ago it was less than five, and half of them were just my tests.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 00:00:13 +0000

re: ukpol parliament/gaza


Owen describes the whole sorry mess for those not in the know:

youtube.com/watch?v=pv0O72niqj

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Bookmarks

A list of the last few things I’ve enjoyed reading/watching or sometimes bookmarked to read later. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the little robot on the fediverse that toots them out as I bookmark them.

Generative A.I - We Aren’t Ready. - YouTube

The Dark Forest theory of the internet, in which everyone retreats into underground whatsapp lists and telegram channels because on the internet proper, nobody knows you're a chatbot and everywhere is full of dark spam.

Pluralistic: The real problem with anonymity (04 Mar 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Cory points out it's not internet user's anonymity that causes social issues, it's the corporate manager's anonymity: "These are the greater corporate fuckwads, who commit their sins from behind a veil of anonymity. That brand of bloodless viciousness, depravity and fraud absolutely depends on anonymity."

First it was Corbyn. Now the whole British public is being smeared over Gaza | Middle East Eye

Jonathan Cook: "The smearing of Corbyn over his criticisms of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians largely worked. But gaslighting much of the public as a dangerous "mob" for opposing even more egregious Israeli crimes may yet backfire"

Why are government services going down the pan despite high taxation?

"As a consequence of poor economic thinking by government that fails to understand any of this, what we get is a downward economic spiral. Growth becomes stagnant at best, but taxation demands increase to match increased government expenditure the demand for which arises directly as a result of failed government economic policy.""In other words, over almost fifteen years the government has deliberately failed to deliver growth but has created an environment where demand for government services is inevitably inflated. This is the outcome of neoliberal thinking."... "There is a final thought to add. What all this  means is that to get out of this mess politicians have to change their behaviour, but what they re  saying is that it's a pre-condition of change that the private sector delivers growth first, which makes any recovery look to be impossible since that is not going to happen whilst government policy continues  to crush GDP. That summarises the mess we're in."

The Trillion Dollar Equation - YouTube

Veritasium's video on derivative markets and options is really great. Feel like I'm nearly there understanding what calls and puts are now.

James O'Brien's Chart-Topping Podcast, Full Disclosure - Download NOW - LBC

James O Brien's quick chat with Bernie Sanders, in which Bernie schools him on how his profession is a traitor in the class war.

Keir Starmer and Lindsay Hoyle colluded to turn the Gaza ceasefire vote into a farce

Another Angry Voice on our MPs squabbling and playing status games while states murder thousands: "This entire farce was caused purely because Starmer wanted to strip out reference to Israel’s “collective punishment" of Palestinian citizens and water down the ceasefire call to give Israel the green light to continue their atrocities.""When your party is being led by a cynical, manipulative, game-playing, profoundly dishonest, constantly U-turning liar like Keir Starmer, then perhaps it’s impossible to imagine others doing things on principle, just because they’re the right thing to do?"

Assange Final Appeal - Your Man in the Public Gallery - Craig Murray

Craig Murray's description of the Julian Assange case so far.

The secret economics destroying Britain | Gary Stevenson interview - YouTube

Guess we're gonna get a lot of Gary Stevenson on the wires for a bit now he's finished his book. Here's 50 minutes at Joe where he explains why families are losing their homes and the state is in debt.

Love And Liberty - by Scott Alexander - Astral Codex Ten

Scott on Love: "Love is like a crypto-scam, tantalizing you with the promise of infinite riches before dashing you against the rocks."

Why It Was Almost Impossible to Make the Blue LED - YouTube

"Almost impossible" is a strange thing to say really. Like "Almost pregnant" or "Almost sane". But Vertitasim tell a good story and the one about how long it took to develop a way to make a blue LED is a good one to tell.

I Stopped Using Passwords. It's Great—and a Total Mess | WIRED

I know what passkeys are now. They're just files containing long passwords that are private keys really.

Fedi Monster

This is it man. Anarchist collectives organizing to do self-hosting collectively. Not megacorp spying on you in endlessly infinitesimal detail: " We will not host instances and communities that promote or support capitalism, fascism, classism, imperialism, war and militarism, nazism, white supremacy, religious supremacism, police states, are directly affiliated with states, or more at our discretion. and the monster's pronouns are it/them."

State Secrecy and Public Hearings Part One - Craig Murray

UK Court has very strict rules on who can view it's "public" hearing on Julian Assange's political deportation and incarceration  for journalism. Craig is confused: "Why is nobody outside the state and billionaire media allowed to give live information about what is happening in the Court? Why is it OK if CNN does give live information, but not OK if a concerned citizen does it?Why does everybody have to be threatened with two years’ imprisonment if they break these crazy rules?"

transmediale McLuhan Lecture 2024 with Cory Doctorow and Frederike Kaltheuner. - YouTube

If you like Cory Doctorow describing why the internet is all enshitified these days but prefer it as a 90 minute talk instead of an essay then this is for you! He did just that at the Marshall McLuhan Lecture in Germany.

Free Will Does Not Exist with Robert Sapolsky - Factually! - 246 - YouTube

Robert Sapolsky is really funny and sharp and entertaining talking to Canover about free-will but he apparently doesn't deserve the credit for it and had no choice in the matter.

Shtetl-Optimized » Blog Archive » Does fermion doubling make the universe not a computer?

Scott Aaronson has some interesting thoughts on the computability of physics and whether we're living in a simulation. - This sentence: "even if it turns out that lattice methods can’t properly simulate the Standard Model, that tells us little about whether any computational methods could simulate the ultimate quantum theory of gravity. A priori, the latter task might be harder than “merely” simulating the Standard Model (if, e.g., Roger Penrose’s microtubule theory turned out to be right), but it might also be easier (e.g., because of the finiteness of the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy, and perhaps the Hilbert space dimension, of any bounded region of space)."

Worldcon in the news - Charlie's Diary

Charles Stross explains what happened to sci-fi convention WorldCon this year, and the Hugo Awards that happens there. He reckons the Chinese sfi-fi fan armature organizers didn't really expect the government to get heavy with them and panicked to fix the results.

CD / Shutter Speed - YouTube

Captain Disillusion explains camera shutters.

Gaza – A Brutal Demonstration Of ‘Western Values’     – Media Lens

t is a fundamental requirement of political journalists and editors that they magically transform the crimes of ‘our’ governments into ‘miscalculations’, ‘mistakes’ or ‘misguided’ attempts to do good. This transformation is a power-serving alchemy turning the base metal of brutal realpolitik into the gold of benign intention, all for public consumption.

A tentacle themed attire for the gig