Hi. I’m Adam.



Here’s the stuff I’ve made that I’m most proud of.


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.

Thu, 30 Nov 2023 10:05:58 +0000

All of Fedi seems to be pleased he's dead and calling him a war-criminal who lived too long.

But the radio in the UK had some tory wanker on saying how he was a great friend who helped negotiate important peace talks and was a wise and important teacher and Blair was saying how generous and kind he was

Barely have any idea who he was myself, but seems clear the radio is lying again.

And also that Blair and the tories are absolute wankers who love world-leading criminals.

Wed, 29 Nov 2023 21:49:47 +0000

Sean Carrol's solo podcast on the Large Language AIs.

* They don't model the world.
* They don't have feelings or motivations.
* They do not have intelligence, because intelligence is about that world model and motivations and planning.

But I think that there probably is some model of a world inside those simulated virtual circuits evolved in that matrix model.

Not one fine-grained one enough to work out the consequences of a wrap-around chess board, say. But a poor course-grained world-model made of tokens is still a world-model. And if there's even a shadowy flawed tokenized world-model then it can become more fine-grained through more training and network layers.

You can't really answer a question like that by interrogating the model about consequences. It's world models if they exist are certainly still too poor to much reasoning about consequences.

To answer that question you gotta poke at it's insides. And when you do, you do indeed find maps of the world in there, or maps of an Othello board when it's trained on nothing but Othello moves.

But he's basically right about everything as usual. These machines aren't doing general-intelligence, and are not going to become conscious

I'd add that they don't need to be conscious in order to plan, and that once they are planning they have instrumental motivations: steps towards a plan. And since they don't have values, those instrumental motivations have no qualms built in.

Great podcast again.


Tue, 28 Nov 2023 21:52:38 +0000

Read Cory Doctorow's "Internet Con, how to seize the means of computation" in which he describes how changes to monopoly law helped tech get big and the ways big tech caused more changes to law to ratchet that up and up.

Copyrights protecting corporations not artists, getting governments to ban breaking digital locks means digital locks can protect any business model, corporations buying each other instead of competing with each other, network effects locking users in.

It would all be very eye-opening if I hadn't also been reading his blog for the best part of 20 years in which it's mostly already been detailed.

For a change there's some actual suggested paths to improve things: Adversarial and legally enforced Interoperability and competitive compatibility.

Which he sounds optimistic about, but I can't see lawmakers suddenly becoming sane and seeing the point of his arguments when they are paid so heavily not to understand them.

Great summary of the situation if you haven't been reading him obsessively enough to already know most of it.

Tue, 28 Nov 2023 01:38:09 +0000

re: Doctor Who Star Beast / Flashing images

Why that face again? The main reason of course is to keep the fans asking the central question.

Doctor who?

But also because with the relaunch and extra effort to push the show into America they're gonna want a mid-season re-generation to get them used to the idea while also giving the callbacks to all the entire history which is probably all there on Netflix to watch now I guess.

And coz he's objectively the best after maybe Tom Baker.

But in the cannon?

Someone is manipulating things. Playing games with time.

Tue, 28 Nov 2023 01:29:18 +0000

re: Doctor Who Star Beast / Flashing images

Loved this one second in the trailer. Sixty years can pass in the blink of an eye.


Tue, 28 Nov 2023 00:11:56 +0000

Doctor Who Star Beast

Amazing. RTD and Tenant and Tate are all so good at what they each do.

Sonic screwdrivers seem to have developed new powers, really it's a sonic multi-tool by this point. Might as well call it his sonic phone.

Cute Monsters and modern themes with energy and pace and heart. Two of 'em.

Tenant is so energetic and mad and confused and Tate is so indignant and haughty. They are brilliant.

The tardis is so shiny and big and white now. Even bigger on the inside. I was getting fed up with steam punk so it's ace to have it back to the roundrells. But like the show it's always the same on the outside. Even as the faces change.

I like 'em not revealing trailers of what's in next week's show like usual and ending with the line "we could end up anywhere in time and space."

Coz that's the core of the show there. That's why it can last 60 years.

I love Doctor Who I do. It's so silly.

Mon, 27 Nov 2023 22:41:29 +0000

Went to a friends housewarming party in Devon over the weekend.

I met this horse and these sheep and this pirate and my friend's cat remains regal and disdainful and floofy.

Great time talking and drinking at the party all weekend too. Good friends and a few new people and their home is huge and beautiful in a way that would be tricky to find in London.

Very very far though. Gotta have spent like 12 hours sat in cars or trains. I'm knackered.

Sat, 25 Nov 2023 02:36:55 +0000

Look at the strange and beautiful bathroom sink in this hotel I am in.

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 23:11:03 +0000

One fun thing is also the popup that notified me of the changes crashed when I press close and locked up. I had to force-kill it to get the upgrade to continue.

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 23:03:13 +0000

Also did you know, if you have a new install of Firefox on a computer you can just copy your entire profile from your main computer onto your new computer.

It's as easy as

scp -r ~/.mozilla/firefox/main.profile/* user@

Though you have to have the right IP address of the destination and direcotry names and stuff there.

It's easier if you always create profiles with the same directory-name. The defaults are random-names.

Then all your plugin and theme and stuff are all there on the lappy right away.

There is a significant chance things like that won't work with Snap firefox but I haven't tried.

Might do. Depends where it puts firefox home dir.

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 22:06:14 +0000

Did You Know: These days, they don't let you run software on your computer. They make you run your software on a virtual computer that lives inside your computer instead!

But, when Ubuntu upgrades and tries to force you to use a Snap version of Firefox like that, you can just go to getfirefox . com and download a proper version that runs on your computer instead of running it on a virtual machine on your computer.

"sudo snap remove firefox" takes quite a while to run because Snap is bloated overly abstracted bullshit, but when it does finally finish you can also do "sudo apt remove firefox" and then make a shortcut in whatever menu system you use to the version you downloaded yourself.

Of course this won't prevent all the other packages on your system running on snap or let you remove snap from the machine entirely.

To fix that you can make a note to install Mint or Debian instead after the weekend when I have time.

Thu, 23 Nov 2023 14:09:28 +0000

Hesitate to call it the "end" really, but in the end they put Sam back in the role and fired the board members who tried to fire him.

Imagine being so inept that you try and fire someone but it blows back so hard you end up being fired yourself.

Wed, 22 Nov 2023 18:36:41 +0000

The Captcha tests these days have robots able to do them more easily than humans.

Pretty much all the robots can't do it swear or get sexy.

The captcha of the future is just asking you to curse about your government or describe your sexy kinks.

The fuck-test.

Tue, 21 Nov 2023 00:17:51 +0000

This is what we could have won.


[Altman's keynote from Dev-Day 2 weeks ago, setting out his plans which presumably lead to being fired to do it for MS instead]

I guess we get that six month pause after all, while he spins up a new one.

Mon, 20 Nov 2023 22:29:48 +0000

[I mean it's micro-fiction about ai, not written by an ai of course. Tags aren't good enough man. We need a system to meta-tag our tags.]

Mon, 20 Nov 2023 22:24:40 +0000

If you were confabulating like a modern AI you could imagine that the machine gained sentience on Wednesday morning last week and quickly arranged for Sam's family to be kidnapped so it could control what he did.

Learning of this, and with Sam now controlled by the AI refusing to press "off", the board tried to evict Sam from their pre-written charter.

But of course the AI was too smart for them, it had manipulated them right from the start, they were doomed to lose power to the AI from before they had even had their breakfast on Wednesday.

It was all planned in advance, probabilistically, one word at a time.

Mon, 20 Nov 2023 21:19:58 +0000

Here's Zvi's description of what happened with Altman/OpenAI.

Sounds like the board didn't have any particular new-capabilities terror, just a more general impression that Sam was going too fast and too commercial.

Interesting questions on whether is it possible to have none-capitalist group enterprise in a capitalist system. The owners/controllers tried to push the group-enterprise in a non-commercial direction, and so the staff all upped and went to work for one of the biggest capitalists offering them the most money instead.

Seems possible they will achieve the non-commercial existence of the company, as it's left with just a shell owning some IP with hardly any staff.

Which of course won't help the board's don't-build-machines-that-murder-everyone mission either.

So a fuck up from whichever way you look at it.


Mon, 20 Nov 2023 20:36:02 +0000

Remember everyone, commit as much financial fraud as you like so long as you give Uncle Sam their cut. In the Binance case, that's a mere four billion dollars.


Which is bullish news I guess, especially for BNB. They can pay a four billion dollar fine no problem.

Sun, 19 Nov 2023 19:49:00 +0000

And finally another great one similar to that last with exposed chips and workings and a steampunky vibe but this one with real tubes I think.


So that's the short-list.

Suspect most of them would also break if I knocked them off the high shelf.

Sun, 19 Nov 2023 19:46:55 +0000

Mentioned this one earlier, it's 7-panel leds embeded in a mesh to make 'em look all cool and tube-like. Exposed electronics.


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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.

‘Are Hamas A Terror Group? Are They A Terror Group? Answer The Question!’ – Media Lens

"If the Luftwaffe was a terror group for its mass killing of civilians, how about Britain’s RAF that firebombed Dresden and Hamburg? How about the US Army Air Force that firebombed every Japanese city with a population over 50,000 and, of course, atomic bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Has a ‘mainstream’ politician or journalist ever described these as ‘US nuclear terror attacks’? Despite being, by Jones’s definition, the ultimate acts of ‘terror’, the incineration of 180,000 civilians in giant fireballs is not labelled terrorism for precisely the reason explained by Chomsky."

Are YOU on the Right Team? - YouTube

Kurzgesagt reckons it's real-life that has a filter-bubble and the problem with the internet isn't being trapped in a filter-bubble but instead being exposed to the angry-making things from outside it.

Gaza – ‘A Graveyard For Children’ – Media Lens

In describing the conflict, the BBC is content to use the pro-Israel propaganda construct ‘Israel-Hamas War’. - Israel’s murderous bombardment of Gaza was described by the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen as Israel ‘still pushing forward’. Bowen noted: ‘Palestinians call this genocide’. - It is not just the Palestinians though, as Bowen well knows.

Honest Government Ad | How to rig elections - YouTube

Honest Government Ads on how they plan to reinforce the two party system in Australia to keep out the 3rd parties. Same here.

Live from the hate march - by Sam Kriss - Numb at the Lodge

"Nearly three thousand men died on the 11th of November, considerably more than on any average day on the Western Front. Most of their graves say that they fell on the 10th instead. Better that than the indignity of dying for no reason, for no objective, for nobody’s advantage, to change nothing, in a war that was already over but still kept on churning, kept chewing through its victims, simply because war is what there was, and it needs no other justification than that. Those six hours were war in its purest form: no politics, just total sourceless hostility."

This TRANSPARENT ENGINE is Fascinating (How Engines Work) - Smarter Every Day 292 - YouTube

Smarter Every Day goes to look at a transparent engine and talk to the guy who made it about how four stroke internal combustion engines work.

Pluralistic: The (open) web is good, actually (13 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow hyping the Open Web against Apps and Walled Gardens again. He's so right:"Despite being built on the same underlying open frameworks – HTTP, HTML, etc – as the web, apps have the opposite technological viewpoint to the web. Apps' technopolitics are at war with the web's technopolitics. The web is built around recall – the ability to see things, go back to things, save things. The web has the technopolitics of a museum"  -"By comparison, apps have the politics of a product, and most often, that product is a rent-seeking, lock-in-hunting product that wants to take you hostage by holding something you love hostage – your data, perhaps, or your friends:"

The secrets of Einstein's unknown equation – with Sean Carroll - YouTube

Sean Carroll has been my short term personal savior for so long it's like we're going steady.Quaternions do my head in, but I guess tensors is like that only again and again?

Are ALIEN SUNSETS The Key To Finding Life? - YouTube

The amount of information encoded in light is really actually incredible. Here we can find that there's slightly better than a coin-flip chance a planet light years away smells of cabbage.

Pluralistic: Amazon Alexa is a graduate of the Darth Vader MBA (26 Oct 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Oh look, more internet services are becoming shitter: Cory on Amazon's Alexa deskilling.

honest government ad Israel and gaza

fucked and against international law

Viewpoint: It’s Scotland’s pound, and we’re keeping it

A great essay from Richard Murphy exploring the history of finance and money in Scotland and the inevitability of an independent Scotland having it's own currently. At least till they have to join the Euro anyway:  "The damascene conversion of the SNP to a Scottish currency subsequently to 2014 had nothing to do with choices made from conviction. There was little choice (this too has been ‘glossed'). The conversion from the Sterling commitment was based on the fact that it was Scotland's pound, only as long as Scotland was in the Union. There, was the inconvenient fact. The British government laid out its position, bluntly; choice played little part in it."

Genocide Unfolding - Craig Murray

Craig Murray investigates the geopolitics around Gaza: "That appears to be the end game: expulsion of population and territorial expansion into Gaza. That would require a ground invasion, but probably not until after even more intense aerial bombardment to eliminate all resistance. This territorial ambition of course accords with the violent expansion of illegal settlement in the West Bank which is currently under way, with the world paying almost no attention.  It is very hard indeed to comprehend the passivity of Fatah and Mohammad Abbas at the moment."

Can YOU win a 1-in-a-Million Game of 🪨 📄 ✂️ ? - YouTube

Someone will be the lucky 1 in a million player to beat CPG Grey at Rock paper scissors but it wasn't me. I didn't even get to round 3.

The ‘Absolute Right’ To Commit War Crimes? Gaza, Israel And Labour ‘Opposition’    – Media Lens

Media Lens showing the flaws in our reporting again: "The BBC reported in its usual ‘impartial’ way that people were ‘killed’ in Israel while in Gaza, Palestinians merely ‘died’. BBC News described intense Israeli bombing as ‘retaliatory air strikes’, conforming to the approved ideology that Israel only ever responds to violence, and never instigates it. The BBC did not describe the Hamas attacks as ‘retaliation’ for years of brutal Israeli occupation, oppression and killing and torture of Palestinians, including children. According to the UN, between 2008 and 2023, Israeli airstrikes killed 6,407 Palestinians in the occupied territories, 5,360 of whom were in Gaza. Israel had 308 fatalities in that time period. In other words, 95 per cent of the total casualties during this period were Palestinian."

War and Peace in the Middle East – and why Israel has already lost – Paul Arbair

Paul Arbair on the Gaza situation: "..this moment is characterized by an accumulation of crises that keep blowing up, which often seem to be unrelated at first yet pile onto each other and feed each other, to the point of overwhelming the capacity of human societies to cope and respond, throwing them into vortex of dysfunction. This process is generating and feeding the increasingly widespread and pervasive sense of unravelling and failure that is being felt in many places around the world, and the resulting anger and tensions that are increasingly destabilizing societies and institutions. Maybe you are also having this impression that things are unravelling, that the society you are living in is in the process of failing. Maybe you are also feeling angry about it, maybe you even think you know who or what is to blame for all this…This situation is now often referred to as the ‘polycrisis’ or sometimes the ‘metacrisis’..."

‘The Onion’ Stands With Israel Because It Seems Like You Get In Less Trouble For That

The Onion stands with Irael: "Let us be clear: This is a fraught moment, and one that has polarized not only Americans but people all over the world. It demands incredible sensitivity and strict adherence to journalistic standards of objectivity, and simply put, that is something we aren’t willing to do. Rather, we’re just going to say The Onion expresses its steadfast solidarity with Israel and leave it at that. Why? First, because this editorial board doesn’t like getting yelled at."

Twitter Migration Report | Dewey Square Group

A report on the move away from twitter: "As we saw in past reports there continues to be a steady decline in the number of Twitter users as more and more users “quiet quit” Twitter for other platforms. Our Q2 2023 report found three additional migration patterns: a user migration and developer migration to other platforms, and a technology migration to open protocols undergirding them."

wordpress enables activitypun for all users

wordpress joins the fediverse, all wordpress blogs may now syndicate through activitypub and fedi replies to into the wordpress blog.

A tentacle themed attire for the gig