Posts Tagged ‘Trends’

Virtual Media

It’s rare for an image to become iconic so quickly:


There’s a Rorschach Blot element to it, with everyone seeing what they’re expecting to. The source adds some context. The folks buried in the matrix are journalists. (Everyone knows who the other guy is.)

The picture was everywhere on social media, almost immediately. Zuck isn’t really looking at anyone (he’s staring forward into his own — eminently practical — dreams). The journalists are looking at what he’s showing them, and only that. We’re looking at them, asymmetrically (through social media). In other words, we’re seeing a new media system interring an old one inside itself. The press is being buried alive, in front of our eyes, and we’re (typically) trying not to laugh alongside Zuck too conspicuously, because the idea of that makes us nervous — perhaps even slightly nauseous. Everyone knows something real is happening, precisely because of its near-parodic virtuality. When people look back at this, it’s the obvious bizarre novelty of it — to us — that will look comical.

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February 23, 2016admin 37 Comments »
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Quote note (#220)

Scott Alexander in full-flood (in his own comment zone):

Okay, that’s actually a fair point. I don’t have all of this in one place yet, but I’ll try to give you a summary. And in honor of you accusing me of paranoid rants, I’ll try to present it in as deliberately conspiratorial and tinfoil-hattish a way as possible. I make no guarantees I will stand by any of this when I’m sober / when it’s not 3:30 AM. [I’m going to assume that’s an abbreviation for 3:33]


People naturally divide into ingroups and outgroups. Although the traditional way of doing this is by race or religion (leading to racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, etc), in modern America this is gradually being replaced by a more complicated division based on social class and political affiliation. Rural working-class people have become a very different tribe (“Red Tribe”) than college-educated urban people in gated professions (“Blue Tribe”), with different food preferences, sport preferences, entertainment preferences, dialects, religions, mores, and politics. These two groups are vehemently opposed.

(if you only read one link in this piece, read that vehemently opposed one. The rest are just citations; that one contains an important piece of the story that’s hard to summarize).

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February 15, 2016admin 54 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations
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Twitter cuts (#49)

The Internet is a formalism engine. It will engineer consistency, overwhelming all Cathedralist efforts to maintain ‘nuance’ (Left-oriented asymmetry).
(a) “Hey, we want out Pride™ too!” or
(b) All “X Pride” is evident retardation.
Choose one, unless you’re running a grievance studies program at a Cathedral institution (in which case, disintermediation is coming).

February 10, 2016admin 45 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Quote note (#181)

Hsu waxes optimistic about the coming ecology of explosive intelligence:

… perhaps we will experience a positive feedback loop: Better human minds invent better machine learning methods, which in turn accelerate our ability to improve human DNA and create even better minds. In my own work, I use methods from machine learning (so-called compressed sensing, or convex optimization in high dimensional geometry) to extract predictive models from genomic data. Thanks to recent advances, we can predict a phase transition in the behavior of these learning algorithms, representing a sudden increase in their effectiveness. We expect this transition to happen within about a decade, when we reach a critical threshold of about 1 million human genomes worth of data. Several entities, including the U.S. government’s Precision Medicine Initiative and the private company Human Longevity Inc. (founded by Craig Venter), are pursuing plans to genotype 1 million individuals or more.

The feedback loop between algorithms and genomes will result in a rich and complex world, with myriad types of intelligences at play: the ordinary human (rapidly losing the ability to comprehend what is going on around them); the enhanced human (the driver of change over the next 100 years, but perhaps eventually surpassed); and all around them vast machine intellects, some alien (evolved completely in silico) and some strangely familiar (hybrids). Rather than the standard science-fiction scenario of relatively unchanged, familiar humans interacting with ever-improving computer minds, we will experience a future with a diversity of both human and machine intelligences. For the first time, sentient beings of many different types will interact collaboratively to create ever greater advances, both through standard forms of communication and through new technologies allowing brain interfaces. We may even see human minds uploaded into cyberspace, with further hybridization to follow in the purely virtual realm. These uploaded minds could combine with artificial algorithms and structures to produce an unknowable but humanlike consciousness. Researchers have recently linked mouse and monkey brains together, allowing the animals to collaborate — via an electronic connection — to solve problems. This is just the beginning of “shared thought.”

September 5, 2015admin 23 Comments »