Teller: but not Monday as it’s a bank holiday
Teller: Presidents Day
Customer: Huhmph, not this one
I was listening to the sometimes great Hanselminutes podcast while working and sadly his “Algorithms of Oppression” interview came on. Put broadly it was about how how algorithmic bias can “shape the world”. It was terrible and it occurred to me that while every good technology podcast interview is good in a different way, every bad technology podcast interview is bad in the same way, namely the interviewee talks about their personal opinions on something, sometimes named as
- “their worldview”
- “the way the world really works”
- “the big picture
I’m reminded of John Boyd’s notion (paraphrased) “You must eventually choose to do something or to be someone, but not both”. To be notable in technology one has chosen to do something and when they talk about themselves (i.e. the way in which they “are someone”) their forced to talk about themselves (or worldview/paradigm/etc) and it comes up very lacking.
Last Saturday we had the fourth Slate Star Codex Atlanta meetup, with two new members (yay) for a total of five. We rambled on for about three and a half hours. Topics included
- The math of revolutions and violent uprisings (historically more likely than I’d ever actually thought)
- Negative effects of smoking cessation (one of my pet theories)
- Creating a regional form of government between states and the federal government (the more I think about this the more I like it)
- Relations between police and the citizenry
- And many more
The title line of the meetup came from new member BJ. The next meetup will be in three weeks or so, probably in the same place.
Here are the links
While searching about IIS settings
Kevin Williamson kicked off the thought process with this paragraph – referring to the Nation and Mother Jones magazines
Rather than bring out the best in them — the muckraking, the unsentimental view of American life made possible by a politics not excessively burdened by patriotism — President Donald Trump and his merry men have driven the Left deeper into daft identity politics and vague conspiracy-mongering. Where once there was Christopher Hitchens, now there is the “interactive privilege simulator.” That is not progress.
Which does raise the thought that it is the unsentimental side of an ideology that has value.
That would break out to
Liberals (not the populist left) contribute insight onto
- The military
- Foreign Policy
- The criminal justice system
- Come to think of it, anything involving flags and guns
- What life is actually like on the bottom
Conservatives (not the populist right) contribute insight into
- Poverty/anything even remotely resembling an underclass
- Anything involving the “intersectional/priviledge” – though that is probably a recent development
Libertarians (there are no populist libertarians) contribute insight into
- The actual working of the state, and it’s victims
- Insight about the planning fallacy, and central planning – that probably includes all of the insights libertarians have
Sometimes I think belief in god is a matter of resolution and detail. For example, god in quite a few forms makes perfect intuitive sense in a big-picture here is the cosmos view. It makes much less intuitive sense if you look at the world on the scale of your morning commute. It makes intuitive sense again when you look through a microscope or think about string theory, quarks or things on that level.
Similarly Batman makes perfect sense when viewed at comic book resolution, much less so in a movie, even less in real life.
As for Eisenhower, I’m not sure where he fits into any of this – I just remember being struck by reading that the first four hours of his day as president was spent in solitary reading – he seemed to get the idea of resolution and problem solving right.
More to come on this over time.
From his podcast –
Anything that’s old enough to have an old testament prohibition against it is going to be around forever.
Today I heard the wonderful words
Daddy, I want to build robots with you.
It is a wonderful day!
I forget where I heard it (probably yet another Williamson) but my current favorite derogatory description of someone is “Hot garbage, piled high”