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
“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.
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 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.
The ten leading states — as in cops most shootingest states — in rank order, are New Mexico, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, West Virginia, Montana, and Idaho. It certainly seems like if we were to focus on the states that have the highest rates of police-involved shootings (and by far), we could find some low-hanging fruit to reduce the number of said shootings. But to do this we’d have stop thinking of police-involved shootings as primarily related to race
It’s all worth reading (and short) – it’s amazing what we lose by ceding intellectual territory to the high side of the Jordan Peterson spectrum (I need to write that concept up).
It was the smallest so far, but still a nice crowd and some wonderful conversation – the topics included infrastructure, economic growth, benevolent despots, the health care system, the Soviet Union and numerous other things.