A Car Can Go Faster

This morning Steve left the following link in the comment section:
Jaron Lanier: ‘The danger isn’t that AI destroys us. It’s that it drives us insane’ | The Guardian

You come for Lanier’s analysis of AI…

Lanier doesn’t even like the term artificial intelligence, objecting to the idea that it is actually intelligent, and that we could be in competition with it. “This idea of surpassing human ability is silly because it’s made of human abilities.” He says comparing ourselves with AI is the equivalent of comparing ourselves with a car. “It’s like saying a car can go faster than a human runner. Of course it can, and yet we don’t say that the car has become a better runner.”

and you stay for his analysis of Twitter:

As for Twitter, he says it has brought out the worst in us. “It has a way of taking people who start out as distinct individuals and converging them into the same personality, optimized for Twitter engagement. That personality is insecure and nervous, focused on personal slights and affronted by claims of rights by others if they’re different people. The example I use is Trump, Kanye and Elon [Musk, who now owns Twitter]. Ten years ago they had distinct personalities. But they’ve converged to have a remarkable similarity of personality, and I think that’s the personality you get if you spend too much time on Twitter. It turns you into a little kid in a schoolyard who is both desperate for attention and afraid of being the one who gets beat up. You end up being this phoney who’s self-concerned but loses empathy for others.”

This is what my hope is as well:

There is also huge potential, he says, for AI to help us tackle climate change, and save the planet.

Great article. Thanks Steve

Darwin Award

Lawyer Dies After Shot By His Own Concealed Gun Triggered By MRI Scanner

COVID isn’t a cold

In photos of 2023’s World Economic Forum- or Davos as it is commonly called, after the Swiss resort town where it annually occurs- you might not notice the HEPA filters. They’re in the background, unobtrusive and unremarked upon, quietly cleansing the air of viruses and bacteria. You wouldn’t know- not unless you asked- that every attendee was PCR tested before entering the forum, or that in the case of a positive test, access was automatically, electronically, revoked. The folks on stage aren’t sporting masks (mostly), so unless you looked at the official Davos Health & Safety protocol, you wouldn’t be aware that their on-site drivers are required to wear them. You also might be surprised to learn that if, at any point, you start to feel ill at Davos, you can go collect a free rapid test, or even call their dedicated COVID hotline.
Billionaires at Davos don’t think COVID is a cold

Almost gives a person the feeling that COVID has been downplayed intentionally in order to get the economy going and creating profits for the people who are meeting in Davos? Or am I too cynical.


I love RSS, Real Simple Syndication (Wikipedia) and prefer looking at my own list of RSS feeds over reading what an algorythm thinks I should read – which is also one of the reasons why I am not on Facebook or Instagram and am no longer active on Twitter. Finding feeds for blogs that might interest you has become easier with this handy directory that shows a collection of 1219 blogs about every topic. If you have a Mac or an iPhone or iPad, have a look at this excellent RSS Reader app. It’s been around forever, in Internet years, it’s free, and I think it is excellent. Go ahead, curate your own news. You’ll feel better!

ooh.directory is a place to find good blogs that interest you.
Find out more…



Researchers discover two new minerals on meteorite grounded in Somalia | Chemistry | The Guardian:

The meteorite, the ninth largest recorded at over 2 metres wide, was unearthed in Somalia in 2020, although local camel herders say it was well known to them for generations and named Nightfall in their songs and poems.

Western scientists, however, dubbed the extraterrestrial rock El Ali because it was found near the town of El Ali, in the Hiiraan region. A 70-gram slice of the iron-based meteorite was sent to the University of Alberta’s meteorite collection for classification.

Nightfall… I love that name. Nightfall, Somalia… it’s a piece of music, I am sure.

I read that local pastoralists were aware of the rock for between five and seven generations, and it featured in songs, folklore, dances, and poems. Now, however the future of the meteorite is uncertain as it has been shipped to China, presumably for sale. Somehow I don’t think the local pastoralists will get anything out of this. And they can no longer point at Nightfall when kids ask about the song.