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

New Paradigm

We all used to say that social media isn’t free: if you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product. Which meant that all your usage information was sold to entities that would pay social media companies for it. This is a new -ish territory, maybe: now you pay to be the product.
Paying To Be The Product – WARREN ELLIS LTD

(emphasis is mine)

Geo Location Optimization

Apparently, in China geo-location is a factor for social media reach & influence…
So these kids set up on the footpath of a rich neighbourhood to optimize

Detritus 686 – Music of Sound

Scroll down to see photos of throngs of influencers lined up on the street. The comment from The Music of Sound:

Is it just me or is the future getting stupider!?

Is it a smart hustle or just the sad reality of Social Media? I mean, don’t they remind you just a little of kids from the early Industrial Age, working in coal mines or dark factories?

Bird Site

People are having fun with the new Bird Site “verification” process. Verification for everyone, he said. The result is pretty hilarious.


I think everyone is aware of what’s going on at Twitter. It’s a shame what’s happening, but luckily there are some alternatives. The alternatives are not as polished as Twitter but then again, Twitter was certainly NOT polished when it started 16 years ago.

I decided to delete all my posts and used this free tool to do that:

Then I realized that in more than a decade on Twitter* I produced thousands of “likes” and that a lot can be known about a person by their likes. It is very sellable data… so I found this resource to delete all of the likes:
Twitter Archive Eraser
It’s not free, but it worked and that’s what mattered to me.

You might want to check out Mastodon. It’s not polished and things can be rather slow at the moment, because thousands of Twitter users are moving to Mastodon, but I think the idea, the root stock, is very healthy. Here is the Wikipedia entry for Mastodon

Here is a link to Mastodon

Social networking that’s not for sale.
Your home feed should be filled with what matters to you most, not what a corporation thinks you should see. Radically different social media, back in the hands of the people.

On Mastodon you can find me here:
Follow me on Mastodon
or got to Mastodon.social and search for @ottmarliebert

See you there.

*I had two Twitter periods. I was an early adopter in 2006 with the handle @ottmar. Then I deleted that account and later (2009 or 2010?) opened a new account as @ottmarliebert. I am not going to delete my Twitter account. The verification checkmark will disappear, because I will not pay $8/month to the new Twitter King, but as long as I keep the account noone else can assume the name – or so I hope!

PS: social media is very much like the internet at large… it will either kill us or make it all better and we really don’t know which way it’s going to go yet. Will democracy suffer? That much is evident. Sometimes, however, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.