weekly reel December 2, 2018
Mim Rasouli - Narenj (Engare Soundtrack) (w.soundcloud.com)
Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas (bandcamp.com)
Mim Rasouli - Narenj (Engare Soundtrack) (w.soundcloud.com)
Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas (bandcamp.com)
Decanted Youth - Live Red Hook Open Studios - Nov 11 2018 (youtube-nocookie.com)
On the news,
"I think a lot of people know really famous directors for film, really famous authors. Games don't really get that. Coming from AAA, I get it -- we made games with 300 people, right? It's not one person. But especially if you're an indie game maker, either yourself or with like a really tiny group of people, I think there's no reason your name shouldn't be on the front of the tin."
[MIT lab leader] Marvin Minsky didn’t like having doors locked, because he had a tendency to lose his keys. So the doors to the Lab and all the offices inside it were always open. There were no passwords for the time-sharing system. There was no file protection—literally: anybody could sit down at any console and do anything. [...]
The point is that when people share a computer, either they do so as a community, where they trust each other and resolve disputes, or it’s run like a police state, where there are a few who are the masters, who exercise total power over everyone else. [...]
Our way of dealing with kids coming in over Arpanet was to socialize them. We all participated in that. For example, there was a command you could type to tell the system to shut down in five minutes. The kids sometimes did that, and when they did we just canceled the shutdown. They were amazed. They would read about this command and think, surely it’s not going to work, and would type it—and get an immediate notification: ‘The system is shutting down in five minutes because of . . . ’
[Then] there was always a real user, who would just cancel the shutdown and say to that person, ‘Why did you try to shut the machine down? You know we’re here using it. You only do that if there’s a good reason.’ And the thing is, a lot of those people felt outcast by society—they were geeks; their families and their fellow students didn’t understand them; they had nobody. And we welcomed them into the community and invited them to learn and start to do some useful work. It was amazing for them not to be treated as trash.
On the political inclinations of free software:
Interviewer: One thing that’s striking about that culture—which is legendary in the history of computing—is that it flourished in an institution largely funded by the American Defense Department. Do you find it paradoxical that this sort of freedom could develop under the carapace of the Pentagon?
RMS: It’s paradoxical, but it actually makes perfect sense. They wanted to fund some research. They didn’t need to make it be done by jerks and downtrodden people—they just wanted it to get done. During the seventies, a number of the hackers at the ai Lab were bothered by the fact that it was funded by the us military. I thought that what mattered was what we were doing, not where the money came from, and at some point I reached a conclusion that funding from business was much worse.
I: Worse than funding from the military?
RMS: Much worse, because the businesses would try to restrict the use of what you did.
I: Nevertheless, this was the state that was bombing Vietnam.
RMS: Yes, it was. I was against the Vietnam War, just like everyone else in the Lab, but we weren’t helping them bomb Vietnam. Our work wasn’t particularly military, or even likely to be used in the short term. For instance, Greenblatt did a lot of work on chess programs; I mostly worked on improving various system programs—I developed the first Emacs text editor during that time.
On AI "data-race" and its compatibility with a privacy-respectful society:
I: How is the free-software movement related politically to other issues—does it have any natural allies?
RMS: Free software combines capitalist, socialist and anarchist ideas. The capitalist part is: free software is something businesses can use and develop and sell. The socialist part is: we develop this knowledge, which becomes available to everyone and improves life for everyone. And the anarchist part: you can do what you like with it. I’m not an anarchist—we need a state so we can have a welfare state. I’m not a ‘libertarian’ in the usual American sense, and I call them rather ‘antisocialists’ because their main goal is a laissez-faire, laissez-mourir economy. People like me are the true libertarians. I supported Bernie Sanders for President—Clinton was too right-wing for me—and the Green Party.
I: Would it be quite right to say there’s no anti-capitalist dynamic to free software? After all, capitalism proper involves excluding most of the population from means of production, and free software makes such means readily available to anyone. Market exchange is another matter, and could also characterize libertarian socialism, for example.
RMS: As I understand the term capitalism, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are quasi-monopolies or oligopolies that politically dominate the world. I do condemn the current system of plutocracy very strongly. When I talk about capitalism, I mean private business. There is a difference between the economic system that the us has now and what it had in 1970. There are two different forms of capitalism, you might say—this one I call extreme capitalism, or plutocracy, in which businesses dominate the state. I’m definitely against plutocracy, but I don’t wish to identify capitalism with plutocracy, because there are other forms of capitalism that I have seen in my life. Basically, businesses shouldn’t decide our laws.
I: So your political orientation would be to some kind of social democracy with a mixed economy?
RMS: Yes. But that’s economic; and my political orientation is democracy and human rights. But to have democracy means the people control the state, which means the businesses don’t. So, in terms of economy, yes, I favour having private businesses. I don’t think state restaurants could have made the meal we just had.
I: It’s often argued now that attempts to deter American corporations from massive data collection, in the name of privacy or civil liberties, will allow China to win the new ‘space race’ in machine-learning and artificial intelligence. What’s your response to that?
RMS: Freedom and democracy are more important than advancing technology. If China and the us are in a race for Orwellian tyranny, I hope the us loses. Indeed, the us should drop out of the race as soon as possible. Our society has been taught to overestimate the importance of ‘innovation’. Innovations may be good, and they may be bad. If we let companies decide which innovations we will use, they will choose the ones that give them more of an advantage over us.
I: A complementary argument is that Silicon Valley may have the advantage over China in terms of innovation, but that the next stage in AI will be about implementation—the sheer amount of data an organization can run through the algorithms, and the scale of its processing power—where China has the advantage of a population four times greater than the us. (This seems to be the claim of Kai-fu Lee in AI Superpowers.) How do you view these developments? What are the implications in terms of, first, software freedoms, and second, civil liberties?
RMS: Such AIs will work for companies; their use will be to help companies manipulate people better and dominate society more. I think we should restrict the collection of data about people, other than court-designated suspects. If that holds the companies back in developing AI techniques to help them dominate society, so much the better.
YO! UP! MUSIC! TAKE SOME TERA MELOS, 👍👍👍 Sam.
X'ed Out by Tera Melos (bandcamp.com)
And on the weekly news,
I don’t think we’ve even begun to comprehend the full cost of our devices on our lives, particularly on our social structures, the development of our children, and our overall mental health. When the long-term studies start coming out, we’re going to be appalled.
I imagine that in another decade or two we’ll look at 2010s-era device use something like we do now with cigarette smoking. I was born in 1980, and I remember smoking sections on planes, which is unthinkable today. I wonder if today’s kids will one day vaguely remember the brief, bizarre time when people didn’t think twice about lighting up a screen in the middle of a darkened concert hall.
Hey ho; music with mouse on the keys.
tres by mouse on the keys (bandcamp.com)
Around the interwebs,
Bonjour bonsoir, frendz. This week's 🎶 is a fun cover by Hot 8 Brass Band.
Hot 8 Brass Band / Joy Division - Love will tear us apart (youtube-nocookie.com)
On the news,
The problem is that the emphasis on technological factors alone, as though “disruptive innovation” comes from nowhere or is as natural as a cool breeze, casts an air of blameless inevitability over something that has deep roots in class conflict. The phrase “robots are taking our jobs” gives technology agency it doesn’t (yet?) possess, whereas “capitalists are making targeted investments in robots designed to weaken and replace human workers so they can get even richer” is less catchy but more accurate.
Capitalism needs workers to be and feel vulnerable, and because automation has an ideological function as well as a technological dimension, leftists must keep intervening in conversations about technological change and what to do about it. Instead of capitulating to the owning class’s loose talk of automation as a foreordained next phase of production, we should counter with demands that are both visionary and feasible: a federal job guarantee that provides meaningful work to all who want it or job sharing through a significant reduction in the workweek. When pundits predict mass unemployment following a robot takeover, we should call for collective ownership of the robots and generous social benefits detached from employment status, including pushing for a progressive variation of a universal basic income under a rallying cry that updates the 1970s socialist feminist slogan to Wages for All Work—not just the work that bosses recognize as worthy of a meager paycheck.
Thom Yorke - Suspirium (youtube-nocookie.com)
Thom Yorke - Open again (youtube-nocookie.com)
Thom Yorke - Unmade (youtube-nocookie.com)
Thom Yorke - Has ended (youtube-nocookie.com)
Touch Dissolves by Aaron Martin (bandcamp.com)
The rafter by Matchess (bandcamp.com)
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
Bonjour bonsoir, m'sieurs dames. 🎶 avec Feu! Chatterton.
Feu! Chatterton - Grace (youtube-nocookie.com)
Around the interwebs,
Hey frendz. Music, with the Emily Haines-esque raw pop of Kristin Hersh.
Wyatt at the Coyote Palace by Kristin Hersh (bandcamp.com)
Hola. This week's music is Hampshire & Foat.
The Honeybear by Hampshire & Foat (bandcamp.com)
On the news,
Bonjour bonsoir, and music with deafheaven.
Ordinary corrupt human love by deafheaven (bandcamp.com)
Les enfants n’apprennent pas l’informatique à l’école, ils apprennent Microsoft (et Google et Facebook), ce qui revient à confier des cours de nutrition à Mac Donald’s ou leurs cours d'histoire, à Robert Faurisson
Yes! No! Maybe! Hello, friends. Musique, avec un nouveau Grand blanc.
Image au mur by Grand blanc (bandcamp.com)
On the news:
Au-delà de l’organisation de l’Etat, ce qui cloche, ce qui nous mène dans le mur et que les chefs d’Etat doivent corriger de toute urgence, c’est le modèle économique dominant. Pendant que « la planète est en train de devenir une étuve, que nos ressources naturelles s’épuisent, que la biodiversité fond comme la neige au soleil », Emmanuel Macron, Edouard Philippe comme tous les dirigeants de la planète, pensent croissance, PIB, relance de la consommation…
Bref, dixit Hulot, « on s’évertue à entretenir voire à réanimer un modèle économique marchand qui est la cause de tous ces désordres ». Et alors que « l’enjeu écologique est un enjeu culturel, sociétal, civilisationnel, on ne s’est pas du tout mis en ordre de marche pour l’aborder comme cela ».
Your time at the library comes with absolutely no expectation that you buy anything. Or even that you even transact at all. And there’s certainly no implication that your data or your rights are being surrendered in return for the services you partake in.
This rare openness and neutrality imbues libraries with a distinct sense of community, of us, of everyone having come together to fund and build and participate in this collective sharing of knowledge and space. All of that seems exceedingly rare in this increasingly commercial, exposed world of ours. In a way it’s quite amazing that the concept continues to persist at all.
Hey ho, long time no see. Music, with the relaxing bleeps of emancipator.
Baralku by emancipator (bandcamp.com)
Around the wild wild interwebs,
Bootlegs No.2 @ Ambassaden 30/04/13 by I Think You're Awesome (bandcamp.com)
Hecuba by Oracle Hysterical (bandcamp.com)
New Devices by Roller Trio (bandcamp.com)
No to racists
No to fascists
No to taxes funding racists and fascists
No mercy for rapists
No pity for bigots
No forgiveness for nativists
No to all those
No hope without rage
No rage without teeth
No separate peace
No easy feat
No to bounds by genders
No to clickbait as culture
No to news as truths
No to art as untruths
No anti-Semitic anything
No Islamophobic anything
No progress without others
No meaning without meaning
No means no
No means no
No means no
No means no
- All technological change is a trade-off. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
- The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are never distributed evenly among the population. This means that every new technology benefits some and harms others.
- Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas. Every technology has a philosophy which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards.
- Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. The consequences of technological change are always vast, often unpredictable and largely irreversible.
- Media tend to become mythic. Cars, planes, TV, movies, newspapers — they have achieved mythic status because they are perceived as gifts of nature, not as artifacts produced in a specific political and historical context.
AMP's innovation isn't a way to make pages fast. AMP is a way to sell other stakeholders on implementing technologies that make your website fast. All the stuff AMP does is stuff you could do yourself without the extra request to amp.js and the extra work to amp-ify your pages.
But imagine you've got an advertising department that wants three different ad networks, a couple different managers that want to see stats from a couple different analytics platforms, and and the designer wants to load a font from fontsquirrel and another one from typekit and another one from google web fonts, and as a developer who wants to keep the site fast you have to fight them every single time they want to add something else that slows your site down. Having the same fight every time, with everybody else saying "oh, it's just one request. and this one is really critical" it's hard to keep fighting that fight.
It's a lot easier to say "i can't do that, it doesn't work in AMP". If you can find a better way to convince large organizations that page load speed is a valuable metric, and more important that whatever other resource they want to load today, I'd love to hear it. But from what i've seen, AMP is the only thing that's had any success in tackling this problem.
In “Google Data Collection,” Professor Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most personal habits across all of its products and how that data is being tied together. The key findings include:
A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google.
For comparison’s sake, a similar experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. Moreover, an idle Android phone running the Chrome browser sends back to Google nearly fifty times as many data requests per hour as an idle iOS phone running Safari.
Bonjour bonsoir, folks. This week's 🎶 is FAUXE.
I K H L A S by FAUXE (bandcamp.com)
On the news,
F**k it! we'll do it live - Volume 2 by Consider the Source (bandcamp.com)
World war trio (Parts II & III) by Consider the Source (bandcamp.com)
War Paint by Happy Rhodes (bandcamp.com)
Tidbits for this week:
Bien le bonjour. Get some radioheadphones, 2+2=5 is 👍 live.
Radiohead - 2+2=5 (Live in Tokyo 2016) (youtube-nocookie.com)
Around the interwebs,
The sort of leaders we need now are not those who promise ultimate victory over nature through perseverance in living as we do right now, but those with the courage and intelligence to present to the world what appears to be nature's stern but reasonable surrender terms:
- Reduce and stabilize your population.
- Stop poisoning the air, the water, and the topsoil.
- Stop preparing for war and start dealing with your real problems.
- Teach your kids, and yourselves, too, while you're at it, how to inhabit a small planet without helping to kill it.
- Stop thinking science can fix anything if you give it a trillion dollars.
- Stop thinking your grandchildren will be OK no matter how wasteful or destructive you may be, since they can go to a nice new planet on a spaceship. That is really mean, and stupid.
- And so on. Or else.
Zuckerberg is so wrong here. It is not hard at all to “impugn the intent” of Holocaust or Sandy Hook deniers. They’re fucking Nazis. The idea that these people are wrong but are making honest mistakes in good faith is nonsense. Facebook’s stance on this is genuinely detrimental to society. They’re offering a powerful platform that reaches the entire world to lunatics who, in the pre-internet age, were relegated to handing out mimeographs while spouting through a megaphone on a street corner.
In Venezuela, prospective trolls sign up for Twitter and Instagram accounts at government-sanctioned kiosks in town squares and are rewarded for their participation with access to scarce food coupons, according to Venezuelan researcher Marianne Diaz of the group @DerechosDigitales. A self-described former troll in India says he was given a half-dozen Facebook accounts and eight cell phones after he joined a 300-person team that worked to intimidate opponents of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And in Ecuador, contracting documents detail government payments to a public relations company that set up and ran a troll farm used to harass political opponents. [...]
In response to revolutions and social movements launched on Twitter and Facebook, national governments initially censored content, blocked access to social media and used surveillance technology to monitor their citizens. But it turned out to be far more effective to simply inundate the platforms with a torrent of disinformation and anonymized threats -- what the researchers dubbed a strategy of "information abundance" made possible by the rapid spread of social media. [...]
Turkey is a prime example, according to Camille Francois, who directed the Jigsaw project as a principal researcher at Google. Since the 2013 protests at Istanbul's Gezi Park, President Recep Erdogan's government has used a combination of online and offline repression to turn social media "into a near dead zone for genuine social protest in Turkey," Francois said. "Five years later, there is very little organically organized activity."
In return for speaking at the retreat, Jobs got Murdoch to hear him out on Fox News, which he believed was destructive, harmful to the nation, and a blot on Murdoch’s reputation. “You’re blowing it with Fox News”, Jobs told him over dinner. “The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society. You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful”. Jobs said he thought Murdoch did not really like how far Fox had gone. “Rupert’s a builder, not a tearer-downer”, he said. “I’ve had some meetings with James, and I think he agrees with me. I can just tell.”
Bonjour, frendz. This week's 🎵 is a fresh new Birds in row.
We already lost the world by Birds in row (bandcamp.com)
We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
Canada is a global outlier (or leader if you are a telecom executive). Simply put, no one has carriers that generate more revenue with less usage per SIM than Canada.
It is difficult to overstate how much the lack of wireless competitiveness is holding back the Canadian market. With the CRTC refusing to take act and carriers continuing to increase fees (particularly on overage fees that generate more than a billion in revenue per year), it falls to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains to recognize that longstanding failed Canadian wireless policies must change.
How does one design an electric motor? Would you attach a bathtub to it, simply because one was available? Would a bouquet of flowers help? A heap of rocks? No, you would use just those elements necessary to its purpose and make it no larger than needed — and you would incorporate safety factors. Function controls design.
– Prof. Bernardo de la Paz in "The moon is a harsh Mistress", Robert A. Heinlein
Dan Geer often said that "the price of freedom is the probability of crime." We are willing to pay this price because it isn't that high. As technology makes individual and small-group actors more powerful, this price will get higher. Will there be a point in the future where free and open societies will no longer be able to survive? I honestly don't know.
HelloooooOoooo. Music: Eastern Standard.
Eastern Standard by Leedz Edutainment (bandcamp.com)
On the news,
It’s as though Mark Zuckerberg woke up one morning and realized that the oily rags he’d been accumulating in his garage could be refined for an extremely low-grade, low-value crude oil. No one would pay very much for this oil, but there were a lot of oily rags, and provided no one asked him to pay for the inevitable horrific fires that would result from filling the world’s garages with oily rags, he could turn a tidy profit.
A decade later, everything is on fire and we’re trying to tell Zuck and his friends that they’re going to need to pay for the damage and install the kinds of fire-suppression gear that anyone storing oily rags should have invested in from the beginning, and the commercial surveillance industry is absolutely unwilling to contemplate anything of the sort.
That’s because dossiers on billions of people hold the power to wreak almost unimaginable harm, and yet, each dossier brings in just a few dollars a year. For commercial surveillance to be cost effective, it has to socialize all the risks associated with mass surveillance and privatize all the gains.
There’s an old-fashioned word for this: corruption. In corrupt systems, a few bad actors cost everyone else billions in order to bring in millions – the savings a factory can realize from dumping pollution in the water supply are much smaller than the costs we all bear from being poisoned by effluent. But the costs are widely diffused while the gains are tightly concentrated, so the beneficiaries of corruption can always outspend their victims to stay clear.
Facebook doesn’t have a mind-control problem, it has a corruption problem. Cambridge Analytica didn’t convince decent people to become racists; they convinced racists to become voters.
Hey ho! Music, with SEIROM.
1973 by SEIROM (bandcamp.com)
And little news this week, frendz. Oh well.
Quarters! by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (bandcamp.com)
The Armed - Paradise Day (youtube-nocookie.com)
Ces nouveaux tarifs posent question, car ils paraissent disproportionnés par rapport aux coûts réels. Par ailleurs, si Google a fourni gratuitement pendant des années à des milliers de clients un service qui avait un coût aussi élevé, il a clairement pratiqué du dumping pour empêcher d’autres acteurs d’émerger. Avec succès. Des initiatives ont vu le jour, notamment grâce aux données d’Openstreetmap, comme Mapbox aux Etats-Unis. Mais globalement, l’écosystème a été paralysé.
In 1993, John Gilmore famously said that "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." That was technically true when he said it but only because the routing structure of the Internet was so distributed. As centralization increases, the Internet loses that robustness, and censorship by governments and companies becomes easier.