28 APR 2024 by ideonexus

 Juridification is the Enemy of Legality

Modern governments, their hands increasingly tied by the robber-barons of global finance, often try to assert their power with their feet: by kicking out at another high-profile social problem, real or imagined, with another big policy initiative. Usually they come up with an accompanying raft of new laws. Legislative incontinence prevails. Not only is much of the legislation futile and even counterproductive from the start, we are also left with ever more relics of now-forgotten reforms. Bet...
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1. The sheer breadth of laws renders ‘the law’ in its entirety, unknowable.

2. This vastness means that the law cannot be enforced evenly.

28 APR 2024 by ideonexus

 Anecdote About the Timex Sinclair

Walking on, he explains to her that Sinclair, the British inventor, had a way of getting things right, but also exactly wrong. Foreseeing the market for affordable personal computers, Sinclair decided that what people would want to do with them was to learn programming. The ZX 81, marketed in the United States as the Timex 1000, cost less than the equivalent of a hundred dollars, but required the user to key in programs, tapping away on that little motel keyboard-sticker. This had resulted bo...
Folksonomies: computer history
Folksonomies: computer history
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07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 How Racism Perpetuates Itself by Making White the Default

It is now common—and I use the word “common” in its every sense—to see interviews with up-and-coming young movie stars whose parents or even grandparents were themselves movie stars. And when the interviewer asks, “Did you find it an advantage to be the child of a major motion-picture star?” the answer is invariably “Well, it gets you in the door, but after that you’ve got to perform, you’re on your own.” This is ludicrous. Getting in the door is pretty much the entire gam...
Folksonomies: race racism
Folksonomies: race racism
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07 NOV 2019 by ideonexus

 The Effort in Keeping the Internet Clean

Contract workers in San Francisco, processing thousands of complaints a day. Sweatshops in the Philippines, where outsourced labor decides what’s obscene and what’s permissible in a matter of seconds. Teams of anti-spam engineers in Mountain View, adapting to the latest wave of bots. An unpaid moderator on Reddit, picking out submissions that violate guidelines. So much of the internet is garbage, and much of its infrastructure and many work hours are devoted to taking out the garbage. F...
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27 JUL 2018 by ideonexus

 Redundancy in the English Language

Whenever we communicate, rules everywhere restrict our freedom to choose the next letter and the next pineapple.I Because these rules render certain patterns more likely and certain patterns almost impossible, languages like English come well short of complete uncertainty and maximal information: the sequence “th” has already occurred 6,431 times in this book, the sequence “tk” just this once. From the perspective of the information theorist, our languages are hugely predictable— al...
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Monte Carlo method for building words and sentences.

10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Argonauts: Organizations of Similar Interest

Over the next few years, the nascent Argonaut Council for Responsible Science recruited heavily from organizations with similar interests such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Institute for a Transhuman Future, the Lifeboat Institute, and the Singularity Foundation. Researchers at government organizations such as the UK’s Bletchley Park and the Chinese Machine Intelligence Directorate quietly subscribed as well. In most cases, these new argonauts kept their original affiliation, gi...
Folksonomies: science futurism humanism
Folksonomies: science futurism humanism
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