In the middle of the journey of our days
I found that I was in a darksome wood
The right road lost and vanished in the maze.
Ah me! how hard to make it understood.

Progress. Models. Institutions. Technology. Values. Limits. Interactions thereof.

Technological Archaeologist

Tactical Semiotician


"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."

- Cardinal Richelieu (a/k/a Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac)

"Pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures -- for good reason."

- Alma Whitten, former Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google

"In practice, the forced revelation of information makes individual privilege and power more important. When everyone has to play with their cards on the table, so to speak, then people who feel like they can be themselves without consequence do so freely -- these generally being people with support groups of like-minded people, and who are neither economically nor physically vulnerable....


"...People who are more vulnerable to consequences use concealment as a method of protection: it makes it possible to speak freely about controversial subjects, or even about any subjects, without fear of harassment."

-- Yonatan Zunger,
Former chief architect, Google+

Endorsed by the Intartubes:

"I find your combination of rationality and cussing to be intriguing."

It's been brought to my fucking attention that I swear like a shitty sailor on a bad drunk.

I'm a Space Alien Cat.

You have been warned.

Otherwise, this thread, generally, from parent.

Mastodon: where the natives are friendly.

The aliens can absolutely NOT be vouched for.

I have exceptionally low tolerance for distraction and unproductive conflict.

If I block, silence, mute, or disengage from topics, it's quite frequently because they simply weary me to the bone. Sometimes I introduce a last word, often I don't. It's not an admission of victory or defeat, it's simply a withdrawal of interest which I cannot sustain. And usually an observation that the discussion is unproductive.


Being self-aware of this helps my own response to such situations. It's chiefly why I do excercise such strong controls over my environment (though also try not to blindly filter out opposing views or evidence).


One of my colleagues once said to me, "you are not obligated to attend every argument to which you are invited". Words of wisdom, to which I've added "and feel free to leave any time". So now I do, if it seems to be going off the rails.

-- Noah Friedman

An earlier Administrivia thread, now somewhat entropised.

(Mastodon: blogging through linked lists ...)

I often post on topics I have known about longer than you have.

Sometimes by as much as three minutes.

"Thing's I have known three minutes longer than you" is a blog title I've consideered....

It is (somewhat) possible to filter toots by characterset. The following link here should match most non-Latin and especially East Asian characters.

Let's talk politics posts.

I will, and do, occasionally post on political topics without CW. If that does or may bother you, block me now, no foul, no harm. Though you might care to read what follows.

I don't do this often, mostly because, yes, it tires me too. But some things are worth fighting for.

What I avoid is outrage-de-jour tripe, and focus on background, strategy and specific tactics. More on this & policies at the link.

Be good.


I would strongly encourage all and sundry that disagreements over whose candidate is The One True God / Devil Incarnate, or various Matters of Policy, State, Publik Morality, Taxation, or Expenditures of the Publik Purse, and Other Divers Matters of Great Importance be carried out in a manner bespeaking a Minimum of Decorum.

It helps to assume that you are talking to a reasonable person making the most reasonable possible version of their argument.


This is not always true in the real world, but this sort of bad-faith good-faith heads off any risk of escalating, tit-for-tat misinterpretation.

An assumption isn't an assertion of truth. It's a behavior as if a truth is, up to such a point as that is no longer tenable to assume same.

But: I have exceptionally low tolerance for distraction and unproductive conflict.

If I block, silence, mute, or disengage from topics, it's quite frequently because they simply weary me to the bone.


Upshot: behave your fucking selves out there. And in here. There are some crucial ideas that need to be discussed, that's not going to happen if we cannot discuss them, or aren't in states to think rationally.

Politics, power, government, or the feudalistic-totalitarian-corporate structures that inevitably emerge to replace them, don't go away if you ignore, bury, or hide them. Much as I'd like that.

And like it or not, CWs on Mastodon do just this, as I've discussed several times.


Until our content, filtering, and presentation tools improve, that's going to be the case. And it's a fair topic for a side discussion.

Note that even with hashtags, non-public toots don't get publicly listed /even under hashtag searches/. Something I've discovered as I've swithched to unlisted-by-default toots (and realise I've not untoggled that here, in follow-on toots, sigh...).

There are a few things I won't do and strongly discourage.

I'm not going to chase down the tolerant.


Amazing. That should be a founding rule of the internet.

I would add another: you never know who is mentally deficient, a child or just plain stupid on the internet.

Always assume they are unless there's some sort of intelligence ans age text required for refistering for a website.

Yup, that applies to spinster too. Maybe not forums where you need to be a doctor to post?

Sometimes the worst people (super racists, super sexists, super capitalists, eugenicists, etc...are a person who's being fed ideas by a smarter, more stable person who is too smart to get into internet fights.

Not always, but a lot of the time. @dredmorbius


Wait, I thought that regex filters were replaced with keyword filters. Is there still a way to use regex filters?


When I go to `settings -> filters` this is all I get. I take it you get something more/the old page?

(Just confirming before I ask my admins about it)

@dredmorbius haha, yes. When I click the Big Blue Button, I get the page below. I *used* to get something that let me filter by regex but now it (seems to) just let me use a keyword:

@codesections ... unless what you've got doesn't give this, in which case, sorry :(


All politics will end in a technocracy, then human replacement and biological obsolesence

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem No.

This is entirely dependent on values, the frames and models on which they are based, the sense of progress towards those values, the institutions and their integrity for ensuring attainment, the technological means at hand (and their application) for attaining these, as well as the inherent limitations of all and sundry.

Or as my profile tag and decade-long exploration note:

Progress, Models, Institutions, Technology, Limits, Values.

This drives my life.

there is no progress but market share, and a perfect human is the best product to take

in our desire for the best we will replace ourselves, the market, the public and our inner subconscious demands it

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem We differ sufficently on this to make discussion difficult.

I reject your premise.

As I just wrote, there's an information-theoretic and systems or cybernetic dynamic at play. This introduces some tendencies, but they are not necessary inevitabilities.

I think we do, then again I just finished watching a playthrough of i have no mouth and i must scream

I'm just cynical that people will prefer automated/mechanical people, that or military arms races will push for such autonomous systems anyway

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem Part of the reason why is bad models.

Busting out of the bad-model trap itself is challenging.

already there are apps working to let people find the perfect partner, social media as a whole works to select the stuff and people we want to see and talk to

and the armies of NATO and SCO both are working towards autonomous swarms and unmanned armed submarines

automated warfare is also very cheap these days, developing nations like nigeria can even do drone strikes now.

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem An extraordinarily powerful tool in a network or systems context is the block: impunity, immunity, denial, prohibition, taboo.

It can be either harmful or useful. It almost certainly leads to consequences.

But blocks or baans on behviours may prove viable. There are weapons classes which are prohibited, and which have seen somewhat limited use.

The other possibility is that a shifted network physics gives rise to a new reality.

Automobiles built sprawl.

I don't see how a block will stop people from taking the easy route and buying a perfect robot partner as opposed to wading through the dating market

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem What stops you from walking out of the house naked? Or going to work in a toga? Or raising dogs for food?

mostly social norms, granted sexbots are seen as a creepy thing now, but i'm just putting it out there how a sexbot could someday go from being customized for someones fetishes to being customized as someone's perfect partner.

already you can see commodifications of relationships across the internet and in real life, iirc you can even purchase a girlsfriend for a set amount of time in japan. so depending on where you live it might not even be socially abnormal.

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem Social norms are a form of behavioural block.

Think of things you wouldn't even /consider/ doing. Those are blocks. Taboo.

A surprising number involve cleanliness, food, clothing, music, speach, manners, sex / gender / family, commerce.

You'll also find them in politics, academics, professions/trades/crafts, and business & management practices. Some are long-lived, some fads.

All are tribal, aimed at group cohesion or function.

(CW practices are among these.)

and social norms are based on crowd consensus, so it would'nt be implausible for people to give up biological human partners, just that you would need such an effective synthetic human partner that the majority of people would choose it, thus making it a societal norm.

And societal norms change per country, and can spread too, anime used to be a niche thing in japan, and it now has spread across the world.

the creepiest thing about robot partners is that it's the most humane way to depopulate mankind, morbidly enough.

@Conductor_we_have_a_problem Beware methods selecting for noncompliance.

A sexbot regime /by its very. Mechanism/ favours those who reject sexbots for viable biological partners.

Huxley's "Brave New World" explores a similar dynamic -- recreational sex, ubiquitous birth control, in vitro gestation, and a parenthood taboo.

sure, but I guess i'm just using sexbots as a base, recreational sex cannot fill the void of a fufilling marriage with a partner of your dreams, if a machine can fufill that and act human, it could very well be human

time of eve goes abit into it, at least, the beginning of the acceptance of mechanical humans

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