Business Insider: Turning conservatives more liberal

Imagine that you’ve been granted superpowers and were suddenly as invincible as Superman — bullets bounce off you, fire couldn’t scorch your skin, and a fall from a cliff wouldn’t hurt at all. Now, let’s talk about how social issues.

Bringing superheroes to science!


Guardian: How the left must respond to this age of anger

Hope, some ideas, highlighting issues, bringing discussion, a step forward. Good piece from Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan.

Guardian: The first social media suicide

In May of last year, a teenager in a dreary suburb of Paris live-streamed her own suicide – and acquired a morbid kind of digital celebrity, writes Rana Dasgupta.

Guardian: China’s threat to freedom in HK

I would wager the argument goes something like this: “There are too many people. Freedom is unstable. And without stability, we will all perish.” Is it ever justified to choose lack of freedom over freedom? What if the only way to survive is to give up your freedom? But, if by choosing not to be free you at least get to live, what is this ‘life’ and is it worth living at all?


The Onion: ‘No way to prevent this’

The tragic irony of humour being the only means remaining of tackling an issue that is not funny, not even a little.

The score at fractional-time

To give a final tally of mass shootings in the US would be more my style. (Post-)humans looking back on the present at our (super)human tolerance for killing each other. Instead, here is the score from 2.10.2017: 1516 from 1735. Not a bad conversion rate.

Guardian: Should we ban sex robots while we have the chance?

“Young people who have grown up in the age of online porn might consider shaved pubic hair and double penetration to be completely normal. Similarly, the generation growing up when sex robots are commonplace might see brutally selfish sex as both desirable and achievable. … [I]t’s about the kind of sex that will become normal within human societies if we start having sex with robots.

“Perhaps the most important question to ask is why there is a market for sex robots in the first place. Why do some people find the idea of a partner without autonomy so attractive?”

Don’t we already know the answer to this? We just don’t want to admit it.

Guardian: How education in Turkey is changing

This is how you engineer a people. What children are taught and not taught will uplift or burden them for the rest of their lives. They have no choice in the matter, it will be a part of them, a part that lodges at the core of their being. Don’t think this is only happening in Turkey. This is happening everywhere. All education is brainwashing, but there’s brainwashing and there’s brainwashing. Just because there can be no concept of a perfect education doesn’t mean we can’t identify better forms of education and worse forms of education.

As for Turkey, “[t]he purpose of the new curriculum … [is] ideological. They want to raise a generation best suited to their ideological ideals. … Erdoğan said he wanted a religious, devout generation, and these changes are made for this wish”

Guardian: Facebook bans Rohingya group’s posts

Facebook moderators ordered to delete all posts “by or praising” Arsa, a Rohingya insurgency group. Meanwhile, the pages of the Myanmar military and government continue disseminating their propaganda and misinformation, and I continue to see hate speech on the platform every day.

Facebook is dead. Welcome to Facebook.

Guardian: Facebook’s war on free will

The horror creeps up on you slowly like a good scary movie. Considering how much time we all spend on FB, it’s not too much to take 15-20 minutes to peer behind the veil of this utopian algorithmic persuasion.

“Zuckerberg’s fantasy is that this data might be analysed to uncover the mother of all revelations, “a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about”. If that doesn’t sound creepy, then you’re probably going to be okay with what’s coming.

Humanity is imperfect, inefficient, chaotic. It is not an algorithm, it is not maths. By seeking to impose “a fundamental mathematical law” on humanity, at some point, humanity will have to go.

“The problem is that when we outsource thinking to machines, we are really outsourcing thinking to the organisations that run the machines.” Until the organisation is itself subsumed, as it must, by the laws of the machine, and our entire existence becomes just an automated customer service hotline where the options are finite and hermetic.

Be less human doesn’t mean we should be less than human. We mean to think more, not less.

Read the full article here.