Smuel's good morning extravaganza

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Smuel, May 3, 2012.

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  1. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    I fucking love that picture, man!

    Good evening.
     
  2. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Downloaded Winamp, and I'm now playing music on it BECAUSE I FUCKING CAN!

    Good day.
     
  3. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    It really whips the llama's ass.

    Good morning.
     
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  4. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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  5. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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    First day of work at a kindergarden. One little boy had a fu**ing earring. They grow up too fast.

    Good morning.
     
  6. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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    Anyway, nice the Schwarzy video

    And another anyway, what is better, WinAmp or VLC?

    Again good morning.
     
  7. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    ModPlug is better than either of those for playing demo scene tracker module files like .s3m and .xm, and I don't understand why anyone would want to play any other kind of music.

    Good morning.
     
  8. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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    I have no idea what are you talking about and at this point I'm too afraid to ask.

    Good morning.
     
  9. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Trump being banned from Twitter makes me uneasy.

    Generally I believe that capitalism works. So for example, if a cake shop owner wants to turn away a customer for being gay, then I think that's a silly decision on the cake shop owner's part, and made for a silly reason, but I'd be inclined to let them be silly. The customer can simply go to a rival cake shop that is happy to serve them, and nobody gets hurt.

    So as long as there isn't anything in general preventing cake shop owners from serving particular customers, then any attempt to discriminate against groups will always be defeated. If every existing cake shop decides to form an anti-gay league, this creates a market niche that a new cake shop can immediately take advantage of and be wildly successful. The system works.

    So, by that theory, Trump being banned from Twitter shouldn't bother me. He can just post on one of the other global instant messaging platforms. Oh, wait...

    If some local newspaper decided to stop publishing Trump-related news, I'd shrug and trot out the "anti-gay cake shop" metaphor again. But there's only one Twitter. And when the market niche appears and someone creates Parler, a "now with right wing views!" opinion platform where Trump isn't banned, it turns out that their hosting provider feels the same way as Twitter, and shuts it down. It may just be a coincidence in this case, since Amazon and Twitter are different companies, who just happen to agree on censoring Trump, but it doesn't feel like a coincidence. It feels like censorship, even though it technically isn't, because it's not being done by the government or enforced by men with guns.

    The usual remedy for this kind of excessive control situation is that the government would declare that Twitter is a monopoly and then break it up. But social media doesn't quite work that way - you join the network that everyone else is already on. The government can't divide the Twitter user base in half to create two Twitters - one of them would initially gain more traction, then everyone on the other one would quickly migrate to it, and we'd be back where we started.

    So I don't know what the answer is here. Obviously private organisations can control what they publish. I don't think that this forum should be prevented from banning annoying trolls (irony not intended) just because everyone's posts are publicly viewable. But on the other hand, I don't think that a handful of Silicon Valley media owners should be allowed to effectively silence any high profile person they perceive to be on the losing side of the culture wars. I realise that nobody set out to create a situation where this is possible, but it's where we've ended up.

    Maybe there should be some kind of rule where a social media platform over a certain size is considered "too big to censor" and isn't allowed to ban individual users? Or maybe the rule applies to any stock exchange listed company that operates a social opinion space? I believe that Facebook et al are all listed, so are arguably owned by the public, and are arguably providing a public service. It sort of works.

    Hmm... maybe I do know what the answer is here after all. There you go, I just solved 2021 for everyone.

    You're welcome, and good morning.
     
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  10. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    I'm okay with the Trump twitter ban, for a number of reasons. Number one being, there's nothing illegal about it; if a non-government company wants to limit certain types of speech on their platform (hate speech, calls for violent insurrection, etc.), they are well within their rights to do so, and would likely face punitive legislation if they failed to do so. Reason number two: banning Trump from twitter doesn't exactly take away his megaphone. People who want to hear what Trump has to say will continue to give him airtime, until the day when he fades completely into irrelevance. Reason number three: I've never had a twitter, never cared to have a twitter, and generally couldn't care less what people have to say on twitter. The fewer times I have to hear/read twitter content in the news, the better I like it. The final reason that I'll list here: after about five years of cringeworthy Trump content dominating the news, I have serious Trump fatigue. I truly, truly hope that the Senate votes to convict in his impeachment trial, so that he can never hold public office again.

    Good morning.
     
  11. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I am honestly quite surprised to find that Japes is okay with censorship of a conservative politician by a liberal-leaning media.

    Don't get me wrong, I dislike Trump as much as anyone, on many levels I am delighted that he has lost his influence, and I wish the GOP had dropped him sooner. But the principle of a small group of media elites being able to de-platform whoever they want is still worrying to me. Yes, it happens to be in line with my preferences this time, but it's entirely possible that next time they might decide that my candidate of choice is the one who should be silenced.

    It's true that it's not illegal to do what they did, but the whole point of my post was to say - perhaps we should change the law to make it illegal in future. There comes a point where something becomes so widespread that it is part of the fabric of society. We may not have intended for things to go this way, but currently we're in a situation where every politician in the US has a direct line of communication to their voters, except for one guy who has been banned. It's not a level playing field, and the levers of control are in the hands of a few unelected business owners.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say to Twitter, Facebook, et al, that as a result of their ability to make billions of dollars from providing an incredibly powerful and influential platform for everyone in the world to communicate, they now have a responsibility to ensure that all individuals and groups get equal access to it, and this means they can no longer ban whoever they feel like on a whim.

    Good morning.
     
  12. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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    As long your candidate won't incite violence and murder you can put your mind at ease, he/she/it won't be silenced like that.

    Good morning.
     
  13. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I kind of feel like that's missing the point. "As long as you don't do something that everyone agrees is heinous, you've got nothing to worry about." The danger is that what everyone agrees is heinous can slowly creep up on you. Sixty years ago, racist jokes were thought to be hilarious. Thirty years ago, mocking gay people was all in good sport. Who knows what there is that's acceptable today, but in 30 years time will be seen as the Worst Thing Ever. I can easily picture a situation where a perfectly decent political candidate, who has moved with the times and no longer holds their old unacceptable views, is suddenly de-platformed by the Woke Police.

    This has actually happened, to a milder extent, with things like potential Oscar hosts having to step down due to jokes made 10 years previously. It's not as severe as being cut off from Twitter, but would anyone really have complained if Twitter had banned them too, on the same basis? Are we moving to a world where you can say whatever you want, but only if it doesn't infringe on a set of constantly evolving guidelines that you'll be held to retrospectively?

    Appropriate punishments are already in place. Trump has been impeached for what he did. People who make racist or homophobic jokes are shunned by most of society. Censoring the speech of these people seems to be a) unnecessary, and b) a dangerous precedent, and we should be thinking about how to prevent this going too far.

    What is up with me and slippery slope arguments lately? Sheesh.

    Good morning.
     
  14. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    You're wrong Smuel. We've always been at war with Eastasia.

    Good evening.
     
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  15. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    I just read this quote, and found it oddly inspiring:

    "I wake up every day and I'm a brand new person, stuffed full of memories of some past idiot's life."​

    Good morning.
     
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  16. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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  17. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Someone who used to be an idiot.

    Good evening.
     
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  18. Smuel

    Smuel Well-Known Member

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    Today, on Smuel Predicts The Future, And Then Complains About It, we tackle social media AI and Twitter-bots.

    As you may be aware, a lot of so-called "social media" activity is actually procedurally generated by AI, programmed to push an agenda. For example, companies can hire a service that auto-follows likely customers on Twitter to try to get their attention, and auto-replies to tweets, while political parties can purchase access to accounts that will pretend to be voters and spam opinions. I therefore put social media in scare quotes because these things have nothing to do with being social or with media. Yet, here we are.

    This trend is only going to get worse with time, as AI gets more sophisticated, and everyone is trying to maximise the click-baitiness of their articles, and fine tune their website profiles to maximise exposure on search engines. Eventually it will be hard to find legitimate content amongst the sea of pseudo content that is vying for the same space. What are we going to do?

    As usual, technology will come to the rescue. Counter-AI systems will be developed that filter social media for you and try to extract things relevant to you. Facebook and Google already try to do this, but their motivation is to maximise advertising revenue, so they're not really on your side. The counter-AI will be on your side, since it will be a service that you're paying for directly, so it is incentivised correctly.

    At this point, we'll have two rival AI systems, one on the side of the content producers, trying to maximise exposure, and one on the side of the consumers, trying to distil all the nonsense down to something digestible. Hence, a never-ending arms race as each side makes breakthroughs to counter the other side, and so on. To be fair to Google, they do already do some aspects of this pretty well. Their search results generally don't fall for spammy tactics on websites, and the first few pages of results will generally be what you're looking for, unless you search for something that doesn't have any web footprint at all.

    I just hope it doesn't get to the point where the actual content itself, e.g. the text of articles, needs to be filtered by AI before it's fit for human consumption. That would be lame.

    Okay, guys, thanks for reading. Don't forget to smash like and subscribe for more posts in the future. Check out my Patreon for exclusive deleted paragraphs, and let me know in the comments what you guys think AI will be doing in the future. #ObligatorySignOff #SmuelRants #GoodMorning
     
  19. Barabbah

    Barabbah Member

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  20. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    How shall we comfort ourselves, we murderers of murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us?

    Good evening.
     
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