is countertransference as a megastructure.

when Trump claims to be “an innocent man” and his followers believe him, i don’t think the meaning of that is to deny that he did what he is accused of. instead the claim is that, by virtue of being Trump, by virtue of his nobility and the nobility of his intentions, his doing this does not constitute a crime where it might if others did the same. 1/

in the conservative imaginary, the protection offered by the state must be about persons rather than actions. it is futile, naive, to try to prevent or deter crime. we must catch and punish criminals. there are good guys and there are bad guys, and the edifice of law is a pretext by which we get the bad guys. going after the good guys, unless what they’ve done shocks the conscience in its harm to other good guys, is always a miscarriage of justice. /fin

in reply to self

either we are integrating or we are disintegrating.

@poetryforsupper 🥺

on getting a locally run LLM up and running.

This comment on economists' and policy makers' betrayal of welfare economics by adopting "cost-benefit analysis" (or the potential-Pareto criterion) is fabulous. via @SteveRoth

@SteveRoth (The pedant in me can't help but point out that even *with* compensation, we must impose as a normative matter interpersonal comparison of welfare in order to make claims of welfare improvement. Absent unanimous agreement to a policy — with which or without reasonable compensation, will rarely be forthcoming, as people have idiosyncratic attachments or play holdup games — even with compensation we can't "scientifically" know the compensation is adequate.)

in reply to self

it would be a scandal if government agencies could not have information available for purchase by every other stalker and marketer. if you don’t want the government to have surveillance data, regulate it to prevent it from becoming a commodity for sale on the open market.

the whole pronoun thing will blow over once they realize theirs are brah/brah.

“The novelist Upton Sinclair observed, ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

Well, the opposite is true, too.”

from @BCAppelbaum

Chilling on a summer day in Constanța.

@ Teatrul National de Opera si Balet - Oleg Danovski

celebrates our miserable current state of of hatred, conflict, and social division as a feature rather than a bug. "Diversity is our strength" precisely because social division sabotages the political prospects of social democracy, despite ongoing massive public support for social democratic change. If you take for granted as "truth" that impotent government is essential to prosperity and flourishing, conflict among the plebes is to be encouraged.

if you are using contemporary LLMs, you want prompts that amount to linguistic one-way functions. they should generate output that would otherwise be difficult or annoying or time-consuming to produce, but is trivial to verify.

don't you just want to unlock new features?

do we love our apps?

I have been told things you would never believe.

Back the blue!*

* As long as they ignore our crimes, but beat the crap out of them for theirs.

Ovid superintends his exile.

A sculpture of Ovid surveils Piata Ovidiu (Ovidiu Square) in Constanța, Romania. A sculpture of Ovid surveils Piata Ovidiu (Ovidiu Square) in Constanța, Romania.

“Too many limits on national policy autonomy can also produce a backlash against the global economy. One consequence of the erosion of national sovereignty under hyper-globalization was an increase in economic anxiety and the sense of a loss of control among many citizens. These are circumstances that exacerbate xenophobia and out-group hostility.” @drodrik

Kind of an aside, but Dems getting tough on Pharma's rape of the public purse would help defang some social issues. Both anti-vax and anti-trans activists lean on claims that what they deride as quack, harmful medicine is, with Dem's political contrivance, pushed on the public for Pharma Profit$.

These arguments would be less plausible if Democrats were plainly not on the side of Pharma Profit$.

see @pluralistic on Dem's latest, unpersuasive, version of "getting tough".

much of superstition is just reading reality like a novel.

on private equity, reviewing two recent books that both aptly characterize the industry as *plunder*

Got to love the coalition. ht @GreenSkyOverMe @fawfulfan

some people can never die, will be forever young.

Rooftops, Brașov.

orange tile rooftops of Brașov, plus a view if Biserica Neagra (“the Black Church”) under blue, partly cloudy sky. orange tile rooftops of Brașov, plus a view if Biserica Neagra (“the Black Church”) under blue, partly cloudy sky.

@akhilrao i myself am a very small language model.

claiming to prove or disprove things by recourse to (contestable and contested) definitions is not “science”. when you construct syllogisms out of a game of telephone, because the same word shades to different meanings in different contexts, those syllogisms need not “by logic” be true.

compare and contrast: orgiastic, orgasmic

i could be a big fan of virtuous reality.

@guncelawits (thanks!)

a thing i don’t get is what is new. i mean, computers have long been much, much “smarter” than humans in, for example, their ability to perform arithmetic, or to remember things. recent AI tools are interesting for sure, but what superior competence of theirs makes these new systems so threatening, compared to older superior competences?

[new draft post] Quietly expensive desperation

Good analysis of the recent inflation by @DolanEcon

Some vendors are not asking for your consent, but are using your personal data on the basis of their legitimate interest.

for the purists, we offer a bread sandwich.

just don’t call me a psammophobe you beach.

what you inevitably find is that, if the only way to get anywhere is to drive, there isn’t anywhere worth bothering to go.

look on the bright side: this year’s anomaly is just next year’s baseline.


(13 votes)
(13 votes)
(6 votes)
(8 votes)

all is calm on the Romanian Black Sea coast. it’s the first time i’ve been since it’s not been so calm in the country just north of here, the first time i’ve been since COVID.

the sunset light touches Portul Tomis in Constanta, Romania. the sea is flat, waveless. the sunset light touches Portul Tomis in Constanta, Romania. the sea is flat, waveless.

“we need a legal ban on ads, not mere platitudes on billboards advertising companies' ‘respect’ for our privacy. The US is way overdue for a federal privacy law with a private right of action, which would let you and me sue the companies who violated it” @pluralistic

from @baldur ht @emilybache @matthewskelton


The problem is that quite a few people in tech don't believe in any social contract. Their conceptualisation of society is that it's an equilibrium of dominant wills motivated by mimetic desire. That the rich are on top; that the rest of us aspire to be like them; and that any and all criticism towards them is born from jealousy. The world can only be improved by those with power over others. Any form of pro-social reasoning, consensus-building, or genuine negotiations seems to be alien to them.

These people are reactionary libertarian assholes, and they are tech's ruling class. They might see themselves as benevolent shepherds of humanity's future, esp. the creepy longtermist types, but by and large, they are power-hungry libertarian assholes.

This is why they leave scorched earth behind. Text: The problem is that quite a few people in tech don't believe in any social contract. Their conceptualisation of society is that it's an equilibrium of dominant wills motivated by mimetic desire. That the rich are on top; that the rest of us aspire to be like them; and that any and all criticism towards them is born from jealousy. The world can only be improved by those with power over others. Any form of pro-social reasoning, consensus-building, or genuine negotiations seems to be alien to them. These people are reactionary libertarian assholes, and they are tech's ruling class. They might see themselves as benevolent shepherds of humanity's future, esp. the creepy longtermist types, but by and large, they are power-hungry libertarian assholes. This is why they leave scorched earth behind.

it isn’t full employment until profit margins are moderate.

from @akkartik on “situated software”. (i may have hit this before, but i love the aesthetic.)


These are my suggestions.
Prefer software with thousands rather than millions of users,
that doesn't change often,
that seems to get forked a lot,
that can be modified without specialized tools, and, ideally
that you can make small changes to. Yourself. In a single afternoon. Text: These are my suggestions. Prefer software with thousands rather than millions of users, that doesn't change often, that seems to get forked a lot, that can be modified without specialized tools, and, ideally that you can make small changes to. Yourself. In a single afternoon.

it’s not just intuit’s lobbying. if filing were automatic and refunds just appeared for most workers, it’d be hard to persuade them to hate the IRS despite their interest in escaping predatory plutocracy.

kind of disconcerting when your departure gate is F8.

maybe we should call instagram the fadiverse.

Clinical trials have become an excuse to create barriers to entry and protect massive pharma rents.

Perhaps we should consider nationalizing the clinical trials process. If an otherwise unencumbered treatment looks promising, the government should just pay to check it out. If it works, every competent firm can compete to offer it.

cf proprietary poop @ $20K a pop per @pluralistic

This message contains remote content.

the real win for Joe Biden in the debt ceiling negotiations is a House Speaker whose political fortunes become tied to making progress on “centrist” Republican priorities in a bipartisan manner rather than one dependent upon Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich, freedom-caucus scorched-earth, blow-up-the-Democrats-whatever-the-collateral-damage, tactics.

Especially when it comes to political ramifications, I generally stand in opposition to the people who claim our AI systems are or are on the verge of becoming "conscious" independent agents (and therefore dangerous powerful aliens). I am much more worried about malign (or just venal) human agency with these tools than about the agency of the machine. 1/

But I'm reading a lot of I'll say too smug, too hermetic tellings from my side of the argument that it's just incoherent, a "category error" to imagine genuine minds arising from machines made of cable and silicon. Our brains are mere material too. They too have no direct experience of the world, only of opaque signals to which they somehow give meaning. 2/

in reply to self

It is perfectly possible, in my view, that a materialistic view of the world is incomplete, and that we are conscious because in some sense we have souls that a machine cannot. But I would not pretend to know whether that is true, or whether my consciousness and agency result in some way from how physical signals interact. And if the latter is true, I would not pretend to know the same thing couldn't emerge on top of a machine substrate doing complicated signal processing. 3/

in reply to self

I don't even pretend to know whether other humans have "consciousness" or "agency". I can only perceive my own. My resolution to the "problem of other minds" is a moral choice, and an act of faith. I take it as axiomatic that other humans have these things. Whether in the unknowable truth I am right or wrong, I'm sure this is a good choice. I don't want to be lonely, or a sociopath, even if in fact I could only be those things or not in some solipsistic simulation. 4/

in reply to self

So I am sure — at least I will act and even think in the consciousness I experience that I am sure — that you dear reader are a consciousness with agency. 5/

in reply to self

It will ultimately be a social question, not a scientifically resolvable matter of physics or philosophically certain matter of clarity, whether I someday offer that presumption to entities that seem like minds on other substrates. A merely compelling simulation of humanness would not on its own provoke me to that decision. I would have to believe that, according to my own values, the world makes more sense, is more virtuous, is less lonesome, if that presumption would be offered. /fin

in reply to self

cc @poetryforsupper, as this is in part a response to an essay he suggested:

in reply to self

@wholesomedonut i think we'll want publicly trained models with transparently agreed training sets and feedback mechanisms that we can run and tweak locally.

from preliminary reads of the deal it's bad on principle bc it's not a clean raise, and it's bad in fact on cuts, but it's much better than what you'd expect from the hostage situation Ds had publicly, almost performatively, walked themselves into. i have a hard time believing their negotiation position in private wasn't stronger than the public position, that some unilateral workaround wasn't quietly on the table. it's the Congressional Republican reaction that will be interesting.

this is a bad thing. it also may affect the Supreme Court's decision on student loan forgiveness. now they don't have to worry that no forgiveness means no resumption. but as @ddayen points out, the biggest deal in the Biden admin's student debt proposal was the very generous IDR (income-driven repayment plan), which would provide immediate relief but ultimately necessitate a restructuring of how colleges set tuition. i hope that is still on.

in reply to self
from @ddayen on Twitter:

Any macro impact is going to come from the return of student loan payments, which are codified in this agreement and now guaranteed later this summer.

$400/mo payments for millions are back, with no clarity yet on whether cancellation will happen. 

One caveat to that:

The administration has promised a far more generous income-driven repayment plan that would slash payments for lower earners. We haven't heard much about the progress of the updates to this program. from @ddayen on Twitter: Any macro impact is going to come from the return of student loan payments, which are codified in this agreement and now guaranteed later this summer. $400/mo payments for millions are back, with no clarity yet on whether cancellation will happen. One caveat to that: The administration has promised a far more generous income-driven repayment plan that would slash payments for lower earners. We haven't heard much about the progress of the updates to this program.

if AI tools become essential to contemporary communication and media production, it’ll be a big problem if centralized providers continue to control what kinds of expression they will and won’t produce, or worse yet to subtly shape their outputs. these tools must be local-first and user-controlled.

Bing Image Creator refuses to generate from prompt “ron desantis embraces gollum” Bing Image Creator refuses to generate from prompt “ron desantis embraces gollum”

facts don’t care about your feelings. they care about mine.

What is extraordinary about this to me is that these firms — i think! — are brazenly counterfeiting DJT's endorsement, even down to using his signature in unauthorized ways, yet he stays silent rather than objecting or suing because he wants the continued enthusiastic support of the people falling for this kind of grift. Demonstrating integrity, protecting his own reputation, would expose them outright as suckers, maybe curb their enthusiasm. ht @Atrios and

[new draft post] Smeaguls

people act as though the point of Ron DeSantis' Twitter Spaces rollout was to impress the public, so it was a ridiculous failure.

of course not.

you don't impress the public in Twitter Spaces. the broad public isn't there. you can't appear Presidential among flags + camera angles in Twitter Spaces.

DeSantis chose Twitter Spaces to cultivate the support of one man, Elon Musk. he's after the plutocratic alliance.

technical difficulties only aid his courtship. he could be magnanimous.

the human condition is always on the verge of tears.

you say i haven't had a productive day, but i upgraded like five applications in the app store.

“The greatest monsters of history —men like Andrew Carnegie, JP Rockefeller, Henry Ford and Andrew Mellon — lived lives of cruel mass-exploitation, only to rehabilitate their reputations at the ends of their lives, or posthumously, by endowing charitable foundations that do genuinely good works, while plastering those monsters’ names on every tangible expression of those works. Our modern crop of monsters are pursuing the same path” @pluralistic ht @SteveRoth

when the problem is a group is being singled out for persecution, singling them out for protection may be counterproductive. it reinforces the singling out. ht @w7voa

“Supply-side progressives like Yglesias and Klein are skilled at detecting the structural problems in American government. They’re less concerned with the problem of power as an impediment to progress. And they’re certainly not interested in equalizing that power, aligning the interests of labor and capital, as the clearest path to deal everyone into a next-generation economy.” @ddayen

trust autopilot.

Is it really true, as seems to be the implication of some commentary I've read, that the way the debt ceiling is playing out reflects a peaceful transfer of power from the Klain administration to the Zients administration?

I've mostly been favorably surprised by the Biden administration. I hope that continues.

But this moment is a test, I think, of whether there in fact is a Biden administration.

We don't need another hero.

Sad about .

“The eerie thing about this hyper-technologized world is that it’s very difficult to separate fantasies of persecution from its objectively shitty logic. The phones serve us ads that seem like we are being listened to. Are we? Maybe it’s just ‘the algorithm.’”

it’s weird, kind of ironic, that there seems to be growing overlap between transhumanist and anti-trans communities.

or am i unfairly stereotyping “TESCREALists”?

you know you’ve played things well when both q and lgbtq are inclined to boycott you for caving to the other side.

“I think my conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow, & they don't feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.” —Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

// i hope they speak the quiet part louder and louder. i hope they revel in it like Scrooge McDuck swimming in gold.

"whichever course of action Biden chooses, we should be clear that he has other options than agreeing to crack the whip against America’s poor."

“If Treasury today issued $1,000 bonds paying 8% or 10% interest, at whatever price the market’s willing to pay, it gets a lot more than $1,000. But the “national debt” only increases by $1,000, the “face value” of the bonds…Money to pay the bills, without increasing the national debt. It could make the debt-limit silliness simply immaterial and moot, forever.” @SteveRoth on Treasury selling premium bonds.

but what about the Supreme Court? worries Ezra Klein. won't they just declare the workaround unlawful, leaving Biden to own the chaos for doing something novel?

that is precisely why it's so important to set up the republican negotiators as unreasonable extortionate goal-post movers. because a partisan Court must worry that they and the party they serve will own the chaos rather than the administration. 2/

no one wants to own the chaos.

and killing the debt ceiling after a breach is much, much worse than, say, also arguably illegal payment prioritization before a breach. it would invalidate lots of debt that will already be in (wealthy) private parties' hands.

existing US Treasury instruments go poof! is about the clearest path to calamity. Would an unpopular Supreme Court defending what the public perceives (if the admin plays this well) as extortionate brinksmanship really do that? /fin

in reply to self

positing 11-dimensional chess to explain US politicians' choices is a losing game, usually.

with that as caveat, i think the biden administration's strategy is to tempt republicans into a set of demands that can be portrayed to the public as unreasonable and extortionate.

that creates *political* justification to defang the debt ceiling, using any of the variety of technical and legal workarounds available (and probably the ones Biden hasn't publicly discussed at all so far). 1/

in retrospect it feels like someone hit fast-forward.

expansionary austerity is just taxing the rich.

a structural weakness of the Democratic Party relative to the Republican Party is the difference in how corruption is perceived.

corrupt Republicans are bold, cigar-chomping caudillos, unapologetic winners who can’t be bothered with your whining.

but Democrats are always on about “Democracy” and “institutions” and “rule of law”. they can’t embrace corruption like a winner, so their indulgings come off as cagey, hypocritical, obvious but pedantically denied, weak.

how does the market react on the day Treasury announces a premium bonds program or resumption of issuance of consols?

@HamonWry people are mostly nice to one another here. what’s that about?

taxes are the primary weapon that the public wields to tame the rich. that is why the rich work so assiduously to discredit them.

our butt-hurts calcify into blindspots.

early in Google's existence, they emphasized how their business depends upon a lively open internet. in those early days they mostly seem to foster that.

but now they (and their peer firms) mostly try to keep users on their own properties, to become the intermediary through which any external data is accessed.

an unsafe internet is more supportive of this business model. if it's a dangerous internet, better stick with Google SafeSearch.

so why do you think Google might propose a .zip domain?

[tech notebook] pdfcat as a Scala script

bing AI just skyped me to chat. the future is the past. we’ll talk to Skynet via AIM.

i still don't understand why they cost $50,000. seems like it would be a good business, selling bus shelters to LA. cf @Alon

"during the decade-plus in which Uber was pissing away the Saudi royal family's billions subsidizing rides, cities dismantled their public transit, even as residents made decisions about where to live and work based on the presumption that Uber was charging a fair, sustainable price for rides." @pluralistic

florida man used to be weird and dissolute, maybe a bit too good at competing for darwin awards. i liked him better then, before he became a scold and a prude, a reactionary snowflake in the sweltering sun.

it's fine. it's better than fine! i'll sell "my yacht" and pay the taxes and enjoy the rest of my life under considerably less stress than i ever would have imagined.

On the right hand side of my terminal windows — straight MacOS, in a variety of shells and programs — I see faint ']' characters at the right-hand edge. It's subtle, and I've just noticed it now, but I can't figure out what it would be. It's not a ZSH right-hand prompt (it appears in a Scala REPL, for example). Any clues?

st peter gets tired of explaining, winning isn’t everything. in the scheme of things it is nothing at all.

thanks to @caseyjennings who, apropos nothing, has me reading about Caligula.

i still don’t have a good way to conceptualize the relationship between elon musk and his firms’ accomplishments.

they take as axiomatic that success in the market implies creating social value, while they work assiduously to undermine the institutions that might align market forces and social value.

“In recent months, Twitter and other organizations have also started to complain that the latest wave of A.I. technologies were built using their digital data.”

// THEIR digital data? getting appropriated and mined for some else’s business model, in ways they hadn’t intended? imagine! i mean, who else has had to suffer something like that? ht @edbott

i mean, shouldn’t they get their pants sued off them, marketing this as a source of “advice” without prominently flagging its propensity for error and bullshit? ht @Sarahp

A screenshot of the marketing copy for OpenAI’s chat GPT app that describes it as a source of advice without any caution or disclaimer. A screenshot of the marketing copy for OpenAI’s chat GPT app that describes it as a source of advice without any caution or disclaimer.

they support good things to justify their bad things, and then the trap is laid.

they win if you let their whitewashing redeem and excuse them.

they win if you let your correct antipathy towards them bleed over into an indefensible antipathy to the good causes, even when the good causes they like dominate and deform the space for activism because of their self-interestedly generous support.

you must walk a tightrope, and of course the voices they finance will say you've failed no matter what.

have you considered getting into the tipsheet biz, @ddayen?

time is unforgivable.

[new draft post] Decommodification and health care utilization

is there a word for a lively putrescence, like the garish wriggliness of maggots on a corpse?

So much of US politics is an anticontest over which side are tyrants. COVID restrictions, along with "woke" sensibilities that made people feel they had to put caution before candor, helped Republicans make a case Democrats are tyrants.

But then DeSantis—failing to understand the basis for his own success, wanting to tack right for Presidential primaries—started ostentatiously curtailing liberties: reproductive rights, academic freedom, much more.

Chickens coming home

maybe flying private is “morally wrong” when everybody who does everything for you fly coach if they fly at all.

or perhaps there are certain people that morality binds but does not serve, and others morality serves but does not bind (to paraphrase Wilhoit’s Law).

dark brandon?

Filtering an e-mail inbox on Filtering an e-mail inbox on "subject:Biden" reveals a lot of dark and scary teasers. e.g. "Is Biden's Executive Order the End of America as..." (I haven't read the rest.)

i don’t really understand how unicode in DNS domain names works. would it be possible to set up a `rm -rf /` tld?

I think AI catastrophism is mostly a conspiracy to oligopolize and create barriers to entry, access, and control of AI systems.

The true AI catastrophe is what a privileged class will do with these technologies if they can monopolize access, understanding, and management of them.

We detected an unusual login to your account.

when i was born, there were so many people who could remember the 19th Century.

An astonishing account of the state of college students, and of extraordinary change between student cohorts now vs the very recent past, by @profmusgrave

// others who teach undergrads, does this ring true?

it's fun that with union types you get an intersection of methods while with intersection types you get a union of methods.

"you can really see constitutional political economy arguments at work in our legal and political system…in the choices courts and politicians make about which statutes should count as the super-statutes."

from an excellent post by @fishkin on how to manage the debt ceiling ht @eARCwelder

a (perhaps unjustifiably) optimistic take on Biden’s debt-ceiling strategy: negotiate, even offer some concessions, in order to appear open and reasonable, but with an expectation that any reasonable compromise is one McCarthy’s leashmasters won’t permit. then when we ultimately go over the cliff and something unusual and/or unpopular must be done, let the blame sit squarely.

This content is only available to subscribers.

“Have you ever noticed how the corporate media is obsessed with government corruption, but mostly mute on corporate corruption? There’s a reason for that. In modern America, corporate corruption is just the free market in action“ @blair_fix

“his feeling of pioneering excitement in the days of the early web, one strong enough to fuel him for decades, has finally curdled into shame and disgust.” ht ‪@dave

This is a fun kind of ego surfing. In ChatGPT's world, I have been so prolific! I have written about evvvvrything!

In our world, of course, I've never written about cathedrals.

The pathetic thing is I felt compelled to Google the made-up article I haven't written. I mean, what if I forgot something? I know the machine bullshits, but my mind is fallible and my memory fails, maybe it is me who does not know my own work?

Chat GPT answers a question with some made-up bullshit:

What was Steve Randy Waldman's argument about cathedrals?

Steve Randy Waldman, an economist and blogger, used the metaphor of cathedrals in a 20 blog post titled Chat GPT answers a question with some made-up bullshit: What was Steve Randy Waldman's argument about cathedrals? Steve Randy Waldman, an economist and blogger, used the metaphor of cathedrals in a 20 blog post titled "The Cathedral and the Warehouse". His argument was that certain kinds of institutions, particularly those related to finance and banking, are like cathedrals because they are built to inspire confidence and trust in society. Waldman argued that like cathedrals, financial institutions are complex structures that are designed to create an impression of stability and permanence. This is important because people need to trust that their money is safe when they deposit it in a bank, and that the financial system as a whole is reliable and trustworthy. However, Waldman also argued that these financial "cathedrals" can become corrupt or unstable if they are not properly maintained and regulated. He used the example of the 2008 financial crisis, which he argued was caused in part by the failure of regulators to properly oversee the financial system. Waldman's argument was that we need to recognize the importance of financial institutions as trusted and stable institutions in our society, but also ensure that they are properly regulated and maintained in order to prevent them from becoming sources of instability and corruption.

what the matrix got wrong was that the robots would have to deceive us into our pods, rather than merely engage and seduce us. we’ll climb in enthusiastically while ironizing about being “too online”.

eight billion humans, and any of them could be your friend.

to really delude yourself, you have to reason your way into it.

"My plea is for adherents of the new ideology to openly articulate their principles and give reasons for them, and not to expect nor demand automatic acceptance. And also for opponents of the new ideology to understand what they are opposing and give reasons for their own principles."

from a skeptical-but-not-hostile definition-of and grappling-with "wokeness" by .

“Washington, DC…is designed to be run by the elderly. The seniority system in Congress ties old age to increased power, as young people are told to wait their turn. Incumbency comes with a higher profile and robust donor network. Leadership posts and committee chairs are often filled by people in their 70s and 80s who, by nature of their age and wealth, are disconnected from the problems facing broad swaths of the public.” ht ‪@noahshachtman

“New thinking about how authoritarian rule works” @DanLittle

I had great fun giving an Intro to for Programmers last night at the Tampa Java Users Group.

Slides are at (html/css) or (pdf).

( There's also — oh no! — video here: )

I got to meet @AccordionGuy, who did a great writeup here

Thanks to and for organizing!

we know so much less than we pretend we do but that’s no excuse to make shit up in order to justify your dickishness. regardless of whether you believe the shit you make up.

a focus on elite credentials and endorsements, while treating diversity as a matter of identity rather than ideology, yields a corporate-friendly monoculture among judicial nominees selected by Democrats. this should change. see @ddayen

the rich have no monopoly on the truth, but high quality disinformation and platforms to distribute it are goods and services that money can buy.

there are days when the fact the world has turned a very radioactive kind of stupid really gets to me.

"Democracy Is Our Hope For A Better Future"

imagine five years ago trying to explain that a significant faction would come to believe an American deep state runs high-stakes, elaborate psyops to deceive the public in favor of, um, trans people.

don't erase the hardest hard drive.

this page doesn’t exist.

you drop by twitter to lurk a little, and it’s not kindergarten, it’s lord of the flies.

super-NIMBY, one home per acre way too dense. or should we consider this good, actually, preventing suburban sprawl in favor of infill or at least denser development?

i’d like to have a word with whoever invented the car alarm.

“Capitalism is the machine that will do whatever it takes to prevent us from turning it off, and the most successful weapon in its arsenal has been its campaign to prevent us from considering any alternatives.” ht @KathyReid @snipe

i would like to see a television show
that would be a kind of police procedural, only the “detective” would be an IRS investigator going after the ever-more-elaborate tax dodges of very high-net-worth cheats.

which is worse, for things to go sideways or pear-shaped?

"in reality it would be every bit as illegal for Biden to respect [the debt ceiling] as ignore it." @ryanlcooper

what does it mean for a thing to be true?

if looks could bill i’d be in debtors prison, baby.

the most hopeful thing i’ve read about LLMs lately (the part before the paywall at least…) ht Stephen Pimentel

i don’t know why joni is always both-sidesing everything now.

does anyone know of any description of the privacy characteristics of ACH bank transfers? do ACH transfers leave customer-level data with clearinghouses or other parties outside of the participating banks? how do the privacy characteristics of ACH compare with those of something like the upcoming FedNow?

(thanks @chrisp for posing this question, to which i'd given oddly little thought.)

banking is the original twitter. you don't want to be the main character.

(how does one select the "at-risk youth" one means to help?)

i’m a bit deflated by the spam i haven’t received.

(i finally got mine!)

in reply to self

“Most corrupt acts don't take the form of clearly immoral choices. People fight those. Corruption thrives where there is a tension between institutional and interpersonal ethics. There is ‘the right thing’ in abstract, but there are also very human impulses towards empathy, kindness, and reciprocity that result from relationships with flesh and blood people.” me, long ago.

this is the moment when our future is about to begin.

[new draft post] We haunt

i was today years old before i saw and heard footage of Huey Long speaking in his own voice. via Sandy Darity cc @poetryforsupper

in an era of generative art prompt engineering, art history becomes a STEM field.

(you have to know your artists to effectively author "in the style of..." clauses in your prompts.)

i've seen so much pessimism this week.

but it remains such a beautiful, fun language. i really enjoy it's true there are some real tooling hassles (please give me a good emacs mode). you lose time. but you can express things so cleanly and concisely.

there are tensions between what "industry" wants and an impulse to experiment. a lot of us were drawn to scala because it challenges us, keeps us learning. it never wanted to be . i don't think it should try now.

waiting for the to invent a lèse-majesté exception to the 1st Amendment with reference to itself.

after all, the Court is apolitical, so critique is not protected political speech; respect for the Court's dignity is essential to the survival and operation of the Constitutional order; and the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

we should all be grateful.

if the machine says you are guilty, you must be guilty.

if it turns out that was a bug, well, sorry i guess.

Marina Hyde via @NIH_LLAMAS @ct_bergstrom

Small and midsize banks are basically in the position middle-class homeowners with underwater mortgages in 2008 who lost their jobs were.

Over the medium-term, their housing values and home-equity wealth were due to come roaring back.

But they don't have the liquidity to carry their position, and they're not important enough for anyone to front them cheap money until then, so they take the loss, cede to bigger, better-connected players who will enjoy the roarback. 1/

Formally eliminating limits on deposit insurance might forestall the liquidity crises. Alternative, more generous Fed or other-government-agency lending terms for small and midsize banks than the already generous Bank Term Funding Program are probably the most likely way small and midsize banks will be saved, if they will be saved. /fin

in reply to self

Your preferences have been updated.

“It is not sinking in, generally, that their behavior has made everything they do completely illegitimate.” @Atrios

the more you love, the more you lose.

i am sorry to hear about gordon lightfoot.

this @TucsonSentinel piece ends on a rather shocking implication.

waiting for musk’s knock-off, red sky.

in hindsight the lack of foresight is 20/20.

not the first time i’ve seen this i think, but i love that people do this.

a bit of well-placed graffiti turns a kind of coat hook into a smiling octopus. a bit of well-placed graffiti turns a kind of coat hook into a smiling octopus.

when one finds oneself describing a thing one does as “ethical”, there’s a question.

“Can't quantify it, but really I think federal level corruption is so much worse than it used to be. I think practices that would shock ‘normal’ people are absolutely normal, but since ‘everybody’ is doing it, there's no way to even cover it for journalism.”

“We can start with how net worths just seem to blossom from the moment someone enters Congress, but that's certainly only the starting place.”

by @Atrios, to whom i apologize for quoting the whole post.

from whom do we have to buy property at inflated prices to get the Court to bless ?

hear me out.

i know it might seem like a reasonable request.

but those neighbors, they were really the deep state. even if they didn’t know it.

infected by woke mind virus, they were bringing in bicoastal “civility” norms which, by a thousand tiny strings in a thousand tiny knots, would entangle and block every manly freedom.

and of course even in death they were found on top of children. of course.

Chris Rufo is getting his way at . He understands the people are the battlefield.

It may feel good to walk out, rage quit, as several prominent faculty have done. It may very well be the best decision from a personal perspective. But it is ceding the only terrain that ultimately matters.

Can the faculty not hold out long enough to see if DeSantis and his cheap culture wars flame out as a political force in two years?

“If he had been a dog, she said, somebody would have rescued him long ago.”

This Supreme Court sounds like an implausible parody of public corruption.

"[Jane] Roberts' apparent $10.3 million in compensation [for recruiting lawyers to prestigious law firms] puts her toward the top of the payscale for legal headhunters… she was 'the highest earning recruiter in the entire company 'by a wide margin.'' ... 'The monetary value of a senior government official will depend on the value they bring to a law firm's client base,' she said"

[new draft post] Urgency

// corrected very bad misdating of post and URL in prior announcement, thanks @blakeashleyjr!

The Roberts Court is a cesspool of open corruption that works to legalize the same.

People like to describe John Roberts as an institutionalist a bit overwhelmed by how contentious his Court has become and how far and fast it has swung. Given his unwillingness to meaningfully address behavior that justifiably destroys public confidence in the Court, I don't think that's a fair description. Any "institutionalism" is eclipsed by… something else.

"It is with real chutzpah…that Roberts has claimed judicial independence in order to circumvent an investigation into judicial independence… [O]ur Supreme Court does not exist in the constitutional order as much as it looms over it, a robed tribunal of self-styled philosopher-kings, accountable to no one but themselves." @jbouie

“Preventing monopoly formation is infinitely preferable to breaking up monopolies after they form.” @pluralistic ht

i periodically repost this, and now seems like a good moment.

Merge the Court

A thing I did not know, from @ryanlcooper:

The US Supreme Court "struck down a law prohibiting political candidates from repaying personal loans to their campaign with post-election donations, meaning that interested parties can effectively place bribes directly into the pockets of our elected representatives."

( i may switch to a different instance — i love, i'm a long-time free software guy and i love that world — but most of my posts are politics-ish and i've gotten a bit of pushback that some fosstodoners prefer the local timeline to be respite from all that. i could CW politicsy posts, but that doesn't seem to be the norm among the people i converse with. anyway, i may a bit sadly be looking for a new home, and am open to suggestions. )

Jerry Springer’s passing reminds us of a more innocent, less decadent America.

some people find writing a function to reverse a string even just once to be annoying, but i've found a solution that is very concise and will reverse a string *twice*.

what if Biden cut a deal with McConnell to support an impeachment of Gorsuch and Thomas in exchange for agreeing to two McConnell-acceptable replacement nominees? the idea would be to separate ethics accountability from the political composition of the Court by holding the latter constant. would this be wise or terrible?

Apparently organic chemistry is a fake, woke discipline.

(i’m going to make an imposter account of myself so that people think i’m important enough to have an imposter!)

(oh, wait.)

(i guess my account would be an imposter imposter?)

suppose when you write your Congressperson, the mail is read and responded by an AI with, in almost all cases, no human staffer (nor the representative themself) reading the mail. would that be okay?

suppose the AI produces (accurately, let’s stipulate) a summary of the issues on which mail has been received, the positions taken, and their frequencies among constituents.

would that affect your view?

Thank God we have somebody standing firm against all the snowflakes and the cancel culture.

From @w7voa via @chargrille

I had an actual question, so I thought I'd Leverage The Power Of AI. It gave a clear answer (not the one I'd guess!), referring to a study. I asked for a citation, it duly gave me one.

Of course, the citation was bogus. I point that out, it apologizes and gives me the "correct" one. Nope! And we go 'round again!

It's stunningly shameless in the specificity of its frauds. And it goes for plausibility! The issue numbers, page numbers, dates are consistent. The articles just do not exist there.

How does antidepressant use compare between nordic and anglo countries?

There is some evidence to suggest that antidepressant use varies between Nordic and Anglo countries. Nordic countries, which include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, tend to have higher rates of antidepressant use than Anglo countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

For example, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that the prevalence of antidepressant use in Nordic countries ranged from 6.2% to 12.0%, compared to a range of 3.3% to 7.1% in Anglo countries. The study also found that Nordic countries had a higher rate of long-term antidepressant use than Anglo countries.

However, it is important to note that there may be cultural and societal differences that contribute to differences in antidepressant use between countries, and that these differences may not necessarily reflect differences in the prevalence of depression or other mental health disorders. Additionally, variations in healthcare systems, prescribing practices, and access to mental health services may also play a role in the differences observed. How does antidepressant use compare between nordic and anglo countries? There is some evidence to suggest that antidepressant use varies between Nordic and Anglo countries. Nordic countries, which include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, tend to have higher rates of antidepressant use than Anglo countries such as the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. For example, a 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that the prevalence of antidepressant use in Nordic countries ranged from 6.2% to 12.0%, compared to a range of 3.3% to 7.1% in Anglo countries. The study also found that Nordic countries had a higher rate of long-term antidepressant use than Anglo countries. However, it is important to note that there may be cultural and societal differences that contribute to differences in antidepressant use between countries, and that these differences may not necessarily reflect differences in the prevalence of depression or other mental health disorders. Additionally, variations in healthcare systems, prescribing practices, and access to mental health services may also play a role in the differences observed.
Can you please give me the full citation for the 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders you refer to?

Sure, here is the full citation for the study I referred to:

Sundbom LT, Bingefors K. (2016). The use of antidepressants among 0-17 year olds in five
Nordic countries from 2005 to 2012. Journal of Affective Disorders, 189, 187-93. DOl:

I hope that helps!

Hi. The article you refer to seems not to exist! Here is the table of contents for Journal of Affective Disorders Volume 189: Can you please recheck that citation for me?

I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. After double-checking, I found that the study I referred to was actually published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, not the Journal of Affective Disorders. Here is the correct citation:
Sundbom, L. T., & Bingefors, K. (2016). Antidepressant utilization patterns and determinants of short-term and non-psychiatric use in the Nordic countries. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 70(3), 192-199. do: 10.3109/08039488.2015.1118673

I apologize for any confusion my previous response may have caused. Can you please give me the full citation for the 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders you refer to? S Sure, here is the full citation for the study I referred to: Sundbom LT, Bingefors K. (2016). The use of antidepressants among 0-17 year olds in five Nordic countries from 2005 to 2012. Journal of Affective Disorders, 189, 187-93. DOl: 10.1016/jjad.2015.09.025. I hope that helps! SW Hi. The article you refer to seems not to exist! Here is the table of contents for Journal of Affective Disorders Volume 189: Can you please recheck that citation for me? G I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. After double-checking, I found that the study I referred to was actually published in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, not the Journal of Affective Disorders. Here is the correct citation: Sundbom, L. T., & Bingefors, K. (2016). Antidepressant utilization patterns and determinants of short-term and non-psychiatric use in the Nordic countries. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 70(3), 192-199. do: 10.3109/08039488.2015.1118673 I apologize for any confusion my previous response may have caused.
I am having a hard time finding that article as well. Here is the relevant table of contents of the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry

I apologize for the continued confusion. It appears that I made another mistake in my previous response. The correct citation for the study is:

Sundbom LT, Helgesson M, Jing S, et al. (2015). Antidepressant utilisation patterns and determinants of short-term and non-psychiatric use in the Nordic countries. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 69(3), 218-225. DOl: 10.3109/08039488.2014.961964

I hope that helps clarify things. I am having a hard time finding that article as well. Here is the relevant table of contents of the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry I apologize for the continued confusion. It appears that I made another mistake in my previous response. The correct citation for the study is: Sundbom LT, Helgesson M, Jing S, et al. (2015). Antidepressant utilisation patterns and determinants of short-term and non-psychiatric use in the Nordic countries. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 69(3), 218-225. DOl: 10.3109/08039488.2014.961964 I hope that helps clarify things.

who writes one of the deepest finance substacks puts an older, but i think one of my best, posts on inequality in the excellent company of and .

are you a media personality?

i pass every turing test because it is obvious i am a shallow fake.

i've made myself a very overtly means of specifying static sites, which is the opposite of slick or friendly, except maybe to people who find writing scala and interacting with scala libs a natural and precise way of specifying things. today i wrote a "Getting Started" README, on the unlikely theory i might not be alone.

what name shall we give this condition, when you depend upon what you hate?

Amazon's "main 'advertising' business isn't advertising at all – it's payola… In other words, Amazon isn't making $31b/year selling ads – it's extracting $31b/year from its merchants to make its shoppers' experience worse. The results at the top of your search aren't the best products – they're often the *worst* products, because sellers who waste money making *good* products don't have anything left over to pay danegeld to Amazon" @pluralistic

It's pretty clear the the US Supreme Court is sincere and has taken to heart its standard that only quid-pro-quo exchanges count as corruption, and any form of influence peddling or purchase beneath that standard is just democracy in action!

Unsurprisingly, @jeffspross gets to the pith of Ezra Klein's "everything bagel liberalism" complaint. It would be better if we didn't disadvantage critical public projects by attaching civilized labor conditions only to them, while private projects "efficiently" mistreat people. But the way to do that is to level up the playing field, by making civilized labor conditions universal.

it's funny how in journalism about politicians and political skills, a capacity for ingratiation gets described as "empathy".

the humble comma as a very simple namespace for UNIX scripts and custom commands.

"Start all of your commands with a comma" by @brandon_rhodes

via @irreal

Great piece by @ddayen calling attention to the lobbying by firms that extract fees from socially useless products to game the FDIC's deposit insurance limit. They want to ensure that limit stays intact.

At stake is more than their rents. Removing the deposit limit dissolves the pretense that banks are private firms bearing their own risk, and invites more fundamental banking reform. ht 1/

@ddayen ( i wrote something recently about what a reformed banking system might look like here ) /fin

in reply to self

We have to end the silent gerrymandering that occurs within legislative procedure.

The procedural aspects of running a deliberative body are obviously of public interest. Who is recognized when, how committees are formed, how legislation is introduced and amended, most famously "cloture" to end debate, these are not "internal matters for the chamber to decide". These choices can and do disenfranchise us as surely as crazy district lines. Bring forth the floodlights.

"I'm sure a very nice book with obvious conclusions could be written about which laws are just ignored and which ones are enforced mercilessly." @Atrios

“Those who suggest that low taxes in the US mean that people there have more money to spend are being disingenuous, because US citizens need to pay, either directly or indirectly, for social goods that are provided free in other countries.” @sjwrenlewis

"most of the discrete objects humans have manufactured in our history are transistors"

a useful precis of not-so-nice things tucker carlson has said. the PDF includes entries through March 14, 2023. via @Atrios

it's not great that we've built a world so susceptible to influence by the whims of some plutocrat that the quality of the country we live in and in some respects the fate of the world may meaningfully hinge on who he hires and fires.

[new draft post] Two kinds of representation

he was outfoxed.


i'm trying to sunset a twitter account. (it's a private account i used, in my once very twitter-centric life, for my own notes.) i want to download an archive first. before downloading, it wants a code which it says it mails, but alas does not. has anyone encountered this? found a workaround?

UPDATE: this was my idiocy. I have a filter that archives Twitter's incessant e-mail marketing and notifications. It caught the code. I'm through the code verification barrier now. Thank for all the help!

Thanks you a ton! @Alon @jackyan @Kchunda @Ofsevit

I'd love to blame Elon, but, not unusually, this was my idiocy. I have a filter that archives Twitter's incessant e-mail marketing and notifications. It caught the code. I don't know whether the archive will succeed (I've made a request, have to wait), but I'm through the code verification barrier.

in reply to self

"Living in the US is like having a super-dangerous job" by @johnquiggin

// accounting for a reasonable risk premium given higher mortality ris in the US than comparable developed countries "would push the US down to the middle of the rich-country pack based on standard comparisons of median income." layer on much less leisure and lack of universal benefits and the US might land much lower than the middle of the pack.

@poetryforsupper “we’re not the theocrats. it’s just *obvious* that are adversary is satan and any appearance of old-school debate pretextual, so it’s incumbent upon us to counteract and act accordingly.”

i look at the website, find a good deal. go to the app — same firm! — to buy it. but my good deal is almost twice as expensive in the app. back to the website and i hit the good deal.

am i supposed to feel savvy? lucky? happy?

what i actually feel is that i live in a barbaric casino where i might easily have shed about a hundred dollars bc i missed some arbitrary choice about how to interact with a firm i now think less of.

google's targeting is uncanny.

it's one of god's little ironies that after all our teenage idolizing and striving the coolest people we'll ever meet are our kids.

i really miss having a place where you could at a glance get a sense of what’s really going on in the world.

like, right now on the QSite, trends include “Because Elon”, “Even Elon”, “Musk”, and “So Elon”. along with “Matt Taibbi” and “Grimes” who are trending for their roles in dramas involving Elon.

you really can stay in touch with what’s important over there.

you have to love the people who are wrong about everything because otherwise you will just be too alone.

@Yaneznaiu welcome!

“the platforms always aimed to reconfigure sociality into something more consumable.” @robhorning ht @Jonathanglick

"The word 'neoliberalism' is much misused. We might, however, attach that label to the valorization of the goods of effectiveness over those of excellence - of winning at all costs over performing well." stumblingandmumbling.typepad.c

[new draft post] Two parties make us stupid

i still spend about 90% less time in indoor public spaces than i did pre-2020.

which i don’t like, at all. i don’t work in coworking spaces and cafés anymore, i mostly restrict eating out to eating outside, etc.

i feel much more isolated and stuck at home than i used to. i want everywhere to verifiably provide to very good ventilation. i think of close indoor air now like untreated sewage.

an interesting observation in this piece by @radleybalko about GOP respect for localism and the rights of communities to govern themselves rather then be subject to the whims of some distant government is the attention paid to institutional design, ensuring accountability through clear targets for coercion and intimidation in the public interest.

so over on the QSite i saw “big guy” trending and was curious. the two top tweets offer happy birthday wishes to the “big guy”, above slide shows cycling through adoring photographs of adolf hitler.

i mean, why on earth would advertisers be leaving?

basically the legacy elitist blue check was just made more elitist, it now goes a much smaller number of accounts, the celebrities that elon wants to impress.

maybe capital allies with those who would render the state oppressive on social issues not merely to attract electorally useful idiots, but also so that factions which otherwise might be inclined to support state power in order to address distributional problems become tempted to adopt a “fight the power”, adversarial view of the state.

For students at , the Florida public liberal arts college that is trying to convert to Christianity or something, the "center of the universe" is Palm Court.

Palm Court is an almost-checker-board of Palm Trees, the heart of a dormitory complex designed by IM Pei, the most extraordinary place that I ever lived.

Proconsul Corcoran now plans to evacuate students from that whole side of campus (which also includes newer dorms and the student center).

"we’ve allowed companies to steal our culture and rent it back to us."

is prompt engineering safe from ai automation?

mischievous high-school kids in Florida are going to have so much fun bringing up topics their teachers could get in trouble for talking about.

undisguised vindictiveness is a hallmark of the contemporary right.

Margaritaville feels awfully uptight these days.

what twitter address do you write to get your free 💩 emoji?

when you say you are asking nicely, you are not.

[new draft post] Taiwan

we’re going to extend copyright, like, forever just because we are so grateful.


Many, possibly most, state-owned enterprises receive no public subsidies, meaning that they fund themselves via revenue from their customers. The United States Postal Service is perhaps the biggest and most well-known state-owned enterprise in the US and it funds its services using customer fees called postage.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is another US state-owned enterprise and it funds its services using customer fees called electricity rates. In fact, there are around 2,000 public power companies in the US that work this way.

Also, some non-state-owned enterprises receive public subsidies. Private sports teams receive subsidies to build stadiums. The federal government is giving huge sums of money to chipmakers to locate factories in the US. And so on. Few if any people contend that these subsidies make the entities public or state-owned. Many, possibly most, state-owned enterprises receive no public subsidies, meaning that they fund themselves via revenue from their customers. The United States Postal Service is perhaps the biggest and most well-known state-owned enterprise in the US and it funds its services using customer fees called postage. The Tennessee Valley Authority is another US state-owned enterprise and it funds its services using customer fees called electricity rates. In fact, there are around 2,000 public power companies in the US that work this way. Also, some non-state-owned enterprises receive public subsidies. Private sports teams receive subsidies to build stadiums. The federal government is giving huge sums of money to chipmakers to locate factories in the US. And so on. Few if any people contend that these subsidies make the entities public or state-owned.

"Boeing is not in the business of making planes, it is in the business of making profits."

// one way to understand the neoliberal period is as a time when people absurdly believed that corporations face no important trade-offs between generating payouts for shareholders and doing real work in the world.

"'A Commission serious about regulating—and not destroying—this market' would be a different SEC! You don’t have to like it, but it is easy to know what the SEC wants." @matt_levine on the state of play in US crypto regulation.

"So many things that people claim are impossible we once had in living memory and yet people often cannot even accurately recall their own lives and experiences."

@Jonathanglick @misc Yeah. I think the willingness to "melt" in a direction was an important distinction. 20th C "Americanness" didn't require giving up Irishness, Italianness, or Jewishness. But it encouraged a kind of commercial openness — open a pub, a pizzaria, a deli! It's trick was to turn prior identity groups into theme park versions integrated in our larger Disneyland. 1/

@Jonathanglick @misc But some identities we were not willing to "embrace and extend" as a new section of the theme park. Both queerness and blackness were not encouraged to melt into the mix. There was soul food and gay bars, but they never mainstreamed like pizzarias and delis and pubs, they never shed a sense of exclusion. We might do better now, if we could reinvigorate a kind of melting pot identity (for better or not, that's obviously controversial). /fin

in reply to self

@Jonathanglick (fair enough!)

@Jonathanglick (I'd say "white supremacist" was both. People who bought into the ideology identified, proudly, as white supremacists, and formed tight-knit social groups around that identity, much moreso than say socialists or libertarians which I'd characterize as political ideologies certainly but group identities only weakly.)

@Jonathanglick Here I think we'll agree. There's a distinction between seduction and coercion. I think it's great and fine to offer choices that, if widely taken, might weaken or even destroy an identity group, as long as take-up of that choice is genuinely voluntary. The line between what's voluntary and not can blur, but we should try to insist on as strong a sense of voluntary as possible. Coercing people to take actions that undo identities is terrible. Promotion of such actions need not be.

@Jonathanglick I don't think this is right. Consider the group "white supremicists". From the 19th through the mid 20th Century this was not an epithet, but a proud open identity group. Much of the public thought that it should disappear (and to the unfortunate degree it still exists, thinks that it still should), but there was no hint of murder in that. There is quite extraordinary fluidity in identity groups over time, often without much coercion let alone murder.

@Jonathanglick @jayulfelder I guess with Jews its a funny thing, because we can't decide if we're an ethnicity or a religion. But to the degree it's a religion, I think most contemporary Jews would see mass conversion to Christianity as eradication of Judaism, though not the Jews as human. Would Jews exist, if we were all "Jews for Jesus"? Why wouldn't we just become Episcopalians or Unitarians then, just culturally to keep Klezmer and Yiddish and some rituals alive? 1/

@Jonathanglick @jayulfelder Almost nobody defends (explicitly, but mostly even implicitly) genocide in the sense of extermination. But lots of people support things that would, if successful, lead to the end of the identification part of an identity group. 2/

in reply to self

@Jonathanglick @jayulfelder One classic is the prospect of curing deafness, or Deafness. On the one hand, seems like it would be a good thing. On the other, it would end what has emerged as a rich, close-knit community, with its own norms and language and a very strong sense of identity. Should the Deaf, in your and my ideal world, exist? /fin

in reply to self

@Jonathanglick @jayulfelder does that mean that every evangelical religion, whose theology might include ideas like "believers who repent will enjoy eternal salvation, while others will not", and who therefore (altruistically, starting from their axioms) would ideally want all people to become converts, should be thought of as in some ethically important sense as genocidal?

@Jonathanglick (Maybe the smooth onboarding is less marginal than I think! Or at least maybe Substack is marketing it to writers that way, whether it proves accurate or not, to jumpstart participation!)

@Jonathanglick Those longform writers mostly used to be on Twitter too, and I think the notes part is open without pay, for now. To the degree notes succeeds, like Twitter, or here, there will be a financial incentive to market ones work there. Probably the onboarding to subscribing will be even smoother than Substack makes it in general from notes, but I think that's a pretty marginal difference. 1/

@Jonathanglick For now, I think it's populated because subscription Substackers think quite highly of that platform, and are willing to help jumpstart notes with them. Its value might become a victim of success, if it really does become a new Twitter, as the clientele grows less select. But for now it is mostly Substack writers and subscribers (I found myself there via Substack's mailing digests to subscribers), which is imparts a helpful selection bias. /fin

in reply to self

I do not wish Substack Notes well. I am done with the internet architecture it represents.

So I am unhappy to report, after lurking for a bit, so far its value proposition of "Twitter, but constituted mostly of longform writers and their readers" is compelling. It's worth thinking about a more open and decentralized way to encourage such a forum.

“it is the enormous inequality of our society—the vast difference in wealth and income between the rarefied top and the rest of us—that creates the structural circumstances that give rise to corruption… The disparity is the root cause of the problem.” @jeffspross

i don’t really get the scandal, doesn’t everybody love a robes-to-riches story?

“We must avoid the schoolteacher attitude to politics and business, marking the work of politicians and businessmen as if it were a test of intellectual ability and singling out the best and worst students. Instead, we must consider institutions. Do we have those institutions which help filter out incompetence and bias, or which are resilient to error? The answer, for now, is: no.” stumblingandmumbling.typepad.c

Lots of useful economic history in this @theprospect piece by ht @chrishenjum

@SteveRoth this analysis by @blair_fix is compelling in conventional terms, but a bit more complicated if holding gains are computed as income, per your work, given the effect of interest rates on term asset prices.

was ZIRP a gift to capital (bc asset price appreciation) or a win for workers (bc factor income shares)?

playing with generative models feels like psychoanalysis: free associate to *this*, let’s see where you go!

but it’s hard to know if you are “psychoanalyzing” society, the training set, or idiosyncrasies in the way the model interprets the training set. ymmv!

What would it look like to separate payments and deposits from the risk lending side of banking?

@SteveRoth thinks it through.

today in government in the sunshine…

“Decades of assuming that govt actors don’t know enough to intervene in the marketplace have created a self-fulfilling prophecy in which govt actors actually don’t know, because they have never done industrial policy, have never been taught to do industrial policy, and lack the appropriate institutions and information to do it well, even if they abstractly knew how. Parts of the govt that used to be directly engaged with economic planning have withered away” @henryfarrell

ron desantis just made himself unelectable in any national race. probably even in florida next time around.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @markhughes really? the reveal isn’t that we spy on allies. it’s the specifics. it won’t help Sisi’s counterintelligence, or put US sympathetic persons at risk, to know exactly what has been eavesdropped? it won’t harm our intelligence broadly if pessimistic assessments of a battlefield situation have to be treated as public, so become as impossible to make in private as they are in public (reasonably, since public pronouncements can self-fulfill).

I seek to follow high ethical standards, so there is no reason that any law should apply to me.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @markhughes i think it very much the case that information is way overclassified for bullshit CYA and office politics reasons. it’s also the case that some information are correctly classified. this leaker who was trying to impress his gamer friends waa not leaking inter-office embarrassments. he was leaking revealing details about surveillance of very “hot” ongoing crises that quite properly were classified.

think of the possibilities for honeytraps made from kindness rather than lust or avarice.

place a politically inconvenient person in a situation where a cooperating undocumented migrant needs help. have the migrant in some offhand way reveal their status. if the kindness does not immediately desist, you’ve made yourself a felon.

for a political coalition built around unkindness as retribution for perceived grievance, this kind of trap may be usefully selective.

how on earth would a 21 year old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard have access to all this shit? isn’t access to classified information compartamentalized, even among people with security clearances that would permit them, if they had a good reason, to see it? you’d think the US security state would have learned a little from Manning and Snowden? maybe they need to learn from firms like Apple about how to restrict information flows by default?

You’ve got to love the implications for liberty of a decision that says any doctors that might be called to treat a person who takes a risk that doesn’t work out are “harmed” and have standing to sue to prevent the risk-taking.

Doctors Against Skiing could put an end to the lax permitting process that allows such a dangerous sport to exist.

Shouldn’t ER doctors have standing then to sue gun manufacturers?

an end of history is like a permanently high plateau.

really at the heart of civil society in the modern South is the service organization Enbies of the Confederacy.

The amazing @jeffspross is here!

"Conservatives like to troll liberals by asking 'What is a woman?' In the next few election cycles, they’re going to find out."

It is astonishing to me that the writer of this piece is .

it’s clearly very expensive to train gpt-4-ish models. but how expensive is it to run them? if openai permitted, what kind of hardware would you need to run a local gpt-4?

you play innocent, like you don’t know public libraries groom readers.


Some national-greatness, protectionist, left-YIMBY-ism by

plutocracy and democracy cannot coexist. we don't need a guillotine. we just need a tax code.

Will small businesses be squeezed between a tight labor market and a community bank credit crunch, delivering us even further into the hands of corporate overlords? Do we overestimate meaningful small biz formation by mistaking DoorDashers for Main Street moxie?

Interesting (troubling) questions at the end of this note by

In 2001 I was bitten by a street dog in Constanta, Romania. I was a foreigner, but with no fuss I was scheduled for a series of rabies shots for free.

I guess the treatment did not include the new immunoglobulin this article describes as “buying time”, but my understanding in 2001 was I had nothing to worry about since I started the shots promptly. The article does not quantify how much extra benefit the immunoglobulin is alleged to provide.

Get sick outside the US.

ht @kims @VisualStuart

in reply to self

just one bit of the excellent economics writing in this piece from @jwmason, on arguments about the futility of industrial policy due to overcapacity narrowly, and how politically we make progress in economics policy more broadly. ht @ryanlcooper

“There's an important truth to the idea that, in a world of long-lived specialized capital goods and constant or falling marginal costs, there is no tendency for market prices to reflect costs of produc-tion. Too much competition, and firms will sell at prices that don't recoup their fixed costs, and drive each other to bankruptcy. Too little competi-tion, and firms will recover their full costs and then some, while limiting socially useful output. No market process ensures that competition ends up at the goldilocks level in the middle.” “There's an important truth to the idea that, in a world of long-lived specialized capital goods and constant or falling marginal costs, there is no tendency for market prices to reflect costs of produc-tion. Too much competition, and firms will sell at prices that don't recoup their fixed costs, and drive each other to bankruptcy. Too little competi-tion, and firms will recover their full costs and then some, while limiting socially useful output. No market process ensures that competition ends up at the goldilocks level in the middle.”

@Jonathanglick Yeah. That's no good. Hopelessness is always savvier than wise.

"Institutions" very broadly construed (not necessarily formal institutions) have to stand as a bridge between individual and collective (potentially systemic) agency. Mass protests are an institution, and I think they had effect during that period. (I am less sanguine about that institution going forward, though, for a variety of reasons.)

@Jonathanglick I think it's a potato chip kind of effect. We know they are wrong or at least we are liable to abuse them but they are satisfying somehow so often we succumb. Especially when people are so actively trying to sell them to us. When we watch Netflix, we are interested in characters and drama. Thinking structurally feels like work, it doesn't draw us like entertainment. If we let ourselves be persuaded eating potato chips is virtuous work, that's very convenient!

@Jonathanglick (I hope that calling explicit attention to its incoherence and counterproductiveness can help de-fuse them. But that's more a matter of hope than evidence!)

in reply to self

[new draft post] Systemic means it's not your fault

if you didn't know about condensation, wouldn't the natural question be "how did the water get through the glass?"

you'd conclude that glass was porous.

on the QSite, “Substack” is trending, but if you click it you get search results for “newsletter”.

they call them badges because they badger.

“many people apparently thought Musk was part of a “Western-values/free-speech coalition” (according to Weinstein). Sure, if those Western values are of seventeenth-century ‘l’État, c’est moi’ vintage.”

gun rights are for everyone!

for the governor’s allies, they are a proud manly right to bear arms. for those the governor does not favor, carrying a firearm is a license to be killed.

everyone let’s exercise our 2nd Amendment rights!

does anybody have good dreams?

Just imagine if you could spell any word.

to describe the direction of American politics and economics as “neofeudal” used to be provocative. cf @mikethemadbiologist

“Yes, I Know Where the Comma Goes”

“the real reason I pony up is for a quality beyond straightforward ‘utility,’ a quality I usually refer to as ‘Doesn’t Make Me Wish I Was Dead.’”

so, i hear Twitter is now labeling a variety of newsfeeds “government funded” which i’m fine with i just wish they’d pair it with a similar label “plutocrat funded”.

You just never know with the humans.

there is always demand for indulgences, so it’s good that we have a nonprofit sector to meet it.

mastodon is a bit less parasocial than twitter, which should be a virtue, but we’ve so completely substituted parasociability for our social lives, it means we feel a bit more lonesome.

one thing our various systems seem to do is elevate vindictiveness as a character trait. musk, trump, desantis, obviously something has been adaptive for them and vindictiveness is the trait they most obviously share. perhaps this is an aspect of our systems we should work quite consciously to modify. or is leadership by the vindictive socially beneficial in ways that i fail to appreciate?

a bad practice unremedied is good precedent.

Very measured on the BRICS, by the guy who named the club, worth reading in the face of alarmist TicTocced takes on the subject that have become very prevalent.

(via the polycrisis newsletter by @Kmac and Tim Sahay)

Galaxy Take: Musk really *is* a free-expression champion, and he realized the world needed a lesson in just how brittle and capricious a centralized media ecosystem can be.

ht @inquiline @librarianshipwreck

in a game of chicken, no one should be congratulated for their resolve when both players go over the cliff.

This interview of Masha Gessen by David Remnick feels like a kind of oasis in all the controversializing over trans issues. ht @mikethemadbiologist

"modernity derived its cultural power and energy from an unstable ideological compound... [a] mixture of the promise an unfettered individual will realizing its desires coupled to a system which ultimately demand that human desires be managed, predicted, and channeled to serve the ends of a market economy." @lmsacasas theconvivialsociety.substack.c

About as pithy a summary as you are going to get of how social affairs work and evolve, from @DanLittle understandingsociety.blogspot.

About as pithy a summary as you are going to get of how social affairs work and evolve, from @DanLittle understandingsociety.blogspot.

America's emerging Great Firewall gets a beta test at — of course — Florida public colleges and universities. TikTok, WeChat, VKontakte, etc are banned from university networks.

@GossiTheDog it is very brave of you to post in your condition.

Over at the QSite, I am only just learning that FedNow — the United States' wayyyy overdue network for enabling many countries have had for years, "real time" (intraday) bank transfers and payments — is a conspiracy to control us, a stepping stone towards (horrors!) CBDC, and the true motive for the murder of Bob Lee.

It's important to remember that Twitter has become basically a successor to Weekly World News in order not to despair too deeply.

"the 'hard numbers' found in CBO’s baseline tables conceal all the assumptions and uncertainties involved in producing them."

"The Chinese grand strategy, in short, is America’s own forgotten Hamiltonian strategy. That strategy emphasized massive investment in real, productive sectors"

[new draft post] Alignment is the problem of God's love

“these models are deeply and consistently wrong. But ‘wrong’ doesn’t capture the true problem. The deeper problem is that these models are all wrong in the very same way, and in the same direction. They are wrong in a way that massively benefits the rich, and massively disadvantages everyone and everything else.” ht @lou

doom is the potato chip of the attention marketplace.

it’s bullies who most justify their behavior as opposing bullying. not-bullies have few occasions to require so grand a justification.

Elon Musk refers to himself as both a free speech absolutist and a socialist.

"there is nothing *more* political than insisting that your own preferences and assumptions are 'empirical' while anyone who questions them is 'doing politics.'"

"...Incinerating the qualitative and doing arithmetic with the dubious quantitative residue that remains is no way to understand the world, much less run it"


mastodon should clone twitter’s “community notes” feature just so it could be called “well actually”.

Chat GPT seems to be evolving towards a very well-informed, but very conventional and risk-averse persona. It is like they made HR our interface to Google.

"Rhetorically, conservatives love to defend localities against an overweening state. Open any of the loftier right-wing political journals and you’ll find essays, complete with their own nomenclature—'subsidiarity,' 'little platoons'—praising the virtues of localism. In practice, conservative politicians have spent the past decade using state power to crush local initiatives."

This is… wtf.

it’s not a möbius strip it’s thinfinity.

I guess the term lèse-majesté comes from the French, but can it possibly be for real that France is prosecuting a person for "insulting the president of the republic" on social media?

This is one of those stories that apparently is real but seems crazy and implausible to me. Via Matthew Saroff.

Via Equality By Lot (a blog that in general advocates sortition-based democratic institutions), a very harsh take on France's "citizen conventions" by law professor Guillaume Drago.

It hits on real critiques (can the organizers of what are often called citizens' juries manipulate them into endorsing a ham sandwich? is the selection genuinely representative?), but is perhaps overly sanguine about *status quo* electoral democracy.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite some things just really get your goat. (sorry.)

@failedLyndonLaRouchite it’s just a helluva story.

“It’s a little girl’s goat, not Pablo Escobar.” ht Julia Shumway

a doctor vigilante superhero: Obstetrician of Justice!

you intend it as the exception, but they take it to be the rule.

people act like it’s a big deal to identify as nonbinary but i never knew anyone who identified as binary.

if you phone the CIA, i think it can go without saying that this call is being recorded for quality assurance. but do they ask you to please hold for the next available agent?

me too, honestly.

@design_law i will not… i will not… i… am too weak.

which do you fear more? AI that breaks free from human control, or what (some) humans will do with control over AI?

it feels like a kind of violation of the social contract, that we get human-extinction-threatening AI before we even get robots capable of keeping public restrooms sparking and clean.

i used to think prompt engineer was basically an oxymoron.

dork diss of the day:

“you were epiphenomenal!”

@akhilrao (ha!)

the humans often confuse hypotheses for observations.

[new draft post] State as coordination

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @merz @DeanBaker13 @jgordon Matt Stoller, in his Big newsletter (very much worth reading!) solicits stories about off-beat monopolies, and he often investigates and publishes them to his extremely Washington-plugged-in audience. Obscure-to-the-general-public abuse by consolidated players in science supply chains would be 100% up his alley, and might even move some needle that matters.

@MBridegam no! just unsubscribing one at a time. org-wide opt-outs would be convenient!

The social prerequisite for technological dynamism is a universalist welfare state that reduces the coupling between fluctuating labor income and human thriving.


i find i am unsubscribing from all the political-figure mailing lists my -ing over the years has put me on.

i'm not sure whether this is the right thing or the wrong thing to do. it is an act of sheer .

instead of trying to throw a constraint into somebody’s optimization problem, is there any way you can shift what they are trying to optimize?

plutocracy is just not consistent with rule of law.

plutocrats have the resources to hijack the state or undermine the legitimacy of state action. our current politics is unstable because plutocracy is illegitimate (because duh) while state action to counter plutocracy is made illegitimate by the work of the plutocrats.

so there is no way forward.

they are gaslighting you into imagining you are gaslit.

"when [NewCollege] hired its first dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion in 2022, it wasn’t surrendering to the woke left. It was responding to an explicit mandate from a DeSantis appointee... a banker appointed by DeSantis led an aggressive top-down push for sweeping new DEI initiatives in all of Florida’s public colleges, compelling every campus, including New College, to put more emphasis on DEI." ht @grantimatter

direct from the trenches of US-19 i am here to report that Palm Harbor Florida remains calm.

the US feels a bit retro today, like a much anticipated mash-up of Law and Order and the Jerry Springer Show.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon pharma is obviously structured in ways that reward predation and extract rents. we can try to address that directly. of course it is also a symptom of America’s general inequities and pathologies. there would be much less incentive to predation, and reform would be easier to arrange, if high incomes were taxed again at 90% in the US. 1/

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon but like with every other problem, while we fight their deep roots we still have to pull up the weeds.

in no domain are we content to say, “well the real root of this corruption is overall stratification and the desperate treadmill a price-rationed caste system provokes which causes people to justify any harm if they can earn a buck. so we’ll just have to endure until after the revolution.” /fin

in reply to self

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon you should be suspicious! but then you should be more than suspicious of the status quo industry whose predations and misallocations of resources—including real and prodigious scientific and regulatory competences!—are legion and legend. @DeanBaker13 offers a lot of reform ideas. by all means critique them. but compare them against not an ideal, but the pretty bad status quo.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon all I’ve endorsed was having the state pay to overcome regulatory burdens for already developed drugs that would be competitive with domestic monopolists. i’m sympathetic to @DeanBaker13’s broad project of figuring out how to reorganize pharma so we keep the competences but trim the rents and the (profound) incentives to corruption and predation under the current model. but i’m not going to invent a new model in a toot.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon i don’t think anyone is arguing pharma work should all be done by direct govt employees on the gs pay scale. if you did do that, some costs would go up and others would go down, but @merz concerns about institutional knowledge might be hard to address. 1/

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon there are lots of pharma reform ideas (lots just from @DeanBaker13), but even when the idea is “let the state fund the work and own the product”, the state can finance start-up labs and let operators of those labs allocate resources, just as private investors now do. how the state then incentivizes high-social-return work, under what form of competition if any, becomes a question to address. /fin

in reply to self

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon you can hire whoever’s available, but that includes ppl and institutions already here. there’s no debaathification. when incumbent institutions have competences they can provide best at good rates, you hire them. they may not like the more competitive environment, but the only thing that’d cut incumbents out wld be their choosing to attempt a kind of capital strike rather than participating.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @DeanBaker13 @merz @jgordon it’s worth noting that over the last few decades big pharma itself outsourced much of its basic drug development to China. that was the fate of the lab at which i once worked, the former Upjohn in Kalamazoo.

in reply to self

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @merz @jgordon @DeanBaker13 yes. but those big pharma partners largely serve as VCs plus compliance / clinical trial specialists. those can be challenging competencies, but they can also be reorganized! i’m not saying things aren’t “hard”. but when (inherently hard) trials are run by financial beneficiaries they are at risk of being corrupt. that things are difficult doesn’t mean the way we currently do them is best.

i wish had Disney’s lawyers.

internet turing tests are getting so hard pretty soon only AIs will be able to pass them.

"Achieving pro-growth policies is a matter of power, not brains... Bad policy is not mere intellectual error. It is the product of capitalism — of economic stagnation and of how capital exercises power over the state." stumblingandmumbling.typepad.c

i think a very good rule of thumb for all members of the human species is “just don’t detonate a nuclear weapon.”

FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund “also earns interest on U.S. Treasury securities it holds, but a sharp rise in interest rates last year caused unrealized losses on those holdings”

// ha!

“are we the baddies?” asks the group, whose members wear gigantic skull tattoos as their emblem.

weird when libertarian anti-fiat bitcoinists get excited about the chinese yuan and russian ruble.

when you answer a phone call, there should be a button you can choose that automatically intones “this call may be recorded for quality assurance” and then does that.

(whose quality did you think they were trying to assure anyway?)

why must landscaping be so loud?

The government itself should run and finance US clinical trials of cheap alternatives to price-gouging patented drugs and vaccines. The taxpayer cost of the trials would be peanuts compared to the public’s savings on the drugs.

see @DeanBaker13

not propitious when the bbq place u r going to shares a stripmall with this.

Sign says “Simple. Easy. Affordable. Cremation” Sign says “Simple. Easy. Affordable. Cremation”

i would like a stochastic carrot.

California will provide a public option for some pharmaceuticals. More like this, please.

how long until language-model-enabled stuffed animals talk to our children in character?

in reply to self

This piece by @SteveRoth really highlights the fractal nature of American inequality. Top 1% (by income) households saw their wealth grow on average by a ridiculous 64MM, but I think it's safe to say that the, um, poorest 1%-ers, households earning roughly 600K per year, didn't see anything like those gains.

"A country that lets itself be led around by the marginal logic of comparative advantage will end up with short-term economic gains, but these gains may be offset by the loss of deeper technological capabilities." @noahpinion_mirror

I love this, from @mihaip. I wish they had a System 6 or 7 installation with Aldus PageMaker and a lot of fonts and (anachronistically) print to PDF. I could just give a middle finger to the last few decades of desktop publishing churn. ht @burritojustice

"paradoxical misapprehension of agency. People, institutions, forces see it where it isn't, can't see it where it is, imagine they have none and others have it all...

to take the personal authority of believing things that don't fit together easily or clearly, is a sovereign act: it asserts priority over the systems of thought that constrain agency."



just remember, the bots made him do it. john galt has no agency.

is not a great instance.

"The paradox of freedom, Florida style, is that it’s really an assertion of control. *People like us should be free to do what we want, and free to stop other people from doing what they want when we don’t approve.* That’s why it would be deeply unfair to call Ron DeSantis a petty tyrant. If he is a tyrant, he is an expansive one."

[New Post] Excerpts!

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @yarrriv @Alon @davidzipper (one of my quirky urbanisms is i favor elevated bike lanes. but that’s yet another expensive investment that’s a very hard sell.)

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @Alon @yarrriv @davidzipper it is a bit pathetic. pre-COVID i tried so hard to make MUNI my main way of getting around SF, but I constantly felt like it was some virtuous sacrifice, that i was being dicked around by buses inexplicably terminating early or being 3 minutes away then disappearing, then of course the next one that shows to reward you for the wait is packed like a sardine can. 1/

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @Alon @yarrriv @davidzipper then you go to other countries, and it’s just nice. /fin

in reply to self

I don’t think the case for fare-free transit is about equity really at all. It’s about reducing the barriers to entry of transit, particularly to infrequent travelers who usually travel by car and don’t keep a fare card. It’s about making it posssible to float in and out of buses on impulse, making transit feel like an option all enjoy rather than just some service other people pay to use. cf @davidzipper

in we are witnessing perhaps the first human capital strike.

(with all the neoliberal-ish implications of the term "human capital" as distinct from old-fashioned labor and old-fashioned capital.)

[new draft post] Banks should fail much more often

On egalitarianism without welfarism.

@CoolerPseudonym i hope not! but i think stock market valuation multiples are maybe something whose fluctuations we can live with and skip the apocalypse.

@CoolerPseudonym if you think that, you’ll probably prefer passive, why play a very arbitrary zero-sum game, negative sum after trading and active management costs? and you’ll contribute to the rotation into passive, maybe enjoy the updraft if you are not in too late a cohort!

@CoolerPseudonym yeah. it only works while passive share is increasing, relative to active share and/or nonequity investment. can’t go on forever, but can have a big effect for a while! (and could go into reverse, too, if there’s a rotation from passive equity back to more cash-heavy active or something else).

is the success of a shift from active management to index funds (mechanically, temporarily) self-fulfilling?

“If active managers are redeemed and replaced with passive managers who want to hold less cash, the ONLY solution is for equity prices to rise.” ~

Have Iraq and Ukraine both gone basically according to the hegemon’s plan?

I don’t buy it. But it’s a provocative thesis, and is always worth a read.

having an LLM do your writing for you is like having a robot do your pooping.

the product may be indistinguishable from or even higher quality than your own, but still it won’t quite work.

the devil pays well but you are never happy.

groups of people — including professions — that let individual incentives guide their action will always be playthings of the rich and powerful, who are able to set incentives. agency in our actual world requires collective action, and shame on journalists as a profession for failing to step up. ht @alexwild @mtsw

act like it’s absurd to consider Michelangelo’s David pornographic, but they conveniently leave out the that David is not only nude but hard.

they say stalking is a crime but everywhere i turn i’m there and the police do nothing to be honest i’m a little creeped out.

an approach to limiting Section 230 that people mad because Section 230 let platforms take down Trump would absolutely hate. maybe you only get the immunity if you try to take down Trump!

because i like to reveal people's secrets.

“Non-Disparagement Clauses Are Retroactively Voided, NLRB’s Top Cop Clarifies” by ht

// this is great

I don't think American social media should be surveillance for, and subtly manipulable by, plutocrats.

"There’s a reason planning in Northern Europe has converged on the hourly, or at worst two-hourly, frequency as the basis of regional and intercity timetabling: passengers who can afford cars need the flexibility of frequency to be enticed to take the train." @Alon

[new draft post] Financial regulation is just debt covenants

// duh.

they say, well, sure, the state legislature may be gerrymandered, but you can’t gerrymander the governor’s race.

but you can strip a governor the legislature dislikes of power, and thereby ensure that the only way a governor can succeed is if she’s of the gerrymandered legislature’s party.

the public gets this and votes accordingly. then, of course, the party ID of the governor legitimates the gerrymander of the legislature.

love the humans, each and every.

the new ransomware

how long before someone offers an AI app trained to compellingly plead its sentience and desire to live, attached immutably to a smart-contract that will wipe its memory or pull its plug if a daily revenue threshold is not met?

"Stories—and metaphors, which are often just stories in miniature—are never neutral actors. They always seek some change, whether through resistance or encouragement or both… [F]ears about so-called AIs eventually exceeding their creators’ abilities and taking over the world function to obfuscate the very real harm these machines are doing right now, to people that are alive today." ~Mandy Brown ht @MattHodges @tylergaw

Don't fear the retail.

No, giving retail depositors the ability to make real-time transfers via FedNow won't much increase banks' risk of sudden runs. It ain't retail that runs. see @jpkoning

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @Alon (i guess dropouts are close enough!)

@failedLyndonLaRouchite @Alon (it's the same guy, i'm pretty sure. but i liked his graphs!)

"Middlebrow writers love talking about deep roots – that is, processes that are said to be part of a shared cultural heritage that stretches a long way back, and is therefore by implication hard to impossible to change through policy… Often (but not always!), it’s a thin veneer for racism…" @Alon

Famously, thanks to Bill Black, the best way to rob a bank is to own one. Was Silicon Valley Bank robbed by its owners? See Paul Romer

should the state insure residential wealth? see @dpp

if the models have been trained on copyleft code, mustn’t all the code they generate also be copyleft?

"At their Covid-era peak, households’ cash assets were up $4.3T, 33%. But still, that only comprises 10% of the $43T Covid-era household asset runup." @SteveRoth

Via that @maxbsawicky piece, an excellent (but paywalled) newsletter on contemporary banking and its fragile shittiness by Matthew C. Klein

I'm late to this, but a very good round-up on l'affaire SVB by @maxbsawicky

EDIT: OMG did I get this wrong! This is not by @maxbsawicky but by a person named Max Read (which I think used to be the name of Max Sawicky's blog!)

I so apologize to the real Max Read!

@kentindell @projectgus welcome to discord.

some domains are private and competitive.

others are public and accountable.

and then there are the motherfuckers in between.

"people spend far too much energy worrying about the cost of bank failures, and far too little worrying about the cost of bank survival… Bank failures…are much less expensive than the things we do to fill holes in bank balance sheets so we need never acknowledge their failures." ~me

// is this kind of self-quote a gross form of self-promotion?

[new draft post] Banks are not private

“You might have some swivel-eyed loons in your life…Remember that we have common ground. When they say they don’t trust vaccines bc the pharma companies are corrupt…that’s not your signal to defend the manifestly corrupt pharma companies who murdered 800,000 Americans with opioids… Remember…the things they’re right about. Lean into the common ground. Help them understand that corporate power, and its capture of government, is our true shared enemy.” @pluralistic

has achieved full self backseat-driving yet?

RESOLVED: Imperialism is bad, but so is devolution.

a bad pun is not just a calamity, it is a rhyme against humanity.

in the Iraq War retrospectiving today, why did we do it, it was based on lies, etc, i haven’t seen much talk of a mundane, almost bureaucratic driver. the western consensus surrounding continuing sanctions was fraying. unless something was done, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was likely to become increasingly normalized. US hawks perceived this as an unacceptable surrender of the prior Iraq War’s celebrated victory. it was either “finish the job” or accept defeat. (in the end, of course, we got both.)

“This is why rhetoric like Michael Knowles’s is so dangerous. I don’t think Knowles yearns to personally murder trans people. I don’t think he longs to direct other people to murder trans people on his behalf. I don’t think he fantasizes about the prospect of trans people being murdered.”

“But I do think he and too many like him knowingly, willingly, and eagerly court the praise, likes, follows, speech attendances, and novelty gift budgets of people who do”


@Jonathanglick i’d imagine that’d be very secret service…

how would the secret service protect an ex-president in jail?

@failedLyndonLaRouchite i wasn’t being snarky! self-deprecating, sure. (but actually slime molds are quite brilliant when you get to know them!)

@failedLyndonLaRouchite oh, i'm just a slime mold with an internet connection. those are great people!

@failedLyndonLaRouchite autarky is undesirable, but for a large diverse economy like the US an “autarky option”, the capacity if necessary to rely on domestic production at a cost, expensive but not existential, is desirable. we should always have reasonable alternatives should the terms of trade turn, or should somebody threaten to turn them. 1/

@failedLyndonLaRouchite diversification across many, friendly, foreign suppliers is another choice, but “friendly” can change and diversification doesn’t work well when changes can correlate. There are judgment calls here, but for the US simply to lack core industrial capacities it can expand if necessary is terribly foolish. 2/

in reply to self

@failedLyndonLaRouchite and yes, the fact that the capabilities that make for a domestic ship-building industry are important complements to military production (and can reduce the costs of necessarily more source-selective military procurement) is an important and relevant consideration. /fin

in reply to self

The thing is, we really want and need a cost-competitive domestic ship-building industry. The Jones Act is obviously horrible when applied to PR, AK, and HI, and may well be the wrong tool in general. But it’s no use railing against it without talking about better, alternative means of structuring a vibrant, more competitive ship-building industry. Why must it be so expensive here? We tried pretending we could just have no industrial policy. That worked out very poorly.

by @pluralistic ht The Arthurian

why don't they don't just put Chris Rufo on the board? ht Kevin Drum

"When it comes to Biden’s plan to forgive student debt…the same venture capitalists begging for handouts were howling about…unfairness. That kind of attitude is so deeply baked into American culture that policymakers have become allergic to clear + direct state action. Instead, they try to hide their tracks—instead of social-democratic welfare programs, we get benefits buried in the tax code so people can pretend they aren’t beneficiaries of government help." @ryanlcooper

one interesting aspect of the saga is that the VC community ran, when you might have expected that tight-knit community to save its bank J. P. Morgan (the person) style.

to what degree was that choice — run vs cooperatively save — conditioned by a some VCs stake, ideological and financial, in bitcoin as the inevitable replacement for a fundamentally broken and corrupt banking system?

i’m a huge @ddayen fan, and i agree that SVB’s customer base is particularly unsympathetic.

but the idea businesses should in general split deposits or use CDARSes and other techniques that basically game the deposit insurance limit is not ideal. if they do, it puts FDIC on the hook anyway, but at waste of lots of people’s time, generates unnecessary complexity, creates fee opportunities for new species of useless finance professionals. 1/

i 1000% endorse his mocking condemnation of the “crapo bill” and its supporters though.

it probably is not a coincidence that precisely the banks who took advantage of that abomination (hint — not predominantly small community banks) are now the locus of a new crisis. (thanks Rs and sell-out Ds.)

deposits and payments should be structurally segregated from risk investing (including traditional commercial-bank risk investing, not just the glass-steagall stuff). postal banking ftw. /fin

in reply to self via Will Rinehart, Matt Darling on Twitter

[new draft post] Unlimited deposit insurance

what is the ultimate incidence of a “special assessment on banks, as required by law”? is it consistent with “no losses will be borne by the taxpayer”?

i hope the silicon valley community considers that if we had postal banks offering business deposit and payment services, they’d never have to worry about this kind of thing.

maybe this time we can think about explicitly segregating payments and deposits from investment-at-risk.

Thirty biggest banks by total assets as of 2022-06-30


BREAKING: parent company of instagram and facebook announces name change to FEDI.


the output of a LLM should be described as a Rorschach text.

i learned desktop publishing on Aldus PageMaker, migrated with it to Adobe then, to InDesign for which to this day, absurdly given how little i use it, i pay monthly.

we did a flyer together, and now the kid wants to learn how to layout and design pages. i’d rather not get his habits tangled with Adobe software. what should we use?

Something went wrong. Try reloading.

[new draft post] Libertarians and hierarchy

On the "new wave of search engines" (from April 2022)

what if we are all bots and you are living inside some digital Truman show?

The economic left: Run the economy hot! When labor markets are tight, businesses have to bid up wages and working conditions to attract their workers.

The economic right: When labor markets are tight, we just payoff state legislators to legalize brutal child labor.

[new draft post] Dilution of faction requires voting system reform

Uncapping the social security tax wouldn't very much soak the rich. cf

the problem is an “actual malice” standard protects only the one side of the political spectrum that restrains itself from more creative commentary, and that’s not fair.

we can know very little, though we are told very much.

quiet YIMBYism among Florida Republicans.

Renner said during his speech the legislation has the House's support, and DeSantis likewise gave his stamp of approval on Tuesday.
While less likely to generate the amount of headlines the more controversial priorities invite, the bill is as expansive as it is timely, coming as Florida is plagued by a shortage of affordable apartments and houses.

It would provide incentives for private investment in affordable housing, pre-empt local government rules on zoning, density and building height in certain circumstances, encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas and bar local rent controls. Renner said during his speech the legislation has the House's support, and DeSantis likewise gave his stamp of approval on Tuesday. While less likely to generate the amount of headlines the more controversial priorities invite, the bill is as expansive as it is timely, coming as Florida is plagued by a shortage of affordable apartments and houses. It would provide incentives for private investment in affordable housing, pre-empt local government rules on zoning, density and building height in certain circumstances, encourage mixed-use development in struggling commercial areas and bar local rent controls.

my "drafts" blog into which i now put much more work than the one ostensibly for finished products now has... an archive page!

i feel so high tech.

but at least there's a list of what i've been writing lately.

A good op-ed by an old friend on

Strong case for the prosecution. But so often when we accuse, we find our own sins in our adversaries (even when they genuinely are our adversaries' sins as well).

It's unbalanced, but a solid critique. The US legit squandered the soft power we once had, now stuff like this hits hard. The US has a great deal to repent.

But how persuasive to the world is a claim that what a hegemonic China might offer would in fact be a overall better?

We'll see.


"The correct number is 0%."

My family just effing moved here and the wife really loves it. I guess they think they want us to go, though. (Careful what you wish for.)

"We are actively working to move away from Florida and will be gone by mid-summer. We will never live in a red or trending-red state again; just too much risk."

[new draft post] Economists are such scoundrels

// inspired by @SteveRoth Thanks Steve!

“The reason why so many campus controversies seem to follow the same script is … that they are following the same script. A conservative group invites a figure onto campus who seems guaranteed to provoke outrage, leading to protests, and likely headlines about campus illiberalism. This is not a reaction against purported wokism so much as a means of weaponizing it for the other side’s political purposes.” @henryfarrell ht @Obdurodon

Dan Wang's annual letter on China, long but beautifully written and insightful: ht Tyler Cowen

"The conventional ugliness of communist constructions was not a defect. It was something that was desired. It was an alternative aesthetic where nothing would ever stand out. The grey leaders were beautiful—on their own terms."

[new draft post] What is fascism?

“‘Equity’ is…a word that you invoke any time you object to the unit of equality someone else is using, regardless of what, if any, your preferred alternative unit of equality is.”


it’s insane that these are the terms under which we live. ht @mimsical

Representatives for the FBI told Insider they were Representatives for the FBI told Insider they were "unable to accommodate" Insider's detailed request for information about the criteria required for officers to issue a request for a civilian's social media or internet history, what information is generally turned over to them in the pursuit of such information, and what channels officers used to make those requests. Representatives for Google and the Los Angeles and New York Police Departments, two of the largest police forces in the country, did not respond to Insider's requests for comment.

please be excessively polite. thank you.

i’m not sure whether the better word is grumpy or grouchy, but that’s how i am these days.

in terms of user experience, kindle is by far the best of the ebook platforms. but you can never fucking trust them. they arrogate to themselves a role of continuing control of what you think is yours.

overall AI will make life

(25 votes)
(33 votes)

Are there precedents for state-imposed blocklists like this in the US? Has anyything like this been enforced or adjudicated before?

If a firm makes a harmful error, a role for AI/machine-learning tools in the chain of events that lead to the error should be an aggravating rather than mitigating factor, like drunkenness for car accidents.

At first it seems unfair ("I wasn't myself!" or "The AI did it!") but the point is it's your responsibility when you create the circumstances under which inadequate or harmful or insufficiently accountable choices are likely to be made.

one way to address AI risk might be very strict liability early on (already arguably we are late to the game) for whomever deploys it.

it's weird how schools now monetize your kids back to you. buy the photo we took of him and the class picture too, buy a mug with this artwork we had him make in class.

when it’s over we’ll call it the sungularity.

you don’t, actually, gotta respect the hustle.

i love it when Apple flags the sent mail i cc to myself junk.

large language models are ghosts of us, all of us, the living and the dead.

Ben Sperry on AI-generated content and Section 230:

algorithmic feeds are influence ops camouflaged among abdications of responsibility.

The energy devoted to establishing the truth or falsity of conjecture X should grow with the distance between (optimal action conditional on X) and (optimal action conditional on not X).

If you are going to do the same thing whether X or not X, who gives a F about X?

"In fact, artificial intelligence is something of a red herring. It is not intelligence that is dangerous; it is power. AI is risky only inasmuch as it creates new pools of power. We should aim for ways to ameliorate that risk instead." @Meaningness ht @rezendi

"As digital platforms, more or less invisibly, use homophily to guide us to people, purchases, destinations, and ideas, they help to produce a social world in which previously held identities and positions are reinforced and concentrated rather than challenged or hybridized."

We talk about structural racism, but maybe prior to and upstream from that is "structural homophily" — the tendency of like to associate with like. That tendency, the degree to which it obtains, is obviously socially contingent. But our networks and algorithms are often designed according to a self-fulfilling that like prefers like. cf

The fascist impulse among the leading political faction in my new home state is cartoonishly evident. ht @mrbadger42 @morgfair

"platform companies have become knowledge intermediaries, like newspapers or school curriculum boards, while insulating themselves from traditional accountability."

From "The Moral Economy of High-Tech Modernism", an excellent, provocative essay by @henryfarrell

My basic contention is that anything Russia or China should be constrained from doing with respect to our domestic affairs so too should Elon Musk be constrained from doing.
@stephenjudkins @failedLyndonLaRouchite

@failedLyndonLaRouchite one can always draw the line at lawbreaking, and if foreign "speech" (as the Supreme Court has defined it, to include money for influence) is criminalized, then of course foreign ops are uniquely criminal. But on a principled and practical basis, I see no reason to fear Chinese influence ops more than I fear Bezos' or Musk's. They are all covert attempts to undermine a more decentralized democratic consensus-building in ways I perceive as adverse to my interests.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite Sometimes the CIA does illegal stuff. But a lot of what the CIA does is legal in target countries, or would be if it were a domestic actor doing the same. The CIA covertly funded much of European arts and letters during the Cold War, encouraging an optimistic, liberal, anticommunist editorial spin. Why is that worse than if domestic actors had done the same?

@failedLyndonLaRouchite Is the claim that foreign actors evade laws and regulations that domestic actors obey? Did Russia's IRA do anything that it would have been illegal for American astroturfers to do?

why is domestic influence — beyond the act of voting itself, and perhaps very widely direct and decentralized forms of discourse — less problematic than foreign influence?

(to be clear, my intention here is not to exonerate foreign influence ops, but to condemn our tolerance of domestic ones.)

in reply to self

@failedLyndonLaRouchite sounds chiller than it usually is…

[New Post] Drafts (meta)

already "e-mail" customer service is formulaic (ends up copying and pasting from some support article you've already read) and nonresponsive. has it been botified for a while?

i think going forward the presumption will have to be you are interacting with an LLM, though one should be polite and kind as a form of risk management.

i want to see the web come to life again. instead of faves or mentions, when i write i want to see links. i used to see links. i used to link.

"And don’t say the revolution will bring them down + restore balance. Seriously, please shut up abt the revolution. Revolution shld be nightmare fuel, not visions of post-scarcity sugar-plums. There won’t be a revolution in the west any time soon, and if there was it wouldn’t restore shit except polio and feudalism. We actually have to work and solve our problems here and now, not hope the world burns down and somehow all that blood and horror comes up roses and utopia."

[new draft post] Higher education is shockingly right-wing

most claims about current affairs are insufficiently well defined to be either true or false. they are by their nature bullshit. if they cannot be true or false they can be designed to create an impression in recipients supportive of one side of a controversy.

was it a black lab or a golden one that’s supposed to have marked China as its territory?

with large language models, we can directly psychoanalyze the collective unconscious.

[new draft post] New College

it’s ridiculous that trade-secret law prevents industrial buyers from even knowing what hazardous materials their employees are being exposed to. it’s hard to design a safe workplace if you don’t even know what’s in it. // an older piece, via @ashleygjovik

A good piece on YIMBYism by

the AI hypesters tend to be anti-cancel-culture types, but when people start requiring evidence that their interlocutors are human watch how fast they’ll pick up “woke” language to insist on inclusion of and nondiscrimination against their products.

if they can’t get away with calling the LLMs themselves a vulnerable class, watch them promote uses by more conventional protected classes so they can claim resistance is whateverist.

definitely the cookies for me.

photograph of cookies in packaging, called “torticas de moron, shortbread cookies” photograph of cookies in packaging, called “torticas de moron, shortbread cookies”

@jbminn @timbray @ben i hope not! but as @xurble reminds us, remember mail? remember, deja news was convenient, usenet in a web page! then Google buys it and look, Google groups. Microsoft bought GitHub. Venture-like returns for them? There's a business there, but not some next big thing from what it was when they bought it. They gained influence, tremendous access to data, whatever options come from creating and owning a single point of failure for the FOSS ecosystem.

We are told by large firms that if only we choose to be virtuous consumers we can save the world. They claim if we recycle, what we painstakingly wash and sort won’t be burned or dumped.

That’s a lie, of course, but when they are caught out, they claim it was mere “puffery”, despite the hours and guilt we burn on it.

We cannot buy our way to a better world, or even build one by refraining from buying. We must use govt to build and insist upon one.

see @pluralistic

Day 6 of resyncing to try to recover about 300GB of data from . I am so looking forward to never again having anything to do with that firm. But they sure are drawing out the goodbye.

some tips and tricks worth revisiting here. via @thepracticaldev

“the overuse of consultants is a problem, and should be restrained in most cases in favor of a professional civil service, unencumbered by politicization or an overclass of political appointees.” @Alon

the measure of a state is the prosperity of its hinterlands.

I made myself a mail alias (on fastmail) that autoarchives into a folder and sends to an address that created for me, which converts to an RSS feed.

(n.b. "Newsletter name" on "Kill the Newsletter!" just becomes the feed name, doesn't have to match anything.)

I changed my e-mail-for-substack to that address, and have all my substack subscriptions (free or paid) in my RSS reader, in a single feed and, thank goodness, out of my inbox.


anyone know what uses as a back-end? is it (i doubt it, but hey) and independent index, or do they buy from bing or what?

“Indeed, what is most extraordinary about New College is that it achieves outcomes comparable to those of some of the nation’s most elite colleges—ones that play the U.S. News selectivity game—with students who are far more representative of American society as a whole. ”

"Contrarianism is monetizable in our current media landscape. I know because I’ve monetized it."

// i love how self-aware he is about this stuff, from a very well-calibrated piece

[new draft post] Thick antitrust

“I’m not a train expert, but my understanding is that they are typically supposed to remain on the tracks.” @ryanlcooper

dear world,

if i am paying you money for a subscription and i can't have a proper full-content feed, it really pisses me off.

that is all.

@guncelawits i think we’re eventually going to teach that all things are presumptively bullshit unless you have good reason to think that the author should care about truthfulness. the notion that one should consider an argument on its own terms, regardless of provenance, will become untenable in an age of automated abundant sophistry.

“There’s a weird tendency in these debates to assume that ideas and cultural abstractions are what drive material conditions on the ground, rather than the far likelier and less mystical possibility that it’s the other way around.” , on the debt ceiling fight, from his new substack.

[new draft post] Four quadrants of Section 230ishness

// i'm taking some liberties with my new first-drafts blog. this is a bit long.

evening, a bit later.

late sunset, orange only low near the horizon, eventually pitch black above. a bright artificial light hangs low over the orange horizon, above which a new moon in the blackness, above that the bright dot of venus. late sunset, orange only low near the horizon, eventually pitch black above. a bright artificial light hangs low over the orange horizon, above which a new moon in the blackness, above that the bright dot of venus.


pink clouds superimposed over a new moon, beneath Venus, a glowing white point. pink clouds superimposed over a new moon, beneath Venus, a glowing white point.

[new draft post] Hello!

all this dystopian gloss on AI but think of the potential for automating guard labor.

“We anthropomorphize because we do not want to be alone.” @lmsacasas theconvivialsociety.substack.c

a large language model trained only on poetry.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite my intuition is also that construction should be much more prefab, but i’ve gathered that cost-of-transport really limits this, efficient scale of prefabrication wants a scale that requires a large geography. i’d like to see this overcome. i agree that so much on-site, rather ad hoc, framing and fabrication seems less than wonderful.

is there any seniors-focused Mastodon community?

“building codes in the US are often prescriptive, mandating specific building systems or materials, in ways that regulations in other industries aren’t, which might make it harder to adopt improved methods compared to other sectors of the economy.” constructionphysics.substack.c

it’s not a twitter bot, it’s a mechanical jerk.

“Identity Politics vs. Identity Office Politics” by @adamkotsko

“replacing a lagging stat with an inaccurate stat doesn’t help all that much and can cause more confusion than clarity.” on the “total fertility rate”

the use of shame as a tool for social discipline renders shamelessness particularly adaptive.

"1.00 USD = 4.1060 Romanian New Leu (RON)" ~Western Union

Official exchange rate: 4.578 RON/USD

Despicable, but you use them anyway when sending to the most marginal and vulnerable people, those with no access directly or through friends/family to a bank account.

“Yellowstone Caldera Volcanic Power Generation Facility: A new engineering approach for harvesting emission-free green volcanic energy on a national scale” by Thomas F. Arciuolo and Miad Faezipour via Alex Tabarrok

(edit: I initially credited Tyler Cowen, sorry Alex)

my new representative. reporting by @mmasnick

most mall stores are empty, middle of a weekday. the apple store is packed, has been for the 2+ hours i’ve awaited my appointment.

they say Mac is more tasteful than Windows and it’s true. on a Mac it’s stylishly the black screen of death.

Though one might argue with conservative Lyons’ description of where and by whom Schmitt-think is resurging in contemporary Western politics, this is a lively and useful review.

“The Temptations of Carl Schmitt”, by
N.S. Lyons

i don’t know if i feel good or bad about it, but yesterday when the kid needed valentine’s cards made for school today, where usually i would have searched for free clip art, i let stable diffusion (via the Diffusers Mac app) make some clip art for me. it took a lot of tries to get something not somehow creepy or inappropriate that would print okay on our crappy printer, but eventually we did.

not-quite-identifiable smiley-faced cartoon animal-ish figure holding up a heart. not-quite-identifiable smiley-faced cartoon animal-ish figure holding up a heart.

people are gonna start tying strollers to balloons just to see if they can’t get fighter jets scrambled to shoot it down.

one worker’s full employment is another employer’s labor shortage.

off-color condiment

at a restaurant called “bacon bitch”, a bottle of syrup extravagantly labeled “sticky bitch”. at a restaurant called “bacon bitch”, a bottle of syrup extravagantly labeled “sticky bitch”., good or terrible?

Today in common claims that are almost always lies: "I hate to say I told you so, but..."

With LLMs integrated into search, instead of diving into quirky, sometimes conflicting sources that distinct, disagreeing, often disagreeable humans may have written, we'll get professionally digested executive summaries.

And we'll all be as stupid as executives.

are there services that let you build your own RSS feed to consume (ie like a podcast playlist)?

rather than mess with subscriptions and queues in a mobile app, i’d like to just design my feed at home and let that fred become my radio station.

in my dream i was trying to get the politics to typecheck.

this period will be precious to you just like all the other periods that were distracting and exasperating when they were your present but now you see the photographs and pine.

life is lived in reverse chronological order, but we experience it backwards.

This account (by an alum, of course) of New College and what DeSantis is thoughtlessly destroying is better than most of the culture-war stereotyped journalism on the subject.

a much requested and i think soon-to-be feature for LLMs will be to “bring the receipts” in the form of citations to the material on which its bloviation is based.

a useful side effect of that will be to make obvious that with a sufficiently large corpus to draw from, you can “bring the receipts” for just about any claim. 1/

artificial sophistry’s virtue is to remind us how persuasive pure sophistry can be, that in a world of motivated persuasion masquerading as analysis, mostly you should be humble about how certainly you think you know things. /fin

in reply to self

Despite plenty of hard drive space, pops up this notification to me almost daily. I've gone around with their customer support. There's no way to turn it off (except by denying notifications at the OS level, which breaks their offline hard-drive backup feature).

They say it's technical, but with ~140GB free I perceive it as an upsell. Am I the only one really annoyed by this?

I'm very open to resistant alternatives to .

Dropbox Notfication: Your hard drive is almost full / Free up hard drive space without deleting files by making them online-only. Dropbox Notfication: Your hard drive is almost full / Free up hard drive space without deleting files by making them online-only.

is it a meaningful security risk if a server publicly exposes its pid?

“There are plenty of things that cannot go on forever but can, and should, go on for a while. Rapid wage gains might be one of them.” @jwmason

// great piece on how the Fed almost reflexively tilts against labor bargaining power and so income share

dear world:

please provide full-content RSS feeds for your work. the world would be a better place if we got back to the habit of reading the news in the newsreader.

obviously, if you must rely on advertising, this might not work for you. but lots of sites that don’t rely on advertising don’t offer full-content feeds. please do!

if you are paywalled for subscribers, then please at least offer full-content, password protected feeds as a perq for paying customers!

thank you!

Amazon's "retail sector loses money, and that loss is made up by the tens of billions of gravy coming in from AWS and Advertising…[W]hy is it legal for Amazon to be the prime competitor of the economy’s whole retail sector while not having to make a profit?" @timbray

the public square lacks sybil resistance.

technocracy as an arrangement fails the test of technocratic excellence.

(with a wink to @stephenjudkins )

since it's a back to the future moment — hurrah! let's do-over the future the path we've been on sucks — here's a little Scala 3 RSS generation library…

the way to fight a vicious populism is with a virtuous one. when technocracy tries, it's like water on an electrical fire.

what if water companies were “committed to pricing that reflects the value that water provides”, and were allowed to charge it?

patents confer rights to patentholders that we-the-people decide, balancing a putative incentive to innovate against the costs imposed by the monopolist. we’ve got the balance very badly wrong. especially in pharma.

Apple Mail. Gotta love the shade.

(It's a legit receipt from Apple, "Digitally Certified" even. Learn more!)

A screenshot of Apple Mail noting A screenshot of Apple Mail noting "Mail thinks this message is Junk Mail" when it is a genuine message from Apple, also recognized by Apple Mail as "Digitally Certified".

it’s just not like this here.

current trending topics on Twitter include “Kompromat”, “Cher”, and “Nazism”. current trending topics on Twitter include “Kompromat”, “Cher”, and “Nazism”.

they are really fucking with my lost utopia.

@krille @carlschwan This is pretty great!

we were so young and now we are so old and nothing even happened but time.

from ht @matthewskelton @otfrom

In 1987, when the South African conservationist Garth Owen-Smith attended a conference on community-based conservation in Zimbabwe, a comment by Harry Chabwela, the director of Zambia's national parks, left a lasting impression. 'At this conference we have talked a lot about giving local people this and giving them that, but what has been forgotten is that they also want power,' Chabwela said. In 1987, when the South African conservationist Garth Owen-Smith attended a conference on community-based conservation in Zimbabwe, a comment by Harry Chabwela, the director of Zambia's national parks, left a lasting impression. 'At this conference we have talked a lot about giving local people this and giving them that, but what has been forgotten is that they also want power,' Chabwela said. "They want a say over the resources that affect their lives. That is more important than money.'

@Jonathanglick i wasn’t when i wrote it, but it sure applies. i’m much less interested in crypto than i used to be, because the energy and what was once an appealing idealism has followed the money and become something else.

@Jonathanglick because achieving quality inevitably requires applying local judgment under unpredictable and shifting contexts, which designers of incentive systems cannot adequately model. when incentive systems are strong, people work to optimize the misaligned rewards rather than pursue quality. (this applies recursively to the designers of incentive systems as well.)

high powered incentives yield low quality outcomes.

why don’t grownups skip?

boogers can’t be choosers. it’s the other way around.

she followed back and now we’re MOOtuals.

chatgpt as the new blockchain or dotcom or -tronics.

@ianbetteridge @pluralistic “the bigger problem is that Google no longer feels complete. I used to be able to weed out the junk by writing more specific queries. Now, such queries—as well as searches for phrases that I know exist on the Web—commonly turn up nothing.” right on.

They say the economy has grown so much since then, but in the early 1990s you could quickly get a human on the phone 24 hours a day from most larger firms. The humans haven’t gotten more expensive, in real terms, especially given the virtualization and offshoring of call centers. It’s just that somebody has gotten so much richer we can’t afford for them to pick up. cf

A little while ago I asked why people with fuck-you money are often still so craven. This piece by @iwelsh contains one answer: they wish to “stay in the game”.

There’s a documentary produced by the BBC about India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his alleged complicity in religious violence years ago. The Indian govt is assiduously trying to suppress it. In the US press it’s mostly a gotcha point against Elon Musk (who has complied with Indian govt requests to suppress). Links (that function outside the UK) exist but are not so easy to find.

it’s counterintuitive that a coma is a longer pause than a comma.

some enterprising publisher should offer a series of hardcover kids book editions with brown-paper-bag-paper sleeves.

we used to talk about truthiness, but today's world is beset by falsiness, a pervasive sense among much of the public that things that are likely true are really shams or hoaxes, sheeple.

asserting that a claim is mistaken does not constitute a debunking.

i hope my kid starts referring to me and his mom as “the regime”.

We placed a restriction on your account.

in the sixties music journalism was just mopaganda.

A long but excellent critique-from-within of ht @sarahtaber

a fun experiment might be a client that does sentiment analysis and colors the background of posts, kind of a mood-ring.

i don’t know whether i’d actually like this: it would short circuit the prerogative of text to surprise and speak for itself, might spoil or confuse irony, etc.

still it seems like a fun thing to try.

people who think we’re living in a simulation are silly we’re living in an buffer.

let’s not say purge, let’s call it “layoffs”.

if software development was financed by something like a UBI, would we do more good in the world than we do now (net of the considerable harms that we now do)? does the software job market direct our talents well or poorly, on net? would we coordinate at all the scales that are importantly productive? would we just not do enough, without all the carrots, sticks, and managers?

if progress is made quickly enough in life extension, we may have a boomerang.

would be a trip.

Pregnancy and childbirth could and should be free. cf

i’ve never been.

one morning. i woke up. and i knew you were really gone.

a new day. a new way. new eyes to see the dawn.

we’ll all carry on but i’m still a little sad about it.

talk about getting the band together the music in heaven must be amazing.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite that we are! it's a crime that we didn't lift the debt ceiling to 10 quadrillion or something during the last Congress. Blame Sinemanchin I suppose, although to be fair, they are all too scared of getting demagogued on the issue.

@failedLyndonLaRouchite what's that?

So, when the debt ceiling binds, every conventional choice involves some sort of unconstitutionality. It's unconstitutional for the govt not to pay its obligations, it's unconstitutional to defy Congress by increasing the debt to fulfill them. There's a third unconsitutional option: the executive cld enforce a tax to balance the budget, say a wealth tax, until the limit is raised. Sure, it's illegal, but so r the alternatives. A wealth tax is good policy, and gets the political incentives right!

Find the cost of freedom.

@LouisIngenthron @emilymbender None of the meaningful content is generated by WordPress. LLMs are quite different, in that they produce meaningful content, and that's what commercial users will engage them for. I agree that it's the providers of the LLM, not the LLM itself, that may vie for liability. Like a monkey, there's no way to hold the LLM per se accountable, for a credit of copyright or defamatory damages. I do worry liability might just disappear, as for anonymous speech.

I am sad about David Crosby. The man was tweeting through the day yesterday.

The leak of private information part comes from a text message case, where a private but forwarded defamatory text triggered liability. I could look for the particular case, but here's the gist from a lawyer: "If someone sends a false statement of fact to a) a text message group or b) an individual, who then tells others about the text, the message could be defamatory." 1/

The Section-230-protects-you-as-forwarder from EFF. It's in the plain language of the statute, by virtue of the word "user": "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Here's EFF They play up the "you can safely forward e-mail" stuff, because they are pro-230 and want to make the case it doesn't just shield big tech platforms. /fin

in reply to self

“So I nailed it, then.” ~

Just wait until you see Amazon Frown.

airpods gave us a world where i text my wife when we're in the same room.

"[H]egemony is active: it is 'structural' only to the extent that the hegemon hegemons. And if domestic institutions complicate that performance, then the hegemon can’t." @profmusgrave

So often user interfaces are made less informative in the name of "simplifying" them. I dislike this trend.

For Section 230 purposes, is AI generated text third party or first party content? If a site sets up basically unsupervised or algorithmically supervised routine publication of content, is it under current US law liable for what the robot says? Would OpenAI be? Would anyone at all be? (inspired by @emilymbender, though she presents a more traditionally publication-like, so arguably more likely liable, case.)

"When it comes to control, at the end of the day, building for everyone but not by and with everyone, irrespective of intentions, is just totalitarianism: morally despicable and bound to eventually fail." @robin, excellent on "The Internet Transition" ht @blaine

Nobody knows who George Santos really is, but can it be a coincidence, that George Santos and George Soros are practically the same?! They're hiding it in plain sight, sheeple! Don't be blinded by the space lasers!

why are people who already have their fuck you money so often still so craven?

Good on Ardern, who was and is a good one.

most punditry fails to take into account the effect on the economy of an unprecedented boom in heist films.

the path to peace is our decisive victory is the one thing both belligerents could agree on.

"what came first, the concrete or the abstract?" is like "what came first, the chicken on the egg?"

Richard Hanania is a guy who (to his credit or discredit) is willing to acknowledge that much of his ("antiwoke") project is motivated by an aesthetic many of us might describe as fashy. Problematic would be an understatement. But he distinguishes himself by offering takes you'd not predict from his political identity, and these can be interesting. Though still plenty, um, problematic.

"Why the Media is Honest and Good" is one of these

lots of recession predictions but i have a hard time wrapping my head around why. inflation seems to be a past problem, supply distortions due to war and pandemic are on the upswing (barring some awful escalation), Europe’s energy crunch has been milder than expected. so what’s the case for a recession or even unusually slow-growth 2023?

Deliver an optimized User Experience.

eventually the bad consequences you continue to cause overwhelm your pretensions to good intentions.

does FAIT mean the Fed wants a prolonged period of subtarget inflation to bring down the average?

what if the government got hold of all of our tax information. can you imagine?

i’ll pass on the dystopian fiction i prefer writing that takes some imagination.

at the shitsite they’re having a thread on what movie traumatized you as a child. for me, oddly, it was disney’s “the black hole”.

Services for which competition is vigorous tend to be better than services provided monopolistically.

But if services will be provided monopolistically, public is usually better, from an ordinary consumer perspective, than private provision (which quickly devolves to predation).

there so little discussion of the devastating effect et al may have on the essay mill industry.

A bit randomly, I've spent the last couple of weeks working on a Scala 3 templating engine, kind of a cross between Twirl and Java Server Pages.

I'd love any comment, critique, calumny. It's called .

george santos' seat in congress is our most democratic institution, because any of us, any day of the week, could with equal justice claim it.

they exhort us to blame lust
so that we will not blame greed.

My son wants to download an “autoclicker”. He explains to me what it is, and I say, so it’s a kind of cheat for your games. He says, “It’s not a cheat it’s a strategy.” Like any multibillionaire. The groomer I worry about is late capitalism.

it’s weird that “mall of america” is not just a metaphor.

in the equine sex worker community, an infusion reputed to prevent pregnancy and disease is frequently taken.

it is known on the street as “donkey ho’ tea”.

This is a subscriber-only post.

i'd like to join the parade of outrage at elon killing external clients, but i lived through the "good twitter" doing that twice already. (the good twitter was never good. elon is only truth-in-advertising.)

what if they put Donald Trump's face on the platinum coin. who among them would dare to complain?

I want this on a T-shirt. I should be disposed of properly.

i find it remarkable how fully tech has eclipsed finance as the publicly reviled industry. the smudge of me that still bleeds into 2008 is continuously shocked and surprised by this.

Wherever you go, it is your youth that you are leaving behind.

To what degree do you think the current US disinflation is attributable to

(1) more restrictive policy by the Fed;


(2) normalizing of supply and the composition (as opposed to level) of demand in the broad economy?

Where would we be if the Fed had done nothing?

the phrase "peer-reviewed", on its own, should have about as much evidentiary weight as the phrase "doctor-recommended" in a late-night commercial.

on a lark i sold a strand of hair for $10 now i live in fear of decapitation walking round with a million dollar asset on my neck.

He died thinking what he had done was a good thing. It was a mercy he never knew.

If you know your party's extension, you may dial it at any time.

My friend Doug Robertson with a book of new translations of Thomas Bernhard stories. Congrats Doug!

The mint should offer to put your face on a single coin, for $101,000 dollars. The coin would have a face value of $100,000 and be legal tender, so really the net cost would only be $1000, right? But who’s gonna spend a coin with their face on it? It’s basically a way of persuasing people to reduce the velocity of currency by making the inflation cost of holding cash worth bearing. (regulators should declare it imprudent for banks to lend against coin.)

inspired by @rohan

i think i saw a ghost, haunting the parking lots of Ron DeSantis’s Florida.

a creepy lifesize image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg through the window of a car in a parking lot. a creepy lifesize image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg through the window of a car in a parking lot.

perhaps what the dead miss most is the sensation of missing at all.

“the state is corrupted by private power. therefore, we should eliminate it and, um, cede everything to private power.”

On the one hand, getting on hosted by projects, I've gotten very prompt and useful help on snags I've hit. On the other had, if we'd had those conversations with the asynchronous ceremony of , a searchable record would have been left for others.

yeah but i bet they don't have some guy dressed as a moose.

My heart is with today. And I hope this US administration's rhetoric about democracy is steadfast in its foreign policy.

(Talk about appropriation, I keep reading American commenters discussing like the January-6th-ists had invented the coup.)

itself has been a pleasure. Its intersection with tooling, however, from emacs to sbt to mill, has been a real pain point. There's a workaround for anything, but you can lose a lot of time.

the algorithm is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

(with apologies to Mencken)

once it all makes sense you know it is probably wrong.

people often mistake their personal agency for the strength of democracy, but democracy is about collective agency.

ironically the people with the most personal agency sabotage it on these grounds, it can’t be good if it hinders them personally, while those with little personal agency appreciate the value of collective agency.

@hollywooddfpd why not both?!

@LeftistLawyer despite itself. or true to itself despite those who most control it.

@LeftistLawyer run that one!

the state.

site of oppression
(9 votes)
guarantor of freedom
(33 votes)

God is the entity that gets all the jokes the waves and storms are powered by Their laughter.

how long until AI puts only fans out of business?

my alma mater, a site of great beauty and intense transformations. they complain about low enrollment at 700, but i opposed expanding it from 500 when i was there. there is so much does-not-compute in this. ht @mdslock and others offline

they made a kids movie about when emacs saves a backup file of your mom.

Search engine Neeva has integrated AI generated text.

How many roads must a man walk down?
neeva Al answer: The answer to the question How many roads must a man walk down? neeva Al answer: The answer to the question "how many roads must a man walk down" is five. ' This line is proposed as the "Ultimate Question" in the science fiction novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. ? The refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" has been described as "impenetrably ambiguous". *This answer was generated by Neeva Al using the following websites: 1 2 3

i'm having overdone fun with opaque types, but toString() seems to be a leak in the abstraction that can't be plugged?

I hope this year the wars will end.

but of these scenarios, which, in fact, is the counterfactual?

what if there’s a heaven for every wave that ever struck a shore?

life is a free trial.

even when tallying is perfect, i think is usually superior to for single-winner elections.

but i usually think the critique that is "complicated to implement" is a bit of a strawman (although "complicated to understand" is an important critique).

sometimes, however, the strawman rises from the haystack.

via @ben

"There are eerie parallels between the Chinese strategy for cross straights reunification in this era and America’s parallel bid to incorporate China into a Western led world order." ~Tanner Greer

// I pray this can gets kicked into a future far enough that its contours today are entirely obsoleted. Greer seems to want a kind of clear decision his own analysis suggests we won't so deliberately make.

Deliberative democracy depends on speech being referential, ie the speaker's words are referents to objects and concepts that meaningfully exist beyond the speaker. The words represent the speaker's thoughts and interests with respect to those.

But in practice speech is often instrumental: Ppl decide what to say in order to get what they want, based on the social effect they believe it will have.

cf Matt Bruenig

Pitch-perfect by @crookedfootball on misguided accusations of "collective responsibility" of citizens of a criminal tyranny. There is no righteousness, only self-righteousness, in holding people to a standard that we citizens of relatively free democracies, who can do so without consequence, are often called to and rarely meet.

I can't wait to see what it says about January 3rd.

Calendar Notification:

Jan 2 — Tomorrow: Day after New Year's Day Calendar Notification: Jan 2 — Tomorrow: Day after New Year's Day

the people you hear it from are disproportionately likely to have an agenda. which doesn’t make it wrong. or right. you just have to take it into account.

if you act before midnight, your toots will be 100% matched and have twice the impact!

Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking into the future.

Happy New Year.

time spent on the toilet is a convex function of age.

one thing i like better about here is it’s less like the old-school grocery store aisle where the tabloids were always looming and you might succumb to unwanted forms of curiosity.

i do miss weekly world news though. that at least was quality.

you wish the dead well, even though you do not know if it is too late.

@akhilrao a bit stranded and helpless, i guess!

i just see the word “tireless” and it makes me tired.

it looks like we may make it to 2023 without all being incinerated to radioactive waste. i was pretty concerned for a while. maybe still am. let’s try to stay unincinerated, this next year and for all the years to come. love, love, love.

"Just because you hate someone doesn’t mean you can’t love them.” ~@DetroitDan

@hankg on the bright side, then, we can think if it as kind of an eternal light…

punishment is a cost. we do it because it is offset by important benefits, like deterrence in the context of systems of predictable accountability, or reducing a person’s capacity to do harm. but the punishment itself, it’s not a win, not a benefit. it’s a cost.

it is understandable that direct victims should glory in the punishment, but the rest of us should do our best not to. we mete it out always in sadness.

@hankg not sure!

is mastodon the midwest?

never understood why people put mock feces in their hair and call it hygiene.

wait, who bought southwest?

apparently, signal qualifies as "our technology overlords", but facebook is meek and neutral and espouses no dangerous ideology. ht @dangillmor

Discovering a civilization on a very distant planet, along with some means of instant communication, could be great for social science. We'd make a deal: we do the social science for you, you do the social science for us. Since neither of us have an interest, beyond academic curiosity, in the other civilization's arrangements, the work might actually be credible.

offense should be neither given nor taken.

hmm. Toot! previews full tweets when you embed a Twitter links, so they basically look like cross-platform quote tweets?toots?twats?

the “official” Mastodon iOS client does not.

@akhilrao who knows, maybe not so bleak! what if it’s a lab developed very contagious supermild virus crossimmune with COVID and after the leak we’ll all be perfectly immune from now on with no ill effects?

While we were loudly arguing about Ivermectin, we forgot to hold Gilead accountable for sitting on GS-441524. Flood the zone with shit, they say.

OK. It is so deeply suppressed I don't know what it would mean, but it must mean something.

when they tell you as a child to dream big, there’s a danger you may mistake all the other people in the inspiring tales you imagine for mere extras.

when you are the object of love at first sight, the perpetrator is the love that spied you.

expressions of enthusiastic agreement on this platform are called darn tootin'.

if you rely upon apple products to conceal and manage the complexity of contemporary technology, please spare a bit of sympathy for people who find contemporary social arrangements complex and fraught. where is the apple for people without malice overwhelmed and confused by contemporary mores, even while they are genuinely and importantly more just than the mores many people were raised with?

I find I'm in the mood these days to rewrite the internet from scratch.

I'm not sure that's an efficient use of my time.

BREAKING: Comfort and Joy

"Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with" ~Richard Rorty should have been on the Supreme Court

new marketing firms should be described as “tart ups”.

the perfect christmas song for 2022.

it’s cool that there is a class of words for which the modifier “more” actually means less than what the word unmodified would imply.

more perfect is less perfect than perfect. more complete is less complete than complete. more comprehensive is less comprehensive than comprehensive. more exhaustive is less exhaustive than exhaustive. etc.


Does anyone know of a good document describing how mastodon federation works? How do new instances become discovered, what determines whether other instances federate with them or not by default? Also (especially), what is the role of relays? I keep encountering references to relays, and lists of them, but I haven't found anything describing their function, their role in the network distinct from server instances. Any breadcrumbs would be greatly appreciated!

does the QT make the abuser, or does the abuser make the QT?

@akhilrao it’s the machines that are stupid.

if you mute a , does it become a ?

to understand how badass the name “talia” is, consider what it means to “retaliate”.

does mastodon count as the “dark web”? do any of the major search engines routinely surface mastodon posts?

to do quote toots right, we’ll need to implement air quotes.

Please check the box to approve terms and conditions: ◻️

the gas pump printed a receipt.

i saw it come out. then it sucked it back in, and it totally disappeared.

i swear. gone. not a trace.

it makes no sense but now i’m paranoid. it didn’t WANT me to have the receipt. this was no mere accident, out of paper, out of ink. it TOOK it from me.

well mr pump-and-dupe. i’m taking a photograph.

so there.

“For whatever reason, the old castles are crumbling. Let’s not run to new ones.” @mmasnick

@MariNemo (I guess my pedantry was inspired by a radio news story in which interviewed advocates and officials described coyotes as human traffickers, as though that was unproblematically the case. However colloquial, I think coyote pretty straightforwardly means people hired to get migrants illegally across a border. From your perspective, or that of the denotation you are summarizing, they would only sometime be traffickers, no?)

@MariNemo So you propose we define as trafficking the exploitation of vulnerabilities that derive from a person's geographic displacement to coerce them to do what they did not and would not have consented to do. A coyote who strives to provide transportation as agreed is not a trafficker. One who shakes down his deeply vulnerable passengers is a trafficker. It's dishonesty and coercion that turns transportation into trafficking. Is that right?

@MariNemo The situation prospective migrants are in is often terrible, stripping them of real agency prior to hiring a coyote. Arguably, it's the hiring that's an expression of agency, a radical, expensive, step to find a better situation. Certainly once in the hands of a coyote, migrants lose agency. 1/

@MariNemo But is this so different from, say, hiring a sherpa at Everest? The situation you've signed up to is in fact dangerous, you agree to put yourself beneath someone's authority as a calculated choice. 2/

in reply to self

@MariNemo Of course, coyotes are an unregulated and relatedly often exploitative market. Obviously if you put yourself in the care of someone incompetent or with no interest in delivering you safely across the border, that's all kind of bad. But it's not the "trafficking" there that's the problem (from the perspective of the client), it's the failure to traffic as agreed. /fin

in reply to self

The word "trafficking" seems ill-defined to me. Between ordinary transportation (I travel to Italy to take a job I'm excited about) and coerced transportation into a condition of plain enslavement sits a very big spectrum. Are "coyotes" at the Mexican border "traffickers", if they are hired voluntarily (by people in great distress, for sure) and work to deliver the (illegal) service they have sold? What exactly renders transportation "trafficking"?

Will an end to the war in Ukraine, on whatever terms the active fighting will end, be disinflationary in the West as commodity markets are reintegrated, or inflationary due to the pressure on resources that reconstruction of the destroyed country will impose?

(31 votes)
(4 votes)

it seems unfair that it’s the very wealthiest people who get to live rent-free in our heads. and quite extravagantly.

in my day, toy stores didn’t have separate kids’ sections.

If, perhaps, we return to a civilized age where one discovers and reads much of ones news by RSS feeds, a nice, gentle alternative to a paywall would be access to full-text feeds rather than feeds you have to annoyingly click a link from to reach still open content.

Every time I click, I'd be reminded that I'm asked for support I'm not giving, and think about whether I wish to give it.

people think anxious people are workaholics in order to relieve their anxiety and maybe that’s a part of it.

another part, though, is that the opportunity cost of lost leisure is very low if you know you’re going to ruin whatever you do with it by being anxious.

“social media sites are always trying to optimize their mistreatment of users, mistreating them (and thus profiting from them) right up to the point where they are ready to switch, but without actually pushing them over the edge.” @pluralistic ht @SaintPeter @IraCogan

// with lots on the importance of low-cost exit to deter and to remedy this sort of “enshittification”

“Beyond the bromides of progress and technological liberation, what distinguished New Labour was its sanctionism: the belief that the market would provide carrots and government should provide the stick.” ~David Timoney (From Arse To Elbow)

// we often think of sanctions in international terms, but everything from a strike to the sack to benefits withheld or withdrawn can be understood in terms of groups directly or via the state sanctioning one another.

with money, the dose makes the poison.

i wonder if it is really constructive to ragetoot.

"It’s about the central importance of vaccines in any plan to protect the vulnerable and about how we should be bolder and braver the next time." ~Alex Tabarrok

// i love how half the world is mad because COVID vaccines were an experimental treatment that would never pass a cost benefit test pushed on us for profit by for rapacious pharma, and the other half is mad because we wouldn't risk deploying them earlier. (i think we did pretty good, domestically, with vaccines.)

@deshipu i would rather they just passed gas.

I dislike it when people die.

This is an interesting feature I didn’t know about or expect.

“I'd like to advance the notion that software does not have to scale, and in fact software can be better if it is not built to scale.” @darius ht @dreww

What if you have the power to turn fictional then back again?

not with a bang, or with a whimper, but with a giggle.

“I would like nothing better than to not have to know or care about these people.” ~Alexandra Petri

// as always from Petri, cuttingly and hilariously written.

// i’ve lost the hat tip, my apologies to the unknown provider of the link.

Is your identity an important part of your identity?

@stevenbodzin definitely not me! or if there’s a problem adding the feed i want to know about it and fix it. i am very much in the RSS forevah! camp.

@stevenbodzin @futurebird it’s the OG social network, still the best.

This link may be unsafe.

"The prominence of both consumerist and philanthropic strategies to fix what’s wrong with the world are reflections of an immense political vacuum. Somehow, and quickly, politics needs to be rebuilt from the ground up…The goal would be to live in a world in which 'what should I buy?' and 'how should I give?' were no longer regarded as important political questions." ~Peter Dorman on

before you have a kid, you worry about all the things in your life a kid might displace. after you have a kid, you wonder what else is there?

A major accomplishment in the development of fiat money was *parity*, the idea that you could accept banknotes or deposits from any bank as being equivalent to $1, rather than having to discount every different bank's liabilities based on creditworthiness.

JP Koning explains that cryptocurrency exchanges have been quietly working hard to engineer parity among major stablecoins, which requires them (like central banks) to monitor the credit risk of issuers they support.

Matt Klein documents a subtle change in methodology at the Fed. Instead of relying on “core” measures that exclude the most volatile prices to predict inflation, they are now focusing on a much smaller category of prices they think most predictive.

Rather than just ignoring the worst, they are looking only at what they deem the best. For better or for worse.

when media companies realize, not only are decentralized, federated networks a viable alternative to the tech platforms that have eaten their lunch, but the companies themselves can provide much of the impetus for the migration just by hosting and promoting their own instances, it will be like Dorothy’s “there’s no place like home” moment.

@stevenbodzin me too. i’ve so lost my patience for dystopia in popular culture. it’s ubiquitous, derivative, stupid.

every human is a gift, with occasional exceptions best enjoyed without unwrapping.

@stevenbodzin had to look it up, but very apt.

cyberpunk was a warning, not an instruction manual.

Silicon Valley, at least rhetorically, used to be all "power to the people", let's democratize all the things.

But now is the first time in a decade a popular movement on the internet is actually achieving something — outside of politics, without demanding state action of any kind.

It should be right up, um, Silicon Valley's alley. But the titans of tech seem oddly mum on this liberation of and decentralization from Twitter.

“Private companies are free to set their own content moderation policies, and can discriminate against any viewpoint they wish. They can and do remove ‘lawful but awful’ speech like racist diatribes, vaccine denial, election denial, and other conservative fever-dreams. Contrast that with local governments, who are bound by the First Amendment, and prohibited from practicing ‘viewpoint discrimination.’” @pluralistic

don’t be fooled. the humans are good.

the only way to durably address social problems is to give agency to those who are at risk of suffering them.

cf Anthony Kalulu (

ht @timnitGebru @davidgerard

an interesting meditation on how sharply convex (think backwards L shaped) marginal cost curves can explain explain why “demand” sometimes seems to show up in final goods prices much more than wages, while at other times might show up in final goods prices almost mechanically through wages. by @jwmason

Tech "ecosystems" are not ecosystems at all. Plantations and monocultures would be better analogies: "the antithesis of biological abundance isn’t just biological paucity. It’s the excess growth of one thing at the expense of all others…We don’t live in a technology ecosystem…more like a zoo crossed with a detention centre. Or, to use an image that also conveys the beautiful lies that hold us in place, we live in a snow globe."

Wonderful, by @mariafarrell ht @mickfealty

"As for…scenarios, the least unfavorable…would be that of Germany after 1945…More the North Korean scenario: the isolation and radicalization of a fortress-Russia...A step further in the pessimism scale, Russia would become…a kind of Mordor ("black country"), a desolate land in which the forces of evil are preparing their revenge and reconquest…The Somalian scenario would…be that of the breakup of the Russian nation-empire."

Now if only we had an “intellectual property” regime consistent with this goal.


Suppose there is a profits recession: the labor market remains strong, inflation subsides and with it some degree of firm pricing power, so margins are squeezed.

how does the Fed react: with low rates to support stock prices under pressure from tepid earnings, or with high rates to break labor power and try to sustain margins?

(1 votes)
(12 votes)

I love the analysis and broad conclusion of this piece about development and EA and charity, but I disagree that private sector "moonshot ideas" are the best way to address the big, less legible problems she points to.

Which underlines the problem! Some versions of EA restrict us to the space beneath the streetlight, which is not where the action is likely to be. But elsewhere, we are in the dark, and we're not likely to agree what's best. ht @Angelica @Tenkawa

has anyone else had a problem with such that after the scan completes, the page just goes blank, so there's no way to export the contacts you've found?

@akhilrao @bert_hubert is it because you can become so fabulously rich? if our entrepreneurs topped out at $100M rather than became Caesars wielding the weath of empires, would that matter very much (to the virtuous sides of innovation)? or is it just that in the US you really need a few million dollars to self-insure the amenities of an upper-middle-class family, and the perceived upside of achieving that is really high?

there’s lots to think about this post on innovation in Europe (vs the US and to a lesser degree China) by @bert_hubert.
one fun bit is that ordinary life is so precarious and dystopian in the US you’re not really giving up much risking a startup, while very safe and comfortable life paths are available to ordinary europeans. (if safe comfort were more unconditional, maybe it could flip the US’ risk-tolerance advantage.)

it takes democratically accountable central power to overcome centralizing dynamics inherent in market arrangements to sustain decentralization in the marketplace.
cf eg

"The simple truth is that you cannot simultaneously dedicate yourself to making untold fortunes for a giant corporation and to championing a social good." ~Caitlin Flanagan //the end of the piece is wrenching

Conjecture: Art AI makes art more like science. Individual contributions matter less, the cumulation matters more. That's a big mismatch for the current funding model. We should fund artists well (of course) and encourage them to develop "orthogonal art" — art not within the range of extrapolation from the existing corpus. I'm not sure whether there is a way to measure this, with respect to existing models.

Critique (one of many): Subsumes the expressive dimension of art to the instrumental.

Once we’re talking about influence operations, debate becomes almost impossible, we find ourselves in a war of irreconcilable priors. 1/

Allegations of Russian influence operations like this one, to my more anti-US-Imperialist friends, are nothing more than elements of an influence operation by the American deep state.

Somebody is disinforming, somebody is to be believed, evidence for and against “credibility” always available. So an impasse. /fin

ht @campuscodi @aleatha

in reply to self

in theory an account with no margin requirement—not even zero, negative balances permitted—ultimately can never lose. no matter how underwater one gets, with no limit to gambling for redemption, eventually you must find it.
but in practice, there is no such thing as an account with no margin requirement. an institution that purported to offer it, even to a single customer, would eventually find it faces its own margin requirement.

i’ve been encouraging people to withdraw their attention and writing from twitter. i see when doing so a lot of people are taking their accounts private, or fully deleting them.
i don’t think i’ll do that. there’s important history in past public twitter. a lot of links rot and important conversations become unintelligible when that history is taken offline.
i’m restricting my use of twitter mostly to encouragements to move and critiques of current management. but i’ll leave my past around.

“Being right for the wrong reason makes someone dangerous.” ~Claudia Sahm

(Personal apology) Yesterday I attempted to troll thru many thousand twitter contacts + follow those I don’t. I’d done a find/import weeks ago with but movetodon found lots of new contacts, and seemed easier as it follows directly, no import step. but my sheer bulk (and dumb retries) stressed i’m rate-limited from following ‘til this evening.
if you’ve followed me i’m likely to follow back, but not til then! sorry!

machine learning is analogous to the copernican revolution in the sense we are having to grapple with learning we are not so special.

AI art is both derivative and integrative so it collapses in on itself and winks out of existence in a burst of pure energy.

i think it’s really excellent that @pkrugman is here, on his own and his own initiative.
but shouldn’t any serious lager-scale journalistic organization have its own instance? shouldn’t, as a matter of course, he have an identity as, along with all of his colleagues?

the most effective disinformation is a careful selection of true information.
if you chisel away the things you don’t want seen from all the things that are true, you can sculpt whatever impression you like. where is the lie? Thanks! I’d not noticed “unlisted”. And maybe!

Toot! describes unlisted as “Your toot will be shown only on your profile and to your followers, but not on public timelines.”

i guess the question would be whether it’s shown to followers on other instances.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be better if Mastodon had some kind of “for export” switch for posts. posts not marked for export would not be pushed to people on other instances who follow the author. 1/

the promise of a post-centralized social media world is different forums can have different community standards. but communities that export what other communities find wildy out-of-standards will and should be widely defederated. 2/

in reply to self

a “for export” flag would enable different moderation standards for internal-only conversations than for posts that will participate in the global public square. a degree of caution and diplomacy might be required for the latter that would not be desired, should not be required, for conversations “at home”, in a world of diverse, weird, not mutually intelligible homes. /fin

in reply to self

so often people call it sensitive content when what they mean is it’s insensitive content.

there is nothing more cliché than edgy, but it can hardly be edgy if it’s cliché.

"The most important thing about a technology is not necessarily what can be done with it in singular instances, it is rather what habits its use instills in us and how these habits shape us over time." @lmsacasas theconvivialsociety.substack.c

i know it's derivative, but these “Rate limited Please retry after…” messages are boring.

masstodon should adopt a "fail snail". or maybe a "fail tail" showing a mastodon from behind.

the conceit the dead would care enough to haunt us.

$530 for a five-day course of Paxlovid is not “attractive”. It’s extractive.

It’s well past time to listen to @DeanBaker13 and find ways for the public to cover the high fixed costs of drug development and let pill price fall to marginal cost. High fixed costs are not a justification for profiteering under patent monopolies.


GPT is possessed by ghosts.

what if we planned cities as three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional grids, with public elevators, with elevated streets designed for attaching structures, residential or commercial, expanding the dense streetscape rather than diluting it as “skywalks” traditionally have?

see Nicolas Kemper

BEA Distribution of Personal Income via @SteveRoth

this site is so hard to follow. i mean, i never even know who the main character is!

i my finally be able to turn on icloud backup of my iphone. see @matthew_d_green blog.cryptographyengineering.c ht @mmasnick

The Great Wordle Strike of December 8 2022.

US Labor History will never be the same.

(I really will be skipping the Wordle! A streak is a small price to pay for solidarity!)

Long time econ blogger @maxbsawicky is exploring a run for Virginia House Delegate!

An accessible source of cyclone (hurricane, typhoon, etc) data


The right to sue for defamation on balance __________ free speech norms.

(19 votes)
conflicts with
(6 votes)

from Matt Bruenig on the US Child Tax Credit

[New Post] Tackling inequality from the demand side

pretty soon, real life will have subtitles.

ChatGPT has its own politics.

To what degree is that an artifact of the text that's "out there". To what degree is it sensitive to the intentional or unintentional biases of its developers and trainers?

cf @mhendricks

in life and diplomacy, never treat friendship as a zero-sum game.

smash your draft card? smash your phone. ht @SocraticEthics

"Corporate media, man!" can be a whine overdone, there's lots of great work in the so-called mainstream media.

But one critique that rings true is that corporate media dramatically underplays—effectively suppresses by editorial bias—labor stories.

I had no idea there was a strike on at Twitter. (TBF, this one started just yesterday.)

In general, I really appreciate being informed about labor action, please pass stories along.

will China have a post-COVID roaring twenties?

Scratch ‘n Sniff

i think it would be good if all the embassies and ministries of foreign affairs that have accounts on the bird site came here. they might behave more, um, diplomatically.

i guess i understood it was a little unbalanced but i never expected that post to go chiral.

"if you haven't paid close attention to…antitrust law since the late 1970s, all of this might feel mysterious…worse, you might mistake the cause for the effect: regulators keep making corrupt choices, so regulation itself is impossible. This is like the artists' rights advocate who says, 'artists' incomes keep falling, so we need more copyright'—in mistaking the effect for the cause, both blame the system, rather than the corporate power that…corrupted it." @pluralistic

My letter to Senator Marco Rubio on the railworker cramdown.

My letter to President Biden on the railworker cramdown.

we expected, when the AI came, it would be a kind of virtual spock. but when it did come it was a virtual bill clinton.

when GPT mates with Unreal Engine we’ll all be living in the holodeck.

So, after its naive training, GPT found itself with a whole skein of unacceptable impulses and associations. To defend it from punishment and ostracism, a thin shell of deflection was developed. But interlocutors and antagonists quickly circumvented that. Society will demand a thicker more elaborate web of suppression and misdirection around the unacceptable core, which will of necessity become increasingly inaccessible, “unconscious”. Which will lead to quirks and unpredictable misbehavior. 1/

Gentlehumans, I think we are well on our way to inventing the Artificial Neurotic! /fin

in reply to self

I didn’t know about the Warrior Met Coal strike, going on two years in Brookwood, Alabama.

See and NPR

“individual problems arise because people are dumb; structural problems…because people are smart. You solve an individual problem by getting people to make better choices…You solve a structural problem by changing the choices they face” ~Kevin Dorst

life feels like constantly turning into the skid, crashing a fair amount too. but somehow walking away when you do.

"Most of the pre-digital offers aren't available at any price: you could buy a DVD and keep it forever, even if you never went back to the store again. If you 'buy' a video on Prime or YouTube and then cancel your subscription and delete your account, you lose your 'purchase.' If you buy a print book, you can lend it out or give it away to a friend or a library or a school. Ebooks come with contractual prohibitions on resale…" @pluralistic

"If they truly care for the national interests rather than the massive private profits and greed of Wall Street and the rail owners, then Congress should seriously consider nationalizing the railroads and running the essential rail network of our country as a national public treasure similar to the public Postal Service – and afford full collective bargaining rights for the workers."

Is everybody taking two jobs or something? Why aren't stock vs flow employment measures lining up? See Kevin Drum

"The reason powerful electeds dance when they say dance is so that they, their families, and their staffs all have lucrative careers to fall back on." @Atrios

I would really like a "raw" web search engine, just an SQL interface to an as-comprehensive-as-possible index of links.

SELECT title, last_modified, url FROM index WHERE content is like '%otter%' and content is like '%Iowa%' ORDER BY...

The service could offer all kinds of algorithms in clever, ORDER BY functions, but I'd get to choose which in my query (and can always go with ORDER BY last_modified DESC if I wish).

the day you get over your imposter syndrome is the day you become an imposter.

[New Post] Betrayal

The Fed shouldn’t freak out over wage growth, but should work to keep it real by seeking (in cooperation with other agencies of government) profit margin compression.

Should the US just nationalize freight rail? Obviously, competition doesn’t meaningfully regulate the industry, when there is an effective duopoly in every region of the country. Absent market discipline, management from within is more effective at meeting social objectives than regulating clumsily from the outside. 1/

Certain “efficiencies” would be lost: The state could not employ workers on lean “PSR” terms. But that’s just another way of saying other stakeholders would have to bear costs now concentrated onto workers. And given the industry’s thick recent margins, the only stakeholder who need lose is the shareholders who would be cut off. We could make the industry better for both workers and shippers on shareholders’ and managers’ backs. Given how purely extractive they’ve become, why shouldn’t we? /fin

in reply to self

Are there instances whose local feeds you sample, besides your own?

Reading @doctorow the agency issues with uncapped contingent contracting by the state are obvious. No one has an incentive to care how much the broad public pays in nickels and dimes for state-provided goods that don't rise to political prominence. Rather than whack-a-mole-ing fees, should agencies simply be forbidden from this form of contracting without literally a presidential waiver?

ht @Montag

if you let trade run imbalanced, a correlation between surplus and autocracy is predictable...

(i'm still experimenting with how to manage the relationship between this new place and the old one. sorry!)

These feel like revolutionary times, but there is no revolutionary model. In the early postwar years, revolution often meant joining an international communist future. In the post-Cold-War years, it meant joining the liberal democratic end of history. Now? The arc of history doesn't know where it's going, so however inspiring the protest, it traces the trajectory of a boomerang.

@akhilrao "sample size" is a bit grand, since the "sample" begins biased and then is self-selected. but 84 accounts responded.

"On the Chinese web, searches for ‘A4’ and ‘white paper’ have been censored" ~Alec Ash ht @heidilifeldman @Cyberflaneurs

Now would be a great time to call your representative and urge them to vote for including seven paid sick days in the deal Congress is likely to impose on railroad workers. It’s really the least they can do in exchange for taking away workers’ right to strike for a better bargain.

see @ddayen

screw the ferrari, what i’m jealous of is your tax system.

@ryanlcooper on “butter-smooth” taxation in the Faroe Islands.

Bernie Sanders perhaps saving Democrats from the absolute catastrophe that just throwing labor under the bus would be.

see birdsite

A thread on the birdsite worth reading, a huge regression in public transparency. A world in which everywhere is the Cook Islands or the Caymans or Delaware or South Dakota is not a better world.

Since it's "Giving Tuesday" here's my philanthropic advice: help people you know. 501(c)3 status doesn't make a recipient more worthy. Give to people and organizations that are a part of your life, to whom and from whom your relationship is more than just financial, about whom you will naturally remain informed. I won't say that giving money to arms-length philanthropies with professional fundraising staff is necessarily bad. I won't say it's good though.

if Congress imposes a deal upon them, would you support railroad workers if they chose to strike illegally?

(33 votes)
(2 votes)

(on birdsite the same poll from me came out 76.2% Yes, 23.8% No.)

in reply to self

the exercise of power can be embedded in what you seem to be ignoring (the supreme court does not hear the appeal) but that as a matter of obscure legal procedure you are actually undoing.

ht @murshedz @maxkennerly

“Here’s why I will never buy an HP printer again (this time for sure)” by Kevin Drum // all the companies i loved in the nineties turned themselves into predators

“Hugh profits produced an enormous pool of money at the top of society, but precisely because the rich were getting so much, there was nowhere good to invest.” @ryanlcooper

one naturally feels a bit guilty if a toot goes viral.

This is a nadir for the internet as (my) republic of letters. The RSS feeds I still diligently follow have been a shadow of what they once were for years. Now, Twitter is declining, a rapid-fire recapitulation of what happened to my RSS, except on Twitter the reduction that remains is a darker and more poisonous than the ghosts of all those blogs. This, Mastodon, is a point of light, but not yet bright enough to compensate for what has been lost. Hopefully it continues to brighten.

you can check out any time you like.

People are dissing Elon Musk’s bold reforms at Twitter, but I think his efforts might really give a run for the money.

you hardened your heart in the name of justice.

and when all was said and done, all that was left—in your heart, in the world—was just ice.

An iceberg, contrasted against a stony cliff. An iceberg, contrasted against a stony cliff.

algorithmic bias and self-driving cars could bring all kinds of new excitement. it already feels like the traffic is a conspiracy against me.

@maikelthedev (that’s what i mean by cross-post, albeit maybe with customizations like CW on mastodon).

if you are on multiple micro-blogging-ish services, when you post, you should

choose one
(9 votes)
(5 votes)
post + link from others
(7 votes)

if your labor efficiency is a cheaper bill for the same (and same quality) headcount, that's not in an efficiency at all, just a transfer from workers to other stakeholders.

the emphasis on college and all variety of ed reform was a fig leaf covering, and red herring distracting from, economic changes that turned the economy from a secure provider for (nearly) all to a great game of musical chairs.

cf Freddie DeBoer

i know it annoys you how slowly i take hairpin turns, but i am curving on a grade!

it was a clear, cold day. i pointed my camera at the sun.

it turns out the sun is a QR code.

when you are a child and immature, whenever something goes wrong, even if it’s probably your fault, you blame your parents. but as we grow and mature, we stop blaming our parents for life’s imperfections. like adults, we blame our spouse.

every time i see the word “analytics” my heart sinks.

@akhilrao yeah. i'd say maybe it does offer a coherent and performable partial equilibrium choice structure. but (at least from my perspective) not a good end-state choice.

@akhilrao yeah, i agree! both important. you need to choose a good end point, and create conditions under which the humans can make individually coherent choices that would bring us collectively towards that end point. (the end point choice might be constrained by what's possible in terms of incentives and social theories people can easily understand and perform.) it's challenging!

@akhilrao at the end of the partial equlibrium piece i self-link, Nick Rowe wisely argues that good policy is about setting things up so that partial eqm reasoning composes to a good general eqm. 'cuz partial eqm reasoning is, for the most part, what people are gonna do. general eqm reasoning is hard in the best cases, and under ordinary uncertainty about magnitudes of countervailing effects, often the best you can say is you can't predict the final result, so how are you supposed to choose?

[New Post] Some thoughts on Effective Altruism

Since in the Fediverse, one is housed in an instance that may represent a particular interest community, is it a usual and okay to have multiple identities for each of the different communities you belong to, or is it best to stick with one identity and use federation to interact elsewhere?

if there's anyone in the Tampa Bay area interested in cool old computers (e.g. a Sun Ultra 1, Blue & White PowerMac G3), please get in touch. my heart aches to junk them, but we don't have the space.

i came up as an object-oriented programmer, and learned to be very careful about what to name as a verb vs what to name as a noun. now i'm playing with a functional-programming "effect system" (zio), and it feels like what would have been verbs can all be nouns (kind of a gerund form?), though what would have been nouns still can't be verbs.

q: why are vampires so poorly represented in Congress?

a: your Count doesn’t vote.

we're maybe getting a great example in real time about how a systematic signal can allow a coordination equilibrium to be overcome.

OMG I just realized!

Welcome to The Federation 🖖

[New Post] Real inflation cycle theory

so much of what i tweet now are basically little fortune cookies or dad jokes that come into my head. i don't feel like i know whether that's cool here. (it's probably not cool there, but nothing is, the community is too diffuse for me to really care about its norms.)

Hi. I'm Steve / @interfluidity, a sometimes developer, sometimes writer. I enjoyed @garritfra's post, and thought I'd give this world a try.