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Well, my designated loser of a next-door neighbor seems to be in jail. He had a parole hearing on Wednesday, and it seems like he failed to pass muster before the judge. I haven't seen him since.

The thing I was afraid would happen didn't. I thought my neighbor would get pinched but that his crew would continue to operate the business out of his apartment in his absence. That hasn't happened.

I could hear someone moving around in the apartment the night before last, but the usual traffic has ceased. I got what I wanted in that the constant stream of human detritus is no longer flowing in and out of my building all day, but my neighbor is not a violent person. He's never been rude to me, and he even seems to have a calming influence on the members of his crew who display rougher edges than he does. My world is a better place now that the drug dealing has moved elsewhere, but the world is no better for his being in jail. 

I just posted this to r/artificial. I joined the subreddit to make the post, so I have no established reputation or credibility with its regular members. I don't expect my post to elicit many responses.

Posted byu/Kayemmo
just now
According to Amy Webb, a major problem with AI is the over-representation of White Men in its development.
I'm re-listening to the audiobook version of The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb. Throughout the book, she stresses that a major problem with AI is that it is being developed by white men. That means that many of the unquestioned assumptions that white men hold are given uncritical acceptance and get encoded in the AI systems that white men create. In the book, she asserts the following:

AI's tribes are inculcating a culture in which women and certain minorities, like black and Hispanic people, are excluded, plain and simple. In 2017, a Google engineer sent around a now-infamous memo arguing that women are biologically less capable at programming. Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, eventually responded by firing the guy who wrote the memo, but he also said, "Much of what was in that memo is fair to debate."
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I Just Broke My Fast

I did it with bone broth supplemented with a paste called Better Than Bullion. I'm dying to eat more, but not for a couple of hours, at least. My pulse seems elevated, and I feel the threat of a headache. Also, while my taste buds and brain heartily approved of my first calories in over 10 days, my stomach is not entirely on board with the whole project.

Yesterday, I weighed in at 200.0 lbs. I was looking for that scale to say something like 198.4 this morning. Instead, I weighed exactly the same this morning as I did yesterday morning. That's a little frustrating, but just a little bit. I did lose nearly 17 pounds in 10 days (though, I know at least 5 pounds will return in the next few days).

The Finish Line is in Sight

Today is the final day of my 10-day fast. I started at 216.4. This morning I weighed in at 200 pounds even. But the fast isn't over. I break fast with bone broth tomorrow.

Bone broth, if you've never had it, tastes like nothing in particular, so I'm about to go to the nearby supermarket to look for some miso soup. I'm sure they won't have it, and the nearest upscale store is a half hour's drive each way. Skip that. If the local store doesn't have miso, I'll get some bullion cubes.

I soooo wish this day was over, or at least I wish it was 8:30 PM so I could watch the new episode of Star Trek: Discovery, but wishing that you were X number of minutes, hours, or days closer to the end of your life is no way to live.

I also abstained from playing video games on this fast, and I plan to continue that trend, at least avoiding them until the end of the day when all of my work is done, and not first thing in the morning while I drink my morning coffee.

I also stopped drinking coffee on this fast. Do I plan to get back on it? Quitting is hard. Staying off it is the easy part, but I've heard that it has neuro-protective benefits, and given how much I enjoy it, I'm anxious to believe those findings.

Today is the final day of my fast.

Final weigh-in is tomorrow, but I need my white board.

The Den

One setting in the Antarctic base we haven't seen since the strip was in the single digits.


I went to see Captain Marvel last night. It was the first public showing of the film in my rural Vermont village. I'd followed the controversy swirling around this film, particularly Brie Larson's intonation giving away her insincerity when she claimed that she doesn't hate white dudes. You know, not murder them with a rusty spoon-level hate, anyway. 

I considered not seeing it, but I knew that the character of Captain Marvel would be playing some role in Avengers: Endgame, and I want to get the maximum enjoyment out of that film when the time comes. Also I went to see it because I knew that I'd be tuning in to the chatter surrounding the film, and I wanted to be in a position to form my own opinion about it. 

I was NOT looking forward to the experience. Based on some of the early reviews, I expected to enjoy Sam Jackson and Ben Mendleson's performances, and that expectation bore out. They were both great. On the other hand, I thought I was going to have to grit my teeth and endure Brie Larson's performance. I formed this expectation based on the marketing for the film and from Brie Larson's public comments long before there were any reviews to read.

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Just Chill, My Soul

A basically contemporary vernacular translation of Be Still, My Soul, Be Still by A E Housman.

Chill, my soul. Just Chill.

You are not strong enough to take on the whole world.

If you're really freaking out

just think back to the time when it was all good.

Bad stuff happened back then, but I didn't care

because I hadn't been born yet.

Now I'm alive, and it's a fucking mystery to me

what I did to deserve this shit.


Shit's fucked up, but at least life is short.

Might as well kick back and watch the assholes be assholes.

See what I'm saying?

Life offers a full range of sucky experiences.

Mad as hell, scared outta your mind, dissed.

Don't tell me I chose to be here.

This is bullshit.

A Thousand Words

I posted a video on Friday, February 8th, 2019 in which I talked with my young friend, Collin, about, among other things, our expectations concerning technology and the future of technological civilization. Collin expressed the opinion that technological progress will continue and, in spite of some potential rough patches, that humanity would "keep going up." I don't recall shooting down the idea of perpetual progress in that video, but I do harbor some doubts, and I guess that showed through in my expression, because YouTube user Apjooz posted a comment asking:

"What development do you think would need to happen for you to shift your thinking in terms of decline? Like what trends would start to convince you that maybe Colin's right and we'll keep going upwards instead of declining."

My answer turns on who the "we" in your question refers to.

I'm concerned that whole sectors of employment are either being automated out of existence or exported to countries with lower wages, fewer worker protections and lax environmental regulations, something that modern information and communications technology makes possible. Instead of freeing people from onerous labor, the benefits of this transformation are going to a tiny minority while the middle class that took form in the so-called "West" in the post-war boom years of the 20th Century evaporates into a growing class of people who will fail to do as well at their parents did.

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