virus, big brother and little father

big brother 1984 Orwell

little father Josif Stalin

Korea contains the epidemic with snooping technologies and quarantine

China (and Italy) is ordering everybody home in a general lockdown

fighting a virus is at the opposite end of liberal laissez faire, fighting the epidemic requires applying some power of restriction and the target of this power unveils two different model and ideas of power.

The jury is out wheter the 2 different way of tackling the epidemic are equally effective. Korea seems to have blocked it in a shorter time with less economic damage, compared to China. Will Italy’s blockade succeed in flattening the curve ?




nice writeup

Tyler Cowen advocates state-capacity libertarianism

Cartels in pre-war Germany, from Competition Policy in Germany

Screenshot 2020-01-28 at 16.03.01

the idea that AI reinforces totalitarian weaknesses

Fear not China, Seeing Like a Finite State Machine

“The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott’s Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood

The latest link is where Italo Calvino can be used as perfect metaphor of epistemic confrontation in the field of politics

Sauron is communist, is the Palantir a libertarian tool ?

Pether Thiel in a speech, if blockchain is libertarian, can’t we say AI is communist ? He does not say where his Plantyr company stands though

“If we were to tell the two technological stories about scale at this point, one of them is still the sort of crypto revolution which is still going on with Bitcoin and has this sort of this libertarian potential. But I think there is sort of an alternate tech story which is about AI, big data, centralized databases, surveillance, which does not seem libertarian at all. You’re sort of going to have the big eye of Sauron watching you at all times, in all places. And I often think that we live in a world where the ideology always has a certain veil on it. So if we say that crypto is libertarian, why can’t we say that AI is communist, and at least have the sort of alternate account of scale?”

Screenshot 2019-11-20 at 13.16.59

is algorithmic death inevitable ?

Ben Evans says that algo is necessary, the newsfeed can’t be consumed if it’s not algorithmic,necessary evil ? Whenever I read himthe death of the newsfedeed seems his defense against thinking of any action against GAFA monopolies

On the other hand I alway think I should be able to plug my algo’s and filters to my newsfeed, and Cory Doctorow nails it in his request to promote interoperability, Subject platform to rules but exempt syndication services from all. I should be able to let my 3rd-party provider of choice organize my online world, not Zuckerberg

(citations needed)

Missiles, missiles everywhere

China has a lead in medium range land launche missiles due to old nuclear agreement, and has developed “carrier killers” to keep the US fleet at bay

Reuters: Special Report: New missile gap leaves U.S. scrambling to counter China

US ha trouble with anti-ballistic missiles which do not seem to perform right, that is the archivolt of the strategiuc doctrine which in turn apperas shacky

Scitific American article: Broken Shield issue June 2019, no link

The president was expressing extraordinary faith in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, currently the country’s sole guard against intercontinental ballistic missiles that carry nuclear warheads. But his faith was woefully misplaced, and facts belie his claim. U.S. military testing data show there is no basis to expect GMD interceptors to work more than about 50 percent of the time. Using multiple interceptors against each target could in some cases improve these odds but will not funda- mentally change the situation. The chances of a nuclear weapon getting through in a real-world attack using multiple missiles is still dangerously high. Our analysis of all 19 tests done—the most recent one was in late March—as well as several government re- views of the program, shows an alarmingly high failure rate.