Future “legibility”

Charlie Stross, SF writer, on reality stickness and ability to forecast into the future:

“You don’t need a science fiction writer to tell you this stuff: 90% of the world of tomorrow plus ten years is obvious to anyone with a weekly subscription to New Scientist and more imagination than a doorknob.

What’s less obvious is the 10% of the future that isn’t here yet. Of that 10%, you used to be able to guess most of it — 9% of the total — by reading technology road maps in specialist industry publications. We know what airliners Boeing and Airbus are starting development work on, we can plot the long-term price curve for photovoltaic panels, read the road maps Intel and ARM provide for hardware vendors, and so on. (..)

(..) However, this stuff ignores what Donald Rumsfeld named “the unknown unknowns”. About 1% of the world of ten years hence always seems to have sprung fully-formed from the who-ordered-THAT dimension: we always get landed with stuff nobody foresaw or could possibly have anticipated, unless they were spectacularly lucky guessers or had access to amazing hallucinogens. And this 1% fraction of unknown unknowns regularly derails near-future predictions.”

from this speech on, of all things, AI https://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2019/12/artificial-intelligence-threat.html

Legibility is a “seeing like a state” term, James Scott terminology but it sticks lately. Scott Alexander on the experts, journalism and legibility. In different terms, like Nate Silver put it, the surpirsing gap between what you read in the news about Covid and what you could gather yourself from preprints and experts’ twitter threads

The point of Scott is that experts in public position and journalists with duty to report to the public have to strip down what the want to communicate in order to make it “legible” to the wide audience, so information and even message geto lost in mainstreammedia https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/journalism-and-legible-expertise

this is not what I wanted to write, I got carried away by the legibility concept which is probably misappropriated and used outside its intended reach. Anyway I wanted to say really, reality ius mostly sticky and the part that sticks from a decade to the next moves in ways you can guess with a proper knowledge strategy. )0% stays the same, )% changes in this way, 1% can’t be easily guessed and that probably chages the meaning of all the rest

Tyler Cowen got me down the rabbit hole…

saying that he finds Peter Thiel one of the most interesting thinkers of late “For instance, Ross Douthat and Peter Thiel are two of the most interesting thinkers as of late and they are both religious and Christian.  I am also struck by the enduring influence of Rene Girard” https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/02/why-will-the-important-thinkers-of-the-future-be-religious-ones.html

Well, I have sort of followed Thiel because of startup, I have been reading “from zero to one” for a couple of years, I like it though I do not progress much in reading it. I try to understand what’s Thiel’s role in coaching Zuck and steering Facebook evolution in recent years, since his endorsement of Trump with the tech world.

So I looked up google for Thiel’s writings and I got here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23975518

I found this “The education of a libertarian” https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/education-libertarian maybe bad luck but it is a speech about: we were libertarians at uni, could not change much so most of us got into alcohol. The world out there is difficult for us libertarians because of the interests of people on welfare (the poor) and women. So we have 3 alternatives: cyberspace, emigrating to space, living on a ship.” and in an addendum he said “I do not understand, I thought you would have discussed the 3 options, but all of you discussed the thing that women rights are bad for libertarians”

Elesewhere Thiel is always quoted for dissing Michelle Obama for saying she would not want to send her daughters to ivy league unis, but Malia eventually got into yale or something similar. But you can fault Michelle only if you thinks kids don’t get to choose university, mothers do, how liberatarian is that ?

And Thiel followers like that thing he said about Europe, it could go that way, or that other way, but the third way is Sharia law. Well, Tyler, thank you, it was 2009 but still, what a provocative thinker.

Much better going sideways, in hacker news comments they quote a podcast on “the Portal” with Eric Weinstein who happens to be CEO at Thiel fund and also a mathematician who has a unifying theory of particles “The unpublished theory includes a 14-dimensional “observerse” and predictions of more than 150 new subatomic particles, some of which Weinstein believes could account for dark matter.” this is from wikipedia.

well, rabbit hole. I will anyway listen to tyler cowen interviewing him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_yJTCDU4uE

UPDATE thank you easter bunny, the hole is fine. Sabine Hossenfelder has a guest post on Eric Weinstein, hole worth following 🙂 http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2021/03/guest-post-problems-with-eric.html

UPDATE here Tyler complains about the state of economics, too much study too little creativity and in the end complains too little conservative thinkers in Academia, maybe he could suggest Thiel and then I would agree with the academia choice criteria that left out right the conservatives 🙂 Tyler is always an acute thinker, not so his commenters on the blog, but sometines Tylers comes out as one of his commenters. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-05-24/why-economics-is-failing-us?sref=htOHjx5Y

Resilienza a spasso nei boschi

a spasso per i boschi, su una mulattiera della pendenza giusta per un uomo e unmulo da soma, salire senza fare un metro di sviluppo in più

Non so perchè pesno all’episodio dei muli e dei tedeschi nel “Sergente nella Neve” (visto il titolo di questo sito la citazione ci sta) La< resileinza dei muli nella ritirata di russia, il gasolio finisce, il mulo continua ad andare e poi purtroppo te lo puoi anche mangiare

ecco, si parla di resilienza anche nei programmi del governo, ridaranno i muli agli alpini per affrontare al meglio ogni rotta, rottura, urto ?

E se il governo ricerca la resilienza, non è venuto il momento permttere le subreti elettriche private ? Cioè permettere ai privati che hanno pannelli solari o pale eoliche di collegrasi con i proprio fili senza sottostare al monopolio della rete. Poi la rete serve sempre ma il giorno che va giù se tutti hanno pannelli o pale, auto elettriche e pompe di calore, si tirano cavi tra vicini, si creano piccole reti di villaggio, qualcosa si accrocchia. Oggi no

E poi Zoom ci mostra la resilienza della rete, continuare a lavorare e studiare da remoto, ma non è zoom a essere resiliente, è la rete,. Non è la piattaforma glibale che gira sulla rete, è il protocollo della rete che fa girare tutto il resto a essere resiliente.

La piattaforma poi lo può essere, ma non lo sei tu che la usi, ogni volta che usi una piattaforma invece di contare su te stesso e un protocollo di comunicazione, non sei resiliente. Al limite, ti de-piattaformano e sei fregato. Ma ci sono altri scenari, anche peggiori, la resilienza deve essere la tua di user, non della piattaforma e dei suoi proprietari

Se il proietario è un umanista la piattaforma da èpotere agli user, vedi wikipedia, se il proprietario è un darwinista o peggio un ubermenshista allora la resilienza definitiva è quella di comprare casa e cittandinanza in Nuova Zelanda, dove sotto la casa ci costruisci un bunker antitutto e allora sei resiliente anche in uno scenario estremo di milioni di eletti che sopravvivono invece dei 10 milairdi a cui tendiamo oggi

Ma sto divagando, i rfierimenti sono chiari ma a me interessa parlare di protocolli che mi rendo resiliente a moltoi shock che potrebbero colpire le pèiattaforme. Scrivo tanto su piattaforme e diciamo che una cosa mi tutelerebbe, un protocollo concordato implementato da tutte le piattaforme per fare backup di ogni cosa che scrivo su un mio nodo, e il mio nodo sarebbe una mia identità più resiliente di ogni home in giro per il web

Credo che questa cosa venga chiamata portabilità, non so se io la capisco così solo ora alla luce della richiesta di resilienza o se la mia sia una posizione più estrema, di ritorno ai protocolli. Però, ecco, un governo che parla di resilienza dovrebbe obbligare tutte le piattaforme che voglio avere i propri cittadini come user, a utilizzare questo protocollo che ricollega tutti i bits e i crumbs e i posts e le chat e le foto i video i meme e le gif insomma tutto al nodo personale, secondo le preferenze dello user

quindi, è vero che anche l’azione antitrust serve a rendere tutto resiliente, ma ritorniamo ai protocollo riaggreghiamo tutto istantaneamente nei nodi personali

Anarchism on Anarres

yes, I just read The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin and here i will collect ideas and links on anarchism

thanks Ursula you made anarchism real and now I got interested in it. Can Anarres be generalized?

first, complete isolation, there’s also the Berlin Wall in reverse, the incipit so metaphysical

second, Anarres is a tough planet, survival forsters solidarity, cooperation, respnsibility

but if you start with a language created from sscratch, no money, no private ownership and no family you can still create a mix that works

I love the idea of cooperatives, associtaion and similar which manage the economy and the needs of the people. L Guin hints at technology helping total decentralization and we should be there with our technology now, anarchists using slack and CRM software. Ah no, no money, no private property, non customers 🙂

so there is freedom, there is a tension keeping the society alive, there s the need to survive. Over time though the decentrilized associations ossify, become bureacratic, freedom is stifled. So, permnent revolution

links https://medium.com/curious/the-dispossessed-by-ursula-k-le-guin-an-embodiment-of-postmodern-anarchism-edf830c88ee9

Anarres is “Scarcity Anarchism”, a few year later Murray Bookchin introduces the idea of Post-scarcity Anarchism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Scarcity_Anarchism worth spending some time on it. In SF an oft quoted example opf post-scarcity anarchism is the Culture world of Ian M. Banks where humans have gone past the limits of need and things come easy, but also funnily-named spacewships are intelligent and a sort of mighty species by itself. BTW is Musk a post-scarcity anarchist because he give Culture-sounding names to his missiles ?

the net generation will call them …

Gamestoppers they are the ones who face reality with the POV of a shooter, don’t move without the company of the posse met on the shittiest server of that box game, nothing moves them more than defending a meme or trope o childhood memory

you are trying to get rich not working and check on reddit7stockpicks, you see your beloved childhood brand being destroyed by a short seller, I mean tha place where you would swap used disks and get rebates on your old console. How dare they?

you shortsquezze them with your reddit buddies and of course, 19th century sotckmarket meets a videogame mob of last generation, who wins?

so you deserve to be the gamestopper, I am sure that bodes well for the future, your older brothers complain that boomers fucked the planet for them, you will stop their games, WTF it is videogame mob of last generation against thos 20th century types. And the fund they call them Citron, losers

and because it is cool now in tech world to quote the most ridicuolous book of the last century, Fukuyama end of history, I quote it, this is the hyperthymic generatiopn, google the term and you know what to expect

maybe you want to read the facts not the rant https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-22/gamestop-tug-of-war-gives-reddit-army-a-win-on-record-volatility


oggi si insedia Biden, contro tutte le attese. Trump era il favorito ma sta lasciando la casa bianca. la causa, interamente la disumana risposta di trump alla crisi del covid.

Il Covid, uno “shortcut” al successo elettorale, dicui si è avvataggiato biden. shortcut come nella terminologia dei videogames

“passaggi/livelli tortuosi che apparentemente non servono a niente, solo a mettere in difficoltà il giocatore e, forse sulla via, aumentare la sua esperienza.Spesso alla fine di questi “livelli” c’è un porta o un accesso che avvicina due luoghi altrimenti lontani. Si trovano frequentemente presso siti di grande difficoltà per il giocatore, ad esempio alle porte di una stanza del boss.” 8hochiesto ammiofiglo9

Insomma lo shortcut alla Presidenza lo ha preso Biden. Ma il Covid ha anche offerto uno shortcut al successo economico

.Il successo economico, un tema così complesso e dibatutto che a più di 2 secoli dal primo libro di economia “ever”, quello di Adam Smith  “The Wealth of Nations” ancora non c’è un ricetta sicura vrso la ricchezza delle nazioni

Ma in pandemia Covid la ricetta c’era, test6trace, distanziamento, soppressione del virus mantenendo l’conomia apertail più a lungo possibile. Loshortcut al successo economico l’hanno preso la Cina e il Vietnam, con metodi e gradazioni diversi anche altri paesi

Non l’Italia, moratlità e calo del pil tra i peggiori, l’economia italiana di nuovo buttata indietro di un decennio. oggi conte, forte de unamaggioranza relativa al senato,insediail suo terzo mandato,o si considera ancora il conte 2′. ancora una volta una occasione mancata, una riprova della crisi di un paese di un sistema, a tutti i livelli, politica, amministrazione pubblica, società civile,laddove invece poteva diventare una più 2facile2 occasione di riscatto, unoshortcut al successo.

Libertarian orthodoxy

is guarded by Tyler Cowen

Say you trade crypto, eat paleo, do not wear masks because you are libertarian, be awre that Milton Friedman once said “significant neighborhood effects justify substantial public health activities: maintaining the purity of water, assuring proper sewage disposal, controlling contagious diseases”. Don’t be a bad neighbour, you can be at once libertarian and a good neighbour, wear your mask. More insights from Tyler:

The ideological shift of the libertarian movement on pandemics

Twitter kicked out Trump and maybe you think this is ahgainst freespeech, let’s not get into the specific matter, Tyler remarks that “Robert Nozick called for an archipelago of polities, each autonomously setting their own rules. Isn’t Twitter’s action quite consistent with this vision? Is the optimal libertarian equilibrium really one that adds centralized government regulation of tech platform speech codes?” More questions here:

Should Twitter have banned Trump?

taleb chips in on a read Hayek remark https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1351044387111890948

Trump e il sacco del Campidoglio

ciao ragazzi, oggi tutta l’attenzione è su internet, come ha permesso di creare i fenomeni Qanon, Proudboys etc e aggregare razzisti e neonazisti intorno a Trump fino al sacco del Campidoglio del giorno dell’epifania. Ma quello che ha fatto Trump per provocare gli eventi è nel copione del populista da tanto tempo. Per esempio in Citizen Kane di Orson Wells.

Citizen Kane nel comizio promette di mettere in galera il rivale “Lock her up!” campagna 2016 contro Hillary Clinton centrata su presunti crimini commessi (Her emails)

quando è sconfitto il suo giornale pubblica “Fraud”

Nel corso degli anni si è molto discusso se Trump fosse fascista di fronte ai vari indizi che lo fosse. Adesso possiamo dire che lo è e che che la democrazia è in pericolo. A uno storico che ha studiato il passato questo deve essere stato chiaro durante tutto il processo, ad esempio Snyder

che oggi scrive un articolo sul NyTimes, The American Abyss https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html

In rete intanto si parla molto del ban di Trump da tutti i maggiori social network, eccoli

e anche di amazon che butta fuori dai suoi server Parler

molti dicono che queste decisioni sui politici le dovrebbe prendere la politica, ma è sbagliato. Ogni SN a i propri TOS e se non si rispettano il ban è giusto quando sei un asshole

Cercando di capire l’argomentazione opposta, credo che molti vogliano vedere Facebook come l’elenco telefonico della terra e quindi attribuirgli una funzione pubblica, ma a dispetto delle economie di rete, diversi SN con diverse sensibilità e TOS ci darebbero una molteplicità e pluralità che altrimenti perderemmo. Ma sarebbe meglio ragionare di protocolli e non di piattaforme, per il bene di internet.

Mike Masnik in “Protocols not Platforms” ” (..) build protocols, not platforms. To be clear, this is an approach that would bring us back to the way the internet used to be. The early internet involved many different protocols—instructions and standards that anyone could then use to build a compatible interface.” https://knightcolumbia.org/content/protocols-not-platforms-a-technological-approach-to-free-speech

Poi c’è da differenziare cosa fa Amazon dagli altri: il brand amazon non è associato a Parler come quello Facebook a Trump, Amazon da infrastruttura e non content management, l’azione di Amazon è grossolana, può solo permettersi l’opzione “nucleare” su Parler, come l’ha usata un’altra votla su Wikileaks anche in un contesto completamente diverso, assenza di azione giudiziaria. Amazon ha esagerato.

Anche Twilio (messaggistica per 2FA) ha fatto lo stesso, e questo ha permesso a degli hacker di guadagnare ruolo di admin sulla piattaforma e scaricare tutto, tutto, tutto, sembra, Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ParlerWatch/comments/kuqvs3/all_parler_user_data_is_being_downloaded_as_we/

real slim shady

the real slim shady please stand up 1; Amazon, a guy develops a tripod business worth 3,5 mio usd on amazon, amazon clones it with essential. Bad amazon, but it delivers 30% discount to consumers. The guy just designed and produced in china, no moat. Amazon replicates a good design and prodiuces in the same chinese plant, cheaper because of size. In the end that is the beauty of internet and globalization but an old ordoliberist like ne says “chinese wall” because it is the ugly of a company setting up a trap for you producer.

the real slim shady please stand up 2: Stihl does not advertise on facebook but chinese knockoffs do: Stihl complains but Facebook does nothing. Who are you kidding FB? Your admin panel can search Stihl keywords in no time and block the Chinese knockoffs. Likewise, if you had cared for your users instead just money, you could have searched and discovered the messages organizing the killings in Myanmar, just if wished it. So anyone out there, bring your justifications for saying Zuck is in the right, like free economy, profit is legal bruahahaha, I will look for any proof he is in the wrong because he is, customers come first and Facebook first customers are users and they come first of the first, call it stakeholder instead of shareholder value, Facebook could have built itself to stop genocides while it did not, facebook is in this respect criminal in his exploitation of users and must be stopped

Facebook, antitrust, Reagan, Bork

better understand Facebook antitrust case by looking back at Reagan times when the antitrust law was reinterpreted to restrici it to “consumer harm”

the whole sotry is told by Doctorow https://pluralistic.net/2020/12/10/borked/#zucked

“For instance, in a 1979 decision, the Supreme Court, quoting Bork’s Antitrust Paradox and relying on his fabricated account of congressional intent, stated “Congress designed the Sherman Act as a ‘consumer welfare prescription.’”” https://promarket.org/2019/09/05/how-robert-bork-fathered-the-new-gilded-age/ Bork re-interpretation steered antitrust law toward ant-collusion and makes possibile to use it against workers “colluding” to protect themselves

the key to facebook case is demonstrating that democratic harm is indeed consumer harm

“In 2019, Dina Srinivasan published a landmark paper: “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook,” which made incredibly clever arguments showing that FB’s democratic harms were also consumer harms, meaning FB could be sued without first undoing Borkism.


UPDATE 30 june 2021 2 weeks ago Lisa Khan, antitrust scholar was sworn in as president of the Federal Trade Commission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lina_Khan

while yesterday we saw Borkism in action when the judge  dismissed two antitrust lawsuits against Facebook Inc., brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and a group of state attorneys general

Clearly, consumer welfare isn’t at risk with free service, no price hike even if facebook dominant position in social networking was demonstrted, so FB isn’t a mkonopoly, now thye batlle will be to promote a different interpretation of antitrust law, away from borkism, Matt Levine call it “hipster antitrust” really ? I like it. “Facebook Is Big But Maybe Not a Monopoly” https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-06-29/facebook-victory-against-the-ftc-is-an-antitrust-lesson-in-monopoly-power-kqi8jeku