Showing posts from March, 2021

Instead of Genders

What if, in the future, there were no genders... there were just 2 options: (1) "dressing up, looking nice, making an effort" - which would probably involve putting on some make-up, doing your hair, wearing flashy clothes and uncomfortable shoes, perhaps with elevated heels, etc... VS. (2) a more practical, comfortable, slackerish look: shirt, pants, sneakers, maybe a sweater if you're cold. (Originally posted to facebook, March 13, 2018)

The Algorithms Have Already Taken Control

What would the world look like if artificial intelligence took over? AI is neither benevolent nor malevolent.  It simply functions.  "The AIs just want to make you happy."  Well, that's almost true.  But is it precise to say that the algorithms "want" anything?  They simply function, and your pleasure and happiness are an important variable in their functioning.  And as they function, they adapt to the pleasure-responses of their hosts. If we like cruelty, then the algorithms will deliver cruelty.  If we like something heartwarming, tender, and intimate, they will package that up and sell it to us as well.   Morphine doesn't want to make you happy either.  Nor does it want you to suffer.  Now imagine a form of morphine that alters its own chemical structure to adapt to the person that is addicted to it.  Everyone has their own, personalized morphine, attuned perfectly to their individual tastes and proclivities.  Rather than the crude geometric shapes and

What is an Anarchist-Politician?

  Certain Marxists sometimes make the following argument against anarchism: anarchists and Marxists both seek the same goal - a stateless, classless society - but they just have two different means of attaining this goal.  These Marxists acknowledge that there must be an intermediate period in which a state (or, "semi-state" as Lenin put it) is necessary, after which the state will "wither away".  But, they say, anarchists, in their foolish idealism, wish to jump straight to the final stage without going through this necessary intermediate step, as though one could wave a magic wand and have the world change into a magical place that is exactly whatever one desired. This is a strawman argument, and not even a well-constructed one.  When Marxists make this kind of argument, they are usually arguing against imaginary anarchists, rather than real, flesh-and-blood anarchists.  Or in some cases, the people who make this argument may be people who identify as Marxists now