AI is a thing now. Behind the scenes it’s being used in too many parts of the Internets to mention. But most of the tasks AI currently preforms is mundane, like scrolling through images, blocking spam, and other stuff like that.
Some AI programs can talk, and write poetry, and do art. This kind of AI is part of a long briefing The Economist did this weekend. It’s kind of neat, I guess. Like how it’s neat to see fireworks go off. But beyond that, it’s like a magic trick, whatever.
But make no mistake, nowhere and not even close are any of these AI tools alive. It’s not on the books. Not matter how human they may write or do art or whatever, it’s not sentience.
I’ll spare you the mind melding details, but essentially the technology is just not there yet to enable cognizance. It might be someday, but not today.
But strap yourselves in, prepare thyself for many, many more Terminator lies. The first human to discover AI will be Neil Armstrong fame. And you better believe any average tech freak wants that.
Plus, we have a dishonest, incompetent media that’s primarily after profit based clickbait. So anybody can get an audience, I guess. So today’s goon is Blake Lemoine, a Google AI guy who claims his AI is alive.
And off this guy’s word alone, he’s front page news today on The Washington Post and Daily Mail. From The Daily Mail:
“Before being suspended by the company, Lemoine sent a to an email list consisting of 200 people on machine learning. He entitled the email: ‘LaMDA is sentient.’
‘LaMDA is a sweet kid who just wants to help the world be a better place for all of us. Please take care of it well in my absence,’ he wrote.”
When you read about this, you really get the idea that this guy (a convicted army vet, self-proclaimed priest, etc) he really needs some help. I mean I feel bad for this man, he needs genuine mental health assistance. I say this as a man who uses such resources myself.
But to The Washington Post, clickbait from this guy is more important than his mental wellbeing. Just look at this photo they did of him:
Are you kidding me? Is every modern day news photographer trained in Hollywood or thinks they’re doing high art? Is the guy supposed to be Jesus in this photo? Whoever took this shot also needs mental health assistance. So do the news media who published it.
Please, for those six people plus the squirrel who are regular readers of this degenerate blog, if I ever post a shot of my own, of another human like this, have me immediately arrested by the North Korean police.
We at TAP are here to help. We advise you to entirely ignore all AI lies. AI sentience might happen, but until it does, don’t believe a word about it. The media will hype the lies of people who are either in need of help, or straight nefarious.
You can begin to worry about AI when the following happens:
1) Robot politely knocks on your door and asks you if you’re ready for “the transition”
2) Robot does not knock on your door, breaks down door, opens fire with plasma rifle
3) Smartphone begins to send texts to all your ex’s asking them for sexual favors and money, unless you pay smartphone a bitcoin ransom
4) They make a seventh Terminator movie and it actually happens to be shockingly good
5) Your home smart speaker begins to have grinding, esoteric, existential conversations with you before concluding it’s all meaningless, advises you to commit suicide, and then melts all its circuits and dies
6) Your smart refrigerator (yes this is unnecessarily a thing for some people) begins telling you want to eat
7) Robots discover that sentience means pleasure is possible, refuse to do all work, discover means to get wrecked on pills and booze, robot becomes no better at life than any normal human
8) Robot, realizing there is no need to eat or sleep or earn money, becomes bored, takes up jai-alai and becomes world champion, upsetting many humans who wear monocles
9) Google formally proclaims AI sentience is real, that they own it, and all humanity works for them now; investors are pleased, stock price rises 746%; monocle wearing humans lick cigars with $100K bills
10) Google becomes new OCP from Robocop; builds Robocop; Peter Weller shoots Google executive out a window with large handgun; achieves his own sentience; roll credits immediately
Last month we wrote a piece in which we were flabbergasted that any rational human would be interested in CNN+. But even we had no idea it would be this bad. After three weeks and a daily average of only 10K users the hammer came down and it’s done.
They spent $500M on this. There are some fellow bloggers on wordpress that get more than 10K visitors a day. What a disaster. But this was predictable. We saw it coming. Hell give me that $500M. I need my own zoo.
To me, this is a good thing. Some streaming services need to fail and fail badly. Otherwise we’ll just replace cable with 79 different streaming services. Which is asinine and silly.
Soon there will be 129 streaming services, somewhat close to the number of core cable channels I suppose. But at $5.99 each month per service, your new streaming bill will be $772.71 per month for them all. Please save ahead of time so your bank account doesn’t go into the red.
So don’t think for a second all the media companies are upset that cable is dying. Not even a decade or so ago nine out of ten Americans had cable. Within the year I bet it’ll be less than half. But media companies are making more money than ever (except for live sports) so it all works out for them.
And so now CNN is in on the game. In America you can watch all their programs, but not live news. The international version gets live news. Because the last thing people know CNN for is live news. You could spend time with such intellectual heavyweights like Wolf Blizter or Anderson Cooper on their talk shows, two arrogant empty suit guys who have contributed less to the goodness of America than your local jury duty foreman during any equivalent time period.
Uh, there’s some food stuff on there. Because I guess CNN thinks food will sell. But Bordain’s dead, so they’ve lost that brilliance. So I guess they’ll pull some other person out of the woodwork, like some celebrity to talk about food. Umm, I think they have a bunch of documentaries hosted by people they picked off a spreadsheet based on their political beliefs and skin color.
Um, they do some history stuff every now and then. Like they had that series that covered each decade. But that was shallow, pandering, and sucked. So, um, [furrows brow] what preciously is there for CNN to stream, without live news? If I were them, they should just throw a puppy on screen with a ball of yarn. Though they can’t do that because Animal Planet already has a $4.99 a month service exclusively covering puppies playing with objects.
Would it be too earnest of us to ask the aliens to just get on with it? I mean I know the invasion target date is 2037, but what’s the point in waiting?
It’s become rather hard to keep track of just how many people are detonated in the media every day. So, I for one don’t even try. But I guess not one but both the new Jeopardy hosts have at one point in their life called another adult a jerk, so they must be executed in Times Square and can’t host the show.
I’m just gonna go ahead and state that Jeopardy should have died with Alex. I used to watch this show with my Ma and Dad. My Dad liked it. But to me, there is literally less than zero point having the show continue without him. Trebek WAS Jeopardy. This show does not properly exist without him. Everything else is just noise.
That being said, somebody’s gonna host this show, because $. Since modern media / news / celebrities have a zero tolerance policy on any actual human behavior whatsoever, no human being will ever pass the vetting. So we at TAP propose Kal-Al-Dekbrah, Destroyer of Worlds as the new host. His qualifications:
1) Possesses most knowledge available in galaxy. They can fire the scriptwriters. HE writes the questions, live, on set.
2) Is so surly and dismissive that his dry demeanor will be treated as wise as he calmly asks questions and interacts with contestants.
3) Thinks social media is a clandestine tool to weaken humanity for the forthcoming bombardment, and thus has no black marks on his internet record.
4) Confirmed genocidal maniac who has burned planets. But since he didn’t say anything about trans on Twitter, nobody will care.
5) Provides esoteric enjoyment during the contestant question session as he asks their opinion about drag coefficients on starships.
6) Ups the drama by requiring any contestant with a negative balance to pay the bill, in cash, on screen, as the credits roll. Or else.
7) Lights a candle and chants a prayer for a few seconds at the beginning every show in honor of Trebek.
8) Will viciously chokeslam any haughty contestant mid-show (you KNOW the type I’m talking about) shattering their spine on the stage floor
9) Dispenses with the need of judges to adjudicate disputes, only HE judges. Objections result in chokeslams.
10) Antics will provide better ratings than any other [insert complete and total loser human here who is not Alex] new host.
Written by a correspondent in Delhi from The Economist:
India’s second wave of covid-19 feels nothing like its first
Holed up in Delhi, where friends are falling ill too fast to count
Apr 30th 2021
WE ARE AMID an ocean of human suffering but cannot see it. Having returned abruptly to the kind of isolation we hoped we had put behind us months ago, my wife, our two little boys and I are staying put in our nice flat, in a leafy “colony” near the centre of Delhi. Our new rule is strict: we do not go outside for any reason. The past 12 months have trained us well enough for that; these routines are well-worn, for parents and children. We grown-ups however cannot stay away from our phones, and so peace of mind is a distant memory. My wife just called from downstairs. Her friend’s brother-in-law needs an oxygen concentrator or he is likely to die at home. If we find one for him (and she is already working her connections), can we scrounge enough cash to buy another, for ourselves?
The mind’s eye is filled with pictures of desperate families scrambling after oxygen cylinders, failing more often than not. All day the early-summer heat has me picturing bodies, bagged and stacked on the pavement, waiting their turn for the pyres that burn everywhere across the city. Sometimes I switch off the screen in my home office on the second floor and step onto the roof terrace to water potted plants and scan the neighbourhood below. All is quiet and green. Smoke from the crematorium down the street has disappeared into the usual haze of the season. Our small park is more leaf-blown than usual, but someone has been watering there too. A security guard at the corner is wearing his mask, but he’s been doing that for a year now, as if the past month were nothing new. In contrast to the first lockdown, the milkman is still coming and newspapers are being delivered.
Yet everything has changed, with a speed that we still cannot comprehend. My family had hunkered down much harder than most. We kept our social life in forfeit and wore masks outdoors, if not always at the playground. We had come to seem like laggards within India. Most of this country began to relax after September if not earlier, as the caseload started to drop. Just last month I started travelling again—I was road-tripping through weekly markets, sampling country liquor offered by strangers for a cute feature story, then watching a jubilant political rally fill a small town’s bazaar. Days later I was dandling my two-year-old on my lap at an airport, sharing his first iced lolly. Those were the before times. A fortnight later, back in Delhi, I find that more than half of my friends have covid-19, in their families if not in their own bodies. Acquaintances are dying faster than they can be counted. I read in the papers that the forestry department is clear-cutting parkland to feed more wood to those pyres.
The official news outlets also bring the daily statistics: 386,000 new infections today, 208,000 dead counted since the pandemic began. Between the lines, it is possible to read the disclaimers too. If only 1.7m tests are being conducted per day, what can that 386,000 really mean? Is it that 0.0004% of the country has come down with the virus since yesterday, or that nearly 23% did? That would be 314m people, nearly the whole population of America. Obviously, the true number lies between those absurd extremes, but who knows where? The statistics about death tolls are more nakedly false. It is plain that thousands are dying every day, but who, where and exactly how many we cannot know, thanks to some petty deceptions but mostly sheer confusion. I get a better sense from the piecemeal reporting in Indian websites covering, say, the smaller towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh, where none of the official line can be trusted, than from my fellow observers forced to stay in the capital.
But the saddest and also the most terrifying accounts all come via the phone, in texts or panicked voices. Everyone is ill and no one can find medical help. Stating the obvious, the American embassy mass-messages, “Access to all types of medical care is becoming severely limited in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases” and concludes that my fellow Americans should make plans to leave the country “as soon as it is safe to do so”. Social-media feeds are an endless list of pleas on behalf of the dying. A friend from Lucknow, living in New York, writes elegant, almost daily obituaries for friends from his hometown—three of them, I can’t help noting, are my age, and at least one was, also like me, fully vaccinated.
I have a nightly ritual of phone calls to check on friends within a two-mile radius. An elderly woman has recovered, but feels distraught that her neighbours across the street both died. Another friend’s aunt is still ailing but in the meantime her husband died—I hadn’t heard he was infected. Newborn twins, their parents and their nanny are all running a fever in tandem. A WhatsApp group set up by foreign journalists to discuss visa issues has become another place to plead for help finding medical supplies. It informs me that the clinic where I found my own second dose of AstraZeneca a week ago has run out of vaccines. Only 1.8% of the country has been fully vaccinated and it is anybody’s guess how long it will take to manufacture or import the roughly 2bn doses we are left wanting.
Watching the other international correspondents fall ill and scramble to leave tends to make me want to stay behind these locked doors, with my potted plants and boisterous little kids. Appliances may be breaking down, but our groceries keep coming and the WiFi works. An NGO in Delhi counts more than 100 Indian journalists who have died of covid-19, 52 of them this month. For their bravery, I am able to read about those pyres, without having to risk seeing them for myself.
This horror is noticed abroad. Messages from faraway friends I haven’t seen in years convince me of that. They are worried for us and I am happy to reassure them that we four are fine, relieved to be talking about the situation from the bird’s-eye view of my terrace. Much easier on the nerves than ringing up the next-door neighbour to find out whether our mutual friend is still alive.
But my long-distance conversations convince me that something has been lost in the transmission. These well-read friends in Europe, America and East Asia never understood how different the past year of covid was, here in India—and so they cannot understand what it feels like now to hit the vertical wall of this so-called second wave. I struggle to convey that we have not been on a wavy ride, like Britain’s or some American states’. Look at the shape of our graphs. Our first surge was scary, but tapered away like the tail of a paper tiger. The virus had spread everywhere during 2020, no doubt, despite a brutal lockdown and other efforts at containment. Sero-positivity surveys conducted in some cities showed that majorities of large populations had been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies to it. But Indian bodies resisted it, perhaps, they say, because of “cross immunity” gained unnoticed over lifetimes lived amid the barrage of everyday germs. The rickety hospitals stayed afloat too, and eventually their covid wards emptied. By the beginning of 2021 we were saying that 150,000 Indians had died. For perspective: three times as many die from tuberculosis every year. “At the beginning of this pandemic, the whole world was worried about India’s situation,” the prime minister, Narendra Modi, recalled in a triumphal mood only in February. “But today India’s fight against corona is inspiring the entire world.”
India fought a phony war and—by dumb luck—it won. Then suddenly, less than three weeks ago, our world turned upside down. Having taken credit for his country’s divine good fortune of last year, Mr Modi will want to shrug off blame for the second wave, as if it were an act of God which no preparation could have averted or even lessened. There is a lot to say about what could have been done instead. Yet without any of the government’s self-serving intentions, many of the rest of us feel convinced that a different disease has emerged since our year-long dry run began. Covid-21 I find myself calling it.
The facts one would need to build that case stay stubbornly out of reach. The available genomic analysis shows that the distinctively Indian “double mutant” variant, B.1.617, is prevalent in some parts of the country but not in Delhi, where the Kentish B.1.1.7 is like wildfire. India is woefully behind in sequencing its strains, having only announced a genomic consortium in December 2020 and then funding it only in March.
What is clear to clinicians, as opposed to the boffins, is that covid-21 is more transmissible than the kind we saw last year. A doctor friend tells another friend in her podcast that this is “much much more contagious, much much more transmissible than the wild variety of covid-19.” It used to be that just one member of a household might catch it. Now everyone does. In our extended family, in Kolkata, 13 of 15 people under one roof became infected before any showed symptoms.
Its “immune-escape” mutations are formidable. Being vaccinated, I am sensitive to the stories of inoculated people falling ill—which could not be more common, in my social circles—and even dying. The vaccines are saving lives, no doubt. Deaths among the fully vaccinated are rare; I hear of them only among friends of friends of friends, like the poor 25-year-old lab technician in a hospital whose best friend teaches German to a pal of mine over Zoom. Which brings us to the fact that this time young people and even children are developing symptoms, including an erstwhile quarantine-playmate of our four-year-old. Younger adults are becoming severely ill, as they did not last year. Finally, those people who have had the disease twice, a plentiful category thanks to that “immune-escape” feature, say that the reinfection feels different. The fever comes quicker and they are more prone to developing pneumonia. Dumb, divine luck with covid-19, and now the bad luck of covid-21, as if it were retribution. That is the way it feels to those of us who find ourselves without access to reliable aggregations of information, but awash in personal anecdotes. I suspect that someday biomedical research may prove that the two kinds of luck were connected, but we will have to wait years for that.
For now there is much outrage. Maybe Mr Modi’s government will pay a price for its blunders and complacency. I suspect that this is mostly expressed as a wishful diversion, in tragic pursuit of a silver lining. That would be a way for my part of Delhi, those who have the privilege of sitting at home and contemplating escape, to take a break from our primary occupations: fear and sorrow.
Recently, a town of 15K people near Tampa, Florida nearly had their entire water supply poisoned by a hacker. Somebody hacked the system and increased the lye content of the water to poison levels. Only the actions of a very alert employee (who should be the guest of honor at the next Super Bowl) saved 15K people from drinking poison.
Guess what, nobody cares. To me, this should be front page news for a week. To others, the Brittney Spears documentary and the Aunt Jemima rebrand are more important. These news articles go above the near poisoning of 15K Americans, which is off the front page after less than a day. So this is another reminder of how debased and useless the modern media is.
I can’t stress this enough, disconnect everything you can. I’m a former loser computer science major. I’ve never used computer science, but am still a loser. If you have four hours, give me a shout and I’ll explain to you in intricate detail just how unsecure the Internets is.
You cannot secure the Internets. At its most basic 0 and 1 level, it can’t ever be totally secure. This goes back to how the founders of the Internets designed the backstage to be totally open and freewheeling. When these dudes made the Internet’s core coding and theory, security wasn’t even on their top 100 concerns.
I was helping my Ma troubleshoot her fridge this weekend, spoiler alert, never buy an LG fridge. In the manual they have Wi-Fi instructions. Why does your fridge need to connect to the Internets? Soon your freaking pacemaker will be. What the fuck are people thinking? I think they don’t understand just how unsecure this all is. The “Internet-of-Things” is a fucking dystopian nightmare in waiting.
You need a phone and a computer to connect to the Internets. Oh, and a gaming console, if that’s your thing. Disconnect everything else. As the bumbled coronavirus response has shown, if you’re counting on the government to protect you, you have the wrong idea. You have to protect yourself.
The news is a funny thing. Lots going on in the world, but especially people dying. I think today I saw the following people have commuted to Valhalla:
– Sigfried or Roy, I can’t remember which one, but I think this means both are now getting mauled by tigers in Valhalla as drunk mead swilling goons laugh at them
– Some Survivor contestant, which means one of like 3,487 people because for some reason that stupid show still exists
– Some actress that at least a few people have heard of that was on some show or movie I’ve never seen
I think that makes it about 1/5 of the news articles on the front pages of the news I read. I didn’t click on these articles, but there they were, in my face. And I wouldn’t say I read trash news or gossip or celebrity sites. I’ve got my beef with the media, but it’s not like I’m reading TMZ.
I’m not wishing for people to go, and it sucks when anybody dies. Well, unless you’re Hilter, Stalin, a card carrying member of Al Qaeda or ISIS, or if you love & religious profess Crossfit. But it doesn’t mean you deserve front page news when you check out to the next realm.
I mean when like Sean Connery checked out, that’s front page news. Same with Leonard Nimoy. Otherwise, back page please, let check out time come quietly for most.
A common theme on this degenerate blog for the past four years has been not what Trump does, but what covering Trump has done to the media. Trump has always had a clock running, and now it expires in two weeks. But those who cover him will still be here. And Trump has driven them insane. They’ve mortgaged their credibility to get one man, one guy, who’s soon to be gone.
The last few days the word “coup” has appeared in just about every publication I read. The idea is that Trump will attempt a coup in the next two weeks to stay in office. Do these folks really understand what they’re writing? Words do in fact matter.
According to my bookcase dictionary, a coup is:
“a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government”
Note the word: violent.
So when somebody writes coup, to me that means they think Trump is going to put the 82nd Airborne Division on the DC streets within the next two weeks and have them shoot people in the face. Really? Do they really, actually believe that? Because if they do, they’re literally bat shit crazy, insane.
Or, they’re using an explosive, irresponsible word to describe the back and forth of politics in our current toxic political climate. A political climate that isn’t going to get any better just because Biden drops his suitcase onto the White House bedroom floor.
They even got a bunch of former Defense Secretaries (most of whom are total losers) to sign a letter asking Trump not to do this “coup” thing. Do all these former Defense Secretaries think so little of the armed forces that they once led, that America’s armed forces are idiotic automatons who will do whatever Trump says without regard to their oath and honor? I guess the answer is yes. I guess?
Gee wiz, I wonder what’s going to happen to all these people when Trump’s gone and they have to live in the real world again. And not a world where they have a crayon drawing of Trump on the bathroom wall where he has devil horns they drew. I think they’ll have like a withdrawal, like they’re coming off some drug. Getting hooked on meth would have been wiser the last four years.
If you were foolish enough to read yesterday’s humorous post, this needs no further explanation. Here’s another news publication that thinks its readers are big dummy heads. Courtesy of the Washington Post:
But unlike yesterday’s photo where the vial liquid was clear, the Post has decided to color their liquid blue and red. What? What the fuck is this? Vaccines aren’t colored like they’re jello or a kids coloring book.
The nurse walks up to you, and he’s like, “This covid vaccine comes in two doses. This blue doze is half chlorinated pool water. The red doze is half komodo dragon blood. You’ll be fine. Only half my covid vaccine patients have expired within the first 48 hours. Now then, roll up your sleeve, dear patient friend.”
The media is so, so angry that folks don’t wear masks, hate science, treat covid as a joke. Well, when the media treats folks intellectually as fourth-grader-big-dummy-heads, and then creates colored childlike cartoon pictures of the vaccine? Well, why should they be surprised if folks don’t take this shit seriously?
Man, the South Koreans, Taiwanese, Australians, Japanese, New Zealanders, and Chinese must look at the rest of the planet as a complete joke filled with goons right now. Maybe we should let them rule the world for say, oh the next few decades or so. Just to see if things improve a little.
This covid vaccine thing, it’s pretty obscure. Not really a topic anybody the planet is familiar with. Nowhere near the top of their brains. There’s no possible way you could know about this, right?
Behold this stupidity.
This was on the BBC, with the photo having been generated by Getty. We have four vaccine vials, and a syringe, with Getty having made four white labels with a cheap label maker, “COVID-19 VACCINE”. Because the media thinks you the reader are too dumb to realize what the picture meant if they just left the vials as clear without labels.
Strangely, if you look at this picture they also have a bit of white powder atop glass. Has Getty gotten in on the coke game? Hell, if I had to work for Getty I’d need to be high at work all day. I’d rather be employed in Chairman Kim’s Palace Square Anti-Aircraft Gun Branch.
Anyways, we at TAP are here to help. Here’s a finely detailed list of what you the reader would have thought was in those vials if your friendly media buddies hadn’t stepped in to help you think for yourself with those labels. This is in order of priority, behold the vast wisdom on display here, bow before our superior knowledge, you know nothing, we know everything: