prepare thyself for many, many more Terminator lies

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

pop ups are back [frowny face]

Will the Internets devolve? Is Netscape coming back to life? What about [shuffles through some old dusty velum parchments] Myspace, I think maybe they’ve got Facebook in their sights.

Well, at least we got rid of pop ups. Remember those? From like 15 years ago. It was so bad you had to download pop up blockers. But then each individual web browser began putting the blockers inherently into the browser’s code. So you didn’t have to worry about it.

Glad those days are over. So yeah, I was talking to my dog and … oh, oh

oh no

no, please no

Am I going to have to search for a pop up blocker? For fuck’s sake I might as well search for the hottest new clamshell phone. REMEMBER THE 486?!!! IT’LL BE BACK SOON!!! [throws chair]

walking and blinky boxes

When I was growing up in the 1870’s, the story of not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time was about as complicated as society got.  Now each individual with a smartphone has more computing power in their pockets than the space shuttle had.  This makes for some interesting aspects of modern human behavior.  None more so, to me at least, than the concept of walking and actively being engaged with the blinky box at the same time.

This has always struck me as odd.  To the point I feel really weird if I ever do it.  What I usually do if I have to be on my phone for any reason is I stop walking, take care of it, and resume walking afterwards.  It’s usually only when I’m like late for something and I have to be on the phone for some reason and it just feels wrong, I feel very off about it.

But in the morning death march on the subway where thousands of faceless drones slowly work their way to their day job doom, there’s usually a good percentage of like 5% or so who are walking with their faces in their phones.  It’s always struck me that these folks walk so much slowly than everyone else.  So I guess you can walk and chew gum at the same time while being on your smartphone but it decreases your steps per minute by 47%.

I guess the brain power goes into the smartphone, and the body can’t concentrate or cope and so now your body just inherently reduces your speed by 47%.  I’m sure somebody’s done a study to confirm this, I should probably look it up, I’ll get right on that.  Honest.  Also in case there was any remaining doubt, smartphones are addictive, alter your brain chemistry, and the freaks of Silicon Valley are indeed evil geniuses and have nailed human behavior cold.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

to Office Space is a verb

I watched four of my employees this morning struggle mightily with the photocopier like it was cavemen learning about fire. They fought the machine for a half hour before they got it to work again. This copier is brand new, and it already is failing. It’s a Xerox, who has been making copiers since 1959 and things still don’t work.

You’d think if they’d been making the same kind of machine for over six decades they’d have figured this sort of thing out. Nope! Everybody around the planet is still struggling with the same flaws, failure, frustrations, and fury. It’s almost like they build these machines poorly on purpose. So you can pay them for maintenance or have to buy a new one all the time.

Everybody wants to Office Space their photocopier. It will always be so. Aliens don’t even need to blow up the planet to take over. They just need to give every family on Earth their own copier. After one month of dealing with failure, we’ll be begging the aliens to become our overlords. Just as long as they destroy all copiers.

not complying with electronic equipment environmental disposal / destruction laws is the dream of every white collar employee

soon, Mars will be your holiday destination

So the new Mars rover (there are so many now it’s hard to keep track of which is which) brought a helicopter with it. Or more accurately, a little drone that weighs four pounds and is probably so brittle your three year old could break it whilst holding a candy cane.

Mars’ atmosphere is so thin the two twin blade props on the thing had to spin at an insane rotation rate to attain the necessary lift. You can see the NASA video here:

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight | NASA

Pretty cool. That’s no kidding a human creation in flight on another planet.

Essentially this is a test bed for future airborne drones which could be used to explore Mars far more effectively than a ground based rover crawling around at 1.73 kph.

But I’m insane, so all of this is minor scraps for me. What I REALLY want to know is:

1) When will the NASA airborne drones be armed with guided missiles and chain guns?

2) In keeping with Humanity’s desire to destroy everything including ourselves, when will these armed drones be used to exterminate all remaining life on Mars?

3) After extinction, when will Mars be available as your pristine holiday destination?

These are important things to consider. Too harsh? Wrong. After all, Mars started it. We’ll make sure Earth finishes it.

disconnect everything you can

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 mind decides how you behave

The tech freaks of Silicon Valley won’t be happy until they build either a fully functional human brain or at least Skynet in reality. I don’t care what any of them say, this is their goal. Their space rockets are neat, but expensive, and at the margins. These very bizarre, successful dudes want to create life.

When you build the first robot servant, then you get immorality, then you’ll be judged alongside Newton. It reminds me of the era where if you discovered a new turtle you could name it whatever you wanted and you would be renowned across the natural philosophy world.

The tech freaks, they’ll fail. They will all fail. All of them. The brain will allude them.

I wish I was more religious, but I’m not. I think most of it now comes from how my Dad somewhat lost his faith at the end. He was my religious bedrock and in the end he thought he provided him not many answers. But I was most religious where he and I were alone at the end. There was no priest, no time, there was just he and I. I guess I believed more then, but after he was gone I’ve had a hard time of it. I read a lot and have discovered this is a common reaction to such circumstances.

Why do I say this? I guess it’s because what I’m trying to say is the human brain, the mind, will take you across the most wonderful, baffling, and excessive journey’s of humanity. Whether you’re in a good spot or not (I’m not) you’re still in for one hell of ride. If you believe in religion, this is sacred to you. If you don’t believe in religion, or wish you did, or don’t care, either way, it’s still sacred to you. We are all uniquely special and sacred.

This is why I find the tech freaks efforts to recreate the human brain so offensive. Fuck them, they’re not god. Burn them at the stake.

This afternoon I went to the local fish market. I live in concrete land so the local fish market is a dive strip mall hovel that would qualify as a shooting gallery in most planetary zip codes. People are far, far too ready to buy straight from Generic Grocery Store #485 instead of going to the experts. I try when I have time to always shop at the experts.

I get in there and only after nodding to the dude cutting fish do I realize I forgot my mask. Fuck covid. I’m in there without my mask and I feel naked. I dash out of the store, go get my mask from my car, and then buy some tasty future swordfish steaks. If you don’t believe covid is real, you’re either an idiot or haven’t seen it. I’ve seen my relatives suffer.

So you better believe I wear my mask everywhere. But I legit forgot. But, my mind, my brain, my body reflexively reacted. I didn’t think about it, I just reacted. Muscle memory or whatever. A year ago this would have been unfathomable, my beautiful brain would have not understood the absence of a mask atop my face. But the mind adapts, it adjusts, and now when I’m in a store without my mask, I am naked. Whereas a year ago this concept would have been laughable.

Hug your brain, it’s a miracle!

work is an intrusion to home

Every human needs a sanctuary, a place where they can unplug and not be accountable to anybody but themselves or their immediate family.

For the white collar worker this evil virus has eviscerated that line.  Yes, it’s been dulled for years as high fliers or big shots checked their work e-mail at 12:31 in the morning just to keep themselves in the game, but now it’s in overdrive.

For blue collar workers who are either out of a job or have to expose themselves to the virus every day on the jobsite this is a good problem to have though.

I’m now on week two of online conferences and courses for work at home and it’s extremely jarring.  I don’t want to hear big shot #43 run his mouth about how awesome he is while I hear my washing machine go.  It’s an intrusion on my castle.  It feels odd.  It feels wrong.  Honestly, I’d just rather be at work.

A few publications that aren’t busy (still) playing politics have begun to ask very important questions about where society will be after the first global pandemic in a century.  My worry at this particular moment is the work world and the your world will be essentially blended from now on.  You did it for months, so why can’t your boss ask you do to work at home whenever the hell they want?  At whatever time they want?

This isn’t normal and it isn’t human.  But whether we like it or not, maybe it will become the new normal?

DuckDuckGo flies from the top rope

Long time readers of this degenerate blog will know I take data and internet privacy issues pretty seriously.  But I guess this will be the first time I state that for over a year I haven’t used Google for internet search.  I use DuckDuckGo, who’s been around a long time, and makes it a point not just to not track you but help you understand who is tracking you and how they’re doing it.

In the year I’ve used DuckDuckGo, I haven’t noticed a decrease in my capability to internet search.  It’s widely acknowledged Google has the most proficient search algorithms in the business, but what do I care?  I’m not searching for details of obscure string theory research by some mad scientist in Belarus.  DuckDuckGo finds what I need like 99% of the time.  When they fail, I don’t go to Google, I try Bing next.

Now DuckDuckGo is making their tracking data more public, so you can see who are the real big time data offenders.  No points for guessing who the two worst assholes are:

most-common-trackers-on-websites3

You might be surprised to see Adobe on this list, but remember they own/operated Adobe Flash Player and have been in the imbed business a long time.  This graphic confirms what many in the privacy business are coming to realize, an established consensus, that anything Google touches, to include Android, essentially functions as spyware.

Enjoy your day!

your car knows when you’ve been bad or good

As we’ve written previously on this degenerate blog, it’s in your interest to read most of what Geoffrey A. Fowler writes. Your smartphone has your DNA on file. Amazon knows what toothpaste you use. Google has a complete list of things you have nightmares about. Now your car is in on the game.

When I renewed my auto insurance policy Allstate tried to get shovey with me and do the driver monitoring program. Supposedly if you drive safely (I don’t) you get a discount on your insurance bill. The discount is probably like $5 a month. In exchange Allstate (and other auto insurance companies doing the same thing) probably go ahead and sell all your personal data for $15 a month. Naturally, I declined.

But all these auto insurance programs run via the app on your smartphone. In the future, it’s the car itself that will spy on you.

Fowler wanted to determine how much data and what kind of data a car was collecting. This (of course) was not an easy task:

But for the thousands you spend to buy a car, the data it produces doesn’t belong to you. My Chevy’s dashboard didn’t say what the car was recording. It wasn’t in the owner’s manual. There was no way to download it. To glimpse my car data, I had to hack my way in.

That’s right folks! The law is so loose and the Giant Octopus is so brazen that the only way Fowler could figure out what personal data was being pulled and sold was to hack the freaking car.

They also hacked another car computer they bought off the Internets:

For a broader view, Mason also extracted the data from a Chevrolet infotainment computer that I bought used on eBay for $375. It contained enough data to reconstruct the Upstate New York travels and relationships of a total stranger. We know he or she frequently called someone listed as “Sweetie,” whose photo we also have. We could see the exact Gulf station where they bought gas, the restaurant where they ate (called Taste China) and the unique identifiers for their Samsung Galaxy Note phones.

Maybe we should all just get it over with and let the Giant Octopus put the monitoring chip in our brains? It’d be quicker in the end.

The only other option is regression. Want a car that doesn’t spy on your without your knowledge? Buy a 1995 Ford. Want a fridge that doesn’t track what tasty food is contained therein? Buy one of those neato 1940’s fridges from the movies.

We’re doomed. We work for the Giant Octopus and most folks don’t even know it, or care.

Enjoy your day!

car.png

a discovery process that is actually easier than attempting to read and understand a privacy policy