Pinned ping

second day into a cold, rolled up on the couch like a goblin, mumbling "I'm recovery-pilled. I'm in my mucus-expelling arc"

Yo, congratulations on your mum going to hell, time to pay some reparations and apologise for all that slavery, mate!

reuters.com/world/charles-succ

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"In Origin, Darwin described an animal species as a collection of varied individuals with no biological essence at its core. This key observation became known more generally as population thinking, and it’s supported by the modern study of genetics.

Population thinking has been revolutionizing biology for the past century, and it is now revolutionizing the science of emotion. Like a species, a given emotion such as fear, grief or elation is a vast population of varied instances. People may indeed widen their eyes and gasp in fear, but they may also scowl in fear, cry in fear, laugh in the face of fear and, in some cultures, even fall asleep in fear. There is no essence. Variation is the norm, and it is intimately linked to a person’s physiology and situation, just as variation in a species is linked to the environment its members live in."

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"Essentialism likewise appears to lure designers of emotion AI systems to follow Darwin down this comfortable path, with its assumption that emotions evolved via natural selection to serve important functions. But if you actually read Expression, you’ll find that Darwin barely mentioned natural selection. He also did not write that facial expressions are functional products of evolution. In fact, he wrote the opposite: that smiles, frowns, eye widening and other physical expressions were “purposeless”—vestigial movements that no longer serve a function. He made this statement more than 10 times in Expression. For Darwin, emotional expressions were compelling evidence that humans are animals and that we’ve evolved. By his logic, if we share expressions with other animals, but the expressions are functionally useless for us, they must have come from a long-gone, common ancestor for whom the expressions were useful."

scientificamerican.com/article

"Surely you can A/B test your way to coolness and the hearts of teenagers again?

So you pick a metric to optimize – video watch time – and set your teams to work. Your engineers lock themselves in a war room, and emerge with 10 experiments designed to increase it. Time passes. Your exec team sees more and more time spent watching videos! They clap their hands and treat themselves to a day of golf.

And yet each time you launch a change that boosts all your metrics, your 16-year old daughter only rolls her eyes more and more…

The problem: your app is only used by old people. Your user base loves videos full of dad humor and ads for Metamucil – the exact opposite of teenage cool. So experiments that boost cringe content and annoying baby videos, seemingly successfully, increase watch time; clips of high schoolers lip syncing to Dua Lipa decrease it. You’re stuck in the short-term optimization valley of A/B tests."

surgehq.ai//blog/tiktok-vs-ins

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Statement on “Join The Fedi” jointhefedi.com is a website owned by known “gender critical” activist Alex Gleason. The domain name and SEO is clearly designed to appeal to individuals curious about the fediverse, and potentially take traffic from joinmastodon.org. Unfortunately, Gleason does not have the best intentions when it comes to helping the fediverse grow. Gleason formerly contributed to other fediverse projects, before being removed from doing so due both his behavior and poor code quality. This is a problematic individual, recommending problematic services.

Join The Fedi has an explicitly right-wing agenda and seems to only promote instances which either a) run the “Soapbox” front-end software created by Gleason himself or b) advertise themselves as “free speech” instances. As of right now, the site actively recommends the following instances:

poa.st (blocked by Howlr for harassment)
Spinster.xyz (blocked by Howlr for transphobia)
Shitposter.club (blocked by Howlr for harassment)
Gleasonator.com (blocked by Howlr for transphobia)
Freespeechextremist.com (blocked by Howlr for hate speech)

In other words, Gleason is using the site to promote his own agenda rather than simply gain more users into the fediverse. This is not a site that should be recommended to new users. I would recommend using https://joinfediverse.wiki/ instead!

Thank you!

"WhatsApp users in India can now do their grocery shopping without ever leaving their messaging app. Meta announced a new integration with JioMart today, through which users can text “Hi” to a certain number and be taken to an in-app shopping experience. The shopping experience looks fairly familiar, akin to what Instacart and other delivery services have been designing for years. But here, there’s no other app. And for WhatsApp, that’s a big deal.

...

Ultimately, Meta wants WhatsApp to be a WeChat-style super app, the one app users need to run their whole lives. WeChat users can pay their rent in the app, buy concert tickets in the app, pay for food in the app, and much more. Any platform that can consume that much of people’s lives is basically guaranteed to make a fortune in the process, through payment processing fees, premium features, and — you guessed it — ads."
theverge.com/2022/8/29/2332668

« At the end of the day, even the body – especially the body can lie »

youtube.com/watch?v=DbF7QEKJTZ

"And in a counterintuitive turn for the president who has long promoted his decades of Capitol Hill experience, Biden’s aides chalk up his victories to the fact that he’s been publicly playing the role of cheerleader rather than legislative quarterback.

“In a 50-50 Senate, it’s just true that when the White House takes ownership over a topic, it scares off a lot of Republicans,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “I think all of this is purposeful. When you step back and let Congress lead, and then apply pressure and help at the right times, it can be a much more effective strategy to get things done.”"

apnews.com/article/gun-violenc

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« One disaffected E.A. worried that the “outside view” might be neglected in a community that felt increasingly insular. “I know E.A.s who no longer seek out the opinions or input of their colleagues at work, because they take themselves to have a higher I.Q.,” she said. “The common criticism thrown at the Tory Party here is that they go straight from Oxford to a job in Parliament. How could they possibly solve problems that they themselves have never come into contact with? They’ve never been at the coalface. The same criticism could be said of many E.A.s.” The community’s priorities were prone to capture by its funders. Cremer said, of Bankman-Fried, “Now everyone is in the Bahamas, and now all of a sudden we have to listen to three-hour podcasts with him, because he’s the one with all the money. He’s good at crypto so he must be good at public policy . . . what?!” »

newyorker.com/magazine/2022/08

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« Last year, the Centre for Effective Altruism bought Wytham Abbey, a palatial estate near Oxford, built in 1480. Money, which no longer seemed an object, was increasingly being reinvested in the community itself. The math could work out: it was a canny investment to spend thousands of dollars to recruit the next Sam Bankman-Fried. But the logic of the exponential downstream had some kinship with a multilevel-marketing ploy. Similarly, if you assigned an arbitrarily high value to an E.A.’s hourly output, it was easy to justify luxuries such as laundry services for undergraduate groups, or, as one person put it to me, wincing, “retreats to teach people how to run retreats.” Josh Morrison, a kidney donor and the founder of a pandemic-response organization, commented on the forum, “The Ponzi-ishness of the whole thing doesn’t quite sit well.” »

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« A panel convened by the Boston Review described E.A.s as having cast their lot with the status quo. Though their patronage might help to alleviate some suffering on the margins, they left the international machine intact. As hard-nosed utilitarians, they bracketed values—like justice, fairness, and equality—that didn’t lend themselves to spreadsheets. The Stanford political scientist Rob Reich wrote, “Plato identified the best city as that in which philosophers were the rulers. Effective altruists see the best state of affairs, I think, as that in which good-maximizing technocrats are in charge. Perhaps it is possible to call this a politics: technocracy. But this politics is suspicious of, or rejects, the form of politics to which most people attach enormous value: democracy.” The Ethiopian American A.I. scientist Timnit Gebru has condemned E.A.s for acting as though they are above such structural issues as racism and colonialism. »

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« MacAskill, too, was newly a force in the world. For all E.A.’s aspirations to stringency, its numbers can sometimes seem arbitrarily plastic. MacAskill has a gap between his front teeth, and he told close friends that he was now thinking of getting braces, because studies showed that more “classically” handsome people were more impactful fund-raisers. A friend of his told me, “We were, like, ‘Dude, if you want to have the gap closed, it’s O.K.’ It felt like he had subsumed his own humanity to become a vehicle for the saving of humanity.”

The Centre for Effective Altruism now dwells, along with a spate of adjacent organizations with vaguely imperious names—the Global Priorities Institute, the Forethought Foundation—in Trajan House, an Oxford building that overlooks a graveyard. Nick Bostrom, a philosopher whose organization, the Future of Humanity Institute, also shares the space, disliked the building’s name, which honors a philanthropic Roman emperor, and proposed that it be called Corpsewatch Manor. »

"The concept of the “metaverse” as a whole has become entirely twisted by both Zuckerberg and a literal army of web3 grifters trying to sell blockchain real estate and NFTs in empty worlds. The “real” metaverses, or the closest thing to them, are existing, large-scale games that have existed for years, and you can make the case that places like Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite or even GTA Online are far closer to a traditional vision of the metaverse than anything Zuckerberg or blockchain nuts have come up with. Zuckberg has essentially banked everything on both VR, and the idea that people want to do extremely boring things in VR like attend business meetings or play ping pong. Even within the VR space, Meta’s $10 billion investment seems like it’s producing worse results than something like VR chat, or the booming V-Tuber space on Twitch and YouTube"

forbes.com/sites/paultassi/202

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