Category: Society

  • It Is Not Your Duty to Lay Down and Die: A Review of Blood in the Machine

    Blood in the Machine by Brian Merchant is an excellent book that everyone should read. Readers of my reviews know that I tend to be picky in my evaluations, highlighting the good and the bad. And this book is not perfect (I will get to its minor flaws), but it is as close to required…

  • In perhaps the least surprising news ever, Cruise, the automated vehicle arm of General Motors (though GM apparently grants it great deal of autonomy) was caught lying to regulators about a serious accident. A Cruise vehicle dragged a pedestrian it could not avoid running over for about twenty feet. Cruise didn’t show the entire vide…

  • The Two Naomis, Liberals, Leftists, and Killing Mockingbirds

    Namoi Klein has had a weird couple of years. She has been constantly confused for Namoi Wolf, a former feminist who has gone, not to put too fine a point on it, cuckoo for coco puffs. There is hardly a right-wing conspiracy theory that Wolf has not embraced, from COVID denialism to Qanon. Klein has…

  • There is No “Tech” to be Optimistic About

    It looks like we are going to do another round of “tech will save us, if you let rich people do what they want!” nonsense, and it is all so, so tiresome. The latest trigger for this is Marc Andreessen’s five thousand word Reader’s Digest version of Atlas Shrugged Techno Optimist Manifesto. It is nothing…

  • The Future of AI Assistants is Lies for Free, Money for Trurth

    The Washington Post highlights that Alexa is telling lies about the 2020 election. If you ask it about election fraud, it will lie to you and tell you that the election was stolen and that there was unprecedented fraud. It does this because it uses for sources conservative and alt-right news sources such as random…

  • Death and Crypto Lies: A Review of Number Go Up

    I keep finding myself writing the wrong kind of book review. Or at least, I keep finding myself writing the kind of book review that I do not think is entirely fair to the author. Because I should be recommending Number Go Up by Zeke Faux (who, by the way, has the single best name…

  • America Has No Bottom. Or Why It’s So Hard for the Media to Call Trump A Loser.

    Trump is a loser. A massive, massive loser. Has been for most of his life. This is not an opinion; it is a fact. He inherited his money. He failed at most of his businesses. He had to have his dad bail out his casino in a fashion that was almost certainly illegal — a…

  • The EFF and the Fantasy of the Marketplace of Ideas

    The Washington Post has an excellent piece on a group of people who have chased one of the worst troll farms across the internet, playing whack-a-mole with it in an attempt to stop it from getting people physically hurt. You should read the story, because it is remarkable. But I am not here to talk…

  • Amazon Apparently Deliberately Destroyed Genre Magazines to Enrich Itself

    This behavior should be illegal, and I will discuss how it can be controlled in a little bit. But Amazon appears to have deliberately destroyed genre magazines in a bid to control their distribution for its own benefit. Mobsters could not have done this better. The Verge article, unsurprisingly since the Verge editors are almost…

  • Hello World, McGuffins, and Little Wooden Bridges

    I was going to be a lawyer. It was a dream that never really died. When I was eight, I was going to be Perry Mason and free the unjustly convicted. When I was an early teen, I was going to argue in front of the Supreme Cout. When I was heading off to college,…