15 August 2019

hacking past deepfakery

deepfakes, faked news/info and ml powered bots aren't going to go away.

the populations of the networked will have to evolve toward more skepticism, and alongside that our information networks will have to grow more robust too - with systems to handle the verification of sources, contestation, crypto-verifiable public identity, and levels of trust amongst individuals and community

04 August 2019

odd notes Copyleft and our digital future .. and a public rhizome to surf and build

A thought about revisiting. diarising. Then...

How copyleft, public ownership licensing is necessary (but not sufficient) for any worthwhile digital future. We'll never fix the major issues with our current search and social networking technologies until we properly own them . And can see and trust how they work.
Public Digital tools and info being shared to it's full potential will offer an advantage to our public protects. Letting us copy mutate add blend subtract fork our projects in a vastly quicker and more productive way than how projects are building now. Yielding the most interesting potential complexity and possibility for solutions to the fast evolving self parasitism we suffer . The like that has plagued us throughout our history and continues to out-advance us even as it is forced to retreat

Also on the rhizome.
A group of tagged and heavily linked set of pages . Using the tag opportunities and massive wiki-like linking to organise and navigate the info space in interesting ways.
Quick search of all Pages
Quick filter
Quick filter by tags
Quick community filters .

Community focused features
Easy and transparent Merging and forking of communities .. principal feature
Easy to add suggest link copy hardlink fork hardfork any node on the zome from one community to another. 
Mechanisms for dispute and consensus
That shared public license applying to all nodes

01 January 2018

our tools are broken

Regular Reminder - Our tools Are Broken: social networking tools and other information infrastructure that are not publicly owned (and by that I mean licensed under the General Public License or Copylefted -see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft) are fundamentally broken. Because anything less than public ownership severely limits the extent to which we can use, fix, experiment, and grow these into useful universal assets .. This is especially true in the long term.

The list of our broken tools include Facebook, Google search, Twitter, and the operating systems Windows, Mac-OSX, IOS, and bits of Android. Linux is completely ours. Most of Android and the software that serves up and browses the world wide web is also properly public property.

Distributed/Federated social software that could easily replace Facebook and Twitter already exists (see Diaspora and Identica). Publicly owned search engines won't have to start from scratch either.

Its just going to take us some time to realise that all the complaints that we have about our social software - about the abuses of power that extend from privacy violations to the manipulation of search results and manipulation of our social signalling - all of these cannot be fixed until we switch to Free (as in speech) Software.

03 October 2017

more misc notes on the biological path to strong ai

agree that this is looking like the best path to strong AI. don't agree that the biological is the only potential path.

the biological path is only the best path while we share fundamental constraints with the brain.

SDRs are a great example of evolution solving a problem working against limiting constraints. In the the case of SDRs the constraints are those of computing power, storage space and access times in the brain.

The reliance on SDRs is likely linked to one of the bugs in our intelligence - the bias toward equivalence (the "IS A" bias). A hypothetical predictive system implemented without SDRs or with less dependence on SDRs might also be an intelligence that suffers less from the is-a bias.

31 July 2017

keyword shortcuts in chrome

The following works by typing a keyword into the address bar (omnibar) and pressing enter to jump to a specific url. In Google's Chrome (as of version 59.0), this isn't available through the bookmark manager like it is in Firefox, but you can easily use the Search Engine Shortcuts feature in Chrome to work the same way.

How to create a keyword shortcut in Chrome

  1. Right click the address bar (omnibar)
  2. Select edit search engines...
  3. Click on 'ADD' - which appears after the default search engines section
  4. In the dialog that pops up:
    • in the search-engine field - name your bookmark
    • in the keyword field - enter your keyword shortcut string (what you will need to type in the omnibar to quickly jump to this 'bookmark'
    • In URL field - type in the url you want to associate with the keyword

Placeholder for additional text

The url can contain a special placeholder: '%s' (without the quotes) that will serve as a placeholder for additional text that you can enter if you press tab after typing the keyword shortcut.

For example, I use a keyword shortcut that jumps to list of bookmarks on https://pinboard.com by given tag. For that:
  • I use 'pint' (without quotes) as keyword,
  • and https://pinboard.in/u:jaysen/t:%s/ as url.
Then to access all my bookmarks on pinboard that is tagged with 'todo' as example
  • I type 'pint' in omnibar,
  • press TAB
  • type the tag I want to visit - in this example 'todo'
  • and ENTER This takes me to https://pinboard.in/u:jaysen/t:todo/

21 July 2017

growing pains

"The tribes and clans of early man never left us, they just expanded outward like ripples in a pond, becoming more intricate." - without losing too much of their easy use of violence and coercion.

We can reshape - build networks of decentralized public power using smart tools for communication and knowledge-sharing, decision-making and organisation.

But then again, we should never underestimate the potential  for things to get very much worse instead (or first?), as the priests and warlords - now corporations and politicians - steadily turn up the manipulation and violence to keep things running in their favour.

22 February 2017


Did the 100s of smelling, tasting, feeling suckers on the 8 legs of an octopus do a similar thing for the octopus brain as the evolution of hands did to ours  ?... and did the decentralised architecture of the octopus brain reduce the impact the 8 arm rich information stream had on evolving a complex central brain?

Or was it that without the single repeated architecture of the mammalian neocortex as general intelligence engine, gains made in complexity in those sensory streams were not as reusable toward the evolution of a more general intelligence ??

12 February 2017

mr robot guess #254

The world is simulation. The Facility has detected existence of the real world - one level up from the sim. Mr Robot is not Elliot’s father, but from one level up - and runs as an instance in Elliot’s brain from time to time — sometimes sharing.
Naah . I withdraw this guess - It doesn't account for the time trickery ... possibly.

UPDATE: I withdraw that withdrawal. It could account for the time trickery.

take the lead and run with it

how funny would it be if all the lunacy of colonialism was a result of lead plumbing for the aristocracy . NOT

lead is a neurotoxin with evidence showing loss of executive discretion, btw

but of course lead doesn't quite so neatly explain all the current day pathologies
except for maybe by ... sheer inertia

like if you inherit a system with lunatic aggression providing you all sorts of crazy power, a understandable reaction might be to simply continue in that vein.

'run with it'

Take the lead and run with it - a lunatic theory for the early anthropocene

22 September 2016

gene and race

So there was this discussion on non-racialism at this book launch last night ...
and a member of the audience asked that typical question about the obvious genetic basis to race.

I was working up to try and answer there, but found it a bit hard to get my thoughts together in time. So below is working toward how I'd like to answer that in future. I'll correct/refine it with time, hopefully, and corrections and comments from you, the anonymous or not anonymous public, are as welcome as always.

 Attempt One:

Once our very early, singular human population separated geographically (after what appears to be a series of survival bottlenecks), they evolved separate and particular traits according to the now well understood processes of natural selection and genetic drift. 

Even while populations were largely separated, there was still sufficient movement and interaction to allow for genetic information to pass between populations. This, most importantly, would have included the successful spread of immune response adaptations and anti-parasite counter-measures vital to early population survival. [which is why all so called races have within their populations a spread of proteomic pathways for immune function that are common between races] 

As populations interacted and genetic information spread, there are a few mechanisms by which certain traits persisted within local populations, despite the relatively thorough statistical mixing of other genetic traits. The  mechanisms that ‘preserved’ local ‘race type traits’ include environment specific adaptations (like skin colour) that were continuously selected for within separated populations by survival pressure, and culture-specific sexual selection criteria - that proceeded along with cultural evolution. There are more mechanisms i think, but these two come to mind for now.

Via these mechanisms, an aggregation of certain traits (the sexual selection model accounts for why these are most often just externally visible) would accumulate within populations, while allowing the fortunate mixing of other vital genetic survival strategies without which local populations would most likely have fallen from parasite/pathogen load/stress.

This explains why, with the exception of this small percentage of ‘race type traits’, when looking at particular sequences, we often see more genetic diversity within races than between them — for example, there will be a particular immune system function that is expressed in different ways by several different protein pathways (lets call them A,B,C,D) and each race will have individuals carrying sequences for A,B,C,D. For the larger pathways, two individuals from different ‘races’ carrying the sequences necessary for A will often have more in common genetically with each other than with members of the same race carrying sequences for B, say.

[Immune function has been a big driver for evolution throughout the entire animal line, and so its not for nothing that it gets emphasised when discussing genetic variation.]

Even as our populations experienced civilisational shifts that allowed for more interaction between populations and more and more geographical displacement, patterns of mechanisms like the culture-specific sexual selection mentioned above - now intimately coupled with power, violence, etc. - still worked to keep certain traits prominent within local populations. 

Anyway, I think that's the type of traits the dude from yesterday mentioned. That small percentage of genetic traits, often highly visible, that we based the myth of race on.

 added later:

Of course, the other reason that immune system is so important when discussing us, is that in the very brief evolutionary time since we split up, nothing much else changed.

Sure some of us lightened our skins and straightened our hair, but these were almost insignificant changes when seen against our vast evolutionary history.

The most significant changes to humankind since our ‘forking’ is that the big brains that we evolved before we split led to us being super successful wherever we went - and that success was met in turn by a multitude of parasites rushing in to live off a newly found ecosystem - us.

So, most of our real evolution as humans, neglecting the very very minor surface tweaks, have been in complex immune system responses to those parasites since we became successful. That is why we are closer to members of other races that share our immune pathways than those of our race that don’t - immune system complexity makes up most of our evolution since we got here.