28 July 2021

technical stagnation under late capitalism

The relative scientific and technical stagnation under late capitalism is hardly a new observation, but one that bears repeating.
Our best minds are largely at work making shiny things we don't need or figuring out how best to sell it to us. Pure scientific research is at an all time low and research departments directed in some way by profit motive are the norm. We think we're living in a sci-fi future because that thinking sells shiny things and advertising works. But the slowing down in the rate of technical advancement has only really just begun... It takes about a generation before the fruits of raw research can be deployed as technologies, and we will only really see real downside of this approach a generation of two from now - just when we could use all the science we can get to save us from the ecological disaster also wrought by run away capitalism.

25 August 2019


A sidebar annotating the web, like SideWiki should have been.

Social bookmarking, tagging, annotating and note sharing of the web in public or private groups, or just for yourself.

"Our efforts are based on the annotation standards for digital documents developed by the W3C Web Annotation Working Group. We are partnering broadly with developers, publishers, academic institutions, researchers, and individuals to develop a platform for the next generation of read-write web applications. You can follow our development progress on our roadmap. Many have contributed tools, plug-ins and integrations."

A Chrome extension. Firefox and other users will have to use the bookmarklet for now - which works very well
see web.hypothes.is/installing-the-bookmarklet/

run by a public foundation apparently. source code is open but not copyleft, alas.

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

12 January 2018

dream talk

just had a cool dream

Our brains are largely a patchwork of buggy sub-processes making us feel happy or sad by the relative probabilities of some uppity replicating protein making more of itself. That's why we feel good and that's why we feel bad. That and all the real pain and joy that causes.

All we can do is to try get out of our heads. Our heads are broken. Be kind to each other, kind to everyone. Try to fix ourselves. We don't have to live these broken lives. When they're broken, then we can try to help each other.

That or something close is what the lady told the players, but only after she lost.

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 ??