It’s Worse Than You Think: Facial Recognition

Continuation at a tangent to [stderr]

Tools like Palantir are the tip of an iceberg: a gigantic iceberg of data. In case you don’t know, when organizations like the NSA are talking “big data” they are talking “yottabytes.” i.e.:

The Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.) [wired]

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Sunday Sermon: Balancing Acts

“That’s not fair!”

We seem to be on the fence about fairness: we want some things to be fair but not at our expense; suddenly it’s unfair to be taxed to support something we don’t agree with, when we would have happily paid the same taxes to support something we do like. I instantly spiral down into linguistic nihilism when I try to think through “what is ‘fair’?” in most cases, because all that I seem to be encountering is other people’s strongly-held opinions. But if we’re going to re-balance society, or decide who gets which slice of cake, we have to have a way of talking about what is fair.

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It’s Worse Than You Think: The Surveillance State

I’m usually surprised by the coverage regarding NSA/CIA/FBI spying: there’s some stuff we definitely should be scared of, and there’s other stuff that I file under “so, what?”

For example, the fact that the US government has consistently ignored its own laws regarding wiretapping: nobody who has observed any government in action should be surprised by that.

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Maschine Kunst

I was not very impressed with Mad Max: Fury Road, except that it had a laudable shortage of Mel Gibson and a great deal of Charlize Theron. I went to see it, however, because I know director Miller is a big fan of in-camera stunts and there’s real artistry in the over-the-topness of his movies.

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