The biggest risk that we face as a civilization

You’ll never guess what it is…or at least, what Elon Musk thinks it is.

Elon Musk warned a gathering of U.S. governors that they need to be concerned about the potential dangers from the rise of artificial intelligence and called for the creation of a regulatory body to guide development of the powerful technology.

Speaking Saturday at the National Governors Association meeting in Rhode Island, the chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. laid out several worst-case scenarios for AI, saying that the technology will threaten all human jobs and that an AI could even spark a war. It is the biggest risk that we face as a civilization, he said.

We’re in the midst of total political collapse, the Antarctic ice shelf is breaking up, we’ve got roving gangs of lunatics thinking their most important right is the right to carry rifles everywhere, new diseases are creeping northwards, bacteria are evolving to make our antibiotics obsolete, mad dictators are building nukes and ICBMs, and conservative loons want to undermine all of education.

There are a great many threats that are far more pressing than fear of Roko’s basilisk. Musk needs to stop reading weird techno-libertarian fetish fantasy sites and come back down to earth.

Don’t come to America

Honestly, if you’re thinking of moving here or even just vacationing here, don’t. You’ll get shot. By the police.

They’re out of control. They’re armored up, loaded with weapons, and poorly trained. 661 people have been murdered by the police this year, so far. It’s insane.

The latest incident occurred nearby, in mild, liberal Minneapolis. An Australian, Justine Damond, was shot for no good reason. She had apparently called the police to report a disturbance in an alley.

Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.

“Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue S. just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman.

“The BCA’s investigation is in its early stages. More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete. … The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists.”

So, like, he just accidentally fired his gun across the car, past his partner, through the door, and into a woman in pajamas? He drew a weapon, but conveniently ‘forgot’ to turn on his camera?

No, really, don’t come here. And if by some frightful series of events you happen to end up here, under no circumstances should you call the police — they’ll just show up and randomly spew bullets. It’s all they know how to do, and they aren’t even particularly competent at that.

I’ll never be able to read Matt Taibbi again

I’ve enjoyed his scathing, ferocious approach to political reporting, but I just learned today that he takes the same ferocious, scathing approach to women. He and Mark Ames were columnists writing for an expat paper in Moscow years ago, and they apparently had a grand time being outrageous. When I first read a few quotes, I thought for a moment that they had to be faked — that these were ginned-up accounts written up by political enemies, of which they have more than a few.

But no. These were their own words. They wrote them up in a book-length account of their adventures in Russia. They were bragging about these attitudes.

It’s not ironic–Ames and Taibbi explicitly scorn the bourgeois safety net of irony–and it’s not just a rhetorical stance. “You’re always trying to force Masha and Sveta under the table to give you blow jobs,” complains their first business manager, an American woman, in chapter six, “The White God Factor.” “It’s not funny. They don’t think it’s funny.” “But…it is funny,” replies Taibbi. They take particular glee in trashing several former female staff members in print, taking multiple potshots at the aforementioned business manager’s “gorilla ass.” They’re equally nasty to her replacement, who quit in disgust after they went on a four-month “brain-sucking speed binge.”

It’s OK if you want to stop there. It gets worse. Much worse.

[Read more…]

I’m going to be famous now!

I’ve been cited in Charisma magazine! Surely respect, honor, and glory will follow in the wake of this awesome acknowledgment.

I am mentioned in the context of explaining how octopus suckers work. Unfortunately, the rest of the article is about getting possessed by squid demons.

After this squid spirit attacked my friend, I went to her home to help her battle it. The attack was severe, but when I laid hands on her and commanded the squid to be bound, the most violent symptoms would cease. Of course, when you stand in the gap, you often take a hit. That squid spirit started stalking me. I ended up with a migraine during the battle—a manifestation of that mind control spirit—and was attacked in my mind for days afterwards.

Fear can open the door to a squid spirit. Of course, unforgiveness is an open door for the enemy. But let’s face it: The enemy doesn’t need an open door to attack. He can strike when we least expect it, which is why we’re to live in a battle-ready state and walk with the Spirit of God who can warn us of impending attacks.

The good news here is a squid’s tentacles do not grow back once severed. If you get discernment that a squid spirit is attacking you, repent for any known open doors, grab some intercessors, and get that sneaky stalker with its manipulating suckers off your mind! Sever the tentacles, in the name of Jesus, and walk free.

Dammit. Cancel the celebration, forget the promotion, I’m not moving to the corner office after all, and I guess I don’t have to hang around waiting for the phone call from my agent after all.

I could add a few things to this list

You ever have that feeling that you’ve totally screwed up the planet for your kids? Or worse, that your kids are going to finish the job for you? Check out Things I’m afraid my daughter will be doing in 2026. There are a few items there I worry about.

I’m kinda concerned that she might end up an executive at Amazoogle and send the machines out to get me, too.

Please keep Louie Gohmert and Steve King apart

Whenever they’re together, the stupidity reaches criticality. Here’s Steve King making an argument for adding anti-transgender legislation to a bill,
because if we don’t, we’re all going to die.

This isn’t a civilization-killer, but an indication of a civilization-killer. I think of the circumstances in a little bit older history, back in the 16th and 17th century when the Ottoman Empire were sweeping across the countryside, they pressed [people] into slavery. They wanted to have their crack troops and other troops, too. But what they did to keep them from reproducing was that they did reassignment surgery on those slaves that they captured that they put in their troops. They took them from being a male and suitable to work in the army and they put them out in the field to do battle against the enemy and they didn’t have the testosterone to take on the fight and they figured out how to stop turning these men into eunuchs…None of the men had the will to fight. They decided that when they kept complete men in their troops, they fought well. So that’s a lesson from the Ottoman Empire…This is one of the most appallingly stupid things I’ve seen the Congress of the United States do.

Problems:

  • Reassignment surgery is not the same as castration. Castration is not the same as reassignment surgery.

  • The Ottomans did not carry out mass castrations. Historically, many men have been castrated in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, but not as a mechanism of population control. As a punishment, yes; to produce individuals who could work in government or as servants who would not scheme to place offspring in positions of power, yes; to produce unique biological effects, such as the castrati who sang in European concert halls, yes. But it was also a crude procedure that killed a many of its victims.

  • There was no policy or pattern of producing castrated soldiers — perhaps he’s confusing reality for Game of Thrones?

  • There’s no evidence that the will to fight and live comes from our testicles. Women can also be aggressive. Historically, eunuchs have served in the civil service, and had a reputation for ambition. There were men who voluntarily became eunuchs as a path to advancement in the bureaucracy.

Here’s a brief summary of the historical role of eunuchs. They tended not to be soldiers, but I repeat: castration is not a synonym for reassignment surgery, nor do you need testes to be a good soldier.

Can Gohmert possibly exceed the stupidity on display by King? Challenge accepted!

Some people, they think we exaggerate, but my very good friend from Iowa and I have stood there on the mountaintop in Vienna where western civilization stood there in the gap and it was all at risk…If Vienna fell, then the rest of Europe would fall…and there’s a good chance we’re not even here in this fashion today…Perhaps we are headed into a new period of the dark ages and that Polish prince comes down and puts cannons in those mountains and nobody in two years seeking a sex-change operation and change reassignment, as they call it, could possibly help it…I can assure my friends here in the House that there was nobody who was out there defending western civilization who had undergone a sex-change operation in the previous two years.

I think he’s talking about the siege of Vienna in 1529, when the Ottoman Turks failed to capture the city. Maybe? I don’t know. Or possibly the battle of Vienna in 1683, when the Poles under John Sobieski defeated the Turks? I don’t see what his point is, since the first experimental sex reassignment surgeries were performed in the 1930s, and the first successful ones were carried out in the 1950s, so yeah, he’s right, there was no one in 1638 who had had a sex change operation in 1636. I doubt there was anyone at either Viennese battle who was taking Viagra, either. This is not relevant.

Can he get even more confused? He can!

When it’s advertised that the United States Congress is in favor of taking men and surgically making them into women with the money that they would use to protect the nation otherwise, or taking women and doing surgery to make them men, the United States Congress would rather spend that money on that surgery than defeating radical Islam, then it is an advertising bonanza for the radical Islamists because my Muslim friends tell me, the recruits, you’re right, if that’s how stupid they are, this society has no right to remain on the earth. We need to take them out. They are too stupid.

Uh-oh. Someone better tell King and Gohmert that being stupid removes your right to remain on earth is a personally very dangerous argument. I am tempted to agree that we need to “take out” a certain pair of legislators for being dangerously idiotic, but that would be wrong.