Warning: Sculpted Genitalia

I don’t play kickstarter much, but I occasionally dabble. Mostly, I see it as an interesting alternative way of funding art; I’m not a big fan of The Gallery System and I like to see a way creative people can get something done, publicized, and out there.

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The Kaspersky Konundrum

This is another story in the “things I am tracking but I am not sure what they mean, yet” file. Unfortunately, we won’t (probably) know for a year or two; there are still a lot of shoes to drop.

[Edit: I wrote this monday afternoon. Since then there have been new developments, which I will comment on at the bottom. The bit about hypothetical Mossad spies inside Kaspersky Labs was kidding, when I wrote it, I swear.]

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AI Art

My views on AI have changed somewhat, from my initial view that AI lacked the creativity to come up with grand strategies,[stderr] to something more confused. [stderr] Initially, I saw military strategy as a problem of creativity, and AI don’t seem to be very good at that – there’s too much of “output resembles input” for me to be enthusiastic about AI art: it looks more like remixing than innovation.  [By a coincidence, Caine over at Affinity is also posting about AI creativity tonight]

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Or, as We Say in Argument Clinic

“… that’s a label.”

Is this the right room for an argument

HJ Hornbeck offers a good explanation [reprobate] of why atheists, scientists, and skeptics should avoid using the label “postmodern” in an attempt to dismiss ideas that are confusing or counter-intuitive, especially if they are confusing or counter-intuitive because the reader has failed a “privilege check.”

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1491 and 1493

It is essential to the American myth that North America was wilderness when the European colonists began to arrive. Sure, there were people, but they weren’t ‘civilized’ and therefore didn’t count; they could be brushed aside.

Charles C. Mann’s 1491 [amazon] and its sequel 1493 [amazon] oppose that myth. He can only hint at the complexity of the politics of the era but it’s overwhelming. Of course it is, it’s people doing the things people do.

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See This Movie (Movie Review: Threads)

Warning: War, Death

Administrative note: I made an error attributing the movie and confused a different movie with a release of the same film under a different name. Explanation is [here] – in order to reduce confusion, I have done an edit-pass. If you see comments about how I am talking about the wrong movie, they are correct with respect to the initial version of this posting. Sorry about the confusion!

I don’t know if I have the necessary skill to convey how upsetting this topic is. I wish I could borrow the skills of Orpheus from somewhere, and get other people to watch it, get angry and scared, and – do something. I don’t even know what we can do, trapped as we are in the reality of nationalism and out-of-control militarism.

Threads is about the horrible deaths our political leaders have prepared for us.

If you don’t like spoilers, don’t read any further. But there’s really nothing to spoil. You already know roughly what happens.

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