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Trying to work out why "writer" is no longer a honorific to me. I think it's because it glorifies the medium over the message - but what are you writing 𝑓𝑜𝑟?

: The point of writing is to persuade; or to work out what you think; or to make someone feel something; or to backup your mental state; or how good it feels (flying, through thought); or to be alone in a socially acceptable way; or...

So saying you're "a writer" doesn't tell me enough about what you're actually doing, behind the image.

Stupid equivocation in this - "You’re never going to have a legacy, so give up trying" - between having a lasting effect on the world and being remembered forever.

But the former's both important and real: you are causally powerful, and you could cause further causally powerful things to happen - and so on and so on - until the universe is either full, empty or cold.

(The body isn't nihilistic - it mentions making others happy - but is still sort of small.)

It's possible that the oligopolists could become scary, rather than irritating and mildly risky. Dyson gave me a shudder with this:

"The genius — sometimes deliberate, sometimes accidental — of the enterprises is that they have emerged as something else. Their models are no longer models... No one is at the controls... The successful social network is no longer a model of the social graph, it is the social graph. This is why it is a winner-take-all game."

“there was no way that we could have imagined [surveillance capitalism’s] action, any more than the early peoples of the Caribbean could have foreseen the rivers of blood that would flow from their hospitality toward the [Conquistadores]”

- Shoshana Zuboff

I'm a privacy fan; I distrust most internet services; I don't use a smartphone. But this overheated language makes me cringe. In what way is Google an Outside Context Problem, a qualitatively superior invasion? In what way is it violence?

Another angle is that, to the extent that Eva *is* dishonest, detached, and self-serving (but accidentally correct about her parenting effect), these characteristics could well have been passed to Kevin genetically.

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Yesterday I learned that I don't actually dislike conversations about religion - just rote apologetics.

Talking about someone's deeply held theological positions, when you have none, is fun in the way that talking to a clever ranter in a fandom you don't care about is fun.

(Both would no doubt feel insulted by this comparison.)

"Heaven and Earth are not benevolent:
they treat everything like straw dogs."

- Daodejing


I don't really understand. Could be

1) Irony. But are their corporate customers capable of it?
2) Bad Fans - completely missing the point
3) Most likely? - never seen the film.

"Gattaca - Helping companies realise their people potential"

"the absence of unambiguously altruistic characters is almost one of the things that marks highbrow fiction as such... genre fiction is filled with far more heroism than higher culture...

 I talked about this with a novelist. I said, “What is wrong with you novelists? Why don’t you write about heroic characters who are moved by a sense of moral duty?”

He gave me this look of total contempt like I had asked him to write about bunnies or butterflies."

"As striking as are the varieties of religious experience, they pale beside the variety of material things that can possibly exist...

Using electrons, protons, and neutrons, it is possible to build: a waterfall; a superconductor; a living cell; a Bose-Einstein condensate; a conscious mind; a black hole; a tree; an iPhone; a Jupiter Brain; a working economy; a von Neumann replicator; an artificial general intelligence; a Drexlerian universal constructor; and much, much else."

- Michael Nielsen

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A Mastodon instance for maths people. The kind of people who make \(\pi z^2 \times a\) jokes.

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