Friday, 1 June 2018

Why are we in such a rush to get humanity lived, over and done with?

The Accelerationists of this world seem to want it to spin so fast that it hums. Anyone that doesn't have a firm grip on the way things are going to be from now on will be flung off in due course. This is no time for laggards and toe dippers. Those who develop a mental illness in response to the incessant reconfiguration of their environment shall be steered towards machines that will teach them how to cope. The daily pursuit of hyper-optimizing our capacity for work will give us meaning and keep us moving forward. Those struggling to keep pace with the system unaided are encouraged to automate part of their function or take the necessary cognitive enhancers to help bring their level of operation up to speed. All time will be purposeful and accounted for. 
Free time is wasted time.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

We're already living in a Black Mirror reality - How Facebook is polticising friendship itself

I've just logged into facebook. Facebook greeted me, as it normally does. There was a small note at the top of my feed from - 'The Facebook privacy team'. For some reason I thought I would actually bother to read it this time. It felt a little bit like I was the cashier in the supermarket who had been asked how they were and in a protested by not sticking to the script by saying "Fine, thank you".

>You control who can like and comment on your posts
Ben, it looks like someone recently liked your post. We want you to know how to control who can like and comment on your posts

Initially I thought, cool. More control. I don't want any perverts look at my stuff and exciting themselves over it. Shortly after this moment of empowerment had passed, I considered a scenario in which I am in a pub with friends and I want to shout over that I like my friends new style. I open my mouth but find that nothing is coming out because my friend with the new hairstyle has forbid me to express any fondness for it. They now look over to me and we make eye contact. We both know that I've been muted in this social setting. I feel really frustrated and obviously no longer wish to express how much I like my so-called friend's hair. I suddenly feel ostracized by the whole group, perhaps I'm just over reacting? But I do have a horrible deep pang of paranoid fear that even more of the  people I'm presently sat with, that are joking and flashing smiles at me could have actually censored my ability to like their things. find myself sat there in uncomfortable silence, feeling increasingly emasculated as the party vibe din of the pub continues unabated by my realisation,

A new facebook saga in the making

Facebook again creates and hands us a another power which is essentially destabilizing in its nature, and as users are bestowed with this new level of "control", it helps alleviate facebook of blame for any of the dynamic corollaries that subsequently take place.

On the surface it looks like a courteous little reminder of what facebook features are available to you, but it's banal placement and servile language help mask the reality that facebook is gradually becoming a highly politicised space, and they are now moving into the business of politicising friendship itself.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Is Paralympic sport classification fit for purpose?

A brief response to this article

I think it's important something like this is fixed immediately. When you get Olympic medalists handing back their medals because they felt the system gave them an unfair advantage to win then you have a problem which can hemorrhage integrity, trust and respect over night.

The reports by ex-classifiers of the kinds of tactics that are being employed to feign the appearance of increased impairment I found extremely saddening at first, then the reality kicked in. Add the factors of money and funding and wanting to survive in a tough industry and it suddenly makes a lot of sense. The scope for gaming the system in the paralymipcs I think is a lot greater than with able-bodied Olympics as making accusations and then backing them up is such a delicate and time consuming process. It's also tied to sentiments of human dignity and scenarios we read about in the news daily where the DWP has assessed a disabled person as being 'fit to work' despite glaringly obvious reasons why it would be impossible for them to do so. 

Leveling such an accusation at an athlete which basically says" You're not as disabled as you are making out to be" is one that can only be reached with any degree of confidence after a lot of resources, deliberation and cross-checking have been spent, and if the issue is as wide ranging as some athletes fear then the eradication of the problem may itself end up killing off the Paralympics in its current form or force it to become something radically different in order to survive.

In the future, celebrities will judge each other by the upkeep of their anus

In the near future, the nipple-slip will be replaced by the anus-peep and it will be desirable to have a part of the body not normally associated with cleanliness, to be clean and always kissable, such is society's obsession for paradoxes and maintaining impossibly high standards that set apart the elite from the plebs.
Soon, music celebrities will be suffering from 'wardrobe malfunctions' that accidentally reveal their delicately bleached perfect puckers.
In turn the general public will become anus crazy, another taboo will have been conquered and personal grooming will have reached its zenith.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Is Civil War in Trump-Era America Inevitable?

Civil war maybe a bit of an exaggeration. But something not far off that.

There is definitely a foreboding air of inevitability at the moment in the US. I had a crazy daydream that eventually Trump will need the threat of another civil war in order to stay in power. He'll need a situation so critical and dangerously loaded  that any idea of removing him from office at that time could be the spark that sets things off. At that point he will become the ideal person and only person capable of quelling the rage his loyal followers will want to unleash.

It took something like Charlottesville to force Trump into overtly showing his cards. He knows he would be finished if he didn't at least send some sort of signal of solidarity to the white nationalist's/sympathizers as they constitute a high percentage of base.

As long as he can satisfy his base by saying what they want him to say - he doesn't necessarily have to act upon what he says - but as long as the ideas his loyal supporters like to hear keep circulating, they stay emboldened, they stay relevant and have purpose going forward, which is why they will do absolutely anything to keep him there. Part of their identity is at stake and they're past the point of no return now in terms of how low Trump can go yet still receive their support. They have Trump's back no matter what.

This is where the daydream went a bit OTT

There'll be a last stand. Evangelicals will tie the narrative of how events play out into biblical prophecy and see the threat of civil war as an of end of days scenario, something which they have been preparing for and almost hoping would happen for millennia. An event which simultaneously annihilates humankind but provides them more importantly with the validation that their faith wasn't in vain.

As things stand now, I don't see a way out of this situation unless the tension which has reached ridiculous levels is released in a massive way.

It would seem from watching mainstream news that the memory of Nazism has faded to the point where the warning to future generations it left us has disappeared. I'm worried that humankind has to create another reason for us to have a period of real peace, and the best way it seems to achieve peace time is by having a war and then reflecting for a long time on how evil and wrong it is.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

stockfish for president

To play perfect chess, is to find the perfect way forward in the game.

If life is a game, and chess is a game, then chess is life, which would make chess engines the most successful decision makers in the world. Therefore Stockfish for President!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Cigarettes Should Be Made Illegal

I live in the UK, and over here drugs like heroin and meth are illegal. They not only lead to behaviours that can put others at risk (consider the bus driver taking a big hit of heroin before his morning shift), they also ravage the body resources, depleting nutrients, and over time often leaving it unrecognisable. In addition to this their highly addictive nature helps proliferate their continued use.

In these superficial times, more and more people feel the pressures to not only look good, but to project an image of health and well-being, a sense that there are doing well in life. I'd even go as far as to say that even the form this projection takes has been codified to some extent, which has led to many people projecting themselves is very similar ways.

Constantly having to exist in this environment is depressing for some and they may turn to drugs to temporarily alleviate them of this reality. Drugs that can do the holy trilogy 1. Place us in an alternative pleasant reality 2. Ravage our looks and body 3. Are highly addictive and leave users in a terrible place when they finally return. It's like going to the Bahamas for 2 weeks and coming back to find that your teeth are mysteriously missing, but while you're in the Bahamas, you don't realise it and don't even need teeth in order to have a good time there. Which is why many people taking these holy trilogy drugs will simply stay on vacation for as long as possible.

Addiction isn't inherently bad in itself. I could be addicted to helping people less fortunate than me, or to the feeling of succeeding in business.  But to be addicted to cigarettes (not nicotine), is a lose-lose-lose.

I make the distinction between nicotine and cigarettes because I feel that with the advent of vaping systems, issues such as stained teeth, increased risk of gum disease and aged leathery skin have largely been minimised, factors which play a crucial role in how one feels about one's appearance. Vapers get precisely what they want, without the bulk of the carcinogenic substances and damaging ingredients that steadily turn us into a population of Yodas.

The increasing worries of personal appearance in today's avatar age greatly impact upon our mental health. Looking good can feed into feeling good which then can feed into how we project ourselves, and so on. Cigarettes are anathema to this positive cycle. Some people may say state or even fight for the freedom to smoke cigarettes because we should all have the ability to choose our own destiny. If cigarettes were running for president I just don't see how anyone could bring themselves to vote for the fate it would promise the electorate.

"I solemnly promise to ruin your health. Increase your chances of cancer. Make you self-conscious about your teeth. Leave you smelling bad. Thin your hair. Decrease the circulation into your legs. Make you look gaunt and old. And  I swear that from this day forth, you will want to stick with me through it all"

For me, endorsing cigarettes is like giving the thumbs up to erosion of the body and health, and not even being given a happy place to go to while you're doing it.