archie's blog

More #algorithmicEvil - The Day Yahoo Decided I Liked Reading About Child Murder

Excellent article from Sarah Kendzior at The Atlantic:

Algorithms are shaping how we see the world around us, with big consequences. What a machine thinks we need to know can become what we fear.

Filed under: "I told you so." But wait - there's more:

Why Scalia Could Uphold Obamacare

Excellent article from Lawrence Lessig published in The Atlantic.

He may be a staunch conservative, but the justice understands the commerce clause better than anyone else on the Supreme Court. 

On Fang Lizhi (1936–2012)

Extraordinary article from The New York Review of Books. My favorite passage:

Some call him China’s Sakharov, and that’s fine. But to me, Fang and the Communist Party are more like Galileo and the Roman church. An astrophysicist against powerful and arbitrary authority; the authority persecutes the physicist, but the physicist gets the truth right.

The world is a darker place without the heresy of Fang Lizhi.

#algorithmicEvil - More insight from the Googleplex

Mike Elgan's excellent Cult of Mac article Why Apple Won't Turn You Into A Cyborg is an excellent exposition of the very different worldviews of Google and Apple.
This quote nails it:

Google is founded on and obsessed by engineering and the power of algorithms to the same degree as Apple is with design.

Funny, but prescient

This is too funny:,27772/
But don't dismiss it outright as you just won't be told that you're seeing that Prozac ad because of your conversation with your friend about shared symptoms!


What does Google's new privacy policy and Facebook's ever-changing privacy policy have in common?
They are both harbingers of evil.
Not evil in the (dualistic) sense of being the opposite of good; but evil because they represent an arguably Faustian exchange of something essential for convenience.
Let me explain.
Ayn Rand defines evil in The Virtue of Selfishness as follows:


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