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society: damn misinfo at scale is getting a bit out of hand lately. seems like a problem.

tech guys: i have invented a machine that generates misinformation. is that helpful?

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I'm making a public commitment right now to stop calling things like #ChatGPT and #MidJourney AI (artificial intelligence). It's ML (machine learning) and it's dangerous (and dumb) to call it AI IMHO.

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AN OPEN POST TO MASTO ADMINS (boost for reach pls):

Yesterday a sizable instance (dice.camp, a TTRPG community, where I have - or HAD - many mutuals) defederated with mastodon.social (cut ties). That server then reversed that decision but the damage was done: follows had been deleted. I lost my friends there.

ADMINS: PLEASE... we (USERS) are all working hard to establish mastodon as a viable social network. This type of action fundamentally damages that effort. Even reversed, it's damaging.

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"As a target of anti-Semitism in Germany and abroad between the World Wars, the Jewish scientist was well aware of the harm that discrimination inflicts, and sought to use his platform to speak out against the mistreatment of others."


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This may not be a popular opinion, and I ground it in critical love, but I don't see the benefit of providing that soft, uncritical fluffy feedback, especially for people we care about.
I have been in a few groups and engaged in some writing and revising lately where people effectively lied and withheld because they didn't want to be critical, and it was absolutely to the detriment of the person receiving the feedback.
We have to care enough to share valid and important critiques to help and move work forward.

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People worry a lot about losing knowledge — about "burned-down libraries".

Comparatively few people seem to worry about what happens if you take a billion books full of auto-generated, often-untrue junk text and *add* them all to the library.

In theory, nothing is lost. In reality, everything is lost, because nothing useful can now be found.

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I can't get over this New York Times headline saying Ron DeSantis is "building his brand" by wrecking public education in Florida. It reminds me of NYT’s first mention of Hitler in 1922, which claimed his anti-Semitism wasn’t “genuine” or “violent” but was just “bait” to attract followers. From 1922 to 2023, NYT is still covering fascists from a marketing perspective rather than a moral perspective.

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"Can you explain this gap in your resume?"

"Yes, I used LaTeX and couldn't fix that bit"

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The idea that bad people having a voice on social media causes other people to become bad people (often the argument as to why we must defederate from bad servers) is equivalent to:

Thinking violent video games cause people to become violent.

Thinking explicit song lyrics cause people to become criminals

Allowing people to be openly homosexual will cause others to become homosexual

Banning books

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We dove deep into the situation in Florida in today’s “Is This Democracy” episode and dissected the authoritarian takeover of education, the escalating reactionary campaign to stifle, censor, and ban any dissent from the white nationalist woldview. This is a proper emergency. It needs to be treated as such. /end podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/

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ABrockwell boosted

Happy Black Friday!

I try to spend some time every Friday boosting posts of music videos by Black artists. I’m not Black myself, so I’m taking a chance today by posting my own. I hope it’s okay to participate in the hashtag!

Summertime, by Lena Horne

Lena Horne was an amazing woman. Not just a singer, she was a very popular actress who wouldn’t take roles she thought typecast her. She was a civil rights activist, and participated in protests and marches. She also sued clubs that wouldn’t let her perform, and ended up blacklisted during the McCarthyism of the 1940s because of her leftist progressive views.

This song makes me wistful for relief from the ice currently blanketing my city. This video is from:

Black History Music Playlist

The playlist starts with 85 great videos in alphabetical order by first name, adds 9 more videos in no particular order, and ends on a 15-minute tech product review for reasons unclear to me.

More on Lena Horne: biography.com/musicians/lena-h

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Children killed annually by mass education of Black history: 0

Children killed annually by mass book reading: 0

Children killed annually by drag shows: 0

Children killed annually by mass shootings & firearms: 4400

GOP: The only way to protect our kids is ban history, ban books, ban drag, and arm more kids with guns.

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Outside of the carton thinking.

"We did a supermarket order and orange juice we ordered and paid for didn't arrive. Contacted the supermarket and they've asked us to send them picture of missing item so I've sent them this!"

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Good morning, the empty bookshelves in Florida schools keep my head busy, since I'm a teacher with a library in my classroom in Berlin myself. That's a history lesson in front of our very eyes and exactly how fascism started in Germany. Books were banned and then burnt and everyone said, well, I can't do anything, I don't want to loose my job, I don't like it, but... Many little steps were made by many little people who didn't stand up against a new little rule. You know how this ends.

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If this child was strong enough to survive colonization, land theft and reservation internment — then white kids should be strong enough to learn about it in school. #nativeamerican #NativeNations

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Just an opinion (based on experience & the study of leadership), but real leaders don’t “play to their base.”

They reach out & bring others on board with their values, shared vision, and influence.

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"Power attracts corruptible people more generally, and power centers with a history of abusive, militaristic, and racist violence disproportionately attract people who want to abuse minorities, or use lethal force. Those are the exact people who shouldn’t be in uniform, because they see that kind of culture as an attractive profession. But that’s too often who applies. People who should never be in uniform self-select into it."


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This issue is a deeply personal one for me. I hope you take the time to read this and understand what is really going on: They are fear mongers, creating a wedge issue, and profiting off of it. It has to end.


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Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.