Monday, December 26, 2022

America Online: A Cautionary Tale

 The entire world owes a massive debt to Julian Assange, a debt we may never get the opportunity to repay. Will he ever emerge from the bowels of Belmarsh? Oh the irony, rotting in solitary confinement for telling the truth to power. 

The only crime by Julian Assange is exposing the crimes of the powerful. One day in the future this senseless persecution may cease and desist, let's hope for Julian that day is sooner rather than later.

– “budgie smugglers” for instance – have been around for some time. The OED dates this term to 1998. The source is The Games, the Australian mockumentary television series about the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

When the ruling class of Rome would become too corrupt or unjust to the commoners, the commoners banded together, evacuated the entire city and left the elites to fend for themselves.
What is Secessio Plebis?

  1.  “You need skepticism in order to have a healthy kind of trust, whether in the individual mind or even at the social level” — Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern) discusses trust on the public radio program “On Point”
  2.  “I like to draw ’em nice—kindaelegant, I hope – then make ’emsilly in faux-retro or disco style” — check out these illustrations of philosophers by John Holbo (NAU)
  3. “Their danger lies… in short-circuiting the development of human writers” – – Richard Hughes Gibson (Wheaton) on AI and writing
  4.  “Knowledge is older than all sensible things; mind is senior to the world, and the architecture thereof” — Ralph Cudworth is “interviewed” at 3:16AM
  5.  Warning: the material at this link combines puns, philosophy, and AI art — created by Adam Keiper
  6.  “It helps people govern and express the emotions of contempt, trust, amusement and hope. And these emotions answer to the universal flourishing-related needs of criticism, connection, coping and capability” — Mark Alfano (Macquarie) and Mandi Astola (Delft) on why a sense of humor is a virtue
  7.  “Then I thought that Hegel… would have greatly appreciated this object, which has two opposite functions” — how Magritte came to paint “Hegel’s Holiday”

The Nation $: On the rise and fall of the quintessential ’90s online service provider—and a warning about today’s social-media giants. “…America Online debuted in 1991, the same year that the World Wide Web opened to the public. With revenue from advertising and subscriber fees, AOL had a market cap that soared past $150 billion at its peak in 2000.
 Meanwhile, the World Wide Web, invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, then a researcher at CERN, was and is noncommercial and decentralized: Anyone with an Internet connection and a Web browser can visit a website. Its protocols and standards are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which has been hosted by a consortia of universities since its founding in 1994. 
Together, these two Internet developments offered a taste of the social media we know today. The Web made it easy to create and share text and graphics; AOL familiarized users en masse with the Internet experience, which had earlier been an esoteric pastime. The World Wide Web populated the Internet with content, while AOL populated it with users…”

How China Botched the End of Zero-COVIDForeign Policy. No #CovidIsAirborne perspective at all. Also unmentioned are the amusing parallels between the CCP’s “botch” and our own, including turn-on-a-dime opinion-havers, “fear of hospitals as sites of infection,” and the failure of public health authorities to settle on a correct theory of transmission, and propagate it.

Morgues overwhelmed: why China’s new Covid crisis is all of its own making South China Morning Post.

Crematoriums in China struggle as COVID spreads Al Jazeera. A proxy from back in 2020; also, hospital parking lots.