Manual work is a bug

In IT manual work is a bug and the fix is

  1. Document the steps
  2. Create automation equivalents
  3. Create automation
  4. Self-service and autonomous systems

I would argue that this is also true for all manual office work, anywhere. The AI Lawyer is one example.

You could turn this around and ask the question: What will happen to all the jobs that can be automated?

They will disappear.

Only jobs that cannot be replaced by an automated process trained at some point in the past using algorithms that are unaware of the actual reality they are working in – that is, AI/ML – will continue to exist.

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About that right to be forgotten

Though I generally support the GDPR – and acknowledge that without enforcement, GDPR is worse than nothing – I do not support the right to be forgotten.

I thought about that recently, when I read about the danish lawyer – Doctor of Law, even – that was convicted of publishing protected information from a case. The same lawyer has already been convicted of perjury in a different case and if one searches for his name you find that he may not necessarily be the best type of person.

Which is funny because he also sells his services as a mediator and without the option to search for the above mentioned facts about Hans Boserup, you would not know that there is at least another side to him.

The right to be forgotten protects us from our mistakes of the past. The right to remember protects us from those that would rather not be held accountable.

On the other hand Boserup might not be interested in hiding the stories above , as they may demonstrate that he is a defense attorney willing to break the law to get his clients free.

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Jet Fuel !!!

This is something I like:


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Engagement algorithms

There is no doubt that engagement algorithms of social networks have driven a wedge between humans, pushing ever more extreme content on us.

The reason is simple. Since engagement is the important metric, the algorithms are optimized to give us content that we already like. You listened to this song by X? Here’s another song by X. You listened to a podcast about 9/11? Here’s another podcast about 9/11.

And so on.

I only use one social network at the moment – Youtube. Youtube actually works, but I expect, now that Google have realized that it is a social network, I am sure they will mess it up.

My problem is though that I increasingly see the same videos recommended all the time. No, I didn’t watch the video about Tesla’s truck and I haven’t watch it at any point in time since it was posted, more than half a year ago. Do you think I am going to watch it now?

Despite liking the Real Engineering channel I am not going to watch every video they post, religiously.

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The political consumer

I’ve argued that political consumers do not exist; they seem to disappear once the right occasion appears.

With Bill Maher’s not-exactly-politically-correct words, I also wish a little more political and a little less consumer:

No matter what you do for yourself, how right you eat, if the air is full of lead and the bug populations are out of control and your city is under water, it doesn’t matter. You can eat kale until it comes out of your ears. You can stay hydrated, slather on sunblock, steam your vagina, eat your placenta, work at a standing desk, and put a healing crystal up your ass, but there is no escaping the environment we all live in.


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30. I discovered that the world should be divided not into good and bad people but into cowards and non-cowards. Ninety-five percent of cowards are capable of the vilest things, lethal things, at the mildest threat.
— Varlam Shalamov, “Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag

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Just a joke

Unsourced, and probably not true, but anyway:

The idea that unicorns are only able to be tamed and captured by virgins originated as a medieval joke. The idea was that it took a mythical creature to catch a mythical creature.

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Different narratives

In Japan, radiation creates monsters (Godzilla) and in America radiation creates superheroes.

Shockingly, it’s almost like Japan and America have very different narratives surrounding nuclear fallout. Now, if we all think very very hard, maybe someone could think of why this might be.

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About that dinosaur-killing asteroid

I had gotten the movie VFX stuck in my head and needed this reminder:

Unlike the typical Hollywood CGI depictions of asteroid impacts, where an extraterrestrial charcoal briquette gently smolders across the sky, in the Yucatan it would have been a pleasant day one second and the world was already over by the next.
— Peter Brannen, “The Ends of the World

With the speed the asteroid was traveling, from the time it appeared to be same size as a hand at arms length, it would take less than a second to hit the surface. It would have taken less than 4 seconds to traverse the distance from space to the surface, through the atmosphere.

And in the tradition of burying the lede, there’s this:

As the asteroid collided with the earth, in the sky above it where there should have been air, the rock had punched a hole of outer space vacuum in the atmosphere. As the heavens rushed in to close this hole, enormous volumes of earth were expelled into orbit and beyond — all within a second or two of impact.

“So there’s probably little bits of dinosaur bone up on the moon,” I asked.

“Yeah, probably.”

It would have been fun if the Apollo missions by sheer dump luck had stumpled upon earthly remains.

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Obligatory DRM post

DRM is bad. DRM doesn’t protect against piracy, it’s more likely to encourage piracy. And DRM is not in the interest of content creators or distributors.

This illustration from dnd01 demonstrates this perfectly.


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