Posted inTechnology

You thought HAL was creepy? Meet Sydney

Reading Time: 4 minutes We’ve already seen what havoc technology-exploiting evil operators can wreak on people and societies. More than 70 million presumably-sensible Americans voted in 2020 for a presidential candidate whose entire political message was—and continues to be—built on easily-shredded tissues of falsehoods.

Yet considering that advances in AI are currently sprinting at breakneck speed into reality, Trump’s seduction of a huge swath of the American electorate was decidedly low-tech.

Posted inTechnology

Understanding Sen. John Fetterman’s struggle to understand

Reading Time: 4 minutes Note to readers: The New York Times reported February 16 that Sen. John Fetterman checked himself into a hospital the week before for treatment of his clinical depression, which has worsened as he adjusted to the rigors of US Senate work after suffering a life-threatening stroke last year. Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman isn’t deaf, exactly, […]

Posted inEnvironment

Your plastic grocery sack is a villain

Reading Time: 4 minutes I’ll never forget what I saw in a dirt-poor, dusty Yemeni mountain village more than a decade ago. It was plastic bags—the kind city-dwellers have long toted groceries in—and they virtually covered the steeply sloping mountainsides that fell away from the roadway bisecting the village. I had never before in my life seen such a […]

Posted inTechnology

Down with the algorithm

Reading Time: 5 minutes [Previous: Is social media the cigarette of the 21st century?] Is TikTok a Chinese plot to undermine America? The popular video-sharing site is already banned on U.S. government devices, and some politicians are proposing to outlaw it completely in the United States as a national security threat. At the heart of the debate is which […]

Posted inEducation

Draft bill bans everything but ‘scientific fact’ in Montana’s science classes

Reading Time: 2 minutes A draft bill in Montana sponsored by first-term Republican State Sen. Daniel Emrich would effectively destroy science classes throughout the state by requiring them to teach “scientific fact”… and nothing else. Which is the sort of thing you’d propose only if you didn’t understand the meaning of scientific “theory.” LC 2215 claims that “a scientific […]

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