“Well, indeed, and if so we might have bigger problems than middle-class employment, but is that close? You can spend weeks of your life watching three hour YouTube videos of computer scientists arguing about this, and conclude only that they don’t really know either. You might also suggest that the idea this one magic piece of software will change everything, and override all the complexity of real people, real companies and the real economy, and can now be deployed in weeks instead of years, sounds like classic tech solutionism, but turned from utopia to dystopia.”https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2023/7/2/working-with-ai?utm_source=hackernewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=fav
AI is like any other tool, not so much good or bad itself as opposed to what it’s used for. But I do think that we are underselling how many BS jobs are going to be automated away, and there surely will be some adjustment pain, but it will be for the best.
“Stanisława spoke little about her experience in the camp, only sharing her report on the conditions years after the war because she felt she owed it to the women to tell the world what they had endured. But she kept her own memories to herself. Her family could only see glimpses, as when her grandson once began playing “Silent Night” on the piano. Stanisława froze in place before asking him to play something else; this song, it seems, had been sung by the soldiers at the camp and Stanisława could not bear the memories it dredged up.”https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/servant-of-god-stanisawa-leszczynska-the-midwife-of-auschwitz-who-delivered-thousands-of-babies-and-saved-thousands-of-lives/?utm_campaign=CLJ_Weekly%20Subscriber%20Email_19-0507&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=264125530&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_6YPuFLZQDd4A1GD7piIFQ3tesCJGvtBTa-Uq8sBdKZmWGfK8gtcoKRHZKG12cpu9_UyZOFHiM3mxWRrv3BriQRD4-veDPw0JfBBvVThLKl749OLg&utm_content=264125530&utm_source=hs_email
A staggeringly beautiful story of human perseverance.
“By tweaking which connections they cut, the researchers could move the deformations. They made two pairs of non-abelian defects, and by sliding them around a five-by-five-qubit chessboard, they just barely eked out a braid. The researchers declined to comment on their experiment, which is being prepared for publication, but other experts praised the achievement.”https://www.quantamagazine.org/physicists-create-elusive-particles-that-remember-their-pasts-20230509/?mc_cid=bbc6d126b1&mc_eid=f83944a043
I don’t pretend to truly grasp all of the implications in this article, but it basically seems to be that as we improve our manipulation of exotic forms of matter, we are getting closer to supercharging our computational possibilities. If we can compute anything, we can likely solve energy.
“Fundamentalism, Kundera knew, was incompatible with humour—the latter an alternative reality with rules of its own, which trivialised the earnestness of ideologues and laughed them away to nothing. Humour wasn’t just a series of jokes, it was a philosophical system that “shone its light over everything,” and for this very reason, its practitioners had to be taken down. Offenders routinely got 10-year sentences under Stalin and in the process an entire redemptive area of life was denied existence. Yet this, Kundera felt, was just when the trait shone most brilliantly—a “wager,” a genuine risk, and a sign of character. In a 1980 interview with Philip Roth, Kundera said that he could always recognise a “non-Stalinist, a person I needn’t fear, by the way he smiled. A sense of humour was a trustworthy sign of recognition. Ever since, I have been terrified by a world that is losing its sense of humour.”https://quillette.com/2023/07/11/milan-kundera-the-nobel-prize-for-literature-winner-we-never-had/?ref=quillette-weekly-newsletter
It didn’t take long for comedians to rebel against cancel culture because nothing is funny in cancel culture, wherein one could conceivably be canceled for anything, because every single thing could be deemed offensive given a certain point of view. As long as human nature exists, we will have evils and flaws, and one of the most powerful things we can do is laugh at them. I forget who originated this, but the line that all you need to do to see who is in power in a society is figure out who or what you cannot joke about, and then that is the true power. Remarkably accurate.