(In response to
I am an old bird, and I remember when tech was liberatory. We
were proud, once, that women were accepted in senior positions in
computing. Once, hippies became software engineers, and brought a
new openness to technology. Virtual reality. The web itself. (The
turmeric laser!) And then, and then…
There is a history to be written. Some of the old spirit of
liberation survives still: it is in things like showing police
racism and brutality for all to see. In this blog. In things like
antifa outing white supremacists. And just the plain fun of social
media, before it was commercialized and dominated by addiction
algorithms. That still survives in the quieter corners of the
internet, but it is drowned out by the commercial internet.
Just last night, literally, I responded to a remark on Twitter,
“This is why I urge people NOT to think about Bitcoin in political
terms. Do NOT view it as an evil libertarian plot to bring down
government.” My reply: “Bitcoin is, exactly, a libertarian plot to
destroy central banking and taxation. Read the Cyphernomicon. I
used to know Tim May, the author of the Cyphernomicon. He died
alone in his home in California. No-one noticed he had died for
days.” May…May probably had as little empathy as any person I have
ever known. He wasn’t violent. His manners were perfectly good (as
long as your skin was light and you were male and not disabled.)
But…but…he wasn’t capable of or interested in empathy. He was a
quiet anti-Semite when I knew him. I have read that he later became
a loud one.
To the article you cite. I wouldn’t say that Slate Star Codex
was central to anything but Silicon Valley libertarian cranks.
Citing David Friedman as a source? I know him, too. He is Milton
Friedman’s son, and believes his father’s ideology implicitly.
Scott Aaronson? He is famous for blaming feminism for his
difficulties in his sex life. (One cannot make these things up.
Truly, one cannot make these things up.)
We talk about regulation. I wish I knew what that would entail.
I do not see how the current Roberts Court, which shows every sign
of being the worst since Taney, is likely to allow effective
regulation that would address the old imbalances of power that
technology plus powerful sociopaths have brought to the world.
And there are worse possibilities. Consider that China has an
intensely regulated internet, all aimed at enforcing conformity and
the power of the state.
I…don’t know how to end this. We can talk about this until our
mouths go numb. But where is the program that will lead us
Whatever Democratic elected women, women of color, and people of color did or didn’t do, it wasn’t treason. It wasn’t even sedition.
I am not in Congress. I am not an elected official. I have no need to be politic in my language. What Trump and his associates did on and leading up to January 6, 2021 was treason and I will say that. I hope other people will join me.