16 April 2023

Overpondering the Past

…leads to sleepless nights, and thence to overstuffed early-morning sausage platters.

  • But at least I'm not driving on the left (any more, I spent several years doing so — and not just in Oklahoma), or competing with needlessly large trucks compensating for other… small things. Usually their intellects; it's too early for salacious implications. I think. We'll just leave the historical antecedants for "right to travel" for another time and place, and not look too closely at how that relates to "overcompensation" in means of travel.
  • Neither will I listen too closely for the echoes of rural distrust of and disdain for cities in the legal requirement for a peasant to remain off the land and within a recognized town for a year and a day to become "free"… and the historical relationship to rural-landowner economics. And, for that matter, to who has the right to "make a living" through their own efforts — and when.
  • So another antiscience ignoramus is running for office. For the presidency, no less. Without much family support… even though absent his surname he'd be nobody. Even with his surname, he should be nobody — not so much due to his publicly-stated positions as due to his platform arising from his surname and inherited wealth.

    "Divine right of kings" apparently still extends down to much lower levels of government — notwithstanding that the sad old man intense middle-aged man hadn't yet been elected king. It's frustrating schadenfreude to see this particular family forced to confront the fact that some members of it by birthright are not appropriate to continue the dynasty. Tradition of "public service" my amputated left great toenail: How many of these jerks ever put their butts actually (or even potentially) in the line of fire, whether through the military or police or fire department… or as teachers or nurses or uppity librarians bringing choices of desegregated literature to children in segregated school districts? If that's too dangerous, how many of them who meddled in foreign relations ever sat for the Foreign Service Officer exam? At most, they've been "businesscreatures," often in a family-financed business with no real risk of personal failure…

  • But at least that's about "real people," right? There's an opportunity to formally comment on AI "accountability" (comment deadline: 12 Jun 2023), but there's a gaping hole of accountability in the process. It's ultimately the same sort of gaping hole of accountability as provided by the preceding sausage: If ChatGPT makes up references to justify a defamatory statement, or incorrect health information (worse yet, doseage instructions), or tax-return instructions, and someone is harmed — who does the victim sue? Where? What remedies are available, since ChatGPT doesn't appear to own any seizable assets?

    We'll leave the possibility of an AI-committed murder for fictional accounts… at least for the moment. But grappling with these questions now has some real implications for both the legal past and the legal present; and the legal implications are merely those that we can put a clear label upon. There are darker aspects of "discrimination" pointing both ways that don't appear to be part of the conversation: We still haven't figured out who gets to be a full human being with full rights and full privileges among those who are biologically human, and the interplay with the preceding sausage is far too much for this early in the morning.

  • Also far too much for this early in the morning: Yet another entirely predictable example of overclassification leading to needless security vulnerabilities, carefully neglecting the official soundtrack of lawyers and spies (and the inherent frustration of their therapists… or, more often, an explanation for why they have none and seem so off, although that's perhaps a bit chicken-and-eggish too). Giving those who merely administer systems full access to the contents of the systems may be administratively convenient; it may compensate for the technological impairments of colonels using those systems; but it has its own, rather obvious, failure points. But I have never authorized, nor participated in authorizing, the mining of manganese nodules from the floor of the East China Sea (I make no representations regarding any other activities there, nor for that matter any activities elsewhere, nor for whether any client of mine may have had anything to say on the matter). Neither have I ever had, used, or accessed a Discord account (my tradecraft is better than that).
  • Perhaps all of that is too heavy for early morning sausage platters. Perhaps we'll just ponder (purportedly) lighter fare, like a list of filmed adaptations of literary works superior to the sources that badly misses some really obvious examples. Perhaps I'll just have to take satisfaction in how copyright, moral rights, and intellectual property rights expose blind spots in the stiffs-and-gifts bar (again).