the most common evil is the worst one…

The code you write today can influence the future of technology tomorrow. ~ Margaret Hamilton

Astra Nebula

Listen, listen, I know I’ve swept you off your feet but if you could let me know if you’d twirl right twice then left for me, left foot back, right foot back, a little hop and skip, then trust, and fall into my arms, then maybe we could call ourselves dancers?


What a world of treachery, of lies, of deceit, what a world to dance with devils themselves. But who am I to judge, I was once a bit of a dancer myself.


freedom is an issue worth some risk

A manifesto

there’s a very slight difference between totally insane and a genius

I wasn’t sure

now I am


are both


my usual stance is that i’m not the shiniest diamond but fuck me, if i deem you stupid, shit has to be bad


really hitting the poor guy with the stealth game-rock throw


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.

Albert Einstein

Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

Why Tolkien Hated Dune

you don’t realize you’re in hell if every day is the same

The Ancient One

Or maybe you have been somewhat troubled by how this peculiar term personality, derived as it is from the Latin persona (meaning the masks once worn by players on stage), has become a repository of so many adjectives—one that violates Aristotle’s cardinal metaphysical rule against reducing a substance to its properties.

Such practices are also praised for their potential to “drive diversity and inclusion rather than conformity.”

When their use is seriously qualified, it is with a cautionary eye toward litigation exposure.

How did we come to submit to this belief in self-typologies? And what does that tell us about ourselves?

Examining them closely, one discovers that they are webbed together by an explanatory function that confuses the conditional mood of inquiry (i.e., “It’s as though you are a …”) with the declarative mood of determinative judgments (i.e., “You are a …”). We will see how the slippage between the two matters a great deal.

nested within a much larger transition in the Western conception of the self, the full significance of which was not yet apparent.

a slight tilt in civic managerialism away from what historian Warren Susman calls the “culture of character” and toward a new “culture of personality”

the enthusiasm for standards of conduct gave way to an enthusiasm for standardization itself as a means of designation

But as with any science, trait analysis assumed a theory of knowledge as its accrediting agency—in this case, a correspondence model of how determinations of truth are warranted. At first, this seems perfectly sensible.

But here occurs an almost imperceptible leap of faith. The polish applied in adjectival designation inclines one to believe that a definition has been achieved, a conclusion won. A pile of qualities furnishes a synoptic view of the whole, and so begins the slippage from the conditional mood to the declarative.

Where is the line between speculation and discovery?

does an assemblage of behavioral properties really represent one’s essence?

Would we presume, by the same token, to define the earth’s existence on the basis of its weather patterns?

By the 1950s, American manufacturing had really caught the psychometric bug.

the whole thing was just a jargony, disingenuous, and grossly reductive cover

he detailed how the use of assessment batteries in the workplace, though sugarcoated with overtures to aptitude evaluation, leadership promotion, and social cohesion, harbored suspect epistemic assumptions.

The science, he argued, purported to reduce “the whole” of a person to quantifiable units of measurement, and the mathematics in play took on an “entrapping” persona that obscured this sleight of hand.

It was to isolate who you “are” and who you “will be” for the sake of deciding—and here is a telling phrase—what role you might perform

Exactingly calculated goals of marketplace competition pushed organizations into a self-deceiving embrace of measures for typologizing human beings.

How far we had come from Heinrich Heine’s caution (c.1833) that “the composition of one’s own character description would be not only an awkward task but quite simply impossible.”

Imagine now a state of affairs in which the confident, naive realism of the whole profiling agenda cements and democratizes itself in mainstream culture, where people become psychometric natives and, owing to a peculiar sort of Stockholm syndrome, learn to enjoy it—even invest themselves in assessments as an avenue of self-discovery and well-being. Imagine that, and you will have imagined the scene today, to which we now return.

Guesswork becomes confident; speculation turns to certainty; possible fallacies become matters of fact.

We mistake impressions for absolutes.

Here we enter some deeper socioexistential waters.

a cultural shift occurring within what Warren Susman called the displacement of “character” by “personality.”

Assessments have an aura of legitimacy made possible by polling data and other statistics, and these instruments borrow on the authoritative magic of “metrics,” a fixation historian Jerry Z. Muller (echoing Whyte’s early sentiments) characterizes as “the belief that it is possible and desirable to replace judgment, acquired by personal experience and talent, with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardized data (metrics).” Muller red-flags a “rationalist illusion” in this creed, a faith in “the sovereignty of technique” as the means to “real knowledge.”

infographics on a slide deck cannot quite capture how life works on the sidewalks.

Sorting the Self: Assessments and the Cult of Personality

So, ah, technology-civilization is I guess the loom, and people-helping-people-civilization is the fabric

Someone who showed me kindness when I most needed it

stop noticing so much shit kid, ain’t good for you


Privacy and security are overlapping and complementary concepts, but they are foundationally different. Information security concerns the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. Privacy risks may result from authorized activity that is beyond the scope of information security. Thus, protecting individuals’ privacy cannot be achieved solely by securing personal data. Security involves protecting information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction. Privacy, on the other hand, is concerned with managing authorized risks to individuals associated with the creation, collection, use, processing, storage, maintenance, dissemination, disclosure or disposal of personal data.

Responding to the challenge: federated systems

Global warming is perhaps the most dramatic example of what Timothy Morton calls “hyperobjects”—entities of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that they defeat traditional ideas about what a thing is in the first place. Morton explains what hyperobjects are and their impact on how we think, how we coexist, and how we experience our politics, ethics, and art.


From this point of view, knowledge can be described as a living organism […] And while it lives, it lives of and in the interpretations of the actors who interact with it: whether it is the people who use this knowledge for their lives or to make more of it, or whether it is the computational entities that collect this knowledge for some reason, whether it is to make it accessible in some way by a search engine, or whether it is to try to process it with the processes of artificial intelligence.

In their celebrated paper On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big?, a group of U.S. researchers sounded the alarm about the risks and criticalities in using so-called Large Language Models (LLMs), language models such as GPT and their derivatives. As they rightly point out, these technologies are not capable of understanding text, but cascade a series of words from previous ones, according to a certain structure and coherence. They are, to use the paper’s analogy, stochastic parrots, assigning a certain probability to the terms to be written. Making this clarification is useful to reduce the hype associated with these technologies, thus to avoid misunderstandings of their use to the general public.

The photocopy was a blurry replica of the original. The same is true for ChatGPT: a blurry copy of the entire web. Passing off an LLM as a substitute for a search engine (as proposed by Microsoft with Bing and by Google with Bard) is wrong and dangerous, because searching for references is not the task it is trained to do. Of course, there are also services that, in addition to the textual response, provide the links used to construct the response, but at that point we might as well use a search engine. On what then does a language model go strong? On what specifically relates to language: translations, summaries and rephrases. These are the activities on which it is trained, although it can obviously show reversals of meaning in particular cases.

What will an AI trained on these platforms think or feel about colonial expansion? What will it answer when someone tries to ask for advice and information about abortion or gender transition, depending on which country it refers to? The answer will always depend on what information, texts and materials were used to train the machine. The point is not to improve or correct the model, the point is that any representation of the world and any form of expression is situated, is positioned in a specific social, historical context and therefore in a specific situation of privilege. Eliminating bias is a meaningless demand, since neutral discourse does not exist. The search for a phantom fairness of AI, aligned with social canons and mores, can only reckon that canons and norms are situated geographically, socially, historically.

The Pentagon estimates that the People’s Republic is at a level of AI development equal to that of the U.S. so much so that the National Security Commission’s final report on artificial intelligence states that “China’s plans, resources, and progress should worry all Americans. In many areas, Beijing has equaled the levels of the United States and is even ahead in some.”

Technopolitical and alternative platform responses to capital must, however, come to terms with the human and environmental costs involved in these technologies, and OpenAI has not disclosed any specific data on infrastructure emissions.

Beyond the Faust and the Hype-Imaginaries of Large Language Text Models

Of these beings (humans and otherwise) it can be said that they have a different geosensing capacity: they perceive the rhythms of the world in ways that, to some, are as far remote as those first hominids we were mentioning. A desire to break through overwrought thoughts, where the mind is caught in unbreakable, encircling infrastructures, is traceable in many poetics of these badlands. This is the place from where we would like to start speculating about the artificial, intelligence, and bodies to come. In that respect we would like to recapitulate the way cyberneticians of the Cold War, philosophers, both ancient and contemporary, contemplated intelligence while, yet, opening this conversation towards cosmic luminescent nests and galactic axes.

Morphic minds

Platforms are the infrastructure of global society. They establish the basic parameters of what is possible, both behaviourally and ideologically. In this sense, they embody the material transcendental of society: they are what make possible particular sets of actions, relationships, and powers.

The choice facing us is severe: either a globalised post-capitalism or a slow fragmentation towards primitivism, perpetual crisis, and planetary ecological collapse.

ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics

If automation isn’t destroying jobs, your doing it wrong!

Aaron peters - Inventing the future

If you are using straightforward language, the products built by these extremely profitable companies have one singular purpose - to collect as much data as possible from the user, while keeping the user in the dark about it, and then use the data to manipulate user behavior

people know what language to avoid when employing Orwellian tactics

Politics and the English Language

For example, Motyl et al. (2017, p. 10) found that their sample of social and personality psychology researchers had the impression that “the field overall might be pretty rotten”.

This study was the first empirical investigation analyzing a large number of psychological articles retracted due to scientific misconduct. Our empirical analyses revealed that the percentage of retractions that was attributable to scientific misconduct (64.84% in PsycINFO) was similar to the biomedical and life-science literature

Scientific Misconduct in Psychology: A Systematic Review of Prevalence Estimates and New Empirical Data

You have made a convert of an opponent in one sense, for I have always maintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work; and I still think this is an eminently important difference.

Correspondence between Charles Darwin and Francis Galton

Some epic “both-sides-are-the-same” from someone who doesn’t appear to know that “enlightened centrist” is an insult directed at him

Towards an Enlightened Centrism

Our brains are wired up in a particular set of patterns for social organization. So it’s no surprise that all kinds of different organizations and their tactics will resemble one another. What really matters is: Are the people in the organization subject to epistemic dysfunction? Does the organization pathologically warp the perceptions and emotions of its people to the point of delusion? In contrast to Drexler et al’s idea from the late 80’s early 90’s, that “hypertext would save the world” from its delusions, social media has just made the organization of information bubbles easier than ever.

HN - The shared persuasion tactics of politics and startups

cultural resistance to bullshit

Inoculate populations through media literacy training

Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.

Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: I stand for consensus?

In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.

Margaret Thatcher

As a founder, you’re not only building a product. You’re building an organization and its culture. If you believe code should be open and transparent, why stop there?

Why being an open startup matters

an inside look at modern open source software development, its evolution over the last two decades, and its ramifications for an internet reorienting itself around individual creators.

over the last twenty years, open source inexplicably skewed from a collaborative to a solo endeavor. And while more people use open source code than ever before, its developers failed to capture the economic value they created: a paradox that makes them just as interesting to reexamine today.

“He told me that code is “anarchist” and “untouchable,” and that it must be able to survive beyond any one person’s desires, or their need to pay rent. “It needs to be something that nobody can take away,” he said. “It’s the system that’s important. If one developer goes away, another will step in and maintain it.” Freedom of code extends to freedom from the people who make it, too.”

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software

If you’re going to speak truth to power, make sure it’s the truth

Margaret Atwood - a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor

The Open Startup trend is a transparency and openness movement…

There’s no official definition yet, and the Oxford dictionary weren’t available for comment, so let’s write one; A product or company which operates in the open and shares their statistics publicly.

All a company needs to declare themselves an Open Startup is to share their metrics such as revenue, users, and traffic. This is usually done on a dedicated page with lots of numbers and charts hopefully showcasing growth, and it can sometimes tells a story of the company

What does it mean to be an Open Startup?

Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology

What Is Human Nature?

One who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but they also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.

You and Your Research - Richard Hamming

The edge of chaos is where life has enough stability to sustain itself and enough creativity to deserve the name of life

M. Mitchell Waldrop

Some years ago Ken Wilber found a way of integrating the central ideas from a wide variety of disciplines, including scientists, engineers, psychologists and even mystics.

If we focus our attention on the external aspects of our predicament, the global context becomes a trap for humanity.

The entire external world is constantly ‘held together’ by interior structures of meaning and value.

human activities everywhere are supported by subtle but powerful networks of value, meaning and purpose that are socially created and often maintained over long periods of time

Integral Futures frameworks acknowledge the complexity of systems, contexts and interconnected webs of awareness and activity. These all influence the behavior of individuals and groups. They also shape structures and events in the physical, social and psychological worlds.

be open to many perspectives and interpretations

engage in depth with the multiple crises that threaten our world and its nascent future

look more deeply into ourselves and into our social contexts to find the ‘levers of change,’ the strategies, the enabling contexts, the pathways to social foresight.

constructive responses to a world currently desperate for solutions to the encroaching global emergency.


Thomas trained many graduate students who went on to become some of the most highly cited and groundbreaking researchers in the field. The internet, cellphone networks, and many other information systems that depend on detecting and evaluating information encoded in electrical or radio signals emerged from the work of his students.

John B. Thomas - modern information age

Students identify with good teachers and value their knowledge highly. This might mean, however, that students might be reluctant to “go against” the teaching of their mentor/hero/professor. to teach transgression; that is, to go against the received wisdom — to test and rebel against it. The scope of such transgression should be wide and include all of a society’s rules, prejudices, and attitudes.

Our political, economic, and technological systems have become mysterious while the real mysteries no longer carry deep meaning and connection with people and the natural world.

Even when not pursued deliberately, education promotes and replicates values. Yet, the propagation of values is typically not designed with the appropriateness of these values for the future in mind.

Public Sphere Project

Basically, both parties in Congress—and legislators in both blue and red states—want to turn the Internet into a China-style police state, where all activity is tracked and tied to government IDs. Even if you trust one party not to abuse this, imagine when the other party gets into power! All of this is being leveraged on a “protect the children” basis where the legislative demands would be ineffective at preventing children from accessing the materials of concern, trample on the rights of adults to use the Net, and actually expose children to more risks from abusive parents. That’s the bottom line.

Congress and the states want to bring a Chinese-style police state Internet to the U.S.

the composition of AI-generated code is similar to a short-term developer that doesn’t thoughtfully integrate their work into the broader project.

Impact of AI on Software Development (Taylor Soper)

Our increasing reliance on digital technology for personal, economic, and government affairs has made it essential to secure the communications and devices of private citizens, businesses, and governments. This has led to pervasive use of cryptography across society. Despite its evident advantages, law enforcement and national security agencies have argued that the spread of cryptography has hindered access to evidence and intelligence. Some in industry and government now advocate a new technology to access targeted data: client-side scanning (CSS)… CSS by its nature creates serious security and privacy risks for all society, while the assistance it can provide for law enforcement is at best problematic…

Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

If we keep following the well-trodden paths that have brought us to where we are, we’ll never get to where we want to go. Schuler and his colleagues believe that we can get out of these ruts, and better yet, they tell us how. This work goes beyond elections and demonstrations, beyond cynicism and business as usual. It asks the much deeper questions: what kind of a world do we want and what must we do to get there?

Technology is driving the future… it is up to us to do the steering

“One day I discovered that John Tukey was slightly younger than I was. John was a genius and I clearly was not. Well, I went storming into Bode’s office and said, ‘How can anybody my age know as much as John Tukey does?’ He leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head, grinned slightly, and said, ‘You would be surprised Hamming, how much you would know if you worked as hard as he did that many years.’ I simply slunk out of the office!

Knowledge accumulates like compound interest

“If others would think as hard as I did, they would get similar results” - Newton

Brains and Courage.

Turn a problem into an asset.

What are the important problems?

Develop reusable solutions.

Sell your work.

The computer age is barely half a century old. Computers have yet to find their Galileo, Newton, or Kepler.

It’s not just luck.

a rhetorical device that diverts attention from a line of enquiry, topic, or suspect

Red herring

Respect has great importance in everyday life.


I ain’t so bright neither

Of Mice and Men

We are currently living through VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) times.

‘No man is an island’ is a well-known phrase, yet in practice, how often do we understand the interconnectedness of everything around us?

Every firm defines innovation in a different way. I enjoy using the four-quadrant model for simplicity:

  • incremental innovation utilises your existing technology within your current market;
  • architectural innovation is applying your technology in different markets
  • disruptive innovation involves applying new technology to current markets
  • and radical innovation displaces an entire business model

this philosophy needs to enter our everyday thinking

strategy in a sustainable way

systems thinking - why it matters for innovation today

that’s what culture was turning everyone into—people without independent thought

Independent thought

One of the characteristics of the 21st century is that we’re investing more in complexity, and things are just getting damn complicated

system thinking is simply thinking about something as a system: the existence of entities—the parts, the chunks, the pieces—and the relationships between them

System thinking is for everyone on this side of the life-death line

it’s true that system thinking is prevalent in STEM fields, Professor Crawley stresses that a tremendous amount of system thinking occurs outside of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. He rattles off a list of examples to illustrate his point: “The legal system is a system, the Constitution is a system, public health is a system, national defense is a system, finance is a system

System Thinking Is the Cognitive Skill of the 21st Century

Let us start by discussing what systemic design is not. Some people who are knowledgeable about systems theories tend to look at systemic design as the application of one or another systems theory or particular methodology to design. However, this is not the case. While systemic design draws from systems theories, our main position is that both domains – design and systems – have something to contribute to each other, and relating the two will (or at least should) result in novel perspectives, processes, ideas and even theories. Systemic design intends to develop multiple new practices based on intersections between multiple perspectives.

there are fundamental principles that form the bases of systemic design that should be re-expressed and further crystallised. This is neither being done to navigate towards less pluralism and variety nor to stop dynamic development. However, to avoid bleeding outside the discourse into themes that have been discussed at length and to let its nature develop organically, we need to establish an a priori platform from which we can launch a discussion instead of spending energy on repetitions, misconceptions, misunderstandings and straw arguments.

What is Systemic Design? Practices Beyond Modelling and Analyses

Of course, developing software with complexity on the level of Ardour’s is never going to be easy, and finding other people willing and able to contribute to such a project is always going to be hard, whether you’re an open source project or a proprietary company.

However, underlying both of those reasons why I wanted to use the GPL was a conviction the access to the source code was critical to both:

  1. giving users the freedom they deserved
  2. attracting developers (or even just “power users”) to contribute to the project

I remain convinced that access to source code is a fundamental part of the “four freedoms” that Richard Stallman has outlined as the basis of the concept of “free/libre software”. But as described at great length and exhaustive detail by Berlin-based electronic musician and developer Louigi Verona, it’s not quite that simple.

Is Open Source a diversion from what users really want?

Too often, accomplishment does not equate to success. We did the work but didn’t get the promotion; we played hard but weren’t recognized; we had the idea but didn’t get the credit. We’ve always been told that talent and a strong work ethic are the key to getting ahead, but in today’s world these efforts rarely translate into tangible results. Recognizing this disconnect, Laszlo Barabasi, one of the world’s leading experts on the science of networks, uncovers what success really is: a collective phenomenon based on the thoughts and praise of those around you.

The Formula - Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

A wicked problem is a problem, usually social or cultural, that is challenging or impossible to solve either because not enough is understood about the problem, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of varying opinions, the economic burden, or the impact of these problems with other problems. For example, poverty is closely related to education, health, and nutrition.

Wicked Problem

a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. It refers to an idea or problem that cannot be fixed, where there is no single solution to the problem; and “wicked” denotes resistance to resolution, rather than evil

Wikipedia - Wicked problem

What is Neo-Cybernetics?

an interdisciplinary movement at the vanguard of systems science, ecology, and futures studies that aims to restore the discipline of cybernetics to revive its foundational legacy.

merging systems thinking, design thinking, ecological thinking, and futures thinking, the movement strives to study evolutionary patterns and emergent behaviors in complex adaptive systems, paving the way for sustainable, equitable, and adaptive futures

What are the objectives of Neo-Cybernetics?

At its core, neo-cybernetics seeks to elevate our collective understanding of the Metamodern age, an era characterized by complex global issues and risks.

  • Bridging Knowledge Across Boundaries

  • Holistic Research and Application

Why do we need Neo-Cybernetics?

In an age of exponential technological growth, wicked problems and unprecedented societal changes, a reductionist approach to the study of systems is showing its limitations. In this context, the need for a holistic, adaptive approach is paramount.


communication, interaction and governance in networks and complex adaptive systems

The term “cybernetics” originates from the Greek word ‘kybernētēs’, which means steersman, governor, pilot, or one who guides. Established primarily in the 1940s and 1950s by pioneers such as Norbert Wiener, cybernetics was conceived as a transdisciplinary study of systems, controls, and feedback mechanisms in natural and artificial systems.

redefining old paradigms to offer a more holistic and contemporary framework, which is tailored for the challenges of the modern world

expertise operated largely within its own boundaries, making interdisciplinary comprehension a nearly impossible task

With state-of-the-art generative AI, we can seamlessly “translate” between disparate domains. It’s now possible to bridge the conceptual chasms between biology and macro-economic theories or compare patterns in neural networks in the context of sociological dynamics. These tools not only break down old barriers but enable a synthesis of diverse knowledge spheres

committed to supporting governments, enterprises, and communities in their transition towards becoming societies 5.0; where harmony between technological potential and humanistic values defines our shared future

the significance of nodes and links, exploring how individual components interact within the larger network structure. In doing so, it unravels patterns, cascading effects, and vulnerabilities. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected — from social networks to technological infrastructures — harnessing insights from network theory becomes paramount to predict, manage, and optimize these complex systems

Neo-Cybernetics Manifesto

According to theoretical physician Markus Schirmer, network theory involves the study of the way elements in a network interact. “A simple way of understanding a network is by assuming that a set of objects are connected by some sort of link,” he explains. “The set of objects may represent, for example, human beings, products, ingredients, diseases, or brain regions, whereas the links are relationships or structural connections.

nodes can also view their edges differently. For example, one person may feel that someone he or she is seeing socially is a close friend. The other party, however, may not believe the relationship is very close. For this reason, charting the connection’s direction, known as the path, as well as its weight is useful in network theory.

What You Need to Know About Network Theory

When we seek to intervene in any system created by someone, it’s not enough to view their decisions and choices simply as the consequences of first-order thinking because we can inadvertently create serious problems. Before changing anything, we should wonder whether they were using second-order thinking. Their reasons for making certain choices might be more complex than they seem at first. It’s best to assume they knew things we don’t or had experience we can’t fathom, so we don’t go for quick fixes and end up making things worse.

Chesterton’s Fence: A Lesson in Second Order Thinking

Conveying how things ought to be should begin with understanding how and why things are the way they are before catalyzing a transition to a future state. Meeting people where they’re at is key

The Responsibility of Design: Adopting a Futures-Oriented Mindset to Support a More Responsible Design Practice

When “the house is on fire,” the focus is on how best to put the fire out as quickly as possible—not the governance of the fire service. Those with the skill and clout to work at influencing the global political economy and global conservation paradigms must do so, but the focus has to be on how we can get on better trajectories and to better outcomes for nature and people now—last week, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

one of the greatest threats to biodiversity conservation is the attitudes and behavior of conservationists. This includes linear and silo thinking; an “experts know best, so experts decide” mentality; scientism with the natural sciences seen as the only way of knowing; top-down approaches telling others what to do; black box methods; and a belief that the answer is to educate “them” and then make them rationally analyze (our) options. All these need to change—and fast.

Delivering these deliberative consensus-building processes involves a great deal of design: who is in the core deliberations; any wider engagement to feed into that; mapping out questions, techniques, flows of knowledge, decision points, and then facilitating to enable points to be taken on merit not the status, power, or behavior of who said what. This encourages greater systems thinking, builds trust and understanding across differences, and—crucially—momentum for change.

Great outcomes can come even when people have very different values and politics if they work together in a principled and collaborative way—not one side trying to educate or change the other but co-designing what change looks

Futures thinking is not a new term nor a hot new take on design thinking. Futures thinking is a “method for informed reflection on the major changes that will occur in the next 10, 20 or more years in all areas of social life, including education”—a method that “uses a multidisciplinary approach to pierce the veil of received opinion and identify the dynamics that are creating the future”

Building radical consensus

Greta Thunberg expresses despair and rage rather than offering solutions.

Gen Z and fears of the future

the first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool

Richard Feynman

The advent of Artificial Intelligence as an integral part of our lives is no longer a prediction, but a reality.

it has profound implications on our interaction with the world, our workplaces, and our economic and organisational structures.

The aim of this framework is twofold:

Firstly, it seeks categorize the diverse perspectives and levels of acceptance individuals have towards AI through the ‘Attitude’ dimension. From fatalists to enthusiasts, each attitude towards AI provides unique insights into how people perceive and interact with this technology.

Recognizing these diverse perspectives fosters an inclusive discourse around AI and its impacts, promoting societal resilience and adaptability in an era of accelerating technological change

Secondly, the framework, through the Literacy dimension, provides a taxonomy to understand where an individual sits in regards to their level of awareness and knowledge of AI systems.

By mapping out the diverse spectrum of AI literacy in the population, from the unaware to the experts, we can gain a clearer picture of the existing landscape of AI knowledge. Identifying knowledge gaps is key to informing where educational efforts should be focused to improve AI literacy across society. Additionally, understanding the varying levels of comprehension can help policy-makers design regulations and guidelines that are in line with the public’s understanding of AI, ensuring their relevance and effectiveness.


we intend to underscore the significance of the collective contribution to the development of AI, and stress that every perspective matters. As AI continues to evolve and impact our lives in myriad ways, it is imperative that its development is informed by a diverse array of perspectives.

We must respect different opinions. The spectrum of views from fatalists to utopians provides us with a wide lens to examine the possible societal implications of AI, helping us foresee potential challenges and address them proactively. Every perspective, whether critical or supportive, adds a unique dimension to the ongoing conversation about AI.

it is within our collective power to contribute to the increase of knowledge about AI. We all have a role in promoting transparency, accessibility, and understanding of AI. This can be achieved through education, open discussions, or the development of user-friendly AI technologies. By sharing knowledge and encouraging exploration of AI, we empower each other to engage critically with this technology, fostering a more informed and resilient society.

We aspire to a society that is not only informed about AI, but also actively engages in discussions about its ethical, social, and economic impacts.

Call to action

This framework serves as a call to action for everyone to contribute to shaping the future of AI. It advocates for inclusivity, diversity, respect, and collective growth, all of which are crucial for navigating our synthetic age responsibly and equitably.

By ensuring a diverse set of stakeholders contribute to the development of AI, like generative models, we can ensure the resultant technology is more robust, fair, and representative of the global society it serves.

Artificial Intelligence Attitude and Literacy Framework (AI-ALF)

Our entire team is trained to respond to a PII incident as if it were a radiation leak at a nuclear power plant.

Hacker News

the EU is mandating that browsers accept EU member state-issued Certificate Authorities (CAs) and not remove them even if they are unsafe. If you think this sounds bad, you’re right. Multiple times, EFF, along with other security experts and researchers, urged EU government regulators to reconsider the amended language that fails to provide a way for browsers to act on security incidents.

eIDAS 2.0 Sets a Dangerous Precedent for Web Security

The public square is privately owned, threatening freedom of speech and democracy.

Declare your digital independence

This means that even when we believe that we are communicating using trustworthy and secure methods, our information and activities may be compromised by security vulnerabilities inserted into systems by governments—often known as “backdoors” because they provide the government with access, but also leave an opening for malicious actors.

Crypto wars

It’s easy to succumb to privacy nihilism. That’s the idea that digital security and privacy are simply impossible. But that’s simply wrong. It is true that trying to protect yourself from 100% of the threats you face 100% of the time is a recipe for failure. But perfection is not the goal of digital security. Each person is faced with different threats—potential events that could undermine your efforts to defend your data.

Surveillance Self Defense: Threat Modeling


Tor is for criminals who want to make illegal transactions free from law enforcement’s prying eyes.


Tor is and can be used by anyone who would benefit from online anonymity: people who do not want companies to market to them based on their browsing data, individuals who live in countries with censored Internet access, journalists who need to protect their sources, or businesses that want to keep their strategies confidential. Without Tor, a user’s location can be tracked whenever she goes online, and normal everyday Internet use creates an absurdly detailed profile of a user’s whereabouts

Tor Myths and Facts

Corporations claim that DRM is necessary to fight copyright infringement online and keep consumers safe from viruses. But there’s no evidence that DRM helps fight either of those. Instead DRM helps big business stifle innovation and competition by making it easy to quash “unauthorized” uses of media and technology.


imitate, iterate, transact

Trevor Bazile

the DMCA has become a serious threat that jeopardizes fair use, impedes competition and innovation, and chills free expression and scientific research.


Security and encryption researchers help build a safer future for all of us using digital technologies, but too many legitimate researchers face serious legal challenges that prevent or inhibit their work. These challenges come from laws such as the Convention on Cybercrime, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, similar state laws, and computer crime laws in many countries around the world.


When the system works, it can be an engine for creativity, innovation and consumer protection. When it doesn’t, IP rights have the opposite effect, giving IP owners a veto on innovation and free speech.

What does that veto look like? It looks like decades of litigation to try to strangle new technologies and services in the cradle, from the phonograph to mp3 players to BitTorrent to podcasting to the next technology someone’s inventing in their garage right now. It looks like lawsuits to shut down political activists simply because they’re using a corporation’s trademarks in a parody site. It looks like a web of licenses, backed up by law, that limit your ability to tinker with, sell, give away, repair and generally use your devices.

Intellectual property

Subscription prices have outpaced inflation by over 250 percent in the past 30 years, and these fees go straight to the publisher—resulting in unbelievable profit margins. Neither the authors nor their institutions are paid a cent, and the research itself—which is largely funded by taxpayers—remains difficult to access, much less repurpose, compare, or share.

Open access

the obscuration of important sociopolitical and material crises by a pathological obsession with language

persuasiveness lies in “educating” the benighted, rather than genuinely listening to what they might have to say

Pathological politics

Library Freedom Project is radically rethinking the library professional organization by creating a network of values-driven librarian-activists working together to build information democracy.


Judge Kathleen M. Williams granted a motion to deny the MPAA the usage of words whose appearance was primarily “pejorative”. This list included the word “piracy”, the use of which, the motion by the defense stated, serves no court purpose but to misguide and inflame the jury.

Copyright Infringement

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

…there is no matter here.

We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace - John Perry Barlow

Catalog all the books in existence

Annas Archive

All agreements aimed at nuclear disarmament and the limitation of nuclear weapons must be preserved, for the sake of life on Earth

Mikhail Gorbachev

This kind of thing is not a good symptom. Obviously it is not desirable that a government department should have any power of censorship (except security censorship, which no one objects to in war time) over books which are not officially sponsored. But the chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the MOI or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.

Any fairminded person with journalistic experience will admit that during this war official censorship has not been particularly irksome. We have not been subjected to the kind of totalitarian ‘co-ordination’ that it might have been reasonable to expect. The press has some justified grievances, but on the whole the Government has behaved well and has been surprisingly tolerant of minority opinions. The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary.

The Freedom of the Press

The role of ensuring Bell ran “better, cheaper, or both” was the full-time responsibility of Systems Engineering.

Bell Labs

Edison built his god-like reputation by dreaming in specific applications. He kept market, resource, and manufacturing constraints in mind from the earliest stages of his projects. Edison dreamed practical, realizable dreams. And when the limitations of component technologies stood in the way of his dreams, he often had the talent to invent new components or improve existing materials. Edison’s biggest dream, the light bulb, mandated that Edison solve a much broader set of problems.

Lessons from history’s greatest R&D labs

It follows that the current state of public discourse can no longer be examined through the lens of misinformation that can be debunked, but as an alternative reality that is shared by millions.

Information Manipulation

it turns out that the amount of supply-chain fraud in maple syrup is actually quite higher than zero. The chain of custody for cars of maple syrup is much less regimented than you would expect that chain of custody to be. There are smaller buyers of maple syrup — not on the scale of you or me, but on the scales like a boutique maple syrup refinery — who just don’t do as many checks as the large producers or suppliers, et cetera, do. So, it is possible to steal millions of dollars of maple syrup and sell it on the black market

Patrick McKenzie

Institutions of learning should be devoted to the cultivation of curiosity and the less they are deflected by considerations of immediacy of application, the more likely they are to contribute not only to human welfare but to the equally important satisfaction of intellectual interest which may indeed be said to have become the ruling passion of intellectual life in modern times.

Out of this useless activity there come discoveries which may well prove of infinitely more importance to the human mind and to the human spirit than the accomplishment of the useful ends for which the schools were founded. The considerations upon which I have touched emphasize-if emphasis were needed-the overwhelming importance of spiritual and intellectual freedom. I have spoken of experimental science; I have spoken of mathematics; but what I say is equally true of music and art and of every other expression of the untrammeled human spirit.

The real enemy of the human race is not the fearless and irresponsible thinker, be he right or wrong. The real enemy is the man who tries to mold the human spirit so that it will not dare to spread its wings

Justification of spiritual freedom goes, however, much farther than originality whether in the realm of science or humanism, for it implies tolerance throughout the range of human dissimilarities. In the face of the history of the human race what can be more silly or ridiculous than likes or dislikes founded upon race or religion? Does humanity want symphonies and paintings and profound scientific truth, or does it want Christian symphonies, Christian paintings, Christian science, or Jewish symphonies, Jewish paintings, Jewish science, or Mohammedan or Egyptian or Japanese or Chinese or American or German or Russian or Communist or Conservative contributions to and expressions of the infinite richness of the human soul?

We cherish the hope that the unobstructed pursuit of useless knowledge will prove to have consequences in the future as in the past.


Replicability is widely taken to ground the epistemic authority of science.

Philosophy of science and the replicability crisis

It was a multi-armed bandit problem. This problem, which, under a different name, had first been studied by the biologist William R. Thompson in 1933, centers on a rather surreal thought experiment. A gambler faces a slot machine (“a one-armed bandit”), except this machine doesn’t have one arm—following some twisted dream logic, it has k arms, arms sticking out in every direction. Some of these arms have a high probability of paying out the jackpot, others are worse. The problem is pulling the arms in an order that maximizes the expected total gains.

The amount of exploration that is optimal depends on the complexity of the problem and the time horizon.

Multi-armed Bandit

Powerful enabling environments usually arise as a byproduct of projects pursuing their own intrinsically meaningful purposes

Deep collaborations between tool-makers and tool-users may support insight through making

Groups researching tools for thought need enough capacity to build prototypes suitable for serious work

Consensus networks quell radical ideas

Deep research requires a slower pace than tech industry work

it’s too easy to let others’ schema and ideas dominate your own

How can you think thoughts which have never been thought before if you’re reliant on others’ thinking?

Without being aware of it, they’ve remained prisoners of those invisible and despotic circles which delimit the universe of a certain milieu in a given era. To have broken these bounds they would have to rediscover in themselves that capability which was their birthright, as it was mine: The capacity to be alone.

That number system represents both a profound work of design and also a profound mathematical insight… This self-similarity is critical to number system’s power. It expresses both deep mathematical ideas (commutativity, associativity, distributivity) and deep ideas in design (abstract representation, parsimony, spatiality).

Creating a subtle, peripheral, and synchronous sense of shared space and context on the web

Ambient Co-presence

”Hacking” is a mode of technical and cultural production. Many undertakings might now be considered variants of hacking, from modding cars to crafting to do-it-yourself projects. A more bounded meaning centers around computer programming. In its most expansive sense, hacking is a mode of engaging with technology: breaking technology down and building it up in a new form to gain skills, to explore, to create a new useful object, or as an expression of curiosity. Rather than focusing on the output—lines of computer code, picked locks, or other artifacts—we could consider hacking as a worldview.

In their early days, free software projects of the 1990s were “experiments in coordination … [They were] exemplars of how ‘fun,’ ‘joy,’ or interest determine individual participation and how it is possible to maintain and encourage that participation … instead of narrowing the focus or eliminating possible routes for participation.” This meant that people who showed up to participate were responsible for cultivating their own routes to satisfaction: finding fun, joy, and interest in the projects. For hackers, cultural and technical artifacts should be left open to allow endless modification, reinterpretation, and re-fashioning toward purposes beyond those for which they were originally created.

Hacking Technology, Hacking Communities

Thus at first sight it seems possible to RESTORE TO ONE without any expenditure of energy. Note, however, that in order to avoid energy expenditure we have used two different routines, depending on the initial state of the device. This is not how a computer operates. In most instances a computer pushes information around in a manner that is independent of the exact data which are being handled, and is only a function of the physical circuit connections.

The simplest class and the one to which all the arguments of subsequent sections will be addressed consists of devices which can hold information without dissipating energy.

Irreversibility and Heat Generation in the Computing Process

In order to predict the future, you have to invent it

The Forecasting Fallacy

Make public data available, protect private data.

Hacker Ethics

Knowledge grows fractally. From a distance its edges look smooth, but when you learn enough to get close to one, you’ll notice it’s full of gaps. These gaps will seem obvious; it will seem inexplicable that no one has tried x or wondered about y. In the best case, exploring such gaps yields whole new fractal buds.

How to Get New Ideas

Computing professionals should therefore credit the creators of ideas, inventions, work, and artifacts, and respect copyrights, patents, trade secrets, license agreements, and other methods of protecting authors’ works.

ACM Code of Ethics

I really think it’s kind of irresponsible now not to use the information from all those thousands of medical trials that came before. Is that very radical?

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Today’s commercial e-books abolish readers’ traditional freedoms. Amazon’s e-book reader product, which I call the “Amazon Swindle” because it’s designed to swindle readers out of the traditional freedoms of readers of books, is run by software with several demonstrated Orwellian functionalities.

The battle for the right to read is already being fought. Although it may take 50 years for our past freedoms to fade into obscurity, most of the specific repressive laws and practices described above have already been proposed; some have been enacted into law in the US and elsewhere…

The right to read

I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.

Wernher von Braun - a highly controversial figure

As soon as it boots, and without asking any permission, Windows 11 starts to send data to online servers. The user’s personal details, location or hardware information are reported to Microsoft and other companies to be used as telemetry data. All of this is done is the background, and users have no easy way to prevent it—unless they switch the computer offline.

Microsoft’s Software is Malware