µblog - archive for 2023-03 🏳️‍🌈

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A waste of space and alcohol

Friday, 31 March 2023


🔗 Against longtermism


It’s fascinating to me that people can people who subscribe to “longtermism” are basically the villians/antagonists of several Ken MacLeod novels.

Stone Canal and Cassini Division – the transhumanists who are unleashed after the US/UN are defeated go mad within their simulation constructs in orbit around Jupiter, transform the planet partly into computronium before unleashing interplanetary electronic warfare on humanity (killing billions). They’re only defeated by a string of terraforming comets routed through a wormhole from a solar system many lightyears away smashing into the planet.

Newton’s Wake – the amoral Carlyle crime family, rising to prominence on Earth in the ruins of a hard takeoff singularity, employ (or enslave, in his opinion) a digital construct of one of the nerds who engineered the singularity. He’s found in orbit around a red dwarf, according to the narrator as punishment by his ascended self for being so insufferable.


🔗🐦 Check out this WOKE thread by FT reporter John Burn-Murdock: “I’m not sure people fully appreciate how dire the US life expectancy / mortality situation has got”


🇸🇪 jag är inte längre medlem i Svenska kyrkan men uppskattar att dom uppmärksammar dagens Transgender day of visibility. Det hedrar dom!

Thursday, 30 March 2023


I really suggest reading RUSI’s report on Russia’s intelligence efforts in Ukraine before the invasion (linked yesterday, direct PDF link).

It’s a fascinating piece and sheds light on a lot of decisions that seemed weird at the time. Basically, the FSB had recruited “super-agents” who ran their own networks of people who probably didn’t know they were ultimately working for Russia. Putin put the invasion plans in motion too soon, so these traitors didn’t really have that much of an effect, while the military component of the invasion was predicated on Ukraine being paralyzed by their actions.

So what does this mean for countries a bit outside Russia’s “near abroad”? I don’t believe Sweden, for example, is in imminent danger of Russian invasion even in the longer term. But Russia is probably using this playbook right now (just as in every country) where it’s funding agents who recruit on their own, acting as cutouts for Russian money and influence.

Hopefully this report gives Western security services new ideas and leads.


Okay, so that AI letter signed by lots of AI researchers calling for a “Pause [on] Giant AI Experiments”? It’s just dripping with #Aihype. Here’s a quick rundown. 🧵

🐦 @emilybender


🔗 NotTheOnion: Mythic Computer: Origins

Modern software engineering is rotten. I should know — it’s been my livelihood since I graduated from college in late 2019.

There’s so much in this piece… but we were all young once.

This just struck me as weird, as a part of a freshman comparison of Japanese and “Western” cultural traits:

Faustian building techniques birth disasters like the Marshall fires in Louisville, Colorado (the town I grew up in) where a thousand poorly-built homes burned, and they also make repairs more akin to total redoes. These defects don’t matter though, because infinite spatial and temporal resources mean that the marginal cost of replacing a burned-down house to the Faustian civilization as a whole approaches zero. To the Island metaphysic, however, one thousand homes burning could be catastrophic because of spatially-dictated material constraints.

Tokyo alone endured both the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923[1] that killed an estimated 100,000 people, mostly due to firestorms, and the Operation Meetinghouse bombing raid in 1945 that also killed around 100,000 people. This bombing was of course a reaction to Imperial Japan’s attempt to secure for itself the “Faustian” resources the author decries.

Additionally, it’s “the West” that reveres older buildings, something that’s not really a thing in Japan, at least for residential buildings.

Update, Fri 31 March 2023: the young man in question has a lot of… questionable sources and ideas, but I’ll cut him some slack for being, well, young, and also quite sheltered. Hopefully he reads someone other than Oswald Spengler, Hackernews, and Reddit.

[1] in the same immediate timeframe, Japanese police, military and vigilantes murdered 6,000 Koreans and Japanese socialists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kant%C5%8D_Massacre


🇸🇪 LOL Smålands nation i Lund har varit woke längre än Hanif Bali har varit i livet.

Wednesday, 29 March 2023


🇸🇪 spoke too soon

Januari skrev jag:

vi ska kanske vara tacksamma att Orbán inte fick för sig att kräva förbud av HBTQ-personer i Sverige för att släppa in oss i NATO. Billström hade kanske gått med på det också.

Det ser ut som om Orbán och hans hejdukar inom Fidesz har haft mer is i magen än Erdoğan och väntat ut processen lite för att nu ställa obefogade krav på Sveriges.

SVT Text: ”Ungern: Tre skäl att dröja med ja”

Skälen är att Sverige underminerar relationerna till Ungern, en ”moralisk överlägsenhet” från svensk sida, ”brist respekt” och att relationen mellan länderna försämrats över åren.

Inget av det här berör inträde i NATO. Det ända som gäller är att Sverige ställer upp till Ungerns försvar om Ungern angrips, något som Orbán antagligen inte räknar med eftersom han skulle välkomna Putin med öppna armar.

Återigen – om ett medlemskap i NATO kräver att vi tummar på vår självständighet och våra rättigheter ska vi inte gå med.


🔗 Preliminary Lessons from Russia’s Unconventional Operations During the Russo-Ukrainian War, February 2022–February 2023


🔗 The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel: Artificial Intelligence and Neoreaction (2017)

Tuesday, 28 March 2023


🦞 there’s a discussion on lobste.rs about creating a new llm tag to enable filtering of stories about Chat-GPT and friends.[1]

My take:

We’re clearly on the upswing of a hype cyclecusp of the Singularity. The best thing to do is to go down to the pubblock the ai tag, have a pint, and wait for the whole thing to blow over.

[1] tags on lobste.rs work a bit differently than on other sites. On the one hand they (attempt to) define what is on topic for the site. On the other, users can either subscribe to them or filter them. I don’t have hard numbers but I suspect more people filter than subscribe.


Reading about the Norwegian ammo factory not being able to expand because a TikTok data center is sucking up all the power prompts me to believe that when AI takes over, it won’t because it will design weapons to kill us, it will be by denying humans the resources to grow food and get clean water. We will starve in the heat exhaust of raw oil-fuelled data centers producing generated cat videos for automated likes.


as bad as the AI kudzu infesting lobste.rs is, at least it’s not as bad as on hackernews

Monday, 27 March 2023


I kind of wish I was more up to date on the current research on consciousness, intelligence etc. There are way too many confident takes re: AGI flooding the zone right now.

Update, Tue 28 March 2023: this looks like an ok primer: https://consc.net/papers/facing.html (via)


when techno-optimists talk about ML models, they invariably raise every AI experience to the maximum level of personhood it can support and lower every human experience to the most basic technical concept that can even sort of encapsulate it


Sunday, 26 March 2023


🔗🔭 Unforgettable Shoemaker-Levy 9

Saturday, 25 March 2023


🔗 The carbon footprint sham

The real message, underlying the staged tear and feather headdress, is that pollution is your problem, not the fault of the industry mass-producing cheap bottles.

Friday, 24 March 2023


🇸🇪 📺 otroligt trist att SVT inte vill/har råd att betala format-kostnaderna för “Bäst i test” (Taskmaster). Om samma gäng fortsätter i TV4 kanske det är värt att fortsätta titta, men risken är stor att TV4 sätter sin egen prägel och t.ex. sätter in makarna Haag 🤮

Uppdatering Babben och Sundin följer med (eller rättare, TV4 anlitar samma produktionsbolag som tidigare.)


What’s funny about AI doomsters is that they’re clearly in the grip of what can be classified as a religious mania but they’re culturally averse to being called religious.

I don’t believe intelligence is an emergent property of computer systems, but it’s clear that religious sentiment is an emergent property of human minds.

When a computer gets religion, then it’s time to worry.


🔗 Kim Newman reviews John Wick 4:

The effect is rather like binge-watching all of Chuck Jones Road Runner/Coyote cartoons – it’s just one joke told over and over, with variations, but eventually it becomes funny again and just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it ramps up three or four more times.


🔗💸 Rich Bank Dumb Bank: Was Signature, the other bank in the Great Panic of 2023, a failure or a patsy?

Thursday, 23 March 2023


Sucks to be an IT admin in Lebanon but not having to wait another hour for iftar maybe makes up for it:

🔗 TIME.IS: Lebanon postpones DST on short notice

The government of Lebanon announced today that Lebanon will not start daylight saving time on Saturday as previously planned, but instead wait until 20 April.

The postponement is intended to make fasting easier during Islam’s holy month Ramadan.

Update, Tue 28 March 2023: OMG it turns out not everyone was on board with this so Lebanon has been living with two timezones, with some orgs using one for parts of the business and another for others. This really takes the cake, and I’ve seen a lot of DST cock-ups.


Wednesday, 22 March 2023


Molly White with a good explainer around the recent modest BTC price bump, along with more background about Crazy Balaji’s Big Bitcoin Bet:


Monday, 20 March 2023


It’s worth noting that the same Putin-friendly media outlet that was mad that Hersh’s version of Nord Stream was no longer pushed stated that “the upcoming Russian victory in Bachmut” would force Biden to … do something. So the continued Ukrainian resistance there is derailing some desinfo planning.


🔗 Molly White: The venture capitalist’s dilemma


Happy to see Richard Kadrey (his “Metrophage” made a big impression on me back in the day) seeing eye to eye to me re: Zevon’s “Desperados”. It is a great song about L.A. Whether it’s the best is not up to me to say, Richard knows the city better!

🐦 https://twitter.com/Richard_Kadrey/status/1637845535280209920


Bitcoin price prediction scorecard

Crazy ole Balaji Srinavasan is betting BTC will hit 1M USD within 90 days, presumably because the dollar will hyperinflate.[1]

That reminded me that I used to have a watchlist of similar predictions on the old version of my BTC price tracker[2]. Let’s see how those went.

Let’s add @balajis to the list:

Update, Tue 21 March 2023: I’ve added a live diff between the current price and the 1M USD target here. Currently he is ~972k off.

Update, Sat 06 May 2023: the bet was settled on 02 Mar. The world is safe from hyperinflation… for now.


Prices are from Yahoo!, I’ve used the “Adj. close” value for the day in question.

The percentages are (actual-prediction)/prediction*100.

[1] https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1636827051419389952

[2] https://github.com/gustafe/btcpriceticker/blob/master/ticker-old.cgi#L1237

Sunday, 19 March 2023


🔗💸 How Everyone Is Getting The Story Of Silicon Valley and Signature Bank Completely Wrong

Saturday, 18 March 2023


Darkly comedic to see Western Russia-friendly alt-media not realize that the attempt to use Seymour Hersh as a cutout for the Kremlin narrative on the Nord Stream sabotage is now old news – it’s time to get on the elite Ukrainian SEAL team train! They’re still mad no-one is following up on Hersh’s crazy story.

They’re still wedded to the idea of Truth – something Russian propaganda has given up on long ago. There’s no Truth, there’s only Stories, and there are Stories for all sorts of audiences. As long as they point to Russia’s enemies, they are useful.

Friday, 17 March 2023


🔗🖥️ Something Pretty Right: The History and Legacy of Visual Basic


A coffee lifehack

I enjoy coffee but am not fanatic about it. My wife wants really strong coffee and lots of it. So we use a French press which makes it both strong and plentiful. We use an electric kettle to boil the water.

Because I enjoy milk in my coffee but also want hot coffee, since time out of mind I have been warming a half cup of milk in a microwave for 30s. I call this “kaffe olle”, a play on the Swedish ad campaign for café au lait in the late 80s which was bankrolled by the dairy producers.

This Spring we ordered a new fancy microwave, and a relative moved and needed a microwave. So they got our old one. However the delivery of the new one was delayed, so I was faced with a week without a (convenient) way to warm my milk. Bummer.

On the same day we were to take delivery of the new microwave, I realized I could use a small amount of leftover hot water to pour into a small bowl, in which I had placed my cup with milk. So while waiting for the coffee in the French press to steep to completion, the milk was warmed by the water that had been used for the coffee.

I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out before.

(it’s not perfect, the cup does get wet on the outside, but it’s easy to dry off before drinking.)


seriously considering filtering out the ai tag on the Seafood Site

Thursday, 16 March 2023


🔗 History’s Fool: The long century of Ernst Jünger


🇸🇪 mysterie löst

Varför heter kryddpeppar allehånde på danska? Därför att det är en översättning/calque av engelskans allspice.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023



Just some CSS noodling, please disregard this message.

This section is formatted as monospace.


Sub-blogging again because I really don’t want to add a pile of sodden creosote-impregnated lumber and strawmen to a raging dumpster fire over on the crustacean site–

nerds are always writing about the loss of the small personal website, how they’re all replaced by social media silos, how important it is to revive that ecosystem[1].

And yet there are other nerds who are very interested in GATEKEEPING those few sites that exist. You have to implement dark mode. You cannot use any number of labor-saving technologies, from Javascript to web fonts, for reasons of ideological purity, or saving resources, or both.

Imagine the reaction if you’ve lovingly handcrafted a site you like, maybe spent hours researching best practices and learning about web design and CSS, and you’re ATTACKED by some rando with a GNU-shaped axe to grind.

No wonder people choose Facebook.

[1] never as big or important as they remember or have read about, but that’s not important


Some people still see Andrew Mellon as someone worthy of emulation, rather than the one who got the Great Depression fabulously wrong:

🔗 Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin says US should have let SVB die

“The US is supposed to be a capitalist economy, and that’s breaking down before our eyes,” [Griffin] told FT.

“There’s been a loss of financial discipline with the government bailing out depositors in full.”

It’s been a tough couple of years for libertarians, first collective action was what saved societies from COVID, then they had to run to Momma Yellen for help after they tweeted a bank run.


🔗🇳🇴 Flere feil om norsk innblanding i Nord Stream-sabotasjen


🔗 Modern Font Stacks

Great resource for quickly choosing a font style that looks similar across devices. Changed the CSS for this site based on it.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023 ("ᴨ day" according to septic date formatting)


🔗 The Russia That Might Have Been

Monday, 13 March 2023


Silicon Valley VCs today, after a weekend literally freaking out on Twitter and then being rescued by the Fed: “our destruction of Silicon Valley Bank was good actually”.

Sunday, 12 March 2023


Of course it behooves the VC crowd to paint the SVB collapse as a bigger deal than it is, it will take the focus off the fact that their buddies in the bank made a really bad bet in 2018:

🔗 FT: Silicon Valley Bank: the spectacular unravelling of the tech industry’s banker

The new financial leadership began to shift an ever greater percentage of excess cash into long-term fixed-rate bonds, a manoeuvre that would appease public shareholders by bolstering its overall profits, albeit only slightly.

But it appeared blind to the risk that cash pouring in was a symptom of low interest rates that could reverse if they rose. Central banks often increase rates to tamp overexuberance among investors, decisions that generally lead to a slowing of investment in speculative companies such as technology start-ups. SVB’s bond portfolio was exposed to rising rates and so too were its deposits.

“We had enough risk in the business model. You didn’t need risk in the asset/liability management profile,” said the former executive, referring to the bank’s ability to sell assets to meet its liquidity needs. “They missed that entirely.”

Saturday, 11 March 2023


Frankly surprised the Captains of Industry in Silicon Valley aren’t rolling up their sleeves and deploying their own capital to help their startups weather the Silicon Valley Bank default. Instead they’re bleating about government bailouts. 10 years of bloviating over the failures of the US gov and one little roadbump and they fall apart. Pathetic.


pace Mellon:

LIQUIDATE STARTUPS, LIQUIDATE VC FUNDS, LIQUIDATE PRIVATE CAPITAL. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.


people keep saying “this is an extinction level event for startups” as if it’s a bad thing

Friday, 10 March 2023


wow, so happy to relive the 1930s - rising fascism, bank runs, rampant homophobia and antisemitism


good friend is late 20s. in shape, has £10,000 a year, lives in a fine house with some of the finest woods in the country. but he’s consistently ghosted, ignored, or told “you’re the last man in the world i could be prevailed upon to marry.” modern women are broken.

🐦 @kukukadoo

Thursday, 09 March 2023


Today in apt NATO reporting names: “AS-24 KILLJOY air launched ballistic missile”.

Wednesday, 08 March 2023


It looks like Mr. Musk had a bad case of Halli-tosis.


Words you don’t want in the same sentence: “disruptive” and “nuclear power plant”.


🇸🇪 Finansminister Elisabeth Svantesson (M) avfärdar förslaget om att införa ett pristak för mat i Sverige. –Det är fel väg att gå helt enkelt, säger hon.

SVT Text

Andrew Mellon, Hoovers finansminister, då Depressionen närmade sig:

[…] liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.

Tuesday, 07 March 2023


I dunno, next time you drop $44B on a website, maybe do some due diligence to find out whether it’s “brittle” or not.


🇺🇦 #just2023quotes:

Prigozhin’s plea to the Russian General Staff and suggestion that he will stay with Wagner until the bitter end suggests that he is working to position himself as the ultimate martyr for the ideological cause that Bakhmut has come to represent in the Russian milblogger information space.

ISW: Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 6, 2023

Monday, 06 March 2023


🔗🇸🇪 Emil Åkerö: Drag Race Sverige utmanar SD:s bild av Sverige

Friday, 03 March 2023


A rare example of a submission originating on HN generating much more discussion on Lobsters, especially as it’s not programming-related: HN&&LO link.


I recently b0rked my Fedi integration with a post with more than 500 characters, and figured it would be nice if #Emacs could highlight lines longer than a certain number of characters.

Of course Emacs can do that.

Thursday, 02 March 2023


💻 I really don’t get the hype around Nix.


Jordan Pee-terson has Ascended to the status of Reply Guy to the effing Pope.

Wednesday, 01 March 2023


Lol Twitter timelines are entirely empty (web view). My console client is getting updates so the API is up and running.


🔗🐦 E.W. Niedermeyer: Good morning, today is March 1st and it is the fourth anniversary of the passing of Jeremy Banner.

Jeremy wasn’t the first person to die in a Tesla with Autopilot active, but his crash is one of the most shocking Autopilot deaths because it shows how little Tesla cares


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2023 59 41 61 47 38 27 39 49 29
2022 3 8 14 23 126 44 47 22 37 40 113 43
2021 21 7 15 7 8 14 1 3 13 13 4
2020 16 13 18 9 7 10 2 7 11 3 18 8
2019 5 21 10 7 23 13 8 10 11 6 12 6
2018 14 28 24 10 9 7 18 7 14 4 7 2
2017 13 26 15 14 21 13 3 13 7 7 25 18
2016 21 56 35 28 36 27 17 8 28 21 13 6
2015 16 10 32 13 11 14 4 16 33 34 44 11
2014 16 37 9 18 17 12 23 28 42 24 9 12
2013 67 88 44 50 33 23 18 19 51 52 47 37
2012 22 56 10 54 95 48 42 48 42 54 36 60
2011 63 41 51 54 38 37 45 31 66 35 23 19
2010 152 188 129 154 111 117 53 115 114 125 102 89
2009 234 246 270 280 270 278 106 164 224 199 186 147
2008 45 121 135 178 146 154 158 154 145 151 133 169
2007 3 1 44 76 38 30 27 76 110 182 68 30
2006 20 14 5 2 9 5 1 12 11 12 4 13
2005 1 1 10 8
2004 1 2

Generated on: 2023-09-29T13:02:49+00:00

Copyright © Gustaf Erikson 2004–2023. All rights reserved.