Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

What is the Facebook “scandal” about?

with 20 comments

It appears to be all about Trump, people who hate Trump trying to blame someone for Trump winning, and this week the blame is on Facebook.

“Black hat” internet marketing has been rampant since the early 2000s, and hardly anyone one has paid any attention to it. For example, all social media are full of bots and the owners of such media platforms were too lazy to do anything about botting until bots were blamed for Donald Trump winning the election. And I can assure you that Instagram (the only big social media platform I currently use) is still full of bots.

There was a lot less outrage when millions of credit card numbers, passwords, and email addresses were stolen from various companies. All that we are talking about here is data gathered from an app that lets people take a bullsh** personality quiz.

* * *

Black hat internet marketing, however, has a big impact on the validity of libertarian economics. Libertarians believe the amount of money you make is exactly equal to how much you contribute to the economy, but how does it contribute to society by using black-hat cheating methods to boost yourself (as an influencer) or your brand on social media and the internet and thereby make a lot of money from such black-hat cheating?

* * *

This article at The Hill is a must read. Basically, Obama’s people did the EXACT SAME THING that Cambridge Analytica did, but Facebook didn’t care because Obama was the good guys.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 21, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Things that Instagram is ruining

with 64 comments

Female friendship
Backpacker culture
Our brains
Our lives

And some people think Instagram isn’t worth blogging about. Instagram is worse the global warming!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 20, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Why Instagram is important

with 18 comments

When I wrote about Instagram on Friday, some comments said I should write about more important stuff.

Well I say that Instagram is pretty important A long time back I predicted that in the future, when most jobs are replaced by automation, people would be paid to play World of Warcraft. That was really a stand-in for people getting paid to do stuff they’d be doing anyway. Instagram didn’t even exist when I came up with the World of Warcraft idea.

We already do have the phenomenon of people making money from this stuff. You have people in China working as “gold farmers” in World of Warcraft, professional League of Legends players, people making a living livestreaming themselves playing videogames on Twitch. And of course, in social media, you have people making a living posting stuff on Instagram.

If Instagram becomes a more important source of future income than playing videogames, and women are much better at gaining engagement on Instagram then men, then the future is biased in favor of women.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 18, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

To become an influencer on Instagram, you have to be female

with 100 comments

They found that on average, female Instagram users get five times the number of likes than male users (578 vs 117). They also found out that the posts female Instagram users publish get a third more comments on average than posts made by males. (170 compared to 113).

It does not end there. Hopper also found out that males are 10 times more likely to like and/or comment on female users posts than those of other men, which is not surprising at all. When it comes to content posted by males, only 13% of the likes and comments were made by other male users.

Society is so incredibly biased against men.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 16, 2018 at EDT pm

What I REALLY think about moving to Mars

with 101 comments

There’s absolutely no PRACTICAL reason to move to Mars, and a lot of practical reasons NOT to move there. Travel to Mars is ridiculously expensive, it’s not clear that returning from the Martian surface is in the cards so it may be a one-way trip. You can’t go outside without a spacesuit (Mars is close to being an airless vacuum), so you have to live in caves or bubbles. It could be a lifetime living in cramped quarters, and if something goes wrong, technically (like the ventilation system or the heating stops working), then everyone in the colony dies. Plus no one knows the long-term impact of living in a low gravity environment. Will the colony become self-sufficient before people on Earth get tired of spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year on re-supply missions?

The reason why you might want to live on Mars is to give your life meaning, because you’d be participating in something bigger than yourself. You would be dong real value-creating work (like farming food that you need to live) instead of spending all day going to bullsh** meetings. And because everyone who lives there will have been carefully selected, you will avoid the problem we have on Earth that half the people are stupider, more violent, less cooperative than average. The extreme difficulty of getting to Mars means that you won’t ever have to worry about a bunch of Palestinian refugees showing up and demanding citizenship.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 12, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

Who wants to move to Mars?

with 59 comments

Elon Musk, speaking at SXSW, projects Mars spaceship will be ready for short trips by first half of 2019:

In the immediate term, Mars will need Glass domes, a power station, and an assortment of basic living fundamentals, he cautioned. After the infrastructure is complete, “then really the explosion of entrepreneurial opportunity [will begin], because Mars will need everything from iron foundries to pizza joints,” he said.

Cargo flights beginning in 2022. The future that Robert Heinlein promised me is finally coming.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 11, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Great American inventors?

with 102 comments

What’s wrong with these pictures?

That can’t possibly be the result of natural search algorithms.

Remember what I wrote a few days ago about how big tech companies will use their power to influence us in a liberal direction? It’s already happening.

* * *

Comments suggest, and it makes sense, that this could be the natural search result based on the huge interest by “authoritative sources” in promoting black inventors, while no one cares that much about inventors in general.

This is not the 1970s when there was that Schoolhouse Rock video that praised the most famous inventors, all of whom were white.

Still pretty crazy that Thomas Edison doesn’t show up until the 18th photo.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 20, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

The future of AI-based free-speech suppression

I think this issue is really huge and isn’t being taken seriously enough by conservatives.

The means by which people discover things on the web are controlled by a few huge corporations that are run by liberals who hate Trump voters. There is Google which also owns YouTube in addition to the search engine, there’s Facebook which also owns Instagram, and there’s Twitter, and everything else is too small to matter.

Scott Adams, famous Trump supporter, was shadowbanned by Twitter.

I personally am shadowbanned by Instagram right now, so I know how angry it makes one feel that a huge company has resorted to such a sneaky way of silencing you. The Instagram shadowban is relatively easy to detect right now by logging into another account. I foresee that they could be more sophisticated about it in the future. Instagram (owned by Facebook) could tie accounts together based on common sign-ins from the same IP address or device ID, requiring you to log in from a completely unconnected account to see a shadowban.

Algorithmic discovery, plus smart AI that can detect bad speech (alleged racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, with very broad all-encompassing definitions) can lead to very effective shadowbanning of anyone the elites want to silence.

Republicans, while they still control the government, should break up these huge tech monopolies. But they are too stupid to see the future like I do. They’d rather cut those monopolies’ taxes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 16, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

The NEW digital divide

Remember the old days when op-ed writers worried that poor children were being left behind because they didn’t have enough access to computers?

Well now, things are reversed. An op-ed writer frets that poor children are being left being because they spend TOO MUCH TIME using computers (including smartphones) and not enough time doing healthy activities.

Why can’t poor people ever behave the right way? It’s almost like they’re an entirely different social class and can never be reformed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 15, 2018 at EDT am

Dos Toros, the cashless Chipotle

When a new Mexican place opened near me, I was optimistic that it would serve more authentic Mexican food, like the kind of food I remember from Arizona. But instead, I discovered it’s just a Chipotle clone. It’s so similar to Chipotle that I can see no reason to favor one over the other.

There is one thing about Dos Toros that’s different, and it has nothing to do with the food. Dos Toros is the first food place I’ve ever encountered that doesn’t take cash. If you don’t have a credit or debit card (or maybe Apple Pay or something like that), then you’re not welcome at Dos Toros.

Even though the credit card companies probably take about 30 cents from every $10 burrito purchase, Dos Toros believes they save money by not taking cash. What are the benefits of not taking cash?

1. Credit cards are faster. (Dos Toros doesn’t require a signature. I believe that credit card companies allow no-signature transactions for amounts under $25 or $50.) This is important during the busy Manhattan lunch hour.

2. No time spent counting cash at the end of day and taking it to the bank. Everything is automated! (Another example of automation taking away jobs.)

3. No possibility of theft by employees or criminals.

4. Prevents homeless people and other destitute types from purchasing stuff. While normally, businesses don’t want to lose any customer, some customers aren’t worth the hassle. Probably, a person who doesn’t have some sort of credit or debit card is the type of customer who isn’t worth the hassle.

Is there a need for Bitcoin when existing non-cash payment methods are already better than cash?

How long before cashless merchants become the norm and not a weird exception? According to a recent NY Times article, many other places in Manhattan are doing it. I guess I don’t get out enough.

* * *

Who doesn’t have a credit or debit card?

1. People who officially are called the “unbanked.” Approximately the bottom 3% of the population. Probably, people you don’t want in your store.

2. Minors! However, the the trend is that parents are giving credit cards to their children, so this will probably become the norm in the future when we move to a cashless society.

For now, there are hardly any minors in midtown Manhattan, so this is not a problem for that Dos Toros location.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 5, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

%d bloggers like this: