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Posts from March 2023

Truth Is No Defense Against The Charge

Shared Article from Reason.com

The crusade against ‘malinformation’ explicitly targets inco…

The legal challenge to censorship by proxy highlights covert government manipulation of online speech.

Jacob Sullum @ reason.com

“This was the University of Miami’s second conference on conspiracism.”

Shared Article from Reason.com

This just in: Conspiracy theorists not quite as kooky as previou…

Contrary to a much-cited psychology paper, people who believe Princess Diana was assassinated are not likely to also believe she is still alive.

Jesse Walker @ reason.com

“But my point here is what a pleasure it is to run these tools locally.”

What I’m Reading: Danny O’Brien, Oblomovka, 16-17 March 2023:

Shared Article from Oblomovka

Danny O'Brien's Oblomovka » Blog Archive » Only fans

My PC died yesterday, screaming in pain as its brain heated over boiling point. I went out to Central Computer...

Danny O'Brien @ oblomovka.com

. . . AI certain[ly] seems to be generating massive crop surpluses: Whisper was literally a side project for OpenAI so that they could use it to parse and suck down video sources for GPT’s maw. I find this to be just one of the indications of an age of wonder. I’ve spent years worrying that open source was falling behind commercial speech recognition tooling, and OpenAI just chucked one over the transom as favor. Oh, and it also translates, tolerably, and sometimes accidentally.

But my point here is what a pleasure it is to run these tools locally. As Simon, now AI whisperer to the world, notes, there’s a substantial difference from feeding an LLM through a grate in OpenAI’s door, to having it run under your own control, and/or passing around the model among friends and submitting it to the processes of open improvement. . . .

— Danny O’Brien, only fans
Oblomovka, 16 March 2023.

Shared Article from Oblomovka

Danny O'Brien's Oblomovka » Blog Archive » some fire in me …

So I’ll keep this one short: it feels like I’m getting back into my stride, and I managed to knock out 2000 words on cognitive liberty and decentr…

Danny O'Brien @ oblomovka.com

The PC was always intended as a machine that augments individual abilities. . . . In this way of thinking about digital tech, the personal computer is an extension of your brain and its abilities. Its memory is to help you remember; its processing power is there to help you think faster; its network connection is for you to reach out to others; its interfaces are to connect more closely to you. It is yours in the same way as your hands belong to you, as your eyes, as your imagination.

Something has taken us from that tradition. . . .

— Danny O’Brien, some fire in me yet
Oblomovka, 17 March 2023.

Tell Me How This Ends

March 19, 2003:

My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support — from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.

To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed.

The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military. In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military — a final atrocity against his people.

I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.

We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people. And you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done.

Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly — yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.

Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.

My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.

May God bless our country and all who defend her.

— Televised Address by George W. Bush, President of the United States
March 19, 2003.

Shared Article from WhiteHouse.gov

President Bush Addresses the Nation

In an address to the nation Wednesday night, President Bush said, "My fellow citizens, at th…

George W. Bush @ georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov

March 19, 2023:

Twenty years after, with hundreds of thousands dead, with Missions Accomplished and trillions of dollars spent and ancient cities yet torn apart by walls and bombs and fire, with an invasion and a quagmire occupation and a drone war and two of the most hideous civil wars in the history of the modern world — twenty years after, this preemptive war, this war to disarm Iraq, this war for homeland security, this war for Iraqi freedom, this war of choice, founded on politicized panic and hysteria-driven intelligence failures, on unspeakable arrogance and opportunistic lies — this war that set fires burning in Iraq, in the Middle East and across the world, fires that still aren’t put out — this war remains the worst political act, perhaps the single worst thing that the American government has done in my entire lifetime.

War is stupid. War is brutal. War is not a weapon you can aim. War is never over. This war is a debacle, a source of deep and lasting shame, corrosive to everything it has touched, a curse upon our politics, and a permanent, scarring damage to human well-being in the world.

I would wish, piously and fervently, that we may never see its like again. But twenty years after, we haven’t stopped seeing it yet.

Shared Article from the Guardian

A bloody delusion: how Iraq war led to catastrophic aftermath in…

The 2003 invasion’s legacy reverberates in the emboldenment of Iran, Islamic State’s violence and the disintegration of Syria

Martin Chulov @ theguardian.com

Shared Article from The Intercept

The Architects of the Iraq War: Where Are They Now?

They’re all doing great, thanks for asking.

Jon Schwarz @ theintercept.com

Shared Article from HuffPost

Petraeus in 2003: "Tell Me How This Ends" -- and He Still Doesn'…

What will end up being the most famous quote of the Iraq war? I have come to believe that it might be Gen. Petraeus' once-obscure 2003 remark: "Tel…


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