Monday, June 27, 2016

Edward Snowden Spotted in New York City

Andrew Rice explains:
Edward Snowden lay on his back in the rear of a Ford Escape, hidden from view and momentarily unconscious, as I drove him to the Whitney museum one recent morning to meet some friends from the art world. Along West Street, clotted with traffic near the memorial pools of the World Trade Center, a computerized voice from my iPhone issued directions via the GPS satellites above. Snowden’s lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, was sitting shotgun, chattily recapping his client’s recent activities. For a fugitive wanted by the FBI for revealing classified spying programs who lives in an undisclosed location in Russia, Snowden was managing to maintain a rather busy schedule around Manhattan.
A couple nights earlier, at the New York Times building, Wizner had watched Snowden trounce Fareed Zakaria in a public debate over computer encryption. “He did Tribeca,” the lawyer added, referring to a surprise appearance at the film festival, where Snowden had drawn gasps as he crossed the stage at an event called the Disruptive Innovation Awards. Wizner stopped himself mid-sentence, laughing at the absurdity of his pronoun choice: “He!” Behind us, Snowden stared blankly upward, his face bouncing beneath a sheet of Bubble Wrap as the car rattled over the cobblestones of the Meatpacking District.
Snowden’s body might be confined to Moscow, but the former NSA computer specialist has hacked a work-around: a robot. If he wants to make his physical presence felt in the United States, he can connect to a wheeled contraption called a BeamPro, a flat-screen monitor that stands atop a pair of legs, five-foot-two in all, with a camera that acts as a swiveling Cyclops eye. Inevitably, people call it the “Snowbot.” The avatar resides at the Manhattan offices of the ACLU, where it takes meetings and occasionally travels to speaking engagements...

Watch this, pretty cool:

Marc Feldman R.I.P.

Dr. Marc Feldman ran to become the 2016 Libertarian Party nominee for president of the United States. He finished fifth in the voting. He should have come in first. Featured here are excerpts from the Libertarian Party Debate that display a sampling of his views. Feldman was found dead in a hotel on June 22, 2016.


Also see: Candidate for Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination Found Dead


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Perhaps Trump Will Find a New Term--But He Won't Change the Policy


Is Artificial Intelligence Sexist and Racist? A White Guy Problem?

Kate Crawford, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City, on the advisory board, of the Information Program at George Soros' Open Society Foundation, and  co-chairwoman of a White House symposium on society and A.I., has taken to the pages of the, presumably white, but gray lady, The New York Times, to warn that there are:
 very real problems with artificial intelligence today, which may already be exacerbating inequality in the workplace, at home and in our legal and judicial systems. Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many “intelligent” systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to.
She included this as part of her anecdotal evidence:
Nikon’s camera software...misread images of Asian people as blinking...
What the hell is this? Does Crawford seriously think Nikon is a technologically self-hating  company?

The company is based in Tokyo. The president is Kazuo Ushida:

No doubt, as artificial intelligence programs are developed they will have to be tweaked in many ways.

But for Crawford it is all about straight white male superiority--despite her using one example coming from a company based in Asia with an Asian president. 

She continues:
 Sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination are being built into the machine-learning algorithms that underlie the technology behind many “intelligent” systems that shape how we are categorized and advertised to.
Currently the loudest voices debating the potential dangers of super intelligence are affluent white men, and, perhaps for them, the biggest threat is the rise of an artificially intelligent apex predator.
But for those who already face marginalization or bias, the threats are here.
Yes, of course,  artificial intelligence software glitches always go in favor of straight white male superiority and against "marginalized groups," according to Crawford. We would never see, for example, an artificial intelligence virtual assistant glitch that accidentally provides us with a transgender assistant.

But wait.

In the same edition of the white gray lady, Henry Alford reports on his experience using a virtual assistant:
I recently used a virtual assistant named Amy for 10 days....

Hailing from a New York start-up called, Amy...will set up meetings for you. Once someone has agreed to meet with you at a certain place, you cc Amy, and independently of you she’ll go back and forth with the other person to determine a mutually convenient time, and then help you to put that time on your calendar....

Allowing someone to do your vetting requires trust. I applaud for including, at the bottom of each of Amy’s emails, the information that Amy Ingram is a form of artificial intelligence...

The strangest moment I’ve had with Amy, though, came when I had her set up an appointment for a phone interview with an employee who also uses the company’s virtual assistant — in this case, Andrew — for making appointments.

After Amy and Andrew had set up the appointment, I asked Amy why I didn’t see the appointment on my calendar; strangely, she wrote back as Andrew. I thought, not only is my assistant invisible, unpredictable, occasionally moody, and incorrigible — she is also trans.
Bottom line: It is really a stretch to think there are built-in in artificial intelligence glitches that go in only one direction.The real pre-programming problem is in the Kate Crawford-types who see at all times sexism and racism in the most bizarre places and only sexism and racism.


Support for Trump Plunges, Giving Clinton Double-Digit Lead

A national Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Hillary Clinton with a lead of 51 percent to 39 percent over Donald Trump.

Trump has bee  shooting himself in the foot. Now that Roger Stone/Paul Manafort are in charge will they be able to keep him on message. so that he doesn't go unpredictable until he is in the oval office?


Trump Issues Top 50 Facts About 'Crooked Hillary' Paper

Donald Trump has released a 35-page document criticizing Hillary Clinton.

 The document, titled "Top 50 Facts About Hillary Clinton From Trump 'Stakes of the Election' Address," goes through 50 claims Trump has made against her.

He announced the document via a tweet:

Renewed Calls for Texas Secession after Brexit Vote

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trump Dines with Rupert Murdoch

Donald Trump dined Rupert Murdoch and his wife Jerry Hall for dinner at his golf course in northeast Scotland on Saturday, reports The Mail.

Murdoch, 80, arrived at around 5:15 with wife Jerry Hall, 59, a former model who was previously married to Rolling Stone rocker Mick Jagger.

BREAKING George Will is leaving the Republican Party

Conservative columnist George Will has announced he is leaving the Republican Party because of Donald Trump. He says it is no longer his party when house leader Republican Paul Ryan can endorse Trump

Here's an Update on Ron Paul's September Conference

Sign up here: 

A Koch Brother's Wine Bathroom

The non-political Koch brother, William Koch. seems to really know how to enjoy life---and I'm told has never harassed the Mises Institute.


Trump's Former Campaign Manager: Trump’s VP List Down to Four Names

Sarah Palin Has Gone Total Neocon Rogue: Urges US Leave the United Nations

Another neocon failure courtesy of Bill Kristol, who was once her control and has obviously lost any influence.

A great Facebook post by Palin.

"If you can't control Sarah Palin, you shouldn't be in the control business." --Irving Trotsky

HEROIC Thomas Sowell Smashes Charles Murray's Guaranteed Income Plan

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?
By Thomas Sowell

Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what "we" can do for "them." After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from "not very much" to "making matters worse."

Undaunted, people in a number of countries are coming up with new proposals that are variations on the theme of government-provided income — which amounts to relieving people from personal responsibility.

Yet even some conservatives and libertarians are coming up with proposals for more "efficient" versions of the welfare state — namely direct cash grants for life to virtually all adults, instead of the current hodgepodge of overlapping bureaucratic programs.

Charles Murray recognizes that "some people will idle away their lives" under his proposal. "But that is already a problem," he says, and therefore is no valid objection to replacing the current welfare state with a less costly alternative.

Everyone recognizes that there are some people unable to provide for their own survival — infants and the severely disabled, among others. But providing for such people is wholly different from a blanket guarantee for everybody that they need not lift a finger to feed, clothe or shelter themselves.

The financial cost of providing such a guarantee, though huge, is not the worst of the problems. The history of what has actually happened in times and places where people were relieved from the challenge of survival by windfall gains is not encouraging.

In both England and the United States, the massive expansion of the welfare state since the 1960s has been accompanied by a vast expansion in the amount of crime, violence, drug addiction, fatherless children and other signs of social degeneration.

Maybe that was just coincidence. But there have been too many coincidences in too many very different times and places where people were relieved from the challenge of survival by windfall gains of one sort or another.

In 16th and 17th century Spain — its "golden age" — the windfall gain was gold and silver looted by the ton from Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere. This enabled Spain to survive without having to develop the skills, the sciences or the work ethic of other countries in Western Europe.

Spain could buy what it wanted from other nations with all the gold and silver taken from its colonies. As a Spaniard of that era proudly put it, "Everyone serves Spain and Spain serves no one."

What this meant in practical terms was that

Read the rest here.