Father’s Day Forum
Happy Father's Day!
Steven L. Taylor
Sunday, June 19, 2022
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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Have you ever heard the thought experiment where an AI destroys the world, or at least human civilization, in its attempt to maximize the number of paperclips? In its drive towards this goal, the Ai winds up using all the planet’s surface for paperclip factories. And when it runs out of metals, it begins to turn inanimate objects, then plants, animals, and people into paperclips.
Like many thought experiments, it seems absurd on its face. Like an AI with a single goal could be both so sophisticated and mindless at the same time, right? Or so goal-driven but ultimately pointless, right?
But, isn’t it very much like the current business culture that has turned wages, general prosperity, and general well-being into shareholder value?
@Kathy: I read the whitepaper and my thought was that AI may well be Q-Anon. In order to gather resources for the singular task, it needs to persuade people to do its bidding.
A Happy Juneteenth to all.
And a happy Fathers Day as well.
Noted science fiction author Charles Stross regularly writes that large corporate capitalism is, collectively, a slow-moving artificial intelligence.
@CSK: I don’t celebrate Father’s Day. Nothing against those who do, just that it has no meaning for me.
Peter Navarro wants his trail on contempt of Congress charges to be delayed till next year so he can tour to promote his latest book.
The judge set the trial date for this November 17.
Some do, some don’t. My best wishes to both groups.
@CSK: It was a big deal for my ex in-laws. I was happy to let them have my sons on that wkend while I went to TAG.
@CSK: Proving once again that no one is as oppressed as the straight white male in today’s America. Did you hear how they put him in cuff’s and leg shackles when he was arrested? Outrageous! They don’t do that with Islamist terrorists!
Well, he says he needs the book sale money to pay for his defense.
I don’t celebrate any of the greeting card/department store holidays either, but then get in trouble with people (aka parents) who think I should.
@CSK: I guess he should have demanded trump pay up front.
@Kathy: Neither do I (we call them “Hallmark Holidays”) which I warned my wife about right up front. I told her that if birthdays, Xmas, Valentine’s, etc were a big deal for her, she needed to look elsewhere because that just wasn’t me. (I try to remember to say something on our anniversary, but invariably I’m a few days late)
One year she told me that her workmates were horrified that I didn’t give her anything on V Day and that she knew I never would and was quite OK with it. After all, I brought her coffee in bed every morning. That year, I sent a single rose to her at work.
Trump’s grifted $250 million this year from his fake “election defense fund.” You’d think he could spare a few hundred thousand for Navarro.
@CSK: Well, If I had $25o million lying around I surely would share a little. Problem is, trump probably spent it before he even got it.
Spent it on what? He never pays for anything.
@CSK: The Duetsche Bank loans he lives off of.
One swain sent me a gigantic hideously mushy V-Day card. I believe the sentiment expressed therein was “thoughts of you make my heart smile.”
That was the end of it for me.
@CSK: And now they have grandparents day.
I can see that, provided “artificial intelligence” is not necessarily a compliment.
So as not to derail the comment thread on primaries, obligatory (for me) historical anecdote on ranked choice voting:
After the Battle of Salamis, which ended the attempt by the Persians to conquer Greece, the generals of the victorious alliance of Greek cities voted on who deserved credit for the victory.
They all voted for themselves in first place, and for Themistocles in second place.
If you can’t do the time….
I think Charles Stross has quite often used this line:
Corporations are old, slow, AI systems; and unfortunately often indifferent, at best, to human or environmental ethics and limits.
Also a strain of modern democratic socialist thought that sees the democratic state as the necessary regulator and inhibitor of the wilder reaches of corporate capitalism
Trump’s Deutschbank loans, which come due in 2023 and 2024, total $340 million.
Hah! You beat me to it!
He has two lawyers now. I suppose he could imitate Trump and just not pay them.
Saturday, 18 June 2022 at 20:36
Why? Are you ashamed of voting in the Dem primary?
I have voted in Democratic Primary elections since I cast my first ballot for George McGovern in Illinois in 1972. I did not vote in the 1968 election because I was 20 years old. Legal voting age was 21 at that time.
Try another guilt trip.
If you lived in a small town your neighbors would know because they would see you enter the polling place. Welcome to the entire world being a small town.
Makanda Township, Illinois, where I have resided since 1985 has a population of 4100 and dwindling.
My neighbors are either bedridden or dead.
My Old Man
@Kathy: I don’t suppose it is inaccurate to describe it as a thought experiment, but it’s also an actual, existing game.
And by being a game that people play, the player becomes involved, and complicit. This is a powerful thing – the player knows they are in potential space, it’s not real, it’s just a web page – and yet by being the one to push the buttons and make the decisions, one is involved and aware of just what sort of decision one is making and what the consequences are.
And yeah, the metaphor is definitely the point.
@JohnSF: In the Marvel Universe, there is Hexus, the living corporation, a concept that infects a planet, consumes all resources with the production of Brand Hexus products, and rockets to spread marketing materials to other planets to start the cycle anew.
One of the villains in Grant Morrison’s Marvel Boy series.
In addition to Juneteenth and Father’s Day, June 19th is my Dad’s birthday.
He would be 106 today.
Wilmer A. Brown
June 19, 1916-November 30, 2001
@Mister Bluster: Happy birthday, Wilmer. May it be a peaceful one.
@CSK:..One swain sent me a gigantic hideously mushy V-Day card.
I’ve been calling it VD-Day for years.
The damn card was about two feet square. I disposed of it before anyone else could see it.
My eldest has 3 daughters too.
@OzarkHillbilly: I don’t either. Then again, I’ve never been a father, and my dad died almost a decade ago–after protracted suffering with Alzheimer’s. While my dad was alive, I tried send some kind of a remembrance for Father’s Day, though.
Trump wrote on TruthSocial today that the election was rigged and “stollen.”
Stollen. Isn’t that a German fruit and nut bread usually served around Christmas?
@CSK: At the risk of sounding like a Libertarian/Objectivist, he should have thought of that before he got arrested, shouldn’t he have?
@OzarkHillbilly: In Korea, no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day (made it a little hard to find a Korean greeting card, I had to go electronic on the internet), but they DO have Grandparent’s Day (I think ours was imported from there) and Children’s Day *(which is NOT “everyday” as it is here; Korean children have considerably more spartan lives in a lot of cases).
@gVOR08: “If you
can’t do the timeraise the money for your defense…
Fixed that for you. (The state will take care of any problems he has doing the time.)
It has been said that the experiment has worked out in practice to have been government saving capitalism both from and for the capitalists. Whether or not we admit it, we are all “democratic socialists” now….
@CSK: I thought that was “pannettone.” But “the election was pannettone (pannettoned?)” wouldn’t make any sense. (It wouldn’t really make any less sense than “the election was stollen” though, I guess.)
I’m sure if he can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided for him at no cost.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Pannettone is Italian; Stollen is German.
If we included Crypto currencies in the basket of goods used for calculating inflation, we could stop inflation in an instant.
Actually left out a bit of what I was thinking of there.
due to tendency of “evolutionary” pressures in corporations/market systems/political structures toward catastrophic maximizing.
This reminds of something a tutor said to me decades ago, re. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, that his objective was to save capitalism, by using the state to step in where market mechanisms and existing law was failing.
And in a way, it goes back to Adam Smith, who repeatedly stressed the need for the state to establish and regulate markets. And that ultimately successful commerce relied upon ethical and political bases that were prior to the commercial system itself.
Perhaps it’s just the metaphor of the AI that is new; but OTOH a lot of companies are increasingly embedding their internal imperatives into procedural business systems that could become AI systems.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: My old man died a decade plus ago–also after protracted suffering with Alzheimer’s. Sometimes I paid attention to F-day just for him, other times I didn’t. To say we had a difficult relationship, is putting it lightly. But I know he loved me because he never killed me. No matter how many times I gave him reason to.
My one greatest regret, is that I never got him on an over night float trip with my sons. By the time I thought about doing it, he was already over the edge with Alzheimers and totally dependent on my mother.