Climate activists see surge in support following German raids
Following Wednesday’s raid targeting 15 properties affiliated with members of the group in seven German states, the activists called for people to join protest marches in several cities, including Berlin and Munich.
The rally in the German capital drew several hundred people on Wednesday evening, making it the largest to date, Last Generation said.
… will always be opt in.
‘Always’ is a long time. No one knows what the future holds, and the statements are not exactly helpful if they want to build trust imo.
And even if you opted in, it’s somewhat strange to say that “governments only issue subpoenas in the case of a serious act like terrorism or one involving drugs.” In many countries you are obviously a ‘terrorist’ nowadays if you protest for climate change (e.g., in Germany), if you protest for democracy instead of monarchy (UK), if you protest to end the war (Russia) or if you simply criticise the government (China).
So I’m not sure who this ‘average person’ is who doesn’t get ‘subpoenaed every day.’
No one knows what exactly would happen as it would be the first-ever default on federal debt, but the consequences would likely be severe and it’s almost irrelevant where you live and what you do for a living. Asset managers around the globe -e.g., your pension fund, your insurance- would suffer heavy losses. Especially countries like China and Japan would suffer given as they are the two largest foreign investors in US debt (together they hold more than 20% of all US credit held by foreigners, around 2 trillion dollars).
Interest rates -for public and private debt such as your mortgage or commercial loans- would likely rise across the globe as asset managers focus on risk, and if a nation like the US defaults on its public debt, this must certainly be seen as a very strong risk event.
World trade would suffer. China’s exports, which contribute a fifth to its GDP, depend on a strong US market (China’s largest trading partner is the US) for their own growth and job creation. And so do other countries.
Some countries especially in the global South would or could no longer use the dollar as a replacement for their own weak currencies, which would further accelerate a chain reaction.
If the US government doesn’t agree on the matter soon, the Secretary of the Treasury could principally decide to continue paying bond holders and thus avoiding a technical default for a certain period (I’m not sure how long this is and can’t find it quickly). But even this would harm the US and global trade irreversibly in the long term imho.
I could continue endlessly on this, but in a nutshell: We need a lot of change in global economics and politics, including a new currency regime, but we’ll certainly never need something like a debt default, so let’s hope the change comes without such a chaos. And I’m very convinced it will. I don’t think the US will default on its debt. It’s a safe bet that everyone knows that there would be only loosers and no winners.
The cited report (as pdf here) says:
The typical rescue loan by Chinese banks requires interest rates of 5 percent. These rates are […] considerably higher than the average IMF [International Monetary Fund] rate, which has been around 2 percent for non-concessional lending operations over the past 10 years. Other multilateral institutions, including the world bank, offer even lower rates for budgetary support.
We see historical parallels [of Chinese activities] to the era when the US started its rise to a global financial power, especially in the 1930s and after World War 2, when it used the US Ex-Im Bank, the US Exchange Stabilization Fund and the Fed to provide rescue funds to countries with large liabilities to US banks and exporters […]
There is a good report by Lighthouse, a Dutch media collective, about the families falsely accused by their state. There’s a high number of similar cases like the one of Prof. Torley’s, and such ‘false positives’ will always happen as they are inherent to such analyses.
The point for me here is that this guy from Microsoft likely knows that (or, in case he doesn’t, there are certainly a lot of experts at MS who know it as we can reasonably assume). What I don’t understand is that executives get often away with such statements, journalists rarely raise the issue of biases these models have. I feel that is not understood by the masses, and companies and governments exploit that use it against the people.
Ron DeSantis Explodes When Asked About His Role in Guantánamo Torture
Two former detainees have called out DeSantis specifically for his role in the unbearable situation at Guantánamo. One, Abu Sarrah Ahmed Abdel Aziz, told The Washington Post he is “100 percent” certain he spoke to DeSantis multiple times. Abdel Aziz spoke fluent English and was trying to report mistreatment claims to JAG officers.
Another former inmate, Mansoor Adayfi, said he saw a photo of DeSantis on Twitter in 2021 and recognized the governor immediately. “It was a face I could never forget. I had seen that face for the first time in Guantanamo, in 2006—one of the camp’s darkest years when the authorities started violently breaking hunger strikes and three of my brothers were found dead in their cages,” Adayfi wrote in an essay for Al Jazeera.
Adayfi said he shared a photo of DeSantis with several other former inmates, and they all recognized him from Guantánamo. Adayfi vividly remembers DeSantis watching from behind a fence as he was force-fed, “smiling and laughing with other officers as I screamed in pain.”
This is very impressive. I would have tons of questions, though, as I don’t understand :-)
How did the device know that he accepts the call? He didn’t do something as far as I am aware.
And how did the device know that he wants the translation into French, or that he wants a translation at all?
He says that it’s private. But how? Doesn’t have the device sync with other data, e.g., some health data base (regarding the chocolate example)? Where does the data sit, in the cloud or on the device? Meaning, does the device also work offline or do you need a cloud (or a network)?
And how does the device learn and store new data (e.g., that he ate a chocolate)? And when he eats the chocolate, does this go into some database? If so, who controls this data?
I am wondering whether this technology could enable communication with non-human species. There’s a fair evidence from research that animals have someform of intelligence, e.g., the paper posted yesterday. I mean, if this decoder can be trained on an individual human being’s brain activity, why not on any non-human being’s?
A lot of research has been going on for some time around “intelligence” with some books published in the last 10 or so years. There is an interesting long read reviewing some of these books.
From AI to cephalopods, a new strain of “nature writing” explores the frontiers of non-human sentience […] Octopuses are having a moment. So are slime moulds and honeybees. Mushrooms are in vogue. After 250 years of humanity (well, some of humanity…) confidently atop the great pyramid of being, we in the west are becoming more aware that we might, perhaps, have company.
It’s all written in the linked article and this thread already imo, but as I just stumbled about this:
If you post any content to the Bluesky Web Services, you hereby grant Bluesky and its licensees a worldwide, perpetual […] licence to use, reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, sublicense …
That’s from BS’s Terms of Service.
And this is somewhat at the other end of the spectrum: Texas governor decried for ‘disgusting’ rhetoric in wake of mass shooting
Republican Greg Abbott condemned for calling […] victims of Friday night shooting in rural Cleveland ‘illegal immigrants’.
The victims, which included a young boy and two women who were shielding children from gunfire, were all from Honduras.
After reading this site (btw, they appear to be using Cloudflare for their decentralized service) it doesn’t change anything. They indeed “may soon be able to migrate”, may “federate soon”, and all that, but it simply isn’t. It is a centralized service, and they promise once again that this time everything will really be better.
ActivityPub has a over 20k different independent instances, mostly federating with one another. BlueSky has one, and if you try to set up an independent one, it won’t federate.
Yes, and the current owners have no economic incentive to change that. It’s a project backed by financial investors, which means they’ll want to get back as much money as possible as soon as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not some “venture capital bashing”. It’s their full right to earn their money back and do with their companies whatever they want. If I were a financial investor, I did the same (what is ignored in many discussions on this is the fact that the vast majority of VC investments fail due to their high-risk nature, but that’s a different story). I just argue that if you want a distributed and/or decentralised system, you likely need a different kind of funding and a more decentralized form of decision making.
it decentralizes the cost to the central authority by pushing data load onto volunteers
the sad reality is that people will buy the hype
I have been discussing BlueSky some time ago with a friend of mine, and we soon agreed exactly on these two things. This is an excellent article, thanks for sharing this.
If you ask ten people about their opinions on anarchism (or any other form of political or economic thought), I’d say you get ten different answers - at least. That’s my experience.
Democracy is a good step in the right direction, but what does that mean? Even North Korea claims to be a democratic republic, China bears the term “Republic” in its name, Iran has a parliament, but these countries are dictatorships where people have nothing to say, and where power and capital are as concentrated as in the worst forms of neo-liberal capitalism.
I firmly believe that we need the best ideas from different philosophies as none of them is able to solve real issues, no matter how great thinkers their creators often were. On my list: a little bit agorism, a bit Austrian school of economics (not exclusively, but especially its theory on money, e.g., by Carl Menger and Ludwig Mises), a bit behavorial economics. We can learn from Silvio Gesell, Bernard Lietaer, and so many others such as those who did research in very small niche areas like Elinor Ostrom. It depends what problems we want solve.
It may go in the direction of some form of anarchism I would say, but not in its pure form.
Edit: I should say that I am not part of the Beehaw team, so this is not an “official” statement. I should have made that clear, sorry.
it is time for me to walk the walk and change funds
We all should do this, although it is going to get very hard as investments in fossil fuels (and all other investments) are highly concentrated.
For example, the world’s 2 biggest asset managers, Vanguard and Black Rock, account for 17% of all global investments in fossil fuels. 50% of the total institutional investments in fossil fuel companies are held by just 23 investors. One new study is here.
The same two AMs -Vanguard and Black Rock- are also the two biggest shareholders of Google, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta, Apple, and Microsoft, as well as many other multinationals across practically all industry sectors.
The concentration in the asset management industry has increasingly become concerning and appears to have accelerated since the financial crisis 2007/08 for various reasons (e.g., there’s a growing trend to passively managed portfolios, which is basically a good thing imo, but it puts AM’s fees under pressure, which is why they further concentrate, which in turn increases asset price volatility, which also means higher systematic risks, …).
I am also not a fan. “Resulted in people teaching to the test, rather than teaching to the material” as you say has already been a problem before AI and I agree that it is about to get worse with this. Another point is that psychological and emotional changes that occur during childhood and adolescence may differ from child to child. Will there be sone ‘gentle pressure’ to ‘meet’ some data? And what does it do to children if the teachers looks at the data instead of just talking to them?
I’m not an expert for this, but I feel very uneasy. It seems an education system preparing you for a job at Amazon or so.
Is this good? I personally find it scary and wouldn’t want that, especially if
for parents who don’t want their children using such platforms, opting out is not always straightforward
as the article says.
And I’m wondering Why Are Silicon Valley Executives Sending Their Kids to a Tech-Free School?
For those interested in the case, the two human rights defenders wrote and released statements prior to their sentencing: Here are Xu Zhiyong’s and Ding Jiaxi’s statements.
It is high time we start codifying at least some protections into law
Yes, it’s sadly true.
For the issue you described above you wouldn’t necessarily need license plate scanners as it might be done with "correlation analysis" using CCTVs.
China’s government, which has been the most aggressive in using surveillance and AI to control its population, uses co-appearance searches to spot protesters and dissidents by merging video with a vast network of databases.
[In the US] no laws expressly prohibit police from using co-appearance searches […], “but it’s an open question” whether doing so would violate constitutionally protected rights of free assembly and protections against unauthorized searches.
In Europe, Asia and Africa the situation is similar to the US afaik, which means police departments and private companies have to weigh the balance of security and privacy on their own.
It would be a start but not helpful if it stops there. The surveillance in China and its social credit system is a desaster for the people and much worse. A ban in the US doesn’t help the people over there.
Edit for an addition: Iran to install cameras in public to spot women wearing no hijab
There is also https://beehaw.org/c/finance just fyi.
I am wondering whether the Streisand effect is already here, but am not sure whether the Chinese government would care. And it’s not only China but also the US which doesn’t fully cooperate with the UN as I have read recently. There appears to be too much politics, too much national interest on all sides.
More data transparency would not only help scientists to better understand the origin of the virus but also help to fight future pandemics. I am not an expert in this field, but I guess more international collaboration would be beneficial for the entire globe (not in the least because, as you suggest, there’s no country to blame for as such an outbreak can happen anywhere, anytime).
Yeah, mistake corrected. Thanks.