Wednesday, January 16, 2019

"The Rise of Alt-Tech": a conversation with a cryptocurrency entrepreneur on overcoming corporate Internet censorship, Patreon style

Dave Cullen, of Computing Forever (in Ireland?) interviews Bill Ottman in a half-hour video “Overcoming Censorship: The Rise of Alt-Tech”   So I’ll call this a movie (not a coma).

The speakers review the Patreon situation (that exploded Dec. 6 with the banning of Sargon of Akkad) and note that Patreon’s behavior is controlled by Stripes in the payment system (others say MasterCard, who are paired up with Stripes); yet Patreon cannot be transparent in how it is influenced. The idea of "manifest observable behavior" was reneged on. 

They also discussed how these big companies became ideological after becoming big – because liberal globalism and inclusiveness is best for their own growth – hence they have recently been tied to the Democratic Party, not the old Reagan Republicanism.  They’re left with trying to blackball those whose association seem to tie them to populism, which is indeed dangerous.
Ottman (from Minds) suggested that users start getting more used to decentralized processing, cryptocurrency, and P2P, which of course has been around for years (but remember Sean Fanning’s Napster).  Ohio, he said, accepts state taxes in cryptocurrency. Yet there have been some issues, as when Coinbase banned  the personal account of Gab’s found

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"Will Article 13 Kill the Internet?": attorney looks at how the EU Copyright Directive works even outside the EU

Today’s “Movie” will be a 2-hour-16-minute superchat by attorney Lior Lesig ("YouTuberLaw") , titled “Will Article 13 Kill the Internet?” It offers the hastag “#SaveYourInternet”, under the channel “Legal Dissent”.

This discussion refers to Article 13, which along with Article 11 (the Link Tax) are very controversial and disturbing proposals that are percolating in the European Union, as part of the proposed EU Copyright Directive, and are likely to go into effect in most countries by the end of 2020 at the latest.

Article 13 would hold platforms (like YouTube) responsible as the speaker for any copyright infringement from users.  Various versions of the proposal limit the exposure just to “larger” commercial platforms (social media companies) and claim to recognize Fair Use but give platforms no way to protect themselves from users except to limit the content to larger users whom they know well.

Content originating outside the EU, not going through newer EU protocols, would likely be blocked in the EU, even though that could probably be circumvented by VPN’s.

Blogger, for example, probably would have to suspend EU country specific TLD’s for users who weren’r prescreened by their rules. 

The whole measure seems to be an exercise in protectionism, trying to enable legacy media companies to fend off low-cost competition from newbies. 
The first part of the video is a summary of the Article 13 provisions and shows the logical contradictions within the wording.

Monday, January 14, 2019

"Could Ceres Be Home to Alien Life?": SEA video

SEA offers an 11-minute video “Could Ceres Be Home to Alien Life?

Ceres is the largest asteroid, close to 500 miles in diameter, with one third of the mass of the asteroid belt – so it may be termed a minor planet.

It has one mountain, which may be a cryovolcano, and apparently an underground ocean, and a considerable amount of nitrogen locked in ammonia, which offers the possibility of organic chemistry around the bright spots.

It would have very low gravity.

Wikipedia: attribution: By NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA -, Public Domain, Link

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Mikel Wisler's workshop: "Screenwriting for Short Films"

Mikel Wisler does a workshop (April 2016) on “Screenwriting for Short Films: How to Structure Your Plot

Wisler presents a trailer for “Parallel”, a sci-fi, before explaining how the Internet – especially YouTube – have changed our expectations of short film.

He describes the three act structure for storytelling.  This is the proverbial beginning, middle and end, with a drop-off at the climax.

He mentions the idea of setting up the “rules” for your world, like inside an O’Neill Cylinder.  You need a provocative or exciting incident very quickly.

Wisler’s website is “Stories by the River”.

The key point for a short film occurs at about 34:05.
I wonder how his remarks apply to Carter Smith’s “Bugcrush” (2006).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

"Cat in Automatic Escape Room", normally dangerous fun for people

I’ll give a cat video tonight, to demonstrate cat intelligence.

That is, “Cat in Automatic Escape Room”.  The first 6 minutes shows the cat solving the puzzles; then the creator of the escape room explains it.
Mammals that hunt prey for a living have problem-solving abilities that resemble some of human capacities.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Andy Warhol's "Empire", sped up by a factor of 64, only one shot in the 8-hour film

I don’t recall having heard of Andy Warhol’s single-shot eight hour movie “Empire”, comprising only a shot of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, in black and white.

The video above shows the film sped up by a factor of 64.
Brenda Cronin, in the Wall Street Journal, describes a screening at the City Hall Cinema where a melee broke out after ten minutes.  Tickets were $2?

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

"MasterCard Is the Final Boss": how globalization may have led payment processors to try to suppress conservative of even hyperindividualistic speech (and crushing Patreon)

The 40 minute documentary “MasterCard Is the Final Boss”, animated, by ShortFatOkatu , lays out a quite chilling theory of why payment processors, most of all MasterCard, are behind so many of the recent de-platformings.

He explains how Mastercard links “inclusivity” to “data” and even filed for a patent to use data to predict future political events (like Brexit).  Critical is the idea of “digital identity (at 20:30).

A financial institution’s future business growth means having more consumers, so it pays to be inclusive of groups that might otherwise be at odds with each other (such as LGBT and Muslims must both be included enthusiastically).  MasterCard also admits that it pursues political activity that advances its future profitability, which generally includes more immigration and more attention to developing countries, pretty much the opposite of Trumpism and right wing populism. It even includes participation in philanthropies or other activities from the workplace (even like kiva) that would tend to cause more overseas inclusion.  Therefore it may have a reason to pressure others into “charitable” activities that would support its own future business model (such as Facebook’s trying to get users to run donation buttons from their own personal pages, which might amount to conditionally compelled speech). 

The video also looks to a dystopian future where DNA prints could be used to exclude “undesirable” people from the financial system.

This sort of aggressive consumer globalizing has encourage the labeling unpopular people as “alt-right-adjacent” or as sympathetic or encouraging others to engage in anti-inclusive activities – which is why people like Milo and Sargon of Akkad "had to go" (as "alt-right-linked" even if not that extreme themselves).   I think this explains why Google and the progressive Left were so offended by James Damore (and Charles Murray, as well now as people like Jordan Peterson), whose ideas make moral sense from an individualistic or “personal responsibility” perspective but confound those who want to leverage identarianism for future political or economic growth.  Murray, though, doubles back a bit when he encourages a certain amount of tribalism or eusociality. Introverted people, who tend to be more individualistic and more conservative, don’t fare well with this setup.

I can remember at ING-ReliaStar in Minneapolis in the late 1990s when inclusivity was promoted but then was so benign.  Supporting diversity cost nothing then.