[my impression of the state of AI in pop culture, snarky, sorry]
RESEARCHER: I have made yet another somewhat interesting way to transform one spreadsheet into another spreadsheet
JOURNALISTS: we're all doomed by robots lol
...which isn't to say that transforming one spreadsheet doesn't affect the world because obviously it does (that's the history of computation essentially, going back to punched cards). it's just the "we're all doomed by robots lol" narrative acts like a weird sink for actual critical thinking about what these procedures are doing
@aparrish it's a reasonable entry level of criticism, because it's the first tentative step past "cooool!" to wondering what the secondhand effects will be. For example, spreadsheet transformation is a traditional entry level job in many industries. Learning for mastery requires periods of rote activity. What happens to mastery when robots take over those parts? (I don't know, but I can imagine feelings of doom & gloom about this)
Tangent about spreadsheets Show more
(This isn't a criticism because I think the era of spreadsheets being super important is over, but I find it interesting that spreadsheets used to be super important.)
It's not just that computation starts with spreadsheets. Instead, written language begins with spreadsheets, as does commerce. And, ideas like zero, negative numbers, hedging, insurance, & futures are basically the result of spreadsheet innovation rather than the other way around.
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Unrelated to spreadsheets: do you know anything about the historical association between magic and gambling?
This is implicit in names like Faust, & there's definitely a set of folk-magic traditions around gambling charms, but I've seen a handful of *hints* about gambling being implicated in the western occult tradition outside of divination & I haven't been able to find anything substantial.
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It really got brought to my consciousness by two things: one is the way that Umineko no Naku Koro Ni uses magic & gambling (essentially, to use chaos magic terminology, the anxiety involved in large bets provides gnosis: it's somewhere inbetween sacrifice and "fortune favors the bold", where risky bets cause themselves to work out by virtue of the risks involved) & that game with the magic squares.
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@enkiv2 quinn's "early mormonism and the magic world view" talks about early american scrying/treasure hunting in some detail, which I think is related! but largely no, this hasn't been a focus on my research, though a google scholar search is hell of evocative (incl. this paper http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0361368277900319 not explicitly *about* gambling but written by someone *named* gambling which seems magically serendipitous to me)
@aparrish man can we talk about how in some contexts the robot uprising has already happened and it is Not Good?
So much of governing and policy is done by algorithms and those algorithms are racist and classist and they have real effects on real people and generally they are not great. This is ignoring the advertising industry and the effects of algorithmic capitalism and basically I might be a data scientist but that shit scares me.
JOURNALISTS: We will be conquered by the robot uprising
TWITTER: Hurry up with it, then
SCIENTISTS: Don't worry about the robot uprising
TWITTER: Goddamnit, first we got our hopes up for the giant meteor, and now this
SCIENTISTS: Global warming is still happening
TWITTER: Not fast enough