Wait, Boney M never made it to America?

You people have never heard "Rasputin"? "Ma Baker"? "Rivers of Babylon"?



Yoz boosted


... I dunno, it made sense when it hit me in the shower

Yoz boosted

so we have a student who we asked to train a VAE to generate memes. he was showing us his newest model, which has problems with mode collapse, and was only outputting one thing over and over again (I swear I am not making this up):

"one does not simply make memes"

Yoz boosted

The current climate of tech positivism, that is sustained largely out of a desire to further concentrate wealth, means that almost nobody wants to be a naysayer, the person whose 5 year old prediction is clearly laughably wrong today. But we need people sticking their necks out like that just as much as we need people insisting something *is* possible. "X tech didn't happen because Y reason", eg flying cars, needs to be a much more common and comfortable narrative form for our society.

ME: wait, is this port *mini*-usb? Do I even have any of those any more?


MICRO-USB CABLE: Do not worry, you are among friends. Greta, hide this one in the basement. We look after each other.

ME (peering at like a hundred cable ends, one at a time): I am going to get USB-C converters for every last one of you little buggers and THEN we'll see who's laughing

USB-C CABLES: *cackling in anticipation*

ME: Okay I need one of my ten spare micro-usb cables

MICRO-USB CABLES: *hide from sight, giggling*


ME (5 mins later): okay I have a working alternative

MICRO-USB CABLES (spontaneously parading across my bed): HI THERE ARE TWENTY OF US NOW

EAST BAY CHUMS: Today we're doing a long lazy afternoon-until-late hangout in North Oakland (5 mins walk from Ashby BART) with food and games and comfyness. I'd love to see you; DM for details.

TONIGHT in San Francisco: We'll be at The Liberties (22nd & Guerrero) from 7 till whenever.

Come along and drink/eat silly things with me and much lovelier people. I have too much chocolate. YOU CAN HELP.

(Third event is a lazy afternoon/evening on Sunday in Oakland; DM me for details)

BAY AREA CHUMS: I am doing birthday drinks TONIGHT at Cato's Ale House in Oakland, from 7.

Say the magic phrase, "I'm the one person who saw this on Mastodon" for a free drink or dessert or sympathy.

There will also be events of some kind on Friday and Sunday.


Yoz boosted

Facebook's ex-CSO Alex Stamos:

"[The hypertargeting of ads is] negative for our democracy...Imagine you could afford to send a mailer to every single voter in the country and every single one of them is different. You’re not two-faced; you’re one-hundred-million-faced."

Centralized networks enable hypertargeting of ads. That's one reason why we want to with .


Yoz boosted

@yoz THIS. I keep struggling because as a community organizer my instinct is to just go where the people are. I don't want to organize on/in/around FB but that's where the people I'm trying to reach *are*

I've managed to make do without using the platform for organizing but I'm haunted by knowing there are so many people I could be reaching who aren't being reached because I'm *not* unsing it. 😕

I don't have a solution either, I just extremely feel this.

Yoz boosted

The way you're writing this is touching my heart. I hear you and agree. I'm not on FB anymore myself. But I know why so many people still are. Huge swaths of the queer mutual aid community are on there, despite the flagging and deleting they increasingly face.

Addressing how to get the *most vulnerable* people off FB, and onto a safer platform that fills their immediate, concrete needs, is a bigger priority to me than just railing against its use (as I see elsewhere).

Yoz boosted

Silk woven portrait of Joseph-Marie Jacquard, woven by Michel-Marie Carquillat on a Jacquard loom - France, 1839.

The program for this weave required Carquillat to encode ~24,000 Jacquard punch cards.

The image is fine detailed enough to capture detail like the translucency of the curtains over the window.

This achievement was one of the main things that later convinced Babbage to use punch cards for his Analytical Engine, cascading into actual use in computing later on.

#art #retrocomputing

I've been in this industry for 25 years. I'm more aware than ever of how good people become part of bad machines; how ethical concerns get clobbered by engineering deadlines.

Facebook *is* that bad, and it will get worse.
We can't stop it by ourselves, not properly.
But it doesn't mean we have to go along with it.

If you've read this far, then talk to me. I don't have a solid single answer, but we can make things better. I'd say "we have the technology" but that's the easy part.

Night night.

My brain is seizing up. It's nearly 3am and I have little more to add other than begging, desperately, for a way out of this.

Giving up Facebook should be the easiest thing in the world. But they've become fundamental infrastructure for the support networks so many need to keep going.

Mastodon is great, but it can't replace it all. How do we wind things back? How do we bring the people we love with us?

If you genuinely want to help, then PLEASE do not underestimate the scale of the problem.

I'm not blaming anyone for still having a Facebook account; at least, not blaming anyone for it more than myself. We're victims, but also knowingly complicit.

And at the same time, I've seen so much good through it. Friendships, love, the saving of lives. Last week I saw a friend organise yet another fundraiser for someone in need; she's good like that, and it works. It helps. At least, while we still have money. It's mostly going in the wrong direction, and Facebook is actively helping.

Mastodon/ActivityPub friends: this isn't for you. It's why you've already been here for ages.

This is for those friends on FB who - I desperately hope - click through to read this thread.

Which was your favourite FB corporate scandal? Hiring a PR firm to spread far-right propaganda about George Soros? Conspiring to keep kids running up huge bills on games? Or, y'know, the whole complicity-in-the-destruction-of-democracy thing. It's fascinating to watch.

Yes, of course they're responsible.

CW: writing this after 2am

I've stayed on FB far longer than I should have, because I like being a social person and it's where so many of my friends are.

But the longer I stay, the more I hate it. Not because of those friends - I genuinely love them - but because I'm ever more aware that this friendship is being used to propel a ravenous machine that eats love and shits evil.

By now, this view of Facebook shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Yet so many of us are still there, still feeding it.

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