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I finally wrote down one of the reasons I’m anti-crypto(currency — still staunchly pro-cryptography for general use) https://degrowther.smol.pub/20220615_cryptocurrency

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One of history’s great “you are SO CLOSE to getting it” moments.

By the end of 1864, the Confederate States of America were running out of men to recruit for their army. The supply of white men of military age had been exhausted. They were already pressing boys and old men into service, but even with these they couldn’t replace all their battle losses.

Desperate for men, Robert E. Lee floated a proposal that scandalized the South: enlist slaves, with freedom to be granted at war’s end to all who volunteered.

As you can probably imagine, this prompted a lively debate among Southern leaders. One example is this letter dated January 8, 1865, sent by Confederate general and former governor of Georgia Howell Cobb to James Seddon, the Confederate Secretary of War.

Cobb, unsurprisingly, vigorously opposed Lee’s proposal. But he did so in a way that put him SO CLOSE to getting it:

“If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong.”

https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/letter-from-howell-cobb-to-james-a-seddon-january-8-1865/

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I smell a rat. Sure, it’s good to examine biases that can shape subjective decision-making, especially if those biases tend to lead to unjust outcomes

But “eliminate bias: be objective!” is a non-starter like 95% of the time. The whole point of understanding things like implicit and unconscious bias is objectivity is almost always impossible for decisions involving humans

If someone proposes a system to make objective decisions about humans, bet against it being fair or just. It’s much more likely it reduces some sources of bias in favor of all new, better-hidden ones. And now you get to claim objectivity and absolve yourself of responsibility! :blobcoffeegrump:

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Verb Riot

http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/c839b0d2d6b6417787b1/verb-riot.html

An excellent essay from Chris Crawford about how we've let the GUI get out of hand on our devices and how we've had to learn a whole new language to interface with our devices.

#design #interfaces #gui

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https://fortune.com/2022/06/10/elon-musk-tesla-nhtsa-investigation-traffic-safety-autonomous-fsd-fatal-probe/

> On Thursday, NHTSA said it had discovered in 16 separate instances when this occurred that Autopilot “aborted vehicle control less than one second prior to the first impact,” suggesting the driver was not prepared to assume full control over the vehicle.

> CEO Elon Musk has often claimed that accidents cannot be the fault of the company, as data it extracted invariably showed Autopilot was not active in the moment of the collision.

Sigh. 🤦‍♀️

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"Computers are an inherently oppressive technology" by Hugo Landau https://www.devever.net/~hl/ruthlessness

Great essay. I've thought about this a lot as more and more bureaucratic processes are digitized, and when they inevitably break down, the beleaguered employees can only say, "Sorry, this is just how the system works."

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New blog post: "The collapse of complex software" https://nolanlawson.com/2022/06/09/the-collapse-of-complex-software/

Some thoughts on how complexity creeps in to software, and whether we can learn anything from anthropology about it.

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Hi, I’m gwil. I’m a programmer, illustrator, and father of two.

I used to work at a war crimes tribunal, a few e-commerce places, and am now using my practice to build alternative distributed #p4p systems.

Right now I’m working full-time on Earthstar, a FLOSS tool for offline-first, small, undiscoverable networks. https://earthstar-project.org

I also used to have the time to make a lot of odd-format, narrated webcomics like this one: http://gwil.co/peaches/leader.

Thank you for letting me in here! #introduction

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If your religion thinks my being queer is a sin, I'm actually ok with that. As long as you understand that if I don't believe in your religion, I'm not obligated to follow its rules. And as long as you thinking I'm a sinner doesn't lead you to try to cause me actual harm (which would include you trying to turn your faith into law)

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"So what?" by Taylor Hunt https://dev.to/tigt/so-what-c8j

I'm quoted favorably in this, but more importantly, this captures a lot of the feeling I've felt (again and again) trying to push performance in an organization that wants speed on paper, but… there's always something getting in the way. The video is pretty damning – why is it so slow to order eggs on the internet?

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According to British law, it is illegal for a Member of Parliament to resign their seat.

However, to prevent conflicts of interest, British law also states that any Member of Parliament who accepts a position as an officer of the Crown loses their seat automatically.

For this reason, two ancient Crown offices are maintained despite the fact that they become obsolete hundreds of years ago, have no responsibilities and pay no salary. When an MP wants to resign their seat, they are offered one of these offices. They take it, lose their seat, and then technically hold the office until someone else wants to resign.

On December 17, 1985, 15 MPs resigned at once. One of the offices changed hands eight times that day, the other seven.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resignation_from_the_House_of_Commons_of_the_United_Kingdom

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And as per other reasons why accessibility overlays are a bad idea?
https://overlaysdontwork.com/

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In the late ‘90s, Volkswagen set its engineers a challenge: design a car that can travel 100 kilometers on a single liter of diesel fuel.

And so began work on what became known as the “one-liter car.” By 2002, they had a concept vehicle. By 2009, they had a version they were ready to show the public. By 2011, they had a version that was ready for production. They called it the Volkswagen XL1. By 2013 they were taking orders.

And then they made 250 units and just… stopped. The one-liter car idea was never heard from again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_1-litre_car

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Anyone who claims to have all the answers is a fool or a charlatan

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I drew this comic a while back, and with the start of another pride month with another slew of terrifying things going on, here is my comic about Feeling Safe and lashing out against the phrase "you don't have to make your sexuality your whole personality"

CW for describing a memory of people being transphobic, but I think it's worth not blurring the entire comic for it

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town.planetai.re

Il faut lire ces pouets en considérant qu'ils ont été sciemment écrit dans l'intention de nuire à la société spectaculaire.

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