Silicon Valley Techno-Utopianism

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Thread for general discussion of, and feeble resistance to, our new overpaid 20-something savant overlords, starting with this lovely article:

http://thebaffler.com/blog/2014/05/mouthbreathing_machiavellis

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:27 (four years ago) Permalink

is the baffler as smug and unreadable as it was in the late 90s/early 00s? to be frank all i ever got from them (or thomas frank solo) was a withering contempt for most of america, rather than any mournful concern.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (four years ago) Permalink

haha to be frank see what I (unintentionally) did there?

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:41 (four years ago) Permalink

nerds with power

shudder

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:42 (four years ago) Permalink

This is the first Baffler thing I've bothered with in a while. I thought it had its moments back in its earlier incarnation -- there was an essay on cities and the "creative class" that I still refer to mentally sometimes. I think the internet has kind of made the sort of bullshit-skewering it specialized in more widespread and diffuse.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:46 (four years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, they had some good articles from time to time. there was one incredibly condescending and snide and yet fascinating one about gay pornography. unfortinately they also published ray carney's screed against tarantino and a lot of other worthless crap. and i always felt tom frank needed to have a few beer bottles smashed over his head.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:48 (four years ago) Permalink

Frank seems kind of worse to me now in his Harper's editorials. I always hated Lapham's and it feels like Frank is really trying his best to assume the mantle.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Anyway

In a widely covered secessionist speech at a Silicon Valley “startup school” last year, there was more than a hint of Moldbug (see video below). The speech, by former Stanford professor and Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan, never mentioned Moldbug or the Dark Enlightenment, but it was suffused with neoreactionary rhetoric and ideas. Srinivasan used the phrase “the paper belt” to describe his enemies, namely the government, the publishing industries, and universities. The formulation mirrored Moldbug’s “Cathedral.” Srinivasan’s central theme was the notion of “exit”—as in, exit from democratic society, and entry into any number of corporate mini-states whose arrival will leave the world looking like a patchwork map of feudal Europe.

Forget universal rights; this is the true “opt-in society.”

An excerpt:

We want to show what a society run by Silicon Valley would look like. That’s where “exit” comes in . . . . It basically means: build an opt-in society, ultimately outside the US, run by technology. And this is actually where the Valley is going. This is where we’re going over the next ten years . . . [Google co-founder] Larry Page, for example, wants to set aside a part of the world for unregulated experimentation. That’s carefully phrased. He’s not saying, “take away the laws in the U.S.” If you like your country, you can keep it. Same with Marc Andreessen: “The world is going to see an explosion of countries in the years ahead—doubled, tripled, quadrupled countries.”

Srinivasan ticked through the signposts of the neoreactionary fantasyland: Bitcoin as the future of finance, corporate city-states as the future of government, Detroit as a loaded symbol of government failure and 3D-printed firearms as an example of emerging technology that defies regulation.

The speech succeeded in promoting the anti-democratic authoritarianism at the core of neoreactionary thought, while glossing over the attendant bigotry. This has long been a goal of some in the movement. One such moderate—if the word can be used in this context—is Patri Friedman, grandson of the late libertarian demigod Milton Friedman. The younger Friedman expressed the need for “a more politically correct dark enlightenment” after a public falling out with Yarvin in 2009.

Friedman has lately been devoting his time (and leveraging his family name) to raise money for the SeaSteading Institute, which, as the name suggests, is a blue-sea libertarian dream to build floating fiefdoms free of outside regulation and law. Sound familiar?

The principal backer of the SeaSteading project, Peter Thiel, is also an investor in companies run by Balaji Srinivasan and Curtis Yarvin. Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal, an original investor in Facebook and hedge fund manager, as well as being the inspiration for a villainous investor on the satirical HBO series Silicon Valley. Thiel’s extreme libertarian advocacy is long and storied, beginning with his days founding the Collegiate Network-backed Stanford Review. Lately he’s been noticed writing big checks for Ted Cruz.

He’s invested in Yarvin’s current startup, Tlon. Thiel invested personally in Tlon co-founder John Burnham. In 2011, at age 18, Burnham accepted $100,000 from Thiel to skip college and go directly into business. Instead of mining asteroids as he originally intended, Burnham wound up working on obscure networking software with Yarvin, whose title at Tlon is, appropriately enough, “benevolent dictator for life.”

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:57 (four years ago) Permalink

I love this stuff, these guys are like comic book supervillains.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 05:58 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:33 (four years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:35 (four years ago) Permalink

another school of thought says that they just need to experience a moment of humanity to temper their wild anti-humanist delusions

we could administer this cure from a safe distance thanks to their work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PspagsTFvlg

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:41 (four years ago) Permalink

Been dismayed with The Baffler since it's new revival. Seems about as shrill as Adbusters these days.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:44 (four years ago) Permalink

OTOH, there's these guys to make fun of: http://nymag.com/news/features/laundry-apps-2014-5/#

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 May 2014 06:46 (four years ago) Permalink

i still think we shd take these guys out before they acquire sentience

― coign of wantage (Noodle Vague), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:35 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

100%

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:10 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno, this seems discountable. it's not going to get much traction.

― display name changed. (amateurist), Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:33 AM (8 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i'd be more willing to discount it if these weren't people with money, political fever dreams, and the ability to build & destory things

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:11 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah I'm not exactly alarmed yet but I am a little o_O

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:12 (four years ago) Permalink

these people aren't good at building things that people actually need to survive so I dunno - the rhetoric is horrible and these people are frightening, at the same time they're woefully inept

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:14 (four years ago) Permalink

fantastic article, thank you for sharing

famous instagram God (waterface), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:15 (four years ago) Permalink

A seafaring community of 10 plutocrats is probably going to do just fine. They can just take a private jet back to the US any time they need fresh virgins to feed on. They don't want the rest of us anyway.

popchips: the next snapple? (seandalai), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:18 (four years ago) Permalink

Shouldn't that be Tlön, and holy shit we do not need techno-libertarians referencing Borges

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

I thought the setting up a new country idea sounded really good, hopefully it would end like jonestown

badg, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:21 (four years ago) Permalink

I am all in favor of techno-libertarian island

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:22 (four years ago) Permalink

me too. preferably one that will be underwater in a few decades.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (four years ago) Permalink

tru

purposely lend impetus to my HOOS (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:25 (four years ago) Permalink

im less worried about these creeps building their own bioshock dystopias than i am about them using their tremendous money and influence to undermine regulation and other democratic things (tm) at home

socki (s1ocki), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah that is a more serious danger

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I wonder if we can convince them to relocate to Canada

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I think their politics might go over well in, like, Edmonton

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:29 (four years ago) Permalink

It should be fun to watch what happens when the VC money starts to dry up.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:43 (four years ago) Permalink

they all scramble for the surviving corporate monoliths

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:44 (four years ago) Permalink

This Baffler article mentions Nick Land. That's kind of depressing, is he fully in that camp? I've only read some of his stuff but have liked work from his contemporaries.

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:46 (four years ago) Permalink

isn't his own camp bad enough???

j., Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:54 (four years ago) Permalink

maybe! I'm out of the loop

a strange man (mh), Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:56 (four years ago) Permalink

yes, nick land is fully in

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:19 (four years ago) Permalink

this is all a lil weird to me cos reading these dudes has been a minor internet fascination of mine for a long time

if anything, land's story is evidence against the thesis that an encounter with adulthood will chill these guys out: he was a philosophy professor in the 80s (?) and 90s, left for china at some point to be a journalist, was a pro-war neocon type in the early 00s and at some point during/after the 08 crash flipped to austrian economics, "race realism" (if you don't mind me using their euphemisms for a sec) and all the rest.

i feel super weird that even know this shit tbh

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:22 (four years ago) Permalink

the connection with silicon valley utopian-supremacy is only one leg of the thing, there are linkages to a lot of weird old righty type scenes that have been left behind by contemporary conservatism, which have been kept alive in its most public face by association with ron paul. but also the remnants of european throne-and-altar type stuff

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:25 (four years ago) Permalink

this isn't what I think of when I think of 'techno-utopianism' these dudes are just idiots

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:26 (four years ago) Permalink

really the most salient through-line is hostility to democracy.

xp yeah this thread title is a little narrow & off from the corey pein article

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

feel like the broader 'apps with solve it'/obsessed with meritocracy and measurement/transnational professionalism stuff that permeates the valley and its politics is way more pernicious and worth countering than these dudes who cant help but marginalize themselves by being themselves

dude (Lamp), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

I feel like these guys make better bad guys than the republican party, at least their politics are internally consistent

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:30 (four years ago) Permalink

idk i think their predilection for lingo and willingness to set up their own discursive zones is an important idea generator.

there's huge overlap with the PUA/men's rights scene, and *their* language and pop-psych antifeminism is reeeally short work way from being conservative canon

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Definitely seems like there is at the root of a lot of it a bitterness stemming from a dissonance between the "meritocracy" these people have been sold on (in which their particular skillset is supposed to make them the fittest dudes) and the reality they grew up in, and the *other* reality they grew up in (having to attend high school and go on the dating scene and such) in which their supposed superior qualities didn't seem to help so much. I know this might sound like just a rehash of the "butthurt nerd" canard, but I think there's something about the combination of ego inflation AND deflation that they experience -- one world telling them they are geniuses and another telling them they are losers at the same time, that makes them want to remake the entire world in the image of the former.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:49 (four years ago) Permalink

Like you don't get this kind of worldview coming out of getting sand kicked in your face alone, it's more the rage that results from feeling entitled to alpha status and then getting sand kicked in your face.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:51 (four years ago) Permalink

yup

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:54 (four years ago) Permalink

And to cross reference that with the "men's rights" stuff, it's not unlike "I'm a *nice* and *intelligent* guy and yet hot babes are not throwing themselves at my feet like they are supposed to. Therefore women are defective and dangerous and I must use 'techniques' to disarm and conquer them."

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:58 (four years ago) Permalink

is there an app for that

Οὖτις, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:07 (four years ago) Permalink

i'm really skeptical of 'just a thwarted nerd' type explanations. some people just end up believing this kind of shit for reasons that aren't readily explicable. in many cases it doesn't appear to be true.

goole, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:24 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah 'chicks just didn't want him and he's not successful' doesn't explain peter thiel very well

iatee, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:32 (four years ago) Permalink

will plain ole megalomania do.

ryan, Thursday, 22 May 2014 17:37 (four years ago) Permalink

it sounds like it was almost all seeded to right-wing sites like beetbort, but the point in that type of campaign isn't to create a compelling single narrative as to why facebook is a net good. it's to cast doubt on facebook critics from as many angles as possible so there's no consensus or allied front that would push for a boycott or punitive legislation. you just want to make anyone who criticizes facebook seem like a crackpot

― mh

i'm not sure they're doing a very good job of this tbh

dub pilates (rushomancy), Friday, 16 November 2018 16:49 (two months ago) Permalink

the big problem is that there are still a lot of people using facebook and _none of them like it_

dub pilates (rushomancy), Friday, 16 November 2018 16:50 (two months ago) Permalink

or maybe _some of them don't like it_

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:17 (two months ago) Permalink

_NONE_

j., Friday, 16 November 2018 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

even suckerberg seems to have lost his joie de vivre

j., Friday, 16 November 2018 17:20 (two months ago) Permalink

with his dumbass posts about his stupid wonderful discoveries of life or whatever

j., Friday, 16 November 2018 17:21 (two months ago) Permalink

never see those anymore

j., Friday, 16 November 2018 17:21 (two months ago) Permalink

facebook is a self-maintaining birthday calendar that allows me to be as lazy as possible about stupid shit like birthdays. for this, i am eternally grateful.

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:23 (two months ago) Permalink

At some point approx a decade ago I somehow exported the birthdays in FB to my computer's calendar, and I've had it activated ever since. Every now and then I drop someone with whom I have only fairly tenuous attachment a little birthday note - VIA EMAIL - and cackle to myself

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:30 (two months ago) Permalink

they must think you are a birthday genius. i do.

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:33 (two months ago) Permalink

man even Facebook is running ads to say "let's all go back to the time when Facebook was fun"

don't really see companies that have to run ads like that having long term success

frogbs, Friday, 16 November 2018 17:43 (two months ago) Permalink

domino's is certainly almost bankrupt after using a similar marketing maneuver

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:46 (two months ago) Permalink

coming soon: commercials where people on the street are asked to try a social network, they report that it's really fun and fresh, and then are shocked and amazed to be told they've been using facebook!!

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:49 (two months ago) Permalink

the Dominos thing was "we've always sucked" which is a bit different though similar I must admit

frogbs, Friday, 16 November 2018 17:52 (two months ago) Permalink

when I sign on to facebook, I want to see a little ticker that says "craig is preparing your facebook feed" below a progress bar.

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 17:56 (two months ago) Permalink

facebook finally gave me the motivation i needed to start actively ignoring the birthdays of everybody i know, i guess i'm grateful to it for that

dub pilates (rushomancy), Friday, 16 November 2018 18:10 (two months ago) Permalink

or maybe _some of them don't like it_

― for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton)

sure, i'm sure there are people who think comcast is the bee's knees, too. are we really heading for a world where no lazy overgeneralizations are permissible at all? i guess i can't complain too much about that.

dub pilates (rushomancy), Friday, 16 November 2018 18:12 (two months ago) Permalink

facebook should produce a movie that is "A Christmas Carol" but for birthdays

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 18:13 (two months ago) Permalink

or they should acquire some of the most valuable birthdays out there. turn around facebook by turning around birthdays.

for i, sock in enumerate (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 16 November 2018 18:15 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

jesus fucking christ

When signage for Doggy Style began popping up in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood last month, it was accompanied with the usual grumbling and eye-rolling about the city’s nouveau riche.

After all, a private members-only doggy daycare offering an “innovative dog experience” for up to $1,500 a month in a city in the midst of a humanitarian crisis over homelessness smacks of a well-groomed French bulldog yipping: “Let them eat kibble.”

Noe Valley SF, a hyperlocal blog, decried the Doggy Style co-owner Rachel Swann for “bringing ridicule” to the neighborhood, while comments on an SFGate article about the business ranged from scoffing at “people with too much time and money” to the vaguely threatening: “When the Bolsheviks are looking for the first people to shoot, club members will be at the top of the list.”

While critics were quick to lambast Doggy Style’s prices as exorbitant, its pricing is actually in line with other doggy daycare in San Francisco. High-end daytime dog care is a thriving and competitive market in a city fueled by tech wealth and disposable income.

When Doggy Style launches this month, it will be one of at least a dozen businesses that specifically offer “playcare” during work hours within the city’s 47 square miles.

Mr Muggles, located in the Mission District, offers monthly passes for unlimited daycare, Monday through Friday, for $600. A half-mile north, a monthly unlimited membership costs $630 at Wag Hotel, but with an added monthly valet service, the price can go up to $929 a month. At Tefani and So Dogcare in the South of Market neighborhood, an unlimited monthly pass costs $849, while at Bark Avenue Doggy Daycare in Mission Bay, a rate of $80 a day can bring costs up to $1,600 a month.

And at those prices, Fido is not just getting left outside in a doghouse. Some daycares have webcams set up for their owners to check in on their pups. Others provide daily photos and report cards, as well as neighborhood group walks on top of all-day play. K9 Playtime, located in the South of Market and South Beach neighborhoods, has “waterfalls and ponds” installed in its doggy play areas “with re-circulating filtered drinking water so your dog is well hydrated throughout their day with fresh, clean water”.

(...)

“We just struggled for years to balance the work life and the dog lifestyle,” Silva said.

Opening Doggy Style “is solving our own problem”, he said.

The high cost of dog care was another of the reasons motivating Silva and Swann to open Doggy Style, they say. Between the two of them, they have seven dogs.

“I was previously paying $75 to $85 a day,” Silva said. “People don’t realize how expensive it is to have a dog in this city.”

tacticool spank bank material (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

j., Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

meh. coming to you live from the bay area imho this isn't even close to all caps jfc

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i can't stop turning the phrase 'innovative dog experience' over and over in my mind

tacticool spank bank material (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

a city in the midst of a humanitarian crisis over homelessness
“I’m sure the dogs don’t complain and that’s the most important thing.”
a city in the midst of a humanitarian crisis over homelessness
“I’m sure the dogs don’t complain and that’s the most important thing.”

jmm, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

if this is the same company called doggy style in philly they're just a conventional pet store supply place with normal prices the worst thing about them is their name

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

not gonna google variations on the phrase 'doggy style' to find out while i'm at work, that's for sure

tacticool spank bank material (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:17 (two weeks ago) Permalink

acc to their website they have locations in philly, deleware and san diego

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:17 (two weeks ago) Permalink

dela

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

looks like a different company: https://www.doggystylesf.com/

I'm sure they'd be willing to sell you dog food too

mh, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

amazing that not one but two pet related companies would have the terrible idea of calling themselves doggy style

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It looks like there are many.

This fancy San Francisco company had the same terrible name idea as dozens of local groomers.

jmm, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 16:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Noe Valley is a ridiculous neighborhood so this sounds about right

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I think that place is right by the "concierge" healthcare provider.

DJI, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

not sure of the specifics of that one, but concierge healthcare is pretty normal these days. I pay a small annual fee to belong to One Medical which gives me better support and services than any prior primary care physicians I've ever had.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

what does that mean, concierge, like you call them and they go out and get you a kidney

j., Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

presumably from a poor person

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:56 (two weeks ago) Permalink

harvested fresh and 100% hand-cut organic artisinal organs

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

concierge medical normally means something like a subscription service to a GP and you can call and get seen immediately

Mordy, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 19:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Sounds great, and also evil! See: Private Schools.

DJI, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 21:27 (two weeks ago) Permalink

c’mon yanks get one (1) national health service ffs

tacticool spank bank material (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 21:39 (two weeks ago) Permalink

oh so it's like going to the doctor was when i was a kid, only fancy

j., Tuesday, 8 January 2019 21:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

don't mean to be all like captain-save-a-greedy-dr. but I pay an extra 300/yr to go from a pcp who didn't have a computer to join a company where I can text them and send them photos of my rashes and visit any number of their locations in multiple cities and other such conveniences. It sucks that everyone can't have it so good, but it's worth it for my family.

dan selzer, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 22:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

That is pretty weird to me, I'm used to contractors losing the usual social and workplace benefits (time off, sick days), but counter balanced by being paid considerably more than the employees.

Andrew Farrell, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 08:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

alexa, play the world's smallest violin...

koogs, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 09:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

actually, a lot of the testers here are contractors, but not massively overpaid (maybe even paid less than the other technical staff). but we do treat them like normal human beings, at least as far as invites to things go. not that there are any 'flashy perks' like google.

koogs, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 09:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Contractors are seemingly paid more because they’re not getting benefits. Generally their hourly fee, if multiplies out by the year, SEEMS like they’re making so much more money but minus the benefits it’s supposed to be the same and is often worse.

A typical scenario in my history would be to make like 50 or 60 an hour, which if you work 40 hr a week come out to over 100k, and then get offered a salary of 60 or 70k a year if they want to convert you to full time. I think the standard is something like 30% more if you freelance.

Of course that assumes you work everyday and never get sick or take a vacation or leave work early to visit a doctor. And you’re paying considerably more for healthcare. Before going fulltime I was looking at paying over 500/mo for mediocre healthcare for myself. Now I pay 400 for a good healthcare for a family of three.

And if you are working 40 hours a week as a contractor, odds are you and you’re employers are breaking independent contractor 1099 laws and that’s a whole other thing.

dan selzer, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 14:27 (two weeks ago) Permalink

there need to be some serious public interest articles on how image recognition “ai” works in practice

I had a few misconceptions, even as a software developer and after doing a couple workshops my perception of the whole thing shifted. Any company that has tech that seems to be getting incrementally better is using your data to get better. Because terms of service are vague and public perception is low

The Ring doorbell/camera articles this week made me think of this, but it’s been on my mind. any image recognition thing at this point is trained — meaning the dumb captcha images on the web, or stock photos of a thousand garbage trucks, or a comapny’s pictures of its products

it’s literally just “smash image data into component parts” and then comparing those parts to what is known. a car is some curves and reflectivity, maybe motion, that match up with things that have been tagged as “cars”. and it’s more abstract than that!

mh, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:04 (one week ago) Permalink

Have you seen the dog / trombone example? They trained an AI to recognize dogs and a few other things and then changed just enough pixels to flip one picture from being seen as a dog to being seen as a trombone.

Other examples:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/30/fool_ai_image_classifier_by_changing_single_pixel/

koogs, Friday, 11 January 2019 04:13 (one week ago) Permalink


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