What would you do?
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Topics - Flee
Long story short, I apparently impressed people at a conference and have since been approached by a British consultacy firm with a job offer. They want me work for them as an independent legal expert for research projects and R&D on artificial intelligence. I would't have to move or quit my current job as I'd only be working for them a limited amount of hours a month on the weekends / in the evenings where necessary. On the one hand, I'm really not looking for more work and less free time. On the other, these people have made me a very enticing offer and would compensate me more than generously for my work. As in a weekend of my time would net me more than what most people make in a month. Thing is that my financial situation is good as it is so I don't really need the extra income. It would be nice and a good mark on my resume for the future, but it's definitely not necessary.
What would you do?
The moment you've all been waiting for is finally here. The main esports event of the year is upon us and it's shaping up to be glorious.
First things first, the Bethesda keynote is happening in just over 2 hours. There will be a DOOM Eternal gameplay reveal as well as more details on Quake Champions, Rage 2 and probably the new Wolfenstein game as well. Link your Bethesda account to your Twitch account and tune in over at twitch.tv/Bethesda for the keynote. A little bit later, head over to twitch.tv/quake for the start of the 2v2 Quake tournament.
"New research measuring the importance of religion in 109 countries spanning the entire 20th century has reignited an age-old debate around the link between secularisation and economic growth. The study, published in Science Advances, has shown that a decline in religion influences a country's future economic prosperity.
The findings revealed that secularisation precedes economic development and not the other way around. Although this does not demonstrate a causal pathway, it does rule out the reverse.
Furthermore, the findings show that secularisation only predicts future economic development when it is accompanied by a respect and tolerance for individual rights. Countries where abortion, divorce and homosexuality are tolerated have a greater chance of future economic prosperity."
Source: Bristol University.
Makes a lot of sense but nice to see research underpinning it too.
Pretty good overview of the recent Trump insanity.
"Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.
The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.
Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed."
The amount of mental gymnastics or just downright stupidity people must have to still support this man is just crazy.
In the past few days, most of it in just 24 hours:
>Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, resigns over Brexit and states concerns that the UK is headed "for the status of a colony".
>David Davis, the UK Minister for Brexit, resigns as the country is shaping up to "hand control" over to the EU regarding much of the economy and other areas.
>Steve Baker, the no.2 responsible for Brexit, has resigned as he feels his department is being blindsided and the UK is put in a weak negotiating position.
>British Finance Investments dropped 26% in a year while France and Germany soared.
>Latest revealed version of Brexit plan would not allow flexible deviation from EU rules to set up new service/trade agreements with the US.
Marvelous. A political decision rivaled in insanity and folly only by Trump's election is going swimmingly.
STRONG AND STABLE, or something.
Independent journalism and alternative news is something I've seen a lot of people rave about recently. With many deriding the mainstream media (MSM) for various reasons, I've been looking into some of these alternative sources myself. Unfortunately, I haven't warmed up to them much and remain unconvinced of their value over other sources of information. In short, I have three main issues with them.
1. They are independent only in the most narrow sense of the word. They may not be part of an association or work with an editorial board, but this doesn't mean they're free from external influence whatsoever. I'd even say they're more affected by (peer) pressure and coutsider leverage than traditional sources of media. Independent or alternative does not mean they're neutral, objective or fair, and much of this has to do with how important community support is for them.
They are fully paid by their viewers/readers and supporters on sites like Patreon. If people don't click, comment and donate, they will not be able to pay their bills or continue doing this. And most of their community does not follow their content because they're interested in neutral and factual reporting. They're not watching to be challenged, countered or get a nuanced view. They watch because they want to be validated. They want their preconceptions to be confirmed, see that there's thousands like them and have a charismatic and seemingly knowledgable person affirm their views on certain topics.
And that's something that creates a vicious cycle in which these personalities can't really go against what their community expects. They don't want fair. They want a slamdown of the opposition. A Youtuber that amassed a following with videos on anti-feminism, anti-immigration, anti-globalism, anti-PC/SJW, anti-welfare, pro-populism, pro-gun... can't make videos that go against this narrative because it will hurt their income. This is apparent everywhere. A big independent journalist is Tim Pool. I went through his stuff a while ago and in one of his older videos he received quite a few downvotes and plenty of upset comments. Why? Because he said something good about what his audience thinks should be bad. While his videos often seem reasonable, they're very leading and meant to foster a much more radical and vile community - something he must be well aware of. He can get away with diverging a few times, sure, but if he suddenly changes his tune and produces content that doesn't continue a very clear and often slanted narrative of anti-leftism, anti-establishment, anti-MSM and so on, his supporters will no doubt be quick to drop him and move elsewhere as soon as they feel they lost their ally.
So while they are independent in the strictest sense, these outlets are very vulnerable to external influence and often have little to no choice but to continue covering specific topics from a specific angle to feed an established narrative that will be supported by their community. As we're moving further away from the center and closer to the extremes, this is very detrimental to the reliability, accuracy and quality of their content.
2. Their lack of accountability. Like it or not, but the traditional media do have pretty good mechanisms in place to stop abuse. Editorial boards, review procedures, protection of sources, codes of conduct and standards of journalistic integrity, press boards, media watchdogs, procedures to file complaints... Of course, the media still messes up. But more often than not you'll see people being held accountable. Articles will be retracted or corrected in light of new information, apologies will be issued, and certain standards of quality reporting are often enforced. The people employed are usually trained writers and journalists who have received training on doing research and applying right methodologies. Yet in the alternative media, none of that really exists. Fake news will go unchallenged, incorrect information doesn't get amended, there's no sanctions for abuse, no standards of integrity, no nothing stopping anyone from jumping the gun... It's against their interests to do anything like that. You're not going to remove a popular youtube video making you money every day because you made a mistake, nor are you going to take accountability when something incorrect still achieves the desired purpose, puts your name out there and garners community support. And that too should seriously worry anyone who cares about the truth.
3. The often low quality of the content. As a result of the first two points, the actual information they put out is often highly slanted. Positions to the opposite are ignored or underrepresented. Points are often cherrypicked and made with lacking knowledge on a certain topic. Leading questions, thumbnails and titles frame the media from start to finish ("now I'm not saying it's like this, buuuut I'm just suggestively asking loaded questions"). Sources are often missing or of really low quality. Covering the recent Tommy Robinson news, should I involve a legal expert from the UK who actually knows what they're talking about (as several legal blogs covered in great detail) or should I get an American MAGA activist and lawyer who supported Tommy and has no expertise on this topic on the show? Hmm... Covering the topic of gun control, should I get some knowledgable criminologists on here or should I instead feature a gun owner fighting against gun policy, an NRA instructor and a pro-gun youtuber with the other side being represented only by selected street interviews at a march of ignorant people. The answer is pretty clear. Your viewers want metaphorical blood, they don't want someone knowledgable going against the narrative. They want to laugh at some random girl saying all assault rifle 100 magazine round ghost guns should be banned, not have an actual expert provide them with research and hard facts on how the most comprehensive study in history just found very strong evidence in favor of certain types of gun control. They want the MAGA man lament the horrors of Robinson, not a specialized UK lawyer explaining the actual proceedings and confirm that he did get a lawyer and trial and wasn't placed on what amounts to death row. And so that's what you give them.
tl;dr independent / alternative news is by and large unreliable. The lack of accountability, the extremely selective coverage of topics, the strong financial need to satisfy the direct supporters with a clear and biased narrative, and the often low quality and massively slanted reporting of topics are some of the main issues I see. The traditional mainstream media remains the better source of information by an enormous margin. While all news should be taken with a grain of salt, the alternative sources require a lot more than just a single grain.
Interested in your thoughts since I know there's several people here who follow these outlets.
We bigger than Beyonce, aw yeah.
Ok, going to watch Infinity War. People are saying it's dark so it might actually be a good Marvel superhero movie. What movies do I need to watch beforehand? I've probably seen most already, like Ultron and the first Avengers. I just saw Civil War last night and already watched Black Panther some other time. Do I need to watch Homecoming? Doesn't look interesting at all. Can I just do Thor Ragnarok and be ready?
Also wtf is the deal with Black Widow. Hands down the most annoying character so far. I'm fine with the others but she has literally no interesting powers other than punching people or being sneaky and she doesn't even do that very well. Archer even kicked her ass pretty much. It got annoying during Civil War how often fully armed trained military guys decided that the best course of action was to get within arm's length of her to shoot her or something.
Also Cap getting it on with the little niece of his old girl? Damn, dude just goes for it.
Are there any skeptic channels that are actually good? I've come across quite a few and they have almost all been little more than excuses for thinly veiled (and often pretty far) right wing personalities pushing a very clear narrative with very little actual skepticism but instead just a lot of slanted, misleading and cherrypicked points under the false pretense of being truthful/rational/logical/intellectual to demonize others (the progressives/leftists/SJWs/marxists/millenials/whatever/alloftheabove) and get their base riled up. So are there any out there that are actually worth watching and apply some academic rigor and nuance?
The Guardian: Cambridge Analytica's blueprint for Trump victory
The blueprint for how Cambridge Analytica claimed to have won the White House for Donald Trump by using Google, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is revealed for the first time in an internal company document obtained by the Guardian.
The entire article is definitely worth reading. Especially disturbing is stuff like this. First, control people's first impression by framing the search and topic in a slanted and leading way to make them susceptible to your message ("we have a problem with jobs"). Then, turn it around and go full offensive by posting misleading information and fake news to slander the opposition ("Clinton is a warmonger and supports abandoning American jobs"). Finally, suppress content that opposes your narrative and direct the readers to your side ("Trump's plan to save American jobs"). Millions of people were manipulated by this kind of BS and just roped into putting on blinds to eat up slanted information supporting their initial biases and trying to hide information to the contrary. Insane.
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:17:46 PM »
A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been convicted of committing a hate crime. Mark Meechan, 30, recorded his girlfriend's pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as "gas the Jews" and "Sieg Heil" by raising its paw. But police were alerted and he was arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime. The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.
Shameful judgement. Not a fan of the guy but this is undue.
First things first, Donny is actually backing some gun control. Of course, he's as vague as always and doesn't say much of substance, but props to him for at least trying and making comments against the NRA.
NY Times - Trump Stuns Lawmakers With Seeming Embrace of Comprehensive Gun Control
WASHINGTON — President Trump stunned Republicans on live television Wednesday by embracing gun control and urging a group of lawmakers at the White House to resurrect gun safety legislation that has been opposed for years by the powerful National Rifle Association and the vast majority of his party.
Not only has this left his subreddit temporarily in shambles (dozens of T_D veterans have been banned just for quoting what Trump said but remember guys, it's the leftists who are emotional snowflakes and can't deal with facts over feelings or something), but it's amazing how the same people supporting him now would've called for little less than public lynchings had Obama ever said that guns should just be taken when seemingly a good idea to the police involved. That said though, bad Donny for bailing on due process.
Second, RAND has just concluded another massive and lengthy study on the topic of gun control.
Passing an assault weapons ban might prevent 170 mass shooting deaths a year in the US, experts who support gun control estimate. Passing a universal background check law could prevent 1,100 gun homicides each year. Raising the age limit for buying firearms could prevent 1,600 homicides and suicides.
The research is further explained here, but it can basically be summed up as "many types of gun control work, they're proven to be effective at saving lives and reducing crime, and it would do a lot of good if it would be expanded in the US". It also states something that I've been saying for years, namely that there's a dire need for a lot more research on American gun violence and the impact of gun control rules, as much is still unknown and there isn't a lot of evidence either way when it comes to some aspects of it. Unfortunately, there still exist budgetary restrictions on what some of the best equipped institutions like the CDC can do in terms of gun research (for those who don't know, the CDC came out with some very factual reporting in the 90's but because it spelled bad news for the gun lobby they've since been limited from researching gun violence because that's the right thing to do or something), so that's a pretty big shame. This isn't very surprising as the amount of evidence in favor of this has been growing for years, but it's always interesting to see these kinds of huge studies from excellent institutions confirm it even more.
At least 17 people were killed Wednesday in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Seventeen people were confirmed dead as the United States endured another horrifying school shooting at the hands of a teenage gunman armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.
"Russian Iron Man: Russia's Special Forces soldier and Kosovo war veteran fights debt collectors wearing exoskeleton, gets pardoned.
... However, the one item deserving the most attention is Maltsev’s homemade exoskeleton that earned him the nickname 'Russian Iron Man'.
Maltsev welded the exoskeleton using titanium alloy and reinforcing rods and mounted a helmet on top. He made it so it could be outfitted with a bullet-proof vest. Once, Maltsev armed with the Saiga even chased a debt collector through the yard for all neighbors to see, according to the attorney."
New age of space exploration when?
Looks like we've entered a new age in autonomous system warfare capabilities.
"But what really makes Kanyon nightmare fuel is the drone torpedo's payload: a 100-megaton thermonuclear weapon. By way of comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 16 kilotons, or the equivalent of 16,000 tons of TNT. Kanyon’s nuke would be the equivalent of 100,000,000 tons of TNT. That’s twice as powerful as Tsar Bomba, the most powerful thermonuclear weapon ever tested. Dropped on New York City, a 100-megaton bomb would kill 8 million people outright and injure 6 million more.
Kanyon is designed to attack coastal areas, destroying cities, naval bases, and ports. The mega-bomb would also generate an artificial tsunami that would surge inland, spreading radioactive contamination with the advancing water. To make matters worse there are reports the warhead is “salted” with the radioactive isotope Cobalt-60. Contaminated areas would be off-limits to humanity for up to 100 years."
Also, the US apparently doesn't have anything that can really stop it at this point. Maybe it wasn't so bad Putin got Trump elected after all.
Video is very short, but the tl;dr is that technology isn't neutral and machines can and do learn bad things from us. Among others, this is particularly troublesome in the area of law enforcement and criminal justice.
The rise of big data policing rests in part on the belief that data-based decisions can be more objective, fair, and accurate than traditional policing.
This is a much bigger problem than most people realize. It's only really entered the spotlight over the past two or three years and is only just now becoming mainstream. Figured I'd make a thread about it to bring some life to Serious and because this is what I am currently working on (making AI accountable).
The Guardian - James Damore sues Google, alleging intolerance of white male conservatives
Class-action lawsuit led by fired engineer includes 100 pages of internal documents and claims conservatives are ‘ostracized, belittled, and punished’
The public reaction to this is of course very reasonable, nuanced and well thought out.
>thumbsticks at the same height
Literally how incompetent do you have to be to think this is good design holy fuck Japan can't do anything right
That said, I now have a PS4 with Bloodborne. What other games are worth it? Horizon Zero Dawn seems promising but what else? Uncharted? Last of Us. Lots of weeb stuff, unfortunately, so that obviously shouldn't apply.
Trouble brewing: AB InBev accused of keeping cheap beer from Belgians
EU investigation finds brewer may have deliberately prevented cheaper imports from reaching consumers in Belgium
It is an announcement that could hardly be better designed to get the blood of the average Belgian boiling.
This will not stand.
>go to American Gamestop on Black Friday because that's what do in the US
>place order for Shadow of War
>millions of people
>slow / incompetent staff takes half an hour
>tip the man wearing a Star Wars Christmas sweater
>leave the store
>clap all the way to the car
2/10 would not go again
Haven't read the Belgian sources yet, but I'll report back soon. This could legit be huge in the future and change these kinds of lootbox practices everywhere.
Belgium says loot boxes are gambling, wants them banned in Europe
I've got 11 hours of flying ahead of me tomorrow and am already dreading it. What do you do on those long flights? I'm planning on:
- Watching movies (brought my own laptop + HDD with stuff on there, and the trans-atlantic flight should have an on-board entertainment system)
- Listening to music
- Doing work
- Playing pokemon on my DS
- (Sleeping, as if)
I remember this being brought up before. Unlikely that anything will happen to it, but do any of you know other sites like it for ebooks and publications? Libgen comes to mind.