Posts in: Links

No Fuck

Drastic climate action is the best course for economic growth, new study finds.: “Based on everything we think we know about technology, climate damages, etc. it would indeed be ‘optimal’ to cut emissions massively now,” ... “early inaction leads to warming that cannot be undone later by spending more on abatement.” (Yale Climate Connections)

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Our civics suffer from misdirection

Cory Doctorow has an essay in Locus flagging points of common ground between broadly genuine progressives and leftists and the misdirected but genuine right, or uncritical skeptics who are often lumped-in with conservatives. I’ve been getting tongue-tied in knots internally on the same general topic, so thank you, Cory. How powerful our civics could be if we could unite in numbers on some of these things and reject the truly corrupt.

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Total Cost of AI?

I was listening to the latest episode of The Important Thing, where they meander around the implications of generative AI. One form of the question they articulated was what happens when stuff is cheaply generated for, as I heard it, by such AIs and for everyone. The question that came to mind for me was: is it even cheap? I don’t know. I haven’t done my homework, so I am speaking for myself in articulating this question — I have a vague sense of recently seeing some reporting on energy usage by these breakthrough AIs (one reason they’re in the cloud is it isn’t practical to run this client-side, they need the cloud)… but I don’t know the particulars, or how it compares to say, crypto mining.

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For all the warranted critiques of the New York Times, and laments about the arc of newspapers, I am grateful for the Metro Diaries feature of that paper. I have been reading it, on and off, for 25 years.

I think I have to give my Dad credit, to whom I don’t give a lot of credit, for pointing it out to me in a print edition of the Sunday New York Times about that long ago. Back when the Sunday Times was a big thick paper, and the Metro section (if you bought it within range of the city, at least) seemed bigger than my local city paper (with the ads removed, anyway).