Friday, July 19, 2019

Using AI to encourage self-censorship of abusive comments

Instagram is using AI to stop people from posting abusive comments
Rather than rely solely on its algorithms to censor offensive material, it will draw on users' self-censorship as well. As a comment is posting, if the platform's AI model flags it as harmful, the poster will see a pop-up asking, "Are you sure you want to post this?" In early tests, Instagram found the feature encouraged many people to rescind their comments. It's a clever tactic to try to alleviate some of the burden on human content moderation without being too restrictive.
Here's another source of motivation:
How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:34-36).

Thursday, July 18, 2019

History is no judge

If one wants to fundamentally transform America, one must also find a way of describing that transformed America as morally acceptable.

Around the time the Supreme Court handing down its latest gay marriage decision, a phrase prominently entered the American political lexicon: “the right side of History.” It's as if to say, “We had it wrong before, but now we're getting it right, and future generations will see it our way now.”

The problem here is “History” is not a thing of its own. History has no agency. History is the story as written by whoever won and gained power. That doesn't necessarily make it right.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Future of Value, Generalist Edition

As previously noted, there are two characteristics of people who will be especially valuable economically in the future: they have specialized in a unique combination of areas. The more exclusively one is able to do certain things of value, the higher one's income potential.

There are times when the opposite of exclusivity is valuable. In these the generalist thrives.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Civic Biology

Missed in the Scopes Trial was an opportunity to show the social implications of evolution for what they are. In what author Michael Kazin called “the most dramatic confrontation of the trial to date,” William Jennings Bryan “defended the rights of parents to control what their children learned in school” though not the full implications of what that learning would mean for them.

“Scopes had violated the statute unintentionally one day while substituting for the regular biology instructor.” The textbook used in class was A Civic Biology by George William Hunter. Of Bryan's arguments in court, Kazin noted the following about Bryan's approach to the book.
Strangely, he neglected to say anything about Hunter's use of social Darwinism. Almost seventy pages after the “tree”—which the author urged students to copy in their notebooks—appeared a vigorous endorsement of eugenics.

Clearly, the “civic” in the title of the text was no accident.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Maximize your unique contribution

Terry Monaghan has written a book called 101 Things to do (or stop doing) to give yourself more time RIGHT NOW!

5. Focus on what you do brilliantly, delegate the rest

6. See what can be automated, and automate it
Are there things you do over and over?

7. Stop doing everyone else's job
Would you pay someone your salary to do the things you're doing? “The more you can turn over tasks to a team, the more time you will have to leverage your own unique contribution.”
Read more »

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Making it home

There is a great difference between my building a house and my going to reside in that house and make it my home.

And there is a great difference between the Holy Spirit's work in regenerating a soul—the building of a house, and His coming to reside, abide and control in our innermost spirit and our whole life and being.
SourceSimpson, A. B. (Albert B.). Days of Heaven Upon Earth (June 29). Kindle Edition.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Billy Graham Rule

Robert Foster, a married man, is taking a lot of unfair flack for not agreeing to meet with a woman for an entire day which would often include time alone with her in his truck. He sticks to the Billy Graham rule, and said no.

Foster is a candidate for governor in Mississippi, and a reporter, Larrison Campbell, asked to tag along with him for a day. After finding out the reporter was female, and having no campaign staff who could join them, he asked her if she could provide someone to tag along. She balked, and the interview/day-long tag-along was called off.

One mistake Foster may have made in this is stipulating that the colleague the female reporter bring along be male. I agree having someone else present is a good idea, but I don't see why the third person would need to be a man. That actually complicates things, because presumably she would need to travel alone with that man in order to meet. Foster was possibly requiring her to violate the same rule he was trying to keep.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Evangelical Support for President Trump

Jesus told a story of a man who had two sons:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’

“He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.

“Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did the will of his father?”

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin