Psychotic Monday (Update #3)

Updates

  1. Originally published, April 5, 2021, at 12:01 pm.

  2. April 5, 2021, 2:26 pm:

    • Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are, I think, something researchers universally dread. They are empowered to stop a project dead in its tracks or to require changes and expected to do so on ethical grounds, though I understand they can advise as to research design issues as well. They’re powerful and fearsome.

      They are also essential for inquiry involving human subjects and should also be seen as such for non-human animal subjects. And this isn’t just about being nice. Subjects, whether human or non-human, who feel abused may find ways to sabotage the results, contaminating the body of knowledge. I have worried about medical science on precisely these grounds.[1]

      Reid Blackman proposes a similar approach for artificial idiocy.[2] Google[3] would do well to pay attention.

    • I got my car back today.

      It turns out they did not do the very expensive work after all. It turns out I am not the first to encounter the problem with an intermittent “Check Hybrid System” and “Check VSC System” indication that dealers have been unable to reproduce and therefore unable to properly diagnose.

      It turns out I have an improperly sealed aftermarket windshield—it must have been replaced by the original owner because I knew nothing of this—that allowed moisture to get in and corrode stuff. They’ve cleaned up the corrosion.

      It turns out that there’s a significant risk that in the process of pulling out the windshield to reseal it, it may break. And it turns out there’s a significant risk that there may be rust to deal with where it was poorly sealed.

      It happens I had an appointment for interior detailing tomorrow at a place that both does windshields and specializes in rust protection. I would think the next step here would be kind of obvious, wouldn’t you? And yeah, it’s set up.

  3. April 5, 2021, 10:25 pm:

    • As the Supreme Court issued an order Monday declaring moot a lawsuit over [Donald] Trump’s blocking of some Twitter users from commenting on his feed, [Clarence] Thomas weighed in with a 12-page lament about the power of social media firms like Twitter. . . .

      Thomas singled out the owners of Google and Facebook by name, arguing that the firms are currently unaccountable personal fiefdoms with massive power.

      “Although both companies are public, one person controls Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg), and just two control Google (Larry Page and Sergey Brin),” Thomas wrote.

      Thomas’ opinion amounts to an invitation to Congress to declare Twitter, Facebook and similar companies “common carriers,” essentially requiring them to host all customers regardless of their views. At the moment, the companies have sweeping authority to take down any post and to suspend or terminate any account.[4]

      This issue just isn’t going away. It’s terribly problematic. On the one hand, I can hardly excuse Donald Trump’s firehose of hatred. On the other, social media companies are relying on artificial idiocy to solve their problem of how to control hate speech, which is a grievous mistake,[5] and I can’t disagree with Clarence Thomas’ complaint[6] that power over what I have called the “public square of the Internet”[7] is in unaccountable hands.[8] He’s right.


Donald Trump

There is a new blog post, entitled, “In service to a psychotic delusional raging narcissist.”

Josh Gerstein, “Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump’s social media ban,” Politico, April 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/05/justice-clarence-thomas-trump-twitter-ban-479046

Len Gutkin, “Shared Psychosis; Academic Psychiatry; Academic Freedom,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 5, 2021, https://www.chronicle.com/newsletter/chronicle-review/2021-04-05


Artificial intelligence idiocy

Reid Blackman, “If Your Company Uses AI, It Needs an Institutional Review Board,” Harvard Business Review, April 1, 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/04/if-your-company-uses-ai-it-needs-an-institutional-review-board


  1. [1]Harriet A. Washington, Medical Apartheid (New York: Doubleday, 2006).
  2. [2]Reid Blackman, “If Your Company Uses AI, It Needs an Institutional Review Board,” Harvard Business Review, April 1, 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/04/if-your-company-uses-ai-it-needs-an-institutional-review-board
  3. [3]Mitchell Clark and Zoe Schiffer, “After firing a top AI ethicist, Google is changing its diversity and research policies,” Verge, February 19, 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/19/22291631/google-diversity-research-policy-changes-timnet-gebru-firing; Ina Fried, “Google tweaks diversity, research policies following inquiry,” Axios, February 19, 2021, https://www.axios.com/google-tweaks-diversity-research-policies-following-inquiry-8baa6346-d2a2-456f-9743-7912e4659ca2.html; Alex Hanna, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, February 18, 2021, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1362476196693303297.html; Jeremy Kahn, “Google’s ouster of a top A.I. researcher may have come down to this,” Fortune, December 9, 2020, https://fortune.com/2020/12/09/google-timnit-gebru-top-a-i-researcher-large-language-models/; Zoe Schiffer, “Google fires second AI ethics researcher following internal investigation,” Verge, February 19, 2021, https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/19/22292011/google-second-ethical-ai-researcher-fired
  4. [4]Josh Gerstein, “Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump’s social media ban,” Politico, April 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/05/justice-clarence-thomas-trump-twitter-ban-479046
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Our new Satan: artificial idiocy and big data mining,” Not Housebroken, April 4, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/01/13/our-new-satan-artificial-idiocy-and-big-data-mining/
  6. [6]Josh Gerstein, “Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump’s social media ban,” Politico, April 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/05/justice-clarence-thomas-trump-twitter-ban-479046
  7. [7]David Benfell, “The public square of the Internet,” Not Housebroken, March 15, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/06/06/the-public-square-of-the-internet/
  8. [8]Josh Gerstein, “Justice Thomas grumbles over Trump’s social media ban,” Politico, April 5, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/04/05/justice-clarence-thomas-trump-twitter-ban-479046

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.