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Showing posts from March, 2020

The Underlying Problem with Young Americans For Liberty

  The Underlying Problem with Young Americans For Liberty   Derrell McIver Warning: This article includes discussion and description of sexual harassment.   “Political power is not being chummy with politicians. To effect real change, you have to threaten a politician's power.” -anonymous This is a very difficult article for me to write. Going into college, I did not know how of any political organization that shared my values of Liberty. That was until I helped in the founding of a Young Americans for Liberty chapter and became a dues-paying-member. After a brief interest in the Libertarian Party, I realized that YAL and its associated organizations were the best chance we have at seeing Liberty in politics in our lifetimes. Some people will read this article and call it “cancel culture.” That is not the intent. For that very reason, I have not included the name of the sexual harasser. Instead he will be given the name ‘John’. My goal here is to call out the leaders

Technological Agorism Part III: AI & the Agora

There are two types of artificial intelligence: the rules-based, & the neural network-based approach. To illustrate the differences, I'll borrow an example from AI blogger Janelle Shane's book, You Look Like A Thing & I Love You , & pretend we're training an AI to recognize dogs. Using a rules-based approach, we’d create parameters which the AI would then use to determine whether or not the thing it’s looking at, is in fact a dog. Our rules would include things like “must have four legs” & “must have tail,” etc. When all of our conditions have been satisfied, the AI will recognize a dog. With a neural network-based approach, we show the AI images of dogs & it learns to recognize patterns. The more pictures of dogs we show it, the more accurate the AI becomes. Nowadays, this is usually the preferred approach & will be the subject of this article. The interesting thing about the neural-network approach to AI - as we’ve already noted, is i

Technological Agorism Part II: Infrastructure Disintermediation

If knowledge is power, then those with data are King. In this context, it’s easy to understand why Columbia University professor Alexis Wichowski has coined the term “net-state.” As she writes in this Wired article , “Net-states are digital, non-state actors without the violence.” Ahh, music to the agorist’s ear… "We reject Kings, Presidents & voting. We believe in: rough consensus & running code." -David Clark, MIT Professor  The superpowers of net-states; tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook & similar firms, have become so powerful that they're beginning to out-compete governments in the provision of basic infrastructure, from power grids to telecommunications & public transportation. Indeed, it should come as no surprise that governments, being incapable of efficiently providing the most basic infrastructure, roads - will be poorly equipped to compete in the fast-paced, high-tech, digital age. This high-level disin

Technological Agorism I: Digital Feudalism

We live in the age of digital feudalism. In earlier times, peasants saw their productive capital rerouted to their feudal lords. Likewise, we modern serfs see the monetary value of our digital presence being rerouted to big tech CEOs. And just as medieval lords used this capital to maintain their elaborate manors & their status in the nobility (thru kickbacks to the monarch), these modern day lords do precisely the same. The advent of tokenization promises to change this. Big tech has profited enormously from the digital peasantry in two ways.  They earn money based on the popularity of user-generated content. In other words, we use FB, Twitter, & IG to view content posted not by these companies, but by the individuals who use their platforms. Big tech collects & monetizes our personal data & has been doing so for quite some time. Own Your Content The tokenization of digital content has already started the process of disrupting legacy business