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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 its reliance …

Stop Pushing the Envelope: Consequences of US Foreign Policy (Past & Present)



So Iranian oil tankers get bombed by the Saudis. Funny how that happens to slide into your Friday morning news cycle there. Almost like it was intentional or something.

Now Trump is sending 3000 troops to help the Saudis fight off Iranian threats. What threat if they were the ones who got hit?!


Maybe he’s making up for removing troops from Northern Syria and leaving the Kurds high and dry? Supposedly he pulled 2000, so now maybe he’s thinking “I’ll raise you 3000!” It’s just like his economy! Cut taxes on the corporations so they can buy back their stock and artificially raise the value of their shares! Only the mal-investment in this case isn’t your devalued capital, or losing your house in the stock market, or your job in the next great recession (which if we’re being honest it just the pussy-version of saying depression), but rather the lives of 3000 Americans. If that’s what you consider “high-risk, high reward”, well that’s the Art of the Deal for ya, I guess?

The TRUTH of the matter is that Trump only removed 50-100 troops, not 2000. That meant American troops left the Kurds in charge to babysit all their ISIS prisoners, but also left them vulnerable to Turkish invasion. Erdogan is planning to ethnically cleanse Syria of all Kurds and now has an opening to do so.

But what good would it have done if the troops stayed? Some heads of state have admitted that US military was simply placed there as “tripwire”, in hopes that a Turkish attack would lead to US casualties and rally up American simpletons back home to support more US military might in the Middle East. Kinda like Pearl Harbor or 9/11.

However, if we’ve learned anything from the past, this risky business of pushing the envelope of US influence anywhere in the world is what inevitably creates blowback.

That’s the last thing anyone wants. Why stay in Syria? What is this? Afghanistan 2.0? Are we simply there to prevent the influence of Russia, Iran, and China from entering the Middle East because it’s America’s back yard? Everywhere on Earth is an “American Interest”?


Not that Syria is “where empires go to die” or anything. In fact war hawks might claim Russian and Persian empires had been invited by Assad to help fight ISIS, which was basically them aligning to clean up the geopolitical mess that was initially the US’s fault. Now however, a neo-Ottoman Empire is being invited to cleanse the Kurds on the boarder region.

In reality, the American people and a supermajority of Veterans are sick and tired of these failed foreign escapades ALL around the world. They want out, if not now, then ASAP. “But what about the Kurds?!,” your conservative/boomer relatives will retort. Sorry, but that’s a poor-ass excuse if I’ve ever heard one.

Lemme tell ya a little something about the Kurds. They’re practically radical socialists, most of them at least. That’s what can happen when a population of people fall victim to geopolitical abuse for centuries from ethnic cleanses from the Ottoman Empire, and re-drawing of boarders like Sykes Picot. The Kurds span across 4 separate countries: Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They are rather divers in cultural, religious, and political beliefs, and not simply a single entity (unlike the Houthis, who are falsely labeled as the same Iranian Shia, and have the singular goal on an independent Yemen completely autonomous from Saudi or anyone else). However, that’s a whole other story I covered here.

So why would these conservative, tough-guy, military types want to support these Kurds if they’re a bunch of socialists? Either than they’re either a bunch of hypocrites that favor social programs like medicare and funding the ever-abusive police state, or they simply haven’t done their homework to learn how culturally diverse and complicated of a background these people have. Frankly, that’s most of America. Both that America is diverse, but they people don’t do their homework, or even care to. Honesty, it’s not surprising. I don’t blame them…


Ok, I blame them, but people are busy with work/kids/sports-ball games and life). However, a common answer they have up their sleeves is that the Kurds were the only ones that helped us fight off the great and terrible ISIS.

Pardon me? I think you’re forgetting about Russia and Iran. Oh, but that’s right. Those guys aren’t our NATO allies, unlike Turkey…

The only reason our “allies”, the Kurds, fought ISIS was because Americans didn’t want to. They were tied up with the consequences of supporting al-Qaeda/ISIS in the hopes of regime change in countries that are a little too friendly to Iran: Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now the Houthis in Yemen, who in fact don’t want to discredit their somewhat impressive efforts in dominating that country by accepting Iranian help.

Here’s some advice to the American military tough-guy leaders who have to make the big, bad, difficult decisions: don’t create ISIS in the first place.

John Kerry admitted it himself on a hot mic that he, “thought we could contain ISIS.” Nope. Sorry, dude. You oughta watch out for those hot mics. Everywhere America steps foot in the Middle East only empowers its “enemies” even more. That’s what happened when Saddam was overthrown in Iraq.



Enter the new Shiite controlled government for the already Shiite super-majority populous who were waiting decades for a successful overthrow of Saddam. That created the power vacuum of Sunni rebels (al-Qaeda) that lead to the genesis of the Islamic state in Western Iraq, and more “moderate rebels” joining up later with them in Syria after the failed regime change in Libya. Thank you, Uncle Sam. Do you see now why your own military might be an incy-wincy bit peeved off by mission with no real objective, other than asserting US military might and force in the world? Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the self-licking ice cream cone of the military industrial complex. Doesn’t look like “we meant well” will suffice this time.

Even the great Ronald Reagan, the closest thing conservatives got to the reincarnation of Jesus Christ himself, admitted in his autobiography that the Middle East was just too damn complicated to get involved with. Too many complexities between the diverse people, cultures, and governments is just not worth the risk of American lives. Even if it’s for the sake of protecting US allies and interests, as Reagan was referring to the US supporting Israel’s fight for influence in Southern Lebanon, his decisions lead to dead American solders thanks to a conflict that should have been left to its own.

Bottom line: get out now. We piss off every one there, except the few authoritarian allies we have over here that the nobody in the region likes anyway. The only true enemy to America if there is one at all is al-Qaeda, who attacked and killed Americans before and after 9/11. Why? Well because America is too friendly to those authoritarian governments I just mentioned.

Stop making excuses to stay. Stop pushing the envelope. We’re going bankrupt and killing ourselves. Stop giving our “enemies” a reason to destroy our country. This isn’t what the Founders (if you hold them to high regard) intended for foreign policy. We are not a shining beacon of peace and prosperity to lead as an example of a great nation. Let’s GTFO. Now.



By the way, check out my podcast, A Boy Named Pseu. I just released an episode where I spoke with my musician friend who helped produce the full-length song I wrote about liberty and self-ownership. You can catch it in the last 4 minutes and 20 seconds of the episode. After all, if you care about spreading the message of liberty, the best way is to change the culture.




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