Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Emmit's Corner - Ghost Fighters in the Sky

Maybe a Miracle, Burn the World, It Almost Happened Here, Ode to Twitter Support, Here Eyes Are Obsolete, Ghost Fighters in the Sky, Poor Hobo Joe, Fiddling With The Devil

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 8 (Continued)

 [Images of Bezos, Musk and others brazen displays of wealth including mansions etc]

VO: When computers went mainstream in the 80’s, Wall Street made a lot of money.  When the internet came along in the 90’s, they made a lot more money.  When smart phones and social media came on board in the new millennium, they made obscene amounts of money.  As the valley moves fast and breaks things, old obsolete ways of doing business are set by the wayside but they expect the government (ie us, the public) to clean up the damage.  Sound familiar?

[Images of Cocaine Cowboys and the Wolf of Wallstreet]

VO: When the technology companies exist to exploit people for the 1%, then you end up with massive exploitation where citizens are the product.  The greatest gains with risky short cuts end up causing massive damage with little thought for the consequences.

[Images of Global Warming and Climate Change]

VO: Sound familiar? Oil companies rape the planet for its natural resources, knowing forty years ahead of almost everyone else how much damage they are doing and just like Big Tabaco they deny deny deny and buy congress.  The tech companies love to project an image of slick glass, gleaming consoles and social responsibility with progressive internal policies and carbon neutral data centers.

[Image of Pinocchio]

VO: But…it's kind of a lie.  As said, the tech companies do do a lot of good, make a lot of lives better, but they conspired together to keep the pay of their employees low and prevent them from unioninzing.  And while it is wonderful that their data centers are carbon neutral, there is still a carbon cost for the use they cause and the products they make.  So much good and so much cost.  

[Images of Technoutopia]

VO: One of the worst problems of all is the steady rate of robotization.  These technologies will slowly take more and more people’s jobs, jobs that many thought impossible to automate like managers, financial advisors, artists, writers and many more.  The very definition of human labor is going to change, and what solution do the dark lords of the valley propose?  Universal Basic Income.  But they fight unionization tooth and nail.

[Images of Billionare Boondoggles]

VO: No, the worst problem of all is the obscene wealth these miracles create and how disconnected they are from what people need.  Inflation, unemployment, fascism, depression, addiction, incitement to violence and the breakage of family and friends.  Rockets, planes, trains, drill machine, cave submarines, cars, flying cars, cars in space….nothing is wrong with having a dream and making it happen…

[Images of Ivory Towers]

VO: But like something out of a fantasy novel, they sit in their ivory towers, craftering wonders and dispersing them like cake to the plebians below.  And this disconnect is toxic and the temptation for more and more wealth disconnects them even more; what happens when their wonders lead to even more dangerous technologies like sapient digital intelligence, scalable nanotechnology, or a mind machine interface that can write to and therefore redefine the human mind?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Swamp Castle - Derpgod

A worm is spared by a normal human but the worm turns and helps the human, albiet extremely reluctantly.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 8

 [Images of the Two Towers and Lord of the Rings]

VO: A very memorable quote from Lord of the Rings from Gandalf says, “There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will and he does not share power.”  The title of the book refers to the fallen wizard Sarumon who is corrupted thanks to the dark palantir which lets him see vast distances but ultimately exposes his mind to Sauron as a play thing.  A small glass object that gives all the secrets you could ever want?

[Images of Cell phones]

VO: Sound familiar?

[Images of Devices]

VO: And like the Palantir, the wonders of the valley seem magic.  And they are tools that can be used for good or ill.  Computers dont inherently make bad code, people do.  So why do so many things that the dark valley does have seemingly good intentions and yet ends up being corrupted?

[Images of Money and Stock Market]

VO: Just like Lord of the Rings, the rings given to men, dwarves and elves had strings attached.  The money that starts so many startups has strings attached.  Startups need venture capitalists, these ‘investment angels’ like literal fallen angels from the bible seem benevolent but bring all of the problems that capitalism has compounded by the hubris of engineers who dont consider the consequences their technology has on real people and refuse to take responsibility for.

[Images of Sauron’s Army and then cocaine cowboys and wealth]

VO: And like an army of corrupted elves twisted to the will of a fallen wizard, this need for short term quarterly investor profits at the expense of all else drives some very questionable behavior.  The corporate charter that legally shields investors and makes large modern companies possible has been stripped so now their only reason for being is to make money for shareholders at the expense of every other stakeholder imaginable.

[Images of Bezos, Musk and others brazen displays of wealth including mansions etc]

VO: When computers went mainstream in the 80’s, Wall Street made a lot of money.  When the internet came along in the 90’s, they made a lot more money.  When smart phones and social media came on board in the new millennium, they made obscene amounts of money.  As the valley moves fast and breaks things, old obsolete ways of doing business are set by the wayside but they expect the government (ie us, the public) to clean up the damage.  Sound familiar?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Emmit's Corner - The Knight of Dreams

Poems: I have a dream, There is a difference, Good vs Evil, Meta Meta Meta, Hierarchy of Values, Knight of Dreams, War Crimes Soufle, Not Leadership

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 7 (Continued)

  [Images of Kindergarten, The wild west, fences, sheep]

VO: Remember Kindergarten? We all learned some basic rules then, politeness, sharing, quiet time. Well thatisnt the internet.  At all.  The internet was the wild west, and like the wild west they’re building fences for sheep.  Walled gardens are a thing.  And yet, people think its about the first amendment.  Is it?  Is it that black and white and absolute? It’s understandable why the first amendment is written the way it is.  

[Images of Revolutionary War]

VO: The people that founded this country lived under a tyrannical counter enlightenment monarch who had the power to control what they could or couldnt say.  You could be arrested for simply believing something.

[Images of Torture and Inquisition]

VO: Indeed even a century before that, wars of religion meant that just believing in God the wrong way could get you literally killed.

[Images of Trolls, 4 Chan and the like]

VO: But somehow I dont think most of the founding fathers had this in mind when they wrote “Congress shall establish no laws abridging freedom of speech.”  If people can lie with impunity, then how does that serve democracy? How can you make choices based on the marketplace of ideas when literally anything can be said by anyone at any time?

[Image of a crowded theater and fire, lolcats, snake oil]

VO: The classic ‘fire in a crowded theater’ argument says that you can limit speech when it is actually doing harm.  Any yet time and time again the algorithms that these companies use is a mechanism to do massive harm to the wellbeing of this country.  Bad enough you can sell snake oil on television; now you can microtarget it to the people most vulnerable to it right when they’re watching cute images of a dancing cat and their five year old nephew.

[Images of the park again, dictionary, stacks of books, camels, Ariel having her voice stolen]

VO: But people keep saying that a private company can’t be censorship; is that really true? That’s like saying racism is about a philosophy that one race is superior of another.  Words move on from the definition in the dictionary.  Censorship is more than just government suppression; its about taking people’s voices, and how people feel like they’re being stolen.

[Image of Comic Book Guy, Chet from Weird Science, Trolls]

VO: I mean, its one thing if that voice is lying or calling for women to be enslaved to become baby machines.  But the problem is that the valley feels that since they’re big and we’re small and they provide their service for free we dont have a say anymore.  And that simply isnt true.  Nationalism and imminent domain are real and can and have been used for the public good.  And the internet IS the public square. 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Micronation - Chapter 16 - Return to Hler

Chester returns to find out that he has a son, and a very very angry mother and populace as he becomes a celebrity and deals with the consequences thereof.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 7

 Scene 7-The Public Square

[Images of Occupy Wallstreet]

VO: Occupy Wallstreet was a movement ahead of its time and changed the narrative of how income disparity is discussed in this country, but one detail that people tend to forget about is that the core movement in wallstreet was in Zuccotti Park.  The park is on private land that was still a public park by proxy.  The term is Privately Owned Public Space.

[Images of different publicly owned private spaces]

VO: There are a lot of reasons for these, but one of them is that sometimes developers make deals with city or regional governments to provide public services such as a park or school in exchange for zoning concessions from the city government.  

[Image of Kleenex, Xerox]

VO: Kleenex and Xerox became so well known for tissue and copying that they lost their trademark due to common usage.  Google is starting to go in that direction already.  I

[Images of the Public Square and Commons]

VO: In the old days, the Public Square was where anyone could say whatever they wished; or at least what the government would permit.  But it was the place of public gatherings, the place where executions and art and town criers brought news of the world.  Now, the public square has become Facebook and Twitter and Tiktok and a thousand smaller shards, but the public square isn't so public anymore.

[Images of Cars and Houses and people going to work]

VO: Governments protect private property so that people have a motivation to cooperate.  A nice home and car are things that most people are willing to work for.  But the ultra rich just assume that the government has to serve them because it always has.  And yet…and yet…technically, governments can change laws, and cultures and nations can and have changed governments.  Just because something is ‘Private Property’ doesn't mean that it can do whatever it wants how it wants.  The public square is STILL the public square, even if it is a Privately Owned Public Space.

[Images of Trolls and Bots]

VO: And the powers that be of the Dark Valley are doing an absolutely terrible job of taking care of it.  As we try to have civil discourse, as we try to decide who to elect, who to like, who to love; they permit noxious distractions, both trolls and bots to howl like mad.  They make token efforts to curate the garden, but its like grabbing a flea or two with a pair of tweezers in an entire orchard.  

[Images of Revolution and Nationalization]

VO: We don’t have to nationalize facebook and twitter of course, though eminent domain absolutely allows the government to seize private property for public projects like roads.  Paleoconservatives howl that the constitution doesnt mention the internet.  You know what? It doesnt mention tanks either yet we still allow the army to buy them.  The internet and social media are the public square, so we definitely can seize it.  Instead, we can graciously allow them to keep the land, but regulate the park.  But there needs to be some rules.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 6

 Scene 6 - Treason 

[Images of Jan 6]

VO: This only happened 

[Images of Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Snap Chat, Apple and Google in Senate Committees with Company symbol]

VO: Because they helped make it happen.

Images of Countries, starting with Vietnam, China, Thailand, Australia, Russia, Brazil, India]

VO: We like to pretend that corporations are all powerful and too big to fail; and compared to some small nations.  But when a country threatens an American technology company with not being able to do business if they don’t provide tools for monitoring, censorship or spying on their own citizens as well as visitors from other nations within their borders.  

Images of Shakedown and the Mafia

VO: These companies have no choice but to comply.  The United States government has threatened American technology companies with regulatory pressure if they don't comply with political ends, and while the United States government isn't the worst abuser; imagine what it could do if things became more authoritarian in the United States. 

Image of Markets

VO: What we do know is that democracies are marketplaces of ideas, and when corporations are more concerned about milking their product (ie you) for as much profit as they can get that they actually risk your health and welfare, there is a severe problem.  The problem is, congress is slow to act, slow to understand and heavily influenced by corruption including the Tech Industry.  They spent X dollars in Y year; Z dollars in A year and T dollars in S year all so they could have your fine representatives sit down with them and bend their ear towards friendly legislation.

Images of Russia, Cambridge Analytica

VO: But there have been known instances of foreign agitprop in elections; very specific and very bad including Brexit and Cambridge Analytica, Hate Groups that were only shut down at the last possible minute and worse.  The valley loves to talk about free speech when it is refusing to decrypt your phone to the FBI, but all too willing to pull your account if a foreign government doesn't like what they’re saying.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Swamp Castle - Castles in the Air

Elery is chosen by the elves to learn magic among the poverty and squalor of Spielglass full of humans, but instead they treat her as a glorified pet.  As she learns the truth about herself, she has to get home wiht a little help.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, August 11, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 5 Continued

 [Video of Mars and Earth in Orbit and Launch to Mars]

VO: Mars and Earth orbit the sun at different speeds.  That means at its closest, it can take about a year to get there; that’s what we consider the best launch window.  But when planning for the worst, you have to take into account the farthest, and at their farthest, it takes three whole years to get to Mars from Earth.  


Calendars and 3 years.

VO: A LOT can happen in three years.  For example.

[Image of Andromeda Strain and finding life]

VO: Finding life in space is one of the holy grails of space exploration.  There are a lot of reasons for this; in particular if we find life there, whole new medicines and scientific breakthroughs could result.  Such a discovery will be worth billions and should be shared with the whole world.  

[Image pf Elon on a Pirate Flag, Lex Luthor and Otis on Otisberg but name changed to Elonburg.]

VO: But Elonburg will be a corporate town.  It doesn't matter what the government document says, it matters who owns the supply ships, the air, the water and the food of every man, woman and child in Elonburg.

[Images of Covid]

VO: In 2020, Elon thumbed his nose at California that asked him to initiate reasonable protections in his California plant.  Not only did Elon mock California and keep his plant open but then he threatened and actually did move his business to unregulated off the rails Texas.  So who is going to stand up to Elon on Mars?

[Image of Marvin the Martin and lines of infection from Mars to Earth and all over the Earth

VO: What if Elon doesnt believe that the virus is a threat and it gets lose? What if it comes from Mars to Earth and then gets all over Earth.  Such an alien virus could be easily killed by ours..or…it could be lethal and bypass our immune systems totally.  And what’s Earth going to about it if they are…THREE. YEARS. AWAY?

[Images of ???\

VO Of Ominous Silence

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 5

 [Images of Mars]

VO: Mars.  Its the next big step for man.  And its a BIG step.  Theres a reason we havent done it yet.  But now for the first time ever, it looks like we’re going to.

[Images of Elon]

VO: And its pretty cool.   This guy, Mr. Elon Mush, as of now the richest man in the world, has literally built science fiction reusable rockets to live his dream.

[Images of Space X and Tesla]

VO: First he conquers the unconquerable electric car, and then he wants us to go to Mars and has a million other projects.  The modern day Tony Stark.

[Images of Iron Man and Technoscience]

VO: If ever there was a positive face for technology and Silicon Valley, this South African immigrant is it; beating the odds again and again; making money from hard work, luck, panache and a ton of Chutzpa.

[Image on screen] But…

VO: But….there is a dark side to Elon.  We all know about it.  Well, anyone paying attention.

[Images of Elon’s Dark Side]

VO: The thing is, it isnt the petty snark that worries me.  And clearly the stupidest thing he’s ever done is seeking self publicity by suggesting a bunch of kids trapped in a cave can be rescued by his cave submarine. I mean seriously, a CAVE submarine?

[Images of Wile E Coyote]

VO: I mean, I cant but help of think more of this guy than Tony Stark…

[Images of Man who rescued kids]

VO: And this guy thought that it was a stupid idea too, because it was, but he said the quiet part out loud and the emperor realized he had no clothes and so Elon called the guy a pedophile.  Yeah, real mature Elon.  But that’s not what worries me most about this man and his dream.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Micronation - Chapter 15 - Planning and Execution

Watson and Amberlove take down the Cult of Innocence by using their own paranoia against them.

Check out this episode!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 4 Continued

 Images of Phones and Boats]

Voice Over: Did you ever notice that you were talking about boats, and suddenly Facebook and Google start showing you ads about boats? Trips on boats, boats for sail? Toy boats?

[Images of Scientists]

Voice Over: Rumor had it facebook was listening in on your conversation and researchers checked to see if they were.  They aren’t.  Then again, if any company was big enough to stop research from getting out about whether or not your voice is feeding their ads…

[Images of Logos of the Tech Companies]

Voice Over: Its these guys.  But the thing is, those same researchers say that it might be something worse.  That these guys have already learned so much about you that they can just anticipate you talking about boats, and then show you ads about boats without even needing to talk to you.  Which is actually even creepier when you think about it.  We know that before some major leaks they were giving all kinds of information to the government without restrictions.  Then they supposedly locked up their data behind walls so secure that the government supposedly complained about how they couldnt listen to the bad guys anymore.

[Images of organized crime and terrorists]

Voice Over: The government said that it needed the companies to install a backdoor and get in.  Of course they were lying.  Pegasus and other companies are using malware that you cant even detect or stop on your phone to allow evil governments to kill journalists and whistleblowers.  And thats with them supposedly stopping the government from spying on you.  Who’s to say they wont change their mind and start using your phone to spy on you again….right now?

[Images of Tin Foil Hats]

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

[Script] The Sins of Silicon Valley - Act 1, Scene 4 - The Maginot Line

Scene 4 - The Maginot Line


1926  [Black and white like a silent movie]


The Maginot Line  [Black and white like a silent movie]

[Images] Diagrams and Plans and Photos of the Maginot Line

Voice Over: The Maginot Line was this enormous super bunker that the French constructed after WWI when it was obvious the Germans were violating the treaty.  They wanted assurances that their larger more powerful neighbor wasn’t going to just roll over them, and so they thought the way to go was not just trenches but SUPER air conditioned concrete hardened trenches.

[Video Footage of the Blitzkrieg]

Voice Over: That didn’t work out so well.  Technology and tactics have a way of evolving.  Fighting the last war, isn’t always the way to go.  The Maginot line fell to the Blitzkrieg and was completely crushed by the Nazi regime.

[Video Footage of Google and Facebook]

Voice Over: In 2017, Google and Facebook signed a secret deal to corner the ad industry because they knew that working together was more efficient than wasting resources as competitors.  Among other things, Google agreed to feed data to Facebook that was ‘anonymized’

[Video of Anonymization of Data]

Voice Over: The way this was supposed to work was that certain key data was removed like names and phone numbers, but other data was passed directly to Facebook.  Google also fights charges it has too much information by using advanced AI tools and anonymization so that humans can’t abuse it.

[Video of Mark Zuckerberg]

Voice Over: But this is Mark Zuckerberg.  We’ll speak more about him later.

[Video of Blitzkrieg and Puzzles]

Voice Over: But technology adapts.  Facebook and others can learn pieces about you by taking bits from their puzzle and matching them with third party databases and reverse engineering what they know.  Even the most advanced AI Maginot line in the world isn’t going to stop a clever human using social engineering against a stupid human that stands as gate keeper.

[Image of ????]

And that’s just what we know about.