If it’s man made it serves the man

Just like with computer security, or any security at all in fact, if you seal any outside access you won’t be able to get out yourself. So, because all security has to primordially be practical, it advertises its own vulnerabilities.

A news algorithm is not the solution to media manipulation. I see the optimism and the direction in Tim O’Reilly’s proposal here, but the fact of the matter is that people make the algorithm and people will use it. Not A.I., not angels or other divine or selfless beings.

I wish there was this kind of system where we couldn’t tweak it to serve or momentary needs and simple pleasures, which is what God was supposed to be, but a system that oversees the happening of our greater good, however, for me, is a dangerous illusion on which to ride into the future.

Software is very tweak-able and above all it is owned. Algorithms are patented and above all they’re working with functions which have parameters. Software and algorithms don’t exist in some high sphere where fake news or malevolent mindset manipulation doesn’t have access.

I am so surprised of the backlash against Facebook, as if it is Facebook’s responsibility to ensure equal and impartial access to information. Sure, the consumers should be mad that they’re getting fake crap in their feeds, society should be mad that the evil seems to triumph when there is hardly any consequence for a click, but not at Facebook!

Now this big internet company, one of the few left who don’t go after the offline business of being the “media” company, but one who is content into making its honeypot smell better for the offline money of actual real “media” companies, is bound to take business advice from the civil society. That makes no sense.

Engagement is gold for Facebook. People dig it. There is a constant depopulation threat on Facebook ever since I signed up. No one left. There is a reason for that. There have been dozens of second guesses from the industry, attempts at stealing the crown, but for some reason people stuck around. When they stop optimising for engagement they need something else to fill in the role of a huge user hook. Who has that?

We seem to be constantly eager to replace some filtering with more filtering. So the human curators are not good. Let’s use math. Oh, the math is weak, let’s use more math. Oh the more math is boring, let’s add some people too.

Isn’t it funny how we all fought our way into information overload and now we crave the dirty pleasure of certainty and authority?

No company will save the world. No algorithm will ever be impartial.

No algorithm will ever be impartial.

No algorithm will ever be impartial.

No algorithm will ever be impartial.

Look at children. We know how to raise children. We do it and have done it for … ever. Yet, we cannot grow one that easily detaches from whatever experience we’ve inflicted or groomed into them. So even true A.I. or S.A.I. (super artificial intelligence) will be biased. We’ll need more S.A.I.’s biased in different ways to keep a balance.

You can’t save democracy by filtering fake news. Yet people will love you if you filter what hurts them and allow through what makes them feel good. In fact that’s the secret to great relationships.

The paradox of access is when you are given the keys to the universe and you use them to play fetch with your dog. Information is currently free. Has been so for about fifty years. Power is no longer knowledge. Currently, power is potential.

No amount of logic or facts or liberal news or truth would swing the voting base of a populist. They’re not receptive. No amount of authority checks and source weights would swing a hothead voter into a logical choice. They don’t listen. One needs the same kind of tools as the original problem defined: charisma, vision, promise, empty confirmation, constructed collective epiphany. That’s how you handle the frail part of democracy which is tested whenever we go through giving everyone free access to making politics: the vote.

I fail to see why taking the high ground of science, which is what young and smart folks are into now, or acting as a robot under the first law in a book by Asimov, which is what the political expression of liberals, meaning democrats, chose, why any of them are worthy of any particular admiration considering, well, the outcome …

Google can direct traffic to any sites that make their money intake faster and bigger. Facebook can percolate any item that makes their money intake faster and bigger. Uber can operate under any arrangement that makes their money intake faster and bigger. These are corporations and corporations are not people. We cannot be upset at them, nor expect some public service to magically spawn from them. Sure, social responsibility is a big deal for many big deals, but in capitalism it is completely optional.

If we, the so called good guys, need to win and want to win, we need to be better at our politics, which is the management of life empowering survival. Do we have fake news as a problem? Make more true news and promote them as fake news. Are the fake news weaponized? Weaponize true news.

This doesn’t say the end justifies the means. It says to fight the fight the others are winning, instead of picking new magical saviours, this time embedded in servers crunching truth values of blog posts.