Two and Jamie. Stealing sandwiches.
The Invasion - season 06 - 1968
OMG it’s not just Three! Sandwich stealing is a multi-regenerational thing!
Well now I just want to see Thirteen casually steal and eat Kate’s sandwich when she’s looking the other way, while Osgood splutters, unable to decide whether to protest or just laugh.
And now I must make a list of how likely each Doctor is to be a Sandwich thief.
One: Guilty. This trash panda INVENTED sandwich stealing.
Two and three: Sandwich thieves caught on film.
Four: Not guilty. He’s got pockets full of jelly babies, so he doesn’t need to steal sandwiches. Also his companions were, in order, a crack investigative journalist, a savage with keenly developed hunting instincts and a fantastic knife arm, and Romana. He wouldn’t dare.
Five: Guilty. Why else do you think Tegan was always so hangry?
Six: Guilty, but only out of self-preservation. A Renegade Time Lord can’t be expected to subsist on carrot juice alone.
Seven: He made the sandwiches. Eat them at your own risk.
Eight: Guilty, guilty, guilty. But in his defense, he couldn’t remember he’d already eaten his own sandwiches and thought yours were his.
Nine: not really a sandwich kind of person.
Ten: OMG THE BOY CAN’T EVEN WALK INTO A STRANGER’S HOUSE WITHOUT GOING STRAIGHT FOR THEIR JAM JAR. Of course he’s a sandwich thief!
Eleven: Doesn’t like sandwiches, unless they’re full of fish fingers and custard, and since nobody else would make that kind, he is not a sandwich thief.
Twelve: Literally none of the food you saw him eating in series 10 was his own.
Oops I forgot one!
War: Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to steal their sandwiches.
I don’t know why I find the second doctor and Jamie stealing sandwiches to be so funny, but I do.
There exists in the world enough food and resources for every person on Earth to live comfortably. And yet some people live in abject poverty, and a small minority live in unbridled luxury. This much, at least, is inarguable.
Why this is the case, and why a majority allow a minority to have all that wealth and power instead of taking it away from them, has been the subject of a lot of thought over the years. Karl Marx alone wrote thousands of pages on the subject.
The accepted wisdom seems to be, at least in most Western nations and certainly in the United States, is that while the current system is imperfect it’s the best one we have, and that other systems are worse. Liberals will tell you that it’s a process of gradually moving to a more equitable planet where a rising tide lifts all boats. Libertarians and others on the Right will tell you that a small number being ahead and the rest being left behind is right and proper, because capitalism rewards those who deserve it and the “invisible hand of the market” is the only sensible way to run an economy. Other libertarian positions, like that the right to property is inviolable and that taxation is theft, are further ways of ensuring that the powerful keep what they have and the poor stay satisfied with what’s left, because if only they strove hard enough they could be powerful too and deserve all that inviolable property and untaxed earnings.
The question to ask yourself when someone cites you some first principle notion like “People have a right to property” is “Who does this idea benefit?” Does it benefit the powerful or the powerless? And who, do you think, wants you to believe in a world where the powerful deserve what they have and the powerless deserve to be where they are? Who does that belief benefit? (Unless you’re already powerful, it sure doesn’t benefit you.)
Often when you tell someone you’re a socialist, they will respond with something along the lines of “They tried that in the Soviet Union and it failed.” This question could be born of malice—where someone is deliberately using a straw man—but more likely it’s simply out of ignorance—where someone legitimately thinks the Soviet communism is the only way to enact socialist ideas. The easy rejoinder is to point to social democracies like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, and say (while obviously still imperfect) there’s an example of how this works in the real world. You can also point to cooperatively owned business models, like those of the Mondragón corporations in Spain, which show that it’s possible to run a successful company with a collective rather than capitalist ownership structure.
But fundamentally the question always comes back to “Do you think it’s a moral catastrophe that wealth is so unequal in the world?” Because if you don’t then there’s something fundamentally sociopathic about your worldview.
And once you acknowledge the moral catastrophe, the next hurdle is the one that says “Yes, this is wrong, but the system’s too big and there’s nothing we can do about it.” Except there is something you can do about it—you can vote, and protest, and make your voice heard. We’re the 99% precisely because we outnumber them. Which is why we can win.
A line of displacement
In New York history, there’s a definite line that runs from European settlers forcibly removing native Lanape, to projects like Central Park forcibly removing the black Seneca Village, to the tens of thousands of people Robert Moses threw out of their homes for his highways and housing projects, to Bloomberg throwing people out of their homes to build things like Barclay Center which he gave to a Russian oligarch for a song.
The message New York gives is that the poor and powerless have no business taking up space that can be used by the wealthy and powerful.
#WhoAgainstGuns has already raised over $5000 to help prevent gun violence! Donate and you’ll receive an exclusive commentary track for the classic story “The War Games” featuring Doctor Who podcasters, writers, and artists. If we can reach $7000, none other than Steven Moffat will join the commentary! And you don’t want to miss that. Details and how to donate here.
“Rich people force poor people to work for them for wages. The poor do not get to negotiate these wages. Wages are what the market dictates is a fair price for one hour of their labor. Though a cashier at McDonald’s handles easily hundreds of dollars in an hour, she will be paid $7.25 an hour regardless of what her employer earns from her labor and they will insist this is fair. She may hate her job and cry every night on her mother’s pullout couch wishing she could find a better, higher-paying job, but all of this suffering is her choice, obviously. Oh, that’s right — a lot of people think that if you’re not being coerced to work by top-heavy goons by gunpoint, you’re somehow not being coerced to work. They like to spin these weird pretzels of logic where those without money or resources are actually free to live in a world where the rich have now privatized the commons and kicked out the ladder. When confronted with the reality that single moms work because if they don’t their kids are taken away, they shrug and insist those moms shouldn’t have had kids. When confronted with the bleak dilemma that many millions of chronically ill people face staying in horrible jobs every day to keep their health insurance, they shrug and insist it’s their own fault for getting sick in a country where medical care is prohibitively expensive. So on and so forth. Capitalist shitbag science means the rationalizations for injustice never end. No, unless you’re literally being held down by gunpoint, none of this will ever qualify as coercion. They always win because you’re always free to choose something else — apparently.”
The Soviet Union
The problem with the Soviet Union was not Communism, but authoritarianism. That’s why democratic socialist states like Norway and Sweden don’t have gulags.
The rich and powerful will try to con you into believing that success is a matter of “personal responsibility”, that, in other words, any problems you have are your own fault. You should obviously be more pious, more responsible, more intelligent, and any failure is because you are lazy, irresponsible, and stupid. Better yet if there’s some other group of people you can look down your nose at and think at least you’re not as lazy, irresponsible, and stupid as them, and isn’t all the problems really their fault anyway?
This is all a distraction from the fact that the system is rigged against you, built by the powerful and wealthy to make themselves more powerful and wealthy. There is corruption and rot at the heart of capitalism.
I’m a fan of Set, as long-time readers of this Tumblr have probably guessed, but I think I might also be a little bit of a fan of Apophis. I figure that when it’s time for the universe to be broken down and remade from scratch, someone’s got to take out the trash. So like Set, Apophis has a role to play in the cosmic machinery; in fac, without him, we wouldn’t be here now. (I have a bunch of reading to do, so this idea is subject to change.)
While I’m saying something a bit controversial, let me add that it did my bitter soul good to Block a call-out blog. (I won’t call it a “social justice” blog, because social justice is never the goal of these things.) Being followed by such a blog is a direct threat: we’re monitoring you and we will punish you if we decide you’ve transgressed. The heck with you.
But he’s literally the killer of the gods. It’s your practice but I’m just confused how can you put the two together
I really hate to step in on this, but this is a very dangerous idea you’re considering and the points you’re making don’t align with canon.
a/p/e/pdoesnt do anything to help us. a/p/e/pdoesnt take out the trash, it IS the trash.
and the notion that we wouldnt be here now within it is quite opposite of what’s been established.
a/p/e/pis trying to bring us back to nonexistence through misery, unjust violence, and self-destruction. it doesnt want to help you. it wants you dead, it wants your sweet pets dead, it wants us all dead. and not just dead, but nonexistent.
the type of destruction
a/p/e/pbrings are things like ruining the lives of the innocent, breaking hearts, and acts of bigotry. a/p/e/pis what drives so many of us to suicide. a/p/e/pis whats killed so many innocent people at the hands of racists, homophobes, transphobes, islamphobes, antisemetics, nazis, ableists, etc., etc., etc..
a/p/e/pdoes not care about you. its only motivation is to destroy everything we know and love and keep it that way.
i understand that i sound harsh but i do so out of concern for your safety and the safety of others. if you welcome this entity into your life you will suffer.
From a Kemetic point of view, of course, what I’m saying is strange and probably (and I apologise) offensive. However, I’m not Kemetic; I’m Wiccan, and I suspect this is the source of a sneaking acceptance of Apophis and his role in remaking the universe. In Wicca, death, destruction, and decay all have a natural and sacred role, and are not identical with evil; their personifications, as the Dark God and the Crone, are welcomed, not execrated.
Serious question – are there controversies within Kemeticism over whether Set should be accepted? He seems popular with modern worshippers, and yet was pretty much The Devil for part of Egypt’s religious history.
not trying to sound rude but you didn’t seem to get what we were saying. it has no role in remaking the universe. it wants the universe undone, to have never existed. it wants the end of all things and regardless of your personal religion, to welcome it is to welcome an undoubtedly evil force. there is no philosophy of death or decay to be considered here. it is a horrible force, period. not just from a kemetic point of view. there are just some entities you do not mess with.
set is accepted. He in no way compares to that horrific beast and we know His role.
Also like, Set slays apep and is more a god of necessary chaos. Think a cooling storm after a 40c day.
Would it be fair to say, then, that the Kemetic Orthodox religion, or Kemeticism in general, is based on the religious thought of a particular time and place in Ancient Egypt, or a particular strand of religious thought, one in which Set was integrated rather than execrated as the enemy of the cosmos? That would have implications for how other gods are viewed and worshipped (and perhaps for You-Know-Who, but on that point, I shall say no more and do my homework :).
I tend, as a heresy-minded druid, to view the idea of Beings of Pure Evil with a sort of defiant interest. Disclaiming again that this is manifestly not a Kemetic or Wiccan perspective, I am inclined to think of gods as phenomena of human thought. (”The one place Gods inarguably exist is in our minds where they are real beyond refute, in all their grandeur and monstrosity,” as Alan Moore puts it) This is in no way a claim of their unreality, but rather an important lens into their nature. Gods presuppose need, which presupposes at least some level of thought. Without believing in the idea of people being Evil in some absolute and metaphysical sense, it is thus difficult to imagine a god that does not extend out of legitimate human needs.
And so the declaration that Apophis is simply not to be messed with, that he is an absolute evil just doesn’t wash. Certainly the descriptions above, where he simultaneously represents an ultimate nullity and also racism, seems to me impossibly garbled. “Apophis” is a word like any other, and can be deconstructed.
I would probably point to Kenneth Grant here, whose incorporation of Lovecraftian beings into conventional occultism seems a naked effort to grapple with productive uses of ultimate nullity, and who, though clearly flawed, is equally clearly not without value.
Don’t cut yourselves on all that edge.
The standards of edginess have clearly slipped since my increasingly distant youth if mentioning that Kenneth Grant is kind of interesting now counts. Y'all are gonna have a proper pearl clutch when you discover the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram.
Look, I’ve been in the pagan community long enough to be familiar both with Ultimate Gods of Ultimate Evil and their inevitable reclamation by people with a bit too much eyeliner. Neither process impresses me. I’ve read my share of nihilism. I respect it and am not cowed by it. Declaring your Ultimate God of Ultimate Evil to not even be a god but something beyond gods does not impress me. Neither did writing “DEATH TO DABBLERS” in silver sharpie on your Book of Shadows in the 90s. Or any other variation of the trope of the absolutely forbidden knowledge that must not be known. I find these things not quite boring, but at least known quantities with well documented pluses and minuses.
So like, if we’re talking edge, I’m not the person with an Ultimate God of Ultimate Evil whose name must not be spoken. I have no such being in my cosmology, nor any real interest in one. If you do, hey, cool. Enjoy that, whether your relationship to it is cowering in abjection or poking it with a stick. Both are clearly valid approaches with long histories.
But maybe learn those histories before you start throwing insults or pearl clutching at someone like dwellerinthelibrary who’s got a different relationship with your pantheon than you do.
What a beautiful bit of rude sophistry. I especially love how you entirely ignored recon/revivalists and dove right into just pagan/wiccan views.
“The standards of edginess have clearly slipped since my increasingly distant youth if mentioning that Kenneth Grant is kind of interesting now counts.”
We get it, you’ve been around awhile in the pagan community. This doesn’t engender you with “knowing better then any of you children” as you seem to brush us off as. I wasn’t referring to mentioning Kenneth Grant, but the rather rude and entirely dismissive and obnoxious way you presented your comments.
You mistake “TEH EBILZ DO NOT INTERACTZORZ” for what we’re saying. Here’s the problem:
This isn’t equivalent to discussing the evil natures of The Devil, Lucifer, Baphomet and how they were demonized into being “Ultimate Gods of Ultimate Evil”. This being was never some benevolent deity that eventually got ousted and demonized, as much as you seem so eager to argue otherwise. You keep calling The worm a God…He’s not and has never been one. I recommend pursuing a lovely article that explains this called, Apophis: On the Origin, Name, and Nature of an Ancient Egyptian Anti-God by Ludwig Morenz. This article explains the role of The Worm rather well and straightforward, and why it’s not a “God”. This isn’t paganism, its kemeticism.
You presume we’re fearful children cowering to this thing because it’s “Teh ULTIMATE EVULZ”. You may not be impressed and that’s adorable. But this creature doesn’t care for your “heretic-minded” approaches, it will eat you, it will negate your soul and swallow your mind. That’s how it works, this isn’t some adorable Lovecraftian octopus cuddle-buddy. Which everyone has warned about. You waltzed in and unilaterally decided we don’t know what we are talking about when it comes to this being. But we do. We’ve all explained thoroughly on the subject. This isn’t some debate on 20th century practices.
We’re not “edgy” because we refuse to give The Worm it’s proper name and proper iconography because it’s “Teh Ultimate Evilz”, this argument is fallacious. This is not some lost god people can be extra and reclaim. It began as the complete antithesis of everything existent and creation. There is nothing to “reclaim” there is nothing to “bring back from fearful oblivion“. The Worm has always been this way, in it’s place of resistance since the gods were born. This isn’t paganism or occultism.
“Or any other variation of the trope of the absolutely forbidden knowledge that must not be known. I find these things not quite boring, but at least known quantities with well documented pluses and minuses.“That’s great! That doesn’t apply here. I really don’t see how there’s anything amusing about “nothingness”, but I guess I just require more then “it’s ultimate evil” to find something worth being entertained. There really is no “forbidden knowledge” here, but your ignorance of this is understandable I suppose. The name of The Worm is known, it’s nature, where it came from, what it does/wants/seeks etc. There’s nothing hidden here, no secret tomes of darkness, no forbidden amulets of power it created, no secret cults glorifying it that were stamped out by the Pharaohs. You seem to WANT this to be a typical situation of “dark knowledge” to pursue that was suppressed but…it’s not, it’s a simple reality of the cosmology, (at least your comments suggest this).
Your personal cosmology doesn’t contain a force of ultimate endings and negation of the universe? That’s great, super, special, amazing, condragulations. Ours does, and we get nervous when people want to touch it and cuddle it and want to be best friends. But you didn’t care about that, you wrote everyone off as terrified babies, with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude because you’re “heretical minded”, adorable. The arrogance of your posts were a delight, and shows you really don’t understand this creature while you proclaim we don’t understand this creature. This isn’t paganism, modern pagan debates or 20th century practices, you seem to not get that.
“But maybe learn those histories before you start throwing insults or pearl clutching at someone like dwellerinthelibrary who’s got a different relationship with your pantheon than you do.”
If that isn’t the most edgy, obnoxious bullshit ever.
“I have a different relationship with your pantheon therefore you know nothing about it!!!!”
Maybe consider WHY we all say roughly the same thing about The Worm before you take it upon yourself to dismiss us as “frightened children cowering to The Ultimate God of Ultimate Evil” you know, cause we study this and know alot about our own religion. This isn’t paganism and modern pagan debates or 20th century practices.Dwellderinthelibrary’s perspective we found…ill-advised, at least I did, regarding The Worm. It’s dangerous, and really you’re going to find alot of material about it that says “it’s against the gods, it’s the enemy of all life and creation, its the rebel of ra”. In light of another person going around saying “The Worm just needs love and attention”, was more distressing, as they claim to receive visions from it. The Worm just isn’t some fascinating subject that needs to be explored, or theologically examined to be quite frank.
Quite separate from your puzzling irritation over my rudeness in response to your one line insult post, you misunderstand my perspective. I do not have a different relationship with your pantheon. I have no relationship with your pantheon. I find your Nameless Ungod at the Heart of All Creation uninteresting. This is not because I fail to understand the myriad of asterisks and special cases you lay out, but because I do understand them and recognize them as much like every other bit of special pleading to be chewed up and spat out by the vast behemoth that is syncretism and eclectic paganism.
Because the thing is, like a Devouring Unthing From Beyond Time, eventually the new age shop eats us all. Every revivalism and reconstructionism, every iconoclastic vision, every way of ending the phrase “we’re not pagan, we’re” gets subsumed into the vast history of people mashing shit together. And part of that process is that the unspeakable evils all get reclaimed. Because if you name it, it can and will be deconstructed into something new. I mean, Apophis *already has been*. Thelema invokes him in one of their most basic rituals. This isn’t even “poor misunderstood goth god played by Tom Hiddleston.” Fucking Cthulhu has been reclaimed.
I don’t say this to say that your approach to your pantheon is wrong. It’s entirely valid. Enjoy it. It’s just that shouting “and no other approach to this pantheon can ever possibly work” is full on King Canute territory. Pagan fundamentalism is a hilariously doomed endeavor. Eventually we’re all just another half-shelf in a bookstore full of crystals, flowy fabric, and the smell of patchouli.
This is all this conversation makes me think of:
What a punch
This is assault and illegal. He may spew nothing but bile but his right to free speech must be protected
Ain’t nobody throwing him in prison, so his freedom of speech isn’t being violated.
Also, learn what speech is exempt from it, like, for instance, fighting words. Words that by their very utterance inflict injury, and speech that incites an immediate breach of the peace, kind of like, yknow, saying you want to exterminate all of their kind of people. Basically, talk shit get hit is 100% protected.
I swear people that yell about Freeze Peach have no idea what it means. If you provoke someone and then they act on that provication, then it’s on you, not them.
I have to admit, I get a little thrill of joy when I see this
“The result is that Americans don’t really enjoy utilities in the same way as the rest of the world at all: they are fleeced for the basics, by natural monopolies, who never lower prices, only raise them — and eviscerate the quality of what they are supposed to provide. Flint has no clean water. Puerto Rico has no power. California was sent into crisis by manipulated energy “markets”, which weren’t markets at all. America has no BBC or National Health Service, again because “competition will lower prices” — only there is no competition, and prices only rise, while quality falls. The invisible fist punches Americans over and over again, where it hurts most: for the most basic goods of life.”
- Why the Internet Should be a Public Utility (via azspot)
*realizing the irony of my inability to breathe as i laugh hysterically at the last panel*
Kevin Bridges: A Whole Different Story
…where’s the lie?
From a macroeconomics standpoint, Bridges is completely accurate.
The problem with most Tories (and many Republicans in the US) is that they either have big business interests at heart or have bought the lie that government is like a business. Government is not a business! Microeconomic principles, even ones that apply to entire industries, don’t apply to governments!
Here’s the fundamental macroecomic model of an economy:
(image from tutor2u)
Notice that the system is circular. The model shows that the economy inherently needs to be balanced. If some households are making hundreds of times the income of other households, they will put the vast majority of that money into savings and investment.
This is bad for the economy.
Some savings and investment is necessary. But too much means the little green arrows are siphoning off vast portions of the peach demand arrow (”purchases of goods and services”). This means that companies are fighting over a smaller and smaller pie. Even if you heavily fund those companies, many will collapse due to lack of demand for their products, unless they become monopolies and the sole practical source of their product. Monopolies are technically illegal in the US, but we have them anyway because of this problem (and a lack of enforcement).
The other way you can damage the demand arrow is by shifting the proportions of the purple income arrow. Most people make money from wages, so if you significantly decrease those relative to dividends, interest, profits, and rent, you’ll harm the majority of households. In turn, this again decreases the peach arrow because many households only need a set amount of a given product in a year. The fewer households that can afford the products, the lower overall demand, because the remaining households won’t buy up the difference.
Households with average levels of income spend far more money than they save, of necessity, and they do so at a relatively steady rate. This is good for the economy.
Households with incredibly high levels of income - millionaires, etc. - save far more than they spend. They tend to make their money off of dividends, interest, profits, and rents - not wages. Therefore, to improve the economy, including increasing tax revenues for the government, two basic steps are urged by almost all macroeconomists:
1. Increase wages, especially at the lowest end. This expands the tax base and drives up demand for basic goods and services, stabilizing the industries necessary to a decent quality of life: agriculture and food production, clothing, housing, education, transportation, etc.
2. Use progressive taxes, in which those who make the most money, particularly off of dividends, interest, profits, and rents, pay a higher percentage of their income as taxes. This allows that money to be spent directly on goods and services or to be redistributed to poor households, who will in turn spend it on goods and services. In both cases, money that would have gone into savings and investment instead goes into demand. This makes businesses more successful and a large number of households more prosperous. Society as a whole benefits from decreased crime, lower health problems, and improved public goods like education, roads, emergency response, infrastructure, etc.
Macroeconomics is the opposite of an individual business. Individual businesses study how to take the most pie for themselves and keep it. Macroeconomists - and governments - study how to make the pie bigger and distribute it in such a way that society as a whole benefits from the growth.
Conservatives: doing economics wrong for the past several decades by deliberately pretending that knowing how to run a business is anything like knowing how to run a government. Being fiscally cautious and being uneducated do not have to go hand in hand. (I’m both, for example.) But the rhetoric for slashing budgets has been laden with errors and ideology since at least the 1930s, and I’m tired of it.
ONE MORE TIME FOR THE MORONS
AT THE BACKIN OUR GOVERNMENTS
New York’s name comes from James Stuart, the Duke of York, who financed the expedition to seize New Amsterdam and the New Netherlands from the Dutch. During the third Anglo-Dutch war, an expedition financed by the Dutch William, Duke of Orange, took back New York and renamed it New Orange in his honor. The colony was given back and the name New York restored at the end of the war.
James Stuart, Duke of York, later became King James II & VII of England and Scotland. After Parliament deposed him for being a Catholic, they turned to his niece Mary and her husband to rule. Her husband happened to be William, Duke of Orange of the Netherlands, and they ruled together as William III and Mary II.
And so, England replaced a King New York was named after for another King New York was named after.
In spite of this, New York continued to be called New York.
Neither James Stuart nor William of Orange ever set foot in New York.
“Furs had always figured importantly in the European luxury trades; beaver in particular was highly prized for both its soft, deep pelt and its alleged medicinal properties. As Adriaen van der Donck would explain midway through the seventeenth century, beaver oil cured rheumatism, toothaches, stomachaches, poor vision, and dizziness; beaver testicles, rubbed on the forehead or dried and dissolved in water, made effective antidote to drowsiness and idiocy.”
- Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G Burrows and Mike Wallace
Second European in New York
“One year after Verrazzano’s brief visit, Esteban Gomez, a black Portuguese pilot who had sailed with Magellan, ventured a fair distance up the Hudson (which he called Deer River) before concluding that it didn’t lead to China.”
— Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G Burrows and Mike Wallace
*does laundry but like in a punk way*
*does laundry but in a musical theatre way*
*does musical theatre but in a punk way*
*does punk but in a musical theatre way*
*does musical theater but in a laundry way*
this is my favorite post
i can’t not re blog this
OK but someone do punk in a laundry way.
When I was young, I took it at face value when people would complain about affirmative action or talk about “states rights”. I thought these were legitimate issues they were concerned with, honestly pursuing fairness and justice. It was only when I started talking to people who made these kinds of statements, dug into their beliefs, that I discovered that beneath the veil what they really didn’t like was black people, and specifically black people having things.
The rise of Trump has only made this veil thinner and more porous. Now whenever I hear someone complaining about affirmative action or talking states rights or “thugs” or “reverse racism” or objecting to taking a knee or what have you, what I really hear is someone saying the n-word over and over. Because that’s what’s really going on.
I went off about this a bit on Twitter a few days ago, but just to make the argument without the constraint of breaking it into 140 character chunks, as it’s both important and unlikely to fit through the rapidly narrowing window of “stuff that makes it into NAB” (halfway through the TERFs essay, then one more - most of the editing is already done, so it’ll be fairly fast after that, though there’s still a few things that could go wrong - it’ll be out in 2017 if it kills me, and then Eruditorum 7 in the first half of 2018).
It’s increasingly clear that the most damaging legacy of Yudkowsky is that the popularization of his ideas (in part driven by people like Bostrom and Musk) has focused popular understanding of the dangers of AI on remote apocalyptic scenarios in a way that actively distracts from actually existent AI risk. The effects of, for instance, AI content moderation on social networks on discourse or of facial recognition that can’t handle black people are overlooked because they’re not the paperclip optimizer or Roko’s Basilisk. And these are real issues that are already happening and already dangerous. As algorithms and big data become bigger and bigger parts of decision making, the racial and sexual biases that are consistently baked into AIs by well-intentioned programmers with insufficient awareness of the limitations of their perspective are going to become bigger and more damaging. We’re already at a point where things happen like an AI used to predict recidivism rates being disproportionately likely to wrongly predict black prisoners as reoffenders and white prisoners as safe. The point where we get a massive AI-driven revival of redlining practices in housing is basically imminent if not already happening unnoticed.
In the face of this, general theories of “AI friendliness” become painfully visible as an attempt to substitute an actual problem with one so hypothetical that literally zero progress has been made on the question “so what does this mean in terms of actual coding?” And what’s horrifyingly revealing about the LessWrong crowd is that by and large they don’t even seem to recognize racial and sexual bias in AI as an aspect of “friendliness” that’s actually on the table right now. Which, I mean, it’s hard to call that a surprise when you remember that neoreaction spawned out of basically the same pool of thought, or that Yudkowsky’s sugar daddy is Peter Thiel, whose company Palantir is a military AI contractor that I basically guarantee you gives somewhere between zero and negative fucks about the racial bias of its products.
But basically, if your notion of how to approach the problem of AI risks substitutes actual harm being done right now for entirely hypothetical framings of the problem despite the fact that the actual harm is clearly a specific instance of your general problem that demands immediate solutions, go fuck yourself sideways with a server rack.