Short reflections on philosophy, society, and the dreadful state of the world
AI Risk and Capitalism
How people seem suddenly worried about ‘Artificial Intelligence’! It’s as if massive threats to human flourishing suddenly become acceptable if they’re cushioned by a soothing cloud of sci-fi speculation. Well, let me tell you, there’s a much bigger problem, and the current path of AI largely owes its existence to it. It’s capitalism that is the overarching threat we should be discussing.
So, what happened? A large number of people working in ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) have begun to see that AI might actually turn out very dangerous. (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/ai-risk-and-capitalism/)
Marching from A to B
In December 2010 I was a graduate student at University College London (UCL) working on what felt like an impossible number of essays, while at the same time teaching philosophy students about psychology and the legacy of Sigmund Freud. It was a cold month, but I loved the bustle of London. My days triangulated between seminar room, library, and a tiny studio flat on Gower Street, right behind the monumental Waterstones bookshop. (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/marching-from-a-to-b/)
Now the emergency is over...
On the 5th of May 2023 the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the enduring COVID-19 pandemic is now merely an established and ongoing health issue, and no longer a public health emergency of international concern. This change of position came about after the responsible committee (which even boasts Anders Tegnell as an advisor) had satisfied itself with a steep decrease in the number of reported COVID-19 deaths and hospitalisations (i. (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/now-the-emergency-is-over/)
The right to encrypt
As you may have heard, the government of the United Kingdom is trying to pass an Online Safety Bill. This piece of legislation would have far-reaching and negative consequences for online security and privacy. In an open letter well-known communication channels such as WhatsApp and Signal object. They believe that the Bill could “break end-to-end encryption” and would “open the door to routine, general and indiscriminate surveillance of personal messages.” (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/the-right-to-encrypt/)
Why am I still on Twitter?
I sent my first tweet on the 17th of June 2009. It contained a six-word description of that afternoon—I was travelling somewhere. Back then Twitter was for me a way of finding out what my friends were up to. Now, twelve-and-a-half thousand tweets and fourteen years later, the experience of being on Twitter resembles that of standing in the lurid departure hall of a noisy international airport—an activity I would undertake only because I wanted to get somewhere, not because I particularly like it. (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/why-still-twitter/)
A consumer phenomenology of the digital
Somewhere in Plato’s work you’ll find an argument against writing. That’s right; writing, as such. Given how important writing is to me, it always gives me an unsettled feeling to consider whether Plato is anywhere near worth taking seriously on this point.
In the Phaedrus, Plato makes Socrates say that the written word will degrade human memory and remove the dialogic character of thinking—a text may speak to you, but it never listens. (Full text on: https://indoxicate.me/consumer-phenomenology/)