In today’s news, it turns out MSNBC’s legal correspondent, Ari Melber, has proposed treating “fake news”, or more technically “disprovable media claims” as a species of fraud along the same lines as fraudulent advertising – and therefore something the FTC can protect the public from.
Long-time readers may notice a certain similarity to the Empire’s long-standing principle that “the freedom of speech is not the freedom to deceive” that establishes lies on matters of fact as criminal fraud, only aggravated by the number of people you’re lying to.
It’s just a more limited (concentrating only on “deceptive businesses” and keeping the government away from “actual journalists” and “citizens exercising their right to lie” – O tempora! O mores!) and government-centered (rather than creating a cause of action for anyone lied to) version of it. Which differences probably make it worthless anyway, but just in case anyone’s getting ideas from my fictional politics…
…it works there because of a millennia-old tradition of intellectual integrity (“right to lie, indeed!”) and of principled valxíjir and of not being a bunch of malevolent means-justifying sons-of-bitches. Both I and my fourth-wall-breaking characters strongly anti-endorse the notion for use here, where approximately none of those conditions hold true.
Today’s this-very-much-belongs-in-my-universe, courtesy of Borderlands 2 and a New-U station:
“If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them.”
Today’s relevant shout-out goes to Destiny: Rise of Iron for its depiction of a nanotech bloom as something other than the traditional (boring) homogeneous gray goo:
So many of the probable phases, all on display: the hard-shelled geoms (which I conceive of as processing nodes) and bundles of organic-looking transport/processing motile cables, both growing together and through other objects; hazes of foglets, both being excreted by other constructions and moving independently; and (not pictured), streams of liquid nanite soup glowing lava-like with the radiant heat of active [dis]assembly.
If you’re looking for a visual reference for what I envision rampant nanite blooms to look like in the ‘verse, you could do a lot worse.
Just a quick note to mention to my readers that a few of us writy-types have put together a Google+ community for flash fiction and nanofiction, and I’ll be posting a few things over there from time to time, as will several other folks worth the reading.
Why not take a look?
Y’know, I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this article on here before, and I really should have.
Because – as a simple matter of contract law – marriage in the Empire and other Societies of Consent does, in fact, permit all the difficult concepts mentioned here and a few more besides, including all of reflexive self-marriage (mostly pointless as it is), really complicated notions of “sex” and “gender”, polygamy, people being simultaneously involved in multiple distinct marriages, the marriage of non-natural persons which can potentially include marriages marrying each other as a distinct concept from multiple marriages merging, intransitive marriages, double-marriages, and asymmetric marriage. Welcome to the bleeding-edge postsophont universe, although for the good of everyone’s sanity, most people stick to the simple options and don’t try and make use of all of these at the same time…
But it gives you an idea of just how eye-wateringly difficult the job of the DBAs over at the Central Office of Records and Archives can be, sometimes.
I’ve been taking a moment or two today to futz with Ethereum, which is – as the site puts it – “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts”.
I mention this as something that might be of interest to Eldraeverse readers, since if you squint very, very hard when you look at it, you can see the beginnings of the fancy automatic-resource-management-and-smart-contract infrastructure I describe the Worlds as having – I mean, back in its equivalent of the technological paleolithic, but then, it’s a lot easier to write about these things than actually sit down and develop them, y’know?
Anyway. Even if you’re not quite so determined a poker of new technologies as I am, you might still want to take a browse through the project site and some of the examples and possibilities therein described. This piece of the future might not be here quite yet, but you can smell it from there!
Thinking briefly of things other than today’s challenge, I’d like to draw the attention of interested readers to the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic Friendship is Optimal.
(Trope page here; story here.)
Specifically, with relevance to the Eldraeverse where seed AIs are concerned. Namely, inasmuch as it is a perfect example of what happens when you only screw up the tiniest, most minuscule bit when you had your “Oops, we accidentally a god” moment.
And that’s despite the cosmic horror elements (not counting the wibbling in the comments from people who believe in continuity identity) or the really horrifying implications of a weakly godlike superintelligence that compiles sophonts instrumentally to satisfy the values of other sophonts without sanity-and-ethics checking those values first.
But, hey, most of the human species in this fic gets to continue to exist as minds recognizably descended from their previous iterations and even have their values satisfied. Which, in Eldraeverse terms, means they got absurdly, backyard-moonshot lucky when compared to the set of all people screwing around with computational theogeny. (Especially given the other attempts at seed AI going on in the background.)
Which is why the Coricál Consensus is so all-fired important.
(The Transcend, incidentally, would be more than happy to satisfy your values through friendship and ponies, if that’s part of your optimal solution-set. With, y’know, rather tighter consent rules, and ethical constraints, though.)