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Cake day: June 25th, 2023

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  • A company spokesperson said: “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behaviour.”

    Wells Fargo has been notoriously inconsistent.

    I’m going to assume the workers were being over-monitored, and disallowed from normal human activity until this is specifically ruled out by additional reports.

    When a company is abusive and toxic to the point workers turn to surveillance evasion, it not only ruins that job, but makes the employee wary of future jobs. It causes social harm.

    Yes, it is typical, but requiring employees to hand over personal Facebook account passwords used to be typical until the requirement was outlawed. Employers often act in bad faith, and workers commonly have to tolerate it. So distrust of companies, and of Wells Fargo in particular, is well earned.


  • uriel238@lemmy.blahaj.zoneto196@lemmy.blahaj.zonerulie xcx
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    14 hours ago

    So if I’m reading this correctly, there are people who sexually fetishize being torn apart by crocodiles. They have their own subdivision of Rule 34 art featuring sex and gnashing crocodiles. They have social media chatboards where they share fantasies and exchange roleplay tips, and where to buy sweet stuffed animals and play props, and rate versions of Godzilla and Lake Placid. They go to social munches where they snack and talk about the delight of getting torn apart by crocodiles and size each other up for dating. They even get together in play trists where they role-play as crocodile and victim, often ending in impassioned rutting.

    And when someone can afford it, they buy transit to Queensland (at a rate of one person every three months), go there, evade animal control and crocodile management and sacrifice themselves their desire, throwing themselves among the Queensland crocodiles to get torn to pieces.



  • So when I was a wee tot, I was terrified of my dad’s monster face. Not the same as the angry face he made when I was in trouble, but the face he made when doing adult stuff: Reading the paper; writing on his notepad (doing math. He did math at home); untying a fishline knot, whatever.

    Decades later, I would learn I have my own similar monster face which I discovered in a mirror selfie, figuring out how to operate my phone camera. (It was 2007, they were still new-ish and unstandardized). It turns out scary faces for concentrating on tasks are hereditary.


  • LLMs are less magical than upper management wants them to be, which is to say they won’t replace the creative staff that makes art and copy and movie scripts, but they are useful as a tool for those creatives to do their thing. The scary thing was not that LLMs can take tons of examples and create a Simpsons version of Cortana, but that our business leaders are super eager to replace their work staff with the slightest promise of automation.

    But yes, LLMs are figuring in advancements of science and engineering, including treatments for Alzheimer’s and diabetes. So it’s not just a parlor trick, rather one that has different useful applications that were originally sold to us.

    The power problem (LLMs take a lot of power) remains an issue.


  • If you let your workers take breaks, check their email, chat to loved ones and peek at social media, their productivity goes way up.

    Similarly, if you micromanage your staff, their productivity plummets.

    If capitalism worked, and companies were driven towars actually maximizing dividends, companies would actively invest in the infrastructure to keep employees happy and in working form. But instead, companies consistently splurge on letting upper management behave like children, including hiring a staff of handlers to keep the binky in their mouths. And that includes letting them bully the staff.

    Some day, we dream, the ownership class will tremble before revolution of the proletariat, and maybe well take some steps towards a public-serving economy.

    But not today.



  • While I am cerain there are smart Catholics, even some working on AI development, agents of the Church are a different story, and I’d expect them to push policy that serves the Church institution, and disregards the interests of the laity it is supposed to serve.

    So I’d see this as just a power play, and ultimately the Holy See would endorse any AI of any company that offers access to it to the Church, even if it hasn’t been tested to be safe for direct access to the world.

    But I can be cynical of for-profit institutions.


  • In the 1990s solar flares were a known problem we’ve yet to solve. Without the earth’s magnetic field or eleven feet of concrete, a CME bakes astronauts crispy golden brown.

    With the moon shots, we just timed them with solar minimum and hoped to get lucky. But instead of a couple of weeks, a mars shot is nine months in space. So we’re going to need some new materials with which to make our crew compartments CME proof.

    And this is one of hundreds of problems we need to fix before we can send people to mars. It’s going to be a while.







  • I’m reminded of an animated short that really insisted it wasn’t a metaphor, about a fellow building a giant puzzle embodying all of human knowledge, with a special missing piece regarding a unification theory.

    His buddy who finds this all to cerebral pulls a cross-shaped piece out of his pocket and jams it in there, and points out he has dozens of this piece and we can use it as edge pieces. The short closes insisting it’s just a story about puzzles with no symbolism whatsoever.

    I can’t find it online anymore, sadly, and wonder if it faded away or search just sucks now.



  • Now that you mention it (checking Wikipedia) Turkey is the country for whom Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is president, one of the most notorious autocrats in the world (to whom the former President of the United States is a huge fan and wants to emulate). So yes, a regime change to something way more democratic with proper social safety nets would certainly be helpful.

    I can’t speak with regards to other communists, but to this communist, the notion of post-scarcity communism in which everyone is comfortably homed, fed, educated and informed is regarded as a remote ideal that will require addressing bunches of problems to achieve.

    That said, Turkey within its own history has done better than it is doing today. I suspect Erdoğan (and the killer test for which it’s a major crime to cheat on) is a symptom rather than a cause.