July 2nd, 2024|

Kudos to Justice Sotomayor for her comments on the Supreme Court’s egregiously bad ruling on presidential immunity:

“Orders the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? Immune,” she wrote. “Organizes a military coup to hold onto power? Immune. Takes a bribe in exchange for a pardon? Immune. Immune, immune, immune.”

This court is claiming way too much power for itself between this decision and their other horrible decision on the Chevron case.

June 16th, 2024|

The next generation sodium cooled reactor designed by TerraPower has broken ground on support facilities in Kemmerer, Wyoming.  Let’s hope it gets final NRC approval and is a success. Read about it in Bill Gates’ Notes here and here.


• An excellent essay By Robert E. Rubin and Kenneth I. Chenault in the NYT – The Enormous Risks a Second Trump Term Poses to Our Economy. An excerpt:

“The two of us have been involved in business, government and policy for many years, with more than a century of experience between us. We’ve worked with elected officials and business leaders across the ideological spectrum. And we believe a straightforward assessment of Mr. Trump’s economic policy agenda — based on his public statements and on-the-record interviews, such as the one he recently conducted with Time magazine — leads to a clear conclusion.

When it comes to economic policy, Mr. Trump is not a remotely normal candidate. A second Trump term would pose enormous risks to our economy.”

• Ezekiel Emanuel writes in the Atlantic about his impression of Joe Biden’s fitness.  Alas, I agree with his conclusions; though Mr. Biden is remarkably active for his age, he is definitely showing some signs of functional cognitive decline.  I would for for him over DJT in a heartbeat, but I think he would do a service to his country if he were to step aside for a younger candidate.

• As always, Matt Levine adroitly skewers finance-related misadventures and curiosities. His June 20 Bloomberg posting was especially comically worthwhile.  I found this AI Sorting section especially funny and enclose this excerpt:

“A dumb simple model of artificial intelligence companies is:

    1. It would be good to develop good AI (AI that helps humans), but bad to develop bad AI (AI that kills or enslaves humans).
    2. If you try to build good AI, there is some risk of building bad AI instead (your robot tricks you into thinking that it’s nice, then enslaves you), so you have to be very very careful. You can’t move too fast; you have to check carefully, at each step, to make sure that your robot is not secretly evil.
    3. Company A is formed by idealistic AI researchers who want to create good AI. They work together well for a while.
    4. Disagreements develop. Some researchers at Company A say “we need to work faster to build good AI, because if we don’t, someone else will come along and build bad AI first instead.” Others say “no, we can’t work faster, that would compromise our ability to check that the robot is not evil.” 
    5. The first group wins the argument, for reasons.[5]
    6. The people who lose the argument, who are genuinely worried about bad AI, quit Company A in outrage and go start Company B, with the goal of carefully and safely creating good AI.
    7. They work together well for a few months.
    8. Disagreements develop at Company B. Some researchers say “we need to work faster to build good AI, because otherwise Company A will build bad AI first. That’s why we quit, after all.” Others say “no, we can’t work faster, that would compromise our bad robot checks. That’s why we quit, after all.”
    9. The first group wins the argument, for the same reasons as in Step 5.
    10. The people who lose the argument quit and start Company C.
    11. This keeps repeating: Company C eventually splits over similar tensions, but also Company A and Company B can themselves keep dividing as some people want to move faster than others.
    12. Eventually all the AI researchers are very finely sorted by aggressiveness, so that Company Z is full of purists who are too cautious ever to build anything at all, while Company A is full of people who are like “actually being enslaved by robots would be pretty cool.””

Credit: Getty Images

   Molly White riffs on Web3:

    Let’s just say it’s not all rosy in Web3’s not-so-meta world; caveat emptor…

   Howard Oakley’s Eclectic Light Mac Feed:

    Always lots of good Mac OS insights here…