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Palladium
Jun 17, 2023
In World Outside The Window
If you saw 'The Social Dilemma' (Netflix), which was mainly about the use of A.I. driven algorithms in social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) - basically addictive schemas pioneered on gambling sites, but with added continual micro-surveillance of your online habits and nudging of your behaviours in certain unnoticeable ways, leeching your free will, etc... then this is about the next generation of publically implemented A.I. and its effects. Pretty much essential (and quite scary) viewing, IMO (this is basically the reason why Elon Musk signed a petition calling for a pause in the implementation of new A.I.):
The A.I. Dilemma content media
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Palladium
Jun 17, 2023
In William's World
It's taken a while (6 discs, after all), on alternate rotation with 'Marvellous Realms' and 'Mixed Up Kid', but deeper appreciation and enjoyment of these relatively recent BN albums really "kicking in" (not really the right metaphor) of late. Some of Bill's albums you have to live with and let permeate - then the rewards appear, after your subconscious (or whatever) shows you what was always there - most notably, emotionally resonant world-class song-writing throughout! In some ways, this seems like a kind of golden age of artistic output - you can hear it in Bill's work, and see it in several artists in other fields (eg film, even some TV) - the off-the-scale quality and focus/attention to detail, etc - and we probably shouldn't take it for granted... Some more fan appreciation:
My Private Cosmos - fan appreciation content media
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Palladium
Feb 02, 2023
In World Outside The Window
You have to admit it's funny. (I continue to believe that folks on both sides of this are well-meaning). 😁
Dark side of the moon content media
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Palladium
Jan 27, 2023
In World Outside The Window
Always liked her. Underrated talent, down to earth, no bullshit, a radiant beauty. RIP.
Sylvia Syms content media
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Palladium
Jan 24, 2023
In World Outside The Window
It seems worse statistically than hate speech, because it widely prevents and distorts communication, and keeps people in separate "bubble" reality tunnels. As Jaron Lanier put it, “This is an epochal development. The version of the world you are seeing is invisible to the people who misunderstand you, and vice versa”. A bottomless rabbit-hole of paranoia, in which sincere attempts to understand the views of others are seen as insincere or suspect; in which attempts to be courteous and accommodating are mistaken for conspiratorial deviousness or other petty nefarious behaviour. In which people routinely and reflexively attribute the worst possible motives to others, when innocence fits as easily. I've seen friends fall out because of it. Again, to quote Lanier, “society has darkened a few shades as a result”. It has a number of causes, some accidental, some engineered. I stopped using social media because of it, but I wonder if it applies to other online social spaces. I've never been a technophobe, I've always enthusiastically promoted technology, so it's difficult to change my mind on these things. Anyway, back to the real world of coffee, sunshine and birdsong...
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Palladium
Jan 24, 2023
In World Outside The Window
I always thought this was a fairly "progressive" forum (and still do). In fact I think I recall Mr Nelson himself using the term to contrast with "conservative". Broadly progressive left, liberal-left, or "centrist", etc (perhaps stretching to some easy-going conservatives), encompassing things like tolerance, empathy, science, humane distribution of wealth, etc. As opposed to less tolerant, more authoritarian stances, whether hard-right, militant far-left, or nutty edge of woke spectrum (and it is a wide spectrum). Maybe it's a semantic thing, and no blame here, but does "progressive" now signify woke, or even fanatically woke, for many of you? That's the impression I get from reading some posts on here lately. If that's the case, it seems like a massive victory for the Paul Dacre or Steve Bannon style of framing, and that seems tragic to me. Let's not turn progressive into a dirty word.
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Palladium
Jan 20, 2023
In World Outside The Window
(Not my opinion - this is all from the Financial Times). The UK spent 20% less (per person) on health than similar European countries over the past decade, according to research showing NHS has been "consistently starved of funding" (while the Conservatives have been in power). That's how the Financial Times put it (17 November 2022). "The UK’s total healthcare budget was £187bn per year, on average, between 2010 and 2019. It would have needed to have spent £227bn to match the average across the EU14 over the pre-pandemic decade." The other countries' much greater public funding of healthcare meant they were "able to benefit from years of greater investment when the pandemic struck. In Germany, for example, a larger number of beds and higher staffing ratios than in the NHS helped to ensure the crisis did not disrupt other healthcare." Financial Times
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Palladium
Jan 13, 2023
In World Outside The Window
The Daily Mail has such a bad reputation for faking stories and fabricating "facts", that even Wikipedia banned it as a source, citing its "poor fact checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication". Quite a lot of fakery in the Mail was exposed over the years. Certainly a proportion of the "political correctness gone mad" stories they dreamt up. And the fabricated cannabis scaremongering "news". And the falsehoods on climate change, Labour politicans, etc. Sometimes it wasn't entirely fake - they just invented the more sensational details. They got an absolute hammering from scientists and doctors for "using minor studies to generate scare stories or being misleading". Quite often the rulings against the Daily Mail conclude not just that they got one thing wrong but that they made "a series of factual inaccuracies", or a string of misleading claims. Typically all slanted politically. I was reminded of this when looking for further info on two stories that Tourist mentioned in the recent NHS thread, on supposedly far-left woke nuttiness in the NHS. Both stories, it turns out, come originally from the Daily Mail (or at least I couldn't find any other sources with the specific gaudy details). That makes me somewhat wary, particularly when I was unable to fact-check the details adequately - although that doesn't necessarily make them untrue. I found the framing of both utterly misleading, in terms of the wider context presented (generally collapsing NHS). The Daily Mail seems to specialise in using outrageous stand-out "woke" stories as somehow causally explaining wider instituional malaise. But without any substantiation for any causal link (and they conflate stand-out cases with typical cases, etc). The Daily Express does the same thing, but with immigration. In this way these newspapers deflect from the real (ie better substantiated, factually, statistically) causal links to things such as economic downturns, instituational failures, etc. It's such a f*cking tragedy that a large proportion of the good people in Britain get their "news" from these appalling, lying, politically tendentious billionaire-owned rags.
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Palladium
Jan 13, 2023
In World Outside The Window
... makes me appreciate the sweetness of deep sleep, and long breaks from online news, forums, social media etc. Seriously though, I find both "sides" of the debate have sincere people who honestly relay their vivid experiences and concerns, whether first-hand or reported. I think it's the vividness and emotive nature of these things that leads to (let's say) a degree of distortion in the 'probabilistic mapping' of their actual significance in the wider world. Related to the Misleading Vividness fallacy in logic, and the availability heuristic described by those Nobel-prize dudes, Kahneman and Tversky. Or maybe it just riles people too much to think clearly? On both "sides". No coincidence that it arises most from social media, Youtube, TikTok, tabloid press, etc - media forms that specialise in relaying the emotive, anecdotal, personal, situational, sensational aspect of things, rather than the factual, statistical, wider-contextual, broader-relative-importance aspects. And no secret that the issue has been "weaponised". Quite early on, Steve Bannon openly admitted to this. He said his war was with liberalism and liberal media, and the way to fight it was to "flood the zone with shit", by which he meant stoking the woke/anti-woke thing until it clouded all other issues. Ye Olde Divide and Conquer, but now turbocharged by algorithms. I think maybe Bannon's strategy caught on?
Woke/Anti-woke craziness... content media
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Palladium
Jan 12, 2023
In World Outside The Window
Forget all the trivial distractions. Dr Hilary Jones on Good Morning Britain, summing up the opinions of thousands of doctors' messages: "If it doesn't change very quickly, the NHS is finished. It's not sustainable. It's going to collapse." British Medical Association and doctors say it's "delusional" and "incompetent" of Rishi Sunak to say NHS isn't in crisis. 13 years of Conservative anti-NHS ideology, underfunding, neglect and mismanagement. A publicly funded universal healthcare institution that's been around since 1948, flushed down the toilet in the name of a hard-right market fundamentalist ideology. Can't be allowed to happen.
NHS is finished, say doctors content media
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Palladium
Nov 01, 2022
In World Outside The Window
(Summary of video): The UK is astonishingly wealthy - there's a surfeit of wealth, the money is piling up. It's a far richer country overall than when the NHS was founded in 1948. But the money is concentrated at the very top. Rishi Sunak - the current Prime Minister, elected by nobody - has a £730 MILLION fortune (with his wife). His money comes from a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands tax haven. Sunak's wife, reportedly the richest woman in Britain (daughter of an Indian tech billionaire), herself avoided an estimated £20 MILLION of taxes in this country by taking advantage of non-domicile status benefits, even though living in the UK. Meanwhile, in the midst of the current shambles, the disgraced, incompetent Suella Braverman - reappointed as Home Secretary in a sleazy deal to back Sunak for PM - resorts to ramping up anti-immigrant rhetoric, a favourite of rightwing tabloids (coincidentally owned by billionaires).
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Palladium
Oct 30, 2022
In World Outside The Window
Marta Flich from Vampyres (2015, available on Netflix):
Halloween vamps content media
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Palladium
Oct 30, 2022
In World Outside The Window
A great series. And here's Truss, Sunak and Johnson starring.
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Palladium
Oct 09, 2022
In World Outside The Window
"Is Elon Musk stupid?" - a question I saw posed recently. Yes, I know he's massively rich, but, like Trump, he inherited huge wealth (his father owned an emerald mine). He wouldn't be the first successful businessman to not be the sharpest tool in the draw. A few items of evidence (there are many more): The next one is my favourite example. I wonder what, PRECISELY, ruined Netflix for him. I really can't imagine, having enjoyed, for years, the vast choice Netflix provides. The persecution he must suffer, from communism and woke! Really shocking. 🤣
Elon Musk? content media
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Palladium
Oct 07, 2022
In World Outside The Window
Joe Biden pardons all prior federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana, and encourages state-level officials to do the same at that level. Removes prior criminal records that previously may have affected people's job prospects etc. Continues the ongoing move towards sanity in the USA. Meanwhile in UK: absolute zilch, zero progress, no discussion.
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Palladium
Oct 05, 2022
In World Outside The Window
Also look up Sir Robbie Gibb, former head of the BBC's political programme output, who Emily Maitlis (BBC Newsnight presenter) described as "active agent of Tory Party". Impartiality? Ever feel you've been had?
BBC - British Broadcasting Conservatives content media
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Palladium
Sep 29, 2022
In World Outside The Window
Election successes in Sweden & Italy for parties with actual Nazi roots. The so-called Sweden Democrats, with roots in neo-Nazism, came second in national elections, and will have a powerful influence on a new rightwing coalition government. And a Neo-fascist party headed by Giorgia Meloni has come to power in Italy. These have followed other far-right trends across Europe.
Far-right rising in Europe content media
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Palladium
Sep 24, 2022
In William's World
I came across this while archiving old files from my computer. A barely readable scan (text too small/compressed) of a review of Bill and Vini Reilly playing at Nottingham in 1981. A quick search on the web revealed nothing larger or better quality. But it seems a nice piece of history, with a fairly substantial review, so here's my attempt at transcript followed by an upscaled photo. Wish I'd been at the gig! **Review starts - from NME, I think *** Bill Nelson Vini Reilly Nottingham This affair of experimentation arranged by the local guitar society packed a pub jazz venue to capacity. On stage first, Vini Reilly is an unassuming figure in a blithely tasteless sweater, nervously announcing that since he hasn't been able to find a drummer he is playing with a drum machine whose workings he hasn't managed to master. After his initial embarrassment, Reilly makes a diffident, delicate music. Graceful, airy guitar patterns float around the harder core of mechanical rhythm, creating a cool, quiet sound that seems to spread and hover around the small stage. Reilly's restraint is restful and the overall effect refreshing. I preferred his instrumentals, since lyrics tended to intrude on the pristine classicism of his sounds and left less to the imagination. With his studious spectacles, clean cut good looks and elegant military evening dress, Bill Nelson looks like a college graduate turned temporary holiday bell-hop. Urbane, charming, something of a showman in an understated way, he begins by explaining that his accompanying tapes were compiled late last night and are intended as an integral part of the performance. Neither Nelson nor his saxophonist have rehearsed the set, and when they forget what they're doing, Bill produces a portable cassette recorder with a rather theatrical flourish to play back a snatch of the song. Sipping wine as if to emphasise the informality of the evening and inserting politely chatty explanations of technique, Nelson plays silky, sustained guitar accompanied by mellow sax in a dreamily ambient set of songs. Slow, sinuous melodies unfold in a variety of atmospheric settings that range from clipped Eastern echoes to a soft Latinate shimmer. Each track is kept fairly short to reduce the impression of indulgence and when heard in different surroundings, adds their creator, he hopes they will prove to be dance tunes. In fact most of the music is too ethereal and fitfully meandering for the dance floor, but when Bill breaks into a passage of fluid, distilled funk guitar the effect is both technically impressive and emotionally exhilarating. Drifting from one smooth stream of sound to another in songs often so similar that they seemed to intermingle, like most improvisation, the music appeared to give the greatest pleasure to its protagonists. Nevertheless the audience weren't short on appreciation and the applause seemed to be equally distributed between Bill Nelson as a personality and the results of his endeavours. Nelson himself was careful to stress that he attached no great importance to his spontaneous sketches and regarded the event as an incidental chance to experiment. Taken as such and with an enthusiastic makeshift atmosphere and warm responsive rapport that made a welcome slant on the standard rock concert, its results were unusually entertaining. -- Lynn Hanna
Bill & Vini Reilly, Nottingham 1981 content media
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Palladium
Sep 16, 2022
In World Outside The Window
New TV series adaptation of William Gibson's sci-fi novel starts on Amazon Prime on October 21. ("From the creators of Westworld" - which wasn't a good sign for me, as I found Westworld one of the most disappointing things I've seen in a long time, given the expectations). I loved Gibson's complex book, and the sequel, Agency. Let's hope they don't ruin it with slickness and clichéd Hollywood sci-fi tropes. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8291284/
The Peripheral content media
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Palladium
Sep 14, 2022
In World Outside The Window
I actually know someone who got sucked into the flat-earth conspiracy theory. He's an intelligent, seemingly rational guy, and I couldn't for the life of me understand how it happened. He immediately got emotional and angry when talking about it, so I just avoided the subject altogether. The flat elephant in the room. "At YouTube, I was working on YouTube recommendations. It worries me that an algorithm that I worked on is actually increasing polarization in society… The flat-Earth conspiracy theory was recommended hundreds of millions of times by the algorithm. It’s easy to think that it’s just a few stupid people who get convinced, but the algorithm is getting smarter and smarter every day." – Guillaume Chaslot, The Social Dilemma
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