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Mon. Sep 26th, 6pm - 7pm: Subways and surveillance - with Christopher Robbins from Hell Gate (More info...)

Options August 15, 2022: Touring the Torment Nexus

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Today: Touring the Torment Nexus: As the internet meme has it, Big Tech is building the “Torment Nexus” - the monstrous thing that dystopian sci-fi has warned us, for years, NOT to build. Today, a tour of the Torment Nexus: comparing the warnings issued by past guests with recent, real-world tech news.

• About Skynet: do you mean...

  -> Skynet, a UK military satellite communications system

  -> SKYNET, a surveillance program by the U.S. National Security Agency - see also this article

  -> Skynet, the Chinese government’s video mass surveillance system - see also this article

• After last week with James Bridle (Aug 8, 2022), consider what Frank Pasquale said back on May 3, 2021 while discussing his book "New Laws of Robotics."

• After Meredith Broussard ("Artificial Unintelligence") spoke on (May 28, 2018) about the "trolley problem" and self-driving cars... and after Sam West and Matt Klinman's SMARTR (Dec 16, 2019) ... Tesla’s self-driving technology fails to detect children in the road, group claims (The Guardian, Aug 9, 2022): "A safe-technology campaign group opposed to Tesla’s self-driving technology has claimed to have run tests that show the software represents a potentially lethal threat to child pedestrians, in the latest in a series of claims and investigations to hit the world’s leading electric carmaker.

"The Dawn Project says its test track results revealed that the latest version of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta software failed to detect a stationary, child-sized mannequin at an average speed of 25mph.

"... [Dan] O’Dowd described the test results – which have been published on the Dawn Project’s website – as 'deeply disturbing' and that Tesla’s software represented 'a lethal threat to all Americans.'

He added: 'Over 100,000 Tesla drivers are already using the car’s Full Self-Driving mode on public roads, putting children at great risk in communities across the country.'"

.....see also the responses from Tesla fanboys (Futurism, Aug 10): "Prominent Tesla fanboy and investor account Whole Mars Catalog ... asked its 129,000 followers if there was 'anyone in the Bay Area with a child who can run in front of my car on Full Self-Driving Beta to make a point?' clarifying that this was a "serious request. To make matters worse, Whole Mars claims someone volunteered their child for the experiment."

• After Joe Turow ("The Voice Catchers") on speaking about blood samples (Sep 27, 2021) ... Police Used a Baby’s DNA to Investigate Its Father for a Crime (Wired, Aug 15, 2022): "According to the New Jersey lawsuit, police had reopened an investigation into a cold case and had used genetics to place the suspect within a single family: one of several adults or their children. But police didn’t yet have probable cause to obtain search warrants for DNA swabs from any of them. Instead, they asked the state’s newborn screening lab for a blood sample of one of the children.

. . . "Jennifer Sellitti, an attorney with the Office of the New Jersey Public Defender, which is representing the father, says combining newborn screening samples with genetic genealogy opens the door for virtually anyone’s DNA to be used in a criminal investigation. “This is like a dystopian onion. Every time we peel back another layer, we find some new violation of privacy,” she says.

. . . "Until recently, the main database at law enforcement’s disposal was the Combined DNA Index System, or Codis, which is maintained by the FBI. Codis contains around 14 million DNA profiles, but there are strict rules for what kind can be submitted: those of people arrested for or convicted of felonies, and unidentified remains. But anyone can take a consumer DNA test and upload their genetic profile to genealogy websites, some of which allow police access."

(Turow also speaks about habituation and normalization as goals of Big Tech surveillance companies... hence the story ‘Ring Nation’ is what happens when America's Funniest Home Videos meets Black Mirror (Engadged, Aug 12): "The 'surveillance TV, but make it funny' show will launch on September 26th."

Man Who Built ISP Instead of Paying Comcast Expands to Hundreds of Homes (Ars Technica)

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Artist Track Album Label Images Approx. start time
  Touring the Torment Nexus: comparing the warnings issued by past guests with recent, real-world tech news.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options Machinarium Soundtrack  n/a 
Options
 
  Mark's comments      
Options
 
Charlton Heston  Soylent Green is People   Options Soylent Green  n/a 
Options
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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techtonobites!
  6:00pm Rolando:

Hello Friends
Avatar 6:01pm arb:

Here to be tormented!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm Franco Twinkie:

Hey Mark, let's tip some windmills!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm PaulRobeson1922:

Hi Hi Hi
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Handy Haversack:

Mark! Techyons!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm chresti:

Hi Mark and techtonians!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm ultradamno:

On top of my wish list of topics to be discussed tonight, which I don't see, Facebook turning over chat messages to authorities to charge a woman and her daughter for abortion in Nebraska (scroll up thread for earlier stories on the vulnerabilities faced by women in some states seeking healthcare as a result of silicon valley spying) twitter.com...
  6:03pm morphe':

Tormented as I still use Google ... UGGHHH .. Following me everywhere even though I am unimportant and buy only food ... serious .. getting ads in such proximity even with changes in countries...
  6:03pm bleubombersune:

Mark spyware fingernail implants now available
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm sbw:

Hello from L.A.!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Franco Twinkie:

I like experiments!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm Handy Haversack:

Just stop using it, morph! Best decision of my last several years.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm Handy Haversack:

At least we know nothing dystopian can ever happen at the Oculus. It's clearly designed to *never* be part of the Torment Nexus.
  6:06pm wendy del formaggio:

Hello Mark & friends. Current Affairs just put this on their online edition. It’s a good read. (And yes, I’m posting this from my iphone. Whoops). https://www.currentaffairs.org/2022/08/what-are-our-phones-doing-to-us
Avatar 6:06pm MarciB:

@ morphe - it's hard, I have to use it for my business (gmail and Google Drive). But I use Duck Duck Go for personal use.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Handy Haversack:

You can take a ferry from downtown ... IFF you have an app. Otherwise, you have to go to Midtown, and the ferry makes five more stops before JC.
Avatar 6:07pm MarciB:

Not staring at your phone is the equivalent of mask- wearing nowadays it seems.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Franco Twinkie:

The Parthenon in Rome has an oculus. It's sustainable, because they made it by building it on a pile of dirt.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Handy Haversack:

Honestly, Mark, I'm freaking out that you have smartphone even in the depths of your backpack!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Handy Haversack:

Franco: the Pantheon?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm herb.nyc:

Continuing Handy’s remark- Huh. Mark’s cellphone was in his nap sack? Not tethered to his palm?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm melinda:

Follow the iron filings
  6:09pm The Butterman:

I thought you were going to say you got coal rolled on the way to the station
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Franco Twinkie:

Yes. It has a big eyeball in the ceiling.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm W Trenton Vinny:

hive-mind
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm sbw:

The crowd isn't a purely analog solution if they're all using digital devices, I think!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm SSS:

In our modern age, we no longer need to speak as much. Iinterboob clarvoyance.
  6:10pm morphe':

Horrified when Hiking and see folks using anphone rather than a map and compass or common sense or sense of direction ...

Saw a guy running on a gorgeous empty beach in the West of Ireland in the dawn wearing head phones??
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm DjLorraine:

Evening
Avatar 6:13pm HyperDose:

What about the sisterhood? Are women not allowed to work in silicon valley?! :'''''(
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm chris in the redwoods:

hey, Mark and the tech aware.
  6:14pm tim from washington:

Hi mark! Hi everyone! Listening while cooking.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Handy Haversack:

tim! You still in the Mitten?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:16pm Handy Haversack:

Movie's set in L.A., but Skynet runs on Eastern Time. Let that be a lesson to us all!
  6:16pm tim from washington:

Nope! Illynoise!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm Greg from ZONE 5:

Fun fact! Arnold read that whole thing off cards taped to the windshield.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:17pm chris in the redwoods:

its techbro ironic humor
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Handy Haversack:

Hoping it's at least the conference table from Robocop.
  6:18pm castor:

Hi friends and foes of the techmology
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Bryant in TO:

This dystopia talk makes me think there should be a series set in the Blade Runner universe, but it all takes place in an off-world colony. Show the side of dystopia where the lucky ones live. "A workplace comedy in the golden land of opportunity and adventure."
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm ultradamno:

I wonder what piece of pop culture we could link to the abortion ratout issue...people seem fond of Handmaids, but maybe Invasion of The Body Snatchers?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Franco Twinkie:

I use to work with Arnold - don't get me started.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Handy Haversack:

ultradamno: Name of the Rose?
  6:22pm Richy’s cell phone:

My cpu is a neural net processor. A super computer.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:24pm Jim the Poet:

Some of my best friends are killer robot cop dogs
  6:25pm ?:

Wife and I discovered we can no longer visit our hobby farm in Canada without using the CBSA phone app called ArriveCan. They use it to surveil us.
Kind of takes away all the imagined kindness we thought we felt on regular escapes there...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:25pm Handy Haversack:

Some *bad* animals there, Jim.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm joe mulligan:

Bezos 2015: I will make you cry at your desk if you are a human who works for me
Bezos 2022: robots working for me have rights get out of their way
  6:29pm morphe':

A future Robot killing an innocent human uses
Right to Stand/Defense in its defense ..
  6:30pm Dean:

The Trolley Problem was introduced by Philippa Foot in her 1967 article, "The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of Double Effect."
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/philippa-foot/
  6:30pm castor:

The amazon robot thing interestingly puts “personhood” into a situation then combined with “property”, typically I understand personhood meaning someone not able to become someone else’s property, meaning the robots should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want to work for Amazon and have the freedom to dispose of their own time and body as they want.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:31pm ultradamno:

Rosemary's Baby? Certainly a lot about a community controlling a pregnant woman in there...
  Swag For Life Member 6:32pm JimF:

I'm laughing because just *yesterday* I was riffing on ... So we imagine Zuckerberg in high school watching The Matrix and thinking Wow, it'd be so cool to live in the Matrix!" and spending twenty-five years developing the Metaverse.
Avatar 6:32pm Rolando:

In one way or another we are all DICIPLE's of Marks Mmessage and as such I feel inclined to start amplifying he same message to my limited circles. :)
  6:32pm morphe':

This is too frightening - feel like watching old cartoons while eating
but feel CIVIV DUTY to listen ..
let my sandwich go cold and just drink the wine(s)
PLEASE KILL MEE NOT THE CHILDREN !!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hi, Mark and protoplasm pellets. Ever notice how "cell phone" sounds like "self-own"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm ultradamno:

Trolley problem solution miro.medium.com...*mR37PSc2JEcCF-FkM10tDA.jpeg
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm ultradamno:

That link broke, this is the solution tinyurl.com...
Avatar 6:35pm tak:

programming moral scales instead of brakes
  6:37pm Dean:

Kids are people, too.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm Franco Twinkie:

Opaque calculations in the parking lot of Trader Joes? Back to the drawing board I'm afraid.
Avatar 6:38pm Rolando:

Ken++
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:38pm ultradamno:

"The warrants did not mention abortion at all." www.msn.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:41pm Handy Haversack:

Musk's intelligence is artificial.
Avatar 6:42pm HyperDose:

Scary stuff! 🙈
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm ultradamno:

Musk fanboys are like Zack Snyder fanboys or the anti-Heard people, likely bot-driven (not to infringe on bot's rights to keep their topics trending by any means)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm The Count of Al Dente:

You can get a bit of control over surveillance by using a browser extension like Script Blocker, which can stop linking to Facebook and Google.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm melinda:

@? that's depressing. I don't like the direction Canada is heading in that regard.
Avatar 6:43pm Rolando:

That is INSANE - testing on kids !!!
Avatar 6:43pm tak:

loving this torment nexus show
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:43pm chresti:

Teslas should be programmed to surround Musk and blast their horns.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm ultradamno:

I do like the direction Canadian bees are going though, right down Doug Ford's throat
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Bryant in TO:

"Hey! Lemme make a point with *your* child and my car!" I mean, that seems philosophically consistent with someone like Musk
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm Webhamster Henry:

Elon Musk fanboi as William Tell
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm coelacanth∅:

chresti, running him over would be a better solution
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm melinda:

Whole Mars Catalogue lol
  6:45pm The Butterman:

Take my wife…please!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Franco Twinkie:

In 2010 the company I was working for shared a work space with Space-X. They were building a rocket ship cockpit with plywood. I thought it was just another stupid movie set, but I guess they really sent it into outer space.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:47pm Ken From Hyde Park:

This was discussed in the Bible. See the God vs. Abraham section.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm chris in the redwoods:

the idea of sending my waste products to these billionaires *has* occurred to me, though not quite in that way...
  6:48pm Deano de los Muertos:

I remember this, and I love this show. Thanks Mark
  6:48pm mikey:

A lot of people are killed every day by human drivers. Suppose that the self-driving cars can reduce this number by 90%. Yes, some people would be killed by robo-cars. But overall, a lot less people would die. Would this be a good or a bad thing?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm Handy Haversack:

WFMU coming down firmly against bodily surveillance by making sure no samples are collected at the Second Saturday Sidewalk Sales.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm ultradamno:

Google Maps accused of leading users to fake abortion clinics arstechnica.com...
  6:48pm The Butterman:

Take my urine…please!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm PaulRobeson1922:

The promotion of one deity, even a technological one, requires the trivialization of all others…
  6:49pm morphe':

Ken Hyde Park - not to get all Talmudic on you -
but
can you explain that analogy:
Ken From Hyde Park:

This was discussed in the Bible. See the God vs. Abraham section.
Avatar 6:49pm Fredericks:

Thanks for the fact check on the abortion story, ultradamno.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm chris in the redwoods:

serious and interesting moral question, mikey. *if* we can eliminate deaths from happening at the grills of our robot-cars, we're morally obligated to do so, are we not?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm PaulRobeson1922:

@mikey @6:48: I don’t entertain hypotheticals
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm ultradamno:

Well...Meta's statement on it, anyway
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm The Count of Al Dente:

If "personhood" is good enough for corporations, why not robotic devices?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Abraham proceeding with sacrificing his son, I think, morphe'.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm Jim the Poet:

Well new-born blood is delicious
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm melinda:

23 years, holy crap
  6:51pm Dean:

@mikey: That is, almost precisely, the Trolley Problem. Though I agree the reduction would be preferred, we would need to know to a high degree of certainty that self-driving cars caused the reduction.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm PaulRobeson1922:

Military Service? buy a gun for that baby, right away sir
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm Webhamster Henry:

23 is a kind of a funny number.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm ultradamno:

How Google found itself under pressure from all sides after Roe's demise www.msn.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:52pm chresti:

23 and me
  6:53pm morphe':

Ah - the Yuppie willing to test sacrifice his son to prove the car safe/not safe ...
Wow - that was a Stephen Colbert Stretch ..

Well Done..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm chris in the redwoods:

4th amendment violation, i'd say.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm joe mulligan:

there was an old X-files episode where there was a giant archive of dna samples from those chicken pox vaccinations. like in Cheyenne mountain or something.
Avatar 6:53pm Rolando:

Whoa ... the life is in the blood .. a whole new meaning
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:53pm Webhamster Henry:

I can ask CRISPR to put a copy of the fourth amendment in my y chromosome.
  6:53pm morphe':

Ken HP - that was to you ..morphe':

Ah - the Yuppie willing to test sacrifice his son to prove the car safe/not safe ...
Wow - that was a Stephen Colbert Stretch ..

Well Done..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm Bryant in TO:

@chris It's only immoral if the payouts for robot-car deaths exceed the profits from sales of said robot-cars
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:54pm ultradamno:

Wasn't "the life is in the blood" a Spike line from Buffy?
Avatar 6:55pm Rolando:

ultra D .. probably :)
  6:55pm The Butterman:

PeopleARE terrible drivers. I almost die every time I’m out of the house.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:55pm chris in the redwoods:

sadly, you're exactly right, Bryant. :(
Avatar 6:55pm Fredericks:

mikey:@6:48 That's is a point to be considered. How do the robots do compared to inexperienced or elderly drivers?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm melinda:

who lobbied for the newborn blood sample legislation in the first place?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Richy4619:

I really wish we put the same energy for self-driving cars into train systems. A better technology has existed for centuries.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm ultradamno:

The exact Spike line "Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going, makes you warm, makes you hard, makes you other than dead.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Webhamster Henry:

There's no warrant taken on the child's DNA either. The thrust of the 4th amendment is : no fishing expeditions.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Handy Haversack:

Thanks, Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm melinda:

@Richy indeed
Avatar 6:57pm Rolando:

I seldom cycle on the roads here on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland Australia - drivers have ZERO respect for my bicycle.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Franco Twinkie:

Take away from todays show: Don't except soft drinks from from robots wearing uniforms.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm The Count of Al Dente:

@mikey: That doesn't justify the technology. Since medicine keeps people alive that nature would have killed off, thus controlling population, people being killed by cars is one small way of doing some population control.
Avatar 6:58pm Fredericks:

It seems like a test could be created.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm ultradamno:

Well...ring did bring us a glimpse of Anne Heche's car driving real fast, so that's one thing to their credit, I guess...
  6:58pm morphe':

Thanks Mark for again SCARING THE BEEJESUS OUT OF US ...
going to my lead lnnided bunker with a candle and a book..
and a bottle of wine ..
  6:58pm bleubombersune:

Mark Oh well back into the closet
Avatar 6:58pm HyperDose:

You tell 'em Mark! Thanks, dude :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Webhamster Henry:

Mark needs a two hour show...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Handy Haversack:

We can sample your outflow pipe, morph, don't you worry!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm chris in the redwoods:

holy crap on a cracker. we're so effed.

um, thanks (?), Mark!
Avatar 6:59pm Picante Mint:

Enjoyed today's show, thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm chresti:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Mark!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm melinda:

thanks Mark
Avatar 6:59pm Rolando:

morphe' :) yep. great show Mark. - we must not just be listeners but do'ers of the words Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm joe mulligan:

thanks Mark and all! It's PEOPLE!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm listener 126464:

Thank you, Mark!
Avatar 7:00pm Fredericks:

Computer Casandra>
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark. Soylent Blue for me, please.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm The Count of Al Dente:

Blue is a more peaceful color.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm ultradamno:

Soylent Green is the best, tastiest people though
  7:05pm Ruben:

Just because you live in cave with no needs in business doesn't mean everyone too !
I doubt you have an actual work lol . I have a business , I work long hours ; therefore , I need servises as Amazon which is great 1day delivery to supply my needs in business and all technology . This is a different world man jajaj . It seams you got stock in 2000 .
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:18pm PaulRobeson1922:

Buy the baby a gun. Shake his hand like a man and let him play sir
Avatar 7:18pm Annette:

Thanks Mark! ❤️
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:18pm PaulRobeson1922:

Yeah! Thank you, Mark!
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