Tuesday, February 28, 2023

28: Russia

उपेन्द्र यादवले थाले उपनिर्वाचनको तयारी
इमरान खानविरुद्ध गैर जमानती वारेन्ट जारी
च्याउले पनि गर्छन् मानिसले झैँ कुराकानी, दिमागको विकासमा लगाउँछन् पूरा जोड

मन्त्रिपरिषद् पुनर्गठनको तयारीमा प्रधानमन्त्री एमाले बाहिरिएपछि कांग्रेस, जसपा, एकीकृत समाजवादी, लोसपा, नागरिक उन्मुक्ति सरकारमा जाने .......... प्रचण्ड नेतृत्वको सरकारमा हाल माओवादी र जनमत पार्टी मात्रै छन् । कांगेस, एकीकृत समाजवादी, जसपा, लोसपा, नागरिक उन्मुक्ति पार्टी सरकारमा जाने तयारीमा छन् । ........ अब हुने मन्त्रिपरिषद् विस्तारमार्फत जनता समाजवादी पार्टी, नागरिक उन्मुक्ति पार्टी र लोसपा सरकारमा जान तयार देखिएका हुन् । राष्ट्रिय स्वतन्त्र पार्टी भने अझै ‘पर्ख र हेर’को नीतिमा छ । ........ जसपाका नेताका अनुसार आठदलीय गठबन्धनमा जसपालाई तीन मन्त्रालय दिने सहमति भएको छ । ‘यसअघि हाम्रो मूल बटमलाइन नै उपराष्ट्रपति पद र तीन मन्त्रालय पाउनुपर्छ भन्ने थियो,’ ती नेताले भने, ‘तर, त्यसमा सहमति हुन सकेको थिएन । अहिले दुवै मागमा लगभग सहमति भइसकेको छ । त्यसकारण, सरकारमा जाने वातावरण बनेको हो ।’ ....... गणतन्त्र, संघीयता र व्यवस्थाविरोधी दलहरू बाहिरिएका छन् । परिस्थिति फरक बनेको छ । त्यसैले हाम्रो मागको सुनिश्चितता भयो भने हामी सरकारमा जान सक्छौँ ।’ ....... ‘हामी त पहिलेदेखि चुनावअघिको पुरानै गठबन्धन थियौँ,’ उनले भने, ‘यसमा माओवादी फर्कियो, जसपा, जनमत र नागरिक उन्मुक्ति पार्टी थपिए । अब हुने पदीय भागबन्डा र मन्त्रिपरिषद् विस्तार सबैमा हाम्रो हिस्सेदारी रहन्छ ।’ बालुवाटार स्रोतका अनुसार नागरिक उन्मुक्ति र लोसपा दुवै दललाई एक–एक मन्त्रालय दिने तयारी छ । .

A view from Crimea, the Russian-annexed territory Ukraine is hoping to seize back NBC News spoke to residents during a visit this week to the peninsula that could soon be back in the center of the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv. ........ “This is our land,” she said Monday. “We will all put on uniforms and will go to the border to defend ourselves.”Her comments echoed those of most people NBC News spoke to in Crimea this week. While the government of President Vladimir Putin has cracked down on free speech everywhere, including in Crimea, the peninsula’s majority Russian-speaking population was considered more pro-Moscow than in other parts of Ukraine when it was annexed. ....... Sevastopol — home to the Black Sea Fleet in Soviet times and the era of the Russian empire — might be the king on Putin’s chess board: The Russian leader may be determined to protect it at any cost, but Kyiv may now fear any peace deal that left Russia’s navy in the port would threaten its coastline for years to come. .......... NBC News traveled to Crimea by train from Moscow, across the Kerch Bridge that was blown up in a strategic and symbolic blow to Putin last fall. It is now fully restored but would likely be targeted again if the fight came to this peninsula. .......... he Kremlin’s stance that Crimea represents a red line......... “All mothers are crying. Both Russian and Ukrainian mothers are crying,” she said. “Why did it even start? Can’t we all live in peace? Can’t we just share this piece of bread in two halves?” .......... Zelenskyy has said the war that started here will end here, a prospect that — for residents of the peninsula and the rest of this war-torn region — may mean that an end to the bloodshed is a long way off. .

Breaking with EU, Hungary’s leader backs China’s peace proposal for Ukraine war ‘We consider China’s peace plan important, and we support it,’ Prime Minister Viktor Orban says ....... Most European Union leaders have criticised the 12-point proposal, contending that it takes Russia’s side ....... Orban warned that “the whole of Europe is slipping into the war, step by step”. ....... “We need a ceasefire and the start of peace talks; Hungary calls for peace in all international forums; I see that most states support peace and Hungary cannot isolate itself from most of the world. ......... China’s 12-point position paper, released on Friday to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion, calls for an immediate ceasefire, opposes the use of sanctions and nuclear weapons, and calls on all parties to stop “fanning the flames” of the war. ......... Orban, who is considered Beijing’s closest ally in Europe, warned that with many other EU member nations now considering sending fighter jets to Ukraine, troops may follow. ........

EU leaders have criticised China’s paper, saying that it takes Russia’s side.

......... “China introduced its ‘position paper’ on a political settlement. It is not really a peace plan and mostly reiterates well-known Chinese positions – some of which we share while important ones are missing,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote in a blog post on Sunday. ............ European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last week that the bloc would assess the paper, “but it is already clear that the key problem is that it does not really distinguish aggressor from the victim, putting the parties at an equal level”. .......... China’s proposal was also rejected by the United States and Nato. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cautiously welcomed it, reiterating a desire to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. .......... Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the proposal deserves “great attention”, but added that Moscow saw “no preconditions at present” for the conflict to shift tack

and will continue its assault.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Artificial Intelligence

A Gold Mine of Clean Energy May Be Hiding Under Our Feet “We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness” ....... to have a friend takes time ......... Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. ...... its only combustion product is water. .......

hydrogen gas does exist in large quantities in Earth’s crust

........ Just think how much cheaper and easier would it be if we could drill for hydrogen the same way we drill for oil and natural gas, and thus put to good use society’s enormous investment in equipment built for the exploration, production and transportation of fossil fuels. ......... hundreds of millions of megatons of hydrogen in Earth’s crust, and even if only 10 percent of it is accessible, that would last thousands of years at the current rate of consumption ......... natural hydrogen from the ground should be producible for less than $1 per kilogram, versus around $5 per kilogram for “green” hydrogen that’s derived from water by electrolysis ......... History is replete with examples of ignored discoveries. Take the observation that sailors could prevent scurvy by eating citrus fruits. ......... the explorer Sir Richard Hawkins recorded in 1622 that “sower lemons and oranges” were “most fruitful” in preventing scurvy. He added, “I wish that some learned man would write of it.” But it took until 1753 for a Dr. James Lind to publish research proving Hawkins right. ........... “it was not until 42 years later that the Admiralty first issued an order for the distribution of lemon juice to sailors.” ......... Hydrogen gas isn’t typically found near hydrocarbons. ........ Geologists now believe that hydrogen is being constantly produced from a reaction between water and iron-rich rocks. It’s essentially rusting: The rocks capture the oxygen and release hydrogen. ....... But if hydrogen is available in gaseous form in the ground, the economics suddenly work ......... One idea for making it easier to transport is to mix it with natural gas or use nitrogen to make it into ammonia. ......... “By leveraging existing know-how from the oil and gas industry, extraction of hydrocarbons from shale formations went from essentially zero in 2008 to around $150 billion by 2019 and reinvented energy geopolitics along the way.” ......... It’s just a pair of atoms, colorless, tasteless and lighter than air.

A ‘$10 Quintillion’ Asteroid if that much metal really could be brought to Earth, there would be far more than anyone needs, and its value would crash. ........ “It’s fundamental science. We’ve never visited an asteroid with a metal surface. It’s a whole new kind of object in our solar system.” ........ Earth has way more minerals than Psyche, but we don’t go around bragging about the sextillions of dollars’ worth of minerals that lie (inaccessibly) beneath our feet.......... Psyche would cost much more to corral than that palmful considering that it’s about as wide across as the distance from Los Angeles to Tijuana, Mexico. ........ What makes diamonds expensive and water cheap, considering that diamonds aren’t necessary and water is? Because diamonds are scarce and water isn’t. Ordinarily, anyway. If you were dying of thirst in the desert you would gladly give all your diamonds for one glass of water. ........... In the beginning of the solar system, she said, dust and gas formed into planetesimals. Some planetesimals coalesced into planets, others were flung into the sun, and yet others were stranded in the asteroid belt .

The Imminent Danger of A.I. Is One We’re Not Talking About “I tend to think that most fears about A.I. are best understood as fears about capitalism,” Chiang told me. “And I think that this is actually true of most fears of technology, too. Most of our fears or anxieties about technology are best understood as fears or anxiety about how capitalism will use technology against us. And technology and capitalism have been so closely intertwined that it’s hard to distinguish the two.” .......... We are so stuck on asking what the technology can do that we are missing the more important questions: How will it be used? And who will decide? ......... “Sydney” is a predictive text system built to respond to human requests. Roose wanted Sydney to get weird — “what is your shadow self like?” he asked — and Sydney knew what weird territory for an A.I. system sounds like, because human beings have written countless stories imagining it. At some point the system predicted that what Roose wanted was basically a “Black Mirror” episode, and that, it seems, is what it gave him. ........... You tell a powerful A.I. system to make more paper clips and it starts destroying the world in its effort to turn everything into a paper clip. You try to turn it off but it replicates itself on every computer system it can find because being turned off would interfere with its objective: to make more paper clips. ..........

We are talking so much about the technology of A.I. that we are largely ignoring the business models that will power it.

........ “They’re not trained to predict facts,” she told me. “They’re essentially trained to make up things that look like facts.” ........ just shoehorning the technology into what tech companies make the most money from: ads.” ......... “very persuasive and borderline manipulative.” It was a striking comment. What is advertising, at its core? It’s persuasion and manipulation. ..........

the dark secret of the digital advertising industry is that the ads mostly don’t work.

......... a Bing that has access to reams of my personal data and is coolly trying to manipulate me on behalf of whichever advertiser has paid the parent company the most money. .......... “I think we wind up very fast in a world where we just don’t know what to trust anymore” ....... Large language models, as they’re called, are built to persuade. They have been trained to convince humans that they are something close to human. They have been programmed to hold conversations ......... They are being turned into friends for the lonely and assistants for the harried. They are being pitched as capable of replacing the work of scores of writers and graphic designers and form-fillers — industries that long thought themselves immune to the ferocious automation that came for farmers and manufacturing workers. ......... the advertising-based models could gather so much more data to train the systems that they’d have an innate advantage over the subscription models, no matter how much worse their societal consequences were. ......... Much of the work of the modern state is applying the values of society to the workings of markets, so that the latter serve, to some rough extent, the former. We have done this extremely well in some markets — think of how few airplanes crash, and how free of contamination most food is — and catastrophically poorly in others. ........... wait long enough and the winners of the A.I. gold rush will have the capital and user base to resist any real attempt at regulation. ........ Most fears about capitalism are best understood as fears about our inability to regulate capitalism.

A War With China Would Be Unlike Anything Americans Faced Before would probably cut off U.S. access to world-leading semiconductors and other critical components manufactured in Taiwan. ........ U.S. citizens have grown accustomed to sending their military off to fight far from home. But China is a different kind of foe — a military, economic and technological power capable of making a war felt in the American homeland.......... the challenges facing the United States are serious, and its citizens need to become better aware of them. ............

China would probably launch a lightning air, sea and cyber assault to seize control of key strategic targets on Taiwan within hours, before the United States and its allies could intervene. Taiwan is slightly bigger than the state of Maryland; if you recall how quickly Afghanistan and Kabul fell to the Taliban in 2021, you start to realize that the takeover of Taiwan could happen relatively quickly. China also has more than 1,350 ballistic and cruise missiles poised to strike U.S. and allied forces in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and American-held territories in the Western Pacific. Then there’s the sheer difficulty the United States would face waging war thousands of miles across the Pacific against an adversary that has the world’s largest navy and Asia’s biggest air force.

........... the Chinese are prepared to wage a much broader type of warfare that would reach deep into American society. ......... a multipronged campaign to divide Americans and undermine and exhaust their will to engage in a prolonged conflict — what China’s military calls enemy disintegration. ........ China has built a formidable cyberwarfare capability designed to penetrate, manipulate and disrupt the United States and allied governments, media organizations, businesses and civil society. If war were to break out, China can be expected to use this to disrupt communications and spread fake news and other disinformation. The aim would be to foster confusion, division and distrust and hinder decision making. ......... China could also weaponize its dominance of supply chains and shipping. The impact on Americans would be profound. ......... American consumers rely on moderately priced Chinese-made imports for everything from electronics to furniture to shoes ........ U.S. supplies of many products could soon run low, paralyzing a vast range of businesses. ......... China is now the dominant global industrial power by many measures. In 2004 U.S. manufacturing output was more than twice China’s; in 2021, China’s output was double that of the United States. China produces more ships, steel and smartphones than any other country and is a world leader in the production of chemicals, metals, heavy industrial equipment and electronics — the basic building blocks of a military-industrial economy. ............

it is important for Washington to avoid provocations and maintain a civil discourse with Beijing.


China Is Running Covert Operations That Could Seriously Overwhelm Us China has acquired global economic and diplomatic influence, enabling covert operations that extend well beyond traditional intelligence gathering, are growing in scale and threaten to overwhelm Western security agencies. ...... a “breathtaking” Chinese effort to steal technology and economic intelligence and to influence foreign politics in Beijing’s favor. The pace was quickening ............

China can best be described as an intelligence state.

The party views the business of acquiring and protecting secrets as an all-of-nation undertaking ........... and ensure that engagement with Beijing is tempered by a hardheaded sense of reality. .......... Barely visible on the world stage 30 years ago, China’s intelligence agencies are now powerful and well resourced. They are adept at exploiting the vulnerabilities of open societies and growing dependence on China’s economy to collect vast volumes of intelligence and data. Much of this takes place in the cyber domain ........... China’s consulate in Houston was closed by the Trump administration in 2020 after it served as a national hub for collecting high-tech intelligence. ......... China’s Intelligence Law, which was enacted in 2017, required its citizens to assist intelligence agencies. .......... the United Front Work Department, a party organization that seeks to co-opt well-placed members of Chinese diaspora communities ............ a British politician whose office received substantial funding from an ethnic Chinese lawyer who thereby gained access to the British political establishment. ......... One Chinese approach is to patiently cultivate relationships with politicians at the city or community level who show potential to rise to even higher office. Another is known as elite capture, in which influential Western corporate or government figures are offered lucrative sinecures or business opportunities in return for advocating policies that jibe with Chinese interests. ........... Mr. Xi has stressed the need to adopt “asymmetrical” means to catch up to the West technologically. ......... The Soviet Union lost the Cold War not because of its intelligence operations — which were good — but because of the failure of its governing ideals. ........ must ensure that strategies they employ honor the ideals of freedom, openness and lawfulness that pose the greatest threat to the Chinese party-state.

TikTok May Be More Dangerous Than It Looks TikTok, as we know it today, is only a few years old. But its growth is like nothing we’ve seen before. In 2021, it had more active users than Twitter, more U.S. watch minutes than YouTube, more app downloads than Facebook, more site visits than Google. ........ and asked some of the students where they liked to get their news. Almost every one said TikTok. ......... Chief executives will act in accordance with party wishes or see their lives upended and their companies dismembered.......... Apps like TikTok collect data from users. That data could be valuable to foreign governments. That’s why the Army and Navy banned TikTok from soldiers’ work phones........

TikTok has been thick with videos backing the Russian narrative on the war in Ukraine.

............ 186 Russian TikTok influencers who normally post beauty tips, prank videos and fluff. ........ They’ve banned Facebook and Google and Twitter and, yes, TikTok. ByteDance has had to manage a different version of the app, known as Douyin, for Chinese audiences, one that abides by the rules of Chinese censors. ........ TikTok’s billion users don’t think they’re looking at a Chinese government propaganda operation because, for the most part, they’re not. They’re watching makeup tutorials and recipes and lip sync videos and funny dances. But that would make it all the more powerful a propaganda outlet, if deployed. And because each TikTok feed is different, we have no real way of knowing what people are seeing. It would be trivially easy to use it to shape or distort public opinion, and to do so quietly, perhaps untraceably.

President Biden’s Succession Problem This month his doctor reported that Mr. Biden is “healthy,” “vigorous” and “fit” to carry out the duties of president. ........ what Franklin D. Roosevelt did in 1944: He expressed a preference for certain candidates but turned the choice of his running mate over to the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. ....... People remember him when he didn’t whisper or mumble, when his gait was not that of someone concerned about tripping or falling. ........ in the last week of March 1944, “Roosevelt’s health was deteriorating so steadily that he canceled all appointments and confined himself to his bedroom.” His daughter, Anna, arranged for a checkup at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where a young cardiologist, Dr. Howard Bruenn, examined him. The doctor concluded that, if his congestive heart failure was left untreated, the president was unlikely to survive for more than a year. .........

A charismatic candidate like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might inspire the base and sweep the field.


Indian Americans Rapidly Climbing Political Ranks The 2024 cycle reflects huge strides in representation: A decade ago, “it was inconceivable that someone named Raj Goyle — let alone Rajeev Goyle — would run for office in Wichita,” said Mr. Goyle, a former Kansas lawmaker......... In 2013, the House of Representatives had a single Indian American member. Fewer than 10 Indian Americans were serving in state legislatures. None had been elected to the Senate. None had run for president. ........... Ten years later, the Congress sworn in last month includes five Indian Americans. Nearly 50 are in state legislatures. The vice president is Indian American. Nikki Haley’s campaign announcement this month makes 2024 the third consecutive cycle in which an Indian American has run for president, and Vivek Ramaswamy’s newly announced candidacy makes it the first cycle with two........... Indian Americans, whose populations in states including Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas are large enough to help sway local, state and federal races. ............ “There’s a natural trend, society is more accepting, and there is deliberate political strategy to make it happen.” ............ When Mr. Goyle ran for the Kansas House in 2006 as a Democrat against a Republican incumbent, he was told that the incumbent’s reaction to learning she had a challenger had been, “Who is Rod Doyle?” ........ the watershed appears to have been 2016, just after then-Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana became the first Indian American to run for president. .......... the year Representatives Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ro Khanna of California and Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois were elected, bringing the number of Indian Americans in the House from one — Representative Ami Bera of California, elected in 2012 — to four. It was also the year Kamala Harris became the first Indian American elected to the Senate. ...........

the four House members — who call themselves the Samosa Caucus

......... Notably, the increase in Indian American representation is not centered on districts where Indian Americans are a majority. Ms. Jayapal represents a Seattle-based district that is mostly white. Mr. Thanedar represents a district in and around Detroit, a majority-Black city, and defeated eight Black candidates in a Democratic primary last year......... Immigrants from India are often highly educated and, because of the legacy of British colonization, often speak English .......... Indian Americans are more likely to engage in the American democratic system than immigrants from autocratic countries. .......... All five Indian Americans in Congress, and almost all state legislators, are Democrats. ........... “I ran as an immigrant, South Asian American woman,” Ms. Jayapal said of her first campaign. “I really ran on my story, I ran on my experience, and even though I represent a district that is largely white, I think that that story is a big part of the reason that people elected me.” ........... In general elections, it makes it harder for Republicans to tap into a base excited to promote its own representation.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Mocks Trump’s Trip to Ohio Woody Harrelson was the host this week of an episode, which featured Jack White as musical guest........ “It’s wonderful to be here in the town of East Palestine,” Johnson said. “Not a great name. But I had to come here and see these wonderful people who have been abandoned by Biden. He’s on spring break in Ukraine with his friend Zelensky in the T-shirt, very disrespectful. Zelensky thinks he’s rocking that ringer tee like Scott Pilgrim. But I’m here and I brought hats. Cameras and hats.” .......... “Earlier today a farmer came up to me, big fella, and he said, ‘Sir, we have nothing to eat because our dirt is poisoned.’ And I said, well, what are you doing eating the dirt? Don’t eat the dirt, folks. Don’t eat the dirt. You should be eating the cold McDonald’s I brought you. And the bottled water, Trump Ice. I’ll be honest, I just put my sticker on some Dasani.” .......... “But your train exploded and who do we blame? We blame Buttigieg. Pete Buttigieg. This was his responsibility. Unfortunately he was too busy being a nerd and being gay.” .

How the $500 Billion Attention Industry Really Works Your attention is constantly being bought, packaged and sold. Tim Hwang explains how. ........ Attention is, in total, the depth of thought and consideration a society can bring to bear on itself, its problems, its opportunities — everything from how to find economic prosperity, to solving climate change, to strengthening our democracy, or for that matter, doing the reverse of any of those things. All of it depends on our capacity to pay attention, on the quality of the attention we pay, and on the condition we’re in when we pay attention. ........... Tim Hwang was director of Harvard M.I.T. Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative. He was a global public policy lead for A.I. at Google. ......... We see the banner ads. We know we’re tracked across the internet....... “Subprime Attention Crisis,” which is a really good explanation of the business model responsible for our collective attention today..........

our attention here isn’t just being bought and sold. It’s being used and changed.

.......... a very particular kind of advertising, which is known as programmatic advertising, which is the use of algorithms to buy and sell attention online. ......... The very fact that you get to use a lot of services for free on the internet is really powered by the fact that they are funded through advertising........ for both Google and Facebook, to take two examples, we’re talking about companies that have over 80 percent of their revenue coming from these advertising sources. .......... continues to shape why things are designed on the internet the way they are. ....... If you’re able to aggregate a lot of attention online, we just have this almost religious faith that there’s just some way that you’ve got to be able to turn this into money. You will become a Google. You will become a Facebook. ......... if you come to a V.C. and you say, I want to do a subscription business model, they’ll say, well, I don’t know — we don’t have a whole lot of examples of that really blowing up, so why don’t you just do advertising? .......... they were basically like, we’ll have advertising, but it’ll constitute 10 percent, 20 percent — maybe 15 percent of our revenue. Most of it’s going to come from licensing our search algorithm, which is obviously not the case. .......... newspapers, which are heavily advertising supported — not only, but heavily — magazines — heavily advertising supported............ television news, including cable news, that is heavily advertising supported. Radio is heavily advertising supported. Then you go online and you have search — advertising supported. You have social media — advertising supported. ........

the only major one that always comes to mind that is not built on advertising is books.

........ there is a norm to say, yes, a book is a thing that I will buy. And even if it’s basically just a text file, I’d be willing to pay X amount of money for it ......... It makes it really difficult for you to convince someone to pay for content because the psychological cost of content is just zero. ........ about online advertising as a different kind of phenomena.......... the system — programmatic advertising — which, in my book — and the book kind of refers to it — looks a lot more like the capital markets, like high frequency trading ......... hey, we’ve got Tim — male, 25 to 35 — on the East Coast who’s looking at this website. Who wants to advertise to him? ........... advertising as a science — that we could measure, quantify, and deliver ads in a way that would truly finally get rid of the touchy-feely aspects of the industry, and that’s the dream ......... it’s been responsible for a lot of ad dollars moving out of old media to the web, because of this promise of measurability and scalability and data. ......... I think of attention as the most important, often worst theorized, least explored thing in life. It’s everything, and then it’s very hard to get your hands around what exactly it is. ............. “The amorphous, shapeless concept of attention has been transformed into discrete comparable pieces that can be captured, priced and sold. Buyers and sellers can quickly evaluate opportunities and transact in attention at massive scale without individually evaluating each opportunity.” ..........

an absurd exercise, which is, how do we turn this thing — attention — which is just me looking at something into something that can be bought or sold.

............ We’re talking about global servers talking to one another rather than anyone having to pick up the phone or call anyone to facilitate the delivery of ads. ......... one of the premier engineering achievements of the 20th century ....... I think you say, what did Google do? People say, oh, my god, they figured out search......... And that’s half of the story of what Google did. But they also figured out the business model of online advertising to a very large degree. ........... a marketplace on a keyword-by-keyword basis — a product called AdWords. And this was the system that they set up was essentially an auction infrastructure. ......... created this waterfall of money that’s kind of supported the company to this day. ........ no search engine in their right mind should adopt advertising because once you have a third party that is paying to access eyeballs in your search engine, you have lots and lots of incentives to shape your experience to cater to the people who are really paying your bills. .......... you’ll hear the head of Netflix say, our big competitor is sleep, and Netflix has autoplay, and they are obsessed with how long you use Netflix for a month. ............

the internet is kind of like to blame for a lot of the content ills that we see on the internet.

......... I think it’s very wrong to believe that, at the core of this, ads are to blame for the outrage culture, if you will, of online discourse. ........ You have a website on the internet you can just plug into this ecosystem and start making money. You have ad dollars you want to spend — just put your coin in the slot and you go. .......... what’s the collection of texts that you encounter online and how is it connected to one another is very much shaped by ads. .......... The dream has been this sort of like laissez-faire vision of online ads. That these ad exchanges would connect ad buyers and ad sellers, and we would have a kind of transparent marketplace where finally, finally, finally, we’d be able to overcome what’s known as Wanamaker’s law. ........... Wanamaker’s law is 50 percent of the money that I spend on advertising is wasted — I just don’t know which. ........... subprime attention crisis is a bubble in the making. ........... the reality is actually like things are getting more and more dysfunctional with time, and that the central promise of this market, which is I can reach a consumer and get them to buy my product, is not really ultimately playing out. ......... 56 percent of display advertising — so the kind of ads that you see on places like Facebook — may actually never see a real person, that it’s lost to fraud. ............. $1 out of every $3 is lost to fraud online. ........ 41 percent of ad campaigns don’t actually reach the person because the ad data is all inaccurate. So you think you’re reaching male, 25 to 35. Turns out, it’s female 75 to 95 that’s living somewhere completely different from where you thought. ......... even if the ad is delivered, 56 percent of ads are just never seen ........... They’re below the fold, they’re in some weird corner of the site. You’re just not looking at it because you’re reading the article. .......... this ecosystem funds almost everything that we know about — the web. ........ It subsidizes the fact that we can access a lot of services for free online. It funds journalism and media. .......... if you think about the entire wave of advancements in A.I., those are being done by companies that can only subsidize those at a huge, huge loss because they make money through advertising. So there’s also this relationship between the health of this ecosystem and the advancement in science and technology. ............... well, if it turns out the advertising isn’t working, then a lot of the economic underpinning of the web all of a sudden blows up. ............ there’s an old Keynesian insight about financial crises, which is that what is weird about them and the damage they inflict is that nothing has happened to the factories, nothing has gone wrong with the people, nothing has been lost in our knowledge of how to do work. ................ Unlike in the subprime mortgage crisis where all the houses were basically fine — you could inhabit them — I worry that our collective attention is being degraded by the way the web has evolved. And every individual player has an individual incentive to grab more and more attention. It’s highly competitive. They’re all competing with each other for our attention. .............. this tragedy of the commons dynamic, where everybody is basically exhausting our attention, making us irritable and angry at each other and unable to focus. ................ the first banner advertisement that ended up on the web.... It was this AT&T campaign that was running on, I think, WIRED.com’s website. And the clickthrough rates there in 1994 were 44 percent, which is wild ............... the stats that we have today from banner advertising, it’s more like 0.1 percent. You’re thrilled if you get anywhere near 1 percent clickthrough. ........... how much are people actually paying attention to the ad, is declining, declining, declining .......... the core underlying asset, which is attention, has become so degraded with time that this channel is becoming useless. .......... the internet is just going through the same thing that all other media channels have had, which is that it fills with terrible advertising, and then people are attracted to the high value attention channel, and they move on. And maybe that’s happening with the internet as a whole. ............ People don’t like the way the modern internet feels, they don’t like the ads on it. To some degree, they just don’t even like what they’re doing on it.........

8 percent of the population is responsible for 85 percent of the clicks online.

.......... We’re not going to see a Twitter competitor just because people just don’t want that experience anymore. .......... a shift to more mixed business models. ......... a lot more experimentation with subscription. ........... You think of Netflix, or Disney+, or H.B.O. Max — those are not advertising-based businesses. ......... The New York Times itself, which has built a huge subscription business online — .......... OpenAI has a lot of investment from Microsoft, which obviously sells a lot of software. ........... what the kind of A.I. we’re creating is good at is just creating endless quantities of personalized manipulated content and figuring out what people want from that content. ......... One thing that worries me is actually a world in which A.I. is used to make online advertising much, much, much more effective, and personalized, and omnipresent, and creepy ......... rather than putting your search query into a box and getting 10 links, what you now have is a single voice that synthesizes the information and then offers an opinion ........... the quality is getting to the point where, do you need these creative agencies, do you need the whole kind of, again, infrastructure of marketing to produce ads that have that vibe that we spent a lot of money on it and it’s brand advertising? And I think that is something that will definitely change in the next few years......... a lot of what I get now is unintentionally hilarious. Like, I go, I buy a bicycle, and then for two months, everybody is like, you want to buy a bicycle? How do you feel about bicycles? ....... what they are able to do now, I think, is quite amazing, and it’ll be better in a year, and that much better in two years, and that much better in five years. .......... this company Bechtel, which is one of the big companies that helped build the Hoover Dam, and basically became the mega infrastructure builders of the 20th century. It’s completely fascinating — explains much of the west, explains nuclear power. The company is in everything, and so it’s a totally fascinating story.


Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power Will A.I. give us the lives of leisure we long for — or usher in a feudal dystopia? It depends. ........ “Moore’s Law for Everything,” is Altman’s effort to try and imagine the political consequences of true artificial intelligence and the policies that could decide whether it ushers in utopia or dystopia. .......... computer power has been growing exponentially for decades now. But prices have actually been falling .........

true A.I. could get us closer to Moore’s law for everything. It can make everything better, even as it makes everything cheaper.

........... A.I. will create phenomenal wealth, but it will do so by driving the price of a lot of labor to basically zero. That is how everything gets cheaper. It’s also how a lot of people lose their jobs. ........... A.I., it’s not just going to redistribute wealth and jobs, it’s going to redistribute power.

Moore's Law for Everything My work at OpenAI reminds me every day about the magnitude of the socioeconomic change that is coming sooner than most people believe. Software that can think and learn will do more and more of the work that people now do. Even more power will shift from labor to capital. If public policy doesn’t adapt accordingly, most people will end up worse off than they are today. ........... We need to design a system that embraces this technological future and taxes the assets that will make up most of the value in that world–companies and land–in order to fairly distribute some of the coming wealth. Doing so can make the society of the future much less divisive and enable everyone to participate in its gains. .......... In the next five years, computer programs that can think will read legal documents and give medical advice. ........... This revolution will create phenomenal wealth. .......... The world will change so rapidly and drastically that an equally drastic change in policy will be needed to distribute this wealth and enable more people to pursue the life they want. ......... If we get both of these right, we can improve the standard of living for people more than we ever have before. .......... it must be designed for the radically different society of the near future. Policy plans that don’t account for this imminent transformation will fail for the same reason that the organizing principles of pre-agrarian or feudal societies would fail today. ......... Compare how the world looked 15 years ago (no smartphones, really), 150 years ago (no combustion engine, no home electricity), 1,500 years ago (no industrial machines), and 15,000 years ago (no agriculture). ......... To the three great technological revolutions–the agricultural, the industrial, and the computational–we will add a fourth: the AI revolution. This revolution will generate enough wealth for everyone to have what they need, if we as a society manage it responsibly............ The technological progress we make in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we’ve made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel. ........ there are two paths to affording a good life: an individual acquires more money (which makes that person wealthier), or prices fall (which makes everyone wealthier). .......... The best way to increase societal wealth is to decrease the cost of goods, from food to video games. ........ In the last couple of decades, costs in the US for TVs, computers, and entertainment have dropped. But other costs have risen significantly, most notably those for housing, healthcare, and higher education. Redistribution of wealth alone won’t work if these costs continue to soar. ............ AI will lower the cost of goods and services, because labor is the driving cost at many levels of the supply chain. If robots can build a house on land you already own from natural resources mined and refined onsite, using solar power, the cost of building that house is close to the cost to rent the robots. And if those robots are made by other robots, the cost to rent them will be much less than it was when humans made them. ............. AI doctors that can diagnose health problems better than any human, and AI teachers that can diagnose and explain exactly what a student doesn’t understand............

Imagine a world where, for decades, everything–housing, education, food, clothing, etc.–became half as expensive every two years.

. ......... Economic inclusivity matters because it’s fair, produces a stable society, and can create the largest slices of pie for the most people. As a side benefit, it produces more growth. ......... the price of progress in capitalism is inequality........... a society that does not offer sufficient equality of opportunity for everyone to advance is not a society that will last. ........... As AI produces most of the world’s basic goods and services, people will be freed up to spend more time with people they care about, care for people, appreciate art and nature, or work toward social good. ......... We should therefore focus on taxing capital rather than labor, and we should use these taxes as an opportunity to directly distribute ownership and wealth to citizens. In other words, the best way to improve capitalism is to enable everyone to benefit from it directly as an equity owner. .......... the American Equity Fund. The American Equity Fund would be capitalized by taxing companies above a certain valuation 2.5% of their market value each year, payable in shares transferred to the fund, and by taxing 2.5% of the value of all privately-held land, payable in dollars. ............. The value of land appreciates because of the work society does around it: the network effects of the companies operating around a piece of land, the public transportation that makes it accessible, and the nearby restaurants, coffeeshops, and access to nature that makes it desirable. Because the landowner didn’t do all that work, it’s fair for that value to be shared with the larger society that did. ................. There is about $50 trillion worth of value, as measured by market capitalization, in US companies alone. Assume that, as it has on average over the past century, this will at least double over the next decade. ........... There is also about $30 trillion worth of privately-held land in the US .......... a decade from now each of the 250 million adults in America would get about $13,500 every year. That dividend could be much higher if AI accelerates growth, but even if it’s not, $13,500 will have much greater purchasing power than it does now because technology will have greatly reduced the cost of goods and services. And that effective purchasing power will go up dramatically every year. .............. we need technology to create more wealth, and policy to fairly distribute it. .......... In the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt was able to enact a huge social safety net that no one would have thought possible five years earlier. We are in a similar moment now. So a movement that is both pro-business and pro-people will unite a remarkably broad constituency. ........... Achieving 50% GDP growth sounds like it would take a long time (it took 13 years for the economy to grow 50% to its 2019 level). But once AI starts to arrive, growth will be extremely rapid. ..........

The future can be almost unimaginably great.


Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power Will A.I. give us the lives of leisure we long for — or usher in a feudal dystopia? It depends. .

Sam Altman: AI Will Not Only Replace Experts But Create New Knowledge Sam Altman: I want AI to Do Things humans Can’t Do

Silicon Valley leaders think A.I. will one day fund free cash handouts. But experts aren’t convinced

27: Ukraine

प्रधानमन्त्रीले मन्त्रिपरिषद् पुनर्गठनका विषयमा मंगलबारदेखि छलफल गर्ने
India Federal Police Arrest Leader From Key Opposition Party
Movie theaters aren’t dying — they’re evolving

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Kung Fu Nuns

Kung Fu Nuns of Nepal Smash Convention In Himalayan Buddhism, the religious roles of nuns have long been restricted by rules and customs. But one sect is changing that, mixing meditation with martial arts and environmental activism. ........ the Kung Fu nuns, part of an 800-year-old Buddhist sect called Drukpa, the Tibetan word for dragon. Across the Himalayan region, and the wider world, its followers now mix meditation with martial arts. ....... Every day, the nuns swap their maroon robes for an umber brown uniform to practice Kung Fu, the ancient Chinese martial art. It’s part of their spiritual mission to achieve gender equality and physical fitness; their Buddhist beliefs also call on them to lead an environmentally friendly life. ...... Amid a soft rustle of their loose uniforms, they cartwheel, punch and kick one another. ....... “Kung Fu helps us to break gender barriers and develop inner confidence” ....... Leading the charge for change are the Kung Fu nuns, whose Drukpa sect began a reformist movement 30 years ago under the leadership of Jigme Pema Wangchen, who is also known as the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa. He was willing to disrupt centuries of tradition and wanted nuns who would carry the sect’s religious message outside monastery walls. ........ “We are changing rules of the game,” said Konchok Lhamo, 29, a Kung Fu nun. “It is not enough to meditate on a cushion inside a monastery.” ....... and walk for months on pilgrimages to pick up plastic litter and make people aware of climate change. .......

Every year for the past 20, except for a hiatus during the pandemic, the nuns have cycled about 1,250 miles from Kathmandu to Ladakh, high in the Himalayas, to promote green transportation.

.......... The sect’s nuns were first introduced to martial arts in 2008 by followers from Vietnam, who had come to the nunnery to learn scriptures and how to play the instruments used during prayers. ........ When they travel, heads shaved, on trips in their open vans, they can look like soldiers ready to be deployed on the front line and capable of confronting any bias. ......... The sect’s vast campus is home to 350 nuns, who live with ducks, turkeys, swans, goats, 20 dogs, a horse and a cow, all rescued either from the knife of butchers or from the streets. The women work as painters, artists, plumbers, gardeners, electricians and masons, and also manage a library and medical clinic for laypeople......... “When I look at them, I want to become a nun,” said Ajali Shahi, a graduate student at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. “They look so cool, and you want to leave everything behind.” ........

Every day, the nunnery receives at least a dozen inquiries about joining the order from places as far as Mexico, Ireland, Germany and the United States.

......... “And so strong from inside that I can do anything.”

Ukraine Hits Russian Positions Deep Behind Enemy Lines Nearly a dozen explosions rang out in the Russian-held Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, site of one of the best-known battles of the war. ....... What targets were struck was perhaps less intriguing than how Ukrainian forces had managed to hit them. ...... a vast network of partisans loyal to Kyiv to wage war on the occupiers. ....... School officials said that Russian attacks have damaged 3,128 educational institutions, 441 of which are beyond repair. ....... Kyiv has also been casting an anxious eye on Russian threats via two neighboring countries, Belarus and Moldova. ........ Still, the main thrust of Moscow’s offensive operations remains in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Russian forces are trying to break through Ukrainian defenses in five directions.

मेयर बालेन को सुरक्षा मा प्रचण्ड को चरम लापरवाही किन?

राष्ट्रपतिमा कांग्रेसको बाजी
ठूलो कचौरामा दूधभात पाएपछि बिरालो छिमेकी कहाँ गयो : ओली

गृहबाट सुरक्षाकर्मी नपाएपछि आक्रोशमा लेखिएको बालेनको फेसबुक स्टाटस 'मेयरको पोजिसनबाट मलाई आज राजीनामा दिन लाउन खोज्दै छन्। यो देश कहिले पनि बन्दैन।' ........ केन्द्रीय सरकारले नै बालेनलाई काम गर्न असहयोग गरी मेयर पदबाट राजीनामा दिन बाध्य पार्न खोजिएको बताए। ....... बालेनले २०-२५ दिनदेखि नेपाल सरकारसँग चार-पाँच वटा कुरामा सहकार्य गर्न खोजिरहेका छन्।तर सरकारले कुनै पनि चासो व्यक्त नगरेको उनको भनाइ छ। ....... 'गृह मन्त्रालयसँग मेयरका लागि सुरक्षा चाहियो भनेर माग गरेका थियौं। त्यसबारे अहिलेसम्म कुनै पनि कुरा आएको छैन,' व्यञ्जनकारले भने, 'उहाँले प्रधानमन्त्रीसँग भेटेर कुरा गर्न पनि खोज्नुभयो। तर कुनै पनि जवाफ आउँदैन।' .......

गृह सचिवलाई भन्दा गृह मन्त्रीलाई भन्नु पर्ने र गृह मन्त्रीलाई भन्दा प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई भन्नुपर्ने भन्दै काम नगरेको उनको भनाइ छ।

....... 'अहिले प्रधानमन्त्री नै गृहमन्त्री हुनुहुन्छ। कुनै पनि कल र म्यासेजको रेस्पोन्स पनि दिनु हुँदैन,' उनले भने, 'गृह सचिवलाई काम गर्ने अधिकार नै दिनु हुँदैन। स्थानीय सरकारले सहयोग माग्ने भनेको केन्द्र सरकारमा हो तर केन्द्र सरकारले नै सहयोग नगरेपछि त यो काम नगर भनेर राजीनामा दे भनेर बाध्य पारिएको त हो नि!' ........ काठमाडौंको मेयर जस्तो मान्छेले आफूलाई सुरक्षा चाहियो भन्दा नदिएपछि आक्रोशमा उक्त स्ट्याटस लेखिएको व्यञ्जनकारले बताए। ........ जिल्ला प्रशासन कार्यालय काठमाडौंमा निवेदन दिँदै बालेनले पुस २९ गते सुरक्षाकर्मी माग गरेको थिए। काठमाडौंका प्रमुख जिल्ला अधिकारी घनश्याम उपाध्यायले निवेदन गृह मन्त्रालयको शान्ति सुरक्षा महाशाखामा पठाएको बताएका थिए। ........ मंसिर १२ गते थापाथलीको सुकुम्बासी बस्ती हटाउने क्रममा महानगरीय प्रहरीमाथि ढुंगामुढा गर्ने र बालेनलाई ज्यान मार्ने धम्की दिने ६ जनाविरूद्ध किटानी जाहेरी दर्ता गरेको थियो। किटानी जाहेरीमा १ महिलासहित ५ जना पुरूष रहेका छन्। ....... प्रहरीमा किटानी जाहेरी दिँदा पनि ती व्यक्तिहरूलाई नपक्रिएको उनी बताउँछन्। ........ 'जसको विरूद्ध किटानी जाहेरी दिइएको थियो तिनै व्यक्तिहरू अहिले प्रहरीसँगै हिँडिरहेका छन्। ती व्यक्तिहरूले घरमा गएर ज्यान मार्ने धम्की दिई आफन्तहरूलाई प्रेसर दिइरहेका छन्,' उनले भने, 'उनीहरूलाई नियन्त्रणमा लिनुपर्‍यो भनेर भन्दा पनि कसैले कुनै किसिमको चासो व्यक्त गरिरहेका छैनन्।' ........ मनोहरा आयोजनामा बाँधिएको बाँध जाहेरी दिएकै मानिसको समूहले डोजर चलाई भत्काएको व्यञ्जनकारले बताए।

युक्रेन युद्ध रोक्न माग गर्दै जर्मनी र फ्रान्समा प्रदर्शन

Thursday, February 23, 2023


माधव नेपाललाई राष्ट्रपतिको उम्मेदवारमा अघि सार्ने तीन दलको तयारी ’पहिलेदेखि नै हामीहरू माओवादी केन्द्र, एकीकृत समाजवादी र जसपाबीच मोर्चा बनाउनेबारे छलफल भएकै हो । त्यसैअनुसार छलफल गरिरहेका छौं’
प्रचण्डले भाेलि ओलीसँग ‘फाइनल’ वार्ता गर्ने
प्रचण्डलाई प्रश्न : पुरानो गठबन्धन ब्युँताउने कि नेकपा ब्युँताउने ?
पुस १० को सहमति कार्यान्वयनमा नआए सरकारमा बस्दैनौँ : योगेश भट्टराई
तीन दलको तयारीले राष्ट्रपतिमा थप रोमाञ्चक मोड

पुरानै गठबन्धन ब्युँताउने देउवा र दाहालबीच समझदारी, राष्ट्रपति कांग्रेसलाई
प्रचण्डले देउवा र ओलीसँग छुट्टाछुट्टै छलफल गर्ने
ज्वाला भन्छन्– राष्ट्रिय सहमति भए माधव नेपाल राष्ट्रपति
माओवादी, जसपा र नेकपा एसले मोर्चा बनाउने, कांग्रेससँग बिहान छलफल बैठकमा राष्ट्रिय सहमति हुने अवस्थामा मात्रै नेकपा एसका अध्यक्ष माधवकुमार नेपालले राष्ट्रपतिमा उमेदवारी दिने विषयमा कुराकानी भएको र त्यस्तो अवस्था नदेखिएको ती नेताले जानकारी दिए । “उहाँले राष्ट्रिय सहमति भयो भने मात्रै उमेदवारी दिने कुरा गर्नुभएको हो,” ती नेताले भने, “एमालेले पनि उमेदवारी दिने र कांग्रेसले पनि दिने अवस्थामा उहाँले उमेदवारी दिनुहुन्न ।”

तीन दलको छलफल सकियो, भोलि कांग्रेससँग निर्णायक छलफल गर्ने आफूलाई प्रधानमन्त्री बनाउने गठबन्धन बदल्ने निष्कर्षमा प्रचण्ड पुग्नुको कारण ओलीप्रतिको अविश्वास देखिन्छ । स्रोतका अनुसार, पार्टी बैठकमा प्रचण्डले ओलीसँग ४८ घण्टामै आजित भएको बताएका थिए । प्रचण्डलाई आजित बनाउने घटना सरकारको भागबण्डामा ओलीको हस्तक्षेप थियो । ओलीले महत्वपूर्ण मन्त्रालयहरु अर्थ, परराष्ट्र, रक्षा एमालेले लिने अडान लिए भने राष्ट्रिय स्वतन्त्र पार्टी (रास्वपा) का अध्यक्ष रवि लामिछानेलाई गृह मन्त्रालय दिन बाध्य बनाए । प्रचण्डको चाहना नाराकायणकाजीलाई उपप्रधानसहित गृहमन्त्री बनाउने थियो ।

जसपालाई उपराष्ट्रपति दिन प्रधानमन्त्री सकारात्मक : उपेन्द्र यादव

आफू नेतृत्वको सरकारलाई पूर्णता नदिँदै प्रचण्ड गठबन्धन बदल्ने तयारीमा छन् । माओवादीका एक नेता भन्छन्, ‘नयाँ गठबन्धनमा पनि प्रचण्ड सुरक्षित त छैनन्, तर एमालेभन्दा कांग्रेसतिर कम जोखिम हुने उहाँको बुझाइ पाइन्छ ।’