Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

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Qatar says 400-500 workers died for the World Cup

Disgusting. I'm so sad and angry that this happened and that the repercussions will be minimal, if any.

11/29/2022 9:24 am | | Tags: world cup, soccer, fifa, qatar, slavery

"Mastodon Isn't Just A Replacement For Twitter"

Scalability explains a lot of what seems wrong with social media. Content moderation at scale needs to be semi-automated, which often means applying universal rules without context or nuance. And when abuse, harassment and misinformation drive engagement, the incentive is to address it in a way that doesn't threaten business. Lacking local knowledge in their users' languages and cultures, platform companies have aided political interference and even genocide.

But how can genuine community self-governance work at the scale of a global social network? We believe that it is time to embrace the old idea of subsidiarity, which dates back to early Calvinist theology and Catholic social teaching. The European Union's founding documents use the term, too. It means that in a large and interconnected system, people in a local community should have the power to address their own problems. Some decisions are made at higher levels, but only when necessary. Subsidiarity is about achieving the right balance between local units and the larger systems.

But the fediverse is not a utopia — it's just software. Though it facilitates community self-governance, it does not guarantee it. Most of the people entering the fediverse right now are flocking to a small number of popular servers. In effect, they are repeating the logic of scalability, except this time without a company in charge able to spend millions of dollars on large-scale moderation. Currently, many servers appear to be run top-down by people who have the technical skills to set them up, but not necessarily with the social and economic capacity to foster and sustain community self-governance and address online harm.

Subsidiarity is not a word I knew previously, definitely going to dig in on it. Below is its relevant Merriam Webster definition, not pulled from the above article.

Subsidiarity - n. - a principle in social organization holding that functions which are performed effectively by subordinate or local organizations belong more properly to them than to a dominant central organization

Edit: I found this evening, the author's own post on Mastodon.

11/29/2022 12:52 pm | | Tags: social media, mastodon, fediverse

2022 FIFA World Cup bracket and standings

This page has turned out to be my go-to source for World Cup info and scheduling. It's a simple page layout, no ads, and has all the information I want.

11/29/2022 12:53 pm | | Tags: world cup, soccer

USA is through to the Round of 16 at the World Cup!

After missing the 2018 World Cup, it feels good to make it to the knockout stage once again. Bring on the Netherlands!

11/29/2022 1:06 pm | | Tags: the netherlands, usmnt, soccer, world cup

The European Space Agency has hired its first astronaut with a physical disability

British Paralympic athlete and surgeon John McFall will join the ESA's latest cohort of space travel candidates as a "parastronaut," the agency announced last week.

McFall, who is 41, had his right leg amputated after a motorcycle crash when he was 19 years old. Following his recovery, he learned how to run again and became a professional track and field athlete in 2005. Representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, McFall competed as a Paralympic sprinter and went on to win numerous awards, including a bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

11/29/2022 3:35 pm | | Tags: space, europe, disability

Firefox launching on-machine translations so that you no longer have to use the cloud

It wasn't just Mozilla to be fair:

Firefox Translations was developed with The Bergamot Project Consortium, coordinated by the University of Edinburgh with partners Charles University in Prague, the University of Sheffield, University of Tartu, and Mozilla. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825303.

11/29/2022 4:25 pm | | Tags: translation, technology, privacy

Artist trains AI on her childhood journals and talks to her younger self

Very emotional and touching and fascinating. Definitely some uncanny valley for me as I read it, but I am very curious to try and replicate this for myself using many things I posted online decades ago.

11/29/2022 5:59 pm | | Tags: machine learning, art, artificial intelligence

Mastodon Favs for November, 29th 2022

11/29/2022 11:45 pm | | Tags: mastodon, social media, automated
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