Hi! I'm Emma. I'm an ideator, optimizer, and personal growth nerd, with a dash of woo and politics. This is my "kitchen sink" blog, where I share random notes from my life, including the various rabbit holes I go down.

December 6, 2023

The problem with white tech bros saving the world

I went down the e/acc rabbit hole just a little ways and I'm already frustrated that people who nominally support decentralization cannot see that any movement that is mostly a bunch of rich white men in urban Western environments is NOT the revolution they think it is.
August 2, 2023

How I created my Substack visual brand with Midjourney

I recently started a Substack newsletter called Sparkly Dark. I created most of the visual brand in Midjourney, here are my tips.
June 29, 2023

AI is powered by decentralized digital sweatshops

AI at this stage requires reams of data annotation and human feedback. “As the technology becomes ubiquitous, a vast tasker underclass is emerging — and not going anywhere.”

May 31, 2023

“Autism is a Spectrum” Doesn’t Mean What You Think

It’s not a gradient that goes from “less autistic” to “more autistic”. That’s the entire wrong way to think about it. If you think about the visible color spectrum, red and blue are on opposite ends, but blue is not “really intense red”, they are actually just different colors. So, my understanding now is that “the spectrum” is a set of different traits that, if you have a lot of them, that makes up autism, but the traits show up differently in different people.

May 7, 2023

Hope is a fragile motivation

On doom, hope, and releasing expectations and control over the future.
April 6, 2023

Sam Altman plans to be a benevolent dictator

In this video we learn that Sam Altman thinks inventing AGI, or at least staying at the leading edge of  AI development, will allow OpenAI to suck up all the world’s wealth–and Sam Altman plans to “redistribute” that wealth, possibly through a UBI. But he doesn’t exactly know how that will work–especially on a global scale–and he hopes GPT5 will be able to help figure it out.

But he also seems to think that the current massive inequality only exists because people “tolerate” it and with AGI’s even more massive inequality, people “won’t tolerate it”–which shows an absurd level of ignorance as to what it means to be powerless because all the power has been concentrated out of your hands.

Currently, money is a proxy for power, but in a post-scarcity world where these are decoupled, his plan is to redistribute money in order to keep the capitalist game going. But of course, that isn’t the same thing as redistributing power itself. I guess he is aiming for the Brave New World rather than 1984 outcome…but I am not sure he is accurate in his assessment that he will stay at the front of this race.

March 28, 2023

We will be able to create hyper-realistic virtual people soon

We are not too far away from being able to create extremely life-like virtual partners. We could help people heal their relational trauma, provide partners for people who can't find one...or destroy our society with hyper-addictive relationship simulators. Exciting times!
March 25, 2023

YouTube: ChatGPT + Wolfram: The Future of AI is Here!

I can’t say I understood all of this, but it was pretty fascinating nonetheless.

January 28, 2023

Jon Stewart interview on the US Classified Documents system

As you can imagine, it’s a mess. Really interesting, though. Data scientists will have to sort it out.

December 17, 2022

Real Engineering: Helion (Nuclear Fusion)

A different way to achieve nuclear fusion that avoids some of the pitfalls of Tokamak reactors (fuel cost, byproducts). Looks promising! Fusion is coming along, slowly.

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