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Since it's that time of year where people everywhere start asking me whether I'm coming to , here's my answer:

No, it is not possible for me to come, because the orga has chosen not to implement any COVID safety precautions, forcing me to choose between "keeping my kidneys working" and "attending a hacker event".

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Why I do not like hanging around liberals anymore 

Because they're like oppression lootboxes.

The liberal viewpoint is not one of intersectionality; they might sound very progressive and recognize one or more types of oppression, but do not (wish to) recognize the way these interact, or the structure and patterns that underlie all of them.

This means that it's only a matter of time before I hear them say some extremely shitty and/or bigoted stuff about a topic that they don't recognize as a form of oppression, but I can't know upfront which topic it will be, or when it'll happen.

With my intersectional friends, I could then just point out that it's a form of oppression, and they will take it seriously, introspect, and work (over time) to understand it. Mistakes happen, but they will try to learn. All I need to do, is remind them.

With liberals, however... they do not recognize it as another occurrence of the same thing, and so I am left having to "prove" from whole cloth that yes, it really is a form of oppression, before they are even willing to put in *any* effort to understand the problem.

Every time this happens, it takes hours of my time, and energy that I do not have to spare.

I am already running on fumes most of the time, and I honestly just don't really want to hang around people who put that sort of price on not being shitty.

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Why don't you just use XMPP? 

(Leaving this here as a FAQ since I get this 'question' entirely too often.)

Because every single time I engage in a discussion with an XMPP proponent, it takes less than 5 minutes to get to "XMPP is fine, you just need to adjust your expectations/requirements", and this FOSSbro attitude is *exactly* why I jumped ship from the XMPP community years ago.

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A reminder that if you are on hackers.town, mstdn.party, or mstdn.social (and a couple other less common instances), I will not see your replies!

These servers are silenced here because while there are a fair amount of nice folks on there, they *also* have moderation issues or a set of policies that's just not compatible with that of pixie.town.

If you want to make sure that your replies arrive here, I would recommend moving to a smaller instance with better moderation and vibes :) Preferably one where you (can get to) know the people running it!

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:

I've actually been here for a while already, though mostly inactive! The Birdsite Situation prompted me to pop in here again. And I'm terrible at writing introductions, so I usually just say "I do stuff on the internet".

But uh, I do all sorts of activist-y stuff, work on radical FOSS (see cryto.net/~joepie91/manifesto.), write (educational) stuff, am more or less a lonely polyamorous gender blob of indeterminate sexuality who likes both cuddles and kinky things, and I always have 10 times as many projects as I have time for, as is customary with ADHD brain :) Sometimes I even finish some of them!

While I'm an introvert and need plenty of time to myself, I *am* happy to meet like-minded people and spend time with them, and as long as you're not a bigot or apologist, you should feel free to interact with me and/or follow me!

Also, I live in Rosmalen (near Den Bosch) in the Netherlands, and honestly would like to get to know more local folks, and I also have some vague intention to start a queer hackerspace around here if I can find enough interested people. Eventually!

I am so grateful to @vantablack for being vocal and starting #fedipact. Opposing Facebook's control over social media always has been and always will be an act of asserting queer existence.

nileane.fr/@nileane/1127746568

question: are you supposed to ensure that the contents of any already-open file descriptors remain readable/writable even when the underlying file has nominally been removed from the filesystem? Or how is this supposed to work?

New blog post: Why picspam and repost accounts are bad! out.flipping.rocks/blog/why-pi

> You've seen them on Twitter, you're seeing them on the fediverse: accounts with names like "AmazingNature8" or "HistoryPix", or occasionally human-sounding names like "Massimo" and "Veronique". Popular topics include nature and wildlife photos, historic images, relatable memes, fine art, and so on.
>
> They repost photos or memes that have gone viral elsewhere, like Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit. The text of the post is scraped as well; google a distinctive sentence and you'll turn up a previous post. Credit, if it's ever given, is a handle with no URL or indication of what social network it belongs to. Tellingly, on the fediverse, there are virtually never image descriptions. […]
>
> Since I end up having to give this spiel every time I raise the alarm about such accounts, I'm putting it down here in a more permanent place.

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Are there any lawyers in #Ottawa on fedi that will witness me signing my name/gender change forms? So far nobody has responded to my emails.

Edit: thanks everyone, I may have a lead on someone who specifically works with a local LGBTQ+ group to get this done:
https://kindspace.ca/idclinic/:heart_trans:

practicing solidarity vs demanding unity

what I love about “practicing solidarity” as a frame is that it affords everyone agency, and it acknowledges that this is a set of skills and way of life that requires practice. it’s not a one and done hierarchical demand from on high. it’s a call to the circle of humanity and an earnest ask of each of us: look around, who needs the protection of the group, how can we best leverage our diversity on behalf of our most vulnerable

Looking for a post/paper I saw noting that the main difference between LLMs is their training data - same data, same outputs. (Because LLMs are lossy text compression.) Does anyone have the post/paper I'm thinking of?

EDIT: this is the one i was thinking of: nonint.com/2023/06/10/the-it-i

> model behavior is not determined by architecture, hyperparameters, or optimizer choices. It’s determined by your dataset, nothing else. Everything else is a means to an end in efficiently delivery compute to approximating that dataset.

when you order something as ":3 meowmeowmeow" and the staff still treats the order seriously:

I'm not enjoying implementing a FUSE driver. It seems that every time I make a mistake, it just silently fails without actually telling me what the problem is, and I end up spending an hour meticulously comparing to some known-working code to find *any* difference that might explain it.

mozilla, venting 

Some day I will stop discovering new fucked things that Mozilla has been involved with. Some day. Maybe.

AMD and ARM (including Apple) keep winning on the CPU market by... checks notes ... Making CPUs that do not explode.

This post is sponsored by the latest Intel CPUs, which explode.

Is it normal for giant companies to have so poor branding that it takes me half an hour to realise I mistook their logo for another platform? Geez, it's like they don't even try anymore

threads 

Threads defederating from pretty much all of queer fedi because it "violates their community guidelines" but only having "privacy policy" as the reason for defederation from gleasonator (with no mention of community norms) kind of illustrates what's going on there, doesn't it

LGBT and Marginalized Voices Are Not Welcome on Threads macstories.net/stories/lgbt-an

Here’s a story that I wish I didn’t have to write. But it’s high time that we make this a central point anytime, anywhere Threads is pictured as a decent alternative to Twitter and Mastodon. It is only that if you’re a straight, white male.

@macstories

Mozilla, re: labour exploitation 

A quick follow-up: digging into the history of CrowdFlower a bit, this exploitative data labelling company claimed Mozilla as one of its customers: web.archive.org/web/2017051511

The same Mozilla that is now loudly talking about "ethical AI", and seems to have never spoken about their past dealings with this company. It's also not clear whether they still do business with them (it's part of Appen now).

Now it's not *certain* that this claim is true - tech companies, especially of the techbro kind, are certainly not beyond embellishing their customer lists to look more respectable. But this certainly raises some questions - especially since CrowdFlower legitimately has at least some large companies as its customer.

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AI, labour exploitation, 'progressive' tech, history, long :boost_requested: 

So after watching the Ghost Worker documentary (youtube.com/watch?v=VPSZFUiEll) and finding that Lukas Biewald (featured in the documentary) seems to have written his own puffy Wikipedia article, I dug into the guy a bit more, and I ran across a thing he'd made in the past - the GiveWork app.

To quote from a picture (attached) explaining how that app worked: "Ever wonder if you could use a few spare minutes to do good for the world? [...] When you complete a task on your iPhone or iPod Touch, the same task is assigned to a marginalized person in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, or Haiti. When your answers match and the task is verified, this person gets paid for the work you did together."

This app seems to have been widely covered at the time as an altruistic endeavour, a progressive use of tech, a way to "support refugees". It was developed and run by CrowdFlower, Biewald's for-profit company, and a 'non-profit' called Samasource.

Now you might have already noticed that that's kind of a weird model to be using to 'support refugees'. Why all the extra steps? (If you're familiar with the subject matter, you probably already know the answer by this point.)

Well, guess what Lukas Biewald, now the founder of Figure Eight (formerly CrowdFlower), was featured in the documentary for?

Quoting from an old conference recording shown in the documentary, Biewald speaking: "Before the internet, it would be really difficult to find someone, sit them down for 10 minutes and get them to work for you, and then fire them after those 10 minutes. But, with technology, you can actually find them, pay them a tiny amount of money, uhm, and then get rid of them when you don't need them anymore."

This makes it transparently obvious what the actual goal was of GiveWork: it was never meant to support refugees, it was meant to *exploit* them as a cheap source of labour. Each bit of data had to be processed by two independent people to spot wrong/fake data, and this was an easy way to both cut down on labour costs *and* frame it as a charitable act instead of the labour exploitation that it actually is.

But the reporting about GiveWork didn't mention that bit. Instead, it uncritically copied the framing of charitable, progressive tech.

Unsurprisingly, Biewald was featured in the Ghost Workers documentary because people doing work for his company where paid far below minimum wage, with Biewald trying to dodge any critical questions about that, explicitly only wanting to talk about AI.

Oh, and that non-profit Samasource?

"Samasource Impact Sourcing, Inc., formerly known as Samasource and Sama, is a training-data company, focusing on annotating data for artificial intelligence algorithms. [...] First founded as a non-profit in 2008, Sama adopted a hybrid business model in 2019, becoming a for-profit business with the previous non-profit organization becoming a shareholder."

---

And this is exactly the problem with 'liberal' approaches to progressive politics, that are not actually led by marginalized folks but by privileged folks who are out to 'save' them through a business, through tech, etc. (or at least claim so) - almost without exception, it turns into some exploitative bullshit, often deliberately so.

And since people rarely pay attention to what some organization does after the initial wave of "look what amazing progress they are making", there are essentially zero consequences or accountability. I bet that you didn't know about how GiveWork turned out, for example.

re: Mozilla, re: labour exploitation 

(I originally found this information at faircrowd.work/platform/crowdf, which is apparently a crowdworker union, and verified it via the Wayback Machine)

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Mozilla, re: labour exploitation 

A quick follow-up: digging into the history of CrowdFlower a bit, this exploitative data labelling company claimed Mozilla as one of its customers: web.archive.org/web/2017051511

The same Mozilla that is now loudly talking about "ethical AI", and seems to have never spoken about their past dealings with this company. It's also not clear whether they still do business with them (it's part of Appen now).

Now it's not *certain* that this claim is true - tech companies, especially of the techbro kind, are certainly not beyond embellishing their customer lists to look more respectable. But this certainly raises some questions - especially since CrowdFlower legitimately has at least some large companies as its customer.

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Is there a #greenlandic speaker here? Google translate just launched #Kalaallisut, I'm trying it out but the answers look wild? I *think* it is translating danish via english to Kalaallisut, but that is a bizarre decision because there must be many more training data from danish.

I'm now using
nutserut.gl/machine from the official #Greenland govt and it seems to work (ish). The problem is I only have a few words of Greenlandic, so it's hard to be sure.

#askFedi

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