Subsidizing bad, while talking about good
Today for a rather disheartening view of the global subsidy picture: 2022 saw a massive increase in total energy subsidies. Most of them went straight to fossil fuels.
#climate #fossilfuels #sustainability #priorities
I always wondered why the anti-#VietnamWar protests seemed ineffective at ending it, even though so many parts of society where involved: business, clergy, politicians, hippies, etc. Based on declassified docs, Nixon and Kissinger had a fully developed military plan to massively increase attacks on Vietnam, including using nukes. They just had to give the generals the go ahead. The protests actually convinced them they couldn't get away with it, so that plan was canceled. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/movement-and-madman/
Even #Russia, one of the world's major weapons suppliers, is limited in what it can do because it is running out of ammo. They are trying to buy more from whoever will sell it. #Egypt was going to sell ammo to Russia, but when the deal became public, they canceled it because of sanctions. When looking at less powerful nations at war like #Sudan, #Congo and more, the impact of limiting weapons sales can be even greater. The hard part is reigning in domestic corporations that make big profits 2/2
When talking about why wars continue, the focus is so often about the reasons why people are fighting. That is valid, but there are many factors. One key one that is rarely reported on is the supply of weapons. If those who fight have only rifles, the scale of the damage will be drastically less than if they have artillery. The stories of #Ukraine and #Russia running out of ammo show a way to affect wars: do not supply them. This is #Austria and #Switzerland 's law and it can be effective 1/2
Vice has a good article on that demo: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjvb4x/palantir-demos-ai-to-fight-wars-but-says-it-will-be-totally-ethical-dont-worry-about-it When viewing something like this, is important to consider what the #US considers legal. Apparently, mass bombing, death, and destruction by the military is fully legal there since there has been no prosecutions for running the #IraqWar #AfghanWar #VietnamWar etc.
Looks like the SAGE mentality is alive and well in the US military industrial context, and the #SiliconValley is still driving it. For example, that demo shows they still pretend to be able to get perfect info to feed their centralized, automated overview. This chapter from the book Closed World gives good insight into the mentality of this kind of project: https://web.archive.org/web/20011116023240/http://www.si.umich.edu/~pne/PDF/cw.ch3.pdf
A Group of Amazon Drivers Just Joined One of the Biggest Unions in the US
Did you know you can see how #Python parses your code? 🐍🤯
Breaking a .py file into a tree of "tokens" 🪙
python3 -m tokenize hi.py
Turning that into an "abstract syntax tree" 🎋
python3 -m ast hi.py
Then "disassembling" that to bytecode 🤖
python3 -m dis hi.py
When people say "comprehensions generate fewer operations than loops", they used dis.
I used the ast module when I made my undataclass script: https://www.pythonmorsels.com/undataclass/
More in this PyCascades talk: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RcGshw0tzoc&feature=youtu.be
"It is very simple," said Birol. "If we want to reach our 1.5 C target, you cannot use as much oil, gas and coal as you are using today." https://www.dw.com/en/iea-fatih-birol-new-oil-gas/a-65200519
Debian Project Leader Election 2023, Jonathan Carter re-elected https://bits.debian.org/2023/04/dpl-elections-2023.html
#Yubico is merging with some other company to go public on a stock exchange
Get ready for Yubico "maximizing shareholder value" — also known as "enshittification."
"How can you know what you want or feel or think—who you are—if you don’t know which way history’s marionette strings are tugging?" - one of the nice ways of framing history in the #PaloAlto book https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/palo-alto-malcolm-harris-review/
"training GPT‑3 in Microsoft’s state-of-the-art U.S. data centers can directly consume 700,000 liters of clean freshwater (enough to produce 370 BMW cars or 320 Tesla electric vehicles), and the water consumption would have been tripled if training were done in Microsoft’s data centers in Asia" https://themarkup.org/hello-world/2023/04/15/the-secret-water-footprint-of-ai-technology
For a positive example, starting in 1919 in #Vienna, the #AustroMarxist Social Democratic Party built affordable housing by taxing luxury goods. Capitalist construction companies gained from this because they got lots of new contracts. This work has spread to the point where a majority of the city lives in subsidized housing. 3/3
There are certainly clear negative examples of this: in Cambodia in the 70s, the dictator Lon Nol was widely hated, and stayed in power due to #US backing. People were so desperate to get rid of Lon Nol, that a wide variety of people backed the Khmer Rouge in what seemed the only way to get rid of him. That finally worked for getting rid of Lon Nol. Sadly, the Khmer Rouge ended up being even worse, leading a massive genocide against its own people. 2/
The idea of limiting population growth has been popular among all sorts of racists and eugenicists for a long time, and that has discredited the idea. Economics shows that shrinking populations empower workers, and socialists aim to empower all workers. I think about this example a lot as an exercise of potential coalition building. Can people with diametrically opposed beliefs agree on a goal and actually deliver it in a way that all are satisfied? Can this actually lead to effective policy? 1/
#Vienna gets deserved attention for its #AffordableHousing policies over the last century. One of the least know is tightly regulating the tearing down of buildings, making it one of the oldest housing stocks in Europe. When a building is torn down to build a new one, then there is still just one building. If old ones are kept, then a new building means increased housing supply. Developers like tearing down since they can make massive profits in proven neighborhoods. https://wien.orf.at/stories/3203136/