Links I’d share in private #2

Another week, another sharing moment about all the links and tools I have seen and read during this last week. All the things that I consider that are worth sharing with you folks! This week, I focused a lot of my readings on the impact of AI on us; the erosion of LGBTQ+ rights disguised as the protection of Women’s rights; the monoculturization of the Internet culture; and injustices.

Enjoy these links & the reading!

  • A scary read about our eroding rights in North America, and the attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, disguised as a Woman’s Rights: this article, while focusing on American’s politics, is worth a read because we are seeing the same tactics across our northern borders here in Canada. “State Republicans across the nation are pushing bills commonly titled the “Women’s Bill of Rights.” You’ll be shocked to learn that contrary to the title, however, Republicans haven’t suddenly started to care about women’s equality or agency—they just want to use that banner as a cover for stripping away our rights as LGBTQ+ individuals”. I’ll always be an ally for LGBTQ+ & trans rights, as I consider trans women are women, trans men are men, and there is no discussing human rights! But the scary rise of conservative & ultra-religious movements in our political lives is to be watched and counter-act as much as we can. It’s time we become aggressive in the protection of our LGBTQ+ & Trans rights! Do not let them use Women’s rights to demolish trans’ & queer rights!
  • Useful link – “Blocking AI bots on your online content“: if you’re a content creator like me, and just don’t want AI businesses to profit over your online content on your website, there are ways to block those AI from scanning your websites. This article explains how to do it. If you aren’t a tech person, poke me in DM, I will help you set this up!
  • And to continue on the subject of AI – “AI isn’t useless. But is it worth it?” My current opinion over the rise of AI in our society (and in tech) is pretty much summed up in this article by Molly White. I share her skepticism and ethical concerns over the over-use of AI in our daily lives right now, as well as the damages it is wreaking among professional circles (like software/web developers), and the security vulnerabilities found in those LLM models and tools. A step back would be needed for us to really reflect on how we want to use this technology moving forward, but I seriously doubt it will happen, as the business people are having such a “hard on” making money with AI right now, and damn the consequences. “Though AI companies are prone to making overblown promises that the tools will shortly be able to replace your content writing team or generate feature-length films or develop a video game from scratch, the reality is far more mundane: they are handy in the same way that it might occasionally be useful to delegate some tasks to an inexperienced and sometimes sloppy intern. Still, I do think acknowledging the usefulness is important, while also holding companies to account for their false or impossible promises, abusive labor practices, and myriad other issues. When critics dismiss AI outright, I think in many cases this weakens the criticism, as readers who have used and benefited from AI tools think “wait, that’s not been my experience at all”.”
  • The Internet culture and online communities is getting bland, and I hate it! We’ve seen the rise of online communities, rich with dialogue and sharing diverse life’s experiences, in the end of 2000s/early 2010s, and I was all for it! It was so refreshing to finally find your tribe and peers across the planet, and not feel alone! Since the mid-2010s, the rise in popularity of social media has pretty much killed off the few nested circles and communities that were online, eliminating the diversification of voices. The rise of aggressive comments by trolls also ended up killing the desire to share lives that people had in these communities, preventing people from grouping together and sharing things in common. And the rise of those social medias gated the communities into their platforms and communities’ guidelines, restricting more and more their diverse voices online and killing off these vibrant communities as time passes by. This article uses the metaphor of ecology, and cultivating a vibrant a diverse forest, to talk how the Internet is becoming a bland monoculture finding ways for us to spend money on trying to connect with other human beings in different ways, be it as gatekeeping communities by making us pay (à la X/Twitter), or by making us pay for trying to belong to a community that we so want to belong to. “The internet’s 2010s, its boom years, may have been the first glorious harvest that exhausted a one-time bonanza of diversity. The complex web of human interactions that thrived on the internet’s initial technological diversity is now corralled into globe-spanning data-extraction engines making huge fortunes for a tiny few. Our online spaces are not ecosystems, though tech firms love that word. They’re plantations; highly concentrated and controlled environments, closer kin to the industrial farming of the cattle feedlot or battery chicken farms that madden the creatures trapped within.”
  • “Why I swear by “My year of No” “: this blog article really called out to me, because I had several phases in my recent past when I said no to everything: no to going out, no to seeing people, no to overbooking my schedule of activities or tasks, no to family’s obligations… Saying no, and just staying home doing nothing, having no obligation… It was such a liberation! A freeing sense of freedom and control over my life, where I felt good about myself. And when I realized in therapy that my old ways of overbooking my calendar was a way of running away from my traumas and past, the moment I started refusing and saying no… It gave me the space to work on my issues, start accepting myself as I am, and be able to enjoy life again, but at a much slower pace. I highly recommend saying no more, it’s worthwhile!
  • Ohhhhhhhh How I miss George Carlin! I would have loved his views on our current society’s problems… My punk rage against society’s injustices is feeling validated by this quote.
    Quote: “A person of good intelligence and sensitivity cannot exist in this society very long without having some anger about the inequality – and it’s not just a bleeding-heart, knee-jerk, liberal kind of a thing – it is just a normal human reaction to a nonsensical set of values where we have cinnamon flavored dental floss and there are people sleeping in the street.”