Why the Former Elites With the Best Access to Information are the Most Misinformed?

By Leo Goldstein,

A bold hypothesis is offered to explain this phenomenon and to remind of the urgency of reigning in the Internet Gatekeepers.

Abstract

Most information we receive about the real world is through electronic media, especially the internet.  Internet information processing is increasingly influenced by artificial intelligence.  Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft are open and boastful about their use of AI.  Humans are involved in this processing but frequently play secondary roles, like classifying and tagging news stories for machine processing, as in the case of Facebook.  These are hybrid computer-human AIs.  Wikipedia is written mostly by humans, but decision-making employs machine oriented procedures (MOPs) – procedures that are more suitable for computers than humans.  In other words, these procedures are algorithms removing human touch, even when performed by humans.  In this sense, Wikipedia might be said to be a hybrid human-AI system as well.  The same is true for Reddit.  There is a large number of other services and websites that use AI, and the rest of the Web and everybody using the web are affected by them.  But this is only the beginning.  These hybrid AIs interact in ways that have not been anticipated by their creators and might be not appreciated even now.  Together, they form a single hybrid AI entity, which will be referenced here as the San Francisco AI.  Only six corporations referenced above are considered as components of the San Francisco AI.  To narrow the discussion even further, only Google Search and Microsoft Bing from all the Google and Microsoft services are considered.  The name San Francisco AI was selected because 5 out of 6 components of this hybrid AI (except for Bing, the least significant one) are headquartered in or near San Francisco, CA.  This paper shows that the San Francisco AI exists and explains how it operates and distorts the public’s perception of reality into an extremely leftward and anti-American(1) direction.

The San Francisco AI should not be confused with the leftist echo chamber.  The leftist echo chamber is formed by humans, while the San Francisco AI is formed by computer algorithms with human assistance and corporate support.  The San Francisco AI is a significant contributing factor to the escalation of climate alarmism, the turning of MSM into FSM (fakestream media), political polarization, anti-Trump hysteria, and other social ills.   The influence of the leftist echo chamber, governments, and other offline factors on the San Francisco AI is large, but is out of the scope of this paper.  Offline suppression of conservative views and the hard Left’s empowerment by the Obama administration is out of scope, too.

This paper analyzes the flow (input, output, and internal processing) of politically relevant informational signal to, from, and inside the San Francisco AI, and its influence on other online and offline entities. The San Francisco AI probably started forming in 2011, became what it is today around 2014, and has been constantly changing. Each of the six analyzed components of the San Francisco AI distorts incoming signal, suppressing conservative and centrist segments of the political spectrum, and amplifying the leftist message.  Further, information typically makes multiple rounds inside of the San Francisco AI, until some spectral intervals (such as climate alarmism) are eliminated, and some rise to hysterical levels (like “the resistance”).  The San Francisco AI also inconspicuously influences other parts of the web, including traditional media online, which influences traditional media offline and pulls them further to the left.

From ordinary citizens to the media and politicians, we came to trust Google, Wikipedia, and the so-called social media. Even more, information that comes from computers is often perceived as more authoritative than what is said or written by individuals.  Internet company executives  suffer the most damage from the San Francisco AI, with the fakestream media following closely.  Together, they seem to have lost touch with reality on many issues, from the existence of the climate debate to the legal consequences (18 U.S. Code § 2385) of advocating for a government overthrow, apparently committed by Chelsea Handler / Netflix just a few days ago.

Continue reading the Accidental AI paper >>>

 

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133 thoughts on “Why the Former Elites With the Best Access to Information are the Most Misinformed?

  1. I completely avoid all social media. I am aware of it from the outside but refuse to be sucked into it.

      • WUWT at one time was a sciency site. It has become more like social media now. I have withdrawn from commenting on it much of the time now. It’s actually not facebook or twitter. If you think it is then you’re in real trouble.

    • Regarding the misinformation, not just social media, Alex, but the various search engines as well.

      • I understand John.
        It takes a lot of work checking different sources to get to some idea of what might be the truth. I spend most of my time reading between the lines

      • You should not be spending so much effort to check different sources. All you need to do is find reliable sources and stick with them. This is probably why you keep coming back to WUWT. Between the posts and the reliable commenters, you can become well-informed on climate issues. There are other sites that provide the same service for other areas of interest.

    • From ordinary citizens to the media and politicians, we came to trust Google, Wikipedia, and the so-called social media.

      Google initially did a pretty good job until they had an effective monopoly. Then as always power corrupts. Google’s usefulness is declining exponentially since. I never “trusted” it , but it did seem to functionally useful.

      In an ideal world, WonkeyPedia was a good basic concept except that it allowed itself to be manipulated by individuals with an agenda and was quite willing go along with that rather than taking preventive steps. William Connelly made a heroic one man effort of proving to world how useless WP was at preventing deliberate manipulation and destroying the credibility of the site. Facts are not determined by weight of numbers as Einstein once pointed out.

      As for ButtBook , any site which starts out by insisting I provide proof of who I am as a legal entity before I can log in to view it is pretty obviously up to no good from the outset. Never signed up and never will. There is no excuse for that kind of naivety.

      • I find it sad that to get more balanced and complete search results I have to use a Russian search engine. To see what I mean Google search “trump” and see how many search results are listed first that are left-wing slanted; then search for “trump” in the Russian search engine Yandex.com . I have found a wider range of information and sites that are never found on Google when I use Yandex. It is not as neat and clean as Google, but I find more information. I find it disturbing that I get more of what I’m searching for from a Russian company than from an American company.

      • I ran into William Connelly years ago when he was squatting on Wikipedia sites, such as the Little Ice Age, which claimed spurious manmade causes for the Little Ice Age. He was a royal pain and would not allow any reasonable additions to the posting. He threatened me with being banned from Wikipedia.

      • The genius of the classic google algorithm is that it rested on the web as a whole to decide which web sites were of value, which with some adjustments to account for link spammers made it a superior search engine. Then the arrogant bastards got the idea that they and their associates could do a better job of rating which sites were “true”, and started wrecking what they had built.

    • AI was used to try and land the Apollo 11 lunar lander on a pile of rocks, which would then tip it over so it remained permanently on the moon, along with its two occupants.

      But Neil Armstrong thwarted that plan, and took over control to land it on flat ground, so they could get to blast off again when they were done mooning the surroundings.

      AI is why I won’t be on any roads with any self driving cars anywhere near me. I’ll pull off and let them get by before I get back on the road.
      Remember that AI is what turns your traffic light to RED when it can’t decide who should proceed. Here is one place where I agree with Elon Musk. AI is totally dangerous.

      If anything starts a WW-III it will be AI.

      G

    • And those Google bikes are a part of the brain washing. Google may think they are helping their employees stay fit and healthy, by providing those bikes for employees to just go biking on. (why aren’t they at work doing something useful for their boss).
      Google even supplied some of those bikes at a public location (park) where they were holding a private company event.
      My millennial son who is not a Google employee, simply absconded with one of those bikes for about an hour to go biking, while we were visiting that public facility.
      Yes I made sure he returned it to where he got it, and told him the privilege was NOT for him.
      Google’s company “perk” simply reinforces the concept of the “Free Stuff” that the millennial generation believes is their right.

      G

      • All the free food is the other side of this …

        There were always stories about bikes showing up in odd places and they often had to be collected from the Shoreline Amphitheatre after concerts.

      • Yeah Google was having some sort of Goose Appreciation outing at Shoreline Park, and they had a couple of dozen yellow bikes at the restaurant , one of which my son took off on; but he did put it back exactly where he got it from, and in perfect condition.
        I’m an old fuddy duddy who believes that if you see a bike sitting there in some strange place, and it isn’t going to create some hazardous situation for anybody, then if you just leave it right where it is, then it will still be right there when whoever owns it comes back to where they left their stuff, to get it. Why would it be anywhere else than where they put it.

        G

        G

    • Me, too. You won’t find me within a million miles of Facebook or Twitter.
      I often use WUWT and other forums which are specifically based on a single subject e.g. climate change or the Cry Engine game engine. I don’t regard these forums as being social media because they are specific, while FaceTwitter are completely general. As such, they waste literally astronomical amounts of human effort and time.
      Chris

  2. Gatekeeping information is a bit like trying to control how money can be spent. The stronger the controls, the more worthless the currency.

    Adam Smith’s invisible hand will ultimately sort this nonsense – when the controls become too onerous, new media organisations arise which serve disgruntled right wingers excluded by the left wing fanatics who have lost sight of the core reason why their businesses are valuable – facilitation of the free exchange of information.

    • I disagree. Most people want to be part of some social group. Mob mentality. It’s easier to follow than think for yourself.

      • Alex – agree with you.
        Political affiliation also explains a lot; these individuals usually have little knowledge of the political subject but have a strong belief in it. Whatever the Dem politicians or Liberal media espouse, they believe it.

      • Well as they say, why would I want to belong to ANY group that would tolerate having ME as a member ??
        Well for full disclosure, I do pay membership dues to OSA, and SPIE, and I do go to LOCAL Technical Conferences they might have.
        But NO ! I do not know ANY other dues paying person for either of those two organizations. OSA is a founding party to the AIP so by proxy I guess I am a member of AIP; but am acquainted with NO other member of that Organization.

        G

    • Some might argue that Smith’s hand is already at work to some degree, although I haven’t any personal experience with these networks.

      “But the actions are also heightening concerns over how tech companies are becoming the arbiters of free speech in America. And in response, right-wing technologists are building parallel digital services that cater to their own movement.

      Gab.ai, a social network for promoting free speech, was founded in August 2016 by Silicon Valley engineers alienated by the region’s liberalism. Other conservatives have founded Infogalactic, a Wikipedia for the alt-right, as well as crowdfunding tools Hatreon and WeSearchr. The latter was used to raise money for James Damore, a white engineer who was fired after criticizing Google’s diversity policy.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/silicon-valley-escalates-its-war-on-white-supremacy-despite-free-speech-concerns/2017/08/16/842771b8-829b-11e7-902a-2a9f2d808496_story.html?utm_term=.ef1f3b3536b0

    • The influence of fakebook, goolag, etc. should collapse quickly and with little warning once proper competition reaches critical mass and, importantly, technological maturity. minds.com and vid.me are making headway as refuges from politically correct tyrannical management, but need a lot of work on the tech side.

  3. I also believe that the Peter Principal is at work. People who are great successes at one thing (business, computer software, hardware, acting, etc) think that they are experts at everything. Henry Ford, Ross Perot and Donald Trump were and are successful in business, and Leonardo DiCaprio is a good actor but the first two failed when they waded into geopolitics, the third is a work in process, and Leonardo is in way over his head.

      • Obama was a “fence-post-turtle”.
        A turtle sitting atop a fence post. Completely useless, immobile and stranded. Elevated beyond its ability. It obviously didn’t arrive there by itself. You feel sorry for the doomed critter, and then you realize that some twisted fool actually put it there.

      • I happen to know (very casually) a very nice young lady who recently confided in me that she is (proudly) Bantu (I asked her if she was). But she IS an American. I will have to ask her if Obama is Bantu, or say half Bantu. I think one of his grandfathers is Kikuyu or maybe Somali.

        G

      • Any self respecting fence post turtle knows how to flap its appendages in such a manner as to rock itself off any sized fence post.

        You’ve never ever seen any AI battle bot that is as smart as a fence post turtle, and can right itself from any physically possible orientation.

        G

      • “george e. smith August 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

        …Kikuyu…”

        The Kikuyu tribe is the largest in Kenya. They were responsible for negotiating independence from the British Empire in the 60’s IIRC. I almost married a Kenyan lady who is Kikuyu.

    • Thomas…Perot losing an election doesn’t certify failing at politics.

      • The only reason Perot was in the race was to make sure that the Clinton’s won.

        That’s why he started flaking out so badly with 6 weeks to go. He never wanted to win, that was never the goal.

      • A sort of John McCain.

        I remember not long after Reagan’s terms, “Small vs Big Government” was still “alive” in the Republican Primaries. (For our non-US readers, “primaries” are an election where a party chooses who will run for that party in “the real” election against the other parties’ choice for a particular office.)
        One influential pundit said he would not endorse McCain because (to the best of my memory), “McCain isn’t against Big Government. He just thinks Republicans can run your life better than Democrats.”

    • Having worked for Google, I can attest that a bias against conservative thought is definitely part of the culture. Largely because the SF Bay Area, where many of its employees come from, is a cesspool of far left ideologies masquerading as being for the better good. They also employ a lot of young kids fresh out of top Universities who have been brainwashed by the liberal elite and just never learned any better.

      • Greg,
        Yes, if you still work for Google and express these kinds of opinions, you’ll likely be terminated for having bad thoughts, or perhaps for upsetting a snowflake.

      • You would think that a valley that virtually invented the word “entrepreneur”, would be an absolute hornet’s nest of conservatives. But just try finding even one, and that includes the VC financiers of what goes on here. There were conservatives in Silicon Valley at one time. Now they are more into social engineering than any other kind.

        G

      • I blame the far left indoctrination prevalent in our college system, especially among the elite Universities. All of the companies among the Information Intelligentsia recruit heavily from those same elite Universities.

      • Hi Big G
        Nearly four decades ago I was offered job by a Sunnyvale manufacturing company, but that was time of vidicons, plumbicons & ledicons, some time before the CCDs ruled the world (as per G.E.S). Spent couple of days familiarising with the prospective duties and opportunities and decided not to take the offer. As the fate would have it, the Japanese lot (JVC, Ikegami, Hitachi and Sony) eventually drove it out of business.

  4. Lots to digest here Goldstein. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, however as one who rejects most social media, I need to assume the point of view of one who doesn’t in order to really evaluate the premise.

  5. Those who think that they are too smart to be dum.b will do some of the stupi.dest things imaginable. It’s simply an unalterable law of life.

    • I heard a phrase once, “He’s so smart that he’s stupid.” It has stuck with me ever since. I see it all the time at work. People with civil engineering degrees, or Masters degrees, who can’t grasp the simplest concepts and refuse to listen to the people who do the work everyday because we don’t have a formal education. They cost the taxpayers of my city hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. One of the best, and most recent ones, was an engineer who didn’t know what a venturi was and couldn’t grasp the concept of how it works. Priceless.

    • And those who are too dumb to realise their limitations have problems understanding that they know even less than those who are intelligent enough to appreciate how little they know . . .

    • The title is phrased as a statement? You are sure about that ?

      The question mark implies rising intonation , nobody knows how to structure a sentence any more. You know what I mean?

      ;)

      • Actually the key element of the title is that one word …. information ….

        So what is “information” ?? Arguably, information gives you clues to something you otherwise would not know, without that information. It is purportedly telling you something.

        Well that may be so, but I didn’t say it is telling you something that might be of use to you if you knew it.

        The key thing is it tells you something you otherwise would have no knowledge of.
        So information is unpredictable; the less predictable it is, the higher the information content.
        Taken to its extreme, a message that is 100% information, so that it is totally unpredictable; you cannot guess the next word or scintilla of information before you get to it.
        So that is precisely what white Gaussian noise is.
        No matter how long an example of white Gaussian noise you look at, study, contemplate, whatever, you cannot guess what the next element of the noise is going to be.

        So white Gaussian noise is the highest information content signal that you can possibly have, you have to see it to know what it is.

        Now you know why I suggested that information may not necessarily be of any use to you.

        White Gaussian noise is ALL information and NONE of it is of any use to you.

        G

  6. There is another component missing. When I was in school I was required to take several courses. First was in high school Americanism vs Communism. It taught the differences, good and bad between the two systems. Second, my freshman year in college I was required to take Western Philosophy. It was as much a history course as anything since it surveyed the development of Western Philosophy from earliest days. Third, was a course in Logic. Its stated goal was to teach critical thinking and the ability to ID false arguments. Fourth was world and American history from a totally factual standpoint. I am also trained as a scientist have science in some form from the fourth grade onward. Today certainly most high school, but also most colleges either do not require such courses, do not teach them at all or have so twisted them they are nothing more than propaganda. So we have an entire generation that depends on the internet for the information, have not develop no mechanism to sort fact from fiction, especially half lies from the truth and little comprehension of what good science is suppose to look like. Yet most have college degrees, many advance degrees and have been told since kindergarten how smart they are. Lenin couldn’t have planned the system better.

  7. The seeming increasing geographical concentration in the Bay area strikes me as curious. The single most frequently noted aspect of information technology is its lack of a need for physical proximity of the participants.
    Something doesn’t add up.

    • Maybe safety in numbers? Or birds of a feather? I don’t know. But I am glad I do not qualify for inclusion.

    • Don’t get too paranoid about it. It’s probably fashionable. It also has the advantage that like minded employees, who have moved into the area, can switch from company to company without great inconvenience. There are probably financial incentives for companies to go there.
      It seems to parallel a phenomenon in China. They have computer street, furniture street, nail polish street, suit street and every other conceivable street you can think of. This congregating of shops seems to work here in China.

      • And if I wanted to live in a single party state which is controlled by a giant, secretive, all encompassing bureaucracy where no individual has any “rights” except those that are beneficently put on loan to them by said bureaucracy, then I’m sure I would find no problem with a system that “works” for the Chinese.

      • wws
        Your bias is showing. Perhaps you have been misled by the MSM. I’ve lived here for over 12 years and have found far more personal freedom here than I have found in the west. The cops don’t carry guns here. I am far less likely to be shot by the police or military here than I would be in the US. The place isn’t perfect, like any other place in the world. I suggest you should get out more often.

      • Alex,

        What kind of a trouble maker are you that makes you think the police/military in the US would be “far more” likely to shoot you? Or are you just special in some way? :)

      • Don M
        I’m actually a very careful law-abiding person. Perhaps I should have phrased things differently. If you substitute “a citizen/resident” for “I” you will get what I meant.

    • It is so you can steal each others employees.

      all countries have clusters of IT firms for the same reason – London/Thames Valaly, Gurgaon and Bangalore, etc

    • The ability to telecommute isn’t that old. Even now, many companies only allow it in limited circumstances.

    • Michael J- it’s very difficult to form an echo chamber when everyone involved is sitting at a computer and separated by miles from each other. Government, Politicians, Main Scream Media, and most everybody else ignore computer echoes from Google or Facebook, except to organize protests/gatherings to bring people physically together. It’s really hard to develop a pack or tribe mentality with just visual, written, and sometimes oral cues.

  8. A bit over the top, Mr Goldstein, but a case in how ordinary groupthink gets hidden in computer code. Twenty odd years ago, in the US especially, many network and local TV news operations based their sense of what was newsworthy on the New York Times.
    The Times had the same sort of political filter as Google does, and expressed the same sort of BosWash Weltanschaung then as the Google/Wikipedia cartel has a Northern California/Washington State set of biases now.

      • They do. But they are also misinformed. And they are more misinformed than humans can get in an echo chamber. Also, they are not elites, just a ruling class.

    • Tom Halla
      You’re missing the point: there is a world of difference in terms of impact/influence of the NYT/WaPo/BG/etc. ideological mind meld of 20 years ago and the far more strongly biased auto feedback loop internet based filtering and brainwashing power of the Google/Wiki/Facebook/Twitter/etc./ conglomerate. Leo is spot-on.

      • I was not really disagreeing with Leo Goldstein, only pointing out that it was not new. Tetris, I have no idea how old you are, or how much history you know, but I lived through the late 1960’s, and the media was very one-note until the mid 1980’s. One could find other opinions, but it was much more difficult then than it is now. This is not to approve of Google playing silly-ass politics, but it is not original.

  9. We have always suffered from gatekeepers who try to make sure the public only hears what they should. IMHO it was worse before the internet. Given the constant barrage of CAGW propaganda from the mainstream media, it would be hard to maintain a skeptical stance without WUWT for instance.

    People in totalitarian regimes become good at reading between the lines. My favorite was the German who remarked, “I knew we were losing because our great victories kept getting closer to Berlin.”

    In a similar manner, the American people are pretty much ignoring the hysteria because, even though they might give lip service to CAGW, they rank climate change as the least of their concerns. It isn’t even mentioned on this list

    The public notices that experts are wrong more often than they are right and has learned to ignore them. Here’s an example about economists.

  10. “Why the Former Elites With the Best Access to Information are the Most Misinformed?” Because their heads are filled with leftist crap? No matter how fast or detailed your access to information, if your head is full of leftist crap you will be “misinformed”.

  11. automating the sorting and selection of ideas is a fascinating notion, of course, but it’s human nature to program oneself by choosing from among alternatives, including sources of information.
    steering one’s own consciousness is how we get to call ourselves ‘sapiens’ in the first place.
    so the idea of a set of algorithms influencing the assembly of a conceptual construct is really no more threatening than power steering because it’s humans at the wheel in the first place and if those individuals notice their machine going in a ditch, they can and will jerk the wheel back.
    if there is anything to worry about it’s the folks who have defined themselves as believers and have made the choice to substitute hearsay for first hand knowledge. if they were simply passengers, it wouldn’t bother anybody else, probably, but when they are all back.seat.drivers, we got global naggers.

    • You are underestimating the power of MSM propagated biased “information” – which as LG points out comes from sources that filter out the things they don’t want hear. I know a number of people from 25 to 75 year olds who unconditionally spout the CAGW/CACC party line, completely unaware it is a highly questionable story and that the skeptic side even exists.

      • ya think?
        i also deprecate the power of monsters under beds, being as how they are of concern only to those who pretend to believe in them.
        so if you see tales of monsters as an evil visited upon innocents by powerful forces, i see a gothic tale and rapt audience bickering over the story line.
        if somebody wakes me when it’s over, that’ll be fine.
        don’t need that kind of frisson. in fact, i may have frisson fatigue, howbow dat?

  12. Journal search engines may also be filtered. Now that is scary stuff when the general public may not be getting even abstract information on all possible published scientific discoveries and research results.

    • Controlling movement of and access to information. The internet has made these harder to do and easier to do.

    • For the very short stint that I was actually on the teaching staff (very junior) in the Physics Department of my alma mater, at least every month we had a staff meeting to discuss papers in journals; “Reviews of Modern Physics” and the like. Every single published technical or scientific journal that the department had subscriptions to, was assigned to some member of the staff (including me) to peruse, or read exhaustively from cover to cover, and note items or papers that might have general or specific interest to anyone on the staff. So items of general interest were brought to the floor of the staff meeting, or specific items of interest to one or more specific staff members could be instantly brought to their attention. So it avoided the need for every person to read every journal, but not much ever slipped by without us knowing about it. I’m pretty sure that BSTJ was on MY list to review, and also HP Journal.
      Some of those journals, I couldn’t even understand the meaning of any words with more than four letters in them; but others apparently did.

      G

    • Pamela
      As someone with academic roots I understand your point. Problem is that the general public don’t give a flying feather about the science, because they inherently understand that they would not understand.
      The discoveries and research therefore has to be “digested” for their general consumption, which is where the biased filtering, “interpretation” and deliberate misrepresentation of the information for ideological purposes takes place. As LG points out, the major social media players are key cogs in this process.

  13. A test I use for maturity is this. What things have you changed your mind about since you were a sophomore in college?

    I find that many people who call themselves educated and progressive haven’t changed their minds about much since they were sophomores. When someone does change their mind from this social set, they are called a sell-out or worse and may be shunned. It is amazing to think that so many people truly believe they understood the world when they were 20 year old college students.

    So, these people are frozen intellectually at the college sophomore level. All else follows.

    • Well I didn’t go to a University to get maturity.
      I was there to learn specific subjects to the point where I could use the information to get a paying job, with a willing employer who wanted to make use of what I had learned, to create useful products that people wanted, and that my employers could make profits from doing.
      In return for helping my employer generate profits for his shareholders, I got to keep my job and occasionally get a raise when my efforts helped improve the company’s profitability, and at the same time provide useful products that people actually wanted to buy with their OWN money.

      People who get themselves a degree in maturity, end up out in a world where there are no job advertisements for Masters of Maturity graduates.

      G

  14. The filtering of events, ideas, or discoveries seems to be the kind of violence the left has adopted. The killing of “other” ideas one wishes were not in their universe is maybe more aggressive than the demise of just one person. This very kind of invasive control is what half the world fought against in WWII.

    • There is too much information now. People need to learn to discriminate and search further. It’s easier for most to follow the herd because they are too lazy to do the work themselves. They pigeon-hole themselves and become easy to manipulate. There is no search for truth now. It’s all about easy answers. Corporations step in and give people the answers they want. QED

      • There may be too much information out there but the problem as I see it is that far too many people, especially younger ones, do not have the experience to decipher that information. Practical hands on experience in everyday living is going to go the way of the handset telephone. Soon most will depend solely on what they are told to know not what they actually learn.

      • Too lazy to think. There is always time for important things. People spend way too much time on Reddit instead of working.

  15. The phrase “What’s-Up-With-That” conveys the realization that an observation does not fit with a conceptual explanation. The WUWT experience should cause one to stop and review both the concepts and the observations. I used to teach safety programs and do accident investigations. The common error in every accident is the failure to react to a WUWT experience appropriately; and the incorrect behavior is broadly explained with an inappropriate assumption. The same applies to the information systems provided by San Francisco AI. The recent election of our current president should be a WUWT experience for those who rely on the San Francisco AI assumptions. I can still recall the look on Charlie Rose’s face when covering the election for PBS as it was becoming clear to him that indeed Hillary had lost the election. It was remarkably like the look on the face of a warehouse operator who had just mistakenly pushed a pallet of boxes off the back of a shelf because he assumed there was a back rail. The elites just had a big accident with the presidential election and they still haven’t figured out what they did wrong. As long as they continue with their incorrect assumptions (San Francisco AI), more “accidents” are likely. Pamela Gray’s point is even more troubling as not only is the selection occurring but enough bad stuff is being published to give the selection process something to find. It is indeed scary stuff.

  16. The old adage still applies:

    “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.”

    — — A. Lincoln

  17. To quote Simon and Garfunkel, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregard the rest”.

    And when you’re an elite, by definition, you already believe other opinions (and/or sensibilities) don’t count.

  18. Lesson in history: First Jews were vilified in rhetorical speeches, then their symbols were removed. Work places were shut down. Then they were removed of their right to live, think, and practice being a Jew. Finally THEY were removed. We are indeed on a slippery slope if the media continues on the side of not letting a group of people honor who they are, even if others do not agree with those ideas. We should always be vigilant against the filtering of ideas and symbols as it often leads to the filtering of people we don’t agree with.

    • I find this a little odd, if you are referring to recent political events in your country and not to the internet…
      (and apologies if you were not)

      The very start of the path to holocaust was extremist groups parading on the streets of Germany, for the purpose of intimidation.

      • Political posturing that vilifies and in violent terms blames the opposition for social and economic ills is the start. Who is to say if the beginnings of filtering what citizens hear eventually leads to those marches? Filtering what we read is akin to filtering what we see in a park. If filtering what we read, hear, and see is not the beginnings of extremism I don’t know what is. My thoughts of WWII are valid.

      • Actually the start of the Holocaust was Eugenics and academia – junk science and scare stories that villainized targeted demographics.

        The extremist groups came later, BASED on these scare stories – all with the oh-so-noble cause of ‘saving the human race’.

        Of course we’ve had extremist groups parading (actually ‘rioting’ would be a better word) in the street for the purposes of intimidation for quite a while now.

      • “… extremist groups parading on the streets …”
        Like those who are supposedly supporting science? Or those who want to remove memorials of history because they don’t share the same values as those from 150 years ago who fought valiantly for what they believed in?

  19. “We see what we know.” – Goethe. It would appear that SF-AI is prone to confirmation bias and is taking “dogmatic” to a whole new level. We don’t know what we don’t know…and the machines only know what they told us…er…we told them that they told us that we told them. Fixed it!

  20. I’m tempted to link to this in Facebook, but figure a good chance of being banned. What have we come to?

  21. > The name San Francisco AI was selected because 5 out of 6 components of this hybrid AI (except for Bing, the least significant one) are headquartered in or near San Francisco, CA.

    Good. With any luck, that Skynet will be destroyed by the Big One.

  22. The most hopeful point of view is provided by the anecdote about the citizen who knew Germany was losing the war because the great victories kept getting closer to Berlin. The same spark of intelligence also spread through the former Soviet Union when people learned to deal with propaganda. That same spark of intelligence seems to have kicked in when despite all the propaganda, people rank CAGW or whatever it is called this week dead last on their list of concerns.

    I think that spark of intelligence will eventually work once again for the benefit of humanity. Eventually that spark will see science eventually prevail as a method of inquiry about natural phenomena.

    It is for that reason that I am more than a little concerned by the use of terms like left and right, and now alt.left and alt.right. I see the great division not between left and right but between those who think rationally and those who can’t or won’t.

    Leo’s article is very interesting and very perceptive of emergent phenomena in the field of computer driven information (or disinformation) systems. I think it is spoiled by the undertones of good v evil when the problem is more rational v irrational (or unrational).

  23. “From ordinary citizens to the media and politicians, we came to trust Google, Wikipedia, and the so-called social media.”

    Speak for yourself.

  24. People are people. They will always tend to trust one source of information over another.
    (Do you tend to trust The Washington Post or The Washington Times?)
    Computers are wonderful tools. They can compute something before a mere human has even pulled out his pencil.
    People tend to trust whatever info they spit out.
    (Where I work I’ve seen people write down a negative number for the pounds of a chemical used because that’s what the computer said.
    They forgot to think.
    Lots of information available with just a few clicks.
    A computer displays the information searched for.
    It seems those who wrote the programs (or had them written) trust what their own creations spit out rather think.

  25. Reddit:
    I have lurked around several Reddit subs for several years with multiple identities. Some of these may only have a few dozen members active at any one time. In many subs USA subscribers are the vast majority. It is thus quite common to post or reply and have no one notice it for several hours during USA sleepy time!
    However if you include something in your writing which is anti-left or “too” right or seriously un-PC (even if completely irrelevant to the “hobby” in the sub) you can get a down vote within seconds.

    Initially I put this down to supposed watchers from some TLA but it happens regularly in at least 5 subs I know of and can actually be predicted when you know how to provoke it. Response time for a down vote can be as little as 2 seconds even when your text would take a human at least 20 seconds to fully read and understand. I therefore highly suspect AI type activity here based upon word and phrase filtering.

    After the initial down vote some more will come along spaced out timewise and it looks like honest response from the subs members. However in a quiet sub where your liked comments may get an average of 10-15 upvotes maximum the downvotes can, if you go HARD RIGHT on a comment, scuttle up to a figure just a few short of the total number of active sub participants. This makes it look like “everyone” active then really dislikes your comment and you are in a minority of 1.

    The probability of 90%+ of all the active sub members being left biased to this extent in subs which are pretty much apolitical seems to me to be close to zero. It’s hidden manipulation, it has an agenda and it’s deplorable.

    Comments invited from any Reddit insiders please (we can but hope).

    • Suggestion: You don’t think they could be downvoting it just because it’s “off topic”, perhaps? Or have you tried the same with radical-left positions and not got downvoted?

  26. I don’t have any trouble sorting out the wheat from the chaff on the internet.

    The only real danger Google and Facebook and other monopolies pose is they can stifle free speech by banning people. Just the threat of a ban keeps a lot of people silent when they would otherwise speak up. They get a monoply and then they use that monopoly to control people’s behavior. Perfect for the Totalitarian Left.

    • I don’t have any trouble sorting out the wheat from the chaff on the internet.

      I think “the issue” is that doing a search may never show you “the wheat”.
      (Along with trusting the search programs is showing you all there is to see.)

      • Which is why you go past the first 3-5 pages of results on any google search. They have not gotten to outright not showing all results, they just bury them.

  27. Thanks Leo, a very interesting hypothesis and paper. I’d love to see if you can get any mainstream research journal to pick this up and research into it further. I’m guessing not…..

  28. Our world is one in which truthtellers and open-minded investigators are shut down, censored and accused of being “conspiracy theorists.”

    Our world is fast becoming a digital censorship grid, where corporate technological behemoths like Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook rig the algorithms which control search engine results and news feeds to elevate the information they want you to see and bury the information they do not want you to see. Amazon is part of this emerging multinational corporate technological oligarchy. They have been caught censoring books such as No One Died at Sandy Hook by Jim Fetzer by forbidding them to be sold on their platform.

    It is hard for naysayers and censors to deny the authenticity of governmental declassified files which show that our history is full of conspiracy fact, not conspiracy theory.

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