of the world outside our petty human frame of reference.
Good Friday. A claim that historic trends between Islam & Christianity will be decided in Nigeria.
Thursday. Does every sexually-permissive society decline & fall?
First trip to OBI in some time to buy bits for making the 2nd transparent plastic bookcase mobile on wheels. Feeling tired & hungry stay there another half hour in a sort of fake lorry-drivers' cafeteria inside the OBI building where I eat some chips with chicken, and then a goblet of tiramisu. The tiramisu is reasonable enough except that it smells powerfully of the epoxy resin adhesive I used to assemble those Airfix models of aircraft carriers or fighter jets or whatever they were. Older men courting my mother used to buy me them when I was around 5 or 6. This must be some non-alcoholic essence-of-rum flavouring the pudding is drenched in, but the aroma memory of small military plastic bits gluing together is strong.
Wednesday. Self-driving car kills 1st pedestrian. Of course, the AI-boosters still make the utilitarian argument that robots killing people is better than people killing more people.
Tuesday. Turns out a major feminist, Kate Millett, was mad & nasty. So claims her little sister.
Monday. US military shows off creepy new weapon.
Sunday. Haul boxes up to Robin's attic, even though somewhat wiped out from yesterday's lugging. Chat with Zeno. Late in the afternoon, the family of Robin's friend Aniko turn up and kindly drive me back to Budapest. They are returning to the metropolis after a peaceful day lounging in warm spa water in the nearby Alfold town of Cserkeszolo.
Saturday. Student David generously helps me haul boxes down from flat to street level. Drive to Robin's in the countryside with a Russian man and a van. He tells me how he used to be a tax lawyer in Moscow, but found that even if you win in court against the Russian state and get awarded costs, the state then decides to only give you 10% & 20% of costs so you still lose money and go out of business.
Friday. Cambridge Analytica + Facebook scandal is overblown?
Thursday. Designer alleges golden ratio is twaddle.
Wednesday. Here's one of Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic students, a Paris feminist thinker from the 1970s, denying she was a communist informer.
Tuesday. Useful piece about "thinkers" who deny consciousness.
Monday. Despite photographs & film footage of ballot-box-stuffing, Vladimir Putin is again confirmed as Chairman Of All The Russias in yesterday's election. A brief word on his behalf a decade ago: "I Crush You".
March 18th; Sunday. Catch a bus to the now-enlarged Kunszentmarton cake shop for a coffee with Linguist & Folklorist Edina for the first time since her return from Azerbaijan. Pouring rain in both directions slightly dampens things.
March 17th; Saturday. Ewan Morrison calmly dismantles the dangerous mirage of intentional communities. On the other hand in Robin's rural cell of good living out on the Great Plain, wonderful cooking by Zeno the Alchemist, together with the mass of home-laid eggs and home-slaughtered meat, makes every meal a candelit feast.
March 16th; Friday. A woman entrepreneur who was the darling of Silicon Valley turns out to have committed fraud, and to have been seriously out of her depth running a biotechnology start-up. Pre-war, a now-largely-overlooked aristocratic woman was prescient in warning both of the darkness of both communism and of nazism, sounding the alarm before male politicians.
March 15th; Thursday. Bridge collapses days after completion, killing six. Turns out the building firm is proud of its women engineers & managers, and was given minorities-diversity preference during the construction tender.
I still have no flat to go to, but must move out. Robin swoops to the rescue, and drives me and my first 8 boxes out to his place in the countryside by night.
March 14th; Wednesday. China's sinister online 'social-media' network moves into a creepy new phase.
March 13th; Tuesday. Julia, Erika, & Krisztian come to see me in the Croatian pirates' bakery. Suggesting I might move into the spare room of a mutual friend, Richard, Krisztian waxes eloquent and waves his hands around: "Both you and Richard are intellectuals! You and he can enjoy a common life of the mind!" The two girls nod happily at this idea.
March 12th; Monday. Last night finished a book kindly lent by Mr Saracco, 'Life 3.0', by Max Tegmark. This is a very reasonable attempt to give an overview of what "machine superintelligence" might entail, and how we might be wiser to fear AI competence rather than AI malevolence. Strikingly, the cheery and thoughtful narrative is undermined by some blithe assumptions Tegmark doesn't think to question: for example that humans have mastered animals purely through intelligence. At one point he says that man has mastered tigers through cleverness, not through force, which is clearly wrong. Humans largely avoided tigers for centuries, and sometimes fought them not with cleverness but with spears or fire, which can be counted as forms of cleverness, but also required physical force, strength, courage. It's hard, for example, to imagine a race of super-intelligent mice overcoming tigers on the same timeline, or even being free to develop tools & technology while being constantly predated on by larger animals. Even worse, the idea that minds can be uploaded into machines, or that machines can become self-consciously intelligent and purposive, is also taken for granted with the exception of one sentence. Here the assumption is that physics is the supreme subject, and somehow from this Tegmark deduces that intelligence must be substrate-independent, that silicon (or some other substance) must be as able to carry a thinking mind as the fatty, meaty tissues of some mammals. Again, this completely fundamental problem with AI is just assumed away.
March 11th; Sunday. Still feeling weak, I finish a paid translation. I've slowly become myself again as the hours pass since Friday night's sickness.
Suddenly warmer the last evening or two, I go for a walk around 3am hearing spring-themed birdsong: yet more bachelors looking for a wife. One small tree behind the all-night grocer's has a very dark brownish bird, like a double-sized sparrow with an orangeish-yellow beak, warbling away in hope of companionship. I watch it from 4 or 5 feet off. Realise I've never been this close to a bird while it sings its song before. Seems unbothered by me.
Ways to infect a computer through the printer.
March 10th; Saturday morning. A bathroom sink filled with cold sick perhaps not the best welcome to the weekend, but at least my stomach feels less poisoned. Never before have I had vomiting where each heave made me involuntarily shout or bark like a dog the second before the puke comes up. Dignified! But such are the wondrous powers of our bodies as they defend us from harm.
March 9th; Friday. I get
food poisoning. Really not a good night.
March 8th; Thursday. Communism was helped, not harmed by the west.
March 7th; Wednesday. Royal secret ritual. Part-return to form from the Mash.
March 6th; Tuesday. An academic wants to drug Germany. Not very encouraging.
March 5th; Monday. Yesterday's election in Italy shows big shift by voters against the EU lobby. Very high turnout at 73%.
March 4th; Sunday. A good discussion of Socrates, Plato, and the big lie.
March 3rd; Saturday. Frigid sort of weekend weather. I've been going easy on the one-shirt look, making sure to wear a shirt and pullover so as not to attract stares.
Interesting article from the BBC suggests life is mainly about luck.
Friday. Book review of superbly barmy-sounding AI tome. Review is readable and charming. I suspect unhinged tome will be fascinating.
March 1st; Thursday. Some rather lovely ley-line-type talks about esoteric landscape stuff.
Landscape Zodiacs / The Belinus Line / The Arrow of Apollo.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com