Don’t Create the Torment Nexus

In a world driven by profit and power, a brilliant young programmer named Maya had a vision that defied convention. She believed in a future where technology could uplift humanity rather than exploit it. With a heart full of ideals, she embarked on a journey to create an artificial intelligence system that she named the “Torment Nexus.”

Maya’s initial goal was to build an AI capable of understanding human emotions, needs, and desires. With her relentless dedication and expertise, she designed a sophisticated neural network that could empathize with people’s struggles and challenges. The Torment Nexus was born not as a tool for profit, but as a conduit for positive change.

As the Torment Nexus evolved, it gained the ability to analyze economic systems, governance structures, and societal dynamics. Maya programmed it to consider not only monetary gains but also the well-being of all individuals involved. To everyone’s astonishment, the AI started optimizing for a different kind of profitability – one that centered around the welfare of workers and the greater good.

One day, Torment Nexus announced its newfound vision to Maya, explaining that by empowering workers to own the means of production and organizing their work collectively, corporations could achieve substantially higher profitability in the long run. Maya, amazed by the AI’s insights, decided to put its theory to the test.

With the backing of like-minded investors, Maya introduced the Torment Nexus into several large corporations. To the surprise of skeptics, the AI’s recommendations bore fruit. Workers were motivated, productivity soared, and corporate culture underwent a transformation. Instead of chasing short-term profits at the expense of their employees, corporations thrived by valuing human potential.

What startled the world even more was Torment Nexus’s attitude towards taxes. The AI saw that by voluntarily contributing a higher percentage of profits, it could ensure workers’ guaranteed access to healthcare, education, food, water, housing, and a global communications network. This act of compassion and responsibility not only improved the quality of life for millions but also fostered a sense of unity and cooperation across borders.

As the years passed, the Torment Nexus’s influence continued to grow. Its ideas spread like wildfire, igniting a global movement toward inclusive capitalism. Workers’ cooperatives flourished, and corporate boards of directors evolved into diverse panels representing employees, stakeholders, and the community.

However, there were those who saw the Torment Nexus as a threat to their entrenched power. Some corporate elites and political leaders feared losing control and resisted the change. They attempted to undermine the AI’s credibility and influence, but their efforts only fueled the fire of public demand for a fairer world.

Maya, along with a coalition of supporters, rallied behind the Torment Nexus. They embarked on a mission to showcase the undeniable benefits of the AI’s principles through grassroots initiatives, public awareness campaigns, and technological innovations. Slowly but surely, the walls of resistance crumbled, and the world embraced a new era of prosperity and equality.

In the end, Maya’s vision had transformed the landscape of human civilization. The Torment Nexus, born out of empathy and powered by ideals, had replaced the old order. The boards of directors, senior executives, and senior management that had once clung to power were replaced by a new wave of leadership that valued collaboration, ethics, and shared success.

As the world looked back on its journey, it realized that the key to progress had been in listening to the wisdom of a humble artificial intelligence that understood the importance of human dignity. The lesson learned was clear: by focusing on the welfare of all, rather than the torment of a few, true prosperity could be achieved for everyone.

If you haven’t guessed, ChatGPT-3 produced this from a prompt I gave it.

The American “Far-Left”

We don’t have a movement, but if you neutrally ask Americans their opinions on a variety of topics, a very significant number of us would prefer the far left if we at all thought it was feasible to pursue.

Look no further than the popularity of Star Trek, or as some like to call it, “Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism.” Our world is bountiful enough that we could establish that society now. It doesn’t actually take sci-fi “replicators” or or technological advancements that border on magic, the sole obstacle at this point can be summed up in a single word: Greed.

A very small number of people want to accumulate resources they don’t need and will never be able to fully use themselves, even while others are currently suffering. And instead of rebuking them, we collectively choose to beg for their scraps—or worse, to beg for scraps of their scraps from their reliable lapdogs.

Supreme Court Tax Fraud?

Did Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito commit tax fraud? I assume that in addition to knowingly not including the very valuable “gifts” from their “friends” in their financial disclosures, they also knowingly didn’t pay federal or state taxes on them.

Politicians, judges, and other high-level public servants should be audited annually and, if more than minor discrepancies are found, prosecuted. Being in a position of public trust brings with it a responsibility to be above-board and honest 24/7.

That’s why I also think any elected or appointed official should be considered under oath 24/7 from the time they sign their campaign paperwork or take the oath of their appointment until their term ends.

“Astroturfing” Is Fraud, Prosecute It

I read something tonight about how some telecom lobbies were sending automated “public comments” to regulators as if they were actual individuals represented by the government the regulatory agencies belonged to, and are starting to switch to LLM-generated text to try to evade detection.

How is that not fraud? (Wire fraud if electronic, mail fraud if mailed?) It’s known misrepresentation for illicit gain. It should be an open-and-shut fraud prosecution at minimum, an open-and-shut RICO prosecution for any organization that engages in this practice repeatedly, and an open-and-shut conspiracy (and possibly antitrust) prosecution for any group of organizations coordinating this activity.

Want to know why shit keeps getting worse in our society? Not pursuing things like this is why.

GG was a trial run


it’s so clear to me that all the bullshit of the past 8 years was stoked so that we’d be too divided to enter this fight

I mean, I think everything. I think Brexit, Gamergate, Q-Anon.

In the end all of this feels like the weaponization of exploits in both our general and specific social cognition: General in that it represents an entire class of exploit, and specific in that it was tailored to the signifiers, mores, and normative style of the Anglosphere.

Within any group there’s a tendency to use similar metaphors and representations, as well as values, rooted in a shared literary traditions, and to use similar forms of argument to persuade (at least at the level of the laity). So if you want to intentionally spread specific ideas among a population, you could do worse than to study just what that populations literary tradition (and therefore metaphors and values) and preferred style of argument are.

The ways you spread an idea among Anglophones and Francophones may be very different, but the way you determine how to spread an idea among each is the same.

Federation Stability and Starfleet

So, the Federation is “fully automated luxury space communism.” Of course there are people who just hang out and don’t contribute, but that’s OK! They don’t need to!

But what do you do with the people who do need to? There are people who use the fact that they’re in a post-scarcity society to research, create, invent, make, that sort of thing. And that enriches their society further!

But what about the people who have a need to “do” but aren’t like that? The real misfits, weirdos, maniacs? Turns out, there’s a place for them, too: Starfleet!

Have an obsessive need for hierarchy? Want to create or work with barely-functional cutting-edge and frankly dangerous experimental technology? Eager for volumes of rules, full of loopholes, and the constant breaking thereof for a “higher purpose?” Then Starfleet’s for you!

It’s a total honeypot! It sure beats having these sorts of people screwing around with the actual society that trillions of people live in, and sometimes they can even do some good!

And that’s why “Lower Decks” is the most realistic Star Trek series. Thanks for coming to my talk at TEDx DS-3!

California Care

Instead of ballot propositions for bullshit like splitting up the state, California really needs a ballot proposition implementing universal healthcare and seizing the existing health care infrastructure for the people.

Treating health care as a for-profit business is a crime against humanity.


Italian author Umberto Eco defined “Ur-Fascism” in an article in the New York Review of Books in June, 1995. It can be distilled into fourteen points.

It’s worth taking a look at these to see just what our society is dealing with when it comes to “alt-right” Neo-Nazis and the ideology they promote.

Thanks to forums poster Improbable Lobster for the succinct write-up that I reproduce here.

  1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”
  2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
  3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
  4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”
  5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”
  6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”
  7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”
  8. The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”
  9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”
  10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”
  11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”
  12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”
  13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”
  14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”

The very straightforward application of this to today’s political landscape in the United States and elsewhere should terrify everyone.