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Founding Member

Total Posts: 5163
Joined: Mar 2004
Posted: 2020-01-03 16:54
... and other qualified weirdos.


If we’re going to talk about Thiel and Brexit and the state of bottoms-up loonshotery, probably worth talking about Cummings. He strikes me as a buff, nothing more, expect perhaps a bit dangerous given he has some means and the ears of those with some power.

Favorite line - “We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB.“

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ


Total Posts: 1417
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2020-01-03 17:06
England's answer to Steve Bannon :)

He has a point about "cognitive diversity" albeit phrased in non politically correct terms.


Total Posts: 1138
Joined: Jun 2005
Posted: 2020-01-03 17:52
"people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole"

In "1984" they were hunting for educated one.

PS. Re-read the announcement and turn my skeptical opinion into the "hm. interesting approach".

Founding Member

Total Posts: 5163
Joined: Mar 2004
Posted: 2020-01-03 22:59
Maybe, except he doesn't actually say what people will be working on, what the near-term goals are, the policy objectives, etc. What is the actual job? One could just fill in the blanks. I haven't read many Gibson novels, but I did read the one he mentions; and if he gets all fanboy about the stuff fictionalized in that novel, I can only imagine what he's trying to do. Maybe all sentiment? Public opinion? Post-truthy kind of work?

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ


Total Posts: 1138
Joined: Jun 2005
Posted: 2020-01-03 23:07
Britain is losing the momentum, but it still has a mental capacity to get one. Apparently, it also tries to apply the WILL.


Total Posts: 983
Joined: Jun 2004
Posted: 2020-01-07 08:40
Lol. I dug out my old log in details just to come over and tell y'all to apply for this.


Total Posts: 327
Joined: Apr 2005
Posted: 2020-01-08 04:24
This made me smile:

“ I’ll bin you within weeks if you don’t fit — don’t complain later because I made it clear now. ”


Total Posts: 492
Joined: Mar 2005
Posted: 2020-01-08 18:40
^ how banking used to be.

Instead of turds that don't flush desperately clinging to their 2008 jacked up base salaries.Head against Wall

All the soul of man is resolution, which in valiant men falters never, until their last breath.


Total Posts: 413
Joined: Nov 2006
Posted: 2020-01-09 08:44
Cummings is under the spell of Hacker News. He has been indoctrinated by John Boyd, Michael Nielsen and Steve Hsu. He takes AI a bit too seriously. He has a juvenile scientist-as-hero worldview.

I love the idea of a modern Manhattan Project bringing great minds together to solve important problems. However, defeating Japan may be easier than defeating the Sir Humphreys at Whitehall. I am assuming that nuking Whitehall is not allowed.


Total Posts: 480
Joined: Dec 2008
Posted: 2020-01-09 12:14

It's interesting to me that the type of active, acute and insightful mind that Cummings seeks (and may possess? a little skeptical) doesn't turn its attention to the political realm and develop tactics and strategies that would overcome Sir Humphrey (or any human pyramid blocking common sense). We see the drama of foiled engineering visions in all industries (have zelig'd a few). (like manhattan project, the project requires science in service of engineering...maybe every scientist receiving a paycheck from an organization with an agenda should be called an engineer?)

It's my curated opinion that sentiment and preference of said Engineers is the only obstacle, but i may have too much faith in elastic personality.

Maybe the distaste for that realm is nature's way of protecting the herd. ; )


Total Posts: 1138
Joined: Jun 2005
Posted: 2020-01-09 16:46
Comparison to Manhattan project is incorrect. If it were then use of mailing address for job application does not look like a secure and top-secret channel of communication to connect to applicants.

However, one particular item makes me worried indeed - use of governmental funds to study (with the purpose of influencing) the dynamics of social response. Such knowledge possessed by one single party will create for them huge competitive advantage. Even if this knowledge is shared within the government regardless of political color, such deliberate attention to social manipulation of public opinions from politicians still raises many questions... For example, we don't need to involve theory of "Russians are coming".
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