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Johnny

johnny@bookwyrm.social

Joined 8 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm mostly a sporadic reader but I felt like I needed a place to talk about what I read.

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Johnny's books

Stopped Reading

2024 Reading Goal

75% complete! Johnny has read 9 of 12 books.

Cathy O'Neil: Weapons of Math Destruction (Paperback, 2017, Broadway Books) 4 stars

A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern …

An excellent demonstration of the devastating pervasiveness of Big Data

4 stars

This book takes you on a journey through all areas of life and shows how Big Data systems cause harm in all of them. Through the examination of these case studies, it also gets to the fundamental issues with Big Data and proposes ways to change our perspectives on it.

This book is really good. It is clear, understandable for a layperson and very well-rounded. I would give it a 5/5 if there weren't these two points:

  • it is completely US-centric. The case studies are all domestic. This weakens its explaining power for the rest of the world, imo. (this isn't to say that it doesn't make sense or that it's wrong for a US citizen to only write about the US)
  • it's 8 years old now, and while it's analyses are not at all outdated, the world of Big Data has evolved since 2016. I often wondered what ended …
Frank Herbert: Dune (1999, Ace Books) 4 stars

Dune is a 1965 science-fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two …

Very enjoyable, with some personal issues

4 stars

I wish I could give half-stars, because I probably would have given Dune a personal rating of 3.5/5.

I liked the story. I was able to fully immerse myself in the lore and the immaculate worldbuilding. And that was really something I have rarely seen anywhere else. I was contemplating whether to give this 3 or 4, but had to round up for the creativity in this area alone. I truly loved it.

My issue is mainly with the level of detail and the language. Some scenes are so excellently written that I felt like I was part of them, observing everything around me, noticing all the small things happening myself. Others, especially those concerned with Paul's inner conflicts, were almost excruciatingly abstract. And even though the language was beautiful throughout, I often found myself losing track in those sections (and, occasionally, genuinely having trouble understanding things linguistically, even with …

finished reading Dune by Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert: Dune (1999, Ace Books) 4 stars

Dune is a 1965 science-fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two …

This took longer than I expected. I read it up to about half, left it untouched for 2 months, finally finished it now (and have to return it to the library tomorrow). I have some thoughts and will write a (short) review later.

Dan McQuillan: Resisting AI (2022, Bristol University Press) 4 stars

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can’t …

A rich critique of the very core of modern AI

4 stars

This is really a long-form essay. It's very well-structured and extremely densely packed with succinct points about sociotechnological issues. In many instances, it expanded my horizon and made me question my own preoccupations regarding AI and even science at large. It's great; it gave me perspective and I learned about so many new interesting concepts that made a lot of sense in the context of AI. Off the top of my head, what stuck with me most were the ideas of "bureaucratic thoughtlessness", "states of exception", and of course, "necropolitics". I found that these are really good ways to think about and analyse AI. It goes so much deeper than the regular mainstream discourse about "AI ethics" and the like – the book is not afraid to put the hard questions on the table.

That said, I have two points of minor contention: First, I expected the second half of …

Dan McQuillan: Resisting AI (2022, Bristol University Press) 4 stars

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can’t …

Any AI-like apparatus that gets applied to structural inequality will intensify violence and will lean far too easily towards necropolitics. However clever these systems appear to be at making recommendations based on data, they will always fail on a social level because they will never recommend liberatory social change.

Resisting AI by  (Page 135)

commented on Resisting AI by Dan McQuillan

Dan McQuillan: Resisting AI (2022, Bristol University Press) 4 stars

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, yet it causes damage to society in ways that can’t …

phew, chapter 5 is some heavy stuff. principles for "care-based" AI derived from 3-4 different theories of philosophy of science, none of which I'm familiar with of course. it didn't lose me, but it was reeeeaaaally abstract and meta.