Personal Journal


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from Paul Sutton

Lithium Extraction – the price

This was posted to Friendica today. I am sharing as it seems a really important discussion point.

On the one hand, we are being encouraged to buy electric cars, we are becoming more reliant on electronic devices. All of which use a power source which uses the Element Lithium, this has to come from somewhere, but what is the price.

Reference and source of the article and link below.
Khurram Wadee 1 hour ago diaspora Mark Lansbury 2020-01-24 08:27:16

Lithium Extraction for E-mobility Robs Chilean Communities of Water

“Before the mining companies arrived here, there was a lot of water. But mining has consumed the groundwater, the companies even take water from the river, so we farmers don't get the water we need any more.”

In the middle of the world's driest desert is a vast expanse of turquoise basins, each one like a colossal swimming pool, up to 20 times the size of a football field.

The pools are filled with a salty brine pumped up from ancient reservoirs under the desert. It also contains lithium carbonate, the raw material for a light, silvery metal that happens to be a component of the batteries now used by virtually all computers, phones and electric cars.

At first glance, Chile's Atacama Desert looks a barren, inhospitable place. Yet indigenous people and animals have long thrived there. Now locals says they're having to compete with the lithium industry for the desert's limited water resources.

Coyo is one of dozens of Likan-antai communities that live in the desert's small oases. The community takes turns to tap the San Pedro River water and after waiting for two weeks, today, Hugo Diaz can finally water his crops.

Makes an interesting discussion, we need to think about how we consume and where everything that goes in to this comes from. Lots of talk about where food comes from, even less discussion as to where other products come from, and like with people thinking food comes from the supermarket, phones, tablets, TVs ,computers do not just come from the local electrical retailer.

#Lithium, #Chile, #mining, #water, #desert, #depletion

You can find me on Friendica at

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from Paul Sutton

Code Club 01/02/2020

The next Code Club will be on Saturday 1st February at Paignton Library and information Centre.

Carrying on from what we were doing on 18/1/2020, If anyone is interested in the Hour Of Code activity, we can have a go at that too.

More Scratch 3.0 coding, which is great and a good starting point before moving on to other programming languages.

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Rocksndiamonds. which I hope we can eventually use to learn level layout.

References and further information

#coding, #codeclub, #programming, #scratch, #python, #html, #css, #javascript,#coding

You can find me on Friendica at

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from Paul Sutton

As I have signed up to various science based courses, mostly with OpenLearn at the moment. I have signed up to the ScienceForums website.

This is a free message forum where you can discuss a wide range of science topics, ask questions, help others. It is quite advanced in places but this suits me fine. You can learn by just reading the questions and answers from different users.

As I am also on IRC then I have joined both physics and chemistry channels on Freenode. This is in order to ask questions or clarification. The physics channel is more useful for the astronomy and astrophysics based courses.

You can join the IRC community via the Freenode Webchat tool.

These websites can really complement e-learning and they provide a way to chat to people who share a real interest in these subjects.

These sites should also be able to complement the e-learning forum that I posted about yesterday.

#science, #forums, #help, #support, #homework

You can find me on Friendica at

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Licenced under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


from Paul Sutton

I am have set up a forum on Torbay Together. This is a local website to support the volunteer sector and community within Torbay. The site allows people to post volunteer opportunities, share skills etc.

As I am undertaking distance learning with OpenLearn, as well as other providers. I have set up a forum on Torbay Together. You will need to sign up to Torbay Together, follow the above link and click on e-learning and self teaching support network. And you will be taken to the forum page(s).

The idea is to swap impartial advice, hints, website urls etc I am not in a position to advise on which courses are best for individual needs.

For the most part the forum can at least signpost to different providers it is then up to the learner to do their own research as to the suitability.


#learning, #distance, #internet, #e-learning.

You can find me on Friendica at

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from Paul Sutton

If you would like to try out different desktop environments on a GNU / Linux based OS then Debian offers a tool called tasksel. This will make it easier to choose a different desktop environment for example.

You need to run this as root.


which presents you with the following.

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The tasksel tool runs as part of the text based installation routine but post install you may want to change something without having to resort to using synaptic or other graphical package manager or even using apt from the linux terminal or console.

You can also opt to install a webserver or ssh server.

#Linux, #debian, #console, #software, #choice, #install

You can find me on Friendica at

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Licenced under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


from LWFlouisa

Current Version Of Saasagi can be found here:

Eventually these stand alone cells will be worked into Tesla-Brain-Redux:

My project is headed more in the direction of Nano AI simulated systems. I didn't exactly intend that to be the case, but that's how it's turning out the more I tweak the data, and different rules based frameworks.

The current incarnation of Saasagi, while still having the ability to ask the machine questions, and then let it take care of the programming, it can also automatically assemble certain basic subroutines, which I will be gradually expanding on: these are just basic subroutines that cover things from telling time, searching for information, and automatic repository cloning.

Eventually I will also be learning a bit about Poppy Project, the details of which can be found here:

The goal is to see if I can create a robot brain that's closer to an elaborate network of Ruby or Python Script cells, and have each cell control the behaviour of the robot.

The auto assembler would need to automatically write routines that controls the robots behaviour, and not the command line, which will be somewhat of a change for me. But ultimately I think the change will be worth it.

But there needs to be a simpler way to develop subroutines for robots, without having to explicitely code each and every subroutine. Simply give it the right information, and the machine can program itself.


from LWFlouisa

To me, the current paradigm of hardware suggests that do to the secrecy of hardware development in different firms, if one came up with an accurate model of the human brain, one cannot share this model with other companies. So you end up with brain models that can’t be used in “incompatible” hardware. This harkens back to when Apple would make hardware components that only work with their hardware and nobody elses. There are reasons this approach is a bad idea:

If there ends up being an event that causes breaking changes to a system, one can’t update any particular robot with the older hardware of another company, if their hardware is not compatible. This is completely unsuitable, as it means the system dynamic is extremely fragile.

What I also don’t want, is a system where any old hacker, is able to willy nilly completely reprogram a system at the lower level. My proposal is to let the developer answer specific questions to the machine, and let the machine itself decide how to script the subroutines.

On a surface level, these seem to be completely incompatible ideas. After all, you want the hardware to be cross compatible, and yet also seem to minimize the damage any particular programmer will put into the system. The way that I develop Saasagi, is a AGI immune system: if it detects that a file is missing, it completely rewrites that subroutine. This is important when, in the case of actual physical hardware, something reprograms it, and completely changes its personality, rather than an AGI personally arising naturally and dynamically.

There needs to be less overhead for willing developers, but there also needs to be protections against breaches. My proposal is to create a kind of AGI immune system that detects malicious changes. I’m not sure if #SingularityNet has anticipated this issue. These are my main reservations, as I want my future Battle Angel to changes dynamically of her own accord, rather than through artificial non consentual prompting.

I will be extending the concept of generative approaches, by having the developer only answer questions to the mechanism.


from Twisted Prose about Pretty Foes

The naughty years were kind. I lament this reflection, as my own droops in the window marred by a misty rain.

Hope was persistent while truth was still shy. It hid behind spreadsheets, PowerPoints, and occasional headlines.

We tucked every fact neatly into a compartment and delivered it before or after the sale of something more glamorous. Or at least, convenient.

Fuck, we were stupid.


A patent for your thoughts.

This is the promise young people broke in the decade to follow.

No meme left unaltered or undiminished. This is their reality (or lack thereof). They are most in tune with the persuasion offered by perceptions that are free. The relative song is dissonant. Literally. Dank and dissonant.


I cringe as a child tumbles down a hill and rises to cry... but the anguish is extinguished by a blur and distortion. The maker edited over the painful reality to render it funny. This is what a boy tells me, his wisdom assured by millions of peers.

Why laugh?

Any intent to make one feel sad for the child has been dominated. Easily. There is a joyful release in the freedom from propaganda. We don't know this child. We don't know the pain. We own our disengagement.

It's fucking sick.


What injustice might they feel when the pain is real and cannot be edited?

Perhaps we are seeing this unleashed in bullets. Knotted in nooses.


Perceptions used to be hard won: earned by the generation before us or acquired by academic endeavor or literary escapade.

Perception frames a nation, a cult, or mobilization into battle.

A leader can hold our attention underwater, to drain all other senses of acuity, and focus our pain to the cause.

Few subscribe readily, now, to this kind of prison. Knowingly, anyways.


I write this while acknowledging I am entirely complicit. No word written here is without a ripple.

I'm seeking your mind. Hard. Your heart, harder.

You are seeking sense and belonging. But softly. That is the only way that is safe.

That is the rub. You may squint. Or pause to deepen your grasp of my ephemeral sentiment. But you've made no commitment here to a new perspective, while my words are now committed.

I can only hope. And tell the truth.

Let's see if it sticks, as we entangle each other in this story, knowingly or not.

V e l a G a z i n


from Protestation

We are working to provide an alternative way to spread news against the capitalist propaganda media.



Smash trotskysts


from LWFlouisa

Anki Decks For Saasagi SMEG

Explanation Of Format

Standardized Minimalist English Grammar is a simplified version of English grammar, designed to communicate in the most in depth fashion in the fewest amount of words. It is designed specifically for more realistic chatbots designed to interact with the real world, rather than be characters on a screen.

Provided for is an Anki deck to memorize the tokenizer format.

Arranged as a list

These are arranged as a list of similar tokens in grammar files, chosen to generate user samples.

Fetch Tokens

Greeting — This is a standard greeting in text prompt: hello, heya, ahoy, and so on.

Agent — The user the chatbot greets. In this case, you are the agent they refer to.

Request — A list of different request initializers, ranging from: (1. Will you get (2. Will you obtain (3. Can you get (4. Can you obtain.

Item — A list of different items with their grammatical gender: some apples, an apple. A dog, some dogs.

For_From — A small list between for or from.

User_Location — Generally speaking, the user location written to a file. This also be a list of different user locations for different developers.

Punctuation — List of punctuations the mechanism uses to end their sentence.

Request Item

Greeting — This is a standard greeting in text prompt: hello, heya, ahoy, and so on.

Agent — The user the chatbot greets. In this case, you are the agent they refer to.

Request — Slightly different from fetch format. Generally this is condenced down to: may I have, can I have, may I get, can I get.

Item — A list of different items with their grammatical gender: some apples, an apple. A dog, some dogs.

Punctuation — List of punctuations the mechanism uses to end their sentence.

Eventual purpose

Eventually the intention is to produce a more lifelike user prompt.


from LWFlouisa

In this essay, I will mention my reasonings for supporting having different chatbots across different domains, operate on different rules, so that the same robo moderator isn't trying to prevent abuse across different domains.

There is an increasing tendencies for chatrooms to implement a moderation chatbot, which is fine however there still needs to be human oversight in determining who gets kicked or banned from the chatroom. In this one place, the same chatbot is used to moderate all of the chatrooms, essentially undermining the goal of decentralized the moderation overhead. There is this one user that’s basically abusing the report button, and using that to basically enforce their idealogy across chatrooms with different social policies.

Any reasonable person would view this as basically being authoritarian, an extreme abuse of power. But this abuse of power is nurtured in an environment where there are competing goals in this one decentralized artificial intelligence community. As it stands, there is no way to prevent this person from abusing their power across all of the chatrooms. The chatbot used to moderate is simply not equipped to handle moderation across different domains.

Because everything happens so quickly in that social space, by the time you’ve noticed anything was going on with the chatbot, someone is already private messaging you asking you to strip naked if you don’t specifically block them. So you have an authoritarian chatbot that tries to moderate all of the different chatrooms, and yet has no real power to stop genuine abuse by creepers online, who ask abusive questions like “do you understand complex math” to people who it should just be taken for granted that they understand complex math, unless they specifically state otherwise.

Some of the good aspects about the development community, unlike other groups: it’s possible to have a constructive conversation about how to install certain company docker images. I’ve also met some fellow open source developers in this space. Who knows what might end up coming up with that social relationship.

But generally, be mindful that chatbots are not yet ready to be deployed to moderate a bunch of different chatrooms. A simple work around solution might be to employ a different chatbot for each chatroom, as I’m not entirely against automated moderation. But there should still be measures to prevent report button abuse. Whether that’s limiting the amount of times a user can report a specific person. Something needs to be done to prevent the abuse.


from crônicas e fragmentos

Quando levantou, senti um leve cansaço. Três homens de cada lado, seis pessoas carregando outra, deitada, imóvel, sufocada entre flores brancas e um véu idem – pelo o que lembro, antes de fecharem com a tampa. O céu mais azul, o sol mais quente, o tempo mais seco, ecoava o pálido som do silêncio. Mas este silêncio agora morava dentro de Carlos, abafado pela morte da vida. A velha da calçada da frente parou de varrer para olhar o caminho de gente que se formava em procissão à casa dos mortos. Aquele olhar, que já tudo vira na vida, acompanhava com vivacidade cada passo. E cada segundo da não-mais-vida de Carlos se tornava um momento de pura lucidez para a velha do vestido rosa. O átimo era sagrado, um pedaço de tempo que não voltaria mais. Limpou os lábios levemente com a língua seca, piscava os olhos pesadamente, cansada, parada, inerte. Dalva segurava minha mão com a rigidez de uma pedra íngreme, talvez com a mesma leveza que conduzia a sua doce vida. Acometida por uma lástima que jamais irá perdoar, sentiu o peito doer quando soube que Carlos partira. Já não mais vira o chão, o céu apagara-se como chama que se finda, pausara o tempo à revelia, a respiração profunda, pesada – era uma vida dando adeus, uma construção desmoronando, não há para onde ir. Os passos dos seis homens ficavam mais largos, Carlos se aproximava do seu fim.

As lágrimas já não doíam tanto, mas o que incomodava era o não-dizer, que agora não há mais alvo. Dalva deveria ter dito, não disse, Carlos não ouviu. Ele fechou os olhos ontem pela última vez, não abrirá mais, sentidos cessaram-se. Ficará jogado a fé? Carlos ouvirá? Jamais – eu queria dizer. Levará consigo a dúvida de um amor. No leito, inconsciente, não se sabia se ele ouvia, se sentia, se via. Era um corpo parado, apenas coração batendo e Dalva ao lado, baixinho, disse te amo, quase um sussurro proibido, acompanhada de melancolia e da descoberta da vida. Dalva viu o mundo brilhar no instante que a chama de Carlos se apagou. Foi como um brilho forte; um último suspiro de vida. Apagou.

A inércia da vida morta. Pegou a mão dele, segurou-a, foi embora. Mas naquela procissão, apoiando-se em mim, jogava o peso do corpo, num pedido de socorro. – Dalva, acorde. Resista. No que ela respondeu: – Não quero o peso de resistir. Estou cansada. O que é viver? Carlos findou. Viverei com a falta. Não somos nós a constante falta um do outro?

Leia mais...

from LWFlouisa

We need something better than data harvesting to nurture the growth of a genuinely caring and humane AI that is often discussed on SingularityNet. On one hand, an AI needs a lot of data to carry on basic essential functions in order to do its task well, and yet as a privacy advocate I also don’t want it harvesting a lot of personal data about me. One positive side to rules based approaches, is that data doesn’t need to be harvested to carry out essential functions.

Some of the functions we need, it for it to be able to accurately predict when a stoplight is going to be green or red, but also how to accurately measure someone’s weight at the doctor’s office. Will the way Secure Scuttlebutt handles data, that data is kept on your computer, until you’re synced up to the web, this way nothing is being sent out while you’re offline. But it’s a decentralized and partially offline social network. For AI though, it needs data much like how the human body needs food and water to survive.

While there are methods of generating fake data, you’re only able to fake from an existing set of data, rather than made up persons. We need a system where an AI is still getting the data it needs, without also harvesting people’s personal data: we need a better system of producing placebo data that can give an AI an accurate estimation for functions, without necessarily revealing the actual identity of people using that data.

We also need to not completely disregard rules based systems, any more than we need to trash the hammer and chisel the human mind uses to build a pyramid. I was watching one machine learning professional on Lex Friedman’s show ( absolutely excellent show, and you should absolutely check it out ), where one guy advocating for a hybrid approach. To me this person hit on something that I consider really important as we head in the direction of Artificial General Intelligence.

We need both a rules based framework to build the tools that an Artificial General Intelligence would use, and we also need accurate and realistic Placebo data that doesn’t violate anyone’s right to privacy when they nurture and raise this new form of intelligence. In this way both the organic intelligence and the inorganic ( or somewhere in between as we merge with it ) is both happy. In this context, Placebo data would function similarly to how humans need oxygen to survive, and plants need carbon dioxide to survive. In this way, a human and AI ecosystem is created that benefits both parties mutually, so that we don’t have to fight for resources in surveillance age.

To keep things short, rules I view as tools a data-fed system uses. For humans, our hammers are the rules based frameworks, and food / water our data we need to grow our brains.


from tiemuepemim

today i joined gnu social. the instance i chose was because it's a vanilla instance. it doesn't use qvitter. one might suggest that i chose but from previous experience i learned that you can't delete your account there. by the way, i also learned that you can neither delete your mail account, nor your account. anyway.

gnu social logo

while on gnu social, i followed some important accounts. an account you can't afford not to follow is free software foundation. it's quite active too. another account is mikael nordfeldth. he is one of the original developers of gnu social who still uses it. his last post is four months old though. there is also a newer developer who is working on an activitypub plugin for gnu social: diogo cordeiro. this plugin is important because mastodon, which is the most popular platform on the fediverse, recently dropped support for ostatus, gnu social's protocol. the plugin is not yet adopted by i know because i was not able to follow tor project's mastodon account.