Back in the office after a couple of days working from home and on the road, after a week-long trip to the East Coast. Lots to keep me busy today, and I have quite a few links that have accumulated for you all.

After the Miracle (The California Sunday Magazine)

As automation starts to consume the lower-end jobs where Indian tech firms made their bones (I'll leave whether they excelled as an open question), it's good to see them start to move up the value chain in order to survive. It'll be interesting to see to what extent their workforce (especially the middle-aged men) adapt to an evolving job that's more demanding creatively.

What if ET is an AI? (Aeon)

Interesting. However, I'm extremely skeptical that humans will be able to differentiate between "artificial" and "natural" intelligences, and that ET wouldn't likewise think of us as a organic AIs given our reliance on tools and other augmentations to be functional humans.

How the resurgence of white supremacy in the US sparked a war over free speech (The Guardian)

Here's my problem with the ACLU and other civil libertarians entertaining the thought that some curbs on speech is a better approach towards achieving social progress than the classic maxim of "the best antidote to bad speech is more speech". If you think that making topics off-limit is sufficient to kill a train of thought, you had better be prepared for a totalitarian system that monitors every word a person speaks in public and in private, since prohibiting the "problematic" speech won't eliminate it, but just drive it underground where it won't be challenged, only to erupt in a form that's worse than had it been out in the open. It also sets up this world where there's "acceptable" thoughts and speech (that which is permitted by the state) and "unacceptable" thoughts and speech (that which is punished by the state). Other than the surveillance apparatus required to enforce this (unless you move to an East German model of citizen informants), there's also a major issue in that you're empowering someone to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable discourse and to enforce that fairly. I'm extremely skeptical that awesome power won't corrupt completely.

If the ACLU moves away from its protection of free speech, I'm done with the organization.

Why Sam Harris—Not Ezra Klein—Is the One Making Space for People of Colour (Quillette)

Harris’ approach is the one that leaves the door open for new voices from all communities to join the conversation with new ideas. Those new voices can argue about race and IQ, just like Harris, and maybe even prove him wrong. And one would hope that when they do so, the skin color of these people, or questions about where their parents come from, isn’t seen as relevant to how they’re heard or what they have to say.

By refusing to make his own identity centrally relevant in the conversation, Harris is also implicitly fighting for the right of others “who do not look like” him to be treated as individuals, not ambassadors from a group.

More A-10s to get new wings, as Air Force officially launches ATTACK (Ars Technica)

w00t! I love me some Warthog BRAAAAP!

'Bionic Actress' Angel Giuffria Is Ready for People With Disabilities to Get Their Close-Up (io9)

Super cool. I hope we see more of Giuffria in more films and television moving forward.

'X-Men: Red' Is Telling a Story About Racism for the Internet Age (io9)

Of the X-Men Blue/Gold/Red books, Red is probably the most interesting at the moment given this storyline and the push towards a mutant homeland that's been quite a bit better than the Cyclops' Utopia or Magneto's Genosha.

Gotta get back to the grind. I hope you all have a great day.

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