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OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 287th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

Not my normal stuff.

Quality picks all.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 287th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

mitra  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Went to see these guys last week, really enjoyed the set despite only ever listening to a few of their songs beforehand.

Here is my own personal favourite of theirs:

    It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

I feel the same.

    The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

It's a possibility that it's the only way forward. I would love to see alternatives. I have not.

    Read my lips: Musk can't pull it off.

I mostly agree with you. The smart money and my own pessimism (Let's say recovering pessimist) are in agreement on that. There is a chance, however slim, that he pulls it off and a random rock floating through the system will no longer mean the flash-annihilation of the whole biosphere.

I still don't see anybody else trying. The guys riding, or not riding, the vomit comet for funsies are not the folks I imagine funding a moon base or floating shipyard/refinery or the ones I'd imagine going to Mars. When I say a Musk or Bezos like character that's really the type of individual I am talking about to fund/organize such a venture. That smaller pool you referenced. As far as the 'what are they going to do up there?' problem, I am hedging my bets that there is economic incentive in mining asteroids. As an example, there could be a small station that refines hydrogen/hydrazine from dirty snowballs and will top-up your satellite for a fraction of the cost of sending a refueling mission from deep in the gravity well. I definitely think that there is not enough information to completely rule out the idea that there is value to be found outside of that well.

When he fails you are welcome to rub all the salt you want in every bloody wound you can find. I already ate crow when Mars One was exposed, I'm used to the taste.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

My fear is that the only obvious, expedient use case for space is military. Our advances in manned spaceflight were all proxy warfare with a rival power; our vehicles and methods of manned spaceflight are all military derivatives. Except, of course, SpaceX, which is now launching NRO payloads.

The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

I feel the same.

    The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

It's a possibility that it's the only way forward. I would love to see alternatives. I have not.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

    Although in a way the advantage to all of this is that if everyone's dirty laundry is out there, I expect people will get less judgmental.

I suppose.

There have always been libertines, there have always been puritans. I suspect that because norms and mores are always changing, there will always be someone to call a libertine and someone to call a puritan.

johnnyFive  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, true enough. I wonder if the new norms are less privacy? Is this what it feels like to be behind the social curve?

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

    Are you sure you want to do that?

I'm not doing that. I am illustrating that the existence of consumer level deepfakes creates problems with real video footage because now shocking but true things can be dismissed as deepfakes, even if proof to the contrary is abundant.

There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life. There is now another tool in the toolbox of those who are attacking objective reality, and that is claiming that video evidence, or even streaming video, is being interfered with/has been interfered with and is therefore fake news.

I have been 'quippy' lately. I am fighting, and mostly winning, against the urge to write *long, shitty, negative diatribes. Consider it my embracing of a lesser evil. Who knows, one day I might even vote blue team.

I am aware the Giuliani/Trump video is real. I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life.

That is not at all true. You just don't value or respect their style of fact-checking. If they see it on Fox News it must be real. If they hear about it on Info Wars it must be real. If it shows up in their Facebook feed it must be real. If they hear it from a friend it must be real. But if it gets forwarded to them from Mother Jones? They're going to ignore it because it's fake news.

There's that nasty, five dollar word "provenance" again. There is no one walking this earth that credulously accepts what their eyes see and their ears hear when it disrupts their worldview. That's the core of the issue: who do you trust and why do you trust them. Twenty years ago nobody said "it's fake I can tell from the pixels" but now 70-year-old women have an opinion about Photoshop.

    I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

But it's not. It was sourced from a known recording at a known event whose provenance was confirmed by those responsible, and then disseminated via a major entertainment source on a national broadcast network. Sure - trip across it on 4Chan and you doubt it.

And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

bfv  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

Except for the professionals

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A delightfully different circumstance.

Art provenance is another aspect of the same problem: reputation. Dan Rather staked his reputation on the Killian documents. Vouching for the Killian Documents meant destroying his reputation. An art dealer that is caught selling forged Giacomettis? That will destroy their reputation, too. But then, someone needs to want them to get caught.

There's a great chapter in The $12m Stuffed Shark about the Warhol Foundation and how a Warhol was real or not depending on what a council of experts decided. Their deliberation was closed, their decision was final and they basically decided what Warhols were worth money and what were worth nothing, because Warhol was one of those guys who kept bad records, used a lot of shops, and often made more examples after editions were closed, etc. They packed it in in 2012 because they were paying $7m a year in legal fees.

    Guido S. even wrote a book, which he called "Diego's Revenge," and of which he had 300 copies printed. It tells the story, part truth and part fiction, of Diego Giacometti, a brother and assistant of the artist, who had established a secret cache of sculptures. According to the book, the brother had even removed "the results of Giacometti's work, and of long nights of struggle" from the studio and made castings of them, "which he took to the foundry, either on his own or after checking with Alberto."

    In the book, Diego initially hid the castings, but after Alberto's death in 1966, sold them to collectors in Greece, France and England. Count Waldstein, as Guido S. wrote in his tall tale, had bought the bronzes back from the collectors. Even the ISBN number printed in the book was a forgery. Every forgery needs its legend, and every forged work of art needs a plausible provenance.

I own a Magritte print. I paid about $150 for it off eBay back in '02 or so, about the time I decided I couldn't afford a Yves Klein for $12k ($3k more than I paid for my car at the time). Kleins are more like $1.2m now and who knows what the Magritte is worth; it's got a stamp on the back from Gallerie Alexandre Iolas, the dealer that represented Magritte but that's pretty easy to forge. It's not a well-known Magritte, either, and it took fifteen years before I discovered that's because it's been in a vault since the Islamic Revolution.

Did coming up with a plausible story as to why my Magritte print is virtually unknown increase the likelihood it's a licensed print? Not at all. But it gave it a story. It increased the provenance of my print in my eyes, which makes it easier to convince my friends. There's a willful suspension of disbelief in a lot of art. This is due in no small part to the intellectual property value being imperfectly transmuted to the physical property value. I've got a little Banksy, too - purchased by a friend for me out of a shop in Gaza where it was made under license by Palestinians. Banksy, whoever he or they are, has likely never even seen it. But I get to tell my friends about my Banksy.

And any friend who disputes my Magritte isn't going to get invited to my parties anymore. I'm never going to use it to influence public opinion. The authenticity or inauthenticity of that print will not, for my purposes, ever be used in any influence peddling, unlike forged news media.

I ended up reading a weird book when I was about 9 years old. It's about a poor kid whose sister is about to marry rich. His new in-laws have an art collection and the kid is poking around and finds something hidden. Turns out to be this rare sculpture reported stolen decades previously. So the kid steals it. Then to make things okay for his sister's in-laws, he whips out a forgery of it in shop class before fencing it. In-laws are happy, kid buys his mom a house, sister gets married, everyone lives happily ever after. Aside, of course, from the crushing moral weight of committing theft in the interest of lifting your family out of poverty.

    "Anyone who believes he can buy a real Giacometti for €20,000 deserves to be duped. The art world is rotten."

The guy buying a Giacometti for €20,000 probably knows it's fake, too. But he's got plausible deniability - after all, he didn't fake it. And so long as his friends are impressed, he's good to go.

I wouldn't own a Giacometti. I'm fond of my Magritte. And at least I know it's a reproduction of an actual Magritte that I'll probably never see, and neither will any of my friends.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

    The provenance of the Giuliani/Trump video is the easiest thing in the world to find.

If you are able to pronounce four dollar words like provenance, sure.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Snark is not knowledge. You're able to pronounce "provenance" and by implying that I am an untrustworthy intellectual you are aligning yourself with the historical forces of fascism and mob rule. Are you sure you want to do that?

If you prefer, I can talk to you like the idiots you're apparently siding with and say "It's from the Tonight Show, Ben. CBS dug it up over two years ago. And when you argue that any licentious (sorry, I meant 'bad') image of the President must be fake, you're arguing exactly what the Russians want you to argue."

Fundamentally, this is a discussion about the trustworthiness of networks (is "trustworthiness" too big a word for you, Ben?). It is a trivial (simple? Easy? Not hard? How low-brow do you want to go, Ben?) matter to evaluate the trustworthiness of this particular clip. Where things get difficult - and where the discussion should be had - is when untrustworthy data is treated as trustworthy and disseminated ("spread around"). Ask Dan Rather.

Have you noticed that lately, you like substituting platitudes for knowledge, Ben? I have. And I think it's what makes you angry.

Life is not a Deep Thought by Jack Handey.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Are you sure you want to do that?

I'm not doing that. I am illustrating that the existence of consumer level deepfakes creates problems with real video footage because now shocking but true things can be dismissed as deepfakes, even if proof to the contrary is abundant.

There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life. There is now another tool in the toolbox of those who are attacking objective reality, and that is claiming that video evidence, or even streaming video, is being interfered with/has been interfered with and is therefore fake news.

I have been 'quippy' lately. I am fighting, and mostly winning, against the urge to write *long, shitty, negative diatribes. Consider it my embracing of a lesser evil. Who knows, one day I might even vote blue team.

I am aware the Giuliani/Trump video is real. I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life.

That is not at all true. You just don't value or respect their style of fact-checking. If they see it on Fox News it must be real. If they hear about it on Info Wars it must be real. If it shows up in their Facebook feed it must be real. If they hear it from a friend it must be real. But if it gets forwarded to them from Mother Jones? They're going to ignore it because it's fake news.

There's that nasty, five dollar word "provenance" again. There is no one walking this earth that credulously accepts what their eyes see and their ears hear when it disrupts their worldview. That's the core of the issue: who do you trust and why do you trust them. Twenty years ago nobody said "it's fake I can tell from the pixels" but now 70-year-old women have an opinion about Photoshop.

    I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

But it's not. It was sourced from a known recording at a known event whose provenance was confirmed by those responsible, and then disseminated via a major entertainment source on a national broadcast network. Sure - trip across it on 4Chan and you doubt it.

And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

bfv  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

Except for the professionals

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A delightfully different circumstance.

Art provenance is another aspect of the same problem: reputation. Dan Rather staked his reputation on the Killian documents. Vouching for the Killian Documents meant destroying his reputation. An art dealer that is caught selling forged Giacomettis? That will destroy their reputation, too. But then, someone needs to want them to get caught.

There's a great chapter in The $12m Stuffed Shark about the Warhol Foundation and how a Warhol was real or not depending on what a council of experts decided. Their deliberation was closed, their decision was final and they basically decided what Warhols were worth money and what were worth nothing, because Warhol was one of those guys who kept bad records, used a lot of shops, and often made more examples after editions were closed, etc. They packed it in in 2012 because they were paying $7m a year in legal fees.

    Guido S. even wrote a book, which he called "Diego's Revenge," and of which he had 300 copies printed. It tells the story, part truth and part fiction, of Diego Giacometti, a brother and assistant of the artist, who had established a secret cache of sculptures. According to the book, the brother had even removed "the results of Giacometti's work, and of long nights of struggle" from the studio and made castings of them, "which he took to the foundry, either on his own or after checking with Alberto."

    In the book, Diego initially hid the castings, but after Alberto's death in 1966, sold them to collectors in Greece, France and England. Count Waldstein, as Guido S. wrote in his tall tale, had bought the bronzes back from the collectors. Even the ISBN number printed in the book was a forgery. Every forgery needs its legend, and every forged work of art needs a plausible provenance.

I own a Magritte print. I paid about $150 for it off eBay back in '02 or so, about the time I decided I couldn't afford a Yves Klein for $12k ($3k more than I paid for my car at the time). Kleins are more like $1.2m now and who knows what the Magritte is worth; it's got a stamp on the back from Gallerie Alexandre Iolas, the dealer that represented Magritte but that's pretty easy to forge. It's not a well-known Magritte, either, and it took fifteen years before I discovered that's because it's been in a vault since the Islamic Revolution.

Did coming up with a plausible story as to why my Magritte print is virtually unknown increase the likelihood it's a licensed print? Not at all. But it gave it a story. It increased the provenance of my print in my eyes, which makes it easier to convince my friends. There's a willful suspension of disbelief in a lot of art. This is due in no small part to the intellectual property value being imperfectly transmuted to the physical property value. I've got a little Banksy, too - purchased by a friend for me out of a shop in Gaza where it was made under license by Palestinians. Banksy, whoever he or they are, has likely never even seen it. But I get to tell my friends about my Banksy.

And any friend who disputes my Magritte isn't going to get invited to my parties anymore. I'm never going to use it to influence public opinion. The authenticity or inauthenticity of that print will not, for my purposes, ever be used in any influence peddling, unlike forged news media.

I ended up reading a weird book when I was about 9 years old. It's about a poor kid whose sister is about to marry rich. His new in-laws have an art collection and the kid is poking around and finds something hidden. Turns out to be this rare sculpture reported stolen decades previously. So the kid steals it. Then to make things okay for his sister's in-laws, he whips out a forgery of it in shop class before fencing it. In-laws are happy, kid buys his mom a house, sister gets married, everyone lives happily ever after. Aside, of course, from the crushing moral weight of committing theft in the interest of lifting your family out of poverty.

    "Anyone who believes he can buy a real Giacometti for €20,000 deserves to be duped. The art world is rotten."

The guy buying a Giacometti for €20,000 probably knows it's fake, too. But he's got plausible deniability - after all, he didn't fake it. And so long as his friends are impressed, he's good to go.

I wouldn't own a Giacometti. I'm fond of my Magritte. And at least I know it's a reproduction of an actual Magritte that I'll probably never see, and neither will any of my friends.

    I want to believe.

    But the more I've learned, the harder it is.

Behold, the story of my experience with religion and optimism.

Regarding space in specific and why I think Elon being petty on twitter is basically irrelevant.

1. Existential risk reduction is worth it. Convince me otherwise and you will also have convinced me to give a shit what a billionaire says on twitter. If he's the guy who manages to make us a multi-planet species, he could say all kinds of nasty things on twitter and I would still go into debt to buy a Tesla and thank him for the privilege.

2. You gave a number of $5.5 million to put 6 people in orbit. There are individuals to whom $5.5 million is essentially no money. The optimism I do have relies on the fact that, historically, people who accumulate great wealth are often given to massive expenditures for the sake of ego. This yacht sold for $458 million. At the $5.5 million per half dozen rate, that's over 400 individuals in orbit, or some amount of crew rotation. I have to assume that there is some economy of scale at work too. The point I am making is that titanic amounts of money are spent on useless bullshit anyway, let's spend some of it on useless bullshit that might propel us into a proper space age, and ego-driven billionaires are the ones most likely to do that.

3. Yeah, there is a substantial amount of learning to do, things to find out before we go colonizing other planets or even set up an industrial base outside of our gravity well. And I don't see any way to learn those lessons other than to try. The Wright brothers didn't get it the first try and I bet whoever sets out to start mining asteroids first is going to make mistakes too. But we don't get to just let our spark die out here on this rock.

Edit 4. We are really talking past each other here. My point is that I think ego driven billionaires are the ones most likely to spend the money required to give us even the slimmest possible chance of being a multi planet species eventually. It appears that you want to talk about why that's impossible with regard to technical detail. I am talking about the motivations of actors with the resources to attempt the endeavor.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

First principles: We started this discussion with you:

    If this or Bezos or a similar character is what is required to make us a multi-planet species, so be it.

    I don't see anybody else making an effort.

You are declaring that Elon Musk can say whatever he wants to say because he's our best bet at a "multi-planet species." And look - sure, Elon Musk can be as much of an asshole as he wants. Most robber barons were. But simple practical science says "multi-planet species" is hella harder than Elon Musk or you think it is - yet you still proclaim yourself a pessimist ("Behold, the story of my experience with religion and optimism").

Sure - if I triangulate to a future where it costs effectively nothing to get into space, I can loft a habitat for six dudes for a million dollars a piece. What you're studiously, deliberately, obviously missing is the core of the argument: what are they gonna do there? 'cuz I can get six dudes from Home Depot for a helluvalot less to do whatever I need. Six dudes in orbit can't even mow my lawn... unless my lawn is in space. We're having a hard time getting people to colonize Alaska let alone the Moon or whatever and the air in Alaska is eminently breathable. Rich dudes who want to spend a million dollars? Yeah, they exist. Rich dudes who want to spend ten thousand times that to go to Arizona-in-near-Vacuum? Smaller pool.

I've never been to the Monaco Yacht Show. It would be awesome to go someday. I have been to the International Space Developer's Conference and I can testify with authority as to the unseriousness of the affair. There were tickets available at the last minute to ride their ex-Soviet vomit comet, flown in special for the fete... and there weren't enough people willing to drop $5k for a few minutes of weightlessness to warrant coming back the next year. This is your potential pool of Mars-going billionaires.

It's not the learning. It's the economic justification. Columbus didn't land on Haiti to Boldly Go, he did it because he was looking for a faster trade route. Pizarro didn't conquer the Incas for god and country, he did it for gold.

I know what your point is. I've known all along. What you're steadfastly refusing to hear is that "ego-driven billionaires" aren't near rich enough to succeed. Read my lips: Musk can't pull it off.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Read my lips: Musk can't pull it off.

I mostly agree with you. The smart money and my own pessimism (Let's say recovering pessimist) are in agreement on that. There is a chance, however slim, that he pulls it off and a random rock floating through the system will no longer mean the flash-annihilation of the whole biosphere.

I still don't see anybody else trying. The guys riding, or not riding, the vomit comet for funsies are not the folks I imagine funding a moon base or floating shipyard/refinery or the ones I'd imagine going to Mars. When I say a Musk or Bezos like character that's really the type of individual I am talking about to fund/organize such a venture. That smaller pool you referenced. As far as the 'what are they going to do up there?' problem, I am hedging my bets that there is economic incentive in mining asteroids. As an example, there could be a small station that refines hydrogen/hydrazine from dirty snowballs and will top-up your satellite for a fraction of the cost of sending a refueling mission from deep in the gravity well. I definitely think that there is not enough information to completely rule out the idea that there is value to be found outside of that well.

When he fails you are welcome to rub all the salt you want in every bloody wound you can find. I already ate crow when Mars One was exposed, I'm used to the taste.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

My fear is that the only obvious, expedient use case for space is military. Our advances in manned spaceflight were all proxy warfare with a rival power; our vehicles and methods of manned spaceflight are all military derivatives. Except, of course, SpaceX, which is now launching NRO payloads.

The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

I feel the same.

    The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

It's a possibility that it's the only way forward. I would love to see alternatives. I have not.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

It's relevant because it further blurs the line.

I saw a video and assumed it was a fake because it had several characteristics commonly associated with faked and photochopped (Videochopped?) media.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's on you, not on the video. The provenance of the Giuliani/Trump video is the easiest thing in the world to find.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The provenance of the Giuliani/Trump video is the easiest thing in the world to find.

If you are able to pronounce four dollar words like provenance, sure.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Snark is not knowledge. You're able to pronounce "provenance" and by implying that I am an untrustworthy intellectual you are aligning yourself with the historical forces of fascism and mob rule. Are you sure you want to do that?

If you prefer, I can talk to you like the idiots you're apparently siding with and say "It's from the Tonight Show, Ben. CBS dug it up over two years ago. And when you argue that any licentious (sorry, I meant 'bad') image of the President must be fake, you're arguing exactly what the Russians want you to argue."

Fundamentally, this is a discussion about the trustworthiness of networks (is "trustworthiness" too big a word for you, Ben?). It is a trivial (simple? Easy? Not hard? How low-brow do you want to go, Ben?) matter to evaluate the trustworthiness of this particular clip. Where things get difficult - and where the discussion should be had - is when untrustworthy data is treated as trustworthy and disseminated ("spread around"). Ask Dan Rather.

Have you noticed that lately, you like substituting platitudes for knowledge, Ben? I have. And I think it's what makes you angry.

Life is not a Deep Thought by Jack Handey.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Are you sure you want to do that?

I'm not doing that. I am illustrating that the existence of consumer level deepfakes creates problems with real video footage because now shocking but true things can be dismissed as deepfakes, even if proof to the contrary is abundant.

There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life. There is now another tool in the toolbox of those who are attacking objective reality, and that is claiming that video evidence, or even streaming video, is being interfered with/has been interfered with and is therefore fake news.

I have been 'quippy' lately. I am fighting, and mostly winning, against the urge to write *long, shitty, negative diatribes. Consider it my embracing of a lesser evil. Who knows, one day I might even vote blue team.

I am aware the Giuliani/Trump video is real. I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life.

That is not at all true. You just don't value or respect their style of fact-checking. If they see it on Fox News it must be real. If they hear about it on Info Wars it must be real. If it shows up in their Facebook feed it must be real. If they hear it from a friend it must be real. But if it gets forwarded to them from Mother Jones? They're going to ignore it because it's fake news.

There's that nasty, five dollar word "provenance" again. There is no one walking this earth that credulously accepts what their eyes see and their ears hear when it disrupts their worldview. That's the core of the issue: who do you trust and why do you trust them. Twenty years ago nobody said "it's fake I can tell from the pixels" but now 70-year-old women have an opinion about Photoshop.

    I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

But it's not. It was sourced from a known recording at a known event whose provenance was confirmed by those responsible, and then disseminated via a major entertainment source on a national broadcast network. Sure - trip across it on 4Chan and you doubt it.

And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

bfv  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

Except for the professionals

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A delightfully different circumstance.

Art provenance is another aspect of the same problem: reputation. Dan Rather staked his reputation on the Killian documents. Vouching for the Killian Documents meant destroying his reputation. An art dealer that is caught selling forged Giacomettis? That will destroy their reputation, too. But then, someone needs to want them to get caught.

There's a great chapter in The $12m Stuffed Shark about the Warhol Foundation and how a Warhol was real or not depending on what a council of experts decided. Their deliberation was closed, their decision was final and they basically decided what Warhols were worth money and what were worth nothing, because Warhol was one of those guys who kept bad records, used a lot of shops, and often made more examples after editions were closed, etc. They packed it in in 2012 because they were paying $7m a year in legal fees.

    Guido S. even wrote a book, which he called "Diego's Revenge," and of which he had 300 copies printed. It tells the story, part truth and part fiction, of Diego Giacometti, a brother and assistant of the artist, who had established a secret cache of sculptures. According to the book, the brother had even removed "the results of Giacometti's work, and of long nights of struggle" from the studio and made castings of them, "which he took to the foundry, either on his own or after checking with Alberto."

    In the book, Diego initially hid the castings, but after Alberto's death in 1966, sold them to collectors in Greece, France and England. Count Waldstein, as Guido S. wrote in his tall tale, had bought the bronzes back from the collectors. Even the ISBN number printed in the book was a forgery. Every forgery needs its legend, and every forged work of art needs a plausible provenance.

I own a Magritte print. I paid about $150 for it off eBay back in '02 or so, about the time I decided I couldn't afford a Yves Klein for $12k ($3k more than I paid for my car at the time). Kleins are more like $1.2m now and who knows what the Magritte is worth; it's got a stamp on the back from Gallerie Alexandre Iolas, the dealer that represented Magritte but that's pretty easy to forge. It's not a well-known Magritte, either, and it took fifteen years before I discovered that's because it's been in a vault since the Islamic Revolution.

Did coming up with a plausible story as to why my Magritte print is virtually unknown increase the likelihood it's a licensed print? Not at all. But it gave it a story. It increased the provenance of my print in my eyes, which makes it easier to convince my friends. There's a willful suspension of disbelief in a lot of art. This is due in no small part to the intellectual property value being imperfectly transmuted to the physical property value. I've got a little Banksy, too - purchased by a friend for me out of a shop in Gaza where it was made under license by Palestinians. Banksy, whoever he or they are, has likely never even seen it. But I get to tell my friends about my Banksy.

And any friend who disputes my Magritte isn't going to get invited to my parties anymore. I'm never going to use it to influence public opinion. The authenticity or inauthenticity of that print will not, for my purposes, ever be used in any influence peddling, unlike forged news media.

I ended up reading a weird book when I was about 9 years old. It's about a poor kid whose sister is about to marry rich. His new in-laws have an art collection and the kid is poking around and finds something hidden. Turns out to be this rare sculpture reported stolen decades previously. So the kid steals it. Then to make things okay for his sister's in-laws, he whips out a forgery of it in shop class before fencing it. In-laws are happy, kid buys his mom a house, sister gets married, everyone lives happily ever after. Aside, of course, from the crushing moral weight of committing theft in the interest of lifting your family out of poverty.

    "Anyone who believes he can buy a real Giacometti for €20,000 deserves to be duped. The art world is rotten."

The guy buying a Giacometti for €20,000 probably knows it's fake, too. But he's got plausible deniability - after all, he didn't fake it. And so long as his friends are impressed, he's good to go.

I wouldn't own a Giacometti. I'm fond of my Magritte. And at least I know it's a reproduction of an actual Magritte that I'll probably never see, and neither will any of my friends.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

I think that privacy as we think of it is going to go the way of the dinosaurs. Something will survive to evolve into chickens and robins and cardinals and shoebills but Privacy writ large will not survive.

For privacy as we know it to come back and also persist, you need to make John and Jane Q. Public give a damn about digital security. And you cannot force the public to give a damn about digital security.

Yes, the technology needs to be better/more accessible so that non compsci majors can have a hope of understanding what's going on.

AND.

People, average, 6th grade reading level people, have to give a damn. And they don't. They have bigger problems like rent, medical bills, childcare.

francopoli  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think that privacy as we think of it is going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

I think you are dead wrong. Privacy is a dead concept. There are cameras everywhere and every bit of info about your life, even stuff you don't know exists, is in a database that is being shared. Your hacked data is being sold due to security breaches at companies you have NEVER interacted with (Equifax is just one example).

And on top of that, the young people I interact with have no concept of a private life. EVERYTHING they do is under public scrutiny. By the time these people get into a position to make and enforce laws, I'll be dead. Yet I still care about this issue. Privacy is a vital human right. It is needed for a free society to exist. It is needed for a representative democracy to exist. Privacy is a critical core need for a sane, healthy, human mind.

And this critical component of who we are was taken from us to sell advertising, starting in the 1950's.

johnnyFive  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, pretty much. Although in a way the advantage to all of this is that if everyone's dirty laundry is out there, I expect people will get less judgmental.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Although in a way the advantage to all of this is that if everyone's dirty laundry is out there, I expect people will get less judgmental.

I suppose.

There have always been libertines, there have always been puritans. I suspect that because norms and mores are always changing, there will always be someone to call a libertine and someone to call a puritan.

johnnyFive  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, true enough. I wonder if the new norms are less privacy? Is this what it feels like to be behind the social curve?

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest 2018 results

The true face of a champion.

I rewatch that bear video at least monthly.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “Deepfakes” Creates Fake Celebrity Porn.

Relevant

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's not relevant, that actually happened. You want relevance?

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's relevant because it further blurs the line.

I saw a video and assumed it was a fake because it had several characteristics commonly associated with faked and photochopped (Videochopped?) media.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's on you, not on the video. The provenance of the Giuliani/Trump video is the easiest thing in the world to find.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The provenance of the Giuliani/Trump video is the easiest thing in the world to find.

If you are able to pronounce four dollar words like provenance, sure.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Snark is not knowledge. You're able to pronounce "provenance" and by implying that I am an untrustworthy intellectual you are aligning yourself with the historical forces of fascism and mob rule. Are you sure you want to do that?

If you prefer, I can talk to you like the idiots you're apparently siding with and say "It's from the Tonight Show, Ben. CBS dug it up over two years ago. And when you argue that any licentious (sorry, I meant 'bad') image of the President must be fake, you're arguing exactly what the Russians want you to argue."

Fundamentally, this is a discussion about the trustworthiness of networks (is "trustworthiness" too big a word for you, Ben?). It is a trivial (simple? Easy? Not hard? How low-brow do you want to go, Ben?) matter to evaluate the trustworthiness of this particular clip. Where things get difficult - and where the discussion should be had - is when untrustworthy data is treated as trustworthy and disseminated ("spread around"). Ask Dan Rather.

Have you noticed that lately, you like substituting platitudes for knowledge, Ben? I have. And I think it's what makes you angry.

Life is not a Deep Thought by Jack Handey.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Are you sure you want to do that?

I'm not doing that. I am illustrating that the existence of consumer level deepfakes creates problems with real video footage because now shocking but true things can be dismissed as deepfakes, even if proof to the contrary is abundant.

There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life. There is now another tool in the toolbox of those who are attacking objective reality, and that is claiming that video evidence, or even streaming video, is being interfered with/has been interfered with and is therefore fake news.

I have been 'quippy' lately. I am fighting, and mostly winning, against the urge to write *long, shitty, negative diatribes. Consider it my embracing of a lesser evil. Who knows, one day I might even vote blue team.

I am aware the Giuliani/Trump video is real. I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    There is a class of people, who vote, to whom fact-checking isn't a part of their day to day life.

That is not at all true. You just don't value or respect their style of fact-checking. If they see it on Fox News it must be real. If they hear about it on Info Wars it must be real. If it shows up in their Facebook feed it must be real. If they hear it from a friend it must be real. But if it gets forwarded to them from Mother Jones? They're going to ignore it because it's fake news.

There's that nasty, five dollar word "provenance" again. There is no one walking this earth that credulously accepts what their eyes see and their ears hear when it disrupts their worldview. That's the core of the issue: who do you trust and why do you trust them. Twenty years ago nobody said "it's fake I can tell from the pixels" but now 70-year-old women have an opinion about Photoshop.

    I am making the point that it is even more easily dismissed in the era of deepfakes.

But it's not. It was sourced from a known recording at a known event whose provenance was confirmed by those responsible, and then disseminated via a major entertainment source on a national broadcast network. Sure - trip across it on 4Chan and you doubt it.

And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

bfv  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And the forgery of imagery, no matter how compelling, has always been a matter for amateurs.

Except for the professionals

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A delightfully different circumstance.

Art provenance is another aspect of the same problem: reputation. Dan Rather staked his reputation on the Killian documents. Vouching for the Killian Documents meant destroying his reputation. An art dealer that is caught selling forged Giacomettis? That will destroy their reputation, too. But then, someone needs to want them to get caught.

There's a great chapter in The $12m Stuffed Shark about the Warhol Foundation and how a Warhol was real or not depending on what a council of experts decided. Their deliberation was closed, their decision was final and they basically decided what Warhols were worth money and what were worth nothing, because Warhol was one of those guys who kept bad records, used a lot of shops, and often made more examples after editions were closed, etc. They packed it in in 2012 because they were paying $7m a year in legal fees.

    Guido S. even wrote a book, which he called "Diego's Revenge," and of which he had 300 copies printed. It tells the story, part truth and part fiction, of Diego Giacometti, a brother and assistant of the artist, who had established a secret cache of sculptures. According to the book, the brother had even removed "the results of Giacometti's work, and of long nights of struggle" from the studio and made castings of them, "which he took to the foundry, either on his own or after checking with Alberto."

    In the book, Diego initially hid the castings, but after Alberto's death in 1966, sold them to collectors in Greece, France and England. Count Waldstein, as Guido S. wrote in his tall tale, had bought the bronzes back from the collectors. Even the ISBN number printed in the book was a forgery. Every forgery needs its legend, and every forged work of art needs a plausible provenance.

I own a Magritte print. I paid about $150 for it off eBay back in '02 or so, about the time I decided I couldn't afford a Yves Klein for $12k ($3k more than I paid for my car at the time). Kleins are more like $1.2m now and who knows what the Magritte is worth; it's got a stamp on the back from Gallerie Alexandre Iolas, the dealer that represented Magritte but that's pretty easy to forge. It's not a well-known Magritte, either, and it took fifteen years before I discovered that's because it's been in a vault since the Islamic Revolution.

Did coming up with a plausible story as to why my Magritte print is virtually unknown increase the likelihood it's a licensed print? Not at all. But it gave it a story. It increased the provenance of my print in my eyes, which makes it easier to convince my friends. There's a willful suspension of disbelief in a lot of art. This is due in no small part to the intellectual property value being imperfectly transmuted to the physical property value. I've got a little Banksy, too - purchased by a friend for me out of a shop in Gaza where it was made under license by Palestinians. Banksy, whoever he or they are, has likely never even seen it. But I get to tell my friends about my Banksy.

And any friend who disputes my Magritte isn't going to get invited to my parties anymore. I'm never going to use it to influence public opinion. The authenticity or inauthenticity of that print will not, for my purposes, ever be used in any influence peddling, unlike forged news media.

I ended up reading a weird book when I was about 9 years old. It's about a poor kid whose sister is about to marry rich. His new in-laws have an art collection and the kid is poking around and finds something hidden. Turns out to be this rare sculpture reported stolen decades previously. So the kid steals it. Then to make things okay for his sister's in-laws, he whips out a forgery of it in shop class before fencing it. In-laws are happy, kid buys his mom a house, sister gets married, everyone lives happily ever after. Aside, of course, from the crushing moral weight of committing theft in the interest of lifting your family out of poverty.

    "Anyone who believes he can buy a real Giacometti for €20,000 deserves to be duped. The art world is rotten."

The guy buying a Giacometti for €20,000 probably knows it's fake, too. But he's got plausible deniability - after all, he didn't fake it. And so long as his friends are impressed, he's good to go.

I wouldn't own a Giacometti. I'm fond of my Magritte. And at least I know it's a reproduction of an actual Magritte that I'll probably never see, and neither will any of my friends.

That's true.

And until I see other candidates my money is on a Musk/Bezos like character to accomplish that goal.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I want to believe.

I do. I've been a fan of space and all the science fictiony- science facty shit that entails since long before you were born. But I went to my first launch and it let me truly see the problem for the first time.

Let's say Elon Musk builds his launch gun. Let's assume he builds it for free. Let's assume he's also cornered the market on solar energy such that he can sell it for 6 cents per kilowatt hour. And he's managed to get someone else to pay for the panels, too, so that's also free. Finally, let's presume that he's figured out a way to 3D-print anything he wants out of air, also for free. Our cost per kilo to LEO, presuming Zeus himself gifted Elon the whole fuckin' apparatus, is 225 kW/H x .06 = $13.50 per kilo.

For starters, this hopefully illustrates what kind of prime-grade weed Elon is smoking when he says he can get Falcon Heavy launches down to $20/kilo. But it also means that lofting the 408,000 kg International Space Station is gonna cost about $5.5 million dollars. That gives you a pressurized volume of about 32,000 cubic feet, or basically a quonset hut. You can keep six people alive.

For five and a half million dollars, all else being free, cheapest, most optimistic possible conditions, you can play space volleyball. Or, you could if you had two teams instead of one.

But disregard that. What can you do in space that you can't do cheaper on the ground? You wanna see a depressing Wikipedia article? Here you go. It starts off with "During the Soyuz 6 mission of 1969, Russian astronauts performed the first welding experiments in space" and makes its way to "Research and development is required to determine the best commodities to be produced, and to find efficient production methods. The following products are considered prospective early candidates." Fifty fuckin' years, yo. We've been attempting to justify our presence in space for fifty fuckin' years and the best we can do is "look, insulin crystals are bigger."

So the question then becomes why. WHY go to space. Okay, so that if a big fuckin' asteroid wipes out Earth we're still kickin' it on Mars. But even my Tooth Fairy Express is $14 to get a can of beans to LEO and the only justification I have to launch beans at low earth orbit is "fear of asteroids."

ULA can get a Delta II up for $164m. Elon Musk puts a Falcon 9 at $62m. Go Elon! Let's put his pricing at 30% what the Bad Guys can do. So if a return manned mission to Mars is $230 billion that means that Elon can do it for $70b.

And that's one mission to Mars and back, no interplanetary manufacturing capability, no waystations at the Lagrange points, nothing sexy like that. And all that sexy shit? Yeah, you need that before you're mining asteroids.

I want to believe. I do. But this here gravity well is so very much deeper than most people really want to grapple with. Yeah, LEO is 90% of the way to anywhere in the universe but it's also 10 times as fast as a bullet. Bullets the size of Volkswagens require office buildings worth of high explosives to get up to speed. And if it isn't an office building worth of high explosive, it's a thunderous amount of energy some other way, and it's not going to get anywhere near cheap enough when our cost-cutting measures are things like "land the first stage."

I want to believe.

But the more I've learned, the harder it is.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I want to believe.

    But the more I've learned, the harder it is.

Behold, the story of my experience with religion and optimism.

Regarding space in specific and why I think Elon being petty on twitter is basically irrelevant.

1. Existential risk reduction is worth it. Convince me otherwise and you will also have convinced me to give a shit what a billionaire says on twitter. If he's the guy who manages to make us a multi-planet species, he could say all kinds of nasty things on twitter and I would still go into debt to buy a Tesla and thank him for the privilege.

2. You gave a number of $5.5 million to put 6 people in orbit. There are individuals to whom $5.5 million is essentially no money. The optimism I do have relies on the fact that, historically, people who accumulate great wealth are often given to massive expenditures for the sake of ego. This yacht sold for $458 million. At the $5.5 million per half dozen rate, that's over 400 individuals in orbit, or some amount of crew rotation. I have to assume that there is some economy of scale at work too. The point I am making is that titanic amounts of money are spent on useless bullshit anyway, let's spend some of it on useless bullshit that might propel us into a proper space age, and ego-driven billionaires are the ones most likely to do that.

3. Yeah, there is a substantial amount of learning to do, things to find out before we go colonizing other planets or even set up an industrial base outside of our gravity well. And I don't see any way to learn those lessons other than to try. The Wright brothers didn't get it the first try and I bet whoever sets out to start mining asteroids first is going to make mistakes too. But we don't get to just let our spark die out here on this rock.

Edit 4. We are really talking past each other here. My point is that I think ego driven billionaires are the ones most likely to spend the money required to give us even the slimmest possible chance of being a multi planet species eventually. It appears that you want to talk about why that's impossible with regard to technical detail. I am talking about the motivations of actors with the resources to attempt the endeavor.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

First principles: We started this discussion with you:

    If this or Bezos or a similar character is what is required to make us a multi-planet species, so be it.

    I don't see anybody else making an effort.

You are declaring that Elon Musk can say whatever he wants to say because he's our best bet at a "multi-planet species." And look - sure, Elon Musk can be as much of an asshole as he wants. Most robber barons were. But simple practical science says "multi-planet species" is hella harder than Elon Musk or you think it is - yet you still proclaim yourself a pessimist ("Behold, the story of my experience with religion and optimism").

Sure - if I triangulate to a future where it costs effectively nothing to get into space, I can loft a habitat for six dudes for a million dollars a piece. What you're studiously, deliberately, obviously missing is the core of the argument: what are they gonna do there? 'cuz I can get six dudes from Home Depot for a helluvalot less to do whatever I need. Six dudes in orbit can't even mow my lawn... unless my lawn is in space. We're having a hard time getting people to colonize Alaska let alone the Moon or whatever and the air in Alaska is eminently breathable. Rich dudes who want to spend a million dollars? Yeah, they exist. Rich dudes who want to spend ten thousand times that to go to Arizona-in-near-Vacuum? Smaller pool.

I've never been to the Monaco Yacht Show. It would be awesome to go someday. I have been to the International Space Developer's Conference and I can testify with authority as to the unseriousness of the affair. There were tickets available at the last minute to ride their ex-Soviet vomit comet, flown in special for the fete... and there weren't enough people willing to drop $5k for a few minutes of weightlessness to warrant coming back the next year. This is your potential pool of Mars-going billionaires.

It's not the learning. It's the economic justification. Columbus didn't land on Haiti to Boldly Go, he did it because he was looking for a faster trade route. Pizarro didn't conquer the Incas for god and country, he did it for gold.

I know what your point is. I've known all along. What you're steadfastly refusing to hear is that "ego-driven billionaires" aren't near rich enough to succeed. Read my lips: Musk can't pull it off.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Read my lips: Musk can't pull it off.

I mostly agree with you. The smart money and my own pessimism (Let's say recovering pessimist) are in agreement on that. There is a chance, however slim, that he pulls it off and a random rock floating through the system will no longer mean the flash-annihilation of the whole biosphere.

I still don't see anybody else trying. The guys riding, or not riding, the vomit comet for funsies are not the folks I imagine funding a moon base or floating shipyard/refinery or the ones I'd imagine going to Mars. When I say a Musk or Bezos like character that's really the type of individual I am talking about to fund/organize such a venture. That smaller pool you referenced. As far as the 'what are they going to do up there?' problem, I am hedging my bets that there is economic incentive in mining asteroids. As an example, there could be a small station that refines hydrogen/hydrazine from dirty snowballs and will top-up your satellite for a fraction of the cost of sending a refueling mission from deep in the gravity well. I definitely think that there is not enough information to completely rule out the idea that there is value to be found outside of that well.

When he fails you are welcome to rub all the salt you want in every bloody wound you can find. I already ate crow when Mars One was exposed, I'm used to the taste.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

My fear is that the only obvious, expedient use case for space is military. Our advances in manned spaceflight were all proxy warfare with a rival power; our vehicles and methods of manned spaceflight are all military derivatives. Except, of course, SpaceX, which is now launching NRO payloads.

The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

OftenBen  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's entertaining to me that I'm the pessimist on this discussion and the optimist on the other one.

I feel the same.

    The way forward in manned spaceflight looks a lot like the cold war.

It's a possibility that it's the only way forward. I would love to see alternatives. I have not.

Devac  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    presuming Zeus himself gifted Elon the whole fuckin' apparatus

Seeing how he didn't see any problems with walking on the surface of Europa, he might as well be godlike. All fields perish that skim that dreadful king.

OftenBen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Book Discussion: A Canticle for Leibowitz

Not looking for a fight, but a question.

Do you have a pre-written piece addressing your disdain for Asimov? The ease with which you diss on him is actually kind of interesting to me.

kleinbl00  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·  
OftenBen  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Book Discussion: A Canticle for Leibowitz

    This book is going to stick with me for a while, but not for the reasons I thought...

It's a great and terrible read for this reason.

Worth a re-read after some chewing in my opinion. I appreciated it more the second time through.