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Judging from all the “that’s Yahoo” replies, it seems like many people have forgotten the difference between a directory and a search engine?

A directory is an organized list of websites (e.g. Yahoo, DMOZ, ooh.directory), while a search engine usually searches the text of web pages (e.g. Google).

I want a *search engine* that crawls and searches pages from a curated whitelist of websites (which could be a directory). Marginalia is the closest I’ve seen. search.marginalia.nu/

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@andybaio Also of note, the search engine is open source and comes with a guide for if you would like to build your *own* searchable curated list of actually-good sites.

wiby.me/about/guide.html

> The search engine is not meant to index the entire web and then sort it with a ranking algorithm. It prefers to seed its index through human submissions made by guests, or by the guardian(s) of the search engine.

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i think my least favourite product of social media is the process by which things that already have a good, strong name that people just don't use are given a cutesy harmless name like "nepo babies" and "cronyism".

It's nepotism and corruption. Call it what it is. Don't let them whitewash it into a cute faddy term so they can flush it away with yesterday's headlines.

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Long thread/5 

Capital's greatest weapon in this battle is #inevitabilism, sometimes called #CapitalistRealism, summed up with #FredericJameson's famous quote "It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism" (often misattributed to #Žižek). A simpler formulation can be found in the doctrine of #MargaretThatcher: "There Is No Alternative," or even #Dante's "#AbandonHope all ye who enter here."

5/

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2024: Google is redefining search once again with a revolutionary feature — adding "noads" to your query only returns pages that don't have ads, completely eliminating the unreliable and slow AI-generated pages that dominate competitors’ results. The same experience is available by searching from a special landing page at noads.google.com, which features a no-frills design reminiscent of the iconic google.com landing page of the past.

2025: Carefully vetted advertising partners will have the option to participate in ads+, and have their links placed on the same page as noads search results. These sponsored results will be clearly labeled and totally unobtrusive! Websites participating in Google’s partners+ program can include the same unobtrusive advertisements from ads+ partners, and still have their pages appear in noads search results.

2026: Due to the overwhelming popularity of noads.google.com, Google is placing modest limits on free access to the popular service. As long as you’re signed on with your Google account, you can still get ads-free pages up to five times per day — more than enough for most users. Unlimited access is unlocked with Search+, available at a low cost of 5¢ per 100 searches (minimum $1.50 per month).

Etc.

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People worry a lot about losing knowledge — about "burned-down libraries".

Comparatively few people seem to worry about what happens if you take a billion books full of auto-generated, often-untrue junk text and *add* them all to the library.

In theory, nothing is lost. In reality, everything is lost, because nothing useful can now be found.

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@jacqueline so ChatGPT is a falsehood engine. It is designed to lie. GPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer, which is to say:
Generative means it makes shit up
Pretrained means that it plagiarizes a huge database of shit
Transformer means it permutes the shit until it passes a plausibility metric

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As I’d alluded to before, this is of course the very nihilation of sense that Borges foresaw in “The Library of Babel.” By far the better part of the cost of acquiring knowledge will soon consist either in deploying the forensic skills necessary to distinguish between contending alternative accounts of fact, or (where possible, and of course it won't always be) reproducing that knowledge locally, empirically, from scratch.

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While we’re on the subject of things that make me uneasy: I strongly suspect that we’re on the lip of a GAN-driven epistemic abyss, in which going forward, the only remotely reliable assertions about reality will be those committed to analog media prior to early 2023. Published methods, procedures, bodies of law – it will soon be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the true text from a very large number of superficially plausible spurious interpolations.

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There are people who want to enforce ethics via software licenses. It's probably better to implement ethics as part of a code of conduct (or some other similar statement).

Unethical people (and even organizations) will ignore a license (and some already do). But a project can choose to ignore someone who doesn't follow a code of conduct or other stated guidelines.

(You can't stop someone from using software, except via DRM or legal inspections, and these are definitely not solutions for FOSS.)

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Reminder that whatever you store on an internet site will one day vanish, even if it's stored on the largest and richest site in the world:

"Myspace, the once mighty social network, has lost every single piece of content uploaded to its site before 2016, including millions of songs, photos and videos with no other home on the internet."

theguardian.com/technology/201

Please don't rely on internet services to exist forever, they will all disappear eventually.

Try to store copies of important stuff offline if you can. Music, video, photos etc can all be stored locally.

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ai bullshit 

something that really reveals the whole story is the fact that while there is no end to the discourse around automating the work of programming or writing or illustrating, no one brings up the possibility of automating the "work" of shareholders, hedge fund managers or corporate executives. and these are much easier to automate because all they do is take in information gathered by others and choose from a set of options presented to them, at enormous cost.

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Some Pride discourse reminders 

As we're headed into pride discourse season and you start seeing the same bullshit as the past few years remember a couple key things:
*The discourse is 100% driven by the fash pipeline no matter the entry point, assimilationism/ terfs/ evangelicals it all leads back to fascism and white supremacy

*It is designed to anger, frustrate, exhaust, and demoralize those that have done the work and prey on the fear and insecurity of those without community, they use our frustration as an example of what they will do to them

*You can only plant seeds of doubt in their minds, you can't argue them out of their beliefs. Deprogramming takes months, years, repeated exposure, people they love and respect and even experts in this are struggling to combat what we're seeing now

*Community over discoursing. Block freely and early. Protect yourself and your kin.

*Your only job is to survive to thrive. You are important. You matter. You need to be here tomorrow. You need to allow yourself rest, to find pockets of joy to refuel yourself. Your existence is resistance.

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every two weeks i go on ebay and look at new-ish thinkpads. but i never hit 'buy'. because really i don't want a new thinkpad. i want to keep using my x200s. i love the x200s. the whole 'looking at new laptops' thing. it's just deflection. what i actually want is for fucking everybody to stop putting a quantity of javascript onto every web page that unrolls into billions of CPU cycles worth of shit to deal with just to show A Content

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a lot of grumbling about real name policies 

@trysdyn the idea of identity as being something immutable, assigned to you is awful

imagine thinking that a name given to you before you could even physically develop an identity, has more meaning than one you choose for yourself

or that how you physically look, by happenstance of genetics and physical circumstance, says anything about you

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a lot of grumbling about real name policies 

Was reading a, frankly, giant load of crap from someone in favor of real-name policies on social networking. Their main point was that "real identities" forge "real connections" while anonymity forges fake ones.

...and to vee this shows the terrible terrible misunderstanding people in favor of these policies use as a foundation for their beliefs. To them it's completely unconscionable that someone might exist, interact, and live as a self-created identity rather than an assigned one. That a self-created identity might be even more real, more identifying, and more important than the name that exists on a laminated card.

I could use my legal name but, in truth, you'd find that far less useful for identifying vee than my chosen one. It's not far from a John or Jane Smith.

Largely this comes from the people making these calls living an existence where they never need to, or perhaps need to but never do, stop and think about what about their identity they'd change if they could just decide to do so.

Tech tries to lampshade this with meritocratic trash like "You who are doesn't matter, what you've done is your identity", but we all know that's a load too.

Ultimately if someone digs in and starts dinging these points, those making them usually just throw their hands up and say "Well it's not PROFESSIONAL to use a self-created identity". Good. My deliberate lack of professionalism is a defense mechanism against the encroaching grasp of capitalism trying to turn vee into either a product or an advertising vector. That's part of why it's considered unacceptable too.

If I have something to offer and I'm turned down because I use a self-created identity, there is no situation in which I would have wanted to continue offering what I have anyway. It goes hand in hand with the "Why did you join a tech chat with a furry avatar?" thing. Well first because I ain't paying Discord $8 for the privilege of not, and second because if you can't handle even the adjacent twinge of knowing I run under an assumed, furry-adjacent identity, I don't want to give you my effort and labor.

This being unprofessional is the point and a bonus.

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I sometimes feel like TERFs are actually angry at trans people because they have a miserable lives as women and don't want anyone else have a happy life as one.

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If you're using Windows 10 and your VPN suddenly breaks after a Windows Update it might be due to Windows Update KB5022282 that came out this month, check your update history and uninstall it and the VPN should start working again

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Dragon Style

I'm a grumpy queer dragon lady and this is my quiet cave for me and some friends.