Been looking forward to the Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. I’ve had the original movie on every medium since VHS. And watched it at least 20 tines.
Stop here if you don’t want Age of Resistance spoilers.
Some things about episode one confuse me. AoR is billed as a prequel. That sets the expectation this is the same world. The same characters and species and related events. It should end the series setting the events of the original movie.
In that light, having watched just the first episode…
Where are the Mystics? They are linked to the Skeksis. When one dies their linked other also does. AoR presents the Skeksis as alien visitors who take the Crystal.
The Skeksis in the movie get sustenance from light. AoR makes it look like they used to do the same and switched to getting it from the gelflings which is why they got wiped out… erm… resisting. But, if they got wiped out, the Skeksis should have died out, but I guess they went back to getting it from Crystal?
The machines to suck out the gelfling essence cracked the Crystal. Which seems like setting up the explanation for the Crystal shard, except the movie says the creation of the shard created the Mystics and Skeksis.
Anyway, guess I need to finish watching to decide if they make more sense.
Since 2015, the idea of ending birthright citizenship has been on my radar. Those favoring anti-immigration, view the bestowal of citizenship on children of foreign citizens as a problem. In their mind, pregnant women are invading the United States specifically to have children and force the country to keep the parents. (It may delay, but the parents are still deported and the children either go with them or stay with a relative in the US.) I guess they think of birthright citizenship as a loophole to encouraging or allowing undesirable immigration.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The original intent was to make African-Americans citizens in a way that could not be legislated away by the Southern states. Prior to this, we were in the North but not in the South. It established across the board that we are.
The legal principle is called jus soli which means “right of the soil.” It primarily is something that exists in Western countries only restricting it from people who are working for a foreign government. The US Supreme Court allows the denying of it to foreign diplomats or enemy forces occupying our territory. The current issue has not been tested, so I wonder if this executive order is really to set up that test with a court more friendly to the idea of ending it.
The alternative is jus sanguinis which means “right of blood.” Citizenship is determined by the nationality of one or both parents (or permanent residency). This is what got the paranoid-schizophrenic diabetic man deported to Iraq where he had never lived. He was born in Greece who did not have birthright citizenship, so his was Iraqi. He grew up in the US, so he only spoke English. When the US deported him, he was sent to Iraq where he knew no one, had no access to medication, and soon died. Countries are moving towards restricted birthright citizenship to solve this problem of statelessness.
There is also restricted jus soli where a child born of a permanent resident for some time gains citizenship at birth or at a certain age. The United Kingdom, for example, has jus sanguinis but allows the children of legal immigrant settlers to become citizens at birth or upon the 10th birthday. Greece now allows the acquisition of citizenship by children if they attend school in the country for several years, but only 22% of applications are approved.
I guess this last is something to worry about in that whatever the new system is designed to be, the Devil is in the details. As it is, the rumored executive order is either FUD to open immigration advocates or a blessing to anti-immigration advocates.
This made me wonder about the possibilities of a better model.
Fifteen years into the Facebook era, it’s well established that people aren’t actually friends with the hundreds or thousands of Facebook friends they may have. They couldn’t be if they tried—research has found that there seems to be a limit to the number of social connections a human brain can manage. Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford, is the most famous proponent of this theory, and his estimate of 150—known as “Dunbar’s number”—is often cited as the (approximate) number of casual friends a person can keep track of. There are different Dunbar numbers for different levels of closeness—concentric circles, if you will. The smallest circle, of five friends, consists of someone’s most intimate friendships. One can keep track of 15 close friends, and 50 pretty close friends. Expanding out from the 150 casual friends, this research suggests that the brain can handle 500 acquaintances, and 1,500 is the absolute limit—“the number of faces we can put names to,” Dunbar writes.
I’ve mentally categorized them as:
Must Friends (support clique) : 5 people : a best friend, a member of your inner circle, a person you count on when something big happens in your life
Trust Friends (sympathy group) : 15 people : a friend who shows integrity, someone you feel comfortable with, that you’re always glad to see, but not in your inmost circle; perhaps someone you’d like to be closer to if you had the time or opportunity
Rust Friends (close friends) : 50 people : a person you’ve known for a long, long time; you’re probably not going to get any closer to that person unless something changes, but a part of your life
Just Friends (casual friends) : 150 people : a person you see — at a weekly poker game, at your child’s school — who is enjoyable company, but you have no desire to socialize outside a specific context or to get to know that person better
Acquaintances : 500 people
Facial Recognition : another 780 (bringing total up to 1,500)
The Facebook algorithm is already looking for how much we engage with individuals in order to decide which content to show us on the Newsfeed. By deciding which people are important to us, they are in effect, modeling the Dunbar theory for us. Just in the shadows without allowing us to veto or decide on it. Well, sort of, we have the options for “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances” which seem to be taken from Dunbar albeitly at the wrong levels.
It seems plausible that Facebook could formalize the model further by just adding three more levels. They could automatically mark people based on their interpretation of our behavior with the person. And then also allow us to override it by changing the mark. That could help Facebook understand our idealized state of the relationship to better improve the Newsfeed. People leave the service because of frustrations about what they see. For some, that is too much about acquaintances and not enough about close friends. (The algorithms are showing unwanted content based on misunderstanding the individual, who doesn’t understand how to like the correct things to optimize the Newsfeed.)
Then again, I am probably one of the few Homo Roboticus using social media who would appreciate this. Most people probably would find it overwhelming.
Got a message from a coworker that suggested I was in a video. Naturally, I am supposed to click on it, but it felt wrong. A quick Duck Duck Go search revealed it to be a virus.
Of all the things I can report, I cannot report this? It seems like Facebook should be able to detect this virus by now. What I can see of the link goes to a Facebook server: si-chao.cstools.facebook.com
So, at least the link to virus is on their servers enough that they could check.
Sociology has a concept of us holding multiple social roles. At home, I am both a husband and a father. With relatives, I am a son, nephew, or cousin. At work, I am a supervisee, mentor, subject matter expert, or organization historian. Things get a bit more undefined out in the wider world, but I hold social roles out there too.
Each of these social roles vary in the expectations of behavior. So, our behavior may vary depending on which role we are occupying at a given time. And, even more interesting is when we have to juggle multiple social roles AT THE SAME TIME for the first time. The more experience we attain at doing something, the better we get at figuring out the constraints and minefields in a situation.
The human brain devotes a large amount of processing to managing the information about the behavior of others to determine trust. And also ensuring our own behaviors are trustworthy. (You’ve read my prior stuff on Dunbar, right? 1, 2)
Perhaps part of the stress inducing nature of social media is the mixing of these social roles? A giant social network like Facebook means having a mix of relatives, coworkers, and friends mixing in the same spaces. People who come from different backgrounds, political viewpoints, education levels, interests, and levels of restraint. Navigating all this probably generates a ton of stress.
If so, then we need more segmentation.
Limit coworkers to more work appropriate social networks like LinkedIn.
Join topic groups and post content related to it there. To talk about politics, join groups that discuss it. (Be careful to avoid echo chamber groups.)
A private place to discuss more openly with friends. Maybe a private twitter account, a private Facebook group, group chat, etc.
A private place to discuss more openly with family.