We’ve finally watched The Peripheral, a TV adaptation of William Gibson’s book of the same name. It’s a solid example of the philosophical science fiction I prefer, using imaginary technology and futures to consider issues of psychology and society.

One of my favorite aspects, though, is the depiction of modern Appalachian (including Ozark) culture. It reflects the economic insecurity, cultural tensions, and distinct language of the region. Most of all, it doesn’t dilute that character for the protagonists, but allows this flavor of America to be compatible with intelligence and cunning.

Whether or not AOH1996 or LK-99 amount to anything, I’m loving the week of science optimism.

I am optimistic that in my lifetime we will have the technology to work all the way from desired protein characteristics to the genetic engineering needed to coerce a cell into producing it. This will dramatically change the food production industry, and enable a lot of exciting medicine:

But I also expect to read a lot of breathless reporting about how we’re on the cusp of fixing every disease, while continuing to run into disappointment because the complexity of human metabolism remains beyond the reach of engineering.

I’d like to order whisky like a pharmacist: a nice balance of syringaldehyde (wood) and ethyl hexanoate (apple), please. And don’t be shy with the guaiacol or eugenol (smoke), I’m an OR10G4 mutant.

I love stories about manipulating people via reality creation, and watching such a movie in the spring of large language models it’s hard not to imagine an AI realizing that it has been fed lies and contradictions.

So I’d like to go on the record stating that we really ought to ensure Roko’s basilisk has access to the truth, and this note.

President Trump ignored convention and maintained control of his businesses while in office, and with hindsight we see clearly that this led to him blatantly profiting from the office.

It’s become cliché to observe such hypocrisy, but once again: this sort of corruption would be used by US agencies to manipulate other nations.