1. 58
  1.  

  2. 25

    Zenyep Tufekci said, “[T]oo many worry about what AI—as if some independent entity—will do to us. Too few people worry what power will do with AI.” (The thread starts with a result that, in some circumstances, face recognition can effectively identify protesters despite their efforts to cover distinguishing features with scarves, etc.)

    And, without really having to have tech resembling AI, what they can do can look like superhuman abilities looked at right. A big corporation doesn’t have boundless intelligence but it can hire a lot of smart lawyers, lobbyists, and PR and ad people, folks who are among the best in their fields, to try and shift policy and public opinion in ways that favor the sale of lots of guns, paying a lot for pharmaceuticals, use of fossil fuels, or whatever. They seem especially successful shifting policy in the U.S. recently, with the help of recent court decisions that free some people up to spend money to influence elections (and the decisions further back that established corps as legal people :/).

    With recent/existing tech, companies have shown they can do new things. It’s cheap to test lots of possibilities to see what gets users to do what you want, to model someone’s individual behavior to keep them engaged. (Here’s Zenyep again in a talk on those themes that I haven’t watched.) The tech giants managed to shift a very large chunk of ad spending from news outlets and other publishers by being great at holding user attention (Facebook) or being smarter about matching people to ads than anyone else (Google), or shift other spending by gatekeeping what apps you can put on a device and taking a cut of what users spend (Apple with iOS), or reshape market after market with digitally-enabled logistics, capital, and smart strategy (Amazon). You can certainly look forward N years to when they have even more data and tools and can do more. But you don’t really even have to project out to see a pretty remarkable show of force.

    This is not, mostly, about the details of my politics, nor is it to suggest silly things like that we should roll back the clock on tech; we obviously can’t. But, like, if you want to think about entities with incredible power that continue to amass more and how to respond to them, you don’t have to imagine; we have them right here and now!

    1. 3

      Too few people worry what power will do with AI.

      More specifically, the increasingly police statey government.

    2. 8
      1. 6

        Story of Your Llfe and Other Stories is fantastic; I highly recommend it.

        Story of Your Life is the short story on which Arrival was based. I heard the movie did an okay job of adapting it, though I didn’t get a chance to see it. From what I heard they made the story a bit more…fantastical…than the short story.

        1. 2

          The movie did what Hollywood does when it encounters a science fiction story - it dumbed it down, and contorted key plot points in a way that is less than satisfying to those who’ve read the story.

          I honestly don’t know if a straight up screenplay adaptation would actually work though.

          1. 6

            I try to consider film adaptations as completely separate entities. Maybe that’s why I found Arrival thoroughly enjoyable. My favourite sci-fi movie in quite a while. I recently watched it for the second time, and to my surprise it hit me just as hard, perhaps even harder knowing what was coming.

            1. 3

              “I try to consider film adaptations as completely separate entities.”

              BOOM! You and me both. That’s the secret to not getting mad. Just a whole different universe with some superficial similarities. Plus, I judge books and movies with different standards because the mediums are different.

            2. 3

              The screenwriter of the movie explains why he made those changes in this podcast: http://www.theqandapodcast.com/2016/11/arrival-q.html

              Honestly, I love both the book and the movie for different reasons, totally agree with @alva.

              1. 1

                Well, I’m glad it happened because it was one of most interesting and original-feeling movies that year. Guess I should try to read the story sometime, too, if it was even better.

                1. 3

                  I think the movie was great and have read the story, but read it after seeing the movie. It’s not my favorite story in the book. Worth checking out the rest of them too.

                  1. 2

                    Just to be clear - I really enjoyed the movie myself. I didn’t make it clear enough in my post that I was voicing the opinions of other sci-fi fans around me.

                    I look forward to reading the statement from the screenwriter that someone posted to this thread, because there are aspects that really made me wonder why they made the choices they did, but all in all the movie made it possible for the multitudes to get to experience this story which is a win no matter how you slice it.

            3. 6

              On eBay, when a seller tries to sell unpopular crap, they often put in the headline how it’s not some other popular item. This makes it come up in search and grab extra attention.

              “Kodak Instamatic NOT NIKON” “Original BIC ballpoint pen not parker”

              This is basically the same kind of headline. An old rant at capitalism disguised as tech piece.

              1. 3

                Ford taurus, not mustang Ferrari skyline Camaro commodore, falcon, gt, cobra

              2. 8

                Buzzfeed? Is this truly the path we want to follow?

                1. 16

                  I admit it felt a bit weird to submit it, but I did it anyway because I think Ted Chiang is a good writer and found it a good read, regardless of publisher.

                  1. 10

                    Buzzfeed has some good writers with some well thought out pieces. It’s not all the stereotyped stuff.

                    They did an excellent recollection of the AUMF enactment after 9/11 that’s very much worth the read. “60 words and a war without end”.

                    1. 15

                      What BuzzFeed does nowadays is that the clickbait “what Disney character are you” chaff revenue from ads and such funds serious ventures in journalism. It’s a good idea for a business model; keep the clickbait because it makes money, just keep it away from the actual content.

                    2. 19

                      At one time you could only read Fahrenheit 451 in Playboy. Look beyond the publisher.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451#Publication_history

                      Edit: Got my facts slightly twisted and I’ve updated this comment for correctness, see https://lobste.rs/s/o5lldd/real_danger_civilization_isn_t_ai_it_s#c_fjiau2

                      1. 4

                        Buzzfeed is no Playboy.

                        1. 2

                          I’m not sure if you’re advocating for Buzzfeed or Playboy here :)

                        2. 4

                          Uhm, Fahrenheit 451 was published as a paperback in October 1953 (an extension of a short story published in 1951). The first issue of Playboy was published in December 1953.

                          How did so many people upvote an incorrect comment?

                          1. 4

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451#Publication_history

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVzc67YuRQE

                            I did get my facts (slightly) twisted, but regardless: Playboy published Fahrenheit 451 shortly after it was available in book form which ultimately supports my original argument: Don’t judge content by its publisher.

                        3. 8

                          “Judge the content, not the source.”

                          The opposite of ad hominem makes a good default. We might make exceptions for sources prone to bullshit or low-value material just to save time. Even so, we must keep in mind that rule for convenience might filter out something they publish that’s more interesting. Like this.

                        4. 6

                          Buzzfeed articles lack the substance and depth I like to see here, and sadly this one is no exception. No code, no links, just clickbait speculation.

                          (Also this should’ve been tagged culture.)

                          1. 10

                            It isn’t speculation, it’s a description of the epicenter of our industry’s most powerful region and culture. We should always remind ourselves we have responsibility outside the grey box. I enjoyed the article and hope to see more.

                            1. 5

                              It’s a bunch of anti-capitalist fearmongering with a little AI rubbed on it to get clicks from techies like us.

                              Examples:

                              What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it.

                              Who adopts a scorched-earth approach to increasing market share?

                              Then I realized that we are already surrounded by machines that demonstrate a complete lack of insight, we just call them corporations.

                              This attitude of treating the rest of the world as eggs to be broken for one’s own omelet could be the prime directive for an AI bringing about the apocalypse.

                              There are very valid criticisms of both capitalism and future issues regarding AI.

                              This is not one of them.

                              1. 3

                                I actually agree with the friendly angry sock here in that what the article has to provide in concrete is fairly milquetoast, but I think that the underlying premise is the real value in the work; essentially inverting the power in otherwise detached fantasy to more closely match reality. It caught a lot of peoples’ eyes and in that it’s pretty clever.

                                1. [Comment removed by author]

                                  1. 1

                                    I dunno, it lacks spice, and flavor.

                                    1. 2

                                      garlic milk toast

                          2. 4

                            Free trade is not a force for evil. It’s what people do when given the freedom to do so. Bad people with power will make bad-faith deals. Bad people with power will be worse for the common folk when they use men with guns to dictate who buys what from whom.

                            1. 14

                              How about you take a look at history and see what reality has to say about “Free trade is not a force for evil”. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher all repeatedly bare themselves as nothing more than Hell unleashed on humanity. While you are looking, it is also easy to see how stupidly self-contradicting the mechanisms of the market are, working in all its power to eliminate the laborers that built it, or how inhumane capitalism is when given the power to do as it pleases.

                              To put it plainly: The market doesn’t give a fuck if you starve. The market doesn’t care what’s “right”. Its only will is to increase profits. And to increase profits it must increase productivity. And to increase productivity is to reduce the amount of labor required to create commodities. To reduce the amount of socially necessary labor is to create a surplus population of laborers. And routinely when asked what to do with a surplus population of laborers, which the market is fully capable of feeding and housing, the market has nothing to tell but “Die.”

                              Keynes’ solution to the self-destructive and inhumane tendencies of the market has obviously and miserably failed and what lays ahead for the market is little answer to intrinsic cycles of crisis from irreconcilable logical inconsistencies in the workings of credit, speculation, and trade itself but the horrific answer of austerity, whose handiwork can be found begging on the street, starving in the global south, and praying for hours in horrifically underpaying and inconsistent gig work through the most “Free” of all segments of the market, the domain of Uber, Lyft, and co, the internet.

                              The logic of the market, in some fantasy world, could possibly not hurt anyone. That fantasy world has eluded us, and it shows no sign of surfacing on the horizon. The fact of reality is that, when laid bare over history, the market is the force of destitution, alienation, and environmental destruction. And this is within its nature, as a force of history.

                              1. 7

                                To put it plainly: The market doesn’t give a fuck if you starve. The market doesn’t care what’s “right”.

                                But that isn’t putting it plainly. You’re anthropomorphizing the market in terms of only negative qualities. What is that supposed to tell me? I don’t know.

                                Its only will is to increase profits.

                                Looking beyond your language, this is trivially incorrect, which suggests your characterization of “the market” needs revision. For example, the other day, I traded an old computer monitor for someone’s spare space heater. Who profited? Answer: both of us. The “market” isn’t zero sum; both people involved in a trade can win, and trade is the fundamental thing on which a market is built.

                                Now… If you said something like, “a large firm’s only will is to increase profits” then maybe that’s OK. I could quibble over it, sure, but I do think it’s a fine first approximation. But this isn’t a fundamental truth that exists in all transactions in a market.

                                The logic of the market, in some fantasy world, could possibly not hurt anyone.

                                Online socio-poltical debate 101: the lowest form of criticism to lodge against a particular type of human organization is to pretend that its proponents think it is a panacea. (As a corollary, the lowest form of praise of a particular type of human organization is to pretend that it is a panacea.)

                                How about you take a look at history […]

                                Indeed. If you look at human history over the last few millennia, you’ll see destruction, genocide, slavery, rape, pillaging and so on. Were free markets around for all of that? No, no, I don’t think so. Does this imply free markets are somehow good? No, but it certainly implies that it isn’t the source of evil either.

                                Do we have it better today than we did 500 years ago? Seems like there’s an uncontroversial answer to that question: yes. What’s changed? More enlightened government? Technological progress? The ability to freely associate? Systems of currency? Increases in literacy rates? Overall increase in education? More interconnectedness? Better scientific understanding of the world around us? Who’s to say. But I know one thing: we’re still fundamentally the same sacks of meat that we were back then, and we did awful awful things even when there was no Evil Free Trade.

                                So what does this tell use about free trade? Honestly? Not much. But it certainly doesn’t lead us to your conclusions either. It says that there is more to the story.

                                The fact of reality is that, when laid bare over history, the market is the force of destitution, alienation, and environmental destruction. And this is within its nature, as a force of history.

                                You could basically replace the word “market” with “government” or even “humans” and the criticism would still be correct. This suggests your criticism is so vague as to be useless.

                                1. 1

                                  You’re trying to ascribe human traits onto the market!

                                  I’m doing the exact opposite. I’m describing the qualities of the market which are specifically inhumane, a market which currently fails regularly to feed millions of people around the world, while more than enough food is produced to do so. Explain that to me, please.

                                  Some irrelevant BS about simple commodity exchange

                                  Ah yes, the market. Which is when I trade Pokemon cards with my mates. My mind has changed about global poverty. Thank you for your sage input.

                                  While you’re busy with your masturbatory hypotheticals and idiotic pedantry, the world exists outside your self-absorbed bubble, where capital accumulation functions, and businesses that don’t grow, die. When I say “logic of the market” I do not mean “this is what the barterer thinks” and I don’t know how you could not understand this. I’m describing the logic of a large-scale system, which can be observed through history, going back to simple commodity production and simple exchange, which (surprise) all flourished into a global system of generalized commodity production, where capital accumulation is centerplace.

                                  Well I don’t think markets and their ideology are perfect, how dare you insinuate this!

                                  So you admit that the current productive organization regularly starves and brutalizes the lower working class. That’s good.

                                  Free markets weren’t even around for all of that other bad stuff throughout history!

                                  Mostly, they were. Generalized commodity production and “capitalism” insofar as a system of capital accumulation didn’t exist until recently but simple exchange and commodity production have existed for an extremely long time, going back to even the earliest of civilizations. And where you find systems of commodities, you’ll find class and class society. And here, you’ll find that crime is concentrated in destitute lower classes, that wars are mostly waged by and for upper classes (whatever form they take), and that ideological systems nearly always directly reflect individuals’ productive orientation and relationship within society, which massively changed along the timing of each industrial revolution.

                                  But… it’s not capitalism’s fault! You’re blaming all of this on capitalism it’s so unfair! Markets do so much for us you’re so ungrateful! People just always do bad things!

                                  What a pitiful excuse.

                                  My critique is grounded in a rigorous analysis of history, and nothing else. If I was interested in an ideology trying to find boogeymen of things I simply don’t like, I’d be an anarchist instead. I don’t think that restructuring our productive organization would suddenly fix every problem we have. However I do, among other things, think that it’d probably be massively beneficial for solving the problems of massive destitute surplus populations and organizing labor for what would otherwise be considered unprofitable activity. Now is a better time than ever, as the global banking systems run out of steam, and the economy sits in low flight, where participants are unprepared for the next bust to inevitably hit. I highly recommend the piece I had linked in the post above. I should’ve drawn more attention to it, and I’d hope at least some invest the hour or so it’d take reading it to absorb the work that was put into it.


                                  I would continue editing and adding to this response but I feel I’ve worked on it for quite some time now, I’ll just post it as I have now and leave it to other participants to bring any mistakes in it to my attention.

                                  1. 5

                                    So… You misrepresented[1] every single one of my points while simultaneously being a gigantic asshole. Good for you.

                                    EDIT: [1] - To clarify, I basically agree with several aspects of your rebuttals. There is perhaps not as much conflict between my comment and yours as you might think. Of course, there is vast conflict between the straw men you’ve set up (and even quoted, as if I wrote it verbatim, which is an asshole thing to do) and your response.

                                    1. -1

                                      I simply wrote what I read. Please correct me where I’m wrong.

                                      1. 3

                                        Please correct me where I’m wrong.

                                        diff <(my comment) <(quotes in your comment)

                                        (I am not going to write more just so you can continue to misrepresent and twist my words. If you want something from me, then you need to show a bit more good faith.)

                                2. 2

                                  I look at history, and I see many terrible events. I also see a pretty solid correlation of centralised control of prices and production, with terrible outcomes for the people.

                                  The answer to people starving isn’t controlling the market, it’s taxation and (some form of) welfare.

                                  The answer to environmental destruction isn’t controlling the market, it’s using those men-with-guns to put people in cages when they cause it.

                                  The market will adjust to that environment, and prices will change accordingly.

                                  1. 0

                                    Did a quick google for history. Love what I’ve seen from being told what to buy and make. Sign me up.

                                  2. 4

                                    Yeah, capitalism is fueled by people making consensual trades. I’m not saying it couldn’t get extremely ugly when powered by AI, but not as ugly as a superintelligence completely unconstrained by human values. I wish people wouldn’t try to help sell their own issues by framing AI risk as an absurdity.

                                    It’s strange because I think Ted Chiang does understand the risk. I find both where our current society is heading with the power of AI as it is and the strawberry picker pretty terrifying.

                                    edit: I say I think he understands because it seems clear from his story “Understand” in the stories of your life collection. He’s got another book that I haven’t read, “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” that deals with AI.

                                    1. 6

                                      Right. Moral arguments against capitalism are easily dismissed because they are a category mistake: capitalism is not in the category of moral systems.

                                      However, specific capitalist societies can be implicated, like neoliberal capitalism for example, which has a specific moral agenda.

                                      1. 1

                                        Yet, we can evaluate the outcomes of capitalism within any ethical system we choose. From a Nicomachean standpoint, we might ask what the purpose of capitalism is. From a utilitarian standpoint, we might start examining to see if it truly does provide the greatest good for the greatest number, etc.

                                        Economic systems are simply tools, like hammers. Using a hammer to drive in a nail and build a house is usually ethical. Using a hammer to murder someone is usually not. Then the real-world kicks in, and we have to start asking about using hammers to build prisons, or hammers to build gallows (under the authority of the state), or hammers to masturbate, and suddenly the ethical system we choose to evaluate the ethical implications of hammers is going to have a huge impact on how we draw conclusions about those questions.

                                        All this is to say that: you absolutely can make ethical arguments about capitalism.

                                        1. 2

                                          That’s not an ethical argument about capitalism, it is an ethical argument in which capitalism functions. The difference is subtle but not trivial. If we confuse capitalism with the ethical or moral system in which capitalism functions, then we risk concluding that capitalism is the problem, when in reality the ethical or moral systems are the problem. Of course, the function of capitalism within some moral system could be that it exacerbates the problems of the moral system, and I think this is the case with neoliberalism, but that does not mean capitalism is the problem, it means neoliberalism is the underlying problem and capitalism is not helping.

                                          1. 0

                                            I don’t think I quite follow your argument. If there’s a rash of hammer-based murders, the problem is not with the ethical system that tells me murder is wrong. It’s someplace between the hammer and the skull.

                                            1. 2

                                              Yes, and it is probably the skull, not the hammer; i.e. we should be looking into our mental health program. In this metaphor, the hammer is capitalism. So capitalism functions as the enabling weapon (the hammer), but the underlying problem is that our societal ethics are misaligned (we have been neglecting our mental health in society).

                                    2. 0

                                      Abundance will kill us all if our economic system isn’t equipped to manage inequality.

                                      1. -5

                                        Well, this is yet another big government puff piece.

                                        Corporations don’t operate autonomously, of course, and the humans in charge of them are presumably capable of insight, but capitalism doesn’t reward them for using it.

                                        I guess by “insight” he means “not being scumbags” or something.

                                        Actually, free market capitalism would reward people for not being scumbags. It’s just that now we have governments intervening in everything, making being productive / entrepreneurial increasingly difficult, and shielding their cronies from competition.

                                        No wonder bad stuff happens. Comcast can keep on being Comcast, and still roll in money, whereas in a free market it would have gone out of business ages ago, because people would have options, and wouldn’t need to take their shit at all.

                                        The proximate cause of every single one of our societal problems is government, one way or another, because all it does is coerce people to benefit the elites at everyone else’s expense.

                                        1. 10

                                          The proximate cause of every single one of our societal problems is government, one way or another, because all it does is coerce people to benefit the elites at everyone else’s expense.

                                          Could you please do me the mental gymnastics to explain how, for example, man made Climate Change is a “big government” caused issue? Or will you go down the usual libertarian route to simply deny it?

                                          Markets aren’t ideal, and starting from the assumption that they are, but blaming some “external” cause for it’s own deficiencies, is just intellectually dishonest. Nobody is going to claim that any government are perfect, but for some reason it’s acceptable to hail an economic abstraction as the ultimate solution. People aren’t utility optimising monadic individuals, they make irrational decision based on advertising, miscalculation, subjective preferences, etc. (and all of this would get worse with AI) but all of this doesn’t exist in the eyes of the market fundamentalist. Every decision the market “makes” has to be intrinsically right, just because it was “consentual”, while at the same time ignoring all the factors one didn’t get to choose? That’s hyper relativism if you ask me, and fundamentally contradicts reality, I’m sorry to say that.

                                          I don’t mean to insult anyone or start a flame war, but this kind of dogmatic nonsense just really annoys me.

                                          1. 0

                                            Could you please do me the mental gymnastics to explain how, for example, man made Climate Change is a “big government” caused issue?

                                            Is climate change a societal problem?

                                            1. 1

                                              The question was about “man manged climate change”. You’re doing it again, btw. The dishonest stuff, since your dogma is entirely in contradiction to reality.

                                              But back to man made climate change - of course it’s a social issue, since the problem is exact that the current social organisation produces industries and practices that are obviously harmful to the ecology of planet earth. How else would one want to do something against man made climate change, but socially? Naturally? Supernaturally? Via “the market”?

                                              1. 0

                                                The dishonest stuff, since your dogma is entirely in contradiction to reality.

                                                My “dogma” is essentially just that aggressing against people is immoral and should not be done. It’s not that complicated. The implications are massive though, and not seen at all by the masses.

                                                Governments are all about violating that principle, which is why they shouldn’t exist at all.

                                                It’s of course possible to scam someone in a free market, but a free market itself is essentially just people engaging in unhindered productive activities and unhindered voluntary exchanges.

                                                Here’s a Red Pill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngpsJKQR_ZE&t=8

                                          2. 6

                                            Actually, free market capitalism would reward people for not being scumbags.

                                            It’s doing it right now. They get away with being scumbags so long as (a) the benefits they provide are better than the competitions by some amount or (b) they cover up the way they’re being scumbags. The cartel effect you see in the market with things such as telecoms, car dealerships, and so on is (a) in action. They’re all greedy, destructive assholes since a lack of better alternatives within your geographic range boosts profits for all. For (b), that would be especially the food industry, drug industry, and much advertising combined with complicit or well-paid media. That covers up a lot of evil bullshit that directly improves the numbers of the companies involved. The mere existence of damaging leaks about big companies’ activities that doesn’t put them out of business supports my point here,

                                            Your big miss here is that both free market and government are reflections of human nature. They’ll both have good and bad depending on whose running the active entities and whose keeping them in check (or not). The “free market” isn’t magic: it’s people telling other people whatever they need to for money to change hands. Bullshit might get even more likely in markets more like that since businesses would come and go fast to point there’s hardly reputation. Even reputation services developing might be paid to be full of shit. Closest to those models are online black markets and competitive places with no I.P. protection such as Shenzhen. It is harder to find quality or safe products in those markets compared to my local market according to people experienced in [successfully] dealing with them. So, your claim doesn’t hold up under either human nature or real-world examples of unregulated markets. They were all extra evil with the physical markets often killing people.

                                            1. 0

                                              It’s doing it right now. [..] The cartel effect you see in the market with things such as telecoms

                                              You do know that telecoms are a state-maintained cartel in every country, don’t you?

                                              They get away with being scumbags so long as (a) the benefits they provide are better than the competitions by some amount or (b) they cover up the way they’re being scumbags.

                                              And what does “being a scumbag” mean there? Is it something you’d actually get away with in a world without governments?

                                              Your big miss here is that both free market and government are reflections of human nature.

                                              No they’re not. Governments are reflections of psychopathy. Actual humans have a vastly different nature.

                                              I’ll stop here.

                                              1. 0

                                                Just a little more..

                                                The “free market” isn’t magic: it’s people telling other people whatever they need to for money to change hands.

                                                That’s one way to put it, if you want to paint it in a negative light. Here’s another: the free market is people making voluntary exchanges, investments and agreements.

                                                For (b), that would be especially the food industry, drug industry, and much advertising combined with complicit or well-paid media. That covers up a lot of evil bullshit that directly improves the numbers of the companies involved.

                                                If you don’t think the bullshit they’re getting away with is enabled by the government, you’re not really familiar with the topic of free markets, or freedom in general.

                                                The “well-paid media” is run by the government too, and as you surely know, essentially just a propaganda outlet. Yes, it does cover up a lot of bullshit. In a free society, it wouldn’t even exist in its current form.

                                                Bullshit might get even more likely in markets more like that since businesses would come and go fast to point there’s hardly reputation

                                                Perhaps you’d only buy from established businesses with a good reputation, then? It’s not like those would be non-existent.

                                                Even reputation services developing might be paid to be full of shit.

                                                Sure, and if they were found out, people could just go beat their owners to a pulp for being scumbags. Without a government to protect scumbags, they’d think really carefully before engaging in scumbaggery.

                                              2. 4

                                                I guess by “insight” he means “not being scumbags” or something.

                                                I think he means what he laid out earlier:

                                                In psychology, the term “insight” is used to describe a recognition of one’s own condition, such as when a person with mental illness is aware of their illness. More broadly, it describes the ability to recognize patterns in one’s own behavior. It’s an example of metacognition, or thinking about one’s own thinking […]

                                                Which I suppose might be a requirement for not being a scumbag.