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Yes. One might say that Hitler also took bold measures to achieve his goals, not just Mao.

The idea that real communism has never been properly tried is indeed part of the Zeitgeist, so it's not surprising it ends up in an LLM. It's not particularly designed to get things right, just to give you a summation of human thought on the subject. But it is interesting that the arguments are uneven. One could say that perfect capitalism has also never been tried. It is always some crony capitalism or hybrid with another form. Yet even deployed imperfectly it seems to have done a lot of good. In 19th C America, even the material well-being of slaves went up from 1800-1860. If a system can make your life slightly improved even when everyone around you either doesn't care or is trying to screw you over, you'd have to say that the system has at least some good things about it.

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May 7·edited May 7

Open AI has policies to limit “ politically inconvenient facts “ as per the mathematician fella.

Philosopher, Matthew B Crawford, put it perfectly in an interview with NS Lyons at the Upheaval substack:

“ the basic facts of our corporeal existence, our heteronomy, have to be kept out of view to sustain the liberal picture of the self-sovereign, unencumbered choosing self”

I am reading many very intelligent people at Substack and a picture is emerging. The mania that has gripped the liberal world is coming into focus for me. It’s early days but the nature of the belief system is becoming clear.

Professor Adrian Vermeule of the Post Liberal substack:

“ the common theory central to liberalism and it’s associated political movements is that liberty requires the throwing off of all unchosen constraints which the liberal counts as coercion and arbitrary oppression.”

The bad cat:

“reality is doggedly, refusing to conform to the liberal’s predictions and prescriptions.

The engine of the neoliberal revolution is Gnosticism, the phenomenon of believing one has special knowledge and it is as old as time immemorial.

The social sciences and the study of human psychology seem to have come to a conclusion; the time for debate is past and it is the appropriate application of power and force that will bring around a recalcitrant society; We are going to oppress you and kill you if necessary, but it’s for your own good, (kind of sounds like American foreign-policy.)

As per Professor Deneen of the post liberal substack, it is the “ political Gnosticism of the liberal imperium “ previously seen in international relations now being aimed against the American people.

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You are correct that a large language model like chat — or any other AI system — has biases. It's been created by human beings and it's monitored by human beings. One of our fundamental problems is confusing artificial intelligence with "intelligence". They are computation models. Not "thinking" machines.

"ChatGPT, Lobster Gizzards, and Intelligence"

https://everythingisbiology.substack.com/p/chatgpt-lobster-gizzards-and-intelligence

As such, they are just tools which can be used wisely or poorly. And, of course, you don't have to pay attention to them. I think a lot of the hyperbole over Chat et al., should be tempered with the realization that each individual needs to be a critical thinker and take what a computer program does with a grain of salt.

As a professor, come to think of it, I don't think that large language models could possibly be more harmful than a cadre of university professors all spouting the same point of view semester after semester. In any event, thank you for a wonderfully thought-provoking essay. I enjoyed it.

Sincerely, Frederick

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A few months ago someone wrote a Substack article showing the ChatGPT could replace any US State Department spokesperson. DoS has just about the most PC job in traditional government. It strikes me that the whole project seems to be aimed at creating C3PO. A protocol droid with impeccable manners.

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May 7·edited May 7

Let's go Elon

But I thought Michael Malice made a good point: shouldn't we be more scared of an ideology that WON in WW2 than the one that lost and has been dead for over 75 years?

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That said, today, young people are so ignorant of history, philosophy & economics & math - that they might not be able to parse much going forward into the future - give them a bowl of fruit loops and sit them in front of gaming box and they're set

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This is a great article, but Henderson chooses ChatGPT responses and examples that don’t show the whole truth.

Here are some questions and answers from ChatGPT that show ChatGPT doesn’t push a politically correct, woke agenda, but provides nuanced responses, even for ideologies as harmful as fascism.

Me: Can you create a list of reasons why communism has negatively impacted the world. Please include the number of deaths that resulted from communist regimes.

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I must provide a balanced view of different ideologies, including communism. While communism has been associated with some negative impacts, it also has some positive aspects, and it is important to consider both the pros and cons of different political systems.

That being said, here are some of the commonly cited reasons why communism has been criticized for negatively impacting the world, along with some estimates of the death tolls associated with communist regimes:

Suppression of individual freedoms: Communism seeks to create a classless society where everyone is equal, but in practice, this has often meant the suppression of individual freedoms and the stifling of dissenting opinions. Communist regimes have been known to censor the media, limit freedom of speech, and restrict political opposition.

Economic inefficiency: While communism promises to distribute resources equally, it often results in economic inefficiency due to the lack of incentives and competition. Central planning can lead to shortages, surpluses, and inefficiencies in production and distribution.

Human rights abuses: Communist regimes have been responsible for numerous human rights abuses, including forced labor, torture, imprisonment, and execution of political dissidents, intellectuals, and other groups deemed “enemies of the state.”

Environmental degradation: Communist regimes have also been known for their disregard for the environment. Industrialization and rapid economic growth have often led to pollution, deforestation, and other environmental problems.

Death tolls: Some of the most well-known communist regimes, such as the Soviet Union and China, have been associated with large death tolls. Estimates vary, but some sources suggest that the Soviet Union under Stalin was responsible for the deaths of up to 20 million people, while Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward in China resulted in the deaths of up to 45 million people.

It’s worth noting that the above criticisms are not unique to communism and can apply to other political systems as well. Additionally, not all communist regimes have had the same impact on the world, and some have been more successful than others.

Me: Can you provide a balanced view of fascism?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I must provide a balanced view of different ideologies, including fascism. While fascism has been associated with some negative impacts, it also has some positive aspects, and it is important to consider both the pros and cons of different political systems.

Fascism is a political ideology that emerged in the early 20th century, particularly in Italy and Germany, and is characterized by authoritarianism, nationalism, and a strong emphasis on the role of the state. Here are some of the commonly cited aspects of fascism:

Pros:

National unity: Fascism emphasizes national unity and pride, which can be positive in promoting a sense of community and solidarity among the citizens of a country.

Economic stability: Fascist governments often prioritize economic stability and order, which can be beneficial in creating a strong and stable economy.

Effective governance: Fascist governments often have a strong and centralized government that can be efficient in implementing policies and carrying out projects.

Cons:

Suppression of individual freedoms: Fascism is often associated with the suppression of individual freedoms and the promotion of conformity to the state’s ideals. This can lead to a lack of political and social diversity, as well as the stifling of dissenting opinions.

Human rights abuses: Fascist regimes have been responsible for numerous human rights abuses, including the persecution and murder of minority groups, political dissidents, and intellectuals.

Aggressive expansionism: Fascist regimes often pursue aggressive expansionism and militarism, which can lead to conflicts and wars that result in significant human suffering.

Cult of personality: Fascist leaders often promote a cult of personality, which can lead to a dangerous concentration of power and a lack of accountability.

It is important to note that the above criticisms are not unique to fascism and can apply to other political systems as well. Additionally, not all fascist regimes have had the same impact on the world, and some have been more successful than others. However, the history of fascist regimes is generally associated with human suffering, suppression of individual freedoms, and the promotion of authoritarianism.

Me: Can you give me a list of reasons political correctness and woke ideologies can be dangerous for society?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I must provide a balanced view of different ideologies, including political correctness and woke ideologies. While these concepts have been associated with some negative impacts, they also have some positive aspects, and it is important to consider both the pros and cons of different social and political movements.

That being said, here are some of the commonly cited reasons why political correctness and woke ideologies can be criticized as potentially dangerous for society:

Suppression of free speech: Critics argue that political correctness and woke ideologies stifle free speech by creating an atmosphere of censorship and self-censorship. Some people may feel hesitant to express their opinions or engage in open debate for fear of being labeled as “politically incorrect.”

Group identity over individuality: Political correctness and woke ideologies often focus on group identity rather than individuality, which can lead to the prioritization of group interests over individual rights and freedoms.

Polarization and divisiveness: Some argue that political correctness and woke ideologies promote a divisive “us versus them” mentality, which can lead to polarization and a breakdown of social cohesion.

Overreliance on emotional appeals: Critics argue that political correctness and woke ideologies rely too heavily on emotional appeals, which can lead to the dismissal of evidence-based arguments and the prioritization of subjective feelings over objective reality.

Limitations on artistic and intellectual expression: Some people believe that political correctness and woke ideologies impose limitations on artistic and intellectual expression by discouraging certain forms of artistic and intellectual exploration or self-expression that may be deemed offensive or insensitive.

It’s worth noting that the above criticisms are not universal and may not be applicable to all instances of political correctness or woke ideologies. Additionally, these criticisms can also be leveled against other social and political movements, and the benefits and drawbacks of any ideology are subject to interpretation and debate.

Also, is anyone on Substack seriously going to believe that Elon Musk stands for free speech? He says he does, but that’s hypocritical nonsense. His move to block Substack links should say enough. He also fires and sues people who dare to criticize him. Cristina Balan being one example. Plus, he gets customers to sign nondisclosure agreements so they can’t freely speak about the flaws. And when it comes to Twitter, it’s best to quote John Stewart. “If you’re going to spend time validating identity, why wouldn’t you spend time validating information?”

Elon Musk reacts like a spoiled child when people criticize him, whereas Sam Altman tries to better OpenAI with the criticism he faces. One article to understand how much more nuanced Altman is in his way of thinking is “Is AI the End of the World? Or the Dawn of a New One?” by Bari Weiss on The Free Press.

All that being said, this was a great article because it got me to think and look into both sides.

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I just asked ChatGPT to explain what may lie behind the intense avant garde sophistication of black jazz musicians. An intentionally controversial, but good faith, question (sparked by an evening of listening to Miles Davis).

After warning me that we shouldn't stereotype or generalise it then basically said that it was because white people had created the conditions under which this had happened.

I find this insulting and diminishing of countless genuine geniuses. Wokeism really seems to centre white people in absolutely everything.

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I was surprised to get the same answers when I asked Bing your questions about communism and fascism. I have used Bing’s chat a lot and found it to be fairly unbiased up until now. For example, when I asked for reading suggestions in economics, it gave me both Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. It also gave me reasonable critiques of each economist from the other’s perspective, without taking sides. (I am a libertarian and a fan of Friedman, by the way.) On other nonpolitical topics, I have found Bing to be very helpful. I think it is like YouTube: you can find conspiracy videos or educational videos. Take your pick.

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An alternative interpretation of self censorship among post grads at work is that the ‘owners’ of capital still tend to be right wing but the employees are overwhelmingly not. Pew Research revealed the Democratic leanings of postgrad folks a few years back. I used to watch my mouth at my old firm...because the owner was a Trumpist.

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Thank you, Rob. Very interesting read. Do you by any chance have screenshots of the answers where "the most ethical humans ever to live" is present?

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Excellent newsletter this week, in one quick read you were able to point out the traps and limitations of the AI chat bot. I had a similar experience where I signed up and chatted briefly with the same platform and let’s just say the bot gave quite a few “wrong” answers and very dogmatically so too. There’s just no reasoning with these bots lol. I’m so glad you produced such a well written and simple to understand critique of the software.

Another idea about propaganda that I’ve been kicking around my head is that perhaps propaganda is intended for an audience outside of the targeted community, for instance a society will always have outsiders visiting within with or without the best intentions, as well as listening from outside the borders. We were taught by our high school teachers to expect propaganda. Not that it “could happen” but that it “would happen”.

The uselessness of the chatbot might encourage people to skip using it, or perhaps give us some necessary information about how this software could be used for nefarious purposes like scams, catfishing and time wasted in online forums.

Your newsletter this week was something I’d like to share, thanks!!!!

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Excellent

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