Tuesday News: Game of Thrones coloring book, literary prizes for women, artificial intelligence and morality, and “manifesting prostitution”
Bantam announced Monday that Martin will be overseeing the release of the “Game of Thrones Coloring Book,” featuring 45 new black and white illustrations by leading fantasy illustrators that are inspired by his “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. –CBS News
We are still many moors away from the egalitarian future of literary judgment that Brontë imagined 166 years ago, where authors might make their debut behind a gender-neutral curtain and be evaluated on their writing alone. Maybe for a century or more to come, we’ll continue to need cultural spaces in which “women’s writing” is protected and encouraged to flourish as something separate from “men’s.” But that same small part of me fears that the gated-off arena can too easily become a prison. There’s something ironic, and a little depressing, in the fact that the digital archive of a major American university now displays the poems of the boldly gender-ambiguous, literary-drag-wearing Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under the festively decorated but irredeemably patronizing heading “A Celebration of Women Writers.”–New York Times
The effect on the law will be exponentially more dramatic, Calo says, if we ever do develop super-intelligent artificial moral agents.
“If we do that, it’s going to break everything,” he says. “It’s going to be a fundamental sea change in the way we think about human rights.”
Calo illustrates the sort of dilemma that could arise using a theoretical situation he calls the “copy-or-vote paradox.” Imagine that one day an artificially intelligent machine claims that it is a person, that it is sentient, has dignity, experiences joy and pain—and we can’t disprove it. It may be difficult to justify denying it all the human rights enjoyed by everyone else. What happens if that machine then claims entitlement to suffrage and procreation, both of which are considered fundamental human rights in our society? And what if the machine procreates by copying itself indefinitely? Our democracy would come undone if there were an entity that could both vote and make limitless copies of itself.
“Once you challenge the assumption that human beings are biological, that they live and they die, you get into this place where all kinds of assumptions that are deeply held by the law become unraveled,” Calo says. –California Magazine
In Phoenix, it’s a misdemeanor crime that’s part of the municipal code. Basically, cops can throw a person in jail for trying to stop or repeatedly talk to passersby, for engaging them in conversation, for asking someone if they are a cop, or for asking to be touched sexually. . . .
These laws open the door for racial profiling like you’ve never seen it: 94% of the people arrested in Brooklyn for this “offense” were African-Americans, largely women. And the trans community is quite frequently profiled as sex workers — so much so that the offense has been referred to as “walking while trans.” –Upworthy