Why Missy Elliott’s feminist legacy is criminally underrated

We often give artists like Nic­ki Minaj and Bey­on­cé applause for cham­pi­oning body pos­i­tiv­i­ty, because as “curvy” women of colour, they’re pre­sent­ing an “oth­er” in a pre­dom­i­nant­ly skin­ny-cen­tric, white­washed indus­try. […] These women are dif­fer­ent and inter­est­ing – to an extent. But they are both still pre­oc­cu­pied with fem­i­nine aes­thet­ic per­fec­tion, and both project an image that is large­ly in keep­ing with tra­di­tion­al mas­cu­line desire. […] Elliott has always favoured per­son­al style and self-con­fi­dence over male-dic­tat­ed beau­ty ideals. As a result, she makes beau­ty some­thing high­ly indi­vid­u­al­is­tic, and in the process, empow­ers body image to be what­ev­er the wear­er of that body choos­es it to be.

BotWatch Interview with Kate Compton

For me, a bot is almost a mea­sure­ment of auton­o­my, as the con­trol starts belong­ing more to the tool and less to the human. I think there’s a spec­trum from Microsoft Paint brush to autonomous bot, and you can dial it in any­where along there.

No-Platforming’ based on identity politics is incoherent

Con­tem­po­rary advo­cates of No-Plat­form­ing have so far failed to pro­vide any con­vinc­ing, rig­or­ous def­i­n­i­tion of ‘harm’ to jus­ti­fy their prac­tice. Typ­i­cal­ly, they claim that offen­sive speech under­mines the ‘per­son­hood’ of those it tar­gets. How­ev­er, in the vast major­i­ty of cas­es, they fail to demon­strate how this alleged vio­la­tion occurs, nor even what they mean by ‘per­son­hood’.

Japanese researchers threatened to cut off a robot’s finger to see if humans would care

In a small exper­i­ment, researchers from Toy­ohashi Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy showed 15 vol­un­teers 56 dif­fer­ent col­or pho­tographs of both a human and a robot­ic hand each being cut with a knife, as well as images of the hands with the knife held at a dis­tance. Researchers mea­sured the vol­un­teers’ empa­thet­ic neur­al respons­es to each sce­nario with an EEG.