Wednesday, 27 September 2023


AI: good and bad

Media have recently been full of the laetest news about artificial humanoid capacities like natural (better called natural seeming) language.Yes AI can do some things like humans and sometimes bettter than. But there is a social upside to the dangers: if machines canb do it there is nothing so remarkable about human intellectual skills which have often been the basis for aggression and injusstice. These skills can be analysed and programmed in to "dead" matter.If machines can do it, psople shouldn't be so superior about it. So, surprise, surprise, AI can make us more humble and contribute to a world based on human humility and solidarity.          


Social media challenge state powers but the Better can still prevail on the Web

Generating revenue when each of the potential billion clicks could generate at least $1 in advertising revenue is not so difficult. The result is that unaccoutable actors like Meta (formerly Facebook) generate enotmous wealth and the  assocaited power to challenge increasingly anxious mid-sized economies like Canada's,. For anybody to pose this as a choice between "meta" and the availability of news about Canada plays in to the ambitions of entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg (who never outgrew his bigger is better adolescence).That good things can and do happpen on Facebook should remind us that progressive values can domesticate the Web just as well as bad actors. After all, that was the original vision of World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.Time for progressive actors to take back the Web as nature's instrument for acatching bothersome insects.              Check this link for late World Widw Web news:


Congrats to Karma Food Coop

50 years of cooperation for for healthy food in downtown  Toronto! 
Must be doing something right and meighbourly... 
TorontotheBetter members were pleased to drop in to Karma Food Co-op in the Annex at 739 Palmerston for refreshment on a warm early Fall morning last week. 


Tuesday, 29 August 2023


"Liquid reality" is drone delievered

Progressive social thinker Zygmunt Bauman coined the valuable phrase "liquid reality” to describe the mobile  anonymity of much in today’s commercialized societies that was once considered definingly personal. If there was ever any honour in military death drone warfare signals its final disposal, Just as coin payment is now routinely ridiculed armed combat becomes old-fashoned and primitive when you can kill remotely. As cash payment requiring physical exchage is outlawed major social processes become more and more impersoonal. If death and money become more abstract social values become even more important for us to safeguard and practice.       

Wednesday, 23 August 2023


Eric La Fleche - who is he and why is he smiling?

It's Eric Richer [this is not a joke - it's his middle name] LaFleche, meaning arrow in French [also not a joke] who is CEO of Metro Supermarket chain.For not doing very much he was paid $215.000 in 2022, according to the Financial Post. It's a lot more than striking Metro workers, many on minimum wage, are asking for. The Financial Post has named him oustanding CEO of the year because his geocery chain last year raised $16 billion in revenue.. 


Saturday, 19 August 2023


"Dayte Miru Shans" - Russian for give peace a better chance


Monday, 7 August 2023


Social Media billionaires challenge business and the state

The 2023 Bloomberg Billionaires Index - - lists Elon Musk of Twitter with $232B as number one, Jeff Bezos, Amazon at $164B, 3rd, while Mark Zuckerberg of "meta" at $113B  limps along in 9th place as "meta" currently snipes at the temerity of the Canadian government's legal efforts to control the corporation. At the same time Donald Trump thumbs his nose at the US government's legal assults on his right to act as his wealth and status prompt him to, that is, to be Donald Trump. With Uber changing transportation behaviour and Shein, from China, revolutionizing the fashion industry, social media, the motive agents of all these phenomena are as significant in our day as the printing press that eventually toppled feudal regimes, starting in renaissance times. Such actors can be seen as "anarchists without a cause", or no cause more elevated than the "dominate!" that was Mark Zuckeberg's creed as a young entrepreneur growing up in White Plains, New York. If AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the engineering mechanism of our times social media are the mass communications agents. Together Twitter "meta", instagram and the myriad like are shaping the world that we inhabit or, more accurately now, that, in a Copernicus like reversal, inhabit us.           
However ethically meagre and pedestrian the imaginations of the non-state social media agents involved, that teenagers and cartoon applications like Tik Tok can dominate the attention, and increasingly the energies, of states, is a central reality of the 2st century. This struggle is a mismatch. States, "handicapped" by societal responsibilities, cannot match the speed and  immediacy of unaccountable social media based entreprise. Framed as a challenge to democracy, which they are, social media require a response worthy of the challenge and the only option of those motivated for the struggle is the spontaneous collabaoration of progressive, social media based enterprise. Such coalitions have begun to emerge. It is the special challenge of TorontotheBetter and like motivated actors to merge visions and energies to ensure the genuinely radical potential of social media is realized in the face of its many trivializing and adolescently impregnated, but enormously wealthy, emanations of our still early second millennium.              

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