Came across one of my favorite writings from Sufi poet Abu Sa’eed (excerpt from Nobody, son of nobody):

Be humble. Only fools take pride in their station here, trapped in a cage of dust, moisture, heat and air. No need to complain of calamities, this illusion of a life lasts but a moment […]. Those with no sense of honor and dignity are best avoided. Those who change colors constantly are best forgotten. The best way to be with those bereft of the Beloved’s qualities, is to forget them in the joy of silence in one’s corner of solitude.

This week, attorneys general from dozen of states sued Meta, alleging that the company intentionally crafted its products to attract children at the expense of their mental well-being, despite numerous internal studies showing how dangerous their apps are. I recommend to anyone still thinking Meta does more good than harm to read the Facebook files , as compiled by the Wall Street Journal.

A great interview of internet policy expert and law professor Lawrence Lessig about AI, social media, the modern state of the internet and much more. A lot of food for thoughts, I could not recommend more to listen to the full conversation.

If you look at the Facebook Files, they are filled with engineers, really good engineers trying to do the right thing, trying to talk about how to make the platform safer so it doesn’t lead young girls to commit suicide or doesn’t lead to radicalism in politics. And again and again, they were overruled by people who were focused on the business model of engagement to drive profits. I think once you step back and you realize, “Wow, all of this is being fed to me for a reason, and the reason really has nothing to do with making democracy work better or helping me understand the world better — it’s all about using me for an end that is not my own end.” The AIs that are doing it are the most powerful intelligence that has ever tried to do this. It’s terrifying when you realize it because [it’s] not clear what we do about it.

McMindfulness “the new capitalist spirituality.” - Interesting ideas regarding how we managed to misuse and at times ruin the best tool that we dispose of to improve our quality of life.

“In his account, mainstreaming mindfulness hasn’t just missed the point and given rise to another $300+ million industry. By harnessing mindfulness to mitigate the stress of exploitative corporate practices or steady the aim and focus of military operatives, it has become counter-productive to the original ethical frameworks from which meditation derives.”

Currently reading: Ethics by Benedict de Spinoza 📚

Reading this classic once again, love the approach used to tackle Cartesian mind / body dualism:

To be able not to exist is to lack power, and conversely, to be able to exist is to have power (as is known through itself). So, if what now necessarily exists are only finite beings, then finite beings are more powerful than an absolutely infinite Being. But this, as is known through itself is absurd. So either nothing exists or an absolutely infinite Being also exists. But we exist, either in ourselves, or in something else, which necessarily exists. Therefore an absolutely infinite Being - that is, God - necessarily exists.

Undermining democracy: The EU commission’s controversial push for Digital Surveillance

More troubling facts about the CSAM regulation, which has been unanimously condemned by academics, privacy regulators, and even internal legal experts at the Council of the European Union itself for its gross violation of privacy rights.

Danny Mekić has been silenced by Twitter / X for exposing the alarming microtargeting strategy chosen by the European commission in this campaign.

Finished reading: Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger 📚

One of my all-time favorites! “I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”

ICE, CBP, Secret Service All Illegally Used Smartphone Location Data

The report makes it clear that DHS agencies have been playing it fast and loose with their acquisition of Americans’ location data. Congress needs to explicitly bar law enforcement and intelligence agencies from purchasing data from private companies that they would have otherwise needed a warrant to acquire.

Orthodox Judaism has its first openly gay congregational rabbi. - A heartwarming story, and a big congrats to judaism for taking this step.

Finished reading: Souls on fire by Elie Wiesel 📚

This book, which starts as an introduction to hasidism, ends up teaching lessons that far transcend the dividing lines of religion.

“Love’s mystery resides in oneness, and so does God’s. “Whatever is above is also down below.” Between the present concrete world and the other, the one to come, there is a link as between source and reflection. God does not oppose humanity, and man, though vulnerable and ephemeral, can attain immortality in the passing moment. In man’s universe, everything is connected because nothing is without meaning.