File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

Liberty Update

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HHS Wants to Change Your “Health-Relevant Behavior” Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, October 31 2013
NLM is spending taxpayer money to teach itself how to change people’s 'health-relevant behavior.'

Are you ready to have the same federal agency that can’t run a website bombard you with social media messages designed to change your “health-related” behaviors?

Last week, a little-known federal aggregator of health scholarship called the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced that it plans to track how visitors to its website use information received there. NLM, an entity within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “will have software installed on government computers that will store data from social media as part of a $30,000 project,” reported the Washington Free Beacon.

The software will engage in wide-ranging data mining of visitors’ social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter, as well as track their use of blogs, discussion boards, news sites and video and image sharing sites. NLM plans to capture and store demographic nuggets such as the location, number of followers and academic degrees of users. All of this limited, of course, “to the extent permitted by privacy regulations.” (If you believe that, the National Security Agency would like to speak with you.)

Tellingly, the information gathered will be saved for “historical analysis” – meaning it won’t be destroyed but instead stored in a government database. The data mining process also promises to collect much more than health information, since bureaucrats are to be trained how to access “health-related content,” implying there will be other content they are supposed to ignore.

So, what’s motivating a sleepy government medical library to take such an aggressive social media posture?

Two words: behavior modification.

“The overarching objective of these studies is to obtain a richer understanding of how consumers, clinicians, [and] researchers actually look for the health-related information they seek, and what they do with what they find,” NLM said in a statement.

But what the agency is really interested in are the “value of tweets and other messages as teaching tools and change-agents for health-related behavior.”  

You read that right. NLM is spending taxpayer money to teach itself how to change people’s “health-relevant behavior.”

This amounts to enhancing the power HHS has to control the health care industry. Already the department is the single largest spender thanks to its commitments under Medicare and Medicaid. As Obamacare is implemented, millions more Americans will come within its reach because of the large-scale shift of workers onto the HHS-regulated health insurance exchanges. Going forward, if NLM is allowed to become a government policy marketing firm, HHS will become American health care’s biggest spender, most important regulator and – perhaps – its most influential information source.

The sudden changeover from passive librarian to aggressive behavior modifier likely isn’t an isolated decision dreamed up by career bureaucrats. More likely, it’s part of a coordinated attempt to directly make people conform to a government-approved standard.

Remember these entries from the Nanny State files?

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has waged municipal wars against super-sized sodas, table salt and trans-fat.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s failed campaign to make public school children eat more healthfully died a quick and unceremonious death when thousands of kids simply went hungry rather than chow-down on government soy burgers.

The reason liberals are in overdrive when it comes to forcing people to be healthier is because even they realize you can’t operate a single-payer health care system without micromanaging every individual’s food intake and exercise routine. And, since a single-payer system is where many in the liberal intelligentsia are agitating to take us, it is time to start using government resources to change our behavior to get ready for the transition. 

So, when you get a benign-looking message from the National Library of Medicine just remember that it’s really a directive from the Obama administration to change your behavior.

Tweet accordingly.

Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?