About the author

Matt is the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! The most recent is his blockbuster The Accidental Activist, which Amazon claims is by his wife Anne Green. So it goes. Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that we can’t list them all here. Before Matt’s unfortunate encounter with activism, he was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA (to impress Carl Sagan). His hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED}. He lives in Tucson with Anne, along with no dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, and only the occasional snake or scorpion.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Overinterpreting weighted learning and the kindness of vegans

There was recently a study, written up by our friend Kenny Torrella, that showed bees can learn trade-offs, instead of making only binary choices. As we are wont to do, (some) humans interpret this in the most anthropomorphic (and media-friendly) way possible, arguing this means bees feel pain.

Of course, computers / robots can do this already. (It is the whole point of a neural net.) I ran the argument by a biologist, and they said, "I wouldn't be surprised if you set up an equivalent experiment with slime mold or bacteria they could do something similar."

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PS: In response to How Vegans Hurt Animals, I got this comment:

Matt likely won’t be so smug when riddled with cancer karma...

Lovely. Also:

Do vegans REALLY care if they’re loved or hated, it’s not about you it’s about our health and animal welfare, you can live with being cruel and ill, we’re ok with that.

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