- AOTD on 10/21/20 - Scout: jbuchanaAll That's Interesting | Katie Serena | 10/9/20 | 14 min22 reads8 comments9.6All That's InterestingKatie Serena|10/9/20|14 min22 reads9.6
- AOTD on 10/18/20 - Scout: justinzealandWIRED | Shaun Raviv | 11/13/18 | 37 min8 reads8 comments9.5WIREDShaun Raviv|11/13/18|37 min8 reads9.5jeff4 days ago
Great read! Really well written profile. I hadn't heard of Friston or the free energy principle before. I found the potential application of the theory towards better understanding mental illness to be the most interesting/compelling but I've got some questions about how it explains life itself and relates to artificial intelligence.
But a free energy agent always generates its own intrinsic reward: the minimization of surprise. And that reward, Pitt says, includes an imperative to go out and explore.
This strikes me as paradoxical. If my ultimate goal is to minimize surprise why would I go out and explore? It makes sense to me that all living things would want to minimize surprise in order to conserve energy, but why do any living things want to live at all in the first place? If an AI program was modeled on the free energy principle why would it ever risk trying to allocate memory or polling inputs? Under all circumstances the shortest path to minimize surprise would simply be to self-terminate.
- # 136206 pts - Scout: jeffHuffPost Highline | Lee Moran | 10/17/20 | 1 min7 reads3 comments5.0HuffPost HighlineLee Moran|10/17/20|1 min7 reads5.0
- AOTD on 10/9/20 - Scout: SEnkey
- AOTD on 10/6/20 - Scout: jeff
- AOTD on 10/2/20 - Scout: jbuchanaRolling Stone | Ej Dickson | 9/23/20 | 8 min18 reads11 comments8.9Rolling StoneEj Dickson|9/23/20|8 min18 reads8.9jeff2 weeks ago
It's trippy to imagine reading an article like this as a Q-believer. Knowing that others are plotting to try to deprogram you and fracture your faith would only confirm the existence of the conspiracy and strengthen your resolve. It's a difficult situation but it's always nice to hear the stories of those who managed to snap out of it.
- # 19087 pts - Scout: jeffdartmouth.edu | 34 mindartmouth.edu34 min1 read9.0
Not exactly an easy read but a very worthwhile one. It never hurts to take some time to appreciate the baffling complexity of the universe.
The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.
- AOTD on 9/30/20 - Scout: vunderkind
- # 31930 pts - Scout: jeffProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | 16 min1 read1 comment-Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences16 min1 read-
News flash: Getting spammed by random Twitter messages from politicians and "opinion leaders" who hold viewpoints opposite to your own increases polarization.
At this time, respondents in the treatment condition were offered $11 to follow a Twitter bot, or automated Twitter account, that they were told would retweet 24 messages each day for 1 mo.
As Fig. 2 illustrates, we created a liberal Twitter bot and a conservative Twitter bot for each of our experiments. These bots retweeted messages randomly sampled from a list of 4,176 political Twitter accounts (e.g., elected officials, opinion leaders, media organizations, and nonprofit groups).
Oh and then there's this gem:
Similarly, increases in conservatism among Republicans may have resulted from increased exposure to women or racial and ethnic minorities whose messages were retweeted by our liberal bot.
Yeah, no citation or footnote on that one. Guess it's a given that conservatives are just probably racist and sexist.
Together, we believe these contributions represent an important advance for the nascent field of computational social science (46).
This paper is embarrassing.
- AOTD on 9/29/20 - Scout: Ruchita_Ganurkar
- # 172111 pts - Scout: vunderkind
- # 154149 pts - Scout: jeff
The best thing I've read in a while! This article explores some of the concepts from "A psychoanalytic reading of social media and the death drive" but takes them to an even deeper level and frames the discussion around popular portrayals of artificial intelligence. I find it pretty compelling that the dream of a super-human AI and the desire to feel numb or waste our time both stem from a "profound spiritual fatigue."
To possess true consciousness is the biggest and indeed the only responsibility in the known universe. AI promises a break, as it were, from the colossal burden of being the only show in town.
I'm also in complete agreement with the author's assessment of the intrinsic limitations of AI.
A machine can be taught when to bend a rule only by supplying it with more rules, ad infinitum. This is not unpredictability, nor is it thought, nor, most importantly, does it result in compassion or love.
Also Zed sounds amazing.
On the contrary, it depicts the soul, with its fear, weakness, and love, as the very thing that reaches for a refuge from danger and uncertainty. Zed simply adds this question as a stinger: If man is saved from contingency, from danger, from struggle, why satisfy his needs at all? Is he not, in a sense, already dead?
- # 136206 pts - Scout: SEnkeyThe Dispatch | Scott Lincicome | 9/22/20 | 14 min5 reads4 comments9.5The DispatchScott Lincicome|9/22/20|14 min5 reads9.5
Great read! Worth it alone just for all the graphs and data. I've heard lots of complaints from populists on both the left and the right recently about the "libertarians in DC" who are controlling the economy. This article does a great job of highlighting why that's such a laughable concept.
One thing everyone can agree on is that the overall growing complexity is a problem, right? Irrespective of any specific political agenda it's just plain wrong to have so many laws that everyone is a criminal and a tax code that no one person can understand.
- AOTD on 9/23/20 - Scout: bill
I think there's a lot more nuance to be had here. I pay for my email now (FastMail, huge fan) but it's pretty awesome that anyone can get an account for free. Same goes for Google, YouTube and many other ad-supported services that provide access to an incredible wealth of knowledge at no upfront cost.
Would it be less evil to ban ads and require a credit card and monthly payments for such services, denying access to those who can't afford it or don't have access to credit? The whole idea of "free is evil" has a weird sort of extremely online, insular tech privilege vibe to it if you ask me.
- -0 pts - Scout: chrissetiana
A classic! I started doing web development a little over 10 years ago and reading this now makes me slightly nostalgic for the jQuery era.
Even though I try to keep everything to a minimum I'm sure the author would be appalled at the number of scripts, stylesheets and fonts Readup injects into the page. I have to say though, this site does look much better in reader mode!
- AOTD on 9/19/20 - Scout: Pegeen
Thoroughly enjoyable read! I'll stick with meals for months or years, but like many in the article I make slight adjustments to keep things interesting while still reaping the benefits of the repetition. Switching up condiments and seasonings can really change the taste of a dish without having to learn a new recipe or significantly alter the regular shopping list. I've also found that just toggling between two different options every other day works great, too.
- AOTD on 9/16/20 - Scout: Ruchita_GanurkarSlate | Joe Morgan | 12/6/18 | 6 min42 reads18 comments8.0SlateJoe Morgan|12/6/18|6 min42 reads8.0
I was ready to completely disagree with this article based on the headline but I think it's actually dead on. Syntax might be the least important aspect of programming but I've seen quite a few online courses that focus on it almost exclusively, probably because it's the easiest thing to test. It makes total sense that helping kids take things apart, learn how they work and put them back together is a better approach. Once they've got that down they can apply it to the more abstract and frustrating version that is programming!
- POLITICO | Jennifer Oldham | 9/13/20 | 18 minPOLITICOJennifer Oldham|9/13/20|18 min1 read9.0
- # 42312 pts - Scout: jeff
A bit of a silver lining!
And a “psychology of abundance” doesn’t easily return after a trauma, according to Ian Bell, a consumer researcher with Euromonitor International.
Makes me think of how the great depression left its mark on the generations that lived through it. I've also read though that there wasn't nearly as much of an effect after the 1918 pandemic. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
- -0 pts - Scout: deephdave
- AOTD on 9/11/20 - Scout: AlexaBookforum | 14 min13 reads8 comments10Bookforum14 min13 reads10
I really enjoyed reading this but in the same way that I can really enjoy reading the works of pessimist philosophers. The opening paragraphs certainly reinforce the idea that at least some of us on the outside are at least partially responsible for our hurtling into a dark future.
Instagram, cut off from a steady supply of vacations and parties and other covetable experiences, had grown unsettlingly boring, its inhabitants increasingly unkempt and wild-eyed, each one like the sole surviving astronaut from a doomed space-colonization mission, broadcasting deranged missives about yoga and cooking projects into an uncaring void.
Well that's one way to look at it. I prefer Kaitlyn Tiffany's take from her excellent article earlier this year:
Without a steady stream of brunch photos, beach-vacation selfies, and horribly loud concert footage in which the singer is not even recognizable, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have mutated into hyper-intimate scrapbooks of days spent cooped up inside.
“What makes people heroic and what makes them feel members of a community?” One answer, even though it sounds silly, is posting. You have a moral responsibility to post. I want to see you, even if I didn’t really think so before.
So to me the author of this piece comes off as a bit of a dour edgelord but I still think he makes some great observations. This might be my favorite:
What the Twittering Machine offers is not death, precisely, but oblivion—an escape from consciousness into numb atemporality, a trance-like “dead zone” of indistinguishably urgent stimulus.
This rings true to me and I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with the rise of benzodiazepines, both prescription and recreational. It's a weird thing to crave a drug that doesn't really get you high in the traditional sense but instead just numbs you to reality.
- AOTD on 9/10/20 - Scout: SEnkeyMedical Xpress | Science X staff | 6/29/20 | 6 min15 reads6 comments9.6Medical XpressScience X staff|6/29/20|6 min15 reads9.6
Super interesting stuff! I'm now self-conscious about my micro-movements. Seven millimeters per second of head movement sounds like a lot. I hope the Norwegian Championships of Standstill catches on and goes international. I'd be curious to see how far some people can push it.
- AOTD on 9/8/20 - Scout: normanbae
I'm a fan of tipping. I love dining out and the waiter has a huge impact on the overall experience. It's nice to be able to show a little extra gratitude for exceptional service. It's not a huge surprise to me that restaurants who did away with tipping had trouble retaining waitstaff. As far as alternatives go, the profit-sharing model at Zazie seemed pretty interesting.
- AOTD on 9/7/20 - Scout: bartadamleypalladium magazine | Ryan Khurana | 7/5/19 | 18 min7 reads3 comments10palladium magazineRyan Khurana|7/5/19|18 min7 reads10
- AOTD on 9/6/20 - Scout: Ruchita_Ganurkar
I'm totally on board with the author's emphasis on the importance of looking inward first and foremost. Identifying and managing the internal triggers is key.
I don't consider myself to be too easily distracted but I'll notice the impulse sometimes when programming. Really hard problems can of course be tough to get started on but a lot of times the novelty will provide the motivation. For me the worst is the medium difficulty ones. They're not terribly interesting but also not so easy that I can just write it out in one shot so I have to psyche myself up to type out a suboptimal solution that I know I'm just going to have to refactor 15 minutes later. It's about as fun as doing taxes but I've found that the timeboxing technique suggested by the author can definitely help break through it.
- AOTD on 9/5/20 - Scout: deephdave
- NPR.org | Natalie Escobar | 8/27/20 | 13 min2 reads1 comment-NPR.orgNatalie Escobar|8/27/20|13 min2 reads-
So you get to the heart of that property relation, and demonstrate that without police and without state oppression, we can have things for free.
I mean, she's got a point. The default state in nature is survival of the fittest but I've never heard anyone describe that as a particularly equitable arrangement.
In all seriousness, the author of this book is trolling, right?
- lesswrong.com | 10 min2 reads1 comment9.0lesswrong.com10 min2 reads9.0
Interesting analysis and comparison between for-profit and non-profit organizations. At first glance the title seems pretty Ayn Randian but it seems to me that the author is sort of making a roundabout argument for government-provided services instead of privately-provided non-profit services. Or perhaps he would instead argue primarily for redistribution of wealth to ensure universal access to resources from for-profit companies. I'd be curious to see how governmental organizations would fit in to the comparison.
- AOTD on 9/3/20 - Scout: jlcipriani
- YaleNews | 8/26/20 | 3 min2 reads1 comment9.0YaleNews8/26/20|3 min2 reads9.0
- -0 pts - Scout: jbuchanaPercolately | Koh Mochizuki | 8/28/20 | 7 min3 reads4 comments8.5PercolatelyKoh Mochizuki|8/28/20|7 min3 reads8.5
This kid is going to find his way on to 4chan one day if he hasn't already. I have no idea what kind of boundaries I'd be setting for my kids if I had any, but once they're teenagers effective moderation seems like it would fast become an unwinnable strategy. I agree with some of the comments that suggested that an open dialog about his behaviors and view of women was key. Obfuscation and punishment seem like a recipe for recidivism.
- HuffPost Highline | Aswad Thomas | 8/24/20 | 5 min11 reads2 comments10HuffPost HighlineAswad Thomas|8/24/20|5 min11 reads10
- AOTD on 8/30/20 - Scout: bartadamleyThe New York Times Company | Leah Sottile | 8/19/20 | 39 min7 reads4 comments10The New York Times CompanyLeah Sottile|8/19/20|39 min7 reads10
Great article and a very worthwhile read especially if, like me, you're not totally up to speed with this particular branch of craziness. I've read a few short articles about the Boogaloo movement but hadn't even heard of many of the specific examples of recent domestic terrorism. The Steven Carrillo story is particularly disturbing.
- AOTD on 8/29/20 - Scout: deephdave
Excellent observations! The number of deaths due to hospital errors is staggering. I thought for sure that had to be an error but it checks out. The points about driving distractions were spot on, too. Turning off the radio when lost is a total reflex that you don't even have to think about.
Really interesting look into how NYC real estate is used as a financial instrument by wealthy international buyers. Both as a store of value and to launder money. I feel like this has to have a huge effect on the city's ability to bounce back from the pandemic. Will prices ever come down if so many owners don't even care whether their property is vacant or not?
- -0 pts - Scout: bill
- -0 pts - Scout: deephdave
- AOTD on 8/28/20 - Scout: deephdave
Total blast from the past! I remember ringtones but I had no idea the market was ever so big. I don't think I ever bought one but I do remember making my own from MP3 files and loading them on to my feature phone using some weird proprietary software and cable. Like the author describes, it was definitely a short-lived curiosity.
- Smithsonian | Gilbert King | 8/16/11 | 10 minSmithsonianGilbert King|8/16/11|10 min1 read9.0
A bittersweet story. Steinmetz was the originator of the oft told parable of the value of knowledge that's used to explain costs that seem disproportionate to the effort required, e.g. "$1,000 to replace a bolt. $1 for the bolt and $999 to know where it goes." I'm glad he was able to achieve some personal happiness with his adopted family.
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