Aug 08

Brooklyning no doubt

I wish I could have some Firefox extension that would somehow automatically detect if a writer lived in Brooklyn, and if so it could alert me so that I could not read that piece.

Anyone who moves to Brooklyn to be a writer is almost assuredly not a writer I want to read.

Aug 07

The best things are not easy

Science and fundamental research budgets should be much larger, and at least 20% of those funds should be spent on things that most experts assure us are “impossible.”

It is today these “impossible” technologies that we use daily.

Electricity, LEDs, lasers, airplanes, solar power, nuclear power and the internet entire among them.

When people tell me that things like AI are not possible, I just laugh because I know the history of science very well. The vast majority of people — even experts — said the same things about the technologies I listed.

After all as physicist Max Tegmark said, “Our brains are a bunch of particles obeying the laws of physics, and there’s no physical law precluding particles from being arranged in ways that can perform even more advanced computations.”

Anything that doesn’t directly violate the laws of physics I wouldn’t count humans out of being able to do at some point.

It’s strange that we’ve come to the point that many people now argue that because something is hard that it is not worth doing. Making strong AI is hard. Fixing global warming is hard. Halting senescence is hard. Averting an asteroid before it wipes out life on earth is hard.

Me, I like doing things both because they are worth doing and because they are hard. Otherwise they usually aren’t worth doing anyway.

I just can’t understand the, “Well, it’s hard therefore it’s impossible so I’ll just do nothing” mentality.

Aug 07

CMIRS

I have this strange desire to read a book I have called Computational Methods in Reactor Shielding.

Someone send help.

Aug 07

Commonalities

The fat acceptance/fat celebration and MRA/Pickup Artist communities really are remarkably similar.

Both believe people should be attracted to them no matter their horrible qualities, their disavowal of reality, or their unrealistic assessment of their own worth.

Furthermore, both subscribe to the notion that if someone is not attracted to you, you are being discriminated against somehow — and both putrid parties wish to legislate attraction even though this is doomed to failure on so many axes it would take books to write them all out.

Attraction just does not, cannot, work like that.

I’m only attracted to about 0.25% of women alive from what I can tell. That doesn’t mean that I’m discriminating against the rest in any way that they should care about. (By the same token, if a woman doesn’t like me for a partner? So what. Such is life.)

Call me picky, whatever you like, but that’s my right and anyone’s right in a sane world.

Perhaps the MRA/Fat Celebration communities could go buy an island together somewhere and fuck off from the rest of us.

Aug 07

Cable ties

As I’ve said many times before, I hate what the internet is becoming.

But as more stupid and clueless arrive and thrive, this was a predicted and predictable result.

I remember talking with a friend of mine in 1996 or so — before the DMCA, before Netflix, before most things we take for granted — that it wouldn’t be long before the internet was corporate-co-opted, sterilized and made into cable TV.

Didn’t take a Nostradamus to see that. Just a clear head.

I suspect that the internet is no longer a net force for good in society. Would society be better off it were eliminated? Probably not. But now it’s something that just is, rather than what could have been and was willingly given up.

A general rule is that when regular people start using something en masse, it’ll become terrible.

Facebook and its rise not surprisingly corresponded to the decline and fall of the useful internet.

Aug 06

Sausage factory

Because I enjoy torturing myself I guess, I have been listening to contemporary rock radio on the way to and from work the past few days.

I do this every few years.

So far I’ve heard twenty songs. All by men.

The chances assuming a 50/50 distribution of artists (which I know is not true, but should be) of hearing twenty songs in a row by men is 1 in 1,048,576.

There apparently is no chance at all of hearing a good song.

So I’m done with that dip into very bad radio for a few years.

Aug 06

Knees

When I was two-and-a-half or three until I was about six, for some reason I thought my knees were a private part and that showing them in public was no different than exposing for instance your penis.

I have no idea why. No one told me this. I developed the idea myself. Somehow.

I’d absolutely throw a fit when my mom or anyone would attempt to make me wear shorts.

For some reason, it never bothered me that other people showed their knees.

Then one day, I literally up and decided that my idea about knees was stupid and I started wearing shorts.

I don’t have weird knees or anything, so who knows what that was about….

Modern magic

Quote

Gandalf would be impressed by our ability to teach sand to play chess (in the form of silicon transistors), or be terrified by our ability to destroy a city with a lump of (uranium) metal.

-Neil Gershenfeld, physicist

Aug 05

Not fancy

I keep getting spam to “Rent a Yacht” or “Rent an Executive Jet.”

How many takers can this sort of spam get?

I’m from frickin’ North Florida. I don’t rent yachts or jets. I don’t feel at home around the type of people who rent yachts or jets, even if I could afford such things.

Even if I were a billionaire, I’d be about as likely to rent a yacht or a jet as I would be to throw a frisbee to Jupiter.