Akir's recent activity

  1. Comment on Rethinking votes in ~tildes

    Akir
    Link Parent
    For the record, I am absolutely against the crazy people on the far right from having a voice on this platform. And in addition, I'm nowhere near even beginning to start a "both sides" arguement,...

    For the record, I am absolutely against the crazy people on the far right from having a voice on this platform. And in addition, I'm nowhere near even beginning to start a "both sides" arguement, because I think there's clearly a superior position in that particular scheme.

    But we have a lot of very far-left voices on this platform, and not many people who are willing to argue for basic things that are still on the "United States Left" such as traditional liberalism (i.e. free markets with sensible regulation). What I'm looking for are people to help center the conversation so we can focus on realistic ideas instead of the purely idealistic.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Rethinking votes in ~tildes

    Akir
    Link Parent
    I agree with you; like I said, I think that votes do have value. I'm just asking everyone if they think that the benefits of voting outweigh the negatives. I also wanted to point out that I'm...

    While most of your critiques aren't wrong, the downside of no votes was that during the brief experiment where votes were hidden there was a general sense that the site was empty. Most things don't merit a comment so that lack of feedback often made it seem like nobody was reading anything you did so what's the point?

    I agree with you; like I said, I think that votes do have value. I'm just asking everyone if they think that the benefits of voting outweigh the negatives.

    I also wanted to point out that I'm perfectly fine with the votes for topics; I think they help people understand what content people want to read, and I don't think the negatives on it are as strong as they are on comments. A vote on a link is not so much an agreement that it's right than an endorsement of interest.

    I encourage you (and everyone else) to chime in later after they've heard some of the alternatives to see if there is any that spark your interest.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Rethinking votes in ~tildes

    Akir
    Link
    I was going to wait until there were more responses first because I didn't want to overwhelm the conversation from the start, but @tesseractcat's comment made me realize that I should probably...
    • Exemplary

    I was going to wait until there were more responses first because I didn't want to overwhelm the conversation from the start, but @tesseractcat's comment made me realize that I should probably just let it out.

    I do have an idea for an alternative to votes, and that's in the form of using positive labels. And instead of displaying a count, it should only display which label got applied the most.

    That way you know that people appreciated what you had to say, and it would hopefully also allow you to have feedback as to why people liked it. If it's got more than a certain number of different labels applied, we can even have it display more than one.

    We can use labels such as 'informative', 'helpful' 'insightful', etc. We just need to choose the right ones so that they reflect the site's conversational goals (i.e. 'funny' might not be helpful).

    16 votes
  4. Rethinking votes

    I know we have talked about it to death, and even run experiments on the mechanism, but I think it's worth re-evaluating the idea of voting on comments. I know that voting provides value to Tildes...

    I know we have talked about it to death, and even run experiments on the mechanism, but I think it's worth re-evaluating the idea of voting on comments.

    I know that voting provides value to Tildes as a social platform; it acts almost like a social currency; you know that if you have a lot of votes, people appreciate what you have to say. That provides incentive for people to write more comments and participate with the community.

    What I and others have come to realize is that votes also have negative effects on our community. Here's a short list of negative effects:

    1. Voting is addictive. I'm sure most of us are familiar with the process of clicking on our usernames to see how many votes our last few comments have gathered. We do this because it's a dopamine hit; they act like tiny digital love letters telling us how awesome we are.

    2. Voting is a measurement of popularity. Those love letters aren't actually how good you are, they measure how popular your ideas are. In other words, votes encourage group-think and creates an echo chamber that will prevent you from taking competing ideas seriously.

    3. Because of number 2, we alienate people with other ideas and reduce the richness and quality of discussion on this platform.

    4. Also as a result of number 2, the information that gets put into those popular threads becomes the de facto truth - weather or not it's actually true. This can prevent us from seeing the "bigger picture" or from understanding problems others might have with how we think.

    5. The end result of all of these effects is that we will slowly become more and more extreme and insular as time progresses. We essentially become the same as the people stuck in conservative media prisons that we tend to look down on.

    Personally speaking, I think that we would be a much more robust community if we had more conservative voices speaking up. After all, the left does not have a monopoly on the objective truth. I know we probably have a few conservatives that are lurking around, but I think that they are largely disincentivized to contribute because they don't get the same kind of votes left-leaning comments do.

    With that being said, I would like to hear back from everyone what they think we should do about voting. Should we go back to hiding vote totals again? Should we get rid of them entirely? Or maybe you think things are good as they are? Please let us know your reasoning.

    17 votes
  5. Comment on Protesters in Portland and Seattle shatter windows and light fires in ~news

    Akir
    Link Parent
    I can't read the NYT article at the moment, so I can't comment on it. But from the accounts that I have read, I see little reason to believe that these people were motivated by anti-fascism....

    I can't read the NYT article at the moment, so I can't comment on it. But from the accounts that I have read, I see little reason to believe that these people were motivated by anti-fascism. People came in there because they were angry at the election results, and the election of Biden in particular is a step away from fascism, not towards it.

    I also read that the people who broke in to the Democrat HQ in particular were part of a single group that were dressed in black, but no reporter has been able to identify who the group was. They were chanting "Black Lives Matter" but reporters also got some of them saying they don't want to be associated with that group.

    While this could be conservatives doing a false flag operation, like you mentioned in another post, I agree that there's not enough evidence to support that assumption. Much more likely is that this group is the same black bloc anarchists who already have a history of this kind of action in Portland (and who are also mislabeled by the right as "Antifa"). Though, once again, I can't see a reason why they would do this.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Protesters in Portland and Seattle shatter windows and light fires in ~news

    Akir
    Link
    Aaaaaand the right is already blaming it on Antifa. I was just on r/conservative and there are precisely zero people (who haven't been downvoted out of context) questioning this assertion whatsoever.

    Aaaaaand the right is already blaming it on Antifa.

    I was just on r/conservative and there are precisely zero people (who haven't been downvoted out of context) questioning this assertion whatsoever.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on What's something you wish people outside of your field knew/understood? in ~talk

    Akir
    Link Parent
    As someone who was extremely religious in a past life, I've always been bothered by the misconceptions most Christians have about the bible. The most irritating thing to me has always been that...

    As someone who was extremely religious in a past life, I've always been bothered by the misconceptions most Christians have about the bible. The most irritating thing to me has always been that there are swaths of people who say that the King James Version is the only one anyone should read (for whatever reason - it's the most holy version, it's the only one with 'the truth', and things like that).

    But I must agree, the worst thing to happen to Christianity has to be the adoption of literalism and fundamentalism. It has destroyed so many relationships that I couldn't even begin to count them. And frankly, I think it's that kind of mindset, where people can take the side of an account and ignore everything else no matter how much evidence they have, that is powering the schism of society we are dealing with today..

    7 votes
  8. Comment on Meet Raspberry Silicon: Raspberry Pi Pico in ~comp

    Akir
    Link Parent
    I had a few more notes of interest after reading a little bit more of the information they've released. I'm actually very surprised at how well thought out this release is. First off, they decided...

    I had a few more notes of interest after reading a little bit more of the information they've released. I'm actually very surprised at how well thought out this release is.

    First off, they decided that they are going to have their own C programming SDK, and Eben Upton's comments make it seem like they are not interested in porting over other environments i.e. Arduino. But that's not really a very bad thing because they are throwing their weight into MicroPython as their tool of choice for beginners. I think this is great; the community is already heavily invested in using Python, so this means that kids who started learning on the Linux-powered Pi systems already have a big heads-up on how to use this, and the ones who are starting out are going to have something that's very easy to use (and can even be run interactively!). I really think this is a great decision.

    It looks like they opted against having internal flash on their chip, which makes a great deal of business sense since it allows them to produce one design in greater volume and let implementers choose how much storage they need - all the way up to 16MB. The Pico itself includes a very generous 2MB.

    I think I understand why they decided to run their own silicon for this project. The RP2040 has some really great features on it - the fact that it's dual-core is neat enough, but they also opted to put them on an AHB-Lite 4:10 crossbar; that basically means that both cores can essentially access all of the RAM all of the time, which essentially keeps them free to do whatever you want at basically all times.

    The most interesting design decision has to be the addition of the Programmable IO subsystem; it's basically a really basic minimalist programmable state machine that can be assigned to most pins. There's a lot of cool things that can be done with them - someone even managed to bit-bang DVI output with it. Unfortunately, it looks like it can only be programmed in assembly right now, but given how low-level it is and how few instructions it has, it's really not going to be that much of an issue. The real power behind it is that it allows you to interface with a number of different hardware interfaces using software interfaces instead of dedicated hardware.

    Perhaps the nicest benefit of their chip design, considering the audience, is the boot ROM itself, which is configured to allow you to program itself through USB with no additional logic required, even going so far as to allow you to simply drag-and-drop firmwares via the USB mass storage device class.

    Above everything else, the decision to design a custom chip has provided one excellent advantage over every other chip: documentation. The datasheet on the RP2040 is perhaps one of the best written datasheets I've ever had the pleasure to have read. It's very long, but it goes into a lot of detail to explain what the features are, why they are useful, and how to use them. There's even code examples! And it's all in this beautifully typeset PDF with proper tagging so you can quickly navigate to the section you need.

    I've got one last crazy thing to add. When I go shopping for Raspberry Pi, I usually go to Microcenter, and right now they are advertising them for just $1.99. Of course they don't have any right now, but that price is absolutely insane. Not even no-name generic Chinese MCU dev boards go that cheap.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Meet Raspberry Silicon: Raspberry Pi Pico in ~comp

    Akir
    Link
    I did not see this coming. But it makes sense that they would make something like this given their mission. It just feels a bit strange that they rolled their own chip for this. Wouldn’t it...

    I did not see this coming. But it makes sense that they would make something like this given their mission.

    It just feels a bit strange that they rolled their own chip for this. Wouldn’t it normally make projects like this more expensive? I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t try to go with a RISC V core, but I can understand why it might have been less than ideal.

    But $4 for a board like this with all those extras is really nice, especially for something manufactured in the UK.

    8 votes
  10. Comment on Hitman 3 - Critical consensus in ~games

    Akir
    Link Parent
    In the case of Xbox, I think it makes sense that Microsoft not support WMR. WMR is, after all, an open ecosystem; not what you want when you are building video games on fixed platforms. In other...

    In the case of Xbox, I think it makes sense that Microsoft not support WMR. WMR is, after all, an open ecosystem; not what you want when you are building video games on fixed platforms. In other words, Microsoft probably just doesn't want to have people dealing with subpar experiences when tied to their Xbox brand. Well, that, and VR probably won't be too great when they are also supporting Series S.

    The reason why I think PSVR2 has the potential it does is because it has better access to markets that Occulus doesn't really reach. I think that most gamers probably don't think of the Quest as a 'serious video game system' because it's based on cell phone tech and is owned by Facebook (which is associated with casual games like farmville et. al.). And since the PS5 is something that gamers "already own" (in other words, they might think of the expense as a new thing instead of a bundle deal), it doesn't necessarily need to be super cheap to be successful.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on What Parler saw during the attack on the Capitol: Curated videos, arranged on a timeline in ~news

    Akir
    Link Parent
    To be clear, the worry I was expressing in that earlier comment was not actually about social media. I was worrying about authoritarian sources of opinion; mouthpieces like Ben Shapiro, Tucker...

    To be clear, the worry I was expressing in that earlier comment was not actually about social media. I was worrying about authoritarian sources of opinion; mouthpieces like Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, Etc. and the media outlets that support them. It's only in extreme cases that so-called 'neutral' media censures them, so in most cases they stay in place because they're making them money. Or in the worst cases, they are being run by evil and corrupt people who are actively trying to publish the poisonous rhetoric.

    And the worst thing is that there are a lot of the poison-pushers, and they are extremely popular to the point that they have replaced legitimate news sources for a large percentage of the population.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Hitman 3 - Critical consensus in ~games

    Akir
    Link Parent
    Well, Sony has a history of making fairly innovative gaming hardware and not doing enough to push them. But in this case, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if this came out on PSVR specifically...

    Well, Sony has a history of making fairly innovative gaming hardware and not doing enough to push them. But in this case, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if this came out on PSVR specifically because they know about the improvements in the rumored hardware refresh.

    Hmm. Now that I think about it, PSVR2 might actually have a chance at dethroning Occulus for best consumer VR experience if they can make it cheap enough.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    Akir
    Link
    lately I've been unhappy with most of my hobbies so I picked up a new niche to play around in. I bought a cheap kit of motors from Amazon that came with 6 crappy DC motors that run at 3V and come...

    lately I've been unhappy with most of my hobbies so I picked up a new niche to play around in. I bought a cheap kit of motors from Amazon that came with 6 crappy DC motors that run at 3V and come with a bunch of gears, shafts, belts, and propellers (it actually has a surprisingly wide variety of them, too). Also in the mail is this fun little kit that I bought because I mistakenly thought it came with more sensors but wasn't paying enough attention. I somehow assumed that it would come with a PIR sensor and an ultrasonic ranger. Nonetheless, it comes with fun toys that I can use to get used to the kind of programming I'll need to master to make fun robots.

    Lately I've been watching a lot of Tom Stanton on Youtube, and it just seemed fun how he spends so much time building these often-impractical things. I figured the things he is doing shouldn't be too far from some of the skills that I have, so I thought that I'd try delving in to a place that's outside of my comfort zone.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Add option to tip/promote posts in ~tildes

    Akir
    Link Parent
    To be honest, I'm really kind of terrified by the concept of voting right now because I understand exactly how addictive it is. Do you remember when we stopped showing the vote totals here on...

    To be honest, I'm really kind of terrified by the concept of voting right now because I understand exactly how addictive it is. Do you remember when we stopped showing the vote totals here on Tildes? I was so happy when they came back. Those numbers were like magic vindication. And without them, it seemed like traffic and comments really slowed down.

    But now I'm starting to feel like the reason why I was so happy is because votes have become the social media drug that I had previously thought I was immune to.

    Do you think it might be time to come up with a community thread to re-examine this issue?

    7 votes
  15. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 20 in ~news

    Akir
    Link Parent
    On a positive note, it seems from quickly scanning through the list for what the offenses were, it seems like a number of these pardons were for people who actually seem to deserve it - people...

    On a positive note, it seems from quickly scanning through the list for what the offenses were, it seems like a number of these pardons were for people who actually seem to deserve it - people tried for drug charges as first-time offenders with exemplary disciplinary records.

    I'm choosing to ignore the voice in my head that's telling me that he probably has an ulterior reason for most of them and just focus on the good parts.

    12 votes
  16. Comment on Add option to tip/promote posts in ~tildes

    Akir
    Link Parent
    To be honest, I've begun to wonder if the idea of being able to vote on comments might be giving us some unwanted side-effects. To attach money to the equation would make those problems an order...

    To be honest, I've begun to wonder if the idea of being able to vote on comments might be giving us some unwanted side-effects. To attach money to the equation would make those problems an order of magnitude worse.

    12 votes
  17. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 19 in ~news

    Akir
    Link Parent
    Would it be a faux pas if I admitted that the simple childishness of all of this made me feel a little better about where we are right now?

    Would it be a faux pas if I admitted that the simple childishness of all of this made me feel a little better about where we are right now?

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Playtech sells YoYo Games to Opera for $10m in ~games

    Akir
    Link
    Wow, what a way to maintain a community. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to sell an entire company without even telling it's customers or other shareholders that they are doing it?! God...

    Wow, what a way to maintain a community. Who on earth thought it was a good idea to sell an entire company without even telling it's customers or other shareholders that they are doing it?! God forgive that they might have at least told someone who they sold it to.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on What Parler saw during the attack on the Capitol: Curated videos, arranged on a timeline in ~news

    Akir
    Link Parent
    I avoided watching the videos because frankly, I had enough of them when they were happening. But honestly, reading direct quotes from these people makes me have so much frustrated sadness that...

    I avoided watching the videos because frankly, I had enough of them when they were happening. But honestly, reading direct quotes from these people makes me have so much frustrated sadness that It's hard to contain it all.

    I understand what it's like to drink the kool-ade. It's nice to be able to post a popular talking point and get tons of positive feedback based on it. But these talking points are so incredibly divorced from reality and these people are so dedicated to those falsehoods that they become their reality. And the sad thing is that it's so incredibly easy to think one's way out of these.

    These people in the riots are upset because they think the election was stolen from them. Surely they know that elections are held by the States? Why haven't they tried rioting into the state capitols instead?

    I'm just tired of this. We need to fix this. And frankly, I don't care if that means throwing out the first amendment anymore. We need to hold people accountable for the ways they speak just the same as we do when they act poorly.

    5 votes
  20. Comment on What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use? in ~comp

    Akir
    Link Parent
    I never thought of it before, but early Unix computers at universities (as well as other multiuser timesharing systems of the day) must have been extremely exciting for people of the time. By the...

    I never thought of it before, but early Unix computers at universities (as well as other multiuser timesharing systems of the day) must have been extremely exciting for people of the time. By the 80s there were lots of social functions being built into these computers like mail, who, and finger; they were basically BBSes before BBSes were a thing.

    6 votes