JakeTheDog's recent activity

  1. Comment on I’ve stopped using box plots. Should you? in ~design

    JakeTheDog
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    I agree with much of what the author has to say, but they overlooked what I think is a good solution: box + dot plot (or "jittered strip plot" in the author's terms). To me this is the best of...

    I agree with much of what the author has to say, but they overlooked what I think is a good solution: box + dot plot (or "jittered strip plot" in the author's terms). To me this is the best of both worlds. You show the raw data pattern but also get the summary statistics (median, quantiles, outliers, skew) on top.

    Cédric Scherer is someone I respect in the data viz world. Here he has a tutorial/blog post on something similar, a "raincloud plot". I find it overkill but I think he tackles the issue even better: Visualizing Distributions with Raincloud Plots

    8 votes
  2. Comment on What if we discover the answers of the Universe, eliminate cancer, halt aging. What's next? in ~humanities

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Perhaps it’s a glass-half-full/empty situation, because I have the exact opposite perspective: I would love to see all of the advancements and innovations in art and technology that would provide...

    but can you imagine living to 1000 and witnessing all the wars, all the violence, all the injustice, all the suffering that would fill a millenia?

    Perhaps it’s a glass-half-full/empty situation, because I have the exact opposite perspective: I would love to see all of the advancements and innovations in art and technology that would provide new avenues of exploration, self-expression and enjoyment of beauty.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Fellow hardline materialists, how do you "enchant" the world? in ~talk

    JakeTheDog
    Link
    I’m also a life scientist and a materialist. As others mentioned, I find “enchantment” through beauty. I adore fractals, whether in the nature of a garden displayed in branches or the nature of a...

    I’m also a life scientist and a materialist. As others mentioned, I find “enchantment” through beauty. I adore fractals, whether in the nature of a garden displayed in branches or the nature of a computer algorithm displayed on a screen—I actually equate the two as the same. Physical constants are the distillations of beauty in different forms: phi, pi, c and all the other Greek letters.

    If I had to commit to a religion, it would be one of the polytheisms. I think it’s analogous to physical constants at a less abstract level, and also applicable to social and psychological phenomena. I would still take a materialist view here: not taking the Gods literally but rather as distillations of the beauty in the world.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on It annoys me that so many PC games feel like they're intended for consoles in ~games

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    I’d also recommend the Xbox Elite controller with underside paddles, which can be mapped to anything like ABXY, and has exchangeable thumbsticks.

    I’d also recommend the Xbox Elite controller with underside paddles, which can be mapped to anything like ABXY, and has exchangeable thumbsticks.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on People with a "second brain": Why? How? in ~life

    JakeTheDog
    Link
    Researcher here. And also an enthusiast for all things cognition and meta-cognition. I think the "second brain" concept that you're alluding to is actually a "knowledge graph". If, as you mention...

    Researcher here. And also an enthusiast for all things cognition and meta-cognition.

    I think the "second brain" concept that you're alluding to is actually a "knowledge graph". If, as you mention in your edit and comments, that you don't mean a to-do list or just writing information down.

    To distill this figure into words: information is a list of facts, but knowledge comes from the relationships between the facts. Formally, a graph is a tool used to represent objects and their relationships. Hence, a knowledge graph.

    The recent and maybe original method for this was the analog Zettelkasten approach. Analogous to the internet, you would have cards with essential pieces of information which would then reference other cards with definitions/concepts/ideas.

    This becomes powerful when populated and networked because a) it facilitates making connections between ideas, which is one definition of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking and b) if formalizes and solidifies your trains of thought i.e. how you went from fact A through B, C... to Z. (To paraphrase Metcalfe's Law, the value of the knowledge graph is proportional to the square of connected ideas (n2).)

    Long-form writing is a form of thinking, but often limited to being linear, while a knowledge graph expands this a non-linear space, allowing for tangents that could one day be reconnected or expanded on. To me this is the true second-brain functionality. Not to mention the value of offloading your memory onto a large and much more stable medium: a physical hard disk.

    Really any note-taking app that allows markdown and hyperlinking can be used for this purpose. But I lean in favor of Obsidian because it explicitly shows a graph/network view of your knowledge graph. Essentially a way to visualize your meta-cognition.

    15 votes
  6. Comment on Why Europe fails to create wealth in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    This is great! I think that answers my concerns really well. I guess in some ways it really does depend on the sectors being compared. The energy tech is a really good one, same with biotech, as I...

    This is great! I think that answers my concerns really well. I guess in some ways it really does depend on the sectors being compared. The energy tech is a really good one, same with biotech, as I would expect they become more and more relevant in the future, even compared to AI-based and adjacent tech.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Why Europe fails to create wealth in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    This was adressed in the article's comments section:

    This was adressed in the article's comments section:

    Shaked Koplewitz
    Writes shakeddown
    Dec 14
    I think many of these are good points, but seems to go a bit too far.
    Potential issues:
    ...
    (2) Potential viewpoint bias - if you lived in one place until age 18 it'll seem more provider-y because you were a child there (and SV is kind of the opposite extreme in many ways, and not a good baseline for America).

    John Loeber
    Dec 15
    ...
    (2): acknowledged, but I maintain enough contacts in Europe and go back often enough to have some contemporary perspective. My views are informed by what I currently believe to be the case, not my impressions as a teenager.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Why Europe fails to create wealth in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Sure, but that is a universally-applicable narrative, especially to any Western state. The AI regulation is a new one and the closest analogy I can use to understand it is the GDPR, which I think...

    have you not seen any of those popular articles or YouTube videos about how Europe is basically on the verge of collapse, flooded by Muslim immigrants, native Europeans running away, no-go zones, terror, rape, gang violence...

    Sure, but that is a universally-applicable narrative, especially to any Western state. The AI regulation is a new one and the closest analogy I can use to understand it is the GDPR, which I think is a net positive but has also many, many shortcomings and annoyances.

    I was more so looking for a perspective from those in the industry tech space, who would be more directly affected by this regulation and would be re-maneuvering around it in the short term.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Why Europe fails to create wealth in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    But does the regulation make any sense? I was taken aback by this: Not to mention clauses in the regulation like: It does seem rather toothless and unhelpful. The product of busywork rather than...

    But does the regulation make any sense? I was taken aback by this:

    Obedient, rule-following entrepreneurs will waste all their time and money trying to comply with every paragraph of the AI Act. More Realpolitik-minded entrepreneurs will position their business such that it’s in a gray area, assume that if they’re successful, they’ll get sued one day, and save some funds for that eventuality.

    And if they get sued, what are the penalties? Up to 7% of global annual turnover. This is a farce. If the EU’s contention is that this technology is so dangerous that it requires EU-wide regulation, then the penalties should actually be a lot higher. If there’s a bad actor running a massively abusive AI business, and the biggest threat they face is a 7% revenue penalty that they can probably knock down to 2% after a few years of litigation — then that’s no deterrent at all!

    Not to mention clauses in the regulation like:

    “AI systems that manipulate human behavior to circumvent their free will.”

    It does seem rather toothless and unhelpful. The product of busywork rather than anything thoughtful and well informed. FWIW, I would 100% support harsher penalties for more serious offenses.

    13 votes
  10. Comment on Why Europe fails to create wealth in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    (edited )
    Link
    I moved from America to the EU a few years ago for a variety of reasons, namely the quality of life and culture, and I haven't looked back. But I'm also in the tech sector and this article worries...

    How fitting: the European Commission assembled around an iPad. On the back, in fine print, it will read: Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China. There is no European iPad. There is no European computer. There is no European search engine. There are only European consumers, to whom things are quasi-magically provided, and so they regulate the providing and consumption of those things.

    The European Union is so deep in Providerism that it does not recognize how far removed it is from the production of things of value. This myopia is a great peril for the citizens of Europe.

    Europe is falling behind. It largely missed the internet and personal computing booms, and now it sits in danger of missing the coming AI boom. Today’s Europeans are not yet poor — they are still living off the prosperity created by prior generations, and that enables their passive consumption7 — but tomorrow’s Europeans may be.

    I moved from America to the EU a few years ago for a variety of reasons, namely the quality of life and culture, and I haven't looked back. But I'm also in the tech sector and this article worries me a bit. I'm not sure how accurate of a portrayal it is since I lack the breadth of knowledge to judge. I'm not an entrepreneur per se but adjacent, and I'm not sure how to act moving forward for my long term future.

    8 votes
  11. Comment on How the ballpoint pen killed cursive in ~humanities.history

    JakeTheDog
    Link
    I had a rather unusual (I assume) and surprising (to me) journey with cursive. I'm a fast keyboard typist, and sometimes even opt for dictation now with models like Whisper, but I still have a...

    I had a rather unusual (I assume) and surprising (to me) journey with cursive. I'm a fast keyboard typist, and sometimes even opt for dictation now with models like Whisper, but I still have a preference for handwriting, mainly because of the enhanced thinking process that comes with it.

    I had and still have pretty bad handwriting, though it is decent when I take my time e.g. writing in cards/notes for others. My mom was rather strict with me, forcing me to drill writing/lettering when I was young, but it didn't help. I'm not sure what difference a pencil/graphite makes for quality. At one point I bought a good quality mid-range fountain pen, and although I enjoyed the feel of it, I was far too messy with the ink, especially when traveling with it.

    Fast forward to me buying an iPad with a Pencil 2 and applying a matte/paper-like screen protector. I initially started with single-letter print handwriting, but somehow my hand would naturally want to go cursive, it just felt so much smoother and natural, and was actually much faster. It actually felt a lot like writing with a fountain pen in how low-effort and natural it felt. Not to mention one of the apps I use (Nebo) can convert even messy cursive handwriting to text, which can then be searched or exported etc.

    I wonder if anyone else has had this experience and can compare to a fountain pen.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Accessibility in gaming expands with Sony’s new Access Controller for PS5 in ~games

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    I guess to each their own, because I think it looks super slick. Very alien, in the sense that I don’t know how I would use it just by looking at it, but the design looks clean and creative to me.

    I guess to each their own, because I think it looks super slick. Very alien, in the sense that I don’t know how I would use it just by looking at it, but the design looks clean and creative to me.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Google announces Gemini model, claims it outperforms GPT-4 in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I'm not sure that there's enough Ancient Greek in their training data to work, but perhaps you could try making your own "GPT" with their new builder tool and upload some data for it to use?...

    Yeah, I'm not sure that there's enough Ancient Greek in their training data to work, but perhaps you could try making your own "GPT" with their new builder tool and upload some data for it to use? Getting the data in the first place will be the hard part though...

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Google announces Gemini model, claims it outperforms GPT-4 in ~tech

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Not OP but I'm learning German and this was one of the first things that came to mind when I started using ChatGPT. I use it in two modes. In both cases I think the most valuable feature is that...
    • Exemplary

    Not OP but I'm learning German and this was one of the first things that came to mind when I started using ChatGPT. I use it in two modes. In both cases I think the most valuable feature is that you can have technical explanations immediately, which you often don't get from native speakers because for a native speaker it's intuitive (unless they also formally studied the language).

    One mode is conversation, where I use the app's built-in Whisper to transcribe my voice audio to have a conversation. Unfortunately the voice response takes too long for my liking, so I just read text replies.

    Here's my starting prompt:

    I want to practice my German with you. We will have a dialogue only in German, and after I talk, you will first give me a correction of what I said. In addition to the corrections, you will give an explanation that will be in English. So, we both talk in German, with the exception that your corrections are in English. My level is B1. I want you to start the conversation. The topic will be X, here is a description: [description]

    I give a specific topic and description because it's far more useful than the default getting-to-know-you conversations, at least in intermediate levels. The crazy thing is that we end up having very interesting and deep conversations, almost eerily better than I would have with most people...

    The second mode is an infinite textbook/tutor to drill and study specific components of e.g. grammar. Often I will take these examples from my grammar textbook, effectively extending the textbook itself for as much practice as I need

    Example prompt:

    I'm learning German at the a2.2 level. I need to practice the dative and accusative pronouns and articles, as well as genders. Give me 10 simple sentences where I have to fill in the correct articles and/or pronouns. Below is an example set of exercise I want you to give me, make new ones and make sure you number them. I want to answer in two parts: first by filling in the blanks, and second using the pronouns instead of the specific nouns, for each exercise

    Ich gebe _____ Mann (m) _____ Buch (n).
    Hast du _____ Kindern (n.pl) _____ Spielzeug (n) gegeben?
    Er schickt _____ Frau (f) _____ Blumen (f.pl).
    Sie trinkt _____ Kaffee (m) mit _____ Zucker (m).
    Wir sehen _____ Film (m) mit _____ Freunden (m.pl).
    

    The latter can be a bit too complex for it to execute correctly, so it might take a few tries to make it manageable. And sometimes it can still make mistakes, so you do need to familiarize yourself with the grammar first, so that you have some kind of sanity check. Some languages are more cumbersome than others, like the mostly-random gendering of nouns in German. The nice thing here is you can also tailor it to your difficult level.

    16 votes
  15. Comment on BDSM: Why are you into it? What makes your role(s) enjoyable to you? in ~life.style

    JakeTheDog
    (edited )
    Link
    Creativity and intimacy. With a little bit of openness and a sense of humor, BDSM opens the gate to a near-infinite playground for creative expression. There’s a saying that I enjoy: adults are...

    Creativity and intimacy.

    With a little bit of openness and a sense of humor, BDSM opens the gate to a near-infinite playground for creative expression. There’s a saying that I enjoy: adults are just children that forgot how to play. I think play is important for all ages, and BDSM and kinks are a great medium for play. There are just so many opportunities and so many varieties that just about anyone can find something that suits them. For example, bondage can provide beautiful aesthetics with all the colors and patterns, it can also be akin to dancing with your partner and it can be a type of puzzle, improvised in a state of flow or pre-planned and orchestrated. Role play is an obvious one—we role played as children all the time, and typically adults only do it once a year if even that, but with BDSM you can not only look like someone else but also try being someone else. Then there are more straightforward artistic and aesthetic aspects like with fashion and art. To me, art and creativity are driven by emotion and are an expression of one’s unique psychology that words often cannot articulate, so BDSM (and kink) has that role for me.

    Now for intimacy, I’ll say the same thing—between partners that have a degree of psychological openness and a sense of humor, BDSM has a unique and genuinely powerful effect on intimacy. This is on the general basis of vulnerability being the bridge for intimacy between humans, in all contexts. In BDSM between consenting adults you can go quite deep with physical and emotional vulnerability.

    Physically, when you’re tied up and made helpless, you’re literally putting your safety and wellbeing in the hands of another person. You not only need to trust that your partner has your best interest in mind, but that they are attentive, knowledgeable and skilled (they didn’t cut off your blood supply or are impacting nerves anywhere; or say there is an emergency, they have clean ties and an emergency cord cutter on hand). For this reason I don’t play with strangers in private and I take my time working up to certain levels with longer-term partners.

    Emotional vulnerability is where the real magic happens. Let’s break the fourth wall here: BDSM and kink is just plain fucking weird. We do weird shit that we don’t want “vanilla” folks to find out about. Hence the unfortunate sense of shame people may have. For some, BDSM allows for a uniquely safe context for people to explore their weirdness, on their own terms. If one can do it with others, that’s a tremendously vulnerable position that can foster a deep understanding of each other, and most importantly, of oneself. I’ve learned a lot about myself and others this way.

    As with anything, this can all be abused and may not be fitting for all or most. But, ultimately, from what I’ve seen, I think BDSM is one of the healthiest practices one can engage with, for one’s own emotional and psychological wellbeing.

    16 votes
  16. Comment on Is acupuncture, like, legit now? in ~talk

    JakeTheDog
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    I wouldn’t say “now” per se. As with any med tech, the evidence accumulates. I understand that that’s your impression from YouTube, but acceptance in popular culture is not a good standard for the...

    I wouldn’t say “now” per se. As with any med tech, the evidence accumulates. I understand that that’s your impression from YouTube, but acceptance in popular culture is not a good standard for the legitimacy of a medicine. Not the least because they are usually fads or viral phenomena often driven by random events.

    Here is a “recent” review from 2011 that describes the plausible mechanism:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092510/

    The anatomical basis for the concept of meridians in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has not been resolved. This paper reviews the evidence supporting a relationship between acupuncture points/meridians and fascia. The reviewed evidence supports the view that the human body's fascia network may be the physical substrate represented by the meridians of TCM.

    12 votes
  17. Comment on Hey, Computer, Make Me a Font in ~comp

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Totally, you hit the nail on the head (assuming Maelstrom didn’t misinterpret my post, which was my first thought and why I replied to clarify). I will add that I also feel both sides. My...

    Totally, you hit the nail on the head (assuming Maelstrom didn’t misinterpret my post, which was my first thought and why I replied to clarify).

    I will add that I also feel both sides. My professional career has relied heavily on my writing. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a moment of “ah fuck, I’m not going to have my edge anymore”. I’ve had a few actually, even when my colleagues seemed to have improved their writing seemingly overnight. And yet, I use an LLM at least a handful of times a day and even tutor my friends and colleagues on how to use them effectively.

    In my reply above I wanted to emphasize that it’s still worth learning both the theory and a sense of style, to be the pilot of these machines, because that’s really the lesson I’ve learned from my own discomforts with them.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Hey, Computer, Make Me a Font in ~comp

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    Actually, what I meant is that with the theory and your own style you can use the very same generative tools with more finesse and quality than you would otherwise. Arguably on par with experts...

    Actually, what I meant is that with the theory and your own style you can use the very same generative tools with more finesse and quality than you would otherwise. Arguably on par with experts that are trained with the traditional tools.

    These AI tools remove the need for so much practice to master the instrument that was once necessary. Although there still is value in learning the instruments, they’re no longer necessary if you’re just after the final product. The remaining factors are essentially creativity and your ability to express your thoughts.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Hey, Computer, Make Me a Font in ~comp

    JakeTheDog
    Link Parent
    I wouldn't think of it that way. AI-based generators are tools, but without any explicit direction. In both textual and visual mediums, a user of these tools can produce far more interesting and...

    Makes me a bit sad though as I’d always thought it might be fun to make a font and now learning how seems redundant.

    I wouldn't think of it that way. AI-based generators are tools, but without any explicit direction. In both textual and visual mediums, a user of these tools can produce far more interesting and useful results if they are familiar with the theory behind it. Having a sense of style will always be personal. When you learn the theory and develop your own style, that's when the real magic happens, regardless of what tools you use.

    If you want some inspiration specifically for typeface, I recommend season 2 episode 6 of the Netflix series "Abstract: The Art of Design".

    8 votes