Kind_of_Ben's recent activity

  1. Comment on Udio | AI music generator in ~music

    Kind_of_Ben
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Jesus. As a musician who wrote a few years ago about AI's ability (or lack thereof) to make art, this caught me wildly off-guard. woo reading comprehension

    Jesus. As a musician who wrote a few years ago about AI's ability (or lack thereof) to make art, this caught me wildly off-guard.

    What was your prompt for "Website On the Internet"? woo reading comprehension

    5 votes
  2. Comment on GPT-4o in ~tech

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Wow, Pi is seriously impressive. As someone who doesn't use GPT, I didn't expect to be able to play with stuff like this so soon. Thanks.

    Wow, Pi is seriously impressive. As someone who doesn't use GPT, I didn't expect to be able to play with stuff like this so soon. Thanks.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on What are some non-science-fiction books that are deep, insane, mind-bending, etc? in ~books

    Kind_of_Ben
    (edited )
    Link
    Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid comes to mind. I never finished it and would struggle to describe it even if I had, so here's from Wikipedia: Central to his arguments is the idea of...

    Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid comes to mind. I never finished it and would struggle to describe it even if I had, so here's from Wikipedia:

    By exploring common themes in the lives and works of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the book expounds concepts fundamental to mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence. Through short stories, illustrations, and analysis, the book discusses how systems can acquire meaningful context despite being made of "meaningless" elements. It also discusses self-reference and formal rules, isomorphism, what it means to communicate, how knowledge can be represented and stored, the methods and limitations of symbolic representation, and even the fundamental notion of "meaning" itself.

    In response to confusion over the book's theme, Hofstadter emphasized that Gödel, Escher, Bach is not about the relationships of mathematics, art, and music—but rather about how cognition emerges from hidden neurological mechanisms. One point in the book presents an analogy about how individual neurons in the brain coordinate to create a unified sense of a coherent mind by comparing it to the social organization displayed in a colony of ants.

    Central to his arguments is the idea of "strange loops":

    A strange loop is a cyclic structure that goes through several levels in a hierarchical system. It arises when, by moving only upwards or downwards through the system, one finds oneself back where one started. Strange loops may involve self-reference and paradox. The concept of a strange loop was proposed and extensively discussed by Douglas Hofstadter in Gödel, Escher, Bach, and is further elaborated in Hofstadter's book I Am a Strange Loop, published in 2007.

    A tangled hierarchy is a hierarchical consciousness system in which a strange loop appears.

    It sounds very heady but it's written as alternating chapters of prose and dialogues between fictional characters (Achilles and the tortoise IIRC). Fascinating stuff.

    11 votes
  4. Comment on Starfield: May update in ~games

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Very true, we'll see how it handles once it drops.

    Very true, we'll see how it handles once it drops.

  5. Comment on Starfield: May update in ~games

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link
    60fps on Series X is HUGE. Huge. The poor framerate was the number one turn-off for me. Skyrim in space would be fine if it didn't feel like I was actually playing a 13-year-old game. Sure,...

    60fps on Series X is HUGE. Huge. The poor framerate was the number one turn-off for me. Skyrim in space would be fine if it didn't feel like I was actually playing a 13-year-old game. Sure, there's other things that feel outdated besides the performance, but I enjoyed it enough that I'm definitely coming back for this update. Can't wait to feel this game with a reasonable framerate.

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

    Kind_of_Ben
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    I like thinking about the fact that beings exist - bits of the universe that can somehow observe themselves, whether that's me, the cat next to me, or an ant in my kitchen. How wild is that?

    I like thinking about the fact that beings exist - bits of the universe that can somehow observe themselves, whether that's me, the cat next to me, or an ant in my kitchen. How wild is that?

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What AI tools are you actually using? in ~tech

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Very cool, thanks for explaining! I will have to give that a try.

    Very cool, thanks for explaining! I will have to give that a try.

  8. Comment on Eclipse plans in ~talk

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Yeah it's insane how big of a difference it is. Up to 99% it's like "ooh the light is all spooky this is awesome" and then you hit 100% and it's just a whole other thing. Not even close.

    I was not prepared for how abrupt the switch over from 99% to 100% was

    Yeah it's insane how big of a difference it is. Up to 99% it's like "ooh the light is all spooky this is awesome" and then you hit 100% and it's just a whole other thing. Not even close.

    13 votes
  9. Comment on What AI tools are you actually using? in ~tech

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    I find it hilarious that even text-only AI are really bad at hands/feet. Also, I'm interested in this solo RPG thing you describe. Do you use published systems or is this something you kind of...

    25-30 toes in each foot, and a new foot was revealed as they got closer

    I find it hilarious that even text-only AI are really bad at hands/feet.

    Also, I'm interested in this solo RPG thing you describe. Do you use published systems or is this something you kind of freestyle yourself?

    1 vote
  10. Comment on What AI tools are you actually using? in ~tech

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    I think this deserves a highlight as the overarching key to ALL effective AI use. Well put.

    In fact, I can only use it like this because I have knowledge and experience myself that allows me to ask the right questions and validate answers.

    I think this deserves a highlight as the overarching key to ALL effective AI use. Well put.

    15 votes
  11. Comment on What AI tools are you actually using? in ~tech

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link
    None extensively but I've used Gemini a fair amount. I've found it helpful in getting around writer's block for my D&D campaign - I was able to feed it a name and a few bullet points of motivation...

    None extensively but I've used Gemini a fair amount. I've found it helpful in getting around writer's block for my D&D campaign - I was able to feed it a name and a few bullet points of motivation and it gave me an essay-length backstory for an NPC I was working on. I cleaned it up a bit because there were some things I wanted to be different and because it won't stick in my brain well enough to use on the fly if I didn't at least partially write it myself, but it could have been used verbatim if necessary. It was that complete and effective. I've also used it sparingly to generate images of items the party has acquired. I'm firmly in the camp that worries about AI hurting artists' livelihoods, but I wasn't going to pay someone to do this anyway (I would have just gone without it).

    I also occasionally use Gemini as a more powerful search engine. I was buying a laptop recently but having trouble finding exactly what I wanted so I fed it my desired specs and it confirmed that what I was hoping for didn't really exist or was very difficult to find. Along the way I also had it explain to me the differences between Intel and AMD CPUs and from what I could tell it did pretty well. It can provide sources for all its claims if prompted so you can confirm that it's not hallucinating.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on The great rewiring: is social media really behind an epidemic of teenage mental illness? in ~health.mental

    Kind_of_Ben
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    Two things need to be said after reading The Anxious Generation. First, this book is going to sell a lot of copies, because Jonathan Haidt is telling a scary story about children’s development that many parents are primed to believe. Second, the book’s repeated suggestion that digital technologies are rewiring our children’s brains and causing an epidemic of mental illness is not supported by science. Worse, the bold proposal that social media is to blame might distract us from effectively responding to the real causes of the current mental-health crisis in young people.

    12 votes
  13. Comment on I had chemo and my hair came back curly in ~health

    Kind_of_Ben
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    You know, I was wondering about that! I love Hank and John's stuff but I don't always keep up with it. I thought I noticed some thumbnails recently where Hank's hair looked different but I chalked...

    You know, I was wondering about that! I love Hank and John's stuff but I don't always keep up with it. I thought I noticed some thumbnails recently where Hank's hair looked different but I chalked it up to it still being in the process of growing back in.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    If you're interested in having a teammate and our platforms are compatible, I'd happily give Century another shot and play with you. I discovered it on Xbox a while ago and it was loads of fun....

    If you're interested in having a teammate and our platforms are compatible, I'd happily give Century another shot and play with you. I discovered it on Xbox a while ago and it was loads of fun. Haven't played much but I'd be down to play more.

  15. Comment on The right to change sex in ~lgbt

    Kind_of_Ben
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    Wow. I didn't follow 100% of everything in the body of the piece, but the entire conclusion (from "'what if we make freedom into the air we together breathe'" on) is incredibly well-put. Thanks...

    Wow. I didn't follow 100% of everything in the body of the piece, but the entire conclusion (from "'what if we make freedom into the air we together breathe'" on) is incredibly well-put. Thanks for this.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Pebbles in ~creative

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Thank you! I've been sitting on this one for several years now thinking about sharing it (I don't share what I write very much). It's hard to explain why I made the choices I did with the line...

    Thank you! I've been sitting on this one for several years now thinking about sharing it (I don't share what I write very much). It's hard to explain why I made the choices I did with the line breaks, but I think they're mostly a rhythm thing for me? When I read poetry I often find myself reading too quickly and just flowing from line to line without thinking about what I'm reading, but line breaks slow me down and make me take it in more fully. So I guess line breaks are both a way of setting how I might want it read aloud and a way of controlling the presentation of images to the reader. It also helps highlight/create some moments like the repetition of "I walk/I bend", so there's that aspect of it too.

    I'm glad you asked, I just do what feels right and I've never had to articulate it before!

    3 votes
  17. Pebbles

    I walk by the stony brook a path of pebbles at my feet. I bend to pick one up and it is lovely. Alas! They number far too many to read each one's story. But I will try.

    15 votes
  18. Comment on Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender has been renewed for two more seasons in ~tv

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Did I imply that this was my recommendation? If so, I didn't intend to. I don't believe I said that, I simply compared the two and commented on the quality of the live action show in general.

    The general response of "go watch the original" isn't very helpful.

    Did I imply that this was my recommendation? If so, I didn't intend to. I don't believe I said that, I simply compared the two and commented on the quality of the live action show in general.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender has been renewed for two more seasons in ~tv

    Kind_of_Ben
    Link Parent
    Well, if the original is a 10 and the movie-that-must-not-be-named is a 1, I'd say this is a 4 or 5. It's way better than the movie, still nowhere near as good as the original. Sometimes it's the...

    Well, if the original is a 10 and the movie-that-must-not-be-named is a 1, I'd say this is a 4 or 5. It's way better than the movie, still nowhere near as good as the original. Sometimes it's the acting, sometimes it's the direction, I dunno. It just never feels quite right, and I don't mean as an adaptation, I mean as a TV show in general. It was hard to care about it much and we stopped after two episodes I think. Maybe it gets better, but the first two were simply... fine.

    21 votes