Macil's recent activity

  1. Comment on Wall Street Democratic donors warn the party: We’ll sit out, or back Trump, if you nominate Elizabeth Warren in ~news

    Macil
    Link Parent
    Isn't it just as simple as that if you added their polling numbers together, they're bigger than Biden?

    Isn't it just as simple as that if you added their polling numbers together, they're bigger than Biden?

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Scott’s Supreme Quantum Supremacy FAQ! in ~comp

    Macil
    Link Parent
    It's rare for us to prove we know the best algorithm for something complicated. We don't even have proof that factorization can't be done efficiently by classical algorithms. By your standard, we...

    It's rare for us to prove we know the best algorithm for something complicated. We don't even have proof that factorization can't be done efficiently by classical algorithms. By your standard, we could have quantum computers actively breaking asymmetric cryptography and you'd be saying we haven't achieved QS. We wouldn't know it for sure, but we'd consider it very strong evidence.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on 'Terrifying' New Climate Models Warn of 6-7°C of Warming by 2100 If Emissions Not Slashed in ~enviro

    Macil
    Link Parent
    The natural processes might operate on the scale of thousands of years, which wouldn't be very useful to us now.

    The natural processes might operate on the scale of thousands of years, which wouldn't be very useful to us now.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~lgbt

    Macil
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I felt that some of her videos where she plays multiple characters did a really good job at showing that not everyone has the same opinions on the subjects. I was just thinking a few weeks ago...

    Natalie Wynn has been painstaking and courageous in relating her experience, without, as far as I can determine, an oppressive insistence that there's a single "right" way to respect gender-non-binary or trans identities.

    I felt that some of her videos where she plays multiple characters did a really good job at showing that not everyone has the same opinions on the subjects. I was just thinking a few weeks ago about how unusual of a quality it was. Most videos seem to try to push a single correct position instead of arguing the sides of multiple points and leaving it so open. (Not to say that all videos should be like that! It just works well for personal subjects that don't have established answers.)

    5 votes
  5. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~lgbt

    Macil
    Link Parent
    I thought Contra's point in that was just to say that she's part of one group (who want to transition and then have that gender's standard expression and experience), and she's not familiar with...

    Most notably, I saw people who were her age and transitioned at the same time speaking out about her strange idea that she is the "last of the old trans women"

    I thought Contra's point in that was just to say that she's part of one group (who want to transition and then have that gender's standard expression and experience), and she's not familiar with the other group (who want to carve out some new gender expression and standard) and their goals. Maybe she described her group as old-school because she mistakenly thought it was older, or maybe she called it old-school because the group wants the old-school kind of gender expression for themselves. It feels really uncharitable for so many people to dunk on her whole point just for the phrase old-school here, even if she was using it in a mistaken way.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on The curious case of a weapon in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory that sounded so good players thought it was overpowered in ~games.game_design

    Macil
    Link Parent
    That was my impression too, though the video really breezes past that important detail. It seemed like it was just hinted to in a really quick and ambiguous way, which is really weird because the...

    The impression I was given by the person interviewed about the game was that they only changed the audio, and that the "problem" they were seeing with differences in kill rates on the servers went away after that, implying the audio was the primary contributing factor.

    That was my impression too, though the video really breezes past that important detail. It seemed like it was just hinted to in a really quick and ambiguous way, which is really weird because the whole story hinges on it.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on What happens when you launch a fresh install of Firefox? in ~comp

    Macil
    Link Parent
    It should be possible for someone to make a Firefox extension which listens for touch events and then emits events that the game is watching for.

    It should be possible for someone to make a Firefox extension which listens for touch events and then emits events that the game is watching for.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Do you collect questions? What are some questions on your list? in ~talk

    Macil
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I think it's optimistic to imagine there's enough time for another intelligent species to evolve: the Sun might make land on Earth uninhabitable in as little as 300 million years (a little more...

    When the human race is completely extinct and a new dominant, intelligent life evolves to fill our niche, how will we look in the fossil records? Will they be digging up random harddrives that someone tossed in a safety deposit box? Will they figure out how to read it?

    I think it's optimistic to imagine there's enough time for another intelligent species to evolve: the Sun might make land on Earth uninhabitable in as little as 300 million years (a little more time than has passed since dinosaurs first evolved). (Maybe it's likely that an intelligent species evolves on average once every few hundred million years, or it's possible that humanity is a total fluke. We don't know how often planets with life fail to evolve intelligence. Imagine a group of lottery winners who only knew each other and reasoned that humans tend to win the lottery once every few decades.)

    Anyway, here's an article on an idea like this: https://www.futurity.org/silurian-hypothesis-thought-experiment-1732282/. If there were a civilization on Earth millions of years ago, how would we know?

    5 votes
  9. Comment on What Are the Ethical Consequences of Immortality Technology? in ~humanities

    Macil
    Link
    I think developing mind uploading (and developing other anti-aging/anti-death technologies) is one of the most important things for humanity to do. Literally everyone alive today will die if we...

    I think developing mind uploading (and developing other anti-aging/anti-death technologies) is one of the most important things for humanity to do. Literally everyone alive today will die if we don't. Sure, we won't all be dying in some sudden unusual event, but I really don't think the usualness of it is an important detail at all.

    If we solve death, there are some open problems around resource usage and cultural stagnation, but I think human intelligence can address them in ways much better than nature's default "just kill everyone regularly" solution. The trend of first-world nations to have decreasing birthrates implies to me that solving death doesn't mean everyone would quickly reproduce until we run out of resources, and mind-uploading would allow us to make a lot more out of our existing resources anyway.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What Are the Ethical Consequences of Immortality Technology? in ~humanities

    Macil
    Link Parent
    It's not that hard to store things accurately if you can expend energy to detect and correct mistakes and manufacture new storage as needed. DNA has information loss because that's how evolution...

    I am thinking of storage mediums. What would you store it on? Scientists are making strides storing data on DNA, but even that isn't 'immortal' and has storage degradation.

    It's not that hard to store things accurately if you can expend energy to detect and correct mistakes and manufacture new storage as needed. DNA has information loss because that's how evolution works. It's not inherently impossible to make a copying system that doesn't have random mistakes, but evolution can only act through random mistakes, so it can never develop an organism without random mistakes. An intelligent creator doesn't have that limitation. You can use error-detecting codes in data to make it so you can detect and avoid copying corrupt data (to an arbitrary overwhelming probability).

    Storing data on inert material has limitations, but if the system can gather and use energy, then it's less limited. You could imagine people inventing self-replicating robots that detect and correct errors in themselves, and also contain computers storing (and running) mind-uploaded humans for very long amounts of time.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What are you reading these days? #25 in ~books

    Macil
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I loved the series. I really liked the books' approach to gender. (Minor series setting detail that's established pretty early on: the main character and their culture does not use gendered...

    I loved the series. I really liked the books' approach to gender. (Minor series setting detail that's established pretty early on: the main character and their culture does not use gendered pronouns or really have the social concept, and the importance placed on it by other cultures causes some confusion occasionally when they interact. The book uses "she" as the pronoun for everyone because ostensibly it's translated from the protagonist's language and the original text didn't have the gender information in it.) Early on in the book, I wondered whether certain characters were male or female, and it frustrated me a bit that it wouldn't say. I thought I needed that detail to really picture the scenes or to understand the social dynamics, but I realized I only wanted that detail so I could try to pattern-match the characters to certain gendered stereotypes in my head. I realized that impulse wasn't actually that useful to understanding the characters, or even as useful as I thought it was for understanding people in general.

    It made me feel pretty aware of how strange it is that pronouns always include that one specific bit about people. Can you imagine a culture which had pronouns that instead of specifying someone's gender, always specified their skin color, or instead whether the person had a beard? I think that culture would end up developing some extremely strong stereotypes and social roles based around that. I'd be really uncomfortable for a detail like that to always be the first step in how I'm categorized in conversation. I'm more than comfortable being male and identifiable as that, but it's weird to realize that that's the primary detail language uses to categorize myself and everyone.

    Coincidentally I also read a bunch of Greg Egan books at around the same time, which often explored gender, had characters that were AIs or uploaded humans which were just minds with no physical body, and posed the question of what gender even means or whether it's an outdated concept when no one is stuck to it.

    I think it all helped to truly convince my mind just how arbitrary gender is. Anyway I'm now bisexual and in a same-sex relationship. I'm sure some people will assume this just means I always was actually bisexual and just needed to realize that, but I don't really think that was the case.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on 8chan goes dark after hardware provider discontinues service in ~tech

    Macil
    Link Parent
    I think there's a lot of bigoted propaganda on other sites too that should be dealt with, but I wouldn't be surprised if 8chan was orders of magnitude more effective at radicalizing people than...

    Ignoring of course all the other shooters that will have become radicalised on Reddit, or Facebook, or just by reading their President's twitter feed.

    I think there's a lot of bigoted propaganda on other sites too that should be dealt with, but I wouldn't be surprised if 8chan was orders of magnitude more effective at radicalizing people than those sites. I know a good number of people who I used to consider friends that became far alt-right whack-jobs, and the cause was 8chan for all of them. I don't know anyone radicalized by other sites.

    Granted this is extremely skewed by my friend group having been very 4chan-adjacent, but on the other hand, in various threads about 8chan going down, I've seen numerous posts talking about 8chan radicalizing people they knew, and only many hypothetical posts about other sites being capable of doing the same. (Granted there's a further skewing of that maybe people with stories to tell about 8chan affecting their friend groups are more likely to post in threads titled after it, and that maybe the friend-groups of people radicalized by other sites aren't so closely connected to the sites with discussion threads that I read, but I feel like it still adds up to some amount of signal.)

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Cloudflare is terminating service for 8Chan in ~tech

    Macil
    Link Parent
    Seems weird to call it pseudoactivism when it worked.

    I see a lot of really smart people in my Twitter feed get taken in by the pseudoctivism and claim Cloudflare is evil because they defend 8chan.

    Seems weird to call it pseudoactivism when it worked.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on What creative projects are you working on? (August 2019 edition) in ~creative

    Macil
    Link
    I've just been making some Super Mario Maker 2 courses lately. I love the game and some of the communities around it. I've always wanted to make some of my own games, and making stuff in Mario...

    I've just been making some Super Mario Maker 2 courses lately. I love the game and some of the communities around it. I've always wanted to make some of my own games, and making stuff in Mario Maker is definitely helping exercise my creative skills.

    Also I'm really fascinated by the concept of the World Map Builder. I might play with it or make my own thing like it.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Tainted by association: Would you carve a roast with a knife that had been used in a murder? Why not? And what does this tell us about ethics? in ~humanities

    Macil
    (edited )
    Link
    A big part of why we treat objects as tainted is because we know they can affect how others judge us. When a creator I liked came out as vocally racist, I enjoyed their content less and cut it out...

    A big part of why we treat objects as tainted is because we know they can affect how others judge us.

    When a creator I liked came out as vocally racist, I enjoyed their content less and cut it out of my life. I knew that a lot of alt-righters started becoming vocal fans of the creator, and a lot of non-racists stopped associating with the creator. If I told someone I was a fan of the creator, many people would now reasonably assign a higher chance that I was an alt-righter. Also, part of the enjoyment of content comes from the possibility that I might meet other interesting fans of the content through it. Knowing that if I met a random fan now, it would be more likely to be an alt-righter I had even less in common with was a big turn-off.

    If a knife of mine had been used in a murder, I wouldn't want to keep the knife around. If a friend I invited over to my place somehow discovered the history of the knife, they would assume I had some unusual fetishization of the murder. They might think I kept it specifically as a talking piece so I can bring up the murder, and that I kept it approvingly as a souvenir. They might not-unreasonably worry that I went out of my way to acquire or keep the knife, and it would be ridiculous for me to try to defend my ownership of the knife as merely convenient. Convenience would be me disassociating from the knife so I don't ever have to bother trying to explain away such a thing, so that's what I'd actually do in the first place.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on What do y'all think about the new Twitter design? in ~tech

    Macil
    Link
    My main complaint is that the timeline and individual threads look too similar. I often forget which I'm in.

    My main complaint is that the timeline and individual threads look too similar. I often forget which I'm in.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Do you have a personal website/blog? in ~comp

    Macil
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a domain pointing to a VPS where I've got Ghost (open source blog software) set up with a few ancient posts. I'm thinking of re-doing it using Gatsby (a static site generator that uses...

    I have a domain pointing to a VPS where I've got Ghost (open source blog software) set up with a few ancient posts. I'm thinking of re-doing it using Gatsby (a static site generator that uses React) because I want to make my site publishable as static files (so it can be accessible over IPFS), because I want to keep the history of all changes to it in a git repo, and because I want to be able to have individual posts and pages with interactive features powered by page-specific Javascript that uses React, npm libraries, and ES2015+ features.

    I've been keeping notes in Google Keep with rough drafts of possible blog posts. I started a lot of my drafts by copying from posts I've made to Tildes, Reddit, and HN, and then re-working them to stand on their own. Looking at your own post history across various sites is the perfect way to find ideas for things you're able to write about.

    I've also set up Fastmail on my domain. If you want email on your domain, I really recommend it. I highly recommend against trying to manage your own email server. It's a lot of work to get something working that works less well than free products, and you're never done with it. You'll always have to deal with spam, and worry that you might be silently missing emails, or that your sent emails are being silently dropped. You should put your effort into the things that you're uniquely good at, and not use up all your effort in just trying to duplicate what free or cheap services could get you unless you're learning something significant from it (If you're just looking for Linux/server experience, literally hosting anything else, like a webserver, will be a much better effort/reward ratio, and won't have bad failure modes like cutting you off from people trying to contact you), and/or bringing your own unique twist to it (There's no real unique twist you're going to be able to bring to running your own email server).

    9 votes
  18. Comment on Reddit's 'Manosphere' and the Challenge of Quantifying Hate in ~tech

    Macil
    Link Parent
    I think Loire meant that America has changed such that people who used to have been considered centrists are now considered liberal (assuming they kept the same opinions).

    I think Loire meant that America has changed such that people who used to have been considered centrists are now considered liberal (assuming they kept the same opinions).

    13 votes
  19. Comment on Mario Maker 2 level sharing in ~games

    Macil
    Link Parent
    I've been watching the Game Grumps videos of MM2, and I find it really fun to join in and play the level at the same time as them and see if I can do better. Whenever they start a new level, it...

    I've been watching the Game Grumps videos of MM2, and I find it really fun to join in and play the level at the same time as them and see if I can do better. Whenever they start a new level, it shows them entering in the level code, so you can just enter it in at the same time. I did better than them at "Companion Spring 3d", but worse at "Do You Trust Me?".

    1 vote
  20. Comment on How a childhood of loneliness and anger led the founder of 8chan to create one of the darkest corners of the internet in ~tech

    Macil
    Link Parent
    I think that's how these situations start out, but these situations are the perfect breeding ground for more serious bigotry. I really love this quote after my experience with 4chan and alt-chan...

    I think you’d find most of the younger male audience is actually more concerned with their self-image of being edgy and contrarian than they are serious about race wars. But it’s very difficult to prove that most of these cesspools are actually mostly just trolls or devils advocates due to the inherent anonymity.

    I think that's how these situations start out, but these situations are the perfect breeding ground for more serious bigotry. I really love this quote after my experience with 4chan and alt-chan culture: "Any community that gets its laughs by pretending to be idiots will eventually be flooded by actual idiots who mistakenly believe that they're in good company.". Though I think that quote is too optimistic by almost painting the original people "pretending to be idiots" and the later "actual idiots" as separate groups. As the nature of a group evolves, the original people keep up with it in order to fit in. They might tell themselves they're being ironic, but they tend to increasingly adopt all of the actions of an unironic believer.

    14 votes