Macil's recent activity

  1. Comment on 12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias in ~news

    Macil Link Parent
    So even if the test might be imperfect, because it exists, it should be the primary and only factor? That's like saying the most skilled driver in the world is the one that got the best license...

    I don’t think that there should be some kind of standardized test to promote police officers, but if there is, and 3 people get promoted over 11 higher-scoring candidates, then that’s fishy.

    So even if the test might be imperfect, because it exists, it should be the primary and only factor? That's like saying the most skilled driver in the world is the one that got the best license exam score, and if you disagree, then we should get rid of the license exam. An imperfect test can work great as a filter to throw out candidates that fail to meet some low bar without having to be the sole determinant.

    If the test is imperfect, then it makes sense to round out its results. If you were blind, trying to find the tallest person, and had a super easy to use laser measuring device that was often up to several feet off, it might be fine to use the device to decide to skip people it said were only about as tall as toddlers, but if it said Bob and Charlie were the tallest people by a longshot and Bob was an inch taller than Charlie, then you'd probably consider it as if the device gave them the same height, and you'd try other ways to determine which of them was taller. There isn't enough signal in the answer the test gives to justify paying attention to such tiny differences in score. If the device usually said a dozen people were within a few inches of each other, it would probably be sheer coincidence if the person it said was tallest actually was.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on E3 2019: Bethesda Showcase in ~games

    Macil Link
    Doom Eternal looks pretty good. I love the focus on its gameplay here. The battle mode looks awesome. Is the game still going to also have Dark Souls style invasions in campaign as previously...

    Doom Eternal looks pretty good. I love the focus on its gameplay here. The battle mode looks awesome. Is the game still going to also have Dark Souls style invasions in campaign as previously announced? I hope battle mode didn't replace that because I really want it.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on 7 absolute truths I unlearned as junior developer in ~comp

    Macil Link Parent
    I recently set up Prettier to run on each of my work's repositories automatically on commit. Formatting is no longer a conscious worry for us, and it's amazing.

    I recently set up Prettier to run on each of my work's repositories automatically on commit. Formatting is no longer a conscious worry for us, and it's amazing.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Playdate, the most exciting device in indie gaming, is also the most depressing: The recently announced system shows that indie games can be just as myopic and male-centered as the medium’s mainstream in ~games

    Macil Link
    I think there's an inherent conflict between making a tightly curated experience with games by a few proven developers, and being inclusive to up-and-coming developers of varied backgrounds. I...

    I think there's an inherent conflict between making a tightly curated experience with games by a few proven developers, and being inclusive to up-and-coming developers of varied backgrounds. I think it's hard to push on both goals at once.

    If the ecosystem overall was totally going into the first goal, then a good argument would exist that just picking that goal while everyone else is also doing so is furthering an exclusionary status quo, but I don't feel like that's what the ecosystem is doing now. There's more platforms than ever allowing indies to publish. It feels like very few groups are even going for the first goal right now. It could be better if they excelled at multiple goals at the same time, but I'd rather have a few groups trying at the first goal alone than none at all.

    11 votes
  5. Comment on What is something that recently surprised you? in ~talk

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    I've never done much Windows development. I've always used Linux or MacOS (with Homebrew), which are pretty similar and straight-forward from the perspective of a frontend developer. What terminal...

    I've never done much Windows development. I've always used Linux or MacOS (with Homebrew), which are pretty similar and straight-forward from the perspective of a frontend developer.

    What terminal do people use? (This question feels so weird to ask since Linux and Mac have good standard terminals. Are there actually people who have used Linux/Mac terminals in the past, and put up with the windows command prompt for daily stuff? Honest question.) Is https://gitforwindows.org/ the correct git choice? It seems surprising to me that it bundles its own copy of bash with it. Do people use that git bash install for other stuff (docker, node, npm) too? Is git and that other stuff usable from a normal Windows terminal?

    I know there's some "Ubuntu for Windows" thing out, but it's new-ish and I've read that it's less performant and has its own filesystem, so presumably this isn't the standard development environment on Windows. I want to know the standard Windows workflow before I try more experimental things.

    Maybe I just have a much more terminal-centric workflow than most other people. Many of my coworkers use various GUI programs for dealing with git which surprised me.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Epistemic Learned Helplessness in ~misc

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    So what, the author should have discussed whether "conclusions were sound" instead of whether "arguments were true"? I feel like in all your time spent nitpicking the author's vocabulary, you're...

    So what, the author should have discussed whether "conclusions were sound" instead of whether "arguments were true"?

    I'm not sure that being "smart" (i.e., intelligence) has anything to do with being rational. If you are being rational, you won't be 'talked into' any position. You may entertain various positions, but in the framework I've provided, you will adjust your beliefs based only on sound arguments.

    I feel like in all your time spent nitpicking the author's vocabulary, you're missing the author's big point that it's often hard to tell whether an argument is sound. No one is perfectly rational and always capable of judging the soundness of arguments perfectly. I've had experiences like the author's here:

    And there are people who can argue circles around me. Maybe not on every topic, but on topics where they are experts and have spent their whole lives honing their arguments. When I was young I used to read pseudohistory books; Immanuel Velikovsky’s Ages in Chaos is a good example of the best this genre has to offer. I read it and it seemed so obviously correct, so perfect, that I could barely bring myself to bother to search out rebuttals. And then I read the rebuttals, and they were so obviously correct, so devastating, that I couldn’t believe I had ever been so dumb as to believe Velikovsky. And then I read the rebuttals to the rebuttals, and they were so obviously correct that I felt silly for ever doubting.

    Defaulting to skepticism and delaying fully-accepting ideas that I thought were sound at the time has saved me from making a fool of myself now and then.

    In subjects that are more important to me and that I have more experience and confidence with, I try to work through ideas further and I try to take my conclusions more seriously faster. But for most other subjects that I have less expertise and confidence in, taking changes in my beliefs slowly seems like the smarter choice. The article is mainly the author making that point.

    So, there can be no such situation where "a false argument sounds just as convincing as a true argument". It's impossible. When the author says that "I should ignore it and stick with my prior.", well, that is an option, but it is not rational—it's not logically justifiable.

    Of course there's such a thing as a false argument that sounds convincing to someone, assuming the perfectly realistic situation where the person has biases and doesn't have complete knowledge. If you were a perfect reasoner, then this extra skepticism would be unnecessary, but as long as that isn't true, it would not be more rational to pretend you were.

    You will not find the term convincing in any textbook on logic because it is not a term of art. The quality of an argument being convincing is outside the realm of formal logic. In formal logic, arguments are either valid or invalid, sound or unsound.

    The author isn't talking about this in the context of formal logic. In regular life, arguments don't come with a label that tells you whether it's valid or sound. People who hear an argument try to label the argument and get it wrong sometimes.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on The Federation Fallacy in ~tech

    Macil Link
    I think it's missing the point to say that just because most Mastodon users use one of the 3 most popular instances, that decentralization/federation is failing. (Similarly with email.) To me,...

    I think it's missing the point to say that just because most Mastodon users use one of the 3 most popular instances, that decentralization/federation is failing. (Similarly with email.)

    To me, federation is about having the freedom to switch providers. If a provider does something egregious or merely something I don't prefer, I have the option to switch providers without burning all of my bridges. This discourages the providers from doing anything too egregious in the first place. Conversely, it also allows providers some room to experiment or be opinionated. Individual providers can easily defend having a radically different UI or blanket policies (like no alt-righters) with the explanation that if you don't like it, you can easily find a technically similar provider somewhere else. The provider doesn't have to deal with so many complaints that they're universally excluding their technology from being used for a use-case.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Discussion in ~tv

    Macil Link Parent
    Oh yeah I misunderstood you then. I haven't followed the books.

    Oh yeah I misunderstood you then. I haven't followed the books.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Discussion in ~tv

    Macil Link
    I loved it. Sure, Bran and Tyrion's reasoning were a little out of left field and could've been foreshadowed and established a bit more in the series leading up to this, but I'm comfortable with...

    I loved it. Sure, Bran and Tyrion's reasoning were a little out of left field and could've been foreshadowed and established a bit more in the series leading up to this, but I'm comfortable with some leaps. I feel like this ending tied up the open plotlines, but not too perfectly such that the world feels sterile and lacking in conflict. I like how all the major characters were left off, leaving them each in different situations than they started and well-suited to move on to other things. It's easy for me to daydream and visualize the world continuing in many different ways. Endings that tie things up too tightly drive me crazy because they leave me with nothing to imagine in their world.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Discussion in ~tv

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Edit: I assumed you were just referencing Jon's parentage here supposedly not mattering in the end, which was a common complaint I saw. Jon's claim to the throne was a big part of the wedge...

    Then they erased what was probably an critical plot point (fAegon)

    Edit: I assumed you were just referencing Jon's parentage here supposedly not mattering in the end, which was a common complaint I saw.

    Jon's claim to the throne was a big part of the wedge between Jon and Daenerys, and it was a big part of what made Jon confident enough to act against Daenerys. Jon couldn't become king and have the "breaking the wheel" plot both happen together.

    I guess it would have been nice if they explicitly lampshaded it. In the scene where Gray Worm brings out Tyrion to the group, we could've had some dialog showing that the group knew Jon's parentage and that he had a claim to the throne, but they couldn't pick him because the Unsullied would not accept it.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 discussion in ~tv

    Macil Link Parent
    The one thing that Tyrion has done in these last few episodes is become friendly with Sansa. It's nice that there was a plot payoff to that.

    Also, why did Sansa tell Tyrion about Jon's secret?

    The one thing that Tyrion has done in these last few episodes is become friendly with Sansa. It's nice that there was a plot payoff to that.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Recommend me a book that _________. in ~books

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Permutation City by Greg Egan. It's a sci-fi book that starts off in a world where mind-uploading is a thing, and explores a range of possibilities from there. It really altered my expectations'...

    Permutation City by Greg Egan. It's a sci-fi book that starts off in a world where mind-uploading is a thing, and explores a range of possibilities from there. It really altered my expectations' limits on how the future and our understanding of the world can possibly go. The book Diaspora by Greg Egan isn't a sequel, but it's great and follows up on a lot of similar ideas as Permutation City.

    (Bonus: if you've also read the unrelated but excellent classic Fire Upon The Deep, which you should, and you want some brilliantly deranged continuation/explanation to Permutation City, then you're in luck. I feel like this writer gets the big concept of Permutation City even better than the original author and expands on it.)

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Why I'm not collaborating with Kenneth Reitz in ~comp

    Macil (edited ) Link
    I think the first half of the article presented things weakly that probably aren't so bad on their own. It seems like a big part of the conflict in the first half is that the author of this...

    I think the first half of the article presented things weakly that probably aren't so bad on their own. It seems like a big part of the conflict in the first half is that the author of this article is interpreting the donations as being for Requests 3 development in general, and Reitz is treating the donations as "pay me so I can spend time focused on Requests 3". Maybe he did a bad job as presenting it as that. Maybe he didn't realize anyone would interpret it differently than that since it was specifically posted on his own site rather than through the PSF channels. It's fair to criticize him on doing that badly, but I feel like the article isn't even entertaining this idea.

    I find it really weird that the article goes on about him spending $5k of the money donated to him on a computer. Even if the $28k was to go toward multiple developers working on Requests, it's weird to assume that $5k going toward paying him was too much. If you assume the average programmer salary is $90k (a random ballpark number I saw somewhere), then $5k pays for less than a month of work from him. Unless he said it was purely going to go toward server costs or unless he's really not put a month of work in, it's weird for the article to guilt him over that.

    Now of course there's the question of whether he's qualified to do all the work he said he'd do if he got the donations. I think the article did an okay job at bringing that up in parts like this:

    Something I keep thinking about: the first time I talked to him about async in Requests, months before the fundraiser, he made a strange comment: he pointed out that he was totally dependent on me to implement this

    If you look at the maintainers list on PyPI, you'll see he doesn't have PyPI rights to his own project, because he kept breaking stuff, so the real maintainers insisted on revoking his access.

    EDIT: On the reddit thread, someone mentioned that he explains in Talk Python To Me podcast episode 208 that he removed his publishing rights because he thought they made him an attack vector for people wanting to compromise the package. This line seems misleading or uncharitable now. It's not strictly necessary for a maintainer on a project with multiple to technically be the one who pushes new releases.

    I also learned that he has a history of selling premium support contracts for Requests, where he took the money and then delegated the actual work to unpaid volunteers.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The Tyranny of Convenience in ~life

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Everyone defaults to the convenient thing in areas they haven't thought too hard about. How many of us open Netflix and let it autoplay whatever show was on last that we don't really care about,...

    I honestly got the feeling that the basis behind all of the author's ideas is that he believes that most people are childlike, unwilling to do things simply because they are too hard. It's extremely condescending. The author might as well just wear a hat with the words "I'm out of touch with today's youth" written on it.

    Everyone defaults to the convenient thing in areas they haven't thought too hard about.

    How many of us open Netflix and let it autoplay whatever show was on last that we don't really care about, even when we have a backlog of interesting movies and dvds we've been meaning to watch? How many of us pay lip service to privacy concerns about Facebook, but then open it everyday, leave it on its defaults, and talk to people there? How many of us often stop for some fast food or microwave a meal when we've been imagining cooking a nice meal sometime soon? How many of us sit down at home and open our favorite link aggregator instead of reading through already-open tabs or purchased books we've wanted to go through? How many of us when deciding to play a game pick an already-downloaded game in our Steam collection rather than pick a game we prefer just because that game requires finding a disk and putting it in?

    Sure, most of us try to fight this here and there, but usually only in a few facets of life at a time.

    I think that's badly misunderstanding the author to suggest they want us to get rid of technology. The author just wants us to acknowledge what convenience does to us. If an otherwise "worse" option has more convenience, then that convenience will make us pick it most of the time if we don't correct for that. People underestimate convenience's effect and often don't notice that. Realizing that is just one step to getting better.


    Related: I love the article Beware Trivial Inconveniences. Consider China's Great Firewall: Its purpose is not to make it impossible to access certain banned content. People who say "The Great Firewall doesn't matter because VPNs are easy" are entirely missing the point (in a way that's very useful for China). It makes certain content inconvenient, which causes most people to naturally avoid it.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on What are your dreams like? in ~talk

    Macil Link
    There seem to be a lot of recurring locations in my dreams. I usually have no direct memory of them while awake, but sometimes when I wake up, I can briefly remember and visualize them. I often...

    There seem to be a lot of recurring locations in my dreams. I usually have no direct memory of them while awake, but sometimes when I wake up, I can briefly remember and visualize them. I often have a lot of confusion about whether the locations I remember are from dreaming that night, or are from a dream years before. Sometimes I initially decide that a location must've been new to my a dream that night, and then realize it was a place I dreamed about long ago, or vice versa. Usually my dreams are connected to things I've been worried or thinking about lately, which helps for figuring out when they happened.

    Usually I have most of my dreams when I'm partway into waking up in the morning. I'm prone to falling asleep really quickly after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock, and I'll often have another dream or re-enter a dream when this happens. I can get really disoriented in the morning upon waking up again if a dream really grips me in this time. I'll often get it in my head that there's some important task I have to accomplish in the dream before I fully wake up, and I'll will myself back to sleep.

  16. Comment on Delete Never: The Digital Hoarders Who Collect Tumblrs, Medieval Manuscripts, and Terabytes of Text Files in ~tech

    Macil (edited ) Link
    Sometimes I go through my bookmarks, and find lots of dead links. Not all of them show up on archive.org. I'm tempted to set up a script to periodically wget all of my bookmarks, but it...

    Sometimes I go through my bookmarks, and find lots of dead links. Not all of them show up on archive.org. I'm tempted to set up a script to periodically wget all of my bookmarks, but it disappoints me that my personal archive is unlikely to be found by anyone else who coincidentally tries to follow broken links to the same resources that I've archived. Also, many sites aren't built in a way that wget works well on.

    I really hope IPFS takes off. If all of my bookmarks pointed to sites using IPFS, then I could mirror their content and help serve them on IPFS. If the original host goes down, I'll still be able to help host the content at its original URL, and the URL will still work for anyone else in the world who tries to follow it. And then maybe people will re-host my own content in the same way, even to long after I'm gone if my content is good enough.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on What are some things other people dislike that you quite enjoy? in ~talk

    Macil Link Parent
    I really like that the movie has a subplot where the protagonists fail their goal and return without it done, and a subplot where a rebelling character learns the lesson that they need to not...

    I really like that the movie has a subplot where the protagonists fail their goal and return without it done, and a subplot where a rebelling character learns the lesson that they need to not always rebel and need to work together with their leadership more. ... I think the execution of both of these things was pretty poor though, but I'm still giving the movie some points for those because I think those are really underused story angles nowadays.

  18. Comment on Halo 2's final players share their stories in ~games

    Macil Link Parent
    Just in case anyone wasn't aware, you can also play it on xbox one in the Halo Master Chief Collection. It used to be really buggy around launch, but it's finally good as of the last year or two....

    Just in case anyone wasn't aware, you can also play it on xbox one in the Halo Master Chief Collection.

    It used to be really buggy around launch, but it's finally good as of the last year or two. It's pretty nice with the additional Halo 2 Anniversary content, forge mode (in the H2A multiplayer maps), and the ability to easily jump into maps from other early Halo games.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on RIP Culture War Thread - /r/slatestarcodex's regular thread for debating polarizing issues showed the difficulties and risks of hosting those conversations in ~tech

    Macil Link Parent
    This is a point I've seen brought up a number of times (in r/slatestarcodex and elsewhere) which I find really frustrating. It's not a counterargument at all against "the CW thread (or SSC)...

    The harassment is him being painted as a bigot even though he’s not one

    This is a point I've seen brought up a number of times (in r/slatestarcodex and elsewhere) which I find really frustrating. It's not a counterargument at all against "the CW thread (or SSC) attracts and platforms bigots".

    But he even has data to back up that it wasn’t “full of” racist right wings, they were just a vocal minority.

    He omitted that only 5% of the people polled said they comment in the CW thread. And the poll wouldn't account for the possibility of power users heavily influencing the thread. It's misleading to imply that the dominant politics of the CW thread would match the overall userbase.

    5 votes
  20. Comment on RIP Culture War Thread - /r/slatestarcodex's regular thread for debating polarizing issues showed the difficulties and risks of hosting those conversations in ~tech

    Macil (edited ) Link Parent
    Slate Star Codex is the name of the site that Scott Alexander writes essays on. It also has a busy comments section and a subreddit. There's some great posts listed on SSC's About page:...

    Slate Star Codex is the name of the site that Scott Alexander writes essays on. It also has a busy comments section and a subreddit. There's some great posts listed on SSC's About page: https://slatestarcodex.com/about/.

    Scott used to be a prolific poster on the site LessWrong.com. SSC's initial userbase came from LW, especially as LW became less active. (LessWrong is a site that primarily focuses on learning about how rational thinking and human minds work, for personal growth purposes and AI design purposes. The site has been mainly known for the writing of Eliezer Yudkowsky and the Sequences. SSC is much more variety focused than LW, but retains some of the focus on rationality.)

    6 votes