bloup's recent activity

  1. Comment on What is a class in Python? in ~comp

    bloup
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    Classes tell Python what "things are" and what they are "able to do". You should use classes any time you want to represent objects (wink wink) in a tidy little package that lets you keep...

    Classes tell Python what "things are" and what they are "able to do". You should use classes any time you want to represent objects (wink wink) in a tidy little package that lets you keep everything together that characterizes that object.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Reddit hires its first chief financial officer as it prepares for an IPO in ~tech

    bloup
    Link Parent
    Yeah, honestly, it's because of straight addict behavior that I haven't actually deleted my reddit account yet. As soon as I learned about online presence indicators, and how they will leak if you...

    Yeah, honestly, it's because of straight addict behavior that I haven't actually deleted my reddit account yet. As soon as I learned about online presence indicators, and how they will leak if you turned them off or not, I decided that if they ever roll them out completely that's it for me.

    Thanks for helping me quit reddit, reddit.

    Here's a fun thought, what if you were able to coordinate a gigantic mass account-deletion moments before the IPO goes live that destroys all their precious metrics?

    7 votes
  3. Comment on This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline ☀ in ~tech

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I actually had a similar thought, but personally I think the site packs a lot more "punch" this way. Like the fact that the website goes offline sometimes, and that's okay, is quite a radical...

    I actually had a similar thought, but personally I think the site packs a lot more "punch" this way. Like the fact that the website goes offline sometimes, and that's okay, is quite a radical statement, that forces you to also no longer take the convenience of "always online resources" for granted, and makes you have to think about what it really takes in order to provide that to people.

    13 votes
  4. Comment on Where would you live if you had no ties to where you are now? in ~talk

    bloup
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    Somewhere in the mountains, with lots of hiking and pretty vistas, close to a river or lake, filled with lots of ancient small towns connected by country roads. Hopefully a place that has a small...

    Somewhere in the mountains, with lots of hiking and pretty vistas, close to a river or lake, filled with lots of ancient small towns connected by country roads. Hopefully a place that has a small university, with a nice library, too.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Getting an odd number of cogs in a loop to turn in ~science

    bloup
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    This is great, and I love that the cogs are all interlocking. I just waned to mention, though, that the interlocking is definitely not necessary, the only thing that is necessary is getting the...

    This is great, and I love that the cogs are all interlocking. I just waned to mention, though, that the interlocking is definitely not necessary, the only thing that is necessary is getting the last cog in the chain to be reoriented 180 degrees from the first cog in the chain. The interlocking just hides the twist really well. :)

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Reddit announces online presence indicators in ~tech

    bloup
    Link Parent
    On the other hand, nobody would just post a link with 0 context on a forum or some other kind of unthreaded messaging system, so this problem doesn't really exist. Without threading, if you want...

    Threaded conversations are good. You have them anyway, since the first person to respond to a given post is unlikely to be the only person with a response, and they're much harder to follow when the relationships have to be inferred from cross-reference, quotes, or just context.

    On the other hand, nobody would just post a link with 0 context on a forum or some other kind of unthreaded messaging system, so this problem doesn't really exist. Without threading, if you want to talk about something, you actually have to start the conversation. You can't just post a link to something without saying anything about it and expect anyone to engage with you, which I'd say keeps things "on the rails" somewhat.

    Meanwhile, on a link aggregator with threaded conversations, the expectation is to just post a link or some kind of "topic" and then give everyone else an opportunity to basically make their own "forum thread" that discusses their feelings on that particular thing you shared.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline ☀ in ~tech

  8. Comment on I was a trans comedian. Here’s why I quit in ~lgbt

    bloup
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    This is some hilarious writing! I'm glad that the author has found a way to do comedy in a less hostile working environment.

    “Don’t get me wrong, your trans stuff is great,” he said to me after a gig. “But you don’t always have to tell trans jokes. One day, you’re gonna wake up and think, Today, I wanna write a joke about baseball. I’m looking forward to that day.”

    Even without a cutting-edge baseball joke, I kept moving up the industry ladder in the years that followed.

    This is some hilarious writing! I'm glad that the author has found a way to do comedy in a less hostile working environment.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    Okay, you got me with that one. I’ll have to think about this more.

    inference itself doesn't make sense without a notion of truth or what a proposition is

    Okay, you got me with that one. I’ll have to think about this more.

  10. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I think you are missing my point. I know how math works, it's what I studied. I am saying that you can't assign a truth value to a statement without regards to some kind of broader formal system....

    I think you are missing my point. I know how math works, it's what I studied. I am saying that you can't assign a truth value to a statement without regards to some kind of broader formal system. When I say that "a mathematical theorem with all of its assumptions formally stated could perhaps be called an 'absolute truth'", I seriously do not mean it in the sense "You can always work your way down to the most basic fundamental principles". I mean in the sense that any mathematical theorem is equivalent to some kind of conditional statement that is always true with respect to any formal system. But, this isn't saying much, since unless you conveniently just so happen to be within a formal system that is actually capable of satisfying the antecedent of the conditional statement, then the theorem cannot actually be applied to draw any new conclusions about the system. And that is why I called it an "empty, vacuous, useless" truth. Because, it sure is an "absolute truth" in the sense that a mathematical theorem is always true no matter what assumptions you make. But you can't actually use it do anything unless you made assumptions that can satisfy the conditional hypothesis (back to square 1, basically), so it's still not saying much, and that is quite literally the best we can do w.r.t. "absolute truth".

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    Actually, the fact that, as an experiment, it wouldn't even let you draw any real philosophical conclusions, is what pisses me off the most about it. It's not any harder to establish consciousness...

    The actual outcome of the China brain thought experiment is impossible to observe - that the 'machine' created is actually conscious rather than merely demonstrating the outcomes associated with conscious beings can't be observed without begging the question. Actually performing the experiment wouldn't have any observables to measure its success - the hard problem of consciousness.

    Actually, the fact that, as an experiment, it wouldn't even let you draw any real philosophical conclusions, is what pisses me off the most about it. It's not any harder to establish consciousness of the typical human being than it is to establish consciousness of the China brain, so why am I supposed to find the concept of a fellow human having a mind any less preposterous than the concept of the China brain having a mind?

  12. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I am stating these facts: The truth value of any proposition also depends on some kind of broader, well defined formal system, and does not exist without it. The truth value of any proposition...

    I am stating these facts:

    1. The truth value of any proposition also depends on some kind of broader, well defined formal system, and does not exist without it.
    2. The truth value of any proposition with respect to some formal system is either provable from within the system, or it is independent of the system (AKA, you can take your pick)
    3. All algorithms that can either establish a particular truth value for, or independence of, any proposition with respect to a particular formal system through correct application of the rules of inference will produce the same results.

    In some sense, you could maybe say this is equivalent "all disagreements about truth are semantic disagreements", but I'd add a heavy caveat of "(as long as everyone is correctly following the rules of inference)". And I'd also like to point out, this is not really any different from asserting "As long as everyone is on the same page with regards to what words mean, and everyone plays by the same rules, everyone should be able to reach the same conclusions", and does it really sound so weird when you put it like that?

  13. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    Yes, it is extremely useless, which is why it would actually be a horrible choice for what to define "black" as if all you care about is the color of some birds. Like it makes way more sense to...

    All ravens are at some distance X in a controlled lighting environment measure reflected wavelengths in set S with a tolerance of Y over period Z is pretty useless when in some scenarios parrots may also qualify as "black".

    Yes, it is extremely useless, which is why it would actually be a horrible choice for what to define "black" as if all you care about is the color of some birds. Like it makes way more sense to just decide some kind of interval of possible shades that we're just going to call "black", and then rightfully conclude "all ravens are black" vs questioning the truth of the statement because we later discover that our definition for "black" in this particular instance is not actually consistent with the theory of optics (when we were the ones who made up what "black" means in the first place).

  14. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    But we can't actually know if the assumptions we made are true. I am reading "absolute truth" to mean, "this statement is always true, regardless of any assumptions you make". Or "it's true,...

    but they can still be considered "absolute" in that they follow from the assumptions, and you can formally say what the assumptions are.

    But we can't actually know if the assumptions we made are true. I am reading "absolute truth" to mean, "this statement is always true, regardless of any assumptions you make". Or "it's true, absolutely, no matter what". Anything short of that is not an "absolute truth" that I think is worth talking about, because it would be, by definition, quite a relative "absolute" truth indeed.

    [mathematical theorems] are true independent of space and time and who is stating them [as long as you formally state all of the assumptions].

    A mathematical theorem with all of its assumptions formally stated could perhaps be called an "absolute truth", but it would be an empty, vacuous, useless truth anywhere outside the domain of the context where the theorem arises.

  15. Comment on NASA needs to rename the James Webb Space Telescope in ~space

  16. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    But the point I'm making is there is no problem at all if you are simply willing to be perfectly comfortable with "black" potentially meaning completely different, possibly mutually exclusive,...

    But the point I'm making is there is no problem at all if you are simply willing to be perfectly comfortable with "black" potentially meaning completely different, possibly mutually exclusive, things depending on the context of the problem and what aspect of "blackness" you are particularly trying to capture in your specific situation.

    Like, the "black" we want for talking about the color of ravens need not be the same "black" we want for talking about optical physics.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    My point, though, is that there is no distinction to make, and that any statement that could be characterized as "sort-of true" is just a statement where there are philosophical disagreements...

    We need to distinguish that from the kind of truth needed by (various kinds of) logic, so he uses the word “absolute” here, but don’t read too much into it.

    My point, though, is that there is no distinction to make, and that any statement that could be characterized as "sort-of true" is just a statement where there are philosophical disagreements about the nature of the objects the statement is concerned with. To reiterate an example, "All ravens are black" is "sort-of true" precisely and only because people can't agree on what "raven" or "black" should mean. Now, the takeaway from this shouldn't be that "we haven't figured out what it actually means for something to be 'black'". It should be "we can make 'black' mean literally whatever we need it to mean on a case-by-case basis".

    Encountering a sort-of truth, rationalists often say “there must be an absolute truth somewhere in the vicinity; we should find and use that instead.”

    I definitely don't think that "sort-of truths" mean "there must be an absolute truth somewhere in the vicinity". To me, this would be like reading what I said and concluding "we just have to figure out what 'black' actually means". That would be the "absolute truth". But I am saying, "there is no absolute truth except for the things you are willing to take for granted, but remember, you had to take them for granted in the first place (so how "absolute" could you really call it?).

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
    Link Parent
    I actually really do not like this. I think if you are even considering the possibility of "absolute truth", we are off to bad start. You cannot consider the truth value of any statement outside...

    I actually really do not like this.

    Most true statements are not absolutely true. They may be true enough for all practical purposes; true in some sense; officially true, but effectively meaningless; true, other things being equal; true, as far as it goes; or true in theory, but not in practice.
    [...]
    Unfortunately, formal logic does not generally preserve sort-of truth. Sometimes it does: if “All ravens are black” is pretty much true, inasmuch as they are all very dark gray, then “Huginn is black” will also be pretty much true. But if “all ravens are black” is pretty much true inasmuch as most ravens are absolutely black but a few are magenta, then “Huginn is black” might be entirely false. Sort-of truths don’t follow the standard rules of logical inference.

    I think if you are even considering the possibility of "absolute truth", we are off to bad start. You cannot consider the truth value of any statement outside the context of the formal system you are interested in understanding. What I mean is, it is actually a total non sequitur to discuss the "truth" of a statement like "All ravens are black" without formalizing rigorously and precisely what exactly it is you mean by "raven" and "black", and, depending on how you do that, the truth value of the statement "All ravens are black" could change. "All ravens are black" is only "sort of" true, because we have no conventional and universal agreement on what "black" or "raven" means (and in fact, sometimes we might even find it useful to relax or restrict what it means to be "black" or "a raven", depending on what we are trying to do). It's not "sort of true" because math and logic are "bad" at "preserving" this "sort-of truth".

    ALSO: If you are able to come up with a precise definition for "black" and "raven", then we could certainly evaluate "All ravens are black" for a discrete truth value.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Is truth binary? in ~humanities

    bloup
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    I really hate how modern philosophy seems to have this tendency where hypotheses are discarded simply because it leads to consequences that the particular philosopher finds troubling. Reminds me...

    (2) To my knowledge, every system of logic or semantics that accommodates other than two truth-values has consequences that are deeply implausible.

    I really hate how modern philosophy seems to have this tendency where hypotheses are discarded simply because it leads to consequences that the particular philosopher finds troubling. Reminds me of the China Brain thought experiment, and how the argument seems to basically boil down to a person presupposing the results of an experiment that they won't actually do and using it as some kind of "evidence" to support their argument.

    If by "statement" you mean "proposition," then every statement is true or false.

    Pretty sure this is just flat out not true. Two statements are said to be "independent" of one another, provided that neither statement implies the other. Unless you think there is a finite set of "rules" that can characterize all of mathematics, then it must be that any time you give me some set of axioms, I can find a (non-contradictory) statement that has no truth value with respect to your set of axioms (read: independent). This is generally known as "undecidability" or "incompleteness".

    5 votes