cfabbro's recent activity

  1. Comment on Crime prediction software promised to be free of biases. New data shows it perpetuates them. in ~tech

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    My righteous indignation at having been stolen from is far outweighed by my intense dislike of having to waste time waiting around for the police to arrive, spend even more time waiting for them...

    My righteous indignation at having been stolen from is far outweighed by my intense dislike of having to waste time waiting around for the police to arrive, spend even more time waiting for them to "investigate", only to ultimately get nothing back in return but a piece of paper.

    The first time I had my car broken into when I was living in Miami, it took over an hour for an officer to arrive, they spent another hour dusting the car for prints and doing various other BS... but not even bothering to check my apartment building's security cams because that was a "waste of time", since they would "likely never be able to catch the thief anyways" or recovery my property. So yeah, that's why I simply don't bother reporting most thefts anymore. Unless my insurance company demands it, it's not worth the headache.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Crime prediction software promised to be free of biases. New data shows it perpetuates them. in ~tech

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    It does when you realize that 12% is an averaged national statistic, but the software predictions are localized and based on that area's reported crime data, which likely varies wildly, especially...

    A 12% difference is significant but it doesn't explain that 17,000%+ difference in crimes predicted in Plainfield from the intro

    It does when you realize that 12% is an averaged national statistic, but the software predictions are localized and based on that area's reported crime data, which likely varies wildly, especially since the wealth gap in some areas is far larger than that $25k -> $50k comparison. And elsewhere in the article they also talk about other sources of bias in the data too, such as feedback loops.

    Obviously, this is an article about large-scale politics masquerading as a critique of statistics software and that just seems disingenuous.

    Oh, is that what it obviously is? Because, IMO, it sounds like that is simply the conclusion you came to before even having read the article, and no matter how much more evidence to the contrary gets provided to you, I suspect you're just going to keep shifting the goalposts and never change your opinion on this. So this will be my last reply. Have a nice day.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Crime prediction software promised to be free of biases. New data shows it perpetuates them. in ~tech

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    This is entirely speculation, and based on anecdotal experience, but I suspect wealthier people tend not to report crimes as frequently because they value their time more, so don't want to have to...

    This is entirely speculation, and based on anecdotal experience, but I suspect wealthier people tend not to report crimes as frequently because they value their time more, so don't want to have to waste that time dealing with the police. And they can also more easily afford to replace anything that gets damaged/stolen, and/or they have good enough insurance (and/or lawyers) to recover any losses.

    E.g. When I woke up to find my car alarm having been torn out, passenger window smashed, stereo, subwoofer, tires and rims missing, and the entire vehicle resting on milk crates, I didn't report it to the police because when I phoned my insurance and asked if they needed a police report, they said no. The rep said they already knew the value of everything that was taken, so I just needed to send them pictures of all the damage, a copy of the tow truck receipt, and the estimate from my mechanic for fixing everything.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Crime prediction software promised to be free of biases. New data shows it perpetuates them. in ~tech

    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    What? No it doesn't. The headline very specifically say the software "perpetuates" the bias (already present in the data), which is even later referred to "bias by proxy" by Elgin's deputy chief....

    The headline deliberately chooses to make this about "bias" and starts with numbers that suggest it being plain racist.

    What? No it doesn't. The headline very specifically say the software "perpetuates" the bias (already present in the data), which is even later referred to "bias by proxy" by Elgin's deputy chief.

    The software just uses time, location and type of crime for its predictions.

    Yes, and the article spends an entire section (which you seem to have missed?) discussing why that overly simplistic model leads to problems (such as feedback loops), since the crime data itself is biased due to which groups tend to actually report crimes, and which don't. Which are the conclusions drawn directly from studies released by federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    See here: https://themarkup.org/prediction-bias/2021/12/02/crime-prediction-software-promised-to-be-free-of-biases-new-data-shows-it-perpetuates-them#who-reports-crime

    And all of which is perfectly summarized by this quote from that section:

    “There’s no such thing as crime data,” said Phillip Goff, co-founder of the nonprofit Center for Policing Equity, which focuses on bias in policing. “There is only reported crime data. And the difference between the two is huge.”

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Avenging Varus - The Roman Germanic Wars in ~humanities

    cfabbro
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    Link
    This video is Invicta's recently released 1h38m documentary on the Roman Germanic Wars, which is basically an extended/recut version of several of their previous videos: Avenging Varus - Campaigns...
    1 vote
  6. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of November 29 in ~health.coronavirus

  7. Comment on Day 6: Lanternfish in ~comp.advent_of_code

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    LOL, that would have required 3,500 32GB DIMMs. The cheapest on pcpartpicker currently being $79.73 per. So even if you could fit that many inside a computer, it would have cost $279,055, at...

    LOL, that would have required 3,500 32GB DIMMs. The cheapest on pcpartpicker currently being $79.73 per. So even if you could fit that many inside a computer, it would have cost $279,055, at minimum. :P

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Recycled Russian warheads fuel US power plants (2013) in ~humanities

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    @nukeman is probably the best person to ask that of, since their username is quite literal. I even have them tagged with ☢️ using Tildes ReExtended User Labels feature. :P

    The article was written in 2013, when the last shipment arrived. I wonder how long this fuel continued to be used?

    @nukeman is probably the best person to ask that of, since their username is quite literal. I even have them tagged with ☢️ using Tildes ReExtended User Labels feature. :P

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Thinking about calibre in ~tech

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    That's always annoyed the shit out of me too, since I prefer managing my own library organizational structure as well. But I got over it by just thinking of the Calibre Library as a backup copy of...

    To make anything with an ebook, Calibre first copies the file to its own folder structure, and now I have two copies of the file on my drive.

    That's always annoyed the shit out of me too, since I prefer managing my own library organizational structure as well. But I got over it by just thinking of the Calibre Library as a backup copy of my ebook files in case I ever lose the originals. :P

    p.s. Are you taking advantage of Calibre's "Send to Kindle (via Email)" function? It's a massive QoL feature that not many people seem to know about.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Sarco suicide capsule ‘passes legal review’ in Switzerland in ~life

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    I'm absolutely not trying to discount your own experience, and I largely agree with you, since I myself am a suicide attempt survivor who regrets it, and I'm glad I didn't succeed. I was also a...

    The truth is that most people that contemplate or attempt suicide go on to be glad that they didn't go through with it

    I'm absolutely not trying to discount your own experience, and I largely agree with you, since I myself am a suicide attempt survivor who regrets it, and I'm glad I didn't succeed. I was also a moderator for quite some time on /r/SuicideWatch, which is a suicide prevention subreddit. So these sort of devices, especially the designer's ultimate goal of having an AI assess mental competence before their use, concerns me a great deal as well. However, I still think it's worth considering that there is likely a very strong surivorship bias going on with that statistic you mentioned, since we only get to hear the opinions of those who never went through with the attempt, or failed at it if they did.

    p.s. Also worth considering is something David Foster Wallace wrote. It's one of the most profound pieces of writing I have ever read on the subject:

    The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

    14 votes
  11. Comment on Crime prediction software promised to be free of biases. New data shows it perpetuates them. in ~tech

    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    TBH, a response exactly like yours, basically a "TL;DR but here's what I think about this subject anyways" was what I feared most when posting this. I would highly recommend you don't just skim...

    TBH, a response exactly like yours, basically a "TL;DR but here's what I think about this subject anyways" was what I feared most when posting this. I would highly recommend you don't just skim the article, as it's really not as simple as you're making it seem, and the article goes into why. And it also talks about why "accuracy" of the predictions is not the only issue, as the predictions are often self-fulfilling prophecies, and they're being used to justify even more heavy-handed enforcement in areas where there are already problems with discriminatory policing practices.

    11 votes
  12. Comment on Sarco suicide capsule ‘passes legal review’ in Switzerland in ~life

    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    That's not quite the same though, AFAIK. Canada also has assisted dying for those with "grievous and irremediable medical conditions" too, but Switzerland seems to have even less restrictions....

    That's not quite the same though, AFAIK. Canada also has assisted dying for those with "grievous and irremediable medical conditions" too, but Switzerland seems to have even less restrictions. From the Dignitas site:

    In order to access the service of an accompanied suicide, someone has to:

    • be a member of DIGNITAS, and
    • be of sound judgement, and
    • possess a minimum level of physical mobility (sufficient to self-administer the drug).

    Because the co-operation of a Swiss medical doctor (physician) is absolutely vital in obtaining the required drug, further prerequisites mean that the person must have:

    • a disease which will lead to death (terminal illness), and/or
    • an unendurable incapacitating disability, and/or
    • unbearable and uncontrollable pain.

    And also from their FAQ:

    Q: I suffer from a mental illness and/or psychological problems. Can DIGNITAS arrange an accompanied suicide for me?

    A: This is very difficult, a lengthy and complex proceeding with many obstacles and there is no guarantee to receive the “provisional green light” for an accompanied suicide. It depends much on the quality of the medical file: clear diagnosis of the illness, description of its cause and development, proof of all therapies tried (with or without success) plus an in-depth psychiatric appraisal concerning the capacity of judgement and discernment in regard of the wish for a self-determined end of life, also confirming that this wish is not a symptom of the psychiatric illness but a well-considered balance decision.

    Whereas in Canada (and I presume the US too) those suffering from mental illnesses are completely blocked from assisted dying.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of November 29 in ~news

  14. Comment on Apple broke up with me in ~tech

    cfabbro
    Link Parent
    Thanks. And FYI, the reason I wrote the warning is because I actually did see this posted to HN (which I do still visit on occasion), and the response there was entirely predictable, so I was...

    Thanks. And FYI, the reason I wrote the warning is because I actually did see this posted to HN (which I do still visit on occasion), and the response there was entirely predictable, so I was hoping I could head it off at the pass here. ;)

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Apple broke up with me in ~tech

    cfabbro
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    Link Parent
    I totally understand someone wanting to remain anonymous. But what I don't understand is why anyone would take a completely anonymous account of events such as this at face value, with absolutely...

    I totally understand someone wanting to remain anonymous. But what I don't understand is why anyone would take a completely anonymous account of events such as this at face value, with absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back it up. Especially when, if true, that evidence would have required very little effort to provide.

    And without any evidence, this post reads to me like baseless (<---keyword) outrage bait, which I am frankly sick and goddamn tired of seeing on every social media site, and disappointed to see here too... since part of the reason I left Reddit and HN was to get away from shit like this. /rant

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Ontario passes the Working for Workers Act in ~finance

    cfabbro
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    Link
    See also: https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1001032/working-for-workers-act-2021 And for more details on each initiative: Creating a Better Future for Workers Helping Newcomers Start Their...

    See also:
    https://news.ontario.ca/en/backgrounder/1001032/working-for-workers-act-2021

    Today, the government will introduce the Working for Workers Act, 2021 that would, if passed:

    • Require employers with 25 or more employees to have a written policy about employees disconnecting from their job at the end of the workday to help employees spend more time with their families.

    • Ban the use of non-compete agreements that prevent people from exploring other work opportunities in order to make it easier for workers to advance in their careers.

    • Help remove barriers, such as Canadian experience requirements, for internationally trained individuals to get licenced in a regulated profession and get access to jobs that match their qualifications and skills.

    • Require recruiters and temporary help agencies to have a licence to operate in the province to help protect vulnerable employees from being exploited.

    • Require business owners to allow delivery workers to use a company’s washroom if they are delivering or picking up items. This supports the delivery drivers, couriers and truck drivers who have kept our essential supplies and economy going throughout the pandemic.

    • Allow surpluses in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Insurance Fund to be distributed over certain levels to businesses, helping them cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

    • Enable the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to work with entities, like the Canada Revenue Agency, to streamline remittances for businesses, enabling a way to give them an efficient one-stop-shop for submitting premiums and payroll deductions.

    • Allow the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to collect information related to the agri-food workforce to ensure the government can enhance the coordination of services such as vaccination and testing, and respond to issues that may arise.

    And for more details on each initiative:
    Creating a Better Future for Workers
    Helping Newcomers Start Their Careers
    Taking Steps to Protect Vulnerable Workers
    Improving Washroom Rights for Truck Drivers and Delivery Workers
    Providing Financial Relief to Employers


    p.s. Credit where credit is due. As a left-leaning Ontarian I have been exceptionally critical of the Province's Conservative government, but this actually seems like a solid piece of workers rights legislation. And IMO the onerous re-licensing requirements is something that has needed addressing for far too long, as far too many eminently qualified immigrants have been unable to continue working in their profession once they arrive here in Canada. So kudos to the Ford government for passing this.

    4 votes