gpl's recent activity

  1. Comment on The spring paradox in ~science

    gpl
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    I really love Steve's science videos. As a scientist I can often get a bit jaded with 'popular' science videos that I feel really over simplify complex things to the point of no longer even...

    I really love Steve's science videos. As a scientist I can often get a bit jaded with 'popular' science videos that I feel really over simplify complex things to the point of no longer even explaining that thing in the first place. His videos on the other hand take things that seem simple at first and follow them through their often counterintuitive consequences. I always manage to learn something new watching them.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Writing a best man speech for my brother’s wedding, any advice? in ~talk

    gpl
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    Update: The speech is written and rehearsed and I'm feeling pretty good about it. All of the advice here is very much appreciated and really helped me to settle in and write. I have some...

    Update: The speech is written and rehearsed and I'm feeling pretty good about it. All of the advice here is very much appreciated and really helped me to settle in and write. I have some experience from theater and scientific conferences so the delivery doesn't really phase me, but content-wise you all were super helpful. Thanks!

    7 votes
  3. Writing a best man speech for my brother’s wedding, any advice?

    I’m writing the best man speech for my brother’s upcoming wedding. I haven’t been to many weddings so to be honest I’m not super familiar with the format of this speeches, or things I should be...

    I’m writing the best man speech for my brother’s upcoming wedding. I haven’t been to many weddings so to be honest I’m not super familiar with the format of this speeches, or things I should be sure to mention (I.e. things like “be sure to thank xyz person”). I’m asking some family members but thought I should cast a wider net and ask here too. Any advice for writing this type of thing? Any memorable ones, good or bad, to emulate or avoid?

    18 votes
  4. Comment on Supreme Court turns away challenge to the rule that only men register for the draft in ~news

    gpl
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    The Union did actually engage in extensive blockade activities that seriously affected Confederate trade.

    The Union did actually engage in extensive blockade activities that seriously affected Confederate trade.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on How should we understand the warnings about artificial intelligence? in ~science

    gpl
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    In my opinion, we are so far off from general artificial intelligence that it doesn't make too much sense to worry about it above other, more pressing things: climate change, nuclear annihilation,...

    In my opinion, we are so far off from general artificial intelligence that it doesn't make too much sense to worry about it above other, more pressing things: climate change, nuclear annihilation, etc. That's not to say it won't be a cause for concern in the future, so I don't necessarily think it's a waste of time to discuss it. One of the big problems in these discussion though is that we don't know how AGI will work, and that makes it close to impossible to begin thinking of ways to mitigate its possible dangers. It's like if you told someone from 1920 that one day we will have bombs that could wipe out entire cities and potentially destabilize the global climate leading to a doomsday scenario, but no other information. How do you even go about managing that threat without knowing more?

    For what its worth too, it is not at all clear to me that AGI has to be a threat, though I see that it could be. It could also be great and work to the benefit of humanity. In my opinion the more immediate threat posed by AI is what happens when "dumb" forms of AI are coupled with already volatile and harmful social structures: algorithms perpetuating inequalities because they are not carefully thought out, social credit systems propped up by unethical AI, mass automation leading to social unrest and the rise of authoritarian strongmen, automated command and control systems making wars more likely, etc.

    9 votes
  6. Comment on Galápagos rock formation Darwin’s Arch collapses from erosion in ~enviro

    gpl
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    Time devours all things.

    Time devours all things.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on A cult leader known as ‘Mother God’ was found mummified in ~life

    gpl
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    The side stories from last week talks about it a bit, and then the "relaxed fit" episode from last week goes a bit more in depth. Glad to encounter another LPOTL fan here!

    The side stories from last week talks about it a bit, and then the "relaxed fit" episode from last week goes a bit more in depth. Glad to encounter another LPOTL fan here!

  8. Comment on Elon Musk announces that Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases citing the energy demand required to maintain the cryptocurrency in ~tech

    gpl
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    This is a surprising about-face from just a week ago when he agreed with @jack (twitter founder) that bitcoin incentivizes clean energy development. I wonder what the catalyst us. I wouldn't be...

    This is a surprising about-face from just a week ago when he agreed with @jack (twitter founder) that bitcoin incentivizes clean energy development. I wonder what the catalyst us. I wouldn't be surprised if this is just a way to drive the Doge hype given that SpaceX just announced the whole we're-accepting-doge thing.

    12 votes
  9. Comment on Claims of microwave attacks are scientifically implausible in ~science

    gpl
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    Wasn't sure where to post this as it doesn't seem well suited to any of the current groups. It's more international relations than anything, but given the type of analysis and background of the...

    Wasn't sure where to post this as it doesn't seem well suited to any of the current groups. It's more international relations than anything, but given the type of analysis and background of the author, I have chosen to post it here.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on A cult leader known as ‘Mother God’ was found mummified in ~life

    gpl
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    Just listened to the last podcast on the left episode about this. It's an interesting story where you can see the rise (and decline) of this cult over the course of nearly a decade of facebook...

    Just listened to the last podcast on the left episode about this. It's an interesting story where you can see the rise (and decline) of this cult over the course of nearly a decade of facebook posts and livestreams.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Is there anything considered pseudoscientific/unscientific that you suspect has some truth to it and might be re-examined in the future? in ~talk

    gpl
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    The thing about this that I always get hung up on is that it is not clear to me that math should be ultra-universal. Surely it is difficult for us to imagine how it could not be so, i.e. math not...

    The thing about this that I always get hung up on is that it is not clear to me that math should be ultra-universal. Surely it is difficult for us to imagine how it could not be so, i.e. math not being universal in this sense, but it's also difficult for me to imagine a universe described by S(3) so this isn't very different. Further, why should "other universes" have to be structured mathematically at all? Tegmark has really interesting ideas like this but I'm not sure I always buy them.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Looking for suggestions of investigation-based games in ~games

    gpl
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    I enjoyed LA Noir many years ago when I played it. IDK how it holds up though, but at the time I felt it did capture the spirit of a noir film.

    I enjoyed LA Noir many years ago when I played it. IDK how it holds up though, but at the time I felt it did capture the spirit of a noir film.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on Is there anything considered pseudoscientific/unscientific that you suspect has some truth to it and might be re-examined in the future? in ~talk

    gpl
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    Well, I didn't mean to imply that such a connection was necessary, only that it was reasonable, i.e. logically coherent. In classical arguments, necessity usually follows from a chain of thought...

    Well, I didn't mean to imply that such a connection was necessary, only that it was reasonable, i.e. logically coherent. In classical arguments, necessity usually follows from a chain of thought like "conceiving of the most perfect being -> a more perfect is one that exists -> therefore a perfect being exists -> that being is what we call God". Arguments like this hugely depend on the notion of "perfection" and whether or not as humans we are even able to conceive of that. At best, such arguments show the consistency of such a belief but not necessity. As I said, I think it is also reasonable to claim that the universe exists as a brute fact. That is, it exists simply because it does. This is a less satisfying answer on a human level than some principle or being we might typically associate with God, but that on its own doesn't rule it out of course.

    My basic point is still that the fact of existence is weird, and inherently cannot be answered through science. That is, as far as I can tell you'll never have a scientific theory of creation in the truest sense of the word - something from nothing. It deserves an answer though, if it can be answered at all, and such answers may end up looking similar to classical notions of God. Or it could be that "it just is" and we have to deal with that, or perhaps the question doesn't even make sense when you get to the bottom of it.

    When I speak of God in this context, I also want to stress as well that I am not assuming any at all anthropomorphic or personal deity. Presumably if one were to conclude that indeed God exists, you would still have to figure out the qualities of that entity through whatever means possible. Usually what I have in mind is something much more abstract - something like a self-motivating principle of order or consistency. When I say these lines up with some classical notions, I'm usually thinking of things like the Greek logos, Christian word, Islamic 'aql, the Om of many Indian religions, or Buddhist Dharma. I'm sure other notions exist, and as a disclaimer I am only really familiar with the Greek and Christian notions above so I could be grossly misinterpreting the others.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Is there anything considered pseudoscientific/unscientific that you suspect has some truth to it and might be re-examined in the future? in ~talk

    gpl
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    I think the mere fact the Universe exists at all, i.e. why there is something rather than nothing, reasonably leads to the notion of something that might typically or classically be identified as...

    I think the mere fact the Universe exists at all, i.e. why there is something rather than nothing, reasonably leads to the notion of something that might typically or classically be identified as God. I've thought quite a bit about this and as far as I can figure, pretty much the only explanations are that, or it is simply a brute fact. I'm not sure which is more convincing, but I do think there is more nuance to the question than the general "new atheist" consensus of the last two decades might lead you to think. I do think though it is an inherently unscientific question any way you cut it, so any future examination necessarily would not be a scientific one (i.e. I don't think you could ever scientifically prove the existence or non-existence of a god).

    9 votes
  15. Comment on Is there anything considered pseudoscientific/unscientific that you suspect has some truth to it and might be re-examined in the future? in ~talk

    gpl
    Link Parent
    There's a whole "subfield" (I don't know a better word for this) in ufology that explains alien sightings and encounters as psychic phenomena, almost like mass hallucinations that tap into our...

    There's a whole "subfield" (I don't know a better word for this) in ufology that explains alien sightings and encounters as psychic phenomena, almost like mass hallucinations that tap into our collective or cultural consciousnesses. I personally find that somewhat more believable than the "nuts and bolts" explanation as ETs. I'd wager we probably understand the brain less than universe, so there's more room for unknowns. Jacques Vallee is the big name in this area.

    I generally agree that it is unlikely that actual ETs have visited Earth at any point simply due to the vastness of space. At the same time, while most UFO or alien sightings can be explained simply by known, natural phenomena, there are cases which cannot simply be. There's enough of these cases to make me think there might be something deeper going on than just random people making shit up or otherwise being confused.

    7 votes
  16. Comment on Share your linux desktop/setup in ~comp

    gpl
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    Hell yeah I love that stuff. I run arch with i3 as well, and I spent some time about a year ago trying to customize it but didn't get super far. I've been meaning to take a weekend and switch wm...

    Hell yeah I love that stuff. I run arch with i3 as well, and I spent some time about a year ago trying to customize it but didn't get super far. I've been meaning to take a weekend and switch wm and really get things set up as I like but haven't found the time yet. I'd be interested in seeing what you have. I'd offer to share my dot files and such but they as unimpressive as they are disorganized.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Amazon's 'The Lord of the Rings' to cost $465M for just one season in ~tv

    gpl
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    For reference, all three films cost around $280 million in 2001, which adjusted for inflation is about $430M. This is a wild amount for one season.

    For reference, all three films cost around $280 million in 2001, which adjusted for inflation is about $430M. This is a wild amount for one season.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Nothing breaks like AI heart - An interactive essay about artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence, and finding an ending in ~tech

    gpl
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    This is a bit of a side-note, but I really like The Pudding and I'm happy to see them getting a bit more attention.

    This is a bit of a side-note, but I really like The Pudding and I'm happy to see them getting a bit more attention.