kwyjibo's recent activity

  1. Comment on US President Joe Biden reportedly more open to calls for him to step aside as candidate in ~news

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    I don't think enough people are taking into consideration the long term consequences of Democrats' options. If you're thinking solely about this election, you're right -- there are no good...

    I don't think enough people are taking into consideration the long term consequences of Democrats' options. If you're thinking solely about this election, you're right -- there are no good options. Everything seems to be going Trump's way and it might just be too late to make an argument against his presidency while making a case for yours.

    However, even if Democrats lose the election, they can still get to dictate their post-election messaging. Barring any surprises, Trump will be elected president again and one of the most important things that can stop him putting forward his nationalist and racist agenda is a motivated and united opposition. I've been living in an illiberal democracy on and off for the past 22 years and during that time I've learned quite a few things about politics. One of them is the thing wanna be dictators want the most is a jaded opposition that accepts the status quo. If Democrats go with Biden, they will lose the legitimacy of their message and shun their voters out. It will send them the message that their voice do not count. And a defeated opposition with no motivation will give Trump and his lackeys more room to enact their policies for the country and the world.

    By doing something against the threat Democrats warn the public about Trump, they will give weight to their rhetoric and prove to the public that they mean what they say. Will it be enough? Probably not. But it will be something. They will show the opposition that their elected officials will not leave them alone and that they're in it together, show the institutions that they will not cede from being a check on their power, and most importantly make themselves believe that there is a future worth fighting for.

    15 votes
  2. Comment on Martin Scorsese's favorite films in ~movies

    kwyjibo
    Link
    If anyone's interested in lists like these, you can take a look at Sight & Sound's Greatest Films of All Time list, which is compiled every decade. It's voted by many film critics as well as...

    If anyone's interested in lists like these, you can take a look at Sight & Sound's Greatest Films of All Time list, which is compiled every decade. It's voted by many film critics as well as filmmakers, including Scorsese himself. They compile another list based on filmmakers' votes for the general list and you can find that here.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of July 15 in ~news

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    I think Vance is a wrong choice for this election, but as others said, it doesn't matter. Trump could've nominated me as his VP, a non-American, the constitution be damned, and it wouldn't make...

    I think Vance is a wrong choice for this election, but as others said, it doesn't matter. Trump could've nominated me as his VP, a non-American, the constitution be damned, and it wouldn't make much of a difference. I think he picked Vance because he's young, knows how to speak, and a good populist. He seems to truly embrace the spineless politics of Trumpism and he could be the person to advance it after Trump's gone (both politically and otherwise). I think of it as a legacy move1. In that long view, I think it's smart, given his options. If it were a tight election and he had to make a pick for solely for helping him win this election, it'd have been a lot smarter to go with Rubio, but he's already got the presidency in the bag.

    Also, I didn't think this through too much, but I think people underestimate how much votes or at least sympathy Vance can get from some liberals. Maybe not for this election but for the future ones. I think some liberals do like some of Trump's politics, but they're too proud to admit it because he doesn't package them very well. Vance can.


    1: One short term advantage Vance has is he's a politician whose made his name solely by being Trump's lackey, so as long as Trump's alive, he needs to kiss his ass. So whatever unconstitutional thing Trump will attempt during his term, he will get Vance's support where he didn't when Pence was his VP.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Wikipedia’s mobile website finally gets a dark mode — here’s how to turn it on in ~tech

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    I have a similar issue on desktop, which is where I spend majority of my time. The text now is larger and every time I visit a page I have to adjust it to its previous default because the new...

    I have a similar issue on desktop, which is where I spend majority of my time. The text now is larger and every time I visit a page I have to adjust it to its previous default because the new default is so jarring.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Weeks after Alice Munro’s death, daughter tells of dark family secret (gifted link) in ~books

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    It's both complicated and simple. In this specific case, it's extremely hard to separate the art from the artist given what her art's been about. I've only read a book of hers and bought a couple...

    It's both complicated and simple. In this specific case, it's extremely hard to separate the art from the artist given what her art's been about. I've only read a book of hers and bought a couple more after her recent passing. I don't think those books will be on my reading list anytime soon, but when I eventually get to them, I'll read them with this article mind. So in that sense her art evolves, it precedes her.

    Given the subjects she perpetually deals with, my take away from reading more of her work won't be about admiring how talented she is putting human intricacies into writing but how can a person who's so good at doing so can be so blind as to utter this nonsense:

    “She [Munro] said that she had been ‘told too late,’” Skinner wrote, that “she loved him too much, and that our misogynistic culture was to blame if I expected her to deny her own needs, sacrifice for her children and make up for the failings of men. She was adamant that whatever had happened was between me and my stepfather. It had nothing to do with her.”

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Weeks after Alice Munro’s death, daughter tells of dark family secret (gifted link) in ~books

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    Shoot! I thought I pasted in the gifted link. I apologize. Here's the gifted link.

    Shoot! I thought I pasted in the gifted link. I apologize. Here's the gifted link.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Weeks after Alice Munro’s death, daughter tells of dark family secret (gifted link) in ~books

    kwyjibo
    Link
    The last paragraph reminded me that I shared the news of Alice Munro's passing here on Tildes, so I thought I should share this, too. You can read Andrea Robin Skinner's story in her own words...

    Andrea Robin Skinner, a daughter of the Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro, said her stepfather sexually abused her as a child — and that her mother knew about it, and chose to stay with him anyway.

    Skinner, who is now an adult, detailed these accusations in an essay in The Toronto Star on Sunday. According to a separate article in The Toronto Star, Skinner went to the Ontario police, and in 2005, her stepfather, Gerald Fremlin, was charged with indecent assault against her. He pleaded guilty.

    By then, he was 80 years old. He got a suspended sentence and probation for two years. Munro stayed with him until he died in 2013.

    Because of her mother’s fame, Skinner wrote, “the silence continued.” Munro died on May 13 at 92.

    “What I wanted was some record of the truth, some public proof that I hadn’t deserved what had happened to me,” Skinner wrote of going to the police in 2005, about 30 years after the abuse began.

    “I also wanted this story, my story, to become part of the stories people tell about my mother,” Skinner continued. “I never wanted to see another interview, biography or event that didn’t wrestle with the reality of what had happened to me, and with the fact that my mother, confronted with the truth of what had happened, chose to stay with, and protect, my abuser.”

    The last paragraph reminded me that I shared the news of Alice Munro's passing here on Tildes, so I thought I should share this, too.

    You can read Andrea Robin Skinner's story in her own words here. I didn't share this link because I couldn't read it myself. (likely geolocked, as I kept getting 403 errors.)

    19 votes
  8. Comment on The Second (2024) — A limited series trailer in ~movies

    kwyjibo
    Link
    I'm very excited to see this! Ramos and Zhou's essays were thoughtful and illuminating and been missing them ever since they retired. I cannot wait to see what they do next. I'm sure it will be...

    Coming soon: A limited series featuring new video essays, followed by a short film - The Second.

    The Second is a short film starring Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Ethan Hwang, written and directed by Taylor Ramos & Tony Zhou.

    The Second will be premiering at Fantasia Int’l Film Festival on July 20th. Followed by a special 45-min talk from Taylor Ramos & Tony Zhou, along with a Q&A session.

    Cast: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Ethan Hwang, Aaron Schwartz, Richard Wes, Colton Royce, Martin Ortega, Sam Osei, Tyrus Hwang

    I'm very excited to see this! Ramos and Zhou's essays were thoughtful and illuminating and been missing them ever since they retired. I cannot wait to see what they do next. I'm sure it will be worthwhile.

    If you're not familiar with them, I highly recommend you check their videos out -- especially if you're fond of cinema.

    PS: I realize the title doesn't match the group I'm posting this in, but I think it's more appropriate given Taylor Ramos and Tony Zhou's previous work, as well as what the announcement is about: a series of essays about films in general, as well as a short film titled The Second.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of July 1 in ~news

    kwyjibo
    Link
    Source Tweet / Screenshot of the tweet and the statement

    Twelve former officials who resigned from the Biden administration over Gaza war release joint statement, calling U.S policy a failure and a threat to U.S. national security. Says it ensured “undeniable” US complicity in killings and has “put a target on America’s back.”

    Source Tweet / Screenshot of the tweet and the statement

    4 votes
  10. Comment on The New York Times is failing its readers badly on COVID in ~health

    kwyjibo
    Link
    I think Zeynep Tüfekçi has written on the virus itself too many times as a non-virologist and that can be criticized by those working in that field. I personally think, as a non-virologist, that...

    I think Zeynep Tüfekçi has written on the virus itself too many times as a non-virologist and that can be criticized by those working in that field. I personally think, as a non-virologist, that it's a fundamentally wrong thing to do, regardless of whether what you're writing is accurate or not. It's too important a subject to be commenting on if you don't already have the expertise in the field. Learning and commenting as you go, even if you're referencing the best available sources, is not enough.

    Setting that aside, I've known her for quite some time, much longer than most, before she's become a prominent writer in the West. She's always been a sociologist first but because she rose to prominence during the pandemic, people often seem to overlook that fact. What she did with her last and aforementioned article is all about the affects of a badly managed communication strategy by the heads of public institutions for which trust and honesty should've been an utmost priority. The linked article is right that these public officials had to maneuver around the rhetoric and policies of a buffoon who tried to undermine them every step of the way, as well as years long right wing campaigns whose sole purpose is to undermine trust in public institutions so that they can dismantle them but the officials who should've known better have also, inadvertently, helped them with their shortsightedness.

    Trust in institutions work the same way science does. It iterates on honest and verifiable assessment of available information. If you mislead the public, even if your intentions are good, you will add further poison to an already poisoned well. The antidote is not to have a paternalistic approach but to be open about the limits of our understanding dealing with an uncertainty and be honest about the solutions, or lack thereof.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on Vibe Check - Let AI find you the best things in ~tech

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    I'm sure it's very susceptible to giving ridiculous recommendations, but I've not encountered that myself yet. (Small sample size, though.) I've recently gotten into fountain pens and all the...

    I'm sure it's very susceptible to giving ridiculous recommendations, but I've not encountered that myself yet. (Small sample size, though.)

    I've recently gotten into fountain pens and all the other things related to it, which are obscure enough. Every single recommendation it gave me was accurate. For example, Tomoe River paper is often recommended as the best paper for fountain pens (if not for every pen) but it's not cheap. I wanted it to give me a cheaper option and it recommended me Clairefontaine, a brand that's not well known outside of France. I personally use their paper and they're really good. Same with the ink. It could've recommended me an ink from a better known brand like Parker or Sailor, which wouldn't be an inaccurate recommendation but it'd have been a lazy one, so instead it recommended me Diamine, which are known for their price to performance ratio within that community.

    As with every LLM based product, you just have to keep in mind that you're interacting with a bullshit machine that can often be wrong. But they can be handy, too.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Vibe Check - Let AI find you the best things in ~tech

    kwyjibo
    Link
    Moxie Marlinspike shared his LLM experiment the other day. It's a recommendation engine that you can talk to. It can give you specific recommendations since it gets its data from appropriate...

    Moxie Marlinspike shared his LLM experiment the other day. It's a recommendation engine that you can talk to. It can give you specific recommendations since it gets its data from appropriate subreddits. I tested it on things I'm knowledgeable on and its recommendations were quite good. It may be of interest to some here.

    Here's how Moxie defines it:

    https://x.com/moxie/status/1783932933717561486

    I made this last weekend to experiment w/ building an app end to end on LLMs: https://vibecheck.market/

    It's like Wirecutter, but uses an LLM to recommend product choices based on reddit conversations and reviews, so you don't have to spend 20-30min reading reddit

    My experience: I'm late to the game, but this is the first time I've tried building an app end to end around an LLM.

    1. It's very fast to build something that's 90% of a solution. The problem is that the last 10% of building something is usually the hard part which really matters, and with a black box at the center of the product, it feels much more difficult to me to nail that remaining 10%. With vibecheck, most of the time the results to my queries are great; some percentage of the time they aren't. Closing that gap with gen AI feels much more fickle to me than a normal engineering problem. It could be that I'm unfamiliar with it, but I also wonder if some classes of generative AI based products are just doomed to mediocrity as a result.

    2. On the other hand, I think the discomfort I feel with having an unpredictable black box at the center of a product which can fail in very creative ways some percentage of the time might actually be a competitive advantage for startups. I think Wirecutter, especially branded as NY Times, would have a lot harder time tolerating that unpredictability and unreliability than an app like this (or an actual startup) which can set that product expectation with users to begin with. It might be that the current problems with generative AI are actually the things that create an innovator's dilemma and give startups an advantage to slip under the incumbents. It seems like the ideal spot right now would an app where 90% "done" is a mostly great experience, but the failings are still somehow not stomach-able by incumbents.

    3. I do not understand how the economics of LLMs pencil out. When I look at the per concurrent user costs associated with inference, they seem orders of magnitude higher than per concurrent user costs of previous internet technologies. It seems to me that if previous apps like webmail, messengers, etc had costs as high, they would not have been viable products. This is something I want to learn more about.

    21 votes
  13. Comment on Protests seen as harming civil rights movement in the '60s—What we can learn from this for climate justice in ~enviro

    kwyjibo
    Link Parent
    In The Trumpet of Conscience, a book consisting of lectures MLK gave in late 1967, months before his assassination, he says (p 57-59):

    In The Trumpet of Conscience, a book consisting of lectures MLK gave in late 1967, months before his assassination, he says (p 57-59):

    First of all, will nonviolence work, psychologically, after the summer of 1967? Many people feel that nonviolence as a strategy for social change was cremated in the flames of the urban riots of the last two years. They tell us that Negroes have only now begun to find their true manhood in violence; that the riots prove not only that Negroes hate whites, but that, compulsively, they must destroy them.

    This bloodlust interpretation ignores one of the most striking features of the city riots. Violent they certainly were. But the violence, to a startling degree, was focused against property rather than against people. There were very few cases of injury to persons, and the vast majority of the rioters were not involved at all in attacking people. The much publicized “death toll” that marked the riots, and the many injuries, were overwhelmingly inflicted on the rioters by the military. It is clear that the riots were exacerbated by police action that was designed to injure or even to kill people. As for the snipers, no account of the riots claims that more than one or two dozen people were involved in sniping. From the facts, and unmistakable pattern emerges: a handful of Negroes used gunfire substantially to intimidate, not to kill; and all of the other participants had a different target — property.

    The focus on property in the 1967 riots is not accidental. It has a message; it is saying something.

    I am aware that there are many who wince at a distinction between property and persons — who hold both sacrosanct. My views are not so rigid. A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man.

    If hostility to whites were ever going to dominate a Negro’s attitude and reach murderous proportions, surely it would be during a riot. But this rare opportunity for bloodletting was sublimated into arson, or turned into a kind of stormy carnival of free-merchandise distribution. Why did the rioters avoid personal attacks? The explanation cannot be fear of retribution, because the physical risks incurred in the attacks on property were no less than for personal assaults. The military forces were treating acts of petty larceny as equal to murder. Far more rioters took chances with their own lives, in their attacks on property, than threatened the life of anyone else. Why were they so violent with property then? Because property represents the white power structure, which they were attacking and trying to destroy. A curious proof of the symbolic aspect of the looting for some who took part in it is the fact that, after the riots, police received hundreds of calls from Negroes trying to return merchandise they had taken. Those people wanted the experience of taking, of redressing the power imbalance that property represents. Possession, afterward, was secondary.

    A deeper level of hostility came out in arson, which was far more dangerous than the looting. But it, too, was a demonstration and a warning. It was directed against symbols of exploitation, and it was designed to express the depth of anger in the community.

    20 votes
  14. Comment on Recommendations for less mass-produced and more artistic tv in ~tv

    kwyjibo
    Link
    I'm more into films but my taste is peculiar in that regard (and frankly, it'd take too much time for me to think and list all of the films that fit your criteria), so I'm going to write about...

    I'm more into films but my taste is peculiar in that regard (and frankly, it'd take too much time for me to think and list all of the films that fit your criteria), so I'm going to write about some series instead.

    • Twin Peaks. Just a total madness of a series. I don't know if you'd like it, but I can promise you it will be a unique experience. I've yet to seen anything like it on TV.
    • Atlanta. It has a linear and coherent story but they had plenty of standalone episodes where the series completely diverges from its main story line and yet they don't feel like a distraction. You said you wanted something where "a creative type was given a bit of freedom and went with it" and this one's absolutely that.
    • The Rehearsal. Nathan Fielder's vision through and through. It's mindbogglingly unique and funny.
    • Review. I have no idea why this show wasn't a big success. It was hilarious and completely bonkers. If you were ever curious about how it'd feel like to lead a cult or eat 30 pancakes in one sitting, look no further.
    • The Leftovers. Might be the biggest turnover for a series, ever? I hated its pretentious and bloated first season so much that that I tuned into its second season just to hate-watch it but instead I ended up tuning into something that was thoughtful, interesting, and moving.
    • The Knick. This one's very dark and it's very depressing and it has some disturbing scenes that will make you look the other way but it's also masterfully done by Steven Soderbergh.
    • How To With John Wilson. A guy with a camera observing a city and its inhabitants. Turns out, that can be very interesting and beautiful.
    • The Young Pope / The New Pope. Paolo Sorrentino, a filmmaker whose films I'm not fond of, brings some parts of that medium to longer form of storytelling and creates something not necessarily unique but beautiful and meaningful. It's not a Christian show by any means, but it does use Christianity to tell a bigger story. In that way, while telling widely different stories, it did remind me of Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ which in my opinion uses religion for the same means.
    • Enlightened / Somebody Somewhere / Detectorists. These are not necessarily unique, but they're endearing and empathetic about how complicated people can be. You won't find ideas in it that are thought provoking but you'll get a warm feeling watching them.
    10 votes
  15. Comment on How are you dealing with AI generated results in your searches? in ~tech

    kwyjibo
    Link
    As others have pointed out, I've subscribed to Kagi. I've been using it for a few months now and I couldn't be happier. Before that, I was kidding myself into thinking I was using DuckDuckGo, even...

    As others have pointed out, I've subscribed to Kagi. I've been using it for a few months now and I couldn't be happier. Before that, I was kidding myself into thinking I was using DuckDuckGo, even though more than half the time I ended up using !g to bring up slightly better but not great Google results.

    The whole shenanigans regarding the recent Google stuff made me even more confident that I've made the right choice. Kagi does have AI stuff as well, but it doesn't get in the way and is pretty intuitive.

    8 votes