lonk's recent activity

  1. Comment on Fecal microbiota transplant: Inside the black market for human poop in ~health

    lonk
    Link Parent
    To help diagnose if you have an unbalanced gut microbiome you can do a simple stool test that will show you what bacteria species you have and in what numbers relative to general population. The...

    To help diagnose if you have an unbalanced gut microbiome you can do a simple stool test that will show you what bacteria species you have and in what numbers relative to general population. The one I used is biomesight.

    The association between autism and gut has been studied.

    There are species of Clostridium (including C. difficile) that produce a nasty metabolite called p-Cresol which messes up dopamine to norepinephrine conversion - both are important neurotransmitters. This is because our body creates dopamine from an amino acid tyrosine and the Clostridium bacteria also eat tyrosine and turn it into p-Cresol. Both dopamine and p-Cresol look the same to the enzyme DBH which converts dopamine to norepinephrine so DBH latches on to p-Cresol and then it gets stuck because it cannot do the next step. The enzyme becomes inhibited forever. This makes your body have too much dopamine accumulated and not enough norepinephrine.

    Search for "ASD DBH cresol" to find plenty of research papers.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on Are there other good aggregator sites? in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    Let me know if you have any ideas how to make it better. I recommend signing up with an email address - then you can subscribe to get the content recommendations as a newsletter.

    Let me know if you have any ideas how to make it better. I recommend signing up with an email address - then you can subscribe to get the content recommendations as a newsletter.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Are there other good aggregator sites? in ~tech

  4. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

  5. Comment on Elon Musk thinking of charging money for Twitter in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the excerpt video! If you indeed just want to protect from bots by increasing the cost of creating bots then you don't have to charge all users monthly. A one-time payment of $5 would...

    Thanks for the excerpt video!

    If you indeed just want to protect from bots by increasing the cost of creating bots then you don't have to charge all users monthly.

    A one-time payment of $5 would be enough as it proved to be for Metafilter (https://www.metafilter.com/newuser.mefi)

    Even better - a security deposit would do the trick. If the account is banned for policy violation - the security deposit is not returned. But any user could get the security deposit back if they want to stop using the system.

    This way you increase the price for negative behaviour without creating barriers for all users.

    You can see it as a way to compensate your moderation efforts.

    Of course you should not create perverse incentives where you ban accounts to simply increase your revenues. For example, it should not be tied to moderator compensation.

    Advertising revenue is one way to ensure alignment of incentives - the long-term value of regular users should be higher than the security deposit amount.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on One in five single adults in Canada live in poverty in ~life

    lonk
    Link Parent
    Totally agree. The fact that disabled are in poverty shows that there is little support. Many of the programs don't cover the needs of disabled people.

    That actually makes the situation worse, IMO.

    Totally agree. The fact that disabled are in poverty shows that there is little support. Many of the programs don't cover the needs of disabled people.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on One in five single adults in Canada live in poverty in ~life

    lonk
    Link
    The article mentions that most of these people are severely disabled:

    The article mentions that most of these people are severely disabled:

    These working-age single adults make up to 38 per cent of all food-insecure households in the country with 61 per cent of them severely disabled living alone below the poverty line, the report said.

    12 votes
  8. Comment on Show ~/project: A thread to share your finished projects in ~comp

    lonk
    Link
    I'm building https://linklonk.com - a personalized news aggregator. You submit and rate links and get content from other users who liked the same links as you + from RSS feeds that posted content...

    I'm building https://linklonk.com - a personalized news aggregator. You submit and rate links and get content from other users who liked the same links as you + from RSS feeds that posted content you liked.

    I did the a Show Tildes back in 2020: https://tildes.net/~tech/u7f/linklonk_a_link_aggregator_with_a_trust_system
    and a Show HN in 2021: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29445764

    Most recently I added loading links shared on Mastodon and Bluesky: https://linklonk.com/social

    3 votes
  9. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    lonk
    Link
    I'm experimenting with aggregating links people post on Mastodon and on Bluesky. The first version is here: https://linklonk.com/social I'm using Mastodon API to access public federated timelines...

    I'm experimenting with aggregating links people post on Mastodon and on Bluesky. The first version is here: https://linklonk.com/social

    I'm using Mastodon API to access public federated timelines of a few servers to get all new posts and extract links from the posts. The API gives access to the same content you would see on https://mastodon.social/public. Interestingly, some servers give access to the streaming API where you get updates in real-time, but most servers only give access to polling timeline API where you fetch 20 most recent posts.

    Unfortunately, the server timeline only includes original posts but not boosts (like a retweet). Having boosts would have dramatically increased the volume of data to help find most popular content shared on Mastodon.

    For Bluesky I used this sample code to get all updates through the streaming API: https://github.com/CharlesDardaman/blueskyfirehose

    I haven't figured out how to link "likes" on Bluesky to the posts they are liking. When I do figure it out then a like of a post with link A could be treated as if the user that liked posted that link themselves.

    I know that the Mastodon community has been very sensitive to the ways the Mastodon data is used. See https://fedsearch.io/:

    Due to extreme backlash from the Mastodon community we decided to end the project, it is obviously not wanted by server admins.
    While our intention was to provide the end-user with a global search to find information and friends, the concerns of its usage by trolls has been far greater amongst the community.

    The concern is that if you make Mastodon data more easily accessible then you open up harassment attack vectors. That's why I'm not linking back from https://linklonk.com/social to the source posts and to the author profiles. I'm not sure if this resolves all issues that the community might have. I posted about it asking for feedback at https://mastodon.cloud/@lonk/110619081493442451

  10. Comment on Incredible invention - this drone could change everything in ~tech

  11. Comment on An idea how to monetize social software in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    What other perks do you have in mind? I like the time delay because it does not dramatically change paid and free experiences. It's just a nudge. Unlike paywalls. Another option is to pay for some...

    Seeing content a bit sooner is one possible perk, but there are many others.

    What other perks do you have in mind?

    I like the time delay because it does not dramatically change paid and free experiences. It's just a nudge. Unlike paywalls.

    Another option is to pay for some status signifier. But status needs to be earned, not bought to be valuable to others. The $8 dollar blue checkmark on Twitter was just that.

    How else would you nudge users who find value in the service to pay without ruining it for free users?

    1 vote
  12. An idea how to monetize social software

    I wrote the following as a Twitter thread first but I think this idea could work for Reddit/Tildes/Mastadon and would love to know what you folks think of it. Here is how I would monetize a social...

    I wrote the following as a Twitter thread first but I think this idea could work for Reddit/Tildes/Mastadon and would love to know what you folks think of it.

    Here is how I would monetize a social network that could work for Twitter.

    First of all, don’t charge your most valuable users - the power users that create the content for you. Instead focus on the users that get more value from your system - the consumers of the content.

    The idea is simple - introduce a small time delay before content gets seen from the time it is published. For example, on Twitter it could be 1 minute. On Reddit it could be 10 minutes.

    Paid subscribers would have no delay. Importantly - lift the delay for the users that generate a lot of views.

    You can do revenue share with your content creators in proportion to how much time paid subscribers spent on their content.

    And you can also identify your most valuable audience - the paid subscribers. This will help prioritize content moderation decisions, identify abuse, and prioritize appeals.

    The delay would allow you to prioritize which content needs to be indexed instantly (ie from creators that paid subscribers are following) and which you can process on a best effort basis - saving on production costs.

    You can gift subscriptions to your friends and family.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on Prototyping group decision making with automatic delegation in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the ideas. To test auto-delegation you need a sequence of decisions to be made by the same group. Only over multiple turns of the game can you cultivate trust in the process and between...

    Thanks for the ideas. To test auto-delegation you need a sequence of decisions to be made by the same group. Only over multiple turns of the game can you cultivate trust in the process and between members of the group. Quite possible that experimental economists do such things all the time, but I find it easier to build a website and invite everyone to use it. As an example, I have tried to pitch LinkLonk without a working site and I found it really difficult. For example, it is easy to dismiss it for being a not sophisticated enough collaborative-filtering algorithm. Or that it will instantly become an echo chamber.

    Contacting folks from Loomio and mySociety is a good idea. I've heard of Loomio (tried their demo) but I haven't heard of mySociety.

    The Advogato Trust Metric sounds similar to Personalized PageRank (where each walk starts from a set of seed users) and LinkLonk uses a super-simplified version of Personalized PageRank.

  14. Comment on Prototyping group decision making with automatic delegation in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the suggestion! What is the main flow in this case? I imagine something like this: Someone creates a group and sends an invitation link to the rest of the group. We expect the...

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    What is the main flow in this case?

    I imagine something like this:

    1. Someone creates a group and sends an invitation link to the rest of the group.
      • We expect the communication channel for this to exist already (some group chat) => the system does not need to send out emails.
      • The invitation link in this case is shared (no individual invitation codes).
    2. When a new member joins they enter a per-group display name so the other members can identify them.
    3. Any group member can create a proposal ("What to play this Friday night") and the initial set of options.
      • Any group member can add new options to an existing proposal.
      • Options from previous proposals should be suggested. If it's a book or a movie, then previously selected options should not be proposed again, but if it's a game or another replayable activity then repeats are ok. Maybe anyone adding a proposal option should be shown all options sorted by popularity and marked whether or not they have been selected in the past (e.g., "selected 4 weeks ago")?'
      • The proposal and each option is a Markdown-formatted text so it can include links and images.
    4. All members can vote and change their vote at any time.
    5. The current results are shown to everyone => no point to hide the current vote distribution. This is unlike other settings where you may want people to express their preference without being affected by the votes of others.
    6. How should the voting be closed?
      • Obviously, it could be closed when everyone has voted.
      • Should it close at a closing time specified at the creation time (e.g., "in 3 days")?
      • Should any member be able to call the vote closed at any time?
    7. When the vote is closed the option that got most votes (including auto-delegated votes) gets selected.
      • Should the group be able to change the decision? For example, the selected board game is missing some pieces.
    8. Notifications. The system notifies members when a new proposal is created and when the decision is made. The users can choose the notification mechanism: email / browser notifications / none.
      • Should the systems send notifications to members who have not yet voted (e.g., 3 hours before the closing time, or maybe at request of any group member)?
      • The user can vote from the email.

    What would you change about this?

    I can see how auto-delegation is a secondary feature to this and the voting tool as described above could be useful without it. I think that's a good thing!

  15. Comment on Prototyping group decision making with automatic delegation in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    I understand your perspective from the machine learning angle. Auto-delegation is a very simple algorithm that is similar to k nearest-neighbours, where the neighbours are people who voted like...

    I understand your perspective from the machine learning angle. Auto-delegation is a very simple algorithm that is similar to k nearest-neighbours, where the neighbours are people who voted like you in the past decisions and the prediction is how the neighbours have voted on the current issue. It does not attempt to does not attempt predict the outcome of future voting decisions (it relies on the neighbors to vote).

    Perhaps it could be more helpful to view it as a system of incentives. Sort of a decision delegation market. From this angle each group member is an active agent that has goals and uses the rules of the auto-delegation mechanism to achieve them.

    How good the incentives are will determine how easy it will be to game such a system. A couple of protections from gaming:

    • You delegate your vote to people who voted the same as you but did it before you cast your vote. This prevents people who vote last
    • Being able to change your vote in the future to reallocate who you delegate to. This creates a feedback loop into the future. Maybe this would incentivize experts to vote for options that are good long term? Maybe it would create some skin in the game?
    • Your vote is delegated across all group members, which may lower the concentration of power and therefore reduce the rewards from abusing the system.
    • The algorithm is super simple and has no hyper-parameters to tweak in your advantage (see in this comment)

    There definitely could be ways to game the system but it's hard to think of them in an idea-only format. That's why I want to build the prototype.

  16. Comment on Prototyping group decision making with automatic delegation in ~tech

    lonk
    Link Parent
    I'm actually thinking of delegating the vote to multiple people in proportion to how much trust they have earned from you in your past votes. And it will be a super-simplified version of...

    You could split the votes into multiple shares and delegate them to different people in a PageRank-style system to solve this, but that is even harder to understand than delegating a full vote to a single person...

    I'm actually thinking of delegating the vote to multiple people in proportion to how much trust they have earned from you in your past votes. And it will be a super-simplified version of Personalized PageRank, just like the LinkLonk's algorithm. It should be simple to explain:

    • When you vote on something explicitly you split 1 token of your trust among all other people who voted the same way on that issue (before you). If 5 people voted like you then each gets 1/5 of the token.
    • Your vote is auto-delegated in the proportion of your trust tokens held by people who voted on different issues. If there are two options A and B and people who voted on A have 2.5 of your tokens and B has 0.5 then your vote is split between A and B like this:
      • A = 2.5/(2.5+0.5) = 5/6
      • B = 0.5/(2.5+0.5) = 1/6.

    As you said, maybe this information should be used as a suggestion, instead of fully automatic delegation. Or maybe both.

    2 votes