onyxleopard's recent activity

  1. Comment on An Abrupt Move That Stunned Aides: Inside Trump’s Aborted Attack on Iran in ~news

    onyxleopard
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    Yes, I think it’s just generally dangerous to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. I felt uneasy with your characterization of the stance the article takes. I felt like it was more nuanced and...

    Yes, I think it’s just generally dangerous to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. I felt uneasy with your characterization of the stance the article takes. I felt like it was more nuanced and ambivalent than your characterization. I realize you were just motivating why you found it interesting, not necessarily endorsing that stance.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on An Abrupt Move That Stunned Aides: Inside Trump’s Aborted Attack on Iran in ~news

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I would say that I wouldn’t judge the foreign policy of this administration based on one decision. Process is important because that’s how you demonstrate reliability. If everyone thinks that...

    I would say that I wouldn’t judge the foreign policy of this administration based on one decision. Process is important because that’s how you demonstrate reliability. If everyone thinks that Tucker Carlson (who isn’t part of the administration) has the ear of the president, that process is broken (regardless of the U.S.’s history of broken processes). If you think we can get reliably good results via Trump’s processes then I think we’re on very different pages.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on An Abrupt Move That Stunned Aides: Inside Trump’s Aborted Attack on Iran in ~news

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Taken in isolation, the results of this one decision may be good. That isn’t any consolation, if the process by which Trump came to that decision was just as bad as his normal process for other...

    Taken in isolation, the results of this one decision may be good. That isn’t any consolation, if the process by which Trump came to that decision was just as bad as his normal process for other decisions (not really understanding the domain, putting too much weight on advice from the wrong sources). IMO, a good result like this is just noise. I.e., a broken clock is still broken and shouldn’t be praised for being correct on the rare occasion that it happens to align with the current time.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on An Abrupt Move That Stunned Aides: Inside Trump’s Aborted Attack on Iran in ~news

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I mean, that’s one interpretation. The other is that he’s just not fit for his position and can’t fully absorb the information and make good decisions. This situation with high tensions with Iran...

    I mean, that’s one interpretation. The other is that he’s just not fit for his position and can’t fully absorb the information and make good decisions. This situation with high tensions with Iran might have been avoided entirely if Trump hadn’t backed out of the Iran nuclear deal. The fact that Trump possibly took Tucker Carlson’s advice over that of the intelligence and military advisors should be extremely concerning whether or not you agree with where he landed. If he didn’t land there for good reasons, it’s no reason to be relieved.

    10 votes
  5. Comment on AI competitions don’t produce useful models in ~science.formal

    onyxleopard
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    The reason for open datasets and shared tasks where independent teams work on the same problem with the same evaluation is not to necessarily produce a production-ready deliverable. It’s to move...

    The reason for open datasets and shared tasks where independent teams work on the same problem with the same evaluation is not to necessarily produce a production-ready deliverable. It’s to move the field forward. When shared tasks like this are run, the organizers normally require the participating teams to publish their work so that the community working on that class of problems not only has reference models, code, and data, but has a repeatable and comparable set of experimental results.

    When teams work independently and don’t share their data or evaluation code, you inevitably run into issues of incomparable results, or worse invalid results due to accidents or even impropriety. Shared tasks are a proven way to make progress on difficult problems and provide valuable resources and results that might take significantly longer to reach if teams worked in isolation, or might never be reached at all.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on A look inside Apple’s A13 Bionic chip and what it tells us about the future of mobile technology in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I’m no expert in semiconductors, but as far as I can tell, the “neural engine” comprises processors that are not general purpose (as designated CPUs), but silicon designed specifically to do...

    Nobody seems to be able to give a satisfactory answer for what exactly the "neural engine" actually does or how it works.

    I’m no expert in semiconductors, but as far as I can tell, the “neural engine” comprises processors that are not general purpose (as designated CPUs), but silicon designed specifically to do operations that are frequently performed when doing inference from (i.e., making predictions) deep neural networks. This requires multiplying large matrixes together a lot of times. So, while you wouldn’t use the cores in the neural engine for all compute, you would use it for things like text-to-speech models, searching and extracting events from natural language in users’ emails and automatically populating the suggestions in their calendar. All sorts of models involved with Siri. Making predictions about travel destinations in maps. Facial recognition, automated video stabilization, compositing multiple camera exposures for Night Mode, accidental touch rejection, Apple Pencil input, handwriting recognition, language models for typing correction/prediction, and probably thousands of other statistical models that make user experience better. Basically, as ML engineers find more and more functions to fit (i.e., train), it’s more and more valuable to have dedicated hardware to decode these models quickly and offload this from the general purpose CPUs.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on New Wi-Fi 6 Certification is Officially Released, Up to 3x Faster Than 802.11ac in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It depends on so many factors. I just tried ten samples on speedtest.net and it’s highly variable even with a couple samples run against the same servers only a few minutes apart. $ seq 10 | while...

    It depends on so many factors.

    I just tried ten samples on speedtest.net and it’s highly variable even with a couple samples run against the same servers only a few minutes apart.

    $ seq 10 | while read _; do speedtest | rg '^(Download|Upload)'; done
    Download: 139.71 Mbit/s
    Upload: 8.09 Mbit/s
    Download: 97.04 Mbit/s
    Upload: 15.92 Mbit/s
    Download: 81.98 Mbit/s
    Upload: 12.02 Mbit/s
    Download: 113.80 Mbit/s
    Upload: 19.42 Mbit/s
    Download: 137.11 Mbit/s
    Upload: 15.26 Mbit/s
    Download: 101.38 Mbit/s
    Upload: 16.15 Mbit/s
    Upload: 13.49 Mbit/s
    Download: 80.06 Mbit/s
    Upload: 12.20 Mbit/s
    Download: 111.14 Mbit/s
    Upload: 13.10 Mbit/s
    Download: 130.96 Mbit/s
    Upload: 24.30 Mbit/s
    # Download
    $ pbpaste | rg '^Down' | cut -f 2 -d ' ' | datamash --header-out min 1 max 1 mean 1 sstdev 1 | column -t
    min(field-1)  max(field-1)  mean(field-1)    sstdev(field-1)
    80.06         139.71        110.35333333333  22.347717444965
    # Upload
    $ pbpaste | rg '^Up' | cut -f 2 -d ' ' | datamash --header-out min 1 max 1 mean 1 sstdev 1 | column -t
    min(field-1)  max(field-1)  mean(field-1)  sstdev(field-1)
    8.09          24.3          14.995         4.4549753709258
    

    I’m supposedly paying for symmetric "Up to 940/880 Mbps (Fios Gigabit Connection)" from Verizon in the northeastern US. The speedtest.net samples were on a desktop machine on a 802.11ac (5 GHz) network (using an Eero hub router) in a relatively uncrowded apartment complex.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on John Gruber: Let’s Go Further and Hope for Every Last Drop of Joy to Be Drained From the World in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I think that’s partially a product of most of the presenters over the past couple years being very new to giving presentations under this sort of pressure. They’re coming off as very rehearsed...

    I think that’s partially a product of most of the presenters over the past couple years being very new to giving presentations under this sort of pressure. They’re coming off as very rehearsed because they are very rehearsed (I don’t know for a fact, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they rehearse these more than 10 times). If you look at the more experienced presenters like Craig Federighi or Phil Schiller, they come off much less stilted and more natural. Tim Cook, on the other hand, I think is just fundamentally an awkward guy, and comes off a bit odd no matter the context.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on John Gruber: Let’s Go Further and Hope for Every Last Drop of Joy to Be Drained From the World in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    The funny thing is that Apple’s presenters, outside of keynotes, can be very human. If you watch Gruber’s own live interview shows (such as this one) you can see both sides. A keynote is really a...

    The funny thing is that Apple’s presenters, outside of keynotes, can be very human. If you watch Gruber’s own live interview shows (such as this one) you can see both sides.

    A keynote is really a show. And the presenters are playing characters or presenting a persona. That’s just how it is. If they didn’t do it that way, they’d be criticized from the other direction for seeming too casual/unrehearsed.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on What happened to the real time strategy genre in ~games

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I think the shift in focus to FPS and increased power of gaming PCs was a big factor. Half Life and Counter Strike came out in the 90s and suddenly isometric or top-down style RTSes seemed less...

    I think the shift in focus to FPS and increased power of gaming PCs was a big factor. Half Life and Counter Strike came out in the 90s and suddenly isometric or top-down style RTSes seemed less immersive by comparison. Then Halo and Call of Duty came on the scene and you also had the modding communities using the Warcraft III mapmaker to do stuff like DotA. The focus of gaming became more about being a part of a world as an individual character, rather than being a general of an army.

    That said, I think consoles did some neat stuff in related genres, but not full real time games. E.g., Final Fantasy tactics, Ogrebattle, and Advance Wars were compelling turn-based strategy RPGs. And Pikmin came along later and was an interesting take on the RTS.

    Interestingly, I think a lot of the audience for RTSs shifted to MOBA style games, or resource management simulation games: SimCity, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Cities Skylines, and even Dwarf Fortress. I feel like this article’s thesis that RTSes are dead ignores the impact this genre has had, and how the simulation games (Stardew Valley, various rail sims, even Minecraft) have taken the place of the single-player focused RTS, whereas online multiplayer competitive games have moved toward FPS, fighters, and MOBA genres.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on CGP Grey: The Race to Win Staten Island in ~humanities

    onyxleopard
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    I’m glad there are people out there willing to spend so much effort to show how much of what is considered to be historical fact isn’t true (or is at most unverifiable). I’m reminded of this Tom...

    I’m glad there are people out there willing to spend so much effort to show how much of what is considered to be historical fact isn’t true (or is at most unverifiable). I’m reminded of this Tom Scott video from over the summer. Earnest researches can’t even necessarily get the ground truth about the world in the present! How can you trust historians when they make claims about the world of the past?

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Can you find me an economist (of any flavor) who would disagree with how to measure productivity?

    Can you find me an economist (of any flavor) who would disagree with how to measure productivity?

  13. Comment on VSCO Girls Explained by Teens in ~misc

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Everything old is new again. In my days it was slap bands, Tomagotchis, and Pogs. Well, and Pokémon, but that was more than a fad. It’s pretty obvious that any little viral ripple gets amplified a...

    Everything old is new again. In my days it was slap bands, Tomagotchis, and Pogs. Well, and Pokémon, but that was more than a fad. It’s pretty obvious that any little viral ripple gets amplified a lot when someone decides they can make a profit off it. Be it fidget spinners, Vuvuzelas, or those sneakers with wheels in the heels. Some factory in Shenzhen is pumping it out as fast as it can while it’s profitable.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    What is your suggestion for a universal, objective measure of productivity then? If we can’t measure, we can’t claim to be doing science, can we? Is the index that this article proposes wrong? Are...

    What is your suggestion for a universal, objective measure of productivity then? If we can’t measure, we can’t claim to be doing science, can we? Is the index that this article proposes wrong? Are the distributions in the plot inaccurate? What is your explanation for the inequality being a different distribution from productivity?

  15. Comment on Calculating Actual Build Dependencies in ~comp

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Make is nice, but it’s rather annoying that the syntax is shell-like, but actually different in several ways that matter a lot. I’m not a software engineer, but I work with software engineers and...

    Make is nice, but it’s rather annoying that the syntax is shell-like, but actually different in several ways that matter a lot. I’m not a software engineer, but I work with software engineers and a lot of what makes them good at what they do is having the discipline to write good Makefiles (or pom.xml files in the case of Maven projects).

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    This is just one instance of a bad assumption that economists make. It seems to me this is just one of a litany of such bad assumptions. In other ostensibly scientific disciplines, it feels like...

    If you ask a silly question, you often get a silly answer. Getting rid of silly assumptions in economics so we stop asking and then researching the answers to silly questions is a matter of trial, error and learning. Science isn't linearly and cumulative, where each project successively builds on the ever-growing shoulders of the giants that came before. Sometimes getting things spectacularly wrong, or the entire field getting the answer to a basic question entirely wrong is the only way to learn something new and leading the whole field forwards.

    This is just one instance of a bad assumption that economists make. It seems to me this is just one of a litany of such bad assumptions. In other ostensibly scientific disciplines, it feels like the number of bad assumptions is smaller and that practitioners in those fields are quicker to admit those assumptions (and be cognizant of them to begin with). I can get behind making up economic models and studying them in theory, but my problem with economists more generally is their insistence on believing their theoretical models (based in flawed assumptions) should be used to make hugely impactful decisions in the real world. It feels to me like economics is a much more applied field when it ought to be treated more like math or physics.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    onyxleopard
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    It’s really nice when someone can explain sleight of hand like this and expose the lack of intellectual honesty of an entire discipline. That said, this article is a bit one-sided. Can anyone who...

    It’s really nice when someone can explain sleight of hand like this and expose the lack of intellectual honesty of an entire discipline. That said, this article is a bit one-sided. Can anyone who is actually a real economist defend this?

    I have to imagine the easy defense would be:

    "There is no other way to compare the productivity of workers doing different tasks."

    This is one of those basic assumptions that I feel is implicit in the field of economics, but which makes it fundamentally junk science because we know we shouldn't try to reason under assumptions we know are not defensible.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Less Human Than Human: The Design Philosophy of Steve Jobs in ~design

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I agree this is a bad take on Jobs and a bad take on Apple and some of their marketing/advertising. “Think Different” was a reaction to the DECs and IBMs and Microsofts of the industry. Was Jobs a...

    I agree this is a bad take on Jobs and a bad take on Apple and some of their marketing/advertising. “Think Different” was a reaction to the DECs and IBMs and Microsofts of the industry. Was Jobs a capitalist? To the umpteenth degree. Was Jobs a humanist? I don’t know. I don’t really care. But he sure was able to build a team of humanists at Apple and NeXT and later again at Apple who crafted computers for humans.

    If we are forced to rank individuals by how philanthropic they are or how much their taste aligns with our own then sorry, Bustillos, but there are billions ahead of you. Jobs was never an artist or craftsman, so I fail to see how judging him on that scale is productive either. Basically, I don’t like the premise of pieces like this. If you’re willing to deliberately set up bad, subjective metrics and insist on measuring people by them anyway, you’re going to end up taking everyone down. Jobs made Apple very successful. If you don’t like Apple or their products, don’t buy them or use them. But more importantly, if you’re a writer, write about what you know. If you don’t know anything about the domain of personal computers, maybe pick a different subject to direct your veiled contempt at.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Thieves used voice-mimicking software to imitate a company executive’s speech and dupe his subordinate into sending $243,000 to a secret account in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    In the near future, knowledge graphs and identity resolution models are going to make this kind of thing automatic. We'll need to have models do a second pass over documents just make sure...

    In the near future, knowledge graphs and identity resolution models are going to make this kind of thing automatic. We'll need to have models do a second pass over documents just make sure sensitive information isn't leaking.

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Magic: the Gathering - Throne of Eldraine mechanics in ~games.tabletop

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    The mere fact that this token is included in boosters means that they know it's not a clear mechanic as printed. I really hope that iffy mechanics like this are a product of WotC intentionally...

    there's a dedicated token for Adventure cards in exile

    The mere fact that this token is included in boosters means that they know it's not a clear mechanic as printed. I really hope that iffy mechanics like this are a product of WotC intentionally shaving off new mechanics from the remaining design space very slowly, as opposed to them reaching for mechanics because they feel like there is little design space left to mine.

    2 votes