patience_limited's recent activity

  1. Comment on Medical chatbot using OpenAI’s GPT-3 told a fake patient to kill themselves in ~tech

    patience_limited
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    It's weirdly reminiscent of Crisis Text Line's training - there were specific questions we had to ask, in a specific order. But part of the training was about building a connection of empathy. We...

    It's weirdly reminiscent of Crisis Text Line's training - there were specific questions we had to ask, in a specific order.

    But part of the training was about building a connection of empathy. We were supposed to use our human judgment about how and when to get those fundamental safety questions answered, determine how to link the texter with the most appropriate forms of support for the problems they were expressing, and de-escalate their emotional response to the situation that triggered their sense of being overwhelmed.

    Judging by the cognitive demands for dealing with people in crisis (I burned out after the first hundred calls), it would be useful if an AI could handle the basics. I can't imagine, though, that an AI would be capable of parsing the enormous variety of human problems coming in, or know when to ask for help.

    [I was somewhat disappointed to learn that Crisis Text Line's founder had a side business in using anonymized information to train chatbots for customer service. Nonetheless, that's a relatively low-risk interaction.]

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    Man, this is pure viral meme gold. Straight to the Indivisible list.

    Man, this is pure viral meme gold. Straight to the Indivisible list.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    The truly infuriating thing is that these yahoos ran unopposed in the last election. It's long been a source of my cynicism about the Democratic Party establishment that they can't be arsed to...

    The truly infuriating thing is that these yahoos ran unopposed in the last election. It's long been a source of my cynicism about the Democratic Party establishment that they can't be arsed to field or fund candidates at the city and county level. They're still not contending in "red" territory, and that contributes to polarization.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on Michigan county commissioner pulls gun out during virtual meeting when resident asked board to denounce Proud Boys in ~news

    patience_limited
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    I'm hesitant to share local news that reflects my increasingly parochial life interests, but it seems like we're living in a microcosm of U.S. politics right now. Keep in mind that the news...
    • Exemplary

    I'm hesitant to share local news that reflects my increasingly parochial life interests, but it seems like we're living in a microcosm of U.S. politics right now.

    Keep in mind that the news story's events are occurring after the U.S. near-coup to keep Donald Trump in power. Whether it's a last gasp of backwater backlash, or the confident acting out of a stoked and willing fascist base, only time will tell.

    For some background, Grand Traverse County's Board of Commissioners is 5 - 2 Republican/Democrat, in a county (pop. 90,000) where the populace votes roughly 50/50 Republican/Democrat.

    Gun rights are a prior political fault line, in a region where a very liberal small city's preferences conflict with the surrounding rural community's gun sports, hunting culture, social conservatism, and overt racism.

    In the most recent meeting, the BOC voted to:

    1. De-fund and denounce enforcement of state COVID-19 regulations;
    2. Refuse to fund the county nursing home pension plan (two Republican board members have conflicts of interest in private nursing home ownership);
    3. Defeat a requirement that board members self-identify conflicts of interest; and
    4. Give themselves a 150% raise.

    Local reporting illustrates the blithe impunity the most stridently "conservative" members (also the president and vice-president of the board) take for granted. Both of them have given audience to the Proud Boys, and spoken of them with praise subsequently. This is a problem with the Michigan Republican Party at large, but it's reflected on all scales, and allows the worst extremists to operate with impunity.

    I want to make two particular points here:

    1. Pay attention to your local politics as well as the national and global issues that occupy your Internet newsfeed. Sometimes they mirror and magnify national or global issues. It's our duty as citizens in a democracy to encourage responsible, competent policy makers and weed out the inept or corrupt. Every exceptional (for good or evil) politician starts a career with their immediate community; that's where your vote has the greatest impact.

    2. Local news matters - it's worth your investment of money and time to help keep your community informed about the decisions of the people governing them, and pay attention yourself.

    The local Indivisible group is working hard to remove the commissioner who brandished his semi-automatic rifle in a public meeting, and is asking the president of the board to resign as well. With a Republican legislature and courts in the state, though, it's unlikely that any legal proceedings will succeed.

    22 votes
  5. Comment on What are you growing in your fruit/vegetable garden? in ~hobbies

    patience_limited
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    Ooh, ooh, pick me! Very Northern Hemisphere here, 45° N and not too far from cfabbro's locale. I'm just getting indoor seed-starting underway, with estimated last frost date in mid-May. Climate...

    Ooh, ooh, pick me!

    Very Northern Hemisphere here, 45° N and not too far from cfabbro's locale. I'm just getting indoor seed-starting underway, with estimated last frost date in mid-May. Climate change has made this an erratic prediction; winter is running 8 - 10°C warmer than historical norms so far this year.

    We have about 30 m2 of raised beds to fill, and a rolling, partially wooded half-hectare of sandy loam, mostly trees and landscape plantings.

    We're working to build an edible permaculture landscape. So far, there are immature fruit trees - 2 heirloom apple varieties, a mulberry, and a couple of cherries. We have blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus. Planned perennial plantings for the coming year are hedge blueberries, plums, gooseberries, currants, hazelnuts (filberts), elderberries, and Nanking cherry. We may give hardier peach or nectarine tree varieties a try. Longer term, and with some construction, a vine arbor for grapes, kiwifruit, and ornamental clematis.

    The perennial herbs are in landscape plantings - multicolor bergamot, several thymes, oregano, sage, chamomile, rosemary, lavender, yarrow, multicolor echinacea, tarragon, winter savory, verbena, wintergreen, mints, juniper. Actually, the mints are kind of all over the place, as they are wont to be. It's a shame the cats are immune to catnip.

    There are a few traditional medicinal/ornamentals - foxglove, hellebore, artemisia (wormwood), milkweed, etc., though I don't recommend messing around with these at all. Standardized doses of active ingredients with high ratios of dose to toxicity threshold, under medical supervision, please.

    We've got an oyster mushroom bed started in a wooded area, and shiitake plugs on the way for spring. There may be other medicinal🍄 beds coming, though grow bags work great for those.

    Planned annual seeds so far are:

    • Hot peppers - Thai, chocolate Poblano, ghost peppers, etc. These are weirdly hard to get locally. I need to start them very early indoors, as we've only got about 100 reliable days of frost-free growing season.

    • 3 varieties of kale (Lacinato, tender curled leaf, and something purple)

    • Rocket (arugula)

    • 5 kinds of leaf lettuce

    • Tatsoi, Mizuna

    • Spinach, two varieties

    • Fennel - Florence and bronze

    • Nasturtiums (pretty, tasty - nearly all parts are edible, useful for companion planting to repel insects, and super-easy to seed-save)

    • Peas - snow, sugar snaps, and shelling

    • Multiple varieties of bush and climbing beans (mostly heirlooms, but a few hybrids because mildews and bean viruses are problematic here)

      • there's an asparagus bean variety I loved in Florida, delicious and productive, but no idea how it will do with cooler nights
      • Scarlet runner beans, because pretty
      • Cherokee beans for dry keeping
      • 2 varieties of French filet beans
      • Edamame
      • Experimental plantings of a couple of the better-tasting varieties from Rancho Gordo
    • Tomatoes - about 20 varieties, because just-picked garden tomatoes are nearly as good as sex

    • Tomatillos

    • Parsley, curled and flat-leaf

    • Cilantro, chervil, dill

    • Basil - Genovese, Thai, Chinese, lemon

    • Carrots, 4 varieties

    • Radishes - daikon and multicolor globe

    • Japanese eggplant - not a fan of the woodier, tougher European-style eggplants

    • Red burgundy okra

    • beets - bull's-eye and yellow

    • rainbow chard

    • 3 varieties of garlic

    • Shallots

    • Scallions

    • A couple of smaller onion varieties for pearl onions, and cipollines

    • Chives

    • Marigolds

    • Zinnias

    • Sunflowers

    • Sweet peas (not edible seed, unfortunately)

    • Snapdragons

    • Nigella (edible seed)

    • Cosmos

    I've found it's mostly not a good investment of scarce raised-bed space to plant brassicas (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and sprawly vines (zucchini, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, melons). I'd love to plant corn and potatoes, but there's not really enough level, unshaded area. We're fortunate to live near farms that can provide these in abundance, if not every variety I want to try. I might carve out a little space for Oriental vegetables like Japanese cucumber, Chinese long-stem broccoli, and baby bok choi that are otherwise hard to get.

    I'm going to try lemongrass and ginger in containers, brought inside for winter. We've got thriving windowsill bay plant and English lavender.

    Gardens are a life's work and the basis for physical and mental health. Everyone should have access to a space where they can grow and cultivate at least some of the food they consume.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 17 in ~news

    patience_limited
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    That was inexcusable on my part, I'd implicitly assumed everyone here had seen that episode or read the books. 🤦. You have my profound apologies, it won't happen again.

    That was inexcusable on my part, I'd implicitly assumed everyone here had seen that episode or read the books. 🤦. You have my profound apologies, it won't happen again.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 17 in ~news

    patience_limited
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    In my doomscrolling universe today, I've run across: The recent The Expanse episode featuring Marco Inaros' "freedom" speech after he's just machine-gunned Earth with big space rocks and killed...

    In my doomscrolling universe today, I've run across:

    1. The recent The Expanse episode featuring Marco Inaros' "freedom" speech after he's just machine-gunned Earth with big space rocks and killed millions;
    2. This Wired article about DIY military-style tactical assault, and the politics and philosophy thereof;
    3. This charming news about record gun sales; and
    4. The chatter in my Northern Michigan neighborhood's NextDoor, evenly split between worry about COVID-19 deniers or violence against government in our little blue map dot, and frothy rants about deprivation of 2A rights, the Plandemic, microchip vaccines, and the illegitimate overthrow of Trump.

    It's not wholly cheering that the state capitols are seeing few right-wing protesters gathered so far; their capacity to f*ck things up is far greater than their numbers. I'm weary and drained of the capacity for surprise. Intellectually, I know the baddies aren't going to win this time, either, but there's little likelihood of bloodless victory. I feel contaminated just by the moments of thinking, "Who's going to teach me how to defend myself against the gun-crazy neighbors?"

    7 votes
  8. Comment on Biden unveils $1.9 trillion economic and health-care relief package in ~news

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    For comparison with the last major depression relief packages: Which was bigger, the 2009 Recovery Act Package, or FDR's New Deal? My back-of-the-envelope calculation says $1.9 trillion is about...

    For comparison with the last major depression relief packages: Which was bigger, the 2009 Recovery Act Package, or FDR's New Deal?

    Thus, the cost on a per capita basis in 2009 dollars was $2,738 for ARRA and $5,231 for the New Deal.

    Dupor also compared the costs in terms of the size of the economy at the time of enactment. ARRA’s cost was equal to 5.7 percent of the nation’s 2008 output. The New Deal, however, was about 40 percent of the nation’s 1929 output.

    My back-of-the-envelope calculation says $1.9 trillion is about 9% of the most recently reported $21.2 trillion U.S. GDP.

    I'll be surprised if half of the amount gets through even a Democratic-controlled Congress, but it's a fair start. The $15 minimum wage is a modest beginning to decreasing inequality over the long term, but redistributive tax policy will have to pass as well.

    9 votes
  9. Comment on Declassification of secret document reveals US strategy in the Indo-Pacific in ~news

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    From the article:

    From the article:

    The US government has just declassified one of its most sensitive national security documents—its 2018 strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific, which was formally classified SECRET and not for release to foreign nationals.

    The full text, minus a few small redactions, was made public late on 12 January (US east coast time), having originally been cleared for publication on 5 January, prior to the turmoil in Washington.

    The release of this document will be rightly overshadowed in the news cycle by the aftermath of the disgraceful domestic attack on the US Capitol, but for observers interested in the future security of the world beyond American shores, it will be of long-term interest and warrant close reading.

  10. Comment on How Linksys’ most famous router, the WRT54G, tripped into legendary status because of an undocumented feature that slipped through during a merger in ~tech

    patience_limited
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    It really was an incredible device. I got seven years of bulletproof wireless out of a WRT54G using DD-WRT and a foil-wrapped cutout parabolic antenna, even with Florida bunker-style concrete...

    It really was an incredible device. I got seven years of bulletproof wireless out of a WRT54G using DD-WRT and a foil-wrapped cutout parabolic antenna, even with Florida bunker-style concrete walls in the house. The only time I ever rebooted it was to update.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    You just can't see the murder mittens in these pictures. But really, they are perfect cats.

    You just can't see the murder mittens in these pictures. But really, they are perfect cats.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    So the spouse and I play this conversational game from time to time, "Which would you rather give up, x or y?", where x and y are things like activities, favored objects, foods, etc. When the...

    So the spouse and I play this conversational game from time to time, "Which would you rather give up, x or y?", where x and y are things like activities, favored objects, foods, etc.

    When the question, "which would you rather give up, wine or cheese?" came around, my answer was "life", and I'm sticking to that. Cheese is one of the pillars of existence, though I'm partial to the sharp, crumbly, stinky ones.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    Allergies are one of the reasons Siamese are a desirable cat breed - they're low-shedding and don't produce as much of the protein that troubles allergy sufferers. Spouse says they're the first...

    Allergies are one of the reasons Siamese are a desirable cat breed - they're low-shedding and don't produce as much of the protein that troubles allergy sufferers. Spouse says they're the first cats he's had that don't make him itch.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Your favorite vegetarian recipes in ~food

    patience_limited
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    Mushroom Risotto! It takes some work, but it's an incredibly comforting dish in the deep mid-winter. You don't have to use super-expensive wild mushrooms for the whole dish; I usually use 2/3...

    Mushroom Risotto! It takes some work, but it's an incredibly comforting dish in the deep mid-winter. You don't have to use super-expensive wild mushrooms for the whole dish; I usually use 2/3 cremini and 1/3 shiitakes.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    Oh, yeah. Speaking as a former chemist, wine nerd, and soon-to-be beekeeper, honey is the most amazing biological product out there. "Honey" is a mixture of thousands of compounds, dependent on...

    Oh, yeah. Speaking as a former chemist, wine nerd, and soon-to-be beekeeper, honey is the most amazing biological product out there. "Honey" is a mixture of thousands of compounds, dependent on the hive response to environmental conditions, bee genetics, available forage plants, and extraction/handling methods. It's unimaginable that there will ever be an acceptable synthetic substitute.

    Pre-COVID, the local beekeeping group had a tasting, and the variety of flavors and consistencies was mind-boggling. It varied from one hive (dark, crystallized, smoky, pine, and caramel) to another (light, thin, intensely sweet, floral) on the same farm.

    Unfortunately, commercial beekeeping practices and honey counterfeiting make the real thing a vanishingly rare commodity. If you can, support local smallhold beekeepers who are not shipping their hives for pollination.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    /u/kfwyre had to mention cats... There are a billion cat photos on the naked Internet, here are mine. I will bore you to death about my Siamese cats. You are now forewarned. I adopted a couple of...

    /u/kfwyre had to mention cats... There are a billion cat photos on the naked Internet, here are mine.

    I will bore you to death about my Siamese cats. You are now forewarned.

    I adopted a couple of young rescued Siamese-mix cats in September and December, respectively. And yes, COVID-19 lockdowns are leaving us all a bit unmoored, but I HAVE NO REGRETS (really).

    [Ethically, I have huge problems with pet breeding. While I appreciate the ornamental qualities of colorpointed cats, there was no way in hell I'd ever encourage the gross cruelties of creating more genetically damaged commodity animals. And yet these two cats did survive in the wild, and I'm happy to provide them with a comfortable, safe, loving home, where they are indeed ornamental.]

    The Girls were semi-feral, one from a cat hoarder, one from a barn colony. The younger one was so human-shy the rescue thought she'd never be adoptable. I'm pleased to say I now have a new feline appendage, who's constantly into everything I'm doing. The older cat had already been returned to the rescue from a previous adopter - I have no idea why, because she's an utter love sponge with no bad habits.

    Aside from being affectionate companions, The Girls are terrifyingly clever. I'd heard stories about Siamese breed cats, but these two:

    • solved every feeder puzzle, and are working very hard on consistent manipulations to get the humans to open the refrigerator door for them;
    • climbed to places I never thought at risk (how???);
    • opened cabinets and doors;
    • invented games with objects like door springs and latches;
    • have taught each other their respective languages, and imitate some human phonemes;
    • play soccer
    • feed each other
    • use tools (e.g. a stick to get a ball out from under the couch)

    It's been fascinating, frustrating, charming, hilarious, and a source of life-affirming responsibility in a dark time. I might ignore all human duties on a day of grim depression, but a claw to the end of the nose focusses the mind wonderfully.

    8 votes
  17. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    patience_limited
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    Makes perfect sense to me - I'm inordinately attached to teal and other blue/green intermediates. I don't place much faith in color psychology research, but for me, these colors have the calming,...

    Makes perfect sense to me - I'm inordinately attached to teal and other blue/green intermediates. I don't place much faith in color psychology research, but for me, these colors have the calming, tranquil echo of sky touching water.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on The confusing world of USB in ~tech

    patience_limited
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    I've run into some of this spec mayhem with laptop docks, and it ain't pretty. Especially the "how many lanes of video at what resolution do I actually have available?" question. For a while, Dell...

    I've run into some of this spec mayhem with laptop docks, and it ain't pretty. Especially the "how many lanes of video at what resolution do I actually have available?" question. For a while, Dell drivers were utterly unreliable for Thunderbolt, too.

    7 votes