psi's recent activity

  1. Comment on Capsule - Jumper [J-pop] in ~music

    psi Link
    Capsule has frequently (perhaps to cliche) been monikered as "Japanese Daft Punk". The electronic duo consists of vocalist Toshiko Koshijima and Producer Yasutaka Nakata, who himself is the...

    Capsule has frequently (perhaps to cliche) been monikered as "Japanese Daft Punk". The electronic duo consists of vocalist Toshiko Koshijima and Producer Yasutaka Nakata, who himself is the producer for several other projects:

    If you like Jumper, I'd recommend the entire album More! More! More! as a starting point.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Justice Department Reverses Course on Citizenship Question on Census, Citing Trump’s Orders in ~news

    psi (edited ) Link
    That is, the Trump Administration has reversed its reversal: it will try to add a citizenship question in a way "consistent with the Supreme Court's decision" (to quote Jody Hunt, assistant...

    That is, the Trump Administration has reversed its reversal: it will try to add a citizenship question in a way "consistent with the Supreme Court's decision" (to quote Jody Hunt, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the DOJ).

    The move is rather ridiculous. The Trump Administration argued that the question was needed to protect the voting rights of minority groups; however, Thomas Hofeller, a redistricting expert who worked for the GOP (and who is personally responsible for many states's gerrymandered maps), conducted a study concluding that such a question would actually suppress minority response rates. Moreover, he shared these results with Census Bureau employees, making his study the likely catalyst for including a citizenship question.

    The Administration's justification for adding the census question was clearly pretextual (which is the reason the attempt to add the question failed). Whatever arguments the Administration cooks up next won't suddenly become non-pretextual just because the DOJ invents a new justification.

    8 votes
  3. Comment on Friday haiku challenge in ~creative

    psi Link
    Yes! Huzzah! IT LIVES! Wait -- fuck. Scratch that, still broken. Better make some tea.

    Yes! Huzzah! IT LIVES!
    Wait -- fuck. Scratch that, still broken.
    Better make some tea.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on We Thought Our Prison Strike Was a Success. Then Came the Officers in Riot Gear in ~news

    psi Link Parent
    This is patently absurd. All systematic injustices are exactly that: an external will imposed by one population on another. I doubt you'd argue that feminism should be lead by men or that Black...

    Pressure to change systems like this, which are designed to impose an external will on an internal population, MUST come from outside those systems, not inside.

    This is patently absurd. All systematic injustices are exactly that: an external will imposed by one population on another. I doubt you'd argue that feminism should be lead by men or that Black Lives Matter should be lead by their white allies.

    In my opinion, the largest problem with the prison-industrial complex is the lack of advocates for those inside. Obviously prisoners need advocates on the outside (since those are the only ones with the power to do anything, particularly since most prisoners aren't permitted to vote), but prisoners should be able to advocate for themselves in some way. They're the ones directly impacted here.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Supreme Court finds that courts can't rule on partisan gerrymandering cases in ~news

    psi Link Parent
    I believe mathematicians actually did submit amicus briefs offering algorithms to measure/counter gerrymandering. Unfortunately, it seems like the Court decided "impartiality" was more important...

    I believe mathematicians actually did submit amicus briefs offering algorithms to measure/counter gerrymandering. Unfortunately, it seems like the Court decided "impartiality" was more important than evidence-based solutions.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Reddit has quarantined /r/The_Donald in ~tech

    psi Link Parent
    I wouldn't blame Ellen for either of those. In fact, here's the former reddit CEO (yishan) calling out spez for using Ellen as a scapegoat (emphasis added): And as a bonus instance of spez acting...

    I wouldn't blame Ellen for either of those. In fact, here's the former reddit CEO (yishan) calling out spez for using Ellen as a scapegoat (emphasis added):

    AYYYYYY LMAO

    How's everyone doing? This is AWESOME!

    There's something I neglected to tell you all this time ("executive privilege", but hey I'm declassifying a lot of things these days). Back around the time of the /r/creepshots debacle, I wrote to /u/spez for advice. I had met him shortly after I had taken the job, and found him to be a great guy. Back in the day when reddit was small, the areas he oversaw were engineering, product, and the business aspects - those are the same things I tend to focus on in a company (each CEO has certain areas of natural focus, and hires others to oversee the rest). As a result, we were able to connect really well and have a lot of great conversations - talking to him was really valuable.

    Well, when things were heating around the /r/creepshots thing and people were calling for its banning, I wrote to him to ask for advice. The very interesting thing he wrote back was "back when I was running things, if there was anything racist, sexist, or homophobic I'd ban it right away. I don't think there's a place for such things on reddit. Of course, now that reddit is much bigger, I understand if maybe things are different."

    I've always remembered that email when I read the occasional posting here where people say "the founders of reddit intended this to be a place for free speech." Human minds love originalism, e.g. "we're in trouble, so surely if we go back to the original intentions, we can make things good again." Sorry to tell you guys but NO, that wasn't their intention at all ever. Sucks to be you, /r/coontown - I hope you enjoy voat!

    The free speech policy was something I formalized because it seemed like the wiser course at the time. It's worth stating that in that era, we were talking about whether it was ok for people to post creepy pictures of women taken legally in public. That's shitty, but it's a far cry from the extremes of hate that some parts of the site host today. It seemed that allowing creepers to post (anonymized) pictures of women taken in public, in a relatively small subreddit that never showed up on the front page, was a small price to pay for making it clear that we were a place welcoming of all opinions and discourse.

    Having made that decision - much of reddit's current condition is on me. I didn't anticipate what (some) redditors would decide to do with freedom. reddit has become a lot bigger - yes, a lot better - AND a lot worse. I have to take responsibility.

    But... the most delicious part of this is that on at least two separate occasions, the board pressed /u/ekjp to outright ban ALL the hate subreddits in a sweeping purge. She resisted, knowing the community, claiming it would be a shitshow. Ellen isn't some "evil, manipulative, out-of-touch incompetent she-devil" as was often depicted. She was approved by the board and recommended by me because when I left, she was the only technology executive anywhere who had the chops and experience to manage a startup of this size, AND who understood what reddit was all about. As we can see from her post-resignation activity, she knows perfectly well how to fit in with the reddit community and is a normal, funny person - just like in real life - she simply didn't sit on reddit all day because she was busy with her day job.

    Ellen was more or less inclined to continue upholding my free-speech policies. /r/fatpeoplehate was banned for inciting off-site harassment, not discussing fat-shaming. What all the white-power racist-sexist neckbeards don't understand is that with her at the head of the company, the company would be immune to accusations of promoting sexism and racism: she is literally Silicon Valley's #1 Feminist Hero, so any "SJWs" would have a hard time attacking the company for intentionally creating a bastion (heh) of sexist/racist content. She probably would have tolerated your existence so long as you didn't cause any problems - I know that her long-term strategies were to find ways to surface and publicize reddit's good parts - allowing the bad parts to exist but keeping them out of the spotlight. It would have been very principled - the CEO of reddit, who once sued her previous employer for sexual discrimination, upholds free speech and tolerates the ugly side of humanity because it is so important to maintaining a platform for open discourse. It would have been unassailable.

    Well, now she's gone (you did it reddit!), and /u/spez has the moral authority as a co-founder to move ahead with the purge. We tried to let you govern yourselves and you failed, so now The Man is going to set some Rules. Admittedly, I can't say I'm terribly upset.

    http://i.imgur.com/BBvdWuv.gif

    And as a bonus instance of spez acting shitty towards Ellen, there's this exchange (which was posted in the wake of spez getting caught editing other people's comments):

    [CaptInsane]

    How do you feel about ArsTechnica's David Kravets comparing you to Ellen Pao, and that despite all the hate she got she didn't stoop this low?

    [spez]

    It's fair. Ellen wasn't the first Reddit engineer, so she probably lacked the expertise to do it, and even if she did, she was smart enough to not.

    [ekjp]

    Yeah, there's no comparison. I would have immediately fired anyone who did that.

    22 votes
  7. Comment on Got any new electronics? Tell me about them! in ~talk

    psi Link Parent
    Psychonauts 2 and The Outer Worlds are definitely games I'm excited for. Maybe I'll skip Banjo Kazooie and go for Super Lucky's Tale instead; it seems like just the sort of casual platforming game...

    Psychonauts 2 and The Outer Worlds are definitely games I'm excited for. Maybe I'll skip Banjo Kazooie and go for Super Lucky's Tale instead; it seems like just the sort of casual platforming game I like to play (Banjo Kazooie is feeling a bit dated).

    Yeah, Sea of Thieves seems like a game that would shine with a group. But since it's PVP-everywhere (at least, as far as I'm aware), it doesn't seem like it'd be very accommodating to new players. And it looks like your brother confirmed my suspicions. I'll probably pass on it; tell your brother that I'm glad he suffered so I won't have to. :p

  8. Comment on What is your favorite thought experiment? in ~talk

    psi Link Parent
    To be fair, you can also apply the Ship of Theseus to your brain. If you selectively remove parts of your brain until nothing's left, then clearly at some point "you" stopped being "you"....

    To be fair, you can also apply the Ship of Theseus to your brain. If you selectively remove parts of your brain until nothing's left, then clearly at some point "you" stopped being "you". Moreover, the brain's in perpetual flux physiologically, so in some sense this paradox applies to you at all times.

  9. Comment on Got any new electronics? Tell me about them! in ~talk

    psi Link Parent
    I did the same thing! What games are you most looking forward to playing? I finished Ori and the Blind Forest a few days ago and am now playing Banjo Kazooie (which was just added to Xbox game...

    I did the same thing! What games are you most looking forward to playing? I finished Ori and the Blind Forest a few days ago and am now playing Banjo Kazooie (which was just added to Xbox game pass via the Rare Replay collection).

  10. Comment on Trump vows mass immigration arrests, removals of ‘millions of illegal aliens’ starting next week in ~news

    psi Link Parent
    As further evidence for your thesis, I'm reminded of the Huffington Post article Nate Silver Is Unskewing Polls — All Of Them — In Trump’s Direction, penned by Ryan Grim a few days before the...

    As further evidence for your thesis, I'm reminded of the Huffington Post article Nate Silver Is Unskewing Polls — All Of Them — In Trump’s Direction, penned by Ryan Grim a few days before the election, which actually faulted Nate Silver for putting the race closer than virtually all other models (despite Silver still predicting Clinton to win). Nate Silver was not impressed.

    Ironically, Grim's apology to Silver seems to suggest, as you concluded, that punditry is the problem... but then Grim totally misses the mark.

    @NateSilver538 Yes. You were right that there was far more uncertainty than we were accounting for. I apologize. Gonna stick to punditry.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on What niche/specialized version of an everyday thing is worth the time/money if you know what you're looking for? in ~talk

    psi Link
    I'm repeating a few suggestions posted elsewhere in this thread, but as someone who works primarily from home, here are my recommendations on items to invest in: 1. A chair Personally, I use a...

    I'm repeating a few suggestions posted elsewhere in this thread, but as someone who works primarily from home, here are my recommendations on items to invest in:

    1. A chair

    Personally, I use a Steelcase Gesture, but other people like the Steelcase Leap, the Herman Miller Aeron, the Herman Miller Embody, etc. I mention these alternatives because there isn't a single gold standard: the most important rule when buying an office chair is to try it before you buy it, preferably in your workspace. For instance, the Aeron is perhaps the most recommended office chair, but I honestly can't stand it -- sometimes I like to sit cross-legged in my chair, but after testing one out, I learned the hard lips on the Aeron make sitting in that position uncomfortable.

    Yes, a quality office chair might be 5x (or more) what you'd normally pay for an office chair, but it'll also likely last 5x longer (and often will come with a 10 year warranty to boot). My previous chair cost around $150, but after about a year of use all the padding had migrated to the edges, making it no better than sitting on cardboard. In the long run, replacing that chair every year would've been the more expensive option.

    Alternatively, you can buy these chairs at a significant discount at liquidation (but probably without a warranty); just check Craigslist and the likes.

    2. A 4k TV (in place of a monitor)

    You know what's better than a quadruple monitor setup? A bezel-less quadruple monitor setup, which is essentially what a 4k TV is. There are plenty of stipulations here: (1) color accuracy is likely worse, (2) input latency is greater, (3) refresh rate is lower, etc. But productivity-wise, it's hard to imagine going back to a traditional monitor -- there's just so much room for documents, browser windows, editors, etc.

    That said, don't dismiss the idea of using a 4k TV just because you like to game too -- most console gamers, in my experience, don't even think to switch their TVs to game mode yet manage just fine. Sure, you can probably notice 50 ms lag from a TV vs 3 ms lag from a traditional monitor if you concentrate on it, but most games aren't that twitchy.

    I use the 40" Samsung KU6300, but better options have probably been released since when I bought my TV a few years ago.

    3. A keyboard

    A quality keyboard, in this context, pretty much just means a mechanical keyboard. I like the Anne pro 2, which allows one to customize keybindings at the firmware level (eg, caps lock + q = home key, caps lock + wasd = arrow keys ). It's also compact, so I can easily move it aside to take notes.

    4. A mouse

    In a similar vein, getting a mouse with a few extra buttons can noticeably improve your workflow (eg, quickly sort through browser tabs/editor tabs with mouse 4 -> ctrl-tab, mouse 5-> ctrl-shift-tab). I like my logitech g900.

    5. Headphones

    If you're going to be wearing headphones all day long, get something comfortable. Cheap headphones will hurt after an hour of use; with quality headphones, you can easily forget you're wearing them. I use the Sony WH-1000XM3, which are wireless, just for the additional convenience. Of course, if you choose to go wireless you'll likely be sacrificing quality to some extent, but imo those concerns are overstated.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Game of Thrones petition: 500,000 demand series eight remake in ~tv

    psi Link Parent
    I like your edits, but there are a couple major plot points you're changing: The battle being one-sided. Sure, this may be incompatible with previous episodes, but I fault those episodes, not this...

    I like your edits, but there are a couple major plot points you're changing:

    1. The battle being one-sided. Sure, this may be incompatible with previous episodes, but I fault those episodes, not this one. The dragons are supposed to be overpowered. There's meaning in them being overpowered. Cersei should try to resist, of course (why didn't she use the wildfire?), but the fight isn't supposed to be close (imo). (As a side note, this is my biggest gripe with the way they killed off Rhaegal; it totally undermines this point.)

    2. Dany choosing to destroy King's Landing. The way you've rewritten it, Dany accidentally destroys the city and goes mad after the battle. But then what will cause Jon's change of heart (presuming that happens)? Merely seeing Varys executed? Jon needs to have serious misgivings about this battle and his queen.

    I think of all the episodes this season, this one probably most closely resembles GRRM's vision. If parts of this episode seems incongruent with the other episodes of this season (When did Dany become tyrannical? Why did Rhaegal die so easily?), it's because those earlier episodes didn't do a good job setting up this one. In fact, I'd argue that the reason the first four episodes feel so clumsy is because they're rushed attempts to justify the fifth episode, which is pivotal.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    psi Link Parent
    In particular, they usually rely on the AdS/CFT correspondence. That's all well and good, but our universe is (probably) not an anti-de Sitter (adS) space! (The curvature of space appears to be...

    Theories about holography (“the universe is a hologram”) are usually built on models that look nothing like our universe and may very likely not apply here.

    In particular, they usually rely on the AdS/CFT correspondence. That's all well and good, but our universe is (probably) not an anti-de Sitter (adS) space! (The curvature of space appears to be flat, not negative as would be required by the AdS/CFT correspondence.)

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    psi Link Parent
    Yes! I'd like to reiterate this point because I think it's the most interesting part of the discussion. For the most part, science creates models which allow for predictions. However, a model is...

    The closest science does come to addressing this doesn’t clear things up much, and might actually suggest that things are not ‘real’ in between observations.

    Yes! I'd like to reiterate this point because I think it's the most interesting part of the discussion. For the most part, science creates models which allow for predictions. However, a model is not the same as how or why something works -- it's a description of how/why the model works, and we hope that whatever we're studying is well approximated by the model.

    The exception here is Bell's theorem, as you linked in your post. Per the wiki article:

    Lawrence Berkeley particle physicist Henry Stapp declared: "Bell's theorem is the most profound discovery of science."

    The reason for such a seemingly hyperbolic statement is that Bell's theorem seems to say something fundamental about how the universe actually is: quantum mechanics is incompatible with local realism, despite local realism being the assumption under which people operate. The consequence of Bell's theorem is that we must either reject localism (that the speed of light is the maximum speed at which information can propagate, and consequently, that effects can't happen before causes) or reject realism (crudely, that things exist when we aren't measuring them; or as Einstein once incredulously put it: does the moon really only exist when you're looking?). Any interpretation of quantum mechanics (and therefore any interpration of how the world works) must address this issue of non-locality vs anti-realism.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on What's a common misconception or misunderstanding you would love to see corrected? in ~talk

    psi (edited ) Link Parent
    I think what @gpl is getting at, to summarize their point, is that science is only concerned with predictions. The actual mechanisms we use to describe the world (eg, the electromagnetic force is...

    I think what @gpl is getting at, to summarize their point, is that science is only concerned with predictions. The actual mechanisms we use to describe the world (eg, the electromagnetic force is mediated by the exchange of virtual photons) provide a helpful picture for making predictions, but the mechanisms underlying reality don't necessarily need to match the mechanisms described in our models (after all, nobody's ever seen a virtual particle). Our scientific descriptions of processes may only be analogous to how reality truly operates.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Minecraft creator Notch excluded from 10-year anniversary plans for the game because of his "comments and opinions" in ~games

    psi Link Parent
    Reply All (one of my favorite podcasts) has an episode on it, if podcasts are your thing.

    Reply All (one of my favorite podcasts) has an episode on it, if podcasts are your thing.

    7 votes
  17. Comment on What is something you are reasonably certain is true, but you have no proof for it? in ~talk

    psi (edited ) Link
    I'm inclined to think that continuity of consciousness is an illusion. Consider the following (nearly tautological) statement: at any moment, you only experience the present. The pasts exists as...

    I'm inclined to think that continuity of consciousness is an illusion. Consider the following (nearly tautological) statement: at any moment, you only experience the present. The pasts exists as memories; the future is an idea. Therefore, all you can be sure of is that you exist right now.

    So we can be sure that we're conscious right now, but what about now or later? Essentially, the problem with a continuity of consciousness is akin to Theseus's ship. From Wikipedia:

    First, suppose that the famous ship sailed by the hero Theseus in a great battle has been kept in a harbour as a museum piece. As the years go by some of the wooden parts begin to rot and are replaced by new ones. After a century or so, all of the parts have been replaced. Is the "restored" ship still the same object as the original?

    Second, suppose that each of the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology develops to cure their rotting and enable them to be put back together to make a ship. Is this "reconstructed" ship the original ship? And if so, is the restored ship in the harbour still the original ship too?

    There are numerous solutions to this apparent paradox, but to me the cleanest solution is to reject the idea that there's some identity which is gradually lost. Instead, as soon as that first plank is removed, I'd argue that you have a different ship. Functionally, it'd be a very similar ship, and we could probably even quantify to what extent it's alike to the original, but it is nevertheless qualitatively different.

    Similarly, if consciousness resides in the brain and is physiological in nature, then like the ship of Theseus, consciousness should also be in flux. At some point in the past, your brain didn't exist; at some point in the future, it won't exist anymore. In the meantime, you at four months old will be totally unrecognizable from you at forty years old. At any given moment, your brain rewrites pathways like carpenters replace rotting boards. Yes, you might remember eating cereal this morning, but who's to say that you're the one who did it? Perhaps you just inherited the memories of someone who came before you, identical in nearly every respect, yet not you.


    Additionally, I suspect the true nature of the universe is infinitely stranger than we can comprehend. I think that, in some sense, there exists some structure more general than the universe in which every possibility is realized, even contradictory ones.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on To undermine Katherine Bouman's role in the black hole photo, trolls held up a white man as the real hero -- until he fought back in ~science

    psi (edited ) Link Parent
    And it's obviously total bullshit. I'm a physics grad student specializing in lattice QCD. I'm admittedly a bit biased here, but I consider my field the epitome of computational physics; my field...

    And it's obviously total bullshit. I'm a physics grad student specializing in lattice QCD. I'm admittedly a bit biased here, but I consider my field the epitome of computational physics; my field is effectively impossible without computers. State-of-the-art work usually require the use of a supercomputer. My advisor is -- surprise -- a woman. Women are certainly underrepresented in this field but not seemingly less than any other field of physics. It would be irresponsible to conflate that lack of presence with a lack of ability.

    And all of this illustrates the fundamental irony of such claims intended to discredit minorities: people who are clearly not experts about the subject nevertheless make categorical claims about them. Take the quoted person:

    I've spent fair amount of time doing hard science (applied physics) as well as computational physics

    What does that even mean? Did they get a degree in applied physics? Simply take a few classes? Neither would be sufficient to know the who's-who of computational physics (which is already too broad of a discipline to talk about meaningfully). And that's assuming we can even take this person at face value.

    Or take the claim that Chael "wrote 850,000 of the 900,000 lines of code". Let's ignore the fact that "lines of code" is not an especially useful metric. Nobody writes 850,000 lines of code in grad school. And unsurprisingly, neither did Chael -- most of those "lines of code" were uploaded data. Such a claim would be obviously suspicious to anybody familiar with computational physics (or even just programming in general), but knowledgeable people aren't the ones who make (or believe) these absurd claims.

    17 votes
  19. Comment on Recommend me some podcasts! in ~talk

    psi Link
    Podcast Description Recommended Episode This American Life Weekly theme How I Got into College On the Media Critical reflections on the media The Worst Thing We've Ever Done More Perfect History...
    Podcast Description Recommended Episode
    This American Life Weekly theme How I Got into College
    On the Media Critical reflections on the media The Worst Thing We've Ever Done
    More Perfect History behind Supreme Court decisions The Imperfect Plaintiffs
    Reveal Investigative journalism Case Cleared
    Reply All On technology Is Facebook Spying on You?
    Heavyweight Dry, self-effacing humor Gregor
    Opening Arguments Legal perspective of the news Stormy Daniels is a Legal Genius
    4 votes