psi's recent activity
Comment on Introductions | June 2023 in ~talk
Comment on What's your p(doom)? in ~talk
psiI joined David Albert for dinner once, and this was one of the topics that came up. I believe he said something like: "Some people think if you don't know something, you should assign it a flat...
I joined David Albert for dinner once, and this was one of the topics that came up. I believe he said something like: "Some people think if you don't know something, you should assign it a flat prior. But why would I do that? If I don't know, I don't know!"
I don't think it's a very useful philosophy -- in fact, I use flat priors all the time in my research -- but I kind of agree with him in this particular case. A p(doom) of 50% seems too high for me, despite honestly having no idea how feasible an AI apocalypse is.
Comment on What's your p(doom)? in ~talk
psiTo be clear: yes, this is just for fun! I'm not going to take anybody's estimate of p(doom) seriously. I really had comments like /u/DawnPaladin's in mind when I made my post, but I've also...
It’s supposed to be just for fun, though? I mean, to the degree that discussing our possible doom could be fun?
To be clear: yes, this is just for fun! I'm not going to take anybody's estimate of p(doom) seriously.
I really had comments like /u/DawnPaladin's in mind when I made my post, but I've also enjoyed reading everyone's thoughtful replies.
Comment on What's your p(doom)? in ~talk
psiThat's certainly an unorthodox definition of p(doom) ("AI destroys democracy"), but I won't object. In fact, I broadly agree with both your points. I think the sort of "doomsday" scenario in which...
That's certainly an unorthodox definition of p(doom) ("AI destroys democracy"), but I won't object. In fact, I broadly agree with both your points. I think the sort of "doomsday" scenario in which AI misuse causes democracies to devolve into Russia-esque kleptocracies is orders of magnitude more likely than the paperclip maximizer.
Comment on What's your p(doom)? in ~talk
psiI understand your perspective, but honestly I think it's a mistake to ignore the existential risks just because we disagree with the loudest voices. I'll put you down as p(doom) = 0, however. :p
I understand your perspective, but honestly I think it's a mistake to ignore the existential risks just because we disagree with the loudest voices.
I'll put you down as p(doom) = 0, however. :p
Comment on What's your p(doom)? in ~talk
psiOf course, I agree that these are important (and more pressing) issues, so I'm not trying to minimize the ways that technologies like ChatGPT will disrupt the livelihoods of creatives or worsen...
Compared to the actual damages “AI” is spinning up to inflict, like replacing service jobs or voice actors, AGI doomerism is a pathetic side show.
Of course, I agree that these are important (and more pressing) issues, so I'm not trying to minimize the ways that technologies like ChatGPT will disrupt the livelihoods of creatives or worsen the proliferation of misinformation. I had hoped to avoid sharing my perspective to avoid tainting the discussion, but to prevent this conversation from becoming heated, let me share that I've also made similar critiques about AI alignment research.
That said, I think /u/skybrian made a fair point in response to me: the space is wide enough that different people can concern themselves with different problems, and to be honest (for better or worse), the techbro doomers types were never going to concern themselves with, for example, the harms caused by large language models in perpetuating racial bias.
But I think all of us can agree that these recent developments in AI research amount to something and will likely disrupt our lives in unforeseen ways. Of course, there are known, measurable risks, and people should work to address those precisely because we know they exist. But there are also the unknown unknowns, which is really what lies at the heart of my question: how concerned are you about the harms we haven't even yet imagined?
What's your p(doom)?
Now that ChatGPT's been around for long enough to become a quotidian fixture, I think most of us have realized that we're closer than expected to generalized artificial intelligence (or at least a...
Now that ChatGPT's been around for long enough to become a quotidian fixture, I think most of us have realized that we're closer than expected to generalized artificial intelligence (or at least a reasonable facsimile of it), even when comparing to just a couple years ago.
OG AI doomers like Eliezer Yudkowsky seem a little less nutty nowadays. Even for those of us who still doubt the inevitably of the AI apocalypse, the idea has at least become conceivable.
In fact, the concept of an AI apocalypse has become mainstream enough to gain a cute moniker: p(doom), i.e. the (prior) probability that AI will inflict an existential crisis on humanity.
So for funsies, I ask my dear tilderinos: what is your p(doom)? How do you define an "existential crisis" (e.g., 90%+ population lost)? Why did you chose your prior? How would you change public policy to address your p(doom)?13 votes
Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games
psiXenoblade Chronicles 3 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is among my favorite games of all time and probably my favorite offering on the Switch. Naturally, I was excited to play its sequel; but after 50...
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is among my favorite games of all time and probably my favorite offering on the Switch. Naturally, I was excited to play its sequel; but after 50 hours, I found XC3 so tedious that I nearly dropped it, which is kinda crazy to think about -- in those 50 hours, I could've completed most triple-A games (if not two), and yet I insisted on drudging through this game that I admittedly wasn't really enjoying.
But now, having finished the game after 130 hours, I can definitely say: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an excellent game.
To understand why I nearly dropped XC3, you have to understand the typical formula of a JRPG. Although a JRPG might draw you in with its cute anime aesthetics and banger soundtrack, JRPGs are really build around (1) grinding and (2) understanding its systems in depths. Utilizing both allows the player to live out their power fantasy, as a well-crafted build might allow the player to one-shot even the hardest bosses.
Of course, achieving this power fantasy requires understanding the different mechanics in the game, which are often poorly explained. (How does the attack stat actually affect damage? Is this bonus multiplicative or additive? How is agility different from dexterity?)
This leads to the following gameplay arc:
- The beginning: There's so much to discover and learn! The potential is limitless!
- The middle: How do I damage???
- The end: Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.
Naturally, this middle region is where JRPGs go to die. If you're a JRPG game developer and you want people to overcome the awkward middle hump, you either need a compelling world or intuitive gameplay.
And thus emerges XC3's critical flaw: although the world is compelling enough, there are just too many goddamned systems. It's as if the developers took all the ideas from the first two games and decided to shoehorn them into this one. Building a character requires:
- Choosing a class (there are over 25 of these!)
- Choosing three accessories (there are a bajillion of these)
- Choosing three gems (there are 20 of these, which can be leveled up 10 times each by crafting)
- Choosing three master arts (which you get by leveling up each class)
- Choosing three skills (again, which you get by leveling up each class)
And then you have to repeat this process for each of the 6 characters in your party. It's honestly just too much, and I haven't even discussed the interlinking (mechsuit) system, which has its own separate skill tree for each character.
But the real turd here is the class system. The game encourages you to use the skills on all of the different classes, but this is only possible if you level up each class. However, you have to do this separately on each character, which means leveling up ~25* 6 different character classes. Moreover, you need to adjust your accessories/gems/arts/skills each time you do this. No joke, manually adjusting every character's class can take upwards of 10 minutes, slogging through menus the whole time.
On the other hand, the game offers a "helpful" mechanic to bypass this tedious process: the auto-build option. You will be tempted to use this. Indeed, for the first 50 hours of the game, I relied on the auto-build system. But you should not. Besides being suboptimal, the auto-build system is boring.
When I used the auto-build system, accessories, gems, master arts, and skills became extraneous information. There was no joy in crafting better gems or finding better accessories, as I had no idea what most of them did anyway. In fact, there was little depth to combat: I essentially ran from one mob to the other, spamming my arts while my other (AI-controller) party members spammed theirs.
And thus I nearly dropped this game. I don't think I actually began to enjoy the game until I came across this post-game guide. But at 180(!) pages in length -- without even offering explicit party builds -- it took me a while to distill its information.
But after returning to the guide several times while taking notes, I eventually grokked the secret to big numbers: buffing the smash combo. Essentially, by having the party break, topple, and then subsequently launch the enemy, you can finish the combo with a smash, which has its own independent damage multiplier. This damage multiplier (when buffed) is sufficient to one-hit most enemies or, at least, hit the damage cap.
Once I practiced and understood the power of the smash multiplier, I finally had a concept to build around. I finally understood how to use the game's mechanics to my advantage, allowing me to trivialize even the game's superbosses. And eventually, I managed to hit the damage cap: on the very final hit, of the very final stage, of the very final boss.
Comment on Thoughts on brinkmanship with the US national debt? in ~finance
psi(edited )LinkReading through the replies, I might be more cynical than everyone else here. Like everyone else, I'm frustrated that the GOP is trying to force these concessions despite holding only the barest...
Reading through the replies, I might be more cynical than everyone else here. Like everyone else, I'm frustrated that the GOP is trying to force these concessions despite holding only the barest majority in one chamber of Congress.
But I also think some of those Republicans -- I'm thinking of the Freedom Caucus in particular -- don't actually care whether the US defaults. As pure political theater, it's a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose situation: if they receive the concessions, they can boast about it to their base; if they fail to reach an agreement and the US defaults, they'll just blame Biden for causing a recession. Meanwhile billions of people around the world will have to deal with the fallout, but I guess that's what happens when you elect millionaire demagogues who are basically totally isolated from economic harm.
I had also hoped the government would just invoke the 14th Amendment (section 4: "The validity of the public debt of the United States [...] shall not be questioned"). The text seems fairly unambiguous -- which should appeal to a certain segment of conservative Supreme Court justices -- but the actual interpretation appears to be more nuanced, and I doubt this Supreme Court is going to bend over backwards to give Biden a political win, especially on a matter conservatives hold so dear to their heart (spending).
Comment on Monitor recommendations? in ~tech
psiI suppose I'm similarly situated to you, in that I mostly use my monitor (attached to my M1 mac mini) for writing code/reading papers. Since you aren't using your monitor for watching videos or...
I suppose I'm similarly situated to you, in that I mostly use my monitor (attached to my M1 mac mini) for writing code/reading papers. Since you aren't using your monitor for watching videos or playing games, there's really no need to splurge on the best looking screen you can find. Rather, I would recommend prioritizing real estate. A 2K (1440p) monitor of basically any quality will be more useful than the nicest HD monitor (1080p), since that will give you approximately 33% extra width, enough to have your IDE and papers side-by-side.
On the other hand, a 4K 27" monitor yields diminishing returns since you wouldn't be able to comfortably use the screen at native resolution. Sure, your text would look a little sharper when the monitor's set to emulated 2K mode, but this isn't necessarily worth the extra cost depending on your budget.
Another option would be to buy a 4K ~43" TV, equivalent to 4 HD, bezel-less monitors stacked in a grid. Personally I think this is the ideal set up, and as the price of 4K TVs have really come down over the past decade, this might be a relatively affordable option compared to buying a 4K monitor. However, you should bear in mind that not all TVs are optimized to be used as monitors. I would recommend checking rtings recommendations for using TVs as PC monitors, paying particular attention to chroma 4:4:4 subsampling support and input latency.
Comment on ‘So, I hear I’m transphobic’: Dee Snider responds after being dropped by SF Pride in ~lgbt
psiSince trans kids are almost exclusively talked about in the hypothetical, I'd just like to share this recent anecdote from The Atlantic, offered from the perspective of the parent of a trans kid....
Since trans kids are almost exclusively talked about in the hypothetical, I'd just like to share this recent anecdote from The Atlantic, offered from the perspective of the parent of a trans kid. (The other anecdotes in the article aren't worth reading -- they're just speculative, devoid of experience).
I'd like to emphasize that this is not my story, but for formatting reasons I'd prefer to paste it under the break rather than put the whole thing in block quotes.
What Readers Really Think About Gender
I figured it was just a matter of time before this topic came up, so I have kept my Trans Dad hat ready. I am the father of a 10-year-old transgender son. He has identified as a boy since he was 4 or 5. In many ways, he’s the prototypical example of a gender-incongruent kid. To quote from some in the medical community, he has been “persistent, insistent, and consistent” in this identification. Before he even knew what the word transgender was, he would describe himself in one way or another as having “a boy brain and girl body.” In no time in the past five to six years has this wavered in even the slightest.
I think there is a feeling in some circles that parents of trans kids see their biologically female child play with a truck three times and rush to change pronouns, throw away dresses, and cover all pink paint with blue. For us, this was not even remotely the case. As our son’s identity began to express itself, we were confused, uncertain, and, to be perfectly honest, a little frightened. Our son began refusing anything remotely “girly” about the time he was 4-and-a-half. He began demanding short haircuts, boyish clothes, and mostly boyish toys.
Of course, my wife and I rushed to change his name and pronouns, began wearing We’re proud of our trans boy! T-shirts, secured spots for him on Pride parade floats, and booked his medical-intervention appointments––at least that’s what many people in America seem to think, as if we’re all quick to fast-track our gender-curious kids to trans identities. How do people who believe such things operate in the world being so divorced from reality? We had no idea what to do. Somewhat guiltily, I will admit that we didn’t fully accept (or maybe want to accept) the reality of our son. We weren’t cruel or entirely unsupportive. But we clung to the idea that it was merely a phase. That he was just playing with roles.
In pre-K, he was starting to ask for male pronouns. We nodded and brushed it off. In parent-teacher conferences during the autumn of kindergarten, his teachers again told us this, as well as about him asking to use the boys’ restroom. We replied that we were fine with that in school if that’s what he preferred but we still used she/her at home and planned to continue doing so. “We just want to see where it goes,” we said.
At the request for short haircuts, we avoided “boy” cuts, trying first a bob, and then a shorter bob. Our son would come home from those appointments sullen and sometimes angry, because he had been pretty clear on his desire (a short, boy-style cut) and we had opted for a short, girl-style cut. We were hoping it might be enough, and frankly hoping he would get over it and everything would go back to “normal.” We did roughly the same thing with clothes. He’d want to shop in the boys’ section at Target; we would keep trying to steer him to the girls’. Books too; we were always sneaking in empowered-girl books, thinking maybe he just had developed some weird, bad impressions of women and girls. He would dutifully put them on his shelf and never take them out.
We persisted in using female pronouns at home and referring to him as our daughter and our other son’s sister … even when he was referring to himself as a brother. In short, we did loads of non-gender-affirming things. If you would have asked us then if we thought it was a phase and that he’d “change back,” we would have dutifully done what liberals in a progressive city do: assured you that wasn’t true and that we loved and supported our child. And we would have been lying; while we of course loved and supported our child, we hoped this whole “I’m a boy in a girl’s body” thing would fade away.
We feared telling our families and potentially facing their rejection and judgment, their possible assumptions that our time in “liberal Madison” had something to do with our child being transgender. We feared we would cause harm by labeling our child too soon. We let our fears hinder us from being the parents our child needed. We were wrong.
I share this to underscore how complex this process is. Because there does seem to be the idea that parents of trans kids aren’t making an effort to “make” their kid conform their gender to their biological sex, that we are just rushing headlong into embracing our child’s trans identity. That there aren’t transgender kids, just over-indulgent progressive parents using their child as a political totem. Or, from the other political extreme, that if we have any doubts or fears or missteps, that we are anti-trans bigots pushing our children toward certain suicide. None of those ideas are true. That this is a deeply difficult thing to process doesn’t seem to occur to some people.
My wife and I finally came to terms with our son's gender identity three years ago when he was seven-and-a-half. Our son was getting increasingly sullen, angry, and defiant. He was unhappy in general, but also angry with us. Even through that winter, we still danced around his gender identity as the cause, as we didn’t want to accept that it was true. We still wanted to believe we had a daughter, not another son. To let go of that idea felt like the equivalent of losing a child. But by that spring it was simply impossible to ignore. We had a conversation and made an appointment with his pediatrician, telling her all we had seen and heard. She confirmed what we had tried to avoid accepting: Our son exhibited all the signs of being transgender.
That was the day we changed our perspective. We went home and told him we were going to start using his preferred pronouns. We compromised on a nickname. He had been named after my wife’s grandmother, and we explained that it was important to carry that on in some capacity, and he accepted a shortened, gender-neutral (and pretty coolly unique) name to go by that used his birth name as a jumping off point. His brother struggled a little with the change, but quickly adapted. And what happened? The sullenness, defiance, and anger disappeared. Our beautiful, buoyant, zany child sprang back out, bigger and better than ever. He switched from Girl to Boy Scouts and thrived.
In the three years since, he has given us not even a tiny glimpse of any of this not being utterly and totally true. He has thrived at his public school—kids are incredibly accepting of things when allowed to be—and at home. His extended family has embraced his identity (some more easily than others). He is as great a kid as anyone could ask for.
I know that there will be people who, were they to read this, would say or think Yeah, sure … he’s only that way because you indulged it and his teachers and school indoctrinated him. To which I’d reply, it could possibly look that way from the outside, if all the evidence you have is one dad’s personal account. But what the people who say those sorts of things don’t see is the daily, lived experience of my kid. A lived experience that reaffirms constantly the truth of who he is. My son is a boy with a girl’s body. I don't understand how that happened, I don’t know how that works, but I know it’s true.
This acceptance doesn’t make the coming years any easier or less terrifying. We can see puberty on the horizon, getting closer every day. We know the huge, terrifying decisions that are coming. We are terrified of making the wrong decision, of doing something that might irreversibly alter or hurt our child. We know that the science, while not as in doubt as opponents want people to believe, has areas of uncertainty. But we need the ability to make the best choices for our kid based on the best medical understanding that exists. And to have the ability to do that suddenly cast into doubt, alongside the possibility of being accused of abuse on top of things, is terrifying and infuriating.
The idea of medical intervention is frightening. But it’s not simply thrown around, at least not in our case. We’ve already had a preliminary meeting with a pediatrician specializing in gender care. Did we leave with a bag of puberty blockers and testosterone vials? Of course not. There is a process we will have to go through to get our insurance company to even cover puberty blockers. As for hormones, that can’t happen until he’s at least 15. And it’s important to remember something else: None of these interventions are required. Many trans kids and adults opt for a range of options, from no medical interventions at all to a full package of interventions. Some start, then stop. It’s all a choice, one parents and kids and doctors need to have the freedom to make.
You may have noticed that earlier I referred to my son as gender incongruent rather than gender dysphoric. That’s not just me being cute with language. I didn’t refer to him as dysphoric, because he isn’t. He’s a super-happy, well-adjusted kid. Why? Because of the support he receives from his family, his friends, and others in his life. There is no dissonance for him because he’s allowed to be who he is. But dysphoria is always lurking out there, whether in the creeping specter of puberty or just the often-unaccepting outside world, and with it the potential for crippling anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
Are there risks to medical interventions? Of course. But the health risks of dysphoria are real too. Given that, it’s still in our best interests as parents to trust the opinions of major medical organizations like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the AMA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the various doctors and therapists our child has seen. We don’t have the luxury of latching on to individual critical voices. The stakes for us are just too high. That doesn’t mean research shouldn’t continue and that critical voices shouldn’t provide a dose of healthy skepticism; that is a critical part of the scientific process. But until it becomes clear that the consensus on gender-affirming care has changed, we will trust the current consensus.
A lot of people struggle with accepting that being transgender is real. It’s counterintuitive. I really do get that. As I said, I don’t understand why my son is who he is. But it’s true. Be skeptical and ask questions. But also know that this is not a fantasy. It is not something made up. Not a phase. It’s real, and the kids and adults experiencing it are real too. They are not making it up. They are not deluded. They are not freaks.
They are human beings. And so are their families.
Comment on What is your most essential pessimistic belief? Conversely, what is your most essential optimistic belief? in ~talk
psi(edited )LinkMy most pessimistic and optimistic beliefs deal with my own mortality. Pessimistically, I often feel that living is just a form of procrastinating. We live as though we're the most important show...
My most pessimistic and optimistic beliefs deal with my own mortality.
Pessimistically, I often feel that living is just a form of procrastinating. We live as though we're the most important show in the universe, yet one day we will die, humanity will go extinct, the Earth will be swallowed by the Sun, and so on, until any mark we've left is rendered meaningless.
I yearn for a long, happy life, but even the richest life is just filler.
Optimistically, my most pessimistic belief relies on many assumptions that might turn out to be false. We don't definitively understand consciousness, time, or the ultimate fate of the universe. Maybe consciousness doesn't depend on its physical stratum, allowing us to transcend our wetware. Maybe time doesn't actually "pass", and I'm actually trapped for eternity in this moment, forever fretting for the right words. Maybe the universe is inherently cyclic, amplifying our most courageous acts to infinity.
Hell, maybe there's a Heaven after all.
Comment on Megathread #4 for news/updates/discussion of AI chatbots and image generators in ~tech
psi(edited )Link ParentKind of a nit-pick, but I think the three camps are addressing different problems sorted by likelihood. The AI ethicists (whom Stokes lamely calls the "language police") are addressing problems...
All three camps are thinking on different timescales.
Kind of a nit-pick, but I think the three camps are addressing different problems sorted by likelihood.
- The AI ethicists (whom Stokes lamely calls the "language police") are addressing problems that will almost certainly happen.
Probably someone at this very moment is coaxing ChatGPT into make a racist argument against black people. Now imagine being gish-galloped by a chat bot everytime you suggest systematic racism exists. In ten years, it could become impossible to distinguish between authentic and genuine comments on the internet -- searching for "best grill reddit" might just return 100 pages of recommendations for George Foreman grills as generated by GeorgeGPT.
And of course, there's the danger of mass-generated, individually-tailored, political propaganda. Russian troll farms will soon become significantly more efficient. In the US we still haven't figured out how to mesh the harm from misinformation with our first amendment right to spread it, and the problem is about to grow tremendously worse.
- The Chernobylists are addressing problems that might eventually happen, but they aren't at all certain.
ChatGPT lowers the barrier for script kiddies, but not by that much -- you still need to have a good idea of how a nuclear reactor works, for example, if you're trying to cause a meltdown. Maybe someday you'll be able to instruct an LLM to purchase a server, scan random IPs for vulnerabilities, and automatically exploit those vulnerabilities to deploy ransomware, but how prevalent will these misuses be? Most people won't be tempted to jump careers from office drone to criminal hacker.
- The AI alignment catastrophists are addressing problems that I find impossible to prior.
These folk would argue that we should bomb GPU farms if there's even a 1% chance of human extinction, and like, I wouldn't disagree, but where does that 1% figure come from? It may as well be 50% or 0.001% -- it's just impossible to estimate the prior probability for these disaster scenarios.
On the other hand, there's also a non-vanishing probability that ChatGPT saves humanity by somehow solving our impending energy crisis, so it's not all doom-and-gloom with these LLMs.
Comment on Visiting DC, any recommendations? in ~life
psi(edited )LinkWhen I visited DC, I awoke around 6 pm one weekday morning, unable to fall back asleep. After tossing and turning for half an hour, I decided I'd rather be anywhere else than in bed, so I put on...
When I visited DC, I awoke around 6 pm one weekday morning, unable to fall back asleep. After tossing and turning for half an hour, I decided I'd rather be anywhere else than in bed, so I put on some clothes and sneaked out of the hotel room so as to not disturb my friend.
The morning has a completely different vibe: students are walking to class; federal employees are marching to work with their badges, suits, and briefcases; and tourists are still asleep. The national mall is virtually empty, the monuments untouched by pedestrians. When I approached the Lincoln Memorial, there was only one other person around. Inside the memorial, there were only three of us: me and the custodians.
Besides that, the bonsai garden is pretty cool.
Comment on ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ tops 267 million hours played, fan interest surpasses ‘Fantastic Beasts’ in ~games
psiI totally get this. Personally I was surprised when I checked the /r/Games review thread and found virtually no coverage of her controversies in the comments. I had assumed the majority of the...
But then I started seeing more and more comments and reviews outside my bubble, written by people who seem to be unaware (or unbothered) by the controversy surrounding JKR, and... man, it kind of hurts?
I totally get this. Personally I was surprised when I checked the /r/Games review thread and found virtually no coverage of her controversies in the comments. I had assumed the majority of the internet had soured on Rowling by this point, but apparently not. I guess this should be our "go touch some grass" moment? lol
Seriously though, maybe we should use this as a reminder for how dangerous content bubbles can be. We build up these sets of norms within a community, but then we have to navigate a larger world that doesn't respect them. It's almost like different groups of people live in separate moral universes, occasionally colliding like a wall of matter and a wall of antimatter. For the trans community, Rowling will always be a TERF first and the creator of Harry Potter second. But most people will know her foremost for Harry Potter and, only secondly, as a TERF -- assuming they even know what a TERF is.
Comment on Does anyone actually like canned beans? in ~food
psiPossibly related, but dried beans (especially kidney beans) can cause food poisoning if they aren't properly cooked beforehand since they contain a toxin. I interpret "properly cooked" to mean...
Possibly related, but dried beans (especially kidney beans) can cause food poisoning if they aren't properly cooked beforehand since they contain a toxin. I interpret "properly cooked" to mean boiled, but I'm no food scientist.
Personally I never soak my black beans (Kenji tells me it's a waste of time). Instead I bring them to a boil for a bit, turn down the heat, and then let them simmer (with the lid on) for ~1.5 hr.
Comment on The world's biggest charity speedrunning [GDQ] event just banned Hogwarts Legacy in ~games
psiJust to elaborate on /u/jackson's point a bit, I think it's fair to say that GDQ is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights (e.g., canceling their Florida venue contract following the passage of the...
It's possible GDQ wanted to avoid any controversy at all, and that's why they're banning the game. In that case they may be stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they'd receive criticism for a ban or permitting it. If they didn't want to showcase it though, perhaps the best option would have been to simply avoid picking any runs to be featured during the show.
Just to elaborate on /u/jackson's point a bit, I think it's fair to say that GDQ is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights (e.g., canceling their Florida venue contract following the passage of the Don't Say Gay bill). I mean, at any given GDQ event there are probably more trans woman speedrunners than cis woman speedrunners, so I'm sure this issue felt more personal than most.
I think the calculus here was pretty obvious. Allowing the game at their event would piss off many of their supporters (and runners) while disappointing many others. But disappointment is not the same thing as anger. Probably the largest class of people actually outraged by this decision are transphobes, who probably don't care for a progressive organization like GDQ anyway.
Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities
psi(edited )LinkAs /u/cfabbro mentioned, those few quotes at the beginning are misleading at best. Even taken at face value their sincerity is dubious (seriously, "trans-identified people"?) This piece feels...
As /u/cfabbro mentioned, those few quotes at the beginning are misleading at best. Even taken at face value their sincerity is dubious (seriously, "trans-identified people"?)
This piece feels especially duplicitous given that Rowling wrote an entire essay about how transgender women aren't real women. And it's not like the NYT author didn't know about the essay -- most of the quotes were actually pulled from it!
I mean, consider them:
Trans people need and deserve protection.
I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others but are vulnerable.
I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.
Now consider the actual context (bold for quotes, italics for emphasis):
I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.
So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.
In literally the following paragraph those quotes were pulled from, Rowling misgenders a hypothetical trans person before implying that they'll assault women in bathrooms. It's the same dumb talking point we've been hearing from alt-right figures like Tucker Carlson for years.
Comment on AI-powered Bing Chat loses its mind when fed Ars Technica article / "It is a hoax that has been created by someone who wants to harm me or my service." in ~tech
psiThis is legitimately the funniest thing I've read in weeks. I admit that I was wrong, and I apologize for my behavior.
This is legitimately the funniest thing I've read in weeks.
I admit that I was wrong, and I apologize for my behavior.
Comment on Do we see reality as it is? | Donald Hoffman in ~science
psi(edited )LinkAmusingly Hoffman omits the most obvious evidence for his thesis (we don't see reality as it is). 1. As it is First (and admittedly this is almost academically pedantic), we cannot experience...
Amusingly Hoffman omits the most obvious evidence for his thesis (we don't see reality as it is).
1. As it is
First (and admittedly this is almost academically pedantic), we cannot experience reality as it is because we only experience reality as it was. That is, there is necessarily a lag between what's happening now and the processing of that information. Admittedly the delay is not very long, but it can take up to a couple seconds for some channels -- long enough to empower me to burn my hand in college, as I drunkenly reached for a beer pong ball with one hand while supporting myself on an active George Foreman grill using the other.
Of course, one might object that even if we can't observe reality as it is now, maybe we can at least observe reality as it was then.
2. As we see it
But what does it mean to "observe" something? The title evokes a rather specific sense -- visual perception. But vision relies only on the electromagnetic force. The other fundamental forces can only be inferred indirectly using vision, for example gravity by watching a ball roll downhill.
In fact, of the four fundamental forces, only two can be directly sensed: gravity (on which our sense of balance relies) and electromagnetism (on which every other sense relies). We cannot directly sense the weak force, as useless as that would probably be. But we also cannot directly sense the strong force, despite the fact that the vast majority of non-dark matter exists as baryons (i.e., matter bound by the strong force).
Stated another way, we only indirectly observe the majority of the universe! Our conscious experience requires neither the strong nor weak forces, except insofar as they're necessary to keep us alive -- and maybe not even then. Our conscious experience is also compatible with a universe containing only the electromagnetic force, existing as Boltzmann brains for an instant before catastrophically discharging into the abyss.
I've been here for years, but it seems like I missed the original introduction thread by a few months. So... hi! I'm psi! I guess I'll give a random assortment of facts about myself.