skybrian's recent activity

  1. Comment on Why Go and not Rust? in ~comp

    skybrian
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    I haven't done much Rust programming myself, but for a game, one approach I've heard is popular is an entity component system. This is sort of like a little column-oriented database where each...

    I haven't done much Rust programming myself, but for a game, one approach I've heard is popular is an entity component system. This is sort of like a little column-oriented database where each game object is a row and IDs rather than pointers are used for links between game objects. It avoids a lot of issues with pointers and it's appropriate for games where each object has its own lifespan and is deleted explicitly like in a database. (As with a database, dangling IDs are possible.)

    See: https://slide-rs.github.io/specs/ and https://raphlinus.github.io/personal/2018/05/08/ecs-ui.html

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Mental Models: The Best Way to Make Intelligent Decisions (109 Models Explained) in ~science.social

    skybrian
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    I think there may be an implicit model of how "muscle memory" works in humans. This doesn't seem all that distinct from cognitive biases, which are also about what empirically happens in our brains.

    I think there may be an implicit model of how "muscle memory" works in humans. This doesn't seem all that distinct from cognitive biases, which are also about what empirically happens in our brains.

  3. Comment on Mental Models: The Best Way to Make Intelligent Decisions (109 Models Explained) in ~science.social

    skybrian
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    I'm wondering what mental models apply in music performance? Here's one:

    I'm wondering what mental models apply in music performance? Here's one:

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. The idea that consistency and accuracy in physical motion comes from practicing things slowly and carefully, then gradually speeding up. (Has wide applications in sports, military exercises, etc.)

  4. Comment on What’s the status on anonymous comments? in ~tildes

    skybrian
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    My assumption was that if a post is anonymous, no username is recorded, so this couldn't happen. Rather, I was thinking the topic would be closed to new posts after a while. It seems odd that...

    My assumption was that if a post is anonymous, no username is recorded, so this couldn't happen. Rather, I was thinking the topic would be closed to new posts after a while.

    It seems odd that three different people assumed "anonymous" meant the username should still be recorded? That doesn't seem very safe for the person posting.

  5. Comment on What’s the status on anonymous comments? in ~tildes

    skybrian
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    My assumption was that it's actually anonymous and doesn't require login. Anonymous but requiring login would probably fix the spam problem. Recording the username anywhere is not what I'd...

    My assumption was that it's actually anonymous and doesn't require login.

    Anonymous but requiring login would probably fix the spam problem.

    Recording the username anywhere is not what I'd consider anonymous. But maybe it could be described differently?

    1 vote
  6. Comment on What can a software developer do about climate change? in ~enviro

    skybrian
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    Encouraging people to stay home and play video games probably reduces global warming :-) Although, that might depend on the energy efficiency of their home and computer. If you want to do this at...

    Encouraging people to stay home and play video games probably reduces global warming :-) Although, that might depend on the energy efficiency of their home and computer.

    If you want to do this at scale, you might get a job at Amazon or Google optimizing things in data centers.

    But beware that reducing costs increases usage. This is called the Jevons paradox. To keep your work optimizing all the software things from going to waste due to increased usage, something like a carbon tax is still needed.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on What’s the status on anonymous comments? in ~tildes

    skybrian
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    Spam seems like an issue, so I'd rather see it turned on for specific topics where the person posting the topic turned it on, not site-wide. And it probably should turn off automatically after the...

    Spam seems like an issue, so I'd rather see it turned on for specific topics where the person posting the topic turned it on, not site-wide. And it probably should turn off automatically after the topic has been inactive for a while.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Genetically modified mosquitoes breed in Brazil in ~science.natural

    skybrian
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    I assume they put the tracking gene in because there was some doubt about this.

    I assume they put the tracking gene in because there was some doubt about this.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    skybrian
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    It's an interesting article and I find things to agree with, but I don't think it accurately describes economists' intentions, or why they think certain assumptions are reasonable. A more balanced...

    It's an interesting article and I find things to agree with, but I don't think it accurately describes economists' intentions, or why they think certain assumptions are reasonable. A more balanced article would explain the opposing side's argument in a way they would agree with, while also explaining why the author thinks they're wrong.

    I think the whole article may be based on a misunderstanding: economists simply aren't trying to compare productivity of individual workers using productivity statistics based on sales. The productivity of a factory, for example, is based on a large team of people working together, and deciding which workers get more credit doesn't really matter for measuring the aggregate output of the factory. (It does matter in real life, though.)

    Economics does depend on prices, and assumes prices reveal consumer preferences. I don't have a better solution, but I'm reminded a bit of frequentist versus Bayesian approaches to statistics. The frequentist tries to make statistics objective and unbiased by avoiding any subjective inputs, while the Bayesian would rather use a prior to make assumptions explicit and then explain why they are reasonable. This is still doing science.

    Similarly, assuming all prices are basically correct and reveal consumers' values seems like a way to sidestep making value judgements about what goals should be optimized. Sometimes we are explicitly questioning those goals.

    For example, a "deadweight loss" is supposed to happen when a tax causes a smaller quantity of something to be sold than would otherwise happen. But if it's a sin tax, then that's the whole point. We've decided there is too much of it and consumers should buy less.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Productivity Does Not Predict Income in ~finance

    skybrian
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    Like a lot of things in macroeconomics, productivity is an average. It isn't supposed to work in every case, but on average the distortions are supposed to balance out. If an industry or a country...

    Like a lot of things in macroeconomics, productivity is an average. It isn't supposed to work in every case, but on average the distortions are supposed to balance out. If an industry or a country is more productive on average, it will build and sell more stuff, so this will increase sales.

    The question is whether things really do average out, or are there systematic distortions?

    I think that's a good question, and accusations of intellectual dishonesty and junk science aren't going to help us find out.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Calculating Actual Build Dependencies in ~comp

    skybrian
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    Like anything else in software development, it's always possible to make mistakes, and at large scale it's inevitable. Comparing strace to the dependencies you expected seems like a good way to...

    Like anything else in software development, it's always possible to make mistakes, and at large scale it's inevitable. Comparing strace to the dependencies you expected seems like a good way to find errors?

    1 vote
  12. Comment on The rise of the electric scooter in ~tech

    skybrian
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    It's strange that as a society we can't figure out how to park scooters properly. It's not like they take much room. It shouldn't be that hard to add a sensor detecting when they're parked in a...

    It's strange that as a society we can't figure out how to park scooters properly. It's not like they take much room.

    It shouldn't be that hard to add a sensor detecting when they're parked in a good place. Dinging renters a buck or two for parking badly should fix it. This is not some huge technical challenge like driverless cars.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What College Admissions Offices Really Want - Elite schools say they’re looking for academic excellence and diversity. But their thirst for tuition revenue means that wealth trumps all. in ~life

    skybrian
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    Lots of interesting information in this article. On perverse incentives: On test scores:

    Lots of interesting information in this article.

    On perverse incentives:

    [The] U.S. News algorithm rewards [colleges] for spending a lot of money: Higher faculty salaries and more spending on student services lead directly to better rankings. If you reduce your expenses, your ranking will fall, which means that next year your applicant pool will probably shrink. So instead you keep your spending high, which means you need a lot of tuition revenue, which means you need to keep admitting lots of rich kids.

    The researchers Nicholas A. Bowman and Michael N. Bastedo showed in a 2008 paper that when colleges take steps to become more racially or socioeconomically diverse, applications tend to go down in future years. “Maybe — just maybe — the term ‘elite’ means ‘uncluttered by poor people,’ ” Boeckenstedt wrote. “And maybe that’s the problem?”

    It turned out that offering grants — even relatively small ones — to students with high family incomes made it significantly more likely that those students would enroll in your college. (If you called the grant a “scholarship,” it worked even better.) And if a well-off student was willing to pay, say, $30,000 of your $40,000 tuition, that was still a pretty good deal for your college. [...] Beginning in the early 2000s, the practice of giving out merit aid evolved first into an arms race and then, more recently, into what is beginning to look like a death spiral.

    if you pick any two freshmen at the same college, they are very likely to be paying completely different tuition rates. Those rates are based not on the true value of the service the college is offering or even on the ability of the student’s family to pay. Instead, they are based on a complex calculation, using sophisticated predictive algorithms, of what the student is worth to the college and what the college is worth to the student.

    On test scores:

    Students who enroll at DePaul having chosen not to submit their scores do indeed have much lower ACT and SAT scores than students who submitted their scores. [...] But nonsubmitting students do just as well at DePaul as the submitters do.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on How Democracy Died in North Carolina in ~news

    skybrian
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    It's pretty crazy, but this trickery also seems rather desperate, like they know they won't get away with it for much longer and have stopped thinking long-term?

    It's pretty crazy, but this trickery also seems rather desperate, like they know they won't get away with it for much longer and have stopped thinking long-term?

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Volfefe index in ~finance

    skybrian
    Link Parent
    The reason "totalitarian" begins with "total" is because it's about total control of everyone all the time. As Mussolini put it: "everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing...

    The reason "totalitarian" begins with "total" is because it's about total control of everyone all the time. As Mussolini put it: "everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." It's not about how some people are treated in the army or in prison, for example, unless the whole country is basically like a prison. For more about this, you could read the Wikipedia article: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarianism

    You could say some people experience totalitarianism, but that would be using it as a metaphor and it's a stretch.

    The NOAA thing was an attempt at bullying that basically failed. Getting someone to put out a press release is concerning but nothing like having full control.

    And it's certainly not the case that the US has total control of any other country.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on Volfefe index in ~finance