Category: Tech / Science

The Urge to Philosophize, Futility of

Boltzmann tried out some of his ideas on Brentano, who had the grace and sometimes the courage to take his philosophical striving seriously. But Boltzmann’s fundamental skepticism was never far from the surface. “Is there any sense at all in breaking one’s head over such things?” he asked Brentano in 1905. “Shouldn’t the irresistible urge to philosophize be compared to the vomiting caused by migraines, in that something is trying to struggle out even though there’s nothing inside?”

Boltzmanns Atom: The Great Debate That Launched A Revolution In Physics
David Lindley

Throw One Away – 2 quotes

The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. […] Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.
Fred Brooks
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
Wikiquote

Frears is carefully and patiently teasing out the power and subtlety in Shashi by getting him to act simply and underplay everything. You can see the performance developing take by take. After eight or nine takes Shashi is settled, a little tired and bored, more casual and relaxed. Now he is able to throw the scene away. And this is when he is at his best, though he himself prefers the first few takes when he considers himself to be really ‘acting’. Sometimes he can’t see why Frears wants to do so many retakes.
Hanif Kureishi
Sammy and Rosie Get Laid Screenwriters Diary

Seeing Your Life Onscreen – Aaron Sorkin Discusses The Social Network – Deadline Interview

DEADLINE: We know Mark Zuckerberg didn’t cooperate but did you ever meet Eduardo Saverin, the character played by Andrew Garfield?
SORKIN: Once Eduardo signed that non-disclosure agreement after his settlement, he disappeared off the face of the earth. We don’t know exactly how much he received, but it’s in the hundreds of millions. And it will probably go over a billion because he also does now own a lot of Facebook stock. But on October 1st, the movie opened and that’s the day I met Eduardo. I got a phone call from our producer Scott Rudin that a representative for Eduardo had contacted him late at night. He wanted to see the movie. So we set up a private screening for him in New York right before Lady Gaga’s private screening. It’s true. I went to meet him when the movie was over and you could have performed surgery on him without anesthesia at that point in time. I gotta say, he was a deer in the headlights which is an understatement. He did certainly expect to like the movie a lot, but you could tell in his face that he had just relived the thing. It’s an unreasonable experience that hardly anybody, including myself, knows what it’s like to have a chapter from your life suddenly written, directed, lit, shot, and performed by actors. That was the first and only time I met Eduardo.

Deadline

Pioneering Computers, List of

Altair 8800. The pioneering microcomputer that galvanized hardware hackers. Building this kit made you learn hacking. Then you tried to figure out what to do with it.

Apple II. Steve Wozniak’s friendly, flaky, good-looking computer, wildly successful and the spark and soul of a thriving industry.

Atari 800. This home computer gave great graphics to game hackers like John Harris, though the company that made it was loath to tell you how it worked.

IBM PC. IBM’s entry into the personal computer market, which amazingly included a bit of the Hacker Ethic and took over.

IBM 704. IBM was The Enemy and this was its machine, the Hulking Giant computer in MIT’s Building 26. Later modified into the IBM 709, then the IBM 7090. Batch-processed and intolerable.

LISP Machine. The ultimate hacker computer, invented mostly by Greenblatt and subject of a bitter dispute at MIT.

PDP-1. Digital Equipment’s first minicomputer and in 1961 an interactive godsend to the MIT hackers and a slap in the face to IBM fascism.

PDP-6. Designed in part by Kotok, this mainframe computer was the cornerstone of the AI lab, with its gorgeous instruction set and sixteen sexy registers.

Sol Computer. Lee Felsenstein’s terminal-and-computer, built in two frantic months, almost the computer that turned things around. Almost wasn’t enough.

Tom Swift Terminal. Lee Felsenstein’s legendary, never-to-be-built computer terminal, which would give the user ultimate leave to get his hands on the world.

TX-0. Filled a small room, but in the late fifties, this $3 million machine was world’s first personal computer—for the community of MIT hackers that formed around it.

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution – 25th Anniversary Edition
Steven Levy

The Algorithm Did It

Stanford Hospital staff protesting the decision by higher ups to give vaccines to admins at home from r/pics

lucynyu13
“There is an enormous demonstration going on at Stanford Hospital right now carried out by staff, who are protesting the decision by higher ups to give vaccines to some administrators and physicians who are at home and not in contact with patients INSTEAD of frontline workers.” Twitter

Only Seven of Stanford’s First 5,000 Vaccines Were Designated for Medical Residents. Stanford Medicine officials relied on a faulty algorithm to determine who should get vaccinated first, and it prioritized some high-ranking doctors over patient-facing medical residents.

tristanjones
Algorithm issue my ass.

You prioritized age, and in so seniority, and didn’t prioritize Frontline work, and depriotize those working from home.

It doesn’t matter if you asked a computer to then run the numbers, you set the rules.

The sentence should be “Hospital administration did not prioritize front line workers but instead accounted for seniority in distributing the vaccine. As a result only 7 of the first 5,000 vaccines for staff will go to Frontline workers. These results were accepted without further scrutiny or adjustments by the administrators incharge of doing so.”

neotropic9
“The algorithm did it” is increasingly an excuse used for shitty management decisions.

GreatBallsOfFIRE
Yup. Algorithms are created by people. The correct phrasing is “the algorithm was written to do it.”

Decision Making Software

She doesn’t remember exactly when she realized that some eligibility decisions were being made by algorithms. But when that transition first started happening, it was rarely obvious. Once, she was representing an elderly, disabled client who had inexplicably been cut off from her Medicaid-funded home health-care assistance. “We couldn’t find out why,” Gilman remembers. “She was getting sicker, and normally if you get sicker, you get more hours, not less.”

Not until they were standing in the courtroom in the middle of a hearing did the witness representing the state reveal that the government had just adopted a new algorithm. The witness, a nurse, couldn’t explain anything about it. “Of course not—they bought it off the shelf,” Gilman says. “She’s a nurse, not a computer scientist. She couldn’t answer what factors go into it. How is it weighted? What are the outcomes that you’re looking for? So there I am with my student attorney, who’s in my clinic with me, and it’s like, ‘Oh, am I going to cross-examine an algorithm?’”

The coming war on the hidden algorithms that trap people in poverty
A growing group of lawyers are uncovering, navigating, and fighting the automated systems that deny the poor housing, jobs, and basic services.
Karen Hao
MIT Technology Review

Underrated Websites and Their Uses


What are underrated websites and what do you use them for? from AskReddit

ThrowRA29208
Naturalreaders.com

It’s basically a text to speech site that lets you copy and paste passages into a text box and then the computer will read it back to you. I use this when I need to type out papers, short stories or any other lengthy piece of writing as a way of proofreading. It’s nice to use this way because then you can hear your errors read aloud.

-eDgAR-
I always love an opportunity to be able to talk about archive.org because it is such a wonderful and free resource for so many things.

It has millions of free downloads for music, movies, books, software, etc. One very popular example is that it is home to a very large catalog of Grateful Dead recordings

There is also The Internet Arcade where you can play a lot of classic games along with the Console Living Room which is similar. They have access to tons of old PC games too and you can even play the original Oregon Trail online. There’s a lot more in their software section too.

It also has The WayBack Machine which has archived more than 486 billion web pages saved so you can go back and see how websites were years ago. For example, here’s reddit on July 25, 2005 a month after it was created.

gagahpangeran
https://www.photopea.com/

Online image editor with Photoshop feature.

Dd1va
www.justwatch.com

Allows me to search up a movie or TV show and tells me where it’s streaming.

ksse121q
Listen to radio around the world https://radio.garden/

bradgerkemusic
camelcamelcamel.com – Tracks the price history of something on amazon so you can see if a sale is actually a good deal.

armitron1780
wolframalpha.com I sometimes use it math calculations

MDMajor
Also desmos.com if you need a graphing calculator.

Bbng2
Ahh. Cheating in pre-calculus in high school 🙂

AinoNaviovaat
Why stop there? I still use it to calculate my shit when I’m lazy and I’m 3rd semester of Engineering

OldheadBoomer
unsplash.com

Tons of free-to-use images of damn near everything.

spatchcockfishcake
https://word2cleanhtml.com/

Paste info from your MS Word documents and it outputs as nice clean HTML. I’ve tried a few other options over the years but this is the one I go back to. Saves a hell of a lot of time editing content for the web which I get in Word documents.

venosenz
remove.bg does a pretty solid job at removing the background of any image. You can even just Ctrl + V

AccumulatingBoredom
https://chir.ag/projects/tip-of-my-tongue/

Tip of my tongue!

It’s really effective and has helped me countless times, I always seem to want a word when I’m writing but forget what the actual word is.

Pedantry vs Mastery

Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules.

1. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry. Some pedants are poor fools; they never did understand the rule which they apply so conscientiously and so indiscriminately. Some pedants are quite successful; they understood their rule, at least in the beginning (before they became pedants), and chose a good one that fits in many cases and fails only occasionally. To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery.

2. The questions and suggestions of our list may be helpful both to problem-solvers and to teachers. But, first, they must be understood, their proper use must be learned, and learned by trial and error, by failure and success, by experience in applying them. Second, their use should never become pedantic. You should ask no question, make no suggestion, indiscriminately, following some rigid habit. Be prepared for various questions and suggestions and use your judgment. You are doing a hard and exciting problem; the step you are going to try next should be prompted by an attentive and open-minded consideration of the problem before you. You wish to help a student; what you say to your student should proceed from a sympathetic understanding of his difficulties. And if you are inclined to be a pedant and must rely upon some rule learn this one: Always use your own brains first.

Polya, G.. How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method