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Here’s the stuff I’ve made that I’m most proud of.

Social

Here’s my latest posts to the free fediverse, some rambling, some ranting, mostly just commenting on stuff I’ve read lately. Some of it gets syndicated to Twitter but mostly not. The best of it reaches my monthly digest email.

“COVID's pretty sucky then eh? …”

COVID's pretty sucky then eh? This is what you get for going to a super-spreader event I suppose.

🤒 😔

Oh well. I've had worse. So far at least. 🤞

“I enjoyed this article from a …”

I enjoyed this article from a linguist on what large language models like GPT can and can't do.

Thing is, a ten billion parameter network can model some damned complicated circuits, and we don't know what the hell those circuits are or do.

Yes, the model is just predicting the next word. But if the best way to predict the next word was to evolve the circuits for model of an outside word, and a referent for each word in a sentence, and a physics on how that model behaves, then that is what the network circuits have been trained to do.

I don't think it is doing that. Not these ones.

But I don't think it's impossible either.

The relationship between the words in the training set describes a physical word, and so that physical world can be learned about and referred to by the relationships described.

The models can't evolve as they think though. So they can't influence their own thoughts, can't self-train.

That really is killer for them having any kind of sentience. You can't sense if you can't update. So the fixed unchanging model can't be sensate.

I don't think it's been shown that it is impossible to build circuits with models of a world, and referents in that model, just from language training.

But I don't think that's what's actually happened yet either.

If this essay is right there's just 3 problems left to solve in AI then 😉

garymarcus.substack.com/p/thre

“Jesus, @ubeeqo@twitter.com sup…”

Jesus, @ubeeqo@twitter.com support want me to upload a passport photo attached to an unencrypted email to prove my ID!

Incredible. How can you call yourself remotely secure with practices like this?

They seem to think this is normal practice, when I objected saying:

"we understand you but this is how we accept documents other than a driving license."

Insane.

I have emailed their data protection officer and hope to get a response on how they signed off on this practice and assurance that it will stop immediately.

Otherwise I'll have to contact the Information Commissioners Office.

“I think that given the #labour…”

I think that given the party can't even bring itself to express any support for striking unions these days all the unions really ought to withdraw funding from them.

Why would a union give any cash to a party which clearly supports the bosses over the workers in a pay dispute when profits are up and inflation is up and real wages are down.

I'd quit a union that was giving my money to this party frankly. Waste of cash on just more neoliberal wankers.

“#Glasto was another amazing ye…”

was another amazing year. Seventeen of those things I've done now. Camped in those fields for a cumulative two and a half month.

And they are all amazing.

Tunes most stuck in my head were from St Ettienne, and from Dianna Ross. Great shows from McCartney and Tankus The Henge and She Drew The Gun and Elvana. Best late night techno disco by MandiDextrous.

“Train #strikes today won't aff…”

Train today won't affect me really, but the one on Thursday will be a big pain in the arse.

I wish non-specific discomfort on those responsible for the strikes - which is to say the tory government and their derisory cost of living rises.

Solidarity with the workers.

“Well that answers that questio…”

Well that answers that question.

"Leaked letter from PM’s chief of staff to Rishi Sunak sets out plan to end ‘burden on business’ of restrictions on directors’ pay"

:sigh:

inews.co.uk/news/no-10-plannin

Bookmarks

A list of the last few things I’ve enjoyed reading/watching or sometimes bookmarked to read later. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the little robot on the fediverse that toots them out as I bookmark them.

NFTs Don’t Work the Way You Might Think They Do | WIRED

Wired article on the many many lies frauds cons conspiracies and stupidities in the whole idea of NFTs.

The Big Misconception About Electricity - YouTube

Veritasium on how power flows around power lines and electrical circuits.

Three ideas from linguistics that everyone in AI should know

I enjoyed this article from a linguist on what large language models like GPT can and can't do.Thing is, a ten billion parameter network can model some damned complicated circuits, and we don't know what the hell those circuits are or do.Yes, the model is just predicting the next word. But if the best way to predict the next word was to evolve the circuits for model of an outside word, and a referent for each word in a sentence, and a physics on how that model behaves, then that is what the network circuits have been trained to do.I don't think it is doing that. Not these ones.But I don't think it's impossible either.The relationship between the words in the training set describes a physical word, and so that physical world can be learned about and referred to by the relationships described.The models can't evolve as they think though. So they can't influence their own thoughts, can't self-train.That really is killer for them having any kind of sentience.  You can't sense if you can't update. So the fixed un…

Zenpolitics: War in Ukraine: the many faces of BBC misinformation and state propaganda



Could the BBC ever bring itself to shine a damning light on 'our' state, a state directly responsible for the mass slaughter in Iraq and so much other killing around the world?Could it ever come to ask what moral right this murderous state has to question another state's aggressive actions? Could it ever ask itself how BBC state media can claim moral superiority over any other state media? Could the BBC, in a spirit of atonement, ever consider leading this state, the state it so closely represents, in a day of remembrance for all those crimes against humanity?

White Flag: Boris Johnson and the Appeasement of Vladimir Putin – Byline Times



We now know more about the extensive funding of the Conservative
Party by Russian oligarchs and their high-level access to politicians.
Other senior business figures, who have funded either the Leave
campaigns or Brexit think tanks, made their millions in Russia or have
major investments there. But, to many, this didn’t seem abnormal. As the
influential left-wing commentator Owen Jones once told me: Russian
oligarchs had no more impact on Brexit than the non-domiciled media
moguls who dominate our newspaper industryGood point. Except, the owners of the Evening Standard and The Independent are both Russian oligarchs and media
moguls, and they have influenced Johnson’s political career. The London
daily, owned by Alexander Lebedev – a former KGB agent in Britain – and
his son Evgeny, had an important role to play in promoting Boris
Johnson during his time as Mayor.

Ivermectin: Much More Than You Wanted To Know - Astral Codex Ten

Scott Alexander looks at all the Ivermectin studies. Skip to the conclusions when you've read enough of that.Ask yourself why an anti-worm medicine might appear to work against something else, especially in poor hot countries with high incidence of worm parasitism.

Why is China smashing its tech industry? - by Noah Smith - Noahpinion

Why is China battering it's own tech industry? This guy thinks they just don't see value in consumer apps and would rather have chips and fuel.

The Last Human – A Glimpse Into The Far Future - YouTube

How many future humans might there be? Kurzgesagt looks into it.

What is Money, Anyway?

Lyn Alden's analysis on what the hell is money anyway is really good and long and detailed.This 50 year experiment in fiat money with no backing other than proof-of-force is looking increasingly unstable. What kind of thing will replace it?

Thread by @RichardJMurphy on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App

Richard Murphy is strong:https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1500423830225006594.html" we now know (beyond reasonable doubt) that Russian influence has been deeply destructive of UK politics. Brexit was funded by Russia. The Tory party has been funded by Russia. It seems very likely that major think tanks are Russian influenced.The media is heavily Russian influenced, and some of it is oligarch controlled. More may be than we know.[...]The fight against climate change is, I suspect, as heavily funded by Russia as it is by the US far-right. Indeed, it is hard to spot the difference in interests.And because of the UK first past the post electoral system and the inclination of some to vote Tory because their parents and grandparents always did at a time when that did not involve voting for agents of Russian policy, Russian influence is deep in our hierarchies of power"

Are There Lost Alien Civilizations in Our Past? - YouTube

Kurzgesagt did a cartoon about things that there's no evidence or again. It's an entertaining look at whether we'd be able to see past civilizations of different species from millions of years ago.Mostly not if they're pre-industrial, maybe if they industrialized. No sign of it though.

A tentacle themed attire for the gig


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