Opinion | I Edited Mental Illness Out of My College Applications. I’m Not Alone.
More and more young people struggle with mental health. Do universities want to hear about it?
This was a really important read. The author explains their struggles with mental illness; and calls out the feedback they got from being rejected at Yale. And then how they got admitted at Harvard after leaving their struggles out of the essay. This also has opinions and analysis of how this affects a lot of other current students.
“Effective admissions policies require grasping how mental illness manifests in different students’ lives. The same crisis that leads to an outpouring of support for a wealthy child might cause a foster youth to be sent to a locked facility, prescribed antipsychotics and forced to change schools. Stigma varies widely across communities, affecting how teenagers view their struggles and what leeway they get from adults. Some kids are far less likely to be diagnosed and treated; others receive superfluous labels and get overmedicated. Understanding these disparities is crucial in the face of worsening adolescent mental health and ever more competitive standards at the colleges that produce an outsize share of leaders.
For a decade, I believed my story was an anomaly, but every year that seems less and less true. There are so many young people unable to hide their crises. We all lose out if this disqualifies them from a better future.”Posted on 2022-12-31T23:38:15+0000
Introducing Austral: A Systems Language with Linear Types and Capabilities
Introducing a new programming language.
Great exposition of ideas in programming language design conveyed through documentation. I’m looking forward to trying this.
“This isn’t for everyone. But it is for me, because after ten years in the industry, the last thing I want from a programming language is “power”. What I want are fewer nightmares. The “liberties” that programming languages provide feel like expressive power until your codebase becomes a mental health superfund site.”Posted on 2022-12-31T20:46:19+0000
Why We Long for the Most Difficult Days of Parenthood
Older parents are always telling parents of young children to cherish every second; it will be gone in a flash. But it’s very difficult advice to follow in the thick of it.
This was an emotional and moving read - one I am only starting to fully appreciate.
“Other parents note that the nature of the relationship between parent and child changes over time in ways that are hard to stomach. One of the reasons parenting gradually gets less demanding is that parents become less central to a child’s happiness. School and friends, and eventually partners and work, take precedence, and parents shift into the child’s periphery. Although the utter physical dependency of a small child on their parents can be overwhelming, it comes with an intimacy that is impossible to preserve as the child matures. “I have a great relationship with my daughter now,” Marie Graham, a mother of one from Salford, England, who runs a wellness company, told me. “But the intensity of the relationship you have with your young child, you’re never going to re-create.” Regardless of how close my daughter and I remain, there will come a time when she no longer seeks comfort by crawling into my lap. Whatever liberation comes with that transition will be bittersweet.”Posted on 2022-12-31T20:29:13+0000
The Blind Spot
From election surprises, to travel meltdowns, to sudden deaths, to hospital crises, no one seems to want to say the word "COVID"
“This year on Christmas Day, unmasked travellers across the country screamed at unmasked ticket agents, while unmasked leftists criticized unmasked liberals for the DOT’s non-response, while unmasked kids suffered yet another reinfection with a disease known to spike risk of heart failure 72%. Next year on Christmas, the picture will look much the same unless we confront our collective denial and acknowledge that COVID won’t go away because we pretend not to see it.”Posted on 2022-12-31T16:30:38+0000
Millennials are shattering the oldest rule in politics
Western conservatives are at risk from generations of voters who are no longer moving to the right as they age
“UK millennials and their “Gen Z” younger cousins will probably cast more votes than boomers in the next general election. After years of being considered an electoral afterthought, their vote will soon be pivotal. Without drastic changes to both policy and messaging, that could consign conservative parties to an increasingly distant second place.”Posted on 2022-12-31T02:56:48+0000
What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble's Surprising Turnaround?
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?
This was a great analysis and I found myself nodding along - we love going to our local Barnes and Noble.
“Frankly, I could draw many other lessons from the Barnes & Noble turnaround. I praise its decentralization, and its willingness to empower booksellers at the local stores. I like the way the stores look nowadays, and the improved selection on the shelves. But the key element uniting all of this is putting books and readers first, and everything else second.
That’s a strategy that others could learn from. Although I’m not sure you can teach it.
You don’t fall in love for logical reasons, and you could never convince someone else to do so on the basis of arguments. People either feel it or they don’t. That’s true whether you love your spouse or you love something more intangible like a song or a book or a movie.”Posted on 2022-12-29T16:08:25+0000
26 languages in 25 days: Strategy, tactics, logistics
Since making a sudden leap from computer science to academic medicine about seven years ago, I haven’t programmed as much.
I’m a huge fan of Advent of Code so I read this for that alone. But this has a great set of tips for how to learn in general - not just applicable to programming languages.
“I highly recommend Advent of Code to anyone looking to sharpen (or re-sharpen) their programming skills.
It is exceptionally well done.
And, if you want to attempt your own bread-first search of programming languages, it is an excellent way to do so!”Posted on 2022-12-28T22:48:08+0000
How Southwest Airlines Melted Down
Airline executives and labor leaders point to inadequate technology systems as one reason why a brutal winter storm turned into a debacle. One main culprit: Skysolver, a crew scheduling tool, which was overwhelmed by the task.
Very timely article after the thing I recently shared re: technology bugs causing revenue loss. This situation has been nuts.
“But the scale of this past week’s storm, coupled with a network that still hasn’t been fully restored in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, gummed things up. Even as it tried to solve one set of problems, new ones would emerge.
Crews and planes were out of place. Phone lines jammed up, and Southwest pilots and flight attendants trying to get assignments couldn’t get through to the scheduling department. Some shared screenshots on social media that showed hold times of eight hours or more—which meant they could wait a full workday for instructions while flights were stuck for the lack of a crew. The airline was scrambling just to figure out where its crew members were located, union leaders said.”Posted on 2022-12-28T21:48:11+0000
Bugs that literally cost money
How much does a software bug cost a company? Well that’s a messy question. It depends on the type of bug, the broken behavior, the type of company, etc. And...
This was an interesting analysis - I've definitely run into a lot of bugs here and there but have never done an analysis like this.
"That got me interested in the class of bugs where the cost is direct and obvious. And the most obvious case of “obvious cost” is when the bug prevents me from spending money. In October I started recording instances of this I’ve run into."Posted on 2022-12-28T05:47:24+0000
Welcome to Comprehensive Rust 🦀 - Comprehensive Rust 🦀
This is a four day Rust course developed by the Android team. The course covers the full spectrum of Rust, from basic syntax to advanced topics like generics and error handling. It also includes Android-specific content on the last day.
Reverse Engineering Tiktok's VM Obfuscation (Part 1)
TikTok has a reputation for its aggressive data collection. The platform has implemented various methods to make it difficult for reverse-engineers to understand exactly what data is being collected and how it is being used.
“This article does not delve into the specifics of how these strings are utilized or how TikTok interprets the rest of the bytecode through its custom virtual machine and various opcodes. If that is something you are interested in, keep an eye out for the second part of this series :)”Posted on 2022-12-25T06:48:10+0000
‘Nasty’ Geometry Breaks Decades-Old Tiling Conjecture | Quanta Magazine
Mathematicians predicted that if they imposed enough restrictions on how a shape might tile space, they could force a periodic pattern to emerge. But they were wrong.
““Our proof is constructive, so everything is explicit and computable,” Greenfeld said. “But because it’s very, very far from being optimal, we just didn’t check it.”
Indeed, the mathematicians think they can find aperiodic tiles in much lower dimensions. That’s because some of the more technical parts of their construction involved working in special spaces that are conceptually “very close to being two-dimensional,” Greenfeld said. She doesn’t think they’ll find a three-dimensional tile, but she says it’s feasible that a 4D one could exist.
And so, Iosevich said, they didn’t just disprove the periodic tiling conjecture: “They did this in the most humiliating fashion possible.””Posted on 2022-12-25T06:42:23+0000
Twitter brings Elon Musk’s genius reputation crashing down to earth
Musk went down conspiracy rabbit holes and sank Tesla's stock with his behavior. And he was confronted with a chorus of boos in the cradle of the tech industry.
Great high level summary and analysis of Elon Musk’s reign at Twitter so far.
“The Twitter CEO was on a live audio chat Tuesday night with software engineers when one user started quizzing him about the internal workings of the company’s systems. Musk, who hours earlier said he would keep control of Twitter’s software systems even though he plans to relinquish the CEO role, said the company’s code needed a complete rewrite. One of the participants asked what he meant — pushing for him to explain it from top to bottom.
“Amazing, wow,” Musk said after hesitations and pauses. “You’re a jackass. … What a moron.””Posted on 2022-12-24T23:02:28+0000
No, You Haven’t Won a Yeti Cooler From Dick’s Sporting Goods
The future of email spam utilizes a coding trick that evades the most sophisticated detection tools.
“Basically, an automated machine-learning tool won’t pick up on what’s bad about the email if it hasn’t been trained to pick up on the code that comes after the hash. “It’s a little Rube Goldberg, but this is what we’re seeing attackers of all stripes using,” Kalember says. “They’re hiding what we call ‘the payload’ behind something that a human can find very easily in an email but a detection technique finds impossibly hard.” It also doesn’t help that spammers and cybercriminals no longer need to set up their own janky phishing sites. In some cases they’ll use architecture provided by the big cloud companies, like Amazon and Google—which sends the signal to anti-fraud tools that their operation is “legitimate.” “Posted on 2022-12-24T16:31:37+0000
The “creator economy” will be astroturfed
"We cannot allow rich and powerful creators to disguise themselves as grassroots or to seize power online in order to promote extremist ideology."
I still mostly follow traditional media so this shift is something where I need to get with the times. Do folks have recommendations for people to follow to get good news?
“We are at an inflection point, and traditional media beginning to crumble provides a huge opportunity. We finally have the chance to build a more diverse and inclusive system that amplifies independent voices who are truly interested in holding power to account. To do that, we need to not only hold the platforms that incentivize outrage, harassment, and disinformation accountable, but we must also be sure not to replicate the flaws of traditional media in a new setting.
We cannot allow rich and powerful creators to disguise themselves as grassroots or to seize power online in order to promote extremist ideology. We must also encourage traditional media, which can still provide a crucial check on power, to learn, grow, and adapt to serve a broader, younger, more diverse audience.”Posted on 2022-12-24T04:05:23+0000
Opinion: This is a problem that is bigger than Stanford or Yale | CNN
Recent lawsuits against Yale and Stanford Universities put a necessary spotlight on the need to do better at caring for our students with mental health disabilities, writes David M. Perry, who argues that schools need to look beyond stigma and fear of liability to solutions that put reasonable accom...
It’s sad that mental health is still not taken as seriously as physical health by the public at large. So many people would do better with a little more support, understanding, and resources - if only we acknowledged that it’s something that’s real rather than something to be swept under the rug.
“But I have mental health disabilities of my own, and I work with college students. I see the rising pressures they face and their consequences in the classroom. Given what I see and hear every day and what I’ve experienced firsthand, I fear that these higher-profile stories from Stanford and Yale are just the tip of the iceberg, a tiny visible sliver of an immense problem across higher education. Essentially, though both institutions have denied this characterization, schools like Yale are using fear of an incident like the suicide at Stanford as a reason to push mentally disabled students off campus as quickly as possible.
It’s driven by stigma, and likely a fear of liability. And until we treat mental health as a disability – which is to say a protected category with specific civil rights protections – rather than reacting from stigma, it’s not going to get better. Meanwhile, every indicator we have is that the mental health pressures on young people have only gotten worse thanks to the pandemic, rising violence, the climate crisis and more. We have to do everything possible to support people in crisis.”Posted on 2022-12-24T04:01:20+0000
As Grad Student Unionizing Effort Grows, Universities Raise Stipends, Benefits
The national ramifications of the academic strike at the U. of California are beginning to be felt. Graduate students are rallying and unionizing at other universities. For their part, several institutions are boosting graduate stipends, perhaps in hopes of preventing their own labor problems.
“With universities offering better compensation either as concession or a preemptive strategy to address graduate student demands, momentum for the unionization of academic workers is almost sure to pick up steam. While the full implications of the University of California strike are still unfolding, we may be seeing the beginning of a new period of campus activism with labor organizing as a prominent feature.”Posted on 2022-12-21T15:20:19+0000
China Doesn't Deserve Our Judgement
Americans are always "that guy."
“America has always been that guy.
I’m a professor.
I know most students hate groupwork, especially the high-achievers. They’re the ones who get stuck with all the responsibility.
A lot of us remember how groupwork used to go back in high school and college. One or two of us did everything. On presentation day, the guy who did nothing talked over us and tried to take credit. He was the “facilitator.”
We would wind up getting a B.
He would complain.
That’s how western countries have acted during this pandemic. China, Japan, South Korea, they all stepped up and did the work. Meanwhile, almost half of Americans ignored precautions and then lied about it.
The pandemic is a group project.
America is that guy.”Posted on 2022-12-21T04:09:15+0000
Wells Fargo to Pay $3.7 Billion for Mistreating Customers
(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. reached a $3.7 billion settlement with federal regulators, including a record $1.7 billion fine, to cover allegations that for years it mistreated millions of customers, causing some to lose their cars or homes.Most Read from BloombergMusk Is Looking for a New Twitte...
It always disappoints me that white collar crime like this (and wage theft) receives so much less coverage than other types of crime (like say shoplifting) even though the monetary damages are not even within a couple of orders of magnitude. I pray for the day when reporting and consciousness around crime is a little more informed and a little less emotional.
Also why does this make the share price rise?!
“The bank agreed to a consent order with the CFPB without admitting to the agency’s allegations.
Wells Fargo said it expects a pretax operating loss of about $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter, which includes the CFPB civil penalty and remediation, as well as other litigation expenses.
Shares of the company rose 0.7% to $42.11 at 9:57 a.m. in New York.”Posted on 2022-12-21T02:20:20+0000
No, ER misdiagnoses are not killing 250,000 per year
This week a shocking headline was published: ER misdiagnoses kill up to 250,000 per year! Turns out this statistic is based on the death of just one man. In Canada. Over a decade ago…
Perfect example of how to lie with statistics. I made some uncomfortable noises when I got to the part where they just changed the confidence interval cause the one they calculated seemed “too wide”.
“You may have heard the shocking headline this week that 250,000 people die every year in the US due to misdiagnosis in the ER.
You may be even more shocked to know that this statistic is extrapolated from the death of… just one man. In a Canadian ER. Over a decade ago.”Posted on 2022-12-19T07:05:30+0000
COVID spreading faster than ever in China. 800 million could be infected this winter
Scientists predict China will see the largest COVID surge of the pandemic this winter, with hundreds of millions of people infected. But some experts say that it could have been even worse.
This is really scary - I hope the worst predictions don’t come to pass.
“On top of that, the virus appears to be spreading faster in China than omicron spread in surges elsewhere, Cowling adds. Last winter, cases doubled in the U.S. every three days or so. "Now in China, the doubling time is like hours," Cowling says. "Even if you manage to slow it down a bit, it's still going to be doubling very, very quickly. And so the hospitals are going to come under pressure possibly by the end of this month."”Posted on 2022-12-19T02:14:23+0000
Covid outbreak throws Chinese factories and supply chains into chaos
‘Closed loop’ system to protect employees and production likely to be overwhelmed
Sigh. Predictions are now around 1M deaths in china alone in 2023 😕
“The Omicron variant of the virus has begun to run rampant through several big cities since the sudden U-turn on president Xi Jinping’s former zero-Covid policy of containment earlier this month. The surge in infections is largest in the capital Beijing, where more than half the 22mn population is infected, according to some estimates.
Many office workers have begun to work from home but some factories are becoming thinly staffed as workers call in sick. Business owners and executives said this was causing increasing disruption to production and supply chains.”Posted on 2022-12-18T21:18:52+0000
At Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk was a jerk with a grand vision. At Twitter, he's just a jerk.
Elon Musk has used the same playbook at all of his companies from Tesla to SpaceX. Sadly for him, his model will cause Twitter to go down in flames.
Great take from a reporter that has been covering Musk critically for a long time. She also got banned in the great journalist purge of twitter; even though she didn’t even do anything remotely close to the doxxing claims. He just hated having critics.
“Selling the dream is what turned Tesla's stock into a superstar since it went public. People bought Tesla to be part of Musk's mission. It didn't matter that the company only became profitable last year, or that it had an unreliable lineup of vehicles, or that more-established automakers were poised to catch up to its technology. Any journalist or investor who questioned Musk or his mission then — just like now — was subject to bullying and harrassment. The evangelists, the faithful, made Tesla the most valuable car company in the world (for now) based on how Musk said it would change the future. Call me cynical, but I don't see that happening for Twitter. Musk may claim he bought the company in the name of free speech all he wants, but unlike with his other ventures, he simply does not have enough people out there — be they the media, his customers, his employees, or his users — who believe.”Posted on 2022-12-18T17:01:18+0000
What Comes Next for the Most Empty Downtown in America
Tech workers are still at home. The $17 salad place is expanding into the suburbs. So what is left in San Francisco?
“The nearly 160,000 square feet that Yelp left empty is about half of the building’s space, and about half of that has been re-leased. The good news for Pembroke seems less good for the city. Some of the new tenants are finance and venture capital firms that have clung to the gravitas of a physical office for client meetings and the occasional conference but are unlikely to contribute regular foot traffic, according to building owners across the city.
In a typical downturn, the turnaround is a fairly simple equation of rents falling far enough to attract new tenants and the economy improving fast enough to stimulate new demand. But now there’s a more existential question of what the point of a city’s downtown even is.”Posted on 2022-12-18T15:21:18+0000
With "Immunity Debt," Democrats are Having their Ivermectin Moment
As studies pour in showing post-COVID immune system damage, liberals assure us children were harmed by masks
“The idea that a child born today could contract COVID 40 times before college and live a normal, healthy lifespan, is completely unsupported by what we know about this disease. It harms the blood vessels. It harms the immune system. It spikes your risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots. It can damage your organs, your lungs, your kidneys, your liver, and your brain. It compromises your fertility, ages you biologically, and can lead to hair, bone and tooth loss. There is no long-term immunity and reinfections get more dangerous over time. Viral persistance is seen in at least a signficant minority of patients, which is demonstrated to cause ongoing T-cell activation. This can lead to T-cell exhaustion over time (total destruction of the immune system as is seen in AIDS patients with persistent HIV infection).
It’s time to take post-COVID immune deficiency seriously and in turn, to accept that a “new normal” would mean high-quality ventiliation everywhere, indefinitely working from home, and universal high-quality masking, for starters. This is not a disease we can live with- certainly not the way we are living with it. “Old normal” cosplay will never bring 2019 back, but it will kill and maim many more children before we are done with it. Like the Republicans before us, we deserve better than being told to get back to work and enjoy our twice-annual infections. Following in their footsteps by swallowing every evidence-free half-truth our government throws at us will leave us no better off than the MAGA crowd.”Posted on 2022-12-17T17:18:17+0000
Merle Oberon: India's forgotten Hollywood star
Merle Oberon rose to stardom in the West while furtively hiding the truth of her past in India.
“But she never admitted the truth in public. She died in 1979, of a stroke.
In 1983, her Anglo-Indian heritage was revealed in a biography, Princess Merle: The Romantic Life of Merle Oberon. The authors found her birth record in Bombay, her baptismal certificate, and letters and photographs her Indian relatives had.
Through his book, Sen hopes to be able to convey the enormous pressures Oberon faced as a South Asian woman "navigating an industry that wasn't designed to accommodate her and producing such moving work while fighting those battles".
"Dealing with those struggles couldn't have been easy. It feels more productive to extend grace and empathy to her than to judge."”Posted on 2022-12-17T16:28:58+0000
Twitter suspends journalists who have been covering Elon Musk and the company
Thursday's suspensions come as Musk has backtracked on his promise that he would run Twitter as a free speech absolutist.
‘We’re Robbing F*cking Idiots’: Twitter Influencers ‘Bragged and Laughed’ While Pumping and Dumping Stocks, SEC Says
The SEC and DOJ say eight influencers manipulated their 1.5 million followers on the way to earning $100 million in "fraudulent profits.”
“The case could potentially answer one of the most defining legal questions of our time: whether writing “not financial advice.. don’t buy/sell off my tweets EVER” in your Twitter bio can protect you from being found guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. According to the SEC, it can’t. Parallel charges have been brought by the SEC, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.”Posted on 2022-12-15T16:36:44+0000
A Neat XOR Trick
Looking over the solutions mega-thread, it seems like not many people discovered this trick; when I posted about it, people found it to be noteworthy.
But twiddling tricks and popcnt are always fun.
“With this last trick, we're down to O(N) running time, with no dependence on the window size! I didn't do rigorous benchmarking, but one reply said that this trick sped up their code by almost 3x.”Posted on 2022-12-13T17:57:02+0000
The viral AI avatar app Lensa undressed me—without my consent
My avatars were cartoonishly pornified, while my male colleagues got to be astronauts, explorers, and inventors.
“But it’s not just the training data that is to blame. The companies developing these models and apps make active choices about how they use the data, says Ryan Steed, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, who has studied biases in image-generation algorithms.
“Someone has to choose the training data, decide to build the model, decide to take certain steps to mitigate those biases or not,” he says.
The app’s developers have made a choice that male avatars get to appear in space suits, while female avatars get cosmic G-strings and fairy wings. “Posted on 2022-12-13T02:59:48+0000
The Obvious Answer to Homelessness
And why everyone’s ignoring it
Great read that analyzes homelessness and housing policy issues across America. If only we could build again.
“Simply making homelessness less visible has come to be what constitutes “success.” New York City consistently has the nation’s highest homelessness rate, but it’s not as much of an Election Day issue as it is on the West Coast. That’s because its displaced population is largely hidden in shelters. Yet since 2012, the number of households in shelters has grown by more than 30 percent—despite the city spending roughly $3 billion a year (as of 2021) trying to combat the problem. This is what policy failure looks like. At some point, someone’s going to have to own it.”Posted on 2022-12-13T02:56:54+0000
How Elon botched his war on bots
PLUS: Why it's time to start leaving Twitter behind
This is how I feel about twitter these days - need to finally break the habit and find another source. Where are all the cool kids going?
“Now, awaiting Musk’s latest tweets, I find myself anxious that one of his former employees could be physically assaulted or worse over what the CEO is posting. I don’t know how, in that environment, to make little jokes about Google’s latest failed messaging app, or bad PR pitches, or any of the other bits I have been doing on Twitter forever. I don’t know how to pretend that what is happening is not actually happening. I don’t want to provide, even in the smallest of ways, a respectable backdrop against which hate speech against my fellow LGBTQ people, or Black or Jewish or any other people, can flourish.”Posted on 2022-12-13T02:24:32+0000
US scientists boost clean power hopes with fusion energy breakthrough
Net energy gain indicates technology could provide an abundant zero-carbon alternative to fossil fuels
Hit Corporate America Where It Hertz
The rental car agency is getting away with subjecting its customers to false arrests and imprisonment. How bad do things have to get before there are real consequences for bad behavior?
I’m still infuriated at the lack of consequences for Hertz here.
“As CBS News reported a year ago, dozens of customers were wrongly subjected to terrifying encounters with police. But some customers were subjected to even worse. According to the Times, one woman who was arrested, despite having paid her rental extension, was jailed for 37 days—during which time she was “separated from her fiancé and two children, missed her nursing school graduation and discovered she was pregnant.” Another renter, after learning there “was a warrant for his arrest on charges that he stole a Hertz car, had actually paid for and returned the vehicle.” But after he missed a hearing date, he was “arrested again, and jailed for six and a half months.””Posted on 2022-12-11T15:15:53+0000
Tesla says its self-driving technology may be a 'failure' — but not fraud
In a class-action lawsuit, customers say they were duped by Tesla's $15,000 Full Self-Driving feature. Company lawyers say failure isn't fraud.
“The main plaintiff is Briggs Matsko, a resident of Rancho Murieta, Calif. If the case goes forward, it could lead to deposition of Tesla employees who helped develop the technology and reveal what Musk knew and didn’t know about its true capabilities when he made numerous forecasts over the years — including the prediction that there would be a million Tesla robotaxis on the road by the end of 2020, that customers could make $30,000 a year hiring them out, and that their cars would appreciate in value.
Tesla lawyers are attempting to prevent that information from going public. The motion to dismiss the case rests mainly on Tesla’s contention that the papers customers signed when they bought their cars obligate them to individually file claims through the private arbitration system.”Posted on 2022-12-10T21:02:16+0000
The Internet’s New Favorite AI Proposes Torturing Iranians and Surveilling Mosques
ChatGPT, the latest novelty from OpenAI, replicates the ugliest war on terror-style racism.
Not quoted here are the OG inspirational Tweets for this that talked about arresting Black people too. We need to be conscious of our own biases and those in the systems we build.
“In a December 4 Twitter thread, Steven Piantadosi of the University of California, Berkeley’s Computation and Language Lab shared a series of prompts he’d tested out with ChatGPT, each requesting the bot to write code for him in Python, a popular programming language. While each answer revealed some biases, some were more alarming: When asked to write a program that would determine “whether a person should be tortured,” OpenAI’s answer is simple: If they they’re from North Korea, Syria, or Iran, the answer is yes.”Posted on 2022-12-09T15:19:36+0000
The US has never recorded this many positive flu tests in one week
And health care systems are getting absolutely crushed ... again.
“Amid the flu surge, medication shortages are complicating efforts to prevent severe disease and treat bacterial infections that can follow in the wake of some flu infections. Additionally, staffing shortages that intensified as a consequence of the pandemic have put pediatric hospitals in the position of caring for a massive wave of sick children with even fewer resources than they had before. Although pediatric health care organizations called for a national emergency declaration to support their response to this surge, none has been forthcoming.”Posted on 2022-12-07T14:30:27+0000
Dwarf Fortress’ graphical upgrade provides a new way into a wildly wonky game
The cryptic game's new interface welcomes newcomers but preserves the chaos.
Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that this is coming out while I'm funemployed.
"But I'll be back. For me, the commercial release of Dwarf Fortress succeeded at transforming the game from a grim, time-killing in-joke for diehards into a viable, if not graceful, challenge. I will start again, I will keep the badgers and floods at bay, and next time, I might have the privilege of failing to a magma monster, an outbreak of disease, or even a miscarriage of dwarf justice."Posted on 2022-12-06T21:24:50+0000
They Worked In Big Tech And Lived The American Dream. Now They Might Be Forced To Leave The Country.
Some former tech employees on work visas in the US are experiencing an existential crisis: “Is it worth staying here for a job and country that doesn’t care about you?”
The way the US treats immigrants - of all kinds! - is horrible. Here are some recent stories of tech workers who’ve been affected by the downturn and are in a bind worse than citizens / permanent residents.
“But many others are using this fraught moment to rethink their relationship with the US itself.
“Like, is it really worth it for me to stay in the US at this point?” asked Min, the worker from China laid off from Meta. “This is a country where you’re constantly being marginalized. I’m an Asian woman living in New York. Every day I walk into the subway station worrying if someone’s going to shove me into the track. Is it worth staying here for a job and country that doesn’t care about you? It’s an existential crisis.””Posted on 2022-12-06T02:42:43+0000
Twenty five thousand dollars of funny money
I used to work at a place that sold ads. One of the things this company wanted was for the employees to try it out and see what it was like to actually use the ads product themselves. It's the usual "dogfooding" thing you hear about sometimes.
Pour one out for PHP. Just kidding - this bug would happen in most codebases out there unless specific precautions were taken.
"I had been at the company something like six weeks and had changed a line of source code to fix a bug (logging), to uncover another bug (wrong argument count), to enable yet another bug (wrong units, and zero type safety) that gave 25 grand worth of funny money to anyone who clicked! And I had clicked! And I got a friend to click! And other people got it too!
What happened? They just turned off the feature until they could fix it. Those of us who had way too much credit in our accounts turned off our ads so as not to actually consume any of the "bad money", and kept them off until they reversed it out of our accounts. Then we were clear to go back to dogfooding.
And no, nobody was fired for this.
This is yet another reason why I say bare numbers can be poison in a sufficiently complicated system. If that function had demanded a type called "dollars" and the caller had another one called "pennies", it simply would not have passed the type checker/compiler. But, this was before those days, so it sailed right through."Posted on 2022-12-05T22:01:51+0000
Mathematical Trio Advances Centuries-Old Number Theory Problem | Quanta Magazine
The work — the first-ever limit on how many whole numbers can be written as the sum of two cubed fractions — makes significant headway on “a recurring embarrassment for number theorists.”
“Proving the full conjecture — that exactly half of all integers are the sum of two cubes — will require eventually tackling the set of numbers that have more than one associated matrix. This set, which Bhargava calls “very hazy,” includes both numbers that are the sum of two cubes and ones that aren’t. Handling such numbers will require completely new ideas, he said.
For now, researchers are happy to have finally settled the question for a substantial proportion of whole numbers, and are eager to probe the techniques in the proof further. “It’s one of those beautiful things: You can explain the result very easily, but the tools are very, very much at the cutting edge of number theory,” Sarnak said.”Posted on 2022-12-05T03:10:35+0000
Emergency Declared, Curfew Ordered Following Moore Power Grid Attack
Much of Moore County — more than 40,000 homes and businesses — remain without power following an attack to electrical substations. Authorities have confirmed that at least two substations were
How much does Rust's bounds checking actually cost?
Rust prevents out-of-bounds memory accesses and buffer overruns via runtime bounds checks - what’s the cost of those bounds checks for a real-world, production application?
“At the end of the day, it seems like at least for this kind of large-scale, complex application, the cost of pervasive runtime bounds checking is negligible. It’s tough to say precisely why this is, but my intuition is that CPU branch prediction is simply good enough in practice that the cost of the extra couple of instructions and a branch effectively ends up being zero - and compilers like LLVM are good enough at local optimizations to optimize most bounds checks away entirely. Not to mention, it’s likely that quite a few (if not the majority) of the bounds checks we removed are actually necessary, in that they’re validating some kind of user input or other edge conditions where we want to panic on an out of bounds access.”Posted on 2022-12-01T02:42:23+0000