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Comment: Re:zomg singularity! (Score 1) 145

by dinfinity (#48216939) Attached to: Machine Learning Expert Michael Jordan On the Delusions of Big Data

Actually, one of the strong arguments the Singularity has going for it is that biological evolution has pretty much come to a standstill, especially relative to cultural and technological evolution.

The conviction that humans are special runs extremely deep (see: pretty much all sci-fi), but the reality is that we are a very general purpose platform evolved to shove dead animals and plants into its face whilst not being killed by snakes and tigers. We need to exercise regularly, just to convince our body not to degrade into a terrible mess on the brink of collapse. We're terribly frail and break down easily (modern medicine helps, but there are still many things that can happen to you that do irreversible damage). Space travel is out of the question without 20 layers of protection and even then a lack of gravity destroys our structural integrity. Our prehistoric heuristics (a.o.: self-interest and xenophobia) are pretty much the main reason for every war ever and are a terrible detriment to progress in pretty much all issues all around the world. 80% of all issues our societies face are directly caused by the disconnect between primitive human nature and modern society.

Even though our neural processing capabilities are currently unmatched, it is really the only leg up we have against an AI life form. Considering our processing capabilities don't scale at all and any AI would be able to scale relatively easily (more power, more hardware) we are looking at the short end in the long run.

And that is not even mentioning the terrible amount of redundancy and inefficiency in human neural processing. A human brain runs on about 20 watt. Assuming 7 billion people, we're talking about 140GW of processing power. In 2008, the average world power output was ~2300GW. Considering that a huge amount of the 140GW processing power is dedicated to useless and redundant shit like Instagramming photo's of food, it's not that far out to say that the useful human processing power is maybe 10GW. So 4-5 big coal plants, a shitload of artificial neural processing hardware and there's your potential to match the useful processing capabilities of all humans on this planet.

Don't get me wrong. There are many, many issues in getting all that power and hardware to actually do useful processing and it certainly won't happen in a couple of years. What I am saying is that the physical requirements for a Singularity to occur are very, very modest. Simply because humans are quite shitty(^Hily adapted to modern society).

Comment: Re:These laws are hard to grasp (Score 1) 472

by dinfinity (#48196237) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

When you say "seems" are you to referring to anecdotal comments rather than research?

No, I was referring to actual research. It was however, as I remember it, inconclusive, meaning it may as well be an anecdote. I was also too lazy to try and find a link to it.

It was something along the lines of this study (which finds similar inconclusive signs that virtual child porn increases acceptance of sexualization of children):
The effects of exposure to virtual child pornography on viewer cognitions and attitudes toward deviant sexual behavior

Mind you, I was trying to be very careful in mentioning this 'finding' as an argument against virtual child porn. I actually lean towards promoting such virtual child porn, but am worried it might exacerbate the situation. Proper and extensive research is needed before such proactive behaviour is pursued.

For an earlier comment here I did a Google Scholar search on the rate of sex-crimes before and after countries changed pornography laws, and some of those studies included changes in the legality of child pornography. It seems that every scientific study found the same result - countries where child pornography became legal experiences a decrease in rates of child molestation, countries where child pornography became illegal experienced an increase in rates of child molestation.

References would be appreciated. Specifically to studies where only child pornography laws were changed. It would be highly surprising if legalizing normal porn wouldn't also massively decrease child abuse (by reducing sexual frustration in general).

Comment: Re:These laws are hard to grasp (Score 2) 472

by dinfinity (#48190631) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

The first part of the situation is best captured by the sorites or sand heap paradox. The problem boils down to a set of input states that need to be classified. If no decision (classification) has to be made, something can remain in its fuzzy state. When a (binary) decision has to be made ('is this illegal?'), an essentially arbitrary cutoff value is used to determine the 'definite' classification.

This is actually a very pervasive issue that lies at (or simply is) the root of many discussions in society (the matter of abortion, to name one).

As for the second part: the only remotely valid argument I've heard until now is that (fake) child pornography actually stimulates pedophilic behavior. There are clear indications that traditional porn serves as cathartic material and reduces the number of instances of rape and other acts inspired by sexual frustration. The same does not seem to hold for child pornography, where the opposite seems to be the case: being exposed to child pornography makes those with pedophilic inclinations see the sexualization of children as more acceptable and thus more inclined to act on their urges.

All other arguments against child pornography are actually in favor of having drawn (or otherwise 'fake') child pornography. One could hypothesize that providing a freely (and legally) accessible database of child pornography that is guaranteed to have been produced without any children having been involved would actually greatly reduce the number of children abused in the production of 'real' child pornography.

Returning to whether drawings like these should be illegal: if the effect of them inciting pedophilic behavior is indeed significant, they would fall in the same category as other material that incites criminal behavior. To me, such a drawing would be the same as a note saying 'Kill all the jews/blacks/mexicans' or even more interesting: 'Kill all the children'. Seeing it in that light makes it pretty obvious that possession of such things should not, by itself, be illegal.

Comment: Re:Swearing is not much of a problem (Score 1) 387

by dinfinity (#48167671) Attached to: Torvalds: I Made Community-Building Mistakes With Linux

Or people who do the wrong thing just to avoid conflict and it ends up tanking the project. Or people who always quietly do what they are told instead of saying "this is wrong, this idea is stupid, we need to do things differently".

Especially when they, when the inevitable shit hits the fan, spare no words to explain how they always knew things were being done wrong.

For OSS projects with online communication, I think the main problem is just that people fall in love with certain ideas just because they're theirs or those of people they revere. Tribalism, basically. Which pretty universally leads to 'strong language'.
Also, I think most of us are familiar with the difference in civility in communication via email and real-life conversation with exactly the same people.

Comment: Re:Looking for info on running 4k screens (Score 1) 125

by dinfinity (#47955685) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 GPUs

I just bought and installed an iiyama B2888UHSU-B1 for ~EUR500. It runs great at 60Hz over displayport 1.2 on an AMD7950. It's a TN-panel (by CMO, which apparently is used in most of the 4k monitors at this price point), but it performs quite well in the color department, according to proper tests ( - Dutch, but the tables shown at certain points in the video should be intelligible).

The 7950 drives an extra monitor over HDMI (1080p@60Hz) simultaneously without problems.

1. Using HDMI, you are limited to 30Hz, which is definitely noticeable in daily use.
2. 28" 4k is for people with great eyesight (which I thankfully still have). I'd say 32" is the minimum size for people with average eyesight. This is when using Windows 7, in which dpi scaling is pretty much hit and miss to the point where it is almost useless.
3. 4k TVs are probably going to be bad for gaming, due to input lag etc.
4. Gaming on 4k requires me to kick in my second 7950 in crossfire and even then we're talking around 30 fps in modern games. Anti-aliasing is not necessary, though.
5. Windows 7+AMD drivers+Displayport is a pain in the ass. If I turn off my main display with the power button on the monitor and turn it on again, the display is removed and added again, leading Windows to take a minute to completely mess up the positions of all the windows on all my monitors. Any tips on how to prevent this behavior (beyond what is found on the first 20 hits for 'windows 7 disable automatic display detection displayport') would be most welcome.

All in all, I am very happy with my purchase. Photo's with enough resolution look fantastic. 4k video is amazing to look at (there are a number of clips on Youtube that you want to download using some downloading extension/service - at least, if you want them to play properly). Gaming in 4k is also amazing but most of all, being able to see more content on one screen is what I had been waiting for for years (less scrolling, more working).

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 981

by dinfinity (#47931203) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

The one thing Nazi's had, that ISIS doesn't is government.

I'm pretty sure the Nazis were also pretty big on science (and technology).

Let's not forget that the Nazis (as terrible as they and their methods were) did a lot of great things for their people. I don't see ISIS constructing a legendary countrywide road network, inventing cutting-edge technology, providing affordable transportation, etc ( ). Considering the extremely (backwards) conservative religiously inspired path ISIS is on, it is hard to see how they would bring any benefits of significance to the table for the populace. Straight indoctrination, instilling terror and offering money looks to be their only way of getting people 'behind them'.

Comment: Re:The diet is unimportant... (Score 1) 588

by dinfinity (#47811135) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

My guesses:
1. More walking/cycling.
"The average distance travelled per person per year by car ranges from 6,190 km in Japan to 23,130 km in USA."
( - p.3)
Of course, this could also mean that stuff is generally closer to the average Japanese person than to the average USian.

"The data collected showed that Americans, on average, took 5,117 steps a day, far short of the averages in western Australia (9,695 steps), Switzerland (9,650 steps) and Japan (7,168 steps)."
( )
I'm not sure about obesity rates and diet in Australia and Switzerland, though.

2. Societal pressure
Very few words need to be said about the pressure of Japanese society on its inhabitants. Be(com)ing fat is probably not easy in Japan.

3. Portion sizes
It takes quite some effort to go from 'eat until your plate is empty or you absolutely cannot eat more' to 'eat until you feel satisfied'. It can be done, but it is much easier to just start out with less on your plate. As I believe the Japanese do.

4. Different food flavoring
Very interesting and easily grokked graph:

Not an exhaustive graph, but it's fairly clear that traditional Asian cuisine uses very different ways to add flavour to dishes. I wouldn't be surprised if the effects of consuming higher levels of soy (sauce) affects some obesity-causing mechanisms (insulin production, feelings of satiety, etc.).
When it comes to insulin production, milk also has a special place:
" In one study (PDF), milk was even more insulinogenic than white bread, but less so than whey protein with added lactose and cheese with added lactose. Another study (PDF) found that full-fat fermented milk products and regular full-fat milk were about as insulinogenic as white bread."
( )

"The daily per capita consumption of milk is about 105g, roughly one third of the daily per capita consumption in England and Denmark, and less than one-half of that in the U.S. and Australia"
( )

"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it." -- Baskins