norswap's Comments

Why are people so bad at dating?

I don't think we necessarily disagree. Photo feeler does not strike me as requiring a large effort. But taking new pictures did. (In my case the new pictures did work better, so that was a required step.)

I think what you're saying here is that taking pictures wasn't a big effort for you (since just a friend could do it?). But for me too it was just my brother who lives with me and using my mobile phone.

And objectively, I expect for some people this is cake-walk, but for me it felt very tedious (but at least I ended up doing it! though it required quite a bit of willpower, explaining why other people who are like me would end up never implementing this strategy).

Why are people so bad at dating?

Regarding pictures, I think you underestimate the effort required.

You need to get a phone or camera capable of taking good-looking picture, you need someone that is semi-competent at shooting, you need nice looking clothes and a good-enough looking background. These are all things that need to be planned/accounted for. It also takes time.

I don't especially enjoy doing these things, and it took quite a bit of willpower to grab a few nice clothes (I already owned!) and my brother (whom I trust) to go and shoot a few pictures (in my garden).

There is also a diminishing marginal utility of better pictures. If your pictures are ugly blurry messes of you in weird poses, then you stand to gain a lot. If they are already decent, the gain is less.

As others have pointed out, there is a pressure to be "genuine". I think this is not entirely stupid. If someone likes you for your good looking pictures but you never wear these kind of clothes / go to these kind of places, you're may be setting yourself up for failure.

On the other hand, in my own experience, getting matches on apps like Tinder has proved to be the bottleneck — people like me well enough when they meet me, but it's hard to shine whatever they like about me through the pictures. So sweetening the honeypot might not be that bad of a strategy.

Nevertheless, the sentiment that matches obtained through more "genuine" pictures might be better suited might not be wrong. I guess you have to use feedback: are you happy with the matches you get? Why? If you deem they're "low quality", maybe you should sell yourself more. If you have too many shallow matches, maybe you should filter more (but consider that this filtering might eliminate the matches you do find desirable). Said otherwise (a) an increase in quantity is not necessarily an increase in quality and (b) a decrease in quantity is not necessarily an increase in quality. But they might be.

Sets and Functions

Here is what confuses me: from before, I thought morphisms were "just" arrows between objects, with a specific identity.

But in the case of functions, we have to smuggle in the set of ordered pairs that define them. Do you simply equate the identity of a function with this set definition?

That might be fine, but it means there needs to be some kind of ... semantics? that gives us the "meaning" (~ implementation) of composition based on the "meaning" (the set of ordered pairs) of the composed morphisms.

Am I right here?

What's your favorite notetaking system?

I'll add the biggest minus in my book:

Potential alternatives:

Candy for Nets

This was a really heartwarming story that brought a smile to my face!

I'd like to give a special shout-out to

As we go I'm going to continue to try very hard not to pressure or manipulate her, while still giving advice and helping her explore her motivations here.

That's very important indeed.

How good is the case for retraining yourself to sleep on your back?

I watched one or two videos of this channel a while back and was impressed by the seemingly solid - but non-conventional - argument (it was on salt intake). I subscribed and was *dismayed* by further videos. I wouldn't put much stock into the either the research being quoted (if you didn't review it yourself) nor the treatment of the research made by this channel.

That being said, I haven't watched this particular video. What it says might all be true.

Compilers/PLs book recommendation?

Not a very pointed answer, but a collection of leads:

Most books I can find on compilers/PLs tend to spend most of their time on the text representation (and algorithms for translating programs out of text, i.e. parsing) and the machine-code representation (and algorithms for translating programs into machine code).

There are good reasons for the time spent on them — they are more difficult than the parts that go in the middle, which is "merely" software engineering, although of an unusual kind.

There is also a dearth on resources on the topic. And because of that, it is actually fairly hard.

One reason is that the basics of it is quite simple: generate a tree as the output of parsing, then transform this tree. Generate derivative trees and graphs from these trees to perform particular analyses.

Phrased like that, it seems that knowledge on how to work with trees and graphs is going to serve you well, and that is indeed correct.

A good read (though with a very narrow focus) is that discussion of syntax tree architecture in Roslyn. The Roslyn whitepaper is also quite interesting though more oriented towards exposing compiler features to user.

Personally, I did some research on trying to implement name resolution (relating an identifier user to its declaration site) and typing as a reactive framework: you would define the typing rules for you language by defining inference rules, e.g. once your type the type of node A and the type of node B, you can derive the type of node C. The reactive part was then to simply find the applicable inference rules and run them.

The project didn't really pan out. In reality, the logic ends looking quite obfuscated and it's just easier to write some boring non-modular old code where the logic is readily apparent.

(Incidentally, fighting against this "it's easier to just code it manually" effect — but in parsing — is what my PhD thesis is about.)

I might advise you to look at research done on the Spoofax language workbench. Spoofax includes declarative language to specify name binding, typing, semantics and more. These languages do not offer enormous flexibility but they cover the most common language idioms. Since those were codified in a formal system (the declarative language), it might tell you something about the structure of the underlying problem (... which is not really about something quite as simple as data structure selection, but there you have it).

For purposes of this question, I'm not particularly interested in either of these representations - they're not very natural data structures for representing programs, and we mostly use them because we have to.

I'd like to point out I have seen very convincing arguments to the contrary. One argument in particular was that while the data structures used to represent program will tend to change (for engineering reasons, supporting new features, ...), the text representation stays constant. This was made in the context of a macro system, I believe (defending the use of quasiquotes).

Regarding machine code, it would be immensely useful even if we didn't need to run code on CPUs. Look at virtual machines: they work with bytecode. A list of sequential instructions is just the extremum of the idea of translating high-level stuff into a more limited number of lower-level primitives that are easier to deal with.

Is there some other question I should be asking, e.g. a different term to search for?
On the meta-level, where else should I look/ask this question?

For academic literature on the topic, I would like at the proceedings of the GPCE (Generative Programming: Concepts & Experiences) and SLE (Software Language Engineering) conferences.

I think there exists some program transformation framework out there, and you might also learn something from them, though in my experience they're quite byzantine. One such is Rascal MPL (meta-programming language). Another is Stratego (part of Spoofax) (I read some papers on that one a while ago that were palatable).

So anyay, here goes. Hope it helps. You can contact me if you need more info!

Old Man Jevons Can’t Save You Now (Part 2/2)

I'd be more interested in the in-between: what about cases where we don't have general AI, but we have automation that drastically cuts jobs in a field, without causing counter-balancing wage increases or job creation in another field?

For instance, imagine the new technology is something really simple to manufacture (or worse, a new purpose for something we already manufacture en masse) — it's so easy to produce these things, we don't need really need to hire more workers, just push a couple levers and all the demand is met just like that.

Is there something interesting to be said about what happens then? Can this be modeled?

(In practice, even this is too extreme a scenario of course, everything sits on a continuum.)

Something more realistic, I think, is that even when a new useful machine and introduced, and the productivity of the producers of that machine shots up, the salaries of the machine-maker won't shot up in a way that is proportional (maybe it's easy to train people to make these machines?). And maybe the ratio skews: like automation will remove X people, and the increased demand for automation will get X/5 people hired. So on the one hand you get major job loss, and on the other a minor salary hike and minor job creation.

How to model what is lost here? Isn't there some kind of conservation law and the surplus disappears somewhere (presumably in the pockets of the shareholders of both the companies buying and producing the machines?).

When is rationality useful?

I think rationality ought to encompass more than explicit decision making (and I think there are plenty of writing on this website that show it does even within the community).

If you think of instrumental rationality of the science of how to win, then necessarily it entails considering things like how to setup your environment, unthinking habits, how to "hack" into your psyche/emotions.

Put otherwise, it seems you share your definition of Rationality with David Chapman (of ) — and I'm thinking of that + what he calls "meta-rationality".

So when is rationality relevant? Always! It's literally the science of how to make your life better / achieving your values.

Of course I'm setting that up by definition... And if you look at what's actually available community-wise, we still have a long way to go. But still, there is quite a bit of content about fundamentals ways in which to improve not all of which have to do with explicit decision making or an explicit step-by-step plan where each step is an action to carry explicitly.

Counterfactuals about Social Media

Seems to me you're on about treating (or more to the point, dreaming about treating) the cure rather than the symptoms that make people vulnerable to the social network sink in the first place. The same fundamental weakness probably has a lot of other failure modes.

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