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The Game Theory of Life

Myu Cheap Mathematical Headlines (85 comments)

Why does Slashdot seem to buy in so often to spinning the recurrence of mathematical tools across various fields as some kind of scientific breakthrough? Correlation is not causation, not all structural similarities imply some kind of necessary physical theoretical account. We as empirical agents use logical tools for the formation, quantification and application of theories - so of course some functions will occur in several different settings, because we're bringing the same resources to the table each time.

about a month and a half ago
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The Profoundly Weird, Gender-Specific Roots of the Turing Test

Myu Performativity? (136 comments)

So Judith Butler quite famously put forward the thesis that gender in society is primarily a matter of social role performance, as opposed to any kind of physiological reduction. Being Man or Woman (as opposed to Male or Female, though Butler does also throw those conceptions into question) in a particular social setting is not so much about how someone is socialized or their brain structures as such, but more how they subsequently go on to express certain behaviours and phrases, modes of self presentation or verbal habits that mark them out in the social sphere as being of one particular category or the other. Moreover, that this kind of performance type view helps us explore exactly what it is about the gender roles of, say for example our society, that gives rise to both traditional, heterosexual patriarchal views about men and women and also new kinds of gender expression that might subvert those old standards or work towards values that we want to encourage in the world we live in.

One thing Butler often talks about is how tied up sexuality is in issues of gender performance. After all, performing gender in a culture of rigidly enforced masculine heterosexuality is a very different challenge to performing gender in a culture where gay men will not be (as) institutionally judged as deviant from permissable social standards. Alan Turing would have spent much of his life not in a position of denial about his gender but rather in a position of having to practice his masculine gender outwardly in such a way as to deliberately deflect suspicion from him as a gay man. That is, in affirming his gender, the world he lived in would have proscribed him to do so in a very self-negating way.

It's really interesting to see that Turing might have looked at gender in similar lines to the way he looked at intelligence - as something that needed to be outwardly demonstrated in order to be put forward for effective analysis. It speaks to something of the struggle he must have faced in his private life. Huge respect for him for speaking up about it!

about a month and a half ago
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US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

Myu Communication!! (165 comments)

Notably missing from the article is of course the question "Should the robot attempt to communicate its intentions to the injured, and change its decision on the basis of the response it receives"? Responsively communicating with people other than through a keyboard and ethernet port is the key bridge to gap before giving machines this kind of autonomy, and it's one that neither back-room military techies nor Policy makers seem to have quite grasped yet.

about 2 months ago
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Erik Meijer: The Curse of the Excluded Middle

Myu Re:Mostly functional works quite alright (237 comments)

I think the issue is more that a 99.9% secure system with a million accesses every day still has maybe a thousand security vulnerabilities a day, whereas a 99.9% secure system being used a hundred times is reasonably likely to not have any. Scaling things up makes what looks like reasonable endemic risk into something that, while still not proportionally significant, is also quite likely to nonetheless happen.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Can We Create a Culture of Secure Behavior?

Myu Anxiety! (169 comments)

A culture of intense security awareness is a scared culture. Knowing that your colleagues are not going to leave a gap in to your file servers is important from the perspective of keeping your data safe from potential outside threats, but a state of persistent distrust is going to ultimately hamper the work of your organization through dehumanizing its members and tying them up in procedure.

A few simple policies and a few general guidelines should be the extent of an active security presence in the wider culture of an organization, with the exception of people specifically there to deal with security issues or sensitive items.

about 3 months ago
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Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

Myu Re:why we need english majors (358 comments)

GP is talking about the shift from 3rd person to 2nd person using "they" and "you".

about 3 months ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

Myu Re:Secure, yes, but Reliable? (179 comments)

And also "less likely inputs". God, way to undermine my own point.

about 4 months ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

Myu Re:Secure, yes, but Reliable? (179 comments)

Sorry, Slashdot appears not to like the ascii character for epsilon there. That should "read (1 - e) for arbitrarily small e".

about 4 months ago
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"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

Myu Secure, yes, but Reliable? (179 comments)

Having a look at the paper, I can absolutely see that the encryption technique seems on the face of it to exceed computable solution. What I would need to be convinced about is the integrity of the communication; is what you get at the end of it guaranteed to be perfectly reflective of what you put into it?

(I can also see a sketch proof to the effect that the overall system can be made reliable with a probability approaching 1 - for arbitrarily small , but that's macroscopic behaviour. Microscopic, the system looks like it's capable of handling very regular systems very well, but given the reliance on Bayesian inference will drop reliability for anything with some very likely inputs and some less likely outputs.)

about 4 months ago
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Aaron Swartz and MIT: The Inside Story

Myu Re:MIT Can fix this or go away (106 comments)

For your own good, you might be wise to stay out of this one. In much of this debate the role of industry in determining who should and should not have access to certain empowering resources gated by the universities, for the sake of creating and managing a skilled workforce, is seriously contentious. To step in and attempt to use your power to force through certain changes risks a serious lose of customer and social confidence.

about 4 months ago
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Aaron Swartz and MIT: The Inside Story

Myu Poor kid (106 comments)

I'm not sure that guilt is the right response. His father is probably feeling absolutely destroyed by this, and I don't think he needs to be dragged through the muck by people looking for someone to blame.

Kids like Aaron are probably all over the place - young people who think the only moral thing to do in the world is to try to steal from those with power because of how that power has been so abused by its bearers. I don't blame them for thinking that way, but it's really sad that there's nobody other than disenfranchised radicals to give them a sense that there might be a better world on the horizon.

Institutions like the universities have it in them to give people hope for the future. I hope they try to take this as a chance to explore why people want to take from them and look at how to broaden access to their research to make it more widely accessible, rather than just closing up shop and keeping everything behind the locked doors of the academy.

about 4 months ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

Myu Needs more context! (367 comments)

After all, more than 1 in 4 car crashes involve someone who'd been inhaling oxygen for a prolonged period. We need to compare this against some sort of null hypothesis in order to properly evaluate the figure.

about 4 months ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Myu Re:A new law in not what is needed (519 comments)

Well if it really isn't actually illegal except at the subjective assessment of a particular judge, then isn't the ruling correct, and the change of law an appropriate next step? Better to utterly stamp this thing out than leave any room in the law for weaselling.

about 5 months ago
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Mathematicians Are Chronically Lost and Confused

Myu RIP Philosophy of Mathematics (114 comments)

If this is how things stand, then the Philosophy of Mathematics to date is a catastrophic failure. When there is no better methodology than "fumble around in the dark a bit until suddenly you're convinced" then the project of attempting to guide students in understanding maths has done no work at all.

Is this the fault of the philosophers or the mathematicians? I'm inclined to think that the philosophers have at least failed in their advocacy, if not in their actual subject.

about 5 months ago
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E-Sports Gender Gap: 90+% Male

Myu Re:Just gonna say it (320 comments)

People are capable of perfection.

We call the demand that everything be perfect an anxiety disorder. If your claim is that sporting should have been perfected by now in a sense that Esports aren't, then I begin to wonder whether the dispute here is simply concerning a phenomenological difference in performance anxiety. That would make sense, since this isn't sport.

about 5 months ago
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Cornell Team Says It's Unified the Structure of Scientific Theories

Myu AKA: Mathematics (115 comments)

Scientific models tend to express a common computational relationship. That's because we like to quantify things in scientific models, and perhaps unsurprisingly, we have a fairly standard paradigm for quantitative analysis in our mathematical algebraic, geometric and topological models.

The physicists here are discussing a feature of using information theory to generalize how certain fixed parameters can take values at different scales while still preserving most of their predictive structure. That's all.

Science journalists need to stop sensationalizing mathematically interesting results. This is a neat account of scale and pattern matching in applied mathematics, but it's not a "unified theory of all scientific theorising" any more than, say, Bayesian Inference is.

about 9 months ago
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Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

Myu "Unveiling"? (401 comments)

This is a conceptual analysis, so I don't think "unveiling" is the right turn of phrase. "Proposing" is probably a much better line, and it may or may not be "Accepted" by people at a later stage. A conceptual analysis isn't something that you discover, nor is it something that you invent. The idea of someone taking credit for a conceptual analysis of free will just seems plainly silly.

about 9 months ago
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45% of U.S. Jobs Vulnerable To Automation

Myu Re: AI and robotics and jobs (625 comments)

However robots can't do engineering. Robots can't think. AI is a pipe dream for at least the next century. We don't really understand how our own minds work. Computers are binary. Humans brains are at least trinary. Until a computer can do maybe then true ai is impossible.

Both Philosophically and Neuropsychologically, the idea that the mind is foundationally more complicated than some kind of Turing machine network is very much in dispute. We're getting loads done by treating the human mind mechanically and exploring its heuristics and biases or its structures and protocols in a mathematically classical background framework. The human brain is a massively complex device, and has techniques for understanding that there are some vaguenesses and gaps in the way we semantically process the world, but to suggest that this is something beyond the reach of any classically constructed system is a powerful thesis that, we might think, there is a certain amount of optimistic inductive reason to doubt.

about a year ago
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Yahoo CEO Says It Would Be Treason To Decline To Cooperate With the NSA

Myu Re:Treason.. or... (524 comments)

Fuck off.

about a year ago
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Sexist Presentations At Startup Competition Prompt TechCrunch Apology

Myu Re:Congratulations (762 comments)

My intention was to say that it is wrong, not that it was either "absolutely" wrong or "commonly believed" wrong. The rules are independent of what people believe - they are there in the structures discussed in social science, whether people believe them or not. That doesn't give them any kind of claim to "absoluteness"; something I still don't know what you intend to mean, which I notice you're deliberately avoiding addressing in our conversation.

about a year ago

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