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rjw's profile

London, UK

tech-dork, bunch of other things. i like playing my guitar and singing and reading books. not terribly descriptive but yeah

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rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Depression and men

Oh my fucking god. Fuck them. It's a hospital. People suffer and die and get sick and get better in there and if that's not a place for crying then I don't know what is. I wonder if they ever cried at their mother's funeral. I'm so angry about this.

In fact you know what, as a man or a woman or a human of any gender you can cry whenever the hell you want. It's a healthy release of emotion. Maybe that explains a few things about this world, that this is seen as unacceptable.

Their behaviour is highly unethical.

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski Challenge : Steak

I don't remember signing up for this but yes I am so up for this!!!! I love steak but I don't think I've ever cooked it myself. I almost always cook quite easy food because after a long day's work I mostly just want to do nothing or spend the little remaining energy I have doing some sort of hobby (also my kitchen has those crappy electric hobs which take five minutes to heat up and half an hour to cool down). This grubski will give me an excuse to make an effort. I also don't cook beef often because it's bad for the environment (cows produce a lot of greenhouse gases) but I will make an exception in this case.

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 18, 2017

What a lovely dog!

Human workers being replaced by machines? Hasn't that been happening for at least a few hundred years now?

Cynicism aside, the IBM Watson system would be a really interesting piece of technology if I knew how it actually worked. I was allowed to play with a cut-down version for a university project two years ago which allowed you to feed it a large number of text articles and then ask it questions in natural language. You had to prime it with set questions and set answers, and it would then use its machine learning technology to detect the kinds of relations you were interested in, in order to anticipate new unforeseen questions.

From the articles I was able to read, it didn't use any particularly fancy models, the genius was more in how it could collate the results of all of these methods and estimate how confident it was with each hypothetical answer to each question (a metaphor: anyone can how to prepare sushi rice, but each restaurant will closely guard its particular ratio of sugar, salt, rice vinegar and mirin). Unfortunately this wasn't of much use to me because while I was able to test out a particular subset of its abilities I wasn't able to figure out how it worked internally, which as a computer scientist interested me more than whether it could be use to parse medical articles (it definitely can). Oh well. I can understand why IBM does not want to show its hand. At least they managed to contribute to the academic discourse by publishing papers regarding some of the individual components of the project.

There are never any easy answers, are there? Sigh.

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 4, 2017

Hi Pubski, long time no see.

Since last time, I went back to see my family and celebrate Christmas. I hadn't seen my aunt, uncle and cousin in a while as they live in Australia but they are moving to the UK this year.

Then I went to Florence with some friends from school. It's such a beautiful city, we ate lots of Italian food and looked at old buildings and art (the Uffizi is a must-see). I enjoyed trying to speak the language having never learned it before, even if the people at the cafe/restaurant then put on a concerned face and replied in English. It's so satisfying when I get it right. Earlier this month I also went to Vienna and being able to get directions and understand people talk in German was such a strange feeling...

Due to various financial hacks (staying at friends houses, budget airline travel, accidentally stockpiling my leave by not taking any breaks for half a year) I have been able to go on four holidays in the last four months. I know this is a disgusting first world problem but I'm starting to wonder if I'm spreading myself a bit thin. I really enjoyed the last holiday to Florence because of the beautiful environment, food and company but I couldn't help thinking that I would have got more out of it if I had properly made the effort to learn about the city beforehand. I don't really know anything about the Medicis, or the Renaissance or classical Greek/Roman art. Some of the people I was with had studied the Classics in university and so were able to explain things to me but this doesn't seem totally right. It doesn't seem right for me to have all this opportunity to see the world and squander it by just appreciating things in the most superficial way. This has been nagging me for a while now.

I think that this year I should perhaps take some of the time off that I have been allocated to slow down and explore where I currently live. Or take fewer holidays. I live in London and while it has its fair share of annoyances (expensive, loud, busy) it also has a rich history, many public spaces and institutions, one of the most diverse populations out of any city in the world, etc. Hopefully I can share that with you. Hubski makes me want to do that.

Oh and on New Year's Eve I got drunk

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Dumbest User Interface of 2016


In the UK we have gone beyond chip and pin, we have had that for years but now we have machines that use contactless. I initially scoffed at it but it's so easy to use you just put the card on the card reader for a second and that's it. Well I guess they are a little bit hard to use, you have to make sure you are holding the card totally still. But once you have figured that out it's easy. I feel like contactless is the point at which using a card at a bar is easy enough that you don't have to carry cash when you go out. It's easier for the staff as well.

Hako Yamasaki sings very sad songs. Pathos crosses the language barrier, as it should.

This is good. I'm glad that the people from LazyTown released the stems for this song. They rode the meme-wave well. I think this particular party is over now, though.

I really love how this song calls out various new 90s technologies (Cybersex! Talking on the net! Credit card!). It sounds kind of sexy. Kind of. Now it's just how people live their lives. Will we ever stop running in the 90s?

I haven't listened to much new music this week because I've been on holiday and didn't have a good internet connection, or the time to search for new tunes when I did have internet.

This looks awesome. What screen did you buy?

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions with @kleinbl00

It is a shitty message. But it must have rung true for him in some way. So it's a good message. I'm afraid that's how it goes. I feel like a piece of advice can just fall totally flat or it can resonate with you and spur you on to do something, I wish I knew how that worked...

rjw  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: NOT A NEET NOT A NEET NOT A NEET

Fucking nice one!!! Good luck getting settled in. Things will get better. Happy 2017.

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