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veen's profile

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hubskier for: 3726 days

Infrastructure & Planning student in the Netherlands.

Sometimes make things like this:

And I write here:


recent comments, posts, and shares:
veen  ·  11 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 556th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

Such a heartwarming song:

I've been fascinated/mesmerized/amazed by Caroline Polachek's voice this week

veen  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 15, 2023

Is it just me or does it feel like Substack is the only place left where there's any original, consistently good writing? Blogs feel dead, social media (especially Twitter) fails to deliver...

Spent a few rainy days in Antwerp with friends. On Saturday we went "huh why are all the stores closed?" only to realize its Armistice Day, which is Not A Thing in the Netherlands because we remained neutral, so I had no idea.

Next Wednesday is Election Day. A few months ago I was hopeful for a leftist renaissance, but that ship seems to have sailed as we are somehow gonna slide even more to the right after 4 cabinets of right-wing neoliberals. I haaattee itttt.

I feel like everyone has some kind of covid/flu thing, there's something going 'round and I was almost sure I got it yesterday but it seems to already fade away today.

veen  ·  23 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 8, 2023

Celebrated my third decade ‘round the sun this week! We are also taking a week off. Yesterday we found a fantastic new spa nearby, today we’re off to Antwerp to visit friends for two days.

veen  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rethinking “driverless cars”

"No idea how we'd do that" is a good way to condense it. But it just seems like every promising foray into improvisation done by computers ultimately turns out to be a fata morgana or a false positive. What hopes I had before this week have been put to bed now.

Put differently, how long must we search (and how many billions do we/Google/rich people spend) before we ask ourselves the hard question whether this is doable at all. That may very well turn out to be a failure of imagination on my part, but personally I feel like the position of "this is, for the forseeable future, iron law" is preferential to "it might work some day (we just don't know how, and have no practically attainable idea of how)".

veen  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rethinking “driverless cars”

As if an intervention is gonna last only seconds, lol.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one gobsmacked and outraged by that fact. Never thought that the definition of succes for a company like Cruise isn't "is this safe enough for rollout", but instead "are the downsides linearly scalable" like every other fucking startup.

veen  ·  25 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Rethinking “driverless cars”

Personally I do think there is an argument to be made that self-driving cars might be in the realm of "this can't work because physics", if we define "physics" in a particular way: this can't work because the physics of compute tech and AI cannot reach the levels of safety that we might demand from an actual, fully self-driving vehicle.

Because, let's be honest, it depends on a) Moore's law continuing, b) an unattainable amount of data or some unforeseen leap in ML that allows it to reason outside of its training data. I came across this which argues that GPT-2 can't reason beyond its training data. Much like GPT, the dominant idea of AVs is that they would be either able to preload everything they could ever possibly encounter, or that they could reason outside of that dataset through some kind of magi- I mean AGI. We know through Waymo/Google that the former is pretty much impossible in the near future, and we know through Tesla and GPT that the latter is also impossible in the near future, especially if what that paper argues is a fundamental part of all ML models and AGI turns out to be just a rabbit pulled out of the hat.

veen  ·  34 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why driverless cars might—or might not—be at the end of the road

I didn't know about the whole 'Waymo requires manual rules per road' thing, that is wild. Really puts a nail in the coffin that Google's "we simply scan the entire world and the car will have enough information to drive" is a formula that after a decade plus they just can't make work.

At least it's good to see one obviously risk-taking company put in its place with Cruise's pullback. Hopefully it's only a matter of time before Tesla goes the same way with their even-riskier approach to non-highway automation because that stuff is not, will never be safe enough because of their tech.

veen  ·  37 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 25, 2023
veen  ·  38 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 25, 2023

Aquarium update: after waiting probably too long for the new tank to settle, I decided to add livestock (some neon tetra's and panda corydoras). It's been going great.

I also had totally forgotten that Cities:Skylines 2 launched this week. Supposedly it's optimized more poorly than Cyberpunk was at launch, making 4090's sweat if you have the wrong settings. But I was due for a GPU upgrade anyway - my ancient 1060 couldn't manage a playable framerate in CP2077 even if it were in optimal condition.

veen  ·  44 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 18, 2023

Got myself another Pfizer. Was the only one under 60 there.

Caught myself wanting to work last weekend. That’s a good sign I suppose. There does seem to exist a Law of Continual Work Suck in our household, as whenever I have it easy or good at work my SO has a hard time and vice versa. Right now she’s considering jumping ship.

veen  ·  45 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2023

I'll do you one worse:

...I think I ended up jumping through the book? Considering I had completely forgotten ever reading it I can't be sure of that though.

One of the things I like about the podcast How I Built This, is that it always ends by asking the person who built a company what degree of success they attribute to luck versus to their skill. It forces haughty CEOs to address the fact that they usually just stumbled into succes, that they got where they are by the help of other people('s money). Either that, or they end the episode by looking like, well, a Ben Horowitz.

There was a time when I ate the entrepreneurial, Tim Ferriss/Peter Thiel/Sam Altman narratives up. You can be anything you want! Go change the world! I'm glad I now know it's just throwing darts. After all, what is ambition but lust on a longer timescale.

veen  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2023

A bit of a tangent, but my lord that Andreessen manifesto part on "the enemy" is saying the quiet parts of techbros out loud.

    Our present society has been subjected to a mass demoralization campaign for six decades – against technology and against life – under varying names like “existential risk”, “sustainability”, “ESG”, “Sustainable Development Goals”, “social responsibility”, “stakeholder capitalism”, “Precautionary Principle”, “trust and safety”, “tech ethics”, “risk management”, “de-growth”, “the limits of growth”.


    Our enemy is the ivory tower, the know-it-all credentialed expert worldview, indulging in abstract theories, luxury beliefs, social engineering, disconnected from the real world, delusional, unelected, and unaccountable – playing God with everyone else’s lives, with total insulation from the consequences.

The lack of self-awareness is leaving such a vacuum behind I'm worried a black hole might appear.

veen  ·  46 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2023

I’m weirdly obsessive about the Twitter account @dieworkwear and their opinions on clothes as of late. Might be a place to start, but I feel very similar about not being able to find good online spaces talking about this.


Personally I feel like I have perfected my business casual attire over the past years, with tailored button-downs and blazers over an array of blue/brown/beige/gray pants. But I’m bored of its inoffensiveness. Since I now also care less about what others think of my clothes, I have set a soft goal of wanting to get better at looking stylish and sharp instead of the corporate wardrobe equivalent of a decent potato salad. So in the past week I bought three flannel shirts that I absolutely love, but are from a style of fashion that is a bit out of my comfort range.

veen  ·  47 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Race, statistics, and the persistent cognitive limitations of DALL-E

The problem so visually obvious in DALL-E 3 is of course just as prevalent, but less obvious in all the LLMs: it is not imaginative, it is recombinative, just to a surprisingly large degree. I’ve found its hack most useful when I ask it to do things where I know others have done (and written about) it. But it just combines my text input with its known text input - and since it’s never seen a watch not at 10:10, and I don’t provide one, it is dead in the water.

veen  ·  60 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 541st Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

I mean I already knew Jacob Collier has more musical prowess in his left pinky than most mortals will ever have in their life and it was amazing seeing him live last year, but he is also better at mixing and Logic than I will ever be and I am just left in awe. Living legend.

veen  ·  75 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 23, 2023

I've heard that, with the recent patch, NMS is finally playable with PSVR2. Might be worth a try?