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Odder




I'm a 25 year old eternal student. I never want to stop learning. I'm interested in physics, math, philosophy, psychology, education, and literature. I'm optimistic about the world and the future.


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The fastest thing we've ever built, Voyager 1, is currently traveling at 17 km/s. We probably can't build a spaceship that holds humans that goes that fast, but it's a good upper bound.

1 light year is 10^13km. 11 light years is 10^14km.

17km/s is 17km*pi*10^7=5*10^8km/year

So yeah, at least 200,000 years.

You're right about the initial cause, but I'm talking about the end effect rather than the cause. Some baseline number of teenagers experience mild depression. Most of them probably don't talk about it with anybody. Some of them choose coping mechanisms like alcohol or the internet, which cause their depression to become worse. Some of them don't do that, and either stay the same or get better. Much like teenagers who drink, teenagers who are spending all their time on the internet are possibly already depressed, and it may be constructive to them to spend less time on the internet. In the article's defense, the researchers admit that correlation doesn't equal causation, and that high internet use might be a symptom as much as it is a cause.

On the other hand, it is true that telling anyone to spend less time on the internet, without presenting alternatives, is probably as effective as telling someone to stop drinking without presenting any alternatives. The internet and drinking can both be pretty fun, and if they're the only fun thing in someone's life, they need to be replaced with something else, not just eliminated. That's harder to do, though, which is why you get articles like this that talk about the internet as the problem, but you don't get any articles talking about solutions.

So bad coping mechanisms cause severe depression in people who already had mild depression, but just because the underlying problem was already there, doesn't mean that the bad coping mechanism didn't make it worse.

Although depression probably does drive people to drink, drinking generally also causes depression. This is probably the same with the internet: depressed people go on the internet, find places like meirl which validate and feed on their depression, which causes them to spend more time on the internet, and so on.

Both of those are features, not bugs, imo. We probably lose a few potentially interesting people because the site looks dead but the people who stick around tend to mix with the existing community pretty well.

Odder  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: A Global Heatmap of Where People Run

That makes remarkably more sense than what I was thinking of.

Depending on the tone of your question, probably either pretty low or pretty high.

Did it? I haven't noticed that much of a difference tbh. Seems more like every time some reddit drama happens, someone mentions hubski, we get an influx of users, 95% of whom leave after a week because this isn't much like reddit, and then it's all back to normal.

    Ross 128 b is 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun, hence its year lasts just 9.9 days. Yet, it is not burnt to a crisp because the star is a red dwarf, which is fainter than the Sun

Sooo... Not likely habitable. Unfortunately, no current planetary survey exists that can identify earth-like planets that orbit at earth-like distances around sun-like stars. Not even Kepler, which is itself considerably better than the radial velocity technique mentioned in this article, which can only find closely-orbiting planets around stars that aren't that much bigger than them.

The good news is there are a lot of sun-like stars, and it does seem from the Kepler survey that planets are pretty common. We just don't have the technology to find them yet.

Odder  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: A Global Heatmap of Where People Run

How does this differ from a population heatmap, though?

Odder  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Disney is the worst

    Earlier this week, the company announced that, in response to the Los Angeles Times' unflattering stories about business dealings between Disneyland and the city of Anaheim, critics from the paper would be barred from attending advanced screenings of its films.

    ...

    Does anybody need another live-action version of The Jungle Book? What about The Lion King, a film featuring, as any father of a 2-year-old will tell you, no human characters and a lot of annoying talking animals?

An exercise in which we use your indignation at the continuous assault on freedom of the press to make you feel better about your misanthropic hatred of whatever the proles are watching these days.

    the latter end of the corporate wokeness spectrum.

Nope I'm done. Disney is a shitty company but this is a shitty article.

Odder  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What's wrong with big data?

    How are we going to get society to blindly follow what machines say?

I think that's the easier bit. Everything computers do is magic to people who don't understand computers, and everything that predictive modelling and big data do is magic to people who don't understand both computers and math. People have historically listened to magic that wasn't real at all, such as astrology, once it had enough cultural inertia to not be new and weird. And although big data is definitely still in the "new and weird" category, it might not always be that way.

I'm more concerned that we will believe the machines, even though we don't understand why they're saying what they're saying. Let's say an HR department at a large company starts using a predictive model to predict who will be a successful employee at their company (e.g. low likelihood of being terminated or quitting in <2 years). They feel that have to do something like this to reduce numbers, even if they don't wholly trust the magic, since they get so many applicants and don't have that many openings. After they start using the model, it appears to be working (the two-year attrition rate goes down), so they keep using. Word gets around, and all other companies in their sector start using it, with similar results. This effectively partitions the workforce into two groups: the small subset of "hireables" who can be hired at any of the companies that use this model, and move freely between them, and the large group of "unhireables" who cannot find a job anywhere and remain unemployed permanently.

Unfortunately, it's entirely plausible that a large majority of the "unhireables" (let's say even 80% of them) also would not have left their job in less than two years and are perfectly capable workers, they just share some qualities with the 20% of "unhireables" that actually shouldn't have been hired. As a result, these perfectly fine workers who would have been able to find work can never find employment, for no other reason than "the algorithm says so." Although there may be ways to flag this sort of error, most companies who don't understand the model they're using aren't likely to do that, especially if the model continues to have the desired result. As a result, we end up with a permanent population of people who don't know why they can't find a job, even when some of their friends have no trouble getting work, which certainly doesn't sound healthy for anyone.

Odder  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Miya Tokumitsu: The Fight for Free Time

I agree that we should fundamentally examine how we spend our time, and that that should be something people value as much as if not more than money. I just don't think campaigning for shorter working hours is the way to change people's values, I think you need to change people's values so they demand more free time. Otherwise, even if you succeed, you end up with a bunch of people who have no idea what to do with their free time, so they end up using it for unfulfilling things, don't value it, and then in two generations you're back at a 50 hour average workweek wondering why the stupid proles don't want value their freedom more than their money.

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