Links That Go Bump in the Night (October 2022)

Nicky Case is doing an unofficial Potato Diet 3-Month Follow-Up Survey, at that link. Nicky is doing this because she’s “too impatient for the 6-month follow-up, and also because a 6-month follow-up wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between ‘weight regained at fast as the original weight loss’, and ‘weight regained at 1/6 the rate as the original weight loss’.” If you participated in the potato diet and you’re interested, consider filling it out! 

Related: Nicky did 50 days of half-potato diet and found it was about half as effective as the full potato diet.

🪨📜✂️ — comments say, “This was a wild ride from start to finish”

Vice — Students Are Using AI to Write Their Papers, Because Of Course They Are

Alligators Exposed to PFAS Show Autoimmune Effects (h/t @owenfuckem on twitter)

Paper from 2020: negative association between percentage of obese people and water hardness in water purification plants (in Japan, which may not be all that representative.) The correlation is about r = 0.5, but the sample size is only 9 regions. The paper says this is statistically significant but unless we’re missing something, r = 0.5 shouldn’t be significant with n = 9. So probably don’t take this one too seriously but still, food for thought.

​​Dana Fischer “is an American Magic: The Gathering player. She is tied for the youngest to make the second day of a Grand Prix tournament (at age eight) and is the youngest to win cash at a Grand Prix (at age nine). … Her father started teaching both daughters Magic when they were very young, before they could read the card text. They learned to play by memorizing the cards. … After they learned to read, the process went faster.” Inevitable comparison to the Polgár Sisters.

r/dune bans AI-generated art — “Butlerian Jihad indeed”

Nikon photo contest reveals fantastic microscopic world that surrounds us, and specifically, reveals the terrifying faces of the ants. Robert Hooke would be proud, you know, probably.

Metaculus gets in on the replication crisis — which psych studies will replicate?

Friend of the blog @atroyn is starting a new grant program: “if you sleep on a mattress on the floor anywhere in the bay area, if accepted someone will come to your house and install a bed frame” (actually by this point applications are closed)

Old reddit post speculating that Pennywise the Clown and Mary Poppins “are members of the same species of monster, and they work on the rules set out by Monsters Inc”. Surprisingly strong argument.  

Living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm. “Plant machete has a control system that reads and utilizes the electrical noises found in a live philodendron. The system uses an open source micro-controller connected to the plant to read varying resistance signals across the plant’s leaves.”

Demo piece for utonal just intonation guitar

Over 200 Chinese poems can be found on the walls of the detention barracks at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Here’s just one:

*Poem by One Named Huie from Heungshan Encouraging the Traveler*

Just talk about going to the land of the Flowery Flag and my countenance fills with happiness.
Not without hard work were one thousand pieces of gold dug up and gathered together.
There were words of farewell to the parents, but the throat choked up first.
There were many feelings, many tears flowing face to face, when parting with the wife.
Waves big as mountains often astonished this traveler.
With laws harsh as tigers, I had a taste of all the barbarities.
Do not forget this day when you land ashore.
Push yourself ahead and do not be lazy or idle.

​​AI comes for most unlikely job of all: boxing judges

“For many, the concept of a department as something along the lines of 50 autonomous professors with 50 separate bank accounts working more or less on their own projects feels like a natural default.” But: “A physics department with $20 million and two elite scientific directors able to allocate all resources as they saw fit could do remarkably different research than a department of 50 physicists with about $400,000 each. The model is also flexible in a way that makes intuitive sense for scientific work.”

One thought on “Links That Go Bump in the Night (October 2022)

  1. YD says:

    What is the point of a class which can be aced by some(one/thing) who hasn’t taken the class and learned everything by just reading random internet text?

    A question like “what are five good and bad things about biotech?” doesn’t require any knowledge of biotech or even much critical thinking — you can just parrot things you’ve read on social media. Or you could just google that question, and paraphrase the results. In this case GPT just automates paraphrasing, which is of course a useful skill, but it should be taught and graded in a writing class, not a biology class.


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