what :€ saw 2015_17_5_2346

A summary of the first 18 minutes of the most recent episode of Total Party Kill.

(:€ I Think that the title is a joke on the worst possible situation which is that the entire party was killed, I do not believe that that has happened. Littered about in this you should find observations that I attempted to glean as well as certain generalizations. I hope you enjoy and go listen to this to hear the rest of the episode https://overcast.fm/+BhYL1F81E/18:12)

On the sands of Athas, 5th edition dark sun

Omlau — half-giant, barbarian Presta Shibogen — elven ranger, taciturn and undecided about other characters, she is new, and it is because of this newness that she is undecided (orig. "I'm still not deciding how i feel about all these folks, because I'm new") Scale — half-elf sorceror from the vale of the lions, who sniffs and was recently raised from the dead. Some informations comes from the dark side of the players handbook. If you play it backwards, it takes it to the dark side. Carlos — Moll (:€ I believe that means half man half troll) gladiator, likes to run and hit things with his war hammer. Katchka — a three-kring bard (modified with "as ever" implying possible immortality or at least an infinite enough time into the past that we may need to worry about the possibility of his death) in Athas-known and famed for his music making and general merriment Regdar — a frail human pottery enthsusiast, aspirations for middle managment, who likes stew, but is dissapointed by sand stew (previously there was a discussion of stew in one of their endeavors)

Trying to find the origins of the shaqua beetles

recently They met Tobi and MacGuire, two guards who have played a surprisingly long and consistent role in this story.

NB: One should note that they also have some process for generating random guards, I wonder if it can be well described by a Chinese Restaurant Process (modified to account for identity by treating an individual as the equivalence of a table, where being a "table" means that you have a consistent identity from your own perspective. ""

Katchka is unconcious

Regdar spent an hour reading about pottery.

nb: they left many pieces of treasure amongst the tent.

It is nighttime. They are all following Bresdrek. Katchka Ömlau Presta Scale Carlos...everybody sneaks together.

Making the stealthiest people being stealthy to the side.

Erica: stealth check = 16(:€± when you consider possible modifications )(nb: A 16 is good enough!) Spot Brezrek turning a corner, motion to your party. Stop at the corner.

All of them peer around at the same time (NB: supposedly, like the three stooges stacking their heads on top of one anotber, derived from "hello, hello, hello...Hello! heheheh").

"5 heads all in a row and this huge gap and then theres Ömlau(Dan)'s head. … Like a strange totem poll."

(:€ sounds more like scooby doo to me than it sounds like the three stooges)

It's nighttime, small town, not many people. Turn a corner, and Brezrak goes through the front door that has a curtain in front of it in an alehouse.

They cannot see doors other than the front door. Despite asking that question to themselves.

(:€ ah, so the dungeon master is also the keeper of the empirical epistemology of the game.)

.@marcoarment implied that I do not understand humor by asking whether I had heard of this thing people like, called humor. Do you agree?

@Marcoarment implied that I do not understand humor by asking whether I had heard of this thing some people like called humor, do you agree?

I wonder if Brooke Gladstone realizes that she's begun to build a dataset for actually teaching a robot to comprehend jokes.

Both Brooke and some comedian.

If you care, message me and I'll fix it, I don't want to lose my flow.

and yea getting this punctuation right nearly made me lose my flow. @Draftsapp fail.

Anyway, now that my echoing memory has been breached, I need to reconstruct my train of thought.

They both were explaining why a joke similar to the one that follows was funny:

a man sees a friend that he has not seen for a very long time walking down the street. He looks happy but he has an enormous orange head. He says

What happened‽

Well I found a genie...

I forget the two first wishes, and this ruins the rhythm of the joke, but…

and what about your head‽

well, third I wished to have an enormous orange head.

iOS just autocorrected me to enormousness. I've never typed that, at least as far as I know. Is this a facebook like joke on me; being studied down to the millisecond I respond to something on this little magic piece of glass attached to some other glass that allows electrons to flow through it so easily (note: silicon oxide is a primary component of both sand and glass, both of which have some kinds of fluid properties if I remember correctly)?

Does anyone have a book to recommend on silicon the element? I know there's one on salt, but I'd prefer to stat with silicon and it's properties.

Anyway the comedian knew the joke right away. She only had to say that

there was a man down the street with a giant orange head Before he responded…

That's my favorite joke.

He then gives the explanation that I would have given, that one has set up an expectation of a joke given a formulaic structure such that I was able to replace out those statements for variables, since the essential feature of humor was invariant to transformations so long as those properties held. This is similar to the concept of the shaggy dog story, or the subject of the movie the aristocrats, though that is far more startling than it is funny.

for bonus credit, the artificially intelligent text and video parser could figure out what individual people would think is funnier based on a previous conversation with the person •the Aristocrats• or •the Sophisticates•.

The essential character is formula built up and then left to collapse in its almost dada…oh. That's a well told shaggy dog story. You need to have heard a lot of jokes to get this joke, as otherwise you won't have built up the expectation.

Brooke though responded with an entirely different tact and I'll go back and listen to her, cause I quote:

I always thought it was… because the answer is that human beings just do stupid [shit]…

Hahahahahaha Things. Just really idiotic choices. Your interpretation is by no means incorrect. . . . I don't think anyone could not have heard any jokes like them and still feel that exact same way about it.

I'll just listen through to get his name… **fine**

they would just say:

Why would you do that? That doesn't seem like a thing to do, what's the rest of the joke?

The joke is that we now have a textualized (& machine readable to make @eseiver happy) account of the exchange and if a text reading program could read my somewhat shoddy and inaccurate transcript, could it provide the answers that they gave? They both have formal characteristics. One requires a notion of what a joke is, and how they are conventionally told. That is, it needs a degree of learned self-reference, to be comprehended. The other just takes the joke as a statement of human stupidity, no self reference required, but past experience is.

And for a bonus, if it can figure out that the second meaning of the joke, as just a statement of human stupidity, but to not comprehend how it is a joke. That is, to not be surprised by that, and to be confused as to how this was a joke. Or in effect whatever could be inferred from @mikecaplan's: "what's the rest of the joke". I didn't catch his twitter handle. I hope that's it. And if not, hopefully someone (*extra bonus for the AI if it can figure this out*) will let him know of my earlier impertinence.

In any case, I've now laid out a research programme that I'm pretty sure would constitute solving the problem of developing a computer system that can comprehend jokes. I can't believe you could have read this far and not cracked a smile a bit, but just in case it helps :) .

Cheers, :€

All writing is autobiography; or it's lieing, and it's mostly you lying to yourself.

There is no thing that you experience that does not involve you.

That is a premise of what it means for you to be •you•.

Much as Merlin (@hotdogsladies) had said about psh in Synecdoche

"why do I have to make everything so complicated?

it's what you do."

This is the premise of Hume and Berkeley’s empiricism. Yes Berkeley "nothing exists except my idea of it" Berkeley namesake of the nearby university.

He was an empiricist.

To Descartes: why must there be a •thinker• when there can be just •thinking•.

Zum Descartes: warum mußt es ein •Denker• geben, wann, doch, •zu denken• selbst sein können.

The point being as abstract as you can get, you've only got your life to work with.

Now that means you can grow to understand the world. I need to read that PGS paper about the mind as communication with yourself; which is an idea I'm happy to work with. It's much more amenable to analysis.

In any case. I'm not arguing for you to be an empiricist. I'm just trying to tell you that you are fooling yourself if you aren't.

So embrace your autobiography. Your life permeates everything •you• experience. Yay!

Cheers, :€

Lessons learned from lessons learned from software carpentry

Greg Wilson's talk about the lessons learned from software carpentry would definitely be worth seeing if people haven't already seen it.


It is delightfully forthcoming and blunt about both the challenges that have been faced, where failures happen, what the weak spots are, and what can be done better.

In particular the emphasis toward the end about modifying course materials with the intention of eventually merging them back together has had me thinking about whether that actually is a good approach to pedagogy. It literally seems to treat pedagogy as if it is merely an extension of programming, but without considering the importance of materials be adapted to the one doing the teaching as well as to the appropriateness for the materials being taught. It is analogous to a claim that one could run a program precompiled to run on a unix based OS just as easily on a windows based OS.

Many of the points he brings up are fascinating, solid approaches that resembles the kind of careful thinking I associate with Greg Wilson. His takes digs at himself, at IPython notebooks, at git, and at the programming community in general. That honesty is refreshing.

However, he seems to be swooning over data without recognizing (much) the problems that any data carries with it: the implicit choice of measurement and the fact that we can only measure the past.

He does acknowledge this, but then he sweeps those considerations aside when he says things like any school system that is trying to switch to give each student an iPad should stop immediately and reallocate their resources. This is problematic because of its failure to recognize that it could very well be that these touch devices (whatever their brand) are not being used effectively, which does not eliminate the possibility that they could be incredibly powerful tools if they were programmed effectively.

For example, what if there were a learning environment on the iPad that would train children to be able to understand the basic concepts of version control or even basic automation/programming techniques. It happens that these programs don't exist, but I can imagine them. The first could be something like a tree growing game in which you have to account for growth that occurs outside of your control requiring you to both trim branches (reversion), branch to account for different contingencies (branch), and rejoin branches when you're running out of room(merge). I'm sure that there have been attempts at the latter on a traditional computing device, but the possibility of direct clause manipulation available through touch technology should make it more obvious how structured code (especially modularity) can be useful.

On the other hand he lauds the developments of the flipped classroom given the current data, which I think is great. Why do I not worry about the data being suspect in this case? It comes back to a popper style doubt of negative effects. Also, my guess is that if those were treated as linear regressors without interaction coefficients (which it seemed like they were) I could easily imagine that there would be an interaction between the effects of a flipped classroom and a one-computational-device-per-child type program. In the off-chance that children grew up like me (for most of my young life having no computer and later having one to be shared with everyone else) a flipped classroom may only be possible in a situation where each child had a computational device(since otherwise there would not be enough time for each child to watch their own lessons).

The larger point is that Greg's talk is great and worth seeing despite the fault in his reasoning that I list above. And even those faults don't diminish the immense wisdom conveyed in the talk. So even if everyone has already thought through these things, it will be worthwhile to discuss how his claims will impact your pedagogical practices. Will you be giving pull requests to software carpentry's lessons any time soon?

Cheers, :€

A request for a bluetooth that is as powerful as a headphone cord.

This will be a short post.

I don't even have any images (at least not yet… probably part 2 if it ever arrives will have images and further commentary).

But I really wish that LG would modify their product (the lg 830) to be a bit more like logitech's wireless keyboards with fast bluetooth switching (the one I have and the fancier looking one).

Seriously, I would buy it in a second. Just let me throw my connection around as easily as i could readjust a physical cable. it shouldn't be this hard.

Seriously, just license the technology. It will make such a difference to how people could use your device.

Seriously, get on it.


Also — note that all fo those links are referral links. I wrote a Keyboard maestro script to grab and make those links, and have it set up to rely first on launchbar and then later a keyboard shortcut with better touch tool. Thanks to obdev and keyboard maestro and manfred and yes, I'm imagining the piñata from Adventuretime when I write that.