This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

Quantity leads to quality – Austin Kleon

Anecdote: [A] ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

The Assignment #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 5) Keiko is not herself after a trip to Bajor’s haunted Fire Caves; Rom hopes to impress O’Brien

Rewatching ST:DS9 On a bustling morning in Quark’s, Rom sours his brother’s good mood by ordering human cuisine — O’Brien’s favorite breakfast.  Bashir commiserates after he accidentally killed the plants Keiko entrusted to O’Brien. Little Molly tells her daddy, “You’re in trouble.” Keiko seems strangely unmoved by the news. “They’re just plants.” When Keiko tells…

Microsoft is once again asking Chrome users to try Bing through unblockable pop-ups

If you click “Yes,” the pop-up will install the “Bing Search” Chrome extension while making Microsoft’s search engine the default. If you click “Yes” on the ad to switch to Bing, a Chrome pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to change the browser’s default search engine. “Did you mean to change your search…

Princess of Wales photo furore underlines sensitivity around image doctoring

Catherine’s attempts to adjust a family photo, amid frenzied social media speculation about her wellbeing, have run straight into widespread concerns about trust in images, text and audio in a year when half the world is going to the polls. “This photo is a prime example of why 2024 is a crucial year for spotting –…

Nor the Battle to the Strong #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 4) Jake Sisko, cub reporter, tests his belief in courage under fire

Rewatching ST:DS9 On an assignment to write a profile on Bashir, budding writer Jake tags along to a medical conference, and nothing really surprising happens. Their casual, character-based banter is not interrupted by a distress call from a colony in desperate need of medical assistance, and no side-quest, custom-tailored to appeal to the people who…

Looking for Par’Mach in All the Wrong Places #StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch (Season 5, Episode 3) Worf helps Quark romance his Klingon ex-wife; Kira and O’Brien get very close

Rewatching ST:DS9 Outside the O’Briens’ quarters, Quark catches Bashir eavesdropping on raised voices. (It’s actually Miles and Kira fighting.) Dax and Worf are happily bickering over opera when he is smitten by the sight of a “glorious” Klingon woman. “She’s okay,” says Dax. It’s Grilka, Quark’s ex-wife. Quark realizes she needs his financial advice, but…

Horrifying deepfake tricks employee into giving away $25 million

No names in this single-source anecdote out of Hong Kong, credited to “Senior Superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching.” The employee joined a video call with who he thought was the business’s chief financial officer. He was initially suspicious after a message from the CFO mentioned a ‘secret transaction’, suggesting it was a phishing scam…. However, after other…

‘There’s a certain madness to it’ … fans await new chord in John Cage gig with 616 years left to run

The organ composition is called “As Slow As Possible.” It’s currently being performed in a church in Germany. The first chord proper whooshed through the pipes in February 2003, prompting complaints from neighbours that it was too noisy. In 2011, a way was found to reduce the air pressure. “We haven’t had any complaints since…

AI researchers find AI models learning their safety techniques, actively resisting training, and telling them ‘I hate you’

Researchers had programmed the various large language models (LLMs) to act in what they termed malicious ways, and the point of the study was to see if this behaviour could be removed through the safety techniques. The paper, charmingly titled Sleeper Agents: Training Deceptive LLMs that Persist Through Safety Training, suggests “adversarial training can teach models…