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lvxferre Lvxferre

The catarrhine who invented a perpetual motion machine, by dreaming at night and devouring its own dreams through the day.

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Posts should (almost) never be locked.
  • Upvoted as it's unpopular even if I heavily disagree with it.

    Look at the big picture.

    There's a high chance that whatever is causing that flamewar - be it a specific topic, or user conflicts, or whatever - will pop up again. And again. And again.

    You might enjoy watching two muppets shitposting at each other. Frankly? I do it too. (Sometimes I'm even one of the muppets.) However this gets old really fast and, even if you're emotionally detached of the whole thing, it reaches a point where you roll your eyes and say "fuck, yet another flamewar. I just want to discuss the topic dammit".

    Plenty people however do not; and once you allow flamewars, you're basically telling them "if you don't want to see this, fuck off". Some of those will be people who are emotionally invested enough in your community to actually contribute with it, unlike the passing troll stirring trouble.

  • Bad Christian Arguments...And How I Respond to Them
  • I suppose it’s improper to point and laugh? // I see no reason to respond to bad faith arguments.

    It's improper, sure, but I do worse. You seriously don't want proselytise Christian babble in my ear if I'm in a bad mood. It sounds like this:

    [Christian] “God exists because you can’t disprove him”

    [Me] "Yeah, just like you can't disprove that your mum got syphilis from sharing a cactus dildo with Hitler. Now excuse me it's Sunday morning and I want to sleep."

  • AI trained on AI garbage spits out AI garbage.
  • Your "ackshyually" is missing the point.

  • AI trained on AI garbage spits out AI garbage.
  • It doesn’t need to be filtered into human / AI content. It needs to be filtered into good (true) / bad (false) content. Or a “truth score” for each.

    That isn't enough because the model isn't able to reason.

    I'll give you an example. Suppose that you feed the model with both sentences:

    1. Cats have fur.
    2. Birds have feathers.

    Both sentences are true. And based on vocabulary of both, the model can output the following sentences:

    1. Cats have feathers.
    2. Birds have fur.

    Both are false but the model doesn't "know" it. All that it knows is that "have" is allowed to go after both "cats" and "birds", and that both "feathers" and "fur" are allowed to go after "have".

  • AI trained on AI garbage spits out AI garbage.
  • Model degeneration is an already well-known phenomenon. The article already explains well what's going on so I won't go into details, but note how this happens because the model does not understand what it is outputting - it's looking for patterns, not for the meaning conveyed by said patterns.

    Frankly at this rate might as well go with a neuro-symbolic approach.

  • Google Is the Only Search Engine That Works on Reddit Now Thanks to AI Deal
  • Even back when I used Reddit, I had such a burning hate against Reddit results that I blacklisted them. So this is actually improving things for me, as I use DDG by default.

    As such I hope that this decision becomes another nail in each of their (Google and Reddit's) coffins.

  • An algorithm, among the many other things they ruin, is causing stability problems on Intel Core CPUs
  • An algorithm, among the many other things they ruin, is causing a rubbish article in RPS.

  • Bad Christian Arguments...And How I Respond to Them
  • IMO it's more useful to learn how to identify and reply to fallacies and bad premises in general, than to focus on the ones that Christian proselytism uses.

    For example, the ones in the video are:

    • "Either god created us, or we are here by random chance" - false dichotomy + strawman
    • "God exists because you can't disprove him" - inversion of the burden of the proof
    • "Objective morality proves god exists" - naturalistic fallacy + bad premise
    • "Everything that exists was created. Therefore god exists" - bad premise
    • "You're not educated enough" - ad hominem

    Others that you need to look for are:

    • invincible authority (a type of appeal to authority) - X was said by authority, thus X is true. Christians love this crap.
    • fallacy fallacy - X is backed up by a fallacy, so X is false
    • ad populum - lots of suckers believe it, so it's true
  • Concerned Ape (Stardew Valley): I swear on the honor of my family name, i will never charge money for a DLC or update for as long as I live. Screencap this and shame me if I ever violate this oath.
  • IMO Wube (Factorio's devs) is a lot like ConcernedApe, when it comes to not violate the players' trust. That's why for example Factorio never goes on sales - because the people there believe that it would be disrespectful to charge a larger price to some than others, simply because the others delayed buying it. (Cough Paradox Interactive aka Hipsters' EA cough cough)

    They also have the decency to offer you a demo so you can make an informed decision before buying it, in a clear contrast with certain companies that expect you to buy it blind.

    About the DLC: I'm one who typically pirates games, mind you, but I'm probably buying it, just like I did mit the base game. The base game isn't incomplete or anything like that; fuck, people compare it with crack for a reason - it's functional, polished, and fun to the point of addictiveness. And the FFF (devlogs) clearly show enough content to be worth it.

  • What's that song you adore but you're too embarrassed to make anyone else listen to?
  • And me. (I was often in 4chan back then) Still, the song is still stuck in my head, after all those years.

  • What fast food chain does the best burgers in your country?
  • At least in my South American city (but it's likely the same in the rest of the continent, regardless of country), this sort of junk food isn't as strongly associated with fast food chains. It's typically stuff that you buy from local establishments, that go from "nice and fancy" to "that corner bar stinking booze and rancid fat". Or that you, you know, make at home.

  • What's that song you adore but you're too embarrassed to make anyone else listen to?
  • ...does it include enka? I'm ashamed to admit that I like enka, even to other people who listen to Japanese music. (Mostly Keiko Fuji and Akira Kobayashi.)

  • What's that song you adore but you're too embarrassed to make anyone else listen to?
  • Erasure - Always. Perhaps I'm mostly ashamed because of how I picked this song up, from an old Flash game. Or perhaps of the lyrics being kind of bad, but the musical part is so awesome that I can't help it.

  • What's your favourite harmless prank you've seen IRL?
  • Door-based noise machines

    Oh, those are fun. Specially with pig randomisers.

  • Concerned Ape (Stardew Valley): I swear on the honor of my family name, i will never charge money for a DLC or update for as long as I live. Screencap this and shame me if I ever violate this oath.
  • The sad part is that the idea behind DLCs (to develop further content for a game already released, in exchange for additional money) is reasonable. Or it would be, if shitty developers didn't abuse it to the point that it stopped being "downloadable content" to become "dumb and lazy cashgrab".

    I also think that CA isn't just being benign with this statement, or his whole "let us not be arseholes" approach towards development. He's being smart; player trust might be hard to measure but it has direct impact on word-of-mouth advertisement and piracy, so it's basically the difference between "everybody knows it, plenty bought it" and "the few ones who know it pirated it".

  • What's the cutest animal that you'd be terrified to get close to?
  • That is part of the reason why I'd get terrified - I have a scar on my leg from a house cat. (A friend of mine brought a kitty that he just adopted here, I was holding the kitty on my arms, Kika saw it as an invader and... well, she attacked the thing nearest to the invader that she could reach, i.e. my leg.) So when I see those big cats I can't help but imagine a 30x larger house cat, with all the dangers that it entails. And the associated cuteness.

  • What's your favourite harmless prank you've seen IRL?
  • Some years ago I used to play Minecraft with friends quite a bit. We used to pull out practical pranks on each other, like:

    • people often use a pressure plate as doormat for their houses, to open the door automatically. I'd wire it to some piston, releasing chickens inside the house. How many chickens? 200 or so.
    • block update detector + some valuable ore (typically diamond) = an ore block that changed place as you tried to mine it. (I was the victim of that one. It was amazing!)
    • good old obsidian over chest, preventing you from opening it. Some people got upset. Eventually ruled out as uncreative.
    • hollowing out a pillar to place a zombie, that would prevent the person from sleeping inside their base because there was a monster nearby. Good luck finding it.
    • the smaller and less annoying version of the above: cats hidden into 1x1x1 holes below the floor. "meow mrwown meeeew!" nonstop.
  • Opinion | Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook? (Published 2018)
  • While this article might be old as fuck, it's still relevant IMO.

    Morally speaking I'd say that it is a duty, but a weak one, since it depends on:

    1. how responsible the person can be held for condoning what the platform does, based on what the person is attested to know about its role on political and social manipulation. Or, you know, genocides.
    2. how much undue social/professional harm the person would cause themself, by leaving the platform. Because people there aren't just partners, but also victims of that platform.
    3. their direct role on Facebook's misdeeds. Someone who passively checks the news there is simply not on the same level as, for example, people spreading misinformation.
  • so who else has decided to learn German due to the number of German language posts?
  • So, uh, don’t learn everything from them.

    It could be worse. Like using a cat as a training partner for language learning.

    ...I'm still trying to unlearn "Miaument".

  • The customer is always righteous [Roonie the Rabbit]
  • This too. But I wouldn't call it more cynical; it's simply that you don't know how the goods are going to be used as well as the customer does, so from their PoV what you consider buying something dumb might be actually smart.

  • In canvas 2025, what if we ganged up against the largest country flag, whichever it is?

    [Idea] If you don't want to see huge flags taking space over actual drawings in the Canvas, pick the biggest flag that you can find to deface.

    As long as a lot of people are doing that, the ones templating larger flags will be forced to reduce their layouts and give more room for actual drawings.


    [Reasoning] When it comes to country flags, I think that the immense majority of the users can be split into four groups:

    1. The ones who don't want to see country flags at all.
    2. The ones who are OK with smaller flags, but don't want to see larger ones.
    3. The ones who want to see a specific large flag taking a huge chunk of space.
    4. The ones who want to see the whole canvas burning, like the void.

    I'm myself firmly rooted into #1, but this idea is a compromise between #1, #2 and #4.

    Typically #3 uses numbers (and/or bots) to seize a huge chunk of the canvas to their flags. Well, let's use numbers against it then. As long as #1, #2 and #4 are trying to wreck the same flag, we win.



    >But what about identity flags?

    Not a problem. They're typically bands instead of thick squares, and people drawing them are fairly accommodating.

    >But what about [insert another thing]

    Even if [thing] is a problem, it's probably minor in comparison with huge country flags.

    >What should be the template?

    None. We don't need one, as long as everyone is working against the same large flag.

    Just draw something of your choice over the flag, preferably over its iconic features.

    >But I'm not creative enough for that!

    No matter how shitty your drawing is, it's probably still way more original than a country flag. So don't feel discouraged.

    That said, you can always help someone else with their drawing. Or plop in some text. Or just void.

    >Why are you posting this now, you bloody Slowpoke?

    I wish that I thought about this before Canvas 2024. But better later than never. (And better early by a year for Canvas 2025.)


    EDIT: addressing on general grounds some whining from group #3 (the ones who want to see a specific large flag taking a huge chunk of the canvas space).

    You do realise that this sort of "war against the largest flag" should benefit even you, as long as the biggest flag is not the one you're working with, right? Even for you, this makes the canvas a more even level field. Let us not forget that you love to cover other flags with your own.

    60 2,500-year-old slate containing drawings of battle scenes and paleo-alphabet discovered in Spain

    Archaeologists discovered the stone tablet at a Tartessian site in southwestern Spain.

    2,500-year-old slate containing drawings of battle scenes and paleo-alphabet discovered in Spain

    I'm sharing this here mostly due to the alphabet. The relevant region (Tartessos) would be roughly what's today the western parts of Andalucia, plus the Algarve.

    Here are the news in Spanish, for anyone interested.

    The number of letters is specially relevant for me - 32 letters. The writing system is a redundant alphabet, where you use different graphemes for the stops, depending on the next vowel; and it was likely made for a language with five vowels, so you had five letters for /p/, five for /t/, five for /k/. Counting the "bare" vowels this yields 20 letters; /m n s r l/ fit well with that phonology, but what about the other seven?


    Kumoko's children! (Argiope argentata offspring)

    Context: some days ago, I commented in a topic about Argiope bruennichi that I had a similar spider living on my kumquat tree, later identified to be Argiope argentata. And @[email protected] asked for an update, if she laid eggs.

    So, here they are. Sadly I couldn't even notice that she laid eggs, let alone photograph the egg sac. But hey, I got little cute spiders~

    Here's their mum, Kumoko:



    Kika's play time be like:


    Leftover eggs and rice.

    This recipe is great to repurpose lunch leftovers for dinner. It's also relatively mess-free. Loosely based on egg-fried rice.

    Amounts listed for two servings, but they're eyeballed so use your judgment.


    • Cooked leftover rice. 200~300g (cooked) is probably good enough. It's fine to use pilaf, just make sure that the rice is cold, a bit dry, and that the grains are easy to separate.
    • Two eggs. Cracked into a small bowl and whisked with salt, pepper, and MSG. Or the seasoning of your choice.
    • Veg oil. For browning.
    • Water. Or broth if you want, it's just a bit.
    • [OPTIONAL] Meats. Leftover beef, pork, or chicken work well. Supplement it with ham, firmer sausages, and/or bacon; 1/2 cup should be enough for two. Dice them small.
    • [OPTIONAL] Vegs. I'd add at least half raw onion; but feel free to use leftover cooked cabbages, peas, bell peppers, etc. Or even raw ones. Also diced small.
    • [OPTIONAL] Chives. Mostly as a finishing touch. Sliced thinly.


    1. Add a spoonful of veg oil to a wok or similar. Let it heat a bit.
    2. If using raw meats: add them to the wok, and let them brown on high fire, stirring constantly. Else, skip this step.
    3. If using raw vegs: add them to the wok, and let them it cook on mid-low fire. Else, skip this step.
    4. Add the already cooked ingredients (rice, meats, vegs). Medium fire, stirring gentle but constantly; you want to heat them up, not to cook them further. Adjust seasoning if desired.
    5. Spread the whisked egg over your heated rice mix, while stirring and folding the rice frenetically. You want the egg to coat the rice grains, but they should be still separated when done. If some whisked egg is sticking to the wok and/or the rice is too dry, drip some water/broth and scrap the bottom of the wok; just don't overdo it (you don't want soggy rice). Anyway, when the egg is cooked this step is done, it'll give the rice grains a nice yellow colour and lots of flavour.
    6. If using chives, add them after your turned off the fire (they get sad if cooked). Enjoy your meal.

    I was going to share a picture of the final result, but I may or may not have eaten it before thinking about sharing the recipe. Sorry. :#


    Litterbox woes - how to solve them?

    I got a weird problem involving both of my cats (Siegfrieda, to the left; Kika, to the right).

    Kika is rather particular about having her own litterbox(es), and refuses to use a litterbox shared by another cat. Frieda on the other hand is adept to the "if I fits, I sits, I shits" philosophy, and is totally OK sharing litterboxes.

    That creates a problem: no matter if properly and regularly cleaned, the only one using litterboxes here is Frieda. We had, like, five of them at once; and Kika would still rather do her business on the patio.

    How do I either teach Kika "it's fine to share a litterbox", or teach Siegfrieda "that's Kika's litterbox, leave it alone"?


    First languages of North America traced back to two groups from Siberia First languages of North America traced back to two very different language groups from Siberia

    Johanna Nichols, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley, has used her pioneering work in the field of language history to learn more about language development in North America. She has found that it can be traced back to two language groups that originated in Siberia. Her paper is pub...

    First languages of North America traced back to two very different language groups from Siberia

    Which species (or at least genus) of orchid is this?

    Context: my mum got some keikis of this orchid from a neighbour. She managed to grow them into a full plant, it even flowered (as per pic), but she has no idea on which species of orchid it is.

    I am not sure if it's a native species here (I'm in the subtropical parts of South America), but it seems to be growing just fine indoors in a Cfb climate.

    Disregard the vase saying "phal azul" (blue phal), it used to belong to another orchid; it doesn't seem to be a Phalaenopsis.

    If necessary I can provide further pics, but note that it has lost the flowers already.

    Any idea?


    EDIT: thanks to @[email protected]'s comment, we could find it - it's a Miltoniopsis. Likely from Colombia or Ecuador, not from my area.


    xkcd again, but now on linguists and their weird habits

    I feel slightly offended. Because it's true.

    (Alt text: "Do you feel like the answer depends on whether you're currently in the hole, versus when you refer to the events later after you get out? Assuming you get out.")

    xkcd source


    Isekai - community to discuss stories with characters being transported or reincarnated into another world

    Link to the community: [email protected]

    Feel free to join and talk about your favourite series. The rules are rather simple, and they're there to ensure smooth discussion.


    Conhece a piada do pintinho caipira?



    A compendium of the comparative grammar of the Indo-European, Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin languages (August Schleicher)

    I'm sharing this mostly as a historical curiosity; Schleicher was genial, but the book is a century and half old, science marches on, so it isn't exactly good source material. Still an enjoyable read if you like Historical Linguistics, as it was one of the first successful attempts to reconstruct a language based on indirect output from its child languages.


    Post-Neolithic Diet-Induced Dental Changes Led to Introduction of ‘F’ and ‘V’ Sounds Post-Neolithic Diet-Induced Dental Changes Led to Introduction of ‘F’ and ‘V’ Sounds | Sci.News

    A class of speech sounds that is now present in nearly half of the world’s languages -- labiodentals, produced by positioning the lower lip against the upper teeth, such as in ‘f’ or ‘v’ -- are a relatively recent development, one brought about by post-Neolithic diet-induced changes in the human bit...

    Post-Neolithic Diet-Induced Dental Changes Led to Introduction of ‘F’ and ‘V’ Sounds | Sci.News

    Link for the Science research article. The observation that societies without access to softer food kind of avoided labiodentals is old, from 1985, but the research is recent-ish (2019).

    2 Why AI software 'softening' accents is problematic

    While AI now allows us to erase accents, is this really a good idea? Besides, who doesn’t have an accent?

    Why AI software 'softening' accents is problematic

    Même texte en français ici. I'll copypaste the English version here in case of paywall.

    Accents are one of the cherished hallmarks of cultural diversity.

    Why AI software ‘softening’ accents is problematic

    Published 2024/Jan/11\ by Grégory Miras, Professeur des Universités en didactique des langues, Université de Lorraine

    “Why isn’t it a beautiful thing?” a puzzled Sharath Keshava Narayana asked of his AI device masking accents.

    Produced by his company, Sanas, the recent technology seeks to “soften” the accents of call centre workers in real-time to allegedly shield them from bias and discrimination. It has sparked widespread interest both in the English-speaking and French-speaking world since it was launched in September 2022.

    Far from everyone is convinced of the software’s anti-racist credentials, however. Rather, critics contend it plunges us into a contemporary dystopia where technology is used to erase individuals’ differences, identity markers and cultures.

    To understand them, we could do worse than reviewing what constitutes an accent in the first place. How can they be suppressed? And in what ways does ironing them out bends far more than sound waves?

    How artificial intelligence can silence an accent

    “Accents” can be defined, among others, as a set of oral clues (vowels, consonants, intonation, etc.) that contribute to the more or less conscious elaboration of hypotheses on the identity of individuals (e.g. geographically or socially). An accent can be described as regional or foreign according to different narratives.

    With start-up technologies typically akin to black boxes, we have little information about the tools deployed by Sanas to standardise our way of speaking. However, we know most methods aim to at least partially transform the structure of the sound wave in order to bring certain acoustic cues closer to a perceptive criteria. The technology tweaks vowels, consonants along with parameters such as rhythm, intonation or accentuation. At the same time, the technology will be looking to safeguard as many vocal cues as possible to allow for the recognition of the original speaker’s voice, such as with voice cloning, a process that can result in deepfake vocal scams. These technologies make it possible to dissociate what is speech-related from what is voice-related.

    The automatic and real-time processing of speech poses technological difficulties, the main one being the quality of the sound signal to be processed. Software developers have succeeded in overcoming them by basing themselves on deep learning, neural networks, as well as large data bases of speech audio files, which make it possible to better manage the uncertainties in the signal.

    In the case of foreign languages, Sylvain Detey, Lionel Fontan and Thomas Pellegrini identify some of the issues inherent in the development of these technologies, including that of which standard to use for comparison, or the role that speech audio files can have in determining them.

    The myth of the neutral accent

    But accent identification is not limited to acoustics alone. Donald L. Rubin has shown that listeners can recreate the impression of a perceived accent simply by associating faces of supposedly different origins with speech. In fact, absent these other cues, speakers are not so good at recognising accents that they do not regularly hear or that they might stereotypically picture, such as German, which many associate with “aggressive” consonants.

    The wishful desire to iron out accents to combat prejudice raises the question of what a “neutral” accent is. Rosina Lippi-Green points out that the ideology of the standard language - the idea that there is a way of expressing oneself that is not marked - holds sway over much of society but has no basis in fact. Vijay Ramjattan further links recent collossal efforts to develop accent “reduction” and “suppression” tools with the neoliberal model, under which people are assigned skills and attributes on which they depend. Recent capitalism perceives language as a skill, and therefore the “wrong accent” is said to lead to reduced opportunities.

    Intelligibility thus becomes a pretext for blaming individuals for their lack of skills in tasks requiring oral communication according to Janin Roessel. Rather than forcing individuals with “an accent to reduce it”, researchers such as Munro and Derwing have shown that it is possible to train individuals to adapt their aural abilities to phonological variation. What’s more, it’s not up to individuals to change, but for public policies to better protect those who are discriminated against on the basis of their accent - accentism.

    Delete or keep, the chicken or the egg?

    In the field of sociology, Wayne Brekhus calls on us to pay specific attention to the invisible, weighing up what isn’t marked as much as what is, the “lack of accent” as well as its reverse. This leads us to reconsider the power relations that exist between individuals and the way in which we homogenise the marked: the one who has (according to others) an accent.

    So we are led to Catherine Pascal’s question of how emerging technologies can hone our roles as “citizens” rather than “machines”. To “remove an accent” is to value a dominant type of “accent” while neglecting the fact that other co-factors will participate in the perception of this accent as well as the emergence of discrimination. “Removing the accent” does not remove discrimination. On the contrary, the accent gives voice to identity, thus participating in the phenomena of humanisation, group membership and even empathy: the accent is a channel for otherness.

    If technologies such AI and deep learning offers us untapped possibilities, they can also lead to a dystopia where dehumanisation overshadows priorities such as the common good or diversity, as spelt out in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Rather than hiding them, it seems necessary to make recruiters aware of how accents can contribute to customer satisfaction and for politicians to take up this issue.

    Research projects such as PROSOPHON at the University of Lorraine (France), which bring together researchers in applied linguistics and work psychology, are aimed at making recruiters more aware of their responsibilities in terms of biais awareness, but also at empowering job applicants “with an accent”. By asking the question “Why isn’t this a beautiful thing?”, companies like SANAS remind us why technologies based on internalized oppressions don’t make people happy at work.


    xkcd on language change


    Alt-text: «God was like, "Let there be light," and there was light.»


    Cockney and Queen's English have all but disappeared among young people—here's what's replaced them Cockney and Queen's English have all but disappeared among young people—here's what's replaced them

    Cockney and received pronunciation (Queen's English) were once spoken by people of all ages, but they are no longer commonly spoken among young people in the south-east of England.

    Cockney and Queen's English have all but disappeared among young people—here's what's replaced them

    Small bit of info: Charles III still speaks RP, but the prince William (heir to the throne) already shifted to SSBE. Geoffrey Lindsey has a rather good video on that.


    What is a "dog"?


    [email protected] - About the Science of Language

    Links to the community:

    The community is open for everyone regardless of previous knowledge on the field. Feel free to ask or share stuff about languages and dialects, how they work (grammar, phonology, etc.), where they're from, how people use them, or more general stuff about human linguistic communication.

    And the rules are fairly simple. They boil down to 1) stay on-topic, 2) source it when reasonable, 3) avoid pseudoscience.

    Have fun!


    Languages and Communities in the Late-Roman and Post-Imperial Western Provinces

    This is a rather long study, from the Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents. Its general content should be clear by the title, and it focuses on three "chunks" of the former Roman empire: Maghreb and Iberia, Gallia and Germania, and the British Isles.

    New Communities Lvxferre


    I've recreated a Linguistics community here in As the sidebar says, it's for everyone, regardless of previous knowledge over the field, so even if you're a layperson feel free to drop by.

    Here's the link: [email protected]

    In case that you're in a Kbin/Mbin instance and the above doesn't work, try /m/[email protected] instead.