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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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TIL about Roko's Basilisk, a thought experiment considered by some to be an "information hazard" - a concept or idea that can cause you harm by you simply knowing/understanding it
  • What about the people who lived in the Americas or the Pacific 1800 years ago? These people could not have heard of Jesus as missionaries could not have spread any word to them at this time.

    (And while I'm about it, Christianity was a whole different thing back then - the Trinity hadn't been invented, there were multiple sects with very different ideas, what books would be in the New Testament had not been decided, etc etc. People with beliefs of that time would seem highly unorthodox today, and the Christianity of today would be seen as heretical by those in the 3rd century, so who's going to heaven again?)

    Purgatory was invented for the purpose of not sending good people who had not heard of Jesus to hell. But still, these people were denied their chance to get to heaven which seems mighty unfair.

  • Were zx spectrum +2 keyboards disgusting to type on?
  • I had a Sinclair QL which pioneered the keyboard. It wasn't great - it was far behind the Acorn BBCs and the Commodores) but it was quite usable.

    There was significant vertical travel, and there was variation in the push the key gave back - increasing to a point of no return, then a quick downward movement to the thunk of the end of key travel.

    I could type moderately fast on it.

  • Vaccines don’t cause autism, but the lie won’t die. In fact, it’s getting worse.
  • That was one of the original proposed mechanisms to explain how the (obviously false) autism was caused.

    But since then, since thiomersal was removed, other 'causes' and moral issues have been invented, including cells from abortions.

    The one that makes me laugh the most is that it's terrible that the poor poor baby is exposed to so many illnesses (measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, notovirus, rotovirus and more) in such a short space of time, it's no wonder the poor dear's immune system is compromised. And then the same mother drops the kid off at daycare and exposes the poor dear to all those viruses and more - and live viruses at that.

    There is no bleeding logic, just feels. And they get so angry at the fake harm that medicine is causing, and simultaneously actually causing real harms to real people.

  • Switching to OCaml bois
  • I don't think that the anti-oop collective is attacking polymorphism or overloading - both are important in functional programming. And let's add encapsulation and implementation hiding to this list.

    The argument is that OOP makes the wrong abstractions. Inheritance (as OOP models it) is quite rare on business entities. The other major example cited is that an algorithm written in the OOP style ends up distributing its code across the different classes, and therefore

    1. It is difficult to understand: the developer has to open two, three or more different classes to view the whole algorithm
    2. It is inefficient: because the algorithm is distributed over many classes and instances, as the algorithm runs, there are a lot of unnecessary calls (eg one method on one instance has to iterate over many instances of its children, and each child has to iterate over its children) and data has to pass through these function calls.

    Instead of this, the functional programmer says, you should write the algorithm as a function (or several functions) in one place, so it's the function that walks the object structure. The navigation is done using tools like apply or map rather than a loop in a method on the parent instance.

    A key insight in this approach is that the way an algorithm walks the data structure is the responsibility of the algorithm rather than a responsibility that is shared across many classes and subclasses.

    In general, I think this is a valid point - when you are writing algorithms over the whole dataset. OOP does have some counterpoints encapsulating behaviour on just that object for example validating the object's private members, or data processing for that object and its immediate children or peers.

  • What is the oldest common food in the typical western diet?
  • I'm going to suggest food items that we still take from nature and eat with minimal preparation:

    • Honey
    • Fish like salmon, trout, grouper
    • Shellfish (eg oysters)

    We have evidence of shellfish and fish being eaten for a very long time - at least the middle stone age at 140kya - in middens which are 10s of thousands of years old.

    Honey is likely to have been a food source - a treat even - even before humans left Africa (so before 100kya) but sadly this would be invisible in the archeological record

  • Neuralink to implant 2nd human with brain chip as 75% of threads retract in 1st
  • There is non-zero risk in every surgery, and this is a major surgery. There is non-zero risk of very very severe consequences: brain infection, stroke being just some. While these risks are low, they are non-zero. The volunteers have the possibility of losing everything.

  • Amazon S3 will no longer charge for several HTTP error codes
  • This was actually because a small developer picked the name of their new S3 bucket that happened to collide with a default name of an open source package. Over one weekend they racked up $1300 charges and thousands of users attempted to upload to their bucket. Every call failed (invalid api key) but the developer was still charged.


    Here's the sauce

  • Calculus made easy
  • I must not use jargon.

    Jargon is the mind-killer.

    Jargon is the little-death that brings total confusion. I will face the jargon. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the jargon has gone there will be clarity. Only sense will remain.

  • Most people on weight loss drugs are spending less on restaurants and takeout, survey says
  • BMI classifying weightlifters as morbidly obese is a flaw of the BMI, not on how medics consider obesity. BMI is used because for most people it is really simple and quick and gives a reasonable result. When a doctor considers your health, they consider many many factors including your bloodwork, quantity and location of fat, fitness level and more

  • For the first time in one billion years, two lifeforms truly merged into one organism
  • Sorry for taking a long time to reply.

    with plain old binary fission cell division, how do you get both to divide at the same time, and give each cell one of the new organelles?

    An excellent question! Luckily it was answered in the paper. The researchers actually had a high resolution soft x-ray movie of cell division (ok, an exaggeration, they had a few micrographs showing the sequence). In the sequence, it showed how the organelles (including the novel N2 fixation one) undergoing division and each 'child' organelle ending up in different halves.

    Cell division is controlled in the cell by an amazing process:

    • 2 centres are created on opposite sides of the cell
    • Structures like tethers are built that connect each centre to each of the organelles (the nucleus, mitochondria and the N2 fixators). These are called microtubules
    • The microtubules then start shortening, pulling the organelles in two directions, separating them.

    The x-ray micrographs show that the N2 fixators are already integrated into this mitosis mechanism - my guess is that the N2 fixators already 'understand' the parent cell's mitosis signaling.

    The authors also say that the organelles have lost a number of genes for essential cellular functions, relying on the parent cell to provide those capabilities. By comparison, mitochondria have only 37 genes left, and chloroplasts weren't known for having any DNA when I was at school, but are now known to have about 110 genes.

    In other words, a lot of evolution has already occurred and they are well on the way to being 'proper' organelles.

  • For the first time in one billion years, two lifeforms truly merged into one organism
  • an extreme change like this can't be selected for

    I think you mean that the initial bit - where the smaller bacterium is swallowed but stays alive in its host - is the "can't be selected for". After this, if the chimera survives, then most definitely the natural selection process is in action and selection is taking place.

  • If Inheritance is so bad, why does everyone use it?
  • "DI frameworks" are Satan's farts. Classpath-scanning nonsense that turns compile-time errors into runtime errors. Not only is your Ctr still coupled to your Svc, but both are now coupled to Spring.

    Let's qualify this: DI frameworks that use configuration files to specify the dependencies are Satan's farts. You can use the DI pattern but do the injection in source code to get full compile-time type checking and all the benefits of a fully packaged JAR or similar binary. The root of the evil is having text files as part of the packaging, and not having the tooling to treat those files as part of the source code at build time.