Contemporary confederacies of dunces now coalesce around very stable genius it seems..
I think the cartoon is portraying Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.
He has done some interesting things previous to that including tech philanthropy and a run as president of Y Combinator, which hosts the Hacker News site, where I now post much more often than here..
It’s a reference to the character John Belushi played in Animal House.. Set in at the fictitious Faber College but satire focused squarely on the Midwest and Southern unis I referred to in my first post in this thread..
The DVD edition has a 45 minute mockumentary showing where the characters ended up a quarter century on with the Belushi character (Blutarsky) as POTUS..
This was itself created almost two decades before the travesty of the Trump administration and, like the even crappier movie Idiocracy, demonstrates the fall of American culture below even the worst movie parody uncannily well.
I sometimes wear a Bluto Blutarsky “COLLEGE” sweatshirt with a Jack Daniels pin on it to those campuses but nobody seems to get the reference..
The conditioning necessary to watch grunt cameras (and, coming soon to your 4k 86 inch screen : branded baseball burp cameras) starts early ; in America, it is perfected in college:
Having worked for several current and former SEC conference universities, I still cannot see the point (although I have seen the private data on the revenue and understand it well from the unis’ bottom line) of getting all worked up about team x because you are attending the same school (as players who get a full ride including : private meal halls, dorms, tutors, limo busses on and off campus, multimillion dollar gym and sport medicine facilities, etc..) who they will probably never even take a class with much less see in a normal student dorm or meal hall.. Quite a racket.
These uni’s make literally hundreds of millions of dollars per year on the games, merchandise – and most importantly the fundraising from alums and VIP schmoozing in fully catered ‘press boxes’ high above the screaming slobbering hoi polloi paying for bleacher benchs below.. It is amazing to see even now as a consultant : honestly the students at these unis really haven’t changed from the materialism that took over as these colleges accepted the inevitable in the early 80s and parlayed their degree mills into highly branded vocational training drive thrus..
Professional sports are the only hope for recruitees in these mega marketing golden cages (unless the unis are forced to actually pay for their services as the professionals they already obviously are) – and credulous, poorly educated ‘alumni’ are the perfection of the professional sports market training who proudly graduate from beer swilling on bleachers to beer swilling in Barcaloungers and lap up the branding.. Of course mindlessly rah raaahing for American mass market team sports has proven to be great conditioning for red hat rah raaahing too..
I honestly don’t care anymore, so long as they continue to pay for remote IT consulting ;)
Of course you are correct. I don’t mean to discount the role of environmental factors (all necessarily speculative as is well documented in the research sources) but rather to point out that human activities (arson, to apply our values to it), in addition to expanding the binary overhunting vs environmental discussion, must have had profound impacts on the formation of human culture, selecting those who employed such tactics over those who might have been living by hunter gatherer practices in balance with the environment.
While humans were only one likely factor in the the large mammalian decline documented in the Science paper, the analysis of carbon, does point to fires well beyond anything observed in the previous 20ka, and while their cause probably cannot be known, the likelihood of human origin seems very high..
I do recognize how speculative my comment is, but it seems to me that the contemporaneous reductions in megafauna at so many other sites worldwide where humans were present argues for careful consideration of the possibility of humans using similar (and other) tactics to take advantage of the local situation..
From our modern perspective it is abhorrent to even think of humans setting fire to a tinder dry overgrown forest (as was likely from the pollen data in the Science paper), but that could have been every beneficial to certain tribes of humans who were predisposed to see it in that way..
This would provide a windfall of meat, a reduction in predators, and a denial of terrain suitable for rival hunter gatherers..
There is plenty of discussion about the necessity for agrarians to become territorial, but I wonder (speculatively) if the territorial behavior was presaged by something altogether darker that conferred selective benefits on the tribes of humans who saw the way to their territory (and, ultimately, our nations) in using arson to burn out the competition..
Would explain a lot of human history.
The research paper linked in the Conversation piece is worth reading:
Specifically the part of the conclusion including:
“Small populations of humans can have disproportionate impacts on landscapes through the use of fire (48); significant increases in regional fire activity after the arrival of humans have also been noted in Australia (49), New Zealand (50), Panama (51), and many other regions worldwide (52). Today, changing fire regimes resulting from climate change and human activities are again driving some ecosystems toward tipping points”
“The conditions that led to the end-Pleistocene state shift in Southern California are recurring today across the western United States and in numerous other ecosystems worldwide. Understanding the interplay of climatic and anthropogenic forcings in driving the La Brea extinction event may be helpful in mitigating future biodiversity loss in the face of similar pressures.”
A growing number research projects at several sites worldwide now show that we have to reinterpret the archaeology around the advent of agriculture and I can’t help feeling that the period of time between the end of the Ice Age and the rise of agriculture (and fall of hunter gatherers) is likely linked to behavior of “Small populations of humans (who) can have disproportionate impacts” through destruction of the environment that must have had deep and lasting impact on the nature of our agrarian societies’ (self selected) development.. in addition to the impacts on climates, flora, fauna – and less rapacious human societies – of the world from the paleolithic onwards.
Sadly we can see reverberations of this right up to similar, if more duplicitous, behaviors and predictable, inevitably more damaging outcomes in our near future..
The more we change, the more we stay the same – as long as we refuse to grow as a species anyway.
It looks like a good university consortium project – from what I can see on their website.. the software itself is behind a screening requirement.
I’ve worked with several national university consortia centered around member only ‘open’ source (for the rather specialized needs of university back offices) and, while it is way better than the proprietary software it replaces, and I understand the desire to limit the projects to the intended users, my experience is that actual open source projects always end up with superior codebases..
(but at least the dev conferences are nicer without all the hoi polli mucking about ;)
I find it interesting that the ‘nut’ reference has been discussed into the featured comment and yet nowhere in any comment threads is there anything at all about the ‘red cap’ ad read in the panel previous to the ‘nut’ reference..
A quarter century ago, there would have been no way to predict the odious imagery that red caps have been given in the last few years, but Red Hat Software, the actual company that the ad references, is as relevant to the Internet today as it was in the early days of monetizing ones personal life..
..well, at least to those who actually work on the infrastructure side of the Internet and care about keeping it open anyway.
Red Hat was acquired by IBM, and, in my opinion shows exactly why IBM and not Oracle should have acquired Sun Microsystems when they lost their way post dot-com bubble..
Today Red Hat is the second largest contributor to the Linux kernel behind Intel and more importantly is the second largest contributor to Kubernetes behind Google (who initially developed it)..
Kubernetes (the ancient Greek reference is worth looking into BTW) is the open source software powering most cloud platforms and Red Hat provides an overlay for that which I find myself relying on more and more even tho I’m not (personally) a customer..
That’s the beauty of open source Red Hat generates $5 billion in revenue out of just holding corporate types hands with the complexity.. DIY types are free to use the exact same software (as I do in clusters of gaming PCs standing in for Nvidia’s spendy data center GPU offerings ;)
We could use open source meritocracy type business models in a whole lot more areas, but, then again, we can all look at where we actually took the Internet in the last quarter century..
Sigh, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Schrödinger’s cat, which was intended to point out the gross errors being made in the application of his wave equation, has been overly popularized and misappropriated in ways that I think Turing (with his rather flippant test that nevertheless became enshrined in computer science) would have been sympathetic to.. misunderstandings of both lead to no end of highly profitable and completely worthless babble about quantum minds and AI singularities… Sigh.
For me, if I were to overlook Schrödinger’s personal life and choose to quote him, it would be:
“We are thus faced with the following question: Why should an organ like our brain, with the sensorial system attached to it, of necessity consist of an enormous number of atoms, in order that its physically changing state should be in close and intimate correspondence with a highly developed thought?”
Although I am very interested in non Western philosophy as he was (specifically the traditions of East Asia for me), I don’t find much of his writing outside of physics compelling, but for someone so involved in the physics of reality’s quantum minima to raise the question is gratifying, since the last Great Unknown that we haven’t explored into the weeds of untestable mathematics is of course consciousness.. (an area of some academic and professional interest to me :)
Yep high quality optics get expensive fast when the primary lens gets up around 60mm .. Vortex seems to be the value proposition in that league at the moment..
I haven’t seen any applications outside of $10k+ IR gear, but I’m expecting digicam EVF tech to end up in scopes as some kind of programmable overlays for the actual scope optical image with realtime correction / AI enhancement info someday..
Seems like integration with data from a drone operating midrange would be a killer app for a lot of XLR uses (ex: target on the ballistic but occluded by terrain, air quality distorted optical images, movements that AI could predict (as is already done with autonomous driving), etc, etc)..