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Messages - Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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We bought a car this weekend. My car is still in the shop waiting for a turbo, and Salty's van has tooooo many things wrong with it, so it was time to just buy something that will hopefully be reliable and low-maintenance. So we got another Volvo, a 1990 740 basic model sedan with 132k miles. It's gonna have problems, of course, but my experience with my old one was that everything except the wiring harness is cheap AF to replace.

Richard Nixon's glittering half-life sarcophagus / Re: Spagbook
« on: April 25, 2017, 02:21:38 pm »
Looking good, by the way. The beard makes you look all mild-mannered and innocent. Have you lost weight?

Richard Nixon's glittering half-life sarcophagus / Re: Spagbook
« on: April 25, 2017, 02:20:10 pm »
Guess I found where my bubble ends. I totally thought more people at the Science March would recognize Bayes' Thorem. Oh, well.

I didn't recognize it and had to look it up. Is that from first term stats? Seems like a thing only economists would recognize off the cuff.

Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 25, 2017, 02:17:33 am »
If you constantly reflect and force awareness of a specific area of your mind (Trigger a specific neural network) when exposed to a specific consciousness alarm (Or unusual stimulus), you can cause that reflection to happen automatically, almost in the background. In other words, you can automate that reflection/analysis so that you don't necessarily have to be conscious for it. The subconscious can take over that particular mental activity in the future.

This is something they deal with later in the gurdjieff work. There's this idea of an "instinctive center", our habit engine. I think Gurdjieff and Ouspensky describe ways to hack it... the goal is to build shocks, mindfulness, into your habits.

I dunno if you saw it, but that's exactly what the article I posted is about... let me know if you can't access it, I can't tell whether it's behind a paywall or not when I'm logged in at work.

Here's the abstract:
It is now widely accepted that instrumental actions can be either goal-directed or habitual; whereas the former are rapidly acquire and regulated by their outcome, the latter are reflexive, elicited by antecedent stimuli rather than their consequences. Model-based reinforcement learning (RL) provides an elegant description of goal-directed action. Through exposure to states, actions and rewards, the agent rapidly constructs a model of the world and can choose an appropriate action based on quite abstract changes in environmental and evaluative demands. This model is powerful but has a problem explaining the development of habitual actions. To account for habits, theorists have argued that another action controller is required, called model-free RL, that does not form a model of the world but rather caches action values within states allowing a state to select an action based on its reward history rather than its consequences. Nevertheless, there are persistent problems with important predictions from the model; most notably the failure of model-free RL correctly to predict the insensitivity of habitual actions to changes in the action-reward contingency. Here, we suggest that introducing model-free RL in instrumental conditioning is unnecessary and demonstrate that reconceptualizing habits as action sequences allows model-based RL to be applied to both goal-directed and habitual actions in a manner consistent with what real animals do. This approach has significant implications for the way habits are currently investigated and generates new experimental predictions.

I know this is a thing, and I shouldn't react based on biases of my own experience etc...

But no, pregnancy is not super awesome fun times.  Pooping for two sucks.

I'm suspecting my sister is an alien because she's had two kids and describes it as  wonderful and addictive, and she wants more kids but won't\can't due to husband.

I found being pregnant interesting the first time, because I like novel experiences, and a festival of suck I couldn't wait to be over with the other two times. I like having kids, I just don't like bearing kids.

Feel free to vent, I can at least offer moral support.

As I march steadily toward a career in science I find myself at home.

Nobody cares how you dress as a scientist. If you never shave regularly, or there's food on your clothing, or your hair is a greasy curls, and your glasses are filthy, everyone assumes that's OK because you're too busy thinking. And, to a point, they're correct. It's just I'm usually waffling back and forth between terror thoughts and shit like this:

I've gotten real socially awkward in the last few years. The other day I got really excited about the fact that Charles Whitman used that fucking M1 carbine to kill most of those people, fucking Marines, man, wow before I  realize the classmates speech outline I was reviewing was actually about the importance of play to the development of a healthy, well-developed mind. And THAT'S why she suddenly started gathering her papers and turning away from me.

The important part of this small story is I didn't even put it all together until hours later.

Someday, you will never put it all together because your brain will  have stopped letting you care enough to think about it.

That's the goal, anyway.

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Bring on the Future
« on: April 23, 2017, 12:26:11 am »
First coal-free day in Britain since Industrial Revolution

Yay for the future and two fingers up to the luddite drumpf

That's fantastic!

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Weekly Science Headlines
« on: April 22, 2017, 07:56:05 pm »
Oh, wait.  The article you linked is not the article you quoted...

To explain my emotional reaction that may have clouded my judgement, Marburger was my dad.

I had no idea that your dad was that Jack Marburger.  Holy shit, your dad was a bona-fide hero.

Pretty much this.

I knew who he was, I just had no idea about all the behind-the-scenes stuff. That was brilliant, and it shows true dedication to doing good. It couldn't have been easy for him to let his public reputation endure so much excoriation while quietly working around the President's ignorance to strengthen science policy where it would count.

I love that pic.

Richard Nixon's glittering half-life sarcophagus / Re: Spagbook
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:34:40 pm »
The humidity and the lack of sun probably accounts for 99% of the fact that Portlanders are supposed to stay youthful-looking for longer.

Yeah, I'm gonna have to suck it up and just do it.

May end up getting a prescription for Ritalin, too. I know it would help me.

I just don't want 1.) To become addicted to it or 2.) To have long lasting damage to my already deficient reward system.

For what it's worth, I was diagnosed at 19, and have been sporadically taking the exact same prescription ever since. I take a very low dose (5mg) of the original non-time-release, because it wears off after only about 3 to 4 hours, which means that I can take it specifically when I need it, and not bother with it otherwise. I rarely take it on weekends at all. Because I take it so intermittently, I have never built any kind of tolerance to it. For the obvious reasons, I recommend this approach over the more common one of taking the same time-release dose daily.

Thinking about going to a tech college and getting my AAS in Machining.

That sounds like fun, as well as highly marketable. You already have a BA, right?

It is fun. It's what I was doing before I had a huge lapse in judgement for 8 years and enlisted.

Yes, from the University of Washington, Art, Media an Culture. I should be good with the word writing bullshiting my way into jobs but nothing I'm even slightly directly qualified to do has seemed appealing. AND after failing to get into any of the MFA programs I applied for I just don't even.

You can leverage the BA to make your AAS far more marketable/profitable. Sounds like a great combination!

It would be nice to do the semi-hitech stuff i was doing before the Army, commanding machines to make satcom components out of super-alloys.

Yeah, that sounds incredibly cool.

Richard Nixon's glittering half-life sarcophagus / Re: Spagbook
« on: April 22, 2017, 03:57:16 am »
In which we both look inexplicably young.

I see you two have been stealing souls for eternal youth, again.

Can you blame us? Souls are delicious.

I'm finding it difficult to argue with you, there.

Meanwhile, I'm suspecting I need to increase my daily intake of souls. It's not fair how good you too look. Salty looks younger than I did 5 years ago.

He is truly ageless.

Oh, and also Ritalin.

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