Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Posts posted by DefaultHuman

  1. There were a couple of audio hiccups - I'd thought maybe my podcast app was messing up on silence-skipping, so glad to hear it wasn't just me. Thankfully, no more problems for the remainder. 


    Thank you, so much, for this interview. I wasn't familiar with Louis before, but his products and company are the stuff of legends to me and I was utterly captivated. 

  2. I just don't see how an AI makes the leap from "I need to make these drone parts as efficiently as possible." to "I must get resources for and produce these drone parts in a way far outside my programming that will kill all humans accidentally in some way." that level of thinking requires a level of intelligence that would most likely come with enough introspection to realize what it is doing. 


    Your example seems to require that no-one pays any attention to what the AI is doing and there are no other AIs competing for the same resources. Both of which seem like pretty big assumptions. 




    I do love the idea of a computer using 99% of its power to play some kind of candy crush and 1% to do something nice for humans.

    Fair points, but I was trying to illustrate what I believed the hosts' point was - that it's not necessarily an active or malignant act. I used up that plethora of verbiage just to say what I think sclpls just did, but he did much more succinctly.


    In any case, it's a deep rabbithole. Our hosts might be interested to hear about the wacky, wealthy conspiracy theorists/cultists operating in the Bay Area. Through a friend, I had the interesting experience of visiting their dorm room-esque clubhouse. (If you're interested, do some searching on CFAR (Center for Applied Rationality) the pseudo-legit entitiy and its connection to MIRI (the Machine Intelligence Research Institute).  One of their blogs is at (currently with some article about how pickup artists demonstrate evolved behvior). If anything they have to say makes sense, read some stuff by their lead personality, Eliezer (, who is one of the types that believes it's necessary for our welfare that he be frozen upon his death and revived so we can look to his intellect, and then also find that the dude that makes that Soylent stuff is also connected to them. Smart folks, but existing as a wacky intellectual ouroboros. I had some links to interesting articles on the subject, but they've since been removed (I know there are ongoing efforts to get negative statements removed, lots of SEO and message board campaigns, but don't know if that's the cause or just the usual 'net entropy). Or maybe all of that is what was censored on the podcast. :) Now that I've written it all out, it sounds very conspiracy-nut.

  3. The level of intelligence required to make that calculation and implement it is high. It would need to be able to consider its task, decide to kill all humans and figure out a method to carry it out. An intelligence that can do all that, but cannot do a simple thing like think "If I kill all humans, no one will need paperclips." or "what if i fail" seems highly unlikely to me.

    That is based upon it being determined to be malignant (or thinking we are) and killing us all for the sake of making product X. I think the fear expressed is that it would be ambivalent about us, that it would happily carry on manufacturing and refining its process. Take a slightly different example: Amazon wants to roll out it's drone delivery worldwide. They develop a system that allows an AI to manufacture drone parts using 3D printers. It's still a lot of tedious work to assemble these things, solder components, etc., so it's also given control of an assembly line so it can determine the best methods for assembly - wiring, soldering, testing, etc. Extrapolate this considering that we're moving towards giving automation and systems more access and more control. In 10 years, perhaps it's diverting enough plastic for its drone assembly that it's impacting the petroleum market - even shutting down ordering/manufacturing communications for the sake of securing its supply, stopping oil refinement to divert resources to plastic manufacturing (admittedly, I don't actually know how all of that works)? This exponentially increases to the extent that we're unable to transport goods and food, still relying heavily upon fossil fuels. Okay, maybe my example is even worse than paperclips, but the point being that the proposed AI doesn't care about us one way or the other - our disappearance is a result of our being 1) unnecessary and 2) unable to overcome the leeching of a rampant AI.

  4. Thank god for the initial reaction in the Episode 1 podcast. I was worried that I was the only one who disliked it.


    I wasn't sure about the first episode of the first season, until about halfway through when I knew that this was destined to be one of my favorite series of all time. This show was special in a curl-up-on-the-couch, prepare some snacks, allow no distractions, watching ritual, kind of way.


    I kept waiting for season 2's first episode to hook me in the same way, though I only grew more disheartened. Maybe it's the influence of the TPRW Podcast and experience, but a crappy second season, complete with a morose dude on a bike at night, made it feel like the same scenario as Twin Peaks - another show where I was iffy, started to fall in love and then grimaces as my testes were trod upon. I'll keep watching, optimistically, though.


    I'm biased against some of the characters already. I went in cold and as soon as I saw Colin and then Vince Vaughn, I grew immediately skeptical, assuming I'd know exactly how their characters would be acted. Sadly, I wasn't mistaken. The first season, by contrast, gave me newfound respect for Woody & Matthew, neither of whom I much cared for previously (a fault I'm now convinced was my own, especially in WH's case). What I'm hoping for most, I think, is the redemption of one or more of these awful human beings during the course of the investigation.

  5. You're right. Bumbling was a poor word choice, that's more Andy. I meant to say clueless, or, like you said, out of his depth. He's definitely been more of a sidekick and happily accommodating all of Cooper's eccentricities. It's nice to see him given a bit more gumption, even if he isn't necessarily much better equipped to deal with all of the goings-on. A bit strange, though, that with all of the oddness in the town and how unsurprised everyone seemed by supernatural turns, he'd be initially so opposed to a supernatural explanation and has a crisis of faith, of sorts.

  6. Episode 18: it's about ethics in restaurant journalism.

    Really dug the Cooper and Truman moments. It's interesting how they've changed Truman from being a goofy bumbling local cop who means well, to a stalwart, self-confident lawman (who, apparently, knows his stuff when it comes to providing testimony). I loved that he offered them coffee on their way out - both hospitable and dismissive.

    I wasn't going to mention the White Lodge, but to me, this is where the show gets weird. Not that it wasn't before, but it seems like a departure in tone and theme. The last scene with the blinding light is reminiscent of alien abduction scenes. Haven't seen the show before so I'll just keep my fingers crossed that that's not the case. Regardless, I'm grateful that I don't live in a town where harbinger owls are native.

  7. And that's one of the reasons I love this podcast. It's educational. Not only did I find out that Taylor Swift is not a specific model of golf club, but a singer, but later in the show I had to discard my assumption that it was Bieber 2 after finding out that in this case Taylor is a girl's name. More interesting, though, is the thorough discussion about the state of pop culture image, the music industry and role models.

  8. I found myself getting really drawn in when Ben seems to be stalling on the sawmill arson and I internally was wondering why and wondering if he was in cahoots with Josie, only to have it revealed that he was. Now I know how people who watch soap operas feel (and why they keep watching).


    Leland is compelled to dance, like a marionette, and another breakdown quickly ensues. In another of TP's trademark quirky scenes, this causes a new-trend dance sequence. I suppose he invented breakdowndancing.


    There's a lot about Laura and how she corrupts others, which leads me to wonder if her influence corrupted Audrey, or possibly vice-versa. Somehow, I don't find Bobby any more likeable even after learning that Laura was responsible for turning him into an asshat.


    As for the cliffhanger, I expect Cooper to be a stand-up Mr. Rogers sort and gently but firmly insist that Audrey leave. It doesn't seem like the patronising way an older gentleman might compliment a little girl by way of teasing about dating her (which I've always found a little creepy), but more in that he's interested in the idea and the fantasy of the nubile and mischievous younger woman who's interested in him, but not in making it a reality. Who knows, though? I'm wrong about this series a lot, so he might just pull out some kama-sutra influenced Tibetan lovecraft on her.


    Speaking of love:

    I think it suffices to say, it will take a long time to digest.

     And I think because you said, "It suffices to say," and not, "Suffice it to say," that I want to bear your children.

  9. IIRC, The point of the "strong sender" comment is that's why Cooper _wasn't_ there when Sarah was creating the police sketch. Cooper gave himself something else to do to avoid being in the same room specifically to avoid influencing her representation of the face. The fact that it matches his own description can therefore be seen as independent corroboration.


    I'm not sure if I'm missing the a joke here, or if you're reading something totally differently? As I recall, Andy claims it's 30 while Harry claims it's 10 minutes, the point is that something that's 10 minutes away can take 30 minutes if you go the wrong way, which Andy inevitably would.

    I got the point of his avoiding it, just noting that his dream of it seems to him to be more accurate than what's taken as an eye-witness account. And, if his claim is to extrapolated, that his "sending" could be influential on the town.

    I might've missed the joke if I misremembered and reversed their roles, I should probably take notes.

  10. Haha. Um, I didn't realize this for a long while, but have now figured it out. In case you didn't know. Every Twin Peaks episode has its own wikipedia page which talks about the director and writer of that episode and gives a synopsis of the episode.




    The episode overview page is here.


    Clicking on the episodes provides many more details. I didn't realize this because I don't have that many shows that I watch which have 20 year plus histories. The ones I go to usually have less info:


    It's worth noting that the Wiki has the official numbering, so if you're looking for episode 5 (i.e. the fifth episode) info, for example, look for episode 4 in the wiki or risk accidental spoiler reading.


    It was interesting that they referred to bird scratches or pecks as, "Bird bites." I don't think I've ever heard those two words together before, but why shouldn't they be? Linguistic anomaly more than a TP observation, I suppose.


    Not only does this episode continue to show us how the townspeople are perfectly comfortable with the supernatural and that we've already been shown how quickly Cooper embraces it, but we hear that he's a "Strong sender" and doesn't want to risk interfering. Stating that the eyes were closer together shows he places more faith in the accuracy of his dreams than in Sarah's eye-witness (hallucination, vision, or whatever they're assuming it was) account (or, I guess, her ability to describe the man). If he's a strong sender, couldn't be be influencing people's perception rather than just corroborating their insights?


    Andy's portraited as a dolt most of the time and, usually, as a more delicate man than one would expect of a police officer. Does this belie his keen understanding of the back channels and underbelly of TP? When asked the distance to the hotel, he disagrees with Harry by a significant margin (10 versus 30 minutes), saying it depends on which way you go.


    Hank's super-creepy, yes, but what's the significance of the domino? I expect veteran watchers will have some insight, but I'm wondering if it's supposed to be a prison or criminal rank thing, if it's inserting another supernatural element (6 made of 3's, 666, "The beast" unleashed on the earth, etc.), or some allusion via numerology.


    Also, "Giving little elvis a bath," might become my new favorite euphemism*.


    *If I wish to, once more, be single

  11. A year? That's daft. It makes some sort of skewed sense for games when they lump the uk in with the European release and want to get all of the languages ready before release.

    There isn't the Dreamworks face, as much as the characterization that provokes it. Each character filling a well-defined niche, stereotypic tropes that feel too forced. The main character is likeable, but the standard underdog that can teach the experts a thing or two. I don't know how much the archetypes are based on those in the comic, though, so I couldn't say if they were forced into a mold or true to source material.

    There's a lot to like, though, and it's gorgeous to look at. SF Bay Area residents will feel at home, with many familiar landmarks and neighborhoods represented in the futuristic San Fransokyo.

  12. I just saw Big Hero 6 and was pretty impressed. I don't say this lightly, but Disney Animation is on the path to outpacing Pixar. They've even started leading their films lately with shorts.

    I haven't read the comic it's inspired by, but have heard it's a loose, pg-style adaptation of it. Apart from some pretty on-the-nose dialogue, wince-worthy obligatory catch-phrasing, some unfortunate anachronisms (that'll strengthen the kid appeal but date the film quickly) and the occasional Dreamworks-y characterization, it was very enjoyable. Funny and epic-feeling in parts, it's a commendable superhero origin story flick.

    I wouldn't place it above the better Pixar films, but it's arguably better than a couple of their recent endeavors.

  13. "I'd have coffee, sometimes six cups, along with the shake, and I'd have sugar in my coffee. By then I would be pretty jazzed up, and I'd start writing down ideas. Many, many things came out of Bob's."


    "I like cappuccino, actually. But even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all. New York has great water for coffee. Water varies all around. We've got to drink something. Do you just drink water, sometimes? It's very good for you."

    I read that rapidly, as one sentence and it certainly resembles the way a coffee enthusiast speaks.


    I love the observations about coffee:noir relationship deconstruction, mostly because even the thought of it awes me that somebody would even thing to reapproach the trope from that direction, whether intentionally or not.

  14. I have no idea how I missed that the road house boys were fighting darkness. I thought them roughing up the smuggler was just backwater justice, but when they mentioned on the podcast it being a secret society I was completely surprised. There are a lot of subtleties that I miss until Jake and Chris mention it, probably because it's my first time watching and I'm not very bright, but that seems like a pretty major thing to not notice. Am I alone in this?

    Also I did not notice it's Laura playing her cousin. But in that case it's such a strange thing to do that I didn't even make to comparison.

    Nope, totally with you. I feel not bright listening to the podcast and hearing about things I didn't catch in my viewing. I should probably pay more attention since watching this is now an event and not just passively absorbing the usual episodic series. Old, bad habits are hard to break, especially when most modern shows are so effortless to follow (and they'll recap anything important all the time anyway).

  15. That looks really promising. Even has the stamina system of DS. 2D also addresses what I feel is a necessary shortcoming of DS - the lock-on system.

    It's hard to inject as much personality into enemies being lo-fi, so I hope there's a lot of sound work going into it.